Are we there yet?

I feel extremely lucky to be where I am now. But why doesn’t it ever feel like enough? I wonder if I really know what it’s like to be happy. I think I’m probably happy, but is this what it feels like?

Professionally, I wish I had more of a leadership position. I’ve done it before, so I know it’s in my wheelhouse, but it’s not currently part of my job description. There’s no clear path for me to get there either.

I wish I was more of a social person. I wonder how different my life would be if I was more outgoing.

I wish LA wasn’t so damn expensive to live in. I feel like everything I want is always a little out-of-reach.

Today I bought a bottle of wine, and the cashier asked, “…aaaand can I see your ID.” Like it was a statement. A demand, not a request. He paused to look at my birthdate. The look on his face changed dramatically. “Oh. WOW!” he exclaimed. I laughed.

Funny thing is I feel about as old as I look. I feel as though my life has barely started. I’m not “old enough” for anything. I feel unable to be a proper adult. Yet here I am, far enough into adulthood that I should feel that way. But I haven’t felt like I’ve had enough rites of passage to be worthy of it. I haven’t been married. I haven’t owned property. I haven’t had children. I haven’t reached the point I want to professionally. I’m just not there, but will I ever be there?

Self-imposed posting schedule

I think about writing in here a lot but then realize it’s not something worth talking about.

But I’m going to impose a schedule of posting every Monday (at the very least). It seems to be my least busy evening. Let’s start next week.

One thing I did want to write, even if just briefly (possibly to be revisited later): I have a difficult time accepting and being comfortable with the person I used to be. I don’t often like to reminisce about my past or childhood. I hate when someone brings up my old music or even acknowledges that I used to dance. I want to learn to be proud of it or at least be comfortable with it. But who knows how?

Rapid-Fire Thoughts

I’m 36 today. Here are 36 things I’m thinking about from 36 years of life.

  1. I started to feel older at 34. Muscles you never knew you had start to hurt. You suddenly have back problems. You have to work damn hard to be not-fat. And even though you don’t really smile that much, you will get smile lines.
  2. I somehow feel like I’m religious if I say “bless you” after someone sneezes. Therefore I choose to pretend nothing ever happened.
  3. I love it when people are like, “So, I’ve started my own business…” and then it turns out it’s some kind of pyramid scheme. 
  4. Now that I am older and chubbier, I have a fantastic ass. However all of my underwear have effectively become thongs, whether they’re thongs or not.
  5. ”Authentic food.” What is it? Authentic and good are not interchangeable, and I will choose good, always.
  6. Sometimes I wonder how people move so easily through life while I remain awkward and unsure about how to move a basic conversation forward.  I’ve come to appreciate silence.
  7. Not to generalize, but like, why does all modern pop music sound the same?
  8. Raisins don’t belong in regular, savory food. I might even go so far as to say they don’t belong in ANY food. It’s like everyone’s “cool” uncle who is actually dead inside. What happened to you, man?
  9. I don’t “get” meme culture. I feel like those who do spend every morning reading the entire internet to make sure they’re up to speed on jokes that will be irrelevant in 5 minutes to the 1% that understood the joke in the first place.
  10. These days, cookbook and food blog authors assume you care about their story and write an essay explaining why the associated recipe is relevant.
  11. White people, am I right?
  12. As a person who sits near the kitchen at work, I can tell you that polite office small talk is really awkward to listen to. Like, more awkward than being a participant in polite office small talk.
  13. The fact that I love hot sauce even more as I get older tells me that my senses are diminishing. Probably also including (but not limited to) my sense of impending doom.
  14. Every male Uber driver looks like a murderer or rapist in their photo, with and without a smile.
  15. Sometimes someone will take a pic with me and say, “This is a great picture of us.” But I know they’re really only looking at how they look.
  16. And sometimes when I see a bad photo of me, I just let it go because whatever, I guess that’s just what I actually look like.
  17. Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer are the worst.
  18. I don’t really care for Star Wars, and that seems to ruffle some feathers.
  19. I don’t really care for Beyoncé.
  20. I’m not good at sleeping and haven’t had a good night’s rest in years.
  21. “Lovely Day” is the worst and most cringeworthy Bill Withers song. When he holds that long and weak note at the end, I imagine him side-stepping back and forth, like a middle school kid being a wallflower at a school dance.
  22. Papa John’s is garbage pizza, even with the garlic sauce.
  23. Ultimately, you’re not a saint for hanging on to shitty friends. You just don’t know when to say “no more.”
  24. Few things are as delightful as a sleeping animal, cuddling with you.
  25. I don’t think I can forgive a human as quickly as I forgive my cat.
  26. When you take a job, it pays you, but you also pay to have it. Take the one that taxes you less.
  27. In a relationship, not arguing isn’t necessarily better than arguing. At least when you’re arguing, you’re talking about issues you care about.
  28. Fun isn’t always on the other side of a yes, but yes is a good answer. Sometimes you just don’t have a good time.
  29. Sometimes the best souvenir is the memory.
  30. They really try to sell you on sweet potato fries being fries, rather than garbage.
  31. Friends is basic and not clever.
  32. If it exists in pop culture, there’s a porn spin-off. Did you know there’s a porn for my favorite video game, Red Dead Redemption 2? It’s called Red Dead Erection. And Game of Thrones has Game of Bones.
  33. Your opinion isn’t always relevant. Shut your mouth sometimes.
  34. There’s no such thing as a classy bumper sticker. Prove me wrong.
  35. You can’t build a city on rock and roll.
  36. Keenan Thompson plays the same character in everything he’s in. Why hasn’t anyone else noticed this?!

Seattle

We went to Seattle as a mini vacation and returned last night. I love the Pacific Northwest and have dreams of one day moving there. The week leading up to our trip promised rain, but we were surprised upon arrival with the lack of it.

Some highlights:

  • Hiking McClellan Butte – Roughly 4 miles uphill, and totally worth it.
McClellan Butte

  • Space Needle – We missed this last time because of the renovations.

View of Puget Sound

Some artsy shit

  • Seeing good friends
  • Pikes Place Market when it isn’t wet and slippery
  • Lots of not-Starbucks coffee
  • Kurt Cobain’s Seattle home next to Viretta Park – Made it out on a beautiful day and there seemed to be a steady stream of pilgrims paying homage to his memory. There was also a full menthol JUUL cartridge left as tribute.
Kurt Cobain bench in Viretta Park

  • Really great food
Waiting on salmon sinigang

Capsule Wardrobe

I recently decided to work my way through Breaking the Pattern: A Modern Way to Sew in an effort to improve my sewing skills. Something I’m trying to teach myself is patience. I know a lot of my sewing projects are ruined by my impatience, as I rush to get things done. I know it can be an incredibly rewarding skill. I recently made our Renaissance Faire costumes (though not the pants), and it made me realize that I need to and want to dedicate more time to it.

Renaissance Faire 2019.

So I’ve decided to sew myself a whole capsule wardrobe. I think this should take me several months but I’m taking my time.

It’s a useful and rewarding skill, and I hope to one day get to the point where I’m wearing nothing that I didn’t make.

Ask Away

If you want something, you have to ask for it.

I used to think that things would just happen if they were “meant to.”

No one will read your mind. No one knows what you truly want except you. So ask.

4 Years Now

I still remember what the room was like when Dad died. He passed in the room that was assigned to me in childhood, and I was a little too late to see him go. There was a slight breeze in the air, the temperature was perfect and beautiful. But it was so empty. As if the lifeless body in there didn’t even exist.

The most comforting thing someone told me at the time is the thing that still sticks with me now: Your greatest fear is that you’ll forget—his voice, his scent, what the day was like… but you will never forget. I still haven’t forgotten. I still talk about him in the present. I still say “my parents” when I really just mean my mom.

For months after, I begged him to haunt me. I woke up in the middle of the night on several nights, at the exact same time, eyes wide open, searching the darkness for a spook. It never happened. I still hold my breath and look into the darkness when I wake in the middle of the night, only to find it empty.

Lunch & Love

I try my best to pack a homemade lunch regularly. When I was a kid, my mom put a lot of effort into making sure we had a real lunch. I know I didn’t appreciate the amount of labor that went into it. Sometimes she would make homemade meatballs, or make teriyaki steak sandwiches on a french roll, carefully separating the lettuce from the sandwich and providing instructions on how to reassemble it so I wasn’t stuck with soggy lettuce. So thoughtful.

And now that I’m older, I realize that food is the one thing that really connects me to being Filipino. I don’t speak the language, I’m not religious and I didn’t grow up in the Philippines. I feel like I need it to hold on, and it’s the one thing I can pass on to my offspring (if I ever have any) that will connect them with my parents. I genuinely worry about losing my culture.

As an adult I’m lucky enough to have someone to make my lunches sometimes and pack nice notes in them, carefully written on cat-themed stationery. Someone who thinks about how it will steam the broccoli in the microwave at work, who thinks about what I might want to snack on for the in-between times.

K.I.T.

I have been thinking about the benefits of Facebook lately. In Red Dead Redemption 2, you run across some characters multiple times in the game, and it makes me consider that there are some people that I’m connected to on Facebook that I know I would have never ever seen in my life again if it weren’t for Facebook. I wonder about living in a different era with reduced communication and how there are probably many times in your life when you might meet someone and then never see them again. I’m sure most people lived their lives within a small range of miles, but I still wonder. Some people left home and never came back. And it wasn’t as easy to stay in touch. What is it like to leave like that?

For instance, my first Tinder date was a guy who had ONE kidney operating at about 15%, and he desperately needed a kidney donor. I still wonder if that guy is alive. I’m sure it would be easy if I knew more about him. I don’t even remember his name. He was a nice fella.

Resolutions

Resolutions for 2019

  1. Eat at home more often
  2. Write more (whatever that may be)
  3. Go to the gym/exercise at least 4x per week
  4. Save more money