Saturday, December 31, 2005

I am so glad 2005 is almost over!

(Sorry I put this post up for the 31st and disabled comments--this is more of a personal post for me than anyone else, but feel free to email me if you have something to say.)

I've probably had a more tulmutuous year than most, and it felt like that I'm finally finishing up my Saturn's Return a year late, which kinda makes sense since all the crazy stuff that happened to me happened right before I turned 29 when my mom passed, and it felt like something kept on hitting me over the head to grow up and see what was going on in my life and change things that I thought were set in stone for me, so to speak. I literally got rid of all of these things that I thought was going to happen to me (executive director of a non-profit? done; 2nd attempt at a PhD? done; teaching at a university? done; etc.), and slowly phased out people in my life who were really more deadwood and toxic rather than supportive and loving, and have built up strong relationships with just a few people that are a lot more satisfying than the innumerable acquaintances that I tried to maintain before.

I've learned a lot the past few years. First and foremost, challenging whoever's running the universe will lead you with more challenges until you cry out, "Stop!" (that literally happened to me a couple months ago). Quality is always better than quantity, whether that be in love, friendships, workouts, etc. Nothing is ever set in stone, and that being fluid isn't necessarily a bad thing (thank the goddess I'm a Pisces and can handle that). I've learned to slow down, to be happy with what I've got and cultivate the talents I have instead of forcing things that weren't working. I've learned that speaking my mind isn't a bad thing; nor is having a reputation of having a mouth.

The funny part was that I had stopped therapy after doing it for 2 years right before my mom passed, as if it were a mental preparation for the challenges that were gonna happen. Training for my first marathon and therapy had inadvertently prepared me for the marathon of mental challenges that I went through the last couple years. My whole life was spent up to that point rushing from one point to another that I didn't really see what the point of rushing actually was. After having that epiphany a couple months ago, my life has become more stable, and given the craziness of the past few years, that is a truly welcome change.

Too bad there's an extra second added on to 2005 for those of us in the US, instead of 2006 for those in Asia.

Have a happy 2006, everybody. I know I will.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Update on the husband...

So I picked him up this morning, and his face is swollen and he has thick rubber bands keeping his braces together, and he's also on a liquid diet. So now we bought all of these things to help him on this diet (at least it's only for a couple of weeks at most): a hand blender, pill crusher for his meds; along with other things to maintain his calorie intake (weight gain meal replacement shake powder, soy milk, fruit juices), and I guess we'll be going to restaurants that serve milkshakes and the like.

Trying to communicate has been ...interesting to say the least. I can't understand what he's saying so he's taken to writing, either by hand or by text message in order to let me know what's going on. Hopefully the swelling will go down quickly enough so that I can understand him again.

I can actually that his face looks different, aside from the swelling. The surgery brought his upper jaw forward (don't ask me to describe in detail) so his underbite is pretty much removed. It'll probably me even more dramatic once his swelling goes away.

I'm actually pretty exhausted myself, and he freaked me out when I was trying to catch up on my sleep earlier this afternoon. I heard a loud squeal from the boyfriend and without my glasses (and because it was somewhat dark) I thought something bad was going on. Then he came up to me, and handed me his cell phone, where I had to play go-between between him and an old high school friend that he hadn't contacted with.

He saw the look in my eyes wondering what was going on, and at least he apologized and let me go back to sleep.

Otherwise, he looks pretty good for having undergone jaw surgery. Thanks for all the notes and well-wishes, btw. :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Send get well wishes for my husband!

I've been up since 5 this morning since the husband finally had jaw surgery as the last part of his orthodontic work, and spent most of the time at UCSF waiting...and waiting...and waiting. Also got my brakes fixed, but I was still stuck there waiting...

At least he's recovering right now and I'll be able to see him in an hour or so.

Please send get-well wishes to him...he'll definitely appreciate it!

Update (11:30 pm-ish): I saw him at around 6:45 today, and he looks surprisingly well. His face is a bit swollen, and he's unable to talk, but he looks none the worse for wear. He definitely should be able to come home tomorrow. Yay!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

This is an homage?

Click on this press release of slime-mold beetles named in honor of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

From the text of the press release:

The decision to name three slime-mold beetles after Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, however, didn't have anything to do with physical features, says Quentin Wheeler, a professor of entomology and of plant biology at Cornell for 24 years until last October, but to pay homage to the U.S. leaders. "We admire these leaders as fellow citizens who have the courage of their convictions and are willing to do the very difficult and unpopular work of living up to principles of freedom and democracy rather than accepting the expedient or popular," says Wheeler, who named the beetles and wrote the recently published monograph describing the new slime-mold beetle species while a professor at Cornell.

Well, at least slime is appropriate to describe Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

I really do need to travel...

Came across a site where you can mark all the states and/or countries that you've visited.

Here's where I've been. At least it's made me realize I need to travel more.



create your own visited states map

And here are the countries I've visited.



create your own visited countries map

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Chicken with chile peppers...or chile peppers with chicken?



Originally uploaded by stkyrice.
Part of my dinner tonight. Yes, it was that spicy!

Getting haircuts...

So I got a haircut today after realizing that trying to have my hair arranged so that you can't see my ever-growing bald spot looks silly, so asked the guy who cuts my hair (at this cheap Chinese salon on 24th/Irving) to cut it short. 15 minutes later, I feel a lot better, with my receding hairline in full view, and feeling pretty butch.

It's funny because I've never really considered growing out my hair out, except for this one time in college when it was in fashion for Asian guys to grow out the hair on top while shaving the sides and back. It looked okay, but after having to deal with that kind of hair while going to school at UC Riverside, I shaved it completely. It's probably due to my Catholic school upbringing where you couldn't have hair grow past the collar, and I've always preferred guys with short hair. Guys with long hair...well, they look a little too fem for me, especially when I see a straight couple where the guy has longer hair than the girl. Usually I mistake them as lesbians until I see the facial hair (if he has any).

I also found out that the guy who cut my hair is closing his shop down so he can start up a spa further down by the beach. I'm tempted to go if he hires cute guys to work there...otherwise I'll have to find another place to get my hair cut.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I <3 Katamari! and queer stuff in video games

Of course, now that I'm done with classes for the semester, I'm working full time.

And of course, now that I'm actually getting paid a decent amount of money, I decided to buy some video games. Most recent addiction was "We [heart] Katamari" , the sequel to Katamari Damacy, where all you do is grab a ball (otherwise known as a katamari) and roll it around in order to pick things up. As it gets bigger, you get to pick up bigger and bigger things, starting off from things like thumbtacks, pencil erasers, and the like, to bathhouses, the Eiffel Tower, a woolly mammoth.

The gameplay is pretty addicting, and your father is the King of the Cosmos who wears purple tights, which is probably the gayest thing in video games, aside from being able to have same-sex partners in Fable and Jade Empire, or the shooting game Chou Aniki, where two muscle queens shoot beams from their heads that gradually become more...erect the more you...shoot (Ok, that didn't sound very good).

Actually, it's pretty interesting to see queer stuff in video games, from the infamous massage sequence in Final Fantasy VII, to the transsexual Birdo in the Mario-oriented Nintendo games. Considering that nearly all the gay guys I knew when I was in college all played video games and all cruised each other (I mean, come on, how many other all-male outlets can you go to when you're under 21 and can't go to a bathhouse or a nightclub?), it's about time we were acknowledged. I've also heard rumors that there may be an openly gay character in Final Fantasy XII...hmmm...

Friday, December 16, 2005

You'll probably be too hung over to even notice...

From Trivia no Izumi:

#869:

On January 1, 2006, an extra second will be added at 9:00 AM. Apparently it's to readjust the clocks since the 24 hour cycle that's used all over the world is slightly inaccurate enough to warrant adding the second so that we're in sync with the actual length of a day based on the earth's rotation. Apparently these adjustments have to be made every few years.

So at 8:59:59 AM, the next second will be 8:59:60 AM, then 9:00:00 AM.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Yay! My exam's over! and recent food excursions

It's amazing how easy exams are if you actually take the time to study.

The exam went a lot better than I expected, so hopefully I was able to keep my A, but we'll see.

Also, one of my friends graduated from SFSU, so we took her out to Millenium Restaurant in SF for dinner. Amazing vegan (?), definitely vegetarian food, a lot better than the last time we went. As one of her friends said, it's nice to go to a swanky vegetarian restaurant instead of going to one that's all hippie and nasty. I had a masala dosa with garbanzo curry, and the husband had an amazing seared portobello mushroom with risotto and mashed potatoes. Most surprising thing was salt and pepper fried oyster mushrooms which had the same texture and taste as salt and pepper calamari.

I went to a sake store called True Sake over the weekend after having amazing Chicago-style pizza at Patxi's in Hayes Valley, where they had...sake in a box. I shit you not. Apparently, it was designed to make sake slush--put the juice-box like box in the freezer, put it in with a frozen decanter, and voila, slush. I also bought a really good bottle of sake to take to a friend's holiday party later on this week.

Great stuff.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Finished with the studying...

Wish me luck tomorrow (considering how much I've been studying, hopefully I won't need it).

I just need to score a 90% and I keep my A...

Next semester: organic chem at CCSF and plant/animal biology at Canada (fun! fun! fun!).

God, someone shoot me.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Help.

My brain is going to implode.

Make. it. stop. now.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

things I've done when I should be studying for my final...

Oh, I HAVE studied (of course)...

Went to a fabulous party for a friend's birthday last night and didn't get hung over at all.

Worked out, then worked, then studied. then worked, then studied, then studied.

Bought a few video games (We love Katamari; Taito Legends (Bubble Bobble, Jungle Hunt, 3 versions of Space Invaders and "Super" Qix!; and Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 3).

Bought the husband's Xmas gifts (the entire compilations of both Calvin and Hobbes and the Far Side).

Did Body Pump.

I've tried to crash, but I've been studying too much.

Let's just say I'll be glad when 10 AM Tuesday morning comes around.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Species Invaders, part 2

So as to get extra credit and FINALLY have an A in my bio class, I helped clear French broom from Alta Avenue/Tennessee Valley up in Marin City (which I had only gone there before either to buy stuff at Best Buy and Ross at the mall off that exit).

French broom is apparently a plant from the Mediterranean that was brought over as an ornamental, and like the ice plants from South Africa that I helped clear a few weeks ago, spread all over the Bay because our climate is similar to the Mediterranean, is similar to the South African coast, etc. In order to get to the hillside where we cleared these plants, we (Joanna, the girl who I took a picture of after we had finished clearing the hillside, and me) had to hike about a mile and a half through privately owned land, where the French broom was left unchecked. There was a big difference, especially after we had finished clearing. The French broom was rampant all over the private land, and by the time we had cleared the hillside, all you could see were native grasses, a few coyote brush shrubs, and some dried out blackberry bushes.

Clearing the hillside required using weed wrenches, which are exactly what the name implies, 2-1/2 foot tall wrenches that are used to grab onto the weeds at their base, and leverage is used to pull the plants out of the ground, especially the roots. Considering we were on a hillside and that we had to hike quite a bit, it was pretty exhausting doing it, and I had to slow down because my back wasn't too happy with having to twist and turn in ways it wasn't used to.

My friend and I did this with a group of other biology students from CCSF, some of whom asked why this was necessary. "If the plants are already doing well, why is it such a bad thing?" some guy asked. The volunteers organizing (sweetly) talked to them about the importance of biodiversity--if these plants are left unchecked, then other species (such as monarch butterflies) that depend on the original plants have nothing to eat, since these plants have taken all the nutrients in the soil and are thriving because there are no natural predators for them in the Bay, thus leading to a major domino effect. She also went to talk about how plants from the Bay are also posing the same types of problems in Europe and South Africa, particularly a type of fern that's grown in the redwood forests, but are a huge problem in Europe and South Africa, similar to the French broom. The first picture is of my friend Joanna, and the second is the cleared hillside.



Originally uploaded by stkyrice.



Originally uploaded by stkyrice.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Tickets from the Energy 92.7 first year anniversary blast!



Originally uploaded by stkyrice.



The loving husband bought tickets to this show that we saw last night. Lots of different performers, Lola (No Strings Attached), DHT, Judy Torres (a freestyle singer that I remember from back in the day in Santa Clara/San Jose listening to Hot 97.7), Stonebridge (surprisingly the least impressive, since they had a relatively dull 45 minute set), Amber (who's starting to look a lot like Tita Aida), Thelma Houston (disco queen diva, looking faboo while singing "Don't Leave Me This Way,"), and Deborah Cox (trying to sound all country when bitch is from Toronto!).

Anyway, it was a good time, even though I had to deal with people's deodorant failing (especially one white guy who the husband labeled Aggro Bottom since he kept brushing his nonexistent booty up against us, and who started smelling like 420 once he started to really dance). Cool high point was watching my former hip hop teacher, Bo, and his new troupe from Gold's Gym do some cute routines. Another funny part was watching all these girls looking at me like they're interested, even when dancing with the husband, and having a guy try to hit on me by tugging at my tanktop and smiling, not saying a word). He was kinda cute, but the fact that he didn't even try to introduce him was a little offputting.

I actually like Energy a lot, especially since it's the only radio station that's truly independently owned in SF, and it's extremely gay-positive and friendly, with 4 out of the 5 radio hosts openly gay.

Here's the link to their web site.

Friday, December 02, 2005

This is the husband taking a picture while we're hanging out at Ocean Beach, SF, Thanksgiving day.



Originally uploaded by stkyrice.

This is a picture of my friend, Ted, and the husband, also at Ocean Beach, SF, Thanksgiving day.


Originally uploaded by stkyrice.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

World AIDS Day Reflections

A bunch of us LGBT bloggers of color are coordinating an effort to raise awareness about World AIDS Day.

Here's a link from a friend, Bernie Tarver, who's spearheading this.

World AIDS Day

So today's World AIDS Day.

Growing up and coming out in the early 90s, AIDS was a constant. Being bombarded by images of people being ravaged by the disease, feeling the anger that rose in me (even as a kid) when people would put up homophobic, racist and misogynistic bullshit to justify why AIDS should exist, it was part of the reason why I wanted to become a health care professional; to help out other queers of color in prevention and care. Seeing the advent of drugs like protease inhibitors and other biologics as a means of care, and also the strict regimens and vaccines that have developed in an attempt to try to stop the disease has also been an interest in my research, first as a sociologist, and now as a budding pre-med/pre-pharm student, and part of the reason why I've always done research and built my activism around HIV/AIDS.

Although I gradually started to meet APIs with HIV/AIDS in the early to mid-90s, it really didn't hit home for me until a close friend seroconverted about 5 years ago. Although I've been relatively safe (and have never gotten an STD except for a cured syphilis infection that I didn't even know about until I got tested for it), it did shock me to my core. For a while, it was hard for me to have sex because I was so freaked about it. It's taken me a while to reintegrate feeling sexual and being healthy, and I'm gradually reclaiming sex as part of my sexuality.

What's scary to me is seeing how acquaintances (most of my friends participated in HIV/AIDS activism at one point or another) and other random people, like young people particularly, that I talk to are unconcerned about HIV/AIDS--where the protease inhibitors and other drug regimens are seen as a way out, and completely disregarding that these drugs must be taken on a strict timetable. The drugs are extremely toxic since they mess up the way the body reacts to itself by fucking with DNA (as with AZT) and with gene expression (like with protease inhibitors) in order to prevent the virus from being able to replicate. Unfortunately, they're really the only way that HIV can be stopped to any certain degree, unless people are predisposed to being unaffected because of unknown genetic factors. With the growing awareness of use of methamphetamines (though it's always been a problem within the API community), and how sex is apparently amazing under its influence, it's even harder now to convince people to be aware and know their risk factors and protect themselves.

But I also see that people are fighting back by integrating the science with culturally appropriate ways to try to stop the spread, especially within communities of color. The awareness that queers do exist in our communities is a bit heartening to see (even if it does come from the DL phenomenon which is so irritating). If I do end up being a doctor (or pharmacist, or whatever)--I'd continue to be part of this drive.

So everyone, please be safe, and if you need resources contact me--I WAS the executive director of FTFA, you know. :)