Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What did I do in 2008?

I started out by going to New York City.

I got to be part of a wedding party...

... and watched 2 lovely people get married. 

My broham graduated college. 

I regained my sanity and celebrated my birthday. 

My sister also graduated college.  Twins.  She then started working at my non-profit.  Follower. 

My best friend moved away, and therefore we communicated online, at times via video.  We mostly just made faces at each other. 

My college roommate made her annual LA visit.  This time, we decided that the restroom was the best place to document her visit.   

Suddenly, everyone around me worked at Disneyland, or at Disney, the corporation.  Therefore, I went to Disneyland 4 times this year.  Cra cra. 

We went through an epic election, and we fought for our rights, and temporarily lost...  The battle continues. 

And I ended the year by going to New York City!  Begin with NYC, end with NYC.

2009?  No idea.  I never have an idea. 

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

November was STOLEN from me.

Man-o-rama. How is it December already?

I've mentioned before before but I LOVE November.

This November was the worst and the best.

It was the best, because we started out the month by ending Baracktober, and beginning the Obama Era. Not a whole lot could beat how I felt that night, on November 4th.

HOWEVER, it was the worst because on that same night, I became ill for the first time in 2 years. It was also the worst because it was HOT as SHIT in Los Angeles, to the point where there were blazing fires every where. I am a fan of appropriate weather, and 90 degree weather is just WRONG this time of year.

On the flip side, it was also the best month because I discovered a television show that I now basically schedule my life around: 30 Rock. How this show flew past my for the last 2 seasons, I do not know. I've always liked Tina Fey, but I officially want to model myself so that I could BE like her.
I don't watch television that much, and it takes a lot for me to actually like a show and invest in it, and actually schedule myself to sit down and watch it. I channel-surf, and shows get about 1 second to hold my attention. I'm really bad about this. Peter said I channel-surf like a douche. (Or dude? I don't remember. Same difference.) A lot of people recommend shows to me, and I'll watch it, but hardly ever get into it. Take Project Runway. I love clothes, so everyone tells me I need to watch it. I did, and it was alright. But I don't like reality shows. It's too much tension, and it stresses me out. I deal with a whole lot of crap on a daily basis, and I don't want to watch people fight on TV, even if it's about a pretty dress. Now, with 30 Rock, there are a lot of verbal arguments. But I know that it's scripted, and I know that it's fake, so some how, it makes it OK.

SO! What did we learn today about Lisa? Lisa loves Obama and 30 Rock, but hates getting sick and untimely weather changes. And fires. Lisa hates fires, unless it's for maintenance for national parks.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Yes We Did - the actual day.

After I wrote that post on Monday night, I went to bed as if it was Christmas Eve, in hopes of finding a great gift on Tuesday morning.

I woke up, got out of bed, ready to start Election Day with a Freedom Workout, when suddenly, I felt like a terrorist punched the inside of my stomach.  I literally curled up, with an additional intense feeling of nausea, and had no option but to go back to  bed.  

I thought maybe an extra 30 minutes in bed would make things better, but it didn't do any good.  I called in to both of my offices at work to say that I will take the morning off, in hopes of coming in later, and knocked out.  2 hour later, I woke up in sweats with an aching body and an even worse feeling of throwing everything up, which was nothing, since I had eaten nothing.  

I moaned, but couldn't go back to sleep.  I turned on my computer and logged on to NPR to listened to the oddly soothing voice of Steve Inskeep.  I signed on to GChat to see every one's "GO  VOTE OBAMARAMA GOBAMA OBAMANOS NO ON 8" statuses, and I put up my own, which was "Too sick to get out of bed but will go vote even if it kills me".  I got an array of sweet messages, some of which I received on my lover (aka Blackberry), but my favorite came from my dear brother, which were 3 words: "True American Hero".   

I was in and out of consciousness, pain, and sweats, when my sister called (or I called, can't remember), to offer to take me to my polling place to vote.  She became the True American Hero, allowing me to vote, even if I couldn't coherently get thoughts put together in my head.  Cooincidently, my mother's car had broken down, so my father needed to come to my apartment to get my car as well.  My father and sister decided to carpool to my apartment so that my father could take my car, and my sister could take me to the polls and eventually to my parent's home, which was much more fit for a sick person. (My roommate had suffered food poisining - and probably a stomach virus that hopped on to me - the weekend before, along with me being absent most of time, so our apartment was nothing short of a disaster.) 

At the polling place, I was dizzy, ache-y, and vomit-y, but I ink-punched my ballot, and I double checked my vote to make sure I was voting for what I had intended on voting for when I was not a walking Petri dish.  (Can viruses grow on Petri dishes?) 

My American Hero, aka my sister, drove me to my parent's home, where I went in and out of consciousness, in and out of day time TV like Ellen and The View, and the hours went slowly when I was awake, and quickly when I was asleep.  

My sister came home from work, which was I-don't-know-what-time, and we both vegged with CNN or MSNBC blaring, while my sister had last day discussions about Prop 8.  Somehow 8PM-ish rolled around, and I was watching Indecision 2008, and suddenly Jon Stewart said "The president of the United States is Barack Obama."  I gasped, switched over to a real news station, and watched Grant Park images, and people dancing, and Jesse Jackson crying, and I quietly shed a tear because everyone was so FRIGGIN HAPPY!  I got texts and GChat messages, and my lover (Blackberry) was ringing off the hook, and I was so happy.  

I briefly forgot that I was sick, and tried to understand that moment.  Our vote had counted.  Our voices were heard.  Yes, we did, yes we did! 

I listened to the President Elect speak, and I teared up again when he said, "The road ahead will be long.  Our climb will be steep.  We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.  I promise you - we as a people will get there." His voice pierced through, and I thought about how I would contribute to help him, our president, get us there to the place where things will be OK in our home, and good honest people will be able to live their lives without government-related circumstances pounding at their doors.  I felt proud of us, and I felt proud of him and his family, and I was proud of what I had done everyday to that point and what I will do from that day to make this country a place we can all proudly call home. 

Reality set in, and another fever took over my body, and even pride couldn't keep me awake or pain-free.  I took some more Ibuprofen, and went to bed without knowing how the state measures did, but with at least a feeling that the country as a whole became unified for those precious moments.  

That was my Election Day story.  

Monday, November 03, 2008


From Lisa Speaks
November is my favorite month, and whatever happens tomorrow, we're going to be starting this month with a change. 

Most of you know how I'm going to vote, so I won't bore you with my position on issues.  

BUT!  I'm going to start my first blog entry of my favorite month with a little something about this election.

People talk about how historic this was, about how long the campaign has been, and about how everyone acted.  So many things were discussed, from racism to sexism to pigs and lipsticks to mavericks.  What a crazy crazy campaign this was!  

But for me, there was something else that made it really exciting. 
What made this election special to me, was what it did to people who I look up to.  

I always thought I had a little bit of a hidden old soul.  I love older music and art, and I hated how boring and peaceful things were around me, pre-911 (now, I heart peace).  I loved reading about world-shakers and the protests they participated in, and how vibrant those people seemed.   I sometimes thought how exciting it would have been to be born in the late 50s or the 60s and see all the people fighting for change, right in front of me.

Now, I work amongst those people who experienced real activism, and who actually created and moved for all sorts of causes.  They have become community organizers (take that, Sarah Palin), and I think they were a bit jaded about certain things that were going on before, because they've experienced so much more.

When this election really started getting interesting, I saw these people get really excited again, and get really inspired about the candidates.  I'm sure it's nothing compared to how things were in their heyday, but watching these people in their 50s and 60s, drop their normal day-today stuff and caravan it Nevada to work on the campaign, and talking about how great they felt after they heard certain candidates speak, really really inspired me.  It was so cool to witness it, and have a dialogue about it, and have a common hope. 

Tomorrow, I'm going to the polls and vote, just like I did in 2004, which was my first general election.  But tomorrow, I'm going to vote with my co-workers and bosses and my heroes and my friends and family in mind.  This election inspired those who inspire me, so I will vote tomorrow with anticipation for a change we are all looking forward to. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

National Love Your Body Day

Today is National Love Your Body Day by the National Organization for Women.

I think about this day, while reflecting upon a lot of things.  For example, it makes me think about a Google Chat conversation I had with a friend (who lives out of state, and I was talking to her at the gym via my Crackberry... a very disturbing scene), about how we want to lose weight and wonder how Britney did it, or how the girls on the Hills are doing it.  ( I actually have no idea what the girls on the Hills look like.  I don't watch the show, but I've been told that they live in Laguna Beach, so it gives me an idea.)  It was a very casual and joke-filled conversation, but it is where we're at.  

So, on this day, I'm going to think about a part of my body that I love, without a cop-out answer like "my eyes" or "my brain".  (Two legitimate answers, to a certain degree, but people use it to avoid the real issue.) 

The body part I love most would have to be my arms.  I hated my arms growing up.  HATE.  I always wore something to cover them up because they were big, especially since I started swimming at a young age, and because I just had a lot of muscle there.  These days, though, it's my strongest body part, and I am so proud of it.  I still have little issues here and there, but the size doesn't bother me any more.  It makes me feel really powerful, and I get a kick out of people being shocked with the amount of things I could carry.  It's also the most toned part of my body, and I worked hard to get them there.  So, I love them.  But love comes with conflicted emotions, and that's exactly how I feel about my arms.  I love them for what they are, but there are days when I wish they were dainty.  But I'm most happy when I feel proud of their capabilities.  

So!  What part of your body do you love?

Friday, October 10, 2008

back into the real world, armed with crackberry.

Don't ask me about the LSATs because I really don't know how I did.  Shit is curved, which could be good, or bad, meaning, I'm either as capable to solve problems as my peers, or just a dumbass.  We'll see at the end of the month.

Now, I'm sitting here on a Friday night, completely lost as to what I'm supposed to do (besides my law school applications).  I'll some how figure it out, especially since I've entered the Cool Kids Zone by purchasing myself a Blackberry.  The economy is going in the shitter, but I find myself spending unnecessary money on recreational things to make me feel better.  I'm also getting a really expensive haircut tomorrow, but I justify that with the evidence that I only get one haircut a year.  ( Disgustingly enough, it's been more than a year since I last got my haircut, actually.)  

I'm trying to figure out what I used to for fun, and I can't remember.  I'm draaaaained.  My days have been a routine of: gym, eat, work, eat, work, study, eat, sleep.  And repeat.  

I stuffed all my LSAT materials in a box and stored it in my closet.  I can't get myself to throw it away.  I can't get myself to throw anything away, but I especially can't throw these away since I spent so much time and money on them.  But for now, I don't want to look at it, so it's in the back of the room, just like the memory of the LSATs is in the back of my head. 

It's past my bed time.  G'night.


P.S.  Tina Fey for Veeps. 

Friday, October 03, 2008


I'm taking the LSATs tomorrow, and guess what I'm doing, the night before?  Watching Legally Blonde. Inspiration, you know?

Here's what I've got to say about this test. 

First, it has ruined my life for the last couple of months.  

Second, this test has pinpointed my ultimate weakness, which is a lack of attention to detail.

Third, it's changed my whole perspective on reasoning and logics.

Basically, I SUCK ASS at this test.  I've studied since April and haven't improved that much.  

But for whatever reason, it has not discouraged me from going to law school, so FUCKIN' A, I am going to take this damn test and get it over with.  

The end.

P.S.  Elle Woods scored a 179?  WTF. 

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I have time for the important things.

I am knee-deep in LSAT studying (I have more than 4 letter words to describe how I feel about this test), work, and regaining my running groove. So, no major post.

BUT! That doesn't mean that I don't have time to celebrate my other half's birthday.


It's an understatement to say that she's my partner in crime.  She is basically my partner in everything.  

WOOOOOP!  We're getting closer to our dream of sitting in our retirement home community together, trading stories, while our dentures clack!! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Am I the only one who thinks these two look alike? (Michael Phelps and Wallace. Not the coach and Gromit. I love Gromit...)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What a great night!

First, it started with Peter and I catching a UFC match on Showtime.  Yes.  A gay man and his hag watching Ultimate Fighting Championship.  We just randomly stumbled across it, and got immediately hooked when we realized how homo-erotic it was.  We probably weren't watching the match like we were supposed to (i.e. pointing out how ugly the fighters were, how gay their fighting positions were, and also squealing each time someone got kneed in the face) but towards the end, the fighting got really intense and we were totally caught up in it, until we both realized that we had other commitments.

Then, I went off to go watch a movie, and literally walked into a live Beach Boys concert.  Beach Boys!  In my neighborhood!  And even better, JOHN STAMOS!!!  Two nice people gave my friend and me entrance wristbands to the podiums, and we got to catch the last leg of the concert.  Kokomo!  Watching baby boomers jive to the Beach Boys (and John Stamos) was the cutest thing ever.

Finally, (nicely structured, don't you think?) we made it to the movie theater and watched the new Batman movie.  It was pretty good.  As a testament to its quality, it is close to 2AM and I am still awake, after just getting out the theaters.  And I did not fall asleep once!  

And now I sit here, munching on a delicious slice of whole wheat toast with apricot jam, letting you guys know how much I enjoyed tonight. 

Life is good.  Good night!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

FOOD o' Summa!

Food that I've been eating constantly this summer.  I'm obsessed!

Cold brewed iced tea.  I just throw in a tea bag in a jar with some cold water, keep in in the fridge for an hour, and voila!  Iced tea for one. 

Chopped up spinach salad with chopped up fresh herbs thrown in.  This is a spinach + basil + mint mixture.  My obsession is to eat this with a balsamic vinegar, yogurt, and some fruit-type vinaigrette with some nuts. 

My ultimate obsession this summer:  Roasted Kabocha.  Roasted for 25 minutes in 375 degrees oven.  Marinated with balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce if I'm feeling sauce-y.  Try it.  I don't think it's actually in season, but I live in California.  We don't have seasons.  Plus, this is probably from some where in South America, anyway.  


Adora Calcium supplement.  Calcium supplement in the form of dark chocolate.  Let me tell ya, I'm SEVERELY picky about my dark chocolates, and this one is decent.  (Could use a little bit more of a punch, though.)  Added 500 mg of calcium plus Vitamin D + K?  YEsssss....

Yum yum. 

Monday, July 07, 2008

I thought it was a Cinderella moment..

I am just about 5 feet.  I'm normally short.  Just like everyone else in America, short, tall, thin, fat, finding perfect pants was something I thought only happened in Far Far Away Land.  I thought that it was a myth, like the unicorn, or the G spot. 

But 2 weeks ago, I found the perfect pair of jeans.  The waist was just wide enough, it wasn't too low rise, and not too high up, and most of all, most IMPORTANT of all, I DIDN'T HAVE TO HEM THE PANTS.  You don't understand.  This has literally never happened to me before in my entire life. 

I felt like Cinderella.  Finally!  Finally, I found a pair of jeans that I didn't have to fix anything in order for me to function daily.  

Then, the cream pie effect:  They were CAPRIS.

What kind of Amazonian woman wears these as capris??  Or am I just a Smurf in the real world?


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Round 2.

Because I really love my new present.

Today's break-y: Ezekiel's Cinnamon Raison toast with peanut butter and banana + fresh and sweet blueberries and yogurt w/ flaxseed, and a cup of tea which I brew every morning with loose leaves.  Totally worth it. 

Ok, no more.  I mean, I'll continue to use these lovely plates and mugs and bowls, but don't expect any more pictures, unless I some how whip up diamond-encrusted pancakes.  Conflict-free-diamond pancakes. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

When looks matter.

I'm a firm believer in putting effort in food presentation, because you really do eat with your eyes.  I don't always practice what I believe, though, because I don't have the motivation to do so, and I don't keep a steady food blog.


Today, I'd like to post a picture of my breakfast in honor of my college roommate Carmen. 

She gave me the best birthday present and sent me a package from one of my favorite stores in NYC: Fishs Eddy. The moment I opened the box and saw the bowl, I knew I HAD to have something in a bowl for breakfast.

So!  Without further ado, here's my bowl of beautiful banana blueberry oatmeal in my brand-spankin' new NYC Fishs Eddy bowl:

Isn't she a beauty? Thanks, Carmen!  I miss you! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Healthy in a different way.

I feel so healthy right now, in a holistic way.

The last couple of months, I've been healthy solely on an external basis.  While I was chompin' on leaves and swimming laps to keep my heart rate up, I let my stress level sky rocket to a breaking point.  Without getting into too much details, I hit a limit, in more ways than one.  It's really a slippery slope, and I only write this as a brief cautionary tale.  It's really hard to see where you're at, mentally, when you're in the midst of things.

I didn't even want to celebrate my birthday, but luckily, I had people in my life who did for me.  After feeling celebrated, I've realized how much I've missed out in the last months by not taking a break.  Now, I actually feel my age and feel good and feel like I'm slowly becoming entirely healthy. 

SO.  On to more photo-centric less-serious things.  Here's how my birthday went:

I usually celebrate my birthday in 3 portions.  Once with a grand-ol' dinner with my family, once with people from all over that I enjoy very much, and once with my very close friends.  This year, it started out with my social sister, adding my birthday on to her graduation party as a reason to celebrate. 

My brother was done here from up north too, and we hung out and entertained each other at my sister's graduation. 

On top of having a grandiose sushi dinner with my family, I also had sushi dinner with my other family, as I'd like to call them.  Sushi is literally the only reason I cannot be a vegetarian.  I know I know, eating fish has become even more of an ethical dilemma lately, but it's not like I can afford to eat sushi everyday...  Leave me alone.. 

This wonderful group of people bought me a fruit tart, and that's how I concluded this wonderful weekend.   I am sincerely so lucky to have such caring people in my life. 

My coworkers also decorated my cubicle with the cutest little cut-outs, which is still hanging around my desk.  I love it!  

You see, this is the best way to become healthy.  And I can eat cake too!

Life is slowly getting back on track, and I am so glad.  

Monday, June 16, 2008


This weekend made me really happy and made me feel like I'm actually 25.  Not 65.  

More on it later!  I'm going to go celebrate my birthday today with some quality people. 

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Yeah, this post isn't going to be funny.

I'm sorry for the Debbie Downer posts lately, but I promise you, this isn't going to be whiny.  

Have you ever witnessed such a raw form of grief, that you find it... vivid? 

One of my favorite coworkers suffered a great loss last weekend and I attended the funeral yesterday morning.  I've only been to two other funerals besides this one, one of my grandfather's, and another of my friend's grandmother.  Although both of those funerals were from untimely deaths, this particular one that I attended yesterday felt even more so because my coworker had lost a parent.  I'm 25, and she's around the same age.  Although there were circumstances surrounding her loss, it was still too soon for her to lose someone like that. 

Anyway, I watched her grieve and, and it was so palpable and raw that I found it almost beautiful, and possibly the most natural thing I had seen recently.  People tend to avoid identifying other's grief because it is a personal thing, and I don't want to do anything to intrude that.  But I always found the purest response to those extreme situations to be the most revealing moments of human nature.  I find it vivid, in the sense that it is the clearest evidence that we are alive.  

When I was living in Spain, a good friend of mine had suddenly ended a long-term relationship with her boyfriend, who she had envisioned marrying.  It was a one-sided break-up (his) and I sat with her through the night while she cried and cried.  Her tears were uncontrollable, and aside from wanting to console her, I felt privileged to witness this form of sadness.  Such deep sadness, such rare emotion, when your whole body responds to what you feel.  I mean, I really couldn't help but find my friend so beautiful while she went through this pain, because what I was watching was nothing but the truth.   

I don't want to constantly watch people be sad.  God, what kind of sadist would that make me?  However, I do want to acknowledge the rarity and beauty of it when I see something like that.  It really reminds me what it is to be human. 

Now, here's where I confirm myself as a food addict.  At the end of the service, I was trying to think about what I could do for my coworker, and the first thing I thought was... I'll bake!  So disgustingly Martha Stewart of me, and I don't even like Martha Stewart. I was thinking about baking V-con's soy yogurt pound cake, because my coworker liked it the last time she tried some.  I'm thinking about adding some green tea matcha powder to promote peace.  What do you think about that?  I'll update you guys if I end up making it. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

An update, if you care.

So, here's an update on the back.

It's apparently not from a herniated disk, although no one would give me an x-ray.  I've gotten all sorts of verdicts, like the one mentioned, muscle inflammation, or something with the sciatic nerve. 

To me, it just feels like all of the above.  

What I've learned:

-Back pains are often undiagnosable and, in the end, no one knows jack shit.
-It's expensive to try to find out what the hell is wrong with the spinal area.  
-Everyone has their opinion about the cure.  

Here's what I've been suggested and tried:
- Sulfur pills (I don't think it's working.)
- Massage (Maybe it was the skill of the masseuse, but it didn't work.)
- Daily exercise (Sometimes it makes it worse, sometimes it makes it better.)
- Rest (Like the exercise, it can make it better, and it can make it worse.)
- Mangosteen juice (I don't think it's making any difference, but it's yummy!)
- Less meat and shell fish (I haven't really eaten any thing in this category, but since I really never did, I don't have a basis of comparison.)

The only thing I can say for sure is that staying stationary is the worse.  I had to stand with little movement for 4 straight hours for a work event last week, and that induced the worse pain since I've hurt myself.  The funny thing is, after I walked around for a little bit, it got slightly better.  I have to say though, it hasn't felt the same since.  

The other thing I've learned is that I have to be patient.  Patience used to be a great asset of mine but I've realized that I only have patience for other people.  I have practically none for myself.  

Ah, such is the process of being wiser with experience, I suppose.  All I want to do is whine like a kid, though, which I've successfully done here, so I'll stop and leave you all for now.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


So basically, my back pain might actually be a legitimate injury.

I was told today by my chiropractor that there might be a small chance that I have a herniated disc.  He wants to observe it for one more week to make sure.  I'm trying to get an X-ray.  ASAP.

FUCK!  This means, even more time of no running!  

Word to the wise:  TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES!!

I really really really really really really really really REALLY hope it's not something like that.  I really hope it's just some muscle inflammation and that it will all go away soon. 

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

My body is like a volcano

because it is currently filled with sulfur.

That is the result from my visit to the chiropractor today.

I hate doctors. Ok, I don't hate doctors, but I don't like going to the doctors. It's a hassle, and you almost aways come out with some bottle of pills in your hands, and I HATE (yes, that is a definitive hate) taking medicine. I don't believe pills cure everything, and I also simply just forget taking them.

When my back pain started 2 and a half weeks ago, I didn't think much of it in the beginning. But I decided to take action when it started interfering with my running, and let me tell you, I was DRAAGGGGIIIINN about going to the chiropractor. If there's anything I hate more than taking medication, it's taking pain killers, and I did NOT want to go home with some fancy name for muscle inflammation and a bottle of Ibuprofen.

I am happy to report, though, that I do not have any pain killers in hand. Nor do I have a fancy name to label my pain. Instead, I have orders to take 8 capsules of organic sulfur and stay off shellfish and meat. HoWHAAT in the name of Spinal Tap do sulfur and Surf and Turf got to do with back pains?

Apparently, there are different types of causes when it comes to pain in your muscles and joints. One is from an injury. Usually, there is an event, and you or your chiropractor can physical tell that there is something off. The other is caused by chemical imbalance in your cells that applies pressure to your joints and muscles. These can be caused by toxins in your body, or it could be hereditary. This type of pain is comparable with conditions like chronic migraines or weak stomachers. There are no straight reasons why the pain happens, but it just does sometimes.

Mine, apparently, is the latter. I apparently have a body type more prone to this type of muscle pain, proven by my family history of gout, and the fact that I've gotten this pain at such a young age. The chemical imbalance could be further aggravated by such things like high cholesterol diets, and over exercising. Sulfur helps with solving the imbalance along with appropriate diet and moderate exercise.

So, you're all like, that's bull. But here's the thing. #1 - Just days before my back pain started, I had this massive weekend of meat and shellfish fest due to weddings, wedding receptions, and 2nd wedding receptions I attended. I seldom eat these things on a daily basis, so it's possible that my body felt even more shock. And I didn't tell the chiropractor about this. #2 - Without explaining the above to my dad, he randomly left me a message of concern on my cell phone saying, "You should be careful because I started having back pains at your age." #3 - This might be psychological, but after swallowing 8 capsule of sulfur, I do feel less pain.

I feel like I'm trying to prove to you people about some psychic reading, but it's crazy!

Or maybe the sulfur aggravated my inner volcano so I'm just high off of sulfur dioxide gas. Who knows. I'll report tomorrow.

The good news is, it's apparently treatable in a week. My doctor said that I can start running in about a week! He told me to stick to swimming for now, but assured me that there was no damage and I should be able to get back to my mileage in no time.

I'll take sulfur for that! ( I can't even imagine what my insides smell like right now...)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Tofu keeping my sanity in check

It's been high-stress and high-activity volume the last couple of months. Events, work events, classes, and injury have made me into one big ball of a mess. At times figuratively, but a lot of times literally. My apartment (at least on my end) is in complete disarray. I hate it, but I also am at a point where I don't care.

To make a long month into a short story, (which paradoxically could also be a rapidly short month into a long story) I'll just tell you that I've had weddings to attend, a conference to organize, and night classes to endure. On top of that, from some unknown event (possibly stress, possibly some position I slept in), I've hurt my lower back. So, on top of being stretched to the limit, my one outlet of stress release has been taken away from me this week: my running. I've been told to not run this week, and let me tell you... it SUCKS. Betsy described it best when she said that it's taken over her thought process, and I can't agree more. My Google is tired out from searching "lower back pain", "stretches, lower back pain", "running, back pain".

The other thing is, because of me not running, my hunger and appetite has been thrown off a little bit. It might be psychological, but sometimes I'm not as hungry, and sometimes I'm just plain ravenous. And sometimes, I just need chocolate. But then, who doesn't.

In an attempt to keep some part of my life healthy, I've decided to make a batch of this tofu quiche that I made for Staff Breakfast a couple of months ago. I've done the unconventional thing and un-veganized it because I don't have a lot of stuff that the recipe calls for, and frankly, egg whites are less expensive than tahini and nutritional yeast. It's helped me eat with pleasure yet still with nutrition in mind, and has helped me keep my cool, knowing that I at least have some parts of my life remaining in my control.

This recipe is SO easy. Seriously, I can't stress it enough. I had to feed about 80 people at the staff breakfast, and the tofu quiche worked miracles with that.

Below is my version, but play with it because it's damn near impossible to mess this up. And even if you mess it up, it'll still taste good, I guarantee it.

Tofu and Egg White Crust-less Quiche

Makes 24 mini quiches
2 packs of tofu (I've used all sorts, and to me, it's all the same)
1/2 cup of egg whites
1 large bell pepper (Or 2 medium. Just a heads up, I suck at recipes because I seldom follow them myself.)
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove
1-1.5 cup of cremini mushroom
1 tablespoon each of sage, thyme, and rosemary (I used fresh. Play with the spices. It's the fun part)
Olive oil for sauteeing and oiling the muffin tin
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Chop all the vegetables. Sliced or diced, it doesn't matter, just make them all the same size so it cooks evenly.

3. Sautee the vegetables starting with the garlic and onion. Throw in the bell pepper and then the mushrooms and spices. Sautee until the mushrooms sweat. Throw in some salt and pepper to taste.

4. Meanwhile, throw the tofu in a food processor and blend it. When the vegetables are done, blend them together and salt and pepper again to taste. ( I honestly would just stop here and keep this thing as a dip in the future. Seriously, you had to pry my hands away from the crackers to keep me from eating the entire thing in the food processor.) Pour the egg white into the mixture, and blend it again.

5. Spray the muffin tin with oil, or grease it to your liking. Pour in the mixture in each cup, about half way. They'll rise. Bake them for about 20 minutes. When done, let it cool for another 10-15 minutes. Carefully take them out with a spoon. They're on the soft side so be really delicate about it if you want them to still look like quiches. Enjoy with bread, rice, over a salad, you name it!

Honestly, this is barely a recipe, because I'll probably change the way I make this and it'll still come out great. If you want the vegan version, make the original. And if you want the yolk, use 1 egg per tofu package.

My back hasn't improved much, so I might have to see a chiropractor... In the meantime, I'll be noshing on these quiches while only running in my head...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The wedding was beautiful, mostly because the couple getting married are just so. It was a festive weekend, but an exhausting one at that. I have one more energy-draining weekend coming up, and then I can start focusing on test-studying. June is the beginning of my freedom, and I'm actually trying not to focus on the proverbial "light" at the end, because I feel it won't help me go on with the momentum I have right now.

Anyhoo, the wedding. Yes.

So, you may have noticed, but I have attended quite a few weddings recently. 5 to be exact, since last September.

It's the age, I suppose. I'm at the age where people around me are making monumental decisions. I suppose I'm at the age where things are suddenly starting to be more official, and more legal.

Before, friends were friends. There were friends and their boy/girl-friends, and that's what they were. My friend's boyfriend. My friend's girlfriend. My friend's transgendered lover. I never thought of it any further, but ever since my friends starting getting hitched, I've started to become aware of a concept that I've branded in my head as "friend-in-laws".

Friends are not legally bound (unless specific situations obligate them to be so). But when they enter these commitments, I can't help but be really conscious about how they're now in a situation where they are legally responsible of another person. Not in a custodial way (well maybe somewhat), but more in a binding way of your-decision-is-my-decision way.

So my friends make this new jump, and now their spouses become more than just friends by association. They become friends-in-laws. Even though I have no legal connections to my friend, the spouses do, and therefore the idea of "mutual friends" take up a another level. Do I make sense? I don't know.

Soon, there will be kids, and they'll become my... I don't know what, but something else other than just plain kids to me. It's all going to be so friggin weird, but it's such a natural process that I probably will just wake up one day and realize that this is all happening.

Oh well. C'est la vie. I don't mean that woefully, either. But that's just what it is. Life.

Here's a picture of me fulfilling my friend duty as a candle sponsor. The color theme was red and gold because the bride and groom both graduated from USC. No joke.

For my food-blog companions, sorry for the absence of food. These crazy weekends have not allowed me to cook one bit. All I've gots to say is, thank goodness for Trader Joe's.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Old and the Young

I have been M.I.A. By I.A. I mean, In Action, in Vegas.

I went to my first ever bachelorette party this weekend in Vegas and realized that I really am not cut out for this any more. Here are reasons why:

Exhibit A: I don't gamble or drink that much.

Exhibit B: I have adapted my clients' lifestyle and wake up really early and fall asleep really early. Therefore, I fell asleep at the LOUD LOUD club at around 2:45am. There are pictures, but I shall spare you.

Exhibit C: Despite coming back to the hotel at around 4am, my internal alarm clock still went off at 8am, and I got up and read a book by the pool (I finished Eat, Pray, Love, Yvonne!).

Despite all of that, though, I had great fun. I spent time with girls I usually don't hang out with, and it was nice to get to know them. However, when one of the girls (who is actually a couple years older than me) said, "This weekend made me feel young again," I secretly felt the exact opposite. I can't even fathom how I managed to lead anything resembling a nightlife years ago. And in Spain! Oh Spain! I mean, I pulled all-nighters 3 nights in a row going to clubs in Spain!

I have no idea what happened. I've morphed into an elderly person.

Oh well. This weekend is the wedding! I shall be even more M.I.A., but hopefully you all will stick around until I come back.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

When it's worth it.

Do you know that scene in "Ratatouille" when that girl chef tells tells the dopey boy chef that it's important to clean as you go when cooking? I just don't understand how that's possible. That's what my kitchen looks like when I've got things organized. Maybe it's because my way of cooking is all over the place to begin with, so organizing will be counter-intuitive. In fact, it is. I bet if I cleaned as I went, my food would taste like ass.

I'm definitely a cook more than a baker, mainly because I do things by taste as opposed to measuring. But lately, I've been baking more often. Vegan baking to be exact. Do you know why? Because in vegan baking, you can taste the batter without fear of consuming unnecessary bacteria, and therefore room for improvising. To a certain extent. I never mess with the amount of liquid or dry ingredients, because I am no where near the scientist you need to be to start tampering with that kind of shiz.

Anyhoo, I've started baking on Thursdays, because we have staff meetings on Fridays, and my co-workers have become loyal tasters of my baking adventures. This week, I'm going to see how they like some soy-yogurt pound cake. (Yes, all of that yogurt is GONE!)

Usually, the ones that like my baking the most are those people with a bit of a sweet tooth. I hate to generalize, but the majority of them are my female co-workers. My male co-workers will make small complimentary comments, but usually they're not as interested.

One day, though, one of my soft-spoken male co-workers turned to me quite randomly. He said, "You know what, Lisa? You know what I want? That chocolate orange cake you made last week. I really want some with a glass of milk."

When he said that, it made me so happy. He actually doesn't even like sweets that much, yet he thought of my cake (well, her cake). That little comment he made makes all of my baking attempts so worth it. I don't even care if I eat what I make. If someone else is reminded of pleasure when the thought of my food enters their head, that's just... FAAABUUUlous. I'll make all the mess in the kitchen in the world for them.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

1 year later!

There is a reason for this NAAASTA-funk photo.  (If you're curious, that's a picture of me right after a hardcore run.  My friend was so amazed with the amount of sweat on my body, that she whipped out her camera to document.  In my defense, it was a warmer than usual morning with lots of dew.)

I realized that this month will mark my 1 year anniversary since I started running.

WOOP WOOP!  Rejoice! 

Just a year ago, I was huffing and puffing while barely finishing 3 miles around my neighborhood park.  I was impressed when I finally hit 5 miles.  And here I am.  My max is currently a little less than 11 miles, and I Feel. SO. Good. 

Ask me a couple of years ago, and I would have told you that I am a water person and cannot do exercise on land.  You couldn't have paid me to go running.  Now, I am completely convinced that anyone can do it, once they get over that excruciating hump.  

I've gone through slight knee pains, falls, and near passing-out moments.  I've been rained on (and I mean POURED on - it was just me and this old man on a bicycle outside on this particular rainy day, and he yelled at me, "We're both fucking craaazyyy!"), and I've been running when it was close to 100 degrees outside.  I've ran during the night (which my friend gave me shit for every day, saying that it was unsafe) and I've been running before the sun comes up (which is equally dark and dangerous, probably). 

All in all, I've loved every moment of it.  And I love how it makes me feel during, and especially, after.  It's really interesting to understand your  body's limit, and how long your body could actually be in motion. 

The best thing (aside from the rumored Runner's High - yes, it exists) is when people I've only met for a couple of times label me as "active" or "athletic".  I was never the athletic type, and always always wanted to be.  (Just to show you how NOT athletic I was, all throughout high school, my main source of physical activity was marching band.  One time at band camp... anyone?)  Whenever someone tells me that I am, I instantly look around and then have to remember that they're referring to me.  

I've been just focusing on actually lasting the mileage, but I might start looking into my speed.  Although, speed has never been my thing.  I hate competition, and it's good enough for me to know that I've completed a run, regardless of how fast I've gone.  We'll see. 

Yayyyyyy.  ( Doing a little dance - and what do you know - running around the apartment cheering for myself.) 

Friday, March 21, 2008

Flippin' burgers.

People sometimes ask me how I learned to cook.

I think back to different reasons. First of all, my mom is an incredible cook. Her food is my favorite. But I had been eating her food for almost 20 years before I lifted a knife. And then, AHA! I knew the reason.

For about 2 and a half years in college, I paid for my booze, my clothes, and my outings by flipping burgers, making quesadillas, and putting together sandwiches. The only place that took non-work study students (wich I was for the first 3 years of school) was at this deli-like place called the Coop, where students would go when they were sick of dining hall food.

I learned how to chop, mince, and mix. I learned how to fry fries, and make shakes, and learned how to correctly boil eggs for egg salad. In fact, I can't look at mayo without getting slightly grossed out because I had to scoop out mounds of mayo out of gallon tubs to make enough egg salad for the day. Although, I also had to deal with the same amount of avocados, and my love for them have only increased. Sometimes, it's meant to be.

There were times when I honestly questioned people's choices. My least favorite thing to make was a quesadilla with American cheese. I meeaaaaan, come on. We had perfectly melt-worthy jack and cheddar cheese. Why American?? Why ruin such a perfect concept? (I just have issues with American cheese. Even in grilled cheese sandwich.)

Then there were people who ordered the triple patty burgers. With grilled onions. And melted cheese. Now, let me tell you. This is coming from someone who has worked in fast food joints: We do not care about your health. I used to slather oil and butter on the pan so that things would slide off and cook easier. And to top it off with those blood red beef patties... Yum?

I was thinking about my old and still technically the longest job I had while I was making an adapted version of Veganomicon's black bean burger. I didn't adore my job, but I am glad I did flip all of those burgers, because it has helped me luuuurve cooking today.

The black bean burgers were awesome. It called for onions, which I didn't have. I know. No onions in a kitchen? That is the equivalent of having no light bulb in a lamp. But I subbed it with grated zucchini and extra spices, and it came out fine. Oh, and the "optional" cilantro suggested by the book? Totally essential.

Spread Trader Joe's Peach Salsa (which I slather on EVERYTHING because it makes EVERYTHING better) on a sprouted hamburger bun with the burger, and devour. You can see my Veganomicon cookbook in the background of the picture below.

I have several patties left to survive me a couple of days. Excited! I shall be flippin' burgers like the old days, and reminisce about all those American cheese monstrosities.

P.S. I got rid of almost all of the nasta-funk soyogurt by baking a chocolate orange yogurt cake, pictured below. My co-workers ate that entire cake. I think I really like baking for people.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I made a smoothie. It was delicious. The reason why there's a ring of nothing-ness at the top of the cup is because I savagely scraped off the remains of the smoothie with my finger. It was that good.

I made a smoothie because I had to think of a way to get rid of this gigantic tub of NASTY soy yogurt I bought. I bought soy yogurt because, guess what? I think I might be slightly lactose intolerant.


I just made this discovery 2 days ago (which is when I made this smoothie). I had been feeling some discomfort for the last couple of months, and I couldn't figure out why, since I eat pretty healthy. I started taking out different food groups to see what it was that was causing me to feel funky. Beans? Nope. Raw vegetables? Nope. (Thank goodness.) Nuts? Nope. ( Double thank goodness. I think I'd be SO SO SO sad if I became allergic to peanuts.) And then finally, 2 days ago, I went diary-free for the day. What do you know. It was the cow.

I was kind of sad, since I ate yogurt religiously. So I went to my local Whole Foods and bought the cheapest soy yogurt there and was HIGHLY disappointed when I tasted it. It was bitter, watery, and had this aftertaste that resembled plastic. I hated it, but what I hate more is wasting food, so I had to figure out some way to use it. Enter smoothie.

I made the smoothie with the soyogurt (which is what the tub said), blueberries, strawberries, banana, honey, and the magic ingredient: peanut butter. It made it into this thick textured thing, and was very enjoyable with a spoon.

I'm glad to have found a way to get rid of that crap, but still am slightly sad about my new (mostly) dairy-free life.

Anyone know of a good soy yogurt brand?

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I don't know if oxymoronic is a word, but that is how I would describe this Saturday. OxyMoronic.

I went on a long run in the morning. It was very crisp and cool. I was slow at first, but it turned out to be a calm long and relaxing run.

Anyway, that's not the oxymoronic part. That happened during the night.

So, the Saturday night turned out to be a combo of two events that are almost direct opposites from other, which is why I called it oxymoronic.

I started out the night watching a production of the Vagina Monologues. It was a fundraiser to raise money for a domestic violence prevention transitional housing program that my non-profit has connections with. I was given VIP tickets to it, so I took my friend, and together, we reclaimed our vaginas. It was great, and funny, and empowering. Janet from the Real World Seattle (who was my favorite Real World cast member) performed a monologue, and it was great. Her bio didn't say anything about MTV, so I'm guessing that's not what she wants to be known as.

Then, I met up with a group of girls that I'm slowly getting to know at a club in Koreatown. There, I was introduced to a practice that only happens at this Korean club called booking. What is booking, you ask? Let me tell you:

You enter the club, and you see a huge space. Dance floor on your right, and rows of tables on your left. Then you notice a circle of booths surrounding the row of tables. You might notice that the tables are exclusively occupied by women, and the booths by men. This serves a purpose to this practice called booking. You see, the guys have the view of the girls in the club, and once they choose a girl they like, they have a waiter physically bring the girl over to their booth. The waiter physically takes the girl's arm and lead her to the booth, has her sit down and have her converse with the men. This happens throughout the night, and the waiters are on a hustle because the girls that they bring to the booths directly effect the amount of tip they receive that night.

In all honesty, an hour after sitting in that club, you kind of get desensitized and find the booking process less and less ludicrous. I also was wearing my combat boots and man trousers, so I didn't have the pleasure of being booked as much as some of my companions. I just didn't feel like heels and frilly things, and I'm pretty glad I went with the butch direction.

So you see, I reclaimed and empowered my vagina, and then I handed it to a waiter and figuratively had him serve my vagina to a pack of Grey Goose- drinking frat boys. What an oxymoronic night.

Friday, March 14, 2008

This is not food porn

This is not food porn because the pictures are such crappy qualities. I took it with my cell phone. My siblings and I tease our father all the time because his actual digital camera is the same mega pixel as our cell phones.


The reason for today's food pictures is to show you my favorite dinner that I made for myself last night. It's my favorite because almost everything was locally made or made by me, and very few things were store bought. It's my favorite kind of meal.

This salad:
The romaine lettuce was given to me by someone who grows her own vegetables. I love knowing people with their own gardens. The beets were bought by my local farmer's market and I roasted them myself, which is FAR better (and CHEAPER) than buying it canned. The tomatoes, I bought from Trader Joe's. I can't grow everything. And, the honey I used for the balsamic vinaigrette (which I also bought at TJ's) is honey made here, in Pomona. Using local honey can desensitize you from pollen allergies. Did you know that? I didn't, until a couple of weeks ago.

More beets. And I made the hummus underneath. The celery (which I couldn't stop myself from eating half before taking the picture) was also grown by the same woman. The carrots, TJ. And the bread is Ezekiel's sprouted hamburger buns.

I love simple meals, and I love simple meals that I have on late nights during the week when the chaos of the day is temporarily put on hold.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Sorry for the boring and depressing entries. I'm doing alright, thanks to many things.

Overall, things are turning out to be OK, and it's especially because my friend came up to hang out with me two days in a row, and slept over. She asked me what I wanted to do, and I answered that I wanted to cook. I have always loved cooking, but it has been even more therapeutic lately, especially because I've discovered the wonders of vegan cookbooks, specifically Veganomicon and Vive Le Vegan.

No, I'm not quite vegan, nor vegetarian. I'm a flexitarian, but I'm telling you, these two books are amazing for everyone because they don't rely on scary processed soy things. I would show you pictures of what I've cooked so far, but I eat it all before I can document what I've made. (For the record, I've been eating the chickpea quinoa pilaf all week for lunch, and have been eating Dreena's hummus for dinner. Chickpeas galore.) What I love about these books is that I love the ingredients. Is that possible? It's not so much the recipes, but the ingredients are wholesome. Of course, the recipes are innovative, but the natural ingredients they use to make things vegan are really inspiring.

Anyway, these are a bunch of words, and I know what you want to see are pictures. So, to show you exactly what I mean from my last entry (when I said that my friends make me laugh in such a great way), here is a picture text that my friend sent me to demonstrate how great it would be to go hiking. She was at her workplace, and apparently busy as hell.

In this time of stress, I only see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel because of the loving, compassionate people I have surrounding me.

I am so fortunate to be working where I work, and to have the friends that I have.

The friends that I have don't try to give me unsolicited advice, and just hearing them laugh and laughing with them, reminds me that things are going to be OK.

Thank you, so much.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

How I totally lost my shit.

Yesterday, I cried at work for the first time. I basically had an anxiety attack and cried in front of my supervisor like a child coming home to their mother with a wound. It was probably as endearing yet felt just as pathetic.

Basically, something happened to my client. It was something I was dreading, yet something that I knew was going to happen in the end, but also knew that I was going to be completely drowned by guilt if it did, even if I could have never prevented it.

My supervisor listened to me, and didn't try to overtly comfort me, or hug me, or do anything that felt insincere. She did just what I needed at the time, and listened to me pour out everything that I had been worried about, and listened to me sob about how guilty I felt. She told me, truthfully, that there was nothing else I could have done. I think I always subconsciously understood that, but after saying everything out loud and hearing her say those words, I was finally emotionally able to understand that things were beyond my control.

It was an exhausting day, to say the least.

It didn't help that earlier that day, I had gone to a day-long case manager training where we talked about self-management. They talked about how professional caregivers (i.e. social workers, case managers, etc.) had to learn how to take care of themselves first before helping others.

I listened, but when I hear these things, I always thought yada yada yada, blah blah blah, I know this stuff, this is new-age, I need to go back to work and get stuff done.

But you know what? It does matter. Because I think (and you can even see on previous entries) that I'm on the verge, or perhaps already in the state, of a burn-out.

It didn't occur to me until I identified it, but I may be totally stressed out from my job. ( You think?)

It really hit home today, when I burst into tears again during work (which I thankfully was able to hide because, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have my own office) for no real reason except that I was just tired and felt inadequate at my job.

I called Naoko and she talked me through it, and I also replayed what my supervisor told me the day before, and I finally, truly, breathed. Really, just inhaled and exhaled and really really meant it.

After that, I was relatively OK, and was able to carry on through the day as normal. And slowly feeling some sort of purpose again with what I was doing. I'm still slowly regaining that.

And that's where I am tonight.: finally understanding the value of self-management, and understanding the importance of admitting defeat and admitting your own limit. It's the kind of thing people on sitcoms and TV show admit to themselves (like when Jessie from Saved By The Bell OD'ed on caffeine pills), and something not a lot of Asian people do. I mean, my family never talked about feelings. Feelings are for those other people who always like to hug and call each other animal-related pet names. We dealt with things in an unspoken way. (Notice I said unspoken, and not ignored. There is a difference.) I function very well that way, and I always will, but I'm glad to be able to deal with something in a slightly different manner for once, and feeling a beginning of some sort of outcome. And also, it's nice to know that I actually am NOT dead inside. Yay.

Here's to one step forward towards personal growth.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Testosterone and/or Men

Today, I wanted to talk about shit that I don't understand. Like, at all. Like testosterone and men. (Do you hate how I use the word 'like'? Tough luck. I'm part of the 'like' generation, and so are you.)

I was listening to "This American Life" on my run this weekend. (This is my new favorite podcast - sometimes I find myself literally LOL-ing mid-run. I seldom use LOL in online conversations because I rarely actually laugh out loud.) The topic was testosterone. The show told several stories about how testosterone affected people. There was a man who, because of a deficiency, didn't produce testosterone for 4 months, another former women who became a man through testosterone shots, a contest of who in the "This American Life" staff had the most testosterone, and an interview of a 15 year-old boy by his mother. It was really funny and fascinating. For example, the transgendered guy said that after his "T-shots", he had an increased aptitude for science. WTF?! That's just crazy and kind of disheartening.

Testosterone is fascinating, and so are men. The other thing the transgendered guy said was, that he suddenly had jolts of sexual desires and aggressive sexual images in most random moments, instead of the narrative he used to have in his head when he was a woman. When he saw an attractive woman when he was a woman, he would talk to himself about what she might be like, how he would approach her, etc. etc. But once he became a man, he just had pornographic images and just a sensation of desire.

I don't GEEETT IT. How do you function like that?

I was talking to a group of co-workers on Friday. Just a random conversation. Two guys and two girls, including me. We were talking about this one co-worker who is currently pregnant. She's gorgeous (like, model-gorgeous), and most guys already find her pretty attractive. But one of the guys told us that she's even hotter because she's pregnant. He then asked my co-worker and me, "Dude, are you guys going to be hot when you're pregnant?"

Really?? I don't understand.

It's the first time I've heard about this pregnant women fascination. The other guy, who is more mild in temperament, agreed too. Is it because pregnancy is the ultimate feminine state? (Aside from things like menstruation. Haha, what a way to kill sexual desire. I know how to do that very well.)
This must be because of testosterone too. Finding something crazy, desirable.

The guy who had the testosterone deficiency on the show described himself of having no desire, no ambition, and no subjective opinion when he didn't produce testosterone. He said that he had the most literal understanding of things. He saw a tree, he thought, tree. When he saw a woman, he thought, woman, instead of Object I'd Like To Fuck.

I suppose you men really do have things controlled by this crazy hormone (and some women - women have testosterone too). I'm somewhat jealous and yet also glad that I don't have such things controlling me all the time.

Here are some proofs that you have a lot of testosterone. Compare and see how you fit:
- baldness
- competitiveness
- love of performing
- desire
- decisiveness

I think I might have very little testosterone, even as a girl. I have so much hair, it's not even funny. My shower drain sometimes looks like Chewbacca's head. I HATE competition. Like, hate. I don't perform, ever. And lately, I'm too tired to desire anything. And I'm pretty indecisive.

Perhaps I should get "T-shots" to get me places, huh? Is that a chauvinistic idea?

The end.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'm fucking clueless and helpless.

I'm tired.

I have days where I'm completely at loss as to why I'm doing my job. Namely, it's because I feel, at times, that what I'm doing is actually counterproductive for my clients and their potential of being able to live independently.

I do what I can for them. I do things that they can't do themselves. That can range from finding a dentist to finding an attorney who will help with their estate planning. I mostly do these things because my client can't speak English. They can't speak English for various reasons. (If you start lecturing me about how those damn immigrants should all speak English fluently, don't even speak to me, because I will bite your head off.) Their language barrier is debilitating for them, and hinder them from doing some (complicated) everyday things. They start relying on me. They start really really needing me. And at a certain point, I start questioning. I question, what if I'm not here? What if someone like me (by me, I mean someone doing my job) can't provide services to them? What then? How are they going to survive? What are they going to do?

Essentially, the main goal for all social workers is to work with the client until they are self sufficient. That's the ideal, but that's if we're in Utopia. Sadly, clients of mine have been clients for such a long period of time. So, what I do for them, the services I provide for them... is it actually helping them? Or is it making my clients into people who can't survive on their own? But can they even do that in the first place? What if? What fucking if?

I question myself with shit like this from time to time and it sometimes makes me really sad and frustrated because I don't know what to do to make things better. I don't know what I could do for the best interest of the client.

I hate not knowing.

One other thing that I absolutely hate about my job is when things get fucked up because I just didn't know about something. Something changed with the law, or policy, or I just didn't plain learn about it. But that's not an excuse, so suddenly my client's life is turned upside down.

I just wanted to vent about how, sometimes, there are situations where I would arrange certain things for a client and find out that it doesn't work, so it becomes really difficult for the client.

Le sigh.

I should go to bed. I should also learn not to take my work with me. Figuratively speaking.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I have feelings!

I sometimes could be an emotion-less robot, but there are particular moments when I am guaranteed to cry every single time.

One such moment is during acceptance speeches at award shows. I can't help it. I bawled with Halle Barry when she screamed that the glass ceiling had been broken. I sobbed and congratulated America Ferrera across my Jet Blu TV screen on my flight back from NYC when she won the Emmy last year. And right now, I just shed a tear when they showed a footage ( a FOOTAGE for goodness sake) of Sidney Poitier winning Best Actor. ( Lilies of the Field is one my dad's favorite movies.)

I can't help it! People are happy!

Back to cooking while watching the Oscars. (I'm pretty ridiculous and didn't watch ANY of the films nominated this year. I hardly ever do. I only watched Ratatouille. And yet, I cry.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Food for Thought

I read this in the NY Times the other day.

It's about food and relationships, and how people manage dating other people with different preferences and principles with food. (I.e. meat-eating vs. vegan diet, kosher-eating, picky-eating)

I had a brief encounter with this issue last year.

As you may all know, and I've mentioned it once or twice here, I lost some weight. Basically what happened was, I decided that I would like to see if I could run the LA Marathon (which I'm not going to) and started running. I slowly started getting better at running, and started noticing how the food I was eating was affecting the way I was running. I discovered my local farmer's market (which is literally a block away) and also started getting less and less interested in meat. (I'm not a vegetarian. I'm just into vegetarian cooking at home.) With all that combined, I started eating healthier and dropped about 15 pounds over a couple of months.

Not too drastic right? 15 pounds in numbers doesn't seem big enough to be in a weight loss commercial.


I've never been the world's unhealthiest eater. I always liked salads, beans, and nuts. You could ask my roommate in college. All I ate were spinach, black beans, and tomato soup during the times I lived with her. I used to eat all the leaves that came with her pho take-out. But I used to eat a LOT. In fact ( and you could ask my roommate again), my roommate's father used to call me a garbage can. He loved the fact that I could finish every one's food. Peter was also always amazed how a person my size could put away so much food. I always exercised, though, so I was never fat or overweight. I was, just, you know, chunkier.

Anyway, because I physically was unable to eat as much as before when I started running (it curbs your appetite a little bit per meal, but I ended up eating more times during the day), people started becoming really concerned. Then, they started focusing on what I ate. I mainly ate plant-based foods. While I think I've always leaned towards that food group, I think the fact that I wasn't eating a gallon of it, and the fact that I was losing weight caused some concern in some people.

It was really interesting how personally people took about the way I ate.

They would make comments about how I've changed, how I'm not the same person any more, how they feel weird eating around me. At first, it was OK, but after a while, people started making weird comments to me at every single meal. It was like they were putting a big scarlet H on me, throwing around the h-word as if I had just ruined my meal. "Gosh Lisa, you're so... healthy." It gets pretty annoying when someone has something negative to say every time you sit down and eat.

I didn't realize that the way I ate affected how people around me felt about me, and their overall opinion about me. Food is so emotional, and I suppose because I didn't want to take part in the plate of fried food or cupcake (unless it was a deep chocolate color), I was denying something that I should be sharing with them as their friend as opposed to just a dinner mate.

The oddest thing was, it was worst around my closest friends. People I saw regularly. They were the ones that were most vocal and negative about my eating habits. I thought they would be able to distinguish between my general human nature and my eating habits, but they were the ones that smashed those two together and accused me of being "not fun any more."

It's fine now. In fact, some of them have sought my advice about eating, since they've realized that I NEVER (and I stress this) compromise flavor when it comes to my meals. I've cooked my food and gave it to friends, and they've noticed that I actually do not deprive myself of anything with the way that I eat. But for that brief period of time, I was amazed how one part of my life that was seemingly unrelated to human relationship actually affected it in a significant way.

Do I have deal breakers with food and relationships? I think, for me, if they don't like my mom's cooking / Japanese food, it's a red flag. If they can't eat with my family, I don't know how I would be able to be with them. See how complicated food is? Amazing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One day late, but whatevs.

Happy Birthday to Louie and Mickie!

It's a sushi cake. How fitting, no?

I love their birthdays because I get to eat sushi....