New Hobby

by Thao on 11.13.2010

Well. This whole blog thing is really starting to not work. I am trying, but not hard enough, evidently.

I’ve been busy pursuing my other hobby… photography. I just can back from a shoot with my friends last week and it was SO MUCH FUN. The even more fun part is going through all the pictures and editing. This leaves me very little time to post my nonsensical thoughts.

Self, please try harder to blog. You know you need it.

Love,
Self

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With This Ring, Bitch Ahead

by Thao on 07.02.2010

e-ringsWhat is up with some women? When I got engaged, I was so shocked… so surprised, so OVERWHELMED that the guy I’ve been dating had decided that he wanted no one else but me, that I didn’t even know what the damn ring looked like. I was crying, hysterical, and probably appeared crazy to any on-lookers. I can’t even remember what he was saying. The world sounded muffled. Then, he put the ring on me and I just remember focusing on getting it past my gigantor knuckles that I STILL didn’t see what it looked like. The bar manager was taking pictures of us, all planned by my then-boyfriend. Finally, I woke up and realized, "Shit, I really need to fix my makeup for better post-engagement photos." I ran into the bathroom and STILL didn’t even note that shape, size, color, or weight that the ring was. I ran back out for photos and FINALLY, the girl who helped my then-boyfriend plan the most magnificent moment in my life at that time asked me to show her THE ring. I held out my hand and glanced at it while she rolled my hand around to inspect it. Even then, it was just a ring. The moment was more about the fact that he was going to be my husband.

It wasn’t another 10 minutes after that we got back into his car and he said to me, "I want you to know, that ring is yours. It’s completely paid for and we won’t owe anything on it. I wasn’t going to start this in debt." It was peculiar to me and then I held up my hands and looked at it for the first time. It was rather big. I never asked for any size, any shape, nor did I specify a weight and color. We didn’t talk about it. He went out and got what he wanted. To me, it was perfect. He knew that if he chose to finance a big rock, I’d be pretty upset. He knew that starting our life together in debt would probably be the dumbest thing ever and he was right. Some girls, though… seem to think about it differently… [click to continue…]

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Content

by Thao on 06.30.2010

So. Hi. I feel sort’ve like a stranger. Not like I really knew any of you before. Strangers could be a one-sided dealio.

I have returned back from Europe and am finally catching up with life – not yet the pictures since I took nearly 8,000. I have a problem, but I’m not willing to "fix" that one. Life has been rather good to me and I just want to point out that I am not taking it for granted at all – I am rather content. Life is good. I love my job. BEST. DECISION. EVER. to quit the old job earlier this year. I thought that I was doomed to spend 40 years with a ceiling jammed over my head, but not at all. The new company is just amazing. Kind of like a hot fudge sundae in 90 degrees of sunshine. That sounds delicious.

D survived this year’s round of layoffs (they happen annually in his field) and actually got a promotion too. We have been traveling all over the place. I feel generally jet-lagged, but for great cause. There is nothing like experiencing one or several foreign cultures to either open your eyes or appreciate what you have and dude… do I EVER appreciate my life.

I am healthy, secure, and even though the remodeling has forced me to be without kitchen since MARCH, I am still well-fed. Mind you, it’s been freezer dinners or frozen leftovers from the rents, but they’re tasty – or so I have tricked my taste-buds into believing.

So, the title refers to the feeling of being content, happy. Not so much content as in the meat of a book. Obviously I am lacking that lately. GUILTY. Fine, I’ll be better, I promise. I hope you’re content with this content.

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A Man with a Plan

by Thao on 05.16.2010

This past Wednesday morning, my husband told me that his company announced layoffs and it will happen in mid-June. I said, "Okay." and went about removing the hot rollers in my hair. Why the nonchalant response? Well, this is the 4th round of layoffs we’ve been through since we started dating. His industry is rather high-risk in the job security department. The first one scared me, but now, it’s expected like rain in May in Michigan.

He survived all those layoffs except for the one right before we tied the knot, but he found another job right away, beating hundreds of applicants. He’s good like that. Yes, I’m bragging, deal with it. Anyway, this one is even more less scary cause we have a plan. First, we are a dual-income couple. That is BIG in this town. Most of his coworkers are the sole income-earner for their families and the same with all the men I work with too. If they lose their jobs, they are EFFED with a capital ‘F’. The families are built traditional around here. Many of his coworkers find it so odd that I also work… until a round of layoffs comes learing, then I can raise a big fat "I told ya so".

the manSecond, as I mentioned, we have a plan. Luckily I found this new job that I love and I can support us if need be. If he gets laid off pending all these realignments, we have a plan. Always have a plan. Even if the plan is to cry and hide in a corner… it’s a still a plan. Just kidding. Don’t do that you big wuss. It’s a quality I found to be irresistible. My husband is a planner, like me, and even though we might argue about the plans, it’s OK because I always win. OK, I don’t always win… he concedes and then sneakily changes things, but being on a team (Team Marriage) puts the trials and tribulations of something like job loss on a much stronger foot with such a solid support system.

We’re leaving for Europe on Friday and coming back after 2.5 weeks. THEN we find out the word on Work Lane. Keep your fingers crossed. I promise I’ll bring back picture souveniers.

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Where Did the Time Go?

by Thao on 04.12.2010

Uhhh… it’s April. Mid-April. My last post was back in February after I quit my job for a promotion at another and holy crap has life changed.

So much has been happening that this might one of those pointless ‘nothing-has-happened’ posts… ooooor I’d sooner watch Bruno again, i.e. the worst movie ever. I am heading out tomorrow to visit a vendor along our western coastline, The Beaver State. Look it up. Even though it’s work, I still get to ‘see’ a new place. I don’t get people who don’t travel or have the desire to see what else is out there. I’ve been in the thick of planning for another European excursion… a REAL one. A backpacking one. My previous Germany visit was for work and while I got to see some of it, I didn’t get to explore like I will starting May 21!

I digress so fast now. I was saying that I can’t believe people don’t want to travel. I recently met some people who have just… lived… here. I like this area, but I would never say that this is a melting pot of culture, or even music. I just get ‘pop’ on the radio here. Tragic. One of the reasons the manager hired me was because I’m not from around here and therefore not just stuck on the ideas that brew here. I don’t have to identify the city in which I live – ‘here’ could be anywhere. Why be stuck in one ‘here’ or one ‘there’? To be better, one must open one’s eyes to the possibilities beyond ‘here’, wherever ‘here’ is for that one. Catch my drift? I take away so much new information when I travel, even if it’s just a couple hours north. EVEN if it’s just at a new friend’s home.

Learn something new about the next place you’re at and you’ll be one step further than you were before. Resistance is futile. Literally.

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Thirsty Thursday

by Thao on 02.25.2010

You know what I am talking about. It’s the night that bars in college towns have great drink specials, i.e. dollar-you-call-it’s. My girlfriends and I used to get ready and head to the bars at 11PM, immediately ordered our ‘fistful’ of drinks and closed the place down around 2AM. Commence stumbling into a cab and heading home for some oven pizza. Mmm. Nothing is better after the bar than greasy, cheesy, hot pizza. Or chili dogs.

You know what I’ve got going on now? After the husband and I meet with our tax guy again, I am heading to one of my girlfriend’s place, opening up a bottle or two of wine, and we’re Skyping with our girl who moved to North Carolina. This is a far cry from the "cleavage-baring, leave little to the imagination outfits, and double fisting until the specials run out" days of yore. HEY! We’re still having wine. That counts. Right? RIGHT?

I’ve been catalogging my pictures with Adobe Lightroom 2.0 on the new laptop – which by the way, are both fabulous. I’ve gotten to midway through 2007 in the photos and boy did we participate in Thirsty Thursday. These days, I’m still thirsty. Just ask last Friday. However, it is rarely on a weeknight *gasp* and it is typically scheduled in advance, i.e. dinner date with two couples tomorrow and then again on Saturday. I tell you, we’re bringing the crazy to double and triple dates! I CAN’T CONTAIN the wild child inside. Heh, with any luck, I won’t be 50 when I wake up tomorrow.

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Think Before You Preach

by Thao on 02.18.2010

So if you’ve heard anything on the news, you know that Kevin Smith was asked to step off a Southwest flight due to his size, in otherwords, he was "too fat to fly".

There are a lot of skinny people out there chastising him on how HE was responsible and that he should lose weight. Agreed. However, isn’t that really easy to say since you’re a skinny person? What if I said, "people who are in financial debt should all cut up their credit cards and shut the hell up." Granted, I think that, but when those skinny people telling fat people to lose weight like it’s easy say that stuff, I want to make sure they realize that their criticisms are without understanding.

It’s easy for someone who makes a lot of money, who isn’t in debt to say "suck it up". Then those same skinny people don’t think the problem is that simple is it? or "people who need health-care funding should just… get healthy!" Wow, isn’t that an epiphany?

It’s always a simple problem and a simple solution to those who don’t need to put the work that gets to the simple solution. I could be non-compassionate and just bark to people who have been fiscally irresponsible, "well, you should have gotten a better job!" Isn’t that the same as barking to a fat person that they should have just stopped eating? or maybe I should tell the person who is homeless to "just get a house"

Now, it’s not so simple to criticize anymore is it?

Now, if you want to criticize him being lazy, choosing not to do anything about it, AND asking for concessions from everyone else, then kudos.

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Insanely, Filthy, Stinkin’ Rich

by Thao on 02.16.2010

During lunch on Chinese New Year Day (this past Sunday), my mom gave a mini, heartfelt speech basically about how regardless of money, our lives are rich when we can give ourselves to others. When we can give anything: time, money, support, or even just some kindness, we are rich because you can’t give things away unless you have it in excess. When you have anything in excess, you are essentially "rich". It’s not just about money when you talk about being rich. There is nothing I could agree to more than those words. She is absolutely right.

Obviously, I started to process it and thought of the ways I am rich in life. I am so lucky to be able to give my time, energy, and love to others. It makes me happy to see others close to me happy. My life is also rich in people. I have a great family. I have an amazing husband. I am rich in friends, in health, and in life comforts.

How are you rich?

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Hard Work

by Thao on 02.15.2010

The word is out. On Friday, I resigned from my job. I got another one. Woohoo!

So nope, I didn’t get engaged again and I’m not preggers. I am just moving on up in the corporate world. To celebrate, I bought a purse! As if anything else would be as appropriate. Two words: Tivoli GM. I don’t really discuss work here so I won’t start now. It’s just a good thing. I will definitely miss the people I worked with, not to mention I’ve been here since my internship. It’s funny. I went to high school for 4 years, college for another 4, and am finishing up my first real job after 6 years. It’s like I’m graduating to the next big thing all over again. This process has cemented that hard work pays off and nothing short of putting forth the best effort will yield great results.

I had a WONDERFUL time with my family all weekend. It happened to be Viet/Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. We didn’t really celebrate Vday – although he did get me a beautiful bouquet of pink tulips and purple irises for congrats on the new job. Aren’t they beautiful? Excuse the lousy phone pic.

beautiful bouquet

AND he got me a funny card with shoes, a dog, and bling on the cover and some Godiva chocolates for me and the sis to enjoy. Perfection. How were your Vdays?

I wished that I had a week at home with the whole family. I really, really miss home. My mom moved into a new, bigger home and I am happy for her. She deserves a clean, big house for everything she’s done for us. The WEIRD thing is you expect to come ‘home’ to the house you left your parents in, not really some place new. My high school belongings are still there. Pictures of me and my little sister are all over the place. It may not have been OUR home, but it’s a home I miss going to – besides, no cooks are as great as our own mothers.

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My New Adventure

by Thao on 02.10.2010

This has been one of the most nauseating and exciting few weeks ever. You know when you’re about to make a BIG change in your life and you’re thrilled it’s going to happen, but sick about leaving a little part of you in the past? Well, that’s the only way I can describe it. I can’t give details. I need some time to reveal the details, but I am so excited and it’s killing me not to share it with the world.

No, I’m not pregnant.

This weekend is Chinese/Vietnamese New Year, which we call "Tet". I get to tell my family about my new venture. I’m more excited just to hang out with them though. Tet is my favorite time of year.

D is super-supportive as always. I can count on him to calm my nerves and be proud of my accomplishments. You can’t say that about a lot of men in this situation. Some men might even get threatened by it. So have you figured it out yet? DO you know what my new adventure is?

In other news, check out this site.

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