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To Love & Be Loved

This is my Grandma in the kitchen. I’m always amazed at her love and affection. The kitchen and cooking is all she really knows. She grew up in the countryside in China without any formal education all her life. She loves to cook and is excited I’m here to eat with her. Words cannot express my love and gratitude for her.

Her reality is different. She’s very superstitious, is vocal about her beliefs, and misses everyone. Growing up, I knew she had a lot of joy cooking breakfast for me or the celebratory dinners she single handedly made for Chinese New Year. She wishes we all can come together more often, but everyone lives separate lives with their busy schedules.

She usually listens to no one except me. She repeats herself constantly, but she just likes talking as much as I do. She gets shorter every year and her hair gets grey. I can say I get my skinny body from her. She’s in her 70s and doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon. She rambles on and on about the good old days — reminiscing about the simpler times when I was just five and her only concern was if I was fed. I’ll never forget that about her and hope I never will.

I missed her then and I miss her now. Sometimes all it takes for someone to come out of their shell is just a visit — one I’ve been needing to do the past few months. To love and be loved is one of the best feelings there is. Knowing she’s around and has been such a fixture in my upbringing makes all the troubles life carries disappear. I’ve stopped to smell the roses. She is my grandma and I love her.

I’m killing it with the new Grandma slippers. Coming soon to a Saks near you.

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The Weekend Crew: Tanaya and Tiffany

I can count the number of male friends I have with one hand. My really skinny hands at that.

I naturally seem to get along better with females. There was a certain point passed my sexist misogynistic bro-phase of early adolescence where it occurred to me that much of what guys talk about doesn’t really sit too well with me. That’s not to say there isn’t the usual guy talk at the office, but if anyone mentions to me about video games, guns, and whatever new extreme action packed thing there is right now, frankly, I don’t care. That ceased to amuse me years ago.

I usually meet up with 2 friends (both female, no less), who I affectionately call “the weekend crew.” Over simplifying the complex nature of personalities of people, you can consider them, Tanaya — the tall black girl who has a thing for Asian guys (emphasis), and Tiffany — a short Asian girl with a small voice and usual weekend DD. Fun fact: Tiff is my neighbor around the corner. Small world, right?

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How did we meet? Tanaya crashed my end of the year party for my friend Jack in 2015 at UCSB. Note that she was not invited and proceeded to side-step me as I was out greeting guests at the door. First impressions: Who the f-ck is she? And she seems rude. The rudeness hasn’t changed much. Tanaya and Tiff were neighbors living in Santa Ynez. Naturally, Santa Barbara would unite us together even after we all have graduated.

The Weekend Itinerary

  • go downtown or somewhere in Alhambra or Pasadena
  • visit a bar
  • drink at said bar (emphasis on alcohol)
  • repeat at another bar
  • Tanaya keels over
  • Tiff is the DD
  • repeat next week

Believe me. It’s actually pretty fun.