Happy 1 year anniversary babe
I awoke on Saturday, July 5th 2008 morning in my hotel room in Washington DC. My Birthday. 31. As I was getting ready in the morning, I saw on the dresser beside my bed a happy birthday note from my girlfriend. I tore it from the notepad and stored it away in my suitcase. I went to her house and picked Mylene up for the days activities. I had already planned out the evening. But the day was basically open.
She wanted to go to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Facts about this temple from the wiki page include it being the largest Catholic church in the US, the eighth largest religious structure in the world, and even the tallest building in DC. There are 70 individual chapels within this one building. In my own words: it’s freaking huge. Me being not very religious, and definitely not Catholic, I was more interested in the idea of such as big ass building, seemingly inlaid with gold and various shiny things throughout. Ever nook and cranny seemingly has a little church, complete with altar, pews, and artwork on glass and or inlaid in the walls, floor, and ceiling. It is hard to convey the size of the main worship area, but this image gives a good example. Notice you can not see the ceiling. In the back above the pews is an enormous pipe organ. In front of the pews is a large ceremonial area I guess. To the left and right of the pews is a walkway, which connects to numerous other rooms that have their own chapel.
Then we went downstairs.
Downstairs is the crypt. The crypt is a large area with walls covered in names of people who I assume passed away and paid to have their name put up there. In the crypt, there are also numerous small chapels, and then one really large chapel. In the back was another larger pipe organ. They were doing a ceremony in there so we did not walk around much.
I created a Photosynth of the church. I suggest clicking on Grid view to get to different sections of the church, and then switch back to 3D view to navigate. Not all of the images meld together, so a full walk through can’t be completed, only due to that I did not take a picture of every single wall and area. But clicking the Grid view and choosing a new part, then 3D will give you another area to tour. There’s plenty of pictures of this place on my flickr you may enjoy if you’re into the church thing.
Afterwards, she found the way to the nearest metro station where we did the park and ride. I figured we’d be abandoning the vehicle here for the night so I got all my belongings.
We decided to go towards food while wasting some time until my evening plans. We got off the metro and went into the National Portrait Gallery. There’s paintings and photographs of American history and the people involved. Lots of famous paintings of each president here.
You absolute mother fuckers. I’m pointing at you spammers, or spam bots or whatever. Gaining access to my website, (actually my other website, whootah.com, I need to check this one out too) and spyfully adding in hidden div’s and links and funky things to dvd movie downloads of all sorts of shit. Take a sneak peek at the back end area, and look carefully at the html coding to find the hidden messages. These have been there for weeks, and today I just noticed them. Now I have to go through each post and clean up this mess. Sigh.. You should check out your page code also if you have anything similar. Screenshots below. If you see any weird looking posts let me know as I may screw up some of the real code deleting the spam code.
In other news. I’ve started a while back using a content delivery network for some of the larger videos at my sites. Hopefully, you’ve never noticed it but if you’ve downloaded the 2 latest videos you probably actually got them from elsewhere. Enjoy the large download files and speeds. Eventually I’ll get all the large versions up. I’ve also switched to using Vimeo for the streaming of video, and may switch that in house via the cdn also. Why Vimeo? Less bullshit, more mature users, awesome looking page with customizations, ability to download the file, and the key thing is videos are not limited to 10 minutes.
Feeling pretty good, had my birthday blast party this past weekend at Chuck E. Cheese’s. Our local town had a fireworks show for me as well. Got my car inspected and running good last week, about over my sickness. I built myself a new computer for my birthday present. My business is doing good, if I can just continue to keep up with it.
So I got some spam email today and the subject was Excited? So I replied why yes I am.
Then I got another spam email:
From: Alexis Brooks [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 07, 2009 2:12 PM
Subject: PRODUCT RFQ (PO #CII6831)
Attention: Sales Department
Here is a Request from Cable Inside Inc, Located Billerica, MA. Cable Inside, Inc is a wholesale distributor of Tel/Data & Control Cable, Logistics, & Mgmt. and also printer repairs.
We are currently upgrading our desktop computers/printers and need to order from you computer supplies and parts so we would like you to provide a quote for the following items.
Hewlett Packard Request:
1. Original HP C6578DN Tricolor Inkjet Cartridge 2. Original HP Q7583A Color Sphere magenta laser toner cartridge
Memory & Processor Request:
1. 1GB Kit 333MHZ DDR PC2700 Dimm (KVR333X64C25/1G) (Any Brand).
2. BX80546PG3400E- 3.40E GHz 800 MHz 90 nm C0 1 MB 478 pin PPGA.
Kindly Provide a PDF quote with pricing , availability either by email or fax and we would get back to you with our upon acceptance and approval of quotes.
I will be faxing a hardcopy of Purchase order # CII6831 for shipping of the order. Payment Terms: Cashier’s check on Delivery (COD)
We look forward to doing business with you.
Cable Inside, Inc
Address: 85 Rangeway Road, Floor #1
Billerica MA 01862-0000
FEDERAL TAX ID #: 32-0006394
DUNS NUMBER: 04-664-9278
Fax Number: 978-947-0546
My reply was simply:
1 Million Dollars
with an attachment named quote.jpg that was this picture
Armed with a new interest, we started to talk quite a bit. Luckily I already purchased an unlimited text message plan. We talked about how great a time we had before, that perhaps this could turn into something. But how exactly could that happen. It’s not like she was right down the road and we could go out. Not to mention, her family didn’t really want us to see each other anyway. While I was there, they grilled me on why I was in VA Beach, and just couldn’t believe that I came up there just to see Mylene. Their parting words were much more Nice to see you have a good life, than It was good to introduce you into the family hope to see you again. With growing frustrations by not only that, but other things going on, she looked at other options. She had some family in Florida she could stay with who were already wanting to meet me. She talked with them a bit about moving down there, as they didn’t have a problem with Mylene and I but I had to explain that Florida was much farther away than Virginia and that just wouldn’t work. Finally, she ended up moving in with some family in Maryland, just outside of Washington DC.
Apparently my birthday was coming up and we decided that I’d make the trip up to DC to meet her and the new family unit. I planned out some activities since I’d be there during the July 4th celebration also. I started out at about 9am on the 3rd to a strange new land for me. I had been up to DC about 4 times in my life. Once in elementary school for a field trip. A few times for some training classes, and once with my friends for a weekend romp around town. I hate driving in traffic, and DC is no short amount of traffic. I broke out the GPS again and set it to her new home. 5 hours it said.
Notable moments during the journey include driving down some interstate road that apparently goes right through some military base. On the side of the road are road signs that you can not stop there. I assume because you may be run over by a passing tank. I tried arranging with Mylene the meeting place and time, but she was way up in Baltimore visiting the aquarium. I pulled over at an armory guard thing and she finally asked if I could come up to Baltimore which would add another hour onto the trip according to GPS. I went on the way again, and as crossing the border from VA to MD I went over the Potomac River, and hence the Potomac River Bridge (Also called Harry Nice Bridge) which is the fucking scariest bridge I can ever remember driving over. You cant tell by this pic, but the bridge goes straight out over the water for like a mile, then straight up in the air for like 3 miles and straight back down again. Plus, it’s only 1 lane each way, and the big ass transfer trucks don’t mind flying down the narrow road at 70mph. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but I try to avoid this route from now on. On the Maryland side, traffic soon came to a stop. Not stop and go but stop. And this is the reason I hate traffic. I sat in traffic forever it seemed, and I could only watch the time of arrival on the GPS increase. I had no lunch, and was just so pissed off at everything I just wanted to get where i needed to go.
Finally just after 3:30pm I get into Baltimore. Driving over the very large highway bridge horizoned the skyline which was pretty impressive, but that quickly faded once I realized it immediately threw me into downtown, and apparently rush hour traffic as I sat in front of the huge buildings in bumper to bumper 4 lane traffic that I needed to be on the opposite side of. Mylene was no help in telling me where she was, and I finally pulled into the first parking deck I could get to, gathered my GPS, and started walking. I waited on the sidewalk as her family drove around and spotted me. I got to say as much as Hi to them before they kicked her out of the car, left Mylene alone with me and drove off. Both of us in a new unknown city, and we were left to ourselves to enjoy. We decided to start walking back to where she had just left from, which was around the harbor area. We finally made it that general direction, after passing what seemed to be the red light district to the harbor. She had bought a sandwich for me during her lunch, kept it in her bag for like 3 hours and gave it to me to eat. So not only was it cold, but also smooshed, and it obviously didn’t start out as anything great to begin with. But I thanked her for her gesture and ate the majority of it. We wandered around a bit, but she already spent all day in this area and I didn’t know anything about where I was to suggest something to do. She wanted to go across the water to some big hill with a swing we could see in the distance. It was way to far to walk around, there were ferries for hire, but they were quite expensive. And I really just wanted to get back to where I thought I should be. By then, her family had already left Baltimore to go back home and said we could just meet them later.
By this time it was nearly 5pm and I hadn’t even found my hotel yet. I ended up booking a hotel quite a way from where she was staying. All the reviews of hotels I read near her house were terrible. I didn’t feel like fearing for my life and belongings as the reviews said so I picked one across town. Not that her house was in a bad neighborhood. It’s more that I couldn’t seem to find any decent hotels at a decent price near her house. Besides, we were in Baltimore. My hotel was in the southern part of DC, in Alexandria. I was still very hungry and ready to be somewhere I was supposed to be. My original plan was to go into DC that evening to do some sight seeing. So, we drove back to find my hotel, checked in about 6:30pm and I finally got to relax for a bit. I hooked up my laptop, loaded Google Earth and did a search for some nearby restaurants. Found some sort of asian restaurant on there, and we took off again. Outside in the parking lot however, Mylene wanted to impress me with her new driving skills. My car had a vacant spot on one side, and another car on the other. She hoped in, as I stood safely outside the car, and proceeded to back out of the parking space. To which she confused the brake and gas pedal and slammed the gas down as she started to back out with a hard turn. The front end of the car whipped around as expected and I just knew a bunch of shit was about to happen. Somehow she whizzed the front of my car past the back of the side car without hitting it. I guess she realized what was going on and she stopped the car just before rear ending another set of cars. It was at this moment she learned the look of me being pissed the fuck off as she exited the car. I jumped in as she sat in the passenger seat and quietly entered our destination to the GPS.
When we arrived the place looked like a dump so I continued driving and pulled into the first shopping center I could find to which was a treasure trove of international restaurants. I’ve never seen so many nationality restaurants together, not to mention any restaurant ever of some of the nationalities. Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Thai, Vietnam, Salvador …there were like 10 different ones. We looked into each one and finally decided on the Thai restaurant. To which ended up being I think the best one there, the food was good, although the service was lacking. I was also able to fulfill my several year long search for Thai Sweet Tea, that Mylene didn’t care for. After dinner, it was too late to go into town and do anything meaningful, so I just took her home.
It was late like 10 or 11pm or something by this time, so I didn’t want to disturb everyone but Mylene insisted I come in. I don’t remember exactly who I met this first time, I think it was Vicky, Ruben, and grandma and grandpa, but it was a completely different welcome than the previous set. I sat on the couch and think I even napped for a bit as the day had turned out to be quite more hectic than I anticipated. They welcomed me into their home and tried to make me feel comfortable, despite me not being comfortable in a strangers home. We didn’t talk much, I wanted to head on back to the hotel as the next day would be even more hectic.
The morning of July 4th, I woke up and went back to her house to pick her up. Met more of the family, and attempted to plan the day. I already knew I wanted to watch the fireworks over DC, but the rest of the day was up in the air. Since my hotel has a free shuttle to the metro, I figured it would be best to go back to the hotel, then catch the shuttle, then metro into town instead of trying to find somewhere to park. Once at the hotel, it was about lunch time so I decided to use the kitchenette included and impress her with my cooking skills. The previous night we found a grocery store in the same strip the restaurants were in so we went back there and picked up groceries. I cooked spaghetti, to which she was quite unimpressed since it wasn’t her sweet style spaghetti. After lunch, we headed out and waited for the shuttle for like 30 minutes. Finally it shows up and we were the only passengers all the way to the metro. It was way too far to walk. And I also learned that they have parking there as well. Oh well, the shuttle would be there to pick us up later.
We purchase tickets and having already rode the metro quite a bit already she lead us into the city. We exited the station into a rain we did not expect. People were hiding under the metro shelter, smart ones brought umbrellas with them and walked around freely. She decides for us to go to the old post office building. Here we could go to the top of the bell tower and get a great view of the city widely regarded as the best in town. It wasn’t far so we started the journey in the on and off rain.Passing, some seemingly homeless looking guy was on the street corner selling umbrellas for 5 dollars. I wanted to buy some, but did not have change and didn’t want to take the chance of pulling out my wallet and the guy taking a $20 and running. I noted his position and we ran inside the post office. Inside, we took the elevator to the top, and got screamed at by the park ranger or whatever standing guard telling everyone not to touch the wires. The wires are in place of any fencing or window at the top to allow a free view, but also so you don’t throw yourself out the tower. Reading the reviews above, this is a normal occurrence to be screamed about the wires there. We then exited downstairs into the food court area. There were lots of people here, and needing change for the umbrella dude I stopped at Ben & Jerrys there to get some ice cream and change. To which I would never recommend doing as I stood in line for like 20 minutes and was completely ignored. I eventually exited the line and chose another place across the food court to which I was greeted with a smile and prompt service. With milkshake in hand and change, we set outside again. It had stopped raining by this time, and the guy selling umbrellas was gone.
We walked towards the general direction we thought the July 4th festivities were going on. The streets were quite crowded, and everyone was walking the same direction so we followed and entered into a security checkpoint setup on the street. A guy behind us became very loud when the guards asked him what he had in his cooler. He opened it up and proudly exclaimed that he had crabs. And crabs he did, as they stunk like hell causing everyone in the general vicinity to gasp for clean air. Even the guards were quite amused that he was proud to tell everyone of his smelly ass crabs. The whole Mall area closed to vehicle traffic, and was filled with tents, vendors, and all sorts of things. There was some sort of international festival the Smithsonian was putting on that week also. By this time, they were all closing up shop so we didn’t get to see many of the activities in the festival. We continued walking towards the Washington Monument to hopefully get a good seat for the fireworks.
It looked like the whole area ahead was a sea of people so we chose a nearby grassy knoll to settle down on. Without fancy accessories such as chairs or blankets, we sat on the grass and waited for the show. After some time, it became pretty clear that either night was coming early, or clouds were rolling in. Next thing we know a few sprinkles start, and then finally the whole downpour that had been saving up all day. We got absolutely soaked, and with no umbrella could do nothing but sit in it. But I dealt with it, and she with me, and just hoped that it would stop sometime relatively soon. No one else even noticed us, considering the canvas of umbrellas and contraptions the smart people brought with them was blocking their view of us. It eventually did stop and she attempted to use her small handkerchief to dry us both off. I pulled a deck of cards from my backpack, we played some simple card games, and I impressed her with my find your card in the shuffled deck magic trick.
Drying off, we waited until the show began and the fireworks lit up the city lit sky. Having the backdrop to be the Washington Monument was a nice touch, but we were too far away from the main party location at the white house where they had live bands playing as background music to the fireworks as well. The show was nice, but can’t say that it was any extreme greater extravagent than the local shows seen around my home. I’m not sure how far away we were from the shooting location, and perhaps that would change my judgement as some of them were quite huge, seemingly as tall or taller than the monument before us.
After the fireworks, we headed back towards the capitol building along with the crowd to find a metro. It started to drizzle more, and people were breaking out the umbrellas. The walk back gave a good opportunity to capture the area with some night shots. The streets were still closed, and full of people. We were in the middle of a mass crowd all heading for the nearest metro. We figured after the fireworks we could stop somewhere for dinner, however there wasn’t anywhere obvious right on the mall for anywhere to eat, much less anywhere open. It started to rain in a pretty good downpour, but luckily we were close to a metro station. We thought. We kept walking following everyone else also thinking they were heading towards a station. We encounted a road block, where police were forcing people left or right, and informing us that the nearest metro station either way was several blocks away. We eventually found the station, and unluckily so did about 500,000 other people. The line stretched out into the street. You’re not even seeing all the people filling up the stairs underground in the 4th pic below, and the huge train station underneath the city. We joined a large group of people who huddled under a building’s overhang to escape the pouring rain. We decided to wait a bit to see if the rain would stop and the crowd to die down. It didn’t. We made the decision to continue walking to wherever the next station was. Mylene mapped out the course while I took some pictures.
Eventually a security guard came from the building and kicked everyone out. By then, the rain had turned to a mist and our course was set. We started walking into the streets, and past the area where everyone was waiting for the metro the streets were empty. Eerily empty. We did find a few people gathering at a rolling grease pit, and decided to stop for a few hotdogs before continuing on the journey. The station was numerous blocks away and we got lost a couple of times. Mylene pulled out the map and walked down the street holding it out in front of us. Tourist trap disaster. The streets were empty, except for the very few lohe people just standing against random walls, or homeless people sleeping on the bench. I made her put the map away and we eventually did find the station. We walked right into the station, and right onto a train. The train however was absolutely full, but we managed to squeeze in. We stopped at several stations on our way back to the hotel where no one could get on because it was so full.
At our final metro station stop, way outside of DC in Arlington, we exited with the few people left on the train. By this time it was 11pm, and a national holiday, and coincendently the causes of our shuttle not running from the metro back to the hotel. Not quite anticipating this, we decided on a cab. Outside this metro station was a drop off area for cars and buses, then the taxi line, and also car parking. The taxi line had about 10 cars in it and were rolling in and out as fast as people could hop in. We had to walk down the line about 5 cars to get an empty one that had not begun to pull out yet. We hopped in the back seat and I pulled out the hotel business card I always pick up upon registration for the address. This moment was actually my first cab ride, ever. The driver pulled out and I brought out the camera to take a pic of us. The green autofocus light lit up the entire car and I thought the driver was going to have a wreak from whipping around to see what it was.
Luckily the hotel wasn’t too far, the fare was about 10 bucks, and I gave a few bucks tip also. We went back to the room to clean up, then had to go right back out again to take her the about 30 minute drive to her home. I’m not sure what time I ever got to bed, but it had been quite an exciting July 4th. I was going to write up the whole DC trip in one posting, however this has turned out quite long, taken me like 2 weeks to write, and I’m tired of seeing the same text over and over. I’ll stop the trip report here, and say Stay tuned for my continuation of the trip, featuring Tomorrow, July 5th, my birthday!
It all started with a simple click. Do you want to meet her? Yes or No. Well, hell ya, I clicked. There’s not much room for description, but her quick profile at hotornot.com was all I needed. Not long after that, she also agreed to ‘meet’ me as well. With this match made between 2 random strangers, we were then able to communicate. It’s been 2 years now, from March of 2007. My suave opening lines were: Hey, i see that we have a double match here, and wanted to say hi to introduce myself. My name is Phil, i am 29 years old. I live in North Carolina, USA. If you’d like to chat i have yahoo messenger as radialmonster and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org take care, hope you had a good weekend!
We chatted back and forth randomly when we’d see each other online. Occasionally there would be an email. We’d chat and I remember thinking that we had a few things in common and enjoyed chatting quite a bit. But what was the chances of anything actually happening? I had been single for a few months and was looking for dates. With her being on the other side of the world, that wasn’t going to happen easily. Besides, she seemed really busy. She just had a kid. She hadn’t mentioned that in her profile. I’m not sure if I would have clicked yes if she did. Days, weeks would go by sometimes between chats. And often then they were only as much as Hi, I’m still around. There was even a period of several months gone by where I didn’t hear anything at all. I assumed she didn’t want to chat anymore. Or that she found a boyfriend. Meanwhile, I dated, or at least attempted some dates. I did have quite a few. But nothing ever turned out for the good in that regard. Some were just really bad. But I did meet some good people as well that at least provided good conversations to stave off the loneliness and still keep the good ones as friends today. She sent me a few of those forwarded emails. You know the type. Well, I don’t go for those, so I just assumed she had me on her group list and was sending them out to everyone, me included. I didn’t reply.
Then in March of 08, after over a year of our initial meet and greet, I get this: “How are you? Hope you’re good, actually we might have a chance to see each other on April since ill be in Virginia to visit some relatives. Let me know if we can meet up” Hmm, well Ok I guess we can try to meet. I emailed her back and said sure we can meet up. She called me I think that same night to tell me about it. It was the first time I had ever spoken to her. She asked if I had married yet. I had chatted to her before about some of the dates I had gone on. I said no, not married, I didn’t even have a girlfriend.
We began to chat again, about her upcoming trip, things she wants to do etc. We chatted quite a bit. My friends were used to me chatting on my cell phone when we hung out, and we started to chat quite a bit, everyone would laugh every few minutes when they heard the familiar ding sound of my receiving of a new text message. They knew her only as Philippine Girl. They knew that she was in the Philippines, and that we chatted a lot, but I didn’t tell them she was coming. My plan was actually that she would come to the states, I’d pick her up and bring her to meet my friends and show her around. I’d just come up to our usual Saturday hang out with her and say Hey, meet Philippine Girl. With them not knowing that she was even coming, all of a sudden this stranger from the other side of the world is right here. But, it did not turn out that way.
Her family did not approve of us even meeting. Which is why I didn’t write anything about any of this, or her, here before. She had to convince them to even let me come up there and have lunch together. There was no way I would be able to bring her with me for a while and hang out, show her around here. All I knew is she had 1 month to be here, then she would be going home again. She had no friends here, so I wanted to be able to show her around the area during the short time we had. It looked more and more like we wouldn’t even get the chance to meet at all. She had found some people to hang out with where she was staying. And looked to me like she was doing quite a bit of that by the pictures she shared. So, I didn’t pursue it any longer. If she really wanted to meet, she’d have to arrange it.
My step-mom Marie had a birthday party on May 1. We went out to the Carolina Ale House to meet up with some of her friends. I had already told Marie about this new girl, Mylene. Marie is also from the Philippines, and she has lots of Filipino friends that I’ve met so that was a good common thing that I could talk to Mylene about. During the party at the ale house, Mylene called and I gave the phone to Marie. They chatted for a bit, and then we chatted as well. Apparently, Marie and Mylene were chatting about me, and whether we were going to get together or not. It would be nice to, I enjoyed talking to her, thought she was right attractive, but the logistics of it all just wasn’t adding up. She just didn’t seem that into me when we talked.
After the party, I drove Marie home. It was already like 1 or so am at this point. Marie was still recovering from the nearly $200 bill at the ale house. We sat out in the driveway and talked. She kept asking me what I thought of Mylene and what were my plans. Well, I didn’t have any plans, didn’t look like we could meet. Besides, she has a kid back home, she’s met some people up in Virginia now that she seems to enjoy hanging out with, if not more, family doesn’t want us to meet etc etc. Apparently, Mylene had told Marie that she didn’t understand why I wasn’t “courting” her. Well, hmm. Seeing as how there’s no way we can just go on a date, perhaps that has a bit to do with it. I was interested, but how exactly would I “court” even though now she was closer, albeit like 300 miles away. Mylene called that night, yes that same night, like 2am while me and Marie were still out talking and I’m listening to her drunken ramblings, and we talked, but this time with me knowing that she was interested in me. Later I find out that apparently I did something magical a few days before hand, on April 27 2008, because that was when she started liking me.
Now we had finally established that we liked each other and could perhaps move on the conversation. However, it looked as if the family was not going to allow anything more than talking on the phone. I tried to explain to her that although she may look it, she’s not 12 years old. However, she didn’t want to disrespect the family that was disrespecting her so it was all up to her what to do. In a few weeks she would be leaving the states to go back home anyway.
The time came and passed for her scheduled leave. She ended up getting to stay longer than expected. She was excited to be able to stay, but felt trapped where she was. Due to the extended stay she lost her job back home. She could not work here due to her visa status. She was not allowed to go anywhere on her own, and was reliant on who she was staying with to provide money to send for her son back home. The family was even attempting to set her up on dates with other guys. Many a nights I listened to her cry about her situation, but there was nothing I could do about it, and nothing she wanted to do about it. I offered her to come stay with me as long as she wanted. I had plenty of room, and it would give us a chance to know each other and for me to show her the world here as I wanted to do all along. But that wasn’t going to happen. Talk was that perhaps she could come as long as Grandma could come stay too. Um… no. Perhaps on one of their trips into NC to visit more family we could meet somewhere for a supervised dinner. Perhaps I could do that for a first meet. But that didn’t even happen.
Finally, by some chances and by much protest, we had a date setup for May 30. I took Friday off work and drove up to Virginia Beach with my newly purchased GPS. We met at her aunt’s hair salon.
I knew the deal. Aunt Julie was the first contact. If the aunt didn’t like me, the whole thing would be called off. Police in riot gear would probably show up and escort me out of the area. But apparently it was ok, after waiting like an hour for her to show up I finally get to see her for the first time. I think we shook hands or maybe just waved a hello from across the room, don’t really remember. We sat down in one of the offices for a while and talked. Decided to see if we could go down the shopping mall to get some lunch. Family said she could go, but had to be back in so many minutes.
I broke out the camera, cuz you know I love pictures, and snapped this first shot of my lunch date. Decided she was much cuter than I had imagined and we had some lunch and sat by the window watching the cars go by. Throughout the talk, it didn’t take long for us to feel comfortable with each other. I was worried she was quite disappointed in me. Not sure, why, just my feeling. But it didn’t seem to take long from going to this first picture of us together onward to a closer one, to an even kinda clever one I thought.
After lunch, she asked if we could go over to a very nearby park, Mount Trashmore. Exactly as it sounds, an old landfill turned park. That we did, and had a scheduled meeting time afterwards. I was amazed she was allowed to get in my car so we could whisk away. Since the park was right down the road, it was a short ride. We explored the park, walking from one side at the bottom to the top of the big trash heap.
Hm, whats that in the distance? Oh, a makeshift carnival. We walked closer and contemplated going to it, but ended up settling down on the hillside overlooking it and talked. Although I’m not sure who talked more, us or her on the cell phone trying to convince someone new that she was still alive.
We talked about jobs, home, cultures, time, places, friends etc etc. Compared things between us. Such as hand sizes. And eyesight.
We took pictures. By this point, I’ve realized she enjoys pictures as much as I do. So we took lots of pictures. And it was all very comfortable and relaxing. And right.
Besides, we weren’t sure when, or if we’d see each other again. Either I would be deemed a psycho by family and a threat to society, or she wouldn’t like me and say thanks for meeting me but no thanks. So we made the best of it. It was more than a first date though. It was as if we’d been dating for years, and we were just finally able to see each other again and needed to catch up on old times.
Later, her family came back and brought some left over foods for us to eat for dinner. We setup a picnic table and had the foods. I wondered if the food was safe.
It was getting dusk, and apparently she turns into a pumpkin or something and we had to part ways. We said our goodbyes, and I said goodbye to the family that would speak to me. Grandma would hardly look at me, even despite my attempts to wave good bye. I shacked up at a local hotel. The next day, since I wasn’t allowed to come to her house, we met at a local mall and we took off from there on another adventure. Mylene had been in the states for over a month now, within just a few miles of the ocean, and she had yet to go to the beach. So that was our first destination. Here’s Mylenes first US beach encounter.
Since she can’t swim, and I wasn’t dressed or ready to swim we skipped that part. Instead we spent a bit of time just looking, and then went back to the boardwalk for a tour of the shops. It was past lunch time and I was pretty hungry. We went to that Italian restaurant that I always seem to end up at. Even though the food is mediocre, overpriced and they don’t even serve sweet tea. The enjoyment of Giovanni’s.
Got back to the car and sat in the air condition for a while to talk and decide our next venture. We decided to go to the local botanical gardens that she had been at before. A 155 acre flower pot. Here, I broke out the video camera and my nicer Fuji. Mylene was happy to take charge of the visuals, which quite impressed me. We had a total of 4 cameras.
We sat on the grass beside this creek thing, careful to not sit in some geese goop. We talked about how the days had gone by, and if everything seemed to be ok. Everything seemed just fine to me. That’s when she asked me why I’m not her boyfriend. I don’t know, why aren’t I? I’m not exactly sure how the conversation went, but by the time we got up from our seating spot I had a new girlfriend.
We continued our walk, and found ourselves surrounded by roses. This was the most roses I had ever seen in my life. Especially all in one place. Here’s one also of my favorite tree, the weeping willow.
We found a hidden shack up in the trees. Like a tree house overlook thing. As we approached the steps, she instructed me to make a wish. I couldn’t figure out why exactly I needed to wish, but something about every time you reach a new set of stairs you wish for something.
We made it through the kids section, and on into the desert section. We saw this tent and wanted to see if we could get over to it. There was a stream, and a bridge that looked like it was broken that went over it. Mylene jumped across the gap first. Then I was trying to figure out what do with my bag when some kid came up, got on the broken bridge, and used the ropes to move the wooden platform from one side to the other.
Mylene found this tree and made the joke that this should be my own tree. I still have a few more years to go I think.
We continued our tour and walked into a huge open area with trees and grass. The path split in two directions. We were trying to find the butterfly building, and the sign in the middle of the path said Left, Butterfly Building. But it also said Right, Butterfly Building. I asked her which way she wanted to go. She said straight through. So that we did, and trampled all along the nicely manicured grass through the tree farm.
Found this artwork, and this guy is actually kinda scary. It was getting late and we had about worn ourselves out walking around. This metal butterfly was the best thing we could find.
It was super hot also and I was ready to get in some air condition. We found a tram stop and cheated back to towards the entrance snapping pictures on the way.
Oddly, the botanical gardens is RIGHT BESIDE the Norfolk International Airport. There is even a walkway to an overlook area. We contemplated that from here, one day soon, she would be leaving to go back to her home.
By this time, although she didn’t know it, I was about ready to fall out. I don’t remember the temperature but I was getting right sick. Her family was already calling asking where we were. They wanted to meet to pick Mylene up and all I wanted to do was pass out in some cool air. We got back to the car and I took a few advil. I had already decided where I wanted to go eat the night before. A sushi place nearby that was reviewed by everyone I could find to be the best sushi in virginia beach. I took Mylene to their meeting spot at some other mall and they asked what I was going to do. I said I guess I would go get some dinner. They offered for us to eat together, but they wanted to eat somewhere nearby, like mcdonalds or sonic. I declined the offer and said I hardly eat fast food, and that I really already had my choice made and was in the mood for some good sushi. She suggested another place to go so I caved in and we all met at Sakura for dinner. On the way Mylene hit her head on my car door as she opened it. They half joked that it was a good thing they saw her do that, or they would have thought I did it to her.
The dinner was ok, but I was expecting some knockout sushi and this sure wasn’t it. After dinner, I gave Mylene her present. She had mentioned to me that she used to play guitar back home and she would like to borrow one of mine while she was here so she could occupy some time. So I bought her a new acoustic guitar. They loaded it into their car, along with Mylene and took off. I went back to my hotel and passed out.
The next morning they wanted me to join them at church. I’m not a church going guy, but went anyway, mostly so I could see my new girlfriend again. Sorry, but apparently I didn’t take any pictures. So that was interesting itself. It’s a Catholic church, so stand up sit down kneel down stand up kneel sit kneel i had no idea what was going on. I grew up in southern baptist church where you sit and the only time you kneel is if you fall over from sleeping. After church we went to a Philippine cafe thing. Susan’s Kitchenette. You walked up and ordered what you wanted out of the display case. I didn’t know the names of this stuff, although I had seen it and had a lot of it before. So I left to Mylene to pick some good stuff for me.
Afterwards, it was about my time to head back home. They offered me to join them on a trip to the gravesite where her husband is buried. I didn’t want to impose on such a journey, but they insisted it would be ok. At least it would give me more time with Mylene. It was on my way home also, but quite a bit farther from virginia beach than I realized before hand. Neither of us knew where we were going, and we struggled to find the cemetery in the points of interest on the gps. But we eventually did find it and get on the way. During the journey we thought about ditching them and going elsewhere, but the gps took care of that itself not being clear about the direction of one of the highways. Another mishap happened when Mylene attempted to clean her and my hands with my sanitizer and ended up spilling near the entire contents of the huge bottle into her lap. Luckily it dried quick, otherwise it would have looked like she pissed herself, or worse.
So we sat out in the cemetery, and Mylene broke out the guitar. I showed her how to tune it and played a little bit while her aunt and grandma watched over the site.
Eventually I was allowed a picture with the family, perhaps they were warming up to me.
We left, and made one more stop at a gas station so I could fill up for the journey back home.
After this, we parted ways. We blew kisses at each other and smiled knowingly. I had met a great girl, and I hoped that she felt the same. I don’t remember any other first date to be as great as this one, and really felt something special with her. In fact, by this point, I already knew I loved her. But the complications of so many things clouded it all. We would just have to see what would happen next.
For Valentines Day, my plan was to write a story to put up here about how my wife and I met and our story so far. Doing so required me to have all our pictures online at my flickr, which I have now done. I have also started writing the story, however it is way longer than just a few paragraphs. So, I shall be releasing the story in installments. Sort of backlogging. Anyway, stay tuned and will have the first chapter up soon.
unusualsalmon: Greetings! I know this is hard to believe, but I’m you – from the future.
unusualsalmon: Your me from the future aren’t you?
radialmonster: I’m you from the past
radialmonster: Which is my now
unusualsalmon: that’s not what your original post said
unusualsalmon: ok so your me from the past
unusualsalmon: soo… if I give you some lottery numbers, then I will be instantly rich
radialmonster: No, you would have spent it all already
radialmonster: you should be more careful next time.
radialmonster: But at least you have a nice house to live in
unusualsalmon: OMG where did this rolex come from? It must have worked!
unusualsalmon: can you do me one thing back then to help me out now?
radialmonster: I can attempt
unusualsalmon: cool… go fuck yourself
radialmonster: and how would that help you now
radialmonster: hm i think we have both been duped
I was hoping to continue this strange conversation but apparently my random chat partner has already left
If you’re in for a laugh check out my own whootafied song versions of Let it Snow, and Winter Wonderland. If you like to read, also check out my adventure tale of an unnamed kid in The Christmas Boss, and read about Christmas Beginnings. The town of Franklinton asked to use my photo’s of the 2008 Christmas Parade on their website. You can check out all the pictures I have for past Christmas stuff on flickr.
So I found a recipe for ‘old fashioned tea cakes’. My grandma used to make these and everyone loved them. I still have a few stored away. Yes, they’re 15 years old or something but they still at least smell as good as new! Anyway, my attempt has twice now turned out marginally better than this guys:
A second attempt didnt prove any more useful. Until finally I ended up making a new type of cookie from another recipe which did end up turning out great. You can see the adventure on my cookie making flickr set.