January 28, 2010

Too funny!

This site supposedly promotes a Wii game where you can go to Mass in your own living room and participate using wireless cross controllers:


Watch the trailer, but then click on any of the other links. It's really an ad for a game produced by the company we're talking to on Monday morning.

January 27, 2010

A moment of silence, please

Well, it's official. The company/client for whom I did multiple conference designs over the last couple years is no more. Click here for the article. There's a meeting on Friday to decide if they are going to do the Big Conference this June or not. Even if The Evil Empire decides to host the conference, I doubt they'd continue with us as the organizer/designers.

On the bright side, all my hard work seems to have paid off. We have a face-to-face meeting on Monday with a Game Publisher. We sent them a document in response to a 'Request for Information' last week. They called us back for the stand up. Yesterday we had a conference call find out what they'd like us to cover in the stand up. They kept making comments like, "When you meet with the other vendors..." Our client lead finally asked (in a very diplomatic way) who else was invited to the stand up. Answer: no one! They have them on the back burner, but at this point, it's ours to lose.

I'm excited to design graphics for a Gaming Show. Plus, I'd get to do all kinds of cool collateral development. AND (maybe) go to the show itself. Three days in L.A. getting my ears blasted deaf by all the latest in games. It sounds SO different than all these developer conferences.

Again, it's not over til the papers are signed, but it's exciting to think about. Of course, it also means a Monday 9 AM pitch to the client. Which means a 2-5 PM rehearsal on Sunday and a 7 AM-8:15 AM rehearsal on Monday. That part totally stinks, but the rest is fun.

Sunday night we had dinner with Lovey and Dovey. We asked them to pray for us, since we (especially I) seem to be getting beat up! It was so good to share life with them and have them pray for us. Mutual, life-giving friendships are one of life's most amazing treasures.

It helped me to refocus a little and remember that work isn't the point. I keep forgetting that! I definitely hope that wherever, whenever Jrex and I move to whatever job he gets, I can get a job that's 'just a job'. I've tried the career thing and it's overrated! I'd be happy to putter around doing freelance for wonderful clients and have a network of web designers, programmers and an accountant doing part-time work for me. That being said, it will be hard to leave the good friendships we've developed here.

I LOVE having the house back to just 'us'. I know that Jrex really enjoyed having his Mom here. It makes me glad for both of them, but I really missed him. If we ever do the long-term MIL visit again, I think we need to figure out how to make time for us in the middle of the Korean/MIL dynamic. Of course, that also applies if we ever have kids. Talk about a full-time intruder hell-bent on interrupting 'us' time. ;-)

January 21, 2010


Monday night I did, in fact, do a full face plant on the sidewalk. I lost half of my incisor tooth (the one next to the two big front teeth). No blood, minimal scraping on my face and just a slightly sore head and neck. Jrex was just relieved it wasn't worse (obviously!). I spent the evening alternating the frozen peas and the frozen corn so I could apply the bag to the whole left side of my face. It worked, I didn't bruise at all.

Tuesday was supposed to be a comp day after I worked 33 out of 48 hours over the weekend. Instead, I woke at 8 AM and started calling dentists to find someone to fix me. I found a woman locally who took my insurance and who had a cancellation. Phew! Three hours later, I had a root canal, a metal post being ordered from the lab, and a perfectly matched temporary tooth. I guess it's a two-stage process from here: in a couple weeks they put in the metal post, then two weeks after that, they cover that with a crown. Each time, the dentist makes a temporary tooth from scratch.

The whole time this was happening I thought about how amazingly blessed and pampered I am: I have a doctor on call to ask if I need to go into the hospital, I have multiple dentists in walking distance from my house, AND I have dental insurance. I thought about the health care bill and how many people might not gain these options, I thought about Haiti where a broken tooth is the LEAST of anyone's worries.

And yet the vain chick in me was SO relieved I didn't have to go into work with a broken front tooth.

January 19, 2010

The Klutz Quiz

You may be the sort of person who's never been injured. Who walks down the street and never stubs a toe or trips over a raised bit of sidewalk. Who views glassware with the careless assumption it will never break in your hands. Perhaps you're considering a change in status? You've become bored with your scar-free existence. If so, do you have what it takes to survive a world filled with sharp objects and hard surfaces? Take our quiz to find out:

While doing home repair you lose your balance, fall backwards and slice the palm of your hand open on a wallpaper scraper in a bucket. Do you:
  1. Lay there crying and hoping a neighbor notices and comes to check if you're ok.
  2. Call 9-1-1 and get an ambulance to chauffeur you to the hospital.
  3. Pick yourself up, rinse it, decide you need stiches, grab a handful of paper towels and then drive yourself to the hospital while calling your husband/wife/significant other on the phone.
  4. Stitch it your own damn self.
Your husband is cooking dinner for two doctor friends. You're setting the table. You try to carry three glasses at once. It's a mistake. When your finger is sliced open by shattered glass do you:
  1. Start crying and wait for them to leave so your h/w/s.o. can take you to the doctor.
  2. Call 9-1-1 for your weekly ride.
  3. Let the docs examine it, run over to urgent care with your dinner guests, get stitches and then come back and finish dinner.
  4. Tell them to stitch it. They're doctors, right?
At the end of a dog walk, you run the last half block. In the dark. In the rain. Unseen by you, someone's discarded Christmas tree has a really long trunk jutting into the sidewalk. After literally flying in the air you hit the sidewalk fairly hard. As you get up, you can tell that one of your teeth is gone. Do you:
  1. Lay there crying and hoping the home-owners will hear you and come outside. They should feel guilty!
  2. Dig out your cell phone and get to know a new set of ambulance drivers.
  3. Run back into the house and grab a headlamp while announcing to your h/w/s.o., "Change of plans. I have to go find my tooth." Walk slowly back to the scene of the crime and then scan the ground at a low angle with the light. Pick up the only chip of white you can find. Ask him if it's a tooth. When confirmed, take it home, put it in a baggy and call for a dentist appointment.
  4. That's what super glue is for.
If you picked number 1 for all questions:
Get up off the floor you wet noodle!

If you picked number 2:
Congratulations. You know how to work the system. Don't you have any friends?

If you picked number 3:
Well Done! You're good at handling shock and knowing what to do in an emergency. You have exactly what it takes to accumulate stitch scars and war stories and tell them with a smile. Rock on, you crazy kid. And maybe try slowing down, thinking a little and looking where you're going.

Number 4:
You eat bear meat, don't you? Raw.

PS. She left Saturday. Song of the day, "I'm Free! to do what I want..."

January 12, 2010

Poor Mom K

Well, she's now stayed long enough to experience 'real life' with a Bay Area couple. This week we are BOTH slammed.

I'm involved in designing a pitch for the bo0th for a gam1ng c0mpany. We (the creative department) thought we were totally on track to deliver. We met with our in-house strategist and account lead before brainstorming to agree on the deliverables. Then we spent two days brainstorming and worked over the weekend conceptualizing. Yesterday we met with the bigger team to report where we are at, parts of it went ok. However, they didn't like the 'theme'. In fact, at that point, the whole meeting began to degenerate into a feeding frenzy slice and dice. No fun.

Unfortunately, the creative solution is completely dependent on theme. The booth structure/solution seemed to be great for everyone in the meeting. It involves giant sphere5 that are actually 5creens for play1ng vid3o. Well, I can't base creative on just 'sph3res'. What's the metaphor? Lights, orbs, globes, planets, eclipse, sun, star, eyeball, donut hole? Each would have different elements. So...I know have less than three days (five if we count the weekend, which is obviously going to be necessary) to create branding around a concept that doesn't yet exist. And then layout a 70-100 page document based on that creative. Due Monday. AAAAGGGHHHHH. Panic. Mayhem. Stress. Backbiting. Terror. Bitchy-ness.

Jrex found out yesterday that a microscope he needs is booked for the next two weeks starting Thursday. Which means that he has to fit in microscope sessions on top of his normal 'easy' schedule.

Normally, I'd go home, walk the dog, eat a bowl of cereal and then go into my home 'office' and keep working. Well, the home office is occupied, so I get to stay at work.

Mom leaves Saturday morning, and I don't think she'll see much of us this week.

She's willing to walk the dog, which is a big help. This morning I took her out for a dog-walking tutorial where she did the actions with me coaching her. Now, this might seem like a silly bit of 'crazy dog-owners', but... we have a lovely mutt who is smart enough to milk whatever failures she can find in the system. As soon as she saw that Mom K was 'in charge', she did everything I don't let her do. She bit into a garbage bag, lagged at EVERY. SINGLE. BUSH (not even to pee, just to linger), ate every bit of garbage she could find on the ground and tried to wander across the street. I tried to teach Mom K to say 'Let's go!' and tug the leash. But she says 'let's go' in the same soft, sweet voice she says 'thank you', so the dog had no idea she was being corrected. Mom's tugs were tiny little movements. She also kept grabbing the rope on the retractable leash which is VERY dangerous. If the dog bolts while the rope is wrapped around Mom's fingers, it could amputate her finger. Anyway, by the end of the walk she was getting the hang of it. Jrex laughed when we told him about the walk, "Mom, you have to get mean!"

Between the miscarriage, my sore knee (can't help, must lie down) and now work, I've managed to either stay holed up in our room or busy at work for much of her visit. I guess it all worked out in the end! (insert maniacal laughter)

[Just found out the new theme. It uses the sph3res to show images, but has nothing specifically to do with them. Three days of work out the window...]

January 7, 2010

Glad to have a friend like you

I can tell people are praying. Since my last blog post, my mood has improved, I'm actually enjoying Mom Kim. Best of all, I think Jrex told her that I'm feeling down because of the miscarriage. It means she's been giving me space and not talking to me every second that I'm awake. This morning, as soon as Jrex left our room, she came out and chattered to him in Korean as he made the coffee. When Jrex left to walk the dog, she went back in her room and didn't come out again until we both were getting ready to leave. As a non-morning person, that worked very well for me!

In an unrelated drama, Tuesday was a perfect storm. I've always had a slight "pelvic tilt" with my right leg being a little longer than the left. This has led to a fallen arch on my left foot and lately, a sore left knee if I hike too long or climb too hard. In the past few weeks, it's taken less and less for my knee to ache.

The perfect storm? I haven't been biking since early December. Yesterday I biked to work. I wore high heeled sneakers (very cute). I sat on my balance ball (which puts strain on my knees to hold me in position) and I pushed myself climbing that night. I came home, took some ibuprofen and then had a VERY long night where I couldn't really get comfortable and had waves of pain every time I moved. When I walked to the bathroom in the morning any weight on my left leg was followed by a wave of nausea. Even sitting on the side of the bed with a bent knee made me want to throw up. My home doc did a quick exam and recommended calling my primary doc to get referrals for physical therapy and a podiatrist (for better orthotics).

My creative director is a wonderful man and he told me to stay home and rest the leg. My doctor fit me in. The most comforting thing though was having my climbing partner, Graceful, visit that evening. She's a rehab doc. Her exam was thorough and her explanation of my body mechanics made a lot of sense. There's nothing wrong with any tendons or ligaments (phew!!!). Rather, because of my body's 'assymetry', there's wear and tear on the muscles in my left leg. The places that the muscles attach are the main areas that get sore (my hip and the inside of my knee). It's 'just' muscle fatigue; therefore a good physical therapist should be able to help me compensate for my assymetry and equip my body to handle it better.

I like having friends who know people, or who ARE The Person.

January 4, 2010

By the skin of my teeth (what DOES that mean?!!)

I've had a couple friends comment that based on the blog, it seems like the visit with Mom K is going well. Which is both true, and not true at all. I just haven't had much energy to rant properly.

She's courteous, kind, generous, she stays in her room until we're moving around in the mornings, cooks, does dishes, straightens up after herself. As a house guest, she's fine. It's just that it's been two weeks. Which is WAY too long to share space and to share my husband.

A couple days ago, I complimented Jrex on what a great son he's being, but told him that I need some time where he's also my husband. In the evenings, after eating dinner together, Mom K's been going into the living room and watching Korean TV. Some of the soap operas are entertaining and many of them have subtitles, but it's not that relaxing for me. In Korean culture, whatever the oldest person in the room wants to do, that's what the group does. Instead, I'm playing my European card and choosing to go back to our bedroom and read instead. Jrex has been good about coming back to make sure I'm ok, but I hate that he even has to make that choice. Yesterday, he told Mom that he and I needed some time alone that evening. He made it OK by telling her I'm tired and upset about the miscarriage (which is true). We decided to go out for coffee/dessert after dinner. When I was ready to leave she launched into a diatribe, in Korean, to Jrex about his cousin's mother. He asked me to give them 5 more minutes. I did.

When we finally left, he was really frustrated with what she'd done. He felt manipulated and controlled by how she'd handled that. In the end, we had a good time just talking. Nothing hugely profound, just reconnecting after two weeks in hosting mode. It's a reminder that I married him for a reason--I LIKE him. I enjoy our conversations. I really miss them.

There's no return ticket yet. We keep asking her what she's thinking. All we know is that she has an event in NYC in early February. The last I heard, she might head back to LA on January 15th and then fly on to NYC from there.

There's so much more I could write about:
  • My delayed emotions finally hitting me. Nothing specific (no 'angel baby in heaven' or baby dreams or names or anything), just general tiredness and sadness.
  • Day trip on Saturday with Mom K and Jrex's cousin's wife, her friend and her daughter. How they'd ask me questions in English to include me, and Mom K would answer FOR me--in Korean. "So, you don't understand Korean at all?" Me, "Not a bit of it." Mom K then uses lots of words I don't understand, but from voice tone and gestures I can tell she's telling about me taking Korean class and putting Korean name cards all over everything in the house. Thanks. I could have told that one myself.
  • Being asked where I'm going, what I did, what I ate, am I going to wear a jacket
  • How frustrated I am with myself that I have all my walls up and that I'm beginning to be feel rude about it. Trying to give myself grace in the midst of it all, but feeling pouty and selfish and guilty all mixed up together.
  • How kind and understanding Jrex is being. Telling me to spend time alone, it's fine. Don't feel bad. Yet Mom K is increasingly silent when she and I are alone together. I'm not asking her questions because I. Just. Can't. Listen. Anymore. She's not stupid. And so I feel bad. Her whole life has changed and I don't have the energy to meet her where she's at and love her and serve her. Sigh.
Thus begins the New Year. Let the whining begin!

January 1, 2010

Happy New Year: your house smells like mackerel

Jrex and I have one day a year where we truly are 'cross-cultural'. For New Year's Day we do Korean for breakfast: a dumpling soup called mandu dok gukk, and then for dinner, I go German and do pork chops layered in the crockpot with saurkraut, onions and granny smith apples. Mom was excited by our tradition and wanted to make the breakfast for us. She added in a few traditional elements of her own, so I woke to the smell of pan-fried mackerel smoke.

Now, I like fish. I'm just not awake enough to eat it first thing in the morning. It's very traditional for Koreans, but even mandu gukk was a stretch for me when we started our tradition (Jrex rolls his eyes at me, but I'm fairly addicted to cereal for breakfast). I let them fish away without my help and enjoyed my soup breakfast.

I ended up picking up Lovey and Dovey from the airport this afternoon. We invited them over for dinner. They came and graced us with a bottle of Dom Perignon they'd received as a wedding gift. What a wonderful way to toast the New Year: good friends, good alcohol, good food.

May this year be full of fresh starts and may our lives bear fruit.