Archive for September, 2005

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Untitled – September 28, 2005

September 28, 2005

Today was the start of classes of my last year in higher education. And unlike most first days of classes I actually slept in and I was not that excited about starting school. I guess after 18 years of first school days, I have the routine down pretty well. Like always, I was running pretty late today. And if I think about it, me being late today started last Wednesday. Let me explain.

Last Wednesday, I saw The Arcade Fire play at the Paramount. It was a great show. They recently played with David Bowie in New York at the Fashion Rocks show. I recommend anyone who likes music to buy their latest CD titled Funeral – track seven will change your life. Anyway, the concert made me miss the season premiere of Lost. Thursday night we had amateur hour poker night, where I had two horrible games. I guess I will never be a rounder. Saturday, I saw the New Pornographers play at the Showbox in downtown Seattle. That show was awesome too. And after two jack & cokes and a vodka tonic, I could have danced all night long. Sunday was a coworkers birthday and of course we had to go out for dinner. Monday there was an event to welcome the new students at the Evans School. Last year when I was a new student at the event had a few too many drinks and so I felt that it was appropriate that I should drink too much again. As you can see I celebrated the end of summer in style and with my glass raised high.

My activities these past few days is not what I want this entry to be about. They set the table for my point. I missed last weeks episode of Lost. But by the grace of God, my friends Michael and Edie have Tivo and thankfully, they went to the concert. Therefore, they recorded Lost on their Tivo. They burned it to a dvd and gave it to me to watch today. The only free time I had to watch it was in my office after my meeting and before my night class at six. I finished watching Lost at ten minutes before six and ran to my class across campus. I did not have time to grab dinner so I ran to the store below my classroom and grabbed a nutrigrain bar and a Luna bar.

I was about to open the Luna – having never bought one before – when I noticed it’s trademark slogan, “The Whole Nutrition Bar for Women.” On the outside of the packaging there is three women silhouettes doing yoga, kabbalah or Pilates. On the flip side of the bar there is a quote from the Women of Luna, “We believe that what we put into our bodies matters; food feeds our souls, lifts our spirits, nourishes and sustains us. … Luna is 100 percent natural and meets many of the specific requirements women need everyday.” I immediately felt embarrassed. I quickly opened the Luna bar, hiding the label from my peers and I took out the “Nutz Over Chocolate,” bar. I placed the wrapper into my pocket. And I devoured the Luna bar as if it was the first food I had all day.

In hindsight I do not know why I was embarrassed by the Luna bar. Maybe I am still afraid of the first day of classes. Maybe I still want to make a good impression. I guess the ghosts of being an awkward Asian kid in the Tri-Cities still haunt me – especially when I saw that my dinner was made for a woman.

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Untitled – September 20, 2005 – Part Two

September 20, 2005

I have an interesting situation. I may or may not have asked out Tully’s girl on a post-it note. I know it sounds so much like middle school but bare with me. Over the past few days, Tully’s girl and I have been working together to get a student discount card at Tully’s. In between paying, waiting for my coffee, and picking up my coffee we worked out the details of a pretty good discount card for UW students.

Today I walk in as usual. Our relationship is such that when I walk in, Tully’s girl starts making my coffee. It does not matter how many customers are ahead of me. Say there are two people in front of me paying and waiting for their coffee but by the time I pay for my coffee, my drink is done and handed to me before the two fools in front of me get theirs. Today was the same. A girl who ordered tea and a muffin was ahead of me and she was waiting for her tea. I was waiting for my coffee when Tully’s girl place my coffee on the counter and did the universal finger command for “come over here.” I walked over. Tully’s girl asked me if I had a business card – I checked my pockets and said that I did not but I could get her one. I asked her when she got off work and she replied eleven.

A few years ago before Christmas, my parents – serving as a proxy for Santa – asked me what I wanted in my stocking. I didn’t have a really good idea of what I wanted and I quickly blurted out that I could use some office supplies. Somehow my parents reached Santa in time and believe it or not, I had all the office supplies I needed Christmas morning. This included a million post-it notes.

I arrived back at my apartment, with Mocha in hand, in search of business cards in my desk. While rummaging through my desk drawers, I saw all the post-it notes I had received for Christmas. Seeing all the post-its reminded me of the Sex in the City episode where Jack Berger breaks up with Carrie on a post-it note – then I had this crazy idea.

On a post-it note I quickly wrote this message, “Zoe, Give me a call sometime if you want to get a drink [my phone number], – Nick” I attached the post-it to the back of my business card and headed down to Tully’s. I went in and she raised her arms with excitement. She needed the card to prove to her manager that our business deal together was real. She thanked me for the card and flipped it over. I saw her reading the post-it note as walked away and told her I would see her later.

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Untitled – September 20, 2005

September 20, 2005

These past few days have been quite hectic. On Saturday I went to the UW Husky football game against Idaho. It was their first victory in eight games – this tally including last year. I got to sit in the President’s Box because of my position at my work. That was pretty exciting, but I was a little disappointed. At Eastern when I sat in the Presidents Box, there was free beer, soft cheeses, meats, and it was heated and enclosed. Here at UW, there was no alcohol, no soft cheeses, no meats and it was not heated nor enclosed. However, there was free hotdogs, roasted nuts, cookies and chili. The pregame was pretty nice too. There were pulled pork sandwiches, an espresso bar and a free no-host bar. There is nothing better than getting a mocha, then getting a mimosa.

On Sunday, I met my friend Paul for a day of football. We started at the Ram in University Village. They have the best breakfast burritos anywhere. Inside this giant burrito it has bratwurst, eggs, onions, peppers and it is topped with sour cream and salsa fresca. Add a little hot sauce and you are in heaven. We watched as the Eagles stomped the 49ers and then we went back to his place and watched as the Seahawks barely beat the Falcons. Overall, it was a great sports weekend.

Yesterday, I worked from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., gearing up for this upcoming school year. I had an orientation event right at eight and I had a meeting at 5:30 that lasted a long time. After work, I grabbed some dinner and watched a new show on CBS called, “How I Met Your Mother,” and it was pretty funny. It is a blend of the Wonder Years, Friends, Scrubs and Lost. It has Neil Patrick Harris – who I saw at a restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico when I was a kid. I passed out in front of the TV around 9:15 and I did not wake up until seven this morning. I have a feeling this school year will be a lot of hard work and fun but it will be over in a blink of an eye.

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Untitled – September 15, 2005

September 15, 2005

Yesterday I had to go to Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington for a meeting of the Washington Learns Steering Committee. I left my apartment at 7:15 in the morning, to drive the 71 miles to Olympia. It was a typical Seattle morning – the kind of mornings that I love. It was cold and cloudy and my freshly brewed cup of coffee was the perfect complement to the day. I popped in couple of new CDs into the player and I drove down I-5 until I arrived at the college.

I forgot how much I missed driving. Last year, I did not have a car over here in Seattle. I was at the mercy of friends and public transportation. Frankly, I did not mind not having a car – traffic can be unbearable.

When I arrived at Evergreen, I was surprised at how beautiful the campus was. First, Evergreen is located in the forest. You drive about three miles in from the interstate and it reminded me of entering a state park instead of a state college. The parking lot is about 500 yards from the main part of campus and you walk along a paved trail through the forest to campus. It was amazing. The air was so crisp and when I exhaled, my breath seemed to hang in the still morning air. It was eerily quiet and the scent of pine trees was quite overwhelming. I walked slowly on the path, through campus, to my meeting.

This marked my second time being at Evergreen. In 1984, my parents and our family friends took a trip along the Olympic Coast when I was two years old that included a stop at Evergreen. I think about the time that has past in those 21 years, the experiences I have had and I wonder where along the way, I grew up.

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Untitled – September 11, 2005

September 11, 2005

I woke up today quite excited. Today was the start of Seahawk football. While the outcome of the game reminded me of the good old days – 3 interceptions, 2 fumbles and a painful loss, I can be somewhat optimistic because there still are 15 more games left in the season. After the pregame coverage, they cut to the September 11 tribute. The announcer at the stadium said, “Please join us in a tribute to those who died on September 11 with Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey singing America the Beautiful.” When I heard that, I laughed aloud. I find it quite humorous that the NFL hired Jessica and Nick to honor the victims of the tragedy. I guess that is one to stick it to the terrorists, have Daisy Duke sing at the football game.

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Untitled – September 9, 2005

September 9, 2005

I have reached one of the markers in your life where you can claim, “One year ago I was…” Well, one year ago I moved to Seattle. At that time in my life, I was awed by the city. The pace people walked and the different culture around me completely amazed me. Soon I would land a job with the Alumni Association at the University of Washington. But those three weeks between Labor Day and the first orientation event at the Evans School were a strange time for me. I had no purpose, no job, and no friends in the city and I had more free time than I ever had in the past four years.

I would go to this coffee shop about two blocks from my apartment and order the cheapest coffee drink they had – they had free wifi internet with purchase. After a couple of times, the barista would see me walk in and start to ring me up. I would hand her $1.35 and she would hand me 16 ounces of brewed organic coffee. I would spend a couple of hours checking my email, paying the bills, writing friends, looking for a job and finalize my schedule for the next school year. A few weeks later, I would get free wireless internet for my neighbor and I have not returned to that coffee shop.

Another marker in my life is four years ago from this Sunday. I will always remember that beautiful Tuesday morning. I woke up at 5:15 a.m. to get ready for work at Big Lots in Richland, Washington. On Tuesdays, we would put out the merchandise for the next day’s advertisement from six until the store opened at nine. I remember putting out merchandise ranging from Winnie the Pooh scooters to toasters. We had all worked together in the store for the past three months and we had become quite fond of each other. During our break, we all laughed when Trish took the cigarette out of my hand and smoked it herself, so that I would not become addicted to those “damned cancer sticks.” We went back inside and Jodi and I began to hang up bras in the clothing section – when the eight o’clock shift came in with the news.

When I arrived at home for lunch around ten, I got there just in time to see the second tower fall.

I picked up Heidi from her house around 9:00 p.m. that night – Jodi, Chris H., Heidi and I had plans to hang out that night in honor of Heidi and me going back to college. And by God, we were not going to let the terrorists win and cancel our plans. Heidi and I barreled along in my 1978 T-Bird to Jodi’s. I remember we were playing kings with Whiskey and beer and we had ABC’s on going coverage of the attacks on in the background.

On Saturday of that week, I would leave for my second year of college. I was a freshman orientation leader and I had to be at school early. It was nice helping freshman move into their dorms and taking them on tours. For one week, I had no access to the internet, television or a newspaper – for one week the world’s problems seemed to disappear.

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Untitled – September 1, 2005

September 1, 2005

It is somewhat strange to bemoan about my daily trails about Tully’s Girl when there is so much unrest from the hurricane – when there are people starving without food and thirsty without water. When there is civil unrest from people just trying to stay alive. But as the news organizations like to point out, tragedy brings the best out of humanity. In three days, the US raised over 90 million dollars, which can be compared to the 30 million raised in three days for the Tsunami relief in Southeast Asia. At the University of Washington, its president said he would enroll students from Tulane University and the tuition raised would go back to Tulane.

It is important to remember that there are plenty of people who are starving without food and thirsty without water in other countries where there is not a 10 billion-aid package promised from their governments. There are places in this world where people are dying from diseases that we have vaccines to prevent. There are people in Africa that will not live past 30 because they are born with HIV – a preventable disease that we should be able to eliminate like small pox. It is important to remember that there are families in our own neighborhoods who need assistance to pay for their utility bill or buy school supplies for their children. We must remember to give when not only we see horrible images on TV, but when we see poverty in the street, kids without coats, or families who need a little extra money to get by. It is our responsibility.

I am going to ask for two things. First, please give money to help those displaced by the hurricane. Second, when able, please give money often to causes that you want to support. Whether it be to help people from starving in the Sudan, preventing the spread of HIV, helping your local food bank, supporting a local non-profit or giving your leftovers to someone on the street – anything helps. One yellow bracelet is only the beginning.

Please visit these web sites to give money to hurricane relief:
http://www.redcross.org
http://www.salvationarmyusa.org
http://www.uwkc.org