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January 1st has always been a busy day for me. It is my grandma's birthday. It is my father's birthday. There is the coming down from Christmas. There is the New Year's celebration with friends and family. There are the New Year realizations that you come to with your self (I've made it to the next year, I'm still alive and well). And for the past two years, it's been the anniversary date with my girlfriend (her time zone). But this year wasn't so busy. Everyone decided to celebrate my grandma's birthday on the 30th this year. For a ninety seven year old what difference does a few days make. Actually, maybe it makes all the difference in the world, some many things can change just within a few days - my grandma's sudden collapse while praying at a Vietnamese monastery in San Jose two weeks ago, the paramedics parting through the crowd to carry her out, the drive from MacLaughlin Avenue to the hospital, and the doctor telling my cousin there was almost no chance that my grandma would make it to January 1st. Every year, we decide to have a Chinese banquet in San Jose. Looking back at the photos, it's not hard to find those who didn't attend. Still, most do attend. This year, we had a potluck at my Uncle's house in Roseville (where my grandma lives). Everyone came this time. I spent most of my time on the sofa playing with Chico, the white German Spitz and talking to my cousin about jobs. My grandma was surrounded by the older aunties and uncles and when she wasn't, she was mobbed by all the young ones. I guess I would have to wait my turn. My mom and aunties made papaya and shrimp salad, egg rolls, fried rice, shark fin and crab soup, many different styles of fried noodles and my uncle grilled shrimp and steaks in the backyard. I spent time catching up with everyone who I had not seen since my grandma's birthday banquest last year. Jimmy and Diana showed up later with the custom cake that they had ordered in San Jose. They drove really slow because the they wouldn't to damage the cake in the back seat. "It was so cold, but we couldn't turn on the heater because we were afraid that it would melt a little," Diana said. Her birthday cake said ninety two, though she has been ninety two for the past five years. During family photos, Oceanna, the youngest granddaughter, rearranged the numbered candles to twenty nine. My grandma smiled like a little girl as each family took their turns standing next to her for photos. She wore a thick read silk embrodiered jacket and cap, the kind that most traditional Chinese grandmothers wear during the Winter. "The 'smile lines' on her face are endless," I said to Diana. "I know!" At the end of the day, my grandma went back to her room as my uncle saw everyone off. She sat on the bed and looked at her slippers and legs. I think it was first and only time that I ever saw my grandma look sad. Her gummy smile was endless, but I wouldn't have known from looking at her sitting on her bed right then. I walked to her bedside and hugged her. That night, my dad told came into my room while and asked me to pick a restaurant. "Should we go to New Canton," he asked. My family always goes to New Canton, "How about something different," I said. "I think I know a place, it just opened," he said. He walked back to his room. I went to find my brothers and remind them that it was our dad's birthday dinner tomorrow. "Isn't dad's birthday on the 1st?" they asked. "Yeah, but he think it's better to celebrate on Monday instead. He just wants to rest on Tuesday and not do anything." I said. On Monday night, we went to New Lai Wah. It was actually an old place that the owner of New Canton had taken over, remodeled, renamed, and restaffed. While we were looking for parking my dad kept repeating to my mom, "Remember when we came here when it was still the old place, it was terrible." "Your'e getting old. You're starting to repeat yourself," my mom said. At every Chinese resturant that we have ever been to, my dad always orders a set dinner. The kind that always includes some kind of soup, steamed fish, fried prawns, some kind of pork ribs, crab with garlic and ginger, crispy fried chicken, things like that. Even on holidays. He's also very controlling when it comes to commanding the menu at the table. But this year, he relaxed, we even got abalone and lobster. CCTV 9 was showing on the resturant TV and we were watching a replay of the New Year's celebration from mainland China. It was a ballroom dance with people dressed in Victorian era clothes. "It's so Colonial," my dad said. "Can't you be quiet," my mom said. One thing that my dad always does that annoys me is that he always tries to speak to the waiters in Cantonese. Because his Cantonese is worse than mine, it leads to waiters being confused and the people at the table feeling embarassed. When the waiter came over with a8/365 He always brings out the worst in me...
Ron: [sitting bolt upright in bed] Spiders... the spiders... they want me to tap-dance. And I don't want to tap-dance! Harry: You tell those spiders, Ron. Ron: Yeah, tell them... I'll tell them... [falls straight back asleep] Yes! I had to start with a Harry Potter quote. It makes me feel better. I woke up in tears this morning…literally Im not joking. The dream I had got me so mad that my body was reacting to it. :/ So I woke up took my 365 shot and started writing this. I know myself and if I don’t vent it out it’s going to affect me for the rest of the day. The dream was pretty short and pretty quick. I was in my dad’s apartment. It was like if we had never moved. My mom was in her pj’s and I had a bunch of my friends in the living room. It was weird though some of my friends were people I once knew and don’t talk to or barely talk to anymore. My most important people were there though this is when the drama sets off. Both my best friends were there. Steven was sitting on the couch and Ingrid and I were on my computer reading something on the floor. Ismael was sitting on the small couch and screaming with 5 of my other guy friends. (o.O) I can’t remember what movie we were watching or if it was a game or something but … o.O. Then Alan, Benny and Jesus come through the door with food and everyone just starts moving around except for Steven who hasn’t said a word (and yes that’s out of the ordinary knowing him he would have been crackin some cheesy jokes on whatever was on TV). This is when it start’s getting weird. My dad walks in like he usually does looking distort and he steps on my ipod and I heard it crack. Now that I think about it I shouldn’t have gotten that mad about that since my ipod is messed up (keep in mind that its signed by Johnny Depp too!) but it didn’t matter to me in the dream I was furious. I literally looked like I was about destroy him…and I was. I got up but I didn’t say anything he just walked away like it was nothing. The lights got pretty dark after that. Everyone in my dream was just behaving as if nothing happened except for my mom and my sister who were trying to calm me down. He started yelling things in Spanish from his room. Then my mom kept saying the same thing in Spanish “He’s going to hurt him! He’s going to hurt him!” This part went way too fast. I couldn’t process what my mom was saying till I saw my dad peek through the hallway staring directly as Steven. He came out and started yelling at him then Steven stopped being a zombie and was about to punch my dad in the face. This part went in slow mo. The started getting closer but before my dad could land the first hit I kicked the back of his knee and he bent backwards and hit the back of his neck on the table. (O.O) Steven sat back down and kept watching TV and everyone else didn’t even notice. My sister helped me drag my dad into the bathroom. The bathtub was half full of water (I have no idea why) and so we threw him in there. I didn’t know if he was dead but I felt like I knew he was unconscious. The water wasn’t high enough for him to drown but just low enough so his head was floating. I left the bathroom and started making my way back to the living room from the hall way but I couldn’t get back everything turned black and I was still furious. I kept walking in the dark until I woke up. I think the answer to why I got so mad can be found in the symbolism of the things that were put in danger. I have this HUGE problem with feeling like things are disposable, which is why I keep the people and things I love so close to me. Both my best friends and loads of my other friends are always recurring characters in my dreams but this is the first time any of them have been put in actual danger of some sort. Usually it’s just me. I know later on in life I’m going to have to deal with it when it comes to funerals and things of the loosing nature but I hate thinking that some altercation like that can lead me to loosing one of my best friends. (Enter emotional Abbey Stage right) I mean my subconscious just proved that I would kill my own father for one of my best friends. I hate my dad anyway but…geesh. I don’t know. Hopefully venting will help me escape from these thoughts for a while. And to all my friends who are reading this…I love you and you better not forget.
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