Monday, October 31

Boo from before

I was sick of being sick, and I was all ready to party it up tonight! I know a lot of girls use this holiday as their excuse to skank out, but I still wasn't 100%, so I wasn't willing to risk making myself even sicker. I was maybe 92%, so I wanted to stay fully clothed. I actually thought of layering up all my baggy clothes, donning my biggest pair of sunglasses and grabbing a vente cup from Starbucks in one hand, with a cigarette in the other, to transform myself into Mary Kate Olsen... and a half. "Fat" MK?

I decided instead to cop out (har dee har) and just borrow this policeman hat from Courtney. Chenja kindly offered me her cow suit. That, too, would have been udder-ly adorable. Or gross. Chenja, why are you holding those like that?!??In the end, I didn't dress up at all. I was hoping to get some good pictures in the Castro, but I'll just have to share some borrowed or old pics instead. Here's Pixel, my "gay" Boston terrier nephew, as Jennifer Beals from Flashdance. He's a maniac! This is not a costume, just Pixel as a puppy. This is TOO cute; it needed to be posted.
On the east side, Taer took these photos for me. Dorothy, and her lil bro... ... the cowardly lion! "Put 'em up!" Oh, they're so adorable, I just want to bite them!
Dracula, Queen Amidala, Little Red Riding Ho - yes, I said Ho - from 2 years ago. I was wearing fishnets and knee-high boots. Yes, I can ho down too.Prince Charming (or the Imperial Margarine guy?) and Snow White, also from 2 years ago. One more of Pat Benatar (that was Lisa's other name for this costume), for good measure.
If I get my hands on any other good shots, I'll share those too. Until then, Happy Halloween! Boo... ya!

Sunday, October 30

San Francisco in Jello

When there isn't room for Jello, make a mini city out of it! Elizabeth Hickok's portfolio includes Alamo Square, City Hall, the Bay Bridge, fog and even an earthquake video clip of Telegraph Hill. Bill Cosby would be proud.

Black and orange dinner; Taer is like Jay-Z

Being sick SUCKS. After almost three days of just lying around on my couch in my pj's and watching a lot of movies and tv and Sex and the City dvds, I had major cabin fever and was starting to feel really sorry for myself. I had absolutely no energy, which was very unlike me, and I was so not on tour. I wanted to visit my parents to see how my mom was doing in person, but I wasn't up for even that. I really wished Taer were around to take care of me. Not very independent woman of me to admit that, but whatever.

I wanted him to sit with me and stroke my forehead and bring me tea. My friends were really sweet, and my roommates got soup for me and all that good stuff, but I couldn't ask them to baby me in the same way. I definitely didn't want them to get too close to me, because I would've felt awful if I got them sick too. But I wouldn't have had any qualms about asking Taer to risk being infected for me. That's love. Or maybe it's just me being selfish, but I would've done it for him. So that is love, right? I say yes.

Anyway, luckily Clommy hosted a black and orange dinner at their place last night in honor of Halloween, so I had an excuse to actually brush my hair and put on real clothes (including a bra) for the first time in ages. In the state I was in, coughing and scratchy-voiced, in my glasses and without a drop of makeup, I didn't need a Halloween costume. I could've scared a lot of kids... and adults. But last night, I finally had just enough umph in me to hang out at a dinner party. I was reminded again what it was like to live a civilized life, without cartons of take out and mountains of Kleenex; and it felt so good.

When we got to the door, we were greeted by Pixel, the scary bat.
Claude made a wonderful meal of mussels and a black squid ink pasta with shrimp. (Black and orange - get it?) She didn't like the way her pasta came out, so I didn't shoot that, but doesn't this look divine? They had to add a "kiddie" table to their dining table because there were so many of us.Where are the rest of the boys?Hanging in the kitchen, playing with...... the turtles.We didn't want the turtles because we love Pixel!Lis, the funny girl, thinks she's imitating me. I don't do that!
Alright, maybe I do do that. (Do do? Is that grammatically correct?)
Pixel's getting lots o lovin. He's the only one I would touch, since dogs don't get sick from humans. Oh, how I wish I could've fully savored this!
Pooped Pixel was ready to go home.
On my way back home, I tried to catch a picture of all the Halloween craziness at the Castro when I passed by, but this is all I got. Oh, well!
So why is Taer like Jay-Z? Because I'm like Beyonce, obviously! Ok, it actually has to do with his name. No one gets Taer's name right the first time. It's pronounced "Tay-Are," and he even used to hyphenate it: Tae-R. That's why he's like Jay-Z. That, and of course, the Beyonce thing. Kidding. While my body may not exactly be bootylicious, I sure am crazy in love. I realize the randomness of this story, but I don't care. Being sick and at home way too much has made me slightly delirious. And corny, too, apparently. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

By the way, Taer suggested I take Advil again, but this time it seemed like a reasonable request, so I was happy to oblige. Then he asked what he could do for me. I've got myself a keeper.

Friday, October 28

No need to use 411 ever again

I'm feeling even sicker today (cough, sore throat) and even sadder. Blah. I started this post yesterday, but then I got the news about my aunt. Anyway, I figured I'd share now instead. If anyone finds this at all useful, then I'll feel at least a little bit better about something. I don't know if I'm making sense right now, but you know what I mean.

If you're not using Google SMS (Short Message Service), you're missing out. Hyo, the human computer and my very good friend, introduced me to this last year, and there have been countless times it's saved me time, money and frustration. I mostly use it to find restaurant addresses and phone numbers, but it can give you any business listings, movie showtimes, the weather, online product prices, and you can even get driving directions!

Here's how to do it:
  1. Enter a text message to phone number 46645 (which spells GOOGL).
  2. In the body of the message, enter your query. For example, if I wanted to find Delfina, one of my favorite restaurants, I'd enter the name, city, state: "delfina san francisco ca"
  3. Send and wait.
Within seconds, you should receive a text message back with all the information you requested. I told anyone who would listen about this amazing feature as soon as I learned about it. I figured everyone would know about this by now, but I just taught another friend who didn't.

No one should pay the ridiculous 411 fee. What is it now, like $2? Ha - not for me! Now I can use that money I saved to buy... well, not a whole lot really. Definitely not a gallon of gas, not even the cheapie kind. Maybe 1/2 a latte.

Thursday, October 27

Remembering my aunt

I just found out that my aunt in Korea passed away, and I'm still in a state of shock. I'm feeling a little sick today, so I was resting at home and talking to Taer when my dad called. My mom is almost always the one who calls, the one who relays information through the family, but I didn't think much of the fact that my dad was on the other end of the line. He told me that we lost kun eemo today, and when he tried to pass the phone to my mom, she wouldn't take it. I could hear her crying. I feel so bad. I feel like I should do something, but I don't know what.

Kun means big, and eemo shows she's from my mom's side. (An aunt from my dad's side is called gomo.) So kun eemo was my mom's oldest sister. Because my mom was the youngest of six, that meant my kun eemo was a good 20 years older than my mom, and she was practically a second mother to her. My maternal grandmother passed away when I was in high school. I had only seen her a couple times, so while I felt the loss, it's nothing like now. Kun eemo felt more like a grandma to me.

She was the one who taught me to make dduk bokee when I stayed with her in Daegu. Every summer during college, I visited Korea and spent time with kun eemo. She taught me many more Korean recipes, in that way you can only learn in person, without measuring spoons and with the extra loving touch. She visited our family several times in San Francisco also, probably more than any other relative, and our kitchen was always alive when she was around. My mom seemed to have a little more energy and laughed a little harder whenever she talked to kun eemo. She also slipped into her country Daegu accent and manner of speaking, putting aside the proper Seoul way to talk. She slipped back into another sense of home, the one where my mom got to be the kid who was being taken care of for once, the one who was being nurtured.

Kun eemo loved to laugh. My mom used to urge her to get cosmetic surgery so she could see better out of her old, sagging eyes. Kun eemo would respond by pushing down on the skin of one of those drooping eyelids with her hand, shutting it completely. She would just laugh and laugh with that one shut eye, showing she didn't care about any kind of surgery.

I can't believe she's gone. She will be missed.

Wednesday, October 26

Validate my long distance feelings. I don't need Advil.

I didn't cry when I dropped off Taer at the airport. It probably helps that I'll be seeing him again in less than two weeks for Annie and Mike's wedding. Just a short while ago, though, that still wouldn't have stopped my eyes from watering when we parted. For a long time, I cried each and every time we said goodbye at the airport. Actually, my sad and shaky pout usually started as soon as the packing began. Sometimes I bravely teared up ever so slightly in a very demure and ladylike way, but more often, I was just a wailing mess.

I'm a big baby. I know.

It isn't easy being in a long distance relationship. We've been keeping this up for well over three years now. One HUGE thing we had to learn to do well was to COMMUNICATE. Duh. But beyond the typical stuff, I had to teach Taer how to validate my feelings.

Early in our relationship, I was going through a particularly rough time with my normally tight-knit family, I hated the awful job I had at the time, I was PMS'ing; I was just having a really bad, emotionally draining day. I needed a hug. What I got instead from my boyfriend on the other side of the country was, "Maybe you should take Advil."


I'm upset, and you're telling me to take Advil? Are there some magical happiness-inducing side effects to this burnt sienna pill that I don't know about? Ok, so I didn't actually say any of that. Instead I just told Taer I needed to go, and after I hung up, I called Tina to cry on her phone shoulder. She listened and sympathized. And she made my boo boo all better, just as a proper good girlfriend should. Then I called Taer back again and told him the following:

Sometimes when I tell you about my problems, I am not looking for a solution. Sometimes, all I want from you is a, "Oh, you poor baby!" Just listen to me and let me know that you're hearing me and that you support me. I will try to keep my whining to a minimum, but it will probably happen. Indulge me. Tell me that you feel bad that I'm going through hard times. Tell me you wish you could be here with me. Ask what you can do for me. Do not try to give me a logical, rational answer. Do NOT suggest Advil. Please.

You think that by offering some kind of answer, you are providing what I need. Well, sometimes the answer is to have no answer. I realize that you are a strong rock of a man, and I can be an emotional woman. If you were put in my situation, you probably would not react the way I do. You don't understand why I'm so sensitive. Well, I'm not saying you have to understand my feelings, but please try to respect them and help me get through them.

When I took A.P. Psychology, I learned that children should have their feelings validated. If they drop a lollipop and cry about it, the worst thing we can do is tell them, "Stop crying! It's only a lollipop." It may be only a lollipop in our adult world, but to that child, it is probably a big deal to lose such a prized possession. What we should do instead is get down to their level and say, "I know it's upsetting to drop that. It's ok to cry. What can we do to make it better?"

A co-worker recently told me that validating feelings even works with her toddler who can't yet speak. She mirrors him when he balls up his fists and shakes them up and down, imitating him to show that she understands he's upset. She sympathizes before trying to calm him down. She says it works.

Taer got it. He's such a guy's guy, but he now knows how to make my emotional boo boos all better, almost as good as my best girlfriends. And, in his defense, he claims that the Advil advice was in response to my state of PMS. It's still not what I wanted or needed, but at least I know it wasn't totally out of nowhere.

As I said all this to Taer, I tried to stay as rational and logical as possible, because I know that's how his mind works. I've actually found that using I.R.A.C. from law school is the best way to go whenever I talk to any boy. But that's a whole other subject. I'll have to elaborate in another post.

Every once in a while, Taer still slips into his not-so-sensitive, uber guy mode. Now I can just say, "validate," and he knows exactly what I want. He no longer offers me Advil; he knows I'll get it for myself if I need it.

Tuesday, October 25

Chinese BSB want it that way

This is hilarious! Watch this video of these two guys performing their interpretation of the Backstreet Boys song, "I Want It That Way."

They're really feeling the music. Really. Funny, because this is probably what I look like half the time I'm in my car. The Today Show aired a clip this morning. I wonder if I could tape myself in my car and send that in to the Today Show...


For some strange reason, lately I've found myself in the company of people who have been talking about a lot of pretty interesting... uh, positions and actions. OK, it's straight up dirty. This seems to be a fascinating topic for many. It sure was a good ice breaker for our table at the wedding! Anyway, someone sent this site out to us, so I'm sharing the classics (e.g., the dirty sanchez, the donkey punch, tossing salad).

If you want to check out other gross stuff, click the links in the upper left corner. I only read through a couple and stopped. I don't know if I'll go back or not, but feel free to browse as much as you'd like. You've been warned:

Monday, October 24

Honored to be a maid

There has been a lot of wedding'ing in my life lately. In the past 2+ years, I attended 16 (and had to miss several others due to conflicts), and I was in 5.

I was Tina's maid of honor last year - isn't she beautiful? - and I wrote the following email soon afterwards. These were the things I learned or wish I knew as a bridesmaid. I sent it to anyone who asked; I thought I'd share here too:

since i lived my maid of honor life quite recently, i wanted to pass on my nuggets of knowledge while the nuggets were still relatively fresh in my mind. being maid of honor requires a lot of work. be prepared to be your bride's bee-yatch, even when she doesn't know that's what you're doing. in theory, if everything goes as planned, she should not have to worry about a single dingle thing on her wedding day besides smiling for the cameras and having a good time. you will be running around - a lot.

that being said, let's start with the list of things to bring in your WEDDING DAY KIT:
- SEWING KIT: you should have the basic needle and thread, and also anything else which may come along as extras with the dress (extra matching thread, buttons, etc.). don't forget the SAFETY PINS and SCISSORS too.
- LIPSTICK, LIP GLOSS: the bride will probably have her own color, but if you've got a neutral shine on hand, that'll save her the hassle of having to run back and forth for touch ups. like i said, you'll be doing the running back and forth for her. i actually came fully stocked with other makeup too, so you might want to consider bringing anything she might need, since the makeup artist most likely won't be on hand all day/night.
- BLOTTING PAPER: while powder is great, i always fear the over-caked look. the bride will probably have on enough makeup that she won't need to be re-powdered too many times, and that's when shiseido or clean&clear comes into the picture. this is also key for THE BOYS. guys don't like makeup, but a shiny groom and/or groomsman won't make for the prettiest pictures. our boys had a "whose paper can you see through the most" contest. ew.
- BABY POWDER: this was a great tip from the dress designer. should the dress get dirty or spilled on, rather than ruining the dress further by trying to get the stain out, simply dust some baby powder on top, and she'll be good to go for the pictures.
- HAND TOWEL: once the bride's in her dress, she won't be coming out. if she needs to touch up her makeup, or if the makeup artist wants to do a touch up, there's a chance she'll get something on the dress (see baby powder, above). use the towel like a bib so you don't have to chance this. heck, go ahead and bring a full-on bib if you'd like.
- MINTS, CANDY, SNACKS: not a necessity, but definitely nice to have. no one will have time to eat, so you'll want the energy boost. nothing messy, remember. i packed tic tacs (mints) and cereal bars, enough for the entire wedding party.
- EXTRA STUFF: beyond the list above, anything you can think of that won't be overly burdensome to carry will be nice to have on hand. if your bride is wearing nylons, bring an extra pair. i even brought an extra strapless bra, just in case. it's nice to have a change of clothes, or at the very least a change of shoes for yourself. your feet will thank you for that at the end of the night.

i would recommend getting a pretty detailed itinerary from the bride so that you'll know exactly what should be going on when, and you can be prepared. this should also include the contact info for all the vendors, in case you need to call anyone for any reason. make sure the mother of the bride feels comfortable asking you to do things too, because she'll likely be very involved. (for example, tina didn't want to wear her garter until the time came for the toss. tina's mom hunted me down to help her find it from the room right before that was scheduled.) i tried to generally keep an eye out for tina and made sure she knew where i was at all times. my attitude was, "i'll do anything! just tell me what you need!"

speaking of doing anything, brides tend to need help going to the bathroom, because there's no way they can handle the dress all on their own. depending on the dress, it may require assistance from more than just one person. one of the other bridesmaids even offered to wipe… luckily, that wasn't necessary.

you'll probably need to help with nominal cleaning afterwards. i had to gather some of the supplies and drop them off to the florist. i read the list beforehand and felt ready. one thing i didn't realize, however, was that "copper pot" meant that i needed to lug a huge, 4' urn back with me. i wasn't prepared and didn't have the space in my car. luckily, we got some help, and it all worked out in the end. just make sure that if you do have to do something like this, be totally clear on what you're getting into so that you'll be fully prepared.

well, that's it for now. i have more specific ideas for games and things like that when the time gets closer, so don't be afraid to ping me.

ta ta for now,

Sunday, October 23

Richard and Erika

Rich finally came to his senses and realized how lucky he was. He asked Erika to put up with him forever and ever... and she said yes! (Just kidding, Richard... but I know you know you're one lucky man!)Me, Camilla, LeeP'ye baek is a Korean ritual in which the bride formally greets her new in-laws after the wedding ceremony. During this ritual, the couple shows its respect for the groom's parents by performing a series of bows. The bride receives white fabric bearing the phrase, "Man and woman united." The parents throw dates and chestnuts in the air, and the bride tries to catch them in the fabric. It is believed that the number of pieces the bride catches will equal the number of children they will be blessed with. Then the bride and groom serve soju to the parents, who in turn offer a few words of wisdom to the couple. The groom bites on one end of a date, the bride the other, until their lips meet in a "kiss." For the grand finale, the groom shows his strength and commitment by lifting the bride onto his back for a piggy-back ride. [This is from the program; I'm not that knowledgeable.]First DanceThe San-San-Kudo, known as the ceremony of the Three Times Exchange, is the exchange of nupial cups performed by the bride and groom. San means three, and it is a lucky number; ku means nine, and it is the luckiest number. The sharing of sake is one of the oldest traditional Japanese wedding ceremonial customs dating back to the 8th century. The sharing or toast of sake symbolizes a formal bond between the bride and groom. Three sips are taken from each of the three sake nesting cups, first by the groom, then followed by the bride for each cup. The three cups symbolize heaven, earth and humans. The first three rounds, the smallest sake cup, signifies gratitude toward ancestors; the second round represents the vow between the bride and groom; and the third round and largest sake cup represents the prosperity of descendants.I'm having a good ole time with Taer, my beloved boyfriend.As much as I love Taer, I had a crush on another boy too! Look at these heartbreakers.The ladies of the "Dream" table Our "Dreamy" men
Maryland and Virgina know how to party in Cali.Taer, Gene, RoyHolly is Roy's woman (congrats on the nuptials), but she's all mine for this pic.
See Henry in the background? There were many blasts from the past this night.Roy, me, GeneWhat a difference a day makes. This was us just the night before.More blasts from the past: Jae and Sung and their ladies!Steve is still mr. cool.What a fun wedding, and what a great couple!

Wednesday, October 19

My newest toy doesn't need batteries

One of my firms was hosting a book fair today. I picked up a couple books, but my non-literary purchase was the more exciting find. It's the best gadget: The Illuminator.

It's a flashlight that never needs batteries! How earthquake-and-other-disasters prepared of me, huh? Alright, I'll be totally honest. I didn't really care about being prepared, even though I was once a girl scout. The inner geek in me was way more excited than the cool and collected me would've wanted to admit. You just crank it up, and you've got light!
This is my hand in motion, in case you couldn't tell. I thought you'd appreciate an action shot. One minute of winding is supposed to provide up to one hour of "continuous ultra bright light."Look at how bright the three LEDs are! (And I will take it out of the package soon. I was just having too much fun playing with it to do it immediately.) Now I'll be able to find my Diet Coke in any blackout. There's another version which includes an AM/FM radio along with the flashlight! If I get that one, I can drink Diet Coke and rock out during a blackout. Cool.