From Scratch

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I am so boring right now. Sorry. Wish I had more going on...or felt like writing about what is going on. Maybe I'll feel like writing again. Someday.

Monday, October 09, 2006


I hate going to the lady doctor. Seriously, in what other situation do you accept someone telling you to undress from the waist down and hop up on this table. No, scoot down till your ass hangs off the end and put your feet up in these stirrups. Now I'm going to jam this wand up your hooha and when this is all over, you'll hand me your credit card so I can get your co-pay. Then you'll make an appointment to have me do this again on friday. Oh, did I mention we'll need you to leave blood?

If you can look at your husband and get pregnant, get down on your knees and thank whatever god/deity you believe in cause it ain't happening for all of us.

Oddly enough, the worse thing about this is having to wear a shirt and no pants. That's a no no in my book. Only Donald Duck is exempt from the shirt and no pants rule.

Monday, October 02, 2006


I was in the Salvation Army last week with one of the refugee's when some Random Black Dude (RBD) came up to me. What follows is our asinine conversation:

RBD: Excuse me. Are you part Asian?

Me: Yes

RBD: Can I ask you a personal question? If it's too personal you don't have to answer.

Me: Uh. Sure.

RBD: Are you parents still married?

Me: No.

RBD: I ask because I only date Asian women and every one of them always says that we can't be together because we'll never really understand each other.

Me: Yeah, I can see that.

RBD: Is that why your parents got divorced?

Me: Not totally but I'm sure the cultural differences didn't help.

RBD: I don't understand that. People are just people. If you want to be with someone and they want to be with you then culture don't matter.

Me: (eeeeeeekkkkkk)

RBD: Don't you think?

Me: Well culture really does matter. It certainly helps you understand the other person.

RBD: Can't you just read about someone's culture and understand it?


At this point he almost knocks over the woman I'm with because I'm trying to move away from him and she's trying to follow me.

Me: Well it was nice talking to you but we really need to get going.

RBD: Ok, well thanks.

So I have no idea what the hell that was about. First of all, coming up to a total stranger and having your first question be a question about their race? Strike one. Telling me that you exclusively date women of only one race, especially Asian women (which screams 'fetish' to me)? Strike two. Understanding someone's culture doesn't matter as long as you love each other? Strike three. And give me a fucking break.

Now he didn't specify as to whether he dates only Asian women or Asian American women but I'm not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one - I'm assuming he meant Asian women. What kills me is that he's totally sincere in his belief that he can READ about someone's culture and then understand that person. Now I lived with my mother for close to 18 years and there are things about her that didn't really and probably never would have made sense to me unless I spent that year in Korea. Forget culture, what about context? Or social location? I suppose none of that matters either as long as you LOVE EACH OTHER? Really, I just wish I could carry around a pellet gun and shoot people who do/say stupid shit like this within earshot of me.

I swear I've had more people come up to me in the last two months and ask me if I'm Filipino. Not that I'd have a problem with being Filipino but really, does it matter if I'm Filipino? And do I care if you have a friend who's Filipino? The answer is 'No'. But if this keeps up, the next t-shirt I buy will have 'pinay' written on it. And if you want to buy me one, I like blue.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

mixed bag

This week was my first full week of volunteering at all my gigs. Well I did spend Monday cleaning up while my car was being serviced. Speaking of which, we dropped the thing off at 7:30 am and just as I was launching into why we were there (the humongo leak somewhere in the passenger side door that left 3 inch puddles in the floorboard after a heavy rain) the service tech comes around the counter with a razor blade saying, "Oh I know exactly what that is". I though he was going to cut me for complaining but turns out that the drains that draw water away from the sunroof preventing leaks from occurring there empty where the door meets the body of the car. Did you know this? I sure as hell didn't. Dude (actually, Ed) got down on the ground and cut the end off the drainage tube and all kinds of shit shot out of it. The end of the tube is pinched assuming that all that needs to pass is water, but over the course of time, other debris like dirt and leaves get caught in it and it backs up...thus the cascade of water inside the car. So he cut off the end on both the passenger and drivers side AND he did it for free. At first both D and I were astounded that he'd fix it in front of us rather than milking us for money but then we remembered we're still under warranty. And he's got us over a barrel for that 40,000 mile service that will run us $400 in about a year and a half. Fucking cars.

Ok, so that was Monday. On Tuesday I was down at Piedmont Park bright and early to help Doctors without Borders, or as they're know everywhere else, Medecins sans Frontiers (MSF) construct a Refugee camp in the city. The camp is being used to raise awareness of the 33 millions people around the world who are refugees due to conflicts in their home countries. Although ten Atlanta folks signed up to help construct the village only two showed up. I was one of the two. The other girl was Vietnamese by way of France but she spoke English with a British accent. Yeah, it was that kind of day where I was by far, the least 'worldly'. First we had to unload a truck that held the entire village. Just two days earlier it had been in New York for showings in both Central Park and in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The village will be in Atlanta through Sunday and then off to Nashville and open for viewing next Tuesday. I got a chance to meet some really great people from the MSF New York office and some folks who have just returned from the field. But it is always strange to spend time with a relatively large group of people, especially young people, who all know each other but you don't know at all. It was clear they are close so that meant they didn't feel like they had to be polite with one another. They argued over logistics and how to do things but in general they were awesome. Working outside in the beautiful weather we had Monday was definitely the upside of things. The 10 1/2 hours in Piedmont park without peeing was the downside. I have port-o-potty issues and a bladder the size of Texas. So if you're out and about this weekend, stop in. The camp is constructed at Monroe and Charles Allen.

Wednesday I went back to Medshare to sort supplies. The most unnerving thing about this job is all the shit that doctors and nurses have to be able to recognize in order to treat folks with the correct tools. Medshare has a huge room where they sort stainless steel tools to be sent along with the medical supplies. Last week I wandered through the shelves and was amazed at all the different types of bone saws and forceps and scissors one could use in surgery or other procedures. All the obstetric stuff really made me want to cross my legs though.

After that I went to AidGwinnett for my first day of volunteering there. I ended up filling out statistical reports on people in the county who are HIV+ or have AIDS. I couldn't help but notice how many people were my age or younger and were HIV+. Many of them were living with family who don't even know their status. Of all the volunteer positions I've accepted, this is the one about which I'm most excited. Kinda morbid huh?

Today was my all day with the IRC and the refugees. I drove to hell and back trying to get some kids prescription filled for some heavy duty antibiotics. Then I made some phone calls to help a lady get a doctors appointment with a specialist. After that I took a lady from Guinea shopping. So I started with refugee's and I'm ending with them. At least for today.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

random list of (mostly) tv

1. Battlestar Galactica Season 3 starts in roughly two weeks. I could pee my pants.
2. Veronica is dead dead dead on Prison Break. One to the head, two to the heart Sopranos style. I've never been so pleased.
3. Michael Knight is the shit on Project Runway. ATL represent!!! If he gets booted, I'm going to find Jeffrey and make him sorry.
4. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Aaron Sorkin. All tv should be this smart.
5. House House House. Cane or no, who cares? Oh Hugh Laurie...Puuuurrrrr
6. Jericho and Heroes. SciFi on network tv. I'm in.
7. Oprah. What can I say, she's the queen of daytime tv.
8. Dora the Explorer and Go Diego Go! Who knew Dora had such a cute cousin? D and I are thinking about being Dora and Boots for Halloween. Someone please have a party so my husband can dress up like a monkey in red boots. And buy me a magic backpack.
9. Weeds. On netflix. I've never smoked weed but I love this show. And now that Deadwood has been cancelled (a decision that someone should be murdered over) I need a cable show full of hard cussing and interesting plotlines. God I'll miss you Al Swearengen.
10. My in-laws let me watch all the tv I want. They...ROCK!!!!!

And I can't get enough of Ray LaMontagne. He's got two albums, Trouble (2004) and Till the Sun Turns Black (2006). Amazing songwriter with an unforgettable voice. Check him out.

"where you at"??

About a week ago I had a 'session' with my life counselor, D. We sat down for a couple hours and he asked me what I wanted to do with this time we have carved out for ourselves while we're shacking up with the family. The plan is that we'll stay here with the parents till about March of next year - then we'll either find our own place here in Atlanta or we'll move, again, this time to Seattle. All of this depends on me. No pressure huh? Well I was able to get clarity on what I've done and what I want to do by talking things out with D. I have about six months to volunteer, without worrying about the fact that I'm not getting paid, and get all the experience I need to figure out if public health is the way I want to go. What that means is that I've gone from being unemployed for 11 weeks to having 4 volunteer gigs coming out of my ears. I've never done this kind of volunteering before so I didn't know what to expect. Turns out that with some places, you have to submit a resume to offer your free services. I'm sure that's because the crazies come out even for free. It's probably harder to get rid of a volunteer who drives you crazy rather than a paid employee. I know if I stopped getting paid I'd stop going to work.

Anyway, I started with the Red Cross on Tuesday. I've never been to a blood drive and now I know why. Do you know how big those needles are they jam in your arm? To their credit, the folks taking blood were some of the nicest people I've ever met. Not to mention the donors who came in, most of whom give blood on a regular basis. I've been working on my needle phobia lately and hope to be the kind of person who gives blood in the future. I found out that in the Atlanta area, there is only a days supply of blood available for most blood types. For O+ it's half a day. How scary is that? And you don't have to wait for a blood drive to donate (although you could organize a drive) - there are donor centers in every county in Atlanta. You can go to to see what's near you. Something I didn't know: 96% of all Red Cross employees aren't actually employees- they're volunteers.

Today I went to Medshare International which is an organization that recycles medical supplies and equipment to be sent to the developing world. I know 'recycled medical supplies' sounds unsanitary but what I'm talking about are the things that are unused. Most of the supplies are still in their sterile packaging. Local hospitals are also asked to save their surplus supplies for repackaging. Before this organization came into existence, medical facilities were throwing tons (and tons is not hyperbole) of unused supplies into landfills where it could help no one. Now this stuff is collected once a week and volunteers sort through it. It comes in in 55 gallon trash bags and it really is everything but the kitchen sink. After everything is sorted and cataloged, it's jammed into their huge warehouse and then packaged to be sent overseas via 40 foot shipping containers. The amazing thing is, Medshare allows the hospitals that will receive the donated items to specify what they need and they send them just what they've asked for. I'm so impressed with this organization that I'm going back tomorrow to sort equipment. You can find them at

I also went to the International Rescue Committee which does refugee resettlement and all that entails. This organization is full service - they literally pick people up from the airport and then four months later (in theory), the same person should be living independently. I'll have to let you know how this one goes...I start next Thursday.

My next organization will be AidGwinnett and I visit their facility on Friday. Let's see if I can make full time job out of several volunteer opportunities. Here I go!

insane in the brain

I have had TONS to do lately, especially this week. You'd never know that one person could be as busy as I've been since the person in question is unemployed. I mean seriously unemployed. Luckily my husband is more like the asian in our family and has more than one job. This allows me to drive all the gas out of the car but still magically have money in the bank with which to refill it. I'll post later today all the big and not so big doings.

And I'm loving todays weather.

Friday, September 08, 2006


What's been going on? Well we finally settled in here at the B's spread. We even played 'grown up' and had friends over for dinner. But by far the most exciting thing to happen is we bought a car. A lovely VW Passat wagon. It's totally a family car and people were perpetually confused as to why we'd purchase such a thing if we:

a) don't have children
b) don't have large dogs

Apparently you can't own a wagon in the US unless you have kids or crazy dogs. Well both D & I love the thing because it's a turbo, has a sunroof & looks like a silver rocket. I talked to my mom before we bought it and she said that, yes, she'd seen the cars but that I shouldn't get one because they're ugly. She's a peach. Well we're driving this ugly thing down to Columbus to see her this weekend so she better be happy we even have a car. I do think we should strap out nephews car seats in the back just to freak her out though. God, she'd have kittens if she thought I finally got knocked up.

And if you're ever in the market for a car, just call D. Dude is crazy serious about getting a good deal. He got the guy to sell us the car for $6000 less than the blue book value. That D is a bargain animal i tell ya.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

where to begin

(this should have posted last week but blogger was being difficult)

Right now I'm sitting in the conservatory between the two towers of the Gault House in Louisville, KY. I've never been here before so I don't remember when this place was a dump. They've made 60 million dollars in renovations recently and I think I'd like to move in permanently. Our 17th floor room has a perfect panoramic view of the Ohio river. Doesn't sound so exciting when you think about it but the Ohio cutting through the city is actually quite pretty. I haven't been to Louisville in about 8 years so the city is much nicer than I recall. The state fair is in town so D and I will probably go check out the livestock and eat bad fair food and throw it up on the rickety ass, hastily set up rides.

It's been a crazy few weeks to say the least. Since we've moved from Chicago on August 1st, we've moved our stuff into Atlanta, gone back to Chicago, gone to Ormond Beach in Florida and come to Louisville. Not having a job hasn't really hit me yet because we've yet to sit in one place long enough for me to find one. Our next hurdle is getting a car when we get back to Atlanta. I'm not looking forward to that.

But back to the Gault House (where I'd like to spend my final days). In this conservatory, the whole ceiling is curved glass so when people in the bar are talking, it travels along the ceiling so it sounds like the person is standing behind you when they're actually across the room. It only took me 15 minutes to figure that out so in the interim it was like I was starring in my own Japanese horror movie.

The bar is made out of glass and there are about 50 fish swimming in it. I heard that if you spot one fish in particular, his/her name is Whiskey, your drink is half off. In the middle of the room is a giant glass case housing a dozen finches. The automatic piano just kicked on for the lunch crowd. This place is ridiculous. I hope to check out the 360 degree health club on the 20 something floor. I think you can watch DVD's while you run on the treadmill.

I'm never leaving.