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Monday, July 30, 2007


I do have more to say. About Eric. Eric Chen. My friend who died of a vicious cancer that didn't care he was only twenty-seven with his whole life ahead of him. I wonder who he would have married? What would his kids have been like? I'm sure he would have been a great father as there are few people in the world who are as chill and as good to the core as Eric was. I know people always say that about those who have passed, but this is absolutely the truth. I NEVER heard Eric raise his voice, never saw him get angry about anything. He was full of smiles and laughter and was just, well, chill.

I knew of Eric long before I ever met him. I was two years younger than him and we ran in different circles in high school. All I knew about him was that he dated an acquaintance of mine at some point and he was the guy that everyone referred to jokingly as "erection." I heard his name a lot though and wondered who this "erection" guy was.

Interestingly enough it wasn't through anyone from my high school that I met Eric, but rather through his best friend Dan, who was my year in school but had gone to Saratoga HS about forty-five minutes away. I still remember meeting Eric for the first time and how he welcomed me into his house and we bonded over our favorite past-time together in the backyard. We talked about the people we both knew from high school and even though I had only just met him I felt like he was an old friend.

Ironically, it was actually towards the end of his life, those months just before he found out about the cancer that we spent the most time together and actually hung out just the two of us. We would chill in his garage, shooting the breeze, talking about work, life, even politics sometimes. He was someone you just knew you could go to and if he could help you, he would, no questions asked. He was the kind of guy that would go out of his way for you and ask for nothing in return.

The last time I saw Eric was in December 2006, a few weeks before I went to France. I didn't know anything was wrong, he didn't mention anything and he looked like the same old Eric, smiling, relaxed as usual in his sweatpants.

I regret not contacting him when I was in France. We chatted a few times when I first got there - he asked me to add him on myspace when he found out I had one but I never did because I couldn't pick him out of the sea of Eric Chen's out there. I wish I had so I could have helped him reach that goal of 100 myspace friends. It's stupid these things we regret when it's too late. Once again, like after the death of my friend Simon in high school, I'm reminded of the need to act on these small little requests in a timely manner. I should have made a point of contacting him to get the right address. I wish I had. I really, really wish I had.

I confess, I had an inkling about the cancer once he was diagnosed. I saw the allusions to chemo and him being sick but I pushed it out of my mind, Eric going through chemo? Can't be. It's gotta be about a relative, maybe an aunt? A parent? Not him. Either way, another thing I regret is not asking him about it, as he must have wanted people to ask if he bothered to put it up in his away messages. But I was, I must admit, absorbed in my own life - school, exploring France and Europe, trying to find a job, missing Paul. So I didn't reach out when I should have and that is something I will live with. Again, a lesson I thought I had learned from Simon's passing but obviously I didn't. It is just as painful as remembering all those times I told Simon we'd hang out some other time and then the day came where that was no longer a possibility.

When I got back from France, Dan finally told me point blank about Eric's cancer and I couldn't ignore it anymore. I contacted him, I asked if I could visit but I was scared to push and honestly I'm not sure I should have anyway. He was immuno-suppressed and I have my own health issues that make it so I'm never fully healthy, it probably would have been needlessly dangerous for him. But I'm glad we talked. I'm glad that I got to say hello to him between treatments, between his naps and his walks. I'm glad that he felt comfortable enough to tell me about his treatments and what he was going through. We talked about the wedding too, I wanted him to go but of course he couldn't. He told me he'd also have to miss another friend's wedding...

The whole time, as bad as I knew his cancer sounded, I couldn't bring myself to really believe how sick he was. I never asked him what his chances were, I don't think I wanted to know and I don't think I wanted him to have to answer. Didn't know if he would want to answer, really. Even though he was always very candid when I did ask questions. I wasn't sure what the boundaries were, I guess. But I guess the main reason I didn't think it would ever come to this (his death) is because it seemed like he had hope. Every time we talked he was telling me about a new treatment, or a continuing treatment, seeing a doctor, a new experimental treatment. It seemed like there was always a plan of attack and that he was always up for it. I don't know. Maybe I just saw what was easier for me to believe?

So there it is, my own little memorial to a guy who wasn't my best friend, who I can't proclaim to have known like a brother, but who was nevertheless a friend. My bud buddy. And someone I can honestly say was way too good to die so young. I will never forget the sessions we had in your garage or how you always had that kind of sleepy look on your face, or how you seemed to love sweatpants as much as me. I'll never forget when I called you up spur of the moment, all hung over, and you were down to help me out. I'm glad that I have good memories of you and that even though we didn't know each other in high school, fate brought you into my life in a most unexpected way. And above all, I'm so glad that you accepted Christ as your Savior this past May and that this is not goodbye. I'll see you, buddy.

Rest in Peace Eric Chen, May 4, 1980 - July 25, 2007


wingless was still breathing at 6:12 PM - 0 comments

Don't read this until you've finished Harry Potter! Consider yourself warned...

I finally finished Harry Potter over the weekend. In fact, I stayed up until almost 11pm last night finishing it despite having to be at work by 5am this morning. And it was totally, completely worth it. That is, until work exploded and I finally started to understand what my coworker means when she says people start "spinning."

Anyway, after crying for a good half hour when Dumbledore died in book six I figured I better read book seven with a nice big box of tissue but surprisingly the only part that brought tears to my eyes was when Dobby dies and that was partly because I was thinking about Eric's passing. I think I need to reread a lot of the previous books because there are certain things I only vaguely remember (like Voldemort taking some of Harry's blood, kinda remember it happening but don't remember the context).


As I mentioned, work blew up today. Normally I have a little time to read the news, check on a couple of my favorite blogs, etc. but today? Nada. I was, spin spin SPINNING like a crazy person. It was kind of cool though because it didn't feel like I was just running in circles (like I did as a recruiter sometimes going through the same freaking resumes over and over again) or that what I was doing was trivial (though necessary, as I often felt as a fundraising assistant/property manager). I'm sure after some time goes by I'm going to want more responsibility but I'm glad to finally be in a place where I can see the potential to actually learn something new every day.

It's funny because after recruiting I swore up and down I would never take another sales oriented job and here I am with the official title of "Sales Assistant." It really is a completely different type of sales though, the sales people I work with are definitely a lot brainier and their job is less about sales than it is about finding money managers the products they already know they want. They have to truly understand the products they are selling and how they fit into people's needs - not an easy task considering how complex some of these products are. It's pretty different than the staffing industry where all we were asked to do was to match up words on resumes with words on the reqs.


Eric's family has set up a memorial for him on the ACS website. His sister's are trying to raise $1000 in his memory and will shave their heads if they are able to reach their goal. I'm sure it won't be hard. There's a memorial for him this Saturday, August 4th at 1:30pm (all details can be found here).

This is the first time cancer has directly touched my life and I don't really know what to say about that. According to the memorial site, Eric accepted Christ and was baptized this past Mother's day so I do find peace in the knowledge that I will see my bud buddy again.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007


Well, today sucked. Let me tell you, working at a trading desk in the middle of a stock market melt down is Not Fun. Even though our desk doesn't deal with stocks we still felt the pain and everyone we were dealing with was in a crappy, stressed out mood.

And then I found out my friend died of cancer last night. Gonna go play video games now, need to get my mind off things.

Rest in peace, Eric. At least there's no more pain. Hopefully we'll see each other again, in another place.

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wingless was still breathing at 5:48 PM - 0 comments

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


So. I started a new job last week. A job that involves the 18th floor of a huge building right smack dab in the middle of San Francisco's Financial District. A job that involves working with people who in all likelihood make millions and all have important degrees from important schools and who are all super competent, out-going people persons who are, well, presentable.

And so, of course, I, who am apparently not presentable, got a rash. All over my face. And then I lost my voice. And started to cough up interesting colors. And lose the ability to hear out of my right ear because it is clogged up with mucus or something. And then this morning my right eye started to become swollen and painful and I'm pretty sure tomorrow I will go to work and people will scream and point and mistaken me for a cyclops.

Sounds about par for the course eh?

I went in on Monday with no voice, hacking like crazy, forcing my coworkers to work with their shirts over their mouths and noses like gas masks. Every time I touched someone's workstation the disinfectant wipes were immediately whipped out to wipe everything down. They were probably glad when, on what was supposed to be my sixth day at work, I called in sick. I went in today but some of my coworkers still refused to use the cooler next to my desk and instead opted to walk to the other side of the office for their liquid refreshment.

This whole fiasco reminds me of last September when I came down with a sinus and throat infection right before school started. What can I say? My body hates me.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Oh, yeah! I have a blog!

It's. Finally. Friday.

I can't remember the last time I felt this grateful for Friday (particularly since I had class on Saturdays in France). And really? I'm actually kind of bummed by how happy the fact that it's Friday is making me. Because, man, this is the rest of my life isn't it? Back to the grind. Back to Friday being the highlight of the week and cursing the fact thatthe weekend is only two days long. Sad stuff.

I have a few things to say about my new job but I haven't fully thought stuff out so let's just save that for another day.

In other news, I'm twenty-five today. The big 2-5. Time for a quarter-life crisis? Oddly enough the fact that I'm married makes me feel like being twenty-five is perfectly okay, because dude! I'm ahead of the game here right? So, no, no quarter-life crisis here. Twenty-five is fine with me. Perhaps my next birthday will throw me into some kind of existential tailspin but so far, so good. I really don't mind getting older, because, I mean, getting married was fun. I'm sure the rest will be fun too...having babies, advancing a career, etc. etc. Generally I'm the type that likes to look back and revel in nostalgia but as I get older it seems more and more pointless so I'm trying to focus on the present and the future. The past really wasn't that great anyhow.

So there you have it.

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wingless was still breathing at 3:37 PM - 0 comments

Thursday, July 12, 2007

As if I really needed another reason to hate Tony Parker

While I was in France I noticed some posters of Tony Parker plastered all over our street. I asked one of my French friends about them and she rolled her eyes and said that he was releasing an album. And I quote (try to imagine the French accent), "He thinks he can rap."

A few other people seemed to share the sentiment - the French were in agreement, Tony Parker was getting annoying. They told me ever since he got engaged (now married) to Eva Longoria he had become too smug. For them. The French. Let that sink in for a minute. He got. Too smug. For the French.

A quick disclaimer: I hate Tony Parker. Seeing as how I am not French, he has always been too smug for me. Kind of like Kobe Bryant.

Anyway, I was partaking of my guilty pleasure this morning when I saw this. It definitely reminds me of the other French rap music videos I saw while I was there...Let's just say French music videos (especially their "eep-op" videos) can be odd. I vaguely remember one that involved a midget. A lot of them seem to be slow and broody and kind of lame. It totally makes sense that 95% of the music French people actually listen to is American music. Often American music from eight years ago, but American music nonetheless.

By the way, TP and his buddy dancing around in tank tops at the end makes me giggle.

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wingless was still breathing at 10:04 AM - 0 comments

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's alive!

*Wave* Hello. We survived. Just barely. The days running up to the wedding involved a lot of me saying, "Uh...I don't know, we'll just do whatever!" And a lot of exasperated hand-wringing from pretty much everyone else remotely involved in the wedding.

But (mainly due to the exasperated hand-wringing people) everything came out so much better than I expected and I honestly feel like most people had fun.

So, if you were invited and chose not to come for whatever reason...you missed out! There aren't any pictures yet but I'm pretty sure that between our (two) photographers we will end up with at least 2,000+ pictures.

I also discovered that beyond having a lot of people around you who are determined to WILL an awesome wedding into existence (bridesmaids + Henry aka "best wedding coordinator ever") a gorgeous backdrop (i.e. Pacific ocean crashing in the background + some dolphins frolicking about) is an instant solution to a total lack of planning.

Off the top of my head here are my favorite parts of our wedding:

1. Paul and the groomsmen walking down the aisle to the Vitamin String Quartet version of Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust." I don't know if any of the older guests got it but we heard laughing from the younger half of the crowd.

2. Jonathan (17 mos) and Natalie (3 1/2 yrs) both made it all the way down the aisle. Jonathan even went most of the way with the ring pillow! (Don't worry the rings themselves were with the best man).

3. Taking pictures on the beach.

4. The flowers! Who needs a florist when your best friend is Helen?

5. The groom/groomsmen's sandals. Yes, sandals. On their feet. Paul got a pedicure and everything.

6. That Natalie (flower girl) and Christina (4yrs) caught the bouquet. Total photo-op.

7. That one of our photographers actually came to the after party at Garden of Eden. Have I mentioned yet how much our photographer rocked? If you are getting married in Southern California/Los Angeles and want the best wedding photographer money can buy (and surprisingly he is not over-priced at all) definitely check out Scott Reynolds. Everyone kept commenting all day/night about how good he was. He stayed with us from 9:00am until after midnight.

I'll go into more detail once we get our pictures back!


wingless was still breathing at 11:05 AM - 0 comments

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

So let me get this straight

You want me to help you, get my fiance into a strip club?

He won't go in? And you really want him to go in and have fun with you guys?

Hang on let me get the world's tiniest violin so I can play it for you.

Oh and please don't patronize me, because y'all? Y'all are really shitty liars.


wingless was still breathing at 3:45 AM - 0 comments

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Basically it's all going according to plan...

Our officiant canceled on us. Today. Right now.



wingless was still breathing at 10:54 AM - 1 comments

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