I am blessed to have not one, but two Thanksgivings: one with my Thai family and one with my Filipino family. One of these days I’ll have to work out a way to have a third one with my photo family.
The first stop for the evening was my sister’s place for some deep fried turkey, a sinfully delicious cut of prime rib, and a table full of Thai food.
Manny and Debbie even came over before heading over to the Filipino Thanksgiving after tempting her with a chance to meet up with her friend Diana and a plate full of my sister’s oh so spicy raw shrimp.
The next stop was back home, where, I swear, there must have been 30 people in the living room. There is a tradition where we all stand around the table together, hold hands and say a prayer of thanks and one I didn’t want to miss.
I want to let you know what I’m thankful for this year. I’m thankful for my families: the Thai family, the Filipino family, and my photo family. Yeah, sometimes we’re a bit dysfunctional, but it keeps things interesting. No matter what, we love each other. I’m thankful for my friends who are just as much family to me as the ones connected through blood, who are there for me when I laugh and never leave my side when I cry.
A special thanks goes out to my best friend, the love of my life, Randy. Thank you for all the years we’ve had together. Thank you for letting me follow my dreams and supporting me without question. Thank you for all the little things you do for me. I know that bringing me home a Slurpee on a hot summer day means I love you. Thank you for knowing I’m not the flowers and jewelry kind of girl and new desk chair for my birthday will make me smile. Thank you for putting up with my constant, horrible singing in the car, thank you for buying the NyQuil when I’m sick, thank you for giving me the good jacket on cold winter nights, and most of all, thank you for loving me.
Andrea and I have known each other since high school, but we lost touch for almost 10 years. Although I’m not sure how, we found each other again a few years back.
Truth be told, Andrea and I hardly knew each other in high school. I was a year (or maybe two) ahead of her so we never really had class together. She also had a signing career back then (see video below), so I don’t remember her being around too much. We would occasionally pass each other in the halls and say hi. The only meaningful conversation I remember having with her was when I got out of math class one day and she sat in the hallway trying to pull out the braids she had in her hair. I sat down beside her and helped her pull them out and we went our separate ways. That was the last time I remember seeing her. Over dinner a few years back she told me that she had moved from Thailand back the U.S that year.
I don’t know why I feel so close to her now. Perhaps it’s that common background of having gone to RIS, having someone else around that knows about that surreal life we had back Thailand. I suppose if we told the stories about what life was like going to RIS, and living in Bangkok, most people wouldn’t believe us. We went to school kids who had more money than most people here would make in a lifetime. Having drivers and maids were the norm. At 14, going out for drinks at the clubs or the bars along Patpong, the red light district, was socially acceptable.
Every time Andrea and I see each other we say that we should meet up more than twice a year, but so far, that’s a pattern that we have yet to break.
Our biannual get together led us to a late lunch at Dave and Busters and then a photo excursion at Downtown Disney. I handed my camera to Andrea and she was the photographer that night. We walked along the shops at Downtown Disney, stopping at a store that sold nothing but mismatched socks – yes, my friends, such a place really does exist.
A quick stop at the candy store to watch some cast members make chocolate treats and to pick up Randy’s favorite sour apple candy.
Anyone that knows me knows that I have a thing for the Disney Channel. Okay, so I watch Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, and the occasional episode of Jonas. How could I not try rockin' the Hannah Montana guitar purse?
Last but not least was a stop at Sephora. How can a girl resist?
These days Andrea works as an attorney. Yup, she’s beautiful and smart. Hopefully we can find more time than twice a year to hang out. Hey Andrea! How about another dinner date after my finals are over?
Note: all photos from this post are courtesy of Andrea. ☺
We had a little bit of excitement in the Photo Department at Cypress College last night. When Jonathan Fletcher and I walked into Studio 2 to put some frames away I noticed a few pieces of “something” on the floor next to the window. As I moved closer I noticed that it looked like glass and not from the frames that were nearby. Hey! That glass looks suspiciously like the kind in the window!
Jonathan and I open the blinds to find that the window was cracked from floor to ceiling. I quickly called security to let them know about the window and then raced downstairs to let the automotive instructor and students working directly below the window know about the situation.
After a few phone calls to and from the powers that be, it was determined that the window needed to be broken out completely since it could fall at any moment. The area directly below the window was blocked off with caution tape while students and staff were cleared from the area while the window was being broken out. John shot photos from below while I remained in the studio.
Serendipity saved the day. If Jonathan had not needed the cart which the frames were on, I probably wouldn’t have walked into the studio that night and discovered the window. Luckily the pieces of glass that had fallen out of the window fell inside the studio and not out onto any students or staff working below.
I’m glad the situation was quickly resolved and action was taken quickly by all parties involved. Thank you to the security staff, the evening Dean, and the automotive instructors who worked quickly to make sure everyone was safe.
This year the Millers decided to throw a Halloween party. I knew I couldn’t miss it. There is nothing like a Miller party and this one was no exception.
Since it was Randy’s birthday, Lynette graciously baked a chocolate cake for Randy. A guest at the party helped to handcuff Randy to a chair as the entire party sang something that I assume was supposed to be Happy Birthday to Randy, but came out as a jumbled mess – which made it even more hilarious! Okay, you just had to be there.
The night went on with many beers and many shots to be had by all. Unfortunately, most of the photos taken that night were far too incriminating to post and so, I share with you the few tame ones.