Thursday, June 26, 2008

Welcome to the Grand Illusion


See this freaky funky thing? Cool, eh? Bratworse did that... with a teeny tiny tad of art direction from yours truly. It's a picture of a neuron. The purple moving flashes are supposed to be thoughts.

If you want to see more, come visit her new site, WestinaMation where she shows off her recently acquired skills. See, she's about to graduate so she's got a website and demo reel put together.

Come check it out. She's done some really neat stuff there.

Oh, and if you're in the medical field or science/scientific field, please do check this out. Bratworse is hoping to do animations for labs and presentors and documentaries.

Can you tell I'm just a wee bit proud of her?


Extortion by ACT! Sage


To me this shows how much faith a company has in its own product. Sage Software charges you $299 for a year for unlimited access to its technical department.

How does this work? Well, if you're a company which uses its software and suddenly your software stops working, you either pay for this unlimited service or pay $50 for 10 min. and $5 for each additional minute.

Doesn't that sound like another business model? Say.... something the Mafia uses?



Wednesday, June 25, 2008


How easy is that to say?

Apparently, to a Chinese, even one that broke rules like being the first in our generation to get a divorce, one that got married to a *gasp* Mexican (My mother reluctantly attended her wedding), "Congrats" is a hard word to say.

I was telling my sister about the upcoming nuptials after about 20 minutes conversing with her about her life when she suddenly said, "I have to go." After hanging up, Bratworse turns to me and asked, "Did she even say 'Congrats?'" I scratched my head, thinking back. "No.... no, I don't think she did."

Ah, family. And people wonder why I love sappy movies so much. Watching them, I have some glimmer of hope that there really are people out there who care about their siblings or children to listen.

Listening is an outdated artform.


Living in San Francisco

For the first time in my life, I am sorry that I live in Oakland and not across the Bay in the gay mecca, San Francisco.


Because there is a movement in San Francisco right now, called the "Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco," to rename the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant to the George W. Bush Sewage Plant.

How fitting for the president who flushed our civil liberties down the toilet, who flushed goodwill from other countries down the toilet, who let our sense of decency swirl into sewage.

So come on all you San Franciscans! Get together and give this president what he deserves: a memorial that'll make everyone who passes by it acknowledge the appropriateness of the tribute with an understanding nod.

P.S. picture of sewage not of the future George W. Bush Sewage plant


The Reason I wanted to vote for Dodd

Christopher Dodd seems to be the one of TWO Senators who are trying to stop the lawlessness of the Bush Administration.

He stood up yesterday and tied this telecom immunity FISA bill with the torture the administration has approved (and don't tell me they DIDN'T approve it because right now, all signs are pointing to David Addington and Cheney's office, with the politicizaion of most departments in the Federal government (INCLUDING the DOJ!) and countless other ways they BROKE THE LAW!!!!

Senators Clinton and Obama. You wanted to be president. So did Senator Dodd. Right now, HE is the one showing leadership. Where are you?

Senators Feinstein and Boxer - right now, I'm desperately wishing you two would grow spines and join Senator Dodd in his brave stance. Next time someone comes up against either of you who say that they are FOR rule of law instead against (which is what you'd be doing if you voted for this odious bill) I will be making my vote count against you! Bah! Hate cowards.

Addendum: Senator Boxer - My apologies. I should've trusted you more. Thank you for standing up to this administration and their lawlessness. Now if only the other senator had the same guts as you.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Donations for Obama

Hmm, I wonder if McCain or Obama's campaigns realize that there still are people like me around. I haven't contributed to Obama and even though I was going to vote for Dodd, I didn't contribute to his or any others' campaign in the primary.

Reason? I was waiting to spend my dollars here it would really count, against the Republicans. I only have so much to spend on politics and I wanted my money to go towards making sure shit like Abu Ghraib, Guantanomo, Cheney, the Bush Administration and their politicizing of EVERY friggin' department, would not happen again, at least without a fight.

I've just been watching to see when to send my measly contribution in. Actually since Obama weaseled out of FISA fight (let's see if he will keep his promise of filibustering the bill), I'm waiting to see if he's worth the contribution. I really hope Obama is the great hope of the future. I'm just glad right now though, I'm not one of his contributors who is kicking herself in the rear.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Being Moved to Dance

I'm sitting here waiting for a friend to show up so we can celebrate his birthday and I'm watching Bratworse move and dance to music. She won't dance in front of others but she'll attempt it in front of me. It's quite amusing. She's got this shit eating grin on her face and her head is bobbing as her butt is wriggling around to "Butt Machine."

It's a pleasant way to start off the day, I must say.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Wedding Plans

We are decided.

(Love that song... well love every song in Jesus Christ Superstar).

On July 11, Bratworse and I will be officially tying the knot. Next year, the date will fall on a Saturday and that's when we will have the ceremony.

None of our friends and family know. We're not exactly keeping it a secret (well how can it be a secret when it's up here for the world to see) but we're not really announcing it either.

So, Sugarmeesweettt, consider yourself told. :) You're probably the first of family/friends type to find out since you read this site.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Rats! Nixed.

Well! I had the grandiose idea of putting up sequential pictures of my face as it morphs due to Prednisone's side effects. See, I went to the doctor's today and got put on a prednisone taper just like a few years ago. Only this time, the doctor put me on a shorter regimen due to my reactions to the last one. Anyway, since my face kinda morphed during the last regimen, I thought it''d be cool to take photos of me every day and just see the difference from day one to day five.

I just started really feeling the effects. My skin hurts - not on the skin but just under. Certain joints feel swollen and ache. After I took the first series (I took 5 tablets of 5 mg. each) of photos, Bratworse turns to me and asks me what I'm doing.

So beaming, I tell her.

"Was 'fraid of that." She goes back to her modeling in Maya.


She just shook her head. "Was just afraid of that."

Rats! Nixed before I even really started.

Oh well, weird experiments later... maybe when she's asleep.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Breathing is Hard to Do

When you have asthma. For some inexplicable reason, my asthma attacked on Saturday and since then, my chest has been rumbly, my back bent, my breathing wracked.

I'm hoping it'll be over soon. My ribs hurt from hacking.

Oh well. I was expecting the dreaded A back in my life. I'm still able to have some semblance of normalcy but damn, it makes life a little harder when every laugh you make, every few steps you take ends in a series of hacking spasms.

Hmm, it's time for more hits from my inhalor. Talk with you all later!


Monday, June 09, 2008

Dumber than Bush?


Can McCain be dumber than Bush in foreign issues?

Go here to Cliff Schecter's and watch for yourself.

McCain names Putin as President of.... {drum roll please} Germany.

If this wasn't so serious, I'd be falling over laughing.

John McCain, Angela Merkel is the Chancellor of Germany, you know, the leader. Putin (are you going to call him Pooty-Poot like Bush too?) is the president (well you got that part right at least) of.... {drum roll please} Russia!

You know, Ruskies. Fur hats. Borscht. Siberia?

Oh wait, I know, he just couldn't remember the details right? 74 years old might have contributed to this lapse of memory? Nah, John McCain's spry!


Saturday, June 07, 2008

Seeing a Difference

So are the gas prices affecting people's driving habits?

My first thought was, no.

But after today...

We went to have dim sum today at our favorite dim sum place, East Ocean in Alameda. We got there about noon. First difference: there was no line. Second difference: there were empty tables around. However, I must say I didn't notice a difference when shopping at Target earlier. It was as crowded/empty as it usually is on a Saturday late morning.

Later, we drove to Pacifica. Normally, to get there at 5:00, it would take about 45 min. or longer due to bridge traffic. Yet, we got there in 1/2 hour. It's been known to happen before on a Saturday so I didn't think much of it.

On the way back, was when the difference really hit me. The streets were near empty at 9:00 pm. Okay, I exaggerate a bit, but we ran into no traffic on the way home. I was able to keep my speed of 60-70 mph the entire way. This also happened the last three times we drove to Pacifica but I dismissed the possibility that the high price of gas could've done away with the traffic.

But it appears I may be wrong.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Speakin' of Cousin....

I don't talk about my cousins much. Well... actually, the last post was my fir... second one I think. I wrote about her younger brother once when I wrote about the Wii.

Music Teacher Cuz... She's the one closest to me in age. She is the middle child of my aunt's, who is the oldest sister of my mother. Got that? There is some affection between the two of us, I think we're actually quite fond of each other. I was just thinking back to how I used to get her gifts related to music... and how I only saw her and probably continue to see her as one note.

I suppose it can be done at this point... to have a closer relationship with her, but honestly, Music Teach and I are like a giraffe meeting a whale. Two entirely different worlds and I'm not sure that we don't look at each other's world rather dubiously. Yes, my double and triple negatives confuse me too.

I remember asking her what kind of music she listened to, once. She said she liked Jazz. But at the second I asked, a flicker of surprise? fear? wariness? crossed her face, like "Cuz, you're breaking the unspoken rules!" I never crossed that line again.

I don't asked many questions about my life.... nor do I answer many. I'm good at deflecting them and asking others about themselves... No, I used to be. Nowadays, I find it harder and harder to be interested, yet another reason I am not delving in Music Teach's life. But I do find myself curious... like is she happy with the path she's chosen? Did she feel forced to practice hour after hour or was it a nice escape like reading was to my sister and I? Is she, like us just waiting for her life to finally be her own?

Once, she, my sister and I were in a mini-van... first time the three of us got to be alone, as adults... no, as middle-aged women. You should've seen the knowing nods as we each one-bettered each other with tales of our mothers.

It was strange. As a child, I envied nearly everyone I knew, but I never once envied my cousin. I felt trapped by my sickness, my whole entire being defined by the one thing that limited me, but Music Teach? She was in a trap that was hoisted on her, I just never figured out nor will I ever, whether that trap was one of her own device or one set there by my Aunt. I've a feeling the truth is probably closer to both answers.

I wonder, most of all, whether I'll invite her to my wedding to Bratworse.


My Life IS Mine

Bratworse and I have been working on some preconceived notions I have. Mind you, I am a first generation Chinese woman, which means some of these thoughts have been culturally ingrained into me through thousands of years of ancestral DNA half-remembered influences as well as well... pressure.

First notion I have that needs work: that if I am in the middle of doing something, and Bratworse or whoever else comes over to watch, I DO NOT HAVE TO STOP. Poor Bratworse has had to deal with my bad moods and my bared teeth, because I've been working under the assumption that whatever I do, doesn't count and that I have to give up my pleasures simply because someone walked over.

This is what living with my family does to you... My mother does it, my sister does it and i probably do it. That if I come over and ask you for something, you'd better damn well drop what you're doing and accommodate me because well, in my mind, I don't ask for much so how dare you disregard my interruption!

I bet half of you people of Chinese descent are rolling your eyes right now, saying to yourselves, "I know *that* one."

Second notion I have. That whatever obsessions I have currently, I have to hide it and do it secretly or rather, privately because... well, no one wants to hear or know about it.

I am bored right now. I am bored mostly because Bratworse is busy with homework so she can't play GTA IV for us. She's asking me why I don't play RockBand and practice so I will get better. She's never lived with a piano teacher and or heard a cousin play piano for 6 hours straight (I'm talking scales for 2 hours just to get the fingers just nimble enough. I'm talking daily stretching exercises with the span of the fingers just so she could get past the one octave barrier) because said cousin was going to be a concert pianist. Granted, I have absolutely NO ambition to be a concert Rock Band drummer, just one that won't get embarrassed if I form a band with others.

I need to trust others will be more than capable of speaking up if they are bored with whatever I'm doing. I need to trust others to be adults. It's hard to do.


Sustainable? Doubtful

I filled up my tank today. $60 and still, my tank wasn't as filled as it could've been.

Anthem Blue Cross took over Blue Cross of California and immediately, prices jumped as high as 30% more. They weren't the only ones whose fees went up that high. It looks like Healthnet jumped up that high as well. Others were more moderate... only 11-15%.


Rents are going up, due to the high demand because of foreclosures.

Yet, salaries remained the same or is lower.

Put this scenario into ANY city-building game or any strategy type game and you will see the economy grind to a halt.

I hate working in insurance and knowing that by helping the system sustain itself, I am contributing to the woes of thousands. My boss says, you can't fix the system so just take the money because it's there anyway (broker fees are included in ALL healthcare fees regardless of whether you use a broker or not. Weird, huh? Hence the addage "50% of your fees go towards administrative costs"). I'm taking the money. I'm working to ease people's burdens of having to deal with this broken system. Still, the broken system irks me to no end.

Wish I was working in an industry where I'm proud to say I'm a member of that community.


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