Friday, November 26, 2004

First NY Thanksgiving...Taiwanese Style...



For the past few days I've been tormented by friends asking me "oh, why aren't you going anywhere for Thanksgiving?" of course that's because they are all going somewhere...and I would say " yea I was gonna go to NJ, to my aunt's place but decided not to" then they would as "ooh why not?" then I just give a simple reply "yea I need some time to get my shit together". This, obviously had some effect on my friend John who suddenly said "yea I need to get my shit together too...but I have to go to Greg's parents in Indiana..."and so on...
Yup, so instead of diving into getting my shit together, I slept for most of the day, until I got a phone call form Yichi, to join them for Thanksgining dinner tonight...
On my way to Yichi's, I was thinking maybe the Taiwanese clan would be preparing for Taiwanese hot pot, since they were grocery shopping in Chinatown while I got the call this morning...and of course was also expecting Jason to dress up as a turkey for the event...the subway was awfully quiet as I made my way to 110th and then walked through a desolate amsterdam st...to get to 106th.
As I entered the apartment, everybody was busy in the kitchen cooking and helping out...and much to my surprise, Jason was himself and not dressed as Turkey pie or something...most people contributed to some cooking...and I just came to eat...because I didn't know how to do any traditional cooking...I think Hom made the marinated Kobe beef, Jimmy made fried pork, Miranda made a beautiful potato salad and concocted a special sauce for the Turkey...and Yichi was also busy in the kitchen...and the rest of us just waited outside eating biscuits and chesse...
I must say, the soy sauce turkey that they bought in Chinatown was one huge bird and the gross thing is that it even came with the head...but I think all sixteen of us enjoyed the Turkey...sitting around eating, and chatting...
The evening ended with a Korean war movie, ya I think it was a bit sad to be watching a movie like that on Thanksgiving, I thought maybe I should have brought my new korean horror movie "tell me something" a mystery movie surrounding the case of several dismembered bodies..."I told them if I had known that I couldn't contribute to the cooking I could have contributed to a decent movie about disembodied corpses" and Eric responded with "what, just because you can't contribute to the cooking , you want to bring a movie that will make us puke out everything that we've had for dinner?" and I laughed and said "why not?" At least I thought it was better than watching a war movie...
Yea tomorrow there will be a huge sale going on everywhere so guess what? Barneys Here I Come...so much for "getting my shit together"...




Thursday, November 25, 2004

Thanksgiving...avec moi...


ok don't really know what that picture has anything to do with a thanksgiving besides the fact that it looks interesting...



"The subjective progression from leaving the maternal breast to the first narcissistic gaze, and the later distinction betwwen body and outside world create the basis for our initial sense of self.
When the concept of self is subsumed by community identity there emerges a further persona: the national face of a historical legacy.
In our technologically driven society, speed and communication have become the paradigms underwritting out thoughts, actions and how we perceive ourselves. Consequently, this is creating a new anthropology of the isolated and autonomous idividual."

Hussein Chalayan (garment designer)



This morning I literally had to force myself out of bed, remembering that I promised Just James that I would lend him my windows XP startup software...thinking that I was going to be late, I decided to take a cab...
As I got into the cab, I was surprised to see an old man who didn't look like a typical cab driver, behind the wheels..then taking a closer look at his photo identification ...he looked more like a man who had a different job, but became a cab driver after he retired...well at least that's what I presumed...I could see that he was truely enjoying listening to his radio show...then suddenly he turns off the radio and turns around to ask "So, How are you doing?" I said, "great, fine!"...then he went on to ask the usual question "so going anywhere for thanksgiving?" and I said "nope nowhere, staying here in NY" and then he proceeded to ask "so you don't celebrate thanksgiving?" and then I froze...and replied with a cold "no."...there was a moment of silence...then he went on to say "it's alright, you're entitled not to celebrate thanksgiving if you don't want to." then he said to me "thanksgiving is actually my favorite, but I don't like Christmas, because it has become too commercialized."...I thought true...but to me it doesn't hurt either..I mean it's nice to receive a gift from loved ones once in a while and attach some sentimental value to it...but that's just me I guess...so I asked him "so your family coming to NY to celebrate with you?" and he said "no, actually we will all be going to my son's place in Long Island, he has a big house with a big yard and thanksgiving always works out really well there..." and then I said "oh how nice..."
the conversation ended as we arrived at 116th and Broadway...and I decided to tip him more than the usuall, I figured he was an old man, and it was thanksgiving and we had a nice conversation...so that was that...and as I got off the cab he said a final "happy thanksgiving!"....then I felt bad for never tipping the doorman in my building for running around to hail a cab for me...then again it's their job...but at least I was feeling thankful to the concierge and the doorman on a thanksgiving holiday...how appropriate!

Thanksgiving Gourmet....made in Taiwan

yum yum yummy! Posted by Hello


So after a gruelling day of journeying in the rain with horrible traffic with everyone going away for the holidays...I come home to my laptop and go about my daily "business"...surprisingly after browing through a bunch of spam...I got a forwarded mail from mon ami Sushisushiii or simply Suzy, which had an attached file of images from the Taiwanese night markets...and apparently, it's quite the trend to eat those things these days at the night market...
I mean life is great...on a night before thanksgiving when everyone is dreaming of a big fat turkey...I can dream about a bunch of roasted insect kabobs...yum yum yummy!
By the way, for those who don't know me that well, I don't really enjoy turkeys, because when I see a turkey, I imagine a big fat bird...with very colorful feathers...which freaks me out a great deal...and if they start flapping their wings...it just makes me shudder...yes I have a great fear of birds...and I always get nightmares about being attacked by a flock of pigeons as I make my way through the campus to Avery Hall...sigh...so I leave you all with these pictures of...enjoy!

oooo la la.... Posted by Hello

hmm...maybe not so tasty afterall... Posted by Hello

looks like some good food to from afar... Posted by Hello

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Tiffany-Like...


After I saw the above photo of Tiffany that Alice posted on her blog, I had a sudden urge to spray paint my dog, since he has white fur, it's an unexplainable urge, and now I understand how Joyce feels when she draws eyebrows on her dog using yellow highlighters...well as for me I can't really spray paint...because mom will be pissed...so all I can do is spray paint Incredoble-Jo on photoshop...but didn't turn out too well as u can see below...man, just can't mess with nature...

Tiffany-like... Posted by Hello

ok...I think Alice did a way better job than I did spray painting incredible-jo...so enjoy! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

La Vie de Monsieur Incredible-Jo

mr. incredible-jo himself, sitting impatiently on a chair as he watches mom prepare his gourmet meal...see, his teeth are showing... Posted by Hello

this is the beginning of Incredible-jo's two course meal...when mom is around... Posted by Hello

mom always give him a portion of a boiled egg after a little nice salad... Posted by Hello

this is what happens after incredible-jo finishes the food mom prepares for him... Posted by Hello

Thinking about Quill...

a rare footage of quill's butt... Posted by Hello

cutting through... Posted by Hello

taking a close look... Posted by Hello

"A human being is spirit. But what is spirit? Spirit is the self. But what is the self? The self is a relation that relates itself to itself or is the relation's relating itself to itself in the relation; the self is not the relation but is the relation's relating itself to itself. A human being is a synthesis of the infinite and the finite, of the temporal and the eternal, of freedom and neccessity, in short, a synthesis."
"The Sickness Unto Death"
by Soren Kierkegard

looking for the darkness within.... Posted by Hello

Monday, November 22, 2004

Diaries from a Japanese Cell-Phone

my brother, capturing his "decisive moment"... Posted by Hello

I purposefully left this image that my bro took in the subway oriented this way,...or maybe he purposefully left it this way to show me a different perspective and completely aware that he sent me this photograph oriented in the wrong direction...I realized it brings an entirely new perspective on the beauty of the subway...if only we could try to look at things at a different angle once in a while... Posted by Hello

this is a photo that my bro took, during his visit in beijing, showing people stacking food on their plates... Posted by Hello

Les Incroyables...



Around this time of the year, awaiting the arrival of Christmas, it is hard not to think about my own family...and trying deperately to salvage the memories of my past, for fear that it might just slip away all too soon, when I become preoccupied with my responsibilities, with the arrival of another year...
So yesterday morning I woke up at 4:30 am, with a morning call from the concierge announcing that the car will be arriving shortly at 5:00 am, to take my brother to the airport...
Later that evening, my friends and I decided to go watch "The Incredibles"...I was never a big fan of animation movies, but it seems like this one is pretty good... since it was hard to get tickets to the sold out 9:00 show...we waited patiently for the 10:05 show at starbucks over coffee and magazines...
So finally, as the five of us settled down to watch the movie...Alice and I were expecting a typical cliched superman-like plot...but much to my surprise...the movie offered me much more than I expected and reminded me that I haven't seen such an uplifting movie in years...throughout the movie,for the very first time, I could actually hear my own laughter, and that of my friends' because "The Incredibles" was genuinely incredible...
It showed me that even superheros with incredible powers, get married, build up a family and live through the turmoils and problems of a modern day family life...just like everyone else...it just goes to remind us, that even extraordinary people are just human beings too...and in times of extreme danger, where Mr. Incredible risks losing his family and vice versa...the entire family somehow manages to pull their powers together...and defeat the villains...Oh and one more thing all the Incredible's uniforms are designed by a short wacky designer who has no interest in designing for stick models with incredibly thick puckered lips...just goes to show that true fashion should be made for all who deserve it...and not for superficial reasons...it reminds me of Barney's mantra...that if you work hard enough, you deserve to be there to indulge yourself once in a while...
On my way out the theater, I was in my own world again, thinking that if only we look hard enough, we can definitely see the "incredible" in our family members...and so, I tried...
I think my father is incredibly good at keeping secrets, because I know he has many secrets that I will never know...his preventitive health check-up indicates that he has a high level of depression...but nobody knows because he never allows it to show through, because he knows that he is the support that holds the entire family together...although I rarely see him, he never forgets to give me a call, sometimes even up to three calls a day, long distance...I gather, his telephone bill must be incredibly high!...all and all he is an incerdible father to me...
My mom is incredibly nervous and repetitive, very similar to her own father,...and is incredibly soft-hearted...when she is around there is always incredibly good food to fill my incredibly big stomach...when I would devour her dishes, I never forget to mention that she could definitely open a restaurant and sell those incredibly delicious dishes...
My brother is incredibly serious and quiet, and that makes him incredibly itimidating to my friends who have seen him...but I know he is not really like that, it is just a responsibility that he carries with him as the first born in the family...to be incredibly responsible for himself and incredibly independent so that my parents don't need to worry for him...and I can see that he struggles with the upkeep of that image, from time to time without knowing that it is "ok" to let his guard down once in a while...
My sister-in-law is incredibly patient and thoughtful...the memories I have of her are from LA, when she was still living there...when mom was away and I busily struggling with my finals...she would drive a long way to bring me dinner and other goodies to eat...but she rarely came came up to my apartment, she would always leave it with the security guard with a little note in chinese...with all the chinese characters equally spaced not too big and not too small but just right...my parents always praised her for her incredible penmanship...and of course she is incredibly thoughtful because she remembers everyone's birthday...on my birthdays..she always indulges me with nice presents...and a birthday card with a thoughtful little note...
As for me...well...lets see...I am incredibly messy and as mom calls it incredibly "unthinkable"...yes unlike my brother, I don't have to carry the responsibilities that comes with the first born...I can let all my guard down, to the point where my parents feel like they still can't trust me...yup mom still can't trust my driving...when James came over to borrow my kitchen, he opened my fridge to see if there was anything to eat, only to find an empty plate with a plastic wrapper stitting in the fridge...I remember him looking at me in dismay...it's just like how mom wonders how I still manage to put empty juicy cartons back into the fridge...without realizing that I should just throw it in the trash...yes that's me incredibly "unthinkable"...

I think, recently my family has constantly been own my mind, because I despereately want to remember the safety that my family brings to me...with mom and dad always trying so hard to make sure I am safe and preventing any obstacles that might come my way...I think I am almost at the crossroads where I would have to make decisions about what I want to do with my life, which, right or wrong will have its consequences,...if only I can foresee...I can feel that I will slowly be drifting out of the safty net provided by my sheltered life as I venture out on my own, with inevitable hardships that might come my way...I am incredibly worried...although I know its hard to get anywhere without hardships...knowing that...makes me incredibly scared...
And YoYo is incredibly good at remembering all his names, and now he is "incredible-jo"...

Yes, so everybody is an Incredible in their own unique way...


Suki Kim:'Facing Poverty With a Rich Girl's Habits'

I was browsing through Mr. Fry's blog and came across an excerpt of an interesting article written by Suki Kim for the NY Times...so I signed up, as Mr. Fry suggested to read the entire article...about the authors memories on immigration, being "the other", childhood, struggling with english and unexpected turn of events such as poverty...so here is the entire article for those who are interested...


'Facing Poverty With a Rich Girl's Habits'
By SUKI KIM


QUEENS in the early 80's struck me as the Wild West. Our first home there was the upstairs of a two-family brownstone in Woodside. It was a crammed, ugly place, I thought, because in South Korea I had been raised in a hilltop mansion with an orchard and a pond and peacocks until I entered the seventh grade, when my millionaire father lost everything overnight. Gone in an instant was my small world, made possible by my father's shipping company, mining business and hotels. Because bankruptcy was punishable by a jail term, we fled, penniless, to America.
The ugly house was owned by a Korean family that ran a dry cleaner in Harlem. Their sons, Andy and Billy, became my first playmates in America, though playmate was a loose term, largely because they spoke English and I didn't. The first English word I learned at the junior high near Queens Boulevard was F.O.B., short for "fresh off the boat." It was a mystery why some kids called me that when I'd actually flown Korean Air to Kennedy Airport.
At 13, I took public transportation to school for the first time instead of being driven by a chauffeur. I had never done homework without a governess helping me. I also noticed that things became seriously messy if no maids were around. Each week, I found it humiliating to wheel our dirty clothes to a bleak place called Laundromat.
One new fact that took more time to absorb was that I was now Asian, a term that I had heard mentioned only in a social studies class. In Korea, yellow was the color of the forsythia that bloomed every spring along the fence that separated our estate from the houses down the hill. I certainly never thought of my skin as being the same shade.
Unlike students in Korean schools, who were taught to bow to teachers at every turn, no one batted an eye when a teacher entered a classroom. Once I saw a teacher struggle to pronounce foreign-sounding names from the attendance list while a boy in the front row French-kissed a girl wearing skintight turquoise Jordache jeans. In Korea, we wore slippers to keep the school floor clean, but here the walls were covered with graffiti, and some mornings, policemen guarded the gate and checked bags.
My consolation was the English as a Second Language class where I could speak Korean with others like me. Yet it did not take me long to realize that the other students and I had little in common. The wealthier Korean immigrants had settled in Westchester or Manhattan, where their children attended private schools. In Queens, most of my E.S.L. classmates came from poor families who had escaped Korea's rigid class hierarchy, one dictated by education level, family background and financial status.
Immigration is meant to be the great equalizer, yet it is not easy to eradicate the class divisions of the old country. What I recall, at 13, is an acute awareness of the distance between me and my fellow F.O.B.'s, and another, more palpable one between those of us in E.S.L. and the occasional English-speaking Korean-American kids, who avoided us as though we brought them certain undefined shame. It was not until years later that I learned that we were, in fact, separated from them by generations.
We who sat huddled in that E.S.L. class grew up to represent the so-called 1.5 generation. Many of us came to America in our teens, already rooted in Korean ways and language. We often clashed with the first generation, whose minimal command of English traps them in a time-warped immigrant ghetto, but we identified even less with the second generation, who, with their Asian-American angst and anchorman English, struck us as even more foreign than the rest of America.
Even today, we, the 1.5 generation, can just about maneuver our anchor. We hip-hop to Usher with as much enthusiasm as we have for belting out Korean pop songs at a karaoke. We celebrate the lunar Korean thanksgiving as well as the American one, although our choice of food would most likely be the moon-shaped rice cake instead of turkey. We appreciate eggs Benedict for brunch, but on hung-over mornings, we cannot do without a bowl of thick ox-bone soup and a plate of fresh kimchi. We are 100 percent American on paper but not quite in our soul.
In Queens of the early 80's, I did not yet understand the layers of division that existed within an immigrant group. I preferred my Hello Kitty backpack to the ones with pictures of the Menudo boys, and I cried for weeks because my parents would not let me get my ears pierced. I watched reruns of "Three's Company" in an attempt to learn English, thinking the whole time that John Ritter was running a firm called Three's. I stayed up until dawn to make sense of "Great Expectations," flipping through the dictionary for the definition of words like "Pip."
More brutal than learning English was facing poverty with a rich girl's habits and memory. In my neighborhood, a girl who grew up with a governess and a chauffeur belonged to a fairy tale. This was no Paris Hilton's "Simple Life," but the beginning of my sobering, often-terrifying, never simple American journey. I soon discovered that I had no choice but to adjust. I had watched my glamorous mother, not long ago a society lady who lunched, taking on a job as a fish filleter at a market.
Before the year was over, my parents moved us out of the neighborhood in search of better jobs, housing and education. As for the family who owned the house in Woodside, I did not see any of them again until the fall of 2001, when Billy walked into the Family Assistance Center at Pier 94, where I was volunteering as an interpreter. He was looking for his brother, Andy, who had been working on the 93rd floor when the first plane crashed into the north tower.

Suki Kim is the author of "The Interpreter," a novel.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Looking Back: Friday Evening

that's me with a black plastic bag and my grande mocha... Posted by Hello

my bro, on the left,...reading the chinese newspaper at starbucks... Posted by Hello

the evening ends @starbuks Posted by Hello

finally @ ToMo... Posted by Hello

103rd...we get off at the next stop... Posted by Hello

still on our way to 110th... Posted by Hello