Friday, January 31, 2014

Eating Out - January 2014


I'm really lucky to have a food companion.  Jimmy and I go on tons of food adventures and together we Eat out LA until all parties are completely satisfied.  We have our favorite spots like Kula Rotating Sushi bar to get our $2 plate fair quality fix.  We enjoy the occasional burger adventure like checking out the signature Umami Burgers from each locations.  We also do a lot of breakfast spots like Square One at the Boat House.  Nothing makes me happier.



I'm all over Yelp!   And I'm actually pretty impressed with what I consumed in January.  Here we go!


  • Mess Hall -  New American, Meh
  • Thai Lai - Vietnamese, Hawthorne, CA
  • Viet Place... forgot the name, but they had a great clam salad
  • Marugame Monzo - Japanese Udon, Negitoro Bowl, Little Tokyo, LA
  • The Roof on Wilshire - Mediocre brunch, amazing view, LA
  • Kanpai Ramen - Don't get tomato ramen, Glendale, LA
  • Raffis Place - Middle Eastern, Glendale
  • Tribal Cafe - For creative juices, sandwiches, grungy, LA
  • Neri's - Filipino Breakfast, Westlake, LA
  • Bea Bea's - Breakfast, Burbank
  • Noodle House in Ktown - for Jajameon, I can't find the name, but the portions are huge!
  • The Grids - Waffle Shop, Alhambra, CA

Monday, January 27, 2014

Vision

I tried daily contacts and unfortunately wore them from 9AM to 2AM.  I had issues pealing them off my eye because the material was much thinner and my eyes were so dry.  It felt like I was trying to remove a piece of my eye with my fingers.  When I finally got it out, it felt like a scratch.  Oh fuck, I thought to myself, I must have scratched my cornea.  I looked up the heal time on line - 3 days, cool - I'll wait it out.

It felt like a piece of sand was trapped in my eye.  As the day went on I was very light sensitive.  I heard my mom's voice echo in my mind, "don't mess with your vision...." So I visited the optometrist across the street whom I found on Yelp.  Thanks Yelp!

As it turns out I actually had an eye infection...  a corneal ulcer - a divot on the top layer of my eye.  How terrifying, but only 4 drops of Tobramycin a day and it should clear up and I can wear contacts again and feel more confident in my looks in a week.

Wearing glasses to me is like wearing PJs - You wear them in the house or when ever you're lazy, but if you want to look your best you put on a pair of jeans.

Anyway, I returned to the optometrist to find that my eye has not completely healed after a week.  Which indicates a deeper scar. To prove this, my tech savvy optometrist took a picture of what he was seeing with his iPhone to share with me.

here's looking at you kid

That spot near the center of the black part of my eye is the scar that needs to heal before I can wear contacts again otherwise I'll get another inflammation.  Glasses for a a month.  UGH.

This what happened:

I have naturally dry eyes and my monthly Biofinity contacts were so moist and thick that I didn't have any issues; I've slept with them on until 3AM where I'm forced to remove in order to have a good nights sleep.  The dailys were cheaper and thinner and DRYER so my eye couldn't clear out the bacteria and particles when blinking.  The dry contact created a 9AM to 2AM environment for the infection to fester.... or it was all coincidence and I was bound to get this infection due to my terrible contact lens habits.

Point of the story:  Don't fuck with your vision and check out that cool picture of my eyeball.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Will You Still be Proud of Me?

Back in October I printed out two pictures for my cubical.  A picture of my parents from when they were in Europe and a picture of me and Jimmy during Chinatown Summernights.

I noticed that most people had pictures of people they loved to personalize their space; siblings, offspring, significant others.  My space was personalized by work thank you cards, work trinkets from coworkers who came back from vacation and tupperware for catered lunch leftovers.

I wondered to myself why I didn't do this sooner.  I'm completely gay at work; I've gone gay clubbing with my manager.  Why don't I put up photographs to remind myself who makes me happy which includes my boyfriend of 3 years.  And it helps with storytelling - I can simply point to these pictures when I describe a weekend with Jimmy or a phone call with my mom.

===

I'm on my parent's phone plan, but I help pay for my data.  My mom automatically withdraws $50 from my account and texts me, "took $50 this month" just to let me know.

One day I told her, "why don't you take $100?"
"No, Son, that's your money."
"I insist... I can afford to help you."
"Thank you so much.  Okay.  I'll take $100"

Later that week while talking to her in heavy LA traffic she told me that my dad was upset.

"Why would you take money from Christopher!?!"  She quoted my dad.  I laughed. I told her that I wanted to help and I'm not doing anything with the cash so she should take it.

Her response was surprising, "that means a lot to us... it really shows me that you care about your mom and dad and it's so valuable." To me... I was just handing money aside because I didn't need it... to my mom it represented a lot more and I felt so silly for never offering until just last year.

I felt like she was really proud of me and I did something right without intentionally trying. It was a wonderful feeling.

==

Over Christmas break my mom asked if all of my cousins knew "about me."  Instead of "gay" should would replace the word/idea with... "about me" or "like you."  For instance, "are all your friends 'like you?'"  Or "you should keep that part 'about you' to yourself."  As if there was something "about me" that could not be described or understood... that piece of me was not normal.

I confirmed with her that all of my cousins knew "about me" and I used that as opportunity to ask about my dad.

I asked my mom, "does Dad know 'about me'?"
"Yes."
"How"
"Facebook."

I tried to think how Facebook outed me... I remembered that my public profile picture was of me and Jimmy with a giant heart around it during the Prop 8 dance.  When I posted it, I didn't care.  But I guess my Dad saw it.

"So should I talk to Dad about it?"
"No.. give it time, he's really sad... but of course he still loves you, but he's sad... don't be too obvious on facebook"

I nodded like I understood that I needed to be sensitive.  After that conversation, I felt as if I finally came out to my dad without really coming out to him.  The giant pink elephant in the room has a boyfriend... and all assumptions are now a reality... but there's still silence.  And I accepted that time will make things better and I can talk to him... eventually.  I enjoyed that facebook did the work for me.

===

I talked to Joe about this... once again while I was in thick LA traffic and he gave me some perspective.  He intentionally and proudly sealed the deal on his coming out movement with a facebook profile picture captioned, "Answer: Yup" on national coming out day.  He had been out to his parents for years already and couldn't understand why I wasn't since I know for a fact my parents would still love me.

He said something along the lines of how time will not heal... and it would beneficial to talk to my dad immediately so that the time in silence would instead be used as time to accept that being gay is actually not abnormal.  I can show my dad that being gay is wonderful and that I'm really happy with my lifestyle and because of this he shouldn't be ashamed, embarrassed or sad.

.....however....

If I told my dad today he will nod his head and simply say, "I know and I still love you."  Which is where most successful coming out to parents stories end.  But I dream of the day where my parents say that they are proud of me; every single thing "about me."  

Did I turn out to be everything you hoped and dreamed for? Am I the person that you would proudly show off to others?  If you passed away, would you be happy with the legacy that you created?

If I told you I was gay would you still love me be proud of me?
I don't think you would; which makes coming out impossible.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking Forward to a Normal New Year

There's something satisfying about planning an efficient night.  During New Years Eve, Ern jokingly called me Mom because of all the logistical work that I handled for the evening.

12 people to manage. I ordered enough pizza that everyone enjoyed.  Tried out a new drinking game to agitate our livers, got a taxi to downtown, snuck in flasks (but double checked if security was going to pat us down by asking people on instagram who were already there #nyeLA), found the free bus to take us home safely.

I called my trusty Korean gypsy cab that charged us $10 a car to drive our drunk asses 2 miles to Grand Park where they were having their first ever New Years Celebration. We were among 18,000 people - they had to shut the entrance at 11:00PM because we were at max capacity. It was a success because we properly prepared, otherwise there was just a lot of lines, awkward music and sober cold people.  What made it interesting were the hand full of art installations that made for fun pictures.

Though the count down was a little anti climatic for me since we were in the PG section of the park and I was hoping for fireworks.




The holidays - a lot of things and feels during this awkward time.  So much work to finish or people you're obligated to see... or no one to see and too much time allotted.  Sickness, sadness, connection, love, appreciation.  There's just a lot going on and for the most part people are just shivering from the cold.

The only thing missing was Jimmy, but I wore the shirt he bought me for Christmas  - and we celebrated the morning of over ramen and a new coffee shop.   Things were normalizing - Jimmy has been struggling with this lately since his father was admitted into the hospital... "he will never be the same"  - I could hear Jimmy saying sadly.  I could also hear Jimmy crying out his brother's name over the phone when he heard the news which really stabbed at my heart.  For about 2.5 weeks Jimmy has been by his dad's side in the hospital to support him.   10 hours a day at the hospital was draining him, but when I saw Jimmy - he was happy.  It was as if he was able to escape the stress and just have a normal day with his boyfriend.

What does it mean to normalize?

For us, it means sleeping together at night.  Eating together during the day.  And finding something new to brag about like a coffee shop.  And with his family needing him right now, it's been hard for him to normalize since he's worried about therapy and insurance.  Thankfully his dad on route to full recovery.

Jimmy told me that he can't wait for the holidays to be over and now I understand what he meant.  And I agree with him because I'm looking forward to spending every normal day of 2014 with him.

Happy New Years!  Time to catch up!


Pictures taken from Instagram - photographer credit in the file name


The countdown: