Saturday, April 29

A Picture Share!

I stayed up all night to get this done before my early morning flight. I am now back on the east side. Home.

A Picture Share!

Almost done, with a little help from my friends.

Thursday, April 27

Unexpected

I really didn't expect packing to take this long. I mean, I AM a pack rat, and I DO have a ton of stuff, but... I still didn't think it'd be this bad. I had to "hire" my cousin, Jason, to help me today. He shred paper, made a run to Goodwill and dropped off boxes at my parents' for me. He's the best! AND he's coming back again tomorrow - on his BIRTHDAY! Man, I suck. But DHL is coming to pick up boxes in the afternoon, and my room isn't looking that much better than the picture I took a couple days ago. I need help. (This is probably true beyond just my room, but I'm tackling it one thing at a time.)

I just got back from dinner with the girls. I meant to pack some more, but I'm tired and overstimulated, so I think I'll just rest up and refuel for tomorrow. We were celebrating my new east coast life, Sindy's job, and something unexpected. As we were talking about pets, one of the girls mentioned that she and her husband were talking about getting a pet too. And she reached in her bag to produce... a sonogram picture! It's "our" first baby! I've been fighting tears all week, and this was the thing to finally get me to well up.

And if my room isn't all packed by tomorrow afternoon, more tears may fall. So I'm out.

Wednesday, April 26

A Picture Share!

I just finished helping my brother move a bunch of my furniture for storage before his move. This is what is left. Oh. My. Goodness!

Sunday, April 23

Good to be back

I got back to San Francisco on Saturday, and I practically went straight to my going away party that night. Today was family day, and I have a lot to report about all of that, but I'll have to get to it later.

I'm still on east coast time, so I'm heading to bed soon. Beyond my sleepy state, my SORE legs are making me want to crawl into bed. We went out Friday night, and I Dropped It Like It's Haaawt one too many times on the dance floor. (I literally touched the floor every time Snoop commanded to drop, park or pop it. Um, I was doing squats.) My thirty-year old thighs are screaming at me now for trying to keep up with my twenty-year old spirit.

Funny thing is, I'm pretty sure I'll still be attempting those moves when I'm 64.

Friday, April 21

Meet the Parents

I had two basic goals to accomplish in my first two weeks here:
1. Get settled into my new job. (And tell my parents that I "got the job.")
2. Meet Taer's parents and win them over with my charm.

Goal one? Check!
Goal two? Well...

I did meet Taer's parents. They, like my parents, were opposed to our relationship because of the last name thing. Our fathers, more specifically, were the ones who were very stubbornly standing by their beliefs. We felt our mothers bending in recent months. Personally, I think they were just ready to marry us off after all these years so they could enjoy being grandmothers soon.

My dad has decided that he would consider accepting it all if - and only if - Taer's family accepted it first. Not only did my father want their acceptance; he wanted them to embrace me happily into their family. He didn't want me to become an unloved daughter-in-law. He was proud of me, probably a bit more than he should be, and he felt that anyone would be lucky to welcome me into their family. So that was our the plan, and it wasn't an easy one.

Taer's dad threatened to disown him too. We're totally living a modern day Romeo and Juliet story... except that we're BOTH Capulets.

After a relatively quiet car ride and a bit of small talk at dinner, Taer brought up the serious stuff. Both of his parents asked, "So do you HAVE TO marry each other?" I'm pretty sure they knew the answer to that one. We didn't put ourselves through four years of traveling 3,000 miles back and forth for nothing. "Well, it's obvious that you'll go through this no matter what we say..."

And then, amazingly, they said ok. They weren't overjoyed, but they didn't fight nearly as hard as we thought they would. Taer's dad actually apologized to me for the past four years. And his mom hugged me when we said goodbye.

Slowly but surely, it's working out. Taer and I recently got fortunes in our cookies which read: "The three greatest physicians are nature, time and patience." and "There will soon be a cake in your future."

I think that waiting so long to be together has worn our parents down. Here comes the wedding cake!

Thursday, April 20

A Picture Share!

This is the prettiest Bank of America I have ever seen in my life.

Wednesday, April 19

You know what else sucks?

Being the new kid.

My family moved a lot when I was growing up, so I ended up going to a new school every two years. I was always the new kid. Don't get me wrong - being new has its perks too. You get a lot of attention, and everyone wants to be the one to show you the bathrooms and how the rules of the cafeteria and water fountains work. Kids like it when you share your exotic candy with them, like Pocky and Yan Yan. But you also go through a trial period; you're tested on whether or not you fit, and those first few weeks can make all the difference in getting "in" or not.

I generally adjusted pretty quickly and made friends and got invited to the popular kids' parties. I found that if I was nice enough, without being annoyingly dorky or overbearing, that was good enough. But every once in a while, there was an exception.

I remember Trisha, the "smart" girl when I transferred to Valley View in fourth grade. She was nice for a day or so, and then all of a sudden, she turned on me. She decided to start being mean for no reason whatsoever. (Later, I realized that she may have been threatened that I was kinda "smart" too.) She said mean things like, "You have poison OAK, like the OAK RIDGE BOYS!" I don't know what that meant exactly, but I wasn't used to anyone being so mean to me. I tried to be nice, and everyone else was nice. Trisha moved a few months later, and life was back to normal.

For the most part, I've found that if I extend genuine kindness and respect to people, then I get it back in return. It's pretty easy. Usually. But there's always a Trisha somewhere.

One of the sales guys I work with got upset at me yesterday. It wasn't a big deal, and it had to do with adjusting to each other's working styles. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't fun for me. It was hard because I was trying my best, and that's usually enough. As the newest one in the office, I didn't want to get off on the wrong foot with anyone so early. I know I have to deal with things like this during my transition, but it was the first time that I really, really missed my old job. This wouldn't have happened there. I was in a good groove with everyone I worked with before. And then I missed a lot of things about being home.

I mean, I missed a lot of things about being in San Francisco. I can't call it "home" anymore. I shouldn't. I have to start calling DC home, or I won't fully adjust here.

I wish I could just hurry up and get past this whole "new kid" phase. Or maybe I'll try offering out Pocky at the office in the meantime...

Tuesday, April 18

You know what sucks?

Realizing I left my cell phone at home. It's like a limb or something. I feel incomplete. What if someone is calling me right now to tell me I've won the Nobel Prize? And what if I'll lose out on it if I don't accept in the next 10 minutes? Hey, it could happen.

I'd rather forget my underwear than my phone. Panties don't win the Nobel Prize.

Monday, April 17

My week, in pictures

We're driving with the top down here, enjoying the gorgeous weather. Taer has been letting me practice driving stick. Yes, I've been riding Taer's stick - go ahead and insert your own dirty joke here. We didn't actually go to the arboretum, but I just liked the sign. I think we take 495 a lot, but I'm not totally sure. I don't know the roads yet. With my sense of direction, it's going to take me forever to learn. Does anyone have any opinions or suggestions on GPS systems?
Here's that immigration march during my second day of work in D.C.Ah, yes, the selling of ice cream during the march. So very American! The parks downtown are actually quite pretty. The east coast definitely has a different "flava." We were getting drinks by the water when I took this shot. I'm not used to hanging out near water without feeling cold - there are some advantages to having actual seasons. (I know I'm saying that now, but ask me how I feel again when it's not spring or fall.)
I spent Easter with Yun and a lot of cute kids. (Yun is the friend who introduced me to Taer!) Yun's daughter, Hailey, is a CUTIE! She was too little to actually participate in the Easter Egg Hunt this year, but those other kids better watch out next year!Olivia is William's big sister, and they're both so cute, I always want to BITE right into them!Olivia is picking William's nose. It was kinda gross, but it was mostly SO CUTE!
Happy Monday!

Friday, April 14

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth

"Guess what? The interviews went really well, and I met some of the big clients; and I got the job!"

That's what I finally told my parents a couple days ago. It's the truth... it's just a little bit of a delayed truth.

See, I figured they were having a hard enough time dealing with the whole engagement thing. With my dad already threatening to disown me, I didn't want to throw a whole other piece of craziness into my already complicated life plot. And if my new boss wasn't willing to work with me and my sensitive family situation, I wouldn't have taken the job. But she's been great and has allowed me some flexibility with going back and forth until my family was comfortable. So I took the job. And I told my parents that I was "trying out" for it in this first week here to give them some time to get used to me being gone.

And they're comfortable. I told them I had a great opportunity in D.C., which I do. It's one I wouldn't be able to have anywhere else because I'm working with federal government agencies. It's unique. And I'd be looking at more money. All those things translated well into my parents' ears. Of course, those ears would have preferred that I could've kept my own ears (and the rest of the physical me) close to home. But I've lived less than an hour's drive from my family my entire life. It's like I said before, I feel like I'm 30, going on 18. I'm finally growing up. Sort of.

My mom was sad. That's expected. My dad was sad too. But beyond that, they're both happy for me. They congratulated me and said they were proud of me. And neither of them brought up the fact that they knew I was doing this to be with Taer. They focused on the fact that this was a good career move for me; they focused on me. And I'm glad.

And I'm really glad that they haven't asked where I'm staying. I think my family likes to live in happy ignorance sometimes. To this day, I'm pretty sure they don't know that I was living with two huge, hockey-playing boys for the past two years. If we had dinner together in the city, they would simply drop me off at my front door and kiss me goodbye. "Don't ask, don't tell" isn't just for the military.

So now it's all out. Well, almost. Now we're back to tackling the engagement thing again. But I'll have to take it all one step at a time. For now, I'm happy. I'll be back in San Francisco in a week, and I'll have a full week to pack up the rest of my stuff and hang out with my family and friends. And then? Well, I don't want to be overly hopeful, but it's turning out to be a truly good Good Friday.

Thursday, April 13

A Picture Share!

I have been getting comments on my style all week. I don't think my look quite fits the conservative dc vibe. Oh well!

Wednesday, April 12

Blunching

I'm blogging and lunching. I'm blunching.

It's been a good first few days as an east coaster. I feel tougher already. No more avocados for this Washingtonian! Just kidding. Give me my guac, please.

Monday was a gorgeous day. After I got off the Metro, I had a view of the Washington Monument as I walked to work. And in the afternoon, my new boss and I took a walk around the corner to check out the immigration march. I've got to admit that it feels pretty good to be around so much history and political activity.

I thought I'd be really sad for a while, but I'm glad to report no such thing. At least not so far. Of course I miss tons of people and other things about San Francisco, but it's been nice being a homebody with Taer. I've even turned into a bit of a morning person! I've never been one to stay at home much, nor do I usually see the sunrise, but that's what I can say about myself now.

But it hasn't even been a week.

I don't think it's actually sunk in yet. Uh, maybe that'll happen when I tell my parents. But that's a whole other story too. It's time for getting back to work and post-blunch coffee.

Monday, April 10

Washingtonian

I hope my flight isn't any indication of what I can expect from my new life as a Washingtonian.

It started with the cab ride. My taxi driver talked and talked about how it's as good thing he speaks more than one language because he can listen to the different sources of news and know what's really going on with Bush. Awful, awful Bush. I don't usually mind chatty, Bush-bashing drivers, but I was really tired and wasn't in the mood. I was running late for my flight.

And when I turned in my luggage for curbside check-in, I was DENIED because I was over my weight limit. I guess too much stuff in my bags is better than too much junk in my trunk, but it was annoying nonetheless.

I finally got to the gate with only two minutes to spare. It was a full flight, and I found myself seated next to an older Korean couple. The man got up to let me in for my window seat, but the woman tried to remain seated. She pointed at my seat with her hands palm side up, indicating that she wanted me to squeeze past her. I'm sorry to say that I'm more than a mere 4" thick, so that would've required me to CLIMB OVER HER. Sorry, ajuma, but my mama and halmunee (grandma) are the only older Korean women who can ask me to make myself that uncomfortable for them.

After she let me in, I took my window seat and reclined it as soon as I could. The man behind me audibly complained, "Oh, Christ." I must've hit his knees. And then he started PUSHING the back of my chair, as though I would give up the space to which I was entitled. I tried to ignore his nudges and pushes (even though it kept happening through the flight).

So I picked up the in-flight magazine. The cover showcased the feature story, "Three Days in San Francisco."

I immediately began tearing up, and my nostalgia only worsened as I read the actual story. It listed some of my favorite San Francisco spots, and though my tears didn't actually fall, I found myself with a sniffly nose. *Sniff*

And then I looked over at the Korean ajuma next to me to discover that she was wearing a huge straw hat and one of those dont-infect-me-with-your-virus masks. You know, the kind you see people wearing in Asia. She must've thought I had something contagious. I practically burst out laughing!

And THEN that same ajuma got sick. She used her own sick bag, her husband's bag, my bag... I wasn't sure why she didn't excuse herself to the lavatory, but I think it was some powers that be somewhere trying to give me the hardest flight possible. If I want to be with my love, I apparently have to go through as many hurdles as possible.

And then I landed.

I was officially no longer a Californian.

Weird.

The weekend was relatively uneventful. It felt like any other visit to see Taer. Today was the first "different" day because we both woke up and WENT TO WORK! My first day was good; I'll write about it later. My man is making dinner, and I'm going to go help now. It's good to be home.

A Multi Media Share!

Sorry i have not been writing. Busy getting settled in. Good to know some things are the same in the east coast. Here is my desk, post lunch. Will try to update later.

Thursday, April 6

Weird weird weird

I've been packing all night, in between helping my roommates interview potential new roommates. I'm in denial. As happy as I am to be starting my new life with the man I love, there's a thick layer of sadness underneath it all. I'm sad to be leaving the place I've called home for 30 years. I love my life here! I've got the best friends a girl could ask for, a loving family, awesome roommates, and a fantastic job in the most amazing city... but I know it's the right thing for me to move.

I start my new job Monday and will be back at the end of the month to pack up the rest of my things. I'll just think of it as a long visit until then...

Wednesday, April 5

Restaurant Menus

In this icky weather and as I've been packing my arse off at home, I've found myself wishing I could just order in every night. Unfortunately, I sometimes have a hard time finding menus for all of my restaurants of choice. WELL...

Look what I found! The Menu Pages has online menus for San Francisco, NYC, Boston and Chicago! They even specify joints which deliver, as well as 24-hour venues. Of course it figures that I would just discover this during my last official week here. Hmph!

(OK, I've pretty much been eating out every night to make sure I don't miss any final dining destinations, so this is a bit of a lie. I wouldn't have used it this week... but I thought this would make a good post. Also, I'm too stressed to think straight, so rather than laying my negative vibes out there, I figured I'd share some useful information instead. So there you go. Back to work for me!)

Tuesday, April 4

At 1:02 (and 3 seconds)

It will be 01:02::03 04/05/06!

Isn't that cool? Aren't I a nerd?

I can't take credit for thinking of this; I heard it on tv this morning. :) 01.02.03.04.05.06 won't happen again for 100 years. You heard it from me (if you didn't also hear it on tv).

Monday, April 3

Robots in Korea?

According to this New York Times article, "by 2007, networked robots that, say, relay messages to parents, teach children English and sing and dance for them when they are bored, are scheduled to enter mass production. Outside the home, they are expected to guide customers at post offices or patrol public areas, searching for intruders and transmitting images to monitoring centers. If all goes according to plan, robots will be in every South Korean household between 2015 and 2020."

I know what's going on here! The Stepford Wives happened to be on cable just the other day, so I watched it for the first time. And now I'm reading about these robots in Korea. Coincidence? I think not.

Just kidding. But it sure would be great to have one of those robots right about now. I wouldn't make mine sing and dance and search for intruders; I'd have it pack my room and wrap up work stuff for me.

Ugh. I'd better get back to it. Let me know if you hear of one that's available before 2007... like, tomorrow would be nice.

Sunday, April 2

Eating ramen and springing forward with the 'rents

I took my parents to Santa Ramen for linner, and when we were all done, my mom decided she wanted to take her leftover broth home.

me: Umma, I don't think you can do that.

mom: Why not? The soup is the best part. I can just make some noodles at home, and if I put that in, it'll be so good!

(I never thought that my mom was ghetto; but at that moment, I was trying to picture whether or not she'd look good with gold-capped teeth. Or teef.)

me: The noodles here are good too! Anyway, this is a small place which takes pride in serving good bowls of ramen. The orders take so long already, I'm pretty sure they don't have to-go containers.

She was not to be deterred.

mom: [to waitress] Do you have one of those soup boxes, so I can take this with me?

waitress: No, we only have Ziplock bags.

me: [in my head] Please don't take it. Please don't take it!

To be relief, my mom decided that the plastic baggie might not be ideal. Until my brother called. He wanted to see if we were still out to dinner, but I told him we were finishing up. He said it was cool, no biggie, and we hung up. But my mom heard. And a mother will do anything to feed her hungry young - even when that young takes form in a 27-year old son who can easily feed himself.

mom: Jimmy can eat this! [And then, to waitress] Can I have that Ziplock after all?

So we walked out of the restaurant with a broth-filled plastic bag in hand. But that's not the end of it. Oh yes, there's more.

Then my mom asked me to help her "spring forward" the clocks in her car. She ordered my dad to learn so that he could do it next time. I showed my dad which buttons to push, and just as he was ready to set the time to 7:10...

mom: Wait! Wait until I tell you to set it!

She then flipped open her cell phone and looked at her watch so that we could set the time not only to the right minute, but to the correct second. My gold-toofed mama is not only ghetto, she's also super anal.

me: Don't you want to maybe put it ahead a minute or two?

mom: No. [a few seconds later] Almost... NOW!

And THEN we had to go through the same thing again with the clock on the installed radio in the car too. My dad decided to tease her a bit.

dad: I'm going to push it now!

mom: NOOOO!!!!!

dad: OK, then... NOW?

mom: NO, wait until I tell you! HOney!

She mentioned that it used to drive her crazy that one clock was two minutes slow before, and the other one was four minutes behind. She couldn't have been happier when everything was set just as she wanted. My mom's clocks were in sync, and the entire family would be happily fed. All was right with the world.

And my dad and I just laughed.

Saturday, April 1

Rain, rain, go away

I just got back from a run, which made me realize that I haven't gone running in a while. I'm not normally lazy when it comes to working out. I have a few excuses: my ankles haven't been in great shape since Chile, and I've been busy with work stuff and family matters.

But above all else, I blame it on the rain. (Milli Vanilli may have been wrong for lip-syncing, but they got one thing right.)

We had a record-breakingly wet March. Downtown San Francisco had 25 rainy days in March. The old record was 23 days, and that was set in 1904! What should be the normal number of March rain days? 10.

Ten, people! I am a San Franciscan, not a Seattlean. Seattleite? Seattleonian? Whatever they're called. We're supposed to get some rain, but we're mostly known for our fog. C'mon Mama Nature, can we get our weather back for my last days here? Please?