Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Love overflowing

laelene Posted in general blog, relationships,Tags: , , , , ,

Here’s what I love about this time of year: people are happy, people are celebrating.

I came home initially feeling a bit like I was escaping the challenges of my new life for a bit. Taking a break to return to a place that is familiar, with wide networks of people I know. At first it was a quiet time for me to reflect and enjoy the peace. As my birthday drew near, I started to make plans with people and by the time I leave I’ll have had about half a dozen meet ups with very different social groups. I hadn’t quite realized how lonely and disconnected I felt until I began reconnecting. Suddenly I noticed that I was happier and the feeling multiplied on my birthday, as old friends left me messages. It’s such a marvelous feeling to have all these social connections and I’m going to have to find some groups to get involved with out east.

Not only are a ton of people around for the holidays, they are generally in high spirits. This is a time to reunite with loved ones, to reflect on a year gone by, to celebrate a fresh new start. A new year gives people hope and something to look forward to. It’s the perfect time to try to make the kinds of changes we’d like to see in our lives. Oh, and for me it’s also a time to think about the age I just passed and what another year can bring. I certainly don’t feel 28, but hey it happened! The combination of people being excited about the prospects of a new year, happy to be with family, and wishing me well on my birthday has been such a mood booster.

green tea latte drink with 3d latte art bear and the world love written on its bellyI feel loved. Loved by my family (Missy included), loved by my fiance, loved by my friends. The pride in my mom’s demeanor when she told me about my birthday gift was priceless. My parents’ love for me runs incredibly deep and when they can set me up for a good life, it makes them happy. This year they were able to gift me a sizable contribution towards the down payment of the condo. It’s not about the money itself, but the fact that they can provide me with a springboard toward a life of success and happiness. And seeing how proud it makes them touches my heart. I am so fortunate to have hardworking parents who put so much into me.

It’s times like these that I’m reminded of a quote from Sister Wives: “Love should be multiplied, not divided.” Indeed, I don’t see why loving one person takes away from the love of another. I love the people in my life in vastly different ways, depending on the nature of our relationships. At the moment I feel so much joy in the love around me it’s beautiful. I guess it’s also easy because I can manage my time between all the people (and animals) I want to be around. I don’t have any of them hogging my time and energy or complaining that something else is. And so I’m at a good place again, basking in the final days of this retreat as I look to transition back east and find some friends outside of work. Maybe I’m ready for 2014 after all.

365great Day 289: reunions

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , ,

365great challenge day 289: reunionsOk, I’m going to break a cardinal rule of mine and post a picture of others (I usually choose ones where you can’t tell who they are or I don’t post them at all – sorry PBs! Hope you don’t mind). I just got back from a mini reunion with my pledge bros for AKPsi and I wanted to share that. While it was only about a third of our class getting together, it was nice to at least see some familiar faces again after all this time. It’s been years since I’ve caught up with many of them and I feel so out of touch with their lives! Here we are 7 years later and so much has changed, yet they pretty much all look the same to me. That’s good, right? It’s nice to be able to reconnect with them briefly and revisit old memories. Oddly enough, we ended up eating at a place with great meaning for us completely unintentionally. What an appropriate setting for us to get together again. It’s great to see how they’re doing in their lives now and I hope to have more reunions for all those friends I’ve lost touch with.

365great Day 287: LoveSacs

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , ,

365great challenge day 287: lovesacsBack in high school, I first discovered the LoveSac store in the mall with my best friend, Katana. We’d go hang out there on those amazing bags and dream of one day owning one. They’re so cush and fun to lounge around on. In college, they went away and I was so bummed… but then near graduation, I saw a friend wearing their t-shirt and I was SO thrilled to hear they were back in business! When I’d been working for a little while, I decided it was finally time to make that wish come true. I got a PillowSac, which is a square-ish version of the original LoveSacs. Funny enough, I then had a friend lend me his LoveSac (which had been sitting in the office unused). We took this picture the day he came to reclaim his property once he had space for it again. Today I went to check out their Sactionals, which I was considering for our new condo. The price point is beyond what I’m willing to pay at this point, so they shall have to wait. I sure hope I can get them eventually! They’d make a great addition to our home.


laelene Posted in stories,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve had some pretty random and interesting experiences in my life. There are the moments when I had crazy encounters with strangers, the cool things I got to experience as a result of living in Los Angeles, and wonderful childhood memories. I’d like to share more of these, since a good story can be captivating, entertaining, and powerful. Perhaps I can hone my writing skills enough to write short stories!

long stretch of flat desert road

Driving, driving, driving, til she needed to go.

Today I was chatting with Autumnfall and our conversation reminded me of an experience I had back when I was working on the set of Wristcutters. I was interning for the first time and found myself taking on all kinds of roles, including buying food, managing staff (and wrangling extras), and taking care of the actors. When we were up in the deserts of Lancaster, our hotel was a good 40 minutes from set and I got called to go pick up one of the actresses. I got her from our hotel and we started racing down the long stretch of road. She asked to smoke in my car, and being the accommodating person I am, we cracked the windows open a bit so she could puff away. About halfway there, she wanted me to pull over. There was not much more than cacti and tumbleweed for miles in all directions and she needed to pee. So, there I found myself, pulled over on the side of this two-lane road as the actress squatted next to the open passenger door of my car and relieved herself (all the time still enjoying her cigarette). It was completely out of the blue and the type of startling experience that sticks with you for how random and odd it is. It also makes for a pretty hilarious tale to tell others. Autumnfall is going to take some elements of the story and write up a little fictional story from it. 🙂 I look forward to seeing what she does with this fodder!

This, in addition with Katana’s recent request that I read over some ideas she has for a book, make me want to share more of my life stories and grand adventures. I could share the times I took rides with strangers in foreign countries, the wacky times I spent with rich guys, the amazing things I got to do as a child, the fun experiences from college, and so much more… I just wish I could put together words as well as the writers I know (Autumnfall & Katana). Alas, I’ll do my best and hope to provide some worthwhile reads. Stay tuned!

365great Day 256: cronuts

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

365great challenge day 256: cronutsOne of my friends in LA introduced me to cronuts back when I was visiting him and his girlfriend in DTLA. There’s this one bakery that makes them in Little Tokyo and they are faaabulous. A donut-shaped fried treat with the texture of a croissant, filled with sweetness, rolled in sugar, and topped with fruit/chocolate… I mean, this is just madness. I tried to go get one from the original place in NYC but they’re so popular you have to get up before the crack of dawn to stand in line for hours. The one in LA will set some aside from their next batch if you call in, which is what we did. I had the blueberry one and OMG it was all kinds of amazing. I’m looking forward to getting some more when I return to the area for Thanksgiving. They’re expensive at $4 a pop, but they are oh so great.

365great Day 248: random acts of kindness

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , ,

365great challenge day 248: random acts of kindnessMy fourth year of college, for Valentine’s Day, I was super surprised when I got a delivery. My fraternity was doing one of those fundraisers where you can send a flower and bear in a cute little package to anyone on campus. When one of them came to me, I was sooo confused. Who in the world would have gotten me something for Valentine’s? I didn’t have a boyfriend or even anyone I was seeing. Baffled, I took to the web and eventually got a message from a random friend who just thought it’d be nice to send me something, so he bought one for me to support the fundraiser. How sweet is that? Then when I was in the UK, I joined LoveSoc, a club that some students put together where they’d prompt you to do random acts of kindness, like giving hugs or leaving change. It’s those little surprises that can be so wonderful, especially when they’re completely out of the blue. I really should do more of those. As a kid I was very generous – probably even too generous – and I miss those days of bringing a smile to people’s faces. It’s one of the greatest feelings in the world.

When a trip to NYC becomes so much more

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I should have known a weekend trip to New York could be so much more. As it was, this was set to be an awesome long weekend: Panda and I would spend a day going through my old town of Brewster, then spend a day in the city before heading home on the third day to settle back in for a shortened work week. I was really excited to revisit the areas of my early teens, from Westchester to Putnam counties. It was also a chance for me to share a bit of my childhood with Panda. We were both looking forward to exploring New York City together for the first time – this was my first long weekend since starting work and I wanted to make the best of it (and we most certainly did)!

posing on bright yellow street art sculpture in park in nyc

Don’t just have fun – document it and share it and tag it! Friends might just come knocking.

I’ll share more about the trip another time. What really struck me about this experience was when I posted a few items to my various social media channels. Something completely unexpected happened again and again: my friends in the area began reaching out to say they were nearby! This is exactly what social media is great for, encouraging connections that otherwise would have been easily missed. There were my Singaporean friends and former coworkers who messaged me that they were in the city for one more day before returning home. There was the Yelp comments from my college friend who lived in my building one year and was now in grad out in New Jersey. Then there was the Instagram conversation I had with another college friend, who did Orientation with me (and Panda) and was now doing her residency in Jersey. I mean, I knew I had friends out in the region, but it hadn’t occurred to me who I might be able to meet up with on our trip!

Each of them reached out to me on a social media channel last night and I messaged all of them through those different channels. Funny how they all found me through a different site/app! By this morning, I had arranged to meet with my grad school friend (Shadow) and the Singaporean coworkers (Starfish and Zen). Shadow met us at our hotel in Secaucus, where we had breakfast together. Panda knew her from when we hung out in college, so it was nice for the three of us to catch up and meet up so far from UCLA. I had thought she was still doing Teach For America, but she’s already well into her first year of a grad program! After she left, Panda and I headed into the city to meet up with Starfish and Zen at the MOMA. It was really nice to be able to introduce them to each other, since I talk about them here and there and now Panda has a better impression of who they are. We hung out for about an hour before splitting ways – they were off to a lunch meeting and we were due to head home.

I’m really glad I was able to get those two brief encounters with people I love seeing. Too bad Opti, my optometrist residency friend couldn’t meet up as well… that would have rounded things out nicely. Still, it’s great to know that next time I head up north I’ve got some friends to hang out with. And to think, it was all because I shared bits of my life on Facebook, Instagram, and Yelp! I guess next time I can do a better job of letting friends know my plans, since I probably could have met with a bunch more had they known.

Work overload

laelene Posted in video blog,Tags: , , , , ,

Sooo I totally overestimated my ability to pump out work and I agreed to get something done today that really should take me 2-3 days to complete. I’ve been working all night, with some distractions slowing me down (dinner, news, packing). I was going to review the Yuzen winter box today, but instead I’ll leave you with a preview of the video of the unboxing that I did for them. Props to my awesome friend King/Queen for doing the editing! We make a pretty great team. 🙂 Be sure to check out the full video on Yuzen’s YouTube channel (it should be posted in a few days) and also find the other videos we’ve created for Yuzen.

yuzen winter box unboxing preview from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

365great Day 234: brunch

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , ,

365great challenge day 234: brunchI’ve always enjoyed brunch meals, both American and Chinese. I’m a huge fan of breakfast for lunch, small portions (a la dim sum), and sleeping in, so I guess it makes sense. I also really enjoy having a mix of flavors, so it makes me happy when I can get an omelet and waffles in one sitting. My associations with brunch have always been positive, since it generally means I got to sleep in and enjoy a lovely afternoon. I’ve spent many with good friends and few things are more enjoyable than good company coupled with good food! Similarly, for dim sum I remember wonderful gatherings of family or friends and a community approach to eating. We could mix and match all types of dishes ranging from pork chops to egg tarts as we collectively decided what to add to the table. The atmosphere is great around brunch time and so is the food.

365great Day 233: Ethiopian

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , ,

365great challenge day 233: ethiopianI looove Ethiopian food. From the slightly sour injera to the amazing selection of meats and veggies, I just can’t get enough. I’m a huge fan of the way they cook their veggies with so much flavor and I enjoy the beef tibs mixed with onion, tomato, and other tastes. It’s also a ton of fun to grab at your food with your hands and the whole family style serving makes it a fantastic way to bond with friends. I’ve introduced many a friend to Ethiopian and they all loved it. So far, Panda’s the only one I’ve come across who didn’t enjoy it. I still need to take him to my favorite place though and I might still convert him yet. Luckily, everyone else I know enjoys eating Ethiopian, so I can definitely find company when I get a craving. It’s such a great meal to have and share!

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