Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Vancouver... Revisited

The Vancouver courts have apparently logged the "evidence" (being my computer) incorrectly and indicated that the property should be returned to the perps. Huh? So now the police are asking how much my computer is worth b/c they (and who "they" are, i have yet to determine) might have to reimburse me for the value of the computer instead? How the heck does this crazy Canadian law work anyway? Perps steal stuff and get to keep it, even after they're arrested, found guilty and put in jail? Like i said... huh?!?

This is what the esteemed Constable had to say in his latest e-mail correspondence:

"There is an issue with the judge's orders and what was recorded and by the court clerk. Basically, they screwed up. The issue was on the return of property to the accused. The court system is really separate from us and I have to go through my superiors to liaise with the court. Unfortunately, the system is continuing to victimize you. Can you send me a quote for a replacement computer in U.S. dollars? You don't have to shop around, just check the price for the same model at a store. It may come done to returning the value of the computer to you and not the actual computer. I will work to resolve this a.s.a.p. and, again, I'm sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you.
And what kind of budget does the Vancouver police department have anyway?

Happy Birthday, Poppy!

My "Poppy"-- my grandfather, is 87 years old today. He's led an amazing life, and is someone who has been my constant source of guidance, support and inspiration.

As a young boy, my grandfather lived in the remote town of Hana on the island of Maui. Like his parents, he has always championed education and hard work. He was the first of his siblings to get a scholarship to the exclusive Kamehameha School—then, an all-boys Military Academy on the island of Oahu. Despite many challenges, my grandfather excelled at school and after his daughters were born, joined the U.S. Navy as a civilian engineer and traveled the world. My grandfather did not know the word failure. He faced great adversity in his life, but his good nature, extreme intelligence and ability to inspire those around him quickly brought him to the attention of his superiors. He was, and still remains, the youngest Chief Engineer in U.S. Naval history.

Nearly eight years ago my grandparents were walking from their car to the grocery store when they were struck by a moving car; the driver had lost control of her vehicle as she pulled through the parking lot. Witnesses say that my grandfather stepped in front of the moving vehicle to shield my grandmother and push her out of the way. She was clipped by the car, but escaped with severe sprains and bruises. My grandfather however, lay in a coma for nearly two months. When, against doctors' diagnoses he miraculously survived, we discovered that this once very active man who loved to garden, go on road trips and take long walks after dinner, was paralyzed and would be dependent on a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

No one thought my grandfather would survive the accident. We were told that there was no hope and that we should prepare for the worst. And yet, my grandfather, as he had done all his life, defied the odds. Even in his state of unconsciousness, he fought-- for his life, for his family... for everything that he believed in. When he was well enough to finally enter rehab, he never lost his faith, or his positive attitude. He never stopped trying, and his nurses would frequently comment on how hard he worked, how he always expressed gratefulness for those who helped him, and how his positive attitude was never failing. Six months later he was finally able to go home, and one day arrived at his doctor's office for a check-up-- and he walked in the door. Using a walker for support, nonetheless, he once again defied the odds. My grandfather said that he would walk again. And he did.
His doctor was speechless, as even he could not conceive of my grandfather's will. And today, while he does primarily use a wheelchair, he continues to do his exercises and can move his legs, transfer himself and still practices walking with his walker at home.

Most people cite business giants or cultural leaders as their heroes. My hero is my grandfather. He has instilled in me a commitment to hard work and excellence and he remains my biggest source of inspiration. It was because of his influence that I went to college 3,000 miles away from home, that I have had the courage to live in and travel to different places and experience new things. It is his advice I consistently seek. Ultimately, it is through his breakdown of barriers that I know none.

I know that I'm blessed to have an amazing and supportive family; that I've gotten to know the unconditional love of a grandparent as a child should; and, even more so, gotten to grow up and know my grandparents as an adult. While you can appreciate the love that you feel as a child, you can't really appreciate the person until you are grown. And I'm extremely lucky to have three grandparents still in my life today-- to learn from them and their experiences has been invaluable to my development as a person.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The GREAT Midwest

We keep hearing about "obesity in America"... media hype, or truth? Americans as over-indulgent, pig-headed, superior sloths. At least that's how the world would like to see us. But dig a little deeper and see that there is some truth to every unfair, prejudiced stereotype. On my way home the other day, I witnessed a woman flag down the bus, make the driver halt halfway into the intersection and usher her daughter and rather large self (not to be judgemental, but simply an observation) onto the bus. Okay, so she did have a grocery bag that looked like it had eggs in it. And she did hightail it across the street in a virtual jog to get on the bus. And yes, I was on the bus as well, having pooped out 1.5 miles into my walk home and laden with Whole Foods bags. And all would have gone unnoticed-- just someone partaking in public transportation with the rest of us slovenly slugs until she pulled the signal cable to stop the bus... HALF A BLOCK LATER. To get on the bus, she had to walk half of the distance in the opposite direction of where she needed to go... only to get off the bus at the very next stop... literally less than a block later.

So maybe there's A LOT more truth to the stereotype...

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Meredith-freaking-Viera (my affectionate name) was named the new co-host of the Today Show. Notice I didn't mention her in my recent entry. That would be because I didn't actually think they'd do it. COME ON. She may be a NBC alum (local Rhode Island Reporter), and yes, a former 60 Minutes correspondent. But recent c.v. entry? THE VIEW. Inarguably the most annoying program on morning television. I don't even watch the show and it annoys me. If Star Jones is in one more headline, as though she's an actual celebrity, my head may very well explode. She may have had a legit pedigree, but she chose to be on "The View" and totally wiped away everything she'd done in the past. And now she's joining the longest running #1 morning news program in the country.

Can I have her agent??


My new favorite word. It was used by those witty entertainment reporters on MSN entertainment (okay... perhaps witty is a bit of a stretch... ruthless, perhaps??) in reference to a particularly scary wardrobe malfunction by the ever-mameriferous (also their word choice) Dolly Parton (sorry, K... but she's looking pretty frightening these days, with the plethora of plastic surgery and all...). But references aside, craptacular... what a great word. Who comes up with this stuff?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Freakin' A

I arrive at work this morning, proudly sporting my new suntan... and no one notices. So I casually mention that I've just gotten back from Florida. Still nothing. Then I shamelessly whip out the, "yeah- I am so sunburned..." only to be greeted by scrutinization and finally a submissive, "well... I suppose you look a little tan..." Blast. I must have been really white.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Florida Checklist

1. Sunburn: Check.
2. Umbrella drinks: Check
3. Mosquito, gnat and noseeum bites: Check.
4. Sore feet from sexy high heel shoes: Check.
5. Back facial and massage: Check.
6. Too many late nights: Check.
7. Wildlife rifling through trash by the pool: Check.
8. Kamikazee pooping birds: Check.
9. Swedish fish and sourpatch kids: Check.
10. Hangin' with friends poolside for five days: Priceless.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Whiter Than Whitey White

It's that time of year again when I realize that I live in the land of cold weather because I'm getting ready to go somewhere warm. Tomorrow morning (at a happy 4 a.m.) I go to Coconut Point, FL (Florida, admittedly, is not my favorite place... but who's to argue when you've suffered through negative temps for the past 5 months and work is footing the bill?). And as I was trying on my white bikini to make sure that it still fit (it does), I couldn't help but notice my very white legs blending right into the suit... and I mean transluscent white... where my bright blue veins were happily swimming around just under the surface of my skin (ewwww....).

Don't get me wrong; living in cold weather has had its benefits: 6 months (okay, maybe a slight exaggeragation) out of the year, you get to wear bulky layers to hide the added weight you may have gained; there's seasons, REAL seasons, not just summer and slightly less than summer; you get to wear a coat (or two... or three... come on; I grew up in southern CA-- I didn't OWN a coat until midway through my freshman year at Vassar...). But then, there's the downfalls: I no longer look like my identical twin sister (she lives in Hawaii... yeah; who's the headcase of the pair??); this half-Hawaiian chick can't get a tan (ahh... i fondly remember the days where I could get a golden glow after being in the sun for 30 minutes... now it's just lobster central). Clearly these days I'm living my southern/Irish/English roots instead of the Hawaiian ones.

So, this wayfarer is off to the sunshine state (oh... is that CA? Oh no; CA is the golden state. Either way, I'm neither golden nor sunshine-y); well, in any case, the land of sun, beaches and old people... to hopefully get a tan before the working stiffs drop in (on Monday-- because I wouldn't be caught dead in a bathing suit in front of co-workers), and to maybe have some fascinating stories to tell upon my return... well... maybe...

Ummm... okay... it's 12:37 and I have to wake up at 4... maybe I shouldn't bother going to sleep?