Jun 172008

“My boyfriend wants me to have blonde highlights in my hair and I told him that I’d do it, but he’d have to pay for it. When he got the $200 bill every other month, he was a bit surprised that it cost that much.”

“Yeah. I could think of other ways to spend $200 on you.”

“He spends too much money on me. I tell him not to, but he does. He’s 35.”


“I know. I’m only 21. My mom says that he probably thought he was getting some sweet submissive young girl, but that’s not the case at all. I’m so not that.”


“Like the other day, he got home and he was complaining about something and I told him to shut up. The house was clean and dinner was ready. What does he have to complain about?”

“Yeah. Sounds perfect. I’m 35 and 21 sounds pretty good…” [Rest of this thread is removed cause I got in enough trouble when it actually happened.] “…So, for Sal’s party – would you be interested in dressing up as Cinderella? It is his favorite princess.”

“Really? I’d so do that!”

There was some doubt as to whether we were each taking each other seriously, but at the end of class, we discussed the timing of the costume hand off and double checked the dates. So it was pretty straightforward booking Cinderella for the party. Realizing that she liked living out dreams of 35 year old men was the key. But that’s making it all about me, when it really isn’t. Realizing that she considered herself Sal’s soccer girlfriend was what made the deal.

Spiderman was pretty easy too. Jason and I were talking when he was changing – where Jason was realizing he didn’t even put up a fight.

“For Sal’s birthday, will you dress up as a superhero? Spiderman or maybe Wolverine?”


Logistic wise Spiderman ended up being the better choice. And that was that.

Next year, Shawn’s gonna be the Human Torch. It was something various people requested. Dan is penciled in for Mr. Fantastic. I thought cause he was all stretchy and lanky. But Dan sees it more because he’s the genius inventor geek. With two of the Fantastic Four, scheduled already, now I’m motivated to get the Invisible Girl (should be easy…and fun!) and the Thing (less easy…less fun).

Any Thing volunteers? Or suggestions?

Jun 162008

Where are the bad guys?Cinderella made it!Sal had a pretty good party, as far as I could tell.

Spiderman showed up. Cinderella was there too. They did a real good job, considering the heat and the pay. As in, they got paid nothing.

People asked me how much it took to get them there. Or how hard it was convincing them. EJ even asked me if it was awkward asking Sal’s soccer coach to be Cinderella and I said it wasn’t awkward for me. Might have been for Catherine listening, but it was all pretty natural coming from me.

Anyway, as Cinderella was leaving yesterday, I realized none of it had anything to do with me or my powers of persuasion. She was saying goodbye to all the kids and as I walked her out (she had to rush off to a family dinner) I said I’d hand out her business cards if she was interested in doing more appearances.

“Oh no. Only for Sal.”

Now all we need to do is teach the dude to recognize how lucky he is…

Jun 112006

We asked to just donate to Unicef, but some people just don’t listen.  Let’s see…

  • He got a couple peek-a-blocks sets. They’re interesting, but not quite as cool as the little balls that intrigued us so much.
  • A take apart vehicle that’s for 3 years and older.
  • Some nice clothes – including a pair of pants he can grow into.
  • A great little musical cube that has different intruments on each side. That blink when they’re active. And turn on and off each press. So you can add instruments and take them away from each bit of classical music it plays. Fun.
  • A fridge phonetics game of some sort. Leapfrog. Should be good? Sal likes pushing the buttons already.
  • Some books. Lots of good books.
  • A Pooh bear doll that has a funny little bell thing inside. It has already lead Catherine on a good discussion on what exactly is inside Pooh.
  • Lots of donations to Unicef – Thanks! And someone gave a gift of “Sheep” to a program that helps farmers in Sal’s name. And some money for college.
  • Some Lego like things that Catherine says we need to wait to open…bah!
  • A Curious George box – what are those called, where the thing pops out? Jack in the box? Pop goes the weasel? Whatever it is, the first time George popped out, a wad of money popped out too and hit Salvador in the face. We were all a bit surprised/disappointed when we did it again and no more money popped out.
  • And a bunch of other things that I can’t remember right now, cause I want to get into my favorite one…a couple of shirts from my sister and brother. Well, a couple of couple – cause they’re matching shirts (when part of Sal’s present is my present, I think that puts you in the front running for my favorite of Sal’s gifts…) My sister said that it is hard to find two shirts in our sizes, but once she does, it is easy to buy, cause I’ll wear anything…

And a set of flaming shirts. These will probably clash with everything. But especially with snowflake pajamas…sweet.

Jun 102006

Sal’s first birthday party was a big one.

I had a good time too. For some people there, it was the first time they had seen me in long pants. Traditional Korean garb for someone my size (their suits are supposed to be big and loose fitting, it would not be worth it if I tried to squeeze myself into one – wearing one that looks painted on is worse than wearing none at all I think) is Burberry. And one of those full face visors. Couldn’t find the visor in time. But did have the pants…

Salvador won’t remember the party, but I will.

I like the idea that he’ll run into people years down the road and they’ll say – yeah, I was at your first birthday party. Or that he’ll find out so and so was at his birthday party after looking at photo albums. Or this cheesy panorama I built. Sorry Mommy Kim – your hair got a little tweaked. But Rob Lee is looking a little thinner at least.

I wonder if it gets any easier when the kid:adult ratio goes up. Actually, I’m sure it’ll be easier on the balloon guy. Let’s see if you can guess which was the request kid and which was the adult request:

  • I want a monkey in a tree with bananas hanging from it.
  • Orange.
  • By orange, he means he wants Nemo.
  • Sword.
  • Same thing.
  • Just like his.
  • Butterfly.
  • Grapes.
  • Anything but that damn turtle you keep making.
  • Corvette.
  • Poodle.
  • A flower.
  • I want one too.
  • How come you’re not asking us what kind of balloons we want?

I think the kids left reasonably happy with the balloons. The adults were sarcastic, but I think that just was hiding their envy. Overall, it was a good time and I’m glad none of the joking around I was doing about the Strongs came true. But I do think Sal’s parties going forward will not be like “small weddings” anymore. Nor will the become the circus (as in real circus, not chaos…) that Nathaniel’s was either. Something a bit more subtle perhaps. Maybe in a park…somewhere where a hose would be appropriate.

The toljabee went well. And our little contest, where we had 12 pictures of Sal and the trick was to put them into chronological order – well, Sydney got the most right at 5.  Had she put down 12 answers instead of 11, she might had gotten 6.  Though Jason also only put down 11 too…Walter got 5 right too…but he already owes me a lot of dinners…so we’ll declare Sydney the winner. But it won’t be as nice a dinner as if she had gotten all 12. Maybe 5/12ths as nice…

Finally, I think I can say this without getting into trouble – we’ll see…

It was the best anniversary we’ve had so far.

Apr 062006

Kelly says he doesn’t like Samba that much. If anyone doesn’t like Samba, it should be me. But I kind of love it.

I lost an eating contest there. It wasn’t that big a deal, just a casual challenge, but I lost. I went the high road – where I didn’t force the issue on the creamed spinach, because Karl didn’t like it. But did he offer the same courtesy? Nope. Plaintains up the wazoo. And salmon. Too much salmon. Can’t get enough bacon wrapped turkey though.

Catherine blames my loss on me finishing 3 other people’s lunch just a few hours earlier. With a bowl of tartar sauce. I’m not sure how much that came into play.

But that’s not what makes Samba special.

When I turned 30, we went to Las Vegas to celebrate. I invited lots of people to go, but most of them couldn’t go. Maybe even all of them. One thing or another. “Going to Wimbledon” I think was the most creative story. I think I still argued that Wimbledon will be around next year, I might not be…but that didn’t seem to matter.

Well, it was just timing. I didn’t take it personally. Mostly. Some of my family would be there. Catherine would be there. We’d still have fun. At the airport, on the way to Vegas though, I thought I’d give it one last try. Blackberry in hand, I sent out a mass email, pleading with people to come out to Vegas. Catherine sat right next to me, quite supportive. It was a sad, desperate letter. I pulled all the stops. Tried to yank every heart string.

Had completely no effect. Except maybe lowering people’s view of me.

So off to Vegas we are. On the day of my birthday, we have a late lunch. Like 1:30 or something at the Sterling Club. A nice lunch. I get a steak sandwich. And they mean business there. It wasn’t a meat sandwich. It was a steak sandwich. Catherine leaves with her friend to go shopping after lunch. I’m just tired, probably didn’t sleep. We’re supposed to meet up at 5 or something at the Mirage for dinner. I nap on the floor in the Turnberry with my legs up on the leopard ottoman.

They wake me at 5 to goto dinner. I’m not hungry. Big steak sandwich. And though I like Samba, it would be a waste for me, because, I’m not hungry. Big steak sandwich. I say I’ll meet them after. They say “come on”. I get grumpy. I’ve been woken up. I’m going to a meal I’d normally enjoy but I won’t enjoy that much cause I’m hungry. We’re late. I might even be irked that Catherine had to go shopping today, instead of yesterday or tomorrow. But okay, let’s goto Samba.

Woah! Surprise! Wow – all the people that said they couldn’t make it out to Vegas were actually telling cover story lies! They’re all here! Well, maybe 5 of them. Or make that 4 plus one other person I wouldn’t have invited, but he just came along – people actually thought that he was the “partner” of the guy I invited – which was pretty funny and worth him coming after all. And 2 of the 4 might have been late. But Damian and Cynthia were there – with little, lucky Owen. Cha-Ching!

Everyone else was telling cover story lies because Catherine asked them to. She wanted to have everyone tell me they couldn’t make it and then show up for the surprise party. Except that most people had other, real reasons why they couldn’t make it (no Wimbledon after all! Which made me kind of sad, cause I knew Candy wanted to see Petey.)? So we were kind of back to square one. Though, don’t get me wrong, I’d be happy to roll dice with Damian any day of the week.

My parties don’t tend to be that big.

The theme kind of ties in with some birthday in San Diego while I was in grad school when Catherine got me a birthday cake that said on it “You are not alone”. Which, in a broader context, is a touching sentiment. But I think on a cake it looks odd. Like if the cake were bigger, it might say “You are not alone, loser.” Or “You are not alone, like you are every other day of your pathetic life.” I think it was me, her and Walter there that year. I got to eat the piece of cake that said “alone”.

Anyway, this party she put together was like that cake, but with people. And even more people observing from a distance. Setting the stage from afar one might say.?

But it was fun. A good time. She decorated the room instead of going shopping. While decorating it, the waiters asked her if it was a little kid’s party. I don’t know what that means. But me and Owen got lots of cars and toy dice to play with.

I didn’t eat much. Wasn’t hungry. But bacon wrapped turkey found a way. And the flank steak.

My favorite part?? Realizing that Catherine was sitting next to me, letting me write that silly email out at the airport. She could have stopped me. Saved me some embarrassment. But she didn’t – she was sweet and kind and encouraging me to go on and share with others how desperate and lonely my situation was. She was there, watching me make a mistake, but didn’t stop me. She might have even nudged me towards it. I don’t have a copy of that email anymore, but it would be worth a couple of laughs right now.

She’s come along way.? Maybe one day, she’ll tell you what she got for her 30th birthday. I mean, after that day comes…

Nov 202005

Went to Nathaniel’s 3rd birthday party yesterday. Nathaniel was sitting outside when I arrived, eating lunch with his grandfather. He hassled me a bit on the way in – “Who are you?!?”? Anyway, he got distracted by lunch and I snuck in.

I’ve been to company parties that were not as fancy.

We’ve been to weddings with lesser cakes.

Ben said they were there at 7:30 in the morning, to setup for the 2pm party.

We joked about taking pictures of Sal around the decorations and just telling him later on, that he had a real big 1st birthday party…we joked about hiring out the Strongs to do our parties…Ben said he has a cheap rate for being the pie boy (photo above). Catherine doesn’t call him a “Pro-Daddy” for no reason.

But in the end, we realized it would be wrong to try and steal some of the Strongs’ efforts as our own and that Sal will just have to settle for his own, lower key parties. And once his memory kicks in, we’ll probably always be too busy to get to a Strong party (and the Strongs might never get invited to a Sal party – we wouldn’t want force them to slum…)