Monday, January 22, 2007

Jerry's food

Today's my second time to cut Bob's hair. It went a lot better than the first one I gave last quarter, in which I went too far up cutting Bob's right side-burn, leaving a long shallow trail around the ear at the right side of the head. This time the shave was even and not at all too short like a convict. I'm very proud. Note too myself: it was 11 at the back of the head, 8 at the tip, 10 on the top, and ~9 on the side. The haircutting took me an hour, which was very long compared 20min that Bob says a barber would give a shave. Maybe I should go a little faster next time because I don't think it is nice to put anyone in a chair for that long. I always hate being in barbershop sitting there with nothing to do: It might be entertaining for me being the hairdresser but I might be torturing the one whom I'd like to fix up, though!

Before I left Jerry today Wilson wrote a long email to Jerry's list complaining about the food. Apparently Jerry residents pay $1,300 a quarter just for the food and snacks, amounting approximately $26 for lunch and dinner each day - but the quality of food is simply lacking. As an eating associate I agree somewhat. The menu hasn't changed at all since last quarter, snacks is mostly composed of dried fruits and candies and bars, and there just isn't too much to the fruit selection besides the bananas that are always rotting in the box. I guess the staff should do a better job now that Wilson has sent out this embarrassing email. Lewis, Bob, Sheng, and Lewis all affixed their names to the email. That's pretty gutsy, and I appreciate them speaking out. Andy came in, and although agreeing about the points in Wilson's email, declined to put his name on it. I'd, too, have second thoughts (although I am only an eating associate.)

Bob and I went to the Red Barn to see HEFFALUMPS for the first time on Friday. gasp!
I'd say there were at least 40 horses there, and we walked up to almost each one of them and looked them in the eyes. At first I was so scared as we walked down the stable, thinking that they were so unworldly and big like monsters or heffalumps, but they were so gentle and curious that they'd stick out their long heads trying to reach us that I had to stick out my finger at them to let them sniff it. I even petted their noses at times and could see their muscles and veins so clearly. They looked big but innocent, and the smell and the hay and the big bodies and eyes and veins and muscles made me feel so homely and genuine, and so far away from strenuous work environment that I'd certain like to come back to the Red Bran everyday. The Red Barn is only 20min walk from Jerry, in which you go around the lake, along Campus Drive, and along the Tennis Court, and it is open till 11pm.

Hehe and now the Red Barn joins the list of Bob and Andrea's weekday get-away destinations!
Here's a picture of Red Barn I found on the internet. Next time I'll bring a camera to capture the Red Barn so as to make it OUR Red Barn...I'm so possessive...yikes.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ski Trip

Time: Jan.12-14, 2007
How it came about: Jerry Ski Trip
Place: Tahoe

This year's dorm trip to Tahoe is a very different experience from the one that I went last time with Kimball. Not only has the person who used to be my friend and whom I'd liked very much has now become my best and most loving buddy who is traveling with me to everywhere, I've also realized that my state of consciousness has improved significantly since two years ago. Somehow I feel I'm more aware of my surroundings, i.e. roads that get to Tahoe, things to do around Tahoe, where fun is located, what mountains lie N, E, W, or S of Tahoe, and all that sort of geographic points of interest. I suppose this heightened sense of awareness could be taken as a sign for an improved state of consciousness? I think this is healthy!

We drove up to Tahoe in heavy traffic with Jill, Daniel, and Andy, arriving ~11pm-12am-ish. It got so cold the second day that Jill had to give up her lift ticket and abandon her plans for skiing. Poor Jill for her fingers - don't know if wearing more gloves could've helped. But we decided to sled near Mt. Rose NE of the Lake afterwards, and that kept us busy till dinner. (we found from a website that off 407 near Mt Rose there's a good sledding spot.) To get to Mt. Rose we took 50, then 28, and finally 407 on the way up the mountain. It was a steep climb up, and so relentless that we started seeing Bobmobile wearing down (Bobmobile's brakes got injured during the trip, making crunching noises when we got back down the mountain.) The altitude gave us great view of the Lake though. Its color is so blue, brilliant, like nothing else!

Driving up the road up to Mt. Rose in search for a good sledding spot!

Bobmobile taking a break from working hard on Mt. Rose.

View from a scenic overlook on 407, as Bobmobile takes a brief respite.

Bob and Jill at the scenic overlook. Silly Bob brought both green and red scarves to the trip, and indeed wore both when he drove up to Tahoe the night before.

Where we stopped to wonder whether or not to put on snow chains as a sign off the road told us to, we were puzzled as to why so many cars are parked here...

Aha! This is the legendary sledding spot that the website had described! There were many people sledding and snowshoeing all around, and the hill at left-center of the picture shows the side where we had sledded.

Buddy went first. He was the most skilled sledder of us three.

Bud went very hard so had to to walk up very far.

Someone looks like Pooh!

Jill in action, coming down to rescue me, who had just taken a bad stumble and looked very confused in distance.

This is me before I went straight down for the rock and bruised right side of my butt. A guy who helped me find my glasses, sled, and cap even returned my string cheese that fell out of my pocket. I almost forgot about the string cheese and was very confused when he asked "Is this your string cheese?"

I still looked a bit daze after rescue had arrived.

Jill making a snow angel.

Bob and my snow angels.

Jill looking spiffy.

My toes were frozen even with two layers of socks on. Afterwards the sky turned dark we stopped by Incline Village's Starbucks to thaw our toes. Bob and I had a warm and very sweet cinnamon dolce drink that I read about on spokeo. Apparently this drink had been an old-time favorite that Starbucks had just revived. At night we saw movie Lassie. Buddy had always wanted to see this British production. It was very good and far superior than cheesy Disney animal movies that I've seen!

Bob and I at beach near Tahoe downtown. The Round Hill behind us is very peculiarly round, almost looking man-made.

Bob and Jill fed ducks and geese. When it was my turn one of the few ducks jumped up and bit my finger because some sticky inside of an energy bar got stuck to it. Feisty.

More duck feeding.

Portrait of a Fat Goose.

Geese and mountains of Tahoe in distance.

Living room of where we stayed.

Well bundled up.

The wind pants Bob lent me were great. They kept me very warm and and comfy and happy in -7deg, and I was able to make snow angels. I think I need a pair here at school, too, as it is getting so cold here recently.

On this trip we also went to check out Harrah's 1st floor casino, as Jill and Bob had never seen a casino before. It looked very cheap compared to those in Las Vegas, and it was even hard to breathe inside because of smokers. We also tried out the hot tub. It was always my dream to be in a hot tub outside of the house that has great scenery, just as what's on those Japanese advertisements you could pick up at any JR station. It was kind of like that, and we had a view of tall pine trees. But it was already very dark and we couldn't see anything. I got out feeling very dizzy and weak though, as I soaked in the tub for too long. There was a sharp pain in my back, too, as my muscles there were very tense.

It was a chill snow trip, and we decided that we're up for more exciting stuff next time we're up in Tahoe, such as cross-country skiing and going up the gondola. Going up the gondola is a must because Bob and I had wanted to get on it in the Kimball snow trip, but the weather was too harsh for gondolas to operate. The gondola reminded us the good times we've had before I headed out to Japan and we've become buddies. Gondola is just too expensive! We simply didn't want to drag Jill up there with us, so we'd have to wait till next time, which is not so bad because that'll just make the next trip to Tahoe all the more exciting.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Happy birthday to self~ yay!
It is 12:06am now according to my blog, and I've already received well wishes from Chelsey, Bob, bro, and parents. So nice so nice! Kudos to my buddy who sang the birthday song like Pooh, and my mom who was rolling around in bed but still singing the song twice in Chinese and English! hehe so funny!

I wonder what's going to happen today. I think it's going to be exciting. My parents and I, especially my dad who's into cheap stuff, are determined to find us some kind of free meal deal on my birthday. I checked online and am going to call up those restaurants before we starve ourselves for the big meal. The restaurants that offer free meals are this Indian buffet, Todai, Benihana, and IHOP. Actually I'm not quite convinced about the quality of the food that these restaurants offer (although Benihana's supposed to be good), but I am oddly proud that our family is all spirit, and that we're going to celebrate our unique free food spirit on my birthday.

Now I'm closing this post as my birthday is winding down. (Man I've really become a chattering nut. )

So I called Benihana and this Indian buffet restaurant. Benihana's not friendly at all to me. As I meekly started off that I've read somewhere that Benihana is offering a free birthday meal with three paying guests, the lady answered in this demeaning tone, " We don't offer any free meal." So callous! at least she could pretend to be apologetic. Well I'll never go this place anyway. Too pricey anyway, and can never possibly be as good as the teipanyaki restaurant okasan took me in Kyoto. It was a even more humiliating experience when I called the Indian restaurant. The man answering couldn't understand what I was saying, even as I shouted into the phone..."FREEEEE", "BIRHTDAY" "MEEAAALL" very slowly three times. I thought maybe he pretended not to undertand, but maybe I was too harsh on him. Anyway, I ran laps with my dad at Saratoga high school and found a Korean bbq restaurant to eat on El Camino that does give free dinner on your birthday. There were lots of meat and cloves of garlic that I ate. I was terribly stuffed!

My dad didn't look too happy because my finger blocked the camera flash. I hope this picture doesn't give off wrong impressions - he's pretty happy throughout my birthday!

I would have uploaded the picture of my bro and me but it was a bit too blurry. But I took great pictures of my mom who posed in the skirt that arrived in the mail today. As she's happily posing, I reminded her about lin chiling 林志玲 who said that your body should always keep a natural flow during poses, etc. (Both my mom and I are lin chiling fans - like every other Taiwanese~)

Now my chatter has gone on for so long it's not my birthday anymore! Finally, I'll tell you that I like this year's birthday a lot. Not sure too much of what I did except that I ate lots. But I really enjoyed this quiet domestic bliss, and liked being generally observant of weather (o i didn't say how much i enjoyed watching the clouds whisk pass yet), observant of the birds in our backyard (with my dad's binoculars), or observant even of my mom (well taking lots of pictures probably doesn't count)? Oh I think I'll miss home again when I go back to school.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


At the urging of my mom - I got my haircut today! Although I did remember Cate's warning about Asian barbershops that always give you fobby looks, I was actually a bit excited that I'm starting everything anew, with a new haircut and a new year!

While I was sitting there a funny lady sitting next to me kept chattering away. She complained about Cantonese accent, how she can't understand it, and how another lady with a heavy Cantonese accent kept going up to her during their Japan tour that she had to say to her "I don't understand I don't understand!" I thought all of this was pretty funny as most of the barbers there were Cantonese, and if these barbers were at all offended. Probably. The barber with the lady wasn't too attentive. The funny lady was still happily chattering away though, and I didn't realize she's actually an old lady till after my haircut was done and I had put my glasses on. The old lady had on a fashionable (and fobby, of course) haircut of a 30 year-old.

My haircut was ok. Although I didn't like how my hair tailed off in the back, I went home pretty happy. But I dont' know what came over me as I was taking my shower...I cut the tail off with a small scissors! I felt about my hair and now the back of my hair is all flat...or worse, the sides might be longer than the back now. But I'm glad my mom's not too horrified, though, and am just sorry for my mom who dragged me to the barbershop.

Pre-Barbershop long hair.

Post-Barbershop short hair and after shower. I don't dare to show the back that I had so angrily(?) cut short!!