Coffee Shop Blues 

All of my adult years that I’ve been alive I always thought it would be nice to own and run my coffee shop. I know not the most ambitious if my parents had a say in it. I romanticize the idea of waking in the morning making my first pot of coffee and taking that first sip of the dark beverage tamed by some cream and sugar. 

The purists will say it’s not a good cup if you’re adding sugar and milk. But hey this is my fantasy, not yours. Once the cup of joe gently wakes me I imagine myself turning on some chill tunes, turning on the oven, and starting to bake/make whatever my little heart desire, and everybody will love me for it and I become cafe famous.

But I know all too well the reel playing in my head is a farce and the reality of owning my own business (again) is going to be a 24-hour dumpster fire that I’ll need to put out now and again. And I ask myself will it be different this time, will I get to enjoy the benefits of owning my own business? What are the outcomes and what are the drawbacks of starting from fresh all over especially doing it all in my early forties (…okay mid-forties). 

My brain doesn’t work as fast as before, my body aches, and let’s face it in this day and age of social media if you don’t have the face/bod to sell your brand it’s… I mean… have you seen the marketing on the Kardashians lately? No Kim I can’t keep up! 

And then I think to myself what are the alternatives- someone on the other end reading this will yell- go get a job dummy. And I’ve tried and to anyone’s surprise, the list is long. Here is the list of jobs I’ve tried as a form of receipt. 

I’ve dipped my toes into the following roles meant for regular folks:

  1. Paraeducator/teachers assistant 
  2. A brief stint in outside sales (training phase only)
  3. Lyft driver (before the Pandemic)
  4. Photographer/photoshop specialist 
  5. Dog walker
  6. Lawn chair aficionado (to be fair, this was straight out of high school)

And the list could go on, but I won’t bore you with more. I’ve heard the average person will switch careers around 7 times in their lifetime. Well, I’ve surpassed that number, and despite whether my two previous businesses were deemed successful or not, they filled my cup with pride over my accomplishments. 

It’s a bit daunting to admit that I might be gearing up for yet another shot at a fresh start. At the moment, I don’t have any concrete plans in place, no location locked down, and not even a simple piece of paper stating my commitment to this endeavor. However, there’s a sense of urgency in my mind, like it’s already sprinting in the race, and now it’s time to translate that mental energy into tangible actions.

Hopefully more updates for the two people reading this. 


Am I the problem?

Everything on my YouTube feed is screaming, “You’re Doing It Wrong!” (insert an angry-looking AI-generated middle-aged influencer here). I can’t shake this nagging feeling, so I resort to whitewashing my emotions on Instagram. Once I tire of aesthetically crafted photos on Insta, I mindlessly doom-scroll through my BFF TikTok until my little heart can’t take it anymore.
Did you know that we’re apparently all going to melt in 6 days and 66 minutes? But hey, who’s counting, right? ‘Hey is for horses,’ and I’m not fooling around with this impending meltdown. Where was I? Oh yes, I’m the problem. Amidst my mid-life crisis self-searching, I realized that my career wasn’t fulfilling enough, so I pursued what I thought would be more meaningful. And while I don’t doubt its potential, the more I consume to create better content, the more it nags at me.
I know this isn’t groundbreaking news for most.
But, if you’ll indulge me, as the world seemingly burns in Hot Cheeto Flames, the algorithm bombards me with unrealistic demands: move to Japan, eat the most exotic fish, save over 2 million dollars for retirement, and quit one of my vices like smoking, drinking, or sugar (apparently everyone has at least one). The cycle goes on and on, and I’ve come to realize that I’ve been contributing to this nonsense.
I find myself justifying overindulgence, whether it’s ice cream or stuffing my face with plastic-laden instant ramen and consuming fast food regularly. It’s all taking a toll on how we consume content, leaving me feeling, well, lost. As I type this, I’m using the aid of AI, something that seems unavoidable in our world dominated by social media, dictating our thoughts and promoting excessive consumption. In my case, it pushes me to watch, mimic, and create.

Now, some may argue that we humans are programmed to copycat, rinse, and repeat. While algorithms, AI, and social media have become integral parts of our daily lives, I don’t want to lean further into this whirlwind. Or do I embrace the chaos, juggle through the comical absurdity, and find my slice of happiness – even if it’s just a cake on a shaky plate?

Did somebody say ADHD

Why on earth am I diving into this writing thing again? After years of neglect, I’ve mustered up the courage to pick it up once more. Most days, I find myself mindlessly wasting hours scrolling through social media or getting lost in the never-ending web abyss. And for what? It’s time to take a breather from it all, and what better way to do that than to saddle up and get back on the writing horse?

Now, let me be clear—I’m no Shakespeare. I’m just a regular Joe with a bunch of jumbled thoughts itching to escape. But hey, in this day and age, we all feel that way, right? Especially with countless platforms tempting us to unleash our creative juices. It’s like a golden era where anyone can be a writer, whether it’s your neighbor Karen, an ethnic dad, or just a plain old dad.

There’s no hiding from the relentless onslaught of people trying to crack the next viral news, dish out gossip, or set the latest trend. And guess what? I’m a victim too—yes, I said the victim. I’ve even ventured into the granddaddy of them all, YouTube. It’s like the original gangster of content platforms. Of course, there’s also Insta, FB, Linked, Snap, and that ever-growing TickyTok. It’s a real head-scratcher trying to decide whether to go for dad cool, teen woke, or face the terrifying youngest generation, the Alphas. By the way, I don’t have a clever nickname for them, but I’m genuinely scared of those little rascals. Aren’t we all?

Just think about it—these Alpha kids have Millennial parents and Gen X grandparents. They were practically born with a tablet in one hand while giving everyone a sassy side-eye. Now, you might be wondering where the heck I’m going with all this rambling. Honestly, I have no flipping idea. I just want to liberate myself from the clutches of social media and reawaken my dormant brain cells.

That’s the starting point, you know? And it kinda helps me feel complete if I can unload my thoughts somewhere in verbal form. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that I can stick with this writing project for at least a year. Who am I kidding? It’ll probably last six months tops, and if I’m lucky, three months before I’m distracted by my next “brilliant” idea. Oh, the struggle is real, my friend.”

I’m not gonna lie

I’ve officially signed up for the Santa Rosa Half Ironman, and have loosely started training in January. Only a little over a month in and already I’m struggling to keep up with everything, from the swim, run, and bike. I thought I had it all figured out, little of this a bit of that. But like Lou Bega one too many ladies by your side and you know shit is about to get real.

I mean who can swim, bike and run all at once, I thought I could give it a try but, this old lady’s age is showing. The body lets you know when you about to break. Bodies were meant to be upright not hunched over for 2 hours on a bike, run for 3 hours; the bod is screaming no thank you, ma’am, and try swimming for 1 mile in open water-yikes!

Friends have asked why am I doing this and to this, I plainly say because I want to. My husband hears me complaining about the training, and he replies back, “are you even having fun?” And then there is the second guessing myself of why am I doing this for and is this benefiting me, or is it mentally and physically breaking me down.

And don’t get me started on the bike portion because all that in itself is beyond painful, not to mention remarkably expensive, just thinking about it makes my head explode. To give you an idea today I’m “supposed” to go for a 2-3 hour bike ride, but my back says, Hell NO Bitch! in the months to come I supposed to ride 6-7 hours and that just one discipline. If I make it to those months.

Oh and the kicker, I’ve also decided to limit my calorie intake so that I can drop some pounds for race day. Apparently, as I’ve been told and have read on the web, that I’m a “BIG SAIL.” I’ve always known I’m a big girl/big frame/ big bone, but now I can add another synonym to that list.  My body frame is huge in this sport and makes me less “aero” for the bike ride.

So here we are, my progress report for the first month of training, we figured out that I hate biking, my back hates me and running for most of my adult life doesn’t grant me speed or mileage. But on the bright side, I’ve learned that there is more than one way of saying big boned.

getting my ass kicked by a 2.1 mile bike ride

After a well-needed getaway with my husband and dog, I’ve slowly realized that I have to get serious about my training. Today is the day to get back into shape, and not overindulge in drive-up windows, and greasy burgers (our all-time favorite In-and-Out). I’m not gonna lie we’ve frequented the joint twice over a 4-day getaway, and don’t get me started on the other overly processed food gingerly heated on a campfire. You know the usual suspects, canned beans, pork sausages accompanied with cold beers to wash all that down.


It’s getting serious I told myself, swim, bike, then run- ugh. So I tested myself once I got back to town, a shortstop to the bank, then to the market, no problem right, I’ve even googled the route. No biggie I told myself, I could maybe squeeze a swim and test out my lungs. Well as it turns out, I was in no shape for a quick dip in the pool.  My little bike ride to the bank totaling 2.1 miles nearly knocked the wind out of me. This was when I realized that biking is going to be my weakness, not even a weakness but can I bike 56miles on a hilly terrain. All this after a swim that’ll be over one mile- one whole mile just thinking about making me want to hurl!

And I’m not trying to be modest, trust me if I was peddling up and down Lombard Street than I would have a story to tell. What I thought to be a very easy, no, leisurely ride to the bank turned into a chest pounding that I was not ready for and the calves were not happy with me either. On the bright side, I’ve noticed my running is getting a slightly higher boost from all the cross-training. I think all the lung pumping from the bike is growing my capacity to grasp for more air, can’t remember the last time I ran a mile under 10 min. Some of the runs are coming around 9:20 and 9:30, when I ran in New York most of my times were under 11min and on good days just below 10.

So not everything is a bust in these beginning stages. More updates to come and my thoughts on a new bike. But for now still going to lug around my hand-me-down bike that I’m ever so grateful to inherit from my friends.  As the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Giving it a tri or am I crazy

Some people want the life of luxury, or to vacation on the Virgin Island, while sipping a Mai-Tai, and others just want to roll around in cold hard cash; think Uncle Scrooge McDuck from Ducktales. Me, I want to swim with the sharks, sit on a narrow plastic saddle then run while getting heat stroke in the middle of summer. If you’ve never heard of Ironman, you’re like most people who could care less about the grueling sport.

For me it’s been a dream of mine, ever since I was a very young girl, staring at the tube, and crying for no reasons know to myself. Just in awe of the all those who finished the ungodly task-in-hand. And before you get too bored about the sport all you need to know is it consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run.

And that’s as technical I’ll ever get to blabbing my pie hole about that, in fact, although it has been my lifelong dream, I’ve only considering doing the half of a whole. Which, in the industry is 70.3. Now, now don’t worry I plan to tackle the whole pie, but for now baby steps.

I do feel it’s the perfect storm for me now; I’m currently relocated back to San Francisco, out of a job, and not planning to bake any buns in my oven. Such is life, some like the challenge of miniature humans, but I like mine with a chance of death or at the very least a likely promise of bloody nipples (yes it’s a thing).

10 things i hate (<3) about you

Twenty-six years of friendship is phenomenal. Nothing lasts that long. Partners come and go, styles fade and the size of our waistline grows, it’s life that’s what it does. But I’m here to say I’ve been one lucky girl to have two very generous, loving, and humoring friends. They have stuck with me through all my stupid shenanigans, short attention span, and obnoxious banter.
So in honor of my two best friends birthday, I’ve made a list of top ten memories that encompasses our hate to love memories in no particular order.
1. That one time when Ester and I hired a stripper for Stacey’s birthday, it was all in good fun, until the time was up. We all hovered over our male dancer as he awkwardly packed up his boombox and g-string in silence. Leaving us to stare at his bodacious body, twiddling your thumbs.
2. Secretly I like to make people cry, I don’t know why, but it’s a thing. So I found a perfect opportunity after one of our friend’s wedding. Stacey, Ester and I were good and drunk, getting ready to leave when I grabbed Ester who has a fear of being touched. Hugged Ester hard enough to squeeze some unicorn teardrops from her. Apparently, she cried all the way back home while her boyfriend drove. Was I happy to make my best friend cry?  Yes, yes I was.
3.   Do you remember your first special brownies, well for us it was during our college years, believe me, it was the first and the last? The only thing I remember saying was, “I don’t feel a thing, I need more,” and the last words before I passed out in a friends bed hiding underneath the covers “don’t let them rape me.”
4. In Junior High School I had no friends, big surprise there. So I profiled the only other Asian in the school with no friends. That was Ester, Stacey, on the other hand, had numerous friends, a dorkier version of the Benetton ad if you will. But I digress, back to the only solo Asian, I’d stalk Ester like a pretty little prey in the midst of the concrete jungle, and attached myself to her. Quite literally asking “why don’t you be friends with me” or “You’re Asian, I’m Asian, we’re meant to be” or “You have no friends, I have no friends.” By then Ester would fume and walk away in a fury.
5. Stacey’s strange quest of photographing her friends peeing and pooping.
6. That time I made my friends take “artistic” pictures of them, til this day I still don’t know what it all meant.
7. Blindfolding my friends, kidnapping them into my car, driving very very far.
8. Testing out Ester’s strength the hard way, in high school for her birthday I placed a string bikini on her head. In front of all her honor roll peers. That’s when she grabbed me by my hand, with her hand of steel. Never again, I learned my lesson.
9. Love it or hate it but we would eat a bagel, cream cheese and cholate chip cookie sandwiched between.
10. Lastly were always each other’s dates, when one one asked us to the school dances. Yes, something not everyone likes to admit but there you have, we were the queens of “going stag.”
Thank you, ladies, for being friends with this nut job, I don’t know how you stand to be near me. I won’t ask why. Let’s keep this thing going till we’re forced to go stag into our centennial.

Why I chose to run the Bay to Breakers for Justice in Motion

As the world becomes more globalized, it’s something we can not stop or should we try to. It’s here whether one likes it or not. I believe living in the United States gives us much privilege and power that most people around the world can not fathom. So it makes me think what can I do, how can I contribute to this world that is ever changing, evolving, and converging? So I got to thinking, I remember a friend and neighbor of mine had informed me about her non-profit, Justice in Motion a group that protects migrants rights across borders.

One might think well what does that have anything to do with me, and why should I even care? For one I know most of us care about people, even if they don’t think it affects them in their daily lives. If one takes a closer look into who picks the fruit from the orchards that provide for our daily nutrition, to the seasonal worker providing service in restaurants, to the person that cuts down that pine tree for Christmas, migrant lives affect us all. It’s all connected, we just don’t see it sometimes, and that is why I wanted to bring to the light of the unjust that has been going on for years.

For instance, “…Mexican farmworkers carrying up to 110 pounds of oranges around their necks were pressured to pick quickly. Guaranteed $9.96/hour, they ended up being paid by the satchel instead, earning less than promised and less than minimum wage. A lawsuit was filed in Florida on behalf of the exploited workers. The court required signatures within 15 days but many of the workers had already returned to Mexico. Undeterred by the dangers ahead, a Justice in Motion Defender drove for more than two hours into a remote and politically unstable region of Oaxaca to get a worker’s signature. Finding that heavy rains had washed away the road, she continued on foot for another 2 hours until she found the worker. The Defender’s efforts paid off. Damages were awarded to the plaintiffs and working conditions improved. The broader positive outcome was that these and other workers were empowered to speak out against disrespect and abuse.”

That is just one example of what’s been happening in the US/Canada for many years. But, there is still hope because of people like Cathleen Caron who started Justice in Motion. What this organization promises to do is “…reach out to over 40 organizations in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Justice in Motion provides ongoing training to the Defender Network equipping them with the knowledge they need to engage in this cross-border work. The training cover many topics such as human trafficking, employment rights, immigration, and recruitment fraud and abuse. Defenders use that knowledge to conduct community outreach and education, positioning themselves as a resource in their communities. They are trained by Justice in Motion to handle legal actions and engage in local policy advocacy on behalf of people from their communities migrating to the US and Canada.”

So let’s take a stand together for everyone’s rights, I thank you for taking the time to read this and know that every dollar donated to the Bay to Breakers run will be matched by me, so every single dollar is appreciated.

Please click here to donate –

I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It people like me

When you’re a good looking white boy, with blond hair and a charming smile, words roll out of your tongue, like molasses. That was Jamie; he was that kid who was popular, good looking and well-liked. So he was excused for any silly questions that would blurt out of his mouth. As if he’d asked what’s on the lunch menu or did I give that kid a wedgie already? Kids would think hey that’s just Jamie. So when he asked how much I weighed, in front of my classmates, I was shocked but not surprised.

“How much do you weigh?” casually probing again, there I stood looking at him blankly, thinking do I lie or just tell the truth. “Come on…” he’d say trying to get a rise out of me. Frozen, the only thing I could do was look for some support from the girl standing next to me; luckily she took my cue, said: “that’s rude Jamie.” But he replied back, “Oh how heavy could you be 120 max.” Which goes to show you, men (and boys) don’t know much when it comes to women and their weight. Feeling faltered and anxious all at once, I exclaimed it was none of your business and sat back down on my chair to shut him up.

I hated myself that day. But it started well before high school when I was an adolescent, having moved to a foreign place with new friends, new sights, and new customs. Part of those traditions would include late night snack gorging on Doritos and hamburgers. Somedays I’d wake but my parents still asleep from working late hours, so I’d indulge in the occasional ice cream for breakfast.

With all this self-care, I grew and grew, vertically and horizontally, but that didn’t stop me, it just made me want more. My parents noticed and shamed me telling me that I was too fat, not knowing how to stop their child from growing in every which direction. I outgrew my classmates, I outgrew my clothes, and I grew myself. To the point of hating myself, I couldn’t see the end of this vicious cycle of comfort eating. If I had a bad day at school, I’d run home with a bag of chips in one hand, soda in the other and go to my hiding place. In the closet, it was dark, contained, but most importantly no spectators. Numbing myself of all the bullying and shaming that came with being a chubby girl with a funny accent.

Looking back I wished I had someone to look up too, but then again, maybe I wouldn’t be who I am now.  It goes to show how strong our young minds can me, overcoming life’s obstacles. We all do it; somehow we cope with them. Some are lucky they can turn to family/friends, but I had my chocolate bars, ice cream sandwiches, and neon colored chips to keep me company.

Hate is a strong word, but if you grew up fat, it takes a lifetime to heal from all the fat shaming, or at least that’s what I have experienced. I may not be the weight I want to be but at this point being happy and healthy is more important. Let’s face it I only have this one body and if it’s happy and functioning my psychosis can shut the hell up! Enough already, torturing myself thinking that one morphed body type is ideal for oneself is overrated and stupid.
Gone are the days of lusting over Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, or Naomi Cambell. The young girls now have Ashley Graham and other body positive ladies to look up to. Ms. Graham posted on her Instagram, a photo of her sitting on the beach while vacationing, showing off her lumps, bumps & cellulite as if they were a badge of honor. I’m there right with her sipping on a colorful cocktail when my brain tells me I’m not good enough, and she politely pushes aside all my negative thoughts.

Oh I have some grievances

Happy Festivus everyone, a day for the rest of us. A day where one can rant on and on of their grievances, and oh boy do I have some to share with you. Typically I like to think myself to be a happy go luckily person, but this year has been a tough nut to crack. The only way I can remedy all the dark energy inside is to let it all go and start 2017 with a fresh new look.

In no particular order here are my Festivus grievances.

  1. Guy trying to get my attention at the gas station, yelling “ni hao ma, ni hao ma” we get it, you know how to say hello in Mandarin. But news flash not all us slanty eyes are from China. And yes like most people I know you are trying to be a nice person, and greet me in my native tongue, but a simple hello would do.
  2. This is a big time New York thing, but anyone working a retail job,  smile. After living in NY for over 11 years, I’m still not used to trying to make the sales person smile, I’m not the one behind the counter. I get it, working retail is the pits I do it myself but, everyone has a job to do, and a smile won’t kill you.
  3. My lack of motivation after Trump won the campaign, get over it you. He won, he stinks, and I hate looking at his ugly face, but guess what get used it cause he’s going to be around for about four years. So move on with your life, be positive, try not to think of the Donald and be a better person.
  4. Facetime in a group setting, please do not put me in this awkward spot (hint hint Kenneth), I hate it. It’s bad enough I have to look at myself and the recipient while talking, but what makes the group setting worse is that I feel like an ugly girl with braces. Being passed down from person to person. “Oh hi, it’s you, okay bye now” till the next person comes along, “Hi, I don’t know you, but how are you? okay bye now” My arm gets tired, and I have to make awkward convo’s with strangers, enough already, no more group chats.
  5. Laundry, can you wash then fold and place yourself where you belong.
  6. While we’re at it, Dishes, you do the same and stop hiding those spoons from me, I need them for eating my goddamn yogurt. Mama needs her probiotics.
  7. To all the hip/hipster hostesses/waitresses out there in the world, you are not as cool as you think. Don’t judge customers by the way they look, it’s not cool man. Watch, you’ll see you too are not susceptible to age and un-coolness. You’ve been warned.
  8. The white guy who married a mail ordered bride, yeah I see you, man. I am happy for the two of you, and I bet you will live a long prosperous life. But I have a very deep grievance with you man, could you not shame or embarrass your new wife in public or in private for that matter. She is doing her best to make a new living in this country, and she doesn’t need your snide comments. You may think you know more than her or want to school her about her culture; that is a big faux-pas.
  9. Nutcracker, I was so excited to see you for the first time in my life, but I have to say it was a bit of a  letdown. Especially the derogatory display of Asians dancers, it’s 2016. I know you are a classic, but all classics can use an update.

Happy Festivus everyone and may all your grievances be plentiful.