26 September 2007

Comparisons in the IST-iverse

DCist is totally better than LAist, in my opinion. Check it out for youself:

DCist vs. LAist

25 September 2007

This OLD House

I don't know if this house will every be clean and organized. I started with my room. It's clean, newly painted, and lovely (just missing curtains - luckily for me my window faces a wall). So far, the room is still clean, just a little messy on my desk because I don't have anywhere, yet, to hang my necklaces and earrings. Next was bathroom #1 and the living room. The living room was pretty easy because, although there's a lot of stuff in the room, it's all stuff that more or less belong there. The hard part about cleaning the living room is dusting and getting all the cobwebs in the corners and on the ceiling. I did the best I could, and then left the hardest to reach cobwebs for another day. Bathroom #1, on the otherhand, took most of the day, and still isn't completely done. The problem was that there was just so much stuff hidden away under the sink, in the drawers, etc. My mom and I went through everything and threw out a lot of stuff (old make-up, lotion, perfume, etc. etc.). Now, all the little storage areas are all organized and clean, but there's still all my mom's hair accessories that she needs to sort through and toss out (or keep or something). The plumber finally came yesterday (or rather, my dad finally called the plumber to come yesterday), and he fixed the clogged drain in the shower/tub. My mom installed a new shower head (YAY!). I still need to bleach the tub (which I am not looking forward to) and then it should be set.

Today, I decided to attach the formal dining room and the linen closet. The linen closet took most of the day. I pulled everything out of the linen closet and had to sort through all of the bed sheets and towels and pillow cases and table clothes and everything. For now, it's very clean and organized, but knowing my family, I'll be lucky if that lasts a week. I am now a pro at folding fitted bed sheets, though. Those are always the hardest to fold because of the elastic and that stuff, but I think I've gotten pretty good at it. As to the dining room... that's still a bit of a mess. However, I'm not really sure where to put everything that's in there. I think what needs to be cleaned first is my mom's little office area in the kitchen/dining room. Then I'll know where to put her scout stuff that's sitting in the formal dining room. Oh.. that and I also need to clean out the garage (oh dear.. the garage! I just want it to disappear.) and the patio (which also just needs to disappear). I almost want to rent a storage unit temporarily just so I can throw all the stuff going off to charity into it, and then once it's all full (and out of the house), I can call Goodwill or Salvation Army or whatever other charity organization does pickups, and tell them to just take everything from the garage. ::le sigh:: I hate this part about being home.

I still haven't touched a cooking utensil or pot or pan since I've been home. Perhaps I should get around to that. I talked to my mom yesterday (briefly) about how I want to cook, but I'm not yet comfortable cooking at home (especially with my grandmother there - harassing me). She said she'd be more comfortable with me cooking than my grandma, since my grandma always makes a huge mess when she cooks and often forgets the stove on. My mom is also tired of eating the same sort of Vietnamese food every night. She'd welcome a change, as would my dad, and my sister. So.. perhaps not this week, but next, I will start cooking again.

Ah.. and Tran is still miserably sad. You know.. This is the longest I've been home in California for a while. It's strange, knowing that I'm here for an indefinite period of time, having to call this place home "where I live" home, and not just home "where I grew up" home. And, of course, I love being home, but I just really want to go back to Virginia. I suppose it will just take time to adjust back to this place. And the whole "I need a job" thing will all fall into place, and everything will be fine. I hope. My life seems so boring at home. I've got nothing going for me here. I hate waiting and not knowing and .. just.. everything.

Ugh. I think I need to end this here, before it gets any more depressing (and before it depresses me anymore). Ok.. I'm out.


16 September 2007

Good-bye Virginia: Part 2 - .. in which Tran gripes about California

My last few days in VA/DC were fun. Here's the short version:
  • Thesis is finished. Defense scheduled for Oct. 12 at 10am at NASA LaRC
  • National Cathedral was AWESOME! I've been inspired to learn to take better photographs so I can go back and get some good pictures of the stained glass windows.
  • Charity Date Auction went really well. Karen was bought by Lucas for $575 (highest bid! w00t!)
  • Spent some time at the National Gallery East Building. Jasper Johns lithium prints are on display, and I finally got to see the Matisse cut-outs in the tower.
  • Crittercam exhibit at the National Geographic Building Exhibiton Hall is really cool. Everyone should go check it out.
  • Dinner with everyone on Thursday was great, and we had delicious desserts from Harris Teeter.
  • Friday, Karen and I were supposed to go have sushi at Kanpai!, but they were really busy. So we went down to the sushi place by the Metro instead.
  • Now.. I'm back in California.

I've never been so sad to be back home before. And then, never so aggravated at what a mess this place is. I'm trying to clean old stuff out of my room, so that I can paint it and make it seem like a 23-year-old adult lives there, rather than a 10-year-old kid, but I find myself torn at what to toss and what to keep. I mean, there's stuff in there that's been sitting in boxes for years without seeing the light of day. Should I keep this stuff because of the memories they have (which are weak, at best)? Or should I just toss this stuff to get rid of the clutter, since they're obviously not THAT important? Shoud I keep the "Congratulations!" cards that I got when I graduated from college? From high school? Or should I toss all that stuff out since I will never look at them again anyway? Will it matter ten or twenty years from now, when I have kids and I'm telling them stories about my life, that I don't have old letters and pins and souvenirs to show them? At what point does an old collection or hobby become useless and just a waste of space? I've only been home a day, and I already can't stand my room. I've pulled all sorts of things off bookshelves, out of closets, out of drawers. And it just seems like there's this never-ending abyss of junk that I keep pulling stuff from. It's rather aggravating.

California, itself, is alright. I haven't seen anyone yet. Right now, mom and dad are off doing scout stuff (attending ceremonies and celebrations). Anni is at work. Khiem and Peter are supposed to be coming over to hang out around lunch time. So, I'm just sitting at home. Dreading going back into my room to face the mess. And at the same time.. wishing it would all just disappear. I have so much to do while I'm home in terms of getting this place in order, and all I want to do is leave. YIKES! It such a mess here. I don't know how they can stand it.

Oh.. my computer can't hook up to the internet, until I figure out where the router is. So.. will post up pictures of my final week in VA/DC soon.


04 September 2007

Good-bye Virginia: Part 1

At this moment, I am in a state of limbo. In betweens homes - "Good bye Hampton. Hello California!". At the end of my educational career (if this thesis ever gets finished and defended). Single (technically, but not emotionally). And in whatever other states of limbo you want to insert -->here<--.

These last few weeks on the East coast should be eventful. Anni was visiting for a couple weeks. We went to Busch Gardens, got our nails done, went to Colonial Williamsburg. . . and then she spent a week inside because I had to go to work and didn't have a car to leave with her. Off to DC! The last weekend of her vacation was eventful, and made up for her week stuck inside. We went cell phone hunting (because I had washed mine a few days earlier and needed a new one). We went to the National Museum for the American Indians. We went to Georgetown. We went to the National Aquarium (and would never go back). We went to the first annual Rockville Wine Festival. And we sat out in front of the Capitol Building to listen to the NSO. It was very nice. Now she's off, back home to California, where people are missing her and ecstatic that she'll finally be home.

As for me, I've finished the latest draft of my thesis this morning, meeting with AC tomorrow to discuss some questions that I had with it. Hopefully just a couple more minor edits, and then I'll be able to submit and schedule a defense date. And hopefully that defense date will be some time in early October, so Karen and I can spend Columbus Day Weekend in NYC! The rest of my stay in DC should be nice, since I'm going to try to get as much east coast friend time in before I leave as possible. Let's see. Hair appt on Thursday. Going to check out the Washington National Cathedral sometime next week (probably Monday). Watch Karen get sold to the highest bidder at a Charity Date Auction next Wednesday. Finishing my thesis in between these times, and probably working on the presentation as well.

Then back to California I go. I'm excited to be going back. I haven't been back to California since Easter, and I really miss all my friends and family out there. Of course, I'll miss the friends that I've made here as well, but since I'm in career limbo, I might be back. I would like to be back if it weren't for the heartbreak I would have to endure again in December. I suppose explanations may be in order, but I'd rather not give them. I'll just leave it at this. Ours was a break-up of circumstances and not because one of us wronged the other.

Anyway, I think that's enough for now. I'm watching 28 Days Later, and can't afford any distractions. Till next time.