Don’t time travel

“Don’t time travel, ok?” I said in a frightened voice to Chris after finishing The Time Traveler’s Wife as if he could do anything in the world.

What if you time traveled to a place that you couldn’t predict? What if things happened there that you could do nothing about?

But a thought crossed my mind, what if we had met when I was young kid? Would I know you as I had known you today? Or we were both kids…would we hate each other? Would I have gone crying as you threw the blocks in the air? Or would you have seen the potential?

Regardless, don’t time travel.

I met you 4 times before

“You look familiar,” he said after I had casually said hi while passing him and 2 friends. “Do I know you?”

Two years ago, I made a vow that I would not slink away in guilty timidness when I pass someone I knew. When I saw him in the distance, I debated furiously whether I would say hi to him knowing he probably wouldn’t recognize me. Or would he? Regardless, I wasn’t supposed to keep slinking away from people I meet.

So I said hi and to his question, I quietly said with a smile, “Oh just 4 times before.”

Although I wanted to smack myself in the head later for saying something stupid.

He stopped and tried to study my face. For the next time. I explained the 4 other times we met. The other 4 times that he didn’t remember my name either. The Stirr mixer. The housewarming party. The yelp party. Another 2.0 event?

He bowed slightly and asked, “Do you live around here?”

“Yup, just a few blocks away,” I nodded noticing his two friends were pacing up ahead. “Good to see you again.”

A journey to PA on a weekend

I normally would never take the caltrain on the weekend, but if it wasn’t for good friend Joe in town…I would have never made it.

8:00 am this morning
Alarm goes off. It is silent outside for once. Barely a car moving unlike the usual bustle of San Francisco weekdays. I love my bed at this moment and my down feather comforter.

About 10 minutes later
I peel myself away from my bed and get dressed. I realize that the black and white zebra print won’t do and remind myself to use it for Bay To Breakers next week. It will work well for the Million Pirate March if I can’t come up with a theme by then. I quickly swap for the other $5 H&M skirt I got during December.

8:31 am
I race out the door, mentally checking off whether I brought everything. Wallet. Phone. Keys. Camera. DS. Book. Notebook. Pen. Gift for Joe. I push my way through a crowd of middle aged men crowded around the 23rd and Valencia bus stop. Not such a pleasant smell.

Less than 3 minutes later
I thought the bus schedule said that the 48 was going to arrive at 8:35 am. Breathlessly, I arrive at 24th street, looking at the next muni digital header. 48 2 minutes. Ok. Fine.

8:37 am
I slightly wave at the bus thundering down the hill. The bus driver, a thirty-something Asian man, smiles as I get on the bus. Perhaps because I am Asian and look normal?

Sometime after 8:40 am
We wind along Potrero Hill. I hold my breath as we go through the projects on the south side of Potrero. I started thinking about who would live next to the projects—the nicely built houses. I almost lived on 25th in Potrero but couldn’t justify the freeway sound…and the projects being only 3 blocks away. I wonder whether bus drivers are afraid of driving through the projects…and especially Hunters Point. Are they happy with that job or happier driving the crosstown routes to downtown with irate financial analysts?

8:52 am
I arrive at the 22nd and Pennsylvania station. There’s some Asian girl that also gets off. During the ride there, I wondered if she was visiting her mother too, but she didn’t follow me to the caltrain station. At the station, I walk back and forth, not afraid of the station despite its desolateness under the freeway but more because I was trying to figure out the optimal way to get on the caltrain.

9:02 am
My savior arrives. I mean…the caltrain. I board.

9:10 am
I call Joe and announce my specifics.

More than an hour later
I arrive. I walk under the tunnel to University and walk to High. I am early and I walk around the area, studying the Bead Store, the front entrance to Facebook, and Palo Alto weather. Yeah, I don’t want to live here. Well, maybe I could in a few years. When I have a car.

Insert lots of good food and fun with Joe. Fast forward hours later.

Around 5 pm
Stupid. Is the ticket dispenser only located on the Southbound side? I am irritated and jog my way to the opposite platform to buy a 10-ride ticket. God, the tunnel smells. Or was it the guy with a huge black bag that just passed me?

1 minute later
Oh wait, I didn’t explore the northbound platform enough. Stupid. I’ll just buy the ticket here.

3 minutes later
Waiting. Again. Want to take nap, but metal bench is not conducive to such things.

10 minutes later
A loud African American couple particularly the male interrupts my nap by moving stuff around on the other side of the bench. He asks me if the drink lying on its side is mine. I shake my head. They continue chattering.

5:31 pm
It chugs and I get on.

Somewhere later
I fall asleep and the conductor interrupts my nap. TICKETS?! I hold out my nearly smeared ticket. Satisfied, he moves on. I really want to put my feet on the seat, but I don’t want to get admonished or fined for such deed.

6:40 pm
I realize that I have arrive and quickly rush to the door…stumbling out to the 22nd and Pennsylvania station. I can’t figure out where the bus stop is and wished that I had planned my departure better. I follow a father and 2 kids around until I realized they weren’t going to the bus stop. I eventually find it. I pull out my phone and realize that the bus isn’t going to come for 25 minutes. There’s the T that runs nearby which means it will take 40 minutes to get back. I reject the idea.

10 minutes later
It’s windy and cold. A bus with Garage in its destination sign arrives on the other side of the street. The bus driver heads into the builder with a white bag. A girl wearing a blue hoodie gives an annoyed expression.

5 minutes later
I am ignoring the wind while I read The Life of Pi. I really do like tigers but now I know not to pet them.

Some time later
A bus arrives. I get on.

Much later
Three African American girls get on. They’re are super loud and talk about how a boyfriend didn’t call them to say Happy Mother’s Day. I learned a lot about what they did during the day. I think they’re teenagers and don’t know what it means to be quiet while taking public transit.

A little bit later
I get off at my stop and realize that Zain’s has closed. Good riddance. Didn’t like their wraps.

A minute later
I walk past a group of middle aged men. They have a stereo with them. Loud. I keep my sunglasses on.

Nearing the 26th year

Unlike Alex’s predication, I have not stopped discovering new music and started listening to NPR.

For the former, because I am suddenly in a non-college environment, I don’t have the people constantly recommending me new music. For the latter, I tried for one month to live the world of a true 25-year-old, but quickly returned to my naive, superficial self. At least, I discovered and loved This American Life.

I admit though that I hate the idea of standing in a concert surrounded by teeny-boppers. I don’t like the pulsing music beating on the speakers and people shoving me from behind. But every so often, like today, when I listen to the Pillows, I suddenly want to be there in the crowd dancing in my mini space in front of the band. And shouting the words to every song—because I know every song.

The best concerts I have been to are: Beirut at Hertz Hall and Stars at Bimbos. Especially the latter.

Right now, my current discovery is the Best of Bootie 2007—a remix of the major songs from last year.

DIY Fashion

After attending Maker Faire, I started fantasizing about the things I could make. Specifically clothes.

I have a habit of making anything that I would buy repeatedly. Usually food. Pho to spaetzle to bun to hamburgers.

Usually nothing turns out right, but now it turns out there’s a huge DIY fashion community.

What to do with all those free t-shirts I get? Why of course, t-shirt surgery! Especially for something that I would pay $40 for. And the t-shirt reconstruction all the way down to a wedding dress out of white t-shirts.

A t-shirt gallery? Silkscreening classes? All in need of a sewing machine?

But what to do with the t-shirts that say…Nvidia, Ebay…do I want to display them proudly or bleach out their name to use what fabric is left?

I forgot my pin number

At Maker Faire on Sunday, I stumbled upon this beautiful lavender slip. Handmade. With dark green stitching and two silkscreened purple balloons. It had a piece of fake fur with an iridescent button on the front. Small lace fabric decorated the bottom of the slip.

I had to have it.

But then I realized that both Chris and I had only $53 and the dress was $63. She only accepted cash or check. And the fair was going to end in less than 10 minutes.

We rushed to a nearby ATM. I put in my Wamu card. For some reason, I just could not remember my pin number. Earlier in the day, I also had trouble remembering my pin number. So I continued mashing the keypad trying to remember the 4 digit pin number. The same pin number I had for the last few years…and an account that I frequently accessed…I just couldn’t remember.

And at some point, I was locked out of my account since I had entered an incorrect pin so many times.

Somehow we worked it out and got a check…

But I was troubled by the fact that I could not remember my pin number. An account that I had last accessed 3 weeks ago.

Today, I went down to the Wamu branch near work prepared to face the worst. I read online that I would need to go inside and declare my forgotten memory. They would ask me to enter my old pin number so I could get a new pin number, but then I say I can’t remember. And they would give me a look as they see that my account had been accessed 3 weeks ago from the ATM and why couldn’t I remember that number? Then I would present my driver’s license and wait unhappily for 3 days until a letter arrives in the mail with a new pin number…

But instead, I went to the ATM and tried again. Suddenly I remember my pin number on the brand new ATMs and it was as if it never happened.

Then I decided a few days later to open an account at BOFA.

Toad’s Travels

“Where did you get him?” a girl asked Chris at Maker Faire.

“He came from Japan,” he responded nonchalantly, obviously pleased with all the attention he got from girls from carrying Toad around.

The girl paused in surprise and simply parroted, “Japan?”

“Yeah, imported.”

Fear begets fear

Anxiety begets anxiety.

Today, I stood in front of a towering gray mountain with colored specks. A friend told me to try. But my own fear nearly overcame me. I wanted to say no, I’ll just watch, but instead I was encouraged to move ahead and found myself climbing it.

So I climbed. One rock at a time. And somehow despite a fear of falling, I climbed up 10 feet without hesitation. Even looking down wasn’t that bad as I heard calls of good job and then it was ok.

And somehow the fear that nearly crippled me initially, almost making me wanting to just walk out…was replaced my exhaustion from climbing.

What I thought was anxiety were only ropes on my hands that needed untying.

Frozen yogurt adventures

In an effort to curb my spending on frozen yogurt (the phenomenon started by Pinkberry) in the Bay Area, I have started purchasing my own toppings.



Will the stores yell at me if I bring a small tupperware of my favorite toppings since they charge me between 25 cents to 75 cents for each topping…which is often less then a spoonful?