Friday, November 26, 2010

Shiver Me Timbers

Albuquerque is not messing around, even during a long Thanksgiving weekend:


Monday, November 22, 2010

What I Love, #6

I love Ivory soap.

I don't particularly think it's the best soap- it doesn't create many suds, it doesn't get rid of anything oil-based, and it's very mild. It has a pleasant scent, I suppose, but as a soap, it doesn't have the qualities that I really appreciate (chemicals that will scour everything off of me).

However, I will always love Ivory soap because it reminds me of my maternal grandmother, who passed away rather unexpectedly a few years ago. She was the perfect epitome of a grandmother- jolly, always had candy, made copious amounts of food, and had a laugh that could carry for what seemed like miles.

Being Asian, my grandmother was very wrinkle-free, save for her laugh lines that creased around her eyes. She had smooth, chubby cheeks that bounced when she chortled, eyes that became half-moons when she smiled.

Grams (what my sister and I call her when we speak about her in English) looked like a cartoon character- she had a roly-poly middle that tapered into fragile wrists and ankles. She had the smallest little feet, and always picked her way delicately across rooms. She always had a distinct smell, as everybody does, but when I suddenly catch a whiff of something that reminds me of her, I am always instantly brought to tears.

I miss my grandmother terribly- though she and my mother were really nothing alike (my mother looks like a female clone of her father, and they have the same personality, to boot), she raised my mommy. There is something to that link. I think in the love, stress, pressure, protectiveness, and nurturing that she delivered to my mother, she also delivered to me, but without the stress or pressure. That's what grandparents are, to me- unconditional love, as from a parent to a child, but without the worries and the scolding.

I needed to buy soap (I need bar soap in my house at all times, as well as body wash) and while I was wandering around Target, I came across Ivory soap. The little cakes are not what I remember- they used to be smoother, didn't they? with nicely beveled edges?- but the smell is the same. I will forever remember my grandmother telling my mother (nagging, really) that we, her granddaughters, should use Ivory soap to wash our faces. This was when we were in Korea, the year between my fifth and sixth grades. I won't ever forget using Ivory soap in her house, in that strange bathroom (I wasn't used to Korean bathrooms at the time).

Though I didn't live in the same country as her and I only saw her infrequently, at best, I am so glad that even something as mundane as soap can instantly remind me of my grandmother.


Monday, November 08, 2010

What I Love, #5

Part 1.
Part 2.
Part 3.
Part 4.

I really love the smell of autumn. I didn't know this, but that crisp, almost singeing, chilly smell that I associate with winter (in California) is really autumn, a season that I am not well acquainted with.

There are these trees on my street here in Albuquerque that were vibrantly green and turned suddenly, violently yellow. Seemingly overnight. I took these pictures with my phone on my way to work one morning, because I was so surprised by their change.
I love those pictures that everyone's used to seeing of the east coast, and their delicious fall colors. Central Park, with its trees all red, orange, and yellow. But I'm not used to seeing it in real life.

The horribly sad thing, of course, is that the trees are shedding their leaves really quickly. Every morning now, the street looks as though it is lined in a golden carpet. While very pretty, it makes the trees look sad and abandoned, like they've shivered all their leaves off.

Every morning now, I am very cold. I get out of bed already cold and bundle up before I step outside, but no amount of clothing has worked so far- I'm always cold when I get to work. The only thing I like about this cold is the smell of autumn, whatever that consists of. It smells kind of like burning wood, a little like warm spices, maybe just a bit like dew-damp dirt under icy blades of grass.

I love that smell.

I'm sure going to miss it when it stays freezing cold outside and I won't be able to smell anything!


Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Below. Freezing. -_-


Monday, November 01, 2010


I've been rather reluctant to call Albuquerque "home." It doesn't really feel like home. I don't know shortcuts (not that anyone needs shortcuts in this town), I don't have favorite restaurants or bars, I don't know all that many people here.

It doesn't feel like home, is what I'm saying. When I say "home," I'm talking about LA. I still do that- "oh, the best place to get a drink at home? What kind of drink?" or "I can't wait to go home for Christmas" or "I wish I could go home for Thanksgiving."

Though I dearly treasure my co-workers (some more than others), they haven't really felt like friends that I could be silly with, that I could do nutty things with. This is mostly due to the fact that I am completely different from them- most of them are boys, I'm a girl. All of them are artists, I'm in production. It's like the universe's way of segregating us, and we keep to our caste lines quite subconsciously, without thinking about it.

This past weekend was a turning point in how comfortable I feel with my co-workers (some of them), as Halloween brings out the best, the worst, and the silliest in people. A group of us (the younger (kind of) single ones) met up at one guy's house, since he lives in walking distance of all the downtown bars and such.

The assembled characters:
- the Devil (me, in a black three-piece suit, red blouse, and devil horns)
- Burt Reynolds (not really, he was a cop from some Beastie Boys video, but I called him Burt Reynolds because of the awesome 'stache)
- Kato (without the Green Hornet)
- Marty McFly from "Back to the Future" (I thought he was a lumberjack because I don't instantly get 80's references)
- a ladybug (the only other girl that started the night with us, in a rather typical girl costume)
- the Canadian flag (I am not even kidding, I painted his head, which he had shaved into a mohawk)
- Zorro (halfhearted, with hat and mustache but regular clothes otherwise)
- photographer (normal clothes but had a giant DSLR)
- a few people that didn't dress up at all (okay, so I barely dressed up, but still, at least I had the horns).

Hilarity definitely ensued, along with hijinks and excessive shouting. I wish I had taken pictures, but the guy dressed up as Photographer had an enormous DSLR, so I didn't feel the need to try to commemorate the night.

I really felt comfortable, for the first time in Albuquerque, with a group of people. They felt like friends (most of them) and I was happy to be with them. It didn't feel like a chore. For as much as I go out, I usually find it tiring and a bit like work- I have to project fun! confidence! interest! and it can be exhausting. It wasn't like that, this fine Hallowe'en. I just ... let myself be silly, ran about downtown with all the other celebrators, and ended the night in someone's kitchen, cooking while we all made fun of each other.

Maybe I do like this town after all. I didn't know it would ever happen, but I think the first couple chinks in my armor have become decidedly large cracks. We'll see what happens and who manages to get in through my (generally) walled-up self.

On a completely different note, my sister is coming! I'm so excited. She'll be here in December, a few days before I go back home for the holidays. I'll show her around Albuquerque, then we'll get in my car and drive home.

After a couple weeks at home, gorging myself on my mother's (excellent) Christmas and New Year's feasts, we'll drive back to Albuquerque and she'll fly back to LA. It's going to be great! Cold, but great. Hooray!