Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Little Dense and a Little Delayed

It seems that I'm a tad dense, and a bit delayed in my reaction to Nome's tag. Sorry Nome!!! But, now that I've returned from the Rockies and my mind is clear and my belly is overly-full, I am ready to play!

In Blog Tag (so far as I understand it), I am supposed to write 8 things/facts/habits about myself and then proceed to tag another 6 unwitting (and unwilling) volunteers to do the same. It's a bl
og icebreaker of sorts, I guess, although quite frankly, most people are pretty darn open on their blogs anyway and just by reading one's blog it would be relatively easy to identify a host of eccentricities, habits, and tidbits about the blog author, oui?

1) One of the things that creeps me out the most in all of the world are bumpy rounded textures that are packed close together. Like the textures inside pomegranates. Like those fairy mushroom rings found on diseased lawns. Like rashes that consist of round coloured bumps clustered together on one's skin. I get very anxious when I see these things, and shortly afterwards my skin begins to crawl and I begin to hyperventilate. When I used to live in a high-rise near the U, our building had a fairy ring problem and several of these were flourishing on the patches of grass outside the entrance. I literally had to cover my eyes and focus on my breathing in order to walk past them without losing it entirely. Even thinking about it now gives me a serious case of the heebie-jeebies.

2) I wish I had naturally wavy hair. Mine is stick straight and doesn't hold curls well, and I have always envied those lucky individuals who can wear their hair straight *or* curly simply by blow-drying it in certain ways. If only!

3) I am deaf in my right ear. As in severely, profoundly, incurably deaf. Those of you
who know me IRL already know that, but for the benefit of those who know me only from this blog, I thought I'd share that weird tidbit with ya. As far as I've remembered, I have always been deaf in that ear. My parents think that it happened when I ran a really high temperature as a preschooler. I was pretty young, and my fever ran pretty high, to the point where (so I'm told) I was hysterically upset and no longer responding to the call of my name or my parents' attempts to comfort me. My fever finally broke when my dad was holding me; I puked all down his back when that happened. Perhaps this was when my auditory nerve (inner ear) got damaged. Anyway, bottom line is that I have a "deaf spot" on my right side, so people to the right of me often have to tap me on the shoulder or tug on my arm to get my attention. Otherwise, I don't hear them.

4) I am afraid of getting lice. I have never had it (thank God!) but since I've chosen a profession where I will be working with little people who tend to easily contract and share their lice, it is something that I constantly worry about. In fact, I have considered using lice shampoo as a preventative measure, although I am told that this is an ineffective tactic since the shampoo only works once you get lice.

5) I have never cheated in school, not once in the 19 years that I have been a student (K-12, Bible College, 4 year B.A., and 1 year After-Degree so far). Not ever. Not on a test, not on a project, not even on worksheets that didn't count for marks. I attempted to cheat once in the eighth grade, but that was unsuccessful and I got caught and my plans got thwarted before I could even carry out the act. I never tried again. I think my clean record has to do with the fact that I have an unhealthy heavy conscience and guilt complex, and to do something like cheat would cause me no end of grief and guilt and worry, and frankly, I have enough of that in my life as it is.

6) I rarely eat vegetables. I know, I know...for someone who espouses the benefits of healthy eating and living, I should be a near lacto-ovo-pescetarian by now. My problem is that I have a hard time finding veggies that I like and that are convenient and healthy to eat and that don't cause me IBS grief. Plus, veggies don't usually taste nearly as great as carbs or protein or fat (unless we're talking about edamame, which tastes good all the time!). I need to add more fruits and veggies to my diet, lest I die of scurvy. I miss HK and its delicious choi sum. *sigh*

7) I own 28 pairs of shoes, and I want to buy more every time I walk past a shoe store or department store. Come to think of it, I even blogged about my shoe purchases three times since this blog first began less than a year ago! Is this a sickness? I am beginning to think that it might be.

8) My goal in life is to be a light, and to shine that light and brighten the lives of everyone I have ever known. When I die, I want to be remembered for having had such life and vitality and positivity that those around me were infected by these qualities. I hope that those who speak at my memorial will remember with fondness my energy and enthusiasm, and I want my tombstone to read, "Her light shone brightly and lit up our lives" or something like that. It's too creepy to write your own tombstone inscription so I will leave it up to my future children to do that.

Anyway, now I want to tag a few others - and tagging back is NOT allowed!

1) Hubbs - Not for me, but for everyone else to learn more about the awesome guy that I married.
2) Wobbly*Bits - A fantastic writer who needs to share more of her loveliness with the cyber world.
3) Viener - Because she is quirky and interesting and funny, and she now lives in Tucson, AZ.
4) Space Max - Because I need to learn more about my future bro-in-law.
5) Igloo Coder - Because he needs to blog about more than just coding stuff! ;)
6) Discount Matt - Just because I want to see him blog about something that isn't coupons or a discount or a sale. C'mon, Matt - let's see something about YOU!

Tag, boys and girls - you're IT!

Six Heads Are NOT Better Than One, and Other Lessons Learned


1) Six heads are not better than one when it comes to showers. Our first hotel blessed us with a shower that had 6 heads, and several knobs to operate and control the pressure and temperature of the water shooting out of these heads. Three were aligned vertically on one side of the shower wall, and three on the other, and they were arranged in three heights: over the head (or near the head), torso-level, and crotch level. For the life of me I could not figure out which knob controlled which head(s), so I had to get Hubbs to set up the shower for me. While in the shower, I often feared being sprayed in the face by the cross-fires of these respective shower heads, which all met in the middle of the shower. Hubbs enjoyed the multiple sprays because he was tall enough to not have his face and head assaulted by two of the heads, but my height challenge meant that my head was in prime location for both nozzles to attack. Imagine my relief when we arrived at our second hotel to see only one shower head, located far above my head, for my showering pleasure.

2) The Rockies have nice clean crisp air, but it's also very dry air. Packing moisturizer is a good idea.

3) It doesn't matter how cheap the hotel freebie amenities are, I love getting them and find myself quite annoyed when these aren't provided to me on a daily basis during my stay.

4) It's always a good idea to bring your laptop on vacation, in case you need to check your email or you want to blog, and you don't want to pay an exorbitant amount of money to use the hotel computers.

5) It's n
ever a good idea to soak in a jacuzzi tub for more than a couple of hours at a time. It leaves you feeling very parched and dehydrated, not to mention wrinkly.

6) Adding a small amount of bubble bath to a jetted tub is sufficient to produce enough bubbles to replicate that scene from Pretty Woman.

7) When you're at the casino and you've doubled the amount you put into the slot machine, cash out. Otherwise, you won't leave ahead of the game.

8) All's fair when it comes to Ukrainian Rummy.

9) Packing 5 pairs of shoes on a 5 day trip is surprisingly unneccessary. Apparently 3 pairs is enough.

10) Although vacations are nice, it's equally nice to get back to routine and not have to eat out every meal anymore.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The End of My Big Fat Family Vacation

So, continuing with the recap:

- Delicious overpriced fondue; I'm too cheap to order the exotic fondue so I stick with a lunch steak & seafood fondue over hot rocks - the sauces are fantastic and fattening and the food is amazing, plus we get our own little section complete with a couch for the family to sit and watch TV on!

- I head over to the spa for a superbly relaxing facial, and promptly fall asleep in my chair

- More jacuzzi soaking

- We order in Dominos Pizza at the hotel, and have a quiet night spent in our room

- Breakfast at Bison Mountain Bistro; best brekkie food in the hamlet!

- Childhood memories raped and pillaged by the people at Calaway Park; Hubbs notes the missing Hanna Barbera characters, while I note the inefficient service and unsafe-looking rides that take way too long to get onto, despite the rain and gloomy weather

- Dinner at one of our new favourite Japanese restaurants - Shiso; I have a very large bento box that I must share with others

- Casino fun; I win $25 and gain another $70 from kindly familial benefactors

- Sleeping in an amazing king-sized bed with down duvet and down pillows; it is our best sleep of the trip

Quickie check-out, quickie trip to Winners, and lunch at the Rusty Pelican; I inhale my prime rib sandwich but cut off the lardy fat parts

- Shopping; we bring home Sudoku Gridmaster for the DS and Arrested Development Season 3

Which brings me home. Oh, how sweet it is to be home! Of course, now I have a tonne of laundry to do, but man oh man, was it ever worth it! =D


Monday, August 28, 2006

My Big Fat Family Vacation


Not that I'm complaining. I'm blogging remote from the Rockies, where the air is dry and cool and fresh and the nights are pitch black darkness and days are blazing with sun, where tourists swarm local shops and eateries and where people like me go to relax and indulge and get fat.

So far, here's the recap:

-Arrival, hotel check-in & upgrade in rooms for one night due to overbooking. Inconvenient but nice to get a $60 value bonus for free, right?

-Pre-dinner drinks in the grandparents' suite; they b
ring their own mix and snacks and present an impressive spread away from home

-Dinner at a fancy lodge restaurant: I eat delicious duck breast

-Post-dinner drinks and visiting at the grandparents' suite

-Morning delivery of McDonalds hotcakes (thanks Grampa!); breakfast with the grandparents

-Shopping the local stores and basking in sunshine and fresh air

-Lunch at a local pub and grill, where the food is delicious but service sucks (and where Hubbs & I remark that for a tourism-driven hamlet such as this, the remarkably poor service is surprising to see); I have the chicken grill burger with side sweet potato fries and garden salad

-Canada's best ice cream at COWS; I have the coffee-toffee-chocolate shavings blend

-Pre-dinner drinks and gift-opening in the grandparents' suite again

-Fancy steak dinner and a good time had by all; I inhale my 10 oz. CAB sirloin steak and we all share the sides of asparagus, scalloped potatoes, grilled veggies, wild rice pilaf, and sauteed mushrooms (oh, and don't forget the apps - calamari & sauteed shrimp)

-Post-dinner drinks and dessert to be shared by everyone

-Ukrainian Rummy played by 8; my arse is kicked and I finish in second-last place (out of 8). Blaming my non-Ukrainian heritage for this loss

-Midnight soak in the jetted 2-person jacuzzi tub; a near pass-out in the tub forces us to go to bed

-Early morning family breakfast at the hotel restaurant; we wisely opt not to do buffet and all order a la carte

-Post-breakfast Net-surf and jacuzzi soak

Which brings me to right now. Soon I'll be headed to a fondu
e house for tasty wild game cooked in boiling oil. Next, I have a facial booked. Then, some shopping to accomplish. And I'll keep ya posted on the rest.

Man, I love being on vacation! =)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I Pity the Boy, Really

My poor brother.

One day, far far far in the future when he finally settles down and "gets serious" with a girl, he's bound to have to bring her "home" to meet the family. And on that day, that poor girl is going to find herself in the hot seat big-time.

You see, my bro has 4 "moms" - his actual biologic
al mother, and 3 older sisters who overprotect like a mom. In fact, I would hardly be surprised if the easiest approval ratings will come from MomM and not from Sisters 1, 2, and 3. My mom is pretty easy-going and accepting, and she's also the same lady who advised her daughters not to marry for looks, since the good-looking ones are more prone to cheat (Ha! I defied that advice and married a hottie anyway!). Needless to say, her standards may not be that high! ;)

We sisters, however, have always held high expectations for this boy (and his future wife). Since he was the golden child (read: son) long awaited by the folks, and the youngest, we quickly assumed roles as his pseudo-guardians/babysitters/protectors. With that came a very unique affection that we hold for him, as well as a special value that we attach to the bearer-of-the-family-name. As we have watched his potential unfold and develop, and seen him emerge from awkward-geek-boy to studly-geek-boy, so too our expectations for his future wife have grown. We want him to have the best things in his life, and naturally that would include the best possible woman.

I can only speak for myself (and not the other two very strong, opinionated, independent, loud daughters in the family), but I can fairly say that this girl is going to have to be a beautiful specimen of womankind, both on the inside and out, for her to be viewed (in my eyes) as an adequate sister-in-law. You see, my bro's a hottie (for an Asian). He's pretty tall (for an Asian), he's slim, he's got a great smile, and he has a nice full head of black hair. He's also well-written, smart, and insightful, plus he loves the Lord and is becoming quite a man of God. An all-around good guy.

So, what sort of girl do I think is most appropriate for a guy like my bro? I could really go on forever, but to keep it succinct, she has to be bubbly, beautiful, brilliant, and a believer. Bubbly = warm and inviting, friendly and loving, extroverted and sweet. Beautiful = I'm thinking big round expressive eyes, clear fair skin, feminine but strong, thin but not frail, and with a full big-lipped smile that shows a lot of teeth (a trait that our entire clan shares). Brilliant = a quick wit, a thirst for learning, a good work ethic, and a brain that works. A believer - well, that's self-explanatory, isn't it?

And that's just my list, and doesn't include all of the traits and characteristics that Sisters 2 and 3 are going to be looking for.

In light of the intense scrutiny that would-be girlfriends will have to undergo, will all the girls that he brings home be doomed to a similar fate of overjudgment? Will there perchance be that *one* lucky lady who manages to meet and exceed all of our expectations, to the point where her approval ratings rank high in all 4 moms' books? I suppose only time will tell, right? Thank God he's still young; he has a lot of time to look! =P

Becoming a Gummaholic

I may be developing an addiction problem, but it's not what you think. Really. It's not pills, it's not powder, and it's certainly not hooch. It's gummy.

I am becoming a Gummy Vites addict. It all started really innocently, I swear. The bottle said that people aged 6 and over should take 4 vitamin gummy bears per day. So I did. And it tasted so good. So flavourful and non-vitaminy and fun to chew. I tried hard just to eat my daily allotment, but sometimes I would forget. Did I take my gummy bears yet? And then the rationalizing began. Maybe I didn't take them this morning. I should really make sure I'm healthy so I'd better take 4...just in case. The next thing you know, I must have been taking 8, maybe 12 gummy bears a day. I think I had 8 today.

I blame Costco for selling these dang bottles in industrial sizes. More for me to eat, and to abuse. Even now, as I type, I am sitting here at the computer with a full bottle of Gummy Vites beside me, and it is taking every ounce of my self-control to keep me from eating the entire bottle. If I don't get help soon, I may one day OD on vitamin gummy bears. Somebody help me before I become a gummaholic!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Laughing It Up

So lately I have been going through our wedding pictures again, this time for the purposes of arranging them in albums. Two of my favourites are ones where Hubbs & I are laughing; too bad we weren't in the same shot. Here they are:

Isn't my Hubbs a cutie? =D

(Photographs taken by DQ Studios)

Dye Not

I have a confession to make. I have never dyed my hair. As in *not once.* Ever.

I am afraid to do it.

You see, I have seen Chinese chicks with bad dye jobs, who ended up looking like transvestite Thai hookers with their dark roots and nasty, dry, brittle bleached blonde hair. I have also seen Asians whose stylists left the bleach in too long, resulting in what looked like premature gray hairs on the head of a young person. I've seen former students dye their jet-black hair blue, which looked cool for all of a week until the dye started coming out and they were left with a head full of grayish-green straw, which they then had to shave off due to the shame of having such a nasty miscoloured mop. I've seen 4" black roots lurking above 4" of coloured hair, the black patiently waiting to overtake the fading brown/burgundy/orange. And I've seen the dull fake-black that some have tried to dye their hair, in an attempt to return it to its natural state. Such an attempt never looks quite right, since this universal black inevitably misses some of the subtle highlighting that is common to natural black hair.

My fear of any combination of those scenarios occuring has therefore imprisoned me in my natural shiny black hair, thus far isolated from the glorious world of highlights and lowlights.

The moment I work up enough courage to even consider the idea, my mind begins to race. Will I end up looking really unnatural (like the girl with blood red highlights in the pic)? What if the colour doesn't suit me at all? What if my hair can never return to its current healthy state?

For now, I will remain imprisoned by my fear of coloring. However, I will rest in the assurance that no matter how bad my hair is on any given day, I can wash and restyle and it will look better, and won't require me to cough up another $70 or jeopardize the health of my mane.

Monday, August 21, 2006

I Could Have Told You That

A recent study done in Beijing is suggesting that nearly 20% of people in China are overweight or obese. I don't know about the rest of China, but when it comes to the S.A.R. (Hong Kong), why am I not surprised? Some things to consider:

-McDonalds is prolific in China (and especially in Hong Kong). I actually witnessed some of my students (and a few of my colleagues) eating there an alarming 3 times a day, and of course one of their shops was conveniently located directly across from our school.

-The babies in Hong Kong are mostly formula-fed, and everyone knows that formula babies end up chubbier. The culture there is still very much against public (and perhaps even private) breast-feeding, making it very inconvenient to be out and about and have to find a bathroom stall in which you can nurse your kid. Little wonder these infants are getting the bottle, and getting fat.

-The myth that most Chinese food is healthy is a great big lie. It's healthy if you choose to isolate and focus exclusively on the nice leafy green veggies, which are mostly prepared by stir-frying or boiling. If you look at the roasted poultry, however, you'll notice that Chinese people eat the skin, and prefer the dark meat. They believe it to have a smoother texture than the "dry white meat." As well, many of the Chinese bakery products are loaded with sugar and lard, and the majority of street vendor food is deep-fried. There's virtually no such thing as 100% whole-wheat or "brown" in Hong Kong, because the people there prefer white bread and white rice. The pork chops aren't trimmed of their fat, and nearly everything that isn't steamed is cooked in oil.

here's no space in Hong Kong for kids to run around after school. Most people live in high-rise buildings with no back yards, most schools only have outdoor "courtyards" and no indoor gymnasiums, and the public parks are the sole "grassy areas" on which kids can do any serious cardiovascular activity. So what do kids do after school? They go home and sit at their computers, or they "hang out" at the malls and eat junky food, or they go to "cyber cafes" and play online games for hours on end.

-For Chinese people, it's an act of love to give in abundance to your offspring what you didn't have growing up. So, for many people who lived during times of war or cultural revolution or just plain poverty, having the ability to provide food in excess for their family is considered a blessing, not a curse.

It is hardly a surprise, then, that 20% of the population in China is overweight or obese. I'm only surprised the numbers aren't higher.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Random Yield from Blog-Surfing

Due to cloudy weather, my date night with Hubbs was postponed. We spent our evening web-surfing on our respective comps instead (geeky, eh?). I found this interesting bit of art from my blog-surf (the result of hitting "Next Blog" on the Blogger tool bar to travel from site to site):

Art For Jesus posts a lot of illustrations that reflect this blogger's own walk with God. Here's one that I really loved, called Overwhelmed:

I just love that picture. I wish I could lie on some clean, bug-free, crisp blades of grass and stare into the pitch black, star-lit sky. Unfortunately it's cloudy tonight and I have no beautiful freshly-lain sod to rest on (unless we go to the Van Vliet's and bunk out in their back yard!). *sigh*

Not So Fat After All!

During my most recent check-up, the doctor tried to tell me that I was severely overweight (borderline obese) based on my BMI. I tried to tell her that I am healthy, that my muscles are dense and I have thick heavy bones which contribute to the slightly higher number on the scale, and that I am not in danger of heart attacks and high cholesterol and diabetes and high blood pressure because I know that I am healthy; I'm not convinced that she believed me.

Well, she may need to eat her words now. My tests all came back smack in the middle of normal (even my blood pressure was a *perfect* reading), and now this: according to a recent study by the Mayo Clinic, a measure of health is no longer so much about the BMI as it may be about the waist-hip ratio (see study here). Their study has found that the better predictor of heart disease risk is one's waist-to-hip ratio; furthermore, those with a slightly higher-than-average BMI have actually been less susceptible to heart attacks and have also had better survival rates than those who have a lower BMI.

So, for all you ladies out there with wider hips and relatively narrower waists, this is awesome news confirming that our hourglassish figures will keep us living longer and better than all those skinny-minnies out there =D

A Newfound Love

I love farmer's markets, so decided after my trip this morn to the semi-local, seasonal outdoor market. While there with Vanilla Con and Wacky, I managed to snag myself a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers (so fresh, in fact, that a little hard-shelled aphid was still lurking on a leaf). The bouquet was made-to-order and cost me a mere $10. See below for beauty:

As well, I got to buy a container of fresh, garlicky guacamole, lots of frozen bison meat for cheap, and some ears of sweet peaches-and-cream corn. All of these items (with the exception of the guac) were much cheaper than what I would have paid at the grocery store (we're talking nearly half price).

Finally, I discovered two cupcake shops in the city: The Cupcake Shoppe (owned and operated by friends of the Crave people), and Whimsical Cake Studio. Both companies are operating out of their homes right now, but look for them in the city sometime soon! They take large catering orders as well as little craving orders. =)

Anyway, I just wanted to brag about my great purchases today. Everything has been delicious and affordable and beautiful and I am loving my weekend.

I hope yours rocks it too! =D

Friday, August 18, 2006

Snakes on a Plane - A Girly Girl's Biased Review

(Warning: Contains spoilers about the movie)

According to all of the guys I saw this movie with, the movie was amazing and awful all at the same time. I, however, only caught part of the movie, having hidden behind my Hubbs for nearly half of the flick. It was funny, it was gory, and it was... well, snakes on a plane.

The plot consisted of some dirt-biking surfer dude named Sean who accidentally stumbles upon a lawyer being tortured and killed by Asian gangsters in a lush jungle in Hawaii. These bad guys (all of whom are buff and Asian and lethal killing machines) catch sight of Sean and decide that he must die, to prevent him from testifying to their brutal bloody murder.

Sean is somehow tracked down by the Asian mafia and subsequently rescued by Samuel L., although the audience has no idea how either Samuel L. or the bad guys come to figure out both his identity and where he lives.

After a brief and lame interrogation scene, Sammy convinces him to testify against these evil Asian mafia in L.A. Sammy & Sean commandeer the first-class section of a plane and fly back, only to discover part-way through the flight that the bad guys have loaded the plane with pheromone-agitated, poisonous snakes of varying origin and species. This army of slithering evil then proceeds to poison and kill passengers in a variety of gory ways, infesting every orifice of the plane (except first class, where Sean is being kept). Sammy must try to save the passengers while ensuring that Sean doesn't get killed by the snakes.

The movie had every cliched character in the book, including an effeminate male flight attendant, a slutty flight attendant, a lady with a baby, young boys traveling on their own, an arrogant European businessman, a music star, a dog-loving prissy beauty queen-type, a token Asian kickboxing champion, a honeymooning wife and her fly-phobic new hubby, a booze-swigging tacky old lady (think Mimi from Drew Carey Show), and an over-sexed and over-drugged horny couple.

It also had some very entertaining funny moments, although I probably missed half of them since my eyes were closed and my head was turned away from the screen.

Anyway, I don't know how to rate this movie, but if you like cult-favourite-type movies or gratuitous snake violence or Samuel L. Jackson, you should watch this movie. If you only like movies with fabulous plots and well-developed storylines and great acting, then watch something else.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I May Be Crazy..


..but I agreed to go see Snakes on a Plane on opening night (at 10:00 pm - on a weekday!) with a bunch of nerdy guys, including him and him and him and him and my extra-nerdy Hubbs. Oh, and Ridley, who isn't a nerd ;) Part of me thinks this movie could be hilariously awesome, but a bigger part of me thinks it will be quite cliched and will suck rocks.

Why is the fanfare over this movie so much more ridiculous than that of bigger "blockbuster" movies? Is it the retarded title of the movie? Is it Samuel L. and his penchant for the word mother****er?

I just don't get it.

But here are some funnies borrowed from some SOAP (yes, there is an acronym for this movie) enthusiasts.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Don't Get It

You know how the whole web-blog surfing works, right? You read someone's blog post, read their comments board, click on the link of someone else who has left a comment on their blog, then end up at this new person's blog, which you then read.

In my blog-surfing adventures, I have come across several blogs that seem to post almost exclusively about the blogger's sex life, their "conquests" (or one-night-stands/threesomes/fun with sex toys), and the details before, during, and after these encounters. Some of these posts contain very explicit details. Some even contain NSFW pictures of the blogger, just to drive home the point of their post.

I guess I don't understand this type of content or the bloggers who have chosen such a public (albeit arguably "anonymous") forum on which to post the most intimate details of their sex lives. I mean, I get the ideas of freedom of speech and expression, of online personal diaries, of exploring hidden parts of oneself through words, and of writing for cathartic release. What I don't get, though, is how one can share these sorts of specific sexual details without feeling like they may have betrayed the one that they were with, or how one can block out that little part of their brain that might be thinking, "What if someone I know comes across this blog and reads this and discovers that it's me writing it?"

For me, the ability to completely compartmentalize and isolate the "online world" from the "real life world" is impossible - all of my friends know that I have a blog, as do all of my hubby's friends and colleagues; my in-laws read my blog, and my siblings are frequent visitors to the site. Even if I were to publish an entirely different, brand new site under a pseudonym, I doubt I would be able to fib enough (or divulge precious few details enough) to hide my identity for long.

So what drives people to maintain such sexually explicit blogs, and to share these very private details to the public? I just don't get it!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

PBF Hilarity

I have to concur with my hubby that one of the funniest dark comics that we have read is Perry Bible Fellowship. He posts a little more about it on his blog, but here is an example:

Have a good laugh and enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Innocent Words that Sound So Naughty!

After awaking at 2:30 a.m. with a very sore throat, I decided to jump on the Net to see if perhaps I was dying of throat cancer or something. As it turns out, I wasn't. My throat was just swollen, likely from dehydration and breathing through my mouth and possibly allergies as well. During my search for "swollen throat," I came across a word that sounded dirty, but wasn't...and so I thought I would try to put together a list of dirty-sounding, innocent words, words that should probably be enunciated very clearly and spoken slowly to avoid misinterpretation, words that should be avoided by those with strong accents.

Here's my list so far:

- uvula
- testy
- Regina

- sects
- cleats
- peanuts
- crutches
- masticate
- Uranus

- penal
- debriefing
- evection
- rectory
- pianist
- circumscribe

There are some other debatably "naughty-sounding" phrases and words found here. However, some of those sound pretty innocuous to me, so I don't consider that list to be very good. Can you think of other words that sound dirty, but really aren't?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Toilet Style

(Warning: If talking about toilet use is offensive to you, stop reading now!)

Well, now that I have your full attention, let's talk about toilet styles, shall we? I lived in HK once upon a time, and that city is debatably one of the filthiest places in the world when it comes to public washrooms. As such, I (along with everyone I knew) learned the fine art of squatting; it became a no-brainer because some of the bathrooms there were squattie-potties, and you really didn't have a choice but to squat. In other places where real toilets existed, the seats would be covered in footprints (and various forms of unidentifiable waste material) from very nimble (and rude) folks who had climbed onto the seat to stand, so that they could squat.

Anyway, I'm not living in HK anymore, but I find that old habits die hard. For the most part, then, I am an unabashed squatter (with very strong quad muscles); I also occasionally line & sit. This whole line of thinking then led me to consider the various toilet styles of my readers..and of people in general. I'm pretty sure most of you aren't squatters unless you've lived in another country. I also know that Ridley is a Line & Sitter (*gasp!*), but what about you?

Here are the types of toilet styles I am aware of:

-the Sitter (who sits on public toilet seats)
-the Line & Sitter (who lines the toilet seat with several layers of toilet paper before sitting down)
-the Squatter (who hovers over public toilet seats without sitting)
-the Step & Squatter (who stands on the seat to squat to use the toilet)
-the Avoider (who refuses to use public toilet seats but would rather risk explosion and hold it in until they get home to the privacy of their own toilet)

So what's your take on the toilet? Are the public ones clean enough to park your unprotected buttocks on? Are they "safe" once a toilet seat liner or a couple of layers of toilet paper have been applied as a shield against germs? Are they only clean if you're the first person in line after the cleaning person has cleaned the stalls? Are they cleaner at certain places (airports, expensive restaurants) than others (the mall, gas stations)?

Inquiring minds want to know. =D

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Food = Love, in My Books


Growing up, my parents had to work hard to make ends meet. It was a luxury for them to take us out for dinner, so these were reserved for holidays and special occasions. However, since Dad was a chef, it was his act of love to cook our favourite Chinese dishes for us whenever he could, and watch us devour them in delight. When we would receive rare and tasty festive foods for the holidays, my parents always made sure to let us eat first and enjoy more than our share, before they indulged in even the smallest bite. During dinner, Mom and Dad would also put the best portions of the entrees into our bowls for us to have. When it came to food, my parents spared no expense for their children, and I sincerely think that this was simply the best way that they knew how to express their love for us.

It continues even today. When my parents visited relatives in the U.S., they brought back with them eight meat-filled glutinous rice wrap dumplings made by my aunt. As a gesture of affection, Mom and Dad gave away their share of these treats so that each of their children could have 2 dumplings to enjoy. To the outside world, this might seem like an insignificant act. However, I know better. My parents haven't had my aunt's dumplings for a long time either, and this traditional fare is among my dad's favourite foods. The act of sacrificing their delicacies for us was but another example of how my parents continue to demonstrate their love to us - they feed us.

Call me dense, but it wasn't until tonight that I put two and two together, realizing that this is how *I* show love, and also how I want to be shown love. In Gary Chapman's book The Five Love Languages, he explores the idea that most people speak predominantly in one or two of these five ways: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch. Neither Hubbs nor I had figured that "gifts" was one of my languages, but in retrospect now, I think it is, at least in the form of food.

When I go out for dinner without Hubbs, I always bring him back something to eat, whether it's dessert or a sub. When I go shopping without him, he has been known to get Cookies by George. When I grocery shop, I make sure to pick up a little "surprise" that isn't on our shopping list. When I make something tasty and there are leftovers, I usually let Hubbs take it to work because I know how much he enjoyed the stuff the first time. Even when we go out for dinner together, I try to leave the "best pieces" for Hubbs, or offer him a choice portion of my entree.

Chapman explains that most people express love in the language that they most wish to receive love. In my case, I guess I am demonstrating by my actions that I want my Hubbs to do what my parents have done from Day 1 - gift me with food to express love (little wonder that our entire family is weight-challenged!). This brings new insight into why I have gotten upset when he eats all the good stuff in the fridge or in the cupboards, leaving me nary a crumb. It also explains why, when he comes home empty-handed after an evening of fancy dinners without me, I feel a twinge of disappointment and hurt inside.

Now that we've figured out that this is one of my "love languages," I think that we'll be more effective in appreciating and conveying our love to each other in tangible ways that match with our individual definitions of love. I'll also be getting a few more treats (hopefully healthy tasty ones) and, well, so will he.

Can you guess what his predominant love language is? ;)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Geeky Appreciation

Thanks to Ridley's suggestion and my Site Meter addition to the blog, I have been better able to "track" the visitors to my site, and I have to say, I have been feeling very blessed and grateful for my new Internet friends (and if you're reading this right now and have visited my blog, I consider you my new Net buddy!). =D Thanks for checking out my little corner of the Net, folks!

Geeky, eh? Well, I constantly marvel at how the web brings people from across the world together, and the connections that are made via commenting and blogging and even visiting links on other people's pages. I'm pretty sure some of you found me through random Google searches, and others by knowing me, and still others by visiting
my hubby's hilariously entertaining blog. No matter what brought you here, I am thrilled and flattered and humbled by the fact that you would even consider reading my little rants.

(It's supposed to say... "A biiiiiiiig hug from me to you!")

The Power of the Airbrush

I never used to believe it. I thought that models really did look that gorgeous, their skin really was naturally hairless, their legs really were that thin and shapely, and their armpits really didn't have that weird extra fold of skin that the rest of us have. They were simply a slightly more evolved breed, non?

Then, I learned about airbrushing. Not just the "fix-the-weird-strand-of-hair" variety, either; this was the revolutionary "change-from-fat-to-skinny, imperfect-to-goddess-like" kind. You can find samples of them here, here, here, and here.

Today, as I was cruising my celeb gossip blogs, I found another instance of photoshopping miracles, this time in the form of Britney Spears, for Glamour magazine.

Here she is *before* the airbrushing:

Here she is *after* the airbrushing:

Huge difference, right? Neck no longer has weird fat folds, her eyes have suddenly evened up and her chin has narrowed. Her hair has become an entirely different style and cut, and unsightly facial lines have all but disappeared from her face. They've recropped the image to remove her underarm fold. They've also managed to reverse her haggardly, aged appearance, and tilt her head back to an upright position.

I can never trust a magazine photo image again! My eyes deceive me, as do the magazine editors and photoshoppers airbrushing the hell out of the truth.

Why don't the mags post the "before" pictures instead of these fake edited ones? I mean, as a consumer I would rather be assured in knowing that celebrities are as human as I am, rather than be fooled into thinking that they naturally look more gorgeous and flawless than the general population. Give me an "ideal" that is attainable, and I will consider achieving it. Give me this airbrushed-to-death garbage and I won't ever succeed no matter how hard I try to look like that.

And people wonder why I no longer buy magazines. Sheesh!

More, More, More!


Remember the time when you refused to clean off your plate because you were full, and your parents made you sit there and eat it all? I do.

Remember the time when you ate all of your entree because it tasted so good, only to feel the consequences of overeating 20 minutes later? I do.

Anyway, I think my body's "I am full - Do not feed!" sensors are busted. This must have happened sometime between toddlerhood and now. I'm pretty sure the sensors were there when I was an infant; I am almost certain that when I didn't want any more formula, I just refused to open my mouth for the bottle again. Likewise for the baby food, and even for the first while of my "grown-up food" days.

So, what happened? Why is it that now, I have no idea when I am "full" until after I've gotten too full? Why is it that I no longer have any sense of portion control, and how is it that I can eat several slices of pizza and not stop after 2?

I blame greed. My greed and society's greed - the greed that says that we deserve to get as much as we can, the greed that says we haven't gotten a "deal" until we've received the biggest portion possible for the least amount of our money, and the greed that just will not relent from day to day.

Think about it. Is the "better value" at McDonald's the wilting salad costing $6.00, or the super-size combo meal at the same price? Do we feel "ripped off" when we pay $35 for an entree that only covers 1/4 of the plate, and do we feel we got a good deal when the entree overflows the plate? At the end of a hard week, do we not rationalize that we are entirely justified to a full pint of ice cream (or a pizza, or a bag of chips) for having survived the week?

It really does boil down to being greedy, and wanting more than we need, and it's not even about food anymore. I think that as a whole, our society has become overindulgent and self-centered. Some of us use food as our outlet of greediness, while others indulge excessively in TV, or computer/video gaming, or alcohol, or collecting shoes and handbags, or hoarding money, or you name it. And we want more, don't we? We are never satisfied with a little bit, or a little bite. We want the whole thing and as much of it as we can get our chubby hands on.

This revelation, though possibly not new, is a sobering reminder that we do need to take responsibility for our greediness, and commit ourselves to living more moderately (and with some modicum of self-control). Certainly, I for one am more determined to watch my portions and pay attention to the Little Miss Feed-Me inside my head. I challenge you, too, to fight off the greedy monster inside of you.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Maybe It's Just Me, But...

(warning: this post contains some rather disturbing graphics)

...I think the definition of beauty is getting skinnier and skinnier. Too skinny, in fact.

To explain: I recently read about the online pro-ana and pro-mia movements (websites and discussion boards designed to support people in their quest to remain anorexic or bulimic), and so I decided to snoop around the Net and locate some of these sites. Many of them have been taken down, presumably as a result of the pushback against this disturbing subculture of starving young women, but I did manage to find a few sites still proudly proclaiming their anti-food beliefs.

Several of these sites included a gallery of "thinspiration," images of very thin, very sickly women who were extolled as the epitome of beauty. Here are some sample images:

Anyway, several other models of "thinspiration" included celebrities like Mary-Kate Olsen, Nicole Richie, Kate Bosworth, Victoria Beckham, Ellen Pompeo, Nicole Kidman, and Keira Knightley, just to name a few.

So I am wondering: whatever happened to the fit and healthy, curvy bodies that defined beauty in the 1990's? I'm thinking of a muscular Cindy Crawford, or Claudia Schiffer, or Elle MacPherson - nearly two decades ago, these women were considered the hallmark of beautiful and sexy. By today's standards, I think some of them would be considered (*gasp*) chunky!

So, what has changed in our culture that has prompted a shift in the definition of beautiful? Why have so many celebrities become so alarmingly thin, and why have young women with eating disorders begun to resist treatment in favour of pro-ana/mia pride?

I have no answers, but would love to gather up some insights. Any to share?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Umbrella Drinks & Dogs

Sometimes I just love silly online tests. has a bunch of them, and
tonight I discovered the type of umbrella drink that I am.

Je suis une Daiquiri Diva.

So, what sort of girly umbrella drink are you?

Oh, and I also tested to see what breed of dog I am.

Apparently, I am a Chihuahua. How annoying.