The Feeling Called Belonging (8-21 Aug)

A little flower greeting me on a bright August morning.

A gift my little sister put one my desk. It was quite a surprise to walk up to my desk and see a strange item on it.

Saturday, 8 Aug

You know when you meet people and you feel immediately connected to them? Don’t get me wrong, but these two Asian girls I met at work are like that…once I was talked to. If you’ve been following my blog, you know about my little sister from Canada. She’s great, she’s cute, she’s talkative and quite easy for me to get along with and I’ve “adopted” her. Most recently, she introduced me to another student who’s also working in my building, whom we “adopted” as our “middle sister.” She’s ACTUALLY between our two ages. Also, we tend to behave as children of this particular birth order probably would — I think.

Anyhow, we met up today and hung out today for a “cooking day” together, as both of them were excited to learn that I cook and wanted me to “teach them how to cook.” So, we picked our recipes ahead of time and met up today to cook up a meal together. First, we met up after the two younger ones had spend a morning bonding together over dragon boat, as our middle sister is part of a team here in Boston and the younger one used to do it once upon a time. Then, after running some errands, my littlest sister and I took the train back to my house. The funny part was, our middle sister had brought her bike, so she biked to my apartment, yet she still got there before us! What ridiculousness is this public transportation!

During our cooking session, my little sister wanted to meet my boyfriend, so we put him up on FaceTime to spend time with us while we’re cooking. She ended up talking to him a good deal — while munching on chips and guacamole — while the two of us older ones prepared our meal together. Our middle sister took it upon herself to listen to my instructions, as they wanted to learn to cook, so I had them do everything while I assisted if anything went wrong/awry. We ended up with a lovely meal that stuffed the three of us for dinner: penne alla vodka and 2 pounds of shrimp scampi. Yum yum.

After dinner, the two spent time talking with my beau while I cleaned up in the kitchen and prepared for our next bit of fun for the evening. The middle sister is one of those people who uses protein powders as a dietary supplement and decided on trying out a protein cookies recipe. So, the two of them had a blast making protein cookies together while I took a break and spent a short moment with my boyfriend.

The End…for today.

Sunday, 9 Aug

Meeting parents typically gives me the heebie jeebies. I’ve typically grown up with the majority of parent-meetings being a negative thing — or at least the negative interactions have impacted me the most — so when my friend told me — and some of our other friends — that her parents are coming and she wanted us to go out to dinner with them as part of our weekly-ish dinners, I had a slight panic attrack.

Funny to say, I often forget the cultural differences between Asian Americans on the West Coast and the rest of the United States  — both ethnically and regionally. Upon meeting my friend’s parents, my nervousness faded into the background rather effervescently. Her parents were comfortable enough to be silly around their child’s friends — sometimes to the demise of my friend — and her mom was ever so dramatic, having previously been a theatre girl herself. I guess I should learn to stop being so ethnocentric.

Lesson of the day: Allow yourself to take a compliment every so often. Rejecting, brushing off or ignoring a compliment can sometimes come off as a form of invalidating people’s personal feelings — which is somewhat rude and otherwise hurtful. Also, it opens the doors for other people to show how much they value you, which is essentially allowing yourself to be loved. As love makes the world go ’round, you need love to fuel your life. LET it. (Just don’t steal anyone’s thunder, if you can help it.)

On a side note: It’s fun watching those you think of as “leaders” be themselves and step out of the box you usually associate them with/put them in. Today, I watched a grown man, a respected leader, vacuuming the floors after an event going “vroom vroom.” As my beau says, I guess that’s what happens when a man spends too much time with his kids.

The Haymarket RMV. Top: the waiting area. Bottom left: the counter area. Bottom right: the testing room whe people do their “written”exam ELECTRONICALLY.

Friday, 21 Aug
For the first time in forever…

…I mean…since I started working here, I decided to take a day off from work. What did I do? “Other business” I had to attend to. What might that be? Becoming a Massachusetts resident. I woke up and arrived at the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), what they call the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) elsewhere in the US, to make it official. I got to the RMV shortly after they opened the doors at 9am. Shockingly enough, it only took me two hours of waiting — and a lot of reading — to get my Driver’s Licence converted. As of today, I am now officially a Massachusetts resident. YAY!

To celebrate, a visit to Boston’s first City Target — supposing there’s more coming — that just opened up at the end of last month. What’s different? I have no clue. It looks the same to me as most other Targets, minus the large one-floor floor space. The City Target here just seems like any other Target I’ve been to; it’s just divided up into three separate floors.

Some hops at work. Yes, we grow hops (ya know, for beer) on our patio in our building.

“Today” I Learned

  • Cilantro and coriander are from the same plant (Coriandrum sativum). What Americans call “cilantro” is simply the leaves of the plant, derived from the Spanish word for coriander. Cilantro is also known as coriander leaves, fresh coriander, or Chinese parsley. What we call “coriander” are the dried seeds of the plant, which are used to brew some types of beer.
  • Hepcat was a ska and reggae band in the 1990s. Yet, hep cat refers to stylish or fashionable people in the sphere of jazz or popular music — also known as a “hipster” back in the 1930s and 40s.
  • In Massachusetts (maybe in other States too), you’re not allowed to get a state ID card if you have a driver’s licence from a different State. You HAVE TO convert your driver’s licence from your previous State to your current State.

Other Pictures

A little bird feeding on some bread in a….I’d call it a bread cage.

A fruit cake I made. Yes, it’s literally ALL fruit: watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew decorated with kiwi, strawberry and blueberries.

Some cute little grapes I found hanging on someone’s white picket fence on my walk to the train every morning. ❤

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