Archive for the ':: bro ::' Category

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Mother’s Day without Mom sucks.

I called my Mom to wish her a happy Mother’s Day late last night (so that it would be Sunday in Taiwan). I only got to speak to her for a few minutes, but it was nice to hear her voice. She told me she got the card and pictures my brother and I had sent earlier in the week. So glad they got there in time.

After a hellish Saturday, I woke up way too early on Sunday: 6am. My alarm was set for 9:30. Why I woke up so early, I have no idea. Since I was up so early, I thought I would try and visit my Grandma early, before I had to be at work at noon. Unfortunately, at around the time my alarm was set to go off, I go really tired and was going to take a 15 minute nap. My 15 minute nap ran an hour and a half too long, so I just got up and went straight to work instead.

After work, I had to run a quick errand to K-town, and then I got back in the car and went to visit Grandma. But not before I went to fill the gas tank and pick up an air-pot style hot water heater/dispenser (so they can make tea at my Grandma’s house without boiling a whole pot of water). By the time I got there, it was after 6pm and I had missed my Uncle and Aunt by only 10 minutes. I gave Grandma a framed picture of us (her, me, and Bro) from her birthday in 1981. Then I hung around for more than an hour.

I came home and futzed around, ate junk, and paid bills, all instead of reading Business Law. Now I’ll be up for a few more hours to try and knock out a chapter tonight.

OMG. My brother’s girlfriend lives on campus at Virginia Tech.

She’s ok but totally freaked out. They are on lockdown right now.

I’m chatting with her via IM until they evacuate her dorm.

I asked her where her dorm was in relation to all the events and the shootings in West Ambler Johnston were REALLY close to her dorm. I’ll put a pic up shortly.

I’m going to put a post up on 8asians because the report is that the gunman is allegedly “an Asian man” looking for his girlfriend and ended up lining people up and shooting them executioner style.

UPDATE: My post is up at 8asians and is cross-posted below… updates being made to the 8asians post.

Continue reading ‘OMG. My brother’s girlfriend lives on campus at Virginia Tech.’

Weekend round up…

I just wrote a post for blogging.la about the Rose Hills Columbarium, which is where my Dad’s ashes are interred. Check it out if you are interested.

Saturday

  • To Rose Hills for a chanting service for my Dad with my brother
  • Brother and I went to visit Grandma/have lunch in Alhambra (Kang Kang Food Court)
  • Hung out at Grandma’s for a bit
  • I went back home, watched TV and played some Sims
  • Sunday

  • Woke up fairly early
  • Did laundry
  • Put dishes away
  • Vacuumed
  • Made meatloaf
  • Washed dishes
  • Swung by to drop off something for cousin Nina and her daughter Ashley (first time I’ve seen Nina with bulging belly for baby #2; also saw cousins Sarah and Daniel)
  • To Orange County to see my brother
  • Dinner at ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney with Bro & Yoshi
  • Dessert from the Jazz Kitchen Express: Beignets and Bread Pudding
  • Back to the house to take care of a few things with Bro
  • Called Mom with Bro
  • Filled out our census survey
  • Back to L.A.
  • Blog
  • Oh and even though I don’t celebrate Easter, I hope you had a good one.

    Today is my brother’s birthday

    Since my brother’s birthday is the day after Dad’s they have always celebrated their birthdays, except for this year, of course.

    We miss Dad so much and I know I’ve been having a particularly tough time over the last few weeks as the date inched closer.

    I know it’s really hard for my brother, too. He was never much of a “birthday” guy, but I know that he can’t help but to think about Dad when his birthday comes around.

    Anyway, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, to my favorite (ok, only… but still my favorite) bro. I love you lots and we’ll celebrate some time when we’re not all so blue.

    Am I tired? Or am I sad?

    Or both?

    I know I have been popping in on my blog occasionally with posts like “I’m busy” (always true) or “I’m tired” (also always true).

    But I realized today it’s not just that I’m tired. I’m sad. I wonder if whenever I say I’m tired if I sometimes mean that I’m sad but don’t want to say it. I don’t like letting people know when I’m blue and if I blog about it, I’m afraid it makes me a whiner or a complainer. All things considered, I don’t have much to really complain about, so it’s fun to complain about the things that don’t really matter while I keep the things that really bother me to myself. (Don’t try to tell me to “let it out” because I won’t. And if I did, it certainly wouldn’t be on my blog.)

    I know it sounds funny for me to say this, but I’m a really private person, especially about my true (deep) feelings. Based on this blog, I’ve been accused of being shallow, but I think anyone who knows me knows that there’s depth to me that you can’t see if you only know the “blog-side” of me. And I hope that from time to time when you visit this site, there are glimmers of someone more than what is presented here.

    The point is, don’t judge me on this blog alone. Chances are there are things going on that I’m not sharing publicly.

    Maybe this doesn’t need to be said, but I’ve been blogging for a long time and I realize as I look back on some old posts I’d written, I’m not the same person that I was when I started on this blogging journey. Since my Dad’s passing, a lot of things have changed.

    My Dad’s birthday is coming up in a few weeks and the closer I get to it, the sadder I get. I’m also worried about my brother, whose birthday is the day after Dad’s. We used to always celebrate their birthdays together.

    I’m not sure why I wrote this melancholy post, but I felt like I needed to say it. It’s not just that I’m busy and tired all the time. It’s that I miss my Dad terribly and I’m sad he’s gone.

    As the time passes and it gets closer to the “year marker,” I find myself being more and more blue and I wish this wasn’t so.

    Another call from Mom this morning.

    I got the update from Mom about stuff happening in Taiwan. Lunar New Year is coming up soon. Time flies, doesn’t it?

    I was talking to Mom about my Dad this morning and I was struck by a stinging sadness. All of a sudden I realized that I finally understood something about my Dad I never truly did before today. I always knew that he had sacrificed a lot for us, but suddenly I had a true epiphany about the depth of his sacrifice and love for us. That’s all I want to say about that.

    I don’t like to talk about it, but lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Dad. Is it sinking in? Dad’s not in Taiwan; Dad’s not coming home.

    There’s all this stuff that still needs handling. It’s up to the three of us to figure it out, I guess.

    What else?

    Finally finished the book I started before we left for Vegas, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. I’d have finished it sooner had I not been running around Vegas. Or if I hadn’t left it at work yesterday. I look forward to seeing the movie. Mostly because Kalpen Modi (Kal Penn) is the lead.

    Called my Auntie for her birthday. Had a long talk with her about random stuff.

    Big changes at work today; no one was fired or anything, but it involved some big announcements and lots of work ahead for me. More info to come, I’m sure. I left the office stressed out and irritated.

    School: Behind in my reading. Behind in my 15 page paper. Behind in my assignments due on Monday. And I just realized I deleted a bunch of important files off my desktop and I have to re-download them. Yikes.

    Blog: Frustration. It’s not writer’s block. The truth of the matter is, I’m a pretty private person. At one time in my life, I’d have put it all out there. I’m not the same person I was a year ago, much less when I first started my blog. Before the days when everyone and their mothers had blogs, I was doing something unusual. Now everyone has a blog. I feel so ordinary. I’d have quit a long time ago, except that I do like knowing that if I write it in my blog, I can probably go back and find it again. That, and I would miss hearing from my friends via blog, since I’m so terrible at replying to emails.

    Ok, sorry about the melacholiness of this post. I’ll try to end it on an upbeat note. Do you see the little icon that shows up before the URL on my site???

    Random stuff for the day after Christmas

    -We found out on Christmas day that my Grandma was going to have surgery today at 9am. I didn’t have a chance to go visit after work, but I am thinking healing thoughts for her.

    7.1/7.0 earthquake(s) in the ocean off of southern Taiwan. Haven’t been able to get through to Mom on the phone, but I know that she is not in southern Taiwan.

    -The fuyu persimmon tree at my parents’ house gave up a huge crop of persimmons this fall. My brother was busy so he didn’t get a chance to take them off the tree before they started sagging the branches and became overripe. When I went home on Christmas Eve, I brought back a bag for Yoshi’s parents up north. I heard some of them were too mushy, so they made persimmon bread. Which prompted me to look up some persimmon recipes.

    -Spent the day at the office, but it was a quiet and productive day. All in all, not so bad!

    -Came home after work and got some stuff done around the house. Got hungry and ate leftovers in front of the TV. Got cold, laid down while watching Nova: Monster of the Milky Way (about the supermassive black hole that could be at the center of the Milky Way). Fell asleep. Woke up, chatted online, did some cleaning, dishes, called Yoshi, Bro and Nina.

    Merry Christmas!

    I’m not Christian, so I only kind of celebrate Christmas.

    I love Christmas carols and don’t mind having a tree (gotta find a good plastic one, because I don’t like the idea of getting a real one). I don’t really do gifts, but I did give a few and get a few, too. Oh, and I decided to totally forgo the holiday cards this year… too much to do, too many mixed emotions… thanks to everyone who sent to us, tho!

    As for Christmas day, we inadvertently celebrated a Jewish Christmas: Chinese food and a movie. My brother and I met up in the afternoon to go visit my Grandma in the hospital. After that, we went to my Aunt & Uncle’s home to have dinner with them and our cousin, T, who is home from college. Since no other restaurants were open, we ended up having Chinese food at Full House Seafood Restaurant in Arcadia (yummy meal with peking duck, lobster, walnut shrimp, chinese broccoli, and peppered beef steak) and going back to their house to watch The DaVinci Code at home, plus a bunch of the special features.

    Regarding gifts, if I was on the ball, I’d have a list of things I got, but since I have more presents that I haven’t opened yet, maybe I’ll do a round-up after the New Year.

    For now, I want to thank my cousin Nina for sending me a super-awesome surprise gift: Logitech 2.4 GHz Cordless Presenter. It was on my Amazon Wishlist and it totally surprised me! I know it was a geeky thing to ask for, but I will totally use it for all the presentations I have to do at work and at school.

    Thanks, again Nina!

    I interrupt this Seattle trip…

    … with a bit of not-so-good news about my Grandma (Dad’s mom) back in L.A..

    My Uncle Peter (Dad’s brother) just called to let me know that my Grandma was taken to the Emergency Room last night because she couldn’t breathe. She’s stabilized enough that she’s out of the ER now, but how long she’ll be in the hospital is still not clear.

    I think I’d feel better if I wasn’t in Seattle right now and could go visit, but until I get back, I have to live with updates from my Uncle and my Bro.

    So if you have a moment, send some good, healing thoughts for my Grandma. Thanks muchly.

    Gah! Still up! Need sleep!

    Dammit.

    I was so tired all day. And now that it’s almost 4am, I am wiiiiiiiiiiiiiide awake. For frick’s sake. I have a crapload of stuff to take care of tomorrow. Er, today. Whatever Monday is.

    Well, seeing as I’m not doing anything right now, here is a brief rundown of stuff that happened last week… if I can even remember that far back.

    Thursday, 11/30/06:

  • Good news: Had a holiday/client lunch event for work. Got a ton of cool stuff.
  • Good news:Went to my Finance class. Found out that the Final exam is now “optional.” Seeing as I got A’s on my first two exams, did all the homework, and hopefully turned in a good group project/paper, I doubt I’m taking the final exam… whoo hoo!
  • BAD news: On the way back to the office from lunch, noticed a very, very bad thing. I SWEAR IT WAS NOT MY FAULT! I have no idea what happened to the sapphire that flanked the diamond, but I thank the universe that I didn’t lose the diamond. On the other hand, I have a very bad track record with these damn sapphires. This is the THIRD time the sapphire has fallen out. (See below. This picture shows the setting intact, but the sapphire gone! I swear I wasn’t doing anything to cause it to fall out. I was not playing basketball. I did not punch anyone in the head. In fact, I have barely been wearing it since last year when we had to get the setting made again because of the “mangling” incident.)
    The sapphire fell out of my ring again!  I swear it wasn't my fault!

    ::the second time. 6/26/2005 (but I never got around to posting the picture or blogging about it. So this was definitely somewhat my fault. I don’t know how this happened except that I know that I was applauding during a concert and then as soon as the concert was over, I noticed my ring was TOTALLY MESSED UP! Luckily, I was able to go back to my seat and FIND THE SAPPHIRE. They did have to totally redo the entire setting for my ring, though. Seriously, it wasn’t like I was clapping THAT hard!)::

    Mangled Ring - 06-26-2005
  • ::the first time i lost a sapphire. 5/30/2003 (thx to Mike Doss for keeping my archives alive, since they didn’t import into WordPress. Sorry no pix. Since it was the first time, and because it happened within 6 months of us getting the ring, the jeweler replaced it for free. Somehow I doubt that they’ll do it again, though.)::

    Friday, 12/1/06:

  • After work, I went to visit my Grandma & take care of some business for my parents. I ended up being there almost all afternoon and evening.
  • Is it really December?
  • I got bacteria from Efi for my birthday. This was a late shipment after previously receiving a book about yogurt and an Atari video game. Thanks, Efi! I know you must love me lots to send me bacteria for my birthday!!!
  • Talked to Bro on the phone a bit.
  • Saturday, 12/2/06:

  • Where the heck did the day go? Got up “early” but got distracted with junk online and almost didn’t get to pick up my snail mail in time.
  • Ran Rooben around the house.
  • Drove the Yoshi downtown in the afternoon for a brief appointment.
  • Came back, got ready for our friend Lauren’s robot birthday party.
  • Sunday, 12/2/06:

  • Cleared a whole bunch of crap off the TiVo.
  • Went to my former classmate’s place for a Holiday Open House. Had a lovely time. They had a great mix of guests and had it catered and everything. I had an extended conversation with a Finance professor (not mine) about the errors he found in a text book. (Weird.)
  • Talked to the Bro on the phone again.
  • Took a 20 minute nap on the couch in front of the TV. (Thanks, Nature!)
  • Things I did not do:

  • Clean my desk
  • Organize any of my crap around here
  • Clean the house
  • A lot of other stuff I was supposed to do instead of lying around and being a bum.
  • Birthday weekend update

    Update in my birthday weekend celebration…

    Here was my Friday, November 24!

  • Sleep in ’til 10:30! 10:30! I didn’t even have to set an alarm or anything!
    (Granted I was up until about 2 am, but I almost never get to sleep in, so what a treat!)
  • Stayed in all day.
  • Hung around the house all day with Yoshi.
  • Baked blueberry muffins, brownies, and lemon cake.
  • Ate ramen for dinner.
  • Bro drove up from OC to visit and we both went out to Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica to see an old friend from out of town and his new fiancee.
  • Got a birthday shot a “chocolate cake”
  • Got to talk to my brother uninterrupted for a couple of hours. (Biggest treat of all)
  • Really annoyed…

    I had to update my voter registration, which I did in the appropriate time frame.

    I sent in for an absentee ballot for myself, my mom and my brother (at the same time).

    Received sample ballots for all.

    But we realized today that my Bro is the only one with an absentee ballot. Therefore, he’s going to be the only one of us who can vote (since Mom and I are both going to be out of town on Election Day). Ironically, he is the only one of us who didn’t actually NEED the absentee ballot.

    Reprise of “Trick-or-Treat Goodies (our way)”

    Is it lack of time? Laziness? Not being in a festive mode? The avoidance of candy? Sad that Dad isn’t around for another holiday? Missing my Mom because she’s in Taiwan?

    I don’t know why I’m not in the Halloween-y mood this year, but I’m not. Instead of going out tonight I’m going to hide out at home and avoid trick-or-treaters.

    But that doesn’t stop me from revisiting a post I wrote 2 years ago about some of our special Halloween traditions. Enjoy below…

    Joz at the pumpkin patch in 1984.  I like how my eyes are closed in this shot.  (How did 20 years go by so quickly?!)When we were kids, we learned about a lot of American traditions for the first time on television or in school. Since our parents came to the United States only a couple of years before I was born, they learned about American holidays pretty much at the same time my brother and I did.

    Halloween was something fun and exciting because my Mom understood the concept of “dress up” and although she claimed that she didn’t know how to sew, she always came up with costumes for us for Halloween so we could go trick-or-treating and come home with a bag full of candy that we were later not allowed to eat, since it would “rot our teeth out of our mouths.”

    Since we weren’t allowed to eat the candy we got from trick-or-treating, often the strategy was to send us out early & to give away the candy that we had received earlier in the evening. We didn’t mind; that was just the way we did things.

    As we got old enough to go to school (and have neighbor kids in the same classes with us), we began to become concerned about what candy was being given away at our front door. One year, my Mom informed us that our cousins were planning to come to our neighborhood so we could all go trick-or-treating together. Although this was exciting, it also meant that Mom would actually have to prepare treats in advance for my Dad to pass out while we were out.

    I still remember how horrifying it was when Mom returned from the supermarket, proudly announcing that she had purchased “the BEST trick-or-treat goodies” for the neighborhood kids.

    My Bro and I excited went through the grocery bags but we didn’t find any Smarties, M&Ms, candy corn, or little Snickers bars.

    “What? Where? Mom?”
    Continue reading ‘Reprise of “Trick-or-Treat Goodies (our way)”’

    What happened to my weekend?

    The entire weekend was such a blur, I barely remember it.

    It started with my Mom and Bro coming over early on Saturday morning and having a quick and simple breakfast before heading to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) office to take care of some paperwork. THREE+ HOURS LATER, we were back at my place again, debating on how the rest of the weekend was going to proceed. I had to do some paperwork and work on a few things before leaving for the weekend, so it was a few hours before we left my place and headed toward Grandma’s to visit her.

    Pig Uterus at My Way DeliWe were all hungry by that time, so we stopped off at My Way Deli/味佳冷飲小吃 again for some Taiwanese grub. Mom and I ordered most of the same things from the other night, but since Bro was with us, we ordered a few other dishes including Pork Intestine and Blood soup and (my Mom ordered this) Pig Uterus. My brother and I ate it because we kind of didn’t know what it was. I mean, we were already eating pig intestines, so we figured they were some other kind of intestine. It was when Mom was talking about how the texture was different than that of the intestines (kind of firm and bordering on crunchy) and that how you can’t buy them in the supermarket and that only female pigs had them… when my brother goes “Uterus! Uterus! We’re eating uterus!”

    I kind of flipped out, but we had almost finished them at that point and I realized I’d eaten these before and didn’t die, so I figured it was ok not to flip out. Sometimes ignorance truly is bliss. Also, if I ever go on Fear Factor, I know I can probably eat anything if they give me chopsticks and a dish of soy sauce.

    Anyway, we visited Grandma (who is home from the hospital now, recovering from a bout with pneumonia) and then my Brother and I waited for a repair guy to come over to see if he could figure out what was causing a leak in my grandma’s closet ceiling. After that, we headed back to my parents’ house in OC. Since we had two cars, my Mom had taken one to go visit with her sister and her husband. Bro and I drove back home on the 5 in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Even though I was exhausted, I stayed up to wait for Mom to get home. Then we did some random housework and stayed up until 3am. I was immersed in a stupid game of Bomberman on my Brother’s Nintendo DS. (It was acting up and wouldn’t save my Nintendog Shih Tzu named Bob.)

    On Sunday, my Mom made us brunch (hot pot) and then I tried to continue cleaning more of my old junk out of the house, throwing away a lot more stuff that had been packed away for well over 10 years. Instead of meeting some classmates for a much-needed study session for another Finance exam, I stayed and hung out with Mom and Bro, which was a good decision. When it was time for me to leave and go back to my place on Sunday night, my Mom couldn’t let me go. And the truth is, I didn’t want to let her go either.

    My Mom left for Taiwan on Monday. None of us are sure how long she’ll need to be back there, but it’s pretty clear it’s going to be for at least a few months.

    My birthday is coming up in November and she kept apologizing that she wouldn’t be here for it. I had wanted to have a big party for this birthday, but that was before my Dad died. Now that my Dad’s gone, I don’t much feel like having a party for myself. Really, all I want is to spend my birthday/Thanksgiving with my family. And even though there was more than one year when we didn’t get to spend the holidays together with Dad, this year it’s not just because he’s in Taiwan. Now that my Mom is going to be in Taiwan during my birthday, I’m not sure what I want to do for my birthday.

    Anyway, I’m kind of whigging out about my Mom being in Taiwan. It didn’t freak me out that much when she was there almost all of last year (my goodness, that feels like it was sooo long ago!), but I guess I just want to be closer to family all the time now.

    And now that I’ve done enough procrastinating, it’s (really) time to hit the books for my test on Thursday night.

    Trick-or-Treat Goodies (our way)

    Joz at the pumpkin patch in 1984.  I like how my eyes are closed in this shot.  (How did 20 years go by so quickly?!)When we were kids, we learned about a lot of American traditions for the first time on television or in school. Since our parents came to the United States only a couple of years before I was born, they learned about American holidays pretty much at the same time my brother and I did.

    Halloween was something fun and exciting because my Mom understood the concept of “dress up” and although she claimed that she didn’t know how to sew, she always came up with costumes for us for Halloween so we could go trick-or-treating and come home with a bag full of candy that we were later not allowed to eat, since it would “rot our teeth out of our mouths.”

    Since we weren’t allowed to eat the candy we got from trick-or-treating, often the strategy was to send us out early & to give away the candy that we had received earlier in the evening. We didn’t mind; that was just the way we did things.

    As we got old enough to go to school (and have neighbor kids in the same classes with us), we began to become concerned about what candy was being given away at our front door. One year, my Mom informed us that our cousins were planning to come to our neighborhood so we could all go trick-or-treating together. Although this was exciting, it also meant that Mom would actually have to prepare treats in advance for my Dad to pass out while we were out.

    I still remember how horrifying it was when Mom returned from the supermarket, proudly announcing that she had purchased “the BEST trick-or-treat goodies” for the neighborhood kids.

    My Bro and I excited went through the grocery bags but we didn’t find any Smarties, M&Ms, candy corn, or little Snickers bars.

    “What? Where? Mom?”
    Continue reading ‘Trick-or-Treat Goodies (our way)’




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