December 2004 Archives
I am extremely grateful to be sitting in this internet cafe typing. For the past 24 hours, I had the worst tummy flu/bug horror ever. It started 2 nights ago. I woke up in the middle of the night and heaved out whatever was left from dinner. Strange...but maybe it was the food, I thought. But then I continued to have to heave like every 20 minutes even when there wasn't an ounce of anything in me. By morning, the stubborn part of me made me believe the worst was over, so I insisted on going on the planned snorkeling tour. A 3 hour bumpy ride to the most beautiful islands I've ever seen. I'll spare you the details, but basically I spent a lot of time trying to meditate my situation away, or hiding behind Dav's back as me and a plastic bag had a little rendez-vous.
I snorkeled though! Had schools of fishies with rainbow colors swarm around me. It was fabulously worth it!
Once the hellish boat ride home was over, I lay in bed only to feel the full extent of what was going on in my body. Aches and feverish chills. I had visions of welcoming the New Year being hooked to an IV. Dav was an angel, puttering around me and granting any wish I had to ease my pain. Friends brought by various pills and EmergenC packets. And tadaaaaaaa! I'm better! I woke up and couldn't wait to get up and eat. Although I'm embarrassed to say this in Thailand, where the food has been amazing, I went for the biggest Western breakfast I could find. Croissant, eggs, bacon, fruit...I was so freaking hungry and very happy to be able to eat.
Anyhow, just had to share that experience. We've cancelled the kayaking and will stay chill today. Maybe a massage. Dav and I leave here at 6am tomorrow morning for Bangkok, then up to Chang Mai, then Pai. Volunteering is still complicated and we're finding that the best way to help here is donate money.
Many people are coming here from the other 'hit' areas and getting a flight out is difficult. 2 of our friends can't get a flight until the 4th, and there are essentially no rooms either. So again, I feel nothing short of extremely lucky.
And finally, I want to thank all the friends and Kokochi fans who have emailed me. Your words have meant a lot. If I don't log in before, Happy New Year to you all. With love, Mie
I have to say that it's beautiful here. Gorgeous water and gentle waves, white beaches, delicious food, cheap massages right on the beach. Going snorkeling with our group tomorrow and kayaking to the Emerald Caves the next day. What an idyllic place to vacation.
However, there's a dark cloud in our hearts for sure. We watch the news and hear about the casualties. Many were children. We talk at night over dinner how lucky we are since we would have been in Krabi (a hit area) if it hadn't been for some last minute decisions that were pretty randomly made. We realize that people we sat next to on planes may no longer be alive. I can't believe we get this vacation, while others are going through hell. How to comprehend this?
We want to do something and some of us are thinking about volunteering where needed. But it would be serious business...there are dead bodies and diseases, so don't know yet.
I sorta regret not being able to post pics from this little heaven we are in, but on the other hand, it wouldn't feel right to be showing off the blue ocean and palm trees at this moment. Typed text just saying how it is, seems more appropriate.
Hi! Just wanted to post that we're fine here inspite the earthquake. Thanks to Kokochi readers who emailed me out of worry! That really touched me : )
The most scary part was trying to get in touch with friends whom I thought were in Phuket (weren't there yet) and a dear friend who lives in Sri Lanka (she's fine but shaken). Very fortunate, but my heart goes out to those who were in the affected tsunami areas.
I spent one night in Bangkok and now am at the airport heading to Ko Samui to meet up with everyone. Yay!! I had a great time wandering the streets in Bangkok, letting myself get lost in tiny alley ways, and testing food from every other street cart. I snacked the whole day and night and loved it. Took pics of that, but will have to upload later. Also got a 1/2 hour foot massage followed by a body massage. Not bad for a start!
and I am ready to go to Thailand ... and see Dav who has many stories to tell, he says. I am sorry comments aren't turned on yet, and wanted to thank those who emailed me instead. Dav and I will work something out when we are back. For now, we look forward to meeting up with 8 other SF friends who are also making their way towards an island in the south where we will celebrate the New Year together. We all jokingly fantasized about this and can't believe that our schedules (and budgets) allow this. I am still suspicious that this is a dream! I should be able to post, but pics may be hard unless the internet cafes have bluetooth. I leave at 12:05am. Bye for a bit!
Tomorrow, all us Six Aparters will show up at our new office in SF. We've been eagerly waiting for this since we've grown from a few to 30+ very quickly. We had meetings in the hallways and squished into rooms as much as we could until we expanded into a vacant spare office (that looked like a former dentist office). We continued to have to fight over meeting spaces and contractors had to play musical chairs to find a spot to sit. Where we will be from tomorrow is spacious and also mighty cool looking. Yay!
But now that we're packing, I'm a bit sad too. What memories! It's almost a year since I joined and we were a tight group back then. We all did everything together. If someone got up for lunch, we'd all join like ducklings following the leader. I sat between Mena and Barak in the corner (4th pic) and got involved in things I never dreamed of. During the MT3.0 launch, I remember us taking naps on the floor, running out to get food since we all worked around the clock, and the late night joking we did to keep ourselves going.
Bye, San Mateo office. You've been good. Now onto another phase!
One my favorite childhood authors. I spent hours pouring over his books and loving all the detailed animal worlds he created. Upon coming across one of his books recently, I was astounded at how perfect he'd be for Burning Man. This book was only about "cars and trucks and things that move" but check out a few of the examples! Fruit and vegetable cars. Man, Richard was way ahead of his time. I was particularly tickled by Mistress Mouse Repairs; a tiny mousey who drives around and fixes huge trucks that burly cats and bears drive. The detail you discover when you flip a page and find her empty tow truck. You have to hunt around and find who she's fixing. Fabulous!!
No wonder I love Burning Man. I grew up with the spirit!
This inspired Dav and I to consider converting his "Java Fu" car into a cheese car and drive around dressed as mice. Wouldn't that be the best??
I hadn't heard from Dav for several days and theorized he signed up to care for orphaned baboons in the jungle somewhere. Nope. This morning I got an email with the most gorgeous picture attached. It's not from his camera, but it's an example of what he's been seeing. He's been sailing around the 1969 islands of Ha Long Bay.
Got a few electronic kisses too. Can't wait to see him!! We're now considering going to Laos instead of Cambodia...we shall see.
From the Six Apart Holiday Party...Julia the princess. Via Ian's moblog (yay, a family member is moblogging!!)
A little side note from this afternoon: as we were walking along Solano Avenue, we heard a loud bump and metal bending. A huge pick-up truck had backed into a parked brown old BMW. There was damage. The hood was bent and the front kinda messed up. Several people saw this and watched the driver of the pick-up truck, who just sat there for a while. Eventually people walked away, but Ian and I got the feeling that this guy was waiting to just drive away without leaving info. So we wrote down his license plate number.
We had to go get our cars and decided to come back and see if the guy did anything. Sure enough, when we arrived, the guy had simply driven off. What a complete self-centered jerk. As we approached to leave our note on the BMW to tell the owner about the truck and how we could be witnesses, we found another note by a store owner who saw what happened. He too wrote down the license plate number and offered to be a witness.
So although the jerk made me disappointed, it was nice to see other people were looking out for justice too. I hope the truck driver is fined appropriately. Grrrr.
Here are snippets of the dinner party Ian and Izumi threw. I can't begin to recount how many awesome dishes Izumi cooked (she comes from a family of cooks, one a well-known professional...yum yum yum!) Ian and I have spent so much time apart that having such moments together is very special. To meet his circle of friends, see the kids more often, and hang out like family can't be beat.
And then Dav and I got the most original Christmas present from Tyler and Julia. Dav got a shirt on which they drew a big face of me, and I got a shirt with a big face of Dav. You can recognize Dav's face by the ponytail sticking out (click on the pictures to enlarge). These shirts brought tears to my eyes. Thank you!!
Dav came directly from his run around with Santarchy. He was dressed in his Santa suit which was perfect for the evening.
I mentioned that my brother lives on a pretty famous street that prides itself on Christmas decor, right? This electrical show has been a tradition here for generations. The electric company comes out to decorate the gigantic trees that line the street, there's a full-blown choir with instruments that gives a performance, and Santa shows up every night for 2 hours. Up to 3,000 cars roll by on an evening. It's serious business.
Ian and Izumi threw a dinner party on Saturday (I've been running around too much to have time to post until now), so we got to go visit. My camera-phone does not do justice to the scenery. It's a magical little neighborhood street for sure!
Due to spam problems, again, we had to close the comments. Dav will see what he can do from Viet Nam. Sorry!
My baby just left for Viet Nam. His plane took off 15 minutes ago. He's with Toni, our housemate, and they'll visit her home in Ho Chi Min.
I fly to Bangkok on Christmas day. Dav will get there a few days before me and email me where to meet. How exciting! We've purposely not made concrete plans so we can go with the flow. We're thinking of visiting Cambodia if we can get tickets. For New Year's, we're aiming for Thailand's southern beaches.
Ele sent us a Christmas gift. And since Dav and I will be in sunny Thailand on that day, we (or I) made the decision to open her gift so we could enjoy it. And laugh our heads off we did! She aptly wrote that these little ones fondly reminded her of our Halloween weekend when she was visiting.
See, I had bought 2 fluffy, cute, animal outfits for Dav and I when I was in Tokyo last time. When Dav saw them, he said "yay, we can be the badgers in the badger video." And so we spent the good part of the evening enjoying our badger-ness. Yes, we danced the badger dance in public.
But mid-evening, we noticed that our tails and eyes on our hood were racoon-ish. We were actually, most definitely, raccoons. So I switched my costume from a happy badger to a badger-wanna-be-raccoon.
Thank you Ele for the cute gift! I'm sure every year, when we bring them out to decorate, we will be reminded of all the fun we had!
Sorry about what might seem mundane to others, but I'm posting this for my memory of a wonderful evening. Last night, Gen Kanai, who is visiting from Tokyo for business, came over for dinner. John Poisson, who just moved from Tokyo, joined with his friend Yuki. Lorene, a friend I've known for many years who also lived in Tokyo and is visiting from D.C., joined us too. What a fantasist gathering of Tokyoites in San Francisco. I can't stress enough how meaningful and comforting it is for me to see my Tokyo friends here. Keeps my worlds connected.
And once again, there is no better way than to spend an evening around the dinner table, eating, conversing, and laughing.
I just got the Marrow Messenger in the mail today, a publication from the National Marrow Donor Program. I've been registered as a donor for many years. Never been called up though. I initially signed up after reading that the registry needs mixed race people.
Tis the season to give, so I thought I'd put it out there that it is important to register in case you are open to it. Someone one day may live longer because of your bone marrow.
I love checking my brother's blog to catch up and read what's he thinking or doing. I sit next to him at work everyday, but that's work. We remain, for the most part, professional together. ; )
This most recent entry flooded me with memories I had long forgotten. These 2 little Christmas ornaments were my favorite and were special because of their limited once-a-year appearance.
I was surprised at how dorky they look now. I mean, I loved them. I combed Mr. Rudolph's beard and adjusted Mrs. Rudolph's glasses all the time.
As I get older, I realize how such small childhood memories are packed away inside me. And once triggered, like with my brother's blog entry, I was right back in those moments. Memories are cool.
He made an awesome dinner for us tonight! I came home from work to a table with stinky soft cheese (which I love) and the bottle of wine that has been in the fridge since I moved here. It was the bottle of wine Dav had presented to me as a welcoming gift when I moved here, along with snackies for Wakame and Katsuo (the card he had was addressed to me AND my cats = major bonus points earned right there and then). It had festive bows on it and I kept saving it for a special day. And today was that special day. So we had the wine with yummy ravioli and tomato sauce with shiitaki!
My darling Dav just finished one chapter of his life and is moving into another. I'm so proud of his decision and how he went about it. And I'm proud to be along his side.
I've had several major chapters in my life so far and each new one made me grow in ways I never imagined. It can be bewildering and also exhilarating. Being open to certain forces in my life has led me to the most beautiful experiences where I feel incredibly lucky to know the people I do and live the way I do. It took time for me to realize that I actually had the power to create the life I wanted. I believe the key is not to have fear of change. I look forward to many more wildly different chapters in my life.
So here we are. Dav is making change. I'm still coasting along in my current chapter, but, encouraged by Dav, I can hear the rumblings of a new chapter.
hmmn: musings from the far east(erwood)
Big in Japan
Ed the Cat
Anil, the Nigritude Ultramarine
A Full Belly
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