Jul 10


Trust in friendships is a fickle thing. For some people, it’s easy to trust others. For people like myself, there’s a brick wall that needs to be torn down before trust can be established. In my case, that can take years. I may not develop a lot of friendships, but those I do have are very dear. I know that I can tell these people things without finding out later they’ve blabbed it to others. They also know that I’m fiercely loyal when it comes to such things, so they’ve nothing to worry about.

But the hardest part is always that first step, especially in an online environment where things you can type can be sent to just about anyone. I freely admit that I don’t put all of myself out there. People get to see a lighter, more frivolous person. My friends, especially my close friends laugh, “No wonder everyone thinks you’re nice.” I have to explain to them why that wall is a little thicker, a little higher for people online.

A few days ago, my husband asked me if I had seen something someone posted. I told him, “Oh, I hid all of her stuff and removed her from following me.” He asked why, since she seemed so harmless to him. I then told him about all the times things were said to her in private messages, only to have her turn around and tell the other person or someone else you just happen to know. Do you know how awkward it is to have a friend from one social site tell you a story their friend told them and it’s the exact same thing from a different social site that was told to be kept underwraps? This is exactly why I’m a bit weary of DMs, IMs and Skype. The topic often turns to gossip, which I want no part of, even in face-to-face settings. This is why most of my IMs or DMs are with guys. They don’t gossip as often as the women who IM or DM me.

We all have friends that we can trust to a certain degree. The one friend you can trust to always make everything about herself. The one friend you can trust to have a shoulder to cry on. The one friend you can trust to always find some way to get into trouble. The one friend you can trust to know just what to say, but more importantly when to say it.

And even though that first step into a deeper friendship can be scary. Keeping that trust in someone can be hard. I know. That’s why I let friendships go. I’ve stopped trusting them and the wall was rebuilt. But it’s really great when you get there.

Jun 10

Activities That Take Less Time Than Registering for Swim Classes at Richard Alatorre Pool

There’s incompetence and then there’s mind blowing WTFness that makes you worry that the people in charge are capable driving, breeding and/or voting. Today’s experience registering for swim classes definitely fall into the latter. With only 36 families in front of us, what should have taken, at the most 10 minutes, took a little under 3 hours. Two hours and 51 minutes, to be exact.

How is such buffoonery possible? Well, first off, they would not pass out registration papers to us while we were standing on line. Considering some people were registering 3+ children, logic would dictate that making the registration forms available would have been the most efficient way to handle this. When I spoke to the woman handing out the forms, she said that she’s only handing out 10 at time so that she won’t get confused.


Her exact words were, “Well, whether you have them now or get them later, you still have to stand in line.” I said, “I get that, I just thought I’d spend my time effectively. I thought this would be…efficient.” She just looked at me.

As we got closer to the front, I overheard her talking to other parents. That’s when I learned that the line wasn’t just for swim classes, but also for people signing up for team sports or the Jr. Lifeguard program. Once again, logic dictates that separating us into 3 separate lines would be the best course of action. Especially since, I also learned that after you filled out the registration papers, you’d have to go stand on one of these lines anyway.

What it came down to was that I got to spend 2 hours in the sun, standing on line to get a piece of paper that I could complete. Once that was done, I was given the opportunity to stand on yet another line, to give that paper to someone else.

I can think of several ways this registration could have gone so much faster. Making the registration forms available online, would be awesome. Even better, would be to allow for online registration in the first place. The multiple line suggestion above would have worked wonders, too.

Then I started thinking about other things I could have done that wouldn’t have taken nearly as long:

  1. Getting a new license at the DMV. Hell, doing anything at the DMV.
  2. Standing on line for a ride at Disneyland.
  3. Getting a DBA.
  4. Filing for unemployment benefits.
  5. Going through airport security. Internationally.
  6. Finding parking in West Hollywood during Pride.
  7. Getting an outside table at Doughboys.
  8. Listening to a speech by Bill Clinton.
  9. Getting inside the Federal Building.
  10. Visiting an IRS office.
  11. Driving to San Diego, Palm Springs or Santa Barbara.
  12. A dinner cruise in Long Beach.
  13. Watching TWO soccer matches.

I could go on, but what it boils down to is that whoever was the mastermind of today’s events should be fired. Immediately. Or at the very least, someone with half a brain should be in charge of registration from here on out.

Dec 09

New York Times suggest gifts for the people of color in your life

On FriendFeed, I was alerted to the fact that the New York Time’s Gift Guide for 2009, included a whole section for the people of color in your life.


I freely admit to being slightly amused by it. At first I thought it was a joke, but seeing articles and tweets about it, made me realize that it was an actual part of their guide. In 2009.

Naturally, I had to look it up myself. And…uh…well, read:

>>Of Color | Stylish Gifts


Somali fashion, do-it-yourself henna kits, children’s books that draw inspiration from the lives of Barack Obama and Sonia Sotomayor: it’s not hard to find gifts created for and by people of color this holiday season. Here are some possibilities.

There are some defensive people out there who think this is positively acceptable. They point out that the author of the section is black, so that makes it okay. Get it?

Now, I read some of the different suggestions on NYTPicker and kept thinking, “This has to be a joke.”, but uh…well…

For your Latino friends…

sotomayor Continue reading →

Dec 09

You don’t always have to share

The past few weeks on Twitter and Facebook, I’ve been privy to the rejection of my friends. They post things like “Coworker had a party. Invited everyone in my department, but me.” How are they finding out about these affairs? Through social networking.

One year, a coworkers hosted a holiday party at a local restaurant. She only invited the administrative people in the office. I was an administrative person in the office, but I worked for the district. I was not invited. That did not stop her from sending out the email to her ‘admins’ list which I was on. At the bottom of the email it said not to tell me because I wasn’t a branch worker. It also said not to mention it to her bosses. Unfortunately, the way the email system was set up, the team and branch managers were automatically cc’d on emails sent from her. She had no idea.

While I was not hurt at being sidelined for this event since I didn’t like that coworker anyway, her team manager was pissed. She then spent the next 3 weeks making all the admins miserable because she was excluded.

It’s great that these services have made it easier to keep in touch, to let friends know what’s going on, but for whatever reason people forget to filter. Maybe they forget that they’ve “friended” coworkers on these sites or perhaps they just have no idea that a coworker is following them on Twitter.  All the same, when there’s a private event happening, I’ve never understood the need to share that information.

Even before the advent of social networking it was just awful not only to see friends feel down because they weren’t invited to things, but to hear of social events from friends that I was not invited to. What’s the point of sharing that? Or rather, why say, “We had so much fun at David’s house last night.” as opposed to saying, “Oh, we had dinner with friends.”

My husband and I know this group of people who have been friends with each other for a long time. They take trips to San Diego, Tahoe or Vegas together. They have never once invited us to go along. That doesn’t stop them from talking about it. And over the years, I wondered what was wrong with them they’d do that to someone. After awhile, I just stopped talking to them. To me, it was clear that we weren’t considered “real” friends.

During the holiday season & especially with so many people using Twitter and Facebook to update their statuses, it only makes sense that you don’t post, “Getting ready for dinner party @soandso’s house. I love my coworkers!” or “Last night’s party at @coworkers house was wonderful! Thanks for inviting us!” knowing full well that there were coworkers who were not in attendance or invited. After all, think of how you’d feel to learn you were excluded from an event.

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Dec 09

Top 5 questions people say when they hear you don’t want to have more kids

I stumbled across this article titled: 9 Silly Things People Say When They Hear You Don’t Want Kids (And Ways to Counter Them). Just from that you know that the author is one of those so-in-love-with-their-own-cleverness sorts. Not that’s bad, but you know…you can come off like a jackass. I should know. I’m that sort.

That being said, the author has been kind enough to give unreasonably stupid responses to the unreasonably stupid questions nosy people ask or unreasonably stupid statements they make when they find you don’t want children.

The only one that was rather amusing was:

5. “But they’re so cute!”

This is a topping good reason to buy a Hello Kitty “vibrator,” but to bring a whole new person into existence?

We hadn’t planned on having kids. Even though I was asked these questions (which I do think is extremely rude), I was never a jackass like the author and most childless-by-choice people I see online. People did tell us that we’d change our minds and clearly we did. Otherwise, my stock answer to strangers asking “Do you plan on having children?” was “Not at the moment.” Pushers got ruder responses. To my friends, I typically responded, “The day after never!”

Having kids does NOT stop these rude questions. I have a girl and a boy and people still push us to procreate. When I get the questions below, I just, smile and say, “Yeah…we’re done.” (Hey! Who says I lack tact?)

1. “Well, I was raised in a large family. I loved the chaos. “

That’s great. For you. But I have to raise that chaos. My two already create enough chaos for me.

2. “But don’t you think your daughter should have a sister/son should have a brother?”

I have one of each and my husband has no siblings. We turned out just fine.

3. “But you make such cute babies.”

Your point?

4. “But what if something happens to one of them?”

My. Aren’t you just a ray of sunshine?

5. “You’ll change your mind.”

Just because celebrities have babies in their 50s doesn’t mean I want to join them. As it is, having these two in my 30s have wiped out all of my energy reserves.

Also note, the ones who push you to procreate are NEVER around when you need a sitter.

Nov 09

You talk funny

At FriendFeed, Derrick asked: Do you have an accent? The responses are interesting, in particular from those people I have spoken to or have heard recorded who said that they don’t have an accent when they really do. Funny thing about accents is that everyone has one, but no one thinks they do.

I’m from Kansas City, MO and we moved to Los Angeles when I was 8. I know I had a Midwestern one when I first moved to CA. I moved to a suburb where most of my peers were Latino or Asian. I was mocked mercilessly, not only on how I said words, but what words I used. The old soda  versus pop divide, for example.  I went on to get a degree in Broadcasting. Naturally that meant taking voice and diction classes and learning how to speak flat American English to remove all traces of regional dialect from my voice. This was to supposed to enable us to get jobs anywhere in the country. I must have done it wrong because since then, most people think I’m originally either from New York or Jamaica (this is before the dreadlocks, even).

My husband is half-Hungarian/half-Romanian. He came to this country (from Romania) when he was 10. When he got here, he didn’t speak a lick of English. To hear him today, you wouldn’t know he wasn’t born in the US, but then sometimes he says a word…weird. This is most likely an effect of him hearing his Hungarian mom or Romanian dad saying Spanish words with their accents. Or the words he only knows from reading, so he hasn’t ever heard them said out loud.  He can not, or will not, say words that start with ‘T’ or ‘Th’ correctly. That is, he’ll say ‘tongs’ as ‘thongs’ or pronounce the ‘h’ in ‘Thompson’.

Randomly people will ask me where he’s from because *they* hear an accent. It’s fun asking them where do they think he’s from. Around here, I’ve learned a lot of people assume he’s from South America. People do assume he speaks Spanish and he does try even though he puts his Hungarian accent on some words. In our old neighborhood many people assumed he was from the East coast, I heard a lot of Pennsylvania or Connecticut. This wasn’t based on reality, just what they assumed people from those states would sound like.

Needless to say, all these various ways of inflection have our kids sounding weird at times. My daughter has caught the “ruca-speak” from the kids in her school. She can’t just say, ‘no’. It’s ‘NOOOoooOOO’. It’s funny to think that at one point I sounded like that too.  Meanwhile, my son is sounding more like an Asian person learning English. I have NO idea how that happened, but I can’t wait to see what they sound like once they grow into their voices.

Sep 09


I just had the most painful conversation of the week:

Me: I’m calling to confirm that the appoitment for my son is today is at 1:30.

Receptionist: What’s your name?

Me: It’s a Anika, but the appointment is for my son

Receptionist: Oh. Okay. What’s your name?

I start spelling my name.

Receptionist: I can’t find it.

Me: You asked me for my name. This appointment is for my son. I just want to make sure it’s for today and not tomorrow.

Receptionist: Didn’t you write it down?

Me: I put it in my phone, but the girl I spoke to said something like, “It’s set up for the 2nd, I mean the 3rd” or vice versa.

Receptionist: Your son’s name is Vice Versa?

Me: What? [laughs] No, his name is Alton.

Receptionist: Oh. What is his first name?

Me: That is his first name.

Receptionist: Oh, that’s a weird first name.

Me [thinking]: This coming from a lady who thought Vice Versa was a name???

Me: Anyway…is his appointment today or tomorrow?

Receptionist: Spell his name.

Me: [spells name]

Receptionist: Has he been here before?

Me: No.

Receptionist: Oh, okay. Then we won’t have him in the system.

Me: [sigh] Look. I set up an appointment for him last week. It’s either today at 1:30 or tomorrow at 1:30. You will not make me believe that since he’s never been there before, he’s not listed for an appointment. That makes no sense.

Receptionist: Oh. Um.  Okay. It’s today at 1:30.

Me: *headdesk*

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Mar 09

Assholes at the Car Wash

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Nov 08


I’ve been watching Republican talking heads and politicians carry on and on about how this country is “center-right” and that Obama does not have a mandate.


Respectfully, Republicans…Stuff it.

Shall we get in the time machine and go back to 2004?  Remember that year Bush finagled 286 Electoral Votes, with slim 50.7% vote margin and you all claimed “mandate”?  Bush himself went on the TV boasting of his invisible mandate, and you all followed lock-step like sheep.

Sen. Obama has received 349 Electoral Votes with 52% of the vote margin.

No mandate?  Are you kidding me?  You’ve squandered 6 years of control; abusing your power, demonizing those of us who disagree with you.  You’ve proven that you do not understand what the American public wants or needs, but more importantly that you do not care.  The fact that you think that we are or should listen to anything your irrelevant pundits say is laughable.

So, please. Go concern-troll elsewhere, but I tired of your incessant babblings on my TV, in my periodicals and online.

Oct 08

GoAnimate Stereotypes

On FriendFeed, I learned of a new site called GoAnimate where you can create your own cartoons.  I enjoyed just watching what others made, but decided to get creative myself.

It’s a nice service and easy to use, especially if you’ve used any kind of video or audio software. The site is pretty new, so there are not that many backgrounds, people or props available. Sound effects are nil and some of the effects render some scenes useless. It takes a lot of forethought to put together the puzzle pieces in creating fluid scenes.

But I want to backtrack to the people options. When you click on the face icon, you get 4 choices to for your people. When you choose the “Cartoon Classics” option, you’re faced with a lot of white characters and 3 black(ish) men. The men are: a mail carrier, thug and basketball player. There’s a Latino construction worker and an Asian geek. There’s one non-pasty white female, but she’s skanky-looking and has blond hair. I’ll assume she’s super tan.

Is this what the artists behind GoAnimate were gearing towards? There’s no option, like say on Second Life, GoLively or IMVU, where you can darken a character’s skin or change their body type. I understand that you can create your own person, but that sorta defeats the purpose of the service; to allow non-animators the ability to be creative.

Hopefully, this is just a small oversight and people of color will be represented in non-stereotypical ways.