I Want To Be Liked (Flash Fiction #78)

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay Kung is about to attend a conference on mathematics in Boston, where he's going to give a presentation. It's not just a simple talk to present one's research data, but rather it's like an unofficial interview. People who appreciate what he says will likely to hire him and offer him … Continue reading I Want To Be Liked (Flash Fiction #78)

The End Of The Affair (Flash Fiction #77)

Image by Sammy-Williams from Pixabay Pammy and her husband Tan are attending a backyard harvest party at Ivy's house in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Pammy didn't plan to come, but Tan's cousin Maylan is here for the weekend. She's attending graduate school in Philadelphia and is writing a term paper on urban organic farming and … Continue reading The End Of The Affair (Flash Fiction #77)

The Interview (Flash Fiction #76)

Jennifer Chung doesn't think she stands a chance, but she knows she has to go to this interview. It's a well known company and a good position, which is something Jennifer has always dreamed of but known that she won't be able to reach. She is just too nice, too introverted, too plain an Asian … Continue reading The Interview (Flash Fiction #76)

Wishful Thinking

I wish that one day when we wake up, the morning news can tell us that Mondays have disappeared, forever from our life, together with other annoying things. Every Monday, I would inevitably think of existential thoughts, like "the meaning of life", "the futility of struggle", "the delusional dreams", "the useless suffering" etc. And needless … Continue reading Wishful Thinking

Change Causes Anxiety

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay One day many years ago, I was reading a romantic story about two lovers--one saves the other from an impending danger and a certain death. I thought to myself what my parents would do in such a situation. My conclusion was that they would certainly save each other, only … Continue reading Change Causes Anxiety

Thinking Ahead

Photo by rikka ameboshi from Pexels I've never written serialized posts before. I've always wanted to try, but not knowing how to proceed. My stories are usually scattered, as disorganized as my wandering brain. Serialization requires some discipline, some control, some pre-determined plan etc, all of which I am not good at. The only thing … Continue reading Thinking Ahead

Life And Love

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay This is based on a true story. Let's just say her name was Arong. She worked as a team manager for a big energy company that provides electricity to a big Asian city about four decades ago. As in many developing countries, the energy company is … Continue reading Life And Love

A Habit Outliving Its Usefulness

Image by naoamano from Pixabay My grandmother on my mother's side spent the first thirty years of her life in a fishing village, where the only livelihood was fishing or fishing related trades. That was before the arrival of modern boats and other modern equipment. Needless to say, unexpected weather conditions or ocean waves could … Continue reading A Habit Outliving Its Usefulness

A New Approach To Language

Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay My memory is so bad that I start to lose self confidence. In order to boost my spirit, I decide to learn a new language, but this time I want to do it differently from what I did with English (as a non-native speaker). My English learning process has … Continue reading A New Approach To Language

Ida And Superstition (Flash Fiction #65)

Yip and Yik are two brothers who used to run a restaurant together on Old Post Road in Edison Township, New Jersey. However after their father died, the two brothers split. Their wives didn't get along for years and everybody said it was inevitable that the two owners would go their separate ways. Yip is … Continue reading Ida And Superstition (Flash Fiction #65)

Man And Woman (Flash Fiction #61)

This story is a sequel to "Cheetah vs Ostrich" of three days ago. "Can you believe that he laughs when the two cheetahs devours the female ostrich?" Pammy says to her friends Armei and Lulu. This is at a weekend picnic Pammy has organized for the three families. Their husbands and children are also present. … Continue reading Man And Woman (Flash Fiction #61)

The Unexpected Party (Flash Fiction #58)

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay It's during the late afternoon hours when the door bell sounded and the guests arrived. However the hosts Pammy and her husband Pan had no idea what's going on. They had not invited anybody for dinner, not that they knew of. The guests included Armei and her husband Arhu, Lulu … Continue reading The Unexpected Party (Flash Fiction #58)

It’s Friday

Image by KERBSTONE from Pixabay From Wikipedia, it is said that the fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia--Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen. What is a Norse goddess? I don't know. I am curious but not curious enough … Continue reading It’s Friday

Father And Son (Flash Fiction #54)

Image by Pexels from Pixabay "Can you talk with your son Jack? He's really not study very hard at all. His grades are falling and he's more interested in playing video games than anything else." Armei says to her husband Arhu one day. Whenever Armei says "your son", Arhu knows that Jack has been doing … Continue reading Father And Son (Flash Fiction #54)

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

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)

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

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

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)

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)

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

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

Words And Childhood

There are so many quotes from this book that I don't know where to start. It's Sartre's autobiography--the first 10 years of his life--when he and his widowed mother lived with his grandparents. It's a happy childhood, and Sartre repaid the love he received with penetrating comments. He couldn't have been so sharp as a … Continue reading Words And Childhood

Summer Activities (Flash Fiction #25)

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash Father: Son, what are you doing? Are you writing poems again? You know I want you to get involved in some useful activities, like math camps, music, painting etc. Son: Dad, I don't like those things. Father: We are not talking about your preferences. We are talking about usefulness … Continue reading Summer Activities (Flash Fiction #25)

Love Animal Videos

I love to watch animal videos. I guess it's because I'm too lazy to have a pet. Or probably my Mongolian genes are working on my subconscious thoughts--we are supposed to be animal loving nomads. Videos about grateful wildlife. There are so many YouTube videos about grateful wildlife that I almost feel that the concept … Continue reading Love Animal Videos

Poem Of The Day #13

Photo by Landon Parenteau on Unsplash The end of May feels more like the peak of summer-- heat, humidity, haze, blinding light-- reminding me of that very hot day long long ago. In such a delirious temperature, even stones were hot, but you were so cold, as usual. A life of inescapable chores, an unhelpful … Continue reading Poem Of The Day #13

An Amazing Number

I finally did my registration for vaccine shots and here is the email I received: 240 different languages? That's a lot. I guess there are people speaking 240 different languages in New Jersey. I wonder if 240 languages cover most corners of the world. This is amazing. I know diversity is not everybody's cup of … Continue reading An Amazing Number

Poem Of The Day #12

I see you looking at me in the dim light across the noisy space of the restaurant. Is that you? Or am I dreaming? Love from the distance past, still prickly. For a while, it seemed resigned to be forgotten, but then it reappears, with a new force and a new perspective. Your restrained self … Continue reading Poem Of The Day #12

All The Loving Mothers

There are so many wonderful mothers that I don't know where to start. Here I am going to list them--it's an inexhaustible list and I can only list a few. Real life mothers and literary mothers are going to be mixed together because they coexist in my mind without much difference to each other. Mothers … Continue reading All The Loving Mothers

The Acupuncturist (Flash Fiction #16)

For some reason, New Jersey has a higher rate of spring allergy than other places, which is puzzling since there aren't more flowers or trees here than other states. People will tell you when you first come that you won't have allergy for several years, and then gradually you will develop itchy eyes and running … Continue reading The Acupuncturist (Flash Fiction #16)

Merry Month Of May

Plans are made to be changed; reading lists are drawn to be unfinished. That's my motto for May. When I don't have to be ashamed of my own "grand" plan, I feel deliriously happy. As a slow reader, I need all the encouragement from an unhinged delusion of my reading capabilities. The fact is I … Continue reading Merry Month Of May

Lunar New Year

https://twitter.com/Haoyando/status/1360348311052550151 First day of the ox year, or bull if you prefer to call it. I was hoping to add several photos of festivity to my upcoming "About" page, but alas, all the stores here are out of spirit, with absolutely no holiday decorations anywhere. Blame the pandemic, I guess. For the past ten years … Continue reading Lunar New Year

My Mischievous Great Aunt

My great aunt Zu, my grandfather's eldest sister, had long been dead before I was born, but my father enjoyed talking about her. Somehow I suspected that he did this for my benefit--the moral of his story is that aunt Zu's cleverness is a liability rather than an asset, although he would never say straightforwardly … Continue reading My Mischievous Great Aunt

Kids Protecting Parents

This is a story about me and my friend Ying when we were teenagers. It's when I realized how protective some kids are towards their parents, whether the parents deserve it or not. Ying's father and my mother both worked for a university as English teachers, and both our families lived in the university living … Continue reading Kids Protecting Parents

Mini Story: An Awkward Picture

This awkward picture is an oil painting of me when I was about 11 years old. Every painting has a story behind it, and here it is. I remember this today only because that's the first time I felt a strong sympathy towards a man--the artist painting this--who totally despised me and detested his job … Continue reading Mini Story: An Awkward Picture