etc., etc.


My mom was a great cook and baker, but she could be a bit obsessive when she was trying out a new recipe.  When I was a kid, she went through a mooncake phase.   Mooncakes are Chinese pastries traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn festival in mid-August or early September.  If I remember my Chinese history lessons from childhood, mooncakes were used to pass along secret messages when the Mings were trying to overthrow the Yuans.

Right.  Mooncake phase.  Every night for a month, she fed us (and unsuspecting friends, neighbors and relatives) the results of her latest mooncake trial.  I still remember vividly the whack-whack-whack of the mooncake mold hitting the thickest book in our house as she tried to unmold the cakes.   Contrary to making me sick of mooncakes though, I love mooncakes! Especially the ones with crumbled egg yolks in the middle.  NOM!   So I was so thrilled to get this in the mail today –

contented sigh

contented sigh

I have the most awesome friends! That blank square in the corner?  Inhaled.

Also, an embarrassment of unexpected of treats!  Unfortunately inedible, but so wee and so cute!  Penny for reference.

we are wee with perfect details

we are wee with perfect details

Off to inhale some more mooncake.

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Yesterday, my apartment got “randomly” picked to be inspected by the city. You know, to make sure I wasn’t living in a total hovel. Heh.

At any rate, the inspector shows up at my place promptly at 9 in the morning, digital camera in hand. Proceeds to test the lights and electrical outlets, then snap a bunch of pictures of the fire extinguisher and the fusebox. Casts a critical eye around the apartment –

Inspector: You don’t seem to have a lot of furniture in here.

Me:

Inspector: Are you a student?

Me: Nah.

Inspector: Oh.  Sometimes, student habits are very hard to break. Very hard.

Me: Are you trying to tell me my apartment is messy?

Inspector: Uh-huh.  You should get better furniture.

Me: At least I don’t have milk crates.

Pneumonia, with a side of costochondritis – probably because of all the coughing.

The timing sucks – I have too much to do!

Ick.

Today is Last Day to File Your Income Tax Day, also known around these parts as my birthday! So in honor of said birthday, I decided to stay up an entire 24 hours. Just to see if I could, and also to better savor the birthday feeling.

12:01 a.m. Birfday! Birfday! Another year older (ugh), though not necessarily wiser. Eat ice cream to celebrate.

12:45 a.m. Wow, you can watch Law and Order marathons at all hours of the night.

1:15 a.m. Get call from my dad (Chinese in italics)

Dad: Hellooo? Helloooo?
Me: Pa? Is that you?
Dad: YES! This is your FATHER! Happy birthday!
Me: Thank you. You remembered. (My dad is notorious for forgetting my birthday.)
Dad: Yes, I had our secretary remind me this year. Are you having a good lunch? Did you get yourself something good for your birthday meal?
Me: Pa, it’s 1 in the morning here.
Dad: Oh, I thought it was 1 in the afternoon. Because it’s lunchtime here at the office.
Me: Pa, there’s a 12 hour difference. 1 in the afternoon there is 1 in the morning here. (My dad lives halfway around the world; I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve told him that)
Dad: Well then, have a good time at lunch…

4:00 a.m. Oh look, an Eff Oh (picture taken later during the day)

Pattern: Koolhaas, by Jared Flood, from IK Holiday Gifts ’07
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Pure Cashmere #10 (Orange), 3 skeins. Size 6 and 8 Denise interchangeables, and size 8 Inox DPN’s

I love the hat! I love the pattern. I wish I could say the same about the yarn. I mean, it’s cashmere, and I like it OK, but I wasn’t impressed by the yarn. First, there’s only about 49 yards per skein, and to me it didn’t feel any softer than baby cashmerino. Maybe I was expecting too much, but cashmere! I have to say though that the cables really pop with this yarn.

I CO 96 stitches instead of the called for 104, and made 5 repeats of the pattern because I wanted the hat to cover my ears. There are a few boneheaded mistakes, but they’re near the top of the hat, and I was too lazy to rip back. I did run out of yarn at the very top, but couldn’t justify buying another skein of the DB, so I used leftover orange Lamb’s Pride worsted – you can kind of see it in the picture. I like it – it looks like the hat has a bright(er) orange dot on top.

(more…)

Last week, while hanging out with Nana in Detroit –

Me: May I drive the car for you, Nana?

Nana: No, you’re not familiar with my car.

Me: I know how to drive, Nana.

Nana: You really should practice driving in the parking lot first.

A little less than three years ago, I was at a conference in Chicago. I happened to be staying with my friends Andrea and Jim. I knew that Andrea knitted, because I had seen samples of her amazing skill. At that time though, knitting was pretty much a foreign word. I didn’t consider myself to be particularly crafty nor creative, and knitting seemed to be one of those things crafty and creative folks did. Besides, I prided myself on my being uncoordinated.

However, I didn’t count on being bored out of my skull at this conference.

So, I convinced Andrea to teach me to knit. She very patiently taught me to knit on some bright yellow acrylic yarn and a pair of mismatched #8 straights. She guided me through many false starts, and admired my first hole-y swatch. And then the next day, we trooped over to the local book place and got a copy of Stitch and Bitch. I came back home, convinced that I had forgotten how to knit. I cracked open my copy of Stitch and Bitch, and was pleasantly surprised that my brain remembered how to make stitches. I took that as a sign that I should look more into this knitting thing.

To Andrea, who showed me how two sticks and some yarn could bring so much fun, happy birthday!

Popping in to say hi and to thank y’all for your kind words and wishes.

Still here in Manila. The trip back was a butt numbing 27 hours. Internet access has been sporadic because my dad’s place is a technological wasteland. This is after all, the very same dad who refuses to learn how to use email and still prides himself on owning a working rotary phone. I have taken to hanging out at the local Burger King when I can for the wifi access. Hee.

Angkong was laid to rest this past week. During the wake, I discovered many awesome things about him. Like how he used to be hotshot basketball player, and how he was an apprentice Chinese medicine herbalist. The wake was a rather long one, because even in things like death, there is feng shui to be considered. And Buddhist rituals to be performed. Some of which made us seem like crockpots to the untrained eye (and ear). Like the non-stop chanting and the paper house and airplane. Details will have to wait until later, I’m afraid.

Most common things said to me so far – (Chinese in italics, as usual) –
“My, you look fat!”
“You’re a PT? I’ve got a pain right here! What do you think it is?”
“I’m surprised you still know how to speak Chinese! I thought maybe you’d become an American idiot!?”

It’s been good to see the fam and catch up with old friends though. It feels like everything has changed and nothing has changed.

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