Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Meditate with me in the night..

With all the books that I've read and listened to, most of them said that meditation is good for oneself. Quieting of the mind is not an easy task. I've tried to meditate in yoga class and at the end of the session I felt that I took a short relaxing nap. Not really enlighten by the experience.
For September, I've dedicated myself to learn the art of meditation. I've got some books and a tape from the library and will start meditating 20 minutes a day for 2 weeks and 40 min a day on the 2 weeks. Anyone interested in the meditation journey?

Workout log
T: 55 min
Ave heart rate: 162b/m
In zone: 54 min
Cal: 500. Yes

I was feeling a bit dizzy after the cycling journey. Didn't realize my heart rate was that high. I was working extra hard because the class was taught by a sub who was late. I assumed that she'll go easy on us since she taught 2 other classes beforehand.
What I liked about this sub is that she let us stretch our arms with towels in between songs to release the tensions built up on the neck and shoulder region. Will implement the towel stretch in my stretching routine.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Yummy food

We went out to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant for lunch and this is what we had.

Figure 1. Sam's Imperial roll & BBQ pork rice noodles with Thai ice tea

Figure 2. Different angle and closer look of figure 1

Figure 3. Hubby's Pho

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Picture perfect

I was checking out the pictures we've taken lately and I'm so glad that hubby took this picture at H&M's wedding. The cake is so beautiful in color or sepia tone. Good job H&M :p

Figure 1. Beautiful Wedding Cake

Figure 2. Sepia version of figure 1.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Eliminate clutter

As I’m attempting to clean my office, I find it difficult to throw things away. After 1 hour of sorting, I basically reshuffled my stacks and didn’t make any progress in my quest of creating a serene and clutter free work space. As I’m attempting to throw thing away, I said to my self “What if I need this note sometime down the road?” “This is good literature that will help me if some projects are resurrected”. As you’ve probably guessed, I’m the same way at home which drive hubby off the wall. He can’t stand clutter so I hide my piles of collectables in the garage but then he caught on and said “I need to a path so I can walk from one side of the garage to another. Is there anything we can get rid off?” To keep peace in the house, I actually did get rid of all my college notes and that was 3 boxes worth of paperweight. I still have my textbooks which I'm not ready to part with yet.
Since I have this attachment isue, I like watching the show clean sweep on TLC where a group of designer, carpenter & an organizer guru/nazi go into a home that if full of stuff and help the couple part with their stuff via selling, donation, toss. I totally feel their pain when the nazi forces them to part with this one thing that means so much to them. Once the couple unwillingly minimize their clutter. The show challenged the male vs. the female on who can make more money. Who ever makes the most money on the garage sale gets to keep one of their favorite things that is in the toss pile. 9 out of 10 times the women win and get to keep their stuff. I’m still soul searching as of why I hold on to things.

Thursday, August 26, 2004


E, my fellow spinner has been missing for the pass two sessions. I hope everything is OK. Today, the spin instructor said "Everyone, I have an announcement!"
I really don't like announcement but let's see what she has to say.
"Starting September,I'll be teaching spin on Wednesday..night @ 6PM". I was all excited about Wednesday then I was diappointed about the 6PM part. Then she said it will be every other Wednesday so I'm not missing out.
I can always do weights on Wednesday if I want to.
I was watching the Olympic women triathelon and I was so impressed by their endurance to exercise for 2 hours and complete the race. If I want to be in a triathelon, I got to start running again and swim. Must find good running shoes 1st. There's a local turkey trot on Nov 27th. 3 month is enough time to start training.
Workout log
Ave heart rate: 156 b/m
In zone: 53 min
Cal: 467

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Mandarin to white people

Earlier, I called my mom and talked to her about stuff in Mandarin and my two co-workers (Suffering scientist=SS: m/wm & Sushi man=SM: m/am) were eaves dropping on my conversation and made the following comment:
SS: "Why does Mandarin sounds so sleepy?"
SS:"I get it. Speaking Mandarin makes them(Chinese) so sleepy that they rub their eyes a lot and rub off their eye lashes. Hee..he.." Refer to Mir's blog entry Monday, 8-23-04 to get this joke.
Sushi man: Thundering LOL
After I got off the phone I said to SS
Me: "What are you laughing about?"
SS:" Nothing!"
Me: "I heard something about Mandarin and eye lashes"
SS repeated what he said to SM and I thought it was pretty funny.
Me: "At least it's not like Cantonese where it sounds like your angry"
SM defending Cantonese: "I am angry and I have the right to be angry!"
I'm glad they don't speak Chinese or they would have understood what I said to my mom about those two.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Nothing in life is free

We had dinner with mom & dad Monday night at this restaurant where my parents frequent enough that the owner came to our table and took our order instead of the waiter. As we were chit chatting after ordering our food, the waiter brought out chicken feet appetizer that we didn’t order.
Mom proudly: “ This dish is complement of the owner”
As mom, dad and hubby were going to town with chicken feet, I noticed the waiter placed a bottle of Heineken and a wine glass on the table between hubby and dad.
Mom to hubby: “Did you order a beer?”
Hubby: “No.”
Mom smiling to everyone: “Must be complement of the owner since we come here often”
At this point the soup arrived so I was chowing down the seafood soup and the next thing you know, the waiter rudely took the beer and the glass away without saying a thing and placed it to the table next to us.
Me: “They must have made a mistake. Luckily you didn’t drink it yet.”
Hubby: “How rude. Didn’t even apologize for giving us the wrong beverage”
Me: ”See mom and you thought it was free. May be the chicken feet was a mistake too.”
After that incident, a different waiter brought to the table a veggie dish. This is one dish I know we ordered. A while later, the owner was standing next to us and whispered something to the waiter and the waiter rudely took the veggie dish away too without saying anything and gave it to the table behind us.
Me: ”What’s going on? Do they not have any manners?”
Later, we got the dishes we order and the veggie came out last and it was a smaller portion than the one that we were teased with.
Dad smiling: “Next time, we start drinking and eating what ever they put down on our table.”
When it comes time to pay, I asked dad to double check the bill and make sure that they didn’t accidentally charged us for food that we didn’t order. I don’t know if I’m going there again.

Workout log
Time: 56 min
Ave: 146 b/m
Cal: 423

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Salt Creek

We checked out Salt Creek beach today and saw lots of surfers and boogie boarders. The water is much colder than the Aliso Beach but when the sun came out it was warmer. There's a bit of a hike down to the ocean so next time, I'll bring the stroller to stroll S back to the parking lot when she's tired and cranky. S had lots of fun building sand castle and playing in water. Hubby & I had fun people watching and catch up with some reading.

Figure 1. Surfer riding a wave

Figure 2. Surfer zone

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Beach day

We went to the beach this morning around 10 AM. I like being there before it gets too crowded. The waves were strong so the life guard was not letting kids play with boogie board in the water. S likes playing in the water. She was almost washed away by the wave several times and ate some sand when the waves hit her face.
For dinner, I tried a new beef recipe tonight. I didn't have corn starch so I had to improvise using tempura batter instead. It tasted better than I had expected.

Playing with the wave

Friday, August 20, 2004

Interesting news

Does coffee really makes you forgetful? via
I'll have to test this out.

As I drove home yesterday listening to NPR, I was cheering for the Indian women who had to resort to violence to defend themselves.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

It's a beatiful day

Today, I had a great workout. Eating a banana with some protein before spinning was a good decision. It gave me energy through out the entire class. I feel stronger than Tuesday where I forgot to eat before hand. Today, the instructor played “It’s a beautiful day” by U2. I like that song but it was 8-minute long. We went on an incline most of the time where we paddle standing up and sit and sprint during the chorus. There was a male trainer spinning behind me in an angle so I imagined that he was Lance Armstrong trying to pass me during class and I had to sustain a faster pace. E, my fellow spinner is working to become a spin instructor. I am happy for her and I know she’ll do great.
Workout log:
Time: 60 min
Heart rate: 158 b/m
In zone: 60 min
Cal: 528

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Swapping spouses

Since I'm a reality show junkie, I've been watching this reality show "Swapping spouses" where a rich family swap one spouse with an everyday family for 1 week. At the end both families get $50,000 but the temporary spouse decides what to spend it on. I think the everyday family gets more from the show than the rich since they have $50,000. Last night, the rich family lived in a mansion, father is a American Japanese plastic surgeon, mother stayed home, 2 kids and a grandma who cooked for the family. The average family lived in a single story home, African American family, both parents work, 2 boys and 1 girl. When the new moms got to their host family, it was harder for the rich mom to adjust to the average living condition. The average mom was very impressed with the walking closets and was shocked by how much the bill was when they went out for sushi & teppanyaki.
It makes me think about which environment is better to bring up a child? Grow up in a rich environment where the child can have everything or in an average family where the child has limited resource?

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

S indeed has pink eye. We got her the oral and eye drop antibiotics last night. She does not like the eye drop at all. When I dropped the medication in her eye, she cried and squeezed out everything along with her tears. She's home with po-po today so hopefully she has a good time. We are having grilled salmon & corn tonight. I'm not overly excited about the dinner menu. I've always wanted a personal chef that plan, and cook meals for me on the days when I'm exhausted.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Conjunctivitis what's your function

For the pass several days I've noticed that S has lots of mucus discharge from her eyes not only in the morning but through out the day. I thought may be she has some sort of strange cold so I talked to my co-worker sushi-man about it and he said that the discharge from the eye is one of the symptoms for Pink Eye. I did a quick research on the internet and he was right. Hubby is taking her to the pediatrician as we speak so hopefully we'll get it resolved so she doesn't have to suffer anymore. I hope I don't get it since I was helping her clean her eyes and didn't always wash my hands afterwards.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Hair Folklore

My hair has grown to the level where it's beyond ready for a cut. I kept procrastinating because a) I don't want to drive 40 min one way to get a hair cut by Lynn my Chinese hair dresser for over 3 years and b) It's time to take some risk and try some local hair dresser so that I don't have to drive 40 min every 6 weeks. I didn't get very far with plan b because my hair is so short that there's really no margin for error. Like a creature of habit, I made an appointment with Lynn and I took S with me to get the job done. Italics = Mandarin
Lynn:"Oh.. what a cute little girl. Such beautiful hair."
Me:"Thank you"

Lynn:"She has lots of hair for a four year old. Must take after your husband's hair since your hair is thin and fine"
Me:"You think? My husband did have thick hair when he was a child"
Lynn:"You shave her head when she was a new born!"
Me:"No, I did not. I don't believe in those old Chinese folklore"
Lynn:" Hey, don't under estimate the power of shaving the head of the new born. It works for both of my daughters. You see my hair, thin? My husband also thin hair. I shaved both of my girls' heads when they were new born and now they both have beautiful thick head of hair.
Me:"There's no need to shave them because the baby hair is designed to fall off on their own."
Lynn:"No. Shaving the head stimulate the fair follicles and the stimulation caused the hair to grow a fuller & thicker"
I changed the topic since I wasn't making any progress

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Double charged

I get depressed when I'm paying household bills, the part of the American dream that is more nighmarish. Must spend less money from now on. I went over the credit card bills and I was surprised that I did not see credit for this workout outfit that didn't look so good in my own mirror. Those dressing room mirrors are so deceiving. Instead I was double charged instead. I went back to the store today to fixed the problem. The clerk said "Next time make sure it says credit instead of purchase on the top left corner" I said "Yes, next time I will pay closer attention to the receipt"
Here's a butterfly S drew for me :)

Butterfly by S

Friday, August 13, 2004

Purse-onal Preference

When my friend P & her husband G i.e. (P&G) visited in July, I gave her a hard time about her purse. I’ve known P for almost 20 years. Refer to exhibit A.
Me: “P, how long have you had that purse?”
P: “ It doesn’t matter. It’s still in good condition?” “ I don’t know why everyone is on my case about my purse, my sister, my mom and now you. There’s nothing wrong with it.”
Me: “ It looks hideous. It’s ready for retirement. What if I get you a new purse for your Bday?”
P: “No. I can’t find this style anymore”
G: “Don’t you think I’ve tried that before? Believe me, it won’t work”
P: “I’m not materialistic, it’s functional & I’m going with the acid wash look and check out the inside..it is still in great condition” Refer to exhibit B.
Me: “We are not in the 80’s anymore. Acid wash look is out.”
She was kind enough to let me take picture of her purse so that I can find a replacement for it. After thinking about it more and shopping around, I’ve decided not to get her a purse for her birthday and let her be P. If carrying exhibit A around town make her happy, let it be. It is selfish of me to force my view of what is aesthetically pleasing to me upon her. What do you think after seeing the evidence? Would you retire this poor purse?

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Peachy day

Last night mom stayed over our house. She was in good spirit considering the events that had happened for the pass week or so. We checked out some pictures taken @ the SF wedding etc.. while hubby was laundring the sheets for the guest room (Thanks hub).
She made chow-mein so we had that with some left over curry chicken with rice. I forgot to make a veggie dish since we wanted to finish dinner quickly and take a walk to a local supermarket that had just opened. Our time together was very short. Next thing you know, it's bed time.
She also gave me lots of peaches which she had received from her Fresno in-laws. I brought them to work and shared them with my co-workers. Co-worker A (s/f/Japanese) said " This peach is so...good. The aroma of the peach reminds me of Japan." I'm glad that a peach was able to bring back such connection. Another co-worker C(m/f/East coast transplant) said " The peach was delicious. It tasted like the ones I had back East where we picked them ripe off the tree" I'm glad I was able to spread the peach joy around. They are huge. I've got to thank bulleye's wifey's parents next time I see them.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Teacher Mom

Mom has dedicated her career to caring and nurturing pre-school children while their parents are at work. In her career as a preschool teacher, she
-Wiped more than her fair share of runny noses
-Tied plenty of little shoelaces
-Singed an adequate amount of nursery rhymes & lullabies
-Wiped gallons of tears from boo-boos and good byes
-Read Abiyoyo hundreds of times.
-Created mountains of arts works for kids to show their parents and to decorate the classroom wall
-Recited the ABCs more than once a day
-And many more behind the scenes activities that no one see or appreciate her for

Here is a poem I found on the internet that sums it all up more eloquently.

Top Ten Reasons to Become a Preschool Teacher

1. Cute little children......cute little paycheck.
2. Confidence that you will never, ever forget to count to 10.
3. Attention span.......Do they have one?
4. Shoes that untie themselves.
5. Get to sing your favorite songs; over and over, and over.
6. With all this bending, who needs aerobics?
7. Play, play, play.
8. Classroom art displayed in kitchen "galleries".
9. Small hands......LARGE crayons.
10. You alone make little ones count.

~author unknown

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

All under control

After generating a list, things seems more managable. I was so flustered that I didn't want to workout but I went so that I can see my fellow spinners. One die hard spinner was spinning with one foot on a cast. That's dedication. I was happy to get my favorite bike. I attempted to keep heart rate ~160 bpm by increasing the resistance but I felt pain on both knees after 10 min or so. I closed my eyes, imagined I was riding in a pack of cyclist on Maui. I visualized the number 500 during class and I was there:)
Workout log
Time: 60 min
Ave heart rate:151 b/m
Cal: 500.

There's a get together at work on Thursday with a friend/ex co-worker. On one hand, I would love to catch up with her and see her how she's doing. On the other hand, I want to spin.

To do list for my sanity

Today is one of those days where too many things are going on and I find writing everything down on a “To do list“ helps keep me from pulling my hair out. One of the short essays from this book titled “Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach, provides reasons behind why it works. The book says that
"A friend of mine has a theory that it’s not so much all we actually have to do in any one week that kills us, it’s thinking about all we have to do.”

“The subversive beauty of a to do list is that once a task is committed to a list, whether it be errands or personal, you don’t have to give it another conscious thought because the left side of your brain -the location of logic-loves lists. It goes on automatic pilot when making lists, sorting and shifting until a schedule appeared that can accommodate everything. If you ever hope to get it done, write it down.”

Monday, August 09, 2004

I'm only human

At this moment, my patient is at the level where I’m ready to fly off the handle if I have to repeat the same process for the 3rd time. Work has this really non-user friendly data base that gives an error message that is so vague that one can not pin point the error to fix the error. On top of that, the software does not let you save the work until the error is resolved. I was told that the solution is basically “go back to square one.” That does not go well with me when I already invested 30-45 min. entering it the 1st time. I don't like this game.
Serenity now…ohm……
I wonder if yoga master bitches about life? They are only human too.

Jelly fish Monday

Here's one of the artworks S brought home from school, the two of us (Yellow is me), floating in the sea.

Jelly fish by S

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Weekend round up

Saturday morning, we started out with lots of cleaning. It's amazing how much dust was around the house if I look for them. S was helping with dusting. She's proud when she's able to collect lots of dirt on her rag. She also enjoyed sweeping the floor so she got that duty too. Hubby was outside, mowing the lawn, cleaning the patio furniture and trimming the trees. I had the pleasure of stabbing marinated chicken cube on the stick and that would have been more fun with some help. At around 5: 15 PM, hubby's brother M's family arrived. They are the most punctual ones out of his side of the family so sister-inlaw S got busy prepping the shrimp veggie kabob. Everyone else were more than fashionably late like always and I've learned to live with it.
One issue I have with outdoor dining are the flies. They decided to join the party and some of us ate inside. Over all we had fun eating, puzzle fighting and getting together. Half an hour after everyone left, sister inlaw Q called and said "Did you call Dad's cell?"
Me:"No, not us. What number did the caller ID show?"
Q:"He doesn't have one. Oh. by the way, Dad thinks that he left his wallet on you couch. Can you check?"
Me too exhausted to go down stairs so started yelling from upstairs: "Hub, can you check the couch and see if you can find Dad's wallet?"
Hub: "What?"
Me to Q: "I'll call you back later"
Me to Hub: "Dad thinks he left his wallet on the couch"
Hub looked on the couch: "It's not there. Let me look out side the house." He did his investigation and I heard hubby called dad inlaw in his native tongue so I couldn't eavesdrop on the conversation. When hub finally came upstairs.
Me to hub: "Did you find the wallet?"
Hub: "No. Dad left it home."
We didn't go to bed until 12 AM.

Mango cake

Stir-fry Gai-lan

Center: Vietnamese rice noodles, bologna with fish sauce. Upper right corner: Cajun shrimp & veggie shish kabob.

Yummy chicken satay. I used heavy duty skewer and it worked out great.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Sam I am

Portrait of Sam by S


Which Simpsons character are you? I'm Krusty the clown.

Gala Planning

Planning a party for 9 people can be a bit stressful. Initially, my plan was to have a nice Vietnamese cuisine so I can show hubby's family that he married a great chef. I went to Fineliving and checked out some recipes. After looking at the ingredients, the little voice in my head was sending warning signals saying "Hmm.. never cook this before, don't even know how it'll taste". Will test drive the recipes 1st with hubby. Plan B is something I can do in my sleep. Decided to go with Chicken Satay Indonesian style. I might add Thai Stirfry shrimp since brother inlaw M doesn't eat chicken.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Happy Birthday Hub

Today is hubby's Bday, we had a mini celebration tonight. We had pineapple fried rice with salmon. It was delicious. We'll have the real party this weekend. That means, 8 people will be coming to our house. Lots of cleaning, shopping and cooking to be done before Saturday. If I'm not too overwhelm, I'll take picture of the food we're planning to have to practice posting pictures.
Spinning log
Time: 56 min
Ave. HR: 154 b/m
In Zone: 54 min
Burn: 468 cal
It was a full class today. E lucked out that I saved her a bike. The instructor said that if we want to have a bike for sure we'll have to pay again. Hopefully all the new comers will quit in a week or so.

Capture the moment

Ocean Scene Posted by Hello

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Unexpected news

Last night, as I was having dinner, one of my good friend, S called. Her mom just passed away a week or so. Over the phone, S sounded calm and together. I never know what to say other than I'm sad that she lost her mom. When we saw Spiderman 2 together, S said that her mom was getting stronger. (Mrs. S had a heart attack almost a year ago)
The point of today's blog is to inform my fellow female or male who cares about their mom, aunts and friend that the
signs of heart attack for women are not exactly the same as men. Another scary statistics is that we, women don't get help right a way. S's mom symptoms were heartburn, and difficulty sleeping. Like the stats, she didn't go to the Dr. until 3 or 4 days after she felt the discomfort. If she had, I would not be bloggin about this topic today.
Workout log
Time: 57 min
Ave heart rate: 152 b/m
Cal: 461
Can't seem to hit 500 lately deep sigh...

Monday, August 02, 2004

Lychee down memory lane

I went to 99 Ranch Supermarket (99) over the weekend and noticed that Lychee is now down to $1.99/lb from $5.99/lb two months ago. Inventory must be building up which put price pressure on the stock. Supermarket, stock market, what's the difference? It's amazing how a fruit can bring me back so many fun filled childhood memories. The aroma, the texture and the taste of Lychee bring me back to those summer vacations back in Taiwan when I was 10 or 11 years old. Our family stayed with the Sun family. Adults were busy playing MJ so the children, we entertained ourselves by playing cards and pretend to be the G-Force, an anime TV show that I watched religiously as a kid besides Three's companies. I recalled eating bouquets of Lychees in Taiwan resulting in serious bloody nose and play G-Force with Bulleye, Oliver, & Ellen. When Bulleye didn't get his ways, he used to charge us with his head pretending he was a rhinoceros. Now days, I get to enjoy Lychee from Taiwan and not even have to fly for 13 hours. We are all adults now and live our separate life in different part of the world.
I also bought Taiwan yellow watermelon and S was having a great time eating it. She was fascinated that the watermelon wasn't red.
Another fond memory I have was the breakfast trip. Every summer morning; Oliver and I (we were the eldest) would walk to the local bakery to get freshly baked polo-bao (Pineapple coated bread) and fan-tuan (Rice roll made with sweet rice filled with Chinese donut and pork sung filling) for everyone. Needless to say, I bought some of those too from 99 and shared them with the family. S likes the bread but mostly the sweet coating on top. Hubby thinks the rice roll is tasty and he said, "It's just like sushi with out the raw fish"
Sigh.. the good old days...and why is it all food related?

Sunday, August 01, 2004


I took a yoga class today after a very long sabbatical. I felt good reconnecting with my body's capabilities and limitation. The class was thought by a male teacher who looks like an average guy off the street. I guess I was expecting some one more exotic and flexible. He's a good teacher and I would take his class again. I learned a breathing technique that I will practice when I'm stuck in traffic.

Calming breath

  1. Inhale through right nostril for 5 counts. Hold for 5 counts. Exhale through the left nostril for 8 counts

  2. Repeat step 1 with left nostril and back to right nostril

I was having some difficult at first but then I got over the fact that right and left lungs are connected somehow. He recommends this type of breathing when you are overwhelmed with the world. He also talked about how the yoga class is all about the journey not the end point. Something to think about in the grander scale of things.
This Alternative nostril breathingsite provides more details.

Lesson learned from Mori

One of the discussion during last weekend's Fresno wedding receptions with Mori (future sister in-law to the groom) was the following:
Mori:"Do you know the lyrics to the diarrhea song?"
Me:"No..Never heard of the song"
Mori: Surprised. "Really.. I thought everyone who has kids would know that song"
Me:"hmm. Can you sing a bit of it" Now I'm curious
Mori: "Diarrhea, diarrhea, cha. cha. cha... diarrhea, diarrhea, cha. cha. cha..."
Me:"No. Doesn't ring a bell but sounds like a funny song"

I googled the song today and indeed there's such a song. I found the lyrics and it's pretty funny. Still searching for the melody.

Diarrhea Song
Diarrhea, cha-cha-cha, diarrhea, cha-cha-cha.
Running on to first and your pants're about to burst.
Diarrhea, cha-cha-cha, diarrhea, cha-cha-cha.
Running on to second and you need a disinfectant.
Diarrhea, cha-cha-cha, diarrhea, cha-cha-cha.
Running on to third and you let a greasy turd.
Diarrhea, cha-cha-cha, diarrhea, cha-cha-cha.
Running on to home, and your pants're about to foam.