Tuesday, May 29, 2007

7 Useless Random Facts About Me

I haven't blogged in a couple of days. Deece, Bree, Sean, and Cinta tagged me to list seven random facts about me. So here goes:

1. The Best Meal Of My Life: Enjoyed with a team of student dental and dental hygienists on a mission trip to Loreto, Mexico. It was during my first year of hygiene school. Our team had just performed over two hundred extractions and other dental procedures in eight hours. We were tired and hungry. On our way back to the hotel we discovered a beaten up seafood shack, poised on the beach jutting over the Cortez Sea. We were very sunburned and sweaty, gathered around a big table crowded with the best fish tacos I have ever tasted. It was pure bliss with the waves crashing on the shore, and the colors of the sunset whipping across the water.

2. Though I love music, complete silence is always better.

3. I've always been a cat-lover but lately I have been around alot of dogs. They're so smart and affectionate. I'm thinking
about getting a Lab when I come back to the states next year. Then I will always have a buddy to run with.

4. Pet Peeve: gossip

5. I'm competitive and a sore loser especially when it comes to video games.

6. I'm a certified wedding planner. I coordinated four of my friends' weddings.

7. Coffee addict

So there you have it, seven useless random facts about me. I think everyone has done it except for Ej! I tag you EJ.

On another note, here are some pictures of my friends and I river rafting a class 4 in Colorado. Since Colorado had a lot of snow during the winter the water was high and the rapids were really rough. We set out for a full day of rafting. I rented a wetsuit and brought my own aqua shoes. My goal for the day was not to fall out.

It was cloudy and chilly. Our raft guide mentioned that it had snowed the day before. The water was 40 degrees and I have to admit that I was not happy the first part of the day. I'm so use to Saipan's 80 degree water that this water was shockingly cold! Seriously. My hands and legs were numb the whole day. It didn't start to warm up until after lunch.

There were long stretches inbetween the roaring rapids when the water was calm. We could just relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Rocky Mountains and green pastures. We saw big horned sheep, turkey vultures, and rainbow trout. Of course I took my water proof camara that I just bought in March with me to snap pictures of everything. I hooked the camara onto my life jacket to make sure it wouldn't fall out.

Anyway, to make a long story short. The guide was taking a picture of us during a "calm" moment and accidentally dropped my camara into the water. I was about to jump out and grab it but they grabbed my vest. Grrrrrrrr. So my camara sits in the bottom of the river. *#@!! Oh well, I guess i'll have to buy a new toy.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

This Made My Day

So i'll be back to work in a week. This clip of Ralph and the Dentist made my day. Thanks Jesse!


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Catch 30

I had a blast celebrating my 30th birthday this past weekend! My weekend couldn't have started off any better than teeing off a charity golf tournament with my friend, Jessica. I've missed playing golf. I'm bringing my golf clubs back with me to Saipan since I will be staying another year. Plus my short game needs some serious work.
30 Flirty and Fabulous as my friends would say! I am at a very happy place in my life right now. In fact, I feel like I am on cloud nine. I feel blessed because I have so many wonderful people in my life here at home and in Saipan. So many people have made my day special with phone calls, emails, and cards.

My cousin, Janice, brought me my favorite cup cakes from a bakery called Sprinkles. in Newport Beach. My sweet friend, Angie, made me breakfast in bed. My best friend since the second grade, Rae, came out to La Jolla to have dinner with us even though alot of things are going on with her dad right now. And my cousin, Joy, made me laugh so hard that I cried! It was just perfect night.
I have to admit that I am not much of a partyer. Any normal person would have probably celebrated their birthday at a club or a bar. I'm pretty low key and more of a homebody. All I really wanted to do was get dressed and have dinner at a really nice restaurant with some of my closest friends. We had dinner at a Hawaiian Fusion restaurant called Roy's in La Jolla. Ever heard of it? I loved it and thought the food was amazing.

Remember how I said I'd do things differently in my 20's? Well I change my mind. If I didn't make those mistakes than I probably wouldn't be where I am at today and I wouldn't be who I am. What I learned from my 20's is to lighten up and not take life so seriously. Also I have learned to keep loving extravagantly like God calls us to. Thanks everyone for your bday wishes=)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Blessings In Disguise

It is easy to praise and love God when things are going right, but when things go wrong will you still praise and love Him the same? Sometimes life challenges and tragedies are blessings in disguise.

I just spent the night in a hospital waiting room with my best friend, Rae, whom I have known since the second grade. Rae's dad had a stroke last night. The scene is all too familiar to me since my family and I went through the same ordeal nine years ago when my dad had his stroke. Her cousins and I sat in a circle in the waiting room and listened to Pastor Gary's words of comfort and assurance.

Pastor Gary asked a bold question to Rae and Kevin "If God allowed your dad to pass away, will you still love God and will your relationship with Him change?" That is a tough question to answer especially at a time of crisis and uncertainty. Rae and Kevin both answered firmly that they would still love and praise God the same if their dad passed away. Pastor Gary pointed out that it is good when we can still love God when things go wrong because our love for Him is not conditional. We would love Him no matter what the outcome was. That sin would not win because our relationship with God would not change.

Sometimes life challenges and tragedies are blessings in disguise because it reminds me to always lean on God through the highs and especially the lows of my life. Perhaps it is His way of reminding me that I need Him. Please keep my uncle Art and his family in your prayers.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Corona Del Mar Beach

I can't stay away from the beaches. Wherever I end up settling down it will have to be by a beach. Michael and I headed out after church to Corona Del Mar for some beach volleyball action. There are a couple of dive spots out here in orange county that I was contemplating on doing but its just too cold. Definitely not as nice as Saipan's Beaches.

Corona Del Mar beach holds some happy memories for me from highschool. Its the beach that we would always have beach vespers at. We'd come out in the afternoon to play beach volleyball, bbq veggie hot dogs, and have church outdoors while the sunsets. Corona Del Mar is lined with mansions towering over the cliffs. I always wonder what the heck these people do for a living. We thought this house was nice.

Its a little chilly out here. I thought I was coming down with a cold but I really think its the smog out here. I miss Saipan's clean air=)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Prelude To A New Chapter

And it begins . . . the count down to my 30th birthday. Tonight I had dinner with some friends in Mission Viejo that I use to work with. I was expecting a reunion dinner but instead it turned into a reunion/birthday dinner for me. Wow. Cake and presents were in front of me and it hits me that I will be turning 30 next week. The waitress snaps a picture of me blowing out my candles while my friends are loudly singing happy birthday to me in the background. In the meantime I phase out for a second and I am thinking what the heck! Usually I'll cringe at turning 30, but lately its been not a big deal. Ready or not here it comes.

Life didn't turn out exactly what I pictured it to be. But so what! I'll just say that sometimes with a great loss comes progression. I had expectations, but now I know better. No expectations No disappointments. So just living life one moment at a time. Life has become more than I have ever imagined it to be.

This weekend is going to be crazy celebrating my birthday and I am excited to embrace a new chapter in my life. Plans? Still working out the kinks and will finalize everything for this weekend. There is one thing that I wanted to do before I turned 30. Its something that I have always wanted to do and even though no one wants to do it with me . . . i'll do it anyway. I'll post pics later.

Time is flying by really fast and I am enjoying my visit with all of my friends and family. Still a couple of more people that I want to see before I Ieave next week for Colorado to visit my best friend, Mel. Then its off to Saipan.

A friend asks me, " would you have done anything different in your 20's?" I reply with a "YES" More about that later.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm so happy to be home to celebrate my mom's 70th birthday and Mother's day together with my family. At the Pasadena SDA Church they made a short video tribute to all the mothers in the church. They interviewed alot of kids about why they love their mom. There were alot of cute responses like "because she makes me good food, she makes me laugh, and she takes care of me." I love my mom not only for those reasons but that she has always loved and supported me always. Always! Even through the times we didn't always get along. Her love amazes me.

My mom is also an inspiration to me. When dad had his stroke it was hard for all of us. Sometimes when times are tough it is tempting to question God why He allowed things to happen. But mom is a woman of God and her faith has always been so strong. She reminds me not to focus on the reasons why bad things happen but to just keep trusting in God that He has a plan. Her passion for life and dedication to God inspires me to keep God first in my life. First in my life above everything.

Someday I'd like to be a mom. And I hope someday that I will do as great as a job as my mom did with us.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Thoughts on Running

I started running as a reaction to the road. Before I moved to Saipan, I use to commute 65 miles one way to work everyday. Traffic and long commutes to work became a daily routine. Actually, it is a way of life out here in Southern California. I was so busy working that I had put on 10 pounds over a year without noticing. I was just too tired to exercise after work. One day, I looked at myself in the mirror. I wasn’t fat but I wasn’t healthy either. That’s the day I bought my first pair of running shoes, and I haven’t quit running since.

I started running 20 miles a week and I lost the weight fast. I feel so much sharper now. I consider myself a beginner, but I like that. I enjoy it more when I feel like I’m learning a lot. My shoes are the one of two things I’ll take everywhere with me. The other is my ipod.

I went running with the Sacros at Mile Square Park in Orange County. Michael and I sprinted towards the end and I almost won. We ran a good four miles tonight. While I was running I thought about my morning run in Saipan. There is a trail on Beach Road that I run every other morning. I get up just before sunrise, drive down to Beach Rd and start running.

Running has been a safe haven for me. It’s my time to reflect. It's quite addicting actually. Early morning it’s quiet, the water is like glass, and as the sun comes up her coral rays scatter across the ocean. I look around and think, what a luxury.

Sometimes I hate getting up at 6 am for a run after being up so late. But I tell myself I can go back to bed as soon as I’m done. Usually, I’m dumb enough to believe it.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Ramblings of a Jetlagged Nomad

Just call me miss procrastinator. I flew in a week earlier than originally intended because I needed to finish up some continuing education courses to renew my dental hygiene license. Every two years I am suppose to have at least 25 units under my belt. Before I arrived I only had four units and I needed to finish the rest before the 21st of May.

Every year the California Dental Association (CDA) puts on a gigantic convention that features the cutting edge of dental technology at the Anaheim Convention Center right near Disneyland. Thousands of Dentists, Dental Hygienists, and Assistants fly in from all over the world for this session.

Conventions are anything but boring. I have learned some new tips on how to give painless injections, how to manage difficult patients, how to be a better clinician chair side, and how to screen more efficiently for oral cancer. Maybe I am a geek but I enjoy lectures and can’t wait to get into Dentistry School. Conventions also serve as a place for me to see familiar faces like my hygiene colleagues and dentists I have worked with in the past.

I have been in class on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. I count today as my first day of vacation mainly because I got a chance to sleep in and recover from being jetlagged. Everyone is right about how nothing really changes when you are away. The usual morning traffic gridlock on route 91, everyone’s hectic schedules during the week, and people in general haven’t changed except that maybe they had more kids while I was away. Other than that it is the same game that continues.

Traveling and being away from my comfort zone has opened my eyes to see that I could really be anywhere I want to be. The world doesn’t seem so big anymore and the possibilities are endless. The concept of feeling at “home” is still foreign to me. I guess I am still searching for where I belong. Until then I’ll be wandering.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Off Island

One patient yesterday definitely made think twice about being a hygienist. I thought something died in his mouth. I had to wear two masks while rootplaning him. Anyways, I'm am officially on V A C A T I O N till June! My flight back home to Southern California leaves in two hours! Hasta!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Rota Island

Saipan is small! Do you know how small? I went diving in Rota this past weekend. While we were on the diveboat our Captain Mark shouted "hello "across the way to a guy named, Scott, who was on the dock unloading the fish he had just caught. Anyway, our boat full of Japanese divers waved to Scott as we were on our way to dive the Table Top site. This morning my patient is sitting in my chair and he mentions he is from Rota. I said, "really? I was just there diving in Rota." Then there is silence. The "ah-ha" moment occurs and we realize that we saw each other in Rota. Rota Scott was the one unloading his boat that day we saw him. Small island!

Rota is a small, beautiful island about a thirty minute plane ride from Saipan. Rota exceeded my expectations especially for diving. Everyone knows how friendly the people are in Rota. There are no stop lights in Rota and no traffic. Often at times I felt like we were the only one on the island. As you are driving or walking everyone waves to you . . . not only on dry land but underwater too! I went with my coworker Atsuko and my friends, Mayuki and Satche. Mayuki use to live in Rota for six years, but she is currently a dive instructor here in Saipan and owns Heart of Gold Dive Shop or HGD in Chinatown.

We spent two days diving at a total of six dives. Alot of fish action in Rota! I would recommend anyone to dive Rota. They have alot of breathetaking coral gardens, wall diving, and the famous Blue hole. The deepest I dropped down was about 115 ft and then I slowly made my way up looking for guess what-Nudibranchs! I'm fascinated with Nudibranchs.

My favorite part of the island was Bird Sanctuary. I've become a bird watcher since I've been in Saipan. We watched the seabirds glide across the sky with the waves crashing along the shore. There are stairs that take you down and around the sanctuary. I need to get a camara with a better zoom lens.

My fist time to night dive was at Blue Hole. I was nervous! Attatched to our tanks was a fluorescent light stick. We had blue and our dive masters had red. It was easy to identify who was who underwater. It wasn't as dark or as scary as I thought it would be. We descended with our flashlights in hand ready to explore Blue Hole at night. I have to say that this was probably my most favorite dive. All the lobsters were out and we even saw a shark. I pointed my flashlight in a certain direction and the shark would follow the beam of light wherever it would go. It was sweet! I had such a great time and look forward to diving more in Rota someday.

I'm still working on my dive slide show for Rota and I will post it up later.