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August 2005

fumbling for answers

August 31, 2005   

Not as good as fumbling for other things *cough* but not so bad, over all.

Seppo suggested that since I love singing so much even though I suck (he didn’t say the suck part, which was kind of him), maybe I would get a kick out of singing lessons. I think I might have to think about it. It is certainly intriguing.

I’ve been wondering why I have been less motivated at work lately, and have wondered if I was burning out or putting myself on a project that I won’t enjoy, but after extensive talks with Seppo, I think it’s just that I’m a little stuck now and feeling the bump in the road. I think once I get myself past this one bump, I’ll be totally rocking the project.

It’s good to get a clearer light on your path from talking to your beloved. 🙂 He’s pretty damn wonderful.

American Red Cross – Preparing for and Responding to Hurricane Katrina

August 30, 2005   

American Red Cross – Preparing for and Responding to Hurricane Katrina

Make a donation if you can (and want to — heh). You can surely skip out on your overpriced coffee or morning donut for a few weeks, neh? (Well, you can keep your antioxidant-rich coffee. How about giving up smoking for a few weeks?) Or maybe that novel/movie/video game you were gonna get. That can probably wait. Uh… unless you were buying books in order to gear up for NaNoWriMo… but I’m sure you can find some free resources.

Eh, I was gonna make some haranguing remark to try to guilt trip you, but that’s crap. Either you wanna and this is just a reminder, or you don’t and will do something else with your time and resources. And that’s fine too. We all have our own thing. So let’s all hang our and sing in a human chain around this tree that we call earth. *shoots self*


August 29, 2005   

I thought I had a lot of INXS and Depeche Mode music, but my iPod tells me otherwise. How sad. It might be time for an iTunes bender.

fingers crossed

August 29, 2005   

Today, my sister and my brother-in-law are having their final immigration interview in Korea. Well, it’s 8/30/2005, but that’s already today because of the timezone business. And it’s also only really for the brother-in-law, since my sis and their two kids are all US citizens.

I hope it goes well! With any luck, my sis and fam will be in the US by Christmas.

tenacity and courage

August 29, 2005   

I think that generally, people don’t quite understand what it means to be tenacious. I think a similar confusion exists with the meaning of courageous. Via A_B, I read an article about people who were not fleeing from Hurricane Katrina. Read this particularly frustrating blurb:

“My son’s having a fit,” the 56-year-old real estate agent said as she drove to Matassa’s Market for some last-minute provisions. “We’re kind of a different breed of people down here, people in the Quarter. Heck, if we can put up with Mardi Gras, we can put up with a hurricane.”

These few people seem to believe that they are displaying an admirable tenacity — standing their ground and refusing to give up. But it’s not tenacity. It’s just plain stupidity/stubbornness. And I don’t say that to insult people; I say that because I am frustrated and saddened at the fate these people are likely to face. It’s not like their reactions can change the path or outcome of the hurricane. I think they believe they are doing an admirable thing, and it just tears out my heart.

Please people, go somewhere you know you will stay alive. Think of your family and friends. Property is property — no amount of history and memories is worth your life, especially when losing said life will have no impact whatsoever on your property. There is no action they can take to save their houses, so they should act on the variable they DO have control over, which is saving themselves.

On a related thought, many people think being brave or courageous is the same as being fearless or unafraid. I strongly disagree. Being brave is knowing exactly how terrifying something will be and standing strong and taking action despite the almost-paralyzing fear. To be fearless is to be either stupid or apathetic to the consequences. I learned this from watching movies. 😉

cool iPod accessories

August 29, 2005   

I saw this Apple iPod Camera Connector and thought to myself, “I NEED THIS!” But then I saw this blurb:

Compatible with iPod with color display.

It made me want to cry. But never fear! I found that our good friend Belkin has made these two items available for those of us without the iPod photo:

Belkin Digital Camera Link for iPod


Belkin iPod Media Reader

I will most likely be purchasing one of these soon.

TiVo == #1

August 25, 2005   

TiVo now allows you to transfer mpg files from your PC to watch on your TiVo. Read about it here.

Actually, it’s been available since three whole days ago. They have filed an official request for me to send back my TiVo lemming membership card.

I hear this feature has been available on the replayTV for a long time already, but as the programming and user interface for TiVo is vastly superior (IMO) to replayTV (at least, as of the last iteration that I saw it), it is not really relevant to me. Now I just have to wait for the TiVos to get the upgrades to use with my new desktop software.


August 25, 2005   

Since I moved to subcription-based web-reading (rather than websurfing), I haven’t visited Amazon in a long time. In fact, I only ever hit Amazon anymore when I click on a direct product link from someone else’s website. Odd. I give you the New Math:

(money spent on Amazon) = k/(useage level of rss aggregator)


My hair looks great today. Yesterday, it looked about as pleasant as Mobi’s ass.

I’ve been drinking coffee too often lately.

I still can’t figure out the toy on my desk. It’s one of those metal loopy things where you have to separate the two pieces that are linked together. I have done it before in the past, but I just can’t seem to get it now. It’s a sign of my mental deterioration.

I once thought Precious Moments figurines were cute. Then I realized that they were pretty gross with the constant depictions of child brides and grooms and, was appropriately horrified. Pedophiles! 😀

There are so many people staying late at work today that they ordered $400+ worth of food from

I signed up for a 15-minute massage at my desk for next week. It is $10 (the company pays another $10 on my behalf). I’m pretty psyched for it.

My eyes are drooping with sleepiness. My eyes are also so small that if I look even slightly downward (as I would when I read or type on my laptop), people think I’ve fallen asleep at my desk/seat. I weep. Actually, when I weep, people also mistake me for being asleep.

out of the closet

August 25, 2005   

I worked fairly late last night, and left for Seppo’s work at around 8:30pm. We stayed at his work until about 11:45. We were both exhausted on the drive home, and not looking forward to this morning when we’d have to leave for work around 45 min earlier than usual due to a morning meeting I had.

We got home, locked up the car as usual, and went in the house to take out the trash and recycling, as Thursday morning is when the trash & recycling pick up occurs. As we went through the rooms, we realized that we couldn’t find Mobi. He usually comes running to the gate when we come home late. When we come home early, he just sits on the couch and looks at us through sleepy eyes.

We figured he was in the backyard, so we took turns calling for him in the dark. After a bit of this and asking Colin if he’d seen Mobi that evening, we came to the awful conclusion that he had somehow escaped. Seppo checked for and found both of Mobi’s leashes at home, so he could not still be with Seppo’s mom. Despite the fact that it was already past 12:30am, Seppo called his mom to make sure that Mobi was not with her. Indeed he was not.

In full panic mode, Seppo and I roamed up and down the street separately. Seppo went to get a flashlight, and I continued on my way in the dark, softly calling and whistling for our dog. I looked at his favorite houses and called between the alleys. I went by the entrance of the dog run that is near our house. I jogged up and down the hill in fear that we would never see him again. Images of dogs that had been run over in the streets flew through my mind. I remembered the last time he went missing. I was filled with the same choking feeling.

Returning back toward the house with hopes that Mobi stayed in a small radius of his home, Seppo met me at the fence to tell me that Mobi was home! I was so happy! Seppo had gone to Joe’s room and woken him up to ask him if he had seen the dog, when they both heard a little sound from Joe’s closet. It was Mobi! Poor little guy.

He generally doesn’t whimper or bark when he’s behind a door. He just stands there, waiting, or just lays down and goes to sleep. This is what he does if you go in the bathroom to take a shower or something. He just lays outside until you come out. And I assume he just felt like hanging out in Joe’s closet, hanging out in the dark, when the door accidentally got shut. He probably just lay down and went to sleep. He certainly didn’t bark or scratch. He’s a funny little dog. I’m so glad he’s ok. That dumb mutt! 😀

on communication

August 23, 2005   

To be perfectly trite: Communication is a two-way street. Now, to be less trite, interpersonal communication involves two or more people who wish to convey information/emotions/empathy/knowledge/etc. One person may be the source and the other may be the recipient. Or both at the same time.

Seppo and I were talking in the car yesterday about communication and when it goes awry. Communication is one of the social contracts that we make with others. The contract says, “I will strive to make myself as clear as I can in a way that you can understand with hopes that you will understand me. You will ask me questions in areas that you are unclear about in order to understand me until we are clear. This doesn’t mean we need to agree, just understand at least the position of the other person. Our roles will switch throughout our conversation, but we will both work as hard as possible to make this comprehension happen.”

There are misunderstandings and frustrations when one feels that the other is not upholding their side of the communication bargain by not trying hard enough to understand; jumping to the wrong conclusions; jumping on the non-salient points of the conversation; etc. When this happens, instead of getting frustrated, we should uphold our part of the social contract by examining ourselves to see if we have been absolutely clear in the way that the particular listener will understand. It is possible that the other person is also not upholding their end of the contract, but merely pointing that out doesn’t solve the problem.

By seeing communication and conflicts as team efforts to come to agreement/understanding, rather than getting annoyed at someone for not understanding you (which I’m extremely guilty of, as Seppo knows), it is possible to progress beyond, “That’s not what I said!” and “Oh yes, it is!” to something much better.

I think we talked about this in context of coworkers who don’t understand social cues and parents who have a difficult time seeing their adult children as adults.

When you think someone doesn’t understand you, instead of thinking to yourself, “Any buffoon in the universe would understand what obviously just happened and why I feel this way; why can’t he/she?!” which does not help you at all, try to realize that something in the communication failed and that you may not be doing your best to let the other person know what is going on inside your head. And if you don’t know, how did you expect the other person to figure it out?! 😀

Keeping track of who’s right and who’s wrong in a conversation is ok in many instances, especially if that is the point of the conversation, as in a factual debate. Not everything has to be touchy-feely. But in a committed relationship, there is nothing to be gained by always angling for the upper hand. You only win if you both win. /cheesy counselor voice.

This entry was brought to you by the Committee to Stop Passive-Aggressiveness, a.k.a. The Group That Thinks You Should Already Have Known What It Stands For, I Don’t Know What’s The Matter With You.