Archive for the ‘friends’ Category

One night in Bangkok…

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

…makes a hard man humble” And my last night in Bangkok certainly did. So I’m blogging the trip in reverse almost. At least I hope to. You know I kept that paper blog during my trip. What did the ancients call it? Oh, a diary.

By the time I got to Bangkok for my last night before my flight home I was almost desperate for some company. Just someone I could speak some fucking English to. Those 21 hour bus rides and over night trains — no one to talk to. On the local buses I took, I was the only person that didn’t speak Lao. By the time I got to Bangkok, I was absurdly lonely. And for a big, confident, self assured gal, being absurdly lonely is…absurd.

Isaac and Kerry told me they’d gotten prettied up in Bangkok before they went back to the states. So I went to mall. I’d avoided it in Laos because I was busy looking at other things, but I do enjoy checking out malls in different countries so I went to the mall Isaac suggested. Indulged in some Thai underwear because Asian bras fit me (cause I’m Asian) and I spent less than $50 USD for 2 pairs of bras and 2 pairs of matching underwear — unheard of at Victoria’s Secret (and yet they were just as sexy).

I wore my cleanest dress. The one dress I’d brought for special occasions. The one I’d never worn before. It’s a travel dress; I bought it on sale at REI. It’s not that sexy. But at the end of the evening when I ended up at an Australian pub across the street from my hotel (only cause I knew there’d be English spoken there and they were playing MotoGP on one of their big screens), drinking Jamie’s all alone…the one guy who finally talked to me said he thought I was a Thai whore until he heard my English.

I guess part of me has to be proud that I could even pass for a Thai whore.

Traveling in Laos

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

I haven’t been blogging because I’m traveling through Laos at the moment with Isaac and Kerry. At least for another week and then I’m on my own. It’s indescribably amazing. You can read about our adventures at their blog at Laos is wonderful. That is all.

Prepping for Laos

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Photo by annamaticI’m in the midst of mad preparations for my trip to Laos. “Mad” because I’m a procastrinator. I bought tickets in July and I’m just now really starting to get ready for my flight in four days. I’m traveling with a couple I know for most of the trip, then solo for a while. You know how I need my solo time.

I’m looking forward to many things on the trip: getting away, seeing lots of new things, experiencing a completely different culture, tasting new food, walking endlessly, rain, heat, meeting new people, seeing new animals (if I’m lucky — you know how I love the furry things), and getting to know the couple I’m traveling with even better. I’ve never spent more than a few hours at a time with them so I’m immensely curious how this will turn out. I’m fairly certain it’ll be easy and fun, but I think the unknown is inordinately attractive to me and having never traveled like this — so intimately with so few people — it will be interesting. I’ve traveled solo and I’ve traveled with significant others and with large groups, but never by myself with another couple.

Photo by Fabio GismondiOther than yoga and the vaccinations I got, preparations include getting legal docs in order in case I die in Laos. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to and I think if my mother hadn’t died so suddenly and we hadn’t gone through probate, I wouldn’t even be thinking about it, but I am. Unlike any other trip I’ve taken before, this time I’ve got an emergency contact list to send to close friends and family which includes any information they might need in case I die like the person who has my will and the person who’d know about all my financials.

Another thing I’ve realized is that when you go away for a month and you’re uncertain of your accessibility to the internet, you have to figure out how to pay the bills. I’m not a big fan of autopay because I hate to store my credit card credentials with any sites so I’m realizing now that I need to prepay accounts or make other arrangements.

But that’s all the boring shite. Fun preparations include getting my travel reading list together, deciding on which camera to take, downloading podcasts, and figuring out what I absolutely want to see during my month in Laos. Goodbye internet, goodbye phone. I won’t miss you one bit!

I love animals and they love me too

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

I took my visiting guest to the Monterey Bay Aquarium yesterday. We saw the well marketed Secret Life of Seahorses exhibit (my favorites were the Leafy Sea Dragon and Weedy Sea Dragon) and it was nice, but what I loved were the sea otters. I could have watched them all day.

One of them would swim up to me, popping her head out of the water and just look at me for half a second before going away. Then she’d come back and pop up out of the water in front of me and look at me again. As if I wasn’t already in love with her, she kept coming back. She retrieved toys off the floor of her tank and brought them up to show me. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her.

I watched them doing all their mundane activities like grooming and sleeping and was completely and utterly fascinated. One of them slept floating on her back with her little teddy bear face to the sun, sucking on her hand. I wish I’d taken a photo.

Today, we stopped by Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay. I’ve always wanted to visit and even though I lived 10 minutes from there for a short period of time, this was my first time there. There’s no admission to enter the farm so you can go and walk around for free and enjoy the Halloween decorations. I was enamored of the goats. They would come up to you when you stood at the fence and poke their heads out and make that little goat sound. Their chins are so soft. They wanted to suck and bite on my fingers and eat my clothes. I was in goat attention heaven.

Goats at Lemos Farm eating my skirt

Remembering things past

Monday, June 15th, 2009

I helped a really close friend of mine go through her belongings in storage so that she could prepare to sell, give away, take back, or store elsewhere a room full of things accumulated over years and years of her life in San Francisco. You can imagine how emotional that might be. I learned from my mother to never throw anything useful away so not only do I have a lot of potentially useful stuff like boxes and paper and a million ribbons I’ll never use, but I also hoard emotionally meaningful stuff.

I cleaned out the guest room the other day and happened to run into a card from an ex-boyfriend. It was so sweet and made me think fondly back to that person. I have no connection with him anymore. We didn’t stay in touch and we aren’t friends but for a few moments I felt affection for him again.

But it’s the past in the present — do I really need that? Do I really care to remember those times? What difference would it make if I never remembered them again?

The thing is that I have an awful memory so I probably won’t remember those times without the physical reminders — the ticket stubs, the journal entries, the cards I save in shoeboxes. I found a small photo of my son from when he was just a baby — a cutout of his head I must’ve meant to use for some craft or photo album. It was just the head, but I remember distinctly the photo it came from and it took me back to his babyhood. Nowadays I look at him and there’s no trace of that baby in him. He’s way too old and mature to spark that memory in me. But that’s what the photo albums are for.

I need to be a better purger of stuff. Because it’s not the things that you miss, it’s the memories that you associate with those things. And maybe you’re afraid without them those memories will disappear too — at least I am. But maybe if my memories only surface when I look at certain things, they’re not really worth recalling?

I lied

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Personal blogs do still interest me. We had our annual second Thanksgiving and Kerry was telling us she updated her blog and I made a mental note to check it (and I did and I love that her 92 year old grandma has a new boyfriend. I checked Ineke’s blog too while I was at it, but I’d already seen the latest update). I’ve been reading like crazy lately. Blogs, news, RSS feeds of *all* kinds of shit. That last article I blogged about obsessed me so much, I blogged about it again.

Do re mi

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Me and Ed at Do Re Mi singing our hearts out

So we finally had our karaoke night that we’ve been talking about for like a year. And it was way less painful than I expected. In fact, it was fun the entire time. I think Ed or someone just started singing as soon as we got into our room and we were off. Then we were fighting over microphones and songs…no, actually there wasn’t any fighting, but there was lots of singing with and without mics. My favorite was “Dick in a Box” by Ed and Isaac — I wish they would perform that at every get together of ours! Sadly, the photos didn’t come out that great. I wanted to post the cute one of me and Ineke singing “I Kissed a Girl” on either side of Ed while he’s taking a swig off a flask but it was a little blurry. Instead you can enjoy my tonsils. I don’t even know what we were singing, but boy am I into it.

Do Re Mi was an interesting venue. You rent a room with a karaoke machine in it. It’s Korean — you can tell by all the Korean text I can’t read. There’s no bouncing ball over the words to help you time your singing to songs you don’t know so well. It just lights up the word at the speed you’re supposed to go. And the next line is above the line you’re singing. I found that a little weird. One of my other favorite moments in the room: Jess tearing down a wall light in the karaoke room. It took two men to fix it.

We went back to The Bar on Mission afterwards. One of us girls said something about not liking her body (wasn’t me!). And one of our male friends, god bless his soul, said something to the effect of, oh dear, if you girls only knew that i’d lick rancid butter off of any of you. Which I interpretted to mean you’re crazy. you girls are all crazy about your bodies cause you’re all so hot i’d lick nasty rotten food off of any of your bodies just so i could put my tongue on you.

Then it was on to my house where we set off all my smoke detectors and filled my living room with smoke at about 2 in the morning. Isaac says “You’ve never used the fireplace?! You’re breaking my heart.” Mike says “Fire?” I say “I have duraflames!” Light fire. Mike examines the flue. No one’s really sure if it’s open or not. The fire going in the fireplace smells like…melting plastic. Jess goes “cough cough”. Smoke detectors activate so we disassemble them all. Minutes drag on…we end up kiling the fire with a fire extinguisher. Fun while it lasted. This morning my entire living room was covered in ash.

Every time we lose a single girl…

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Every time someone I know gets married it kicks off marriage related topics in my little head. I was just thinking about how a year and a half ago there were four of us engaged women at Ed & Ineke’s wedding and none of us wanted to catch the bouquet. Clearly that speaks for itself. In the end, the bouquet got tossed twice and I only ended up with it out of pity for everyone involved in the whole affair — the poor scared girls that didn’t want to touch the thing (including me) and the poor bride who had to toss the thing twice.

So why didn’t any of us want the bouquet? One of us was just gun shy about marriage — she ended up happily married (just recently). One of us is unhappily married. Two of us quickly disentangled ourselves from our pending commitment errors — one of us at the very wedding where the unenthusiastic bouquet toss took place.

Every time I hang out with my friends lately, I find myself wondering how much of their relationship status affects mine. I’ll bet that if they were all single, I would probably be more inclined to stay so. Not to say that I’m in a relationship just because my friends are, but that their lives, given our closeness, can’t but affect me to some degree. I see their intimacy and happiness, and their flaws and strains, and my gut no longer recoils from it — the thought of spending forever with one person (or at least the foreseeable future) — in fact it seems potentially worth giving up my freedom for.

The new and the old

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Two of our closest friends got married this weekend. It was a beautiful and touching ceremony — they had a close friend marry them, they had close friends read at the wedding, then of course, the traditional best man and father of the bride speeches. I guess none of that would be interesting if you didn’t know them, but since I do and know them well, I found it wonderful and sweet.

Another close friend lost someone close to her this weekend, too. I never know what to say to people when they’re going through something that raw. And I never really knew what to say to people who would say nice things to me when my mother’s death was still new. My heart breaks for her.

On the shuttle ride home while I was thinking about all this turmoil and change this past weekend, I couldn’t help but think how often the start of something is tied to the end of something else and warm memories blend in with heartbreak and maybe that’s a good thing. My mom died the day after my sister’s birthday so forever those two things are tied together. Our friend will remember her grandma’s passing on every one of our friends’ anniversaries. I think each year it gets easier to focus a little more on the birthday, but the death will always be there.

Not living in a studio apartment anymore

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

A close friend of mine recently said, Kitty Kat…it’s time you move into a bedroom now. Seriously. Yeah, yeah.

Every night this week I’ve run through the same ritual — come home from work, walk through the entire flat to make sure there are no murderers or thieves hiding in any of the rooms, get a drink and go to bed (not to sleep but to watch tv or work on my laptop until I pass out). This is my version of moping. I don’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone. I just want to be in my bed.

The other night this same friend (after I told him how I’d been spending my nights) said, Oh I get it — you’re in the living room because you’re pretending you still live in a studio apartment! You moved into a studio with “extra” closet space! Actually I moved into a two bedroom flat.

Every time I come up the stairs to my flat, I think ahead to how I have to walk through the entire place before I can get comfortable. But I realized that I must’ve done the same thing in my last place — it’s just that all I had to do then was to walk through the living room to the bathroom and I had seen the entire place. I’m not more anxious here; a two bedroom place just requires more walking through :)

Bay to Breakers 2008

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Photos on

Silent damsel in distress filmJay, Tuck, Ed, KiruDog

Tuck peeingMoustache GirlMe...looking for a restroom

Another reason I’m a girl

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Another Bay to Breakers under our belts — this year is my boyfriend’s first. I think Tucker’s first, too. I spent the day entirely too sober. In fact, half way through I was thinking to myself that I never wanted to do this again.

This is one of my favorite costumes (seen early in the day):

The humans are dead; We poisoned their asses

Tucker was trashed, and Ed was trashed and sans his wife. Normally Ineke keeps him occupied and happy, and without her, he’s a little boy. The boys got into a tussle at one point and even when I know they’re messing around, I can’t stand to watch it — I can’t stand the idea that someone might get hurt. Tucker kept telling me what a good mommy I was the entire trip and I thought oh god…I’ve devolved to this…mommying my male friends.

This year there were a couple of nasty episodes — perhaps every year there is ugliness and I’ve never noticed before because I’ve been intoxicated. It makes sense that tens of thousands of drunk people must result in some nastiness. But it turned me off to the whole thing. But next year will roll around and I’m sure I’ll forget and we’ll be here again, in our dirty bathrobes, walking up the hill with a bunch of drunks and the giant floats they’re pushing into our ankles. (Pictures to come shortly).

One of the boys

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

My boyfriend works on a ship so he comes and lives with me for a month at a time. We’ve been together eight months but have only been in the same country for just over 11 weeks in total.

One of the things I realized on his last trip was that one of the reasons I fight relationships is because I want to keep being one of the guys. I don’t want my boyfriend to take my place in my circle of guy friends! I don’t want to miss hanging out with them because he’s hanging out with them. I don’t like the idea that guys night out will actually only be for guys and not include me anymore.

The other thing I realized was that I’m being slowly edged out of the guy group whether I have a boyfriend or not. And after thinking about it for a while I realized that it’s been happening for a while now and I’m ok with it. I like hanging out with the girls — I actually prefer them. I was out with the boys one night last week and it was 3 of them and me (including my boyfriend) and they were talking about their bachelor party weekend and whatnot and I was bored! Partly because I’d heard all the stories before, but partly because there were no other women to goof on the men with me or to counter with bachelorette party stories with.

I don’t know why it is that as I get older I care more about my clothes and my earrings and my makeup and making aprons and photo albums and pretty little table settings. Good god, if I’d known this was what I’d turn into when I was 17, I probably would’ve cried my little heart out and tried to extinguish myself. But here I am, 17 years later and I’m having fun. And I’m a girl, goddamnit, a real honest to god girl and I never would have guessed it, but I like it.

Decadence of Vegas

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Me, Calthea, and Ineke in Vegas

Vegas is lights, slot machines jingling 24/7, hot women dressed in their sexiest clothes, guys trying to impress, drinking, smoking, dancing like strippers, and money blown like there’ll be no tomorrow. This is good for three days tops. In fact, a three day visit is the ideal length of time — you have at least two full nights of partying, plus a possible 3rd if you’re hardcore (which I’m not). This gives you enough time to enjoy the pool, gamble a bit, try out various restaurants, and still have enough time to rest a bit before each evening’s outing. I didn’t actually do much of any of that because I spent each day recovering from the night before — not in a sick kind of recovering — more a relaxed, sleep all day kind of recovery which was nice.

I was looking around me at the fascinating mix of people this weekend. It doesn’t matter how beautiful you are, there is always someone hotter, thinner, and younger than you in Vegas. Look at us — three cuties about to hit the town, and none of us could stop ogling the other eye candy around us — mostly women because as one cab driver said, Vegas is a place where women wear their sluttiest clothes and don’t look slutty doing it (well, he said something along those lines anyway :)

I thought Justin Timberlake said something clever when he said who came up with this idea that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? He said he was from Tenneesee and what happens in the backwoods there should stay there, but this shit that goes on in Vegas — everyone should know about that. The next night, I’m in a cab and the driver’s telling me how this thing about what happens in Vegas should stay in Vegas was the best thing ever — cause the girls just go crazy out here. I don’t know what exactly “crazy” means to him, but for me it’s letting go just a little — wearing the clothes I hardly ever wear at home, not being embarrassed about being drunk out of my mind, and dancing with my skirt hiked up to my ass with Ineke. That’s Vegas.

Favorite quote from this trip: She’s a classy broad. That’s why we bring her with us.

Recommendations from this trip:

  • Forty Deuce is always a blast. The girls that dance there look like they’re having real fun, and the 3 man band is great. And I like the crowd mix.
  • StripSteak had both really great food and really great service
  • If you need a safety pin to pop a blister, the Logo Store has a great assortment of sundries (better than The Store in The Hotel at the Mandalay Bay).
  • If you’re staying at The Hotel at Mandalay Bay and you ask for a fold out couch and they say they’ll give you one — they’re lying. They’ve lied to us twice about it now. But they will bring you up a comfy ass cot instead.

Lessons in adulthood

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

I came home last night after seeing Avenue Q with my friends and my power was out (damn that construction!). Luckily I had a headlamp hanging on a doorknob nearby and it was late anyway so I got settled in for the night. Getting ready for bed by candlelight/headlamp is fine. The only thing that sucks about no power is no internet (and no open wireless networks near home either).

The musical was really good! We had a biggish group — eight of us, and every single one of us had a good time. We were talking about it well after we left the show — and some of us were still thinking of it today. My favorite (and possible spoilers coming up in case you don’t want to read ahead) characters were the Bad Idea Bears. Just imagine the cutest little baby puppet voices on Sesame Street giving you horrendous, unsolicited advice, then being really, really heartbreakingly sad when you don’t take it. For example: you’re depressed, your friends, the Bad Idea Bears, come to visit. In his sweet little baby voice, one says, you should hang yourself while the other one runs offstage, comes back, and in her sweetest little baby voice says (as she hands you a noose) with this piece of rope I found!. Their suggestions are so awful, but their enthusiasm is so contagious, and my goodness, you don’t want to hurt two of the cutest little baby monsters you’ve ever seen, do you?!

Ed said he heard something on the radio about how it’s supposed to be like life lessons for adults. It’s not just a parody of Sesame Street — it is Sesame Street fror adults. There are all these shows and educational programs about how to be a kid, a teen, a college student. What about when we leave college and we have all our fool headed ideas about what adulthood is like? Where are our educational programs about how to deal with our ever growing bills, or how to save money when you’re making minimum wage, or how it’s ok to have no idea what you want to do with your life even though you’re in your 30’s? What about those lessons, huh?!

Well, this show is it. It tells you straight up how a B.A. in English is a useless degree, how there’s a fine line between love and a waste of time, how everyone’s a little bit racist, depression isn’t uncommon, life is mundane, not everyone knows what their purpose in life is, the more you love someone, the more you want to kill that person, throwing pennies off super tall buildings is bad, the internet is for porn, everyone’s a little empty inside, and even well educated people can’t get a job. I feel so smart because I’m so familiar with all these lessons — it’s like reading ahead for the exam. Except the exam is every damn day. Thank god I have a good sense of humor and singing puppets are funny.

The show only runs until the end of this week (Sept 2) in San Francisco so see it if you can. You can find a list of other tour dates on the official Avenue Q website.

Girls’ night

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

We had a girls’ night out a couple of weeks ago and I got all dolled up — which for me is putting on a nice pair of slacks and an appropriately cute tank top and the most uncomfortable pair of shoes I own — I mean like I want to gouge someone’s eyes out after I’ve spent an hour in them and why didn’t I learn from the last time I wore them?! uncomfortable. At the end of the night, I wasn’t drunk, but apparently was stupid enough to try to climb on top of a fire hydrant in front of the Rite Spot in the Mission — per Ed or Ineke’s request, of course. That fire hydrant was about half my height.

me attempting to mount a fire hydrant in front of the Rite Spot (photo by Ineke)

In front of the Rite Spot in the Mission (photo by Ineke)

Don’t laugh at me, but in a week and a half we’re going to Vegas and having another girls’ night out to see…Justin Timberlake. You’d think I’d rather die than make that admission, but I’m doing it for the girls. I only know that Sexy Back song by him, but apparently women all over the world love that scrawny little playboy so what the hell.

So work provides these bicycles to ride around to the various campuses. They’re called Gbikes (because everything good starts with a G, baby). I rode over to take a break with a couple of friends yesterday and as I’m leaving one of them says, You’re a girl. In a skirt. On a bike. I love you! I rode away smiling and thinking ah, if only all men were so easy to please, then realized…oh, actually, I think they are. All the men I know are amazing and that easy to please. I’m the one that’s the difficult bitch :)

More photos from Yosemite

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

I dreamt last night about the PUW shares I blogged about and kept thinking I don’t know what companies are in that fund…how do I really know they’re ethical?! I then woke up in the middle of the night in a panic…where am i?! Cozy, overly warm, and completely clean in my own bed. My backpack stinks like hell. Going five days without washing, wearing the same pants every single day, no deodorant for fear of attracting bears, hair thick with dirt and heavily weighted down by the natural oil production of my scalp. Yummy.

I’m a lazy fucker and won’t get around to posting my pics for a while, but Christian posted his pics (see two borrowed ones below), as did Aaron. Aaron’s Yosemite photos are hilariously annotated.

My favorite quote from the trip: Dude, we’re all white.

First day of hiking in Yosemite (photo by Christian)

First day of hiking…just starting off

The end of our last day of hiking in Yosemite (photo by Christian)

Last day of hiking…the end of the trip

Backpacking trip to Yosemite

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

Too tired to blog about the trip, but here’re a few quick highlights: got stung by a bee on the first day, had to take a dump in the middle of the woods with no cat shovel or toilet paper, girl group “bathroom” trips, climbed up and over this crazy steep and narrow ridge, and met some damn cool people I’d never met before and hung out with some damn cool people I already knew.

me at top of parsons peak

Self photo at top of Parson’s Peak near Vogelsang in Yosemite

My mini farm and cash apartment

Monday, February 26th, 2007

In an effort to clean up my apartment and get rid of unnecessary things, I finally took apart my “origami farm/replica apartment made of cash” that my friends built me for my 33rd birthday. It was the sweetest thing ever — we don’t celebrate my birthday often because we’re usually all traveling for the holidays, but this year they made a special effort to put together this amazingly involved and touchingly personal birthday party. It was such a surprise that when I got to my friends’ apartment and looked around at the decorations, I thought, hmmm…Mike & Marg must’ve had a birthday party for a child…I wonder who it was? And I saw my sister crouched in the kitchen in surprise birthday party mode and thought to myself, hmmm…that’s weird. What’s she doing here? And why’s she crouching near the floor like that? They had Hello Kitty decorations which made me think of a small child (I didn’t have the heart to tell everyone that I wasn’t into Hello Kitty nearly as much as my ex was), and I so fully believed Ed’s story about why I was over there (though the story did strike me as being slightly weird) that I wasn’t the least bit suspicious.

Anyway, that was over 2 and a half months ago but I haven’t had the heart to rip apart the gift they all collaborated on. In the tradition of the very personal, German folded money gifts, they made me an apartment out of origami money. With an origami farm to top it off. It is beautiful (view all the origami pics).

Origami Zoo Replica apartment made offolded money

Taking it apart was harder than I thought it would be — it’s not easy stripping off hard glue and double stick tape. I was staring at one bill trying to think of how I’d explain to someone why Abraham Lincoln’s forehead was peeled off the bill. Well, he was folded up into a chair and glued to a fake carpet.

Seven+ mile party

Monday, May 22nd, 2006

Sunday morning:

me: I thought you said you were going to use the other rollers.
jess: I didn’t say that.
me: Yes, you did, you idiot.
jess: Uh, no, I didn’t.
me: Well, I can’t use these — my hair’s too thick, I can fit enough of these on my head!

jess: you’ve been mean to me all week, you bitch.
me: you’ve only been here one day!
…one hour later…
jay: I can’t believe you and your sister were fighting over hair curlers this morning.

Look, we got three hours of sleep. I’m on pain medication, she’s a mini pharmacy. Drinks, late night, early morning…go figure. We made up half an hour later and for the rest of the day I’d laugh about that stupid fight.

We did our 2nd Bay to Breakers this year. It is seriously just one long, unofficially locally sanctioned costume party / drink-a-thon. This year we came prepared with lots of food, drink, and water. I think our first year we didn’t have enough food or alcohol. I haven’t gotten my pictures up, but Ineke has!