The Feisty Centenarian

Shitsui Hakoishi is a 104-year-old woman who carried the Olympic torch on March 28 for 200 meters in Japan, in the pouring rain. Her son and nephew, a septuagenarian and an octogenarian, accompanied her. And her nephew caught a chill in the rain and died soon afterwards. There were rumors that she died too due … Continue reading The Feisty Centenarian

New Word #8: To Praise Formally

There are many words for praise, but here I am talking about formal praises, often for ceremonial purposes, some in song and poem forms, and many concerning religion services or funeral arrangement. prothalamion: I learned this word from Pooja's post here. The word means "a song or poem celebrating an upcoming wedding."paean: a song of … Continue reading New Word #8: To Praise Formally

New Word #7: Can’t Describe It

Many of us grew up with simple native languages with about 3000 basic words --the rest is just a mixture and extension of these basic building blocks. We are in for a big shock when we realize that English has so many words. One concept can be described by ten to twenty different words, each … Continue reading New Word #7: Can’t Describe It

Poem Of The Day #7

Love is often unequal; affection always differs. The loving complains of the unloving; the heartfelt bemoans the heartless. Feelings have no reason; life has no cure. Do I believe in happy ending even if I know what the ending is like? It sounds naive if I say I do; it sounds cynical if I say … Continue reading Poem Of The Day #7

New Word #6: The Double “F” Words

I've always felt that "f" is unfairly vilified. It takes on the thankless task of starting words like "fail", "frail", "flail", "fray", "fake", "fall". Even the seemingly harmless word like "frame" is burdened with additional meaning of "producing false evidence against". Hasn't "f" suffered enough? It is a hardworking alphabet and please give him a … Continue reading New Word #6: The Double “F” Words

The Dilemma (Flash Fiction #6)

They've been engaged for a year and the wedding has been planned for a lucky day this summer--lucky in its number in both the regular calendar and the lunar calendar. However she has a little something, probably a little blue bird, in her heart that she can't hush up. She's tried to silence it, but … Continue reading The Dilemma (Flash Fiction #6)

New Word #5: Timeline Of A Day

Diurnal: of or during the day. Nocturnal: done, occurring, or active at night. Matutinal: of or occurring in the morning. Vespertine: relating to, occurring, or active in the evening. Crepuscular: of, resembling, or relating to twilight. Out of the five words, I've only regularly seen nocturnal being used. However once I read crepuscular somewhere and … Continue reading New Word #5: Timeline Of A Day

A Beloved Rebel

He was born in either Suyab of present-day Kyrgyzstan or around Lake Baikal in Russia. Some even say he's born in Ghazni of Afghanistan. The exact location is still in dispute. His personality and life choices are a lot like Lord Byron, the 19th century romantic era poet, even though he lived in an era … Continue reading A Beloved Rebel

The Rice Spaghetti (Flash Fiction #5)

"Look, rice spaghetti. I wonder if it tastes like rice noodle. Let's try it." Pammy says to her husband Pan at the ShopRite grocery store. "Well, do we have to have food experiment? I mean can't we stick with the food we are familiar with?" Pan grumbles. "We need to diversify our dinner menu. Learn … Continue reading The Rice Spaghetti (Flash Fiction #5)

Mount Everest (Flash Fiction #4)

Lil, a retiree and a widow, is talking with her daughter Dana. Lil: "I am going to Nepal with my friend Su next week." Dana:"Why, Mom? You are wasting your retirement savings. Why Nepal? You are not thinking of climbing Mount Everest, are you?" Lil: "Oh, Dana, just a tourist. It's said Nepal has the … Continue reading Mount Everest (Flash Fiction #4)

New Word #4: The Three Vales

These three vales are: Valediction: the action of saying farewell.Valetudinarian: a person who is unduly anxious about their health.Valedictorian: a student, typically having the highest academic achievements of the class, who delivers the valedictory at a graduation ceremony. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between these three words, which look too much alike. Also one … Continue reading New Word #4: The Three Vales

He Is Home (Flash Fiction #3)

I just know it. He said he's going to come back by this hour, but look, where is he? It's because of his friendship with Doo, who's a liar through and through, and who's going to influence my little honest gullible Dragon. What a nice little nickname--Dragon--I got for him? I love dragons. Men learn … Continue reading He Is Home (Flash Fiction #3)

New Word #3: Many Shades of Brown

It is said the Eskimos have fifty words for snow and certain people living in rain forests have fifty words for different shades of green. I had not noticed the big number of words for the brown color until I read "Heartburn", in which the main character's friend Arthur complains about colors--he doesn't know about … Continue reading New Word #3: Many Shades of Brown

Two Brothers (Flash Non-Fiction #2)

They are two brothers. Forty-three years ago, when they were five and six-years-old, their family became refugees after the Vietnam war, floating on a boat in Southeast Asia, not knowing where they would land and where their next meal was. They were lucky to land in the refugee camp in Hong Kong. Five years later … Continue reading Two Brothers (Flash Non-Fiction #2)

The Crazy School Lunch

Akito Nakamura is a typical Japanese boy with an atypical family history. His father is a Malaysian who went to Japan to attend a graduate program, during which he got to know Akito's mom Momoe Nakamura. When the program ended, the two decided to get married. However after Momoe traveled to Malaysia to meet the … Continue reading The Crazy School Lunch

The New Purchase (Flash Fiction #1)

"Where are you going?" Armei asks. "Relax. I'll be back in two hours." Armei's boyfriend Lee says. "No, you are not. Liar. I will shoot you if you leave me." Armei pulls out the new gun Lee just bought from a gun show in New York City. "Hi, be careful with that. That's not a … Continue reading The New Purchase (Flash Fiction #1)

New Word #1: Cacoethes

I've always wanted to talk about vocabulary, if only to help others just like myself. Being a non-native speaker, English vocabulary has always been a challenge. There are so many of them and a lot don't even sound like English. Avoiding is not possible; facing it is frustrating. How to deal with the feeling of … Continue reading New Word #1: Cacoethes

It’s Your Mom I Love

Yola has always loved other people's mom, but she didn't realize that until college. It dawned on her during one of the classes for her elective course European Literature. "Balzac's parents belonged to the first generation of middle class in France, and Balzac's mom always wanted to go up. You know what I mean. She … Continue reading It’s Your Mom I Love

Miscommunication

I can never read a doctor's handwriting. Any doctor. It's just not legible. It's a wonder how pharmacists can get the correct medicine for you based on those unstructured scrawls on a little piece of prescription paper. Is there a secret communication code wired in that illegible writing on the prescription? I don't know. It's … Continue reading Miscommunication

Poem Of The Day #5

Blue and white and pink with a spring breeze. Flowers smile, grass sing, trees impatient to turn green while I'm sitting here, toiling in front of the computer screen. I dream of going outside. Probably being a farmer, but no farming knowledge, or a gardener, but no gardening skills. How about a nomad, like my … Continue reading Poem Of The Day #5

Lovers’ Chance Meeting

Armei and Lee were college sweethearts, but they separated after graduation. One day, Armei found that Lee had not been posting pictures with his girlfriend for a while. She decided to plan an accidental meeting with him at the popular dim sum restaurant, which he and his girlfriend used to frequent, and post their meal … Continue reading Lovers’ Chance Meeting

Give Friends Suggestions

We often give people suggestions, some giving more suggestions than others. Since I like to talk, when given a chance, and can't shut up--actually I am a typical introvert, not an extrovert at all, and I don't know how I've become a talkative introvert-- I'm often asked for suggestions. Now looking back, I think it … Continue reading Give Friends Suggestions

Optimist vs. Pessimist

If you ever go to a sales meeting, you will hear a lot of witticisms about optimist vs. pessimist. "An optimist see opportunities in every difficulty; a pessimist see difficulties in every opportunity." "A pessimist see a dark tunnel and an optimist see the light at the end of the tunnel." Or something similar. However … Continue reading Optimist vs. Pessimist

Poem Of The Day #4

Last week's spring heat bloomed the early flowers. But alas, temperature has since dropped to 27F at night, which is -3C. I don't even know your name-- cherry or dogwood or crabapple-- but I feel sorry for your flowers. How can you survive the onslaught of the fickle weather? Some say "rough winds do shake … Continue reading Poem Of The Day #4

Quotes Of The Day #5

George Orwell's essays often point out our foibles and failings without pessimism or cynicism or anger. I love his optimism and his fighting spirit. Often I feel that each of his essays can be extended into a book, and a lot of nuances and details can be elaborated even further. I wish Audible can make … Continue reading Quotes Of The Day #5

April Fool Unfooled

Whether April Fool's day originated in England, France, or Netherlands, it is still in dispute, however in modern times, it has spread throughout the world. For many years, playing practical jokes on this particular day has become popular in Asian countries too, which is at least partially fueled by government officials who want to put … Continue reading April Fool Unfooled