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September 2009

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-09-27

September 27, 2009   
  • Stopping for bubble tea after The American Idiot musical, which was great! #
  • Played a hour of #wordace with noncheating, nonaggressive bettors. Best kind of game to play if you can't play with friends! Lots of fun. #
  • Just finished Nurture Shock. Certainly sparks a lot of thoughts. Would recommend to my parent & parent-to-be friends. #
  • @eisfore I almost cried seeing A's photos, both from overwhelming joy for M and infinite sadness at missing her day and the girls. :'D in reply to eisfore #
  • Great post on joy of shared social experiences & effects on friendships RT @selfawaregames: Progress, and Connectedness #
  • RT @thecurrentgamer: Review: Word Ace by Self Aware Games Review Score: 5 / 5: A few weeks ago we published an inter.. #
  • Things I check in the morning: gmail, work mail, Twitter, facebook, google reader, in that order on my iPhone. How about you? #
  • Doing laundry, made plans to meet with pediatrician, and scheduled what will probably be my last nice haircut in a long time. #
  • Just booked car maintenance so our cars don't freak out and need help just as the baby is born. I hope the baby waits until next week. #
  • My sister told me her swelling & joint pain lasted several months after giving birth. She is a killjoy and I'd like everyone to know it. :p #
  • @NBB1 What kind of classes? Knitting is best learned in person. πŸ˜€ in reply to NBB1 #
  • Pork belly, rice, and lettuce wraps for dinner. #
  • @SwanL Lol! It's like the same thing. πŸ˜‰ in reply to SwanL #
  • I need to do something about the ringtone on my phone. I miss 75% of my calls because I don't notice it ringing. Bleh. #
  • To do tomorrow: more laundry, clear out dresser drawers, pick up some baby first aid stuff & my vitamins, get haircut, and go to class. #
  • @abeldanger The intel commercials have been pretty awesome. in reply to abeldanger #
  • America's Best Dance Crew had a pretty feeble run this season. Was not impressed by Sunday's episode. #
  • Being nervous about giving birth is almost a stall tactic for not thinking about what it means to bring that baby home. It's terrifying. #
  • Bumpits: a) hair accessory, b) underarms of the homeless, c) plumber's crack, d) all of the above? What a terrible product name. #
  • RT @westcoastbill: The First Engadget Show with Palm CEO John Rubinstein and Word Ace mention! #
  • Worst night of sleep so far, with barking dog, noises in the night, random thoughts, and new discomforts. Fell asleep around 4am. #
  • @SwanL I knew Twitter was dangerous! in reply to SwanL #
  • @NBB1 Why do you keep tweeting yourself? It's getting kinda weird now. in reply to NBB1 #
  • There comes a time in every young woman's life when she must answer the primal call of the beast they call naptime. This is that time. #
  • I'm at Sole Salon (5689 Bay St., Emeryville). #
  • Getting some red highlights to take the glum expression out of my face. Heh. #
  • You two look like brothers: How siblings separated at birth were reunited 35 years later whe…` #randyjoubert #newsrag #
  • @bcaudill The red is much less intense & haircut is less hip than I wanted, but overall, I think it might be better than the style I wanted. in reply to bcaudill #
  • @bcaudill To be more to the point, I like it! I definitely look 100x better walking out than I did walking in with the mess on my head. in reply to bcaudill #
  • @SwanL Go for it! Love how blue looks in mostly black/dark brown hair. πŸ™‚ in reply to SwanL #
  • RT @panappticon Word Ace Review: Texas Hold Γ’β‚¬ΛœEm + Scrabble = W-I-N Ò€” Panappticon #
  • Right on! RT @algore: Ò€œ$2.27 in benefits for every dollar spent.Ò€ Those are the facts. #
  • @NBB1 Finally, your life is truly complete! πŸ˜‰ in reply to NBB1 #
  • As @helava will be glad to note, the replacement camera is here. #
  • Off to the doctor's once more… With feeling! … What was I talking about? #
  • Acquired fried chicken sandwiches for dinner on the way back from doctor. #
  • I'm at Bakesale Betty (5098 Telegraph Avenue, at 51st, Oakland). #
  • @bcaudill Is it ever too early for fried chicken sandwiches? πŸ˜‰ in reply to bcaudill #
  • Took the last of our newborn care classes tonight. One more childbirth class next week & we'll be done. That leaves 1 week until due date. #
  • @aaa Their brisket sandwiches are awesome too! πŸ˜€ in reply to aaa #
  • @SwanL Could not agree more. A most excellent episode of #glee. in reply to SwanL #
  • @eisfore Not yet! πŸ™ in reply to eisfore #
  • Not sure what to make for dinner… #
  • Averaging 5hrs of sleep per night while I'm supposed to be resting up is so wrong. Only managed to nap two days for about an hour. Ugh. #
  • Picked up car from service center, got groceries for lunch and dinner, fueled up car. Now taking a breather before walking dog. #
  • RT @WordAce: RT OTGGamer Friday Freebie – Word Ace #
  • Chicken with 40 cloves and tomato salad for dinner: #
  • RT @jayrosen_nyu: … do see this clip of Katie Couric asking Glenn Beck to define "white culture" and refusing to let go #
  • RT @NBB1: Check out Maddow video too RT @davidsirota: SF Chronicle on How to Deal With Idiots 101: #
  • Not sure where to have dinner tonight. Any suggestions? #
  • Kirala it is! Sushi and robata grilll for dinner. #
  • Yelp tells me Chef Yuyu Za Zang restaurant serves double skin. :O I shall be having it (and jja jang myung) soon, oh yes I shall. #
  • Currently using 2 couch pillows, 2 memory foam pillows, and 1 travel pillow to create a good sleeping environment. Silly, yet effective. #
  • @hja It changes from day to day. I used it two nights ago. Will you want to use it in, say, a week? in reply to hja #

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Interpersonal communication

September 21, 2009   

It’s a topic I’ve covered a zillion times before. I recently thought about it again because back in August, Becky tweeted: “Dating Tip for Dudes #38: She doesn’t necessarily want a suggestion, she just wants you to listen. Do your BEST.”

In romantic relationships, friendships, family relationships, coworker situations, there are several categories of what kind of interaction a person is looking for when they reach out. They could be looking for any of the following:

  • A shoulder to cry on or a sympathetic ear. This person is looking for a friend in their corner. This person wants to vent. The best thing you can do is listen and let them know they are not being crazy/oversensitive/etc.
  • Wisdom and/or perspective beyond what they were able to come up with on their own. This kind of person wants advice. Drawing from prior experiences and similar situations to tell them what you might have done in the past in a similar situation will help them.
  • A kick in the behind to get them started on making changes. This person wants a coach. Tell them you know they can get off their butts and kick ass. Remind them of their prior accomplishments.
  • Actual, concrete assistance, where the friend/family/etc. offloads some of their workload. This person is seeking help.

In all of these situations, it is very important that the person reaching out and the person responding know what it is that is being sought out, otherwise the two people will end up in a very frustrating conversation.

Let’s say someone is complaining to you about their current job, or feeling like a schlub, feeling unmotivated. This could be a friend, your SO, your parent/child, etc. Depending on what they are seeking, you might do any of the following:

  • Let them vent: Ask them if they just want you to listen. Listen to them. Do they seem mostly angry, sad, depressed, frustrated, or something else entirely? Ask them questions that let them work out how they are feeling, and why. If there are things you don’t understand, ask them, but let them lead the conversation. Sometimes, a large part of stress is not knowing exactly how you feel, and talking it out can make the person feel better. It also helps to know someone else is in their corner and cares about their perspective. Something that’s important to remember is that it’s not about how you feel about the situation, but about how this person does.
  • Give them advice: Ask them if they want advice. You’ll see that this is a theme. This interaction is not about you giving someone what you’d want in their place, but what that person wants. Remember even when they ask for advice that they are not you and will not behave the same as you in the same situation. Consider how applicable the situation you are describing is to the advice seeker, be nonjudgmental, and don’t say “should” and “must”, but stick to “could” and “might”. This is not an opportunity for you to tell a slightly-related story or for you to “give them a life lesson”, so don’t repeat yourself  and or make them think that you believe there is one bandaid to their type of problem. Adjust your advice as more details are revealed and let the person feel heard, not categorized.
  • Coach them/Kick them in the butt: Some people like this. You really have to know someone really, really well in order to do this, and things differ situationally, so ask them too. I have very little to say in this matter because I am not a person who responds well to this, but I know this is definitely what some people want. Anyone who relates to this, feel free to talk about this in the comments.
  • Offer help. Again, ask them if they want help. People often think others will ask for help when they need it, but I find this to be completely untrue. People feel incredibly guilty or embarrassed to ask for help, but are grateful when it is offered. Let’s take the example of someone looking for a job. Concrete help is not repeated nagging/reminders to update their resumes; concrete help comes in offering to do some chore for them so they will have a time slot free that they did not previously have. It could also come in asking them if they could use a resume format and a reviewer, and acting promptly if they answer in the affirmative.

Generally, I fall into the 1st and 4th categories and will feel completely frustrated if confronted with 2nd or 3rd categories. For me, when vent, what has usually happened is some perfect storm of feeling like I have too many to-do items and not enough time, combined with juggling a couple of stressful situations at once. These situations might have to do with worrying about a friend or family member, getting over an illness, preparing for a deadline, or any of a million different things.

So by the time I vent, I am completely overloaded. The thing that will help is if some of those things on my to-do or stress-about list can come off the list, through the magic of circumstances or through help. The last thing I need is another thing to worry about or another item to add to my to-do list.

Also, I’m a resourceful lass. By the time I vent, I’ve been thinking about the situation for a very long time from many angles. I’ve explored several reasonable and several unreasonable paths to a solution. I’ve thought about the players in the situation and have probably tried talking to them. I’ve researched the crap out of any remaining questions I have about the situation. Basically, I’ve devoted a lot of time & thought to resolving the situation.

Realizing this opened my eyes to exactly why I get frustrated in the face of advice when I’m seeking a place to vent, and I think it is relevant to the tweet referenced in my intro paragraph. When someone gives me advice, it’s usually someone who cares about me, and someone for whom I care in return. When they give me advice, there are two things that might happen:

  • If I’ve already researched that solution, it makes me frustrated that they would have thought I hadn’t thought of something that took them about 5 minutes to come up with; OR
  • If I haven’t, this effectively puts another item on my to-do list to pursue. Because they are important to me and are likely to follow up with me out of concern, this means that I have to push off the other actual to-dos I have on my overburdened list to go look at this new thing. It might be immensely helpful too, which is another good reason to pursue it. But does it help alleviate the things that led me to venting in the first place? No, because I still have all the to-dos on my list still.

Help differs from advice in that someone is actually taking items off my to-do list. That is fabulous. Advice adds more items to my to-do list or makes me feel like they think I’m stupid. Being listened to when venting helps tremendously because I need to release the pressure valve and work out my feelings, and that lets me know the friend/family/etc. hears my needs and addresses them.

And there is no formal end or conclusion to this. I hope this lack of finish fills you with immense dissatisfaction. πŸ˜€

Next blog post will probably be a review of NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children

Update: I just realized that sometimes, I really do want 2 & 3. 3 in particular is helpful when I’m losing motivation. Having someone remind me of my accomplishments can really kick me out of a funk. I very, very rarely ask for #2, but when I do, I am extremely grateful to get good advice. The critical difference is that I’ve asked for it, which means that I want a new perspective and that I know I have the bandwidth to handle whatever advice I’m given, rather than being overloaded.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-09-20

September 20, 2009   
  • @AngryChad @hja Will tell you on Tuesday when everything is sorted out, hopefully. A total PITA, really. in reply to AngryChad #
  • Kanye = douchebag, Beyonce = classy. Taylor, you forgot to thank Beyonce! #
  • Say Anything is just an amazing movie. #
  • Enjoyed a couple of rounds of #WordAce with some friends. So much fun! #
  • @canida What area is your new office? in reply to canida #
  • What I foresee for the next couple of weeks: trying to minimize swelling, laundry, cleaning, cooking, being paranoid about being early. :p #
  • @eisfore Wow, I didn't know you'd be doing this. When you are done, can you send me the playlist? It's my way of pretending to be there. πŸ™ in reply to eisfore #
  • I know it's totally wrong, but I keep being tempted to pick up the "I am T-Pain" app. I know! You don't have to tell me! πŸ˜€ #
  • Last day of work then childbirth class = super-long day. Sad 2 say bye 2 awesome coworkers & project, but know the show will go on awesomely #
  • The Biggest Loser is some of the most inspirational tv on air. I love their focus on hard work, persistence, and good attitude. #
  • @eisfore The rapper. Don't judge me! πŸ˜€ in reply to eisfore #
  • @eisfore Why are you still up if you are in the east coast?! Do you think anyone could call me so I could listen to the ceremony? What time? in reply to eisfore #
  • @eisfore Dang. 5 is 2pm here and that's when local friends are throwing us a baby shower (so nice!) so I wouldn't be able to watch/listen. in reply to eisfore #
  • First day off and only 5 hrs of fitful sleep. Oh the humanity. At least it's not the humanzee. Maybe I'll play some #wordace. πŸ˜€ #
  • Does anyone have an iPhone IM client they would recommend? #
  • @bcaudill Awesome! I love Adam Shankman! in reply to bcaudill #
  • Thanks @AngryChad @NBB1 for the beejive recommendation. Looks good so far. #
  • Is this weekend Chuseok (Korean fall harvest festival)??? I should cook something appropriate. #
  • Must… resist post luch… coma… Wait, no I don't. Nap time! W00t! #
  • I'm full term with the pregnancy. To hit 40 weeks, I only have 2.5 weeks left to go. Omg!!!!! #
  • Hmm. May have to switch around dinner cooking plans because it's too hot. #
  • @RobZograph I added you today! πŸ™‚ in reply to RobZograph #
  • It IS pretty awesome! RT @SwanL: COOLEST WEDDING INVITATION EVER! (via @kimstearns) RT@sunnythaper #
  • At the post office, sending off my Package of Shame, which is anything I meant to sent off more than a week ago. These = Hawaii gifts 4 fam. #
  • @bcaudill I don't know where mine went either!! WTF? in reply to bcaudill #
  • Why are my hands tingling? Doesn't seem normal. #
  • Today: sent package, deposited checks, bought groceries. Tomorrow: eye exam, some laundry, schedule car maintenance? #
  • RT @RobZograph: (RT) @BarackObama Exciting newsÒ€”House passes biggest overhaul of student aid program since the 1960's: #
  • Detroit folks: my sis is going there for business tomorrow. What should she do for fun? #
  • @AngryChad Thanks! Turns out that she gets in Sat morn, sets up con booth, works all day, breaks down booth in wee hours, leaves Sun morn πŸ™ in reply to AngryChad #
  • @bcaudill The tomatoes in my backyard are so confused, as are the *super* late season strawberries. in reply to bcaudill #
  • @bcaudill Never used typepad but switched from blogger to wordpress due to the community support for a huge library of plugins & templates. in reply to bcaudill #
  • @StephDecker What's your friend code? in reply to StephDecker #
  • I'm pretty sure not! RT @matt68000 The makers of the Word Ace game are going to love this #
  • Oh man! Is it nap o'clock?! #
  • Did some laundry, got eye exam (sadly, about 1/4 diopter of astigmatism in each eye), set up appt for car maintenance next week. Success! #
  • Sometimes, I run across a username on my IM lists and can't remember who it is. That probably means I should delete the name, but I can't. #
  • Played a couple of hours of The Beatles: Rock Band while waiting for dinnermates to arrive. Can't get any better. #
  • @SwanL I know it's the benadryl cocktail talking. πŸ˜‰ in reply to SwanL #
  • Had fantastic BBQ for dinner at T-Rex. That mac & cheese was amazing. #
  • Huh. Just read more descriptions of Braxton Hicks contractions, and it sounds like I've Been having them for weeks without realizing it. #
  • @eisfore I demand photos!!!! πŸ™‚ in reply to eisfore #
  • 11:30am-6:30pm today is the Oakland Koreantown-Northgate Culturefest! Promoting all local businesses! #
  • Every time I think about kid visitors to our house, I realize what a death trap it is. Hopefully, no fatalities this afternoon, kid/adult. #
  • Just saw trailer for Whip It w Ellen Page, girl who played Maebe from Arrested Development, and Drew Barrymore. Must see!! #
  • It truly boggles my mind how amazing our friends are! Thank you so much for the baby shower! So lucky to have you in our 'family'. πŸ™‚ #
  • I would have given my right leg to have been able to attend my friend M's wedding. πŸ™ I'm sure it was beautiful, as was she. Love you, girl! #
  • @eisfore Where is M registered? I should have asked you sooner… in reply to eisfore #

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At home

September 18, 2009   

Tuesday was my last day at work before going on leave to wait for the alien bread we’ve been baking in the human oven. The alien bread is due in about 2.5 weeks! :O Seriously, it is shocking.

I do feel bad calling the baby things like “alien bread” and “skeletor” but it’s hard to come up with an in utero nickname, and I hate the one my mom calls him (“ddol ddol i” — like “smarty” or maybe more like “smartass”). Well, it’s hard to come up with a real name too. Hopefully, Mobi won’t take things too literally and try to dine on this alien bread.

There was some confusion for the legal definition of what was happening to me, leave-wise. Because my company is so small, most of the common leave-taking job protection doesn’t apply to me (one lesser known one does though but under different terms than the more commonly known stuff) but it was really a matter of making sure we were all individually happy with the arrangement, covering everything from how long I’ll be gone, if we want it to be full-time immediately upon returning, if they can contact me while I’m on leave, etc., much of which are “softer” issues. I at no point was actually worried about not having a job to come back to, but mostly about the legalese in terms of collecting my short term disability insurance. That headache has largely been taken care of, so I can relax. πŸ™‚

A couple of weeks ago, we went to Hawaii. It was… awesome. Seriously awesome. One of the best things was being able to be in the water all the time, which was so great for my strained joints and swollen hands & feet. It was fun going all over the island (Oahu) and nomming on everything in sight. Most of the trip is covered on Seppo’s blog. One of the worst things was getting our stuff stolen, but that’s the kind of thing you just have to roll with. The other bad thing was the flight back from Hawaii. My feet were swollen so badly that I almost busted out into tears several times during the flight.

Note to self next time if I fly while pregnant:

  1. Don’t fly 3rd trimester!
  2. Upgrade to business or first if I have to fly during 3rd trimester — I am a total cheapskate, but the extra money will be well worth it, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time.

Last week on Saturday, I sucked up all my “scared of meeting strangers” fears with the help of my friend & recent mother MJ and attended the Kimchi Mamas Bay Area meetup! :D There is so much I loved about the meetup!

  • Meeting with other women, period. I love events for women!
  • Meeting with other people who either grew up flanking both American mainstream & Korean cultures, or trying to reconcile feeling disconnected from Korean culture (I feel both ways at times). So many of us clearly felt like the “outsiders” among other groups of KA women that the sheer number was comical at this particular gathering. πŸ™‚
  • Meeting with other parents, many of them with very young children, who have gone or are going through the same issues juggling careers, multiple cultures, parents & in-laws, etc.
  • Meeting articulate, well-spoken, well-read people who were not afraid to speak their minds, yet were incredibly & sincerely nice.
  • Meeting for the first time some people I had been reading for months/years!

I would totally do this again. At some point, as Jomama and Karen the Californian blogged, many of us seemed to suffer from the “Holy crap, am I gonna be dressed up enough for other Korean girls?!” fear, and tried to primp up nicer than normal — several people owned up to wearing eyeliner/lipstick/etc. that they usually never wear. I had the same fears, but since I’m terrible at makeup, all I did was try my best to fill in my half-balding right eyebrow.

I got to see Shinyung, Twizzle, and Mary again, which was great! I wish I had gotten to talk to them a little more, but I got to meet new people which I enjoyed immensely. I hope we do this again! πŸ˜€

On a completely different note, Seppo and I have been attending classes to get ready for the baby. We are taking a 4-week series on childbirth and a 3-week series on newborn care. We really like the instructor for the newborn care class, who also happens to be the backup instructor for the childbirth class. I wish I could remember her name… Heh. I really like that she’s very non-judgmental and doesn’t appear to push a particular agenda, while presenting a multitude of options for things to try and why we might like them.

Taking the classes seems to have lit a fire under Seppo’s butt! After the first week (was that just last week??), he ran out several times during the week and the weekend to get our bag packed in case the baby comes early and is really getting into reading up on some baby-related stuff. As for me, now that I’m on leave, I’m trying to focus on getting one major thing out of the way everyday, when I’m not obsessing over how the project I was working on is going. Heh.

This blog entry has been brought to you by the letters B for boring and M for meandering. Next time, let’s hope we’ll see something from letter E for exciting and C for concise. :p

Note to self: blog about the difference between advice & help. That thought has been incubating for a while now.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-09-13

September 13, 2009   
  • Played #wordace, went to S&A to visit w T and have brunch, dropped by open house on corner of our block, and now fighting sleep. #
  • RT @precentral: Delving into the development of Word Ace #palmpre #
  • No one should die because they cannot afford healthcare. No one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please RT. #
  • @bcaudill 22 to 33 is kind of a big age gap for someone her age. I am surprised he is only 33, not to say he looks old or anything. πŸ˜€ in reply to bcaudill #
  • Last night was dinner & hanging out w @bcaudill & some guy I vaguely know w no Twitter acct. πŸ˜‰ 2nite is dinner w DUC Corp. πŸ™‚ #
  • @bcaudill Same here. I slept in until noon after staying up another hour. in reply to bcaudill #
  • RT @seanmadi: Word Ace Custom Deck – As I said yesterday, I started playing Word Ace on iPhone and itÒ€ℒs awesome. #
  • Word Ace Pro just came out! Get it if you want to buy chips or support the devs. πŸ™‚ Or play Word Ace for free. πŸ™‚ #
  • The person who went all in on @WordAce is the only one who lost. @Helava looks way too happy. #
  • @nbb1 You know it! I even bought a chip pack. πŸ™‚ in reply to NBB1 #
  • @JustPete74 Awesome return of the gamer/lamer/fanboi! in reply to JustPete74 #
  • @generalist Ooh, thanks for the heads up. in reply to generalist #
  • @edwinss19 I've built up an extensive list of friends from anytime I play with a good opponent and only play with them. #wordace in reply to edwinss19 #
  • At childbirth class. #
  • Omgwtfalienbabies!! #
  • Awesome! RT @WordAce: In its first 24 hours, Word Ace Pro has rocketed to #16 in Word Games and #25 in Card Games! THANK YOU! #
  • The baby is now 253 days in incubation. Shout out to my 253 girls! πŸ˜‰ #
  • Sooooooo excited about The Beatles: Rock Band! And jealous of @aaa for already having it. πŸ˜€ #
  • My dog is bad at spelling. #
  • Back from newborn care class. #
  • Loving Beatles Rock Band! @AngryChad You are definitely missing out. πŸ˜€ #
  • @marketman It's really freaking awesome. Everything about it, really. πŸ™‚ in reply to marketman #
  • USDA tries to speed new H1N1 flu vaccine for hogs #pandemics #newsrag #
  • @AngryChad Beatles is all you need. You must live in opposite land. in reply to AngryChad #
  • @bcaudill Very jealous! Mmm… looks tasty. in reply to bcaudill #
  • Apple Adds Video Camera To iPod Nano, Cuts Prices For iPod Touch #ipod #newsrag #
  • Deliberate Glitch Foils Arkham PC Pirates #batmanarkhamasylum #newsrag #
  • @StephDecker What a terrible situation. I occassionally have to work with someone like that — can't imagine having a boss like that. πŸ™ in reply to StephDecker #
  • @MJ Can't today but my last day before baby comes is Tuesday so we should make some arrangements! πŸ™‚ in reply to MJ #
  • RT @welovegaming: Casual Fridays: Word Ace: Texas Hold 'em for the Scrabble crowd. Today, we're playing Word Ace. #
  • Wow. It's raining now. Weird. #
  • @MJ LOL! in reply to MJ #
  • Walking around is pretty hard now. Baby's movements are getting painful. Getting a bit scared of that first contraction, whenever it happens #
  • Kinda freaked out that as of Tuesday, I will officially be unemployed on paper for the first time since I started working 11 years ago. #
  • @SwanL Nope, but we are fewer than 50 employees, so FMLA and CFRA don't cover me. Just found out CA PDLL might though. in reply to SwanL #
  • Back from the Kimchi Mamas Bay Area meetup! Thanks for arranging, @so_yun! Wanted to go karaoke w them, but too tired. #
  • Man, I just can't believe how awesome The Beatles: Rockband is. Played through 5 chapters of Story Mode w @helava tonight. He's so much fun! #
  • This unemployed versus taking leave thing is really stressing me out. It's the last thing I expected to be stressed about. Can't sleep. #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-09-06

September 6, 2009   
  • I average less than 6 hours of sleep per night now. Boo. #
  • I believe I may have acquired sun burn #2 for this trip yesterday… On my rear. Two bums down. *ducks rotten tomatoes* #
  • @AngryChad Which Twitter app are you using to get photo uploads and links to flickr? in reply to AngryChad #
  • RT @vyrin: Wow! @wordace is getting close to having 50,000 registered players after just a little over a week. Amazing! #
  • @patrick_ellis Why must you so cruelly remind me if reality? πŸ˜€ in reply to patrick_ellis #
  • @westcoastbill Awesome catch! in reply to westcoastbill #
  • Too hot right now. Must go in ocean. #
  • Had breakfast at Fatboy's, took a nap, then played in the ocean. No honu sighting today, but saw a ton of dogs playing in the water. #
  • @bcaudill Awwww! I cried a ton reading that too. in reply to bcaudill #
  • A ton of noms and goid convo at the K's! Somen, Yaki onigiri, teri beef & chicken, kimchi, grilled yams, kurobota pumpkin, trifle, sherbert #
  • @helava Me too. Looks pretty straightforward to make too. πŸ™‚ in reply to helava #
  • Booked one last live performance before the arrival of the baby: Green Day's American Idiot, the musical @ Berkeley Repertory Theater. Heh. #
  • @generalist Sept 20, 2pm. Get tix fast – just saw news out sat or sun & many times are already sold out. Tried to book 4 tix, but failed. in reply to generalist #
  • @aaa Yeah. As @patrick_ellis points out, this is just the beginning! Heh. in reply to aaa #
  • @bcaudill Ouch! I hope you can find some hardcore painkillers soon. in reply to bcaudill #
  • Back at Boots and Kimo's for one last hurrah. πŸ™‚ #
  • Boy, have we put on weight on our trip! :p #
  • Scenic view from Pali: #
  • Our beach: #
  • Overlooking some mountains outside of Honolulu: #
  • Waiola Shave Ice gets our noms of approval: #
  • @AngryChad So sorry about the broken window. πŸ™ in reply to AngryChad #
  • Went to Ala Wai Park, met up w @helava's friend, went to beach, saw sunset, had dinner, returned car. Doing id verification @ HNL security. #
  • Speaking loudly: strike 1. Saying she believes in reincarnation bc someone dreamt about being Cleopatra: str 2. Asking who Al Gore is: str 3 #
  • On the plane, ready to leave for SFO. #
  • Just landed at SFO after hours of painful swelling in hands, legs, and feet: #
  • @AngryChad All the photos were staged from blown-up postcards and local eateries. in reply to AngryChad #
  • Getting caught up on work email on the way home on Bart. Lots to do. #
  • Wondering how I'm going to sit up in a normal chair for work/show/food/etc when having feet up for 4 hours hasn't reduced the swelling yet. #
  • @bcaudill I hope your dentist treats your root canal gently and with much medication! I've had a couple myself. :-/ in reply to bcaudill #
  • @hja My sister just told me on Facebook that for her, it lasted well after delivery. :O What kind of reassurance is that?! Hahah. in reply to hja #
  • Returned from doc. Baby positioned head-down. πŸ˜€ Weighed in @ 7lbs higher than two weeks ago. πŸ™ Doc says mostly swelling so don't worry. 😐 #
  • RT @WordAce: Approved for the iPhone. Watch out, Pre owners – you've got some new competition! #
  • My @WordAce friend code: 542626830. iPhone & Pre owners, challenge me! #
  • Played a bunch of long-time friends on #wordace. It was awesome. #
  • @NBB1 I didn't manage to catch you online. Next time! in reply to NBB1 #
  • @NBB1 I'm not that good. Just have been playing for a long, long time. πŸ™‚ play real people! More fun that way. in reply to NBB1 #
  • Already seem to have shed 3lbs of the water retention. My feet, ankles, and legs more closely resemble that of a human being's. #
  • @eisfore When are you coming to US for our girl's wedding? Are you stopping by this coast? #
  • Holy surprise work baby shower, batman! #
  • Thanks all! Such cute, useful things, but most of all, a reminder of how awesome you all are! #
  • – Two adorable examples from a big pile of other, awesome things. #
  • Dude, Penny Arcade!! RT @WordAce: RT: @PennyArcadeFeed News: Word Ace Is Out For iPhone – holy cow. Speechless! #
  • @generalist Did you manage to get tux to the Green Day musical? in reply to generalist #
  • Trinny & Susannah on Making Over America on TLC are oh-so-very charming. Love them! #
  • 9/3 is the anniversary of my immigration to the US! It's now been 26 years. Crazy. #
  • @eisfore He really is amazing. in reply to eisfore #
  • RT @aaa: RT @bikeslut Happy birthday Internet!!! 40 yrs ago today @ UCLA the 1st msg was sent bw 2 computers. #
  • Back is peeling… So gross! #
  • Am excited for KimchiMama meetup next weekend! Thanks, @so_yun! #
  • Wow, @WordAce is now #3 in iTunes app store for Card Games! #
  • @RSJALLDAY – Hey, it's my bot! πŸ˜€ (Lower left) #
  • RT @thecurrentgamer: Interview with Word Ace developer goes up tonight! Stay Tuned!: #
  • @bcaudill Are you going to watch that new vampire high school tv series that seems like a complete Twilight ripoff? Can't remember title… #
  • Overly aggressive better on Word Ace sucked all the fun out of a couple of hands. Must remember to avoid Codey. #
  • RT @WordAce: A pair of new interviews about Word Ace and Self Aware Games! Check 'em out: #
  • Guess who? "Writer" is not quite right, but still! "Writer of Most Addictive Game for Pre/iPhone Breaks Silence": #
  • @bcaudill Can't wait to see them! in reply to bcaudill #
  • My iPhone doesn't seem to have any sound coming out of the part you hold to your ear. Got it last Monday & already had screen replaced. WTF. #
  • @eisfore πŸ™‚ It's free so no need to wait if you have an iPhone or Palm Pre. Then tell me your friend code so we can play and IM together. πŸ™‚ in reply to eisfore #
  • Worried about tomorrow's traffic, with the Bay Bridge closure. #
  • My stomach looks lower. Has the baby dropped, as they say?? #
  • @JustPete74 I love the band too. in reply to JustPete74 #
  • Weird when people complain about not being able to use proper nouns in @WordAce. Haven't they played any word games? #
  • @AngryChad LOL, I didn't mean you. I actually had thought Zen had become absorbed into the language as a common noun too. in reply to AngryChad #
  • @abecedary Sounds like a delicious meal! πŸ˜€ Mmmm… in reply to abecedary #
  • I would like to eat a giant piece of chocolate right now. #
  • @hja The thing with proper nouns is that I can claim "QUZAJIX" is someone's name or use local company names that are unknown nationally. in reply to hja #
  • @hja Heck, I can even try to use "EINYUNG". The part I was surprised by: how many people didn't play word games, not what they didn't know. in reply to hja #
  • @StephDecker I think "lying" since it's for self. πŸ˜€ Going to rummage through my pantry now. If I find any choco, will dedicate a piece 2 u. in reply to StephDecker #
  • It is awkward to get caught by someone else while you are chomping on a truly ginormous brick of semisweet baking chocolate in the morning. #
  • @hja I'm sorry you couldn't play DreamWorks, but it was too long anyway. πŸ˜‰ in reply to hja #
  • @AngryChad I can't wait to see the monster alien that hatches from your incubation chamber! Give it a cuddle for me! in reply to AngryChad #
  • @GertieGamer Yes, you can play Word Ace between iPhones and Pres! You can add your officemates as friends within your game and play together in reply to GertieGamer #
  • @NBB1 Seriously. He needs to coordinate that with a matching jacket. in reply to NBB1 #
  • @mwilh – So cute!!! Are the drinks tiny too? #
  • The womb monster lurches about in its dark cave: #
  • @AngryChad That's one of the smaller rolls the beast engages in. He always stops when I pick up the iPhone. in reply to AngryChad #
  • @bcaudill Crap, didn't know about the Mini. Sorry to hear about that. πŸ™ in reply to bcaudill #
  • Finally finished watching True Blood Season 1 finale. How long do I need to wait until Season 2 will be available?! #
  • FINALLY. I finally completed the six degrees of Kevin Bacon game with Jason Alexander. Started this Monday while we were still in Hawaii. πŸ˜€ #
  • I just unlocked the "Adventurer" badge on @foursquare! #
  • I'm at Barnes & Nobles (3900 Mowry ave., Fremont). #
  • Time for a little bit of post-dinner #WordAce. #
  • @canida Where was this restaurant? Recommend? Also congrats for anniversary. πŸ™‚ in reply to canida #
  • @eisfore Levitation would truly be awesome. in reply to eisfore #

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A truly awesome side effect of pregnancy

September 4, 2009   

Lest you think that I only have gripes, let me tell you about something awesome.

I am nigh-invulnerable to getting carsick by reading in the car now. I mean, I’m not perfectly immune to it, but I only get slightly weird-feeling after a considerable length of time looking down at a map or directions or my iPhone *cough*WordAce*cough* whereas I used to get extremely nauseated within seconds of doing any of those things in the past.

And I mean all my life. Even if I wasn’t reading, if I had to sit in the back of a long vehicle (like a van, not a regular car) for a long time, I’d get sick. Same if I had to ride along on a long, twisty path, even if I sat right in the front passenger seat. I’d have to roll down the windows, close my eyes, and almost hang my head out the window (not really out the window, since it’s dangerous), panting and trying to keep from barfing.

But ever since about the middle of the pregnancy, possibly a little earlier, I’ve been able to do map navigation, check email, play games, or even do a few lines of reading while Seppo is driving us around.

It feels like a super power. πŸ˜€

Time passing too quickly!

September 3, 2009   

I can’t believe it’s already been weeks since my last real blog entry. Do you remember being a kid and looking forward to something like two days away? It felt like you could feel every minute and every second and that those two days were never going to pass.

Nowadays, months pass at the blink of an eye. It’s kind of scary how fast time goes.

I’ve been kind of reluctant to post at length about my pregnancy in the third trimester, because I feel like I’ve been whining and whinging entirely too much already, in person and on Twitter. Also, it’s not like I didn’t want to get pregnant and start a family! I didn’t just enter this phase of life because it seemed like it was the next thing to do; I did because I consciously and purposefully wanted this to happen, for us to have a family.

And so complaining about it feels akin to deciding I want to have a leg removed then complaining later that I can’t walk very well anymore. I know it’s different, but it’s also in some ways the same.

Am I looking forward to motherhood? Yes, most definitely. Am I super-excited for this child-to-be? Without a smidgen of doubt. Did I know there would be difficulties that came with pregnancy? Yes, yes indeed. Do I know there will be both lots of good and lots of bad that comes with taking on such a huge responsibility for someone who will depend on me for decades? Yes, although not all the details.

So let there be no doubt, I have my eyes open about this. It won’t be all sunshine and roses. It’ll be hard. It’ll be, at times, heartwrenching. From what I hear, at times, I will feel the most helpless and worthless I have ever felt. Yet I know I want this, and I eagerly look forward to welcoming our child into the world and knowing he will change our lives forever.

So why all the complaints? How dare I? I knew about the awkwardness, the trouble sleeping, the swollen joints and limbs and such, right?

Yet, the things that have been hardest have been things I hadn’t really known the details of. For instance, I knew many people had swollen legs and feet during pregnancy, my own sister included. But I hadn’t known how that would feel, that it would make the joints feel arthritic. I think bracing for that expectation would have helped when it happened. Same for nausea… While I’ve always had issues with carsickness (and my pregnancy nausea felt a lot like this), I hadn’t realized that when things are bad, it’ll constantly feel like the 2 minutes or less right before you actually run to the bathroom to barf, up to the actual moment of barfing.

I also hadn’t realized why bending over and reaching things on the ground would be hard. I think I always imagined it would be like when someone has a large gut, but in many ways, it’s very different. What you have is a giant, very tight & firm ball of water that is pushed deeply into your torso, displacing your organs from their normal places. This means that bending requires that you shove this ball, which feels far more like a fully inflated basketball than something like a beachball, further toward your internal organs in the inner side and into your ribcage on the top side. My ribcage is already pulled apart, with the ribs sort of digging into the sides of the ball. I can only really bend about 15 degrees before hitting extreme discomfort in the organs and ribs, and another 15 degrees before it REALLY FREAKING hurts. It’s then another 10 or 15 degrees before I actually can’t go anymore without breaking a rib or tearing muscle. So to put on shoes, I have to kind of squat while standing, pick up a shoe with one hand, lift up the opposite side foot, and swing my shoe toward my foot and hope it hooks.

It’s humiliating and painful.

I hadn’t anticipated how humiliating things like that would feel. At times, it makes me laugh, but at times, I feel so ridiculously helpless and dependent. I am clumsy and helpless and look quite ridiculous.

It’s funny, because I don’t find the shape of other pregnant women ridiculous, but I hate seeing myself.

I hate the shooting, sharp pain in my hip and pelvis when I get up from lying or sitting down. My hip joint pops loudly, accompanied by pain so intense I often see stars. And apparently, this is normal. 😐

Today, a coworker said that when you read someone’s wedding vows w/o the context of personally being involved in their relationship, it’s hard not to have it sound utterly cheesy and corny, no matter how well they tried to express themselves. I think, for me, hearing about other people’s pregnancy experiences hadn’t really struck home.

The other really stupid thing that I’ve gotten really upset about is that my hands and feet are so swollen. Yes, I’ve mentioned the pain, and it’s debilitating at times. My hands suck in particular because I can’t use my pectoral muscles to help me get up or do any normal movements I want to engage in on a minute by minute basis, so I need to assist myself with hands, but they are already in pain. My feet & legs hurt so much from the plane ride that I wanted to cry the entire ride back from Hawaii.

And, of course, I need my hands to type for work and things like this. Luckily, typing isn’t terrible because my fingers are sort of clawed into position by the swelling anyway, so thank goodness for small favors.

Anyway, the real reason for being so upset at the hands and feet is this: I’ve always been vain about them. While, objectively, I know they are not the best looking hands & feet on earth, I’ve always thought they looked nice and cute/elegant. I don’t have the nicest eyes, hair, mouth, figure, whatever. But I do have nice hands and feet. Or I did.

Now when I look at them, they are so hideously deformed that on top of feeling stupid and clumsy and ridiculous, I don’t have this small vanity to make me feel like something special.

I know. It’s utterly stupid. But there it is. It upsets me to the point of crying at times. Like I am doing now.


I also cried when I saw how bad my stretch marks look. And when I realized that the changes to the… uh.. mammary region can be quite hideous and happens during pregnancy, not when you breastfeed. I wish I had known, just to be able to brace for these permanent changes.

I know a lot of this is hormones. I know I’m stressed because there is so much to finish up work-wise before I go on leave. I know I have a lot on my mind. I know I’m under physical duress.

Yet. Yet. Yet, I feel like crap and like wallowing in self-pity.

Which I hate.


At the same time, there is so much going for me. Our kid is healthy, as healthy as we can know while he is still inside the womb! This, more than anything else, is the best thing right now.

Our family & friends & coworkers are so supportive and cool, not just regarding the pregnancy, but as people I love in our lives, people I can count on. My work is putting very little pressure on me regarding the return date from my leave that I proposed. And at the same time, I know they would take me back in an instant, no matter when I come back, earlier or later. And they’ve already said that they’d be open to a flexible schedule when coming back. How much luckier could I get?

And today, our coworkers threw us a surprise baby shower! I can’t believe how thoughtful each note in the card and each carefully chosen gift was. I am truly, truly blessed to be among such good people.

Seppo is truly the best husband I could imagine. He is patient, kind, giving, and loving. All throughout the pregnancy, he’s really stepped up where I couldn’t pull my weight, he’s been a shoulder to cry on, and he’s been strong where I’ve been weak. He’s going to be such an amazing father. Our kid is going to be so lucky! He makes me laugh when I need it, holds me close when I need it, and buys me ice cream when I want it. πŸ™‚

Many of our friends have recently had children or are expecting. This is yet another way in which we are incredibly lucky. Because many of us are making the transition together, there is a lot of sharing of woes and good times. And a feeling that we are building a big family.

Despite all my stupid grumblings, nothing is seriously wrong with me. Even though I had tested with quite low progesterone levels in the past, it was fine when I actually got pregnant. I had braced with the fear of miscarriage, knowing my sister had one quite late in her pregnancy, and that my mom had multiple pregnancies that she never spoke to us about (I believe there were at least one abortion and one miscarriage, but there are also two more she won’t talk about). All our tests went extraordinarily well. I didn’t get gestational diabetes. I have great blood pressure, which is a fairly good indicator that I don’t have preeclampsia. I have a great doctor that takes time to answer all our little questions.

All this is amazingly wonderful. I can’t believe we dodged pretty much every major bullet. In the end, all I have are various discomforts and some emotional distress, but nothing that is actually terrible and/or won’t pass.

I know these fleeting moments of self-pity have passed in the past. And this one, too, shall pass. I think it’ll be a lot better once I stop going to work, because it’ll be one fewer source of stress.