Love Stories (Flash Fiction)

Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay Flash Fiction #143 "My first love was a total disaster." Lola said. "I really liked this guy in my class for no reason in high school. Then I was silly enough to tell him that. I was in general very shy, and I didn't know what came over me. … Continue reading Love Stories (Flash Fiction)

It Is Interesting (Mini Story)

Image by Alexa from Pixabay Mini Story #1 Two colleagues come into the little lunch room in their office at noon one day. Non-Native Speaker: "Look, I brought you one pound of sticky rice cake here." Native Speaker: "Oh, thanks, but why? What's the occasion?" Non-Native Speaker: "Last time when I showed you what I … Continue reading It Is Interesting (Mini Story)

Holiday Food Reinterpreted

Image by Joseph Levesque from Pixabay Many Asian immigrants interpret English words different, especially during holidays, when we have to pick and choose which mainstream customs we want to adopt, which customs we want to adopt but can't, which customs we want to admire from a distance, which customs we think we understand but we … Continue reading Holiday Food Reinterpreted

New Word: Holiday Celebrations

Image by timokefoto from Pixabay New Word #126 I was trying to compile a holiday word list, for which immigrants have alternative interpretations. Then I realized that it's a list that requires more thoughts and it wouldn't be completed today. For example, turkey is a mischievous reminder that one can never be Americanized enough to … Continue reading New Word: Holiday Celebrations

My Aunt Ayun (Flash Fiction)

Image by Phong from Pixabay Flash Fiction #142 Aunt Ayun is my mother's younger sister. She is my favorite aunt, not only because she is a great cook and very clever, but also because she is very good tempered (just like my maternal grandfather), and very good to children. And needless to say, in a … Continue reading My Aunt Ayun (Flash Fiction)

A Real Life Romance (Part 3)

Image by yamabon from Pixabay Serial Fiction Part 3. The first part of this story is here and the second part of this story is here. I want to say something here before I proceed with the main story. I wrote about my grandpa Zili from my mother's side who blamed my father for my … Continue reading A Real Life Romance (Part 3)

More Vegan Food For The Holiday

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I was thinking of getting more vegan food this year. I went to Trader Joe's today to see if they have their "Turkey-less Stuffed Roast" for sale. It's supposed to be delicious--so I heard. However just like last year, I couldn't find it. … Continue reading More Vegan Food For The Holiday

New Word: Winter

Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay New Word #125 Vapor In The Air nebulize: convert (a liquid) to a fine spray, usually by the ultrasonic method. aerosol: a substance enclosed under pressure and able to be released as a fine spray, typically by means of a propellant gas. vaporizer: a device that generates a particular … Continue reading New Word: Winter

The One Thousandth

Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay This is my 1000th post and I thought I would do something more interesting than my other posts, only to realize that the pressure of producing something better is a little too much to bear. At first I prepared two stories, one is "My Crazy Son-In-Law" and the other … Continue reading The One Thousandth

A Real Life Romance (Part 2)

Image by yamabon from Pixabay Serial Fiction Part 2. The first part of this story is here. While my father was engaging in a correspondence with his future second wife living in a faraway big city, he also attracted the attention of several single women who lived locally. After all, my father earned a good … Continue reading A Real Life Romance (Part 2)

The Gossiping Dream

Image by Gerhard from Pixabay I had a very strange dream this morning right before waking up and running to the bathroom. Actually it was so strange that one hour after that, I was still thinking of it while drinking soy milk for breakfast. I dreamed that I was with two friends and we were … Continue reading The Gossiping Dream

New Word: Election

Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay New Word #124 I am often confused by the word "landslide", which originally means "the sliding down of a mass of earth or rock from a mountain"-- it is obviously a disaster. Paradoxically this word also means overwhelming victory in an election. I think people who are more superstitious … Continue reading New Word: Election

Cultural Differences In Cooking

Image by Monika from Pixabay I am not talking about the differences in ingredients, spices, flavors, textures of food from different cultures, but rather I am talking about a different kind of cultural differences--human behavior. Many Asians, especially Asian women, are shocked to discover that American women can choose between cooking or not cooking--some women … Continue reading Cultural Differences In Cooking

Stories I Want To Tell But…

Image by alba1970 from Pixabay I really want to write about my growing up stories at the southern border of Mongolian Steppe, and I have attempted several times, but only to "tear them up" afterwards. Of course I didn't really tear up anything since there was no paper involved. Rather I just tucked them away … Continue reading Stories I Want To Tell But…

Alexa Goes Wild (Flash Fiction)

Image by Michael Pointner from Pixabay Flash Fiction #141 "Hi, Alexa, tell me how to say 'I hate laundry' in Spanish." She asks the little ball like gadget she got from Amazon at a promotional price. "I don't know." The little machine answers. "What? What do you mean you don't know? You are supposed to … Continue reading Alexa Goes Wild (Flash Fiction)

Quote Of The Day: Fiction & Reality (Continued)

from my cell phone This is the second half of the post and the first half is here. I read this book because I heard that this book is based on the author's marriage to Clara, his second wife, who's a famous actress. The author grew up admiring her movies. It is said the two … Continue reading Quote Of The Day: Fiction & Reality (Continued)

Quote Of The Day: Fiction & Reality

from my cell phone Quote Of The Day #62 Ira never graduated from high school and he worked in a factory after WWII. However he had a gift in talking and was quite active in labor unions. He became a well known radio actor in New York area, where he met Eve, who was ten … Continue reading Quote Of The Day: Fiction & Reality

My Beautiful Cousin (Flash Fiction)

Image by Alexa from Pixabay Flash Fiction #140 "Oh, my beautiful cousin Alia again. Every time my mother posts a family photo with Alia in it, she has to mention that Alia was in competition for Miss Malaysia in 2007. She just has to. And if I don't give a star or click 'like', she … Continue reading My Beautiful Cousin (Flash Fiction)

New Words: Main Characters

Image by lisa runnels from Pixabay New Word #123 protagonist vs. antagonist vs. deuteragonist protagonist: the leading character or one of the major characters in a drama, movie, novel, or other fictional text. antagonist: a person who actively opposes or is hostile to someone or something. Often a protagonist in a movie or a book … Continue reading New Words: Main Characters

News Of A Runaway

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay It is said every year, there are about 9% of teenagers running away, among whom 20% come back within 24 hours and 20% will disappear forever. And in the Asian immigrant community I'm living in, I've heard several incidents of it. People probably tend to think that boys are more … Continue reading News Of A Runaway

Searching For Something New

from my phone I am forever searching for a new vegan recipe. Not that I am a vegan since I know I can never achieve the status of not eating eggs, turkey slice for sandwiches, or Campbell chicken noodle soup at all. However what I can do is reducing animal products in my diet to … Continue reading Searching For Something New

Hidden In Plain Sight

Image by Jörg Peter from Pixabay As a self proclaimed amateur sleuth specializing in narcissism, I have observed and secretly "diagnosed" many of my friends, acquaintances, and relatives. Today, as I was preparing to do the weekly laundry as a dutiful and custom-abiding person, I suddenly thought about those narcissism hidden in plain sight in … Continue reading Hidden In Plain Sight

Stolen Ghosts (Flash Fiction Part 2)

Image by vishnu vijayan from Pixabay Flash Fiction #139 "Here's my idea. You know we Asians are really afraid of ghosts, but more than half of our students are American born and grew up here in New Jersey, who are not really afraid of ghosts like us. We grew up in Asia and we are … Continue reading Stolen Ghosts (Flash Fiction Part 2)

Stolen Ghosts (Flash Fiction Part 1)

Image by vishnu vijayan from Pixabay Flash Fiction #139 The rivalry between the "Ivy Training Center" and "Step By Step Academy" has been well known in the Asian immigrant community and it was elaborated in a previous story. Recently Ivy, the owner of the "Ivy Training Center", is a little worried about the student enrollment … Continue reading Stolen Ghosts (Flash Fiction Part 1)

Suggestions May Not Work Out

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Why can't I just keep my big mouth shut? Why can't I? I mean I should have just left things as they were in their imperfect and unsatisfactory state. It is a little less appealing, but at least everybody was accepting the imperfection, which was something to be satisfied … Continue reading Suggestions May Not Work Out

Four Colleagues (Flash Fiction)

Image by OyeHaHa from Pixabay Flash Fiction #138 "Jama's always like 'I can do it', 'I can do it' even if she really can't. Ivy, our boss, tends to talk about looking into the future, expanding our customer base, tap into new projects. That's just routine. She's the boss and she has to talk that … Continue reading Four Colleagues (Flash Fiction)

I Used To Drink Like That

Image by Pexels from Pixabay It is said Chiapas, Mexico is the capital of Coca-Cola--not that they produce the fizzy beverage, but rather they drink it more than any other places in the world. In certain towns in this state, people drink on average 2 liters of it per day per person. That's more than … Continue reading I Used To Drink Like That

New Word: Second

Image by Merja Partanen from Pixabay New Word #121 runner-up: It is used to describe the second winner in a competition. And the number one is called champion, a beautiful word, of course and the second is called runner-up, which sounds like a reluctant name one gives to something (or someone) one doesn't really want … Continue reading New Word: Second

The Question Of Identity (Flash Fiction)

Image by Michelle Raponi from Pixabay Flash Fiction #137 "I just have one last question." Mr. Dai says to Lulan. They are in the office of "Ivy Training Center" in Edison where Lulan works. Dai comes for help with his resume, job interview training etc. "One of the job openings is with New Jersey state … Continue reading The Question Of Identity (Flash Fiction)

New Word: Health

Image by Couleur from Pixabay New Word #120 well-being: being healthy and happy indisposed: unwell in one's health. wholesome: conducive to or suggestive of good health and physical well-being. healthy vs. hearty vs. healthful: These three words all mean being healthy, but I particularly like the last word, for the simple reason that it sounds … Continue reading New Word: Health

Real Life Ghost Stories

Image by Enrique from Pixabay A Haunted House This is a real story, which was told to me by my friend H. She lives in Queens, New York, in an area with more and more people of diverse ethnicity moving in since about 15 years ago. And most of the original residents have moved out … Continue reading Real Life Ghost Stories

Quote Of The Day: The Ghost Writes

Image by Kira from Pixabay Quote Of The Day #61 "Everything undeniably true struck me as transparently false as soon as I wrote it down, and the greater the effort to be sincere, the worse it went." "I have neither too high nor too low an estimate of my work. I believe I know exactly … Continue reading Quote Of The Day: The Ghost Writes

The Village Psychic (Flash Fiction Part 2)

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay Arton always speaks with his daughter in a tone that is a mixture of politeness, humor, and whining. Yilan has always enjoyed conversing with her father, basically following her father's train of thoughts and agreeing to his ideas. However recently Yilan has started to see a psychiatrist and has … Continue reading The Village Psychic (Flash Fiction Part 2)

The Village Psychic (Flash Fiction Part 1)

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay Flash Fiction #136 When Yilan's father Arton and her mother Mi were about to get married, it's the local tradition that they should go to a local psychic, who would examine their family background, temperament, and other aspects of their life, from which their fortune would be told. So … Continue reading The Village Psychic (Flash Fiction Part 1)

The Lingering Cultural Shock

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay I wouldn't say it is a cultural shock, although the phrase appears on the title. It is only there to attract attentions, but in reality it is not really about cultural shock but rather cultural titillation to be exact. I am trying to say that there are somethings that … Continue reading The Lingering Cultural Shock

The Truth Teller (Flash Fiction)

Image by Hamsterfreund from Pixabay Flash Fiction #135 "Can you persuade her? You are such a good girl, Venven, but your cousin Arlai is the exact opposite. Remember she went to Thailand for vacation and came back expressing her desire to be a Buddhist nun? Remember that? Then she tried to set up an animal … Continue reading The Truth Teller (Flash Fiction)

Quote Of The Day: Saving Or Spending

from my phone Quote Of The Day #60 "History never repeats itself; man always does" "People do some crazy things about money, but no one is crazy. People from different generation, raised by different parents, who held different values, in different parts of the world, experience different economy learn very different lessons (about money)." "The … Continue reading Quote Of The Day: Saving Or Spending

Lisha’s Outburst (Flash Fiction Continued)

Image by Prettysleepy Art from Pixabay Flash Fiction #134 "Oh, Lisha. Please stop." Mali groans. "Well, I think you should be the last person to care about real or unreal, given your record of..." Lisha says. "What are you talking about?" Mali is surprised. "I don't want to spell it out. You know what I … Continue reading Lisha’s Outburst (Flash Fiction Continued)

Lisha’s Outburst (Flash Fiction)

Image by Prettysleepy Art from Pixabay Flash Fiction #134 Lisha has reached the awkward middle age when she still has the desire to meet new people and to socialize, but she no longer has the youthful good nature to just enjoy a gathering without telling herself how hopelessly boring it is. However her daughter always … Continue reading Lisha’s Outburst (Flash Fiction)

Quote Of The Day: Slang And Satire

Image by Capucine from Pixabay Quote Of The Day #59 I think I must have missed half of the jokes or parody or satires in this book since there are so many historical contexts and allusions to events that I have no knowledge of. However with my limited understanding, the book is still very funny. … Continue reading Quote Of The Day: Slang And Satire

I Met Such A Girl

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay I met such a girl and I want to write about her. Well, I really want to say that I don't know how to write about her and I want to practice writing about her. She and her brother were born in a very conservative immigrant family, which means … Continue reading I Met Such A Girl

Caught In The Middle

Photo by Nikolay Shulga from Pexels.com I am not going to talk about all my mishaps in life being caught in the middle, for example my humiliating experience as a mediator. Wait a second, actually the mediation was a success, and the two battling parties eventually made peace and even managed to be socially friendly. … Continue reading Caught In The Middle

The Embarrassing Incidents

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels.com Missing The Cue Have you ever had such an experience that one day you suddenly realize that you missed a verbal cue two years, three years or even ten years ago? I mean it could be a deliberate hint, a veiled interest, a tentative sharing, a statement disguised as … Continue reading The Embarrassing Incidents

New Word: Cooking But Not Really Cooking

Image by Trang Pham from Pixabay New Word #119 roast: cook (food, especially meat) by prolonged exposure to heat in an oven or over a fire. However this word has extended to mean to criticize or reprimand severely. And then the word has stretched its meaning again mainly in the U.S. to mean a banquet … Continue reading New Word: Cooking But Not Really Cooking

Quote Of The Day: Lively Debate

Quote Of The Day # 58 "...Recite a text and then the young monks have the job of memorizing them. Simply absorb the teaching while memorizing in the classic Indian sense associated with the oral tradition of teaching throughout the Indian world. And then they have to go out to debate it. That's where the … Continue reading Quote Of The Day: Lively Debate

Cultural Differences And Small Businesses

Image by Coffee Bean from Pixabay Actually it is not really about cultural differences, but rather it is about small business owners, who have some difficulties navigating laws and regulations. The problem is when one opens a small business, one doesn't have a handbook of laws and regulations in hand. One only comes across laws … Continue reading Cultural Differences And Small Businesses

New Word: Types Of Students

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay New Word #118 Let me think what kind of student I was when I was in school. I was not a diligent student but I pretended to be just to keep up the appropriate appearance to fool others as well as myself. I was a coward since I never stood … Continue reading New Word: Types Of Students

It’s An Interesting Phase Everybody Goes Through (Flash Fiction)

Image by Quang Nguyen vinh from Pixabay Flash Fiction #134 "It's an interesting phase everybody goes through." Armei, Lulan look at their friend Pammy and reach a consensus. If somebody asks them what "an interesting phase" really means and why everybody has to go through it, neither of them can give a satisfactory answer. But … Continue reading It’s An Interesting Phase Everybody Goes Through (Flash Fiction)

What Can I Say To Her? (Flash Fiction)

Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay Flash Fiction #133 "Look, Ivy, nobody wants to tutor Susu. We are here to tell you that we don't want Susu." Lulan says. Ivy looks at Lulan, Tin, Cindy, and then the new employee San. They all look back at her while nodding their head to agree with what Lulan … Continue reading What Can I Say To Her? (Flash Fiction)

The Labor Day Weekend

Image by Jeremy Kyejo from Pixabay The Labor Day weekend is coming up and New Jersey is having a ten day tax-free holiday for items like computers and school supplies. I have been thinking of replacing my laptop, but due to the lackluster economy and the lukewarm business, I have been postponing it indefinitely. I … Continue reading The Labor Day Weekend

Quote Of The Day: The Feeling Of Belonging To Nowhere

Image by Tiểu Bảo Trương from Pixabay Quote Of The Day #57 Irena moved to Paris after Prague Spring. She and her husband struggled to raise their two daughters. About 20 years later, her husband died, her daughters grew up, the Berlin Wall came down. Then Irena met Gustaf, and the two started a relationship. … Continue reading Quote Of The Day: The Feeling Of Belonging To Nowhere

Rags To Riches With A Twist (Flash Fiction)

Image by Jeniffer Tan from Pixabay Flash Fiction #132 "The Free market is the most efficient, Loh." Mot says while reading the Financial Times in the main cabin of his yacht. His butler, Loh, standing behind him, is a little out of spirit, considering the fact that he might be dismissed and the yacht can … Continue reading Rags To Riches With A Twist (Flash Fiction)

New Word: Rain

Image by Pexels from Pixabay New Word #117 We are praying for rain here, but there's no rain in sight for the foreseeable future. I remember that in the past, U.S. Open tennis was always disrupted by rain showers, sometimes for hours. Then three retractable roofs were installed in 2017 for the Ashe stadium. I … Continue reading New Word: Rain

Learning Something New

Image by Susanne Jutzeler, Schweiz, from Pixabay I really couldn't believe this, but I googled it and it was right before my eyes: If one wants to replace an electric water heater in New Jersey, one has to apply for a plumbing permit and an electric permit at the township. And the only reason I … Continue reading Learning Something New

Praying For Rain

Image by Gosia K. from Pixabay Finally the rain came today after more than two months of absence, after TV weathermen or weatherwomen talking, predicting, praying, and begging for some relief from the high temperature and the dry spell that have scorched all the vegetation around here. It's typical for a summer in this region … Continue reading Praying For Rain

I Think I Know But I Don’t

floating river market Image by rajukale119 from Pixabay Years ago, I was a saleswoman for company X for a short period of time. Since it is a big company in New York and the surrounding area, I don't want to name the name--I guess it will not really look good for the company. Our targets … Continue reading I Think I Know But I Don’t

I Can’t Believe I Believed It

Image by Annie Le from Pixabay My friend told me last month that a lesbian couple moved into her street close to her home. And she is a little surprised to find that they are very normal, just like everybody else. She is almost a little disappointed that they are so normal. And this reminds … Continue reading I Can’t Believe I Believed It

Quote Of the Day: Josie’s Story

Image by Pavan Prasad from Pixabay Quote Of The Day #56 Josie grew up in a small town near Chicago. Her family was chaotic and her parents were not very responsible. She was actually a small town drunkard's angry daughter, a young woman already haunted by grim memories and oppressed by an inextinguishable resentment over … Continue reading Quote Of the Day: Josie’s Story

I Won’t Say I Told You So (Flash Fiction)

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay Flash Fiction #131 I can't say "I told you so" because that sounds a little cruel, especially at a moment like this. However I really want to say it since I told Ro several years ago not to go for this obscure phone company. There are plenty of big … Continue reading I Won’t Say I Told You So (Flash Fiction)

New Word: Classified

Photo by Alina Vilchenko from Pexels New Word #116: Classified classification classified: This word originally means "arranged in classes or categories". Then I saw it at the back page of newspapers allocated for small advertisements. That section is usually called "classified." However classified information takes on a new meaning. According to wikipedia, classified information is … Continue reading New Word: Classified

Quote Of The Day: Diversity And Conflicts

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Quote Of The Day #55 Our parents were, with few exceptions, the first-generation offspring of poor turn-of-century immigrants from Galicia and Polish Russia, raised in predominantly Yiddish-speaking Newark households where religious Orthodoxy was only just beginning to be seriously eroded by American life. However unaccented and American-sounding their speech, … Continue reading Quote Of The Day: Diversity And Conflicts

Nunu’s New Job (Flash Fiction)

Image by Heike Frohnhoff from Pixabayy Flash Fiction #130 Nunu is a happy, gentle creature who has lived a life of simple cheerfulness. He runs a travel agency with his wife, which doubles as a translation office. It also offers services such as filling up forms for all kinds of local and international concerns. He … Continue reading Nunu’s New Job (Flash Fiction)

The Foxy Plan

Image by Monika from Pixabay Two girls, Banford and March, about thirty years old, bought a little farm together. In those days (about one hundred years ago when the story was written) such girls were considered old maid, with no prospect of ever marrying. Their lack of physical strength was described in detail by the … Continue reading The Foxy Plan

New Word: More Inflation Related

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay New Word #115 shrinkflation: Shrinkflation is to reduce the size of a product while maintaining the price. price gouging: According to Wikipedia, price gouging occurs when a seller increases the prices of goods, services, or commodities to a level much higher than is considered reasonable or fair. tax holiday: … Continue reading New Word: More Inflation Related

Early Saturday Morning

Image by CANDICE CANDICE from Pixabay The Weather I expected the heat to go down in August, but one week into it, the high temperature shows no sign of letting up. 95F (35C) for three weeks now, which has been punctuated by only one or two days of 89F (32C). Google says the average day … Continue reading Early Saturday Morning

Quote Of The Day: The Descriptions Of Immigrants

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay Quote Of The Day #54 One thing I like about the book in my last post here is that there are many descriptions of immigrants that are carefully crafted and beautifully written. Although the author is a 3rd generation immigrant, he grew up in an immigrant neighborhood and had a … Continue reading Quote Of The Day: The Descriptions Of Immigrants

The Swede’s Perfect Life

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay The Swede was a star athlete in his high school's football, basketball, and baseball team. He could go on to be a member of the sports teams like Yankees or Giants in New York, but as a dutiful son he gave up his own dream to serve as an apprentice … Continue reading The Swede’s Perfect Life

The Best Grandma (Flash Fiction)

Image by Hans from Pixabay Flash Fiction #129 "My Grandma Is The Best" --That's the title of her first composition in middle school when it was required of her, in her writing class, to describe a family member. Even those boys and girls who had the crazy version of dysfunctional families painted a rosy picture … Continue reading The Best Grandma (Flash Fiction)

Weekend Thoughts

Image by John Hain from Pixabay Today, I drove past "Wonder Seafood", one of the best Asian restaurants in town and found that the parking lot was empty. Just one or two months ago, the business was picking up, but now it seemed in steep decline again, either because Rutgers University students are gone for … Continue reading Weekend Thoughts

Make It More Interesting

The local grocery stores have free newspapers that one can pick up after one's shopping. The most popular one is this newspaper "El Españolito", which one can only get on Saturdays. On Sundays, it's all gone. Sigh. Language learning is a marathon and it is too slow. After a year of learning Spanish for 30 … Continue reading Make It More Interesting