Archive for December, 2009

I Walked Through a Japanese Market and Lived!

New Year’s Day is fast approaching and that means I’ve got to go through the motions of getting ready for another holiday. Instead of going to the mall to purchase presents, I go to Japanese supermarkets and fight through the crowds to pick up food items I only eat once a year.

This year’s excursion wasn’t too bad. Previous experiences have caught me trapped in rows of shopping carts and fighting the urge to knock down old ladies who may or may not come up to my chest. JustJenn can relate, I think – hopefully I’ve never knocked down her grandma while reaching for a burdock root.

For your entertainment:

new year shopping
The Japanese boxed version of wine.

new year shopping
$18.38 for soy sauce? Can I say “Oh hell no”?!

new year shopping
I am so glad it only had the egg for a second.

There were better Engrish signs and products later on, but the battery on my phone died shortly after.

Speaking of Engrish, I’ve noticed it pops out more and more as I get older. I’m not sure if this is the result of imitating my grandma for so many years or if it’s something that happens to Asians later in life. If you ever catch me speaking or writing strangely, please feel free to laugh.

An Open Letter to 2010

I’m not a demanding person by nature. In fact, it’s one of the qualities about me that frustrated my therapist to no end. She was worried that I was being too much of a doormat for people to walk over and was trying to get me to be a little more gutsy.

This time around I am putting my foot down and making a statement: 2010, you owe me one.

2009 (to me) was going to be year that made it up. 2008 had been filled with personal tragedy: my dog passed away from cancer, one of my co-workers was killed in a car accident, and a boy I’d known since elementary school had drowned in a freak accident. 2009 was filled with promise! It was going to be a good year. It had to be a good year since 2008 was the year of suck.

2009 not only was the year of celebrity death, but was the year of bizarre events that lean more towards being crappy than being good: $3200 sunk into my Beetle for engine issues, my car getting hit while parked on a valet level, my infamous car accident, my 2.5 week “get out” notice by my former roommate, running over a desk chair on the 101, court subpoena for my accident, getting laid off, and switching anti-depressant medication not once but three times during the course of the year.

On the plus side, at least no one close to me passed away.

It wasn’t completely a year of suck. I met many wonderful people through friends and the internet, experimented with different kinds of food and libations, discovered that I can tolerate a car trip up to Northern California by myself, developed new crushes, started this blog. For sure those were good things, but unfortunately they couldn’t outweigh the negative pieces.

I don’t think I was alone in finding 2009 to be one of the more challenging years ever experienced.

2010, I’m not asking for handouts. I’m not asking for miracles to be dropped from Heaven onto my lap. All I would like from you is the effort to make the path just a smidge smoother, like when CalTrans makes those weird cuts in the road and repaves them so cars don’t skid all over the place when we do get that tiny bit of rain.

Oh yes. If you could also be the year in which I adopt a dog, I’d be extremely grateful.

Oldies – Probable Goodies?

I logged into my LiveJournal account for the first time in months and noticed that one of the images on my page was broken. So I logged in to the image’s host, which unfortunately is not Flickr but Photobucket.

Upon logging in, I was notified that my account had been momentarily turned off, as I hadn’t used it in over six months.

Honestly, who would use Photobucket these days when you’ve got Flickr? (And no, I am not receiving anything from my Flickr crush by saying this.)

Digging through this account is similar to digging through the photo drawer at my parents’ house: you’ve completely forgotten the contents and sometimes find things that are hilarious. So while I’ve still got a few days left in 2009, I’m going to share some of the highlights of the account.


This is probably about the closest you’ll get to a family portrait. From left to right: The Capital Letter K, The Letter J, and, of course, theletterkae. Even though there’s only three of us, it’s near impossible to catch all of us in one spot, let alone dressed in something more than sweats and hoodies.

I wish I could say there were happy memories attached to this one, but we had just come from my Grandma Kay’s burial and were trying to thaw out. Northport, NY had a chilly blast of about 30 degrees that day (with a windchill of 20) and neither the church nor the graveyard had heating. My parents and I were about the only ones who were still wearing jackets once we were in the house; everyone else was just in long-sleeved shirts. In my attempt to try and feel a little bit better, I am seen eating a brownie with a small cup of champagne in front of me. Wish that it really did work.

I’m a Virgin

No, really. At least when it comes to New Year’s Eve.

In my twenty-seven years in this body on this planet, I have never celebrated New Year’s Eve in the western tradition. Sure, my parents and I catch the last 20 seconds or so of pre-recorded countdowns from Times Square like any other American family. If we’re all still awake (which is rare), we whisper the phrase “Happy New Year” to each other and then pass out.

In between watching nationwide countdowns, we also watch Kohaku, a Japanese variety show of sorts that features popular singers of today and yesterday.

And while all of this is going on, we’re prepping food for New Year’s Day.

What I’m basically trying to say is this:
1. I’ve never been kissed at midnight.
2. I’ve never counted down to the new year with a large crowd of people.
3. I’ve never tossed back several glasses of champagne during the countdown.
4. I’ve never ventured outside of my house on New Year’s Eve to celebrate.

The main reason for my lack of participation: I do not want to show up hungover in front of my grandma and relatives that I only see once a year. I enjoy the food on New Year’s Day and want to get up early to scarf it down. Because it all starts as soon as I make my way downstairs.

Maybe one of these days I’ll give it up, but it’s got to be someone very special. Like the guy-that-I’m-going-to-marry kind of special. I could be missing out on something wonderful, but for now, I’m good staying at home.

Merry Christmas


murphy parker

Here’s to hoping you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

And here’s to hoping that one of these will be underneath my tree next year.

I was only on Effexor for two weeks but man, the switch to something else is the weirdest thing I have ever experienced.

“Out of body” only kind of describes the way I’ve been feeling.

And apparently I slept for so long today that my mom came to check on me. It’s a good thing I’m too old for SIDS.

I’m not sure if I can get through the Holidays at this rate. I left my iPod on all afternoon because it helped keep me in focus on something for longer than a few seconds.

On the plus side, I can add it to my “Things I Have Experienced and Do Not Wish to Ever Again” list.

Christmas and Twinkies

I always associate Christmas with my golden. His birthday was the week before Christmas Eve, and we always celebrated it twice with Twinkies:


Today would have been Whiskey’s 30th birthday. Not only is that near impossible for a dog to reach, but it sounds really weird to have a dog that’s older than you and you aren’t in diapers.

Whiskey was the first pet I ever had and served as an older brother to me. Sometimes we’d fight (he’d get me into trouble; the genius of it being that no one would ever blame a dog) but he would protect me from strangers, a trait unusual for a golden. My parents felt safe enough to have him “baby-sit” when I reached the age of 8, which meant I didn’t have to go to my grandparents’ in my pjs if they had dinner plans.

Naturally I have a soft spot for goldens in my heart, especially those of the darker variety. And to this day I cannot celebrate Christmas without a twin pack of Twinkies.

I Could’ve Had a Whole Liquor Cabinet of Dogs…

The title sounds like animal cruelty, but you guys should know me by now. I am a dog person. My Chinese Zodiac is the dog. My parents’ life plan was to get the dog before they had a kid. I have even gone as far as telling boyfriends that the dog will win if it comes between the two of them.

Growing up, I had a golden retriever named Whiskey. Although my parents didn’t drink much in my early years, I somehow knew that my dog’s name also belonged to a type of alcohol. It helped that his coloring was similar to the drink: a warm brownish-red color that brought comfort (especially during chilly nights). During one of my silly moments, I was convinced that a spray of whiskey came out of his nose every time he sneezed.

The story behind my dog’s name (which did not come to light until years later) is that my dad enjoyed drinking whiskey and liked it enough to name a dog after it.

This story had me thinking that the rest of our dogs should be named after various types of alcohol.

If I went with that train of thought, I gave myself a dilemma: we could only get dogs whose colors matched different shades of libations.

A yellow lab would be called “Chardonnay.”

An Irish setter would have to be called “Jameson.”

A black Scottie would be named “Jaeger.”

A cream colored dog? Probably “Bailey.”

As we all know, our second dog was a pale blonde lab who managed to dodge the liquor names and was christened “Murphy Parker.” The irony of that one? My purebreed lab had bloodlines from England and Canada; we gave him an Irish name.

I’m still debating if the next dog will be named after a libation. What better way to combine two of the things in my life that bring comfort in a time of stress?

There Is No Way Paris Hilton Outranks Me

Back when I was still employed, it was one of my duties to go through the pile of mail that arrived in the office. It was also one of my duties to open strange packages (although to me that seems kind of ass-backwards. I mean, if there was anthrax or a bomb and I died, my bosses would have been screwed because I know where the files and office supplies are and they don’t).

For some reason, our mailroom clerk would forward everything addressed to Paris Hilton to my office.


This was not the first piece of mail we received for Miss Hilton. This was, however, the first time I’d ever seen her with the title of “Lady”.

Here’s a closer look at the addressee’s info:

All I could think of when I saw this was, “Since when did she receive a knighthood?”

True, I do not have her potential wealth. I refrain from camcorders during intimate moments with men. I’m not blond, I’m not skinny, and am only very distantly related to a large company (which produces alcohol, something Paris might envy me for if she knew). But I sure as hell know that she cannot outrank me with that title.

If this did prove to be true, then I’d have to go ahead with my half-hearted idea of obtaining Japanese citizenship.

Parting words: I did not open up this envelope. The contents sounded crunchy, and may have been food items, drugs, or cheap anthrax. Not worth dying for at work.

Celebrity Crush

I think I want to marry this man. I loved Home Movies when it first came out on Adult Swim and was thrilled to discover that its creator was kinda cute.

I know it’s a break from my usual type, but he’s got the other traits I find hot in the opposite sex: a cartoonist, a guitarist, and a dog lover:

*swoon* That last line says it all. :)

A good part of my crush could be that he’s got a dog whom he adores (yes, I could possibly date a guy just to get close to his pet), but what’s not to like?

If any of you know Mr. Small and could possibly introduce me…