a left-eyed girl

living in a 2 dimensional world

Archive for June 2010

A brief history in California, part II

leave a comment »

February 2009

And we fast-forward to the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009. I still don’t have a regular job, but I’m contributing as the chief writer for a photography website, writing short educational articles. I don’t really know what I’m doing with my life yet, but I definitely want a regular nine-to-five job where I get to see the same people everyday. I find that despite having all the freedom in the world, I desire a more structured lifestyle.

I’ve taken a few photography classes, but decided to not go any further with them, as they are somewhat repetitive and the instructors are didactic. I begin to doubt my photographic abilities and desire to do something that I know I’m good at, perhaps engineering. The paycheck would be nice too. Yes, making money off something I’m good at would be really quite a nice thing again. Photography and art start to become a hobby in my mind, instead of a life pursuit.

During this time, I also realise that I have become highly allergic to wool, perhaps having something to do with moving yet again (there is supposedly scientific fact behind this). I stop knitting altogether. Besides, it’s too warm and I have just run out of interesting things to make and people to give my knitted items to.

Running becomes my main hobby in life, along with continuing to micro-manage everything I eat. I become more obsessed with food, my appetite waning as well as my voracity for life. A friend comments that my face is starting to look hollow, so I allow myself to eat a bit more than my usual spartan amount, but only enough to help fill my face back in again. I’m also not sleeping very well, and that probably contributes to the hollowness of my face. I try writing my ideas down, but sometimes it backfires and I spend the rest of the day spiralling out of control.

Somehow in the middle of all this, I also make a new friend, a guy named Darren. We randomly meet when we’re both out shooting in Alviso and exchange information so I can send him the portrait I took of him when we met. We end up influencing each other more than either of us think possible. We hang out a lot and he takes me places like this in San Francisco, where I take photos of a purple/pink/blue sky.

Near the end of this period, I finally start to appreciate the lack of a structured lifestyle. I search for peace, but it’s difficult to find and frustratingly out of reach. I yearn for more in my life, but I also know that it’s really not so bad as it is as long as there are people around me that I love.

Written by Reese

June 28, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Posted in just life

A brief history in California, part I

with 6 comments

A Brief History, Part I

It’s been almost 3 years since we moved to California. We moved here in July 2007, 4 years after I’d moved to Massachusetts from New York. I can’t believe we’ve lived here so long; it’s almost like we just arrived really.

A lot has changed in these three brief years here in California. I’ve changed physically, taken up new hobbies, picked up new people while simultaneously dropping a few friends here and there. I’m moderately content with my life right now, of course with the exception of a few things (nothing is perfect, right?), but I’m not going to get into those imperfect parts of life. Why focus on the bad when you can see what’s good and positive instead. It’s a lot more constructive if you think about it.

That photo up there was taken in 2008, when I had started taking a photography class at De Anza College. I don’t exactly know what I was doing with my life, but I took a couple years off working in engineering to "find myself" and generally be a slacker. I think a lot of people thought I was busy being a degenerate loser, but for the most part, I think it was helpful because it let me do something other than school/work for a short time.

The best thing about this time was that I picked up running and started losing weight and caring about my body. Before then, I had just resigned myself to being the fat girl, and I always knew that I would never be fast or strong and I was just a happy fat girl. Ah, happy times, really. Of course, now I realise that being overweight wasn’t good for me, and that I should really try to be fit and healthy instead. Besides that, I look way better in clothes these days, and I can move more easily with a lot more energy than before.

About the time that photo was taken, I weighed 15 pounds more than I do now. I was pretty close to my current weight, but I was also still much bigger. I still have that jacket that I am wearing in the photo and it is much larger on me than it was back then. I remember that jacket being a pretty tight fit at the time.

I don’t recall having many friends at the time, except for people from my photo group and the occasional friend from classes. I do remember feeling quite lonely and wishing that I knew more people, but not quite knowing how to get out to meet them. I clung desperately to Franny, but of course he didn’t want me whining about when he was coming home when he had work to do.

It made me feel really pathetic.

Written by Reese

June 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Posted in just life

Friday night

leave a comment »

I spent it grocery shopping, visiting a street art gallery, cooking dinner with a cute boy, and watching a bad movie.

All in all, I’d call that a success.

Written by Reese

June 28, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Posted in just life

Five on Friday: Grateful Edition

leave a comment »

This week, I’m making Five on Friday into a gratitudes post, because I need to spend more time being grateful for everything in my life, and less time complaining about what I don’t have.

This week, I was grateful for:

1. My lover, my partner in life, my fellow adventurer on this long path. He puts up with me and is intent on doing whatever it takes to make sure we spend many many years together.

2. My very close friend who grounds me and reminds me to take a generally optimistic view of life.

3. My other very good friend who laughs with me about everything, and sometimes he laughs at me, but that’s ok too.

4. My parents and their unconditional love and concern for me. It is much appreciated, even if I don’t know how to show it a lot of the time.

5. The cat for purring so loudly in my arms every morning and for insisting on loudly greeting me at the front door every single time I get home, even if I just went out for 5 minutes.

Written by Reese

June 25, 2010 at 11:11 am

Posted in just life

Almost a year

leave a comment »

A friend recently discovered that he has been biking for exactly a year as of the summer solstice (yesterday). It’s pretty awesome that he has seen such a huge improvement in his bike skills and it makes me really happy to see someone pick up an activity that they truly enjoy and make it an integral part of their lives.

Happier days

Of course, this made me think about my own experiences biking and how much improvement I’ve seen in the past year as well. It’s been almost a year since I started using my bike to get around. I started riding to work in the beginning of July 2009 and I have never looked back. It became my main form of exercise since I didn’t feel like going for a very early morning run or late evening run when I picked up that office job.

I’ve gone from an ill-fitting single-speed mountain bike to an old-fashioned mixte, and finally to a roadie. I also went from not even knowing how to change a tire to being able to do some of the bike maintenance myself. And yes of course there is the physical improvement as well. It’s been a steep learning curve for sure, but a very enjoyable one (almost as enjoyable as that steep slope on Page Street or Arguello heading into the Presidio).

When I first started biking, I don’t know where I thought I’d be in a year. I still don’t have a fancy fresh-from-the-factory bike. I like riding around and seeing the world from under the brim of my helmet, and I’ll use any excuse to ride my bike.

I know that I crashed my bike just over a week ago, and I have just about a week left before I can ride again, but I am so terribly excited for it. I’m taking my time off as a chance to get my bike ready to ride again.

This time next week, I will probably be doing a nice ride (probably solo) to see the ocean. And I’ll try not to crash my bike this time.

Written by Reese

June 22, 2010 at 10:21 am

Posted in just life

Five on Friday: Roller coaster edition

leave a comment »

Phew, what a week. Up and down and up and down! A little good news, a little bad news, but still I’m going to chalk this week up as a win for sure. In the end, things worked out and I’m feeling good about life, unless it’s the prescription drugs talking for me.

1. A little bad news: I fractured my wrist

It means no biking until the 28th. I am counting down the days and readying the bike for my very first ride. I decided that I’m going to use Blue to regain my confidence before I start riding the roadie again. I’m a bit nervous about it, but also excited at the same time.

2. A little good news: I fractured my wrist

And that’s all for the ‘serious’ injuries! Seriously, I am so thankful to have walked away from this accident with only this. I don’t even have a hard cast, just a removable brace that I have to wear all the time. This is very good news.

3. Coy finished the ALC ride

Like a schoolgirl monkey on his back

Big congrats to my friend, Coy, who finished the ALC ride last weekend. He raised a ridiculous amount of money for the cause and he had some great photos to share. I hope he doesn’t mind me linking to his awesome photo essay.

4. I rediscovered my love for pan-fried brussels sprouts

Pan-fried in butter

On weekend nights when Fran has hockey games, sometimes I invite my friend over for ‘home-cooked dinner and a bad movie’ night at my place. The last time, we made pork cutlets braised in red wine, young broccoli stir-fried with garlic, and pan-fried brussels sprouts with carrots and onions. Yummy. Oh, and a loaf of store-bought batard with olive oil.

I love brussels sprouts, and they are a very easy and healthy vegetable dish. I trim off the stem of each sprout and cut them in half. Then melt some butter in a hot skillet, place each sprout with the cut face down, and let them brown until crispy. You can put the lid on to steam them, but if you leave them long enough they’ll cook without the lid too. The important part is to leave them alone until the face is browned and crispy. If you fuss too much, they won’t brown right. When the face is brown, I typically stir the whole thing around and let parts of the back brown a bit too. Yummy.

5. Pretty wall, pretty bike, and my cutiepie

Swimmers

This guy is pretty great. He’s been very helpful with his bike knowledge to move me along on fixing the roadie. Plus, I’m off the bike right now, and he walks everywhere with me, walking his bike too (the one in the photo is actually a borrowed bike). That’s really nice of him, honest. I would so much rather be riding around with him instead, but such is life right now. I’m paying attention to both his, J’s, and Dr. Fran’s orders so I can mend up and get my ass back on the bike. It’s good to have friends who encourage me to get better, even if I am very resistant to their advice.

I really do try to listen to my well-meaning friends in the end, try being the operative word here…

Written by Reese

June 18, 2010 at 10:54 am

Posted in just life

Unscathed

with 5 comments

As you may know, I got into a little car-bike accident last Friday. Of course, I didn’t go to hospital or anything because I have this really odd doctor-phobia that doesn’t make any sense. After everyone told me to go to the doctor (Fran, Jason, Al, everyone at work, strangers on the street, etc), it took the holy word from my Ma to finally force me to make an appointment and go.

Ma has clout.

As a result of Ma chiding me for: a) not telling them until Sunday, and b) not going to hospital, I got myself all checked out, much to the relief of Frannie and all my friends. Turns out I fractured my wrist (that Ace bandage wrap was a super good idea on Saturday), but I am otherwise unscathed, though bruised. My knees look like someone took a sledgehammer to them, but the ligaments and tendons are okay and everything is still right where it should be.

I got a number of comments on my “goatee,” and I responded with jokes about how I’ve been trying to grow it out, but I’m asian, so it’s been coming in a little spotty. I also commented that I sure left a dent and a few scratches on that car. Ha, you like how my face looks? You should see the car!!

I am funny.

After the accident, I am glad that I’m not too badly off, and I’m ready to walk/MUNI everywhere for the next two weeks. I thought about just holing up and not seeing anyone for two weeks while I heal up, but we all know that is just not going to happen. Saturday I walked all over SoMa/Union Square and then made a Rainbow run early Sunday morning as soon as I woke up. I will not be stopped. I am an out-and-about person and nothing short of a broken leg is going to stop me from going out. Well, I would probably still go out with a broken leg, but I would just be pitifully slow going anywhere.

Since I’m not on the bike as much, I find myself taking a lot more photos of everything. Ha, this might mean more self-portraits for sure. Depending on what you think of my self-portraits, this is either great news or time for some eye-rolling.

Written by Reese

June 15, 2010 at 9:07 am

Posted in just life

Five on Friday: Face-breaking edition

with 2 comments

You want to know why I am totally breaking my face today? Read on, dear one!

1. New Bike Day

Oh wow…… I have a new bike and he is marvellous and wonderful and everything good in this world. He’ll be my roadie so I won’t be putting a rack or anything on him at all. I guess I’ll just have to learn to lighten my load and carry my crap in that cute Crumpler messenger that Frannie got me on one of his trips to Asia.

New bike day!!!

Look at how stupid happy I am in this photo. I was on the verge of exploding from happiness.

2. Oh cutiepie!

So my friend, cutiepie was integral in getting this bike for me. He took the Caltrain to San Jose to buy it and bring it back for me. Wow. And it fits me perfectly. And I’m already in love with the bike. And I love cutiepie too. And… and… ahhh…

3. World Cup goodness

Hey there football fans, World Cup is upon us! I’ll be at Irish Bank to watch the USA vs England match tomorrow at 11:30. I’m hoping the pub won’t be terrible crowded, but it is a rather big match, so who knows. I’m really excited to see who wins this one!

4. Alarm Alarm!

I’ve been drinking coffee everyday and very much enjoying the random selection I made at Rainbow this past weekend. I actually don’t know which one I got, but whatever it is, it was good and I’m sad that it’s all gone and I have no idea which one it was! Aww… I have this idea that I am going to try all the coffees at Rainbow, starting at the top left and going across each row. The only problem with this is that I may need to skip the espresso and french roast bins since I really don’t like my coffee to be roasted too dark. I much prefer the medium and light roasts. Mmm… Oh coffee, so addictive and yummy.

5. The requisite “I am so thankful for people” bullet

Seriously, I am so thankful and grateful for everyone I come into contact with on a daily basis.

I am happy for my coworkers who are part of a supportive, helpful environment. It makes such a huge difference to work with people like that.

I am so happy for my friends, especially J and A who have been close and simply wonderful lately. Fabulous friends, I might say. I love all my friends to death, but I am very much in love with those who have been generous by sharing their lives with me. I am lucky to have friends with similar interests like art, books, photography, biking, good food, etc.

Of course I am ever grateful for my Frannie who has put up with my insane crying jags over the pain in my leg, picked me up and dropped me off at work when I can’t ride my bike, and is just generally that guy I want to spend the rest of my life with. I know that there are tons of great (and super hot) guys out there, but would they really be the ones I would want to trade Frannie for? He’s really a keeper, I swear to god. All he needs to do is hold me tight and everything in the world feels calmer and better, and that is worth more than anything to me.

Written by Reese

June 11, 2010 at 10:46 am

Posted in just life

Roger, Roger!

with one comment

I’ve been losing some weight lately through little to no effort on my part. Maybe it’s because we live up in town now, so I bike around a lot more than I used to, or maybe it’s because I’ve somehow changed my eating habits without noticing. Whatever the reason, I’ve lost a few pounds and noticed that some of my clothes fit better and some of them are now too loose to wear without belts or other cinching methods.

For whatever reason, I’ve decided that the reason behind this is not a) increased exercise, or b) decreased appetite. It must be either some kind of horrific degenerative disease or a tapeworm, whom I’ve named Roger. (It’s not as easy to name a horrific degenerative disease, so I’ve gone the "easy" route with the tapeworm instead.)

You heard me right.

Roger and I, we get along pretty well and he likes eating whatever I’m eating. He probably likes it so much that he keeps digesting everything for me and not letting me eat any. I’ve come to think of Roger as my secret little alter-ego and not just any old tapeworm living off my body. I’d like to use him as an excuse once in a while when I am feeling too tired to meet with people.

I really wish I could hang out tonight, but I’ve already got plans with Roger. Yeah, again. He’s feeling kinda lonely today so I really should spend some time with him. Sorry!

Luckily, I haven’t had to use that on anyone yet, because people don’t really ask me to do stuff. I’m usually the one to ask them to do stuff with me. Boohoo for me. Well, that’s not really a problem at all. I am just outgoing and usually end up being the one who does the planning.

But yes, I’ve secretly been using Roger as my really awesome excuse for everything. He’s become a bit of a scapegoat, but I’m sure he doesn’t mind. I’ll just help myself to another slice of cheese for him.

N.B. I hope I don’t really have a tapeworm (or a horrific degenerative disease), but for now it’s fun talking about Roger.

Written by Reese

June 10, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Posted in just life

Honey memories

with 6 comments

I have never been a big fan of honey. I didn’t grow up with it in the house, my mother preferring to use white or brown sugar instead. As an adult, I generally avoided eating honey for whatever insane personal reason (bee puke, not easy to use because it’s so sticky, etc). It’s only recently that I’ve begun to use honey as a preferred sweetener.

I’m not exactly sure what prompted the change, but I’ve noticed that I enjoy looking at the honey jars in the store and finding unusual brands or types. I love that it’s all natural and has that mellow honey flavour to it that I’ve learned to like. It is just so different from plain white sugar, which is just mostly sweet with no distinct secondary flavour.

Honey reminds me very much of my college roommate (we lived in the same room for 4 years, crazy huh?). She would stash a jar of honey on her food shelf and used it all the time. I haven’t actually asked her about it, but I wonder if she’s grown out of the habit of keeping honey around. It was one of the many things I always remember fondly about living with her, watching her stick a spoon into the jar and carefully waiting for the drizzle to thin before capping the bottle again. Even today, when I do the very same action to grab a spoon of honey for my tea, I think about watching her for almost 4 years.

I feel like I’m too far past the point of living with random roommates anymore, other than Frannie of course, and I feel a bit sad about having moved on from that point. Roommates weren’t always fun, but they were always interesting and I secretly liked learning about their personal quirks and lifestyles. I guess I’m just stuck thinking fondly about my past roommates instead. Ah, let’s break out the rose-coloured glasses.

Written by Reese

June 8, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Posted in just life