Sunday, September 24, 2006

First run in a week...

...and it was hard!

3.55 miles.
I am up another 3 pounds.
I could feel every little ounce.

Based on a discussion with my MT who asked about my running shoe and injury history, I took out my orthotics and used Spenco Q-Factor inserts. These are supposedly made especially for women and support the sharper hip-to-knee angle that women have which men don't. I had been wearing them in my Asics for runs up to 6 miles but not for more than that. Jim, the MT, thinks that as long as my ankle bones are even, I should try to run in these instead of my orthotics. And I should stick to my daily stretching and twice-weekly self-massage routine. He also suggested that instead of concentrating solely on my ITB, I should focus more on my TFL and Hip Flexors. During the last massage, when he worked on these, it helped to release my ITB and the pain in my hip was reduced.

I'll give these inserts a try.
Today is the only run this week... major laziness in addition to work.
Next week is my department offsite - 3 days of all day meetings... it will be hard to run.
I'll wear the inserts through my next long run (whenever that is) and see how I feel.

I will say that this morning's run felt "lighter" on my feet, even though overall I was heavy and sluggish moving my ever-increasing frame through the atmosphere.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I exercised my hard-fought, hard-won right to vote today.

I am a registered independent.
I voted in the Democratic primary.
I voted for three people - the governor candidate, the state senate candidate, and the lieutenant governor candidate.
I didn't vote for anyone else because the rest are the Democrat's problems....

I cannot see myself voting for Kennedy.

Monday, September 18, 2006

RTB Driving Report

This is the front and back of the team shirts for this year's RTB.

This was probably the best RTB yet.
Not only in terms of the weather but in terms of driving, since I shared that with Abby, to whom I am eternally grateful - otherwise, my driving through the night would have probably scared the pee out of everyone in the van!
And yes, I say this even though she called me the Best Yeller and her post didn't seem so nice at all. Hmph.

Anyway, I managed to make t-shirts for the team again this year. I went back to my old T-shirt guy, whom I love and did the whole order in record time and delivered it to my door! I got a lot of comments on them. One guy on another team kept coming by and telling me how great they were! I was happy... sometimes it's hard to know if the team really likes them since I never ask for feedback on what they think the logo and the design should look like. But then it wouldn't be a surprise. It's a tradeoff. I did noticed that some members of the team were wearing shirts from last year, which also made me happy. I discussed a couple of ideas for next year's design with Abby... still mulling things over... I have a whole year to think about it!

There was no rain this year other than a few sprinkles when Van 2 started running. We didn't make it to Timberland for the 40% off sale but it'll come around worries...

If I can find the link to the picures people took, I will post it here.

Best Yeller??

Ugh. I am so ANNOYED!

So, for Reach the Beach, Abby Wabby and I drove.
I took the day shift and she took the night shift.

In her blog about the race, she named me "Best Yeller."
Best Yeller?
She who said she hated "naked people." The guys who run without shirts? She emphatically stated, "I HATE NAKEDS. And THAT is how I feel." And then proceeded to deride all "nakeds" she saw??
She who declared that the van was a mess and then decided that no one could throw any empty bottles on the floor? She for whom I went around and warned the troops that she was doing strange Wabby-like stream-of-consciousness behaviour and for whom I asked NOT to trash the van?
She who was declared Van Nazi??


I might be the best WHINER.
Or the best COMPLAINER.
Or the best LAZY RUNNER.
But Best YELLER?

Uh. I don't yell.
I exaggerate.
I dramatize.
But Yell?

I had to check with my Hunny Bunny to make sure I wasn't being delusional.
And he who is a left-handed saggitarius, relegated to a life of blunt truth telling when asked, said, "no... you don't yell."
In fact, he said he didn't hear me yell at all.
And my whining was at a minimum, too, I might add.

So, okay. I did tell Derek to put his feet down off of the ceiling...
From a Korean perspective, what he was doing was very rude, not to mention he was dirty and marking up the ceiling of the van, and his feet were right behind my head, which from a Korean perspective is not only RUDE but very bad Feng Shui...

I am so annoyed.
Next year, she better be running instead of driving.
Abby not running makes Abby no fun.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I have a facialist!

Doesn't sound like a big deal but I have a thing about skin.
I hate wrinkles, crinkles, and pores.
I want porcelain-like skin.
It's my obsession.
And for someone who has little tiny white plugs in her pores that have been accumulating for a year, well, having a facialist is HUGE.

I've had it on my To Do list for MONTHS and I finally did a google search and came up with three choices. My first choice was Gretta Cole which is at Copley Place. They have been written up for their facials and the Boston polls said that the facial-going people gave it a high rating. I was hesitant about this place because they are expensive. I also know that what "normal" or "most" people want is not usually what I want. For example, most people like a feel-good-move-the-fat-around Swedish Massage. I like Pain. P-A-I-N. It like deep tissue and shiatsu - trigger point, myofascial... PAIN. And I've had some disappointing facials where they slather on cream and move it around on your face. NOT exactly what I want and certainly not for that much money!

The second place I looked at was Spa Newbury. Their website is busier and more like a tabloid newspaper with splashy headlines and discounts. I wasn't sure how I felt about that.

The third place I looked at was 30 Newbury. Their website is MUCH nicer. And yes. Because I am a shallow person, this is the salon I called just because I liked their unobtrusive and elegant website.

The person on the other end and I chat, I tell her about my plugs, she asks what kind of facial I wanted.
I said, "I don't know. I just want to get rid of my white plugs."
She said, "Oh, so you want something that works."
I thought that was odd... it was like she was implying that facials don't work.
Then she said, "This is the 30 Newbury Med Spa. The stuff here works much better than the regular feel good facials at 30 Newbury."
Uh... okay. I thought I was calling 30 Newbury.
I said, "I have good skin care but I have these white plugs."
She said, "So, you DO want something that works as opposed to feeling good."
Then she asks my age.
I tell her my age and I say again, "I have REALLY good skin and good skincare!"
She says "at my age" and "at our age" and "of a certain age" - she throws around the "age" word quite a lot - and goes gones on to tell me that she has appointments next Tuesday but I can come in tonight for a consult, which costs $50 and you walk away with the skin prep kit to prepare you for the treatment next Whatever, so I said yes and looked at their website which told me that the consultations were FREEEEEEEE!

So I got there early prepared for battle and this white-jacketed fake med person jumps up and greets me at the door...
She sits me down in her office and then takes a good look at me.
She kinda does a double take.

And I think, "yes, at our age, YOU look MUCH older than I DO - must not use GOOD SKINCARE! HAH!"
She doesn't mention my age and starts to tell me about the products.
I told her I have good skin care products - apparently she doesn't listen because she is too busy with her own thoughts of selling...

Finally, at the end of the discussion, she leads me over to the other side - the 30 Newbury SPA (as opposed to MED Spa), and hands me off to someone who had a free slot.

This was a MUCH better experience. The woman's name is Kathleen.
First... she said she could get rid of my plugs. YES!!! HAPPY HAPPY!!!
Second... how old was I?
I tell her.
Blink blink blink.
She said, "you're how hold?"
I tell her. Sigh. What is it with people???
Blink blink blink
She said, "seriously?"
I tell her I can show her my drivers license and that I have really good genes I inherited from m crazy mother, and I have REALLY GOOD SKINCARE!!! Will no one listen to me??? WAH!!!
She does.
She listens.
We finally get down to business.
Wonderful wonderful wonderful.
She works on those little white plugs and gets some out.
I am going back in a month so she can work on the rest.

I am so happy.
She didn't even try to sell me any products!

I think I found my second career.
Forget massage therapy or a breakfast diner... too much work...
I think the name of my salon should be Aethestics Skin Salon....
Sounds good.

Running notes...

...about running...

As opposed to notes that run on... which is entirely different.

So, it's been tough coming back to running after the Post Big Sur Bust.
Last week, I finally managed to get in 3 runs for a total of 16 miles. This is after four weeks of trying. But I did it and it felt good. Saturday, I had a terrific 8 mile run. Ran up Beacon Street and then back down. I never realized how much of a hill Beacon Street is until we drove up it on the Little Red Bean about four weeks ago...sitting low to the ground, I looked over at Joseph and said, "wow. We've been going uphill for the last 3 miles!"

This week, I am scheduled for a total of 20 miles... I think I can do it, especially since the weather turned into fall overnight. Actually, it's almost like the end of fall and the start of winter. For crying out loud...I am thinking it's time to get out the winter gear!

Anyway, I had a good run this morning - 4.03 miles. I've noticed that my pace is faster at a lower heart rate. Amazing what cool temps do for your body.... My hip is a little tight. Tonight calls for stretching and ITB massage - that ought to help things a bit.

Next run - 6 on Thursday...

On another note...
This weekend is Reach the Beach.
I finally managed to make up the surprise t-shirts.
I did up team shirts last year - complete with spell-checked typo which was appropos for a group of technie geeky majority team...
This year, I went back to my usual T-shirt guy and he did great!
It's a surprise... I told the team I didn't have time to do it this year because I am busy and work is cramping my style and I don't have time so don't go nagging me about it especially since I am doing it on my own...hffffff!!! Won't they be surprised?? HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!!!

Even happier... I am driving. YES! I am NOT running! And Abby Wabby is co-driving with me. Of course our good friend Pigpen thinks that Abby and I talk alot. HAH! Whatevah.

And Thursday night, we are headed to Redbones for a pre-race meal. I love BBQ! Pulled pork with Carolina BBQ sauce. Nothing better!

And maybe a little shopping at Timerland during the race. It's gonna be a perfect weekend!

I am thinking of bringing kimchee... yum!!!

Random Thought: What the...

What is it with those stoopid commercials with the girl and the elephant??

Monday, September 11, 2006

I'll never forget...

...September 11, 2001...

And to this day, I think about it every day.

Every. Single. Day.

It's been five years and not a day goes by when I don't think about the Twin Towers or look up at the tall buildings in Boston to make sure there are no planes near. If not that, then I think about the car I just passed being blown up by a suicide bomber.

America is strong.
She may not have been settled by convicts the way Australia was, but she was settled by equally strong groups of individualists, who fled persecution... RELIGIOUS persecution...who thought out of the box, allowed creativity, believed in freedom, and as a result produced the richest and most advanced society in known civiliation today. Yes, we have lost our way at times but we were able to right the ship and point her in the generally right direction.

We can never forget.
We must always remember and take it day by day.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Definitely... better than a wedding...

But then, aren't most things?
Except for showers.
I hate showers.

Last night, after an afternoon of rest after the Bat Mitzvah, Joseph and I went to the reception at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge.

Let me just say that the parents of this girl spent quite a pretty penny, or many many pennies, on this event! The whole thing was fancier and better and more fun than most weddings I've been to. In fact, it was better than most formal functions I've been to. It was more like a youngish prom with parents in attendance as mere chaperones, watching on the side lines.

The Charles Hotel is a very nice place, situated in the middle of Harvard Square in Cambridge. We took a cab which brought us there right on time. There was a room for the kids that had activities for them - a picture station where you picked out a bakground, they took your picture and then inserted into the background. Very nice. There was a wax scupture station where you dip your hand in wax, let it harden, then they take it off of you and let it dry and you add colors and accoutrements and you have a sculpture. There was also a DVD and Video station where you made a DVD or Video of yourself - I guess singing, maybe, who knows. I didn't get too close to that one. They also had child specific appetizers in that room - little mini pizza rounds, spring rolls with duck sauce, quesadillas, etc.

In the lobby leading into what would be the ballroom, the adults had open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres (that's a hard word to spell), and a table with other appetizers - cheese, seared shasimi tuna, babaganoush, hummus, assorted breads, tuna, smoked salmon. The passed hors d’oeuvres included mini potato pancakes, sushi, peking duck and vegetable wraps, spinach in phyllo pastry, bruschetta, lamb (which I didn't eat), and other items which were all very delicious.

The doors opened a little after 7:00pm and there was a DJ in the ballroom with a group of dancers - the current version of solid gold dancers - who immediately got the crowd going, young and old alike. The adults sat on one side, the kids sat on the other.

Appetizer was a nice green salad.
Dinner was a wonderful tenderloin served on a bed of blue cheese infused mashed potatoes with green beans.
Dessert was a Chocolate lava cake with the oozy gooey chocolate middle, accompanied by a chocolate cup that held a perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream with three small milk and white chocolate garnish.
And of course, there was wine - still and sparkling.

We left about an hour early, got home and promptly fell into bed.

What a terrific time.
Like I've said before... I may never go to another wedding but I will definitely go to more Bat Mitzvah parties!

Dream Report

Last night, I got up at 2am and then fell back asleep.

At 5:30 am, I got up one more time.
Both times, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to get back to sleep.
In fact, this morning at 5:30, I could have sworn that I was awake until I actually woke up at 7:30 to find that Joseph wasn't next to me.
I totally missed him getting out of bed to start the day.

Between 5:30 and 7:30, I had a dream. Another one in full color.
I was walking through an old Victorian house, making decisions about paints and colors and wallpaper. In fact, the house had the same colors and wallpaper as one that I was looking at online. A couple had restored a home and had before and after pictures. The house is beautiful.

Did I ever mention I've always wanted to live in a Victorian?
Well, I have.

Anyway... today we went to see one.
I could see it all restored back into a single family from the current two family.
Ceiling medallions, dark oiled woods, stained glass windows, simulated gas lamps, dark hardwood wide plank floors, ornate fireplace...
Of, the course, the kitchen and bathrooms would have to be modern...
Lots of color, wallpaper - preferably oriental style, the porch redone and the whole house painted in 5 colors...


Saturday, September 09, 2006

My first Bat Mitzvah

It was an interesting experience.
It was from 10:30-1:00 but it didn't seem as long as that.
I've been to Comfirmation in the Episcopal Church and they may be equivalent? Not sure.

Now, the Episcopal Church I went to aspired to be a High church with a mixed congregation where half wanted to be a Low church. Now if you don't know, that caused internal politics and strife in some of the most un-Christian ways...

The service was at The Temple Israel, which is a Reformed Jewish temple.
So the differences may be as a result of one being more formal than the other.
Or it could be that the ideology is very different.

First, the Torah isn't pronouced, "tor-ah". Instead, they pronounced it "toe-RAH" with the first and second syllables clearly distinguished from each other. There was also an emphasis on the second syllable.

The ceremony was all about the person. In this case, the person was a she (boys get baT mitzvah'd whereas girls get baR mitzvah'd). She told about herself and her growth as a person and her contribution to the Jewish faith. She pretty much led the service - she was in control alongside the Cantor and the Rabbi. Her mother and father participated, she carried the Torah, she read from the Torah, she broke the challah, all sorts of things where she participated. She told about her charity work at Rosie's Place and how that impacted her life, and by telling us so, it showed us how she exemplified one of the teachings of the Jewish faith - Righteous Giving.

It was a wonderful ceremony and I was engaged the whole time. The spoken Hebrew captivated me, and I could follow along in the prayer book. They speak really really fast! And when they sing, you only need to know one word - "la." La-la-la-lalala-la-la... etc.

It was different from the confirmation I went to in that it was a GROUP of kids. And they and the congregation was pretty much preached at. The Priest held the bible, the kids didn't say too much, it was all about loving God and doing his will.

The Bar Mitzvah and similar praisings of God, but I didn't feel as if I was being preached at.

And the biggest difference is that in the Confirmation, I felt it was a one-day thing... to be righteous was to be the stereotypical goody-two-shoes and who wants to be that? Especially if you're 12 or 13 years old? You kinda knew that not a lot of it stayed with the kids - not really. Other than to try and get to Heaven.

In the Bar Mitzvah, I felt that the ideology was incorporated into the daily lives. I felt this was really where the difference was. There weren't a lot of forbidden things - and they highlighted Righteous Living in the child (who is now an adult) and all the things that person did to be accepted into the community of Jews.

It was a wonderful ceremony and it made me look at myself. I also want to take a look at those old Bible texts - in this case, old testament... or maybe Jewish texts... Hmmm... what do they call it... is it the Torah??

Tonight, we are going to the party at the the Charles Hotel in Cambridge. I understand this is really like a wedding reception - appetizers, dinner, announcements, and dancing. After this morning, I am looking forward to tonight.

I think it's time to pull out my old religion books and find out more about the Jews...


I tell ya.
Don't know if it's my imagination but that Revive Blanche stuff is amazing.
I got up this morning and I swear my skin was radiant.
I never think that about my skin... if it's not the pores, it's the ruddy red on my cheeks right below my eyes - around where the pores show...
This morning, however, I thought my face looked radiant.

If it didn't cost $400 a pop, I'd go back and get another 5 bottles.
As it is, I keep wanting to washing my face so I can put more on - which would be a total waste of course.

Today I went back.
Got a cleanser and the eye caviar from La Prairie.
They gave me another gift bag - I told them I got a gift yesterday but they gave me another one anyway.
And Ellen the Personal Shopper gave me yet another Beauty Week bag - in black this time.
So now I have a bag in each color... Nice bags but how many bags can I use?
I still use the old orange bag I got about 10 years ago when I visited my parents in N.C. over Thanksgiving holidays.

I also got an eyeshadow from La Prairie that I've had for about 5 years. They don't make the exact same one but they do have one that is pretty close. I was very happy - I've been using it very stingily (is that a word?) because I didn't want to run out. Now I have a whole new one! Yeah!

In six weeks, there is another event, according to Ellen the Personal Shopper. She will call me. By that time, I should be needing a night cream and a neck cream.

I think I'll go wash my face again...

More bounty

Saks sent me a $25 gift card in the mail.
Of course you have to spend at least $100, but at Saks, that's easy.
After all, plain cotton underwear is expensive there...

I wonder if I ever recall seeing plain cotton underwear at Saks.

No matter.
More skincare.
One can never have enough...

Friday, September 08, 2006

It's Beauty Week... Neiman Marcus...

I've been holding out from buying stuff I ran out of in hopes that a week like this would come along.

All of the skin care lines have free gifts. And if you spend more than $85, you get a bag with more free gifts. The most expensive part of any skin care line doing business is the free gift.

So, I got the Intral Toner from Darphin. I don't think they had a free gift. Bummer.
I got a skin smoother/clarifier/lightener/brightener from Revive... new product called Blanche... It's expensive but I did get a small free gift pack with eye cream and lotions and serums, along with a Vitamin C serum that retails for $300. Yikers. And my personal shopper did say that one of her clients is a dentist and she mainlines the stuff because it works so well!
I also got an anti-aging eye cream from La Prairie. And a free gift in a silver cosmetic pouch. It has eye cream (different kinds), and some intensive serums and a bunch of other stuff. I also picked up a Frederick Fekkai body wash ... very nice.
And on top of all that, you get a special bag with more skin care stuff. My personal shopper gave me TWO bags instead of one. I am going to send one to my sister. It had some more free gifts in it. I know that my sister doesn't use the stuff- eye creams, and perfumes and such, so I will just send her the bag... I got a red one for myself and a nice cream one for her.

I got home, and my bounty is lying all over the bed.
Joseph thought it was funny that I had to spend so much to get all the free gifts.
But I had to get the stuff anyway... ya know?
I have a thing about skin and wrinkles... like I never met a wrinkle I like...
And no, it's not like I have any wrinkles but one must always guard against the ravages of time.

Ok. I'm Asian. So shoot me. We all want porcelain smooth skin and my running and outdoor activities make is this hard to achieve.

Good thing I have good genes. I can thank my crazy mother for that...
But, I am still not taking any chances.
My Hunny Bunny was cracking up.
Wait til his finds out that I have to go back because I forgot the La Prairie Skin Caviar Serum for the eyes, and a cleanser, and maybe a night cream...

I think the next event is in January or February but it's not as good as Beauty Week, so I have to stock up when the opportunity presents itself.

It's hard being meticulous about your skin...
I love skin care products.
Love it love it love it.
It's easy to make me happy...

Time to go play with my bounty....

Oh and BTW...

...the meeting at 8:30 this morning went very well...

Good thing that the person I met with really likes me.
He's an SVP and it's always good to have SVP's like you.

Oh... and tomorrow, we have a Bat Mitzvah.
From what I understand, it's like a wedding in a bad dream...


Dream Report

So, the other night I had a very weird dream.
First of all, there was very little color.

The first scene had myself and my Hunny Bunny apparently going out on the town with J&L in NYC. The specifics are blurry but we end up in a second floor apartment living room. The apartment is at the top of some narrow stairs that turn twice. The guys are dressed in black or gray suits, and J and I are in gray suits - she is wearing a skirt and I am wearing pants. We are basically sitting around on a couple of couches - leaning in one direction and the other and not saying a lot.

The next scene has me in the kitchen making some sort of lobster dish. It's a very big commercial oven and it seems that it hasn't been cleaned in ages and ages. But on the stove is a stained stainless steel roasting pan with remnants of lobster in it. I am eating the piece of lobster, scraping the sides of the pan, when my Hunny Bunny comes in and asks what I am doing. I tell him that I am eating the lobster and it didn't turn out very well... I know that J& L are in the other room waiting for something - not sure if it's the lobster. The only color is the red of the lobster tail.

The next scene has been in the narrow stair case. There is a small black bag on rollers - it could be a large computer case or a small overnight case. On top of it is an orange bag that I take everywhere with me -it's the only splash of color. I know that I am getting ready to go somewhere. Down the stairs you can see that the door is open to the street. There is light out and you can tell it is sunny and bright. You can also see people walking to and fro.

That is all I can remember.
Very strange.


So, at work we are in a search for a VP level data architect.
We've been interviewing a lot of people and three have made the cut up to this point.
They had to apply, answer some questions, and submit a preliminary application.
Their application and answers to the questions and resumes are reviewed by HR.
If they pass HR, they send me the information.
If I like the information, I send the resume to my manager, W.
W reviews the info and if it passes muster with him, he does a phone screen.
If they pass the phone screen, we have them interview with the resident expert. Right now the expert is a consultant who we are actually trying to hire for this same position!
If they pass that interview, we have them interview with S, the resident "intuit" that can glean all things unsaid under the surface of any presentation or bravado on the part of the candidate.
If they pass the interview with S, we bring them in to meet 4-5 people on the team.
If they pass those interviews, we have them interview with a couple of the customers or partners we work with.
Then if they pass those interviews, they are hired.

Yes. It's long and arduous. Group fit is extremely important, education is not.
Hands on experience and customer opinions matter, education does not.
Breadth and depth is of primary concern and well... we want someone who is close to perfect and has a set of primary skills that fill in any holes and gaps we might have on the team, weaknesses are of little importance as long as they are not fatal flaws that get in the way of the strengths. I mean, no one is perfect, right?

So to date, we have 3 candidates in case our first choice cannot be hired (long story).

So, today, we have 3 candidates. I know. I keep saying that.
They've passed the phone screen with W.
They have passed the expert screen with T.
And so, I ask W, if they have interviewed with S.
He says, "S has not interviewed any candidate yet."
I tell him that I think we should have S chat with the three and what does he think?
He says, "Yes, have S interview them."
Now I am thinking, uh... you want ME to arrange this?? Uh. YOU work for ME. Sheesh.
So I ask him if he will arrange it.
He says, "No, let the SD [the recruiter] make the arrangement."

Now by this time, we have gone back and forth via email with one liners and I am about at the end of my rope. Not because of this but because of everything I've had to deal with today... So I say, "Can you PLEASE contact SD and ask her to make the arrangement?? This is so arduous. I feel like we are going back and forth and no one is saying anything meaningful. If You don't want to do it, let me know and I'll shoot her [the recruiter] an email!"
He then says, "Not a problem, I will talk to SD. I thought you wanted me to make the arrangements for the applicants."

How can he possibly think this when SD has been doing all the work for us thus far? It's her job!!!

Some people are so smart, they are downright dumb!
Not to mention this is NOT the first time W has hired people... we're hiring people all the time... Why is this time different??

Okay. If he hadn't been working with me for over 20 years before working for The Company, and if it hasn't always been this way, I'd cry rather than laugh. He totally makes me crazy.

The story of my life.


I've been awake for about 3 1/2 hours.
And I am craving Spicy Chinese Eggplant with ground pork.
This is so not right.

Now I'm getting sleepy.
I have an 8:30am meeting and I probably won't be able to get up.


Friday, September 01, 2006

What city are you?

I succumbed to a stupid test.
Here are the results...

You Belong in London

A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.
A unique woman like you needs a city that offers everything.
No wonder you and London will get along so well.