Field Trip: Echo Park, L.A.

June 2nd: Impromptu trip to the Echo Park in L.A. The weather was sunny and not too hot. I thought it would be nice to have a picnic and ride the swan boats at the lake. Echo Park was also on my Summer List. We packed a light lunch by digging up leftovers from the week and headed to the park. Note to future visitors: street parking can be tricky on weekends because there’s a lot of people especially on nice days and the swan boat rides are $11 per adult and $7(?) for each child. I didn’t know it would be so costly, but since I didn’t think we would ride it ever again, we decided to take the plunge. All in all, it was a pleasant afternoon in the city.

Field Trip: Huntington Library

Field Trip: Huntington Library

In order to get free tickets to the once a month free day at the Huntington Library, you must set an alarm/alert for 8:50am on the first of the month prior. You must be sitting at your computer desk or have your phone in hand with the link to the tickets page open and ready to click. Not the homepage of the Huntington Library or the next two pages leading to the tickets page, but the actual tickets reservation page several clicks in. When the clock strikes 9:00am, hundreds of people will be clicking on the same link, causing a likely site crash by 9:01am. If you get stuck in the crash, you will find yourself looking at a “Sold Out” page by the time the site loads properly, which would be at exactly 9:02am. On April 1st, I leisurely walked to my computer at 9:05am and found myself baffled by the speed in which the tickets were taken. On May 1st, I was ready. I set my alarm, I had the page open on my computer (but it was the page before the reservation page) and the site froze instantly seconds after 9am; luckily I had the reservation page open on my phone and was able to snatch the tickets for June.

A lesson to be learned: Life is a competition.





Summer List

Long Island, NY
Summer 2012: Long Island, NY
  • Huntington Library free day
  • Disneyland (+Pixar Fest!): Elaine’s 4th birthday
  • Finish readingย Harry Potterย (I’m finally on book 7, woohoo~) and watch the films (Deathly Hollows Part I & II)
  • Universal Studios: Kaiser employees day
  • Chaperone Elaine’s school field trip to Riley’s farm and Richard Nixon’s library
  • Visit The Getty Villa (will be my first time)
  • Visit a lavender field (season is ending soon)
  • Go cherry picking
  • Watchย The Incredibles 2
  • Legoland: Part 2 of a 2-day ticket. Elaine went with her dad and grandparents the first round and it was supposedly cold and overcast.ย We hope to visit on a warm day so that we can enjoy the water park.
  • Trip to the Bay area for a couple of days
  • Attend a Dodgers or A’s game
  • OC fair
  • Have a picnic and ride the Echo Park swan boats
  • Attend a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. (Choices of interest: Diana Ross, Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire — in concert, one of LA Philharmonic’s performances, Annie, Bon Iver, or Jazz at the Bowl–Greg Porter: Nat King Cole and Me with Savion Glover. I’ve never been to the Hollywood Bowl and I heard they do orchestra accompaniments to films. The tickets website doesn’t exactly say, so I wonder how I’m supposed to distinguish between a concert and a film + concert…)
  • Visit the Griffith Observatory at night
  • and of course, what is summer without beach days!

honestly speaking

“Lord, please have mercy…” is a prayer I say under my breath every moment I have to myself. Which means I think about death too often during the day. It is something that looms over me unconsciously. I keep myself busy with everyday matters to distract myself from the what-ifs and doubts, but the possibility of the shortness of my life impedes my productivity and mental motivation. I feel stuck and I want to get out of this rut.

It’s been nearly two years. Sometimes I think how fast time has gone by, but most of the time I think how much longer this battle must go on. Some say the average lifespan of stage IV patients is 30 months. I am beginning to see why. It’s physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually draining, and you wonder what more you have left. But there’s more. There’s always more, until the end I suppose. Time really tests your limits: the uncertainty, the ongoing treatments and side-effects, the pleas, the prayers, the tears, the disguised smiles, the heartaches, the regrets, the physical and mental effort it takes to hide my true state, sleepless nights, weary days, everything rolled up and bearing down, the weight of it all, on repeat. Two years and I’m starting to feel it; but I know I can’t give in, I can’t. I’m fighting against the odds and I’m fighting every day with all of the above. I want to conquer this battle once and for all, or I want to be able to fight for fifty more years.

Some might wonder, “Why? Why do you want to live?” and I’ve asked myself the same question.

1) I haven’t really lived for God and honored Him the way that I have wanted: I haven’t matured, served, sacrificed, shared the gospel–not even the bare amount of what I desire, 2) I want to serve the people that I love and love the people that I don’t, and 3) I want to be the mother for my daughter. No person in this world will love her more than I do, and judging by her threenager personality and what she might be like in her real teenage years, I don’t know how anyone who loves her even slightly less (e.g., her father) could deal with her fierceness. She is so stubborn and rebellious like me. Her father may know how to instill fatherly-fear (for now), but he is impatient and does not know how the female mind works. It will take a diamond to shape another diamond. I am her mother and I want to be her mother.

Heaven is a glorious place and of course I prefer it over this sin-ridden corrupt world, but leaving now would feel like getting fired from a job for which I was recently hired.

So I fight on…

Lord, have mercy, please give me strength. May I live for You today, tomorrow, and every day.

Girls Trip: Vegas

We met in college, 2004. Now that we’re married and living in different cities, it’s difficult to find time to get together just the three of us. Four, if another had joined. ;)

We wanted to go somewhere to relax and eat (because that’s how 30+ year-olds roll). Since one of our husbands had a conference in Vegas and was able to book us an upgraded room, we basically tagged along and did our own thing. It’s funny how all our husbands asked, “What are you going to do in Vegas?” because they couldn’t imagine us there in the typical party/gambling/drinking scene. We simply wanted to relax and eat, wherever the location, which is all we did. Little did we know there was rave festival during the same weekend with a little bit of extra chaos. We avoided all that and spent the days eating good food and some time at the spa, relaxing and talking–typical ahjumma (old lady) stuff.