Monthly Archives: May 2002

good girl

The new gym opened and I joined it first thing. They open at 7 am and I was there this Thursday (we were in London on Tuesday which is why I wasn’t there Tuesday) lifting weights. My plan is to lift Tuesday and Thursday from 7-8:15, shower, minimal make-up and German lesson at 8:45. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I do cardio for an hour at lunch. That takes a bit longer because I am dripping wet by the end so I have to really shower (lots of soap). I am sore as hell still from Thursday. I failed to consider that if my triceps and chest muscles were sore Friday when I started running, they would just get worse from swinging my arms as I ran. Patrick isn’t allowed to touch my upper body right now. Just foot rubs.

Like the really cool necklace I bought in London. It is black crystal and looks like something a Princess would wear, I think. Which is redundant I suppose being that I am a Princess. Anyhow, the outfit was very well received. I call it my Super Model outfit because only on the runway are you likely to find a huge elaborate necklace and simple black silk shift. Sergio, the lust of my life at Punto Fisso across the street, said I looked beautiful. So did Patrick, and of course I went home with him and not Sergio.

Oh, one more thing about London. OK, I knew the British dressed badly but I didn’t know how bad until now. While we were sitting, digesting our yummy curries, a man and his wife and child walked by our table. He was wearing, I kid you not, a green and yellow plaid coat/blazer, and a black and white checkered button down shirt. Oh my God it was so frightening.

I’ve been reading Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” this week. I am not done but so far I don’t get the big deal. Don’t get me wrong, I like the book. I like it a lot in fact. But it doesn’t seem so earth shattering. The conversations of ethics and morals seem no different than those I have with various Poli Sci and politically conscience friends. I did really enjoy the concept of ghosts that was put forth by Svidrigailov, who Raskolnikov’s sister worked for before he fell in love with her but his wife found out, blah, blah, blah. Anyhow, he talks about seeing his dead wife’s ghost, mere minutes after Raskolnikov has seen the ghost of the woman he killed though Svidrigailov didn’t know that. He explains that he believes the sick see ghosts better than the healthy because the sick are closer to ‘that world’. The healthy are firmly rooted in the material conscience world of healthy people. The sick are sort of in-between. They are partially in the material world but partially in the ‘neither world’. I thought it was a brilliant explanation. When you are sick you move towards the ghost world because you are closer to being dead which roots you in the ghost world. Anyhow, if any of you remember the book and can perhaps explain to me what I am missing in terms of greatness, I would appreciate it.

Patrick and I had another fight while we were in London. We fight regularly, though I don’t think it should worry you all. If things were really bad, you’d know. I’d write about it. Anyhow, the fight was about whether I should have to second guess him or not. One would simply say no, but then when he forgets something, I am often effected. This topic came up again today actually. We have a pile of dry cleaning waiting but as I am super close to paying off my credit line, I don’t have much cash flow right now because it is all going to that line (including my company performance bonus that we all got at HP last week, see I am a good girl there too, I really wanted to buy a couch with the money instead) the dry cleaning is going to have to wait a week. Last night I was trying to figure out where to put it until next week. I asked Patrick where he thought I should put it and he said he would take it in today. So I put it on the couch, which is the dry cleaning staging area, normally. Well the dry cleaner closes at 2 on Saturdays and Patrick missed it. In my opinion this is because he doesn’t make task/time plans which, again in my opinion, are especially important on Saturdays (and you all know why). He said he thought about the task a number of times today but he never mentioned it to me. He also didn’t put it in a plan for what he had to do today. He just thought about it. When I got home from my hair appointment, I noticed the pile sitting there and said ‘You forgot the dry cleaning (he got up to take it) and they are closed now (he sat down)’. So what am I suppose to do in cases like this, which are too many too mention? Am I suppose to remind him and appear to be nagging or never mention it and let him fall on his face? What about when it effects me? Like it would have in London (trust me on this one)? We talked about it again today (mostly we just argued in London) and he said to do whatever ‘feels right’. But see, I don’t think that works. Nothing feels right. Reminding him doesn’t because it burdens me and it makes me feel like a nag but not saying anything causes me to be inconvenienced more often than I deserve. He saw my point. I recommended he take 10 minutes every morning and plan out the tasks and general times for the day. Sure, I’m anal about these things sometimes, but I have good time management skills and he doesn’t (ask him, he’ll say the same thing). Therefore planning is that much more important to his efficiency and sanity. He feels really overwhelmed at work right now and I think part of it is his disorganization. He agrees. This doesn’t exactly help me though. Patrick shares really detailed technical stuff about his computer or articles he reads in Science News with me. I suggested he do the same with planning. Instead of saying, ‘we are going to the movie’ and leaving me wondering whether he has enough cash or if we will find ourselves unable to pay for the tickets once we get there, say ‘we are going to the movies but first we have to find an money machine’. He agreed. Still, we have been down this road before and I worry.

For any of you who feel funny about ‘butting in a personal conversation’ but not giving anything back, don’t worry about it. If I really wanted advice, I’d write you each personally. Which is not to say you can’t offer advice or reflections, but you are not obligated. Sure it is personal but I don’t mind you knowing. It’s cathartic in a certain sense to post it on the web but also it’s just me.

What else? My famine is over at the office. I told Erdal, who is covering for Ivette, that I was slack and he tossed a few things my way and then an Org Model thing came up and I still have June release testing and SPICE project stuff to do. I’m not overwhelmed yet. I will need to put in a few hours overtime next week (especially since Thursday is another one of those annoying midweek holidays!) to make sure I catch up on my testing and get everything else I have sitting around into this release. The only plans in June are to go to a Willie Nelson concert if we can get tickets. So far it has been a rather frustrating experience. Cheers.


Life is so strange. I have been on this emotional roller coaster this week and I can’t tell why. Theoretically it could be PMS accept I take my pills constantly and only break for a period once every 3 months (doc’s cool with it, I asked). Things are slow at work and that always bums me out. I hate to have nothing going on. Especially because it seems to be feast or famine. I’ve caught up on my note transcribing and cleaned up my files and hard drive. I’m so organized it is frightening. Finished my REL testing and put together a presentation to management for Monday. That’ll be interesting. I am going to demand a great deal from them in terms of supporting a project. See we have this new data storage tool that I am on the transition team for. The team is suppose to get everyone in the department to use the tool and move all their documents there (Germans hate that about English, there, their, they’re, to, too, two…) People are not big on it and since Management, with a capital M, doesn’t use it, why should they. So I am going to tell it to them straight and give them action items and due dates to prove their support. Better now than when the changes come with ‘the merger’…

Patrick and I had a big fight this week. It is a recurring argument and I’ll take the risk at saying we finally got somewhere. We’ll see whether he follows through. My hopes have been dashed a number of times with this topic but he seemed to understand me, I hope. So the fight has 2 parts. The first is pure communication. I don’t think Patrick tries to help me. He wants to help me, but he doesn’t actually do it. When I ask for help, he thinks about it for a few minutes and then, unless I am actively engaging him, his mind wanders. He has been know to then ask me questions that I asked him recently. Or to bring up things I have already brought up and talked about. Drives me nuts. Lately he has needed some extra help. He is frustrated at the office and having to deal with some management stuff that isn’t his specialty. So I see that he is struggling and offer my help, which he accepts and appreciates, I just don’t get it in return. I am NOT Wonder Woman and I need help sometimes, and I ask for it. But then I don’t feel like I get it. Only when I mention he isn’t helping or I feel blown off, do I get a renewed effort, which I find insulting. The fight got really bad because I kept trying to explain that his promises don’t hold water for me. He has promised and failed to come through too many times for me to believe ‘those’ words again. I want to see and hear something new. He says, that I have an unfair preconceived notion and don’t give him the chance to help me before shooting down his ideas. But when he uses the exact same words that I have used mere days earlier, why should I believe he has made an effort or spent any time or even cares? He says he is thinking about these things in a different way and I don’t give him the chance to sow that, but I say my patience is nonexistent after so many years of being let down and he needs to learn to use different words and make an extra effort. When I have to bring up the subject because he never gets back to me like he says he will, why should I believe that line again? He asked if he could have two days to think about what ever problem I am having before he gets back to me. I said no. Two days?! I’m suppose to sit and suffer for two days? Would it have helped him if I had waited two days before offering assistance the night before his meeting with Grant? No. I only want to have done unto me what I do unto him. I’m still leery. Part two was the actual problem that I had asked for help on that he seemed to ignore. The lost gym motivation. I just don’t want to go anymore. I’m up to 58 Kilos now too. Sure I am not fat but I also don’t fit properly into a lot of my clothing anymore either. I want to be 54 again, but I just can’t seem to make it to the gym. We have been analyzing why and what to do about it. We have two possibilities. The new gym is suppose to open in the building across from the office on Monday. I am going to look there and then I could workout before work, at lunch or right after work without having to go out of my way. It takes an hour there and back from Fitness Company where I go now. I just don’t have that time. The other possibility is to join the Kaiser Fitness up the street, they open at 7:30 am M-F, and then buy an elliptical trainer for home. This way I can lift 3 days a week in the morning before work, bathe and dress at home and then at least walk on the trainer every night. I like the second better from a theoretical standpoint, but feel I must give the gym at the office a chance. Anyhow, that’s our dirty laundry for the week.

I bought this week’s dress in Paris in March. There is another one to come too. I love Tara Jarmon and I love the idea of buying my dresses on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. The picture isn’t that great because I am in the hallway at work and I was really busy that day. Trust me, the dress is fabu. Yes, I need a hair cut. Cheers.


OK, this coffee talk is going to be very emotional so hold on…

Got an email from my mom this week that was traumatic. She and her boyfriend, Ken, are talking about ‘cohabiting’. This disturbs me. Why, you ask? Because they have only been dating 2 months. ‘But you married Patrick after only a month and a half, Heather.’ Yeah, but I have never told anyone that was a smart thing to do. In fact, I think I usually say something like, ‘It was stupid. We didn’t even know each other. For all I knew he could have been a serial killer’. Which is not to suggest that Ken is a serial killer, just that not knowing each other very long is a problem for me. Ken is the first person my Mom has dated since she got a divorce almost 17 yrs ago. They have only been dating 2 months. Moving in together, I am assuming at my Mom’s house, is a bit much a bit soon I think. Now you are all sitting in your chairs mouths agape reading this, I know. Doesn’t fit my personality or anything. Harald, the support manager, said it didn’t match my personality or outfit. He said his Mother told him she was thinking of marrying her boyfriend after three days (they’ve been living together for 10 years now but never married). That didn’t really help. See my Mom is different. My Mom is that one ‘normal’ thing in my life. Sure, we aren’t a ‘normal’ family but I have some ‘traditional’ and historic opinions about my Mom. My Mom is the strongest person on earth. She is my Rock of Gibraltar. She’s the Mom. She does Mom things. She is there for the kids. Selfish? Yes. Do I care? No. I need my Mom. Of course Ken makes my Mom happy. She is having lots of fun and sends cheery, of scary emails (think ‘missed my weights class this morning’). I want my Mom to be happy. But do they have to live together to be happy? So I had a miserable day after I got the message. I spent 2 hours trying to find a decently priced plane ticket home but couldn’t find anything leaving after June 20th (I have things in the release and I don’t think losing my job because I have to fly home because my Mom wants to move into her boyfriend will help the situation). I mean I haven’t even met the guy. Can’t they wait until I visit? I dated a decent amount in college. I liked having my own place to go back to (or somewhere to send him) if needed. Even if I spent every night at his place (or vice versa). So I thought about it a lot yesterday. After work I went and bought a new pair of shoes (see next paragraph) and we went to see Spider-man which opened yesterday. All of this made me feel better. It relaxed me enough I could really think about why this idea bothered me so much (because really people, it isn’t like I like feeling this way, I admit these feelings are irrational but they ARE my feelings, it is embarrassing for me to feel this way as it seems somehow a bit hypocritical, though I am not sure how, it just feels that way, and you all know what I think of hypocrites). Anyhow, this is why it bothers me so much…When my parents were splitting up, something I was actually happy about since they were both so unhappy I thought they would now have a chance, it was near my parents anniversary. On their anniversary we decided to go out for pizza, this was probably dad’s idea. As we were leaving, dad got a page. Andy and I went to the car to wait. It was taking a really long time so I went back to the house to see why. When I tried to open the front door, I couldn’t. When I finally was able to get it opened a bit, I found my Mom lying on the floor crying. She was saying ‘You don’t love me anymore’. Dad was still on the phone. I started crying and yelling at him to make her stop, which I meant him to do by telling her he did love her though in retrospect that seems a bit silly. He finally came and picked her up and we went for pizza. This was probably the most horrible moment of my entire life. To see my Mom, my everything, reduced to nothing on the floor was just more than I can bare. Tears form in my eyes even now as I remember it. And this is what I am afraid of. I am not afraid of losing my Mom, I am afraid of my Mom getting her heart broken and ending up crying on the floor again. I couldn’t bare something so horrible, again. Innately, I don’t trust many people (sorry) and I certainly can’t trust a man I don’t even know with my Mom’s love. Sorry, it just ain’t going to happen. I told all this to my Mom in an email and as of writing this, haven’t heard back. Ultimately, and I told her this too, I can’t stop her. As she use to say to me, ‘you are free, white and over 21’. But I just think it is all too much too soon and I can’t bare the thought of my Mom being hurt, again, by a man. So see, I am not so horrible and selfish. My concern is for her and me. We’ll see.

I found my new summer sandals but they aren’t sandals. They are Converse lo-tops, in black. They are super in and I have seen them in a numbers of ads (which isn’t to say that I am wearing because of that, but I did like what I saw). They add a little sport and funk to my somewhat feminine summer outfits. The best part too is no more blisters! You should see my feet. it is embarrassing. But now, with no straps to cut into my toes or the tops of my feet, they should be completely healed by end of summer (yes they were that bad). Now I will admit that the back of my left shoe has rubbed my heel but that will break-in easily and quickly. I am satisfied and they were cheap-ish (50 Euro for Converse lo-tops!)

Well I had another topic, about music, but I think I’ve said enough. The outfit is pretty old but the weather has been really nice. The dress is actually an Esprit nightgown I bought years and years ago (no idea where though I’ll ask Patrick and he might know). The very Gothic overlay was bought my first summer here in Budapest at Manier. I am sure some little old Hungarian woman hunched over it for days and got paid poorly but I paid a lot. it is fabulous, don’t you think. Check out the hair page because I have a killer new colour. New colourist at Tony and Guy, yeah!

the 5th

Check out my main Latte Man Dominik on my man page. He keeps both Patrick and I buzzed almost everyday! Thanks dude!

I think I am getting back to normal. Of course that doesn’t include the gym unfortunately. Maybe next week. Anyhow, the reason I think I am getting back to normal is two fold. One my ad campaign soon to begin at work for a useful meeting management methodology and two my conversation recently with Patrick on the 5th amendment. First the campaign.

I want a class that helps me to get to the answers. I hate political meetings. I hate finger pointing. So many times projects take much longer than they need to because we waste an enormous amount of time bitching and making statements about the issue that are dripping in social commentary. I can’t tell you how many trainings I have had with people where 90% of our time together is spent with me politely listening to their social comments about the office and HP. I want a method to cut through this. A manager once said in a Process Control meeting, ‘Finance won’t let us do the right thing’. What the hell is that! You can’t say that and hope to get anywhere. What I want is a tool to help me scrub that statement of the pathetic amount of bias and negativity to get to the useful part, because everyone’s opinions are useful when provided properly. Anyhow, not this Monday but next, I am going to do a picket in the office. Not like a protest but an advertisement looking for a method. Patrick and I are going to build me a sandwich board and I am going to march through the office for an hour making my request. I’m going to hand out fliers too. Then I want a class and they better give it to me. I think they will.

So this whole Enron thing really bugs me. Perhaps this is my Iran-Contra. Anyhow, with all these people at Enron taking the 5th, I only see this amendment helping people escape telling the truth. It’s a ‘Well I could answer that question but then I would be admitting I am guilty’. Well isn’t that what we are suppose to do? Accept our punishment? Admit when we are guilty? Are we suppose to use the law to help us get out of being responsible for something we are responsible for? I read a great ed. op article about how the CEO and various high level managers at Enron were going to have to do one of two things in dealing with the after math (in fact it was Scott Adams in the Dilbert Newsletter now that I think of it). Either admit they knew what was going on and accept the consequences or convince people they were incredibly stupid and didn’t have a clue, whereby, in my opinion, they are still guilty of not doing their jobs and should be held responsible. I mean it is the CEO’s job to know. Anyhow, back to the 5th. The only uses I can see of the 5th are for guilty people to not have to answer the question. Why can’t I be brought to the stand and be asked if I murdered that person (hypothetically of course)? Isn’t that what the trial is about? Now Patrick argues that yes guilty people can ‘abuse’ the right but the right is really to help innocent people from being made to make themselves look guilty. He sited the McCarthy hearings. I don’t see it. How did that help? The hearings were corrupt anyway and most people that got off, got off not by invoking the 5th but from some other technicality their lawyers were waiting and watching for. McCarthy and his people manipulated things so much that it didn’t matter whether you said anything or not, you were guilty if they thought so. So what good did the 5th do? Let’s take a hypothetical case. Let’s say you are a gay couple in Alabama and the local law enforcement doesn’t like ‘your types’. They get a probable cause warrant to catch you in the privacy of your own home doing whatever it is you want to do, which happens to be against the law. Is it really the 5th amendment that you need to protect you in this situation? Not in my opinion. It is more like a last resort that I don’t think is really going to help all that much at that point. This is my argument. The first law that failed you was ‘probable cause’. Does law enforcement really get to use ‘They seem gay’ as a probable cause? And does your neighbor have standing to make that assertion if it came from them? Next you would have various privacy laws that were violated. Not to even mention sodomy laws being silly to begin with (though admittedly the law in some states, more than I care to think about). If the local law enforcement and corresponding courts that issued the warrant are so corrupt as to have gotten that far, what good is the 5th? Like not having to answer the question ‘Are you gay?’ is going to help you at that point. But the 5th does seem pretty handy for people like the upper management at Enron. There isn’t necessarily a smoking gun as there ‘was’ in my hypothetical case and since they don’t have to answer the question, ‘Did you know/help move the debt to off-balance sheet companies’, they may get off. I mean Anderson seems to be the people getting in trouble NOT the company that did it! Anderson audited their books, and seemed to fail, but they didn’t keep them. Why aren’t the Enron people in the same bit of hot water as the Anderson people? The 5th, it seems. Couldn’t we rework that ‘right’, or some other laws, to shield the innocent, perhaps better even than currently, and not allow the bad guys a way out? I’m not sure what to change but I only starting thinking about it. And I wouldn’t suggest I, nor anyone really, could make that decision alone. But I do think we should think about it. Or?

I put this week’s outfit together was a bunch of stuff I’ve had for a while. Got the suede skirt at Ricky Martin and Christine Aguilera’s favorite store, H&M. They have this one line of clothing, Land of Graded Goods, which is sort of rugged but classic and of good quality. The skirt was dirt cheap too. In trying to find this outfits theme song, Patrick and I struggled quite a bit. I think it is baby girl Goth but Patrick said preppy because I was wearing a white shirt. Also, you are aware that you can click on the little pictures on the fashion page and get a bigger version, right? I hate those blue outlines for links so I always suppress them. Realized that those of you that have joined us recently might not know the secret and think these little pictures are useless, which they are mostly. Whatever. Cheers.