Monday, July 31, 2006

Video Killed the Radio Star...

Man, I'm really starting to show my age!

MTV turns 25 tomorrow (August 1st). That's crazy.

I remember when it first came out.

I remember watching the little astronaut plant the flag on the moon (and the flag turned all kinds of psychedelic colors).

I remember VJs.

I remember when my favorite game show was "Remote Control".

I remember when they had a contest for Madonna's "True Blue" video. They played all of the entries (or at least the finalists) for days on end.

I remember how cool "Thriller" was. (and that it was 14 minutes long!)

I remember how cool Peter Gabriel's "Big Time" video was.

I remember the 3D animated video for Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing" when Sting sang:

"I want my MTV"

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Friends Come, Friends Go, and sometimes.... they come back!

There's been an awful lot of coming and going by many of our friends lately:

Lora & Omar moved from SF down to Menlo Park, Vivian left SF to go to school in NYC, and Paula & Reeves have left for Dublin, Ireland! All of these moves happened within a couple months! It's rockin' our world a little bit!

Back in the Winter of 2001/2002, I had another set of 3 friends move away. Philip left for Houston, Christopher moved to Australia, and Todd left for the Central Valley (he and his family later moved to New Jersey!). I remember how sad I was that so many of my close friends were moving away - again, within just a few months of each other.

The good news is, Christopher moved back to SF last year, Todd and his family moved back to the Central Valley last year (at least closer than New Jersey!), and Philip moved back to San Francisco last week! I'm thrilled to have all of these guys back!

Perhaps this shows some kind of trend: maybe our friends who just left will come back in a few years. (Although, I'm pretty sure that we've lost Omar & Lora permanently to the 'burbs...)

When my first wave of friends moved away in 2002, I joked that I was running out of gay friends. (oops - for the record, Todd is straight.) Well, now my gay friends are back (imagine that!) and our straight friends are moving away! We can't seem to strike a balance :)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Happy Birthday, Daddy-O!

Today is my Dad's Birthday! (Happy Birthday, Dad!)

My Mom and I drove to his new bank in Morgan Hill today to take him out lunch, and to delivery a birthday cake and pie to him at work.

In case I haven't mentioned it before: My Dad just opened a new bank.
That's right: He opened a new Bank.
Pretty impressive, huh?

The name of the bank is Pinnacle Bank, and after several months of planning, and gathering funds, they opened their doors to the public last week. My Dad is the Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer/Chief Credit Officer. Whew!

Anyhow, I hadn't been to the new bank before, so it was the first chance I've had to check out his new digs.

The bank itself was really beautiful, as is my Dad's new office.

My Dad sitting in his new office

My Mom and I hung out at their house for a bit this afternoon, and my Dad came home early.

I had brought his birthday present from me, my sister, and Dick. We bought him a very cool Homedics massaging cushion. He really liked it!

Here's a picture of my Dad enjoying his birthday present!

The Zen of Costco

I admit it (and it' no secret): I'm a Costco junkie.

Dick just found this listed under "Best of" on craigslist.

The Zen of Costco.

My favorite line: "As you enter, do not be distracted by the flat screen tv's. These are not the droids you're looking for."

My cat owes me 25 bucks

Bad kitty!

For some reason, Marcel has pee-ed on our bed for the last two nights. He's never done this before, and we can't figure out why he's doing this now. Things will be really, really bad for everyone if this continues...

The first night it happened (Wednesday), I had to strip the bed of the sheets and the duvet. I was able to throw the sheets in the wash, but I had to bring the duvet into our dry-cleaner the next morning. I already had another clean duvet waiting for me at the cleaners, so I was able to bring that home with me to use last night.

I fixed our bed minutes before we went to bed last night.

Fresh clean sheets, clean comforter, clean bed.

After we had turned out the lights, Marcel hopped onto the bed (he usually sleeps with us). I woke up, and went on to my computer for about 15 minutes. When I came back, I noticed the smell....

I turned on the lights (which of course woke Dick up) and there was a huge puddle at the foot of our bed!


So again, I had to strip the bed, throw the sheets in the wash, and find our last set of clean sheets.

I brought the now-soiled duvet into the dry cleaners today, and told him what had happened. I mentioned that it was the same duvet that I had just picked up the day before.

My cat owes me $25.00.

Today's Breakfast

I just ate a Chocolate Chip cookie for breakfast.

There. I said it.

I just had to get that off my chest.
(since it will be going straight to my thighs)

I can hear Christopher now...


Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Pollyanna Effect

Halloween, 2004. Masquerading as my alter-ego (with cleavage, apparently)

My friend Mykail likes to call me "Snow White". I suppose there's a good reason for that sometimes.

I'm happy when everyone else is happy. I have a hard time with conflicts or even disagreements. I often find myself wondering "why can't we all just get along?".

Now, don't get me wrong. I know this isn't realistic, and it's gotten me in trouble many times in the past. I realized tonight that i even have a hard time understanding why it's important for some people vent by projecting problems or scenarios that haven't even happened, and in my mind, just make a bad situation even worse.

A very wise man (named Dick Craddock) reminded me tonight that it's important for people to be able to vent. It simply makes them feel better. Everyone is entitled to their own feelings, even if I don't agree with it.

So that's my lesson learned. I don't have to agree with everything everyone says and thinks, and that's okay.

Now I'm going to go back into the forest so I can sing and dance with my animal friends.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Doll Eviction?

Dear Friends and Family,

Please don't let this happen to me in 40 years.

I realize that I may be fooling myself when I say that i think I have my Raggedy Ann obsession under control. (I know a lot of you, including my husband, would say otherwise!)

Most of you know that when Dick and I moved in together, we worked out what we fondly refer to as "the compromise room". That is, we agreed that I was allowed to have "some" of my dolls live in the house with us, but that they will live in their own room (also known as the guest room, or Uncle Christohper's room). The compromise allowed me to have some of my favorite dolls live with us, without Dick having to realize his fear of the dolls taking over the entire house.

This system has worked well for us, and everyone is happy.

...except perhaps, my Mom and Dad.

All of my Raggedy Ann & Andys who don't live here in SF with me are still living in "my room" at my parent's house. This is really where most of the collection is (probably at least 70%).

I have to admit that I'm really happy having the "few" dolls that I have here with me, and that my "need for collecting more for the sake of having more" has dropped considerably over the years. I have found that my new way of collecting involves looking for something very, very special, rather than just "adding to the collection".

I honestly don't know what I'll do when the day comes that I need to move all of my stuff out of my parent's house.
For now, I'll just be an ostrich with my head in the ground: I don't have to worry about it, if I don't have to think about it! :)

Mom & Dad In Da House!

Just got word that my parents have power again, and they're back in their house! Yay!

The power turned on around 8:00 last night, so they packed up their things in the hotel, and went back home.

My Mom said that Claude had just become adjusted to staying at the hotel, and seemed like he was just starting to enjoy being "on vacation mode".

Monday, July 24, 2006

Parental-Unit Update

My poor parents are still without power! (It's been out since Saturday) One of their neighbors got a hold of PG&E today (after being on hold for 1 hour) and were told that they hope to have their power restored by Wednesday.

Good Grief!

I had hoped that the weather had cooled down a bit down there today. (it's much cooler here in SF) My Mom said that her MINI reported 102 degrees this afternoon, so they're still really hot.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Tonight's Dinner

We just had a really wonderful summer meal.

Christopher and Dick whipped up a batch of Gazpacho this afternoon, and had it chill for several hours. We also had a nice romaine lettuce salad, and some bread with hummus.

We spent the afternoon in Golden Gate Park playing Smash Ball! The temperature out in the Sunset had dropped to the low 70s once we were out there, so it was the perfect way to get away from the heat, and enjoy the outdoors.

Our Gazpacho and Salad dinner was the perfect meal to come home to.

Displaced Mom & Dad

My poor Mom and Dad. Their power has been out since 6:15pm yesterday (that's over 24 hours now) and they just couldn't bear the heat in their house. It's still over 102 degrees in their neck of the woods.

They just called from their cell phone - hey checked into a hotel with AC for the night. Luckily, they were able to find a hotel that would allow cats.

That Claude Cat-Chow is one lucky little kitty!

Hopefully, they'll get their power on again soon.

Hot Kitties in the City

I'm pretty sure that we've been breaking record temps lately. I mean, it's July! It's supposed to be our cool month in SF. Where's the fog?

It's another scorcher today, although I think it's slightly less hot than yesterday.

From what I hear, it's been well over 100 degrees in the South Bay. My parents have been without power since 6:00pm yesterday.

We've been doing what we can to keep our house cool: keeping the blinds drawn, and turning the fans on at night.

I've been wiping down the kitties with cool washcloths, which they seem to enjoy and appreciate.

Poor little things - it must be hard to have a fur coat when it's so hot!

hot kitty

Saturday, July 22, 2006


(can't. stop. blogging.)

Look how pretty this is!

It's already a hot day here in SF, so Christopher thought it would be a good day for a big fruit salad for breakfast.

I already had grapes and a pineapple in the fruit bowl. Bro went to the store and bought mango, banana, cantalope, strawberries, and oranges.

It was the first time that I've had a chance to use my cool Pineapple Corer/Slicer gadget. It's super cool, and works really well!

It also helped lend to our lovely fruit salad presentation!

It's Time for Animaniacs!


This is hugely exciting.

The Animaniacs on DVD!

I LOVE the Animaniacs!
Seriously... LOVE them!

Mykail, my sister, my Mom and I used to "tape" the episodes so we could all watch them together in the evening. I had the CDs - I wrote the color guard tryout routine to one of the songs one year when I taught at James Logan High School. (I used the song that listed all of the countries in the World - the kids thought I was so cool). I dressed up as "Dot" for Halloween one year! (which I suppose, made me "the cute one")

And here's the topper: I even named one my pet rats "Dot". (which also made her "the cute one")

I'm really excited to hear that a DVD is finally being released. I had thought that the world had forgotten about The Animaniacs - after a few short years of having merchandise, VHS tapes, CDs, etc., there just wasn't anything else made.

I have a fantastic Original Production Cel from Season 1 of The Animaniacs. It's one of my favorites, and just cracks me up. I actually brought it with me to a Warner Bros Store in 1994 to have it signed by the 3 voices of Yakko Wakko and Dot. My Mom has a really great picture of Me, Mykail and my Mom taken with Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, and Tress MacNeille. Wow - that's pretty geeky.

"Hellooooooo, Nurse!

Anyhow, the DVD set is a 5-disc set, so it seems like it should have most of the episodes. update - just checked: it has 25 episodes. But, this is titled "Volume 1" so perhaps they'll release another eventually? I remember being very disappointed in the VHS tapes: they never had a tape that had the episodes with all of the Historic Figures. I always thought that some of those were the best episodes.

In case you're wondering, they are also releasing a box set of Pinky and the Brain.

"What are we going to do tonight, Brain?"

"Same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world!"

I was listening to my iPod the other day when I drove to Stockton. I had it on "shuffle" and it played the Animaniacs theme song. Even listening to that made me happy!

I better stop typing now, before I really embarrass myself (any further).

I'm just so excited! :)

"Okay Lady. I love you. Bye-bye!"

Gween Gwapes

When I was little, I had a hard time pronouncing "Rs" correctly. They always came out as "Ws". I think I read that this is a fairly common with young girls. Anyhow, I remember being pulled out of my second grade class once a week for my speech therapy lessons. I don't think I really understood what the problem was at the time, but I do know that it eventually corrected itself. (Unless I still have a speech impediment that none of you have told me about!)

One phrase that I remember having a problem with was "Green Grapes". See, I love green grapes. I'm eating a bunch right now (they have really good quality green grapes at Costco right now!).

When I was little, I used to run around asking my parents for "Gween Gwapes". I know it cracked them up at the time.

Making an Entrance

I was invited to attend the Asian Firefighters Association of San Francisco Community Service Awards tonight. It was held at the Ritz Carlton in Nob Hill. One of our friends, and a long-time volunteer at The Always Dream Foundation was one the of 3 honorees for the evening.

I was planning on taking MUNI to Union Square, and walking up the hill a few blocks to the hotel. I realized that it would be fine on any normal San Francisco day, but was a little concerned about the heat, and what kind of disheveled shape I'd arrive to the event in. I figured I'd give it a go, and if it seemed too hot when I arrived in Union Square, I could always take a cab up the hill.

I left the house right around 6:00, and as I turned towards the street after locking the door, I saw Dick pull up in his Vespa. He was originally supposed to come home late this evening, but his meeting ended early.

That's when I had the light bulb moment: I asked if Dick would mind taking me to the Ritz Carlton on his scooter! After I explained the alternatives, he thought it was a good idea, too. So, I went back inside, took off my high-heel shoes, and switched them out for my Docs. Then I popped on my red riding jacket and red 1/2 helmet and black gloves. I put my dress shoes in the storage compartment (to change into later) and we were on our way!

We made it to the hotel in good time. When we pulled into the drop-off area of the hotel, Dick stopped his scooter, and I hopped off. I promptly took off the helmet, the jacket, and changed my shoes. A little tousle of the hair, and I was good to go! I should mention that I was wearing black pants and a fitted black dress tank top, which is much dressier than what I would usually wear when riding the Vespa.

When I walked pass the line of people who were waiting to valet park their cars, I thought, "Now that's the way to make an entrance to the Ritz Carlton!" :) It was really pretty funny.

Once I was inside the hotel (which is beautiful, by the way) I looked around, trying to figure out which direction to go. There were a couple of hotel employees who saw me and asked, "Asian Firefighters Association Awards?"

I laughed and asked, "Was it because I'm Asian? Was that the give-away?"

They got a good chuckle out of that.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Mmmmm... Ice Cream!

Way back when I was in art school, my friend Todd turned me onto Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Swiss Almond Ice Cream. It's just the right combination of vanilla/dark chocolate/almonds.

I hadn't had it in a long time, but couldn't resist buying a pint a few weeks ago.

I just finished that off today. It's perfect ice-cream weather, so it was that much more satisfying!

Speaking of ice-cream, I went to Mitchell's Ice Cream with Pete & Richard Monday night. It was Pete's birthday, so we topped off the evening with some local ice cream. If you haven't been to Mitchell's before, you should really check it out. Their ice cream is really amazing, and they have a huge assortment of yummy flavors. It's one of those cool San Francisco Institutions that's been around for over 50 years. It's very popular, and always very crowded, so be prepared to take a number, and wait for 20+ minutes!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

My new favorite picture!

Evelyn (9), Abigail (4) & Analise (2)

This is my new favorite picture!

These 3 little beauties are my nieces (they are the daughters of my cousin Bruce and his wonderful wife, Robin). They are all extraordinarily cute on any given day, but I have to say that my heart completely melted when I received this picture in the mail today.

I bought each of them their own Raggedy Ann doll when they were born. Each of them got a different style doll. I didn't realize that their collection has grown so much! Looks like I have competition!

I suppose it's safe to say that their Auntie Trina has had just a little bit of influence on them :)
(..and I hope that it's in a good way!)

Abby's Halloween Costume, 2004

Seriously, it just doesn't get any cuter than this!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Fun in Stockton.

I had a really wonderful day visiting both sets of Grandparents in Stockton.

I'm kicking myself for not remembering to bring my camera with me.
I passed by a perfect Kodak moment...

I first went to visit my Mom's parents. My grandfather's brother, who I haven't seen in well over 15 years was also visiting. My Grandfather is 89, and his brother is about 92. I can't believe that I didn't have a camera to take a photo of the two of them together. I have the image in my head, but I really wish that I had it in print.

One of the best moments of the day was when the four of us went out for dim sum lunch. We could have taken any car: my MINI (2 door), my Grandparent's car (4-door) or my Great-Uncle's car (4-door). Well, everyone was so excited at the thought of riding in my cute MINI that they insisted that I drive! I thought it might be a little problematic having them get into my backseat, by lo-and-behold, my Grandpa and his brother both climbed right in! My Grandma sat in the front passenger seat. It was so much fun! They all got such a kick out of my car, and really enjoyed the ride. This was obviously another moment that I really wish that I had my camera with me.

I hung out with my Mom's parents for a few more hours, then headed over to my Dad's parents house. (they only live a few miles apart.) I had wonderful visit over there as well, and even decided to stay for dinner! (who can pass up a home-made Grandma dinner?)

It was 102 degrees in Stockton today (at least that's what my MINI reported) but really, it wasn't too bad. First of all, having AC in the car is a must. But I did get out and walk about a little bit, and although it was certainly hot, it wasn't too bad. Sometimes I forget how much better dry heat is compared to humidity.

Valley Fever

I need to drive to Stockton today to visit my Grandparents.

I just checked the weather in Stockton. It's going to be a hot one.


Good thing my car has working air conditioning!
I might just have to go get me a Slurpee!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Newest Member of The Jade Brigade

I had a wonderful (albeit quick) visit with my dear friend, Mykail yesterday. He was in town (up from Southern Cal) teaching a drum corps for a show this weekend. I drove down to Sunnyvale, and spent a few hours with him. Most of the time was spent at rehearsal, but we did manage to sneak out for an hour to grab a bite at Hobee's.

The first thing I noticed when I saw Mykail (aside from the fact that he's got the Drum Corps Tan) was his fabulously large and beautiful jade pendant. I laughed, and informed him that he's now the newest member of The Jade Brigade

When my family (Mom, Dad, Sis, Sis' boyfriend, Graham, & Dick) went to Yosemite in May, my sister came up with the name. Background: many of the Men in the Chow family wear a jade disc pendant on a gold chain around their neck. When we got married, my wedding gift to Dick was a jade pendant, and my parents gave him a gold chain (which was originally given to my Mom when she was born) as his gift during our Tea Ceremony. My Mom regularly wears the jade pendant that my Dad's mother gave her when she and my Dad were married. I have also taken to wearing the jade pendant that my Grandma gave me during our Tea Ceremony. My sister gave Graham a jade pendant for his birthday last October.

That means that 5 out of 6 of us were wearing jade pendants when we went to Yosemite. That's when my sister started calling us "The Jade Brigade". It has a fun little ring to it :)

So now Mykail is the proud new member of The Jade Brigade, which only seems appropriate since he is like the "long lost brother" in my family.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Aaand.... we're back!

We had a nice last day in Oahu yesterday. Slept in, ate breakfast, checked out, lounged about, saw a movie (Superman - which I liked more than I expected to, with the exception of Lois Lane's character/actress being WAY too young) lounged at the airport, and took the red-eye home. The flight was great - pretty fast actually. This was the day that I became hooked on Sudoku. (I'm a little late in the game, I know). It's a great way to kill some time.

We got home at 6:00am, got some breakfast, and took a bit of a nap.
The kitties are happy - Noe's been purring all day long.
Marcel is just happy to know that we'll be home to feed him.

The weather in SF looks fantastic for the rest of the week/weekend. It's so nice to come home to a San Francisco Vacation.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Paradise.... is exactly like... where you are right now...

only, much, much better....

Anyone else out there a Laurie Anderson fan?
(bonus points if you can name song, the WGI guard who used it, and the year they made finals!)

Hey - where've I been?

I'm in Hawaii! Oahu to be exact.

We arrived last Thursday in the early afternoon, and return on the red-eye flight tomorrow (leaving Wednesday night, arriving early Thursday).

We're staying at the lovely Ihilani in Ko Olina. Our room here at the resort is fantastic! We have the most amazing view of the ocean/sunset from our very large lanai and sliding glass door.

We've been out and about most days, which is unusual for us. Usually, we turn into resort slugs and hang out by the pool/beach all day. Neither of us were as enamoured with the pool here, and truthfully, we only hung out by the pool for one afternoon. (so, no tan for me, but the good news is that Dick isn't burnt either)

What have we been doing? We've been driving our rental car (an SUV, which slightly amuses both of us) around the island. We've been to the USS Arizona Memorial, as well as the very cool submarine also by Pearl Harbor. We made the trek out to Aloha Stadium over the weekend, so I could buy more cute little Hawaiian dresses from the Swap Meet. We also spent the entire day yesterday driving around the entire island. We've squeezed in a couple of movies (Pirates of the Carribean, and we'll see Superman tomorrow) and we've dined at Roy's twice! Yes, still my most favorite meal EVER - Blackened Ahi Sashimi, Butterfish (which is even better in Hawaii) and the Chocolate Souffle.

Believe it or not, tonight (our last full night here) is the very first time that we've gone online at all! I seriously think that may be a record for me! No email, no blogging... what has become of me?!

This trip has been especially relaxing. We really haven't done a whole heck of a lot, but hey, we're relaxed and happy!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

To celebrate, I pulled out my Schoolhouse Rock DVD, and sang along to America Rock while making French Toast for Breakfast. The highlight was when I sang The Preamble of the Constitution to Dick. I think he was slightly amazed, and just a little bit disturbed. :)

Happy Fourth, everyone!

Which reminds me, the very first picture that Dick and I took together was on July 4, 1999. As Dick says, it's the first photographic evidence of our relationship. :) We had gone out to the Wharf and hooked up with our friend Mitch that day. Mitch took this shot with his (then) new Digital Camera. (which when you think about it, was really a new techie-gadget at the time.) I've always really liked this picture, and was so glad that Mitch sent it to us. What a gorgeous day!

July 4, 1999

Monday, July 03, 2006

My Fruit Bowl Overfloweth...

I really love fresh fruit, and have been trying to make a habit out of buying (and eating) it more often.

Last week, I bought some nice peaches, and bananas. Today I also got some grapes. I also bought some mangos from my yummy mango salsa that I plan to make tomorrow. I also needed some lemon (for the salsa) and lime.

I just went downstairs and realized that for the first time my fruit bowl is simply overflowing with a yummy assortment of fresh fruit.

It looked so pretty and colorful (almost like a still life) that I felt the need to take a photo and share!

Protecting Slate with ..... Slate

We had Paula and Reeves over last night as a final farewell dinner before they leave for Ireland.

After dinner, we all came to sit in the media room. Some of us had glasses of water, others had port.

As we were sitting down, Paula asked, "um, why do you guys use slate coasters on your slate table?"

"What do you mean?"

Christopher was coming in from the kitchen, and started to crack up! He said that he's always wondered this as well, and just figured, "Well, everyone has their things..."

The funny thing is, this isn't really a "thing". Both Dick and I agreed that we simply hadn't ever thought of it.

Here's the thing...

Dick has a slate-tile coffee table that he's had since the Dick and Pete days. He had already had it when I came into the picture.

Sometime over the past few years, Dick's sister, Meg, had sent these cool slate coasters as a Xmas gift.

Now, I'm in the habit of always using coasters on tables, and I guess so is Dick.

First of all, it never crossed my mind that a slate table wouldn't actually require coasters at all. I mean, what's going to happen to it? A water ring?

So, of course, it's that much funnier to think that we were using our cool slate coasters on top of the slate table.

And, as Christopher has since pointed out, Dick and I both use the coasters religiously, so he just went along with it without question. Now that I think of it, I wonder how many people over the past several years have put their glasses on top of our slate coasters, wondering why we were using them, but not actually calling us on it.

Now that this has been pointed out to us, Dick and I both think that this is hilarious. Of course, we'll both probably use the slate coasters on top of the slate table, just out of habit alone.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sweet Revenge

how sweet it is...

Reeves sent this to me last night. It kills me. I'm laughing my head off...

Yoo hoo... Mr. Gardener!

I'm feeling much better about the whole situation today. A good night's sleep always helps.

Plus, everyone who has heard this story has said the same thing: sounds like the gardener is having some issues of his own, and perhaps I was just an easy target. Who knows?!

I'm done stressing. Thanks to all who helped me feel better.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Therapeutic Blogging

I have found in the past that blogging about something that's bothering me is actually quite therapeutic.

I'm hoping this is the case, because I've been unnerved all day...

This morning, my gardener of more than 7 years called me, yelled at me, and insulted me.
I haven't been able to get it out of my mind, and that really bothers me.

Here's what happened: (I'm copy & pasting parts of my IM conversation that I just had with Reeves)

I've had this gardener for over 7 years. My HOA hired him when I first moved into my condo, and we also hired him to redo the entire landscaping at Dick's old house. I thought we had a nice, friendly relationship. In early April, I had had asked that his crew not come after our fence was built because we didn't know our plans for the backyard. Since then, some weeds had grown, and I thought we should have them cleared before we have people over for our little BBQ on July 4th. So we arranged for them to come yesterday morning at 8:30 before I had to leave for Oakland. I went over with him (he who we will now call the "mean gardener") that we just wanted the weeds pulled, the bushes in the front trimmed low, and the opening in the hedge to be widened. He said no problem, and put his team of 3 to it, and told me he wouldn't' be here later on when they finished (he's never actually here while they work). So I come home at 4:00, and the bushes in the front isn't trimmed, the hedge opening still needs to be widened, and they crew is STILL here at 4:00. ..and I'm wondering, "Does it really take a team of 3 people 8 hours to weed?" I go to the backyard, and find that they had REMOVED my favorite calla lily plant. It's gone. I'm not happy about that, and I try to ask about it, but no one speaks English. So I call the gardener, hoping he could translate for me, and telling him that the things we discussed hadn't been done yet. Quite frankly, I was surprised that it was taking 8 hours to weed. But I was nice to the gardeners. never raised my voice, and tried to explain that the opening in the hedge needed to be widened (it was getting hard to walk through) and the bushes in the front needed to be cut down more... I left another message for the gardener on his work phone (had called his cell phone earlier) but never heard back.

Until this morning...

This morning, he leaves a message at 8:00am stating "If you ever did this kind of work yourself, you'd know that these things take a long time"

Um, okay.
condescending, much?

I call back, leaving him a message to call me back. When he does, he begins to yell at me telling me how insulted he was that I would question him or his team. He said he got my messages yesterday, but decided not to call me back because I was just being stupid, and I've always been so "nit-picky".


I tried to explain to him I was just frustrated that I couldn't communicate my questions to his team. (like you know, "why did you take away my Calla Lily?")

And he tells "then I guess it's time you find a new gardener"

He says he's tired of hearing me always complain (which I honestly don't remember doing, and believe me, I've wracked my brain today trying to think of any times that I may have "complained" or "Been nit-picky" or insulted him or his team.)

In my defense, I pointed out that the only time I've ever complained was when his team came last month. I caught them before they started working, and tried to explain that I had asked Ben not to come for the time being. They understood, but explained that they had to return our ladder (which apparently, they borrowed, used, and took without us knowing) and continued to ask if they could store their lawnmower in our backyard. I said "No" because our neighbor had asked that they not use our side gate (which goes through her front yard). The whole thing was kind of shady.

He did acknowledged that that was a legit complaint, but said, "But let's not get off topic"

"You always complain"

and I said, "Ben, when have I ever complained to you in the last 7 years?" (because I truthfully wanted to know what the heck he was talking about)

get this...

(this is the topper, and I'm not exaggerating)

His response to that is: "Oh right Trina. You're perfect. You're just always so perfect..."

what are we- back in grade school?

that's when I hung up on him.

I'm pretty sure I didn't deserve that.

I totally acknowledge that I have pretty thin skin when it comes to confrontation, or people yelling at me. I mean, I'm a pretty nice person, and I try to treat all people with respect. So for this guy to totally go off on me, was completely unnerving, and I haven't been able to shake it all day.

Dick and Christopher heard my end of the conversation, were both pretty shocked, but tried to tell me that I just needed to blow it off, and not let it bother me. "let it go."

I talked with my Mom and Dad tonight about it, and that helped - because my Dad has a hard time letting go of a grudge, too. (Yet another Chow family trait!) He made me feel justified.

So I figured I should blog about it, and "get it out". There's nothing like writing a blog to the world to feel like you've "gotten it out of your system".

Now, if I were a not-so-nice person, or someone who really carried a grudge, I'd probably state the name of the gardener and his company here. I might even post the link to their company's web site. But that's not the kind of person that I am ;)

Everyone's reaction to this story has been "Fire him".

The problem is, I think he beat me to the punch by firing me!
So I don't even really have the satisfaction of feeling like I'm in control at all.