Posted by: ayakoaya | November 4, 2008

It’s Almost Over! Election: 2008 (Go Vote!)

For the first time in my life, I actually found a presidential candidate to cheer for. In the past, it seemed I was picking anyone but Bush! But this year was different. Barack Obama caught my attention before I knew who he was as I flipped through the channels in December 2007, and heard him speak for the first time.

Through the beginning of 2008 I watched and listened to the Democratic debates and mud slinging. I signed up to vote in the Hawaii Democratic caucus and became a card-carrying democrat. I stood in the long line which winded through the Waena Elementary school grounds, and I couldn’t keep from beaming with excitement at all the other people waiting anxiously in line to cast their votes for Obama. The scant showings of Hillary supporters were less animated, as the rest of us stood proudly with our Obama stickers and buttons which the brilliant campaigners had taken the time to canvas the crowd with. It struck me then that Hawaii was really going to stand behind Barack, and I was proud of us. Proud, because Hawaii let me down when it voted “Yes” to: “Save traditional marriage” and deny same-sex marriage rights to homosexuals in 1998. That disappointed me to no end, and still does. So, I honestly thought Hawaii might not be ready for a Black president (even if he does have Hawaii roots), until I went to the caucus and voted. Then I realized they were more than all right with Barack.

After reading hundreds of news articles, watching debates, and just observing the candidates, I knew I didn’t want Hillary. I would have voted for her if she won, but I wouldn’t have been excited about it the way I am today.

People criticize Barack for being a “celebrity” but he’s got style and substance. And I feel like I trust the man a whole lot more than the GOP. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, and this is just mine.

Mccain, I’d heard of long before this election — through the Keating 5 scandal. So, I already had bad thoughts about the guy. However, watching and listening to Palin and the supporters at some of those rallies… it was too spooky. They obviously had no real issues to stand on since all they could think to do with their campaign was resort to name-calling, and fear-mongering.

Then there were the three presidential debates and the Biden / Palin Vice Presidential debates… I felt the democrats won all their debates, hands-down. And there were hundreds more news articles I pored through but nothing changed my mind about who to vote for – despite all the smears.

Every day, I’d go to Google news and search for the latest on all the candidates, reading positives and negatives about all of them. Once this election is over, I don’t know what will hold my interest as much as this election has! I’ve been excited by the election process itself!

November 4, 2008, is going to be one hell of a day, whether or not your candidate wins. I won’t lie to you, I’ll be incredibly bummed if Mccain wins. I’m hoping Obama wins. I’m gonna be glued to the Internet news and radio all day at work!! Even if you disagree with me, Go Vote! And have fun doing it. 😀

Posted by: ayakoaya | July 22, 2008

After the Laparoscopy

There were pains in the weeks following my laparoscopy that I didn’t expect. Extremely sore gas pains which kept me indoors for a few days, and my bladder felt a weird pressure, and they said these were just post-operative pains, and to call if I got a fever, or nausea, or couldn’t eat. But none of those symptoms developed. Just the pain. If you experience those kinds of pains, I was told to walk – as painful as it was. I also took gas-x, which can break up the gas before it enters your intestines… but once it gets into the intestines, the doctor was telling me the only way for the pain to go away was for it to pass through on its own. If you ever, in your life, experience the pain I was feeling, I think you’d be shocked. It was more uncomfortable and painful than the first few days home from surgery.

I haven’t updated for a while about the status on my laparoscopy and what the doctor who performed the surgery told me. I had an appointment with him on July 10th, and he said I had a “bad” case of endometriosis. Some women end up having to have the laparoscopic procedure done multiple times, and apparently, he feels I am in that category where they’ll have to monitor me and see if it comes back. I have to go see him again in August before he releases me to my gyn.

Apparently the tissue growth was pretty wide-spread, and he showed me a handful of photos they took of my insides. There was a big nodule in there, and one of my fallopian tubes was actually being held to itself by the tissue and he had to free it. On the other side, he showed me my ovary was wrinkled, and not smooth– meaning the eggs were dying. In other words, if I want a child I should really think about it happening sooner than later since I will probably have a hard time conceiving.

I didn’t feel like posting this. I still don’t know if I feel comfortable, but remember reading other women’s blogs when I was wondering what the hell was going to happen, and how grateful I was they posted theirs so… here it is.

The day he told me my eggs were dying, I teared up a little bit in the car after the appointment; because it wasn’t the news I was expecting. And I didn’t know what to think about having a small window of opportunity for a child. And I didn’t know what to do or think about all of it (I still kinda don’t) BUT… I’m just gonna deal with things as they come.

I am nowhere near being married so I’m not thinking of having a child right NOW. I had always pictured myself having a kid at age 40, like my mom did… and never really knew for sure if I even would have a child one day… Of course people have told me about adoption… and hey, if I meet the right person and still am able to, I can try to have kids. So, I know the news could have been worse. Granted, it was not good news… but could have been much worse.

The doctor cleared me to go running and to lift heavy things as much as i felt comfortable, just 10 days after surgery. I didn’t try running until this past Sunday, however.. 19 days after surgery. I only ran 3 miles, and it felt like I ran super far. (I had been running 6 – 10 miles before the surgery).

In the end, I am thankful the news wasn’t worse. I’ll deal with things as I need to… and am not going to stress the stuff i can’t do anything about. I’m getting better, and feeling more normal, though I did catch a cold just yesterday… and I felt a little pain in some of the incisions after my 3 mile run on Sunday… but I’m OK overall. And, I’ve got Chris Rock tickets!!!!

Posted by: ayakoaya | June 25, 2008

My First Surgery: Laparoscopy for Endometriosis

I went to the doctor’s office yesterday for my pre-op appointment. I have endometriosis, according to Dr. Chun. Unlike the appointment where he diagnosed it, it was more tense since I had to sign the consent form. His attitude the first time, was that this is a minor surgery with nothing to worry about. This time he had to mention risks, and said I could die… but also that I could die every time I get behind the wheel of a car. It felt scary to see risks on the consent form like: damage to nerves, bowel, bladder, uterus, and any adjacent organs…

Reading the risks on the form had me worried, and he examined me one more time and said since I seem to feel the pain from his examination, it’s probably bad. He couldn’t answer a lot of my questions exactly since he kept saying that it would depend on how bad it is when he goes in. So, last appointment I had the relief of hearing someone say it was endometriosis and not possibly cancer, and also say: “you scared? no need to be scared, minor surgers”… so I was surprised to hear it might be “bad” when he goes in.

I was training for my first marathon, but am not as sure it will happen this year since he wasn’t sure how long I won’t be able to run, and shin splints slowed down my training in the beginning. I only just recently started running up to 6 miles… and now I’ll have to take a break when the surgery happens. He can’t say how long cause it’ll depend on how the surgery goes and what they find.

I don’t experience any pain during my periods and didn’t realize anything was wrong with me, so I’m not super eager to have this procedure done – but I guess it has to be since he says it will only grow inside me. I hear he’s a good doctor, so I’ve got to believe in him and hope for the best.

On another tangent:
I can’t say I’ve had pleasant interactions with his nurse on the phone. Her bedside manner is not soothing in any way. I told her it felt like she cut me off on the phone when I started to ask any questions, and she said: “We never discourage questions.” Funny how that never comes across when speaking to her and she always comes across as rude. But maybe she doesn’t mean to be. I don’t know. I can’t say, but it’s bummed me out when dealing with the office that I always had to go through her directly, cause she has not been pleasant, but rather condescending each time I’ve had to speak to her. Even the other doctor’s offices they referred me out to both seemed to have a hard time since she never sent them any info about me. One surgeon who had to clear me asked: Are you here for me to do your surgery? And I had to explain to him that he was clearing me for Dr. Chun to do surgery. And my primary care physician’s office was like: they have to send us something, please call them and ask if they’ll send us some forms – but Dr. Chun’s nurse told me just to ask them to write a memo clearing me for surgery because i had asthma in my younger days and she wouldn’t send them anything. So I had to call the PCP nurse back and tell her and she was like: “What!? What’s her name? I’ll call her. We can’t just do stuff without some kind of form or something from their office.” But yeah, it’s been stressful managing the whole thing and dealing with people who don’t seem to like their job or working with patients.

Dr. Chun seems nice enough. And I wish I could switch to him from my current gyn since she is so far from town and seemed to make me have to deal with more than i needed to instead of referring me out earlier. But when I asked him he said he couldn’t become my doctor since she referred me, that she was my doctor

No matter what happens, I need to switch doctors cause I want one in town and one who has better exam hours so I don’t have to miss so much work.

Posted by: ayakoaya | May 9, 2008

Why You Perhaps Shouldn’t Install Windows XP SP3

It’s not new news, most assuredly, but feedback for the XP SP3 patch has not been favorable.

Yesterday I installed SP3 for the first time on a brand new computer from Dell (Optiplex 330, core 2 duo), and Windows updates no longer worked. I had to manually try installing IE7, and could do that, but not through Windows update. Also, when installing other 3rd party applications, there were problems with them failing out, and various hiccups which made me decide to scrap it.

I’m just wiping it clean.

I shoulda checked the forums first. My bad. Though there are people coming out saying nothing bad has happened to them, so I guess it only got some and I was unlucky.

Here’s a forum with some complaints about the upgrade.

Posted by: ayakoaya | April 28, 2008

Hoping to Get Lucky on My First Adult Trip to Vegas

Vegas baby! I haven’t been there since I was 12 years old… can you believe that? Especially considering the fact I’m from Hawaii. Here, everyone goes to Vegas. Many go more than once a year. The package deals are just so damned reasonable.

I’ve worked since I was 16 years old and never took a vacation outside of Hawaii because of the cost. I feel content just staying home from work. I live in paradise, and I love cruising with friends, so it’s never seemed lacking.

But this year I realized I should go someplace since I’m finally debt-free, and also because my mom was diagnosed with cancer last year and I want to spend more time with her. And it’s Vegas!!

Of course I have the dream that I will pull on the handle of the slot machine that gives me the jackpot of a lifetime … and then I come back home and quit my job, and buy my mom, sister, and closest friends some cool shit and bum around while trying to figure out how to invest the cash so I never have to work again. Real estate might be a good investment here in Hawaii… It really is a buyer’s market right now, but sheesh. I can’t afford anything!

If anyone has suggestions on shows, or sights, or casinos me and my mom should check out, please comment! We don’t leave until August. Hopefully even if i have to get surgery, it’ll be healed by then and I’ll be ready to experience Vegas for the first time as an adult. I’ve heard you get the “virgin luck” when you go to Vegas your first time. I sure hope I get lucky!!!

More than anything though, I hope my mom has fun. She’s been really worried about her mortality. This is the first time she and I will go on a trip together in over 10 years. I hope we both are healthy enough to go, and again, all that really matters is that she has a good time.

Posted by: ayakoaya | April 14, 2008

My First Marathon?

Will 2008 be the year I finally run a marathon? Perhaps.

I’ve never run the marathon before and am not the greatest runner. This year was the first time I ever participated in any kind of run or stuck to running 3 times a week on a regular basis. I started with the Great Aloha Run, and the Ford Island Bridge Run. Next up is the 2008 Pineapple Run happening on May 10th. I was trying to run last year, but my mom was in the hospital for a couple of months, and between work and visiting her I had no time for it.

The marathon has always intrigued me since running was always a super difficult task for me. When I was in Basic training, it was the toughest part. Running kicked my ass. It still does. What kind of sucks is, i might have to have surgery this year even though… for the first time in my life… I finally started getting serious about running. I found this out in march. I have an appointment for a second opinion, but I think they’re going to tell me to get surgery.

In any event, I’ve been training, so hopefully I can still do it. I am a beginner runner, however. The farthest I ever ran is 8 miles so far. So, I’m not even 100% sure I can do the marathon but I asked my boss if I could have that date off, and am pretty determined to do it if possible. It’s just bad timing. I might have a condition called endometriosis, where the endometrium lining found in the womb, also starts growing outside of the womb. I don’t feel any pain, but catscans and ultrasounds don’t show the affected area, so no one knows for sure what it is that my current gynecologist is feeling when she does the pelvic exam. My mom had chemo last year for Ovarian cancer, so… they can’t rule out cancer in my case. She was in the hospital in April 2007, and had treatments through October 2007.

I have to go see Dr. Benton Chun in May for a second opinion. My current gynecologist doesn’t know what else to do since she doesn’t do surgery anymore and she can’t see it from catscan, ultrasound, and MRI. She can’t do anything more for me, she said, so she’s referring me to him.

I’m really impressed and proud of my mom who held up so well through all the treatments, and having her hair fall out – then start to grow back, and everything. She is a tough lady, and had another setback this year by having to have surgery on her shoulder for arthritis. She’s recovering now, and anxious to heal so she can finally feel like she’s free from medical setbacks.

Hopefully she has beaten the cancer, and I can still run my first marathon in 2008…

Posted by: ayakoaya | March 8, 2008

Deconstructing the High School Crush

Someone from high school looked me up online. We did talk back in school and i was always a bit awkward around him since he 1) played guitar, 2) was really artistic, and 3) was really cute. my friends would get giggly around him. he always made strange comments that made me laugh. If he’d asked me to go out back then i would have been happy. We graduated and i never thought much of him since. He was just a cool guy from school, but not a close friend. but cool.

This year he found my facebook account. We met and had dinner, and he’s still funny and going to be a dentist as soon as he gets certified since he got his d.d.s. and is anxious to get licensed. since dinner, we’ve spoken once on the phone and i dragged him to the book store last weekend since he says he doesn’t do much and his schedule is wide-open.

Initially, I was giddy, and crushing on him but it’s sort of been dying down. He surprised me by telling me he was depressed. Not just about any particular thing, but that he has suffered from depression. It wasn’t the depression that caused my crush to quell – he’d told me about it the first time we hung out, after dinner. I think it’s because it feels fleeting. Like he and i won’t be in the same place long. He told me he doesn’t want to live in hawaii and i can’t see myself leaving anytime soon, or moving to the same place as him.

I wish I could help him but I don’t quite understand how people with depression deal with it. The main thing i figure i can do is be a good friend to him. We are both aquarians. My birthday is January 29th, and his b-day is february 10th. We get along surprisingly well and it was instantly easy to talk to him though it’d been over 10 years since we’d seen each other.

I feel like we have some kind of connection, though i don’t know what it is. We aren’t exactly friends yet, since we’ve only started conversing a couple of weeks ago, and only hung out twice. I wasn’t sure if our first time going out to dinner was a date or not. And I didn’t know if the long, awkward pause as we said goodbye at the end of that night meant he was considering whether or not to kiss me? Or if he purely thinks of me as a friend. He says he hangs out with no one. He went away to school and came back and no one was left. He’s also very quiet and says he doesn’t speak to people, so he hasn’t made friends. He’s never mentioned his depression to his family, but he thinks they know.

Last night i was sad to hear he may move away, but also relieved. i don’t know why. i guess because my life feels really full right now with all my activities, it’s oddly like i have little room for new people.

I wish the best for him. It feels like we might not see each other for many years again. I don’t know if I’m imagining it, but I think we have a connection of some kind. I just don’t quite know what it is. I mean to say – it’s not romantic at all, and it’s not quite a friendship… so I don’t quite know how to label our relationship. I guess we’re just aquaintances. I’m ok with it if we don’t talk for a long time, or even if we never meet again. it’s weird.

Maybe it’s because he’s someone from the past… but he made me feel nostalgic. I was reminded that I used to play guitar and want to play again. I started remembering how much I used to want to travel when I was younger. Since I’ve been working, I’ve never flown anywhere for vacation. I just stay home from work. In my defense, I do live in paradise… but still…

The sad part is we’re both kinda dreamy people who took very analytical jobs with little room for creativity. We both don’t sound super happy about our career choices, but are determined to make them work, and then do what we really want later in life. Hopefully we both end up OK. I have a sort of bittersweet feeling I’ll never know how he ends up, but in the end it is probably OK with me. I don’t think we’re soul-mates, though there is definitely some weird ability to be open with each other, and I care a lot for him as a person though we haven’t been speaking long. I feel connected and detatched at the same time. I wish the best for him and hope one day he feels happy. I don’t understand how I feel, but it’s somehow OK.

And the crush, as short-lived and fleeting as it was seems completely gone.

Posted by: ayakoaya | February 5, 2008

Dr. Strangelove – We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn

Tonight, I was inspired to track down the song “We’ll Meet Again” which was played in the final scenes of Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”

I found it on Amazon.com thanks to a customer review I found here. It’s on a compilation called “Fabulous Fifties Divas Sing Their Hard-To-Find Hits” from Hit Parade records, 2006.

There is a compilation called “Dr. Strangelove: Music From The Films Of Stanley Kubrick (Film Score Anthology)” but a huge gripe on Amazon.com is that the version of “We’ll Meet Again” is not the same version as in the movie.

If you go to the iTunes site you won’t find the film-version of the song (as of today’s posting). I listened to the different versions of the track done by Vera Lynn on iTunes, but they all sounded different from the film, and from the snippets I could tell they wouldn’t be as good or satisfying to listen to. The film’s version is beautifully done and fits the movie so well…

If you haven’t seen Dr. Strangelove yet, and plan to, you may not want to watch the linked youtube video below:

Posted by: ayakoaya | February 5, 2008

the woman exam: 2008

I hate going to the gynecologist. I know it’s a necessity, but I don’t like going. This year I scheduled it for the day after my birthday – January 30th.

And this year, I bled when she took my pap – – which is not normal. And it’s not something that’s ever happened to me before. She said when someone bleeds on the pap smear test they automatically perform an additional test. So they procedurally sent in 1 sample for the pap, and another sample to test for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
Aside from the blood during the pap test, she felt something she didn’t like when she was reaching around in my insides. Since my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer recently, my doctor is concerned about me. They want to see my ovaries better and rule out anything cancerous. I have an appointment in late-February for an ultrasound so they can peek at my ovaries, and I have to go to another follow-up exam with her to see if there’s anything I should or shouldn’t worry about. If the ultrasound doesn’t show her enough, she said I may have to do a CAT scan.

I had to go to work immediately after the exam and felt terrible and pretty scared for a few hours, but had to suck it up and work through it, and let the anxiety quell. The STD test came back negative like I’d figured it would, but I wonder why I bled and will deal with the results of my follow-up exam when it comes. Hopefully it’s nothing.

Posted by: ayakoaya | January 13, 2008

Sunday the 13th, 2008

Happy New Year! It’s been a while since my last post, and I skipped the holidays, unlike last year. It’s now 13 days into the new year and it’s been OK so far.

The guy I was dating, who later became my boyfriend in August 2007… is no longer my boyfriend – but we’re still dating. We still hang out but things would get difficult and somehow I think I know that we don’t have a great chance of ending up together in holy matrimony. It’s a feeling, I guess. Though nothing is absolute until it happens… or doesn’t.

Here is what went down (more or less) today – Sunday, January 13th, 2008.

Woke up at 5:20 AM
Participated in the Great Aloha Run running clinic where we ran 6 miles, and it was my first time moving up to the run / walk group that runs one minute, then walks one minute. It’s been a long time since I ran 6 miles, and I was surprisingly not winded, so I might move up to the running group within the next couple of sessions.

11:45 AM – Kapolei Subway: Had one of the worst-ever customer service experiences in there where a woman was trying to overcharge me, and wouldn’t even look at the huge sign on the wall behind her until I pointed at it and said – it’s on the sign right there… and then she sauntered over to it, and said “must be new” and that was it. No apologies, nothing. And she was the manager. And she’d just messed up the order before us by giving the wrong sandwich to the lady in front of me, and the guy before her… and then she proceeded to start arguing with the next set of customers while we were finishing our meal. She’s gotta be related to someone cause there’s no other way she should be managing anything.

12:30 – Went to see Juno at Kapolei theaters with the guy I’m dating. It was kinda a disappointment since there was all this buzz about it. On NetFlix i’d give it 3 stars… or a little less, actually… but enough to round-up to a 3 since they don’t let you leave portions of a star in your rating. (I think it was a 2.8 or 2.9 actually).

14:30 – Famous Footwear in Waikele. I went to try and find a replacement pair of running shoes but they didn’t have my size. Decided to try sticking with the recent pair I got. This morning when I got home I noticed my right toe – the 2nd toe.. the nail on it was pretty sore when I touched it so my shoes might be too tight. Not sure. My left foot’s fine though. These shoes cost me $100 and I rarely spend that much on anything, so I’m thinking I’ll try it another weekend. (I cut my toenails really short to be sure).

16:45 – in the car, on the phone, on the way to see my friend. My best friend, who is also my ex-boyfriend- and we aren’t dating. We’re both hip hop djs in our spare time, and both get along really well and make best friends… but after 3 years of going out we broke up about 3 years ago and I don’t know that we would ever get back together. But it’s cool and no stress, and we just cruise and do simple stuff for fun like go walking around and taking pictures of stuff, or walking through Don Quijote store. Nope – I didn’t spell that wrong – it’s a japan store which was formerly Daiei, and formerly Holiday Mart, but now calledDon Quijote. The Kaheka street location has the best alcohol selection of any grocery store I’ve been in here on Oahu. But hit me up with a comment if you know a place better! ha ha! Though my drinking days have been over a while

17:00 – Arrive at my best friend’s house and cruise with the bunnies. One belonged to me and he agreed to take her in when I was having a hard time with college and keeping up with her. Living in central Oahu makes commuting super difficult for college students. Not near as difficult as it must be for West-siders, and North Shore people though. The second bunny was purchased since I had originally gave him 2 bunnies to watch, but one passed away and the other seemed very lonely. Rabbits are very social creatures and she’s bonded to the new bunny even stronger than the last one. I’ve loved rabbits since I was a kid. They are the pet of choice for me.

17:30 – Cruise. We drive around Waialae, Kaimuki, Kahala, Diamond Head, and just look at the houses and talk about whatevers. We don’t know where to go and don’t mind cruising. Cause that’s what we do sometimes. We decide to eat at St. Louis Drive-In. We both order the Autumn special (BBQ Cheeseburger deluxe, fries, and large cokes).

19:00 – The Amazing Race is on TV and we arrived with the food in time to watch it. I like TK and Rachel, and Christina and Ron. I think ultimately I want TK and Rachel to win. I was glad Nathan and Jennifer were eliminated tonight. Though they make great antagonists! This is the first time I watched the show all season, and I’m pretty sure I’ll tune in for the finale next week.

20:00 – driving in my car towards home. And I drive a lot listening to the radio. Actually, listening to a recording of a show I subbed last week at the nameless radio station I used to be a dj at. It wasn’t as bad as I was thinking it was, but not as good as I’d have liked.

21:30 – home. On my bed surfing the interweb… then i start writing this blog on my macbook pro, which is part of the older generation that gets extremely hot.

22:17 – finishing the blog, and debating going to bed early since i have to wake up at 5 in order to get to work by 7 since traffic sucks that much here. Also about to write in my little running journal how far I ran today, how long it took, etc. I think I’m also signing up for the marathon this year. Pretty sure… more than 50% sure anyhow… And feeling lucky because I have a decent life and good friends. It’s been a good year so far.

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