Sunday, September 30, 2007

In and Around Santa Barbara

Santa Claus lives in Santa Barbara!

We had a great time in Santa Barbara this weekend. We stayed at the Inn of the Spanish Garden, which I would highly recommend, and had a fantastic Italian dinner at Olio e Limone. We walked around town, shopped a little (I picked up a bottle of Pasolivo olive oil), and watched a bucketload of Entourage on DVD. We also visited Los Olivos, a little town in the Santa Ynez Valley (where Sideways was filmed), and had a yummy lunch at Los Olivos Cafe.

Mission Santa Barbara

The Presidio

The chapel in the Presidio

At the huge and wonderful Saturday Farmers' Market in downtown Santa Barbara

Hierloom tomatoes galore

Driving back to LA

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

He's My Husband, Not My Kid

Maybe it's an Asian culture thing, but my parents, without fail, always find a reason to say "poor Mr. Octopus" every time I talk to them on the phone. It's usually in the context of my telling them that I didn't cook him dinner, or that he's still at work, or that I went out with my girlfriend and didn't take him. As if I should have dinner waiting for him and take care of everything. I know I shouldn't let it get to me. They're of a different generation and all. But it really rubs me the wrong way. I feel like Asian women of my generation are doing double duty. We were expected to do well in school and get good jobs, only to get married and have our parents expect us to cater to our husbands.

Monday, September 24, 2007

How Do You Shop?

Pick up any fashion magazine and you'll find out what's new for Fall and what's in for Spring. But does anyone really shop seasonally, i.e., have a seasonal wardrobe that they rotate in their closet? Not me. My wardrobe is basically the same year round. Sure, I wear more skirts during the summer and dust off the coats in the winter, but other than that, I wear essentially the same crap all the time.

This is especially true when it comes to work clothes. My work uniform is basically black, gray and brown. Sometimes I'll throw in a little color with my top, but it's usually muted by my dark pants and sweater. Very boring, I know. But it's now time to update my work wardrobe because everything has become either ill fitting or worn thin. So for the first time I'm doing a real wardrobe makeover (for work). I want 3 or 4 pants, 5 shirts, a couple bags and a few pairs of shoes. Given that I want this stuff to hold me over for the next few years, what should be my budget?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

"You Look Like a Kid"

I hate it when people say this to me. Especially people at work. I introduced myself to a new woman at work the other day, I told her what my job was, and she said, "Wow, you look like a kid!" Then she saw the cool look on my face and immediately said, "Oh, it's a compliment!" And I said, "Whatever, bitch." Just kidding, I didn't say that.

I suppose telling someone "You look so young" is slightly better, but even that is annoying, especially at work. I mean, I don't mind getting carded when I buy drinks (in fact, part of me kinda likes it), but at work I think those kinds of comments are inappropriate. This is a sore spot for me because I've always looked young and felt like people didn't take me as seriously.

I started taking Spanish a few weeks ago and my teacher looks pretty young. I thought she was in her mid 20s. During our first class she was explaining the difference between senora and senorita. We asked what should be the default when you don't know if a woman is married or single. We assumed senorita because that might be flattering. She said no, not necessarily. She always prefers people to address her as senora (even strangers) because she's in her 30s and married. She also wants people to call her ma'am, not miss. I don't feel strongly about being called me ma'am, miss or mrs., but I guess everyone is different.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Only in LA

Bonnie and Clyde

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, AFI will be screening 11 classic movies simultaneously at the Arclight on October 3, each movie to be introduced by its star or director. There'll be Jack Nicholson for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Julie Andrews for The Sound of Music, Clint Eastwood for Unforgiven, George Lucas for Star Wars, Warren Beatty for Bonnie and Clyde, and Sylvester Stallone for Rocky, among others.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

South Pasadena Car Show

We took a walk through a classic car show after brunch at Firefly Bistro today. I really like looking at old cars and can kinda understand why people like to collect them.

A Porsche. Probably my favorite car there.

Ford Woodie

Jaguar, from the front and back.

Ford Cobra


Thursday, September 13, 2007


It came as news to me today that UCI is setting up a law school, the first public law school in California in 40 years. The David Bren School of Law at UCI is scheduled to open its doors in Fall 2009.

But that's not why I heard about it today. UCI is in the news because its Chancellor abruptly fired the law school's Dean, Prof. Erwin Chemerinsky, because he decided Chemerinsky is too liberal. (Lawyers may remember Chemerinsky from Bar/Bri classes-- he was the constitutional law guy who lectured for hours without any notes).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"One Day We're All Going to Be Old"

This is what someone in my office just said. He said it in response to a question about what motivated him to spend so much time taking care of a sick aunt.

Sometimes I forget that old people were once young. That they once went to school, went on dates, drove cars, drank beer out of the bottle. I feel bad for the old, homebound people whose relatives don't visit them.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Adjusting to Another Year, Another Birthday

It was my birthday last week. It was a pretty quiet one. Mr. Octopus took me to a nice dinner. I didn't have a to-do with friends. I think that may be happening this week.

It seemed like I had my last birthday about 8 months ago. I'm not one to make a big fuss about age-- I know that I'm still "young"-- but this birthday is a little harder than the last. Not because I ticked up one more year, but because I really feel like I'm hammering in the same spot with my life.

A friend of mine who is around my age recently said that we are in the prime of our lives. Somehow it doesn't feel that way. I've been out of school for a while and working steadily for several years. Life is stable, I have no real problems, I have a lot of be thankful for. But still I feel uneasy, like my life is purposeless and insignificant. I know the next step in life is having kids, but taking that out of the equation, what is supposed to be my focus? I'm not going to throw myself into my job, so what else is there? New hobbies? Home improvement projects? Exercising? Planning trips? Learning languages? Everything seems so unimportant.

For so long there was always a goal. Studying, finishing school, getting a job. Where am I supposed to channel my energy now? Is this why people train for triathalons?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Fleeing Hurricane Henriette

Casa Natalia's Beach Club

We spent the Labor Day weekend in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico-- the less touristy of the two Cabos (Cabo San Lucas being the other one). It was our first time to Cabo and we stayed at Casa Natalia, a great boutique hotel in town. The town itself is small, sleepy and dusty. It was super hot while we were there, over 100 degrees each day. We had a good time, but were really happy to head back home before Hurricane Henriette made landfall.

Our room.

The church in town.

Locals filling up before the hurricane. The line actually extended back much farther (there were dozens of cars in line).

Returning to LA. Flying over Baja.