January 2006 Archives
I usually never do these things, but this has caught my eye on various favorite sites of mine. Plus, Mena tagged me :)
Four jobs I've had:
Four jobs I've had:
Waitress at Skylark, a Japanese "family restaurant"
English Instructor at various language schools in Tokyo
Teaching Assistant in History at UCSD
Program Officer at the International Monetary Fund
(I won't count my current job since I still have it)
Four movies I can watch over and over:
Miyazaki Hayao animations
Matrix (I'm over it now, but back in the day...)
Four places I've lived:
San Diego, California
Four TV shows I love:
Four TV shows I love:
Firefly (if only it continued!!)
Four places I've vacationed:
Black Rock City, Nevada
Garopaba & Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Pai & Koh Samui, Thailand
Four of my favorite dishes:
Four of my favorite dishes:
kaiseki (if I'm lucky enough to have that pleasure)
rice with natto, raw egg and soy sauce (comfort food when I'm sick)
duck with port sauce
(I also love stinky cheese)
but my very all-time favorite has to be ujikintoki - shaved ice with macha topping, adzuki beans, and green tea ice cream if you want to indulge
Four sites I visit daily:
craigslist (looking for a place to move now)
Four places I would rather be right now:
Ebisu, Omotesando, or Shibuya, Tokyo
streets of the 4th arrondisement, Paris (even in the cold)
on a safari in Kenya
lounging anywhere in the Maldives
Tag Four Other Bloggers:
Tag Four Other Bloggers:
A small but significant update to my dear readers: we got back amnio test results, and all is fine! I didn't want to share that I took the test and was actually nervous about it until now (talk about a scary test to take!). But I do want to share that Dav and I are super duper happy and relieved.
Also, we found out that our Little Bug, Gargle, is a girl. Let the name-choosing game begin!
This is one of many steps of slowly identifying and connecting with this person-to-be. She's 18 weeks now. The surreal quality of all this is gently shifting ...
Saturday night we went to a sci-fi themed party. As you know, we love dressing up and weren't going to let this theme go by without some checking out. Indeed, there were lots of really cool and playful outfits (one person's was developed over 4 years!!), which lent to an awesome atmosphere. Everyone had fun.
I couldn't resist taking advantage of my belly for a prop. I didn't spend much time on it, so most people didn't really get it until I explained. I used a real ultrasound picture since the frontal view of the skull outline does look alien-ish (sorry Gargle, but it's true). Some people got the alien baby concept, but didn't think I was really pregnant which made the idea silly. When I get really huge, I'm looking forward to actually painting my belly for some other theme party...
I'm so honored! Elida asked me to help her out in choosing new glasses frames. I hadn't been in a frame store for a while and didn't realize all the new varieties they have. How fun, but what a difficult decision!
When I arrived, Elida had narrowed down her choices. I pretty quickly recommended three, based on the frames being different from her current frame, matching her face, and having a usable design/color, but also having some flair. We both liked a beautiful gentle reddish frame with tiny rhinestones at the corner, which became her final decision. I think they are perfect for her.
I used to have bad eyes, and have spent many hours getting frames or contacts. Years ago, I did lasik surgery and have never looked back. Since I know the pain of dealing with contacts, I am very appreciative that my eyes are great now! Nevertheless, it was fun trying on frames, imagining reading a book and looking up at Dav with glasses on. :)
Friday night was Six Apart's Winter Party. I like that it wasn't a "holiday" party since it really focused on celebrating the company, and not holiday festivities. I hope we continue this "off-season" celebration.
I can't remember, but I think I was the 7th employee or so. Now we're like 115 and growing. With spouses and guests, the party was huge. Last year we had our party in our SOMA office that was spanking new back then. This year, we rented out a restaurant.
For me, this party was a nice occasion to admire how far we've come. For those of us who have worked at Six Apart for 2 years or so, we are "old-timers." We just can't believe how we've grown. What? We're actually a company instead of a group of smart, hard-working people having fun on this blogging project? When did that happen?
It was a great fun party, but even more so, I spent a lot of time feeling proud of us. I've never felt so personally connected to a company. This is a group of people I care about and feel we share an incredible experience. I've made good friends, even meeting up with some at Burning Man. After all, we know a lot about each others' personal lives via our blogs!
I don't blog much about work, but I do want to take this moment to say I can't believe my luck to have stumbled into this situation. It's such a pleasure to love where I work and with whom I work.
Back in October, my dear work colleague Ginevra told me her dog Stella had to have surgery. Ginevra and I have been working together for quite some time. In fact, she came aboard to help me during my busiest moment at Six Apart. Since we sat next to each other, we've shared many stories, and I've admired her strength, diligence, and cheer in quite a few bumps she's had to deal with. In fact, Stella's surgery was just one of a pile of things she was facing.
So Dav and I donated a chunk to her Stella fund.
But there is a another context: Dav and I often talk about how fortunate we are. Just knowing about global affairs and traveling internationally makes us very aware that we are extremely lucky to have our lifestyle and choices. Thus, we decided to donate money to individuals when we come across an occasion where it would make a difference in that person's life.
In many ways, Ginevra is as fortunate as us in the sense that we don't live in war, are employed, have great friends, don't worry about food, etc. And Dav and I first envisioned donating to more extreme cases such as a homeless person, or someone needing medical attention. But Dav and I had not come across anyone. We didn't want to give to some random person or organization. Rather, we wanted to come across a specific situation, and then offer help if we knew it was needed.
Even though the Stella fund was different from our vision, I felt Ginevra was a great candidate for our first donation. Without going into details, 2005 sucked for her. She had sucky thing after sucky thing try to drag her down. And I wanted to applaud her for not giving up.
And I knew I was right. Because sure Ginevra would have been fine anyway...but you what she did? Now that things are going better for her, she recently donated that chunk of cash to someone else who needed it. And that person REALLY needs it. This is exactly what we wanted. Spread the love, give forward, and let kindness inspire. :)
ps. After a long hard recovery, Stella is doing fine, sweet girl.
We're signed up with a travel network, and every once in while, welcome international travelers passing through San Francisco. They get a free bed and place to stay, and we get interesting company. When we travel, we can tap into this resource, and will hopefully have profiles as decent hosts and trustworthy people.
This week we had 2 Germans stay. One studying speech, another something more technical (I forget). They immediately won me over by presenting me with 2 beautiful hunks of fresh cheese they smuggled in from Paris. It reeked of stinkiness for Dav, but I melted in bliss upon sniffing the packages. I promptly had toast smothered in the stuff for breakfast! Too bad it's a bit much for Dav. And too bad I couldn't have it with a nice red Bourgogne...
Click to see video.
Click to see video.
Last night we went to see Ely Guerra with Elida and her friends at the Brava Theater. It was intimate and clearly full of very dedicated fans. She was introduced as a singer with a voice of an angel, and a soul of a lion, which was an apt description. She started songs as a gentle lullaby, but then would break out into a powerful, yet beautiful belt, stomping her feet and singing with her whole body.
Dav and I missed a lot since it was all in Spanish, and she frequently talked to the crowd, making them laugh or clap. But her personality and beauty certainly came across. I highly recommend.
[the video sound is awful, but you can enjoy her nonetheless just by watching]
When Elida came over for dinner, she took this picture of the belly. Thought I'd share it for those who don't see me regularly.
Guess what this is?
- bouncy pregnancy exerciser
- peek-a-boo baby amuser
- special chair for hemorroid sufferers
- modern design cat jungle gym
- creative sex toy
- wedding gift
When I came home from work one day, and found it in our bedroom, I thought it was #1. How sweet of Dav to be so considerate. Then I noticed the hole, and thought of a friend experienced with preganancy and childbirth who suffered horrible hemorroids. Maybe she sent this chair I had not known she had.
Then I saw the instructions to the thing. Or actually a set of images exemplifying the positions possible when using the thing. No mistakes about it: it's #5. (If you don't mind the non-work safe video, it's actually kinda funny to watch.)
Now, if Dav and I purchased this, I'd be way shy and not blog all about it! But here, this wonderful Body Bouncer is a wedding present that had been ordered and arrived at our door. From Sean and Lani. Of course, there is the question about what Dav and I communicate to our friends to inspire such a wedding gift... ; )
So although I'll spare you the details about our learning curve in using this, I do feel only a little bashful in sharing the fact that we received it. It is a great wedding gift: unique, thoughtful, for the couple, not something most already have, etc. Thanks, Sean and Lani!
It's been a while since I've gone to a crazy good party. Last night was our friend Jeffrey's annual MadHats party, and it delivered! It's my third or fourth, can't remember. Each year it gets bigger and better. It used to be more of Jeffrey's house party, but this year he charged a fee, and went all out. I couldn't believe the place was actually his house, as it was all decked out like a neat Burning Man club.
The best hat was one that was about 2 feet tall with a video ipod on it playing a movie!
Hung out with Campalicians, and saw old members I hadn't seen in a while. Word has spread that Dav and I have a bun in the oven, so I got lots of smiles and pats. Toni, after a few glasses of wine, started talking to my belly by the end of the evening!
Felt good to dance around...but part of me was very aware that Dav's and my party days will be taking a break once Gargle arrives. Partying isn't the center of my universe, but I felt a little mourning about how it will be more difficult for Dav and I to have our special moments together, where we dress up, attend fantastic other-worldly parties, and snuggle later on in the early morning hours. We have so many amazing memories.
The good news is that 3 other couples are thinking of a family for next year, so we just have to wait a bit; then our whole group will be running around with toddlers. We'll set up nurseries next to our party events!
I wore an old 1930s lady's sheep wool hat that I had found long ago at the Alameda Antique Flea Market. I had never worn it out, so I figured this was my chance. I should have opted for one of my zillion other colorful hat concoctions, as this wool thing basically looked like an amorphous mound on my head when in the dark, and it didn't stay on tight. Lesson learned.
I've never been to a baptism before so I was pretty curious about it. This one was for Maria, Dav's bio-sister's new baby girl. It was sorta weird because neither Dav nor I are religious, and I felt a tad uncomfortable witnessing Maria being told she was Christian when she had no idea what that meant. And I'm not into thinking that everyone should be thankful for everything from one guy, so I didn't join in on the praying, etc. But I was happy to be a part of something that was obviously important for the family.
Later, Dav and I perked up at the reception where they had food galore and even a chocolate fountain! Man, I ate like a horse. There are 2 other babies on the way in addition to Gargle in this large extended Callaghan clan. Gargle will be baby #63 for Grandma Callaghan! Dav and I discussed how it's strange to think that our kid will grow up with this family whom Dav only met after he was in his 30s since he grew up with an adopted family.
I love the last picture of Dav, his bio-mom Marie, and baby Maria. Ain't that cute?
Click to see video.
Click to see video.
[As usual when Dav and I go to the same event with our cameras in tow, he has better pictures, so check them out here (but I got videos, heh)]
After seeing Murder Ball recently, we found a regional tournament going on this weekend in San Jose, and went to check it out. It was really cool to see them play live, vs. on a movie screen, and they are serious Mad Max-style players indeed. I loved getting to know their moves and seeing them succeed in beautiful plays. We didn't know any of the teams, but I rooted for the losing teams.
Later, when we realized our jeep lights suddenly stopped working so we couldn't drive home in the dark, we ended up getting a hotel room across the street from the Japanese supermarket I was shopping at. By coincidence, all the quad rugby team players were staying there too (wasn't close by so it was total luck!). They were relaxing with their after-game beers, and Dav talked to one to get the rundown on a lot of the rules we had no idea about.
We are seriously thinking of going to the Beijing Paralympics in 2008. I'm not interested in the traditional Olympics with all the media hoot and other scandals. Just doesn't seem to be the event that would inspire me. The Paralympics, I think, would be amazing. And hopefully when we arrive for the games, Beijing won't be overrun with craziness.
From Thursday night when Todd and Dav had a sake tasting party at Sean's and Todd's. The group must have drank 6 or 7 bottles of sake, all different types. Dav recorded everyone's descriptions that may be useful for the future. It was hard since sake is so different from wine. I, of course, sat back and watched everyone get drunk. It was pretty funny to watch how at first everyone was hesitant to offer their descriptions. Then over time, as the sake flowed, the descriptions got pretty wild and weird!
Click to see video.
This is what is in Six Apart's CEO's office. Presented to him by Six Apart's president, no less.
When I lived in France during my junior year abroad, I fell in love with Poulain Chocolate. It's the best chocolate powder to make the most fabulous hot chocolate. Not too sweet, but nice and rich.
We have a French engineer visiting our office to work on a project and I finagled in getting him to bring me a box. Yum! Thanks Yann!!
There is so much going on within me (and yes, I still have that pinched nerve; just heard that it might last for months), and so much to share, yet it's taking time to find words. The largeness (figuratively and literally) of this whole experience is beyond everything. Every parent goes through this transition, yet it's so personal and intimate.
I hope to share more over time, but for now, the main thing is I'm just loving sharing this with Dav. Laura's words, from a comment she left when I first announced the art project, stick in my mind:
... in my opinion when a kid enters the picture, love increases exponentially. And the love you feel for Dav? It will be 1000 times more for your kid together.
Indeed, having this wonderful experience created by us and shared just between us is truly special. I'm amazed at my body and amazed at us! So here's to my dear husband who makes me so happy:
thank you! and I love you more. I can't believe we're gonna get to name somebody, and show them how cool and fun life can be
Dav is getting into sake, mainly because he's planning to get into the business soon. We stopped by True Sake in Hayes Valley to check stuff out (like an $850 bottle...geez, you can go to Japan for that!) and pick up a nice bottle. I won't be drinking, but I'm happy he's getting into sake. Very pretty shop.
Dav can explain this as it was his idea. What a prankster! But that's what I love about him; watching him work on this crazy mask, coordinating with Sean who provided the multiple masks for other partiers, and laughing from aside as the crowd took tons of pictures of each other wearing the masks.
What I liked most was the beautiful mural you saw when standing at the front door of Andy's apartment. Bet he'll miss that when he leaves for Amsterdam.
I'm 14 weeks now. I keep losing track, but a friend pointed out a nifty site that I signed up at, and it tells me where I am, and what is supposedly happening. Apparently, Gargle, our Little Bug, is about the size of a lemon from head to butt. Hands and feet moving about. And Gargle can gasp. Interesting.
Me? I feel fine.
- seeing the belly grow
- Dav's hand on my belly
- Dav's extra loving care
- wearing this secret BellaBand thingy that allows me to wear pants I no longer really fit in (pic). It covers my unzipped pants!
- having a friend tell me I get her crib that she's been keeping for me
- sharing all this with friends and family
What's a bummer:
- peeing frequently
- tight belly if I eat too much
- Kats or Waka deliberately walking on my belly, pausing to ponder about something while their weight digs in. Move!!
- a pinched nerve in my butt that electrocutes me ever so often
Random shots from NYE. Instead of our usual Sea of Dreams gathering with all our friends (we've done it 4 years in a row!), we opted to hop around from house party to house party, hanging out with different groups of friends, enjoying a mellow conversation (vs. dancing and partying hard), and wandering to the next place when felt like it. Most of our Campalicious friends did the same and we all enjoyed it.
Thanks to Toni though, we all first gathered at her house for dinner. I really treasured getting to feel our groupiness. It was like a grand reunion. I basked in the care and love everyone showed for our 'art project'.
When we finally headed home way past midnight, we ended up spending an hour or so at our neighbor's whose party was still in full swing. I was quite amused when someone came up and said, "my friend thinks you're cute but he's too shy to approach you." Telling him I was married and pregnant sure drove him away!
Once we got home, a few other friends had stopped by with a group of about 10 folks. So a party started anew! I was so surprised I stayed up! Later, after Dav was already in deep snooze, I got a call from dear Rachel and Cesar who wanted to stop by after their wild NYE party to "hug" me. I was so happy, and we snuggled in front of the fire place catching up on the night til about 6am. For a sober gal, I partied well, eh?
Happy Dog Year!
Toni posted our group picture from the dinner gathering. Man, I love our friends and am sooooooooooooooo lucky to have them!
It's been a wonderful week+ off. We originally were planning to go to India, but things got hectic and we opted for a simple road trip down south with no particular plan. I loved driving around, and stopping along the way whenever we wanted. We first spent a few nights in L.A. meeting up with Dav's newly engaged cousin. Went to the beach area and rode a mini roller coaster (for Dav, it was a kiddy ride, but as you can see, I managed to get a shot of myself sorta freaking out). The last 3 pics are random from the Getty Museum.
This is from Ensenada, Baja, Mexico. We spent one night there, then drove down more south in hopes of finding a mellow small fishing village. Problem was, those tiny towns on the map were so small there wasn't a place to stay. So we ended up coming back to Ensenada for a second night. I was hoping for warmer weather, but it was quite chilly. We enjoyed the fish tacos cooked up by the port though.
We stopped by San Diego for quite a bit. Joined my high school friend and her family for Christmas Eve dinner. Stayed at Jessica's house for a total of 3 nights. Very comfortable and cozy. Visted the Wild Animal Park (Dav has much better photos that I'll link to later), and stopped by my old house when I lived in San Diego during gradutate school. Ah, the memories.
The rest are random shots from driving back up north: the elephants seals by San Luis Obisbo (gosh, they are huge and weird looking), and a few shots from the Hearst Castle (again, Dav has better pictures that will be up soon).
Overall, although we stayed so close to home (vs. going international), it was a fun and relaxing vacation!
hmmn: musings from the far east(erwood)
Big in Japan
Ed the Cat
Anil, the Nigritude Ultramarine
A Full Belly
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