Sunday, January 29, 2006

Happy Lunar New Year!!

What's it mean to be a Dog? from Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco

People born in the Year of the Dog possess the best traits of human nature. They have a deep sense of loyalty, are honest, and inspire other people's confidence because they know how to keep secrets. But Dog People are somewhat selfish, terribly stubborn, and eccentric. They care little for wealth, yet somehow always seem to have money. They can be cold emotionally and sometimes distant at parties. They can find fault with many things and are noted for their sharp tongues. Dog people make good leaders. They are compatible with those born in the Years of the Horse, Tiger, and Rabbit.

1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006

Click on this link Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco to find out what year you were born in!

Go Monkeys!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Digital Cable

My brother somehow convinced my parents to get one of those digital cable boxes. And it's so awesome! 300 channels to surf through! And then sometimes there's nothing to watch even though there are 300 channels to surf through.

Some things I started wondering about:

Why is there twenty channels of sports? A whole channel devoted to golf? Baseball all day/night long?

Because there was nothing to watch on a Saturday morning, I was watching "Superbabies, Baby Genuises 2" on HBO. The odd thing about this movie was that the babies were dressed in a shirt and a diaper throughout the whole movie. Who doesn't put pants on their babies? Who lets their toddler walk around in a shirt and just a diaper? That's just weird. The weirder part was that the toddler's shirts were all short so that it showed their belly button poking out from the top of the diaper. And they went out in public like this! One of the caretakers put them in a stroller and walked them out into the town dressed in just a shirt! That's just inappropriate dressing to me.

"Son of the Mask" The baby in this movie was fully clothed, except for the diaper changing scene where he peed all over his father. It's just weird not seeing Jim Carrey doing his crazy personas in the mask. Jamie Kennedy is funny and all, but no one can replace the Mask original.

The Animal Planet channel is the bomb! I love the "Most Extreme" show where they do a countdown of animals who are the most extreme in a certain category. Last night, it was the most extreme survivor. And rats came in at #9. Apparantly, there are now super rats who are immune to poison. So the only real way to kill them is by luring them into those old fashion mousetrap and hoping it'll swish em to death, or you have to club them to death. They won't drown if you flush them down the toilet. They'll just bite a hole through the pipes.

"Alexander" is such a gay movie! Seriously. Men fighting alongside one another were in love with one another. Alexander himself kept lusting after other males. Why? Oh, and Jared Leto is sooooo HOT in this movie. My brain got confused by the constant "Oh he's so hot" and "oh why is he in love with Alexander?" battle going on in my head.

Why is there still about a dozen channels of public access television on DIGITAL CABLE???

I love the Bravo channel for allowing shows like "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and "Project Runway" to exist.

Ten minutes of "Ocean's Twelve" dubbed in Spanish is quite amusing.

Only two channels of non-stop cartoons? Come on now!

The baby in "Meet the Fockers" is so CUTE! Especially when he's trying to say asshole. When the Boy and I watched the movie in the theater, I couldn't stop imitating the baby saying asshole. Watching it again just makes me laugh even harder.

After all this, it'll be extra hard to go back to regular basic cable.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Warmth vs. the Freezer

I left this:

for this:

Somebody give me a heater!

I'm visiting my family (mom, dad and lil bro) in Boston for four days. I haven't seen them in almost a year and plus it's the Lunar New Year, a very important holiday in our family. Still, I was not looking forward to the coldness that is Boston.

The plane ride on Jet Blue was great. Only one third of the red eye flight was full so I got a whole row to myself. I was able to lay down on all three seats and enjoy watching tv all night long if I wanted to. Yes, I was asleep for most of the flight, thanks to Unisom (note: don't take Unisom unless you can devote a full eight hours to sleeping. Otherwise, you'll feel really groggy when you force yourself to wake up.).

Okay, so it was really hot on the plane, then it was on in the airport at Boston. I figured that it must be warm outside if it was really hot inside. They don't usually turn the heat on that high inside airports, do they? Thinking I could handle the weather outside because it was so hot inside, I decided to go outside and wait for my dad. Wearing just a wool coat, I stood outside for thirty seconds before digging for my gloves, hat and scarves (yep, two scarves wrapped around my neck) because the cold was eating me up. And then after standing there for just two minutes in my warmth gear, I called my dad and said "I'm going back into the airport because it's too cold! Call me when you get to the terminal."

It was a good thing that I went back inside. My dad was stuck in traffic for thirty minutes. And this was at 7 in the morning! Sudoku kept me busy.

Now I'm in my fleece pajamas with the heat turned all the way up. I'm not venturing outside unless there's an earthquake and the building is going to fall down on me. Good thing there hasn't been any earthquakes in New England.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Blood Oranges

Look's like a regular orange...

...but when you open it up, it's not orange inside! It's dark red, hence the name "blood orange."

Still tastes like an orange though. I wonder if this is natural or if it's from genetic mutation.

Pigeon Hunting

I was peacefully sleeping this morning, with Jelly Belly on top of my stomach and cuddled under my arm. All of a sudden, I feel her leap off my stomach, pounce across the floor towards the window and the next thing I hear is "BOOM!" She ran right smack into the window (thank goodness it wasn't open!).

So I got out of bed to see what she was chasing, and there were pigeons resting on the fire escape. In an attempt to get some breakfast, she started climbing my blinds in hopes to find an opening so she can finish off the pigeons. I had to untangle her from the blinds and put her back on the floor.

After shooting at her with the water bottle, she finally figured out that climbing the blinds is not a good kitty thing to do. But now, she keeps sitting by the window, lying in wait for the pigeons.

Poor Jelly Belly. She will never be able to catch her pigeon. I don't think she'd like to fall out of a third floor window.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Pilgrimage to Costco

I cannot believe how many people go shopping at Costco on a Saturday afternoon! It took fifteen minutes to find a parking spot. Half an hour to get the stuff I needed. And an unbelievable forty minutes to wait in line to pay! Forty minutes!

I live on my own, so you must wonder why I go through the Costco hell and buy things in bulk? It's cheaper in the long run. Buying one pack of paper towels, toilet paper, trash bags, paper plates, deoderant, contact lenses solution, etc., will usually last me six months before I have to make another pilgramage to Costco.

And you know, I love the hot dog combo at Costco. A buck fifty for a giant Italian sausage-n-bun and a coke. What more could you ask for?

Anyhow, while waiting in line to pay for stuff, these are some things I noticed others were buying:

--a family of four had their cart loaded with fruits and veggies. Boxes of apples, oranges, bananas, pineapples, and grapes. Boxes of pre-made salad mixes, carrots, celery, tomatoes, garlic, squash, potatoes. Fresh food must be eaten quickly and they can eat all of that in a week? Must be vegetarians. That or they bought all their meat products last weekend.

--a ~30 year old male with one of those flat-board carts loaded with just paper towels and toilet paper.

--another single woman with those flat-board carts loaded with just about twenty packs of bottled water. I wonder how long she's been waiting in line. I wonder how she's going to fit all of those packs of water into your car.

and to top it all off:

--an old man, probably in his sixties, buying just two giant bags of Doritoes and a bottle of Jack Daniels.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Weird Sightings

Some of the street names that I had to try to pronounce to people when I got lost.

Don't know if you can see the words, but it says "Never been Touched!!" on the back of this bug. They have a dollar theater! Movies for just a dollar! Not such bad movies either!

Enough said.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Polynesian Cultural Center

During my week in Hawaii, I did what all tourists did and spent an entire day at the Polynesian Cultural Center. First, let me tell you that this place was created by the Mormons of Brigham Young University. Therefore, there was aboslutely no alcohol, no caffeine, no smoking, anything else unholy allowed in this 42 acre park. It was a beautiful place and I learned a lot, but after six hours of walking around, a little Pepsi would have been nice. Anyhow, out of the 130 photos I took during my visit to the center, here are a few of the highlights:

This is Cousin Opi, aka our tourguide. He took us from village to village and give us a history of each of the seven Polynesian countries. He mixed a lot of humor into his bantor so following him around wasn't too lame. Cousin Opi is from Samoa, the land of the happy people. Boy, from the way he was so excited throughout the whole day, we were wondering where he snuck in the caffeine.

The first highlight of the tour was getting a canoe ride from one end of the park to the other. It was romantic for couples, relaxing for all others (i.e. me who travelled without the Boy). The guy steering the canoe was pretty funny too: "ALOHA! How is everyone?", "Fine!", "Good. I'm doing well. Thank you for asking." And of course: "I just want to let you folks know that you are so heavy that you're breaking my back. Go on a diet people." See, they're sneaking in caffeine. And yes, he is wearing a skirt.

The Gods of the Polynesia Cultural Center.... Okay, I forget the real names, but do share if you ever visit there and find out the names of these statues.

I am pretty sure this is the type of huts that the people of Fiji lived in (there were so many huts I forget which is which). Yep, that's me waving from the door. This is the hut for normal village people because you do not see any shells decorating the door. FYI: The Chief's house has four doors, each assigned to different people for use. If you walk into the wrong door, i.e. a door not assigned to you, you'll get your head chopped off, no questions asked. Brutal, isn't it? Another FYI: The Chief would have many wives, but he only has one favorite wife. The benefits of being the Chief's favorite wife? You get to sleep in his bedroom, even if it's on the floor near his bed. The downfalls of being the Chief's favorite wife? You have to die when he dies. Therefore if he dies first from illness, you have to commit suicide. If you don't die after the Chief is dead, you'll be outcasted from the village and your own family will try to kill you for shaming them. This woman is from the islands of Tahiti and she's performing one of their dances. Not only can she shake her booty very well, her hair is hella long! It almost reaches the floor! And it's all real! I don't think she ever got a haircut in her entire life.
These woman are performing the Hawaiian Hula dance. These performances were part of the Canoe Pageant, and each Polynesian village showcased their village's dance and music. Quite colorful and very fun to watch. Mr. Samoan here, from Samoa, of course, is demonstrating how to make fire from coconut husks. He was very entertaining to watch. Did you know that in Samoa, the men cook and clean for the women? Great isn't it? One of his jokes: "Women, you want to move to Samoa? Go ahead, the men are leaving. We are the happy people." He also showed us how to open a coconut in four simple steps (yeah, steps were simple, but probably requires a lot of strength).
After visiting the villages, those who paid for it were treated to a luau. And what's the highlight of the luau? The roasted pig of course! It was actually cooked in a spit that is built beneath the ground, and they dugged it up and brought it out when it was ready to be served.
So, 75% of the employees at the Polynesian Cultural Center are students from Brigham Young Unversity in Hawaii (also run by the Mormons). This is like their work-study jobs. So at every village we visited, and every performance we saw, the announcer would always thanks the tourists for deciding to spend their money at the Polynesian Cultural Center because "your money gives us the opportunity to get an education. Mahalo!"

Monday, January 16, 2006


So, in Hawaii, they had these metal bikes all over the place. It was pretty nice of the state to provide this form of transportation to us tourists.

After some dim sum in Chinatown, I rode the bike to Waikiki...

It got a bit chilly from watching the sun set on Waikiki beach, so I headed home...

...and on my way, I see a two seater bike.

The next morning, I made my way to the Ala Moana beach for some sunning.

I was running late for a dinner date so I had to race back to my friend's house.

Lo and behold, the next day I finally realized the real reason why there were so many metal bikes around. There's an actual purpose for these metal "bike stands" other than for tourists to take goofy pictures on them, of course.

Haunama Bay

I fear drowning. That is why I really don't like to go on boats, ships, or anything that will allow someone else to throw me overboard. Because of this fear, I forced myself to take a swimming class so I would at least know how to float just in case someone evil did try to throw me overboard. After a semester of swimming classes, let's just say that I can doggie paddle for five minutes before I have to flip over and start floating on my back because the five minutes of doggie paddling left me exhausted.

Anyway, even though I fear drowning, I love to play in the water. I love swimming pools, beaches, lakes, etc. As long as my feet is able to touch the bottom and the water does not go past my neck, I'm okay. But everyone tells me that you have to try snorkeling at least once, especially if you're going to be in Hawaii. Going underwater swimming was hard enough to deal with, but then I have to trust that my body won't sink to the bottom of the ocean, therefore pulling down my breathe sprout so I inhale water instead of air? I think not.
However, my love for fishies overcame my fear of drowning. I dragged my friend, who's also afraid of drowning, to the nearest ABC store and we bought ourselves a set of snorkels and masks. We were going to buy fins too, but decided that we probably won't go very far into the water therefore no fins were necessary. We made our way to Haunama Bay, the underwater aquarium spot for snorkeling, waited twenty minutes in the admission line, watched a ten minute "introduction to the reef" video, and picked out our spot on the beach.

Okay, we spent about half an hour trying to get our masks and snorkels to fit right. We looked like idiots:
Then, once we were comfortable with our masks and snorkels on, we decided to venture out into the water. Once we got to waist deep waters, I stuck my head in and tried to breathe through my mouth through the snorkel and immediately stood back up because the first thing I did was try to breathe through my nose and of course that didn't quite work very well. After several attempts of breathing through my mouth, I finally got comfortable enough to start swimming around with the snorkel. AND IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! And with the help of an underwater camera, I was able to catch these fishies in action:

So many fishies.

Do you see the rainbow fish?

I guess you can say I made my peace with the water. But I was still able to stand up in these waters, so I'm not really ready to tackle deep sea diving. Peace.

Back in the Mainland

Although Hawaii was wonderful and staying there forever would have been nice, I have been back in "the mainland" for over a week now. I left Hawaii with a cough that turned into a nasty cold, which resulted in a puking fest on the flight home--not a pretty picture.

Currently, I'm still recovering from that illness and trying to lose the "typhoid Mary" nickname at work. And as I'm getting my pictures together, I'll post more about my Hawaii trip.

In the meantime, Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year Eve's Dinner

Fifteen minutes of waiting for our food to come and our waiter tries to ease our food anxiety with roasted honey walnuts.

Ah, our first dish! "spicy bean curd on choi."
The yummy main dish, TWO Maine lobsters, ginger and scallion style.

Yummy yummy I got food in my tummy!