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Monday, March 31, 2008

Boot Camp Update

I survived Day 1 of Extreme Boot Camp - by being a Big Cry Baby, haha, always works... self congratulatory pat on the back, now it's time for some of this:

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cat Joins Extreme Boot Camp

At the urging of my colleague, I have decided to join Extreme Boot Camp, whose slogan is Building a Better America, One Body at a Time. Don't know how this is going to work out, have to get up at 5, be there at 5:45 and get yelled at by army fatigue geared instructors... goal for day one is not to cry... but I shall come back a leaner meaner Cat and be all buff like these people...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Of Oysters and Men

Let's play where is the red sail... can you spot it in the next two pictures?

Ahh, this one is easy! If you can't see it, please see your optometrist asap!

On the road to Marin County -- where it is supposedly liberal, progressive and exclusive...

...and where we found a scenic spot to set up camp for oyster shucking!

Our master oyster shucker at work!

Enjoying a beautiful nor cal afternoon...

...and salty and briny oysters.

On our way back to SF -- thank goodness no more windy roads!

On the Golden Gate Bridge -- what an engineering marvel!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Chinese 101

Our Chinese culture week continues. Several of my colleagues have problem pronouncing the Chinese words for thank you and you are welcome. So I came up with the following lesson for Chinese 101:

Thank you = 謝謝 which is pronounced Shieh Shieh. But since most non-Chinese people have problem pronouncing it, I told my colleagues to say -- Shit Shit

You are welcome = 不謝 in Chinese which is pronounced Bu Shieh. Again to simplify it, I told my colleagues to say -- Bull Shit

Seriously, their Chinese is vastly improved after taking Chinese 101 from 貓眯老師 (or Teacher Cat).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Liu Fang Yuan

Ok, this week is officially Chinese Culture Week on Yesterday, we saw a beautiful scroll depicting a calligrapher overlooking a pond from a garden and today I went to one. Ahh, so pretty. Tho I must say Huntington Gardens should have consulted me first before they went ahead and named their newest Chinese Garden -- 流芳圓 (Liu Fang Yuan or Garden of Flowing Fragrance). It sounds like the name of a brothel in old times... anyhoo, here are some pretty pictures... didn't bump into any prostitutes or Eliot Spitzer there...

The outer wall -- beautiful. I love the wave pattern...

Close up of the wall -- I wish you could see all the exquisite details.

Tada! this is what's hiding inside -- it is based on the garden of a scholar in Suchow, China during one of the dynasties. Hmmm, I could see myself as the lady of a house in Ming Dynasty China, idling around the garden all day long -- drink some tea, compose some poems, eat some melon seeds, dab away some pretty tears... and generally looking "three eight", if you know what I mean... But on a serious note, isn't it interesting that a piece of Chinese Culture is being revived here in America?

Another view...

Bamboo Sound Spring -- I think the Chinese character in the middle means sound (but in a lyrical way). BTW, I think these rocks were all imported from the West Lake area in China, they are really beautiful.

View of the bridge and the Three Friends Pavilion

A close up of the Three Friends Pavilion -- look at those beautiful West Lake rocks that line the lake!

West lake Rock - nature's work of art.

Pretty pavilion overlooking the Pond -- it's probably the prettiest in the garden, the carvings inside are exquisite!

Look at this -- the flowers and leaves look like they are alive!

Wang ShiChih Watching Geese

The artist Chian Shuan painted this beautiful scroll around the year 1295. It depicts the famous calligrapher Wang ShiChih. Ahhh, this is Chinese culture... overlooking the misty blue and green mountains far away... the sky is clear, the air crisp, there are waters and mountains... sigh, why do we have to look back 1,000 years to find Chinese culture?


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Bestest Crabcake in Town

This has to be the best crabcake I have ever had. The little crisps on the side are actually Banana chips, and they went very well with the guacamole dip spread under the crab cake. The guacamole had a sprinkle of diced red onions which gave it a nice kick. And last but not the least, the crab cake is made of plump and fresh crab meat slightly fried so it had this delicious crispy outside layer... and it's topped with a grilled yummy... mouth is watering... btw it was actually pretty substantial, the plate was huge so made the food look tiny teeny...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday Thoughts

Eliot Spitzer sucks! What a jerk. Had to let this out. BTW, does anyone else think he looks like a bat -- he has batty eyes and ears... BTW 2, does anyone want to know what a brothel looks like in China, well here it is. The sign at the entrance translates into Welcome/Preserving Health/Recreation, and there is a help wanted sign at the door too. The funny thing is, in China, these types of brothels (located in residential neighborhoods) all look alike, they have the same store front and the same signs, really strange...Usually you see miniskirt wearing shaojies sitting on the couch waiting for customers... At first I didn't know what they were, until a local pointed out to me...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Simple Dinner

Several people have asked me what I eat at home. I try to eat as healthy and as simple as I can. I love making soupy stuff. So I normally would stop by the Japanese market on my way home, pick up some fresh organic mushrooms, tofu, and some greens and toss them together and make a delicious healthy soup.

Make sure you add some chopped spring onions too, really brings out the flavor of the soup.

Well, usually after a healthy vegetarian meal, the carnivore side of me creeps out and I start craving meat. At this point, typically all discipline breaks down and I start munching on salami, frozen chicken wings, beef jerky, etc... So the moral of the story is, don't go vegetarian cold turkey, and do not watch the Food Network if you want to eat simple and healthy. Anyhoo... I will try to be good tonight and hopefully not end up going to bed clutching my tummy.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Found a cool program to create mosaics... and only if I could make this mosaic my banner... oh I am so internet illterate...

Accent Elimination

Lately I have seen several signs like the one below for accent elimination.

I came to the US at a fairly young age so I do not have a thick accent. But would you do it if you had a pronounced accent? It also made me think about the heirarchy of accents. These signs are clearly targeting immigrants from less affluent areas of the world such as India and China. You would never have a British person calling to eliminate their oh so royal accents... Americans are so gullible, they think anyone with a British accent has a tiara in their drawer or something. Look at the Beckhams... overrated and overpriced. But such is reality, I am 100% certain that a person with a British accent will be treated much better than a person with an Indian or a Chinese accent at a nice hotel or a nice restaurant or a nice department store.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Koba BBQ

Finally a good Korean BBQ restaurant on the westside. Pricey but worth it. The meat is perfectly marinated, subtly sweet and very tender. The wait staff takes care to clean out the grill pan after each batch so that the meat would not be overly charred. Overall, I'd give it three kitty cat paws.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sunny Day

Out and about on a sunny day... ahhhhh, LA in its full glory! Oh yeah, I jogged for 2 miles today -- self congratulatory pat on the back... hehe