Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dangers of Multi-Tasking

As many of you may have read on my Facebook updates Christmas Day, I spent lunch at the home of Sarah and Cara, Jeff's sister and brother-in-law. I got to meet the rest of his siblings and their children and was so honored to get an invite at the last minute.

After lunch, I was then in my car heading across the Golden Gate Bridge to join Amy, Josh, Brian and Anne in San Rafael for dinner. Because of an accident on Lombard Street (one of the main thoroughfares to get to the bridge), it took me 45 minutes in what is normally a 10 minute drive to get to the bridge from my house.

Already late, I finally made it to Amy's and Josh's. Checked my phone for messages and saw that Jeff called. Excited that he called on Christmas Day (and unable to see him as he had to work that day), I called him right back as I was unloading my contributions for dinner. Bad choice. As someone who knows the dangers of talking on cell phones while driving and walking across streets, I should have known better.

While I was chatting with Jeff, not paying attention to where I was walking in the dark (night had already fallen), I failed to negotiate the front step to the house and fell forward. Scraped the top of my wrist (as seen in the picture) and the knuckle below my pinky on my right hand. Amy immediately provided me hydrogen peroxide, cotton and bandages so I could tend to my wounds.

My ego hurt a lot more than the scrapes. All the worse for wear, I was still able to bowl the next afternoon, bandages and all. Even managed to get a 186 in one of my games. Consider me a Timex watch. I take a lickin' and keep on tickin'.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

1980 Toyota Celica GT Liftback

While the picture is a bit to hard to see, my commute this morning on Highway 101 South from San Francisco to San Mateo had me behind for a few miles a white Toyota Celica GT Liftback, circa 1980. For a nearly 30 year old car, it had the typical rust and dents, but from an engine standpoint, it was in decent condition. I couldn't hear loud muffler noises, saw no jerky acceleration, or any blue smoke emitting from its exhaust. My Celica's color was a burnt metallic red.

The car will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first car I made payments on. Dad actually bought the car (December 1979) and put the loan in his name. I'd pay Mom in cash the monthly car payments. She'd write the check and mail the check and voucher to the bank. It was the car I drove out with Sherman and buddy Stan to San Francisco in August, 1983.

I owned the car until April 1988, when I traded in the Celica for a 1988 Acura Integra LS, a car with its own historical significance (see October 17 blog posting).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

I have been very lax in posting any recent entries. Aside from being sick most of last week, I really had no excuse. So without further delay, I just wanted to say thanks.

Thanks to my friends and family for supporting me on what started out to be a difficult year. It would have been so much harder without you. Ultimately, the year's end is turning out to be much better than I ever would have imagined.

Thanks to my former classmates at Whitehall-Yearling High School. I've had so much fun reconnecting with you on Facebook and love hearing and seeing snippets of your life. I look forward to seeing many of you on my next visit to Columbus.

And thanks to Jeff, the sweet hunky guy who's been keeping me company for the past 4 months. Thanks for allowing me to get back in touch with you. My 20-year crush on you turned into something most of us only dream about. I love you so much!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

20 Years Ago Today....

Twenty years ago today marks the 20th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area. For most Bay Area residents, they can remember exactly what happened to them that day. It was a bit different for me. I didn't experience the earthquake because I was on a plane flying to Columbus, OH.

About 6 months before the quake, I worked for a very short time for a lighting company in Berkeley. I ended up losing the job 3 months later. At the time, it was pretty devastating, as it was the first job I didn't quit on my own to go to another. I felt lost and wasn't sure what I'd do next. Looking back on it now, I'm glad the job didn't work out. I decided to take some time away from San Francisco and arranged to fly to Columbus to visit my sister Cindy.

In 1989, when it wasn't work, it was usually playing softball. My co-ed team at the time included Jeff, a teammate who played outfield or 1st base. I developed a huge crush on him when we first met. We often hung out with other teammates after games and practices, usually sitting next to each other when the team would go out to eat.

There were a few times Jeff and I would hang out together solo, and it was during those times I'd throw him my car keys and let him drive my first stickshift car, a 1988 blue Acura Integra. The picture of the Integra on this blog entry is very similar to the car I drove, except the color of my car was a lighter shade of blue.

As the date neared for my trip to Columbus, I asked Jeff if he could watch my car while I was away. He agreed and would take me to the airport to catch my flight.

After Jeff dropped me off at SFO and I flew off into the wild blue yonder, I hoped I'd land in time to catch the opening pitch of the Bay Bridge World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A's. I arrived in Columbus around 8:30 pm. When Cindy found me at the gate, this is the dialog that immediately followed:

Cindy: There's been an earthquake in San Francisco!
me: How bad was it?
Cindy: I think it was something like a 5 (Richter scale reading). But part of the Bay Bridge fell off!
me: If the part of the Bay Bridge fell off, it was a lot more than 5.

Cindy and I got to her house within a half-hour. Not more than 5 minutes later, Mom calls, frantically wondering if I made it to Columbus or not. I heard Cindy saying on the phone, "she's right here, Mom". I then talked to Mom for a few minutes assuring her I was fine.

My itinerary was to stay in Columbus for 2 weeks and fly back to San Francisco. Mom didn't want me to go back. Even though I had no job at the time, for me it was a no-brainer. I flew back to San Francisco after a 2-week stay.

Forward to the present, 20 years later: I now live in the Inner Sunset district after having lived in the Inner Richmond district at the time of the earthquake until 2002. I'll have experienced 3 more job layoffs but now have a decent job with decent pay. I no longer play softball. I still drive a blue car with a stickshift, but now it is a BMW 325i.

And whatever happened to Jeff, the softball teammate who watched and drove my car while I was away in Ohio for 2 weeks? We lost touch about a year after the earthquake. Over the years, I always wondered what happened to him. After my 9-year relationship ended earlier this year (March 2009), I wanted to get back in touch with people I hadn't seen in a long time.

Jeff was among the first I wanted to contact. I ended up finding him at I emailed him to say hello in late June. We got together for lunch in August. We fell madly in love and have been together since. He's the Jeff that has been subject of many recent Tweets and cause for my stupid grins.

So for everyone living in the San Francisco Bay Area on October 17, 1989, the earth moved. It moved again for 2 other people 20 years later. And yes, Jeff has driven the BMW.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom

As I tweeted this morning, today is Mom's 72nd birthday.

Growing up, Mom was boss. She got us up in the morning for school and made us breakfast. She made sure we had lunch money, or packed us a sandwich for those few times we brown bagged it. She went to the grocery store and paid the bills. If we wanted to do a family outing like dinner and movie, we wouldn't go unless Mom wanted to go. If I wanted expensive sneakers such as my Adidas Cross Country with the green stripes or Nike Cortez with the red swoosh, Dad would tell us to ask Mom.

Mom was in charge at the restaurant during daytime hours. I sometimes tagged along with her during summer vacation and used to play in the air conditioned dining room. She always made an awesome lunch like hamburgers, fried rice, chicken or shrimp while there. She knew our neighbors and was friendly with most of our friends that visited our house.

When Mom wasn't working, she played mah-jongg. Lots and lots of it. She'd often take us to homes of other Chinese families, play long into the night and go to work that morning often with no more than a few hours of sleep. Years later, when I'd come back to Columbus to visit during the holidays, Mom was always in search of the next mah-jongg game somewhere in town, even if the weather conditions were less than ideal. She lives now in New York's Chinatown and still plays mah-jongg several times a week.

While I don't see Mom more than a few times a year anymore, she's the main reason why I had such a fun and memorable childhood. I wish she'd take more vacations, but she's happiest when she's busy.

Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you and couldn't have made it without you.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What can brown do for you?

Last week, I placed an order with to replenish a few items for the house. I arrange to send most of my online purchases to the office, as I'm not home at the time UPS delivers. I must not have paid attention when I entered the shipping info, as I got this notification from UPS yesterday when I came home from work.

For those times UPS is the carrier and I have to use my home address for delivery (prescription mail orders), I go online immediately after getting the first notice to change the shipping address. This was the first notification ever requiring a fee. While the fee wasn't expensive ($4 for a 4 pound shipment), it still was a charge, probably because of rising fuel costs, thinner profit margins and stiff competition with FedEx and USPS.

This is another reason why I choose USPS over UPS to do personal shipping. It's ridiculously cheaper. For me to send a 2 lbs. package UPS 2nd day air from San Francisco to Columbus would cost almost $26. USPS would charge me for 2nd day air for a large box, $13.50. Only $4.80 for a small box.

So until UPS shows me lower shipping rates, brown's doing nothing for me.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Hot Pink

As teen sensation Melanie Oudin makes her way through the U.S. Open, there's been some hubbub made about her shoes. Mostly, the pink.

What's the big deal? I've been wearing pink and black shoes since my bowling obsession began this year. It does get attention, but mostly positive. My next fashion statement is to get a hot pink t-shirt with the cursive letter "L" (Laverne & Shirley) style sewn just below the left shoulder.

Best of luck to you, Melanie. It's only the beginning.

photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Reunion & Anniversary

Today's date does double duty. In about 2 1/2 hours, Gatsby's in Gahanna, OH will be the destination of my high school's All-Class Reunion. My brother Sherman is in town this weekend to attend festivities. I seriously considered going, but wasn't exactly up for coughing up $350 to board a flight requiring connection to spend the weekend in a hot and humid climate.

Also today is my 26th year in San Francisco. I came out with Sherman and his buddy Stan in my 1980 Toyota Celica to what is now my beloved home city. I now have lived in San Francisco 3 more years than I did in Columbus. But I will always have fond memories of Columbus as the town where I was born and raised.

As Sherman always does after I've attended a reunion, he calls me for a recap (who did I see, what did he/she look like). This time, I should call him.

Saturday, August 08, 2009


Last week, I ordered for the first time my own color scanner (Canon LiDE 200) from Never really had much of a need for one. But since I've been in retro mode for the past year (30-year high school reunion, getting back in touch with classmates, relatives and former co-workers on Facebook), it was time. Plus I'd have at my convenience a fast and easy way to send documents online as well.

The family picture shown above was one of the first old pictures I scanned. I've had it for years, but now am only beginning to appreciate its real value. The picture was taken in summer 1965 in New York City. All of us are dressed impeccably, and my mom looks so Jackie Kennedy.

It then lead me to start putting up old pictures of current Facebook friends and family, tag them, and write a description of what was happening at the time. I've been so tickled to read comments about how these pictures have stirred up memories long forgotten and that my current connections to them directly links to my past.

Smile. Tag, you're it. On my Facebook profile that is.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rice bowl with top

Today I left the office early for my annual OBGYN appointment. The doctor's office is on California Street in the Inner Richmond district. After my visit, I headed a few blocks west for a late lunch at one of my favorite Asian restaurants, Mandalay. I hadn't been there in awhile and needed to get my Lap Pat Dok (tea leaf salad) fix.

Luckily, they were still serving lunch and I ordered the special combination Tea Leaf Salad and Basil Chicken. Delicious. After I got my complimentary soup, they brought out my combination with a bowl of rice, just like the one shown in the picture. What I liked was that the bowl had its own lid, something I'd only seen with larger rice bowls.

I'm not sure why, but I found the small bowl with lid concept to be simple yet ingenious. The lid keeps the rice moist and warm. It made me immediately think of my family dinners in New York's Chinatown, as Dad always takes an empty rice bowl and puts it on top of the remaining rice in another bowl.

It typifies what I admire so much in Asian design: practicality, compactness and elegance.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

70th Anniversary of Lou Gehrig's Farewell Speech

image source: Society for American Baseball Research

As we celebrate our nation's anniversary, I am moved to find out that today is the seventy-year anniversary of Lou Gehrig's Farewell Speech. Reprinted from Lou Gehrig's website:
"Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

"Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn't consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I'm lucky. Who wouldn't consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball's greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I'm lucky.

"When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift - that's something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies - that's something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter - that's something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body - it's a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed - that's the finest I know.

"So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for."
While the video does not broadcast the entire speech, I cannot watch the video with dry eyes. The speech is being commemorated today at 15 Major League ballparks.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Come to me, my pretty...

As Tweeted earlier today, I got my car back from the body shop this afternoon. The car was only gone 5 days, but I missed driving it so much. My rental, a Nissan Versa, wasn't a bad car. It has more headroom, trunk space, and higher visibility than my Bimmer, but it simply doesn't handle and drive as well. It's been my ultimate driving machine for the past 5 1/2 years.

Just a few things I missed: taut steering, the accelerating power and sound of the car's STRAIGHT 6-cylinder engine, stability, suspension, the firm leather seats, the lighted vanity mirror on the driver's side, thermometer (especially in summer to see the wide temperature ranges in the SF Bay Area), and most of all, the manual shifting. And because I would have to push the accelerator hard on the Versa to get decent power, the gas mileage wasn't that much better than my car under typical driving conditions. I know I'm among the minority that drive and enjoy driving stick shift, but for me, it isn't really driving without it.

Welcome home.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's just a flesh wound...

Yesterday, as mentioned on Twitter, my bumper suffered a scratch leaving an always insane parking lot at the Marina Shopping Center just off Hillsdale Boulevard in San Mateo.

I headed back to the office and drove to AAA's location on Delaware Street. Since it had been 9 years since I last had any body work done, the office explained they no longer have agents filing claims in person. It was all done over the phone. They thoughtfully took into account there'd be people like me who actually still tried to drive to the claims office, as I was offered to go to a cubicle that had 2 phones and could file the claim from there. I graciously accepted their offer.

While on the phone with the claims representative, we were discussing which body shop I wanted to use. Believe it or not, my encyclopediaic memory couldn't recall the body shop I last used 9 years ago. They worked on my last car twice and loved the results both times . Lo and behold, the claims rep said she could look into my file history and found it.

Near the end of the claims process, my cell phone was ringing with a number I didn't recognize. It was Hertz, already checking with me to arrange to the rental I'll need once the car goes into the body shop.

This will be the 6th time in 26 years I will need to have body work done on my car. For living in a densely populated area, it's not unusual. Thus, the reason why rates are considerably higher than what they would be in Columbus, OH. I like the progress that's been made in servicing claims. It's still going to be a hassle, but much less of one than I've had previously.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Microfiber towel - Aquis

A few minutes ago, I ordered from a large Aquis towel. I first bought these as gym towels for my workouts at USF's Koret Center. These now hang next to my bath towel at home.

Why now at home? Well, for many years, I used 2 bath towels (1 for shampooing, the other for drying the rest of me). Because they are very large and hang on the same rack, they take longer to dry. Once I no longer needed the Aquis towels (my current gym supplies towels as part of my membership), they were sitting in my closet not getting much use. I decided to give them a trial run, reducing the bath towel count to 1.

It's been at least 3 months and I haven't gone back. I bring out a fresh Aquis towel and throw the used one in the wash. My weekly laundry loads are now a lot lighter (especially in the dryer) and don't feel so burdensome to do. I pull the washed Aquis towel out to air dry, which by the next day can be put away. I can't do that with a bath towel. While Aquis does sell towels specifically for shampooing, I buy their adventure (darker colored) towels because they don't show dye remnants after I get my hair colored.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My highest bowling score ever, 221

Location: Lane 23, Mel's/Redwood Lanes, Redwood City, CA.
Date and Time: May 15, 2009, 7:30 p.m., game 5 of 6.

Last night, I bowled my highest game ever. As seen in the picture, 221. This would have been the last game I ever expected to bowl over 200.

Why? A group of teens were put next to me (Lane 22) into my 4th game. They were clueless about lane courtesy. Most of them were standing on the lane. The youngest one, a boy about 11, stood in my lane and crossed into it several times. It wasn't until the same boy ran up and bowled just as I was in my approach, a staff member took the kids aside and explained to them their actions were distracting me. By then, I was steamed but was determined to finish the game and leave.

When I bowl alone, I often go too fast and don't pace myself. My highest scores have taken place with groups because I have to wait for my turn. I felt hungry and annoyed. I decided to order chicken tenders to help me settle down. Bowled a strike in the first frame. Nibbled on chicken tenders. Then 2 more strikes. Nibbled more chicken. The teens began to notice and got excited when I got to my 5th strike (5-bagger). Then in the 6th, 7th and 8th frames, I didn't spare or strike (open frames) but did get 8 pins each time.

Because I had 3 consecutive open frames, I didn't give much thought about reaching 200. Until I bowled a strike in the 9th frame. I then saw my score was at 191, my previous all-time high. I bowled 3 strikes in the 10th frame, clapped really hard and took a look at my final score. I got so excited I had to go over to the couple I see on Fridays and tell them my score. They both came over and looked at the scoreboard and offered their congratulations as well. The boy who bowled in front of me told me I was awesome. Snapped the picture of the scoreboard. Tweeted and sent the pic to Facebook.

I decided to bowl one more game, just to see how well or poorly I'd do afterwards. Not shabby. It was 181. Called it a night. When I was getting ready to leave, the staff member who spoke to the kids apologized about what they did.

Bowler chick, a la Wade Boggs, has arrived.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bath cabinet

About a month ago, I tagged along with Josh and Amy to Ikea in Emeryville. I fully intended not to buy anything, but saw a bath cabinet (as seen here) that I really liked. Solid wood, espresso color. Would match the sink cabinet in my bathroom now. Ended up buying it.

When I got the cabinet home, it wasn't assembled right away. But 2 weeks ago, I got it put up and this is what it looks like in my bathroom. Pretty snazzy.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Introducing Kim, Angry Asian Girl

My cubicle mates Gromit and my magnetic "lobstah" from Boston have a new friend. Her name is, Kim, a.k.a. Angry Asian Girl. Former UC Berkeley student Lela Lee created Angry Asian Girl in 1994. I first came across Kim at my favorite neighborhood gift store, Tutti Frutti.

The cartoon on this tote bag (as seen here) was my introduction to Kim's sassy attitude. I laughed so hard probably because I saw a bit (OK, a lot) of myself when I'm not in such a great mood.

I admire Kim because she says things I would like to say but couldn't, wouldn't and shouldn't. Especially if I want to remain the upstanding, well-loved person I have been for so many years (snicker if you like, as this keeps my ego in check).

Kim now has other friends (Wanda, Deb, Maria and Xyla) and a meathead of a boyfriend named Bruce. Check them all out at the Angry Little Girls website.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Springing forward

I haven't written in the past 2 weeks because for me there were changes other than setting our clocks an hour ahead a few weeks ago. And I'll leave it at that. My close friends and family know the details. Entries for the next month or so may be sporadic.

Other than my intentionally cryptic announcement, I just joined for the first time in almost 30 years, a formal bowling league at Bel Mateo (very close to work). Signed a membership card, paid dues ($20/year), and bowled 3 games tonight with 3 guys: Jeff, Dave and Mike, who happen to be all awesome bowlers. I forgot how much fun league bowling is. It's more fun than it is competitive, lots of camaraderie and support. Relaxed pace enough that one can socialize with fellow bowlers.

Not that I didn't enjoy my time playing softball, but I wish I would have gotten into league bowling a lot sooner. I am probably having more fun now than I did 30 years ago. Since I began bowling Thursday lunch with the office in February, I've gone 2-3 times a week. I've become hopelessly addicted to the game.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

It's not easy being green

Since San Francisco began banning plastic bags about a year or so ago, I bought reusable grocery bags to store in the trunk of my car. My office is located next to Whole Foods and got into the habit of using a reusable bag whenever I went there for lunch.

Or tried. I often would forget to bring it or not bother at all because it was too big for the few items I'd buy for lunch. I later bought a smaller bag specifically for lunch. But again, I'd forget the bag was stored in one of my desk drawers.

Then I found an even smaller and foldable lunch bag as pictured in this blog entry. It cost me only about $2 and easily stores in my purse. Even if I take out only my wallet on my way to lunch, the bag is always near the wallet as my reminder to pull both out.

Whole Foods gives you the option to donate or deduct 5 cents whenever you bring in your own bag. I've brought the bag in often enough that it will pay for itself very soon (if it hasn't already).

The bag is the perfect size and always fits my lunch purchases very neatly. There's even a side mesh pocket to hold a bottled beverage and separates it from hot food. While I'm far from being a poster child of green, having this foldable bag comforts me in knowing I am contributing in a small way.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bowler Chick

Since I've blathered on all week about getting back into bowling, my new ball came in today. Immediately after getting the ball, I headed to Presidio Bowl to try out the ball. I bowled terribly.

First, I realized that holding your own ball is not the same as holding a house ball. Second, bend my knees. Third, release the ball a bit earlier to get a better follow through.

My sister Cindy comes in tomorrow and I'll be off work (but accessing email regularly) until next Thursday. I want to squeeze in one more practice session to work on a consistent release, which is my biggest problem right now.

But most importantly, I've got the pretty ball and flashy shoes now. I may not bowl like a pro, but I'm having a ton of fun looking like one.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bowling in style

For those of you that follow me regularly on Facebook and Twitter, I've been writing about my excitement of getting back into bowling regularly through a group organized at work.

At the recommendation of my colleagues Albert and Scott, I went online yesterday to They told me Bowlers Paradise had the best price and selection. I checked out at least 2 shoe and 2 other bowling websites. Shoe websites had cheaper prices, but lousy selection. Other bowling websites had a lot to choose from, but higher priced than Bowlers Paradise.

The shoes in the picture, Elite Athena, in black and hot pink, were the ones I selected. There were 2 other color combinations available, but I wanted some flash. When I got to the checkout section of the shopping cart, I was a bit surprised to be charged $10.95 for shipping, but figured it would have been the same had I ordered a ball, which is much heavier and larger than shoes.

I didn't regret my decision one bit. Bowlers Paradise is located in Sacramento and they shipped my shoes FedEx overnight. I got them shortly after 10 a.m. today, about an hour before I was ready to head out to bowl. The shoes fit comfortably right away and there is a ton of padding around the opening. Everyone noticed them and complimented me on how cool they looked.

Then it was lane time. Aside from Wii bowling, the last time I bowled was about 4 years ago at an outing with my previous company. I bowled a bunch as a kid and was in organized leagues in junior high and through my employer while I was a student at Ohio State. I had my own ball in college (fuschia/hot pink) but not my own shoes.

Now, with my own shoes, but no ball, and some practice on form playing Wii, I actually did a bit better. Scores were 132 and 129. My average in college was never more than 120. I once bowled a 191 (and got a trophy for high women's score - scratch), but I could easily bowl 90 the next game.

Just like it was in college, I had so much fun and got so amped afterwards, I am seriously considering buying a new ball. As much as I'd like to order it online, buying a ball through a pro shop is still the way to go. One needs the tactile experience (feel of the ball, an expert to fit and properly drill the finger holes, etc.)

As it was in softball, I knew I was a die hard carrying my own bag with cleats, mitt and bat. I see myself going down that road with bowling. Already got the shoes. If I get a ball, there's no way I won't have one without a bag.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Memories of Jong Mea - continued

This morning, I got another very nice comment on the Jong Mea posting I wrote in February 2007. It was from someone who patronized the Columbus location back in the 70's. What made this comment exceptional was that it was from Doug Ritter (Ritterling), a former radio disc jockey in Columbus (WCOL-AM 1230) and San Francisco (KITS-FM 105.3), the only 2 cities I consider as home.

Doug wrote:
I believe that you were working the register the night I proposed to my wife in 1978. Jong Mea was our favorite restaurant and a perfect place for me to propose. I was a disk jockey for 1230 WCOL, (the studios were a few blocks down Broad Street) so we stopped at Jong Mea often after I got off the air. Pamela and I are still happily married after nearly 29 years! We still point out the old building to our three kids whenever we visit the city. Perhaps its time for a new Jong Mea?
Thanks for the good times!
Doug Ritter (Ritterling) St, Louis, MO

Well, Doug, if you find this blog posting, I'm speechless at how much our restaurant meant to you. Wow, you proposed to Pamela at our restaurant. Your former radio station holds equally special memories for me as I was a big fan of WCOL-AM in my early teens. In fact, it was the station that got me exposed to Top 40 radio.

During the summer of 1974, I got a bit of spending money thanks to WCOL. The disc jockey called my house at random and asked if I knew how much was in the jackpot. I said I didn't know. The deejay asked me to guess, and I blurted, "$150". It happened to be the correct amount during bonus hour, which I got $300. My mom picked up the check for me at the station. It was the highlight of my summer vacation.

Thank you, Doug, for sharing such a wonderful memory.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ancient Chinese secret (and it isn't rocket science)

As I twittered today, I am still flabbergasted as the number of novice chopstick users who insist on holding them from the center and then seeing the sticks cross each other. NO NO NO NO NO. You may as well start counting how many times the food MISSES the mouth. The YouTube video embedded on this blog entry is very short and sweet, and is exactly the way I use chopsticks.

Hey, I appreciate that your attempt to use them is your way of recognizing my ancestry. But it pains me to see how awkward it looks on you. Next week is Chinese New Year so if you want to impress your Asian friends, you better start practicing now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jong Mea - Indianapolis, IN

Almost 2 years ago in February 2007, I wrote a blog posting about my family's restaurant, Jong Mea. Today, I got another nice comment from someone who patronized the Mansfield, OH location. I am so honored to hear from those who have commented have such fond memories of our restaurant.

The picture shown on the left, courtesy of compatriot Namey McNamerson, is the dining room of the Indianapolis location. I didn't spend as much time here as I did in Columbus, as my parents didn't manage the Indianapolis location until the late 80's.

Again, to those of you who have written, thank you so much for sharing your memories. My parents will be excited to hear that you enjoyed your time at Jong Mea.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

In search of shades

OK, I admit it. I am very brand conscious when it comes to sunglasses. I used to buy sunglasses off the department store rack for about $20. I didn't quite get why anyone would spend $50 or more on a pair of sunglasses. Until I got tired of scratched lenses and stretched out frames year after year. I decided I would splurge and got my first pair of Vuarnets. I had them for about 3 years until I left them on a softball field never to be seen again.

I got another pair of Vuarnet, then Revo, Ray-Ban, Oakley, and the current brand for the fashion conscious, Maui Jim. Since the Oakleys, I have gotten very particular about what I buy. My small face requirements include the following:
  • Eye size no more than 50 mm
  • Bridge size no more than 17 mm
  • Temple length no more than 135 mm
  • Nose pads that keep the lenses from hitting my cheeks
  • Spring hinges preferred
My last pair of prescription glasses often drove me nuts because the bridge size was 21 mm and brushed against the inner eyelid, often fogged up and found myself constantly taking them off. My current pair fit so well (no fog up and no taking off) that I'm using those measurements to find the right pair of sunglasses. Which I find to be difficult, because most Maui Jim eye size frames I like are too big.

But tonight I got lucky. I found on eBay, a discontinued style, Bikini, that meets my size requirements for a fraction of the original retail price. I ordered them tonight and should get them later this week. I'm retiring my current pair of Maui Jims because they lack spring hinges and are starting to feel stretched out after 5 years of wear. Tightening the temple screws helps only slightly for a short time.

Can't wait to get them.