Monday, November 24, 2008

Finding the time...

"If you really want to do it, you'll find the time/energy/resources to do it."

That's what I've been thinking about the past few weeks. One of my bad habits is that I have too many interests and not enough time or willingness to do everything I want.

Which means...there are very few things I really want to do.

First and foremost is trying to get into pharmacy school (obviously). I've already applied to the two schools I want to go to, though I am thinking of applying for Hawaii-Hilo again, just so I have an excuse to go to the East Coast since they're interviewing people there now--or maybe just go to Vegas (since I've never been).

Second is working out and losing weight. After the realization that I've lost 30 pounds without much effort, I'm beginning to realize how and why I eat, how I work out, etc. I really have noticed the triggers that make me want to eat, and how I'm satisfied with eating less. Today, I found myself sad that I wasn't going to be with Howard for Thanksgiving, and also wanting to eat a huge dessert (I had only had a light dinner with my friend of Shanghainese salted duck, and stir-fried gluten, black mushrooms and bok choi). Instead, I just went to Maggie Mudd and had a small scoop of strawberry soy ice cream...and talked out my frustrations with my friend--and felt a lot better. I'm also realizing I'm hitting a plateau and need to do other things to break through it--probably have to do heavier weights and different exercises, and also different aerobic stuff. I'm tempted to do a triathlon, but don't have the time. A friend also challenged me to do an Alcatraz swim with her next summer too. We'll see how my shoulder holds up.

Third is connecting and reconnecting with friends. I'm totally loving my new place and hanging out with friends I haven't seen in a while. Which also leads to...

Four: Cooking. I made a fusion-ish fruitcake, the results of which are here:


I guess other things have to wait for now.

And in case I forget, happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Calamansi limoncello recipe...

So I'm in the midst of making my calamansi limoncello, and I'm super excited. :)

A few of you guys have asked me to post the recipe, which is so ridiculously easy (given that you can get access to 95% grain alcohol), but is very, um, potent. The cool thing about calamansi is that the peels are so thin that there's no pith, so you can just put the whole peel in without making it bitter, unlike using lemons or even tangerines (I made a tangerine infused vodka but it was too much work to take out the pith, so it ended up being a little bitter--blah). The classic addition after this is to make a sugar syrup, but I'm left with so much calamansi juice that I decided to make the syrup using that.

Part 1:
1 pound (1/2 kg) calamansi or other citrus (if you do use a thick skinned citrus, like lemons, use a vegetable peeler to get the top layer of the peel and don't peel the pith--it's too bitter).
1 liter Everclear (for my peeps in Cali or where you can't get Everclear, use a flavorless drinkable alcohol, like vodka).

Make sure to wash the calamansi well. Use only calamansi that are unblemished as you don't want any nasty stuff in the alcohol (it'll get killed, but it's a pain to take out).

Juice the calamansi--which in most cases, just means peeling a little hole in the fruit, then squeeze the juice out into a separate bowl. Place the peel in the alcohol.

Repeat till all the calamansi is peeled. Freeze the calamansi juice to use for the syrup, or for another use.

Place the alcohol in a cool, dark place, or the fridge.

The alcohol's ready for the next step after about two weeks, or when the peels have sunk to the bottom and have completely lost their color. Stir every few days to mix the peels and alcohol together.

Part 2:
Sugar Syrup:
Leftover calamansi juice (or use 1 cup water)
1 cup sugar (or to taste)

Mix the juice and sugar together, then boil until the sugar is completely dissolved and the syrup is slightly thickened (you want a light syrup, not a caramel!). let the syrup cool.

Strain out the peels from the alcohol and throw out. Mix the syrup with the alcohol.
Wait another two weeks.

That's it. I usually drink it with citrus-flavored soda (like 7Up) or club soda.

I hope my dad doesn't think I'm a total lush...;)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Thoughts about Prop 8...

I wasn't surprised that Prop 8 (the amendment banning same-sex marriage) passed, and I'm honestly amused that people can't understand why it passed. Anyone who's lived outside of the urban areas of California (Inland Empire, San Diego, Redwood Empire, Central Valley, etc.) knows that the rest of California is just as red and conservative as the Midwest, the desert, etc. Anyone who's seen that homophobia is still a major issue among the black and Latino communities, and the Asian communities shouldn't be surprised.

And yet, when we focus all our efforts on the white and Asian people in the cities and suburbs, which don't comprise a majority; when we're too afraid to go and support people in the other parts of California who are fighting for our rights because we think it's pointless and dangerous; any time that we refuse to engage people in our communities and not call them out on their homophobia and racism because we're afraid of what they'll think of us; when we let our opponents set the dialogue and momentum and we're always having to respond; when we think that all we have to do is convince our own communities and not create strong coalitions across communities, we're dead in the water.

It's time for queer people to stop whining and start the dialogues and start the momentum. It's time to actively see who our allies are in the religious communities, communities of color, etc., and work with them to bring the message home. People against Prop 8 should've been calling for nationwide donations as soon as it started, and not just wait when the Mormons and other religious groups raised money. Friends outside of California were shocked that they received no calls for donations until 3-4 weeks before the election, and by that time, it was already too little too late.

It's time for us to step outside of our comfort zones in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and show active support for our allies in other parts of California (and not just send facebook links).

Unless we're willing to see that California is not just the so-called utopias of San Francisco and Los Angeles, and that queers and people of color in California are still being killed and targeted because of their difference, we're always going to have the same problems hit us time and time again, and things like Prop 8 will continue to pass.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Foodie stuff...

So after moving and getting rid of a lot of my crap, and at the tail end of finishing my pharmacy application (I'll be hand delivering it tomorrow), I finally have time to write and blog. I have lots to write about but don't want to overwhelm people--like how much I love my new place; how I got to see Howard a week and a half ago; how I'm really loving blogging for and meeting the folks from 8Asians; but that's for another post.

I won't blog about politics (since frankly, I'm really sick of it--and I've already voted. In case you're wondering, I'm not going to reveal who or what I'm voting for anyway). I'm not going to blog about the pharmacy application, even though I think that it's definitely a lot better this year since it's not as whiny and not milking for sympathy as it was last year.

So I'll blog about something else: food. Howard was able to get me some 95% grain alcohol which is now being infused with crazy amounts of calamansi peels in an attempt to make limoncello a la calamansi. It's technically illegal here in Cali, so I'm extremely grateful that I was able to get it (another reason why I love that man so). I'll be making a calamansi sugar syrup in about a week when the alcohol's finished getting every last drop of goodness from the peels, then stirring that syrup in with the vodka.

I still have about a pound of calamansi left, so I'm giving some to friends and coworkers, and going to make some good old comfort food with the rest. I stumbled onto Burnt Lumpia, an amazing blog about Filipino food by a Filipino American guy down in SoCal since he's posted about making calamansi infused vodka (which I've already done). I'm now planning on making some bistek tomorrow night for dinner; and doing a Filipino twist on Marcella Hazan's famous roast chicken recipe by using calamansi and lemons instead of just lemons on Saturday.

I also found an intriguing recipe for bacon and kale adobo that I must simply try, and I'm so tempted to spring this longanisa and pan de sal stuffing for Thanksgiving (thanks to Burnt Lumpia).

Oh, and did I mention I've lost close to 25 pounds in the past 4 months, just by eating less and exercising more? Funny how actually listening to my body by slowing down and listening to its cues as to when my tummy's full, and walking about 4 miles a day actually does to someone! I can actually keep snacks in the house now since I'm realizing that I only need to eat two Mother's Taffy cookies to satisfy my craving a night instead of 15; or five crackers instead of half a box.

Good thing when I cook I actually don't feel like eating all that much...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thoughts on moving...

So I'm in the process of moving to a new place back in SF over the past week, and it's been more of an emotional roller coaster ride than I was expecting. In the process of moving, I'm getting rid of more than half the clothes I have, and 90% of my books. It's been weird because although I haven't read any of the books, nor have I worn a lot of these clothes, it feels weird to actually get rid of stuff, even though most of it means close to nothing to me.

A lot of it probably stems from growing up in a working class immigrant Filipino American family where both my parents grew up saving stuff, though compared to both of them I have an easier time getting rid of things. Coupling that with Howard's admitted pack rat tendencies, I accumulated a lot of stuff for no particular reason except to just hold onto it.

Making the move to SF is forcing me to let go of a lot of things, both material and otherwise. I'm getting rid of all the books I had from grad school and teaching, realizing that while some of it is interesting, I no longer have the sustained interest to keep reading high falutin theory. Asian American studies has always been an interest to me, but again, I feel like that's a part of my life that's done for now. Getting rid of most of the clothes that I haven't worn in the past year has also made me look at the relationship I've had with my body--from wearing oversized, unflattering clothes to hide my body shape because I didn't want to confront my unhealthy habits, to learning how to wear clothes that make me feel good and look good as I began to work out more and feel my body take on its current shape. The only books I'm keeping (well, actually, letting a friend borrow for the time being) are my cookbooks and my science textbooks--which I guess shows my two main interests. I'm also keeping a lot of the books that are related somehow to health from a clinician point of view but in more layman's terms. Even then, that's really only about 20 books that I'm keeping total. They're also taking the bulk of my video games, which for the most part I have no time to play anyway.

I'm realizing that in my spare time especially being back in SF, I want to be with people, re-establish lost contacts when I moved in with Howard's sister six years ago, and strengthen the new friendships I've made the past couple years. It also helps a lot that I'll be living with Booster, since we can both help each other. I want to be out and about, being with friends, exploring and appreciating SF for what it is. I'm not that interested in playing video games, or chatting or doing other things like that anymore where I'm removed from human connection. I think the past year, especially with Howard gone, that I hid behind the computer screen since I was going through my own issues of being alone for the first time in years.

In a way, moving, packing, donating, and removing stuff has been very cathartic. For me the two rooms that I've lived in the past 6 years have represented a lot of hard times for me--dealing with my mom's passing, dealing with issues with Howard and our relationship and its evolution, and seeing how I've changed as a person, and really where I finally began to grow up. I feel like I'm finally read to venture out.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Is this where I get it from?

So I wanted to go see my dad this coming Sunday to let him know that I'm moving back to SF, and I gave him a call.

--"Oh, Jun-Jun (my familial nickname, just means I'm Efren Jr.), I'm going to be busy. You have a couple of aunts in Alaska visiting."

o (thinking, Alaska? aunts? Neither my dad, nor anyone else on his side of the family, has ever mentioned anything about having relatives in Alaska?!) Uh, ok, Dad. Well, why don't we all get together for lunch? I'd love to meet them!

-- (uncomfortable pause from my dad. I can literally hear his gears turning trying to think of a plausible excuse.) "Um...well, you see, Jun-Jun, I have to drive them everywhere, up to Napa, Reno, and I don't think I'll have any time to get together with you on Sunday. Let's get together the following Sunday."

o (thinking, riiiiight, Dad.) Oh yeah, sure, I'll just call you next week. (hangs up)

Jesus, and to think that my dad was just such a nice monogamous type of guy.

I guess I really know where I get my player instincts from. Sheesh.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lots of things going on...

It's been a pretty crazy past few weeks for me, and I haven't really had a lot of noteworthy stuff to blog lately. Until now, anyway.

o Hawai'i-Hilo started classes two weeks ago, but I still haven't gotten the official rejection letter yet from them. Bastards. I probably won't apply there again since I had such a bad experience with them not following up with me in a timely manner.

o I'm #18 on UCSF's waitlist as of last Friday. Classes start next week, and I'm hoping for a miracle, but just in case, I'm going to complete my application for 2009 this week.

o I'm moving back to San Francisco in a few weeks. I'm realizing that my current living situation isn't working out (actually, it hasn't ever really worked out all that well), but I think this will give me the swift kick in the pants I need to start being social and having friends to hang out with regularly, instead of having to plan things out constantly because where I was living was really inconvenient.

o To that end, I'm going to have to go through major consolidation and cleaning up/getting rid of stuff that I've accumulated since I've been living in Daly City for six years. Most of it's stuff that I should've gotten rid of years ago, but for one reason or another, just never got around to it.

o Trying to decide whether I'm ready to go car-less. Considering that when I move back up to the City I'm literally a block away from the bus line that could take me to my jobs, or even walk to my jobs, I'm wondering if it's even worth it to keep my car. Not sure at this point.

o Really happy that the husband found someone new in Seattle. As for me...I'm keeping my mouth shut. :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I've been read...

Took this meme and was totally read. Hard.

My actual problem according to this meme:

Seeks to avoid criticism and to prevent restriction of his freedom to act, and to decide for himself by the exercise of great personal charm in his dealings with others.

Jesus, can they get any more accurate?

Anyway, click on the box below to read more--and to take the test.




ColorQuiz.comEfren took the free ColorQuiz.com personality test!

"Takes easily and quickly to anything which provide..."


Click here to read the rest of the results.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Staying in SF for another year...

I've officially thrown in the towel and given up on waiting for Hawai'i-Hilo pharmacy school for 2008. I'm trying to understand exactly what it all means, since the conventional wisdom would assume that I would've been accepted to lower tiered schools like Hawai'i without any hesitation, given my decent post-bac (3.7 GPA), my work experience, and PCAT score (99th percentile), and that I wouldn't even been considered for UCSF, #1 in the country. As it turns out, UCSF was really the only school that expressed any sustained interest in me, and where I truly rocked the interview. I also ranked high enough on UCSF's waitlist that I could still conceivably be called in by mid-September when classes begin. Even if I don't get in, everybody I've talked to states that because of my high initial rank on the waitlist for 2008 that I'm guaranteed a spot for UCSF '09.

I guess this all just really means that I'm meant to stay in San Francisco. So I'm staying. At least for another year, and probably for at least 5.

Seems like the theme of this year for me is all about patience and letting time and nature take its course. I've realized I've done all I can anyway. I'm still really, really hoping for the phone call, but I'm prepared to sit it out another year and wait for 2009.

I'm actually surprised I'm not as bitter about it as I thought I would be. I'm annoyed, but I know that I can get in, if not for '08, definitely for '09.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Thoughts going through my head the past month...

So I've been thinking about a lot the past month about body image, or being, gay, fat and Asian--primarily because I've been hanging out a lot with a really nice guy who I'll name Booster (per his request) who is a self-admitted sticky chaser, or that he is a non-chubby Asian guy who's into chubby Asian men, and who at the same time, has helped me to accept for myself things about my body that I hadn't wanted to think or talk about.

But before I go into that, the biggest epiphany that I've had recently was something that seems extremely obvious and yet it's something that I had avoided confronting for the last 8 or 9 months.

I miss the husband, and I've missed him ever since he moved to Seattle.

How these two seemingly disparate things come together happened during a random conversation a few weeks ago with Booster who was trying to help me find ways to get over my loneliness by finding me hot guys to hang out with (and hook up with). As Booster's getting over a relationship with his own now ex-boyfriend, it would be weird to even attempt anything with him, for obvious reasons.

So Booster suggested that he talk to a friend of his, another chaser, to see if he'd be interested in meeting me. A few minutes later, he tells me that his friend thought that I was cute but too skinny for him.

For some reason, this started a cascade of emotions and feelings about my body image. I remembered being told by my family before I came out, as well as well-meaning friends, that I should lose weight if I wanted to ever meet a girl cute enough to date. After I came out, I started getting the same shit from other well-meaning friends who would say the same thing, except that it'd be hard for me to meet a guy, since they thought being fat meant being unattractive. It was already hard enough being gay and Asian to them.

Somehow, THAT started another cascade of emotions and feelings surrounding feelings of self-perceived rejection and frustration, mostly from my being waitlisted at UCSF and Hawai'i, and then my now unconfronted feelings and irrational beliefs about the husband moving to Seattle. I began to make up a story in my head about how the husband really left because I was unattractive, even though he has NEVER said that at all about me.

I found myself bitching at Booster about how no one found me attractive and that I'll never be able to find anyone and soon found myself wallowing in self-pity. A few minutes later on IM, he says, "Are you okay?" and that he wanted me to come see him to talk over coffee.

Thankfully, that snapped me back into reality and the present. It made me realize firstly how much I had been bombarded by those messages ever since I was a kid, that fat = unattractive, and how much I had internalized those messages. At the same time, I also allowed myself to believe those messages as a kid, and how glad I am now that I don't pay attention to those messages. I'm lucky to be with the husband, who's always found me attractive even though when we first met, I was flabbier and heavier. I'm also lucky to have met Booster, who helped me realize that some guys find my appearance a turn-on, and how all the shit he's gone through because his preferences are so outside of what's acceptable that he's thumbed his nose at the mainstream gay culture here in the US.

To be quite honest, I'm actually really comfortable with my body. I'd like to lose weight purely for health reasons, but I like being a bigger guy. I like how all my friends, and some really hot guys like me wrapping my arms around them because I'm huggable. I like the way the husband jokingly complains that I have more muscle in my chest, and so he doesn't have that "cushion" when he lies on me. I like seeing the shock on cute guys' faces when they ask to feel my arms and are surprised I'm so muscular. I like being the guy everyone asks to spot at the gym because I look like I know what I'm doing.

I'm mostly glad that I've been able to sort out all those contradictory messages and be able to find a happy medium where I'm happy with how my body is. It's extremely hard to find other out, happy, gay fat Asian American guys since most of them are so closeted and are afraid to be out because they are so not conforming to the stereotype of what gay Asian men should be: skinny/twinky/muscle boys. Being bigger also gives us an element of being able to pass as straight since we don't have that stereotypical appearance, and would probably explain why so many closeted guys (usually with girlfriends!) tend to cruise me more openly rather than the husband. Also, being over 30, contrary to most other Asian guys, has made me more attractive to the sticky chaser crowd--many of whom are looking for an "older brother", daddy or G-man (Japanese muscle chub) type, especially guys in Asia. Most of my gay Asian male friends dreaded becoming over 30--I've suddenly found myself getting propositioned by more guys because I fit their archetype better.

I also realized that I had avoided confronting my loneliness after Howard left by throwing myself into anything that would keep me from thinking about it--like working 6-7 days a week, working out like a madman, hanging out with friends every single night. Since my friends' work schedules have picked up, I found myself more alone--and having to deal with those emotions and feelings of feeling lonely. That breakdown made me realize how much I missed him. I called him up later that night and told him that I missed him--even though that's been plainly obvious. Thankfully, since I've confronted that, I feel more comfortable being alone--and not feeling lonely.

Thank the goddess I get these weird breakdowns and epiphanies rarely. It's also nice to have a reality check, provided by the husband and Booster.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Playing jokes on a closeted friend....

So I was hanging out with a friend tonight for dinner who I've been helping to adjust to life in SF, finding a place, becoming familiar to all the different SF neighborhoods, etc. He's still fairly closeted and a lot of his friends don't know that he's queer (I guess if one doesn't think that someone is, it doesn't even enter one's consciousness)--nor do they know that he and I messed around.

So said friend invited me to dinner with a friend who didn't know me or his orientation. It surprised me how clueless this friend was since he mentioned my friend's ex numerous times, and it never even occurred to the friend that he and the ex were lovers, while I tried to keep the look of shock on my face to a minimum since it seemed really obvious to me, even though he did shoot me glances to keep my mouth shut.

The last straw came when the conversation turned to talking about cars. His friend said, "Hey, why don't you have a girlfriend? That car you have is such a chick magnet!" C stammered and said, "Well, I guess no one's really said anything." Friend: "Well, maybe you should have Efren go with you to help you find a chick." I immediately looked at C, who knows that I find his car a total turnon and I gave him a look of total amusement, while he looked at me, begging me to not say anything.

Realizing that I would have to keep this charade up, but also that I had had enough, I decided to have some fun with this.

The conversation soon turned to swimming, and I started talking about techniques and drills that I do to keep my workouts from being too boring.

Me: "So one of the things that I like doing is swimming a whole length of the pool underwater while holding my breath."
C's Friend: How long does that take you?
"Oh about 30 seconds each time. I've built up a lot of stamina."

I look at C, who's about ready to spit out his tea, and gives me this withering glare.

"What? It helps me move faster in the water, and I'm able to go a lot longer without going up for air, and I'm able to keep going longer too!"
C: "Yeah, I've noticed." (continues glare)
"Yeah, what did you think I was talking about?"
C: "Um, er...nothing." (goes back to eating, furiously)

After C's friend leaves, and we get back into my car, C gets into my car, looks at me and says, "I am SO getting you for this."

Needless to say, it was a fun night. :)

Monday, June 30, 2008

SF Pride 2008 thoughts...

So personally, I've had a lot of stuff happen of late, most of which I'm still deciding whether to actually blog about or not (and at this point, I probably won't for the time being). I was actually wondering whether I was gonna make it to SF Pride this year, especially since this was my first one without the husband here and I had too many weird emotions circling about because of it.

It also didn't help that the supposedly now-straight ex wanted to go to a Pride event with me, who I had to remind sweetly that SF Pride events are usually overpriced and not worth the hassle--and I'm not sure if I wanna deal with a supposed straight ex who might go back to being gay after a few drinks...and who decides he wants to hit on me. Thankfully, my dad had invited me to go to see him to watch the Pacquiao fight--which I conveniently used as a time to nap and as an excuse to tell the ex that I can't go to any of the events Saturday night.

I actually spent the bulk of my weekend hanging out with a good friend--who I will probably move in within the next few months--who just broke up with his now ex-boyfriend, and who is also starting a job up in SF. He decided to volunteer at Pride and asked me to meet with him later. Considering I had nothing better to do, and I wasn't particularly interested in marching this year, I figured, why the hell not. Said friend and I have a rather interesting past, so we also spent the bulk of the weekend trying to hash that out and make sure that we were both on the same page--though it doesn't necessarily help that we find each other extremely attractive (sigh).

Anyway, so as I walk through Pride, it feels simultaneously foreign and familiar. I see all the obviously non-SF queer people desperately displaying their queerness for all and sundry to see; and recognizing how I was like that before, and how that now isn't relevant to me. I see old friends and I start marveling how we're all no longer the fresh-faced 20 somethings but now the partnering-up 30 somethings, out to make their annual pilgrimage to do the requisite kiss-kiss and hug-hug with everyone else before going back to our ordinary lives. I see all the younger kids who are coming out, having a good time, not worrying about their sexuality--feeling somewhat jealous that I never had that opportunity when I was younger, being constantly afraid of being found out, and literally forcing my way in to be proud and happy. I also see new friends that I've made who, even if they're all younger than me (when the hell did THAT happen), have the same mindset as me about relationships--it doesn't matter who my friends sleep with, as long as we're still friends; and how they seem to be the same old souls that I find among my older gay friends.

I see my friend and potential new roommate, and seeing how it was his first SF pride in a while, he asked me to walk with him to all the different stages. Somewhere along the way, he wraps his arm around my shoulders, and for some reason, my arm naturally wraps around his waist. And while we're not being necessarily a couple, there is something really nice having that connection with someone and talking. Along the way, I see friends who are obviously very confused about me being chummy with another guy who's not the husband, but as soon as I explain that he's just a friend who's visiting, they seem to get it. Or at least, they hide their shock better.

Contrary to popular belief, while I may be seen as a bit standoff-ish, at the same time, I'm usually really affectionate with my very close friends, and there have been times where I'm walking with arm-in-arm with a friend with the husband close by, and none of us think anything of it--even if other people tend to be shocked, and there's no other intent besides just being friendly. The funny thing is that while my friend and I are walking in this way, we're actually talking wistfully about both of our relationships.

Pride, at least on a personal level, has become pretty much irrelevant to me. At the same time, I saw how significant it was for my friend to go to a Pride festival with someone, even if I am just his friend, and nothing more, and even if we did appear very couple-like. As we chill while the Pride festival winds down, he does mention how he wants to become comfortable with his sexuality, and specifically wanted me to live with him to help him navigate around SF. That reminds me that many people don't have the luxury or ability to do what I did in order to come out and be comfortable with myself--and considering how living in SF's changed for me personally since the husband's moved, it will be nice having a roommate instead of living by myself.

It's weird having these swirling emotions around my head--missing the husband terribly at SF Pride, but hanging out with a really good friend, and realizing that my life really has changed. I am definitely on my way to a new chapter in my life. I've also decided that I'm going to probably stay in San Francisco for at least another year and apply for UCSF in case I don't get in. I'm still really optimistic that I will start at UCSF Pharm in the fall, but I am also almost done with my application for pharmacy '09.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Efren enjoys his dessert at Osha Thai

This is what happens when I hang out with Ernie (of LYD fame) and Minjung. Sheesh. ;)

Friday, June 13, 2008

A random conversation in the sauna...

So I've been making a habit of going into the sauna after my workouts the past few weeks, since it's one of the few places I can literally sweat my stress out (and it also helps to get rid of the nasty chlorine smell after swimming). I've also been taking a few dance classes with this teacher who's very out, very Filipino, and very comfortable. (And he IS pretty cute, but he has a boyfriend, so oh well...) When we end up in the sauna at the same time, we end up talking/bitching about things that are going on in our lives, like men, work, etc., and we've started to become very good friends.

So last Sunday after class, we were talking about how hard it is to find hot, well adjusted Asian men to date and that often by default we have to expand our horizons in order to have a bigger, uhh, pool to choose from, and how much more fun it is to be non-monogamous (given that we're both in open relationships).

Him: So, how many people are in the US...?
Me: "Uhh, 300 million, I think."
Okay, so let's assume that half of those people are men, and then we can assume that at least 10% of them are gay...that's what...15 million? And let's say, how many men would be around my preferred age range--1.5 million, maybe. Just think, I can do 10 men a day, all over the country, until I die and still not have them all!
...Hmmm.
AND, there's always younger men coming out, and older daddies coming out!
...(Yeah, he does have a point.)

Too bad I'm not in a slutting around phase, otherwise I'd be more into it. Sheesh. :)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Finally! My first rejection!

So I got a letter yesterday from Touro College of Pharmacy (in Vallejo), saying that I "probably won't get invited for an interview."

Yeah, you'd think after almost a year after I first worked on my application.

Anyway, I got invited by Touro to apply for their MPH program, with a guaranteed interview if I keep up a 3.0 GPA after their fall term.

Uh, like I really need to take a year off to go to school full time to get another master's degree. Considering that UCSF's medical sociology doctoral program for the first two years is like an MPH, I'm not interested.

It's just funny that after a YEAR of waiting, I finally get my first rejection for pharmacy school for 2008. And of course, the national application for pharmacy school entering class of 2009 just came online yesterday.

I'll probably get another one from Creighton's online program soon. I guess I really AM too gay for them.

And no, no updates from being waitlisted on Hawai'i or UCSF, though I'll probably call UCSF today to see if there's been any movement.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

More random thoughts...

o Got called an "elder" (!!!) during a board meeting for the Community Initiative. After my raised eyebrow and all the giggles aimed at me, the guy who said previous comment stammered then proceeded to say, "Well, I know that none of you are under 40...", which brought about outright laughter from everyone on the board. It was all I could do to not mutter, "I'm 34, bitches, step off!".

o Also had a discussion on gay vs. queer during said board meeting, and while we're using the word queer, we all thought we liked the word "fag" or "poofter" better, since it's more in your face. Gay and queer are so politically charged anyway.

o Funny how other people (who are Asian) find it hard to believe that I'm _not_ 25! Until we take a hip-hop class and I'm limping out of the dance studio. Ouch. I can't do those moves anymore without tweaking something.

o I'm always finding it amusing that what's considered normal to us fags sexually is downright freaky to the straight folk. Case in point--a fellow (straight male) blogger from 8Asians was trying to compare sexual exploits with me on IM.

Him: I know escorts and porn stars.
Me: I've done a couple of porn stars.
Him: ...um, well, have you done a 3some or more?
Me: Uh, yeah, haven't you?
Him: .....

I guess it's just all a matter of perspective. I don't ask straight people about freaky sex because I know that most of them haven't done it; and I don't talk to gay men about it because I know that we HAVE done it, and it's a given.

Another example: I was at the Lexington Club in the Valencia Corridor (YES, I know it's a dyke club) with some other bloggers (another gay Asian guy, and a straight Asian girl and her husband) and the topic of 3-somes and group sex came about.

Straight woman: What?! [gay friend] has done a 3-some?
Gay friend: Uh, yeah.
Straight woman: (looks at me) Have you?
Me: Uh, yeah. It's a given, right, [gay friend]?
Gay friend: Yeah.
Me: I don't need to ask because it's a given. And frankly, it's none of my business.
Gay friend: Uh, yeah.
Straight friend proceeds to get drunker and drunker.

Straight people are so uptight. Sheesh.

o Got moved up UCSF's wait list. I'm now in the low 20s, whereas before I was in the mid-30s. And apparently, the real movement doesn't start till June/July, so things are looking really good. And if I don't get in, I'm starting up my application now and getting it over with for next year. I'll probably narrow down my choices: UCSF (again), Hawaii-Hilo (again), Touro (again), and University of Washington (yes, I know).

o If I do get into UCSF this year, I'm throwing a party. Hell fucking yes. :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Thoughts about the marriage ruling...

So I'm trying to process my reaction to the marriage ruling in California, and part of me is ecstatic, and part of me is waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's weird having this ambivalence, partly because it's highlighting an interesting evolution and debate within the queer community, with many people racing towards assimilation, and other people wondering why the hell we're running so fast, particularly since I was part of the wave back in 2004 of couples who got married in SF.

Count me as part of the ambivalent/wondering.

Personally, it feels like that a lot of queer people haven't really thought about what it means to get married, and how marriage is such a social institution that we've been led to believe is the highest form of a romantic and sexual relationship (or at least, they're not getting the press that they deserve), but at the same time how it forces many people into a type of relationship that they, frankly, can't follow. Gay marriage is starting to look less like the political statement that it was in 2004, and now a mindless jump into heteronormative (white, middle/upper class, etc.) assimilation, that worries me.

What exactly are we getting by getting married? The chance to be "like everybody else?" The chance to forget the shame of realizing that one's romantic/sexual choices denies us the ceremonies and traditions of marriage? The dream that our relationships will be given the same weight as our "normal" straight counterparts? The sudden realization and weight of having to fulfill other obligations (like having children) as our "normal" straight counterparts? The right to divorce, go through painful alimony and child custody suits? What happens to those of us in nontraditional relationships, like polyamorous relationships, relationships that transcend state (and country) borders?

It worries me that in the drive to go for gay marriage, that we haven't thought about the natural progression of relationships, like gay divorce, inheritance and children's issues, and non-California residents. Given the nightmare of the badly worded California domestic partnership law that made my partner's and my state and federal taxes a pain this year, I worry how laws and other government decisions that will have to be integrated into California law in order to bring about same-sex marriage could inadvertently fuck us over if the laws aren't well written.

Despite my ambivalence, I am really happy and excited that same-sex marriage is happening in California, but I want to make sure that those couples who DO become married will be served to the best of the state's ability, and not left in limbo like me and a lot of other people who have to deal with current domestic partnership laws in California.

And because Howard's now in Seattle, and I'm still here in SF (and could possibly move to Hawai'i), it doesn't make any sense legally for us to get married in California right now. Given how we got pushed unwillingly into the limelight for being married 4 years ago because we were an Asian-Asian male couple and as a male couple of color and having to deal with the issues of being in the media while dealing with our own ambivalence towards marriage, neither of us are willing to go through the media circus and living in a fishbowl again.

If we DO get married again, the next time will be really for us. Right now, we're both happy being in our odd relationship for the past 11+ years, even if the government's forcing us to become single for the time being.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day thoughts...

So Sunday marked the 5th Mother's Day since my mom passed away, and for some reason I had this sense of melancholy, partly from the realization that life goes on and time marches on, and there's nothing I can do to stop it. It was partly brought about because of a friend of a friend whose dad passed away unexpectedly (I don't know my friend's friend at all), and that another friend who I've just started to know is moving away. Even though I spent the bulk of the day hanging out with good friends, I found myself wanting to scream at the world to stop, to give me time to think about things, like my family, my friends, etc. To give me to reflect before I'm ready to move on. I know it's ridiculous to expect the world to stop simply because I'm not ready, and if anything, I need to give myself time to stop, to think, cry if I need to, laugh if I need to, and to permit myself that time to pause.

To that end, I looked at pictures of my friends, the husband, my family--all the people who are nearest and dearest to my heart, and thought about how grateful I am to all of them. I'm really glad that I've been able to reconnect with people from my past recently. I'm glad I've been able to make lots of new friends this year, even if the time I've actually spent with them has been relatively short.

I've also started to seriously think about what I'll do on the off chance that I don't get into any pharmacy schools in the fall--and I simply realized that I have to try again, and do more things to beef up the application (like volunteering at a pharmacy, and just talking to friends who are pharmacists/pharmacy students). I know I'm competitive, and if it doesn't work out this year, I just have to pick myself up and try again. I'm sure I'll get into either UCSF or Hawaii, but I do have to move on if I don't--even if that means being upset that I didn't make it this year and allowing myself to be upset.

I'm still wondering if I'm willing to move to Hawaii to go to pharmacy school in the fall--and I know that I am, but it's scary to think that it could happen so quickly. I'm also wondering how my life will change if I end up staying here (even if the changes are minimal).

People are wondering if I'm annoyed about me being asked about the waitlist for UCSF and Hawaii, and I'm actually not. If anything, it reminds me that a lot of people are rooting for me and supporting me in this decision.

I guess I'm coming to this acceptance, that no matter what happens, things will be all right. It won't be the end of the world if things don't happen now; and it'll be exciting if my plans do work out.

I'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

What?!! No gravy?!!

One of the best Looney Tunes cartoons ever, called Chow Hound. Too bad it's not really shown anymore on TV because it's seen as too impressionable upon little kids (though I remember seeing it as a little kid and seeing it as a fable against gluttony and greed, myself, and thought it was a better story than anything I learned in Catholic school!).

There's some great lines in the cartoon like, "I think a nap will do me a world of good!" and "And this time we didn't forget the gravy," possibly one of the most sinister lines to ever come out of a cartoon, ever.


Monday, May 05, 2008

New layout and other random stuff...

For some reason, I'm liking the color orange, hence the new layout. I used to think that orange looked really bad on me, but for some reason I'm liking it. Go figure.

Random stuff:

o My hip hop teacher's troupe, Funkanometry (where he's creative director), is auditioning for a queer women's hip hop troupe on Thursday. Given that he's been doing a very successful queer men's troupe for the past year and a half, this should be really exciting! I've also heard that some of the people from his troupe are going to form their own group and are auditioning for the second season of America's Best Dance Crew. I'm curious to see how far they'll get.

o People are getting moved off the wait list for UCSF School of Pharmacy, so I'm hoping that it means I'll be called in soon. I know I should've moved up at least 10 spaces or so in the past few weeks already.

o Still no updates from Hawai'i-Hilo School of Pharmacy. (sigh)

o Coming to grips with my apparently rapidly receding hairline, and starting to see how ridiculous it looks to see my hairdresser try to cover it up, when I actually thinks it looks all right. I'm just planning to get used to keeping my hair very close cropped in a year or two so that I don't end up having bad comb-overs.

o Found myself wondering how "gay" looks like, especially since a lot of people have been telling me that I don't look particularly gay. I don't identify as being particularly feminine (and when I do try to be fem, it ends up being more of an affect than who I actually am), but I feel uncomfortable identifying as being butch as well. Maybe it's the whole expectation of what a queer Asian man is supposed to look like, and how I'm so the antithesis of it. It is fun to freak people out when they see me hold hands with my husband and have them wonder...

o Saw Alec Mapa's tune-up at UCSF a week and a half ago before he starts going on tour. Pretty fucking awesome to see an out Filipino American guy from the Bay do hilarious stand up and talk about his experiences in show biz. If you get a chance to see his show, please do.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Thinking about the future...

So as most people who read my blog regularly know, I've been waitlisted for my two top pharmacy schools, and I'm trying to be patient. And while I know this and have to let things move on their own accord because I can't do anything to push the process along, it's been extremely draining emotionally for me. I would've thought that I would've been able to put plans in motion for school by now, but being waitlisted for these schools means that I can't plan. Given that I like to plan for everything, especially for such a crazy life-altering experience as going back to school, it's been pretty tough not knowing what my immediate future's going to be like, let alone the next few years after that.

If there's anything good that's going to come out of this, it's realizing that I have to appreciate what I do know and have--the present, and I think that's the one thing that I've never been good at: to be able to appreciate all the gifts I have for what they are, since worrying about my future right now is pointless. It just seems so convenient that I'm learning all these life lessons as I'm turning a new chapter in my life and that until I do, I feel like I'm stuck. Whether it's knowing I have the love and support of my family, friends and husband and feeling secure in my decisions, whatever they may be; to appreciating that I can still do many of the things in my 30s that I was in my 20s (and meeting many people who can't); and that no matter what else happens, I will be making decisions that I'll have to be able to live with. It also helps that I'm appreciating aspects of my life that I've neglected (like realizing that singing and dancing represent two hobbies in my life that give me absolute joy, and that until very recently I wasn't able to do either regularly).

I guess that's the big dilemma in my life now--am I willing to move to another part of the country (heck, another part of the world) to fulfill my dream and leave everything I know behind, or am I willing to gamble and wait for my dream school to accept me and stay here with everyone and everything that's near and dear to my heart? Either way it's incredibly frightening, but also very exciting. Frankly, that's not a question I'm ready to answer, because that question hasn't been really posed to me yet. I'm not sure how I will answer that question when it poses itself.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Brief updates...

(Realizing that I should probably start twittering if I keep doing this, but oh well...)

o Just came back from a great weekend with the husband up in Seattle, even if it was way too short and way frickin' cold (snow in Seattle in the middle of April?! WTF?!). Made me realize how much I missed him *sigh*, and that it's going to be to his birthday tomorrow and our 11th anniversary after that. Gorged (as usual) at Top Pot Doughnuts, Café Flora, Tamarind Tree and Café Nola (as featured on Food Network!). Found an interesting fried chicken place (that we didn't try since we were going for vegetarian food that night), a really nasty crepe place (only because Ernie talked about it on 8asians), and a really cool Asian grocery store in the International District.

o Found myself wondering if I could live in Seattle, and finding myself really surprised that the answer was "yes."

o My doctor's closing down his private practice and now I have to find another primary care physician (AGAIN). If anyone knows of any good queer male physicians of color who practice in SF who take Anthem Blue Cross or HealthNet, it'd be much appreciated...

o STILL no updates from Hawai'i. At least I know I won't hear from UCSF till mid-May, but still...

o You can now catch me doing karaoke, getting drunk, and eating my ass off--on public TV no less. Click here for the video. I'm featured in the part about Playground, which begins at around the 19 minute mark. Thanks to my friend for making me realize that I look like a dirty old man enticing these young girls to drink with me. My dad would be SO proud (and even more confused about me...).

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thoughts and updates...

o Thanks to Joz and Yoshi for the awesome party down in LA and for letting me drink more in the past 3 days than I have in the past 3 years (probably). Surprised that I wasn't as drunk as I thought I'd be.

o No new news about UCSF and Hawai'i.

o I have to pay way too much in taxes, and now I'm seriously considering quitting one of my jobs because the hassle of being an independent contractor isn't worth the money.

o Looking forward to going to Seattle to see the husband, and celebrate 11 years together.

o I'm realizing that this whole year (at least until the end of summer) is really about patience and just letting things happen on their own time, and of their own accord, since nothing I can do can really change things (mostly about pharmacy school, but also about other things which aren't worth blogging about, or stuff that I'm not going to blog about).

o Realizing that I know a lot of people from Facebook, but also realizing that quality is always worth more than quantity.

o Remembering that blogging (for me) is just really all about me, and not putting anything else on that agenda except what I want people to know about me. It's kinda nice having something that's really self-serving. :)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

iPod thoughts...

So I'm going through my iPod Shuffle and realizing that I have lots of random shit in it: old-school hip hop and freestyle from the late 80s and early 90s; lots of pop music; some classical; ballads; jazz (Ella Fitzgerald, Cassandra Wilson, etc.).

I suddenly notice that one song that I can't place and it hits me...it's a remixed version of the theme from the Super Nintendo RPG, Chrono Trigger, one of the best old-school RPGs ever (click here for the cover). For some reason, hearing the song just makes me really, really happy. And I try to figure out why...when the game first came out, I was starting grad school in Santa Barbara, which is not exactly a happy memory for me. But I remember feeling at 21 the thrill of doing what I thought I wanted to do. And now, at 34, I'm feeling that thrill again, since I'm (hopefully) going to start pharmacy school. Unlike the doubts I had about grad school, I'm very excited to start pharmacy.

The thought of getting to do a do-over at 34 just makes me feel real giddy, even if I still don't know where I'll end up...

Friday, March 28, 2008

I finally heard about UCSF.

I got waitlisted for them too. ARGH!

At least I didn't get rejected, but according to their letter, people from the waitlist won't start getting notifications until mid-July for UCSF. In Hawai'i, people will start being re-evaluated as early as April.

I'm now wondering how I'm going to do this. If I end up getting accepted at Hawai'i, but then I get a call from UCSF saying that they're willing to take me, would I just quit and go back to SF? It's all very confusing...

But I won't have to worry about that for a while anyway *sigh*...

Wish me luck, and hope I don't go crazy in the meantime!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

One way to keep my mind off of UCSF...

So I'm supposed to find out about whether UCSF has accepted me or not for pharmacy school by the end of March.

It's March 27, and three or four more days to wait. Needless to say, I'm tearing my hair out and going crazy with waiting.

Thank the goddess that my boss for my independent contractor job showed me this website of (naked, mostly gay) men and their awfully decorated abodes while they're in the midst of uh...pleasure. (Needless to say, this is WAY NSFW, so you shouldn't be looking at this at work, or with any children or small furry animals about or they'll be traumatized for life--YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED) To make things even better, there's really hilariously bitchy critiques of the domiciles, and the people who're being pictured, done by mostly queer men (and one dyke).

It's a great way to distract myself from why I haven't received that damn decision letter yet (and almost makes me wanna go to my former...uh, friends' houses and take pictures, just as a way of gaining revenge on them...).

This is why I love being queer--only queers can look at (bad) porn and make fun of the fucking decor...!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Just because it was cute...

I blame Ernie and 8asians for turning me on to this website....

Funny Pictures
see more crazy cat pics

Monday, March 17, 2008

One down, one to go!

So I just found out that I made alternate for University of Hawaii-Hilo pharmacy school. It's not a bad thing, but I guess I didn't do as well in the interview that I thought I did. But now I have to wait to see if I'll get in, and that can be as late as the first week of class. Yikes.

At least I'm still waiting for UCSF, and now I'm hoping that I am the one out of 122. (I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope).

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Thanks for the birthday wishes!

Thanks to everybody who sent me birthday wishes...I feel very blessed and honored to have such awesome friends and family. :)

It was a very strange, but good day. Woke up with a weird tension headache that went away after I took some meds.

The hospital where I work on Fridays had a fire and we were evacuated. After the fire, my computer was acting up and for some reason kept on punching in the number 8, so of course I took that as a sign and bought a lottery ticket. I didn't tell my coworkers about my birthday, but they found out and gave me a card and some candy totally impromptu, so that was a nice little surprise.

The husband left me a sweet voicemail wishing me Happy Birthday and decided to give me Duel Love as a belated birthday present (I actually blogged about the game here).

After crashing after work, I went to hang out with some friends and have dinner and karaoke at Playground, and noticed that a show was filming there. My friends and I didn't think anything of it, since we figured we wouldn't be filmed, until a cameraman barges in on us while I was singing Spandau Ballet's "True," and he ends up filming me and my friends singing! Then one of the other people filming asked us to do a toast for the cameraman--and considering one of our friends there was underage, we gave her a glass of water and did the toast, just in case people wonder... So I guess I'm going to be on TV. Again. The show's called Check Please!, and it'll be featured sometime in April (I'm guessing). Thank God I'm used to knowing what to do for TV cameras...

So overall, it was a very interesting and fun birthday--and reminded me that I have some great friends and family. Thanks. :)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Happy birthday to me....

That's all :)

Not doing much this year since I'm still waiting for my (I hope) acceptance letters for UCSF and Hawaii, but if you wanna send me presents or wanna get together that's cool...

or if SOMEONE would join her GirlFriend from LA next weekend to hang out with me for shabu shabu with Ernie...

(you know who you are, and yes I'm calling you out!) :D

Saturday, March 01, 2008

How do you say...?

So I'm back at work yesterday (sigh) when one of the techs comes in frantic, asking us, "How do you say, 'hold your breath' in Tagalog?"

My coworker and I look at each other (we're both 2nd generation Fil Am, but I don't know Tagalog and she barely speaks it), look back at him, and say, "We have no idea." We end up calling different people and get different answers while the tech rushes out, and calls his sister.

He comes back in, and says, "I think she misunderstood me. She said, 'Hawak ang susu mo!'"

My coworker and I look at each other confused, look at him, and we all start laughing hysterically.

"Yup, she misunderstood you," we both say.

She had said, "Hold your breasts!"

Ok, I'm going to bed...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane...

So tonight's my last night in Hawai'i, and it
made me realize how badly I needed this vacation,
just to think about everything and nothing, and
to enjoy the company of friends, and remembering
the joy of being by myself. It's reminded me how
lucky I am to have friends from so many different
backgrounds, to give me perspectives on issues,
and also made me realize that sometimes, I just need
to shut up and listen to what people are telling me.

Considering that this was my second (and probably
last) pharmacy school interview, it now signals the
last major part of this process: waiting to hear
where I'll be for the next 4 years. I feel like I'm ready to
move on with this process, and regardless of whether
I stay in SF or move to Hilo, I'm ready. I honestly
don't know where I'll be, though I'd love to stay in SF.
But for now, it's not my decision to make.

I had a great time in Hawai'i, but I think I'm ready to
get back to SF. Time for bed!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hi from Honolulu!

What I've been doing so far:

o The interview at Hawai'i-Hilo pharmacy went all right. Halfway through the interview,
I realized that the interview was closed file since everything I said was met with confused
looks as I assumed they had read my app. The weird thing was that apparently not even
half the people scheduled didn't show up for their interview. I hope that works out for me!

o Touristy things I did on the Big Island: Drove up north of Hilo to Tex Drive In for their incredibly good
and sugary malasadas. Drove to Volcano National Park and was amazed at the lava formations,
the amazing scenery and the incredible 20 mile drive to the ocean. Realized how big of a nerd
I was when driving back from the end of the drive back to the entrance and literally saw the
evolution of plants on earth. Went to Nori's Saimin and Snacks (the best restaurant on the Big
Island, supposedly), and Cafe 100, the apparent birthplace of loco moco.

o Finally recovered from my flu after eating a bowl of saimin and found myself soaked in sweat after
my fever broke during dinner.

o Still wrapping around the fact that it only takes an hour long drive to go from Tex Drive In to the
Volcano National Park, and it's only a 45 minute flight from Hilo to Honolulu.

o Amazed that everybody thinks I'm local.

o Shocked that it didn't rain at all in Hilo, and glad I escaped the storms in
SF.

o Happy that I'm really enjoying my first real vacation in 4 years.

o Looking forward to doing some hiking, whale watching and more hanging
out with friends. Bye for now!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hello from Hilo!

I arrived into Hilo last night and getting ready for my interview. I can't say too much now as I have to get ready, but Hilo is gorgeous and warm.

Wish me luck on my interview, then i'm off to tex drive in for malasadas and souvenir shopping.

Too bad I don't have 3G here in Hilo. The network is so slow!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Of all the times to get sick...

Not now! I think I have the flu...3 days before my interview in Hilo AND 2 days before I fly out to Hawai'i. I'm achy, my nose is stuffed up and my throat's on fire.

Not cool. Argh!

Please send your well wishes my way...*sigh*

Friday, February 15, 2008

More random stuff...

o I bought a blue linen dress shirt for my interview in Hawaii-Hilo next Thursday from Thomas Pink today. It's the first time I've ever spent an insane amount of money on a piece of clothing, but this is my pre-birthday gift to myself/pre-congratulations (hopefully) for pharmacy school. And it looks really good on me. *sigh*

o I'm looking forward to going to Hawaii next week. I haven't been there since 2004, and it'll be fun exploring the Big Island (hopefully I'll get to get Kona coffee in Kona, and the husband specifically requested me taking pictures of the volcanoes there). I'm also going to Honolulu and spend it with good friends that I haven't seen in a long time. And I want a tan line. Is that too much to ask? I also should really start seeing if living on the Big Island is something that I can actually do...

o Hung out with the ex today as he had an interview in the East Bay. Considering that I hadn't seen him in a few years, it shocked me how much he had aged in such a short amount of time, and yet he seemed to be the same personality-wise, which....was just very odd to me. There's always been this simmering angry quality to him, which thankfully he has never used on me, but at the same time makes him very hard to understand. Guess that's why he's an ex.

o Wished the husband a happy Valentine's day and anniversary yesterday. I felt twinges of sadness when I realized that we weren't together, but considering that his life seems to be taking a turn for the better (getting a new job, and considering his future plans up in Seattle), it's nice to know that he's doing all right. I still miss him.

o I saw my dad earlier this week for the first time in a few months. It was a good visit, particularly since I hadn't had a chance to talk to him about things, and I got to see pictures of his kid, which is still a bit disconcerting, but I had to get over it.

I was telling him about going to pharmacy school and my concerns of having to move to Hawaii, he said, "Just go to UCSF. It shouldn't be that hard, should it?"

"...."

If only I had as much faith in me as he does!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New College woes *ack!*

So I just read from the SF Chronicle that New College might lose its accreditation as early as next week.

While technically it doesn't affect me since I've already completed all my prereqs for UCSF Pharm, it comes across as a shock that the problems that have been affecting it still haven't been resolved (really, is it THAT hard to implement some kind of hierarchical structure to a university by jiggling the organizational chain?). I remember hearing when I had taken my microbio class through their Science Institute that the profs hadn't been paid for their time the previous month, so I'm wondering what's going to happen.

But in a moment of utter panic, I did order some transcripts just in case the college decides to close. I hope it finds some way to stay open, but if the culture within New College is that recalcitrant to change, then what else can be done?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

What I overheard after my UCSF interview was over...

As the door was closing...

"He did pretty well!"

I am SO psyched! :)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Wish me luck tomorrow!

Tomorrow's my big interview with UCSF Pharm. I'm cautiously optimistic, but still slightly freaking out. I did all these things today to help me relax--like actually sleeping almost 10 hours, and swimming 2200 yards (it may not be relaxing to some folk, but it was a good mind diversion). I also did a little more preparing, trying to read about Medicare Part D and behind-the-counter drugs, but at this point, I'm just going to relax until tomorrow.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Only for my foodie peeps and my Filipino friends in San Francisco ...

Stopped by Mitchell's Ice Cream in the Outer Mission tonight and saw that they had "kalamansi" sorbet, which they only have in the winter.

I've been loath to have it since most of the time it's usually really artificially flavored and I end up not being able to eat 1/2 a scoop before throwing it away. Of course, being the pig that I am, I order it anyway.

It's pretty damn good now. It doesn't have that artificial flavor to it, and you can really taste the calamansi instead of all the weird sugar syrup and preservatives.

If you're in the Bay, go there and get some. I'm buying myself a pint of it tomorrow.

And of course, I'm gonna try to make my own, since my calamansi limoncello was so good from a couple years ago, and I'm going to make dulce de leche ice cream as well. I have friends who have a double ice cream maker so I can make both. :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What have the past 5 years meant to me?

I guess that's one of the things that I've been thinking about the past few days.

It's probably coming into very sharp focus because of my interview for UCSF Pharm school that's coming up. Like I mentioned before, it's a really eerie coincidence that it's happening 5 years to the exact time that my mom passed away. Try as I might, I can't seem to shake the weirdness of it all.

After going through my childhood where my life always teetered on religion vs. superstition, I've maintained my fence sitting by being agnostic. This hasn't certainly been helped by a lot of strange events that can't be explained by science, particularly around the time that my mom passed away (read past postings on my blog on this). It's easy to explain it away by sheer coincidence, and on the whole grand scheme of things, this opinion is right.

So why is it so hard to shake the coincidence of this interview with this anniversary?

In any event, it's made me think of what's happened the past 5 years to me since my mom passed away, which has been a lot. I remember hearing someone mention that one doesn't truly grow up until a parent dies, and when she did die, I suddenly felt like I was set free from my mom's expectations.

It also forced me to confront my past, and made me realize that if I was to ever truly move on with my future, I would have to make peace with the past. For too long, I had kept the past hidden, locked away from my psyche, though it always came up in my dealings with people, my inability to make decisions, my fear of hurting people without regard to my own feelings. I had painted my childhood as being pretty unhappy and miserable, and reconnecting with people who were with me during that time made me realize that it wasn't all bad: it was just what I chose to remember. In order to build the myth that I was strong and happy, I had to reinforce my own belief that I had survived a horrible childhood. And it was bad at times: histories of abuse etched in my mind and my body, for example. But it was also very good and memorable as well: finding kinship and solace with friends and family, especially when I was hurting; having a boyfriend in high school and the giddiness of first love; and seeing that the future is always filled with possibility.

Seventeen years later after graduating from high school, and five years after dealing with my mom's sudden death, and confronting the beginning of my body's transitioning into the mid-30s (with the beginning of my balding head *sigh*), I'm suddenly brought to this simple truth again: the future is always filled with possibility. The past can influence my decisions, but it's up to me to decide whether the lessons I learned in the past are for better or for worse. I've realized that the past 5 years have taught me, more than anything, that I can't just hide the past away. It's helped shape me into the man I am now, but that I always have choices in life, even when I think they don't exist.

Maybe that's why I'm so excited about applying and hopefully getting into pharmacy school: it represents the beginning of what I've always wanted to do. I just needed to convince myself that I was capable of doing it. Too bad it took so damn long. :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Quick update...

o Finally got my interview date for Hawaii-Hilo Pharm: 2/21. So looking forward to it.

o The husband came down this weekend and had a great time with him. I miss him already. *sigh*

o Made a FABULOUS pastel de cuatro leches cake. Click here to see the pics. Click here for the recipe. I made it in less than two hours, and the only thing I didn't make was the caramelized meringue recipe. otherwise, it was great.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Grrr...

I just found out I have to withdraw my application for UOP today. It turns out that they don't accept the New College courses I've been taking, and I'm not going to waste another 5 months to take courses that I've already gotten A+'s just to fulfill some damn requirement from a school that I'm not that excited to go to.

Oh...was I being bitter?

(Note: For those of you who just started reading my blog, no, I don't talk about pharmacy school all the time--it's just really the only thing in my life that's causing me major drama. But hey, I'm going to Hawaii in a month and a half to interview AND to take a well-deserved week-long vacation...and may be start checking out places to live?)

Well, I could talk about some random person overseas trying to call me COLLECT on my damn cell phone, but that's nowhere near as important to me right now.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Two interviews, one wait list, and two more to go...

So I got an e-mail saying that I got an interview from Hawai'i-Hilo pharm. My scream of shock was so loud that people were wondering whether I had passed out or suffered a seizure.

So that makes two interviews (UCSF being the other one), one on the waitlist (Creighton), waiting to hear from UOP, and finishing up the supplemental from Touro.

At least I got an interview from my preferred backup--I don't think living in Hawai'i for four years won't be a bad thing in case I don't get into UCSF. :)

Friday, January 04, 2008

"You want me to pay HOW much?!"

So I was looking at the tuition rates for all the pharmacy schools that I'm applying to (and thanking all and sundry spiritual beings out there that my dad's offering to help pay), and was floored by the costs.

UCSF: $21,000 a year, but since I'm a career employee with benefits, I'll only have to pay 1/3 of that.

Creighton: $28,000 a year.

Hawaii - Hilo: $31,000 a year for non-residents, then $16,000 a year once I obtain residency status.

University of the Pacific: $56,000 my first two years, then $36,000 my last year (It's a three year program)

Touro University - California, in Vallejo: $55,000 a year, for 4 years.

Guess I have to really prepare for UCSF...*sigh*