22 June 2011

Laziness


In the animal world, it is a common practice to forage for food until full and satiated, then spend the rest of the time lazing around doing nothing, well, unless one is an ant or a bee in which case, one would be an insect and not an animal. With humans, laziness is always frowned upon. It means one is in full capacity to do something, anything, but is not doing so.

But what really is laziness? Is it wrong to slow down amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life? Is it improper to just relax or take little naps when everyone else is running around like the aforementioned ants? Is laziness harmful at all? Why then do humans look at it in a condescending way?

The difference between animals and humans is that when animals are full, they stop looking for food and just lie around in the sun, while humans continue to look for food and store them for the future. I think this is unwise because one wouldn't know how much food to store in the first place. What if one dies tomorrow? To what end would all the hard work be for? Without enjoying the fruits of one's labor.

Perhaps humans should learn the art of lazing, or maybe just selective laziness, learn to relax, slow down and enjoy the little things in life they never noticed because they are too busy.

11 June 2011

What I Really Like

I was watching the movie Julie and Julia on HBO the other night and remembered a scene where Julia Child was discussing with her husband Paul about what to do in Paris. The husband asked her, "What is it that you really like to do?". Julia answered him, "Eat."

I understand that a lot of human go through life not knowing what they really like to do. Sometimes, they know what they like to do but what they like to do don't necessary make money for them to live by. So that is the dilemma. Because society expects that every human must do something "for a living", humans are sometimes forced to do something they don't really enjoy only because they make money out of them. Although I think that is sad, it is a fact of human life.

So Julia Child liked to eat and was able to make something great out of it. I hope one day, I too will find something I really enjoy doing, do it really well, and perhaps make money at the same time. I am sure Mr. B. will be very proud of me then.

04 June 2011

The Game Of Death


I read in the news today that a 25-year old mother from New Mexico, USA is being sentenced to 25 years in prison for the death of her 3 1/2-year-old daughter. The mother apparently spent a lot of time playing the online game World of Warcraft and neglected her baby for most of the time until she just dies of dehydration and malnutrition.

This is not the first time incident like this happened. In many countries, there are many stories of young kids suddenly having heart attacks or seizures after playing computer games continuously not getting up to rest or eat. It is also not unheard of that some of these young kids left homes or worse, killed their parents after their computers were taken away from them.

I asked Mr. B. if he played any computer games. He told me he did but only casual games like the ones that solve mysteries, guess words, find treasure or deliver pizzas. He never bothered playing games that require strategies and such because he can get that at work. So for him, it was simply for entertainment.

Humans are strange. I don't understand why they can be addicted to virtual slaying of creatures in some fantasy world. Once upon a time, playing means going out of the house and getting friends together and running around. Now all you have to move are your fingers.

27 May 2011

The Street Where We Lived


I miss London.

I miss the street where we lived when Mr. B. and I were on holidays there. There was a store in the corner that never opened for the duration of our stay. I think it was a small neighborhood grocery. Across the street there was an Indian restaurant that never seemed to have any diners. We did see a few but they looked more like friends of the owner. They probably ate for free.

A posh family lives in the flat next to us. We like watching them prepare meals for guests while Mr. B. smoked on the steps outside. I watched the husband stuffed the car with luggage and took his wife and two children on holidays. Perhaps somewhere not as cold. Then there was this fashion designer who has a shop in the corner. Her shop was all black and we never saw anyone going in and coming out of it.

Mr. B. would take me on his back and walk around the block sometimes. The street was almost always wet and covered with leaves from the bald trees. I remember the air being really cold and painful to the nostrils. I was glad I had furs, but Mr. B. had to cover himself up really well.

I wish I can go back again. But maybe it is best to have those beautiful memories stay perfect. Sometimes, Mr. B. and I would watch the photos and video we made from our trip. Then we would hug each other tight. No one else would ever know what it meant for us.

23 May 2011

Easy Eats #16 - Sweet Potato Croquette

Sweet potato is one of the most nutritional foods for humans so instead of the usual potatoes, I am using this to make today's croquette. This deep-fried goodie is originally a French invention but has gained worldwide popularity that every other country has its own version. I hope you will enjoy this one!

Ingredients:
5 medium size red sweet potatoes
200 gm ground beef (or pork whichever you prefer)
1/2 onion, minced
Paprika powder
Cayenne pepper powder
All -purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
Breadcrumbs (preferably panko)
Ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Oil

Instructions:
1. Peel and steam sweet potatoes (whole) until done.
2. Mash, season with ground nutmeg and set aside.
3. In a pan, heat some olive oil and saute onions and ground beef.
4. Generously season beef with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika.
5. Once the beef is cooked, mixed it in with the mashed sweet potato and combine thoroughly.
6. Shape the into round balls or flat patties or whatever shape you like.
7. Dip the croquette ball into flour, then beaten egg, then panko bread crumbs.
8. Deep fry for about 3 minutes or until golden brown and crispy outside.

Yummy!! I was able to make around 2 dozens of croquettes from this recipe. By using sweet potato, the result is sweet tasting, smooth mash with bits of spicy, smokey beef inside. Perfect!!

18 May 2011

If We Knew


In a short span of 2 months, 2 of Mr. B. friends passed away under unusual circumstances. It made him quite sad.

"If you knew long before these things happened, do you think you will tell your friends?" I asked him.

Mr. B. seemed to be puzzled by my question at first, but he understood what I meant. He thought about it a little and said, "Maybe they wouldn't believe me."

Life is strange. We, humans and non-humans alike, are brought to this Earth in pretty much the same way. Yet we leave at different times and in different ways - some in their sleep, others suffers for years, yet others in violent pain.

If we all knew when and how things would end for us, what difference would it make? Would be then become a better child to our parents, better parents to our children, a better brother or sister, a better friend? Or would everyone becomes selfish. To each his own, and try to live life to the fullest regardless of other people?

Mr. B. asked the same question to D. the other day. D. said it would have been a boring, colorless life if one knows how it would end. Perhaps he is right. If we knew, then everything we do now may not matter as much anymore. Perhaps not knowing gives each one of us hope as we wake up and face a new day every day.

11 May 2011

Easy Eats #15 - Lazy Lasagna


I love lasagna so I was very happy that Mr. B. bought a new (bigger) oven where I can start experimenting. This is my very first attempt to do lasagna. I know this is not the conventional way to do it and I got a bit creative with the use of ingredients. But the result is heavenly! Try this recipe yourself. It may not be the easiest in this series, but it is definitely worth trying!

Meat Sauce
300g ground beef
1 shredded carrot
1 jar pre-made pasta sauce with tomato and basil
Dried oregano
Dried Italian mixed herbs
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

1. Heat olive oil and cook beef until all liquid has evaporated.
2. Add in shredded carrots and cook until soft.
3. Pour in pasta sauce.
4. Add herbs. Season. And cook in very low fire.
5. Set aside when done.


White Sauce
1/2 head cauliflower chopped
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 can chicken stock
Olive oil

1. Saute garlic and onion in hot olive oil.
2. Add in cauliflower and saute until soft.
3. Pour in chicken stock and boil until all vegetables are cooked thoroughly.
4. Use blender to puree the whole mixture.
5. Set aside when done.

Assembling the lasagna
1. In a 7"x15" baking pan, spread a layer of the meat sauce.
2. Place uncooked lasagna noodle on top of the sauce (I use the type of noodle that does not require pre-boiling)
3. Top with a layer of the white sauce.
4. Sprinkle (generously) with mix cheese (I use a combination of old cheddar and monterrey jack).
5. Top with another layer of noodle, then meat sauce, noodle, white sauce, cheese.
6. The last layer should be meat sauce.
7. On top of the meat sauce, sprinkle more cheese. For this very last topmost layer, I use a combination of mozzarella and parmesan.
8. Before putting the pan in the oven, tap the pan to make everything settle.
9. Bake in 200 degree for about 40 minutes.

Enjoy!!

09 May 2011

Tricks Of The Mind

Mr. B. has a house guest this week. Since they haven't seen each other for many years, they spent a lot of time reminiscing about the good old days. They drank tea and chatted until wee hours in the morning about almost anything and everything - about people, events and places they both experienced together.

Somehow, Mr. B. discovered that many things his friend said were not quite the way Mr. B. remember them to be. In the same way, his friend had different understanding of the events or situations that happened more than 10 years earlier.

I think the human minds can sometimes play tricks. Even when people went through the same experience, they may remember or perceive the same experience in totally different ways. There is no right or wrong. And there is no way to go back to verify what really happened. It's just the way it is.

30 April 2011

You Are What You Do


In my world, bears' world, bears are just bears. We all do the same things - we hunt for food, we eat, sleep, have little cubs and just carry on with our lives. That is why I find it quite fascinating that humans, although they are all the same species, do different things in life. Some of them are doctors, or lawyers, or builders, or plumbers, they could be anything they choose to be.

I read that in the old days, very old days, people were actually named according to their occupation, supposedly for tax collectors to be able to identify them and their families. Thus we have surnames or family names such as Mason (stone worker), Sawyer (wood cutter), Baker (bread maker), Carpenter (wood worker) and the likes.

What you do is what you are in the human world. In fact, it is almost unimaginable to know a person without attaching what he does for a living. When you are introduce to someone, you don't just remember their names or physical characteristics, you associate that person to what he does. So you have Katy who works in the bank, Peter who manages a restaurant, and so on.

The idea of what you do defining who you are is so ingrained in the human society that when someone is not working, either temporarily or permanently, that person loses his or her identity. It is not uncommon to hear retired people who became depressed because they feel "lost". Some would get deeply involved in some causes or community activities in order to feel like they established a new "self".

Imagine if all these attachments of occupation and self is gone. Imagine you being introduce to Mr. X and what he does is cook, eat, sleep, read, walk in the park, listen to music, tend to his plants and pets and cleans the house. You probably think he is a loser.

25 April 2011

The Royal Waving


"I can't wait to watch the Wills and Kate wedding on TV this Friday!!" I told Mr. B. excitedly.

"And why would that be on any interest to you?" he answered.

"Because it's cool. I love the royalty. And also their famous wave!"

"What wave?"

"You know, where the royalties wave to people like they were screwing bulbs." I said.

"They invented that to conserve energy, otherwise waving for a long time would hurt their wrists if they do it madly like they are leaving on a ship."

"Oh I see!"

"Did you wave like that to your fans when you were in Europe?"

"No. I just flap my paws up and down in excitement!"

"It's time to learn."

22 April 2011

What Do I Say?

Because this week is Lent, Mr. B. taught me the importance of prayer. He said I can talk to Jesus anytime I want, that I can do not at home because bears are not allowed in churches.

"What do I say to Jesus, Mr. B.?"

"Anything. You should thank Him for many blessings that we have in life, like the family and friends we have, the food we eat, the things we enjoy. You can also seek His help if you have any problems." he answered.

"But I don't have any problems."

"The you should pray for the other unfortunate people. Others who are suffering, that Jesus would help them recover from whatever they are suffering from."

"Then Jesus will help them?"

"Yes, Jesus will help them." Mr. B. replied.

"And if I don't pray, will Jesus not help them anymore?"

19 April 2011

Cheer Up! It Could Be Worse!


Once in a while I feel grumpy. No special reasons. I just don't feel happy, or I don't want to feel happy. There are things that worry so I am not happy. I am sure I am entitled to not be happy or feel happy. The same can be said with humans.

When I'm in one of these moods, Mr. B. would try to console me by saying "Cheer up!" or "It will be alright!" or "It could be worse!". I am sure you have said the same thing to someone in more than one occasion. I think that is wrong.

Firstly, when you tell someone who is not feeling happy to "cheer up", you are basically negating and invalidating what that person is feeling. You are implying that whatever is making that person unhappy is not important so he should not feel that way about it. Secondly, most likely the reason why you are telling that person to cheer up is because you are not comfortable seeing him grumpy. In that sense, you are selfish and not sympathizing with the unhappy person. That is not good either.

The worst thing to say to an unhappy person is "I know how you feel." because most likely, you don't and you can't know how the other person feels.

So what to say to a grumpy person? Nothing. Just acknowledge the fact that he or she is not feeling cheerful and these things do happen. And it will pass. In his or her own time.

Don't try to cheer him up.

14 April 2011

The Mathematics Of Aging


Many humans are quite sensitive when it comes to aging, which of course is a natural occurence in life. They try everything within their own power and the wonder of science and technology to defer the aging process as much as possible. They also stop celebrating birthdays so others will not have the chance to know their ages. I think it's strangely funny.

For many, birthday is a commemoration of another year in one's life. But I have a different concept. I think birthday is a reminder that another year has past and taken away from one's life. It's like the mathematical formula x-12, where 12 is my age and x is the number of years i will live. The mystery number x is something that many humans are apprehensive about because no one knows what the number is.

The way I see it, since no one knows what x is, it is totally useless to worry about it. It is more important to do your best everyday. When the time comes to celebrate the passing of another year, you can at least be proud to say that it was another year well spent and well lived.

10 April 2011

Easy Eats #14 - Potato Bacon and Lentil Soup


"You are making soup again?" Mr. B. questioned.

"Why not? Soup is good for you." I replied. "Besides this is so different from what I made 2 weeks ago and it's got all the stuff that is good for you!"

Indeed, our soup this week has vegetables, roots and pulses. Lentil is one of the healthiest food and is easily ignored in Asian cooking. That is why I am presenting this very hearty soup to you. It is easy to make and so flavorful.

Ingredients:
1 carrot finely diced
2 stalks of celery finely diced
1/2 onion finely chopped
2 potatoes coarsely diced
2 strips thick bacon diced
Chicken stock
Dried tarragon leaves
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Instructions:
1. In a heavy soup pot, heat olive oil and saute onion until transparent.
2. Add the bacon and stir until the bacon renders some oil
3. Add in carrots and celery and stir for 2 minutes.
4. Add the potato and lentil and stir for 2 minutes.
5. Pour in chicken stock, add tarragon leaves and simmer away.
6. Season with salt and pepper.

Lovely, isn't it? I let Mr. B. have a bowl of my soup and he asked for a second helping. I will have to think about that. Enjoy!

31 March 2011

Addicted To Porn



Most evenings, Mr. B. would spend hours and hours in front of the computer watching videos after videos of his favorite subject of all time. He would go to sleep dreaming about it. Wake up thinking about it. Plan his days around it, and demonstrate what he learned throughout the week to D. on Friday evenings. You see, Mr. B. is a porn addict. A food porn addict.

The phrase "food porn" became part of the English language which applies to the "spectacular visual presentation of food with the intention of arousing the desire to eat". It specifically refers to food styling and photography as presented in cookbooks, in advertisements as well as in cookery shows. Mr. B.'s particular favorites are Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver and Chef John Mitzewich whom he considers the kings and queen of food porn.

It really doesn't take much to arouse Mr. B.'s desire to eat. So he concentrates on developing his skills to cook. D.'s birthday gift of expensive knife set, and his former colleagues' gift of Le Creuset pots increased his addiction even further. He now cuts his vegetables and cooks with relish. He also cleans his pots and knives and refuses to let the house cleaner touch them. He makes sure his food has a balance of flavors - tang, sweetness, saltiness and talks about different layers of aroma and taste (something he learned from Paris, I think). He also makes sure his final presentation has every color in the spectrum represented. The other day, he made a simple omelette with red and yellow bell peppers and topped it with so much coriander to get that nice green leafy look on that golden folds of cooked eggs. He is even threatening to take over my Easy Eats feature although his preparation is never easy.

In a way, I am happy that Mr. B. found something that makes him happy while waiting for the next job opportunity. He spends his days food shopping, trying new recipes, cooking for D. and his evening learning from the masters.

It's not all that bad to be a porn addict if you ask me.

29 March 2011

Hello And Goodbye


Last Sunday, Mr. B. travelled 138 km to meet 3 of his high school classmates who he hasn't seen for more than 30 years. It was a wonderful occasion where they shared interesting anecdotes of their adult lives, their careers, families and just about anything. They shared a wonderful meal together and took photos. When it was time to leave, they made promises to each other not to lose touch, to treasure what they have and continue living good lives.

The following day, Mr. B. received a sad news about a former colleague and friend whom he met last February after 25 years during our holidays in Manila. His friend suddenly collapse in public and died. Just that. He just passed away. No warning. No goodbyes.

I realize that life sometimes plays cruel tricks for humans. Without a warning, time flies turning innocent teens to bitter adults, taking away lives with no pre-announcements.

I hugged Mr. B. to console him but I know I can never understand his own fears - of time passing by, of doing nothing but aging, of how one can never know how it will all end.

28 March 2011

Easy Eats#14 - Beef And Vegetable Soup


It's March and in many countries, like the one where I am, are still experiencing cold weather! So if you are hungry, cold and lazy (which usually go together), I have something super delicious, super nutritious and super easy to make. Inspired by the many kinds of soup we had while in Paris, my version of this Beef and Vegetable Soup is one you will really love!

Ingredients:
1 medium size carrot, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 medium size potato, finely diced
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 cup sweet corn kernels
String beans, cut into 1 cm pieces
1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
1 can diced tomato
250 gm ground beef
Chicken stock
Dried tarragon
Dried thyme
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
1. Heat olive oil in a soup pot and saute onions and green onions until transparent.
2. Add in beef and stir until liquid evaporates.
3. Add all the vegetable including diced tomatoes and juices,
4. Pour in chicken stock.
5. Add tarragon and thyme.
6. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
7. Add salt and lots of pepper.

Except for the chopping, there is almost nothing much to be done to make this hearty soup! Enjoy it piping hot with slightly toasted baguette. Wonderful!!!!

22 March 2011

How Much Is Love?


All over the local news today is the wedding of local starlet Barbie Hsu to mainland Chinese businessman Wang Xiaofei. Their official press released announced that the wedding will be a very simple, modest and very private affair. So they decided to hold the ceremony and banquet in a small island off China and chartered planes to fly all the guests as well as their wedding crew to the destination. The entire affair was rumored to have cost almost US$1 million although the parents of the groom denied it. Hsu met Wang late last year and were engaged 20 days after that meeting with a civil ceremony held in Beijing, China last year.

I do not understand why some humans can be so insensitive and hold such lavish wedding in the midst of suffering of other humans in Japan as well as in Libya. Watching the news today, the story of the wedding stuck out as inappropriate, distasteful and almost immoral. I do not understand why humans can romanticize love so much when it almost always boils down to money, property, cars, etc. Just look at the many ugly divorces and you will understand what I mean.

But who am I to judge? Ms. Hsu did her part and donated US$20,000 to the Japanese disaster victims. If a lavish wedding makes them happy in the midst of crisis around the world, so be it. I'm just saying.

19 March 2011

Black Friday


The world witnessed two important events last Friday, 11 March 2011. First being the 9.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Japan triggering a series of other disasters - tsunami and nuclear accidents. The second being Rebecca Black's music video Friday uploaded on YouTube.

Over the weekend, Black's Friday became an viral sensation with nearly 20 million views in YouTube and managed to garner almost unanimous negative review. The auto-tuned voice of the 13-year-old wannabe singing an idiotic song with even idiotic lyrics had people from all over the world wondering if the music video was in fact just a big joke. It turned out it wasn't. The poor girl's mom paid US$2000 to Ark Music Factory, a company that writes, produces music and videos to ambitious little girls, for the song/video package.

In this age of technology, fame (or notoriety) is easy to achieve. One only has to be creative in the use of media available. In a matter of 7 days, Rebecca Black's life was turned upside down. That said, something good came out of something really bad. She said she wanted to donate part of her profit to the disaster victims in Japan. Many of whom I am sure were not able to have the opportunity to enjoy her music.

I asked Mr. B. if he can sponsor me to record and song and make a music video. He just turned and walked away from me.

17 March 2011

In God's Hand


First, a 9.0-magnitude quake that literally change the geophysics of the Earth. Then a 10-meter wall of water that destroyed everything on its path. Now, Japan is struggling to keep its nuclear crisis from becoming a major catastrophe. In the midst of these, millions of people suffering, physically and emotionally.

"Japan's nuclear crisis is now in the hands of God." a major politician said today.

"The Japanese have done everything humanly possible. Now it's time for God to intervene." according to a blogger.

Really? I thought. Why would God allow such a horrific event to happen in the first place? Why did He allow so many people to suffer? Is it to wait until the final moment and then demonstrate His omnipotence?

I searched "Why does God allow suffering?" on the Internet and a lot of things came up with most pointing out that God just "works in mysterious ways", that "something good always comes out of something terrible", which is like saying "don't ask, don't complain, just wait".

I wanted to ask Mr. B. about this but he refused to talk to me. He said it is all too depressing.

13 March 2011

Easy Eats #13 - Chicken Orange Supreme


I got a lot of requests from fans to feature something Mr. B. learned from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. So here is something not too French but definitely very easy to do (that is why the recipe made it to Easy Eats!). Something you can whip up at home within a few minutes and also featuring something French - Orange Supreme!

Ingredients:
2 boneless chicken thigh meat cubed
1/2 red bell pepper cubed
1/2 yellow bell pepper cubed
1 orange "supremed"* (set aside juice)
1 tablespoon thick oyster sauce
cooking oil
salt and pepper

Instruction:
1. Pat dry chicken pieces and brown all sides in hot oil.
2.Turn heat to high and add in red and yellow bell pepper. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
3. Add oyster sauce and orange juice and turn until almost dry.
4. Tip in orange segments, season with salt and pepper according to taste. Serve immediately.

*How to Supreme an Orange
- Cut off orange peel without leaving any white pith.
- Cut orange segment by slicing between pith. Segments should come out clean and whole.
- Squeeze remaining fruit for juice and set aside.

See? How hard can this recipe be? This dish is excellent when served with hot steamed white rice. Enjoy!!

16 February 2011

All He Ever Wanted


"When I have done all I ever wanted to do, what should I do next?"

That is the thought that has been running in Mr. B.'s mind in the past few days. In the midst of unpacking his 2 large luggage from our trips that lasted for many months, he can't help but think about it. What's next?

As a child, Mr. B. wanted to draw big buildings, so he completed his degree in architecture. He wanted to learn music, so he studied piano and classical guitar for a year. As he grew older, he aspired to write stories, so he studied screenwriting with the best in class screenwriter. Then he wanted to be a disc jockey, so later in life he was given the opportunity to play in a major club for 3 years. He wanted to see musicals, so he went to New York and London to watch some of the best shows in the world. Many times.He wanted to see the world, and his various jobs took him to far away places like Bogota, Colombia. He wanted to cook, so he enrolled himself in Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

"So what do I do now, Becker?" he asked.

"Carry on dreaming," I answered him. "Isn't that what humans do?"

Indeed dreams motivate humans to pursue the things they want to achieve and find ways of reaching those goals. Once you achieve one, you move on to the next, until you fulfill every single dream you have in life. Some humans worked all their lives to achieve just one goal, others pursue many and achieve some, still others have the good fortune of doing every single thing they always wanted to do.

I reminded Mr. B. of the slogan we saw in many souvenir items while we were in London. It's says in big, bold white letters on a red background "Keep Calm and Carry On". I told him not to worry too much and that everything will be just fine, like what they always say in the movies even everyone knows that there is no hope at all.

But I do believe in Mr. B. I do believe that he will continue to formulate many more dreams and he will find ways to achieve them. And that I will be there to see them all come true.

15 February 2011

Cuts Like A Knife

Since we came back from our European tour, Mr. B. couldn't stop talking about wanting to invest in good set of knives for his tiny kitchen. Perhaps influenced by the professional kitchen when he attended classes in Le Cordon Bleu, he believed excellent knives would make perfect cuts and perfect cuts will make nice food placement on a plate.

On St. Valentine's Day, D. surprised him with a set of WMF Spitzenklasse cutlery including carving knife, paring knife, Chef's knife and others. Of course this made Mr. B. one very happy man. He promised not to let anyone besides himself touch the beautiful set, not even the cleaner. Now all he needs is an equally nice block and chopping board to go with this collection.

Hopefully, Mr. B. will demonstrate some of what he learned from Le Cordon Bleu and cook some nice meals for D. and me.

10 February 2011

Among Friends


Last week, I celebrated my 12th birthday with a group of friends. These are friends I only get to meet once every few years when Mr. B. and I are on holidays. They prepared 4 colorful cupcakes for me, we had nice balloons, photo taking and lots of fun. But I do miss friends from "back home", especially my best friend Russell.

While I was having a grand time celebrating my birthday, Mr. B. was busy meeting his friends to make sure he can accommodate as many of them as possible during our short stay. These are friends from his childhood, from high school, from college, from previous jobs. Some people he hasn't seen for a year, some he hasn't seen for 33 years. They spent a lot of time eating, catching up on what is happening in their lives, about the good old days - some strangely familiar stories while others Mr. B. were totally unaware of. His friends took him to places from his childhood, vaguely familiar places where he used to study, commute, play or have fun.

Needless to say, one can make many new discoveries about how other people's lives developed through the year - the once protected and sheltered individual whose life became plagued with countless misfortunes, the comical character who never seemed to take life seriously yet became a wealthy healer of the sick, the admired character who eventually became a bitter adult who is still searching for a direction in life.

I have other things in mind, I want remember my 4 delicious cupcakes - the color, the taste. I want to remember the wonderful time I shared with my friends. When I am old, I want to be able to think back and recall all these details because I am sure thinking about them will always put a smile on my face.

02 February 2011

Hoppy New Year!


To all my Chinese fans and friends from all over the world, Happy Lunar New Year! May the Year of the Rabbit brings you health and prosperity!

26 January 2011

Back Home

"Welcome Back, Sir!"
.
The burly building security guard said as he deposited our big luggages right by the doorstep of the apartment unit. Mr. B. didn't seem to know him. Perhaps he saw him last year but maybe he hardly made an impression.
.
"How can you not know him?" I told Mr. B. "He greeted us every morning we go out and we woke him up to open the gate when we came home very late at night."
.
"Is that so?" Mr. B. replied as he placed the luggages in the bedroom we are staying in.
.
There seem to be subtle changes in the apartment from what Mr. B. remembered. New throw covers, new holiday decorations and also a new hangings on the wall. Familiar yet strange.
.
"That was from the last holidays we had with your sister's family," Mr. B.'s dad said pointing at the new collage of photos on the bedroom wall. "It was in a remote but beautiful island in the south."
.
Mr. B. nodded but he was very tired not having much sleep in the last 2 nights.
.
"Freshen up now so we can have lunch!" Mr. B.'s mom called from the living room outside.
.
We are home.

23 January 2011

I Don't Wanna Lose You


Mr. B. has a very strange disorder. It's called forgetfulness. No, it's not the disease as described by Alois Alzheimer in 1906. Since he was small, he has been known to misplace things and not being able to find them after he deliberately tried to remember where he kept them when he did. Everyone in the family knew about this. He does remember a lot of insignificant details from his childhood but don't ask him what he had for lunch yesterday, it will take him awhile to recall.

He couldn't pick a better time to lose his passport as we shall be traveling tomorrow. The unfunny thing is that we just came back from a trip so the passport should not be far away.

"I think it's in your backpack, Mr. B." I told him before he became hysterical. "That's where you keep all your travel documents. I bet you still haven't remove your passport from that backpack since we came back a week ago."

Eureka moment. He found his passport thanks to me, so he place it where he would not forget it tomorrow morning before we leave the house.

"Now where on Earth is my citizen ID?" he started pacing the floor again. "I forgot where I place them a year ago."

"A year ago?" I sensed something bad coming. "And you are looking for it now?"

"Well, I need it tomorrow, don't I?" he said calmly as his started digging into his closet drawers. "It must be somewhere here... I am very sure of that."

It "sure" took Mr. B. the whole afternoon to look in places he was "sure" he kept his ID in. In the process, he was able to discover bottles of cologne from Christmases ago that he never used (he never knew where they were), branded toiletries he bought from New York that never seen the light of the day since they never came out of the boxes, a copy of Le Cordon Bleu's "The Chef's Bible" ("Look, Becker, I never knew I had a copy of this! Was this a gift too?").

It was early evening by the time Mr. B. found his ID. Another Eureka moment. So Mr. B., D., and I were able to relax and finally had dinner and D. brought out a big strawberry mousse birthday cake to celebrate Mr. B.'s birthday. He blew the candle, cut the cake and we all enjoyed a big piece each before D. finally said goodbye.

Mr. B. went back to packing his luggage and place his ID in the backpack he shall be carrying tomorrow.

"Where is my passport?"

"What?"

"I can't find my passport! Where did I place them this afternoon?"

"Please tell me you are kidding, Mr. B."

"No! I can't find it! I am serious!"


PS: It's past midnight. As of this writing, Mr. B. is still running around looking for his passport. Isn't fact really stranger than fiction?

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