a string to connect pieces of my life

Sunday, April 30, 2006

# 36

I called my mom the other day. She just came back to Beijing from her college class reunion. (We have regular classmates at college, which is different from US.) Usually I would ask how my niece was doing.

My mom told me that before she came home, my niece asked her to call around 10 minutes in advance. Then my niece waited downstairs with my dad. Once the cab arrived, my niece insisted on carrying the biggest and heaviest bag. And my dad covered the rest of the luggages.

So my mom said "now I am bare-handed", then my niece responded by "that's what I wanted. I didn't want you to have to carry anything." She is only 6-year old! can I stop loving her so much?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

walking in Memphis

This city gives me a strange feeling. I wouldn't mind finding a job and staying there at all. Actually, I kind of like it. But my instinct tells me to hide my true thoughts as long as I am still a graduate student, because in our office my name + Memphis means hard work and less hours of sleep.

However, whenever I hear the song, some random memories would come up to strike me.

Cozy Mels---My favorite mexican restaurant so far. This is also the place where Brian and I had the first dinner together. It was funny that he was sitting right next to me and I totally forgot his existence. He gave me a hard time for that, though I did pick up the pieces of what happened long after we started to know each other. Yes, right. You ordered Chicken Fajitas and a beer and hot sauce.

Marriot---The hotel we stayed in. It is a nice place. I started to watch "South Park" during my precious non-working hours there. Sometimes I could hear the trains passing by. I did laundry there once. And I was tired of the same breakfast. Coffee was fine though.

Gas station---In front of Marriot. I usually got my beers there. They also sell sushi. We always wondered who would buy sushi from a gas station.

Kroger---It is smaller than the one on Plymouth Rd. We bought our everyday lunch there, which was basically all kinds of frozen food.

Beal Street---The fun place. Unfortunately I only went there once. That day I was pretty upset about certain things said by certain people. Then the band started to play "wonderful tonight". My heart was suddenly filled with happiness. Music has some magic on me.

Japanese restaurant---across the street from Mariot. We had some good times there. But then some accident happened. Security guy was called to kick us out of the restaurant. I hope they don't remember me so that I can go there again because the food was good.

Other restaurants---Eating is a big thing for me, especially in Memphis. But I don't like the steak house in front of the hotel. Neither the Italian one where my other colleagues like to go.

Memphis airport---Not as fancy as Detroit airport. I will be there again. That's for sure.

Alcohol---My dear friend in Memphis.

Sunshine---One of things we didn't get much there, along with sleep and regular food. Our working hours were usually from 7am to 9pm, in a sealed space.

LCC---The place we were /will be working at. It's quite interesting that there is such a clear image of LCC in my mind, but I don't know what to say about it. As well as the people I worked with. We say "what happens in Memphis stays in Memphis". Then I should stop here.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

the answer is 42

(I owe special thanks to Natasha for letting me borrow her book.)

The movie "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" can not be counted as a success. For people who haven't read the book, the plot and the conversation sometimes seem ambiguous. For fans of the book, it didn't faithfully copied the essence of the book.

However, it did arouse my interest in digging into the book again, though I have been keeping it for quite a long time. The story makes me laugh, and sometimes sad.

So the Answer to the Great Question of Life, the University and Everything is forty-two. You better take it as it is. Still, you don't know what the Question is. But does it matter?

Here are some sentences which I think are pretty funny from the book:

Ford: "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
(I have the same feeling each day after I finish my food sitting around the table with my friends)

The Guide: "Here is what to do if you want to get a lift from a Vogon: forget it."
(This is probably what I should do to graduate before this September.)

Arthur: "You know, it's at times like this, when ......, that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young."
Ford: "Why, what did she tell you?"
Arthur: "I don't know, I didn't listen."
(Yeah, right...)

Arthur: "All this explains a lot of things. All through my life I've had this strange unaccountable feeling that something was going on in the world, something big, even sinister, and no onne would tell me what it is."
Slartibartfast: "No, that's just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the Universe has that."
(It's quite comforting, isn't it?)

Zaphod: "No, I don't seem to be letting myself into any of my secrets. Still. I can understand that. I wouldn't trust myself further than I could spit a rat."
(sounds partially like me)

Benjy(the mouse): "We have to have something that sounds good."
Arthur: "Something that sounds good? A Question to the Ultimate Answer that sounds good? For a couple of mice?"
Frankie(another mouse): "Well, I mean, yes idealism, yes the dignity of pure research, yes the pursuit of truth in its all forms, but there comes a point I'm afraid where you begin to suspect that if there is any real truth, it's that the entire multidimensional infinity of the Universe is almost certainly run by a bunch of maniacs. And if it comes to a choice between spending yet another ten million years finding that out, and on the other hand just taking th money and running, then I for one could do with the exercise."
(hmmm, count me in.)

Well, maybe life is sad and meaningless. How about I share with you something absolutely cute and adorable to cheer you up(sorry, Brian, it's not your video).

Friday, April 21, 2006

being available

Here comes another weekend. Tomorrow I will probably hang out with my friend L, who I haven't seen for over a month. She has been extremely busy with her defense preparation (good luck, dear). But this is not the reason why we haven't got together. It's just her style. Usually once per month or two months, she gives me a call saying "hey, where are you? Why don't we have lunch today?" It will be around 11:30am by the time she calls me. Then I have to dump everybody else to meet her, because the chance is so rare.

See, this is the advantage of being less available (why can't I be). Certainly it's not just like that. It turns out to be an advantage only because she is my friend and I love her. Besides, I know when I really need her help, she is always there for me. So being available doesn't truly mean physical existence. Although she can't go shopping or hang out a lot with me, I do feel spiritually secure with her, which is more important to me.

At the same time, I have been wanting to have a friend like Kramer, who is always ready to kill time with me and always has some crazy ideas. Let me know if you happen to be him or her. :))

Thursday, April 20, 2006

hey buddy

I wish that:
1. you be safe, healthy and have peace in your heart
2. things go smoothly with the test and you stop worrying about it
3. someone special come to your life soon and you two would fully appreciate each other
4. we could still be good friends even when time and distance set us apart
5. most of all, God take good care of you and your beloved ones.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

if I could turn back time

On last Sunday's service, Steve (one of the pastors in NLC) talked about Kelly Clarkson's music video "because of you". So today during my procrasination, I watched it.

It is quite emotionally intense. Although I never had that kind of painful memories myself, I can definitely relate.

If I could turn back time, I would try not to let a little baby girl see her parents fighting against each other. All she could do was faking a smile and hoping that it would make them stop. Each time I thought of what happened, I blamed myself for not being here to protect her.

My dear little girl, hopefully it is still not too late to tell you how much I love you. And no matter what happens, I am here for you.

Don't worry. Everything is going to be alright.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

just an update

I feel like it's time to update the blog. But it's not a diary, and I can't really write down whatever is in my mind.

So this is it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

liar, liar

No, I am not going to talk about the movie by Jim Carrey, though I love him.

A young man was working as a promising journalist for the New Republic, which is said to be the only journal in Air Force One. To impress his colleague, his boss and his readers, he started to make up stories. And finally one story "Hack Heaven" brought too much attention which lead to the collapse of his lies and his career.

This is the movie I watched last weekend based on a true story. To whom it may interest, the movie is "Shattered Glass". And here is a link where you can get more detailed information of the story.

Ironically, Stephen Glass went to Georgetown Law School after he got fired. Why didn't he think of that before he became a journalist? That should be his true calling.

Also, he wrote a novel named "The Fabulist", which is the story of a young journalist and how he achieved his career by a series of lies. This time, it is just a "novel".

In an interview, Stephen's former editor Chuck said, "if it's a sunny day, both Steve and I stand outside, and Steve tells me it's a sunny day, I have to check with two other people. "

Some people enjoy lying, whom I tend to stay away from. I don't think I do. I don't know whether or not Stephen Glass did. He enjoyed the part when everybody was fascinated by his stories. But he suffered from the rest part because he was not that professional. It took too many efforts to maintain a big lie. I almost felt sorry for him when I was watching the movie.

There are so many lies going on each day. Nobody should be called a liar, because everybody lies. I don't know how much better I am compared to Stephen Glass. Maybe I am being lucky. Sometimes I even lie to myself by saying "ok, this is not a lie. I am just not telling all the truth".

Only God knows.

Friday, April 07, 2006


Is not the end of the world.

Does it matter how things went to where they are going, or even to how my life will be? Sometimes a small step does change the whole track. If so, what can I do about it? How can I be sure that what I think is the right thing now will really do me good in the long run?

Life is tough. But Homer is so funny.

Judge: The quilt was made by my grandmother!
Homer: So you lost nothing.

What am I complaining about?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

this is how a guy disappeared...

This is a true story from my friend. And according to her, the title should be like that.

Ok, the story is basically the evolution of how my friend's mom wants a grandchild desperately.

Stage 1---
"Hey, you should get a nice boyfriend for yourself now. And have some children after you get married. "

Stage 2---
"You don't need to wait for a marriage. Find a nice boyfriend, and have a baby with him."

Stage 3---
"Why don't you find a boyfriend and try to have a baby? I can support you."

Stage 4---
"Are there any guys around you?"

Stage 5---
"Did you ask if the hospital in your school can help you get pregnant by some sort of advanced techniques?"
(My friend had to tell her mom that it's too expensive and it's not covered by our insurance.)

Final stage---
"You know what? You are not very helpful, so I am going to adopt a baby when I become 60."

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

something smart said by my friends

You never know.
------By Aiden

I didn't know research was a woman...I guess I should have guessed...since I just don't get it
------ By Brian

Sunday, April 02, 2006

This weekend

There are times when I clicked my own blog though I knew I didn't update it and hoped maybe someone mysteriously did it for me. Well, if it really happened, I would probably be freaked out.

Anyway, here are things I did this weekend.

On Friday night, I went bowling with my friends and friend's friends in New Life church. I used to think I was a terrible bowler. It turned out I was not that bad all the time. The problem is that I didn't stop playing wisely after the first round, in which I got 93. So I still ended up being a terrible bowler. I had lots of fun with both bowling and talking with some new friends.

Then we went to the Beach House for a small group meeting. The Beach House is actually Ciara, Demoree and Karen's apartment at Willowtree. There we had some delicious fresh brownies. It smelled so good that I couldn't keep my mind focused when Sara was reading some story for us. I am sorry, but it was not my fault.

I didn't expect that I had a chance so soon to play the "apples-to-apples" game which Ciara talked about in her blog. It would probably be more fun if it's played between friends, then you can have a rough guess of what the "judge" would like most.

On Saturday afternoon, we finally got together for J's birthday, had some good food at Middle Kingdom, brought home a slice of cake from the asian bakery store and then went some shopping.

After getting home, I spent the whole night sitting by my couch watching dvds. Yes, I sat on the floor by my couch instead of in the couch (in case someone would jump out to correct my grammar). Neither of the movies I watched would fall into the traditional category. One is "my life without me", another is "Kinsey".

"Kinsey" is based on the true story of a professor in Indiana University. He studied the sexual behavior of human beings. Despite the moral part, it's a pretty good movie. My criterion for judging movies is very simple. If I didn't feel bored during watching them, they are ok. If they even make me think, they are good.

"My life without me" is a little bit odd story. The girl was diagnosed carrying tumor and having only 2 months to live, so she made a list of things she wanted to do before she died. Most things were pretty normal (like recording tapes for two daughters' birthdays until they got 18, visiting her dad who was in jail, trying to find her husband a new wife, etc) except one thing, which is to have affair with another guy and make him fall in love with her. The reason was that she spent her life together with her husband since she was 17 and she wanted to know what it would be like to with another man. It would not have bothered me much if she didn't keep saying to her husband "I love you". Besides (I know it's not the point), her husband was so cute.

Everybody's acting was so real and touching that I had to say it is a good movie from my point of view. And I forgot to mention that the leading actor was Mark Ruffalo.

Today I went to the church with a couple of friends. The pastor talked about missionory, so it didn't really get me. I enjoyed the sermons from the last two Sundays though.

BTW, I had the "good-to-go" from Taco Bell before the bowling game. It was delicious. Why do they have to be this far from the campus? It is not worthwhile to drive all the way to Ypsi only to get the food. Or is it? Hmm, you never know.