The Funerals of Rats

>> Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Yesterday, one of my colleagues' printer had a paper jam and when she opened up the paper drawer, a mouse jumped out of it. I think that was really funny and it has me cracking up for most of the day. I didn't know what happened at first, my colleague was yelling and hollering, and I thought she was having a big fight with someone else. I was relieved that it was just a mouse. But she was an affirmed christian, and another colleague was catholic and a vegetarian and all I hear from them was "Kill it!!!" and "Step on it!!!" I thought god created everything and you're supposed to love all creatures, I guess not.

ES and me who has some Buddhist background were the only two that says "Let it go!" Well, they finally find it and killed it today. ES says maybe because we have mice at our homes and that's why we are not as shocked as they are. I do feel bad when my mouse trap gets a mouse. I wish all species can get along, but it doesn't work out that way. We have to kill some things sometimes.

I filled out an immigration form yesterday, my lawyer's paralegal finally got the package to me. In the forms there were a bunch of questions asking whether I was a former Nazi or if I have used, buy or sell illegal drugs. Also they asked me about the birthdays and the city that my parents were born, would it be strange that I didn't know any of these information? I have a concept that my mom was born in August of 1950, but I don't know which day. I think she was born in Macau. Forget about my dad, he's a deadbeat and I don't have a clue on where and when he was born. So I made it up. At the end, I have to sign that I didn't lie of make up anything on my responses, oh well...

I asked my grandma to mail me my birth certificate, there might be information on my parents' birth. It's always interesting to find out about your past. I'm so self-centered at times that I think life begins with me and forgot that there are tons of information about me and my family that I don't know. I wonder what my mom sees in my dad at the first place. I wonder if he's still alive and if he's not, shouldn't I at least benefit from his death?


Day of the Oldies

>> Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Growing up my mom loved music and I think that's why I love music too. Sometimes those music that my mom used to listen to resonates in my head. I can't help but sings one of these oldies. It's really nostalgic. So a few years when I was passing by a music store in San Francisco, I saw a few "best of" collections of singers that my mom used to love. Yesterday, a friend brought on an old song, and I thought "I have some CDs of some oldies stored up somewhere, it might be nice to burn them into my iPod." So I brought them to work today.

Deanie Ip has always been my favorite even since I was a kid. One of my online friend told me once that all gay people from Hong Kong loves Deanie Ip, Faye Wong and Sandy Lam, I'm afriad I can hardly argue with that. In Dreamgirls someone says Beyonce's Diana Ross type character got to be a star because she doesn't have any emotions in her voice and that what I feel about the latest canto-pop singers. They are pretty to look at, but if you really listen to them, there's no feeling expressed. I much rather listen to Deanie any time of the day.

Paula Tsui is another older singers from Hong Kong that people don't speak of anymore. One of my aunts used to love her, she even changed her name to Paula because of her. But when I listen to her now, it's a bit cheesy. Her songs are mostly borrowed Japanese melodies with heavy 70s feeling. Somehow I got into a discussion with ES about Teresa Tang. She hit it big back then in Asia, the whole Asia loved her. It is rare for a Chinese/Taiwanese singer to hit it big in countries that doesn't speak the language. Judy Ongg is another one of them. Teresa was regarded as a national treasure of China and later died of an asthma attack in Thailand. I remember that she had a much younger French boyfriend. And of course I still remember Jenny Tseng, the Kwans and a singer named Bao. One of my favorite oldies is the theme song of a kung fu TV series called "The Condor Heroes". I wish I can download it somewhere.


A Dish Best Served Cold

>> Monday, February 26, 2007

I just heard it from a TV show or a movie the other day saying that revenge is not about justice, it's just to make the former victim feel better. Frankly, I don't know what's so wrong about wanting to feel better.

Last Friday, my ex-boss and me had a fallout and it makes my already terrible mood even worse. It started with the website that he hired someone to put together and since it's not done yet, he wants me to do something about it. There's nothing I can do, since he hired the person behind my back and I don't know his contacts. The guy put together something real quick just to shut him up saying that it is only a temporary draft and the final finished product will be done in a month. My boss wanted me to give him suggestions, but I told him that it is just a rough draft, we have yet to see the finished design, so it is too early to give any critiques or suggestions. He called another consultants and the other consultant agrees on me and basically told him to shut up and wait. After that he has the gall to come to me and ask me why I'm not technical savvy enough to do what he wanted. Of course, I know he intentionally said something like that to me to piss me off just because someone told him to shut up and he got upset and needed to make others feel bad as well. All the time he's pushing me to critique a website or do an interim website for the few weeks that we'll be waiting and I bluntly told him no.

Then, he called me in the conference room and told me that I'm being very negative lately and suggest that maybe I should "do something else". I told him I'm being negative because I feel like I was scammed and that I will not go anywhere else before I get my green card. And I told him that at this point I am not doing much because I don't know what my responsibilities are after our reconstruction. I requested them to tell me for months but they never gave me anything concrete. And who is he to tell me what to do anyway, he got a huge severance pay to leave but he still acts like the boss in the organization. Given everybody knows it's just another scam, he's going to come back as our boss in another form. But he made his own bed, so he should really lie in it. He ask me how we can get pass this and I told him I don't exactly know that we can, I have too much resentment stored up in how they mismanage the company, I do have lots of doubts in how the company can survive anyway. They may reinvent and reinvent the organization, rename it andrename it, it's still managed by the same S-holes. They have offended enough people that the ill-wills are enough to destroy this company.

Later that day, he came back with a new job description and a new job offering letter for me to sign. The letter is offering a brand new position for me with the same pay, but has a three-month probation period. It means that if I don't work out for them, I can be fired in three months without any reasoning. I must have the word "dumb" written on my forehead. I have been working here for six years, all the sudden I need a probation period to see whether I work out? I know their tricks enough to know that it is the easiest way to fire someone. So I refuse to sign it, how many position do I need? I'm the director of MIS and planning, and then they gave me a card saying I'm the manager of data collection and data management and now I'm something else? how can I be three things all at once? Honestly I cannot participate in their scams.

I would have been fine if they would just let me be, but if provoked I have enough documentation evidence amongst others that would leave them into tons of trouble. They could go to jail for it, ruin the careers that they think they have and also other things that can ruin their families. I do have all the contacts but I don't really want to do it because it's not in my personality. But I can certainly dedicate a year or two just to make sure they will never make anything of themselves again. They always say that the quiet ones are the most dangerous ones. I have no qualms about making myself feel better but then as long as I got what I need from them, I'll be happy enough.


The Pursuit of Happiness

>> Friday, February 23, 2007

My uncle just got a divorce, me and my aunt was talking on the phone about that and she says "Poor guy, how unfortunate...", in which I replied "He's always criticizing everything that everybody is doing, it must have been tough to be his wife." Then she told me that he originally he planned to move back in with my grandma, much to her dismay, but later he caught her talking about him behind his back, so he bought a small place and moved out. My aunt told me that even his son is not talking to him anymore, that my uncle is isolating himself from everybody. I remember when I was young he was quite violent when he doesn't get his way, maybe that's why he's getting a divorce and maybe that's why his own son doesn't talk to him anymore. I remember talking to him a few years ago to quit getting into and criticizing other people's businesses and that would eventually drive people away. I told my aunt "He could have changed his ways." Then my aunt says something I find profound "性格命生成 (Your personality grows to be like that)"

I always have a different understanding about personalities, I thought I am who I am from day one and I'll always be and remains the same. But what my aunt was implying is that through time and the change of environment, your personality will change. I told myself when I was growing up that I will never be like my uncle or my grandmas, my dad or my mom even. But I'm afraid to admit that I find traits in myself that really resembles my uncle. It's a cliche, everybody grows up finding themselves to be like their parents. Maybe because once upon a time they were our role models, idols even. So subconsiously we are all imitating a life that has someone else has lived before. That's the only example we had on how to deal with a particular situation.

I'm in a rut, I need to get out of it and hopefully my personality can grow in a happier, healthier direction. I remember it used to be like that, now it is not. After my company scammed me out of the few thousands dollar that they promised me, I became very disgruntled. Not that I'm picking fights or stealing stuff, but I'm quite cold and distant these days and I can start to see that it affects other people around me. I just can't let it go. I'm coming in late and leaving early when I wish. They let another employee left for half a year and still paying her salary, I doubt that they would say anything about me not being there on time. But I'm not in a happy environment right now. Honestly, if I should stop blaming others and whine all the time as well, nobody likes a whiner. If I'm that unhappy, I should just forget my green card application and leave. I should realize that my life is in my hand, I can change it when I want to, but currently it provides me with some security that I don't have the courage to let go.

I always thought I didn't care about what others think of me, who needs them? But I'm afraid to turn into my uncle, I'm afraid to spend the rest of my life isolating myself from other people, to live and die alone.


Chinese New Year '07

>> Thursday, February 22, 2007

Well, boy am I late? Chinese New Year started the past Sunday and now I'm just getting around it. I'm getting quite sentimental about it and it's about the first year that I really miss home (meaning Hong Kong) and I don't really know why. I'm getting old, I guess. So I went out to Chinatown by myself. Principe has to work, DC went to Australia with his family and I really don't feel like contacting anybody else. I wanted a lavish banquet, or dim sum, but those are activities that you need a lot of people to go along with you. So I ended up in a HK style BBQ restaurant, ordered a bowl of wontons and a roast pig and BBQ pork with rice. I haven't have roast pig for a while, thought it would be festive.

Chinatown was full of people, foreigners mostly. They buy all kinds of firework in the stores and just light them up in the middle of the streets. I was surprised of how busy Chinatown is during Chinese New Year. When I first come to this city, all the stores and restaurants close during the first few days, just like when I was in Hong Kong. For us, it is like Christmas; We celebrates from home but everything is supposed to be closed, it's a time for us all to rest. Now even the barbershops are open, which is a big no-no. I guess everyone is getting commercialized and money-driven.

I bought a phone card to call home. They never work around the first few days of new year. I must have dialed around 40 times for it to go through and my little brat of a cousin hanged me up. Why is he even answering the phone? The boy is like 5 years old. Til this day, I still didn't get in touch with some of my aunts. God knows what they'll think about me now. "He called his grandma, but didn't call us... I guess he's too important for us now..." My grandma already told me that one of my uncle-in-laws ask why I haven't called her as early as I had, implying that I either forgot about my grandma or not love her enough... Oh well...

I was obsessing about the fact that I didn't get to have a full Chinese New Year meal, so I dragged Principe out Tuesday night to a restaurant and ordered shark-fin soup, peking duck, beef stew and craw meat with pea shoots. I would have loved to have some lobsters, but it was too much food. And I had some sweet and sour chicken leftovers that I made at home, so I tried my best to control myself. When I was eating the soup, I was thinking of why our people eat shark fins at all. Surely it doesn't taste, with the technology we have now they could make it could have been plastic or some kind of noodles, people wouldn't be able to tell and I doubt that it has any kind of nutritional value. (ES told me that it has a high mercury content, you may get mercutry poisoning if you eat a large quantity of it) But all in all, I was happy that I did something for Chinese New Year and have tons of leftovers that I won't have to cook for a week.

But then, it is still not the same as being in Hong Kong and be surrounded by friends and family...


Game Addiction... (It's Serious This Time)

>> Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I saw an article on Yahoo! the other day talking about how people are addicted to video games. As you can imagine, it struck a cord in my head, because frankly I know I am one. In the article, it told a story about people who's hooked on an world-famous MMORPG called World of Warcraft. Those who are addicted to the game invest the majority of their time in the fantasy world and start ignoring their real life responsibilities. They start ignoring their social life and friends, get to work late and their family life is also affected by it. Some people would miss important events in their life just to play the game, some guy turned down a scholarship from an university, some turned down jobs and others got divorced. And all I can think of is that World of Warcraft must be a great game.

Of course, gaming addiction wasn't a new concept for me, I have heard enough stories to know what video games can do to a person. Somebody died from a heart attack playing Biohazard (Resident Evil for US), people taking sick leave for the release of Dragon Quest, but to officially calling it a disease is a new and harsh concept for me. Someone is literally trying to come out with a set of diagnosis on Wikipedia which I find myself having multiple symptoms. I talk about playing games on my blog, I'm obsessively thinking about events and details, I played it longer than I intend to, I give up social events just so I can play and I get to work late sometimes because I was playing games and yes, I dreamt about it too.

From a related article on BBC, it actually shows that others are profiting from this addiction. Clinics are building in China to combat this new found addiction. People are spending too much time from the Internet and video games taht they have to build hospitals just to make them stop. Teenagers, particularly are all over the net and ignoring their school work. Grades are slipping and parents are worried. (Hey, at least the kids are losing weight...) As I'm pondering about my gaming habits and whether I should get World of Warcraft or not, I gave up maxing up my Disgaea 2's characters and went to the video store and got myself a copy of Bully. At least it is not an RPG... So I don't have to spend all my next 100 hours leveling up. It is really the fault of the game developers to develop a game that requires so much time to make everything better, of course having a compulsive personality helps too... But if I can manage to get myself addicted to it in a level like those kids in China, maybe I'll be able to lose some weights.


Valentine's Day Migraine

>> Thursday, February 15, 2007

When I got home Tuesday night I got a package from someone in Hong Kong. At first I thought it was CY since I've just sent him a G-Shock earlier and he said he had something for me. But then it doesn't really looked like his address, he just moved out of his mom's. After that I thought it might be my cousin's sending me a gift thanking me for the wedding present I've sent her. Since I've not heard from her since, I thought it would just be natural. "And I was doubting her manners..." I thought to myself. But when I was opening the box and read the card, I was completely blown away.

BY has been one of my best friends and I really feel bad not being able to be there for his wedding and celebrate his first born. So I sent him a package of baby clothing, baby blanket, stuffed animals and a silver rattle from Tiffany's around the time that the baby was born. It was decidedly a bit heavy-handed because I don't remember sending him a wedding gift either. We joked and he teased me not getting married yet, so I joked saying I'm already married. I didn't tell him that it was with a guy, of course, not knowing how he would react and I really liked him as a friend. A bunch of them in college years found Jesus, and you never know what it means. So when I opened the box, I saw a card congratulating me on my wedding and wishes us "both" luck. And inside the box came a really beautiful miniature crystal vase and gold branched and leafed crystal roses from Swarovski. Honestly, I was really just joking with him and I guess he was looking for an excuse to give me back something in return.

Principe also got me some red roses for Valentine's day which was totally unexpected either and I love him for that. The only thing is he put it by the lamp for a while and almost all of them died the very next day and if he knew me well enough, he would have chosen some white or light colored flowers instead of the color he likes. "Bright red is for love" he says.

I made someTiramisu for work, because originally we planned an open house and it's Valentine's Day but we got a bit of snow yesterday morning. I've always like snow, every year I anticipate two or three days of heavy snow, so I don't have to go to work. I get cheerful when the weather goes bad. Go figure. I love rain, thunderstorms and typhoons. Is it because a Chinese psychic has told me that my elements lack water or is it because it produces a chemical reaction in my body that makes me feel happy? Anyway, I guess the whole city was hoping for a huge snow day that even a few inches got the entire city into a frantic mode and they closed all the schools. I was getting ready to go to work with my tiramisu, when I get calls after calls debating whether the office is gonna be closed and finally we came to a decisions that we won't be going to work.

So from the time that Principe was going to work until the time he came back. I was in front of the TV playing video game. I guess I must really want to finish it fast. I was getting this huge migraine all the time I was playing it too. I had some of the Tiramisu which was surprisingly good and forgot about the fact that it was Valentine's day or the fact that I need to cook dinner. I snapped out of it when he came back around 8:00pm, so I rushed out to get groceries and more flowers in the snow and that was that.



>> Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A friend of three years just called me out of the blue during the weekend telling me that he left his job and is planning to reallocating to San Francisco. Of course, in order to do that he has to find a job over there first. I told him that it is such a great idea and that I wish I can do that. He ask me "Why not?"

Why not? Well, if you know me, you know that I have an excuse for everything. If I really wanted to do something, I would have done it. My boyfriend will be leaving me in August, so I guess he's not one of the more important factor. I'm applying for a green card and that's important. I need to find a job out there and that's difficult. The rent and living expense out there is a lot more expensive. Other than that I'm all for it.Me and my friend can be roomates and life seems so much more exciting in SF. It's one of the more gay-friendly cities in the States. With luck, I might be able to get my green card in May. (Knock on wood...)

Although I don't think it'll make a big difference if I restart or jump start my life yet again in another place. I'm still me, you can't run away from your shadow. But just think of how much more exciting life can be in a gay mecca and the Asian capital of US. I'll be a double majority. (Hold on... is that a good thing?)

Lately, I've identified Brazil as a place where good-looking men are from. I think I wouldn't mind learning Portuguese and moving there either. But I just saw a news article about a little boy playing around a small river and almost got eaten by a 15-feet anaconda... I'm so scared of snakes that I jump from the sight of curly branches on the sidewalk. If I see an actual anaconda in from of me, I'll definitely freeze and just let the anaconda eat me alive. So although I'm developing a liking to Brazilian men, maybe moving there is not such a good idea. Will I even dare to travel?


The Italian 7-Course at Mamma Maria

>> Sunday, February 11, 2007

On the upper notes of things, like I said, I went to a 7-course dinner at an Italian restaurant called Mamma Maria. It's a pretty quaint and homey restaurant. It's not highly decorated, but it's casual and comfortable which is quite charming as well. Everything is very casual, it's like stepping into somebody's dining room.

When we sat down, a jar of red, a basket of assorted breads and a plate of antipasto is already waiting for us. The plate of antipasto consists of some grilled eggplant, marinated onions, chickpeas and sauteed carrots. Afterwards, the waitress came over to explain the whole process and told us about the choices we have for entrees. We each chose one and then continued with our second course.

The second course is a very nice plate of lentil soup with carrots, onion and celery. The broth is light and clear, I've always been amazed of how flavorful lentil soup could be even without chicken broth. I think I'm going to be making that for dinner some nights and add a chicken leg confit on top. The third course is the pasta trio, which is an assortment of three different pasta in different sauces. It is some gnocchi in marinara sauce, bowtie pasta in alfredo sauce and some penne is a roze sauce. It is quite simply put on a plate next to each other. The penne is my favorite. I always like the mixture of the creaminess and roundness of alfredo and the acidity and flavor of marinara.

The entree comes next. MP chose the grouper with crabmeat on top in a safflony cream sauce and she gave me and ES a bite, it was surprisingly good. ES originally wanted the filet mignon with sauteed mushrooms but she changed her mind and got the langoustine seafood platter instead. I was gonna order the langoustine, but since she ordered it, I got the filet. might as well tried a bit of everything, right? ES' seafood platter comes with shrimp and calamari flavored with lemon juice and some melted butter. She gave me one of her langoustine and I really liked it. My filet mignon was good, but nothing too special.

A plate of salad came next, and a plate of cheeses and watermelon. Then it comes dessert. The waiter recommended that we have the ricotta cheescake, but later came back saying they are out of it. We teased him so bad. So we shared a piece of italian rum cake, a piece of chocolate cake and a piece of pineapple coconut cake. The pineapple coconut cake has fresh pineapple in it and tasted really good. The others are just so-so. The thing that also get me is that ES and I had our camera ready around the whole meal, but the food is not really "plated". It is really casual, the cake is a thin slice flopped on a plate, it doesn't even have whipped cream or syrup on top. The salad is like going to a diner ordering a side green salad.

The service was pretty good though. The jar of red wine we have on the side is kept filled to the top over the whole meal. I understand how coffee and booze can be counted as a course all by themselves. At the end, they brought out a whole arsenal of liquors, some home-made, some store bought for us to try. There's limoncello, limoncello cream, a raspberry liquor, a strawberry one, a store-bought sambuca, disarrono and a guapa (sp?). The waitress came over and taught us how to make shots, two-thirds limoncello cream, one third of the strawberry and she calls it "the strawberry shortcake". Of course, I'm not a big drinker, but I tried a drop of everything just for the flavor anyway. I really like the sambuca and the disarrono. Sambuca taste like licorice, I personally don't like licorice but somehow I don't mind it in liquid form. The disarrono taste like almond and I do like almond, I must use it to cook sometime. I don't think I have a shot glass full if I add up all the liquor I've consumed that night and I barely have a glass full of red wine.

All in all, I really enjoyed myself and at the end it only comes to $62. It's definitely a good experience. I'll post the pictures later...


Spending More Time Separate From Each Other (聚少離多)

>> Saturday, February 10, 2007

I've been quite sensitive these days about relationships in general. Principe told me an actual time that he thinks he may leave - August. It's only six months away. I told myself not to think about it, whatever happen happens. But sometimes I can't help but feel sad about it.

In these days and age, it's hard for anything to last long and maybe it's because I knew from the beginning that it won't last forever that makes it so good. I cherish the little bit of time that we have together, with him working long hours everyday and knowing that one sday he will go back to Argentina and most likely never coming back.

Last night during dinner with my colleague ES and my former colleague MP, we got into a discussion about relationships. ES being the modern independent family woman, she gets to saying how she needs personal space from her husband and the whole reason why her marriage works is because her husband provide her with space. She says if her husband was the touchy feely time that spend every moment by her side, they would have broken up a long time ago. But she don't have the same attitudde towards her son, she actually enjoys her son's company a lot more than her husband. I think I'm actually the type that like to spend most of my time with the person I love, but I don't think I'm that good with build a relation to start with.

Lately I sense some tension between me and ES. I think it's because our personality is really different from each other. She is the "typical" Japanese: upbeat, extroverted, cheerful, sociable. Me being the shy, pessimistic, cynical, romantic. I guess my latest attitude at work has been bringing her down. I think I might have lost my ability to make friends, maybe I never had them. But after the period that we get to know each other and find out all the things that we have in common and get really excited of each other's company, it'll eventually get old and grow stale. And after that we start noticing and obsess over our differences, desperate to find our own identity.

The four Chinese characters in the title describe how us as individuals spend more time apart from each other than we do together. I think it's true, most of us thinks ourselves are unique and different but failed to see that those differences are so minimal until we step out of our own point of view. It's not until I come to the United States that I become a minority and hear that we Asians look all the same. "Well, I thought you see that northern Chinese, Japanese and Koreans usually have a bonier cheek and has paler skins, and people from Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Malaysia tends to have darker skins." In our fight for individualism and our struggle to define our own identity, we lost the bond that we have between people. "You don't know what you've got til' it's gone." Am I doomed to spend the rest of my life alone?



>> Friday, February 09, 2007

I don't know if this has happened to you, but sometimes a single word or expression start suddenly appear in front of you a few times in a row. You could have forgot about it or haven't heard it for a while, but suddenly it just appears out of nowhere few times in a week. This time for me is the word "Bully", it's common enough, I've just haven't heard it for a while.

"Bully" is the title of one of the best PS2 game of the year that I planned to buy this week. "Bully" is the title of the new chapter of the online comic book of the TV show Heroes. "Bully" is something my colleague wrote in her notebook during our staff meeting. I wonder who she was referring to, is it me? My boss? Well, I would bet that it was my boss just because in the meeting he said that we are all very lucky to still have a job and if anyone who doesn't feel that way should go. And then he told us about a fundraiser he's putting together tonight and everybody should provide refreshments out of our own pocket. Can he spell S-H-A-M-E? It's quite short a notice and since I've already have plans for a 7 course dinner, I'm not gonna show up after work for an event that fundraise next to nothing with me working and paying out of my own pocket for it... I don't want to call him stupid but it's highly illogical. And if we do fundraise a small sum, he's probably gonna use it on his travels and meals anyway. So f#(k that!

So I had an attitude when I was in the meeting, given his tone... I don't consider myself lucky when I am forced to be with people I don't like, who scams me out of nearly $10,000 and wants me to pay for things like stationery and event supplies out of my own pocket. Maybe I shouldn't be here, but they are blackmailing me with my green card application. But with the attitude I'm putting out, am I actually the "Bully"?


Some of Us Can't Afford to Walk on Glass

>> Thursday, February 08, 2007

So Cinderella III came out, I didn't even know there was a Cinderella II. Since Principe loves cartoon and fairy tales-shit, I bought him a copy. I don't understand who the hell gives Disney the rights to alter a classic story, over and over again just so that they can make a profit year after year. Isn't that exploitation? To alter a simple story that every person used to know into something completely unrecognizable. It's simply kidnapping the childhood of the entire new generation. I'm sure someone is going to go to hell for it.

But then again there is no use for fairy tales in the real world. It's morally wrong to build up the hopes of every young girls that there is a prince charming for every snow white. What if you're not white? Does it mean you're a lost cause? So Cinderella's father died and she get enslave by her stepmother and stepsisters, there are so many people out there that shares the same fate. Worst, they don't have a fairy god mother, most of them won't ever get to dance at a party or wear a luxurious gown in their life. Having a story like Cinderella to build up people's hopes and dreams is just wrong. We go through life looking for a prince and get disappointed when we don't find one. The mates we find are always more inferior by comparison. They are always not young enough, not fit enough, not strong enough, not rich enough.

All these fairy tales teach us is to have moral values, and wait... One day, that endurance, that persistance will be rewarded 10 folds by some magical beings. So we wait and wait. "NO, that gold and that silver axe is not ours, we have the cheap one." YES, stepmother, use and abuse me." Sweet dreams are made of these, who am I to disagree? Maybe the ultimate reward for being honest and nice is to go to heaven when we die, but what if there's no heaven. Won't we be ultimately duped of our right to fight for what we want? Slap that bitch I say!


Why Can't I Be Rich?

>> Wednesday, February 07, 2007

During the weekend, I finally saw some episodes of the series "Real Housewives of Orange County" on Bravo. I was folding my laundry, so I have to give up playing video games and watch TV. It's about the latest, hottest topic on tv networks - housewives in gated community. We saw that on Desperate Housewives, we saw that on Weeds, so why not make it a reality show, right?

So I watched the drama unfolds between different characters. One of them is a good-looking social climber who is engaged with a young, handsome and rich business starter. (Obviously, she's not really in love with him, she only wants his money.) An overbearing mother that is about to drive her kids insane or into drugs and alcohol with her "interrogating" parenting skills. (Why does her insecurity with herself have to affect people around her?) A former playboy centerfold got old and fatter but she became a very, very successful real estate agent. She just sold a $15 Million mansion formerly owned by Prince and she gets $450,000 commision. She has tons of properties, she has already bought each of her kids a $1.5 million house that comes with swimming pools and memberships to golf courses. (Why can't she adopt me?)

That makes me wonder how a person can be that successful? And why can't I be that successful? Orange county and the gated community has always been depicted as a place where the social elite lives in. But what exactly makes them better than everybody else? How do they acquire that much wealth? obviously, it's a lot easier if you come from money. You need money in order to make money, if you don't have any to start with, you are pretty much going to be bond to poverty, unless you are very smart, or you go by the way of crime. This TV show just shows you how unfair reality is. In the meantime, since I'm not smart enough and I don't have the guts to rob a bank, I'll just stick to my lottery ticket and hope for luck. (Or maybe I can marry a rich guy like Anna Nicole)


Killing Time

>> Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I've been really obsessed lately with an RPG game called Disgaea2. RPG or Role-Playing Games have always been my favorite. A group of different people with different personality and skills comes together with a great sense of comradery and belonging sharing a common goal to destroy evil. What is great about it too is that through battling monsters, everybody gain experience and skills. Basically, you see these people grow up and become stronger each in their own way. Through the years, these games mostly originated in Japan has developed a culture. Most of these games include standard "jobs" such as a knight, a mage, an archer, a ninja, a healer, a thief, a heavy armored knight, a samurai. Some game let you use monsters, some let you summons some god to help out and some have people who uses guns, the games are evolving to be more inclusive and advance in graphics and music. They include mini-games and hidden treasures, constantly adding fun values to wow their audience into believing that it was $50-60 well spent. RPG are the best, it allows the player to use magic... MAGIC! It allows you to have so much imagination, who would like to light their enemy up on fire just by reciting some spells? So far the better ones I've played it's from the Final Fantasy series, the Suikoden series, the Arc the Lad series, the Persona/Shin Megami Tensei series and the Dragon Quest series. No wonder people from Japan take sick days to stay at home and play RPG after a major release. It is exactly what I wanted to do after purchasing this copy of Disgaea2.

I got myself subscribed to GameInformer magazine and they sent me the best of 2006 copy. After i skimmed throught the whole magazine and tuned out the information that is not relevant to PS2, I came out with a list of video games that I wanted to get - Bully, Disgaea2, Ape Monkey 3, Lumines Plus, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and Shadow Hearts. Since each of them costs $50 to $60 regularly, I was trying to get the used ones. I stumbled into gamefly and found out that they sell used video games as well. So far I managed to get 3 of them for a combines total $90, not bad.

So I started Disgaea2, it has a great story line, and excellent character building schemes. It's so complicated that I have to depends on other online gamers' help on, it's a great site. People on it are very willing to share their expertise and help you with your problems. I go there for all my game help. In fact after I know the game well enough, I even help out others. The only problem is to complete one task in the game takes two hours, and there are so much of them that I know this game will take me well above 100 hours. I wonder what other people spend their time without video games.


Love of Orange Soda

>> Monday, February 05, 2007

I don't know why but I've always love orange soda. It's true. It is one of the beverage that I've always been fond of, once I believe that it was natural and good for me. The carbonated version of orange juice. Later in life, I've learned that it is not the same, I've learned that orange soda actually contains the most amount of sugar amongst soda, loaded with caffeine and I've also learned that all sodas are bad for you.

But the fact of the matter is I liked them a lot. I grew up on Orangina. It is an acquired taste given that they put pulp and zest into the soda and the zest does stimulate your throat. But I can't get enough of that stuff. Later on in life, I had Fanta, Sunkist and San Pellegrino's Aranciata, but I still goes back to Orangina. Once in a while... when I feel like I needed a boost, when I don't mind the extra sugar and calories.


Funny Quote of the Day

>> Friday, February 02, 2007

"I once prayed to God for a bike, but quickly found out that he didn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness. "

I saw this on one of my acquaintances' blog, thought it was really funny.


Music Review: Best Album of 2006

Year 2006 in music was a whole lot of shattered expectations. I expected Pharrell Williams' "in My Mind" to be a major success. The guy has got talent, but his album did not turn up to show. i don't understand why he can produce great, great songs for others, but cannot deliver when it comes to his own album. He co-produced Gwen Stefani's second solo album "The Sweet Escape", but somehow it lacks its former "L.A.M.B." luster. "Love, Angel, Music, Baby" was fun and exciting, all the elements were playful, "The Sweet Escape" seems to be too personal and emotional... "Whiny" at times.

Black Eye Peas' Fergie came out with all her trashy glory with "The Dutchess". While I'm complete obsessed with the bangin' "Fergalicious" and "London Bridge", the album does not quite flow in its entirety. Beyonce's B'Day did not sell as good as expected either, midway during the year, it got pull off the shelves to be redone. To the left, to the left..., irreplaceable got replaced.

Producer to producer, Timbaland is striking gold with every record he touches. Other than the upcoming "suddenly hot and curiously promiscuous" Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake comes out with a brilliant "FutureSex/LoveSounds" featuring the strong man producer in almost every song. "What Goes Around.../...Comes Around" got a bollywood hook to it and the story about a girl leaving him for another guy reminds me of his Britney Spears history. The beat changes between "LoveStoned" and "I Think She Knows" is so brilliantly done that I stayed hooked and amazed. "(Another) All Over Again" is such a beautiful, calming ballad that brilliantly showcase this former boyband-er's charm. Brought this album to a perfectly sweet ending. I admit the beat and the falsetto can be tiresome at times, but the hidden gems of twist and turns playfully planted throughout the record made this album one of the best in year 2006.

But THE best album of the year has to be from the newly crowned R&B prince, John Legend. His first album "Get Lifted" brought back the classic sounds of R&B, at times Hip-Hop, at times Gospel. His voice is infectious and you can feel the soul. "Once Again" his appropriately named second album managed to surpass the glory of his first album. I'm usually note a big fan of male singers. I prefer female singers because the range of emotions that they can express is so much greater. But John Longend had definitely struck a note. "Once Again" is an open love letter to a girl named Maxine, her name had appear several times in the album. John is pleaing for her to come back to him and tellin her how another girl he saw in a party remind him of her. It lets me know that even if John sings about a bathroom, it'll melt every heart who have the pleasure to hear him sings. From start to finish, every song in the album is a classic. The whole experience is heart-wrenching, I hope Maxine would be as touched as we are and goes back to him. Or maybe I don't, so that he can produce another album as brilliant and haunting as this one.


Waking Up at the Wrong Side of the Bed

>> Thursday, February 01, 2007

Principe is a Yin person, he's always cold, has a history of low blood pressure. Although you would never know if you just look at him. He's been gaining weight though, and he blames it on me and my cooking. His stomach IS getting bigger, which leads to a lower back problem because he has to adjust his body to the change of gravity. His work does not require him to do anything too physical, and with the long hours he has to be at work it doesn't allow him to go exercising, so that doesn't help either.

I'm a Yang person, I'm always hot, prone to nose bleed. We only have one window over at Principe's side of the bed. And I'd like to have it open even in this bitter cold weather just because there's a heater underneath it and when it decides to work, it makes the whole apartment hot as an oven. It dries both of us up so bad that usually wakes me up at night. If I don't happen to wake up at night, I'll feel like being half mummified. It is such an uncomfortable feeling, it's awful.

So last night, Principe and I decided to switch sides. That allows me to be nearer to the window, while he can stay warmer on the other side. It didn't work. After 5 years of sleeping together side by side, we are too used to our original positions. I stayed up most of the night and I don't think he got much sleep either. I was a bit surprised though, given I used to sleep on his side of the bed when I'm with my ex. I guess the older one gets, the harder it is to accept change. "You can't teach an old dog a new trick."


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