40 months.

project365 :: 52/365
maya @ 40 months :: march 4, 2009
  • after she watched the monsters vs aliens trailer (on the kung fu panda dvd) she started saying, "suuuuusan ... oh, i scare myself!"
  • when singing the ABC song, she repeats "k -- lmnop" a lot
  • drawing faces and continues to color a lot. learning to trace her name at school; sometimes it comes out "moyo" or "moya."
  • likes to pretend she's a cat. she also mentioned she wanted to bring the stray cat in the backyard into our house and keep it ... and hug it.
  • randomly told me, "i don't like you" while we were shopping at the supermarket. when i asked her why, she told me, "you're awful." gee, thanks.
  • while brushing her teeth with rupert she told him, "i hate this!" which is weird because she usually likes to brush her teeth.
  • the two points above, we think, are preschool classmate influences.
  • likes to do "where is thumbkin?" but misses about half the song.
  • another thing she learned from a friend (we think) :: crossing her arms and stomping her feet. great.
  • hopping on one foot.
  • her friends call her "my-my" at school.
  • loves to blow dandelions. this love is making our already dandelion-infested front yard into an even more dandelion-infested lawn.
  • she actually said she didn't like the little mermaid dvd. hallelujah! but we'll have to see how long that lasts.


me + the husband memes

project365 :: 45/365

more memes! will it never end?! i found this one through heather armstrong over at dooce.

What are your middle names? rupert's is "harry" after his great-grandfather. how appropriate since he's a pretty hairy guy. i was born without a middle name (japanese people don't do that) but took my step-dad's last name as my middle name in high school (kind of a long story).
How long have you been together? 15 years (geez, that sounds like a long time); in september it'll be our official 10 year marriage anniversary.
How long did you know each other before you started dating? i'm thinking it was about a year and a half. we were in the same english class junior year and he also joined the newspaper staff that year as a sports writer (i was in journalism since freshman year). we didn't start dating until february of our senior year.
Who asked whom out? there was never an "official" asking out. our friendship just turned into a relationship. we arbitrarily chose february 12 as our dating anniversary because it was the night we hung out together on the beach and it seemed like a special night.
How old are each of you? we're currently both 32. that will change next wednesday when rupert turns 33 and i can make fun of him for four months that he's old.
Whose siblings do you see the most? probably my sisters since we have dinner with my parents once a week and they both come; rupert's brother lives in new york and his sister usually is away at college (although not very far away in pasadena).
Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple? having kids. we are really struggling with that right now, but more as parents rather than as a couple. for the most part we are good together as a couple, although there were a couple of years in college when i made life hell for rupert. [wasn't that fun, honey?]
Did you go to the same school? schools. as i mentioned above, we went to the same high school, and we weren't friends but we went to the same middle school too. as for college, we started off at different schools but i transferred to cornell during my sophomore year to be with him.
Are you from the same home town? sort of. rupert lived in missoula, montana until mid-way through sixth grade when he moved to manhattan beach. i grew up in manhattan beach (since kindergarten).
Who is smarter? book smart :: rupert. regular smart :: me. i know lots of useless trivia. rupert knows lots of useless data-related mumbo-jumbo. i know stuff that helps me get through our everyday lives; rupert would be really lost if something were to ever happen to me.
Who is the most sensitive? hands down, me. i take everything very, very, very personally. and i will cry at the drop of a hat ... or tear rupert's head off.
Where do you eat out most as a couple? i wish i could say we had a place we frequent as a couple, but we rarely go out on dates. and when we do we try to go some place different each time.
Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? japan
Who has the craziest exes? i don't have any exes, so by default i would have to say rupert.
Who has the worst temper? good question. in the past i would've said rupert without batting an eyelash, but i'm beginning to think my temper is as bad as his ... but only when it comes to maya. rupert loses his temper at a lot of other stuff so i guess he's worse than i am.
Who does the cooking? i'm sure rupert would beg to differ on this, but i'd have to say i do most of the cooking. don't get me wrong, rupert does his share of the cooking, but his repertoire is pretty limited. i'm more likely to try making new stuff.
Who is the neat-freak? neither of us is a neat-freak, but my tolerance for mess is much higher than rupert's. it's not uncommon to hear him grumbling about the shithole we live in.
Who is more stubborn? hmm ... me? yes, me.
Who hogs the bed? rupert. he also hogs the blankets.
Who wakes up earlier? usually i do but not because i want to. i think i got into the habit of waking up early automatically last year when i was working out in the morning. which has been helpful now that i work. and on the weekends i try to let rupert sleep in a bit. 'cause i'm a nice wife.
Where was your first date? we never had a first date. perhaps that is why we don't really go out on dates now.
Who is more jealous? ooh, that would also be me. besides his temper rupert is not an overly emotional person (he is a guy, after all), and i haven't really given him a reason to get jealous. isn't that right, rupert?
How long did it take to get serious? it was serious from the get-go. we just knew what we had was going to be serious and long-term. and we weren't wrong.
Who eats more? in one sitting :: me. during the course of the day :: probably rupert because his metabolism forces him to eat more frequently. but now that i'm kind of off my diet i just may be the eating champ of the family.
Who does the laundry? 85% of the time rupert does it. but i'm better at it.
Who's better with the computer? rupert, no question. and to think i used to be a computer lab teacher.
Who drives when you are together? rupert ... because that's what a man is supposed to do. no, actually, it's because when we're together we usually take the prius, which is his car.

and on a somewhat related note, my friend B posted a husband survey meme, which i tried to answer to the best of my knowledge ::

He’s sitting in front of the TV: watching sports or the sports news if he missed the game. and we do watch an insane number of simpson reruns.
You’re out to eat: we often end up wanting to order the same dish, so we'll get the two we both want and share (although i am an awful food sharer). if we're out for mexican he orders some kind of carnitas dish 99% of the time. if a fresh beet salad is on the menu he will often order that (eww!).
What is one food he doesn’t like? no question about it :: tomatoes.
You go out to the bar: i don't go to bars. the few times a year rupert goes out i'm guessing he orders a beer.
Where did he go to high school? mira costa high school in manhattan beach
What size shoe does he wear? 10 or 10-1/2
If he was to collect anything, what would it be? rupert's not really into stuff so he doesn't collect anything, per se. the one thing he does have a lot of is music. and if we lived in japan, he would collect the free tissue packs they hand out as advertising at the train stations.
What is his favorite type of sandwich? probably turkey. but there was a time in college we would eat this reuben-esque sandwich (with curly fries) for lunch at the ivy room and, on occasion, we still ask each other, "why would we eat that sandwich?!" because it was darn good, that's why.
What would the Husband eat every day if he could? cereal. and he does eat it everyday.
What is his favorite cereal? i actually don't know what his favorite cereal is right now. i'm pretty sure he grew up with sugary cereal but he's grown accustomed to low sugar cereals like rice crispies and trader joe's Os and honey Os mixed together. when he's feeling decadent we get life cereal or frosted mini wheat.
What would he never wear? something fashionable! i jest, i jest. never wear? a dress?
What is his favorite sports team? the miami dolpshins. don't ask me, ask him!
Who is his best friend? he's not very good at keeping in touch with his friends (although facebook might be helping a bit with that) but i'd say his closest friends are matt and jon. (but his real best friend is me.)
What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do? ask so many goddamn questions! especially those hypothetical ones.
How many states has he lived in? three + one district :: montana, california, new york, washington, dc
What is his heritage? ashkenazi jew
You bake him a cake for his birthday: probably a fruit tart
Did he play sports in high school? basketball and football
Where did you meet him: high school, junior year, through mutual friends and being in the same english and journalism class.
Does your husband have any hidden talents? he's actually quite clever with puns. basically, he's very good at being cheesy.


25 random facts about me

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits or goals about you.
  1. i am scared of going down stairs. well, maybe not scared per se, but i'm very cautious. i think the initial fear came from the very steep stairs in my grandparents' house in japan. i never fell down them but i was always afraid i would.
  2. i go through shopping phases when i'm only interested in buying one kind of thing. right now i'm in a book-buying phase. other times it's clothes, snacks, fabric or scrapbooking supplies.
  3. i sleep best in my bed when rupert's not there; i sleep diagonally, on my stomach, my toes rubbing my "blankie (a well-worn sheet)," and drooling all over rupert's pillow.
  4. i am obsessive compulsive about some things and a complete mess in other areas of my life. usually, i'm ocd about things that don't matter, and a mess in things that do matter.
  5. i want to travel the world ... and be able to speak the language of the country i visit. not particularly realistic since i'm not very good at languages, but attempting to learn a language is the least you can do before traveling.
  6. one day i'd like to have a masters degree ... in something.
  7. when i was pregnant with ian i had a huge craving for hot dogs, but i never ate one. i did, however, eat way too much tito's tacos beans + chips (but no tacos). with maya i ate a lot of fruit. go figure.
  8. i'm an awful singer (when i was young my mom told me not to sing out loud because my singing would kill the plants outside my window) but i love to sing rock band songs.
  9. the only time in my life i drank alcohol semi-regularly was when i lived in japan. i think it had to do with needing to loosen up to participate in karaoke.
  10. i'm a stickler for the rules ... to a fault. rupert hates it.
  11. rupert and i had to take one of my little sister's friends to the emergency room for alcohol poisoning once. mind you, she showed up at my parents' house already drunk ... she was like 15.
  12. for someone who prides herself on her memory, i am very bad at remembering the endings of movies and books.
  13. i wrote my college application essay on why i was glad my parents got divorced.
  14. if at all possible i prefer not to talk to people (even people i know well). hence, my disdain for the telephone and my over-reliance on email. which also means i usually prefer to deal with machines rather than people :: the supermarket self check-out, the atm, the automated postal center machine.
  15. somewhat related, i have a hard time keeping eye contact with people during a conversation. i can only briefly hold eye contact before i get uncomfortable and have to avert my gaze. it's rude, i know, but i can't help it. please don't take it personally.
  16. i like cute things with an edgy/spooky twist to them.
  17. i am an avid japanese comic (manga) reader; have been since i was about eight or so. my first series was "dr. slump" by akira toriyama; i still have all of them. another series i cannot part with is "to-y" by atsushi kamijo. and i'm not ashamed to admit that even though i'm in my 30s i read a lot of manga geared towards teenagers.
  18. i used to dislike japanese school so much that i would feign headaches and stomachaches every week so i could hang out in the nurse's office.
  19. my favorite food is noodles. i could eat some kind of noodle dish for every meal. i think my love of noodles really blossomed the summer after sixth grade :: as usual, i was spending the summer in japan and i would have a bowl of wonton ramen at the local chinese restaurant, meme hanten, everyday after school. seriously, everyday.
  20. my freshman year in high school i was the secretary for the quixotism club (a gaming club -- yes, i know, totally nerdy. but, in my defense, i wasn't a gamer; i was just the secretary). unfortunately, i didn't know how to spell "quixotism" (i didn't even know what it meant) so i guessed and wrote "quick sadism" for the bulletin. (as you can imagine, i didn't know what that meant either!) yeah, i got called into the office for that one.
  21. when i'm nervous or bored i have a horrible habit of pulling out strands of hair. but i'm very particular about the kind of hair i yank out. they have to be very coarse or crinkly hair (my normal hair is pretty fine and straight).
  22. since college i haven't been able to continue anything for longer than 10 months (except being married and being a mom). i only lasted 10 months at my first job out of college in japan; i dropped out of grad school after two quarters; i was a teacher's aid for one school year; i was a computer lab teacher for one school year; i only lasted two months as a teacher in watts for the university intern program at ucla; i subbed for six months; and now it looks like i've finally found my dream job that i want to do forever and they're going to lay me off because of budget cuts.
  23. i hate to say this out loud, but i don't think i was meant to be a mother ... at least, it seems like i don't enjoy motherhood as much as most other moms i know. what's wrong with me?
  24. as of right now, my favorite ... book :: neil gaiman's the graveyard book; animal :: the manatee; color :: grey; magazine :: school library journal; food :: matzo ball soup with fideo noodles; shirts :: striped; day of the week :: friday; nintendo ds game :: lego batman
  25. rupert is the only man i've loved and will ever love.


first born

found another meme on facebook so here it is ...

1. WAS YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY PLANNED? heck no! and we got the best kid ever. we plan the second pregnancy and, well, you know what happened ...
2. WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME? legally, yes. but we were still in the middle of planning the wedding, which didn't happen for another four months.
4. WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU? to be honest, the thought did occur to me for a moment (i did try to think of all of my options), but rupert was having none of that.
6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT? i was feeling even more tired than usual, i was late, and the orange juice i drank that morning made me feel really sick.
7. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST? i don't remember ... rupert was there when i took the pregnancy test, and i remember we waited a bit to tell our parents, but i have a feeling we might have told a couple of friends first.
8. DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX? yes. i felt like i needed to be "prepared" in some way ... but nothing prepares you for actually becoming a parent for the first time.
9. DUE DATE? november 23, 2000
10. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS? besides that orange juice incident i did not have any morning sickness. i had guilt about it.
11. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE? i craved hot dogs, but never had one during the entire pregnancy. i thought about hot dogs because there was a hot dog place a couple of blocks from our apartment that i drove past everyday. i did, however, eat a lot of chips and beans from tito's tacos.
12. WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST? the stairs at my work. i'd like to think i didn't get too irritated during the pregnancy but you're going to have to ask rupert.
14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING? before the sonogram i was hoping, hoping, hoping for a girl, and i did shed a tear when i found out we were having a boy. after all, i didn't have a clue about little boys. i was scared of their rough-and-tumble ways. then we got ian so i have nothing to complain about.
16. DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER? my best childhood friend threw me one at my mom's house; my mother-in-law threw me one; and then rupert's grandma threw me one after ian was born. i think we also had one at rupert's work.
17. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW? we knew about all of the baby showers.
18. DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY? none whatsoever. i did, however, have some kind of bacteria thing, which meant i had to have an extra IV during the birth.
19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH? cedars sinai. loved it, especially the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and martinelli's. someone did steal my raggedy old birkenstocks, though. weird.
20. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR? labor that i noticed? a couple of hours at home, and another couple of hours at the hospital. but i'd been having contractions for a couple of days already.
22. WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH? rupert was the only one in the room during the actual birth. i had to kick rupert's dad out of the room because he was watching the end of monday night football on my tv.
24. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN? you betcha! that epidural was fantastic, and that's coming from someone who is deathly afraid of needles.
25. HOW MUCH DID YOUR CHILD WEIGH? 6 pounds 15 ounces
26. WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY BORN ?11:50pm, november 13, 2000
27. WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER? ian george
28. HOW OLD IS YOUR FIRST BORN TODAY? 8 years 3 months


what i made for dinner :: lomo saltado

what i made for dinner :: lomo saltado

did you wonder where my special section "what i made for dinner" went? yeah, me too. i basically forgot about this section posting cooking. it's been four months since my last creation. i just don't feel like cooking much lately, unfortunately.

guilt inspired me to cook on friday night, though. friday is my day off so i felt compelled to make something. while eating my lunch i flipped through the january 2009 issue of bon appetit and found a recipe for lomo saltado. [the website's recipe search function is down right now so i'll have to post the recipe later.]

it's a tad time-consuming to make but well worth it (and it's simple). the end result is a lot soupier than what we're used to from our local peruvian restaurant. i should have used a better cut of beef, but you know, with these tough economic times a girl can only afford beef every once in awhile. next time i'm going to try it with chicken.


random ??s

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? not that i know of, but my father has yet to tell me what my name means.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? cried, cried? or getting teary-eyed? i get teary-eyed almost daily for almost any reason at all. the last time i really cried was last summer when rupert had his thyroid issue and we had an argument about it. (yeah, only i would pick a fight with my sick husband, right?)

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? who doesn't like my handwriting?

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? i waiver between roast beef and pastrami, but i must admit i do like a good liverwurst sandwich.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? two ... and i'm done.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? hmm, i'm not sure about that. i can be nice and fun, but i'm also sarcastic (see question 7) and brutally honest at times. i'm not one to sugar-coat things if i'm really friends with you, so i may not be the right person to go to if you need someone to tell you what you want to hear; i tell you what you need to hear.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM? is outer space vast?


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? can't wait for the day. that's what life insurance is for, right?

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? right now it's kashi go lean honey almond flax. but i also like to munch on life cereal dry as a snack.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? usually i don't. i purposefully bought a pair of slip on all stars so i don't have to untie them. the one pair i consciously untie each time are my running shoes.

12. FAVORITE LOCAL RESTAURANT? unfortunately, there aren't that many good restaurants in the south bay. i think my favortie local restaurant right now is el gringo.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? coffee ice cream, normally; rupert's "shake" (TJ's vanilla ice cream mixed with milk); ben and jerry's vermonty python; and i still miss B&J's white russian

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? i don't know ... maybe this is why i cannot, for the life of me, remember peoples' names and faces?

15. RED OR PINK? red, although i'm learning to embrace pink ... sometimes.

16. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? i'm a bundle of negativity, usually about myself (low self-esteem nourished by asian parents -- you know how it is).

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? dead :: my maternal grandparents. alive :: my girlfriends all over the world.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO COMPLETE THIS LIST? sure, it's fun to read.

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? dark jeans. we don't wear shoes inside our house.

20. LAST THING YOU WATCHED ON YOUTUBE? a video of art tatum playing "humoresque"

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? maya yapping away

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? i'm going to have to come back to this one after i research crayola color names. but i'm thinking some kind of grey color because i'm bright and cheery like that.

23. FAVORITE SMELLS? chocolate chip cookies baking; fried chicken; the ocean


25. DO YOU KNOW WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? yes, although we've never met in person. beth (aka grudge girl) and i are blog buddies.

26. WHICH SPORTS DO YOU LIKE TO WATCH? do i have to watch?

27. HAIR COLOR? black

28. EYE COLOR? brown

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? nope. i have great vision; i even impressed the eye doctor.

30. FAVORITE FOOD? ramen noodles (not the instant kind, although i like those too; i mean, the real deal from japan, and wonton mien from hong kong)

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? i hate scary movies; i'm genuinely scared, even though i know it's fake. so i will have to go with "happy endings."

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? wanted -- it was ridiculous.

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? light heather grey long-sleeve shirt under a dark grey threadless t-shirt.

34. SUMMER OR WINTER? is there a difference in los angeles?

35. HUGS OR KISSES? kisses from rupert, hugs from everyone else

36. FAVORITE DESSERT? freshly baked chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream

37. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? what i talk about when i talk about running by haruki murakami; joy of spooking (book 1): fiendish deeds by p.j. bracegirdle; mr. lincoln's boys by staton rabin

38. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? i don't use one.

39. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? season 4 of project runway, disc 3

40. FAVORITE SOUNDS? tree branches creaking in the wind; my kids having a good laugh; complete silence



43. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? can't say that i do. i'm more of a jack-of-all trades; i can do a lot of things very average-y.

44. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? kobe, japan

45. HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR SPOUSE/SIGNIFICANT OTHER? we met in high school through mutual friends our junior year (although we knew of each other before then); rupert joined the newspaper staff and we started working together. senior year we were in the same physics class, which is when i started to notice him. second semester i dropped out of physics (best decision i ever made in high school) but we were together in adult living (yes, there was actually a class called "adult living") and he would drive me home from school. the turning point was probably the day rupert and his friends were rejected from the talent show (the assistant principal did not like their "basketball jones" performance). instead of going home we went for a drive to a palos verdes beach. and the rest is history. (next thusday marks 15 years of togetherness.)

one word

Only one word ...

Where is your cell phone? pocket
Last thing you lost? mind
Your significant other? rupert
Your job? librarian
Your hair? damp
flowers? tulips
candy? japanese
Your mother? loony
Your father? clueless
Other in-laws? entertaining
Your favorite thing? lounging
Your dream last night? weird
Your favorite drink? boba-tea
What room are you in? living
Which room needs to be cleaned? all
Your hobby? reading
what you had for dinner? peruvian

Where do you want to be in 6 years? away
Where were you last night? home
Something that you aren't? male
Muffins? chocolate
Chips? calbee
Wish list item? books
Last thing you did? shower
What are you wearing? t-shirts
TV? sometimes
Your pets? none
Friends? love
Your life? disorganized
Your mood? moody
Missing someone? yes
Drinking? water
Smoking? yuck
Your car? crappy
Something you're not wearing? jacket
Your favorite store? bookstores
Your favorite color? grey
When is the last time you cried? january
Where do you go to over and over? dreamland
favorite snack? everything
cooking or dining out? out
favorite place to eat? japan
Favorite place I'd like to be at right now? bed
favorite book of the Bible? what?
favorite music? indie
favorite disney character? wall-e (do pixar characters count?)
Children? unfortunately
favorite scent? citrus
favorite season? fall