Life with Churry.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Socializing in Suburbia

When we pulled into the driveway this week on garbage day, our neighbor came out of her house to pull her garbage cans away from the sidewalk. Our three concurrent trips between the sidewalk and our respective backyards along the two-foot-tall fence separating our driveways could have been totally awkward silence. I mean, really, what do you say to someone while pushing around a garbage can?

Good thing one of us graduated with honors from the School of Suburbia Etiquette. I yelled hello, waved, and ran to hide in the house. But I was comforted by the knowledge that someone was being a good, friendly neighbor.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Flying Laptop

On first glance, this post makes you marvel at the sturdiness of the PowerBook and the amazing luck of the owner. On second thought, I start wondering what kind of idiot would position his laptop such that it had any chance of falling 3 stories. Honestly, if you're dying for a MacBookPro, get a second job or something. Don't try to pull a stupid insurance scam.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Taxi Coop

I was waiting for the bus across a major street from a hotel when I noticed them. They were kind of shifting around like hikers stuck on a narrow cliff ledge. Odd, I thought. It soon became obvious they were performing an orchestrated dance. The first two taxis moved up gingerly before backing up again into their original positions so the new comer could back into a metered parking space and become third in line. Nice to see people working together even though they shouldn't be taking up precious parking space.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Play Date

"How was the workout?"

"It was fine. It's never too bad the first time. Then you get sore. Your body's like, 'We thought that was a one-time deal. We agreed to play ONCE.'"

Monday, November 13, 2006

It's a Matter of Principle

San Francisco apparently dropped out of the running to host the 2016 Summer Olympics because there won't be a new stadium in the city now that the 49ers are thinking about moving to Santa Clara. I hear SF is quitting because they won't be able to have the opening ceremony in SF without the nice new stadium their plans were built around.

San Francisco's like a kid who refused to wear a bathing suit and is now sulking on the sidelines because it can't play in the pool. Maybe in pre-school it'll learn to skinny dip.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What's in Your Basement?

"We won't do that, it's too complicated. We would need the tamed mathematician in the basement to do it." Professor KO (paraphrased)

Sunday, November 05, 2006


After five weeks of confinement, my right arm was freed this week from its cast. The skin on my arm has been rather sensitive, like a new immigrant who jumps each time Americans try to say hi with a hug. On the other hand, not literally, the hair on my right arm are celebrating their regained freedom. The hairs lucky enough to not become in-grown seem to all be standing at attention. The sad in-grown hairs are all huffy and puffy, making their personal space red and itchy until I scratch off the layer of skin holding them down. Even the pores on the right arm are much more noticeable than those on the left. It's like they're vying for extra attention to make up for lost time. Anyhow, happy to see my arm face-to-face again.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Lost and Found

I'm a little late on finding this story, but as far as I can tell from Dori's web site, she hasn't recovered her license plate yet. So if you're in the Bay Area, keep an eye out for the "WEB GEEK" license plate, likely not on a car (see the original post.)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Proud to be an American

"I'm taking the Fig Newtons to work."

"Ok. It's not like I eat them. I only eat the strawberry ones."

"What? How can you not like figs? That's very un-American. They should send you to Guantanamo Bay. The charge is 'Dislikes Figs.'"

"At least I'll know what my charge is."

"Yah, we make exceptions for U.S. citizens."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

You Get What You Pay for

Yes, after a long hiatus due to my crazy schedule that was made even more crazy by a cast on my dominant hand, my first post is going to be a link to another web page. Oh come on, wouldn't you want to share with the world these crazy stories of random charges on restaurant bills? Check it out.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Sad Avocado

I'm not sure if avocado is an acquired taste or just something only adults can like. I clearly remember being grossed out by the avocado in my mom's salads. But the unavoidable happens. I fell deeper and deeper in love with California AND I'm getting older and older. Nowadays, it's hard to hide my love for avocados. No comments about my age please.

The saddest thing is when avocado products turn black. It is such a waste! Imagine all the children who don't have enough to eat! And here we are, forced to throw out yummy avocados because of some pesky oxygen. As luck would have it, I found out why avocados turn black-separation anxiety.

For Diversity Day, Jose and Vicky manned the Mexican booth all night because Agustin, the only other Mexican student, was a bartender for the night. Vicky made some awesome guacamole, and I hung out there after making my rounds and getting all the stickers. It was a small shocker when my chip hit a hard object in the guacamole. Geological discoveries are cool and all, but a brown object in my, um, our food? That is not cool, man.

Trying hard to keep myself composed, I pointed and asked as gently as I could, "What's that!" Jose and Vicky, who apparently have encountered worse reactions before, answered matter-of-factly, "It's the avocado pit. It keeps the guacamole from turning black."

*whew* The dangers I brave for good food.

So there it is. If you have to peel away the avocado meat from the pit, at least let them stay together after you process the meat. Keep your avocado happy, and it will stay green.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I've always pitied the people who don't know that the Chinese food at Mr. Chau's is really Americanized Chinese food.

It took everything in me to not make a snide comment when, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, several travel agents from the American south complained about the food at the banquet. They obviously had no idea how hard it is to serve 100 tables the same dish at about the same time at about the right temperature. I won't even mention all the well-made, labor and skill intensive dishes cooked up by the kitchen that these ladies considered inedible.

I've come to accept the fact that most of us may learn to appreciate authentic cuisine of different origins, but we will never truly enjoy certain authentic dishes that taste drastically different from our mom's cooking. So here is my small contribution of the day towards educating people about authentic cuisine-King of Thai Noodle is not authentic Thai food. (Source: Saran with the really long last name.)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Out of the Goodness of Her Heart

"Where are you giving blood?"

"Cupertino blood center. They called and said there was a blood shortage so I agreed to help out!! I get to write it off as a tax deduction, right? I estimate my blood is worth $1 million!! I wouldn't get audited for that would I?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

El Flojo Trabaja Doble

Jose's having a tough day grading assignments. "First-years!" he grunts. Now we all know misery loves company. Jose tried to spread the love by getting us to help decipher the handwriting on these assignments. Little did he know I taught middle school for four years and had to learn to understand chicken scratch to save my sanity. So the grading process went faster with me helping to decipher student names, but improved efficiency is not nearly as satisfying as frustrating others.

After more complaining and bitching about the first-years and the professors, Jose attempts to throw a piece of paper into a trash can two feet away. Seizing its opportunity to add to Jose's issues, the paper floats around a la American Beauty and falls next to the trash can. "The lazy work twice." grunts Jose.

Sobhi walks in while I'm practicing my Spanish phrase-of-the-day, and he promptly aims some trash at the aforementioned trash can from the other side of the closet-sized team room and...makes it. Instead of rubbing this in our (Jose's) face, Sobhi gamely fulfils the decree, aims some more trash at the trash can, and sinks those, too. I mean, he did have to split up his trash-throwing into two moves. So technically, he did work twice.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Never Eat Alone

I finally finished reading Keith Ferrazzi's book, Never Eat Alone. The same one Michael still can't finish because like every other diligent business school student, the only time he has to read the book is when, well, he eats alone.

Am I not a diligent business school student? No, I am. I read the book in the bathroom-the usual toilet time, but especially when I was brushing my teeth, and even when I was taking out or putting in my contact lenses. I know, that takes skills. It also took determination, considering the other free reading material I had to put aside-MacWorld, Entertainment Weekly, Technology Review, Fortune, Newsweek, Yachting, Conde Naste Traveler. Maybe TR isn't really free, considering how much tuition I paid, not even considering the blood, sweat, and tears.

Anyway, Keith makes a really good point there about focusing on the people in your life. After all, if you don't spend time with your loved ones, you will never ever have material for a blog like this.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Baby Toupee

Look! It's Suri!

I wonder if she's a Nelson client?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

When will the Rest of the World Learn?

In case you haven't heard, I'm a Mac fanatic. No, not the kind who would dress my imaginary dog in a t-shirt proclaiming I am one. Nor am I the kind who would create or play bingo during the WWDC keynote speech since I (a) am not creative enough to come up with that idea, (b) am not a developer, and thus (c) was not at the conference. Though I admit that could have been fun, and I did tell lots of people about the bingo card.

I am, however, enough of a fanatic that I remembered the day and (almost) time of the keynote speech, and followed along with Steve and company's performance by reading three different web sites simultaneously to make sure I didn't miss a beat.

So when several new Mac users showed up for our configuration meeting at school this week and couldn't stop beaming about all the cool things you can do on a Mac, I felt tingly all over. I then almost fainted with pride when one of them said to another, "She really knows how to work this thing."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


It's been a long time since I was last obsessive about a celebrity. I think the excitement started wearing off when my brother started attending the same high school as my then favorite pop star. When I found out today that Britney has registered for baby shower gifts, I fired up my Google skills and checked out the registry. Can you believe there is something I can afford?! Just imagine Britney's little girl playing with the Flatso Large Elephant I bought...

Oh wait, I have better things to do with my money.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Honest Politician

I was driving home the other night enjoying some BBC news on NPR and caught this thrilling interview with Sha Zu Kang, the Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva. At first, it was shocking to hear a politician get so worked up and speak so directly. Once I overcame the shock, I was torn between admiring his honesty (not a common trait in politicians) and despising his gracelessness. As a compromise, I decided it was better to fear his proclamation that the Chinese government does not value human life enough to avoid war.

Blog Readers

There are so many blogs out there, it's amazing people still read blogs they don't like. It's even more amazing when people like that post comments on blogs they don't like. I'll bet you anything Dooce does not enjoy reading all the hate mail she gets, but she has such a great sense of humor about it. We haven't gotten any nasty comments on our blog so far, um, yah, no good or neutral comments either. That's ok, I don't need strangers telling me what to do. Life is hard enough already. Though it would be nice to get some traffic on the site and make a few cents from those ads. hehe.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

wikiwiki part deux

I found yet another wikipedia-esque page yesterday. Wikimapia is not the most user friendly, so it takes some determination to figure it out. (If you're reading my blog, it probably takes you minimal effort to figure it out, unless you're my mom. In that case, I can't imagine you even having the tiniest bit of desire to figure it out, which is ok. This is simply another geek toy.) Anyhow, since I am a geek, I dutifully mapped out Shanghai Flavor Shop. This should take you to it, though I'm not 100% sure.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Great Restaurant in Sunnyvale

We just want everyone to know there is an awesome Chinese restaurant in Sunnyvale. It's one of those hole-in-the-wall places that is also located in an old strip mall. It's scary to walk into a place like this without knowing how good the food is. We finally tried it based on the recommendation of a fellow patron who shared a large round table with us at a nice Chinese restaurant in Cupertino.

Boy oh boy, this mom-and-pop restaurant might as well be my mom's kitchen. Ok, it's not as good as my mom's cooking, but it's close and it's cheap. Fine, it's better than my mom's cooking, but only because they make dishes my mom doesn't make. Anyway...

Shanghai Flavor Shop 上海生煎館 is located at 888 Old San Francisco Rd, Sunnyvale, 94086. It's in the same strip mall as the Shell station and the Safeway. The phone number is 408.738.3003.

Our favorite dishes are the steamed dumplings (xiao3 long2 bao1) and the red bean cakes (dou4 sha1 su1 bing3).

Oh, did we mention it's cheap? We really want it to stay in business.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Customer Service

Some people just don't get customer service. You know, really, just because I want money from you, doesn't mean I have to be nice to you. Haven't you ever heard of protection money? You're lucky I'm not threatening your life and livelihood. Now just hand over that cash. If you want someone to be nice to you, go somewhere else. Like Apple. They'll take care of you. Yah yah, don't get all warm and fuzzy now just because I pointed the way out to you.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I had no idea the parent organization of Wikipedia has a ton of other projects. Ack! The horror of finding out I'm behind the times.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sand is Just the Medium

If you love sand and sculpting, this is your calling. Do tell me how you feel about the fleeting nature of your work of art. It would also be great to know if it's easier to sculpt ugly characters with sand, or if sand sculpting simply attracts artists with an aversion to generally-acepted beauty standards.

Anyway, I hope the frog didn't place higher than the drunken bear.

Militant or Wimpy?

I was having quite a pleasant day until a PC user posted an undiplomatic Mac-dissing thesis on a mailing list while proclaiming he was "not trying to start a war." Bullshit. One Mac user responded with a friendly joke, another responded with pity for his bad Mac experiences, and a third responded with a well-written, well-reasoned, civilized essay dismantling his arguments. Said PC user and friend subsequently complained about the lack of passion from the Mac community.

Wait, I thought he wasn't trying to pick a fight.

A few hours later, digg funneled me to a blog about why someone ditched his Mac for Linux. Notice that his main complaint is the incivility and ungratefulness of the Mac community.

We just can't win, can we?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

It's All about Money

Steve Pavlina gave us 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job, and every single one sounds great.  He says he loves to write, and he's a pretty good writer.  So I think it's cool that his blog generates $9,000 a month for him.  The problem is that not everyone is a good writer.  Not everyone knows how to build a million-dollar web page, which looks horrible.  Who really clicks on those links anyway?

It's not that I don't want to control my own life, but it's so much easier to bury my head in the sand and enjoy the comfort of a regular paycheck.  It's also much easier to maintain a relationship when we're not stressed out about getting rich.  Greed makes people evil, and I don't want to be evil.  If I'm meant to have more than I do now, I will.  I'm pretty sure my millions will fall on my head in a beautiful bag without knocking me out.

Blogged with Flock

Friday, July 21, 2006

Luxury Camping

Some friends went camping and river rafting with Sierra Mac a few weeks ago. They say it's camping without the work. They traveled with a guide in one raft, while another chaperone followed in a second raft filled with their supplies. Everyone got a paddle, but it didn't sound like our friends used theirs. (There's a reason we're friends.) They didn't have to set up their own tents or cook their own meals. They even had fresh brownies from the high tech baking contraption made for camping. They almost had me convinced that I too can enjoy camping.

Then they started talking about reality. One friend tried to pack shampoo and soap and towels and, you know, toiletries. Guess what? This is camping. No shower for you. Now look, I admit that I don't always shower every day, but that's only when I spend my weekend and holidays locked inside the house. If I even had one drop of sunscreen on my finger tips, I'm not even touching my bed until I've showered and lathered myself in moisturizing lotion. There is no way I'm floating down a river in direct sun light while covered in sunscreen and Off! for three days in a row, relieving myself in the bushes, sleeping in the wild, without a single hot shower.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

There are Hungry Children in the World

"I need to lose weight. I'm going to stop eating."

"You'd better be careful. If you lose any more weight, Angelina Jolie might try to adopt you."

"With my luck, it'll be Sally Struthers."

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Sibling Rivalry

"What do you do?"

"Cancer research."

"Me, too, for another ten days. I decided I was following my sister's footsteps too closely, so I'm going to do something else."

"I chose a different strategy. My sister is a cancer surgeon. My goal is to put her out of business. Make her obsolete."