Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Resolutions!

Well, here are my new year's resolutions:

1. Worry less.
2. Be less judgmental.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
6. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
7. Exercise more.

There you go, nothing too specific, but hopefully I'll work on each thing a little bit each day.

Today we went into NYC to visit Arlinda, my cousin. I was taking the whole family into the city for a lunch date and it seemed so silly to go all the way to NYC for just a lunch date, but I hadn't seen Arlinda in over 8 years and I'm glad that we did it because I had fun and it was a beautiful day and we all ran around Central Park.

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(Look at the previous entries - I added some photos to the entries now that I finally have a reliable internet connection.)

Happy new year to all!

Happy New Year (2007)

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Retirement Home

This morning, we went to Baltimore to see the wife of Mom's advisor (professor) in graduate school. She has lived alone for quite sometime. On and off, we have visited her so many times during the passed 30+ years. She has cancer right now and walks fairly slowly with a high-tech walker. Her only daughter is living in Albany, NY and visits her monthly. I promised her if I will drive north to see Jeremy and Doris after April, next year, I will pick her up to see her daughter. One stone for two birds, at least.

She was so happy to see us. We were too. We would like to invite her for lunch. But, since she has already missed so many meals in December in her retirment home, instead, she invited us using her leftover meal coupons because they will expire at the end of each month. The food was great. The conversation was great too. Just she is old and repeats the subjects a lot. Other than that, it was just great.

Her place is not that cheap at all. First, she needs to pay down about $250K for one bedroom apartment. Then every month, she needs to pay about $2,500 for meals and services. When she was sick and lived downstairs with extra cares, she had to pay $2,500 in addition. She told us, if she got sick again, she would like to stay upstairs in her apartment. If she is picked by Heaven in her apartment, then it is okay for her. Just too expensive to stay downstairs while sick and feel lonely. We agreed.

Looking at her and younger generations around us, Mom and I both think we are at our cross roads right now. Hope our health will hold up until the last moment. But who knows. We will be the last one lives in an assistance living place. We would rather stay in our house until the last moment.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Back at Bard.

We drove up from DC to Bard College. I was wedged between the kids, very uncomfortable as Vince squirmed into my personal space threatening to puke and Edda kept slapping me in my head with her arm. We zoomed to Bard with only one major meltdown (Vince sobbed as he realized McDonald's was not the lunch menu).

Today, Charlotte visited us and we walked to the Hudson River which is a favorite walk of mine. Tonight we wait for Ben, Johanna and Felix for dinner. It is getting more and more crowded here.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

This Christmas

Every one in the family was home this Christmas. It was very nice and time flies. To have all of them together is not easy these days, especially Emily, Bob and Katherine were here too. And I had a wonder time of having them celebrating my birthday together. To hear Edda laughing and to see Vincent running around had special feeling for me. The night before their (Jeremy, Doris, Donald, Vincent & Edda) departure to NY I was wild awake writing this paragraph.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Day after Xmas.

Well after Donald won his fantasy football league, it's pretty much been downhill from there. The Martins left for NYC after a holiday dinner of lamb and spinach/mushroom fritatta. The rest of us went to bed and woke up this morning not really knowing how to celebrate the first day of Kwanzaa.

Well Donald went and hung out with pals, Mom and Dad did errands, and Jeremy, me and the kids went to the mall. We went early enough so there was enough parking.

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Tonight we went to Colleen and Eric's house and had Edda's favorite dinner - roast beef, mashed potatoes and broccoli. She ate more than the other 3 kids running around.

The Real Stuff of Xmas...

Yeah yeah, there are presents, and friends, and good food and family. Whatever. :P

Tonight, I have officially won my Fantasy Football Super Bowl! I stayed up until 11ish waiting out the Miami-NYJ game. haahah!

The Super Bowl MVP is Ron Dayne of the Houston Texans for putting up 30 points for me this week, as my 2 stud running backs, LT2 and Fast Willie Parker, put up a measly 17 points, down from their average of 48. Jeff Garcia of the Philadelphia Eagles put in a respectable performance tonight. I staved off a late game scare from Jerricho Cotchery of the NY Jets, as he put in a 4th quarter TD against the Dolphins tonight, but I had enough points to eek out the win.

Just cause I'm anal... some players that helped the cause..

RB - Ladainian Tomlinson - 470pts - 33 TDs. Enough said. The #2 guys, Larry Johnson, clocked in at 359pts.
RB - Willie Parker - 264pts - 14 TDs. Erratic, either a huge game or nothing. This week, nothing
RB - Warrick Dunn - 165pts - Good first half. terrible second half. used until week 13
RB - Ron Dayne - 114pts - Subbed in in week 14. 71pts came in the last 3 weeks.

QB - Drew Bledsoe - 85pts - par until he got benched for Romo. Should have picked up Romo. sigh
QB - Jon Kitna - 236pts - Second half QB. Great yardage. Good until he started throwing 3 picks a game.
QB - Vince Young - 216pts - Wow. 6 wins in a row. Go Titans. Doubt threat to pass and run. A backup RB basically. Too bad i didn't play him in the super bowl
QB - Jeff Garcia - 116pts - All in the last 5 weeks. Did philly just win 3 road division games? Wow.

WR - TJ Houshmandzadeh - 199pts - the highest WR average. would have been #1 or #2 WR in the league, if he didnt' miss 2 games
WR - Wes Welker - 160pts - Mr. Consistency. 10 pts every game. #19 WR. Yea Return yards!
WR - Donte Stallworth - 105pts - Mr. Injury. Hamstring problems and McNabb going down. Huge couple games tho.
WR - Derrick Mason - 113pts - Couldn't trust him, tho he came up big for me in the first round. TD in garbage time.

TE - Kellen Winslow - 137pts - #6 TE in the league. Kinda slowed down at the end of the season. great wire pickup

K - Nate Kaeding - 139pts - SD's high powered offense.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Joyous!

This is the first year that Vince believes in Santa. He asked technical questions - Santa's flight times, geometry of landing on roofs and getting into houses without chimneys. We explained that Santa is helped along the way by a little bit of magic.

This Christmas was magical. All four of Vince and Edda's grandparents were here together. I'm lucky that our families can spend time together in this way.

Hooray!

Yesterday, we went to Seth and Christine's house for a pre-Christmas party.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

At home.

Well, Bob, Katherine, and Emy came by today, so now the house is full as both sets of grandparents are here, an uncle, an aunt. Cool beans. Today we went off to the library for like 10 minutes. Doris went out to eat with a high school friend. Any suggestions on where she can meet a guy in a non sports arena? I suggested dancing.

Also, to my horror, I found out on the way home, that my elementary school has bee razed. Sniff Sniff. College Gardens is no more... :(

Here's some pics of our trip to the library!








Dinner Together for Lees

Last evening, all the Lees (Noel, Rena, Doris, Donald & Jeremy, Vincent & Edda) were togther for dinner. It has been a long, long time that such occasion happened. Rena cooked some "Chia Chun Fun" - Family style cooking. The food was good and all the Lees were together. Really added the flavor in the food.

Vince and Josh

a

Friday, December 22, 2006

Come to my holiday concert!

Hey guys, Edda and I are the closing act of a holiday concert!

Home for Christmas.

We haven't celebrated Christmas in Maryland for many years.

Jeremy and the kids picked me up in NYC. We stopped off at Central Park for hot dogs and playing time.

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Donald was at the house already.

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We put up our Christmas tree. It is decorated with the last string of lights and the last box of ornaments that we could find at Target.

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Here is our computer cluster. We have 4 laptops crowded right at the front door. I will leave it up to you to figure out why.

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Karin and Karen

I spent 24 hours in NYC without the kids! I walked all around and smiled at strangers. It's odd since I don't enjoy talking to them. I did a Singapore vs NYC smile back survey. The smile back % is about the same - 15%. I held one person's gaze too long and he tried to ask me out. Yikes.

I lunched with my friend Karin. She is one week away from giving birth. We ate Korean food and talked until 3 pm. I rarely talk to a friend for hours. Karin teaches at West Point and is planning to go back to teaching on January 4th!

Karen, my college roommate, lives on the southern tip of Manhattan at Battery Park City. She is the COO of Broadway Technologies - she's just started so she's not on the website yet. She is so insanely successful at her work, it's not even funny - but she is very modest about it claiming luck mostly - but I know her hard work and her savvy was not a small part of her success. The Statue of Liberty stands outside her apartment and we talked until I was too sleepy to keep my eyes open.

I had a wonderful day.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Back in New York

We left Austin on Monday morning, Vince cried on the way to the airport because he just didn't want to leave. He had such a great time, it was really hard to go back to NY. On the plane back from Austin, poor Vince got airsick. Orange puke was all over the seat and the foot area. I apologized to the stewards, I cleaned up most of the vomit, but there was still stuff left on the floor. Of course, right after Vince puked, he felt much, much better. We limped home - it was a full day of travel - we got home about 9 pm.

Jeremy and I do travel quite a bit. This year, with Edda's diagnosis, I felt like we cut back on a lot of travel, but Jeremy reminded me that we still had 2 trips from Singapore to the US. While in the US, we traveled between upstate NY and Washington DC by car both times. In the spring trip, we went to Puerto Rico and this trip we went to Austin, TX. I guess we have traveled less while living in Singapore - we've only wandered off the island once - to Indonesia. Edda really has been loving this trip - sometimes I take her to new places in Singapore, she freaks out and needs a lot of reassurance from us to make her calm again, but this trip, she has been all smiles and contentment. Vince has been a little more unsettled, more concerned about where we are going and when we are going home. He loves being with family, but this whole moving around is getting to him.

We are in beta!

Go for it Donald!

Doris and Edda wish you Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Good New Times.

It was a good, but tiring weekend in LA. I drove down Thursday night and got to Ted's place at around 1am. I found him and his roommate, James, playing Gears of War on Xbox 360, so of course I had to play for an hour or 2. Ted and I ended up talking a bit too - didn't sleep until about 4am.

Friday, I woke up late, Ted had to get his new stereo install at the very same Circuit City that I had tried to buy Mom her original iPod nano. Anyways, they messed up the install, and now the stereo whines when the car revs. Grounding problem? New Amp? Dunno. But we went to the Circuit City no less than 3 times this weekend. :)

We hung out a bit with Nolan and Huong. They are always really good hosts to me. Never can seem to pay for my own dinner when we go out to eat. So thanks Nolan. Also Nolan was the keeper for my old Klein Attitude hardtail, affectionately known as, Bluesy. I got it back from him considering Nolan now has at least.. 5-10 bikes in his stable. :) Well, now I've got 5 bikes in my stable, that I'm not quite sure what to do with, but we'll think of something.

We did some time trialing also. This is good cause I signed up to to the time trialing portion of the Wildflower Tri with Yi-Ling and her friend Meera. 56 miles, racing. Yikes. Our team name? GunningForNotLast. :) Ted and I raced on the way out to determine our handicap, and then raced on the way back, with Ted starting ahead of me based on the handicap. He beat me by 30 seconds... grrrr..

Also I went to catch a one-woman show. It was Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking. Basically a satire on how fucked up her life was, and it was pretty fucked up. :) Best line of the night: "Dating your Ex is like the victory of hope, over experience." :) Oh yes, I forgot to say that I had my first celebrity spotting in LA. Leonard Maltin was not only at the play, but he also ate at the same pizza joint that Ted and I went to before the show. ha ha!

Not a lot of pics from the weekend, Here's some of us hanging out in Old Pas. Ted, you've got a good eye, you should take up photography.

Oh yeah, also more confirmation that my Orange Jacket is cool. a random stranger came up to me at Ralph's and told me that she liked my jacket. :)

And if TJ Houshmandzadeh outscores Chris Henry in tonight's Cincy-Indy game, then I'm in the Fantasy Football Super Bowl! Woo hoo!

 
Ted hanging out at Mi Piace.


 
Huong, Nolan's wife, also chilling out. 

Mom On the Move

Mom got the verbal offer this afternoon. Looks like Mom is going early next year.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

On vacation from our vacation.

It's a shame that once on vacation, I don't blog, because lots of things happen when we are on vacation and I don't want to forget about them all!

First, before I forget, I wanted to thank my secret pal for the oodles of wonderful gifts for me and the kids. I especially loved the yarn bras - I was just thinking of buying some for myself. Vince went crazy over the Spiderman motorcycle, that thing is amazing. Edda (who is pretty hard to shop for) seemed to enjoy My Little Pony.

Secret pal

Thank you! Thank you!

So we made it to New York, and wore our winter jackets around.

Out for a walk.

As soon as we got over the worst of the jet lag, we flew to another time zone. Austin is only 1 hour off New York, not as bad as the 12 from Singapore. Austin is the best town in the US. I love it so much, it's hip and cool and there are great places to eat and run. But most of all, it is the home of many of our friends! We got to spend most of the weekend hanging out with the Strickers who have been family friends of the Martins for over 40 years. Jeremy mom Katherine and Scott's mom Rolleen became friends when Katherine was in high school and Scott and Jeremy grew up with each other in their lives and now our children are becoming great friends. It's really nice to see.

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This is one of my favorite photos from this weekend, you can see all the Strickers and most of us going on the morning dog walk in their neighborhood. We didn't do anything special, we just hung out at their house and played and ate and talked. The weather was wonderful.

I also had the wonderful chance to see Kate and Abby, who are my good friends from Singapore. Abby just turned 1 and is so cute and chubby and about a minute from being able to walk around. So cute!

"Who I Am Looking For" II

Saturday, December 16, 2006

iPod 2nd Generation

Mom would like to have a new iPod. I searched the web today and found out that the closest Apple iPod store is at Charlottes, NC. - 3 1/2 hours drive away, on way.

Since the weather was good and, along the way, we could also enjoy some music together. So off we went to the South Mall of Charlottes. Well, this mall is a bit fancier than the Augusta Mall. A "Neiman Marcus" is in there too. Mom looked at one jacket was 20% off. Guess how much? It was merely ~$2,500.00. There were a lot of them hanged there along several racks. This jacket was really good, 100% cashmere. I liked it. The color along with the style was good too. Well, may be next time.

Too bad, we just found out this mall by accident. Or else, I am sure Mom would like to go there often. Eventually, I bought Mom a 4 gigs iPod. With lanyard, it was about $250.00. Of course, it came without all those small things, such as bag, ear covers, etc. included in the 1st generation iPod.

I just finished setting the new one up. I inherited the old one of 1 gig that Mom had.

So, if we are getting tired of hearing each other too much or really mad at each other, we all could plug our ears with iPod. Hope we don't have this "2-iPod Moment" too many. "1-iPod Moment" is always there, Mom said :)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Surprise Choon!

Last Night we had a surprise birthday party for Choon! Details to follow when I have time, but some photos. Enjoy!

(edit)

So it was Tuesday Night. Choon and PS were off dropping Joe at the airport. They left their house around 8:45ish? I snuck in thru the side door and was the first one there at 9:15. And so while bored, I proceded to set the high score on Choon's Bot It Extreme. (Too bad they use an 8 bit counter so the high score only goes up to 250. (Yes an 8 bit counter goes to 255, but that's just a weird number to end at for non-CS people)) Ha. Everyone soon came in afterwards. We piled into the new office of Choon's startup waiting for them to come home.

We got a bit of a warning, but Xin barely made it out of the bathroom before Choon opened the door. Unfortunately, Choon, instead of walking to the rear of the house where we were, he decided to walk towards the front, and while turning out the lights he noticed all our shoes on the back porch. :) And then the gig was up! I don't know why we didn't just rush him to begin with, and I'm surprised that he didn't hear us in the back room. We were whispering really loudly.

Laff. Lynn provided the cakes - a chocolate vegan and the better one, the tiramisu cake with lady fingers. Also instead of candles, we used the illegally imported british sparklers. Who knew Zaniab was in the smuggling business.

Some of the photos below are Lynn's. I gave her a quick lesson in apeture and depth of field. Wheeee!

 
Sparklers instead of Candles. Go Brits!


 
Lynn's. I like.


 
YA Lynn's. She's learning to be a pro now.


 
Toro - the centerpiece!

Monday, December 11, 2006

I'm here.

We are at home in New York!

More later...

Some blogger beta buzz. We are going to have to wait until blogger beta isn't beta anymore in order to move.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Another Good Saturday

I woke up pretty early - 8:12 to be exact. I was supposed to get up at 7:45, but somehow I missed my alarm. Go figure. Anyways, I went off to my very first Dragonboat practice. My friend, Steve, who I helped build up a bike, is one of the leaders on the team. There's a beginner's practice at 10:30, but he said, show up at 9am for the regular practice. And of course, today, they make us do like actual racing. Sigh. My lower back hurts. I'll get him back on the bike. :P

Funny quote of the Day, "Don keep that arm at a 130 degree angle. Pull out the protracter. I know you MIT guys keep it in your pocket". Heh.

Practice was done at about 10:45. I headed home, napped for a bit, and when the weather cleared, me and Frank went out for a 40 minute bike ride. Man it's nice to get out. I haven't ridden in like 5 weeks. There was a terrible headwind on the way out, but it was super nice on the way back in. The air was so calm with the tailwind. It felt like you were floating. On the way back, we saw a super nice double rainbow. It had a deep deep purple stripe to it. We got home, and I went out to try to take a photo, but it was gone when I got out there.

It was about 3pm, and I was considering pulling the Holy Triumvirate and go rock climbing as well, but then I thought better of it and decided to nap. Laff.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

No longer hacking up a lung.

We both slept well last night! We spent the day watching Blue's Clues and basically vegging out - trying to preserve all our energy for the flight tomorrow.

I am a bit nervous about the flight, it's 17 hours and Edda will want to walk around. She doesn't really walk in a straight line, I think the aisle might be treacherous. I hope I don't puke. I hope Edda sleeps for 12 hours so I get to watch some good movies (I stopped watching movies in 2002 - not exactly voluntarily, I only get to watch on airplanes.)

Good night! See you tomorrow!

Who I am looking for...

Okay Choon. Here it is since you asked for.

Who am I looking for?

I think first off, she has to grab my attention somehow. I tend to place people I meet into a context - basically I try to figure out what kind of people they are and put them into a predefined box. To get my attention, she has to do something that tells me that she's either aware of her box or that she's trying to step outside that box. It's as easy as sitting down in a coffee shop and really listening to someone or turning her head to check me out or going out on 60 dates in 4 months. Something to grab me and say, "Hey this girl isn't a regular X. She listens or she's bold or she's committed." It shows a certain amount of free thinking and awareness. To me, it's a sign of why she could be special - how she separates herself from the crowd. I suppose it's that "Wow" moment.

Of course, it probably a bit hard to tell what that thing is going to be. At least it's hard for you guys trying to set me up. Ha! It has to be there tho, or she's just a regular girl.

Hrm. What can be more helpful? Confidence is sexy. Having some sass would be good too. A solid group of really good friends. Somewhat Social. A good hostess. Fiscally responsible. :) Ha. I don't really care about the biking, or whatever. It's all really just fluft in way. That stuff is generally negotiable.

And Marrieds, if you want to set me up, please please don't fall into the trap of setting me up with someone just cause we're both single. There's got to be a real reason that you're hooking us up. Generally I think a good rule of thumb is, if you don't think she's super cool/special/datable, chances are that I won't either. Quality baby. Quality. :P

Helpful? Questions?

Friday, December 8, 2006

Ack. I can't breath.

Last night was torture. I'm hacking my lungs out, Edda can't sleep because she's running a high fever. I walk around like a zombie, sponging her down. Keeping her cool. Thankfully, we both sleep well from 12-6am.

Rukia, our housekeeper, walks into our apartment and takes one look at me and tells me I should see a doctor for myself. By this time, I can't really breath lying down and I wheez terribly sitting up.

So I haul ourselves to the doctor at the mall (!) and get the whole nebulizer treatment. (Edda is laughing the whole time because she knows it's not her going to the doctor. Thanks for the sympathy, girl.)

I'm so sick.  Please help me breath!

Thank God it works, I feel much better.

Needless to say, we missed Edda's last day of school dance extravaganza. I am praying we make it out of here on Sunday.

Oh yes, I also dropped Ruby off at the dogsitter's today. She ran up to him, happy to be with him. It's weird cleaning food up in the house without the vacuum dog.

Beta Beta!!!

Woo hoo! The link just showed up to move over to beta.

Can we Can we Can we Can we Can we Can we Can we Can we Can we Can we Can we Can we Can we Can we Can we Can we Can we Can we ?

Fun Night Climbing

It was a great time climbing with everyone tonight. Arif, Pei-Sun, Xin and Shwe all came out to Planet Granite. Tahera was sadly at home sick. Arif managed to climb up a 5.10d. We tried a 5.11a without much success, tho it was an interesting one - No hand holds for the first 5-8 moves. We did a lot of bouldering, V0's mostly. Shwe got the forearm burn that most people starting out get. Xin and Pei-Sun were doing pretty well also. They have a good power to weight ratio. :)

Funny moment of the night - Getting calloused man-hands might make Xin reconsider taking up rock climbing. Say it ain't so!

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Doris.

Have you sold anything on ebay yet? Just curious.

Adding drug-resistant bacteria into the world.

Today I went to our favorite Children's Hospital to get a prescription for a sedative for Edda for our 18 hour flight... She doesn't sleep through the night at home yet and when she gets extra stimulated, then it gets impossible to coax her to sleep. Our geneticist prescribed chloral hydrate which was used for the last home leave trip and her EEG.

By the time we were finished with that appointment, her temperature skyrocketed to 40.4 so I just wheeled her down to the emergency room for a quick once over. I love, love, love this emergency room. I was in/out in about 90 minutes complete with drugs, observation and the whole thing was $40 US dollars. Crazy.

Anyhow, the doctor took a look at Edda and said that the infection was probably viral and that I would just have to treat the fever with Tylenol and Motrin. This is the weirdest thing about hospitals. In every book they tell you, fever over 40C, run, run, run to the hospital. I get to the hospital and after an hour of Tylenol and Motrin, Edda's fever dropped to 39.5 and the doctor was sending me home for "fever management". So I asked how he could tell it was viral vs bacterial. He said that he couldn't really and that if it persists for a few days, then we would do further testing. I prodded him some more and asked if I could have some antibiotics. Man. He seemed reluctant and I know all about over prescribing of antibiotics, but hey, Edda's sitting in the stroller all listless with a temp of 39.5, you bet I want to alleviate her suffering. So I behaved badly and got antibiotics for a viral infection.

Edda crying in shower

I showered Edda down at the hospital to try an bring her temp down.

It's so quiet around here without my boys - the Martin men who talk, talk, talk.

Oh, did anyone read the NY times article about parents using genetic screening to pick out offspring with genetic defects? Granted, dwarfism and deafness aren't exactly extremely debilitating genetic defects, but still it's weird. I've read blogs by parents who think their kid with genetic anomalies are perfect the way they are and that they wouldn't change anything about their child, but damn, if I could find that guanine somewhere, you bet I shove it into every cell of Edda's body.

Boo hoo, I'm sick too and I'm going to bed. Good night.

Freaking Ted Out.

Yes. I'm a girl. I was reading a Salon.com article about some guy proposing to his wife. There's an interesting link to another article about man-made diamonds. Lo and behold, there's a link at the bottom where you can actaully buy synthetic diamonds. The coolest thing probably is that the diamonds are fairly cheap considering that they are colored. Pink. Yellow. Blue. Really rare diamond types. Now the next question tho, do they really look better than white diamonds? Hrm. Now when they can make a red fluorescing diamond, you'll have my attention.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Good day Thursday!

We slept fitfully last night. Edda and I are both sick. I can't decide if mine are really allergies or not, but Edda has a fever - highest it was last night was 38.5. No school for Edda today.

A Day in New York

Vince and I arrived in New York about 24 hours ago. So far so good, although we off to a bit of a slow start. Vince has been very happy and having fun since we arrived. His fever and cough are getting better and he continues to cooperate with the medicine taking requirements. I now also have a bit of a cold and fever, although nothing serious. I hope it won't last long. I have not left the house since we arrived yesterday. I slept like a rock last last night until about 1:30AM, and then fitfully after that. When Vince also got up at 4:30AM we just started our day. Today he lasted until about 5PM before collapsing in front of his favorite Blues Clues video and I expect he is down for the count (I hope he makes it to at least 4:30 again). I only made it until about noon and then slept until 5PM or so, so perhaps it will be another long night for me. Anyway my book is pretty interesting (The Omnivores Dilemma) , so I have something to do. I am not sure if I will make it to work tomorrow or not. Maybe it will be another day hanging around at home.

So quiet around here.

Without the chatterboxes here, the house is quiet. Edda, me and Ruby are all of very few words. We can have a dandy old time together for hours without saying anything to each other.

Almost all the folks with Rett Syndrome are non-verbal. Actually, a lot of the kids acquire words (one person from the internet support group mentioned that his daughter had a vocabulary of 300 words) before the regression hits at about 12-24 months and all verbal skills are lost. There is even a nickname for Rett girls - "Silent Angels" (which is a bit too sugary and morbid for me, since Edda really isn't silent because she laughs and has vocalizations when she's pissed, happy, angry, surprised and she isn't an angel - because angels are in heaven and she isn't there yet and she's isn't an earthly angel because she will butt in front of her brother for the TV and she will bite you until you bleed and she will drop herself like a dead weight in order for you to carry her while you are holding a huge bag of groceries - but you get the silent idea). Edda really never had any words - if she's really mad and it's bedtime, sometimes we will get an exasperated "MA!" but that is pretty much it. But these past few days, her teachers and her therapists swear that she is saying "apple" and "happy". I have to say that I am skeptical about all this, I have pretty much given up any expectation of Edda ever having any verbal ability, but get this - I can hear those words too. It's too early for me to call them words, I think I'll just stick to calling them sounds that Edda likes to say and they happen to sound just like happy apple. (Wouldn't it be so cool if Edda could talk? - I'd settle for just a handful of words... ahh, I'm getting all bleary-eyed thinking about it...)

**********

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Common name: Geiger Tree
Scientific name: Cordia sebestena

Location: West Coast park

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

In Sweet News Today...

I just got a promotion and a raise. Great! It's not a big deal really but I find it funny that I'm basically getting back the money I would have made at the bike shop - plus weekends free! Ha!

In Stupid News Today...

Yes. I squeaked out a win in Week 13, and now I sit atop our fantasy league with a 9-4 record and a total of 1915.02 points scored - 220 pts more than #2. Thank you Ladanian Tomlinson! Of course, it was getting ugly at the end, as the last 3 games i went 1-2 and scoring an average of 145 pts over that streak which a lot of points. The last game, which I needed to win, the score was 160-149. 149 was tha highest points scored in a losing effort this year. Why do people have to make it so stressful for me in the end?

So we enter the playoffs. Bye week clinched. Home field advantage clinched. I"m feeling good. I haven't scored less that 133 points since week 5. We'll see what happens.

And they are homeward bound.

Last night, Jeremy was so excited about flying today that he could sleep until 3 am. Vince's illness was improving rapidly; so much that he woke up, took one look around and said, I'm OK! I can go to New York today! And so they went... I dropped off Edda at school and then dropped them off at the airport. Vince gave me a bunch of kisses and said that he'll miss me and that I can write him and we can still be friends and that we'll have dinner together when he comes back.

At airport.

Edda seemed happy to have the TV all to herself, no one elbowing her out of the way, no one changing programs mid-cartoon. Smiling and happy. Ruby, on the other hand, seems bummed. She knows what packing means. She knows that we'll be leaving for a while. Poor girl...

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Common name: Cat's Whiskers
Scientific name: Orthosiphon aristatus

Location: near Edda's school.

Tried to call you Doris

But your phone is busy or something's wrong with the connection. Oh well.

Anyways, what's your opinion on Flickr? The good? The bad?

Monday, December 4, 2006

Here we go again.

So Vince and Jeremy didn't make the noon flight out of here. Vince felt a bit weak today, but I think the fever is down and hopefully tonight will be a quiet night and tomorrow, they will be on their way.

Last night Jeremy and I were in bed and talking about the crazy year it has been. It was just about a year ago when we first suspected something was amiss. Was it the worst year ever? I guess one could say that. It was certainly not easy grappling with Edda's Rett diagnosis. Edda's life is very different from what I thought it was going to be when I first held her in my arms.

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Common name: Croton
Scientific name: Codiaeum variegatum

Location: Genesis school!

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Grumble, grumble.

Ack, Vince started to run a fever today. I hope he doesn't get sicker over the next 24 hours since he and Jeremy are set to leave Singapore tomorrow on a non-stop flight halfway around the world. Tylenol seems to control the fever quite well, so cross your fingers that he doesn't get sicker. A sick kid trapped on a 17 hour flight is no fun for anyone.

I signed up to sing at a virtual christmas concert. Any suggestions for what to sing? Remember, I can't really carry a tune, so something cute/sweet/funny - also something short would be nice too.

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Common name: Coral Tree
Scientific name: Erythrina crista-galli or fusca

Location: Choa Chu Kang Park

Saturday, December 2, 2006

It's Been a Good Saturday.

Well, I woke up around 10am. Not bad considering I went to bed at 4am. I got up. Did not shower. Did not put on any pants. Said good morning to my roommates. Revelled in not having to go to work today.

I cooked up some spicy sausage patties and had some Eggo waffles with butter and real Canadian maple syrup. Did some laundry. Cleaned my room. Cut my hair. Went outside and took some more photos while there was still sun outside.

Tonight, I'm going up to the city to watch a play called, "Doubt" with Ronnie. But it's already been a great great day.

 


 


 


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Cooking Week Off

Mom brought back a lot of good stuff from Washington DC after Thanksgiving. Therefore, this week I was off of cooking, but still washed the dishes. Yesterday, when Mom had her colonoscopy done, I did manage to cook some vegetables and shrimps. Starting next week, cooking arrangement should be back to normal - I cook during weekdays and Mom cooks during weekends.

Yet More Fartsy Pictures

 
 
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Some Artsy Fartsy Pictures...

 


 


 


 

Edda at a fair.

We went to a park downtown to see the Indian dance performance of V., our babysitter's daughter. They have been preparing for MONTHS and MONTHS. We rushed and rushed around, hauled the kids downtown at 2pm. Sat under the tent and then nothing happened, just rehearsals on the stage. No sign of our friend anywhere. There was lots of good food and some fun kid games. I'm always on the lookout for things that Edda might like to do and today we found the perfect swinging thing.

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We hung out for 90 minutes and then headed home. It was so hot. Later, my babysitter called and asked if I had gotten the text message last night that revised the time from 2pm to 12:45pm. But it was written in weird Singlish/SMS/Text shorthand and I read it too quickly to fully comprehend the implications. I feel so bad I missed it.

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Common name: Peacock flower
Scientific name: Caesalpinia pulcherrima

Location: I forget exactly where. Singapore I guess.

Khristian Karaoke.

Heh. Tonight had been planned for quite some time now. It's JT's (annual?) dinner and karaoke night, where he invites everyone out to sing to their hearts content. We went to eat at one of the may Korean Tofu places in Sunnyvale. (pictures to follow) and then it's off to Camino Karaoke where we got 2 rooms filled to the brim. We stayed there for the better part of 5 hours. Man. I love karaoke. It's always a good time.

Sometimes I get the sense that JT is trying to convert me. Well, that's too strong a statement. I'll say he's looking out for my well-being, which is different. Usually this centers around meeting women. He suggested that I should maybe get to know someone there tonight better - and I'm not sure what he's expecting here. Obviously almost all the people there tonight are dedicated Christians, and I just assume that they would not be interested in dating/marrying non-Christians. So anyways, that could possibly be construed as conversion, but it not really.

Of course, perhaps my assumption is wrong, and some Christians are willing to date non-Christian. Choon's asked me this before - Could I marry a dedicated, weekly church going Christian? I can't say no entirely, but it's highly unlikely. I don't have any intention of converting, and I'd feel pretty uncomfortable if my kids were raised Christian. I don't feel like forcing on them something so large when they are impressionable and do anything. And there's a certain distrust for me about organized religion. Maybe this is where I like the Quaker approach, where it's just you and God. That's it.

Random camera note: I've made it a point not to really say what camera equipment I've bought. I even taped over the numbers on my body. Tho some people find out anyways (Choon :P). Tonight, I had no less than 3 people attempt to engage me in "what kind of camera is that?". Wha. I don't feel like being a part of that. It takes pictures! It's a camera! Not a number, not a status symbol. I try to use it! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I doubt they would even know what an f-stop is. And oh, Mr. Why's-He-Got-The-Hood-On-Indoors, well I keep it there to protect the lens. Invariably someone else want to take pictures with my camera, and surprise surprise they are not a aware of where the front glass elements are, so it helps keep the front element from getting scratched up from random carelessness.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Rett Syndrome Resources - Communication

http://www.marvision.com/

Inexpensive head pointing?

Report from Stroller Land

Apparently, my ex-gf with a kid, Karen, has just told me that MacLarens are out of fashion. It's now all about the $700 Bugaboos. Judy, start taking notes, cause I know you'll be all over this one!

Happy vacation!

We are on va-ca-tion! We are on va-ca-tion! OK, at least Jeremy and Vince are on vacation. I'm always on vacation - eating bon bons and watching Korean soap operas on TV (just kidding!) and Edda has 1 more week of school.

T., a mother of one of Edda's classmates, held a Christmas party at her house. It was a blast. We stayed for 6 hours. There was:

Santa

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Trampoline

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Tire Swinging

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There was also swimming, BBQ, fruit salad, wine (red, white and champagne), dogs, 1 cat. Our fish moved into their outdoor fish pond - increased his living space at least 15-fold, but has to put up with a few new roommates.

Vince met a nice little girl at the party. When he finds someone he really likes, he doesn't want them to become unreachable. He asked me to get her phone number and when I hemmed and hawed, he just went right up to her and asked for it. We promised a future playdate together.

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Common name: Red Ginger
Scientific name: Alpinia purpurata

Location: Orchard Road