This Time Last Year
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This Time Last Year

the hors d’oeuvres at ANA’s business class

My sister flew back to Manila today. And I am reduced to a snivelly mess. Which is a surprise.

I don’t miss people easily. I’ve been here in NYC for seven months (jiminy cricket, it’s been that long), but any sense of sadness has never been this bad. Occasionally, it comes (like when it was my birthday and I felt like my family forgot about me because they didn’t call. silly goose that I am…), but for the most part, not really. I miss my friends, and often secretly resent them (but lovingly still) because I see their lives on Facebook, and how they’re all moving on with life. New relationships. Group outings (those kill me when I see photos). Weddings (it really killed me to miss one of my best friends’ wedding)…. That sort of thing. Life goes on for everyone, of course. But for the longest time, accepting that moving to NYC has it’s consequences, one of them being that the longer I’m here, the more I grow into a stranger from the people I love, and people I love being loved by. More on Disappearing From Other People’s Lives another time.

What sucks about my sister going back for Manila is that she stayed here long enough to really remind of me of life before this whole “Going To The USA For Studies, Which Became A Vacation (Yay) Which Turned Into An Indefinitely Permanent Living Condition Where I Only Packed One Suitcase For Summer And Autumn-ish And Didn’t Really Get To Say Goodbye” and make it hurt. When anyone lives with you for about three weeks, it’s enough to make you feel more alone than ever when they leave.

I was so happy when she was here. Even if my already cramped room became a lot more crowded, and there was less breathing or alone time, it was great. My ultimate partner-in-crime was here, for more food-splitting (an American meal is a perfect size for the both of us, and if not, we get to taste more food!), adventures on foot, and TV shows. Oh yes, the TV shows. And now, she’s gone. I’ll see her again, but I don’t know when’s the next time I can hug her.

But we made the most out of it. Visiting dear relatives in Boston, and walking around New York even if it was bloody cold.

post-snowstorm in Park Slope, Brooklyn

Williamsburg

Grand Army Plaza, after the fireworks on New Year’s

Il Laboratorio del Gelato

with Yana, who cooked such a feast!

Brocolli with shrimp, baked salmon with cheese and roasted bell peppers, and salad with blue cheese, sliced apples, walnuts, and vinaigrette. And wine, of course.

Lady M cakes for dessert. Green tea crepe cake, strawberry shortcake, and dark chocolate ganache cake.

sharing the creamy gelato: lavender honey, pistachio, white peppercorn, cardamom

A chicken tikka and lamb tikka at The Kati Roll Co.

pretty lights at Chelsea Market

Rockefeller

ECC. Jeane Claude Panda. Medicacion. Etc.

Bolt Bus to Boston

at 7am

bomber hat time with the Kim cousins!

Harvard Square, Boston

aptly named world’s best mac & cheese at Beecher’s

and walking to LA Burdick’s after for dark hot chocolate

Angel’s Share

A handsome home with berry wreaths in Greenwich village

At Barbuto, with Ate Jaye, Candice, and the delicious chicken and chocolate budino. Photo by Ate Jaye.

Franny’s

Happy New Year soba (thank you, Auntie Beta), with pickled umeboshi (?), mackarel, and a runny egg. Thanks for cooking, Bea!

The most alive-looking thing at the High Line

Stone Park Cafe, for these ladies who brunch.

I’m a bit of a mess right now, just like the state of my room. Affairs to get in order, things to be put in their proper places in a room filled with empty boxes and too many Trader Joe’s paper bags enough to look like the sad quarters of a bum who owns no furniture except for a stupid cot (one of the worst online purchases ever), health insurance (or be fined $95 come tax season), my driver’s license… and the list goes on. My laundry, needs to be done, especially since I only have four pieces of underwear to brave the upcoming ‘deep freeze‘ this week.

So hello, 2014!

greeting the New Year with cheesy pop songs and fireworks at Prospect Park

IT WAS SO COLD

defrosting from the cold at the subway station, wondering if we caught hypothermia

You will be an exciting year. I’ve a list of things I’d like to do (writing about that soon), but first, I need to get my bearing with God and straighten myself (room included) up a bit. Then possibly, butchering, Cross Fit, terrariums, Japanese, Mandarin, research on my special interests, and dating. Not necessarily at the same time, or in that order.

I hardly wrote last year as I went through this adventure of a lifetime. So let me begin my 2013 ADVENTURE from the beginning, which was

this time last year..

I returned from a Christmas spent in Seattle/Oregon.

It was one of the craziest Christmases ever. It was spent with my mother’s side clan (imagine a reunion of a family with eight daughters), with enough activities and drama worthy of a holiday television show. Imagine: twenty-four people living in one giant house, divided into groups for a cooking contest (with self-made and randomly drawn out themes such as Wet ‘n Wild, It’s Not What You Think It Is, Pirated Software, and Biowaste), games and board games (family feud being one of them), and performances (my imitation of dad was a crowd pleaser), and a New Year’s celebration with bubblies (and an expired bottle of Apple Cider that smelled so foul, no one owned up to bringing it). My group won (oh yeah, It’s Not What You Think It Is, Medical Edition!), I made my first pie ever, and nutella stuffed cookies…

It was a beautiful holiday.

Oregon. Food trucks. The beach. Seattle. Cloudy. Food places. Family.

The time before the Christmas festivities was spent with Bea. Whom you already know, spent it with me, at the same time of the year as this year. Closer to Christmas, our parents flew in, and we walked around Seattle more than dad and our bladders could tolerate.

I had short, Bieber-like hair, braces, and was about 10-15 lbs heavier.

Towards the end of the trip, one of my dear Aunts/unofficial-sort-of-counselor and I had a conversation that formed the beginnings of a resolution that would change my life for 2013. I would stop being taken advantage of in a situation that was getting no where, and pursue something daringly crazy (farming) that I’ve always wanted to do.

My flight home was off to a great start. ANA Airlines upgraded my seat, so for the first time in my young life, I flew business class. I took it as sort of a confirmation and encouragement from God about what was brewing.

2013 was off to a very, very hopeful start.

Who would’ve known what the year had in store for us.

Didn’t mean for this to get so long. This was actually supposed to be a brief, rant-ey post. Then I started adding pictures. Then captions. Because I want to remember.

Have a brilliant 2014, everyone! I hope yours is off to a great start.

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