Monthly Archive for October, 2006

Reprise of “Trick-or-Treat Goodies (our way)”

Is it lack of time? Laziness? Not being in a festive mode? The avoidance of candy? Sad that Dad isn’t around for another holiday? Missing my Mom because she’s in Taiwan?

I don’t know why I’m not in the Halloween-y mood this year, but I’m not. Instead of going out tonight I’m going to hide out at home and avoid trick-or-treaters.

But that doesn’t stop me from revisiting a post I wrote 2 years ago about some of our special Halloween traditions. Enjoy below…

Joz at the pumpkin patch in 1984.  I like how my eyes are closed in this shot.  (How did 20 years go by so quickly?!)When we were kids, we learned about a lot of American traditions for the first time on television or in school. Since our parents came to the United States only a couple of years before I was born, they learned about American holidays pretty much at the same time my brother and I did.

Halloween was something fun and exciting because my Mom understood the concept of “dress up” and although she claimed that she didn’t know how to sew, she always came up with costumes for us for Halloween so we could go trick-or-treating and come home with a bag full of candy that we were later not allowed to eat, since it would “rot our teeth out of our mouths.”

Since we weren’t allowed to eat the candy we got from trick-or-treating, often the strategy was to send us out early & to give away the candy that we had received earlier in the evening. We didn’t mind; that was just the way we did things.

As we got old enough to go to school (and have neighbor kids in the same classes with us), we began to become concerned about what candy was being given away at our front door. One year, my Mom informed us that our cousins were planning to come to our neighborhood so we could all go trick-or-treating together. Although this was exciting, it also meant that Mom would actually have to prepare treats in advance for my Dad to pass out while we were out.

I still remember how horrifying it was when Mom returned from the supermarket, proudly announcing that she had purchased “the BEST trick-or-treat goodies” for the neighborhood kids.

My Bro and I excited went through the grocery bags but we didn’t find any Smarties, M&Ms, candy corn, or little Snickers bars.

“What? Where? Mom?”
Continue reading ‘Reprise of “Trick-or-Treat Goodies (our way)”’

A piece of (so-called) Hollywood memorabilia I will pass on…

In the time that it took me to open up a new window to post about this eBay auction, it was taken offline.

But lucky for you, I captured it in a pdf. (Download file.)

(Thanks to Michael for the link.)

Back in L.A.

And just as quickly as we left L.A., we are back.

(And I don’t care what Yoshi says, I was not driving too fast. Except for that one time I got caught driving 100mph.)

Away from L.A.

We left this morning at 8:15am to drive up to San Jose.

Now I’m going to stop being anti-social and stop blogging.

Efi, sorry I didn’t call you back.

I was just thinking about Mom…

…and she called from Taiwan.

What a treat!

I don’t even mind that it was 2am when she called.

I just realized that the end of the month is coming sooner than I’d thought. Geez, there is a lot to do!!!

Tomorrow I get a flu shot here at work…

Hooray for free flu shots!

Boo for needles!

Last year, I kept bleeding for about an hour and a half. It was a little disconcerting that my blood wasn’t clotting. Good thing it wasn’t gushing blood. Just oozing for a long, long time.

“This is not the comedy we blog I intended to do when the week I began.”

Last week I was 90% done with a post last week and I accidentally closed the window I was typing in. Ooops. That’s another entry lost in the ether.

I did make the notes (in bold) that it was about the about the following topics:

  • Pig uterus. (Done: 10/17/06. I think I was going to write that I was surprised that only a couple of people commented about the fact that I’d eaten pig uterus and admitted to it.)
  • Miss my blog. (I think I had something to say about how I missed having my old Movable Type blog that I knew how to configure and work better. Also probably wanted to say something about how I missed the old “happy, fun” jozjozjoz… both the blog and person.)
  • Sleep first, stay up all night. (I think this was a theory that if I could sleep for a couple of hours after getting home from work, that I could stay up all night and get a lot more done. Of course, this would kill any possibility of me having any kind of social life, so maybe this one is not such a hot idea.)
  • Will get to see my old friends Wing Lam and eD! of Wahoo’s Fish Taco at the AAJA Trivia Bowl this Friday night. Yay! (Done: 10/20/06)
  • Heroes. (I think I meant to say that Heroes is my newest favorite TV show, even though it is a little too freaky for me and I’m not allowed to watch it by myself. I also might have mentioned that I geeked out and joined 9th Wonders, The Unofficial Official Fan Site of Heroes because I couldn’t find anyone who I could chat with about the show.)
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. (I think I said something about this being my next favorite new TV show of the season. I enjoy the West Wing-esque pacing and dialogue ala Aaron Sorkin, but I am pushed over the edge by the fact that the fictional NBS TV network is located in my actual place of work. Really! And the fictional Studio 60, which is based on the Palladium, is really across the street from my office. It is kind of weird to have watched some scenes on primetime TV and realize that they are supposed to be taking place right now in the building I work in right now. They did a scene in the second episode which was actually shot in our building (elevator lobby) a few months ago. [Incidentally, the Jordan McDeere character turned and walked into an imaginary elevator that doesn’t actually exist.] I remember the day because when they were shooting these scenes (in the middle of the day on a workday), they had PAs controlling every elevator car to make sure no one would accidently exit the elevator and ruin a scene. Consequently, they temporarily halted 4 of the 6 elevator cars and only let the other two run intermittently. Needless to say, there were numerous lines on each floor for people waiting to get on the elevators in our 20+ floor building. On the bright side, our building managers used some of the thousands of dollars they must have received to buy everyone in the building some pizza the next day. Too bad they didn’t order enough pizza and by the time my floor got there, they were out. Doh.)
  • Ok, so I pretty much reconstructed a post I meant to write last week. Maybe next week I will write about what I intended to write this week.

    Break it down now…

    My Friday + weekend

    Morning: Mom calls around 7am from Taiwan, needs me to send a bunch of stuff back to her.
    Day: Work
    Night: AAJA Trivia Bowl, ate Wahoo’s and lots of chips. (Thanks a lot, Frito Lay! And I was doing so well about not eating junk, too!)
    Late night: Blog, Futz around the house

    Morning: Sleep in til 10:30, futz around til noonish
    Afternoon: Work (with Bossguy)
    Evening: Dinner at the Larchmont Grill, went to see Molly Ringwald as “Sweet Charity” at the Pantages. (Eh. Would’ve rather seen her as Annie)
    Late evening night: Watch stuff on TiVo until who knows what time

    Morning: Mom calls at 8am from Taiwan. I move from the bedroom to the futon in the den to talk to her. Fall asleep on futon after talking to mom. Sleep in until 10:30.
    Late morning/Early afternoon: Futz around the house
    Afternoon: Go visit Grandma, stop by Shiau-Mei for some Taiwanese fast food (yum! Oyster pancake/蚵仔煎!)
    Evening: Return home, pay bills, do crap around the house, watch more stuff on the TiVo

    It feels like I did a lot this weekend, but didn’t get much done. Hm.

    “Trivia is a game played by those who realize that they have misspent their youth but do not want to let go of it.”

    Edwin Goodgold (attributed author of the above quote) may have his opinion but the trivia played tonight at Trivia Bowl XXII hosted by the Asian American Journalists Association, Los Angeles Chapter (AAJA-LA) was anything but child’s play.

    This ultra-competitive, team quiz-style event drew hundreds of people including journalists, lawyers, and other members of the Asian American community to go through 5 rounds of 20 trivia questions ranging from surprising easy (What is the name of the default friend on to obscure. Most questions (not all) were tied to some sort of current event. Hosted by David Ono, each round was punctuated with his “biting wit” and raffle/auction/fundraising efforts done by other well-known folks such as Tamlyn Tomita, Ted Chen, Susan Hirasuna, Keiko Agena (Gilmore Girls), and others. In the photo I took (below), you’ll see Tamlyn auctioning off a lunch with David Ono (winning bid… $50… if it’s lunch WITHOUT David Ono).

    AAJA Trivia Bowl 2006 - Tamlyn Tomita and David Ono

    This is my second time competing on the KTLA team (though next year I could be pursuaded to defect!) and our goal was simply: do not go home with the Ramen Cup (last place). That distinction went to City News Service with a final score of 12 (out of 100). First place went to the Japanese American Bar Association (JABA) with a final score of 77.

    A recreation of some of the questions… (try to answer them with no help from the intarweb)
    1. Current Events – A team of Russian and American physicists says it has created three atoms of a new element. The as-yet-unnamed element, element 118, is the heaviest yet discovered. What other element did scientists bombard with billions of calcium ions to create this new element?

    2. History & Geography – The Michelin Man was created as a mascot for Michelin tires. What is his name?

    3. Arts & Entertainment – Ronald S. Lauder, the art collector and cosmetics heir, bought a 1907 Gustav Klimt painting for a record $135 million last June, making it the world’s most expensive painting. What is the name of the painting?

    4. Science & Literature – On September 1, 1914, the last known passenger pigeon species died at the Cincinnati Zoological Garden. What was its name?

    5. Sports & “California Living.” – Located in Landers, California, structure is described on its website as “acoustically perfect tabernacle and energy machine sited on a powerful geomagnetic vortex.” What is its name?

    Answers at my post at

    Headed to another exam…

    …Wish me luck.

    I stayed up until 6:45am this morning studying (cramming) and still had 2 chapters to go over.

    And by “go over,” I mean “look at for the first time.”

    I’m down to one chapter left and the test begins in 2 and a half hours. I still need to get my butt to campus.

    So yeah, wish me luck.


    Proof that dogs are better than cats.

    Heroic Dog Saves Owner from Fire, Dies Trying To Save Cat

    I submit that it was the cat who started the fire.

    It was the dog that brought the lady her prosthetic leg, the phone to call 911, and then pulled her to safety before going in after the cat.

    (Sorry to all my cat-loving friends, but I am totally right on this one. Plus, I am totally allergic to cats.)

    Good thing I am still up…

    Mom just called from Taiwan. She’s been there for about 24 hours and has done a lot already.

    It’s 3:20am. She thought it was 3:20 in the afternoon here, for some reason. At least she didn’t wake me up from deep sleep. I’m pretty grumpy when that happens.

    She got my Dad’s old cell phone # working again, so now she’s reachable.

    Good to hear her voice. I miss her already.

    UPDATE: I just added a Taiwan clock to the bottom of my blog. Now I’ll be able to tell what time it is so I know if it’s ok to call Mom.

    What happened to my weekend?

    The entire weekend was such a blur, I barely remember it.

    It started with my Mom and Bro coming over early on Saturday morning and having a quick and simple breakfast before heading to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) office to take care of some paperwork. THREE+ HOURS LATER, we were back at my place again, debating on how the rest of the weekend was going to proceed. I had to do some paperwork and work on a few things before leaving for the weekend, so it was a few hours before we left my place and headed toward Grandma’s to visit her.

    Pig Uterus at My Way DeliWe were all hungry by that time, so we stopped off at My Way Deli/味佳冷飲小吃 again for some Taiwanese grub. Mom and I ordered most of the same things from the other night, but since Bro was with us, we ordered a few other dishes including Pork Intestine and Blood soup and (my Mom ordered this) Pig Uterus. My brother and I ate it because we kind of didn’t know what it was. I mean, we were already eating pig intestines, so we figured they were some other kind of intestine. It was when Mom was talking about how the texture was different than that of the intestines (kind of firm and bordering on crunchy) and that how you can’t buy them in the supermarket and that only female pigs had them… when my brother goes “Uterus! Uterus! We’re eating uterus!”

    I kind of flipped out, but we had almost finished them at that point and I realized I’d eaten these before and didn’t die, so I figured it was ok not to flip out. Sometimes ignorance truly is bliss. Also, if I ever go on Fear Factor, I know I can probably eat anything if they give me chopsticks and a dish of soy sauce.

    Anyway, we visited Grandma (who is home from the hospital now, recovering from a bout with pneumonia) and then my Brother and I waited for a repair guy to come over to see if he could figure out what was causing a leak in my grandma’s closet ceiling. After that, we headed back to my parents’ house in OC. Since we had two cars, my Mom had taken one to go visit with her sister and her husband. Bro and I drove back home on the 5 in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Even though I was exhausted, I stayed up to wait for Mom to get home. Then we did some random housework and stayed up until 3am. I was immersed in a stupid game of Bomberman on my Brother’s Nintendo DS. (It was acting up and wouldn’t save my Nintendog Shih Tzu named Bob.)

    On Sunday, my Mom made us brunch (hot pot) and then I tried to continue cleaning more of my old junk out of the house, throwing away a lot more stuff that had been packed away for well over 10 years. Instead of meeting some classmates for a much-needed study session for another Finance exam, I stayed and hung out with Mom and Bro, which was a good decision. When it was time for me to leave and go back to my place on Sunday night, my Mom couldn’t let me go. And the truth is, I didn’t want to let her go either.

    My Mom left for Taiwan on Monday. None of us are sure how long she’ll need to be back there, but it’s pretty clear it’s going to be for at least a few months.

    My birthday is coming up in November and she kept apologizing that she wouldn’t be here for it. I had wanted to have a big party for this birthday, but that was before my Dad died. Now that my Dad’s gone, I don’t much feel like having a party for myself. Really, all I want is to spend my birthday/Thanksgiving with my family. And even though there was more than one year when we didn’t get to spend the holidays together with Dad, this year it’s not just because he’s in Taiwan. Now that my Mom is going to be in Taiwan during my birthday, I’m not sure what I want to do for my birthday.

    Anyway, I’m kind of whigging out about my Mom being in Taiwan. It didn’t freak me out that much when she was there almost all of last year (my goodness, that feels like it was sooo long ago!), but I guess I just want to be closer to family all the time now.

    And now that I’ve done enough procrastinating, it’s (really) time to hit the books for my test on Thursday night.

    Return of the IMing Joz

    joz (11:25:31 PM): grumpy
    mr flanflanflan himself (11:25:38 PM): ?
    joz (11:25:43 PM): I’m grumpy
    mr flanflanflan himself (11:25:48 PM): hahah ok
    mr flanflanflan himself (11:26:18 PM): go do something about it
    joz (11:27:45 PM): I am
    joz (11:27:51 PM): I’m complaining to you
    joz (11:27:51 PM): Duh
    mr flanflanflan himself (11:27:55 PM): haha
    mr flanflanflan himself (11:28:03 PM): and where’s yoshi?
    joz (11:28:29 PM): Avoiding me
    mr flanflanflan himself (11:28:34 PM): i wonder why…
    joz (11:32:01 PM): :P
    mr flanflanflan himself (11:32:07 PM): haha
    joz (11:41:02 PM): Good night efi
    joz (11:41:06 PM): I think it’s time to sleep
    mr flanflanflan himself (11:41:15 PM): hahah ok
    mr flanflanflan himself (11:41:19 PM): good night

    I’m only temporarily mad…

    …I was enjoying some good sneeps on the couch tonight

    …you know the kind where I fall asleep on the couch while watching some Nature (I think it was about hippos)…

    …when I got awakened by a text message at 10:56pm!


    This message caused my inbox to be full and so my phone would not stop buzzing until I deleted a message so this one would download.

    I got up and came into the office, got online to see if it had been the Bro texting me. No, he wasn’t the culprit.

    Turns out it was my friend Greg who had texted me for the first time about a week ago when I got a (seemingly) random message that some band (his) was playing someplace at the end of October. I was not upset about the first text once I figured out who had sent it.

    The text that I got at 10:56pm?!

    “This show is cancelled, sorry for the inconvenience! We (*the name of the band*) are not back and playing again at (*place*) October 27th at 9pm”

    Ok, I realize I am the lame-o for being asleep on the couch on Friday night when other people are probably out and having a good time. Or at least at home and awake. But I got awakened from my good sneeps regarding a show 2 weeks away!!!

    Now that I’m awake, I’m grumpy. Be glad you’re not here to deal with Grumpy Joz right now**.



    ~kicks something~

    **Sorry Yosh.


    Goes the top of my head as I got into someone’s car. In front of Bossguy and other person.

    How embarrassing.

    And now I have a bump on the top of my head.


    Yoshi is in pain and it was all my fault and now there’s nothing I can do and I’m UPSET! (I was crying earlier, but that just made my contacts pop out and I stopped so I don’t lose them.)

    Way back at the beginning of this year, I sent Yoshi to a crackpot dentist/endodontist who not only messed up the Yoshi-teeth and caused severe dental pain, but also caused permanent (irreparable?) damage, and has already cost thousands and thousands in dental expenses.

    Yoshi finally had enough with this retarded dentist/endodontist I referred and asked if I could make an appointment with my dentist (who is very good, but not “in-network” and very, very expensive). My dentist referred out to a trusted and very good endodontist who took Yoshi in today for a same-day appointment.

    The upshot is that this endodontist doesn’t want to fix the mess the first one caused. Basically, to get this fixed, Yoshi has to go back to the first one. And, although I completely understand why, Yoshi refuses to go back to the first.

    Also, Yoshi has already “maxed out” on whatever insurance covers in a year… whatever that means. So let’s say this new endodontist agrees to fix things (which he already said he won’t)… it would be EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE to do so. Let’s say we wait ’til next year and “start from scratch.” Still will be expensive and more importantly, the damage has already been done.

    I feel upset (and guilty) because if I had just referred my dentist in the first place (out-of-network or not), a lot of this could have been avoided. It’s very likely that they would not have had to do so many root canals (yes, multiple) on Yoshi who had (up until this quack) very nice teeth.

    If I was so intent on finding an in-network dentist, I should have asked around and found someone with a lot of good feedback instead of sending Yoshi to one I found in the book. To be fair, the dentist I looked up was well-established and had been practicing for many years, graduated from a good school. I did not know that that dentist would only see Yoshi for the first appointment and then have a different dentist take over from there. I did not know they would screw things up and actually *cause* Yoshi to have a root canal or two. I did not know that the endodontist they refer would be incompentent and not “get it all” so that Yoshi would have lingering pain and hurt while doing simple things like, oh, brushing.

    Still, if I had any idea it could have turned out like this, I should have referred to my dentist in the first place.

    And now I am going to cry some more because I inadvertently caused someone I love a lot of pain and trouble and there is nothing I can even do about it now. Because Yoshi won’t let me and says there is nothing I can do. The last thing I want is for this to get worse than it already is.

    I suck.


    It’s now about 2am on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

    I just realized I’ve had a grand total of 4 hours of sleep since I woke up Friday morning. No wonder I’m beat.

    The Ethics seminar is now over, thank goodness. While I appreciate the importance of stopping and thinking about ethics (I didn’t want to say “learn about ethics,” because can you really “teach ethics?” Maybe, but probably not in a 2 day seminar), it’s just kind of a drag to spend your weekend sitting in a classroom debating hypotheticals.

    After class, I made the mistake of not listening to Yoshi (who told me “Don’t get on the 10 freeway! There’s a Dodger game right now”) and sitting in more than an hour and a half of traffic on the 405 and 10 to get to the San Gabriel Valley. This mistake had been followed by the mistake I made of drinking 4 cups of coffee in one day to stay awake during the seminar… this coming from someone who generally doesn’t drink coffee at all. I felt nauseated after being stuck in stop-and-go traffic for 45 minutes and I could feel the caffeine coursing my system. I could actually feel the blood pumping in my head! (Note to self: coffee is not a substitute for sleep!) Needless to say, I was grateful to finally get to Grandma’s house (meeting place for me and Mom). I was also grateful to my friend Jim from high school, who listened to me rant for 50 minutes while stuck in the car. And I was grateful to Yoshi again when I called for more company for the last 25 minutes of my drive from hell.

    I met up with Mom to take care of the stuff I’d worked on late last night, went to the hospital to visit Grandma (she was sleeping), and then go out to a late dinner.

    My Mom had been busy all day today, too but we got to Grandma’s house at about the same time. And after visiting Grandma, we realized neither of us had eaten dinner yet. We wandered around Monterey Park a bit in the car and ended up at a Taiwanese “deli” (casual kind of diner-type place) called “My Way Deli” (味佳冷飲小吃). Turns out that the place is owned by a close friend of one of my Mom’s close friends so my Mom ended up chatting the folks up a bit. We ordered waaay too much for two people (click the links for pictures): deep fried pork intestines dipped in salt and pepper (don’t judge! they are soooo yummy), an order of small steamed “dragon” dumplings (“xiao lung bao”/小籠包), thin vermicelli/rice noodle soup with goose meat (found this picture just posted on flickr with the comment “NT$50/US$1.51. More expensive (usually these go for NT$30/$0.90 at a nightmarket stand or maybe NT$40/US$1.20 in a bigger shop) but not more tasty. It was okay.” I think it cost NT$180/US$5.45 here… cheap for L.A. Astronomically priced vs. Taiwan!), and a “ba-wan”/肉圓 a kind of a meat “circle” (see the wiki on “ba-wan”).

    I can’t believe the two of us almost all this food at one sitting. I don’t think it was so much that we were that hungry. It’s that we wanted to sit and talk and taste some authentic Taiwanese flavors. We reminisced a lot about our family in Taiwan, about trips we had taken there (it’s been almost 10 years since I was last there), about all the different things I broke in Taiwan (including something –I forgot what– at Nina’s Dad/Grandparents house in Taiwan and a glass table at my grandpa’s house I cracked as a fat toddler when I stood/jumped on it), about how my Grandma (Mom’s mom)/Grandpa met each other, and also (of course) about Dad. It was nice to just sit and talk to my Mom and feel close to my family and Taiwan for a little bit.

    I didn’t get home until past 11pm. Though I was tired, I knew it had been totally worth it to go out and spend time with Mom/Grandma even after the long couple of days I’ve had.

    Freakin exhausted… but not sleepy

    I hate it when I stay up so late, I can’t get myself to sleep.

    After getting up at 9am to be on the Westside by 10am, I have not stopped running all day.

    Even after my seminar ended at 10pm, I came home to clean up my inbox (Eudora jacked up my incoming messages and basically downloaded the same emails over and over again) and then work on some paperwork for something non-school related I’m handling tomorrow night.

    That’s right. After a full day of school junk, I’ve got more work to do at night.

    Tomorrow (ok, later today really) I’m supposed to get to the Westside at (eek!) 7:30am for an (double eek!) 8:30am session, continuing on our Ethics discusssions. That won’t end until 5pm and then I’ve got to drive to the other side of town by 7pm. And I have to visit my Grandma who has been in the hospital for a week now. (Sorry I didn’t blog about it sooner… I couldn’t bring myself to do it.)

    There is another auction happening on Sunday so that means most of my day will be spent working, as well.

    Not only do I not have enough time to do my personal work/bills/chores (I never seem to have time), I won’t have time to study/read for school for my Finance class. I won’t even talk about resting/relaxation… that’s a pipe dream for me at this point.

    I sometimes find it irritating when people tell me I should “prioritize better” and “take time for myself.” The fact is, I do this to myself because I do all this work (in one form or another) to take care of my family… this is my priority. Even before my Dad passed away, I was always working hard to save for the “rainy day” which I knew would come. Now that it has happened, I realize that I have to work even harder and help pitch in to handle a lot of the things my Dad used to take care of. And I know I may not take care of myself very well, but my gift to myself (for the time being) is investing in my future by getting an MBA.

    I know need to figure out how to stick “my health” to the top of that priority list because I know that without my health, I won’t be any good to my family. But we’re all still dealing with so much stuff related to my Dad’s passing, I need to be strong for my family, and especially make sure that we take good care of my Mom and Grandma. I’m just trying to keep all the balls in the air and trying not to get sick.

    Anyway, it’s almost 2am now and I’m really going to try to get some shut eye. Maybe one of these days I’ll have something interesting to say so you don’t have to come here are read about my workaholic days.

    It’s 4:19am

    I’m about to go to bed.

    I just finished my homework assignments/reading for a two day seminar on Business Ethics which begins tomorrow.

    So far, this is what I have to say…

    There sure are a lot of ways to:
    Break laws
    Rip people off
    Abuse power
    Discriminate against people
    Generally do bad things

    I know Ethics is all about the “gray area,” so I thought I’d better read up. I’m either going to say nothing or yell at people tomorrow. If I’m going to yell, I want to be semi-prepared.

    Let’s see if I retain anything for tomorrow.

    These do sound pretty annoying…

    … but it’s still unlikely that any of these will be able to wake me up.

    Top 10 Most Annoying Alarm Clocks

    *Anyone care to guess how many alarms I have to set to wake myself up so I can kind of get out of bed on time?

    Need a weekend for my weekend…


    It’s 3:20am (Sunday night/Monday morning).

    I guess that’s what I get for sleeping past noon and losing half my day.


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