Thursday, January 26, 2012

Memory Loss

There was a period of time between 2005 and 2007 where I just don't remember anything that happened to me in my personal life. I would run into people and we would chat about how we met, and they could recall all the details of how, what, where, when, and what I was wearing....but I could only remember that I knew them....somehow. To what end, I couldn't tell you. This even happened with a guy I started dating back in the day. He told me exactly where we met. When I asked him if it was between the years of 2005 and 2007, he replied in the affirmative. I then proceeded to tell him my theory of memory loss, and apologized for not having remembered meeting him.

At the time, I was working at a PR agency where I had 20 clients. Having 20 clients was a little OUTRAGEOUS and unheard of because it is not like firms to usually have so few employees working on so many cases. I read an article back in the day explaining that we have been given this gift of short term and long term memory. Sometimes if so many things are happening that require the use of our short term memory, other things will not be remembered or will take a backseat in the memory world. I then decided that I would declare 2005 to 2007 the lost years where my short term memory was so full that it affected my long term memory bank and certain memories (alas probably some of the best) would have to take a backseat to those memories that enabled me to do my job.

Since then, I have tried to keep my multi-talented brain exercised and my spirit open and receptive to receive and retain memories. I have eaten fish, tried ginkgo biloba (however it is spelled), tried tricks like chewing gum during testing periods at school, written things down, taken pictures, tried mnemonic devices to help me remember names, tied ribbons on my finger, made bracelets, told people to remind me, prayed to remember...etc. It has been working really great since 2007.

HOWEVER....lately, I have been experience similar symptoms. While I would like to blame it on something or someone, I don't believe that someone's forgetfulness can rub off on me....or can it? Since I started working in September, I have forgotten my badge, phone, lunch (which has been left on the table at home several times), tennis shoes for my walking job, clothing for after I work as a lifeguard, personal items,commitments that are not written down, etc. But here is the biggun....last week I walked into my office and realized that I totally left my computer at home. My computer. Really?? I mean, I didn't even realize I forgot it until I got to my office. There was no memory clue that I forgot it at home....none, until I got to my desk and saw my naked dock. I work in Bethesda, MD. I live in McLean, VA. Needless to say what I thought was going to be a productive day starting at 8 a.m. didn't really even get started until about 9:30. Looks like I am going to have incorporate some of my old memory-gain/retain tactics.

I am open to suggestions....really!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Likes and Dislikes

  • I am liking the word bazillion and have used it a bazillion times today.
  • Saxophone Man: He has changed my life forever. I have this ultimate love mix that I put together a while back. It actually features George Michael's Careless Whisper (you have to admit that it is one of the sexiest songs out there). But after seeing the sexy saxophone man, I laugh every time I hear Careless Whisper.
  • Jamming to Sting in my cubicle, and blaring the music enough to drown out the world.
  • When I have conversations like this at work:
    I know my calculus . . . YOU + ME = US. My tummy is requesting a prompt start at 12PM. I can break at that time, let me know if you can!
    H-word yeah! My tummy and I cheated though….yup, totally just downed half a box of cheezits.
    : Well then . . . I will see your cheezits and eat one of my deviled eggs.
    : That is just wrong.
    If by “wrong” you mean “delicious” . . .then, heh, well . . . yes.
    : Seriously, when does ‘wrong’ EVER mean delicious? I mean, really….deviled egg and delicious should never be in the same sentence…..ever. Don’t worry, I won’t let this affect our friendship.


  • Waking up. It's true...if it is 30 minutes, or even if it is a full 7 hours...waking up and I don't get along.
  • Forgetting stuff: This week I forgot my work computer at home, and didn't even realize it until after I got to work, in Maryland, and had to turn all the way back again to go back to Virginia to get it. Recently, I have also forgotten my breakfast, a person's b-day, my key card to get into my apartment, and my phone. I also don't like when people who are trying to win an argument say "don't you remember when...." when I already admitted that I have forgotten stuff.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Here are some questions that have been going through my mind lately.

1. What is the legitimate fear preventing me from moving forward?
1.a. Am I afraid to discover how powerful I really am?
1.b. Am I afraid
of being hurt?

Questions and Answers

Q: What if I put in all this hard work and it doesn't pay off?

A: One lesson I have learned through this whole experience is that I need to trust that hard work will pay off. While I have been here in DC, things haven't exactly gone the way I thought they would. The question I should really ask is 'what is the definition of pay off.' I had a good friend who told me the following story:

There was once a rich man who owned a huge piece of hilly land. He hired a worker to try and move a huge boulder from the base of a hill to the top of the hill without any use of tools other than his own strength. In the end, the land owner promised a huge and significant reward to the worker. The man was obedient and wanted to do the land owner's bidding and tried his hardest, pushing and pushing and pushing this boulder. At the end of the day, he was exhausted. When he reported to the land owner that the boulder had not moved at all, the land owner said..."That's ok, just keep doing what I told you to do and try your best to move the boulder over the hill." Days, weeks, and months passed. Every day the worker would report his progress to the land owner. And even if the boulder hadn't moved, the land owner would tell him the same thing.

One day, and with an extremely heavy heart, the worker reported his progress to the land owner. Completely frustrated and emotional, the worker told the land owner that no matter what he tried, he just couldn't get this boulder to budge, not even a little bit. Crying, he fell to the land owners feet and said, "I don't understand why you have given me this daunting task. I haven't been able to get very far, if at all! And I am tired and exhausted, and really don't see how I am going to be able to accomplish what you need me to do."

The land owner lifted the worker to his feet, and grasped him in a big embrace. "When you came to me, you were this scrawny little thing that wanted so much to grow, and look at you now...look at your muscles, look at your tan, look at your strength. The fact that you were willing to try and push and push and push, and not give up shows me what a strong person you are inside and out. You did as I requested, you tried to move this boulder on your own from the bottom of the hill to the top....and that is all you needed to do to earn your reward."

Some of you might be thinking, What a tricky land owner...but that isn't the point. The point is that sometimes, as the worker, I think my reward is based upon one thing when really my reward is based on another. I have to recognize that my hard work is making me the kind of person I need to be. It sure has felt like I have been pushing and pushing a boulder that won't budge, but in the end I am stronger.

There is also always something to be said about enjoying the journey. It is hard not to let experiences from the past affect how I see the future. I need to cut out any outrageous expectations, or I will always be disappointed. I need to take situations as "it is what it is" until it's not :) I need to roll with it and not be attached to outcomes before my feet even get wet.

Q: What if I get hurt, again?

A: There was one point in my life where I remember asking God to take away my pain, even if it was just for a little bit because I didn't feel like I could handle it. Well, he did. And I tell you, not feeling anything is so much worse than feeling hurt. I have to remember that being numb isn't necessarily the answer. If I didn't feel, I wouldn't know when I needed to grow and extend beyond my limits. It is just like not being able to feel physical pain. If you can't feel, you don't know that you are damaging yourself worse than you should. Feeling numb is not the answer.

If anything I should look at 'feeling hurt' as a blessing in disguise. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have a big heart. Part of having a big heart is knowing that when I hurt, I hurt big...but when I feel joy, I feel joy big. I think as long as I know and remember this, it will help me for when I am hurt again. My other hurtful experiences HAVE proved outcomes of 100x the joy. I really do have hope that one day I will feel joy 100 times over.

You would almost think I was talking about is the clincher, I have been talking about jobs....and this time it is going to be different. Fooled you!

Friday, January 13, 2012

NY for NY

I stand by my original comment that everyone has to go to Times Square for New Years once in their lifetime. I can now successfully, and with a smile on my face, cross this off my bucket list


  • Totto Ramen 5*: On December 31st, we had two real goals, (1) to eat great Japanese ramen, and (2) go to Times Square to see the ball drop. That morning we woke up, went to see the Empire State building and Korea town and headed to Totto Ramen. We put our name on the list and 2 anxious hours later were seated in this restaurant that seats 20 people total, hence the wait. Worth it: heck yes!! The food was absolutely excellent, and I would recommend a 2 hour wait to go there. My favorite line from one of my trav buddies was "So, I noticed that all these other asians are waiting in line for food, which means it must be good, but can't they let us go first since they have access to it all the time? Seriously!" WE proceeded to laugh for 10 minutes....racist!
  • Akdeniz Turkish Cuisine 4*: Walking around Times Square on December 30th proved to be more challenging than walking around on December 31st. We arrived to NY earlier that day, and were famished. My trav buddies loved to look up restaurants on yelp to see ratings, and found this random Turkish place. I had this meat entre of chicken kabobs that had been ground up with red and green peppers, myriad of spices and was served with lemon rice. I think my favorite thing about the meal was mixing my appetizers of humus, Tebuleh (Cracked wheat with mixed parsley, scallions and tomatoes tossed with olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice) and Babaghannous (Char-grilled smoked eggplant puree flavored with tahini, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice) with my chicken and eating it all together.
  • Rice to Riches 5*: I am a huge fan of rice pudding! HUGE! I am always looking for the best of the best. At first, we were a little too full to eat much more, but when we stumbled upon this gem, the branding beckoned to us...and we just had to eat. And eat we did! Not only is the marketing scheme hilarious (which was also included in the bathroom of the establishment with signs that say 'you are dead sexy' on the mirror), but the rice pudding was perfect. The menu has 13+ different kinds of rice pudding, which you can top with 13+ different kinds of toppings. We had half coconut pudding topped with toasted coconut, and hazelnut topped with oatmeal. WOW...I mean, WOW!
  • Chinese Pork Roll 2*: While the bun was delicious, I was probably just not in the mood for this amazing Chinese Pork Roll we got in Chinatown. We didn't eat at the establishment either, so this rating is a little below average.
  • Paris Baguette in Koreatown 5*: Diana, my trav buddy, told me that Paris Baguette is HUGE in Korea. We stopped there for a little doughnut refreshment. And yes, it was an incredible donuts, as donuts go. I had one regular Cinnamon and sugar twist doughnut and Diana shared a chocolate filled chocolate doughnut which was also SO yummy. (I am trying to think of other words to say besides 'amazing'.
  • Pacific Grill at South Street Seaport 3*: We visited Pier of my fave spots. Since we were at the pier, we just had to get fish and chips. I think that if we got fish and chips at any of the pier restaurants it would have been the same. It was still good nonetheless. I was quite impressed by their tartar sauce. It seemed more vinegary than mayonnaisy...which I LOVE because I have a slight fear of mayonnaise.
9/11 Memorial - totally recommend this at night, it was amazing
Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island - every time I go to NY, the island is closed. It was so cool to finally go over and read up on its history.
The Bull - totally made me think of the scene from Hitch
Wall Street - what, no more "occupy,"...bummer

China Town
Little Italy
Korea Town
Harriet Tubman Statue
Washington Park with the Arch

Good Laughs

  • Dancing while walking. For some reason, New York brings out my boogie....and not just mine. I often caught my trav buddies doing it too.
  • OCD tendencies of my trav buddies
  • "Someone's hands are molded to my A#$....seriously," as shouted by someone in the crowd as we tried to jam into a corral
  • Bed bugs??
Memorable Moments

  • The ball dropping! What a riot. I really didn't know that there was a countdown for each hour on the hour. The 12:00 midnight countdown was the loudest
  • Having people in the apartment in Times Square yell out the window and getting a response from thousands of us.
  • Karaoke during the 8 hour wait. One member of our group held a phone with the rockin tune, and all others found the lyrics we could sing to. People around us thought we were trashed...from the sound of it though, who can blame them.
  • Climbing 5 flights of stairs every day to get to our apt and throwing off our jackets as soon as we entered.
  • The process of jamming into the corral. One guy would purposefully shuffle, not really moving forward, causing everyone behind us to push forward. There were 4 cops in front of our corral slowly letting people in who kept shouting "Stop pushing." Then one cop came up and said "I am making an executive decision, this corral is closed, you are going to have to use the side streets." As if we were little children that were being reprimanded. I hopefully stood around not going anywhere, and then the cops decided to let some of us well-behaved into our cage. Ah....from one cage to another. Poor mice.
  • Igor, our security friend totally doped up and acting like a policeman.
  • Bert tap dancing upside down and Mary Poppins flying over the audience.
  • Going to the September 11 memorial. We went at night, which I highly recommend. It seemed like night time gave way to reverence and quiet and the city around it was kind of quiet too. It was a pretty incredible experience.
  • Running to catch our boat to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis island.
  • Having the world's most amazing cheesecake at Junior's.
  • Having the best group to celebrate New Year's with!
  • Visiting great friends in NY, and seeing their rooftop which overlooked Ellis Island. Pretty amazing!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

From my former life

It's interesting...I have been super close to the 'using sign language' issue recently, and not just because I am a follower of Signing Time. First my little niece signs and it is amazing, and I love it! She tells me stuff all the time when she doesn't know the word. She will see things that I can't see. When I was helping my sister move to Texas, Allie and I went swimming. She told me all about the bugs by using her signs and would say "Ew, gross." (Something I am sure she learned from mommy). She told me when she was all done with swimming, but still wanted to hang out by the pool, just by signing.

Second, I have seen miracles with sign language with children who have disabilities. I am a huge advocate of giving children the opportunity to express feelings when they might not have the emotion to show it. For example, some children with autism have a hard time expressing emotion, but it doesn't mean that they are not feeling it. Can you imagine the relief of a mother who can look at her little boy or girl who is signing that they are happy?

These are just two examples of the many I had while I worked for Signing Time. I am constantly inspired by my former boss, Rachel and her drive to open up a world of communication. I no longer work for them, but still feel that it is such a necessary and admirable goal.

In other sign language news, my cousin signed up to join the Peace Corps not too long ago. While she was hoping to do something related to her major in marine biology, like the study of certain fish, she was surprised to find out that she would be working with deaf children in Kenya. I am sure you can imagine that I cried when I found this out. Andrea, my cousin, learned sign language during school and is fluent. She included this on her application....and is now doing something amazing and admirable with the children in Africa who often struggle to survive due to their disabilities.

So, yes, I have been in awe at this profound issue and wanted to share a timely video about what my former boss, and inspired friend, Rachel Coleman of Signing Time is up to: