Nov 11

Remembering Thanksgiving

I used to fantasize about having a big family gathering for Thanksgiving. I pictured a house full of people, a big shiny turkey, and all the fixings. Instead, it was just me, my parents, and my brother, a dry chicken, and Stove Top Stuffing.

Every year I asked my mom, “Why don’t you invite everyone to our house?”

“Because I don’t want to cook for so many people,” she’d say.

After my brother Greg moved to California for college, Thanksgiving became even more pathetic with just me and my parents. But at least we had convinced my mother to give up on baking fowl, and we began the tradition of Mongolian hot pot.

After I got married, I finally got my big family gathering, but along with that came a lot of stress. Every year my ex’s aunt would offer to host, but somehow the big day always ended up my in-laws’, despite the fact that my mother-in-law was bedridden with Parkinson’s disease. It was a pride thing: my father-in-law, the eldest in the family, didn’t want to lose face and so felt compelled to host 10 to 12 people every November.

What made things worse was that he was obsessive about cleanliness. At eight AM, he’d wake us up to wash dishes, cups, and utensils that were already clean. My ex, who was a good cook, was in charge of the food, which he resented with every ounce of his being while his parents considered it his duty.

Rather, it should have been my duty, as the daughter-in-law in a traditional Korean house, but I can’t cook. I’ll wash all the dishes in the world, but you don’t want me in charge of an elaborate meal. Of course my ex knew this about me before we married, but still he thought I would miraculously change. As for me, I had buried my head in the sand about my in-laws’ expectations.

Throughout the day, my ex and his parents would fight. About a week before any big family gathering, my eye would start to twitch in anticipation of all the fighting that would occur. I guess my ex felt put upon having to be in charge of stuff all the time. My mother-in-law would become very stressed out. Like her husband, she worried a lot about losing face, and while she couldn’t do anything, she’d hover and worry about what we were doing.

By the time the guests arrived, everyone would be calm and happy, as though nothing had happened. But my eye would still be twitching.

After four years of these kinds of Thanksgivings, I grew to detest the holiday. That first one after my divorce, I was still burning with anger and resentment. I ran away to L.A. and had Thanksgiving with my brother, who cooked a big and yummy meal for the two of us and a friend. We had many multiple servings.

The Thanksgiving after that one my mother and I had a huge fight. Basically, she was hurt that I had distanced myself from her and my dad after my divorce, but guised it in the fact that I had neglected to bring a hostess gift. But the turkey days since that one have been much better. By November 2007, I was dating MB, and the following November, he joined me at my parents’ house.

In 2009, our first in California, was that festive Thanksgiving I had always dreamed about. MB and I flew down to L.A. since my parents and aunt were staying with my grandmother in Orange County while my uncle and his family were away. My brother Greg was also there, along with my cousin, her husband, and their daughter. Greg single-handedly cooked a delicious meal for 11 people! You can feast your eyes on the pictures in the linked post.

I loved that day because it was fun and low-stress. Everyone who was there wanted to be there. Greg wanted to cook that meal (I presume!). My aunt and mother buzzed around him, not really believing that he could cook, and everyone was (overly) surprised at how delicious everything was.

Last Thanksgiving was quiet but peaceful. My grandmother had just died, and MB and I were exhausted from traveling down to L.A. for the funeral, then back up to the Bay Area for the burial. While the funeral and burial were sad, it was also weirdly fun to be around all of my family. But a couple of days of that was enough. By Thanksgiving, I only wanted to be around MB.

The city was so quiet (except of course for the grocery store). Our building seemed empty. It was almost like this little world of just me and MB.

Tomorrow is more of the same. I can’t wait.

Jul 11


Over at The Frisky, Amelia and Jessica wrote about dating do’s and don’ts, specifically about romantic gestures such as scattering rose petals on one’s bed, couples feeding each other, and women being picked up, literally, by men.

I’ve never thought of myself as a romantic person.  In fact, those of us born in the year of the rat are supposed to be characteristically unromantic.  But reading through Amelia’s “don’ts,” I realize I’m a sucker after all. (Bold is Amelia’s “don’t.”)

1. Please don’t pick me up.  I LOVE when MB picks me up!  Yes, I agree it would be cheesy if he swept me up into his arms and, gazing adoringly into my eyes (that’s one of my “don’t’s” – don’t gaze adoringly at me, to me it’s staring and it’s creepy) carried me to the bed, but I love when out of nowhere he picks me up and swings me around, or even when he flips me over his shoulder and onto the bed.  “Don’t, I’m too heavy!” I always yell, but he hasn’t had a problem yet.

2. Please don’t feed me.  I think this all depends on how it’s done.  If a guy is corny about it and TRYING to be sensual, then yeah: barf.  But if it’s a matter of fact – “Here, try this”- then it’s just cute, or if the guy totally owns it, then it’s hot.

3. Please don’t get in the bathtub with me.  I actually love this too.  I never take baths but sometimes when I’m showering, MB will jump in with me.  I think it’s totally cute and playful.  No sex in the shower though, thank you very much.  The water just rinses away all the natural lubricants, it’s tiring to have sex standing up, and I don’t want to get down and dirty right on our bathtub.

4. Please don’t serenade me with a song that you think is romantic but actually isn’t. Again, it’s all in the attitude.  It’s one thing if a guy is trying to be romantic and sings you a totally inappropriate song (like Patsy Cline’s Crazy, which my idiot ex-SIL picked for her wedding song), it’s another if it’s in the moment.

Shortly after MB and I started dating, he played his guitar for me.  “I don’t normally like to when girls ask,” he said.  He thought it was cheesy too.  But he just felt like showing me, and so he did.  I can’t even remember the song.  Something bluesy, probably not “romantic,” but FUCK WAS IT SEXY.  Especially when he looked at me the way he does.

Another time we were hanging out at my apartment.  The guy upstairs started playing some song MB liked, and without thinking he sang along.  Again, not a romantic song, probably a “when my woman left me” kind of song, but again: FUCK WAS IT SEXY, especially when he got all embarrassed.

5. Please don’t scatter rose petals on my bed/light insane number of candles/give me a shitload of chocolates. I’d be perfectly delighted if MB any of these, but also quite surprised.  It would be against his character. He is a very in the moment kind of guy, and doesn’t like to call attention to things with ritual and whatnot.  And he has the same concerns as Amelia about possibly burning the place down with too many unattended candles.

What it comes down to me for is that I like romance if it’s spontaneous and not forced.  My ex would almost always bring me flowers and jewelery on Valentine’s Day, my birthday, our anniversary, and Christmas, but ran hot and cold in terms of affection, was emotionally withholding, and had an anger problem.  MB has never given me flowers and jewelery, hates Valentine’s Day, and only tolerates birthdays and Christmas (again he’s very anti-ritual). But he’ll do stuff like help me redo my website, research Google ads for my book, and like the other night:

He texted me that he had bought yet another amp.  I wasn’t pleased.  He already has two.  He said it was HUGE and that he got it on sale from Whole Foods.

Huh?  Whole Foods???? I texted back.

Yes, he replied.  They were having a sale.

That made no sense to me but I made up a story in my head about WF having some event and needing to get rid of equipment.

There was a knock on the door.  “It’s sooo heavy!” MB cried.

I opened the door and saw him holding an WF bag.  Like an idiot, I actually thought the amp was in the bag.  Of course it wasn’t.  It was groceries for the dinner MB was going to make that night.

Prankster-romance.  Prank-mance? Better than cheese-mance, that’s for sure.

Feb 11

Pseudo-single weekend

MB is away for a few days at an industry conference so I am a pseudo-single woman this weekend.

What does being pseudo-single mean?

  • Eating exactly what I want. Not that I never get to eat what I want – far from it – but it’s usually a compromise. For instance, I could eat Asian food every day, while MB gets sick of it, and he could eat a fish dinner at our favorite diner every day, while I get sick of that.
  • Eating exactly when I want. No waiting around for MB to finish up on the computer. Not that I’m 100% innocent –  he’s waited plenty of times for me to get off my lazy butt, get out of my pajamas and get dressed.
  • Watching whatever I want on TV. This means Friends reruns and two hours of America’s Funniest Home Videos, which MB actually finds somewhat entertaining. But he detests Friends – or rather, he wants to detest it, and often finds himself laughing, which he detests even more.
  • Going to sleep whenever I want (ie, old lady early).
  • Not having to wear ear plugs at night.  MB usually stays up for a few hours after I turn in.  While he’s not that noisy, my sensitive ears can hear the low volume of the TV and his guitar.
  • Making as much noise as I want in the morning. Of course having stayed up later, he sleeps in later, while I’m up bright and early, putzing around.

Alone time is very important to both MB and me, and we try to be upfront about it to each other.  He’s much better about it than I am.  I sort of take the alone time as it comes – when he happens to be away – instead of asking for it. Some weekends he’ll say, “I feel like going to a cafe by myself,” and it’s taken me some time not to take it personally, to believe that it’s not because he loves me any less or doesn’t want to be with me, and to remind myself that I enjoy time by myself too, even away from my favorite person.

But his being away this weekend is not just about the alone time.  It’s also experiencing San Francisco by myself.  I never have before!  We visited together back when we were scoping out the place, and by the time I moved here, he was already settled.  Last year he went away for a week, but then I invited ES to visit, so I wasn’t alone then either.

So what does solo San Francisco look like?  So far, not that different from SF with MB.  He left on Thursday, my work-at-home day.  I, well, worked at home, went to the gym, worked some more.  Ate, watched TV.

Then on Friday, unfortunately, I came down with some kind of stomach bug.  No barfing or anything like that, just an upset stomach, no appetite, the chills, headache, and fatigue.  My exciting alone evening was spent eating chicken soup, trying not to throw it up, watching Fringe, and going to bed at 10 pm.

But today I feel a million times better, and it’s actually sunny!  Maybe I’ll buy some shoes, write some more.  Head to a cafe.

Hmm, not that different from MB-San Francisco after all.

I guess what’s different is the feeling.  It was walking around my apartment last night, feeling like, “This is my apartment.”  It’s knowing all of this time is my time, and although the hours sort of flow more into each other, without the markers of, “MB coming home from work,” or “MB waking up,” or “Going out to eat with MB,” I like it.

But I still can’t wait for MB to come back tomorrow.

Feb 11

Valentine’s Day, Schmalentine’s Day

MB and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.  For MB it’s a thing.  He finds it cheesy and in general isn’t into rituals and contrived celebrations.  He doesn’t like the pressure to conform just because “everyone does it.”

For me, it’s not a big deal.  I wouldn’t reject flowers or candy, but I’m not going to cry about not getting any.  It would be one thing if I were starved for love and attention.  I might think, At least one day a year you can make an effort, you insensitive bastard! But MB’s natural inclination is to be affectionate and attentive 90% of the time.

My ex was probably the opposite.  Most of the time, he was caught up in his own stuff, but on Valentine’s Day, he always had a gift for me.  Roses, jewelery, chocolates.  Our very first V-Day together, he brought me a dozen red roses, and we went out to dinner.  But the whole time, he was distracted.  He was antsy and kept looking at his watch.  It turned out he was dealing with some shit with his parents, but I didn’t know that.  All I knew that despite the flowers and the fact that we were out, I had a shitty time.

Our first V-Day after we married, we agreed not to exchange gifts, mostly because I could never think of anything good.  Instead I put together a joke gift – a fancy red box with Ben-Gay, Desitin, and other embarrassing old people ointments, plus some lame coupons for “one kiss” or “one hug” or whatever.  I thought I was all clever, getting ready to present him with this gift, and what did he give me?

A beautiful necklace.

I felt soooo bad.  “You gave me Ben-Gay for Valentine’s Day,” he said, all disappointed.  But how was I to know?  Didn’t we agree not to exchange gifts?

That’s how I felt for most of our relationship, that there were these expectations unbeknownst to me, and I kept failing to meet them (kind of like my relationship with my mother).

As for MB, whenever I tell people that we don’t celebrate today, and that I don’t care, I feel like, “The lady doth protest too much.”  But it’s true!  It’s true when I say, “Every day is like Valentine’s Day with us!” and that I’ll take love, attention, and affection 90% of the time over roses once a year.  And sure, someone might say, “But you should demand it all! YOU DESERVE IT ALL!” But am I really going to throw a shit fit over a contrived day created by card companies? I don’t think so.

Now a joke gift for MB is a whole other story.

Jan 11

Sometimes being beautiful doesn’t matter

Like me, some of you may be an avid readers of The Frisky.  If you are, you have probably been keeping up with the essays of Jessica Wakeman, a terrific writer who recently went through a tough – and perplexing – break-up. Her latest piece, and the comments, have gotten me thinking about looks and self-esteem.

Jessica writes:

Our relationship hit the breaks recently and one of the things that Mr. Jessica kept saying again and again was that he wished I dressed up in cuter outfits more often. He bought me a pair of sexy Louboutins for Christmas, surely to add to my struggling-for-hotness wardrobe. Even he acknowledged his concerns were kinda shallow.  But he brought it up so often that I knew it must be really bothering him. So I tried to wear makeup more often and wear cuter skirts and dresses, despite the fact it was December and January. I really tried to make more of an effort.

I’ve written before about how I suddenly became hot when I turned 30.  Before then, my weight was up and down, and I was cute at best. I rarely wore make-up and dressed very casually.  My husband liked this though – he liked a demure beauty and didn’t care about clothes.

After I left my 20s, I lost some baby fat, and bam! there were my cheekbones, a skinny waist, and kick-ass booty.  I started dressing sexier in tighter pants, more fitted shirts, and strappy heels.  I started wearing thongs.

But ironically, this did nothing to turn my husband on.  In fact, he seemed confused by my new attractiveness and confidence.  We continued to not have sex, and eventually he had an affair.

I was smokin’ hot, and my husband still didn’t want me.

I started dating again a few months after my divorce.  The first guy I dated exclusively I met at a speed dating event, to which I wore the tiniest bit of make-up (a little cover-up, powder, a dash of blush, subtle lipstick, no eye make-up), jeans, a sexy sweater, and sexy sandals.  We were a “match” and ended up making out in a bar on our first date.

This guy, whom I’ll call Tobey and who I’ve also written about it, was a skate-boarding student who dressed exclusively in T-shirts and jeans.  After a couple of weeks, he started making oblique comments about liking girls who wore make-up (“Some eye definition is nice,” he said), perfume, and were “groomed” in the lady-parts, implying that my eyes needed some defining (nice thing to say to the Asian girl), that I smelled, and that I apparently had a Brazilian rainforest between my thighs.

Like I said, when we first met, I was wearing barely any make-up and no perfume.  If he wanted a girl who did, why did he ask me out?  But I was kinda desperate so I tried to make some changes.  I broke out the mascara, bought some perfume, and even got a bikini wax.

He still broke up with me.

Why?  Because all those comments about my looks were just excuses, and he just wasn’t that into me.

In the three years since I started dating MB, I have:

  • gained about 10 pounds
  • started wearing, almost exclusively, jeans and T-shirts
  • continue to never wear make-up
  • continue to never wear perfume
  • get waxed only occasionally

MB couldn’t care less about my extra weight.  In fact, he doesn’t like when I start worrying about it.  He encourages me to eat healthy and exercise becuase he knows I feel better, and therefore more confident, when I do.  He notices when I’m more toned and compliments me, but doesn’t criticize me when I get flabby.

He has never ever asked me to “dress cute.”  He expresses his pleasure when I wear a dress or shorts, but he doesn’t really care about my daily outfits.  In fact when I say, “I feel sloppy in this shirt,” he shrugs and says, “As long as you’re comfortable, who cares?”

He hates make-up, especially lipstick.  “Lipstick hinders my ability to kiss you,” he says.

Strong perfume exacerbates his allergies, but he likes the coconut smell of my conditioner.

He thinks nail polish is gross.

Of course he wouldn’t have a problem if I chose to wear make-up, perfume, or nail polish.  And sometimes I do because it’s fun to dress up.

He loves when I get waxed not because it’s better but just because it’s different.  He doesn’t care when I don’t shave my legs.  He thinks anyone who thought I was hairy is crazy.

Of course there’s a difference between letting yourself go completely and being comfortable.  We both are well-groomed.  We shower and brush our teeth every day.  If either of us stink, we tell the other for God’s sake take a shower.  We tell each other if any clothes we’re wearing are getting too ratty.  He pokes fun at my “granny panties” and I poke his sometimes protruding belly.

Sometimes I still get insecure, even with all the support and love MB gives me.  I still think, I need to get skinny-hot again to keep him around, or at least to make myself feel secure enough to not worry about losing him.  Really I know I need real, unfleeting confidence and security that has nothing to do with looks, that comes from deep within, and that a few extra pounds – or some douchebag’s shallow comments – won’t shake.

Jan 11

Earning a Superior Chinese Mother’s Love

There’s been a lot of talk about Amy Chua’s piece in the Wall Street Journal, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” and some great responses.  I especially like the statement one commenter made, that the reason immigrant parents are so crazy and controlling about their children’s success is that they don’t want their kids to grow up in hardship and poverty like they did.  Chua, a Chinese American, presumably did not grow up in such poverty.

Chua’s piece basically details how incredibly strict she is with her daughters, even beyond my own upbringing.  You’d think raising daughters who are respectful, get mostly A’s, and play an instrument would be good enough.  But no.  The girls must get ALL A’s (except in gym and drama); they can ONLY play the piano or the violin (no guitars for you!); they’re not allowed sleepovers, play dates, TV, or video games; they’re (inexplicably) not allowed to perform in school plays; they get called names if they’re not respectful to their elders.

I’m all for kids being respectful to their elders, and like Chua, I can’t stand all the Western-bullshit worrying about a kid’s self-esteem.  “So how does having pancakes for breakfast make you feel, Jimmy?”  I would definitely want my kid to play an instrument.  I’d want them to not necessarily get good grades but to work to the best of their ability at everything they do.  I’d want them not to give up just because something is hard.


So her daughters get straight A’s.  So they’re concert-performing musicians.  They get into ivy league schools.  They get straight A’s again.  They graduate – THEN WHAT?

What is it all leading to?  Jobs her parents can brag about?  Making a lot of money?  Making a third generation of overachieving, Type A nutjobs?

My mother was concerned about all the same things Chua is.  The grades, playing an instrument, being respectful.  Though she was actually okay if I got mostly A’s, and I was allowed to give up piano by the time I started high school, but by then I liked it and kept going on my own.  (See? Choices are good.)  She actually would have loved it if I did a sport or was in a school play.  True, it was all so that it go in my college applications, rather than being a well-rounded human being, but basically she got there was more to life than straight A’s and piano.

I’d say she was much more crazy about the respectfulness issue, whether to her and my dad, other family members, or their friends.  But this concern has made me feel she cares more about others than she does about me.  Maybe I was being rude to her friend – after 20 years of being polite – because a shit storm is going on in my life.  But no, she was more concerned about what I said to her friend, how I, and therefore she, came off, rather than bothering to ask, “Is something happening to make you act this way?”

And they wonder why I didn’t tell them about my husband’s affair and our divorce till several months after the fact.

My mother’s love and approval were earned.  My entire life I felt I had to do things to earn love, which was how my marriage was.  If I was very very good, and did exactly what my husband and in-laws wanted, then they’d love me, not just love me, but love me best.  They’d be there for me; they wouldn’t leave.

I was wrong.

Of course nothing I did – or didn’t do – caused their behavior.  But now in a new relationship, I have to remind myself that I don’t need to earn MB’s love, but at the same time, in some situations, I need to put his feelings first.  If something causes him to be upset, I try to stop myself from thinking, It’s because of me, but I didn’t do anything wrong, I’ve been “good,” so he has no right to be upset, and I will give him the cold shoulder. I remind myself, He’s upset because of A, and all he wants from me, as he’s stated, is love and affection. Sounds easy but it’s been hard.

I imagine Chua’s daughters going through something similar after they’ve grown up and start having relationships.  Being successful equals being worthy.  If I’m not successful, no one will want me.  I have to keep achieving, keep “winning,” to be happy.  I’m only happy if someone approves of me.

I’ve been there, and it’s not a nice feeling.  I hope her daughters have a stronger sense of self than I did, and are able to eventually make their own way, out of the grips of their crazy mom.

Jul 10

Love makes you fat

So I had my follow-up appointment with my doctor yesterday, and most of the news is good.  I don’t have a thyroid problem, which means the vertigo is most likely allergy-related, and I don’t have that bacteria that causes frequent heartburn and acid reflux – not that I thought I had that at all since I get heartburn maybe once every three months, but I guess since my mom has it, my doctor thought I should get tested for it.

The “bad” news is my cholesterol is kinda high.  It was high the last time I got it tested, back in 2008, but that doctor said the ratio was still good so don’t worry about it.  Well, actually, there’s not much difference between my cholesterol level now and back then, but there’s a huge difference between my 2008/2010 numbers (guess I skipped 2009) and 2007.

Because I’m an oversharer and love tables, here’s the breakdown:

2010 2008 2007
Cholesterol 214 216 182
HDL (good)
66 67 72
LDL (bad)
137 133 99
Triglycerides 55 79 53

The optimal numbers are 200 or under for cholesterol, above 50 for HDL, and under 100 for LDL (though my New York doctor followed the guideline of less than 130).

I don’t know how the overall cholesterol is calculated. I don’t think it’s the “good” plus the “bad” because the numbers don’t add up. I’m guessing the triglycerides, or the fat in your blood, plays a role.

So while there’s not a huge difference, except in triglycerides, between 2008 and now, there’s a big difference between 2007 and 2008.  My “good” cholesterol fell by 5 points, my “bad” cholesterol jumped by over thirty points, and my triglycerides jumped 26.

Gee, what happened in 2007/2008 to change everything?

Museum Boy.

Not that I’m blaming all this on him, but my eating habits did change after we started dating.  While single I rarely ate junk food and only ate out a couple of times a week.  Because I ate out so seldom, whenever I did, I just treated myself and ate whatever I wanted.  MB and I eat out (or take in) nearly every night, and I still have that “eating out” mentality: order whatever I want off the menu.  He, on the other hand, is used to making more healthy choices at restaurants (eg, fish instead of a burger).

I splurge now more often on ice cream and other desserts.  “Going out for ice cream” is such a couply thing to do.

I’m also working out less.  I used to hit the gym or go for long runs at least five times a week.  Now I’m lucky if I get in three workouts.

I don’t technically have “high” cholesterol now.  It’s “borderline high.”  And I think this doctor is much more cautious than my other one who was basically like, “The ratio’s good. Don’t worry about it.”  My current physician said we’d check back in three months, and if there was no change, he’d talk about meds.

I really really don’t want to take meds, and I personally think this doc is a little med happy.  But now I feel like I have more of an incentive to change my eating habits.  “Lose ten pounds” wasn’t enough of an incentive, because while I’d like to be skinnier, I’m basically comfortable in my skin.

Here are some changes I’ll be making:

Have oatmeal for breakfast several times a week. Change it up occasionally with my usual peanut butter toast.

Drink green tea instead of that mocha. Of course I’m not cutting out coffee entirely (sacrilege!) and will still have my cup of black first thing in the morning.

Incorporate almonds back in my diet. I used to eat a lot of nuts instead of chips, but I fell out of the habit lately.

Cut back on cheese. I eat a lot of cheese.  On pizza.  On toast in the morning.  On burgers and sandwiches.  Basically I’ll reserve the cheese for when we have pizza.

Cut back on pizza. No more than once a week.  No more than one slice.  I was having two large pieces or three small pieces a couple of times a week.

Cut out fried stuff. That means no crispy tacos, french fries, onion rings – you know the drill.

Choose fish. Whenever we go or take out.  Other lean proteins are also good.

Work out more. I find it hard to hit the gym on days I work so I plan on getting off the bus early and walking 20-30 minutes. When I lived on the Upper East Side, I’d often walk the thirty minutes home, on top of the hard workout I had earlier in the day.

The other four days of the week, I’ll do my usual cardio (40-50 minutes of running or elliptical, maybe more).  I also need to do more weight training, at least twice a week.  I’ve been pretty lax.  And yoga once a week.

Speaking of working out, it’s time for me to go do that.

Jun 10

Announcement + catching up

The official announcement is up so now I can say that I’ve won the Annie Dillard Award in Creative Nonfiction!

Annie Dillard has been one of my favorite authors for years – nay, DECADES.  I read An American Childhood in high school, and seriously couldn’t get enough of it.  She has such an interesting way of looking at things, of making connections.  That’s her poet’s mind.

My essay, “An Old Man on the Frontier Loses His Horse,” will be published in the Spring 2011 issue of the Bellingham Review. I believe it will be online for a while but also available for ordering.

By the way, when I told my mother I won, she was very happy, but then she asked, “Was MB happy?”

Of course!  What kind of question is that?

“I mean, was he REALLY happy?”

No, Mom, he didn’t care at all.  All your worst fears are confirmed.


Anyway, this afternoon MB and I will be flying out to LA.   My cousin’s rehearsal dinner is tonight and his wedding is tomorrow.  We were just going to take a cab to the hotel, but my brother very wisely and kindly suggested that he pick us up.  Apparently a cab would have been upwards of $100 although the airport is less than 30 miles from the hotel.

My parents are already there.  I talked to my mom last night to get the scoop about tonight.  She said, “The dinner will be at a Chinese restaurant across the street from the hotel.”

“Okay, will it be obvious?” I asked.  “Is there just one restaurant?”

“Oh no, there’s a whole bunch.”

“Well, what’s the name of the one we need to go to?”

“I don’t know.”

Uh, you see the problem here?

Hopefully we’ll find out before we get there.  Otherwise it’ll be peeking into each restaurant and seeing if we recognize anyone.

Let the crazy family shenanigans begin!

May 10

Yay, assignments!

I love writing assignments and have several due this week, two “big,” the rest piddly.

I’ve started writing those piddly articles again.  They’re actually a good break from personal essay or memoir writing because they’re not about me but random topics.  Plus they pay – a small amount but it’s still a guarantee.  Now I’m able to do them much faster.  While before I’d take a few days to do one, now I take just a few hours.

Still looking for a job as well as freelance assignments.  I waver now between wanting a 9 to 5 and just a whole bunch of projects I could do on my own, outside of an office.  I think the latter is ideal.  I applied for one that would involve going to the place occasionally, which would be even more ideal.

Update on MB’s vertigo: it disappeared after just one day.  He must have had a much milder version of the virus.  And from what I understand about cold and flu viruses, once you have one, you’re immune from getting it again.  So I don’t think MB and I could pass it back and forth.  Then again, I’m no doctor and to be safe have started taking 1000 mg of vitamin C every day to keep up my immune system.

As for the weekend, lots of working and walking around.  It’s been so sunny, I noticed some new freckles.  Wah, cry!  Saturday we walked to Union Square and hung out there, and yesterday we walked to the Haight, my second time in a few days.  I was out there Thursday night to attend a reading of one of my college buds.  Can’t wait to read his books!

Last night we watched the newest Breaking Bad.  Damn that show is good.

Apr 10

Dizzyness is catching

Now MB has vertigo!

Yesterday he said his throat was bothering him, and this morning he woke up all off-balance and very groggy, which was just how I felt.  We didn’t think he really had vertigo, but then I told him to lay in the “bad” positions.

“Okay, sure,” he said.  “I’ll be just like Angie.”  (Sometimes he calls me Angie.)  He lay on the bed, turned his head, and then moved his eyes around on purpose.  “Whoa, look at me, I’m just like Angie!”  Then he stopped.

“I do feel sort of dizzy,” he said.

He tried another bad position – head hanging slightly off the bed – and it was worse.  His eyes didn’t do the spinning thing, but they were shifting back and forth.  I thought he was doing that himself, but no.

I can’t believe I gave him vertigo!

We concluded it must have been a virus.  How else could he have the same exact symptoms?  Plus he said his throat and sinuses were bothering him, and he has no ringing in his ears or hearing loss.

So weird.

I feel terrible that I passed on the vertigo virus to him, but at the same time I’m glad to know it was a virus and not because I’m getting old.

He worked from home this morning because he was waiting for his new guitar (yes, ANOTHER guitar).  When I left around noon (the cleaning person came today), he was feeling dizzy and nauseous.  Poor guy.  At least we know that it’ll last about a week to ten days.  When I had it, I had no idea how long it would last.  For some people it goes on for months, even years, and the thought of that made me really depressed.

In other news, I’m still getting used to rejection.  I have to remind myself there are no guarantees and to view these things positively (ie, using an idea as a submission elsewhere or on my blog).  *Sigh.*  Just takes a little while to get over it.