Mar 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

(Don't know why i still call it 'Wordless' Wednesday, since i can never just post a picture without saying anything about it..)  The nephew was being difficult one night, refusing to go to sleep unless he was being held.  My sister was exhausted so i offered to take him and strapped him in to his Baby Bjorn.  Slept like that for about 5 hours. My sisters and i joke and say he'll only sleep on Lady Beds, lol.

Mar 29, 2011

Balloon-Face and Babies

While i have been longing for my Seattle home and family, i have been enjoying my lazy, school- and work-free days, and the warmth and sunshine here with my family.  Except for this whole swollen balloon-face thing i've got going on here, but i'll get to that.

Sooo, Tuesday.  Got in that night and my mum picked me up from the airport.  Got home and said hi to my sisters, and to my new baby nephew for the first time!  Wednesday, while my mom was at work, me and my sisters went to my older sister's friend's house to visit, so she could see baby Q for the first time too.  She also gave my sisters pedicures, they both got awesome sparkley toenails, while i opted out since i never wear sandals anyway..  Also got my Sonic fix before we went there.. yummmm, cream slushes!  Little sister had to go to work afterward, but when mum got off work the 3 of us plus baby went to the salad bar/buffet where she works and had dinner there.  
Thursday.. i don't really remember! It must've not been very exciting.
But Friday.. Friday was definitely no fun.  Got up early to take my mom to work again so we'd have the car at home to use if we needed it.  Got home and showered, but put my PJ's back on afterward, as my little sister was taking me to the oral surgeon's to get my wisdom teeth out.  What fun!  I'm no stranger to the oral surgeon though- i've had soooo much work done on my mouth and so many teeth pulled/surgically removed.. honestly i'm sure i've lost less than 5 teeth naturally on my own.
Anyway, after not having been to the dentist for the past 5 years (due to no insurance, and a bit of resentment toward the practice, considering!) I went to get all 4 of my wisdom teeth out.  Sister dropped me off, i filled out some papers and the surgeon took me back to look at the x-ray and discuss the whole procedure.  My teeth were pretty deep, at quite an angle, and pretty impacted.  Told me they were going to be pretty difficult to get out, would take about an hour, and i'd be pretty swollen and sore for a few days.  Yay.  But what can you do?  Went to the operating room, they gave me some laughing gas before giving me the IV to knock me out.  Last thing i remember is telling the surgeon and his assistant about the time i had to have an IV in my hand for a week and give myself drips 3 times a day, lol.
Next thing i knew i was waking up in the recovery room.  I got my phone to text my sister to make sure she was on her way to get me, and i guess i also made a post on Facebook too, though i don't remember doing it!  "in the recovery room... is this real life? i feel funny." (For those who don't know, David After Dentist).
Anyway, the surgeon had said i'd swell up, and swell up i did!  It looks like each cheek gained about 20 lbs.  It's gone down a bit now, but still looking a bit balloon-like.  Got me some nice drugs (actually, not so nice.. even with food they made me feel a bit nauseous) and passed out in my bed at home.  Whole first day i felt like i'd been in some drunken brawl- was all woozy from the drugs and felt like i'd been punched in the mouth, and that numbing stuff made me feel like i had a fat lip. 
Second day i felt like i had lock-jaw.  Also felt like an old person, since all i'd been able to eat since the procedure was soft mushy things.  Kept an ice pack on my face the whole 2 days too.  
Slowly regaining the use of my jaw now though, and can eat things that are a little more solid.  Can still only open it so far, and my cheeks are still fat enough that i have to be careful when eating, so as not to crunch down on them.

Now, enough about my woes!  I managed to go to my neice's 1st birthday party the day after the surgery, so i'll share pictures from that, as well as other random ones from the past few days:

My nephew and neice (middle and right) and their cousin (left). They've gotten so big!

Baby neice, enjoying her first birthday cake.

My mum with baby Q, at the birthday party

The kids came over the next day. This is them being silly with the oranges they got to pick from our neighbor's tree

Q in his stroller. My older sister L and i took him to the park for the first time :) But he slept through most of it

L and Q, in the backyard

Now, the dogs. Here's Kobie, "boo-ing". She's a big furry beast.

Darby, the monkey-face.

And Arctic, my sweet old girl :)

Mar 26, 2011


Leaving Seattle was definitely a very, very difficult thing to do. Seattle had become my home, even more so than Phoenix where i was born and spent the first 20 years of my life. I grew and accomplished so much there, and met so many amazing people, and even had my own little family there too (S, J, and i.. the Inseparable Trio).

I finished my last day of school on Tuesday the 15th, and am now officially graduated with my BA in Japanese Language and Linguistics. The day was rather bittersweet, as i left the classroom for the last time and walked through campus, no longer a student. The sakura in the Quad were just starting to bud, and i found that rather symbolic..

We did as many get-togethers and fun things as we could this month before we left. Got a group together for karaoke one night and sang out little hearts out to Will Smith, Spice Girl, etc.. all sorts of fun songs.

Had a little going away party one night, met up again another night with some others for dinner then drinking back at our place:

(Everyone on "My Bed" in my room)

The guy on the top right was a friend of a friend.. we'd met him once before, but that was the first night we'd actually really hung out with him. Turned out to be a really awesome guy, just sucks we didn't meet him until right before we were leaving!

Last Saturday i had a fun little nomikai (drinking get-together) with my coworkers, sans my awesome assistant manager.. he sadly couldn't make it.. We all met up at a little dive bar near work and had some drinks, chatted, and played darts. Our manager then invited us to go hang out for a bit on the roof of her apartment, it was awesome. The roof has chairs, tables, and benches set up and it's really nice and has an amazing view of Puget Sound and downtown. They all signed a huge card for me too and gave me some gifts. I'll really miss working with those guys!

The big card everyone signed for me

Sunday, the day after the coworker drinking party, i had my second interview with Amity. The info meeting and group interviews were on Saturday, and those they felt did well were called back for a second interview. Felt really good about the one on Saturday, but not so much about the one on Sunday. We'll see though. They have about a month to get back to me..
After the interview i went and took a little walk through campus. It was nice and sunny and i wanted to get some pictures of the budding cherry blossoms since i wouldn't get to see them in full bloom.

S, J, and i all just hung out Sunday night. Friend C was there too, she had pretty much spent the whole weekend with us before we left. I tried to finish sorting and packing that night too. We all got up early Monday morning to go to breakfast before J had to work. Went to the really nice local/organic cafe just down the street from us, I got some really amazing French toast that came with the toppings bar- just bowls of fruit and berries, whipped cream, maple syrup, and other delicious toppings.

As amazing as it looks

Yeah, it was a little too early for us

S doing her typical creepy face

Said my goodbyes to J and he headed off to work. I scrambled to finish packing. My dad arrived around noon with some large suitcases for me to put my clothes in. I finished the last few boxes, he loaded them up into the car, then i said my tearful goodbyes to S and C. Got into the car, my dad drove off, and i left my city for good.
Just like that.
Who knows, i may be back, but it will just never be the same.

Stopped by my aunt's house on the way to my dad's. I was so tired i pretty much slept the entire 4-hour car ride. Stayed the night at my dad's, and had lunch together the next day before he and his wife took me and all of my luggage to the airport in Portland that evening.
Been in Phoenix since Tuesday night, and while i've definitely been having a good time visiting my mum, my sisters, and my new baby nephew, i still feel really displaced. I miss my little Seattle family and my life there, and it makes me sad to think that i'm not going back..
I would write about the fun going-ons from the past couple days here, but i'll save that for another post. Just had my wisdom teeth out (oooh, joy!) and just took another Percocet which is starting to make me nauseous and drowsy again. Time to pass out now!

Mar 14, 2011


Nihon no tameni inori o.
We pray for Japan.

I would've rather not have the first post of this blog be a solemn one, but it just wouldn't seem right to not say my part about the situation..

I guess it all really started last Thursday (US time).. i was excited about getting an email from Amity, inviting me to the group interview next Saturday.  Then i sat down to start studying for my Japanese final the next day, but ended up falling asleep.
I awoke a couple hours later only to find news of the earthquake and footage of the tsunami swallowing the northeastern coast of Japan.  I panicked.  I had no idea of the extent or range of damage or where exactly the tsunami had hit.. I knew the earthquake had rocked Tokyo though, as a few of my friends had posted on Facebook about it, and even friends in Kansai had posted about feeling it.  If people that far south had been able to feel it, it had to have been huge.
And it worried me sick.  I spent the next few hours glued to my computer screen, checking every news site that was streaming live video, and frantically trying to get in contact with all of my friends in Tokyo who hadn't posted anything on Facebook yet..
All of my wonderful, amazing friends.  I felt so helpless as i sat in my quiet little room, watching all the destruction as it unfolded thousands of miles away.  I wanted so bad to be there with them all, make sure the were okay.. it seemed unfair to me that they had to go through that turmoil while i got to sit in the quiet comfort of home.  Needless to say i didn't get any studying done that night.  I chatted with a few classmates after the test on Friday who also had been too worried or distraught to study, so i felt better that i wasn't the only one who knew they did poorly..

My trip to Japan is only about a month away.  People keep saying, "Oh I hope things are better by the time you get there!" 
All i can tell them is, "Well, if i could i would go right now."
I really would.  In the short couple times i've spent in Japan, it feels like a second home to me.  Despite language and cultural barriers, i feel completely comfortable there.  I have wonderful memories of that place, and even more wonderful friends there that i can't imagine living without.
I know that when i'm there i'll long for home- the US.. I am American after all, nothing can change that. I wouldn't want to change that either, it's who i am.  But while i'm here i'm always longing for my 'other home'.  My heart belongs in two places, and it's torn apart even more now as i sit here so far away, glued to the news from the time i wake up to the time i go to sleep, hoping that nothing else catastrophic happens to my second home, hoping that all of my friends remain safe..

A lot of these Twitter posts have been going around, but I'm still going to share them here.  A friend posted a bunch on Facebook, and they nearly moved me to tears..
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