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Sunday, March 29, 2009

China Underground: Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll

I just finished reading China Underground by Zachary Mexico, an American musician, bar owner, who studied Chinese and spent a few years in China. The book chronicles the wild and crazier side of China. It's easy to read -- each essay is very short, usually describes the life of a Chinese and their "adventures." One of them is about the punk rock scene in Wuhan, China, and another one about prostitution in China.

I confess I was a bit envious of the author after reading the book. It's like, dammit, I could've written the book too, if I were a little bit more talented in writing and if I were a cool white punk kid... for some reason, I don't think a Chinese chick writing it would be as well received... maybe I should adopt a pseudonym like Cat Venezuela... and write about all the sex, drugs and rock 'n roll I witnessed in China... Here are a few wild tales for your reading pleasure:

Amazon Women and Woman with a Pompom: I was at a fancy bar at one of the fanciest hotels in Beijing. I was sipping on a martini when two nicely dressed Italian gentlemen in their 50s sat next to our lounge pad. They themselves were not too amusing, but they were followed by two young Chinese women who stood well over 6 feet tall! Hmmm. At first I thought the women were gold diggers, but alas, after a while, it turned out they were models discussing business opportunities... interestingly they were later on joined by another fashionably dressed Chinese woman in her early 20s. And curiously, she was wearing a headband with a tennis ball sized pompom smacked on top... So imagine the picture, two Italian gentlemen, two Amazon Chinese women and a Chinese woman with a pompom on her head... you see weird things like this in China all the time.

Alright, enough for tonight... maybe I'll chronicle my visit to a "Karoake" bar next time...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Way We Were...

I stopped by my alma mater today to do some stuff. It got me feeling kind of nostalgic seeing the starry eyed youngsters (yep 20 year olds are youngsters to me now :-) sitting under the leafy trees with all the time in the world to do whatever they want to do... I used to commute to school with my dad and it was around that time that gasoline prices went through the roof. My dad's plan was that I would drive and he would use binoculars to scout out the cheapest gasoline station closest to the highway. Guess where I got my goofiness from :-) Sigh, those were the days. Now I am a grown up and have to deal with grown up problems.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

American (In)justice

Shameful week for America. The Founding Fathers must be turning in their graves.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sad Day for America

Perhaps we shall all re-read the papers that gave founding to our nation.

The Federalist No. 44 by James Madison

Bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and laws impairing the obligation of contracts, are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation. The two former are expressly prohibited by the declarations prefixed to some of the State constitutions, and all of them are prohibited by the spirit and scope of these fundamental charters. Our own experience has taught us, nevertheless, that additional fences against these dangers ought not to be omitted. Very properly, therefore, have the convention added this constitutional bulwark in favor of personal security and private rights; and I am much deceived if they have not, in so doing, as faithfully consulted the genuine sentiments as the undoubted interests of their constituents. The sober people of America are weary of the fluctuating policy which has directed the public councils. They have seen with regret and indignation that sudden changes and legislative interferences, in cases affecting personal rights, become jobs in the hands of enterprising and influential speculators, and snares to the more-industrious and less informed part of the community. They have seen, too, that one legislative interference is but the first link of a long chain of repetitions, every subsequent interference being naturally produced by the effects of the preceding. They very rightly infer, therefore, that some thorough reform is wanting, which will banish speculations on public measures, inspire a general prudence and industry, and give a regular course to the business of society.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May the luck of the Irish be with you! Why I am carrying a log and a green pen, I've no idea!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Road Less Traveled

I saw this path on a recent hike and it got me feeling all philosophical. As you can probably tell, I am generally a happy, goofy gal. But like everybody, not everything in my life is smooth sailing. I've been kind of down lately about a certain important life matter. It simply hasn't happened as quickly as I would've liked. But I sort of had an eureka moment the other day. My friend P had asked me if I wanted to join a group trip that she was planning. At first I thought, no, before I resolve this life issue X, I cannot allow myself to have fun, I must devote all of my effort and energy to issue X. But then again, I thought, hey that's the wrong attitude. We shouldn't let our lives and our happiness to be dependent upon a single factor, no matter how important it is. I will still work very hard on it and if it happens, I will consider myself very blessed. But if not, I will bravely carry on with the journey of life and still be the happy bubbly person I am. So I wrote back to P, and told her that I'd be happy to go on a trip to relax. Hey, I've earned it :-)

On our way up we saw these fossils from millions of years ago when this mountain was on the bottom of the ocean. Aren't they amazing?

And ran into a waterfall...hundreds of years ago, Native Americans probably stood at the same spot collecting water.

Yay, we have conquered the peak (sort of)! Eh, I don't want to boast, but in case you can't tell, this is the Himalayas... global warming has melted away the snow :-)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Alien Snacks

Hehehe, here is where I keep all my snacks at work: anchovy bone crisps, dried fish, Asian style rice krispy treats! I know they sound exotic and strange to non-Asian ears, but they are in fact very common snacks (kind of akin to potato chips) for Asians. Sometimes I close my office when I munch on them furiously... Remember those alien pretending to be human movies? They would get caught when they eat weird stuff like metals and humans. I am kind of worried a colleague may catch me in the act with a fish bone crisp in my mouth and run away in horror: Cat is an alien! She doesn't eat human foods. And antennae will grow out of my head :-)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cat the Barbarian

Aww, Monkey Muffin... so cute!

CHOMP, MUNCH, CHOMP... poor little Monkey, who would do such a thing? Wiping away crocodile tears and muffin crumbs.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What kind of fishie is it?

Imagine the scenario:

Twenty-one identical fishies in a tank. Twenty of the fishies are in a group swimming together. Then there is one fish alone by himself.

What comes to mind when you think of the fish that is alone? Scroll down for psychoanlaysis answer:

Well, supposedly, Chinese people tend to think of the lone fish as an outcast, whereas people who are more of an European cultural persuasion tend to think of the lone fish as a leader. Interesting, huh? Of course, being a Chinese gal, I thought the fish was an outcast.

"Seussism" of the Day

Dr. Seuss says --

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Extreme Makeover

Went to a make-up session in Beverly Hills today, what d'ya think of the after look? Wink Wink. Rawwwrrr....

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


As I was typing the DMZ entry in my hotel room, I heard a huge commotion outside, sound of people chanting in unison. I peeked out the window and saw a dozen flags waving in downtown Seoul! I wasn't sure what it was so I grabbed my jacket and went outside to check it out. It turned out to be a huge demonstration! Police in anti-riot gear were everywhere... here is a footage I put on Youtube. It was kind of surreal, nicely dressed ladies going about their business, people standing on steps to catch the protest with their cell phone cameras, and riot police running around. After about an hour or two, people scattered and things went back to normal as if nothing had happened. Just another day in Seoul.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Geyongbok Palace

On my final day, or morning, in Seoul, I went to Geyongbok Palace... and of course, I couldn't escape my stalkers: the Japanese tourists. They are eveywhere. I go to Paris, they are there, I go to Taipei, they are there. I am about to file a restraining order against them at the Interpol :-)

Main entrance. The palace is clearly modeled after the Forbidden City Palace but incorporating Korean elements. Most noticeably, the roof is not gold, the arch of the roof is slightly different...

The old and the new... downtown Seoul is in the backcground.

The pagoda in the back houses the National Folk Museum. The Koreans do a neat job of presenting their culture.

I like this tree. My grandfather's name in Chinese is composed of the characters "Jade" and "Tree" and it reminds me of him.

Palace grounds -- you can even see Seoul Tower from here... I am such a good photographer, kekeke... so many good photos to show off :-P

Reflections... now I am feeling very deep... need to compose a poem to express all the emotions swelling inside of me... which isn't much at this moment, I was actually pretty hungry... food.

It would be nice to be a princess and all, but I would much prefer to grab some hearty foods at a hole in the wall place (or a tent on the street place) than having a gazillion course royal meal and worry if I am using the fork correctly and if there is ketchup on my nose etc etc.