Tuesday, January 30, 2007

i was in a meeting with the Chief Information Officer for UC Berkeley yesterday seated at the end of a long very narrow table filled with all the members of his office.

i look at the faces of those surrounding me and size them up in a very superficial manner: smart, smart, faker, slacker, brilliant, diligent, hanger-on, go-getter, lifer, retirement-seat-warmer. i do not know where i fit in. i'm a brilliant slacker, a smart faker, a seat-warming lifer. and yet they keep inviting me to these darned meetings as if i have something to add. i start to think, surely i can't be the only one in here who wonders what they're doing in this meeting?

the CIO says the nation watches what happens at UC Berkeley and as a member of this office (the office of him, the CIO) "What we do will affect universities throughout the nation." i think, i do not want to affect the nation or have the nation watching me. i want to leave this meeting immediately and go home and do my one and a half hour easy ride. i want to be with daisy and minnie and go have a mojito with ippoc.

he says after he talks for 45 mins he's going to have a question and answer session about our goals and objectives for this office. immediately, i begin to panic, because i am hopelessly without goals or objectives for this office (although i think it could be heated a little better and the lighting could be brighter, and the stains on the rug ought to be cleaned up). the panic grows as i imagine the brilliant answers those around me will give to his brilliant questions. could i have a coughing fit and leave the meeting and not come back?

"Okay," the CIO says, "that raps up the first part of the meeting. Let's move on. "Who's heard of the Capitol Project?" hands rise all around the room, none of which belongs to me. a moment's pause, then the CIO says, "Erika, what's our target?"

all eyes in the room turn to me.

all my fears come true. i will be caught out for the brilliant faker seat-warmer that i am. but then this other thought occurs. i never, ever, signed on to have goals and objectives for this office. why do i now have to pretend to have them? this is ridiculous, i think and so i say with absolute confidence, "I don't know."

"Good answer," he says. "neither do i."

perhaps this is the beginning of something.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

they bought me a new computer at work. it's a laptop. sleek and purdy. runs windows and OSX. and i have a new monitor. it's about the size of the windshield on my pickup.

oh and it all came with this for free. wheee!

now i've got four blogger windows open on my new huge ass screen and thinking about hooking up my new toy and checking out iTunes.

do they want me to work??

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

i hate public speaking. i'd rather take a shot to the head than speak in public. so we have these 1.5 hour weekly meetings filled with go-getters and me. i never talk in these meetings. sometimes i chuckle which i hope will count for talking, or i nod with gusto.

the truth is, i feel so overwhelmed by the shere brilliance and absolute tedium of my fellow meeting-goers who actually create work for themselves ("I propose we write a proposal and present it to the directors and then write a business procedure to revamp all of the IST websites...") like who asked you?

there's this one super brilliant speciman who is perhaps twenty-six. she changes her hair color, it seems, every other tuesday. this week, she's a blonde. she runs the meetings, and if anyone suggests we need to create a Wiki, or an Excel file, or some such thing to document what we've discussed, she quickly hooks up her laptop to the projector and creates the file right then and there while everyone watches.


i try to make my face look like i'm concerned about the direction of the business procedure plans. i narrow my eyes and lean forward with my hand in my chin. or i sit back in my chair with my arm draped over the back of the chair like i own this meeting. mostly i drift off and wonder how (in the hell?) did i end up here? what strange path led me to this room filled with these inspired people who want to create work for themselves? oh yes. i got canned from my last job making granola.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Look what we won!

So much fun racing with the Bellas. And not so hard as Michael's crit workout last weekend.

Friday, January 19, 2007


so i vowed i'd do my damn PREP for the Cal Aggie crit but i didn't really want to but in the back of my head was her voice saying, shouldn't you be doing your PREP. but i really didn't want to do my PREP...have i said this? but still i dragged out my messed up trainer that's missing the crank arm that tightens down the wheel. so i had to find a pair of pliers to tighten the crank arm to tighten down the wheel, all the while thinking, i don't want to do my PREP. then my skewer didn't fit into the bolt thingy on the trainer. so i said fuck it, i ain't doing my PREP. but her dang voice was in my head. so i put another skewer in and tightened down the dang crank arm. still the bike was tipping over. and i thought i don't care, i don't want to do my PREP. and she said, don't worry about it, it's only a training race.

love that voice.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

called in sick today. so i sit here with the babies. daisy jumps up on the bed to be next to her beloved minnie, who instantly jumps off the bed and curls up in his cup. daisy watches him.

can a cat feel rejection? i think i see it in her eyes. she curls up near me. she lets out a groan and gets to work napping. big day ahead for the three of us.

my mother calls to thank me for the scarf i gave to her at Christmas. she’s at the dog park with Teddy. "hang on a sec" she interrupts. I’m so used to this.

"Teddy!" she screeches and i have to hold the phone away from my ear. "Sorry, he's found a dead rat," she tells me. i hear her running, chasing after Teddy. She's a little winded. She's no match for Teddy. Even in her little Puma tennies. he taunts her, runs in circles around her legs.

"Teddy, put the rat down. Teddy!" i have one eardrum left. i move the phone to the other ear.

I wait gazing at my precious kitties. is that cat pee i smell?

I eye Minnie. I walk around the room sniffing in his pee corners of choice, while my mother's frantic, pleading requests to her crazed rat eating dog go unheeded.

“Teddy come here now!” she commands. as if.

I definitely smell pee, somewhere in this room. I sniff the chair where minnie sleeps. my stack of clean clothing on the desk. i sit back down next to Daisy and wait for my mother.

"He's in a tree," she says. "with the rat. I better go."

Cats. That's where it's at. Non of this screeching in the park, tree climbing, varmint chewing stuff for me and Ippoc. No our precious little babies just sit here, cute and soft and fat (daisy)...and I definitely smell cat pee.

Friday, January 12, 2007

kitty birthday wishes

daisy and minnie want to wish Sabine a happy birthday.

Daisy started celebrating a little too early and paid heavily.

minnie has his own unique sense of birthday style.

before they took a well deserved cat nap, they requested that we wish Sabine a happy birthday.

Happy Birthday Sabine from daisy and minnie!

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Bush's new plan is a lost cause. i know this even though i've never fought in a war, never commanded troups, eaten any MREs, fired a gun, piloted a warplane or worn fatigues (apart from a pair of cool shorts from the GAP a few years back). what our man Bush is experiencing is a really bad relationship that's gone wrong and he can't let go. he's a chaser and Iraq is the distancer. the more he piles it on the worse it's gonna get. i know this from experience. i was crazy about this girl once and she said she was crazy about me (i'll add that this came after a few Bushmills). the bad part was that she already had a girlfriend who she lived with who was still crazy about her, so she wasn't about to toss either of us aside, only i was betting on that i was going to win this struggle. (Admission: this was years ago, i was really selfish, and dumb and hardheaded and wouldn't listen to reason: remind you of anyone?) i bored my friends to tears with my woes. i cornered them at cafes and in bars. i got them on the phone and wouldn't let them off. on and on i went about how she would really be with me "except" for this other person who she felt bad about. i learned really quickly which of my friends would give me the responses i wanted to hear. my good friend David would listen quietly and then clobber me with a statment like, "boy you must really love feeling bad." then there was Michael who would simply repeat my words "she would leave if she could," followed by a breathy, questioning "hmmm?" that made me want to take out a gun and shoot him. so i stopped asking them for advice. i went instead to my crazy messed up mother who was in the midst of a rotten relationship with a married man. i can't say she offered me any words of wisdom; she was too busy cursing her boyfriend. but i knew i wasn't going to hear that i was a fool and that i was going down the wrong path. uh-uh. no i got exactly what i wanted to hear: be patient, stick it out, things may change. so i forged onward, bulldozing my way into this girl's life, refusing to take no for an answer. i wasted a lot of years until one day it dawned on me that i would not win the battle because it was not winnable: she was perfectly content to have both of us in her life. the battle was all mine to lose and lose i did but moved onward.

Monday, January 08, 2007

sometimes i don't read instructions, signs, email, labels. I see them out of the side of my eye, hanging off a new purchase, or right there in my email box waiting to be opened, read, obsorbed, processed but i just want to push them aside, delete them.

like this whole blogger thing. there's all this information coming at me each time I want to put up a new post. something about a new blogger, a google account, beta is dead and yet i don't (won't) bother to stop and read it. instead, i click and click and enter in many versions of various passwords and email addresses until i get to where i want to be -- which, in this case, is right here to enter a post.

i don't know i just feel overwhelmed by information coming at me. i know i'm not the only one who must feel this way?

i get all this email at work. announcements after announcements. much of it is not for me, some of it is, bits and pieces of data that i need to take care of. and the one time i say, "screw it," and delete it, it's most often the email that i should have read. and the person who sent it is most often the kind of person who knows for certain she sent it.


Ippoc is not this way. she reads the fine print. she saves the fine print and the box the fine print came in for years (and years). and this difference between us creates problems. i've tried to be a little bit more diligent. i now save receipts. i put them in a little envelope in my top desk drawer. they sit there and sit there until with great joy i toss them out (sooner than i should, probably).

and as for email, well if it doesn't grab me in the first couple of lines, i start skimming. and the bad part is, i know there's information i should be absorbing, but my head these days feels like a trash compactor; there's just only so much you can shove in there.

but, just what the hell is in there? ippoc often wonders.

but for the sake of a harmonious living situation, i am trying to change my ways. before heading off to bike rides, i now make a point of writing down the directions and then remembering to bring them with me.

i have much work to do. but like that line from that movie with Jack Nicolson and Helen Hunt, she "makes me want to be a better person".

Monday, January 01, 2007

i had planned to do the san bruno hill climb today and last night i dreamed that i was there. it was a lovely day, in the dream, and the hill was a beautiful wooded road. off we all went. there were people i knew. i recognized VB. we were climbing, climbing. and then we came to a flat section at the middle of the climb before the road tips up one last time. and it was there, in my dream, that i decided to stop for a slice of pizza.
but first i had to check my bike and shoes in and so i did. I was given little numbers for my checked items. i recall watching the person preparing my slice of pizza with black olives which is my favorite kind. i admired the way the pizza maker placed each black olive next to the next black olive so that the slice was completely covered in black olives. i was happy with my pizza and ready to enjoy it when i thought "Bella didn't stop for pizza." so i went to fetch my checked bike and shoes to continue onward. i handed over my ticket stubs and waited for my bike. maybe i haven't lost too much time, i thought.

"there you go," the person behind the counter said. "but this is not my bike," i said. they'd given me a motorized bike.

still, i eyed the engine and glanced up the hill.

and then somehow, as dreams go, i found myself in a locker room changing into a swimsuit thinking this'll be cold coming down the hill in. but i put the suit on anyhow.