Thursday, March 29, 2007

side effects may include tone deafness

it has become abundantly clear that in the months since i have traded commuting 2 hours each way alone in my car for 2 hours each way surrounded by others on the train, the quality of my singing voice has deteriorated significantly. these days i am only able to carry a tune if i am singing along with the radio or if i have put it into a backpack.

i cannot describe just how much that disturbs me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

dot com bust

some of you may have noticed something wacky about this blog in the last few days, namely that it was redirecting to a blogless site where cadiz was nowhere to be found outside the generic ads and address. my apologies.

you see dear readers, back at the turn of the century i was in the loop. i could program myself out of a box and was fairly in touch with the rigors of HTML and the like. unfortunately, the cutting edge of that technology was galloping ahead at light speed and i was left behind because i turned away for a second. you know, to focus on my career.

to make a long story short, this weekend i followed the too-simple-to-be-true instructions provided by for pointing my blogspot address to a custom domain. they even provided a list of places to get a domain and said that blogger could continue to host, redirect to your new address as well as keep the address. all links would still work and, except for a day or two while the domain people's servers would be updated, people would always be able to access your blog.

granted, i openly admit there's a chance i did something wrong in this process. so i called technical support at the custom domain company and a man named nico told me that what i was trying to do was impossible. highly annoyed, i canceled with them and now i have a vomit-like taste in my mouth.

today the cutting edge of programming is galaxies beyond my comprehension and the idea of trying to catch up is daunting and unappetizing. the only reason i wanted to change was to have something easy to remember that is relevant to the blog for people in my life who find it too taxing to remember the address and/or use that as an excuse for why they don't care to look at it, while at the same time moaning that they have no idea what is going on with me.

i do not want to start over. i do not want to lose my archives. i want this to be a relatively painless and inexpensive process. but i'd like to make it a reality.

earlier this year, i spent an ungodly amount of time labeling all my posts. however, if i cannot find recourse, i may have to suck it up and start over somewhere else, blogger. i've heard lovely things about WordPress, Vox and Moveable Type. and the tips some of you have shared are making me really consider it.

suggestions would be highly appreciated.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

H and C hit the ice

H says Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich ought to pay him. because every time he comes to visit, chicago is hit with the most spectacular weather. i can't explain it, but the evidence is on his side: at the end of a bitter november, we strolled around Navy Pier without coats because a) being from southern cali, he doesn't have one, and b) it was 60 degrees F. at the beginning of january, he was able to troll the shops on michigan avenue with me in search of a coat because it was so very lovely. and a couple weeks ago, after a long bout of below freezing, windy, icy conditions, it was suddenly 70F the weekend he was in town. of course, the boy takes the good stuff with him; as soon as he gets back to his own zip code, around here the temperature drops and the inclement weather sets in.

one thing i had wanted to do all winter was ice skate at the outdoor rink set up in front of the bean at Millennium Park. i had a vision of us reflected in the sculpture's distorted shiny surface-- rosy-cheeked and smiling with long stripedy scarves fluttering behind us, gliding around holding hands and chuckling about how many marshmallows we could fit into our mugs of hot chocolate afterward. you know, just like those oldschool Currier & Ives christmas cards.

photos courtesy of H

"Cloud's Gate," by Anish Kapoor

view from under the arch

the reality, however, was quite a bit different.

we finally made it out to the park the last time he was here, a few days before they shut down the rink until fall. unfortunately, it was also 70 degrees and sparkling outside, which made for a gigantic puddle of water in varying depths on top of the entire rink.

we hobbled onto the ice, confessing that neither one of us has been skating in more than a decade: me, who hadn't really been since i quit lessons in frustration of the backwards swizzle in junior high and he, whose ice-rink experience mostly consists of broomball, which doesn't require skates at all.

it was slow going at first. there was no holding of hands, only small bursts of gliding and there was definitely no chuckling. we were on a mission, dammit, to make it around more than several times without falling, bumping into one of the zigzagging little kids or being knocked over by one of the showoffs gliding around with smirks on their faces.

and it didn't help that there was a tv news camera crew at the wall, obviously capturing fodder for their let's-say-goodnight-on-a-bright-note shot. you know, because 55 minutes of murder and mayhem is perfectly canceled out by a 30-second segment featuring stickyfaced kids or furry baby animals. sadly for us, H lost his footing and wiped out on his back directly in front of the cameras while i spun around on my palms and skates. he was okay, and he played it off very cool despite the bastard who laughed. the watery ice made for some serious Slip 'n Slide action and probably kept him from getting injured. but H knows how to put on a show. i'm sure everyone at home enjoyed it that night.

regardless, we had a good time. though far from what i had expected, downtown skating was pretty cool; there were even people in suits there on their lunch breaks. i was just glad we made it before the season was over and had a decent time, even if the experience had us looking into ankle-strengthening exercises and H changing out of his soggy clothes. but the best part of the day was seeing the perfectly appropriate tags we happened to get on our rental skates:

Thursday, March 22, 2007

just begin the list with b

i flew up the steps in stockinged feet. needless to mention, three into it my foot slipped. i slid down the steps, with only my left pinkie finger to hold up the weight of my body. it still hurts, but it's not too swollen. splinted, i'm fine. i might still knit, but typing is now less fun. the injured is mostly responsible for typing the first of the vowels. omitting this letter relieves the throbbing while conserving delete-key strokes, but you never fully notice how much you use some vowels until your finger is hindered. i've gotten up to here without it, but i'm terrified i'll find myself cornered with my wrists tied if i continue to blog without the first letter on the list. so i'll close here.

i'm sure it is obvious, but no, i did not consult collections of synonyms for this post.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

just the man for the job

"what are you doing in there?"

"oh i'm just looking up some stuff online."

"hmm. hey, you know what's a real boy thing to do? take out the trash."

"you know, the great thing about you is that you don't let yourself fall into those gender stereotypes."

"good point. ok then, can you open this jar for me?"

Monday, March 19, 2007

sweaters, puppydog tails and all things nice

awhile back i asked your advice about a baby sweater i had made. thank you all for the compliments and opinions, even those who responded privately. i will be sending that sweater to my cousin in india, who just gave birth to a baby girl and made me a "Badi Mummy" (big mom/older mother) or technically, a Masi (mother's sister). yay for nieces!

yesterday, cc, ray and i put on the baby shower we had planned for our dance instructor, boogie (i didn't make that up), whose baby boy is due to arrive in april. food was flowing, presents were piling up and we all had a great time. this woman is more than just a teacher; she brings a lot of joy to so many people and makes everybody she comes in contact with feel great about themselves. i'm sure she'll be just as loving to her son as she has been to us all of these years. yay for baby b-boys!

i made another sweater for boogie's baby in a very manly square pattern, you know, as manly as you can be in supersoft pale blue. unfortuately i don't have a picture, but it was pretty well-received and i think she will likely put it on her son. that's good enough for me! hooray for me realizing that the hood was sewn on backwards before i gave it to the mom!

there's nothing like the idea of brand-new people, who haven't yet taken the knocks of life, to make you seek out the blessings in your own.

Friday, March 16, 2007

karma is spelled D-U-K-E

"i noticed that i didn't get an invite to your final four pool. you invited my boyfriend and my ex-boyfriend but you failed to extend an invitation to THE ONLY OTHER PERSON ON THE PLANET THAT COMES FROM THE SAME SET OF DNA?!?"

"you don't even follow college basketball!"

"um, I DO DURING MARCH. and you know it."

"well, it's just freaking annoying that you don't know anything about it and still win."

"WHAT?!? you're excluding me because i consistently kick your ass? shameless."

"whatever, i know your record; the less you know about the teams, the better you do. and i'm NOT going to be shown up by my sister in a pool with all my friends."

"you are freaking ridiculous. fine, forget you. i don't want to be in your stinky pool anyway. and you know what? i'm going to help H with his brackets!"

"NO! as commissioner, i'm going to have to administer some rules here: THERE WILL BE NO TAG-TEAM TEAMS!"

"you're full of it. you should have thought about that when you did not include your own sister. hmph!"

"fine. i just sent you an invitation."

"i don't want it anymore. not if had to twist your arm."

"no, really. i'm inviting you."

"took you long enough."

"but on one condition: you can't use your real name."

"why, because you don't want to be a laughing stock when i clean the floor with you?"

"something like that. PROMISE. not your real name!"

"fine. but now that you've made such a big deal about it, i'm not even going to win anymore."

"that's what i'm counting on."

i never did get that invite. the excuse was that he sent it to cadiz12[at]gmail[dot]com, not the CORRECT address, cadiztwelve[at]gmail[dot]com. whatever.

i do not regret laughing uproariously after hearing one of his favorite teams, Duke University, was eliminated in the very first round. and for the record, i honored his wishes and did not help H, however he's STILL in first place in the pool.

ha! that's what you get for keeping me out, baby brother.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

i, moron

i like to think i'm original, creative and attentive to detail. and i loathe people who bite off other people's ideas, especially without attribution. so imagine my surprise when, after staying up all night on a project that i deemed ingenious-- you know, except for the little smudge in the corner, i realize i somehow missed an example in the instructions that was intestine-twistingly similar. (hint: it was not good surprise.)

i will now be forced to revile myself for the rest of the week and cringe about this debacle for years to come.

Monday, March 12, 2007

can't wait to hear your oscar speech

last weekend ri, kaiya and i ordered takeout costa rican and watched The Departed. after having seen the oscars and hearing the theme music time and time again as the movie's nominations were called, i noticed every time it was used in the film. and while the series of events in the movie kept me constantly nervous (i felt like i was cracking up as much as the protagonist), i could focus on the score to take my mind off of worrying who the *actual* bad guy was.

you never really think about soundtracks to movies, until The Academy reminds you that you should. i still remember realizing that i actually like the sound of the accordion after seeing Amelie or that a score could be listened to like an album when croc would have Braveheart playing on repeat while we studied for our college psychology exam.

H has been out to visit for the last several days, and on saturday we attended a cd release party for my friend's album, Y. it's very much like a movie soundtrack, and listening to it you get the feeling that this guy could do some great work with peter jackson or steven spielberg. i've been following the treacherous journey he has had-- five years of creative sweat, love and probably tears. he wrote it, sings, plays a lot of the instruments and painstakingly produced the entire thing. i'm amazed by what he's been able to put together, and can't even fathom what it must have taken to do so.

so congrats on your cd release, c. don't forget the little people when you make it big.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

milestone: year 2

today marks two years of "do they read obituaries in hell?" and like last year, i put together a "highlight reel" of what was said in the last 12 months. if you manage to get through the whole thing, you may just catch a refrain of Green Day's Time of Your Life or some other nostalgic-montage song lingering in the air. however, i make no promises.

thanks for reading!

'he was in Chi a few months ago, and he went out to lunch with me and my girl. i noticed he was wearing a ring, and i said jokingly, what, you're married now? he said, yeah man. i was like, yo, how come you didn't invite me to the wedding? he said, oh, cause i got married on my lunch break.

she's gotten me gifts i forgot that i wanted, items so perfectly suited to my needs that it's as though there's truth to that threat she made when i was in junior high that no matter how far i go or what i do she can always see me and will always find out. (and she always did somehow! but with age, i've realized it was poor deception skills on my part, not omniscience on hers, that did me in.)

8:35 a.m.: completely awake and starting to worry someone i care about might be lying in the street bleeding to death or something-- which would be an appropriate reason to necessitate three phone calls at my equivalent of THE DEAD MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. unable to fall back asleep for fear i'm a horrible friend for not answering.

the road into town had an industrial feel. like any other suburb, there were gas stations, fast-food joints and a kmart. but there were also dilapidated warehouses and factories, remnants of an old steel plant. and churches, lots of churches. there was probably a house of worship on every block, if not two, and one across the street for good measure. now, i'm all for having choices, especially when it comes to something as personal as prayer, but the reason the abundance of them seemed so odd was because there were no people.

'whatever. i'll bet you got your ear pierced with the secret hope that one day, you too could have a magical earring turn you into a superstar.'

i don't smoke and this may sound nasty, but that's an instance where i wished lighting up was still allowed inside. one errant glowing red tip and that puffyass bouncing bird's nest would have gone up like a stack of matches.

'i doubt i'm important enough to make the paper unless i get gunned down by a psycho soccer mom or something. but i guess they'd have to say something like "Cadiz Twelve: That Girl Really Loved her Television." '

Hope that prosthetic eye is treating you well!
get well soon.

when someone is reading while walking, aimlessly, bobbing and weaving about the office hallway. it makes it increasingly difficult for me stop myself from taking off my pointy highheel and sticking it between his shoulderblades to get him to watch where he's going because he's blocking my path to the printer for a report that's already ten minutes late to begin with BEFORE i ever get to it.

"now THERE'S my girl. all this while i had been wondering where my little pessimist had gone."

before the wedding, i had written out a speech, then folded it up and written crib notes during the day as things came to me. but i didn't look at it because as i gripped the mic and the glass, i had no free hand. besides, as the video will later show, even though my mind was pretty calm, the glass-holding hand was shaking so violently that i had to hold it against my body to keep from spilling. thank God they don't fill those things more than halfway.

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.

at her grammar school in florida they only offered stringed instruments and if you took orchestra you got to miss math class a couple times a week. damn, if we had that system in my hometown, maybe i'd have actually practiced my cello and given yo yo ma a run for his money.

come to think of it, stealth has always been your modus operandi. like after you left for school and the alarms you'd secretly set on my cellphone went off 2 hours after i'd finally fallen asleep? yeah, thank the good Lord i couldn't reach through the telephone and yank out every last scraggly hair of your poor excuse for a goatee, pal. and at that ungodly hour, i think i would have ripped out the hair on your head, too.

first half of America's Next Top Model marathon? enjoyed (although i've never really been into that program, when they show them all in a row, i just cannot find the courage to turn off the tv.)

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.

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.

"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!"

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.

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.

"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."

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.

"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."

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.

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 pretty much anyone would take note of the orange underthing she had on under the uniform.

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.

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.

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

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.

b) i am able to awaken at the agreed-upon hour, only to convince myself in a half-asleep state that i no longer need to get out of bed then, can spare a few more minutes "resting my eyes" or that i was certifiably insane when the hour was agreed upon.

we ate and chatted and then H was heartbroken that neither of us won the 42-inch flatscreen television they were raffling off. he wanted it so badly that for .025 of a second he considered dancing. yeah, they'd put on some ridiculous song when they called out the numbers and if you didn't dance to satisfaction, they wouldn't let you have it. that must have been some sweetass television, too, because this guy likes dancing as much as he'd like a root canal.

but i think H analyzed it best: when i confessed that in spite of the unnecessary frenzy, maybe i shouldn't have gotten so angry, he said not to dwell on it too much because karma will make sure i pay for it when i have my own children.

please get over yourselves, artsy-fartsies.

i couldn't help but wonder if, in some kind of an alternate universe, i could have been bumping hips with Shakira on television.

i know, i'm a freak. but this tendency poses a serious problem when it comes to sky's-the-limit situations. like right now, as i'm facing my ultimate personal nightmare: the opportunity to go pretty much anywhere.

i did come away from Cirque du Soleil with a realization, however: all this time i've been telling people that, if my current course of action doesn't work out as planned, i'd join the circus. yeah, i'm going to have to come up with another backup plan.

Friday, March 02, 2007

it's catching

so H has been infected with American Idol fever. which is fine, but he's doing his best to pull me onto the bandwagon, too, baiting me with facts such as the contestant who is not only one of my peeps (despite his scary hair) BUT HE ALSO sings Stevie Wonder-- two facts H knows very well will suck me in like a tractor beam. there's also a contestant who is from my hometown.

sorry, pal. ain't gonna happen. i've held out all these years and i'm going to continue staying strong. there are only so many hours in a day, and now that America's Next Top Model is on again, i need to prioritize. a lot of once-good, now-disappointing shows aren't safe, either. i'm talking to you, Lost. there are plenty of so-bad-they're-good indian soap operas vying to pick up your slack. and at the very least i can claim educational value on those, because everybody knows you can't say you've fully learned a language until you can call out your daughter-in-law as a backstabbing beeyatch.