So I fly into Tokyo and my friend Kevin suggested going for going to get some wanko soba.  I’ve never heard of it, but it sounded like fun.   Little did I know what I was getting myself into. Apparently there is some history behind it so I figured I’d give it a try.  


hopefully the new mobile app will help. 

View from the top of my office building at LAX.

Click HERE for the Space Shutle Landing Video



Don’t freak out if you look online today and see the quoted fares much higher than they were yesterday. That’s because of a new law effective today requiring all travel providers–meaning airlines, travel websites, and travel agents– to only advertise pricing inclusive of all taxes and government fees. No more misleading advertising listing $99 one way fares to Europe only to get dinged with a “fuel surcharge” or “taxes” for 500+ and paying 700+ roundtrip. However, please do be careful. The new rules for advertising only are applicable to the required taxes and fees. Be aware that extras such as premium seating or baggage fees are not required to be included in the published advertising, but are required to be disclosed on the website at the time of purchase.

On another note, other changes effective today are as follows:
1. Reservations may be held for up to 24 hours before payment.
2. Cancellations are allowed within 24 hours of booking as long as that booking is before 7 days before the flight.
3. Passengers must be promptly notified of delays of 30 minutes or more.

American Airlines currently has a half off sale using miles to fly from SFO-HND (Tokyo, Jp) which cuts the RT Business Class ticket cost to 50,000 miles.   LINK

Reading into this promotion more carefully, the best deal obviously is the 50k in business as Business Class tickets usually run in the 3-4k+ range.  A coach ticket at 30k points for ~$1000, so purely on a point value basis the Business class ticket is a better deal.  Don’t want to go to Japan?  You can also purchase other tickets from Japan to elsewhere in Asia.  Just make sure you give yourself a few hours (or a day) between flights just in case your first plane is late.





I’m in limbo right now. I’m lost. I’m not sleeping well. I’m not really hungry. I’m simply out of it. Not sure why I’m blogging, but I’m hoping by getting it off my chest I’ll feel better after.

Part of my life is exactly where it should be. My career is satisfying, rewarding, and profitable. So much so, that I’ve been given the opportunity to excel by accepting an exciting offer for a joint venture with the parent company I work for. I’ve accepted that offer and everything is going smoothly. I guess no complaints there.

However, my personal life has been slowly crumbling before my eyes over the past three weeks.

To say I’ve been a hair emotional is an understatement.

I’m having a really hard time sorting through these emotions as I’ve never really truly felt this lost before. I’m on the edge as I have found something very special, but for the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to hold on, but it’s like grabbing onto a handful of sand–no matter how I try it just sifts through my fingers. I know if I just let it go now I will have nothing but regret.

I was a rock.–unmovable and unflappable. I simply refused to let anyone pierce the outer gate.

I used to watch my friends break down and crack because of a failed relationship and I simply couldn’t empathize. I guess now I can. Until now, in all of my relationships I’ve always been able to remain in control of my emotions. I was able to do so by subconsciously keeping every girl I’ve ever dated at arms length. It got so obvious to my friend Tina that she once commented that I must be dead inside by not feeling anything. If anything went bad, I simply didn’t give a shit…I just found a replacement girlfriend. All of that has now changed.


I guess good things happen when you never expect it.

It was a cold rainy February evening in San Francisco. I had recently gotten back from my annual trip to Asia a couple of weeks prior so my schedule was way off and was just starting to get hungry…at 8pm. I IM’d my friend C to see if she ate yet. She didn’t and said she’d wait to eat with me, so I got dressed and drove to the city.

C was upset with her bf at the time and wanted to get drinks after dinner. Not wanting to disappoint, I agreed. C called her friend L and told her to meet us at the restaurant.

I still remember the very first time I saw her. There weren’t any sparks or anything like that…I just saw her backside as she dropped off her bags and literally ran off to the bathroom. When she returned I was introduced and I remember my first thought–she’s cute. We went back to C’s bf’s place so that C could put her things away and get ready to go out. I intentionally wanted C and L to go hang out on their own so I left them alone for the bulk of the night. After going to 2 bars, 1 nightclub, and a roundabout way across the bridge (twice) in an attempt to get food, I dropped off C. I was going to drop L off but was still hungry. I asked if it was ok to get food and L said no problem.

We got egg rolls and a Chicken Vietnamese Sandwich at a restaurant called “Vietnam”. I didn’t know L didn’t eat chicken at the time, but in hindsight I should have asked. Since there was a wait, we stole a blue tumbler of tea to drink outside while we waited. Driving home, I started to fall asleep and L had to go to the bathroom so we stopped by a gas station so she could go to the bathroom. By the time she got back, I was passed out cold. I woke up a little later and saw she was napping next to me shivering. I gave her my jacket to use as a blanket and figured I’d wake up when it the cold woke me up. Fast forward another half hour, I woke up with the jacket back on top of me and her shivering again. I put the jacket back on her and somehow shortly later I remember we were holding hands. After a short nap, I slept enough to where I didn’t feel like passing out on the road so I dropped her off and drove home. I never asked for her number and the next day, I felt like a complete ass.

When I asked her about why she didn’t want to take my jacket a month later she said, “you looked cold and I felt bad taking your jacket so I put it over you”. I was floored. I’ve never even met a girl that even thought selflessly like that.

Luckily, she asked C for my number. After a few awkward first texts and a few misplaced phone calls (thanks textfree), we finally got to connect…which led to some innocent chats.

Our first “date” was about week later. We went to go eat and then hit Costco to buy supplies for the house. I couldn’t find my membership card so I had to get another card made while L browsed the store looking for things to buy. Since a Costco card isn’t a legal ID, I made a funny face a la Calvin’s school pictures from Calvin and Hobbes. When I found L, she for some reason wanted to see my new card, so when I showed her she couldn’t hold it in…she started shaking and then laughed nonstop for a good 10-20 seconds. Thinking back, I guess that’s all it took for me– that honest laugh and the beaming smile she gave me afterward.

That was it…I was smitten. Things went abnormally well from then onward. It was literally like some cheesy movie montage where literally every little thing she did made me more and more happy. Eventually, she commented to me that she found it harder and harder to leave on work trips because she simply wanted to be with me. I couldn’t have agreed more! I too, found it harder and harder to drop her off and I became more and more excited to see her when she returned. Whenever anything bothered me…like work or family issues, a simple hug and kiss from her was all it took for me to de-stress from my day and let it go. Somehow in the span of a couple months she became a pillar in my life. I don’t know how she did it, but intentionally or unintentionally she broke through my self imposed wall of defense and amazingly instead of being scared, I was happier than I’ve ever been. Yes we did have disagreements, but nothing we didn’t deal with quickly and permanently.


It all came to a screeching halt 3 weeks ago. I was so excited to see her that I drove to the airport to pick her up early. Figuring she would be tired and hungry, I even stopped to buy Hamachi Sashimi–her favorite. When I picked her up something was wrong and I’m not sure why, but I felt ignored and unappreciated. To this day, I still can’t figure out why I ended up so upset.

I then did something that I truly regret. Instead of being her foundation and asking her what was wrong, when we got home I intentionally picked a fight with her to get some sort of response. I guess let her know or feel exactly how I felt. It was a bad move. A very, very bad move. Anything that ever bothered her with me came out.

The proverbial shit hit the fan. I disrespected her. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I do now. I have nothing to say in my defense. She packed up most of her stuff that night and left. I was still angry, but after the anger subsided I sat in my closet and stared at the empty space in my closet that I gave her. Only I realized the gravity of how badly I messed up.

That was a Thursday. I needed to talk to her so on Friday night, we met up and spent a few hours together…we had dinner and then went shopping for her friend’s baby shower. I could tell there was some lingering tension, but there was nothing I could do besides apologize. I went home that night praying that we could salvage what we had.

She left again on Sunday. We were able to spend a little time together before she left and I drove her to the airport. This time, things seemed better with less tension. I was hopeful things between us were getting better. I couldn’t have been more wrong.


L had a scheduled training session, so instead of her typical 4 or 5 day trip, it became a 7 day trip. On the day after she left, she got mad at me over some damage to her watch and for the 5 days after that–a total blackout. No response to any of my messages, no pickup to any of my phone calls, nothing. We’d never been out of contact that long. I was worried. No I was freaked out.

On the 6th day, I finally got a message. Unfortunately it wasn’t anywhere near the response of what I was hoping for.

“It’s me not you.”

Umm. Ok. *pounds head against the table* I didn’t realize what that meant. I was adrift. No clue what was going on. I had to wait another day before she finally called me.

She told me that she had a pretty bad relationship issues in the past. Things that I won’t blog about, but the bottom line is she does have a few issues she has to deal with before she can continue. I feel helpless. Here she is, a pillar of my life, and she feels she can’t talk to me directly about her problems.

We’ve seen each other twice since then and things seemed to be ok, but I can’t be sure.


All of the above leads me to here. My choice. Shall I stay or go?

I want to give her space to figure things out, but at the same time want to help her with her problems. Trying to find a balance between these two is hard.

My grandparents were together for over 65 years. They were the epitome off “through thick and thin”. They survived a world war, they survived the cultural revolution, they survived the hellion I and my sisters were. I can see the same happening with L and I. I believe and hope it can.

I’ve been listening to the Johnny Cash version of “Hurt”. He sings of regrets, both things he did and didn’t do. It’s a touching song and is striking a chord with me today because I’m at the proverbial fork in the road. We were amazing together. Even though she says she is damaged, I still think she is perfect for me. The only thing I truly do know is that if I leave too early and not exhaust everything possible to make it work, it will be one of the few things in my life I know I will truly regret.

I guess knowing that about myself, the only choice I have is to roll the dice and see where it lands me. Happiness or purgatory. It doesn’t matter where I end up. If what makes her happy is to be without me or with me, it doesn’t matter. I can hope for the best for my sake, but ultimately I just want her happy. I feel she deserves that much.

This is a first for me…I love her unconditionally.

This much I know is true.

Wow…Japan is getting it bad.  So far they’ve had a series of earthquakes ranging from 9 to 7, two explosions at nuclear facilities, and a volcano erupting.  What’s next? Godzilla?

being in my own bed is so relaxing.

1.  Flying First Class- Internationally, I’m usually in either Coach or Business.  Never managed to get in a true International First Class cabin. US domestic First doesn’t count as it’s essentially just coach with a larger seat.

2.  Flying on Emirates-  Not sure why, but I’ve always wanted to fly Emirates.  Maybe it’s because of the sponsorship of Arsenal and seeing the jerseys.

Yes, I will obey….I will fly Emirates.

3.  Flying the A380 F-  I regret not saving my money up in college and flying on the Concorde, the fastest passenger plane ever built.  I figured might instead fly the largest passenger Airbus a380 in F!



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