Monday, July 30, 2012


For the first time in maybe 11 years, I'm bored (not counting sitting in staff meetings...or BTSA meetings...maybe any meetings).  I'm brought back to the time of being 8 years old and complaining, "I'm bored!" to my mom, who would tell me to go practice, or draw, or read, or do math.  Yes, I said math.

I've been busy, non-stop, for 9 years.  I'm the girl who took 28 units per quarter plus unofficially was in orchestra and taking cello lessons (which would've brought me up to 34 units, I think) when the average was 12-17?

And now I eat.  A lot of Goldfish crackers.  I polished off one of those giant cartons today, and I bought it on Wednesday night.

I have done some things.  I made a video me playing 4 parts of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest on cello.  I tried to make another one for another piece but it didn't go so great, and I didn't properly warm up beforehand.

I found a Google job I want.  I REALLY want this job.  Click Here To Look.  I would be perfect for it!  A well known fact about me if you knew me before 18, and a little known fact if you met me after 18, is that, at the age of 11, I decided to be a writer.  I used to write short stories every week for class in 6th grade.  My junior year of high school, when I decided school was stupid and utterly boring, I started writing a book.  I decided that whenever I wasn't learning anything, I was going to write instead.  In a couple months, I had a 200 page book about an orphan growing up.  In college, I wrote short stories.  I also started composing in college.

I love all things creative, what can I say.

So this job combines my love of writing with my love of helping people learn and...just helping people in general.

My only problem now is, how do I get it?  I applied online, but I keep hearing and reading how the online resume submission is just a black hole.  I wish I could make my resume bright orange or....flashing...or SOMETHING so that it's actually looked at and considered.  I'm sitting on my couch trying to send waves to Google in general.  "HIRE ME.  CALL ME FOR AN INTERVIEW.  I'M SUPER AWESOME...FEEL MY AWESOMENESS..."  So far, it's not working.  Maybe I'm tired.  I did go to sleep at 8 this morning and wake up around 11:30.  My poor body is so confused after surgery.  I'm just letting it sleep whenever it wants.


Dear Google,
Do you like me?  Circle one:
YES        no

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Offer #3 - Escrow!

I was really hoping that my house selling would be really easy; that for once in my life, there would be no complications and it would be smooth sailing.

I got an offer on my house, offer #3, $24,000 below my asking price.  It's not like my little house is a million dollars, so that's a fair amount.  We went back and forth, back and forth, and we finally got to a place where I was willing to give it away $14,000 below asking, and they were willing to give $16,500 below my asking. 

And then we just sat and metaphorically stared at each other.

I had come down $14,000 and they had come up $7,500.  That basically describes my life.  It reminds me of those "What's your biggest weakness?" job interview questions.  Mine is that I will always give up what I have, and I will give up more of what I have than the other person.  I will usually give away everything I have, actually, if it helps the other person.  It's not that I'm a doormat or a pushover or even seeking approval...I just like giving people a leg up.  

Which I guess is my biggest weakness.  I make it extraordinarily easy for people to take advantage of me, and them an upset when they do.  

So this was my stand.  I wasn't budging.  I couldn't believe we were arguing over $2,500 be we were.  Every part of me wanted to cave in.  All I want to do is just move and leave and get on with it.  But I had this number in my's not even a huge number...and the buyers came up and met me on my price.

I thought I'd feel ecstatic or overwhelmed or something.  It was like the last day of school.  I didn't really feel anything.  I'm glad that something is happening, but...I'm still not happy.  That's what I'm chasing...happiness. I've had contentment and satisfaction, but it's not quite the same.

I am in escrow.

Next week is the appraisal and inspection.  That makes me nervous, too.  I'm so used to things not working out for me.  There's always a glitch; there's always a bump.  It's why I'm the meticulous planner I am...I'm always waiting for something to go wrong.  And it almost always does.

In my mind, I'd like to think that I chose the wrong path at some point, and everything consistently going wrong was the universe's way of saying, "Hey, you chose the wrong way."  And I'd like to think that I'm trying to correct that now, and that I'll stop hitting these constant and unnecessary obstacles.  But that will have to wait to be seen.

An example?  It's not just that my mom was hospitalized the weekend of my dad's birthday, but as I was driving home to check on her (300 miles away) my car exploded.  It's not just that I sprained my ankle the second week of school, but the next day I dropped scalding mashed potatoes that splattered on my neck and arms, giving me burns all over my body.  It's not just that I fell down the stairs with my rolly cart, but my rolly cart then fell on top of me and sprained my finger.

It's not even that I feel sorry for myself about it.  Well, sometimes I do.  But I'm just exhausted of having to deal with it, and of always having a Plan A, Plan B, and usually and Plan C...going through all those and having to construct a Plan D on the spot.  

But I'm really great at foreseeing problems and planning for them!  =)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I stayed up all night.

When you have to report to the hospital at 5:00 a.m., which means you need to leave at 4:25 a.m., and you've been going to sleep at 3 a.m. anyway...well, I tried to sleep but I just wasn't tired.

It was a pretty boring beginning.

I got my awesome socks (I love those socks) and a non-awesome gown.  The nurse guy tried to get me to put out my contacts.  I refused.  He insisted.  In the end, I just lied.  I have 30 day 30 night contacts so I sleep with them in, and I am SO nearsighted that I hate waking up from surgery and not being able to see anything.  It takes them forever to get your glasses to you, too.

The IV is my least favorite part.  When I was 17, it took them 12 times to get it in.  And then, the lady just held down my hand, stabbed me, and wiggled the needle underneath my skin until she found a vein.  I'm no pain wuss, but that hurt!

Now, they give you a small shot before putting in the IV, so it's a lot better.  It's kind of like getting the gel on your gums before getting a novicaine shot.  And about 3 different hospital people came by as it was going in, and they were astonished that I liked to watch the IV go in.  I figure, if you watch it go in, you know the exact moment to become tense instead of being tense for a really long time anticipating it.

Even though the doctors say that you won't remember the time prior to surgery, I always do.  I also always take a really long time to recover from the anesthetics.  I remember being rolled down the hall, remember them telling me I wouldn't remember this part, remember them having me move to the operating table, remember them putting sensors on me....and remember them telling me I would be going to sleep.

It felt like a deep sleep.  When I woke up, I knew time had passed.  Maybe the fact I had been awake for 24 hours made it harder to wake up.  I felt them pulling of the sensors and I thought...I'm just going to lie here and keep my eyes closed and pretend to still be asleep.  It took a long time for me to be able to get up.  I usually need a stronger dose of anesthetics to get me asleep, but then it also makes it harder for me to get up and functioning again.

I spent the day in bed, sleeping on and off.

The strangest part was while I was sleeping, I got a phone call from my coworker.  I completely forgot I wasn't supposed to talk, and I answered the phone.  He asked, "Can you talk?" and I said, "Yes," confused. I just plain forgot I had surgery!  I was confused why my voice sounded weird.  To be fair, i'm like this in general when you wake me up in the middle of a deep sleep, and I'm sure the leftover drugs in my system didn't help the matter....

Another coworker came by and brought me ice cream and macaroni and cheese :)

It's nice to have an excuse to sit around being a bum.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Surgery, replacements, offer #3

Big things about to happen in the next 24 hours.

1.) I am having my vocal cord surgery.  I am having a growth taken off of my vocal cords and then will not be able to talk for one week.  Recovery will take 6 weeks.  I have stocked my refrigerator with food so I won't have to go out into the world.  I have a white board in case I DO end up going out in the world.  My surgery got moved to 7:15 tomorrow morning which means I have to get to the hospital at 5a.m.  That makes me sad.

2.) On Thursday, my replacement was hired.  School starts on Tuesday.  I wish it had happened earlier, considering I can't help the new person after today, since I can't talk.  

3.) We'll see if it actually happens, but a 3rd (and hopefully final) offer on my house is supposed to come in tomorrow.  I really hope it's for at least CLOSE to my asking price.  The stress is starting to make me crabby.

My parents are in town for the surgery.  After insisting that they be the ones to take me, and after making me cancel my initial plans, my mom said, "So do you need for us to take you?"  And then she complained it was too early and couldn't someone else take me?  

That's my parents.

Thankfully, my friend has volunteered for the unpleasant task.  It'll be a less stressful ordeal with him and I'm appreciative for that.  My mother's way of comforting me in times of stress is by criticizing me.  It is NOT comforting.

5 a.m.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Dentist

I do not like the dentist.

I know, I know...nobody does.

Until the age of 18, my dentist was my dad's former student.  He...was terrible.  Seriously, terrible, and I don't say that lightly.  At the age of 8, I got Novocaine shots and it made my entire head tingle with pain.  It hurt SO bad, and I'm a person, even at the age of 8, who has gone through a lot of pain.  When I was 18, I went back (I had been going to an orthodontist) and he gave me 8 novocaine shots.  I thought surely it won't hurt as bad as when I was 8.  Everything seems worse when you're 8.  Nope.  It hurt JUST AS BAD as I had remembered.

Did you know that there is supposed to be gel rubbed on your gums before the shot?  I didn't know that until I was 26.

Yeah.  He just straight shot me.  And I STILL felt the drilling!  And then, he drilled the wrong tooth!  It's never good when you hear your dentist say, "Oops!"  -_-

Since 18, I went to a dentist in Costa Mesa who tried to sell me everything in the whole world (including a $250 bite plate), tried to make me insecure about not having perfectly straight teeth so I would buy invisalign (didn't work), and after seeing him my teeth have been sensitive.

I went to a new dentist in RSM teeth hurt.  It's been 5 years.

She was really good, actually.  And I got complimented on my gums and the color of my teeth!  I'll take any compliment I can get.  But in the last 3 days I have gotten about 5 hours of dental work done.  I had to keep my mouth open for 2 hours today.  My jaw aches.  :(

Oh well.  My teeth feel good.  They aren't sensitive.  Everyone was cool.

I'll go back...when my teeth hurt again.  :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bow - Offer #2

I got a second offer on my house...except it's for 25% less than what I'm asking, which is a lot!  I countered but I doubt that they are going to accept, considering how low the offer is.  Oh well.

I've been practicing a lot the last few days.  Like...4-6 hours per day a lot.  And as a result of the sudden practicing, I have gotten a blister on my right index finger from my bow!  I've never gotten a blister there's very odd.  I've gotten a pizzicato blister before, but not a bow one.

So I went to Staples and bought a pack of squishy pencil grips, took the screw out of my bow, detached the frog, and slid the pencil grip on.  It felt SO good.  Except, as I was tightening the bow I suddenly felt something weird happen, like the screw skipping a thread.  As I went to loosen the screw to investigate, I discovered that the screw actually BROKE!  Half of it came right out, and half is stuck inside of my bow, keeping the frog attached to the stick.


This is a more serious repair, at least in my eyes, so I called my serious repair place.  They are...on summer vacation for two weeks!


I'm going to my second choice, which makes me a little nervous.  They're very good, but this is a $3000 bow here!  I'm very protective of it, for good reason.  I hope all goes well.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Worker's Comp - Just YES OR NO?!


Talk about a job I would NOT want.

I'm going through a worker's comp ordeal right now.  I hurt my voice and am having surgery in a week, and after speaking to the district about using my sick days they submitted me for worker's comp.  I really appreciate the fact that my bosses reactions were, "Oh no!  Let's get you taken care of!" and not "Hey, it's not our fault..."  I hadn't even thought about worker's comp, and then I got a packet in the mail.

But speaking to the worker's comp rep is just...painful.  He's a nice guy and all, but clearly he has a job where he gets yelled at all day, and if he makes a mistake or says the wrong thing someone is going to sue him or....cut him.  Whenever I ask a simple yes or no question, he responds literally for 3-5 minutes, never actually answering the question, repeating what he said 5 minutes ago.  I kept having to ask the same question over and over again, and when he wouldn't answer the question I'd have to isolate it even more.

It was exhausting.

It makes me really not want to be a lawyer.  Ever.

For instance:
ME - "I recall you said that I have to see a second doctor, but my surgery is scheduled for a week from now and I haven't received any information about who I'm supposed to see.  So I was wondering if I could get the name of the doctors so I could set up an appointment."

HIM - PAPERWORK TAKES A LONG TIME --> but this answer was spread over 3 minutes about the process and the government and...I stopped listening.

ME - you can't give me the doctors' names?

HIM - NO. --> spread over another 4 minutes about how he doesn't have the information until the paperwork is processed and how you never really know how long it's going to take and....

ME - So what happens when I go to the second doctor AFTER I have surgery?

HIM - YOU SHOULD REALLY WAIT AND RESCHEDULE YOUR SURGERY - took another 5 minutes about how the process takes time and how, again, paperwork is processed...

ME - Yeah, that's not going to happen.  I'm having surgery on Monday.  So,, again, what happens when I've had surgery but have to go to your doctor afterward?  How is he going to check my condition if I've already had surgery?

HIM - YOU SHOULD RESCHEDULE YOUR SURGERY -> 5 minutes, I kid you not, of how it's not their doctor, how it's issued by a 3rd party and ... blah blah blah ... and then he talked again about processing.

ME - But I'm not going to.  So what will happen when I go to 2nd doctor after my surgery?  (at this point, I'm getting annoyed because all I want is a 3 sentence answer, at most.)

HIM - HE'LL REVIEW YOUR RECORDS AND MAKE A DECISION BASED OFF OF THAT. - 3 minutes of medical release information and liability information and...groan

ME - Okay, that's what I was looking for.  I feel sorry for you, you must get yelled at a lot.

HIM - YEAH, I DO --> seriously 5 minutes of how the state of California mandates the process, not the employer, and benefits and paperwork and process and....groan.

I feel like part of my soul has died.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pants for Cellists

It was yet another weekend of open houses, which meant I needed to flee my house for 3 hours on Saturday and 3 hours on Sunday.

On Saturday, I spent the 3 hours running errands, going to Target, going grocery shopping, blah blah blah.  Today, I intended to get my tire looked at (the warning light keeps going on, I keep refilling my tire, and the warning light will come back on in a couple weeks).  At the recommendation of a friend, I went to Big O Tires (I asked, "Where can I take my car where they won't try to rip off an Asian young woman?"")

A car endeavor usually entails an hour or two of sitting around time, but when I went I was told that there was a screw in my tire, the tire needed replacing, but since my tires still looked okay I might as well wait since the air isn't hissing out...and that when it became annoying I could come back and they would replace my tires.

Thank you, Brad, the Big O Tire guy.  He even had me pull up front and put air in my tire for me.

I went to Starbucks for the rest of the 3 hours and started a project.  For our last concert, we played Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and it was AWESOME.  I had looked forward to playing that for 2 years and I never got tired of hearing it.  Now that I have time, I have started arranging cello quartets and recording myself playing them.


Yes, I'm that big of a dork.

I got home, printed it out, and promptly began recording and practicing.  It's very high energy music, and I was sweaty and gross by the end.  When I stood up, the entire back side of my shorts were sopping from the sweat (gross, I know).  I remembered how, every time I play an intense concert, I have to strategically stand up to unstick my skirt from myself.

There should be some kind of sweat band for your backside, for all us musicians who get hot and excited on stage.

Just a thought.

Sweat band shorts?

That sounds weird.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Caramel Sauce

I can't believe it's taken me this long to try caramel sauce on my ice cream.

I went to Target today, and bought some Alden's Vanilla Ice Cream and Smucker's Caramel Sundae Syrup. Oh.  My.  Gah.  It made me believe in good again, that's how amazing it was.  I think I will put it on my Greek yogurt tomorrow, and in my coffee, and maybe I might just drizzle it on my hand and lick it off.

How have I gotten through life without this?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Birthday time

It's my birthday today.

Traditionally, my birthday has not been an exciting event.  In fact, it's usually been a time of concern.  I think I've been sick somewhere between 5 - 10 of my birthdays, I've been to 3 funerals on my actual birthday, and I've had various friends and family get injured during my birthday.

 I used to call it my birthday curse.

I've gotten over it the last few years, really, but the stigma slightly remains.

This year, I friend HR~ and DDF~ took me out to Umami Burger and to see Moonrise Kingdom.  I ordered the Truffle Burger and thin fries in all its delicious glory.  

I highly recommend both.  The burger was juicy deliciousness with truffle cheese melting.  

The movie combined my happy indie nerd and my proud orch dork together.  Did I sit and bob back and forth while the Playful Pizzicato played?  Perhaps.  Did I immediately notice that the music in the ending credits was a variation on the original Britten theme and was a fugue?  Maybe.  Did I complain about the boring cello part when the instruments were brought in one-by-one with a brief description?  Definitely.  It was one note (G, in case you were wondering).

All in all, however, it was a good time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012



Let's go.

Come on!

It's surprisingly difficult to live in limbo.

My whole life I've either been recovering from hard work or preparing for hard work or...working hard!  But even when being a slacker, I had some kind of goal in mind.  Summer usually involves me sleeping for two weeks, and then spending the next 2-3 weeks preparing for the upcoming school year.

And while, yes, there are still things for me to check on (I'm still nervous that my job hasn't been posted yet and school starts in less than 2 weeks, and I'm still randomly showing my house, and of course there is my City/Farm/Castlevilles to tend...and Sims to play...) it's not really enough to fill my day.

I need a project...

...say, like, packing all my stuff up?  Finding an apartment?

Added to that, my fun stuff is packed away and hidden in the garage.  All my movies, video games, paints, cello music, piano exercise dvds (I keep telling myself that's why I'm not exercising.  Lies...)

Instead of being at least semi-productive, or at least pretending as though I am productive, I spend my days snacking on food and watching really bad tv.  Really really bad.  Like...why can't I stop myself from watching The Real Housewives of Orange County marathon kind of bad.  I won't watch any other Real Housewives, either!  Just Orange County.  Because that's where I live.


I'm a masochist.

I actually saw one of them at Target one time.  I was amused and inexplicably proud of her.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Operation GOOGLE

I want to work at Google.

Yes, I have a plan B, C, D, and E, but PLAN A is Google!  Why, you may ask?  Is it because they have a slide in their office....well, maybe a little.  If I ever go, you better BELIEVE I am going down or up that slide.  But that's obviously not WHY I want to work at Google.

It just seems like a place of goodness.  Good + Smart + Creative = Naoko's Happy Place.

I submitted my resume online, did some research, and discovered that the best way to get an interview is to have someone within Google submit your resume.  Too bad everybody I know are teachers and/or musicians, right?  So begins the facebook stalking of trying to find friends of friends who work at Google.  After many failed attempts, I put Operation GOOGLE on hold.

Today, I find out that the daughter of my cousin (I think that makes her my first cousin once removed) knows lots of people who work at Google, EA, Zynga, Facebook...and so Operation GOOGLE has recommenced!

I don't know if this is sad or awesome, but if I was a secretary at Google I'd make $10,000 more than I did this last year teaching.

Not that it's about the money.  Not that ANYTHING I do is about money.  I need enough money to feed myself and give myself shelter, but that's about it.  I wasn't raised with a bunch of stuff, but never really felt deprived of stuff, either.  I had my imagination; that's all I ever really needed.

Well, wish me luck.

I am updating my resume (again) and looking up potential jobs, again.  I initially started this search in May, so a lot of the jobs that were available then are not now.