Monday, June 9, 2008

So yesterday I was watching The Oprah Show. And no, that wasn't meant to be a joke. The show was about a "pregnant man," and by "man" I mean a transgender woman who kept his/her reproductive organs. Anyway, I was watching Oprah interview him and I thought to myself, "Wow, I can only imagine what his life must be like." I didn't mean the obvious what is it like to be pregnant. I meant the how much would it suck to have tell the same story everyday for the rest of your life.

That's kind of how I've been feeling lately. Luckily I won't have to answer the same questions for the rest of my life. I had this discussion with my good friend who will also be working abroad. There are these certain inescapable questions that we will have to keep answering until we leave:

Wow! You are going to China?
Are you excited?
When are you leaving?
How long will you be there?
What will you be doing there?
Did you get your vaccinations?
Do you speak Chinese?
Have you been to China?
Are your parents excited?
How did you get the job?


Now don't get me wrong. I don't intend to come off as an a-hole. And it's not like I'll ignore you or get mad if you ask me these questions.

More than anything I find it all very amusing. It's gotten to the point where I can anticipate every question and I have a stock answer ready for every question. And depending on what mood I'm in when you ask me, I'll give you a different answer. Sometimes I feel like being really chatty about it, and sometimes I'm just tired of answering the same questions over and over again.

I guess it could be worse. I could be a "pregnant man."

So I've been home in LA for one week. With every passing day, I can just feel my summer slipping away like sand though an hourglass. I'll be leaving for China on July 10th, so I have a little over a month left before I'm gone.

The surprising thing is rather than wasting my summer away like every other year, I've managed to be incredibly productive. I've gone to the beach, gone hiking, been to a few museums, visited my high school teachers, gone to the gym, and ate at a few of my favorite restaurants. There's all these other places I need to go visit and restaurants I need to dine at before I leave. I've been meaning to compile an official "Places Alan Needs to Visit Before he Leaves" list. Rather than walking though my week in excruciating boring detail, let's look at pictures!

One of the big places that I've been meaning to visit for years is the Getty Villa! What can I say I'm a sucker for art museums. The funny thing is I didn't even really look at any art because I spent the whole time taking photographs. What can I say, the architecture made for cool images. Actually the museum was designed after the Villa of the Papyri, a Roman home that contained thousands of papyrus scrolls preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

Click here to see more pictures!

I also went hiking. Wild, I know. It was nice to actually get out and spend time with nature rather than sit inside all day. My friends and I decided to go on a whim. Hopefully we make it a weekly thing. My camera lenses may not like it, but I love going out hiking, kicking up a bunch of dust and getting sunburns and dirty. I like shooting plants and wildlife. It's kind of like being on safari...or playing pokemon snap.

Click here to see more pictures!

Next week's plans?
1) Visit Berkeley/pick up my brother from Davis.
2) Attend graduations.