“It’s not a ‘goodbye’; it’s a ‘see ya later.'”

I lost my grandfather on Sunday.

Or rather, I should say, WE lost our grandfather on Sunday, because he wasn’t just mine. I shared him with 16 other cousins, 17 aunts and uncles, and countless people he influenced over the course of his life, as evidenced by the overwhelming amount of love, support, and condolences our family has received. 

Ever since I received the phone call on Sunday afternoon, I’ve felt like I’ve been in some weird trance, and I keep expecting to wake up any minute. I guess it hasn’t really sunk in yet. None of us saw it coming, and it happened so quickly. The rational side of me says that I’m in denial, and that I need to snap out of it; the irrational side of me wants to slap the rational side and tell it to shut up, and let me prolong my wishful thinking for just a little bit longer. I’m hoping that by writing this, I’ll come to terms with the loss, because I’m flying home in a few hours, and whether I like it or not, I’ll have to face reality. 

I know everyone thinks their grandparents are amazing, and I’m sure they are, but let me relish for a few moments in ways my grandpa was truly extraordinary. 

Much of what he taught us came from his military background, I think.

He taught us to be genuine, generous, and hard working. If you’re going to do something, do it once, and do it right; live your life as though you’re leading by example. He raised us to believe that with the proper work ethic, compassion, and determination, anyone could be a leader, and anyone could make a difference.

He taught us the value of your word– if you say you’re going to do something, be somewhere, you better. On time, too. There is no excuse for tardiness. 

He taught us to be presentable. That, although appearances aren’t everything, it’s important to show others you value their time by making yourself presentable to society. It’s weird to think that much of our society has lost touch with this idea. I mean, I’m guilty of this too– there have been far too many occasions in which I thought it was acceptable to leave the house in leggings or sweats, simply because I was too lazy or comfortable to change. Not my grandpa. Going out meant slacks and a collared shirt at minimum. He was old school dapper like that. Likewise, it’s important for your home and your life to be presentable and organized. There’s a place and purpose for everything– if there isn’t, it doesn’t belong. 

He taught us to find our passion, and commit our whole being to it. He was. by far, the most patriotic person I knew, and he dedicated his entire life to his country. On a lighter note, he showed us that If you enjoy something, you should indulge a little. For reasons beyond my comprehension, my grandpa loved birds. Like, absolutely LOVED them. He has 3 clocks in his tiny home that all make various bird noises. On the hour. Every hour. Whenever I got a chance to call and catch up, he’d always tell me about the birds visiting his garden, where he and my grandma planted a plethora of birdhouses, birdfeeders, and bird baths. That’s probably the one and only thing I’ve ever liked about birds: they made him so happy. 

Even after he turned 80, my grandpa was a force to be reckoned with. He could command the room like he was still a young Colonel in the army. (I wish I had asked him why it’s pronounced “kernal” and not “col-on-el.”) He had a naturally graceful way with words. He was an exceptional writer, and yet an even more extraordinary speaker. He never passed up an opportunity to express how happy it made him to see our family grow to be as strong as we are. 

Growing up, I always thought that all families were like ours. The kind of family that would rather cram 30 people into a house than to spend a night apart in a hotel; the kind of family that eats dinner together every single night, regardless of how busy or stressful or hectic life gets; the kind of family that endures any and all challenges together, no matter how big or small. We are unbreakable. It wasn’t until I grew up that I realized how uncommon this was, and how lucky I am to be a part of it. I realized that our family’s bond is in large part due to the sacrifices my grandparents made, the strength that they have exhibited, and the love they’ve shared and fostered for the past 60 years. 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my grandpa, it is this: to be truly happy, you have to build a good home for yourself. Not in a literal or materialistic way, of course. At the end of your life, it won’t matter how much money you made, how big your house was, or how many cars you owned. You’ll only remember whether or not you spent as many days as possible with the people you love; if you had a place that made you feel safe and supported and free to be yourself. I think that’s what we appreciate above all else about my grandpa: he fostered this family– this home– for all of us. He’ll forever be the glue that holds us together. We are his legacy. (And a damn good looking one, at that.)

The night that my grandfather passed, my cousins and I all swiftly changed our Facebook profile pictures like the true Generation XY that we are. One cousin wrote “it’s not a goodbye, it’s a see ya later.” It’ll be weird being all together and not hearing his barreling laughter fill up the room, or his sassy, sarcastic comments when I say something stupidly corny and laugh to myself, but I find great comfort in knowing that he’s in a better place now, and that one day we’ll be together again. 

Until then, I hope he’s happy wherever he is, and that he’s proud of the everlasting legacy he’s left behind. 


I want a “home-cooked meal” kind of love.

I want a “home-cooked meal” kind of love. The kind you wake up excitedly for on a Sunday morning, despite it being Sunday morning. The kind that wakes you from your deepest slumbers like the smell of bacon can. I don’t even like to eat bacon, but I know for damn sure there is no better alarm clock  than the scent of fatty, crispy, greasy bacon. I want the kind of love that lets me know that there’s someone out there who’s taken the time to get to know me– to learn my likes and dislikes, my preferences and exact specifications– the way my dad’s omelette does. No chef on the planet will ever make an omelette as perfect for me as my dad does.

I want a “home-cooked meal” kind of love. The kind that you spend all day looking forward to. The kind that you spend  hours and hours meticulously planning and preparing for. The kind that requires cheese from the nice part of the store. The kind that you break out the nice china and crystal wine glasses for, even though it’s just an average Tuesday night, because being in each other’s company and being in love is as good as any other reason to celebrate. Or the kind that you eat off of paper plates and ripped sheets of paper towels and frisbees that you hastily rinsed off because the food is what matters and you don’t need to dress it up all fancy to know that it’s amazing. In fact, forget about dressing up in general. I want the kind of love where I can be plopped in my chair wearing gym clothes with bits flour dusting my hair and oversized glasses planted on my face and still know you think I’m the prettiest girl you’ve ever seen. Not everything needs to be perfect for it to be perfect.

I want a “home-cooked meal” kind of love. The kind that you’re proud to share with your friends. The kind that your friends push into natural light to Instagram and brag all over Facebook with photos that are captioned “Alexha just made me the best meal ever! Am I in heaven? Can I marry her?” The kind that make starving people studying for their final exams shut their laptops. The kind so gorgeous, you don’t even use those tacky filters.

I want a “home-cooked meal” kind of love. The kind that fosters non-stop laughter that makes you cry and dab your eyes with your shirt sleeve, and incites loud, passionate conversation where people are yelling over each other– about mortgage rates and settling down and having babies and which *NSYNC member you would’ve dated (JC, obviously) and that one Monday night we all went to the Giant’s game and got drunk– the way dinner parties tend to do. It doesn’t matter what we talk about; there will be ab-strengthening laughter and witty banter, and (most likely) 3 glasses of wine involved, and at the end of the night, we’ll feel like we’re that much closer.

I want a “home-cooked meal” kind of love. The kind that brings silence to a table when the food comes out because it is freakin’ spectacular and we were all starving and engulfing the meal takes precedence over maintaining small talk. In a world overrun with noise– may it be elevator music or the incessant honking during rush hour or the non-stop clamor of Twitter– I just want to the enjoy the silence with someone and not worry about it being awkward. I just want to look up at you between bites of meatloaf and mashed potatoes and see you smiling back at me like we’re sharing a devious secret, and without having to say a single word, know that we are both incandescently content.

I want a “home-cooked meal” kind of love. The kind that you’ll pack up in neat, plastic containers and continue to enjoy the rest of the week. The kind you don’t get tired or bored of, because you know what? Spaghetti tastes better as leftovers.

I want a “home-cooked meal” kind of love. The kind that’s like trying a new recipe. No recipe is ever going to come with a guarantee. The author may have different tastes than yours, or you might have accidentally bought regular paprika instead of the Hungarian smoked paprika, or your oven just cooks at a significantly different rate. The recipe might just suck in general. Likewise, you and your love might not love bouldering as much as you thought you would, or you both might really suck at surfing and never stand up on the board (though not likely, because I stood up on my first attempt, nbd), or underwater basket weaving is a lot easier than you anticipated and you got bored 15 minutes into it. Who cares? At least you tried it, and now you have a funny story to tell our friends next time we throw a dinner party. I want the kind of love where we can laugh at our misfortunes and mistakes; where we can toss our catastrophic attempt at making butter chicken and naan in the trash and just order a pizza instead, happy to have spent a few hours together in the kitchen.

I want a “home-cooked meal” kind of love. The kind that makes me feel like I’m part of a team. That I’m making a difference. Like I’m part of some higher power’s plan. Every Thanksgiving, my brother and sister and I spend months trying to “top” the dinner we made the previous year. This takes countless phone conversations and recipe-laden email chains and hand-cramping shopping lists, and sure, it can get really stressful. But come the morning of, we morph together into one, spinning and twirling around the kitchen like a culinary dance… or a well oiled machine. I don’t know how you and your siblings are, but in our family, we compliment each other perfectly. I love that feeling. I want to be someone’s “other half.” I want someone to blast Spice Girls and dance around the kitchen with. Sure, it’s pretty fun doing that with my sister and having our brother exasperatedly ask my parents for two new sisters, but frankly, I’m tired of being sighed at, and moreso, I’m tired of sighing at my sister’s dance moves. And I know my siblings and I are not always going to be able to do this, what with life and growing up and jobs and all those superfluous things getting in the way. I need someone I can be that comfortable with. Zig-a-zig-a-zig-ahh. 

I want a “home-cooked meal” kind of love. The kind that you can just feel when you walk into the room, like when I would come home from school and the whole house would smell like my mom’s pho. I want the kind of love that makes me nostalgic and crazy and giddy like my mom’s pho. The kind that can never be replicated by restaurants people like to eat at just because they have punny names like “What the Pho” and “Pho King.” If the love that I end up loving turns out to be half as ineffably amazing as my mom’s pho, I will never, ever complain about anything again. This includes: having a case of the Mondays, Twilight, feeling fat after eating 3 donuts, and not dating Joseph Gordon-Levitt even though we’re perfect for each other.

I want a “home-cooked meal” kind of love. The kind that makes you take small bites and shuffle your ravioli around on your plate because you don’t want the night to end. The kind that, before you know it, it’s already 11pm and you missed that finale of the Bachelorette that you meant to watch, but it’s ok because the evening was perfect, and everything else can wait until tomorrow. I want a hug or a kiss that lingers the way my family used to linger around the dinner table well after we finished having tea and dessert because we’re too enraptured in discussing things like how my grandparents fell in love at the age of 15 or how my sister did on her AP Chem exam or the places we want to visit on our intracontinental road trip next month. I want the kind of love where family dinners together are the highlight of the day; where TV’s get turned off and cell phones get put away; where we genuinely care to hear about each other’s day.

I want a “home-cooked meal” kind of love. The kind that makes me feel the way cooking makes me feel. Nothing makes me happier than cooking for people I care about. Nothing. I feel like a goddess, creating something from nothing. I feel like I can disregard rules and recipes and just trust my gut instinct and improvise. I feel confident in myself and passionate for the first time, every time. I feel tested and successful and squeamish with ideas flooding my mind. An extra pinch here, omit that dash there, and minor substitution here and there. There are no games here: I don’t have to wait 3 days for him to call me back, or pretend I haven’t already stalked his Facebook profile before our first date, or lie and say I’ve only read Harry Potter once in my life because I’m afraid you’ll think I’m lame. No, there are no games here (and to be honest, if you’ve only read Harry Potter once in your life, there’s a 99% chance we’re not going to work out anyway)– it’s just me being me and you being you. I want a love that makes me feel these things. I want a love that makes me unequivocally happy just being me.

I want a “home-cooked meal” kind of love. The kind I can pour my heart and soul into (sorry for the cliche; I guess I want a love that makes me write in cliches). The kind of love I can share my family recipes with.

Honestly, I just want a love I can cook for. And when I do, I want you to tell me that that is the best goddamn baked ziti you’ve ever had. Because it will be.

Of fanny packs and cats: an ode to spinsterhood.

When I was in 7th grade, there was this moment in honors English that solidified for me a very important life lesson: everything you ever need to know, you can learn through television.

One day in class, our teacher asked, “does anyone know what the word serendipity means?”

My hand shot up faster than Hermione Granger’s. I looked around, feeling quite smug, and smirked to my classmates. “That’s right, bitches. I know big words.” In hindsight, “serendipity” isn’t really that impressive of a word to know. Also, I’m pretty sure half the class raised their hands. But you know what? IDGAF. I didn’t speak English until I was about 7, so this feat deserved a self-high-five if not more, in my opinion. I was on a John Cusack high, and wavered my arm back and forth until the teacher called on me so that I could spend 10 minutes describing the synapse of the 2001 rom-com, only to discover afterwards that she had actually called on the kid next to me.

Fast forward 11 years and here we are, the glorious year of 2012, still living my life like it’s a TV show.

I recently went through a breakup with now-ex-bf-of-2-years and I feel a bit like Liz Lemon after she and her Matt Damon pilot bf, Carol, broke up. Jarring any feline purchases (maybe I’ll get a dog and name her Emily Dickinson instead), sweatpants-wearing-fanny-pak-sporting-theMentalist-watching Liz Lemon sounds pretty awesome right now. Someone hand me my potato chip bag slash hair clip and snuggie!

But I digress.

Back to the story.

Like a stroke of serendipity, I recently stumbled upon a post entitled “Possible Reactions When Your Parents Ask ‘Are You Dating Anybody?'” while perusing Thought Catalog for literally 5 hours straight.

Having just very gracefully bellyflopping back into the “singles pool,” I can relate. Yeah, break ups suck. A lot. But you know what sucks more? When people ask you about it, and then you’re stuck reliving it over and over again like you’re in a broken time-turner, and there’s no Sirius to save. Luckily, my parents subscribe to notion that “girls are not allowed to date until they’re married” like most typical Asian parents, but in case yours are actually interested in your romantic struggles and conquests with unnecessary zest and alacrity, here are some responses provided by Gaby Dunn:

(I’m going to c&p the article because I know 90% of you are too lazy to click on the link… hope that’s ok, Gaby!)

Screech in horror.

Talk about your career accomplishments and how you’re “too busy” to date.

Make static-y and police siren noises into the phone and tell them you’re going into a tunnel. Then, hang up.

Similarly, throw your phone against the wall and run out of the room. If they ask in person, slowly back into a bush like this:

Send them a “photo” of your new beau but when they open it, it’s a screengrab of a Tumblr dashboard and a picture of a carton of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.

Say “yes” and then describe Andrew Garfield until they figure it out. “Well, he’s British and super cute.” to “He was just in the new Spiderman movie. No, not as an extra. …As Spiderman.” (This also works with Emma Stone, Donald Glover, Jon Hamm, Kate Upton etc etc.)

Tell them confidently that you will be dating someone as soon as you get the formula from Weird Science down pat.

Get a tattoo of the words “#ForeverAlone” on your forearm — and when they ask, roll up your sleeves.

Condescendingly tell them you’re continuing to be single as part of living performance art, commenting on the societal pressure to always be in a romantic relationship.

Flip the table. Storm out.

Proclaim you have five boyfriends named Liam, Harry, Louis, Zayn and Niall and you all live in a lovely polygamous house in Utah.

Immediately start talking and acting like it’s 1920 and you need them to make a match for you with your weird cousin like on Downton Abbey.

Transform into a bat and flap away into the night.

Bellow, “I am Loki, God of Mischief. I can not be contained by mere mortals! I must date among the Gods!”

Draw eyes and a mustache on a flask. “Kiss” your partner by drinking his sweet nectar of alcohol.

Create a life-size Japanese body pillow with a silkscreen of Benedict Cumberbatch (or another similarly attractive person) and bring it to the dinner table.

Reverse the guilt. Be like, “You created me. You saw my childhood. You know what’s up over here. What do you think?”

Stare them down and say, “Nope. Just getting boned on the reg.” Maintain uncomfortable eye contact.

Throw glitter in the air and prance away. (Also, a good way to come out of the closet if you’re looking for one.)

Sculpt a boyfriend out of delicious foods in front of their eyes.

Bring home a trucker/ex-con named Gus and say you got hitched. When they freak out, remind them that you being single isn’t so bad.

Spray them with mace.

Promise you will as soon as you find someone with the missing half of this golden amulet.

Put a top hat and monocle on a cat and introduce him as your betrothed, Mr. Darcy.

Crouch down and cover your head with your hands like during an elementary school tornado drill.

Say you’re waiting for the TARDIS, Amy Pond-style. Sing lines from Dr. Dre’s “I Need A Doctor.”

Toss a smoke bomb on the floor to blind them and disappear into a trap door.

Throw yourself through a glass window, because it’ll distract them and probably be less painful than answering that question.

Although these are all very excellent suggestions, I have a few of my own.

  1. Passive-aggressively shove your  50 Shades of Grey hardcover into your mom’s sternum and whisper “I’m already satisfied” with a wink. If you’re mom is at all curious (and she will be!), she’ll begin her Christian-Grey journey that night before bed, and 10 pages into it, will be so horrified that she’ll never act as a romantic inquisitor ever again.
  2. Tell them that you gave some cute guy your number and he’s “taking time with the call,” you’re “taking time with the fall,” but he’ll call you (maybe).
  3. Explain that you’re trying to draw out your own version of “How I Met Your Mother” for as many seasons as possible, because how boring would the story be for your children if you met their mom at the ripe age of 24?!
  4. Scoff. Boyfriend? Try boyfriends, Mom! Here, come meet them! There’s Johnny, Jack, and the one on the far left is Jose.
  5. Feign an asthma attack. This may seem complicated, but it’s not. There was one point in time when my brother lacked health insurance and I somehow faked asthmatic symptoms well enough that my doctor prescribed me an inhaler. To be honest, I’m not very proud of that moment. To be even more honest, I kind of am.
  6. Whip out your wand and scream “Accio, Tom Felton!” Then act surprised when it doesn’t work. Because it usually/always does.
  7. Laugh at how old school the notion of “finding and settling down with a nice boy is.” Obviously, the cool approach to romance is to get knocked up by your best friend on a whim, find a nice couple in the Pennysaver to adopt the fetus growing in your womb, force your best friend to go to Prom with another girl that smells like soup because you’re crazy hormonal and pregnant and then get mad at him for actually going to Prom with soupy girl, and then after a minor mental in the hospital after giving birth, fall in love with aforementioned baby daddy. Could you ask for a better love story?
  8. Explain to them that you’re taking a break from romance because you’re still scarred from your last boyfriend, who would dress up like Gandolf and shout YOU SHALL NOT PASS whenever you tried to get intimate in the bedroom.
  9. Cry hysterically and toss a million covenant brochures in their faces like a strip club promoter on a dark Vegas street corner.
  10. Tell them that Match.com’s server is “currently down,” but you’ll get on it as soon as it’s back up!

If all else fails, just make an impromptu toast and start dancing. This will answer any and all questions anyone has ever wondered about you.

Now where would one go about purchasing one of those Japanese boyfriend pillows…?

The Simpsons Test: Hints, Hoops and Bread Crumbs

I’ve been trying to figure out how to respond to this post for over a week now, but the more I think about it, the more frustrated I get because she already articulated my thoughts and feelings exactly, so instead of messing with what’s already quite perfect IMO, I’m just going to reblog.

The Simpsons Test: Hints, Hoops and Bread Crumbs.

via The Simpsons Test: Hints, Hoops and Bread Crumbs.

I hope you pass the test.

50 Shades of Leprechauns

Alright, raise your hand if you’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey. Now raise your other hand if you’ve read Twilight. Good. Now keep them raised for this entire post. If you have one hand up, chances are you have both hands up, and I plan on draining the blood from both your limbs as punishment for partaking in such ridiculous nonsense.

When I first heard of Fifty Shades of Grey, I thought it was going to be about either

  1. a colorblind painter
  2. depression
  3. a depressed, colorblind painter

so I looked it up on Amazon to see if it was worth buying and immediately got smacked on the side of the face by reviews either loving or hating the latest soft porno pandemic spreading across America’s libraries.

This morning when I got into work, my coworker popped up on our office communicator and announced

50 shades of grey – it has begun.
Pretty much, Bella goes to college (without a computer or email as an english major ), gives up on vampires and inexplicably bites her lip ALL THE TIME.  She is still hella clumsy and for no good reason, a biollionare, a photogrpaher, and a lawyer all throw themselves at her.

Oh, and she changes her name to Anastasia Steele and gets a new best friend called Katherin Kavenaugh– and thus is my summary of the book thus far.

I’m like half way through and it is so improbable, I feel like glittery vampires are more likely than this story line.
I basically gave up after finding out she didn’t have a computer… as a graduating english major. In 2011.

Frustrated by what qualifies as “literature” these days, I decide to fireman-pole down from the high road and quickly suggest to my coworker that we cash in on this money train, and write our own stupid book about a stupid, bland girl zombie-of-a-human that has no opinions or thoughts of her own and have tons of improbably spectacular men throw themselves at her. (In my version, they will literally be throwing themselves at her… PHYSICALLY IMPALING HER WITH THEIR OWN BODIES.)

Unsure of where to start, I ask my coworker about the main character– seriously, how do I build a character that will fall so madly in love with this not-super-gorgeous, socially awkward twit? She tells me:

You’ll also need to come up with some ridiculous story for the main love interest: Christian Grey is all crazy because he was born to a crack whore, grew up hungry (so he has this strange obsession with making her eat), and then was adopted.  Oh and he also had some crazy Mrs. Robinson experience at 15.
We’ll need somethign like that to explain why he is all weird and aloof.
… but you can’t reveal it til like the last 100 pages

Alright, so here’s our idea so far!

There’s this amazingly handsome and suave man who has the maturity of George Clooney and boyish charm of Joseph Gordon Levitt; the sophistication of Prince William, sensitivity of Marshall Eriksen, and since we’re already hopelessly lost in fantasy-land, the body of David Beckham. Oh, and he’s brilliant! So brilliant, in fact, that he’s figured out an algorithm to find the end of rainbows, and thus, his fortune has been built upon the giant pots of gold he finds. One day, while ducking from the rain into a neighborhood Starbucks, he absent-mindedly walks into a girl who doesn’t look where she’s going because she’s too busy tending to her Tamagachi, and spills coffee all over her galoshes. She yells “OW!” but then realizes how dumb she is because the galoshes have protected her feet from any sort of minor burns the coffee would have caused. Still, he apologizes profusely, because he’s such a gentleman, after all, but she ignores him as she turns back to her Tamagachi. Because he’s a genius, he whips out his Android phone and quickly develops an app that allows him to hack onto her Tamagachi and makes the pet say “I’m sorry for spilling coffee on you. Can I please take you out to dinner?” She looks up from her table and nods yes at him, because even though she’s pretty dim, even she can realize how cool that move was.

If you didn’t know better, you’d think their first date was really a blind date, full of awkward silences and even more awkward conversation about how she likes to visit koi ponds because she likes to stick her hand in the water and have the fish suck on her fingers, or how she ate her twin in utero. This guy is a little freaked out, but hangs in there, because, as you find out on page 894, he has weird abandonment issues from being left in a stroller at the It’s a Small World stroller dropoff station in Disneyworld when he was 4. They continue to date, and though this girl has never been touched by a man before, every time she awkwardly bites her lip, they pounce on each other like wild animals and hypothetically make babies in the most unimaginably satisfying ways.

However, trouble is lurking in the shadows as we find out in book 2 that his fortune has come at a price: the leprechauns are angry at how he keeps stealing their pots of gold, and plot to seek revenge. A particularly sexy leprechaun is sent to tail Prince Charming but, of course, falls in love with the awkward girl himself. The empire of leprechauns grow furious with both the sexy leprechaun and Prince Charming, while they both continue to simultaneously battle over and cooperatively protect Awkward Girl from impending leprechaun-doom.

Would you buy this book?
Do you think George Lucas would be upset with me if I named the 3rd book “The Leprechaun Empire Strikes Back?”

Date a traveler.

Last night was fantastic.

That’s what she said.

HAHA. No, but really, that’s what she said. She, meaning Judy. Because– guess what! FANCY FAMILY DINNERS are back!

It’s been awhile since the 3 of us have actually had dinner together. For about 3 weeks or so, my roommate temporarily moved out of our apartment and moved into the library, where she set up a fort, burrowed into its comforts, and played various iphone games and shopped online. Oh, and some studying was sprinkled in here and there. Or so I’m told. I’m still not convinced. But needless to say, she completed her PharmD finals and first year of grad school.

Right when she and her mole-people-classmates resurfaced into civilization, Diablo3 was released, and thus we immediately lost contact with Thom.

So yeah, it’s safe to say that it’s been awhile since the entire house has cohabitated one room without one– if not all– being super distracted and, more often than not, screaming “RAX THEM! PUB RUN! YOUR FACE IS A DIABLO3!” (I don’t really know what gamers say to each other, so these are my guesses).

It was nice :)

We broke out the fancy (non-paper) plates, poured wine into glasses instead of swigging from the bottles, and cooked a meal together. We even spoiled ourselves silly with salad dressing options (we hoard sauces and dressings like they’re limited edition Beanie Babies). 

There are few things I’m more passionate about in life than bragging about my muscular arms: chocolate Snak Pak puddings, sharing home cooked meals, and hating the LA Lakers.

If you know anything about me, you must know that I was overjoyed last night when the LA Lakers got kicked out of the playoffs and immediately ran to my computer in order to write a gloating blog post and/or vlog of my happy dance.

By the middle of the 4th quarter, after the Westbrook steal + and1, I poured my second glass of wine, texted the Beastie and attempted to hug her through the phone, and by the time the buzzer had run out, I was chasing my poor, terrified dog around the house screaming “KOBE IS YOUR BITCH, GAMBIT!”

Now, I’m aware that some of you probably spent the night crying while I was elated, so I’ll try to keep this brief, but seeing as how I take my Kobe-hating VERY seriously, I’ll lament a little longer.

I don’t know what it is about him that I dislike so violently. It might be the fact that he looks like E.T. and that scares me, because that movie scared me when I was little, or maybe that he thinks he’s better than Jordan, and as a native Chicagoan, I find that utterly blasphemous. Or maybe it’s the fact that he rapes girls. Who knows? But rest assured that I am not just your typical fair-weather-ed, bandwagon Laker-hater. You know when people say “I wouldn’t even wish this upon my worst enemy” when they’re talking about suffering from a broken heart or Cholera or getting your arm stuck under a giant boulder for 127 hours? Well, I’d be ok if he got stuck on a camel that was strapped to a non-camel-hurting-bomb that would explode if– you know what? Scratch that. Why should the camel do all the work? HE should be carrying the camel!

Anyways, I’m sure you get the picture. Moving on

The other two things that I’m passionate about are traveling and dating. When I say I’m passionate about dating, I don’t mean that I’m a serial dater (aka giant slut), or that I even date very often (if you recall from our first date), but the idea that romance can consume an entire species intrigues me. It might just be the Walk to Remember playing in the background (thanks, Pandora), but I think it’s pretty amazing, anthropologically speaking, how love can cross borders and cultures and even time periods, and essentially, is all anyone has ever wanted. We’re pretty much all looking for the same thing, don’t you think?

So that’s why I pretty much jumped off a happiness cliff when I stumbled onto these two blog entries this morning:

  1. Date a Girl Who Travels
  2. Date a Boy Who Travels

If you have a second, give them both a read. If you are still with me, and didn’t just skim this post for cute pictures of the Beastie and myself, you’ll notice that they both address the two interests I just mentioned– traveling and dating. Both are beautifully written and embody the spirit of what I’ve always aspired to be:  well-traveled, independent, curious, and inspired.

Fun fact: My parents LOVE road trips. And thus, I’ve been to every single continental US state. My parents love to travel in general, and thus, I only have 2 more continents before I get to yell BINGO!

Still, my list of hopeful destinations is longer than Barney Stinson’s list of sexual encounters.

Write me a list of all the places you want to see and visit. Chances are, I’m dying to go there as well.

Chances are, I’m going to invite myself. Thanks for understanding <3

Call me, maybe.

Oh! Why hello there. Still swooning over how amazing and loyal and sensitive I can be from my last post? Awesome. Try to contain yourself, though. I am busy at work here, which is why it’s so cluttered. Sorry!

Do you mind passing me that spinny propeller thing? Great, thanks. And that monkey wrench?

Careful! Watch your step!

What am I doing? What does it look like I’m doing? Playing make-believe with crazy ol’ Maurice? NO! I’m building a time machine, silly!

I recently watched Midnight in Paris and completely fell in love with it. Like most human beings who’ve seen A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (how did that movie only get 4.5/10 stars?!), I’ve always wanted to travel back in time and try to baffle local residents with my Sony Walkman. Not unlike Owen Wilson’s character, I’d love to go back and meet my idol author– though mine is Jane Austen, not Ernest Hemingway.

Yes, I am in love with Austen-romance. Most specifically, I love Pride and Prejudice. So typical; so mainstream. I know. It’s like if I were to go into Krispy Kreme and only order their original glazed donuts, or if I met 98 Degrees and only make out with Nick Lachay, or fly to Paris and get frisky only under the Eiffel Tower. Sure, everyone’s done that, and sure, there’s more to life than glazed donuts, Nick Lachey, and getting cited for public indecency in France, but you know  what? There’s a reason everyone’s done it! It’s safe, never disappointing, and a rite of passage, just like P&P. I fear, however, that these same reasons are exactly why the Beastie always rolls her eyes (no smirk involved with this one) and tries to fake a heart attack or epileptic episode whenever I start droning on and on about why Mr. Darcy is the absolute most perfect man imaginable…

… but heeeeeeey, you haven’t heard this schpeel, right?! Awesome. You’re in for an amazing ride.

Okay, first things first: I’m kinda delusional about what makes a man “great.” While other members of my gender may look for kind eyes, or emotional commitment, or 6 pack abs and a Maclaren MP4-12C, the first thing I look for is someone who is articulate. As a linguistics minor (I know, I’m the whole package. You are not the first person to tell me this), I’ve always been in awe of the power of language. Language is like food– it’s something that can change the atmosphere of a room, bring people together, and be arranged and combined in endless possibilities.

Along the same lines, I find it super sexy when a man can command a room. He doesn’t have to have a booming voice, or be super tall (is that how some people command a room?), or anything, but just interesting and well traveled / informed / opinionated and most of all, engaging. Here comes the cheesiest thing I will ever write on this blog: if you can captivate an audience, you can captivate me. Ew, does that mean I’m kept in captivity? Whatever. You know what I mean. Darcy might be shy and not be “blessed with such happy manners as may ensure his making friends” like Wickham, but just as many people look at Darcy when he enters a room as Cinderella when she enters the ball, and no one (but Lizzy) dares to challenge him when he’s speaking.

Lastly, it’s nice when a man upholds a certain air of mystery. What’s Darcy doing when he “goes to London” all the time? Why isn’t he ever in that freakin’ Dubai-king-slash-European-Drug-Warlord palace? It’s big enough for 10 Dugger families to live in, complete with its own hospital/delivery wing, if you know what I mean. I would never leave that place unless if I absolutely had to. So after intense research, I’ve concluded that there could only be one explanation: Darcy was the late 18th/ early 19th century British Batman. Only a Bruce Wayne character would leave their luxurious  palisades that often without anyone knowing why or where or when.

If there was respectable Pride and Prejudice fanfiction, I’d read it. Oh who am I kidding? I already do. Not internet, written by lustful 13-year-olds, scribed onto Xanga fanfiction, but at one point I discovered that there are a lot of published books parodying Ms Austen. Is “parodying” the right word? What’s the word that’s like parody + deference? Because that’s what I’m looking for. For instance, after I read Pride and Prejudice (for the 10th time), I read “Darcy’s Story,” which tells the exact same story, except for Mr. Darcy’s point of view. Pretty interesting, if you ask me. Point is, I cannot get enough of Austen-era romance, and because I was served Johnny Walker Blue Label at my work function earlier today, I feel badass and secure with myself enough to admit this on the interwebs.

So if you’re out there, Mr. Darcy-Batman…

here’s my number, so call me maybe.

(Ps, when I google-imaged a picture of “Crazy Old Maurice,” both a picture of Mitt Romney and Dana Scully popped up. Coincidence…?)

BRR’s (Bestie[/Beastie] Rights & Responsibilities)

I won’t lie. As much as I’d like for you to think that I’m an endless well of hilarity, I have to admit that, sometimes, even the deepest wells dry up. I hit a wall a couple of weeks ago, and I don’t know if you can tell the difference in writing, but I was struggling. I could also feel my writing becoming stale. Well, maybe not stale, but definitely predictable. I decided that I owe it to my audience (of 2) to make them pee their pants at least 3 times per post. Nothing less. So, for inspiration, I reread Tina Fey’s “Bossypants.” And, because I didn’t quite get the 6-pack abs I wanted from laughing, I also reread Mindy Kaling’s “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).”

Two of the best books I’ve read since Harry Potter.

You may think I’m exaggerating.

If you do, get out.

Obviously, you don’t know me well enough to know how deeply I revere Harry Potter.

I have a lightening bolt tattooed somewhere on my body.

Will I tell you where? No! This is a respectable blog, not a “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Ass Cabin” video.

Okay fine. If you quit pestering me about tattoos and sending me those “wow, you look fantastic these days! have you lost weight?” texts, I’ll let you stay. But you’re on thin ice, buddy!

Anyways, where was I? Oh yes. Tina and Mindy are geniuses. (I hope they don’t mind if I’ve decided we’re all on a first name basis. I’m hoping that if I do this enough, we’ll just magically become instant friends.) There’s a segment in Mindy’s book called “Best Friends Rights and Responsibilities” where she gives the guidelines of bestfriendhood. Some of the ones she mentions are:

  1. I can borrow all your clothes
  2. I must be 100% honest about how you look, but gentle
  3. I will take care of your kid if you die
  4. I will keep your favorite feminine product at my house
  5. I will try to like your boyfriend 5 times
  6. I will hate and re-like people for you
And so on and so forth. Most of which I agree. However, I only need you to be 90% honest about how I look, but I need you to be 300% gentle. Too many harsh criticisms about my muffin top or my bony elbows or my lack of dimples and I will break into tears, and then you’ll have that to deal with. So really, this rule is more for you than it is for me.

To this list, I’d like to add a few things. Beastie, you know I’ll pretty much do anything short of sharing a pet bird with you. In turn, here are my expectations for you:


Laugh at my jokes, even when they’re not funny. 
No one likes awkward silences. I know most of the time, you (and everyone else) are really just laughing at me, but you know I don’t care! As long as people are laughing, no one is noticing that I ate the entire tray of brownies. So please, if there’s ever a time that my joke is sub-par, let out a hideously nasal laugh so that everyone stares at you and I can lick the brownie crumbs clean.

Know when it’s my “time of the month”
so that you know when to be extra sensitive to my needs. Also, conveniently pretend to forget when it’s my “time of the month” so that I can blame my outrageous cravings and emotional outbursts on it, even when these accusations are completely invalid.

Always say “YES!” to dessert.
And understand that when I say “let’s share this slice of cheesecake,” I just want you to have one bite so I don’t feel like a fatty, but I pretty much want it to myself. We never really order the same flavor anything, anyway. Also, this is already deeply implied, but “sharing food” and “going halfsies” is always a given. You know I can never decide on just one dish on the menu. I’m pretty much going to spend the first 15 minutes at the restaurant convincing you to order the other item I want, and the rest of the meal sneaking forkfuls of your food onto my plate. Please don’t swat my hand away. I’ll let you eat the extra piece of bread they brought out for us.

When my ex changes his status to “in a relationship,” you notify me immediately.
If we are within 1hr driving distance of each other, we are on the same computer within 60 minutes. If we are further than that, we are both on our computers and on the phone within 60 seconds. You will already have prepared a list of, at minimum, 3 ways in which I’m prettier than her. And then you will remind me of all the reasons the ex and I broke up in the first place, and remind me that I’m better off without him. I want to pity this new girl, not want to kill her.

Do everything within your power to alert me when you’re engaged. 
Call me when he’s on one knee if you have to, so I can hear the proposal. After all, he’s pretty much proposing to me by extension, as part of this package deal. Likewise, *like* my status change as soon as I’m engaged. Alert the tabloids. This is as close as I’ll get to becoming Kate Middleton.

Don’t believe me when I tell you “I’m fine” and show up at my house with a tub of ice cream and box of donuts after a breakup anyway.
I don’t care if the relationship only lasted for 3 days… or only took place in my head. I need you. (sidenote: not that the other things on this list hasn’t happened, but I can very clearly remember when the Beastie came over, uninvited, with a pint of my favorite ice cream– chocolate malted crunch from Rite Aid– after I found out a boy I liked had just started dating another girl. We ate ice cream on my bedroom floor and I wallowed and then I got over it. Thanks, Beastie!)

Humor me when I tell you I’m going to marry Tom Brady one day.
Also, text me your condolences after he chokes during multiple Super Bowls.

Tell our friends “she’s fine, she’s just cleaning the bathroom bcuz she is OCD” when I’ve locked myself in the bathroom during a party…  and immediately cut me off from beer pong.
Help me save face. Not that this happens often, but I’d prefer it if no one ever knew about it.

Sit around watching movies we’ve already memorized with me.
You know I am more emotionally handicapped than you, and I can only open up about feelings if Matthew McConaghey is being a dbag, or Katherine Hiegl is being an insecure little beech.

Never directly call me a slut. Or a prude. “Directly” being the key word. 
Even though I’m probably being both… at the same time. Our years of friendship have made us inexplicably talented at dropping hints. I know what you mean now when you say “you’re just old fashioned” and then smirk and roll your eyes. Or when you say “you’re just being friendly and social… with the fellas…” and then smirk and roll your eyes. Sometimes there’s a *sigh* mixed in there somewhere. But pretty much, I know what a smirk and eye roll means.

Remind me how cool / awesome we were in high school. 
There will be days when I call to complain that “my life is going nowhere” and “I’m such a nobody.” I am literally fishing for compliments. Amongst the numerous lies I’d like you to tell me (you’re the smartest person I know; you’re so pretty, Blake Lively is jealous and Facebook stalks you), I’d also like to be reminded that I’m not only awesome now, but I was the shit in high school, and have pretty much always been this amazing. Like remember that time when my volleyball team won the national championships under my leadership and then that night we went to Prom and I won both prom queen AND Miss Congeniality after saving the building from being burnt down by Al Qaeda and then on our way home our limo got a flat tire and I changed it by myself and then was asked to be on the next swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated by the editor driving by on the freeway but turned it down because I wanted to focus on staying in school and curing cancer? Me neither. A made up story never hurt anybody. Alternatively, there will be days in which I’ll call to complain that “my life peaked in high school.” Please remind me how much we’ve grown / how much cooler we are now.

Sing as loud as you can in the car with me
because you know I’m dying to sing, but it’s no fun to sing by yourself. Make up the words if you have to.

Help me go to the bathroom whenever I need assistance.
As an experienced baby sitter, older cousin of 12, former day care teacher, “assisted living center” volunteer, future nurse, and bff of the Beastie who decides to buy an unnecessarily long Prom dress, I’ve done my fair share of assisting others to the bathroom. One of my greatest fears about getting older is losing control of my bladder. I’m just asking you to return  the favor and help me avoid the embarrassment of peeing my pants.

Keep your own check list of what I need in a bf.
Let’s be honest here: I may not always know what’s best for myself. You know me better than I know myself at times. I can’t believe you sat idly by when I dated that underage, drug-dealing, dog-fighting, UFO chasing, registered sex offender with the socks-under-sandals and unibrow! Just kidding. But now I feel like I should, just to make sure you’re doing your job. The better you enforce this check list, the faster you’ll be my MOH.

Keep and maintain detailed logs of my “wedding blog bookmarks.” 
I definitely won’t remember everything, and I need your help persuading the poor guy that my way is best. Also, let me lash out Bridezilla style and stay loyal as my MOH. You know I’ll do the same for you.

Understand that when I open up a bottle of wine, we are obligated to finish it. 
We’re just being wasteful if we don’t.

Nothing changes between us, even if we go days/weeks/months without a real conversation. 
A quick update and then we pick up right where we left off like real best friends do. If we go a year without talking, it better be because one of us became an astronaut and got stuck floating around in space.

Remember to leave out the eggplant and throw in extra beets when you’re cooking for me, and I’ll remember to leave out the onions and throw in extra mushrooms when I’m cooking for you.
I still can’t believe you spent 2 hours picking the caramelized onions out of the risotto I slaved over for you. The fact that we’re still friends speaks volumes about our friendship’s strength and how we’ve overcome these dauntingly horrific obstacles. ONIONS! THEY’RE SO DELICIOUS!

Be there to hold my hand and keep my husband in check during childbirth. 
You’re a woman. You understand the pain I’m in. Let me demand whatever the hell I want. In return, I’ll name you godmother.

Write a blog with me. 
First, thanks for pushing me to finally start a blog. You know I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but I’ve always been too lazy to. (Half of me thinks it’s because you’ve just gotten tired of my whiney/random/sporadic texts.) Second, thanks for agreeing to embark on this journey with me, even though you don’t even like to write that much, because you understand that I don’t want to do it alone.

I LOVE YOU, WHALELAMB. I hope this made you pee your pants 3 times <3

31,556,926 minutes

Okay, so I’ll admit it. Despite what my comment in the Beastie’s post says, I’ll agree that LDR’s suck. Kind’ve.

For some odd reason, throughout college, I had a penchant for somehow being involved in several LDR’s (if you can call them that), and for me, it’s no big deal if I don’t see my significant other more than twice a month. As long as I know that he’s thinking of me and how I’m the coolest, hottest piece of ass walking this planet, that’s fine with me. Plus it takes the routine out of seeing each other, and makes each reunion that much more exciting.

However, I absolutely HATE being in an LDR with my family. When I used to live in Chicago, my family and I would road trip to Minneapolis every weekend– it was like having a family reunion every weekend. For most people, having 30+ people under the same roof sounds dreadful, but I wish I could have it every day. Our family has grown a lot since then (where each family reunion consists of about 45-50 people in the same house per gathering), and people have slowly started branching out from Minnesota, so these functions only happen once or twice a year these days… Thank God for Facebook!

I can pretty much talk about my family all day long.

On my mom’s side, I have

  • 6 aunts, 2 uncles (plus their significant others)… so times two.
  • 14 cousins (plus myself and siblings make 17 cousins… plus 2 cousin-in-laws)
  • 2 nieces (err… second cousins? whatever it is when my cousin has kids)
  • 14 great aunts and great uncles
  • 16 second cousins (those are my mom’s cousins, right?) that I can count right now
  • HEEEEEELLA whatever the hell title you give to the child of your second cousin
  • 8 dogs

(My dad’s side is even bigger) Typical Asian family.

So yes, most reunions there are about 80% of the above list all gallivanting around the local Dairy Queen and Target together. My cousin in law jokes that we’re like locusts. We’ve named ourselves a LUnami… given that the name we all share is Lu. And we’re like a tsunami. I don’t think this really needed much explanation, but I felt like I had to give it anyway, just in case. Sorry for undermining your intelligence. We just get a lot of weird looks when we say it in public.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. I say it takes a village to explain a child. Does that sound weird? What I mean is, if you spent 10 minutes within the swirling vortex of entropy that is my family, you’d understand why I am the way I am to the core. First of all, we eat a shitload. All jokes aside, I’m pretty sure our overly gluttonous mantra is due to the fact that at one point, my mom’s family really was poor and starving, so now they compensate by over-eating. But this is also due to the fact that we’re all that perfect combination of “culinary showboat” and “kiss ass.” For example, my mom’s favorite soup in the world is French Onion soup. At my last job, my coworker was a very talented French chef. And thus, I asked her to teach me to make French Onion soup so that I could sneak it into our family’s Christmas dinner… even though we already had 5 other courses planned for the menu. The vast amount of traveling and even more vast amount of eating that my family has done also makes us super snobby eaters. I’ll admit, when it comes to Vietnamese or Thai food, I can never eat out, because it’ll never live up to the expectations my taste buds have come to develop after years of being spoiled by my Mama. For instance, pretty much every Vietnamese sandwich shop also makes banh bao, or steamed buns. But I’ll never, EVER buy it. Because they all suck like a 2’11” garden gnome trying to play basketball against the Michael Jordan that is my mama. Excuse the poor photo quality of my stupid  new Windows phone (#firstworldproblems); this still looks effin delicious.

Also, you probably NEVER want us in your restaurant. First of all, good luck accommodating our 30+ sized party. Second, good luck accommodating 30+ people telling you your “pad Thai” is not “Thai” enough. We pretty much sound like this when we go out to eat:

No joke. Growing up, I was never, ever allowed to order the same dish as someone else because “then we wouldn’t be able to try as many dishes,” and my dad has LITERALLY SAID “this is not how they make it in Thailand,” (he lives in Thailand, so I guess he is somewhat an authority on this), while my mom is always muttering “don’t order that– I can make it for you at home.” WE INVENTED BEING A FOODIE. Worse, my parents like to play this game where we shovel small bites onto my dad’s plate (he’s a supertaster) and he’ll figure out the ingredients while my mom figures out the technical aspects, and within 5 days, they’ll have re-created it for dinner. Yeah, we never go to a restaurant more than twice. Except for Sizzler. My dad goes ballistic for salad bars. He attacks them like my brother and I attack open bars. Yaddimean?

Another thing you should know about my family: we’re weird. And we pretty much do whatever the hell we want. Not in an obnoxious way– I’m sure people laugh at us all the time– but we tend to do things a little differently. For instance, most people typically take photos in respectable poses at understandable/remarkable landmarks, such as this:

But instead, we take pictures in urinals. In prom dresses.

I’m convinced this is going to be a huge trend one day. Like planking, except… urinaling.

I can’t wait to go urinaling with my mom later at the park!

Yeah, look out for that movement.

Anyways, the point of all this is that my family got together last weekend to celebrate my grandparent’s 60th anniversary (as I mentioned in the last post).

In case you wondering, 60 years is:

  1. 720 months
  2. 21.900 days
  3. 525,600 hours
  4. 31,525,600 minutes

Yeah, 31.5 MILLION minutes. That’s a long ass time. Enough time to watch 1,313,567 episodes of Friends, or enough time to watch all 10 seasons in repeat 5,566 times. (I’ve probably seen/practiced “The Routine” 5,566 times, to be honest.)

But yeah. Pretty amazing when you think about it. To be committed to someone for that long. I can barely commit to my packed lunch come 11am!

But I’ll tell you what– I’ll write in this blog for 60 years if you promise to keep coming back to read it :)

it’ll all be alright.

Well, it’s here. The countdown to long distance-hood officially began for me last week. In less than a month, I will be LDRing it for at least the next 365 days. I’ve been thinking about/planning for/trying to push this day out of my mind since basically before the boy and I even started dating (well, officially dating. long Karina-dramatic story for another time) and it has finally crept up on me. I had a mini-LDR taste last summer when the boy was on the other coast for 8 weeks (2 WHOLE MONTHS!) aaaaand I might’ve been a wreck. Like bawling my eyes out the weeks up to, the hour before, AND on the drive home from the airport. Oh, and every single Skype session thereafter for the first few weeks.

Typical girl-crazy stuff, right?

It would be, except for one little tiny fact about me: I never cry. As in the only movie I have ever cried during was My Dog Skip (a few glistening tears and it was only because I had just read Where the Red Fern Grows, I swear). As in the Bestie told me I was an “emotional robot” in high school and I have been unable to convince her otherwise since. So realizing I had become one of those girls was actually quite extraordinary.

Well thaaaank goodness I got over that less-than-a-quarter-life crisis and have reverted back to my usual robot self, even if only temporarily. Only a month out and I still have yet to spontaneously combust into a full-blown cry fest (!).  Maybe it’s because it still hasn’t full on hit me yet (he’s leaving… you won’t be with him for a whole year… as in you will never ever ever both live in LA again!) or maybe I have actually prepared myself for this better than I thought. I’m sure it’s also helped my sanity that he will only be a 6 hour drive/1 hour flight away when the dreaded day comes. Either way, I selfishly get the boy all to myself for this last month and I plan to make the most of it. And when May does peek itself around the corner, I’ve already started setting some goals / have some fun things coming up that will hopefully make my faux-singledom life transition a little bit easier. And lucky for you all (and the Bestie), one of the items on the list includes more blogging :)

So in short:

  1. Unhappy countdowns stink
  2. Thank goodness for airplanes
  3. It’ll all be alright. :)