In the spirit of sharing, I thought I'd include a cute thing Panda and I came across today as we were wandering the windy roads of Bel Air and driving up and down Mulholland Drive trying to find the best scenic overlooks.  The plane continued on to spell something like Mio, but we lost sight of it, so I never did figure it out.

As for my post-Valentine's Day report, all in all it was a most splendid day, starting at the painfully early hour of 8 and lasting until midnight.  We got a delicious dim sum brunch before wandering the roads and discovering some random places.  We hung out for a bit before heading out to Santa Monica, where we were going to have dinner.  At first we tried Benihana's, but the wait was two hours!  -___-  So, we went over to Buddha's Belly instead, where they told us it was a 45-minute wait, but we got seating in no more than 20.

I love that place because of its chocolate fondue dessert platter.  The food is always interesting and has a fresh taste I'm not used to, since it's an Asian fusion type of place.  They have the coolest plates and bowls too (and I, ever so easy to entertain, am immensely amused by this fact).  Following that, it was getting late, so we headed back towards campus to hang out some more.

In the morning, Panda had given me a card that I wanted to read when we had peace and quiet alone to enjoy.  So, sitting together at night, I opened the card and he read it to me.  It was seriously the most beautiful thing I've ever heard.  He had managed to find a card with a really long quote that described his feelings for me wonderfully.  Then, his message was so eloquent and heartfelt it made me cry (with joy, of course).  It was the best end to a spectacular day.

Now that I look at this picture, I realize I should have taken a panoramic picture to share the immensity of this valley.  This is the view from the Bel Air Presbyterian Church, looking out on the San Fernando Valley.

When I got home, I found an e-mail from Katana, outlining her contrasting experience: after painstakingly preparing gifts for her boyfriend to present today, she got the ultimate letdown when he didn't even remember the occasion.  It's a sad thing when one person cares so much and the other puts in no effort.  For such a memorable day, my Valentine's was nearly just as dismal.

You see, last weekend when I was visiting Panda, I tried casually asking him what he was doing this Saturday - he was headed home for the long weekend.  Crushed, we then spent the next hour or so talking about why I was upset with him.  It's not so much that I need to celebrate the holiday, but I did want to see him and it hurt when it seemed like he didn't even bother to think about it.  Had I not asked, I may very well have been alone today, moping at home.

So, though I had a fabulous time, it didn't come without a fight.  I often need to give Panda a little push (or big shove) in the right direction for him to get a clue as to what he's supposed to do.  No, I don't ask for gifts from him and yes, I pay for my own meals.  I'm not into material things; I much prefer his time and attention.  Then there are things like these where the consideration should at least be discussed, but he just doesn't seem to understand that it's important to me.  I mean, it is an internationally recognized holiday after all, whether you like to celebrate it or not.  Doesn't that at least deserve a mention?  Sometimes it amazes me how thick-headed guys can be.

I suppose this is something I should get used to, always throwing out clues and hinting about what he should be doing and resorting to outright telling him when he doesn't pick up on the signals.  Successful relationships need good communication and it seems that extra effort is needed when it comes to this particular area.  It just would be nice if he could figure it out on his own and surprise me (like he did with that card) a little more often.  Perhaps he'll learn with time...  When it comes down to it though, it's like he said - we will work together and work to understand each other.

 
 

Love it or hate it, Valentine's Day has arrived!  I'm stoked because this is my first time spending it with someone special.  Not that my friends aren't special and I didn't have fun going out with them, but... you know.  And though I'm not into the whole gift-giving thing (nor do I expect Panda to pay for my meals), I do like this holiday in the sense that it is supposed to be a celebration of love and loved ones.  Granted, this holiday has undergone a fair share of commercialization, but when it boils down to it, I hope people realize that it's really another time to appreciate the people you care about.  Would it hurt to do it in a cheesy, gaudy way occasionally?

Remember those cheap little cardboard Valentine's cards from elementary school?  As I a child I always made sure my mom got me more than enough, just in case...  I even spent time to decide which card design would best fit which friend as I gingerly traced out their names on the cards, hoping I didn't mess up.  There'd also be the lollipops or Sweetheart candies to distribute along with the little note.  Then came the day to bring your baggie to class and exchange them with your classmates (and just to be safe, you could give one to everyone in your class, whether you wanted to or not).  It was always fun to see what themes people chose and any special messages they may have written for you.  I secretly hoped that my crush would give me a unique card and use it to reveal his feelings for me, but alas, it never worked out.  So at the end of the day, you'd return home, baggie now filled with cards from your frinds and classmates.  At what age do you stop doing this?  I can't seem to remember, but I think it was 2nd or 4th grade for me.

More recently, I had celebrated by gathering with my single girlfriends to enjoy an evening together.  Here and there there'd be a guy on my mind who I was loosely interested in and reminded of as I watched lovers throughout the day.  It generally wasn't a big deal to me and I even spent the day taking three midterms last year!  To reward myself for that rough day, I went online and bought a longboard from Loaded.  Other times I was wrapped up in helping with fundraising events centered around the day with Valentine-grams and roses to deliver to students around campus.

This year, though, I am spending Valentine's Day with my sweetheart.  We don't have any fancy plans and I think we might even wander around Costco, just because he has not gone in years and it's one of those things we've been meaning to do.  Whatever we do end up doing, all I care about is that I get to spend the whole day with him.  And that is what counts.  :)

So no matter what plans you may or may not have for the day, just remember the loved ones who surround your life.  And why not play, "Single Ladies" and get your groove on too?  ;)