Thursday, March 15, 2012

two weeks ago i left the wintry north in hope to enjoy some spring-y south. but it looks like the spring has simply skipped over and with a high of 83 degrees today it's already summer. tomorrow i'm leaving swampy alabama for swampy new orleans to take part in the decadent irish channel block party in honor of st. patrick on saturday.

meanwhile i have not forgotten my commitment to china amidst all this r&r of mine (as if i needed more after idling away a good part of the last 12 months). i have (finally) booked a ticket the day before yesterday, which was immediately followed by an email to the future boss to postpone the starting date, which was kindly granted. (to my defense the 'new' starting date is what i originally requested. however, in the strange universe where china operates i was denied the request, but the young miss hr assured me that once the hiring process was underway, i could change it however i'd wish to.) so now i have ten extra days to mill around.

on a separate note i'm pleasantly surprised to find out that both university of new mexico, my alma mater, and new mexico state have made it to the ncaa basketball tournament. and it looks the u of nm has made it thru the first round. for once i might just have to follow the whole madness. go lobos!

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

sea salt pita chips + extra sharp cheddar cheese + cheap bulk white wine + nonstop "the big bang theory" = the secret formula of spending a cold, windy, and snowy day in the warmth of one's abode.

man i'm gonna miss not working when i start working. .... now why i wanted a job again? oh yeah, the new iphone. remind me to get one of those when i get my first pay check. ... now if you will excuse me the next big bang theory is ready for viewing.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

i'm taking mei lian's advice: when having nothing interesting to tell, i'll just report to you that i'm well. not just me, the cats are fine too. i picked them up today from frank's parents'. after two months they still remember me. daisy doesn't really care much but luigi was happy to see me, mostly for having one more person to pat and stroke him.

i'm still on hong kong time--i came back last monday. nearly every day i'm in bed by 8 pm and up by 4 in the morning. this could potentially affect my social life but give it another week i'm sure i'll have my night owl life style back.

this song, set fire to the rain by adele, is everywhere i tuned in during the long drive to pennsylvania (and to new england where i spent very little time.) i just can't get enough of it. the song, i mean.

now let's get back to the super bowl. go giants!

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

i think an apology is overdue, for my prolonged absence. it is not so much my laziness even though it is part of the problem, but mostly a lack of excitement in life--i really don't think anyone would care how many potatoes i peeled for tuesday's dinner, or how many pieces of junk mail i shredded on a particular sunday, now would they?

lately i've had a couple very exciting months. here are some pictures from taiwan. i realize that most of them are of food. i don't think i can help it. taiwan, perhaps i shouldn't over-generalize, but at least during the time we were there, was cold and rainy. i'm a mild case of s.a.d. and the only thing that had cheered me up was food. it was all i could hope for that i was able to button my jeans by the time we left.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

** i'm reading a very good book: china in ten words by yu hua (余华), one of the best -- if not the best -- chinese writer of today. it's all you need in order to understand contemporary china.

** speaking of books, i've launched a new project: re-reading murakami haruki (村上春树) in chinese translation. i feel the stories are more readable this way. they seep deeper. not that the english translations were bad. no. it just that there was always that 'foreigness' in english. this seems to go away under the shared vagueness between japanese and chinese. i like it better this way. fragmentation is no longer a grammatical fault, but a necessity in expressing the bare minimum. it's darkly romantic.

** speaking of japan: it wasn't the smartest idea we ever came up with when we decided to visit tokyo and kyoto right after taiwan. in taiwan everywhere you look there are food--yummy food, and they are cheap--cheaper than in hong kong, which i had not thought possible. japan was on the other end of the scale, perhaps food is too sacred to be laid out on the street and sold cheaply. i nearly broke my bank there (i haven't had a steady income for over a year by now, if you recall.) we were lucky that the shop where we had shabu-shabu accepted credit card, which was, surprisingly, an exception rather than the norm. it was the best beef in the world! the marbled loin literally melted in my mouth. ... ... in case you are planning to visit those far away islands, i suggest you go to tokyo first (i hear it is the most expensive city in the whole wide world), then go to taiwan. you will feel like the richest person in the world.

** speaking of income (this is truly a stream-of-conscious post, yes?): i got a job in shanghai with a blood-sucking pharmaceutical company. to cut cost they are moving a fair amount of operation--mostly the part that has to do with numbers--from its fatherland to china and india. so in the coming months i'll be making an across-pacific move.

** along that note: i have two more years of subscriptions of the new yorker and another year of atlantic. i don't think they are the kind of periodicals that chinese officials would welcome within their borders with open arms. so if you want them, let me know, they are yours to keep.

** last but not the least, here is wishing everyone a very happy chinese new year!


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