31 firsts for 2009

  1. Went to an NHL game (Red Wings vs Kings)
  2. Woke up early to watch a presidential inauguration (okay, this was the first inauguration I watched)
  3. Got a speeding ticket
  4. Joined a gym
  5. Cooked a pot of beans
  6. Saw Fabulosos Cadillacs live
  7. Took a daytrip to a winery with my mom and sister
  8. Won at the Black Jack tables in Las Vegas
  9. Got my first pair of Nikes (Cortez!)
  10. Played Brain Age on Nintendo DS
  11. Watched (most of) The Wire (’nuff said)
  12. Had catfish made by Alan’s mom
  13. Took a yoga class
  14. Learned why a 4-6-3 double play is called that
  15. Ran a 5K (and lots, lots more)
  16. Got a porcelain crown
  17. Went to the Hollywood Bowl for a classical music concert (twice!)
  18. Celebrated my birthday at Disneyland
  19. Went kayaking in Lake Casitas
  20. Went to a Yankee game at Yankee Stadium
  21. Spent an afternoon alone in Central Park (see photo)
  22. Ate sweet potato fries
  23. Saw the Dodgers hit a walk-off hit in the playoffs
  24. Had a glazed donut at Bob’s Donuts in San Francisco
  25. Was published in the NY Times blog
  26. Went to a NBA game (Pacers vs Clippers)
  27. Became friends with Jordan
  28. Made albóndiga soup (my mom approved!)
  29. Went to the opera (The Barber of Seville)
  30. Fit in to Lori’s pants
  31. Lost [redacted] pounds

Christmas Past: Adoración del Niño Dios

Every Christmas Eve, prescription Mamá Toni leads the family in a Rosario. At the end of the Rosario, we do the adoración del Niño Dios. The doll is always dressed nicely in a little outfit made by Mamá Toni.

Two children are chosen to be the padrinos and hold the baby Jesus doll as the rest of the family kisses the doll. Afterward, the doll is placed in his proper space at the center of the Nacimiento.

In the photo above, my cousin Patty holds the Niño Dios while Tony (her brother) gives him a peck and my tía Luisa waits in line. I think I was holding a second doll (we usually have two).

Christmas Past: 1984

Every Christmas, Grandma would buy the girls in the family new dresses. She bought them at a store called Carousel on Atlantic (in the same shopping center as the IHOP). Mom says the dresses were pricey, maybe $50 each. That was a lot in the 80s. It’s still a lot now, especially if one is buying dresses for four granddaughters.

This Christmas will be the 10th without Grandma. For a long time after her passing in January 2000, I was ambivalent towards Christmas as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were the last days I saw Grandpa and Grandma, respectively, alive.

I’ve come around on Christmas but still miss Grandma and Grandpa. That feeling doesn’t go away.

Christmas Past: Big Bear (1985)

One year, my mom’s extended family rented a cabin in Big Bear. We spent Christmas Eve there (complete with a visit from Santa — er, tío Pancho) and opened up all kinds of cool gifts like an Etch-A-Sketch® and Rainbow Brite. The best gifts were waiting for us at home beside the fireplace.

There, we found two bicycles, one black and one pink (with a basket!). I was amazed and convinced that Santa brought the bikes while we were in the mountains.

That night, Danny and I rode our bikes down the block and back to test them out.

Christmas Past: Las Tías (1983)

My family typically hosts the Nochebuena celebration at our home in Hacienda Heights. We’ve been doing this since at least 1983.

I love the expessions on my Madrina Chilo’s (holding the mug) and tía Eva’s faces. They look beautiful. My Madrina Chilo sort of reminds me of a Mexican actress from la época de oro. Also in the photo: my cousin Patty (holding the toy guitar), an unidentified girl, and Mamá Toni in the middle.

Christmas Past: Danny and Santa (1983)

I went home this weekend partly out of necessity (brother’s birthday, laundry) and partly out of a simple desire to be around my parents, siblings, grandparents and VR (the dog). Plus, I was jealous of my sister’s texts and Facebook updates about the fire going in our fireplace.

Home feels like Christmas. The tree is up and decorated with lights, ornaments and some Christmas cards. The nacimiento (sans baby Jesus, of course) is in its place, but this year isn’t surrounded by the elaborate Santa’s village. Dad strung up the lights on Saturday and put up our stockings. There’s a wreath on the door. Two Christmas lists made by Adrian and Lori are on the fridge. And of course, we watched a Christmas movie (Four Christmases).

I don’t decorate my apartment much. I’m not even sure where I’ve placed my mini Christmas tree. Thus, I’ll decorate my blog with pictures of Christmas past.

(Sidenote: judging from Hollywood movies, I’d assume that all white people dread spending time with their families during the holidays.)

What’s new? Five things

Earl Watson vs. Baron Davis

Yes, I’m still in school
I had a set deadline for making solid progress academically. I missed it. I’m actually okay with it because I have made progress thanks to my writing group. In my head, my dissertation sounds great, it even sounds great when I explain it to people. A friend joked, “I’d actually read that, not just skim it.”

Baseball is over, but I still pay attention to my LA teams
I went to my first NBA game on Saturday night. I watched the Clippers beat the Indiana Pacers. Not very exciting, right? Not for me. The game was a match up of two late ’90s UCLA standouts and current/former crushes Baron Davis (owner of my second favorite beard) and Earl Watson. Alan joked that what was an insignificant game to most was my dream match up.

I still travel a lot. These days, my trips are much less taxing. After spending a good chunk of Friday either on a plane (listening to an interview with Jason Reitman), on the way to/from an airport, or in the airport, I returned to a chilly LA. That evening, I started my mini-George Clooney movie weekend with Up In the Air. The next day, I watched The Men Who Stare at Goats. I recommend both films.

Let’s go shopping (my sister had this board game… oh gender roles)
I thought I’d like shopping more now that clothes fits. I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love looking at clothes online, but just don’t like being in stores, trying to find my size (or figure out my size as it changes a lot these days), trying on clothes, etc. I also simply dislike a lot of current trends. I completely understand why celebrities have stylists. I’d find it a lot easier to dress myself if someone just told me what to wear (and bought it for me too). [Hint, hint.]

Back to tumbling, many, many years later
I’m posting photos, songs, videos, links and other bits at my tumblr blog, 31 and other mini obsessions. See what I like. (I was inspired by Sean’s tumblr blog Sean Loves This.)