It used to be that when someone asked me when I last set foot in a church, I had to really struggle to settle on a date.

Nowadays, I can always pinpoint it.

Haha, I haven’t turned religious. In fact, in all the times I’ve had a crisis come into my life, I never found comfort in religion. (I usually get angry instead – don’t tell me that my dogs don’t have souls and won’t be in the afterlife when I die! Otherwise, what’s the point?)

I’ve been finding myself showing up at my local Methodist Church around this time every year for the past four years now. It’s been a struggle for me, not only at the early-ish morning hour, but because the service is conducted in Japanese (the only one my grandmother will attend) and I can’t read 70% of the characters in the sacred text. But I figure it’s a small moment of inconvenience when the whole church pays homage to the anniversary date of my grandfather’s passing.

My grandfather lived through both World Wars, was placed in an internment camp, raised five children on a budget that would only feed about two, and lost his produce business because he practically gave everything away on credit. He was incredibly patient with me, picking out the chopped onions in a McDonald’s hamburger and didn’t get mad when I kept brushing against the freshly painted walls while the house was being repainted.

For a man who put up through so much and still managed to smile at everyone he met, I think I can sit through a one hour session in the House of God. Just for him.

Year Of Photos: Day 3

Since Scoops has opened a location on the Westside, I’ve been trying to pace myself with my visits. I went for the first time last week after reading a few rave reviews on Twitter and was pleased to see that their ice cream was indeed worth the hype.

So today, on my day off, what better way to kill time and get a shot in for my Year of Photos project?

day 3: scoops westside

Can I Seduce You, Mrs. I?

My mom works for an elementary school in Los Angeles. As such, she receives Christmas presents from her co-workers and students. One of the gifts she received this year was a pair of earrings and two necklaces. Although not at all in her taste, they actually were quite pretty. The first necklace was this:


I’m thinking I’ll be borrowing this in the near future. The other necklace, on the other hand, is a little tricky to wear:


I actually had to pull down my shirt in order to show the whole thing. I’m guessing this is what it would look like if I actually had boobs (like some of my friends):


This gift cracks me up. My mom is not one to wear anything low cut, so this necklace is completely wasted. I’m not that tall, so unless I get invited to some kind of industry dinner party or am on a date, I won’t be wearing this any time soon either.

My father actually said that it looks like a third nipple on me. *cough* Thanks, Dad.

Maybe the gift giver is trying to drop hints that my mom should put a little more effort into her appearance. (I’ve been threatening for years that I’m going to submit her picture to Oprah for a makeover.) Maybe it’s a clue that they want her to show a little bit more around campus to make their day better. Maybe it’s a reverse Mrs. Robinson situation where the younger person is trying to seduce the middle-aged lady. Or maybe I’m making mountains out of mole hills.

Wait. Do we have moles in LA?

New Year’s Nightmare

My New Year has started off with a nightmare. I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad sign, or if it’s a sign of the future apocalypse that will happen in 2012. Much of it was too scary to mention (I’m sleeping with a light on tonight), but the part that was most disturbing to me: my grandpa came back as a zombie. He didn’t have the decayed look of a movie zombie – in fact, he looked pretty much as I last saw him. What gave him away was that he was walking stiffly, holding his head to the left (kinda like the opening part of the zombie dancers in “Thriller”).

I’m guessing this was his way of complaining that I haven’t been to visit his grave recently.

The worst part of the dream is that the zombies were able to multiply with both living AND dead people. I’m still trying to figure out if there’s meaning behind this, or if it’s a sign that falling asleep while watching old Woody Allen movies is a definite no-no.

New Year’s Eve

Last year, I wrote an open letter to 2010, putting in some requests for improvement. These are the things that were made better:

1. I found work after being unemployed for four months. LA pulled a trump card on me, as my plan at the time was to look for a job out of state by March 31st if nothing came my way; I received an official offer letter on March 26th.
2. I made the cliche resolution of getting back into shape with the new year. Being unemployed at the start gave me plenty of time to visit the gym. Working with people who aggressively take steps to reduce their carbon footprint and go out to swim in the ocean before work furthered my dedication to at least stay relatively active. As a result, I’m back in quite a bit of clothing from my retail days (when I was striving to be as close to a size zero as possible).
3. Only run in with the law I had this year was the speeding ticket I received on the 90 Freeway (the one that will go to the Marina to Fox Hills). Much better than having to deal with a court hearing about my car accident.
4. Didn’t have to put much money into my car this year. A tire blew, which lead to having to purchase four new ones due to cracks. Much cheaper than having the engine taken apart, getting hit in the parking lot of your workplace, and then having the car totaled shortly after.

Do I have demands for 2011? Not really. It wasn’t a stellar year, but it was definitely better than what the end of last decade brought me. My only pending request is that a four-legged friend will eventually become a fixture in my life.

Do I have any resolutions? Right now the only one I really have is to blog more often. :)

Merry Christmas

Another year has wrapped up, but this is the first year where Christmas completely took me by surprise. I’m guessing this is what happens when you work in an office where Earth Day is the biggest event of the year.

Old Photo

In any case, I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas and an amazing start when 2011 rolls around!

Dear Santa…

If you could find it in your heart to gift me with something incredibly superfluous this year, I’d be ever so grateful.

What am I asking for in particular? Oh, just a little ukulele that looks like a banjo…

@ mccabe's guitar shop

I’d even play all of your favorite songs if you were to put that under the tree this year.

Your consideration and time are much appreciated.

Lots o’ love,


What I’m Thankful For, Pt. 7

Day 330: Thanksgiving

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I’ll let you fill in your own as to why I’m thankful for this.

What I’m Thankful For, Pt. 6

Even with my limited budget this year, I managed to go out and see some really good shows/events. For example:

1. The Pee-Wee Herman Show at Club Nokia:

the pee-wee herman show

2. Eddie Izzard at the Nokia Theater:
Stripped Too: Intimacy Tour

3. James Urbaniak at a screening of “Drones” in Hollywood:
drones: the after party

4. Wil Wheaton speaking on a panel at the Festival of Books:

5. Ricky Gervais at the Nokia Theater for less than $2:
ricky gervais live

6. The New Pornographers at the old Fonda:
@ the fonda

7. A Democratic comedy benefit that featured Kevin Nealon, Sarah Silverman, Kathy Griffin, Robin Williams, and Eddie Izzard. (Sadly, I didn’t get a picture of this.)

I still have Margaret Cho to go next month.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to see all of these great shows, and am truly thankful for the fact that Los Angeles will forever be a stopping point for any tour.

What I’m Thankful For, Pt. 5

I’m thankful that I’ve got friends who let the F.O.B. in me come out: