Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's Halloween

How am I celebrating?  Well, I got out of bed at 11:30 this morning, and by "got out of" I mean "dragged myself out of".  I ate breakfast and had planned on going to Target again except...there was a massive parade (GO GIANTS!) happening, and when I hear there are 1 million people where I'd like to get my coffee creamer, I'm inclined to wait.

I don't run toward the crowd, I walk quickly away.

I was so exhausted that I decided to lie down for a little while.  I fell asleep while Rachael Ray was on, around 2:30, and woke up when Paula was making cinnamon rolls at almost 5:30.  Oops.  Yeah, I was productive today.

I'm kind of grinchy when it comes to Halloween.  I usually tell my annual story to my students, but since I have no students, I will retell it via blog.

I was 5, and my mom had made me a Big Bird costume.  It was my very first Halloween, and I didn't quite understand what was happening; I was just excited to go to school as Big Bird.  When it comes to trick-or-treating, there are two types of parents: 1.) Parents who walk with their kids up to the door, or 2.) Parents who wait by the sidewalk and send their kids up to the door without them.  My parents fell into the latter category

So, with my plastic jack-o-lantern, I went up to one of the last doors of the evening.  A man who lived on my street.  He jumped out wearing a monster mask, and growled at me.  Freaking out, I threw my jack-o-lantern full of candy at his head and ran away.

Hey, I was 5.

I don't think anybody was planning on me attacking my attacker.

Apparently, I am fight then flight :)

After that, I have vague memories of Halloween.  I was an angel.  I was a witch.  In 6th grade I won "the most creative costume" in my class because I was a painter and walked around with a brush and a bucket and had painted my clothes.  I didn't dress up again until my senior year of high school when my friends wanted to go trick-or-treating for the last time.  I wore my Youth Symphony dress and a fishing hat and told people I was a witch on vacation.

Every Halloween, the dress code was bent at school to allow hats, so every year I'd wear a hat on Halloween.  No costume.  I'm surprised nobody ever said anything about that, in retrospect.

A couple years ago, after avoiding my co-worker's Halloween party for years, I finally went as Edna Mode from the Incredibles.  It just involved buying a $5 pair of glasses and curling my hair inward.

I DO like the candy involved, and take the opportunity to buy tons of Reese's and Butterfingers.  I've eaten 5 already.  Maybe that's why I needed a nap; sugar crash.

To those who do enjoy it and celebrate it, have fun and be safe!

Monday, October 29, 2012

San Francisco symphony

On Saturday, my parents took me to go see Yuja Wang and the San Francisco Symphony.

I love watching and hearing them.  My favorite moment is when a slow, quiet movement ends, and everyone in the room...the musicians, the audience...everyone stays completely still and tries not to make a sound.  You can hear everybody holding their breath so as not to ruin the moment.
It made me want to join a community orchestra.  It's been so long since I've played with a big group...I miss the camaraderie involved.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pretending I Am Clean

I wouldn't say I'm messy.  But a little bit of clutter is fine for me, as long as I know where everything is.  Organized clutter, I guess.

The rest of my family, however, are TYPE A obsessive compulsive cleaners.  My sister bleaches the counters after every meal.  If you put a glass of water down in the kitchen, go to the bathroom and come back, my mom will have mysteriously made the glass disappear.

I keep a glass in the refrigerator that I use for water for several days.

My parents are visiting me tomorrow for the first time since I moved.  I spent the day orange oiling the wooden surfaces, windexing the floor, bleaching all the countertops, vacuuming the carpets, and generally straightening up.   I know it makes no difference, since my parents will still sit and fluff the couch pillows.  My mom will clean that small crevice where the water faucet and sink meet.

Oh well.

Even though I was known for being absolutely meticulous at work, there are just some things...I don't care about.

As a small child, I was a complete slob.  My room...had....foot holes where I had cleared off the junk so that you could hop around.  Then, literally over night, I became obsessive compulsive clean.  Everything was parallel or perpendicular.  It FREAKED everybody out to see the sudden change (I think I was in 4th or 5th grade).

Since then, I've found a happy medium.  I clean as well as I can, then watch as things get messier and messier, and then I clean again when I get frazzled by my environment.  And with a smaller home, I get frazzled faster because there is less space for the mess to hide.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I love Target.

I usually got AT LEAST once a week.  Usually twice.  Back in Orange County, I'd go to two separate Targets so they wouldn't know just how often I went.

Upon moving to SF and discovering there was NO Target, I immediately had difficulty finding...things.  Where do you buy a bathmat?

Fortunately for me, Target opened last week in San Francisco!  Hooray!  I keep joking that they must have known I was coming.  Well, today, I finally went to go visit.  I tried to go in the middle of the day, hoping it wouldn't be too crazy.

I walked in, Starbucks on the right, and athletic apparel on the left in this separate little store area.  Directly in front were escalators.  Huh?  Escalators in a Target?  After checking out the athletic apparel (which I don't need at all), I went upstairs.  The layout is...weird.  I know the 3 different types of usual Target layouts.  This was nothing like any of them.

It was so disorienting.

It makes sense that the layout would have to be different to accommodate a city type of building.  It's not a suburb; there's not plenty of land to spread yourself out on.  The pharmacy was right there (where the Starbucks USUALLY is), and then on one side was women's apparel and on the other side was cosmetics and bath stuff.  You keep going and men's apparel is on the left, and pantry groceries are on the right and fresh groceries are right in front.  You turn to the left and walk through home goods, and then way in the back are electronics.  Circling back around you have...the stuff I never look at.  The garage/sporting goods stuff.

This is going to take me a while to get used to.

I ended up buying Doritos, Cheez Its, 2 packages of Kleenex handiwipes to go, a vest, Mio, trash bags...I think that's it.  I still needed more stuff but that filled my one bag, and I've learned to only go on the bus with one extraneous bag (not including the backpack I tote around everywhere).

I hung out in Union Square for a little while, taking in some sun, trying to be somewhat human.  It's fun to watch all the different types of people who walk through there.  I also like to try to guess who are tourists.  The giant overstuffed backpacks are a dead giveaway, especially when paired with a giant camera around your neck.  The fanny pack is also a good indication.  It's very fun :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fighting Hermit Tendencies

I finally went to Starbucks.  

It was a farther walk than I was expecting, but the baristas were friendly and I sat reading my box for about an hour.  Drink of choice: soy caramel macchiato.  

I also went to Union Square because there was a Korean festival happening.  But when I got there, there were 12 year old girls "hip hop" dancing  to "Joyful Joyful" from Sister Act 2.  It probably says something about ME that I can identify the Sister Act 2 specific rendition.  The rapping was gone, however, left with just a "hip hop" beat....that wasn't very hip hop.

Losing interest quickly, I walked to the Ferry Building.  In my head, it was just a short walk, but it's actually about a mile away.  By the time I got there, I had taken off my jacket and had pushed up my sweater sleeves as high as they would go.  I walked around a bit, bought a loaf of Pain au Levain from Acme Bread (was shocked at how large a loaf it was), and finally returned home.  I ate two slices of leftover pizza and a good amount of that bread.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Another One Bites the Dust

I kill electronics.

Computers, printers, phones....I kill them all.  They have a really short lifetime around me, and it's not because I'm careless....they just...die.  In my mind, I'm convinced this has something to do with my ability to make streetlamps turn off when I walk/drive by.

Since high school, I've never had a computer go more than 2 years without it dying.  I started with Macs, killed them for years.  In college, I switched to a Dell desktop and then a dell laptop.  My Toshiba laptop had a horrible death where something with the hard disk died and I couldn't recover ANYTHING because I couldn't get into it.  I've had 2 HPs that have last the longest...they both made it a month or two past the 2 year mark.

Well, last night, my laptop was having some problems and I had to power it off the painful way: holding the power button down.  I've been having to do this more and more often over the past few months.  But this time, it made this....clunk sound.  I even said, "That wasn't a good sound."  Upon restarting, my computer went into a startup repair.  It had gone 3 hours long when I went to bed.  When I woke up, it said it couldn't fix the problems.  I had to shut off my computer again, and when I tried to start it up it said there was no bootable device.


This morning, I went to Staples, basically when it opened.  I cannot live without a computer.  I just can't.  I'm an addict.  I hung around the computer section, but nobody came to help me.  So I went to the computer helping desk, and this lady was having a conversation with this man about....operating systems and linux, and I stood there as they chatted happily.  3 separate Staples employees walked by me or just stood in the corner watching me wait.

The gentleman finally left, and then she went back behind her computer and started working.  Um, hello?  Hello?  Girl who has been waiting could use some assistance?  She finally, with a sigh, asked me what I needed, and I asked how I would go about getting one of those laptops on display.  She asked me which one, and very slowly went to check.  And then she asked me which one, again.  All the while sighing and kind of rolling her eyes at me.  "What operating system do you want on it?"  Huh?  I have a choice?  I got confused and said I didn't realize I had that choice, and how I really wish I still had my windows 7 cd.

She sighed again, and said the computer came with Windows 7 but did I want Microsoft Office or an antivirus program?  I said no thank you, and she said, "Computers don't really come with preinstalled software anymore.  It's why they're so cheap," talking to me like I'm an idiot.

Did I miss something?  Did I do something to offend you?  Do I look like the girl who stole your boyfriend??

She finally came back with the laptop, rung me up, didn't ask me if I wanted a warranty protection service or anything, didn't offer me a bag (though I brought a big tote bag, fortunately, which I pulled out outside the store).  She kind of acted like...a snotty person would act if I were buying VHS tapes and cassette tapes.


I am now on my HP Pavilion g7-2017us laptop.  You would think that after my computers have died so often I'd be paranoid about backing up.  But...alas.  My last backup was months and months ago.

My old laptop, I can now kind of restart but it gets stuck on the "starting windows" graphic no matter what I do.  It won't reboot in safe mode.

I'm trying to remember my bookmarks but...have only remembered a small hand full.

Oh well, if I can't remember, can't be that important, right?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What Dreams May Come

I used to have CRAZY ridiculous dreams.

About a year and a half ago, I had a realization.  Not only did I only dream about teaching, but two school years ago I only dreamed about one class.  Normally, I would dream about each class, usually either every day dreams or anxiety dreams.  But two years ago, I only had anxiety dreams that really mirrored real life with one specific class.  It was a very disturbing discovery.

I'm glad to report that my ridiculously strange dreams have finally returned on a regular basis.  Two nights ago, I had a dream where my subconscious created a whole new Harry Potter movie that I played out.  Sometimes I was watching the movie, sometimes I was Hermione.  We were trying to escape school, but not Hogwarts.  Perhaps we were visiting a different school and trying to escape it?

Last night, I had a dream that Ryan Reynolds and I were eating Sees chocolates, discussing the unpleasant chocolates in the box, and then we were flying into space....and then something went wrong.  I can't really remember, but it was exciting at the time.

I had lunch with a former...friend?  I guess he was a friend.  Someone I've known since I was 12.  I don't remember ever really having a conversation with him, but we were in the same orchestras, we traveled to Europe together in a small chamber ensemble, were in the same orchestra at school and outside of school.  I took my second trip out to the Marina, though instead of deli sandwiches we ended up at a Vietnamese restaurant.

I keep forgetting I don't like cilantro.  I keep ordering these Vietnamese sandwiches, bahn mi, and I keep forgetting that it comes with cilantro and jalapenos.  I don't like cilantro, apparently.  And I am a spice wuss. I only ate half my sandwich because I discovered the jalapenos too late and was then scared to eat the rest of my food.  Stupid jalapenos right next to cucumbers.  They looked the same.

Last night I went to sleep at 6 p.m. and woke up at almost 1:00 a.m.  I was disappointed.  I had hoped I would wake up at 3 a.m.  I'm already ready to go to sleep right now but am going to try to at least make it until 6 again.  The good news is that I'm awake during daylight again, so I can go out and do things.

Monday, October 15, 2012

YouTube - My New Hobby

I went to sleep around noon and woke up around 7 p.m.  I'm slowly going to bed and waking up later and later.  I know if I really wanted to, I could do it in one go and stay awake for 30 + hours, but I'm in no rush.

Because I am sleeping during the day, it's limited my activity pretty significantly.  Aside from continuing to be a Zynga game addict and watching Bravo way too much, I started making youtube videos!

I'm really enjoying myself.  It brings together a lot of the activities I enjoy.  I'm taking songs or pieces or soundtrack bits and am turning them into quartets for cello, my main instrument.  I have a strength for dictation; something I've known since my freshman year at UCLA.  I can hear something and write it down a lot faster than most people.

Then, I warm up on my cello, record using my iPhone...and work on the video syncing.  It's really fun!  It takes a lot of time, though, because I have to get everything in one take.  This leaves very little room for mistakes...or forces me to be okay with imperfection.  But it's just for fun, so imperfection is perfectly fine :)

Below is the most recent one.  I amuse myself.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I visited the SFMOMA on Thursday night.  It's my first venture out into the world at night all by myself :)  And that's because it is half priced on Thursday nights!  Below is the entrance that twinkles at you with exciting possibilities...

I spent a lot of time going to museums as a kid.  Whenever I walk through museums now, as an adult, I'm struck with how little I know.  I spent Thursday looking at everything, mulling it over, observing it...but being acutely aware that I really should know more.

I suppose it makes sense.  I never took an art class, aside from a watercolor summer school class in 3rd grade.  I still have the painting.  I didn't realize that watercolor meant the waters were going to flow into each other, and I got very upset that I couldn't keep the colors separate.  What did I know, I was 8!  

My horoscope said that a job would find me this weekend.  

We will see :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Sleep Glutton

Being a sleep glutton has taken away my ability to go out and do things.

This is mainly because my schedule right now is to go to sleep around 6 a.m. and wake up around 3 p.m.  When I was in college and would do this during spring break or summer break, I was somehow able to go to sleep and wake up 3 hours later every day, and would go full circle in less than a week.

Being no longer 20, I don't seem to be able to do this anymore.  Well, maybe I could.  Maybe I could try to stay up a little later every day.

It's a little odd to wake up and think, "Oh, I have to take a shower before it's too late to go grocery shopping!"  I've also limited my cello practicing time, since quiet hours start at 10:00 p.m.

I guess it's all part of my weird sleeping disorder.  Fortunately for me, when it comes time to be on a proper schedule, I can do it fairly easily.  My body is both used to not getting enough sleep (I've been sleep deprived since 6th grade) but grateful for the opportunity to sleep and will happily gorge itself if I let it.  I still remember the glorious trip to Japan where I basically slept for 24 hours straight.

I was really sleep deprived in high school.

Since it takes until 4:00 p.m. usually for me to be showered and fed my breakfast, it doesn't leave me a tremendous amount of time to go exploring before the sun goes down.  I have to fix this.  I can't keep sleeping my day away and being up all night.

On another note, I purchased some bluetooth headphones for $40!  They're pretty good, except for the fact that the volume control and track selection are the same button...and the button keeps getting stuck.  I'm realizing how much easier it is to have headphones when you don't have a long cord.  It gets tangled in my hair!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


In an attempt to ignore what I SHOULD do and do what I want to do for once in my life, I've been sleeping as much as I want.  As a result, I woke up at 1:30 this afternoon for the second day in a row.  I figure, this is the last time in my life (until retirement) I will have this opportunity.  I've been sleep deprived since I was 11 (literally) and I could use some sleep.  Waking up at a certain time because I feel like I should do so...I will put that on pause.

A lot is happening in SF this weekend.  There is a music festival, the Giants are playing, the 49ers are playing, and it's Fleet Week...and America's Cup is happening....I've been hearing the very loud swooshing of planes overhead.  That always freaks me out a little, because you always see terrible grainy footage on the news of those kind of things going horribly wrong.

I heard the airplanes while inside Whole Foods.  A woman looked up and said, "It's the sound of war machines!"  I just thought it was amusingly loud...

After grocery shopping, I hopped on the 38 and went all the way to the beach.  It was a long and awkward bus ride where I was standing on the steps into the bus pretty much the whole time.  I would get hit by the doors every time they opened and closed, and the other guy who was standing on the other side of the railing on the steps...he and I had to exit the bus at every stop to let people out, and then get back in.  It was rather amusing.

Once I got to Land's End, I went to explore.  Down the trails to the Sutro Baths, back up to various points, walked around some trails really for an hour and a half.
Sutro Baths
At one point, I got a very nice view of the Golden Gate Bridge.  It's my first time actually seeing the bridge since getting here, and it was a pleasant way to view it.

Watched the sun set, walked around a bit more, and finally got back on the 38 to return home.  I got off on the wrong bus stop -_-  Just one too soon.  It was my first time walking around SF at night by myself.  Fortunately, walking around Japantown is perfectly safe, and all the old Japanese ladies politely smile at me and greet me with a nod.

I ended it with a brown rice tortilla quesadilla.  It was really good!  Brown rice tortillas = yummy.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Exploratorium Adventure

Took the 22 up Fillmore to the Palace of Fine Arts today!  Well, actually, I took the bus to Lombard and then walked to the Palace of Fine Arts :)  When I walked out of my own apartment it was warm.  When I got off the bus it was freezing cold and I really regretted wearing shorts and not having a jacket.

Palace of Fine Arts
I haven't been to the Exploratorium since I was a little kid.  I remember 3 things: 1.) The mirror wall that makes you look like you're floating, 2.) The distorted room that gets smaller as you walk into it, and 3.) I really wanted this toy of nails that makes an outline of whatever you put under it, but my dad wouldn't get it for me.

It's interesting how differently things seem as an adult.  It was still big, but not BIGGGG like it was when I was little.  I walked around playing with things, realizing I was one of a few adults there without a kid.  It was free Wednesday, but I guess I should've gone earlier in the morning rather than at 2:30 to avoid the mobs of little ones.

The highlight was the theremin.  Oh yes.  I played a theremin.  Did I stand there for a little too long and try and figure out all the tones and where they were?  Why yes, I did.  Did I play the Star Trek theme on it?  Why yes, yes I did.

Yeah.  I played the Star Trek theme on a theremin at the Exploratorium today.

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's Chinatown

It's HOT in San Francisco.

I think it hit 90 degrees today, and while I shouldn't complain since I was coming from 90+ (more like around 100) degree heat, I moved to San Francisco for the deliciously cool weather.

One day, I'm going to take a leisurely walk to catch the #1 MUNI bus.  Granted, I've only taken it twice (4 times if you count coming and going), but each time I leave at the last possible minute and have to haul up a big hill.  By the time I get to the bus stop I'm sweating and panting like I just ran the mile.  It's pitiful.

The #1 is funny, because it's full of cranky Chinese ladies :)  I say that with love.  It's really quite entertaining as they yell at people in Chinese...who clearly can't understand a word of Chinese.  They give you dirty looks when you sit next to them.  It's very funny.

I went on a walking tour of Chinatown today, and it was almost 2 hours long.  I tried really hard to pay attention to the historical aspects of it, but there was so much information!  I'm definitely not a historian.  I FOUND the group because we met in Portsmouth Square Park which was FULL of Chinese people.  And then there was this group of white people with backpacks and cameras and sweatshirts and fanny packs :D  Ah, the fanny pack.  Will you ever go out of style?  ;)

We went all over the place and learned about all the hidden crime and the racism towards the immigrants.  I think I was in middle school when I decided that the commonality amongst all immigrants is...when they first got here, nobody wanted them here and tried to scare them away.  I noticed in history class, with every wave of immigration, everybody was worried they would take their jobs away.  Likewise with the immigration of the Chinese to San Francisco.

I saw all these wonderfully ridiculous touristy items, and I so wanted to stop and buy stereotypical "chinatown" trinkets, but after the walking tour I was SO exhausted.  After about 2 hours, I was ready for food and rest.  I had just missed the bus back so I went into the Bank of America that was on the corner, cashed my check, and they talked me into changing my credit card (and the guy kind of laughed at how old my card was).  :)  He was really nice and friendly though; I always appreciate that.

I spent the rest of the day recovering, and I'm so exhausted.  I'm ready for bed now.  And I'm off melatonin for the 5th night in a row, so we'll see how that goes.  I'm...sleeping.  I'm sleeping without help now, which  And I'm sleeping a good 8-9 hours every night.  I've had such horrible problems with this for such a long time that it's really quite refreshing.  While I've struggled with sleeping properly since I was 11 or 12 (more severely in high school), since about March or April my sleeping has been horrible.  I've been having nightmares and would wake up every hour after finally falling asleep...

That has to be a good sign, right?