2015: Year of the Sheep
and the Golden State Warriors
- Level: 32
- Completed Stages: Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia, Taiwan (with brief visits to Austria and Norway)
- Tagline: It’s weird to know the exact hairstyle I will have for the rest of my life.
2015 felt like it passed by so fast — that can only mean that it was a blast, right? I don’t quite remember what my resolutions were, but I think they involved being healthy and trying new things. I’ve decided to start writing an annual post to capture the highlights of the prior year because it’s important to document fun times and personal growth (but mostly because I’m too lazy to keep a journal).
The year started out strong with Albert’s bachelor party in Sonoma where we got to race Audis (TT’s and S5's) on the Sonoma Raceway. Being the safe Asian driver that I am, it took me a while to loosen up my death grip and adjust to flooring the car, accelerating through the apex, and making sharp turns that kept my neck pinned down. Next to skydiving, driving on a race track was the biggest adrenaline rush I’ve ever had. I remember at one point I almost flipped the car while Brian was sitting in the passenger seat…he was completely silent for the rest of the lap.
The actual wedding was something else. After the ceremony, 50 of us hopped on a plane to Vegas for the reception. That was fun.
I held a 2-week old baby for the first time in my life, Liam AKA Mister Baby. It’s really strange to hold a human being as small as a burrito. Good job Missy+KC in creating such a cute little man. I still think he has a chance to be the next Gerber baby…it’s not too late.
In 2015 I noticed that I could no longer play basketball regularly as my knees would always swell up after games. It was the first time I felt like I couldn’t do something I enjoyed due to my physical ability. I know it’s part of getting older, but I think a lot of it had to do with how much weight I gained in my 20’s and my lack of flexibility. In fact, I had been trying to cut weight for the past few years, but made little progress. Weight lifting and cardio were not giving me the results I wanted so I started doing yoga, cooking, but most importantly — cut out late night eating. Over the course of the year I slimmed down from 230 to 215.
Pat gave our apartment her Nomiku, which made me realize I had the ability to make some really tasty dishes at home. I also started to use the slow cooker Missy gave me for my birthday to make soups and short ribs. This year I plan on learning some of my mom’s and grandma’s signature dishes.
I visited Seattle for the first time. It’s a beautiful city, and it didn’t rain at all during my visit. I’m convinced people that live in Seattle just tell everyone else that the weather is horrible so they can keep it all to themselves. Annie was an amazing host. We explored the Olympic Sculpture Park, Pike Place, Asian Art Museum, and some really cool bars and restaurants around Capitol Hill. I still have Revel bookmarked in Yelp, definitely one of my top 3 meals of the year. We also got to check out a dive bar that Shawn Kemp owned (sadly he wasn’t there).
We started a clothing brand called VILLIENS. It was fun experience working with good friends on something that I had never done before. Between Brian, Jordan, Justin, Kim, Jason, and I — we spent lots of time on brainstorming, sketching, pinterest-boarding, branding, and arguing. We ultimately put things on hold, but hopefully Jordan and Jason pick this up again this year. I really liked how the shirts turned out.
Alix moved away from SF this past year. I’m sad we didn’t get a chance to hang out more when she lived here. I thought Bernal Heights was far, but it’s a lot closer than Scottsdale. I realize I need to make more of an effort to stay in touch with friends and family, so I’m going to take more trips to visit them this year. We took a trip to Alcatraz amongst a sea of tourists (the tour guide confirmed we were the only non-tourists out of ~50 people). I still can’t believe a place like Alcatraz existed. Interesting fact: every New Year’s Eve, the inmates would sit next to their cell windows because they could hear all the laughter and dancing coming from City. Creepy and sad.
I went to 2 playoff games and one finals game (very expensive but totally worth it) and THE WARRIORS WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP! I’m still not used to seeing the Warriors play such beautiful team basketball because of the years of abuse I endured over the last 15 years. I had seen so many 4th quarter meltdowns that I felt they would never regain my trust. Although I did go to that one Playoff game in ’07 where Baron Davis did this to AK47:
I had never enjoyed watching basketball as much as I did in 2015. Just watching all the things that Steph is doing is absolutely absurd. To witness the best shooter that’s ever played the game win the championship for your home team for a sport that you’ve loved since you were a kid, it doesn’t get any better. This is what we’ll be telling our kids and grandkids about when we’re old.
The trip I took in the summer was unexpected and will always be special to me. We spent the first 10 days traveling through Austria, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia. I went into the trip only knowing Ryan and Brett, but made some great friends in every country we visited. It made such a difference having locals show us around, and I’m thankful to the special people that were went out of their way to do so.
The second part of the trip — Yacht Week. All I can say is that I’ve never partied so hard and been more sleep deprived as the week I spent on a catamaran in Croatia with 12 other people from all over the world. Beautiful sunsets, groovy tunes, and a lot of sun.
B’s been talking about getting a Frenchie for as long as I’ve known her. Driving up to Yolo County with her and Kristina to pick up Ronan made my heart melt. Now Ro and Bo just prance around the streets of SF stopping everyone in their tracks. The two pups have completely opposite personalities, but are the best bradhers.
We lost Uncle Stanley this year. It wasn’t until I talked to Dianna, that I realized how big of a role he played in my childhood. I moved to the States when I was 5, and with my Dad being in Taiwan, my initial impressions of American culture came from Uncle Stanley. He’s a big reason why I love basketball and the Warriors..and scream at the TV when watching games. Why I’ve seen each Back to the Future movie 20 times and occasionally whistle the theme song to Beverly Hills Cop. My Dad showed me this photo of him with my Mom when she first moved to the US. It’s how I’ll always remember him.
I also got to meet Mateo for the first time. Dianna’s family is getting big — I still can’t get over how cute the kids are. Good genes.
I almost didn’t make the trip out to Taiwan with my closest friends in December. Part of me didn’t feel like going back because I was on the path of pushing myself to go new places and try new things. Then I realized that the Ma’s, Jason, and I all have family there, and for Kim and Sophia — it would be their first time. There’s no way I could miss that. I’m really glad I made the trip, it was the most fun I’ve had out of the 20+ times I’ve been back.
We took the gondola up into the mountains where my Dad went to college and tried some amazing street food. At the very top was a small little village that reminded me of summers I spent staying with my grandparents up in the mountains. It was really nice spending time not only with my family, but the Ma family as well. One thing I realized is that as much as you are your own person and are influenced by your friends and surroundings — the values passed on to you by your parents will always be there. Things like filial piety, filling each other’s tea/beer, tolerance for stinky tofu, ball is life, and staying home to keep PoPo company. So Taiwanese.
I commissioned Justin to draw this awesome pic of Andre Agassi in his prime to gift to my Dad. We used to watch all of his games together.
I really didn’t expect this to be such a long post, but 2015 was a good year. Looking forward to 2016.