09 October 2005

Three different personal anniversaries

I just remembered that three different significant events took place in my life, two of them 5 years ago, and one 10 years ago.

On October 6, 2000, I took my first - and so far only - trip by air as a woman, with proper female IDs. The trip took me from San Francisco via Los Angeles to Tucson, via United Airlines' now-defunct Shuttle service, for a rendezvous with a high school friend. (Since then, I moved to Tucson to join him briefly - then I moved back to California, while he moved on to Yuma and Chicago for his pharmaceutical studies.) I never thought that it would be my last air trip as a woman for a long time. I need to get my ID situation corrected as soon as it's plausible to do so.

This trip took place shortly after I had lost a job in San Francisco's Financial District working as an administrative assistant for a political junkie - of the wrong persuasion, that is. I was fed up with the Bay Area at that point (the high-tech bubble was starting to burst anyway), and was about to do anything to make a move back to Los Angeles, or on to another city, happen. To that end, I hopped into my car on the 10th (shortly after returning from Tucson), and left my apartment for Seattle. I did not return for the next two weeks, during which time I covered Yellowstone National Park, Mt. Rushmore, Grand Canyon National Park, Las Vegas, San Diego, and of course, Los Angeles. I covered every Western state except New Mexico, plus South Dakota. Although none of the cities I covered ended up being my eventual destination right away, plus it was not the most sensible use of my money, it was a good way to cap off what I now call my "honeymoon period" with the United States.

Going back five more years to 1995, October 10th turned out to be a grand opening to that "honeymoon." I was a college student in New York City at the time, and posters were popping up on campus for a pair of Korean pop groups performing at Shea Stadium. The posters were in English, targeted to non-Korean Asians (usually the ones who picked up the Korean culture through on-campus Christian groups). I snubbed them, preferring a televised Mariah Carey concert at Madison Square Garden instead, since she was a native New Yorker - and my idol at the time. (Not to mention that even in Seoul, she was more popular than the groups the posters were advertising.) I wanted to re-live the magic that I had had the previous year, when I had a brief chat with her. And I did - in grand style. The concert even included Boyz II Men, the biggest boy band of the time, for better effect. This was the first major-act concert that I had ever attended, and it was a very good experience, especially since Mariah's ego was much smaller back then! It also turned out to be my only trip ever to the Garden.