Gin and Tonic Bonds

Prior to my recent trip to Toronto, I’ve cut drinking out significantly. However, I knew that when I’m reunited with my friends from Boston, we’re all truly a bunch of drunkards at heart haha. I had stayed at the same hotel as my friend T and his wife since I didn’t really want to stay at a hotel entirely by myself. They had arrived a day after me so I was patiently waiting for them. All of us didn’t really have much plans besides dinner plans together as well as attending our friend’s wedding. I didn’t want to disrupt T and his wife if they had plans to visit family in Toronto. Due to the short time that we all had in Toronto, we decided to just kick it together during the entire trip.

I’ve known T since I was 12. He literally looks the same, acts the same, and he’s a great guy. He was like a big brother to me and I was like his little sister. Of course with age, there was a point we grew distant. Nothing bad happened. We just shifted to different social circles, but even then we still kept in touch to some degree. T got married 3-4 years ago and I wasn’t invited to the wedding. Honestly I was hurt by that, but realistically we weren’t that close so it was understandable as to why I wasn’t invited. Yet a part of me felt like he had a change of heart and didn’t like me. Not sure where it came from but just probably me overthinking shit.

When T and his wife finally arrived to the hotel, we decided to meet up and grab a drink at the hotel bar before dinner. My general go to drink is a gin and tonic with a splash of pineapple juice. T had the same thing in mind…minus the pineapple juice, but he ordered the same thing as me. Then he got hooked on them haha. We all chatted a bit before walking over to the restaurant to meet up with our other friend. As happy as I was to see T, I still felt kinda wary around him. I really don’t know why. As we were out at dinner pretty much drinking away and bar hopping, we still returned to the hotel sober. Not sure how that’s possible but okay haha. T’s wife isn’t much of a drinker and decided to head back to their room while T and I were still ready to go at it more drinks haha.

After T and I immediately rushed to the hotel bar and got settled in, we ordered our “usual” gin and tonic with a splash of pineapple juice. We were just chatting about everything and catching up. It’s been YEARS since T and I have had one on one time together. I truly can’t even recall the last time that it was just us hanging out and no one else. He had vented to me about some things as did I. I told him about the hell that I was living in for the past 2 years and how hard and lonely it was for me. I even told him that I thought he hated me over the years. He reassured me that he didn’t and we just continued chatting about more things. A lot of things that we talked about that night made me feel really close to him again. I definitely was not drunk with all the things that I talked about. Actually, I was close to confessing to him that I like his older brother lol so that was a close call haha. I gave him a quick summary of what has happened to me in the nearly 5 years that I’ve been gone and pretty much pouring out my heart. I was reminded how lonely and heartbroken I truly am, but despite that I still have a great friend by my side.

We ended the night with delicious drinks and great conversation. I paid for the tab and he said “thank you mui mui (little sister)” and that really tugged on them heartstrings. I felt more at ease about a lot of things between T and I. I had left Toronto a day before everyone else to head back to Cali. While I was waiting to board my flight, I had texted T that morning and told him how I really appreciated our heart to heart, how much I truly value our friendship and how he made me feel better knowing that no matter how many years go by, he is still the same great guy that I met nearly 20 years ago. He thanked me and since coming back from that trip, we’ve kept in touch. I still feel so emotional from our bonding session. I don’t know why it’s hitting me so hard still. To my belief, I think I’m just so overwhelmed by the love and support from an old friend. There’s just certain bonds that you have with people that you’ll hold so close to you and the bond that I have with T is just that.


Not So Well Wished

I’m generally pretty happy for my friend’s or anyone that has something good happening in their life. One of my close friend’s recently got engaged. Initially most people would be like, “Wow, I’m so happy for you. Congrats!” Well,  when I saw the announcement I honestly felt like “damn, really?…….” I wasn’t too happy for him proposing to his girlfriend, but at the end of the day as long as he’s happy I have to be supportive in that sense. Not too thrilled about his wife to be since I feel she’s changed him…for the worst and I really believe she didn’t bring out the best in him. Plus I feel like he’s marrying a total loser. All terrible things for me to say, but hey I’ve been beyond blunt and in the past have told him directly that he’s in a relationship with a fucking loser and that he can do a million times better than to get someone else’s sloppy seconds. Sounds really mean, but I’m not gonna sugar coat anything especially if we’re close friends. I’d expect the same honesty in return. I know she’s not a fan of me, which is fine because the feeling is mutual. She used to come along to dinners with my friend and I when I come back to visit but for the past 3 years she doesn’t come around, which is fine with me.

Anyways, point is I’m not a total bitch because I do feel bad that I don’t feel genuinely happy for him. I just really want him to be happy…with someone else haha.

My Chiropractor

As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been seeing my chiropractor since March. It was my first time ever going to a chiropractor so I didn’t know what to expect. She’s this really nice Chinese lady that’s in her 40s. Every time I go we have great conversations. When I first started going, we were getting to know each other on a personal level since she’s very easy going. It didn’t take me long to find out some personal things about her, like how she was divorced and how messy that whole situation was. I felt really sad for her. The way she was judged by others AT CHURCH while going through her divorce and how her ex-husband treated her. It sounded really awful. I don’t blame her to be the way she is and how she doesn’t have many friends. Luckily she’s remarried now to a really nice guy who works at her office.

We both have a similar background with our families: parents owning a Chinese restaurant in a beach town and getting forced to help there haha. It was nice connecting with her in that sense. Usually our conversations are about girly topics like makeup, handbags or boys haha. It’s like legit girl time when I come in. One time we were talking about false eyelashes and how we both kinda collect them for special occasions. She got up and gave me A LOT of false eyelashes to bring home and during my next session I gave her some of my favorites. What an odd yet nice beauty swap haha. Another time when we talked about handbags, she mentioned how she was looking for a nice yellow one and I told her how I have one and she insisted that I bring it in to show her haha.

I had learned that she was born and raised in Seoul. Her family is Chinese, but just happened to live in South Korea because of her dad’s job. I thought it was interesting that she can speak both Chinese and Korean. During one of my visits where I was her first patient for the day, she got there late…because she was picking plums from her brother’s backyard that morning lol. She asked if I like plums and I do, so then she hands me a huge Ziplock bag with my name on it of freshly picked plums haha. It was a very sweet gesture. I ended up having to bring some of those plums in for my colleagues because there was no way I could eat all of it.

My last couple of visits has been seeing her dogs. They’re super cute. Her husband got a German Shepard puppy named Cookie. She was so fricken adorable. I was picking up her up and hugging her like she was stuffed animal. Ah, so cute! The following week later I came in and asked where Cookie was and turned out Cookie passed away. I was like WTF?! I just saw her last week and she was gone. Turns out Cookie got sick and the doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong after she took some tests. One of her patients mentioned of a German Shepard that needs a home so she decided to take this dog in. Her name is Sam and I’ve never seen a German Shepard like her with a coat that is really light tan almost white with black. Beautiful dog, but very goofy behavior haha. I thought it was very nice of her patient to have mentioned this dog to her.

My chiropractor has a bit of wacky office hours, which I never really questioned. I figured she might have another office elsewhere or whatever. I never bugged her about it  because it’s literally down the street from my place so it’s not like it’ll take me even 10 minutes to get there.  During my last session I found out about her posted hours. She told me about how when she was younger and of course dealing with crazy Chinese parents who wants their kid to do extremely well on a test, her grade wasn’t that great. It wasn’t bad but it just wasn’t up to par for her parents, especially her dad. Her dad hit her arms with a stick really hard when she was 12 and since then she is in a lot of pain from that incident. I felt so awful for her especially when she describes the pain that she deals with now. She mentioned how a couple patients think she’s lazy because of her work hours, but now it makes sense. She’s an incredibly nice woman and it was so sad to hear that she can’t work long hours because of what her dad did to her.

With all of the good along with bits of the bad stories that we share with each other, I feel like she’s getting a therapy session when she talks to me. I don’t mind it at all. It’s interesting how we’re helping each other in so many little ways.

Lantern Fest 2016

Back in April as I was working from home on a Friday afternoon, I texted my close friend, KH to see how she was doing and to quickly catch up since we both have polar opposite schedules. Out of nowhere she asked how far Phoenix is from me and I asked her why. She shared a link to me about this lantern release festival that was happening there and wanted to go. I asked her how long she was thinking about going for and after that we both coordinated our schedules and booked our flights haha. It was a pretty spontaneous thing, which I didn’t mind at all. One minute I’m checking emails, next minute I’m booking a trip in 3 weeks haha. Work has bogged my down far enough that I was in need of a quick trip out of town. I was already contemplating on visiting Seattle again, but I’m glad I didn’t get too far with planning that. I was excited to see KH and to have some much needed girl time. Plus it was her birthday when I see her so it was nice to treat her while I can instead of sending a card and gifts.

For whatever reason throughout the trip, we were listening to a lot of country music lol. I’m not a big country music kinda gal, but it’s alright. Everywhere that we were driving to like from Sedona and to the Lantern Fest, we were playing loud country music haha. It was entertaining how much of a shift in our taste in music has happened as we’ve gotten older. Going from hip hop to country…hmmm. Although the music seemed appropriate with our surroundings of dessert and cactus. The entire trip felt like a road trip and I miss doing things like that with friends back home. People here suck and aren’t down for shit like that. Lame. I’m just glad I got to do that with a close friend.

After an hour driving south of Phoenix, we finally got to the Lantern Fest. There were a ton of families and kids. Once we checked in, we got our paper lantern and a box filled with a s’mores kit along with a wooden stick to roast the marshmallows, a lighter and a Sharpie for you to write on the lantern. We walked around to see what else was happening at the event and there wasn’t much besides food vendors and live music. We were kinda out in the middle of nowhere so yeah…haha. Since I like to be extra prepared for any situation, I packed blankets for us to sit down on along with snacks and water. There were lots of tiki torches and communal fire pits everywhere. Our goal was to not sit too close to families and screaming children since we were trying to enjoy our beer lol. Luckily we found a spot next to this guy and girl that looked close in age to us. They looked like they had the same thing in mind with where they sat. We sat with them and soon enough they were our homies for the night. Really nice people and the two of them were having a little reunion themselves.

While we were waiting for the sun to go down and sipping on oh so many beers, I got pretty tan. It was just this waiting game for the sun to go down. Once it got dark enough to start preparing our lanterns for take off, we were writing on the lanterns and decorating them. I wrote my wish right before I went to light it and who knows if it’ll come true, but still not gonna share what it was. 🙂 A lot of people managed to quickly get there’s lit and released. They’re such a pain in the ass to light up. I had to have like 2-3 other people help me haha. When KH and I tried to light and release ours, we were pretty embarrassing. While everyone else was having this magical moment letting go of theirs, KH and I almost started a fire lol. Of course stupid shit happens when you put us together so I’m not surprised that happened haha. It was pretty funny. Right before I lit mines, I was just in a total daze admiring all of the lanterns floating away. It was the most beautiful thing that I’ve ever seen. Something about seeing the lanterns float away and the campfire made that moment feel so intimate. I would love to go to this event again, but perhaps in another state. KH and I thought it would be a fun thing where this could be our thing where we have our little reunions at Lantern Fest but in a different location. I think the one in Alaska would be fun to check out.

Highly suggest to check this out. It was awesome. 🙂

SoCal Weekend Getaway

Last weekend I had a weekend getaway down in SoCal, specifically Orange County. My close girlfriend C had extended the invite since she was visiting our mutual friend L in Garden Grove. I was a bit hesitant on going since I was really busy with work and it was semi bad timing to go anywhere. But then again I was pretty stressed out and tired that I kinda just said “fuck it” and booked my flight the same night C asked me. I was pretty excited to see friends from home again, but work was just constantly on my mind. Before my trip my work computer had some minor issues, which was probably a sign that I needed to get away from my computer. I really tried my hardest to relax and to not think about my projects since this was my first time actually getting out of the Bay Area. I really needed to enjoy this time with my friends.

Since my friends are total foodies like myself, all we did was just chill and eat. First stop was Brodard for lunch. I was pretty excited to try their infamous spring rolls and I must say it lived up to the hype. It was the most bomb spring rolls I’ve ever had. I still crave for it ever since I’ve returned from my trip. I also ordered Hieu Tieu Thai, which is like a seafood noodle soup. It’s one of my favorites that I haven’t had in so long. So bomb too! After our yummy yet very fulfilling lunch, L took C and I to RVCA’s warehouse sale. I’m not too familiar with the brand, but I suppose it’s a SoCal thing. Got myself some new bathing suits, cropped tank tops and a beanie. Definitely got my money’s worth. I’m generally not much of a shopper, but it was about time that I treated myself to some new additions to my closet. Afterwards, we went to Newport Beach. It was really nice and even more perfect to go on a Friday afternoon where everyone is still at work or school. We explored the area a bit and I took some photos with my DSLR. We took a $1 ferry ride to Balboa Island, which didn’t have much. The homes there were beautiful though. Our next stop was to get some poki at this place that L’s coworker had suggested. We got the salmon poki and it was sooo good. Such a good snack after walking around. Later that night we went to Anaheim Packaging District to try PopBar. It was so good! I ordered the green tea Kit Kat. If I wasn’t such an old lady and can handle dairy more I would’ve gotten another one since my friends got a “Ferrero Rocher” PopBar. APD kind of reminded me of San Pedro Square Market in downtown San Jose, but A LOT bigger and better haha. It was a cute place.

The next day we had a girls day and ventured off to downtown LA for brunch at Perch. It was nice getting dressed up and being girly again. We all wore black dresses, which was unintentional. Too bad the weather in LA that day sucked. It was oddly cloudy and rainy. After brunch we made a quick trip to Bottega Louie for some macarons. I wish I got more of the Earl Gray macarons. Highly suggest that! Next stop was Griffith Observatory. The rain was starting to really come down as we had hopes of it passing by. Nope! We walked out in the rain in our dresses towards the observatory. Took a few photos outside. Such a bummer it was crap weather, but that’s okay. It was nice to finally check it out. Then it was back to Garden Grove to relax before dinner. Went to Wild Crab which is a crawfish joint. Pretty much had a mini Boston reunion since another mutual friend J who now lives in San Diego drove up to join us for dinner. Our last night was a good time of eating good food, playing Taboo and overall being surrounded by good people. I really needed that. I was reminded of my lifestyle back in Boston with my friends. I missed having group dinners and just being goofy with my friends. I was a bit bummed out to return to SJ. I was returning back to a place where I lack a social life and was in constant work mode. As soon as I got back, my stress level kicked back into overdrive. It’s a really overwhelming feeling for me. I wish it was easier to do more trips with friends again. Ever since I’ve been back a bit of homesickness has kinda kicked in. All it has to take is a couple days with close friends for me to feel this way. In a few weeks one of my close guy friends will be visiting. I can already imagine how much of a great time we’ll have yet I can already feel how sad I’ll be.

Anyways, I enjoyed the fun while it lasted. I’m glad I got to explore a bit of SoCal with close friends. 🙂

Mental Clarity

San Jose Municipal Rose Garden

The past couple weeks has been very stressful and emotional for me. With all the things that were happening, it was nice to finally have some company. Last Monday I had decided to work from home. I wasn’t ready to put myself back into the office and I’m glad I chose to work from home instead. One of my old colleagues who recently moved and was once my neighbor had contacted me to grab lunch. It was nice to get away from my computer and out of the house to never ending orders of beer and sake on a Monday afternoon. Both her and I needed it. It was nice to vent to someone that understood how things are at my company. I had chosen to remain offline the remainder of the day after lunch. It was much needed. I wasn’t going to force myself to attempt to do any work when I was still in a funk.

Later in the week friends from Boston were in town visiting. It refreshing to see a familiar face during this stressful time. As exhausted as I was from work and commuting, I sucked it up to grab dinner with them 2 nights in a row and to take them out. It was the least I could do. Plus, I hardly ever go out so I might as well take advantage while I have visitors around. I felt like my old self again joking around with my friends and having great conversations. That was something else I craved for so much during this stressful time. I wanted a piece of home so badly to cheer me up. It reminded me of how my lifestyle in Boston used to be. To dine out or grab drinks after work with friends and it didn’t matter how long our days were. We always looked forward to being in each other’s company. That’s what I miss the most.

Saturday afternoon I got a surprise call from friends from Stockton, CA that were headed to San Jose. I was excited to see them since it’s been quite some They had asked me to join them in getting their engagement photos taken. I wasn’t so thrilled on getting dragged around nor was I in the mood to mingle with their photographer/friend, so I told them to hit me up when they were done. All I wanted to do that afternoon was to lay out in the sun at the rose garden here in SJ and do nothing besides people watch, read, and tan since it was really hot out that day. It was nice and peaceful at the park. It’s one of my favorite places here in SJ to just chill. It was perfect. Eventually I met up with my friends and we grabbed dinner. It’s always nice to catch up with them since I hardly ever see them.

Overall, seeing all these people this past week has been really great. I needed to socialize again and be around some good company. I think there’s only so many Facetime/Skype sessions I can have with friends now. I need that physical interaction with friends. I don’t want to stay cooped up in my room with all of these thoughts and stress. I finally feel like I was able to let go of a lot and to clear my mind. I feel much more relaxed. Anyways, I have 2 remote colleagues that will be in the office this week, which I’m excited. That means the whole team will be in the office and we’re going to have a pub crawl in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. I can’t wait. I feel better good again. It was nice to disconnect myself from my computer this weekend (well, besides right now writing this post haha) and to have good company around during this stressful time. I’m ending the week with a bomb sushi dinner and a good book. 🙂

Socially Awkward

It’s been quite some time where I’ve felt unmotivated to socialize or to date. I used to be the biggest social butterfly back at home, but now not so much. I carry this “I don’t give a fuck” attitude with me ever since my first horrible interactions with people here. I find myself being a bit awkward because I don’t know what to say or I don’t care to really respond to you. I act this way just because I know my interaction with whomever won’t be long lasting so why put so much effort, if any? I’m very selective in who I choose to surround myself with. If I get any weird or bad vibes I’ll just ignore you. If we click or if I even like you, I’ll talk up a storm. It does come off a bit snobby, but as I said I don’t give a fuck.

I’m just tired of having to repeat “my profile”. I’m Connie, 27, moved from Boston, currently reside in San Jose, I’m a designer, etc etc. I’m so sick of having to tell the same story over and over and over and over again. It even annoys the shit out of me to have to tell someone my story. I used to be able to carry a conversation with anyone without having to tell them my background because that didn’t matter. Now I get a bit quiet and standoffish. I’m just bored having these repetitive conversations. Yes, I know it’s a part of getting to know someone, but at this point I should just pass you a quick fact sheet about myself so I don’t have to tell you haha. However, I do think there’s a point where I need to try again, but the thought of it all I dread it so much.

Last night I had gone out to dinner with two of my colleagues along with their significant other as well as another couple. This left me to be the 7th wheel. Prior to arriving to the destination, I was already dreading on going and it wasn’t the fact that there were going to be only couples. That I didn’t know until I had arrived. I’ve just gotten used to my routine of hanging out by myself on a weekend. I had forgotten what it was like to go out to dinner and drinks with friends. So I forced myself to get ready and out the door and to just suck it up.

I had a good time and I’m glad I went, but the one part that ruined it for me was when it came down to paying the bill. Each couple paid for themselves, which left me to pay for myself which is obviously expected. I was ready to tuck my card in the tab until my colleague’s boyfriend had said I shouldn’t pay as much since I was by myself. The last two words that came out of his mouth really stung: by myself. I felt myself cringing and at that moment I had realized why I almost didn’t want to come out. I know there was no harm in him saying that, but for me it meant something. I’m not mad at him or anything, but it just made me feel as if he reassured that fact that I am single and “by myself”. It’s not a great feeling. I’m horrible at hiding my emotions so I’m sure it was written all over my face that I felt like shit when he said that. I got extra quiet and tried to act okay.

I felt like I shouldn’t let that moment make me take several, not a few, steps back to me becoming social again, but it kinda did. I’m very sensitive to shit like that. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ve changed in so many ways after living here, emotionally and mentally, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’ve spent so much time alone. It’s really hard for me and not many people get it. It’s a lot of baby steps for me to work myself up to that social level that I used to be at back in Boston. I’m quiet and I just observe. I wasn’t really like that in the past. It took a lot for me to put myself in a group last night like that and now I feel like hiding again. I get so uncomfortable with large groups. Once again, I wasn’t like that in the past.

I miss the old me and it saddens me a lot that I’m not that person anymore.