Saturday, August 26, 2006


when i pulled into a parking spot at work tonight, my little black car with a spoiler fit perfectly in a formation to make two lines of three little black cars (all different makes) with spoilers, all facing each other and divided by yellow lines.

pretty as a picture. just like those sesame street animated shorts that line up the little blocks in a pretty formation for every number to help you learn how to count.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


yesterday, my brother went back to school. the medical reaction got better and off he flew to the land of mouthwatering BBQ and no snow. of course he brought his every worldly posession along, smashed into a four-ton suitcase. and let's not forget the golf clubs. as i was trying to maneuver through the throngs of people at o'hare with the golf bag knocking into everything, i thought to myself, why can't this kid have taken up a sport that utilizes smaller equipment, like table tennis?

but coming home to a sleeping house really sort of sucks.

Monday, August 21, 2006

soothing sounds

"i miss hawaii."

"me too. you guys just got back, but it's been 2 years since i was there."

"you know what i loved the most? i loved to hear the sound of the waves crashing on the beach at night. we could hear it from both of the hotels we stayed at during our honeymoon."

"it's very soothing, isn't it?"

"definitely. it's funny, last night when i was getting ready to go to sleep, i thought i could hear it again. i was like how the heck have i not heard lake michigan before today? nah, there's no way we'd hear it from here. then i rolled over and realized it was just C snoring. i guess the way he was breathing right then sounded like the ocean."

"ha ha. well, at least it's a snore that doesn't drive you nuts. you're married to it now, sister."

"yeah. i guess i'll just pretend we're still in hawaii."

Thursday, August 17, 2006

what's that, sam?

there are SNAKES in this motherf*cking dungeon!

to all of you at the midnight showing right now, hope it lives up to the hype.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

no-complaints gets challenging

my brother was admitted to the hospital today, two days before he was set to move all his stuff 918.30 miles away (that's 1478.463 km, X) and live in alabama for the coming school year.

last saturday his boys threw him a going away party: they rented a limo, went out for steak and got tipsy. i got a latenight phone call and he was most certainly not wasted, just sounding really tired and about to crash at a friend's house.

from sunday on, he had the chills but his forehead felt hot to the touch. "as warm as the pan you use to bake chapatis," according to my mother. however when his temperature was taken, it only registered at 98 degrees F (37.1 C). he also developed a really itchy rash all over that nothing seemed to cure. definitely not just a hangover.

after much arguing, we got him to see the general doctor this morning, who sent him to the emergency room, through which he was admitted to a hospital bed. a CAT scan and chest x-ray revealed no major problems aside from a small fluid buildup near the pacemaker, but we already knew that was an issue, and it wasn't enough to worry about. the dermatologist came by and cut out two pieces of his left arm muscles for biopsies to make sure the infection or whatever it could be hadn't spread there. he got five stitches. the doctor said if you could look past the outer skin, you'd see that the flesh underneath is as though he had a severe sunburn all over his body.

at this point, they suspect it's some kind of bad reaction to either the antibiotic they put him on to reduce the fluid after the pacemaker-checking/fluid-draining procedures or Advil. i'm highly doubting the latter because he's taken it for years. and while he hadn't been drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics, after 20 days of doses, 24 hours may not have been long enough for it to get out of his system.

the doctors have said that he's definitely not going back to school on friday and will need to rest for at least a week. whether that will be in hospital or at home remains to be seen. if they can't figure out what happened and remedy it soon enough, he may have to miss this semester of school and put off chance for graduation YET AGAIN.

the most upsetting factor of this is that like anyone with a medical condition, all the kid wants is some semblance of a normal life. how many other 23-year-old guys who want to throw back a few beers with buddies they won't see again until Christmas -- and are responsible about it (following the usual medical precautions and having a designated driver)-- have to risk potentially messing up six months of their lives?

getting through the day is hard enough as it is.

they released him from the hospital today (thursday) and though he's not warm to the touch anymore, he is extremely, severely red. i am not kidding. imagine the worst sunburn you have ever seen, like a purple red. i don't think i've ever seen a brown person turn that color in my life. (i don't know why lightskinned people dare risk it.) the doctor says that there is a chance it could be as bad as a second-degree burn and, as it peels, it could become infected. plus the poor kid is in a whole lot of pain for which they won't give him anything. the why? advil's interaction with caflex, even though he'd been off of the latter, it was still in his system.

poor thing.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

no complaining: day 2

i know you're all very concerned about the ginormous undertaking i am embarking on with this no-complaining thing, so i promise to give you continual updates and you can offer feedback.

yesterday as H and i were walking around in the city*, i mentioned this cute little segment i remembered fondly from sesame street (and i'm talking about oldskool, no elmo here) about a cartoon on the side of a glass who lived in a kitchen cupboard named "teeny little superguy". sing along if you remember:

just look at the stars,
just look at the sea,
he's inside of you and me

you can't tell a hero by his size
ooooohhhh yeaaaaaaaah.

that entertained me for quite some time. i'm not so sure about H, but he's a good sport all around.

so tonight in the dungeon, i looked it up on youtube, but didn't find it.

AHEM, so instead of complaining about it. i have resigned to entertain the stacks of extra xerox paper here on my desk with my own personal rendition.

on repeat.

*disclaimer: now that H is back in his own state, there's a slight possibility that the concrete foundation of the 28-day-no-complaints mission could get a little shaky.

and i think i had the lyrics wrong, too. "don't look at the sky, don't look in the sea..." follow her link in the comments to see the cartoon...

YAY! willowtree made my dungeon day. hey, maybe this no-complaining thing is really working! thanks, willowtree.

Monday, August 14, 2006

no complaining: day 1

yeah, so i'm finding it difficult to complain today. H flew out to surprise me for my birthday and i managed to get out of going to work tonight.

so far so good! (omar, i've lasted OVER a day, thank you.)

but tomorrow is another day...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

new year, new leaf

"dude are you still working?"

"of course. at this point, must you even ask?"

"i never can keep up with your hours. so what's going on in dungeon duty?"

"a whole bag of nothing."

"oh come on, sh-t load of nothing? tell me a story."

"i sleep, i work, i talk on the phone a little. repeat ad nauseam."

"well, do something about it. at this point you can only move forward."


"cadiz. you have to ask for what you want. and sometimes that means just saying 'i want this' or you'll never get it."

"i'm starting to see that in all realms."

"and i don't mean yell, but 'this is what i prefer.' "

"how about, 'i want to go home. NOW.' "

"within reason. i seriously think you should get on my no complaining program for 28 days."

"NO COMPLAINING? do you realize that is my favorite hobby? my only hobby these days?"

"cadiz, i'm sorry, but that makes you a really depressing person."

"um, you're telling me."

"when i've been at a point where people ask 'hey what's up?' and i want to -- and actually respond with-- complaints, i'm like damn i'm such a downer."

"i realize that, but honestly i think having no life is starting to drive me a little insane."

"cadiz, i realized, the way i was brought up, i don't let myself be happy until 'A,' until 'B,' until 'C'... "

"sounds very familiar."

"and it never ends. and then over the weekend i was like, what if i'm just happy BEFORE anything happens? because honestly none of that stuff actually determines who you are. you're just a good person in one or more tricky situations."

"ugh. i feel trapped."

"don't worry about that. just start exercising 'i want this' or 'i need that.' you might not get it, but that's not the point. your voice is out of shape so you have no idea what you think you want. practice, and you'll know. it's going to feel foreign and weird. but anything you do every day for 28 days can become a habit."

"yeah? i have been trying to take vitamins every day on and off for like 12 years, and that's never stuck."

'cadiz. just try it. you'll see a difference. positivity catches on."

"i want to go home."

"you have to work with what you can actually control. and if all you can think to say is negative, then just shut the hell up. just see what happens."

"fine. i'll try your little trick."

"28 days."

"ok, starting monday. because i still have a lot of bitching to get out of my system and now i've gotta make it really count."

Friday, August 11, 2006

trying times

i hate terrorists.

they've created a world where you can't even carry lip gloss and feel safe.

and we're changing our lives to accommodate them. because we have no choice.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

can't call her cute pregnant lady anymore

a great wake-up call is to hear that a beautiful baby was born healthy and happy, 7 lbs. 10 (or so) oz. her momma didn't need drugs, either, which isn't surprising because six days before the due date, mother-plus-child was shimmying along in a wedding reception conga line.


Monday, August 07, 2006

better than a bug zapper

last summer the dance class that cc and i were in was having a mini recital. the teacher decided to combine all the classes for a couple practices, because the final pieces would tie together and she wanted to make sure we had it together before we went on stage.

so about 40 people were crammed into a tiny studio with slick wood floors that was so humid we could barely see ourselves in the mirror. groups of five or more were passing through each other as we practiced and she kept changing up the choreography to make it work better. this would have been all fine and dandy, but i could hardly concentrate. this gangly redheaded teenager was in the opposite line, right across from me, and i couldn't stop staring at her. it was like a trainwreck, i knew i ought to be watching the mirror to make sure i didn't look like a complete ass, but i was riveted.

you see, she was doing what what my mother would call 'trying to catch flies.' you know the type-- they sit in class/watching tv/waiting for the bus, slackjawed. it's often accompanied by a dead look in their eye, as if they're 15 seconds from slipping into a coma. Corey Haim perfects this look in 'License to Drive'(and most of his other work) and it's masterfully demonstrated by Jon Heder in 'Napoleon Dynamite'). when i see this, i have to fight the urge to slam the offender's jaw up against her skull. that day i pictured this otherwise cute teenybopper with big fat flies zooming into her gaping maw like chickadees at a backyard birdhouse.

disgusting, yet entrancing. i mean, it'd be open for a good fifteen minutes at a time. didn't it dry out? didn't her jaw get sore? didn't her lips crack?

i couldn't look away.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

let's give her what she wants

'what's this project mom is making?'

'oh probably another baby blanket. you know she's always into that stuff.'

'you're right; plus her friend just got a granddaughter. mom was all like 'j beat me! i thought i'd have a grandkid first.'

'she needs to stop with that.'

'you're telling ME? i get all the pressure, kid. you're the boy, you have nothing to worry about.'

'yeah, you're probably right about that. you know what we should do?'

'tell her what's up? i've hinted, but i don't think it's going to work.'

'no, we should get her one of those realistic babydolls, you know they make fancy ones that cry and wet and all that stuff. we'll make her carry it around with her all day and night so she has to worry about it like that parenting class in high school.'

'like carrying around that egg thing all day? you know, we never had to do that.'

'we didn't either. but i'm just saying. then i can rig it so that somehow the thing doesn't shut up and just cries and cries.'

'nah, it'll never work. she lives for stuff like taking care of babies. plus, ahem, she's had a lot of experience with nonstop crying. granted, it's because you were having so much trouble breathing, but still. i don't remember her even breaking a sweat.'

'yeah, but you forget one thing: it'd really piss dad off.'

'you're a genius.'

Friday, August 04, 2006

a note

dear new woman who looks like she might come from the same place my parents do,

you might be new to the job or just filling in for someone in that other department, but i think it's downright rude for a person, especially the new kid (no matter what your age) to outrightly gawk at a person just sitting there, minding her own job. yeah, i saw you. i have seen you EVERY time you have walked by and given me a nasty staredown. despite your openmouthed gape, i smiled back at you. and even said hello. did you even bother reciprocating? no. you couldn't even afford to give me a smile back. and worse yet, when we were washing our hands near each other in the bathroom, you just stared and stared. what's your damage, biotch?

i get it. i understand about the cardinal rule* and all that it entails, but DUDE, when you're in a professional work environment, have some class. don't bring that shopping mall nonsense in a place of business. as of this evening, you have used up all the free smiles and hellos i have to offer. and DON'T YOU DARE be fake nice to me after some third party formally introduces us. you are making it very difficult for me to be cordial in the event that we may have to work on something together in the future.

being the bigger person that i am, i will still hold the elevator should i see you, but god help me if you don't say thank you, it will be as though you never existed in my mind.

good day.


*the cardinal rule is such that if a person looks like he/she may be from the country of one's own origin, one MUST stare until eyes meet. no smiling is required, only a nonverbal acknowledgement that both parties have taken note that the other is a countryman/paisano/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. this rule is standard anywhere in the public realm, most effectively in shopping areas or other situations with little personal interaction. however, in a place of employment or if the subject is a friend of a friend/parent of a friend/friend of a parent, etc. etiquette requires the extra effort for a hello or a smile. through rigorous research via word of mouth, it has been extrapolated that this practice started long ago when immigrants from the motherland were scarce here, and became solidified after the immigration act of 1965, when increased numbers of asian settlers arrived. the motherland culture leans heavily on honor and protocol and all backstabbing must be done covertly. deviation can result in loss of face. to those not of motherland heritage, this rule may seem archaic and a little inane, but at its inception the cardinal rule was used as a means to help out a fellow struggling immigrant who may have been facing difficulties that come with living in a foreign land, like racism, culture shock and nostalgia. sadly, the rule has taken a turn for the worse in recent years, where it is not about helping out a fellow countryperson, but merely to assess how well one has done for himself as well as the specific state-origin, religion and other heritage in one smile-less glance.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

28 days later...

...or 28 day Slater?

where was YouTube when i was in high school?