Familiarity breeds sentiment

My day started much like every other day, with Jessie scratching the bed rousing me from sleep. Except not only do I have the day off, but it was 6 in the morning. I mumbled something unintelligible and got her to settle back in to bed again. An hour later, she stood on her hind legs again and scratched the bed.

Ok. I got it. Your Highness. I’m up.

To any other person, it’s just another day. But today, it’s my birthday. King for one day.

Nothing really special, if you think about it. But, for my family, birthdays are special.

Just the night before, my father had called right at my birth hour. My mom was complaining that my father is such a stickler for such “nonsense.” I thought it was very sweet.

My father would like to tell me that when I was born, I cried and cried for hours. It was only AFTER they allowed him to carry me, that I quieted down and went to sleep. The moment they pried me away from him, I stirred and began my weeping again. He had no choice but to leave. Hospital policy. When he returned the next morning, I had lost my voice from crying all night and was hiccupping, gasping for air. Once in his arms again, I was knocked out cold.
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Hero 英雄 2: Crane vs. Plow

After the last try at exercising, (see Hero 英雄 ) which took me 4 days to recover, I decided to take it easy and do yoga instead.

That was my first mistake.

My second mistake was not lubing up. I should have just drank a gallon of olive oil.

My body twisted, stretched, bent and flexed in so many positions that I don’t remember how I straighten out after that. I felt like an overnight pretzel, and a cardboard contortionists forced to perform.

It started out easy. I was patting myself on the back and feeling rather smug about my limberness. It was the bend, plank, transitioning into the cobra, to downward dog, to the runner’s pose, followed by lunges and the warrior I, II, III poses. So far so good.

Then we went into balance: tree pose, chair pose, the triangle pose and the half moon pose. Hey, I’ve got superb balance on my right side, but my left ankle wanted nothing to do with supporting 115 lbs of me. At the risk of sounding like Cartman from South Park, “I’m not fat! Just big boned!” So I wobbled and shook, but still held on or, in my case, cheated. Wii is nothing compared to this.

Next, I was on my back. Anything with me lying on my back will be a breeze. Or so I thought.

Plow pose

Plow pose

Right off the bat, we went into the plow pose. This is one where the entire lower half of your body is lifted off the floor and ends up on the other side of your head (as I find out later). I got my behind up, and with my legs dangling precariously over my face, I tried to understand what the instructor was saying while making sure I didn’t break my neck. I couldn’t see a thing on the TV, as my legs were in the way. Spreading eagle, I tried to peek through my legs to see what they were doing. Nothing. I have fat thighs. Since I had one minute to kill on the pose, and I had no clue what they were doing, I started improvising. I did the peek-a-boo, bicycle and the scissors while hanging out in that position. I’m just thankful that my neck is still intact.

That was followed by an easier, table pose, bridge pose and wheel pose.

Then came the animals: frog, sphinx, one-legged king pigeon and the upward dog. When they started showing the crane pose, I thought they were crazy. The crane that I know requires standing on at least one leg and flapping the hands like make-believe wings. This crane, requires you to support your entire body on just two hands, while the knees rested on the armpits. I don’t know what crane they were mimicking. Most likely an unhatched crane.  Needless to say, I never made that pose, otherwise I would have been a wingless crane.

Crane Pose

Crane Pose

Off to core work, with the half and full boat poses, repeated until my entire body screamed in pain. Even my ass was hurting. Of course, my abs was crying the loudest.

One hour 20 minutes later, we were doing the final stretches: cat, happy baby pose, child pose, and the lotus pose. When he called for the corpse pose I couldn’t help but smile at the irony of the name.

But then again, I couldn’t smile.

My pants were torn.

From New York to York

For the better part of my younger sister’s existence, I have been there for her, or tried to be. After all these years, she is finally leaving my sight and my side once again.

As children, we shared a room. She was afraid of the dark as much as I was. In fact, I was (am still) the chicken of the family. It didn’t help that my older sister, dc, would always hide behind a wall to frighten the living daylights out of us. But I would brave it, just for her. When her eyes were too big for her stomach, I would end up finishing her food for her, least she gets a scolding from my mom. I wanted to be with her, and mothered her so much that I broke my nose by accident when I couldn’t accompany her to the doctor after she fell sick.  By the time she went to school, I was the one combing and tying her hair, ensuring she looked her best, while yours truly always had a bird’s nest going up top.

We rode the school bus together, when we shared the same session. I don’t know if she ever looked up to me as her elder sister (since we have another OLDer sister), but I definitely adored her. I was her senior in school, and took her under my wing when she joined the Girl Guides as a rookie.
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Hero 英雄

The dictionary’s definition of a “Hero” is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, or noble qualities. But used by a Chinese person, “Hero” or 英雄 ying xiong stops becoming a compliment. It is used on a person trying to prove he/she has noble-r qualities than others, but ends up looking like an idiot or paying for it. Take for example a person who walks out in the dead of winter with just a wife-beater-tank top on. That is a hero. When used, it sounds a little like this, “Damn hero!” sarcastically. Or, “Look, hero!”

In any case, I became a hero this weekend.
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DC with my dc

As some of you may or may not know I addressed my OLDER sister as dua cheh, 大姐, a term of respect, from a younger sibling. She has become dc, in short, during conversations. And just this evening, we returned from DC aka District of Columbia, the nation’s capital, Obama land.

After reading Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol (earlier this year), we were moved to visit the city to see the sites mentioned in his novel. That valiant idea was flushed down the drain as quickly as it was born. Too much work. Too much walking. Too little time. Too many excuses.

We left for DC with dc on a road trip that took only 3.5 hours there on Thursday morning. But we doubled that time on the return, thanks to heavy traffic compounded by road works and accidents. One would imagine that the driver and navigator/map reader/exact change provider/road watcher would be the most exhausted of them lot (the back-seat driver was just entertaining herself at the back). But our four-legged critter, Jessie, was the most fatigued of us all, even though she slept the ENTIRE journey back. She crashed the moment we reached home. Must be hard work sleeping, getting waited on hand and foot, fanned, and relieved.
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Anime 2010 Q3 & Q4

New anime

Amagami SS

Amagami (アマガミ Gentle Bite), is a dating simulation game developed for PlayStation 2 released on March 19, 2009. The anime adaptation  Amagami SS begun airing on July 1, 2010 with a planned 24 episodes.

Opening and ending themes are:

1. “i Love” by azusa DOWNLOAD
2. “Kimi no Hitomi ni Koishiteru (キミの瞳に恋してる)” by Shizuka Itou
3. “Kitto Ashita wa… (Surely Tomorrow…)” by Rina Satou DOWNLOAD
4. “Kitto Ashita wa… (きっと明日は…)” by Rina Satou
5. “Anata Shika Mienai (I Only See You)” by Hiromi Konno
6. “Anata Shika Mienai (あなたしか見えない)” by Hiromi Konno
7. “Koi wa Mizu-iro (恋はみずいろ)” by Yukana
8. “Koi wa Aserazu (恋はあせらず)” by Ryoko Shintani

Tachibana Junichi, a second-year high school boy, is put in an uneasy situation during Christmas due to a past incident. This Christmas will be his last chance to ask out a graduating senior Morishima Haruka, a popular senior student with many adoring fans.

OR he can ask out one of several other classmates. There is class representative Ayatsuji Tsukasa, a seemingly kind and friendly hard worker but is really a manipulative and cunning person. There is Sakurai Rihoko, a girl with a huge appetite, Tanamachi Kaoru his childhood friend, Nakata Sae and Nanasaki Ai.

Pick any or pick all, what’s there to lose? A guy can only wish.
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Living life to the fullest


Our trip started with a stop in the city for a “quick” errand, which then took an hour. After battling the traffic, 30 minutes later, we were off. I though it was going to take 4 hours++ to get into Boston, MA. But we made it in 3 hours. No, we were not speeding. But tomtom took us on a “scenic route” with less traffic – 87 to 91 North to 84 to 95. Not too shabby.

Pulling into our hotel, Doubletree Bedford/Glen, 44 Middlesex Turnpike, Bedford MA, we were pleasantly surprised by the sprawling lawn of flowers and greenery that welcomed us. Located in a quiet little turn of Middlesex Turnpike, this will definitely be a return hotel, if we ever came back again. Not only did they have a gorgeous garden (great for weddings and walking dogs), but they also have two tennis courts! Next time, if we have nothing to do around Boston, we will bring our racquets, and pick up balls for the rest of the trip.
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Fair-Weathered Fan

I am surprising myself by actually watching football with hubs. It is, after all, the World Cup. It happens only once in four years. The last time the World Cup was on, my Netherland Dwarf rabbit, Bobo passed away. Hubs didn’t even notice.

Saturday, May 12, 2010. England vs. USA.

The choice is obvious. Hub’s man, Steven Gerrard aka Stevie G aka Gerrard of Liverpool is the captain of the English team. I can’t help by showing my alliance.
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The Next Best Thing

Instead of Niagara Falls in New York, eight hours away from Jersey, we went to the Paterson Great Falls State Park in Jersey, just a mere 30 minutes away. The view wasn’t as spectacular, but I still got the spray of mist from the falls and the fear of heights came rushing back too. I did see a few people making out in the small park in front of children too, mind you. Joisey. It’s gone to the trash of Jersey Shore.
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Asians in Amish Land

Fri, May 7, 2010: Road trip

Tardiness and holidays always go hand-in-hand. Whenever we get time off, we always end up late and off schedule. We were supposed to leave early for our trip and I even woke up at 6 for it. But hubs didn’t budge from bed until close to 8, and even insisted on taking the car out for a wash before we left. We didn’t leave the house until 11-ish. Lucky for him, patience is my middle name, or so it seem just for that day.

By the time we reached our hotel in Lititz PA, a new Holiday Inn Express (HIE) on Crosswinds Drive, it was past 2 pm. After checking-in, and dropping off our bags, we drove straight into Lancaster, which was 15 minutes away. Even Jessie, our Cocker Spaniel, has her own travel bag, filled with her own food, bowl, brush, poop bags, shoes and rubber band. That’s my little princess for you. First stop, Central Market (downtown Lancaster) on Market Street. Jess came with us; she was excited but very confused with her new surrounding and probably the new smells. Seeing as most places didn’t allow dogs indoors, we had to take turns in going in and out of the stores.
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