Marriage Debate

>> Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Since I know I'm gonna have a job after December, I have been thinking about going back to Hong Kong for my friend's birthday and my cousin's wedding. My pay will be the same, actually I will get an extra bonus from another organization for helping out with the closing of some contracts and I need to spend two and a half week worth of vacation time before the end of the year anyway.

But there are things to consider, given the current situation, I will still need to save money for my unstable future. Unstable, because I don't have much confidence in the organization, I think it may fold sooner that upper management thinks. I will be given the responsibility of the CFO, the director of Operations, the Planning and the IT. It's hardly fair, and I might be set up as the fall guy. So this is a situation where I should get what I want, naming the green card, document everything and get myself out of there as soon as I can.

Furthermore, El Principe is gonna go back to Argentina sometimes next year. He doesn't have to tell me, I know it. So I really want to spend as much time with him as possible. At this point he is truly the best boyfriend I ever had, and I doubt that I would have better down the line. So maybe two week will pass with nothing exciting happening between us, at least I would have spent the time with him. After we seperates, maybe I'll go back to Hong Kong to distract myself. It's not like I want to see my family anyway.

Although I do want to attend my cousin's wedding. Maybe because I'm an only child, I always liked my cousin's. There are 5 of us that are closer and we pretty much grew up together. Among us 5, I'm the oldest. Always terrorizing, abusing and misleading them, but they were all good company. The one who's getting married VM is the smartest one amongst us, she got a couple of 7 As and 1 Bs from A-Level and got into a good university in Hong Kong, which is a very hard task. She met aboy at school and fell in love. First boyfriend ever and now they are getting married. Actually, I kinda dispite that. How can you not look around before you decide on what you want? And it is for life. Later in life you'll meet different people, understand how different realtion works and resent that you got married too fast. A lot of my friends got married with their first girlfriend/boyfriend. I'm worried for them. Plus I don't like the boy so much. Don't get me wrong, he definitely seems like a decent guy, he bought me dinner once. Seems good-natured, kind, understand responsibility, my aunt told me his family is pretty well off, a lot of good quality really. But he does not seem that sharp and he got a J-Shaped neck and he's not that good looking. I keep thinking of him as a turtle, VM s pretty and she can do a lot better, at least that's what I think. But it is her life, I'm in no position to approve or disapprove her marriage.

I don't know what to get her. I was thinking maybe just to buy a banquet table, give her a US$500 check, I know that's what married couple really need but it seems tacky. Maybe a gift like a timeless pearl necklace that she can use for a long time and give it to her children, but my friend DC says it's too personal and I probably don't know her taste. What about the groom? I went to Tiffany's and there's really nothing in there that I would buy. They are all badly designed, cheap silver, over-priced junk. And I thought they would have been the best jewelers in US, I've been jewelers in Chinatown with more interesting stuff. If I don't fly back, I can send her a pricier gift. If I buy her something and fly back, it would be too expensive.

I'll have to think harder.


Psychological Oddities

Happy Halloween! Although I don't know why you are supposed to be "Happy" on Halloween. Isn't this supposed to be the day where ghosts roam the streets? How happy should you really be?

I really wanted to update the blog for the past few days, but more and more I find myself with nothing to say. Life is life, it's pretty much a bunch of things occuring each day. There's no point of making a big deal out of them unless something happened out of the ordinary or we found a way to break the cycle.

I finally got to see the new space that we are gonna be in, It seems bigger and brighter. I'm quite excited about that. It's actually in the same building and it only occupies half the floor, but by the way it's divided somehow it seems larger. I have to do inventory for equipments and furnitures in order to get ready for closing. I can't believe that there are 88 chairs in our small office.

It was the birthday of someone I dislike yesterday. I got him a cake anyway, but I told the person at the bakery that I don't want any writings on the cake. But my colleague JH made me feel guilty, so I got some jelly beans and scatter them on top of the cake, just to make it decorative and cover the blank space. I ended up spending more money than I should for the guy I don't like.

It's funny how psychology works. I went to a videogame shop, ready to buy 2 new games for $50 a piece. But then the shopkeeper told me that they are available used for about $40 a piece and I can buy 2 used one and get one used one free. But then I looked around the whole store but could not find another used game I want. So I left the store without buying anything. Because I want to be able to get the deal. If I don't get the extra free game, I feel cheated somehow. It's funny because if he had kept his mouth shut, I would have been completely happy to get the 2 games in their original prices.


Washington & Shalom

>> Saturday, October 28, 2006

So I started knitting the blanket today. Started a fight on a "Haiku" forum in some random website. The whole thing is quite stupid, really. People spending time arranging what they want to say in 19 syllables 5-7-5s. I just told them to stop wasting time and do something more productive, something more beneficial to society - in Haiku form. Especially when you do it in English, it just loses the whole point and they were bad anyway.

Dinner at Susanna Foo's was lovely last night. We had 4 appetizers (Trio of Crab, Seafood Wonton in Lemongrass Broth, Chilled Buckwheat Noodles, Ahi Tuna Sampler), 1 dumpling sampler, 4 entrees (Crispy Jumbo Shrimp, Honey Walnut Chicken, Tea-Smoked Duck and a Beef and Scallop Stir Fry), 3 desserts (Chocolate Sampler, Apple Tart with Cinnamon Ice Cream, and a Banana Tartlet), 4 coffees and 7 cocktails and spent $86 dollars each. The food was really good. Great ambiance and service as well. I had the buckwheat noodles, the duck and the banana tartlet, although we had a taste of each others' dishes as well. We had a great time, at least I did.

DC just accepted an offer from another pharmaceutical company and he needs to move near the new company. So we drove around all day looking for an apartment around there. We couldn't find anything he likes and since his new company will help him relocate, we gave up. DC is a medical researcher and earning 6 figures right now. DC has been with his boyfriend JEW for 12 years, I always thought they were a great couple. JEW was the director of the Asia division of his company, earning near 7 figures, bought a 2-million dollar house which comes with a huge yard, a mini-lake and a few separate guesthouses. I go to their house at least once a year around X'mas or New Year. For work, JEW used to stay in Asia for work 90% of the year, leaving DC here in the big house all alone. We saw each other almost once a week, so I can keep him company. Now that JEW transfers back, we hardly see each other. He's only around today because JEW is in Amsterdam this week.

DC told me that they are fighting recently and words has been exchange about breaking up. I was totally shocked, because I really regarded them as the model couple. Both successful, rich, good looking, smart and skinny. But DC says they are just too different from each other. JEW is a yard work, home improvement kinda guy. His estate is so big that the work he wants to do is non-stop all year round. DC wants urban life, he likes to travel around, seeing new things and doesn't get why they need the big yard in the first place. After traveling for years, JEW seeks stability and DC is upset because for JEW's career he has made certain sacrifices, but the effort does not seem to be recipocated. Although I do think there's a power struggle between them two, one might resent the other for making more money or something. I did recommend DC to go for couple counseling. The fight might be due to the fact that the relation has changed from a short-distance relationship to a long distance and then back to a short distance again. Once you have too much freedom and space and now you are too close, it's hard to adjust and DC does seem to be too strong-willed at times. They are in their 40s, DC says it's too late for them both to start over and meet new people. I do agree but didn't want to verbalize, but being 40s is like being 80s in gay years. Anyway, it will definitely upset me if they call it quit.


New Projects and Experiences

>> Friday, October 27, 2006

I finally finished knitting a hat and a scarf. Pretty happy about that. It's like going to the gym, once you finished you get a sense of satisfaction. The grueling process is over, now you can think of what you are gonna do next. My eyes are on a blanket, this is really what I want to make. A nice, big, soft blanket that looks cool and comfortable. I'll be spending lots of time and money and effort on it, I hope it'll be worth it. Yarns are expensive, I'm afraid with all the time I spend on it, it might be cheaper to just buy something at the stores. The color scheme of the blanket is set to be the various shades of coffee; From dark brown to khakis to light cream. I'll be knitting very long strips of them and then linking all of them together. It should be nice.

The people at the knitting classes are nice enough. They told me about a new Argentinean restaurant open nearby. I was pretty excited because El Principe came from Argentina and New York is the closest place if we want to eat Argentinean. So I went to that place after class and find out that while one of the owner is from Argentina, the food is focused around Spain. They feature a lot of small dishes when they say small they mean small. I ordered a butternut squash soup and some Ham croquettes, an oil-flashed shrimp and an open-faced rib-eye toast. Everything except the rib-eye toast is under-seasoned. The soup was ok but I needed salt. The croquette was blend and need some kind of sauce accompany it. The shrimp dish features "1" small size shrimp soaked in oil with a piece of roast pepper on top of it. I was gonna laugh when I see that one small pathetic shrimp laying on that small plastic sauce bowl. The best dish was the rib-eye toast, it was small but the flavor of the gruyere came through and the crunch of the toast was nice. The whole thing cost $20. I tried to eat as slow as I can appreciating the delicate size and the texture of the food. But everything was finished within a bite of two, and I only felt satisfied was an hour or two. I don't know if I'll ever gonna go back.

ES sent me two clips on YouTube that is quite eye-opening. One is about a giant marionette in London called "Sultan's Elephant" This giant doll was carried by some lifters and controlled by these puppetiers, to see that kind of movement and character from a puppet is absolutely amazing. The second clip is a dance performance on Chinese TV called "Thousand-Hands Kuan-Yin" the choreography is really amazing and I really like the whole traditional Chinese vibe I get from it, well that is, until I see three guys in the back around the 4:00 mark. But like they say, Kuan-Yin was originally a man, so I don't know what to think anymore. There is a kindness attached to Kuan-Yin that I find very soothing, she is so non-judgemental. She's like the mother of all things.

Some friends and I will be going to a great restaurant named Susanna Foo this evening. I'm pretty excited about that because the food over there is pretty awesome. It is a Chinese-fusion restaurant that caters to clients with a bigger wallet. I tasted their tea-smoked duck beofre and it was seasoned so perfectly that I almost cried. Earlier last month Susanna was on the news for beating up a parking maid for repeatedly harassing truck drivers that deliver supplies to her restaurant and causes that parking to have a miscarriage. The news says that Susanna repeatedly punched the women on her head and her stomach. It's very unfortunate that the woman had a miscarriage, but in some way I'm quite proud of Susanna, she's 63 years old and that parking maid is 38 and she can still kick ass. It sends out a message to the city: "Don't mess with the Chinese!" We were afraid that her food will suffer after she got arrested, but I hope it won't. My friend is gonna bring a camera to the restaurant. So maybe I'll get to share the pictures on this blog afterwards.


Chop Sueys

>> Thursday, October 26, 2006

I haven't got anything to write about these few days. I'm pretty much living my life like a zombie. Work is boring, so, so boring. Going to the gym every single day but haven't seen any obvious results at all, my muscles are aching though and I keep gaining muscle weight when I don't want any weight gain no matter good or bad. My waistline is still the same.

I was told that I'm gonna get a small bonus next year but my workload will increase. Considering half the people here will be gone after December, I guess it's not a bad position to be in. But, I'm working for a bunch of selfish, moraless people and on top of them they are dumb and lazy as well. What a combination? But I tell myself again and again: "Keep my eyes on the green card." After getting that I'm free to go wherever I please.

I'm due to go to a function tonight, so I'm all dressed up. Although I much rather be in my knitting class. I started to knit a hat already and I'm gonna spend most of my day finishing it. After knitting the scarf I'm actually getting tired of knitting because I spent a few days doing the same thing over and over again. Ultimately I want to make a blanket, that's my goal. Although they really don't offer those classes. Since big man winter is coming, I really don't think I want to start taking up Kung Fu yet. Especially when the place is in a dicier neighborhood, I guess I'll wait for Spring.


Social Oddities

>> Monday, October 23, 2006

Find it so hard to get out of bed this morning. We already went to bed 2 hours earlier than usual last night, but I just wanted to stay in bed. Cool weather has that kinda effect on me. How can you not linger within the warm sheets when everything else in your apartment feels so cold?

JH has become quite my buddy since he moved nearby my place these few months. We call each other in the morning to walk to work together, we go to the gym together. If his persona doesn't seem so much alike to the lazy uncle I dislike so much, I might be attracted to him. But JH is a nice guy, fun to be with. His nickname among his friend is "Crazy", he goes out and drink until he passes out and frequently forgets what had happened the night before. I wish I can be that casual, I think all my life I have been taught to think logically and act responsibly that I acquire too much self-control for my own good. I never have any real fun, I can never lose myself in a particular moment. So I consider JH a good influence.

He introduced me to a couple of his friends before and we held a weekly mahjong game before. Of course I had to teach them mahjong from the start, We played a few games and I think the whole thing lasted two to three months. But I guess I acted too uptight or courteous, we didn't really bound or maybe my sincerity didn't comes through or maybe I just can't relax and got disliked. I'm not good in social settings anymore, maybe I'm just too self-conscious these days.

Some people thinks I'm snobbish or arrogant. I have to admit that maybe I do act like I know better most of the time. But part of it is too that I have a very hard time warm up to new people. If I don't know if I can trust a person or if I don't really know a person's likes and dislikes, I would rarely show my true colors. There is an observation period for people I meet. Funny, cause I go to this video game store a lot and one time this staff came up to me and greeted me with his "knuckle". I think he was expecting for me to meet his knuckle with mine, which I did, but I felt very awkward. And he can absolutely tell that I was put off by the gesture. He made some small talk, but I can tell he was quite embarrassed by the whole thing. Given I did not mean to embarrass him, if anything I was flattered that he feel so at ease with me that he would greet me with such endearing gestures, I was just not used to it that's all.

I wish I can be more like JH in that he can just go up to anyone and talk and really warm up to that person. Or CA, my other colleague who seems to bump into tons of people on the street randomly and can chat with them for half a day everyday. My grandma always say be careful of who you are calling your friend. Maybe I should lower my standards now.


TV Oddities

>> Sunday, October 22, 2006

There aren't a lot of good TV shows on Sunday nights. I know, it used to be worse now there's at least Extreme Makeover, Desperate Housewives and Amazing Race. When Exteme Makeover: Home Edition came on I was happy at first, especially since they made it about helping people in need, I'm all about that. By helping people on TV, you are promoting helping others and voluntarism to viewers. It is great, even the viewers are doing nothing but sit on their butts watching, they still get the instant gratification to know that somebody is being helped by viewing the commercials which funds these programs, but I'm getting a bit tired of the show.

I liked Ty Pennington when he was on TLC doing Trading Spaces. But now he turned into a TV personality making cheesy expressions that comes across less than sincere. Adds so much melodrama to the story that makes me feels like I'm watching the local news. The causes that they are helping are quite unnecessary. A family of seven lost a son to brain cancer living in a small house and needs a brand new house because the mother is pregnant. Have they ever heard of family planning and birth control? If you can't provide to your children, don't have any! Another family, the mother was trying to have children for the longest time and can't, so she go to the doctor and took some birth-induced drugs and out come eight children all at once. She says, if god wants her to have eight children, then she'll just have to try her best to take care of them. God did NOT want you to have children at all, that's why you had problems conceiving children in the first place. Now you get a new home, college funds and a car for giving birth to eight children, how bad am I supposed to really feel for you and your family? Others get their nice house destroy from a tornado or Katrina or other causes. "They lost everything!" There are so much more people that don't have anything nice to start with. I love how they goes to Philadelphia to help a family out and they are not even black. The majority of people in Philly are blacks, the majority of poor people in that city is also black. Ha! What about helping more people of color? Like Native Americans who are forced to live in trailer parks. What about helping people who are poor from the start, people who don't even have a piece of land to build a house on to start with? What about single people, or people who don't have 8 children because they are smart enough to know that they won't be able to feed all of them? Why is it the ones who cries the loudest who get help and not the ones who hurts the most?

I didn't understand why companies will pay so much money to advertise on TV or radio or even the internet for that matter. I always ignored commercials. Commercial time is actual channel flipping time for me to see what else is on TV. I know what I like and there's really little commercials can do to change my mind. Plus, I hate to be force fed information. Like junk mails are all trashed without being read at all. Pop-ups are blocked or closed at first sight. All commercials and product placement are ignored. Of course, I understand they are the main sponsors to good TV shows, without commercials, those shows I loved would not be able to be produced. But how do they know that all the money they invest in commercials are worth it? So I brought the question with ES during our little office break and she says actually only Men flip the channels during commercials. Women like her would actually watch through the commercials and see what's out there on the market. Weird. I guess after watching years and years of TV, I've learned to zone out during commercials, while people who doesn't watch as much would actually pay more attention. Could that be true? I guess people do come in different types.


Change Of Hobbies And Habits

>> Saturday, October 21, 2006

Well, I'm happy to say that my eye is getting better now. Thanks to the antibiotics I'm taking, I think there is still a trace of it somewhere but it has got rid of its ugliness. I blame the gym, I'm very much sure that the towels that they provide are dirty and their floors germ-filled. I laid low for the whole week, stayed home for a day and a half off work resting, no, knitting. My eyes were the excuse why I did not go to the gym. I don't think I've gained my weight back but I did feel a bit guilty.

I somehow got addicted to being out. Half a year ago, I would have been fine staying at home all day watching TV or playing video game. But nowadays since I picked up another hobby that requires the use of my hand, I haven't played video game for a while. My GTA: Liberty City Stories has stayed untouched for a while and I've just heard they are going to publish Vice City Stories soon, I think I'll need to catch up. It is the same reason why I haven't updated this blog for the past few days. I was knitting like crazy trying to make the Thursday class with a finished product. Of course when I showed up with my long, long scarf in class everybody was quite shocked. One, because it was really long and two, they did not even complete half of their own product. Some even asked whether I took off work to knit, I feel like such a loser. I like being outside now. Maybe I closed myself up too long and my body craves for some vitamin B, now I long to be sitting in the sun. My internet connection through my neighbor's wireless has been working, meekly but working, and I'm still dragging my laptop to the nearby Starbucks to steal another wireless connection nearby to go online and type my blog. I'm not a big fan of coffee, especially not starbucks coffee, but I like their giant windows where I can look at the cars and people passing by.

Principe Rana says he don't want to eat dinner at home anymore. He rather eat dinner at work so he won't just eat and go to sleep immediately afterwards. That means I only have to cook for myself at night. I think I'm gonna be depressed because of that. I think a lot of people equates food to love, especially people of color. El Principe already go to work before I wake up and comes home around 11pm at night, if we can't even eat together I would have to proclaim that my love life is non-existent. I can still understand why he don't want to get any fatter, especially with my cooking; it's not in anyway small-portioned and don't mind me saying that it is at times quite good. So in more ways than one, that's why we are both getting fat and he doesn't have the time to exercise, so if we eat every night around 11:30pm and go to bed immediately after, we are bound to get fat. But I will still feel that I'm being rejected somehow. I an remember a time that el principe is mor emuscle than meat unlike now he looks like Senor Porky Jr.

So maybe it's all my fault and maybe his idea is a good one and maybe I'll get over myself. Or he'll change his mind in a day or two and start eating at home again. But for the time being I think I'll just go back on Atkins or make congee everyday and just eat that. I think somehow congee maybe good as a diet, it 's mostly water. Although it might be too easy to digest and absorb... Any case I'll try it for a while. Saw the end of project runway, so ridiculous but that would be the topic of another entry. I also saw a flyer at my gym about some sewing class in the city, maybe I'll join up and try my path as a fashion designer. I did make a pretty nice scarf, "who knows", right? I think it's important to discover any hidden talent that I might have in this stage of my life.

Just talked to DC on the phone, I probably haven't done so for months. Whenever his boyfriend JEW is around, he doesn't want a social life. I find that very strange and irritating. It's not like we are in a love relation, why does he have to abandon his social life whenever JEW is around is beyond me. It's not like he's his slave (or maybe he is?). But I feel like we can't be friends when his boyfriend is around. JEW used to work as the director of Asia for his company and has to live in Asia for months and they only see each other a few times in a year. I acted as a good friend and keep him company on whenever I could. We would go to dinner or the mall together every week. But since his boyfriend came back to the States, he hasn't got the "time" to go out with me and I haven't seen him for months. I feel so used. They say the friendship of gentlemen are as weak as water, and DC always says that you should never feel obligated about friends, so I guess our friendship is based more on his needs than mine. Oh well, what can I do? And to think that we used to put each other down as our emergency contact person. I guess I need a class on people skills than anything else.



>> Tuesday, October 17, 2006

There's something about the styes in my eye that are so unsettling. My doctor and ES told me not to rub my eye, but when it itches I found it very hard not to. So it's spreading now, it totally freaks me out. I see other little bumps around the original stye, my co-worker said they don't want to touch what I've touched and told me to go home. So here I am at home happy to find a workable connection, typing my blog. I hope it doesn't jumped to the other eye.

I keep having the image of an AK-47 shooting styes all over my eye. It'll be like popcorn popping all over the place. I got scared. I really need to not rub it and let the antibiotic works its magic. I would be very upset if Principe Rana got it. I should just cop out for the week. ES told me not to knit anymore, it'll stress out my eye and get worse. But I'm so obsessed with it now, I want to finish it before my next class. You know, wow the crowd with my intricate design. So I'm here itching, knitting and watching old episodes of Without a Trace, Numb3rs, CSI, CSI: NY and CSI: Miami.

Well, at least I'll keep myself from rubbing my eyes from now on. Instant gratification can only get us that far, right?


Dwelling In The Past - Now And Forever

>> Monday, October 16, 2006

I don't know why I'm thinking about my mom that much these few days. Maybe I'm feeling quite motherly with my knitting projects, maybe because ES is pregnant, maybe all the gym session has my blood pumping to a part of my brain that's rarely visited, or maybe I just have some childhood issues to work out. But I'm quite used to dwell in my past, so I guess there's nothing too special about it.

My grandma used to use a very accusatory tone to ask me why I didn't cry when my mother died, as to say maybe I didn't love my mom enough to feel sad. I was enjoying myself at her funeral talking to the relatives that come to attend her wake. I guess it's because I haven't seen my mom with her being in the hospital all the time and the hospital don't allow children to go visit, I was quite lonely for the most part. So I guess I was excited to see that many people, friends and family of my mom all in one place, people that I haven't seen for a while. Another reason for why I wasn't as sad as I should be is because I guess I never understand the concept of death, I didn't believe that she really died.

My mom, uncles and grandma is always in the hospital leaving me alone at home. So I watched a lot of TV to keep from feeling alone. The themes of Hong Kong Television Shows are always around fairy tales or kung fu magic or police dramas. When I was told that my mom died, I thought that's just a lie. I thought that she's either going undercover or she'll revive just like Jesus did. That's a show a called "Treasured Lotus Lamp (寶蓮燈)" described a mother trapped under a mountain and was rescued by her son and become a deity or some sort of a god. I always thought my mom was somebody special, so I believed that she might somehow still be alive. So I wasn't as sad as I could be, I didn't cry as much as I should have. Big deal.

I do dwell in the past a lot. Thinking about my friends. Good times I had when I was in high school. It keeps me going, put a smile on my face. It's important to me to remember my past, although at times it's important not to dwell in the past as well. It's not productive to just think about the past. Life should be about here and now, maybe even the future or working towards a future. Sometimes, the past does not progress into a bright present and it could be disappointing. But like they say what's past is past, the only thing we can do is just to learn from it.


Apple Of My Eye

>> Sunday, October 15, 2006

Nice thing about living in the city is that there are so many things happening around you without notice like nice little surprise just waiting for you. I devoted today to do some knitting today, I was expecting to stay home today the whole day. But I needed to do some grocery shopping, so I stepped out of my apartment after doing laundry. Lo and behold there is a street fair happening right around the corner. I love street fairs, there are so many things to see and they all stuck together for you to browse as you will. The restaurants around are selling food on the street. Antiques, photographs, art, jewelries, clothings, there are even pet looking to be adopted. Clowns on stills, balloon shapers, different bands, you can feel the culture while you are walking on the streets. Plus it's a nice day, I can't help but smile while I'm walking.

I saw these sterling silver emblems at one of the antique booth that I really liked. I have no idea what I can do with them but I really like them because they are very tiny, colorful and cool-looking. Each of them represents an European country or a city or province in Europe. There are also ones for the States and Canada. But tiny though they maybe, each of them costs like $15-$25. I can probably fit 25 to 35 of them on my palm. It might be too expensive for me to collect. When I watch Cash In The Attic on BBC America, I used to envy how they can find forgotten treasures in their house that worth a bundle, while I look around my own place and everything is all junk from Ikea or Wal-Mart or Target. Nobody would want them even if I gave them all out for free. I don't have antiques, and I don't have money to invest in some.

I think another stye is developing along my right eye. It happened to me before and I went to an eye doctor to have it cut out. My doctor told me it's because I don't clean inside my eye properly and caused an infection. How do you clean inside your eye, really? It's like putting on contact lens, how do people do that exactly? It's so invasive. Normally I just wash my face and rub the sleep off of my eye. I never had a problem until now. My right eye lid is all bruised up like I'm been punched. Half of my head looks like a frog's which is appropriate given that my life lately revolves around frog so much. I think it's a stye but if not I must have got sucker-punched by Principe Rana in my sleep. I'm wearing my sunglasses everywhere so nobody sees, I should really just go and make an appointment with my doctor comes Monday.


Flying Out Of The Web

>> Saturday, October 14, 2006

There are days that my laptop can't connect to my neighbor's wireless connection, like today I have to drag my laptop to the neighborhood coffee shop to get some work done. But then the network connection of the coffee shop is not that reliable either, so I finished my Vitamin Water and walked over to the Starbucks nearby and start all over again.

I bought a bunch of CDs and DVDs from and, so that's what I'm doing now. Importing songs to my iTunes. I needed an online connection so my iTunes can access CDDB and I don't have to type the song names of the whole album into the computer. Given that my typing skill for Chinese is slow and poor, it does give me tremendous convenience to be able to access stuff automatically.

I use my computer mostly to access on information right now. Whenever there's a word or a concept that I don't really grasp I go online and look for the information. is my latest friend, my latest searches include "Mace/Teargas", "Mason", "Marijuana" and "Stomach Ulcer". It gives you detail information as well as links to more resources. Of course I manage my bank accounts online. Savings, checking, loan and credit cards. I balance my account and check my expenses everyday. I shop online, but mostly for music, movies, books, comics and electronics. Ebay, and I don't buy clothes online, I like to be able to touch and see them in person when I shop for clothes. Occasionally, I'll look for recipes or chat with friends and look for things to do or places to go to and that's about it.

In some ways I'm glad I'm spending less time on the computer, it freed me up some time so I can go to the gym and do something good for my health and I really do enjoy my knitting class. It's not as hard as I thought and I'm very happy for knowing what I can do when I put my mind to it. I have to say me and knitting is a pretty good match. I have the patience for it and Craig from the yarn store just sent me a flyer for a gathering of men who knit and they get together once a month near my house. It will do good for my social life.


In A Corner Of My Mind

[Original Posted on October 14, 2006 8:00pm EST]

I called my boyfriend Principe Rana not because he's green or anything, It's because his initials are FRG and he's my prince. So I need to knit my first scarf for the knitting class and I chose to do a frog-prince-themed scarf. They let us chose a color for the project and I chose dark brown, because I really like that color, but I also bought a bright red and an ivory white for some edges and graphics. I made a smiley face for my last project and when my classmates saw it, they were oohing and aahing. I have to admit that it felt good. But of course there were also some that got jealous.

So I was designing the graphics on excel at work and got a pretty nice result and all the sudden a tune were playing in the back of my head. It's amazing how one's mind works. My head starts playing a song called "Frog Prince (青蛙王子)" in Cantonese that I've heard when I was around three. It's a lullaby sung by a teenage girl that I used to idolize when I was in kindergarten. Of course, I've forgotten her name. We called her big sister something, but I'm very surprise that I can still remember this tune and some of its lyrics.

Last time when I went back to Hong Kong to visit, I found that tape inside one of my grandma's cupboard. She never throws anything out. Along with it I found a tape that recorded a rendition of a Chinese song called "Won't Go Home Tonight (今天不回家)" sung by my mom and her sisters. It was very funny, I think that made the tape when they were young. In the back of it I can hear my grandma saying something or maybe she was singing along as well. Sometimes I think about my mom and think of what would happen if she hasn't died of cancer. Would I have turned out any different? Would life been any easier? She's a Leo and she's the type of women that fights for what she wants and most of the time she gets it. She got heart broken when my father dumped her for a Polish woman named Barbara. My grandma was convinced that she died of a broken heart instead of cancer. Somehow I think it's a good thing that she passed away, who wants to keep fighting all their lives anyway? At least now she can rest. I'm sad that I think about my mom less and less these days, but she's still stay permanently somewhere on a corner of my mind.

I went to Montreal two year ago with DC and I was surprised how much French still remained inside of my head. I haven't used French ever since my mom got sick when I was 10 and we left Paris and go back to Hong Kong so my grandma can take care of my mom. And yet after 20 years of abandonment, somehow it resurfaced and I was able to communicate with Quebecois who don't speak English. I have no idea where it comes from. Like they say it's like I pulled it out of my ass or something. If there's a chance, I would love to learn French all over again, I would hate to see that goes to waste.


Stereo Type B

>> Thursday, October 12, 2006

I think my next conquer would be learning how to do Kung Fu. It might sound like it's fulfilling one's stereotype, but somehow being an Asian in the States I feel like I need to learn how to do martial arts in order to "represent". I really want to learn Kung Fu, just because it's Chinese. Much like mahjong, Kung Fu is one of the greatest art from of my country. But it's really hard to find a place to learn Kung Fu in the city I live in. I would love to learn some kind of grappling and also to play with some time of weapon. But if I can't find a place to learn Kung Fu, maybe I'll find a place to learn Judo, Karate or maybe even the Brazilian Capoeira. My gym teaches Capoeira Basics and Capoeira. Since I already belong to the gym, I don't even have to pay extra to learn.

I find it funny sometimes that people have an urge to fit in stereotypes about themselves. I don't even think it's a cultural thing, I think people just do it to fit into their own crowd. I was flipping channels the other day and saw a game show called Mega Match Sensacional on TeleFutura and I was surprised that one of competition was to see if they can fit like 40 people on a small platform. Why would any producers think that it was a good idea to do on a Hispanic show is beyond me? It's like watching Mind of Mencia where they have a bunch of contestants of different races eating watermelon and see if the black guy would win. I've befriended this Mexican guy once and we traveled in a small Buick with his whole family. I'm talking about 7 people in a small car. This kind of racial and stereotypical reassurance is funny for sure but it is also very unnecessary.

Dave Chappelle, Carlos Mencia and the "Blue Collar" boys are using stereotypes for comedy and made quite a name for themselves. I guess that makes for some wonderful comedy materials.


Yet Another Day

>> Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I can't believe I missed an episode of Heroes last night just for watching the first season of Weeds. Not that Weeds wasn't worth it, I haven't laughed so hard for the longest time but I could have managed my time so much better.

Ran around in New York today. Principe Rana needed to go to the Argentinean Embassy, because his passport expired, but he accidentally mailed it to this family in Argentina, so he won't be able to get a new one until his family send it back to him. I told him so, but he wasn't gonna heed my warnings. I also told him not to tell the embassy that he's in the States illegally, but did he listen? Thank god they didn't detain him and ship him back to his country, that dumb m@t#er-f#(ker! Well, we found an Argentinean restaurant to have lunch. They had really good steak. Argentina actually is the only country that still have real cowboys till this day. Beef and Tango is pretty much their biggest contributions to the world.

Afterwards, we went to Mitsuwa so I can go return a clay pot for sukiyaki that I bought a week ago. It's was a bit too big and I really didn't have the space to store it. The store clerk didn't want to give me a refund because I don't have the receipt with me. So she got me store credit instead, and I picked a couple of bowls, maybe I'll give them away for X'mas. We were hungry for Japanese food after the parrillas and the churrascos at the Argentinean restaurant and I couldn't find my snacks, so I got some groceries and tons of onigiris for later. Got home around 10:30pm and between us two we had six onigiris already and of course the receipt for the claypot was sitting on my desk staring at my face. All and all I was quite happy. Although I do realize my habit of walking really fast and really far when I'm in New York. I wonder why.


TV Review: Weeds

>> Monday, October 09, 2006

I finally finished the eight episodes of Weeds available on Showtime's trial weekend. This TV series is so hilariously funny, the dialogues are amazing. I got hooked on it immediately. It's a series about a women named Nancy who lives in a gated community and lost her husband leaving her with two kids and somehow got into the business of selling "weeds" (aka Marijuana). All the available episodes are from the second season, so I don't know how the whole thing started out.

The second season started from Nancy finds out the guy that she slept with was a DEA agent. The DEA agent later knew that she was a drug dealer but since he "loves" her they secretly got married so he will not be forced to testify against her. He said there are only 400 DEA agents in the world and she's too "small time" for her to be arrested, he even helped her take off her competitors. She has a bakery to cover her operation, and one of her staff burned it down, so they can claim the insurance money to start "growing" themselves. The whole show is like a heavily spiced up "desperate housewives" with a more dangerous touch. It's really great. Plus, the songs in the series are very funny too. They have a myspace blog for the music alone. I especially like "Little Boxes" by Elvis Costello. The show has so many different ethnicities in it, there's even a deaf actress in it. It's really wonderful, I can't wait and get season one somewhere and watch them all. I almost subscribed to Showtime just because of that.

The argument in the series is that weeds unlike other drugs are not addictive and not harmful to health. It is controlled by the government because it does not profit pharmaceutical companies or the government. Yet, the government produces false claims against marijuana for that reason and made it illegal. I understand that in Holland, smoking marijuana is legal as long as they do it in the "marijuana bars". I don't see that country tumbling down. Personally, I would love to try it once, ES tried it once when she was in Jamaica. She said it was nothing special, she just became very giggly and she got the munchies afterwards. My theory is that I should try everything at least once just to judge for myself. I tried smoking, I didn't like it and that was that.



>> Sunday, October 08, 2006

Principe Rana finally broke down and said the words I want to hear first. I didn't force him or anything, but he probably know I was pissed about something. He said it this morning before he went to work, I see this as a tremendous victory. I watched TV all day today, there really wasn't anything on the telly. But since they have a trial weekend for Showtime and there was a show called Weeds that I really wanted to see, the TV was on all day. Of course, I did laundry and went to get groceries and other Sunday rituals that I have and I also managed to finish my knitting homework. I have been destructing the work I did and re-knitting it several times because of a small mistake here and there or I didn't like what I was doing. I also got a little creative and knitted a big smiley face on it. Just trying my skill, it didn't come out exactly how I like it, but I was gonna show it off to the class next week. Sometimes, I think I'm really anal and vain.

Bought six different pasta sauces from Mitsuwa last week and I've almost tried all of them but one. Two of them are "soup" pasta sauces, one is three mushrooms and the other is a clam sauce. The three mushrooms is too diluted and did not taste much, the clam sauce was pretty good. The others are cream sauces, there was a cheese sauce that tasted like brie, a squid ink sauce, a shrimp roe cream sauce, a cod roe cream sauce. The brie one is very, very tasty, ten times better than regular macaroni and cheese. The shrimp roe cream sauce is absolutely heavenly, a little smoky and salty with a tons of flavor. I haven't tried the cod roe sauce yet, the squid ink sauce is different and quite pleasant but there are some awkward effects. It manages to make your teeth, spit, tongue and all your insides dark. A bit scary really.

I took tomorrow and Tuesday off. Since this four day weekend started off on the right foot with me being victorious and finishing my homework and all, maybe I'll attempt to clean my refridgerator and finish my long forgotten scrapbook project for my recipes cut outs from my dozens of magazine I started 2 years ago. Now the cut ous are just sitting on a corner covered with dust. I should really clean my place up too.


Feel The Need To Knit

>> Saturday, October 07, 2006

Don't laugh, but I've signed up for a knitting class. I signed up for it probably because of Project Runway. Making clothes seems so much fun, so I thought maybe I can do it too. It's finger work, and since I watch so much TV, maybe I can just sit in front of it and do something productive on the side. Plus winter is approaching, it just seems to be the perfect time to pick up another skill. Last time when ES and I went to Mitsuwa we passed by Sanseido and I saw a few Japanese knitting books that looked very nice, suddenly the thought of learning to knit litted brightly in my head.

So I found this shop online called Loop, they are in my city and on their website they advertise the classes that they offer. Ninety-six dollars for four two-hour classes, perfectly designed for beginners. It seems reasonable enough and a good chance to meet new people, so I called them up and joined. My friend ES said that I'll probably be surrounded by older women, but it's really not a problem.

I went to the class on thursday. It was a really nicely decorated shop, it looks very trendy. There are a lot of yarns and needles and other tools for sale, and also some knitted products like scarfs and little boots and teddy bears all around the stores. I was the first one to arrive and I sat down by a small table. The class is only for 8 people, actually mostly young girls in their 20s to 30s. Most of them are from medical schools or the hospital nearby. We learned how to knit, purl and how to change yarn on our first class. It was fun enough, now we just have to practice and get used to knitting. It is actually quite fun, not hard only time-consuming. But you get very excited by what you can do.

I want to knit whenever I'm static or have nothing to do. But I really don't know if I can do that. Especially when I'm on the bus, I could get too embarassed. El Principe was telling me that a guy knit on the bus every night when he comes home and the whole bus load of people stares at him. Gosh, I wouldn't want to be that guy. But kniting seems to be a good way to pass the time, it's at least constructive. I should just get over myself.


Love... Convoluted

>> Friday, October 06, 2006

It must be the stress I'm feeling lately, I'm starting to feel annoyed by the slightest thing. Work is one thing; the spyware-invaded computers by their careless, nothing-to-do-but-browse-the-internet users, the nobody-would-ever-read-them reports requested by those it's-due-by-the-end-of-today-but-I'm-not-gonna-tell-you-until-four-o'clock a-holes. But I think the stress starts to affect my personal life.

El Principe loves me, I can feel it but maybe I'm insecured; I like to be told. Oftenly. When I say the "I love you"s, all I hear back is "Me too." It's never initiated by my counterpart. I'm annoyed. I understand that he is not used to showing affections. He was and still is "In the closet", but I need something more or at least to show some self-empowerment - I "deserve" something more. Lately, I try to control myself and stop saying those "I love you"s and see how long before he would initiate those comments. I'm so used to saying that, it's really hard for me to stop. And I know testing your lover ia really unhealthy, but this is really a kind of reassurance that I need. But then I starts to realize something, maybe I only give affection to get affection, maybe my affection wasn't genuine in the first place. Maybe I don't love him at all, I'm just saying it because I want to hear it. How do I know that I really love him?

Now I'm having nightmares about breaking up with him. It is so unevitable, he told me from the start that eventually he needs to go back to Argentina. By this time next year, he's going to be gone. A relationship of 5 years will end. Of course, he told me that he'll be back, perhaps three years later. He asked me to wait for him, but will I really wait for him? Can I? I'm such a faithless man, how do I know he will ever come back? How do I know I'm important enough for him to come back for? I don't even know I'll be in this country a year from now.

Maybe I'm pushing him away right now by playing those head games. I hate myself. I hate this. At times, I wish time would never pass. If I can only pick a moment in time and just stay there forever. If I don't nee to pay rent or eat, I would have stayed in my apartment forever. Who needs other people? I definitely need a candy or something to lift me up from this emotional slump.


Trouble In Mind

>> Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"Trouble in mind. I'm blue, but I won't be blue always. Coz' the sun's gonna shine in my back door someday." Nina Simone

Recently my work environment has worsened, I really feel like I'm being treated unfairly. We talked about the new structure of the organization after December. I feel like I'll be working more while getting paid less while other people who do not contribute would get to stay. I might be working with or even under people that I don't like, although there's nothing I can do about it right now. I'm applying for my labor certification and maybe a little later - the green card. My boss is telling me to focus on the application, so in other words I'm being blackmailed.

I don't quite see a way out of this. I need to remain here at least until my green card application is filed which hopefully it can be done by next April or May. Trust me, I'll be counting the days. The bad thing about this is that the more able ones will be leaving here and all who remain will be those slackers. But I have made up my mind to slack as well, I see no point to be the hard working one if nobody else do anything around the office. Either that or negotiate a four-day work week and perhaps pick up waitering on the side and get paid under the table. Either way, the future does not look good.

People say misery feels a lot longer than happiness does. Also people are more likely to complaint than they are to praise. The theory is that tension is human/animal instinct to respond to stress or danger while happiness is just a feeling and does not serve any real purpose. It is a natural response to potential threats to our lives on our race to be the alpha male/female. It explains why people like drama so much, everybody is looking for happiness but they can never be happy for long, they get consume by what they do not have instead of what they have. It's just human nature. It's like when I got my iPod, I was ecstatic about it. But once the excitement fades, I'll be consume by the next new toy I have my eyes on, the happiness that my iPod brought me is temporary while my wants linger and expand forever. So, to be human actually is to be miserable for more than half of your life.

I wonder who's the happiest human in the world and how one can achieve that kind of happiness. With money? Good looks? Fame and recognition? Power? Religion? Contribution to society? Companionship? Or just plain old ignorance, naivety and drugs? Surely a healthy combination of those ingredients would help. I'm pretty sure Bill Gates is happy, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie should be happy too. I doubt that Tom Cruise or Mel Gibson is happy. I don't really know if the pope is happy, and I don't really know if Mother Teresa was happy. She's helping a lot of people and that sure is rewarding , but from day to day she's face to face with people who are suffering, I don't think that can provide much joy to know and see first hand that there are so much suffering in the world. Is George W. Bush happy? He must be getting a lot of money and deals out of his current presidency but to be thought of as an idiot and being hated by more than half of the world and more than half of his own country. Well, he can just ignore them.

If happiness is a plateau that everybody can reach and tension is the reason people cannot reach it. Then the key to happiness must be to learn the ability to reduce tension. But if it is human instinct for tension to exist, to acquire this ability is to go against human nature, to reprogram oneself could be the most unnatural thing. It must be even impossible to achieve especially in this society where commercials are everywhere begging you to acquire what you don't have. New car models are out every year, even if you don't want or need a new car you can't help but compare. To feel content is not an easy task and to feel happy is even harder. My bet is on the drugs.


A Full Deck

>> Tuesday, October 03, 2006

This is my 52nd post since my first post on July 18th. Fifty-two posts in seventy-eight days, so it just work out to 2 posts every 3 days. Not bad, huh? But I know I'm lazier and lazier these days. Like a new singer, I used to have a lot to say. But the topics are running out and I'm posting exponentially (see Lewis Black) less than I used to. Lately it's more about food than anything else, I really should change the name of my page to "The Weight-Gain Diary of a Compulsive Eater".

OK, lately ES has somehow become pretty good friends, I don't know how. She's from Japan, a few years older than me, married to a Cambodian and have a 2-year old son name Ken, but since I use initials on everyone and I know his middle name, I'll call him KEL. I think the reason why we became friend is that I'm very interested in Japanese culture and since we are both from Asia, we kinda think alike. ES is very outgoing, and she's pleasant to be with. Unlike myself, who seems to be a dark cloud no matter where I go. We have been going to dinner at least once a week, we went to Mitsuwa together, sometimes we go to the gym together, and she comes to my office and we chat for at least an hour a day. We are so close that KEL called me "Dad" in Japanese once. I was thinking to myself, if I were interested in girls, she probably would be the type. But too bad... Sooner or later we'll run out of things to talk about and this friendship will probably end, at least now I got the feeling that she talks a bit too much and I get the "husband mentality" and pretend to listen to her while I'm really not paying attention to our conversation. But it doesn't mean that I don't appreciate her being there.

ES told me about a lottery program that the US government has. Every year the US government gave out 55,000 green card to people who particapate in the lottery. I must have heard of it before and either thought it wasn't for real or just plain didn't do anything about it. When she told me that a few of her friend applied for it, and got it after their second or third try I got interested. I don't know why but it's very hard for me to believe that something is true unless I or somebody close to me experience it first-hand. So I when online and find out that and read that the application for the lottery will open tomorrow, talk about timing. The application is relatively easy and it is open to people born from Hong Kong. And it's completely free, how wonderful is that?

ES asked me to call my lawyer to see if I can apply for it or if my current application through my lawyer will be in any kind of conflict. My lawyer assured me that there won't be any conflict but the chances are quite slim (about 10%). I can that he has a dismissive tone in his voice and I think he don't want me to apply because if I got it that way, he won't get paid. But it is really not about him at this point. But then I got nervous, the application says that each person can only apply once, anyone who did it more than once will be disqualified immediately. What if my lawyer sabotage me and applied more than once in his office? I hope he won't. Another thing is that the application called for a very specific digital photo from the applicants, it has to be 320 pixels high by 240 pixels wide, 24-bit color jpeg file under the size of 62.5 Mb if it is taken, if it's a scanned photograph, it must be 2-inch by 2-inch scanned in 150-dots per inch scanner, 300 by 300 pixels square. What if I screw up?

The whole thing is getting me pretty nervous. I think I don't really have a full deck.


The Wonders of Mitsuwa (Repost)

>> Monday, October 02, 2006

There's really no mystery to my weight gain. I've given up going to the gym last week because of the stitches on my back and ES and I went to Mitsuwa on Saturday. I wrote a post right after I got back but I guess because I posted two pictures along with it, I got an error message an the whole thing I typed up was gone. After that I was just too discouraged by it and gave up on the retype.

The gist of it is that I always like going to Mitsuwa because of the great food and grocery available in there. Of course there is chinatown and different Korean or other Asian supermarket around. But none can compare to the great Mitsuwa. People do travel hours just to be there. I spent more than $200 for groceries that day. Half of it was for Kobe beef and pastries. At $20 a pound, you can really get lost in the marbling of the beef. And then, there's the different snack food. Right now in the office, I'm surrounded by Rokkatei's Baby Chocolate Mix, Morinaga's Choco Flake and Tameda's Tsumami Dane Cracker Mix. the best way to eat them is to mix them all together and shove them in your mouth.

From when I got home on Saturday at 5:00 pm until now, I've managed to finish the 10 onigiris within the first 24 hours, 5 Kobe Bouchees and still had oden for dinner one night and sukiyaki for dinner the other night. I feel like I'm punishing my body with food. Am I addicted? Is this an addiction? My allergist told me that I've gain four pounds between the two appointments I've had with her in a two-week span. God, I've got to stop. Under ES' recommendation I've also bought a whole bunch of individual packaged pasta sauces. Exotic ones too, like squid ink, ebi cream, three mushroom and cod roe. I guess I'll be eating pasta for a while.

I also got a claypot for sukiyaki and shabu-shabu. But after I took it home, I realize that I don't even have space to put it and that I don't really need it. Maybe I should take it back and return it. But that would have to wait until next weekend, or until Principe have time to go with me. He went there once and enjoyed taking pictures of Manhattan across the river tremendously.

We have had great food over there. The picture on the left is of sushi kaiseki from Matsushima and the right one is chocolate parfait from Cafessa.


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