Mobile Phone Food Photo Post for Friday

Headed out to the Wilds of NJ to meet some friends

 

Met up with Nadi and some friends in Morristown NJ for dinner last night. No real reason, we just meet up every so often.

Me: Can I get a pina colada? (table groans) What? It’s summertime. And: rum.
Nadi: I wonder if there have umbrellas here.
Waitress: (with drink) I had him make a little fruit garnish for you.
Me: Sweeeeeeeet.

Also ended up having some mussels with pomme frites (good, but I liked mine better)…

 

And chicken and waffles – which was the only thing we didn’t enjoy…

 

Before I took the train home.

 

Summer’s already here. I’ll need more rum.

Location: At the start of summer, sigh
Mood: heated
Music: Stylin my metaphors when I formulate my flows (uh)
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Spring – I’m sure gonna miss you when you’re gone

Don’t get much of a spring here but we’ll take what we can get

 

Here’s what I’m rocking right now:

  • A chipped bone in my right thumb.
  • One light tear or heavy bruise on my left intercostal muscle between my 8th and 9th rib.
  • One cadaver ACL
  • A sore neck from wrassling.

Here’s the kicker: It still beats running.

The weather’s been nice so I took a stroll around the hood.

New York generally goes from winter straight into summer but this year there was a slight spring, although it going to hit the 90s by tomorrow and stay there for a bit.

Years ago, said that something about spring makes you want to reassess and realign your life – spring cleaning and all that. To this end, the wife and went through the house and tossed anything we could and gathered up everything else for Goodwill.

Just came back right now from donating a box of stuff.

Also made my very last batch of chili this past week and froze them for summer.

On a related note, my dating entries, particularly these entries about how to write a good dating profile for men and women are my top read posts around this time.

Again, I’ve got to think it’s related to that whole reassessing and realigning that this season comes with.

Ah, spring – I’m sure gonna miss you when you’re gone.

Location: at the end of spring
Mood: rested
Music: got my ticket for the long way ’round The one with the prettiest of views
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Laraha, Valencia, Curaçao, and Superman

Nurture versus Nature or Superman the Shoe Salesman

Nighttime Shot of Malaga Spain
After the Boston bombings, there were a number of people I knew that immediately spouted their conspiracy theories. And several of them argued that Americans somehow brought this upon themselves.

Of course, they are Americans but hold themselves separate and superior from the rest of us. Which is odd because several of them stopped formal education at high school.

The most recent events in London made me think of the whole nature versus nurture argument.

And oranges.

And Superman.

Because there’s this orange from Spain called the Valencia orange that’s supposed to amazingly delicious and sweet. They were hybridized in America from orange trees in Valencia, which in turn came from India.
Valencia Orange, picture from Wikipedia

Those same trees were planted on the island of Curaçao, where the soil there caused these delicious, sweet, bright orange, oranges to transform – on their own – into small, bitter, green, “oranges.” They turned into the Laraha fruit.

These fruit are so bitter that it’s said that goats on the island would rather starve to death than eat them.

Let me stop for a second and paraphrase a joke that I heard once, which says that: If Krypton never exploded and Kal-El/Superman stayed on the planet, what if he became a shoe salesman?

After all, he’s only Superman because he came here; home he would have been Al Bundy.

As the son of recent immigrants, I wonder about my possible pasts: what if we never came here from Taiwan? Who would I be, what would I be? It’s pure dumb luck, my lot in this world.

Turning back to the recent events of England, it was odd hearing the attackers speak clear British English. Is there some inherent glitch in people like this or is a unique combination of nature and nurture. I’m guessing that’s the case.

Wonder what these people’s  lives would had been had they not gone to the UK. And what then?

I’ve no answer.

Suppose not everything that heads off to distant lands become better with time, like rum.

Location: heading to the gym
Mood: muggy
Music: Who killed tangerine? The prettiest girl I’ve ever seen
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We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are

We reveal a lot more of ourselves than we realize

Got injured in my ribs about two weeks ago so I’ve not been wrassln for a bit. Went back for the first time on Monday and it seemed fine. When class is over, we all stand in line to be dismissed.

While standing there, I realized I couldn’t breathe right as I couldn’t get my diaphragm to move. Things started to get get wonky and the next thing I knew I was on the floor.

Ended up being fine but the funny thing is that as it was happening, the first thing I thought was, “If you end up in the hospital again, the wife is totally not gonna let you wrassle or fence any more. Don’t hit your head going down!”

Being married really changes how you look at the world.

———-

Regarding my post from last week about mixed-race couples, someone I only kinda know on FB contacted me. We ended up chatting about China in general:

Him: Have you even been to China before?
Me: Actually yes, several times, in fact.
Him: As a tourist I bet.
Me: Nope, I was there on business.
Him: I bet you just saw all the tourist sites and had pictures of yourself eating dumplings.
Me: Neither, I didn’t have time to see anything, I was pressed for deadlines the entire time. And I don’t think I had any dumplings while I was there; in fact, I don’t even think I have pictures. And why pick on dumplings? What they’d ever do to you?

He finally ended up saying that, because I had a Caucasian wife and that must mean I don’t find Asian women attractive.

Him: It points to a lot of self-hatred.
Me: That’s a pretty big leap. OK, do you think Brad Pitt’s a good looking guy?
Him: (pause) I guess so.
Me: I do too. But if he asked you out right now, what would you say?
Him: I’m not gay .
Me: Nor am I. But, what you’re saying is that you find him attractive, just not in that way. You have preferences.
Him: It’s not the same thing!
Me: Why? Are you saying one’s natural and one’s unnatural? We all like what we like. Attraction is not a choice.

That’s when I realized it was all a waste of my time.

This woman named Anais Nin once said that, We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.

Her: He thinks you hate being Chinese? You love being Chinese!
Me: I know! We’re lovely and have the best dumplings.
Her: Well, those are just Chinese ravioli.

Location: not the gym
Mood: hungry
Music: sailed to Hong Kong harbour, the winds were warmer then
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My Personal List of Travel Tips

This is a list of things I do when I travel

A buddy of mine is traveling abroad for the first time so I sent him the following based on my experiences traveling around the world. If you have some tips I should add to this, send them my way or leave a comment below!

Random tips

  • Pack light – this is primary. You don’t want to lug a ton of stuff around. It’s called “LUG-gage” cause you lug it around.
  • If traveling with someone, split up that luggage so that if one bag is lost, the other bag still has half the other person’s stuff.
  • On that note, put at least one full change of clothing in your carry-on bag, JIC they lose your luggage.
  • Take a photo of the outside of your hotel so you can show your taxi driver where to go. OR get a stack of business cards from the hotel when you arrive and just hand them to the taxi driver when you need to get back.
  • Download or carry around a city and/or subway map.
  • Instead of changing money, if you are going to a place with a good banking system, just take money out to an ATM machine.
  • If you’re going to go out at night to party, leave your hotel keys with the front desk of the hotel and most of your credit cards and valuables locked up in your room.
  • If you’re going to a particularly bad place, register with the State Department that you’re going there so they know you’re in country.

Clothing

  • If you can afford it, consider getting some merino wool clothing – socks, tee-shirts, etc. They are naturally anti-microbial (meaning you could get away with washing them less), last forever, and regulates internal core-body temperatures – not just for cold weather.
  • Bring some old clothes that you don’t care that much about. This way you can toss or donate them if they get damaged or if you end up buying new clothes for the trip home.

Stuff to Bring

  • Money belt – it’s old school stuff, but lemme tell you, it works. They’re cheap and you can keep most of your scratch close to your body.
  • Regular crazy glue – for reasons I can’t get into now, I often end up with some pretty deep cuts so I would just bring crazy glue to seal it shut without stitches. This was a while ago so you should check to see if airplanes will still allow you to bring it onboard.
  • Velcro wallet. Fill this with expired cards and few bucks. If you do get mugged, you can give them this.
  • Anti-bacterial wipes
  • A good book – try mine (shameless plug, I know).


Stuff to Prep

  • If you’re going to one place, obviously you should get a guidebook. The wife and I like Lonely Planet and Rough Guides when we were younger but that has changed to things like Frommers once we got older. BUT if you’re going to multiple places, a better bet would be to stop off at the library and take a few dozen books, photocopy the places that interest you, and bring a small binder along.
  • Speaking of photocopying, photocopy the following and keep it in a completely separate place where you keep the actual items: passport, all tickets & reservations, driver’s license (actually, all IDs: hostel card, etc), and itinerary.
  • When I was in Paris, I actually downloaded and did a self-guided walking tour by Rick Steves; if you’re like me and can’t stand people, it’s a good way to go. Especially if you’re traveling alone. Get them here.
  • Get the phone number, address AND a PICTURE of the US Embassy/Consulate of city you’re staying – take pics from Google.
  • If you have a smart phone, download and install the free TripIt App to organize your trip.

Food and drink

  • Bring nuts, packaged granola bars. You need to have food your body is used to having.
  • As a rule of thumb, when you’re local and see food you want to eat, if it’s been boiled or deep fried you should be ok with most things. If it’s cold, proceed with caution.
  • If you’re going to place where bottled water is a must and have a bottle with you on the trip there, ask the airline to fill it for you before you land.
  • In some places – especially tropical places – be mindful of raw fruits and vegetables. If you peel the fruit yourself, you’re probably good to go.
  • Bring whatever stomach stuff (gas, diarrhea meds) you know work for you here. JIC.
  • For drinks, bottled/canned stuff is ok, but in some places, check the seals.
  • Bring iodine tablets if you’re really roughing it and might have to have water you’re not sure about.
  • When in doubt, follow the American Forefathers and drink beer. NOT rum (as delicious as it is) since hard alcohol won’t quench your thirst.
  • The above is especially true if you might get ice in it. If you order soda, you run the risk of them putting ice in your drink but not with beer. Beer: The smart traveler’s companion.

Here’s some of my travelogues:

Finally, I’m taking a cue from the very cool Speaking of China – who was kind enough to mention me the other day – and asking your opinion: What do you do when you travel?

Location: back from the gym
Mood: woozy
Music: here’s nothing else in our lives so critical, As this little home
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Asian Males and White Females

I dunno, it’s just something I do

 

There’s this sword movement done where a block is performed with the spine of the blade and the sword then rolls into a slash. It’s really cool looking and possibly one of the most beautiful sword movements that exists.

I noticed it years ago with another fencer and asked him what it was. He looked at me, puzzled. And said, I dunno, it’s just something I do. For him, it was nothing special, just part of his makeup.

I’ve alluded to this in the past, such as when people are extraordinarily proud to be Irish, or Chinese, or what have you. For most of us, myself included, being Chinese is simply something I am.

Having said this, since my wife and I got married, we do notice that there are few couples like us: Asian male and White female (AMWF). In fact when we’re out and about, we invariably remark to each other when we notice another couple like us.

I bring all of this up because I was in court yesterday kiling time and I came across this blog entry called Why Aren’t We Talking More About The Rarity of AMWF? – and it really made me think.

While it should be noted that the writer is a Caucasian writer living in China (very cool), it’s just as true here in the States, I think.

Regarding my own experiences, there are many friends I have now that I’ve only recently met. And the funny thing is that the version of me they know is not the version I actually think I am in my head.

In college, I dated a Korean girl for years. In law school, it was a Chinese med student. Then I dated a hapa. Then I just dated.

There’s a running joke with some of my friends from 2008 onward that I only dated Caucasians. Which my older friends would find funny because they thought I only dated Asians.

And yet neither is true. I dated whomever I liked.

This version of me is only the part they know. Had an argument with a dolt I met online via FB who immediately labeled me as a self-hating Chinese man, which only made me roll my eyes and move on with my life.

After all, I’m not another person’s opinion of what I am. I am, simply, what I am.

Getting back to the  questions posed: Why are there so few Asian male, Caucasian female combinations?

I’m not sure.

Out and about, I was frequently the first and only Asian person many non-Asians dated. There were two common things they said. Either:

Regarding point one, a good deal of that has to do with exposure IMHO. If they don’t know any Asian men well, there’s no one to whom to be attracted.

As for point two, many of my male friends are:

  1. more strongly attracted to Asian females,
  2. more comfortable dating Asian female, or
  3. assuming that point one above is definitive – Non-Asian women are not attracted to Asian men.

I’ve never found number 3 to be true but this is just anecdotal to me and all of this is just my opinion.

I’m not really sure why I didn’t really think about it all that much while I was dating, mainly because – for me – it’s just something I did.

What do you think?

A Great Online Dating ProfileIf you liked this entry, I recently wrote an April 2014 book on how to write  A Great Online Dating Profile with 30 tips to get noticed and get more responses – it’s just $0.99 at Amazon, BN.com, and the Apple Store, as well as most other online retailers:

I also wrote a book about first dates with information I just haven’t seen in other books that I learned from three solid years of dating in NYC.

A Great First Date, early 2014It’s just $2.99 at at Amazon, BN.com, and the Apple Store.

 

Location: not in court
Mood: analytical
Music: Paris to China to Colorado
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Vlog: Where I tell two stories about pizza

A Homemade Pizza and a Spinach Pizza

No time to do a proper entry so I just posted a video above.

Below is a pizza from my pop to my mom on Mother’s Day. Clearly, I am this man’s son.

Let me know if you think I should vlog more, I know i have the energy for it, I’ve always been interested in making money on youtube.

In other news, I’m going to be posting at around 3PM Mondays and Wednesdays for a bit. New work schedule coming up.

 

Location: Courtroom
Mood: amused
Music: Tom, your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong
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Everybody knows, but no one really believes it

Look for the red things

Me: The thing is, there’s a difference between seeing and noticing. Noticing is when you consciously become aware of something. For example, if I said right now, Look for everything that’s red. You’d see a lot more red things.
Him: (looking around) Great, now all I see are the red things.
Me: (laughing) That’s what happens. You can’t un-notice something you’ve noticed.

Updating this blog a bit late because I’ve been trying to finish up a few assignments for clients.

Been watching the news about the three women they found; obviously it reminds me of the Jaycee Dugard story. Just like with her, compounding the basic horror of it all is also the fact that they were cheated out of those years.

Life is so short as it is.

I blinked and I’m 40.

Spalding Gray once said that Everybody knows they are going to die, but no one really believes it. Late at night, when I can’t sleep, I realize what it means and it keeps me up the rest of the night. Like last night.

Doubt you ever noticed, but for the past few years every time I write about dying, I put up a picture of a clock.

As I get older, I see notice more clocks and think about how short it all is.

And you can’t un-notice something you’ve noticed.

 

Location: in the basement of my brain again
Mood: nostalgic
Music: I don’t mind waiting in line
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Cinco de Mayo in Jersey

Chili Contest? OK.

Her: (getting into bed)
Me: (leaping into bed)
Her: Oh, you’ve clearly misread the situation.

We’ve been together now for over four years and have a kind of seasonal rhythm . When the weather gets cold, we end up huddled at home for most of Fall and Winter and start to head out again in Spring. Nothing special, really. Suppose most people are like that. It’s just how it is.

But when spring does come, she’s generally more responsive to it than I am. I’m usually still shaking the cobwebs out. Unless there’s chili or rum involved.

To wit:

Her: I’m meeting up with some friends in New Jersey next month.
Me: I’m not sure if…
Her: There’s a chili cookoff…
Me: I’m in.

So this past weekend, hopped onto the PATH train and headed out to Grove Street in Jersey City.

An ex lived there so I took the train there dozens of times in the past but I’d not in ages. Walking upstairs, everything had changed but was still the same. It’s just how it is.

A buddy from my wrasslin class lived spitting distance away so we met up too, spoon in hand, and tried 25 different chilies. Once it was over, we went back for more. I may have gone back a third time. Or fifth. Don’t recall.

He and I both agreed that we liked our own respective recipes more; having a recipe is one of the 15 things I think every guy should know.

The wife and I took the train back and were home before five.

Her: I’m always glad when we head out early and come back early. (looking me sprawled out on couch) What’s wrong with you?
Me: (mumbling) Food coma. Tired.

 

Location: about to run to wrassle
Mood: hungry
Music: I am yours
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Goodwill is a function of marketing

Having a good reputation means burgers

 

Was running around to meetings all last week and hopped onto a bus going downtown. Sat right near Tina Fey.

Me: Just so you know, my wife and I loved your book. We literally laughed out loud.
Her: Thanks! That’s great to hear.

I tell people all the time that real New Yorkers ride the bus when it’s nice outside.

Been going to meetings to wrap up a slate of work this past week and month. It’s a good feeling to finally not have something on your mind.

My three business credos have been helping me out greatly, now that the economy has improved. On a regular basis, I’m getting phone calls that begin with something like, Hi, my name is X, I was referred to you by Y.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that goodwill is a form of marketing. It’s probably the best form. I mean, you buy something because you heard or figured it’s good, right? I read Fey’s Bossypants precisely because I liked her other work and figured I would again.

The wife and I regularly order around the way from our local diner. I was short $0.50 last week when I picked up my usual burger on whole wheat toast and lady said, Don’t worry about it, pay it next time.

The next morning I stopped by and returned the $0.50. I did it partly because it’s right and partly because I’m sure I’ll forget to bring the right amount again in the future. I’d like to be known as someone that pays his debts.

That plus they have some of the best fries in the UWS; I have to support that.

Owner: Hey, you really don’t have to do that.
Me: (handing over two quarters) Of course I do.

Location: more meetings, midtown
Mood: hungry
Music: It’s still hard to wait around. The problem is this seems so easy to miss
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