Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! And to all of you who aren't Christian (like me), Merry Christmas anyways; it's the thought that counts. This year, I got many wonderful presents from everyone including emails, cards, text messages, books, games, and clothes. This year, however, I got a present in its purest form from someone I least expected: Emma my large white and fluffy dog.

I had just driven down from Northern California and knocked on the door hands full with all my luggage when my mom opened the door for me. I staggered in and began depositing my stuff on the ground when Emma, curious to see who'd come in, came trotting over from around the corner with a large chunk of her dinner in her mouth. When she saw me, she stopped dead in her tracks and just stared. Then as it dawned on her who she was looking at, her eyes got wide and her jaw dropped and the chunk of meat she had just been cherishing a second ago fell straight from her mouth onto the ground. Having completely forgotten about her dinner, she galloped up to me tail wagging and tongue licking my face.

My mom watched the whole thing and we both remarked that it was the cutest thing we had ever seen because we both knew how Emma would normally growl and fight tooth and nail if anyone tried to take her dinner away from her. I guess it's why humans love animals so much, because when we see something like this, we know it is a true and sincere gift of love.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Best Birthday Ever

I can honestly say that this was one of the best birthdays I've ever had. The celebrations started early in the month with a wonderful trip to Yoshi's jazz club where we watched the Taj Mahal Trio perform great music. That was great fun especially because it included friends from many different circles of friends whom I never see together. Then my friends from work took me out to one of my favorite restaurants a week later. Last night, just before my real birthday at midnight, I got the much anticipated annual phone call from my long-time friend Amy. This morning, I woke up to find an email filled with birthday wishes and wonderful life updates from my friend, Andrew, in Russia that I met in 10th grade on an exchange program. Throughout today I was peppered with phone calls and emails from more family and friends all wishing me the best. Finally, tonight, I thought I'd have to celebrate by myself and my chicken pot-pie-with-candle-on-top since everyone was out, yet not an hour later, I found myself surrounded by friends I haven't seen in a month. When it came time to blow out the candle on the cake, for the first time ever, I couldn't think of what to wish for because at that very moment, everything was perfect.

I honestly feel like the luckiest person in the world right now to have so many wonderful people I care about dearly; I feel rather unworthy to have this gift. My dearest friends and family, you've filled my entire December with love and joy. In this season when I'm usually wishing for what I don't have and others do, you've made it completely impossible not to be thankful for what I do have -- all of you.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

The Color of Rain

I’m sitting in my living room listening to the pattering of the rain on the skylights and watching the pine trees outside twist and sway with the wind. Everything in the house is illuminated by the dim blue-grey glow I call the color of rain. I’m tucked in on the couch under a warm blanket wearing the same hooded green sweatshirt I wore on rainy days over a decade ago in middle school. A lot has changed about the sweatshirt since then; there are loose threads here and there and numerous holes in the sleeves for my fingers to poke through. A lot has stayed the same; it still keeps me warm on rainy days.