[written last night and heavily edited tonight]
i was going to blog about the imminent changes in my life, but the sparkling wine i had with dinner (and aunt flo) is/are making me a little too emotional and weepy. don't worry, i shed maybe only 2 tears but am in a weepy mood nonetheless. girls.
ok, onto the saturday birthday celebrations with the family.
the day started with getting my hair cut by rochelle. it was just her and me during that hour that morning, and it was nice to alternately catch up and chill out in the quiet when she was in the zone. this short hair needs cuts way too often, but i do love having a stylist i can really trust for the first time in my life.
while waiting for the bear to pick me up afterward, i wandered downtown glendora a bit. can we say gentrification? it was nothing like this even just a few years ago when we took bear's truly-deep-down treehugging cousins thrift store shopping there. oh well, it gave me some fun stuff to look at at a great art supply store, a baby clothing store (looking for friends, no worries) with really great, unique baby clothes and cupcake-appliqued onesies that weren't too cutesy for even me AND well-crafted (but WAY expensive), and a boutique with all the designer denim and lots of yummy, soft, great-for-summer-but-overpriced tops. nope, don't remember any of the names of the stores, sorry.
the bear family picked me up and whisked us to lunch at super secret amazing thai place (not *that* secret as it's got a million yelp reviews). however, the bear is sheisty and likes to keep his authentic holes-in-the-wall with few tables and even less parking a secret. boo. when i eat deliciousness, i want to share share share! the bear is an only child, however, and has forbid me from sharing. such love is this that the man will share with me. :P
anyway, we had the most amazing lahd na (flat rice noodles in gravy with meat and chinese broccoli) with gravy of the right/authentic consistency per mother bear and the most amazing flavor. i never knew constarch-thickened gravy could taste so good. the yen ta fo (flat rice noodles in spicy tomato broth with seafood and tripe and crispy wonton skin), pad kee mao (spicy ground chicken with thai basil and/or mint on rice noodles usually called "chicken mint leaf" when the topping is served a la carte), and chicken satay appetizer also deserve honorable mentions. yes, we love us some noodles. such a tease, right? that puddle of unrequited drool under your chin? all the bear's fault.
after sleeping all that food off at the in-laws', we drove to visit my mom...and eat again.
we had jap chae (potato vermicelli noodles with all sorts of veggies, mushrooms, and a little beef):
galbi, of course. [don't mind my mom's crystal candlestick and taper next to the slabs of meat.]
special kong bahb [a mixture of white rice, sweet super-short-grain sticky rice, and various other grains and beans AKA purple rice!]:
both cabbage kimchi and radish kimchi. oh, and sesame leaves/korean perilla and other greens to wrap our meat in:
AND her special seaweed soup, miyuk gook, made with a from-scratch clam broth. it's tradition to make this for someone to eat on their birthday, although you really can eat it whenever you feel like it.
all of the above were taken with my iphone in backlit, not ideal lighting conditions. not bad for miss shaky hands, eh?
we capped off the feasting on the above with green tea ice cream mochi. mine had a lone, skinny candle in it. my mother is finally catching onto my minimalist + modern (spartan to her) sensibilities (dudes, she's my polar opposite in terms of style).
i felt so loved, so blessed, so warm, and so full. i really do have such wonderful people in my life.
on the way home, it lightning stormed. dunno where the thunder was. i usually hate hate hate rain, but this random summer shower reminded me of fun with my cousins in korea's sticky-hot monsoon summers. it also reminded me of frolicking, laughing, and running amok in a thunderstorm without abandon (i'm usually way too grossed out by moisture/wetness but somehow was able to let loose that night) the day i first spotted the bear and night before i first talked to him. i couldn't stop smiling as the bear navigated the treacherous, quickly flooding freeway. it was raining HARD.
the bear loves cold showers when it's hot. i don't understand. it's still too cold when hot to take cold showers, and i don't feel clean afterward. [no idea where that conclusion came from, but it's a great representation of my confizzled state last night.]
p.s. i just checked my facebook. thanks for all the wishes, everyone! i will respond to the ones that need responses soon.
p.p.s. grilled cheese night tomorrow with some girlfriends + one boy to celebrate again. toldja i'm a happy, lucky girl.