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

Jack Of All Trade

Susan the director: "Nora Dickinson, you look exactly like Jane Millay I interviewed yesterday." Lan the actress: "My name is actually Lanlan Wong, but I have to change it. Otherwise I can't get any interview for any part in Hollywood. You know Nora Ephron, Emily Dickinson, Jane Austen and Edna St. Vincent Millay are my … Continue reading Jack Of All Trade

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

November Reading Wrap-up 2

Click Here For Wrap Up 1 What's the point of making a to-be-read plan, but leaving most of the list unread in the end. I knew I was not going to follow the list anyway. When it turned out just as I predicted, I felt vindicated of my own wisdom. "Knowing yourself, that's knowledge." An … Continue reading November Reading Wrap-up 2

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

Mini Story: The Bamboo Palace

The Bamboo Palace is owned by Victor and his wife Mai. Victor is the owner's English nickname, which was chosen when he first arrived in America more than thirty years ago, obviously for its victorious meaning. Since then, people have gradually started to call him Brother Vi due to his rising reputation in the immigrant … Continue reading Mini Story: The Bamboo Palace

Mini Story: Three Women (Part 2)

Click Here For Part 1 "I don't understand why Democrats are so happy? I mean the election is so close even if there's a pandemic and there's a big unemployment number. Four years later, I bet it's going to be Republican again. Probably somebody more extreme." Lu said. Armei and Pammy paused their conversation and … Continue reading Mini Story: Three Women (Part 2)

November Reading Wrap-up 1

"Pangs of Love" by David Wong LouieI suffered a lot while reading "The Barbarians Are Coming", but as soon as I finish it, I take on this book. Do I ever learn? Am I an incorrigible self torturer? The first story "Birthday" is like "The Barbarians Are Coming" (BAC), deja vu all over again. The … Continue reading November Reading Wrap-up 1

Mini Story: Three Women (Part 1)

It's Nov. 9, 2020, a Monday. Every Monday afternoon, Lu, Pammy, and Armei met at Armei's little cosmetic store, specializing in Asian cosmetic brands. It's not really Armei's store. She's just a shop assistant. Monday is slow and a perfect time to meet her friends. If the owner of the store happened to come in, … Continue reading Mini Story: Three Women (Part 1)

Blocked And Unblocked

I am completely and probably irreversibly blocked right now after reading a book about blogging, which says what one wants to write is not what others want to read. It sounds really true. Just think about our own life experiences--what we really want to say is often not what other people want to hear. The … Continue reading Blocked And Unblocked

Feeling Today’s Right Yesterday’s Wrong

I often feel today's right yesterday's wrong. I don't know why. It's strange that it is rarely the other way around, although let's be fair each has equal claim to be correct. Well, how about I grow wiser as time passes by, which obviously benefits today more than yesterday? That's possible only to a certain … Continue reading Feeling Today’s Right Yesterday’s Wrong

I Know I Won’t Finish These In November

"Nine Horses" by Billy CollinsEven his complaints are delightful to read. I wonder why? "Forgotten Wars: Freedom and Revolution in Southeast Asia" by C.A. Bayly, Tim HarperThe end of WWII is just an opening for new battles. It's as thick as two books, but I hate speed reading, which takes all the fun away. "Where … Continue reading I Know I Won’t Finish These In November

Unfinished October Reading

It's different from what I planned a month ago, but several lovable books have made it all worthwhile. "If I Had Your Face" by Frances Cha-- This is the first book I read about South Korea. Isn't it strange that I used to watch many South Korean movies, but never think of reading a book … Continue reading Unfinished October Reading

Mini Story: Chul And Jool

My friend H told me this story and H heard this story from her colleague Chung, who grew up in a town in the Midwest, somewhere within 200 mile radius of Chicago. Chung's parents run the only Asian restaurant in town, which serves a range of items from Vietnamese rice roll, Mongolian BBQ, to General … Continue reading Mini Story: Chul And Jool

When You Don’t Have An Appetite

I don't have an appetite today and I don't know why. Is it because of the melatonin pills I've taken these past two weeks for my insomnia? It could be. It is said online that melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in our body and taking a little won't have any side effect on the … Continue reading When You Don’t Have An Appetite

A Mini Love Story

G is my distant cousin and he is always considered, by my parents and my relatives, to be the most intelligent and most unfortunate among all my cousins. His life started well--a cute kid, indulged by his parents, growing up to be a handsome teenager. He's half Mongolian, just like me, but he looks more … Continue reading A Mini Love Story

Ghost Arriving Before Halloween

I am talking with two friends in a cafe. One of them asks me to look at a picture on his laptop. I lean over and stare at the screen. Minutes later, when our attentions come back to the hot tea arriving at our table, we notice the other friend's absence. At first we think … Continue reading Ghost Arriving Before Halloween

The Thrill And Peril Of Imitation

Living in the Asian community in New Jersey, one can't help learning stories about engineers and scientists. One of these widely circulated stories is this: A newcomer in one of the research institutions, where people are madly nerdy and competitive, finds that everybody in the department is sharpening their pencils with a knife. Everybody has … Continue reading The Thrill And Peril Of Imitation

Things I Want To Do But Can’t

Such a beautiful day today that one just wants to go out and walk about, but instead one's stuck here staring at the computer screen. Sunny, a few clouds floating decoratively, 72 degrees, humidity not too high to mess up the hair and not too low to dry up the skin. There are only ten … Continue reading Things I Want To Do But Can’t

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

Mini Story: The Sales Training

Pammy is a fictional character but the event is something that really happens, not as infrequently as we tend to imagine. The idea of this story is based on my talk with my friends on the sales training they had been to. It goes like this: Pammy lives with her husband Pan and their son … Continue reading Mini Story: The Sales Training

Can’t Live With Or Without Impulse

I hate impulses, especially impulse purchase. I went to Trader Joe's today and bought a big bunch of things. Completely over my budget. Do I really need the "Tomato Basil Hummus"? No, but it is so good that I can finish the whole thing before I start my dinner. Do I really need the one … Continue reading Can’t Live With Or Without Impulse

Mini Story: The Driving Lesson

There's a stereotype in America that Asians don't know how to drive and I have no wish to add another piece on that pile of cliche here. However I've witnessed more than a handful of couples who squabble incessantly about driving--how to drive, how to drive better, road signs to watch for, how many miles … Continue reading Mini Story: The Driving Lesson

Courage Misunderstood

My friend Y once told me that he had traveled to Russia and Ukraine to run his small business of selling household goods. That in itself is not terribly uncommon since I heard of Asians businessmen carrying goods to Russia to sell and carrying Russian specialties back. So I asked him if he's afraid since … Continue reading Courage Misunderstood

Different Body

I've heard similar incidents happen again and again here in the Asian community in New Jersey. This is one story I heard about five years ago. One manager in a big drug company suddenly fainted. He is middle-aged and held a lower level management position, which is reachable by Asians before hitting the usual bamboo … Continue reading Different Body

Short Story: A Cat And A Train Ride (Part 2)

Click Here For Part 1 After a while my mother and I dozed off again, and my mother's tight hold on the cat was loosened. So Armi jumped off once again. This time, he attacked a person sitting right behind us, who is young and tall. He must have sausage or beef jerky or boiled … Continue reading Short Story: A Cat And A Train Ride (Part 2)

The Peril Of Persistence

It's the peril of persistence. I was brought up on the principle of finishing what you started and now I am suffering the consequence. I can't go on with this book, but my habit of persistence doesn't allow me to give up in the middle. What to do? I can't stand "The Barbarians Are Coming" … Continue reading The Peril Of Persistence

Short Story: Trouble With Language (Part 2)

Click Here For Part 1 One week later, they met again. Pammy looked haggard, her under eye circles darkened, her eyes more guileless and fierce than usual. "My old man (her term of endearment for her husband which sounds more of a term of respect in her native tongue than in English) and my father-in-law … Continue reading Short Story: Trouble With Language (Part 2)

Short Story: Trouble With Language (Part 1)

Lu, Pammy, and Armei met at Armei's little cosmetic store, specializing in Asian cosmetic brands, every Monday afternoon. It's not really Armei's store. She's just a shop assistant. Monday is slow and a perfect time to meet her friends. If the owner of the store happened to come in, which she never did on a … Continue reading Short Story: Trouble With Language (Part 1)

Lost In Translation

No matter how I explained, he just wouldn't understand. Or probably it's just his pretensions which offer him his rights to insist on his own idea. Show your stubbornness long enough and other people would mistake that for your strength. What a wish. Go your own way; enjoy your freedom of making your own mistakes … Continue reading Lost In Translation