How to Use Emoticons to Solve Office Drama

So we have this really fancy coffee maker at work and, me being me, I try to avoid using it as often as possible because when it comes to machinery, I should be kept far away.

My faulty history with machines is probably due to my inability to do go beyond “skimming” the instructions before I chuck it up to luck and try to make it work, but I like to think of it as a curse.

Anyway, yesterday morning I came into the office and I guess I was a little early or something because the coffee pot was empty. Now I’m trying to be economical here, so I’ve limited myself to “Fancy Coffee Fridays” which means I am not allowed to buy coffee any other day of the week. This means that, today, I had to make some.

Technically, I could have waited for someone else to come into the office to make a pot, but if you haven’t already heard, I’m a caffeine fanatic and need my fix immediately after arriving in the office. So I decided to take on the task myself.

I’d used the coffee maker a couple times before and, like, if I can’t make coffee what am I good for? I used to own an espresso machine for god’s sake! I could do this. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

So I go about my business and even fill it using filtered water (something I often neglect to do since the sink faucet is soooooo much faster and by this point I’m jonesing for my jitterbug joe).

[Author’s note: I made up the term “jitterbug joe” as I wrote this piece and am so pleased with myself that I think I will continue to refer to coffee as such]

Now, when first introduced to said coffee machine, I was shown that by pressing a magic little button I could choose the strength of the brew. I’m sure you can imagine my joy at discovering this power. I mean, I can drink I pretty heavy cup o’ coffee.

So, of course, I make this batch extra strong and then I press start.

There’s something strange about the rumbling sound being emitted by this hunk of metal, but I trot away as our office manager enters the kitchen.

I’m pretty happy with myself for actually doing something other than drink the supply that someone else has had to make so I even manage to greet the office manager with a sing-songy “good morning!” He nods politely back and I think the coast is clear even though I can hear the jumbling of the machine.


“Hey, Kellen…” I turn back to him knowing from the tone that this isn’t going to be a conversation I enjoy, “you know when you choose anything over ‘very strong’, it doesn’t make a full pot.”

Okay, I think, it doesn’t have to be full. He’s obviously just letting me know in case I wanted to make a full put next time.

“Oh, that’s okay,” I respond cheerfully.

“Um…not really for the rest of the office. We go through these like crazy…”

Shit. I’m such an asshole.

Like, I didn’t even think about the fact that my decisions could be affecting anyone else besides me. Gah. Seriously, how do I not think about something like that when I’m using the company’s coffee maker?

To make matters worse, he has noticed that there’s something wrong with the machine in general. And I’m, like, cool…I selfishly made only enough coffee for myself and also broke the damn thing. World’s. Coolest. Coworker.

After apologizing profusely and begging him to believe that I wasn’t the one who broke the machine (although I knew fully well it was me and my damn curse) he tells me that it’s fine and that he will fix it and I don’t have to stay there.

In other words I should leave because I suck.

If you’ve gathered anything from my other blog posts, you know by now that I have an irrational fear of people not liking me. Seriously, I know I shouldn’t care because not everyone in the world can like me, and I DEFINITELY do not like everyone in the world, and there are qualities about myself that I don’t even like, but I can’t help it. I NEED people to like me, and when I think they don’t it’s like whoa. mental. breakdown.

So that’s where I was with office drama. You have to picture me. Full on hyperventilating at my desk and, like, seriously wondering how I am going to drink my coffee since I am too scared to back to the kitchen to pour myself a cup when it is done brewing because if I see our office manager I will probably dissolve into tears and like break my cup and run out of there never to return and then I will be jobless and like won’t be able to afford my rent and my roommates will hate me and kick me out and I’ll be stressed because my office manager AND roommates both hate me and I then… Let’s not fully explore the depths of my depravity.

Then. A miracle.

I have a gchat message from our office manager that not only apologizes for being a “bossy pants” but also has an emoticon of a coffee cup and an inquiry into whether or not I can see the little image.

Yes. Yes, I can see the little image and boy does it make me feel like throwing myself out these fifth story windows might have been a tad over-dramatic thought.

So, I send back (because I’m still mortified that I only think about myself) that it was fine and that I should be thinking about the rest of the office.

He then makes sure I understand that the machine breaking was not my fault and that it had just “gummed” up.

Oh ho ho on contraire, my friend. You may think it was just a little glitch in the maker, but I know the truth so I tell him that it did break on my account since I’m pretty cursed in the ways of the machine.

He jokingly says that the coffee maker was tattling on me because he wouldn’t have noticed how strong I brewed the coffee if it hadn’t made that dreadful racket.

Here’s where I use my skills in the art of emoticons to make myself 100%, no doubt about it, forgiven for my selfish and ignorance.

I reply with no words. Simply the emojis of a cup of coffee, a bell, an ear, and angry-steamed face, and then a crying face (aka me).

That got a laugh. BOOM. solved. Emojis solved my office drama (if you consider that drama).

The only bad part of the story?

I was too afraid to drink or make another cup of coffee so I drank my first energy drink in, like, years and felt like I had smoked a bunch of weed while at the same time taken an adrenaline shot… it was horrible and I thought I was dying BUT at least no one was upset with me.


How to Totally Freak Out Your Physical Therapist ( and What Sweat Has to do With it)

Okay so I promised the story of my physical therapy appointment.

Let’s refresh our memories. The last post was about how I failed to shave my legs (duh) before an appointment with my doctor to check out my knee. Yes, that means it was not only I who was being pricked and prodded during that appointment, but my doctor as well.

The conclusion of that piece was that I went to a physical therapist…and I left you all with the promise that I would share about the embarrassingly sweat-filled fun I had there.

Here I am keeping my promise. I’m such a great gal. *patting myself on the back.

I’ve been living in San Francisco for a while now. 7 months. During that time, my tolerance for heat and humidity has gone way down. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a child of the sun and don’t mind 80 degrees of damp sunshine beating down on me. The problem is that I sweat.

I have always been exceptionally sweaty.

I’m talking drenched in yoga class after the first downward dog while everyone else is slightly chilly from the breeze sneaking through the window.

Oh, I think that I should also bring up the fact that the reason I am in need of physical therapy is because whenever I run it feels like my knee is crushing down on itself ‒ bone against bone…

In the appointment:

I am introduced to the young man who will be helping me, Marco. Marco is a nice guy maybe a couple of years older than I am. He shakes my hand and leads me to the room where we will figure out what’s wrong with me.

As he’s walking me to the room, he says, “so this is your one and only appointment. How’d you work that out?”

“Well,” I say, “I’m going back to San Francisco tomorrow.”

“Okay,” he accepts that answer and is ready to get down to business, “how old are you?”

“23. About to be 24. I’m turning 24 in January so, like, THIS next month! So 23 but basically 24,” I answer because I can’t just leave it at 23…

He looks up with eyebrows raised and eyes wide.

I know why.

“You thought I was, like, 12 didn’t you?”

That really puts him on the spot.

“Uh…yeah. Whoa. Sorry. Let me get my foot out of my mouth and we can continue.”

“Eh,” I shrug, “it’s totally fine. I know what I look like. I was once asked if I should be driving…” <– true story by the way…I was 20 years old at the time.

Cue semi-awkward silence where we both re-evaluate the situation and I have to bite my tongue so as not to say “it’s cus i’m chillin’ with no makeup on.”

Not that I ever look much older than 16, but the fact that I’m not wearing any makeup, and I’m hapa (part Asian), and am wearing a big t-shirt and shorts definitely sends my looks back to my middle school days.

Truthfully, the only thing that stops me from throwing out that Drake line to explain my lack of twenty-something looks, is the fact that the line that follows it is: “that’s when you’re the prettiest I hope that you don’t take it wrong.”

Not only am I NOT at my prettiest (I think I’d thrown my hair back into that weird, half-pulled-through ponytail bun that was so popular in, like, the 6th grad) but I just am not trying to bring up looks at a time like this. I mean this tanned, in-shape Marco guy is about to work out my knee (thank god I shaved this time) while I, the 12-year-old twentysomething, have to struggle to keep cool and not think about how white and flabby I’ve gotten since the running stopped and the 6 layer dip-a-thons began.

But enough. Let’s move along with the appointment.

Marco then asks me to explain my knee problems to him to make sure what he has written down is correct.

I relay the facts to him. My knee has had “small kine” problems for a while, but it isn’t anything that has stopped me from running. Then around November, I would run for a bit and then this incredible pain would start to occur.

He asks me how far I usually run and I tell him that my normal day run would be about 6 miles but the recently the pain would start to occur at about 3.

“Oh. Wow,” he says and nods, “6 miles on average? That’s my far run.”

Yes! I think to myself, I’m freakin’ impressive.

That moment doesn’t last long.

He then nonchalantly asks how often I stretch.

You know that moment in Pitch Perfect when Fat Amy is asked why she has Bumper’s number and all she can do is make that high pitched “eehhhhhh” sound?

[Author’s note: if you don’t know what I’m talking about you should probably watch it right now and then get back to this post]

Well, that is the sound I make.

Marco is no longer impressed. Dammit.

“Okay,” he says finally, “well you should be stretching three times a day…at least.”

“Oh,” I respond. Cool.

Then has me lie down.

Here’s a shocker: I’m a super self-conscious person. Me lying down and having to do strange leg lifts while this virtual stranger (albeit a professional trainer) presses on me in different areas is quite possibly one of my biggest fears.

And so the sweating begins.

But it doesn’t end there.

We’re sitting there (okay well he’s standing there pressing my knee and I’m lying on my back wondering when I’m gonna be back in my cave…I mean home) and I can’t seem to shut up. God forbid I don’t tell him about the spontaneous dance parties I’ve been having while working from home OR how super cool my mom is and how she’s my best friend and I just want to stay home and hang out with her rather than go out to bars at night…I mean, these are all things he really needs to know.

At this point Marco is just shaking his head and laughing at me because he’s not quite sure what to say to the flood of personal information i’m offering.

I’m currently doing a strange leg lift because I need to strengthen the left side of my thigh and he asks me,

“Does your phone have a camera?”

At this point in the appointment, I figure he knows me well enough to joke around (since I’ve basically shared with him every detail of my life post college). Oh god, I think, I look so ridiculous right now he wants to take a picture of me in this Olivia NewtonFonda position to make fun of me.

“Nope,” I lie.

“Really?” He asks, and sounds a bit too surprised, “I thought every phone had a camera these days.”

That sly dog. He’s looking at me so seriously I almost believe this isn’t a prank. I won’t be fooled! I never let myself be embarrassed.

“Okay,” he says. Now he sounds really serious and a little disappointed, “I guess I’ll just draw the pictures of the exercises you have to do. I’m sorry I’m not the best at drawing.”

Oh…the apology is what does it. That’s what makes me realize that he’s not kidding around with me and is seriously asking for a camera so that he can document the exercises. That way I’ll have them to look at when I have to recreate them in San Francisco.

He’s getting up to go get a piece of paper and a pen to hand draw each of the exercises. I can’t believe that’s something he’s even willing to do.

“Wait,” I say. Fudgescicles how am I going to word this? “…I lied? My phone does have a camera.”

The last sentence comes out fast and mumbled.

“What?” he asks turning back from his route to find the necessary drawing supplies.

“I have a camera on my phone,” I admit and sit up to grab it out of my purse.

“Are you serious?” He’s staring at me with this confused look, blinking his eyes.

“Yeah,” I say unlocking and tossing the phone to him, “I just didn’t want my picture taken.”

Gah! I am not even looking at him.

He’s shaking his head at my phone in disbelief. I’m not sure he’s ever had a patient who felt the need to lie to him before.

Can you imagine my sweating now? 

After showing him the camera on my phone, it is time to learn a new exercise.

While I’m learning this new exercise, I have to lie on my side (which is just an awkward position to be in – I don’t care who you are) and my phone rings.

“Oh!” I exclaim grabbing it from off the end of the table where he’s placed it, “it’s my mom.” – Awesome. He already knows how cool i think my mom is…

Why the higgedy heck is my MOM calling me when she knows I’m in this appointment?

I shout into the phone and there’s no response. Ends up, it’s a butt dial…

“UGH!” I cry because I have no filter at this point, “my mom just butt dialed me. She KEEPS doing that!”

At this point Marco is just staring at me like I’m a crazy person. Who’s mom butt dials them on the reg?!

We then go through a series of exercises to strengthen my knee and keep it responsive. I have to do a squat for a minute. Lunges for a minute each. Something called the Captain Morgan (oh because did I mention he figured out that my hips are even weaker than my knees?), three different types of leg lifts, and a couple of thigh stretches.

*Small side note – When I learn how weak my hips are I think back to my horseback riding days when my hip would occasionally pop and then I can’t listen to anything that Marco’s saying because my sick and twisted mind jumps to childbirth – why the hell would it jump to childbirth when I’m not even thinking about doing the nasty with anyone – but it does and i’m, like, omg does this mean I’m going to break my hips when I try to have one? You know my dad went to a psychic once who told him I was going to have problems with that. LUCKILY I am able to keep these thoughts to myself which is shocking seeing as I told him everything else I was thinking during that appointment. Embarrassing it’s like, HELLO, Kellen this is a physical therapist not one for your mental-ness

Okay back to blog post

Oh, did I forget to mention that when we are doing the squat he asks if I know proper form and I say, “isn’t it something about pushin’ your booty out?”

Dear god why would I EVER use the word booty? He responds with, “well… if you move your knee over your second toe like it’s supposed to be, then, yes, your bottom will go further out.”

“Right.” My bottom. Much better way of putting it.

I haven’t done strength training since I took that bootcamp class in college so I’m really hurting at this point. I’m sweating and have to be very careful not to lift my arms (if you know what I mean). Don’t know what I mean? Two words: pit. stains.

I’m also trying not to think about how similar to Gollem I must look right now with my hair plastered to my forehead.

That’s when Marco hits me with another question. You would think that I’d have learned from the last time but…you can’t teach an old dog new tricks…

So the question he asks me is which of the exercises was my favorite.

And I’m like uhhhhh. I hate them all. So none.

“No, really,” he’s kind of smiling so I’m sure this time we’re actually pals and he’s kidding around with me. That means I can answer honestly.

“None,” I say again.

“Really?” He asks and is shaking his head.

Should I have taken notes on how many times he shook his head?

“Yes,” I say, “really.”

“Okay…” he kinda tilts his head sideways as if to tell me that he thinks I’m unnecessarily difficult but can’t voice it because I suppose that’s not very professional, “what’s your least favorite?”

“Oh, the lunges,” this I can answer quickly.

“Okay,” he grins, “then we start over with the lunges. Stand up.”

“You can’t be serious,” I say staying seated.

He “hmphs” incredulously at my response and still stationary self, “yes. I’m serious. Stand up.”

So I stand up and he quizes me on propper lunge form. Omg I hate it so much. And the sweat is really happening now since this is the second set.

“I’m swweeaaattiinnnngggggg,” I complain and am frowning at him because this is actually torture. Like, I not only do I hate being in a room alone with someone I’ve just met, but I also REALLY hate sweating in front of someone I just met. And boy am I sweating.

“It’s Hawaii,” he sighs and shakes his head again (gah at the beginning of this post I should have created a contest for whoever could guess the number of times my physical therapist had to shake his head at me), “everyone sweats.”

“Yeah,” I counter, putting my hands on my hips and trying to suck in my belly since that’s what I’m supposed to be doing, “but, like, I’m REALLY sweating. I mean, has anyone ever sweat this much before?!”

Marco just laughs.

“Okay,” I know I’m right, “so they haven’t. Like, I’m the sweatiest! Omg I hate it so muuuuuuch.”

“Just do these when you’re at home watching tv,” he suggests. As if that will solve ANY of my problems.

“But then my roommates are going to have to see me sweat! Can you imagine this happening while they’re trying to watch a good show? I’d ruin everything!”

Marco doesn’t have anything to say. I think he finally figures out that there’s no consoling me. I am a mean, not so lean, sweat-complaining machine.

The end of the appointment:

It’s the end of the appointment. I’m finally no longer leg lifting or lunging and can stand normally. Poor Marco can only shrug and hand me my phone and exercise assignments.

“Sorry for making you sweat?” he says because what else is he supposed to say at this point. I’m sure when he entered into the appointment he’d had no idea that his patient would be so nagging or so willing to share each and every thought that sprung to her mind.

I thank him because that’s a good thing to do after making someone almost as uncomfortable as myself for an hour, and he says to me, “um have fun in San Francisco…” then he adds thoughtfully, “try to not to get into trouble.”

At this point he looks, like, actually incredibly concerned. Like, here he is sending this mentally unstable twentytwelve-year-old off to the big bad city.

Welp. Don’t worry, Marco. I’m doing just fine. Maybe not doing my knee exercises as much as I’m meant to, but I’m back in the city and living up my twentysomething life!

My Hairy Doctor Situation (Harry Caray Ain’t Got Nothing on Me)

I’m not sure if this is a twentysomething thing or if it’s just a “me” thing, but I’m not too keen on shaving my legs.

I’m single. I’m lazy. And I wear long pants every day.

So sue me.

(Actually don’t because I’m a twentysomething living in San Francisco and wouldn’t even be able to pay for my transportation to the courthouse let alone an actual lawyer.)

Okay back to the topic at hand: my hairy legs.

So yeah. I’m a Hawaii girl who moved to Northern California ergo I’m freezing my tatas off and never even look at the small stack of shorts I brought here with me…I mean what was I thinking?! Shorts? Really? Not only would I freeze to death, but 6 months without hiking or swimming and Friday pizza nights have brought me to the understanding that shorts are a thing of my past.

Because I never let my legs see much more than a couple minutes of naked exposure, I don’t feel the need to spend the amount of time it takes in the shower to shave them and make them pretty.

I mean I do shave them on the occasion and, like, when I know that someone’s coming over and might see me in pajama shorts (I’m lazy but I’m not cruel). But for the most part I have been letting them grow past the allowable stubble of a couple days.

So here’s where that situation went from Okay (know one really knew) to buy me a razor asap because this stuff needs to go STAT.

If you don’t already know, I haven’t been running in my fantasy land of Irish folklore recently because I’ve got a bum knee.

My dear mother knew I was flying home for Christmas and arranged a doctor’s appointment so that I could try to heal it before I was never able to run again.

Go mom.

Can you guess where this is going?

If you can’t, that’s good. You’ll be that much more entertained.

Okay so I get home to Hawaii and yes, it’s humid and hot and I begin to wear shorts again because it’s unbearable to wear long pants in that heat.

But I’m working from home and don’t feel the need to shield my parents and brother from my not-so-smooth stems.

Then comes the day for my doctor’s appointment.

Let’s not even talk about the me-driving after not driving for 6 months situation…

Anyway, so I’m in the doctor’s office and waiting in that little room while she sees other patients.

Patients who were probably courteous enough to shave their legs.

Then she comes in and asks me about myself and then asks about my knee. I tell her what’s been happening and then it’s time for her to check it out.

That’s when it hits me… she’s gonna have to touch my leg.

She’s reaching for my knee and I have long hairs growing out at her, challenging her, daring her to try to help me. Not only do I look like I’m still in high-school (oh! read more about THAT in my next post about my physical therapist appointment) but I’m also a greasy haired – yes the hair on my head got greasy VERY fast once it welcomed the Hawaii humidity – leg hair monster.

To make matters worse I’d been walking around barefoot for the first time in FOREVER and my toes were splattered with dirt.

mmmmmmmm. I’m sure she was glad to have me as one of her first appointments that day.

So as she’s telling me about what she thinks is the problem and what to tell the specialist I’m going to the next day, all I can think is.

Me legs are so hairy. My legs are so hairy. My legs are so Haaaiiiirrryyyyyy.

I’m sitting their uncomfortably wiggling and looking a little too much like Harry Caray and wondering if she’s ever seen Harry Caray and if she’s thinking I resemble him too, and I can barely remember a word she’s told me to tell the specialist.

That’s not how this doctors appointment was supposed to go…

But I guess that’s just the way the cookie crumbles or just the way the hair falls.

How I Found Love on the Streets of San Francisco (and Why Facebook Should Take Notice)

So here’s something new.

Facebook now gives me little notifications to let me know when my friends get engaged.

Why am writing a post about this?

Well, let me tell you why.

I am writing about this new feature because it actually brings a little comic relief to my life. During my social networking I am now able to see all of the people who are progressing in their relationships. People who have found love – or whatever it is that makes people want to get married.

How is this comical?

It’s comical because I am SO, so so so so so (I can’t even say ‘so’ enough times in this post) far from anything even close to an engagement.

It’s comical because, since moving to the city, I have been hit on a total of 5 times and 4 of those 5 times have been by homeless men.

For your (and my) entertainment let’s go through them.

1. Trash to Treasure

As I walk from my house through the Panhandle I hear a loud, manly yell.

“Hey! I like what you’re wearing! YOU LOOK GOOD.”

I, in turn, smile but just keep walking since I have no interest in someone who cat calls at me. I then am hit with the angry shout of,


Ah, yes. This is when I realize that the gentleman who has been admiring me is none other than the homeless man I saw a while back. As I turn to look I see that he has already forgotten me and gone back to digging through the trash bin.

I guess my beauty is fleeting.

2. Aryan Ask-out

As I head home from the bus stop and walk past a liquor store on Haight street, a young neo-natzi spots me and the sharp black tattoos across his face twist as he grins.

“Hey!” he says as he moves closer, “Wanna kick it?”

As difficult as it is for me to refuse such an eloquent line, I somehow manage to rush past without looking at him.

3. Drake Debonair

On my way to work there is a man who sits on Market street. As I walk by he grins with mostly gums and says “absolutely beautiful!”

If he can think I’m absolutely beautiful when I’m chillin’ with no makeup on, then I MUST be gorgeous right?


4. Bus Beau

And finally, the most recent of these times:

I am on the bus with a visiting friend and her friend from school. I let them sit next to each other and I sit across from them facing the back of the bus. A tall gentleman, skinny and obviously unhealthy staggers onto the bus. He mumbles to himself as he makes his way to the back of the bus and slams his body unsteadily onto a seat.

He then precedes to talk to himself about a variety of different things and the conversation seems to be going very well until one of his selves notices that he is on a bus.

“Is this bus going to Haight?!” he cries melodramatically.

The boy beside him nods.

“Good! That’s where I got to go.”

He then goes back to the discussion he was having with himself.

During this time I am talking to my friends about dancing and places to go in the city. I jokingly do a couple fist bumps to explain the kinds of dancing at certain places.

This grabs the man’s attention and informs himself “did you see that? She’s dancing! Having a good time!”

I then realize that I’m going to have to tone things down and become extremely interested in what’s happening outside.

“Are we at Haight?” he asks and I continue to observe the road outside the bus’ window.

He asks again and I can tell he’s looking right at me and wishing that I’d answer him. When I don’t he mumbles “beautiful.” Then, when I don’t respond, “YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL.”

I am still not turning to look at him so he says a couple things to himself, takes out a tearing wallet, puts it back in his pocket then leans forward to my friends.

“I don’t think she can hear me,” he tells them, “but you gotta tell your friend I think she’s beautiful. Actually, I guess I can tell her when I get off the bus.”

Sure enough, as he exited the vehicle he stopped in front of me and with a slurred smile said, “I just gotta say. You’re a beautiful girl.”


Consider my self-esteem lifted.

So thank you, Facebook. While I fend off my homeless suitors and search for a somewhat sane beau, you show me all my acquaintances who have found true love – or at least someone they like enough to do the deed with over and over again.

Super cool. Maybe I’ll develop an app that I can click to share the amount of times someone rolls over on the street and thinks I’m pretty.

What do you think about that Facebook? Eh? Next trillion dollar idea!