Monthly Archives: October 2010

MTV Real World

MTV Real World

Back in the day, I was OBSESSED with MTV Real World. Yup, in my younger years, when I was all Republican and elitist and shit, I had the hots for Aaron from MTV Real World L.A. He was my man: brainy, clean cut, athletic, conservative… Mr. Perfect. Honestly, I didn’t watch the show just because of Aaron. I’ve just always had a fascination with people living together, getting along (or not), and forming friendships/relationships.

So fast forward 20+ years, and John and I have taken on a new housemate: yup, we’re doing our very own version (albeit a tame and boring one) of Real World. Basically, my friend Jen moved out of her boyfriend’s house. They had gone through two very tumultuous years together, and things finally escalated to a point where she simply could not stay there. So now she and her pup are staying with us until she can find a new place to live.

Yeah, John can’t hang around the house in his underwear anymore, but frankly, the arrangement is working out fine: Jen’s a very clean and helpful housemate, and while Bubs is busy with work deadlines, I am living it up with a new activity buddy. Hee, hee. Last weekend, we went biking, did some hot yoga, went shopping. And this weekend, I hope to squeeze in some karaoke. On the practical side, it sure is nice to have someone going home at lunch to let the dogs out. I think I could get used to this. Then again, I have had a lot of practice living with people (grandparents, roommates, my brother, John…), so my tolerance is pretty high. 🙂



John and I are finally reaching equilibrium. Hurray for normalcy! Activities are once again populating my Google calendar, I’m sleeping better, and after a couple of really gorgeous, sunny days, I’m feeling like life is good again. Of course, it probably helped that my buddy Pamela came up for a quickie weekend visit. The last time I’d seen her was way back in 2008, so it was nice to catch up and hang out. She was only in town for two days, but man, we maximized our time together. I took her hiking at Villa Montalvo, we shopped (unfortunately, I came up empty-handed… again!), got pedicures, caught a movie, wined, dined, and then last night, we partied like it was going out of style. Seriously. We did karaoke with John and Dave for 3.5 hours!!! So much fun. Unfortunately, my weeks of home training with Peter Cetera’s Glory of Love proved useless; thankfully though, I did all right with Lionel Richie’s Hello. And my rendition of LL Cool J and Boyz II Men’s “Hey Lover” was pretty hilarious, especially the line about “toning ya down with uh, vanilla ice cream.” Yeah, pretty raunchy, especially for a little puritan like me. Honestly, I think karaoke is gonna replace my Game Nights. Add it to the list, right?

I know, I have some big ticket items on the list right now: home karaoke system and used hot tub. Gonna have to start plotting what to sell next to earn some extra spending dough. 🙂 John thinks I should refurbish yard sale/old/used/free furniture and then re-sell. Sounds like too much damn work. I’ve never been much of an artsy DIYer. Plus, I’d much rather rent out my spare room through AirBnb, which also happens to be a service I’m dying to try. But John’s not keen on having strangers in the house. Bummer.

Anyway, we belted songs out for hours, and afterwards, I was totally hyper, so then the partying continued at home with board games and trashy tv. You see, John’s recently developed an affinity for nasty shit on tv. I’ll find him watching Jersey Shore and International Girls and anti-feminist crap like that. Ever since he had a guys’ night out (with MY guy friends!), I tell you… Long story short, we were all up past 2:30 in the morning!!! And then I had to take Pamela to the airport at 8 a.m. Yeah, I’m kinda bragging about it. You would too if you were never up that late for something fun. 🙂 Usually, I’m up in the middle of the night from neuroses or insomnia or web surfing bullshit, so this was kinda a milestone of sorts.

And then today turned out to be a pretty chill day. After the airport, I farted around, then went back to sleep from 10-2 p.m. Yeah, my schedule got all screwed up, but when I woke up this afternoon, I felt really refreshed. We hit the grocery store, John made an awesome steak dinner, I cleaned the house, bathed the dogs, and then at 10p, I sat down to catch up on some work. Yup, I work for the government, but we’re not all slackers you know… Tomorrow I’m off for my flex schedule. I had actually contemplated going into work just because what else was I gonna do… but after karaoke, I decided I would clock in some practice hours when the KTV place is dead and charges only $1/person/hr. Haha, my latest addiction grows. I think I’d like to do a rap song of sorts, maybe TLC or something.

Like John says, I’m aging backwards. Not only that, I’m at least a decade behind on all fads. Karaoke was huge like 10-15 years ago. Did I ever try it then? Nope. Even when John and I were living NEXT DOOR to a KTV joint in Shanghai, we NEVER tried it. I dunno what our problem was– too self-conscious maybe, too uptight. But now? I’m into it like we’re in the heyday of KTV. Oh well, at least there are places to go for it still.

Btw, the other day, an idea finally came to me for my tattoo: Chinese papercuts, like the cute animal/zodiac ones I purchased when I was in Shanghai. I especially love the water ox and the piggie. Anyway, note to self for that tattoo I’ll maybe get before I turn 40.

My Father the Handyman

My Father the Handyman

My parents were in town this past week… they just flew out this morning. Overall, they really are pretty low-key parents: they don’t have a lot of demands and they’re pretty flexible, but I still always get a little stressed trying to plan their visits. They say they’re fine just sitting at home, but both of them are such busy bees at heart. My dad especially. He cannot sit still, and I, of all people, can relate. So weeks in advance, I planned out an entire list of things to do. Turns out though, they’re so damn productive in the mornings that by afternoon, they’re sort of homebodies.

One of the biggest surprises? Dad is so damn handy around the house– I really had no idea. Of course, he took every opportunity to remind my mother and me that he has done all these things before, either with his past homes or with his current rental properties. “I’m a carpenter and a plumber and a gardener and a…” Yup, basically, he’s a superstar. Ah well, it was kinda entertaining how he bragged about it. And clearly, he was happy to be useful. The items he accomplished? He touch painted a bunch of places, fixed the leaking toilet, hung all my paintings, built additional shelving in the washer/dryer area, scrubbed the patio/sidewalks, cleared all the yard debris, mowed the lawn, pruned the trees, weatherized the front door, and caulked the guest tub. Seriously, I came home for lunch one day and the yard was so damn clean, it was practically unrecognizable. It was frickin’ awesome having my own little home clean-up team, I’m telling you. I could ALMOST get used to living with them. Haha.

And John was very relieved, because all those tasks had been on his list for MONTHS… now I’ll just have to draft a list of new items to keep him busy. Step it up, honey.

In terms of “fun” activities with the parents: we hit a lot of gardens in the area. Hakone Estate and Gardens is quite nice in Saratoga. Sunset Magazine’s garden and Gamble Gardens in Menlo Park/Palo Alto were simpler and less impressive, but still a great reason to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Best stop of all? Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga– so beautiful. I could not help envisioning an awesome wedding there. I know, it’s so unlike me. Ah well, regardless, I can’t wait to go back and hike to the vista point.

Of course, we also did our fair share of Chinese grocery shopping. Seriously, we must have hit 5 different Asian markets multiple times in one week. Had to get the supply of ingredients and fresh seafood SOMEwhere, right? Unfortunately, bowling, the movies, and karaoke didn’t make the list. By the time I thought we could hit those places, my parents just wanted to go home and chill. Oh well. My buddy Pamela is coming to town this weekend, so in addition to clocking in some massive shopping, I think we’ll also hit karaoke. 🙂 I gotta demonstrate my newly acquired skillz with “Glory of Love.”

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how the parental visit went down. I still think my parents spend WAY too much time together, but at least now I can actually get along with them. No more drama from my 20s. And they didn’t even mention the baby thing. Thank goodness. I guess they finally read the memo. Plus, there was so much learning exchange going on… dad was showing me how to fix the leaking toilet, how to recaulk the tub, and… he even showed me how to tie a badass necktie, which I think I’m going to throw into my wardrobe at some point!! He also recently acquired an iPhone4, so John and I got him all up to speed on some key apps and such. Pretty cool to see him still moving the brain. We had a good time.

Now John and I are recovering. My Craigslist futon isn’t nearly as comfy as our bed, so tonight, it’s back to the full-on luxury. But before that, we’re hitting the movies. I’m very excited to see “The Social Network.” Yeah sure, I’m kinda over Facebook but who can pass on a movie about friendship and betrayal. Plus, it scored like 97% on Rotten Tomatoes!