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

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

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

“Being Yourself” vs. “Not Being Yourself”

My true self is very interested in useless activities, like endless chatting, binge watching, reading aimlessly online, and indulging in a fantasized nostalgia. If I practice being myself, I will never get anything done. My healthy existence is dependent on me staying away from my true self. If I were a bird, I would be … Continue reading “Being Yourself” vs. “Not Being Yourself”

Looking For New Ideas

I've decided that when I have no new ideas, I would stop staring into the air to wish that something would happen. Something would not happen just because I wish it to happen; ideas don't show up just because I'm desperate. Instead I would do something new. Buy a new pink colored mouse and mouse … Continue reading Looking For New Ideas

Work With Time vs. Race Against Time

I heard the phrase very often that one has to treat time as a cooperator rather than an enemy. I really don't know what that means. Whether a cooperator or an enemy, time sneaks away and disappears fast. If it is a cooperator, it's an irresponsible and fickle one. As to whether it is an … Continue reading Work With Time vs. Race Against Time


I don't know if this should be called anniversary. I've always had the impression, probably a wrong one, that the word is used to commemorate something wonderful rather than something sickly and virus related. Still, by definition, it is an anniversary. It has been one year already since New Jersey started its first lockdown in … Continue reading Anniversary

Bee Positive, Bee Yourself

Every year, Edison Township has contestants for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and their cute pictures would be published in the local newspaper. Last year, even if it was cancelled due to the pandemic, an online substitute contest was won by an eighth grader from Edison, Navneeth Murali, who spelled the word “Karoshthi” correctly. I … Continue reading Bee Positive, Bee Yourself

March Madness–Everybody Is A Little Mad

I know M whose exercise routine is too intense for her body type, to the point that it's almost self damaging. Needless to say, after years of "abuse", her body caves in. Now she has damaged her knees, which require physical therapy. I warned her many times in the past ten years, but she wouldn't … Continue reading March Madness–Everybody Is A Little Mad

Cultural Difference On TV

I didn't have time to watch the Oprah interview of Meghan & Harry, but I caught something last night from a channel in Southeast Asia. The cultural differences demonstrated in the comments from the program hosts are so blatant that I just couldn't help laughing. I won't say which channel it is since I don't … Continue reading Cultural Difference On TV

Love As A Way To Live Our Lives

I have this long running unofficial "feud" with two assistants in the local Barnes & Noble. Once they even sent a temp they hired--a college student of Asian descent--to ask me "can I help you", the polite greeting with the purpose of driving me away from a display table of newest paperbacks. I guess I … Continue reading Love As A Way To Live Our Lives

Social Media Family

M gets most of the information about his family member from the social media. M's son and his girlfriend work in a city several hundred miles away from here. For some reasons, M and his wife had some unpleasant verbal exchange with their son a while ago. The next thing they knew, the relationship descended … Continue reading Social Media Family

From The Humble Worms

Every time I go to Menlo Park Mall, I would visit my favorite item, to see, to touch, to feel its perfection. It's hanging proudly in Nordstrom, an expensive store. A silk long sleeved pajamas with matching silk pants, which I can't afford. It's been there for quite a while, but last weekend, it's gone. … Continue reading From The Humble Worms

Politics In Small Town

When Jun Choi was running his mayoral campaign for Edison, New Jersey in 2005, many Asians I knew didn't vote for him, not because they had anything against his candidacy, but rather due to the fact that they were content with the way things were and saw no need to replace the incumbent. That's exactly … Continue reading Politics In Small Town

The Owner Of “Maahi Repair”

Maahi is not his real name. Since I am not sure whether he desires this kind of publicity, I have to change his name to tell his story. He's a graduate of Indian Institute Of Technology, and he loves cars. He came to America twenty-five years ago, attending graduate school in New Jersey and intending … Continue reading The Owner Of “Maahi Repair”

Alternative Valentine’s Day Tradition

Women give men chocolate as gift on Valentine's day in Japan. It's a tradition since the end of the WWII, when a chocolate company tried to market chocolate to Japanese people. In those days both chocolate and Valentine's Day were something new in Japan--rarely anybody ate chocolate or observed Valentine's day. The chocolate shops were … Continue reading Alternative Valentine’s Day Tradition

Saturday’s Little Woes

https://twitter.com/Haoyando/status/1358166073791705088 Suddenly everyone is double masked.Me too.Dragon Fruit is $6.88 a piece.Robbery.Bought a book from Betterworldbooks.com with the library label still attached.LOL.Why are these people at the car wash?Don't they know another snow storm is coming tomorrow?Why is this white haired eighty-year-old out and driving today?The road is jammed; half the right lane is ice;the … Continue reading Saturday’s Little Woes

Wednesday, Not Tuesday

https://twitter.com/Haoyando/status/1357101310852612097 I even forgot today is Wednesday. Am I losing my mind? The book is falling apart with pages breaking away one by one. A little touch of my finger, a page is off from the binding edge. Also my failed sweet rice chicken dish is waiting for me (in its most unappetizing way) from … Continue reading Wednesday, Not Tuesday

I Can’t Believe This

Shoveling snow is a depressing job. And it might cause some unexpected effects, like weird thoughts rushing into one's mind. I really thought about this when shoveling snow: In heaven, when people first meet, the question they ask each other will not be "what's your job" or "where are you from", but rather "how did … Continue reading I Can’t Believe This

The Chef And The Snow Storm

It's rumored that Shanzu was a little orphaned girl, living among the urban poor in the capital city of Chang'an during Tang Dynasty, which was about 1400 years ago. It seemed that fate had doomed her in the beginning of her life's journey. What prospect could she have other than being an illiterate servant girl, … Continue reading The Chef And The Snow Storm

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

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

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

https://twitter.com/Haoyando/status/1351596520274075649 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

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

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

New Year’s Resolutions

Avoid carbohydrate as much as possible. I know this is impossible to achieve. I've been trying to do this for years, only succeeding in making carbohydrate more appealing to me. It's with great self restraint that rivals the most lauded stoic figure in history that I stopped myself today from buying sticky rice snacks at … Continue reading New Year’s Resolutions

Interview Before Christmas

My friend is going to have a Zoom interview before Christmas and she has been dreading the terrifying moment for a week now. Interviews are usually hard to deal with. Interviews are especially hard to deal with for introverts, for people who tend to be nervous and diffident, for women above a certain age. If … Continue reading Interview Before Christmas

Christmas Lights

For years, we have been practicing this holiday routine of driving in the surrounding neighborhoods in search of the house with the best Christmas lights. In order to do that, you have to have several friends in one car, driving around to comment, evaluate, praise the arrangement, the variation, the scale of the lights on … Continue reading Christmas Lights

Monkey’s View On Equality

It is said that when scientists gave one monkey a grape in exchange for its pebble, and gave the second monkey a slice of cucumber for its pebble, it caused a little row. For monkeys, grapes taste better than cucumber slices. The second monkey, when observing the better deal the first monkey received, rebelled immediately … Continue reading Monkey’s View On Equality

Drama In Asian Restaurant

https://twitter.com/Haoyando/status/1336750990666706947 This picture doesn't do justice to the cute restaurant in this local strip mall. It was a little snowy outside and I was driving past it to go to the Kam Man grocery store to buy lunch. The tents used to look much better during the summer months, more shiny, more in shape, certainly … Continue reading Drama In Asian Restaurant

How To Give Delicate Advice

"What do you think?" or "What will you do if it were you?" You are pressed to say something on a delicate situation, for which you'd rather have no opinion or pretend not to have an opinion. The situation becomes more dire when it concerns your friend's love life. If you don't give an answer, … Continue reading How To Give Delicate Advice

Misconception And Misinterpretation

I am not surprised that there are so much disinformation, conspiracy theories, frauds, fraudulent claims of fraud right now. The reason is that as an immigrant, I am used to misconceptions and misinterpretations for years. The English we had learned in classroom is not the English people really use here; The stories of immigrants we … Continue reading Misconception And Misinterpretation

The First Try

Someone said, "The first experience can never be repeated.  The first love, the first sunrise…" and I agreed immediately, being good-natured as I am, afraid of offending by disagreement, eager to smooth things over at the expense of self expression. However, I don't agree with such an overt admiration for the "first". There are just … Continue reading The First Try

Dreary Topic And Dreary Day

I really don't want to write this since I have no interest in politics. I uphold the long Asian tradition--staying away from politics and governments as much as we can, even to our own disadvantage. However I have to write this to get it off my chest. There's no better time of doing this than … Continue reading Dreary Topic And Dreary Day

Happy And Happier

One thing good about the holiday season is that one feels happy about one's own grumpiness. All the stress of experiencing cheerful things, the boredom of shopping trips, the mental anxiety of trying to say something less like holiday cliches can add up and make anybody grumpy. But we tell ourselves, "it's a holiday. We … Continue reading Happy And Happier