Sunday, March 29, 2009

the end of epic adventuring

It all started two summers ago when I saw Superbad. After watching a comedy about two high schoolers and their quest for booze and girls, I realized what was missing in my life (or so I thought). I had never gone on an epic adventure.

My first epic adventure took me into the heart of Manhattan sometime in the fall of 2007. I had intended to watch a screening of Finishing the Game and immediately hop on the bus back to Boston. Instead, I realized that the Fung Wah bus doesn't run in the middle of the night, and my then-boyfriend wasn't about to allow me to spend a night wandering the streets of Manhattan alone, so he called a cute young couple from his WoW guild, who happened to live nearby, to take care of me. Enter John and Kai, who have given me a place to crash throughout my adventuring for the past year and a half.

From overstaying my welcome (somehow one night turned into three), to showing up at 3 am demanding a place to sleep (I missed the last train), to getting poop all over their bathroom (the toilet clogged up - this one wasn't entirely my fault), to having ridiculous relationship drama (they've offered to let me marry their newborn son when I'm 40 - that's how sure they are that I'll never settle down), John and Kai have put up with quite a bit of crap from me (no pun intended).

This weekend I headed over to their apartment to see their newborn son Ethan and attend a huge dinner being thrown in his honor. Unfortunately, my cell phone ran out of battery before most of the food arrived (in my defense, we had to wait 2 hours), so I mostly just have pictures of the long wait.

Not gonna lie, I'm not really a cat person or a baby person, but there is something extremely hilarious about Ethan using their cat Donna as a pillow. Perhaps because I've tried it before, and Donna didn't let me. >.< This is Ethan in his very, very red outfit that he wore for dinner. He screamed the entire time that John was dressing him, but once we were at the restaurant, we didn't hear a peep out of him. For 5 hours. He's barely a month old and already has more cojones than his father. =P

This is the restaurant. Apparently there were 80+ guests, most of whom were Kai's relatives. I felt a little out of place because I was the only person there who wasn't related to anyone else, and I also don't understand Cantonese. I mostly sat in my little corner, texted Llama, and gorged myself on food and drink.

This is Remy. I'd never had cognac before, so I decided to try some. I ended up eating a little bit of the cork that fell into the glass and spent a good amount of time trying to fish out the remaining pieces of cork. Oh well, anything to pass the time.

This was the first dish, and the only one I managed to take a photo of. It's lobster salad. The giant lobster was just for decoration. Next to it was a concoction of fruit, vegetables, and lobster, all drenched in a sauce that resembled mayonnaise. Despite being terrified of it at first, I thought it was quite delicious.

The other food that I really wish I had gotten a photo of was the octopus. It was a tiny little thing about the length of my middle finger, but neither John nor Kai wanted to eat it, so it got passed to me. It tasted like BBQ. =) All in all, I ate about 5 octopi, and I mocked my wussy friends by occasionally sticking tentacles out of my mouth while chewing. Yes, I'm exactly the type of person you want around your newborn baby.

All in all, there were 10 courses. The last three or so just got packed up and taken home because none of the guests were hungry by then. At the end, our table got a plate of orange slices, as is apparently customary in most Chinese restaurants in America. I ate about 2/3 of the orange slices on that plate while waiting for the guests to clear out so that we could leave. >.< At least I don't have to worry about scurvy.

While John and Kai took turns being crankily awake and taking care of a screaming Ethan throughout the night (don't ask me why he behaves in public and not at home - no one knows), I played the latest Sims expansion on Kai's computer. I created goth version of John, a cowgirl version of Kai, and named their baby Adolf (it was funny at the time because we'd contemplated making a black family with the last name Hitler). Then, I made myself and Llama into their pet dogs, because ever since meeting John and Kai, I've wanted to be one of their pets. =) Unfortunately, there was a glitch when bathing the dogs - they'd get stuck in the bathtub. I didn't want to watch my canine self slowly starve to death, so I deleted that game and created human versions of myself and Llama. Did you know, The Sims is soooo much easier when you don't have pets or a baby? Who'd've thunk? =P Anyway, The Sims ate my night, and I eventually went to sleep a little before 9 am.

This morning we went out to dim sum in Flushing with a few of Kai's relatives whom I'd met last night. Afterwards, I drove down to Long Island to visit a friend who used to go to my college, and I forced her to help me study for my biology exam, which is tomorrow. My ingenious idea of the day was to record myself reading out key concepts in the chapters and burn it onto a CD that I could listen to in my car (I never joined the mp3 player revolution). So I spent the majority of my drive back to Boston listening to myself mispronounce words like "auxotrophy" and "topoisomerase".

Sadly, the proudest moment of my journey this weekend was at the end, when I made it back to campus in time to pee in the bathroom instead of wetting myself. Also, I managed to drive almost 10 miles after my "fuel empty" light came on, but that's probably my car's equivalent of holding it in, so it's not really my accomplishment to be proud of.

If this all doesn't sound very epic to you, keep in mind that I spend most of my time sitting in front of my laptop in the dark, so it's all relative. After a year and a half of actively seeking out epic adventures, I finally realized that I completely missed the point of Superbad. The best part of epic adventures is having someone to share them with. So, a big thank you to John and Kai for all your support, and hopefully I'll find someone before Ethan starts forming memories, because it would be very weird for him to grow up with his parents joking about him marrying his "Uncle Ike". And yes, I do plan on making him call me that. =)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Yesterday my friend Joan threw a dumpling party. This involved a bunch of people getting together to make dumplings, cook them, and eat them.

Here are some of the dumplings after we made them but before they were cooked:

We made 2 types of dumplings, meat and veggie. I wish I had remembered to take pictures when we were making the filling. It was really complex, and a lot of time was spent making sure that the dumpling filling was as dry as possible. The meat dumplings contained ground pork (was it pork? I can never tell with ground meat), cabbage, and carrots. The veggie dumplings had tofu, cabbage, and carrots.

The finished meat dumplings:

We dipped the dumplings in a concoction of soy sauce, vinegar, chopped up leeks, and chopped up garlic. They were amazingly delicious. =) The veggie dumplings looked a little worse. According to Joan, something in the meat helps to hold the dumpling together. According to me, I'm terrible at making dumplings, and I made the veggie dumplings, hence, they fell apart.

They were still good, but most of us were carnivores, so we offered our leftovers to the vegans and vegetarians down in Hippie Suite. They were thrilled and loved it. =)

To make things even better, the food cost was about $4 per person. We really should do this more often! I give the whole event two thumbs up.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

gmail mobile app, why must you torture me so?

Gmail's mobile app is great - except for one thing. It consistently shows the wrong time on all messages in my inbox. It's 4 hours ahead, so I have e-mails that say I received them at 8 PM when it's only 4 PM here. I tried to go online and find the solution on Google's help forums, but all I found was a lot of other people who have the same problem, and no answers from anyone at Google.

Gmail shows the correct time on messages in my web browser on both my computer and my phone. It's only the Java mobile app that shows the incorrect time. I tried multiple things:
  • turned off a few Google Labs toys (like Gmail offline),
  • changed the time detection on my phone from "Automatic" to "Manual",
  • logged out of Gmail on my computer before logging back in on my phone app.
None of these things have worked, and my Gmail mobile app still happily displays the time 4 hours ahead. I'm sick of living in the future. It sucks. =P Does anyone know how to fix this issue?

FYI: I use a Samsung A737, which I'm fairly sure is supported.

Monday, March 23, 2009

another phone issue

Why don't cell phones have the option to set silent or normal mode
based on time? I'm sure more hardcore phones have it, but it seems
like a pretty basic and helpful function. So far, none of my phones
have had this function, so I tend to leave my phone on silent (so it
doesn't accidentally ring in class), but then I miss calls when I'm
not in class because I can't hear my phone ringing.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

live blogging armageddon

I got back to my suite just as Berto was finishing up Armageddon, so I sat in his room and watched the ending. Here's my attempt at live-blogging, except I was doing it on AIM:
Me (3:10:21 PM): watching the end of armageddon
Me (3:13:22 PM): yay rednecks saving the world
Me (3:21:22 PM): so many rednecks dying in space!
Me (3:23:58 PM): angry hot redneck girl!
Me (3:24:02 PM): played by liv tyler
Me (3:26:57 PM): rednecks drilling on flaming asteroids!
Me (3:27:40 PM): man i'm glad i'm not live blogging this movie... it would be ridiculous
Llama (3:29:54 PM): Haha
Llama (3:29:57 PM): Yeah :P
Llama (3:30:09 PM): I haven't seen that movie in years D}:
Me (3:30:24 PM): um... lots of rocks randomly exploding and rednecks getting spiked or crushed
Me (3:30:50 PM): come to think of it, i might post a transcript on my blog
Me (3:33:04 PM): also, all the rednecks wanted to die, so they had to draw straws
Me (3:34:55 PM): awww the redneck dad is sacrificing himself for his daughter's boyfriend, how ridiculously sweet
Llama (3:35:25 PM): :}O!!
Me (3:37:07 PM): touching moment between bruce willis and liv tyler right before he's about to die
Llama (3:37:19 PM): :'c!!
Me (3:37:45 PM): this is gonna make it all the worse when ben affleck and liv tyler get divorced after 5 years of marriage
Me (3:38:01 PM): she's gonna be all "my dad DIED for you, and all you do is drink and beat the kids"
Llama (3:38:17 PM): Haha yeah
Llama (3:38:45 PM): That'll be in Armageddon 2 8'c
Me (3:39:14 PM): a family romantic comedy
Me (3:40:45 PM): this would be a fun drinking movie - take a shot every time someone says "yeehaw"
Me (3:40:59 PM): or other stereotypical redneck stuff
Me (3:42:33 PM): wooo the asteroid blowing up looks like a windows media player visualizer
Llama (3:43:09 PM): Hehe, nice special effects... probably cost thousands for that D}:
Me (3:43:36 PM): or they just played windows media player =P
Me (3:45:04 PM): wheeeee they took the slide off the shuttle
Me (3:45:29 PM): and somewhere in there, liv tyler found the time to shower and change so she could look hot for her man
Me (3:46:57 PM): /sigh... i'll never be an astronaut
Me (3:47:10 PM): ugh! and the annoying theme song by aerosmith
Llama (3:47:35 PM): Hehe
Me (3:47:41 PM): um... is the thing at the end a joint funeral/wedding?
Me (3:48:23 PM): there's pictures of the dead guys, while the girl is in a wedding dress...
Llama (3:48:47 PM): Heh interesting wedding there... :}O
So any parts that don't make sense are due to me splicing out the parts of the conversation that weren't about the movie. I can't believe the 90's were that long ago! Also, I can't believe I just spent an hour formatting this crap. Note: Llama is not watching the movie - he's just the unfortunate soul that I chose to chat with on AIM.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

unexpected foodtography

Whenever I get a new phone, I spend an inordinate amount of time playing with the camera. This morning, I took about 10 artsy black+white pictures of our (messy) bathroom. Those were deleted immediately and will not be posted. However, tonight we unexpectedly had takeout fake Chinese food, so I took some pictures:

The above picture is lemon chicken. Apparently it's just fried chicken dipped in a lemony sauce. It started out all right, but the sauce is one of those things you can't eat too much of, or you'll start to get sick of it. Maybe I should have just eaten the chicken by itself.

The dish on the left is broccoli with... beef? Or maybe just broccoli in beef-ish sauce. I only ever got broccoli out of that dish. The one on the right is, oddly enough, shrimp with broccoli. I didn't even know those two foods went together - and they really don't. Plus, the sauce was, again, sickeningly sweet. At least the shrimp were shelled, and their tails were pulled off. =) I'm lazy like that.

The one above is fish with walnuts or pecans. Never could tell the difference between them. My family agreed that this was the best dish out of what we got for dinner. It was seasoned with pepper and not drowned in extremely sweet sauce, so I guess that's what made the difference.

We got all this for about $45 at a place called Dong Ting, which is apparently just down the street, next door to the Radio Shack, even though I'd never heard of it. The verdict? Next time, if I have a choice, I'll just drive the extra 10 minutes to Chinatown and get better food for cheaper. On a scale from two thumbs down to two thumbs up, I give it one thumb down. I actually started to feel a little sick after a while, so I stopped eating. Maybe it's a personal thing, but fake Asian food tends to unsettle my whiny (but somehow still sizeable) stomach.

Edit: The place is apparently called Chef Ding now. I saw the takeout menu on our table before I left for the airport this morning.


Blogger Mobile isn't working on my phone. When I send messages to, I get nothing in response. It might be because I registered my phone earlier today and immediately deleted the new blog they gave me (at the time, I didn't know that I could merge it with my current blog). Maybe I should wait a bit. In the meantime, I'm searching for internships (boooooo) and testing out e-mail blogging.

new phone

This is my new phone (except the real color is closer to yellow than green, so I've dubbed it the Bananaphone):

It's a Samsung A737. So far, it's been okay. I'm not really a hardXcore phone user, and after all, the phone did come free with our new contract, so my expectations are not super high.

The good:
  • Plenty of storage space for pics, ringtones, etc. At least compared with my old phone, which was a Nokia 6133.
  • Clear call and music quality - so far. (I'm wary of the phone honeymoon period, because it's all downhill from there.)
  • Slider design is simple - no need to lock/unlock phone, just need to open/close it.
  • 3G web browser isn't *fast* per se, but substantially better than my old phone again.
  • A lot of cool display options for dialing numbers. Too bad I rarely dial numbers, because I save them all on my phone.
  • Although I had to download this, at least the phone supports Gmail's app. Makes checking my e-mail way easier.
What annoys the hell out of me:
  • The keys are hard to press if you haven't cut your nails in a while. Which reminds me, I need to do that.
  • You can't re-order the options menu, you can only delete and replace the options, so if I wanted to move one option to the bottom, I'd have to redo my entire list.
  • It took me forever to figure out how to use T9 typing in the web browser, because the manual was wrong. You don't press the globe key. Press and hold *.
  • There's no voice activated dialing.
  • The battery gets really hot whenever I use the internet. Doesn't matter if I'm on for just 30 seconds - once I hit the globe key, my hand instantly catches on fire.
  • Battery life isn't that great. It will stay charged forever if you don't use the phone, but who the hell gets a phone to just sit around and not use? It can withstand maybe 3 hours of web browsing before it goes to low battery.
  • The "Tasks" tool is completely separate from the "Calendar" tool, and afaik there's no way to import between the two.
Oh well, all I wanted was a phone that 1. works and 2. (optional) connects to the internet, and that's what I have, so I can't complain too much. Next step: getting a bluetooth dongle (that's such a funny word) for my laptop, so it can "talk" with my phone. Btw, my dad got an iPhone, and my mom and sister got Samsung Propels.

i fail at blogging

So I've tried 3 theme blogs, each of which I gave up after a few posts. This one is unthemed - it's just going to be whatever is on my mind, so hopefully it will keep my interest longer. Also, I just got a new cell phone with an internet plan, so there's a possibility that I'll update when I'm, say, stuck in an airport or on a train.