badness, family, goodness, life, manfolk

Jobs, jobs, and oh yeah, I’m bi

I’ve been avoiding writing a new post about what life has been like lately because there’s so much to report, and it’s not all good, and why would I intentionally, slowly, and in excruciating detail relive that?  Because that’s what this blog is for: my life.  All of it.

I need a full-time job.  So applied to the JET Program and got rejected.  I applied to AEON and got rejected.  I’d like to teach here in Los Angeles, and I’d like to travel, but really, I need a full-time job.  I heard from the host teacher at the ESL school where I volunteer that I might be offered evening classes as a substitute teacher, which would be a fantastic way to get my foot in the door, and get some real teaching experience.  Meanwhile, I had an interview at the journalism school at my university which sounds fun.  The woman I interviewed with was great, and we got along really well.  She mentioned that she might hire for the position I was interviewing for internally, but that that would mean another opening in her office.  I told her, “I’m not married to this title.  If I can work full-time in this office with people like you, that sounds fantastic.  I would love to work here.”  We chatted very briefly about anime, manga, cosplay, and martial arts (her best friend does Hap Ki Do, wtf).  She really seemed to like that I had gotten my master’s in teaching English as a foreign language.  Overall it went really well, and it would still allow me to be available in the evenings to potentially teach.  All good.

I got hired to work the Renaissance Faire this year!  All my weekends will be booked for the next six weeks or so (brutal).  I’ll be selling steak on a stake and sausage, which I’m going to be hawking in my best improvised, filthy Elizabethan (when we practiced during orientation, I shouted “Good day, m’Lord!  You’d like a hot sausage in your mouth, wouldn’t you?”  Once my mostly-teenage coworkers stopped laughing, our boss said, “But… make sure there aren’t any kids around if you’re going to say that stuff.”).  I ran into a friend from Office Job there, who invited me to work beverages instead, which I would love to do, so maybe that’ll happen!  I went to her place that evening to socialize with the beverage people, all of whom are older than me, and a total fucking hoot.  Working with them would be a blast.  I hope it works out.

I got drinks with a new friend from Office Job who used to work at an LGBT center at a conservative Christian university.  We chatted about gender and sexuality, and decided we should hang out, which we did last week at El Carmen.  When I went to the bathroom for the second time, there was a pretty girl sitting on the bench opposite the bathroom door, waiting her turn, whose face lit up when she saw me, and greeted me with a warm, “Hi.”  We flirted for a while, she took her turn in the bathroom, and when she came out we flirted some more, during which she called me gorgeous twice, we hugged, and before she left I said, “Wait, so, can I get your number?”  “Yeah!  Yeah…”  So.  I totally got some girl’s number for the first time ever.  I texted her a couple days later to see if she’d gotten home alright from the bar and don’t expect to hear back.  It doesn’t really matter.  I got a girl’s number!  Woot!

But what made me do that?  Hanging out with my new friend that night, we had been chatting a lot about sexuality, so it was at the forefront of my mind (plus I had a pretty solid buzz going after 2.5 happy hour margaritas).  I told her a I was bi, and we talked about that for a while, and she said, “Have you told your family?”

Cue record scratch.

My face dropped.  “Oh.”  It never occurred to me that I might have to do that at some point, unless I brought a girl home.  I don’t feel closeted, so I never felt the need to come out.  But she asked, and it got me thinking, and now I can’t stop thinking about it.  So when I hung out with Sister a few days later, I told her about this girl I had hit on.  “She was just so cute, so I asked for her number, and she fucking gave it to me.  Ugh.  So weird.”  Sister squinted a little during the whole story, but listened patiently with a hesitant “Ok…” here and there.  Afterward she said, “Wow.  So.  [my full name].”  We both laughed.  Then her boyfriend came in and the topic shifted to my graduate school graduation party.  However.  A couple days later she IM’d me over Gchat:

hey [tigerlilytoph]!
good seeing you last night and jumping on the invitation business
i want to talk to you about a conversation we stated earlier in the evening maybe next week

ok
I’m free most evenings I think
busy tuesday
and friday

ok cool 🙂
i have [friend]’s bday dinner wednesday

Monday?
or Thursday?

how about monday

okies
ugh now I’m kinda nervous
GROSS

about what?
me wanting to talk to you?

yeaaaaaah

llol
don’t be you goose
i’m just concerned your not happy that’s all

oh?

yeah so i just wanted to share with you my thoughts and be a good big sister

thanks 🙂

nothing to feel gross about silly [tigerlily]

well ok
i’ll stop throwing up now

llol
ew

right?

you going to hear [cousin] play tonight?

I am not going to [cousin]’s show tonight, but I definitely want to go to another one of his shows
His group has a good sound, and he seems really happy with them

So that conversation wasn’t a total disaster, and I think it’s going to be ok (of course it would be better if she hadn’t canceled to spend time with her friend who just broke up with her significant other, because now I’m all nervous all over again).  Now I’m mostly worried that she saw my hitting on that girl as evidence that I’m not happy with Boyfriend.  Blerg.  I can’t handle her judgement.  I want to hear her opinion, but if she could give it without all the fucking judgement, that would be just super.

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family, goodness, life, manfolk, martial arts, school, work

The past two months

I can’t believe it’s been almost two months since I posted.  Unacceptable.  “Marjorie, pull yourself together!”

Things have been moving very quickly over the last few months.  I’ve started my last semester of grad school, which is bittersweet.  I’m ready to be done with school, but sad I won’t be able to tell people I’m a grad student, which I’v fantasized about doing since I was just a kid.  I’ll be done with classes in about six weeks, and I’ll walk at the graduation ceremony in early May.  My parents will be so proud, which makes me very happy.

give me a life in the country

I’ve applied to the JET program, which, if I’m accepted, will take me to Japan for a year to teach English.  I’ll essentially get paid to do accent reduction as a TA and live in the countryside, which sounds like a fucking dream.  I probably should’ve asked Boyfriend what he thought of that idea before I applied, but I didn’t because I want to go to Japan, and that’s that.  Turns out he’s totally into it, and will come visit/live with me for short stints if it works out.  Very exciting 🙂  I’m signed up for weekly, 2-hour Japanese classes; they start next Thursday.
UPDATE: 1/21/14
I just found out that I didn’t get into the JET program.  I’m totally crushed.  I can’t think of why they wouldn’t take me.  I didn’t even get an interview.  Ugh.  Ouch.
END OF UPDATE

taught my Master Tatsu. no, really.

I’ve taken up Shinkendo, which is very challenging but rewarding (and I passed my first test!  Woot!).  We’ve started learning bō, my favorite weapon, and I could not be more excited.  Bō speaks to me in a way the sword does not, it’s like having a dance partner; it does what it wants, all I can do is give suggestions.  We form an agreement (most of the time), and communicate well.  Perhaps more importantly, I’ve found some amazing people who have become good friends at the dojo, and I’ve had the chance to reconnect with an old friend from elementary school, and can’t wait to help that friendship grow.  I also started another blog, which is what I’ve been spending my time on instead of tigerlilytoph.com:

http://www.dojostuff.wordpress.com

It’s all about life in a martial arts studio, and how hilarious and stressful it can be.

Office Job is still pretty dull, but better since Little Mole Boss was removed from her position as my boss.  She was a good boss (maybe the best I’ve had), but it’s nice to work with my co-workers more directly and speak frankly when we exchange ideas without fear of stepping on anyone’s toes.  I’m taking a more active role in the upcoming events our office is planning, which feels good.

I’ll upload a photo of our bees’ honey soon!

The bees are doing just swimmingly, and we might actually harvest some honey this season!  Soon!  We did a minor inspection and found a few bars dedicated to honey and nothing else.  I held up the comb in front of the setting sun, and it glowed amber and gold.  The comb broke open when I pulled it out (the bees built two bars of comb together, so it broke apart when I pulled one bar out), and the honey dripped out of the cells.  We tasted it right off the top of the hive.  It had a clean, light taste, ultra sweet and just beautiful to look at (surprisingly light in color).  I can’t wait to see what it looks like once we harvest a little bit.

Thanksgiving this year was good, but boozy for the cousins.  I love them, but omg they are annoying drunks, and they drink a lot, lol.  I’m such a lightweight, maybe I’m jealous? (hint: NOPE)  Next year we’ll have to divvy up the apartments by temulency rather than gender.  Diminutive Friend came up for Thanksgiving day to hang out and eat with the family.  She seemed grateful to have people to spend the holiday with since she couldn’t spend it with her family in New Orleans.  I love her so much.

Dad told me a while back that he’s unhappy at work, and since he’s unreceptive to changing jobs, I told him I expect him to find some way to change his attitude toward his job.  Instead of taking his job personally (and constantly checking his damn email), he’ll have to find a way to let it go.  We’ll see how that goes.  It strikes me that I’ve chosen a good path: teaching English as a foreign language is a job I will enjoy (assuming I can find one).  Frankly teaching just about anything at all would make me happy, and I’m lucky to have discovered this as early has I did.

My folks gave Boyfriend a subscription to Bon Apetit magazine for Xmas, which I’ve already reaped the benefits of with a delicious rosemary chicken and a butter-basted halibut.  He is an amazing person.  We’ve been together over 5.5 years, since April of 2008.  I find the idea of marrying him very, very intimidating, even though I would love to have him as a life partner, and he clearly feels the same.  Luckily, neither of us is in any rush to make it official, and I’ve never had a burning desire to wear diamonds.

I spent this past weekend at GameHaus with friends, and, like every Sunday, doing Shinkendo and enjoying my dojo family’s company.

I am so lucky.

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goodness, life, manfolk

It’s symbolic of our LOVE

serrano boyfwend is ready to pick

serrano boyfwend is ready to pick

Boyfriend was bummed out about something a few months back (I think he didn’t land a job he really wanted), so I decided to cheer him up by buying a bunch of herbs to plant in the backyard.  We planted them together, and it’s actually been pretty delightful to watch him get excited about tending to them and watching them grow.  A common question I pose to him after we’ve eaten or had tea is, “Wanna go smile at the plants?”

I got him two basil, two rosemary, one cherry tomato, and one serrano chile plant, which he has used in the chilli he makes so adeptly.  Since this batch of gardening has gone so swimmingly, we added five kale plants to the collection, all of which are thriving (we can’t wait to eat them).  So far we’ve eaten something from every plant: Boyfriend eats the basil straight off the vine whenever a tomato ripens, he used the rosemary in a French chicken recipe that I could’ve eaten until I exploded it was AMAZEBALLS, and I use the rosemary and basil for herb butter.  The serrano chile made it into his trademark chilli, and Diminutive Friend’s salsa, which she made from tomatoes from her garden in back yard of the house she bought in the Valley (still so proud of her for that).

Boyfriend turned 30 in August, and Diminutive Friend took the opportunity to buy him any hot pepper plant he wanted (he’s a fan of heat).  We now have a jalapeno plant that’s just sprouted its first flower (or maybe it’s turning into a little pepper now… I’ll have to check today).

Also, he’s out of town on a job (or two) in London for about 10 days and I miss him.  *sigh*  Nothing is as fun without him.

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family, goodness, life, manfolk, school

Hawai’i: Day eight

Finally, I’ve gotten around to writing about our last day in Hawai’i.  We were bummed to leave, but also kinda ready (the humidity makes you feel sticky all the time.  The copious amounts of sunscreen didn’t help either).

Our last day there was the day of my presentation at the conference!  I was a bit nervous, but mostly excited about meeting people, presenting my ideas, fielding questions, and hearing the other presentations in my session.  My presentation went really well; there were several questions afterward, and one of the women (who was also presenting) had also played World of Warcraft, so we had loads to talk about afterward.  Her presentation was on gender roles in TV and movies, particularly the way they are portrayed in ancient dramas (Rome, 300, Game of Thrones, etc.).  It was really interesting.  She lives in Sweden, and invited me to come speak at her university so we’re staying in touch.

SO GOOD

SO GOOD

Afterward I felt free as a bird and really excited to get some pork laulau, which I’d been craving all week.  We went to Ono Hawai’ian Foods on Kapahulu near Waikiki on uncle Bobby’s recommendation, and it turned out to be the same place I went with my cousin Leah the last time I was in town for the same conference.  Boyfriend tried poi for the first time and actually liked it (shock).  I was still riding high on being finished with my presentation (even though it was the last day of our trip), so we drove to Dave’s Ice Cream for another helping of azuki bean ice cream.  They had a dark/bright purple ice cream that was imo flavored (Japanese [Okinawan] purple sweet potato) which was bonkers.

how does this sign help?  all it does is freak people out.

found this sign at the Pali Lookout. how does this help? all it does is freak people out.

We headed back to Lanikai side to have one last ocean experience before we left the next day.  On our way, I realized that we’d been driving past the Pali Lookout but hadn’t yet gone up.  So we took a quick detour to enjoy the view and almost got blown right off the mountain.  There were loads of tourists from all over, but my favorite was a German woman feeding wild chickens that had come out of the forest right next to the parking lot while her husband smiled and told her to get in the car.

We brought Boyfriend’s nice camera to the beach, and I brought my ukulele.  He took a few photos, and we swam around a bit enjoying the water and watching people kayak around.  When we went back in, a guy had a bucket with a couple fish, and encouraged us to take a photo of them in rapid pidgin.  He said one of them was a barracuda, cool!

it stared at us with its dead, beady eye

it stared at us with its dead, beady eye

We were sad to leave Bob and Nancy (and Bella, *sniffle*), but it was so nice to spend so much time with them that it was hard to be too broken up.  Boyfriend and I woke up at 330am to drive across the island and arrive at the airport by 5 so I could be on a plane by 620am.  On the drive back, boyfriend apparently stopped and took a bunch of photos of the sunrise over the ocean near Lanikai.  I’m jealous I couldn’t see it with him, the photos are incredible.  I ended up taking a later flight anyway, and got a $400 voucher in exchange, woot!  Continental owes me that for that time they botched my trip to the east coast to visit Boyfriend a few years back (I’m still a little broken up about that, lol).

I’m so glad Boyfriend and I had this trip together.  After more than five years we’re still excited to see each other and spend time together.  I’m looking forward to spending that voucher on another fun trip with him 🙂

playing some Jamaica Farewell to the mokes on my ukulele

playing some Jamaica Farewell to the mokes on my ukulele

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family, goodness, manfolk

Hawai’i: Day seven

amazeballs

amazeballs

We got up super early this morning to go to the convention so I could hear a talk on social media in the classroom.  I made a couple of contacts (and emailed them immediately), and got a tip on another one at Harvard.  Boyfriend and I got some AMAZING tonkatsu and curry afterward at Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin in Waikiki.  I’ve been craving some Japanese curry since we got here, and I’m so satisfied now that I’ve had that meal.  The pork loin was crunchy and juicy, the curry was hot and flavorful, the service was amazing, the ambiance was great.  It’s located on a little side street and I’ll definitely have to find it another time.

this hibiscus was outside Tutu's building.  I've never seen one this color before.

this hibiscus was outside Tutu’s building. I’ve never seen one this color before.

We came home and Jon knocked out while I went out with uncle Bobby to get some stuff at the hardware store and visit Tutu.  She was sacked out when we got there, so we went back to the hardware store and bought some sink drain stuff and lumber, which we lashed to the top of the car with a trucker’s knot (pretty cool), and headed home.  The whole time, Bobby filled me in on the family drama, all of which sounds totally unnecessary, but it’s family so what can you do?  Anyway, it was nice to spend some time with him one-on-one.

I showered with Boyfriend when we got home and headed out to dinner with just Nancy (Bobby’s root canal went well but it started bothering him in the afternoon) to get dinner at one of her friends’ houses on the other side of Kaneohe Bay.  The house is right above the water, and the view is absurd.  There’s a set of stairs right down to the water, and a little private dock.  We had dinner on the balcony.  Ridiculous.

kaneohe bay

kaneohe bay

Dinner was nice, and all of Nancy’s friends are intellectual, educated and super nice.  Nancy brought mochi-ice cream from some market and it was easily the greatest mochi I may ever have.  I had a little white one that was lychee flavored, and almost tasted like it had some rose water in it, it was so perfume-y and delicious.  I drove the Kia home and we chatted about cats and coyotes on the ride home.

More importantly, this is Bella:

always in a good mood

always in a good mood

Bella is awesome.  She’s a golden retriever, only about 8 months old, super sweet, and my new best friend.

 

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Hawai’i: Day six

I was too wiped out to write about our day last night. We got an early start at 730am. Bobby was nice enough to get up with us to show us which house we were borrowing a kayak from. We found a two-person kayak, grabbed a couple of oars, and threw everything in the back of the Kia while Bobby went back home to sleep. We drove about a block with half the kayak sticking out of the back of the car, unloaded it and carried/dragged it down a sandy path to the beach.

this kayak, but without the seats (wtf would you do with those?)

this kayak, but without the seats (wtf would you do with those?)

Boyfriend and I were super excited. I had him sit in the front even though he weighs more so he could have a beautiful view while we paddled around. I had him pull the kayak down the beach to the water to feel how bouyant it is so he would feel safe in it (and it’s fun to feel something so heavy become so light so quickly). He got in and I launched us and jumped in behind him, and we took off toward the Mokuluas.

my shot of the Mokuluas from a pillbox

my shot of the Mokuluas from a Lanikai pillbox

Our goal was to make it out to the left Moke (Moku Nui), and we made it no problem. We took a couple of breaks on our way there and back to enjoy the view, feel the water and generally relax. The morning was perfect for being out on the water. There was plenty of cloud cover, there was a little wind, the water was calm, and there was no rain. As we approached the Mokuluas, the sun broke through the clouds, Boyfriend paddled, slow and strong, and the cool emerald water dripped from his paddle onto my legs. The beauty of the moment is hard to describe. It felt like a dream.

some jerk photographer's shot of the mokes

some jerk photographer’s shot of the mokes

Once we arrived, we walked around the beach and enjoyed the view. We found a sea slug covered in sand and latched onto a rock (it was alive and healthy, so naturally we both poked it gently and laughed), and a sea urchin a couple feet from that (it was also alive, and we watched it move it’s spikes slowly whenever the waves receded and the sand settled. We were tempted to take a shell back with us, but decided to be responsible tourists and left it behind. We were both bummed that we didn’t have any way to take a photo of the gorgeous view of Oahu, and the Mokuluas up close, especially where the waves crashed against the dark black rocks on the south side of the island.

exterior tiles at the Doris Duke estate

exterior tiles at the Doris Duke estate

We paddled back in no time flat, returned the kayak, and headed back home to shower and change. We headed straight out for Waikiki to eat (more udon, yum!) before heading to the Honolulu Museum of Art (cool Japanese art collection; beautiful kimonos, wallets, netsuke and komainu) to meet up with a tour of Doris Duke’s house, Shangri-la. I’ve been there once before, and my memory of it was apparently very sharp. The house is an odd mixture of responsible art preservation and evidence of obviously wreckless looting. It’s been ten years (at least) since I first saw the house, and I didn’t have a degree in art history then, so I felt somewhat more disturbed about the acquisition of many of the pieces in the house. Regardless it’s an incredible resource, and a semi-legitimate museum in its own right.

We headed back across the island to the cottage so I could take class only to realize once we arrived and couldn’t join the classroom that I had forgotten about the 3-hour time difference. Derp. So I missed the last class of the semester. I’ll still get an A in the class (assuming my case study doesn’t suck), and I really disliked the professor, so I don’t really care.

that means you, asshole

that means you, asshole

We ordered Thai food for dinner, which Jon and I picked up and paid for.  At the restaurant, there was a fish tank with a huge, hideous looking fish, apparently named Bruno, whom only a guy named Joe is allowed to feed.  Huh.  We ate dinner in front of the TV with Bobby and Nancy (we watched another episode of The Protectors, one of the Danish cop dramas that Nancy likes, and which I have to watch from the beginning now because I’m totally hooked). We crashed hard after that, and had to get up super early this morning to make it to the conference for an 8am talk about social media in the classroom. Boyfriend said he would come with me, even though I said I’d be back home by noonish. He’s so sweet.

Bobby’s having a root canal done today, and seemed a bit on edge about it last night (naturally). He doesn’t do well with pain, so I’ll have to check on him later.

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Hawai’i: Day five

this year is the 12th.  I also spoke at the 5th.

this year is the 12th. I also spoke at the 5th.

Today was the first day of the Hawai’i International Conference, where I’ll be speaking soon, and which was my impetus for coming over here at all.  Boyfriend and I had breakfast (the rest of the eggs with tobasco and the last of the toast with honey), then drove across the island to the hotel where the conference is being held in Waikiki.  I attended a couple of talks: the first was on the sexual attitudes of university students (but turned out to be about Filipino students in the Philippines, and not pertinent to my interests), and the second was about race-based marketing (but was really just a presentation about a case study that proved the obvious: black people are more likely to pay attention to advertising aimed toward black people).  I checked out a poster session after that which was surprisingly poorly attended, but had some interesting stuff about the relationships between shapes and language with young children, and the relationship between gangs and religiosity (no correlation, even though being religious should keep one from becoming violent, right?).

/drool

/drool

Boyfriend was super hungry after that (he hung out by the hotel pool while I was busy), and found an amazing udon place called Marukame Udon not half a mile away that makes its noodles fresh (and in full view of their customers).  The line was long but moved super quickly.  You get to watch them make the noodles, then they put them in a bowl with the broth you order (hot or cold), then you get to choose whatever tempura you want and oh my fucking god they all look amazing.  I wanted them all.  Boyfriend got a cold ontama udon with one shrimp tempura, and I got curry udon with pumpkin tempura (of course).  Delicious.

boyfriend sang the theme for Jurassic Park as I drove

boyfriend sang the theme for Jurassic Park as I drove

We didn’t have time to go to the zoo like we wanted to afterward, so we headed back home and got caught in some Los Angeles-grade freeway traffic.  So brutal.  We jumped off and took streets to the 61 to get home, which took us through a really beautiful stretch of land that looked mysterious and awesome with all the mist hanging around the tops of the mountains.  We came out of a tunnel to see some deep green in low-hanging clouds.  Just gorgeous.

pictured: not a centipede

pictured: not a centipede

We took a short swim in the ocean for a bit, took a shower, dressed and were about to leave when we noticed we had a visitor on the window: a baby gecko.  I explained to Boyfriend the first time we spotted a baby gecko in the cottage that they’re good to have in the house because they eat bugs.  The second gecko we saw in the cottage, however, was a full-sized gecko, which was only a problem because the previous day, during a walk with Nancy and Bella, we came upon a dead centipede.  Centipedes are disgusting and horrifying and they fucking bite, so no thank you.  Naturally, I mistook the harmless gecko scuttling across the wall of the kitchen for a centipede and blurted out “OH SHIT!  OH SHIT!  OH SHIT!” before realizing my mistake.  Boyfriend almost had a heart attack because, as he put it, “You never freak out about anything, so when you said that I thought there must be a dead guy hanging by the ceiling in the kitchen or something.”  Sorry, Boyfriend.

Anyway, we headed over to the house to say goodbye to whomever was over there, chatted with uncle Bobby for a while (and gave Bella some love since she had been bitten on the snout by some fucking Labrador earlier today) before heading back across the island to Aiea to eat dinner at a sushi place called Kuru Kuru Sushi.  It was Boyfriend’s and my first time at a sushi place with a rotating conveyor belt, and it was so tasty.  I expect all conveyor belt sushi to be a little gross, but this one did not disappoint.  It was recommended by my cousin when Sister came out here with her new boyfriend last year.

Boyfriend has had a runny nose all day long, so we got him some Benadryl.  I sang him a song in the car that made him laugh: Gonna go get some yummy drugs for my boyfriend… Yummy yummy yum, drugs drugs drugs.

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