My Special Diet

I owe my little "fame" on this special diet to the ex-prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, who resigned last year due to health issues. Suddenly his illness, ulcerative colitis, was in the news, with a little paragraph describing his suffering and his battle to get better. Several of my friends, who had been skeptical … Continue reading My Special Diet

The Salt Truck, The Overflowing Cart, And 35,000 Choices

Does each person really make about 35,000 choices every day? I heard it several times, but it is a little hard to believe. This morning, the temperature was in teens--this is in Fahrenheit, not in Celsius, which usually takes quite a while for an immigrant to get used to. Even the facial wipes in my … Continue reading The Salt Truck, The Overflowing Cart, And 35,000 Choices


There should be a complete idiot's guide to commonly used terms and slang. The book "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" by Thomas Sowell really makes this guide more necessary than ever, for me at least. What is a redneck, a liberal, a conservative, a Quaker, a Methodist, an abolitionist, a New Englander etc.? I vaguely … Continue reading Clueless

Super Bowl And Lunar New Year

The Super Bowl and Lunar New Year usually happen within ten days of each other, but they never fall on the same day. One is decided by somebody in NFL, and the other is decided by the moon or some other celestial powers. The two don't communicate with each other when the dates are determined, … Continue reading Super Bowl And Lunar New Year

Lost In Paradise

What will happen when negotiations fail? I mean in our life, in politics, in a relationship. The consequence of failed negotiations has been played out live from Fiji, an archipelago in South Pacific with less than one million residents. Whether the events in Fuji has implications for other countries or regions, I don't really know. … Continue reading Lost In Paradise

January 2021 Book List

"Aria Da Capo" by Edna St. Vincent Millay. I somehow suspect that this one act play with an incomprehensible title is based on the infamous Stanford psychology experiment. Once people get into a situation, in this case an artificial wall and in Stanford's case an artificial prison, people tend to act according to the new … Continue reading January 2021 Book List

A Message From LinkedIn

I can't believe I am still following him. LinkedIn sent me a message last night telling me that he posts one new year message and he hasn't been posting any message for a while. He is not into social media; he doesn't post messages or write blogs. Actually we have no contact in the last … Continue reading A Message From LinkedIn

An Afternoon With Champ

Lulu: "He hasn't been moving for the last ten minutes, his eyes closed. I don't know what he is doing just sitting there. Meditating probably? Is he a Buddhist?" Ivy: "He does that before he starts anything serious. Don't worry. He will open his eyes and you can start the session. You have three hours, … Continue reading An Afternoon With Champ

Differences Big And Small

Writing is much more preferable to speaking, especially when English is concerned. Let's just take vowels for example. I can't distinguish between "pet","port", "pot", "pat", "part". They all sound the same to me. This means whether you are telling me you own a cat, a harbor, a cooking utensil, or a role in a TV … Continue reading Differences Big And Small

18% Oxygen How can one know if a room has less than 18% oxygen? LOL. I try to recall the high school chemistry classes, which happened such a long time ago. Is there an easy way to know the percentage of the oxygen in the air? I mean is there something called oxygen-meter that can check … Continue reading 18% Oxygen

The Favorite Of 2020

I dislike competitions and strive to avoid them as best as I can, because competitions always make me feel dreadful. If I lose, I feel bad; If I win, I feel bad for people who haven't won, and simultaneously I also can't help wondering if the sense of triumph is shallow, short-lived, giving me the … Continue reading The Favorite Of 2020

Thoughts New And Old

Growing up, I've never heard any of my neighbors having any trouble with the police. Of course that's very much a half rural, almost un-industrialized environment where almost everybody knows everybody else. Even if you don't know that particular person, you know somebody who knows him. The unemployment rate is very high among young people … Continue reading Thoughts New And Old

The Unwilling Student

Lulu:"Aberration is not a difficult word to learn, Di. It's like the word abnormal, meaning something that is not normal. We just learned abnormal last week, didn't we?" Di:"So, why not just use the word abnormal?" Di is a 12-year-old boy, about to start middle school at Plainsboro, New Jersey. Lulu drives 25 miles once … Continue reading The Unwilling Student

No Exercise

I've tried every possible way to make at home exercise more pleasant, or rather less painful, but to no avail. I still haven't exercised despite trying to get myself to do it the entire week. DVD, online videos, Fitness Marshall series, book reading while throwing limbs back and forth, making an exercise plan, imagining good … Continue reading No Exercise

Every Time I Drive By

Every time I drive pass Roosevelt Park, I think about forgetting you. In that long forgotten corner not far from the parking lot, the basketball courts, and the lake, we had our picnic. I forget exactly what I did and didn't do-- eating, chatting, sitting, walking, but what I really want to forget is your … Continue reading Every Time I Drive By

Without Concentration

No concentration today. I have a lot to do, but my mind just seems not interested in the goal anymore. Probably because yesterday I wrote something about politics, and I did it in the mildest way possible, but still somehow I feel somebody is annoyed at my post. However I don't want to change just … Continue reading Without Concentration

Good, Bad And Things In Between

There are no good books about Asia in English. I just can’t find any good books. If anybody read a good one, please let me know. I am so desperate for some good books in this direction that I have to read books about the Pacific Theater of WWII. I dislike books on wars, but … Continue reading Good, Bad And Things In Between

Difference And Similarity (2)

Click Here For Difference And Similarity (1) Lulu doesn't know why Cindy wants to Iowa. Can't she just find a writer's workshop in New Jersey or somewhere close by? Lulu doesn't want to ask in case it is a common knowledge and the very inquiry reveals her ignorance. Lulu's proud that she's read a lot … Continue reading Difference And Similarity (2)

Difference And Similarity (1)

Lulu wants to scream, "How could you do that?" But she checks herself and produces a smile instead. Cindy, in the meantime, digs into her fried rice with a spoon. Cindy asked for a spoon when they ordered their entries, and Lulu, observing the raised eyebrows of the waiter above his face mask, felt faintly … Continue reading Difference And Similarity (1)

Battle For Gift

Armei: "Every long term customer can choose a free gift pack for 2021. Pammy, the biggest gift pack is for you." Armei is the shop assistant of a popular cosmetic store in Edison, New Jersey, which sells Asian cosmetic items. It used to specialize in Shiseido, the overpriced Japanese brand, but in recent years, due … Continue reading Battle For Gift


has been practiced by Pammy quite successfully for years until Lulu spoils it. Lulu, the unemployed anthropologist who can't land a job anywhere except in the local tutoring school, arguably the best after school program in Asian immigrant communities in New Jersey. It's a place where anxious parents send their unwilling offspring for extra lessons. … Continue reading Compartmentalization

The Beginning Of 2021

The scene opens to the interior of a restaurant, all tables and chairs piled up to one corner, except one table with a white table cloth and scattered mahjong tiles on top. Mr. Wei, the owner of the restaurant "Pacific Palace", is playing mahjong with Chef Li and two waiters. On one side of the … Continue reading The Beginning Of 2021

Not Crying Wolf

Armei says when she's applying a fresh coat of paint on her nails, "Lulu, dear, can't you write something more interesting? Like a romantic story that women like to read? I mean you are so intelligent and I hate to see you like this--writing things that nobody wants to read." Lulu says, "Armei, I'm not … Continue reading Not Crying Wolf

Jack Of All Trade

Susan the director: "Nora Dickinson, you look exactly like Jane Millay I interviewed yesterday." Lan the actress: "My name is actually Lanlan Wong, but I have to change it. Otherwise I can't get any interview for any part in Hollywood. You know Nora Ephron, Emily Dickinson, Jane Austen and Edna St. Vincent Millay are my … Continue reading Jack Of All Trade