Category Archives: Umisms

Maybe someone more knowledgeable can set me straight, but I don’t understand what charges they can bring against modern Polygamous couples, like the one highlight in the current “Sister Wives” scandal. I don’t see how they can charge him with “marrying” more than one wife, when it’s illegal to begin with to marry more than one person.

Let me explain, there is no way legally that all four of his marriages are legal, so technically he isn’t breaking the law, right? I mean, he’s cohabiting and having sex with 4 women, one of them his wife, and their children. I don’t see what charges they can bring towards him. What’s the difference legally between this and someone with an open marriage letting someone who has a sexual relationship with one or both of them live with them for a while? Seriously.

In the very least, I suppose a conservative place like Utah can claim that it’s a harmful environment for their kids and attempt to displace them… I wouldn’t be surprised if they were able to do something like that.

Of course, I don’t know the law in Utah, or in many other states, so I can’t really say whether there is some other archaic law binding them.

I feel like in this instance, people are calling this marriage a marriage, because it helps them damn them. Whereas other situations where people consider themselves privately married and living with each other are not recognized under the law as marriage.

Everyone knows that I LOVE THE OFFICE. Parks and Recreation got off to a bumpy start, but I really like Amy Poeler and after a while, the show really grew on me. It was a subtler humor, not as sad or as sardonic as the office, but kind of light hearted and zany. And some of the humor is SO abstract. I love Ron. He is my favorite character, I think. I love how he loves breakfast foods, enough that there is a mention of it in almost every other episode (how there is a larged framed picture of eggs and bacon as his decor. I too had a picture of a banana… committing suicide…).

I love how Parks and Recreation is different. All the main characters on the show are quirky and weird, but in a different way than in The Office. I like how, “Middle America” it is. I like how it’s a departure from the British-based show and something completely different. I like how both shows are feature bosses/management being completely passionate about a thankless job that most people wouldn’t think twice about. I was really skeptical about the show, but I think it’s really well conceived and has finally developed a great identity. I’m just afraid that it doesn’t have too many fans as of yet… (And I am secretly afraid it is turning into a show that focuses on romantic relationship/melodrama… instead of awkward encounters and other work based quirky work relationships.)

And really, work is just like The Office and Parks and Recreation (and even 30 ROCK!). Seriously. People get really bored. For example, at my last job… I had an on-going “cube war,” with the guy who shared my neighboring super cubes. (As people left, we would poach and take over other cubicles, as F-ed up as that sounds.) One time, he spent … I don’t know how long, making like hundreds of tiny paper balls. And then waited until precisely the right moment to ambush me showering me with it all, shouting, “CUBE WARS.” Unfortunately I was in a really foul mood and he almost made me cry. :P But yes, this was also the same guy that made creepy masks of people in the office so that a bunch of us could wear it and walk around being … a group of really creepy people.

You know, fun times.

I think work comedies are a really good idea, because it kind of forcibly brings together a diverse group of people, the audience can definitely relate to most situations, and zany shit really does happen.

One time in one of my other jobs, someone high up was getting fired. As one of the managers of the IT stuff in the office, I had to watch her pack up and walk her down. In the process the woman took out a crystal ball (and I all ready knew she had some zany new age stuff up her sleeves) out of her desk, and asked me to keep it for her. An awkward exchange happened, where I just said, “No.” And she was trying to be sweet and leave it behind. Yeah. Don’t ask. I think she pawned it on the controller until around 6 or so months later when she had some random guy pick it up.

Everyone has odd coworkers, right? When I was in my government job, there was someone everyone referred to as “Inspector Gadget,” because he was a hoarder and would go dumpster diving. All the weirdest stuff (like when I needed to get my key altered (cut/trimmed a little), you would go to him and he would have EVERYTHING and the most random-est shit ever.

Everyone has crazy work stories. Next time, over a few beers, ask me about the time I came back from the Consumer Electronics Show and had to deal with a bleeding crack addict in my work elevator… coming at my coworkers.

I am convinced that I have enough true life material to come up with at least a season’s worth of materials. I really do.

(Hey I noticed something funny. I’ve worked for a sales oriented company, aka. a Dunder Mifflin, a government office/branch, like Parks and Recreation, and am currently working for a network… kinda like 30 Rock!)

Here’s the thing, insurances, the different plans, the separate plans for health, dental, vision, home-owners/renters, pet insurance etc… I just don’t want to deal with it. I’ve gotten screwed over, especially with dental plans in the past. I’ve come to accept that it’s going to involve a continual *ss-r*ping, if I can be crude.

I’ve never had insurance growing up. I think I did up until a point where I got gravely ill and Blue Cross/Shield whatever refused to pay my parents and they went all rogue just paying for medical in cash. That might freak you out, but I was used to it. I went through years of life without any insurance. Now that I am grown up with a job, I have insurance for myself, but I can definitely understand why anyone would lose faith in the system and just say, “screw it!”

I got a root canal done on a tooth that is still a baby. Long story short, adult teeth doesn’t exist there, so I still have my baby teeth. Since I cannot afford a $3,000 implant, I would like to keep said tooth. I got a root canal done and a crown put on. The insurance paid for part of the crown, but I paid for all $1,200 of the damn root canal (and then like $300 or so for my part of the crown). It sucked.

This time around, when my crown came off, I am told that my current insurance isn’t accepted by them. I can either go somewhere else, or they will just charge me for the extra post they put in (and they will give me a crown free of charge). Fine. So I am going to pay them another $300+ for that. Are you following this, internet? SCREWED out of dental. What is the point of opting into my dental plan…? Should I change to a PPO that is accepted? Find another dentist? (I am a little sensitive to dentists)

Headache. And now, I need to find renter’s insurance. Really, I was skating by without getting one for so long. Recently someone in my building was in need of some security like that… I’m not sure of the details, but it reminded me to hop on it. Do you know how mind-numbingly annoying looking at different quotes and shopping around is? I am ready to almost throw in the towel.

I just really hate navigating these waters. I think that maybe I just want my choice eliminated. Just give me something and it will be the end of story. If it sucks, I can complain that it couldn’t be any other way and go on with my life. Of course I am only semi-serious…

For example, my mother’s Medicare. I HATE reading about what plans were discontinued, what she can do to amend get other drug coverage, and all these other companies wanting to sell her a second insurance. For the most part they all seem like scams. Like, really does she need an extra AARP plan that might make her primary insurance not want to pay for something because she has an alternate plan? Am I suppose to be doing something here? How do I advise her? How is she expected to know what to do?

Maybe this would interest me if I hedged and made bets, but really insurance shouldn’t be about that. We can’t really possibly be expected to make a choice on all these promises when we have no real way of knowing whether they will follow through. THAT is what really pisses me off. I don’t understand most of it but I’m forced to navigate the waters going on what little I think I get. This is exhausting and just depressing.

So much of a lot of businesses is dealing with abstract ideas of much speculation. You know, when businesses play with money they don’t have yet, but their projected profits for the future. We’re putting money away for very idea of some future we don’t know about. That’s fine. But even the insurance isn’t any guarantee that everything will be taken care of. Not to get all meta up in here, but we need a contingency plan on these insurance policies. For reals.

Brooklyn is a very distinct place. I remember the fragmented image I had of the place right before I moved in. In High School, it was either residential, scary, or bare. I ventured into the borough only 3 or so times. By the time I went to Graduate school, it was a hip hip place that all the people in my program moved into (that and it’s low rents). I think that was the time that I really explored Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Prospect Park, and not yet gentrified Flatbush area…

I remember bringing my mother over to see my apartment, walking from the train station through warehouse neighborhoods. She called it a “Slum,” and I just said that she didn’t understand. I live in a residential street with tons of local families and new transplants living together. For the most part, for the three years I’ve been here, there have been couple of incidents that made me feel shitty (like local kids throwing things), but for the most part the good out-weigh the bad.

Although I have been told that Bushwick has immense hipster clout, for the most part, I think the outside media imagines most of it. Most people here are down to earth, living here because the rent is right. We’re just riding the coat tails of some of the transplants from Williamsburg, who are probably just too cool for words, but spends most their time hiking it up to Bedford. In fact, East Williamsburg feels more like a young artist’s commune than party central. For example, there is this article I read a few weeks back in the Style section of the NY Times about Bushwick Collectives that is really great. It dissects the food, art, and living communities that exist in this hub between Montrose and Dekalb.

I personally really connected with this neighborhood after discovering and patron-ing a lot of the great watering holes that exist now. Before that, I felt a little like I was stuck.

There has been several articles in the New York Times romanticizing or condemning Bushwick. There was an article a few months ago about commune living here, where poor artists live in bed bug ridden warehouses with no doors or no privacy for super cheap rent. I think it fascinates a larger part of the Times audience that lives in Manhattan. Yes, I know of many occurrences where this happens. However, a lot of people in Bushwick are 30s-near 30s, living social responsible, non-communal lives.

Of course, for responsible family living, Prospect Park area/Park Slope is known for the mommy carriage invasion. Bushwick, seems to attract, perhaps because of the living spaces, singles and youths. Park Slope, on the other hand, seems to have sprawling beautiful brownstones and new complexes being built (which is also happening in Bushwick, though) that seems more condusive to family life.

Bushwick/East Williamsburg really grew on me. The kicker are the great bars and restaurants (because that’s really where my priorities are at) that are popping up all over the place. Bodega Bar, the Narrows Bar, and Momo Sushi Shack just to name a few recent notables. I mean, it’s to the point that we are scheduling bar crawls in my neighborhood, starting with Wreck Room, Narrows, and then Tandem, eventually ending up at Bodega Bar. Seriously.

Anyway, the article does a good job of summarizing the collective mindset that exists in a lot of the businesses in the area, which I think is amazing.

Roberta’s, for example, the locavore pizzeria near the Morgan Avenue L stop, acts as a kind of community headquarters for area residents and local business owners. In a backyard tent, the managers of the Wreck Room bar and the Deth Killers of Bushwick, a fashion company, can be found doing inventory on their laptops…

In addition to food advocates, Bushwick is loaded with artists. Many have formed collectives to combat the isolation of the studio, the disappearance of state arts funding and what they see as the commercialism of the art world. Rather than petition fruitlessly for Chelsea gallery representation, these groups exhibit their work wherever they can — bedrooms, stairwells, street corners.

Although the article features the Times darling, Roberta’s, I think they should have done some more research in the new places opening up and creating communities. There is the Loom Space, which I first discovered during Bushwick Open Studios. It is a large beautiful space filled with odd stores (Better Than Jam – great dress shop, Knitting Stores, Hair Salons, Bike Shops, Furniture Stores, and a Shabbat) and a HUGE rent-able bar with a sprawling beautiful back door space. It’s like a re-conceived notion of a mini-mall. Really, like a Brooklyn interpretation of a small business owned mini-mall, within a beautiful art gallery. You shouldn’t let the stark outside fool you. Come in doors and prepare to be a little impressed. When there is a party going on inside, definitely peek in. It’s pretty happening.

Another group that I feel should have been mentioned is Laundromat Gallery. I’ve spoken about The Laundromat before, which is a community apartment loft converted as a gallery, run by Kevin and Amy. It features local artists and as well as visiting artists, such as their many featured international artists. They have a lot of ties to the artist community in Bushwick and got a lot of press for their Burger show.

Finally, another group the Times should have included is the burgeoning theater group, Hybrid Theater Works, which did a huge collaboration with Brooklyn performance artist at the end of August. Although I think their headquarters is downtown Manhattan, Tracy who runs it is a recent Brooklyn-ite that runs these great shows on Bushwick rooftops.

A real community is continuing to develop here that’s pretty exciting and I hope to be celebrating it here, on this blog.

At work I’ve witnessed several moments where people “lost it,” this week. I don’t know what it was about this week that did it, but it was from all the different corners of my work life. Seriously. I’ve appropriated my supervisor’s analogy that we’re all in a sandbox, and no one is behaving nicely. Pails are being tossed about and shovels used to hit each other.

I was running through entries on my blog and I had one post right before I started at my current digs. I was apprehensive and unsure whether I made the right choice. There are several snags, you see, such as whether you will like the work culture, coworkers, etc… Then there are other sacrifices you make, such as, changing health insurances, downgrading insurances, or maybe even a pay cut. Stuff like that make the process really nerve wracking and you’re most of the time unable to see whether your leap of faith will work out.

This is all to say that things have gotten much rockier at my previous job and I feel relieved to not be there anymore. I’ve been meeting with old coworkers for the past couple of weeks and I’ve been getting a lot of the dirt. They tell me that I’m lucky to have gotten out when I did, which was a combination of luck, timing, and connections. Either way, this is a rare thing, where in hindsight you are proven right and glad that you made the choice you did.

So what if I pay more now for my dentist (that brought out that bling-ed piece of tooth). I made the wrong choice there in opting in for a DMO plan, rather than a PPO that they accept (although since they used to accept the DMO, they are still listed on the DMO website – what the hell is up with that?). Clearly, wrong choice, but I had no way of knowing either way. (Also when I had to make my choice my dentist’s office was closed)

You know choices…

So here’s another one to think about. I am content enough right now with my current job. It challenges me sometimes, but I am confident that I can do whatever they ask me. My skill set is sort of perfect for this job… in that the only anxiety comes from finishing multiple things in a timely manner and not that I can’t do something. Sure I want to be paid more, appreciated by upper management more and all that… stuff normal people want… So here’s the thing. My field right now has an influx of openings. I get calls from head hunters ALL THE TIME. Like, at least 1-3 a week, either by phone or email. I got someone actually calling my work phone the other day and that sort of creeped me out.

So my instincts tell me that I should contact them just to see what they have and to keep my people skills sharp. I always encourage friends that are looking for jobs to apply for everything and talk to everyone. You want choices. You should have the choice to turn them down. It’s hard for me to keep to this adage, you know? Even if I am not looking for another job, if they come looking for me, I should always keep my options open. I should, right?

I had a dentist’s appointment on Monday morning. I figured that if I went early, that there would be less of a wait. I had to reschedule this appointment (since my crown wasn’t ready) and I was anxious to just get it done. I kind of dislike to take time off work for these “personal errands.” I would much rather spend a lazy day home on my day off. Either way, I was ready to get in there and out in minimal time.

The whole visit was a waste, because as soon as I sat in the chair, they opened up the package and took out my crown… And folks, it was gold. GOLD. Shiny. Very shiny and gold. Seriously? And the doctor was speechless, but the nurse had the gall to ask me, “This isn’t what you wanted, right? Well, do you like it? Do you want this in your mouth?” And really, it’s a molar, but it is my front molar that is quite visible. I want a shiny smile, but not by those standards. I might have done it if I had matching grills or if I was going to go meet Flavor Flav. I mean, c’mon!

So, they had me get out of the dentist’s chair and ushered me into accounting to wrap up my billing / insurance, and booked me for another day. Again. Monday morning… 2 weeks from that date. So I can take another morning off of work. I rolled in and I think my story made up for a lot, but it still didn’t make up for the fact that I wasted my morning. It was lost between a bad commute to the dentist’s office, getting my crown NOT put in, and then going back downtown into work. Uhg.

These past two weeks at work have been hectic. For one thing, two of the properties I work with within my organization is back into the swing of things and on sale. On the other hand, for these past two weeks, whatever can go wrong in a day… has. Things in my world, for the most part was quiet, but the pending issues that were piling up for the other properties were falling on my lap. It’s all in a day’s work, but one after another it was a comedy of errors. Last week, it bothered me. This week, I just laughed.

For example, the Content Management Application that we use in our department (that we had developed for our company) loaded new improvements, but with it, a lot of little bugs. Our poor project manager spent most of the week taking my department (and other department’s) shit about what didn’t work. (Of course, we knew it wasn’t his fault, but he took the issues quite seriously… and was definitely glad for Friday when it came around.) This on top of the normal office oddities and stupid shit that happens, was fun fun fun.

On the other hand, another coworker and I conspired to try to come up with a Tumblr blog, “Shit my coworker says,” or “#$%! HEADSMACK!” Except after a while it might be clear where and who I work for.

With last minute requests and stuff that gets forgotten, I always feel like I am the harbinger of bad news. Why is that? Of course I have my slip ups, too… which just eat into the time I don’t have. People are lucky that I felt too crappy to really take advantage of my full lunch hour… or felt too drained to really even go out in the rain to find food. (seamlessweb, anyone?)

It’s just one of those weeks. And the rain was miserable, but it worked well as a backdrop to this crushing week… and actually kind of helped me weed out stupid things I might do during the week, like get my nails done, or try to go out at night, or just have a good time. Whatevs.

I was sitting in Bryant Park the other day. It was a nice day and originally I wanted to lay across the lawn. Unfortunately, the lawn was closed and I sat in close proximity to a couple that started chanting. They kept repeating this over and over and then concluded with a cuddle. The guy was clearly leading the show and the woman going alone with it… prompting high-fives and “YAYs!” while throwing their hands up after every chant.

What was the chant? It went like this, “USA! USA! If you don’t like us, GO BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY. GO BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY. We’ll kick your ass! We’ll kick your ass! YAY!” over and over again.

The interesting thing is that these two weren’t Caucasian. They looked Asian, Mexican, and Hispanic. Also, at first you thought they were friends just hanging out, but later on, they started to cuddle. These were two crazy freakin’ people who were into each other. That kind of warmed my heart. These people were crazy in a way that the other didn’t mind.

I told Ryan, later when he joined me, “I want to go talk to these people or start the chant with them. What do you think they will do?” He replied, “Uh… maybe kick your assk?” The thing is the sentiment in the chant is not particularly anti-immigrant or anything. They just kept saying, “IF YOU DON’T LIKE US, GO BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY!” Like dude, maybe I am Asian and I don’t seem American, but maybe I still dig your country? Let’s be friends! Ok, so they did scare and disturb me, but you know, fascinated me at the same time. It’s all kind of romantic.