Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Blah, halloween

My carpooler was anxious to leave work on time so she could get home for the trick or treaters. Me, I was just happy to get home. A cooked dinner (yahoo!) and we're vegging in front of the TV.

The porch and kitchen lights are out, the universal sign for "don't ring the doorbell," lol. We did have one kid knock and ring, but hopefully, she'll be the only one.

So, in celebration of tonight, Happy Halloween, even if I am a humbug.

Monday, October 29, 2007


In keeping with our bad luck of buying gas when price rise, I bought gas today at $3.09. Seven cents more than yesterday. Ouch!


One of my fellow LMers/bloggers decided to torture me again and tagged me (B, just kidding! love ya!). Here are the rules (and you know I love rules, if only so I know what rules I'm breaking, lol):

1-Link to your tagger (see above), and also post these rules on your blog. (done!)

2-Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. (see below)

3-Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. (yeah right)

4- Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog. (see 3 above)

Seven facts, you want me to think that hard?!!?!

1. I considering getting rid of worm bin and just having compost bins.
2. I'm obsessed with saving money.
3. I hate getting my hands dirty.
4. I love fried foods.
5. I hate these tagging things.
6. I don't shower every day.
7. I never wanted to have a career and I now I do.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

How do you count your savings?

I was talking to a friend about this and I find our different methods of calculating interesting. When I talk about what I save, I do really mean what I save, the dollars that come out of my paycheck and go into a savings account. (I'm saying I, but really, I'm talking about what A and I both save.) She also counts interest and company match on 401K. Since I have no control over those things, I don't count them. My method is easier for me because I can say I put $XXX into my health savings account and $XXX into my 401K and $XXX into saving and each of those numbers is a certain percentage of my income, if I wanted to calculate it that way. I'm not sure how to calculate the interest since that varies. 401K is easy to calculate since I know what the company match is. Anyway, in case you can't tell, we've got a little healthy competition going on as to who can save more. For quite a while, I was "winning." But since her DH makes about 3X what A makes (that's just a guess), she's pulled ahead.

No LM crop for me

In my never-ending quest to be organized, I was going through my e-mail and deleting ones I didn't need any more. I have a folder named LM crop and it contains all the e-mails from the 2004 and a few from the 2006 crop. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, for 2006, there was a crop forum on the message board so there aren't that many e-mails from then. I'm glad I saved the 2004 e-mails because they brought back so many fun memories. I'll have to print them out and put them in that album (yep, still working on that one).

As for 2007, it just wasn't meant to be. I really thought about it. I had a free ticket I could use. If I had committed to going in the summer, we could have pulled it off. But then, the China trip came along, work was crazy, and $$ was an issue (as usual). So, no crop this year for me. Now that it is so close, I'm really bummed. I'm glad that it isn't being discussed much on the boards since that would make me even more bummed. But I hope people will talk about it afterwards. I wanna know what I missed.

Friday, October 26, 2007

What to write

I have so many thoughts it's tough to sort them out. I could talk about how "poor" I am (again) or about the terrible Southern California wildfires or more thoughts on Uncle T or vent about work or my contacts or write about a million other things. Don't know why I'm so tired. Still have that darn cough. Wish I was visiting with S and C.

I'm off to read Harry Potter and drink some tea for a little relaxation.

Friday, October 19, 2007

We have crickets working for us

One nice surprise when I got home from China was our new garage door. Well, it really wasn't a surprise since the door/opener has been sitting in our garage for over a year until A finally got around to putting them up (I could post a page-long vent about that, but I won't). Our old door was an old-fashioned wooden door and I was always afraid the door would collapse on my car as I drove in/out of the garage. This was not an unfounded fear since each of the door springs has broken over time and the replacements did not inspire confidence in me.

The garage is sooooo much lighter now since this door has windows. It is so smooth and quiet. Not totally quiet since it sounds like little crickets chirping when the door opens/closes. So cute!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

So tired

Understandably, I think. Not sleeping too well. Went to see FIL last night. A went this morning and his brother was there most of the day. So far, he's gotten six units of blood. I have no idea how much blood is in one of those drip bags. But six units sure seems like a lot.

I do have lots of ideas for more interesting posts (instead of ill family members) and I also wanna get scrapping again. Hopefully soon.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I do not have a black cloud over my head

But that's what people are saying about me. :( So the latest is that my FIL is in ICU. Now this is the one that is really getting to me. All my aunties? Not much I could do. I am more worried about my mom and how she was doing with both of her sisters being seriously ill. But my FIL, that hits close to home, both emotionally and physically. My FIL lives close by. Poor A was so stressed when he called me at work to let me know. Thank goodness his other brother is already on his way down here for a visit. He'll be down here tomorrow night and we should have more info on dad then.

On a positive note, my cousin called to give me an (overly) optimistic update on my aunt and my uncle in SF called me to let me know his wife came home today and to think me for the China photos I sent.

Still, now we both cringe when the phone rings.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The magic number

I hit the magic number last week, for three days! Woo hoo! What the heck am I talking about? My weight, silly. I wanted to hit that number before I left for China, but I didn't. Then, while traveling I figured I would gain weight since I was eating three big meals a day, much more than I normally eat. In fact, mom gained weight her first week! I dunno, maybe stress, maybe it is that time of the month, but whatever the reason, I know at my "advanced" age, I can still hit the magic number. Now, if only I could stay at this weight. That's my new goal for now.

Actually, I was wondering I could hit my pre-wedding weight (which is about 10% less than what I weigh now). I used to try on my Chinese wedding dress on my anniversary to see if I could still wear it. And I could, for several years. Don't remember when I stopped trying it on. That might a little extreme. But I'm thinking about it.

And it continues

Talked to my mom today. Now I have bad news from the other side of the family. An aunt was driving her cats to the vet and totaled her car. She was in the hospital for a few days, but is home now. From what I heard, I think she'll be okay, thank goodness.

And work has its ups and downs. Not thrilled to be working 12 hours days again. A's not thrilled either. I'm still sick, but still getting better.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My phone is ringing off the hook...

and it isn't good news. I've been getting updates about my aunt (in SF) from my cousin, which is good since she's a nurse and can ask the doctor lots of questions and help translate the answers for me. My aunt's surgery was yesterday and unfortunately, they could not remove the tumor. Right now, they're giving her 6 months to a year to live.

Tonight, I get a call from my brother, asking if I have my cousin's cell #. He doesn't tell me why he needs it and seems a bit hesitant so I don't press him. Unfortunately, no, but I know someone who does. After I get the number, I call him back (at Uncle J's), but by then, he's already on the road with my mom (she's finally going home!). Of course, now I get to worry about my brother driving for hours on the road (taking my mom home and then he'll drive back home and go to work tomorrow morning). And do you think I could get him to call me or send me an e-mail to let me know he's okay, of course not!

The reason he wanted my cousin's cell # was so they could get an update on Uncle B (husband of my aunt above). It turns out that Uncle B fell in the elevator today and was in the emergency room. So between calling to get updates, getting phone numbers, returning calls, my ear is sore and I haven't gotten anything done. Plus I still have to call my mom tonight.

So if bad things come in threes, I hope this was the third, and last item.

On a more amusing note, A asked me how many people I talked to (since I lost track of how many phone calls) and it was seven (cousin's DH, cousin 1, cousin 2, Uncle J, Auntie M, my brother, my mom). And if the phone line hadn't been tied up, with all these phone calls, I probably would have talked to another cousin.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

China photos

I've been plesantly surprised and pleased at all the comments I've received regarding my China photos (send me an e-mail if you want a link). Surprised because they were taken with a point-and-shoot camera, not a DSLR. Surprised because the photos/subject matter doesn't seem extraordinary to me. Surprised because so many people were surprised at how primative China still is. Pleased because even though I was using a point-and-shoot camera and my contacts were bothering me the whole time I was in China, I think I managed to get some good shots. Pleased because I put a lot of effort into the commentary. Pleased because people took the time to thank me for the photos. Thank you!

Cough, hack, cough

It sounds like I've got it really bad this time. I managed to stay healthy during the entire China trip, but got sick as soon as I got home. It's been a week now, and I'm tired of coughing and sneezing. Since I woke up today with more congestion than ever, I'm staying home in the hopes of knocking out this cold. I'm gonna dose myself with vitamins and herbal tea and hope they do the trick.

Debating whether or not I should go to the doctor. I hate going to the doctor. The truth is, I won't go to the doctor unless I absolutely have to because I think it is a waste of money for someone to tell me I have a viral infection and to just let it run its course. But I always worry that it might be something serious, like walking pneumonia, or something I can't cure with OTC meds. I'm sure the worrying doesn't help. But that's how I am. I think I'll give it a couple more days and hope the extra sleep, vitamins, and rest cure me.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Guess I overdid it

Since I've come down with a full-fledged cold. I did go back to work early, partly because we are so short-handed at the moment and partly because I wanted to save my vacation time because my aunts are ill (more on that later). I was surprised and pleased and worried that the first four people I saw all said, "Thank goodness you came back early!" Though there wasn't that much for me to do except go through the 462 e-mails I got while I was out.

I was pretty tired and had a bit of a sore throat. It also took three days for my ears to clear. Or maybe it was the beginning of my cold. My throat is better now, but I'm soooooo tired. I took a two and a half hour nap today. Probably could have slept longer, but I asked A to wake me up after an hour, so he did, but then told me to go back to sleep. He went out to get some dinner and I finally got up to eat. Hope I can fall asleep tonight.

Missed a baby shower today and bunco tonight. Would have missed them anyways if I came back on my original schedule. Ah well.

As for my soap opera life, I think that people wouldn't believe it. A few days before we left for China, my aunt had brain surgery. We went to see her a few hours before we left for the airport and she wasn't doing so well. Unfortunately, we didn't get any news about her while we were in China so my mom was a bit worried. But we did find out that my other aunt (in San Francisco) was going to have surgery the next week, which was a shock to us. Hence part of my urgency to come home early.

As it turns out, my aunt went to the hospital early to prep her for surgery. They needed to stabilize her fluids and blood sugar because she wasn't healthy enough for the surgery as is. My uncle is still in China because he couldn't change his flight. Now I wish I had dragged him to the airport with me and he could have come home early. But he wasn't ready to leave. Since he's 89 years old, he wouldn't be able to "camp out" at the airport by himself, like my mom and I were prepared to do (thank goodness we didn't have to). Yep, I've got stress in my life.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Yahoo! I'm finally home! Did ya miss me? Did ya even notice I was gone? For those of you out of the loop, I went to China with my mom and some other relatives. We visited her childhood home, saw a tiny bit of Hong Kong/Macau, and then spent a week on Hainan island (China) with other relatives. Add in more travel time for me (had to fly to Sacramento and get Mom before heading out to San Francisco Int'l airport) and I was gone for just over two weeks.

We were originally scheduled to come back on Friday (after a 3 day post-China extension in Hong Kong), but Mom developed the "China hack," probably because of being tired, the air pollution, the smoking, and the weather. It was hot and humid, but the hotels and restaurants were cold so all that temperature change didn't help. Also, it was impossible to regulate the temperature in the hotel rooms, it was almost always too cold or too hot. If we turned the air off, the humidity was unbearable, but with the air on, it got too cold. While in China, we desperately tried to change our flight, but no such luck. The airline said they were overbooked and wouldn't even put our names on a waiting list.

So since we were going to be in HK anyways, I decided our best bet would be to camp out at the airport until they put us on a waiting list. As it turns out, we didn't have to resort to such drastic measures. Here's how my day went.

  • Left the hotel in Haikou (Hainan Island) at 6:15 am to catch the 8:50 flight.
  • Had security question me about my contact lens solution (the same solution in the same baggie that went from OC to SFO to HK to Haikou). Had no idea what the guy was saying. My aunt also didn't understand him. Two other security guys were like, why are you questioning her and waved us on.
  • Flew to Hong Kong. Went through immigration, picked up our luggage, then promptly turned around and went upstairs to Departures to find the Cathay Pacific counter.
  • Contrary to what we were told over the phone, the flight still had open seats and the wonderfully kind agent got me an aisle seat with Mom next to me. It was done quickly and easily and best of all, no flight change fee.
  • We had five hours before our flight so we decided to just walk around the airport for a while. We could have gone into HK, but we just weren't up to it. I tried calling the hotel to cancel our reservation, but that was a joke. Couldn't find an internet cafe without a huge line.
  • Decided to go to the boarding gate, which involved passing through immigration/security and then taking a train to the boarding area. Forgot to take my camera out of my pocket, so had to get wanded.
  • Found a free computer/telephone center sponsored by a local telecommunications company and e-mailed the hotel to cancel my HK rooms, my brother so he could pick us up from the airport, and my honey.
  • Didn't trust the e-mail to the hotel so found an HK phone number and called The poor girl (I assume she was in India) didn't know how to cancel my reservation because it had been made online by someone other than me so I got transferred back to the US to a wonderful agent (Joye, I love you!), who couldn't hear half the things I was saying (and vice versa) because of our lousy connection, was patient and helpful and cancelled my reservation no problem, tried to get the hotel to waive their cancellation policy (billing me for one night because I was cancelling too late)-no such luck, and said she'd send me some sort of vouchers to use on a future booking. Such a relief to know I wouldn't have to pay for three nights I wasn't using.
  • Bought a cup of tea to drink on the plane, but didn't realize I'd have to go through another security check by the airlines so it was taken away.
  • Had the child from heck sitting behind us. Threw a tantrum the first 45 minutes so the flight. Either cried or kicked our chairs for most of the flight. Had a huge person sitting in front of me, who reclined his seat all the way for most of the flight. Was unable to sleep more than an hour or two. But we were coming home, which was really all that matter.
  • Thank goodness my brother read his e-mail and was waiting for us at the airport (so I didn't have to deal with Super Shuttle or Bart or a taxi and yet more expense). Went to my aunt's (the one scheduled for surgery next week). She looks awful, but was so happy to see us. Had my first upset stomach of the trip, maybe from lack of sleep? Called the airline and was able to change my flight home.
  • Went out to dinner, but finally had to rush everyone so I could catch my flight.
  • Got to the airport 40 minutes before the flight took off. Cutting it a little close, but since it was late, the airport wasn't busy and I got through check-in and security in 15 minutes.
Right now, I'm suffering from the worse case of jetlag I've ever had. Still deciding if I should go to work tomorrow or not. I'm just so happy to be home.