Archive for February, 2009

Beware The Ides of February

While going through my collection of friends’ posts on Twitter, one blurb caught my eye: my friend Stochasticgirl mentioned that she hates February.

February used to be one of my favorite months: it was quick, it brought me lots of candy, and schools still acknowledged Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays (two 4-day school weeks in a row!). As I got older, the candy stopped coming, two national holidays got lumped together as “President’s Day,” and the passing of 28 days just meant AP tests were that much closer (or the start of a new semester once I hit college). Suddenly the second month of the year wasn’t as exciting as it used to be.

It may be a bit premature of me to use the statement “Beware the ides of February” because this has been the second year in a row where times have gone to pot (a third year will validate this beyond a reasonable doubt). February, for some reason, crams in as much misery as possible in its short span.

To prove my case:

February 2008:

1. Executive Chef goes out for knee surgery and takes longer to heal than expected. Poorly planned meals across the board.

2. Engineering Director trips on a curb outside of a restaurant and breaks his hip.

3. Secretary next to me falls down and breaks her kneecap. For over 6 weeks I am to work 2 desks.

4. Request for a 5 day vacation in May is denied. I am to find my own replacement, despite the fact that there is another admin in the office (of which I might add, I cover for when she’s on vacation).

5. A friend and co-worker is killed in a car accident.

February 2009:

1. Threat of downsizing is finally real for me, as major departments and positions are being eliminated on the hotel level.

2. Corporate announces it will move HQ to Washington DC. Tension is thick; you’re gonna need a chainsaw to get through this.

3. A good neighbor passed away suddenly from pneumonia. As classic burials go, it was pouring rain at the cemetary.

My Grandma Kay used to swear by the statement “beware the ides of March.” My Grandpa Zeke (Grandma Kay’s husband) and her son Francis both died in the month of March; ironically she passed away in March as well. And three people were enough to get me thinking that there was something behind that statement.

Until February reared its ugly head.

Dog Noses

dog-noseHi. My name is theletterkae and I’m addicted to dog noses.

I am fascinated with the dog nose. It’s the shape, the way it changes color over time, and how it gets cold and wet when the dog is getting ready to sniff. I love placing my index finger on a dog nose, followed with me saying “Beep.” I love that little spot between the nose and the muzzle; when you kiss it, you get a feeling of soft fuzz and a slight chill.

It cracks me up to do that to a small dog, as my index finger nearly coveres the entire nose. With Whiskey and Murphy, there was absolutely no chance of that happening.

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Murphy & I


You know what the best part was? Nuzzling your nose in the space between their eyes and feeling their nose tap you on the chin.

I Used To Be Talented (sort of)

I remember my senior year of high school. Apart from the crappy cliques that were forming all around me (that left me feeling out of place), I was really enjoying myself: no more Spanish classes, the ability to go off-campus during lunch, being able to drop 6th period for a community college class, and finally being able to take a photography class.

My first shots that came out were so-so: how I envisioned them were not how they turned out. But as time went on, it got a little bit better. Somehow I managed to get an A in the class (although I’m not 100% sure if my teacher was up-to-snuff on the composition aspect) and moved into the next level of photography classes. I put together a calendar as my end-of-semester project and even had some of my other shots displayed on the wall.

I was at my parents’ house a couple of weeks ago, looking for something in the spare bedroom they’d converted into a very cramped office space. One of the piles had a blue 3-ring binder with several sheets of something inbetween. At first I thought it was one of my old AP binders, but came to realize that it was a collection of the last set of shots I ever took.

The picture above is one of the shots I used for the calendar I made. The shot isn’t great, but it’s not bad. It was one of the few I got tons of compliments on.

b&w oldies


My friend Monica was recognized as the girl in the bathtub with the [fake] martini for weeks after I displayed this picture on the board.

b&w oldies


This was my “face shot” of my friend Chloe for an assignment. It’s actually not that bad in terms of composition, but the contrast could have been better.

In looking at these pictures, I find that I don’t hate them as much as I thought. However, I miss the time I had to devote to my creativity. And I feel like my current pics don’t quite match up to the attempts I made back then.

Maybe it’s a sign to break out the film again and see what comes of it.

Happy Half-Birthday!

Today marks my official halfway mark through the age of 26. To celebrate, I decided to splurge on an image of a half cake (although it looks more like a 0.62 cake to me) to share with you all.

I never really paid attention to half birthdays before. In elementary school, I had a friend who was lucky enough to have a half-birthday on April Fool’s Day every year. Her dad would get her small presents for the occasion: a couple of packets of Lisa Frank stickers or new school supplies in her favorite color, purple. And since it fell on April 1st, I wasn’t really sure if she was being serious or not.

If people celebrate un-birthdays, then I’m all for celebrating my half-birthday. :)

Meat Was Not Meant To Be Played With

I scan Wikipedia on a near daily basis at work. I figure I might as well learn something when I have downtime at work (as opposed to constantly refreshing Twitter to see if any of you have updated). So imagine my horror (and slight intrigue) when I saw the words Bacon Explosion in the Did You Know? section. And that horror grew when I realized that YouTube had actual video of this:



But it doesn’t stop there. Oh no. For you see, during my downtime yesterday afternoon at work, another meat monstrosity popped up: Chicken Fried bacon.

I honestly love meat. For years I avoided vegetables like the plague, nearly gagging any time a leafy green or a bite of carrot accidentally entered my mouth. Even with the threat of high cholesterol in my family, it took a very, very long time before I finally accepted a serving of peas as being a legit side dish. I’m even a proud owner of this shirt, which I have worn amongst my vegetarian friends:

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However, I believe that meat should be treated carefully. The Bacon Explosion and Chicken Fried bacon is almost like pissing in (insert your favorite deity)’s eye: something you could do, but probably shouldn’t mess around with. With this, who’s to say where the limit should be? It might spiral out of control, the way fried food has gone the way of deep-fried french fry-covered bacon.

Also, I also believe in keeping your colon healthy and preventing major anal leakage. But, that’s just me. :)

Seriously, this makes the “treats” I discovered at Rite Aid look healthy:

mozzarella sticksketchup fries

25 Things You Didn’t Need To Know About Me

Decided to revamp the blog and start fresh. So all previous entries have been deleted. New year, new friends, new goals, etc.

Actually, I made an error and erased all my previous posts whilst upgrading my WordPress Simple Script. But there’s nothing wrong with starting over, even if the look isn’t that much different. And what better way to kick off a new start than using a very tired and overused meme that’s been flying all over Facebook.

In no particular order, twenty-five things you could probably call me out on and it’d take me half an hour to figure out how you knew that detail:

1. My middle name/Japanese name has to do with my conception in the winter. Some people think I’m being immature, but seriously, do you really want your name to come from the fact that your parents got it on during snowy weather?

2. Moments after my birth, my parents had no idea if they had a son or a daughter. The doctor forgot to look after I arrived.

3. If I wasn’t so squimish around blood and severe wounds, I probably would be very comfortable working as a funeral director.

4. My absolute favorite spot on the dog is that little patch of fuzz right over the nose. I used to put my nose on that area and a wave of comfort would flood over me.

5. Arachnophobia is probably the biggest fear I have. There have been a couple of times I have not been able to leave my bedroom because there was a spider nesting in the corner of the exit.

6. I do not care for cherries of any kind, but absolutely adore cherry-flavored things (with the exception of cold medicines).

7. I tend to tie twist-ties with my left hand instead of my right. This annoys my mom to no end, since it’s awkward for her to untie that strip of paper-covered wire.

8. My grandpa used to tell me that the ocean waves created wind and I totally believed him. Until an elementary school field trip to a museum had an exhibit featuring a wave-making machine.

9. There’s a mole just underneath my left ear. It’s a dominant gene – my mom and my aunt have the same feature.

10. Because my first dog’s name was Whiskey, I thought the rest of the dogs we would have would be named after various types of alcohol.

11. Tina Turner’s Private Dancer album was my absolute favorite at the age of five. I used to tell people that my name was Tina and would burst into “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”

12. My favorite movie of all time has been “The Blues Brothers” since the age of five.

13. Contrary to popular belief about my race, I am not good at math.

14. Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia are two other major fears I have (especially since it’s been discovered to be hereditary). My grandpa was somewhere inbetween these two (i.e. he couldn’t remember what happened 5 minutes ago and what he did remember was slightly warped).

15. I’m distantly related to a major sake company. I realize that I wouldn’t exist if my dad didn’t come to the US, but damn! I could be semi-rich if he stayed in Japan.

16. I am a natural born faghag: at least one brother on each side is gay.

17. Non-motion sickness. It sounds dumb, but it’s because I lack that little bit of liquid in my head that keeps the equalibrium going for my senses. IMAX and motion intense films are out of the question for me.

18. Michael Crawford was the bee’s knees to me for most of my middle school years. What can I say? I enjoy musicals and I have a soft spot for dorky British guys.

19. The only time I ever wished I was older in my adulthood was when my long-term crush told me he would have been my boyfriend had I been closer to his age. *sigh*

20. People think dog paws stink, but I find that dry popcorn scent incredibly comforting. For me, it’s the scent of home and safety.

21. I’m not great at modern dance, but I blame that on the fact that I was trained in traditional Japanese dance at an early age.

22. I used to be tall enough to be in the back row of every school picture. Then the blossom of womanhood came to me at the age of 8 and everyone was taller than me by the age of 11.

23. Scar tissue and I are not good friends. Tiny cuts leave discolored lines on my skin for weeks, severe cuts leave marks that look like elongated moles. The dermatologist says I’m just lucky like that.

24. Needles scare me. I hate shots and blood tests with a passion. However, I would have liked to have piercings and/or tattoos, but the reasoning in #23 has prevented me from getting them.

25. My mom once joked that I was damned because I’d never been baptized.

Since we’re so close to my age, I’ll throw in a bonus fact for good measure:

26. Prior to my European trip in 2007, I had never left the United States (not even to Canada or Mexico!). At the time my most foreign experience was visiting Hawaii (for the agricultural paperwork you fill out on the plane).

There you have it! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as…well, I hope it was worth the 2 minutes you managed to kill at your desk.

Commentary On Kids These Days

Chiquita brand bananas have been coming up with some pretty catchy lines on their stickers as of late. Silly things like “Potasi-yum!” bring a smile to my face and to my roommate’s as well. (Sometimes we even go as far to compare which sticker we got after making a run over to Trader Joe’s.)

Last week I got stuck with jury duty, so my grocery schedule got thrown off a bit. To compensate for the crappy cafeteria food offered by the courthouse, I’d stop by Pavillions to see if they had sales on ice cream. And bananas (you know, to balance out my dietary habits).

It wasn’t until I got home that I realized my normally fun/cheesy Chiquita sticker was pretty lame:

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Seriously? You have to put ads on stickers for kids to be spontaneously silly? When I was little, you didn’t have to tell me twice about putting stickers on my head. And I always felt compelled to up the ante by running around, announcing that I’ve got a sticker on my forehead.

You know it’s a sad state of affairs when kids have to be reminded by their fruit to be a little bit goofy. Sure, I would have been thrilled to own the Wii instead of my NES, but I kind of doubt I would have the over-active imagination I own today.