Sunday, April 27, 2008

How true

Got a bottle cap quote by Anonymous (he gets around):

"The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago.
The second best time is now."

I waste so much time and energy regretting and even imagining those unplanted trees that I have too little left to simply pick up the shovel now. Why do we do this to ourselves?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Oh, and for no good reason...

...except that I finally confirmed that I had the correct spelling and usage from a Japanese friend, I opened a CafePress shop. I have done absolutely nothing to promote it yet. My husband hopes to add some Dr.Whovian related items and I have a few more ideas.

Two thoughts on that--one, should I report the people who are blatantly stealing copyrighted work and passing it off as their own, or leave it alone?

And two, and this will only be funny to half of my tiny readership. There's a shirt that I covet there that says, "I wanted to learn Alchemy, but it costs and arm and a leg." Bwa-ha-ha, ROFL, snort.

Oh, and even more one more thing--should I add "Nan dai yo, ne?" to the back, just to be more clear?

Things that work

I have decided that it might be better if I don't rehash work problems here and get back to some basic reviewing.

The BIG summit is May 6-9, so I might not really be back to it until after, but before I finish with work, I do want to show one thing I am proud of:

The Paragon Advisor

Created entirely and edited by yours truly. It's a newsletter for aspiring financial planners, so not so exciting, but hey, I made it.

There are also blogs being launched at http://www.makingcentsblog.com/ and http://www.theparagonadvisorblog.com/. I actually didn't set these up, but have tweaked them some. I am editing most of the pieces at Making Cents, which IS for the general consumer, so feel free to comment and make my boss happy and keep me in a job.

Edit: Annoyingly Making Cents is not showing the way that it should. Will have to do some checking on that on Monday. Have had some weird bugs in TypePad. Like I said, I didn't set them up.

Stranger Than Fiction

Watched most of this this afternoon. Have to say I really enjoyed it, and Will Farrell, and you have to know that I HATE all Will Farrell movies. Like discovering that Jim Carrey can act, it was pleasant to find that Farrell could as well. While Carrey always had a commitment to a variety of characters, I always felt that Farrell was just playing the same shtick over and over (well, except for The Oblongs--the weirdest of all my favorite weird cartoons--I love, love, loved him in The Oblongs).

Always delightful to see Emma Thompson playing neurotic. It is also a very clever film about fiction and life. I would have to say it will probably be enjoyed more by people who read the kind of novels that Thompson's character writes--tragedies, not comedies.

Perhaps...

I'm only happy when it rains
I'm only happy when it's complicated
And though I know you can't appreciate it
I'm only happy when it rains

You know I love it when the news is bad
Why it feels so good to feel so sad
I'm only happy when it rains

Pour your misery down
Pour your misery down on me
Pour your misery down
Pour your misery down on me

I'm only happy when it rains
I feel good when things are going wrong
I only listen to the sad, sad songs
I'm only happy when it rains

I only smile in the dark
My only comfort is the night gone black
I didn't accidentally tell you that
I'm only happy when it rains

You'll get the message by the time I'm through
When I complain about me and you
I'm only happy when it rains

Pour your misery down
(Pour your misery down)
Pour your misery down on me
(Pour your misery down)

You can keep it over me
As long as you don't care
I'm only happy when it rains

You wanna hear about my new obsession?
I'm riding high upon a deep depression
I'm only happy when it rains

Pour some misery down on me
I'm only happy when it rains

I'm dreading menopause

My hormones totally pwn me.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Reunion (resumed)

The reunion was for a scholarship group of which I was a part at college. We spoke at the luncheon and have been asked to write down what we said. This is mine below. I feel inadequate in this group. Many were Vietnamese "Boat People," refugees who fled after the war in unspeakable conditions. Others grew up in Harlem, NY or Compton in Los Angeles. They went to schools you hear about on shows like NYPD Blue, Law and Order or Boomtown and think, "Thank God, I didn't have to live through that." Guns, shootings, worse. And yet through determination and some intervention by people who recognized their innate talent they attended Amherst and thrived.

I chose Amherst for some very good reasons, and one rather silly one. My high school didn’t promote better schools or encourage application, despite the fact that many students did test well and could have attended their choice of schools. In fact, when I told my counselor that I wanted to attend Amherst, he told me he thought I could get the same education at UMKC! I did have a few teachers who encouraged me to apply, and I asked the vice-principal of the school to complete my application paperwork.

In the massive pile of college prospectuses (prospecti(?)—surely I should know this as an Amherst grad!) the Amherst book leapt out at me because I had portrayed Emily Dickinson in The Belle of Amherst for high school speech and debate contests and so Amherst had a certain romance to me. But, I did do the research, if only to prove to my relatives that I was making a good decision. I loved its small size, its limited class size, its lack of core curriculum, its high ranking. I wanted the best and I did find it.

I’m sure some of you at the luncheon wondered how I had been chosen as a Wolff Scholar. My parents suffered a bankruptcy and separated (though never divorced) and I spent my junior high and part of my high school years living in other people’s basements with my mother. But all the same, I was not originally a Wolff Scholar. I had a different scholarship but lost it when I took time off. When I returned I was a Wolff Scholar, and I will always be grateful for that second chance.

But, I have always feared that I was the wrong choice. Despite my poverty, I was still in many ways a middle class white girl. I did not live the kinds of childhoods that many Wolff Scholars experienced. My father had two master’s degrees, and my mother some college. It was always a given that I would attend some college. Ironically, because of my poverty I was able to attend a better college than many of my middle class friends. But I have never felt like I belonged—as a Wolff Scholar, as an Amherst student, or as an Asian, and that has shaped many of my choices or lack of them.

At the luncheon I expressed some of these fears for the first time. I also felt/feel that I have not made the best use of my Wolff Scholarship. I pursued acting and set/costume design through my 20’s, a tiring and often disheartening life that leaves little time for other things. While I have had good reviews both as an actress and as a set/costume designer, I always feared that I “should” be doing so much better, doing serious work, or at the very least, committing more strongly to theater. Instead I tried to straddle both worlds, to have sensible day jobs that allowed me to pursue theater, but the sensible jobs often took away from theater, so I was never fully invested in either world.

I wrote this to Mr. Wolff last fall saying that I feared I had wasted his generous gift and he wrote back that everyone has their own path and their own time. Those words meant everything to me and I refer back to them often. What I did not understand when I was attending Amherst was that the school was eager to help me in anything I wanted to do. Because I didn’t understand, and I was afraid, I didn’t take advantage of everything that Amherst had to offer. As I believe Joel described at the luncheon, I had spent all of my energy getting into Amherst, and I knew how to get through it reasonably well, but I did not know how to get out of it well.

What I am learning in my 30’s is to accept that there are no “shoulds.” That comparing oneself to others either favorably or unfavorably is pointless. We are who we are, made up of all the events—good and bad—that have brought us to this moment.

I have joined a group—Vietnamese Adoptee Network (VAN)—and while I don’t always agree with everything the other members say, I feel closer to this group than to almost any other. We all share a strange sensation of being raised too white to be Asian, and yet for many (not so much for me) clearly not being white enough, needing to find some identity as Asians.

I am currently a marketing manager for a financial broker/dealer firm. I like what I do—being artistically creative and would like to move into a field that really lets me be creative all the time. I have contentment most of the time and work everyday to accept myself and where I am.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Being a grown-up means...

You get bawled out and you can't cry (or kick them in the shins).

Well, I stood my own at least. And I'm more angry/annoyed than sad.

I have three major projects going on at work:

Planning the conference for May 6-9
Overseeing the development of the two new websites which are supposed to go live on May 1
Building myself a Practice Development Newsletter that will go out monthly and collects articles from several sources

Then I have several small projects:

The general weekly Newsletter which takes most of Wednesday
Transition work for JT
Other updates and projects etc.

The first three depend on my boss. Today he informed me in no certain terms that he wasn't happy with the second project--the websites. He already had major "corrections" to item 3 that took most of yesterday, last night and this morning. Now, the stupid thing is that he's had a chance to offer input on all of these things at several points along the way, but through his own stupidity didn't bother and is now unhappy with the result causing myself and the web team much stress and much stupid redoing--and he is also saying that the web company is amateur (because none of us could read his mind).

This is a pattern with him.

I don't want it to be a pattern with me.

So, I contemplate leaving, and once again wonder where I would go, and if you ever really can get away.

And that is the summation of all of the bad mood of the past few weeks.

I'm actually at work now (7:10). I know people who stay at work until 9 (well, not this work) but I always thought I was too well organized to do that.

I'm going home soon, but I thought I'd do something I enjoy.

I did share Hyde singing Careless Whispers on YouTube with a co-worker today since George Michael is touring.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

It's getting to be a habit

Actually the first part of this came to me--in that it actually happened--and I was trying to get it into a poem form for a few weeks. I'm not sure it works--like I'm trying too hard.

I saw a crow
motionless
atop a pole
So black and still
he seemed
a paper silhouette,
the outline of a crow

And seeing him,
my focus dwindled,
rendering the world
flat as a photograph
as when a flock of birds
will look no more
than charcoal marks
across the sky.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Have I posted this before?

No reason in particular--always timely.

President Gas
The Psychedelic Furs

you have to have a party
when you're in a state like this
you can really move it
all you have to vote and change
you have to get right out of it
like out of all this mess

you'll say yeah to anything
if you believe all this but
don't cry, don't do anything
no lies, back in the government
no tears, party time is here again
president gas is up for president

line up, put your kisses down
say yeah, say yes again
stand up, there's a head count
president gas on everything but roller skates

it's sick the price of medicine
stand up, we'll put you on your feet again
open up your eyes
just to check that your asleep again
president gas is president gas again

he comes in from the left sometimes
he comes in from the right
it's so heavily advertised that he wants you and i
it's a real cowboy set, electric company

every day is happy days
it's hell without the sin, but
don't cry, don't do anything
no lies, back in the government
no tears, party time is here again

president gas is up for president
line up, put your kisses down
say yeah, say yes again
stand up, there's a head count
president gas on everything but roller skates

it's sick the price of medicine
stand up, we'll put you on your feet again
open up your eyes just to check that your asleep again