Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Be a Hero. Eat bacon.

There is a war going on. Man versus virus. Viruses are pure evil, their only goal being to wipe out all life on Earth. There’s no way we can win this war, at least not now. Our only hope is to cripple their advance, to clip their firepower. We must kill pigs. Hit the virus where it hurts. Oh, don’t feel for the pigs, they’re like virus tanks. You don’t feel bad for human tanks, do you? Shit, I might feel bad for a pink tank, but still—this is war.

You can’t get swine flu from bacon. You can get swine flu from pigs, but not bacon. I’m not saying we should all go out and cook ourselves some human bacon to curb the oncoming pandemic either. I’m just saying we should eat more bacon. Or we should have been eating a lot more bacon.

All these years I’ve been preaching about bacon’s supreme might and, to a certain extent, their deadly potential if fallen into the wrong hands. If only the world had listened. Instead of eating bacon, we were torturing foreigners, killing babies and skinning animals. And for what? Nothing.

I hate to say it, world, but I told you so. Now you have to deal with media inflation, fear, less travel, death, and a surge in face mask sales. The best part of this is that I’m fairly certain the price of bacon will drop, affording us the perfect time to initiate our delicious attack.

No, turkey bacon doesn’t count. First of all it’s not pork. Second, avian flu is so five years ago, and a devious trick. A perpetual Thanksgiving would have been the obvious strategy, but that would’ve brought upon an eternal nap. Humans are most susceptible when napping and every virus knows his.

Go now, eat bacon.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Environmental Conservative

A lot of people say that when you get old er have have more money, one becomes more of a fiscal conservative. I wouldn't want to speak too soon, but I can only foresee my becoming a fiscal conservative if I keep on making so little money, I'd be trying tooth and nail to keep it for myself. What I'm more concerned about is becoming one of those crazy environmentalists people love to loathe.

I jumped on this bandwagon pretty young, and I can remember making a giant earth that covered the entire back of my binder cover with puffy paint, and wrote an award-winning poem titled, "If I Could Give the World a Gift." I even typed it out (on a typewriter). I was amazed when I saw a family that recycled/reused/composted practically everything they used, and took an annual trip to the dump to throw away their one small shopping bag of actual trash. I wanted to be that family.

Since then, I've been somewhat mindful on being on Ed Begley Jr.'s team; being mindful not to waste too much, tried to recycle as much as possible, avoid anything with CFCs, and know my plastics.

Then I started noticing...things. I'd get a little irked when people would opt to trash recyclables instead of recycling them. I started to notice the collection of various styrofoam and plastic cups, bowls and bottles I used that I had full intention to use again and again and again. I started taking home plastic utensils and cups I used when eating out just so I can wash them and use them again.

Now I have my bamboo utensils in my purse, always at the ready, which I use at any chance I get - even at other peoples' places when they're going to use plastic utensils. A lot of the packaging, foil, toilet paper rolls I can get my hands on are saved so I can round them all up and donate to an art center so kids can use them for their art projects. I reuse a lot of containers myself, and avoid buying certain items sometimes because of unnecessary packaging.

I went to a friend's party not that long ago, and when I asked if I could bring anything, I was asked to bring water or hot dog buns. I refused to buy water. I didn't think it was cost-effective to buy bottled water that leeched chemicals bottled in containers that yes, could be recycled, but still used up a lot of energy and resources for its existence. Instead, I bought beer, which seemed like a better use of my money and resources.

There are oftentimes when I secretly cringe inside when there's a lot of preventable waste going on, and sometimes I curse mistakes I make when I'm out and about doing things. I love driving sometimes, but I drive much more efficiently now and rarely turn on the A/C unless I'm pretty much melting.

Along with my dream to own my own home, I dream to have a nice yard where I can set up a compost bin and have a nice garden of herbs and edible plants I can use in my cooking.

More than anything, I'm afraid when I become older and more senile when my Social Graces switch no longer works and I flip out on someone who doesn't recycle. Or when I have a meltdown when I realize how big a carbon footprint a dumb decision of mine has made. Although I like eating meat, I'm always a tinge sad whenever I do eat it some, and I can see myself having violent mood swings at the table while menopausal.

I maybe hope to be as good to the earth as I can, but at the same time, try to maintain a rational, functional, civilized person. There's a happy medium to all this, right?


Monday, April 20, 2009

Hustlin'...with Heart


This physically-induced asthmatic trained for six months in preparation for running 26.2 miles in New Orleans, Louisiana, a feat I did just six months before Hurricane Katrina hit (2005). It's not an easy task, but I ran over 500 miles, including doing a training run one early October morning along the Salzach River in Salzburg, Austria, and running my fastest mile ever completely alone during my celebration run (a practice, but full 26.2) three weeks before running the real marathon.

I did this with the help of the AIDS Marathon Training Program, who pairs you up with people of your running pace (of which I was the second slowest pace), helps you train to to the distance, flies you and puts you up at your marathon destination in exchange for raising money for the program and their cause. I helped raise over $3,000 for AIDS Project Los Angeles, an awesome organization that provides comprehensive assistance for those living with HIV and AIDS.

Running a marathon is an experience I think everyone should do it if one's physically able. I didn't think I could, but I did, and I promised myself before I couldn't, I'd do it again. Once I did, I also promised myself that I'd run through another charity program so that my efforts will help benefit an organization I believe in.

I still haven't run that next marathon, and was almost going to do it this year, but I didn't wind up having the time to train for such a thing right now. Instead, I've signed myself up for a couple of not-as-physically-crazy events coming up.

THIS SATURDAY, I am walking a 5k in Fullterton at Orange County's Donate Life Run/Walk 5k/1k with some good friends as we walk with our good friend, Michael.

Last time I saw Michael was the day before he left for vacation, then a week on-site for work, before at the age of 34, suffered from a massive heart attack. He fought the most excellent fight, and the next time I saw him, he was doing excellent cooking me a pork ragu with a brand new heart. Seven months later, he's ripe and ready to walk this 5k already raising over $1,000 for the California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry. In these seven months, he's already rock climbed and has the OK to go mountain biking once again, and can already do more pull ups than I can do...ever.

To read more about Michael's story, you can visit his blog.
Please donate and support Michael for this event by going to his support page.

When I arrived at the doorstep at the house of the woman who became my boss, the first thing she said to me was, "You ran a marathon. We do it as a fundraiser!" I knew I was getting into something good. My work, Great Leap, is a multicultural performance company that's been around for 31 years, and when I found out what soon became my place of employment, I knew I found my cause for my next marathon.

Only, I didn't make the time for the rigorous training program I'd have to do in order to run 26.2 miles on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26th for this year's L.A. Marathon. Instead, I've put in the elbow grease to fix the 1971 Schwinn Collegiate I got for free so it can take me through the 20-mile course through Los Angeles for the L.A. Bike Tour.

I may not be in the optimal shape, and my 5-gear cruiser may not be the ideal bike for some of those inclines, but I believe in the performance company I work for, and I also believe in helping myself make sure I get another paycheck.

You want to help Los Angeles-based, multicultural programming and help me put food on my table? Donate by going to Great Leap's site by donating! You can either write a check (Comment for instructions), go to our website, or donate on your smart phone (or computer) through GeoGive!


Friday, April 17, 2009

A Mighty Epiphany

It’s hard finally admitting this, but writing isn’t my first passion. I have my passions itemized, and writing didn’t even make the top ten. As a matter of fact, after years of writing, I can comfortably say that I hate it. I hate writing. I fucking hate it. I only started writing because friends said I was good. I’m doomed to a life of banality doing something I loathe, doomed to days upon days filled with enough tedium to pack a library with math books. There will be nothing more than thinking and writing and killing myself slowly, agonizing over my waning creativity.

My real passion has always been history. It felt good to write that. It’s the first thing I’ve written in a year that’s brought me. I want to be on the front lines deciphering the past through marks on a wall or by analyzing the position of a body in a grave.

If it weren’t for my tricking myself into becoming a writer, I’d be in central Mexico proving that the Aztecs were wiped out first by hegemony, then by culture, and then by the conquistadors. Instead I’ll spend the next fifty years of my life waiting to write a book and doling out non sequitur like a quadriplegic shitting his pants in a restaurant: helpless and ashamed.

Just kidding.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sick at Work

Hi. It's me again, and I'm still alive but feeling pretty crummy at work.

Even though I am feeling better, I run a terrible risk of making myself even sicker by going to work. Why? For some strange reason, my office can actually double as a meat's so cold ALL THE TIME.

Take this picture for example:

That's me in February, and even though I'm dressed like this for the outside, I keep it on for the inside and ADD the fingerless gloves so I can actually type without digits freezing off. So yes, those are mismatched fingerless gloves I'm wearing, with a cashmere scarf, a corduroy peacoat, and a warm and wooly sweater underneath. I don't remember, but I'm sure I was wearing a thermal beneath that sweater.

Although it's not AS cold as it was then, it's still cold, and I'm sick, which means I'm prepared to freeze myself to death or become cryogenically frozen. I may not have such a big issue with the latter, but I'm not as imaginative as Walt Disney or as mediocreally humorous as Fry in Futurama, so I'll spare the future from myself by going when it's naturally acceptable.

This is what I look like today:

It's me again, with my GIANT cup o' tea, wearing my warm, weatherproof coat and a hood over my head, which is also covered with a wool hat.

Peeling off a layer, I look like this:

This is me with just the hoodie and hood pulled down, still wearing the hat.

Peeling off one more layer:

I've got my snug-fitting Snoopy shirt and a 3/4-sleeve thermal. I like keeping Snoopy close to my heart - he keeps me warm.

And no, I'm not peeling off any more layers, sickos (wait...I'm the sicko, you're the pervo).

It wasn't too long after shooting that last shot that I quickly put the layers back on, because I was getting COLD.

I also have our office radiator on and it's at my feet, trying to keep me warm.

If I don't see any noticeable progress by the end of the week, I'm giving up this fight.

Yes, I am a wimp.


Monday, April 13, 2009

That's Sick.

Almost four years ago, I got progressively sick on a trip from Mountain View, CA back down to LA, and didn't shake the bug until the middle of June.

I do not blame whatever germ that I picked up while up there, I blame my fatalistic mentality and denial of microbiology.

For some reason, I had it in my head that I no longer wanted to deny myself from the signs my body was telling me and refused to take any medicine to suppress my cough, or take some antihistamine to pretend I was congested. I was convinced that I shouldn't succumb to some dumb little organism that is attacking me en masse and that my body was just going to right myself if my body was ready to do combat the bug.

I spent those seven weeks going around as if I was in some perpetual haze, walking around as if I was perpetually going through an outer body experience.

I'm pretty sure that probably had walking pneumonia for part of that time, and by week 5.5, I realized the meds I said I didn't need were actually useful to my getting better: The cough suppressant wasn't there to stop me from expectorating the mucus in my throat; it was there to prevent me from fatiguing me from extended coughing fits. The acetaminophen gave me a bit of energy when it kept the fever at bay.

Now when (that) I'm sick, I don't go and OD on all the cold meds, I try to see if I can try to use more natural methods to help me feel better before I go for the heavy hitters (the drugs). As soon as I got home, I drank some water, made myself some chicken noodle soup with egg and lots of cayenne pepper, did a few rounds with the neti pot, and as soon as I post this blog entry, I'm going to do a bit of research and pass out for the very early day I have ahead of me.

Being sick sucks. Germs are millions of little bastards possessing my body and I am ready to fight. WATCH OUT!


Friday, April 10, 2009

a slice of frank!

I read for the first time in months yesterday. It was a short story by Hemingway, "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber." Among the highlights was his description of a lion’s slow death, “. . . he turned his heavy head and swung away toward the cover of the trees as he heard a cracking crash and felt the slam of a .30-06 220-grain bullet that bit his flank and ripped in sudden hot scalding nausea through his stomach.” This is how it feels to have anxiety.

When I was seven and eight I played T-ball and I would cry and tremble with anxiety before every game, and throw up before most games. This continued through junior high and high school. I was unable to brush my teeth some days because opening my mouth would make me vomit. I’d get sharp cramps in my intestines as though I were digesting a glass vial filled with poison that’d exploded. It was purely psychosomatic as whenever I sat on a toilet the pain would fade instantly. There was great relief and guilt on days I feigned illness.

This was compounded by my not discovering I was lactose intolerant until I was 20. I’d have cereal in the morning and my face would be purple with pain by fifth period and I’d too scared to ask to use the restroom.

My anxiety manifests itself in other ways. I enter catatonic states in public, especially around my family. I don’t talk to anyone. I feel like Boo Radley: uncomfortable, awkward, and much too aware of myself like if my skin is tightening against my organs. Liken it to test anxiety when you study for hours only to forget vital facts when trying to answer questions. When meeting strangers or speaking to authoritative figures I literally forget how to hold a conversation. My muscles tense, I lacrimate, and any information I’d acquired about the person dissipates. I end up kicking myself in the ass afterward when what I wanted to say comes flooding back.

I eventually became conditioned to avoid social situations, or confrontations with authoritative figures, like a child learns not to touch an iron. I cringe irrationally at the thought of social mishaps, even those so small that they are innocuous to others. A limp handshake, a misspoken word, a minor stutter all stay with me for months and, when involuntarily conjured, make me feel like that lion that was shot through the stomach.


Monday, April 6, 2009

I Like Sportz

Almost a year ago, my friend who was out of town for grad school was planning on coming home for a bit and we tried to plan to hang out, and wanted to know when I was free. I told her something along these lines:

"Well, tonight (Monday) I'm going to Hooters with Natilie to watch the Dodger game and eat hot wings, then tomorrow I'm going TO a Dodgers game, I think we can hang out Wednesday, but I was thinking about going to visit my family since I haven't seen them in a while and I can watch the Lakers game there, Thursday I made plans with another friend and Friday is the next Lakers game."

In one fell swoop, this close friend found out how much I'm into sports.

If I can equivilate my zeal for sports to anything, I can say I like it and admit to liking it as much as I like Star Wars. I'm not fanatic for either one of them, but get on either topics, and I can carry a pretty healthy conversation on them.

...and it's not like I'm trying to puff out my chest and show off I'm a girl who likes sports, in fact, it can be really tiring, especially this time of year.

Today is Opening Day for Major League Baseball, and in particular, opening day for my baseball team, the Los Angeles Dodgers (Who won against the Padres tonight! WOO!!!). Freeway rivals The Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim played against the Oakland A's tonight and won (BOO), and I have a more vested interest in the A's now that Nomar Garciaparra is now on the team (I don't care if he's Mr. Glass).

Tonight was also the NCAA Championships, where Michigan State lost to UNC, which made me sad. I'm glad I'm not too into NCAA otherwise I'd go crazy around this time of year with a month of craziness I managed to catch the end of the Lakers-Clippers game last night and witness how the Clips managed to get past a 20 point deficit to almost take the game into overtime had Baron Davis made that last 3-point attempt in their cute, classic Clippers away uniform (Yay Clips being in LA for 25 years this season!).

I was lucky to catch the tail end of that game while having dinner after making the long haul to Anaheim to watch the Ducks play against the San Jose Sharks with tickets I won. NHL season is wrapping up right now as well, and I'm glad I'm not as into it as I am the NBA and MLB, because with the playoffs for the former and the season starting for the latter, I would have way too difficult a time trying to follow everything I'd want to. Oh, there's also the UEFA Champions League in its Quarter finals in Rome across the pond. The world-class football club I got to see when I was in Germany is in it: Bayern M√ľnchen, only since they play games in Europe time, games happen in the morning around here, which is a bummer.

Oh, there is what we call soccer over in these parts happening too, and I'm almost afraid to get into that.

Good thing I don't follow competitive cheer and golf.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Adventures in Fail.

I was duped for an April Fool's prank: Fake Holiday FAIL
I'm running late for an event tonight: Punctuality FAIL
My friend to be my date flaked out on me: Friendship FAIL
My basketball team is losing right now: Lakers FAIL
I'd watch, but the digital converter I have works just as well as if I didn't have it: Technology FAIL
This isn't a real entry: BLOGGING FAIL

I quit.

BONUS: These pants are too long for my short legs: GENETICS AND FASHION FAIL