Ruam Mit

A) I went to farmer’s market today. There was a bike parked next to the spot I was about to take. Of course I couldn’t help notice:

1) blue Bianchi frame (road)
2) fixed gear – but it did have brakes
3) Brooks saddle

I wondered what the hipster twit who owned the bike was like. (OK, I’m being snarky, but actually I’m a touch envious that he has a Brooks saddle.)

As my luck would have it, he was unlocking his bike when I got back. I was gratified that he turned out to carry a messenger bag in screaming shades of red. . . and pink. I could not have scripted it better, when he said to his companion, an older man. “You know, I just realised that I don’t have a photo of me and my bike,” and handed his camera phone to the other. A few moments of posing, and then checking . . “Oh no, you didn’t quite get it right. Let’s redo..”

At that point I had finished loading my goodies, and had to take off.

Well at least his bag is a safety device that renders him visible. Visibility really is important when you’re biking.

B) I started my new gig a couple of weeks ago. It’s a very meaty assignment, which is good, because I think I’ve missed the intellectual/mental challenge in the past few years. Plus the commute by bike and Caltrain is much more sane.

But it’s also very intense. My initial reaction in the first few days was “This is like whack-a-mole. And it’s crazy that on day one, I already feel like I’m a month behind.” That doesn’t sound too good when I tell people, I think. So my new metaphor for it is, “It’s like having to learn Italian from scratch well enough for a singing role in La Boheme, when all you know is five words of Spanish.” (Once again, I am procrastinating work by blogging!)

The first few days after work, I would be making little groaning noises at the dinner table, because it felt so overwhelming. Joe would say, “Is it that bad?”
“Yes.”
“Have any little boys been molested in the process?” (This was at the height of the Sandusky/Penn State/Paterno scandal)
“No . . .”
OK, so this made me put it in bigger perspective, and make me laugh just a little. But another little groan would involuntarily emit itself a few minutes later.

My landing is somewhat cushioned by the fact that I’ve worked there before several years ago, so I know the cast of characters there, who are good to work with.

My role is essentially to be a stunt double for someone who’s assigned to another project temporarily. She started work at the agency right before I left, so I didn’t work with her much directly before. Her boss (the director) moved over to lead that project, so she also has a stunt double, who is my new boss, and relatively new to the agency.

In real life my counterpart and I are both Asian women with shoulder length hair, such that we could pass off as each other without too much work in hair/make-up, if we really were making a movie. My new boss, however, looks nothing like the original director – coincidentally another Asian woman with shoulder length hair – he actually looks and reminds me of Loutz, of running and ice cream fame.

C) Talking about music: I’m such a stick in the mud I don’t really seek out new music, much less seek it out. Everything I listen to is composed or sung by someone who’s dead, or probably hooked up to a breathing machine. Once in serendipitous while, I’ll come across something. Like my sister-in-law giving me a copy of Adele’s “21” recently. It’s really good, though I did the math when I heard her cover of the Cure’s “Lovesong” and realised she hadn’t been born yet when the original was a hit.

Or I’ll discover new music . . . by watching “The Simpsons” in syndication. I came across a recent episode that had these two drolls guys do a musical-style episode, googled them and voila, I have discovered Flight of the Conchords! Right now they’re auditioning for me, courtesy of the CDs I have checked out from the library. If they pass, I shall march down to the local Rasputin’s (which is going out of business) and purchase my own copies of the CDs. I can’t burn copies of the library’s, because there’s some skips.

Their songs seem to be crafted to appeal to my age-group. ‘Foux de fafa’ would be a Serge Gainsbourg song with lyrics lifted from my high-school French textbook. ‘Inner City Pressure’ is an homage to the Pet Shop Boys. ‘Business Time’ is a tribute to Barry White.

Cool . . . .

D) Hope you had a good Thanksgiving, with your turkey being as good as the side dishes.
We just got back from Thanksgiving in San Diego. It was excellent in a Groundhog Day way: the repasts and the days themselves repeats of prior Thanksgivings. (My only regret was that there was no Minnesota salad.)

The day before Thanksgiving, we had lunch at the Chicken Pot Pie place, complete with the ‘daily vegetable’ which always and forever is the frozen medley of corn, carrots, peas and lima beans; followed by a stop to the cemetery to bring flowers to the grandparents, and then swinging by Tom’s (Chinese) BBQ for a hunk of roast pork, a whole roast duck and a whole steamed chicken. (And it’s really good, even by SF standards.)

Thanksgiving itsef was pork congee for brekafast, fried rice for lunch, and dinner crowned by a juicy turkey and home-made cha-siu. My in-laws don’t believe in abbreviating the three square meals, even for Thanksgiving. Routine is a good thing, in this case.

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