S vintage star
S filipina now living in california
S obsessive-compulsive... make that compulsive-obsessive... no, obsessive-compulsive
S cold all the time (literally)
current terror alert level
Why is Life Cold?
i actually have a very happy life. i just saw this graphic one day and got an inspiration for another blog.
why not write about the stuff that makes life cold? from the huge, catastrophic, life-altering events to the seemingly trivial, little incidents
that rub you the wrong way. it doesn't have to be a personal experience, it can be something observed.
on writing these down, my intent is to learn to appreciate life more and have a better handle on things when life throws you a curve ball. i want whoever
will read this to contemplate, not get depressed. hopefully, you'll share with me your experiences as well so we can learn from each other.
This evening, I had a harrowing experience. Going home from work, a black Land Rover in front of me stopped in the middle of the road on a very busy intersection. After some time, the people behind me started honking, and I joined in. The car moved to the right lane and I went my way. Suddenly, the Land Rover sped up and rammed my car on the right-hand rear passenger side. Thinking that this was a madman who was pissed at me for honking at him, my first instinct was to try to get away from him as soon as possible. I sped up and I heard him coming up behind me again. I got really scared then and started to pull over.
Surprisingly and frighteningly, the Land Rover started to pull over too. As it pulled over in front of me, it clipped the front left quarter panel of my car. With trembling hands, I reached for my cellphone and dialed 911. The driver got off, and it's a she [yeah, thinking road-rage, I stereotypically thought "guy" right away]. She's white, about 5'4", barefooted and looked dazed and confused. Although I thought I could take her if needed, I was thinking the worst [what if she had a knife?] and wouldn't open my door or window for her. She was standing next to my door, and I kept motioning to her to wait, that I was calling 911. Since it took many cycles of "All of our operators are busy..." to reach a live operator, I mouthed to her "Are you okay?" She said yes, but kept pointing to her car. In my mind I couldn't figure out what would make a car hit me without the driver willing it to. Still waiting for a dispatcher, I started taking down her driver's license, which I've been repeating over and over to myself the whole time. When she saw me do this, she walked (or more appropriately, weaved) to her car and drove off. Crud, what was I gonna do now?
While still on the phone waiting, I saw this lady walk towards me from the front excitedly gesturing and saying something I can't hear. When she reached my side, I rolled down my car window and she said that she was driving behind me and saw the whole thing. She even apologized for taking a long time to get to me because she had to find a safe spot to park. While walking to me, she saw the Land Rover speed off and had to jump to the sidewalk to make sure she doesn't get hit.
I asked the lady to get on the passenger seat, to get out of the busy street next to my car. She got in my car and told me the story as she knows it. She was doing the sign-language to me as she spoke, and she sounded like a mute who has recovered the sense of speech. Early on, she noticed the girl on the Land Rover (henceforth to be known as Ms. LR) driving erratically on the freeway. Ms. LR rammed a car on the freeway much like she did me, and when the car pulled over, Ms. LR drove off. My witness (henceforth to be known as Ms. GS for Good Samaritan) noticed that the Land Rover already has a taillight hanging out so she surmised that it's been on another accident. Ms. GS decided to exit the freeway to avoid the lunatic. To her dismay, Ms. LR followed right behind her. She tried to stay as far away from her as possible, and that's when I got in between them.
I finally get a 911 operator and I told her the whole story, being helped by Ms. GS. I honestly told the operator that what I'm concerned most about is that Ms. LR will cause more accidents, wherever she is. She asked me if I need an ambulance and I said no, but please look for the crazy lady in the Land Rover. At the end of the call, she said that she's sending a police officer over shortly.
I then called my husband. He prodded me to call my insurance but I didn't really want to deal with that at this point. I wanted to keep talking to Ms. GS so she will stay until the cop arrives. I keep thanking her and she said that something similar has happened to her and nobody stopped to help. While I was on the phone, she would type something on her PDA and I offered my phone in case she needed to call someone. She just smiled and told me not to worry, this is a very important matter and having a witness will help with my insurance.
Two police cars finally arrive after forty minutes. They took Ms. GS's statement and asked me to recount the story. I tried to be as detail as I could, answering their questions to the best of my recollection. When they heard that the culprit was still out there, one of the cops asked the other if he should maybe get on the freeway and see if he could locate her. The latter agreed and the former took off. The remaining cop then dismissed Ms. GS by saying she could go and Ms. GS said "Okay, hope that helps. Merry Christmas!" Suddenly realizing what she said, she turns to me and says, "I'm sorry, maybe not so merry for you" and I hugged her, smiled and thanked her one more time.
I spent another half an hour with the cop as he jotted down all my pertinent information for the police report and took pictures of my car. His radio then crackled and I heard the words "black Land Rover" and "freeway." The cop told me that Ms. LR just got in a very bad accident on the freeway and is being taken to the hospital. I asked if she will be alright and he didn't know. He gave me the card that contained details for my insurance and I went on my way.
When I got home I hugged my husband tightly and relaxed a little before going out to finish our Christmas shopping. He then told me that his tire blew out this afternoon but he didn't tell me earlier so I wouldn't panic. We laughed about our accident-laden day until he reminded me that bad luck happens in threes.
All I want for Christmas is peace and good health for my family. And maybe something nice for Ms. GS.
Vangie Fuhrman got cold on 12.23.2004 10:15 PM.
My Biggest Pet Peeve
Well, not really, but it's up there. Why do people have to lick their fingers when turning a page of a newspaper, changing the leaf of a book, counting folded money, or trying to open up an especially-stubborn Safeway plastic bag? C'mon people, does this really help? I know all it does for me is make me cringe and get away from the offender as far away and as fast as I could.
Unfortunately, even people close to me have this very unsanitary habit, and I can't find any tactful way to ask them to stop. I think I've seen my husband do it [probably the only person I can be totally straight with, maybe that's why I don't see him do so anymore]. My grandma did it before drawing the threesome flop while playing solitaire [I remember having a hard time thinking of an excuse not to play gin rummy with her after I've seen her do this]. I see my girlfriends do it, including those whom I thought would be revolted by witnessing the very act. In fact, I see so many people doing it that I start to wonder if maybe that's the most natural thing in the world and I'm just being too darn prissy. I don't consider myself antiseptically clean but it bugs me more than it probably should. I find this habit offensive and repulsive that I would rather buy a new magazine than come in contact with your bodily fluids, no matter how close we are.
By the way, if you reading this do the deed yourself, I apologize if I offended you. Just know that it's a huge turn-off for those around you when you do that. Or at least if I were within viewing distance.
Vangie Fuhrman got cold on 12.19.2004 4:41 PM.
I Feel the Need
Yesterday, our company treated the IT, Finance, HR and Purchasing departments to a day of go-kart racing at SpeedRing to thank us for working hard on the Sarbanes Oxley crap. I almost didn't go to the event because I was behind on my Christmas shopping. Good thing I changed my mind - what an exhilirating experience!
We were divvied up in 8 teams of 3. We raced for 2.5 hours around a decent course, and have to complete a minimum of 4 driver switches. We foolishly thought that this was too many, until we found out for ourselves that it gets tiring out there! Once we got tired, we would pat our helmet to signal the next driver to get ready to switch. We ended up switching nine times.
Although I crashed three times, with the last one so big that they yellow-flagged all racers to attend to me, I still ended up with the second best time in our group, ahead of Joe (hee hee). We won third place, which was not bad considering the first place group have all done this before (with one of them being a regular), and the second place team was only ahead of us by one lap. I'm so proud. At first I thought I'd slow my two male teammates down, but I discovered this aggressiveness in me that made me down-pedal the race most of the time. Unfortunately, this also caused my crashes, I cannot decelerate enough around the tight bends. This also gave me my badge of courage - a couple of bruises and a gash on my hand. Youch.
I iced my back last night but it's still hurting. I think shopping will make this feel better.
How come my suit makes me look dorky?
Vangie Fuhrman got cold on 12.16.2004 6:38 PM.
This Old Dog of Mine
I had a roller-coaster of a day yesterday.
To start off, I had a great work-day, successfully launching a new product, a USB Smart Cable for two of our business lines.
Then in the afternoon I found out that FPJ, a Filipino-movie star who ran for Philippine presidency but lost, passed away. This news saddened me not so much because I knew him or admired him, but because I can't help but feel that if he hadn't been pressured to run for office and got all stressed and worked over, he would still be alive and well today.
I then went to our company's Christmas party. Although scaled back from the grand and lavish kind we used to have, it was still fun. It was held at 7 Restaurant, a hip and classy lounge closed to the public that night for our party. Food was great, entertainment so-so, but hey, I won a $100 gift card to Westfield Shoppingtown so I'm not complaining. I had a grand time, mostly with Kevin and Debbie, laughing non-stop so hard, only stopping for air once in a while.
When I got home, I was met with the news that our yellow lab, Xerky (short for Xerxes Double-Trouble Zeus F.) has been missing since 4 p.m. Unfortunately, he didn't have his collar on because s-son took it out just the day before to relieve him of the heavy chain. He usually just sits on the lawn while the workers paint our house, but they think that he must have followed some dog somewhere. The problem is he's very old, a little deaf, and has arthritis so he won't be able to find his way home. Hubby and some neighbors have been looking for him all night. Although late, I begged my husband to come with me to look for him some more, and we searched our neighborhood in the dark. I was squeaking one of his toys continuously, straining my ears for the faintest bark. We gave up at around eleven. Going back home, I suddenly start thinking of Xerk, and start bawling. I couldn't stop. I finally went to sleep at around 2 am, and woke up this morning with puffy eyes.
After lunch today, my husband calls me to say that the "fugitive" has been found. He found him on the third doggie jail he visited. When I got home, there he was, sleeping with his squeaky toy, as if nothing happened. I usually don't like waking him but I just had to hug and croodle him.
I'm glad the roller coaster ended on the upswing.
Vangie Fuhrman got cold on 12.14.2004 7:26 PM.
Random and Off-Centered
Visiting other blogs, I realize that I don't post enough pictures here. So I'll take a break from sad writing and post a couple I found lying around this cluttered desk. These were taken at my in-laws' home when we went there for the 4th of July picnic this year.
My s-son flanked by his cousins
Me flanked by hubby and dad-in-law
Vangie Fuhrman got cold on 12.07.2004 9:38 PM.
I Did It!
I wrote 50,000+ words of my novel, Change the Game, and submitted it a day before the NaNoWriMo deadline. I honestly didn't think I could. I had a very slow start, churning out less than the prescribed 1667 words daily. I even hit literary walls during my trip to Seattle, where I thought I could crank the words out because I would spend copious hours cooped up in a hotel room. That turned out unproductive, because no matter how I tried, I couldn't find my writing groove. I rolled up my sleeves and jumped in with both feet when I got back home, about 11,000 words behind, reminding myself that if I don't finish this novel now I never will. So I wrote. And wrote. And wrote. In the process I neglected my family, my health, this blog (is anyone still reading this?). The only thing I didn't neglect was work, because I couldn't do any writing at work. Shows you my distorted priorities.
I love my husband. He has been so supportive through all this. He would wake we up from the couch, reminding me that I should write amidst my sleepy protests of tiredness. He would let me have espresso at night when normally, he would forbid me to even smell coffee past 2 pm. He helped me with my convoluted plot twists and turns, including the unbelievably difficult task of coming up with characters' names. [I've run out of former teacher and co-worker name combinations!] He is my number one critic and number one fan. I began the process with letting him read my Chapter 1 and when I asked if I should continue writing, he enthusiastically replied "Yes! This is salacious! I can't wait to read the rest of it!"
With 59,289 words crammed in 30 days, my novel is far from over. The story is not finished, I haven't killed off all the characters I want to. Plus it will probably take me 30 months to edit this sucker (NaNoEdMo anyone?). But I feel a great sense of accomplishment, I learned a lot this short month. This project is a great motivator for me. My only regret is I didn't get to go to the Bay Area closing party because, ironically, that night was the meeting of our book club at work.
I had a wonderful time. But I'll probably never do it again. For now, it's off to sleep. Glorious sleep.