Beautiful Days.

I like spring. It's a time for ausipicious beginnings and fresh starts and airing out the old so it seems brand spanking new. What have I done in honor of the season's arrival?

I made my room look different. Well, my half of the room. I got an urge to make it look, you know, inhabited. New color scheme, new shelving, new sheets. It feels good to be in there. Maybe I'll actually spend a night or two in my own bed. You know, instead of the couch.

I talk to my mom more. I call her maybe once a week, and when she calls me, I actually pick up! This is a vast improvement over our previous record of never calling/maybe returning the phone call if she threatens me via voice message.

I go to farmer's markets. I'm sad, because the farmer's market in Westwood may actually lose their street closure permit. That means no more fresh veggies for Chess on Thursdays! I guess I'll have to visit the Sunday farmer's markets more often instead. I really like the one in West LA, behind the Santa Monica library. They had a petting zoo the first time I went! Also, this nice man named Joe gave me free incense with purchase of incense holder and taught me a cool handshake.

I try new things. I played my first video game to completion. I made scones. I nailed stuff to my walls (and it only took me two hours to do two shelves!). In honor of spring, I will continue to try new things. I will meet new people. I will see new sights. I will read new books. I will get new hairstyles. I will have new, different, novel experiences because I am young and unfettered and free.

Well, I'm free until Chess gets hungry. Then I have to get home and feed her. She's a growing gal!



Scaffolding creeps up the buildings walls and green tarps ooze around its edges. It's a little bit of an urban jungle, more dangerous and without the risk of malaria. Ever since the Barnes and Noble on Pico and Westwood got the boot, I've recovered from many a socially awkward moment with rampant speculation about its usurper. Mayhap a grocery store? A dance club? Dare we dream, a Target? Rumors can be put to rest. A giant banner covers its north face, smothering the wild mess with sleek catchy slogans and brand name identification. Yes friends, the great hulking beast to replace the chain bookstore Barnes and Noble will be...

A chain movie theatre.

You know, we need another movie theatre in the Westwood/West LA/Santa Monica area. Especially another Mann theatre. Because Westside Pavilion doesn't already have a movie theatre five hundred yards away (which will probably put out better movies than whatever Mann will regurgitate). And the busy Westwood/Pico intersection will give Mann theatres the exposure they desperately needed to grow as a fledgling business.

Sometimes, civility is over-rated.


What happens in Vegas.

The last time I was in Las Vegas, I was underaged and unable to do, well, pretty much everything (geez, you need to be twenty one just to stand next to the casino floor?!). There were some pretty depressing moments on that trip that left a bitter taste in my mouth. I swore to myself that I was going to go back and gamble, drink, see strippers, hire escorts, watch racy shows. I wanted to party like I was going to prison for being too prudish.

Well, I went back this weekend. And, let me tell you, whew. What a weekend. Yeah. Wow. ...Yeah, except for a drink while waiting for a dinner table, I didn't do any of the above. Not even a nickel at the slots. I think the previous trip was so disappointing because I was bothered that I couldn't do certain things, even if I wanted to. I think if I took this trip immediately after I turned twenty one, I would have made good on a lot of those personal promises. I think I've had time to realize that it's OK to do things that I enjoy, as opposed to doing things that are expected of me. So, instead of gambling or partying, I took in the sights and caught a show with a good friend. I window shopped. I read and ate at great restaurants and saw the Las Vegas Winterguard regionals. I felt good the entire weekend. Maybe the next time I go back, I'll be able to fulfill some of those personal promises I made two years ago. Until then, I take comfort in knowing that even if I didn't, I would be OK with it.

And really, it's not as if I didn't do anything Vegas while in Vegas. I definitely took advantage of some excellent buffets. One had a chocolate waterfall! Now that's sinful.


My other half.

Yes, yes, I have a sister named Kim. Yes, yes, it was confusing growing up. No, no, we never tried the old "take the other person's place to help them out of a bind only to end up in an even more difficult position through a series of wacky high jinks." We're not identical, dummy.

I was always pissed at her because I had to work my ass off when it came to wheedling our parents into letting us do something untraditional. I argued my way into attending Science Camp in fifth grade, joining the dance arts program in middle school, and moving more than an hour away from home to attend college. I was the rebel. I had an "if you don't let me do this, I'm going to do it anyway" attitude. My sibs just had to utter the words "But you let To Chay do it. Why can't I?" and my parents crumbled like a stale cookie.

My sister was always pissed at me because she constantly took the fall whenever I misbehaved. She was the one who listened to my parents' wails over my disobedience when I went to a sleepover after they explicitly said no (and didn't tell them I was going anyway). She stayed home to babysit when I had a late night "study session" with a "friend." She was the person who chose family over cross country. She was a martyr. I didn't have to do anything to appease my parents, because my sister had enough duty in her for two good daughters. I used to think that this made her weak.

She just had a hip hop performance that I couldn't attend because of LCC tech rehearsal. However, she was gracious enough to send me some fab photos from the event.
As I was flipping through the photos, I realized that my sister is strong. She didn't have a "fuck you" attitude like me. Instead of making waves, she quietly became this other person while attending UCSB, this hip-hop dancing, leggings loving, creative spirit who bided her time and is living life with as much gusto as I am. This isn't weakness. This is strength in its stealthiest form.

Also, she somehow got really cute since moving out to Santa Barbara. wtf?



Hufu Update
It looks as though Hufu might not be legit. I paid for the human meat substitute via Paypal, but the money was returned to my account. Could this be a service error? Or were Mike and Dave actually right, and this was all a hoax? I'm going to try one last time before I concede to their cynicism.

Some nights I like to sleep on my couch. It's warmer in the living room, and quieter (I don't hear the tenants walking across our echoing courtyard at two in the morning from the couch). The best part of sleeping outside is waking up early and hearing my hamster get ready for bed. She sits and gathers her bedding of Tissues and shredded woodchips around her in this perfect circle of a mound. She gathers and pats and shreds until the pile of soft bedding is up to her ears (my hamster is puppy-sized, so this takes awhile). When she settles in for sleep, I can see her nodding off content, a job well done. Sometimes I wish life could be more hamster-like: they are happy eating, drinking, and it's ok if the most strenuous part of the day is going to sleep.