Tuesday, July 31, 2007

For the Fear of Instant Ramen

So after reading the blog comment from Goosey today, I started second guessing my love of Instant Ramen (Is it really that bad for your health? How could something so ingenious, so affordable, so...so instant - be the cause of my hair woes?) I ultimately decided that I should take a brief hiatus (at least until Dr. C sees me on Friday morning) from my beloved penny-saving meal.

And then I came home. Bah...it's become the worst part of my day since moving in here. Although I haven't had too many encounters of the STRA[PSYCHO]NGE kind in the most recent times, I have however, begun to really hate the fact that I don't have any room in my room. To do anything. But that's a side note.

On top of the fact that I don't have any room to store anything - I had gotten it into my head that I would come home and nuke my noodles that I had cooked the night before. Just as I had began to salivate in my mouth for the delectable taste of buttered noodles with pepper (I love pepper on buttered noodles, so there)...I romp into the kitchen only to find that the MICROWAVE IS BROKEN!

*GASP* How dare the microwave be broken. Of all freakin' days...

I rummaged through my one cupboard that I was allotted downstairs to find something that was tasty, easy, and didn't require a microwave. *cue heavenly lightbulb-just-turned-on-music*

This is what awaited me, this is what stared me straight in the face.

How could I resist? It's been an hour since I have eaten the delicious instantaneous life support, and thus far, no further hair has fallen out...yet.

If tomorrow another bald spot appears, I am blaming it on Goosey, and the Instant Ramen. Damn it. :-P :-)

Hope Comes in Hair-Growth Bottles

I really hope that (Dr.) C can give me some options on Friday for treatment. I'll try anything at this point. Seriously.

This morning I found another spot. This time it was the size of a sand-dollar pancake at one of those 24/7 diners. I am not going ballistic today. I actually am quite calm and quite happy. It's just a little ugly, that's all.

J's Mom said that she knew a friend of hers that used some topical steroid cream and her hair grew back ten times thicker than before. She also said that she knew of a guy in the Philippines who does hair transplants.

So...if nothing comes of the cream, or anything else I try (Rogaine for Women?) then I guess I'll be hopping my ass onto the next flight to Manila!!!!

Monday, July 30, 2007

To keep my spirits up...

My laptop isn't letting me embed this video... so you're just going to have to enjoy this clip by clicking the link the old fashioned way:


Tyrone Wells - Sea Breeze

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Forcing myself to write

Normally, the way I am feeling write now would never solicite blog writing but I think in order to help alleviate the stresses that are running through my mind right now that a session of blog therapy might do the trick.

The past two weeks have been the quickest and at the same time, longest weeks that I have ever experienced in my life. Starting with last weekend when we all decided to go to Artscape on Saturday.

I woke up like I usually do after a crazy night of partying...barely shuffling through my room to grab a towel and head to the shower.

I shuffled further into my bathroom, turned the shower on, and started to brush my teeth. Normal, right?

But it wasn't until I stepped into the shower that the most unusual thing happened.

The minute the water hit my head and I started shampooing, I noticed that I felt a lot more strands of my hair between my fingers than ever before. I wiped my arm across my eyes and opened them to stare at my hands only to see huge clumps of my hair wrapped around my fingers.

Now I have shed hair like most women, it gets annoying most of the time, especially when you feel something clinging to your arm as you're walking and you know its a piece of hair but you can't find the exact strand that is bothering you...but this was way more than just one strand.

I decided to ignore it. That is, until I went into my room later to comb my hair out. That's when I noticed that my natural part looked...rather large. Like a small bald spot. And that more of my hair was falling out even without me touching it.

I decided to be in denial...and sprayed my scalp with volumizing booster and blewdried my hair out to make it look full...

As the weekend came to a close, I found that my hair was really starting to fall out. In huge clumps. By that Wednesday, I was paranoid to even wash my hair, touch my hair, or run a comb through it without seeing the large amount of clumps that would fall out. So much that I started to diminish my feelings of denial and start to worry.

So I decided to call my PCP and order some blood tests. I had researched hair loss a little bit on the internet and figured that it might have something to do with my thyroid.

Another few days pass by after my blood tests, and more clumps of hair could be found all across my carpet, falling out by itself at this point. I began to get paranoid about showering, because as the water would fall over my scalp, my hair would fall out with it, all around my feet like out of a horror movie.

And then the most positive news of all quickly became the most negative. My doctor called and told me that the blood tests came back completely negative for any thyroid disorder. In fact, he had run even further extensive blood work, due to the rapid succession that my hair was falling out, and everything came back normal. Extremely normal, he had said.

He said that only left one thing as an option as far as he could think.

Alopecia acreata.

An auto-immune disorder that mistakens your hair follicles for a foreign tissue. Apparently, one day my body woke up, and told my immune system that the hair on my scalp was pissing it off, and something had to be done...therefore, my immune system, being the hardcore posse that it is, went full throttle in its attack against my innocent hair follicles. That's the story I've been telling anyway....

I don't know how else to say this: even the smallest thing can make the biggest difference, I guess. Something so small as hair, you never realize it's really there (unless you're one who likes to change hair colors, and uses your hair as an accessory) but I was never one of those girls. Hair was just...hair. Until now.

There's a part of me that tends to feel like a lame ass. In the end, it's just hair, right? I am not in any pain, nor have I contracted some terminal illness...and yet, for the past two weeks, I haven't been able to sleep, I haven't been able to get over the paranoia of taking a shower without a showercap on (and have resorted to only washing my hair every three days), and I will admit, I have tried to completely avoid looking into the mirror, unless absolutely necessary.

The worst day of this whole ordeal had to be Thursday of this past week. I woke up, and being as it was the third day, decided that since I had taken a full shower the night before, that I would just hang my head over the edge of the tub and wash my hair.

I started running my fingers softly, gently against my scalp with the shampoo. My eyes were shut to keep the suds from burning my eyeballs out. And then I began to rinse. Finally, as I felt the last bit of threatening suds leave the vicinity of my eyes, I opened them, and fell into a state of shock.

The entire bathtub was filled with my hair. The bath plug hadn't been unplugged and the water was just building up, but for as much water that was in the bathtub, there was hair. My hair.

I fell back against the bathroom floor and started to panic. I wanted to scream, but it felt too early, too scary to scream. All I could feel were the heated tears forming in my eyes, and all I could hear was my heart pounding in my chest, through my ears, until that was all I could hear.

I couldn't stare anymore. It was humiliating, horrifying...I ran into my room, sat on the floor, and cried.

I just cried. I cried and cried until I couldn't hear my heart pounding anymore. I stared into the mirror and saw three huge bald spots all over my scalp, leering and jeering at me, as if to taunt me.

Now this is what might sound a bit strange to people, but I don't care. In my desperate state of mind, it seemed like the right thing to do. It seemed justified. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the thought of possibly no one believing me that the entire bathtub was filled with my own hair, mainly because I could hardly believe it myself.

So I took plastic Ziploc bags into the bathroom, and with my one hand holding open the bag, I dipped the other one into the water and pulled out the hair and stuffed it into the bag. I wasn't sure what else to do with it come to think of it - placing it into the trash ... I can't explain it, it just didn't seem right. Not something you do with hair that was just attached to you five minutes ago.

I think I put the hair into the Ziploc bags for confirmation for myself. Perhaps to shake me up, to force me out of the denial that I had been placing over myself for the previous week that something could be wrong. Or perhaps I am so used to no one ever really believing me that I had to have concrete evidence for the one day that someone might say, "oh no you couldn't have possibly lost that much hair." To which I wouldn't reply, but simply just place the bags of hair into their hands. Oh yes, I did.

When I got back into my room, I was uncontrollably a basket case. I called J, exclaiming how horrified I was, how scared I was, how I had no fucking clue what the hell was going on with me.

He told me to call his brother (who is a dermatologist, and a great person at that) seeing as alopecia is a disorder dealing with the skin. I called C and left a message. He returned the call, and after explaining the situation to him (with a little less hysterics) he seemed to have come to the same conclusion: that it sounded like alopecia. So this Friday I go to see him and wish for the best. I have been doing a lot of research, trying to find any and all outlets as to different treatments and that sort of thing. I won't leave one stone unturned.

Okay, so this post has become a bit dramatic. Let me end on a good note, then.

Friends. My friends, particularly, have been the most supportive, loving bunch I could have ever asked for. LP called me on Friday to make sure I was doing alright, and J actually came over and made sure to tell me over and over again that I'd be fine, that I'd be okay...and I know I will be. It was definitely a huge scare at first, I tell you that. I'm not going to lie. I positively freaked the hell out.

But after this past weekend, after being surrounded by friends, and people I know who love me, and feeling the support - it's become what it always was before: just hair. And with or without it, whether it grows back or not, I know I got love. :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Behind in blog mentality...

In my mind, there are several blog posts I want to write:

1. The fun blog post: how great my weekend was, what fun events I went to, and some pics to go along with it (soon enough, cuz G still has my laptop)


2. The serious blog post.

I should have written the fun one yesterday, seeing as it was Monday, and a nice follow-up day to the weekend, but I just didn't have any time. There's a newbie at work (her name is Sharon) and for some odd reason, apparently, me working here for just a little over a year qualifies me to be a trainer. So all yesterday, in addition to the main project I am working on to have done by the end of the year (December 31st to be exact) and all my other daily things that go on - I was training this newbie on how to set up a new loan. We only got through half of the stuff that we needed to, mainly because I had told her in the beginning of the day that I would get to her stuff after lunch. I still really haven't completed everything that I need to (and I know I really have no basis to complain since I am now using this quality time to blog).

The weekend was fun. Eventful. Friday night we (Oppa, Kuya, D, Smitty, me and yes *gasp* even J) went to go support DJ G at Ultrabar in DC. It was G's first time spinning in a DC club atmosphere, and he needed a big crowd in order to insure a possibility to a permanent gig. So we all came out to show our love for our friend.
He rocked the house of course, and it was so much fun to see everybody hanging out and interacting and all. Kuya came with Y unni and her friend Su. (Big pimpin' Kuya!) I will post pics later when I get my laptop back from DJ G (also my computer whiz master).
As we were leaving, I left with DJ G, and got into his car, and as we were taking off onto 295, we hit a pothole (and if you're counting, this is the 2nd time G has hit that pothole on 295). And his tire got a huge hole in it (one so big that he could stick his finger through it) so he had to call the BMW maintenance people.
Meanwhile, I am calling D who is in the car with Smitty to tell him what happened. J is already on his way home, and texting me to make sure that everything is okay.
D comes back to 295 with Smitty in his car, and decides to take me back to his place with Smitty so Smitty can go home, and I can wait it out.
By the time we drive back to Laurel, G is still waiting for the tow truck, and so D and I get back into his car and drive back to the portion of 295 that G got stuck.
An hour and a half later, a tow truck arrives and I had passed out at that point from exhaustion. I was so tired.
When I finally woke up, I was in D's car, following the tow truck that had G in it, with his car, to the BMW of Towson place.
Once the tow truck dropped off G's car there at the dealer's, we all piled into D's car, headed over to G's parents' place and G & I hopped into his new (old as hell) green Ford Ranger.
I think we were lucky that the Ranger was running at all.
By 8:10 am I got home successfully, said good bye to G, and climbed the stairs to my room and passed out until around 11.
Got up, and got ready to go to Artscape by 2. Took a cab from my place in Dundalk to Artscape (which by the way, pissed me off that it was like $35 because the guy decided to take the loooong ass way, of course) and then hung out there by myself for about an hour until my old high school buddy, The Timness, came to hang out.
I hadn't seen The Timness since I graduated like four years ago so it was nice to see him, we took pictures, grabbed some drinks and ended up walking around the festival for a while. J met us up there and he grabbed a drink and before long, The Timness had to go and then The Dreamer met J and I and we walked around with two of J's beautiful little nieces. (yes yes, pics will be posted later)
Sunday: was Ang's Birthday Lunch!! It was great to see everyone again, and be able to hang out and stuff. Ang's doesn't look a day older than 18. :-D
Overall it was a fun-filled weekend and it definitely helped me take off a lot of the stress that has been going on lately. I was able to not focus so much on the bad stuff that was running through my mind and just have lots of fun.
Wishing that today was definitely Friday though... this week has the feeling of it going by very slowly for me....

Friday, July 20, 2007

Celebrate My Blog Post's Centennial! Yay!

Hooray! Today is the 100th post. Join in the mini-celebration, pop a cork of champagne! Take a piece of cake and don't forget to grab a scoop of ice cream on your way out!

Can't believe I have posted 100 posts already but then again, I guess I can believe it. I have fallen in love all over again with blogging and the joy that it brings. There is a satisfaction that comes with being able to write out all your fears, your joys, your frustrations, your angers...and then be able to go back and read them to yourself one day to remind yourself of how strong you truly are. And, most importantly, how every one who blogs - and even those who don't - are all faced with similar challenges and obstacles that they have to overcome. And, I have found, most expectedly, that through reading my other friends' blogs - they have all been triumphant.

Today is Friday and what a beautiful Friday it is. Not too hot, not too cold. I am excited for the weekend because it's Artscape weekend and I can't wait to just peruse around Mt. Royal and Maryland Ave looking at the art, hearing the music, and just - well, soaking in the inspiration.

I intend to pack my journal along for the ride this weekend, too. I am sure there will be plenty for me to write about and report back to you guys. I love the food, too! Yum! Jamacian beef patties here I come!

Reservations have also been made for the beach trip that was confirmed last night. Ocean City, Maryland - here I come!!! I haven't been to Ocean City for 14 years or so - so it should be an interesting experience. I'll make sure to take lots and lots of pictures (even though J doesn't like the incessant picture-taking, pish posh on him, I say!) and post them up here since I now have a decent computer!

Hope everyone else enjoys their weekend, please go out and enjoy the nice weather if you can. I know that my ass is taking a taxi this weekend to wherever I go because I REFUSE to stay in!!! :-)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Post #99: Freedom Sestinas

My second year of Literary Arts at Carver was spent studying the different forms of poetry and the different disciplines of other genres of writing such as scriptwriting and fiction.

I hate(d) scriptwriting. I feel so confined by all the rules; the format alone is enough to make someone like me (the messy, piles of paper and clothes on the floor type of gal) go insane. I ultimately allowed myself to soak up enough of the formatting to get an A on my final presentation but to this day, if you ask me how many spaces are needed from the indentation of the left in order to begin a character's dialogue as opposed to the fade-in opening description...yeah, well, you've shit outta luck buddy.

But what I hated even more were sonnets...iambic pentameters were the Desert Storm of my sophomore year. You went in thinking you'd only be there for a little bit (because how hard is it to rhyme some words?) and blinked only to realize you had been sucked into a Shakespearean vortex of hell - iambic pentameter beats throbbing in your eardrums - your nightmares surrounding you with clouds of triolets, couplets, stanzas, quatrains all suspended in the air ramming into the side of your head with their perfect rhythmic structures, their deliberate forms and rhyme schemes. Once in a while shocking you into resilence with a volta here and there.

Just when I began a deathly suffocation into the further restrictive poetic forms, Mrs. BBB threw us all a curve ball: the sestina.

"The sestina is said to have been invented by the troubadour poet Arnaut
Daniel. It was widely used by his followers, as well as by Dante and
Petrarch in Italy. The word troubadour comes from the Provencal word
trobar, meaning "to find" or "to invent in verse." The troubadours were
travelling French poet-musicians, some of them noblemen or
crusader-knights, who flourished from the end of the eleventh century
through the thirteenth century."

-from "The Handbook of Poetic Forms"

I fell in love. NO iambic pentameters. NO rhyming words. Freedom. FREEDOM in
poetic form.

So without further ado:

At night my birthmother's spirit teaches me her language
and most times my tongue twists itself into knots, other times it dances
over the rhythm of the words. This is when I become one with my culture
and spill my worries into the "yah" and "yo" endings of
the Korean proverbs my birthmother tries to teach me. And
I pray that if the words posess me enough they will make me beautiful.

It is from my birthmother's womb that I first prayed to be beautiful
like her. To have hair like hers, so soft and smooth like the language
that poured from her lips to soothe me at night. I frustrate and
chide myself for being unable to remember the songs she sang so I might dance
as she did in fine Hanbok silks, fans flutering against her gentle face to songs of
hope - that each step might help me remember more of the culture.

I was forced to leave behind in that tiny village in Seoul where culture
runs through the market streets and invades the air with the beautiful
sounds of the Han street drums. My blood rushes to these sounds in search of
finding myself locked in the beat and the shouts of the language
filling my ears. Maybe with them will come whispers that I can dance
too; forgetting that my legs were not fit for dancing and

stomping my lame foot as hard as I can on solids ground, my heart and
soul will pour into this world. Into these people that are my culture
and are the closest I get to breathing my mother's scent and dancing
with her in the streets. I hope I look somewhat beautiful
for my birthmother when we clutch hand-in-hand, and share secrets in our language
that I can finally understand. Like how both our legs seem to be made of

the devil posts stuck in the mud outside each village. And of
how our eyes close when we lift our lips to smile and
she will tell me why the lnie in my palm stops halfway. Her language
is now mine as well. I no longer doubt that this is my culture
or that my body, with my small eyes and devil post legs, is anything less than beautiful
compared to hers. I admire how we both look in the light as we dance.

I want to be like my birthmother, and own her hps when she dances
so gracefully, shifting her weight from side to side in hopes of
catching a glimpse from my father whose eyes are just as beautiful
as hers. I wish to be there when he takes her in his arms and
they remind me how much I am a part of this culture
because I now share these secrets, share their blood, in our language.

And this is how I dream for it to end; hangul pouring from my lips so that my child may dance
to the rhythm of the culture that I learned of from the soils of my beautiful home country
and the soils of my birth.

Been slacking...

on my post duties. And you would think I'd be posting more since I got the new laptop but I just keep coming home tired as hell, and not wanting to do anything but sleep.

I found out this morning that instead of a $420 letter for the left foot accelerator, it will only cost me $162 (IF I can pass just the final driving assessment test) otherwise it could cost me $162 + $420 = my entire soul sucked away from my body.

I wish there was a fund I could establish or something, like: "Help The Brave Get Some Wheels" or "Give me money NOW"...yeah I would've come up with something more clever but my brain shut down several hours ago. I am now on cruise control mode. Which is not good because I am behind at work.

I would write more - about how last night my Mom and I argued, as usual, about what? The usual.

Or how I wanted to slap the face of my roommate again, as usual. Over what? The usual.

Again, I would write more - but it just seems all too...usual. Heh, heh, heh.

More later... I am starving and stuffing my mouth with vending machine-donuts. Yes, I was that hungry.

-=EDIT @ 1 pm=-

Still trying to finalize the vacation plans. Seems like everyone wants to head out to Miami for the Labor Day weekend (and who wouldn't blame them? The weather should still be nice) but I know that I have some expenses coming up that I should be planning for (and have been for a while) and I also know that J was attempting to stay within a budget this next vacation. O.C. maybe? New York?

Although just now when I checked online for New York's rates they seemed pretty high for even the hostels (and I will NEVER EVER EVER EVER stay in a hostel again after the great Hostel Incident at the PvD concert of hm, what was that year? 2004? Anyway, let's just say that the bathrooms were separated from toilet and shower stalls. And that they were set up to be communal toilets, meaning: you had the stalls but no doors to have your privacy. Yeaaaaah....)

I also called Sinai this morning(which is where I found out about the new better rates) and talked to a really nice lady, Kim. She said that from the sounds of it, all that Sinai would require me to do for them was to take a final driving evaluation and if they felt that I was safe and ready to drive with anyone as my instructor (meaning: family or friends) then they would write the letter or fill out the necessary forms and send them along to MVA to get that second restriction taken off the learner's permit.

That was the good news. Especially since they said that they have availability for in-driving evaluations for the last week of August which is when I took off for the vacation and would like to time everything perfectly then.

The bad news? The money aspect of it. It always comes back to the money and how much they are going to charge me. And the fact that they are going to want to test me to see my driving abilities before they let me get that form.

This is the part that pisses me off. Because I know that I took the Driver's Ed almost (okay, yes, exactly) two years ago and haven't been in the car since. I haven't had the practice time, I haven't had anything!!! So how I am supposed to be "finally" evaluated on my driving abilities when I have had no practice?

I feel like I am being scrutinized for the disability factor. And I probably am. But what can I do at this point? Not like kicking and screaming is going to help me in my plight any further.

But think about all those kids who go in and get their learner's like everyone else and then out they go, doing the 60 hours of practicing time with their parents or their relatives and then taking the test - with no other hurdles, not having to pay someone to first evaluate them to allow them to then drive with their relatives. What the hell is that shit? Okay, I see the logic, don't get me wrong. I see why the MVA does all of this - but it's just so frustrating to me.

At first this Kim woman told me that she would have to be my driving instructor for those 60-hours because she said, "normal people would just go in and get their learner's and drive the 60-hours with other normal people and then take the testing to get their real driver's license. But then you have that restriction meaning that you have to be with me in order to complete those hours."

Okay, first off, I didn't like her use of the word "normal" but we'll save that for another blog post. Second, there is no way on this green earth and all the burning flames in hell that I would pay someone at $67-$108/per hour to sit in the car with me for 60 HOURS in order for me to drive. That's ridiculous.

So I told her what my MVA letter said. She said that okay, she guessed that the MVA was going to allow me to have the J restriction removed after I received something in writing from the licensed Rehab instructor. I said, yes that was my impression of things.

I still have to call Good Samaritan to have them fax over my records to Sinai and the lady at the scheduling said that they did have openings the last week of August.

Hopefully I can just pay the fees and get the letter and be done with all this craziness soon enough. Kim from Sinai did say at the end of our conversation, "Don't get your hopes down, I know that it's taken you forever to get to this point but things are looking up and you'll be able to drive soon enough."

It's nice to finally meet someone along this journey through all these driving rehabs that understands where I am coming from and how I might be feeling at this point. :-)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I Got It!!!

Yes...I got "it". And if it weren't for the fact that I have an old computer with no memory left on it...there'd a picture of me, holding my learner's permit, with a big ass huge cheesin' grin on my face!!!

I GOT IT PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't express how freakin' happy that I am right now. I got it Saturday morning after waiting only for a surprising two hours at the MVA (in Bel Air, which btw, is the better one for FYI). The first woman that I went up to was super sweet, helped me fill out the basic questions that would go on the permit like was I an organ donor? What was my birthday?

When it got to the ethnicity question, she clicked the choice she felt was accurate after she looked at me and said, "is this one correct?"

I was expecting to look at the monitor in front of me and see the "Asian" box checked, but this woman had checked the "Multiracial" box.

"No no, it's Asian. Do I really look multiracial?" I asked, just being curious.

"Oh, it's just because you have a darker complexion." ....

Okay, whatever, lady, just give me my permit!

I took the knowledge test on that touch screen thinger they have in the back. The guy that was overseeing who takes the tests was sorta mean and grumpy. As I walked up to the sign that said "Please wait here to be seated for testing" I guess my one foot had stepped across where the sign was and he suddenly yelled from his desk,

"HEY! YOU! Yeah, YOU! Step behind the line, BEHIND, do you understand me?"

Whoa, buddy. I heard ya loud and clear.

So I step behind the sign and wait my turn. When I get up to my screen (Monitor #4...yes, of course I am going to remember stupid details like that!) I was seated next to these two Hispanic guys that kept whispering to each other in Spanish.

All of a sudden, I am sitting there, trying to take my time and read each question slowly in order to give the right answer because you have to get at least 17 right out of 20 and you only have 15 minutes to answer them all...the testing dude comes over to the two guys next to me and yells in their faces,

"No TALKING! No talking or YOU FAIL. Do you understand English? Comprende amigo?"

...Yeah, on any other day, I'd be writing a blog about that racist asshole - but this one is all about ME and how HAPPY I am right now. How I am straight cheesin'.

When I finally got handed the card, I jumped into the air, Mary Tyler Moore style. Oh yes, you know, I went there.

But now is no time to truly celebrate. (Although a party is in order. Is everyone ready to partay?!)

I have only 6 months to:

  1. Buy a car. Which I plan on going to the dealership this weekend after going over some car insurance quotes this week during lunch (I will only be able to work out every other day and try to quote insurances on the other days). Hopefully by the end of this month or next you'll be seeing me with a new xA. (Although the new Scion is BAD ASS, according to me and J)
  2. Get the left foot accelerator letter. Unfortunately, even though I do semi-qualify for free training. I don't have time for that now. It is a 6-8 week waiting list and I don't have 6-8 weeks to wait anymore. Not unless I want to pay a whole other $50 for another learner's permit and take the knowledge and the vision test all over again. So that means I am headed to Sinai. I talked to the lady and she said that they would do the letter for me if I went for at least 6 sessions @ $67/hour. If you're rounding up and doing the math along with me that will be at least a $420 letter so I can drive with anyone and not just a driving instructor.
  3. Complete the 60 hours of driving in the rookie driver booklet. Which is probably the easiest out of the three. I have a ton of awesome friends that have already signed up to help me complete my 60 hours and help me get ready for the provisionals test.

So these are my goals in the next 6 months. I am starting this week to get the ball rolling. Wish me luck!!!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Office Politics...

suck my lil Asian woman ass.

That is all.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ready to Dance with the Virgin...

Virgin Festival acts, that is. Get your mind out of the guttar.

Check out this line-up:

My only problem? Not knowing which act will be playing when. You would think they'd have a timed schedule out by now or something. Not to say that I wouldn't like to stay for ALL of them (because crazy me bought the two-day pass ticket) but there are certain ones that I would cry if I missed.

Here's who I am particularly looking forward to:

The Police/Amy Winehouse/Felix da Housecat/Infected Mushroom/Incubus/Matisyahu/Smashing Pumpkins/Yeah Yeah Yeahs/Wu Tang Clan/Beastie Boys/Velvet Revolver

It's fast approaching into August so I better get my ass ready. I am super siked though - I can't wait to hear Sting's impeccable voice, Amy Winehouse's 60's-infused pop, Infected Mushroom's psychedelic performances, Incubus' sexy lead singer, and whether or not the Smashing Pumpkins still have all original members or not.

Hells yeah!!!

Ps. Tonight I go to check out a housing prospect. Wish me luck. It has to be: A. Not in a bad neighborhood B. Super clean C. Affordable D. Living with people that aren't psycho.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

One more step closer...

to getting my car!!!!!!!!!

I just got the call today that said my eyeglasses are ready for pick up. I have to wait until this Thursday or Friday night to pick them up though (because that's the only time I am able to get a ride over there).

After that, I all I have to do is go to the MVA and stand in line for my learner's permit and then I'll have the card in my hands with my picture on it! I am so excited!! I just have to find a way to get to the MVA this Saturday morning if possible...the rest of the weekends for this month are pretty much chock full for me.

This week I am going to call that guy at DORS again, Noppinger, and bust on his ass to get him to put my name on that list. If he seems to hesitate a bit, I might just ask him for the honest truth whether or not he sees the possibility of me being eligible at all for this. There's no use wasting my time to be turned down again. I gotta keep moving on. I am on a roll now and nothing, and no body is going to stand in my way.

Memoir of Friends #1

-=Prelude Edit=-
As a sort of writing practice, I started to write memoirs of people that I once knew. People who for one thing or another have affected my life in a way, or many ways. People who have passed on, but whose memory has kept with me throughout the years, and has helped me get through some difficult and interesting times. This is the first of the many pieces that I found myself scribbling into my journal one afternoon. I needed a chance to let the writer's compost build. I needed to let go of some tears. This is for you, Jules.

The first time it hit me that I had lost Jules was a week after her funeral. Even after I had seen her open casket where I cried hysterically and stared disbelief at the body lying there that everyone kept telling me was my best friend, even after the two hour funeral in the church where I sat in the back pews in my pink dress because Jules had said that she wanted everyone to celebrate her in style, even after the reception at her parents' house where her mother had created picture posters of Jules with a few dozen of them being with me in them... I was still in disbelief. It still hadn't set in.

Until one day, a week later, I was walking through the parking lot of the mall and heard Jules' favorite song blaring in the near distance.

I turned to see a guy driving around the parking lot in his white Honda Civic, windows rolled down, and singing his lungs out.

"Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes...five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear..."

And I broke down in tears.

RENT was her anthem. She ran out to buy the soundtrack the week it came out, and would walk around the school hallways with a CD-player in one hand, both earphones clasped around her earlobes, and reciting the words from "Over The Moon" with such precision and emotion you would have thought they made the part of Maureen for her.

She had become my Maureen. The crazy, sexy, amazing, alluring, intimidating 5'2" powerhouse that was Julia made me feel like anything I did was the greatest shit since sliced bread. My first day of school there, I felt completely out of place. I was one of two or three kids that were homeschooled for most of their middle school years stepping into the most insane, liberal-arts public high school in Baltimore County.

Everyone who came to Carver knew everyone who was already at Carver. That was mostly because Carver was one of those high schools where they were bound to choose middle schoolers that had attended other liberal-arts schools such as Deer Park, Loch Raven Academy or the infamous Sudbrook.

To the freshman students who arrived, the teachers they were going to be assigned to for their primes were legendary. To me, they were some of the wackiest teachers I had ever met in my entire life.

Jules was an alumni of Sudbrook. She, of course, had studied Theatre and Vocal Arts there. She had a voice on her that could project for miles. To this day, I blame my ability to be loud and obnoxious on her. When she met me, I was a timid, quiet Asian girl who wore jeans with pen spots splattered over them and tattered t-shirts to achieve the "artistic look".

Everyone thought Jules and I made the oddest pair as friends. She, the Sudbrook-attending, outgoing, insane theatre student, and me, the introverted, nervous, literary arts student with my head stuck between the pages of my journal 99% of the time. But the friendship worked. And Julia made me realize that life was too short, too alive, too raw, too beautiful to miss out on. We would stay on the phone for hours, reciting lines from upcoming Broadway productions; me listening to her new monologue for Theatre 1 class and her listening to my new sestina for Intro to Lit Arts.

Her bright spirit became something I will never forget. From her stealing "hamster burgers" from the cafeteria to jumping on top of her seat in the auditorium after I finished my hip hop dance for the Black History Month assembly to skipping class and walking to the mall to buy "movie star shades" - Jules was, and will always be my star.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Four Walls

I am a homebody type of person. I love to sit on a porch and read a good book, grab a pen and scribble down fast into my journal until the sun comes down. I love to watch movies, documentaries, and am addicted to Dirty Jobs. I geekily flush over board games (I am a kick-ass Jenga player...holla) and am a total sucker for a good intense video game.

But you wouldn't know it if you saw my schedule or counted how many times I have gone out in the past two months. People who don't really know the me inside - who is content with sleeping in on lazy Saturdays, watching the sun come up, kicking back and relaxing with nothing particular to do...would think I am as wild and crazy as Paris Hilton, partying out at all late hours of the night.

I climb into the back of old Camaros, Contours, and Integras or M3s, M5s, and Celicas - music blaring at high decibals, a car full of people ready to go to the club. I, like everyone else in the car, took the time to at least dress halfway decently, put some make-up on, actually blowdry my hair out...

And yet even after all that effort placed in going out, I'd really rather be somewhere else. I would give anything to be anywhere else.

So why do I go out still?

Four walls. That's my answer in just two words. To be quite frank, I have gone quite bonkers. I thought that I could be stronger than that - but cabin fever finally won out.

It's funny how cabin fever, in its utter most crevices of desperation, forces a person to do things that she might not find as entertaining as it should be. I love hanging out with my friends. I adore them, probably in a way that would make me their biggest fan. But in the end I feel like I end up standing in a corner, sitting in a corner, or in some arbitrary hide out section of the club, bobbing my head with my arms across my chest (yes, I am THAT gangsta.) I do dance, and yes, I love to dance, but I am just as content dancing in front of myself in the mirror in my Paul Frank pjs as anyone else would be dancing in front of the DJ booth at a PvD show.

I think this is a phase that everyone hits - and I just think that I hit that phase at an earlier time in my life. I am like that with everything - I am so premature with my phases. I had my identity crisis from 10-13. And now I have reached the point in my life, at the ripe age of 21 years - not even finished my first year of fully being able to legally drink - already done with partying, drinking and clubbing.

I seriously cannot explain to you how much fun I had playing with Ryder and watching Backyardigans. I had a blast. Almost more fun than he did.

It's just frustrating for me because these four walls of my room are closing in on me. I feel suffocated all the time in that room - and yet it's my only sanctuary. It's the only place in the house that I feel comfortable and away from the tension. It was something and is something that I am so proud of myself for creating ...I pulled the carpet, washed the wood floors down, scrubbed the window sills, did all the painting by myself, bought all the furniture for myself...everything. But after a while, staring at the same four walls and watching reruns on TV only tides you over for so long. I am a homebody by nature - but it's killing me when I am being cornered into being a homebody. I have no choice. No ride, no ability to get where I want or need to go. And the walls seem to get smaller and smaller whenever I come home from work.

I know that it's only a matter of time before everything pans out and comes to fruition. But for the time being, like I said, I am going bonkers. I feel like I am beneath a heated blanket, and it's 98 degrees all around the outside. It feels like this never ending swelter of heat, and frustration, and tension. Not between anyone and myself...just me, myself and I.

So I end with this song:

Right now I feel like a bird
Caged without a key.
And everyone comes to stare at me
with so much joy and reverie.

They don't know how I feel inside.
Through my smile, I cry.
They don't know what they're doing to me.
Keeping me from flying...

That's why I say that
I know why the caged bird sings
her only joy comes from song.
And she's so rare and beautiful to others.
Why not just set her free?

So she can fly, fly, fly...
Spreading her wings and her song.

Let her fly, fly, fly...
For the whole world to see.

She's like a caged bird...
Fly, fly, fly..
Ooo, just let her fly, just let her fly.
Spread wings, spread beauty.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Beauty in the Eye of the Surgeon

"A plastic surgeon has published a composite image of the ideal male Korean face. Rhee Seung-chul, the head of plastic surgery at Hanil General Hospital, made the image from the faces of 16 Korean Wave stars. Rhee had earlier done the same thing for women by making a composite image of 19 female stars."

Apparently, this computer-generated man to my left here is Korean male perfection in a nutshell. Personally, I think he looks a bit too effeminate but then so do most Korean male movie stars, IMHO.

I remember when I first saw "My Sassy Girl" when I was 10 or 11 years old; it was my first time watching Korean cinema. ---->

It was during my "Quest for Identity" stage where I was obsessed with buying Asian babydolls, Asian clothes, and random Korean commodities like some crazy American tourist. (which I guess, essentially, I am) So it was only fitting that I would be wanting of some sort of solid cultural evidence of the Korea that I had grown to love through picture books, tourists' pamphlets, and those bags of Shrimp Chips (I can't get enough of those things!) with the little dancing pink shrimp illustrated on the front that I would buy in bulk at Lotte.

So what kind of awesome cultural experience would I have while watching a movie that I envisioned thousands and thousands of my fellow Korean peers rushing to the movie theaters to see? The credits began to roll, and the title flashed across the screen.

Then a close-up of a pale Asian face comes into the camera view, and they zoom out. I notice how flat her face looks, how high her cheekbones are, how pale her face looks, how wide her eyes appear, and how thin her lips seem. Is this the image of utter beauty in Korea?

Another scene, I am patient. Here comes the dude. His face is fuller, but still flat, he has thin lips as well but his skin color seems to have a bit more pigment. His eyes are just as big as hers...but the way he presents himself is sort of feminine, and submissive. Is this the image of the perfect male in Korea?

I know that America isn't perfect. We have our own visions of beauty, and what is desirable and what isn't. We have coke-addicted models who starve themselves and live half their lives in toilet rooms, and we have rockstars who tattoo their bodies from head to toe and then go shoot some crack in the back corner to stay "heavy rock thin". But for some reason, these two characters that were presented to me in "My Sassy Girl" made it seem like they were more like cartoons than they were people.

But alas, at 10, I was young, foolish, and impressionable. I suddenly saw this picture of a seemingly "gorgeous, perfect" Korean woman and wanted nothing more than to be her. I started going to the Korean beauty parlor down the street, wanting long black hair, extra straight. I wanted to have pale skin like all of my other friends did (but was too chicken-sh-t to buy the bleaching lotion at the Lotte beauty counter) and would hide for hours from the summer sun because I tanned too easily. I wanted wider eyes (and alas, I have to admit, I still to this day kind of wish that I still did have sangkapul...) so I would allow my Joann-unni to tape my eyelids with cosmetic tape to create the 'illusion' that I had a second fold before church service started.

I look back at those days and think of how silly I was. And how comfortable I am finally in the skin that I am in now. It took me forever... and I think I am still learning to accept things - because there will always be obstacles in life where you're faced to question what you believe in yourself, and how you view yourself. Especially for the first half of this year, for me.

I hope that this next younger Korean generation will not be so easily swayed by this ridiculousness. Computer-generated people are not REAL people. They are mounds and mounds of Botox injections. They are threads and threads of mini stitches in their faces, their chins, their necks, their stomachs. They are artificial in every sense of the word.

And eventually, the more plastic you become on the outside - the more plastic you're bound to become on the inside.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Back from my mini-vacation...

and I wish I were back on it again. It was a ton of fun, and just really relaxed. I feel bad that the hotel I had reserved was a couple blocks away from the boardwalk but it was still kind of fun. Good (and crazy) memories to be kept.

I can't help but feel different after this trip though. It's amazing how one weekend can really change how you feel about everything, and how you view your life. Totally changes perspective. I definitely know that I am on the right path for myself, finally - trying to make things work better for me. As opposed to making it better for everyone else.

So this week I am kicking it into high gear. I haven't heard anything back from my school yet about my loan information, and school year is just around the corner. I am planning on placing a call into the office this morning to figure out what the hell is going on.

And to give DORS a call, too. Make sure that my name was placed on that 6-8 week waiting list and whether or not I'll hear anything anytime soon.

Other than that, there is definitely a whole lot more that I would like to tell you all about the trip. I feel bad that this post isn't doing my vacation time any justice - but I am at work, and sadly, still have a lot of shit to do.

Hmm...but seems I haven't been the only busy one - yet another baby was welcomed into the world (Congrats again to A & K!), and more crazy geeks joined the iPhone craze (TL & Seed, oh, & Ono, too!)