30 October 2006

On to the Paris...

And so, another transfer. It's okay, I wasn't having fun at Bishop Gorman anyway. We have to remodel 600 rooms in six weeks. It's fast paced, but theres not a lot to do actually...cut into the walls, add some things, move some things. It actually takes longer for the hotel guys to remove the furniture than anything else. But, there's a crêperie and boulangerie downstairs, yay! I'd eat there every day for lunch but it's expensive...about $10 a person. ($7 per crêpe, $8 per sandwich, $2 for Orangina.) Blessedly, theres crêpes sallees, which are my fave, and the baguettes for the sandwiches import the flour from France so it has the right texture, so...maybe once a week? not sure yet. At very least they sell baguettes singularly for about $3 apiece so maybe I can take one home for dinner one of these nights.

My journeyman never had a crêpe so I took him down Tuesday and he was impressed. He thinks of them as French burritos. And I'm like...well, kinda, I guess. The only thing that irritates me is all the guys keep correcting how I pronouce "crêpe" and say it should be "crape", not "crep". When I do say it right, they misunderstand and think I'm saying "crap". I just refuse to purposely mispronounce it. Tannah says I'm a language snob. Yeah well, there's worse things to be in life.

29 October 2006

Logan needs a hobby.

Logan is really kind of flighty. He hates that term, because he thinks it should be reserved for women. A sexist term, apparently. But really, he needs somethign to ground him, something to occupy his mind because he's so...not-okay half the time. Mal is similar but he's found something to occupy his time. Maybe it's not healthy but it works for him. Logan is inhibited in alot of things, and he's got this insane need to project a perfect image of himself to everyone. So I talked to him about it, suggested maybe he get online and join a group or something; something that makes it so he doesn't have to be real sociable. And he refused. Not so much on the grounds that he has to actually make an effort at something to help himself but that he doubts he can relate to these people and vice versa. And I was like, well, get to know them and they'll relate. I brought up the (very) few friends he opens up to, and said that basically in the beginning I doubt they were really able to relate either. But they found similarities and latched onto that. And also, people can be empathetic and just listen without being able to completely understand. Sometimes I think Logan likes destroying himself.

24 October 2006

Not-so happy news.

Note: "San Dimas" is a code-name my sister and I use. It helps our privacy and his.

I have a great friend from high school, we've known each other now for what is it...13 years, I guess. Half-Castillian, uber-smart, full-ride to BYU and Georgetown? And not snobbish either. (Amazing, isn't it?) She works in the DA's office, and happens to work with "San Dimas" alot. (They are on a first name basis, she sees him at least weekly.) Anyway, she and I got to talking about stuff, and she said, "Hey, I'll look into you case for you if you want." I said sure.

San Dimas remembers the case, and told my friend that basically, it's been a long time, the accused can't be found for a statement, and so the DA has chosen not to prosecute or serve a warrant at this time. (This was what the screening deputies said to him.) If he's found, then they'll bring him in for questioning, and it'll go from there. So my friend is going to look through the file, see who the screening deputies were, and see if she can do anything that might help. (Gather more info or whatnot.) She's also going to offer to give a statement about what I disclosed to her in high school, which would further help with showing that this isn't one of those False Memory Syndrome things, where everything's fine, I see a shrink and all of a sudden I have an abuse history. She's not sure how much it'll help but...it's good to have a friend willing to try. I can't blame anyone, it's been 2 years after all. Sorry news couldn't be better.

So...bad news yes, but not unexpected. That's really a good portion of the reason for me not wanting to call San Dimas...so he wouldn't say, "Who are you? Oh yeah, we are so through with that case, sucks to be you." (But in nicer language of course.) And then I would cry or do something stupid and what would that solve? But yeah, in a way I felt it...it's been 2 years (as of last week) that I talked to him. They can't find my uncle, he prolly doesn't want to be found, if he's alive at all. I just feel alot of guilt for not saying something sooner. I guess let alot of people down. And in a way it's just as well; I was thinking last night that the original report I gave to the other detective (back at LVA) wasn't exactly accurate.

I didn't want to get into certain things and so it's not like I lied but I did skip over some things. And who knows, I don't remember half of that interview, maybe I did lie. (As in maybe I said something didn't happen when really, it did.) And if that's the case, do I really want to get in a court room where I'm told I'm making it up or have False Memory Syndrome? I don't know...it seemed like the right thing to do, and it still does of course, but I'm kind of wondering why God put that opportunity in my life (to make a 2nd statement) when nothing's to come of it. I really don't want to have to testify on behalf of a bunch of 4 year olds, years from now saying, "Yeah, he did that to me too, sorry I didn't tell sooner everyone."

Anyway, off my soapbox I go. Don't worry, it won't get me depressed, I haven't really acted on anything in 2 years. (I spent 2 weeks in Montevista then; it taught me stuff. Was a good thing.) It's sad and sucky and unfortunate, but there's really nothing I can do about it. Is it bad to want him to screw up royally so he's booked and someone makes the connection? I'm an awful person sometimes...

23 October 2006

Happy news.

I know, for once!

Tannah's mom just came back from Korea...she'd been gone almost 2 months and of course we're happy she's back, but she brought gifts, too! She brought me, Tannah and Mada hanbok, or Korean traditional clothing. Tannah and Mada had matching hanbok, the pants, shirt and jacket, and I got a women's hanbok...it's so awesome. The dress part is plum coloured, in a way, and the jacket is white, with an embroidered ribbon to fasten it. I can't tie a Korean knot but I'm told I'll learn. I love it so much because, not only are hanbok very expensive, but I love very cultural things, and to be so accepted into the Korean aspect of Tannah's family, being allowed to wear a traditional hanbok, it's an honour. Very very happy!!

She also bought us dried squid, and some traditional-style vases we put on the Korean furniture. She looked radiant and happy. It must be refereshing to return to one's home culture and feel at peace with oneself, in that sense, after so long.

21 October 2006


Went to the doctor yesterday. I have to see an opthamologist now. There are like so many specialists it's not funny: cardiologist, hemotologist, neurologist, perinatologist (who i see infrequently but still) and now the opthamologist. They think on top of the clotting mutations and the blood disorders, they think I have Sjogren's Syndrome, which is where my immune system attacks my lubrication system. (Tear ducts, salivary glands, what lubricates my joints, everything.) They say that would explain the constant joint pain without arthritis, and also why I get dehydrated even when I drink alot. DAMN IT. I'm sick of medical problems. I asked how this would affect pregnancy and the doctor put his hand on my shoulder and he said "You have a life threatening illness (???????) and we can work on that when we get you to a stable place medically." So I kind of looked at him and I was like, I just didn't know it was that serious. And he was like, since when were strokes not serious?

I guess I just want to not care, but I know I have to care, I have to exercise and eat better (I have been actually, for both) so I can live past 40 or whatever but when I care and think about doing better I think about how dangerous it actually is and it kind of makes me panic.

20 October 2006

My brother-in-law has cancer.

My 27 year old brother-in-law, Jake, was just diagnosed with cancer of the right tonsil, and they found cancerous lumps near the lymph nodes of that side. He needs the swelling to go down so they can operate, as he doesn't need chemotherapy at this point, but the swelling is also affecting his breathing.

Everyone's trying to be strong about it, my sister just had agressive cervical cancer less than 5 years ago and she's in remission but it's still very scary. They have 2 small children and not to say that that means anything more but...still. I don't know, cancer is so common and they are so so close to a cure, it dismays me to see how slow research is going. Is it lack of funding? Lack of interest? I wish I understood. Right now I guess my sister and her family will have to pull together (with our help) until they get a definite date for the surgery and that. In the meantime though, it's got to be agonizing.

18 October 2006


I wanted to get disability insurance, in case I hurt myself on the job or in case I had a serious stroke. Because every day my clotting issues/side effects seem to be getting more complicated. I'm seeing or calling one of my doctors at least every week. Scary but at the same time I'm so used to it I don't even care. I bought life insurance. Meh.


My disability insurance broker called his underwriter, who called over 40 (FORTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!) insurance companies. I'm "uninsurable". They don't want the liability. They said the likelihood of me passing out and dying somewhere was too high, and strokes and heart attacks are just too commonplace with this disease. I said well then write the disease out, just write it for workplace accidents. And they said no, because the insurance people ran my medical history and a red flag came up so that if I did have a workplace injury, they would just blame it on the disease ("Oh, she cut her finger off because she must have had a small stroke") and wouldn't insure me. WTF.

So I talked to doctors and people diagnosed and all kinds of crap, and they all said a good percentage of people diagnosed with this, about 7-10 years after diagnosis it gets so bad they cant even work anymore. They just go in the hospital like every month for constant strokes and blood clots. And I dont want that so I'm like fuck that, whatever.

16 October 2006

More...alas, more.

I looked up TCK groups on MySpace and I read through descriptions and it didn't seem applicable. It was all about, if you lived in another country as a kid. And granted, as a kid I was given a sense of Euro-pride and upbringing, but...not the same, really. And its not like I can really talk about it anyway. I dont want my dad to hate me. Tannah does understand, in a way, but he doesn't really notice. It's a non-issue to him.

We started making new October-December memories a few years ago (I really hate all those months, but October being the first makes it worse somehow.) I don't like any holidays, Christmas included, it feels pagan, I know being Christian I should love it but it doesn't feel Christian, all the commercialism involved but last year Tannah agreed to take down anything not Christ-centered, (we do have a Christmas ornament that our church gave us, in memory of the church since part of it was destroyed in a remodel, and an ornament for Gabriel, but we got rid of like, cartoon character and like, Star Trek ornaments that are typical in his family.) Not wrong...they have no problem worshipping that way but I do. It makes me feel like, well, it's pagan, like I said. Almost like going through the motions of trying to force it to be Christian. Having been Jehovahs Witness, having been Wiccan, having been in quasi-...cultish...stuff, when I want to celebrate Christ I want to do it wholly and completely, because I don't want it twisted somehow.

15 October 2006


"Third Culture Kid"
Originally defined in the 1960's as...
"[A] person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents' culture. The third culture kid builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture are assimilated into the third culture kid's life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of the same background." (Pollock & van Reken, 2001, p. 19)

I seriously feel like that sometimes, and I'm not sure why. I guess it's why everyone seems to think I'm un-American all the time. I don't *feel* American. Not to say I'm unpatriotic, I love America. I just don't know. I feel more...global than anything else. Somewhere between that and feeling completely isolated. Does that make sense? Unfortunately, as far as family goes, I think my sister would be the only one who understands, really. And Tannah, but for slightly different reasons.

14 October 2006


So, my father-in-law and I finally (after many months of planning) saw the Bodies exhibit at the Tropicana. Having a background in both healthcare and deathcare fields I found it fascinating. The exhibit was broken up into rooms: muscular, digestive tract, reproductive organs, the brain, skin, pulmonary, circulatory and onward...even a embryonic/fetal growth room. We debated whether or not to go in there but I'm glad I did. I looked for Gabriel's age and I was happy to see the doc was right. He was large for his gestational age. Somehow that made me feel better. It also gave a lot of facts, like the baby has brain waves at 40 days...to me, proving life at that point, at very least.

The circulatory room was my favourite. I loved looking at all the blood vessels, and they had been specially dyed to differentiate between veins and arteries. There was an entire body set up, no skin or bones or organs or anything, just blood vessels. It was so awesome. I really can't describe it, it's got to be seen.

The only thing that struck me was something I learned when working in the mortuary: human skin looks like chicken. And I swear, after this exhibit, I won't be able to eat chicken for a month. But all in all it was great, I might even see it again.

...and we're watching Kelsrin, too. Perfect ending!

12 October 2006

Don't know what's wrong.

I dont have the right to feel this way and i talked about it a hundred times before. I dont feel like I belong and I know that really in the long run who cares? I know im loved no matter what but I don't feel American--(I get called "un-American" so often, really, you dont even know) and I don't feel European--(but at the same time Americans seem to think I am...but I'd never fit in)...I don't feel even mixed half-half because I'm not allowed to talk about it, and when I am allowed I'm not allowed to talk about German...and its really starting to get to me.

This started to affect me alot a few years ago when my sister got a family history of our original Bavarian surname but even more when I went overseas and now its like eating me. Especially when I was pregnant. I didn't want to lie (even by omission) about our son's heritage. But what was the other option? It's so confusing, I hate to offend, I hate to give the idea I'm not appreciative. I feel so stupid. Sometimes i truly feel like a "TCK"; that term clicked with me so much when I heard it in Kandern but I tried telling someone and they kind of laughed like I couldn't possibly understand, like really understand since I was born-American. But like I'm hiding like a refugee, but some kind of illegal immigrant refugee. I wonder if that's what Karl-Heinz felt like as a kid growing up: he was an illegal immigrant. In fact he still is. Sometimes I want to call the FBI and turn him in. How can I despise him so much and still feel that cultural tie? It isn't logical and I really hate myself right now and I just don't know why...maybe it's because its October. I always hated October.

08 October 2006

Captain Jack took us on a 3-hour tour!

...On the "Desert Princess", all around Lake Mead. It was awesome. Beautiful, but sad because how the drought has lowered the water levels so. (But no seriously, he was named Captain Jack, and the tour was three hours long.)

See, usually Tannah's company hosts a Labour Day party but for some reason it just didn't happen this year, I'm not sure why. So the owner booked this cool dual-level paddleboat deal, like the Mark Twain at Disneyland, but it was catered, with drinks and we saw the Hoover Dam and boat races and all. I'm severely prone to motion sickness so I had to get Dramamine beforehand, all the while wishing I had access to Vogalib. Why is it still not approved, FDA-nazis??

I also got to meet Mada's girlfriend. She seems really outgoing and more real-life than most other girls I meet casually. I'm not sure how long they've been together (a week? something) and still she wasn't obnoxiously shy or anything. It was kinda cool. also, she needed Dramamine too, so I didn't feel so lame.

At the end, after taking tons of pics, eating surprisingly good food, and enjoying the still-warm weather, we docked and ready for us were souvenir photos...I mean a whole lot of them, including a magnet one. Usually Tannah and I don't buy into that but we were like, "What the hell?" So yay, we have Lake Mead pics.

06 October 2006


I felt so stereotypically American today...driving past the Las Vegas Strip in my SUV, the heater on but the windows down, eating my sausage Egg McMuffin, drinking my Starbucks venti mocha-latte with double shot of espresso, listening to my iPod while on my cell phone at 05h00. Sometimes I really enjoy the "gimme-gimme", immediate gratification, affluent American lifestyle. Should I feel guilty?

Sometimes I do; I certainly don't know extreme, abject poverty, but I remember the days when I had to work out the math to see if I could afford $6 cough syrup or if I could afford the gasoline it would take just to get to work. I remember 10-cent ramen packages and duct tape on the inside of my Converse just so they'd last longer. I make sure I remember because I don't want to get too "comfortable" in life. I mean, I donate to reputable, established charities, not so much out of guilt but because I feel so blessed, and I want to share in what I've been given. It's only fair, really.

So basically, what I'm saying is that yeah, I feel guilty in a way that I have the ability and fortune to life in this manner, but I like that America offers the choice. Does that make sense?

Not only that, but our jobsite was rained out today, no power, so we got the choice to take our checks and go. Red Rock still had mine (even though I was transfered a week ago!), and I can wait till Monday, so I decided to finish my nerve test so I didn't have to take any more time off work for it. I can get my check Monday, no problem. Again, fortunate.

05 October 2006

Awesome day in a nutshell.

So I spent all day playing in mud (actual mud, like wet silty-dirt-sand, not concrete), got PVC glue stuck in my hair, lost my cheater tape measure, the dog pissed on the floor because she was too afraid to go out while it was raining, and my doctor is some kind of sadist--joke; he's a great guy-- and tricked me into paying him money to stick me with needles while shocking me with low voltage. (There's a name for the "diagnostic test" he performed, it's a nerve conductivity test of some kind, but needle-sticking with low-level electric shock is essentially what it was.) But that's okay; tomorrow's Friday. Anybody else have a "fun" day?

I know these last half-dozen or so of my entries have been so short, and almost exclusively in English...just time has been a real issue. hope to get back into things shortly...

04 October 2006

Rumours at the Rock?

So I get a call from an apprentice. Apparently, an assistant director of the JATC was out at Red Rock interrogating people about the report I made, including one of my former journeymen, who asked that apprentice to call me. And I was like, okay, that's fine, but I asked specifically that it only be documented, nothing more. Then a rumour that I was no-call, no-show at Red Rock for Saturday and Monday. Well, of course, except that I that I got transferred. I even signed in for the tailgate safety meeting for Monday at the new jobsite, so the the hell? It's obvious I was at a different jobsite so I know I'm not in any kind of trouble. This whole thing is ridiculous.

Oh yeah, and another 88% on an exam. What's up with these mid-C's? I'm getting annoyed.

02 October 2006

New everything.

New tools, new jobsite, new crew, new foreman. Yeah. I hate starting a new job, I never really know where to go, where to park, the rules per foreman are always different. Some foremen like serious, some like a joke, some are laid back and some just can't be pleased.

Turns out, from what I can tell, that this crew and foreman seem okay, somewhat laid back, but after all the shit at Red Rock I'm playing it safe. I won't take a chance. Right now I'm running some conduit for security cameras but I'm told I'll be doing underground in a few days. I've done underground before, at the Wynn, but it's been awhile, I wish I had more conduit experience but...ah well. I might spend some time at the JATC in the pipe lab to get some time in on that.