Angel from X-Men and Porcupine, The Human Petri Dish

>> Friday, September 29, 2006

I took a day off today for some medical appointments I've set up a while back. One of them being my dermatology surgeon, I've been looking forward to this one all week. I have him took a cyst off my back last week and he stitched me up afterwards and I've been itching to get them out ever since. Not for nothing but it's time like this that I can really appreciate El Principe. He has been cleaning my wounds and reapplying my bandages all week day and night, twice a day. He was very attentive. I was gonna write an entry dedicated to him, I might still do it but for now I decided to keep his feet on the ground. The whole reason I have the surgeon cut off my cyst is quite vain. First, it is seriously quite strange and unattractive to have something probing out of my back. Second, I keep remembering the scene in Alien where eventually a beak will poke out of it and start killing people. But after I have it cut out, I start thinking what if it will grow into a wing? Since I was a child, I always wanted to be able to have a pair of wings and fly. Given I've grown into a chubby kid and I doubt that I'll be able to fly even if I have wings. I'll be like a turkey or chicken, the best I could do probably will be jumping a bit further than normal people. I know it's all just my imagination, and it won't ever grow into a pair of wings, but I feel a loss somehow.

I went to an allergist last week and she gave me a breathing test and somehow my test result were not as ideal. My lung capacity comes back as 66% of a normal adult. Today I went to have a more extensive test and the results comes closer to 80%. My allergist told me that with my chest x-ray comes back and my lung seems fine and with exercise, I should be able to train my lungs into normal capacity. After that I took a skin test.

I took the skin test because usually when I wake up in the morning especially in winter, my nose is always stuffed up and I quite hate that feeling. So my allergist suggested I take a skin test to find out the agents that I'm allergic to. The nurse gave me a very strange looking paper robe to put on and she starts drawing all over my back and prickling it with forty-some toothpicks, then we waited 15 minutes and the doctor starts looking and measuring the effects. After that the nurse drawn on my arms and injected 20 agents with needles and we waited again. I'm a wuss when it comes to needles. I hate them, never liked them and never will. After another 5 minutes, we measured the effects again. So we found out that I'm allergic to some trees, some weeds and also some dust mites. That's why I can't breathe well at night. She suggested I get special casing for my pillow and start using nose sprays. Both of which I don't think I will do at all. Not to be rebellious, I'm just not fond of those ideas. But now my back and arms look very busy, with pen marks and red dots all over it, I hope I don't scare anyone.


Food Digest Vol. 1

>> Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I think food really is a cultural obsession. I know there are people who don't care much about what they eat, but there aren't many of them. So I decided to write an entry periodically about the food I've been eating, exciting ones. I reckon that it'll be so much better if I can accompany them with a picture and it's not that I don't have a camera. But I'm also very easily embarassed and afraid to be categorized with the "Asian Tourist Syndrome". I know that it must be the self-hate in me and Principe Rana has taught me that this "disease" extends beyond the Asian race. But as I said I'm easily embarassed. Although ES has just ordered a very high-tech digital camera for her blog, should I do the same? If I do, I'll have to carry a "Man-purse" around all the time.

OK, I finally tried making raisin bread at home. It all started because Principe like the braided raisin bread stick at a Chinese pastry shop and he said he wants to learn how to make it. What can I tell you? He and his crazy notions. So I decided to learn to make it first, so I can teach him in Spanish. I don't have a food processor or a big mixer to help me mix the dough, but DC bought me a fancy high speed egg-beater mixer for X'mas one year and that worked pretty well. I used a challah bread recipe I find in one of my cookbooks and made the dough with yeast. It was fun to see the dough rise and have to beat them down afterwards. I form the dough into strings and braided them and baked 8 loaves. The bread is a little tougher than I thought it would be, although Principe and my colleagues ate them up I think next time I'll you a croissant dough instead to get the texture I want.

I did a very nice pasta on Sunday. The Principe and I sometimes go to this restaurant that opens late at nice and they have a mussels in white wine that we like a lot, they put corn and sausage in with the mussels which give it a sweet earthy taste. So I tried to make it at home with linguine. I bought two bags of mussels from a supermarket that I trusted and about a quarter of the mussels turned out to be dead. They weren't cheap either. So I throw the dead ones out, scrubbed, steamed and shelled the rest. Sauteed some garlic andd the trinity (onion, celery and green pepper) in butter, added the mussels. Then I squashed a can of whole tomatoes, but like half a cup of corn in there Fried two bratwursts and a chorizo cut them up and throw them in witha can of chicken broth, salt-and-peppered and there's my pasta sauce! It tasted so good with the linguine. I was immensely proud of myself.

Last night, we went to a Hongkong-style restaurants in chinatown for dinner. We (or I) ordered half a peking duck, lobster fried harbor style and a crabmeat on pea shoots. Dinner was good, I pretty much liked all of them. The Peking duck is seperated into crispy skin and meat, comes with some chinese soft buns and hoisin sauce. The lobster is stir fried with a bit of pork and it's slightly spicy. Crabmeat on pea shoots has always been one of my favorite Chinese dish, I was actually thinin gof how much I like this dish while I was eating it.

As you can tell, the lollipop has not suppressed any of my appetite. If anything, I'm eating more than ever. ES and I are going to Mitsuwa supermarket in Hoboken, NJ this Saturday. So I guess, I will just have to wait until next monday to go back on atkins. But until then, I'll keep munching on.


Lollipop, Lollipop, Lolli-Lolli-Lollipop

>> Saturday, September 23, 2006

The weight-lost lollipops finally came in. They were ordered back in July but they must have been popular because they were all out of them. I was very skeptic about these pops, I still am. How can you suck on a lollipop and lose weight? Plus they are using some kind of new ingredients found in Africa called Hoodia. How much research have they done with the ingredient and how do they know it's safe for constant consumption? It might cause cancer, you know. Everything does nowadays.

The pops come in 9 different flavors: Rootbeer Float, Pina Colada, Cinnamon, Pink Lemonade, Mountain Berry, Butter Pecan, Watermelon, Green Apple and Cherry. So far I had the rootbeer one and the berry one, the rootbeer one taste like toothpaste but the berry one was pretty good. There is a pamphlet with instructions telling us to drink 8 oz of water after each pop and eat a balanced meal. The pop took 45 minutes to an hour to finish and they are a little gritty. Though, my appetite wasn't suppressed at all. However, somehow I felt happier. Maybe because it was friday, but somehow another colleague that took a pop felt the same afterwards, strange.

Another colleague was convinced that it works as mouth plugs. During the whole 45 minutes you can't really eat anything else, so you won't be able to gain weight. Maybe it acts as speed, but I really haven't notice any change yet. Plus, I can't go to the gym now that my back is all stitched up. Maybe I'll gain weight instead. But we were convinced that if our mood were enhanced after the pop, we'll keep on getting them. It's better than taking Prozac.


Little Johnny Huang

>> Friday, September 22, 2006

I went to the surgeon today to cut off a little growth on my back and see if he could have done something for the vuscular spot on my right arm. I was really dressed casually today, white t-shirt, jeans, sandals and a sweat jacket. So I wasn't surprised when the nurse gave me attitude. I'm asian, I'm used to being talked down to like I don't understand English. The doctor was nice enough and made a few jokes along the way when he was seeing me, although he asked whether I was born in the states and made a comment that he was surprised that I wasn't because I don't seem to have any accent. The nurse gave me quite a few anesthesia shots on my back, they hurt like hell and she gave me like 9 shots around the spot all together, afterwards I felt the doctor scraped something, pinched something and pull and tuck something, within 5 minutes we were done. I wonder how much pain I would have been in without the anasthesia. For my arm, we went to another room and the doctor gave me a pair or sunglasses and he used his laser gun on my arm. He zapped my arm a few times and he said after a month there will be some progress and asked me to wait and see. The doctor is very sociable, he asked me what I do and what my job was like making a few jokes here and there trying to make me feel comfortable, but I think he's trying a bit too hard at times, but nevertheless I appreciate his effort. I'm due to go back in one week so he can take the stitches out. Meanwhile, he told me that I shouldn't wet it or exercise until the stitches comes off. So I get to be a bum and rest for the next seven days.

I went to a sportwear store to get a bit more gym clothes, because I'm running out of them (shocker!) for the first time of my life. Then, I went to get my haircut. Kelvin has been cutting my hair even since I got to this city, which is like seven years ago. He was like twenty years old back then. He used to cut hair at another studio and after he left that place, I followed him to this new studio. I've been referring colleagues and friends over there for haircuts, the owner loves seeing me. Kelvin and I are like pseudo-friends. I say "pseudo" because we only see each other once or at most, twice a month. The only time that we meet outside of the salon was one time when he asked me to fix his computer. So I went to his "bedroom apartment" and helped him out.

Kelvin got married last year to a buffet restaurant waitress, the girl is from FuQian, same as Kelvin. I guess that's how they met and got along so well, in a buffet restaurant. Who would have thought you can meet your life-long partner that way? Who am I to say? I've done worst for myself. I didn't know he was getting married until after the fact, I gave him $50 tip after my cut as a wedding gift, he felt guilty and took me to lunch although at that time I've already ate, but I let him buy me a smoothie anyway. Today, he showed me pictures of his new born son named "Johnny" on his cellphone. I've seen better looking baby, but I was really happy for him. He's only 25 and he's already a father. That concept never crossed my mind. We were always taught to be financially established before we have kids, my uncle didn't has his first child until he was near 40 and my other ones aren't even married until after that age. Johnny still don't have a Chinese name yet, Kelvin said he don't know what to name him.

Actually I thought Kelvin was gay, most hairdressers are. The one I had in NYC tried to pick me up and calls me on X'mas and New Year's Eve. Plus Kelvin has a very outrageous haircut that he dyed reddish-brown and frosty white on the tip. He's always wearing tight, skinny Kenneth Cole-ish shirt that is a little bit too short and when he raise his arms, his stomach and the edge of his boxers would show. He also has tattoos on his arms and telling me how he would go to clubs and play basketball in the gayborhood basketball court with his friends. Imagine my surprise when he told me he was getting married.

He told me that he will send little Johnny back to China so his parents can take care of him when he and his wife work in the States. Since Johnny was born here, he would be a legal US citizen and he and his wife could probably apply citizenship because of Johnny's status. Personally, I would really be upset of the fact that Johnny's gonna be seperated from his parents. I sorta grew up like that, it's not really a good way to be. But honestly, I was happy for Kelvin. He said he has only slept for 4 hours each night ever since the baby was born. I gave him some money as a baby shower gift. I can tell he was embarassed, but I'm sure he'll need it. There'll be so much more expenses, now that his wife is sitting at home and there's a baby on board.



>> Thursday, September 21, 2006

I want to go away. It seems everybody around me are somewhere else but me. My boss and his concubine are going to be in Hollywood, the one in Florida but still they are going to be in Hollywood before winter comes. My best friend DC and his partner are on a mediterranean cruise. My friend ES is going to be in Minnesota. A colleague drove up to Montreal, another one is going to camping this weekend somewhere with his friends. AC was gonna go to Phuket and Jill is going back to Hong Kong two months from now and perhaps Bangkok. Lately I'm just on the treadmill walking 2 miles a day going forward but in fact going nowhere.

I want to go to Greece being around white houses looking out to the blue skies and blue waters. I wanna get lost in the streets of little european cities. Maybe going back to Hong Kong and get to a cooking class or eating and shopping my heart out. What about Las Vegas or LA, even Provincetown sounds good. I'm tired of being here in the city, I need to be away.

If I go to the gym after work like I'm planning to, I would have gone to the gym 5 times in a row. I think I might be hooked to the endorphins that my body is procuing through exercise. They say endorphins can be as strong as morphine. I can offically tell people that I go to the gym "5 times a week" now, it's quite an accomplishment for myself. Tomorrow I'm going in surgery, and the doctor told me that I might not be able to exercise for the next 2 weeks. Well, we'll see.

Met a guy online and I'm thinking maybe I should start a local Mahjong group so people can meet up and play regularly. There are like 23 people who's interested, but if I want to contact those people I would have to pay like $20 a month to set it up. I don't think it's worth it. Especially I don't have a place to host the game, and I don't really know if those people are for real or not. But if i do sign up I might have a great social life and I do love mahjong. I really have to think hard on this one.

ES asked me to go to Mitsuwa with her next week, so it may count toward my wish to do an outing. Maybe I'll just go to NYC again or Atlantic City to calm my nerve a bit. Why can't I be rich, if I had money, I would have just gone anywhere I like and not even worry about it. (Lottery ticket, lottery ticket...)


Heads & Tails

>> Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Started some time last fall, mice and roaches have somehow overtaken our city. At first, I thought it was just my apartment. Maybe because I cook a lot at home, maybe Principe Rana left the sugar out after making his coffee and don't clean up afterwards, leaving the trace of sugar on the kitchen counter to tempt the little ones, but I was surprised to see a mouse in my apartment.

To be honest, the building that I'm in wasn't that well kept. I went for a week-long conference years ago and when I come back from it my apartment was pratically flooded from a storm and a ceiling leak, my lamp was crushed into piece because of a block of cement fell down on it. I thought someone broke in and trashed my place. I didn't expect this to happen because I live on the second floor of a 4-story building, how am I to know that the leak would affect my floor? When I called my landlord, he said there's nothing he can do and that I should have gotten renter's insurance. But I stayed because the rent is relatively cheap.

I remember a time where the laundry room in or building was infested by hundreds of flies like in a horror movies. Since the management didn't care, I went to a hardware store and got a few of these glue trap things and hung it in the middle of the room and a week later they became like fly-skewers that chameleons would definitely appreciate.

Mice are different, they are a whole lot smarter and faster. They are really irritating but they are really cute, if they would leave me alone I might even have them as pets. But then I don't like germs and I believe they might be full of them, so I got some glue traps around the corner where they like to roam in order to catch them. You have the understand that there are a lot of holes in my apartment, a huge cave thing behind the fridge and a pipe cabin in my living room. If I had my way I would have blocked it up, but I can't. So there are places where they can go and hide. I used to be able to catch them. At night, when one get caught in the glue trap, they would scream and make noise. I would feel very bad because I'm making them suffer, so I'll get Principe Rana to get up and "take care" of it. He'll get up grab the trap, showing it to me first to gross me out and toss it out the window, which I find it extremely hilarious. It's a good thing that our window face the backyard. Imagine walking late at night and a glue trap falls right in front of you with a mouse twitching, or worse the glue trap fell on your hair or your clothes. Ew... But after a while the mice learned what a glue trap is and where they are, so they learned to avoid them, so who got stuck on a trap manage to set themselves free. So now they just run around and play around as they pleased, chasing each other and only run back when I start to yell at them. Principe called them "Su Amigos" which means "your friends". My apartment is small, and I wasn't gonna take care of a cat.

My friend ES, my colleague SJ and I were talking one day and somehow the subject of mice were brought up. ES said that since the end of last year, she stated to have a mouse problem and SJ agreed. When I told her I had the same problem, she suggested that I get those other mouse traps that flap a metal bar over, because it snaps their necks and cause an instant death. She says it's more humane that way. All she does is smear some peanut butter on the metal and when the mouse gets it then "SNAP!" it's done. I'm still iffy about killing those poor mice, but what am I to do?

It seems the whole city is infested but mice. The other day, a mice went into one of our staff's office. Our office is in the 11th floor of this building. How did it get up so high? Took the elevator? I got into the office just because I was helping the staff installing a software, this volunteer came in, me and him surrounded the mice in a corner, he used a poster rolled it into a tube and trapped him inside. Then he caught the mouse's tail and went to the men's room and flushed it down the loo. He could have been a cat in his past life. I wonder if the mouse died. Back in Hong kong we have rats, which is a lot worse and I remember all the traps for rats and what people do when they caught one, they drowned them in a bucket which is a lot worse.

I wonder why suddenly they all got indoors though. Are we gonna have a flood or an extremely cold winter? Is this nature's way of telling use something big might happen soon? Are they sensing soemthing that human is not sensing? It's weird.


Stereo Type A

>> Sunday, September 17, 2006

Lately, I've noticed a lot of talk about stereotyping and racism on TV. Of course, everybody made a big deal out of it when the popular show "Survivor" seperated the contestants by race for the competition. The latest episodes of Mel Gibson proved that his film "Passion of the Christ" is really an anti-semitic movie. "20/20" talked about stereotypes in depth this week. It was interesting because it brought up a theory that there is no difference in people from different racial background. The difference that exists is because people perceive themselves to be one way or the other. Like Blacks are better in athletics because they believe that because they are Black, they should be better in sports so they try harder and hence perform better. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because you have confidence on what you do, so you do better. It's very inspiring. In that, pep talk works and I should really have more confidence in my daily life. If I really believe I can do something, I could really do it and it's really not a cliche. One marvels in the power of one's mind.

I never understand what's so bad about stereotypes. It's animal instincts. When I walk on streets at night, I instinctively avoid small, dark alleys because it is stereotypical that dark alleys are more dangerous to walk on big lighted street where a lot of people are. You call it stereotypes, I call it "common sense". Fat people are more proned to diabetes and heart-related illness, of course some fat people can lived to their 100s, although very rare. But I'm going to the gym to lose weight. You called stereotypes, I call it "statistics". If I'm walking down the street and see a loud, rowdy bunch of kids or guys walking towards me, I'll be more alert. I sure won't be as alert if they were female. You called it stereotype, I call it "self-protection".

Maybe I'm a sexist, I remember in my psychology class, the professor gave us a sheet of 25 words (like "boat", "salt", "pepper", "car", etc) and ask us to assigna gender to each word. After we did that she ask us how many words were we able to assign a gender. Me, thinking that it was a trick test assigned a gender to almost every word and after I told her what I did she told me that due to the country I'm from, I might be sexually biased. Well, I did what I did because when I learned French, there is a gender assigned to every object (e.g. the table in French is "La Table", "La" is in this case "Feminine", because table in french is a feminine object.) The same goes with Spanish, so I felt I was so wronged at that time, and I still do. I have the tendency to be a gentleman, opening doors and carrying heavy object for my female counterpart, but by doing so, means that I'm gender aware, which makes me a sexist.

I don't have much problems with stereotypes though, you can call me name like "Chink" or "Fag". It doesn't mean much to me. I don't have much value assigned to those words. In "20/20", there was this gay guy who told his parents that he was gay when he was 13, and his mom throw him out on the streets because of that. He turned tricks to earn a living and a bunch of "White-Supremacist" or "KKK members" beat the s#!t out of him until he was lying in a pool of his own blood half-dead. Twenty-years later one of the white-supremacist realized he has been hurting people all his life and moved out of his neighborhood and changed his behavior and become one of the "good guy". He works for this "Museum of Tolerance" and befriended one of the staff and finds out that the staff was the "Fag" that he and his friends beat up 20 years ago. His response was "There were so many people I used to beat up, I used to hate everybody." When asked "But he's gay, doesn't it bother you still? How can you be friends with him." His response is "He's still human, ain't he?" So if he is changed now, who can we blame for his past actions? Like my psychology professor, all I can blame is his upbringing.

We are all brought up differently, we were given all different information when we grew up. We were given different education. My grandma used to say Indians smell, my uncle is scared that I live in a black neighborhood and ask why my apartment doesn't have a gate in front of it and constantly reminding me to move to a "better" neighborhood. While, in reality I live in one of the best neighborhoods in my city. They were brought up differently than me, I have my own set of prejudice but blacks being criminals are not one of them. Certain religions taught us that homosexuality is a sin. Being a homosexual, I don't feel like it is one but I certainly can feel the pressure from other people. I think that is the difference, really, as long as you are not in my face telling me that you think what I'm doing is a sin then we can live in peace. Indians, Orthodox Jews and vegetarians don't go condemning people and rally in supermarkets when others don't oblige with their own dietary constraints whether religious or not. I guess, what I'm trying to say is "You have a right to believe in what you believe in, just don't make other people to obey your personal rules. Because I do believe that everybody should stop smoking and use alternative energy for cars and home, and that cable TV and Internet costs too goddarn much, and women should never wear things as torturous as heels. But you'll never see me riup the heels out of people passing by me on the street.

We all have our own values and its great, you can even judge people with your own values. But everybody is free to do what he/she will, it's called free will. When you act upon it and take away other's opportunity or try to take away other's free will based on your own values, you are going too far. --- "Live and let live"


Week of Feasts

>> Thursday, September 14, 2006

Since I've been "abandoned" my diet, I've been eating pretty good. Monday night I joined a colleague of mine and we went to one of the restaurants for restaurant week. It was great, 3 course dinner for $30. A lot of prestige restaurants participated and we managed to stumble into one of the best restaurant in the city - Le Bec-Fin. They used to be a five star restaurant, but recently some critic took a star away from them, I wonder why.

From the outside, it looked like a secret club. The restaurant is behind two sets of doors. I was expecting snobby waiters full of attitude, but our waiter John was more than friendly and accomodating. The decor was old victorian glamour, I was quite impress with their decorative silverware, a big silverplate that got swiftly taken away upon our order. The food was pretty good. I ordered a chicken fois gras for appetizer, roast pork loin for entree. My friend ES got chicken galantine for appetizer and the braised lamb shank for entree. We both have tiramisu for dessert. The food itself was not bad and the environment made the whole experience a lot better. The only complaint I have would be the tiramisu, it taste like it was just defrosted because there were a little trace of ice and the bottom pastry layer was a bit watery.

Tuesday I was supposed to go to Harrisburg for a pointless training meeting but I stayed home instead. Went out with Principe Rana and we went for Vietnamese Pho. Of course when I come back to work on Wednesday I just told everyone how mundane and boring the meeting was and everybody ate it up. When I get to the Gym last night my legs were killing me, but I still burned my 350 calories plus 150 crunches. Maybe somehow I'll end up without my tummy. Made some beef dumpling last night and went to the Cheesecake Factory today for lunch. They had a Da Vinci pasta that was really excellent, mushroom, onion and chicken in a marsala sauce over penne. The lunch portion was humongous, I wonder what the full portion is like. Got myself an irish coffee (drinking on the job, I know!) and got a piece of Toblerone cheesecake which was alright, but I only had half of it because I was so full. (Although I snuck two bites of strawberry shortcake from my colleague's plate when she went to the bathroom, the strawberry sauce was sickly good!!!)

For dinner tonight me, my friend ES and her son Ken went to Mama Palma's for Pizza. We ordered three small pizza and a piece of cake. They have gourmet pizzas at Mama Palma's, we ordered a pizza di mare which is topped with shrimps, mussels and scallops, a peking duck pizza and a hawaiian pizza. Of course, the pizza di mare was my favorite. The cake was a canoli cake that is moist and tasty. Ken is 2 and he is a cute little guy that like to get his mom's attention by pointing at thing and asking "What's that?", his main language is Japanese and I had a hard time following. He loved the cheese in the pizza and he ate most of the cake and the whipped cream and the chocolate chips. He was really cute. I was originally worried because online, they said that the restaurant wasn't really kid-friendly, but they were ok and Ken is really a good kid. Knowing that I might never have children, I really do enjoy Ken's company. It gives me a sense of my alterlife.

I think I'm going back on my diet soon, I already gained 3 pounds within this week of "diet vacation". ES told me about lyposuctiona dn that it only costs about $1,000. That might be really a lot easier if I do that. Suck, suck, suck and done. That's so American. Throwing money at our problems, it's a lot faster and easier.


Before, During and After 9/11

>> Monday, September 11, 2006

I had a great time Friday night going out with a few of my colleagues to a martini restaurant in town called "Continental". I laid off my diet completely and had the best mashed potatoes I've had for years. I got a cocktail and I felt the alcohol rushing through my veins. I felt a little tipsy right after one little drink. I have to admit that i'm not really well trained in that department. The most I can fathom is about 3 to 4 cocktails, anything aroun 4 or 5 then it's sure that I'll be spending the night throwing up my dinner. But that little drink made me really "happy", happier than I've felt in a long time. We had several asian-influenced dishes and some desserts. One of them announced that she maybe pregnant, she tested a weak-positive. So I got us a piece of cake with a candle on top to celebrate.

I decided to go off my diet for several days, because it's restaurant week and I've decided to join the fun. So since then, I've had two ice creams, two bowls of noodle, a fruity lychee drink, fries, a filet-o-fish sandwich, a tiny piece of bread, a kit kat bar, an orangina and I made four dozens of gyoza from scratch. I gained a pound or two because of that. I thought it would be fun to make gyoza, it was quite easy. and the pleating of the edges was fun. I'll be back on the diet starting tomorrow.

My boss is sending me to a meeting in Harrisburg tomorrow, I go there every other month, but since we are closing soon, this meeting is pretty much meaningless and yet I have to put up a facade to got there and talk to people who pretend to be concerned of our current situation. My boss don't want to deal with them and I don't either. I rather use the time to do some actual work, or even go home and play on my PS2. I'm on "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories" right now, it's really amusing and addictive. Spent the whole day yesterday doing laundry and doing unique jumps and paramedics in the game.

I just got back froma chest x-ray and I'm gonna be in a "jacket required" restaurants for "restaurant week" tonight. I'm wearing jeans though, I hope they let me in. Honestly I can't stand these snobby restaurant that requires a certain dress code. I'm the one who's paying, I should be the one who rtell them what they should be wearing, not the other way around. We'll see.


Doctors and Tests

>> Friday, September 08, 2006

Since I know that I might not have a job soon and my medical insurance may be gone, I have been scheduling a lot of medical appointments just in case. I went for my regular doctor to do an annual check up, told the doctor my latest efforts to remain healthy. He didn't say yea or nay but told me that I've lost 10 pounds since my last visit. I told him I'm at the age that I'm slightly worried about getting diabetes and he said by losing the weight that I planned to lose, I would less likely to get it. I also told him I want an allergy test done to find out what kind of allergy I might have so I can avoid them.

So I got blood drawn, went to the allergist. She turned out to be a "Dr. Kylie" type. (If you watch MadTV, you'll know who I'm referring to). Her last name is spelled "Cheung", so I figured she might be from Hong Kong and she was. I was telling her all the symptoms I have, the shortness of breath, stufinees in the morning and at night especially in winter, stuffiness after eating MSG, first time in my life to have mild allergic reaction during spring... etc... She was quite chatty and explained to me why she can't do an allergy test for MSG and she can't do any allergy test especially since I took Advil Cold and Sinus last night. She was really friendly and told me I had big tonsils. I ask her if that was a compliment and she can't stop laughing. She asked me tons of questions and some questions I don't even know if they were necessary, I got a feeling that I was being hit on. So when she asked me whether I was living by myself, I said: "No, I live with my partner." She was all: "Alright, ok!" lifting her hand up in the air and turned around. Honestly, that was quite amusing.

She did a lung test for me where I have to take a deep breath and blow in a tube real hard for like 8 seconds. We did it three times and my results comes to around 66% of a normal people. I thought that would explain why I never really knew how to swim and I never did well in sports. After that she gave me an inhaler and have me do the test again, the result wasn't that different. I don't quite know what it means, but she recommended for me to do a chest X-ray and another full scale respitory test. So my lung capacity is much smaller than a normal person, I don't think it's that big of a deal. I have been around smokers all my life, it might be the reason for that. Maybe it's all tarred-up, maybe I have a smaller pair of lungs, maybe I have lung cancer. I wasn't planning on living that long anyway, it's not financially stable to live that long and let's face it, who wants to live that long without a little bit of money and all alone to wait for death? I rather die when I'm still young and not wrinkly. Maybe it's just me.


Unhappy Endings

>> Thursday, September 07, 2006

I have difficulty ending things. I bought a set of 54 Detective Conan Comic Books back in March and now that I'm at number 54, I don't want to finish it. It has been the same way for me with some of my favorite TV games. I think I might be afraid of that empty feeling in my stomach once I finish them. I have had so much fun with the comic books, I want that great feeling to linger; Once I finish them there will be an emptiness in me that cannot be replaced by anything else. The purpose of the object is fulfilled, mystery solved, it will become a dead issue.

I think that kind of feeling I have extend beyond comic books, I feel the same about relationships. When one relationship starts, I get really passionate about it. Rushing to the heart of the other person like I'm in a race, ignoring all the danger signs and desperately convincing myself and the other person that we're in love. Most of the time I succeed in creating an environment like that for a long period of Until one day I wake up and see all the annoying habits of the other person, seeing that we are actually not that compatible and finding myself thinking "I can do better" or "There are better fishes out there" and completely lose interest in that person or the mirage that I (not we) have built for years. After an extended period of time which I manage to really break off with that person, I'll look for the nearest person to rebound with and create another relationship that lasts too long for my own sake.

But I never knew how to break up with a person, a person that I've said Thousands of "I love yous" to. How do you say goodbye to a person that you have lead on for years? I said "I love you" not because I really meant it, it was because I wanted to hear somebody else said that to me. It was purely selfish behavior, and if I say it enough, I know that person is bound to say it back to me. The whole mechanism is like lying to myself and when that lie get tiresome, I will lose interest and move on to a new person so the lie would seem fresh and new and exciting.

The last relationship I broke off lasted 5 years. The person became a stalker and an alcoholic. I get calls late every night around 12am to 1am, after I pick the phone up it hung up right away. My apartment got broke in several times before I changed my locks. I got assualted when we met in a bar. They say after a broken relationship, it will take half of the time to heal. It has been three/four years after we broke up, and I still get e-mails and text messages from that person from time to time asking me whether I'm ready to get back together. I never reply them, just because I know it will never be the same between us. Honestly I think I deserve to be harassed.

I'm in a great relationship now for the past three/four years. I do feel loved. I have no intention of ending it, although given my current situation, it might be unavoidable. i might not have a job soon and if I have to move out of the area, we might not be able to stay together anymore. Even worse, I'm afraid that one day I'll wake up and all the sudden lost interest in this person. I don't think it'll happen but I'm afraid it might. Then, I'll scatter around looking for the nearest interesting person to fall in love with and start the whole routine again.

Trust me when I tell you: "It's not you, it's me!"


End of the Four-Day Weekend

>> Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I don't know if exercising makes one stronger or not but I know I got sick. A cold, itchy throat plus sneezing and runny nose. How attractive is that? Thank god I made an appointment with my doctor weeks ago for a detailed check-up. I figured if I'm not gonna get insurance soon, I might as well get everything checked up first. I also got something on my back and arm that need to be cut out by my dermatologist. It's a vanity thing, but my insurance covers it so might as well.

So I am sick, but I'm still gonna go to the gym. I was sick Monday but I went anyway. I heard that you shouldn't exercise when you have a cold because it will just make you sicker. I wonder if I'll lose more weight by being sick. When did I become so concious about my appearance? I don't think I used to be like this.

Went to the aquarium with Mi Principe Rana, I had a good time. It was raining like hell, but being out is absolutely more fun then staying at home. Touched a shark, took some pictures and used my video cam. He's a freak for pictures, so all of the pictures are pretty much about him. I'm really camera shy, ever since a few years ago a friend took a picture of me and I see how huge I have become. The new season of "House" was on last night, great show, loved the episode. It's like a detective show for medicals and I'm a freak for detective shows. On "Queer Eye" they have 2 people participating on a weight loss program, they came in right under 240 lbs and after a few months of gym and diet they have lost 50 lbs. I want to lose 50 lbs. My goal is to able to take off my shirt next year at the beach. Well, I'm hitting the gym after work today. Let's all cross our fingers.


Little Struggles

>> Monday, September 04, 2006

I had ice cream today. It totally broke my diet but it was all that motivated me for my gym session today. They open on labor day until 2:00 pm which surprises me. I went to the one near my house for the first time, I was upset to find that they have a vednding machine instead of having water fountains in the gym. That is such a scam and I'm so anti-scams. My work-out routine wasn't as complete as I like it today, I only burned like 315 calories and I didn't do any sit-ups. I was kinda fed-up after walking for 35 minutes on the treadmill, all I can think about it having ice-cream as a treat/reward, so I bought a small cup of Mr. Softie. I've been telling myself the whole time that since ice-cream is mostly cream and I'm aloowed to have diary, I should be able to eat it. Thank god I have the sense to throw half of it away and I didn't think about the starving kids in Africa.

I read a friend's blog and he says that the kinda people who over-indulge in advocating for animal rights or Tierschultz, as he called them, are usually anti-social and fails to relate to other human beings, they prefer the company of animals to humans because animals cannot talk back and they don't have any interest in human rights. I wonder, I do have friends that live solely with animals and do not have the ability to make much friends. It's not like I hate animals or anything, I know that I wouldn't be able to take care of animals, so I know I wouldn't become one of those Tierschultz. It's not like I would advocate for human rights either.

As it's standing, I lost 5 pounds in the past 3 weeks, so it's about a quarter pound a day. If I want to lose 30 more pounds, than I'll have to do what I'm doing right now for the next 4 months. I doubt that I can keep up with my diet, or if I want to for that matter. Life would be so unbearable without carbs. No pizza, no cake, no ice cream, no tempura, no katsu, no curry, no orange soda, no rice... that would be hard. It's a struggle between two things I want; To lose my stomach and to fill it with things I like.


The Four-Day Weekend

>> Sunday, September 03, 2006

It's the weekend of Labor Day and I took the coming Tuesday off as well, have myself a four-day weekend.

I promised a friend to find a particular piece of clothing for him earlier, so I went to New York and had myself a walk yesterday. It was raining, but I loved it. It's a different city, a whole different environment. That's why I like traveling so much, I welcome the change of scenery. It relaxes me to see different things. But honestly, I only like the urban environment though, I can't deal with rural or even the suburbs much. I like to walk around on my own too much.

I went to a Japanese buffet restaurant for lunch just because I've been there before and liked it a lot. Although for lunch, it wasn't as good as dinner. I'm still on a diet, so buffet it's pretty much the best way to go. After that I walked out to the Korean district right next to the restaurant and found a lot of different Korean joints and they all look very cute and I'm sure their food is good too. Maybe I should stop sticking with what I know and start experiencing new things next time. It's hard to go to a big city on a diet, there's so many great food I want to have but I just can't.

Afterwards I walk around for clothes and found what I was glad to find what I was looking for. It wasn't until I go through six stores that I found the article. The other big find of the day was a chapter of a comic book series that I'm following right now - "Detecive Conan". The chinese version was prohibited to sale in the US ever since the english version got picked up and published. I was very happy that I managed to find the latest chinese installment from a bookstore. I do like detective comics and novels, and television series like the CSIs, Numb3rs, and such...

In the preface of Detective Conan Vol. 53, writer Aoyama Gosho says during the past 5 months, he has been on a diet and he was really happy that he has lost a total of 11 lbs and his colleague complimented his figure. I thought to myself, "He only lost 11 lbs in 5 months???" Why do I have to be such a snob? I do hope I'll lose more weight than that and I'm happy to say that slowly but surely I am losing weight.


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