Saturday, December 31, 2005

Goodbye '05

Another year slips by, oh-so-quickly!

A quick review of the year...

This was my first complete year being out of school and on my own, and I think it has gone pretty well. My job searching ended early on, and I managed to land a position with a salary, retirement plan, and health insurance. That was all I was really hoping for at the time, to get a taste of adulthood, responsibilities and supporting myself (wait, WHY did I want that again? I can't quite remember anymore...). Along the way, I discovered the biologist and environmentalist in me, realizing how much science really means to me, and I think that discovery is more important than anything else I've done this year.

Squeezed into the 40-hour weeks, I've managed to have a little fun too. Going to to NYC and hanging out with Leo, Jun, Terrin and Chrystal, and seeing Chicago on Broadway. Seeing the blooming wildflowers in Death Valley, camping at McGrath, partying in Vegas. Going on the Death Boat 2005 cruisin' adventure, and camping in Baja. It's been a good year, and I hope '06 is even better.

All the best to everyone this next year, hope your dreams are fulfilled and life brings you much love and happiness! Happy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Merry Day After Christmas

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

I'm sick and felt like poo the whole weekend.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

For the record, "fishes" IS a word!

The other night, a friend was over and browsing the books on my shelf. When she came across one of my textbooks, titled 'The Diversity of Fishes', she laughed and mentioned that one of her professors would cringe at seeing the word "fishes". This comment kind of annoyed the biologist in me (more specifically, the marine scientist in me). I understand that people who are not familiar with the use of the word (which I think would constitute most people) would consider it poor grammar or a grammatical error. But trust me, when used in the right context, "fishes" really is a word! Note the following Wikipedia article:

Note on usage: "fish" vs. "fishes"
"Fishes" is the proper English plural form of "fish" that biologists use when speaking about two or more fish species, as in "There are over 25,000 fishes in the world" (meaning that there are over 25,000 fish species in the world). When speaking of two or more individual fish organisms, then the word "fish" is used, as in "There are several million fish of the species Gadus morhua" (meaning that G. morhua comprises several million individuals). To see both in action, consider the statement "There are twelve fish in this aquarium, representing five fishes" (meaning that the aquarium contains twelve individuals, some of the same species and some of different species, for a total of five species). The usage of the two words is similar to that of the words "people" and "peoples".

Monday, December 19, 2005

Boat Parade

Joined Jen & her family on their sailboat this past Saturday to watch the boat parade/parade of lights in Alamitos Bay. It's where people decorate their boats with holiday lights and drive them around in a parade on the water. It was fun seeing the lit-up boats, but what was even better was checking out the lifestyles of the rich and famous--looking at all the mansions along the water on Naples Island. They're all very expensive and beautiful houses--my favorite was one that had four huge windows on the first floor, and each window had a differently decorated christmas tree in it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"Love is a Force of Nature"

Saw Brokeback Mountain last night. It was moving, heartbeakingly haunting. Those are the few words I'll leave it at, since I'm still sifting through my feelings about it...

When you all have the opportunity (if or when it's in wide release), definitely check it out.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Twelve days of...

Working, not Christmas. Yep, I've just completed working twelve frickin days in a row, and am so excited that it's finally over. I had a whole weekend off (what a concept!)--it was a very short but much needed break. The past two weeks were not-so-great, with car problems and work issues, but I survived. Good thing tomorrow is a new week, and a fresh start!...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Turkey Day

This year's plans: like every year, eat lots of good food and give thanks to having family and friends around. Happy turkey to you all!

I'm thankful: for family moving back to Cali--chaotic, crazy, and sometimes annoying, but it's always nice having them close to home because, after all, they are family; for all my wonderful friends--whether near or far, you're all close to my heart and I'm glad we are on this journey of life together; for finally finding a job and being able to establish my financial independence (paying off that credit card debt feels great!); for realizing that I really do love science and it's the directioin I want to eventually take my career in; for having fun roomates who keep me entertained with things like their candy wars; and for all the traveling adventures I've been able to go on this past year.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Goblet of Fire

IMAX: This is the ultimate way to see, feel, and experience Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Assigned seating and no lines plus a six-story screen and surround sound that makes you feel like you are practically a part of the scenes--I was in awe of the IMAX Harry Potter experience for a good portion of the movie. This is my favorite book of the series so far, and the movie had a lot to live up to. With the limitations of a 2 1/2 hour timeframe to cover the contents of a 700+ page book, I was not disappointed with the results (unlike move #3, which disappointingly left a few key things out). As a fan, I would have preferred it to be a little longer with a few additions from the book, but am otherwise satisfied with how it turned out.

Thanks to Anitza, who organized and fronted the money for all twenty (!) of us, and for providing some fun and wonderful treats, like the Ice Mice, Bertie Botts Beans and Fizzing Whizzbies. The evening was more than worth our admission ticket!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Random coincidence, or a Sign?

Three nights ago, November 14th to be exact, I had a dream. I'm not exactly sure what it was about, but all I remembered the next morning was that an old friend from my semester in Australia, Craig, was in it. And it left this lingering feeling of wondering how he is and wanting to get in touch with him again. He and I had emailed here and there after returning to the States, but have completely lost touch since graduating college. I think about him every so often, but for some reason, this dream intensified my want to talk to him again. Nothing too odd or particularly interesting about this story so far, except for the discovery I made last night. I randomly picked up my old journal from when I was abroad, and started to read some entries from the latter part of my trip. One entry I came accross was about Craig and how funny and such an oddball character he is, and also mentioned how I had had a dream about him the night before. This was shocking (why would I have a dream about him and what was it about?--I never went into detail), but what was even more shocking was the date of my entry: November 15th. Which meant the dream was on November 14, 2001. Weird. A dream about the same person on the exact same night, four years apart. So, I pose the question: just a very odd and random coincidence? Or some sort of SIGN?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A November Evening in Southern California

The weather has been unusually beautiful the past couple of days. Well, I shouldn't say "unusually", because having nice, mild weather is one of the perks of living in Southern California (so, it's not so unusual), but I would've expected it to be, around this time of year, a tad bit colder than it is. Heck, the ski resorts were open this time last year, because I distinctly remember Meghan and I hitting the slopes with our snowboards on election day. But this week in the LBC, it has been in the warm and sunny 80s, and although I didn't get to enjoy the beautiful weather during the bulk of the day (being stuck in an office sure does suck sometimes), I did enjoy the remnants of it in the evenings. They have been no-scarf-needed evenings--I've been surprised several times, upon stepping outside and expecting the sting of cold, by a pleasant embrace of warm evening air. Today, I took advantage of this inviting weather by taking a walk, at dusk, along the beach path where Catalina Island was in PERFECT view. It was such a clear evening that Catalina, wrapped in a cloud of orange sky, seemed like a skip of a rock away. This is sometimes a rare site, with our smoggy or cloudy or foggy skies, and once again, I wish I had my camera to capture and share with you the stunning view.

P.S. 48 hours until I see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, on IMAX! I'm so excited! (I know, I'm a nerd. But don't be embarrased for me, because I fully embrace it!)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

What's Wrong?

There's something wrong with my blogger--my last two posts didn't show when I went to publish. They've just totally disappeared. The half-hour of writing "Candy War" wasted, like it never existed.

Seriously, damn the man!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Wicked Quote-o-the day

"Was it an accident I saw that, Fiyero wondered, looking at the manager with new eyes. Or is it just that the world unwraps itself to you, again and again, as soon as you are ready to see it anew?"

-Wicked: The Life & Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, Gregory Maguire

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


"She is my world," he answered.
"Your world is too small if she is it."
"You can't criticize the size of a world. I can't help it and I can't stop it and I can't deny it."
-Wicked, Gregor Maguire

I bought this book a couple of years back and tried to read it, but didn't get very far--I just wasn't in the right mindset to absorb the concepts and language of the fantasy land of Oz. It's been sitting on my to-read shelf for quite a while, and I'm finally giving it another try, and am so glad that I have--a challenging yet enjoyable read so far.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


My very first blog entry, posted a year ago today, was an explanation. Why would I even start a blog? Who really has the time to keep up with a website that, quite possibly, no one would ever read?. Well, the explanation was this: I created the blog because, and I'm quoting myself here, it was "a manifestation of my boredom."

Boredom. That word doesn't even exisit in my vocabulary anymore. It's interesting, to be able to look back on a year's journey, and see how much has changed. My life has shifted from no-school job-searching boredeom to 40-hr Mon-Fri booked up nights and weekends. I had a hard time adjusting to not being in school and having so much free time on my hands (especially because I went non-stop for 5 years, going to school 4 days and working the other 3 days). Without papers to write and exams to study for, I didn't know if I would be able to fill up my days and evenings with other activities. Having nothing to do was so foreign then. And now, a year later, I've somehow adjusted, activities fill my life, and I sometimes wish I had a little more free time on my hands. When this happened, and how it happened, I'm not quite sure. But I suppose that's how life (and growing up?!) works.

Well, Jane Says...started out because I was bored one day, but it has continued because I've enjoyed posting for friends to read. It's been fun sharing my pictures and my journey with you. So, thanks for stopping by and keeping up with me!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Now that’s a bargain!

For Halloween this year, Meghan, Shelby and I are dressing up as characters from the 80s cartoon Jem & the Holograms (unless you’re a girl and grew up in the 80s, you probably have no clue who they are—most guys I talk to only remember cartoons like GI Joe and the Transformers.) Besides my blue wig (I’m going to be the blue-haired Aja) and platinum pumps, I hadn’t come up with much of a costume yet (which is cutting it close, because the party is right around the corner). That is, until yesterday, when on my way home from work, I stopped by a store to see if I could somehow put an outfit together. Although skeptical, I actually did find a bright pink skirt that was on sale for $5.00. The skirt was perfect: it’s a terrible shade of pink and something that I would never wear again, but it would complete my costume without putting a dent to my bank account. To my surprise, the skirt was not $5.00 when I went to pay for it, but was actually marked down to $1.00. A buck?! I couldn't have found a better bargain at a thrift store. Little surprises like that can complete a day.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
Tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

I dare you to move, I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move, I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

-I Dare You to Move, Switchfoot

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

random question addressed to myself

what. in the heck. am i. doing?

1 year, 5 months past a bachelor of science. major: marine biology, minor: chemistry.
i can barely add or subtract in my head anymore. i'd have a difficult time telling you why el nino happens, the scientific name of giant kelp, or the difference between yellowtail jacks and yellowfin tuna. things are slowly becoming lost to me, knowledge that i don't want to lose. i need to do something about that. especially when i start to think "wow, i miss chemistry" while stirring my morning coffee. yep, it's definitely time to do something about it.

so, what am i doing? what do i want to do? what am i going to do about it?

Monday, October 17, 2005

Tent with a view

I went four days without a shower this past weekend (I'm sure you wanted to know that.) But, I also spent the weekend on a cliff overlooking the ocean, with no one else around but friends. Who needs to be clean when you have a nice view and pleasant company? Showers are overrated.

The Baja trip was great. Micah, Wendy, Mark, Bennett and I left late Wednesday night, arriving at Punta Salsipuedes at about 3 am. We were greeted by a sky overflowing with twinkling stars, a site that LA residents don't ever get to see. After a couple hours of sleep, we hopped on the road and continued on to our destination, further down Baja. Stopped at a stand for some carne asada tortas (my first torta experience--I didn't even know what they were before--and it was excellent!).

We spent the rest of the weekend at Cuatro Casas, camped out on a deserted oceanview cliff. We read (finally finished One Hundred Years of Solitude), took walks and went tidepooling (the tidepools were great, we went octopus hunting under rocks and found several cute ones--I wish I had my camera at the time to share pics with you guys, but was unfortunately camera-less); I knitted, the boys went surfing a couple of times a day. We sat by the warm campfire in the evenings, and went to bed and woke up to the waves crashing onto the rocky shore. There was no running water and only an outhouse (or squatting behind a bush) to go to the bathroom in, but it was peaceful, relaxing and I had a tent with an awesome view. That's what it's all about. I <3 camping.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Another Month Slips By

Why, it's been quite a while since I've posted anything, hasn't it? I do apologize for having been so neglectful towards this here blog of mine. Again, it is time, or rather, the lack of it, that is to blame for my absence. My days have been filled with a lot of work (that whole full-time job thing you know, it's no fun), and a lot of play & fun times. Since the booze cruise, a few of my activities have included going dancing with the ladies, dinner & Sunday evening television with the Ferris', Oktoberfest with the death boaters, Jana's bachelorette party in San Diego, and Jana's wedding this past weekend. I'm finally taking a moment to come up for air, before I dive into my next adventure, which starts tomorrow when I head off for a camping trip in Baja, Mexico. I've truly been enjoying all this fun, but it really is about time that I slow down a bit. I haven't had time to do little things for myself, like going to the gym, or reading, or just sitting, and being, and reflecting, which I miss doing. Going and going and going gets exhausting sometimes, and at some point, we all need to take a moment to rejuvenate ourselves. This trip should be nice and relaxing. I'll just sit around and read or knit, enjoy the sun and breeeze and salty air, feel the sand between my toes and sleep to the ocean waves crashing, and all will be okay again...

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Top 10 Highlights from the Death Boat 2005 trip (in no particular order):

10. Taking the Booze Limo to the Booze Cruise
9. Starting the drinking before noon every day
8. Making up our own sign language
7. "Stae-shon clozed!"
6. Eating way too much
5. Hanging out at Tatas & Beer
4. DJ AJ's randomness: "Louie louie louie!" & "Are you ready to kiss your mother?"
3. Dancing the night away on a rocking boat
2. Taking over the kiddie pool
1. Spending the weekend with such a fun group & being able to celebrate Liam's birthday with him

Monday, September 19, 2005

We Survived Death Boat 2005!

Just hours before boarding the cruise, a few folks in our group informed the rest of us of the following news story, which occurred weeks before, on the exact ship we were about to spend the weekend on:

"September 2nd, 2005
Three workers die on board Royal Caribbean cruise ship:
While doing routine maintenance aboard a docked Royal Caribbean cruise ship Friday a container of raw sewage spilled, releasing methane gas and killing three workers..."

We laughed at the story, renamed the trip from the "Booze Cruise" to "Death Boat 2005," and wondered if all of us would make it back alive. If the methane gas didn't kill us, then the amount of alcohol consumed possibly would.

It's now Monday, I'm back on land (although it still feels like the ground is rocking back and forth a little when I walk), and am happy to report that, at last count, we came back with only one man down. Out of our group of 23 people, Jim hadn't made it out when we left, and that was only because they hadn't called his color to leave yet. We saw him at breakfast and he was very much alive, so neither the methane gas nor the alcohol claimed anyone in the group. It may have debilitated us for a good day or so, but we are okay otherwise.

The trip was a blast, and I'm glad so many people were able to celebrate Liam's 30th birthday with him. We mostly drank, ate, drank some more, danced, hung out at the pool and drank even more. Fun times and lots of laughs, it's too bad that this stae-shun iz clozed!

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Wait, wasn't it just August??
Well, according to my last blog entry it was. How has half of September managed to slip by me without my realizing it? Time, he's a sneaky little feller. You all be careful, cause he's quick and before you know it, he might tiptoe away with weeks of your life too.

After a year or two of talking about going on a cruise for Liam's big 3-0 birthday, it's actually here: he's entering a new decade tomorrow, and we'll all be celebrating with him over a Booze Cruise of a weekend. Heading to Ensenada, Mexico for some beers, fish tacos, and good times with friends. Happy Birthday Mr. Ferris!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Beach Glow

Bioluminescence: the production of light by living organisms.

Jake and I went on a little walk on the bike path last night after dinner, but didn't get very far, because we ran down to the water when we discovered that the waves were bioluminescing (well, not the waves exactly, it's really the waves causing the plankton in the water to bioluminesce). For those of you who've never seen this amazing natural wonder, it's an awesome sight, where disturbances in the water cause plankton to emit light and the breaking waves glow a beautiful blue-green color. At first, you'd think it was a trick of the light, or your imagination, but when your eyes adjust and you realize it's really happening, it is very neat to see. Another thing we discovered was that the sand had plankton in it also, so we had a grand time stomping up and down the beach, causing the sand beneath our feet to glow. Fun night.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Things that irk me #1...

Driving into the sun.
There's this certain time of day when the sun is positioned in the sky to perfectly blaze through your front windsheild, partially blind you, make you feel woozy from the heat, and cause you to nearly miss your exit because you can't read any signs until the split second you're right under it.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Block Party, Missing Camera, Jury Verdict & Summer Sunsets

Block Party
The 2nd Annual 5th Street Block Party was this past weekend. I happened to miss the first one, thrown last year, because I was in Paris and returned from Europe 2 days too late to catch it. According to roomate Justin, this one was just as fun, so at least I was around for this year's event. The boys accross the street had 10 kegs of beer for the day, the roomates and I got our own keg of Rock Bottom Hef for our own friends, a reggae band was set up in the middle of the street along with a ping pong and a couple of foosball tables, we bbq'd up some carne, drank, and hung out all day. It was fun, except...

Missing Camera
...I lost my camera! (or more like someone stole my camera?) I am SO BUMMED about it. Now, I not only can't share the block party pics with you, I can't share any pictures period! So, unfortunately, my photoblog will be neglected for the time being. I really don't need to be spending an extra few hundred bucks on a new camera, but I guess that's what I get for being drunk and stupid--leaving my camera out, with so many random people coming in and out of our house. Arrggh.

Jury Verdict
Well, finished with jury duty Tuesday. Believe it or not, I was actually starting to enjoy it, so too bad it ended so soon. It was all just a very interesting process, from the choosing of the jurors to the way councils presented their case. The best I can compare it to is a game, it's all like a chess game, making the right moves and trying to counteract moves that the other side makes....And just for the record, we found the defendent "not negligent".

Summer Sunsets
I've been running or taking walks down on the beach bike path the past couple of months, usually around sunset-time. It's so nice breathing in the salty air, feeling the cool summer evening breeze, and watching the sky light up like a fire. I LOVE living by the beach, it makes me happy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


"The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page." -St. Augustine
This is a quote that I always put on the inside cover of my travel journals.

Another excerpt from my journal entry 08.22.04 Geneva, Switzerland:
To live in the moment.
To experience a moment that is unlike any other.
To breathe in a fresh surrounding.
To read the rest of the story.
To be,
be one with the earth and sky,
with the past and future,
to be in the moment.
That is why we travel...

I really miss traveling. I miss the freedom it gives us, and the clarity it brings. My previous post, about doing meaningful work, is haunting me. It was such a simple statement, such a powerful question, yet I had pretty much forgotten about it since coming back from my trip. I've just rediscovered that question by reading through my journal, and it has stirred something in me, it's waking the passions within. I was struggling with figuring out what direction to take my career in, so as a guide, I can now ask myself what work is meaningful to me--what would fulfill me as a person and the things I care about?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Make a Difference

I think I still need to find a career that means something, that makes some kind of difference. What meaning does my life have if I do meaningless work?

Excerpt from my journal: 08.22.04 Geneva, Switzerland

Monday, August 08, 2005

Tourist in my own backyard

I went to the downtown courthouses for jury duty last Wednesday, and lucky me, was put on a civil trial that will last until at least this Friday. Although it's quite boring--I have a short attention span and struggle to stay focused and awake when listening to witness after unexciting witness--it's actually not so bad. It is very interesting to see the whole court process and our justice system up close and personal, just seeing how it all works. The other plus side is that I'm in the heart of downtown LA, a place that I've grown up around the corner from but have never explored or visited much, so I'm enjoying seeing it through a tourist's eye.
Today, my lunch hour was spent at MOCA, the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is featuring an exhibition on artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Being science-minded, art has, for the most part, been something very foreign to me. I can definitely appreciate something like Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel masterpiece, but have a hard time wrapping my brain around the more contemporary/modern/abstract stuff. It brings up the question, what is art? And who decides what is or isn't art? And who or what exactly is an artist?

Thursday, August 04, 2005


"I'm not saying all this because I feel sorry for myself but because I just didn't feel prepared. I wasn't ready. All those years of schooling and resume-building bullshit didn't pertain at all to the life that was waiting for me. I felt misled, the recipient of wrong and useless instruction, ill-equipped. It was like I had been airlifted to an uninhabited desert island with only a pinata and a bundt pan and was told, Well, that should do it. Good luck."
-The Frog King by Adam Davies

HaHa, I found this quote very amusing. Maybe not to this exaggerated extent, but don't we all feel a little like this when we're first plopped into the real world after college? A little awkward, a little ill-prepared. I know I did, and still do feel like I'm scrambling to figure my life out.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Money Down the Drain

Received my ticket amount in the mail this week. Once traffic school is calculated in also, the grand total for "crossing the center divider" will be....$205.00! Are you kidding me? I could've used that extra two hundred for so many things! But oh well, what can I do about it now? Good thing I have this grown-up job thing going for me, huh?

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Half Blood Prince

OMG. Finished the book Wednesday evening, and I am so sad. He was one of my favorite characters! Well, better that he died a good person, than stayed alive and turned evil. My friends and I speculated that he might be evil afterall (although how that could possibly be, I don't know, because he was the epitomy of good!), and I'm glad that wasn't the case. He was the person I thought he was, and that's nice to know. On another note, I had always thought that Harry & Hermione would end up together, but Terrin was always routing for Harry & Ginny. Turns out she was right. I didn't care for Ginny before, but I've grown to really like her. Oh, and who the heck is RAB?!

For those of you that have no clue what I'm talking about, just disregard this post. You wouldn't understand unless you were a fan. And I didn't mention the name of the person who died, to not spoil it for those who haven't finished reading yet.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

A Year!

A year ago yesterday, I hopped on a plane towards London, and started my 6-week 8-country post-graduation European adventure. I really can't believe it has been a year already! How time flies. I'll never forget the friends and memories I made while there.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Hot Hot Hot!

Well, I was wrong about the expected temperature in Vegas over this past weekend. It wasn't 108F afterall, but an engulfing and miserable 118F. One hundred and eighteen degrees farenheit?! I can hardly believe it myself. So, let me tell you about the fun trip we had...

Friday, I only worked a half day, got off at noon and headed home to meet Justin and grab my stuff. We picked up Adam, and started our road trip towards Vegas--luckily, traffic wasn't bad and we made pretty good time. Feeling the windows, and wondering how hot it was outside as we traveled deeper into the desert, the three of us took a guess at what the Big Thermometer in Baker would read--Adam 101, Me 113, Justin 114. I thought my guess was even stretching it a little, but to our amazement and Justin's delight, it was actually 118. Makes me sweat just thinking about it...So we got to the Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino, met up with Meghan & Liam, and waited for a couple of other early arrivers (everyone else was getting in midnight-ish). We then had some drinks and did a bit of gambling and dancing and hanging out that night, then stuffed about 15 people into two hotel rooms....

Saturday, we spent the first half of the day down at the pool area, working on tans and staying cool by jumping into the lazy river and wave pool. I was not very impressed by their lazy river, by the way, and I guess it's just because I expected much more than what was there, but it was fun nonetheless. After getting enough sun and heat for the day, I cleaned up, and went on a little adventure with Jake. We wanted to head towards Cesar's Forum Shops, to maybe do some shopping. The trip was further and took longer than we thought, and we idiotically trekked accross the front of Belaggio in the blazing heat, rather than walking through the hotel itself. The trip to Cesar's proved pointless, because neither of us were willing to spend the big bucks on shopping in the stores they had there. From there, we headed back towards the end of the Strip to meet up with Juan & Anitza for dinner at Mandalay Bay's buffett. (They were in Vegas for vacation/1 yr wedding anniversary/Juan's Birthday--congrats you two, and Happy Birthday Juan!) After dinner, the whole group was headed towards Studio 54, for a night of dancing to celebrate Meghan's birthday...

Sunday (Happy Birthday Meghan!), was time to pack up and head home. We hit more traffic this time, and it took about 6 hours to get back, but we got in before it got dark, which was nice. The first thing I did was shower, then went and bought the long awaited 6th Harry Potter book.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Vegas, Baby!

Heading out to Sin City this weekend, and I’m so excited! Haven’t been there in exactly 1 year and 10 months, so it’s about time I go again. Occasion: Meghan’s 26th birthday celebration. Location: Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino, with the lazy river I’m very much looking forward to floating on. Attendance: there's about 12 of us going out there, including the Ferris' and my roomates, so it should be a fun weekend. Agenda: go out, dance, drink, and gamble all night, then sleep at the pool and work on my tan all day. Expected average temperature: 108F—ouch, haven’t been in hot weather like that in a long time.
Jake and I were thinking of seeing Blue Man Group, but decided we’ll spend the hundred-dollar-ticket money elsewhere—you know, on more drinks and gambling and stuff--can't wait!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Better Things To Do

What the? Don't cops have better things to do? I just got an f-en ticket. For the stupidest thing. Dude, in just three days, how did Kat, Leslie, and I manage to get ourselves a ticket each? I'm annoyed. And now I know how deflated they felt when they got their open-container citations.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

4th Weekend

Hope everyone had a great of 4th of July! Wow, I was able to fully enjoy my 3 days off by sleeping in, relaxing, bbq-ing, and hanging out without work or volunteering or other responsibilities to worry about--it was great!

The weekend started with a Friday night dinner at a really good Vietnamese restaurant with Kat, Leslie, and Leslie’s mom (who was in for the week helping Leslie with her move), and was followed by drinks by the fire at Chimayo in Huntington Beach

I actually got to sleep in (so nice to be able to do so--waking up at 6am is terrible!) Saturday morning, then did some much needed laundry and other little chores around the house. Met up with Micah, Wendy, and a screaming (very pterodactyl-like) Kiernan for lunch, then drove to my parent's house to hang out with the family for a while. Yvonne, my 10-yr-old cousin, had been rapidly catching up to me in height, and has now finally (and sadly!) surpassed me. Really, how did our cousins get all the tall-genes in the family, and Kat and I were left with nothing? After that, I made my way over to Eric's for his annual 4th of July BBQ (although this year, it was scheduled on the 2nd)--drank some beers, ate some carne, and hung out with some friends I hadn't seen in a while, which was nice.

Sunday morning, I was able to sleep in once again (wow, two days in a row!) Really didn't do much of anything, except buy groceries for my BBQ, so it was a low-key and relaxing kind of day. Some friends came over that night, and we drank some more beer, ate chicken and steak and corn on the cob, and were even able to play pool, now that the tv is off the pool table and back on an entertainment center again. You would think I'd be a pool shark by now, but unfortunately, I am not. Even all that geometry and physics has not helped me master the game.

Monday morning--yep, slept in again! Bennet came over, and I threw my bike (btw-can anyone think of a good name for my pink cruiser?) in the back of his truck and we made our way to Kat's place in Huntington. The plan was to ride our bikes from HB down to Leslie's place on 33rd in Newport Beach. We were three among a whole parade of bikers heading towards Newport, and it was an enjoyable approximately-6-mile ride along the beach path. Newport was just ONE HUGE PARTY--it seemed like every single house on every single block was packed with people partying, BBQing and getting wasted. Just insane, but fun. The cops were on the prowl, and the two New York City transplants made the mistake of walking from next door back to Leslie's with a red cup in hand. Open container= $100 ticket each, ouch! After spending the day on the peninsula, Kat and I rode back up to her place (Bennett stayed in Newport and partied the rest of the night), which was a tough against-the-wind ride, and nothing like our cruise down earlier in the day. Had dinner, watched the HB Pier fireworks, went home and climbed into bed, which closed a wonderful 4th Holiday Weekend.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Thoughts on Time

I guess it's been a while, huh? And where have I been, you're wondering? Oh, just busy doing things here and there--it's amazing how much time doing here and there things take up, but when I stop to think about it, I can't even remember or name what those here and there things were. It's a bit scary, I feel like time is slipping through my fingers too quickly, and that I have nothing to show for all these months that have passed by. I'm starting to feel the pressure to "figure out my life" again, and although I know I'm young and that time isn't flying by as fast as I think, the anxiety is still present. There are so many things I want to do, and see, to give and learn, discover and feel, I fear that if I don't do it all RIGHT NOW, I may miss my chance--that time, and my life, will slip through my fingers before I realize it, slip too quickly for me to catch it.
I want to help save the environment, inspire others to care, try new things, travel the world, give my love and fall in love, meet interesting people, overcome my fears, open my heart, raise a family, not worry about money, go on adventures, drink sunsets and breathe in the salty sea air...and so much more. Hope I have the time and opportunity to do it all...

Also, a couple of misc. things I wanted to mention:

Congrats to Leslie for getting the job in Newport Beach and making the big cross-country move from the East Coast. Good luck, you'll love it here, and the weather will warm up soon, I promise!

The organization, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is crazy. Read this article that was recently in the LA Times, to find out just how ridiculous they are:
  • PETA and AoP
  • Seriously, why are they wasting their energy attacking an organization that is trying to show the public how to make responsible seafood choices? We are there to educate guests, to teach them how to be environmentally conscious and responsble consumers, and encourage them to care about the choices they make and fisheries they need to protect. I don't get why PETA is taking such an extremist position, and why they don't put their effort in a worthier cause.

    Wednesday, June 29, 2005

    Don't Worry

    I'm still alive. Haven't had the time to post lately. But I'm still here, so you'll hear from me again shortly.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2005

    Diner's Club

    Last night, Henny, Laurie & I decided to start a Diner’s Club. We already get together about once a month to chat over food and drinks, so why not try out a new place every time, and just for fun, review it.

    So here goes, our first restaurant:

    329 Pacific Ave.
    Long Beach, CA 90802
    (562) 432-9718

    Monday, June 13, 2005


    Do you believe in signs?

    No, not traffic signs.

    I believe that things happen for a reason. That coincidences are events we are unwilling to acknowledge as something greater. That all the moments in our lives are finely, subtly connected, and that they come together perfectly. That there are signs all around us. We just need to look for them, to open our eyes and learn how to see them.

    What do you believe?

    (Answer this question under comments, below.)

    Sunday, June 12, 2005


    To Sara & Kate on graduating and receiving their Bachelor's degrees!

    Thursday, June 09, 2005

    The Travel Bug

    Every three to four months for over a year now, I’ve hopped on a plane to go somewhere. Hawaii. Europe. Texas. NYC. It’s been four months since my trip to the Big Apple, and I’m starting to feel that itch to travel again. I’ve been daydreaming about a cross country road trip, the possible 5-year reunion with my Australia buddies, a vacation in Mexico, visiting Haley and Mesha in Oregon and Adam in Virginia, traveling to Greece, seeing Laura when she goes to JCU and trekking through the Australian outback--oh, there are so many trips I want to go on! My friend, Jen, is currently on a Pacific Northwest/Midwest road trip (follow the Jen link to see pictures and read about her travels), and I am SO JEALOUS! While sitting in this training room, with no windows and artificial light, I’m living vicariously through her. But I want to go on my own adventures! The travel bug is back, so I better do something about it soon. The only problem? Time. It’s hard playing grown-up when you want to wander and see the world, because you have no time to do it. The other problem? Money. You can’t see the world if you can’t pay for it by playing grown-up. Oh, the Catch-22s of life…

    Tuesday, June 07, 2005


    "Maybe happiness didn't have to be about the big, sweeping circumstances, about having everything in your life in place. Maybe it was about stringing together a bunch of small pleasures. Wearing slippers and watching the MIss Universe contest. Eating a brownie with vanilla ice cream. Getting to level seven in Dragon Master and knowing there were twenty levels to go."
    -The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Ann Brashares

    A cute, quick read. It's been sitting on my shelf for over a year, and thought I'd finally give it a try since the movie's out right now. I'm glad I did.

    Monday, June 06, 2005

    Update: My Medical Situation

    (If we can even call it a medical situation)
    Good news! I don’t have a brain tumor. Not that it ever crossed my mind before, but just in case, I don’t have to worry if it were to ever cross my mind later on. My doctor does not think that my losing consciousness two times last month was a result of a brain tumor. Or a seizure. Or because of my blood sugar level. Actually, he’s not quite sure what the cause of it was. This means that I now have to go through a series of tests, to see if something unusual will turn up to explain these fainting episodes. He took an EKG while I was in the office on Thursday. I gave blood this morning, for a series of blood tests he’s going to do. And in a couple of weeks, I have to do a 24-hour EKG. I really don’t think there’s anything wrong, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, I guess. Good thing I have health insurance, huh?

    Thursday, June 02, 2005

    The Wedding Events and other things...

    The past holiday weekend went like this:
    Bridal party outing to Six Flags Magic Mountain,
    Cocktail party,
    Toe Jobs,
    Rehearsal at the park,
    Rehearsal dinner,
    Pre-wedding beautification in Beverly Hills,
    Wedding reception,
    Outing in HB after the wedding,
    Kiernan’s 1st birthday picnic,
    Pick up Kat’s friend Leslie & give her a tour of Long Beach,
    Pick up Kat,
    Dinner at Duke’s in HB with Kat & Leslie,
    Go home for Memorial Day BBQ with the fam.

    Whew. I survived--with a stiff neck and jump in blood pressure--but still survived. The weekend was a ton of fun, it was just so jam packed that I wasn’t able to fit any friends’ graduations or graduation parties in—so a big congrats to JoAnn, Chase, Jen K, Marisa, Tina, and Jen F! Welcome to the other side—and good luck with all your future plans!

    I bet you’re wondering about that stiff neck, huh? At Magic Mt., I blacked out for a while on Viper (did I ever mention that I also fainted a couple of weeks ago, while at the bowling alley with some friends? Well, I did. Don’t worry, I’m going to the doctor today about the whole fainting/blacking out thing. I know, I know, I should’ve gone earlier, but I’ve been so busy and haven’t had time to…), and woke up the morning after with a very very sore neck. Not sure how long I was out for, but my head must’ve been bobbing around for a bit, because I was definitely feeling it the next day.

    From cutting envelopes for the invitations to cleaning up the reception, it’s all over! It’s been a lot of work and a lot of stress, but also a lot of fun. I’ve truly enjoyed helping out two good friends with their big day. Congratulations Micah and Wendy!

    Friday, May 20, 2005

    Sucker for Reality TV

    I probably shouldn't admit this (Micah was pretty appalled when I told him), but here it is: I admit it, if I watched TV, I’d be guilty of being A Reality Show Junkie. So, it’s a darn good thing that I don’t watch that much television, isn't it? Aside from religiously following Lost (which I only discovered part way through the season, and which, by the way, is a GREAT show), I usually steer clear of that silver box in the living room. Unlike some friends (you know who you are =P), who schedule their lives around the shows they watch (haha, yes, people actually do that!), or my roommates, who can sit for hours on end watching things like MTV Cribs, I usually do other things with my time--you know, happy hour, bowling, the gym, shopping, reading, riding my bike, etc. Now, I’m not trying to say that I’m any better than those of you who love your TV. It’s just funny, because I get sucked in so easily (especially to reality shows), and could become one of you at any moment. I’ve shown a few signs of faltering this week alone:
    1. Monday. My roommate was watching MTVs Inferno. I sat down, intending to watch for just a moment, but ended up sitting through 5 episodes of it and 1 episode of Trippin’. It was all done before I could stop myself. How sad, 3 hours of my life.
    2. Tuesday. I watched American Idol. First problem. Not only did I watch the show, but I voted too. Problem number two. What?! Yes, I voted. I can’t believe it myself. How sad. (In my defense, Bo was so cute and sang so well!)
    3.Wednesday. After a sushi dinner with friends, I cut our night short because I had to get home in time for Lost. I even speeded home and RAN into the house. And during the show, I got mad at the roommates for talking-didn’t they understand I needed complete silence, so I could absorb the details? Really, how sad was that?

    Next week: must avoid becoming a TV addict, will only watch the 2 hour season finale of Lost. Nothing else…

    Thursday, May 19, 2005

    10 Ways to Save the Earth

    1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Reduce the amount of trash discarded, Reuse containers and products, and Recycle aluminum cans, glass bottles, plastic, cardboard, and newspapers.

    2. Save Our Trees: Recycle paper, mail, newspapers and magazines. Use cloth towels instead of paper towels.

    3. Drink Responsibly: Use reusable coffee mugs and water bottles at work or on the go--you'll use less paper and plastic.

    4. Hoof It: In the U.S., cars are responsible for about 25 percent of the greenhouse gases produced and 20 percent of the global total. Reduce the impact of your car use by carpooling, biking or walking. And if your car trip will take less than 5 minutes don't even bother grabbing your keys.

    5. Stop Toppin' Off: Don't top off your gas tank--any gas you spill evaporates and contributes to air pollution.

    6. Conserve Water: Do only full loads of laundry and don't let the water run when you brush your teeth or shave. An open faucet pours 5 gallons of water every 2 minutes.

    7. Buy Items with Recycled Content: Buying items made from recycled content creates a need for recycled material. Try to cut down on your use of disposable items, like razors, dishes, and coffee cups.

    8. Donate your Mobile: Checking out the latest cell phone? If you decide to buy a new phone, put your old one to good use by donating it to a charitable organization rather than throwing it away and clogging landfills.

    9. Conserve Electricity: Put your computer in sleep mode and use power strips to switch off TVs and other electronics when you're not using them. Their standby power consumption can be equivalent to that of a 75 or 100 watt light bulb running continuously. Unplug phone and camera chargers when you're not using them.

    10. Use Compact Fluorescent Lights: Use compact fluorescent lights and shut off the lights when you leave a room. One compact fluorescent bulb will keep half a ton of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
    -MTVs Trippin' Website

    Wednesday, May 18, 2005

    Hey, look!

    Boy, the new things you can learn about people. Found out my roomate Jake modeled. That's him, on Verizon's webpage, in the red shirt:


    Monday, May 16, 2005

    Like seafood?

    Then educate yourself on what not to eat! Go to "Seafood Watch" under links, and check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium's seafood guide for the best and avoid lists. PLEASE, make an effort to be a smart consumer, know where you seafood is coming from, and make good enivornmental choices! You can print out the guide yourself, or upon request, I'll even send you one of the cards myself.

    Wednesday, May 11, 2005

    The sneeze that never came...

    My allergies are killing me today. The wind picked up yesterday, and boy am I feeling the effects of it. There's this constant tickle in my nose, like I need to sneeze, but I never do. How annoying.

    Friday, May 06, 2005

    Continuation of a very busy month...

    Itinerary for this weekend: Rebecca's bachelorette party tonight, work at the AoP tomorrow, Mother's Day with the family Sunday.

    Next weekend: Sara's birthday celebration Friday night, Rebecca's wedding Saturday.

    The weekend after that: Wendy's bachelorette party Fri night, work at Aop Saturday, Resh's bellydance show Sunday.

    Memorial weekend: toe job & rehearsal dinner Fri, Micah & Wendy's wedding Sat, Kiernan's 1st Bday party & pick up Kat from the airport Sun.

    Not that you guys really needed to know all that, but I wanted to share anyway. Guess I picked the wrong month to start back up at the Aquarium again. (Yep, it's true, I'm heading back there for a couple of weekends a month--couldn't stay away. Crazy me, I actually really miss doing the tours and presentations! Double crazy me, I'm going to have 6-day work weeks twice a month.) Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining at all. It's all busy--but fun--stuff, which is extremely better than let's say, stressing over finals (good luck to those of you getting ready for yours), or dying of boredom....

    P.S. Re: Books
    After my complaints about reading only mediocre books lately--I really enjoyed the last two books I read, which was so nice. The Kite Runner, as mentioned earlier, was very intense and disturbing. Not the type of book I would normally pick up, and although I cried througout the whole thing and it didn't end happily-ever-after, it turned out to be a great read. The other book was The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series--so funny, interesting and quirky ideas about life, the universe, and everything--the only thing is, I don't get the ending. So, if anyone has read it and gets the ending, please fill me in. (I have a nagging feeling that the point is that there is nothing to get...but am not sure...) Gotta see the movie soon too, but when will I have time?...

    Monday, May 02, 2005

    Weekend Update

    Another weekend whizzed by. How is it already May?!

    I spent an enjoyable Friday night at the AoP’s Vegas-themed staff party at the LB Convention Center. Meghan was my guest to the event, and while her husband Liam gambled away real money with the boys, we had a blast gambling away fake money at the poker, blackjack, and roulette tables. The fake money we won was used to buy raffle tickets for a number of different raffle prizes that were offered, including a trip to the real-deal Vegas. We didn’t win anything, but it was a great night--with the free drink, food and entertainment—who could ask for more?

    Saturday, I worked overtime from 6:45-11:45, then spent the afternoon helping out with planning for a surprise birthday party we threw for an AoP friend, Stef. The party was a lot of fun and she was very very surprised and had no clue, which was how we were hoping it would turn out (some pics are in the photoblog).

    Yesterday, I went home to see the fam, did a little bit of shopping at the mall, went for a bike ride with Jake….and all of a sudden….
    It’s Monday again!....

    Sunday, May 01, 2005


    "I used to be afraid of so many things--that I'd never grow up, that I'd be trapped in the same place for all eternity, that my dreams would forever be shy of my reach. It's true what they say, time plays tricks on you. One day you're dreaming, the next your dream has become your reality. And now that this scared little girl no longer follows me wherever I go, I miss her, I do. Because there are things I want to tell her--to lighten up...that it is all going to be okay. I want her to know that meeting people who like you, who understand you, who actually accept you for who you are, will become an increasingly rare occurance...people who contributed to who I am--they're with me wherever I go, and as history gets rewrittien in small ways with each passing day, my love for them only grows. Because the truth is, it was the best of times--mistakes were made, hearts were broken, harsh lessons learned, but all of that has receded into fond memory now. How does that happen? Why are we so quick to forget the bad and romanticize the good? Maybe it's because we need to believe that the time we spent together actually meant something, that we were there for each other in a time in our lives that defined us all, a time in our lives that we will never forget. I can't swear this is exactly how it happened. But this is how it felt..."
    -Joey, Dawson's Creek

    (My dad made me go through and clean out my boxes of old school stuff today. I usually jot down quotes in random places, and found this one among my pages of Genetics notes. Thought I'd share the discovery.)

    Monday, April 25, 2005

    The Kite Runner

    A novel by Khaled Hosseini. It is our latest book club read. I finally started it this weekend and just finished it today. What words would I use to describe it? It was...It was....Intense. Disturbing. Heartbreaking. Sad. Haunting. That is all I can say right now. It was...

    Tuesday, April 19, 2005

    Earth Month

    It's Earth Month!

    Cleaned the beach twice this weekend. On Saturday was the monthly 30-minute beach cleanup here in Long Beach, which I discovered browsing the net one boring day at work. Check out for more info on it. Attendance was up to about one hundred, and it was really nice to see parents bringing out their children and involving them in helping the environment.

    I had organized my own beach cleanup for Sunday, and although there wasn't a big turnout, I managed to get some friends out to Sunset Beach--my sincerest thanks to Meg, Liam, Jen, Wendy & Kiernan for making it out and supporting me! We filled five trash bags full of crap, and still didn't make a dent in cleaning much up. It was a mess, and was a pretty sad sight--all the rain this winter must've washed all the litter in the streets into the storm drains, down the washes, into the ocean, and up onto the beach....Hope some of you can make it to the next cleanup I put together, so we can get rid of all the styrofoam, cigarette butts, tshirts, sandals, hangars, lighters, beer bottles, straws, netting, pens, food wrappers, and whatever other junk might be out there still!

    Wednesday, April 13, 2005

    Where to go from here?

    As you may recall (if you've talked to me or read the "Epiphany" post), I've recently realized that I do want to keep the sciences in my life and career, because it is a big part of who I am. But that's about all I've figured out so far. As to exactly what I want to do or where I want to go with this newfound discovery, I still have no clue. It's a bit of a scary place to be--in limbo, not knowing, unsure....
    My new job is going well--not too exciting, sometimes boring even--but it is where I need to be right now. I'm thankful that: I finally have a full-time salaried job, that I have health insurance again, that I have the opportunity to establish my financial independence and release my parents from the burden of supporting me, that this has nothing to do with science, and that it is giving me time to slow down and think and figure out what's next. So, where shall I go from here?...

    Sunday, April 10, 2005

    Beach Cleanup

    For those of you that live locally and missed my Evite--I'm putting together a beach cleanup next Sunday, April 17 for Earth Month. It'll be for a couple of hours at Sunset Beach, so tell your friends and let me know if you're interested!

    Thursday, April 07, 2005


    $2.63 regular, $2.79 premium. The madness must stop!

    Wednesday, April 06, 2005

    Gas Update

    Damn. Sign today: $2.59 regular, $2.75 premium. On the bright side, it's no where near what Akira's paying in Valencia...

    Monday, April 04, 2005

    A Misc. Post

    Some miscellaneous things I wanted to mention...

    Gas Prices
    I don’t know how much gas is where you live, but the prices are ridiculous here in Southern California. As I drove by the gas station on my way to work this morning, the sign read $2.45 per gallon for regular, and $2.65 for premium!

    Missed the Great White
    (Check out the article under Links)
    So, there was a White shark on display at the Monterey Bay Aquarium the past 6 months. This is a BIG deal, because no aquarium in the world has been successful at keeping one for very long, the previous record being a mere 16 days. I've been wanting and meaning to go see it. I was planning to go sometime in April or May, but now my plans are shot, I am too late. They just released it back into the ocean last Thursday. I am totally bummed! =(

    Grocery Bags
    Which is better, paper or plastic grocery bags? Neither, so consider using canvas bags from now on! (Take a look at the ECOBags link) It's Earth Month, so I hope you guys try to make one change in your life that is greener and more healthy for our environment. If you're not comfortable lugging your own bags to the grocery store, at least remember to recycle and reuse as much as you can! Here's a funny article about a canvas-bag user:

    Paper or Plastic? Neither -- If It Doesn’t Cause a Fight
    by Cris Trask

    In San Francisco, CA where I recently lived, I and lots of people used cloth bags when shopping; now I live near and shop in Hayden, ID, and here, they don’t. The cashiers and baggers at the local grocery stores never saw me coming, and were ill prepared for my innocent little bags and the aggravation they would cause.

    Believe it or not, my floppy totes have perplexed more than one cashier in my rural community. After a moment of hesitation, most recognize the floppy item as a medium for stowing and carrying, and accept it as such. However, one cashier actually asked me once, “What do you want me to do with this?” It was hard not to sound condescending when I answered, “It’s a bag.”

    The biggest hurdles for baggers, however, have laid not in identifying the bag as such, but in how to use them to their full potential, thereby avoiding any backup paper or plastic. The ability of these bags, made of heavy cotton and reinforced with double-needle stitching, to carry more than a plastic bag, is frequently lost on my baggers. If left alone, they will quickly supplement my cloth bags with additional plastic ones. I have to watch them like a hawk, which isn’t easy when I’m busy unloading my cart and trying to pay. “You can fit more in those bags,” I’ll say. “Are you sure?” they’ll invariably reply with a very worried look. I’ll spend several seconds convincing them that yes, I'm quite sure.

    This exchange takes place with each new bagger. Then, just when I think they’ve got it, they’ll make a judgement call to separately bag, in plastic, a lone item that won’t fit neatly into the top of any of my stuffed bags. On one occasion, the lone item was a loaf of bread. Before leaving, I removed the bread from the bag, tossed it in my cart and returned the bag. The bagger reacted by wadding up the bag and throwing it in the garbage. I watched with bewildered disappointment.

    It’s not just the how much, but the how to, that requires almost certain intervention every time I check out. Last week I had to pick up some cheese, crackers and wine for a last-minute party. I bought four bottles of wine, and a couple varieties each of cheese and crackers. At the check out, here came the individual paper bags for my four wine bottles. I politely refused the paper and instructed the bagger to pack the cheese and crackers around the bottles in my bag. They looked at me as if I was insane. “It will be fine,” I reassured them.

    Checking out when I’m buying only one or two things is also a struggle. It doesn’t help my case either when no one before me in the express lane turns down a bag for his or her meager purchase. When it’s my turn, I’m not given a choice; my maple syrup is in a bag before I can decline one. “Thanks, but I won’t need the bag,” I say. “But it’s already in there,” they retort, as if it is insensitive of me to make them debag my purchase and replace the bag from where it came.

    I’m really trying to work with these baggers, but honestly, sometimes it’s a small battle to get them to concede to my requests. It’s worth it though. I get great satisfaction out of using reusable canvas bags for all my shopping. Not just because I’m giving the environment a break, but also because I no longer have an entire hamper full of those pesky plastic bags that my grocer has stopped recycling and for which I could never find enough household uses. I feel at peace and very unencumbered for my efforts.

    The baggers in my new community will get used to my "unususal" bags, and at the same time, my fellow shoppers are learning that there is a third choice to the paper or plastic dilemma--neither

    Sunday, April 03, 2005

    Busy, Busy

    My postings have been pretty sporadic lately, sorry. It's because I've been crazy busy, and have not had time to write much of anything. (It's amazing how much of your life a Monday-through-Friday job takes up!) After work, the gym, and spending time with friends and family, I also have to squeeze in laundry, errands, and other responsibilities, which have made my weekends pretty much non-existant. One day it's Friday, and the next thing I know, it's Monday again. Let me just tell you again--I'm totally tripping out over how fast time is flying by!...

    One of my friends left Long Beach last week--she moved back up to Oregon to start her new Ed Specialist job at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. So good luck to you Mesha!...

    I headed out to Death Valley this past weekend, with my friend Vanessa, to check out the blooming wildflowers. They usually need the right conditions (mainly a good amount of rainfall) to bloom, and since we had more than enough rain this winter, the pretty flowers made an appearance. We did some hiking and saw some neat sites, like WATER in the middle of the desert at Salt Creek, Devil’s Golf Course, and Badwater. We even saw a desert tortoise, a rare and threatened species, making its way across the road. The weekend flew by, and it was a fun little out-of-town jaunt. I could’ve done without the headache I had the whole time though…

    Sunday, March 27, 2005

    The Big 3-0

    A Happy Birthday to my big sis, who turns 30 today! Hope this next year brings you lots of luck, new opportunities, adventures, good surf, and more clarity in your life and art. Enjoy your thirties, Kat! I'll send Blue Horizon your way soon...

    Sunday, March 20, 2005


    "All right, the Answer to the Great Question...of Life, the Universe, and," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.
    -The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    Really enjoying the book so far.

    Saturday, March 12, 2005

    Take a look, it's in a book...

    "Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high
    Take a look, it's in a book - a Reading Rainbow.
    I can go anywhere!
    Friends to know and ways to grow - a Reading Rainbow.
    I can be anything!
    Take a look, it's in a book - a Reading Rainbow!"

    Who remembers that song?

    I love books! But I have not read anything WONDERFUL in a long time! =(

    We had our Book Club meeting for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime last weekend (thanks Anitza for hosting it at you're place--btw, when are we going to bbq & swim? =P ). Everyone else seemed to like it. Although I didn't not like this book, I didn't really care for it much either, which was a bummer. I've been needing a really good read, and everything I've come accross lately has only been mediocre (any suggestions?). Our new pick is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, and it sounds pretty interesting. After this one, we're going to try to read by genre--next up is a classic or fantasy novel.
    Aside from the Book Club reading, I'm also in the middle of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I'll let you know if any of these turns out to be a spectacular read.

    Monday, March 07, 2005


    epiph*a*ny, noun:
    3a-(1) a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something
    (2) an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking
    (3) an illuminating discovery
    3b- a revealing scene or moment

    epiphany (understanding), noun:
    when you suddenly feel that you understand, or suddenly become aware of, something that is very important to you

    So, the point is, I had an epiphany: that the environment and sciences is not only an interest I have, but it is also a large part of WHO I AM. I'm not sure how I didn't know this before, but I'm glad I've discovered it now. It gives value to my degree and education, and it clears up some of the fuzzy areas in my life and future. It's nice to be able to take a big step back, away from the science field, and evaluate what's important to me and decide where I want to go next. I know I can't live without it, so I want to eventually steer my career back towards science/environmental issues. As for now, my new job is going well-- especially because it has allowed me to make a wonderful new discovery about myself.

    Monday, February 28, 2005

    Last & First

    Yesterday was my very last day at the Aquarium, and today was my very first day at the new job!

    My presenter career ended on a good note. On Friday, I had the pleasure of meeting Miller, our large male sea lion. David, one of the mammologists, took me into the exhibit and I got to touch, feed, and do some training behaviors with Miller. I even got a nice slobbery kiss, which was very exciting =P (check out My Photoblog). We had a going away lunch on Sunday, complete with a cake, which was very nice of the volunteers and my other coworkers to set up. I finished off my last day at the Aqurium by taking a lot of pictures, doing a fully booked Behind the Scenes tour, and doing my favorite presentations--the two Seals & Sea Lion feeding and training sessions, and an Otter feeding. Everyone came up to see the Otter presentation, which was my final one for the day, and gave a big applause and nice little goodbye speach for me, which was so nice! I even got a little teary eyed, seeing how much they all cared. I will miss all my wonderful coworkers at the AoP!

    My first day today went well. And some good news--I'm not going to Bakersfield for training! The 16 weeks of training will take place via satellite from here. (I'm so thankful that I don't have to go out to the boonies for 4 months!) Nothing much happened today, just had a basic orientation, and got my huge cubicle. It's kind of nice having my own desk =P

    Tuesday, February 22, 2005

    Song/Quote of the Day

    "This is for all you girls, about twenty-five.
    In little apartments just tryin' to get by.
    Livin' on, on dreams and Spaghettios.
    Wonderin' where your life is gonna go.

    This one's for the girls,
    Who've ever had a broken heart;
    Who've wished upon a shootin' star:
    You're beautiful the way you are.

    This one's for the girls,
    Who love without holdin' back;
    Who dream with everything they have.
    All around the world:
    This one's for the girls."

    -Martina McBride, This One's for the Girls

    Sunday, February 20, 2005

    "Heavy Thunderstorms"

    That's the forecast for tomorrow. And more thundershowers the next day. And the next. This rain is never-ending. Which means wet pants, shoes, socks and feet for a couple more days. At least it means great snow also. Let's hope I can make it up the mountain for one last boarding trip, before I start my Monday through Friday job next week.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2005

    The Search Is Over

    As you all might know, I recieved my BS back in May and then spent part of the summer exploring Europe. Since coming back from my graduation trip, I've been desperately searching for a full-time, real-life, grown-up job. And now, after 5 months, 8 interviews, and all the ups and downs that come with a job search, it is finally over--I got a job offer! It is very exciting news, and I am incredibly relieved, but am also a little sad. I resigned from my position at the Aquarium on Friday. I started out there as a volunteer, seven years ago, when I was 17, and it has been such a big part of my life. Although I will continue volunteering with the organization, it will be bitter-sweet leaving my staff position and being less involved in the goings-on there. But alas, it's time to grow up and move on. The Aquarium was a part of the High School/College chapter of my life, and now I need to turn the page and move into the Post-College/Grown-Up chapter. This change and moving on is great, although a little scary, but I'm looking forward to it.... Yay, a job!!! Which means money, weekends off, and medical insurance! (Now, about those widsom teeth...)

    So, there has not only been good news for me, but a couple of my friends also, and I'm so very excited for them. Congrats to Anitza--who is now full-time at the Aquarium with her new Web position, and Nemesia--who just got a full-time Education Specialist position at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Although it will mean that Mesha's moving back up to Oregon and won't be around to hang out with anymore, I'm totally happy for her. (Haley-this means that I will definitely have to visit Oregon & the both of you sometime soon!)

    So, Happy Lunar New Year! It looks like it will be a great year for me and the people around me! Sending you all lots of love, and hope you have a happy, healthy, fantastic year!

    Tuesday, February 08, 2005

    Heading Home

    My last few days here have been pretty low-key. Time flew because I'm already heading back home tomorrow. Sunday was Eugene's birthday, so we went out for lunch to celebrate, then did some shopping in SoHo. (Which stands for the area south of Houston, a street that runs through Manhattan. And I learned that it's not Hew-ston, like Houston TX, but prounounced House-ton instead). After that, we headed over to a friend of Eugene's to watch the Superbowl on his huge flatscreen TV.

    Yesterday, I went to the Empire State Building. My intention was to go to the top and look down on the city, but never made it because the line was too long. I didn't mind missing out on it at the time, but I got an email from Leo, and he and Jun had visited it the day after we all hung out and he said it was great. So, I guess that just gives me something to do the next time I'm in New York =). After skipping out on the Empire State Building, I went up to Central Park to take a stroll around and take a look at the zoo there. I couldn't find the zoo, however (the park is huge), so just continued walking until I made my way to the American Museum of Natural History. It was pretty interesting inside, especially this neat butterfly exhibit they have, where you can go in a room with the butterflies flying all around you.

    Today, I decided to explore Canal street, to try and find some cute knock-off Kate Spade purses. It's kind of a shady area, and I unfortunately didn't find anything. Actually, there were no knock-off items on display anwhere because the cops have apparantly been cracking down on that stuff. A woman in one of the stores asked for Chanel stuff, and the man took her through a "secret door" back to some "secret area." It seemed like a shady deal, LOL, and I didn't want to put myself in any weird situations since I was there alone. So, I didn't ask about any Kate Spades, and walked away empty-handed.

    Well, back home tomorrow. See some of you then. And hope everyone is doing well!

    Saturday, February 05, 2005

    I Heart New York

    It is great here! I now understand those "I Heart New York" logos that you see everywhere--because it's fun, lively, and full of character here, and yes, I too Heart New York. I've been having a wonderful time so far, and the one thing I was most apprehensive about--the weather--has turned out to be quite tolerable.

    Friday was my first full day here. While Kat went to the gym in the morning, I took a nice walk from her apartment in Greenwich Village towards the shops of SoHo. Walking is something that Californians seldom do, since everything is pretty spread out (although we're also quite dependent on our cars for even small tasks, like getting to the grocery store down the street) so it was nice to be out and about and do the New Yorker thing and walk everywhere. I'm very excited about the stores in SoHo, especially H&M, because we don't have it in LA (It's all over Europe and here in NY, so I don't understand why it hasn't made its way to LA yet--their stuff is so cute!) I didn't do any shopping yet, just checked out what stores I want to revisit during our shopping spree on Sunday. After that, I met up with Kat at her office, on Broadway just north of SoHo, to wait for my friends to show up. When Leo, Jun and I met up, we grabbed quick meal from a hot dog street vendor (not very exciting--I thought it was going to taste better than it did) and made our way down to Ground Zero. It was very sad and moving to see the massive void that was the World Trade Center--just an emptiness among the rest of the city. I can't even imagine what it would have been like to look up at such ginormous buildings, or what is was like to see them crumble right before your eyes. I read the signs surrounding the fence through misty eyes, and did not feel right taking pictures there. After that, we took the ferry over to the Statue of Liberty, then headed up to Times Square, and over to the Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral. It was fun seeing Leo & Jun again, we got to reminisce a little about our Europe tour, and it was just nice being able to enjoy the city with friends.

    This morning, Saturday, I made my way to Grand Central Station to meet up with Terrin and Chrystal, who were taking a train in from Albany. They are friends I met at James Cook University, in Townsville, Australia during my semester abroad a few years back. Terrin was my Trailer Park mate, until we moved down to Endeavour and shared a suite together. We all have a lot of fun memories from those six months, so it was great seeing the two of them again. Our first mission when the got in was to find tickets to a Broadway show. We walked to a discount ticket booth in Times Square, and were able to easily get tickets for the matinee showing of Chicago. We hung out, did a bit of shopping, then saw the show--which was awesome! (I LOVE the Cell Block Tango.) The girls only came in for the day, so we ate then said goodbye so they could catch a train back home.

    So, that was the quick story on my first two days here. =)

    Thursday, February 03, 2005

    Freezing My Arse Off

    The Pre-Birthday party celebration last weekend went well. It was a lot of fun (aside from my puking--thanks Jake for holding my hair back!), but I actually had to work the next morning at 9am, so that wasn't so fun. I did come home to a clean apartment, however, because my great roomates cleaned up the whole party aftermath while I was hard at work. I'm very thankful I didn't have to deal with that, because the house reeked of beer when I left in the morning, so thanks roomies for doing all of that dirty work! My birthday bowling evening was a lot of fun also, although my bowling score was horrible. Remember how I was proud that I bowled over 100 last time? Well, this time, I was cursed with a curving ball and averaged about 50. Jake kicked all of our butts and bowled a friggin 204!

    And now, I've made it to New York City. The plane ride was a bit uncomfortable (I think I'm just getting tired of flying), and I'm happy I managed the subways and made it from the airport into Manhattan okay. Kat met me at the subway stop by her place, and she and her boyfriend Eugene took me to a little seafood restauraunt they like. Gave raw oysters another try, and it wasn't as bad as I remember. Dinner--a lobster roll--was excellent, and dessert--apple pie,complete with a birthday candle--was even better. It was a nice way to start my trip.
    I think it's in the 30s here now, which apparantly is the warmest it's been all winter. Although I'm freezing my arse off, it's not as bad as I thought it would be, and I think I will survive okay. The scarf I finished knitting before leaving helps a lot, and the matching beanie my friend Mesha made for me is a nice touch =)
    Just a few things I want to do/see here: eat a hot dog from a hot dog stand, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, Broadway show, NY Aquarium, shop, MET, Natural History Museum, Central Park and eat a NY-style pizza...
    So, I'm excited to be exploring a bit of the city with Leo and Jun tomorrow!

    Tuesday, January 25, 2005

    Coming up...

    Here's the story on the next couple of weeks:
    This Friday, my roomates and I are hosting my Pre-Birthday party. The living situation here has changed a bit over the past few months, and we haven't had a party in the apartment yet, so now is a great time to have one! So, I currently live with three people--Roberta, who was my suitemate Freshman year in the dorms, Justin, the boyfriend of another suitemate, and Jake, who was Justin's roomate in the dorms. We've all graduated and it's funny that we now live together, with the dorm-like feel to the apartment, but it's actually a lot of fun.

    Tuesday, Feb. 1st, is my actual birthday--oh no! I'm getting so old! Time has been flying lately, and I feel like my life is passing me by. I know I'm just feaking out and it really isn't--so I'll just look at it this way, at least I'm still under a quarter of a century old =P

    The Thursday after my birthday, I'm heading to New York City for a week. I'll be staying with Kat and her boyfriend, in their apartment in Manhattan. Why am I going you ask? Well, why not? It's a perfect opportunity to travel because: 1) I've never been to NYC, 2) I should visit before Kat moves back to Cali, 3) I don't have a job yet, so I have time to travel 4) Plane tickets were really cheap, 5) Mom said she'd pay for my ticket, & 6) I get to see some friends too! A couple of friends from my semester in Australia, Terrin (my roomate at Endeavour) and Chrystal, live in upstate New York--they will be coming down to hang out. I will also get to spend some time with two friends, Leo and Jun, whom I met during my European Contiki trip. Leo also lives in upstate NY, and Jun is visiting from Korea. I'm so excited and cannot wait to see all of them! The East Coast weather, however, makes me a little apprehensive. 10-20 degree weather? Honestly, the coldest I've ever been in is 30 degree weather--on a snowy mountain in my snowboarding outfit. Now, I can't tramp around New York in huge snowboarding pants. How am I going to survive? Boy, this will be an adventure!--So send warm thoughts my way next week...

    Sunday, January 23, 2005

    The Past Week

    Went bowling the other night for the 3rd time in my life (check out the photos). I totally sucked when I went this past summer, but this time, I wasn't half bad for a beginner and scored over 100! So, happy hour + bowling equaled a lot of fun. My birthday is coming up pretty soon(Feb. 1st)--since it's on a Tuesday, I think I'll keep it low-key and make it a bowling night =)

    Yes, I am STILL looking for a job. Had an interview Wednesday, and have another one coming up next week. Wish me luck!

    Book Club
    Just for fun, I started a book club back in November with some of my coworkers. Our first read was The Dirty Girls Social Club by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez. None of us really knew what it was about, but the title was interesting, so we all agreed to read it. The meeting was fun, and I thought it was a pretty good turnout--seven out of nine showed up. Our next read is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon--damn, that's a long title that I can't ever remember correctly (the only reason why I got it right this time is because it's sitting in front of me.) I'm hoping it's a good book, because my last few reads have been only mediocre.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2005

    I Hate Potholes!

    Just in case you didn't previously know this, I want to share it with you now--I hate potholes! The two weeks of nearly-nonstop-pouring-rain that we had here in SoCal has now created giant potholes everywhere. They're impossible to avoid, and I can't stand how my car clunks over all of them. On the bright side, I've seen the sun and blue sky for two days in a row now! No more wet pants or feet, no more losing my umbrella to the wind, and I was actually able to wear a skirt yesterday. I usually don't like rain, and it has finally ceased--yet, oddly enough, I kind of miss it now. Isn't life ironic?...

    Sunday, January 02, 2005

    Happenings Since the Last Post...

    The Relatives and Xmas
    For the holidays, my big sis, Kat, came into town from NYC, and my aunt & little cousin, Long, (actually, I don't think I can call him little anymore--he's sixteen now, and a whole head taller than me) came from Geneva, Switzerland. They were here for 10 days, so I've been busy hanging out and entertaining them.
    Kat, the recently turned surf-nut (who, btw, is heading to Puerto Rico for the THIRD time at the end of this week), brought her board to check out the California waters. I hung out at the beach a couple of mornings while she went out with my friends Bennett and Micah. It was awesome how beautiful and sunny Xmas week was.
    Long, who was so excited to be visiting the states before he came, had no input on what he wanted to do when he got here. So I just took him to see some movies and he stayed with me & Kat at my apartment in Long Beach a couple of nights, where we played a number of fun games of pool. We also braved the crowded mall a few times, and he was happy to go shopping in our cheap stores (I guess in Switzerland, the clothes he bought goes for almost double our prices).
    For Xmas, our other aunts from up north drove down, and our uncle came over with smart & talented 9-year-old Yvonne (who's currently reading Great Expectations...who reads that at 9? I still haven't even read it, at 23) & funny 1-year-old Andrew. We all got together this Holiday because my Grandpa's health hasn't been great lately. It was a chaotic, asian-style Christmas, with presents, no tree, and a buffett of Vietnamese food.

    It's been raining like crazy since Tuesday, and our mountains have been dumped with about four feet of snow. This is great news, because we had a warm spell for a while and all the snow that came down in late Oct/early Nov had melted away and our resorts closed for a short period. But now, it's a winter wonderland up there. Bennett, Kat, and I attempted a boarding trip a few days back, but were turned away after our 2-hour drive to the resort. Apparantly, they sold out of lift tickets. It totally sucked!!

    A New Year
    I worked New Years Eve & New Years Day, but managed to squeeze a party in between the two. My friends the Ferris', Meghan & Liam, hosted a party at their new house. It was fun, complete with a Martini Bar, serving 9 different martinis. Mmmm.

    What's Next
    Now that all the relatives have left, and there are no more holidays to celebrate, life is going to die down back to normal. I'm snowboarding tomorrow (and hopefully a few more times this month), picking up volunteering again, getting my wisdom teeth pulled out on Wednesday, and of course am going to start the job hunt again. Wish me luck!

    PS..check out some new pics on the photoblog!

    Saturday, January 01, 2005

    2005 Wishes

    Hope you all have a wonderful upcoming year--full of magic, love, laughter, happiness and all the adventures you wish for in life!

    PS-I've been really busy lately and will update in the near future...