Thanksgiving did not always allow me to work. There were times when I would fake having to work and jaunt off to my friend Ken’s house for the annual Thanksgiving Refugees party, which would have awesome lasagna and video games, and dancing. It was like the dress rehearsal for New Year’s Eve. I miss those years when Ken would do stuff like that, and now that he’s in Las Vegas, I’m reminded of how cool he was to hang out with in the city all the time. I have a lot of friends who’re no longer within driving range, but I’m giving thanks for the memories we shared, instead of lamenting the fact that they’re not around anymore. People like Ken, and Abbie, and Davis, and Mike, and Hanh…

  • I remember how many jokes Ken, Todd, and I would share in the span of an hour before we would be exhausted from laughing.
  • I remember how Todd, Ken, Davis, and I were driving down to Anaheim, and Davis got into a race with a Ford Taurus through the canyons driving only his Toyota Tercel. And won.
  • I remember how Ken and I would make our anime rounds on a Saturday morning after work, and I would end up crashing at his place before we had to be back for the graveyard shift that night.
  • I remember how Abbie could make me laugh by uttering some inside joke or mutual reference.
  • I remember when Ken, Mike, Hanh, and I would play Descent for three hours straight. Until we’d had enough of Mike handing us our asses.
  • I remember the time when Mike and I set up two machines in the lab via serial cable just to play Command and Conquer. I also remember how Ken would just get fed up and tell us to attack each other, because we’d both go on 100% defense and sit there trying to goad the other into attacking.
  • I remember Private Gonzalo and the whole Gonzalo Squad.
  • I remember the time Mike and I went to go see the Clash play against Mexico, and he was the only (white) guy cheering for San Jose in a stadium filled with Mexicans. I recall that was the perfect time to use the phrase, “What do you mean ‘we’, white man?”
  • I remember when Hanh and Ken and I worked together in the same building after they shut down tech support, and we would hang out periodically and have fun.

Times change, and friends come and go. But I’ll always have the memories with me, no matter what. Even though we may be separated by miles and even a continent, they’re never far from my heart.