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Black Friday On The Other Side.

3 AM. Lil Wayne’s How to Love breaks through the quiet. Snooze. 5 minutes later, Bruno Mars adds to the din. Snooze — Oh sh*t! Time to drive from SF to SJ at the crack of dawn…for work.

Today, I experienced my first and last Black Friday, on the other side of the retail freakfest. It was a nightmare.

3 45AM. My sweet boyfriend made me coffee and packed Thanksgiving dinner leftovers. Half dazed, I scrambled into my work outfit. I hugged him goodbye and dashed out to my car. 4 00AM. I drove down Highway 35. Not a soul in sight. 4 25AM. 100MPH on 280 S. 4 40AM. Engulfed in heavy fog. I literally could not see 2 feet ahead of me. 25 MPH…gaze intent ahead on the road.

4 50AM. I pulled into the designated employee parking lot 2.6 miles away from my destination, signed in, and hopped onto the shuttle. 5 00AM. Ready, set, go.

Noon. Why can’t time fly faster? Angry, impatient, and aggressive customers everywhere, wanting things pronto. Frazzled holiday hires. Grumpy tenured associates. Oh, the joy. 2 00 PM. Cheek muscles in severe spasms from over-smiling. 3 00PM. Meager lunch break. 4 00 PM Leg muscle spasms from running around too much dealing with customer issues, performing manager overrides, and coaching inexperienced associates. 4 30 PM Collapsed into mangled heap at the shuttle stop.

More than 12 hours later, I toppled into my bed — mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted.

I’ve truly gleaned a newfound sense of serious respect for the service industry. The sales associate at the counter, the bell boy at the hotel, the waitress at your local diner, the security officer patrolling the facilities alone in the cold at 3 AM, the janitor that cleans up after everyone’s mess. They work to serve, and each and every one of them deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

Retail and service workers, I salute you.

M

So Much To Be Thankful For: Thanksgiving 2012.

I have so much to be thankful for. My family, my friends, my travels, my experiences, my hobbies. I am so so so thankful on this special day.

I find it extra meaningful that I made a formal decision on Thanksgiving. After singing long into the night with good friends, I came back, got on my computer, and signed a very important piece of paper.

On my way 🙂

I drove to San Mateo for a delicious lunch at ABC with my boyfriend, his mommy, and his sister. Afterwards, K & I drove to SF to do some exploring. 🙂

San Francisco, why are you so beautiful?

K = King of the Jungle

🙂 Mr. P’s Kissy face is too adorable.

Queen of Jungle *beats chest and hoots*

Pretty flowers for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving DinDin with K and his FamBam 🙂

After the most delicious dinner EVER, we all sat back food coma-ed on the couch and watched 127 Hours. Intense, intense movie that didn’t quite sit well with all the mac-and-cheese and mashed potatos in my tummy. But James Franco was brilliant.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

M

Best Day of My Life.

Today, I received a phone call. It was pretty much the best phone call of my life. Doesn’t matter that I was scurrying around work with three phones (the executive in charge phone, my corporate phone, and my personal cell) getting terrible reception. When I got that call, I felt like everything was worth it. All of my highs and lows, struggles and letdowns….I’ve finally accomplished my goal for the past few years.

It must be my good luck charm Aaron, who took time out of his busy schedule in Beijing to catch up. 😉

I flew through the rest of the day, and celebrated with my mommy over dinner at Chen Ma Ma’s. Then, I headed to my favorite place for release – Music Tunnel KTV, with some of my favorite people to sing with. Alan, Jason, John, Elex, Kyle, and my roommate Annie :). I’d have to say tonight was one of my funnest K-sessions yet!

🙂 K Kings

You guys rock 🙂

Hehe I love taking pics of people singing.

My adorable roomie and my homie Elex 🙂

Happiest Day Ever.

M

Date with My Best Friend’s Mommy!

First of all, woke up to an adorable 50 year anniversary picture from my grandparents. I miss them so so much!!

Now thats love.

After a long day at work, I headed to the flower shop to pick up a pretty bouquet for my date of the night: my best friend’s mommy Ms. Marina. 🙂

I felt so happy to be back in that familiar and cozy apartment, with my best friend’s beloved cat and her sweet Mommy. We had Elena’s favorite tea, and delicious chocolate cake. For the next few hours, I learned so much about Ms. Marina’s amazing life experiences in Russia, her immigration here, and her students. It was amazing.

🙂

Its always so unbelievable how much we can learn from our parents. Sometimes, it takes years to truly appreciate those lessons.

M