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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Get your Re-usable Chopsticks

Hey Peeps! Save a tree and get a pair of re-usable chopsticks and put them in your purse (or man-purse if you are a dude!). I got these stainless steel ones which come with a little case. Let's be good to mother earth! P.S. thanks P for the inspiration.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Hmmm, it was ok. I am kind of a spice girl, so steakhouse food always seems a bit bland... Nevertheless, here are a few pictures for your amusement:
Cosmopolitan -- nope I wasn't conducting a chemistry experiment at Mastro's, it's the dry ice that created this smoky effect!
Seafood tower -- not the best seafood tower around, I liked the one at Water Grill better, but the presentation sure is dramatic!
Dessert -- this was good, the fresh fruits were fresh and whipped cream was light and airy.
In summary, decent food, extremely pricey, remember you are not exactly paying for food here, it's the location, the wait staff, the dramatic effect, the potential of bumping into stars etc. etc.

Scary II

Waaahhhhh! We just had a magnitude 5.4 earthquake! It was so scary, wahhh... and I was like on the top floor of a high rise...wahh...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pirates of Palos Verdes

There is a shipwreck close to the shores of Palos Verdes (for those you who are not Angelenos, Palos Verdes is sort of just south of Los Angeles), so this weekend, we embarked on an exploratory hike to check out the shipwreck and see if a chest of sunken treasure is nearby ;-) But first, we must descend down to the rugged shoreline...

Hehe, the thought of finding a treasure chest got me all giddy and I was hopping on the stones like an agile little kitten, this is how far ahead I was of my trek mates! Maybe I could beat them to the treasure chest, kekeke...

This was advertised as a hiking trail, but there was hardly any trail, crappy trail guide! They should've made it clear that part of the "trail" was actually the Pacific Ocean! When I turned the corner about here, I almost got swept away, ok, it wasn't that dramatic, but the tide was up to my waist! I had to cling on to the cliff side! Thank goodness for my sturdy hiking boots!

After I got drenched, we retreated empty handed and hungry, we caught a littel red crab, but even that got away! Dammit, should've gone straight to Plan B: put on an eye patch, raise the pirate flag, row my little boat out to the ocean and make all the fishermen turn over their lobsters, crabs and shrimp... but alas, we were lazy Pirate wannabes, so we walked to the nearest pier and ordered two seafood dishes as a late afternoon snack, oh man, they were delish! Korean fish soup...

Shrimp steamed with potatoes, onions, etc... sooo tender! I am salivating as I type!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Food Week Continues...

Yummm... bibimbap and soon can't get any better than this! Oh yeah, you see those chopsticks, I took them out of my hair! No wonder I've been smelling like kimchee all day long :P

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's time for softball!

Yay! It's softball season and we are going to kick some butts! Here is my jersey, hopefully one day it'll hang among the jerseys of greats such as Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson. Hey, don't laugh, we are all allowed to have dreams...

BTW, we won our first game! We are now undefeated! GO us!

Monday, July 21, 2008

El Puerto Escondido

I was going to teach R Chinese lessons and at J's suggestion, we went to check out El Puerto Escondido (for some reason we thought food would induce learning, boy were we wrong!). Overall, I really liked the place, the food was sincere and down to earth, unlike the overpriced fares at Kabuki and The Hungry Cat.

We had Campechana. I liked it, but thought it was a bit watery, and we could do without the avacado on top. (though on second thought, it tasted rather good with the seafood...hmmm, maybe I didn't like the avacado for aesthetic reasons)

This dish looks a bit disfigured on the left, the right is all fresh and pretty but the brown blob on the left is actually grilled butterfly shrimp... it tasted good though.

And the star of the evening! I forgot what it is called. Basically it's fresh oysters on the half shell with salsa on top. The salsa was divine! I liked the salsa even more than the oysters.

As for our Chinese lesson, sadly I was too busy eating and totally forgot to teach my Chinese lessons. In fact, I ate more than R, my student. Sniff, sniff, I have failed as an educator! Now, if I could only have another half dozen of those oysters to ease my sorrows...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Kabuki in Hollywood was a bad food day, after we saw Wicked (yay, loved it!), we headed to a "Japanese" place called was high on style and $$$ but low on substance, just like Hollywood itself.

Random sushi stuff, and the blob in the back is udon thrown in with some frozen seafood...

The Hungry Cat

When I saw this sign, I knew I had to check it out. Always nice to visit my own kind, Meow!

The food was okay, the price was unacceptable... all this for almost $50! The crab cake eggs benedict cost $17, but the portion was teeny, you had to dig hard for the crab cake, and it didn't even come with any fries so we had to shell out an extra $4 for a shallow little plate of home fries. How expensive can potatoes be? The Irish potato famine ended like a century ago! My cobb salad was okay except the greens were not too fresh... again, how expensive can lettuce be? Arrrgghhh!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Teenage Mutant Ninja Single Parent Peach Tree

Look at these baby peaches on my mom's peach tree...

And they are the fruits of this little peach tree that my mom planted 2 or 3 years ago. It's no taller than 3 feet and 1 foot of which is really wild growth due to my mom's refusal to give the tree a proper haircut, my mom doesn't believe in pruning trees for some reason,'s like the tree is so small it's not ready to have any peach babies and it got naughty and became a single teenage mom peach tree!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Young Indiana Jones!

C, my friend from college, was in town to visit. We went to Ford's Filling Station in Culver City... The food was really nice, though I wish they had been a little lighter on the butter (or as Fabio would say Butt-A). Oh btw, apparently it's owned by Harrison Ford's son so I am calling it Young Indiana Jones. I once ran into Harrison and Calista Flockart at a sushi restaurant... they looked the same in person as on tv and in movies. Very nice couple!

C got sauteed scallops and I got lamb loin and we shared a side order of sauteed kale...and finished off the meal with creme broule and penne cotta. I think there is an accent mark above one of the Es on creme broule, ahh too lazy to go to symbols :P

Monday, July 14, 2008


I have just finished watching the documentary film "Nanking." In 1931, Japan invaded China and the invasion escalated from a series of "incidents" to full blown war in the summer of 1937 beginning with the Battle of Shanghai. After Shanghai fell, the Japansese army marched onto Nanking, the capital of the Republic of China. In December 1937, Nanking too came under Japanese control. In the ensuing months of occupation, during a period now known as the Rape of Nanking, the city was destroyed and its occupants raped and massacred. Below is a transcript of an interview with a survivor.

Chang Zhi Qiang was a 9 year old boy in 1937, when he, his mother and his siblings tried to escape to the Safety Zone after the fall of Nanking to the Japanese. Here is their story:

"I saw three Japanese soldiers with guns and bayonets run into the alley. They fired. The people in front toppled. Everybody panicked and started screaming.

My mom was carrying my youngest brother, who was crying. She was breast feeding him in an attempt to keep him quiet.

At that moment this Japanese soldier went up to her and stabbed her. She fell and almost dropped the baby. But she managed to save him before he hit the ground.

The Japanese soldier stabbed her again and she fell, this time dropping my baby brother. We all started crying, "Don't stab my mom! Don't stab my mom!"

One of the other Japanese soldiers saw my baby brother bawling on the ground, went over and skewered him through his buttocks with the bayonet, then picked him up and tossed him away.

I went over to my mother, who was lying on the ground. She looked like she was sleeping against the lamp post. She was still alive. Her eyes stared at me. I said: "Mom, are you okay?" She looked at me, tears falling down her face, but she couldn't talk. Her lips were moving, but she couldn't make a sound. I heard a baby crying. It sounded like my baby brother. I understood what my mother wanted. I said, "Mom, I'll go and look. Let's see if that's little Fafa." My baby brother's name was Fafa.

I went about searching. The ground was littered with corpses. I stepped on so much blood that the bottom of my shoes became sticky. It was freezing. I meandered my way through piles of dead bodies. I saw a baby crawling among the dead bodies. It was my brother. He was crying for his mother. My brother was still alive. I went over and I called "Fafa!" He heard my voice, turned around and tried his best to come towards me. It was very cold and his little shoes and socks had already fallen off somewhere. His little feet were red from the freezing air and covered in blood.

When my mother saw him, she tried very hard to sit up. She struggled to unbutton her clothes to breast feed my brother. As soon as my brother saw my mother pulling open her clothes, he crawled into my mother's arms and started breast feeding.

When my mom bared her breast, I could see that she was bleeding from several knife wounds. My brother was drinking milk, while a stab wound beside her breast was gushing blood. My brother was too little to understand and tried really hard to breast feed, while more blood bubbled out of her chest. I went up hurriedly and said, "Mom, let me cover it for you, hang in there, hang in there, it will be okay soon. Mama, I'll cover it for you."

But my mother couldn't talk. Tear just streamed down her face. Suddenly, her head dropped down. Her eyes were closed, and I wondered if she was dead. I shook her. But she didn't answer. I called out to her, "Mom, please get up!" But she didn't answer. No matter how hard I tried, she didn't answer me. I thought, "Mom has died. What should I do?"

Their story brought to mind this picture taken after the Japanese army bombed the Shanghai South Railroad Station during the Battle of Shanghai a few months before the Rape of Nanking. This little baby was pulled by rescue workers from the rubbles and they rested him on the station platform... badly injured and probably lost his parents... completely helpless...I wonder what happened to him? Never again.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

How to deal with annoying telemarketers...

...according to Cat's family.

I know, there is the national no-call list, but once in a while a few unscrupulous telemarketers do slip here are a few tips from my family:

Strategy #1, pretend to be your kids' sibling. Telemarketers usually call for my dad, as he is the head of the household, so if he happens to pick up the phone and the telemarketer asks to speak to him, my dad would answer: sorry, my dad is not home.

Cat's sister's strategy: since my sister is visiting this week, she replied that she was the housekeeper and the owner of the house isn't home.

I guess, when it comes to my turn, I will probably say: I am the family dog and my owners aren't home! Roof roof bye!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Pretty Sky

Pretty sky above the Sepulveda Pass. The pollution all got blown over to Nevada and Arizona... Ah, we Californians are so generous... kekeke...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Birthday Fruit Shish Kabob Bouquet

Today is LK's birthday and her parents sent her a super cute fruit shish kabob bouquet. Isn't it adorable, there are even star and flower shaped pineapples! Put them on a stick, they are like magic wands! Aww, some parents actually remember their kiddie's birthday. Mine would be like: is this your birthday, remind us again, how old are you? But feel bad not, I am otherwise very much loved the other 364 days of the year, hehe.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Crystal Kitty

My sister came to visit this week and gave me this Swarovski crystal kitty as a gift. Thanks jiejie. It's so cute and shiny! I put it on my nightstand to guard over me... baddies beware! Raawwwrr!

Monday, July 7, 2008

If you must use babelfish...

...make sure it works! An eatery in China tried to translate the Chinese word for "eatery" into English using a translation software, but alas... judging from the sign at its entrance, apparently the software had a meltdown and instead of "eatery" it is now "Translate Server Error."

photo courtesy of Samfu's facebook account; picture taken somewhere along the Beijing/Taiyuan expressway

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Fourth of July fireworks in Maryland courtesy of L. We didn't have much of a fireworks display here due to the dry weather and wildfires... but thanks to modern technology and a really cool camera with fireworks mode (wow that's one special camera!), we can all share in on the celebration!

Doves taking flight...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

Fellow Patriots, let's all sing America the Beautiful together!

O beauuuutiiiiiful, for spacious skies,
Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow,
Meow Meow Meow Meow
Meow Meow Meow Meow
From Sea to Shining Sea!

Happy Birthday America! Now, let's go kick some British arse! Charge!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Chopsticks are for food not hair!

I was at the doctor's today (yep, all the travelling finally got to me, poor me, sniff sniff), anyhoo, I saw a perfectly respectable looking woman with a huge ass chopstick in her hair. WTF?!! I've seen this many many times now, in movies, on the streets...Why do people in America think it's an Asian thing to wear chopsticks in ones' hair? No No No! Women in Asia never use chopsticks to style their hair, chopsticks are for food not hair! If you tell a woman in China this, she would laugh her ass off!

Traditionally (like before 1900s), after they style their hair, Chinese women like to put some ornaments on the hair, like a string of pearls or a cluster of gemstones or maybe a flower (see below, btw, if you ever wonder what I look like, I look a lot like the pretty lady in the picture, hehehe...)
Anyhow. Since you can't just slap the ornament onto the hair and expecting it to stay (there is a thing called gravity!), they tend to attach the ornament to a small stick (but nothing humongous like a chopstick!) and then put it in the hair so that it would stay in place... that's all! And somehow, people in America think Asian women put chopsticks in their hair. How ridiculous! It's like women in Asia start wearing knives and forks in their hair... it's like the biggest cultural fashion faux pas ever!