I went out with my brother and his quasi girlfriend today to help her look for bathroom stuff for her new house. After we finished shopping, we met up with Sahd to go eat at Chilli’s for dinner. They’re having this special right now offering up a 3 course meal for twenty bucks. It’s quite a deal.

Anyhow, we get our checks and have the waitress split it down the middle (2 and 2) and the total comes out to 15 bucks. I rarely pay attention to my bills and probably would have signed off on it and not have thought anything of it.

However, Sahd pointed out that there had to be a mistake because it probably should have been closer to 25 bucks each. He didn’t want the waitress to get into trouble so he called her back to tell her of the mistake. She ended up just letting it slide because she didn’t want to bother her manager about it but she thanked us for pointing out the correction.

Not many people are honorable in this culture anymore..especially when it comes to money. And although I would probably have been aloof to the situation, I had to ask myself I would have done the same? The sad thing is that I’m unsure of the answer.

I think mine would have been conditional upon how much I liked the waiter or waitress. I have less sympathy I think for large franchises and such. I know for sure I’ve walked out of stores like Fry’s or Best Buy knowing they’ve made fortunate mistakes at the counter… which landed me free DVDs and such.

However, whenever I find someone’s wallet full of cash, I would never even think twice about taking the money. I’d return it just as I found it even though I could easily claim I had found it empty. I guess my code of ethics tends to swing more liberal whenever I feel it’s less personal? I don’t know. I guess I might not be as honorable as Sahd.

Chapter 32: Adults


So there I am.... Eleven year old me is punching a kid named Joshua because his brother was beating up my brother. It’s the first time I ever took a punch and the last time. It’s also the last time I ever threw a punch. Both the taking and the throwing hurt quite a bit, knuckle on skull is quite like punching a wooden board.

One of the daycare supervisors comes over and separates us and of course I explain my story about how I threw this kid's brother off of my brother and he came over and assaulted me. This had been an ongoing occurance for sevearl months. The adult turns to me and says, “you can’t defend your brother. He has to learn how to defend himself and boys will be boys.”

This felt very unnatural to me of course because my brother is my life blood. My family is the only thing of real value to me. Yet here was this adult telling me a different set of rules I was to go by. I was raised to have respect for authority so when an adult tells me something, I felt like it was the law. As punishment, I was sent to sit out in the sun by the playground gate for three hours on the concrete sidewalk. None of the childcare providers at that daycare ever did anything to break up any of the fights as I thought they believed little boys fighting was part of a social right of passage or something. Later, my brother had to have surgery on his nose from all the punches he took.

You see, the word ADULT meant something to me back then because I thought that age automatically meant that the person knew what they were doing or saying and that adults were never wrong.

When I think back to that incident years later, it occurs to me that I was being supervised, looked after, and guided by a 20 year old. What the f*ck do they know?! Nothing but to a kid, you think they know everything. This thought now terrifies me.

I see this even more so now after having gone through college and graduate school and now am friends with people who have become teachers themselves. You sit in the classroom, thinking that you’re getting an education from someone who knows what they’re talking about or that you can trust them to truly educate you.

whyteacher This is NOT the case. I good majority of teachers as it turns out are people who you had absolutely no respect for in college, the guys and girls who barely made it out and couldn’t find anything to specialize in… and yes, gross generalization. I KNOW there are GOOD teachers out there but in retrospect, I encountered so few of them growing up. Case in point, my fifth grade teacher Mrs. Castillo who was furious at me for learning how to shortcut fraction multiplications on my own and trying to teach my friends a concept she could not figure out herself even after she asked me to prove it on the board. Or the 8th grade math teacher who taught the entire class that scalene triangle had equal sides.

Yes, humans are prone to mistakes but knowing what I know now, I can’t help but be a bit horrified at how much faith I put into “adults”…considering I’m looking at my “peers” now and realizing THESE are the “adults” I used to look up to and admire.

PS. Don’t scoff at that t-shirt. Almost all the people I know who became teachers cited at least two of those reasons. And NONE of them ever cited a passion for teaching to be a reason.

PPS. Most of this has been spurred on by a number of people I know who have children actually. It’s just an observation I’ve had of seeing some of the most WTF people go on to give birth to another human being of which they are raising and guiding into future humans. I don’t even feel qualified myself to be called an Adult but apparently, as it turns out, there isn’t much qualification for that after all. Not only that but this is rather a moot point now as the culture has shifted. Adults have lost that respect from children in this last decade. I wonder why?

Instant Access

My mom called me yesterday three times on my cell phone while I was taking a shower. When I finally got back to her, she was upset that I had not picked up the phone immediately. She is not the only one who gets testy when I do not immediately answer my phone.

For some reason, people have gotten it into their heads that when someone doesn’t answer their phone right away they are either mad at you or don’t want to talk to you. Somehow, we’ve become a society demanding instant access to people 24/7.

I remember a time when you’d go out and come back and never know how many phone calls you may or may not have missed. We never had caller ID and we didn’t pick up an answering machine for quite some time. Yet somehow, life managed to continue. lol.

Now, even if we’re in the middle of something, we’re expected to at least reply back with a txt or excuse ourselves and answer the phone. I even remember sitting across the table from a friend eating dinner while he was on the phone the ENTIRE meal.

So yeah, if I don’t answer my phone right away, it’s probably because I was busy or maybe I just don’t want to chit chat at the moment. There used to be a time when that was okay. lol.

How the Realtor ruined my Lunch

Monday Lunch, originally uploaded by alachia.

No sooner than I sat down to eat my lunch, I got a call from a Realtor saying she was going to show my house. I told her that was fine and to call me when she was about five minutes out because I work from home and would need to leave.

I then ran around and got the house ready which includes putting away all traces of human life and turning on all the lights and making sure the air is sufficiently low in temperature (hence my enormous electricity bill this past month of $305).

I had just enough time to scarf down my lunch which I hate doing because you know how much I love to enjoy my food. Just as I was throwing away the plate, the Realtor called and said she was five minutes out.

I grabbed a few Martha Living Magazines and headed out the door and parked up the street like I normally do in fine stalker fashion. I then waited....and waited....and waited. Five minutes turned into 45 before I finally gave up and went back inside the house.

I called the Realtor and left a voice mail telling her that I had returned home and if she decided to show the house, she should call me. I was super civil considering how pissed off I was. As much as you want to tell these Realtors off about how irresponsible they are...you have to be nice to all of them...as they all have potential buyers at their will.

This is really a buyers market right now and Sellers are pretty much left on all fours taking it up the rear....and NOT in a good way. lol.

Sunday 10am-10pm

This Sunday was one of those RL busy days spent hanging out with real life people. As I really no longer have RL friends in Austin anymore, most of my socializing happens with my brother and his friends.

Today we went and ate at Rudy’s for lunch at 11am. Morning lunches are the worst for me. I usually don’t take lunch until 3pm if at all. I did however still manage to scarf down a half link and a moist brisket sandwich.

We then hopped over to the theater and caught a 12:50pm showing of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The movie was uber MEH for me but I’ve never been a huge Harry Potter fan. It had very little character development as usual and the plot was lackluster and quite boring. I mostly go for the CG fantasy eye candy.

Best part of going to the movies today though was getting to see the preview for 2012. I had only seen the teaser trailer for 2012 with the water overtaking the monk in the tower. This extended trailer is bad ass. I just love apocalyptic movies and this one seems like it’s not going to disappoint with the visual aspects. 

After the movie, we headed to Amy’s Ice Cream and I ordered a cup of vanilla icecream with peanut butter cup mixins. I was hoping to get a strawberry shortcake like they have at Marble’s Slab but Amy’s sucks with its variety of desserts.

Next door to Amy’s Ice Cream was a Five Guys Burger which boasts some of the best hamburgers and fries which I was hoping to get to try out for dinner. However, after eating ice cream, everyone was pretty full so we hung out at a friend’s house for a few hours watching cable television. CABLE? what’s that. heheh. I actually ended up dozing a bit while they were watching Pirates of the Caribbean.

By the time everyone was hungry again, it was too late to go eat at Five Guys.  :( so we ate at Carrabbas Itallian Grill which was seriously over-priced and not that great. I got the Chicken Marsala, a mini appetizer of Fried Calamari, and a Cannoli shot glass dessert I couldn’t even finish because it was so gross. 

I’m going to treat myself to some Nilla Cakesters tomorrow to make up for the icky dessert. :D

Photo Walk

HDR 12: Bucket, originally uploaded by alachia.

Ever since @jemimus introduced me to the StuckinCustoms blog, I've been head over heels in love with HDR photography. I just absolutely love the effect these photos have. They really do capture that essence of a camera "stealing your soul"....or in most HDR cases, "stealing the essence of the scene"

The "dynamic range" of the altered HDR image helps enrich the experience which is so commonly associated with the "you just had to be there" feeling. Anyhow, it wasn't until recently that I discovered @treyratcliff (the hdr expert behind stuckincustoms) actually lives in Austin, Texas.

Yesterday, he posted a news clip of him inviting people out to photowalk being hosted for August 6th in downtown Austin. I really want to go but my agoraphobia is totally kicking in.... I just know if I don't go though I'll totally regret it.

It's not often you get an opportunity to immerse yourself in an RL community and one that is hosted by an expert of something you're so passionate about. I should totally go. I hope I find the courage to do so.

Degrees of OCD

Order in the Closet, originally uploaded by alachia.

What's the difference between being OCD and just anal? I think it has to do with the degree of your psychosis when it comes to perceived order.

Some people really can't step on cracks in sidewalks or they have to do things in sets of twelve...that's probably what I call REAL OCD. I think I fall more under the category of anal than obsessive compulsive although it's still up for debate.

For example, I have to have all my blinds close in the same direction, I can't stand having patterns display upside down, and I tend to wash my hands in sets of two. In my closet, I like to have everything organized by type of clothing and often times I start ordering by darks and lights. I mostly have dark clothing so it's pretty easy. lol.

Today, I got a little annoyed by my anal OCD-ness though when I found myself turning myself around after I had spun 180 degrees in one direction. To come full circle would have been the sensible thing to do but I felt like I was winding myself so I "unwound" myself by going 180 in the opposite direction.

I'm going to have to work on that type of behavior because that's the sort of OCD that will make you a nightmare to be around.

Got Wood?


Well, the house has been on the market for over 60 days now, roughly two months. Selling the house has been such a stress in my life at the moment (I know qq more right?)…but it does take its toll.

This is the first time I’ve ever done the house selling thing. I hope I never have to do it again. You have to constantly keep the house in a museum state and you have to be ready to vacate at all times and NO ONE tells you what you need to know up front.

For example, the kitchen flooring was done with this horribly cheap vinyl flooring crap that has started to rise and peel. No one ever said, “look, it’s expensive to get new flooring but it will literally be the difference between selling the house in 2 weeks and 3 months.”

Everyone has commented on the flooring issue and the rationale for leaving it is as is was “if they don’t like the flooring, the price can be adjusted for new flooring installation.” What they don’t tell you is that NO ONE wants to deal with getting new flooring when buying a new house.

So that brings me to today…where I spent a good portion of my Saturday looking at hardwood floors trying to decide between style and budget. SOOO fun. NOT. The best part is that flooring is a total biatch to shop for because of the layers of pricing tacked on for installation, removal of existing flooring, trim work, leveling, glue, and everything else you can possibly imagine them charging you extra for.

My favorite part of looking for flooring is talking to hardwood specialist clerks.

“so what type of flooring are you looking for?”

“I’m not sure, I went to Home Depot and found this nice dark colored flooring called Thomasville Engineered Wood”

“look, I don’t know who this Thomas guy is but we sell the real brands here.”

ahhh. yes. industry snobs. Sometimes I wonder if I really am a hermit that doesn’t know jack about the real world.


blackhawkdownWe have a 4th of July tradition where we watch Black Hawk Down. I think it started as bit of a coincidence. One year we were hanging out in 4oJ and opted to watch Black Hawk Down because 1) it’s a bad ass movie 2) it’s sort of patriotic 3) it has nice “fireworks”….

After the movie concluded, we heard fireworks going off from the Austin Fireworks show downtown. The next year, we happened to be hanging out on 4oJ again and put in Black Hawk Down….hence a tradition started.

This year, in addition to watching Black Hawk Down, we’re gonna have a BBQ for lunch. I made up a list of our menu.


It’s not too ambitious a list but it will require pulling out the grill from the garage. I’m particularly looking forward to the Fried Okra and Apple Cake. :)

My job on the list is the salad and cake! The recipes are extremely easy so I doubt I’ll mess them up.

The cake I’ll be making is from Rachel Ray’s old cooking show: My Sister Maria's Easy Apple Cake