Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 181: chasing sunlight

Walked to sixth ave with Cheryl today coming from the MS Climb awards dinner on Park Ave and that's what it felt like: we were chasing the sun. :)

Much too tired to be so contemplative today... That's the problem with unleashing your inner tweenybopper: you're not actually that young anymore so sleep deprivation is seriously painful. :(

More tomorrow... And that's a promise... To... Ummm. Myself, I guess. And whoever is reading in my Internet void...:)

Until then...lots of love and sunshine!

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Day 180: it's worth the sleep deprivation... be in my cousin's kitchen at 230 laughing til our stomachs hurt about really random stuff...

I love my cousin Jenny. She's the only person I know who will not only be cool about me unleashing my inner tweenybopper, but will also do a little unleashing herself... As evidenced by the fact that we watched a midnight showing of Eclipse today with a bunch of squealing chilgren every time Jacob took his shirt off. (to be fair, I did marvel a little at his abs.. Don't judge me!!!! Grrrr)

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 179: I hate goodbyes

Devin and Yuko leave tomorrow so we said our goodbyes tonight. Super sad face. :(

I find that I have a huge problem with separation. It's soooo easy for me to get used to having company around again but then I get seriously sad and have a hard time getting used to life after they've left. I have never stayed in one place for longer than three or four years since I left Guam in 2001, and all that time has always had me separated from people who are important to me. There is just no shortage of people for me to miss. You would think this has me desensitized and not at all sad every time I get to visit with loved ones only to have them leave. But you would think wrong. :(

Each time I say goodbye to someone I love makes me feel just as sad as if I had never done it the time before. I hate separation! hahah

I can't tell you how much more awesome life would be if I had all the people I loved most in the world all in one place. Friends, family... everyone! I sort of selfishly hate that people's dreams take them to far off places and away from me. But at the same time, I realize it is hypocritical of me to think so, since I've gone my own path as well...

Life is that way, I suppose. It takes you to different places and lets you cross paths with different people. Some are just there for scenery's sake; some are there simply to teach you lessons you need to learn at that point in time only to leave soon after; and still some others (if you're lucky) become a part of your life forever, no matter the time or the distance that passes...

I'm lucky enough to have a lot of people in my life that I think will be part of it forever... Devin and Yuko are two such awesome people. I talk a lot about how lucky I feel, and sometimes worry that it gets redundant, but I hope I never take for granted the joy I feel at how good life has been to me...

Now...if only I could see the people I love more often...

Day 178: how I've missed my girl

Yukorin. My girl.

Brief history: Rich had introduced Yuko to Devin in 2005 who then brought her into my life. I didn't hang out with her too much when Devin was in Nagano, but after he moved to China, the both of us had kept each other company because we missed D so much and have been great friends since.

I can't imagine what life would be like if Yuko and I hadn't become friends. I probably wouldn't be sitting here, in Rich's living room, typing this, listening with a smile in my face and the best feeling of love and contentment as some of my most favorite people in the world play "Don't Stop Believing."

I don't know if I know anyone as balls-out-determined, courageous, and passionate person as Yuko. The girl I met one night in Nagano over four years ago who spoke not one lick of English fell in love with our Devin and for him, she learned English, quit smoking cold turkey, moved to a different continent and basically did everything in her power to be with him. And she did it with grace and a lovely smile on her face...

She inspires me to believe that we can do anything we want, if we want it enough...

Loving that we get to spend some time together again, so far from where we had met, after so many years...

Told you I surround myself with awesome people... How lucky am I!!!

love love love

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 177: Reunited and it feels so good!!

It's been almost five years since I graduated from college and moved to Japan to teach English for three years; five years since my life took such a drastic turn; five years since I first met my boys.

Rich, Brandon, and Devin, who, in such a short amount of time have become such an important part of my life and helped shaped the person I've become (they like to brag that they've trained me well... which... may kind of be true).

That first year we all spent in Japan together seems to have had a huge impact on all our lives. That was the year Rich and Brandon pretty much figured out they would be BFFs (heehee); that was the start of my world expanding; and that was the year Devin met his wife Yuko who would eventually end up being one of my best friends. It was an awesome year...

We only had that one year all together, since Devin moved to China after his year was up, and though I've seen everyone several times over the past few years, it's never been at the same time. Until today.

I can't even explain the joy I felt to be in that room today with so many of my favorite people in the room. And to be able to sing the songs we used to sing and to have that many of my karaoke partners gathered together in one place (between Luca, Devin, AND Yuko... it was like... heaven is an all you can sing karaoke marathon with all awesome people!) and to hear songs I hadn't heard in such a long time... My head could have exploded from sheer contentment at that point in time.

The awesomeness in that room and in my life never ceases to amaze me.

love love love.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 176: Procrastination at its best

So... Devin and Yuko are staying with me on Sunday and I am SUPPOSED to be cleaning, but instead have spent most of the night just putting off tidying up my room. First I had dinner, then I watched some So You Think You Can Dance, and then, just as I was going to start putting away laundry, I started practicing the ukulele. I get sidetracked easily. (note the mess of laundry in the back)

I bought the ukulele on craigslist sometime in September last year when I was having a really hard time dealing with all the free time I seemed to have on my hands (I know, such a shocker to think that I had free time, right??!) and I had decided to try and learn to play. The first song I had tried to learn was of course "Drop Baby Drop," to which Stad had started trying to teach me to play one time at a party. The goal was to be able to play it within the year... but then my heart got that ass kicking that I've talked about a few times, and I couldn't even bare to pick the darn thing up. It stayed in its box for the most part for several months, and it wasn't until maybe a month ago after months of listening to 311 songs that I decided I would try my hand at it again. I refuse to go back to try and learn "Drop Baby Drop" all over again, but I kind of want to learn some 311 songs and other random stuff that will be fairly easy to play. I know how to play "Sea of Love" (Cat Power style) and when I took the picture, I was practicing my standard fare, which is "Sway" by Bic Runga. A LOT easier to play on the uke than the guitar!!! My hands can deal with four strings!

Now, if only I could master strumming....

I don't have a lot of time for it yet, but I'm very slowly making progress. :)

...and I should probably stop practicing so I can clean my room!!!

Day 175: easy to look at...

A little bit hard on the eardrums though...

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 174: "When I'm Just Trying to Kill Time, I Got My Headphones..."

Riding to work with Rich and Brandon pretty much everyday means I'm going to be listening to a lot of their stuff... Well...since Brandon is almost always in control of the music selection (as is the responsibility of those who ride shotgun..the backseat rider gets to nap...), I usually get a good dose of 311. Not that there is anything at all wrong with that. I've gotten to know their entire discography fairly well and can say with certainty that my favorite albums are "Uplifter" (because it's so pretty) and "Don't Tread On Me" (because it's awesome and harkens me back to Japan days). Brandon argues that we listen to 311 a lot because they're one of the only bands that is so agreeable in our car. We all like it, no one wants to skip, and everyone always feels good...

But some weeks ago, Rich pointed out that listening to other stuff might be fun too, so Brandon started switching it up and we ended up listening to a mix of stuff. The Swellers (Brandon grew up with the guitarist and now they're signed and we went to a concert of theirs with Less Than Jake and it was super awesome), Jape, Cage the Elephant, Bob Marley, some stuff from the Surf's Up soundtrack and a bunch of songs by The Dirty Heads.

The Dirty Heads, I found, are quite enjoyable. Same kind of vibe as Sublime and 311 and Pepper and stuff. Their songs came up so often in our car rides that I ended up downloading their whole album and, as I am prone to do, have had the album playing on my iPod on repeat, basically. This means that lately, everything can be referenced to a Dirty Heads song. There was yesterday's post title, which was from "Knows That I" and now today's. Taken from "Headphones." Maybe I should just do a Dirty Heads themed week or something. But hrmm, I think that kind of thing cannot be planned.

This was just me kind of chilling on the train, half awake, half asleep, just waiting to get to Penn Station so I could make it to dance class on time.

So for now, The Dirty Heads, much like 311, have been what gets me through the work day, follows me home, and keeps me company all throughout my fairly packed schedule with a chipper attitude. :)

Wonder what the next album will be...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 173: "Like a welcome summer rain, comes with perfect timing..."

Rained on my way home from dance class today and I got SOAKED.

funnily enough, it felt nice to cool down and walk home in the pouring rain. Everyone else was running and hovering under umbrellas but it's just water! I found it hard not to enjoy it. It makes the streets glisten... :)

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Sidebar: I think I have issues with sleep

I'm not sure if it's because I work seven days a week, take three dance classes, sometimes play softball, and try to have some semblance of a social life in between while still trying to find time to read books that I borrowed from the library... but for the life of me, I don't seem to be capable of sleeping properly. If my head can hit the pillow, it doesn't stay there for as long as I hope it would (as evidenced by my inability to sleep past 9 a.m. on my first day off in 19 days this past Saturday). And now...well, I should have been asleep a few hours ago and yet, here I am, awake. And fairly lucid, if I might add. As much as I miss sleep and crave for it, I can't seem to actually have any. :(

...So I spent a majority of my weekend with Brandon's family and it finally hit me: I always used to marvel at how it was possible that I was surrounded by such awesome friends...and I find that it is totally because their parents are insanely amazing! I've had the pleasure of first meeting Rich's parents (and subsequently working with his family), then Devin's parents, and now Brandon's and I can say with absolute certainty that they are some of the coolest people I've ever met. Warm and inviting, incredibly chill, and seriously fascinating and funny.

I got to spend most of my Saturday afternoon with Brandon's mom, shopping since I figured Brandon would want to skip that and I had a great time just chilling and walking around. I think I may have inadvertently killed her feet though. :( But she was a great sport and so much fun to hang out with.

Spending that much time around a close knit family who also extended their circle for me (and for Jeff, who was also visiting) and getting to see their dynamic together totally made me think of my family. While there are much more of us in my family, which makes for a pretty chaotic time, the love in their family feels pretty similar to the kind my family shares too. It makes me miss my parents. And my brother and sister. And their families...

It's weird how families can get separated so easily. Brandon probably hasn't lived with his folks since he was 18 and has been around the world ever since. I think he can count on one hand the amount of Christmases he's spent at home since then... I haven't shared a house for more than a few months with my parents since I left for NYU when I was 17. My sister and her family's whereabouts are dictated by the Army so she's been away almost as long as I have... We've scattered everywhere and it's so difficult to all get together any time we want. But just as I see with Brandon and his family, I know that when it happens, no matter for how long, it's still an amazing time, even in its relatively quiet moments. I loved the fuzzy feeling I got hanging with Brandon's family in the park.

I can't wait til it's my turn...

...and there's my random ramblings at 3 in the morning!!! Gahhhh this is sooo gonna hurt in a few hours. :(

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 172: I want new sneakers!!!

So I was waiting for dance class to start at 8, and stopped by a sneaker shop to try on these sneakers I've been eyeing since last week. I really should have just bought them last week because now the only pair they have is a half size too small. I could special order them but that pair will be a half size too big I think. I'm looking for a 6.5 and the smallest size the internet offers is a 7. Though a 7 isn't all that bad either. I just wanted the 6.5 so my feet wouldn't look so huge... I know Brandon wants to buy this pair too, so should I just wait until I find another pair I like? That could take YEARS, since I have not bought a pair of DCs since 2006 (I never found any I liked more than the ones I already had)...

How come boys get all the cool shoes!!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day 171: I take my own advice... Sometimes.

I wanted to do a fathers day themed one for today, but didn't take any related pictures. I was a little too hung over to do so and didn't get to meet up with Brandon's family to give his dad a fathers day hug and take his picture so I think I'll make that a sidebar...

So... All that drinking with Erik and Jeff last night resulted in my stomach feeling a little bit like death today. Thank goodness for sprite and crackers...

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Day 170: a day with the Back family...

I officially adore them. :)

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 169: creepy mr. Potato head

Spent some time at Jen and Sean's where they have a Mr. Potatohead.

Rich made him look all funny. Which is kinda creepyyy.

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 168: no softball means...

I'm home early enough to clean the bathroom! Wooohooo

I'm such a party animal.

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day 167: what time is it?

Shrek time, apparently!

I got a new watch with my happy meal at lunch today. Sooo cool. His mouth opens and closes to show or conceal the time...

I love how at 26, I really don't care if people think it's weird for me to have happy meals and use the toys that come with it. That's the great thing about getting older: you kind of stop giving a crap about what other people think of you and do whatever you want to do. So much easier now to be comfortable in my own skin... I can't wait til I'm 80 so I can start saying even more crap without worrying AT ALL about the repercussions... Well... I guess I can wait til I'm 80...:)

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day 166: playing it straight

With my hair!

I am seriously contemplating cutting it short...

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Day 165: I'm starting to crack

How else would you explain how I discovered this morning that I've been filling the pages of my planner with to do lists for the wrong dates??

It seems that all last week, I thought it was actually this week!

How disappointing that last Friday was not this coming Friday and now I gotta go through this week all over again!!!

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 164: meet Timothy and Pat

One of the best parts of my weekend job is getting to meet and talk to people...

Today, I got to talk to Timothy first. He was just hanging under our tent while his wife Pat went off browsing.

From the UK, they flew to Chicago first, spent five nights there, and AMTRAKED to New York. INSANE!!!

They were so sweet together. You could see how they loved each other just by how he took her hand as she looked at necklaces.

Older people can be so cute.

When I'm old, I hope for what I imagine they have: someone who will still explore the world with me and hold my hand all the while...

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Day 163: just another day at work...

Instead of being at the bar to watch the world cup game between us and the uk, I was out on Carmine street selling jewelry. Slow day. :(

On the bright side, I do get to see lots of different people... I found this shopper particularly cute. New York girls are so freaking fashionable/hip...

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 162: kinako kit kat!!!

Hisashiburi da ne!! (it's been a long time)

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 161: long day at the office....

One of my best traits at work is that I am good to both the company and my customers. I'm told I am a happy medium between keeping customers satisfied while still making sure the company doesn't go down in flames at the expense of good customer service...

Well, today I was a not-so-happy medium. In fact, I was a pissed off, disgruntled medium because instead of getting my work done, I spent the entire day doing revisions and putting out fires and basically wasting my time!!! Grrrrr

My desk is a war zone!!

I gave up at like 630 and just went home. Tomorrow is another day! Here's hoping it's better than today!

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 160: guacamole time!

Dinner at Chevy's tonight!

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Day 159: I Will Follow You Into the Dark...

So after Luca left tonight, I went into my room and tried to turn on my light, and it kind of popped and then went out. I kind of found myself in the dark for a minute, silhouette in the mirror, and thought it would be cool to see if I could catch the light from the hallway. That didn't turn out too well, but I flicked on this tiny lamp that I had in my room and that helped things a little bit...

It's funny when I think about this shot for today because it kind of parallels how I feel. Today was one of those weird days where even though you know what's coming, when unpleasant things that you already expected come along, it doesn't make you any more prepared. It can be a little difficult to handle, and it can be just a little overwhelming. At least for me. It's so easy to slip into this place where you find yourself standing in the dark, feeling for a way out, or even just staying there. Not so comfortable when all you want to do is get out, except you don't know how...

But... I'm finding myself extremely lucky in that on a day such as today, I have Luca. That little beacon of light so I don't feel so weird and lost. After six years of friendship, whether he's lived just down the street, or in another country, or on the opposite side of this island, it's nice that we've never been all that far apart, really...and I'm finding out recently that visits with him are like that bright spot in my room; something to look to when things start feeling like it's too much...

I had better days than today (though, I've also had worse)... but it was easy to forget that once I stepped out of the station and saw him across the street, leaning against the park fence and listening to his iPod with his bright yellow sneakers standing out from 50 feet away...

In the face of any kind of day, life is so much better when you know how blessed you are...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 158: random thoughtfulness on the walk home

On my way home from dance class, I saw this sign for Belvedere vodka at a bus stop.

Trust your instincts.

It made me think about the distance from instinct to logic and all that falls in between. How do you choose which to follow? Your gut? Your head? Your heart? Should it be a combination of all three? How do you know one thing about yourself yet realize that the opposite is also true?

What was it that led me to some of the decisions I've made in the past year that got me to where I am now? Did my gut just know things would have turned out worse if I had listened to my heart? Or did my head stop me from following my heart? It's really hard to say what drives us to the pivotal points in our lives. I guess we never really know what it is and just hope whatever helps us along our way is steering us in the right direction...

"I suppose desire isn't linear. There is no straightforward way of going where you want."

Funny how something so mundane as a bus stop could make me pensive.

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sidebar 2: It's Getting Ok Now...

It's been a long while since I took the time for a sidebar. I am well overdue, as I think so much (though thankfully sooo much less than before!) and have all of it just waiting to be put to actual words instead of jumbling about in my head. I don't remember what it is before that I had wanted to write about, but today there are more new thoughts and I want to remember those before they hit the void with all the other lost meanderings of my mind...

I'm almost halfway through the year and feel like while I get closer to knowing more about who I am and how to be happy, I feel as far as if I've started only yesterday!

So I've been reading more often recently. I don't know what brought it on; I just one day felt like reserving books at the library and picking them up once they're ready. Right now, I have a book due back tomorrow, so I'm struggling to finish it. It's the last of four books I borrowed in the past three weeks called "Thanks For the Memories" by Cecilia Ahern.

Those well versed in chick lit would probably know Cecilia Ahern as the woman who wrote P.S. I Love You (which was way better than the movie, which I once took my parents to when it was out in the theater and while it's okay for my mom to sleep through action movies, it's kind of hilariously embarrassing when she and my dad pass out and end up snoring at a really emotional moment...but I digress).

Anyway. It's a funny coincidence that the main character in this book is a woman named Joyce. Who happens to be going through a very hard transition in her life that basically shakes her to her core. So you can imagine how much some of the things that are written on the page have spoken to me as if they were written just for me. They are the things that I've thought about a lot in the past several months, and keep reinforcing that idea in my head that I'm being watched out for... always.

"It was so easy right then to remember only the good times together and to doubt our decision. But more often than not, the easy decisions are the wrong decisions, and sometimes, we feel like we're going backward when we're actually moving forward..."

and then... at the end of that same chapter, she hears a latin phrase:

Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim
, which, I later read, translates to: "Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you."

I wish I had read this book sooner! But I feel like it couldn't come at a better time. As the year goes on, there are days when my initial optimism for 2010 just kind of go out the window and I find life tedious and just keep slogging through the days. It probably doesn't help that I don't get a lot of time to sleep and rest and what not. And with my crankiness and exhaustion, it can be so easy to fall back into that frame of mind that I used to find myself in. It's not nearly as bad as it used to be, but it feels like it's always going to be there... with spurts of acute, intense pain in between the memory of it all... The idea that being stuck in this kind of state is a possibility is enough to make me want to give up altogether!

But the other night, my roommate graduated from law school, and I got to see a lot of the friends that connected us together from our days in high school and college up to now as we ate and toasted (again and again) to Haj and adulthood. Up til all hours of the night and enjoying everyone's company and having the most fun I've had in months and just living in that moment... I was blown away by the paragraph I read just an hour or so ago.

"It occurs to me how happiness and sadness are so closely knitted together. Such a thin line, a threadlike divide. In the midst of emotions, it trembles, blurring the territory of exact opposites. The movement is minute, like the thin string of a spider's web that quivers under a raindrop... I love and war stand upon the very same foundations. How my darkest moments, my most fearful times, when faced, became my bravest. At your weakest, you end up showing more strength; at your lowest you are suddenly lifted higher than you've ever been. They all border one another, these opposites, and s how how quickly we can be altered...A veil hangs between the two opposites, a mere slip of a thing that is too transparent to warn us or comfort us. You hate now, but look through this veil and see the possibility of love; you're sad, but look through to the other side and see happiness. Absolute composure shifting to a complete mess-- it happens so quickly, all in the blink of an eye."

I wondered a lot when I would be okay. After months of wondering, I've seen through the veil and suddenly I am. I don't have to question when. I don't have to worry that it will never happen. Because just like that Joyce figured out in her book, I've figured out in mine that being okay has happened, as if it was all in the blink of an eye.

It may not be that way always. Maybe I won't be okay tomorrow. Or next week or next month. But now I know it's possible. And for this moment, that's enough for me.

Day 157: no one really shops in a thunderstorm...

Which means I was stuck at work without much to do...

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 156: Morning after Haj's graduation party fun

After an entire night of drinking and debauchery in celebration of Hajin's graduation from BLS, I got home at 5, woke up at 7, and went to work the street fair until 6 pm.

This is me at the end of the day:

Not too shabby for two hours of sleep, working all day, and having a stomach that felt like death for a majority of it...if I do say so myself. :)

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 155: happy graduation haj!!

Love haj and her mommy!!!

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day 154: Rich is sooo nice

Chrissy didn't have a shirt for softball today so Rich gave him his... And then wore hers.

He ripped it hard like the Hulk by the third inning...


-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 153: Sanity to be found on Wednesdays at 6

So with my second job at the street fairs on weekends, I basically work 7 days a week. In total, that's over 60 hours of work per week, 20 of which I am entirely on my feet and 40 of which I work in an office paperpushing and stuff... Between having to revise bills of ladings more times than I would care to do so due to errors that may or may not be beyond control and trying to sell jewelry to strangers and whatever other pressures either job entails, it can be easy to get disgruntled and pissed off and hate my life.

But I know that it was my decision to take on all of this and so it is my responsibility to make sure that I don't go nutso at either job and start getting cranky which leads me to being violent... and so comes in dance class. I've mentioned this before (that I take Bollywood Dance Classes at Dhoonya Dance) but especially in the past few weeks, I can't even begin to explain how much coming to class helps with my sanity. The combination of the upbeat Indian music, relatively easy but exhausting dance moves, and my very sweet, awesomely graceful, and really fun dance teacher Priya makes for a very good break in the craziness of my week.

I have to work extra hard to get to class on time on Wednesdays (since I can't go on Saturdays anymore), but it's sooo worth the trouble.

Today, Priya told me I should advance to Techniques class! I don't know if I'm ready to stop doing Bollywood Basics, even though I oddly feel like that kid in high school who had to repeat a grade several times. I know everything better than everyone else in the class, but then again, I've been there for like, four times longer than anyone else has too... Hrmmm.... something to think about...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 152: too much empanadas!

I have about two more empanadas at the empanadas shop left to try. I think. Guava and cheese? No bueno!

Chorizo is STILL good though!

But too many empanadas in on sitting mean that I get uberlazy and food coma-y...

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する