You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2010.
Before my wedding, I knew that I was going to sell my wedding dress after the wedding. After all, it was a $125 dress from China- made to fit but then altered again in the States for the same amount again. Add a $20 petticoat from craigslist and that’s why I didn’t feel bad dragging it through the sand the day of the wedding. But my attachment to the dress began after the wedding. It had been hanging, covered by a large white garment bag that still left the train hanging out from underneath, for months waiting for our much belated trash-the-dress session. Then, a friend who was getting married asked me if they could maybe buy the dress and his fiancée came over to try it on. Seeing it on another woman created in me a feeling of envy and possessiveness that I thought I would never feel about a garment. She decided not to buy it. I was glad.
I wavered on whether or not I’d sell the dress even until after the trash session- I was standing at the dry cleaner’s counter with sopping chlorine-y dress in hand, debating if I was willing to pay $50 to clean my $245 investment. Nah. I rinsed it a few times in a friend’s tub and called it a day. It ended up surprisingly clean! And smelled fresh too.
It hung drying off the curtain railing for a few days before I took it down and folded it up nicely. I had been looking at preserving my dress online- it would cost me about $50 to get a kit with acid-free tissue paper and an acid-free box to store the dress in. But $50? For what purpose?
As a kid, my mom’s wedding dress lived in a bag within my closet, and I would take it out time and again to try it on. When I was eleven years old, the dress’s waist sat on my hips. I’d put the veil on my head and stand on top of my bed in front of the mirror to see how it looked. But when it came time for me to get married, I would have never dreamed of wearing my mother’s dress; I’m sure that any daughter of mine will feel the same. And were we really going to move the dress to Utah?
So I posted the dress on craigslist, thinking that hey- maybe nobody will want it and I’ll get to keep it. A few days passed, and I had no replies- and then a girl emailed me asking that I keep it for her to pick up in 2 weeks. I agreed. After all, if it fell through, I would get to keep the dress. Alas, she came over today and has just left with the dress. Meeting her was one of the weirder circumstances I’ve ever been in- she was almost exactly my height and build- her breasts, her waist, her hips were all in the same places- maybe a little larger in the bust and hips, but standing in front of her I felt like we were twins. So she will be walking down the aisle in July in what used to be my wedding dress, and I am left here feeling a little sad and empty. I know that the feeling will pass and I will forget that I don’t have my wedding dress hidden away under a bed (–maybe better than forgetting that I do have my wedding dress hidden under a bed). But right now I’m sad that my beautiful cheap white dress is gone… and all I have left are photos and memories. (And shoes. Kept those!)
When I first heard about yoga once upon a time, I started calling it “yogurt.” Not because I was too young to know better, but I was probably too immature to prefer calling it by its real name. I used to do that during high school- give things different names or even baby names just because I felt like it. (Who am I kidding, I still do that sometimes.) When yoga first started “getting big,” I, like many of my peers at the time, thought it was a silly frou-frou “sport” that housewives and rich people did because it was easy. And then I watched ten minutes of that movie where Madonna plays a yoga instructor (The Next Best Thing?) and there’s that one scene where her soon-to-be love interest tries to join her yoga class and ends up failing, sweaty, and complete with new respect for yoga. And that is probably when I began thinking that maybe yoga isn’t as easy as we all thought it was.
I’m not all hot into yoga culture or anything, but I first gave it a try at the local YMCA when my family still had a membership and then got more into it when I got a 29 day passes to a ritzy local gym via Groupon. There was this one instructor who taught classes that I started going to regularly- his name was Danny. He was one of those sun-bleached blonde weathered-looking tall lanky dudes who I imagined spent all of his time surfing, eating granola, and walking around barefoot. Well, except for the fact that he taught these mean yoga classes that made me sweat buckets and left me feeling great. So I went out and bought myself a mat and did some practice at home for a while, but all too soon, my 29 day passes ran out. And then I decided I was too busy- and then when I had more time, too poor- to take yoga classes.
Enter exercise.tv on hulu.com a few weeks ago. I did their 20-minute routines a few times, and then had the quite belated idea to search youtube, where some folks have full yoga workouts online. Score! Free yoga! I do miss having classmates, big mirrors, and a real instructor nearby to correct my poses, but uh… free is sort of hard to beat. Plus I can have “yoga class” whenever I want- say, like even at 10pm.
Anyhow, it’s pretty great and now I feel like I am taking care of myself again. You know, after eating pulled pork, just SEEing the amount of butter we put into the cornbread, and oh… eating strawberries on the couch dipped in leftover mascarpone whipped cream with semisweet chocolate bits (you read that right- it’s DELICIOUS!), I thought it was high time that I try to do something to counteract the impending ah… ballooning? pre-intern-15? that is coming my way.
Okay, so the actual point of this is that I am proud of myself and bragging because I can finally do a full sun salutation with like, a real full Chaturanga. (I apologize if my terminology sucks. I am still very n00b.) The first time I saw Danny walk us through it- “Okay now from down-dog, go forward and down- forehead-nose-chin-chest… good… into up-dog” I gave it a try and once I tried to put weight on my triceps, I just went “plunk!” and chest slammed into the floor. But tonight, on a whim, I gave it a go, and MAGICALLY… it like… worked.
Anyways, that is all. But it’s nice to know that I’m going somewhere with this and maybe getting a little stronger. Hopefully this will help tremendously when we start moving boxes and furniture everywhere- ahhhh moving!
You know that townhouse I mentioned a while back?
Turns out that now we’re in primary position to buy the place and the girl who had placed the other offer is now in backup position. We actually know who this girl is, since we saw her name on one of our contracts. It’s a long and complicated story which involves plenty of things that I don’t understand, but bottom line is that we sort of forced her out. Well, to be fair, she couldn’t get a loan and kept asking for extensions, which made the sellers pretty nervous. So they did these legalese tricks that allowed them to force her out if they found a better offer (or force her to put $5K at risk)- and the sellers already knew about us wanting the place.
But ANYWAYS, besides the fact that this girl probably really dislikes us right now (and she’s an incoming med-peds intern at our hospital next year), it looks like we will have a place to live next year. Of course, tons of things could go wrong between now and actually closing, but… at least this is more hopeful than where we were last week! Yay! We’re pretty ecstatic. And my hand is going to start hurting from all these documents I need to sign now… Ouch!
When new Husband and I went to Utah for our honeymoon, we discovered the mecca of outdoor gear that Salt Lake City is. First stop was the Patagonia outlet, where I got these cute “workout underclothes” that I had been ogling at REI for the past season and Husband picked up a red micropuff jacket. Let me tell you about moving to a cold place- it gives you that excuse you’ve been waiting for to buy more cold weather clothing that you never had a reason to buy while living in California. I went through the same thing when I moved to New York, except instead of snowboard gear and trendy outdoor clothing, (read: Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Mountain Hardwear, Columbia, etc.) I was picking up cute sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, scarves, and gloves.
While we were in Utah, it started dumping snow like nobody’s business. We actually even ended up getting “stuck” (oh boo-hoo) and having to do our drive back to LA in one day because of chain/4WD restrictions on the canyon road. On one of the sunny days between snow dumps, we headed into Salt Lake City to view a resident’s house. We were running early, so we stopped by Target… and the Black Diamond store. Ah, the Black Diamond store. We kept them there after closing so Husband could decide on which skis to buy- the Black Diamond Megawatts? Or the Black Diamond Verdicts? The salesperson kept selling him on the Megawatts, but they seemed a little long for Husband and a bit too specific for only big pow. The Verdicts sounded like a decent all-around ski, better on pow than his other skis, and the correct length for Husband. To give you an idea, the Megawatts were 178s, and Husband usually skis a 163. Salesperson told him that the Megawatts ski about 10cm shorter because of the huge ridiculous rocker tip, but I was skeptical. I mean seriously, these things were ridiculous. Monstrous. Huge! (Also, such a good deal!)
So Husband entered into paroxysms of indecision and asked for my advice, which I gave: the Verdicts. So we bought them and returned back to the hotel, where Husband commenced extensive online research on both skis. The online community of tele skiers convinced him that the Megawatts were definitely the way to go; they were amazing! Life changing! Best pow ski ever! My favorite review was titled: “MEGA-WHAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!”
So when we went back down into Salt Lake City the next day to see some more property, we brought the rejected Verdicts with us and picked up the MEGA-WHAAAATs. And it continued to dump snow like nobody’s business, and after 2 feet in 48 hours, Husband was floating above the pow to liftie comments like, “Whoa. Great skis for a day like today.” And I was getting stuck here and there, insisting that because I had a snowboard, I was better off than a skier on a huge pow day.
And this story is getting very long, so to cut to the chase, Husband went hunting on eBay after we got back home and picked up a Burton Fish 150 for me. It’s a hell of a lot of board for a tiny person like me, but hey- I’ll get more float, right? And besides, who needs to turn in powder? Puahahahaah!
I will be finishing medical school soon- in about 5 weeks. Becoming a “real” doctor still seems so far away, but thinking about it now sounds so much more reasonable. Being a “real” doctor means that I will have a “real” income, and despite all of the healthcare reform talk and worry that is tearing up the medical community, I’m pretty confident that I’ll be doing just fine as a surgeon. As such, I’ve been spending a lot of time dreaming about things that I would want, all the places I’d want to travel, all the awesome gear I will buy…
In the midst of dreaming about all of this, I always feel a little guilty. I have really been blessed in this life. When I think about all the people in this world that don’t even have a place to live or food to eat, I think that it’s ridiculous that I am willing to spend thousands of dollars to see this place. Or have some experience. Or to own this thing. Once upon a time, I was determined to be poor. Even though I left high school a cynic, compared to my elders in the medical field I was still a bright-eyed idealistic dreamer: I was going to become a primary care doc; I was going to help the underserved; I was going to live simply and I was going to change the world- one patient at a time. And then I discovered that I hate primary care. Primary care is this disaster of paperwork with still very little follow-up, and yes- very little pay. I thought that I would be okay with suffering through college and medical school for a primary care salary. I thought that my student loans wouldn’t be a burden. That all is probably still all true, but I can’t imagine myself suffering every day for the rest of my life in a profession that drives me MAD. Kudos to all the primary care docs out there- I couldn’t do what you all do every day.
But all the same, with the idea of an income- even a resident’s salary- I can’t stop wanting things. Maybe I don’t have the most extravagant taste, but it seems to make more sense to just pay retail to save time or to take amazing vacations because I wasn’t able to afford it before. It seriously rattles the strict Asian frugality I was brought up with, but also makes me feel guilty in an I’m-a-super-consumeristic-American sort of way.
I guess it’s pointless to worry about how I am going to spend my money when I’m still ridiculously poor, can’t afford to make full payments on my student loans, and might not even be able to get a loan for a place in Utah. But I’m hoping that some advance planning and perhaps retrospection will help me spend it wisely. But I can’t stop looking! There are SO many ways to spend money. Ah, America. I am a product of your hedonistic values.