Man, my dad can really tick me off sometimes.|
When he's in a bad mood or stressed out or tired.... it's very easy to push his buttons even if you don't try.
Sure, I'm not the perfect son. My room's not the cleanest and I can "lag" on things (from his POV). But why get so MAD about it? Why does it seem like it's the end of the world and/or he takes it so PERSONALLY?
Yes, he's a logical guy with legit points to be made. But MAN.... you know how there are traits of your parents that you want to emulate? And there are other traits that you DON'T want to emulate?
Well, regarding my dad, I do admire his hard work, dedication to tasks at hand, being innovative, realistic.... basically, doing whatever it takes to make it in the real world.
But when it comes to being such an asshole, being immature, having a temper.... that's what I don't want.
I'm not a perfect son. But I'm a good son in that I never raised my voice to him. Heck, if I did that, if I disagree with him or speak up, he'd probably get pissed off. Or at the very least, argumentative even though he wants to hear it. In the end, he wants to be the one who is right. He wants to be the one with the last word. And he'll make you know that you're wrong. He'd want you to acknowledge that you yourself are wrong. It's like admitting your guilt.
He can be very condescending.
I also remember another time when he was in a pissy mood... I went to take out the garbage, right? And then he right there, he starts lecturing me about not helping out around the house. Ummm... I'm RIGHT THERE taking out the garbage! Maybe I did it subconsciously out of fear.... fear of HIM. Oh well. It doesn't matter why I did it, he was still getting mad at me about not helping out around the house even though I was doing so at the moment.
I dunno how my mom puts up with it. Even though she may also think that I could be cleaner or take care of things faster, she knows how big a pain the dad can be. She's been screamed at him herself. That's how he is, she'd say. Don't let him walk over you. Hah, right. This is DAD, remember? When he gets mad, he doesn't want you standing up to him! If you do, you're not being respectful! You don't appreciate everything he's done for you! That's BS! Of course I'm thankful for all that he's done! And I'm fully aware that I can't repay him. But... I remember a loooooong time ago during the school days, when he didn't think that my sis was respecting him back then, he lectured me: "YOU BETTER RESPECT ME, UNDERSTAND!" Umm... you'll have my respect (and he's earned it), but it'll also be out of fear. Not just love. I guess Asian parents, with all the emphasis on discipline, are totally cool with getting respect from being feared.
And i guess that is also how a lot of parent/kid relationships are: both love and hate. I love him, but sometimes he makes it hard. Sometimes, I just hate my him. Or mores specifically... I hate his potential condescending attitude when he's in a bad mood and how he just lets his voice just goes up the ante like no other.
Yeesh, it's like: calm the fuck down. It's not like I killed some or committed a crime or something.
But if I said that, I know he'd get even more mad just by hearing that.
This is probably my longest, most overdue entry considering it happened last Aug. Photo credits belong to Son, Allison, Lily, and yours truly.|
1) The Planning
After writing the entry about the "Best Year of My Life", I realized that I missed hanging out with my close group of college friends. It's been a few years since we were able to do that. Thus, I started wondering if it was possible to have some sort of reunion. You always hear about college and high school reunions, so why not? None of us are getting any younger, so it was like now or before it was too late.
Thus in Feb 2012, I started contacting everyone individually just to gauge people's interest. They all pretty much said yes, as long as there was enough time to plan it since we're all busy with our own lives. Fair enough. That's why I was contacting everyone months ahead.
So I bounced around ideas of whether we should go to Lake Tahoe or Monterey Bay in the summertime. Both sites normally have great weather during that time of year; they're places you don't usually go to... in fact, some of us in our group haven't gone to either; and in my opinion, we would be able to do our own thing where it wasn't too crazy busy.
I didn't want to go to Vegas, as everyone goes there already. To me, that place isn't "special" when it comes to a reunion. At Vegas, there are just casinos, strip joints, bars, clubs, & fancy restaurants. People go there on their own enough as it is. So my reasoning was, let's go somewhere not too far off but not in the area... and somewhere UNIQUE, FUN, and MEMORABLE.
Someone in our group suggested SD. But I pushed back: why SD? What makes it stand out as a possible reunion place -- Catalina Island? And above all, I asked them how often do they go there? (A lot, as it turns out.)
I told the group that my uncle owned a cabin in Tahoe and that it was very nice in the summer. Tahoe is beautiful in the winter and is a lot of fun for snow trips, but it's still freezing. During summer, the temp is just right.
However, it turned out that my uncle's cabin was already RSVP on the particular weekend that I chose for our reunion. So I turned to Monterey Bay..... but MAN, that place is PRICEY. I'm not surprised that the summer season is so popular there, thereby driving its up condo rental rates like no other. $1K for one night? No thanks. Plus, there weren't a whole lot available when I checked.
Therefore, I was back to Square 1 -- deciding where to host our reunion. Trying to think out of the box, my mind went back to Tahoe and thought about looking at other cabins there. Sure, my uncle's cabin wasn't available, so we couldn't take advantage of my "family discount". But I started looking at other cabins, and eventually found one. It could house around 10 people, the rates were reasonable if it were divvied up evenly, and the accommodations/pics all looked nice. At least online.
So I immediately told everyone what I found and asked them to soon say yay or nay, as someone else could RSVP the cabin at any time. All of my friends were really generous in such that they were down for anything. A decision just needed to be made. Thus, I made the call.
But deciding the time and place were only the first critical steps of planning the reunion. Since most of those in our group were from SoCal, I wanted to help plan out their trips up to Lake Tahoe as much as I could. I advised them against driving as that took too long, and gave them all possible airport sites. Those of us in NorCal (ie. Jesse and myself) would pick people up and driving over to the cabin.
Aand of course, I told everyone to bring their swim gear just in case, as I intended us to go hang out at the Lake as well as jet ski (!!!!!).
2) The Trip
On Fri, I picked up Son + Allison from SFO. Then we headed east and met up with Nancy, Lily, Jamie, and Dex... all of whom were picked up my Jesse. After grabbing a bite at In & Out and then shopping at Costco, we caravanned to Lake Tahoe. Once there, we did even MORE shopping at the local grocery store. It was PACKED. Clearly, other cabins in the area were being rented out and people were buying food stuffs for the weekend. At the grocery, they even had their own little section dedicated to s'mores! Sweetness.
At our cabin, there was a grille out in the backyard. Son and I manned the BBQ, while Dex and the ladies took care of business in the kitchen. That whole weekend, we bought, cooked, and ate a lot of food. But it was all worth it.
Hong flew in the next morning and drove a rental car to the cabin. He was kind of grumpy in a friendly way b/c his flight was at an early time ("This trip better be worth it!"), but once he saw the cabin, he was pleased haha.On Sat, we went to the Lake. Hong, Jesse, Nancy, Lily, Jamie, and I went jet skiing. Jesse was my passenger. We had a blast. The weather was perfect: clear sunny skies with equally clear (and fresh) water of Lake Tahoe. It was my second time jet skiing and I'd love to do it again. I only hope that the others had fun, despite us having to pay for some minor damage on one jet ski. Sorry, gang. =\
Then all of us went to another part of the Lake where there was a small beach. Jesse and Dex went on a water cycle which the rest of the gang had fun trying to load up on, save Lily. Yours truly decided to test the waters... it actually wasn't too bad. Sure, it was chilly but it seemed no colder than the parents' pool.... and that gets pretty darn cold. I guess I'm just used to it.
That night at the cabin was more cooking and feasting. It was great chatting with everyone over dinner. It started to rain a bit (weird summer Tahoe weather) but thankfully only during the night. The TV was constantly playing the Summer Olympics. A lot of iPads were laying around, more than I've ever seen at once. I think Jesse and Hong were giving some thought of going to a nearby casino, but everyone was KO'd from food coma.
Some of the gang started playing cards. I'm not too good with card games, so I sat at the dinner table with them and just doodled with the iPad. This did make me seem anti-social, I admit. But honestly... I was just content with simply being in the company of good college friends again after so many years. I didn't care what I did. It did appear that I was uninterested in them, but nothing was farther from the truth. It's hard to explain.
The next day, we had to check out of the cabin. We made another quick trip to another beach part of Lake Tahoe. This one was actually nicer than the one we went to the previous day. Unfortunately, time wasn't on our side as many of us in our group had flights to catch later that day. We bid farewell to Hong (who used an airport near Tahoe) and drove back west.
Not surprisingly, it was hot in the Sacramento area. Jesse led us to a dim sum place. Afterward, Son, Allison and I said our goodbyes to everyone else and started back to SF. I kinda played tourist guide to Son as we drove around the Bay. Hope I didn't bore him. :]
The cabin was great overall, except: the upstairs shower didn't have a working shower head; the bathroom downstairs didn't have enough TP; the A/C was kinda off, so it got a little warm inside sometimes; and the dishwasher leaked on Sat night, so we spent a lot of time on cleaning that up (reminded me of a VERY similar incident at Parkwood with Dex & Hong back at UCI). Otherwise, it was a good cabin.
If I had to plan the trip all over again, I'd schedule it to be longer. Because basically, it was people flying in and going to the cabin on Friday, hang out Sat and half of Sun, but then departing on Sun. Son said he was surprised that I didn't extend the trip. That makes total sense. I guess during the whole planning process, I thought people were tight in terms of taking time off work. I wanted to be considerate of everyone's work commitments and schedules. That's why I only planned it for 3 days. But when a day is practically devoted to traveling... yeah, I should've made it longer.
The reunion was a lot of work but was definitely worth it. I hope everyone else who went will cherish the trip as much as I do. However, I look back and still wish a few things were different. In particular, three of us weren't able to go: Ching-Yi was busy with wedding planning, Sharon couldn't change her busy schedule as a doctor, and Darren had to work on that weekend. How I wish they were there.
Nevertheless, I'm super thankful for those who went were there.
In the long run, the trip will probably seem like a small blip.
But hopefully in a good way.
Back in Feb, I messaged a SoCal friend of mine about getting together to watch 2013's new Star Trek Into Darkness movie. Krystal grew up as a Trekkie just like me. Plus, I thought it'd be cool to catch up and that we'd go to the Irvine Spectrum just like the good ol' college days.|
And finally, it'd be another nice excuse for me to visit Irvine and see friends in that surrounding area again. The last time I visited was 3 years ago.
Gina was super awesome in such that not only I told her a mere few days prior to my arriving, but she drove all the way down from Alhambra just so we could hang out. She picked me up from John Wayne Airport and we went over to our old stomping grounds at UCI. It was still a Fri afternoon, so college students were still up and about. There was also the fair on Ring Road (which we both remembered). We went to the bookstore and bought some overpriced souvenirs (hey, all UCs are like that). I actually bought a jacket and cap donning the UCI logo -- since I lost my old cap -- but they were really expensive. Oh well, it's not like I do this all the time.
Then we went to the In & Out at UTC (Univ. Town Center) across campus. Had some In & Out. The In & Out at UCI is the biggest In & Out I've seen b/c the HQ office is also at UTC. Plus, you'll notice that all other In & Out's have virtually the same, small layout. Not at UCI.
So a lot about UCI has stayed the same but at the same time, a lot has changed. Both Gina and I felt kinda old walking amongst all those "college kids".
Next, we went to South Coast and strolled around. Then we met up with Kelly + Huy for dinner at Seasons 52. They visited NorCal 2 years ago, so it was good to sit down with them again. :]
Then Gina dropped me off at my Inn. Thank you, Gina, for being my set of wheels that day from afar!
The Inn itself was nice. I'm pretty low-key. So the room I got and the price I paid for (especially at kinda last minute and relatively near the airport) was good. Their service isn't bad either.
On Sat, I had a hot pot lunch with Joe + Kat. I haven't seen them in 3 years, and I really wish we had more time to hang out. Joe is as cool as ever, and Kat is as sweet as ever (she's also cute when she's in grumpy-hungry mode).
Later that night, I met up with Krys + Chris (whom also drove from afar) for Star Trek Into Darkness. We watched it at the Spectrum and we all enjoyed it. Then we had dinner at a nice Italian(?) restaurant. I haven't seen them in like 2 years since they moved away from Sunnyvale. They should move back up after they tie the knot. :D
The next day, Lai and I had lunch together. Again, I haven't seen him in 3 years, so it was good catching up. He's probably the only college friend I have who lives the closest to Irvine now; everyone else moved away. We left our mutual friend HP a voicemail (since we did that 3 years ago), and he was kind enough to drop me off at the airport.
All in all, it was a relaxing weekend, getting together with college friends I haven't seen from several months to 3 years. I kinda miss Irvine, but unless I get a real nice job down there and quickly make a lot of new great friends my age, I don't see that happening.
Otherwise, this trip was short but sweet.
I've already spent enough time on the highly acclaimed Batman video games, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. And already, there's another one coming out this Oct.
Except Arkham Origins won't be made by the same game developer, Rocksteady. Nor will it be written by veteran Batman writer, Paul Dini.
So naturally, a lot of Bat-fans are really worried and skeptical. However, Kevin Conroy will be returning as the voice of The Dark Knight and for me, that's a huge HUGE plus. A whole generation of Batman fans, myself included, grew up with Conroy as the main voice for Batman. Sure, it sucks that Joker (voiced by Mark "Luke Skywalker" Hamill) won't be around. But for me, the deal breaker would be no Conroy (whom was initially reported as not returning).
Anyways, I'm sure the new game developer is fully aware that they have extremely big shoes to fill. But somehow, I'm confident that they'll do their best to honor the Batman legacy.
Yes, I am such a GEEK.
Our Red Cross had A LOT of volunteer medics at the Cinco de Mayo event. Perhaps more than we needed. But it's better to have too many medics than too few. Plus, a bunch of them were new faces.|
This was one of the events of which we were warned about: a lot of people drinking, perhaps resulting in a lot of drunk fights. As volunteers, our own safety is our first priority. So when there's a fight, us medics back off. And although I didn't see any that day, there were a few occasions which we saw a lot of security heading in one direction. You know what that means.
Most of the day was just walking around the event, keeping alert for medical emergencies. One fellow medic and I saw this young lady walked by; she seemed a little off. My partner and I looked at each other. He went up to her, asking her if she's ok. And she was.
Honestly, I've never been surrounded by so many Hispanics. But it was cool. To see their culture up front, it was a big exposure.
However, I can't really speak fondly of the high # of lost kids we had that day. How do you lose your 2 year old? That day, we had like 10 lost kids who ended up at our First Aid station. Fortunately, their respective families came by to pick them up.
Then later on, this couple and their daughter came up to me at the Aid station. I noticed that the woman had a hand on her chest; that didn't look good. So we had her sit down and gave her a lot of oxygen. It turned out that she had asthma and they left the inhaler in their call. So we told the husband to go get it, and that took another nerve-wracking 15 to 20 minutes. Seriously, folks, if you have asthma, PUH-LEEEZE bring your inhaler everywhere you go.
Another interesting thing happened that day: one of our newer & younger medics came back to the First Aid station, alone. I noticed she looked rather distressed while waiting to speak with one of our group leaders, who was busy. I tapped her on the shoulder, asking her if she was all right. All the sudden, this girl just literally breaks down in tears right in front of me.
It turned out that her family just called her, saying that her grandma just died.
She was really crying hard and even looked like hyperventilating. So we sat her down, trying to calm her and saying how sorry we all were. She wanted to drive back home, but we didn't want her to do that in her condition -- she might have another breakdown on the road. It turned out that she's actually from the same city I'm from. I offered to drive her home with another medic caravan-ing behind us. But after a little while and being spoken to by our group leader, she finally calmed down and seemed ok. I told her that I know what it was like to get that call from a family member, saying how a loved one just passed away. That happened with my maternal grandma back in 2004. Anyways, I hope she's okay.
So overall, Cinco de Mayo was relatively quiet. The cooler weather had something to do with it, although it was still a bit warm. But I don't complaint too much about events that go off smoothly.
|» a safe marathon|
When the tragic bombings went off at the Boston Marathon.... I confess: after the initial shock, the next thought that came to my mind was kinda selfish.|
This couldn't have happened at a worst time.
There's a reason for this exaggerated thinking: that following weekend was scheduled to be a marathon in San Francisco. Granted, it wasn't as big as Boston's. But SF is still a major city, and it was having its first marathon a few mere days after the Boston bombings.
Plus, other big cities -- including SF -- was tightening down on security. (I called both Tiff and Allison, and thankfully they were okay over there.)
So my mind was like, "Should I still volunteer with the Red Cross this weekend? How am I gonna tell my folks about this? They'll FREAK." My parents always worry about my safety, even though I'm capable of taking care of myself.
Then again, I signed up for the marathon as a Red Cross medic weeks prior to Boston happened. So I didn't want to back out.
Plus, my fellow medics would be there. I didn't want to back out of in supporting them either.
That wouldn't be fair.
However, the possibility of informing the parentals was circling in my head. Peili was the first one whom I voiced my thoughts/concerns with as that internal debate went on. I nevertheless decided to stick with the SF marathon.
I had to wake up early, as with most Red Cross events.... got up at 5am, drove to SF's Lake Merced. It brought back memories of Dragon Boating since that was our practice site. I saw other teams and kids practicing there; heard their chants from the lake... it all was really familiar to me.
The SF marathon itself took place around the lake, which was 4 miles. I went out with a fellow medic on bikes, just to make sure if someone needed help on the trail, we'd be there. There were some steep inclines. Normally, they wouldn't be too challenging, biking them up. However, since we had heavy medic packs (with an O2 tank) and SF is just crowded with pedestrians in general.... those inclines were tougher than normal.
At first, it all seemed pretty boring except for the expected blisters and sores. There was this one man (not a marathoner) who fell into a ditch; it looked like he fractured his wrist. He got patched up and was advised to go see the doc.
Then I saw this kid nearby on his knees, being supported by his buddies. One of them ran over to me: "We need help here!" So I quickly walked over, simultaneously radioing my Crew Chief to prep an O2 tank.
The Asian kid was 22, a Dragon Boater. They were doing some exercises when he collapsed. He felt light-headed, his skin was pale and sweaty. I immediately started asking him questions that we were trained to ask. Meanwhile, my fellow medics arrived, started taking the kid's vitals, and giving him O2. I kept talking to him with the intention of keeping him awake. Geez, was this what Oded goes through as an EMT on a regular basis?
And during this whole time, all his friends in Dragon Boating were nearby watching us. Then there was a quick flashback of that lady who also collapsed at the Gilroy Garlic festival last summer.
Don't faint. Whatever happens, please don't faint.
His vitals still weren't looking too good and he wasn't too responsive yet. I looked at one of the other medics who is older and more experienced than I am: "We need to call EMS." (Emergency Medical System, aka 911) He agreed. I radioed the Crew Chief back at the First Aid station.
Although that Dragon Boater started feeling better (thanks to the O2), the paramedics still took him to the hospital. Hey, better safe than sorry.
The Crew Chief gave us compliments on our performance and assessment. Seeing that he is a very experienced EMT and trained me in a Red Cross class himself, that was good to hear.
Of course, there are always things to learn from responding to medical emergencies. We always debrief, and mentally I was in that mode anyways:
1) We should've laid the kid in shock position... or I should've, since I was the first one there to respond and that should've been my call;
2) I should've put on my PPE (Personal Protection Equipment), aka gloves, right away instead of waiting;
3) When we finally did lay the kid down, we should've put him in the center of the trail where it would've been easier to work on him; his condition wasn't THAT bad to the point we couldn't move him;
4) We had a hard time getting his radial (wrist) pulse since it was weak; we should've then tried his carotid (neck) pulse.
5) The older EMT said that I shouldn't have to tell the Crew Chief to call EMS, that another medic should've done it. My job was to solely talk to the patient.
6) Another way to indicate how well he was breathing was to listen to his diaphragm.
But in the end, no bombs went off at the SF marathon. And just for that, I'm thankful.
|» SoCal trips|
In April, I flew down to LA. Vince, as usual, was a great host and letting me crash at his pad. We went out to eat, watched The Pacific, and just chilled in general. We also watched The Bourne Legacy along with his squeeze Sabrina. Hopefully, they enjoyed the film and found it worthwhile b/c it was a very very late Sat nite viewing haha. (Popping in a DVD after midnight is considered late, in my book). And throughout that weekend, I was reminded how late places open till in SoCal as opposed to up north.|
I also went out to dim sum with Damo, Sara, and Hollie. I haven't seen Hollie in like... 3 years? And for the soon-to-be-parents, they came up north sometime in 2012. But it was still great to see all of them again. The dim sum restaurant was crazy busy but Hollie was kind enough to look up her "connection" so that we wouldn't have to wait for a table. And thanks to Damo for getting the tab. :] I'm excited for their kid coming soon... as well as for Hollie since she'll be the aunt/Godmom, and she loves kids anyways.
A few weeks later, there was the annual family trip to Carlsbad. First, I met up with Peili and she was very kind enough to drive me around what seemed like almost all over SD. Then we went laser tagging and ate at Phil's BBQ with Darren to celebrate his bday. (Seriously, when you eat go on vacations, that waistline just balloons). We all know Ching-Yi (Peili's cuz); thus, I gave her a call so that the 3 of us could unexpectedly say hi to her. It was my first time talking to her since she tied the knot last fall. That was neat. She was probably really surprised, especially hearing from all of us at once.
Speaking of surprises.... the biggest and most unexpected pleasant surprise of the whole trip (and of 2013, in general) was running into an old friend. Peili and I were walking around some busy street fair, and out of the crowd I spotted a familiar face. And he me.
"Hoolyy shiit! Franklinnnn!"
We gave each other a big guy hug and started chatting, asking the other how he's been after all these years. (Peili + Franklin's gal pals must've been looking at each other, and were all like "Umm... huh? What's going on?")
Childhood memories with Franklin came flooding back: being at Hoover Elementary together; biking home after summer school... we would stop in front of his house just talking, while he kept biking around me in casual circles and me just being stationary; the EMR program we were both in back in high school. I hadn't seen that guy in several years... and that last previous time was very brief when he stopped by a NYE party I was throwing at my place. Otherwise, he and I hadn't really hung out or spoken since 2001.
When I flew back to NorCal, Debby was kind enough to pick me up. She knows Franklin too and I was like, "You have no idea whom I just ran into down south!"
Anyhow, that guy is doing well down there. It was 'effing awesome to see him out of the blue.
|» "Why haven't you gone for her?"|
It's hard to guesstimate the number of times I've been asked that over the years. Several people have brought it up, and I can bet $$ that even more of our friends have thought the same thing, albeit not voicing it. And probably for good reason.|
I've known her for a long time.
We hang out every so often.
Sometimes, we've done couple-y activities together (ie. horseback riding).
She's an attractive gal with an awesome personality.
And we feel naturally comfortable in each others presence.
Any guy who ends up sweeping her away will be one lucky fella.
She's laid back, but also adventurous.
She's down-to-earth and friendly.
She's a social butterfly (like a lot of girls I know).
She's been there for me whenever I've needed her (and I hope I've returned the favor many times, in her eyes).
She's one of my closest gal pals on God's green earth and I can talk to her just about almost anything without feeling shame or embarrassment.
All in all, she'd make the perfect girlfriend.
Except there's one thing wrong.
I just don't have feelings for her, in that way.
Perhaps I should(?), given what I've said about her above.
But unfortunately, you don't choose whom you fall for. The spark is either there or it isn't. Or maybe it takes time to light up; for others, it happens almost immediately. Or somewhere in between. And sometimes.... you fall for someone whom you shouldn't have fallen for in the first place. This happened to me before. I'm sure others can relate.
However, when it comes to HER and I.... there hasn't been any spark between us. Heck, we've known each other for so long that it's probably safe to say that it won't happen. We first met in 1995. It wasn't till the college years when we got to know each each other better. And over the past 12 years, we've grown closer.
I think really highly of her, and wouldn't know what to do if she weren't in my life. There are those you'd take a bullet for; she's one of them. But in terms of romantic involvement, I don't see "us" happening. Never say never, but that's just my gut feeling.
Still, this keeps coming up: "She's CUTE/really nice. WHY haven't you gone for her?"
My response is always the same: we're just good friends ("Suure, Derek"), and we don't have any feelings for each other. Or at least, I was 99% certain of that. But just to make sure, I finally -- and very recently -- asked her, straight up:
"Have you ever considered us getting together? Or do you just see us as good friends?"
Now, I'm 100% certain about how she feels for me. Or lack thereof.
And not surprising, she gets the initial aforementioned question a bit too. Although, not as much as I have.
It's just kind of interesting: here's this one-of-a-kind gal, a very desired bachelorette. I haven't made any moves on her. Instead, over the years I've seen/heard a few buddies of mine who wanted to hook up with her. My response always has been the same: "Give it your best shot."
And again, to the guy who finally wins her over, he'll hit gold.
As for me, I'm thankful that she's in my life.
I really need to catch up with my blogs.
A few weeks ago, I joined a group of friends for night about town, or so to speak, in downtown Mountain View. First, it was a dinner; then hitting up a club/bar lounge nearby. Normally, I don't go for the latter except for Halloween (just b/c it's fun to dress up and see other costumers). Or if it's someone's bday, but even then, it's not a scene I'd like to jump in. I suppose it all comes down to the company. Regardless, I've been to downtown Mtn View; it's relatively close by and isn't a ghetto area.
Most of us got dinner at a small Japanese restaurant (most Japanese eat-outs are small). Their tables were arranged in a way that you can't really eat as a group, but more like at connected counters. Then it was off to the lounge.
The lounge itself wasn't bad. It turned out that I've been there before way back in 2006 (an interesting experience back then, it was). The place's name was changed from Buddhist Lounge to Zen. When we went inside, I was thinking, "This looks familiar", and noticed the two small Buddha statues on the sides. Then a bartender confirmed that the lounge was one and the same; I felt kinda silly/embarrassed.
We were offered the "last" VIP table, but that was $200. So our group just declined, and took some seats as we got there early.
The night was your usual clubbing experience -- either sitting/standing around chatting, screaming just to be heard; or dancing as a group. The music wasn't bad, and you could actually dance to the beat. This one fella approached me and I think he said that he wanted to dance with one or two girls in our group. I wasn't really sure what he said in the midst of all that noise, so I just gave him an encouraging pat on the shoulder and said, "No problem!" He probably wanted my help but to be honest, I literally met both of those girls just that night at dinner. So it's not like I could've set anything up anyways. Sorry, bud.
Drinks were purchased and downed. Some had more alcohol than others. One couple went home early. The rest of us filtered out around 1am. I didn't drink much as I'm normally boring & sober that way, but also b/c I was driving some friends home that night. Thankfully, a legit excuse not to get wasted.
So overall, the night was fun. A good group of people. I hope whatever hangovers that were felt the next morning were small and quick.
|» NYE 2013|
This year, I went out on a USCG Aux safety patrol. It's been a few years. Last year was a really quiet NYE. Helped babysit the nephew and watched a movie with the poppa bear. Nothing wrong with any of that, but that was just way too quiet for me.|
So this year, the nephew was coming over again for babysitting. I couldn't have friends over like I used to. Thus, I asked around early about any NYE fireworks safety patrols. My fellow Auxiliarists at first said they didn't hear anything. Then PV said he was going out; then he wasn't b/c his boat is still damaged. Then DN said he was; then he wasn't b/c he was disembarking from Sausalito -- too far a drive for me.
But then DN came through and said he can pick me up from the SF waterfront. Sweet! I accepted.
I drove to SF early to beat any potential NYE traffic and to find parking. The latter took a while... 15 min or so? The public parking spaces were filling up fast, and were pricey: $30-$40!
So I went deeper into the City find cheaper parking, or even free street parking (which is generally hard to find in SF). I thought I saw this one spot, but it turned out to be a loading zone. Then, as luck would have it, I found a spot a few more blocks inland. My Prius fit perfectly. Thank God for my rear view cam, otherwise there'd be no hope of me parallel parking successfully. I got real lucky. Even if I had to walk several blocks back to the dock.
I was in my bright orange Mustang suit. I stood out like a sore thumb amongst the streets of SF but did not mind. I don't mind walking around in public in my uniform and/or gear. Some may look at you weird, but otherwise there's a subtle respect. I'll get back to that later.
I met DN and RG on their boat. Overall, the weather was good: waters were calm, no crazy wind chills, no rain, no clouds. Not as many party boaters as the last time I went out, but there were still about 25 boats out there.
The chill came down my spine when you hear people chanting and hooting from the waterfront as the clock ticked to midnight. And when the fireworks went off, you could still hear their excitement, including those on the boats. Awesome.
We were near the Bay Bridge, and you could also hear police cars (and see the blue/red lights reflecting off the bridge's ceiling) shouting at vehicles on the bridge to not stop, to keep the traffic going. I really wonder why the bridges aren't shut down during fireworks. Sure, it'd be a logistical nightmare. But when those driving on the bridges are distracted by the fireworks, accidents can easily happen.
The fireworks ended. By 1AM, my boat crew dropped me off at the dock. I walked back to my car. Saw a lot of traffic cops keeping order. I'm sure they knew whom I was with, and appreciated me out being out there. Even at the dock which is also where a restaurant/club was, a bouncer(?) there asked me, "How are you sir?" Again, the uniform gets respect. It felt nice.
In addition, as I was waiting to walk across a street, an Asian girl asked me if there was a public payphone nearby. I'm thinking, "Do those even EXIST anymore??" She didn't seem to be local. She had to call a friend to get in touch with them, I believe. So I let her use my cell, as long as her friend didn't have an int'l #. I saw some Japanese characters on her cell phone screen, so I asked her in Japanese, "Are you Japanese?" She said yes. Successfully called her friend. Hope things turned out ok for her that nite.
It was a bitch to get out of SF. Police cordoned off certain roads, so everything was a bottleneck despite my attempts to circumvent those. In addition, SF has all these narrow 1-way streets, which are bad enough when they're crowded. But then some SF police patrols were driving in the OPPOSITE direction and were telling everyone to get out of the way. Probably responding to some calls. Again, it's a good thing my Prius is so small, or it would've been harder for me to make room for po-po.
Once I got thru downtown, it seemed like I was in t he clear. But I should've known that SF wouldn't be that easy. Oh well. Made it out safely. Got home safely. That's all that matters.
Overall, it was a good NYE.