The times when I thought doing nothing all day was appealing are long gone.

Nowadays, I wake up exactly at 10 am. Sometimes waking up in sudden alertness, worried that I had overslept and missed something important. But then I realize I am at my parents\’ house–a place despite the ever-present nagging where I can feel safe.

I stare at my laptop, waiting for something to arrive in e-mail. I am antsy. Watching TV is an option, but nothing is ever interesting. I could work on my portfolio, making it more detailed. I could work on applying for jobs. I could work on my personal projects–my memoirs, a log of all the restaurants I have been to in the last year, the photo project I had always intended to finish, sprucing up my sister\’s site… But instead, I stare at Mail and hope that something will come. So I wait.

Sometimes I can\’t help but stare.

I hate rubbernecking, but I\’ll stare, observe any random person.

Staring is rude yes, but on buses, subways…I have noticed that people always stare at the floor like they\’re afraid of seeing people\’s emotions on their faces. They\’re listless, unmoving. Some wear headphones looking into nothingness. We all sit silently together in the same place.

Lately, I have been practicing my staring skills. If someone catches me staring, I\’ll try not to look away. I\’ll hold that glance. That one moment.

I have been organizing and planning a new year\’s party (a few friends are getting hotel rooms in downtown SF) and have been trying to invite everyone that I know who may be in the bay area. I had been spamming people I hadn\’t seen for a few years. People who I neglected to keep in touch with since I moved to Pittsburgh. And strangely enough, it has been all working out.

After inviting people I knew in college and grad school, I started on the people I knew before all of that. Suddenly, I came to a dead end. My social life before college was nonexistant. I thought of my high school and middle school \”friends\”. It\’s not that we didn\’t keep in touch. It\’s more that I was only friends with them because I didn\’t want to be alone. Moreover, we were all collectively \”outcasts\” in school. I remember having three pleasantly plump friends–Megan, Jamie and Amanda. I was the tiniest one. I was a mute in any social situations. I liked them only for the fact that they liked me. But that\’s our high school selves, isn\’t it?

Is it always a good thing to tell a friend that she\’ll be a \”bad mother\”? In seriousness?

I think it could be the worst thing that one person could say directly about another. It\’s not great to \”help\” someone realize it. It\’s not like something like \”hey, you got something in your teeth.\” It\’s an opinion. It\’s a painful insult.

Off to Reno for a Cantonese show that my mom saw in the newspaper. For xmas eve and xmas. For now due to my automatic scripts, I leave you with:

Thanks to one friend who has studied my facial expressions in depth.

Over dinner, suddenly my grandmother asked me, \”Are you going to bring a boyfriend home one of these days? From over there?\”

One of those questions that I should expect to come one day. My parents refrain from asking those questions because they didn\’t get married until they were 30 and believe I shouldn\’t either.

I began searching for the Chinese words in my head for what I wanted to say and eventually blurted out in broken chinese, \”I don\’t need boyfriend! Have friends! I have many friends! Men…\”

My sister interjected, \”Men! So much nonsense!\”

My father overhearing the conversation, perked up and said, \”What she is saying is that they have many friends, but they just happen to be male. Not a boyfriend.\”

I confirmed, \”Yes! Friends! Better! Happy!\”

My grandmother got it, \”Oh, are you trying to say \’problematic\’?\”

\”Yes! Men! Problematic!\”

Then when my parents weren\’t looking, my grandmother gave my sister and I each $50 as christmas presents.

Just a thought. What if I blocked all my visitors who use internet explorer? That would weed out the visitors who I don\’t want reading in the first place.

After all, my good friends are smart enough to use firefox. Or better yet, osx.