2006: Year in Review

2006 can be summed up in just one word.


It started with mom’s health from her radiation earlier in the year to chemo in February, and finally, the stroke that debilitated her in July. I did go home twice in one year for the first time ever, and despite it all, I managed to have a few days of absolutely good times. Then we moved out of the Long Beach College Dorm 2.0 into a quiet residential neighborhood of Los Alamitos. I switched to take the bus. Brandon gets a permanent position. Friends and family all around have their kids for us to play with while we made the permanent decision to not have one of our own. My health issues that mounded up at the end of the year and as quickly dissipated.

2006 is also a year of discovery and exploration. I spent time rediscovering myself and I think I have found her. Brandon and I took many trips on emotional roller coaster together and seperately. Both of us survived and became even stronger for it. I found the foodie in me and now more than ever have never been so happy in the kitchen! I found that 30 is not a bad age, that familyt and riends are the most important things in my life, and that giving and helping other brings me true joy.

2006 has been a true test. 2007 will have more challenges, I’m sure.

And now, the break down of 2006, if you care. Thank goodness I kept a blog. I wouldn’t have remember half of this crap!


The Food: Kapaw Thai opens in Cypress and becomes our main source of Thai food since.

The Good: New Year’s Eve at the Tolers’…an awesome time with everyone. Arrival of baby Owen Ching. Pirates’ Dinner Adventure. A trip home to be with mom when she started her chemo.

The Bad: I started 2006 with the coughing flu, like the one I just had. Funny how I’m ending 2006 exactly the same way I started it! Just please don’t repeat the Rose Bowl experience. No, I still DON’T want to talk about it. Oh, also, our Christmas present cash was stolen from our apartment.

The Ugly: Mom’s lung cancer, already metasticized to her liver, now showed up as brain lesions. Later it was put into remission by radiation.


The Food: Homecooked meal at my Bangkok home. After that, I was on antibiotics and Cipro for most of the month so not much going on in the world of good eats.

The Good: Being home with mom. A day trip down to tour the tsunami affected area of Khao Lak which entailed hanging out with my dad and a bunch of international architects and flying home from Phuket on business class. We moved to Los Alamitos. J.C.’s visiting from D.C. and told me about her pregnancy!

The Bad: Watching a very scared mom going through chemo. Leinart, Bush, Lendale moved on to the NFL.

The Ugly: The Hot Tub Rash (aka the Ass Rot) episode. Urgh!


The Food: Marcello’s at the Bonaventure.

The Good: Cheech’s visiting from Oregon. Discovering the OCTA 701 bus. Thanks to Netflix, getting hooked on “Lost”.

The Bad: Super emotional over everything since the trip home and the move.

The Ugly: Commuting on the Blue Line when it was partially down. That was hell.


The Food: Goat cheese.

The Good: Compiled my Dreamboat list. You know, all the celebrities that pop up in my dream. (By the way I should add Pierce Brosnan to that list now. Will elaborate soon.) Company spring potluck. Reconnecting with High School Jen and seeing Melissa, visiting from Illinois.

The Bad: Lots of wine and food at Jen’s. Driving home that night perhaps wasn’t the best idea on the planet.

The Ugly: Nothing I remember…or blogged about.


The Food: Mead. Bangers and mash. Princess Pavillion’s dim sum.

The Good: Renaissance Pleasure Faire. A good performance review and a hard-earned raise. My friend Nick graduated from USC. My “cousin” Nicky turned 21. Frenchy proposed to Brandy. J.C. and Erick’s friends and family hosted the baby shower.

The Bad: Nick left for Colorado and his sister, Nan, husband Mike, and baby Owen moved to Massachusettes.

The Ugly: Nope. Nothing ugly her either.


The Food: Daily Grill’s citrus marinated skirt steak (and also their steak salad) and chocolate layered cake.

The Good: Brandon’s vasectomy. Girls Day Out in Pasadena with Celeste, getting my hair cut and doing some bar hopping + shopping. The World Cup soccer fever. Team Lesser Weevils debut at AIDS Walk Long Beach.

The Bad: A coworker’s cross the line with me via email. (You’ll have to email me and I shall elaborate.)

The Ugly: Mom had a stroke that paralyzed her left side a few days before her last chemo session. They had to stop chemo and started her on a mild oral chemo…which turned out to be working almost miraculously.


The Food: Nothing particularly stands out.

The Good: Frenchy’s 30th birthday party on the beach. Meet Captain Bubbles. Zidane’s head butt. Summer potluck.

The Bad: Got hit in the mouth by a tennis ball. That’ll teach me to skimp on paying for a tennis lesson and had to run with true beginners in a huge, community college class.

The Ugly: Pervert on a late evening Blue Line. Urgh! *shudder*


The Food: Thais know their food! Lalai Sapp Todd Mann Pblah (fish cake) nuggets. Peking duck. Vietnamese food at Dusit Thani hotel. Note’s Kinnaree Gourmet Thai restaurant.

The Good: Going home to see mom. Hanging out with the aunties and partying it up with my girlfriends in Bangkok. The arrival and survival of baby Joshua Heygood. Getting my piano tuned. Meeting Rose/Token Asian and her sister for the first time ever and saw Thai Elvis for the first time in ages! An attempt at running didn’t go so well, but it did make me want to try again.

The Bad: Seeing mom bound to the hospital bed, still afflicted with the damage from the stroke.

The Ugly: Dragging the drunk Tong into my house. That was definitely ugly. LOL.


The Food: Pork!

The Good: USC Football season. The Pig Party. Hanging out with the Andersons and getting to know Olaina as herself instead of “Justin’s wife”. My first painting on canvas. Talk Like a Pirate Day….yarrrrrrgh!

The Bad: Steve Irwin died.

The Ugly: Coup in Thailand. Well, getting rid of Thaksin is a good thing. But man, the interim government is a complete fucktard! So far, I’m not impressed with all their backtracking on almost every major decision they put out. Okay, I’ll stop bitching now.


The Food: R23. Wieland’s Brewery.

The Good: 100,000 hits on this blog. Girls Night In at Brenda’s where we stuffed our faces with cheese-based foods and bottomless glasses of fantastic wines. Rose introducing me to R23. OC Police Canine Association Benefit Show. Halloween at work.

The Bad: Our awards dinner. Okay, the event went fine but leading up to it and the aftermath was a headache and a half.

The Ugly: Nothing of note.


The Food: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Candice’s Ultimate Brine and Justin’s killer gravy. *Giggle*

The Good: Company international potluck featuring Celeste’s deep fried turkey…and I couldn’t eat much of anything there! (See the Bad.) HSX impromptu mini reunion when Nalin came to town. Homecoming with Michael. Turning 30 and the birthday party at Hennessey’s and essentially an entire week long of birthday celebration. Thanksgiving with the Andersons and belated birthday dinner with Aunty Tim and the family. The Oak Nest (aka papasan chair, a gift from the Andersons).

The Bad: Brandon’s bone spur in his foot. Well, at least he went to see the doctor about it. The shoe insert he has now is a blessing and a half!

The Ugly: My acid-y stomach that, I believe, started all of my other health issues. You see, I couldn’t really eat anything then and vitamins mess with me even more so. I was undoubtedly stressed out on top of that. So my body was in a way “malnourished” and immune systems was shot. Therefore the rest of the year was pretty much down the toilet, so to speak.


The Food: Library Bar, discovering Old Rasputin Imperial Stout and Anderson Valley Ale. Wolfgang Puck’s Mac and Cheese. Crab lakes at California Club. Santa Cristina wine.

The Good: Very successful Operation Jingle All the Way. And OMFG – the Parties!!! British group dinner. Abelskeiver Brunch at Amy’s. Library Bar outting to send of Cool Cat VP Greg. OCSD Stanton sub-station Christmas party in Newport Beach. Board of investors party. Staff party. Christmas Eve Santa Run and dinner with Rhino and Erik. Sleep-all-day Christmas with all the fabulous gifts. Brandon starts full time at OCSD. My mom returns home from many months in the hospital. Fucla gets the crap beat out of them by Florida State.

The Bad: The stomach issue lingers. Then I got the flu. Then the food poisoning. Blogger decided to shift to new version and my blog was caught in the crossfire for over a month. Never gonna do that again!

The Ugly: Pleurisy–that inflamed lung rubbing against my rib thing that sent us running to the emergency room in the middle of the night in a panic.

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