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Thursday, April 30, 2009

swine flu: coming soon to an investment bank near you!

So the boyfriend of a woman in my office works for one of our competitors. Today they received confirmation that someone in their office has swine flu and the office is being shutdown until Tuesday. Which if you know anything about working for an investment bank is just nuts. People in my office have come in with pneumonia before for goodness sake...

Anyway, apparently people in hazmat suits invaded our competitors office and everyone was evacuated and there was utter craziness going on over there. Which, I guess, means more business for us until Tuesday.

Unfortunately for my office (including me), the woman lives with her boyfriend and so you see where this is leading, don't you? Yes, we are all going to get swine flu and it is going to suck. And then I'll probably give it to Paul who will spread it to his office, and forget subprime mortgages, swine flu will end up being the downfall of Wall Street.

So I am dreading going to work tomorrow, which honestly doesn't make sense because, let's face it, we've all already been exposed considering that person was just a confirmed case of swine flu today but has presumably been going to work all the while and my coworker has been sharing an apartment with her contaminated boyfriend and coming to work and contaminating all of us...Oh God, I don't feel so good...

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wingless was still breathing at 8:40 PM - 0 comments

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

just add it to the list of things i've worried needlessly over this week

Well, the house near my parents is out - they accepted a higher offer. And I'm perfectly okay with that.


wingless was still breathing at 3:48 PM - 0 comments

Monday, April 27, 2009

filed under: what the fuck were they thinking

When we first heard about this over the hoot (an intercom that traders use to talk to the salesforce) this morning, no one in our office was really sure what to think. Then we started hearing that our Jersey City office was being evacuated and just as the rumor mill was starting to get warmed up it was announced that apparently this was some sort of military drill.

To which the general consensus was: HUH???

As bits and pieces of the story started to leak out, eventually leading to "it was an Air Force One photo-op" everyone became more and more baffled. We started hearing from our Jersey City coworkers about what sounded like shear pandemonium - people getting shoved down the stairwell, people cutting their hands while jumping fences, screaming, crying, just sheer chaos and terror. And I mean really, what the hell did they think would happen? Whoever planned this retarded debacle is a total douche-bag and should thank his/her lucky stars that no one was seriously injured while trying to evacuate.

I mean, seriously, how did this unfold?

Some douche-bag in the White House: You know what would be really cool? A photo-op of a commercial airliner escorted by military jets, flying as close as they can to high-rises in lower Manhattan. And you know what else? Let's make the whole thing a surprise! People will love it!

Some other douche-bag in the White House: WOW! Best! Idea! Ever! I mean, New Yorkers have got to be over that whole 9-11 thing by now don't they?

That this whole thing was approved by the White House and ordered to be kept a secret is so mind boggling that for most of the day half the people in my office were SURE that there had to be more to the story than was being released. However, by the end of the day it seemed to be pretty clear that this was just an ill-conceived sideshow stunt put together by a bunch of idiots who somehow didn't have the foresight to imagine what kind of a reaction it might get from a lot of the very same people who watched the Twin Towers come down and people jump to their deaths. We're not talking a quick fly by either, according to one of my coworkers brothers who was in one of the WFC buildings, they flew by his windows at least twice. Jets? Circling downtown Manhattan? How irrational of them to be afraid *sarcasm off*

In case you couldn't tell by the incoherent angry rambling above, yes I am still pretty miffed by this whole thing. Maybe it's not fair to blame Obama for this, but I do. Someone in HIS administration signed off on this ridiculous stunt and time and time again it appears that the people he trusts just don't measure up.


wingless was still breathing at 3:04 PM - 0 comments

Saturday, April 25, 2009

remind me again why we ever came back?

So now that I've thoroughly embarrassed myself by revealing way TMI (as predicted) I have the sudden urge to push certain posts as far down the page as they will go in the hopes that they will quietly skulk off into the archives of this blog and never be mentioned again.

Therefore...Hawaii pictures it is! As you will notice our week-long trip was occupied mostly by...food. Because we are fat like that.

Out*rigger Reef on the Beach is just awesome. Best price you will get for a four star hotel and look at the view from our balcony (taken while leaning precariously over the railing).

Breakfast at Shorebird's, the "casual dining" restaurant inside the hotel.

The food there was nothing to write home about, but the view? I'll let you judge for yourself.

This is the "Soup and Sandwich" at Alan Wong's (Chilled Vine Ripened Hamakua Springs Tomato Soup with Grilled Mozzarella Cheese, Foie Gras, Kalua Pig Sandwich). I call it The Most Wonderful Thing I Have Ever Put In My Mouth. Of all the great restaurants I've been lucky enough to sample over the last few years (Los Angeles, Paris, Barcelona, Athens, San Francisco, New York, Miami, Taipei, Hong Kong...) I think Alan Wong's may very well be at the top of the list. That is not a statement I make lightly.

The second course in the five-course tasting menu was also a winner. But then again, when has perfectly poached lobster ever been a failure? Exactly, never.

I'll just let that picture speak for itself...

Dessert! I was completely stuffed at this point, but could I pass up chocolate "crunch bars" and The Coconut (Haupia Sorbet in a Chocolate Shell, Tropical Fruits and Lilikoi Sauce)? The answer is a clear and resounding hell no!

This was taken after the Paradise Co*ve Luau. It is also what happens after one too many Lava Flows and about half a dozen lei-making stations.

I still haven't quite figured out how to take good night-time photos on my SLR. Sadly, this is best shot I was able to get.

After a particularly disappointing experience at San*sei Sushi we decided to check out the sushi-nazi experience at Sas*abune Sushi. They ONLY do traditional style sushi and provide strict instructions on how each dish should be eaten (e.g. If you even try to put soy sauce on this dish we will cut your hand off and banish you forever). This place was seriously amazing, the picture above has their squid appetizer on the left - seriously I did not know it was possible for squid to be that tender - and an incredible, melt-in-your-mouth tuna sashimi trio on the right.

Paul gobbling down the baked lobster.

I never had raw abalone before, I like crunchy things but I probably wouldn't get this again because it reminded me of eating cartilage which I don't particularly like. Pretty dish though.

This was supposed to be a picture of me holding up the plate of negi toro but Paul thought I wanted him to just take a picture of my face. Apparently he thinks I am vain like that.

On our last night there we wandered way off the regular tourist route (this was actually something we did a lot over the course of the trip, go figure all the Ye*lp recommended places were not tourist traps!) and made a visit to Iman*as Tei. One of the Ye*lp reviews claims this place created the Dynamite and I can actually kind of believe that they did. It was packed with high quality, fresh seafood and so creamy and amazing. Hands down the best I've ever tried (and I've tried a lot). It was so good that by the time I realized I needed to have something to remember it by half of it had mysteriously vanished. Is there anything better in this world than baked mayonnaise? Probably not.

Look at how happy I am! Man, I wish I had some of that Dynamite right now....

The Chanko Nabe was great too! It's the Japanese version of hot pot and it's recommended for groups of 3-4 but it was our last night there so we just had to try it. We ate so much I thought we were going to burst!

As Paul was checking out of the hotel, I felt like I hadn't taken enough pictures of the beautiful view so I rushed over to the back of the hotel and snapped this shot. Aloha and til we meet again Hawaii! (Hopefully soon).

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wingless was still breathing at 12:38 PM - 0 comments

US journalist jailed in Iran goes on hunger strike

An American journalist jailed in Iran on the basis of a secret one day trial? You would think this story would be receiving a lot more attention than it is. Oh wait, I guess it makes the Obama administration look weak and pathetic and of course no one in the media wants that.

My prayers are with her and her family.

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wingless was still breathing at 8:55 AM - 0 comments


It came this morning and I'm much more relieved than I expected to be. I thought at least a tiny part of me would be disappointed but I guess now is really not the time.

Hubby: You always worry too much.


wingless was still breathing at 8:37 AM - 0 comments

Friday, April 24, 2009

quietly driving myself insane

So I'm still here in Where-Is-My-Period hell and because I am a horrible person I am waiting for it with a glass of wine. I thought I had a sighting this morning but it turned out to be a false alarm so we are now T minus 6-8 days and counting. But who's counting right? (Oh yeah, ME).

I'm still 99% sure I am not pregnant (hence the glass of wine, though I did pour myself a small glass) but I am also sort of mentally cataloging all the things I've done in the last month or so that one is not supposed to do while gestating. And I'm talking beyond the aforementioned Class D drugs (also known as drugs with High Fetal Risk, all caps, just like that, look it up).

Imagining for a moment that this gestation business has been going on since Hawaii, there has been plenty of alcohol, sitting with smoking coworkers, allowing my husband to smoke his Cubans in the apartment and even taking a couple puffs, raw oysters, raw fish, at least one can of Coke a day, sleeping pills here and there, I'm pretty sure one tablet of Sudafed, and oh dear God, please let me get my period NOW because if I don't, this kid is doomed. Oh yeah, and I've been scooping the litter box and accidentally touched some cat poo the other day. Great.

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wingless was still breathing at 5:46 PM - 0 comments

Thursday, April 23, 2009

girl talk (seriously the men probably want to avert their eyes)

So I'm somewhere between five to seven days late. Not quite sure because my cycle can normally be anywhere from 30 to 32 days long. What does this mean? Honestly, probably nothing. My cycle can be wonky and with the added stress of this house buying business I think my body is just throwing a tantrum. Also, I'm so pumped full of drugs even the mosquitoes won't bite me anymore.

I should probably be clear, Paul and I are not trying, in fact as much as I would love to start a family ASAP, we are actively preventing that from happening right now. My doctor recommends we wait as long as possible so I can be weaned off my meds on a timeline that I find far too cautious (i.e. slow). Not only are some of the meds extremely harmful to any potential baby that will have to live in my womb for nine months but even just being pregnant could lead to potentially serious complications (for both me and the pregnancy). I have been told in no uncertain terms that no matter how long I've been in remission, any pregnancy will be considered a high-risk one, monitored closely by a high-risk ob and probably a team of other types of doctors.

Which is funny (no, not really) since I am actually fine right now, health-wise, and have needed very little monitoring since the Q3 2008.

Anyway all of this puts me in the very awkward position of desperately wanting to be pregnant and have a baby, like now, while simultaneously making sure we take every precaution to prevent that exact thing from happening. And even though I'm sure this is probably nothing (yes, I did take an HPT today, it was negative) part of me is wondering what will happen if it isn't nothing. If it is in fact, something. Like a human being. In my uterus.

Part of me would certainly be overjoyed, but the other part? Terrified. Sad. Freaked the eff out.

Because as much as I do want a baby, it's more important to me to give that baby the best chance it has at being healthy and "normal."

You know, this is probably the only part about my condition that I have a really hard time accepting. In fact, for the most part, I've learned to see my condition as a blessing, something that makes me appreciate what a lot of young, healthy people don't. When things are good, like now, I don't take the little things like being able to hold a tooth brush or walking up a flight of stairs for granted. I take better care of myself because I have to and I feel good about it because I hope it means I'm protecting my body for the future. But as a young married woman, I just can't seem to get over the fact that my disease has made something so instinctive so utterly complicated. I can imagine myself as a normal, healthy person and I would feel nothing but overjoyed at the idea of being pregnant right now. But instead of being that person, I'm the person who has just written a long and rambly post about wanting to be something that I might be, and yet not being able to be happy about possibly being exactly what I want to be (huh??).

Maybe I lost you there. Don't worry, I lost myself too. Let's all just hope I get my period tonight and this post becomes just another one of those overly-revealing posts that I'll blush about tomorrow.

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wingless was still breathing at 6:48 PM - 0 comments

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

like trying to get over an ex-boyfriend you're still secretly in love with

I think one of the biggest reasons I've been so torn during this round of house hunting is because we've been focusing a lot of our attention on the 'burbs this time. And as much as I don't want to end up raising kids in the city, well I don't have any just yet and I love this city dearly. More than I ever expected I could love a city not named Paris.

Since we've just made an offer on a great place near my parents home out in Suburbia, I've decided not to focus on things like how when the sky is blue and the sailboats are out in the bay I am still so shocked and amazed by the beauty of this city that after two years I sometimes still can't believe I get to live here. No, I will not focus on that. Instead, I will focus on things I won't miss if our offer does goes through.

I won't miss being constantly surrounded by people and cars and sirens and noises. I won't miss always being reminded that the world is a harsh and cruel place, reminded so often that you become numb to it all at the end of the day. I think fondly back to my days in T*urlock where people seemed to care about perfect strangers because it was a small enough place where you could care about people you didn't even know. I think being in the city for so long has made me hesitant to reach out when I see someone that may be in need...because in this city you pass someone in need on every block you walk and you start to feel like there is just nothing you can do about all the misery in the world.

I won't miss the city buses that stop on every block or the pedestrians and bicyclists who don't seem to be aware of the fact that traffic laws apply to them too (and yes, I am just as guilty of this). I won't miss those obnoxious Cri*tical Mass people or the random gatherings of ugly naked men in the street.

And yet, let's face it. Even with all that, there is so much more I love about this city that it more than makes up for its deficiencies. I'm just not sure if I'm ready to give it up. Ah well, it's in God's hands now.


wingless was still breathing at 6:55 PM - 0 comments

Sunday, April 19, 2009

the "are you there god? it's me margaret" redux

It occurred to me the other day that being in your mid-to-late twenties is a lot like going through puberty again. It's another one of those times in your life where you're caught between two stages of life and you're not quite sure which one you belong to. Except unlike puberty where you always imagine you are older than you are, those of us in our mid-to-late twenties tend to cling to the idea that we are still freshly minted college grads.


wingless was still breathing at 2:36 PM - 0 comments

reason 98034325 why CNN is last in ratings

Hack "reporters"


wingless was still breathing at 12:11 PM - 0 comments

can't we just date for awhile?

Paul and I have been married for coming up on two years now and we still get comments from friends and strangers alike that go something like, "You married soooooo young!"

Really, we were twenty-five (me) and twenty-six (him) when we were married which is young-ish sure, but by that time I'd been through three jobs and a master's program and he had been working for nearly three years. I don't know, it just didn't and doesn't feel like we were mind boggling young and I think a lot of those comments are due to the fact that we can pass for much younger than we actually are. Or so I hope.


Since Paul is now once again gainfully employed and I just mailed in our 2008 taxes - which ended very unpleasantly with me writing good ol' Uncle Sam (and the bankrupted State of California) a nearly $7,000 check - we are looking for tax shelters. Meaning we are doing the crazy homebuyers dance again. It's surprising how off seller's expectations still are from the market - particularly in San Francisco where prices have only just begun to fall making it very difficult to convince these stubborn sellers that the condo they bought in 2007 did NOT appreciate by 10% since then.

However, we have found a couple places that seem to be worth bidding on and that is why I can now no longer sleep. You see, while marriage didn't seem like a scary commitment to me (a big one, yes, but scary? no) buying a house is freaking terrifying. First of all, by the time Paul and I got married we had dated for almost three full years. That's three years of getting to know each other and making sure that, indeed, this is someone I can see myself building a life with, having kids with and rocking on a porch while shaking our fists at "kids these days" with. Honestly? It was an easy decision and not one that I've had to question or regret since I made it.

On the other hand...buying a home. I mean, wow. The whole process seems so wrong to me. You're supposed to commit (at least a good chunk of) your life and your wallet to a house that you've probably spent no more than two hours in? And sometimes, when the deal is especially enticing, you have to make that decision in a day or two? I mean, I'm the kind of person who likes to dip a toe in the pool before ever so carefully inching myself in. I am not that person that does a cannon ball into the deep end before even so much as sticking a finger in to test the water.

And then there's me wondering if I really want to be a responsible homeowner? I like going out to eat at outrageously expensive restaurants once in awhile. I enjoy blowing a hundred bucks on makeup I'll probably never wear at Sephora when the mood strikes. I like being able to take impromptu vacations or offering to pay when going out to eat with friends and family.

And as much as I don't want my children growing up in the city, am I really ready to leave it behind when we don't even have any yet?

And what if we want to quit our jobs and go backpacking through Europe for a year? What then??? (Okay, so we are probably not the type to do this, but I would like to be).

Do I want to own a home? Yes, I think I'd like that. But I'd like to get to know it better first.


wingless was still breathing at 7:30 AM - 2 comments

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

the littlest angels

I've been reading about Maddie and Thalon tonight - two babies whose parents were avid bloggers - linked together by their tragic deaths within days of one another this past week.

It makes me so inexplicably sad to hear these stories. And yet I keep searching the web for more details. I spent all day fuming over a situation at work and news like this just brings me back to reality. There are worse things in life than getting into an argument with a friend/coworker.

Of course I'm not a parent myself so I can't really know what these parents must be going through. The closest I've come is watching my cousins lose their baby girl J last November. I'm still so amazed at their strength, their sorrow was unimaginable and yet somehow they managed to find the silver lining in the midst of the most unthinkable and horrific situation a parent can find themselves in. Through their grief they were able to give thanks for the fact that they had been blessed with four days with their little girl, four days they would not have had if they had opted not to deliver early (the doctors say she almost certainly would have died in utero). The fact that they could praise the Lord while they were organizing the funeral of their infant daughter...wow...it still brings tears to my eyes. They are two of the most amazing and devoted people I know.

Still, like all parents who have lost children, especially those who have lost very young children, it must be haunting to think of all the dreams you had for your children. All the memories you had imagined for their future that you will never get to live out. At baby J's memorial, the most unbearable part was listening to my cousin express regret that he would never get to walk his little girl down the aisle or dance the father-daughter dance at her wedding. It made me, as someone who hasn't had the joy of raising children yet (I hope), realize the extent of the dreams parents have for their children. Before they are even born (sometimes before they are even conceived) parents are imagining things like college graduation and wondering what kind of person they will marry. All that hope and love, it's so crazy and maddening to think that all that can be snuffed out in a heartbeat.

I'm not sure why these things happen. If nothing else, I suppose they serve as a reminder to parents to savor every minute.

As for this post? I'm not sure it has a point beyond me trying to express...something...shock maybe, condolences certainly. I'm feeling that same feeling I had when my mom first called me and told me baby J might die. Die? Babies don't die.

Except when they do.

Rest in peace little ones...and I pray that the Lord brings comforts to all the grieving parents.


wingless was still breathing at 7:43 PM - 0 comments

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