Tuesday, December 27, 2011

...And I'm not sorry!!

I'm not living very aloha today.  I let my temper get the best of me earlier today and lashed out on my Facebook.  I deleted 2/3 of my friends, wrote a strongly worded status message, and followed it up by posting exactly 1 "public" item on my profile: a warning to stay out of my business.  I'm not sorry for it.

I'm so sick of people PRETENDING to be my friend and then turning around and betraying my trust.  Either you're here for me, or you're not.  You're on my team, or you're not.  Pick one and stick with it, because from here on out, that's where you are.  No more changing, no more second chances.  If you have a problem with me, talk to ME about it.  I don't even know how many YEARS I've been saying that.  I feel like I'm in freaking high school again!  Only this time, it wasn't me who was fucking up.

It is a well-known adage that misery loves company.  I have come to fully believe it because of what I personally have seen. To those of you who need to hear it:

1.  I'm sorry that you're not happy with your husband, but don't get mad at me for trying to cock-block you that night.  I did it the only way I know how.  Thanks SO much for twisting it around to make ME look like the snake.  I guess I should have just let you fuck up then, seeing as you went and did it anyway after that.

2.  You have a drug problem and need to grow up.  Don't deflect when people are talking to you about why they're concerned; they say it because they love you, and getting defensive and pointing out their own shortcomings isn't a good way to ensure that they're still there for you when you fuck up next time.

3.  Repeat of number two.  The two of you are a real pair.

4.  I'm willing to bet that you've been in a similar situation to the one I'm dealing with now and that's why you act the way you act.  I still don't think that being secretive and blowing people off is polite (or how you should treat your family), but I'm beginning to understand why you do it (especially with your family).

5.  I think you need counseling and anti-depressants.  To start.


That's it.  I'm done for now.  I feel a little less angry but I'm suddenly very tired and very sad.  I'll try to post a more cheerful post-Christmas entry with photos next time.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Almost here!

Whoops, it looks like my blog posts are getting more infrequent.  I'll have to do something about that, when I can find more time!

It's almost Christmas, which is exciting.  I love seeing my family and friends, and giving gifts that make them smile.  I wish I had more money to spend on gifts this year, but once again, we're down to just one income, just in time for the holidays.   C and I had talked about this, oh, in JUNE, and made a plan so that we wouldn't be in this situation for another year (3 in a row now) but obviously that hasn't worked out.  Luckily, Christmas isn't just about giving gifts, so those that get small and/or homemade gifts from me won't be upset, but it still bothers ME.

Kawika is almost 8 months old now!  Time really does fly.  He's so strong it's hard to get things away from him if he decides he really wants it.  He always wants to stand, and he'll walk with me while holding my fingers for balance.  He doesn't seem interested in crawling and gets frustrated when placed on his belly.  He immediately rolls to his back to give you a glare, then rolls back to his tummy, and back and forth, until he gets bored and yells, at which time we set him on his feet and he smiles like "Finally!"

Work is fine.  We're entering our slow period and there have been lots of rumors circulating about the future of our company, so that's a little unsettling.  Other than that, though, it's business as usual.  We did have our annual holiday party this past Saturday and it was a blast.  *small pat on own back*  Here are some photos:

Coco and me

Me, C, Coco, and Steve

Me, Coco, and Polly, plus some of our best employees
IMHO, it was the best company party we've had (at least since I've been working here).   =)

Also, what's a blog post without baby updates?  A photo and a video here:

Kawika on Thanksgiving, 7 months old
video

I think that was the last bath we had in his baby tub... he's too big for it now and tries to climb out, so he's graduated to the big tub, as of 2 weeks ago.  He loves the water and has a blast just splashing and scooting around.  I love that he loves bath time.  Hopefully this trend will continue, because nobody likes a stinky boy.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sharing the Joy

Kawika makes the cutest noises, I swear. I've been trying to take videos of him more frequently because he changes SO fast.

This video is cute because he's being kind of a ham for the camera. K does his screech that he's recently become so fond of. It's a little ear-piercing, but he thinks it's a riot. :)

video

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Season

I just had a moment of... clarity? Gratitude? I realized how truly fortunate I was and I'm quite humbled while now pondering the many good things in my life.

I wanted a hot meal, so I got in my car that I didn't have to pay for (it was a 10 year old hand-me-down, but still), and drove to a place that took a small amount of my money and handed me a hot meal through a window so that I didn't even have to get out and get rained on to pick up this meal that I didn't have to prepare. Then I drove back to my office and had a brief chat with my supervisor (that I like and respect, who likes and respects me) wherein she agreed to approve my taking some college courses in Business Administration & Management, so that my tuition and fees get reimbursed by our employer. I then got a call from my loving, supportive (if sometimes immature) partner & the father of my beautiful son, where he offered to pick up our son after work so I didn't have to go out of my way.

How fortunate am I? How completely awesome is my life? How different is it for people born in poorer countries, or to poorer families? No, I don't have gold-plated toilets, or fly first class while taking multiple vacations a year, but I do get vacations. Paid ones. I do rent a decent-sized home that has room for myself and my family. And I don't have to fight for food, or clean water, or the right to do what I want when I want.

No, life isn't always fair or just, not even for me, but it could be a hell of a lot worse. I'm going to try to remember that more frequently from now on.

Friday, November 18, 2011

STOP INTERNET CENSORSHIP

For those of you who do read my blog, I have an important message I'd like to share with you.  Please read the infographic below and if you care about the right to free speech online at all, I urge you to visit www.americancensorship.org to read more info and/or contact your local representatives to help stop this bill before it's enacted into law.  We cannot allow this!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Over-thinking Things Again

I've had a lot on my mind lately.  My family, my relationship, my child... I suppose you could group all of those into "family."  I do this thing every few years where I get restless with my current situation and start thinking about my other options.  Is it just that I relish change?  Or do I continuously get myself into situations that I can only cope with for a few years at a time before I get fed up and have to get out? 

C and I recently went to LA to be on one of those small-claims court TV shows.  Our old landlords had filed a suit against us in our local small claims court, alleging that we damaged their condo so badly it needed $4k worth of repairs.  We answered in denial, then filed a counter-suit (to get our deposits back).  Apparently these TV shows have researchers all over the place, one of which found our case and brought it to a producer's attention.  Long story short, we all agreed to go, and we went.  We figured we didn't have anything to lose.  They paid for the airfare, hotel, ground transportation, and meals, plus pay us an appearance fee, and the winning party gets paid by the show so the losing party isn't out any money.  Sounded good, right?

It went horribly for us.  As it turns out, the "judge" of the show isn't actually bound by any laws of any particular jurisdiction, and is free to make her "ruling" based on... whatever she wants.  Usually, I have discovered, that means that whatever makes good TV goes.  So we were the "bad guys" and were portrayed as such, though we didn't know that until we got on set and the "judge" and plaintiffs started talking.  Man, what an awful feeling, to have people lying about you, and you can't do anything about it, and nobody listens to what you have to say in your defense, or they listen then laugh at you, or scoff, or make rude remarks. 

As a side note, the audience on those shows is paid to sit there and make noises of approval or disbelief, per the coaching of the producers.  There was a girl behind me calling me names the whole time.  It was very distracting, and hurtful.  We were defamed on video, which will likely be aired nationwide, and I couldn't do a damn thing about it.  I left in tears. 

All of this led to a big discussion with C afterwards in which he got very defensive (as usual) and made lots of excuses for his behavior (as usual).  I've tried to be very understanding and forgiving, and now I am failing miserably at that.  Fortunately for me, I don't really feel like I'm failing at anything anymore; rather, I am finding my voice again and putting my foot down.  I hope for his sake that he has the sense to shape up soon, because I'm running dangerously low on patience, and I'm not as content as he believes anymore.


I suppose most relationships deal with ups and downs.  I just wish there weren't as many "downs" as there are.  Is there any hope in trying to change a person?  I know it's for the best, he knows it's for the best, and yet... nothing!  Where's the disconnect?  Why can't he see how harmful and selfish his behavior is?

Well, time to stick my head back in the sand.  I can't do anything about it right now, and I'm not (quite) ready to, anyway. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Losing steam

I can't even believe what a toll this week has taken on me!  I attended a spill drill for one of our bigger contracts and put in two 10-hour days in a row, but that shouldn't have wiped me out as much as it did.  I've done that before without the same fallout I'm feeling now.  I can pinpoint the differences in this drill but I won't go into them here. 

On a slightly related note, it's been quite some time since I felt this conflicted.  I wish there was a clear-cut answer, but I don't think there is.  Why is nothing ever as easy as I think it should be?  Between new interests and the same old conflicts, I'm running out of patience for pretty much everything these days.

Here's something that never fails to cheer me up though:

How could you not smile back?
Other good things:  Getting a good parking spot, butterflies, having an umbrella when it starts to rain, new friends, renewing old relationships, and forward progress.  Also, today is Friday.  That is a very good thing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An open letter to my fellow commuters

Dear fellow commuters,

I know that the drive from Vancouver to Portland sucks, and the return trip sucks more.  I do it every day, as you do.  This does not mean, however, that you should vent your frustration on your fellow commuters.  There are some "rules of the commute" that, though unwritten, are no less important than the posted regulatory signs.  To remind you, since it seems you've forgotten, please refer to my handy list below:

1.  When all three lanes are stop and go for miles on end, you must pay attention.  This is not a time to check your e-mail, find the CD you dropped under your seat, or reapply your makeup.  As a driver who has been rear-ended twice this year by drivers who were not paying attention, I will say it again for the record: Watch where you're fucking going.

2.  The carpool lane is for cars containing 2 or more people, or buses, or motorcycles.  You, single guy  talking on his phone, are no more important or entitled than the rest of us. Get the hell out of the carpool lane.

3.  It is not only polite, but legally mandated, that you use your turn signals when changing lanes.  I know that your 40-thousand-dollar car is equipped with them, because my 1997 P.O.S. is.  Use them, toolbag.

4.  If you must smoke (you should quit!), then smoke.  It's your right.  But realize that not everybody in the 3-car radius that can smell your noxious exhalations enjoys that carcinogenic cloud as much as you do. And for the love of god, when you're done sucking on that cancer-stick, don't drop that smoldering butt out of your window.  I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that someone willing to damage their own body wouldn't give a second thought about the environment, but it's still extremely fucking rude.

5.  Merging is a fact of life.  If the cars on the road alternate 1-for-1 with the cars merging, we should have no problems aside from the inevitable slow-down.  But when you cut over in your jacked-up pickup with the TruckNutz hanging from the tow hitch and push your way through traffic, you fuck up the flow.  So knock it off.

6.  Big rigs require a lot of room to maneuver, get rolling, and (especially) to stop.  That giant space between them and the car they're following?  Not there for you.  I wouldn't feel sorry for you at all if you cut in front of a tractor/trailer that suddenly couldn't stop as fast because YOU'RE there and it ran into you.  That would be your fault, you stupid twat.

7.  Speaking of following distance.  That extra space between MY car and the car I'm following?  Also not there for you.  1 car length is not enough room to stop if dude in front of me slams his brakes, so I allow a little more than that.  This is not a space for you to squeeze into.   If I see you thinking about squeezing in, I might purposely close that gap a little more to block your move.  Just saying.

8.  Changing lanes in an intersection: illegal.  Driving up the shoulder to avoid traffic and cutting in at the top of the line: douchey.  Swerving left before making a right-hand turn: retarded (and dangerous).  Red lights mean stop, but not in the middle of the intersection. 

If we all follow the "unwritten rules of the commute" I feel like we'll all be happier drivers.  At least, maybe I won't feel like going all demolition derby next time I-5 turns into a parking lot. 

I've got my eye on you , smokers.

Sincerely,

Julie

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Plus Size"

Halloween is right around the corner!  I love this holiday, but I'm feeling kind of melancholy about it this year.  I think this is because I'm having a heck of a time finding a costume.  As a size 16, I find myself in that dreaded PLUS size category.  The costumes are made for "bigger" girls, but they're still as skimpy as the ones for those size 4's out there.  Also, there are fewer options.  I had my heart set on the red "Um" dress from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.  I found it at a costume shop online and was SO excited... Alas, the largest they run is a 14, which in costume land probably fits closer to a 12.  So I kept looking.  I've found a few other acceptable choices, but I'm not excited about any of them.  I wish I was excited about my costume, but I haven't found anything that great (in my size) and it seems like even the so-so choices are too expensive.  Why drop $50 on something I'm ambivalent about?

In happier costume news, I picked out what Kawika will wear trick-or-treating.  He won't really understand it all, but that's OK.  We're going in a group with our cousins and their kids so it'll be fun regardless.  I get to show off my cutie-pie and daddy gets candy.  LOL.

Because I'm excessively practical, I couldn't bring myself to spend $40 on something he will wear exactly once, no matter how cute (darn you, tiger costume!) so I bought this:

So snuggly!
 It has little ears on the hood to make him look like a teddy bear, and it will keep him warm when we're out strolling the neighborhood.  I think I'll put a little waterproof black eyeliner on the tip of his nose to make it more "bear-like" on Halloween.  It only cost me about $25 at Old Navy, AND he can wear it when we go watch his cousin Anthony (13) play football on the weekends.  It gets cold in those bleachers, and I won't be bringing K to sit around outside unless he's super-bundled!

Meanwhile, I'm down to 2 choices of my own.  I'll be wearing whatever it is at work (and I could wear something much skimpier if I chose; our work atmosphere is... very relaxed) and also at my SIL's annual Halloween Party.  I put it in caps because it's kind of a big deal.  Everyone gets really into it, and you're expected to show up in costume & in character.  I'm leaning toward Gretchen, but my short hair might work better with the flapper. *shrug*  Short and curly would be cute on either, though, don't you think?

Gretchen
Flapper


























Thursday, September 29, 2011

Out my mind...

I must be out of my mind, because I'm already wishing I could stop taking my bcp and let things happen.  The dominant, logical side of my brain is definitely winning the argument with the mushy, irresponsible side, though.  Thankfully.  There's absolutely no way we could afford kiddo #2 (yet).  I have to wait for my man-child of a life partner (sounds more grown-up than boyfriend, doesn't it?) to realize that he's 35, not 23, and start acting like it.  Who knows when or if that will happen, but I knew he was kind of dumb about that stuff going in and I did it anyway.  *shrug*  I made my choices, and I'm happy enough with where they've led me, so I'll hang around for a while longer.  A girl can dream, though.

Baby's been sick since Friday, which is very sad.  He caught it from Chris, which is worse, because Chris pretty much refused to touch Kawika the whole week prior because he didn't want to get him sick, and he ended up sick anyway.  Usually I'm the one that catches something and brings it home, but (so far) I've managed to avoid this one.  I'll just keep taking those vitamins and cross my fingers!  I wish K wasn't sick, though, it's so freaking SAD to hear a little baby with a chest cough.  He can't cough it out, you know, so it just SITS there and sounds all rattly and is hard to get rid of.  He doesn't seem to be too bothered by it though, since he's still eating and drinking pretty well, and napping OK.  We've had some issues with him waking up at night after he's only been down for an hour or two, but I'm sure he's coughing and waking himself up, then can't get comfy enough to fall back asleep.  The last 2 nights he's slept with me, and Chris has crashed on the couch.  Everyone seems to sleep better that way, though it's probably not the healthiest thing for mine and Chris's relationship.

Also, Kawika keeps playing like normal.  He loves his jumper, and he's just as curious as ever.

What the...?  I'm gonna get this thing!

Just me and my TP...
Doodlebug.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Another year...

I celebrated my 28th birthday on Monday.  Well, celebrated is kind of exaggerating a bit, as I didn't do much to commemorate the occasion.  Kawika had his 4 month checkup in the morning and it went really well.  He weighed 17 pounds even and was 27 inches long.  That's 75th and 100th percentiles, respectively.  Doc was impressed with the consonant noises he was making and how he was able to sit with very little support.  We discussed solids and sleep, and K seems to be doing very well.

Doc says the slobber is normal... LOL

Speaking of solids, so far we've tried sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, and pears, all of which he's pretty ambivalent about.  He was more enthusiastic about the green beans and seemed to like pears the least.  Go figure.  Tonight we try... what?  I've got bananas, peaches, and squash for him, and I'd like to get peas and plums.  Maybe bananas. This is the highlight of my day, thinking about Kawika trying a new food.  Sad?

We're pretty well settled in the new house; just hanging up art now and looking for a few finishing touches that we didn't need before, like a wall mount for our TV. My cousin is looking for a room to rent and I told her to come check out our 3rd bedroom.  We could certainly use a few hundred bucks a month and I know we could live together; she's so chill.

Work has been very busy; just trying to keep up with all the demands of my new position.  My additional boss (I can't say "new" since I still have both my "old" ones) has lots to do and not enough time to do it in, so he leans on me pretty heavily.  I enjoy it, since I eventually hope to take over his position at our location here and he can go back to managing 1 location (elsewhere).  Don't worry, that's his plan, too.

Work is kind of exciting lately because we're getting ready for our holiday party. It's a few months out, yes, but the planning and purchasing starts now and I've booked us a great location this year: Rock Bottom.  Their banquet space has pool tables, TV's, darts... their catering menu looks great, and there's a full bar downstairs for those who like to party after the party (myself included).  We're doing something a little different for door prizes this year... more on that in another post to come.  It's very exciting though!


I'm supposed to watch Kalae & Corinna's kids tomorrow night and I'm kiiiiind of dreading it.  Not because the kids are horrible or anything (they're great!) but just because I know it will be a late night and my Friday morning will arrive way too quickly and last far too long. There's no way to get Kawika home with Chris so I'm going to have him there with me all night, which will surely interrupt his routine...  There's got to be a better way to do this... maybe my mom can take Kawika to my house when Chris gets home!  Perfect.  I'm a genius!

Hey, if I can't say it, who can?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor day weekend

I had a great time over Labor Day weekend.  Chris and I took Kawika camping at the coast.  It was nice to get out of town, and even better since the sweaty heat of the city was more tolerable at the beach.  We had a comfy, sunny couple of days.  Kawika seemed to enjoy himself, though honestly, he's so laid back about everything it's hard to tell sometimes.  :)

While packing the day before, I decided he'd need a couple of hats for shade and also the chilly evenings.  I found this pom pom hat in his drawer that I'd forgotten about and stuck it on his dome to see if it fit...
Aaah!! Too cute!!
And I loved it, so I had to take a picture.  What a good sport  :)

We had a good camp site; not too much shade, not too much sun (just enough to burn me when I spent 20 minutes outside without sunblock) and our camp "neighbors" weren't horrible. 

You never know, at a camp site like that, if your neighbors will be jerks.  We went to the same campground last year (Chris's uncle reserves a group of sites every year for Labor Day weekend) and our neighbors that year were awful.  They were Mexican (nothing wrong with that!!) but they played that traditional Mexican music (Mariachi? It sounds kind of like circus music) at TOP volume into the small hours of the night.  Ugh!  Regardless of the type of music, you don't play it at max volume until 4 AM; that's just rude.

Anyway, it was very nice this year.  No crazy camp neighbors, and I think ours was the most annoying dog there (dang Chihuahua needs to learn to shut up!).  We had a good time relaxing with Chris's cousin Jamie and her family, uncle D and his friends Dave and Teresa, and my SIL's family.  

Hopefully he'll tan better than me
We took Kawika down on the beach for his first time.  I had him in the Bjorn and we walked down, looked at the water, splashed our toes in the surf... I really wanted to get a picture of K's foot prints in the wet sand so I took off his socks and got his little toes down in there... had just about got the Blackberry lined up for a good shot when our cousin's dog ran over to see what we were looking at and walked right over the prints.  Dang it!  Then Kawika started grumping (probably due to the chilly sand on his little piggies) and I wasn't going to subject him to more of the same, so we headed back to camp.

Nom nom nom... what beach?
All in all it was a great weekend!  I can't wait to take him next year when he'll actually be able to enjoy it. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Out with the old...

Well, we did it.  We moved everything out of our old place and into our new one.  About half of it is still unsorted in the garage, but it's there.  We couldn't move everything in right away because the carpets got shampooed the day after we did the bulk of the moving.  My MIL (the property manager- how handy is that?) helped us move and decided the carpets needed cleaning again so she called it in.  After they were all dry (which took a day) we started moving things in.  Kawika's room is all set up, and it's the only one in the house that's fully put together.  Priorities, people!

Cute baby, ugly couch!


The kitchen is coming together, too.  And we finally got the couch into the family room last night, but the living room is a disaster, and the dining table is still in pieces.  I feel pressured to get it all done, but it's so freaking HOT in the evenings that by the time I've sat in traffic, in my hot car, in the sun, on the blistering freeway for an hour, picked up the baby, and made it home, all I want is a cold shower and to stand naked in front of the window A/C unit (which I may or may not have done last night).

The carpet has been replaced in the 2 smaller rooms, which means Kawika has new carpet in his room and I'm pretty happy about that.  The other room.... I'm not sure what we're doing with it yet. Sleeping in it for now, until we get the rest of the furniture into the master bedroom.  We've got to move the dressers into the master bedroom before we can put the bed up, and I have to find the hangers before I can get all the clothes un-bagged and hung up, and I'm not sure where most of the towels or blankets are, but they'll have to go into the linen closet which means the light bulbs and extra curtains that were stored there will have to find a new home... how did I end up with this much STUFF?!


Well, whatever.  We're moved out of the old place, into the new place, and we're making slow progress every day.  I think this weekend we'll finally get to catch our collective breaths for a minute, relax, enjoy our new space, and get really settled in.  At least, that's what I'm hoping for!  I've felt a little like a zombie since last weekend and I think I need some extra sleep.

Yep, pretty much.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We got the keys!

Yay, we got the keys to our new place yesterday!! We did a walk through with the property manager to note down any items that were in less-than-perfect condition.  A few doors were damaged, a sink leaked, the oven display doesn't work, and there are some burnt spots in the family room carpet.  Overall, though, it's in pretty good condition for its age.  Besides, I understand the owner not wanting to replace everything all the time; it's a rental!  Rentals get damaged!  Hopefully after we're there for a while he'll be willing to make some upgrades.  The sink is getting fixed ASAP though.  I don't do leaks.  They cause so many other problems.

I wish I had a Dyson vacuum. That place could use another vacuuming before we start putting furniture down, but my vacuum is nearing the end of its lifespan and I'm less than confident in its ability to suck up everything I'd like sucked up.  Kawika is near the floor an awful lot and I'm getting all weird about exposing him to things.  He's not close to crawling yet, but I'm already thinking about bumpers for the fireplace and how to avoid falls now that we have a sunken living room... 

Ooh, there's so much to DO!  I'm getting really excited thinking about it.  I wish I could fast-forward to being all moved in though, because I totally hate the process of moving.  SO not looking forward to that.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The universe is telling me...

...Either that I should stop driving or to get a new car.  Or perhaps to find a job closer to home.  I can't decide what all these recent events should mean.

Backstory:  In March I was rear-ended on my way home from work in rush-hour traffic (effing Portland).  The impact pushed my car into the car in front of me. My car had damage to the rear bumper and the hood, and the insurance company of the guy who hit me decided it was enough damage to just total out my car.  I opted to keep it (it was mostly cosmetic damage) and have them cut me a check.  The auto body shop had straightened the hood (after they found it would be totaled, for whatever reason) so my car looks perfectly normal and drives just like it did before.  No harm, no foul, it's a 1997 with 200k miles on it, KWIM?

The worst thing to come of that was that I had to spend a night in the hospital because I started having contractions (at 8 months pregnant).  That turned out OK too; baby and I were both fine and made it to full term after that, and dude's insurance paid for the hospital charges. 

Anyway, this morning on my way TO work, I got rear-ended again.  WTF, right?  We're in the left lane on the freeway, crossing the bridge into Portland and the stupid Ford Taurus in front of me (I hate Ford Tauruses, did you know?) slammed on their brakes.  Naturally, I braked hard to avoid hitting them and succeeded, narrowly.  The guy on the motorcycle behind me couldn't stop as fast as I did and ran into the back of me.  I felt the impact (we had been going probably 40 mph!) and looked in my rearview mirror to see him flying off his bike and on to the pavement.  Naturally, I'm terrified for him.

Chris rides a motorcycle so I'm very aware of the dangers to riders, and it seems Portland is especially stupid about that since we don't have many year-round riders here.  They all come out in the summer and it's like the people in cars forget that they exist.  We hear stories on the news almost nightly about motorcycle riders getting injured or killed when cars hit them, change lanes into them, etc.

Put one on your car; raise awareness!
 
Back to this morning.  I immediately put my hazard lights on and jumped out of my car to go see if he was OK.  The stupid Taurus drove away, oblivious.  The pickup behind the motorcycle rider avoided hitting him (thanks largely to a big following space; clearly that guy is aware of riders).  I ran to the guy as he's picking himself up and trying to get his bike up.

We talked as he examined his bike and I examined him. He was shaken, and told me it was his fault, and apologized and asked if I was OK.  I was totally fine, just a little zippy from the adrenaline. I told him my man rides and I was way more concerned with his well being than my bumper.

He was looking at my car and his bike and I could tell he was tallying the damages, but I stopped him short.  I briefly explained that I'd been rear-ended (by a car) only a few months prior and my car had been technically totaled and I wasn't concerned in the least about a scratch on the bumper, I just wanted to make sure he wasn't hurt.  He was incredulous, but I don't think he'd realized yet how hard he hit.  He was wearing an expensive street motorcycle jacket and I know those things are made with Kevlar, and it was ripped open on his shoulder.  He'll be feeling that one when the adrenaline wears off, I'm sure of it. 

Anyway, when I made it clear that I wasn't going to make a big deal out of it and turn it into an insurance thing, he hugged me!  Lots of riders don't have insurance, and by how relieved he was, I'm guessing he's one of them.  It's okay; it'll cost him plenty to replace his jacket and repair his bike.  It wasn't drivable with the handle broken the way it was, and his exhaust piping was chromed, and badly scraped.  Those aren't cheap fixes!

I asked if there was anything I could do to help him, since there's no shoulder on the bridge and he couldn't drive his bike, but he said he was fine and he was just going to walk it off the bridge.  I hope he made it off safely and it didn't totally ruin his day, but I guarantee by the time he made it to a safe place he was starting to feel the bruises.

I would like to apologize to the other commuters behind us.  I-5 southbound in the AM is hellish enough without having the left lane blocked and stopped.  We were only there for maybe 5 minutes, but I'm sure traffic was affected for an hour afterward.  So I'm sorry, other commuters! And I'm sorry, rider guy whose name I didn't get.  I hope you're not hurting too badly.

Blame the Taurus.

Welcome to my hell

Monday, August 8, 2011

Gratuitous baby pictures

My sister-in-law is watching my son today (thanks Tera!) and she sent some pictures over.  Rub it in my face that you're snuggling him, will you?  =)  Kidding.  I'm glad he has such a loving auntie and cousins who want to take care of him and play with him. 

I suppose he'll need one of these at home, now

With cousin Kawai (20 months)
Love it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Work and such

Occasionally, when my mom is watching Kawika, she takes pictures and e-mails them to me.  I love it, since I get to see what he's up to while I'm working.  The other day she sent me two pictures of him wearing a hat that she'd just purchased.  Apparently she thought his little dome was much bigger than it is, because it's quite large on him.

Mah hat is too big!
 Which is, of course, hilarious.  =)

And it's not funny!
But not to Kawika, apparently.

I'm going back to a full-time-in-the-office schedule next week, but my mom recently informed that she only feels comfortable watching Kawika three days a week.  I understand her limitations and certainly don't want to overtax her, but this puts me in the position of having to find someone to take him for the other 2 days, and on short notice.

Perhaps I can transition to working from home 1 day per week for now.  I will have to be back in the office full time at some point, but it's pretty awful timing to do that right now.  We are still living on the opposite side of the world so I have that crazy-long commute to deal with.  I was going to ask to extend the length of time that I'm only in the office 3x/wk but the admin is taking a 2-week vacation starting Monday, so I will likely be asked to pick up her duties while she is out, which means being at the office full time.  Bummer!!

The house we are moving into in a couple of weeks is very close to my mom's (which was kind of the point) but further from the other two or three people I might ask to watch Kawika.  I guess no matter which way you slice it, I'll be doing quite a bit of driving.  The only difference is whether I'm doing the crazy commute 5 days/wk or only 2.

 I'm so excited to move!!! I have a few more details to hash out monetarily, but thanks to my wonderful family and friends, we're actually going ahead with it and I'm PSYCHED.  I get a PANTRY!!  =D

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lately

So a few things have been happening lately that I feel I want to talk about.

For one, we're getting ready to move into a new house.
Look, there it is!

I'm more than a little freaked out by the whole thing.  We don't really have the money to be moving; it's an expensive endeavor!  There are deposits and fees to pay, rent on two places at the same time (no matter how good a mover you are there will be some overlap!), you have to pay for a U-Haul and a professional carpet cleaning... plus the physical exertion of it all.  I'm still all fat and gross from my 9 months as an incubating machine (curse you, belly!) which means I get tired faster, and I still don't get to sleep through the night, like, ever, so I'm perpetually tired and half-asleep anyway.

Ooh, a fireplace

Worries about money and moving aside, I'm actually very excited.



Another thing that's happening is that my job has changed.  I'm no longer the reception/admin I was before maternity leave.  I am now... well... I'm not sure what my title is anymore.  We haven't actually gotten that nailed down yet.  It's time for my annual review and they kind of created a position that I'm now filling (it was needed!) so the technicalities of it, like my title, are all new.  Supposedly I will find out this week after my boss catches up.  She just enjoyed a week in Hawaii, and looks fabulous for it. It sucks that vacations are always somewhat negated by the stress of coming back to a huge workload.  I guess that's what happens when you're important!

Other things of note:  It's gorgeous outside, Kawika had his first shower the other day, and my grandparents just celebrated their 50th anniversary.

Yesterday was great; I went to Chris's cousins house.  His cousin wasn't there, but his wifey Corinna was, and we're pretty friendly.  I brought Kawika and we hung out in the back yard with her daughter McKenzie (12).   Kanoa (2) came out to play after he woke up from his nap.  It was nice! I got a little sun, and Corinna and Kenz got their tan on.  Wika sat in a little stroller in the shade and we set up a blanket on the grass where he could lay propped on a Boppy and stare at the trees blowing in the breeze.  He loves that!  Something about the light on the leaves and the way the wind moves them just captivates him.


And here's a short video of Kawika playing on a play mat that Corinna gave to us.  I guess I underestimated how cool he would think it was so I didn't buy one.  But apparently it's awesome.  He just lays there and kicks at the little creature that has a tinkly bell in it and talks and shouts and smiles... it's freaking adorable.
Thanks Corinna!

video

Friday, July 29, 2011

Living Aloha

My Hawaiian man- with our nephew Kawai
So the whole point of starting this blog was not only to shamelessly post as many pictures of my new baby as I want (lolz!) but also to contemplate what it is to be good and to do good things.  Some call it karma, or just personal responsibility.  Since I've been in a relationship with a Hawaiian man for the past 3 years I choose to call it Living Aloha. 

Living Aloha encompasses many things, but the baseline thought is to be good.  Treat others how you want to be treated, do the right thing, have integrity, be responsible, and just love.  Love your family, love your friends, love the earth, love yourself.  I've been trying to become a better person lately.  I think it's important to try to make ourselves into the best possible selves we can be for the betterment of humanity on the whole.  If people just tried a little more, how much better off would we all be?  If people cared more, how much better would our world be? 

It's frustrating to me that human nature is what it is.  People are greedy and lazy and selfish and it seems that that will never change.  It's hard for me to want to be good and kind when it seems like nobody cares and they'll just take advantage of it.  It makes me want to be greedy, lazy, and selfish, too.  But I see how it's cyclical and I just keep hoping that if I stay true, maybe someday, things will change for the better.  It's hard to stay optimistic in the face of such blatant disregard, though. 

The other day I was at WalMart (I have an internal struggle with this, too).  I parked far away (someone else might need a closer spot, I can walk!), brought my own reusable shopping totes, tried to make the cashier's day a little better, and when I unloaded my things into my car, I looked around for a cart corral in which to put my shopping cart.  There wasn't one in my row, but there was one in the next row over, only 3 parking spots up, and there was a gap nearby that my cart would fit through.  Score!  So I proceeded to push my cart toward the corral.  On the way there, I passed a girl of perhaps 17 years of age putting her bags into her car.  Mind, she's between my car and the cart return, so she's much closer to it than I.  I smiled at her, she stared blankly back.  I shrugged and kept on, pushed my cart into the return, making sure it slid into the cart in front of it (don't you hate it when people put their carts in there sideways so nobody else can put their carts in?).  I turned around and headed back to my car and saw the 17 year old getting in to her car.  Her shopping cart was between her car and the one next to it (which is next to the cart corral).  Really?  I mean... really?!

How much work could it have POSSIBLY been for her to put her cart away?  It was literally 10 feet away from her.  And she has no excuse.  She wasn't in a hurry; she sat in her car and put more lip gloss on before driving away.  She's not disabled, we were more than 2/3 of the way down the row of cars.  She couldn't possibly have been scared to return her cart, as it was broad daylight and I'm certainly not going to hurt her.  Well, at that point I might have, but if she'd just taken 5 extra steps and pushed her cart into the corral, I probably would have smiled again!

I just don't get it.  Now some poor, underpaid employee will have to work that much harder to return all those carts left abandoned in the middle of the row by lazy slobs like her.  WTF, people.  I could never do that job.  I would get so angry every time I went out of my way to fetch a cart that was left willy-nilly when there was a cart corral nearby.  I would probably have an anyeurism.

As I reread what I wrote, it seems to me that Living Aloha is kind of the opposite of being selfish.  That makes sense, then, that I would try to hard to embrace it as a way of life, since I have such a personal conflict with selfishness. I want my son to grow up with good karma in mind, and the only way to ensure that is to make sure he sees me doing it.  I guess I'll just keep working on it.

That's a clear conscience right there

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hello, Monday

As it's Monday, I'm in the office.  I'm still on a reduced schedule, which is nice.  I work from home Tuesdays and Fridays and still manage to get 40 hours in, which is pretty important when you have bills and a baby and a boyfriend that works a job that pays him like he's a high school student.  Seriously, why would anyone settle for so little money?  It's barely more than minimum wage!  Well, that's a topic for another time, I don't feel like complaining today (for once, lol).

My mom usually watches my little peanut while I'm in the office, but she's going out of town tomorrow.  It's my grandparents 50th anniversary this weekend and they're hosting a little get-together at their house in Montana.  I wish I could go, but I didn't feel right taking the time off, and the logistics of taking Kawika, and Chris couldn't come, and... it wasn't meant to be.  So now I'm left wondering: should I work from home the rest of this week, or maybe bring Kawika with me once or twice, or keep looking for someone to take him?  I'd better figure it out soon!

I wish I had pictures of Montana on my computer that I could share with you, but I don't.  How about, instead, I pick a few from my trip to Mexico two years ago?  Pictures always make things more interesting, and I love sharing, so here are a few of my favorites.

The pyramid at Chichen Itza (or chicken pizza, as the tour guide jokingly called it)

So pretty!

I'm glad those people were there to give perspective on this beautiful natural sink hole

Monkey!

Poor guy didn't have much shade in his enclosure. We felt bad and offered him some water.

Love this!

Touching a turtle! So fun!

From left: Rose, Elizabeth, Teri, Joelle, me

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I'm a procrastinator

I should be doing things right now that will make tomorrow morning easier, like packing up lunch, restocking the diaper bag, getting my work computer & various projects all buttoned up so I can just run out the door like I always do... but I'm not.  Instead, I'm here.  There's no good reason for it; I don't have anything funny or insightful to share.  I just would rather sit here and "ramble" than do what needs doing, and I'm not even sure why.  At least Kawika's already asleep.

I'm nervous about work this week.  I have a big event that covers Tuesday and Wednesday that I have to go out of town for, which means several things.  I will be leaving Kawika with his father for 2 days and 1 night, which is a little stressful.  Not that he's not capable of taking care of our son, because he is, but because I won't be here just in case he needs me.  Just in case.  Also, I will miss him.

Also, the event itself is stressful. It's a high-pressure spill drill during which I will be ceaselessly bombarded with information that I must enter into a database and then regurgitate to anyone who asks.  I am "tracking resources deployed" for the "containment" of an "oil spill and fire" that is "going to happen."  Like all those quotation marks?  It's a drill.  We're practicing.  This is good for various reasons that I don't feel like explaining and also feel like you should already understand. 

I also have to wear my work shirts.  We don't have a uniform (or much of a dress code, really) at our office.  I think I was told once that we're Business Casual, but everybody just wears jeans, t-shirts, slippers (flip flops for you other haoles out there), tank tops, sundresses, etc.  My own supervisor goes braless on occasion, which has never bothered me, I just say it now to give you an idea of how casual our office is.  However, at the drills, those of us who participate must project a certain image to those companies and organizations who have us on contract and are paying us to be there.  So I have to wear my official company shirts, embroidered with our logo, and watch my language, and... play nice.  I'm sure you know how it is.  There's a time to relax and be yourself, and then there are other times.  Times when one is required to play a role, for whatever reason, and go along with the politics of a situation.  I wish it weren't so.  I wish I didn't have to make friends with certain managers and then talk about them behind their back because their manager has more of an influence on my position within the company.  But I do.  As I've gotten older I've learned that that's just how things ARE.  In order to get ahead you've got to play the game.  I think it sucks.

This post turned out much longer than I thought it would.  That's what happens when I ramble.  I start on one insignificant thought and it spins out into a diatribe on office politics.  I have nothing else of value to add to what I've already said so I suppose I'll call it a night.  I've got 1/2 a glass of wine waiting for me in the other room.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On a more positive note

I decided not to leave the blog on such a downer note and will now share with you the light of my life: Kawika.  Just his name makes me smile, now.  =)

Thoughts on selfishness

As promised, I am here to continue my train of thought on second-guessing myself, which leads ultimately to the topic of selfishness.  Let's dive right in.


I've been told by two different people (whose opinions I greatly value) at two different times in my life (two very different phases, actually, where I thought my behavior had changed radically from one phase to the next) that I'm a very selfish person.  So much so, in fact, that I'm not even aware of it.  It is simply so deeply ingrained in my personality that I am that way without a second thought.  My very nature is selfish.  This I tell you as it was told to me.  Obviously, I am unaware of such selfish behavior, as I never thought myself a selfish person.

The first person whose opinion I value told me I was excessively, unbelievably selfish about 6 years ago.  I thought on it, dismissed it, and continued as I had been for another two years. In the back of my mind, though, I started recognizing those hurtful words for truth as I paid more attention to my behavior, and started to slowly change my way of thinking. 

Three years ago I met Chris and realized that I wanted to be with him for the rest of my life. I decided to revisit those aspects of my personality that could use polishing in an attempt to be a more enjoyable person to be around.  It seemed to work, because we've been very happy together.  We even decided to start a family, and had our first child, a son, on April 25th of this year.  You'll be hearing PLENTY about him later  =)

Not too long ago, though, I was told once again that I am a very selfish person.

If the words hurt a little the first time around and made me more aware of my actions, they hurt even more so this time, because I'd been made aware of my selfish tendencies and was consciously trying to be UNselfish for some time.  Instead of rejecting the words out of hand like I did the first time, I took them to heart and redoubled my efforts to be more selfless.  It's taking a toll, though, since I now feel a little like I'm stretched too thin and I take no enjoyment in doing things solely to please others.  I used to, when I thought it was appreciated.  Now I find out not only is it not appreciated, it's not even noticed, because I'm still perceived as selfish.


I find that I'm not one of those people that can be completely selfless and be happy in the knowledge that I'm making someone else happy.  I like for my efforts to be recognized.  Not every time, no, but occasionally.  Otherwise I just feel like I'm being taken advantage of, which makes me want to stop thinking about what everyone else wants altogether. If I go out of my way to do something for you, I expect you to recognize it on some level.  An offhand "Thanks" is enough (not to mention polite).  Acting like you deserve it, for whatever reason, is the fastest way to make it never happen again.

I find myself struggling with a decision:  do I continue to make more of an effort than I ever have before to put the needs and desires of others in front of my own, possibly making myself miserable in the process, or do I continue at the same “level of selflessness” that I’ve been at for the last few years where I was happy and it seemed those around me were happy as well? Is it selfish that I'm even considering continuing the behaviors that made me happy?

I've decided to end this post now because I feel like I've lost my original point and it's going to turn into me whining, and that's SO not attractive.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Obligatory Introductory Post

Already I know that this post will not meet my personal quality standards.  I am starting this blog at an inopportune time (in my day, not my life) because I'm not very good at waiting for things that I want.  I decided to start a blog (a new blog, not a continuation of my Livejournal which is not for public review) and did it.  I did not think beyond what starting a blog entails, which for me includes full formatting overhaul and a post to get things started.  As I like to finish what I start in a timely manner, it would offend my inner control freak to stop halfway through the blog startup process.  I (and you as readers, once you discover me) can expect several formatting changes over the coming weeks as I tweak individual settings to my liking.  For now, it will do.

If you haven't realized it yet, I'm a bit detail-oriented (perhaps the word is neurotic?). My apologies.

I also apologize too frequently for things that I need not necessarily take blame for.  Or maybe I should?  I've been second-guessing myself a lot lately.  I have much to say on the topic of second-guessing myself and the backstory there, but unfortunately for me (fortunately for you?) I'm out of time.

I'll end this post now by saying that I'm excited to have started this blog and I look forward to sharing everything that rattles around in my brain on a daily basis. I promise, it won't all be as dry as this first post.  Some first impression, huh?