Category Archives: Sometimes I just post what’s falling out of my head

This cactus-gram stings even more than your abandonment…

Is anyone still out there?  I know, I know, I’m a bad blogger.  Add this to the list of things I’ve tried, been gung-ho about for a few months, and then fizzled on.  You know, like my juice diet, work out plans, sobriety…  Consider this post my Valentine’s day cactus-gram to apologize for being lame.

But that cactus-gram line from Juno isn’t just an homage to how much bone-dry sarcasm tickles me, it’s because I have Juno on the brain.  NO!  I’m NOT pregnant (although human gestation seems to be on everyone’s minds these day, which is great, as long as my uterus isn’t involved).  No, it’s because my husband has actually succumbed to illness.  Every once in a while, he gets a cold, but it’s usually well-timed right dab-smack in the middle of a weekend or holiday, never during capitalist/market hours.  After all, that’s not his own time, that time belongs to “the firm.”  My husband, being the finance/work-machine that he is (the man has a calculator collection with he, himself being the largest in his collection), he usually doesn’t allow himself to get sick during his 6/7 workdays per week.

Yet today, he worked from home in the morning.  Yes, that’s right, he took an ALMOST sick day.  It took my insisting that he should not go in with a 102 fever for him to sleep an extra hour before running to the computer to make an 8AM conference call wearing no less than 8 layers of clothing and a winter hat.  After a brunch of Theraflu, takeout soup, and 2 Mucinex D, he disappeared into the bathroom and emerged 30 minutes later fully dressed and heading out the door to go into the office for the rest of the day, deliriously mumbling, “so much to do… so much to do…”  I don’t know if anyone on his team reads this blog, but if they do, they might want to invest in Purell.

He’s promised not to work late today and to have soup at home vs. his daily infusion of Chipotle.  That’s right, people, I work at a gourmet cheese shop (ooo, so fancy!) and my husband subsists on a steady diet of mass-produced burrito.   What can you do?  Not tonight, though.  I have a chicken in a pot and am making him a week’s worth of chicken soup with bow-tie noodles — if you know my husband, you know that he loves the bow ties.  And not in that fake, metro-sexual, hipster chic way that looks RIDICULOUS.  No, he came out of the womb loving bow ties and I think it’s a major part of his 20-something going on 70-something charm.  Bow-ties and long, slow walks through the park for exercise… Someday he’ll grow into these quirks.

The problem with being well-intentioned and horribly short-sighted is that it all usually ends in tears.  I decided sometime last week to finally tackle that giant bag of black, line-dry laundry that I’ve been accumulating over the last few months, and then since I only have one drying rack, I hung most of it to dry over any and every surface of my apartment — where it still hangs to this very day.  Do you know where this is going yet?  Juno references, chicken soup cooking, apartment upholstered in clean laundry…

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“She smells like soup. Have you ever smelled her? I mean, her whole house smells like soup!” Yep, that’s me.  I’m Soupy-Sales.  Basically, everything I wear for the next month is going to wreak of chicken stock.  People will stop referring to me as “that girl who smells like stinky cheese” and start referring to me as, “that girl who smells like stinky cheese and chicken noodle soup.”  EVERYTHING smells like soup!!!  Between that and the ridiculous amount of heat being pumped through my co-op (only between the MOST useless hours of the day, shutting off right in time to leave you shivering in the wee-hours of the AM), I feel like an ever-plumping matzo-ball simmering in an apartment of chicken soup… and yes, I’m getting more spherical by the moment.

Oh, and by the way – I’m not giving you the stink eye, that’s just my face.

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DIY disposable chopstick elegance

I decided to just post a quick and fun how-to on making a chopstick stand out of your disposable chopstick wrapper.  My friend Keiko does this when we eat out and now I can’t help but do it every time someone places cheap balsam-like sticks wrapped in a paper tube down in front of me.  It’s cuter and more authentic when Keiko does it because she can hold a conversation at the same time.  Me?  I’m usually completely withdrawn from conversation, staring at my paper folding, chewing on my bottom lip in frustrated concentration.
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The activity keeps me distracted and calm so that I don’t sit there, bobbing my knee or tapping my foot, anxiously waiting for my food.  My husband thinks it’s like Dog Whispering, where Cesar Milan gives unruly dogs a task to accomplish so that they don’t attack people and small animals.  Kind of like how blogging keeps me from going upstairs and telling my neighbor that her child is annoying and could he stop running laps with his iron feet back and forth and back and forth.  It also helps me from angrily and loudly spraying Oust outside my other neighbor’s door who smokes like a chimney and refuses to crack a window, causing the hallway and my apartment to smell like a college dorm room from the 90s.  Yep, I’m that neighbor.  Now all I need is a gaggle of cats…

Fancy Shmancy Disposable Chopstick Stand

  1. Start by folding your chopstick wrapper into thirds like you would fold a piece of paper to fit into an envelope, folding the left 1/3 over the center, and then the right 1/3 over that.
  2. Slide1

  3. Fold your new, smaller rectangle (that is 1/3 the length of your original chopstick wrapper) in half lengthwise and then unfold slightly, forming a kind of tent.
  4. Start at one side of the tent and push the pointed edge of the tent down and pinch the sides, making an inverted Isosceles triangle that’s bisected by the top of the tent.  Repeat on the other side until you have created your own chopstick stand

Slide2

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Minutes of fun...

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Coffee Mug, I think I missed you most of all

Well, here I am, back in my apartment, 12 stories off the ground and happy.  I still consider that land-loving.  I’m still coming off vacation mode, but I promise to be back in the full blog of things shortly.

Today’s post is a quick one on a VERY important subject: my favorite coffee mug.  I almost wrote: “everyone should have a favorite mug,” but realized that I’m better off never telling anyone what they should or should not do!  I need to figure out what I should do before ever even attempting to dictate your actions.  I will say this, however – after a long, magical week away, I think I missed you, Coffee Mug, most of all.

Mugs are like an acceptable security blanket for adults.  I first found that I “needed” my mug while still working in finance.  Back then, I had both a home mug and an office mug.  My office mug was one of those blue ceramic versions of the Greek-inspired paper cups that detectives are always drinking on Law & Order from some food truck early in the morning.  In reality, I haven’t seen one of those paper cups since I was a kid, but I like the nostalgia of them nonetheless.  While plugging away at my computer (and usually channeling 85% of my brain activity into trying to figure out what to order for lunch), I would reach for my mug of Flavia-expunged coffee with a shot of Flavia espresso and take a millisecond sip/vacation away from my world.

Work mug

Work mug

My home mug is pure comfort.  It has that old, classic diner/stoneware shape that’s reminiscent of a New England country kitchen… which is actually pretty foreign to this little Vietnamese girl, but it reminds me of old Maxwell House commercials that I used to watch on TV as a child.  You know the commercials – where some guy in a chunky-knit turtleneck travels home all the way from across the state in the snow to spend Christmas day with his family, and they welcome him home with the cheapest, weakest-tasting coffee that they can brew for him.  Whatever, it was beautiful.  On top of that, my mug is a Car Talk mug.  If you’ve never listened to Car Talk on NPR, then you’re missing out on something corny and beautiful.  It’s two, increasingly aging, brilliant, and hilarious brothers who spend an hour helping you understand why your busted car is making that terrible noise, while making jokes about how all blonds behind the wheels of white BMWs are named “Donna.”

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And if you’ve never heard my dad laugh his ridiculous, high-pitched, hyena-on-crack laugh while listening to them instead of paying attention to the road… well, I can only pray that you get to enjoy that harrowing experience at some point in your life.  It’s a combination of laughing so hard that you can’t speak while trying to gasp out the words, “Look out for the mail truck!”  Whenever I look at my coffee mug filled with fresh-ground, fresh-brewed, cheap-but-delicious coffee, and stare at the Car Talk motto on my mug, “Unencumbered by the thought process,” I feel like I’m home.

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Quit picking on Swine Flu…

I think people are tired of me joking about Swine Flu.  Apparently it’s not one of those things I should be joking about.  But before I quit cold turkey…

Someone countered my claim that Swine Flu wasn’t a big deal with, “If it’s not such a big deal, then why did I see like 5 people wearing face masks in Chinatown???”  Great question!  Well, here’s the thing – Asian people love to wear face masks.  We find all sorts of reasons why we have to wear them: you’re riding your moped around and don’t want to breathe in dirt and fumes from other mopeds that you’re tailgating; it’s really sunny out and you don’t want that area of your face to get tan, which basically means you’re a peasant (and nobody really wants to look like a peasant even if you are one); or the latest round of some extremely rare and potentially deadly flu (as all flu’s are) is spreading around and you don’t want to catch it because like every other Asian, you’re a germaphobe and paranoid.

Of course, I have another theory as to why Asians take any opportunity possible to don the little blue, paper face mask – it makes us feel like doctors.  That’s right, if you’re not a doctor, this is your one opportunity to feel like the doctor that your strict Asian parents always wanted you to be, and have never stopped being (vocally) disappointed that you never became.  Live long and eat pig, people.

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Swine Flu is my fault…

I lied – this isn’t my first blog.  But it wasn’t an intentional lie!  I completely forgot that I kept a blog a few summers ago while I was working in Vietnam.  Trust me, it was short-lived and not remarkable – so much so that I didn’t even remember it!  A friend actually just reminded me of it and as I was looking through it, I started to laugh at one post.  No, not because it was funny, but because while I was there, Vietnam suffered a pig-related epidemic!  That’s right, Swine Flu is basically all my fault.  My bad luck and love of pork has combined like the perfect storm and unleashed itself upon the world.

For your amusement: check out this post related to Vietnam’s “Blue Eared Pig Disease” from 2007.

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Stupid shirt… thinks it’s better than me…

You know you’ve gained weight when you try to throw on a summer blouse from last year and you can’t get your arms through the sleeves…  Yeah, this actually happened this morning. The cuff of my short sleeve shirt wouldn’t pull up past the crease in my elbow. Maybe it’s because my biceps are so huge!  Except that I can’t even do 1 pull-up / push-up (that’s one of either, not one of both).  I tried a few times to shove it on, but to no avail. As a bonus, my co-op still has the heat on. That combined with my super-mutant-ability to instantly shvitz at the thought of physical exertion meant that I was a sticky mess, making it that much more impossible to force my (now swollen – even fatter) arms through the sleeves. I looked a little like a Tyrannosaurus Rex – tiny arms and a giant head, growling the entire time.  Although I don’t think ol’ T-Rex knows half the expletives that I was spitting out through clenched teeth. Continue reading

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