Friday, December 31, 2004
( 12:37 AM ) teahouse
Life is Good
Well, it's the last day of the year 2004.
It was a year of great turmoil and change for me. But I look back with understanding about the past, and forward with anticipation about the future.
I will be spending New Year's Eve surrounded by friends and loved ones. I've never been a big New Year's Eve party girl.
We'll sit around in our pajamas, order a pizza, watch the countdown on tv, see the fireworks from the balcony, and toast with champagne.
Take a minute to count your blessings this year. And do me a favor: donate to the international aid organizations that are helping the tsunami victims in Asia. The total devastation there is heartbreaking. Let's show them some generosity and compassion.
See y'all in 2005!
Thursday, December 30, 2004
( 10:10 AM ) teahouse
Poker? I Hardly Know Her!
Back from the City of Sin. Atlantic City is like Las Vegas, but a little seedier. Examples:
1. The Boardwalk is too friggin' cold at the end of December. It was windy and deserted. No warm desert sands there.
2. The shows are pretty fun. We saw Legends in Concert. The Tom Jones impersonator was good. The Elvis looked pretty authentic. But the woman who was supposed to be Whitney Houston looked like Patti LaBelle and sang like Eartha Kitt.
And the backup singers were all VERY much the Jersey girls - big permed hair, surly expressions, heavy accents when they sang.
3. I didn't win any money. I lost $26. If I'd gone to Vegas, I would have won or lost bigger..and probably would have had a good Las Vegas naked showgirl story to share with all of you.
4. As it is, I had a lovely time, and I discovered the joys of video poker. And I had some good diner hot chocolate.
5. I love New Jersey.
Monday, December 27, 2004
( 2:51 AM ) teahouse
My parents always gave me awful Christmas gifts when I was growing up. It was a combination of their cheapness, our poverty (my dad was in graduate school for the formative years of my childhood) and their inability to give "impractical" gifts like toys.
One year I got a set of World Book Encyclopedias. Another year I got a copy of The Coming Plague. Last year my parents gave me the DVD of It's a Wonderful Life. Every year there has been at least a package of athletic tube socks.
These presents weren't bad; they were just useful and practical and ultimately, not that exciting.
Well, lemme tell you this year, everyone made up for it. I CLEANED UP at Christmas.
The people who love me, you know who you are. You showered me with affection and gifts, both material and spiritual.
This was the best Christmas I've ever had.
And this week is getting even better. I'm off to Atlantic City for the next couple of days.
I'll keep y'all posted. You'll see my picture up next to Donald Trump's, in blazing lights.
Friday, December 24, 2004
( 10:55 AM ) teahouse
The Gift of the Magi
It's Christmas Eve. Santa is on his way! The sister arrived from out of town, the presents are all wrapped and shoved under the 2-foot tree, I have the next 5 days off from work. Life is good.
I've decided what to do with the money. I'm going to withdraw it all and take it to Atlantic City. With Papa Trump watching over me, I can't lose!
I'll double my parents' life savings! They'll be thrilled, and they'll declare ME to be their favorite daughter.
It's a friggin' BRILLIANT idea.
Thursday, December 23, 2004
( 9:07 AM ) teahouse
Oooh, Money Money Money Money...
My parents just sold their house in the U.S. The closing was this week, the money was transferred over to their bank account in NY over which I have Power of Attorney (they gave me access to their bank account since they're abroad).
I checked the bank balance yesterday, and I almost had a stroke.
In my whole life, I've never seen a number that big in a bank account.
I'm flush! I'm rich! Yee-hah!
Well, not really. It's not my money. But hey..if I decided to exercise my Power of Attorney privileges, make a huge withdrawal and skip town this weekend, would anyone know?
The sister would probably rat me out.
Curses! Foiled again!
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
( 8:43 AM ) teahouse
Me Me Me
Ok, I never do these things, but I like Snowy so I'll do it for her.
Three names you go by:
THB, FragrantLotus, Miss Thang
Three screennames you have:
THB, teahouseblossom, twinkiegirl
Three things you like about yourself:
I never get upset when people tell me the endings of movies; I still want to see them.
I have nice legs.
I have a sexy voice (I've been told).
Three things you hate/dislike about yourself:
I have bad gums and I never floss enough.
I'm not very good with money.
Three parts of your heritage:
Asian, Asiatique, German (no lie! It's a strange story)
Three things that scare you:
Dark alleys, cancer, the mold in my kitchen sink.
Three of your everyday essentials:
Sunscreen, breath mints, Chanel lipstick
Three things you are wearing right now:
wrinkled pants from Ann Taylor, socks with holes in them, my cross chain that I'm never without.
Three of your favorite bands/artists (at the moment):
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Trio Mediaeval, Chanticleer.
Three things you want to try in the next 12 months:
Making a roast for Christmas dinner.
Running another 10K.
Making my minimum billable hours requirement.
Three things you want in a relationship (love is a given):
Safety, Maturity, Snuggling
Two truths and a lie (random order):
I've worn the same size shoe since I was 11.
I skipped a grade in elementary school.
I've finished my Christmas shopping.
Three physical things about the opposite (or same) sex that appeals to you:
Voice, eyes, hands.
Three things you just can't do:
Whistle, throw a frisbee, watch a movie with Catherine Zeta Jones in it (I can't stand her!)
Three of your favorite hobbies:
Murder mysteries, playing chamber music, writing letters.
Three things you want to do really badly right now:
Watch "Pride and Prejudice"
Have some Popeye's fried chicken.
Get out of debt.
Three careers you're considering:
Ask me again when I've grown up...
Three places you want to go on vacation:
Japan, Paris, Rome
Three kids names:
Fragrant Lotus II
Three things you want to do before you die:
Visit the Taj Mahal
Buy an apartment in New York City
Have a charitable trust named after me
Three people who have to take this quiz, or not
...I'll just send it to one person: Jeong-a!!
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
( 9:01 AM ) teahouse
O Christmas Tree
I finally got a Christmas tree last night.
When I was growing up, my parents had a fake tree, which we put up every year. But now that I'm on my own, it was time for me to go out and get one for my place. I decided to try to the real tree thing this year, and see how I liked it.
In the freezing cold, I picked out a tree, negotiated a price with the guy, and before I knew it, I had my own little tree!
It's really cute. It smells good. We listened to Christmas carols while decorating it.
I will take pictures and show everyone..if I can figure out how to upload them.
Monday, December 20, 2004
( 8:46 AM ) teahouse
The PATH Train
The PATH train ("PATH" stands for Port Authority Trans Hudson) is a commuter rail line that links New York City to northern New Jersey. Thousands of people who live in Jersey City, Newark and Hoboken commute into Manhattan on the PATH train every morning.
The PATH station at the base of the World Trade Center was destroyed when the towers were attacked on September 11, 2001. A temporary station was reopened in 2003.
This weekend I was at that PATH Station, built among the ruins of the former World Trade Center towers. PATH trains coming into and out of the station circle the perimeter of Ground Zero.
When you're coming in from New Jersey, the dark subway tunnel suddenly gives way to sunlight and a view of this vast wasteland, your first view of lower Manhattan. It's a breathtaking and horrifying sight; a big hole in the ground, chaos rebuilt.
The station is brand-new, open air and affords an entire view of the ruins. Screens hang on the walls, printed with quotes about New York City. Even though it's often crowded with commuters, the station is always eerily quiet.
When I stood on the platform waiting for the train yesterday, I could see a van descending down one of the ramps into the middle of the pit. A cop got out and helped out an elderly couple. The three of them walked out into the middle of the pit, the couple supporting each other, and laid a Christmas wreath on the ground.
The elderly couple and the cop stood there for a few moments, heads bowed in prayer.
When my train pulled out of the station 10 minutes later, headed to New Jersey, I could still see them through the window of the train as we made a wide circle around the ruins. The 3 figures were a dot in the center.
They were walking slowly back toward the van. The woman was leaning on the man for support. He was holding her up. They looked suddenly older.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
( 9:16 AM ) teahouse
My firm's illustrious team played our first Dodge Ball game this week.
I did ok. I was important to the team because the rules require that there be at least one girl on the court at all times to avoid disqualification.
I was the total girl. I threw like a girl. I was worried about breaking a nail. I screamed. I shrieked.
Ok, not really. I'm not like that. But I thought it would make a funnier story.
And I bear my Dodge Ball scars with pride - 2 skinned knees, a twisted ankle, and a little pain on the side of my face from when some overzealous guy hit me in the head. The referee blew his whistle, yelled "Stop hitting the girls on the head!!" and disqualified him.
I feel GOOD. I want to do this again!
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
( 9:23 AM ) teahouse
Do you know what I love?
When other bloggers call me "THB." Hahaha, it makes me feel like I'm a recreational drug!
Let's smoke some THB. Or do you prefer snorting or injecting me?
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
( 1:38 AM ) teahouse
Coming Up Short
Do you know what I really hate?
When I'm doing a training run around the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park, trying to increase my time, pushing myself, regulating my breathing, checking my pulse.
And I'm overtaken by:
(1) a group of elementary-school age kids,
(2) a man who looks like he's 90 years old,
(3) a woman wearing Dr. Scholls clogs with no socks, and
(4) a midget. Yes, a little person. She had much shorter legs than I did, and she SMOKED me.
I really don't know what compels me to keep on running, even though I'm obviously not naturally good at it.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
( 9:19 AM ) teahouse
Thanks to all who helped me out with my problem yesterday! As you can see, the problem is fixed. And people can see the title of my blog again, yayyy.
My friend M has just gone through a divorce after 10 years of marriage. She was barely in her 20s when she got married, and now she's back in the dating pool.
She is scared and nervous. She basically hasn't gone out on dates since high school.
Last night she called me in a panic; she was about to go on her first date - drinks after work.
"What if he's horrible?" she asked.
"He won't be horrible. If he is, just leave."
"But what excuse do I have?"
"You don't need one," I explained. "Or if you want, just say you made dinner plans and you have to go."
She begged me to call her cell phone at an appointed time, to "rescue" her if she needed it.
Her plan was this:
M: "If it's awful, I can answer the phone and pretend you are my aged aunt Maude who needs me to rush over to Brooklyn to help you move an armoire."
THB: "You've obviously put a lot of thought into the fact scenario."
M: "Well, I actually do have an aunt Maude. And she does live in Brooklyn. But she has a separate dresser and closet, not armoire. It's ok if I lie about that, right? He won't find out, will he?"
THB: "How on earth could he find out something like that? Look, maybe if you don't like him, just say you have to go. You don't even have to say why. He can handle it."
M: "Well, I don't want to hurt his feelings!! What if he hates me?"
THB: "Argh, why do you care? He's a big boy; he'll be ok!"
Poor thing. At any rate, like a dutiful friend, I called her cell phone at the appointed time. She didn't even answer.
She called me later to report that she had a great time on the date, and she didn't want to answer the cell phone because that might be rude and might hurt his feelings.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
( 12:06 AM ) teahouse
Is it just me, or is the title of my blog now blocked by this new blue Blogger Navigation Bar?
Boohoo, now nobody knows who I am.
Does anyone have a clue as to how to lower the title so that I can actually read "Teahouseblossom" going across the top of the screen?
I'm quite html-illiterate. And afraid of sinking into obscurity.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
( 9:25 AM ) teahouse
Last week we had a firm event, and then afterward, my coworker L and his wife invited some of us back to their place.
L and his wife and 9-year-old daughter live in a one bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side. It's about 400 square feet for the three of them. That's smaller than my apartment.
The kid gets the bedrooom. So for the last 6 years (ever since the kid was a toddler), L and his wife have been sleeping on the pull-out couch in the living room.
What's more, they home school the kid. Which means that she's ALWAYS there.
I haven't asked them, but when the hell do they find the time to, you know, uh, have sex?
Or not even that, are they ever alone together?
No wonder they have only one kid.
It doesn't make any sense, either. L is really senior, so I figure he's making at least $200,000 a year. He can certainly afford a bigger place. He doesn't have private school tuition to pay, and he and his wife never go out.
My theory is that he has gambling debts. Or maybe he's paying his way out of indentured servitude. Any other ideas?
Monday, December 06, 2004
( 9:04 AM ) teahouse
I Did It!!
I'm a little sore today from my long run. Yes, I ran the 15K! 9.3 miles exactly.
So in the last mile, some random guy from my community orchestra (who is a nice guy, but well, he tries a little bit toooo hard) spotted me running by, and decided to jump in with me and "push" me for the last mile.
"You're doing great, THB," he said, as he ran alongside me. "Keep going, keep going."
Argh, I hate when people do that. Unsolicited "You go!" or "Yeah, yeah!" or "Keep it Up!" comments are fine from the sidelines.
But when someone is running with you, bragging that he actually finished the race 40 minutes ago but went for 2 loops around the Reservoir afterward just for fun, and then saw you struggling, and decided to "help" you by running the last mile with you again, they should SHUT UP. And realize that you're focused on trying to finish without dying, not conversing with them.
We ran in silence for a few minutes. Then he remarked, "You know, your gait is a little off. You tend to kick out your right leg slightly. Try to keep it tucked in, and you'll be a more efficient runner."
Arrggh!!! I couldn't believe this guy - he was trying to coach me during the race??
Through my clenched teeth, panting through my pain, it was all I could do not to fasten my hands around his throat and throttle him.
But THAT would have wasted energy. So I tried to speed up and outrun him.
Maybe that's his trick - he pisses people off so much that they try to outrun him, thus doing personal best times.
It's actually quite brilliant.
Friday, December 03, 2004
( 9:01 AM ) teahouse
This weekend I'm attempting to run the Hot Chocolate 15K. That's a little over 9 miles, the longest distance I will have ever run.
3 of my coworkers are running it, too. They're all seasoned marathoners, all much faster than I am. They've promised to wait for me at the finish line, and to save me some hot chocolate and a bagel.
Knowing how slow I am, by the time I get there, it will be frozen, cold chocolate!
I hope they're bringing one of those coffee cup warmer things.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
( 9:18 AM ) teahouse
My mother is very religious. When she was in college, she broke with her family's Buddhist tradition, and shocked everyone by converting to Catholicism.
When I was a kid, she was the one who dragged us out of bed on Sunday mornings to go to mass. She made sure we had our Confirmations at age 15. Because of her, we have a family tradition of going to Midnight Mass together every Christmas Eve.
Recently I asked her, "Mom, what's your favorite Christmas carol?"
I expected her to pick a really religious song. But she replied, "I like them all, but I just heard a really pretty new one - it's called Santa Baby."
Have you heard the lyrics to this song??? It's usually sung by a breathy, panting woman. And it's so full of sexual innuendo, even I was shocked.
"Hurry down the chimney tonight"?
"Come and trim my Christmas tree"?
Does my mother know?
Knowing her, she probably thinks the "baby" in the title is referring to the Baby Jesus.