I spent my holiday vacation back home in San Diego making memories with family and old friends.
Just after Christmas, my cousin and her family were involved in a devastating house fire that took the life of her daughter and everything they owned. It has been a difficult year for my family in general, and this tragedy solidified 2015 as the worst year ever! Hopefully 2016 is kinder to us all. A friend of the family set up a GoFundMe account if you would like to make a donation to help.
My dear friend, Jay, also lost his mom over the holidays, and I met up with him and friends I haven’t seen in forever at her memorial. I love seeing these guys, because no matter how much time has passed, we can all still pick up right where we left off. The highlight of my day was when Pammie and I walked into the chapel and Jay’s brother greeted us with arms wide open and a simple, “Bitches.” Classic Rome. Jay trying to give me dating advice was a very close second. The lowlight of my day had to be when my ex-boyfriend brought his fiancé and his parents to the memorial, and all I brought was my extra holiday weight. LOL. Just kidding. (I brought my sister, too.)
My resolution this year is to be better about staying in touch with family and friends. I have a tendency to close myself off, and I’m trying to work on that. You really never know when you’re going to lose your loved ones…
When I was reading The Diary of a Young Girl in high school, I mentioned to my grandma that I wanted to visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Years later, she traveled to the Netherlands while visiting my aunt in Denmark and brought me back a souvenir from the museum. I couldn’t believe she remembered after all that time. My grandma was the most considerate and sentimental person I’ve ever known, and I’m grateful that she instilled her thoughtfulness in me.
She is the reason I have random notes in my phone that say, “christine garlic delight dip at del mar fair” or “anthony swagu stamp.” She taught me that even if people have everything, you don’t have to give them the world to let them know you appreciate them. You just have to remember the little things.
She is also part of the reason I have over 20k miles on my new car. I’d put a million more miles on there if I could drive down to San Diego and spend just one more day with her.
Rest in paradise, Grandma Julie. I love you more than my seemingly apathetic demeanor suggests. You know I don’t like to let them see me cry.
My sister just accepted a job offer back home in SD, and I couldn’t be happier for her (or sadder for me!). The best part about living in LA is that it’s only an hour away from my sister’s condo in the OC and a few hours away from home. With my sister and brother-in-law moving back to SD, I won’t be able to just drop by whenever I’m feeling homesick anymore. I’ll also have to find someone else’s husband to cook me breakfast on Sunday mornings! Ha.
Gandhi said that whatever you do in life will be insignificant.
But it’s very important that you do it.
I tend to agree with the first part.
Don’t postpone what you want.
Don’t leave anything misunderstood.
Make sure the people you care about know.
Make sure they know how you really feel.
Because just like that… it could end.
Since you’re having a bad day today, I’m going to arrange a pizza party with the Ninja Turtles, and you can invite anyone you want to (except for that heifer, April, of course). And all the pizzas will already have the cheese taken off for you, and I won’t even give you shit about it, even though I’ll never understand why you don’t like cheese on your pizza. And you’ll get to eat next to Michelangelo—not because he’s your favorite, but because he’s mine, and I’m willing to share. And before the night’s over, I’ll somehow initiate a dance sequence that involves Vanilla Ice.
Or… you can just give me the social security numbers of the bitches who ruined your day today, and I will ruin their lives for you. It’s your call.
We took family photos at Coronado Beach this weekend for my grandma’s 80th birthday. I’ll spare you the images of me and my 40+ Asian relatives in our clichéd blue jeans and white tops, and instead leave you with this gorgeous sunset.
The only way this kid could be any cuter is if I had somehow gotten involved ;)
I finally got to meet my new best friend today! I was planning on visiting him yesterday, but my mom got sick and was rushed to the hospital. She’s still there and not doing any better, so I hope you all send some good juju our way…
Movie night with Shi on Friday. We watched Easy A, and it was hilarious! Def the funniest movie I’ve seen this year. Kind of makes me want to censor what I post on here. And possibly get checked for chlamydia.
Lunch and lingerie with the bestie on Saturday. Domo Sushi was fab, although as far as sushi in east county goes, my heart belongs to Banbu. The sushi at Domo is crazy cheap, however. The Mexican roll was half off at $4, and I’ve never gotten a Mexican roll for that cheap (or without consequences) before. Alicia is celebrating her 15-year anniversary with Ray next weekend. Their relationship has lasted longer than the sum of all my relationships. And I’m even counting the online boyfriend I had for a brief moment in 1997. This occasion clearly warranted two hours of lingerie shopping at Parkway Plaza. All I went home with was some Starbucks and ideas for my future boyfriend. Boo whore.
On Sunday, I got up at an ungodly hour to make strides against breast cancer with the women in my family. Afterward, we had brunch at Brian’s to celebrate Chel’s birthday. Seven chicken and waffles, please! YUM. I did not feel the least bit guilty after having just walked 5K in the rain. Christine 1up’d us and ran the Nike Women’s (Half) Marathon in SF! While we didn’t run 13 miles and weren’t greeted at the finish line with firemen in tuxedos handing out Tiffany necklaces (lucky!), we walked for a great cause and in memory of my aunt. It’s not too late to make a donation towards breast cancer research here.
Chel: Mayan, can you think of a song I could use in this video? Mayan: Mmmm, I’d have to check my library. Pammie: Bruno Mars… Mayan: And that is why Chel didn’t ask you for song suggestions.
Chel made this awesome video montage of our family camping trip this past weekend. And if you’re thinking, “Why would I want to watch a video montage of someone else’s family camping trip?” then might I add that there’s footage of me using a shake weight if that helps sway your decision at all. Just sayin’.
My mom remembered to bring my grandma’s birthday cake but left it melting in the car and forgot the candles, brought halo-halo toppings without realizing they were expired, and offered us pancakes, but didn’t have any syrup. I mean… this is my future, ya’ll. I am so my mother’s daughter.
All things considered, I had a memorable weekend camping with my Cuevas fam ♥
Chel’s stepmom threw her a bridal shower this weekend. It wasn’t half as crazy as the bachelorette party, but my aunts still dropped it low with bananas tied around their waists (is it just my dirty family, or do most of the games at your family parties involve bananas, too?). The highlight of my evening was when Chel’s baby brother found a leftover stripper dollar tucked in between the couch cushions.
Pammie, Shi and I gave Chel this Nixon watch she has been lusting after for years. I’m not sure why she was so surprised that I kept that email where she told us about it… I still have handwritten letters dating back to sixth grade. I also have 19 saved voice messages that I have to go through every time I get a new voice message on my cell phone. And my inbox is full of saved text messages, so I have to delete a text every time I get a new one. I’m the worst offender when it comes to hoarding things with sentimental value. And if you can’t understand why I can’t bring myself to delete my friend’s text message informing me of Michael Jackson’s death last year, then you are dead to me—I’m talking to you, Shirley May!
By the end of this month, I will have attended three baby showers and two weddings this year—none of which are my own. But I’m not bitter. Maybe a little tired of explaining to my grandma why I’m not married with children, but not bitter.
Making diaper cakes is not nearly as fun as making babies.
Can we go on record and say this is the last picture we’ll be taking at a Salinas fiesta?
Every year, the town my mom is from in the Philippines hosts this fiesta in San Diego. And every year, I look forward to one thing… nachos. It used to be seeing my relatives, but lately we’re the only offspring who show up to this shindig since all of our cousins are too busy reproducing. So as I got ready this morning, the only thing keeping me from staying home were those nachos.
Pammie and I met up with Chel, and I noticed she was eating an empanada. She loves nachos even more than I do (if that’s possible), so I asked her if she had already eaten nachos before we got there, and she tells me they ran out! WTF. We only stayed there long enough to say hello to our aunts and take this one last picture. Boo whore.
Aww, check out my mom with her mom on Mother’s Day weekend. I know what you’re all thinking… Yes, my beautiful mother looks freakishly young for a woman in her fifties. And yes, my children will be just as blind as us four-eyed freaks. I would say that 20/20 vision should be a requirement for my future baby daddy, but the pool keeps shrinking the closer I get to my dirty thirties, so I think it would be wise not to discriminate, don’t you?
I’m all about criminal dramas—CSI, Law & Order, Cold Case, Without a Trace, The Closer, and my personal favorite, Criminal Minds. I find it comforting that murders are always solved within an hour (commercial breaks included), even though I know firsthand that this almost never happens in real life. Like Chel, this isn’t something I usually talk about… I was only thirteen when it happened. Fifteen years later, the day my family has been waiting for has finally arrived.
Pammie, Chel, Shi, Anthony and I (the Choadorios!) hit up Pho Cali and Cups for Shi’s birthday. No matter where we are, we always end up being that table—the loudest one in the restaurant. Sorry if we’re just having more fun than you… Vietnamese noodles and cupcakes aren’t exactly fine dining, so learn to love our obnoxious infectious laughter and keep cool, my babies. My stomach hurts from all that laughing. Or maybe it was from those two cupcakes I ate. Or the breakfast burrito I had earlier… Get off me.
To one of my best friends and cousins, Mayan, Happy Happy Birthday! No one else can foretell the future like you do, do graphic design like you do, attract cholos the way you do, or wear bathing suit bottoms like you do. I love you!
Late last night, Shi and I lay there on the beach bundled up in our sleeping bags and blankets awaiting the Leonid meteor shower. It made me think about the times my old friends and I would drive out to the mountains in Jamul and lay in the back of Gerald’s truck and watch for shooting stars. I really miss those days. Before yesterday, I could probably count on one hand how many shooting stars I had seen in my whole life. It was epic! I can’t wait for the Geminid shower next month.
I miss Hawaii. The food. The beaches. The weather. The lomi lomi massages. The BOYS. Sure, I can eat kalua pig and spam musubi at any one of the L&L joints in San Diego. And sure, I can pick up entire loaves of taro bread at any of the Asian supermarkets in San Diego. And sure, I can go to any beach I want in San Diego. And fine, the weather is pretty much the same in San Diego most of the year. But do we have Hawaiian boys over here? Maybe. But it’s not the same. The more I travel out of San Diego, the more I’m convinced I’ve exhausted my stay here. They closed my favorite dive bar earlier this month, and if that’s not a sign that I should get out of here, I don’t know what is. Hawaii is so laid back. I consider San Diego pretty laid back. At least more laid back than LA or Frisco or NYC. But Hawaii is ridiculously laid back. Like telling us to meet in front of the hotel at nine in the morning to be driven to the moped rental store and us showing up ten minutes early and waiting twenty five minutes for someone to arrive kind of laid back. And I like to consider myself a laid back, no worries kind of girl. Even when we were transferring boats to go from jet skiing to parasailing, we were hurrying to take our life jackets off and cross over and the HOT! parasailing instructor said, “There’s no rush, darlin’… This is Hawaii.” That was probably the exact moment I decided I wanted to marry that man stay there forever. Yet here I am… blogging from the Valley. Hawaii was just so amazing. I plan to revisit again and again in this lifetime. My vacation couldn’t have been any more perfect. I miss the girls already. I miss trying to sleep through their symphony of snoring (okay, maybe they miss trying to sleep through my snoring). I miss waking up to Shi singing “Morning’s here.” I miss Chel sticking her fish eye camera in my face. Next year, we’re planning on hitting up NYC. Until then, it’s back to the real world! Boo whore.
The real world ain’t so bad, though… Since I’ve been back, I’ve received an unexpected promotion at Emitations.com, where I’ve been a graphic design intern for the past couple of months. All of a sudden, I found myself putting my two weeks in at AAA. I’m sad to be leaving, but I just can’t pass this promotion up! When you find a job you love, you never have to work a day in your life. Starting next month, I’ll have nights off. And weekends off. I won’t know what to do with myself. I suppose I could go to the gym and lose all that weight I planned to lose BEFORE going to Hawaii. And all that weight I gained while I was IN Hawaii. Or I could just have more time to blog about how much I want to lose weight while snacking on these chocolate covered macadamia nuts I brought home from Hawaii…
So you’re shopping on Melrose and you only have, oh, let’s say, $5.96. (I’m just throwing a number out there.) You can either try and find something affordably vintage at Wasteland or buy a cup of deliciousness at Pinkberry instead! It’s only the greatest frozen treat you’ll ever taste in your life. Every reason I could think of why I’d never want to live in LA was forgotten once Pinkberry hit my lips. Why am I so butt-crazy about Pinkberry, you ask?
Being NONFAT and just twenty-five calories per ounce made me feel less guilty about those chicken and waffles I later ate at Roscoe’s. And the ham and cheese croissant I had for breakfast at Southcoast. And the chicken sandwich I had for lunch at Auntie Em’s. With avocado. And bacon. And Shi’s bacon because she doesn’t eat bacon (I don’t understand it, but I won’t judge her). And fine, the two cupcakes I also devoured from Auntie Em’s. Get off me.
Awesome toppings like Cap’n Crunch, fresh fruit (mangoes!), MOCHI (Japanese rice cakes), Fruity Pebbles, chocolate chips…
It’s the only place I know that offers green tea froyo.
Pinkberry is tart like sherbet. There’s supposedly a lawsuit involving Pinkberry’s owner and the FDA because she won’t disclose what’s in it. I personally think it’s made of happiness and crack.
Tigra from L’Trimm sings the Pinkberry jingle (Cars That Go Boom, anyone?).
I could go on and on about my love for Pinkberry, but instead I’ll tell you about my awesome weekend in LA. I had work till eleven o’clock at night all last week, and looking forward to this weekend was the only thing keeping me sane. I drove up after work on Friday and crashed at Pammie’s in the OC. Shi and Chel were fading in and out of sleep by the time I got there at one, but Channing Tatum kept me awake till four in the morning watching She’s the Man. Damn, he’s fly! The four of us hit up the H&M in Southcoast first and we ended up running into people we knew from SD. It’s weird when you see people you know from home in a completely different city. Especially people you aren’t very fond of. ANYWAY. We had lunch at Auntie Em’s Kitchen in Eagle Rock afterwards. Their cupcakes were featured on Bobby Flay’s Throwdown and Pammie’s been raving about them ever since. We didn’t get to try their famous red velvet cupcakes, because the biatch in front of us snagged the last two. Oh, well. She was really skinny and needed the cupcakes more than we did. They had really good food there otherwise, and we got to try the chocolate and carrot cake cupcakes (our favorite!).
Afterwards, we hit up Gallery 1998 on Melrose to check out Kurt Halsey’s exhibit. It was beautifully intimate! It closes tomorrow, so stop by if you’re near the area. We were browsing through the shops on Melrose when we saw this crazy line at the Pinkberry across the street. We decided to try it, and I’ve been a changed woman ever since. After my first bite, I was like Hmm. This is pretty good. Then I bit into some Cap’n Crunch and was like Oh my, this is ridiculous! When it was over (and it was over fast), I was like Did I really just eat this entire thing? I almost ate the cup. It was that good. Don’t take my word for it, though. Go get some and call me while you’re eating it. Because I love Pinkberry so much that the mere thought of listening to you eat Pinkberry excites me—Yes, it has been entirely too long since I’ve had a man in my life. Anyway, we continued shopping on Melrose and everyone found cute stuff except for me. I was thisclose to buying this gorgeous mustard bag from some random boutique, but thought that I really shouldn’t be spending $50 on a bag when I’m trying to save for me and Dy’s apartment. The only thing I bought that day were shoes from H&M with a curious semen-like stain on them. Ugh. Shi graciously treated us out to dinner at Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles. We somehow rolled ourselves back to Pammie’s apartment close to midnight and Chel and Shi drove back home to SD.
On Sunday, Pammie and I slept in and ate a late lunch at Sonic Burger—Yet another food chain I wish they had in SD. I don’t know why they tease us with Sonic commercials on TV when they only have one location in the OC for everyone in southern California to eat at. There’s upwards of ten Sonic Burgers up north in Bakersfield. There is nothing to do in Bakersfield. I’m sure that all anyone does there is eat at one of the many Sonic Burgers they have to choose from. And that would be perfectly fine by me. We hit up the Beverly Center where we weathered the most annoying elevators I have ever been on and returned my only purchase from the day before. The aforementioned semen-like stain repelled the soap and water I used to try and lift the stain the night before. It was like that one time I was ten and spilled nacho cheese on my shirt while watching Three Ninjas at the movies. Fearing my mom would yell at me, I went to the bathroom and tried to wash the stain out, but the nacho cheese spread into this huge orange mess, so I turned my shirt inside out thinking no one would notice… even though the stain was equally visible on the inside of my shirt. At least H&M let me return the shoes. We ate a vegetarian dinner at M Café de Chaya with my cousin and her friend who both live in LA. It was the only healthy thing I ate all weekend. The best part, though, was that M Café was right next door to Pinkberry on Melrose. I had me some more Pinkberry goodness (with MOCHI topping this time… FYI: You have to ask for it because it’s not on the menu). By the time we had gotten back to our cars, both my cousin and I had received parking tickets for having our cars parked on the street after six. Where the fuck did it say that? I looked around and found a very confusing parking sign, and clearly, it wasn’t confusing to just me because every car parked on that street had a parking ticket. Apparently, these confusing parking signs are rampant in LA. Bah.
After dinner, we headed out to the Hollywood Bowl nearby to see John Mayer. It was our first time at that venue, so we weren’t sure where it was exactly. We just parked at the first paid parking lot we saw on Hollywood and Highland and ended up trekking almost a mile up to the show. I’m sure I burned the calories from at least that second Pinkberry I had that day. The Hollywood bowl was GIGANTIC and crowded and pretty awesome. We don’t even have a venue in SD that compares to this in size. Ben Folds was the opener and he was alright, but he didn’t sing The Luckiest which is pretty much the only song I know and like from him. John Mayer was really, really good. I’ve seen him one time before in SD and this show was so much better! This was an add-on show, and he had played the Bowl the night before, so he didn’t sing some of the songs we hoped he would (Comfortable, Stop This Train, In Repair), but he did sing some of my old favorites. He seems like a very grateful, charming guy who knows how to entertain. There are few things I dislike more than going to a show and being bored. Jack Johnson hardly uttered a word in between songs when we saw him last, but that didn’t stop Edgar from being the happiest person on earth! Ha, ha. Engaging the audience in between songs makes for a better show, in my opinion. John Mayer really delivered. By far, the highlight of my night was when he opened one of my favorite songs, 3×5, with Springsteen’s I’m On Fire:
I’m unbelievably starstruck, so it’s probably a good thing I don’t live in LA. Although San Diego does have its share of homegrown celebrities (Um, hi? AC Slater?). We ran into Schuyler Fisk and Joshua Radin on our way to our seats, and I just about died. Pammie was like, “Wait, who are they?” You’re probably thinking the same thing. I saw Joshua Radin a couple years back on the Hotel Cafe tour and Schuyler Fisk is his ladyfriend (also a singer/actress). It’s a good thing Paris Hilton’s in jail. My stomach would’ve fallen out of my butt if I ran into her at Pinkberry.
Before I dropped off Pammie in the OC after the show, we stopped by Diddy Riese in Westwood for cookies (as if I didn’t eat enough unhealthy food that weekend). As I drove home from LA, I sighed at each and every Pinkberry-less mile.
We went to my aunt’s viewing yesterday. These last few months, she had gotten so sick and so pale… but yesterday she looked SO beautiful. Chel said she was going to do her make-up, because she didn’t want them to pull some crazy shit on her face like they tend to do at the make-up counters in department stores… They did a damn good job, though. I’m glad, too, because I wouldn’t be able to put make-up on my mother for her viewing… Chel has too much to deal with right now to have to do something like that. My aunt was LOVED. There were sooo many people there… I’m not the most religious person in the world, so I usually skip out on the rosary, but I needed to be there. I was crying half the time, because Chel said a few words before the rosary that were so upsetting. She was crying while she was up there, so it just made whatever she was saying ten times sadder. I hate to see your family in so much pain, Chel. I know I keep saying this, but let me reiterate that THE GIRLS are here for anything you need…
I started spring semester today. I have three classes today with half an hour to an hour between each class… SUCKIES. What sucks even MORE is that I got out early from my first class, because the first day is usually just SYLLABUS day, so I have a few hours between my classes now… I don’t really want to go anywhere, because I just have to come back here anyway. Lame!