my licensing exam is tomorrow, and i haven't begun to prepare. i've slept thru/skipped all my classes, skipped the mock exam...oh my. i'm a tad panicked, but also unmotivated. if it was actually on useful information, maybe i could learn it...but it's all history and regulations. poo poo. i think i will camp out in pacific coffee tonight. no ice cream, but they close two hours later than tosci's (woot).

my friend anna ran into the window today. she thought the glass was farther away. i laughed very hard. she rebounded right back into her chair. poor dear. i need to stop eating mooncakes. laura and i will never drink absinthe again (most likely). see how we made that decision as one? it means our psyches (and our stomachs) are connected. but instead of being my life partner, she wants to be my pregnant mexican maid (she's gonna have her baby here so the government will let her stay in hk). some pics of the view from my office:


mind the gap

the walk to work showcases many well-dressed women falling down my hill (i.e. the hill upon which i live). they don't really fall--they loose-legged, swing-hipped stride down it with matching floppy arms. their drunken march somehow brings umbrellas to mind--one feels that that they are carrying invisible umbrellas. one feels reminded of magritte and his "it's raining men" picture (my name, not his). my hill daily rains women.

laura and cliff have left, leaving me alone with stefanie and monty python. a couple days hence, stefanie too will go. laura approves of my new accomodations, which makes me feel more secure. i think i'll see them soon. boston still is my real world. here, i'm floating in a dream. when summer ends, hong kong will melt away, and i'll find myself perched atop a flour container in the wilg kitchen, talking frisbee. although, neither laura nor cliff live in boston anymore. i guess boston is a group of people frozen in time, no longer a locale, no longer available. sigh. an ice structure in my head. will time melt the edges? it's inevitable, isn't it.

haha, on a much more positive note, laura and i are life partners. we're planning a grand canyon trip together! hoorah! come one come all...


i'm going to worlds!

we're absolutely going to die, but it's a week in australia, hanging out with frisbee people. i'm so not in ultimate shape...i'm so excited! lemme know if you'll be there. cuz i'll be there.

in other news, i need new cleats. the gaia ones hurt my right toe. laura and cliff arrive tonight! i use too many exclamation marks! but i really am this excited about everything. if the yankees play the mets in the world series, i will puke. and for your viewing pleasure....pictures of the couch moving expedition:

mother and her buddhas. she actually pulls off the pious thing pretty well.
my parents are silly. i like them.
this is me, double-fisting the holy grail beer. that's right! there's a beer called monty python's holy grail. how could you not order that?


i work in a big pinball machine

everyone's machine makes funny noises. there are electronic voices and whizzings and whirrings and bings and zwwimmms. and then every once in a while, random classical music starts playing.

krispy kreme is trying to establish an asian empire. they're handing out boxes of free donuts by the escalator. BOXES! they know they don't stand a chance against the eggtarts. the eggtarts are not afraid.

neither are the shrimp/lobster clear things that i've never seen before. krispy kreme, we do not fear you. look what you're up against!

this place had a soup called "sea blubber with chinese prayer beads". um....i mean, yum! another food fad is toad larva...or do you call them eggs...dear god, let's not call them at all.


the world is smaller here and deadlier

people die from e coli spinach. people suffer from poison mercury facial products. people rage against the words of an inconsiderate pope. and against a henpecked president with a crippled wife. was america the eye of the storm? am i thrust into the maelstrom? has this been going on all my life? i think the appropriate word here is Precarious.

death frisbees

the army ruins everything.



something to show our parents that we're not wasting our lives away. i'd email this to my coworkers, but i'm not sure it actually proves that ultimate is a real sport...just a nerdy one. sigh.



one thing i've learned about myself is that i have a very loose trigger. the smallest things annoy me to no end. there's no slope...just a dropoff into a pit of righteous anger. does this make me intolerant? probably. i hate waiting. i hate incompetence. in my view, if a service constantly has lines, then they need to hire more employees or something. figure it out, it's your livelihood. the other day, i asked for 3 towels and a roll of tp from room service. it took them three trips and three more phone calls to get it right. i hate people who walk slowly...even if i'm not in any particular hurry. i hate people who stand on the wrong side of the escalator. i feel very ashamed when i accidentally stand on the wrong side of the escalator.

can i blame this short temperedness on my passport? has america's service standards spoiled me rotten (i never thought i'd say that a couple of months ago)? or has the internet embedded a need for instant gratification? (alright, that sounds pretty sketch, but seriously, multitasking has made it virtually unnecessary to wait for anything. you just click over to the next window/tab and do something else for a while...so if i'm in a line, waiting for a single process to complete, i get really really annoyed) maybe i need to find my zen, but it feels pretty good to be angry...and for the most part, i contain it pretty well (imo). the only concern is whether i'll die in ten years of a heart attack. and i dont' really want wrinkles either.



my anger has hollowed me out like a gourd. i'm exhausted. the thunder booms dully from afar. my arms hang limp as my eyes.

if i only had a holy sword you'd be dead

i'm so angry i could spit. it's raining hard outside. i waited fucking 30 min (in my jetstream) to get a cab. no luck. go back to the hotel to get them to call me a cab, and they're like, okie dokes (fuckers), they stand outside with the same fucking results. CALL me a fucking cab. and finally, i'm like, ok, look, i need to get to exchange square. i'm late for work. what's the fastest way. and the very polite yet wholly unhelpful dude tells me to take the hotel shuttle, which begins at 9 am. look asshole, i know there are buses that go from the hotel to central. i know they exist. i'm clapping so fucking hard screaming I BELIEVE IN BUSES. they insist that the hotel shuttle is the fastest, MOST CONVENIENT way to get to exchange square. alright. maybe i don't know everything about hong kong yet. i'll take the fucking shuttle. the fucking shuttle leaves at 9:05 (and on an unrelated but annoying nonetheless note, the reversing beep on the shuttle is not only offkey, but it can't hold a note! how hard is it to make a van that beeps in the same key when it backs up instead of wavering unsteadily between two equally unsavory tones like a half inflated accordian?).

the fucking shuttle moves more slowly than a city tram (another option i could've taken to exchange square). the tram system, btw, was probably built in the fucking middle ages and is described in guidebooks as a good way to "get to know the city" and "people watch" but not a good way to get anywhere in any amount of time. and then the fucking shuttle has the audacity to drop me off 3 blocks away from exchange square, but right in front of a subway station that's connected underground to exchange square. alright, not so bad...i can walk underground to my office...except i can't...because i need to buy a ticket to get in, and i can't get out with a ticket for another station...and they don't sell tickets for the same station (obviously). by now, i'm cursing like a crazy person, but i still hafta fight my way through the throng of SHORT ASIAN WOMEN and their UNWIELDY UMBRELLAS! everyone hugs their umbrella like they'll wash away without it, meaning they can't see where they're going. and the umbrellas are right at face level. i batted my way through them and almost punched every fucking single one i saw. fuckers. well, this was therapeutic. i miss america where everyone is tall enough to not almost blind me everytime it rains.


moving on up

my tv weighs 80 kilos, and Father was not at all pleased with having to carry it up 4 flights of stairs to find my door incorrigibly locked (the squat hong kong man we hired to help was likewise irked, but it wasn't his place to complain).

it wasn't my fault at all. my agent hadn't given me the key to the upper lock on my wrought iron door (she wasn't sure one existed). she thought it'd be ok if she told the landlord's agent to keep that lock unlocked, except i, in my good intentions, had dragged myself to do some reconnaissance of the apartment-to-be before my parents came (precisely so i could be sure that all the doors opened and so on), and the lock works on a spring mechanism from the inside, so when i locked up the place, both locks on the iron door caught. so after some storming and some huffing, we leave the tv there to keep watch in case the door should open of its own accord, and contrariwise the barred door to keep the tv from running off (with the dish and the spoon to china, which, incidentally is not so far away).

eventually we found a locksmith to force entry and to tape the lock ineffective. a little cleverness on my part could've opened the door too--he basically used a thin metal strip (the kind you use to jimmy car doors) and reached behind the bars to unhook the lock from the inside. to recover my nerd pride, i reached behind someone's drawer to retrieve her hair band today (it was hard to get to!).

upon seeing my room, daddy dear had two things to say: 1. "it's ok..." 2. "it's gonna be noisy. " thanks for the support pops. and then he noticed that three of the windows didn't have bars across them (i think it was done on purpose so i could reach the clotheslines)..."they should install those, it's not safe". NOT SAFE?! from what dad? "someone could climb in" CLIMB IN?! i'm on the fourth floor!!! "so?" and what would they steal exactly, my 80 kg tv?! "your wallet". sigh. i give up. no one makes me feel like bashing in my head quite like my dad. not that i want to bash in my head or anything...but i imagine he brings me closest to it. indeed, he's the reason i took up cross country in high school.

after lunch, we came upon an off-white pleather couch sitting by its lonesome. instead of calling for help like sensible people, we decide to rescue it ourselves. apparently the pain of the tv didn't embed itself firmly enough in our floppy arms. so, six blocks, two flights of stairs, and an escalator ride later, we're finally at my apartment. we still have to deal with the four stories atop which i live. heave, ho! i now know how a dentist must feel when faced with a closed-mouthed, petulant child. we fought that couch all the way up. but now my friends have a place to sleep when they come! yay! and in case you failed to catch it, yes, it is a reclaimed couch from the curb, but it deserves your love nonetheless. for those keeping count, my apartment now has two pieces of "furniture": a couch and a tv. i've all i need. when my parents asked why i needed a fridge (provided by the landlord), i told them "for beer". they believed me.

my officemate offered to throw away the roll that's been sitting on my desk since last week. i'm gonna eat it when she's not looking. she's gone to the doctor to check out her lazy eye...she doesn't have a lazy eye, but she tried to convince me she did for a good ten minutes the other day by following the motion of my finger with her eyes. it was terrific fun for me. i kept drawing figure eights in the air, and she kept drawing figure eights with her eyes. i don't think she ever caught on that i was just toying with her. hehehe...



something from the temple st night market made me sick. i'm sad because i was all set on taking cliff and laura there. i suspect it was the curry squid on a stick...meh, it was worth it. i'm not dead yet.

i'm discovering i have standards after all. i won't eat lettuce with bugs in it. sometimes nondescript meat grosses me out. and i refuse to buy fake swiss army knives. along with my new found standards comes a nostalgia for the days before, when i could eat food off kresge and not worry about consequences. i've walked past numerous fruit stands because fruit flies swarm too readily. i guess i'm buying all of my food from city super (that's the equivalent of a very expensive trader joes).

yesterday, while i was wallowing in self-pity, slight fever, and the fear of dengue fever (which apparently you catch via mosquitos and not from poisonous food), an intense wave of homesickness hit me. it was really hard to pinpoint what i missed exactly. wilg cookies? microwave meals? not having to wash fruit? my invincibility. in response, i bought some sunkist prunes, skippy peanut butter (crunchy), and soda crackers. i hope they help.


a comedy of errors

i committed to buying a $3000 HKD flat screen tv. Before I have any furniture or gas. Before I've successfully done my first load of laundry. I don't even know where my apartment is, really. god my priorities are fucked up. in my defense, i need to set up my internet and my tv simultaneously...so if i don't get a tv, i don't use my computer. does that make this any better? in my head, yes.

i couldn't spell the word 'definitely' until i typed it.

i found this shriekingly funny. it reminded me of the mary tyler moore episode in which she attends the funeral of a clown who died via shelling. a parade elephant stepped on him because he was dressed in a peanut suit. mary, bless her soul, couldn't stop laughing at the funeral. she got lots of dirty looks from mr. grant. i love mary tyler moore. thinking of her theme song always puts a smile on my face. i hate that she played the wife of dick van dyke. his show was nothing. NOTHING. but he plays a good chimney sweep (cheroo).

how does a fully alive human being get swallowed? surely his arms and legs and hands and feet and love of life can overcome the peristalsis of even the fearsome hippopotamus? and once he's inside, he doesn't die instantaneously, does he? can't they cut him out? maybe the hippo was worth more. maybe he conspired to be swallowed. what a death. peter pan once said, "to die would be an awfully big adventure." i hope the hippo's alright. they're vegetarians right? maybe they'll shoot the hippo and bury him in the midget's grave.


i love days like this. it's raining softly outside in an inobtrusive way. The feeling is hard to describe. a contentness. wearing a really nice sweater while cuddling with the comics. the office is humming along, all the bells and whistles at full attention. and i'm standing still, breathing. relishing the unmotion...a stick insect swaying in the wind. the kiss in the corner of mrs. darling's mouth. here.

some things really are better than sex

if i never come back to the states, it'll be for the eggtarts. Oh My God, the eggtarts. i just had two, and i can't stop thinking about them. not even because i want more--they make me tv people Happy. the way mcdonalds is supposed to make me feel...like i'm part of something bigger. or maybe this grin is glued to my face because i just tripped over my pants and fell on my face while holding the heavenly eggtarts. luckily, the whole office saw me go down, so now at least everyone knows who i am. my desk laughed at me for a whole 5 min. amongst other training programs, they've promised to enroll me in the art of walking. little do they know that i really do need a lesson on balancing in these stupid shoes. well, at least i don't hafta pretend to be suave anymore. there's a load off my chest. so i had the eggtarts while laughing hysterically, and now their memory is infused with slap-happiness.

i don't know why incidents like these make me so happy...this is the fourth now. the first was when the van backed over my toe; the second = getting hit in the nose by the faking girl and bleeding all over myself during IM's; the third = falling out of bed and hitting my face on my bedstand; and now this. no one was even around to watch the bedstand incident, so it's definitely not for the attention. hehe, i love myself.

the girls in the office are trying to convince me to get fake eyelashes. not as a commentary on my eyelashes in particular, but because they all do it. speaking of facial hair, i had a dream that i had a unibrow. the entire dream consisted of getting ready for work, taking one last look in the mirror, and thinking, "hmmm...i should get that plucked." it made me very grateful for the weak eyebrows i have naturally. some might even say i'm proud of them. ~~

because everyone hates text posts (apparently), here are some pictures of greenwich (of mean time fame).

from across the thames.
you hafta tunnel under the thames to get there. it's kinda damp, very cool, and the closest you'll ever get to being a ninja turtle (especially if you foul up a couple of bikers along the way).
the cutty sark.

this picture doesn't do the view justice. that's canary wharf behind the white mansion. canary wharf, btw, is where i lived and 'worked' for a month.
this is the zoomed out version.
the observatory, wherein the Time is Kept.
one more picture of my temporary home.
the weather cooperated fully.
the witch's bridge the which i daily crossed (breath held, eyes crossed, unjinxed).
the danish. he reminds me of a wigged statesman of yore.
the swedish girls.
half of the asian crew.
the last supper.


steve irwin is dead!

(i was gonna edit this post to make it more coherent, but in the space of two hours, my coherency standards have dropped, and now i find what i've written perfectly acceptable--i also have no qualms with starting on a parenthetical.)


two things:
1 australia has a prime minister?! O.o what exactly does his job entail? i guess he needs to exert western (white) influence on polynesians and micronesians (is that even a word?)...

2 i think it's great that although he (steve) was killed by an animal, they're (his family?) setting up a wildlife fund to help other animals. turn the other cheek. now replace the word animal with the word...well, choose an ethnicity. arab? jew? phillippino? if we can be so open minded for animals, why can't we do the same for ourselves?

in a spate of melodrama, i shall claim that i've died twice already this morning (in that life is moving on without me, and by life, i mean mit). smite is sending out reg day stuff and anne hunter is kicking me off her list.* i guess it's these small sloughing offs that keep our lives (and our mailboxes) uncluttered.

*elvo thought anne hunter was an interior designer. i astutely deducted this from the verbal hints he dropped on gtalk:

esadun: anne hunter the designer?

and later, in his own defense, he said,

esadun: is that really so tabboo?
who is this woman?
i mean...i wasn't course VI"
which is true, unless you count those years that he WAS course 6. you dirty liar, you. but, he doesn't read this blog anyways, so i can call him what i want here. not that i don't call him what i want to his face.
i'm in a relative mood. lines are blurring here, greys are mixing (where?), and elevator preening is king (in your underwear! jk jk). no really, people will blatantly check themselves out in elevators. it's like stepping into the bathroom of a club.


awww junk!

is not a Used Phrase here. here, junk may sometimes refer to a boy's package, but more often means a rather posh boat that can carry 25-35 people. i junked it for the first time yesterday with the frisbee folk, and boy was it awesome.* everyone brought food and beer to share, and at least one guy commented on how much i eat. since my mouth was full, i couldn't think of a healthy retort. my brain was in the midst of ecstasy convulsions. another guy, tristan, has asked me countless times why i'm smiling. and the answer's always been: cuz we're about to eat or because i'm eating or because i'm full. some people got seasick, which meant they couldn't eat much, and like a good teammate, i stepped up to fill their role. the hk harbor rocks of large ships' wakes. i love the up and down motion...i think i didn't get rocked enough as a baby.

i even mustered the courage to dive off the top of the junk! granted, that's only like 2 meters above water level, but the junk was rocking a lot and i've never done it before and i went in headfirst and the only guy to do it before me is patently crazy cough cough. AHEM. i feel very brave to have done it. and it hurt! my arms snapped upwards when i entered the water so it felt like i dislocated both shoulders at once. i had to tread water with only my feet until i could use my arms again, and i had to look like i was doing it on purpose. and then i accidentally swam to shore. i had some crazy idea that the junk would dock somewhere and then i'd climb aboard and grab my stuff. only once i reached shore did i realize that the junk had absolutely no intention of coming in, and poor me with my poor arms had to swim all the way back. eventually, we did swim ashore, where i
  1. peed
  2. threw a disc around
  3. played three points of a game
  4. fell asleep for 2 hours
life is good. oh! and i think i was the only one who successfully laid out for and caught a disc from the back of the boat. probably cuz i was the only one to get a good throw (the throwers were floating behind the boat in life preserves). on the way back, stephen lee, august president of hkupa, broke out his water balloon launcher...so we hoisted our jolly roger, swigged (swug?) our rum (and coke), and proceeded to launch at anything within range that moved. including other junks that mistook our eagerness for friendliness (they might've been on a romantic moonlight boat trip), including the landlubbers when we had to drop off some of our own in kowloon (and the landlubbers' expensive cameras). i felt a pang when we did that, but then i remembered that i'm a pirate, ARGH, and pirates don't pang, ARGH. lesson of the night: dancing on a rocking junk is akin to dancing in heels. you hafta keep your feet firmly planted and try to work it purely via hip gyrations. OR you can hang onto the handrail on the ceiling and spazz for all you're worth.

*i say awesome way too often. what should i use instead? i hate it when brits say brilliant or perfect when things are merely nice. maybe i'll bring radical back into play, or use super in homage to lori.


today i...

found a playground
saw a parakeet
chose an apartment
supped on dragon fruit (after coveting my neighbor's)
discovered the seeds of jackfruit

i went out in a very adult way. almost fell asleep in a jazz club. the music was great, but my contacts started bothering me (i'd had them in all day to play frisbee)...and we all know how i get then. the wine didn't help matters any. my lips are still purple from it. i didn't know that wine could be as persistent as blueberries. about the jazz: the singer resembled sheena, which reminded me of avocados and leather (supple). it was the first time in a long time that i didn't fall madly in love with the drummer (btw, if you're a jazz drummer, my number is...)

i think everyone i hang out with is miles older than me. there's a special enclave of peterpan expats here. the ones who don't want to face the mortgage and the 9-5 so they live in asia, where everyone's either ageless or dead. i still hiccup everytime someone asks me my age..."21" spits much more readily than "22"...is this how ppl start lying?

i signed my lease! well, sort of. it's a funny precontract that obliges me to sign the real contract within a week. i look for spy moments in my life, so i'm gonna count this one. my agent (let's call her Q, which stands for Ivy) called me right after pickup:

Q: "agent huang, if you can't start your lease on the 9th, then we've lost it."
003: "i understand, i accept the mission"
Q: "meet me at your hotel with the necessary paperwork in 30 min."
15 min before i arrive at my hotel:
Q: "rendezvous has changed. the boss is in IFC mcdonalds. we need to meet him there before he watches his movie."
003: "roger."

ok, it doesn't sound so exciting, but i had to run all over town! and then when i got there, i tried to hand the guy a check, and he was like, no, i need cash. 00. ok...i can do that...run to an atm and extract a wad of $1000 bills, stuff them surreptitiously into my wallet...he's gonna make me pay the $16000 security deposit in cash too. well, whatever it takes. i think i beat out another person for the apartment by minutes. the popularity of the place reassures me in my decision. is it sad that i need others to validate me thus? don't answer that...

if i sit on your face and fart, it only means i'm a fan

what do you do when there's a bug in your stir-fried romaine lettuce for which you're only paying $1? do you
  1. stop eating immediately, pay your bill, and sneak out of the restaurant before anyone notices
  2. complain until they take it off your bill
  3. pick it out and keep eating
tune-in next time to figure out what i did under such extenuating circumstances.

i now know why elvo likes hk so much. they have dipped cones at mcdonalds! in two flavors nonetheless--raspberry and chocolate--for only 5 HKD! and you can get a double cheeseburger for 8 HKD (which is roughly equivalent to $1).

the city is rife with hello kitty, maru maru badzpenguin or whatever you call that badass penguin dude, pooh bear, and others. i even found astroboy toilet seats!