Saturday, December 17, 2005

Beethovan's struggle

On fighting custody of his brother's son:

He wanted to be the father he never had, but he turned out to be the father he had.

It's hard for us to not become the parent we did not like because we only learn parenting from the subtle things we encounter with our parents. The only way to break the mode is to not focus on what you want but what the child needs.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

TV is evil

TV is evil.

I am so unproductive after I turn the TV on. Even when I am all TVed out it's hard for me to turn it off. It's like a drug. I've learn to combat that somewhat with watching educational stuff (History, Discovery channel) and switch to the music channels (it's really neat, like radio without commercial). But for most part I just get so addicted.

I've been resisting turning it on. Convinced myself to turn it on later and later each day. Tell me self to resist the urge each time. I am just amazed how productive and how much I accomplish when the TV doesn't get turned on. I think I've finally got it under control.

Plus I always feel dumber after watch TV for more then an hour and half. I can physically feel I got dumber.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Vivian is mad at me

I found out she was reallly mad at me today. She was mad at the fact that I call her a "freaking child". I realized I call her that when we were talking about her situation with this guy where she is the other women. He clearly doesn't treat her right. He's still involved with her but about to marry his fiance. Vivian keeps on hoping that he will see she is the right one even though she is the other woman. She deparately needs him to do that to erase the fact she was betrayed by her ex-boyfriend who did leave her for the other woman.

I was just speaking my mind. I was trying to help her see the one right way out of this sticky situation was to leave him and get herself out of this bad cycle. She was talking about all sorts of things like ruining his life by telling his fiance. That's just a childish tactic (revenge) and will not help her heal. So I was honest with her and I told her she was being childish.

She took it to heart. She was very much hurt. She says she did not yell at me when I was being unreasonable complaining Noel doesn't call me everyday.

On the hind side, I wish she did. Perhaps I would wake up earlier and realized I was being unreasonable (I did realized my problem lies else where). On the other hand, I might react as defensive as she is.

What has this whole interacting taught me?

Was I being too honest and not consider the other person's feeling?

I do know I am not tactically enough. When I see the answer to something I just tell the other person. As I learn in the psych class that's not the way a child (or adult) learns. They don't learn by you giving them all the explaination at once. They learn by you giving them little hints and explaination and time. A lot of time to digest and then perhaps they will ask for more explaination.

Realizing the answer is far more powerful then taught the answer. Please remember this Jasmine.

Perhaps that's what went wrong with the conversation with mom. I was too eager to share answer with her. So it's not her fault she got defensive. I should not tell her not to get defensive. I need to stop being so offensive in my speaking and attitude.

I still don't like how she accepted the apology. I still think she is rude. But I have right to my opinion.

She might be kinder and polite and not offending and speaks with her guy everyday, but Noel is the one that married me and helping me find myself better.

Monday, October 24, 2005

I hope this is the right choice

I hope we can get the apartment at cypress point without problem. I hope the land lady will fix the things in apartment and I hope Noel can safely bike to work without me worrying much. I hope I will learn to like the appliance in the apartment, not complain of it not being the newest but appreciate it's durable and usable and not creating unwanted garbage in the landfill. I hope I can do a good job finding good place for all our belonging (including the iron shelf) and make a beautiful, peaceful living environment for anybody that visits.

I need to stop worrying like Rick says. He's a great guy. I guess I worry because it's my comfort zone. What would my Behaviorism class professor say about this situation?

Thank you for watching over me, my mom, our family and rest of everybody.

Friday, October 21, 2005

What to focus on

I might not completely and whole heartedly understand the realm of Behaviorism, or believe it can solve every world problem, but I do admit it helps me to know myself better and work with myself better.

I realized I am more sensitive to punishment then reinforcement. It must have to do with the chinese upbringing. It's a world revolves around punishment. I guess knowing that is good because it's half of the battle.

Now I can tackle on what I need to do. I realized I dread my to-do list because I just focus on the not-fun part of it and not focusing on when I finish how great I feel. My todo list needs to change from the process to emphasis the result. After all, isn't that what marketing people do with all the ads? That should be enough to motivate me, to get me going instead of procrastinating.

Let's change "Go through bookmarks" to "Knowing your favorite bookmarks and be able to access it easily! :-)"

I need to be my own cheerleader!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Anterior Cingulate

I understood the idea of behaviorism after the first lecture, but I certainly had a deeper understanding after few more sessions. Professor Hall argues it from many different point of view and that certainly helped deepen the understanding. However, I find myself forming the opposite stand from him. He think that if any field of psychology should be eliminated, it should be cognitive psychology. I think if there's any branch of psychology I am mostly interested, that would be it.


Well, there isn't much to behaviorism. Yes, it's all based on the very straight forward concept of Law of Effect by Thorndike. But that's not magical. So what if you can explain "anterior cingulate by the following:

"Although the functions of the anterior cingulate are very complex, broadly speaking it acts as a conduit between lower, somewhat more impulse-driven brain regions and higher, somewhat more thought-driven behaviors. The Stroop effects sensitivity to changes in brain function may be related to it's association with the anterior cingulate." "The Stroop Test provides insight into cognitive effect that are experienced as a result of attentional fatigue"

Yes, you can explains the whole "Stroop Test" by saying because we are conditioned to read the word instead of the color of the word, but how does that help me refer to what's happening in the brain. Yes, you can explain everything by "it's doing this because it's used to getting that result", but that doesn't give me a specific of referring to the brain function.

Behaviorism criticize mentalism's use of mind, intelligent and other things it cannot observe and considers unnatural. If all other philosopher were like that, not using their imagination to explain the observed, then no other science would have been burn. As the technology advances, we can see that some of the assumptions by scientist were able to be proven correct. Did not Einstein form his theories before they were proven able?

To answer the question Professor Hall asks in class: How much of what a person becomes is nature vs. nurture? I think it's more nature then nurture. How do you explain things like attention to detail? How do you explain some people's brain just cranks slower then other? I just think nature has more of an impact then nurture.

I just find it more interesting to know human nature and use that as a tool to uncover other things then working to change people's behavior. Perhaps it's because it's usually harder to change people's behavior? Unless you have a great dominance of people's environment. But knowing people's nature will aid as a tool to change that person's environment then behavior.

Ultimately, in my opinion, the law of effect and other behaviorism ideas is just a small equation in the whole world of psychology.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

In the mood for love

I saw "In the mood for love" for the second time on IFC. I was very impressed by 2046 and couldn't believe how boring I though the "mood" was. Wanted to see what I missed. I realized I wasn't impressed by the "mood" first time because I did not get it. That's why I thought it boring. Everything was very subtle. So delicate that you miss it if you weren't paying full attention.

I learned to love the subtle things this time around. For example, I love the simplicity of buying noodle soup in that era, where they bring their own container. So much more intimate then the disposable containers we have now that's creating too much garbage. I love Maggie Chueng's figure. Loved how chi-pow looks so great on her and how the neck of the dress was just a bit longer to accentuate her beautiful elongated neck.

Beautiful. I would consider owning the movie.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Still has New York time..

My watch still has new york time set....can't get myself to change it yet. Enough things around here that has local time anyway.

Just can't quite let go yet...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

One Way Ticket

I know it would hit me some how. I started to feel small nostalgia through out the house. Took picture from my favorite spot in the house. Miss all the things I used to do in the house. Have to remind myself that my work schedule did not allow me to do more of the things I like to do. For every good thing I had to remind myself the not so good things, so it's possible for me to leave the house.

Mom came to see us off. She was emotional when we the car was driving away. I was surprised that I did not get as emotional. Maybe it's because I've trained myself to not show emotions around mom?

I thought the take off of airplane would be the time that hits me, but it did not. I was a bit busy feeling nervous. I always get nervous and reach for Noel's hand when the plane takes off or land.

Then we watched a sappy girl movie on the plane. I shet some tears for the movie. At the end of the movie was when I lost it. It just hit me that we left our house. That thought hit me like big truck. The image of the empty house was just too much for me to handle. I think Noel noticed something wasn't right, but he let me kept on crying. A minute later I told him why I was crying; that we had left our home.

I felt a bit better after we step off the plane. Everthing was nice and pleasant. The weather was beautiful (make the new life feel promising). A bit on the cool side. The temp apartment was nice also. It help us settle down.

Everything will be okay. We are starting to know our way around and soon we should find our ways okay(the roads and the life here).

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Get together weekend

It was great to have people come over. I made simple things but put them in pretty bowls and they look fancier all of the sudden.

It was great surprise for Carin to come with the kids. Would have been great if John came too but the two girls more then make up for John's obsense. They girls have grown so much. Skye doens't wear glasses any more and she's such a beautiful girl. Sierra is beautiful and so grown up. Does a great job taking care of her little sister.

David and Joanne came. Noel's ex-coworker from OpenLink stopped by: Simon and David. Very nice people. We celebrated Tony's birthday on Saturday. Joanne got a yummy chinese strawberry cake.

More people came on Sunday and Monday. Dean and Cris, John and Eileen. Makiyo came over too. She gives such approving tone of the house.

We saw Stacy in the city. She treated us to a healthy buffet place. I wish we had stay in tough more.

Saw Melinda and Andrew too. Too bad didn't see Mark and the dogs. But I'll see them next time I visit new york.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Knitting as of late

I seem to spend more time thinking about knitting then actually knitting. I have so many projects I can do and still I go to yarn stores to see what I can find. Hoping to see some good quality yarn on sale or find the new project to work on.

I went to the yarn store in the UES because it was close to the gym. Very nice place. It's kinda place I like to have in my neighborhood, if I was filthy rich. The prices are higher then usual (by a dollar or so) and they sell the kind of yarn I like. Tucked away in a quiet street. I saw the most adorable baby sampler blanket. It's a mix of different patterns. I am sure if I was experienced enough I can use the pattern dictionary and come up with it. But at last I am not yet. The lady made it with two different yarns: merino wool and vintage cotton by Karabella. I was so in love with the cotton one. The sheen on the vintage cotton just shows off the different stitches so well! It's a store pattern they used and while I am not sure how well the instruction is, it's a better start for me then figure them out in the pattern dictionary. But I would have to purchase the yarn, which would cost about $150 ($10 each). They are certainly smart about combat the lowering price caused by the internet.


Television is really the poison to the brain. At least to mine. I just can't turn the tv off. I just sit there and keep on switch channel to find something interesting. If I do, I stay there and waste another two hours. If I don't, I just keep on searching for another two hours. It's so horrible! Maybe Calvin got the right idea in getting rid of the tv. But I would miss shows like Lost and Desparate Housewives. Maybe I just need supervision. I am like a child like that. It's so embarrassing.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


My first week as unemployeed person wasn't too bad. The whole weight of work seems to have lifted and I was able to start on some organizating thing in my life over the long weekend. I was pretty productive on the first day of my unemployment. Until about 4pm that is. Overall I think it's pretty good. I just need to keep the tv off to do that.

But now I am having problem sleeping. I seem to developed the habit of napping in the afternoon and stay up late to watch tv from midnight to 2am. Or did I stay up late because I know I did not have to go work the next day?

I went to the gym today, Calvin's dance class in the morning. Then checked out a yarn store in the UES (price seems to be higher then most, but expected). Went to Mark's classes. Good work outs. Then went to Serendipity 3 for frozen hot chocolate. I've been wanting that for a long time now. The last time was that first real date with Noel.

I can totally get use to the life of someone who doesn't need to work. Of course this is just a little holiday. I'll need to get back in to straightening things out at home. But it was a great holiday at new york.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Favorite Things

A good corner to read a great book or knit

Organizing things. Make my living space orderly. Makes me feel peaceful

Good cup of hot chocolate (City Bakery, Jacques Torres)

Petunia and Lily. Petunia pushing up against your body when she sleeps. Lily roaming into neighbor's yard and barks at her. Petunia running in circles

Beautiful day in the city. Central Park. Any little piece of undiscovered quiet heaven

Learn a new thing/idea

Cook a good meal for people to enjoy

How I feel ->after<- exercise

Experience my favorite opera

Good cup of tea in a pieceful corner

Good japanese food (presentation, quality, etc)

Getting hair washed by professional (especially Ali from Astor Place)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Noel's new computer

Noel got his new dell computer yesterday. We decided Dell still makes decent PC even if their laptop are problematic these days. Plus he got a $500 off deal so he could get top of the line pc at a decent price. However, it's been problematic for us.

Yes, it connects to cable router without problem. Yes, it boots up very fast compare to Noel's dinasour computer. But it keeps on freeze for unknown reason!

It also came with many "spam" program installed to lure you in to their services. We spent some time uninstalling programs we know we would not use (aol, etc). There were so many other programs that we weren't sure if it's junk program so we left it for now.

I mentioned that this makes me want to get an apple computer. We know that apple will not have a these spam/junk programs. Noel thinks the world is very messed up that we need to pay to not get garbage. I agreed with him. But it also makes sense because while we pay less for pc, they still want the $$. So since they are not getting it from the consumer, they get it from the spam/junk company that are willing to pay them, at the consumer's expense.

*sigh* There's still the need to transfer the photos from my computer. I was looking forward to Noel's new computer for that....I hope it's more promising tonight. Just need to get it on CD....

Lessons from Noodle Soup

Dinner with Noel last night was good. I never liked how Republic was a bit on the loud side but the crowd was thinning and it wasn't unbearable. I order a new noodle soup thinking it has the type of noodle I was craving for. It turned out not to be the case. I regret not ordering my regular (Curried Duke Noodle). But it's a good lesson for me: maybe I don't always need to get what my craving desires. It's not a big deal to have an experience that's not totally wonderful for me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Really nervous about this whole thing. For first time life is not so certain.

It's feel like I will be out of a job in two weeks but I did that to myelf. And what's more, I am essentially putting my life in Noel's hand.

But I must not think that way. It's a new start. I will have time to re-evaulate. To go back to work or to learn a new trade. Start a new career where I wake up every day looking forward to it.

I will experience what it feels like to be away from home for the first time. Every bird has to leave the nest and try to flight on their own. It's my turn now. With Noel's help. Maybe this will help me appreciate mother more. Respect and love her more.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Good things

Some things are so good you can't have too much of it. Like the bake goods from Boulangerie Bay Bread. Every bite of the cookie is like a slice of heaven. It's such a cliche but too much of a good thing really ruins it. I am so glad I finally got this point not only through my head but through my being.

Saw an old lady sweeping the street in chinatown yesterday. She was using one of those homemade dust-pan. It's a cut out of some old clorox bottle or something like it. A wood stick nailed to it. Something about the whole picture so adoring. This little old lady in the middle of the biggest city living like she would anywhere where resource is scares.

Monday, August 15, 2005

What's the difference between preference and ability?

I can't help feeling that I am giving this up because I can't take it. "I don't like it" seems to feel like "I can't handle it". Are they the same? Maybe one dislike something because they can't take it?

It was good visiting Judy and Oscar. They will always be a role models for me. Love Zachory and Nicholas. If my kids can turn out to be remotely close to them, i would be blessed.

Need to copy the photos from computer before computer goes!! Maybe I should do it tonight.

Friday, August 12, 2005

More random thoughts

Why doesn't the corporate world have sabbatical where one can take some time off and re-evauate life? I can so use that right now. If I can just take care of myself a little right now, I can get back the drive I had for work and be a really useful person in society.

Am I too conditioned to want the glamorous things in life. Now I realizing it's not owning many things that makes me happy but it's organizing and using the many things I own will ultimately make me happy.

Or will it?

Why do I feel that using and organizing things will make me happy? Because I will then own these things not the other way around? Is that really liberating or is it me following the "shoulds"?

I like things cleaned and organized, but do I really like cleaning and organizing it? I do find it satisfying cleaning things and place. It's instant gratifying in some ways. But if I need to do that all the time, will the instant gratificate fate? Are we only attracted to do things we don't get to do and anything we do too much will become a chore? Maybe that's not true because Noel loves doing what he does.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Random thoughts

I am grateful that Noel is the breadwinner of the house which allows me the option of exploring the color of my parachute, without losing benefits of the corporate world like health insurance. But I will be financially depended.

Financial independent is something I've been taught my whole life to sought after because my predecessors fought so hard to get it. Just look at the articles on the times today about wife beating in africa that's still acceptable. They do not have much rights or independence.

Accepting this option is giving up my independence. I should make best use of this time but go back to some what independent after. The society conditioned me feel to guilty wanting to be a homemaker. It makes me feel like I am not living my life to the fullest.

I made so much wrong assumptions in the recent years. I lived my life on so much "should"s. How did I turn in to that? Maybe I was always like that. The "should"s got stronger because I gain more confidence. At certain point I stop doing pulse checks on myself and became obnoxious and unbearable.

Poor Noel. Tried his best to put up but eventually broke. Instead of helping Jason with things he's not doing so well (keeping track of status of project), I just sit there, surfing the web and complain that he should have been keeping track of the project.

I am thankful Noel say that I will be his support system out there. That means a lot to me. That will allow me to straighten our our personal lifes and posession. Maybe I can make him fall in love with me again.

Think too much?

I can't stop worrying about the whole chance in life thing. Noel says
I think too much. Maybe I do. I think too much and focus on the
worry. It's so hard to stop worrying.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Can Do Attitude

What happened to my "can do" attitude? I had that for
the longest time when I first started working out two
years ago. That's what helped me kept up with
constant running and improve on it. That's why help
me kept on going to different classes and try to excel
each time I go. I would ask myself "why I am doing
this?" and the answer would be "because I can!".
Because I know one day I won't be able to even if I
want to.

But these days I just lost it. I can't conjure up
that feeling, that conviction. Not just gym, but a
lot of aspect of my life. I just feel tired. Don't
know if it's mentally or physically tired. Maybe

What's wrong with me?

So anxious about the new life in California. Nervous
and scared too...


I am thankful for the pasta with clam sauce, garlic and olive oil Domenick made for lunch. I got lucky because Joyce is on vacation but I am thankful. I felt so special.

I am thankful for having my health so I can takeMark's classes today.

I am thankful for Paisley's yoga class yesterday. Mybosy feels great afterwards

Friday, August 05, 2005

Count your blessings

The Time's article about happiness says it does the mind good to keep a journal where you count your blessings. Doing it at a continue basis and more vary the topic will help you be a happier person. I'll give it a try here.

What I will miss about New York

New York
Mark, Petunia and Lily, nights out with the boys
Makiyo, Met Opera
John Paniagua
Sharda, Lena
Tony Ng
My new kitchen
My sunny house on the quiet street
My favorite sitting spot in the bedroom
My backyard for line drying cloth on sunny day
My favorite restaurants
Public libraries
Soho, Tribeca, indie films
Tourist, yes, tourist too

This is why I think we will work:

I am sure I tried telling you this but it's probably too complicated and confusing. That's why I think writing it down might convey the idea better.

I spent a lot of time in our relationship trying to make you in to a person I want you to be. The reason I did that is because I did not realized what I needed to do was working on making me to a person I want to be. A person where I can be happy and do things that are meaningful for me.

Let me emphasis the "I did not realized what I was doing" part. It took me a lot of thinking to figure that out. Neither of us realized it. Plus I've always been measuring you the way I measure myself and it's not right because you are a different person. That also too me too long to realized.

Coming to these realizations is a huge break through for me. It will enables me to deal with the root of the problem. The level of my unhappiness is also part of what make me think hard and deep in to issue, situation and myself. I think if I tackle my life and focus on doing things that I will make my life meaningful, I can be less demanding on your performance. That will give you a more tolerable environment for you to improve yourself. Having you help me remind me that you just don't see same things I see will also help remind me our level of observation and learn are not the same but still trying to improve.

This is why I think we can work on ourselves together. Because we will give each other enough room but still not facing the road alone.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I'll tell you what I want

I am having hard time concerntrating at work. Partly because I am not doing interesting work right now. Gary would have had the project setup and gave me direction on which way I should ramp up. Partly because I have so much none work stuff I want to do.

I want to clean up clutters at home. After cleaning up, I want to organize whatever left. I want to clean the whole house. I want to cook good dishes and have them ready when Noel gets home. I want to bake good desserts and fill the house up with great smell (I know it's hot, but I don't like spending money on things I can make myself). I want to water the new grass. I want to do laundry and line dry them on sunny days. I want to do the filings I haven't done for over half a year. I want to read the books that are waiting for me. I want to make progress on my knitting projects. I want to do all these chores so Noel and I have time to enjoy each other's company when we are together. Instead we try to do them when we get home and most of the time I am too tired (physically or mentally) to do them.

That's why I get in bad moods I dont' mean to because I always have to choose between doing what I need to do and what I want to do. If I have enough time to do both, I would not feel bad sacrificing doing what I want to for what I need to, or feeling guilty not doing what I need to for what I want to.

What he did that made me happy:

He remembered to take out the recycling! He surprised me. Since he got home just minutes before I ask him to pick me up. We went straight to Lost when we got home, I didn't think he got any chance to do it. I was all disappointed that we'll have to wait another week to get the recyclings out (and the bins in the house were completely full). But I saw the bins outside as I saw him off and too a quick glance at the bins in side which was surprisingly empty. Don't know when he did it but it made me happy that he did not forget it.

He filled up Listerine and q-tips. Yes, I noticed.

He emailed me today to let me know he was busy and will call before he leaves work.

Writers' stories get told

Do you ever realized that most really touching, life transforming stories are mostly about writers? You rarely read a touching biographies for scientists, mathematicians or cirque de soleil performers. Guess the writers have an advantage. Hehe.

Accidental Haircut

I wanted to get my hair washed by someone because I love being pampered like that. Didn't really want to go to chinatown because not sure which one I should go. Wanted to go to Ali but wasn't sure if it's okay with him to just wash and blow dry hair. I convinced myself that he would be okay with it. Why wouldn't he?

I told him in a very vague way that I don't need a haircut (I want to grow my hair long) and when he signals for a trim (half an inch) I did not complain. The main thing is for his hands to touch my hair/head. He has amazing hands and I am willing to compromise to get that.

The hair washing did not last long. No massage really. I got disappointed. Did I give up having scissor near my hair for nothing? But it's too late to change my mind. Maybe he'll do head massaging with conditioning. There's still hope. A minute later I knew there was no hope. Oh well.

He proceeds to trim my hair. And trim is all he did. So I was not too nervous. He dries my hair roughly (thought he would blow dry it) and gave me tips on how I should shampoo twice and wash every other day (I don't know if I can do that). But the freshly cut hair ends feel nice. Then he puts some hair oils and as he was putting it in my hair, he must have realized he wasn't going to get any more customers (no one was waiting next to us), so he did what I've been longing for him to do: he massaged my head. Oh my. My memory of how his hand touches my head did not get better over time (although he got better looking in my memory), it's just as good as I remmebered. I had to remember not to start moaning. I don't know if it's the size of his hand or just how his hands touches every inch of my head, it just feel like heaven. I wanted that to go on forever and ever...

I think he ended up charging me as much as the guy before me, $13. I gave him $10 for the tip. I don't think that's too much for a little taste of heaven, no?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Searching for a good, quiet tea place

Finally realized I am still searching for that idea tea place.

I've been to many tea places in the city. Almost all the well known ones in the city. While I am trying to figure out how come I don't visit one particularly more often, I realized none of them gave me a hide away peaceful feeling I need.

The new Cha-An japanese tea place in the East Village is a nice find. Their price is a bit above average. But I find it too rigid feeling. It's nice and clean and simple. But the whole place just makes feel like I need to sit up straight and watch my matters. Takashimaya is has great tea selection and the teabox is really cool too. But it's too busy feeling. I like T-Salon in Chelsea. It's the only place that makes me feel like I can order a cup of tea and throw my bag down and just hide in the corner and read. However they close way too early. It's clearly design for rich women who don't work to stop by between shoppings. Tea and Sympathy is too small to provide the feeling of hiding away in the corner. Teaspot in village is too college feeling. I think the only place that makes me feel like I can hide away in the corner and unwind is that knitting place on Bedford on Soho. But it doesn't feel right to go there and not knit.

I finally realized I am searching for a tea place that give me the same feeling as Marquet on 12th street. It just feel like a small slice of Paris you can hide away from the world and unwind.

Went there last night. The place is not the same any more. They now serve dinner. The price is on the high side. Perhaps one day I will give it a try. I am feeling negative because adjusting to change is hard. I was searching for the familiar and it's no longer that. At least not the dinner setting.

I tried their Bread Pudding banana flambe. At first it looked really good. Very decadent. I think I was satisfied after three bites. It had way too much sugar. I finished my coffee faster then I ever did because how sugary it was. The "bread" pudding must have been made of crossant. It looked much more complex bread then smooth textured bread and tasted buttery too. It was topped by maple syrup and power sugar plus some strawberries and banana. I didn't get the feeling they "flambe"ed the banana because it was fresh.
I really should have stopped after three bits when I was satisfied. I need to stop eating what they feed me and eat what satisfies me.

The seat by the window was still nice. Since it's still located at a quiet corner (much much quieter then crowds at union square), I think it's still an option to go and order a coffee. But the search for quiet place will continue. Although I have a feeling I might never find the place. At least not at this town. This town is all about making money. Having a nice (cost money) and quiet (doesn't make enough money) is just not a good business model. I might be more fruitful creating my own place then searching for one.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

嘉群's "Make up" banquet

Grandmother and all the family in Taiwan

Grandfather's 80's birthday celebration

It was great visiting family in Taiwan, especially my grandparents. This is us celebrating grandpa's 80th birthday (later in the summer)

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Princess for Half a Day

I took half a day off. Work was getting too stressful plus I wanted to go have afternoon tea at the Plaza Hotel before it closes for renovation. Since it's too crowded on the weekend to get afternoon tea sitting, they told us the best time is on a weekday.

It was wonderful. The whole experience. We even saw Isaac Mizrahi joining what appears to be a bridal shower.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Sad to see the sofa go

After unsuccessfully trying to find another home for our old sofa because it would not fit in our 30 wide door house, we face the fact that the only fate it has is to be disposed. (You would not believe how picky salvation army is about the condition it needs to be in)

Disposing it seems like a logical decision. I left home late enough to see the sanitation worker take it away. I can't believe that the garbage trucks are so powerful. It ate up the sofa. As I watch it, I realized that I was feeling a strange emotion. I was feeling sad. Not to the degree of having to give up Guinness (that felt like tearing my heart out) but I was sad. Sad that it's completely detroyed. Not usable anymore.

It made me wish I hadn't been so lazy and made more effort finding it a home. Perhaps through craigslist. It made me regret that I did not spend more effort trying...

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Am I took picky?

I ask him to make reservation to Blue Ribbon Sushi because I always do that kind of little things and I am sick of not being appreciated. Some site points out they don't take reservation. I think it's safer to call restaurant to make sure (because sites could have error). He called and they confirm indeed they don't take reservation. And he proceeds to hang up. In my mind it was clear it would be useful information to know when the restaurant starts to fill up so perhaps we can go before that (since they don't take reservation). But gathering that information doesn't occur to him.

That bothers me. I know it's a small thing and it really doesn't matter because he can call back again to ask (which he had to).

But that train of thinking extends to everything he does and that is what bothers me. How can i trust him to be looking out for details that could make a big difference when I am in the delivery room and too pre-occupied to pay attention myself? Or if I am too sick and leave the children in his care?

Perhaps he's like that because he was not trained to pay attention to detail. My growing up required me to learn that faster. He's never had to learn that. He's just too provided for and too lucky in life.

I know people say "don't sweat the small stuff and it's all small stuff". But the truth of matter is, I think small stuff tells you a lot about a person. Small stuff is what makes a successful (not necessarily in material achievement way) people different than ordinary people.

Egg and Butter

Noel's solution to any cooking is egg and butter. Whatever he cooks (mostly pasta or steak), he thinks adding egg or butter will make it better. I know egg and butter are essential ingredients for a lot of cooking and baking, but I just get really annoyed that he thinks it's the only thing to enhance any flavor. Because if he keeps on thinking like this, it will lead him to poor health and quick death! Plus if you only cook with egg and butter, you'll only be tasting egg and butter and not the other wonderful flavors. There are so much more flavors that can be added to cooking. I cook three mushcroom risotto last night. I used enoki, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms. Used some white wine and freshly grated parmesan cheese. The flavor was wonderful.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Too Rich In Some Ways

No, I can't buy everything my heart desires, but I am too rich in some aspects.

The planning around what food to eat in my house is all about what we should eat up before it goes bad or before it's been around too long.

I thank God for that.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Chinatown Great Advanture

I had a wonderful time shopping in chinatown last Sunday. Normally I just go there for meals with friends and maybe get some stuff from the bakery. On Sunday I went there for food shopping. I wanted to explore the places locals shop. Try to see where I can get the freshest produce, meat and seafood for the best price. It was a great experience. Althought most people don't speak manderin, I was able to find some merchants and customers that do and willing to answer my ignorant questions. I try to learn how the locals pick out fresh produce. In a seafood store, I saw two buckets of squids. Similar size. One bucket marked $1 per pound. The other marked $2.30 per pound. I asked a customer what's the difference between the bucket? He first replies that the difference is if you are rich you can buy from the more expensive bucket. He did not say it sarcastically. He said it with a tone that accepts those facts of life. He does proceed to explain to me the difference in the squid color. The cheaper bucket's squid has more red color. The pricier ones are whiter.

I am just blown away by how much cheaper and how much fresher goods are. Even my friends that shop at chinatown and flushing says chinatown is better. I will definitely try to work chinatown shopping in to my schedule in the future.

Friday, February 18, 2005

My hand writing

I really don't like my hand writing. It's not ugly or unlegible but I really don't like it.

It's not pretty.

Even when I write really slow and pay a lot of attention, my hand writing is still only bearable. I hate that. When I look at it, I don't feel any prettiness to absort. I can do that with Noel's hand writing and with Anita's (my cousin). Noel's writing is very engineering -ish. That's how his father taught him. He doesn't think it looks nice but I think it's so beautiful..from it's uniformity and such. Anita's hand writing is also uniform in an artistic way that I keep every single mail (a thank you card and a 2005 holiday greeting card) she send as bookmark. I just love it so much.

I wish I can write like that. But I guess I already know that I can't be creative or artistic with my hands. They just can't create beautiful things that makes people stop their in track and take a minute to admire..

At least I pride myself in the ability to appreciate beauty when I encounter it.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Can't get over the attitude of Old Russian Women

I still can't put it out of my mind. I don't know why but I find yesterday's lunch experience very upsetting.

I went to the pantry to heat up my lunch. This russian woman that sits next to me (who is not very nice) got there just steps before me. Her russian friends where there already but still putting their lunches together. So they let her heat up her food first. They almost did not finish putting their lunch together toward the end her lunch heating up. Upon finishing, they block the whole microwave area and put all of their lunches in (total of three lunch boxes). Now I know it was obviously to them that I was waiting for the microwave because I made it very obvious for them. I was holding my small little lunch box and standing very close to the microwave. It would have been very nice of them to let me heat my food up first. It's a very small box and it would only take less then 2 minutes. That did not happen. But what bothers me is that they were not even courteous enough to let me know that it will take a long time to heat up their food. I guess that's what I would have done because that's being considerate. They put the maxinum time of 5 minutes. I couldn't believe they could be so inconsiderate to just do that without saying a word especially with me waiting obviously and patiently. Now some people I know stopped by the pantry to get water and I spoke with them a few words. They took this opportunity to increate the time another 5 minutes!!! Can you believe it? They did not feel bad at all to let me wait over 10 minutes without saying anything, showing any courtesy, nothing!! This just bothers me so much!

I do know some russian women that are very nice but very few. Overall I really have a very bad opinion of the older russian women. They seem all the same. They cannot extend their friendliness toward people other then their kind. This point bothers me a lot. I like to know why.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

It's all relative...

Reading Shakespeare used to feel hard, but after trying to read Faust (still in the middle of it), reading Shakespeare is so easy now.

Reading Guns, Germs and Steels makes reading other non-text science books easier too..

Still took more then three weeks to read that special holiday edition of Economist. But I really enjoyed it. I'll get better some day..

Now just need to find something that makes reading Faust and Guns, Gems and Steels easier...

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Kitchen Is Almost Done

It's almost done. I am so excited the fact that I have an oven again. I haven't been able to cook with the oven since Grenfell street apartment. I will cook all the yummy stuff I miss and some new stuff too.

Two additional thoughts came to mind as the kitchen comes to completion.

Be wary of contractors. All contractors. Julian is not a bad person. He runs a business and his business is to make money. I know he is charging us more than it really needs to cost. I was fine with it because I believe he will take care of the details and managing for us. But he did a poor job at it. I understand he has many jobs and some of them are very large scale that costs more and requires more of his attention, but I don'to think that justifies him not managing this job. If he couldn't spare attention else where, don't take this job. At some point he was having Noel do his jobs (contacting the cabinet maker, etc). The list goes on and on. I thought he had more integrity then that. I expected him to have the work ethic I and people I work with have. But I was wrong. He did not give me the feeling that he was looking out for my interest. I assume we would get that from the extra we gave him. That was a wrong assumption I will not make again. Lessons learned. Looking forward to not have to deal with him agian.

Second, I love the new kitchen. I am not crazy about the cabinet but I love the fact it's new. I can't wait to use it to the fullest. Which also creates another fear for me. I am afraid I will less likely want to move. Hating the kitchen makes moving more urgent. But now it's not the case. Still, I would like to move to park slope so the commute to the city is closer.