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Saturday, September 13th, 2008
1:07 am - Seattle And Back Again: An Asian's Tale by Tom L. (Day Three)
Day Three - Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

Tom continues his travel up the coast of Northern California, bidding a fond farewell to San Francisco in the process. He has a fast food incident, some ice cream, delicious mexican food that really hit the spot, and a hotel room view to die for.



Our day in San Francisco behind us, we woke up to now-familiar views and a noon deadline to check out of the hotel. We do so, and it isn't until after we drive out of the parking lot that we left our car in that we realize that we probably should have eaten some breakfast in the surrounding area after we had checked out, but before we had left the lot. Parking fees were not a factor at that point in time. Thus, genius points awarded, we decided to continue exiting the city and see what kinds of eats can be had on the other side of the bridge.




The bridge, of course, being the Golden Gate Bridge. I don't personally ever recall being on a bridge of this length before, so it was quite an experience to approach the thing from a distance, close in, and ultimately driving on it. As you can see from the pictures, it was still quite foggy, even at about 11:30am, so I wasn't able to see the entire bridge.


I'm guessing that it's more of a testament to how weird the weather in San Francisco can be, because once we crossed the Golden Gate Bay and stopped at the vintage point, we could see the low cover of clouds over SF. Our side of the Bay was all blue sky and sun.


This is me at 11:30 in the morning, Golden Gate Bridge and tourists in the background, looking Asian. You can see Eddie in the reflection of my right (your left) sunglass lens.

Once we had our fill of the view of the Bay, SF, Alcatraz et al, it was time to address our next issue: breakfast/lunch.

I'm going save space by saying that we ended up going to McDonald's. It was off the freeway (as it usually is), I had a craving for Chicken McNuggets, and we didn't want to look for a place to eat anymore. In we walked, me looking around hopefully for a poster that advertised a $1 4-piece McNuggets deal. No dice. So I set my eyes on the next best thing: the 6-piece Chicken McNugget Happy Meal. Those of you snickering can stop. It's perfect, you see; you get McNuggets, small fries, small drink, and a toy! So I sauntered up to the cashier, and while laughing (to create rapport with said cashier because, well, it is a bit silly for a grown man to order a Happy Meal for himself, and if the dude was going to make a stink out of it, at least he now considered me an acquaintance; not just customer #334), ordered the aforementioned meal. I'm feeling victorious at this point, because I was going to get all that I wanted plus a toy!

So I pick up my 6-piece Chicken McNugget Happy Meal and sit down. Everyone knows that first act of the Happy Meal Protocol is to see what toy you got, and... I got a girl's toy! Ya, really funny, cashier man. I know you probably frown upon adults partaking in a recommended-for-children value package, but did you have to ruin my victory with a toy manufactured for the intent of amusing a 6 to 12 year old little girl? I was hoping for a cool set of binoculars disguised as a plastic book (actual Wendy's toy), or a Happy Meal box that transforms into a red dinosaur (also real), but instead you got me an un-posable orange-haired girl on rollerskates. Thanks.


The above picture was taken about a week later at my home, where the perpetually peppy girl in a yellow vest and her monkey sporting too-cool-for-you stunners (read: sunglasses) now reside.


After our first meal of the day, we continued our journey 400+ miles from where we originally started to... hit traffic for the first time. Ironic, as we had kind of left Los Angeles and its congestion of car in search of the open road. After a while we left civilization behind and entered the dense, sparsely populated forests of Northern California. The drive was scenic, but after the first hundred winding curve up and down the sides of mountains, a craggy wall of rock on either side and steep drops into the unknown on the other, it all looked and felt the same. This is the part of trips where your mind wanders, your eyes straining to see between the trees lined up on the sides of the highway, looking for giant moving shapes that could be bears. You think about getting flat tires and wrong turns, and inbred cannibal cousins who depend on green travelers for sustenance.

Anyway, after about three hours of that we reached Mendocino. Perhaps it was the overcast weather, but the place didn't look like how it did in the brochures. Maybe we just didn't venture far enough into the heart of town, but we both got the eerie sense that the town, nay, the village, was more akin to the cinematic cultish communities of yore. You know, the ones that snatch road-weary travelers at night from their rooms at the inn and then proceed to ritualistically kill them in the town square to appease their pagan gods. I am pretty sure that the apex of their local church was topped by a statue of a dude wielding a scythe. I could be wrong; it could just have been hysteria. In any case, it was time for a stop at the local ice cream shop, which I heard was quite excellent.


Frankie's Hand Made Ice Cream was a small, quaint ice cream parlor with free WiFi that sat close to the 101. They served the more traditional flavors, like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, but also more exotic flavors like mushroom. Yeah, I know it's a vacation, but I wasn't about to hand the happiness of my stomach over to such a blend of milk and fungi. I settled for chocolate.




Being so close to the end of an immense forest didn't seem to diminish the spirits of the locals any, as the back of their overhead menus was a blackboard covered in the random things they have been asked transcribed by the parlor's workers. Some classic ones:
  • What kind of bread does the ice cream sandwich come with?

  • Do people actually live in Mendocino?

  • How far away is civilization?

  • Is this a Mexican restaurant?

Clearly driving through the trees made people a little less logical and a little more paranoid. On the other hand, I think I was one of the only Asian people there, so + points to you, Mendocino.


Snack complete, we went back on the road to Eureka. There was a whole lot of what the next picture shows on this leg of the drive, though I do want to point out the lone cyclist in the picture. He's pretty far out from dense civilization at this point; he's a brave soul indeed.


Here are more pictures highlight pretty much all there was to see in this neck of the woods. Can you imagine living in that house? There is no other house for miles, by the way. I can't.


Before you get to Eureka via the 101 you go through the legendary Redwood Forest of California.


It was here that we encountered more of my kind, in the form of travel that only my race can fathom. Why they were going to Eureka, I don't know. For the slow, it's not the Prius.


If you didn't know, the redwoods are tall. It got more and more ridiculously tall as we went, eventually stretching to a height that in a photograph a car was diminished to perhaps less than a tenth of the photograph. Useful for a frame of reference.


We didn't do the whole drive through the giant redwood bit because, well, it wasn't free, and it didn't seem like it was worth however much the tourist trap operators wanted to gouge us with. I would have stopped to take some photos along the way, if not for my irrational fears of getting mauled by a bear. We made it to Eureka just at dusk. Eureka is a pretty ghetto-looking town (read: El Monte) that is famous for its Victorian era architecture. My scouring of the Eureka wikipedia entry unearthed the factoid that the actor Brendan Fraser is from Eureka.

We arrived in the city just in time for us to get hungry. Luckily, I had prepared for such an event, and had found a Mexican restaurant that was conveniently across the street from the Red Lion Hotel that we were crashing at for the night. When I found it on yelp.com, its name was Carmela's. When we got there, the restaurant was actually named Puerto Escondido. Whoops. In any case, the food was fabulously authentic. I had the chicken enchiladas, which came on a hot plate with fresh rice and refried beans. It really hit the spot. Highly recommended in my book.


Our appetites thus satiated, we retired to our room, in order to veg out in front of the TV. Speaking of our hotel, I had wanted to keep all the pictures with the days that they were taken, but our hotel room's view was so magnificent, so glorious, that I decided to travel to the future and bring you a photo of our view that was taken the next morning here to you in the present as a present to you, loyal reader. (Much the same with the previous picture) It is with this picture that I will leave you. Until Day Four.


His trip now a third over, Tom gears up for an eight hour expedition through the entire state of Oregon, only to find that the details of even the best plan don't always favor the prepared.

(1 comment | tell me how it is)

Monday, August 25th, 2008
4:48 pm - Seattle And Back Again: An Asian's Tale by Tom L. (Day Two)
Day Two - Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Tom becomes a part of the horde of tourists exploring San Francisco, enjoying the local cuisine, art, and culture, and would have gotten rained on if not for the umbrella that he thought to bring on the trip.


We will begin this chapter the same way I woke up the second day: to a view of city hall in the late morning. Neither Eddie nor I are morning people, so for us to have woken up at 10am is an amazing feat in and of itself. We all like to joke that certain inane things our friends "accomplish" are deserving of medals, awards, and accolades, but this is an authentic achievement, I assure you.


Anyway, Tuesday was our first full day in a city. There were a couple of these planned throughout the trip, and this being the first really tested my day planning abilities. Because our hotel was so close to the center of San Francisco, all of the things we wanted to see were within reasonable walking distances. They were, in this order, Morty's Delicatessan, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Chinatown, and Empress of China. Of course, we did do some exploration here and there, but that was the general area we stuck to.

We left the hotel at about 11am and headed off to grab some breakfast. Morty's Delicatessan was this hole in the wall sandwich shop that I found through yelp.com. I had their egg and sausage breakfast sandwich which was fairly good and in good portions. I was barely able to finish it, but then I'm not used to eating too much in the morning. From there we made our way to the main part of Market Street, where pretty much everybody was. The crowd was quite sizeable and the sidewalks at least two or three times the width of those in Southern California. There was a lot of traffic, which reaffirmed our decision not to drive in downtown San Francisco. I would come back to take a few pictures later on in the night.

As we approached the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, there was a swarm of people. Apparently, it's not a secret that this museum was free the first Tuesday of every month. The sidewalk here was regulation-sized, so you can imagine what a madhouse it was, with two lines starting from the entrance that wrapped around either side of the building, on top of the regular foot traffic going through the street.


At this point I was about ready to say screw this, but then I had Eddie wait in line while I forged ahead to check things out. As I wandered from the end of one line to the other, I spied the usual museum gift shop, along with a museum cafe. Looking through the windows of the cafe, I could see that the cafe was connected to the lobby of the museum.

This is where it gets shady, folks. Some of you will no doubt have moral reservations about celebrating my exploits. I figured I could get into the museum via the cafe, thus bypassing the throngs of humans (is that redundant?). So I did. Once in the lobby, mental Tom said to physical Tom, "Well, it can't be this easy". Sure enough, there were two museum dudes standing on the staircase up to the exhibits, and they were checking people for tickets as they ascended. I looked around for where people were getting said tickets and I spied another museum worker, parked where the door was, asking people "Do you have a ticket? Can't get in without a ticket" while handing them one if they didn't have it. So I went up to her, with the best confused Oriental tourist look I could muster, and was handed the free permission slip to enter without any question. Of course, I did wait until she was overwhelmed with people. So with museum ticket in hand, I called Eddie through the magic of cellular phones and instructed him to enter the museum and procure a boleta the same way I did. Thus, mission accomplished and leaving the waiting herds outside, we ventured up into the world of modern art, through the eyes of San Franciscan curators.


A lot of art, in my eyes, isn't really art. If I can take a toilet seat and mount it on the wall and call it art, it's not. If I can put up three solid white panels and shine a black light at it at an angle (?!), it's not art. If I spend 1,000 hours handcrafting butterflies and various shapes out of paper and stringing it together into a huge tapestry, then ok, it might be art. If it requires me to have actual artistic skill, then it is art. The old crotchety dude on CBS's 60 Minutes has it right, I think. You have to pay your dues as an artist, like Picasso before his cubist days, before you can do art (cubist Picasso, obviously).


But regardless of my misgivings about modern art (because it is true that art usually isn't realized as such until much later in history), the SFMOMA was still very interesting. I was suprised to see that the Apple G4 Cube is considered a modern piece of art, along with the OLPC. The architecture of the museum itself was cool, too. Our stay at the museum was fairly brief, though I did find their exhibit of Chinese art done during the Cultural Revolution to be quite interesting. There is a sad undercurrent of cynicism beneath the facade of hope in most, if not all, of the works on display. Yes, I've read a poem; try not to faint.


Venturing across the street from the SFMOMA I ended up at this fairly sizeable park/quad where a lot of the tourists and locals alike were gathered. Business types, yokels with backpacks and cameras like us, and people walking their pets lounged around this area, with a view of artifical water constructs and a small part of the San Francisco skyline.



From here, we traveled our way up to Chinatown, stopping at random sites like this low-traffic back alley. That moniker is misleading, as this was behind one of the major hotels near Market Street, and the chair setups were outdoor seating of a hotel restaurant. It also happened to be close to another museum, devoted to Jewish artifacts. We didn't patronize this particular establishment, because it was no doubt not free, so instead I took a moment to sit down and look regal.


Eventually we made our way to the outskirts of Chinatown to a park where a bunch of old Chinese people were gathered. I observed from the recommended safe distance when dealing with the Chinese man and took a picture to dissect later.


Chinatown was also a hotspot for tourists. I had half expected to see well-dressed Asian men standing outside of their clothing stores, gesturing to you in a welcoming yet urgent way, as if your life depended on you purchasing one of their "cheap suit". Instead, there were just as many non-Asians as Asians roaming the streets. Like Solvang, the architecture is meant to invoke the feeling of stepping into the streets of historic China, but because of San Francisco's Chinese history, I have no doubt some, if not most, of it is authentic.


You can see from these pictures that Chinatown is on a hill, so I must confess here that much of our exploration is determined by whether or not we would be walking up streets with steep grades.


There was one doorway that was eeriely reminiscent of something out of the Hellboy movies; see if you agree with me.


Of course, San Francisco isn't SF without the next mass transit vehicle. They just stop in the middle of intersection, allowing indecisive foreigners to hop on and off as they liked while the rest of us pedestrians wait for the light to change.


At this point it was still much too early for us to eat dinner at the Empress of China as according to plan, so we headed back to the hotel to relax. We made use of our two TVs, which we would miss in subsequent hotel rooms, to watch our own programs. Eddie made use of the ridiculously big couch with its ridiculously large pillows to take an epic nap, while I surfed the airwaves lounging in my own bed.


Eventually the Armenian woke up and we left for the restaurant. By this time the sun was setting. You don't go to Empress of China because you get great value for the food you pay for. On its own, the food was not bad, but for the price (about $15 per plate on its own, $30+ for their party specials) you better be getting a view and an experience. Fortunately, the restaurant is on the sixth floor of an building unobstructed by other, taller, buildings, and in the late afternoon you get a great panorama of the bay and the rest of SF. The decor is old school Chinese restaurant, the kind you see in old martial arts flicks from the Far East, but with much more detail and trimmings, mostly done in dark wood. The staff speak Cantonese and are quite speedy and cognizant of the fact that you need something. I'd have a problem with going there if I had lived there, but seeing as how I was on vacation, a little splurging never really hurt anyone.


Nighttime photography is a little difficult without a tripod or a steady hand. I had neither, so some shots from this trip turned out less than desirable, but here are some better-than-the-others shots.

I had saw this earlier in the day, but it took a second passing in order for me take this picture of a Chinatown business. You can probably figure this one out; all I have to say is that I find that racist!


Strolling down Market Street back towards the hotel while full, I came across some nice lighting of a Bloomingdale's. Business must be slow, apparently, because replacing lightbulbs must be fairly high on their upkeep list, right?


The city hall again... again. Funny thing about my fascination with this building is that I never walked the two blocks from where this picture was taken to see it up close and personal. On the other hand, this prompted me to, about nine days after this was taken, to go up to the city hall in Pasadena and see that place, finally, with my own eyes and my feet planted firmly in the middle of its courtyard.


It also was starting to rain by the time we got here; for once the weather forecast was right. Here I am, being either afraid, confused, or constipated. I have yet to decide, and am currently taking speculations.


Oh, did I forget to tell you that our hotel was across the street from the Orpheum? That night some play/musical was going on; I don't remember the name, just that it held no interest for me. Irrelevant. I was captivated by all the pretty lights, which explains this photograph being here.


And with our stomaches full of hot and sour soup, fried wontons in sweet and sour sauce, Mongolian beef, sweet and sour pork, jasmine tea, fortune cookies, and BK Lounge, we slept.

Tom definitely knew there was a lot more to SF than meets the eye in the short time he was able to spend there, and would definitely like the opportunity to explore it in the future with a local guide. Luckily, this city is only about six hours away from where he lives (by car), so he considers this experience an appetizer. In the next chapter of Seattle And Back Again, Tom travels further up the California coast, where he encounters more ocean, trees, and cliffs. He also has a fast food incident, and he returns with photographic proof.

(1 comment | tell me how it is)

Friday, August 15th, 2008
12:26 am - Seattle And Back Again: An Asian's Tale by Tom L. (Day One)
By the numbers

Miles traveled: 2,610
Photos taken: 390
Hours gone: 207
Chicken McNuggets eaten: 6
Number of hotel TVs: 5
Number of hotels stayed at: 4
States traveled: 3
Cats caught lounging: 2
Premade houses seen transported by trucks: 1½
Number of bugs killed: Hundreds

Salutations

I have returned from the north! For a while I had wanted to do some traveling, and once TyroneFromUSC, my friend from second grade whom currently lives in Seattle for the Navy determined that he would be taking a vacation and coming back to Southern California, the road trip was officially born. Problem was, my travel buddy, Eddie, and I had a week to plan it.

It was a fairly crazy week. Once we got a rental car, within the span of the next 48 hours we went from not knowing where we were going to sleep each night to 3-star hotels in San Francisco, Eureka, and Vancouver, Washington. The next 3 days after that were filled with searching online for things to do and places to eat while we were there. Looking back, it was a fairly tall order, but by the time Monday, August 4th, rolled around, with a car full of our luggage, twenty bottles of water, countless granola bars, and a roll of toilet paper, we were ready.

Day One - Monday, August 4th, 2008

In this part of the trip Tom travels along the coast of California, finds the Danish Disneyland, sees Hearst Castle, eats at a pizzeria in Monterey, and ends up in a hotel room he did not expect to have.


We left my home at about 10:45am, but it wasn't until about 11:15am that we started our road trip. Surprisingly, we didn't encounter any traffic and we reached the coast via the 101 in good time.


I had thought to proclaim that we were on a road trip, for real, sometime soon after this picture was taken, but I waited too long. Eddie beat me to it.



"It's official... we're on our road trip." - Eddie


Our first stop was Solvang, a town described to me by my sister and Wikipedia as a treasure trove of awesome cheese danishes and a population consisting of 90% white people. Hunting for great places to eat while in Solvang lead me to Paula's Pancake House. They are known for their thin crepe-like pancakes and cheap prices, a perfect combination. The ones stuffed with danish sausage was the one I ordered, and while the portions were generous, I was not a fan of the sausages. Still, a good place as any in Solvang to try again.


We were in the heart of downtown Solvang, and they really played up the whole Danish aspect. Outside of the main boulevard and its adjacent blocks, Solvang looks just like Anytown, USA. Still, the main part of Solvang looks just like Disneyland in certain aspects. The architecture was interesting; something you don't really see around El Monte.


We also went foraging for some scrumptious danishes, but we couldn't really find any. I even covertly took pictures for future analysis. I suppose I was just still too full from the pancakes earlier to investigate closer.




Walking back to our car I spied a cat chilling on some steps out in the Solvang, California sun. It watched me closely and with a bit of contempt as I snapped its picture. Cats are awesome like that.


Road trips are awesome because you get to see scenic sights that you normally don't get to see. Road trips suck because after a while it all just blends into a repetition of the same kinds of views. On this trip it was either rising hills with low hanging clouds and people who live in lone houses out in the middle of nowhere, high hanging cliffside mountain pass roads surrounded by trees, or flat land as far as the eye can see, with the occasion blip of civilization; porches and rural architecture et al. But once in a while you get some fantastic company, like this biker gang that looked like trouble. They were badass.


At about five hours into the road trip we made it to Hearst Castle. Up until this point I was still undecided about touring this monstrosity of a building. I think that calling Hearst Castle a building is a little understated. It is so ridiculously huge and decadent that perhaps we should start referring to Hearst Castle with the plural form of building, regardless of how grammatically incorrect it is.

Apparently William Randolph Hearst was rich enough to build enough rooms to house the entire population of a small nation, yet didn't leave enough inheritance to his kids so that they wouldn't have to charge the rest of the world for the privilege of touring 1/6th of the estate at a time for a paltry sum of $24. That's right: to see the entirety of Hearst Castle (and presumably so Hearst's descendants can eat McDonald's like the rest of us), you would need to fork out $24 x 6 per person, minus any special packages. It is also a guided tour, so roaming on your own is not allowed.

I don't think it was worth it, and that, coupled with the fact that the journey up to the Caste of Hearst is a 20-minute ascent and that they had a mini-exhibit of the various things you can expect to see in the residence, I just went to the vintage point at the very end of the visitor's center, turned on my camera, and utilized the reason why I got a camera with 10x zoom. Hello, Hearst Castle. Goodbye, Hearst Castle. Maybe sometime in the future our paths will cross again and I will feed your stewards.


It takes two hours from Hearst Castle to get to Monterey, California. As we rolled in in the evening so did some dark, oppressive clouds (example below). We made a food stop at a pizza chain popular in the region called Pizza My Heart. I leave it to you to figure out the pun; an explanation of its finer nuiances is beyond the scope of this simple weblog. The slice of chicken and bacon pizza I had was quite delicious, though I do not doubt my hunger contributed to my analysis. Unfortunately, we didn't stay in this city long enough to make an accurate assessment, so I would like to visit this place again, preferably with a local to guide us through Monterey and its surrounding area's intricacies.


Another two hours later we arrived in San Francisco a little after 8pm. It was already dark as we came up with the bay on our right, so epic views were not to be had. Our hotel was the Whitcomb close to the heart of downtown San Francisco, as I had heard of SF's legendary parking impossibilities. We were able to book this one for about $85 per night, for two nights, through hotwire.com, which is pretty cheap. The Asian in me approves.

We were situated on the fourth floor, and as we opened the door to our hotel room, this is what we saw:


My initial response was, where are our beds? Then, as I continued scanning to my left, I spied a open doorway, through which a bed and a desk were clearly visible. Our room had two rooms; certainly not what I was expecting. More over, each room had its own TV. And our view was fantastic. In the night time, San Francisco's city hall lights up, cutting a pretty imposing figure. Had I a camera tripod and an actual open window, this next picture would have came out much better. (I do get better pictures the next night, though.)


Here's the view from a far corner in the bedroom. The open doorway on the left is the entrance from the first room, and the one to its right leads to a hallway that connects to the bathroom. At the end of that hallway was another door that opened to the floor's main hallway, so we had two doors to enter and exit our room from! Later I gleamed from the floor plan posted as a fire escape plan that we had gotten one of the two biggest rooms on the floor, and they were corner rooms, to boot. We definitely got a great deal, even more so considering how close we were to our points of interest the very next day.


We fell asleep, exhausted from over eight hours on the road.

Tom went to sleep that night, a little homesick already. While he quickly overcame the feeling the next day, it would serve to help remind him throughout the trip how glad and lucky he was to live in sunny Southern California. Stay tuned for his adventures in the heart of SF, as he explores art, culture, and food, and exercises just how Asian he can be. By Asian I mean scheming and/or conniving.

(tell me how it is)

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
3:06 pm - Is this what pain feels like?!?
This'll be a short one.

Recently, a friend of mine whom I had not seen in a while came back to LA. When she and I hugged and she said, "It's so good to see you again!", my immediate and reflexive reply was, "I know."

Even though I could not believe the words that just came out of my mouth, that, my adoring fans, is me in a nutshell.

(tell me how it is)

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008
12:40 pm - Balls.
I'm normally not a man for musicals, save one Avenue Q, but Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is one of the most delicious things ever. I am tempted, as of right now, to declare this one of the things you must have watched in order to be my friend. Try to catch it before the 20th, because that's when all of this gold gets turn into lead (a.k.a. becomes worthless, or is taken off the intertron forever).

(tell me how it is)

Monday, June 16th, 2008
1:55 am - ~Be more constructive with your feedback.~
So people don't write enough letters these days. I'm pretty sure I haven't covered this before. Of course, we live in a world of instant email/IM/txt msg gratification. Couple that with the steady climb of the cost of postage, it isn't too terribly hard to understand why correspondences of the handwritten nature aren't exchanged via a medium that actually employs real-life, breathing human beings as much as it used to; back in the era of horses, dust, and sandals. I mean, hell, I'm writing about the dearth of non-electronic communication on a blog.

Way to be a hypocrite, Tom.

I submit to you, though, that what might at first seem like me being one of the only things I hate is, in fact, a paradox. I am choosing this avenue to assert my grievances because there are too many of you for me to personally pen a letter to. Also, in accordance with the Constitution I drafted prior to beginning this blog, which stipulates in article VII, section B that I, Tom Lu, "shall be blunt", I don't like most of you enough to break out my pen and white sheet of paper to scribble up a personal, concentrated dose of Tom charm and laughs.

I am doing my part to remedy this social problem; albeit with select individuals. You may apply, though I warn that the process is long, arduous, and may involve tears.

P.S. I realize that I have been M.I.A. from this blogging business for quite a while now. I shall update you on my current events in a future entry; though now that I have declared this intent, the contrarian in me is enticing me into not ever delivering on that promise. Recalculate your expectations accordingly.

(tell me how it is)

Thursday, March 27th, 2008
3:56 am - No refunds! Consider your refund escaping this death trap with your lives!
I have to write something. Anything. Much like how I only clean when I can't stand looking at the mess I've made for myself, I must now blog because I can't stand looking at the fact that the last time I blogged laptops couldn't fit into manila business envelopes, I didn't own a new t-shirt that featured an iPod-toting character claiming that "iTune you out", and the governor of New York could legally see.

I have to confess. I've recently picked up a new bad habit. I am now the bane of gardeners worldwide; especially the one that tends the small patches of vegetation that line the path I take enroute to my job on Tuesdays and Thursdays (and sometimes on Wednesday, I have to also confess that I am a rebel). Whenever I am walking along that part of the Earth and see a dandelion, I feel a compulsive urge to kick it, sending its seed-carrying vehicles scurrying into the wind. If there is a bunch of them, I only kick one or two of them, partly to save the rest for the next time I happen by, and partly so that passing drivers don't notice me breaking unspoken horticultural moral codes. So the next time someone asks you if you know a terrorist, you can name me as one, even going into detail about how I bio-terrorize flora, spreading pestilence wherever I go. Dandelions are my anti-drug.

I have to end this entry. It is getting late and I must find out what happens to the happy-go-lucky crew aboard the Galactica. Though that will probably have to happen tomorrow. I might just ponder about when my next entry will be and its content, instead.

(tell me how it is)

Thursday, December 6th, 2007
2:28 am - And that's why you always leave a note.
When you have an iPod touch, you are invariably going to be faced with the same situation that I myself am currently in: sitting in front of your laptop, with its superior Internet surfing capabilities, yet choosing instead to traverse cyberspace on a 3.6" LCD touchscreen. Perhaps this speaks to the fundamental joy of the ability to "touch" the Internet, but in my case I just wanted to celebrate the Tom/iPod reunion with a blog entry written entirely from the iPod touch itself.

Taking this route has its dangers, however, as the browser I am typing this in can crash at anytime, leaving me only with the option of crying over spilt milk and the reality that rewriting anything quite simply lacks the magic of the original. And as far as I know there is not any method of copying and pasting chunks of text within this gadget, so any Safari crashes and this blog entry goes the way of the dodo.

As I was typing that the music that this iPod was outputting suddenly died; I fear attempting to resurrect it. Fortunately, instead of navigating outside of the cozy confines of this program, I can access the music portion of the iPod through two rapid clicks of the only button on the device's facade. The music revives.

Typing this was not as strenuous as you would think; in fact it is actually quite speedy. I have yet to master all of the fine nuances of this touch keyboard but already I am cranking out Tom prose just as rapidly as I do on the regular good ol' mechanical keyboard. Most of the lapses in writing can be attributed to the occasional bouts of writer's block that I experienced and my inability to spell than to any deficiencies of the software.

Christmas came early for me this year, and for that, not the enormous amounts of holiday music that I have to endure this month, I am thankful.

(tell me how it is)

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007
4:44 am - I don't like them. The big one is staring at me and that short one is being very droll.
Time to write another one.

I have been doing this whole blogging thing for more than four years now, starting in August of 2003. A long time ago, I know. I was one of the fairly early adopters, taking to the medium like peas and carrots. You can come up with a lot of different blog entries in four years of authorship, but inevitably you recycle some old great ideas, toss it along with some rose-colored hindsight glasses into the weblog pot, and baby, you get yourself a stew going.

That was just one giant failed metaphor you, the reader, just witnessed, rife with numerous allusions to television shows prematurely ended before their time. And by rife with numerous allusions to television shows prematurely ended before their time I really mean one allusion. But rife with numerous allusions to television shows prematurely ended before their time takes up way more room and makes me look smart.

But really just verbose. Pompous. Grandiose.

Sorry, I got distracted reading all of my old entries from 2003. Ya, you'll only find those on my livejournal. It is filled with a lot of what I did with my time back then, yet among all that mundanity there are a few unpolished gems. So go on; it's not like you have anything better to do if you are reading my blog. I think a committee of scientists somewhere just consensually agreed that the previous statement was scientific fact; that's how they do things nowadays, anyway.

Anywho, I think I really Seinfeld-ed this blog entry.

Even though I've never really watched the show, just its much edgier progeny slash spiritual successor, the previous line is still an apt comparison of this entry.

(tell me how it is)

Monday, October 15th, 2007
3:33 am - I live in your phone!
The morning hours are conducive to blog writing, I find. I haven't written in such a long time because it has been quite a while since I've last felt like I've had anything particularly witty that a good number of people that I know personally haven't already heard. If you're in the know you know that I don't like to repeat stories online unless I'm sure that almost no one has already heard it yet.

This of course means that I do withhold certain Tom stories from you guys in real life from time to time in order to save them for the intertron. Unfortunately, this also means that due to my innate laziness these stories never make it to the interweb and are consequently forgotten. That in itself is supremely tragic. If we were a different society I'm sure there would be much anguish and tearing of robes, followed by a long period of mourning. Some, however, are just too good to not share. The following is such a one, most likely preceded by a long explanation of the circumstances that lead up to where the story actually begins; I know myself well enough to say that with confidence.

I generally do not enjoy musicals. In fact, generally is too weak of a word. For this I will have to go with almost always do not enjoy musicals. Show tunes (and I'm assuming that show tunes is an umbrella term for all musical numbers) just incite such strong feelings of repulsion. Actually, after thinking about it for all of five seconds, I'm pretty sure the culprit is the way that musicals are sung. If I knew the technical term in this case I would use it.

Here would be good for those of you playing at home to note that Tom has no musical genes whatsoever. Bullet point that.

Anyhow, we've established that Tom and musicals are like two cats (not the musical), one already accustomed to being the only cat and the other the rude and strange intruder, minus the subsequent marking of territory with urine. That is a simile.

Tom's blog is also an educational blog.

I actually stumbled onto Avenue Q the way most people not living in New York City find out about musicals: the internet. The song was Everyone's a Little Bit Racist and it featured these characters singing about how everyone is a little bit racist (not obvious from the title), that they should just take themselves a lot less seriously and see that life is actually quite humorous. If we could do that, the song postulates, then everyone would be a little better off. Aside from the fact that the song is sung half by people manipulating muppets on stage and that they are coarse and vulgar, the song's message, quite frankly, is something that I think a lot of the people in this world can benefit from. Let's just face it, there are a multitude of folks out there with a stick up in the vicinity of their rectal area. They're of different sizes, to be sure, but still, a foreign object in the butt. That's just the gospel truth.

Get over yourselves.

The rest of the soundtrack also dispenses valuable advice, like how people who suffer are actually providing a "vital service" to those watching these trainwreck lives and feeling better that "at least my life isn't as bad as theirs". Relativism at it's finest. Sage economic advice is also covered in the stage portion of the show, when these two characters called the Bad Idea Bears suggest that buying a case of beer as opposed to just one means that you're actually saving money over the long run. The Bad Idea Bears are the best characters in that production, but I digress.

Anyway, Avenue Q, the first musical that I've ever actually wanted to watch. So when it was announced that it was coming to Los Angeles, you bet your last month's rent that I would be getting my tickets the moment it became available. Luckily, the theater group is privy to the plights of the lower class and recognized that a majority of people would be much too poor to afford seven billion dollar, front row, wet zone tickets. So, a subcategory of tickets were available for the Avenue Q showings, dubbed HotTix. For $20 you played the game of chance where they basically slotted you into empty seats anywhere in the theater. We rolled the dice and came away with...

Two pairs of seats, four and six rows respectively, from the stage on the end of the aisle. A section generally reserved for oil tycoons and the wives of doctors for $20 a pop. Not bad at all.

We purchased the tickets about a month in advance. The day of the showing we were almost late, but luckily the curtain went up a little later than it was supposed to. I sat in front of these two very sweet white ladies who decided that I should slouch in my seat so as to not block their view of the stage. Then the show began.

The song that hooked me, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist, is sung about fifteen minutes into the show. The two muppets get to the point where they try to clarify their position: "Now, not big judgements like who to hire or who to buy a newspaper from... no, just little judgements like thinking that Mexican busboys should learn to speak goddamn English!" At this, one of the two aforementioned gentle ladies blurted out, "That is so true!"

Fin.

(tell me how it is)

Saturday, August 18th, 2007
4:27 pm - Verbal abuse?
Thus continues the second part of our photo adventure. This time, only pictures from Griffith Observatory, where in all my years of living in Los Angeles I have never been. Until now. We begin with a picture from inside the bus/shuttle that takes you from the Los Angeles Zoo parking lot up to the mountain stronghold of the Observatory.



^
When we boarded the shuttle bus, another group immediately followed: a bunch of caucasian octogenarians. Of course, being the kind-hearted Orientals that my friends and sister were, they offered their seats to some of them. This gracious act noticeably shocked the grandmas, as they were amazed that "they could speak english!" Confused by these turn of events, the hushed conversation between them then turned into a guessing game as to where these foreigners came from. Eventually one of them decided that "it must be Korea". True story.



^
After about fifteen minutes of driving through residential zones and winding our way up the hills, we arrived at the front plaza of the Observatory, only to be greeted by some sort of pillar-esque statue as another group of Asian tourists looked on, careful to not cross the threshold of the sacred Observatory lawn grass. The figures surrounding the spire are supposed to represent the key thinkers of history who gave rise to astronomy. Their names escape me. Obviously I went to the Observatory to learn.

Inside the surprisingly small main building were many exhibits attempting to educate the masses about basic astronomical ideas, such as the phase of the moon, the changing of the seasons, navigation using celestial bodies, the impact of the telescope, etc etc. One interesting display was the periodic table, most of which contained samples of said elements. They had uranium, but no plutonium :/





^
Further in, housed in the deep recesses of the Observatory was a model of the moon, surrounded by placards of information which one could read, if so inclined. I wasn't.

Conversely, a relief model of the Earth drew my attention. The view is of the eastern part of Asia. Off to the coast of southeast China is a little island called Taiwan: my homeland.





^
Now this was a cool machine. For those not in the know, everything is constantly being bombarded by cosmic rays and particles, most of which just past harmlessly through your body of cells, continuing unhindered on their merry little journey through the universe. The harmful kinds manifest themselves as sunburns and cancer. How do they prove that? With this contraption. Now, as I understand it, the metal plates stacked parallel to each other also have an electrical current running between them. As the cosmic particles travel through the metal plates, it reacts with the electrical field, which results in a visual confirmation that these particles do exist. Now you are at least twice as smart.

And now, some arteestic pictures.




From the Observatory the Hollywood Sign is greatly visible. On the same day of my visit to the Observatory the Stanley Cup was apparently at the Hollywood Sign. I suppose it was on a journey through Los Angeles landmarks, seeing as how it has never been on the west coast before.





^
Walking around later that day by myself, I encountered a true professional photographer from the Far East. Utilizing what I believe is called the Tiger Stance, one is able to achieve perfect balance, as well as harmony with the camera. The picture is blurry because I had to be discreet. It can be construed as me trying to steal techniques without it being taught specifically to me. That, my friends, is severely frowned upon.

I was at the Griffith Observatory from afternoon to dusk to night. These are pictures of the Los Angeles downtown skyline at those times in the day. Shooting in low light conditions, a tripod is recommended, which I did and do not have :/






The following are shots of the Observatory itself, at different times of the day.




And finally, a parting shot of the horizon of Los Angeles at night time.


Even though I didn't learn as much as I thought I would, the Griffith Observatory is still a place everyone should go to at least once in their lifetime.

Come back next time and join me for part three (of two) of our photo journey.

(tell me how it is)

Friday, August 10th, 2007
11:43 pm - Sup playas!
Alright, the hiatus has been long enough.

So far this year I've been playing a lot and taking quite a few pictures with my still fairly new digital camera. I suppose it would be quite seasoned already, considering that it's nearing about 2000 pictures taken. Here's a few of them, along with the Tom commentary you know and <3.



^
This first one comes from this past March, where yours truly was feasting on free food in a banquet hall in celebration of a wedding. Yeah, I know, I stopped reading at "free food", too. Notice how exquisitely the food is ordered on the plate, compared to the trough-like pile fashioned by another. An apt comparison would be homo erectus vs. Neanderthal. Of course, being able to color correct in Photoshop and make my plate appear much more scrumptious helps, too.


The next two are of the local wildlife found around the banquet hall. The use of black and white implies that I am an artist.





- - -

We will now jump forward in time from the past, which is also the present, to the end of March. This is from one of my favorite pasttimes from about late September to early June: Los Angeles Kings ice hockey games. There were two home games left in the season, so I finally decided that it was a good time to bring the digital camera and see exactly how well the 10x optical zoom performs from the nosebleeds where I sat.

But first, a shot of a kid during pregame warmups, one whom many did not see making it to the NHL last season as soon and as well as he did. It would not be a stretch to say that this guy will be part of the Kings for years to come, barring any extreme circumstances.



Anze Kopitar



^
Every period of every game starts off with a faceoff at center ice. This is shot from my seat up in the 300s section at Staples Center. Obviously it has been cropped, but what you get, I think, looks quite good. This is one of many reasons why I would advocate zoom over portability.



^
Nine days later the Kings played their last home game of the '06-'07 season against the Phoenix Coyotes. The earlier game noted above was significant in that it was the debut of one Jack Johnson. Jack Johnson came to us through song a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes at the beginning of the season. Having already developed a reputation for being a tough, physical defenseman with a wicked shot and a somewhat cult-like following at the University of Michigan, it didn't take long for Kings fans to jump onto the Jack Johnson bandwagon.

The last game of the season is where Jack Johnson had his first NHL fight, as seen above.

- - -

Every year, for my birthday, I would almost always think up some ridiculous big gathering for almost all of my friends and I to celebrate. This year, I ran out of ideas, so instead I went to a Dodgers game. As luck would have it, it was also Jackie Robinson Day. I say luck because this Robinson character is lucky to have me share my day with him, because seriously, what did Jackie Robinson ever do for anyone?





^
Above is a heavily cropped picture of Takeshi Saito making the final pitch for the save of a Dodgers victory. Good thing, too, because it was my birthday, and the Dodgers better have won.

- - -

People have always wondered why there aren't that many pictures of me floating around online. Ok, maybe no one ever really gave thought to it, but I have on a few occasions. So here we go, in a small section I'd like to title, "The Long Hair Era".



^
This is from an outdoor feast (read: free food) for a fellow El Monte-ite who recently graduated from USC. To celebrate, we all put a fork in our mouths to symbolize that we expect to be hand-fed by hot french maids now that he's had such prestige bestowed upon him. He owes us that much, at least.



^
I have quite a few friends who've migrated down south to San Diego for school and subsequently their careers. San Diego has almost become my backyard (that happens to be less than two hours away) since I am there so often. So when the possibility of going down to SD for UCSD's annual Sun God Festival came up this past May, I jumped at and grabbed the opportunity, not unlike how a panda holds his bamboo in a vice-like grip, close to his warm-blooded heart.

Anyhow, in this picture it seems that the three of us each received very different directions on what kind of picture we were taking. Note the long, dark locks of hair. That issue will come up later. I like to infuse my blog entries with a little bit of foreshadowing sometimes.

- - -

Jumping back to hockey, once the NHL Draft came around, the excitement in the air for hockey fans becomes palpable. For Kings fans it is bittersweet, a knowledge of the franchise's four decades of futility tempered by a quiet, somewhat naive hope that this upcoming season would be different.

This season's NHL Draft party for Kings season ticket holders took place in Hollywood. Of course, the main event of that day was not the draft, but rather the premiere of Pixar's Ratatouille down the street. A trip to Hollywood Blvd is not complete without two guys (or gals) in rat suits trying to get into a limo.


One good thing about Los Angeles not being a rabid hockey town is that the players don't feel too well known. Thus, the shyness that comes with playing for a city where every citizen wants to know everything hockey-related thing about you right meow is almost nonexistent in Kings hockey players. It is for this reason that Jack Johnson feels safe enough to come out and play.



- - -

Finally, for this entry is a picture of me coming to you straight from the end of June. The setting was Huntington Beach and the occasion was a suprise beautiful beach birthday bonfire bonanza for my sister. In this picture my hair is short. Did you notice that? After who knows how long I finally got off my butt and went to the barbershop. It has grown much since this picture, so ladies, don't cry out in dismay just yet. It's only hair and it will grow back. At least for the foreseeable future, anyway. Heh.



- - -

This is only part one of a two-part question series of Tom's pictures from so far in 2007. It will probably come out to be more than two parts, though, knowing me and the amount of pictures yet to be cropped and posted.

...to be continued.

(3 comments | tell me how it is)

Thursday, July 19th, 2007
3:56 am - It's gonna be legen... wait for it... dary!
I was going to post an all-new, spur-of-the-moment new blog post, but the moment passed about as quickly as it arrived. And then I happened upon yet another entry that I wrote but never posted and I thought, "Why not? Let's gay it up a little bit tonight." So here it is, fresh from the not too distant past: February 25th, 2007.

---

Sometimes you do the weirdest things at random times in the day. It's 3am and I've spent the last 2 hours or so looking through options to replace my current sleeping situation. Why? Because I was looking through the IKEA catalog while I was on the throne. Ya, you've caught me. Tom gets IKEA and Crate & Barrel catalogs in the mail addressed to him (or Jack Bauer, but that's a different story). Learned people call it a moment of inspiration.

But Tom, you ask, isn't it a little girly to look through the IKEA online catalog, navigating through its various pages, looking at bed frames and body pillows and quilt covers and mattress pads, not unlike how females of the species look through wedding catalogs, planning in their minds their perfect wedding; or in this case, the perfect way to slumber?

To which I would answer, yes.

I am an artist at heart. And by that I don't mean an ARTIST, who swears that his art is more significant due to the fact that the red in his works symbolize the fury of the tempest raging deep inside of himself. I mean an artist, who sells his crappy works of color theory to people who think that the red in the works symbolize the fury of the tempest raging deep inside of THEMselves.

Thus, a chance to express and put to practical use the theorems and ideas that I have learned so far as an artist is much too difficult to pass up. So, this is what I've got so far.

A daybed. Most likely wooden, for practical reasons, covered in various shades of red. Maybe if the wood was a rich mohangany, it would help as well. Staining my own wooden furniture is a bit much. If I was getting paid for it, I would. The best idea I've heard is the use of body pillows for the back, so that you can use it for a couch. Add a dash of a bed tray for laptop work or the occasional meal and that would equal a dwelling fit for a king.

...or a queen.

---

As a post script, I never did get that daybed... yet.

(tell me how it is)

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007
11:40 pm - You look like Babe Ruth's gay brother... Gabe Ruth.
Let's talk about hockey. Living in Los Angeles the blinking lights and celebrity sightings don't really phase me much. They don't leave me reeling and awestruck whenever OMGBradPittIsTotallyEatingASandwichLikeUsHumans happens. But when you get invited into the suite by the General Manager of the Los Angeles Kings after a Q&A session for more questions and answers, you bet your rear end I am going.

A little background. I've been a hockey fan for a few years now. Why I like hockey so much I have yet to really put my finger on. It may be and probably is the sum of a whole bunch of different reasons. I've always enjoyed the physical aspect of the game. And unlike another sport, like basketball, where teams almost always scores each time they go up and down the court, in hockey you never know when the goals are going to be scored. The goal you saw in the first period could be the game winning goal in a 1-0 win. It is wildly unpredictable, the players can fight(!), and to a lesser extent, it is not as popular as other sports.

Over the past five years or so I've been, along with my sister, a season ticket holder for the Los Angeles Kings. Today was the annual Kings Select-A-Seat event, in which season ticket holders have the option of moving their seats to (what management hopes) more expensive sections or (what usually happens) another seat in the same price sections. The best part of these Kings-sponsored events is that they provide free (concession, for this is in Staples Center) food. Yup, you know me, two of my most favorite four-letter f-words. I was content with gorging two hotdogs and downing two cups of Pepsi, but was looking forward to hearing what the Kings' GM Dean Lombardi had to say to Kings fans following the draft this past weekend.

I've seen Dean talk before about the his role and actions with the Kings when he was first introduced to season ticket holders as the General Manager earlier this season and walked away impressed by his willingness to be candid with the fanbase. I also liked his willingness to do things the right way and not go with what everyone else not on his team (read: the media) thinks he should do. He has a definite vision of where he wants to take this organization as a whole and is getting it done by putting people where they will fit best.

So the informal Q&A session starts and Lombardi is doing what he does best. Answering questions to the best of his ability, explaining to us his motivations for certain moves or decisions that he's made, even when we don't often agree. After the session one of my friends had more questions for him, so as Dean was going back into an adjacent suite room to get ready for the next Q&A session (which would undoubtedly be filled by the same questions from the first session; we Kings fans are pretty dumb when it comes to originality), my friend and I approached him. Dean looked very willing to answer our questions, but his entourage were trying to get him to rest a while before taking on the inquistive mob all over again. So he asked us to give him a few minutes.

About ten or fifteen minutes later one of his entourage came out and beckoned us into the suite, upon which I realized that Dean Lombardi was going to take our questions inside his humble stronghold. Now, I've never been about getting autographs or pictures with famous/powerful people, but was rather always about hanging out with them, seeing what they are like outside of their public personas. So when Dean Lombardi started asking me and my friend questions like why we liked hockey, who we wanted from free agency, and about the "decline" in scoring in the NHL, it was great. I don't think I have any other words for it. It was simply great.

We (Dean Lombardi, Ron Hextall, Lombardi's crew [probably PR/media folks], my friend, and I) talked for about twenty or thirty minutes. What I got out of it was that the Kings' GM was really interested in what the fans had to say and that he was impressed by some fans' knowledge of the game, despite it being Los Angeles. He told us during the Q&A session that Wayne Gretzky told him that Los Angeles was the best fan community around and that it wasn't until the end of this past season, when the Kings were playing the Coyotes at home in front of a packed house on a Saturday afternoon for the last time; a matchup of two of the worst teams in the league at the time; that Lombardi believed what Gretzky was talking about.

I like being a part of a fanbase that is not afraid of saying what is wrong with their team. I like having a General Manager who cares about the fans but is willing to go with what he knows and believes. I like the sport. I like hockey.

(tell me how it is)

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007
7:33 pm - Gloss rhymes with hair!
I figured that I should post something of substance, but I was/am way too lazy to come up with something you guys haven't heard before. So what I am going to do is post something that I wrote but never posted. This is a blast from the past; all the way from February 23rd, 2007:

I'm feeling wordy, so what better way than expelling those historically-shaped combinations of letters onto ye old weblog?

The first week of school is pretty fabulous. You can journey onto campus, not knowing who or which ex-classmates are around the next corner. Not unlike the chocolate box in Forrest Gump, you never know what you're going to get. Then after the first seven days of the new semester/quarter, realization quickly sets in that you're stuck in the same routine, the same rut, for the next sixteen or ten weeks, and it is in the first hour of your first class of the first school day of the second academic week when you decide that, yes, it is indeed time for a vacation.

Regardless of how it happens twice or three times a year, you fall into the same trap each time the new session begins. One week of happiness is immediately followed by fifteen or nine weeks of painful torture.

Sometimes I wish I were illiterate so that I could appreciate the professor's insistance on reading to the class every. single. word. of the class syllabus. But as it is, that asinine gesture drives me up the wall.

(tell me how it is)

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007
6:07 pm - Why is there a mattress in the basement?
No reason.

Rob Dougan - Drinking Song

I want to weave a musical spell
That leaves you unwell and thinking of me everyday
I want to play you a tune that leaves you marooned and troubled
Each time I'm away
Is there a melody - that could lead you to me - like a lullabied child lead to sleep?
So for one moment in time, you'd find that you're mine
And softly I'd kiss you and weep

I want to write a simple song that's so frequently sung
That you call me to have the thing banned
It's charms so endears that whole nations cheer and sigh
When you take my hand
Is there a melody - that could lead you to me - like a lullabied child lead to sleep?
So for one moment in time you'd find that you're mine
And softly I'd kiss you and weep

'Cause I'm a gambler that just wants to lose and be allowed to leave
I'm a traveler - with one last mile my journey is complete
I'm like a swallow that wants one long last look, before flying east
Last on my list - and then I quit - to kiss your lips and weep

I want to play a silver note that fills you with hope
And tames you to feed from my hand
A turquoise chord that invites you to soar
And fly... to a faraway land
A symphony that gently leads you to sit and be still with me
And grief doesn't frighten me
As its worst it delights me
But I'm gonna kiss you and weep

For I'm a gambler that just wants to lose and be allowed to leave
I'm a traveler - with one last mile my journey is complete
I'm like a swallow that wants one long last look before flying east
Last on my list - and then I quit - to kiss your lips and weep
Is there a melody - that could lead you to me - like a lullubied child to sleep?
So for one moment in time you'd find that you're mine
And softly I'd kiss you and weep

So for one moment in time you'd find that you're mine
And softly I'd kiss you and weep

(tell me how it is)

Friday, April 6th, 2007
11:48 am - I see you still look like a 15-year-old girl but not hot.
Oh, by the way, for those of you who haven't figured it out yet:

APRIL FOOLS!

I thought I had made it pretty obvious in my last post that I was being anything but serious. A few things should have tipped it off.

Exhibit A: "But seriously..." - When am I ever serious?
Exhibit B: "...perhaps it is something I need to do in order to grow further as a person." - I thought this is what would have ruined the whole thing. I mean, come on, grow further as a person?
Exhibit C: The fact that I was suggesting that I go back into retail. Customers are stupid.

Anyway, congrats to those of you who figured it out. And to those of you who bought it? Sorry, no discount for you. Play Again.

(tell me how it is)

Sunday, April 1st, 2007
3:06 am - Remember how they used to be alive?
So the list of stores where people have thought of me as a worker of is now:

Target
Kohl's
Borders

I'm guessing there must be something about me that exudes a friendly demeanor and an earnest willingness to help solve the problems that crop up on any shopping expedition. Obviously I am the type of person that will drop whatever it is that I am doing at the moment and rush to the aid of the needy.

But seriously, when this case of mistaken identity occurred for the third time, it really dawned on me that perhaps a job in the service/retail business is not a far stretch at all. Regardless of my own misgivings about people in general, I do have a knack for solving problems and issues on a consistent basis, and I can associate with people quite easily and forge a bond of rapport very quickly when I want to.

That's the heart of the issue, and perhaps it is something I need to do in order to grow further as a person. Thankfully, I know someone who is the manager at the Apple Store in Old Town Pasadena and that I hang out with on a fairly consistent basis. He knows that I really do like Apple computers and is fairly knowledgeable about them in general. So here is the world premiere of the best news ever: I am now working as an Apple Store employee!

Actually, it's going to take a short while before I can wear that badge of honor, seeing as how I still have to go through a training period, but come on, it's Apple.

So all of you should come by and see me sometime; we can hang out while I try to sell you computers. It'll be grand.

(tell me how it is)

Monday, March 19th, 2007
11:48 pm - The results are in, amigo.
I need more witty friends.

Or is the problem that I am not witty enough?

I must ponder a bit.

(tell me how it is)

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007
1:06 am - Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.
I'm sure we've all had this feeling, where school makes us want to jab a fork in our eye because it is so. freakin'. boring. My current class is like that. The first day my teacher passes out the syllabus and then proceeds to read every. single. word. When teachers do that with anything they pass out, it makes me wish I were illiterate just so I could appreciate the effort. Worse of all, she has an accent, so it's very useful when it comes to words like political efficacy and authoritarian government. If I didn't already know that bicameral meant that in the US there are the Senate and the House of Representatives, I definitely would not have learned that from her today.

Luckily, however, what the class lacks in teacher efficiency it makes up for in amusing characters. There's the mom who showed up the first day in lieu of her son, who was in the hospital; a sort of surrogate, if you will. Apparently that is allowed and I was never informed. I was surprised that she wasn't wearing a video cam helmet.

But the best one has got to be the lady who was part of our small group later on that day. My classmate described her as a ultra-feminist, pro-animal rights activist, who, if given a knife, would gladly stab you with it. I agreed with my classmate. Anyway, we were to talk about the obstacles surrounding the promotion of democracy in predominately Muslim nations and this lady said: "Well, I think it's because the Muslims have this jihad thing... where it's like a path they have to follow in their lives... you know about the jihad, right?"

You know about the jihad?!?! I just about died right then and there. My official response was "Uh... uh.........", until my classmate saved me by changing the subject.

And then today; same lady; she came into class, sat down in the desk behind me, threw her head back, and then proceeded to fall asleep. The first time I heard her snore I laughed, thinking that she was joking about how boring the class was. It wasn't until the snores came in regular intervals did I turn around and realize that she was in full slumber.

So there she was, with her head back, hair flowing over the desk of the asian girl sitting behind her, mouth open to God and heaven, in dreamland. It was pretty freakin' obvious that she was asleep. My classmate and I came to the conclusion that maybe she was nacroleptic. Either way, it was enough to bug our teacher so much that she made a declaration that if you want to sleep in her class, you'd be better off just not being there, and not only for that day, but for the rest of the semester as well. This tirade woke up our dear lady classmate only to have her take a swig from her water bottle, throw her head back, mouth open to catch the morning dew, and fall asleep, again.

During the class break, our teacher told her to go home.

Now I can't wait to see if crazynarcojihadlady will show up for class on Wednesday. But I will pack a fork just in case.

(tell me how it is)

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