Friday, April 30, 2010

a beacon of Happy in this week of Suck

This week has been kind of a mixed bag. On the one hand, I had a pretty kickass birthday, and this week I got to enjoy all of my new presents (read: toys) and I got a package in the mail, and who doesn't love getting real mail? 

On the other friend and co-worker Brian was in a hit-and-run early Saturday morning, and though they tried to resuscitate him, he died at the hospital a couple of hours later. He was only 26--that's three years older than me--and he was completely, completely beloved. He was our golden boy. And now he's gone.

So in that respect, this week has been one of the hardest I can remember. Coming in to work after I found out was almost too much to bear. On Wednesday I went to his viewing, which was gut-wrenching. And yesterday morning was the funeral, which I opted not to attend. 

The worst part is that I feel I can't get any space from his death. Every time I come into work, there's more news about how we're opening late on Thursday so everyone can go to his memorial service, or how we're starting a fund in his name, or how we're going to have a luncheon in his memory, or how we're raffling off a basket of Phillies-related stuff because he loved the Phillies more than anything else in the world. I'm torn between being happy that we're doing so much to celebrate him and being overwhelmed because I just want everyone to stop. Talking. About. It. For. One. Second. Sometimes I'm sitting at my desk and it occurs to me that I will never see him again, and it's like I can't breathe. And suddenly, everything I look at is him. And all of the memories come flooding back. I don't know how the people who've known him for years can possibly stand to walk into the building. And I don't even want to think about the grief his parents and brothers and sisters are going through. 

I don't have to go to work today, so I'm looking forward to just resting and re-charging, and I'll see how it feels tomorrow when I go in again. Writing this blog post has already been immensely helpful, as I've been able to write down all of the things I've been keeping inside all week, to release them, in a way. 

Oh, speaking of blogging.

Just wanted to point out something new: I'm trying out Disqus for my comments. I love to respond to your comments and I think it'll be easier to do that with Disqus. I hope it works out because, well, I don't know how to uninstall it. Also...

It's been one short week since I started this blog and I just wanted to say how grateful I am for all of the comments and encouragement, from new blog friends and old ones. You all really have been a beacon of Happy in this week of Suck.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

it's a magic number

Memes are one of my all-time favorite things. When I was 12 and the Intarwebs was new, I was that person who filled out every goddamn chain-mail "get to know me!" meme and proceeded to spam all of my little 7th-grade friends. I can't believe AOL didn't ban my account. Anyway, I have a couple saved to my desktop but I wanted to start with this one. I nabbed it from the awesome ethony. (Even though I wasn't tagged. Is that proper blog-iquette? Well, it is now.) We're gonna call it... The Power of THREE. (Charmed reference, anyone?)

Three Names I Go By
Asian Sally (...but that's another post.)

Three Jobs I’ve Had
Stock girl at a bargain-basement type housewares store (UberSuck.)
Math and writing tutor for rich kids (AKA a glorified babysitter)
Assistant Youth Services Librarian (that's my current job)

Three Places I’ve Lived Traveled To [I've lived in NJ my whole life, soo...]
Madrid, Spain
Galway, Ireland
The Philippines (I was 12 and we visited family, so I can't remember exactly where we went.)

Three Places I’d Like To Go
The Grand Canyon
Middle Earth. I mean, New Zealand.

Three Favourite Drinks
Starbucks Iced Mocha (seriously, they're like crack)
Plain Old Water
Malibu Bay Breeze (nothing like three or four of these to knock you on your ass and have you deciding it's a good idea to take the glass home in your bag and the waitress tells you you can't do that so you cry and then you go into the bathroom and you're not sure but you think you started singing along to the music while you were peeing.)

Three TV Shows I Watch
Mythbusters (see previous post)
Platinum Weddings. I CAN'T HELP IT.

Three Favourite Old TV Shows
Boy Meets World (I watched this earlier today, and I'm telling you it stands the test of time. It was brilliant.)
The Twilight Zone
Nickelodeon's Roundhouse. Please tell me someone else watched this show. I need to believe that it was real!

Three Favourite Foods
Macaroni salad (I know, who am I, the Barefoot Contessa? But seriously, I can't live without it.)
Arroz Caldo, which is, as I know it, this awesome delicious rice porridge that my awesome Filipino mom makes on New Year's Day and when I'm sick.
Carrot Cake (I know, who am I, the Barefoot Contessa? Whoa. Déjà vu.)

Three Make-Up Products I Can’t Live Without
Urban Decay's Primer Potion
Bare Minerals Mineral Veil
Benefit BadGal LASH Mascara

Three Things I’m Looking Forward To
This weekend, cause I'm visiting my college campus with my friends Cait and Katie
Tonight after work, cause Matt and I are going out to watch the Flyers/Montreal game and probably drink ourselves blind.
February 2011, cause that's when I'm going on a cruise of the Western Caribbean with my best friend Lindsay and we are gonna go sightseeing and eat until we burst and probably drink ourselves blind.

Three People I'm Tagging
Matt. You need something to blog about.
Amber. You're hilarious and I want to see what you do with this.
Kara. I like you.
And Angela, because I get one more for good luck. And because I like you.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

shake it up and down

One thing you should know about me is that I spend nearly all of my free time with my boyfriend Matt, and I'm not particularly ashamed to admit that. I mean, I'd love to divide my time evenly between my friends and my boyfriend, but I don't get to see my BFFs on a regular basis, because one of them lives in Queens, one of them lives in Hartford, CT, and one of them is a first-grade teacher and therefore has no life. It's sad because we all used to live 8 minutes from each other and some of my best memories were made possible by this proximity. But that's another post.

Anyway, Matt and I are usually pretty boring. We're always having a blast, but from an outside perspective you probably wouldn't think so. We wouldn't make for very good reality TV, is what I'm saying. 

Sometimes he comes over and we do couples stuff like go out for dinner or ride bikes or sit in a Starbucks and discuss whether we prefer the Marvel or DC universe. 
Sometimes we stay in and watch Mythbusters or a movie or try to get through as many episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion as we can before I fall asleep (I actually like NGE... but that's another post). 
Sometimes we end up spending 3 1/2 hours doing quizzes on Sporcle, my absolute favorite procrastination tool. Once we did one where you have to name all the Generation One Pokemon characters, and we got all of them except two. #thatkindofgeek
Sometimes I realize I needed to upload and edit some pictures and I do that for 40 minutes while Matt watches hockey (alternately, sometimes we watch hockey together). 

But yesterday my sister Melanie joined us. Mel is basically like a perfect clone of me. We have the same face and body type, the same voice, even disturbingly similar personalities. Our only difference is that my boobs are bigger and more luscious and appealing than hers.

But my point is that when my sister, Matt, and I get together, everything is way more hilarious. For instance, Matt and I had played Super Mario Wii before, and we'd had a good time marveling over the game and taking it extremely seriously. Here's a sample of quotes from those nights, to give you an idea of the mood:

Wow, this level is really fun. 
I love how faithful they were to the original game.
What are Goombas supposed to be?
I wonder why we haven't found any Warp Zones yet.
etc., so on.

But last night Mel played too. Now I'll share the quotes that were generated from that event. 

The "Anyone Listening Who Didn't Know What We Were Doing Would Be Confused" ones:
It'd be nice if it were the end of the world, but it's not.
::Gasp! It is! It IS the end of the world!

The "Penguin" series, which there were many of, since we were in the ice level:
It's impossible without being a penguin, don't you agree?
It's never a penguin when you need it to be.
I don't think he needs to be a penguin here.

And my personal faves, the "That's What She Said" ones:
Awww, you forgot to be big.
Oh! Shake your thing up and down. Shake it up and down. There you go. 
Yay! Now you can beat it even more!

So I guess the moral of this story is, hooray for sisters. And hooray for video games. And hooray for quotes taken out of context. All of those things make life a little more awesome.

Monday, April 26, 2010

In case you were wondering...

Part One

Until about 3 years ago, I was the nicest Nice Asian Girl ever.

I wanted to be a high school English teacher.
I was an academic overachiever, completely obsessed with my studies. I spent 90% of my time doing work.
I never drank and I was generally scandalized by the whole concept of drug use.
I was a practicing Catholic and an all-around socially conservative person.
I was totally afraid of anything having to do with romantic intimacy, to the point where I had proclaimed that I would wait until after marriage to have sex (a decision which I attributed to my devotion to Catholic dogma -- but actually came out of fear and panic).

But then the first pillar fell: I started student teaching and it was a catastrophe. I couldn't do it. I couldn't bring myself to teach Othello to seniors. I had thought it was my dream career, but instead of being ecstatic, I didn't even want to wake up in the morning. When I finally accepted that I didn't want to be a teacher, at first it was wildly liberating, but in time I began to feel incredibly lost. If not teach, what the fuck would I do with my ENORMOUSLY useful degree in English? Why was I even in college if I didn't have a direction? Wasn't that an enormous waste of money and effort?

I started to majorly slack at school. And when I received my first "F" in a college-level class, my self-perception faltered. Who was this person who made up bullshit excuses to professors and didn't turn in major assignments? If something that seemed to define me as much as my Good Studenthood did could be compromised so easily, what other parts of my identity were impermanent and paper-thin, too?

I didn't know at the time, but I was about to find out that the answer to that question was "almost everything."

To be continued...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

City of err, Brotherly Love. Yeah, that.

I fell in love with Philadelphia yesterday. Here's the story of our hot and heavy romance.

Hello, handsome. Interested in sharing some of that delicious beer?

Hello, gorg--oooh. Interesting look for you there.

Yes, I did hang my camera off the side of the ferry to take this picture.

One of the more mature photos I took in Signer's Hall at the Constitution Center.

The Carpenter's House. I'm gonna fucking live here one day. Even though it's a historical landmark. I'll just camp out under stairs, like Harry Potter. Okay, not quite like that.

Cobblestones are not easy on the feet. But they're still awesome.

Not pictured: The site of Franklin's privy. I'M NOT JOKING THEY REALLY MADE A SIGN FOR THAT.

This sundae was orgasmic. That's only a slight exaggeration.

Uhhhh, yeeeahh [licks spoon lasciviously]

Saturday, April 24, 2010

you're alright, birthday. you're alright.

Before college, I'd always built up my birthday as this one shining day in a sea of ordinary days on which you're allowed to believe in this fantasy that the whole world revolves around you. My best friends and I used to lavish each other with attention on each others' birthdays. But when I got to college, my social network shrank, and my birthday became more insignificant. And then junior year happened. That year, I got in a fight with my housemates (read: only friends) around my birthday and almost all of them proceeded to not only not acknowledge my the occasion, but also basically ignore my existence for most of the day.

So on my 21st birthday, of all days, I had never felt more alone. My boyfriend was backpacking in Europe without a cell phone, my best friends were in separate states, and the people I lived with hated me. I decided to make my own happiness that day -- I got myself out of the house and went shopping alone and blasted music with the windows down and gorged myself on a Venti Mocha Chip frappuccino (Venti! Who needs that much frozen cappuccino? Who?!). My parents and sister came to visit and take me out to dinner. But all-in-all, it was one of my worst moments. At 20, I had never known that the universe could be that cruel. A lot has changed in 3 years, but the memory still stings. And I'm still working on allowing myself to be excited and happy on my birthday.

This year was a good case for the "Birthdays Rock!" side of the debate. After the Dead Baby Bunny incident, things looked up. I had a day off from work, so that was a plus from the start. I spent almost my whole day tinkering around on this blog, and I joined 20sb and went a little forum-happy. I ate a sandwich and a chocolate muffin. I made some plans to hang out with some of my friends from Ye Olde College Days. I got sucked into a marathon of The Hills. Oh! And my best friend Lindsay called me and had her entire class of first-graders sing "Happy Birthday" to me (complete with "cha-cha-CHA"s). It was pretty much the best thing ever.

Then my boyfriend Matt showed up with an arsenal of geeky presents: a PS2 and like 6 editions of Final Fantasy; Super Mario Bros Wii; and the piece de resistance: my very own factory-sealed limited-release Lord of the Rings extended edition DVD box set. There are only 1,000 of these in the whole world and I have no idea how he found one because I assumed they had all been sold back in like 2003 or whenever they were released. Since Matt already has his own copy, we're going to continue watching those and just keep this one forever unopened and maybe displayed in its own back-lit case or something. Because we are That Kind of Nerd. And we went out to dinner and had the most epic Peking duck and fried rice.

Unfortunately, I fell asleep at like 9 PM because I didn't get any sleep the previous night and when I woke up at 5:50 AM, Matt was gone and I still had my nice dress on and Mario was still on my TV bobbing from side to side and shouting "Let's-a go!" at me.

Today the festivities continue. Matt's got this whole day in Philly planned for us, and later tonight we're getting together with friends to maybe play video games or maybe just watch Serenity for the 90th time.

Like I said. That Kind of Nerd.

Friday, April 23, 2010

And many more

So today is my 23rd birthday. This is how my day has been so far:
  1. At midnight I started a book about a bitchy teenage girl who dies in a car accident and then relives her last day for seven days. I couldn't put it down and I ended up finishing it. It was incredibly depressing and wound me up so much that I had to start a different book.
  2. I tried to fall asleep, but I got into this weird state of mind that happens to me sometimes wherein I start to get really creeped out by the concept of sleep -- the idea that I'm just going to fall unconscious and then suddenly come to several hours later with no memory of what happened. It seems kind of dumb now, but I don't know. I'm a freak.
  3. JUST as I was dozing off, my pet hedgehog Huxley started making this unbelievably loud thumping noise. I literally walked over to his cage and got up in his face. He rolled up into a ball and hissed at me. That unnerved me even more.
  4. After about 30 more minutes of tossing and turning, I accepted that I was not going to get any sleep and just got on the computer. And hence this blog was born.
  5. At 5 AM, my mom came into my room and said happy birthday. Then she said, "Come over here for a second, I want to show you something. It's really gross." And for some reason I followed her. "There's something in Hickory (our elderly dog)'s bed." I was expecting poop or parasitic worms. Do you know what it was?