Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Grandparents are Moved In!

Thanks to the power of Barbara Chow unpacking boxes at super human speed, we managed to get my Grandparents all moved into their new place today! (I really don't know how she does it!)

The movers came around 9:15am, and had finished unloading by 1:00. My Mom stayed with them, figuring out where everything should go, while I kept my Grandparents occupied by taking them the town, running errands, and showing them where different stores/banks/etc are.

We left them at 6:30 tonight with a fully unpacked apartment, except for about 5 stray boxes of misc items that they can put away at their leisure.

We're all pretty tired, but happy to have most of this big move done.

We'll all sleep well tonight :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Claude Kitty

As I write this, I am again laying in bed in my old room at my parent's house.

I'm very happy to because my kitty Claude has decided to spend some good quality time with me. He's sleeping at the foot of my bed, making me feel very much at home.

What a nice Host-Kitty!

Grandparents on the move...

Today, we began day 1 of moving my Maternal Grandparents from their duplex in Stockton to the Bay Area. My Mom is their only child, and they've talked for years of the idea of moving to the Bay Area to be closer to all of us. My Mom has done an amazing amount of work this year to make it happen, and they signed their lease for their new apartment earlier this month!

My Grandparents have lived in one half of a duplex for the past 35 years. It is the only home that I can remember them living in. When they first bought the duplex in 1971, they rented out the other side to my parents, and we lived for the first couple of years of my life.

So far, the move has gone quite smoothly, due mostly to the amount of work and organization that my parent's have done so far. The movers came this morning, and packed all of the things that they'll be bringing with them to the new apartment. They are moving from a 2-bedroom/1 bath duplex with a full two-car garage to a 1 bedroom/1 bath apartment with no garage. There is a reasonable amount of stuff that had to be left behind, that we'll be digging through over the next few weeks/months.

We'll be meeting the movers at the new apartment tomorrow morning, and will be unpacking and organizing all day.

I really hope that the move proves to be a good thing for my Grandparents. As much as they wanted to move to the Bay Area, I also realize how difficult emotionally this must be for them. They lived in their duplex for 35 years, and have lived in Stockton for almost 60. The apartment complex that they're moving to is really a fantastic place. It's a city-subsidized senior apartment complex. The rent is amazing (for Bay Area standards) the apartments are nice, and well taken care of, and from what we've seen so far, the residents are very friendly. They also offer many activities - Bingo, Line Dancing, Cooking Classes, Ballroom Dancing, Mah-Jong, etc., (Hey - with all of those fun activities, I may want to move there!) They also offer a free shuttle service to and from the Senior Community Center and the Mall.

Here's hoping that tomorrow will go as smoothly as today did....

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A roomful of memories...

At this moment, I'm typing this blog entry on my laptop while lying in my old bed in my bedroom at my parent's house. My Mom and I are moving her parents from Stockton to the Bay Area tomorrow (more on that later) and we need to meet the movers in Stockton pretty early. We figured it would be easiest for me to drive to my parent's house tonight and spend the night here so we can leave early tomorrow without me having to fight the traffic from San Francisco.

I have to admit, it's a bit surreal to be sleeping in this room tonight. I think it's been several years since I've had a reason to do so. I'm laying in my twin sized bed, with the twin-sized zoo-animal print sheets that I grew up with. It certainly brings back a lot of memories! My childhood stuffies are all surrounding me - literally. Most of my Raggedy Ann collection still lives in this room. On my bed the wall is lined with my stuffed cockatoo puppet, Hermie, Mr. Ewok, his pal Papaloo, a Velveteen Rabbit, and a couple of marmots.

Time has pretty much stood still in this room since I moved out many, many years ago. It's certainly comforting, yet surreal all at the same time. The only things that seem to have changed are that I'm older, and I have a computer in bed with me. (something I would have loved when I was a kid!)

Every once in a while, Claude kitty comes walking in. Claude used to be my cat, but came to live with my parents after I moved in with Dick years ago. We never had cats when I was growing up, because my sister is allergic to them. Because I'm having such a blast-from-the-past experience, it's kind of funny having a cat walk in and out of this room :)

I wonder what kind of dreams I'll have tonight?

Good night!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Thanksgiving to Remember

We just returned from having Thanksgiving Dinner at Uncle Bill's house.

It was a smaller crowd than usual (since all of my cousins are away), but we still had 13 people - my Grandma and Grandpa, my parents, Aunties, Uncles, Dick, Dick's Father, Christopher and me.

There were still too many people to fit at one table, so we split into two. Traditionally, the "secondary" table would be called "The Kids Table" where I would usually sit with my cousins. This year, however, Grandma and Grandpa insisted that they wanted to sit at the second table with Dick, Christopher, Uncle Wes and me.

Dick told Grandma, "But Grandma, this is the Kid's Table".

to which Grandma replied, "So, I can be a kid, too!"

(I love my Grandma)

We had the BEST time at our table tonight. Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Wes and I told stories about our past trips to China. We're all hoping to go together again in 2008. Grandma and Grandpa told Dick and Christopher about the villages where they grew up, and how they had changed over the years. They told us about their arranged marriage back in 1947. Grandpa was 25, and Grandma was only 15! Dick and I shared stories of our recent trip to Shanghai, and even told them about when I was mistaken as a Chinese Hooker! As I started to tell the story, I could see the look on Dick & Christopher faces: "I can't believe she's going to tell the Chinese Hooker story to her Grandparents!" Sure enough, I did. I figured, we were all having a good time, and laughing.... why not tell them this story! Well, they thought it was hysterical as well! I can't remember laughing so much with my Grandparents!

Later, after dinner, Grandpa enthralled us with stories of his time in World War II. In my lifetime, I can only remember him talking about the war one other time. I had managed to capture just a small bit of it when I did my Family Tree project years ago, but tonight, I heard stories I'd never heard him tell before.

Imagine this: You're a young Chinese man, who just came to the US at the age of 15, having left his small farming village in Southern China. Then, you're drafted to serve in the US Army. He told us a story of how his Commander reminded him to stick close to him during battle so that no one in his own squad would accidentally shoot him, thinking that he was the enemy. (remember, this is World War II, and my Grandpa is Chinese) Fascinating stories. He told so many.

I have so much to be thankful for in my life. This Thanksgiving, I'm especially thankful that I was able to sit down to a Thanksgiving meal with my Grandparents and listen to them share the stories of their extraordinary lives.

Happy Thanksgiving.

PS: Did anyone else see my friend Mykail dancing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The day I ate lunch with Dick at his work's cafeteria

It was a momentous occasion!

After 8 years of dating/being married to Dick, I have finally had lunch with him at work!

You may being thinking, "So, what's so special about that?"

Well...I have a running joke going with Dick and several of his work buddies. All the people that I know who work with Dick have, at one-time-or-another had their significant others over to join them in the campus cafeteria. Whenever I mention that I've never been, they're all always quite amazed, and always ask Dick "Why Not?".

Dick's answer to this is a simple, "Why?".

I've certainly had the opportunity to join him for lunch, but when I'm that far down along the peninsula, I usually already have plans to have lunch with my Mom or other friends. I have asked Dick a couple of times if I could meet him for lunch, but he's usually busy with meetings, and doesn't really understand why I'd want to have lunch with him in the cafeteria with him anyway.

So, the joke I have with our mutual friends who also work there is that I will plan to have a lunch date with them, not with Dick.

Dick was planning on working from home today, but realized late in the morning, that he really needed to get into the office for a few hours. He'll be switching offices late next week, and realized that he wouldn't have a chance to pack/organize for the move beforehand. I offered to go with him today to help out, and to also be an additional warm body in case he got caught in commute traffic driving home, and needed to use the commuter lane.

Anyway, we got to the campus right before noon, and Dick decided we should eat before we got too involved in packing. That's when it occurred to me: I was going to eat in the campus cafeteria!

How was the experience? Why, it was quite nice, really. I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of choices offered, so followed Dick's lead, and opted for a simple soup and salad combo.

Unfortunately, all the rest of the guys who work there who I would have liked to have seen were not working on campus today.

I'll have to go back another time! :)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Holiday Music?

This evening, as I was driving to the train station to pick Dick up, I was flipping around the radio stations in my car (the only time I ever listen to the radio). I was flipping around, and stopped when I heard John Denver & The Muppets singing "The 12 Days of Christmas".

First of all, I have to confess that I secretly love this version of this song. (It's SO Funny!) I also have to confess that "John Denver & The Muppets Christmas" was the first CD I ever bought. (how odd, I know, but it's so darn cute, and it was cheap.)

So, I'm listening to the song, and laughing along with it when I realize: This is a Christmas song. It's not even Thanksgiving yet!

When the song finishes, the radio station says something along the lines of, "Another 30 minutes Christmas Music Set..." Then they listed all of the songs they had just played in the last set. Yep, all Christmas tunes.

So, let me get this right: they're playing ALL Christmas music? NOW?

I guess it's kind of like having the stores start decorating for the holidays in September. No one really waits until after Thanksgiving anymore, do they?

Plus, who am I to talk? I just blogged last week about how much progress I've made with my Christmas shopping....


Sunday, November 19, 2006

8 Years

Today is the 8-year Anniversary of the day that Dick and I met!


Still the luckiest girl ever... :)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

NEWSFLASH: I have Gay Friends

My friend, Philip, just posted this particularly hilarious blog. In it, he reveals his recent revelation that he's just about as gay as gay can be.

This comes as no surprise to me, of course. Actually, I even get mentioned as " dear friend Trina, who lives in the Castro and has more gay boyfriends than I do."

Remember: Please don't refer to me as a "Fag Hag".

I prefer to be known as "...and the woman who loves them."

First Friends

When we were visiting baby Sarah at the hospital last night, I noticed that Omar & Lora had placed 3 stuffed animals in her tiny crib. They were so cute, all lined up against one side of her bed, that I couldn't resist and had to take a picture.

Sarah's first friends

It reminded me of all of the "first best friends" that I've seen in my own family. The stuffed animal, or doll that you became especially attached to as a child. The one who went everywhere with you. The one was became worn down, and extra floppy with love. (Just like the Velveteen Rabbit!)

My favorite doll growing up (hands down) was "Raggie". My Mom had Raggie made for me for my fifth birthday. It was love at first sight. She was immediately my favorite doll (and believe me, there was a lot of competition!) and I took her everywhere with me. Raggie still has a special place in my heart, and a special place of honor in my Raggedy Ann display case.


My sister's favorite doll was a floppy little rabbit named Frieda. My sister has had Frieda since she was a baby. Over the years, Frieda has had the wires pulled out of her ears, and her wiskers pulled out of her head, but she hung in there, and still lives in my sister's room in my parent's house!

Baby Tiffini & Frieda 1968

Xmas 1977 - Trina with Raggie, and Tiffini with Frieda

My cousin, Cheri (who is now 22) always carried around a little floppy dog named "Dog-Dog". Dog-Dog, like Frieda became more and more floppy and skinny through the years. I remember Dog-Dog had to have several "operations" where he had to have new stuffing put in him. When we found early photos of Cheri and Dog-Dog, he was so plump, we hardly recognized him!

Cheri and Dog-Dog - 1985

My Mom's favorite friend was a stuffed rabbit named "Tudoy". (I'm totally guessing on the spelling) It's pronounced "Too-Doi" and means "Rabbit" in Chinese. Like all of our other favorite friends, Tudoy became more floppy and worn with age, but that never stopped my Mom from loving him. At one point, she saved Tudoy from the terrible fate of a garbage can! I grew up with Tudoy living on a shelf in my bedroom at my parent's house. He still lives there.

Barbara and Tudoy - circa 1950

I can trace my family's love of stuffed animals all the way back to my Grandma (my Maternal Grandmother). Grandma always loved stuffed animals, and still does.

Grandma Chan (on the right, with her sister on the left) holding a teddy bear circa 1930s

My Grandparents still keep a small collection of stuffed animals on their sofa. (I can see the a-ha moment that you're experiencing! Yes, this is where I got it from!) My Grandma has been known to make little clothes for them (from hand-knit sweaters, to over-alls). Their favorite is a tiny little bear whom my Grandpa named "Half Pint".

Half Pint, dressed in his summer clothes

Here's to all of the soft, and floppy friends that we grew up with. The ones who were always there for us. The ones who we told our secrets to, and cried to at night. The ones who listened to us every day, and made us feel better with a simple smile.

No matter how old, or how young you are, it's good to always remember your first friend.

Who was yours?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Welcome Sarah Shahine!

Congratulations to Omar & Lora! Their baby girl, Sarah, arrived yesterday morning, November 16th.

Dick and I went to the hospital to visit the newest member of "Family Lomar" (or is that now Lomarsha?) this evening. Sarah is just beautiful!

We can't wait to watch this little one grow!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fa La La La La....

It's that time again! (egads, already?)

Some of you may think it's too early to start fretting about Christmas shopping, but compared to my Mom and my Sister, I was feeling woefully behind!

Made some serious progress yesterday and today.

I love the Internet.

Monday, November 13, 2006

My 20th High School Reunion


My 20th High School Reunion is next year!
Yep, class of '87.

go figure.

Now, before you get any grand illusions that I was anything like a rah-rah-cheerleader in High School, let me assure you: I was not. I enjoyed high school well enough, but I was certainly ready to leave when the time came.

I was active in some school activities: I was in the marching band for 2 years, and was even the President of the French Club for 2 years! (how'd that happen?!) I certainly had enough friends, but to be honest, I really didn't love high school at all. I graduated on a Saturday morning in early June, went to a drum corps show that night, and never looked back.

I did go to my 10 year reunion back in 1997. I was very hesitant to go. I didn't stay in touch with many people at all. Actually, Kimi was the only person I was still in touch with, and she lived in Italy at the time! The reunion was held at a hotel that was only a few blocks from my parents house. I figured it wouldn't hurt to go, and if worse came to worse, I could go back to my parent's house for the evening.

What surprised me was that I actually had a really nice evening, and reconnected with many people that I hadn't seen since high school. While we were in school, my class didn't strike me as a particularly close knit group, and we weren't ever organized, so I was thoroughly impressed with how well the reunion committee did in putting together the reunion. It was really nice to see people who I grew up with again, some of which I have managed to stay in contact with off-and-on over the past 10 years.

Anyhow, I got a little postcard in my mailbox a few weeks announcing the 20th reunion is set for next August. I'm planning on going, and hope I can manage to talk a few high school friends (who I'm now in contact again) to come along as well. (they think I'm oddly excited about it, which I have to admit, is probably true.)

The tickets are only $60/person, which is a whole lot better than what I've heard other friends have had to pay for their reunions. Plus, if I buy my ticket before November, I'll get $20 off! (and you all know what I sucker I am for a good bargain)

So I just bought my ticket, chose my entree, and will now try to convince Kimi to attend with me.

20 years.


How time flies...

Musical Memories

This morning, as I was driving Dick to the CalTrain station (I drive him when it rains) we heard a song on the radio that triggered a very funny memory.

We were listening to a station that plays predominantly 70s and 80s songs, and the song was "Heaven" by Bryan Adams.

At first my head-full-o'-useless-trivia thought it was the theme song from the 80s Kevin Costner movie, "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves". I quickly remembered that that was yet another bad Bryan Adams song from the early-mid 80s.

But I digress...

This song, "Heaven" triggered the memory I had of Kimi and I talking in the bandroom during our freshman year of high-school. We were 13. (and yes, we were band geeks) I remember her coming in a bit distraught because some other freshman student, or possibly a sophomore had declared his "love" for her by referencing this song. Unfortunately for him, Kimi did not return his feelings. Poor guy - she probably broke his 15 year old heart.

I hadn't thought of this story, or this song in many, many years. It really makes me laugh, though.

Kimi, do you remember this story at all?

Isn't it great how music can stir us so many memories of life?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Misha Shahine!

With all of the excitement surrounding the impending arrival of Omar & Lora's baby, my parents wanted to make sure that their first "child" didn't feel left out.

They bought Misha (a cat, not actually a baby) this very cute blue cat tent for the Russian Blue kitty (and a distant cousin of Mom & Dad's kitty, Claude).

Misha seemed to like it a lot, and hopped right in!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Lone Cousin

Once upon a time, there were 5 cousins.

These five cousins were very close, and always enjoyed spending time with each other.

The five cousins especially enjoyed family holidays, where they were always sure that they would be able to hang out with the other 4 cousins. There were games of pool to be played, tournaments of Mah-Jong, and general teasing sessions to be had. They would laugh, and talk, and catch up in the latest happenings of each of their lives. It was a good tradition.

This tradition was upheld for many years.
Even if one or two cousins couldn’t make it (gasp!), there were always at least 3 cousins left to hang out with.

And then it came to be that Cousin #2 got married to the lovely and wonderful Mrs. Cousin #2, and they started their own Thanksgiving Celebration at their own home. They graciously and generously hosted Thanksgiving day for their many friends and church family. The remaining four cousins always understood, but secretly still missed seeing Cousin #2 and Mrs. Cousin #2.

And at times, Cousin #1 was away, trotting around the country with her very cool, albeit far-from-home job. Again, the remaining cousins missed Cool Cousin #1, but always understood.

On rare occasion, Cousin #4 and Cousin #5 would miss a family gathering due to school activities, studying, etc., Again, they were missed, but there were always other cousins to keep the remaining cousins company.

And, it should be acknowledged that Cousin #3 has missed one or two family holidays because she met and married Geeky Guy, and occasionally travels to the fair state of North Carolina to spend time with his family.

But the truth remains: it could always be assumed that 2 or 3 cousins would always be around.

...until this year...

Cousin #1 will be away at aforementioned cool job, and will be spending Thanksgiving in the lovely city of Detroit.

Cousin #2 and Mrs. Cousin #2 will be hosting aforementioned Thanksgiving Dinner at their lovely home.

Cousin #4 and Cousin #5 will be away, having the time of their lives together in exotic Costa Rica.

...leaving Cousin #3 (and her husband, Geeky Guy) to fend for themselves, cousin-less at Thanksgiving this year. (not that the rest of the company won’t be utterly fantastic, but still..... where’s the cousin love?)

You know what this means: more dark meat for me.

Happy (early) Thanksgiving to my fabulous cousins.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Funny Conversation on MUNI

I just got back from lunch and running an errand for my Dad.

I rode MUNI home, and struck up a funny conversation with a guy and his friend on MUNI.

He had mentioned that he had just returned from a two week vacation to visit his family in Ohio, where he had grown up. I asked my obligatory, "What part of Ohio?" to which he replied "Dayton".

Then, of course, I had to go through my color guard ramble, of how I had once lived there, but even weirder, still go to once a year. He actually knew about color guard and WGI because his niece had marched.

So we reminisced about Dayton hot spots a bit: he lived by the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, I lived in Miamisburg, by the Dayton Mall. We had a few giggles.

Then, I asked if he was a regular at 1470 West: the gay bar in Dayton (no longer in existence) where I used to go. (which, by the way, is really the only bar I ever really hung out at).

I said, "You know, 1470 on Dorothy Lane?"

To which his friend said, "Get out! It was really ON Dorothy Lane?!"

lol. I'd never put the two together before...

Anyhow, not only was this guy a regular at 1470, but he used to perform there as well. Alas, it was a little before my time - his day was in the mid-80s.

It was at this point when his friend asked me, "So, did you meet any nice boys in Dayton?"

my reply, "I did, but they were all gay."

friend: "So, you moved to San Francisco...."

me: "...and the irony is that I actually met my husband here."

As we got out at the Castro Street station, I asked the guy if he'd seen the t-shirt at the store BODY - the one that says, "Friends don't let friends live in Ohio".

He had seen it, and had thought to get it.

He thought it would go well with the shirt that his brother-in-law (from Dayton) had given him:

Dayton: It's my kind of town

Perhaps that will be next year's road trip shirt!

You never know where you're going to strike up a good conversation.
It was a good public transportation day. :)

Someone left the cake out in the rain...

I don’t think that I can take it!

I'm going downtown this afternoon to have lunch with Philip, and to run an errand for my Dad.

Yesterday, Philip and I were deciding where to meet and eat. He mentioned that if it's a nice day, we could eat in the park.

This morning, we exchanged emails again. Since it's raining today, we're going to have to find an indoor lunch option.

That's when I remembered the name of the park he works by:

Mac Arthur Park.

Why do I have the burning desire to bring a cake?


Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I'll be here all day ;)

A note from the Editor: If you didn't at least have a little giggle after reading this post, you're probably too young to get it. And were most likely born after the 70s. And you're certainly not gay.

Cup of Tea?

It's really gotten cold and wet here over the last few days.

I've never been a coffee drinker, but I do enjoy a nice mug of tea when it gets chilly.

My favorites: Peppermint, Ginger-Peach, and Sleepytime :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dick's point of view

I was just going through our pictures from Halloween, and came across this one:

I laughed, because i realized that Dick took this photo. He's so much taller than me, that this is probably what his vantage point is whenever we stand next to each other.

It's no wonder he always teases me about how short I am!

Cute, curled-up kitties

It's tough being a kitty in this house...