What I Remember Most About 2015

It’s that time of year again and following tradition, my kiddo compiled a list of the most memorable events that had occurred in his life in 2015.

What I Remember Most About 2015 by my kiddo

What I remember most about 2015

  1. Candlestick Park is torn down – So many memories here and it was sad to see it go.  My mom took me to my FIRST Giants baseball game there when I was 2 months old!
  2. Ari’s 50’s-90’s themed Debut party
  3. 2014-2015 Arroyo Wresting Team: League champs and of the 13 varsity wrestlers we took to league, 9 qualified for NCS2015 including me when won by pin in the finals at league and secured my spot by placing 3rd! Not too shabby for my first year as a VARSITY high school wrestler! I didn’t know then that these moments and the high points in my life would be how I would end my high school wrestling career. Thank you to my coaches for always believing in me and never giving up on me!
  4. How can administrators at school think I stole a long-board and because of how my eyebrows look, think I was in a gang? Yup, some of the adventures I had during the last part of my Junior year in high school.
  5. Lots of recovery milk tea, recovery burgers and recovery pho…for all the very painful appointments
  6. Thanks to my mom, the 2014-2015 Arroyo High School’s Wrestling Team was featured on KPIX5’s “Cool School” segment
  7. Even though my 2015 High School Swim Season started late, I finished FIRST in my 500Free (the first time I placed first in competition) and dropped a second off my personal best on my 50Free at the Piedmont High School swim meet and consistently dropped time in all my events for the rest of the season.
  8. Got super sick during taper week right before High School champs and final rehearsals for the choir’s spring production of “Give My Regards To Broadway!”
  9. Going to Idaho and seeing my #BestFriend and #ChildhoodPal Lexus graduate from high school. Makes me really appreciate all the yummy milk tea places we have here in the Bay Area because Lexus has to drive to Boise to get milk tea. I tried milk tea Idaho style and let’s say I’m really lucky to live in the Bay Area!
  10. Karissa graduates, has a roaring 20’s good-bye party and moves to Portland to finish school! SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS!
  11. BFD2015 – Was a family day…spent it with Karissa, Alex, Christian and Victor. Loved the Subsonic tent!
  12. Not a Felarca/Embry birthday party unless someone gets caked! Was a bonus to see TWO people (Austin & Kyle) get caked!
  13. Saw Annie the Musical.
  14. The Warriors won the championship…first time in 40 years!
  15. Celebrating my 18th birthday with Victor, Daniel, Austin, Diego and Geo with a dim sum brunch, a milk tea run, build your own burgers at The Counter and the yummy burnt almond cake!
  16. Got my Learner’s Permit – Drove on the freeway for the first time…because I wanted to go shopping at the Great Mall in Milpitas!
  17. 2015 Summer Swim Season: Probably of all the years I did summer league, this was my best. I am a distance swimmer and not a sprinter but I continued to consistently drop time in all my events and “found” my secondary stroke, In one race my personal best was 2 1st place finishes and 2 3rd place finishes; seeded 10th for 50Breast at Champs (first time I seeded the top 10 and a lot higher than many of the guys I have swam with for years). At Champs, dropped 1 second off my 50Breast time and placed 10th overall for the event. My goal was to either drop time or place 10th or better. I did both!
  18. Got my 2nd piercings…at work!
  19. Met Congressman Eric Swalwell.
  20. Lexus came to visit us! “Ples listen to your goat or you will shart” – taking a trip down memory lane with Lexus during her visit with us and because of crazy Bay Area traffic, her stay with us got extended by ONE day! Lots of milk tea places, yummy food and fun adventures!
  21. Celebrating my friend Nikko’s 19th birthday with him surrounded by awesome people and delicious food!
  22. Capture the Flag with my swim teammates!
  23. Demolition of the SL CCS campus…so many memories there!  Lexus and I took a trip down memory lane and visited the campus before it got closed down.
  24. Great America with Lexus and Victor.
  25. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with Victor and Glen.
  26. Guardians of the Galaxy movie night at work!
  27. Celebrated the end of summer swim season at the pool by going paintballing in Dublin…in 104 degree heat!
  28. Mix-up at Registration Day for Senior Year and up until the day before school started, I wasn’t sure WHICH school I would be going to-I was hoping that my summer vacation would be extended! No such luck!
  29. Oh, this was funny…why did the chicken cross the toll plaza? Yup, a loose chicken stops traffic at that toll plaza one morning.
  30. Road to 50 Tour-Saw the 8 Bay Area Lombardi SuperBowl Trophies!
  31. Senior Year so far: Senior Pics, Senior Sunrise, Senior Picnic, LAST Helmet Game (yay Arroyo for getting the Helmet back) and Senior Cruise with Thalia
  32. Halloween Haunt 2015 with Victor and Thalia
  33. Uncle Robert getting married – Welcome to the family Auntie Brenda!
  34. Learning to tie a self-tie bow tie!
  35. November 13, 2015 – I will forever remember it as the day of my first semi-formal, the Senior Cruise. The world will remember it as the day 115.200 lives were lost when terrorists attacked Paris, Japan and Mexico had an earthquake, a funeral was bombed in Baghdad, and there was a suicide bombing in Beirut.
  36. The Dragonette show at PopScene
  37. Meeting Belle.


…high school can suck big time…

…high school can suck and kids are so f#%^ing cruel…what is amazing and so very cool about this story is how this young woman responded to be being voted one of the ugliest girls at her school via an online poll.

…in her Facebook response she writes,

“I know I’m not the prettiest thing to look at.
(But) if that’s your idea of ugly then I feel sorry for you.”

I’m sorry that you get amusement out of making people feel like s–t.

I’m sorry that you’ll never get the chance to know the kind of person I am.

I may not look okay on the outside.
But I’m funny, nice, kind, down to earth, not judgemental, accepting, helpful, and I’m super easy to talk to.”

…having been bullied in high school and being told by my peers (and the immature guys) in high school that I am ugly, it feels like the end of the world…

but you know what? I’m so over what others think of my appearance or whether they think I’m pretty because I’m comfortable with me and who I am…I’m not looking to conform to someone else’s standard of beauty, I’m just looking to be me…and as such, I have always taught my kiddo, “never judge a book by its cover because today’s ugly duckling could easily grow up to be tomorrow’s beautiful swan…”

and through some weird cosmic fate, years ago, my son ended up at a party being hosted by a boy I went to high school with who felt I was ugly…the story was significant enough that I had shared it with my son and he has always remembered the story…because after the party,he couldn’t wait to get home to tell me, “mom, that boy who was mean to you and felt you were ugly did not age well at all (translate: fat and bald)…and as much as I hate that people (he means guys) look at you, you definitely aged better than he did!”…out of the mouth of babes!

In the news…never thought I’d ever hear about this again…

..wow, I never thought I’d ever hear about this story ever again…hits very close to home…my kiddo used to run around and play in the hallway that Diane Whipple was mauled…and when the news broke that a woman was mauled by dogs in the hallway that my son had been playing at the day before while spending time with his godmother (and my good friend), my heart sank thinking it was her because so little information was being released until the woman could be identified…the waiting to find out was unbearable…as happy as I was to later find out the victim wasn’t my son’s godmother, my heart broke again for Sharon who lost her partner who died so viciously and so senselessly…all I can say is that Marjorie Knoller, Robert Noel and their Presa Canario dogs forever destroyed the lives of the people who lived in that building… I hope her appeal to get her murder conviction overturn gets denied and she continues to rot in jail for the remainder of her sentence!

My 18 year old…my how time flies!

My son is far from perfect and together we will have moments where I will question my own sanity as I wonder what planet he came from and why it seems that his brain is forever in his butt…it is during those trying and tumultuous times that I yearn for those early years with my kiddo because life just seemed so much simpler back then when our biggest concern was “which park are we going to play at today?”

I used to wonder when he was little if he listened to anything I ever said to him or heeded any life lesson I’ve ever tried to teach and instill in him…It is *now* in those unexpected, unplanned and unguarded moments when in the conversations we share that I learn all of the struggle, the arguments and the sacrifices have not been in vain…that in some ways, despite all the odds, I somehow managed to raise one of the good guys (ALL BY MYSELF), giving me infinite hope for the future…his experiences combined with the craziness that has been our life together has impacted and shaped who he is now as an adult and how he sees the world.

I am blessed and proud of the “adult” my son has grown into and to finally be able to “reap” the rewards of sacrifice I made for all those years and if I never accomplish anything else in this world, just knowing that I that made my son a way better me than I can ever hope to be is all I need to be happy.

…the days when autotune wasn’t needed…

“This is incredible! Back in the day when auto-tune wasn’t needed. You’d never hear this from most ‘singers’ these days.”


Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth…

…back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and before I had my B, I was known as “tammy”…but my name changed from “tammy” to “B’s mom” or “mom” after I had my B…

so it catches me way off guard when that moment on social media someone sends you the following message…”holy crap! I saw your picture and is this tammy from back in the day?”…yup, always is awesome to hear…”tammy from back in the day”…(translate: we knew each other when dinosaurs roamed the earth and when we used to have to sludge through mile after mile of bitter cold and snow to get to school…lol)…

gosh darn it, one would think with my very common name, it would be next to impossible for anyone in my past to find me and yet some people have…

racism isn’t just an “african american” affliction…

…hard to believe that in the melting pot that is the city, this kind of shit is happening in this day and age…it was attitudes like this and how people felt chinese people were the “yellow peril” that paved the way for the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882…

The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first law implemented to prevent a specific ethnic group – Chinese people – from immigrating to the United States. It was finally repealed by the Magnuson Act on December 17, 1943.

…like my son says, “Racism and hate are learned behaviors and it needs to stop because ‪#‎AllLivesMatter‬”


…oh, the tables have turned…

…watching parents play “red light, green light” with their kids and seeing the look of joy, excitement and glee on the little kids’ faces sure brought back some very fond memories of a time not so long ago when I used to play that game with my B when he was little…as amused and nostalgic as it made me, my B was not sharing the same sentiment…perhaps because the kids kept running into him as he is attempting to walk down the street…much like he used to do to unsuspecting pedestrians who crossed his path while he played…#Karma…it’s a bitch isn’t it? lol

another #ProudMom moment…

#ProudMom…every so often as a parent, especially a parent of a teenager/young adult, you have one of those, “oh wow” moments…and i just had one…

many times, of all the life lessons you try to instill in your child their entire lives as they are growing up, you wonder, “is he even listening to what I’m trying to teach him or is it just noise and to him, it’s all just blah, blah, blah?”  for homework last night, my son had to write an essay for english class in which he had to pick several “power words” used in his learning community that best describes him…

now, if you know my son, you also know he HATES to write essays, preferring to tell you the story instead…perhaps it’s a maturity in him that i don’t always notice in the chaos that is our life and to me, he’s always going to be my “baby” while old habits die hard along with established patterns.

i was already asleep by the time he finished his paper and when i got to work this morning, i saw that he had emailed me a copy of his essay and i was struck by what i read…the kid can write when he puts his mind to it that’s for sure!  one of the power words my son used to describe himself is “question”…i know, i thought that was weird at first too…until he went on to explain why…

he writes, “Question represents me a lot because whenever I don’t understand something or if a situation doesn’t seem right, I will question it until I do understand it.  I have grown up not taking things for face value.  Things aren’t always what they appear to be and life isn’t about believing everything you see and everything you read or hear.  The world we live in isn’t always black or white because in between there are many shades of gray.  Also, when I see things that aren’t right and no one else is doing anything about it to change it, I will take the initiative to make it right.  For instance if I saw that a person were being picked on by another person or was not being treated right, I will step in and fix the situation especially if no one else will.  Question leads to action and action eventually leads to change…”


…something to ponder…

…something to ponder…deadbeat dads who never pay a cent in arrears in child support can easily get their suspended drivers licenses back with a minimal “effort” to pay toward back child support owed…I know from experience that one time years and years ago, all it took was a payment of 37cents…yes, I got a child support check for 37cents…the postage it cost to mail that ridiculous check was more than the check I received!

what is tragic and a sign that something is wrong with our justice system is that “most states also suspend licenses for failure to pay traffic fines, another policy that critics say creates a quicksand of debt. The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators has complained that suspensions should be reserved for dangerous drivers, not indebted ones.

For many families, a driver’s license suspension is the beginning of a descent into abject poverty for which there is no escape…”