long-distance relationship

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rohiniandyang say thanks

thanksgiving brings with it many time-honored traditions: football games, turkey dinners and elaborate parades.  my favorite tradition, however, is the rohiniandyang reunion.  from the time we started college, thanksgiving became a special time of the year that we could count on being home together.  this year is no different.  last night, in the grocery section of our local wal-mart supercenter looking for last minute meal ingredients, yang and i embraced one another after spending four months apart.

since we are so thankful for this holiday, we decided to pay thanksgiving some respect and share more of what we give thanks for.

we are thankful for

1. wordpress.com – the gracious host for our blog…wordpress we couldn’t do it without you.

2. family – both yang and i are blessed with families who are very understanding of our long-distance relationship.  while we come home to see them, a certain block of time must be dedicated to rohiniandyang.

3. the yangs – i’ve spent many a thanksgiving eating the vegetarian items at their dinner table.

4. friends – living so far apart from one another, yang and i might be lonely if not for the many friends we have found in our respective cities.  shout out to my stl crew, particularly my lovely roomie.

5. pinterest – yang and i have always shared our potential purchases with one another, but this online pinboard makes side by side comparisons much easier.  follow our boards!

6. adam levine – i think this video explains why.

7. my kids – though they drive me to the brink of insanity on some days, the 20 some kids in room 213 make me come to school even when i don’t want to.

8. denver – we couldn’t ask for a more purple, more majestic backdrop for my thanksgiving meal.  cheers to the best city in the states.

9. footloose – though i’ve been wanting to see this movie for a while, my weekends were usually filled with…other activities.  in retrospect, i am glad to have waited.  yang and i are now going to see this hit dance drama tonight to cap off our thanksgiving together.  thank you, yang, for agreeing to see this movie a second time just for me.

on a concluding note, some wise words from my father post lions-packers game.

“watch out as you are driving, rohini.  there will be a lot of drunk drivers out there.”

“dad, it’s 12:30 in the afternoon.  but okay sure.”

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summer style guide

rohini and i are constantly approached for fashion advice.* as you saw in our previous post, we’ve come a long way since high school, rohini especially with her days of noisy athletic pants and arizona brand sweatshirts far behind her. for everyone’s benefit, we put our stylish heads together during our last reunion and came up with a few helpful summer wardrobe tips.

a great summer hat

if your head is of a normal cranial size like rohini’s (and unlike my own), show it some attention by accessorizing it with a nice summer hat. your face will appreciate the shade and it’s a quick fix for a bad hair day. you can find this beauty of a hat at your local massively commercialized hipster establishment, also known as urban outfitters.

don’t let the afternoon rain showers keep you from being your cheerful summer self. get a bright raincoat.

just because the sun is out of sight, it doesn’t mean you have to cower behind some drab grey too. brighten everyone’s day with a statement making raincoat and people on the street might even stop to thank you. rohini is seen here wearing a beautiful rain jacket from anthropologie. this particular coat had a price tag with a few too many digits, and suffice it to say rohini was not able to take it home on her summer teacher’s salary (that means no salary).

saving the best for last – make yourself shine with some gold sequin shorts!


sequins aren’t just for new year’s dresses or tops, wear them on your ass too! celebrate a night on the town with these gilded-age inspired bottoms. they’re so fun that you can pair them with a simple black top and be on your way. bonus: shorts, unlike skirts, ensure that no lady parts will go flashing and promise optimal dancing activity. we recommend that you head to the nearest express and take this head-turning pair for a spin.

we hope you enjoyed this post as much as rohini enjoyed posing for it. brave the summer heat in style.

*this statement is completely false. we hope you enjoyed this style lesson anyway.

high school sweethearts

while cleaning out my room I happened to glance through my photo albums to find this gem.

seniorprom.may2006.rohiniandyang

we got hitched and a polaroid camera captured the moment.  til death do us part, baby.

on another note, looking at this picture reminded me that my sense of fashion has come a long way since senior year of high school.  i now know that all cargo pants should be packed up and shipped off to a land of fashion don’ts.  2011 has certainly been a much more fashionable year for rohinianyang than 2006 was, so be on the lookout for our take on this year’s summer styles.

goodbyespace

remember myspace?

don’t you wish you didn’t?

if you’re in your early 20s (or late 40s, depending on your motive), the answer to both of these questions is probably yes, because like me, you weren’t active on myspace long, but it was long enough to catch you at your most hormonal/emotional and when you were most guilty of oversharing.

i managed to suppress this time capsule of my awkward teenage years until this morning, when a coworker mentioned the outdated social network in conversation. this sudden reminder prompted me to log in to my long dormant account. what i found wasn’t pretty and i’ve been hiding my face in my palm ever since.

there’s this for instance

one of my more controversial senior pictures. the caption reads, “this is not a slutty picture.” now that i’m older and wiser, i see this for what it is. my photographer had an asian fetish and i was his naive victim.

then there’s the long list of infinitives under my interests: “kite flying…giggling, joking, playing, kissing, loving, being.” kite flying? giggling? being? i now have barfing on the mind.

needing a break from 17-year old me, i decided to look for evidence of rohini’s past. i was disappointed but not in the least surprised that rohini, the forward thinking girl that she is, was smart enough to delete her myspace account long ago. i’m finally following in her footsteps, but not before posting a few more highlights. what can i say? i’m a nostalgic softy, even for the painfully embarrassing artifacts of my childhood.

– a few things from the long ‘about me’ section:

I believe
…friends are the greatest assets, and i am rich in true friends
…life is a song, God’s love is the music
…it is every girl’s right to be a princess
…the OC awakens the soul
…1 Corinthians 13

i used to be an avid listener of christian radio and obsessive watcher of dramatic teen television shows. i’m still guilty of the latter.

– on may 28, 2005, I quoted dr. seuss in a blog title “don’t cry because it’s over. smile because it happened.” yes, i did the unthinkable, in 575 words, i shared my first ever breakup for all to see. here’s an excerpt:

“It would be so easy for me to cry right now, but instead i think i’ll channel it into an art piece i am very pleased with. So you’ll have to excuse me.”

at least i was polite.

– high school boyfriend and i got back together the next day. i’m a little disappointed that i left the reconciliation unblogged.  BUT devout christian teen me did choose to quote a few choice words on love from a Rabbi Julius Gordon two days later.

“Love is not blind – it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.”

now that i’ve shared an abridged version of my teenage years for your amusement, i can delete my myspace account in good conscience. i’d also like to take this moment to say a few thank yous. thank you nyu for accepting me and for providing me with the email address i needed to get a facebook account. thank you mark zuckerberg for creating facebook and saving me from myself.  thank you god, adolescence is just a phase.

myspace account deleted.

Deliverance

Shake Weight tracking status: Delivered

Ladies and gentlemen, a special day is upon us. After completing a week-long cross-country journey, my new Shake Weight was delivered at 10:35 this morning and is now waiting for me at home. Life and my flabby arms as I know them will never be the same.

If you’re asking yourself why would Yang, a sensible, level-headed young woman buy into this workout gimmick, especially one so closely resembling the act of giving an enthusiastic rub & tug? The answer is simple: I need all of the help I can get. Let’s face it, I have fallen far from the model of moderate fitness that I once was, and any shortcut or reasonably priced item that promises to give me ‘strong, sexy sculpted arms’ that i’ll be ‘proud to show off’ in ‘just 6 minutes!!!’ is something I have to try for myself.

Yes, I’ve had to deal with some mocking, most of which has come from Rohini. Yes, I am fully aware that I wouldn’t be in this position if i actually went to the gym and didn’t waste hundreds of dollars on a newly cancelled gym membership. But that was then, this is now. Now is about taking the metro instead of walking the 20 minutes to my apartment. Now is all about the Shake Weight.

Click this link to watch SNL’s parody.

I should add that I also ordered a pair of yellow & white FitFlops. They should be at my door in a few days.

Lalaland

(Our mutual hero’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame)

As some of you may already know, I recently returned from a 5 day trip to Los Angeles for the Asian American Journalists Association’s annual convention. Was sitting in panels all day my primary reason for going? Not quite, but the conference was a great excuse to see old friends and make new ones.

The few other times I’d been to L.A. I was on family vacations that included rental cars, parents paying for everything and visits to Disney Land and Universal Studios. This was my first trip as a visiting independent adult, and sadly, Mickey Mouse was nowhere on the agenda. I was never a big fan of the City of Angels, and my opinion remains unchanged. Perhaps it’s my east coast bias, but I’m not one to become starstruck and generally dislike smog, traffic and high sales taxes. I will say that L.A. has some out-of-this-world shopping malls and movie theatres going for it, and judging by how much time Rohini and I spend in each place, it’s quite possible we might even enjoy living there, but I’m in no rush to find out.

Here’s a quick look at my trip.

My first gay bar/club experience
Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 was a historic day in California, when a U.S. district judge struck down Prop. 8. To celebrate this piece of news, our dear friend Liz took me to the Abbey, supposed “Best Gay Bar in the World.” Pretty big claim, right? I’ve seen ‘world’s best’ hanging crookedly in the windows of way too many bagel and coffeeshops to buy that one right away. But when I saw the satellite trucks from local and national news outlets stationed outside, I decided the claim was probably a legitimate one. As we danced to great mashups of Lady Gaga and comeback kid Enrique Iglesias, I wondered why I never stepped foot into a predominantly gay establishment before. In a typical bar/club setting, straight men ‘dance’ by standing in place , putting their hands wherever they can as their female counterparts rub up against them. At the Abbey, males, females, and she-males alike danced without care or concept of personal space. It was great. Thank you, Liz for being the great friend, confidante and tour guide that you are. My first gay bar experience will not be my last. Next time I’ll make sure I don’t eat two dinners beforehand.

The Food
Rohini and I are perfectly content getting our fix of ‘mexican’ food from chipotle, but being that close to the border, I had as many tortillas and frijoles as I possibly could. This meant fish tacos at lunch and fresh tableside guacamole at dinner with my friend and former class/roommate Courtney in a nice restaurant by Rodeo Drive. The best meal of the entire trip was shared with Liz at Aroma Café, an all-organic eatery in Studio City. I had originally planned to get In n Out Burger for my last meal, but Liz did a good job of convincing me to try “one of Ryan Gosling’s favorite restaurants.” The meal was fantastic. Even their Heinz tomato ketchup was amazing. I had a smoothie, curly fries, blue velvet cake and an amazing wrap with the number one greenest lettuce I have ever seen. Less than 24 hour later, I found myself staring at a similarly colored number two in the ladies’ room at work. And yes, I appreciate the irony of calling myself a lady after divulging that piece of information.

The Convention
This was my second AAJA convention and it was drastically different from the first. Last year in Boston, I was still in school, not sure where I was going and desperate for some vague outline of a job waiting for me after graduation. I would have been immensely grateful for a local reporting gig that paid 30k a year in a town with population 100,000. This time, I was there as a lucky, gainfully employed recent graduate, happy to have my job with weekends and federal holidays off. A year ago, I wouldn’t have seen myself where I am now. The me now is very happy with the unexpected turn of events that brought me here. Suffices to say I swapped career fair time for fun with friends.

I don’t see myself returning to Los Angeles or California anytime soon, although I do miss my friends who now live there a great deal. I do know that the next time I head that far west, I’m taking Rohini with me. We can go to San Francisco, a California city that I love, and on our way home we’ll make a stop in Las Vegas for some roulette and a mesmerizing musical performance by Celine Dion.

i love college

The past few days I’ve heard the sound of a distant ringing in my left ear.  A well-practiced physician would tell you that I’ve stood too close to booming speakers at one too many parties.  And while he would be mostly right (particularly considering the boom that was Senior Week 2010), I’ve come to a different diagnosis.  The ting I hear is the unmistakable sound of fork meeting glass, a shot, so to speak, heard round the world of recent graduates.  “Speech, speech, speech,” they cry and in response we, the capped and gowned, fumble through words in an attempt to capture that life-altering period of time known as “college.”  Now, you and I both know the truthful answer to this tell-us-what-you-learned plea sounds a lot like Asher Roth’s lyrics, “I love college…and I love drinking.”  But let’s not forget that fork we hear isn’t hitting a shot glass or beer mug.  It’s time, I fear, for a more grown-up response.

As I sit in a post-grad purgatory of almost adulthood, I feel inclined to share with you a few lessons I’ve picked up over the past few weeks.  For all you fork and glass holders, here’s what I’ve learned.

Graduation is a time to let go of your childish loves. Whether by choice or due to a strange set of circumstances involving a super-hero dance and a misplaced inflatable spider-man, now is the time to move on. Note: the train bed sheets formerly fitting my full-size bed without a box spring now tuck in some kid at St. Mary’s Home For Children in North Providence.

When graduating, you should gradually ease yourself out of excessive alcohol consumption…or at least give the impression that you’ve become a more moderate drinker. At my latest physical check-up, when posed with the questions “Do you consume alcohol and if so how much?” I responsibly (falsely) informed my physician that I consume a couple of drinks every week. I’m not sure whether the “2/week” recorded on my chart is the start of a new lifestyle or a cover-up for my ever-increasing tolerance. Time will tell.

Spending four years in one place, particularly a place as small as Brown is likely to produce its fair share of tension and drama (friend turned enemy drama). Before you leave college, reconcile all the differences that may have built up over the years; don’t sour everyone else’s day by leaving your hostility in the campus air. My reconciliation may have come in dream form with my freshman year roommate and I holding hands while eating cupcakes together, but hey, it’s the thought that matters.

The words young professional and post-graduate are often used interchangeably. As such, graduation means ditching daisy dukes and tube tops for a sensible, neutral-colored pantsuit. While I will always hold on to the token corset I bought freshman year, my latest shopping excursions have been hunts for cardigans and button-up blouses. As a soon to be teacher I also feel a bizarre new attraction to broaches and apple-themed jewelry.

Finally, graduating is that humble realization that you did not make it on your own. The people most responsible for you getting that diploma are likely the same individuals who willingly sat through a six-hour commencement bore fest only for the minute of fame in which an over-decorated professor butchered your foreign sounding name. Big thanks to my father (despite his nagging), brother (for shaving before my diploma ceremony), mother (who cried more than I did), extended family members (for driving hours just to see me don a hideous black uniform) and, of course, Yang. I know it was probably more torture for her than fun but I can’t imagine anything more perfect than walking off stage with diploma in hand to give my best friend a hug. If it wouldn’t upset my parents so much I would Sharpie in “Yang Yang” under my name on my diploma. She helped me earn it as much as I did.

So now let’s all clink our glasses together, yell “Cheers!” in unison and take a hearty sip.  (Drink number one out of two for the week)  Congrats to all my fellow 2010 grads!