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Showing posts from 2009

A letter of complaint to FedEx (I actually emailed this)

To whom it may concern: I placed an order to FedEx office services on Sunday (12/20) for three photo calendars as gifts (there was a free rush 3-day delivery promo to receive them in time for Christmas). In doing so, I accidentally left off my apartment number from my address. I called the proper Customer Service office on Monday to make the correction, and after two separate phone calls, the operator I spoke to the second time assured me that the change had been made. On Tuesday, I received a phone call from FedEx delivery saying that they did NOT have my apartment number, even though the day before, I had just been informed that the correction had been made. Once again, I had to speak to another operator, who this time assured me the change had been made. Wednesday - I received nothing. Today (Thursday, Christmas Eve), I called in to track my package, and was informed that there was an error with my address, and was ONCE AGAIN directed to an operator, who THIS TIME told me

Sometimes I miss being the student.

I'm not talking about the daily drudge of bell schedules and the busywork, but those special moments where your teacher says something that totally clicks in your brain and the lightbulb goes off, and your whole world CHANGES because you JUST learned something awesome. As an adult, even one who teaches, I don't get a lot of those moments anymore. Well, I just had one today... :) I just bought A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Great Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen , and while I'm only through a couple of the essays, it's really awakening the academic in me. I haven't been a student since 2005, when I got my MA in English, and I've long since buried that part of me in favor being the teacher. All of my "high-falutin' mumbo jumbo" had to be put on the backburner because my kids can't do that stuff; I'm going to be honest and say that I do have to dumb myself down a little bit in order to be able to explain the things that I know in a l

New Moon... kind of a review, but more like a list of whatever I could remember.

This is a list, sort of, of my thoughts on New Moon. I'm mostly trying to remember what I thought about the movie as I was watching it, as opposed to what I think after reflecting a bit. Also, I'm sharing my thoughts with you as if you know everything already. I'm not doing courtesy summaries, because you can Wikipedia that easily. Okay? So... my thoughts on New Moon the movie (NMTM), in random, semi-coherent rambling in which I'm lazy about italicizing titles: Let me preface this by saying that New Moon the book (NMTB) has always been my least favorite - not because I don't like it, but because it was the most painful for me to read. I remember it was a cold November when I finally picked up the Twilight series, and was going through some depression of my own at the time, so when I finally got to those famous blank "month" pages in NMTB, I seriously felt like maybe the only person more desperately sad than I was at that moment was probably Bella her


I'm feeling good lately. I've been working out a lot, and I just started my half-marathon training this week, and I realized that despite not having run in over a year, I'm running better and stronger than I ever have, because I'm in much better shape than I've ever been upon starting a training program. (A big ups to my trainer Raymond!) And I'm SO excited about derby. Granted, I've been having a hard time finding time or energy to skate (I've just gotten over a bad cold/sore throat), but now that I'm all better, I am ALL over this. I helped out at the double-header bout last weekend, and I'm SO excited to be a part of this. I just hope I can get my act together and pass the WFTDA minimum skills test. So things are going well. I'm finding myself, figuring out who I want to be (because it's so easy to lose yourself when you have to dedicate so much of yourself to raising a child), and I feel like my sense of self, much like my body, is

I have no will to live.

I'm sick as a dog right now. (Which doesn't actually make sense, because out of the five living things in my house, my dogs are the least likely to be sick right now.) I HATE being sick. I'm not one of those troopers who can soldier on cheerfully through illness. Being sick doesn't just affect my body; it depresses the hell out of me as well. Being sick makes me cry. Every throat-scorching sneeze, every wave of exhaustion, every breath through my mouth (because my nose is plugged up) - it makes me lose my will to live. So, in the spirit of misery, here another thing I hate: when people assume that I have it easy because I'm a teacher. We get summers, weekends, and holidays off, we get off work at 3pm, and it's not like it's hard to get into an education program. Easy, right? WRONG. Try this: - We work 9 months out of the year (and that's all we get paid for), but during the summer, most teachers are doing professional development (often because they

I love it when you talk derby to me...

So, if you've been able to follow my Facebook updates, you probably know that 1) I got a new phone, and 2) I'm joining roller derby again. Re: the phone I hate myself for having spent as much time talking and thinking about getting a new phone as I did. It makes me feel shallow and materialistic. I have no problem admitting that I would love to have an iPhone, but I do have a problem with becoming one of those people who does nothing but talk about iPhones (or any phones) ALL THE TIME, like it's the most important thing in the world, because they're totally addicted to their phones. It's cool and all, but really? It's a piece of machinery. It's a better piece of machinery than many others, but still, it's a piece of machinery that will one day break or become obsolete, so it's best not to get too attached. (That's what I have my laptop for anyway.) I had issues choosing a phone because I did want something that could do more than just be a phone

Watching my Weight

I joined Weight Watchers yesterday. This will be my last paid-diet attempt. I've done Nutrisystem; I've done Jenny Craig (for like, two weeks). I've even tried Slim Fast and diet pills (which also didn't last long because I hate taking pills), and I swear I've at LEAST flipped through every diet book known to man (or at least, our local Borders), and I think I've bought and donated more of them than most people own in a lifetime. I am a woman obsessed. The odd thing is, the only diet "plan" I could ever stick to was when I had gestational diabetes. Granted, I HAD to stick to it. But I like to tell myself that I COULD have phoned it in (like the lady in our GD seminar who INSISTED that there was no possible way she and her family could switch to skim milk or even 2%), but instead, I stuck to it. And I think I really have that to thank for the fact that as soon as my uterus was done deflating, I was back to my pre-pregnancy size and weight almost right

30 Day Shred

So, one of the greatest things about pregnancy was that I could give my body a pass - it didn't matter how big I was getting or what I looked like, because my body was doing a beautiful thing (growing a baby), and therefore, it was beautiful. On the other hand, one of the worst things about pregnancy was that I was very limited in what I could do physically. It was while I was pregnant that I really missed running and lifting weights. And I was literally about to re-join roller derby when I found out I was pregnant, so... yeah, that was over before it started. So it's October now. Jolie is 2 months old. I no longer have a pass... but then again, I no longer have anything holding me back. There is one recruitment meeting left for this season for SVRG, and I'm going to do it, and I'm going to do it the right way. I'm not taking it for granted this time - I'm going to learn how to skate, I'm going to learn the sport, and I'm going to whomp ass. Seeing a

Gotta love this!

She's 9 pounds now. Growing so fast!

Getting back to me

(This could be me. Why not?) I'm coming up on the six-week mark for post-partum recovery, and I'm realizing that I need to get my act together. These past couple of months (starting when Jimmy and I moved into our own place, about a month before I delivered), all I've been doing is lounging around the house and being lazy and not even getting dressed properly. Which is well within my rights, as a heavily pregnant woman and as a new mother. But the babymoon is over - I need to be a functional, presentable member of society again. And now that I (mostly) have my body back, it's time for me to put myself back together - open the trunk and find those parts of me that I used to be before I was pregnant, that I can still be again. I was never glamorous, but I was way into makeup (well, that didn't change with pregnancy), and was constantly trying to find a signature look. I fancied myself a low-key pinup girl, and had the pencil skirt to prove it (which has long sin

Jolie is one month old today!

One month and going strong. And getting better every day. And to think, we STILL haven't reached my due date yet! And look at my wonderful baby! Here's to the next month!

37 weeks.

This is how far along I would have been today, had Jolie not come early. So I guess that makes her full-term today, kind of. Jolie will be ONE MONTH OLD next Wednesday, and I can't believe it. The hours have gone by slowly, but the weeks have flown by, if that makes any sense. I can't believe how much she's changed in such a short period of time. Jolie at 9 days, two days before we left the hospital: Jolie yesterday, at 3 weeks, 3 days, SIX POUNDS!: In Asian culture, the first month birthday is a big deal - instead of having a baby shower before the baby is born, Asians (traditionally) have a huge one-month birthday party. I guess if the baby survives the first month, then it means she'll make it for sure, and it's cause for a huge celebration. That first week and a half in the hospital was just hell for me, with some rude nurses (there were some nice ones too, though) stressing me out about every little thing and making me feel incompetent just because

Jolie is one week old today.

These last seven days have been both the most wonderful and the most painful seven days of my life. Life is wonderful because, obviously, my daughter has entered the world and everything in my life has shifted. The love I feel for her just cannot be described. She makes me happy in a way that nothing else in my life can. (And that's not to say that nothing else in my life makes me happy; what I mean is that it's a specific kind of happy that only she makes me feel.) I could watch her sleep for hours. Even seeing her sneeze or make a funny face is the most amazing thing in the world. As she is discovering life for the first time, I am rediscovering life in new ways. Life is painful because it's been hard having to visit her in the hospital. This is the happiest I've ever been, but it's also the saddest I've ever been, and I think I've cried more this week than I have in a long time. I just miss her so much. I know she's doing well and she'll be c

The weather was nice, the Giants beat the Phillies, and I gave birth.

Dear Powers That Be, When I said I was sick of being pregnant and I was SO READY to have this baby and get it out of me, I really didn't think you'd take me seriously. This really wasn't what I had in mind. Sincerely, Thu PS - But since you did decide to listen to me this time, I have to thank you profusely for making this as easy and fast as it was. To say it was a weird day for me yesterday doesn't even BEGIN to cover it. It really started early in the morning. I woke up as early as 2am feeling some pain in my hips. This didn't alarm me, because ever since growing really huge, I get hip pain when I sleep (especially if I don't have a support pillow between my knees, which I didn't that night), and so I tried to reposition myself and then went back to sleep. I woke up feeling the same (but slightly worse) around 4am, and by 5:30am, it was no longer just hip pain but really intense downward pressure, and so I gave up on trying to sleep and just w


60 days to go.

I've watched the ripples change their size but never leave the stream of warm impermanence

I'm moving in two days. Jimmy and I are moving in together to a condo that my parents own, so we're renting it. It's a really gorgeous place, very private, and perfect to set up house and wait for Jolie to arrive. I'm very excited. So I'm a bit overwhelmed about having to pack up my entire life. Well, not my ENTIRE life - let it be known that I'm a bit of a pack rat. Well, pack rats keep stuff because they think they'll need it later, right? I keep stuff because I'm really too lazy to deal with it, and all of a sudden, the boxes pile up. So, I'm a lazy ass, is the real story. Out of everything I own, I really only want to keep, like, HALF of it - I've already donated over half my wardrobe (which made a sizeable dent, but I still have about 10 garbage bags' worth of clothing that I'm keeping - and yes, that's how I "pack" my closet). I'm donating over half of my bookshelf, and believe me, that breaks my heart more than a

It's the little things

I'm getting ready to move soon, but like, I can't move soon enough. I was happy about my living situation until I was offered the opportunity to move into my own place, and ever since then, I haven't been able to stomach ANYTHING about my previous living arrangement - every little thing annoys me that didn't used to annoy me before; people who I could tolerate previously are getting punched in the face (in my head, anyway); and I just am ITCHING to get the hell out of here. Like I said, things just can't happen fast enough. Jolie is kicking, usually at inopportune times (like when I need to sleep, or after I've had a big meal), and therefore, making me VERY uncomfortable, as happy as I am to hear from her. ("Hi Mom! Check this out!" *WHAP!!!!*) Jimmy just felt her kick for the first time yesterday, and I'm happy for that - it's a chance for him to really feel her presence. I'm glad summer has started. This year has been terrible, personal


... I just get tired of being asked "How are you?" all the time. Especially because I know it's only being asked because of my pregnancy (at least, by people who've never bothered to ask me that before I was pregnant). I feel like I should wear a sign (or, get tattooed) that says: - I'm fine. - The baby's fine. - It's a girl. - Her name is Jolie. - She's due in September. - Yes, I'm aware it's going to be difficult and I'm not going to sleep much. - If I want your stories or your advice, I'll ask. Thanks. And that should cut out all unnecessary small talk, and then the other person can either go along on their merry way, or talk to me about something else. I'm not just a pregnant person. I'm a person, PERIOD, first and foremost. Believe it or not, the pregnancy isn't the only thing on my mind. It's the most important thing, yes, but I existed before I was pregnant too. Ask me about my worries for my job; ask me about

Jolie's 24-week 3D ultrasound

Thu received a dvd of her ultrasound. It's 15 minutes long and set to Enya-type music. Thu refuses to let the world experience her daughter through Enya. So she edits it down to 8 minutes and sets it to Sigur Ros instead. It turns out that Jolie has chubby cheeks like her mother, is extremely camera shy, and might possibly have been trying to open an eye at the end there. I can't wait until I get to see my baby for real :)


Anyone who says that pregnancy is wonderful and lovely and beautiful either has never been pregnant, or has a fuzzy memory. In theory it's beautiful, because it's the creation of another soul and another life, and if you're a closet science nerd like I am, you're in uber-awe of how the simple division of cells eventually becomes a complex organism without any prompting from you whatsoever. (That's super cool.) In reality? It's a pain in the ass. Literally (depending on how your baby is sitting or where she decides to kick at that moment). It's difficult and draining and even disgusting . You know, when I was younger, even though I've always adamantly been pro-choice, I've always secretly told myself that rather than have an abortion, I would carry the baby to term and give it up for adoption. Now that I actually am pregnant, I have to say that there is no freakin' way that I would ever put myself through this only to not have a baby at the end

FO: Cropped Cardigan

Finished! Okay, I cheated a leetle bit. It's a lot shorter, and the sleeves are shorter, and I did a garter stitch hem instead of a turned-up hem. But it's fine, because you know what? It's summer, I'm pregnant, and it was 94 degrees today. I was going to do it much longer, but... it's hot, and I got lazy. This was a quick knit though, all things considered. This sweater was my first time doing an applied i-cord, and it was a LOT easier than I thought it would be. I think I was a little sloppy, but it wasn't bad for my first time. For the record, Malabrigo Worsted is the most heavenly yarn ever - in skein form, and in knitted form. I'm glad I didn't use all of it for this sweater, because that means I get to use it for a different sweater (probably another mini-sweater) later on. It's gorgeously soft - I can't wait until I can get more of it.

FO: Liesl by Ysolda Teague

I started this one in early March, and even though I didn't finish it until today, this is actually a REALLY quick knit. (It's just that, as usual, I took big breaks in between to finish/start other things.) It's double-stranded Malabrigo Silky Merino in Bobby Blue. Can I just say that Malabrigo might be my favorite yarn ever????? It's lovely to knit with and lovely to wear. I almost feel bad using it on a spring sweater because (obviously) you don't want a lot of material on your skin in hot weather, and Malabrigo is the sort of yarn you want on your skin as much as possible! I decided to do cap sleeves with a picot bind-off. I had originally intended to make this a full-length sweater (like, down to my hips), but I thought about the above fact that I would be wearing this in warm weather, and also, it might look funny with my huge belly sticking out between the fabric. So I made it short. I used almost exactly 4 skeins. I had intended to do a picot bind-off on

I have no more will to live!!!!!

I’m 16 weeks and I don’t want to leave my house anymore. Except to eat. I just want to lie down on the couch all day and nap and knit. My students make me crazy and give me headaches. I have no energy to stand up there and lecture anymore. I don’t want to do my laundry. I just want to watch baseball and knit things and wait for my 18-week ultrasound. Why doesn’t the law give pregnant women an entire year off (paid would be nice)? I could really use that. Starting right now.

FO: Forest & Frill

Took me long enough - Here is Tiny Owl Knits' Forest & Frill cardigan! I used Knit Picks Decadence (now discontinued), which is alpaca, my favorite. Double-stranded for the "body," single-stranded for the crochet trim. Made some mods: CO 114 sts for the longer sleeves, knitted about 13 inches of the rectangle before I wanted to rip my eyes out with my cable needle, and then seamed along the sleeves rather the body - so really, it's more like a shrug than a cardigan. I did five rounds of the crochet lace trim around the body (and none for the sleeves), leaving it more open because I'm 15 weeks pregnant right now, and all parts of me will be getting bigger. The yarn is VERY cozy and warm, perfect for a chilly spring or fall. And obviously very soft - I totally love this. It shouldn't have taken me so long, considering how it took me about two weeks to get the first 10 inches done. Then it sat around for ages before I finally got to 13, and then it sat

Makeup goddess? Then the gods must be crazy...

I don't consider myself a high-maintenance sort of person. The most I ever do with my hair is to straight-iron it, but most of the time, I comb it and pull it back - I don't even blowdry. My feet and hands are sorely neglected. I own lots of lotion, but it sits in my medicine cabinet, and sometimes I sniff them because they smell nice. BUT... I do love makeup. I'm a makeup junkie. But not in a priss-and-primp sort of way - while I own concealer and foundation, I rarely touch them. I'm not interested in minimizing my pores. No, I love COLOR. Color, shimmer, glitter... I love it all. Maybe it's my one artistic outlet - I can't draw, paint, or sculpt, but I can work my eyeshadow brushes like nobody's business. (On myself, at least. I used to do other people's makeup for fun, but now, not so much.) Liquid liner? Check. Smoky eyes? Check. Tube of glitter? Check, check, double check. I have major brand loyalty towards Urban Decay - they're the only br

Wish list!

Started a baby wish list . It is also permanently listed under "Places and Things" on the left side of the blog, right yonder underneath my picture.


12 weeks, 6 days :)

whoo! whoo! whoo!

That's the sound of my baby's heartbeat on the Doppler machine. It was going "whoo! whoo! whoo!" and then there was some other different noise and then it went back to going "whoo! whoo! whoo!" and my doctor said, "Oh, it sounds like your baby's on the move!!!" and it made me smile. I wondered what my baby was doing - covering its chest to protect its modest? Rolling over? Kicking? Punching? I'm entering the second trimester, and I'm not any less tired that I was before, really. I also still gag a lot (though I don't throw up) and get lots of heartburn. Also, I think I'm a couple inches bigger. I finally gave in a couple weeks ago and bought one pair of maternity pants because my normal jeans, even worn low, were starting to get snug. (My Bella band has been my savior!) I have an ultrasound tomorrow to screen for Down's Syndrome. I have no reason to think that my baby would be affected, so I'm really just looking forwa

FINALLY! Clapotis!

It's been over a year in the making! Done in Patons SWS in Natural Pink - not the wisest choice since it's overly fuzzy and took me ages to unravel the stitch ladders, but the colors and striping are really beautiful. SO, this project took me FOREVER because this pattern is just so tedious. Don't get me wrong, it's a well-written pattern, and the finished product is beyond gorgeous, but the actual knitting of it felt so long and boring. I didn't even get through 13 repeats of the straight section - I might've done only 8 or 9. (Not even double digits!) It took me ages to do about 2/3 of it, and then I left it alone for a few months, and finally, it took a few more months just to finish it. I would've frogged it if the yarn wasn't so fuzzy and snaggy, but since it obviously would've taken more effort to frog it than to finish, I just pushed through, and I'm glad I did. I don't know where or when I'll wear this thing, but it's one of

A moment to pause

We're heading into one of my least favorite stretches of the year - 7 or 8 weeks without a break. I am taking a few days off to attend Link Crew training, but I'm sure they won't really be "days off" - just days where I'm working hard somewhere other than at school. Add to that, supervising Trojan Olympics, finishing up KCI requirements, WASC coming to visit, starting two new books in my classes, and generally just BEING PREGNANT... it's all kind of overwhelming. I'm tired all the time, I don't really have energy, and I am lacking in motivation. Sometimes all I want to do is sit and stare at the wall. Like, I don't even have the energy to follow along with tv shows or movies anymore. So despite being at my lowest in emotional resources at the moment, I've got more responsibility to handle than EVER, and I'm dreading it. I could do any of these one, even two, at a time, but all at once? It kind of strikes fear in my heart.

FO: Seamless baby sweater

I finished my first FO for my baby! This is a seamless, top-down raglan cardigan. It's not unlike the sweater I made for Dakota - in fact, the basic sweater is EXACTLY the same; the only difference is in the construction. "Baby's First Tattoo" was knit in pieces and then seamed together (my first seaming job, which was incredibly difficult for me to get right), but this one was knit all in once piece, with only minor underarm seams to be sewn (and I was very happy about how that turned out). The yarn is Dream in Color Classy (worsted weight). I had a TON of this left over from another thing I'd made last year, so why let it go to waste? It's beautiful (especially in seed stitch), and it's also machine washable (definitely a plus for baby items). I knit the body of the sweater on circs and after trying to Magic Loop the sleeves and getting really frustrated with the screwy cord of my circs popping in my face all the time, I decided just to switch to DP

Ugh, morning sickness

I was feeling icky yesterday, but I woke up this morning with a raging headache (so I was already very queasy and sick), and then had to get up and go to the Kaiser lab for a glucose test, so they gave me this bottle of citrus-flavored something that I had to drink right away, so that made me REALLY sick. And then I had to sit around their office for an hour before they could take my blood. Ugh. I thought I was going to lose it right there. The tv was loud and obnoxious, and it was really crowded, so there were people just everywhere and some of them smelled (not bad, but you know how some people just have a scent? And right now I'm very sensitive to people's scents). And there was beeping and a loud printer whirring and seriously... I thought I was going to hurl. And then they drew my blood and I felt even worse, and when I finally came home, I sneezed a huge sneeze and THAT made me feel like I was going to throw up. But now that I've had something to eat and drink (final

Is this really happening?

Sometimes I ask myself that question. Actually, I've been asking myself that a LOT lately - is this really happening? Is this baby really happening? It seems like one minute I was feeling slightly ill and tired all the time, and now I've got stacks of pregnancy books and pamphlets from the doctor's office and my big 18 week ultrasound has been scheduled. It's a whirlwind, isn't it? It's surreal that I'm supposed to be carrying on normally at work every day, while seeing pictures of this little kidney bean growing inside me and reading that my uterus is the size of a grapefruit now. I've seriously only seen my baby on the screen once. I have slightly irrational moments when I think I've imagined the whole thing, or I worry that the baby has just disappeared, to trick me. I'm reading all these books and looking at illustrations of fetal development, and I'm experiencing the same thing that I would imagine people would experience the first time

Notes for my baby, part 5

In which Thu describes the magic of a holiday that is special to her. In many ways, I'm extremely American - I was born here, I speak Vietnamese with an American accent (rather than speaking English with a Vietnamese accent), etc. But in one respect (well, this is ONE of the many respects) I'll happily celebrate my Asian heritage - this weekend marks the beginning of the new year, the Lunar New Year (also known as Chinese New Year or the Tet Festival), and it's a time for well-wishing, well-being, and time spent with family. I'll be honest with you - when you're young, and you ALREADY spend every weekend with your family, the only thing that makes Tet different from any other weekend is that all the grownups in your family all of a sudden give you little red envelopes full of money. When you're REALLY young, it's just a dollar here and there, maybe five dollars, and it all went straight to your parents for safekeeping. When you get older (say, teenaged) a