Saturday, December 30, 2006

parking is the least of my worries

H flew out and will be hanging out with me downtown at the condo for nine days. we have a very packed itinerary, but seeing king tut at the field museum will not be on it as we were too slow to book the tickets and the king's moving on to philly in 2007. however, H will be holding my hand as i come to grips with not having a car for so many days and we'll attempt to get around via public transportation. it'll be the longest we've ever been in the same zip code.

time will tell.

Friday, December 29, 2006

when love boggles the mind, you need a genius

kaiya and cadiz discuss kaiya's christmas card to kai's "he's-not-my-boyfriend-but-i-REALLY-like-him-friend," via instant messenger:

kaiya: cadiz, i already wrote s a nice christmas card, but i got him one to go with the actual gift, too."

cadiz: what's theprob?
mail one to him and give the one with the gift.
that way he'll be thinking of you MORE when you're gone on vacay for 3 weeks

kaiya: he has the first one i wrote him up on his fridge
im not sure what i should write on the second one
i mean the first two cards i gave him he "reveres"

cadiz: just put a lipstick mark in it

kaiya: HAHAHA

cadiz: that says it all

kaiya: i can put my perfume on it
HAHAH thats so conceptual

cadiz: so designy, right?

kaiya: so nothing in this one except LIPS!!
he LOVES my lips!!!

cadiz: even better

kaiya: YOU ARE funny
could i really pull off a card with just lips!!!!

cadiz: i'm a genius

kaiya: but is that too


kaiya: cheesy 1980's high school?
Breakfast Club?
not that the idea is cheesy, but you know
the whole lipstick thing

cadiz: i thought you guys were all about joking. when you're "courting" the cheesier the better

kaiya: ok ok ok

cadiz: if you pull it off right, it won't be cheesy

kaiya: it's true
so how do you pull it off RIGHT?

cadiz: well, use your ACTUAL lip color, not some 1920s-movie star color

kaiya: it's like my other ones were so emotional, as a person i like you, blablabla

cadiz: so it'll look like "what i really wanted to give you was a hug and a kiss but i couldn't put it into words"

kaiya: should it say "These lips are yours this holiday season"

cadiz: the perfume and lips say it all
i say no words

kaiya: love, kai

cadiz: that's inherent in the lips/perf

kaiya: that's interesting because the card is brown

cadiz: DAMN, i should have done this myself!

kaiya: as in paper bag brown so would it "hold" the kiss very well as opposed to stark white

cadiz: glue in a white square inside

kaiya: ok and this is after knowing that he loved what i wrote in teh other two cards

cadiz: you're changing it up. keeping him on his toes

kaiya: and now i switch it up. f*ck yes!
what about my name?

cadiz: yep. to remember you by

why am i screaming?

cadiz: you're getting hysterical

kaiya: my caps lock stuck
i think i need to address him otherwise its a card to ?

cadiz: you're putting it with the present, no?

kaiya: yea but people like personalization NO?

cadiz: kai. do what you feel. i think writing nothing would really convey the point, but whatever you think is best. he's not my non-bf

kaiya: :)
i just did it and i dont like it
i practiced on white paper and it looked fine
it LOOKS SMOOSHED should i get another card?

cadiz: then cut out the white and glue it on top.

but that won't look good

cadiz: i'm waiting for you to acknowledge my genius out loud

kaiya: HAHAH

cadiz: red.

kaiya: this is a disaster
should i tear it or perfect square

cadiz: you're making it so hard. does that go with the style of the card? is it a flowy style or sharp?

kaiya:its like ornate like an indian sari

cadiz: sharp

kaiya: but simple just gold and red
sharp design lines
too much room for error with tearing but ornate


really seems "empty" without address and sign

cadiz: of SOME kind
damn, girl it's like pulling teeth

kaiya: i think it might be really cute if i address him,
the kiss,
love, kai
and its like THEN the "kiss" says everything

cadiz: do what you think is right
but i know in my heart that i'm a genius and you don't have to reaffirm that to me. i just don't understand why you won't even acknowledge that it was a good idea from me.
like later you'll tell people oh i did this
no mention of the cadiz
which is fine, but at least acknowldege it to me


cadiz: thank you.

later, via text message:

kaiya: Call me! Btw he loved the card. He even kissed it. You are a genius.

cadiz: glad to hear it!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

unwritten rules are the ones that count

word on the street is that you don't talk about salary during the first interview. after much discussion with my peers, i have come to the conclusion that not having any idea whatsoever is just a little bit ridiculous. because you can go through rounds of interviews courting/being wooed by a company with everyone loving each other, but if at the end of the day you don't see eye to eye on compensation, all that do-si-doing really doesn't mean anything. this *rule* seems to favor the employer every time, and especially against a person considering several options with varying deadlines. i see how bringing up the topic can come off as bad form, but if you're not discussing all potential dealbreakers, it ends up being a waste of everyone's time.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

last day (pt. 2)

when mel and i got to the karaoke bar, a few people were there already, sipping on mai tais. we hung out and swapped stories about the company until the rest of the crew arrived and the festivities began.

not everyone sang, but i held anyone who had promised to take the stage to their word. and though some may not have been happy with their performances, i thought everybody was fantastic. i can't believe it'd taken me, a girl who even sings along to commercials, so long to experience coordinated lounge singing. i got on stage and the mic started to shake violently (which seems to be a trend this year). or maybe it was just my voice. i realized that even though in my head i can sing along with ms. karen carpenter, there's a distinct difference between your range when no one's listening and the one you have when you get up in front of a crowd. i had some trouble holding the low notes, but i didn't see anyone cover their ears. regardless, it was my party and it was really fun. here is our collective contribution to the entertainment of the evening:

"summer lovin'," from Grease (duet)
"what's up," four non-blondes
"crocodile rock," elton john
"night shift," the commodores (VERY appropriate considering the company)
"margaritaville," jimmy buffett
"you give love a bad name," bon jovi (a boisterous quartet)
some frank sinatra song that had everyone mock slowdancing up front
"nuthin' but a'g' thang," snoop dogg featuring dr. dre (duet) with cadiz dancing backup
"superstar," karen carpenter

we closed out the karaoke place and because we were having so much fun, we moved the party around the corner to a bar that had a dance floor. my supervisor TORE it up on the dance floor, proclaiming, "THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE SINGING!" i didn't agree completely, but i'll admit that after getting on stage, being silly getting our groove on seems like child's play.

it was a great evening. because it wasn't close to the office, was on a thursday night went till 4:30 a.m., i'm happy so many people came out and stayed so long. someone pulled me aside at the bar and said she wished i'd leave every week. yeah, i'm going to choose to believe she meant that she was enjoying herself. and considering the circumstances it sure beats the usual sendoff tradition, which would have had all of us standing around at the local dive bar discussing how i don't have anything lined up and all the things wrong with the people running the company.

i think i've got my karaoke fix for a good while. but if i have a hankering to serenade again, i know just the people to call.

Monday, December 25, 2006


merry Christmas, everyone.

i'm so thankful that i can be at home with the ones i love the most (even if some of them are in the other room watching football) and not stuck in the dungeon like last year.

i hope all of you have a safe and warm december 25, surrounded by your favorite things, too.

love, cadiz

Saturday, December 23, 2006

last day (pt. 1)

it was raining on my last day of work. i was already in a bad mood due to a series of events that included someone feeling the need to vacuum at 8 a.m. and someone else feeling the need to clean the bathroom right when i needed to shower in order to leave on time. it didn't matter anyway, because i had to stew in gridlock traffic and was late anyhow.

on the fourth floor-- the heart of the tower-- the majority of people work in one colossal room roughly the size of a junior high school gym, in cubicles with walls that come up to my hip. it's like one big bustling, phone-ringy, television-buzzy, chattering classroom. except when things are really busy and there's either an eerie hush or else the whole joint is going berserk. i'm really going to miss that.

my last week i was scheduled to work in another section, tucked away in an alcove in the back. the people who work there are serious, and there is very little idle chatter despite a constant and generous bounty of sugary snacks, cakes and cookies. my friend mel says every time she works back there, she can feel herself gaining weight and i'd have to agree.

i thought being back there was a lucky place to finish out my contract. the shifts usually end earlier than in the big room and there's a convenient side door through which you can get right onto the street. i was planning on finishing up and escaping for a nice fat cheeseburger at Boston Blackies with mel before we met up with the coworkers. after i sent my last report to the dungeon, i wrote a brief email saying it was a pleasure working with everyone and all the best during the holidays and the future. i hit send, then put my nameplate in my bag and put on my hat and coat. mel said we had to make a stop in the big room to arrange where we'd meet up with the the crew later.

8 p.m. was probably a good time to make an exit, because that's when things are pretty calm in the big room. and it was thursday; nearly everyone in the office was present, save for the really important folks who tend to work 9-to-5, have weeks off during the holidays and their own parking spots in the lot. standing near jeff's desk, a few people came up to me for hugs and to wish me well and ask me where i was going. unobligated people, too, who surprised me by telling me the company was making a mistake by letting me get away. i cherish these remarks because as a worker ant in a gigantic company like that, you often can't gauge how well you're doing and i tend to assume everyone thinks i'm a moron. i said my see-you-laters and my happy-holidayses and thank-you-so-muches, turned and started the long walk across the big room to the elevator.

as i started to walk away, everyone in the room began to applaud. i'm talking everybody-- my colleagues, the cleaning staff, people in the back who i had never even met and even the higherups. i had seen this happen a few times before, but the recipients had been important, high-ranking, long-term people and i know they don't do it for everybody. i had just assumed i'd sneak out of there without incident. i was shocked and overwhelmingly honored.

it was like something out of a movie, and i saw it in slow motion. people hooted and whistled and some even stood up. i didn't know what to do, so i just kept looking back and waving. and each time i did, i'd lock eyes with a different person: man, i'm not going to see that guy amble over and say "yell-lo" in his radio voice again. oh geez, she won't be showing me her Spanish homework anymore. dude, i had only just discovered that those two could discuss America's Next Top Model with me. damn, i didn't think that cranky person who liked to yell at me would be clapping, too. whoa, i didn't recognize her as a blonde. it was surreal. during those 12 seconds, all the crappy shifts, broken promises, commuting, parking, psychotic schedules, times i'd missed with family and friends to allow this job to consume my life, all the insecurity i'd had about how i was doing or if these people i find so intelligent and intimidating regarded me as anything other than a peon seemed resolved.

my eyes welled up. even if it were just for a moment, i felt validated. and i can't think of a better way to go.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

bone dry

"hey, are you going to send me those reports or what?"

"i'm sorry, we had some stuff come in late so we're running behind."

"they're almost 45 minutes late! but you don't care, right? you're leaving."

"of course i care!"

"why? what are they going to do, fire you?"

"yeah, but i care about my integrity, you know?"

"eh. when's your last day?"


"and they didn't offer you any kind of severance?"


"you didn't go in there to try and negotiate? you should have."

"well, i was on contract. now it's over. what's to negotiate?"

"eh, well, they pretty much suck you guys dry anyway, right?"

"every last drop."

"well, i'm sorry to see you go. i'll miss you."

"i'll miss you, too."

"now can you send me some reports?"

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

27 hours and thirteen minutes

i'm finding it extremely hard to concentrate on my job today. i think my work would be exponentially better if a) i had a caffeinated beverage b) i knew i'd be going home soon or c) tomorrow wasn't my last day.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

don't be a stranger

i can admit that i'm a sentimental person. i probably still have about 91% of the ticket stubs from shows i've attended. i press flowers from different countries i've visited. i even make sure to save the best text messages to fawn over later. but two days from the end, i still haven't really gotten misty over leaving this job.

maybe it's because it doesn't *feel* real. i haven't known whether i was coming or going half the time for the last two years, so this almost feels routine. the coworkers just discovered a new take out place just in time for me not to sample the entire menu, which saddens me. but i still joked around and laughed with them, not realizing because of the shifts it'd be the last time i'd sit with most of them. it's going to be sad not seeing them much, if at all, anymore.

but i didn't start really getting blue until i was riding the shuttle back to the fortress (near which i have discovered a nice place to put my car so i don't have to troll around for a spot and give half my paycheck to the city in tickets) with my favorite driver, roy. this guy is what i imagine cc's little boy will look like when he's about 68. except he's a little unkempt. roy's a real sweetheart who's missing a few teeth and had to have a triple bypass earlier this year because his diet includes giant bags of potato chips and pop by the liter. i told him that thursday would be it for me and he asked if i was going on vacation. then after i said, "nope. after thursday i won't get to ride on your shuttle anymore," he asked me if i had a computer and advised me to "go on that computer and find yourself another job that pays twice as much, and then come back and ride my shuttle and tell me all about it."

i was thinking about what it would take to actually swing that, and wondering if roy will even still be with us when i could manage it. because it's during the goodbyes when we make promises that no one would hold us to as a way of expressing how much we care. and that's what made me really sad.

Monday, December 18, 2006

the time has come

it's my last night in the dungeon.

while i still have three more days to work in the tower (yeah, there's a tower, a fortress and a dungeon, but there's no point in explaining all that now.) this is my last hurrah in cell block "D".

i took the job 2 years ago, shortly before i started this blog. it was a 2-year contract for which i will have served all but six days. and that's only because unlike last year, i'd like to spend Christmas surrounded by family, food and ripped-up wrapping paper, not cinderblock walls and whatever crusty substance growing inside the ceiling they so sweetly exposed by taking off all the panels:

working evenings, weekends and holidays is like being a ghost in your own life. you're present, but the world moves along without you. you communicate via email and telephone, even with ones who live in your house. people call you from parties while you're at work to tell you they miss you. and you can go six months without seeing friends in your own zipcode. there is no "dinner break," set "weekend" or "hours" (start times can vary by up to five hours and end times are at the mercy of the reports). i have rarely known my schedule much more than two weeks in advance, so making plans becomes a ridiculous guessing game you can only win by paying full-price for plane tickets. and i won't even start on the parking.

without unfurling the scroll on the rest of my complaints, i'll say that i've learned an immense amount during my time here. about the job, the industry, people and mostly myself. i can withstand some really tough situations and still come out standing, even if i'm walking with a limp. and i have met some phenomenal people here. it's unfortunate that in my discretion about describing work, i haven't been able to share too much about them. this job is not for the unintelligent, high-strung, lazy or faint-hearted. i've been very lucky to have been in their company.

we're all going out for a night of karaoke after my last shift because i'm intrigued by it and have never had the experience. and a few of them have promised to sing so it won't be people just standing around bullying everyone else to take the mic, but hopefully a very good time (which is another reason i'm putting this post up tonight and not early friday morning).

near the beginning of my time here, i was joking around with one of my coworkers about the boredom that is the dungeon. later that night, in desperation, i wrote a haiku on a piece of paper and put it in an unused drawer:

oh man am i lame
just sitting here all alone
contemplating death

as of today, there are three sheets of paper in the drawer, with 48 haiku scrawled on them by the poor souls who have done their time. here are some of my favorites:

Trapped in the dungeon
there's no hope for my future
Damn, i missed my bus

oh cursed first-offs
How I hate your evil ways
wake me for city

Say, it's a thin line
Between love and hate when it's
5 in the morning

(12:48 a.m.)
crap, crap, crap, crap, crap,
crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap,
crap, crap, crap, crap, crap,

I can't stand this shift
I went to college for this?
I want a refund!

A cold Mug root beer,
Flaming Hot Cheetos on desk.
I should be in bed.

no windows in here
can't even see the fireworks
watch the clock instead

If this room could talk,
What do you think it would say?
"I pity the fool!"

When 1:27 seems
early, you know you
have lost touch

a fridge full of beer
would make the time go faster
longing for Fat Tire

there are SNAKES! in this
mother-f*cking lonely place.
help me, Sam Jackson

"boss" should read haikus
then he would know what it's like
would he sympathize?

though counting the days,
a sickening twist of fate:
i might miss this place.

as for me, i don't know where i'm headed. but i cut a fat check this morning because i do know that the mortgage company gives breaks to no one. never fear, however, i'll continue posting. this blog would have never happened if it weren't for the dungeon. and i wouldn't have discovered all of you. for that i will be eternally grateful. well, that and the fact that if all goes well tonight, i'll have successfully eluded psycho blue-eye.

so long, dungeon.

Friday, December 15, 2006

melts in your mouth AND your hand

"did you hear they're making chocolate-covered Altoids?"

"eiw! really?"

"yeah, someone brought in some samples. they're dark chocolate-covered ginger, peppermint or cinnamon mints."

"oh my god, you weren't kidding."

"the peppermint isn't so bad; i didn't really like the ginger."

"i think i'll try a cinnamon one."

"they look like junior mints."

"junior mints are way better. these are gross."

"dude, they should have stuck with making gum."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

sometimes it comes down to playing nice

awhile back i commented with some fervor about how my people had finally made it to reality tv. the specific individuals in question were vipul and arti of the amazing race as well as anchal from america's next top model.

vipul/arti got eliminated in the first episode. the one episode that i didn't catch. so i have nothing to say on that but that i'm disappointed in my peeps. better luck next time, though! hey, at least they got in some quality undisturbed time on sequester-island or wherever they keep people till it's over.

anyway, let's talk models.

i really was rooting for my homegirl anchal. she is beautiful in a traditional, not manufactured bollywood, way (read: snow white with light hair). and while some may have seen her as heavy, i thought hers looked most like a normal person's body.

but anchal's fatal flaw was her self-esteem. i backed the girl for a long time, but even i had to admit that, beauty aside, not believing in herself was killing her edge. granted, we've all been taunted growing up and she had to deal with haters among the competition. but whining that she couldn't do [insert task asked by judges here] was what did her in. people! it's a competition. we knew she had it in her when she laid the smack down on the bitchez of the house, but i wish she could put that energy toward proving herself to the judges. sadly, at the end of her run even i thought it time for her to go. however, she could still have a career in modeling, even if it's just running around among the trees in a sari for the india sari palace calendar. or she could go to medical school and collectively appease the worldwide auntie patrol.

the top model winner, caridee, was very likeable. she's quirky, insulted a judge and all that, but pretty and fun overall. the 2nd runner up, melrose, was the type of nasty ho who might slice somebody to ribbons in their sleep with an X-acto knife if it would ensure her victory. she was scary, man. and everyone hated her, including myself. but she did her homework and gave them everything she thought they wanted. throughout the competition, the judges praised her good work and rewarded her handsomely. however when it came down to it, they went with the loose cannon because she had more *natural* talent. i've gotta admit, guys, i felt just a little bit bad for melrose. yeah, she was snooty and snotty and kissed ass and rubbed everyone's imperfections in their faces, but girl worked her ass off doing exactly what was expected well, but still didn't win. so much for "if you bust your ass you can accomplish anything."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

six that set me apart

RULES: Each player of this game starts with the "six weird things about you." People tagged must write a post of their own six weird things as well as state this rule clearly. They must then list six people to be tagged and notify them via comments on tag-ees' blogs. I was tagged by Lia and Syar.

1. As many of you know i have freckles on my tongue. family members have told me that with them comes the power to curse people. a doctor told me the fancy medical name for them and that they're harmless. i'm gonna go ahead and believe i have superhuman power, for which i should never be crossed.

2. i don't like when foods mix consistencies. the biggest offender? chunky peanut butter [shudder]. however, maybe i'm growing out of it, because i love bhelpuri, which mixes crunchy stuff with tomatoes and onions and potatoes and other good stuff. but i tend to give motherland food a pass. especially if i'm risking food poisoning by buying it from a street vendor. i think the danger is what tastes so damn good.

3. i usually like to play by the rules. i was always the annoying kid who made everyone wait while i read the rules on the inside of the box cover before we could start playing. i don't like cheaters, either.

4. when i was little i was terrified of cats. my parents used this to keep me in line, threatening me when i was behaving badly by saying "the mau is coming! you better get your shoes on right this minute! i think i hear the mau!" the same tactic was used to keep me from wriggling out of my carseat, but instead of the mau it was that the police would come if i didn't stay put. i still have a lingering mistrust of law authorities as well as cats. i take each on a case-by-case basis.

5. i was a copyeditor in a past life. as you can see by how i've edited the RULES above, i can't seem to turn it off and continually have to monitor myself when reading anything from billboards to a friend's wedding program. someone once told me "everyone needs a copyeditor" after snidely correcting an error i had made. i was miffed then but now i realize it's the truth, proven by every single one of my blog posts.

6. when i'm very tired and i'm falling asleep, i clack my jaws together like a nutcracker. i'm told it's not terribly loud.

my victims: ML, beeenz, highcontrast, ale, viking and becky. my apologies if you have already been tagged by someone else.

not a fan of Blogger Beta today

i have been reading your blogs, bloggerbeta people, but for the last two days i have been unable to comment. the error message i get is that my password is incorrect and continues to tell me so even after i went and changed it.

as i mentioned on omar's blog, i wasn't that kid in class with her hand always up (a la tracy flick in Election) but when i have something to say and i can't? that REALLY pisses me off.

so Blogger, i really hope you remedy this situation soon. because i was about to make the switch and now i'm having second thoughts.

if any of you out there can figure a way around this mess so i can add my 2 cents, don't hesitate to speak up. as far as i know, people should be able to still comment here. for now.

Monday, December 11, 2006

can always count on those lucky numbers

sunday i went with my parents to church for the first time in a very long while. it's an indian service held mostly in Hindi. for many years growing up, my parents insisted we attended the english-speaking church where we had catechism, but never missed a week at indian church so we could be around other people from the motherland. that's a pretty tall commitment, and believe me, i often thought it was a drag.

we don't have any family here; it's just my parents, my brother and myself. and when we were very young, that made for some lonely thanksgivings and christmases. i was always jealous of people who'd say they were going to their grandmother's house or if their cousins were in town. because my cousins live on the other side of the globe, the most i interacted with them were some mother-mandated aerogramme letters that followed the basic formula of "hi cousin. how are you? i am fine. my mom and dad are fine. hope your mom and dad are good, too. i like playing basketball. okay, gotta go. love cadiz." i'd recieve the same at best, and now that we're all old, we only hear about each other through our parents. most of them are younger than me and most of them are married, so we have even less in common today.

but over the years, the indian church sort of became an extended family i got to see every week. to begin with, everyone addresses their parents' friends as "uncle" or "auntie" regardless of blood relation. after the church part everyone hangs around and gossips in the hall over tea and salerno butter cookies. and of course there's the uncle who's always got candy for all the little kids and the old grandmother who pinches your cheeks. gathering with those people every week and dutifully greeting everybody with a handshake, a hug and a "good evening," became kind of nice. they had cake with us on our birthdays, congratulated us on our accomplishments, and most importantly they were always there at the hospital with tupperwares of food and thermoses of tea when my brother was admitted. just as my real family would have done if they could.

going back there felt nice. even getting ready (pulling out an outfit from the section of the closet that takes up the most space and finding the jewelry to match) sort of felt like coming home-- even though i've pretty much been home all this time. there were new people and weird people but the old regulars were there and it felt awkward. but all that melted away when the singing started.

all the dozers (i counted five, including the pastor's DAUGHTER in the first row who is 22 and should know better than to lean her head on her mom's shoulder. dude, at least not in the first row.) woke up to sing. good old numbers 39 and 24. proof that the best things never change. seriously, i've been to religious services of all colors and sizes, all over the world and the overwhelmingly unifying and awesome part is the feeling you get from the singing. i'll confess that it's what will keep me coming back always.

unfortunately, i mentioned this to my mother so now i will be performing on christmas.

Friday, December 08, 2006


you know that feeling you get at the end of school and there's about a week left and suddenly you find the energy between playing nintendo, watching Gummi Bears and riding bikes with your friends to do your homework before your mother yells at you for the third time? and how you just do it and think to yourself, "that wasn't so horrible. damn, if i had been doing that since the beginning of the year, i would have gotten much better grades. what's my problem, anyway?" ?

but you know what? your subconscious knows that you won't be having to do it anymore, so it gathers up what's left of your motivation and makes the remainder seem a lot more enjoyable than when it was such a chore.

it's like the last two years i've been incubating in the dungeon and waiting for my real life to start. and now that i'm properly cooked, i think i might be ready for it. unfortunately, everything is up in the air and i don't know where to begin.

all i know is that i'm going to have to think of something.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

but i still stay up late

the last couple of days i've been working an earlier shift. i cannot begin to explain how functioning just an hour or two closer to everyone else's schedule has made me smile 4.5 times more than usual. it's amazing.

Friday, December 01, 2006

video speaks for itself.

people are probably sick of hearing about this UCLA taser thing. I heard about it in passing and wondered about it, but i don't think you really understand what it it's like to be tasered until you feel it yourself or at least see a video.

i won't go into all the details here, but i guess this guy didn't have his library card when approached in a random search and was asked to leave by university police. he was the only one asked and felt like he was being racially profiled, so he went limp. at this point he was tasered up to five times and repeatedly asked to stand up, even though loss of muscle control is one of the symptoms of recently being tasered. i watched the whole video, which was captured by someone's cellphone in the library, and it turned my stomach. sure, the guy yelled at the police, but some have reported that it was because they grabbed his arm and would not let go as he was trying to leave. sure people pooh-pooh this and say oh what are those liberals squawking about now or he mouthed off to police he had it coming, but bottom line, NOBODY deserves to be treated that way, let alone in an institution they've earned and bought the privilege to attend.

the guy is Iranian-American. and as someone who's been racially profiled myself, i know that it happens and it happens every day. terrorists have ruined our lives in so many ways we don't take enough time to think about. the whole thing would have been avoided if the cops took 10 seconds to card some of the white people. even if it were just to pretend they weren't singling this guy out.

there has got to be a better way. this is pretty damn clear if you read the comments posted about the video.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

exit strategy

"so did you hear j just say she's leaving?"

"what? i was sitting 2.5 feet away from her all night and i didn't catch that! where is she going?"

"oh she's leaving the business completely, going to work for some law firm downtown on trial graphics or something."

"wow. can you imagine? must be daytime hours and a consistent schedule!"

"yeah, and she probably doesn't have to work holidays."

"i'll bet the pay is better, too."

"when's her last day?"

"next saturday."

"isn't it sad that when somebody leaves it just makes the rest of us think about what we'd rather be doing and instead of doing anything about it, we sit here and obsess about the fact that they had the exit velocity to make it happen?"

"and she's not going to have to go to the dungeon, either!"

"dammit. tonight is my last night after like SEVEN weeks. i hope they don't make me go back for her rotation, too."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

ten years didn't do much

the high school reunion went down as expected. out of a class of some 696 (give or take a few), i'd day about 150 packed a cozy country club party room. at first mostly at the door-- likely stalling on actually going in-- and of course, at the bar.

right around check-in time (ri and her hubby, c, who were kind enough to give me a ride, forgot their tickets in the city and had to turn back) i had this text message exchange:

"have you left yet?"

"no, ri is driving and she's running late. why, are you there?"

"yeah, just checked in."

"are there a lot of people already?"

"yeah. but not the good kind. hurry up!"

that was with nika, who is the hybrid kind of family-friend who also intersects with your personal life here and there. six months older than me, she hung out with my parents before i did. we touch base every once in awhile and i get the lowdown about people i didn't know very well from school. it's funny, because by the time i got to the place, she seemed like she was doing just fine. i guess the right kind of people showed up, and several of them asked for her phone number and twirled her around the dancefloor. people who she said wouldn't have given her the time of day when we were in school.

walking around that hall was a little surreal. faces and nametags jumped out at me like dead bodies at a wake sitting straight up in their coffins. it was creepy, but familiar. i'm good with names and faces, but not necessarily together. so i'd catch a glimpse of someone and then spend 20 minutes trying to figure out if it was that cool girl in my gym class or that annoying cheerleader who would keep one leg on top of her desk in class so that pretty much anyone would take note of the orange underthing she had on under the uniform.

mostly everyone looked the same. well, to be perfectly honest, the women had fared much better than the men. they were sleeker, better dressed, better coiffed and looked the same if not more trim. the guys all seemed a little chubbier with hairlines a little farther back than they were a decade ago. granted, we can get away with a lot more in terms of flaw-hiding than the guys, but still.

there were exceptions, however. this broad who continually pissed me off in seventh grade-- namely for being an allaround snooty beeyatch as well as taking credit for singing the harder part in our duet during "the music man" (which she was supposed to sing but couldn't hit the high notes, so i had to switch parts) pretty much doubled in size. and then there was the one girl who lost control of her breasts and allowed them to lead her around that evening in a flimsy contraption that had to have been held together with doublesided tape. one guy even said, "dude, i'm GAY and i can't stop staring at those things." the but everyone else looked nice.

there were even a few eyebrow-raising moments, like when the boy one of my friends pined over for nearly all of senior year psychology asked one of us, "hey, who's that girl over there?" even though it was painfully obvious he knew very well and was trying to play it cool. i found that a pal from speech class works about a block from my office, and we may meet up for lunch sometime.

we schmoozed, but i ended up sort of sticking to my peeps. i'm not sure if i would have been more friendly if i wasn't starting to feel the deathflu take over, but i sure wish i had. because as cliquey as everyone was in highschool and even today, i think people were making an effort. those who had existing ties, like being neighbors or teammates or mutual friends obviously had an easier time mingling than those who ogled each other on the bus or cracked jokes in the back of english class. but there was a friendly vibe, even just a smile and nod as you walked by. most of us survived. most of us are pretty happy with where we are. and as kaiya put it at the end of the night, "you know, we were all really different and separated in high school. now, not so much. we're all pretty much the same."

maybe it'll take another ten years to really be true.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

the secret life of blogs

whenever something ridiculous happens, one of my coworkers loves to say, "that's it. this is going on my blog." or "oh you'll have to read all about that on my blog," but he refuses to tell us anything else about it. i can't decide if the guy has somehow discovered this place and it's his way of teasing me or if he actually has a blog, and if so, why he keeps talking about it and refuses to give us any hints. i'm intrigued. because i've gone to such trouble to keep this thing a secret. but mostly because inquiring minds want to know. but at the end of the day i'm thinking the real reason he toys with us is because he doesn't have a blog at all and revels in the slow torture of unquenched curiousity.

Monday, November 27, 2006

get with the beat, daddy

so my parents are addicted to the indian version of "dancing with the stars." my mom records it on the satellite dvr and i'll catch it when i'm around. my father especially loves the competition -- celebrity couples (it's only proper) directed by a choreogapher every week-- as he's quite the music aficionado and comes home from work every night asking if it's currently on tv. now i can't stand the incessant, repetitive commercial breaks so i refuse to watch it live, but my dad? he refuses to watch it UNLESS it's on live. this doesn't make sense for several reasons: a) the commercials are properly annoying and a waste of time, b) it's not live ANYWAY because it was broadcast the night before HALFWAY AROUND THE EARTH and c) voting is not open to anyone outside India. not that he'd be voting anyway.

maybe it's the meds, but i'm baffled. the man just doesn't appreciate the beauty of a dvr.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

a well-oiled machine

i don't mean to harp on it, but i don't get this sick very often. in the last few days i've managed to fill the contents of FIVE extra-large boxes of Puffs Plus with the emissions from my face, have been awake roughly 12 hours out of 36 and have acquired a voice that, while certainly not as sexy, sounds a hell of a lot like Smurfette. but i have to admit, death doesn't seem around the corner anymore.

at the reunion, i spent a lot of time talking to croc and her husband. she and her college roommate were angels one of the last times i was this sick. they lived three floors above me our freshman year and we hung out nearly every day.

everyone knows that college dormitories are breeding grounds for all kinds of airborne viruses and sniffles and colds, but that year, i managed to pick up the death flu. all i can remember is that i thought i was going to die. because my roommate had gone home for the weekend and my impending death seemed like a real possibility, i took a swig from the NyQuil bottle, dragged my scraggly ass up to croc's room and basically collapsed.

their tiny room pretty much only had space for a bunk bed, two desks and a small tv, with an area to sit on the floor. so they inflated an air mattress and i pretty much passed out there. for 21 hours. at first they were careful to try and talk quietly and keep the television down, but because i had the blanket completely over my face and didn't stir, they got bolder. i'm told they were going about their business, rocking to music and laughing and talking on the phone even louder than usual. i didn't even flinch.

after i came out of my coma, i felt nearly brand-new. all i had needed was to be in a place with other people, even if they weren't interacting with me, just to recharge and let my body fight the demon. God knows what my roommate would have found at the end of the weekend, had i been alone.

thanks, croc! it was great to see you.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

prevention? so much better

well, the cold medicine hasn't seemed to do the trick. the cough has gotten so bad that i've graduated to antibiotics and have spent the majority of the last 24 hours trying to sleep. hopefully the drugs will kick in and i'll be up and about sooner rather than later. but in the meantime, i may be in the market for a new lining for my throat. but damn, it's good to finally be home.

so take my advice, kiddies: load up on that vitamin c and Airborne! i wouldn't wish this misery on anybody.

Friday, November 24, 2006


tomorrow i'm going home for the weekend. i'd be lying if i said i wasn't looking forward to the aroma of curry and the lumpy couch, upon which i will sit until my ass contours to the shape and catch up on all the shows i missed this week while i was in the land of the air mattress and canned soup.

but that will have to wait till saturday. because tomorrow is the high-school reunion. highcon went on a mission to find something HOTT to wear and has issued a mandate that we all walk in together with our hair breezing back in slow motion to some barry white background music. ri was going to buy new clothes and some of the others are fretting about dress code, too. from the beginning, i had decided to wear work clothes (the invite says "dressy casual"). is this wrong? i mean, i did go with highcon to barney's and club monaco and of course he didn't like anything there and ended up at banana republic per usual. but seriously? shave my legs at the end of november in chicago? for losers whom i probably won't remember? uh, no. i think a black sweater and grey pants will suit me just fine. it works in the office. of course, now that i've proclaimed it in such a haughty way, everyone and their mom is going to show up as if they're reliving the senior prom and i'm going to feel like a fool. whatever.

i've already decided that the people who will be there will most likely be a combination of those whom i see fairly regularly and those i couldn't give two shits about. you know the ones-- selfabsorbed twits who pretty much lived and died based on who was dating whom and how long they could continue making out in front of my locker before i smacked the back of one of their heads with my chemistry book. on accident. maybe. highcon talked to a few of our far-flung acquaintances and found out that many of them hadn't even heard about the event. granted, that's probably because of the whole ReunionMakers snafu, but you know this thing is going to be the spirit committee and their rippling circle.

eh, i'll be hopped up on cold medicine. it should be fun.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

the ones that won't let you down

i was all set to write this really depressing post about how this Thanksgiving was going to be really crappy because i'm all alone downtown and i have to go into work just as my family will be sitting down to eat scrumptious food and how nothing compares to the way my mother prepares turkey with masala and all the indian side dishes AS WELL as mashed potatoes and cranberry and all that stuff. she's the best, man. but then i took a healthy dose of NyQuil and passed out. for like 14 hours.

but THEN! this morning came a knock on the door and there they were! my mom, dad and brother (who's home for the holiday) came in with all this fantastic food. i guess they were going to some auntie's house for the official meal, but my mom felt so bad that i was alone and would have to work that she prepared a small chicken for me and all the trimmings!

man, even though i couldn't completely taste it, i knew it was fabulous. when i'm most feeling down and out and too proud to admit it, i have people in my life who see through the bravado and do just the thing that i need the most. for that, i am utterly thankful.

i hope all of you had a rich and fulfilling holiday, too.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

the cure is that ratty old couch

i woke up this morning with a scratchy throat. i watched Family Ties, Who's the Boss and The Facts of Life, ate, got ready and came to work. during my shift, my nose began to run. i took a break from the dungeon to go to the drugstore and buy NyQuil and ramen noodles. currently, i'm sitting in the dungeon and slowly eviscerating a box of Kleenex as well as the skin of my nose, waiting for reports. i'm not looking forward to standing outside and waiting for a cab in the middle of the night.

being sick is so much worse when you know you're not going home.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

spend my time just making rhymes

it's starting to sink in.

i've been there since saturday, but spoiled because people came to help me bring my meager belongings (not staying long, don't need much). also, cc hung out and celebrated her birthday with me all weekend. but now she's back home with her family.

i've never *technically* lived alone, but for the last two years i've been awake when everyone is sleeping, at work when everyone is socializing and sitting around when everyone is at work. so really, i've been more alone than the average roommate-less person. yet somehow this sucks worse. probably because i'm doing all that same stuff but with a tv that gets 3 (THREE) channels, if i'm lucky.

in the middle of the night at home i know there are breathing bodies in the other rooms. i know that if i choke on a wheat thin and start to asphyxiate, i can run over and collapse onto one of their doors and they'd wake up and call 911. here, i'm surrounded by hundreds of people on dozens of floors, but somehow i think they'd be dialing different digits at 3 a.m. if i tried that maneuver.

i have wi-fi internet access from the lobby. but i'd describe it like having a three-legged dog with cataracts: you can walk him, but it's gonna take a lot of patience. never fear, i'm working the dungeon this week which, despite what it lacks (windows, humans, joy) has got a pretty damn fast computer. it's the only reason i'm still sane.

this afternoon, i got up early and went to an appointment. i walked around and peoplewatched and went inside. then i proceeded to watch 5 (FIVE) judge shows before i went to work. The People's Court was on twice. i can't even remember any of the other judges. but they were all witty and fair. even though the plaintiffs and defendants were insane. or scripted; i couldn't decide. the reason for this is because i somehow used up all my daytime minutes. so i cannot harass my loved ones at their places of business until monday.

so i'd better find something to occupy myself. at least before commuting starts looking good.

Monday, November 20, 2006

deja view

after 3 days of house-sitting, i have one resounding opinion about life in the high-rise:

it's appallingly like living in a college dorm. but without the crappy cafeteria. and, you know, the school.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

a time to grow

"i haven't seen you girls in such a long time. i'm so glad we were able to meet up and celebrate cc's birthday."

"yeah and nothing says 'happy birthday' better than a yummy margarita. i think i'll have another one of these babies."

"dude, i've been in the dungeon too long. i haven't been out dancing in forever and i don't even remember the last time i had something with tequila in it."

"well nobody asked you to order the one with three different kinds of tequila in it, crazy."

"what? that's one of the drinks the waitress recommended! ray, you're the one who asked her opinion in the first place."

"that's only because i don't know what half this stuff is. you tell her what we're ordering; i always pronounce this stuff wrong."

"um, yeah. i think this drink is it for me tonight. i might not be able to even finish all this."

"cadiz! you cannot be telling me that your first drink is your last drink of the night. oh, grow some tits and suck it down."

happy birthday, cc. i hope i'll always have you to look to in mock horror when ray says something appalling.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

testing out the waters

some of you may recall the problem with parking series i did last year. yes, parking in the city is a bitch. and though i've gotten adept at it, trolling around to find a spot is still not my favorite way to spend forty-five minutes worth of automobile fuel.

so i'm going to do something absolutely ridiculous and out of character. i'm moving to the city. okay, okay, for like a week. or so. maybe.

i'm going to be apartment-sitting in highrise downtown. this is big for me because a) i've never lived alone b) i've never lived in a city and c) i love my car, and i can't bring it with me. that last one is going to be rough if you consider the fact that i spend almost three hours in my car every weekday and sometimes on the weekends, too. the place is pretty close to my job, so i'll have an added two-to-three hours a day to myself, but my biggest fear is boredom because there's only a tiny, non-cable tv. it's going to be a cold-turkey cutoff from the dvr.

i'm not sure how long this is going to last, or if i'll even be able to cut it using mass transportation and remembering to feed myself. granted, i could just go in and check the mail/water the plants, etc and go back home to my cozy bed and chatty roommates, but i'm going to really try and give it a go.

don't fret; i'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 17, 2006

close your eyes and pay the price

i admit it: i am a procrastinator.

because of this, i am no stranger to the more than occasional all-night paper-writing/ project-finishing/ entire-book-reading that i liked to call "College." and you know on these endeavors i wasted even more time watching tom & jerry, arranging my socks, making the coffee *just* right and most of all (in what some have said were the very early precursors to my blog) crafting long, rambling e-mails at 3 a.m. from random computer labs to my twenty closest friends about the freaks who were up all night with me. i guess they were pretty popular, but i never really found out till people said they'd be missed after graduation. pp's boyfriend, k, was likeminded; we took turns napping on the couch instead of studying while pp, who always did her homework with time to spare, got a full night's beauty rest. every time.

but i have to say, without that "i did it!" payoff, pulling an allnighter just isn't that fun. especially when you're supposed to be on vacation.

in about 20 minutes, i will have been awake -- no naps and hardly any yawning, but three cups of tea -- for 24 straight hours. i don't know how it happened. it wasn't smart. but i did get a lot of things done. unfortunately, one thing is absolutely clear: i'm going to be HURTING for this tomorrow.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

feeling like a million minutes

getting up early is a little bit like winning the lottery: you're wide awake, showered, dressed and ready to rock hours before your usual. you're walking on sunshine. you have ALL this time ahead of you to accomplish everything you've let lag for the last several days. because you're so rich, of course you can spare some time to sit through recorded episodes of America's Next Top Model, the news, Dancing With the Stars AND the finale episode! (i'm very pleased with the result, by the way).

but unfortunately just like lottery winnings, if not invested wisely the treasure trove of time slips out from under that sheen of hope and confidence and evaporates. that's the problem with becoming cocky.

so yes, i may have gotten up at 6 a.m. this morning. but now, six hours later, i have nothing to show for it but a full stomach, a less-empty inbox and fewer items left to watch on the DVR.

so much for all the work i was going to get done. sigh. might as well make the most of the time i've got left.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

backwards body clock

dungeon duty allows me one week of vacation a year, so i have to be choosy. all year, i made grand plans for my time off-- during which i'd finally not be commuting or keeping such ridiculous hours. but the reality? i've spent the last several days in the house, doing some long overdue personal projects. the biggest of which is to change my sleep schedule back to that of normal human beings. sadly, my rhythm is so incredibly jacked that yesterday i saw the sun for the first time in five days. granted, daylight hours are pretty short here, but still.

i have tried EVERYTHING to train myself to be awake during the day and asleep during the night. i've pulled a couple all-nighters, only to pass out haphazardly and awaken in the dark with carpet marks on my face. and when i do manage to caffeinate enough to make it, i'm so jittery and loopy that i don't trust myself behind the wheel of a car, so nothing gets done anyway.

so basically, i'm torturing myself to switch my body clock to days. i will probably only manage it with little time left for any fun and then i'll go back to working nights and be all turned upside down again.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

at least i'm not claiming Post-Its

okay, so the high school reunion spirit committee sent out a form asking for the particulars. you know, name, married name, kids' names, pets' names, address, blablabla. but then they wanted to know other stuff, too. stuff you really shouldn't be trying to come up with when you've been commuting/working for 14 hours on 3 hours' sleep. stuff such as:

favorite song from '92-'96? okay, that's pretty easy. i put "california love" by Dr. Dre/Tupac, but only because one of my friends mentioned it during a discussion on the topic, so i can't even take credit for that. however, i agree wholeheartedly.

what i should have said:
"california love" by Dr. Dre/Tupac

favorite high school memory: i grasped for straws and came up with an all-school coordinated waterballoon fight we had between 2nd and 3rd period during "freshmen hell week." (yeah, i got some great shots in, but we were sophomores then, and had been completely terrorized the year before by seniors who sprayed our hall with waterguns filled with fox urine and cut off random locks, emptying the contents and setting them on fire and having a live pig run amok. security protected the freshman the next year, so we got hazed as sophomores, too. and by the time we were seniors we had no energy to expend on traumatizing younger classes. but the balloon fight was still fun.)

what i should have said:
as my friend, ri, aptly remembered: our senior class trip down the western coast of italy, from Rome to Sicily. seriously one of the biggest eye-opening, horizon-broadening, taste-for-travel-inducing experiences of my life. it solidified my love for Spanish and my persona as the make-sure-your-giddy-friends-don't-do-stupid-shit-like-run-off
-on-a-ferry-with-strange-foreign-men schoolmarm. whatever. say what you will, but nobody got assaulted under my watch.

interesting fact about you:
this one stings the most. let's remember, i was on ZERO SLEEP so it was on my mind. i wrote, "i talk in my sleep." upon further thought, i am now positive everyone else's is going to be "i found the cure for psoriasis" or "i help starving orphans when i'm not improving the quality of anti-gravity space boots." even Mr. High Contrast is going to say he climbed the Himalayas, though we all know he was motionsick and on a donkey.

what i should have said:
SO MANY THINGS I COULD HAVE SAID INSTEAD! i could have talked about camping out in the Sahara with camels (come to think of it, i had food poisoning then too, so i feel ya, highcon.) Or seeing William "refrigerator" Perry perform his part of the Superbowl Shuffle literally ten feet in front of me. or you know, risking my life every night by working in a DUNGEON, for God's sake.

sadly, because of this halfass form filling, i will be remembered as the girl who blocked out all the fantabulous things she actually did and focused on what earned demerits. furthermore, i will be the broad who spent the decade after getting a diploma cultivating her frigging nocturnal oratory skills.

what i should have said:
i STILL can't think of the right thing to say until it's too way late.

Monday, November 13, 2006

back off with that baby, beeyatch

it's a well-known fact that my mother is awesome.

sure, when young people at her work started calling her "mom," i bristled a little bit. she's a sweetheart to nearly everyone and so damn loveable. however, they don't have to deal with her high expectations or her bitter disappointment. they don't have to fight against her reluctance to see the doctor when something's wrong or her rigidly low tolerance for ineptitude. and the guilt. don't get me started on the GUILT. they get all her sage advice, listen to her laugh and sample her fabulous cooking, all without fielding one iota of guilt. they get 8 hours a day with her, when all i get at best is a ten-minute phonecall because of our schedules. but i've made my peace with that. i've come to accept that aside from my brother, there are a dozen or so people who lovingly call the woman by our name for her. and it irritates me only slightly.

but this past week, one of those hangers-on crossed the line.

she came to our house and brought her handsome, well-behaved boyfriend, who wanted to ask my mom about India to gear up for his study abroad trip there. he came bringing cake and offering to do the dishes-- obviously well-trained. she also brought her handsome, well-behaved 2-year-old to eat neatly, play with his dumptruck on the kitchen floor quietly and sit in her lap adoringly. which was also fine by me at that point in the story. because i know this girl. she and i were lab partners freshman year of high school. and though our paths split then and went in opposite directions, somehow she's back in my life, calling my mother mom. which is okay, i guess.

what i do take issue with is the fact that she also has the kid calling my mother "grandma."

it's no secret that my mom would gladly trade two legs and a duodenum to have somebody of her very own to call her grandma. and that i've been taught, as oldest and as daughter, that it's my cultural obligation to have given her one like five years ago. but i haven't. because in some twisted form of logic, i believe that one should only produce grandchildren when one has found a suitable partner and only then if both parties are good and ready. but that doesn't stop my mom from hinting at how jealous she is of her friends who have them and it certainly hasn't put a damper on the one-woman babyblanket knitting factory she's running out of the living room.

don't get me wrong, i know what kind of pressure my mother's under. she's got the entire auntie patrol slyly insinuating that there must be something wrong with me, that i may in fact be expired in some way. and that it's such a shame. i'm well aware. and i'm sure she's only allowing this breach of namecalling ethics because she's just that nice. what's she going to say? "no, you can't call me that because my daughter will be jealous and bitter?" i understand that. but why confuse this poor 2-year-old? he's got a perfectly great grandma in his own house.

i know there's nothing i can do about this, save for going out and getting the woman what she wants myself. but that's just not the right thing to do at this time, nor the right reason. i've come to terms with sharing my mother, but i will be DAMNED if i will allow the children who are now just a sparkle in my eye to have to share their grandmother with ANYONE not bound by the law. i am not suffering the torture of guilt for nothing.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

fine, then. mark this one half off.

"i don't think i'm hot anymore."

"what? you called me at work for this?"

"i never had this problem before."

"just how DRUNK are you right now?"

"i'm past my prime."

"you're insane. someone is probably going to hit on you later tonight and this conversation will mean nothing."

"sigh. well, it was good while it lasted."

"i give up."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

how about some Armistice?

I guess i can't say "Happy Veterans Day," when there have been servicepeople dying in the war every day. So i'll just say thank you and i hope that you come home soon.

Friday, November 10, 2006

November: National GET BUSY month

okay, so i'm participating in this NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), which was inspired by NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which also inspired NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater in a Month) and NaSoAlMo (National Solo Album Month).

there's also Naplwrimo (National Playwriting Month) and NaNoMangO (i don't know what it stands for, but it's 30 pages of sequential art.)

and let's not forget National Diabetes Month , National Adoption Month, National Family Caregivers Month, National American Indian Heritage Month and National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

all of the above are November. (except NaNoMangO, which is november AND june.) and God knows what else is out there that i haven't stumbled upon.

my question to you is: why november? is it chock full of dead time that could be dedicated to things we always wished we did? is it biologically the best time of the year to be committed to something? if so, why aren't more people engaged or married at this time? are extra projects what is needed to burn off all that extra turkey? because let's face it, you know we're going to put this stuff off till the last minute and be scrambling during thanksgiving anyway.

personally, i think it's because november goes really well with naming things beginning with "Na" and ending with "Mo." but that's just me.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

secret tesoro

i love spanish music. that includes music sung in Spanish but not limited to music that comes from Spain. several years ago, i started listening to spanish top-40 radio. there were a few stations to choose from, and i could enjoy the artists i already loved as well as discover new music.

but all that changed when the national radio corporate monster thought it'd be better to turn the stations i liked into all-reggaeton-all-the-time to appeal to a younger, hipper audience. today, the only options are channels that offer thumping and bumping reggaeton or regurgitated dance hiphop with some spanish sampling thrown in, or the more regional stations. (sorry, rancheras aren't really my cup of tea.) don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a little reggaeton, but after three songs it all starts sounding the same to me. or maybe i'm just getting old.

i was very sad about this because all i had were my old cds and no way to discover new music (i have a dialup connection, so internet radio is out of the question). i guess i could follow the groups i like on the internet and buy their music online, but that requires a lot of keeping track of things, and i can't even remember to feed myself, let along check up on a band.

in true fashion, i forgot all about it. i continued listening to my golden old tracks and didn't think twice. until the day i was out visiting H, and he showed me the magical record store.

they have nearly everything! even more obscure stuff i only heard in Spain. and not just Spanish, but all kinds of crazy music. it was very cool. it definitely beats the selection at Best Buy or Borders and it's not as intimidating as going to the Spanish-only music store where people stare at you and tell you your accent is good. the first time i went there, i discovered that la oreja de van gogh was out with a new cd. the next time we went back, i picked up the latest from julieta venegas and manĂ¡. i'm happy and up to date. for now.

p.s. "tesoro" means treasure

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

maybe peggy sue will show up

in february, i got a letter inviting me to my ten-year high school reunion. it was scheduled for the day after thanksgiving. i've always planned on attending, if anything just to see people with whom i made small talk during class but didn't really see outside of school. plus it's always interesting to see if the so-and-sos have lived up to their potential.

i put the wheels in motion to try and get the day off (read: offered to work on thanksgiving and christmas to have that most coveted friday in november free). but after all that trouble, i got another letter in the mail, saying the reunion was canceled. i guess the agency in charge of planning it, ReunionMakers, went out of business. after they took a whole bunch of money from people.

so it looked like the whole thing was off. most of my friends didn't really care. our tightknit highschool group has managed to survive college, bad relationships, marriages and multiple cross-country moves and is now still moderately tightknit. but i was disappointed. working on turkey day for nothing? uh-uh. i wanted to see some acquaintance-types, dammit. you know, like j.w.. (i heard he gained a lot of weight and lost a lot of hair. but i'm sure his eyes are still crinkly.) i figured, if they already had the venue and the date/time set, why couldn't we cut out the shady middleman and put on the party ourselves?

now if you think i actually tore myself away from dungeon duty to attempt such a thing, you are sadly mistaken. but some girls from our class took up the task because they've got spirit, yes, they do. the cost has come down and it's turned from a formal sitdown dinner to 3 hours of open bar and appetizers. so i'm happy. now i just have to convince more friends. because if the whole thing is lame, we can sit in the corner sipping alcohol and talking smack about people.

C'MON. what else is a high school reunion for anyway?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

you know what to do

we all know that the extremists on both sides will be out there, IN LINE, when the polls open, ready and eager to push their extreme agendas.

do we really want them picking the people who can potentially make our lives a living hell?

last march i started feeling guilty about my inconsistent voting record. i studied the candidates and the issues, got up early, stood in line and was late to work just to vote. but when i finally got to the front of the line, my name magically "could not be found" despite the older gentleman's use of some very fancy blackberry-ish voter information-locating equipment. i hustled off to fight traffic, grumbling the whole way, only to hear that three hours later my family members-- who live in the same precinct and have the same name -- got their ticket into the booth, no problem. and the lady had no trouble seeing my earlier invisible voter information right there on the list under theirs. she passed on her apologies, but i still didn't get my say because i was stuck in the dungeon.

maybe if enough people vote, they'll raise the bar for personnel quality at polling places. no offense, they're lovely folks; i just think they should be required to be able to see.

do it for the people who actually care about making a difference. but if you don't, you have no right to bitch.

Monday, November 06, 2006

damn domino effect

it really sucks when so much of a person's life can be dependent on decisions made by people who go about their business every day, completely oblivious of just how much they are leaving that person unable to get a full night's rest.

they should be responsible for the ulcer bills.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

without both, you just get half

ever since my friend ri got married to her love in july, they've been cultivating all the things good marriages have, like divided chores, making time for dates, and most importantly, speaking as a unit.

"i'm so crazed with all the things i have to take care of lately that i'm losing my mind!"

"and her keys; before we left to come here, she lost her keys, her phone or both several times. all in the span of five minutes."

"ha ha! yeah, and this afternoon i left them hanging in the mailbox in the lobby! can you imagine? oh man, that was bad."

"especially because you came all the way upstairs without them."

"yeah! and i'm sitting here knocking on the door, thinking my husband would open it for me, but noooo."

"hey, i was in the shower!"

"don't lie, you were standing at the end of the hall, ignoring me!"

"that's not true, i thought you were a neighbor."

"you see, i left the keys in the mailbox downstairs in the lobby and went all the way upstairs. and c was in the shower--"

"and she realized she had no way of getting in. meanwhile, i'm coming out of the shower in a towel and hear a knocking on the door. i figured if it was ri, she'd just use her key, so i ignored it. what! i was in a towel!"

"so i had to go back downstairs, but i didn't want to haul all the mail with me. so i put it under the door."

"i see mail sliding in from under the door, so i figured it was a neighbor who got something of ours by mistake."

"it wasn't one thing! it was a whole pile with newspaper advertisements and everything!"

"yeah, yeah, and then i saw that one envelope had been opened and i said, 'man, the neighbors are going through our mail!' and i figured that's probably why they knocked, to apologize for accidentally opening it."

"but not at first! at first you thought it was a robber."

"right, at first i went for my baseball bat and thought, 'okay guy, let's do this thing.' "

"but it really was just me."

"yeah. ridiculous."


Saturday, November 04, 2006

secret stash

"hey, what happened to that pile of leftover halloween candy that was sitting here on the counter? i have a taste for an almond joy right now."

"it should still be there... i don't know where your father hides it."

"geez! i mean, we all know that every year when he buys the candy he gets twice as much and then hoards some for himself. but he wasted NO TIME in snatching up all the leftovers, too! that man needs help."

"tell me about it, i've been dealing with his sweet tooth for 35 years. but there are bad habits that are a lot worse."

"yeah, i guess searching around the house for chocolate is a lot better than frantically trying to find where he's hiding the crack."

Friday, November 03, 2006


so i'm sitting here waiting for reports, minding my own business. suddenly i get an e-mail chat from the ex-boyfriend of my good friend, with whom my friend has had some drama as of late. i'm just making small talk with him-- about work, the weather, maybe getting together for coffee sometime. that is unlikely to actually happen considering he a) is no longer dating my friend b) i work in a dungeon at night and c) he's a medical resident on call all the time. plus i'm not comfortable with the idea of hanging out alone with a friend's ex. so i continue along, hoping that my friend does not come up as a topic of discussion because, while i think this guy is sweet, i really don't want to get involved in their personal matters.

as i'm chatting away about superficial nonsense, another window pops up with a boing; it's the friend who i'm trying very hard not to talk about.

so i'm looking at two little windows next to each other, carrying on separate conversation with each and wondering what the odds are that these two (who live in different time zones) would be up so late and both in the mood to talk to me.

it gets more interesting. i tell my friend that the exboyfriend and i are e-mail chatting and ask if they've settled their issues. friend tells me, "we're on the phone. we're okay."

so not only are they talking to me via computer, they're talking to EACH OTHER via telephone, too. until magically, they both feel the need to end their talks with me and go to bed. at the same time.

i'm still trying to wrap my head around this.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

typical 2 a.m.

you know, nothing's changed.

i'm still sitting here, in the middle of the night, waiting for reports.

i'm still browsing around the internet, chuckling at what other people have to say about their boyfriends, bad jobs, housebreaking puppies or america's next top model.

i'm still thinking about how fast i can safely get home without getting a ticket or killed to watch lost (even though i'm holding judgement on this season because the ratio of commercials to storyline is becoming more and more equal with each episode)

i'm still dartingly eyeing the corners of the hallway for anyone who may be lurking there to quietly strangle, dismember and stash the pieces that were me in a utility closet on some rarely used floor.

i'm still bleary-eyed because i didn't get enough sleep because i just had to watch the daily show AND the colbert report at 7 a.m.

i'm still craving a grilled cheese sandwich from the cafeteria downstairs, but won't go because the second i leave my office is when they'll bring me the reports.

i'm still feebly fighting off the idea that i traded my life for my television when i agreed to take on this job two years ago.

i'm still sitting here trying to come up with something coherent to post while i wait.

the only difference? now i'm COMMITTED, which generally means any fledgling genius ideas have run for the hills to snuggle up with wads of cotton and leaves and nuts or whatever else hibernating things love to snuggle with. only to return in december. when NaBloPoMo is over.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

i'm taking requests

while lurking around last month, i stumbled upon NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month. in the spirit of National Novel Writing Month-- when some really dedicated writers spin an entire novel out in thirty days-- these people pledge to post every day for the entire month of November.

so i thought i'd give it a whirl, too. i especially liked this part:

"If you don't want to participate as a NaBloPoMo blogger then your mission is simply to delurk and comment on one of the sites below, or another of your favorite blogs, once a day in the month of November as a show of support. This will also prove that you can read and that you think blogging is nice."
-- fussy, of

so basically, i'm a sure thing daily for the next thirty days. regardless, if you go to the NaBloPoMo site, you'll see an ENORMOUS list of participants, including myself, and maybe you'll find a blog you like enough to follow the whole month through.

wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

i'll wrap your presents in orange and black

if you want to be born on a holiday, i think Halloween is the perfect choice:

a) no one goes out of town or takes vacation then
b) it's not an "family" holiday
c) it's not an obligatory holiday during which people make you feel guilty
d) people dress up and don't look as much like themselves, so they're more likely to let loose and really have fun
e) people will allow themselves to eat loads of things that are bad for them. i.e. birthday cake
f) it's a day people of all ages can enjoy
g) it's an occasion to be transient, so it's likely they can fit your party into their trick-or-treating/other party schedule
h) it's not a picnic holiday or a turkey holiday, so you can better control the menu
i) there's CANDY everywhere!

i happen to know several halloween babies. a girl from work who took the whole week off to celebrate; pp's boyfriend, k, who pp says is the "male version" of me -- which is probably why we get along so famously; and our very own blogger, jon.

and then there's my very own H, who puts the "H" in halloween and every other day of the year. at least for me. even from 2,000 miles away he makes me laugh and drives me absolutely berserk. he's quirky and smart and adorable. he isn't afraid to call me out on bullshit or sample weird foods at my suggestion. or tell me that the weird thing i suggested is disgusting. every day, i feel more love and support than i ever could have imagined and i'm thankful for all the happy accidents that brought us together. Happy Halloween, darling. i love you.

Monday, October 30, 2006

pumpkin pickin' on the west side

because i will be celebrating the fair holiday of All Hallow's Eve in-- most appropriate of all places-- the dungeon, this past weekend i went out to California to get my hot-apple-cider-and-pumpkin-gut-fix with H.

let me tell you, as a lifelong midwesterner who has seen her share of snow, sleet and even hail on Halloween-- and trick-or-treated anyway-- the idea of milling around a pumpkin patch in jeans, a t-shirt and sandals is absolutely ridiculous. sure, festivities on the west coast have the essentials: loads of pumpkins, dried cornstalks propped up in pillars, random bales of hay, apple cider, mini gourds, awkwardlooking scarecrows, indian corn, wheelbarrows and of course the obligatory hayride pulled by a tractor. but something feels a little off when it's EIGHTY-FIVE degrees outside. what? no sweatshirts? no runny noses? no mittens!? for goodness' sake, there's a reason they sell HOT apple cider and HOT chocolate at the vending stand. and there's no point in riding around on exhaust-spewing farm equipment if you can't at least use the cold as an excuse to snuggle up to someone special. geez.

so as i walked up and down the aisles of the patch, listening intently for a pumpkin to call out for me to scrape out its innards and cut holes in its head, i tried to get past the people wearing shorts. i was cranky and fuming about all the ways Halloween in the heat defies the laws of nature, and not afraid to voice my opinions. but then, as i lifted up a white pumpkin to check out the damage underneath, i spotted some people walking around with their babies dressed up in chicken suits. and all my irritation melted away. because really, Halloween is not about the temperature outside or the color of the leaves. it is a celebration of dressing our children/pets/siblings/selves in horribly embarrassing getups of which others will save photographic evidence to ensure the maximum amount of mortification at just the right moment. like when your date picks you up for The Prom.

besides, this morning when i got off the plane in chicago to find that it was SEVENTY degrees here, i realized that i definitely needed to lighten up. that and learn to hobble around town with my foot in my mouth.

so enjoy, you trick-or-treaters. if you decide not to get dressed up, at least get a little hopped up on the candy. live a little. quit being so cranky. take a moment to stop and smell the baby chickens.

and if you're looking for something a little more on the dark side, check this out. just a warning: it's not for the faint of heart.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

she's crafty

"you know, i saw a button near the coat rack this afternoon and picked it up, thinking it's probably one of mine."

"who's is it?"

"sure enough, it's off the shirt i'm wearing."

"ah, well you going to take it home and fix it?"

"yeah, i'll probably have to do it myself."

"you know, every time i try to sew on a button, it seems to only last for only one buttoning."

"yeah, it never works right. i lost one off my coat last week..."

"i hate to interrupt you, gentlemen, but it might be sturdier if you go diagonal with those things."

"like when you're unscrewing the lugnuts on a wheel?"

"uh... yeah. sort of. actually, yeah! same sort of thing-- to make sure it doesn't fall off on you."

"so then, it's cool if i just bring it in for you to take care of, cadiz?"

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

sliver lining

there are some cases when everything seems to be going wrong, all you can do is worry what exciting NEW thing will go wrong tomorrow, in the off chance that your worry will make that thing turn around and go back from whence it came. but then tomorrow comes and it happens anyway.

that really sucks.

and though you don't really believe them when they say stuff like, "don't worry, it'll all work out," or "just try to stay positive," secretly, it's kind of nice to hear. if only for the tiny sliver of pleasure you get from disregarding it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

all new, three times

i got tagged by ML!

and no, i am not going to repeat what i said last time, because i am bored and i like this stuff.

3 things that scare me
losing hope
being jumped and choking instead of defending myself then having to live with the guilt or be dead because i was a coward
starting over

3 people who make me laugh
my brother

3 things I love
a really snuggly nap on a sunny day in the summer
shopping for baby clothes
my dvr

3 things I hate
the smell and taste of liver
the exponentially increasing amount of commercials they play during "Lost"
not knowing where i stand

3 things I don't understand
corporate effing america
forcing others to accept your beliefs

3 things on my desk
a sewing machine
a blurry picture of me and my grandma from 1987 in Pomona, CA
a broken anklet with garnet-colored stones in it

3 things I'm doing right now
thinking about what i'm going to watch on tv when i get home
thinking about how early i have to wake up tomorrow
trying not to think about what i'm going to in the not-so-distant future

3 things I want to do before I die
meet phil keoghan at the mat
shed some paranoia
be someone's Dadi

3 things I can do
make round, puffy chapatis (but not rice, go figure)
knit booties

3 ways to describe my personality

3 things I can't do
stand it when people hang out in the left lane and drive slowly
seem to want to use my mp3player
resist the chance to get nine more minutes' sleep

3 things I think you should listen to
my mom (in case yours doesn't give good advice)
railroad crossing signals
me, when i'm speaking. or else i will get VERY PISSED

3 things I think you should never listen to
television news (ALWAYS get a second opinion, and there are plenty out there)

3 favorite foods
my mom's recipe for [fill in the blank here, except liver]

3 things I'd like to learn
to roll with the punches
my purpose

3 beverages I drink regularly
chai (i'm talking lipton, baby, not that commercialized shi-shi crap)
odwalla's green monster juice

3 shows I watched as a kid
duck tales
tom & jerry

3 people I tag
yo momma

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

just monkeying around

here's something H's sister sent to him and i've been playing around with while i wait for reports. i'm sure all you monkey fans out there will be pleased.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

strong and sexy

today i get onto the bus about fifteen minutes before it was supposed to leave. i guess the driver was on break and was on the phone, helping her friend or somebody pick out names for a baby. i couldn't help but listen to her end of the conversation.

"how about noel? that can be for a boy OR a girl! noelle is a great name!"
"mahan? what the heck kind of name is that?... oh, that's your momma's name? oh okay. well, that's nice, but you said you want her to have a strong, sexy name. i'll think of something. don't you worry."
"na na nah, I GOT IT! now get this: India. N, with the little swirly thing, d, y, i, a. India. now that's strong AND sexy! ... nah, N with that thing on top, d, y, i, a. i'm telling you, girl! that's a GREAT name!"

i don't know about you guys, but i sat there on the ride to my office trying to figure that one out. Ndyia. doesn't that look like it'd be pronounced "Nih-dee-ya"? and isn't it grammatically impossible to have a tilde n at the beginning of a word? help me out, you linguists out there.

i'm sure a lot of parents get their babies' names in a moment of clarity, but really, shouldn't people take a little more time to map it all out? that poor kid might end up being strong and sexy, but only because she'll have to be confident enough to correct people about her name all day long and have built up a tolerance for ridicule.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

a wrench in the plan

on friday, i was driving along, humming to the newsradio themesong and listening for the weather report when suddenly there came a crunchy thumpthumpthumpthump from the undercarriage. i pulled off the main road and into an empty church parking lot to assess the damage.

after several rounds of kicking and no sign of hissing, i decided the tires were fine. but when i drove in circles in around the parking lot islands the suspicious banging only seemed to get worse. it sounded like something under there was dangling precariously close to dragging on the asphalt and making sparks that would ignite my fuel tank and toast me to a burnt crisp. so i called work to say i wasn't going to make it in and tried to roll back toward home slowly, hoping that if it was going to fall to pieces or blow up, my car would at least have the decency to do so within a populated area so someone would be able to identify me and call my mother.

needless to say, i made it home. i didn't have another way to go the 36 miles to work and back, but that didn't stop me from feeling horrible for the entirety of what would have been my shift. i never was good at playing hooky; the guilt sucks every second of joy i might get from the freedom, so i don't even bother.

however, today was a different story. i got in to see the mechanic and finally felt some relief. i can show the boss my big fat receipt for shiny new stabilizers and a brand-new front axle. if that had completely broken down on me in the middle of the highway, i think guilt would have been the least of my emotions.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

show me that smile again

one of the reasons i knew in my heart that pp, my random college roommate, and i were going to get along great was because on October 12 that first year, she turned to me and said, "do you know what today is?"

i have no idea how i remembered this -- probably because someone i knew in jr. high was obsessed with him -- but i replied, "why, it's kirk cameron's birthday!" and that's exactly what she had been thinking.

so happy birthday, kirk. i may not agree with all of your beliefs, but you sure were loveable as mike seaver on growing pains.

Friday, October 06, 2006

we're onto you

one of my favorite people, mr. high contrast, is somebody i have known since freshman year of high school. when you first meet him, you think to yourself, "my, what an intelligent, successful businessman! and he's witty and goodlooking, too!" but what only a few people truly know is that the man is really a prankster at heart who takes sadistic joy in messing with people when they least expect it; like when they're in the bathroom and have left their e-mail account open. behold his handiwork, via an e-mail from my friend kaiya:


(no subject)

cadiz -
i'm over you.



i see highcon has been hacking into your email again.

i cant believe that little [expletive] wrote 4 separate distinct emails. i dont know how he was able to craft A different non mass email email to people in FRONT of my own FACE!!!!

HOW does he do this?

but it's so funny; some things just never get old.

hope all is well.

and its funny how s, Kupsaroo and ale, like u, had no question in their mind... that an email straight from me... even if it was their first of a kind.... no question it had to do with highcon.

highcon told Kupsaroo... "can i tickle your pickle?"



what did he tell the others?


"i wanna do you like they do it on the discovery channel."

"i want to run my fingers through your hair. i want to sing a song in my bra and panties."

"I'm over you."

"can i tickle your pickle?"


good LORD. he's hilarious.


somehow, this e-mail hijacking game never tires for our fair highcon. the first time there was a lot of confusion over kaiya writing such salacious things. but we caught on quickly and can spot him a mile away. all of these victims have known him for more than 8 years, some as long as 15. all are female. but what should be applauded is that the missives were sent out, unbeknownst to the real sender, in the span of what i can only guess was about 30 seconds.

nice work, hc. but next time, try to get the tone right; this prank was outright transparent.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

my home will always smell of curry

this week post secret featured a postcard from an indian girl who secretly wishes she were white because she thinks "it would be easier."

reading that made me incredibly sad.

it's not *easy* for anybody in this world-- we all struggle to fit in. but her note just makes me wonder what the heck must have happened to her/in front of her bad enough to create a secret hope that she were someone else entirely. personally, i think it's all television's fault.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

non-surfin' safari

so this past weekend i went out to cali to visit H. nearly every trip out there is an adventure, and this time we went on a google maps-induced goosechase to find this heavenly dumpling restaurant near Pasadena we'd sampled before and have been dreaming about ever since. after about an hour of driving around trying to follow directions that made no sense, we tossed those and found our own way. and despite the additional wait, it was well worth all the trouble.

the next day, we went on a safari-- of sorts. first we took a trip to Long Beach, passing some areas i have only heard of in rap songs. then we hopped on a very big boat and embarked for Santa Catalina Island.

Catalina's got wildlife: we saw dolphins jumping out of the water on the way in and took a submarine tour of Lover's Cove, where we fed fat, greedy and orange fish by "torpedo" and dodged kelp that can grow an inch an hour or 2.5 feet per day, given the right conditions if i heard the tourguy correctly. we also had to step over fish guts on the pier and sunbathers who didn't feel the need to remove their socks and running cleats while lying out on a "beach" virtually the width of a sidewalk. (or is it laying out? i'll never understand people who tan. or their lingo.)

then we took a two-hour rollercoaster ride up the mountain to the airport and back and saw some bison leaving presents along the road. it seems when they were making a movie there in 1924,('the vanishing american,' by zane grey) they hauled out some 1400 head of these huge, shaggy animals and didn't have the energy to round them up afterwards. turns out the beasts didn't even make the cut for the movie. so these hulking animals that look like buffalo but aren't buffalo because buffalo live in asia or africa so buffalo wings, 'buffalo' bill, buffalo soldiers and i guess the buffalo stance should all be named for bison instead. ok, maybe not that last one.

the beasts we really had to watch for zipped along streets and sidewalks, spewing exhaust and tooting their little horns. it seemed everyone and their mamma was driving a golf cart. and later we found out there's an 800-car limit for the whole island and a 14-year waiting list to get a non-golfcart vehicle.

but the best creature we saw on the trip had to be this adorable little girl who was about two years old. she was running circles around the square with her older brother and sister while her father ambled along behind, calling 'valentina, slow down!' she caught sight of me with my waffle cone and H with his twix bar sitting on a bench and stopped still in front of us. she cocked her head and smiled. i waved and H chuckled. then she turned around, put her hands on the ground and stared at us from between her little legs until the blood rushed to her head and she nearly fell over. then she'd run around in circles a few more times looking up at the seagulls gliding around, see us again and stop, flip over and smile. over and over.

looking at strange wildlife never gets old.