a string to connect pieces of my life

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

this one is for Rui

Thanksgiving was one week ago. And your birthday was 11 days ago. Right now I am dedicating this entry to you, for your birthday, and for my gratefulness of having a great friend like you in my life. Hopefully one day you will read it and like it.

We have shared so many things together after we first met over 5 years ago. I told you that I should write everything down and it would be a good story.

Yeah, when we are old. You agreed. So I am not going to say anything here. We are still so young, right?

There have been joy and laughters. However, often I feel that life here is just battle after battle. I don’t remember how many times I thought about quitting or felt I couldn't pull through. Without you, I wouldn’t have been able to hold on for this long.

Nights after nights, I dumped all kinds of feelings to you. You patiently listened to my whinings, comforted me and asked me not to give up. You are the person who know me best. You have seen all my weakness and my struggles, yet you still love me for who I am. That means a lot to me.

There might be a few times I was able to be your listener. But most of the time, you are simply there for me. Your strength and perseverance impressed me, again and again. I am really proud of you.

I am sorry that I didn’t even buy you a birthday card, although I did think about it, and then I forgot. I know you forgave me, like you always do.

I wish you happy, and I wish you have everything you want for your life (all the cooking ware, I guess) and a great guy who deserves you.

Friday, November 24, 2006

the best Thanksgiving ever (1)

It was very nice of Brian to invite me over to his hometown for the Thanksgiving dinner. It was also my first time to experience a traditional American holiday. Brian told me to follow his car and that was the right decision. I am 100% percent sure that I would get lost if I didn't do that. There were at least two times I couldn't see any road or sign when he was going to make a turn. And I still don't know how to get to his house.

Elbing family have a beautiful house, and it's very cozy inside. This house will soon have its 100 anniversary with Elbing family (04/20/2007, also known as Brian's 26th Birthday), but you can see that it's well maintained.
Father and son in front of the shed. Remember, it's a SHED, not a barn.
This was Brian's playground when he was a kid. It looks having a lot to dig up, eh?

Elbing family's the other house. Lots of beers are stored here. I was pumped by finding a table-tennis table in the basement. In front of the house is Brian's favorite tree. He attempted to convince his parents to move to current house with this tree. Apparently he didn't succeed.

Now here is the BARN by this house.

The famous Pigeon windmills. Here is some recent report about it:
Downtown Pigeon. We tried to find a Pigeon shirt at the gas station, but they were out of it.

This is part of the Thanksgiving dinner. The food was very very delicious. I wish I could have more, but I have no regret, because I know I tried my best. I didn't miss any chance to get myself full of them. Aww...I miss the turkey. We also had different kinds of dessert after the dinner. What can I say? Life is good.
However, don't get me wrong. This is the best Thanksgiving to me not just because of the food (everybody who knows me knows that's a big part though). Brian has a wonderful family. They treat their guests very well. Actually, from time to time I felt like I was being with my own family. I was able to say or do whatever I wanted and didn't have to pretend to be someone else. The whole place was so relaxing that I almost fell into sleep on the couch. And we had so many laughters together!

Brian, thank you for inviting me. Ann and Ron, you are the best hosts. Teresa, you are just as sweet and considerate as Brian told me. Renee, thank you for sharing the room with me and for walking into all the stores to look for the shirt. Tom, I appreciate our conversation and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I wish you had better luck this afternoon with the hunting. And congradulations to you two again!

the best Thanksgiving ever (2)

Brian's dad even let me drive his big tractor. I did a fine job. His dad is considering offering me a full time job, but we need to figure out how to resolve the visa problem.
I wish my camera could capture more beauty of the sunset in the countryside.

Brian's mom and sisters showed me around. There are some very nice house by the river, which is connected to Lake Huron.

This is the docks Brian once worked on for his part-time job at the B.B. Marina. (I don't recall what the name is, because I confused myself by calling it Brokeback Mountain.)

This is Lake Huron. We walked on the beach a little bit.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

pictures of Tampa, FL

The sea and beach I have never had chance to reach
Marriott Hotel where we stayed and where the conference was held
Cute apartments across the river from our hotel

Sweet outdoor swimming pool on the third floor

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Now they have a movie about numbers

It seems interesting. Maybe I will go watch it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

southern food

In one entry, Brian expressed his love for Rendezvous pork ribs.

Although I agree that those ribs are awesome, my favorite restaurant in Memphis was Bahama Breeze. They have the best pasta (lobster and shrimp pasta) I have ever had, along with some other decisious dishes. The sad thing is that my memory was contaminated by their service during our last experience.

Actually, I just found there are two of them in Michigan. Maybe I will try the one in Novi. Maybe they have better and quicker service there.

Before discovering Bahama Breeze, all my love was poured into Cozy Mel's. Well, I still have to say that's my favorite mexican restaurant. I know Brian would disagree here. After all, On the Border and Las Margaritas are pretty good too. But the first cut is the deepest.

Another place we visited frequently was the Italian place Amerigo. It is a very nice restaurant with people wearing decent clothes, except us. Everytime we would order chicken tuscany pasta. I never tried it with mashed potato, but the words on the street said it's good too.

I have never been to any Ruby Tuesday before I went to Memphis. There was one right by the hotel. So whenever we were really tired but still needed to comfort our stomach (well, mostly mine), we walked there. I really liked their salad bar and the cheeseburger.

There are a few more places. The steak house in downtown. The small pizza buffet where Paul (or Harold) treated us. The catfish restaurant across the street. The really crappy one right at the president island.

All in all, food was a large portion of my desire in Memphis...alright, everywhere. Also, for any of you who like ribs, you can pay $94 to get Rendezvous ship two large ribs overnight to your home which will be good for four people (like me, 2 people like Brian).

Wait, will I get paid by putting this information here?

Friday, November 10, 2006

you are not alone

Today I first heard that tomorrow is the holiday for singles, because it is 11.11. (but isn't 1.1 more single?)

See, numbers are meaningful everywhere. :P

Anyway, Happy Holiday! I hope you all can find another 1 to pair up.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I have always been interested in numbers. I was good at remembering phone numbers, credit card numbers, pin numbers, etc.

Math intrigued me by how numbers are manipulated in all sorts of ways. However, linear algebra gave me a headache. I guess I am lack of imagination in multi-demensional space.

Also, certain numbers can trigger my memories. For example, historical events are associated with certain dates. Or it can be about something very trivial. Like 10 minutes ago, the clock in my computer showed 2:12, which was the amount I paid for my latte today. Or one minute ago, 2:27 would be the birth date of the guy I had a crush on in college.

This game can go on and on.

Friday, November 03, 2006

everybody gets a panda

So as you all know, I am from China. And in China, everyone gets a baby panda when he or she is born.

Then where is my panda? You may ask.

My panda and I were best friends. We grew up together. She did room-cleaning for me. She played with me. Everyday I came back home from school, she waited for me at the door and gave me a big warm hug.

But one day I decided to come to US. Of course, my panda was with me. At the Beijing airport, there was no question asked, because in China, we travel with our Pandas. It was never a problem.

I didn't know that it was not the same in US (I should have read more travel books). My panda couldn't pass the custom because she didn't have a passport or a visa. And she couldn't get back to China either, because Americans need to identify her nationality first before sending her somewhere.

So up to today, my panda is still at Detroit airport. I get weird phone calls from time to time. And I know it's her telling me that she is alright.

I am not too worried about her living. My panda is not too picky about food like other pandas. She works hard, so probably the airport can use her for cleaning or something.

If you ever take a flight at Detroit airport, please say hi to my panda for me. I miss her very much.

(I'd like to thank Ciara for inspiration of the story. She is obsessed with baby pandas. Also, I want to thank Brian for helping me complete the story, because he knows my life very well.)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

my wish for you

This song is on the radio almost everyday around the midnight. Whenever I listened to it, I thought of all the people I care about. So here it is.

"My Wish"

I hope that the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,

But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more than you take.