My dad shared this drawing and story on Facebook.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
My dad shared this drawing and story on Facebook.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
My mom wears simple things. Her purse is more like a travel satchel. Her outfits are off the discount rack. Though, during Christmas she would joke about wanting a diamond. When she opened her actual present from me and discovered a scarf she was thrilled as if it was the most precious stone on the planet.
The past year has been rough for her. My grandpa was finally placed in a nursing home and being the only child she has taken all responsibility - visiting him everyday. Washing his soiled clothes everyday even though there was a staff paid to do it. She told me she was strong when my grandma passed away, but this time around she doesn't feel too strong. She is saddened watching her father age. "...this is what's going to happen to me" she says to me. Slowly his mind and body is falling a part.
The vacations from reality that she's tried to take have been stressful. It rained during her entire 4 day stay in Hawaii and my dad caught the flu. My mom went to the beach by herself...thinking about my grandfather and having to take care of another person: my dad who had a fever in the hotel room. She couldn't catch a break.
For her birthday this year, I decided to get her a simple diamond necklace. Something she joked about wanting, but something I can provide to her to make her happy. I gave myself 3 months. I was stressing out about it. It was like buying a car. I didn't know the value and I didn't know how to shop.
I decided to check online and stumbled upon this necklace from Macy's - "Elegant and eye-catching. Sirena's exquisite pendant features a round-cut diamond (1/4 ct. t.w.) crafted in a beautiful 14k white gold setting." There were 29 positive reviews and there was a one-day sale. I consulted my dad and he gave a big thumbs up. I had it shipped to my parent's place a few weeks early. My dad wrapped it and I called to video conference her on her actual birthday.
Here's a video of her opening it. She was wearing the scarf I gave her for Christmas.
Since my dad left the tag on the gift, my mom was worried about how much I had spent on her, but I reassured her that I got a great deal.
She told me that a long time ago, I gave her my tax return. She told me that she used the money to buy another necklace so that should could wear it and think of me. I completely forgot that I did that.
It's probably one of the best feelings you can have - to do something nice for your parents, at any capacity. To show them that you appreciate everything that they've done for you.
Happy 55th Birthday Mom. You're the best.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Little Tokyo, Los Angeles to the rescue. I found this cute version and snagged it for my coworker's birthday this Thursday. Though I've only know him for a little time, he's shared a lot of personal stories and thoughts. He's guided by spirituality and zodiac and would appreciate this.
A photo posted by Christopho (@letopho) on
- Explore Los Angeles
- Plan events
- See friends
- ...and don't let work consume me so much that I forget to do those things mentioned above.
Monday, January 18, 2016
Thursday, January 7, 2016
2016 will be another interesting year. I'm starting clean with a new job and with that comes a new headshot (perks of bf photographer.) It's only my fourth day in and it feels like the first day of school. Jumping from an office of 15 to 800 is stressful. Finding the perfect route to work is stressful. Tonight on the way home, I was in the wrong lane to make a right turn and tried to squeeze in. I was honked out of doing that. Very aggressively. I drove over a backpack that fell into the road. And... i had to maneuver lefts and rights in order to avoid a gridlocked highway 10. I'll get the hang of this. I must. I was also put on the spot during an internal call and didn't quite shine the way I had hoped. But there is time to recover.
I'm thankful for the experience I got from my old job of 3.5 years. Through that company I experienced a cycle of ups and downs that usually takes companies 10 years. I take pride in saying that I was headhunted for this new job one year ago and declined, but after a year I was finally ready to take the opportunity as a new recruiter from the same company reached out to me again.
"Everyone loved you of course." How to stay humble? How to stay modest? I get really awkward with these types of compliments. And with every compliment regarding my performance that I get, the more insecure I get about my capabilities.
Today I ate dinner in my office alone. I hadn't made late evening friends yet. It really was, the first day of school.
New Years Eve.
I enjoyed a nice house party with lots of alcohol and no activities other than eating and drinking. Though I enjoyed watching the host struggle to get the right mylar balloons. Only after buying from Party City for $30, inflating them with helium, putting them in his car and THEN arranging on his wall that he noticed that the balloons read 2012.
Reminded me of his pumpkin carving event... without pumpkins because he couldn't find any on October 29th.
Christmas was off too. My parents found my grandpa with fluid in his lungs and his blood infected. He stopped eating. My mom took a month off work to help him transfer from senior housing to a nursing home. Something that she was trying to avoid for so long by installing cameras in his home and hiring someone to watch over him under the table 24/7. She discovered that the nursing home was better. Obviously - these people are trained to take care of him. When we visited him, we took him on a few laps in the home and made light of the situation which my mom enjoyed.
She cancelled the big family Christmas party, to which my cousin picked up immediately. My cousin texted me a few weeks before to confirm that I would take care of the games which I agreed to, but then I realized that 50 people were coming. During the party we sat in a circle talking and eating and suddenly the room fell silent and all eyes were on me. I realized, that they were waiting for me to initiate games...
Thank gawd for reverse charades. Everyone acts out while one person guesses. Yes - together, this group formed "TIMBER." Obviously. A handful of folks said that they were happy I brought the game and that family events are not the same without me. At that point, I felt very appreciated. I didn't bring any food for the potluck, but I managed to bring something to the event. I also gave all my cousins The Tile App so that they can find their keys. Great success!
Jimmy encourages me to visit my family. Especially during this time when my mom was having a hard time dealing with Grandpa. So I came home early for Christmas just to spend time with her. We did... nothing. I spent the day falling asleep on her bed while she watched the Hallmark channel because she's been sick for so long. But I guess there was some value in that? I think my parents appreciate our relationship. We talk, I call them in traffic... and that's how I show them that I love them.
What does 2016 look?
- New Job
- New commute (this is a big deal in LA)
- First Jury Duty
- Major surgery
- Less vacation time
Though that's really hard to do when I just brought home animal stickers from my parents house.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Oops. I did it again. I brought my moleskine planner to the store and left it somewhere. Only to be picked up by a stranger who will now have access to a lot of sensitive material. I did the same things a few years back while going to Target, but that was really bad because there was $100 in the pocket. It's so easy to simply put something down and then walk away because you have so much on your mind.... like a last minute house party, vacation planning and an interview.
What I need to do to manage this chaos.
- Change all passwords - I had a bad system anyway
- Rewrite to do list, to blog list, to do in Los Angeles lists - the 3 lists that I've referred many times
- Think about what loose docs I had in the pocket.
- Move on...
Sunday, October 11, 2015
When Quan visited back in April he asked to check out Venice Beach during sunset. After we ran to catch the sun, he turned to me and said, "you guys don't understand how lucky you have it to experience this everyday." He started tearing up, "it's so beautiful." Then we went silent and gazed west. And it was that moment that I realized that Californian sunsets were something I definitely took for granted. It took someone from the East coast to point this out.
How are sunsets different in California? Or rather on the west coast? The sun sets into the ocean resulting in magnificent colors and strong contrast between the ocean and the sky. This week after a random evening of rain, the sky was a beautiful orange. I managed to snap this while going 2MPH in afterwork traffic.
Quan was right. We are quite lucky.
We also took Quan to the Getty Center. Where I demonstrated by model techniques. I call them "dead fish" and "Thai fingers." Some photos that Quan took of us: