Sunday, November 28, 2010

The One About Thankgiving...

Thanksgiving is over. Halleluia!!! Since I moved to Salt Lake City two years ago, Thanksgiving has been more about surviving than celebrating. In ‘08, my sleep deprived self had no choice but to dominate other Black Friday shoppers (reminiscent of Shaq circa 1999 when everyone joined the ‘Fakers’ bandwagon…) in order to walk/run away with a 48-inch Samsung LCD flat-screen tv. I still feel bad for the littered bodies leading to the Walmart cash register... haha.

Last year, I came home from a Thanksgiving dinner only to discover the front door wide open. My Wii, Apple laptop and hard earned Samsung tv were stolen. Damn you, Karma! To make matters worse, SLC police and I were bested by a mastermind thief. After dusting my living room for an hour, the police could not discern a single print or clue. Ugh - even my own detective skills developed after reading the entire Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew series as a child failed me. I thought we'd at least find a shoe print or hair follicle... haha.

This year, my mom and sister Rochelle flew in for the holiday. Along with both brothers (and Uli's family) we almost had the entire family together - a rare feat for a family of seven living in four different cities. And boy did we relish every second of this past weekend. Highlights include:

FOOD - Thanksgiving Lunch! Cocoa Rice (Samoan dessert) for midnight snack! Trifle! With my sister's cooking on point, I need to get on a(nother) diet asap.

BONDING - We talked and laughed about everything. And nothing brings people together like shopping in Park City till 4:30am. That includes an hour spent looking for my sister...

I truly enjoyed this Thanksgiving weekend and am extremely grateful for my family. We have such a deep-rooted history that has bound us to each other. And we're learning about each as adults now. This is a new experience for us. As my mom and sister return back to Samoa and Seattle, I can't wait to see them again in February.

Until then, I still have a large bowl of leftover potato salad to eat - reminder of a thanksgiving I survived and thoroughly enjoyed. Take care, fam.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The One About the Over Protective Cousin...

I grew tired of waiting for my cousin and stomped upstairs to my room. It was almost 1:00am and I desperately needed to sleep. It didn't help that my coworkers recently confused my bloodshot eyes and lackluster energy as symptoms of substance abuse. Sure stereotype the brown guy, mofos... But my irritation quickly subsided when I looked out of my bedroom window. Under the shadows of my Fir tree (It's not a Fir but I pretend it is...), I saw my younger female cousin making out with her "male friend". Thank goodness for the street lamp outside my window!

I honestly didn't know what to do. I considered running out of my house brandishing a shovel... But it was so cold! And I would probably have to look for my slip-on blue Chucks first... But then again, she is 22 years old and technically an adult. What right did I have to bust in on her life? I looked again and saw him maneuvering her onto the hood of his minivan (yes, minivan!?!). I didn't care anymore. I slid my rusty window open and yelled out, "Hey! That's enough! Come inside NOW."

We spent another hour discussing why she shouldn't be alone with him. She mentioned seeing him again the next night. I countered that the Devil would be joining them. Way harsh, Tai... (Clueless anyone?) But I'm looking out for her best interests. I hope this isn't indicative of the stress I'll feel as a father... Because next time, the shovel and I will be ready.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The One About London...

After five days in London, it's great to be back in Salt Lake City. Actually, it's not that great because I have decided to move from Salt Lake City... haha whoa spoiler alert! But my trip was truly that inspiring. As mentioned in an earlier blog, my cousin's husband plays for the 49ers - which scheduled one of their season games in London. I was asked to accompany my cousin as it was her first time to Europe. In exchange for my time, I would be compensated with my own room at the same 5-star hotel as the 49ers. Seriously, Universe!?!

After arriving to Heathrow Airport, Tumua and I ate up Central London like hungry orphans. We sampled crepes near the London Eye, studied the beautiful facade at Westminster Abbey, watched the (albeit awkward) changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, took a break at Trafalgar Square but re-energized after some shopping in Picadilly Circus. Include a late dinner with my cousin and her husband at the JW Marriott steakhouse, we readily retired to bed waking up the next day at 11:30am. Holy jet lag! And instead of painting the town red (again), Tumua and I met up and lazed around till dinner catching up on our respective lives. And I learned something new about my cousin: the inherent difficulty of being a football wife. You try raising three children while being married to an NFL player. That's one unpredictable variable.

Our remaining time in London was a blur of great laughs and a reunion with a city I am in love with. Highlights include:

"I'm having an ah-mazing time here in lahn-dohn"
- Isaac practicing his british accent at a fan rally in Trafalgar Square

"This side yell 'Kamete Kamete' and this side will yell 'Kaura Kaura'"
- Isaac teaching fans the All Blacks haka before freestyling maori-esque moves during their chant

"Troy Smith is a great guy"
- 49er rookie Mike Iupati's nervous answer to the question, how do you like blocking for Troy Smith?

"Before trying any more restaurants, we should ask if they have taste buds first"
- Tumua's response to a dining recommendation after bad initial experiences at local restaurants

Lastly, I realized that it's time to move! Unsure as to a specific destination but I'm giving myself 18 months to find a new place. And London is definitely in the mix... Any suggestions?