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Archive for July, 2011

Last Wednesday, I decided to pat myself on the back for having had an interview. So, I went to visit my good friend, YC, for some tennis (lessons) and pool time. We played a little tennis, which really more or less involved me hitting the balls so inaccurately and missing everything she shot at me, that we spent more time picking up balls than really hitting them. But either way you look at it, it’s still a good work out. Haha! Which was really the whole point of the tennis endeavor.

After that, we went to the Stanford Shopping Center and bought sandwiches from La Baguette. Yum! She, then made us some delicious pina coladas (almost virgin) and we decided to head to the tempting, sparkling, deliciously cold pool.

Ahhh…this is the life, is it not? She’s definitely got the Los Altos lifestyle down! Jealous!

However, the day didn’t quite end the way it gloriously started. In fact, by 3 in the morning, I was sporting this schmancy little bracelet around my arm.

Why yes, that’s an ER tag.

You see, I was diagnosed with Chemical Keratitis. Apparently, those are chemical burns to the corneas. Ooooh…it’s not as BAD as it sounds, especially once you’ve got the right anesthetic eye-numbing drops and vicoden in your system.

But before that, well it’s pretty much like a slow burn in your eyes.

First, it feels like your contacts are rolling up or getting wrinkled in your eye. So you rub your eyelid over your eye to adjust.  This doesn’t help. Then, it feels like your contacts are TOO DRY. So you put in eye drops. Visine, Bausch & Lomb, whatever brand eye drops you have handy in your purse or car or jacket pockets…anything…this doesn’t help either.

Then your eyes start to ooze. Yeah, nasty. It’s like eye crud when you wake up, except…uh oozy and slimy. You wipe it off and try more eye drops.

Pretty soon, your vision starts to blur and it becomes a REAL EFFORT to keep your eyelids open. So, you say good night to whomever you were chatting or texting with, they comment that it’s inordinately early (it’s only midnight after all), and you reply with, “My eyes fucking hurt. I need to sleep this off.”

Only, the sweet oblivion of sleep doesn’t take you away from the pain. Instead you toss and turn, you squint, you wiggle your nose, you rub your eyes, you shove your face into your pillow, you pretty much do anything to distract from the growing burning sensation.

You get the fantastic idea (which really turned out to be pretty useful later) to grab an ice pack from the freezer and press it over your eyes. There is maybe a 30 second period of relief before the burning resumes. You arrange and re-arrange the ice pack for about an hour. You sigh over the 30 second pleasure of numbness and grumble over the returning pain.

Pretty soon though, the cold isn’t doing anything for the BURNING in your eyes. You get so desperate that you rush to the bathroom turn the tap on to the coldest it would go and literally pour water into your open eyes. There is momentary relief, but again, it doesn’t last. You keep thinking that you just need to flush whatever is in your eye out. Your head is almost under the faucet you’re trying SO HARD to get more water into your wide open eyes.

It doesn’t work.

Finally, it’s 2 in the morning, it’s been almost 12 hours since you first dunked your head into the pool and opened your eyes to chlorinated water, and you’re on your knees on the bathroom floor and you can’t even cry because your tear ducts are apparently swollen. So instead, your making these pathetic little whimpering-whining noises–the kind that draws your dog over to you to whimper along.

Not to mention that you’re doing all of this in darkness because dear God light hurts. It hurts so bad. There is no sadder picture to be painted.

You finally get off your butt and just face that maybe you gotta go to the hospital. You can barely open your eyes at this point, and what little slit of an opening you can muster is all blurry and incredibly painful.

You nudge your mom awake, and you say, “Mommy (because Mommy is pretty much the greatest indicator that you’re in major pain), if this gets any worse, I might need to go to the ER.”

She stares incredulously, “How much worse does it need to be???”

Apparently, my eyes are puffed out of their sockets, my nose is clogged cuz whatever muscles are attached to my eyes are probably swollen too. My lower lip quivers, “It hurts…”

So finally, off to Kaiser we go. Thank God that it’s only 3 miles down the road. Not so much that my mom and her lack of sense of direction was driving. She kept asking me whether the signs said “ER” or “Entrance” or whatever. I had to remind her that I was practically blind. It was pretty comical, the way we turned around and around, made U-turns, and got into restricted driveways, and ambulance wells before finally getting into the ER. What would have taken 10 minutes probably took 30. The blind leading the blind, pretty much.

In the end, the docs looked at my eyes, declared that my corneas were burned from chlorine, that the chlorine had bonded with my contacts and I should have taken them off right away. That it was surprising I lasted this long when most people would have wound up in the ER by 9pm. That all my rubbing has caused an ulcer (scratch) in my left cornea which has caused the chlorine to infect that even more. That light hurts because it forces my corneas to contract and when they’re burned and swollen, that hurts. The doctor drops some anesthetic eye-numbing drops into my eyes and for the first time in about 5 hours, my eyelids do not fight me to open my eyes.

I get Vicoden and some fancy eye drops that I must put on every 4 hours. I was sent home and the rest is history.

Today, exactly one week later, 3 Vicoden pills (I still have 27 in my bottle, want some? Haha! JK!), lots of eye drops later…I have successfully reintroduced a pair of contacts into my eyes again. No knee-buckling pain, eye burning, or any such painful sensations at all.

Whew!

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Another set from my buddy Adrian.

I wore a green striped boat neck shirt with three-quarter sleeves from J. Crew. It was a hand-me-down from my mom. Well, she didn’t so much as hand it down to me as toss it into a “donate” pile of clothes. I just happened to fish it out and claim it as my own.

The pants are from Forever 21, a classic pair of skinny jeans that cost me oh…$12.

Shoes are from the Loft. Though, they are really old, so I don’t really know how much they were.

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Sometimes, I like to watch movie trailers and just tease myself.

Yeah, I know, I got issues.

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One lazy Sunday morning, while CCop and I were trying to decide what to do for the day, his eyes lit up and said, “I know where we can go for lunch! Kinder’s!” I shook my head and said, “What? Where?” And he gave me a look, “You’ve never heard of Kinder’s before? Oh, you’re in for a treat!”

And I was. Mmmmm…

Kinder’s Meat & Deli is definitely one awesome discovery deserving of a Bay Yay. The meat is so tender, the BBQ sauce is perfect…it’s divine. The Kinder’s BBQ sauce has made me a fan of BBQ sauce. I don’t usually like BBQ sauce, but Kinder’s BBQ sauce…so, so, so good.

I’ve just learned two amazing things: Kinder’s BBQ sauce is available in Costco. There is a Kinder’s Deli & Meats just one freeway exit away from my house. Uh-oh. Fattiness alert.

Today, I surprised CCop with a take out dinner from Kinder’s. We had the Ball Tip sandwich (pictured above) again and I also got the Grilled chicken sandwich. The chicken sandwich is grilled to perfection, moist and so flavorful. I usually avoid chicken breast sandwiches because they tend to be dry and tasteless, but CCop is totally into lean protein meats, and so I had to compromise by sharing half-and-half of the two sandwiches.

So good!

Will definitely keep going back for more!

P.S., we ended up going to The Oakland Zoo that Sunday.

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My Life List has “Go to the Alameda County Fair” on it. I’m not sure why. I’ve been to the AC Fair before, when I was in high school. But I created the list well after I had graduated from UC Berkeley, and well into the swing of Law School.

The only thing I can think of is that I remember absolutely zilch about the two times I did go to the Fair back then. All I remember was looking for the photograph that won me a blue ribbon at the fair, and a few of my brothers’ artworks that also won various prizes.

I don’t remember the food, the games, the rides, the anything.

So, the fair was on the the list.

I went with CCop. I never thought he was the type of guy to do the county fair thing, but I guess it’s just one other good thing about him. He is a doer. He makes plans. He follows through. He will suffer through the heat and my quirks.

That, and there was Blue Oyster Cult playing at the fair that day.

So, we hit the horse races. We petted sheep (they feel like knotted up carpet), we watched poor children attempt to do a calf show (think Dog shows, only with cows), we looked at bunny rabbits, we shuddered at lizards (okay, that was just me. CCop mostly laughed at how I broke into a cold sweat at the sight of them).

We also went on Rides. Well, I went on the wimpy ones and he went on the redonkyoulus ones. I also rode the Ferris Wheel for the first time ever. I guess that’s one real thing to cross off my life list (not that it was ever on the list). I just have this thing about heights…or maybe it’s about falling. That whole motion of having the ground slip from beneath you…*shakes head.

We played some games, ate some alligator burgers (yum!) and of course, had some funnel cake. I mean, what’s a county fair without the artery-clogging deliciousness?

I remember the Fair being that much bigger when I was younger, and being that much bigger of a deal. But I guess if you had some piece of artwork to be displayed, it’s a bigger deal. Getting that blue ribbon is pretty awesome. This time around, I had nothing on display though, but there were some pretty great pieces in contention.

 

Later, we watched the Blue Oyster Cult which was actually a really good show. I mean, who can forget SNL’s “Cow Bell” skit? They actually had someone play a cowbell during Don’t Fear the Reaper! And I totally chanted along to Go-go-go-godzilla!!! Haha!

Overall, it was definitely a fun day. It was hot, but hell, it’s summer in the East Bay, couldn’t expect any less. At least, it wasn’t as hot as LA ever got. One of the funniest scenes of the night was CCop getting some ice cream while I munched on my giant bag of kettle corn. He stood right next to these three pretty big, tough looking dudes, working so hard to lick away at their ice cream cones before their tower of flavors toppled over. There they were, four big guys, acting like little kids. It was awesome.

I’d definitely go again, once every year. It’ll be tradition. Yeah, that’s what it’ll be. =)


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Where: San Francisco, CA

A Perfect Day @ the Mission District.

Lunch at Pizzeria Delfina, Dessert from Bi-Rite Creamery (oh, don’t worry, I had a sorbet), and then gossip, music, people-watching at Dolores Park.

It was 80 degrees in San Francisco. The sky was a perfect blue. The sun brought out the colors and contrasts so brilliantly I had to blink a few times just to accept that something was that crimson of red, or someone’s eyes were that startling of blue.

I was meeting up with some classmates from the good ol’ Philippines. One of them lived in the City now, the other in Chi-Town, and yet the other in Singapore. Oh, how far we have flung. And how strong our bonds still tied us to continue with a friendship even after so many years and miles have separated us.

I ended up wearing a sheer silk off-white shirt with satin buttons from The Limited. The 3/4 sleeves even had little puffs at the end. It’s far more girly than I normally choose. It’s simple, but embellished with little details.

I wore a pair of cuffed khaki shorts from H&M.

And instead of flip-flops, I actually wore shoes. I told myself to wear cute little flats…but just could not bring myself to do so. I had to compromise with a pair of canvas sneakers from the Loft.

I then topped everything off with a little blue crochet fedora hat from Urban Outfitters. I love this hat which I bought in the middle of my Lenten No Shopping 40 Day Pledge. Yes, I failed…but the hat is worth my soul, don’t you think?

In the end, I didn’t really particularly care if I was hip or fashionable. I mostly cared that I didn’t stick to a t-shirt, or jean shorts, and flip-flops which would have been what I would have worn off the top of my head. I cared that I tried to dress more grown up (hello, silk top?) and that I wore shoes. I also cared that I accessorized (um, hats count, right?) and best of all, I was comfortable the whole day.

It’s a good place to start.

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A few days ago, I remembered that I had put my Life List on this website.

And I had the great opportunity of crossing a couple of things off that list. So, I decided to go ahead and Blog about those few things. First things first: Passing the Bar!!!

Yessss!

Finally.

Five days before Bar Results were released, my family got a terrible phone call from the Philippines. One of my mother’s sisters had fallen into a coma. It happened so suddenly: she complained of a headache, and within 2 hours of that statement she was non-responsive.

I felt the added pressure of passing the bar because my mother was already super stressed out with the news of her sister. I couldn’t fail now. If I did, it would break my mom into pieces. I didn’t care so much for myself as I did for her state of mind. I never once brought up that in a few days, the direction of my life for the next six months was going to be decided.

Add to that the fact that my father’s sister and her family was also scheduled to visit us for four days. There was even less time to worry about bar results. I ended up playing to guide for them, driving them through Yosemite for two days, hitting Stanford and shopping, and a day in San Francisco. All that while, I kept my smile and all my churning concerns to myself.

The day of the Bar Results was the day I took my aunt, uncle and cousin to Stanford. We walked through the picturesque campus (yes, it’s killing me to say that, but it’s unfortunately true) keeping up a cheerful chatter the whole day. CCop checked in on me the whole day, and there was a steady stream of well-wishers buzzed through my phone all day. Once, when CCop asked me how I was feeling, I sent him this picture of the Burghers of Calais.

LoL! Yeah, I really did feel the way they looked.

As 6 pm drew closer and closer, I got quieter and quieter. Luckily an old family friend had come to meet up with us and she could talk a mile a minute.

After walking around Stanford, we decided to go shopping. However, it was closing in on 6pm. Instead of telling my visiting relatives that I was going to look at my bar results, I told them I had to write an important email. So, off they went and I stayed behind in the car.

When 6pm hit, I went online (thank you HTC Evo and Sprint everything data plan!) typed in my file number and application numbers, and held my breath.

My file number matched. My application number matched. My full name appeared (yes, all four of them). And finally this statement below it:

The name above appears on the pass list for the February 2011 California Bar Examination.

I felt a slight light-headedness. I HAD to check again. and again. It took a while to sink in…but…

I PASSED.

Thank God.

One less thing to worry about. One less thing to stress over. Six months of my life taken back into my control. And that, of course…gets crossed off my life list.

whew.

And so, the next day when we went to San Francisco, I had the pleasure of being able to share good news with my family at what my brother’s gf ALin called my “Smarty Pants” dinner (See my shirt).

 

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