Monthly Archives: March 2005

Do you remember the time
when we fell in love
do you remember the time
when we first met, girl?

I was surprised to hear this as I hopped in his car, out from the cold
January air.  Out of nowhere, the song had popped into my head
earlier that day and now here it was, playing out of O’s stereo. As O
called our friend to see where he was already, I sat back, listening to
the song and thinking about the first time O and I met…


We were at a car show back in April 2003 and after it was all over,
I needed a ride back
to my dorm at UBC. O was a fan of driving, and he offered to take me
back, even though he lived in Coquitlam (which is the complete other
side of the Lower Mainland, for all you non-Vancouverites out
there).  So I hopped in the car and off we went back home after a
long day.

It was pretty quiet at first. A bit from exhaustion. A bit because we
hadn’t really talked at the show, so it was awkward getting a ride from
a near stranger. Before he went back to my place, he asked if I minded
if we stopped by a nearby 7/11 first. Some of his friends just called
and wanted to pick up some stuff he borrowed. I didn’t mind, and we
even picked up some coffee there for a pick-me-up.

I guess the coffee got to both of us because afterwards we started
chatting. I told him how much I enjoyed going for rides at night to see
the city lights, something I used to do a lot before I go together with
my then-boyfriend. He told me he knew a place where you could get an
amazing view of the lights, even though it was a bit far away. If I
didn’t mind the drive and the late hour, he could take me there. It was
probably the sugar rush talking, but I suddenly found myself speeding
down Lions Gate towards West Vancouver. He took me to this wonderful
lookout, where you could get a clear view of downtown.

We talked for hours in his car, soft music playing. It was one of those
nights when you really really connect with a person. You open up about
your feelings: your hurts, your fears, your dreams, your hopes and your
failures. He told me about his recent break up: a girl who dumped him
and who he was still in love with. He showed me pictures of them
together. I told him about my own relationship, the frustrations I was
having. I told him about my estranged best friend and how we hadn’t
talked for three weeks (which would turn out to be almost a year).

We went to two other places that night too, star gazing and connecting
with each other. It was around 2am when I finally went back to my
place. I hugged O and thanked him for a wonderful night. Much better
than anything I had had lately.


Over the next two years, O and I would meet up a few times and always
we’d end up for a drive in his car to some nice quite place, and spend
the whole night talking to each other. There was a connection there,
which was easily picked up. It wasn’t romantic connection, but a
friendship. Like two old friends who have known each other for years.

The last time O and I had one of those night was last summer. We were
both meeting up with our friends for drinks at a place in Richmond.
Afterwards, we went for a ride in his new car around Stanley Park. O
was eager to show me this place he found, almost total darkness. It was
somewhere between Prospect Point and The Hollow Tree.

I asked O about his current girlfriend. The last time we talked on the
phone, he was telling me about his current girlfriend troubles, how he
wasn’t happy anymore. He asked me how I was doing: I had just been
dumped by a guy I was crazy about. I realize now that we found
ourselves in reversed situations from when we first met and talked.

There was something different in the air that night, a sadness. But it
wasn’t us feeling sorry for ourselves. It was more of a loneliness. I
touched him a few times on the arm. He touched me a few times back.
Nothing sexual. Rather, it was a need to physically touch another human
being, to know they’re real.

Around dawn when light was breaking and the darkness was dissolving, we
both fell silent, just taking in the conversation. Then, while looking
out into the foggy morning, he said to me that there were moments
tonight when he thought he’d like to kiss me. I didn’t turn to look at
him, instead choosing to continue gazing out at the sky as well. I told
him I felt those moments too.

…And we let it pass.


Boyfriends and Parents

I still remember it clearly. I was four years old, laying on the couch, sipping my
apple juice and watching my cartoons. My dad sat down beside me and
asked me in Vietnamese:

“Who do you love most in this world?”

It was a game we’d play a lot. I knew the answer because my dad taught
me how to answer the question. I smiled, eager to show off my knowledge.

“I love my daddy, Ha Quan Truong!” I yelled.
“And how much do you love me?” he smiled.
“This much!” I stretched out my little toddler arms as wide as I
could to show him how much. In my mind, nothing could be much bigger
than that.

The game usually ended there, with a kiss on the cheek from him. But this time, he went on.

“Y’know, one day you’re going to find a boy you’ll love more than me
and your mommy. And you’ll leave us for him when you marry. And you’ll
leave your brother too.”

My eyes widened in disbelief. I  couldn’t imagine my life without
my parents. How could I love anyone else more than them? It was
impossible. I thought long and hard about the problem. Finally, it
dawned on me:

“No, I’ll just never marry a boy, daddy. Then I can be with you and mommy and Vy Tri forever.”

My dad smiled and laughed and then kissed me on my cheek.


For as long as I could remember, my mom’s always ingrained it into my
head that I’d marry a nice Chinese or Vietnamese boy so my parents could speak to him and understand him. He would older than
me with a nice doctor/lawyer/engineer job, preferrably five years older
than me so he could take care of me. (Of course I couldn’t start dating until I was 25 with a nice
respectable doctor job.)

I remember the lectures in the car on the way home from school, sitting
around watching her sew, almost anytime she could find. I wouldn’t have
been surprised if she whispered it into my ear during my sleep. (Some
form of brainwashing on her part?)


The funny thing being, all of her insistence only resulted in my active
rebellion against it. Maybe it was the typical dumb teenager hormonal
induced reaction, but I could find nothing else more boring and

My first serious crush was not on a Chinese boy, or a Vietnamese boy.
Not even on an Asian boy, but a white boy. Who was smart but had no

My first boyfriend was Vietnamese but younger than me (but only by a
few weeks) and a high school dropout whose career ambition was to
become a famous singer.

Subsequent boys who entered my life – crushes, flings and boyfriends –
were also against my mom’s ideal type for me. One was younger by two
years. Another one, high school dropout. Many were the gangster bad boy
types. None were the type to “take care of me.” Instead, I was the
strong supportive one.

As I’ve gotten older though and experienced heartbreak and broke a
few  hearts myself, I find myself more and more attracted to the
type my mom actually wanted for me and the type I worked so hard

My current boyfriend is Chinese and speaks three different dialects of
it including Mandarin. Which means he can communicate with my father
and my father can communicate with his family. He’s only a year older
than me, but he takes care of me. He’s good to me, and my parents see
that. He’s sweet, funny, good natured with a good head on his shoulders
and a stable career.

It’s oddly comforting to think after all this time that my parents were
right. But while I still love my father as wider as my arms can spread
(and more), I think I’ll have to go back on the whole never marrying

Fashion Advice

Last night, I slept over at Y’s house and then I had to borrow a
sweater so I could be work-appropriate for this morning. A nice fleecy
black sweater which isn’t my style but hey – it’s warm which is nice on
such a dreary day. I thought I could get away with it; who really pays
attention to what I wear? And no one made a comment about it all day

B, this grade six girl who’s in my class at the end of the day, comes up to me and informs me:

B:Y’know, Anna. I don’t think you should wear baggy clothes.
A: Oh? Why is that, B?
B: Well, you’re short right?… Hahaha, no, I don’t mean that like a
bad thing. I think you should wear tight…tighter clothes, because
that doesn’t make you look short…

A: Okay…
B: … Because wearing baggy clothes makes you look droopy.
A: Droopy?
B: No, I don’t mean that like a bad thing…
A: Okay, so let’s go on with the lesson!

Sigh, it’s never a good thing when your elementary age kids start
giving you fashion advice. Nothing makes you feel so old… Then again,
she’s got a good eye. Baggy clothes and short girls should never mix. I
couldn’t be prouder. It’s a mixed blessing.


Another Saturday night at home! But does that mean I’m throwing myself
a lil pity party? Nope. It means I’m dancing around the 80s tunes in my
underwear à la Cameron Diaz in Charlie’s Angels.

Recently rediscovered tunes currently being blasted:

“The Way That You Love Me” and “Opposites Attract” by Paula Abdul

“Fast Love” by George Michael

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston

“Remember the Time” by Michael Jackson

“If She Knew What She Wants” by The Bangles

“Dreamlover” by Mariah Carey

Old favourites forever on rotation:

“Papa Don’t Preach” and “Like a Prayer” by Madonna (because 80s music night just isn’t 80s music night without a lil Madonna)

“Control” and “Rhythm Nation” by Janet Jackson

“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper

“Bad” and “Thriller” by Michael Jackson
“Bizarre Love Triangle” by New Order


First Kisses

Something I wrote just now…


“What do you want to do?”
“I dunno. Not stay in. Not watch tv. Anything else”
“Okay. Wanna go for a walk?”

And in a minute, we are in my car, heading towards Stanley Park. I am
tired from the day, and I just want to relax. You drive so I can rest
in the passenger seat.

We talk. And laugh. And playfully tease each other. Perhaps it’s
because we’re in the “getting to know each other” phase which is about
both infatuation and conceit, but the talk between us the last few
days has been smooth, easy going and engaging. Then again, we’ve always
been able to carry on great conversation, in all the time we’ve known
each other and talked.

We arrive at the light house. I laugh and tell you about how back in
first and second year, guys would take me here on dates and try to make
moves on me. But it’s such a cliché makeout spot that I refuse to do
anything with anyone here. As the words come spewing out of my mouth, I
am kicking myself inside. I know that really, if you wanted to kiss me
here, I’d let you.

We decide to take a walk around. It is damp out, because of the light
rain throughout the day. I only have my red hoodie, so you lend me your
jacket. I walked up to the railing and turn right to look towards
downtown Vancouver. You walk out beside me, stand in close.

“This used to be my favourite thing to look at.”
“Oh yeah?”
“I’d make people drive me out there just so I could stare.”
“You mean you’d make guys drive you out here?”
‘Yeah… I’d come out here and just stare and just think.”
“What would you think about?”
“A bunch of things. I was going through a depressing time in my life back then.”

Your voice trails off,…following my quiet mood.You move in closer to
me. You put your arm around me, resting your hand on my waist. I notice
the change in the atmosphere, in the space between us. It is heavy and
serious. A tone I do not want to get into right now.

To break the mood and the moment, I run down the stairs, leading to the
sea wall. I sit on the steps waiting for you to follow me. You come to
me, slowly, watching me, trying to figure me out. I am looking at the
city lights again.

You sit down beside me, back towards me, looking at the same sight I
am. I move in closer. Because it is cold. But mostly because I want to
touch you, but on my own terms. You let me and we don’t really move. We
just take it all in.

“You want to walk around the sea wall?”

We walk and we talk some more. We discuss our past relationships. You
tell me about your friends, the ones I know, the ones I’ve yet to meet.
I tell you about my career aspirations. Because we both have warped
senses of humour, the conversation quickly goes back to joking around.
You start teasing me, so I lightly smack you.

You take my hands, pull me in close. The world starts shifting and,
like in the movies, everything slows down. You lean down towards me. I
look up at you.

And we are finally kissing.


Something I wrote last summer…

Stories from a Garage

Alone, in the dark. The end of the night has swiftly came upon us, and here
we are. It has come – that odd time and place where you know
that something was going to happen but you’re not quite sure when or how. I sit, looking at him. Quiet.

memory of the last time we were together is still so fresh in my mind.
We are in his garage, prolonging the already long night for as long as
possible. Instead, we stay in his car in the dark garage which is
broken by the orange glare of street lights. The oddly comforting smell
of his midnight cigarette still lingers on his
fingers. The warmth of his palm presses against mine. The feeling of
our interlocking fingers. The high from doing nothing with him. No
words exchanged. Just touching, looking, smiling coyly.

He looks over at me, his face partially shielded by shadows and his eyes on me.

and unsure (mostly because I am more insecure than I let on) I break
the mood that is all around us. I take his hand in mind and I revert back to preschool flirting,
engaging him in a thumb war. He plays with me for a few seconds and
then stops. Just stops. He begins stroking my face with one hand, his other still
in my hand. I close my eyes and take it in – his touch, his essence. Even with my
eyes closed, I can still feel him watching me. He strokes my hair, my
jawline and I move along with him. My heart is beating, my adrenaline
is running.

I turn just so. His fingers brush my lips.
Boldly, I release his hand from my hold and I reach up to his face. I
bring us closer. I want to kiss him. I want to kiss him more than anything at
this moment. But I can’t bring myself to do it because in the end, I am still shy
and stilll reserved in these moments. My heart is in my throat and I
can feel my face getting red from excitement. I can take comfort
knowing shadows are also covering my face. I stroke my lips along his
face. Lightly. So lightly that every hair electrifies at each moment
of contact. Five o’clock shadows have never been so seductive than tonight. I run my
fingers along his hair and then he turns his
face just so and we are kissing.

It lasts just for two seconds. And by the time we pull back, we find we are both breathless.

I’m alive! — So Vitamin_D
can stop worrying and text messaging me at 2am. It’s just that I’ve
suddenly gotten super busy which sucks all the creativity and
energy outta me at the end of the day. But something has been
bothering me lately so the bitching will begin:

Last night, my friend asked me how much I weighed. At 115 lbs at 5’1″,
I know I’m not the thinnest girl in the world. Heck, I’m sure I could
lose some weight: a bit around the tummy, a bit around the thighs. But
he made me feel like a real porker, telling me I should be around 100
lbs! Where do you take 15 lbs off my frame? The last time I was 100 lbs, I was in grade 10 and I hate, hated the way I looked. I
was a scrawny awkward looking girl.

But that’s not the point. The point is, I hated that feeling of having
to justify why I weigh how much I do. I’m a shapely girl. I got hips, I
got boobs, I got bum. Because I reach for size M clothes sometimes
rather than always looking for XS and XXS, why should I apologize? Why
do I have to feel bad for that? Why am I being made to feel bad for
that? Why do I have to feel that fitting into a size 4 (Heaven forbid)
is such a crime?

Now that I’ve got all of you thinking I’m a necrophiliac… (that, or a
dying virgin. But I got a feeling no one’s leaning towards option B.)


Why We Can’t Be Friends (Frienemies)

when I was a teenager, I was one of those people who tried to be
friends with everyone. And even though I would say to people that I
didn’t care about what everyone thought of me, when I was alone, I
would obsess over why and what happened.

But as I’ve gotten
older, I realize life is too short to try to please everyone. Some
people can’t be pleased; some won’t be pleased. I’ve learned the
difference between friend and acquaintance. You have to
be choosier about who you’re friends with and be more willing to say
“go away”. That you won’t put up with some of the bull some people will
put you through and think they can still consider you a friend.

The following are some people I don’t think I could be friends with:

Case of the Jealous Girlfriends
night, I was chatting with A, a friend I hadn’t heard from in a while.
He was telling about me about his new girlfriend. Although I was happy
for him, I had to ask: Is she going to be one of those girlfriends who
will forbid you to hang out with me? He said he didn’t know. But I
didn’t have to ask if he’d ever ditch our friendship for his
girlfriend. I knew he would, because he’d done it before.

respected a guy’s boundaries so I won’t pry and try to break up their
relationship. If a girlfriend’s jealous for whatever reasons, that’s
her own insecurities but I won’t try to push it. (I mean, it would be nice if the guys grew some balls and learned to stand up to their girlfriends, but hey! I can’t do anything about it.)

I’m also not the kind of person you can ignore for a year and a half
and then turn around and act like nothing’s happened after the
relationship’s over. I don’t need those kind of flippant people in my
life. They can keep themselves and their jealous (ex)girlfriends.

Perma- Moody Friends
can still clearly remember back in second year in dorms, I had this
friend, J. (Man, I have bad luck with people whose names start with J)
He was almost always angry at me, especially when I was hanging out
with people other than him. He was always in a bad mood and never let
me stay in my good moods. He’d always remind me of my faults, my
shortcomings. On the one hand, it’s good to have a friend who isn’t
afraid to say what you don’t want to hear. But on the other hand, you
don’t need a constant reminder of what a horrible person you are. He’d
say things to me like:

-All my friends think you’re a slut. I don’t. But I thought you should know everyone thinks you’re a slut.
-M hates you and thinks you’re annoying. That’s okay because I know you hate him too. I told him and he says you’re a bitch.
sister is in fashion design school. She thinks you cannot dress. She’s
in fashion design school so she knows what she’s talking about.

I realized J was telling me these things to make me feel like he was
the only one on my side. He’d make me feel like the whole world was
against me except him, so I should be grateful for his friendship. He’d
make me feel bad about the way I dressed and the way I carried myself
so I’d change. Which was bull and a pure passive-aggressiveness to try
and control me and make me who he wanted me to be rather than accept me
for who I was.

I don’t need people who are always pissy and
never happy to see me happy. I dont need people who make me feel bad
about myself, because they’re ashamed of me in front of their family
and/or friends. I’m a great person, and if they can’t see that then
they can go away.

Toxic Ex-Boyfriends
Y’s friends with
all of his exes. My brother’s gf L believes you can’t be friends with
any of your exes because there’s always feelings left behind. Myself?
I’ve remained friends with two of my five exes. And one I lost touch
with but we were friends last time we talked. So it’s just two strikes
outta five. It got me wondering why. It wasn’t until my friend L was
lecturing me about an ex a few months back that she helped me
understand something:

You can be friends with the ex-boyfriends
you ended on friendly terms with, because you both still respect each
other. You both can get past the past and remember that there’s still a
friendship underneath it all. If, however, you ended on bad terms –
especially on his bad terms – then a friendship isn’t possible.

had this one ex, D who cheated on me. Or to be more accurate, I was the
other woman to D’s fiance. In the end, I couldn’t be friends with D for
a variety of reasons. He still had a number of questions to ask him.
(“What happened?” “Why did you do that to me?”) I still held a lot of
hostility towards him and the way he treated me. And most importantly, being friends with him told him that what he did to me was okay. And it was not okay.
I wasn’t fine with it. I wanted an apology which I didn’t get, would
never get and wouldn’t settle for unless I got it. He wanted to be
friends to assuage his guilt and he didn’t deserve that.

Catty and Competitive Girlfriends
majority of my friends are guys. Maybe it’s because I grew up with a
brother and therefore I’m more comfortable with guys. I’ve never had a
lot of female friends and the female friends I do have are the kind of
girls who also don’t have a lot of female friends. I find that a lot of
female are very competitive and catty. They always turn everything into
a competition: clothes, grades, boyfriends, jobs, etc.

remember when I’d hang out with one girl, D. We’d be getting ready to
hit the clubs and she’s always steer me towards the ugly outfits. It
wasn’t that she had poor fashion sense, because her outfits made her
look amazing. But she’s always encourage me to dress like a bag lady or
a delusional Vietnamese mom desperately trying to recapture her youth
(hey, I can hate and make juddgements. My mom’s one of those ladies. ).
She always had to be the hotter one out of the two of us; I was never
allowed to look good. I didn’t even realize she was doing this until
one day her boyfriend had an argument with her and blurted it out to me.

Friendship shouldn’t be about that kind of competition. It’s more of a rivalry, and it’s never healthy. Like Vitamin_D pointed out in a post last week, you can only compare yourself to yourself.

In the end, it’s all about respecting yourself and phasing
out the people in your life who don’t respect you. You begin to realize
you’re worth more than the crap those “friends” put you through.
Nothing’s wrong with being tense acquaintances with those kind of
people. They probably don’t even deserve that much.


Stolen off Vitamin_D and MrBananaWamma:


English Genius
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You scored higher than 30% on Intermediate
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Link: The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on Ok Cupid

*Whew, if I did horrible, how bad would that look on me? Pressure from being an English major/teacher. I wonder how gloomybb and hollypoop will do? (Yes, this is a friendly challenge.)

Necrophilia and Virginity

***DISCLAIMER***This is only in good fun and not meant to offend anyone. Damn inane conversations with Jazzy_Belle amongst others. People can be so sensitive sometimes.

a virgin. And then you die. And then a necrophiliac has sex with your
dead body. Does that mean you’re not a virgin anymore? Or is virginity
a state of mind?

My Response:
You are not a virgin.

Virginity does not require consciousness.
you were passed out on rohypnol and someone has sex with you, then
you’re not a virgin, correct? My friend argued that after waking up,
you’d realize you’d had sex and you’re not a virgin. But what if you
don’t wake up afterwards? What if you die afterwards? You’re still
technically not a virgin and you had no conscious knowleddge of the act.

What if you had sex and then suffer amnesia? So you have no conscious memory of having sex. Does that make you a virgin? No.

if the necrophiliac has only ever had sex with dead bodies, is he/she
still a virgin? No, because the act is still counted as sex.