Archive for July, 2008

July 31, 2008

Writer’s Block: Phobias

Do you have a remarkable phobia? Does your phobia have a large impact on your life?

Answer   View Answers

 

I had a huge fear of driving over bridges that were over large bodies of water. It wasn’t just any bridge that would scare me. It had to be over a large body of water. Bridges that were over roads or mountains didn’t really freak me out. I still get a little uneasy when I have to go over one, but it’s not as bad as it used to be.
I would be nervous for days or even weeks before I knew I had to go somewhere that would require driving over one of these bridges. I remember before Senior Week going to Ocean City in 2000. It was hard to sleep because I was thinking about the drive over the Bay Bridge. I almost backed out of the trip because of it.

I have taken the long ways to get to places to avoid bridges. If I could have just driven a few minutes to get someplace in the Baltimore area by crossing the Key Bridge, I would take the long way to avoid that bridge. It didn’t even have to be a major bridge. Now I can cross that bridge with just a little bit of anxiety as I’m driving over it and I typically don’t avoid the bridge (unless it’s a matter of just not wanting to pay the toll). But it used to be worse.

It didn’t even have to be a major bridge like that. I would have issues going over the bridge on I-95 that connects Maryland to Delaware.

If I was the passenger in the car, I would yell at the driver if he took his eyes off the road to look at the water for even just a second. I’m not usually the annoying passenger in a car because I can’t stand when others do this to me. But when it came to this fear of mine, I couldn’t help it!

People were puzzled by my fear. I felt like we’d fall off the bridge, go into the water and be trapped in the car and not be able to get out. But I didn’t have a problem driving on bridges that were not over water. Logically, you would think that would be worse than falling into water. If you hit the water, you have a chance to get out alive. If you hit splat onto the ground from many feet up, you would be badly injured or dead.

But that’s the thing about phobias. You can’t tell someone they’re silly or try to logically explain to someone that their phobia is wrong. Phobias don’t make sense – that’s why they’re phobias. Telling someone who is a little bit uneasy about going on their first airplane flight that statistically less people die from plane crashes than car crashes might make the person feel better. But a person with a strong fear or phobia of flying – this type of explanation will do little or nothing to help calm them down. And belittling someone for the phobia doesn’t help, either.

 

I found out a few years ago that there was probably a good reason for my fear.

When I was younger, I lived on Long Island, New York. Less than a month before my 4th birthday, Hurricane Gloria hit. My family decided to evacuate at the last minute. We were driving on a bridge to leave the island. The winds were so strong at this point. We had trouble getting over the bridge. The winds kept blowing the car and it made it hard to drive or steer. Basically, the police drove on the bridge to help and we were the last people to go over the bridge before they closed it because it was too dangerous to drive over.

I remember leaving Long Island when Hurricane Gloria hit. I remember being in the car and driving. I remember the sense of fear and urgency my parents had. But I don’t remember the bridge. I remember being on the island trying to get off. I remember being off the island. But I had no knowledge or memory of the bridge incident. I still don’t remember it.
My father told me about the bridge incident a few years ago and then it all made sense to me about my bridge/water phobia and being afraid of falling off. And it made sense to me about why it was the bridges over water that scared me but not the other kinds of bridges.

local newspaper

The other interesting note about this phobia and when it happened is my father’s phobia. My dad has some strong phobias which are worse than mine. I’m not really sure of all of them. But I think that to a lesser extent I have inherited that trait from him. The drive out of Long Island, my dad freaked out. I cant really blame him, though! After we left Long Island, I remember we were driving on a highway or route. It was raining, the sky was dark grey. The trees were moving so hard that the leaves were falling off into the wind and hitting the window. Out of nowhere, he pulled over, immediately got out of the car and ran into the woods. My mother ran out to follow him. This isn’t something that my family does. My parents wouldn’t just leave me and my brother alone. It felt like they were gone for so long, but I’m not sure of the actual time. Basically, my dad’s face had turned white and he was panicking. My mom didn’t understand why he was this way but tried to calm him down and help.
My father got into an automobile accident in the late 80s and since then he avoids the highways. I remember he would take the long way to get places when we could have gotten there in just a few minutes if we just took the highway. Also, he always has to drive. He does not like others being the driver – in fact, he will not even let them. I have never been in any type of automobile with him where he wasn’t the driver. This is a reason why we never took an airplane to get anywhere.
A few years ago, I was like this for a couple of years as far as not liking being the passenger. I would get scared when anyone else drove. I had to drive. But this is pretty much gone, except for when I’m riding with bad drivers, but that is rational.

The weird thing is that the bridge over water phobia didn’t happen until my teenage years. When I was younger, it wasn’t like that as much. Sure, I’d think about it a little bit while we were driving over one, but it wasn’t so bad and I didn’t stress out over it before a trip. Then it grew worse and worse over time.

So how did I lessen my fear? For one thing, knowing why I had the phobia helped me to understand it better and to improve myself on that. The other was understanding my anxiety issues in general and working through those. I’ve had an anxiety disorder for years but was unaware of it until a couple years ago. It has gotten much better since I learned what I had because once you know what’s wrong, you can take the steps to deal with it better.
There were some trips over the bridges that were made with trusted friends to force me to face my fear. It was scary, but after each time, it became easier and easier.

I still am uneasy when crossing the bridges. But it’s nowhere near as bad as it was before and that’s good to me.

July 31, 2008

Yahoo: Explore Concepts on me

I don’t really know why Muslims shows up under my name for a search – Other than I think I wrote something about Muslims being unfairly stereotyped and I wrote about the Obama/Muslim urban legend. But anyway, I guess the search isn’t perfect, but this is kind of interesting.
July 30, 2008

An accident with a hospital bus

Monday afternoon, my mother’s car got hit by a hospital bus.

As some of you may know, my mother has been sick for the past few months. She has been dealing with chronic back pain that is so bad, she cannot even work. She went to Union Memorial Hospital Monday afternoon because she had an appointment to get injections in her back to help alleviate the pain. Her procedure was finished and she was tired, sore and just wanted to go home. I went with her because she was required to have someone drive her home, since she wasn’t in any condition to drive herself.

We were in the car, leaving Union Memorial Hospital. I was stopped at an intersection, prepared to turn right. There was a hospital bus in front of us who was stopped at the intersection as well. Instead of turning right, the driver decided to go in reverse. He hit us and he didn’t slam the brakes after hitting us, he kept going back and dragged us back with him a little. Then he drove forward, looking like he was going to leave the scene. We are yelling at him. He stops for a moment and then goes in reverse – hitting us again!

We ran up to the bus and he’s like whaaa? huh? We’re like GET OUT OF THE BUS AND LOOK. The dude was either reallllllly tired and old (he’s like in his 60s, which isn’t THAT old) and/or high on marijuana or pills. He was just way too mellow and showed no emotion to what happened.

My
mom said to him to exchange each other’s info. He was like “Exchange information? What information? What do you mean? Oh, … well why would we do that? We’re okay, it’s okay”.


That’s when I reached for my cell phone to call the cops. Thank goodness for cells!

I call the cops and they say they’re on their way. Then, a Union Memorial “cop” comes up and tells us, oh don’t call the cops, they won’t come.
I say “Nice try, they’re right there“.
Do I have stupid written across my face? I’m not going to trust someone who is paid by the hospital to be fair and unbiased toward us. The Baltimore City police officer was cool, but not the hospital officer.

The bus driver was like “Well, it’s not my fault. I didn’t know you were behind me”. That doesn’t make it our fault. He should have looked. We weren’t even in his blind spot and he probably shouldn’t even have been reversing in the first place whether or not someone was there. We weren’t moving. He hit us. It’s not our fault.

Why did this crap have to happen Monday of all days? As if my mom doesn’t already feel crappy enough as it is. I’m not really too upset by this, though I’m not too happy, either. But my mom is really upset and that is what makes me mad. I don’t want to see her stressed out and in pain. She just needed to go home and rest after her procedure. But things had to get worse. She’s had to deal with taking off work, worker’s comp, insurance, doctors, etc. the past few months because of her back problems. Now she has to deal with auto insurance, car repairs, renting a car, etc. because of this.

I understand people make mistakes and I am forgiving of that but this was negligence.
He didn’t look. Then didn’t feel us when he smacked into us. Then didn’t hear us yelling at him. Then backed into us again. Then didn’t know why I ran up his bus. Then doesn’t ask if we’re okay or anything. And he didn’t even feel bad for hitting someone who is ill.

Luckily, her car is drivable so far, but it definitely needs repair. The front is dented in and considering that she has a Volvo, that’s pretty bad.

I had to take off yesterday and today. I went to the doctor’s because my neck and back hurt, going down my spine all the way down. My arms and legs are sore and I have bad headaches. I have sprains everywhere. My mom didn’t feel it yesterday but today, she is feeling pain in the same spots that I am. She went to the hospital to feel less pain, not more! I feel bad for her. If it wasn’t for the Volvo, I think our injuries would have been worse.

My doctor said I shouldn’t go back to work until Friday at the earliest and she gave me a note. She said I might even feel the whiplash for a couple weeks, though not as badly as I am today and yesterday. I’m supposed to go to Atlantic City on Sunday through Tuesday so I hope this doesn’t mess with that.

She prescribed me some painkillers and muscle relaxers. So I’ve been sleeping most of the day because it’s making me so drowsy. It hurts to sit up or stand up anyway, so I have just been in bed a lot of the day.

I’m just thankful that the accident wasn’t any worse. I’m not really that pissed because I know that there are people who have been in much worse accidents than this. The main thing that I am dissatisfied about is that my mom has to deal with this and that the bus driver could have put a bunch of passengers at risk. But luckily, no one but him was in the bus.

July 30, 2008

Writer’s Block: Feeling Better

  • Writing/playing music
  • Listening to music
  • Exercise – taking a walk, lifting weights
  • Writing in my journal about it. If I’m mad at a person, sometimes I’ll even write a letter to the person but never send it – just so I can let it all out. Other times, I do send it to them.
  • Talking to an understanding friend/family member about what happened
  • Going out and being around people so I am not at home and forced to constantly think about what I’m upset about.

The following would probably be considered bad ways to feel better when a person is upset. But I do it in moderation:

  • Alcohol
  • Shopping
July 23, 2008

Writer’s Block: At the Hour of Preference

Nighttime. Whether I’m trying to be productive or have fun, this is the best time for me. My creative juices more at this time. And I can analyze things better.
And of course if I’m out having fun, this seems to be the best time.

July 23, 2008

Perceptions and Taste

Sometimes there is a song that is so utterly annoying to me that I can’t comprehend how anyone could stand it, let alone love it. There are some people I find so completely unattractive physically, yet other people can look at that person and think they are perfection. Sometimes these things confuse me but other times it all makes sense to me. It’s a thing called taste. But why do people have different tastes? I think one of the multiple reasons is because we see things differently.

It’s like these classic examples of pictures.
In the first picture, some might see two people about to kiss at first glance, while some people might see a vase first. Most people will eventually see both. Then in the second picture, someone might see a “maiden”, while others see the “witch”. Some see both, but most do not unless it is pointed out.

vase_illusion.jpg image by cherryteresa                 

Then there is the spinning dancer example.
Some may see the dancer as spinning counter-clockwise while others may see her as spinning clockwise.

 

There are people who think I just graduated high school and others who think I’m married with children. There are people who think I’m 100% Asian-American,  Latina, Hawaiian, fully Native American, “Eskimo”, and occasionally, those who think I’m fully Caucasian.
There are some who think I’m totally innocent and others who think I’m completely shady. Some people tell me I’m totally the stereotypical Asian and others who tell me I’m completely the opposite of that. Some people think I’m really nice and easy to talk to while others think I’m mean and/or intimidating. And everything in between.
My point is that sometimes two people could meet me at the same time in the same situation but one would see me differently than the other. They were looking at and talking to the same person. But there were different ideas.

I guess people see, hear, taste, feel, and smell something differently than others. Humans take different things from something than someone else might.

As much as I think people are aware of this, we still tend to judge other people by their taste in things. Is this justified?
Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.  People still tend to bond to people who perceive things similarly to them. Maybe if our brains are wired similarly to look at things the same way, then we have many other things in common and see them the same way.

There’s a theory that those who view the dancer as spinning counter-clockwise are left-brained. If someone views her as spinning clockwise, then that person is right-brained. Of course, there are people who disagree with this theory.

But the point is if two people can look at the exact same thing and see it completely different, then it’s not surprising to understand that it applies to other things in the world. Sometimes I just wish I could see those things through their eyes to “get” what they are talking about. 

July 20, 2008

MySpace captchas

No wonder why I regularly type the captchas wrong. I like how the second to last one is tie dye.

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July 19, 2008

Don’t get these songs stuck in your head

Don’t get these songs stuck in your head. You might end up accidentally singing them while at work or in church and then people will judge you. Haha.

I didn’t make these videos, so don’t get mad at me.

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July 19, 2008

Writer’s Block: Your First Record

The first piece of recorded music I personally bought myself was not an album. They were cassette singles (cassingles) I bought from Wal-Mart in Miamisburg, Ohio in 1991. They were Mariah Carey’s “Someday” and “Emotions” with “Vanishing” as the B-Side. I still really like the early Mariah Carey stuff, up until and including her MTV Unplugged performance. But I don’t really like stuff her after that.
I don’t know for sure what the first album I bought was since I didn’t have money and they were usually bought for me as Christmas or birthday gifts, such as Bryan Adams Waking Up the Neighbours, Janet Jackson janet., and The Spin Doctors Pocket Full of Kryptonite.
I do remember in the 7th grade, my favorites cassette albums were Green Day Dookie and Boyz II Men II. I had such a crush on Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day.

As far as the first CDs I bought: I felt like the last person in America to not have a CD player in 1995. I babysat my neighbor’s children during that summer and used the money I made to buy a CD player and some CDs. The first CDs I bought all on the same day were: Hole Live Through This, Nirvana Unplugged, Clueless Soundtrack, Alanis Morrissette Jagged Little Pill.

I still really like all of the above mentioned albums and singles. Although when I first bought Alanis Morrisette’s album, it wasn’t played to death. I bought the album before it was huge. It actually debuted at no. 118 on the Billboard charts but now it’s one of the best selling albums in history. So after a couple months, it was played so much and after a year later, several other songs were played a ton. I ended up selling it since I felt I didn’t have a need for the CD anymore. But a few years later, I ended up buying it again used since that CD really is a great listen from start to finish. But I was just sick of hearing it on the radio and MTV all the time.

July 17, 2008

Writer’s Block: Food Loves and Hates

Foods I cannot live without:

  • Tomatoes because is it good but also used in other foods I like.
  • Cherries, strawberries, blueberries, honey dew melons. Basically fruit.
  • V8 juice.
  • Pizza.
  • Bread/Bagels.
  • Rice.
  • Crab: Crab cakes, crab pretzels, crab dip, crab pizza, and just crabs. Even imitation crab, haha.
  • Cream cheese.
  • Chocolate soy milk.
  • Veggie, soy, and turkey versions of foods like veggie/turkey burgers, turkey dogs, soy milk. Yum.
  • Sushi.
  • Salmon.
  • Spinach.
  • Olives.
  • Yogurt, yogurt cheese. I need my probiotics.
  • Chocolate.
  • Koreandessert-Tteok-Jeolpyeon-Ya-1.jpg picture by cherryteresaTteok – korean rice cakes. Real rice cakes, not the cardboard-like stuff that Americans picture when they think of rice cakes.
  • Grits with butter and salt.
  • Miso soup.
  • Pajeon (“korean pancakes”, “korean pizza), especially haemu pajeon, (해물파전) which is seafood pajeon. The kind with squid is my favorite. Great with soy sauce. Yum!
 

Foods I cannot stomach:

  • Beef and pork. I have not eaten either since 2006. I would literally get sick if I ate these again.
  • Mayonnaise “salads” that are not meat-based. For example, potato salad and coleslaw. When my parents tried to make me eat these, I would literally gag. I couldn’t even swallow these. It’s like my body was saying “no”. But tuna salad, chicken salad, etc. are great. 
  • Onions, except for baked onion rings or maybe in some soups or in salsa. I know onions are good for you, but I don’t like them. Even when I take the onions off, I can still taste them and it just ruins the food for me.
  • Green peppers. Most peppers just taste like ear wax to me (don’t ask, haha). Another food that I probably should eat for its health benefits, but don’t like. 
  • Most fried foods. I used to be able to eat a lot of these but now it makes my stomach feel bad. I basically limit myself to fried rice and fried fish sandwiches. But it depends on the restaurant because sometimes I can’t even have the fish sandwich from certain places. I get my crab cakes baked now and I actually like it better and it’s also healthier. When I make french fries, mozzarella sticks, fish sticks, etc. I bake them.
  • Root beer. Tastes like toothpaste mixed with soda.
  • Coors Light beer. I’d rather be sober than drink this. I can drink Natty Boh and Pabst Blue Ribbon, but no Coors Light.
  • Rum. I can have a little, but I usually just stay away from it altogether. I won’t even have had enough to be drunk, but I will hurl and have a bad stomach ache.