Tiny car syndrome

I know I keep saying this, but it’s settled: I’m buying a Fiat.  Within the month of May, I will own a brand new white Pop model Fiat 500 with brown and cream interior upholstery.  And it will be just adorable.  I went on another test drive yesterday, and I’m officially sold.  It’s way better than a Yaris (sorry Toyota, it was a tight race until I saw the interior- why would you put your dials in the center of the console?!).

silver lining: repair costs would have been low

I’m suffering from some anxiety about buying such a small car, though, and these worries manifested in a dream last night.  In the dream, I bought the Fiat, but was given a small plastic car instead.  The kind children play with.  And I couldn’t tell the difference.  It was bright yellow and made of that solid but soft plastic that kids’ giant toys are made of.  I drove off the lot amid a loud buzzing sound the engine made, and couldn’t tell I wasn’t driving the Fiat I’ve been pining for during the last two months.

Eventually, I got out of my little plastic pedal car, picked it up with one hand, walked back to the dealership and stood there at the counter where I demanded, “This is not a Fiat.  Where is my Fiat?”

Where indeed.

goodness, humor, life

Imaginationland, Ford edition

apparently I have paws

I’m currently driving a 1998 Ford Explorer, a car that was caught in the pocket between a time when CDs were the shiniest music-storage format, and when the iPod bulldozed the market.  There is no tape deck and no mp3 connectivity.  I’m not about to lug all my CDs down from my apartment (one whole flight of stairs!), and the car might just eat them anyway.  So I’ve been listening to the radio, which in Los Angeles means I change the station from rap, to hip hop, to top 40, to more hip hop, to classical (always on commercials), to top 40 before I give up with a loud, “Ugh, spare me!”  The on/off button often gets stuck, so sometimes I’m forced to turn the volume all the way down and endure the ongoing disaster that is Los Angeles FM radio at the level of a whisper.  It’s maddening.

Most of the time I do manage to turn the fucking radio off, and I end up driving in silence as a result, which leaves me with only my own pulsing brain to entertain myself.  Often I sing songs that would shame me to sing in front of others (Mariah Carey, The Dixie Chicks, N’Sync, etc).  Mostly though, I talk to myself… constantly.  Rather, I talk to whomever I imagine to be there.  Here’s how it breaks down:

Ex-boyfriend– It’s so weird how you needed a ride from the airport and none of your friends could pick you up!  No, I’m not sorry we broke up, are you?  Wow, really?  No, I don’t want to give us another shot.  My life is beautiful now, and you’re fatter than ever.  Here, let me remind you why I was always right about everything…


That one jerk– Things are good for me, actually, thanks for asking.  I’m working really hard, having fun with the kids, getting my Master’s, learning Kung Fu, dating a great guy, everything’s going right!  Oh yeah, you have lost a lot of hair.  I wasn’t going to say anything.  Maybe it’s because you’re so depressed over your totally foreseeable divorce.  You’re right, it was your fault.

Family member– Look, you can’t expect me to give you all my lottery winnings.  I have charities to donate to, trust funds to set up, and I think half a million is more than enough to get you out of debt and on your feet.  No, I don’t think a nanny would be a good idea.  What will I do with all my free time?  I’m thinking of doing watercolors and finishing my zobo novel.

Member of the press– Y’know, I saw the gun and I just reacted.  There was no time to think.  My natural instinct has always been to help others, it’s no surprise that I would move toward danger instead of away from it, especially with the kids around.  I mean, that guy was already shooting, I had nothing to lose.  Don’t get me wrong, a bullet to the shoulder hurts, but it’s a small price to pay for paralyzing some maniac with a semi-automatic.  Yes, a flying side kick is something I learned to do over years of training, but I never thought I’d use it, especially on someone’s neck.  I mean, what are the odds?  No, I don’t plan to keep all the reward money for his capture.  Most of it will go toward my parents’ mortgage, and my sister’s school costs.  I’m a giver.

I’m not making this shit up.  This is how my brain works.  I’m a hero, a savior, the one that got away (and sometimes a superhero!).  The car has become my fantasy pod.  Car-travel has become a magical state that allows me to transform into a glowing, powerful, courageous ball of wealth-shedding light.  And if all that fails to entertain me, or if traffic is especially stressful, I look at my rearview mirror and pretend that all the cars behind me are my armada, and we’re traveling in formation toward our future conquest!  Yes, we may die, but the battle will be glorious.  Stand tall, comrades!  They will sing our songs and call us patriots of the motherland for a thousand generations!

the imaginary navy approaches!

humor, work

Haiku distraction: le food

My coworker (let’s call her Lisa) is really good at talking, and I don’t mean that insultingly.  It’s what makes her good at her job.  She’s a networker.  She can hold thousands of tiny details in the front of her mind, and uses a hundred words to get a simple idea across.  It wears down the other guy, and makes whatever she’s talking about sound more convincing.

I went to a  meeting yesterday with Lisa and our boss (let’s call her Ruth) regarding food for a big event we have coming up.  Lisa said this meeting would consist of Ruth and our contact (the Manager and Chef) discussing pricing, etc., and Lisa would spend the meeting listening and taking notes.  I thought, There’s no way you’re not going to say anything.  No.  Way.

Lisa said she would
sit and listen.  I think we
both knew that was false.

Lisa will not stop talking unless she hears what she wants to hear.  She can be pretty pushy, but again, we depend on that side of her to get her job done better than anyone else in the office could.  Having said that, there are some words that are such an affront to the English language (on which, as you know, I have a pretty serious crush) that infuriate me to the point of spontaneous haiku.

“Guestimate” might be
worse than the manager-chef
dynamic.  Awkward!

When we sat down for the meeting, Chef was AWOL.  Manager was very professional, and clearly quite experienced with the price points and practicalities of each dish for the location of the meal, the number of people we wanted to feed, etc.  He’s the right man for the job.  Very professional and reserved.  Then Chef joined us.  Chef is a hulking, overweight, laid-back possibly German man with a thick accent and some good ideas, all of which were shot down by Manager.  Manager had trouble hiding his displeasure for Chef.  At the end of the meeting, Chef wanted to go back to the kitchen while Manager finished up with us.  Manager disapproved.  He asked Chef to wait.  Chef did not wait, lol.

He’s so straight-forward.
I really like this chef.  I
bet he spreche Deutsch.

Chef came to the table eating a brownie, then got up and brought us a plate of them.  Score!

goodness, humor, martial arts, work

That girlish figure

Now and then I’m reminded that kids have no idea what the world is about at all.

One of them laid down on the floor after I asked everyone to stand up, so I told him that I’d once accidentally stepped on a student because he didn’t stand up when I told him to (true) and that he had cried (false) because it had hurt him (true).  He didn’t look convinced, so I asked the kids how much they weighed.

“60 pounds!  51!  55!  62!”  Wow, I said, that’s pretty good.  How much do you guys think Sensei weighs?

Here’s what I got:


108 pounds!  80% of my body weight.  Just enough to make me look like I would neglect my health if it meant a modeling contract.  Look at how fashionable I’d be!








120 pounds!  89% of my body weight.  This just below my ideal training weight.  I’m about 125 when I’m nothing but solid muscle.  Awesome!






um... winner?

340 pounds!  252% of my body weight.  What?!  This kid was dead serious.  This was his best guess.  At this weight, I like to think I’d be a little bit proud, like I’d just won a really shitty contest.







90 pounds!  67% of my body weight.  Yeah, maybe if I was 12, lol!  I don’t have a whole lot of good memories of being 90lbs (6th grade).  I had just experienced the fifth of five deaths that happened between ages 9 and 12.  I wasn’t unhappy, but I was very alone, and in hindsight, a little lost.  I’m happy to be an adult.







1,698 pounds!  1,258% of my body weight.  That’s twelve Me’s.  Yeah, this kid was joking.  If he wasn’t, he’d still be doing pushups right now.  There isn’t a clothing size that would fit twelve Me’s.  Plus, droopy boobs!  Gross!









61 pounds!  45% of my body weight.  This was another serious guess.  Bear in mind that these kids had just told me  they weigh about that much, and you’ll stop thinking it’s a cute mis-guided guess, and start worrying about their super-short goldfish memories.  I would have to have been dead for a good month or so before I lost this much weight due to decomposition.

bitter and alone!

1057 pounds!  783% of my body weight.  At this point, I would have to make a choice: Aim for 1,698 pounds, or remain pissed off for being stuck in some fuck-ugly muu muu for the rest of my joint-crippling, asexual, two-seats-on-the-bus, stray cat attracting life.


C’mon, cars

I’ve been doing some online research on cars, and I can’t get over how deceptive the photos are.  Every photo shows a car with loads of expensive options.  Show me the car I would actually get, not the one with the spoiler and racing kit that makes it impossible to go over speed bumps.

in that case, why not throw an inflatable pig in there?

Tell the truth!

anime, goodness


This theme song got me as a kid.  I couldn’t stand the cartoon itself, but I couldn’t get enough of the intro.  C’mon, it’s inspirational!

a simple shoeshine boy... or is he?

When criminals in this world appear,
And break the laws that they should fear,
And frighten all who see or hear,
The cry goes up both far and near for…
Underdog! (Underdog!)
Underdog! (Underdog!)
Speed of lightning,
Roar of thunder,
Fighting all who rob or plunder,
Underdog (Underdog) Underdog!

Here’s the intro itself.

And Scrubs did it a cappella (starting at 1:40).

goodness, life

3 years without heavy metals

Boyfriend and I celebrated our three-year anniversary yesterday with sushi (mmmm, salmon).  I can’t believe it.  It doesn’t feel that long.  We’re really happy together.  It’s… kinda really, really nice.

I do! lol

A couple days ago he asked if I would choose to get a ring, earrings or necklace as a present.  I kinda stared at him like, “um… what?”  He knows I don’t wear jewelry, given how many chances there would be to lose it when I take it off at the dojo and at home.  And we’re not the type to exchange expensive gifts (I got him a button-down shirt this year.  Last year was go kart tickets).  Then I figured here’s my chance to get a present!  LOL  I said a ring, so I can look at it and feel loved (which is hard to do with the other two).

I don’t take this as a sign of an incoming shiny bauble.  Boyfriend is the type to gather information, and wait for the perfect time, the perfect item, the perfect circumstance before he were to introduce anything as substantial as precious metals into the relationship.  I told him once that I would be satisfied with a ring made of thread, and that I would cherish it in the stead of a traditional ring.  It’s true.  I’m proud of the person I’ve become, if that’s how I feel about jewelry.

badness, goodness, life

Selective memory

I wonder if I’ll ever stop remembering those things I’d like to forget. Will I think of that creepy guy when I was 13 on a walk with my dog every time I drive down that street?  Will I ever forget that tip that friend I’ve lost touch with told me about turning down the burner?  Do I have to keep thinking about that fight we had in high school?  It was so long ago.  When will the remembering end?  Sometimes I’d like it to stop.

like this, but with a square toe

But there’s so much I desperately want to keep in my head.  Every conversation I have with my family (how many are left?), the way my friends and I used to hang out and talk all the time (I miss that), the things I loved about my first car (her name was Danny), those horrible loafers I wore to high school (I secretly loved them), the names of the kids at the dojo (I’m terrified of seeing them out and about).

So I need to write things down, and take pictures, and tell stories.  It’s a large part of why I started this blog; so the remembering doesn’t stop.  Because in the end, there’s so much more I’d rather not forget.