family, goodness, life

That’s a proud mommy

My folks are having trouble hiding their pride that I’ve finished my Master’s degree.  Mom sent out an email to some family friends that read thusly:

As Friends who have encouraged and watched this one grow, thank you for all of your encouragement and love.  Many of us have chatted about [tigerlilytoph] recently, and she just aced her thesis and had a paper accepted by the International Social Sciences Conference.  Very proud of this woman, and please enjoy her glory. What a Woman!

So sweet.  And of course all the people on the thread wrote back words of love and encouragement.  I was so touched.  Of course I had to write back:

Thank you, family of my heart.

I turned 30 in February, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to see what the next decade brings. You’ve all played pivotal roles in my development into who I am today; so much encouragement, such excellent humor and love for so many years. Luke, my gentle giant, teddy bear and jungle gym. Anthony, always a welcome companion with a ready laugh and sharp mind. Mary Kay, my literary mentor, without whom my love for writing might never have awoken. Marge and Peggie, the matriarchs of our tribe from whom I continue to draw strength. Chris, Cheryl and mom, the women who danced with me and served as the clever, hard-working, paycheck-earning, loving role models I needed. Each of you, lighting a different candle within me, even now.

I would be diminished without you. Thank you.

So much love,

[tigerlilytoph]

I’m so lucky to have had these people in my life from such a young age.  It really goes to show how important your parents decisions are, and what a huge impact (good or bad) something as seemingly personal as the kind of friends they choose have on a child.

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goodness, humor, life

Too friendship, call the cops

Yes, it’s another friendship post.  I enjoy my friends.  We have a solid rapport.  Lots of harassment and support.  Good times.

Last night a group of dojo buddies came over.  We make plans to play a boardgame or watch a movie, but tend to end up just sitting around chatting and laughing.  Last night we watched a couple episodes of Batman: The Animated Series and I made them fried eggs and hash browns, followed by tea and cookies.  Pretty cute.

One of my dojo buddies got a new phone recently, and messaged me on Facebook asking me for my number.  So I texted him the following, and received a reply from someone who I assumed had adopted his old number.  Oops.

yarrrrggg!

yarrrrggg!

Naturally, it was him all along.  What a douche.  Good times.

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goodness, life

International friendships

Remember that Japanese woman I befriended, who came to the pumpkin carving with her husband and friend?  Well.  She brought me a little gift (box of weird Japanese candy, lol so sweet), and just sent me an email that I have to put up here.

Hi Ms. Tigerlilytoph,

How are you? 
I’m sorry for late thank you. 
We had so much fun at Halloween Carving Party. Especially my friend enjoyed a lot. When she left here, I asked her ” what was the most enjoyable event for you?” she said ” I enjoyed Pumpkin Carving  the best.”
She was so satisfied with the memorable experience. Of course, my husband and I enjoyed a lot. 
On Oct. 30th, my family came to LA and they were so surprised to see pumpkins we carved. That was the first time in their life to see it.
I was so glad I could show them one aspect of the American Halloween.
Thank you so much for giving us a great memory.

Thank you.

Such kindness.  I wish I could have spent more time with her at the party.
Naturally I asked her what she was doing for Thanksgiving.  The pumpkin carving was crowded but otherwise pretty chill.  I’m trying to picture this woman and her husband surrounded by my giant Italian family.  We shall see…

P.S. This is my third (fourth?) post about friendship in the last week.  I can’t begin to say how pleased I am that this is what my life looks like right now.  I just have a good feeling all the time.

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goodness, humor, martial arts

The beginning of a beautiful friendship

I went to lunch after yesterday’s Sunday class with Senior Ecuador, Dojo Happa, Oppa Sensei and his girlfriend, Slender (who is awesome, btw, and seems to be an endearing mixture of clever-minded and childish interests).  Oppa Sensei is loads of fun, and we all love hanging out with him.  He mentioned a Youtube series called Enter the Dojo, which is a spoof about a made-up deadliest martial art (Ameri-do-te, lol), and sent us a link via email last night.  I responded with this:

meme-tastic

meme-tastic

And a link to the ‘know your meme’ site to explain it to those who don’t live on the internet like I do.  Senior Ecuador (who is hilarious, btw) came back with this:

I saw the first episode…pretty funny Oppa-sensei! I will definitely watch more when I am not at work haha. 
And tigerlilytoph…that’s like my favorite meme. http://www.reddit.com/r/supershibe
So amaze. What coincidence.
.
Naturally, I could not help but burst out laughing while standing at my desk.  So I came back with:
.
So glad the boss wasn’t around to hear me burst out laughing at that.  Thanks, Senior Ecuador.  Very fun.  Much friendship.
.
So yeah, I like where this friendship is going 🙂
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goodness, life, martial arts, school

The rapid-fire beauty of October

This past October was insanely busy.  I wanted so badly to write a post about the pumpkin carving and all the pumpkin-themed food and drink I’ve been making and enjoying, and all the awesome friendships that have been developing for me lately.  October was amazing, actually.

I invited a ton of people to the pumpkin carving and got about 50 people, including a bunch of foreign students who had never experienced Halloween pumpkin carving shenanigans of any kind.  Success!  Their pumpkins were awesome!  There was one Japanese woman who I befriended when she got lost on campus looking for her husband’s law school orientation who came to carve with her husband and a friend in tow.  They were amazed by the others’ pumpkins, and when I mentioned that I knew what sugoi means (amazing) due to watching so much anime, that’s all they could say, lol.  There were a bunch of different circles of friends there, and they all mingled well (although whenever my family comes, they tend to sequester themselves in the kitchen, which they did this time too… *sigh*).

the results of a successful visit to the pumpkin patch

the results of a successful visit to the pumpkin patch

The party was fantastic.  I made a huge pot of pumpkin drink and left it on the stove for people to enjoy.  It was empty by the end of the night.  There were two dozen carved pumpkins in all, I can’t believe I didn’t get any photos!  I was sick and too busy hosting and enjoying everyone’s company.  Of course there were a couple board games going on at once (Zombicide and Betrayal at House on the Hill).  A bunch of my friends from the dojo came and played Betrayal (and beat the haunt by cheating, lol).  It’s so great to hang out with them outside of the dojo, and apparently this is a new development.  Once most of them had left, Dojo Happa and I stood around chatting by the front door while a large group played Cards Against Humanity on the floor next to the piano.  We were chatting about how nice it is to see everyone outside the dojo, and he said, “Yeah, it’s awesome, we didn’t use to do that.  It’s because of you.  Oppa Sensei didn’t used to come out like this, now he comes to everything.  He was at the pumpkin patch, he came out tonight, he comes out to eat with us.  He’s not doing that to see me, it’s you!”  We laughed about my tendency to bring people together and make people laugh.  He seemed really appreciative, and it’s so nice to hear in so many words what I try so hard to do.  I really enjoy their company.  One of them (Senior Ecuador) invited a group of us to his parents’ house in the valley after the pumpkin patch to have a late lunch/early dinner of mostly Ecuadorian food with his folks, who could not have been nicer.  Earlier in the month, I had him over to get drunk and watch Hansel & Gretel, which wasn’t actually as bad as we expected.  He and Boyfriend actually kinda liked it, but they’re idiots, it was total trash 🙂

The founder of the martial arts style I’m studying now (Kaiso) had his 65th birthday party mid-month, and although it was expensive, it was a really fun time to see everyone dressed up and happy.  We had sushi and really good shabu shabu, and some amazing cake and green tea ice cream (which I got totally busted for scarfing down before we all had to leave in a rush to walk Kaiso to the valet and see him safely off).

I had a bunch of presentations and projects due within the last two weeks of the month, which coincided perfectly with the huge event my office hosts every year where thousands of people visit campus to participate in our programming, so that was pretty stressful, but I’m either getting awesome at handling stress, or getting better at handling my work load because October wasn’t nearly as emotionally/mentally draining as I thought it would be (though it felt super rushed all the time).  Also I was sick for the first time since I quit Karate Job.  Worst.  Timing.  Ever.

So... something to shoot for at next year's pumpkin carving

So… something to shoot for at next year’s pumpkin carving

A couple days after the pumpkin carving party, I went to a Danny Elfman Concert with Diminutive Friend and German Friend, which was amazing.  Although I’m not a huge fan of concerts, since there’s not much to come away with other than the music, which I already have access to and enjoy whenever I want.  Still, it was Danny Elfman’s first concert in something like two decades, so it was very exciting.  Loads of people in the crowd dressed up in what can only be described as a hodgepodge of steampunk, goth, circus, Halloween gear, and they all looked great.  And I kinda lost my shit when Danny Elfman came out and sang, “There are few who deny at what I do I am the best, for my talents are renowned far and wide…”  I knew he would sing that first!  And not just because it’s Jack’s first song in Nightmare Before Christmas, but because those lyrics are perfect for a comeback concert!

Then a couple days after that was Halloween!  I gave a presentation for one of my classes (in full costume, of course-Ren Faire gear this year), then zoomed downtown to an old professor’s class to defend my work (which he loved so much, he’s been using it as an example for current and future classes) and ended up giving my final presentation from his class all over again.  The students asked some really good questions, and I even managed to quote from the article he drew from most and essentially based the class upon, and I cited the page number of the quote.  So yeah, I’m a fucking amazing academic, thanks for asking.

Afterward he and I went out for a drink and chatted for a couple hours about my life, what I’ve been doing, what I will do, and why I’m not staying in academia (he wants me to so badly).  Midway through our time at the bar, I thought, “This is what it must be like to have a mentor.  Someone who knows the framework of your life, and what you’re capable of, and then looks you in the eye and demands that you go further and continue to challenge your self.  This is amazing.”  It was also super intimidating, but he was satisfied at the end of the conversation that I was getting enough stimulation (I convinced him my friends are all geniuses who don’t get drunk for fun, and that Boyfriend has a great sense of humor and is fully capable of keeping up with me), and that my selflessness might not be such a crutch after all (“So explain this to me: You have this sense of giving, this selfless streak coursing through you, but your’e American, and Americans are selfish, so how does that work?  Where did that come from?”  We had a good laugh about that, but he was mostly serious).  I invited him to come see the beehive some time soon, and he seemed enthused.  He’s also stoked to write me a letter of recommendation, and he’s super fun to hang out with, so overall I’m feeling pretty lucky to have encountered him in my life.  We walked by the Mayan on the way back from the bar, and he seemed particularly tickled when I fist-bumped some guy dressed as Deadpool (and Deadpool enjoyed being recognized, of course).  Overall an amazing evening.

And now it’s November and I can finally relax.  I’m feeling less sick every day, I only have a couple more projects to do for school, there’s nothing crazy going on at work (aside from the non-existent job security, bleh), and Boyfriend’s three closest friends are randomly flying into town for four days toward the end of the month for no reason other than to bug him and have fun together.  They’re great people, I can’t wait to see them and watch Boyfriend disappear for a few days into that tight circle of friendship and love.

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