Sunday, July 23, 2006


Utter Exhaustion Sets In (The Road Trip From Hell) Pt. 1

Ok. So I lied. I promised I’d be better about responding to emails, etc., and I haven’t really been very good about it. But I really have been very busy. Two weekends of my life were spent helping my sister move out of her old apartment (here) and into her new one in Connecticut. She came home for a week and we hung out, etc. Then this past weekend we helped her move into her new place. Let’s just say everything pretty much went to shit from the very beginning of this doomed road trip.

First, early on Saturday morning, (and friggin’ early for a Sat. morning), the day we were heading out for CT, my grandmother calls at 9. I’d gone to sleep pretty late the night before and never get enough sleep during the week so weekend mornings are almost sacred to me. Needless to say, I was pretty unhappy about being woken up, especially when the phone call wasn’t even for me but for my sister.

I’m secretly worried about my grandmother, she’s acting like she thinks she’s gonna die soon, calling solely for the purpose of making my sister promise to come home and visit often and not to forget about her grandmother. Let’s see, we have only one living grandparent so I don’t think it’s possible for us to forget about her. Granted, she’s almost 80 years old, but she still pretty much has all her faculties intact and is still able to more or less take care of herself. She even grows her own little garden. I always thought/hoped she’d be around to meet my children. Wouldn’t that be grand? Not so sure if that’s possible though, seeing as how I’m probably not going to have kids until later, rather than sooner. And of course, I’d like to be married before I start having kids. And have settled into a career before getting married. Anyway, this may not seem like a big deal but my grandmother rarely calls our house, and more importantly, rarely calls when she knows my mom isn’t gonna be there.

I managed to go back to sleep but an hour or so later my sister comes in and tries to wake me up. I resisted, still half-asleep. Finally she springs her cat on me (who is, in fact, very sweet and gentle) and there’s nothing like a creature running across your stomach to wake you the hell up. My sister also pointed out to me that I could sleep during the car ride (lord knows there really wouldn’t be much else to do- enjoy the luscious gravel scenery of the highway?). Little did we know how wrong she’d be.

It’s funny how afterwards it’s so easy to pinpoint all the little ironic things or things that should have been taken as a sign of something to come. One big thing was my sister saying that I shouldn’t go with them because there was barely enough room in the minivan as it was (even with things tied to the roof there was hardly enough room for everyone to sit). I really should’ve just stayed home.

Anyway, my parents came home a bit later in the afternoon than planned but we still managed to hit the road by 4:00. It was weird but even though my mom had made one of my favorite spicy dishes for lunch, I didn’t feel very hungry and had to force myself to down it. Which is pretty unusual for me since I’m almost always up for eating something. It’s like I knew in my bones something was gonna happen.

So we’re driving, driving, driving, I’m trying to fall asleep but it’s hard b/c I’m tired and groggy but not quite enough to sleep. Also, I’m in a slightly uncomfortable position since the cat’s carrier box was in front of my legs and my sister and all her crap were on the other side of me, not leaving much room for me to stretch out. From the start, the cat was frantic to get out of his carrier, sticking his paws out, meowing pitifully and loudly. I swear it sounded like a baby crying or something. We felt bad for him but there was no way we could let him loose in the car (cat’s name is Homer by the way- named for the Greek poet, not Homer Simpson), we could easily lose him in all the little spaces created by the pile of luggage or he could distract my dad from concentrating on the road. We hoped he’d calm down and shut up, but his meowing kept getting louder and more insistent.

About an hour and a half into the projected 5-hour trip, we knew why. My sister had touched Homer’s paw at one point and realizing it was wet, connected the dots. Homer had peed in his box. We stopped at the nearest rest stop, put the little bugger on his leash (yes cats have leashes too) and helped my sister wash out the carrier and wash off the cat who was thrilled to be out of his box and out of the car. That came to an end soon enough since my dad wanted to be on our way.

About an hour later I suddenly smell something awful. Like rotten eggs but worse. Much worse. If ever there was an atomic fart, this was it. I hold my nose, glancing over at my sister, hoping it was her but knowing in my heart of hearts that the cat had once again soiled himself in his carrier. He’d done the same frantic dance to get out, the same meowing, but of course we’d ignored him because for one thing, there aren’t frequent rest stops along the freeway and for another, he’d just gone to the bathroom before. I could’ve sworn he’d pooped based on that horrible smell but turned out to just be pee. Again. Still dunno what the hell that smell was but apparently cats fart so maybe it was that.

So this wasn’t a particularly spectacular start to our road trip but honestly, if that’s the worse it had gotten I’d have been pretty damn happy. At the second rest stop (same deal with washing the cat and the carrier), as we were driving out onto the highway again, the minivan made its usual funny noise (the car jerks for a few seconds than drives normally) but this time it’s much worse than usual, with the car literally sputtering and sounding like it’s gasping for air or something. Finally it starts running, albeit, we’re driving slower than normal. We pass through a tollbooth right on the border of New Jersey and New York (though my parents were confused because there hadn’t been a previous ticket booth or we’d somehow missed it) and then I smell something funny. My sister looks at me and asks me what that smell is. I think she was hoping I had farted or something. No such luck. We both look at the carrier and groan. Damn cat and his bladder problems. Then a second later we see ominous clouds of black smoke pouring out from the hood of the car. Oh. Shit. That’s what the smell was. I joked to my sister later that I’d much rather have preferred cat poop to the car breaking down. There are few instances where you’d wish for something like cat poop, but this was definitely one of them.

We literally shudder to a stop about a stone’s throw from the tollbooth we’d just passed through. Cars are whizzing by dangerously close to our car, which is pretty much in the middle of the interstate- and probably one of the busiest interstates too. Dark clouds of smoke are emitting profusely from the hood of the car and we just sit there, stunned. I think pretty much anyone’s worst nightmare is having their car break down during a road trip. Such a nightmare, luckily for us, had come true.

We were about a state and a half away from home and another state away from our destination- New Haven, CT. Since this had never happened to us before we just sit there, unsure of our next move. My dad had looked under the hood but there wasn’t anything we could do. Soon some highway patrol truck guy comes, no doubt alerted to our dangerous position by the tollbooth attendant, and sort of dragged us over to the shoulder of the highway and into safety. There he advised us, through his mega speaker, to call for a tow truck. Then he drove off.

We were wondering how to get the number for a tow truck when, luckily, we see a tow truck guy waving us over, offering to tow us (for a fee, of course) to a garage. Once we got there, he examined the car, fingering the dead transmission as the culprit for all our problems. This was something that would take a few days to repair, not a few hours as we’d hoped. We had few options- either stay at a local hotel and wait for the car to be fixed, or be towed back home or up to Connecticut. We chose the latter option, it being the only one that made sense really- we still needed to get up to New Haven and at least there, we could stay at my sister’s apartment as originally planned. We all had to go back to work Monday so waiting for the car to be fixed wasn’t really an option.

So yeah, we ended up being towed the rest of the way to CT. My sister and I rode in the truck with the guy (I was in the middle as always) while my parents rode in the minivan, which yes, if you’re wondering is technically illegal or something but cabbing it up to New Haven would have been way too expensive. At that point it was around 8 or 9. I was exhausted, sleepy, hungry (the last time we’d eaten had been about 7 hours ago) and needed to go to the bathroom. Unlike Homer, however, I could hold it. About 2 hours later we finally reach my sister’s “apartment” (which is really just the bottom floor of a small house) in New Haven.

Here we endeth Pt. 1 of The Roadtrip From Hell.

TO BE CONTINUED…(in the next entry).

Sunday, June 25, 2006

An Explanation…

Ok so I’ve pretty much been AWOL or nearly impossible to get ahold of since school ended. There’s good reason for that but that still doesn’t make up for my rather late responses to most of the emails, phone calls, and Facebook messages I’ve gotten from people. So I’m sorry to all ya’ll out there who I’ve done this to. You should all know though, that everyone has gotten this same treatment from me so it’s not like I don’t want to hang out with you or that I’m mad at you or something.

I’ve just been so busy with working a full-time job, commuting about 2.5 hours each day to said job, and studying for the LSATs (yes, already) that I have precious little time for anything else. I pretty much am either in a car going to the train station, at the train station, on the train, on the subway, or walking around in the city for most of the day. I spend more time in the city than I do at home and I also have really slow internet connection at home which makes me not wanna go online (but I do anyway). I have somnerexia which also makes me cranky (basically it means you skimp on sleep during the weekdays and then sleep in all weekend trying to “catch up” on your sleep) so the only conceivable time I could hang out with people is the time I’d like to spend at home, sleeping, in my bed.

Anyway, my summer’s been incredibly boring except for the fact that I’m (finally) practicing my driving skills and that the few times I have gone out were mucho fun. Oh, also, I never thought I’d say this but I’m actually kind of tired of going shopping. I’ve gone shopping almost once a week since summer started, mostly looking for a comfy, not too high-heeled, not too ugly sandal that would go with everything I wear. Oh and not too expensive either. I’ve come to the sad conclusion that such a sandal does not exist. So other than that, my life is one big boring.

*this will be just more boring ranting so you could pretty much stop reading here and it’d amount to the same thing*

Firstly, my manhate is back. I dunno why, but every time I come home for the summer I develop this extreme dislike for men. Not just any men, but a certain subset of them. Specifically the men on the train who take up so much friggin’ room with their stupid briefcase and newspaper who think that just cuz I’m a little Asian girl it’s ok to just take up 90% of the seat. Literally. And who think it’s ok to invade my personal space. I hate when people- especially people I don’t know- come into my personal space.

I also dislike all those stupid guys on the street who try to hit on me when I’m walking down the street or creepily stare at me for like 10 min. straight. I’m not even dressed scandalously! I’m wearing knee-length skirts, flats, and a very non-revealing shirt. There nothing to see here people. Creeps. Me. Out. I’m still cool with most younger guys though. Although a stupid high-schooler or something yelled out “Bitch” to me and my sister for some reason. I resisted the urge to give him the finger.

Secondly, a previous conclusion I had come to is only being more strongly reinforced this summer: my body is not built for humidity. At all. I can handle hot weather, even 90-degree weather as long as there’s no humidity. But even 80-degree weather with some humidity is practically unbearable for me. Now I know pretty much no one handles humidity well, but I really think my body is like deficient in its cooling function or something. I not only sweat like crazy when it’s humid (yes girls sweat), which is bad enough in itself, I also turn bright red. Well, just my face mind you. But still. Oh and any sunscreen I wear makes me sweat more and also turns my face into a big shiny surface. So I basically look like a shiny, bright red tomato by the end of the day. Attractive, huh?

The funny thing is that I still have guys stare at me and attempt to (lamely) hit on me even when I look this horrible. And for some reason this angers me. Like I know how crappy I look and they’re just hitting on me cuz they’re either desperate (read: more desperate than usual) or well, not really looking at my face. Which doesn’t really make it any better. Not that I like being hit on anyway, but I guess I feel like I shouldn’t be hit on at all when I look so disgusting.

Oh and here’s a random piece of advice: don’t ever get the iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. They make it seem so good but it’s literally just ice in a regular cup of coffee. The ice just ends up making it watery and watery coffee is just disgusting. They also charge an extra dollar for that ish when you could totally just go somewhere else, get a regular cup of coffee and just put some ice in it. It would literally be the same thing and it probably wouldn’t cost ya as much. Unless it’s Starbucks. That place is so overpriced it’s ridiculous. You know I *used* to like Starbucks coffee. Until I finally drank coffee from somewhere else. Then I realized how crappy it is. I think most people just like it because it’s where they first tasted coffee (like me) and so don’t know what it should taste like. Or maybe they really do like it. I dunno. All I know is that their coffee tastes weird to me. And not in a good way.

Thirdly, I’ve become increasingly obsessed with sunscreen. I apply it about three times a day, and I still feel like that’s not enough (it probably isn’t actually). Blame it on my sister and all those magazine articles that warn you about what could happen if you don’t wear sunscreen- wrinkles, cancer, wrinkles. And I really don’t want either. About the wrinkles too, I feel like I can’t be wrinkly when I’m older because then it would ruin the one thing I’ll have going for me then- my baby face. See it sucks now that I look so young, but I figure when I’m like 40, and I look like I’m 25, then it’ll be worth being carded everywhere, etc. The one thing that could mess all that up, of course, is if I’m all wrinkly when I’m 40. Then I’ll look like some freakishly wrinkled 25-year-old. And that would suck.

Oh and for all you people into tanning and stuff, sunscreen won’t prevent you from getting tan (unless you don’t tan easily, in which case you probably should be wearing sunscreen anyway). I tan pretty easily with or without sunscreen, it’s just that I don’t tan as much with sunscreen. I still get a pretty good tan though- even with all my reapplying. So if you wanna avoid skin cancer and wrinkles, I highly recommend wearing sunscreen. I think it’s worth being a bit less tan now if it means being less wrinkly then. I am getting a sunglass tan though. And a ring and watch tan. And a sandal tan. And somehow my feet are way tanner than the rest of me. I’m gonna come back to school all different shades.

Fourthly, the summer weather and possibly the tedium that is my daily routine makes me wanna listen even more to sugary pop and rap music (as in the mainstream stuff you dance to in clubs and stuff).My summer anthem was decided long ago when I heard Sean Paul’s “Temperature.” Man I love that song. Other close ones are “Rompe” by Daddy Yankee and “Promiscuous Girl” by Nelly Furtado. Can’t get enough of those songs. But then it’s bad cuz I have to resist the strong urge I have to get up and start dancing. Which would be entirely inappropriate at my office or on the train. I could get away with breaking out into spontaneous dancing on the sidewalk I suppose, like one of those iPod commercials, but somehow I think adding “crazy” to my sweaty, shiny, red-as-a-tomato self would not be good.

One big thing I do miss about school is the dances. It’s funny- when I tell people from other schools about it they think it’s so weird and/or lame and I guess it sort of is but it’s way safer than going clubbin’ in the city and it is pretty fun (for the scene anyway). It’s just a buncha dorky people doin’ their thing. Ain’t no shame in that.

Fifthly, the office I work at (an electronic publishing outsourcing company) is also comprised of dorky but bright people. I love it. It reminds me of the people from school. Only downside is that most of the people there are twenty-something post-grads who are way past the whole college thing making it hard for me to feel comfortable talking to any of them. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all nice but I feel really young in that office. There’s like one or two other interns but I barely see them. When my sister leaves next week to go to grad school (she worked at this office too), I’ll lose the only friend I had there. So yeah I’m totally gonna be a loser and eat lunch by myself. But then, me being my dorky self, I’m also kinda looking forward to it cuz then maybe I could get some good reading done during my lunch breaks. I haven’t read a non-school book since well, last semester, but even that was tough and I had trouble following the plot sometimes since there’d be long stretches of time where I’d be too busy to read for fun. Too bad my current bookshelf has pretty much nothing but academic type books. Maybe I’ll finish that book of Emerson’s essays I’ve been meaning to finish since freshman year.

Sixthly, there is simply not enough time during the day. Well for me at least. The commute is killing me. The worst part is that I get really carsick (trainsick?) on the train if I try to read anything. I get nauseous just looking at some print on a moving vehicle. So I end up listening to music and staring off into space and feeling like I just wasted a good hour of my life sitting and doing nothing. Although I guess I do get a lot of thinking done on the train. So to the people I still need to hang out with, call, etc. um, maybe sometime soon? I really want to. And actually I have, many times this summer, chosen going out with friends over sleep. And we all know how much I like my sleep.

Seventhly, is it weird that I don’t say hi to someone who I know, who I know knows who I am and who knows that I know who he is, but who I wasn’t friends with and didn’t even really talk to in high school? Cuz he always looks at me funny when we see each other on the train (which is like all the friggin’ time by the way) but he never says hi so I’m like screw that, I’m not going to. So it ends up just being kinda awkward but since I’m so damn used to being in awkward situations it doesn’t even bother me anymore. Heh.

Eightly, and Lastly, (for now) I find it weird and slightly disconcerting that I seem to run into the same few people almost every day when I’m walking to and from work. I get that I have a routine, they have a routine, and inevitably since most people are going to work around that time, of course I’m gonna cross paths with someone on a semi-regular basis. I still find it weird though. Some of them are people I saw last summer too. Kinda freaks me out.

*end of random musing*

Ok, so that’s about it folks. I’ll try to update this blog somewhat over the rest of the summer, but as I’ve already stated above, there won’t be much to blog about and I also don’t have much time to. But if you’re curious as to what I’m up to, just refer here. And if all you see is this same post, well, then, that could mean either I’ve had such exciting new development in my life that I’m too busy or devoted to other things to write, (which is highly unlikely) or, (much more likely), nothing’s changed and my life is still one big boring.