Dork-o-Rama: The Random Thoughts of a Total Goofball

Embracing the Dork Side....Because Life is Too Short to Take Yourself Too Seriously

Monday, October 30, 2006

The problem with living alone...

... is that when you really need help with something sorta private, you're screwed.

I had to knock on a neighbor's door to ask for help zipping up my dress on Saturday night. I simply couldn't reach it. And I'd forgotten that every other time I've worn this thing (like, in that profile picture!), someone has come to my house before I've gone out in it, so I've had easy assistance with the zippage.

It's the oddest favor I've ever asked a neighbor. The husband was the one who was home, and he laughed, and said he wouldn't tell his wife. I told him he needn't worry, since he was zipping up and not down.

I'm lucky these are people I've known for a looong time. Hell, they've seen me in my PJ's, with bedhead, and they get to enjoy my stylish outfits on laundry day.

Of course, at the end of the night, in my drunken state, I learned I could pull the damned thing over my head, so now I know I don't need zipping help in the future.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Just another random Sunday...

  • I love the end of daylight saving time. Not the early darkness; the extra hour. You wouldn't think that hour would make much difference, but it always seems to. Especially in the spring, when we have to give back that hour. Plus, it's starting to really feel like fall! We've had our Indian Summer over the past few days, which has been great, but the leaves are falling off the trees and getting crunchy, the afternoon light looks different, and soon, people will be firing up their fireplaces at night. I love that aroma. I love fall.

  • That extra hour's especially handy the morning after a media awards dinner where you've had a few cocktails. Though I woke up much earlier than I wanted to, the moment my body stopped processing the alcohol. Note to self: do not switch to vodka drinks late at night, after you've had a fair amount of wine.

  • The weird thing about this awards dinner was sitting at my new employer's table, and not at the table where I'm used to sitting, with people I've known for a bajillion years. It was a little surreal. But my new coworkers have been so nice and so welcoming, it didn't feel as weird as it could have.

  • Our marketing people should not have made me the "official" photographer of the event. They entrusted me with the company's camera, which I was afraid of losing all night long. And I don't even want to look at the wine-infused photos...

  • There was something else I was going to write here, but I think I lost it in some vodka last night.

Oh yeah! I've been tagged! I'm supposed to spell out five weird things about me (and let me tell you, narrowing it down to five is a challenge...).

1. I hate tomatoes. Not tomato sauce. Not ketchup. Tomatoes in their original form. I think it's a texture thing, as there are a lot of fruits and veggies I don't like because of texture issues.

2. When I'm eating something yummy, I like to make sure my last bite is filled with yummyness. I will eat in a pattern so as not to end up with a dry, blah patch of tortilla or bread, for example... or to make sure my last bite of cake has a big heap o'frosting on it. Because what is the point of cake without frosting??

3. I've never smoked pot. Many people don't believe me when I say this, but it's true. I think it goes back to my early adolescence, when I first started going to concerts and couldn't stand the smell of it. Back then, I couldn't imagine smoking something that smelled that bad. Plus, when you have parents who smoke and one dies of cancer, you kinda end up never wanting to smoke anything, ever. Plus, I was kind of a goody-goody, always afraid of getting in trouble.

4. I can't stop listening to that new Dave Matthews Band live CD. I have a ton of new music to enjoy, including the latest album (yeah, I still call them that) from one of my other favorite bands, but I can't seem to get those four discs (four!) out of my CD player in the house or in my car. I LOOOOOVE it...! So. Damn. Good.

5. I am a little obsessive about my fingernails. I get regular manicures, and just hate it when the polish chips in between visits to the salon, so if that happens, I'll sit down and fix it as soon as possible. Actually, since I've been so busy lately, I've let go of that to some degree, but I'll still sit and look at the chipped areas several times a day and feel annoyed (currently, I am chip-free. whew).

Weird enough for ya?

Time for some coffee... Happy Hangover Sunday!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I'm not worthy...

I went to the show staged by my hula teacher's troupe last night.

Oh my god.

First, let me point out that this was no student recital; this is a legitimate dance troupe that's renowned in the ethnic dance community and by the Bay Area's sizable Hawaiian population. There are always large crowds at these shows, I'm told.

And this is not just traditional hula. The troupe combines traditional hula with different dance styles and music you'd never expect to hear at a hula show. The leader likes to call it hula mua, or hula moving forward. Progressive hula.

Oh my god. They were so good. And made the most challenging steps look so incredibly easy, for which I have a new appreciation, since I'm a beginner spaz (actually, I'm an experienced spaz. I mean, I'm a spaz in the beginner's class). It was fun to spot the basic steps that I DO know throughout the show.

And I was again blown away by our Kumu Hula (teacher), who not only chanted, which he does in class, and told great stories, which he also does in class, but also sang a most beautiful song. I can't even tell you how thrilled I am to have a small association with someone so creative and talented. I am amazed by what he does.

I felt very lucky. And very inferior, watching these incredibly talented and beautiful dancers.

(It was also fun and funny to run into several people from class, as we're not all used to seeing each other in street clothes. I know there were a couple who didn't recognize me at first, since I was not drenched in sweat with my hair piled atop my head last night...)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Question of the day...

Why do I have this strong urge to flash the security cameras whenever I take the stairs between floors at work?

It's not like I'm a regular flasher, like some friends of mine... (hi maria!!)

Monday, October 23, 2006

I didn't think I could love him more...

...but I do.

And then there's this, which still makes me laugh, all these months later. The hair... the clothes...the makeup... the dance moves... the song... oh... my... GOD. Beyond snortalicious.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

So tired...

...and yet, so satisfied.

If you'd told me I'd be there until 1 a.m. and wouldn't get to bed until 3:30 a.m. I'd have said you were crazy.

Great show. Loved Death Cab for Cutie. Loved the Foo Fighters ("Everlong," acoustic... *sigh). Pearl Jam played two of my favoritest songs of theirs. Trent Reznor sounded great. I even enjoyed Brian Wilson, much to my surprise.

Then my boys came out at about 11 p.m. and made me so, so happy... especially when they played songs I love that they DIDN'T play when they were here last month. Even my "escort" Jamie (a friend of a friend, but I'd referred to him as my male escort, and he loved that), who says he doesn't like them, stood and applauded. My only complaint is that they only played for 45 minutes, instead of the 2 1/2 hours I'm accustomed to.

Okay, shoot me, but I'm not a Neil Young fan. I have tremendous respect for who he is, what he stands for, and what he does... but I don't like his music. I just don't. But he actually played the one song of his that I really DO like -- "Harvest Moon" -- and it was lovely.

But oh my god, I'm tired. It didn't help that we got stuck parking in the shitty lot that seems like it's actually across the bay from the venue. That was a long fucking hike at 1 a.m. My couch is calling me...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Home improvement...

The handyman who fixes things in my building says he's looking into repainting my entire apartment.

Yaay, right? Most people would be thrilled, no?

Most normal people.

I hate it when they work on my apartment. It always turns into an ordeal.

Those of you who were around last year surely remember all my whining about this project, which, by the way, they never finished, even though it seemed to go on and on forever. They were going to give my bedroom a second coat of paint "a couple of weeks later," and also put up a second towel rack in my bathroom, since they left me with just one. Which is now crooked, because of the way they hung it. "You want two?" they asked me. Yeah. I HAD two before you guys got involved in my life.

About a week and a half ago, I had to call the property management folks because someone apparently decided to throw rocks (or shoot BBs) at one of my dining room windows one night, leaving it with two distinct holes and a rather large crack. I also had a couple of weird collapsed spots in my hardwood floors, one of them about a foot and a half long.

A few days later, I got a frantic call at work from one of the property managers, telling me they had no keys to my apartment and the glass guy was there, and could I come home to let him in?

Um. No. It's noon, and I've just gotten back from a late breakfast with a former colleague. I can't leave right now unless it's an emergency. And how can they not have keys to my apartment? What if there HAD been an emergency? "Oh, we think the plumber might have them. He's terrible about returning keys."

Um. I feel really secure now, knowing that some random guy who's been in my apartment can get back in whenever he chooses.

So I'm asked to make another set of keys and leave them in their little drop box over the weekend, which I did.

Then it's three more days before the glass guy returns. But yay, the window's fixed. And boo, there's a mess for me to clean up. And a note from the handyman, saying he'll be in the following day to replace the piece of wood flooring. I decide to hold off on cleaning anything other than the bathroom, because I hate cleaning period, much less twice in a couple of days. (And no, I haven't gotten cleaning help yet, because I've been busy.)

He's a no-show the following day, of course. No message of explanation either. But he did show yesterday, and fixed the floor, and restained part of the floor. Nice, though stinky. And I also found stain on my computer table, my tiled dining room table, my kitchen, and my tiled bathroom floor. So now I have stain stains to clean. And then I see the note explaining all the other little surprise stuff he did, which includes some mystery repair to the bathroom window. And a mess in the tub I've just cleaned. Happy Friday!

He DID put up the second towel rack, though, in response to the note I'd left for him.

I hate to sound ungrateful, but could he not have told me what else he was planning to do? (He, by the way, is the one who still had my keys. Not the plumber. Still.)

I can't even imagine how much of a mess they'd make if they repainted the whole place, and how much of an inconvenience it will be for me to deal with. And how much of my stuff will end up with little paint spatters on it. And the floors. My bedroom floor has little paint spatters from last year. I had to get a new broom and a new mop because they, in a sad attempt to clean up after themselves on occasion, wrecked both.

We're going to have to have a little talk, if this come to fruition.


no, i don't know why the spacing is all fucked up on this post. fucking beta...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Good thing I didn't do anything stupid...

maybe not so much
i'm told there may be a wife
at least in one case

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

This one's for the ladies...

Seriously, guys? This will be SO uninteresting for you...

WHY, oh why, did I think it was a good idea to make a salad for lunch today which included broccoli, cucumbers, red peppers, and garbanzo beans... when I was already awfully gassy because of my period?

Hi, may I please have some gas to go with my gas??


Let's just say that at one point today, when I could fight no longer, I discovered another perk of having my own office.

Just once, though. And that was enough to mortify me. AND curl my hair.

Monday, October 16, 2006


breaking old patterns
can be hard when you want more
patience is the key

Friday, October 13, 2006

You reap what you sow...

My brother's in jail.

My mom and I put him there.

Well, actually, he put himself there, through his actions...but we urged prosecutors to pursue a criminal case against him.

How's that for the start to a truly heartwarming family tale? Pour yourself a drink. This is a long and ugly, ugly tale. And I can't believe I'm a part of it.

For most of his life, my brother has been the Golden Boy. Star athlete, good student, popular in school, class president... blah blah blah. I can't tell you how many times during my freshman year of high school that I had to endure the "Are you GOLDEN BOY'S sister???" question from teachers and from classmates who knew him before he graduated. I felt very much like the black sheep of the family, like I could never measure up. But even I looked up to him. He was... is... my big brother, after all.

We could not be more different, in temperament, interests, personality, and apparently, values. For one thing, he's far quieter than I. A lot more uptight. Rather closed off, emotionally. I've never been sure if that's just a guy thing, or more. We've not been particularly close, though I've tried over and over again to break through his outer shell, to reach out to my only sibling, and he keeps me and our mother at arm's length. He and I have even lived in the same region for more than 20 years -- and even in the same city, for a little while -- but we've still only seen each other once or twice a year, tops. Frankly, I stopped caring many years ago. Why keep trying to get closer to someone who doesn't give a shit? Not every family is close.

About seven or eight years ago, he suddenly left his wife of nearly two decades with no explanation. She came home from work one day to find him all packed up, and he told her "I have to leave." He would not elaborate. Can you imagine? She was devastated.

It turned out he'd been having an affair, and he immediately moved in with the Other Woman. Shortly thereafter, he and the Other Woman got engaged. Not long before that wedding was to take place, a matter of months later (but after I'd bought the fucking dress to be in the ceremony I really wanted no part of), he suddenly told us he was living with a different woman. I later learned he'd been cheating on the Other Woman with K (and it seems he's cheated on her, as well, but that's another story).

To quote a young friend of mine, what le fuck?? All of this was beyond shocking. We might not have been close, but I'd always thought of him as a good guy. I even understand the collapse of a long marriage, especially when the parties involved wed so very young, as they did, but I never thought he'd be such a lowlife as to cheat on her. And then to cheat on her replacement...!

I think it was around this time that I realized I wasn't the black sheep after all.

My maternal grandmother died about three years ago, and she'd chosen Golden Boy to be the executor of her estate. My mother was the sole beneficiary. I should explain a little more about my grandmother: she was a difficult woman. Very. She and my mother were estranged for most of my life, which is why I thought it was so extraordinary that my mom picked up and moved back to Wisconsin about seven years ago, to be closer to her mother, when her mother's health was failing. They ended up estranged again, and were never able to resolve their issues before my grandmother died, and my heart broke for my mother. I know she wanted to make peace, to feel some approval and love from her mother, and it just didn't happen. I can't even imagine how painful that is for her.

So, my brother starts taking forever to do what he needs to do to deal with the legal matters surrounding the estate. We thought it was just him being flaky, though my antennae went up when he started taking so long to pay some of the estate's bills. I couldn't figure out why he'd be so slow to write checks on the estate account when there was more than enough money to cover the expenses incurred, unless something shady was going on.

I can't remember now what got my mom and me talking about this -- probably another unpaid bill, or a bank statement that didn't make any sense -- but it turned out we'd both been having suspicions about what was happening with the estate. We asked him countless times for copies of the bills, for copies of the checks he was writing, etc. etc.... and he stonewalled every time. So we removed him as executor and took away his access to the estate account.

Boy, was he pissed.

Since he still wouldn't provide documentation for any of the money that had been spent, we had to have our lawyer put the pieces together, which was a costly and time-consuming process. But that's how we finally learned just how much money was missing from my grandmother's estate -- really, my mother's money, if you want to look at it that way.


My fucking asshole brother stole $63,000 FROM HIS OWN MOTHER.

(Can you tell how hard I pounded the keys while writing that sentence?)

Evidence in hand, my mother was finally able to confront him, but over the phone, of course, as she's still in another state, languishing, while waiting to resolve this bullshit. He denied, denied, denied. "It was all for estate expenses," he tells her. "I can prove it."

"You'd better," she told him.

What does he do? Nothing. Doesn't respond to countless requests, and later, demands, for documentation. Doesn't respond when his mother tells him he's broken her heart. Doesn't respond to a very pointed email from me. Nothing. So we pursued a civil judgment against him, which we got, and even the judge was shocked.

And then we went to the District Attorney in the county where my mother lives. It's funny -- she was worried that I'd think she was mean for pursuing criminal charges against him. I told her if she hadn't, I'd have gone to the D.A. myself, because I want him to suffer the consequences of his actions.

Golden Asshole finally talked to the detective who was investigating the case in June -- the day before he'd been given a deadline to respond -- and confessed. He finally admitted he'd taken the money for his personal use. And I'm guessing he thought that would be the end of it. That all he'd have to do was admit what he'd done and that would be it.


An arrest warrant was issued in Wisconsin several weeks ago, and my mom got a hysterical call from the girlfriend yesterday. He was arrested Tuesday, and as of this writing, remains in jail, pending extradition.

I should point out that he's been given many, many chances to try to make things right. Many. He never acknowledged any of those chances. He's never even tried to apologize, or explain. Nada.

For a few moments after I got the news, I felt bad. I can't imagine how awful and scary it must be to be handcuffed at work and thrown into jail. But that feeling passed.

See, my brother's a profligate spender. He's always enjoyed the finer things in life, and he's usually had jobs that allowed him to enjoy them. Good for him. After his divorce, though, he ran into financial trouble, but never curbed his spending. He continued to dine out every night, to buy his women (and himself) very expensive gifts and toys, to live in costly homes in expensive neighborhoods, and to take pricey vacations.

THAT'S where the money went. There was no urgent need, no emergency, nothing like that. It was simply his lifestyle. And considering how tight my finances have been in recent years... well, I'm pissed off on my behalf, as well as for my mother.

Some of that money was mine. That's the irony here: we'd ALL have had a little chunk of money, if all had gone as planned. But now, since he's spent so much money and we've spent so much in legal fees, mom and I aren't likely to see any cash at all.

(By the way: when my grandmother died, the last thing I thought of was her money. I had no idea she even had any. How unsavory, really, to even think of such a thing.)

Worse, though, is the stress my mother's been through because of him. Her blood pressure's up. She feels like she can't move to someplace she'd like to live, because she doesn't feel like she can afford it. And every time I think of that, I want to strangle him with my bare hands. And cut his tiny little balls off. She's 66 years old; she's not had an easy life. She should be enjoying her "golden years."

How do you do something like this to your own mother? Who raised you on her own after your father died?

I hope he's thinking about that while he's sitting in that decidedly un-plush jail cell. And I know there's a special place in hell for him.

I'm sure someone will tell me I should find it in my heart to forgive him. I just don't see how I can. Even my mother once said that she didn't think there was a way back from this. That even if he paid back the money, she didn't see how she could have any sort of relationship with him, considering what an enormous betrayal this is.

I'm with her. I never want to see his sorry ass again.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

No rhyme or reason... I am too damn tired to rhyme or be reasonable. It's been a very hectic few days at work, but the end result of all that hecticity (you like that?) was good, so it was worthwhile. But prepare for a meandering post...

It wasn't easy, but I stopped with the caffeine. That withdrawal headache didn't really subside until Tuesday. Maybe it didn't really subside, but was simply replaced in my nervous system by the pain coming from whatever the fuck I did to my knee in hula class Monday night.

Last year, I fell something like three times in a matter of weeks (stop laughing, Corrals...! I told you about these falls after they happened! you should be done by now!). And all three times, I landed solidly on my left knee. And since those falls, kneeling on that knee (get your mind out of the gutter) on a hard surface often hurts like hell. In class Monday night, I somehow managed to end up on that knee while getting up from the floor, where we'd been seated for the chanting part of the session. And when I woke up Tuesday morning, I felt like I needed a new knee. It's all tight and felt really, really weird. I can't even describe how it felt.

At least I was able to get up on my own. And I don't need a visit from Comfort Hippo. Yet.

But between that and the mild case of plantar fasciitis I seem to have developed in my right foot, I must have looked like a thousand-year-old woman, hobbling to the bathroom first thing in the morning. I was relieved that it felt more normal today, but JEEZ.

I have an urge to purge. No, not food. This is ME, we're talking about, after all...! I want to purge a lot of stuff in my apartment. I've decided I want some new furniture in my living room (although the sofabed isn't going anywhere, mainly because it can't ever leave this apartment. It was hell to get in here. It's big and weighs 10 million pounds.). And a new bed. And to clear all kinds of stuff out of here. You'd think it was spring or something. Over the weekend, I cleared a bunch of crap off my desk and my dining room table. But now I want the whole place looking like that. And I want new stuff to look at and sit on. And sleep on.

The thing is, I must curb that urge or I'll go broke. So I think I'll start small, with some new area rugs. I've been wanting one for my living room for ages, but never seem to be able to find one that I like in my price range. By the way, why the hell are rugs so expensive?? And why do I seem to pick out the most expensive rug in any given place?

Actually, I tend to pick out the most expensive thing anywhere. I can't help my good taste.

Yaay, tomorrow is Margarita Thursday! Which, I'm sure, will be followed by Hangover Friday!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Oh, NO...

  • Hi, my name is Terry and I think I've become a caffeine addict.

  • Shit.

As I've mentioned before, I've been a decaf drinker for ages...although, occasionally, I'll get my mochas (or the rare frap) fully-leaded. And I noticed the caffeine doesn't seem to bother my stomach when it's a watered-down, as it were, with things like...oh, massive amounts of chocolate and sugar.

And lately, I've been "forgetting" to say "decaf" when ordering my morning mochas. Because, you know what? Caffeinated coffee actually DOES taste better. A LOT better. I'm loving those mochas more than ever.

So today, after a couple of cups of home-brewed decaf, I notice that I have a massive headache. One that's not responding to aspirin.

Shit. It's the sudden lack of caffeine, isn't it?

Now I'm not sure if I should wean myself, or go buy some caffeinated coffee.

Shit. I don't WANT to be dependent on any substances!!

Hey, do you think a glass of wine or two will kill this headache?

Thursday, October 05, 2006


hmm. could there be sparks

in an unexpected place?

hmm. too soon to tell.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Note to self...

Putting that small tin of chocolate from Trader Joe's in your desk drawer was a bad idea. (Fucking impulse purchase, of an item displayed at the cash register.)

"It's a small tin," you said to yourself. "The chocolate is cut into small wedges. Perfect for a small chocolate fix in the afternoon."

Yeah. Unless you have five wedges in one sitting.


Also? Ordering a Ketel One and soda (the drink of Queens!) at a bar where you sort of know the bartender will get you mostly vodka. And just a teeny bit of soda water.

Not that that's a BAD thing.

Unless you have to drive your ass home.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Two stages of man...

...were fully on display at that Guster show I took in the other night.

In the row in front of us, there were three mid-30's-ish guys, with their wives/girlfriends, who were clearly deprived of fun nights out. They just had a bored, suburban aura about them. And the guys were hell-bent on re-creating the glory days of their youth. My guess is that they went to college together, because they were acting very much like frat boys. Lots of high-fiving and the like. And a whole lot of trying too hard to have! big! fun! As soon as the lights went down, the pot came out. Not unusual, but we did notice that the wives/girlfriends didn't partake (and one of them remained in her seat the whole time and even fell asleep at one point!). The guys were also fully engaged in that white man's overbite style of dancing. They even had little synchronized moves at times.

These guys were also intent on getting the band's attention (we were close; 8th row!) and one of them actually did. And got gently mocked by the band, though he didn't seem to realize he was being mocked. He was too busy high-fiving his buddies.

In the row behind us, there was a group of young fellas who couldn't have been more than 18 or 19 at most. Not only did they know nearly every word to every song, they sang LOUDER THAN THE BAND! I'm not kidding. There were times we couldn't hear the Gusters at all. My friend Ellen said it was annoying at first, but then she decided it was also helpful, because there were lyrics she'd never understood until Saturday night.

She also wondered if they were idiot savants with the Guster lyrics. I had to break it to her that I'm an idiot savant where another band's lyrics are concerned...

Also, everything Guster did was "sick," according to these boys. And they all agreed that they "totally" identified with the Guster who talked about what a nerd he was in high school.

All in all, a hilarious experience. And the band was awesome, too.

I mean, sick.

(And on my way home, I got to look at the moon shining brightly over the bay, creating a beautiful reflection in the water... and I decided my dad had something to do with that.)