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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Xmas Vacay in Shanghai!

This is what I am gonna look like when I walk through security at LAX ... wearing nothing but some strategically placed Xmas tree pine needles... Raawwwrr!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ikko Sushi: Part Deux

Ikko Sushi in Torrance is having an omakase special for the holidays... make sure you call at least one day in advance of your special holiday dinner :)
Isn't this a beautiful picture? This is seafood chowder with a puff pastry top.
Sashimi with seaweed that tasted like perilla leaves... I was so puzzled when I first tasted it. I was like, I know this flavor... where did I taste it before?
Star of the evening, foie gras and kobe beef meatloaf... sorry the picture isn't so clear but it was so flavorful... mmmmmmm....
Taro and crabmeat...
Dessert: sweet potato pudding with sesame and chestnut.
Love the decor too. They have these simple cotton screens between the tables, gave the place a sense of mystique and also afforded diners privacy. Highly recommended :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bufala Cheese

As I was looking at the menu, I asked our waitress, what is Boo-Fa-La cheese? Oh, it's buffalo! Mmm... look at all the yummy prosciutto ham hanging on the wall...
Lots of cherry tomatoes... can you see my reflection?
My lunch, burrata cheese, grilled sweet potatoes, grilled chestnuts, crushed berries drink...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Report Card

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has released the results of its 2009 Program for International Student Assessment test of 15 year old students in 65 countries. America is ranked 23 in Science, 17 in Reading and 31 in Math. Doh. Not good. To add insult to injury, I see this comment: "Now I see why the US always says 'we're number 1.' It's not arrogance, it's the highest number they can count to." Ouchie! We are not dumb, really, we can count to more than 1. Let's see, 1, 2, 3, 4... arrrgh, running out of fingers on my paw. Let me try again, 1, 2, 3, 4... arrrgh! We are not dumb! We are number 1 and we can see Russia from Alaska, can you, huh? Eatcha heart out.

Monday, December 6, 2010


As I flipped through a Target flier today, I was amazed at the incredible array of toys children have these days. If I were still 5 years old, I think I would've really become Princess Cat and shrieked -- I want everything NOW! Hmph!

But I spent my early years in China and it was poor. I clearly remember all the toys I had -- a pink plastic tea set, a set of colored blocks, a doll with early female pattern baldness cuz Baby Cat had pulled its hair out -- and those were it. We had to use our imagination to play, to make the most out of the limited resources we had. We'd build castles, homes, palaces with the blocks. Then my sister and I would draw the princesses with their puffy dresses and empresses in their imperial gowns.

We had to proactively create fun for ourselves. If we get tired of playing with the blocks or tea sets, we had to come up with another way to play. We didn't have the option of discarding them and tell our parents to buy new toys. In a way, I am glad we didn't. Because when you have so little, you actually start to take the time to appreciate things. If I had all the toys at my disposal, the pink tea set would probably be lying somewhere in the bottom of a huge toy bin and forgotten. But instead, I see a little Chinese girl sitting in the corner of the room with her pals, sipping tea with their little pink tea cups.

Photo courtesy of

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Meowry Christmas y'all :) K's Christmas tree... so beautiful.
Silent night, holy night... Peace on Earth.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


"Similarly, life is a tennis tournament. We may become exhausted by each strike from the opponent and each losing point. But what separates the winners from their opponents is their ability to keep a positive, determined mentality no matter how hard the blows hit them, because ultimately, the few points we lose during the fight do not matter when it comes to winning the entire match."

--- S.S.

I was helping S with an essay she is working on, and got a bit teary eyed when I read this line. Who would know that the words of a seventeen year old would lift my spirit up. S, you are a wonderful young lady and we are all so proud of you.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Bubbly soon tofu, perfect for a cold day... burrrr... S, best luck with your applications :)


One of my happiest memories in college was a fieldtrip to Gettysburg with Professor M and a group of classmates. It was a crisp autumn morning and J and K had woken me up at the crack of dawn. I remember us standing in front of the dorms shivering in the cold waiting for the school van... Prof M showed us the geography along the way, we saw the major battlefields (couldn't believe the two sides were that close! Would I have been brave enough to march into the enemy fire?), then we had a picnic in the hills near the battlefield, the foliage was beautiful, there was a little stream nearby and beavers had built up several dams... K died a few months later. K, are you doing okay? We are fine here, fumbling through life as usual, but we are fine...
Unattributed image of Gettysburg found on the web