New Word #47: Recently Learned

Shibboleth: a custom, principle, or belief distinguishing a particular class or group of people, especially a long-standing one regarded as outmoded or no longer important.From Pooja's post here. maudlin: self-pityingly or tearfully sentimental, often through drunkenness.From mjcd2017's post here. traction: the action of drawing or pulling something over a surface, especially a road or track. … Continue reading New Word #47: Recently Learned

A Wonderful Girl (Flash Fiction #52)

Pammy and Lulu come to the little cosmetic shop Armei is running, next to an Asian grocery store in a popular plaza. The three haven't met for a while and they have quite a lot of catch-up to do. The customers are scarce and the cosmetic store is not doing very well these days. People … Continue reading A Wonderful Girl (Flash Fiction #52)

The Battle Of Love (Flash Fiction #51)

Image by gene1970 from Pixabay "I am going to kill him. This is too much. I've spent all my life trying to please him, coddle him, and chase after him, only to be rewarded with his evasiveness and his pathological lies. Now this plane ticket is the last straw. Where is he going? Who is … Continue reading The Battle Of Love (Flash Fiction #51)

New Word #46: That Doesn’t Sound Like English

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay Someone sent me a message with "raison d'être" in it. Show off. I actually wondered how he finds "ê" on the keyboard. This is life, isn't it? Once one can handle English, one realizes that the goal post is moving to a French location. I used to be annoyed by … Continue reading New Word #46: That Doesn’t Sound Like English

A Trip To New York City (Flash Fiction #50)

Image by Frank Winkler from Pixabay "Why is New York City called Big Apple?" Hitan asks "I don't know." Ivy replies. "As a tour guide, you really don't know your stuff." Hitan jokes good-naturedly. "I'm not a tour guide. I'm the owner of the Ivy Tutoring Center. Since most of the bilingual tour guide companies … Continue reading A Trip To New York City (Flash Fiction #50)

The Backyard Party (Flash Fiction #49)

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay They grill hamburgers, onions, fish cakes, pineapple slices in the backyard and the food is so good. Mrs. Yee surely knows how to prepare all the ingredients. At first everybody is very interested in what Mr. Yee has to say. He tells one anecdote after another, to his own amusement … Continue reading The Backyard Party (Flash Fiction #49)

New Word #45: The Olympic Games

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay Watching the ongoing Olympic games is great for learning some new words. And suddenly I realize that there are so many sports related words--actually every sports have its own pile of terms that people not interested in it would not understand. Since I am really bad with sports, I can … Continue reading New Word #45: The Olympic Games

Mellow Fruitfulness

Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay When I was young, living in the staff quarter of a rural college south of Mongolian steppe, I often heard fruit stories from my mother's friends who had migrated from the south. My favorite bits were oranges knocking on your shoulder, waking up with olives about to jump into … Continue reading Mellow Fruitfulness

Poem Of The Day #17

I am not sure how the story goes, what he or she does, how he poses or how she clothes. Only a vague idea grows and grows. Things good or bad or hectic, with an unexpected Asian twist. Relationships possible, and even electric, but something is lacking--what is it? Imaginations so aimless, considerations endless, plot … Continue reading Poem Of The Day #17

Poem Of The Day #16

Image by Gabriele M. Reinhardt from Pixabay It's hard to miss you, it's impossible not to miss you, it's delusional to try to get you back, it's a quiet desperation to live and breathe as if everything is normal. Love has no exit. I will watch a sad movie, binge a show, devour a bag … Continue reading Poem Of The Day #16

New Word #44 : Rice Dishes

Image by Andrey Muzychuk from Pixaba This is only a list of rice dishes I've encountered in New Jersey so far. I feel rather embarrassed when I can't pronounce a dish's name when ordering it. Living in a multicultural environment but not being able to at least learn an entree's name that I want to … Continue reading New Word #44 : Rice Dishes

New Word #43: Cooking Methods

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay grill vs barbecue I never know what's the difference between grill and barbecue. Some people told me barbecue is the sauce while grill is the method; some say grilled meat has less fat than barbecued meat. Still I don't know the difference. Or probably they are the same. grill: cook … Continue reading New Word #43: Cooking Methods

Girl Fight (Flash Non-Fiction #48)

"To fight, you have to get yourself dirty." George Orwell says that, but who wants to be dirty? We all want to be as clean, tidy, and pretty as we can, and often we worry that we are not clean, tidy and pretty enough. There are certain movies which can combine prettiness with a fighting … Continue reading Girl Fight (Flash Non-Fiction #48)

Sports, Grammar, And Love (Flash Non-Fiction #47)

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay Every four years when Olympic ads hit the TV screen, I would think of him. Not that he's an Olympic athlete or anything. He's not, but he's the only one among the people I'm familiar with who loves sports and is pretty good at it. It was 8th grade … Continue reading Sports, Grammar, And Love (Flash Non-Fiction #47)

Language And Custom (Flash Non-Fiction #46)

Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash This morning, as I spent ten minutes to review some Thai phrases from a website, I suddenly remember several strange incidents happened in school when I was learning English as a second language. I can't remember exactly when this happened, but it could be when I was a forth … Continue reading Language And Custom (Flash Non-Fiction #46)

A Relationship Speculator (Flash Fiction #45)

Image by Jamie Nakamura from Pixabay Pammy: "I've never seen Armei and Arhu quarreling this much before. Almost everything Arhu said, his wife Armei objected. I wonder what has happened to the two. I observed them at the party. Glad the party is over and we are home now." Pammy's husband Pan: "Really? I hardly … Continue reading A Relationship Speculator (Flash Fiction #45)

New Word #46: Recently Learned

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay firenado: a rapidly rotating column of flames above an intense fire, caused when air, dust, etc. is drawn into the fire from the surroundings and rises, creating a vortex. This word is obviously obtained from the word "tornado", which is referring to air vortex rather than fire vortex. I … Continue reading New Word #46: Recently Learned

The Presentation (Flash Fiction #44)

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash Pam is going to give a presentation in a conference and she comes to Ivy Training Center to seek help. Since everybody is occupied, Ivy ends up assisting Pam. The Ivy Training Center almost went out of business several months ago--business was slow to a crawl due to pandemic … Continue reading The Presentation (Flash Fiction #44)

Sunday’s Story

Image by justraveling from Pixabay I went to the grocery store this morning. As I was pulling in the parking lot, I saw a woman sitting in the car next to me--she is crying while talking on the phone. I felt the urge to go comfort her, but I knew this couldn't be done since … Continue reading Sunday’s Story

New Word #45: The Fascinating “K” And “KY”

I've always been fascinated with words ending with "k" and "ky". There are a lot of them and each is sonorous, spontaneous, slang like, and vivid in the description of what it is supposed to describe. And it is no surprise that I can remember each one of them after just one encounter and never … Continue reading New Word #45: The Fascinating “K” And “KY”

The Superstition (Flash Fiction #43)

Photo by Jari Hytönen on Unsplash Pammy finally gets her real estate license after taking the real estate test several times. And she helps Mr. Goh Yee and his wife to purchase their house in Plainsboro Township, New Jersey. Goh is a businessman from Malaysia and the only reason he wants to buy a house … Continue reading The Superstition (Flash Fiction #43)

New Word #44: Recently Learned

Image by Kristine Lejniece from Pixabay bubba: used as an affectionate form of address to a brother. (North America)From annzimmerman's post here.This is the first time I encounter this word--it is so endearing. cassowary: a very large flightless bird related to the emuFrom Iseult Murphy's post here. Love large flightless bird. They look so eccentric … Continue reading New Word #44: Recently Learned

Instant Response Too

Image by Michael Treu from Pixabay This is a follow up to the "Instant Response" I posted before, which unexpectedly has gained more comments than my other posts. Let's walk through the incident again. Last Thursday ago, I went to Walmart to get my second Moderna vaccine shot. The pharmacist, also an immigrant who's of … Continue reading Instant Response Too

New Word #43: Peripatetic

Image by Chingiz Khalafov from Pixabay A Temporary Stay I learned the word peripatetic from mjcd2017 here. peripatetic: traveling from place to place, in particular working or based in various places for relatively short periods. This word has a temporary feel to it. sojourn: a temporary stay. tarry: to remain or stay, as in a … Continue reading New Word #43: Peripatetic

In Six Languages (Flash Fiction #42)

The Yang family has been running a takeout restaurant in this northeastern New Jersey town for 17 years. They have a daughter Lisa who's a 15-year-old and a son who's 10. When Lisa was born, the Yang family couldn't afford a babysitter. Lisa spent all day in the kitchen of the little takeout restaurant with … Continue reading In Six Languages (Flash Fiction #42)

The Herbal Medicine (Flash Fiction #41)

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay "I'm afraid I need to return this." Penni stands at counter of the vacant little grocery store. "My store has a no return policy for any package that's opened." Leong, the store owner says sternly. "It's opened, but I couldn't use it. I got cold feet and dropped the … Continue reading The Herbal Medicine (Flash Fiction #41)

The July 4th Long Weekend

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay There are a lot of fireworks, big or small, in Edison Township over the weekend and one very exuberant one just blasted off outside of my window by a neighbor I guess. This year's celebration is obviously more intense than last year, or any previous year. … Continue reading The July 4th Long Weekend

New Word #42: The Revolutionary War

Image by John Hain from Pixabay I learned many new words through the American Revolutionary War. One of the most interesting words is "dragoons"--they dismount their horses first before fighting on foot, unlike the cavalry who will fight while mounted. I just wonder where they would keep their horses while fighting? I mean on a … Continue reading New Word #42: The Revolutionary War

New Word #41: Recently Learned

Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay cabaret: entertainment held in a nightclub or restaurant while the audience eats or drinks at tables.From mjcd2017 here about the happy moments of life. ruddy: (of a person's face) having a healthy red color.From Shammi here with a story of a sage. ableist: discrimination in favor of able-bodied people.From … Continue reading New Word #41: Recently Learned

Instant Response

Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay Yesterday, I went to get my second shot of Moderna vaccine at the local Walmart. The pharmacist is very young, probably just out of the pharmacy school. He is very cute and also an immigrant, probably from Middle East somewhere. He explained to me that after getting the shot … Continue reading Instant Response

New Word #40: Bluster, Blaster, Or Blister

There are a score of words that start with "b" and end in "st" or "ster", which are very confusing. I hope listing them out here will reduce the confusion, but I know I am probably hoping too much. Still we try, despite knowing the futility of it. Image by Momentmal from Pixabay blust: This … Continue reading New Word #40: Bluster, Blaster, Or Blister

Romance And Pandemic (Flash Fiction #40)

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash Here is another story of the family of Nita, her husband Lian, and her son Kevin. There's a previous story about the family here on the topic of superfluity--the two stories are not related and there's no need to read the previous story to understand the current story. Nita's … Continue reading Romance And Pandemic (Flash Fiction #40)

The Russian Friend (Flash Fiction #39)

Photo by Cristofer Jeschke on Unsplash Lia is a new part time hire at Ivy Learning Center, which has many overqualified full time and part time teachers to tutor local kids--mainly from the surrounding middle schools and high schools. Summer is usually the busy time when anxious parents want to push their kids on SAT … Continue reading The Russian Friend (Flash Fiction #39)

The Italian Name (Flash Fiction #38)

Image by Pexels from Pixabay "Can I also have a can of orange soda?" Armei says to the kid behind the counter, who looks like he's hardly out of high school. Armei can't even remember the days when she's out of high school. That's so long ago and she's growing old. "You mean the 'San … Continue reading The Italian Name (Flash Fiction #38)

New Word #39: Eat And Drink

Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash Most of these words for eating and drinking are often used. I've never seen "manducate" being used, but for the rest, they are all quite common. Sometimes I can encounter several just in one scene about a dinner or a party. There must be more words about eating and … Continue reading New Word #39: Eat And Drink

Quote Of The Day #18

Image by Elena Tishkova from Pixabay "Orthodoxy" by G. K. Chesterton is on sale at Audible.com and you know me, who cannot resist a discount, which is the reason why my shelf is filled with books I don't feel like reading and my closet full of clothes I hardly ever wear. And Chesterton is rambling … Continue reading Quote Of The Day #18

New Word #38: Recently Learned

shiv: a knife or razor used as a weapon.kryptonite: an alien mineral that has the property of depriving Superman of his powers. (It's only used in fantasy novels or movies.)These are from Princess & Pages' posts here and here zany: amusingly unconventional and idiosyncratic.harping: talk or write persistently and tediously on (a particular topic).quibble: a … Continue reading New Word #38: Recently Learned

Pammy Wants Justice (Flash Fiction #37)

Image by Alexas from Pixabay This story is a sequel to the previous flash story "The Cynic", which talks about the lunch Pammy had with her husband Pan at a new Asian restaurant opened up in Edison, New Jersey. There they met Brother Tai, who came to their table to sit with them for a … Continue reading Pammy Wants Justice (Flash Fiction #37)

New Word #36: Related With Senses

Photo by rikka ameboshi from Pexels tangible: perceptible by touch. intangible: unable to be touched or grasped; not having physical presence. palpable: (of a feeling or atmosphere) so intense as to seem almost tangible. impalpable: unable to be felt by touch. perceptible: (especially of a slight movement or change of state) able to be seen … Continue reading New Word #36: Related With Senses

Cicada 2021

Image by USA-Reiseblogger from Pixabay I haven't heard any sound from cicada in Edison, but it is said in the Princeton township 30 miles to the west, cicada is taking over the neighborhood. They climb on every branch and sing all day long and shed their skins everywhere. There's a very interesting article about New … Continue reading Cicada 2021

The Cynic (Flash Fiction #36)

Photo by Atul Vinayak on Unsplash A new Asian restaurant has opened up in Edison after New Jersey lifted most of the restrictions for dine-in places. However there's rumor that this is just an old restaurant, which shut down in the nearby township and moved to this new more popular location, to take advantage of … Continue reading The Cynic (Flash Fiction #36)

The Great Escape

I should have read "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave" long time ago, but I didn't. Mostly because I was afraid that the description is so bloody and horrid that I would be depressed after reading it, but I turn out to be stronger than I thought. There are only two … Continue reading The Great Escape

New Word #35: True Or False

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash Related With Being True veridiction: A statement that is true according to the worldview of a particular subject, rather than objectively true. verisimilitude: the appearance of being true or real. verity: a true principle or belief, especially one of fundamental importance. veracity: conformity to facts; accuracy. verification: the process … Continue reading New Word #35: True Or False

All The Loving Fathers

Image by Antony Trivet from Pixabay This is a corresponding post for "All The Loving Mothers" written on Mother's day in May. Laid Back Fathers Laid back fathers are usually nice and fun loving, leaving most of the domestic decisions to their spouses. They will step up to take charge when their wife nag them … Continue reading All The Loving Fathers

Quote Of The Day #16

I just read the essay "It Is Obscene" from https://www.chimamanda.com/ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whose book "Americanah" I bought but haven't read yet. And it is such a wonderful essay, in which the author describes a student of her workshop who criticized her unfairly or heartlessly. People who ask you to ‘educate’ yourself while not … Continue reading Quote Of The Day #16

Resilient But Divided

When I was young, there's an old guy in our neighborhood who was rumored to have a colorful life--a farmer turned bandit, a bandit turned soldier turned small business owner. He's been to Russia and several other countries for business and had some beautiful souvenirs on display, which were covered under a piece of embroidered … Continue reading Resilient But Divided

New Word #34: Recently Learned

Image by Iván Tamás from Pixabay rambler: A person who walks for pleasure, especially in the countryside. I wonder if it may also means a person who talk or write at length in a confused or inconsequential way.This is from colinmcqueen here. squish: make a soft squelching sound when walked on or in. This is … Continue reading New Word #34: Recently Learned

Targeted

Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash Language Ever since I started to learn Thai for 15 minutes a day, I've seen advertisement about language learning programs one after another. I used to hear a lot about Rosetta Stone software years ago, but now it has disappeared--no advertisement from Rosetta Stone. However there are plenty of … Continue reading Targeted

New Word #33: Different Kinds Of Villains

Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels desperado: a desperate or reckless person, especially a criminal. degenerate: an immoral or corrupt person. rogue: a dishonest or unprincipled man. scoundrel: a dishonest or unscrupulous person; a rogue. fugitive: a person who has escaped from a place or is in hiding, especially to avoid arrest or persecution. Actually … Continue reading New Word #33: Different Kinds Of Villains

The Taste Of Chocolate (Flash Fiction #35)

Photo by Serghei Savchiuc on Unsplash When Apei was a little girl, her mother--for the sake of the family economy--would never buy chocolate for her. Thirty years ago in Penang--a tropical island off the coast of Malaysia-- chocolate was very expensive. Other candies made of coconut and durian are readily available. Apei had plenty of … Continue reading The Taste Of Chocolate (Flash Fiction #35)

New Word #32: Humor

I've been complained about the sheer number of English words for a long time, especially when a lot of words can be used to describe one thing, each representing a slightly different shade of it, the subtlety of which can be easily detectable by native speakers but often escape notice from everybody else. However when … Continue reading New Word #32: Humor

Local Politics (Flash Fiction #34)

"Oh, you are so naive. You have no idea of the numerous little things. New Jersey has a unique party line politics." Dodo says. "What is party line?" Pammy asks. "It's too complicated to explain to you. If you participate in our meetings, gradually you will know. You've never come to a political meeting before? … Continue reading Local Politics (Flash Fiction #34)

New Word #31: Different Collections

Image by FelixMittermeier from Pixabay A List Or A Collection anthology: a published collection of poems or other pieces of writing. repertoire: a stock of plays, dances, or pieces that a company or a performer knows or is prepared to perform. portfolio: a collection of financial investments; a collection of drawings or maps. programme: booklet … Continue reading New Word #31: Different Collections

Life And Existence

I've never known the difference between the word freedom and the word liberty--I think the two are interchangeable but most likely they are not. However I am too lazy to look it up. It's like watching all the seasons of "Frasier", but never really figuring out the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist. Still … Continue reading Life And Existence

A Happy Accident (Flash Fiction #33)

Arjian is a local hairdresser and a regular gambler at Atlantic City--a casino town at the southern end of New Jersey. There's a previous story about him here. On Saturday morning, when Arjian's wife Mei goes to the drive-by ATM machine, she finds that the balance is increased by about $10,000. She doesn't know where … Continue reading A Happy Accident (Flash Fiction #33)

New Word #30: Varying Degrees Of Disagreement

Image by My Luu from Pixabay Have some doubts misgiving: a feeling of doubt or apprehension about the outcome or consequences of something. qualm: an uneasy feeling of doubt, worry, or fear, especially about one's own conduct; a misgiving. Disagree silently acquiesce: accept something reluctantly but without protest. Disagree mildly demur: raise doubts or objections … Continue reading New Word #30: Varying Degrees Of Disagreement

The Controversy (Flash Fiction #32)

Photo by Providence Doucet on Unsplash "There's an ancient fable about a vendor selling spears and shields by the road. A bunch of spears are displayed tidily on his left with a sign that says,'the world's best spears that can puncture any shield.' On his right, there is a pile of shield on which there … Continue reading The Controversy (Flash Fiction #32)

How To Talk (Flash Fiction #31)

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay "I love this house when it's in my dream and it's being built. Once I live here, it’s a very different story." Armei says at the dinner table. Armei and Pammy and Lulu are good friends and also their husbands get along with each other. For this Saturday, the … Continue reading How To Talk (Flash Fiction #31)

Poem Of The Day #15

Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay Love is a blind leap from the quietness of our frozen presumption. Suddenly the hushed order we proudly immure ourselves becomes laughable and absurd-- from a lover's eye. All the mistakes we made-- casually construed, clumsily carried out. Then it abruptly ended when you stormed off. You had a … Continue reading Poem Of The Day #15

New Word #29: Recently Learned

Image by Comfreak from Pixabay chortle: laugh in a breathy, gleeful way; chuckle.The word is from Clayjonz's post here. gyration: a rapid movement in a circle or spiral; a whirling motion.skanky: dirty and unpleasant.This is from Bonnywood's post here. bumptious: self-assertive or proud to an irritating degree.This is from Pooja's post here. typology: a classification … Continue reading New Word #29: Recently Learned

The Neighbors (Flash Fiction #30)

KPhoto by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash Kyi-sook has this continuous feud with her neighbor Joe. Kyi-sook's husband Kai is a very laid-back guy and doesn't want to make a fuss at all. After prodding her husband numerous times without seeing any results, Kyi-sook realizes that she is the one who has to go out there … Continue reading The Neighbors (Flash Fiction #30)

Quote And Review–“An Introduction To Existentialism”

This book is so easy to read and so good that I can't tell you how much I love it. It's almost beyond my power of praise, just like "Notes From Underground" by Dostoevsky and "Words" by Sartre, which I love to read and hopefully to reread sometime. You don't need any philosophical background to … Continue reading Quote And Review–“An Introduction To Existentialism”

New Word #28: More Confusing Pairs

There are countless confusing pairs in English that it is very easy to mistake one for the other. Here I list a few that I encountered recently. wreck and wrack wreck: a vehicle or ship that has been destroyed or badly damaged wrack: 1 : ruin, destruction. 2 : a remnant of something destroyed. These … Continue reading New Word #28: More Confusing Pairs

A Book Of Ancient Tales (Flash Fiction #29)

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash "You know Armei tells me that her daughter Lily says she wants to be a YouTube star. Armei is furious. All those tuition fees Armei has to pay, only to see her wasting her time..." Pammy says as the whole family sits down to dinner. Armei's husband Pan just … Continue reading A Book Of Ancient Tales (Flash Fiction #29)

New Word #27 Recently Learned

Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay angst: a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general.from Bonnywood's post here rogue: This word is most often used in "to be a rogue" or "to go rogue", which means to be a mischievous … Continue reading New Word #27 Recently Learned

Energy (Flash Fiction #28)

Photo by Susanna Marsiglia on Unsplash "I am so bored." I hear myself saying. Nalan and I have evolved from talking on phone to talking on Zoom. "I am more bored than you are." Nalan says. That's just typical of Nalan. Whenever I say something, she will say she is more than me. If I … Continue reading Energy (Flash Fiction #28)

New Word #26: Singular Or Plural

Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash I have never been very comfortable with this issue since there are so many exceptions to the rule that I often wonder if I would be making a mistake if I follow the rule--as a non-native speaker, this is nothing new to me. At first I was quite frustrated … Continue reading New Word #26: Singular Or Plural