Posted by: j☆ | March 4, 2010

Early retirement–Day One!

Thanks to an unexpected urgent translation job request early in the week, yesterday was the first real start of my second “early retirement”, and it was a great, relaxing, yet FULL day!

First up, a trip down memory lane!

I had been meaning to catch up with a friend of mine who I last saw in NYC, but until yesterday, our attempts to meet proved unsuccessful.

I met Tracy in Tokyo during my junior year studying abroad, and she was my partner-in-crime while we both studied at Doshisha University in Kyoto. I’ve always admired her–a sharp, driven UCLA undergrad who, like me, majored in Japanese. She then went on to work for one of the Big-5 accounting firms here in LA and achieved her CPA credentials. After that, she went on to become an Investment Banker after earning her MBA at Columbia University. (Yes, I’m bragging…just a bit!)

I was fortunate to have had the chance to travel with her a bit over the years–first to Seoul over “Thanksgiving break” in 1999 where I saw snow falling for the first time (it looked like flying insects swirling around to me at first, until she and our other friends told me that it was snow! :D), and got sick for the first time ever from mixing different types of alcohol (Remember this, Tracy? “Beer before liquor, never been sicker!”). Then we visited Okinawa for 10 days during Japan’s Golden Week holiday in 2000. I have some of my best memories of my parents’ homeland from that trip. Finally, our most recent trip was to Miami for Memorial Day weekend in 2008 where we spent most of the weekend laying poolside sipping cocktails with fruit and umbrellas sticking out of them, getting spa treatments and massages. She is definitely one of my best travel buddies ever!

She’s a rarity, a true friend and sister, and I am lucky that I’ve been able to keep in touch with her over the course of the last 10 years in spite of our ever-ready adventurous spirits to move across the country and across the Pacific Ocean at a moment’s notice to pursue our goals. And now we’re both finally back in L.A. at the same time! It was pretty awesome to catch up with her, and I look forward to our continued friendship, and to witnessing her personal and professional transformation in the years to come!

10 years. I do have quite a few friends that I can say I’ve known for longer. But it’s funny to me that now, the friends I met in college are people who I can say I’ve known for TEN YEARS!

After this trip down memory lane, I decided to hit my favorite store before heading over to my parents’ place for a Japanese Girls’ Day dinner. If you know me, you know that I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Target. Now, it’s just so convenient and has pretty much everything. On my way down the 405, I spotted this pretty little thing sharing the road with me from West L.A., all the way down to about El Segundo where I lost it in rush hour traffic:

That, my friends, is that Ferrari California hardtop convertible. Absolutely GORGEOUS. And it’ll be my next ride. 😉

At Target, I wound up indulging in some retail therapy. I try not to make it a habit, but Target has some really good finds every so often that are irresistible! For most of the time I was in that store though, I basically stood in the book section reading the first chapter of the book “Push”, which was made into the highly acclaimed movie “Precious”. I heard about this story so I knew what I was getting myself into but I have to say…the story is disturbing. And really really gripping. I couldn’t put the book down. I decided not to buy it though because I wanted to go to sleep without having nightmares. But I am curious as to how it’s going to turn out though, so I may have to go back to read it.

Lastly, my wonderful mother who loves to cook, stuffed me silly, and then sent me home with leftovers as usual. I swear, as long as she is alive, I will never starve! Which, I believe, is exactly her point in she inviting me over each week. I feel badly walking away with so much food all the time, but she doesn’t let me say no! Good thing she is a great cook. 😉 I am extremely blessed with such a loving mother…homecooking = love, for sure! The next time I see her though, it will be to head out to Santa Barbara so I can push her out of an airplane! 😀 Ahh…I can’t wait! She’s going to love it!

This entry turned out a LOT longer than I expected. It’s now past noon on Day Two of my retirement, and I need to get going. Hope you’re all having a great week, and I’m sure you realize that the downward slide into the weekend has begun! Do you have any weekend plans? Even though I’ve got all the time in the world now it seems, I am most definitely looking forward to *my* weekend! Mainly because I finally get to see my boyfriend, who has been fighting a cold while working hard at the office! Hooray for the weekend!

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