Sunday, December 30, 2007

"the wonderful thing about falling in love is that you learn everything about that person, and so quickly. And if it's true love, you start to see yourself through their eyes. It brings out the best in you. It's almost as if you were falling in love with yourself." - playing by heart

Friday, December 28, 2007

I didn't see that wall there.. did you?

I went to take the GMAT.. all I can say is I fucked it up. Someone or something is telling me to slow the hell down (at least that's my excuse). Talked to my teacher and based on my diagnostics, there was a 3-4% chance I could score that low.. 3-4!!! What the heck?

As much as I hate to blame the fact that it was cooler in the room (I study in 70 degree heat :D) and that the entry/exit door was right behind me. People were constantly going in and out and I could hear everything through the ear plugs, plus I could hear what was going on outside the door. How awful is that?!

So I'm going to miss almost every round 2 deadline. What do I do now?

I feel like I got slammed into a wall, I cried, I'm sad, but more so I'm disappointed in myself and pissed off beyond belief! I worked my butt off!!

so I guess we'll see, there's no giving up. I want to get into one of these schools, I know I can.. there's no ifs, ands, or buts about this. I just need to find a sledgehammer for this damn wall!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

the marrying type

I went to visit some close friends this past weekend, to get away and get some advice. One of them shared a story with me, he jokingly said, 'my brother's in love with you.' I thought, what the.. really? I had only met his brother at his wedding this past summer and we talked, at most, just the two of us, for 15 minutes. My friend said, his brother, who isn't known for being monogamous, said that I wasn't just someone to date, I was someone he could see himself with for a very long time.

This brought a flashback to a conversation I once had with someone, about how I seem to be the "marrying type". Doing a quick google search, I came across this article:
http://www.grumblemagazine.com/articles/crack/marrying/index.html.

For the most part, that's so me.

One part of the article that particularly caught my attention was a conversation the author had with a guy friend:
"Guys are afraid of you."
"Afraid of me?" I was hurt (and in denial). "Why?"
"They know you're not the sort of girl to mess around with. You are to be taken seriously. You aren't going to put up with a lot of crap so if they aren't at the point to commit, then they don't even bother."

I had a similar conversation with someone years ago. Only with the added, "guys don't want to hurt you, you're too good and they know it." I'm not saying I want to be married right now, but I'd definitely like to be in the future. And I have tried the dating for dating's sake. I ended up in a year and a half relationship that wasn't what I really wanted. It also led to a lot of 1st and sometimes 2nd dates with no chemistry. I saw myself making a lot of friends...

A lot of guys friends mostly. I have loads of guy friends, some of whom I had started liking, but somehow I usually end up being their girl Friday. I can't even count how many conversations started with, "Hey Vix, I need some advice, I really like this girl... *quietly my heart falls, just a little bit - I quickly recover in time to offer advice*." I think my wish for my friends to be happy often makes me put what I want on the back burner. That and according to another friend I never give off enough signals. I have trouble flirting, it's not that I flirt awkwardly, I just don't, I forget, I'm too used to becoming the friend.

Yay.. lucky me. Same friend with the brother was told me, he knows lots of guys that I would be great with, only thing is, they're not good enough for me. :) Got to love that my friend is looking out for me, sucks that there's still no one.

Maybe my friends just tell me this stuff because I'm still single. If that's the case, guys, help a girl out!! Otherwise I might end up with unrealistic expectations.. is it already too late? :) .. only half joking.

Friday, December 21, 2007

at 13 or 27.. it's still the same fear

I was watching a re-run of Private Practice last night during my "study" break. In the show Cooper (a pediatrician) is talking to this young 13/14 year old boy. The boy was brought in by the mom because she thought he was sick.. he said he wasn't sick, he was in love.

Cooper asks, "isn't that supposed to be great?" The boy responds, "Not if the person you love doesn't love you back." Coop reveals that he has a crush too, he's in love with a co-worker and hasn't told her. He's loved for her a very, very long time. So the two make a pact, the boy will tell his love how he feels and Coop will tell his. Turns out, the boy gets beat up because he's in love with his best friend, who is a guy. Coop chickens out, because Violet is still in love with her ex (who is married).

Violet spent the episode trying to find out if the new wife (Cammi) was married and eventually the two have a confrontation. Turns out Cammi was there to check Violet out. Violet tells her there's no competition, Cammi is young and beautiful. Cammi tells Violet she isn't so sure about that... which thus gives Violet hope (bad bad bad!! - that's a whole different blog there altogether).

So Coop chickens out and reassures Violet, "Of course he's still thinking about you, you're hard to forget..." (they pause and look at each other) "you know big fuzzy red hair, loud voice.." (laughter breaks the moment). That's as close as Coop gets to telling her how he feels.

No matter how old you are, that fear is still the same. I remember feeling that scared and anxious when I was young and it still feels the same when you're older. It's this feeling that makes you feel like you're standing in the middle of a tornado. You're safe if you stay in the middle, but if you dare to tell the person, it's like waiting to see if the tornado will dissipate and the sun will appear or hits you and pulls you into it.

You'd think it would feel different as you get older, I suppose if anything it should get more scary right? Unless you feel as though you have nothing to lose. But if you think about it, it's all relative to your experience. So as a child, that's all you know, this is LOVE, real love and it's extremely scary. You've never felt this "intense" before! Then as you get older, you realize more and more the complexity of such feelings.. so that fear is still the same, no matter how old you get.

So if you were in the middle of the tornado, do you think you'd stick to the middle or go for it?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My life at the moment...

Geeks are Chic!

My friend Stacie, sent me this link and I loved the article!
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22219377/

It's so true and to be honest, I've always had a soft spot for geeky/slightly dorky men. :) One day I hope to marry a cute, nice, geek. Maybe because I was a geek in high school, okay maybe more of a dork than a geek, since geeks tend to be super smart. Either way, I was them. I wore clothes that were very unfashionable and spent my time trying to be smart, playing board games and talking about geeky tech toys. (Come to think of it, I still do a lot of that now, only I dress a lot better.)

I think most of the guys I've ever liked/crushed on were geeky in some way, extremely nice, or very humble.. it's always that sweetness that gets me. :) And if they love dogs, it's so over, I'm smitten!

three cheers for geeks because they're chic!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Chanson: i saw your away message

and it showed the part: cautiously hopeful...

so i was about to message ask

why not be: Hopeful with abandonment!

or some variation on that, ridiculously hopeful works too

or hopeful like on christmas morning

but then i saw the rest of your

message

the: i HOPE i HOPE!!! part

and it put a smile on my face

it's the yang family way

i know no yang's to be cautiously hopeful


hmmm.. he does have a point. :P

Friday, December 07, 2007

feeling special at at frou frou spa party

On occasion (when I can afford to splurge), I go to the Preston Wynne Spa in downtown Saratoga for a massage or facial or something. I first found out about them at a Next Door Solutions for Battered Women's fundraising event. The owner of the spa is on their board of directors and does a lot to support the organization and women in domestic violence situations.

I like how as I'm supporting my own well-being, I'm indirectly supporting Next Door and women. :)

So last night, was their client appreciation party, there were 400 RSVP's and you could feel the numbers. My friend Jess went with me, because these things are always more fun with someone else. We got to downtown Saratoga early and had some dinner and then headed over there. Got our gift bags and signed up for a bunch of mini-treatments. It's amazing how 5 minutes of massage can help you feel 10x lighter! We had a hand massage, scalp massage (I could have fallen asleep in the chair), neck and shoulder massage, had our make up done, flowers/xmas trees painted on our nails, and even a flower essence reading.

When I was getting my make up done, the make up artist kept remarking how beautiful I looked with the smokey eye she was applying. When I took a look later I was a little shocked, it was a bit much, but looked good from far away. Then I realized why she kept saying it looked so pretty, she had made me look like a stereotypical cat-eyed asian woman. All I needed was a red chi pao with the slit up my thigh so high I can't sit in the dress, a fur coat, and the arm of a rich asian ganster. Yeaup.. that would have done it.

Jess and I even got hair consultations from the hair salon where I had my hair chopped short for donation! I really liked the girl I spoke with an I have an appointment in January to get my hair fixed up and bangs put back in. Yay! It's going to be my, congrats you finished taking GMAT gift to myself, either that or sorry you did so crappy on the test, here hope you feel better soon gift.

We continued getting treatments, wandering around, all the while munching on delicious appetizers such as shrimp mix on chips, smoke salmon and crustini, small sandwiches, and hummus. We sipped cranberry sparkling soda with champagne and nibbled chocolates from the local chocolaterie across the street. My favorite was the hot chocolate, it was delicious and absolutely amazing, I wanted to take a thermos of it home for later. :)

We ended the night with the flower essence reading. She had me sit with my eyes closed and told me to breath deep and connect with the earth. Then I had to picture a question in my mind, something I've been thinking about a lot. Well a picture popped into my head and it could have symbolized two things. I then opened my eyes and had to pick a card with a flower on it that spoke to me and she told me what it meant. The advice she gave me? - give and keep on giving, don't let expectations block me and cause disappointments, just give if I want to give and if I do give, to give freely and expect nothing, or just don't give at all if I don't want to. This might need some analyzing, I only hope it's a good sign or it could be a warning. Terrific!

All in all, so glad Jess came with me, had a blast and it felt good to not think about other stuff in life for awhile. But now, it's over back to reality...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

What I Imagine Heaven would taste like...

sorry bad photo.. i was 3/4 through heaven when i realized i wanted to take a photo. it's a Beard Papa's cream puff if you can't tell. :)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Life is short,
Break the rules,
Forgive quickly,
Kiss slowly,
Love truly,
Laugh uncontrollably,
And never regret anything that made you smile.
-unknown

Friday, November 23, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Antlers?!

A dog has to draw the line somewhere...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Ia 'Oe - If you can't tell that's Keali'i Reichel's head sticking up.. he was a judge this year. :)


Thursday, November 01, 2007

oh the love life of a dog owner..


My friend took his dog to a group function, dressed in my dog’s Hawaiian shirt.. here’s the conversation that ensues..

me: how the hawaiian dog do?

Fuzz: not too bad

he was a hit regardless

girls love dogs

me: (I laugh)

that's the real reason you adopted one isn't it!!

Okay.. i'll admit.. chicks dig dogs and chicks with dogs dig guys who dig dogs

Fuzz: only...

it's not bouncing off the dog to me

just to the dog

me: (I laugh harder)

Fuzz: he's like this huge black hole

i'm just the guy holding the leash, limiting his fun

me: (laughing so hard my eyes are all squinty)

Fuzz: i wish it would rub off...

even a little

is that too much to ask??

me: it is

sorry..

dogs are little attention whores

morgan will suck up every little bit and leave me nothing

Fuzz: no kidding!!!

messed up i tell you

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Thursday, October 04, 2007

@ the boiling crawfish

Wednesday, October 03, 2007



remembering you and loving you

Treat for dog and treat for baby

Amazonian Adventures of a Capuchin Monkey

We boarded a motorboat that cruised through tributaries and along the Amazon for 3 hours before reach our destination - Tahuayo Lodge on the Tahuayo river, adjacent to a natural conservation area of the Amazon jungle. My first thought was, Swiss Family Robinson. The entire lodge was built 15-20 feet off the ground. During the wet season the water can rise 30-40 feet and covers the stilts. We were greeted by Llanny (like a spanish version of Jenny, pronounced yanni) with cups of chicha morada, a delicious juice made from purple corn. We settled into our room, which thankfully had bathrooms. I was ecstatic over the fact we didn't have to go to an outhouse (especially when I got sick in the middle of the night). Water pressure was next to nothing and it was cold, but in 75 degree weather with 98% humidity it was a blessing.

The first day, we made it time for lunch, clam soup, fried catfish, rice and fresh fruit. It was delicious. Then we took off for a short hike to go zip lining. I had done it before in Costa Rica, but I didn't have to climb a tree that time.. this time there was a 100 feet between the ground and the platform. The rest of the girls opted to climb it, lazy me got hoisted up. :) It wasn't as easy as you think though, I had to keep my stomach muscles tight the entire time because the harness was positioned rather uncomfortably. Our guides weren't expecting so many girls to want to climb, so we made a dash and zipped through the trees quickly and belayed ourselves back to the forest floor. By then it was already sunset, with a "vamanos" from Cesar we made a mad dash through the jungle trying to get back to camp - no one had brought a flashlight and my headlamp was out of batteries. Rushing through the jungle is no easy feat, every few feet are spiny trees and we had to get through mud and bridges made out of tree trunks. Just as we broke into the clearing behind the lodge, the dinner drum sounded.

Every day we had breakfast, lunch, and dinner - they featured delicious pancakes with fruit, eggs, local vegetables (like palm heart), local meats and fish, rice - cooked to perfection, fruit and fresh juices! I ate fruit I had never seen before and drank juice that I wish was sold in the US. That night we were so tired from traveling and tree climbing, we decided to hang out in the dining room. Our guides, the cook, and the lodge administrator played Peruvian music for us with flutes, drums, and rattles.. they called themselves the "Lady Killers". Llanny taught us to dance to the music and we laughed at each other... seven girls dancing to native music in the middle of the jungle, lit only by lantern light. Later that evening I snuggled into my bed, safe from mosquitoes behind my mosquito net. Expecting a peaceful rest, Jenny and I actually had a rough night that first night. She developed hives from the soup (we didn't realize there was shellfish in it at first) and I got the chills (yeah in the middle of a 70 degree jungle.. weird) and was ill. When the clock rang at 5:30, Jenny shot out of bed to wake the others up to go canoing, I decided to wallow in my misery until breakfast.

After breakfast, we donned our swim suits, slathered ourselves in insect spray and sunblock. I bought an ultra waterproof, gel sunblock that later required a lot of peeling to remove.. but it did it's job in protecting me! We boarded a small motorboat and went on our quest to find river dolphins. We caught some quick glances of gray ones before heading into the Amazon. The Amazon is a bird watcher's paradise, we saw so many birds everywhere, of every different size, shape, and color. Small blue fly catchers to beautiful herons, even an egret perched so regally on a log in the middle of the river. Our guides ever faithfully watched the banks for animals and spotted us some iguanas (they said chameleons.. but they looked like iguanas to me). I stared across the seemingly endless water, it truly is beautiful. Despite being a brown/beige color, the clouds from the sky would reflect in the water, making it seem as if the sky and the water were one. I could have sat there for hours just looking across the water. Finally we stopped the boat.. swimming time!

Wait.. what about piranhas? Are you sure it's safe? According the guides.. yes. Just don't stay still for too long, because you'll look like a dead body and if you're bleeding get out of the water.

With that the guides leaped into the murky water, Jen followed by diving in. I threw in a life jacket and lowered myself in. I was SWIMMING in the AMAZON!! The thought nearly overwhelmed me, it was such an exciting experience. Here I was, in the biggest river in the world, something you usually only see on Discovery Channel. The water was a relief to the hot sun that had been beating down on us. Still no dolphins. We swam around for about an hour and climbed back in the boat to continue our search. We grew to love the motorboat, riding it was like self made A/C, the moment we stopped the heat and humidity would surround us like walking into a sauna.

Suddenly there they were! A whole pod of pink river dolphins! We spent 20 minutes watching them play in the water and come up for air. The next hour was spent swimming after them in circles. We never did get close enough, but just being in the same water with these animals was amazing! Happily satisfied that our quest was complete, we headed to lunch in a nearby village. Lunch was ham, egg, and cheese or tuna sandwiches, with melon and oranges. We were starving and I gulped down 1 1/2 sandwiches before my stomach said you'd better stop or you'll be ill again. We even got to "experience" a typical toilet in the village. It's a pit in the ground covered by sturdy logs with a hole in the logs. For privacy a screen made of bamboo was erected around the pit. Surprisingly there was no back of the alley, near a garbage can, like the port a potty smell. This is due to the fact that almost everything in the jungle is recycled, bugs and animals come along and use the waste for some purpose or another... gotta love a self cleaning toilet right?

After lunch we got to experience a local championship football match! No matter where you are, the city, the mountains, or deep in the jungle, football is a way of life. They'll find somewhere to play and something to use for goal posts and a ball. We even got to watch an impromptu game between local villagers, some guides who were on vacation and our own Cesar and Panchito (the cook). After that, we headed back for some hammock time before dinner. Every evening I'd sit in the hammock and fall asleep without meaning too, thankfully Jenny would come wake me up to eat, I wouldn't want to miss a meal!

That evening, we boarded a motorboat to go insearch of nightlife. None was to be found though, being a nearly full mom, the animals had gone into hiding. It was still a sight to see the moon's reflection on dark waters.

The next morning we were up and ready to go at 6, went for a 2 hour hike in the jungle. We got to hear more about the wildlife, see termite nests, and finally spot some small pygmy monkeys! Our guides lead us through the jungle, trying to track a larger monkey, but we came upon the little ones instead. Towards the end of the hike, Edson also found a millipede, who apparently emits cyanide from it's feet and shell as a form of protection - please remember to wash your hands after handling that insect.

After breakfast it was a quick visit to the shaman in El Chino village. She showed us some of the medicines she uses to cure upset stomachs, arthritis, and soreness. Everything involved moonshine in the form of sugar cane rum. The healing properties came from infusions to the rum like wild garlic or other plants. We got to taste some of the medicine.. :D. After leaving the Shaman we headed to the village to visit the preschool - they sang to us, so we sang the itsy-bitsy spider, old mcdonald, and mary had a little lamb back to them. Then it was a short visit to the local grade school, K-6 all in one room. It's not mandatory that children attend as some have to help their families or watch the younger children. Some students recited poetry and the entire class sang us a song... which meant we had to sing back. Another rendition of the itsy bitsy spider, followed by row, row, row your boat in a round.. lead to no applause. Us singing in a round threw them off. Thankfully that ended quickly and the students got to ask us questions. We were asked if we studied in college and what we studied and one cheeky boy, Juan Gonzales, wanted to know if we were married. :) I think Cesar had put him up to it. After the Q&A, we were gifted with a song that seemed like a national anthem and then a song about friendship and returning to see one another again sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne and followed with She's Coming 'Round the Mountain.

We headed back for lunch and more hammock time! Edson also brought us some ink to tattoo ourselves with, it's like henna, doesn't last but fun for the moment. I had Edson draw a butterfly on my back near my shoulder. Tanya got a hoitzin bird holding a machete, it looked like a toucan holding a pirate sword. Jenny had Ivy ink a mosquito on her shoulder (as a badge of honor for all the bites she got). That afternoon we decided to be domestic and take a basket weaving class. A woman from the local village came by and showed us the baskets and bracelets that she had made and taught us how to do it. Everything they use is natural, from the seeds to decorate the baskets to the raffia and the dye for the raffia. Most of us ambitiously decided to do a basket, Tanya ended up with a coaster (a very beautiful coaster). I managed (thanks to my lei making skills) to create a small basket the size of my hand. Woo hoo! I never said it was pretty.. but I made it. We took photos with our teacher and as we headed to dinner semi-joked that the next morning we'd go and buy prettier baskets from the locals.

This was our last night in the jungle and we were sad to be leaving. The cooks created a beautiful cake for us to say goodbye and we sang the Spanish "Auld Lang Syne" song to the staff as a thank you. We left a long thank you for making us feel so special and our trip so wonderful and memorable. We created so many stories from our excursions.

That evening the shaman made a visit to the lodge. She did a blessing ceremony (complete with moonshine infused with wild garlic) and then told us our spirit animals. I'm a white faced capuchin monkey, when asked why, she gestured at the smile on my face, and said I was healthy and easy-going. Ivy is an armadillo (I didn't think the shaman would know what an armadillo was!), Jen a turkey of some sort, Jenny a toucan, Esther a boat billed heron, Carol a fly catcher bird, and Esther was a blue and gray tanger. One more blessing for safe journey's that involved her rubbing moonshine on our faces and head and we were sent to bed. As I walked along the walkway, I looked across the river and saw lightning flashing across the horizon.

Sometime in the middle of the night it started storming, I woke up and it felt darker than it was and I could hear the rain coming down and the wind blowing. Suddenly our door flies open (keep in mind it was locked). Luckily I didn't have to get out of bed, the moment the door opened, Jenny flew out of her bed and slammed it shut. A minute later, it flew open again, this time Jenny locks it. Nope doesn't work, finally I manage to find a voice and tell her to move the small table over to block it. Brilliant! No more opening doors and we fall quickly back to sleep. Apparently the storm also woke our heaviest sleeper Ivy in her room. She woke up to rain on her face and her mosquito net blown open. Esther and Tanya slept through the storm with their door open, the purpose of the door isn't to keep people out, it's to keep bugs out.

We woke up early ready for one more adventure, took a quick motorboat trip and hiked to see the nesting area of the hoitzin and the anaconda. We didn't spot any snakes, but we did spot the fat, prehistoric looking birds sitting on their trees. After breakfast was another trip to the village, this time to go shopping. We walked away with tons of baskets and bracelets from the local villages. Before heading back to the village, we visited a villager that had caught a boa constrictor and an anaconda. We also got to see the many uses of the palm tree - thatching roofs, raffia, and as food (heart of palm).

After lunch, which happened to include palm heart (the peruvian jungle spaghetti as Llanny called it), we hugged the guides who helped us and said goodbye. Boarded our boat to head back to Iquitos and to the airport for home. It felt strange to be back in a city with people and cars after spending time in the jungle. It's been a culture shock to be home too, but out of the entire Peru trip, the Amazon was my favorite part. And as their song goes, I hope I do return again someday!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Trip through Time

I was apprehensive about going to Peru at first because of the cost of the trip, but it turned out to be simply - amazing. It was a trip through time. After an 8 hour delay in El Salvador, we finally made it into Lima at 10pm, went straight to the hotel to check in. Our first adventure was to locate the local grocery store - Vivanda (which is basically their version of Whole Foods, right down to the fake chalk written signs). Vivanda and us girls became best friends over the next few days. Water, snacks, and fruit every day. We spent our first two days, sleeping in, walking around Miraflores shopping, eating Chinese food in Chinatown, and exploring Barranco which seemed like a step into colonial history mixed with a bit of Creole culture. First day's dinner was at a restaurant called La Mar, where we were served Pisco and some absolutely amazing ceviche. We explored nearby ruins at Pachacamac, saw a Peruvian hairless dog wearing a coat, ate guinea pig and river fish, and had some of the saltiest cheese mixed with a delicious giant corn that I absolutely loved.

The next morning ended all sleeping in time, we woke at 3:30am to rush to the airport for our flight to Cusco. Cusco is located at a 12,000 feet elevation give or take 500 depending on where you're standing. It reminded me of old European countries with cobble stone streets, small alleyways where you had to hug the walls to avoid being smacked by a passing taxi or van. We happened to be there when a country wide car race was passing through. Did some more shopping and whole lot more eating and napping and prepared for Machu Picchu the next day.

We woke early again to board a 6am train, that wound its way for four hours through the mountains and down about 4,000 feet. We passed farms and waved to all the people working in the fields. When you first come upon Machu Picchu all you see is some stones and houses and walls. Then you climb up to the lookout, where you spend the entire time looking down to make sure you don't trip. When you finally reach the top, you stand up straight and it is absolutely breath taking. It is exactly as the photos picture it. A city of stones shaped into rooms and ledges against a backdrop of mountains and valleys. The mist would roll up the mountain side and over the ruins in an eerie sense of ancient times. No one knows for sure who the ruins were built by or what they were built for, hence no real signs explaining anything. We spent four hours roaming around, touching the giant rocks that seem to fit seamlessly together with no mortar. We also snuck up next to English speaking guides occasionally to get brief explanations to some of the "major sites". I still think some of these rocks happened to fall where they lay and any hope to explain them is just silly. Then again, I did press my head against the "wishing rock" and make a wish anyway. :)

We made it back to Cusco in the dark, where suddenly I began to feel a bit of altitude sickness. I spent the evening holed up in bed in our cute hotel room wishing I was down about 4,000 feet. The next morning was another early wake up call, to make sure we grabbed breakfast before heading to the airport (I loved the hotels we stayed at.. they always served breakfast of fresh fruit, bread, ham, cheese, and juices!). We flew from Cusco to Lima waited in the lounge, where I realized I left my book on the last flight..grrr.. and then flew from Lima to Iquitos.

Iquitos is a jungle city, it isn't accessible by land as there are no roads going there. The only way to arrive is by water or by air. We flew in to be greeted warmly by the Amazonia Expedition staff and scared by them about making sure we stuck close to our guide the whole time we were there. We had a nice dinner of local foods and then Cesar, our first guide, showed us a bit around the city. I had never heard so many.. pssts, china's, ni haos, konichiwa's in once place. It was a bit hard to ignore them all, but we managed. Cesar said he was there to be our "bodyguards" and that we would be his surrogate daughters during our stay. He was a very lively man, who's English could use a bit of work, but was understandable for the most part. The next morning we woke up to be greeted by our second guide, Edson. He was a lot easier to understand and his very sweet and gentlemanly behavior made all seven of us girls smitten with him by the end of the trip. That morning we did a short walk around the nicer part of the city and then jumped aboard 3 motorcarreos that zoomed us around the city. We had a quick tour of the market places, where we saw exotic fruits, fish being prepared, and vegetables of all sorts. They stopped at the edge of the river in the "shantytown". This was the area where people's homes were made out of balsa wood so that in the rainy season, they would float. It was the poorer part of town, mostly made up on people from villages in the jungle. My heart ached for them and at the same time I wondered if pity was even a proper feeling to have for these people. Wasn't it outsiders and missionaries who pulled these people into the city? Made them wear clothes and live the way we live when they had no infrastructure to do so yet? I had read Paul Beaver's book Diary of an Amazon Jungle Guide. He was the one who founded the company Amazonian Expeditions, that we were about to embark on. It talked about what life was like before missionaries and tourism and how things had changed in the last 50-60 years from the point of view of a jungle guide.

I wondered what the jungle was going to be like as we headed to the dock to board the boat that would take us to the lodge.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Everyone could use a flower from someone as long as it's not a crazy
someone...
happy birthday mom, i love you.

if you see karen and griffen hug them for me too. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

mother's love

i was strolling virtually through the blogs of my friends this morning and i came upon a comment to a friend's blog. it was from his mother and suddenly an ache hit my heart so profoundly. she had read his blog and left him a quote about life and how she could see his joy in life grow.

i suddenly realized how i missed that. hearing her voice. being able to call her and know that whatever she would say would make me feel better. mother's give this amazing support to their children that carries us through in life, even after death. in my heart i know she's saying those things, she's telling me she sees great things in me and that my future will be beautiful, colored with bits of sadness but beautiful nonetheless. she tells me in spirit because she loved me so much, it's how i know no matter how low life can seem, i know that at some point things will be better.

i suppose it's fitting that i should feel and remember all this today. because tomorrow would have been her 57th birthday. so happy early birthday mom, i love you and i miss you...

Friday, August 31, 2007

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007

Die stuffie die!!

Nevermind mom works hard to make money so I can have toys, I just want
to pull out all the stuffing and especially the squeaker.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

somedaysigetsoangryragescreamingpainanguishdisgusthatredforwhat
h a p p e n e d t o you..because it happened to ME too

icryinpain.. i mourn still sometimes
what i wouldn't do for one more hug..
one more conversation..

i love you. i will always love you.

life's not fair, it just isn't

it's almost been a year since you were taken from us.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

stop and smell the plumeria

there is this sense of hawai'i that comes over you when you step off the plane. you breath deeper, your body relaxes and you let that feeling of aloha come over you. (unless you are a crazy, OCD, anal retentive, high strung, control freak of a planner - which luckily neither me nor my traveling companions are.)

as you drive around the island of Maui the first thing that catches your eye (besides the fact that their highways are more like major roads than highways) is the colors of the land and the movement of it. we passed by flat sugar cane fields and in the distance can see Haleakala rising through the clouds. work is the furtherest thing from my mind (okay now that i mentioned that i had to go and check email really quick, but that's it no more, i promise.)

it is truly beautiful here, the colors are so vibrant, the greenery is so vast. you could spend hours looking at one area of scenery and see hundreds of different types of plant life in a million shades of green. i notice smells more when i'm here, i'm breathing them into my lungs and it feels fresh, clean and alive. the sunsets are, in a word, brilliant, their colors are vivid and not a result of smog but a symphony of colors, clouds, water, and reflections.

the streets are lined with flowers, mostly plumeria. these flowers are incredibly delicate but they emit a perfume so soft and strong it wraps you up and you know you are on the islands. there's no need to rush here, there's no hurry to get anywhere and if you miss something oh well - let it go with the waves bra!

So for those of you on the mainland right now that can't be here.. malama pono! keep your life in balance.. breath and let it go!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

southern california adventures - korean spas, weddings, and rejuvenation of the soul!

warning long journal type post ahead!

my plane departed san jose at 7:40 am, why i booked such an early flight i have no idea... i landed at 9:00am and went to get my rental car. they asked if i wanted to upgrade to a prius, i thought sure! why not.. this is a chance to test drive it.

now if you know how i drive, i'm a bit of a speed demon (i learned to REALLY drive in So Cal and my mom drove fast too, no stereotypical asian women drivers in my family!). well first, i get in the car, then realize i have no clue how to turn it on! dialed mason (thank god for a friend who drives a prius). alright NOW i'm ready to go!

i'm armed with my trusty notes on how to get to gloria's house in rowland heights. i'm surprised at how smooth the prius is and a little disappointed at it's inability to go from 0-60 in less than a minute, but hey, i'm saving gas right? well, it easily gets up to 80/85 mph and i'm going with the flow of traffic. when bam, nearly get in an accident as i'm trying to get to my exit. i forget the prius is lighter and thinner than my car so i over compensate, not to mention the steering wheel is smaller. was totally calm during the whole thing and manage to get the car under control and off the exit, phew, mental note to self, cannot drive it like a race car. check.

5 freeways later, i finally get to rowland heights. i get off the freeway and i realize i forgot to put left or right, i choose right (i generally like right turns over left). about a mile down i realize there is no way my friend lives over here! great, i forgot to pack maps and in an effort to save money i opted out of paying $70 for GPS. so luckily i pull out the trusty iphone - thank goodness for the google maps feature! put in her intersection and off i go again! yay i made it!

a brief rest and then it's off to lunch with ameer, one of my favorite people in the whole world. google maps again, he's practically around the corner from her house. i make 99.9 mpg to his office and hop out of the car to get a proper ameer/vix hug going! YIPEE!! the hugs between loved ones who haven't seen each other in a long time are THE BEST!! we hop back in and get another 99.9 mpg to go across the street for lunch where we discuss what we like and dislike about the iphone. yeah, way geeky, but in a cool kind of way (you may disagree).

unfortunately he's only got an hour out of his 10-12 hour work day, so little time! another hug and it's back to glor's house for a nap. she gets home early and yay another great HUG! she treats me to the korean spa, also around the corner, across from ameers work place. (the whole time i'm in rowland heights we never go more than a mile from her house.. crazy) we dine at earthen, it's delicious, known for it's chicken and onion pancakes and dumplings. MMMM, when we sit down i realize i've eaten there before. after a "tough" afternoon at the spa we're starving and the two of go through all three dishes. then it's movie rental time, we decide on "because i said so" which oddly enough featured weddings, korean spas, and men. my weekend consisted of pretty much all three, although the men part was not romantic.

the next morning i spend some time on google maps, figuring out how to navigate southern california again. i go get my nails done for the wedding the next day and hop back in the car, trying to drive carefully. i get semi lost trying to find the freeway from the nail salon, but make it on. luckily it's only 3 freeways to get to my next destination... lunch with luis and jane!

these two have conversations plotting how to bring me back to southern california. this included emailing me a timeline of me getting into business school and numerous job opportunities, which pays less than what i make now. did i mention i notice the smog and traffic everytime i visit So Cal now? ick! i drive to the end of the shopping complex, thinking the restaurant was there, realize it isn't and call luis. it's at the beginning of the complex (this complex is about 4-5 blocks long). okay i make it! YAY a luis hug! These are great too! He's wearing these giant harry potter looking sunglasses, i struggle not to laugh. he likes my dress. (he's my fashion discussion person when i'm shopping online) we wait for jane, who wants to maximize her time with me since she only has an hour lunch, so we do all the ordering. we're eating at macaroni grill so we get paper covering the tablecloth and crayons. i promptly draw a picture of jane so she knows where she's sitting. :D she walks in and the first thing she says, 'let's see this iphone', not even a hug first! haha. i still manage to get a hug later after i hand her the iphone of course.

from here i make my way to the Orange County Museum of Art, a building i had no idea was here in the 4 years i lived in irvine. the first face i see? john hitchens, yipeee!! a john hug! i've known this guy since my freshman year, i think day one! he always makes me laugh no matter what. and then i see shwynn the bride to be, she looks fantastic as always. shwynn hugs are amazing, she's only 4' tall (ok, ok, 4' 10"?) but she hugs like she's a 7', 210 pound bear. it's great. :). Following that I get a fantastic michael knox hug - the groom to be and another one from jeff lee his groomsman. i swear with each hug i'm just getting happier and happier. two of my bestest friends are getting married to each other, what could be greater than that! rehearsal is quick, there's two groomswomen and one bridesman so the three of us will be traversing down the isle together. shwynn and mike treat us all to lunch and the men in the bridal party are gifted with vans to wear for the ceremony! so cool! the girls are given matching jewelry - yay i was wondering what i was going to have to wear!

one by one people disappear and soon it's pretty much the groom's "court" left, plus mr. rozanno, another great hugger. as the only girl left, the conversation takes a turn naturally, but i'm used to it, sitting with the boys (i'm sure they're still keeping the conversation cleaner than they would if i wasn't there), but it's good laughs. eventually it turns into 8pm and i'll leave them for Efrain, Y-co (more hugs), and YOGURTLAND, it's a new craze, supposedly modeled after Pinkberry in LA. I heard Yogurtland is better because they have more flavors. It's self serve fro-yo and toppings bar and they charge you $0.30/ounce. sooo yummy. my favorite combination (i went there twice in the weekend) was mango/green tea with fresh mango and mochi. the line was out the door but moves very quickly, after getting our fro-yo, we sit on the steps outside and chat it up. these two have been together quite some time now (i was adding in the car as i drove to see them, trying to remember how long i've known them). they're quite cute together. :) through them, i catch up on luis' life of all things. hehe.

as the evening gets later, i head over to my cousin's place in irvine for some Wii action. as i drive up to the guard house, i'm looking at the 5 inch thick electronic gates and think, this really does feel like pleasantville. irvine over the past few years has done a lot of developing. everytime i visit i see at least 2 new housing complexes and a new shopping area nearby - it's a planned pattern - housing complexes, shopping complex - includes grocery store and either a starbucks/jamba juice/tea place. kinda unnerving in a way. i get to her house and it's more hugs! it's nice to be able to just chill out with family, this is how it went, angie knitting, mike (her hubby), robert (her brother) and i playing lazy Wii (meaning we don't stand up to play) and Link their bunny just hopping around on the floor.

we stay up late (late for us in the late 20's.. just kidding) and it's off to bed. i wake up early, pack up my things and go to meet the bridal party at shwynn's apartment. we spend the next 4 hours with a hair stylist, chatting it up, eating lunch, applying make-up, laughing and getting ready. soon the families of the bride and groom, groomsmen and best man are all there. we get everyone sorted in cars to go take photos.. where? UC Irvine! where the two fell in love. pictures finish really fast, so what does my car do? In & Out!! oh i miss the days where the burger joint was across the street. a quick stuff of our faces with burger, fries and shake and it's off to the wedding!

the bridal party hides out in a conference room as we wait for all the guests to be seated, then it's show time! after the parents and sponsors walk out, we're the first of the bridal party to hit the runway, i mean aisle. i have a huge smile on my face and my eyes are scanning for the rest of our friends from the year i staffed as a resident advisor with mike and sherwynn. i spot them in the front and it takes some will power to not just run over there and hug each and every one of them like i never want to let go. if ever there was an act of serendipity it was the coming together of this group of friends. 19 of us thrown together to be resident advisors. normally with a group of a large size you can't expect everyone to get along, much less grow close to one another. this was different, indescribable and something i thank higher power(s)/life/destiny/fate/good fortune for everyday.

sherwynn and mike were wed by her brother, they each wrote their vows which i had the privilege of reading beforehand, struggling not to cry when i did and in 30 minutes the ceremony was over and the party began. i let go of the will power, ran as fast as my aching feet in heels would let me and hugged each of the 13 RA's that were there, out of 19 of us, 15 were there that night. we ate, we drank, we danced, we laughed, we hugged, and told each other how much we missed and loved one another. when the wedding ended we packed everything up and headed to the after party at the hotel. this was short lived as the noise we made got the security called on us 3 times. oops. more snuggling, cuddling, hugging, chatting and soon we were all asleep.

the next day at brunch, the few of us remaining went to brunch at cheesecake factory. we laughed as we looked through the photos, talked about future trips, where we were at in life. joked about who should get married next so we could see each other sooner rather than later. james even very sweetly helped me get my bacon fried to a crisp when it came to the table oily and and not to my liking. this is why i love them and why i miss them like crazy. dustin and i left at the same time and we hugged everyone and i took a moment with each hug to soak it in so i could take home the memories.

from brunch i head to my uncle's to see my cousin who is now a year old. she is so darn cute! okay i'm biased, i'm family but she's adorable! she decides that i'm the best chair and decides to plop herself down on me, get up and do it again. after her nap she settles into the vicki arm chair, makes me hold her baby monitor and has angie feed her kiwis. what a life! while i'm there i decide to check in for my flight...

to my disbelief, the reservation lady booked my flight for Monday evening! crapola, i wanted to go home!! i call and AA isn't as consumer friendly as Southwest. it will cost $257 to get first class home, $100 is a change fee. that half of the ticket isn't even worth $100!! the lady says my best bet is to try standby tomorrow morning. first flight out is 6:45, booked full, next two flights have a few seats.

grumbling about my bad luck i figure nothing else i can do. so instead i head to dinner and more yogurtland with an old family friend, derek. great fun! i got to play with his puppy, she's adorable and so well mannered, unlike my turning into a teenage brat, morgan. sure he follows most directions, but now he's testing boundaries... i'm not giving in. i head back to angie's and go to bed so i can wake up at 4:30 and get to the airport.

4:30am... good grief why am i up this early?! i get to the airport and it's surprisingly busy at 5am. i whisper a prayer and hope for the best, cross my fingers and toes, YAY, i get on the 6:45 flight! of course it's delayed leaving the airport, but whatever, i'm on the plane. thus ends my adventures for the weekend! now back to the hamster wheel of reality.

if you made it all the way down here, you've earned yourself a cookie. :D

Saturday, July 07, 2007

korean spa: aka the naked spa

My friend first told me about this spa because she totally wasn't expecting this kind of experience. Her friend took her and next thing she knows, her friend is stripping down to nothing and they're soaking in hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas with other naked women of all ages, shapes and sizes, they do an exfoliation and massage and you come out refreshed and oh so soft. Well, I happen to love spas and thought... for $70, this sounds great!

So this weekend she took me as an early birthday present. I was all prepared for a relaxing experience after not much sleep, sore muscles from the week, sore muscles from the plane ride and trying to figure out how to drive to my friends house (navigating 5 freeways to get there). We walk in, collect our towels and strip down in the changing room. It feels a little weird to be walking around with my friend naked but hey, we're all women and after awhile you just forget. There's a mixture of naked and clothed women walking around. It's the middle of the afternoon on a Thursday, so not many people are around. This is great, we pretty much get the sauna to ourselves and then try some of the steam room. I can already feel my skin soaking up the moisture and getting softer. We take some time to relax in the relaxation room and chit chat, catching up.

I can see how this is a very communal and community type of activity. Women are soaking in the tubs talking to one another. If there had been more there I imagine them chatting about their husbands, children, significant others, children playing with children, young women talking about anything and everything. This is a place where generations come together to share something in common. It's a nice time to catch up and not think about anything.

I start to really enjoy myself.

They call my friends number first and off she goes, I can see the treatment room as it's open and connected to the big room with hot tubs and the sauna. I hear them scraping off skin, pouring water, and massaging oils, honey, and milk onto women's bodies. I soak some more and nearly fall asleep on one of the chairs I'm so comfy. They call me over and right before I lay down, I'm see a flash of a manga comic book image in my head. The image of these women massaging and scraping other women made me chuckle. I could see little poofs of steam drawn comic book style and these women with happy faces, ready to commence their torture.. I mean massage.

Now comes the scraping, she puts on these gloves that have a rough loofah type of surface. *picture happy asian girl comic book character laying down to get a relaxing exfoliation and massage, next thing you know her eyes are bugging out and she's yelling that it hurts*, flash back to real life and that's me. Okay so I didn't yell out, I didn't want to seem like the pansy baby, but inside I did! And my eyes did bug out really fast. It felt like they were sandpapering my skin off! I closed my eyes and just hoped that she would finish that area and move onto a next. She did, then she came back again! In my head I'm thinking, WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? AHHH.. telling myself this is going to be great afterwards, just bear through it.

I opened my eyes and peeked out, I could see the skin coming off like worms, and there were lots of curled up bits of gray look skin! GROSS! That's coming off me?!

After what seems like an hour she's done scraping, the only saving grace is that occasionally while scraping she would stop and pour warm/hot water over my body. It was incredibly refreshing, then back to the scraping again. Finally the scraping is done, she sends me off to shower and rinse really quick. I was never happier to do so! I head back and think, great, I can nap while she does the massage part, hard part is over.

Well next thing I know she's straddling me and running some part of her hand up and down my back and pressing down hard... more pain. More eye bugging and silent screaming in my head. At one point she was running her knuckles (I'm assuming it was knuckles, it felt like her bones) over my back and I whimpered. "Gentler" she asks loudly in Chinese and repeats, "Lighter?" in English. The first time I just grunt affirmative in reply. The second time, she was running her knuckles down my leg and I cried out again. "Lighter" she asks again in Chinese. "Please" I whisper back, my voice feeling dry and gone. It does get better and then she flips me over. I giggle when she massages my stomach, it tickles. Some more oils are poured and massaged and then milk.

I feel a cool mushy mixture going on my face, finally I smell cucumber. Mmmm smells good! You can tell her hands are strong from all the massaging, just in her fingers alone there's the power to cause pain and pleasure. A quick wash of my hair along with a scalp massage, I'm in heaven now. She pulls off the mushy cucumber mixture and has me sit up. She pours more milky looking liquid on me and has me wash my face in it. There all done!

I rinse off again and rinse out my hair. I feel great! My body feels so relaxed. I dry myself off and I can't believe how SOFT I feel! I couldn't believe it, I have to find a place like this in the bay area. I can't wait to go again!

Now all that's missing is someone to cuddle with because this skin is made to be touched!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

murphy's law: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong

That seemed to be the theme yesterday, seeing as how it was end of the fiscal year and we had so much to finish up. I had to make some large purchases as all invoicing had to be dated prior by June 30th. So being the responsible person I am and to make my life easier I call the credit card company to let them know I would be putting a few thousand on one of my cards.

This should ensure that it work... one would think...

So I hop online and make my first purchase using a different card, no problems, YAY! Then I navigate my way to Safeway.com (the previous evening I had tried to purchase numerous gift cards online and it was unable to process my credit card, now with the phone call to the company it should clear). Nope, doesn't work, seems to be a Safeway.com problem right? I spend 20-30 minutes (you start losing track of time) on the phone, I call one number, they give me another, I call that number they give me another, I call that one they say call Calgary (what the heck? CALGARY, CANADA?). So I do, person doesn't answer, I leave a voicemail, she calls back, I'm on the phone, message says she has nothing to do with US purchases of gift cards... FANTASTIC. Already irritated I call Safeway.com customer service again, they tell me it's better to go into the store, they're not sure why the website won't process my order.

Okay FINE... I call the store to make sure they have enough cards. Okay next task then... order lunch for everyone because we're having a pizza lunch to welcome new staff members. Order the pizza and agree to pick it up at 11:45. I then head to Barnes and Noble, get on Google maps and find the closest one, the closest one would actually require me taking different streets, the next closest is just 3 miles down the street from where I work. Okay I'll go to that one, something in my stomach is nagging me a bit, but whatever... I figure I'll pick up the pizza on my way back (also on the same street).

Drive the 3 miles through what feels like endless stoplights when you're in a rush to find that they are closed until Sunday!! Great, that was what that nagging feeling was, okay fine, no problem, drive to the one that was "closer" and count out the 32 gift cards I need and wait in line to purchase them. The cashier is quite a warm and welcoming fellow, very much how you'd imagine a bookstore clerk to me, he obviously likes his job very much. So we chat a little as he scans and enters the amount for each gift card, okay credit card time! Shouldn't be a problem right? WRONG, denied once again!

Okay now I'm even more irritated with the credit card company. This is the card I use the most and when it was stolen a month ago, did not send me a replacement, and then rushed me one when I called with the SAME number as the stolen card on it, I called again and they rushed me the new one. Each time I call they ask if I want to sign up with their fraud prevention service.. um no thanks... not if you can't even get me my new credit card without all this hassle! What's to say your fraud service would be better?! And now to further prove the point, you didn't even pay attention to the fact I told you I was going to be spending lots of money today.

Okay.. shake it off, don't want to see bad things happening that aren't even there, don't pile things on, it'll only make you feel bad and your day seem worse. I keep telling myself that, hey at least the other card I used for Costco worked again at Barnes and Nobles. sweet! I'm loving American Express.

Alright, going to be late, so I call my co-worker and ask her to take care of pizza pick up. I'm heading back to the office thinking.. yay pizza! This day will turn around at lunch time. I get back to the office, hmmm strange, most of the staff's cars are gone, what's going on? I walk inside, apparently the power had gone out at the pizza place and they couldn't cook them. Lunch was cancelled. Heaving a heavy sigh, I look at my co worker in disbelief (he tends to joke with me a lot), nope, he's really serious, heaving another heavy sigh I head home for lunch. Okay another reminder, things should turn around after lunch, take a little extra time at home, watch a bit of TV, eat some food, you'll feel better.

After a nice, quiet lunch (as quiet as it gets with a 5 month old puppy begging for your meal at your feet), I head to Safeway. Wait around for 5 minutes for them to find a customer service person. She scans out half the cards before the system stops her, okay no problem I'll make two purchases. I try the credit card again... DENIED. Okay now I'm pissed, I try the Amex, denied (because with two big purchases they now think my card is stolen).

Great, okay, I call the other credit card company... here we go, irritation level at an all time high, screw finding peace in my head I'm MAD!! There is no honey in my voice as I speak to the rep, at least I'm still civil and I'm not cursing at them or yelling at them. But my tone becomes extremely firm with a hint of frustration. I spend 20 minutes on the phone with the rep, who transfers me to the fraud department, usually they give you multiple choice questions to verify you are who you are... NO this guy asks open ended questions, name one of your previous addresses you've lived at, first one that pops into mind a location in Orange County I lived at 5 years ago, I give him the street name. He wants the street number too... I ask how he can expect me to know that number? It was 5 years ago, I live somewhere else now, he asked how long I've lived here, now I'm really irritated, that's hard to say because I grew up in the current place of residence. I tell him that a little less than nicely. He asks some more stupid questions, and FINALLY after what feels like an hour (really just 8 questions later) he says I shouldn't have a problem.

I tell him, I need to make this purchase and then another similar one immediately afterwards, I shouldn't have ANY problems correct? He says it will be fine.

Okay..first purchase goes through.. second one? DOES NOT. I give up, I use my bank card since the second purchase is slightly smaller. I enter the wrong pin the first time (it was changed because that was also stolen a month ago), enter the new one in and voila. DONE. FINALLY. okay, this should be the end of this, I bought everything I needed too.

I drive back to the office feeling like it's been the longest day ever. Finally sit down at my chair and look at the notes my co-worker left. Have to call a few people to get the invoicing done. That's not so bad, I take a short break after sending some emails and then walk into the kitchen to get some delightfully refreshing beverage and see a box on the chair in my office. *sharp intake of breath that nearly scares the crap out of the bookkeeper walking down the hallway* CRAPOLA... bulk mailing I forgot to take to the post office in the morning! It is 2:45 at the moment.. bulk mail office closes at 4.

I find a quick place without papers to set the cup, grab my purse and the box and rush downstairs, realizing I need to count each piece. Thankfully it's only 238 and takes me about 5 minutes, dash out the door and to the office. Ring the bell... wait patiently for 3 minutes, ring again and just wait. The post office staff is severely understaffed so I'm patient. Another lady comes along with a larger bulk mailing and rings and rings and rings, I don't say anything. Finally the staff person comes, slightly irritated that this lady was ringing so long, I still don't say anything but am extremely thankful she's finally here. Total mailing takes another 10 minutes and I'm out of there.

Okay I should be done now I think.. it's 4pm. Get back to the office, oh shoot I forgot I was in the middle of calling/emailing people. I'm feeling calmer now anyway, so some back and forth calls and emails and done. YAY I'm finally totally done! DONE DONE! WEEEEE there is no more! At least no work stuff, I breath a sigh of relief.

It was also the last day for one of our volunteers who had been here for about 5 years, she was heading off to college and we were all sad to see her leave. :( So we got her a cake and a present to send her off, took a few photos. I gave her a hug and my email address and told her to stay in touch. I hope she does, she really is an amazing young lady. (I can't believe I just typed that, wow, I'm hitting another generation aren't I?) Anyway, so off she goes, I sit down and look at my camera, hmm maybe I should take a look at the photos, turn it on, screen pops up, so does a message.. "No memory card". AHHHHHHHHHHHH Are you serious? She's already gone! I better email her and tell her to come back in August so we can take new photos. I can't believe this.. it's time to go home.

The End.

If you made it all the way down here, I applaud you and sincerely thank you for listening to my rant/vent. I'll buy you a cup of coffee to make up for the time you've lost reading this lame blog entry.

Monday, June 18, 2007

they say don't kill moths because it might be a loved one that's passed visiting you

i've been missing you a lot lately

for some reason the most when i'm driving at night

i keep wanting to reach for the phone to call you and tell you what's been going on

there have been happy moments more often than not lately

and i miss telling you

i miss hugging you

i miss hearing you laugh

i went to visit you the other day and i hoped you could hear my heart

i've just been missing you a lot lately

Thursday, May 31, 2007

in-vohk

i'll smell a certain cologne that will remind me the same friend, i'll hear a song that will take me back to a club in mexico during spring break, i'll hear a phrase and remember sitting in a living room cracking jokes with my friends until our sides hurt so bad we couldn't breath and tears were coming out of our eyes, i'll smell carne asada and remember late night runs to the burrito shack...

a smell, a view, a song, a sound... it always catches me off guard when it happens. when i get that trigger and i'll get a flood of a memory come back. sometimes it brings warm, happy feelings, other times it'll be a soft sadness of something that might have hurt once, lately more often than not it is bittersweet. it'll be a fleeting moment where i'm wrapped up in an old happy memory and then touched with a slight air of sadness as i realize my life is so different now.

it reminds me of mostly of happy times not colored by pain or loss and i realize that i haven't had that many in the past few years. although something about this summer feels different, i don't know what it is, but there's change in the air.

i'm hungry to have new moments and make new memories. so that next year, when i smell the sand i'll remember laughing at the beach with good friends. when i smell a perfume or cologne i'll remember a great hug i received one day. when i hear a song released last year, i'll remember a road trip somewhere silly.

here's to old friends, new friends, old moments and new ones. :) let's make life happen!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Dalai Lama

I thought I'd enlighten myself and go listen to the Dalai Lama speak when he came to the bay area last weekend. When I was contemplating going I asked a friend if she thought I'd be able to understand it and she said probably. It's going be difficult, but that I would be able to get a gist. That's pretty much all I got minus a few sections here and there. But it was definitely amazing. I was giddy with excitement when I got to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium... I was going to see the Dalai Lama.. that's like seeing the president or the queen!

The amazing thing is, he walks in and you just feel everything he symbolizes and there's this peaceful, calm, modest aura about him. I'll be honest I got more from just being in the same room as him than from what he was talking about.

It is amazing how simplicity can require so much discussion and incredibly difficult to explain. I wish I could tell you more, but I can't, I'd have to study a whole lot more outside of my one course in college and a two day lecture from the Dalai Lama himself.

So if you want to know what he was talking about?

Empty yourself of everything for enlightenment.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

ques-flecting
(stole this from greedi in 2004... finally filled it out for 2006)

1. What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before?
i adopted a dog and stuck to my convinctions in being totally honest after lying to myself for too long and went to a hula competition!

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more
for next year?
hmm can't remember if i had new year's resolutions and haven't made any for 2007, just trying to live life for each day.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
yeaup! my auntie and uncle.. our first new cousin in 8? 9? years! she's adorable! and my hula sister!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My best friend and my dog. Can you get used to death? or does that mean you just understand it better...

5. What countries did you visit?
none.. but I did go to Costa Rica in 2007 and planned it in 2006.. does that count?

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
peace of heart and peace of mind

7. What date(s) from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 3, 2006 - hello HEART! , August 27, 2006 - goodbye heart, December 26, 2006 - goodbye again heart.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Making it through like a normal person and kept most of my optimism and love of life.. most of it.

9. What was your biggest failure?
not sure if it can be considered a failure.. life happens, you have downs.

10. Did you suffer any illness or injury?
only heart break

11. What was the best thing you bought?
my dog!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
ameer, he really lived life up here and helped keep me going some days whether he realizes that or not. i really admire that he made it up here and miss him terribly after he moved back down.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
the desperation of some people in this world.. those who would be capable of shooting and killing and innocent human being for no good reason.

14. Where did most of your money go?
somewhere between my savings account and my dog

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
adopting my furbaby (notice a pattern here?), he taught me how to love again in the short time he was with me, he was my heart and my everything

16. What song will always remind you of 2006?
Grace by Kate Havenik

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
freer in a strange way with aches in my heart, but a smile on my face

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Appreciated more people and spent time with more people

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
wasting time indoors

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
not sure yet, but will be with family :)

22. Did you fall in love in 2006?
hopelessly and completely, with a toothless, 11 year old, deaf pup who's tongue always stuck out to the left

23. How many one-night stands?
z-e-r-o

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Grey's Anatomy, I related to that show a little to well in 2006

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
hate is a strong word.. i have developed some dislikes for some people who weren't who i thought they were

26. What was the best book you read?
dog books, you'd be surprised what you can learn about yourself and people.. that or buddha in your mirror

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
gotan project - thanks tracy!

28. What did you want and get?
love

29. What did you want and not get?
haha.. a clearer idea of my goals

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
i can't remember, i watched so many in my queue.. yay for movies sent to your home to appease my laziness!

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 26, had a great BBQ on the weekend, spent the actual day with my hula sisters and my dog.

32. What is one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
not losing loved ones

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
comfortable

34. What kept you sane?
my dog and my friends

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Greg Sanders on CSI :) oo la la!

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
*sigh*.. don't want to go there

37. Who did you miss?
the friends and family i couldn't see easily and the ones that have gone too soon

38. Who was the best new person you met?
oh geez.. now why play favorites? I met a lot of new people.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006:
death happens, you can't keep feeling sad your whole life and it doesn't diminish how much you love or miss the person/dog if you feel happy.. so go ahead, feel happy again.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

I'm on my knees
only memories
are left for me to hold

Dont know how
but Ill get by
Slowly pull myself together

Theres no escape
So keep me safe
This feels so unreal

Nothing comes easily
Fill this empty space
Nothing is like it seems
Turn my grief to grace

I feel the cold
Loneliness unfold
Like from another world

Come what may
I wont fade away
But I know I might change

Nothing comes easily
Fill this empty space
Nothing is like it was
Turn my grief to grace

Nothing comes easily
Where do I begin?
Nothing can bring me peace
Ive lost everything
I just want to feel your embrace

"Grace" - Kate Havenik
Updates list of countries and states I've visited..

Countries - hopefully one day I can hit 100 :) My friend Tracy and I had a conversation about this, apparently there's a club you can join if you've visited 100 or more countries, easier said than done..



create your own visited country map
or check our Venice travel guide

States - Wish - to drive across the US and visit random things and people.



create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourCalifornia travel guide

Thursday, March 15, 2007

how many broken hearts have you had in your lifetime?

i saw that question on one of those survey's that friends forward you and if you don't fill out and forward will have 7 years of badluck... i probably have 3 lifetimes worth of bad luck by now.. hmm that might explain some things.

i don't believe that anyway, so it doesn't matter. but it got me thinking about broken hearts, just how do you know your heart is really broken? for me it's based on comparison.

my first love, it was wonderful, fleeting, and naive. you fly high and fast and passion comes to mind. but it also means you fall just as fast and HARD, like your whole body slams into the group and it hurts.

but it didn't hurt nearly as bad as when my grandfather died. suddenly, that first heart break was pulled into perspective. but he was older and had been getting sicker, it made it a little easier to understand. after he passed away i remembered when i lost my uncle at 14. he was like an older brother and we were quite close. i didn't quite understand death at the point, i know i hurt a lot, but it almost seemed easier to bounce back from that.

then it got worse, an infinite times worse when i lost my mother. she got sick and was gone in 3 months, i hadn't even had time to get over the denial that she might die before she actually did. i didn't have any time to process and then really spend time with her. my days at the hospital were spent reading a book, unable to speak much to her about deep feelings for fear of crying. just 3 months before she was laughing and going on spur of the moment trips to hawaii with my dad. she was still teaching me how to cook my favorite dishes over the phone and advising me on what to do since i had just graduated. i didn't even realize how deep my denial was until it was all over, too late. my heart had shattered in a way i never imagined possible and didn't see coming.

i didn't think i would be able to love like i wanted to love again. after i returned from england i really felt i was in a place to be in a relationship and ready to start a "new chapter" - yes it was cliche, but that's how i felt. i was happy, free from drama and content. and then i was throw for a loop. i didn't know what to do... funny thing was 3 years later, i learned to love again from a fluffy, white, toothless dog with a dopey grin. he walked in at just the right moment.. because 3 months later i received the worst phone call of my life.

the san diego police called to tell me that my best friend had been shot and murdered just 2-3 hours after i had last spoken to her. i was the only one they could reach and they needed her parents phone number to notify them. i spent the rest of the day with griffy in my lap, making phone call after phone call, repeating the same words twice.. "karen was shot and killed this morning".... "WHAT?!"... "karen was shot and killed this morning". our friends came over and we sat together, unable to say much, but appreciating that we could just be together.

it was after losing karen i stopped mourning my mother. i didn't realize i had spent so much time so hurt and sad and angry. after karen died i realized how much i had been carrying over the last 3 years and knew i couldn't keep going like this. they wouldn't want me to go on like this and i "snapped" out of it. i still let myself get sad and angry, i no longer block it out or push it away. i soak it in, let myself feel it, let myself cry and scream alone or with someone and then i let it go.

this helped prepare for the day after christmas when i had to make the decision to put griffy to sleep. his kidney's had failed and his age accelerated the process. we tried hospitalizing him and doing fluids, but he had a few seizures in the span of 24 hours and i knew i had to make that choice. he helped me in ways i never imagined possible in the 7 months i had him. i remembered what it was like to love something so much. as devastating as it was to lose him so soon and also so suddenly i let myself feel the pain and kept on going.

death doesn't stop, it doesn't discriminate against age, sex, color, religion... it's part of life, it happens. i know my heart will break again, either from losing a loved one or losing someone's love... i know i'll be okay. all i can do is let my heart break, "mend it", and keep on going..

because a heart that can be broken isn't really broken after all... right?