Meet Mitch

May 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Meet Mitch.

He is Wayne’s best friend from college. They met through mutual friends during Freshman year, and he became the older brother Wayne never knew he would need during college. The sweetest thing is seeing just how much he loves Wayne as a brother. One of my favorite stories that Wayne told me about them was that after the final break up between Wayne and his girlfriend of two and a half years and first love, Mitch would always make an effort to hang out and drink with Wayne, just the two of them, without his girlfriend, on a weekly basis as a way to provide support and check in with Wayne. Mitch took care of Wayne during one of his hardest emotional times. Because of that I have to respect and be grateful for him.

He currently lives in New York City, studying to be a rockstar in life at Columbia. He came down to visit Wayne and the other CMU alumni in the area and stayed with us for the weekend. Since he lives in the sensory-overloading, always moving-moving-moving, beautiful chaos that is New York City, I think our slow, suburban life provided a restful and relaxing, refreshing short break.

Then: The boys in 2006 (image used with permission from Mitch)

Now: The boys in 2011


The New Yorkher

April 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Image of Kiyomi taken from her blog, The New Yorkher

Meet Kiyomi.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know her very well, if at all. She and I lived in the same wing and on the same floor of our freshman dorm. I only have two clear memories of my interactions with Kiyomi: being stranded along with her at the Getty Center on a college field trip and when my former roommate, Momo, and I visited a trendy sushi restaurant in downtown LA where Kiyomi was a hostess. On my second day in LA, we both went on a field trip to the Getty, which was arranged by the counselors of Thematic Option, an honors writing program that was the alternative to USC’s regular general education classes. I think it was an attempt on the program’s part to show us that LA does have a little bit of culture and beauty before we became jaded by the dirtiness of LA. It might have worked if I were properly dressed. Since it was my second day in LA, I foolishly thought that LA was always warm– I forgot about the existence mountains after I left Montana at the age of eleven.  Kiyomi and I bonded over being incredibly cold and spent the six hours we were stranded on the mountain art museum chasing the sunlight for warmth. During our conversations, I learned that she was a creative writing major.

My second memory of her took place in the last days of my life in LA, which I think is coincidentally fitting since I met her during the first days of my life in LA. She was a hostess of a trendy sushi restaurant in downtown LA called Octopus on the day Momo and I walked by the restaurant and wanted to try out the food. Momo was craving salmon. In catching up with Kiyomi’s life, four years later, I learned that she was debating attending graduate school to study poetry or putting it off a little longer to enrich her life experiences so she could be a better writer when she did eventually attend graduate school.

She’s in New York City now, being inspired and shaped by the city as she writes The New Yorkher.

I’ve never read her writing until yesterday when I found her blog and was intrigued by the content. She pairs fashion show images with her poetry that was inspired by the line. The writing is not about the designer or the clothes directly; instead, the words are tangential and deviate in such a whisper of a way that to see the connection she makes between her poetic strings and the images is illuminating. The writing is gorgeous.

Two samples:

Inspired: Rag & Bone/Vera Wang Spring 2011

Hold Tight, Kernel of Sadness


When we boiled things down

there were no bones.  That shiny shrink-

wrapped feeling was simply wisped

into the atmosphere, mere vapor.

Now it’s everywhere, everywhere

propagating. Inhaled and ejaculated,

changed, shaken, but elemental.

Inspired: Jason Wu/Jason Wu for Tse Spring 2011

Suspension of Disbelief

Someone once told me,

in a dream, perhaps,

that we are only allotted

a certain number of heartbeats.

Every exhilaration,

every moment of panic,

every love

which quickens our pulse

beckons death.

If only I could be still

I might live forever.

If only I could be still.

Susie, my little sister (sort of)

April 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Meet Susie.

She is the little sister I always wanted.  She is incredibly sweet, generous, and oh so friendly. Because of her, I understand when women with actual sisters say that they adore and admire their little sisters and wish a little bit to be more like them.

I knew this bubbly, beautiful girl before her name was “Susie”. That’s how long I’ve known her. Let’s ignore the fact that she changed her name from her Chinese name to “Susie” when she was in the 7th grade.  She moved quite a bit during her childhood and only settled in one area for more than two years when she moved to New Jersey her sophomore year of high school. Because of all her moves and some circumstances, I hold the title of being her “Oldest (in terms of how long we have known each other) Friend”; a title I’m always a little surprise to hear since I always assumed that since we were pretty good about keeping in touch through the years, she must have kept in touch with friends she knew before me.

She was the first real friend I made when I moved to Baltimore, which was actually several months after my family had finished unpacking all the moving boxes. Due to the timing of our move, which was just a month before the end of the school year, I ended my 5th grade year by starting at a new school over 2,300 miles away. The friendships I made in the last month were only at the acquaintances level. My friends that following summer were daily reruns of  The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Boy Meets World, weekly marathons of Brady Bunch and I Love Lucy, and quarts of cookies ‘n creme– I thought it was a pretty great summer. I met Susie at the end of the summer at a backyard party hosted by my dad’s coworker. I approached her because she was the only girl there who looked around my age. We quickly became friends and bonded while peeling crabs that were covered in Old Bay and listened to her dad brag that she was much better than him at getting into the nooks and crannies of the crabs to find all the meat.

Our parents became good friends because of our friendship. We would see each other often on the weekends and at the parties our parents had. We even fell into a routine of carpooling to Chinese school (she was in “4th grade” while I was stuck in remedial “1st grade” with all the other middle school-aged students who didn’t want to be in the regular “1st grade” since it was filled with actual first graders) on Sunday afternoons, then eating dinner at her house after Chinese school  and watching Animorphs afterwards. Unfortunately, after a year and half or so, she moved away to Delaware. We kept in touch with the occasional phone call that were usually months apart, and my family would visit her family whenever they had a party. She moved again three years later, this time to New Jersey. Our phone call frequency grew to years in between calls instead of months, and we never saw each other again. But we still thought positively of each other. I remember my last phone call with her was during my Freshman year of college, and it was to convince her to join me in LA at USC.

Two weeks ago, she contacted me asking if I still in the DC area since her boyfriend would be in the area for an Ultimate Frisbee tournament, and she wanted to come down and visit. She came down Friday night, and, although we both look older and a little different, it felt as if nothing had changed.

Meet Mika

March 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Wayne and I are up in New Jersey this weekend to celebrate his birthday with his family. One of my favorite reasons to visit Wayne’s parents is that I get to see this sweet little girl:

Meet Mika, Wayne’s family cat. She prefers to drink water from cups and is disenchanted by the water given to her in small bowls. She loves snuggling, and she purrs as loudly as a lawnmower. I love the fact that she slept with me last night regardless of the fact that I’m pretty sure it was because she considers the guest bedroom as her room and I was just sleeping in it.

A Very Off-balanced White Balance Dinner in DC

March 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

I like when Wayne and I have people over for dinner and when we get out-of-town visitors. However, I especially love when our family visits so I was excited for his sister’s visit.

Meet Christina.

She is younger than Wayne by four years and is studying to save the world in Baltimore. She’s quite the smartie and equally as pretty. She would be one of the reasons why people would think life isn’t fair since she has both brains and beauty except they wouldn’t be able to think negatively of her because she is also very sweet.

Yesterday her train arrived just in time for dinner, except we still hadn’t decided on where to go to dinner. I didn’t prepare dinner because, no matter how hard I try, I can’t recreate the feeling of comfort and home-y-ness in my food like my mom or Wayne’s mom easily can, and we thought that going out to eat would be more fun since DC has many very tasty eateries.

We went to La Tasca in Chinatown for dinner because I was craving squid ink paella and Christina had never tried paella before. It was a last minute decision since  Bodega in Georgetown (my favorite restaurant for dinner in DC, purely because of their squid ink paella) and Jaleo in Penn Quarter were both fully book for the night, we forgot to make reservations. I can’t rank La Tasca because it has a very special place in my heart since Wayne and I had our first date there. Even if the food were horrendous– which it isn’t–, I would love that restaurant if for no other reason than the memories of that first dinner. However, I will say that I prefer the squid ink paella at Bodega because the rice was al dente and chewy whereas the squid ink paella at La Tasca was softer and a tad bit on the mushy side. I still enjoyed it though because I love the taste of squid ink in pastas and rice dishes. I do prefer the sangrias at La Tasca over Bodega and Jaleo. I like that La Tasca’s sangrias are more fruity and sweet and able to mask the alcohol better than the sangrias at Bodega and Jaloeo since I don’t like strong drinks.

Even though we didn’t have the foresight to make reservations for dinner, I did have the foresight to make a reservation at Co Co. Sala, a chocolate lounge, for dessert.  It was Wayne and my first time visiting the lounge in addition to it being Christina’s first time. It had been a place that Wayne and I frequently said we would try out but we never made the effort because we don’t go into DC that often due to laziness, especially after dinner when we typically lose the food coma battle. The lightning was very dark– the few sources of light being the small lanterns at each table and dimmed recess lights above– and the music was very loud, but the decor was chic and elegant.

Of course none of that really matters, because all I care about are the desserts. And the desserts were divine and so decadent. The portions are very small, which I thought were perfectly sized since some of the desserts were so rich that if they were a larger size, the richness would be overwhelming. However, the assessment could have just been for my plate of dessert, “Chocolate Onyx”, which consisted of three desserts: a brownie that held vanilla crème brûlée that was encased in dark chocolate mousse with a pool salted caramel as the topping, a chocolate sorbet, and a small cinnamon toffee bon bon. Just reading the description of the Chocolate Onyx plate makes me thirsty. But it was so very good.

Christina picked the “Raspberry Affair” dessert plate, which consisted of a white chocolate and raspberry mousse atop a pile of crispy chocolate pearls, a pomegranate and champagne sorbet (that Wayne loved), and a small chocolate that contained goji berries. Her dessert plate was just sweet enough, delightfully fruity, and very refreshing– especially a couple of bites of my dessert plate.

I thought the chocolate lounge was fun to try, and I would love to return for our next special occasion.



La Tasca in DC Chinatown
722 7th St NW
(between N G St & N H St)
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 347-9190

Co Col. Sala
929 F St NW
(between N 9th St & N 10th St)
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 347-4265

My Simon, my best friend

February 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Meet Simon.

He’s my best friend.

When I graduated from USC and moved to DC, Simon was ecstatic for my move because his seeing me would become a lot easier, and he hoped that he would see me more than the four times a year — during college, we averaged one time during winter breaks and three times during summer breaks. Instead of a $250 plane ticket and a five hour flight plus all the waiting — waiting through security, waiting to board the plane, waiting to pick up luggage from the baggage carousel — , I would be an hour and fifteen minute drive away, and he could enjoy the ride to see me in the comfort of his own car, not having to listen to his music through earphones. However, there’s still some waiting, because there is always traffic on the bridge between Maryland to Virginia, most of the time for no reason. Since his best guy friend lives around fifteen minutes away from me even before I moved here, Simon has been somewhat used to the drive. But even still, it says a lot when he will drive so far just to have lunch with me and be my shopping buddy even though we spend most of the time just walking around the mall and window shopping instead. Unfortunately, because of our schedules and our lack of planning, we still have ended up only seeing each other about four times a year– once a quarter, it seems.

He’s been my best friend since sophomore year of high school, and he’s still around even after putting up with being friends with me during a time when I was irresponsible, flakey, and mistreating him. Honestly, he shouldn’t be around. I was a horrible friend. But he stuck around, and, for that, I’m extremely grateful. He’s earned the title of “Best Friend”.

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