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September 2017

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I regret having to inform you that your name is in the database. While we are uncertain whether your personal information was actually obtained, we know that the hacker sought and retrieved some Social Security numbers. Therefore, I want to bring this situation to your attention and urge you to take actions to minimize your potential risk of identity theft. I emphasize that we have no evidence that personal information has been misused.

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Yesterday I spent nearly two hours in traffic, my left foot stuck to the clutch, in order to get to Oakland to see my parents for dinner. My legs were practically numb when I got out of the car.

While I was there, I helped Kaitlin fill out her bazillion and one forms for school. I'm really annoyed that all of the forms were only in English, when the school is well aware that a large portion of their students are recent immigrants and have parents who cannot read in English, and may have no idea what they're actually signing. I explained as best I could to Kaitlin's mom what she was signing for, but I'm kind of aghast at some of what they're signing:

1. A free-lunch/reduced lunch form. This is actually fine - my sister and I filled these out, too when we were in elementary. I looked at her lunch menu for the month, and it's awesome - they get stuff like yogurt and whole-wheat grilled cheese sandwiches. Kaitlin, however, was adamant that they didn't get any of the food that was on the menu, but she couldn't tell me what they actually got for lunch. So who knows how successful this healthy lunch thing is?
2. A textbook form. This is ludicrous - this form states that parents will pay between $30 and $60 if a textbook is lost. The majority of the school's students are from low-income families! How the hell will they be able to afford that? Anyway, if Kaitlin loses her textbooks, I or any one of my sisters could cover it, but still. I warned Kaitlin not to lose her books.
3. An opt-out form for sharing parents' information in some public directory. Basically, Kaitlin's parents are automatically on some sort of list where they will receive junk mail unless they opt out. Arrgh - the only times my sister and I got handed an opt-out form, it was for sex education. That, I could see actually being fine, but this is not.
4. A form where we had to put down the parent/guardian's SSN. I don't remember what it was for, but I remember thinking it was stupid.
5. A form about absences/tardiness. The public schools must be getting really worried about losing their money. It's a lot stricter than when we were in school - if a child is more than 30 minutes late to class, it counts as an unexcused absence for the entire day. If a child is late more than three times in a week, or absent more than two times in a week, then they have to make it up with Saturday detention from 8:30-12:30 and helping out the school with gardening and stuff. Free labor??? Parents are not allowed to drop kids off at school before 8:20 because there is no adult supervision. Hello??? People have jobs to get to, where they'll be reprimanded, and possibly fired if they're late! It's an even bigger possibility for this student population, since most of them work low-wage jobs whose employers don't really give a shit about their employees. A child cannot legally be excused for anything other than "illness or death in the immediate family". If a child is out for more than three days, than a note from the doctor is required. Follow-up verification from the school by phone will be done. (Thank god they didn't implement this part when I was in school...) If a child has more than 3 unexcused absences, then the child will be classified as a "truant" and further steps with the school administration will be taken.
6. The emergency card. Standard.
7. The earthquake form. Wouldn't the emergency card contain all relevant information anyway? When I compared the two, there really wasn't any difference.
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So I finally got my phone fixed. The first time I went to the Sprint store, the guy there wouldn't look at my phone unless he had a password and could confirm that I was an "authorized user". Since the phone is under my sister's contract, and she was working at the time, I didn't have any of that information on me. I left, annoyed.

I went again this weekend, to be greeted by a friendly guy with dreads. I showed him my phone and he didn't even ask me anything, just said, "Oh yeah, it's fixable", and went in some room, came out in a minute and voila, fixed phone and new charger, free! Same store. WTF?

Noted - there is a Nijiya market in that same strip mall, and a used bookstore in the area. For some reason, the Nijiya market is not listed on their company site.

I otherwise had a pretty lazy-ass weekend. We gorged on Project Runway episodes. My favorite contestant so far is Diana Eng, a fashion nerd so fucking nerdy that she wrote in her blog:

How do you explain good design? I lay in bed at night with my "good design" stuffed animal (a well proportioned monkey who's head, body and legs have a 1:1 ratio, and his arms have a 1.5:1 ration to his body) reading my "good design" magazine (ID magazine). And ID magazine is indeed the ultimate all around good design magazine. I was flipping through it on the subway and some man was like, "what magazine is that, it is so colorful and pretty." I'm such a sucker for the aesthetically pleasing. But does it come down to being a mathematical ratio? Even matching colors are mathematically related on a color scale. Or just something eye catching. Or is it the mathematical ratio that makes things eye-catching? Well, we'll find out when someone writes a program to replace graphic designers.

She is like the anti-reality-show contestant. On one of her outfits, she was having trouble because the "polarity of the magnets got reversed". She is probably not going to win, but I want to see her stick around for a couple more episodes.

We have taken to calling Santino "coke/crackhead Zod" because he looks like the evil guy from one of those Superman movies. Zod's really into ruffles.

Emmett is a pretty gay robot, who makes really pretty clothes.

Chloe is cute!

Those are the only ones I remember so far. Why is it that most of these people (with a few exceptions) can create such beautiful clothes, but have personal styles that say "homeless person" or "crackhead"?

Warning - rant about San Franciscans - not applicable to my friends who live there - You know what really annoys me? San Franciscans who don't own cars and are really smug about it, but then bum rides off of you anyway. Don't you know you're only transferring your "environmental footprint" onto me? In the same category, San Franciscans who own cars but refuse to leave the fucking city because they have to "cross a bridge". It's too far, they say. Boohoo. Dude, if you can afford to live in San Francisco, you can afford to cross the bridge every once in a while. So much for openmindedness.
toastykitten: (Default)
School suspends kid for speaking Spanish - the suspension was rescinded after the boy's father complained. Watts, whom students describe as a disciplinarian, said she can't discuss the case. But in a written "discipline referral" explaining her decision to suspend Zach for 1 1/2 days, she noted: "This is not the first time we have [asked] Zach and others to not speak Spanish at school." (And you know what the kid actually said? "No problema." Two words.)

Back in elementary, all my friends spoke Cantonese, and I actually picked it up from them. There was an all-too-brief period where I spoke Cantonese with no American accent. My second-grade teacher, Ms. H, who was Chinese, kept admonishing us to "Speak English. You live in America now." She meant well. It still pissed me off, and us kids ignored her anyway. I remember my parents visiting her on Back-to-School night, and while I listened to her struggle to talk to them in their dialect, I figured out why she was the way she was.

It didn't annoy me any less.

A 13-year-old girl cannot be held at fault for having sex with her teacher, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday, rejecting a school district's argument that it shouldn't have been sued because the girl was partially responsible.

Why does so much ancient Greek art feature males with small genitalia?

Dov Charney on 20/20 about American Apparel. I can't watch the direct link because Mark has ancient software and hasn't updated his stuff since he graduated. :P Going to watch it later.

David Krumholtz really grew up. He's so cute now! I didn't even recognize him as Goldstein from Harold and Kumar or Michael from 10 Things I Hate About You, but he is so hot now as the mathematician on Numb3rs.
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It is a two mile drive from my place to Mark's place. No freeways. In the course of this two mile drive, we got cut off twice by this bitch in a red Camry with a fucking Jesus fish on her taillight. First cut-off, whatever. It was two lanes and there was plenty of space. She didn't signal either time. Second cut-off, though, she was TEN feet behind us, and fucking sped up in order to merge in front of us. It was a really stupid thing to do, considering that we could have ended up rear-ending her. We honked at her and flashed our headlights at her. I flipped her off, but I didn't think she could see me.

We are stuck for another mile behind her on a one-way lane, and for about two minutes she drives below the speed limit. Finally, she switches lane to make a left turn, and flips us off.

Then at the second to last left turn, we are at a stop sign. Car in the opposite direction decides to accelerate even though it's OUR right of way and we are already making the turn. Finally he is forced to stop because we are in the frigging turn.

It's a fucking two-mile drive, people. I want to get back in one piece.

That bitch's Jesus fish just about killed me, though.

P.S. I am no longer annoyed. Just vaguely irritated at the stupidity of these people.
toastykitten: (Default)
What is up with people ranting about the "political leanings" of every single book, even ones where it doesn't matter? Just because every book doesn't include a disclaimer about the NYTimes having a "left-wing agenda" (which, it isn't, unless "heads up asses" counts) doesn't make a book irredeemable.
Jun. 18th, 2005 11:39 pm

a mess

toastykitten: (Default)
Today was a mess. I left one of my purses at home - the one that had my wallet, driver's license, credit card, badge, etc, and didn't realize it until I got to work. There was a while back when I was wondering why I saw women on BART carrying 2 or 3 purses at a time in the morning, but now I don't. I bought myself a large, cute bag from KaraB, and it fits my small purse with all the mentioned necessary stuff, my lunch, 2 books and a magazine. Yes, I need 2 books to read, in case I finish the first one and need something else to start on. Anyway, today I completely forgot about my small purse, which was also carrying my iPod, so I was stuck listening to NPR again. (Also completely forgot about a meeting I was supposed to attend. Oops. Luckily, it will have no bearing on my job performance. Wondering if I will ever work in a place that is not Office Space.)

From NPR, I learned a lot of depressing things, and heard a lot of liars and scumbags justifying their stupidity and evil as somehow "patriotic" and "American".

I had no money for the MUNI train so I walked back to the BART station, where my train was late. I felt like I was on one of those Japanese bullet trains where everyone just tries to shove themselves on. I was pushed and jarred and squeezed in between a bike and a homeless man.

I had the following conversation with an apartment person:

Me: Hi, I'd like to make an appointment to check the place out.
Her: Have you driven by the place yet?
Me: No.
Her: Well, we ask that people drive by first before you request an appointment.
Me: I live in *really far East Bay suburb* and I work from Monday to Friday, so it's kind of hard for me to just drive by.
Her: We only show the apartment from Monday to Friday from 9 to 5.
Me: All right, then. Thanks, bye.

I knew that customer-service tone of voice, too, because I've used it myself. It's that tone where you just repeat what you know you have to say, flexibility and special cases like the fact that your "driving by the place" would mean an hour's drive for a two second glance be damned, because rules are rules and nothing's going to change. That's why I hung up, but I was sputtering a little afterwards. I may be wrong, but don't most people who are looking for apartments look during weekends and evenings, because they have jobs that will pay said rent? Other people I talked to seemed amenable to me checking out places during those times.

Tomorrow we're going to Marine World, and having fun with whales and dolphins. Taking my cousins, who have never been before.

Just finished Killing the Buddha, which is kind of weird. It's a collection of stories - various authors rewriting chapters of the Bible, interspersed with the two main authors, two guys who decide to travel all over the U.S. and collecting people's religious stories. They find them in strip clubs, in a pagan circle, in Southern churches, etc. I don't think there's actually a Buddha story, though.

I found it strange and compelling, but felt impatient with it. I'd gotten this book free from Bookslut (result of one of their giveaways yay!), and thought it would be totally awesome. I think the problem is that I don't know what they were trying to do with the fiction. It pulled in so many directions that I had a hard time reading the book and staying interested enough to move to the next chapter. I liked the nonfiction sections, where they talk to random people and get all their stories about how they find god and stuff like that.

Then I started reading Edgar Allan Poe and wondered if he spent most of his life wishing he was dead. He certainly seems in love with the idea.
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