Monday, January 18, 2010

Randy's Hand Surgery

Good news, the surgery on Randy’s hand went well. He still has all 5 fingers.

Part of the pinky on Randy’s right hand was swollen. He’s not sure what caused it, but thinks a splinter he got in his finger at work a while back might have caused it. After living with it for some time Randy finally asked his doctor about it and his doctor recommended the surgery after seeing an x-ray of the hand. There was no splinter, but something was definitely there that shouldn’t be.

swollen pinky

I went with him to Kaiser in case he wouldn’t be able to drive home. I was thoroughly impressed; it was unlike any doctor’s visit I’ve ever been to. It reminded me of checking into a hotel more than anything. Their system seemed to be organized and efficient. We were in and out so quickly I barely had time to enjoy their oh so comfortable waiting room. I even brought two books and a fully charged iPhone in case it took a while. I’m not sure why I had such a bad impression of Kaiser before. It was great!


Randy is A-OK

Anyway, Randy’s hand is out of commission for a few weeks so he’ll be staying home from work until at least the end of the month. He’s doing quite well despite not being able to use his right hand. The anesthesia wore off around 8pm and he started experiencing some pain, but his spirits are pretty high with the thought of getting to take two weeks off of work.

We’ll see how things go over the next few days when he has to take a shower or do just about anything he normally does with his right hand. Somehow, I have a feeling he’ll be able to use the remote control just fine with his left hand.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Beyond Chubby

I’m in shape. Round is a shape.

Over the past 3 or 4 years my metabolism has decided that it’s worked hard enough and it’s going into retirement. I’m now 175 pounds (down from my high of 180).

Needless to say, I’d like to be in better shape than I am now, ideally about 130 lbs. A major part of the reason I want to get in better shape is vanity. I just don’t like the way I look. My belly shouldn’t stick out farther than my boobs, I’m just sayin’.

The other part is because I’m sick and tired of not being able to move the way I used to. I have a hard time tying my shoelaces or clipping my toenails. They’re hard for me to reach because every time I bend over my belly prevents me from going to far.

For those of you that don’t know me that well, I hate shopping for clothes. I’m still wearing some of the clothes I wore back in high school (much to the disapproval of some of my friends). I hardly have clothes that fit me anymore and if I don’t lose weight, I’ll have to go shopping soon. Eeek!

I’m going back to Thailand this June to visit family and friends and I just don’t want them to see me fat. I want to look good. The last time I saw my mom 10 years ago (too long, I know) she said I looked like a water buffalo – and I was only 130 pounds at the time!

Jan. 17, 175 pounds

Anyhow, this is me now. Luckily, I don’t have issues sharing unflattering pictures of me on the Internet for the entire world to see. It’ll just make the before and after pictures more dramatic. My goal is to loose two pounds a week until the end of June. If I do, that’ll put me at my goal weight of 130 pounds. Wish me luck.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Yet Another Party

Food Prep

My sister is having a birthday party for Chatchi at the house tomorrow and the food prep begins tonight. Chatchi and my sister are cooking machines! I’m not sure how many people are invited, but by the looks of it there should be enough to feed about 200 people. Knowing that, I’m guessing there are going to be about 30 people or so showing up.




Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Grammar, pronunciation, and style! Oh my!


A few days ago I was initiated into a group of people who write to each other in order to gripe about the pet peeves they harbor about grammatical, pronunciation, and spelling errors that others make. This happened after I tweeted about how one of my pet peeves is when people pronounce the word “accurate” as “ak-red” instead of “ak-yur-it.” I find it ironic that someone who talks about accuracy can’t pronounce the word accurately.

Ever since I joined the group I’ve been afraid to write anything in fear of publicly committing some (or many) grammatical faux pas; I feel the need to reference dictionaries and style guides before I send out an e-mail, let alone post something on my blog.

There are socially accepted conventions to how we should write and we begin learning these formal standards in elementary school. We’re inundated with rules such as: avoid run-on sentences, avoid dangling participles, and never split an infinitive. What was an infinitive again? Or, for that matter, what the heck is a dangling participle? Yes, my mind just went into the gutter with that last question.

I still don’t know when to use “who” and when to use “whom” or if I’m using a dash, en-dash, and em-dash correctly. I may never figure out when to use a semi-colon instead of a comma. Do I overuse quotation marks? William Faulkner and James Joyce got away with using run-on sentences, why can’t I? Can fragmented sentences be used for rhetorical effect?

There are a few blogs I read from time to time because I know the people that write them. Their writing style makes me cringe. I’ve grown accustomed to those rules for how we should write and deviation from those norms makes their writing tedious to read.

My two favorite blogs are by Max Gerber and Anthony Bourdain. Neither strictly follow the formal rules of writing, but there’s something about the way they write that gives me a sense of pleasure. I can see, hear, and taste the things they write about. I feel what they feel.

Where is that line between bad English and an effective writing style?

Wasn’t one of those aforementioned rules to not have a paragraph consist of only one sentence?

Yes, I make judgments about a person’s credibility by the way they write and I don’t think I’m alone. An article released by The Latimer Group, states, “We all want to be thought of as intelligent. We all want credibility. We all want to be taken seriously. And one of the best ways to do that is to express ourselves clearly and articulately…. The importance of verbal expression, and the way it affects public perception, is crucial for success and has never been more important than it is today.”

I can’t always pinpoint what criteria I use to judge what bad writing is, I just know that I wince when I read it. I expect people to make mistakes from time to time and that’s okay with me, but when someone deviates from the norms of communication that I’ve come to expect, I question what other knowledge they lack – what else do they not know how to do, I question their credibility and ultimately their intelligence.

I strive to avoid those communication fumbles, but I know I still have a long way to go before I can communicate effectively. I toy with different styles and the manner in which I write depends not only on the context of the writing but also my mood. Sometimes I’m feeling serious so I’ll write in a more formal style; sometimes I’m feeling playful so I’ll use more colloquial phrases. Anyhow, please, please, please be patient with me as I try to figure all this stuff out. Correct me when I’m wrong and suggest (as delicately as possible – my ego is easily bruised) how I can improve my writing. Please.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Happy Birthday Andrea


A few weeks ago I got a message on Facebook inviting me to a surprise birthday party for my friend Andrea. Of course I was going to go!

As the day of the party drew near, I realized that Randy wouldn’t be able to go with me because of work. I knew I was going to the party no matter what, but there was a part of me that didn’t want to go to a party alone. Well, yes, I would know Andrea, but I knew she would be busy talking to all the other guests, and I didn’t know if I was going to be stuck alone in a corner for most of the party. In a last ditch effort, I called up my friend Tanin, someone I knew from RIS (the high school I went to) and invited him to be my date, my wingman, at the party.

Tanin and I hadn’t seen each other since he graduated RIS back in 1995, but thanks to Facebook, we reconnected a few months back. I figured this party was a great excuse to see him again AND I wouldn’t have to be alone.


So, this was my first surprise party. All the guests arrived sometime before 6:00pm, when Andrea and her husband Michael were due back home. The text message came telling us they were on their way back. The lights went off and we all got into position. For the next 7 minutes all I heard was “sssssshhhhhh……ssssssshhhhhhh!” Everyone tried to get everyone else to be quiet. Oh damn! Her dogs were outside and barking! Were her dogs supposed to be outside? Would she notice? Nope! SURPRISE!!!! Success! She didn’t suspect a thing.

The Guests

I met Carol, Andrea’s best from RIS at the party. She remembered me, but I didn’t remember her. That’s always an awkward situation, but it quickly passed as we chatted about our days back at RIS. Yes, we both loved going to school and we both loved the cafeteria food.


As Andrea greeted her other guests Tanin and I snuck out to the back yard (where the smokers were). We caught each other up on our lives since RIS and it was great remembering old times.

I also met Michael’s grandmother. Normally, I feel the need to be prim and proper around anyone’s grandmother in general, but something about this woman who sat outside chain smoking with us made me feel… comfortable. I could be my semi-crude self and she would just chuckle along with us. I could never imagine either of my grandmothers ever being like that. For a moment, I was envious.

I met all of Andrea’s friends and family and I have to say, everyone was, well… cool. Normally there is the one weird person in every group. Since I couldn’t spot one among them, deduction meant the strange one was me.


Cake time came and oh, it was it beautiful! Andrea beamed at the cake her husband picked out and her friends singing happy birthday to her. Tears welled up in my eyes as I saw how happy she was. It was a perfect moment.

birthday cake

birthday cake

After Andrea opened her gifts we all helped clean up the house and got to know each other even more. Michael told me how they loved photography and talked to me about art. Andrea danced for us in her living room. Yup, she still has her moves. The night ended and I didn’t want it to. I loved these people. I hugged Andrea and Michael gave me a parting bottle of wine. I loved these people even more. We agreed we would have to see each other more and hugged again. Fantastic night with old friends.

Happy Birthday Andrea!

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year's Dinner

Surf and Turf

My sister invited Randy and me over to the house to have a New Year’s dinner. As always it was a fabulous meal. I was stuffed silly.

Lobster, steak, and Dungeness crab, oh my!

Randy vs Dungeness crab

Normally I avoid the whole Dungeness crab because it’s a pain in the butt to get the meat out, but I was feeling daring today and dug in, ripping off legs and breaking them open. It was my first time. Normally I give my sister or Randy puppy dog eyes until they dig out the meat for me. I don’t know why, but crab always tastes better when you have to get the meat out yourself.

Thanks to my sis and Chatchi for making a fab dinner as always.

Tina and Chatchai

Happy New Year!!!


Happy New Year! Welcome to a new year as well as a new decade!

Truth be told, I wasn’t all that into celebrating the New Year this time. I would have rather sat home in front of the computer with my headphones on, sifting through images from 2009. But off to celebrate I did.

The family partied at the A Boys’ newly remolded house this year. As usual, there was a ton of people and nearly as much food. In the end, I’m glad I went. It was nice to be with family and friends.

gift exchange

party favors

I have high hopes for 2010. 2009 was a difficult year as learned to balance a social and family life with work, school, and dealing with the death of two very close friends.

I’m not making any resolutions this year. I was never a big fan of them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t plan on some changes in my life. As some of you may know, I’m nearly obsessive about cleaning and organizing. I’m a happy camper if I could just have my pine sol and pledge. A lot of my frustration in 2009 came from disorganization, which is why I spent so much time cleaning. I plan on being more organized so that I can have more time to do the things I want to do.

I hope that 2010 will bring you whatever makes you happy, be it an organized life, or just one in which you find contentment with the things you have.

Here’s to a new year and a fresh start… again! May friendships and days of auld lang syne be remembered. Surely you’ll buy your pint and surely I’ll buy mine.

Hugs and Kisses

Note to self: drink less beer, shoot at a higher ISO, and squeeze the shutter.