Yesterday after work I drove to Corinth library, then to Hen House in that area. The other adult in the house will need a ride back from the airport this morning as I have a morning meeting today.
We used to live in this area when we first moved to Kansas in 1998. My son was 9 years old and my daughter only 3. My son went to Corinth Elementary School. I remember how he went to school by himself. We frequented Corinth library in the evening or Border’s bookstore. The place looks so familiar, yet all the events that I remember about this place seem like a distant past. Now it’s all gone.
Then and now, now and then, the old place brought back memories of the past. On the way back I saw a group of children playing. That moment was so precious, and yet, so transient. I felt a rush of sadness. I miss those moments when my children were little. I guess it’s not a good practice to visit old places. At least, not good for me.
My daughter planned to get her driver’s license this summer, that is, before going to college. It doesn’t seem likely now, thanks to a traffic accident on a Saturday, 6/22, one day plus 5 weeks ago.
On 6/22, at the intersection of Nall Ave and College Blvd, my daughter was driving westbound through the intersection on College Blvd. An elderly lady crossed red light and hit our 1997 green car. We bought the car in 1998. That lady was talking over her cellphone when she crossed the red light. She immediately stopped the car and came out full of apologies.
The car is considered total when the repair cost exceeds the car value. The estimate of repair cost is $3000. The insurance will have to cough out nearly $3500 when you add car rental. The car itself worthes at most $2500.
At first, the insurance company offered to pay the car’s market value, that is $2500. According to related law, the insurance company has this option. But after some bargaining, the company agreed to pay $3,000 and no more. We ended up paying for the car rental fee.
On 3/13/2012, Tuesday noon, I went home to send my daughter to the main library where she had a school activity. The outside temperature was about 80 degree, but it felt like mid-summer. Of course, the noon drive reminded me of the time when my children went to summer school and I went to get them home from wherever the summer school was held.
But that was in June and July, not in March. I remember a week after my son was born, toward the end of March, we had a huge snow in Ohio back in 1989.
There is definitely something wrong with our weather pattern. This year it seems winter has never shown up at all, then summer heat is hitting in March, way too early. I can’t imagine how it feels like when real summer comes.
On 2/23/2012, I posted on my site the notes that I took from watching Naturally Slim video. On 3/1, I received a comment left on the posting, asking me to contact her.
As soon as I read the comment, I contacted her with the following, “I am taking your course online right now. I like it very much and share my notes with my daughter. From there, I thought of some of my friends who often visit my site, … I hope you don’t mind my sharing the notes on my site.”
I also told her I could take it off, if she so wished. Indeed, she did want me to remove the notes from the site. I respected her wish and did it accordingly.
Last Sunday, 3/4, just to check if there is any response if I talk something not related to profit, I wrote to her of my involvement with children’s education and related issues because I knew she must be working with many women who happen to be mothers.
Of course, one should not expect to hear from her any more because there is really nothing to gain from further contact. Indeed, that has been the case. The end. I thought it an interesting encounter.
On the morning of 7/28/2011, as I left monitor room and passed through infusion room door, a doctor was going in. I said “Good morning” with my daily sunny and buoyant voice, even though I have heard plenty of negative comments on this Doc. He returned with a very faint “Hello.”
I told myself at that moment that I would tell my children never to greet people with so much lack of enthusiasm like this. It is better to always exuberate with warmth and sincerity, so that your greeting will really cheer people up or make their day. After all, we don’t have many chances in our lives to make difference in a big way. Why not do it everyday and create a positive atmosphere everywhere you go?
On 3/12/2011, while I was at HyVee, I took up PCWorld magazine, trying to keep up with the new gadgets. I saw this article, which gave me a familiar feeling –“Master Your E-mail Before It Masters You” by Robert Strohmeyer, PCWorld March 2011. Indeed, my office inbox seems rather overwhelmingly crowded. It is like an old cluster which results from a few years of piling. The thought of ever cleaning it up is dreadful to me. Here are his tips, which I am trying to follow.
(1) Zero your inbox–keep it empty whenever possible
(2) Use folders sparingly. Don’t create more folders and subfolders than you can consciously track daily. When your folder list gets so long that you can’t see all of them at a glance, you will have trouble staying on top of them. Use the folders you keep as ‘trusted buckets that you check periodically during their useful life.
(3) Use filters sparingly
(4) Delete garbage first, read surviving message later.
(5) Take action immediately–deal with an open email message at once.
(6) Slow you roll–don’t check your email too often as it wastes too much time for each checking
(7) Use canned responses in outlook for saving time.
We got back from Boston yesterday. It was a very unforgettable and eventful trip.
Th flight leaving Kansas for Newark was delayed for an hour. Hence, we were unable to catch the next flight from Newark to Boston on Thursday evening. The airline rescheduled our flight to next morning, which would be too late for the commencement.
It was after 11 PM, still we decided to get a rental car and drive to Boston over night instead of waiting for next morning flight. We almost had an ugly accident because of fatigue and sleepiness. Finally, we arrived in our friend’s house around 5 AM on Friday morning by car.
It took us a long time to find a parking spot. We got a parking ticket for expired meter parking. Traffic jam was unbearable in Boston.
Still, we had a good time attending the graduation ceremoney, being around with my son and meeting my son’s friends and his grilfriend’s family.
I had the whole week off from 11/22 to 26, a nice break, though not as long as I need. The first two days saw me cleaning the house, taking care of some bills, and working on my project. I set a timer while cleaning so that I did not get carried away by my enthusiasm over it and spend the rest of the day on it. The two days rushed by and disappeared quickly than an arrow.
My daughter started Thanksgiving break on Wednesday and I have been working with her on some of her favorite and less favorite projects since she got back home. I told her to start with a plan for each day. “You know how fast a break can whisk away no matter how long the break is,” said I. My son did not come back for this break. We are expecting him to be back in mid December.
Even though she did not have piano lesson on Thursday and skating lesson on Friday, I was busy on both days, getting ready for two gatherings at friends’ houses. As always, we ate and chatted while my daughter found a quiet corner doing whatever she needs to.
While dining at a friend’s house on Thanksgiving evening, we talked about economies and how money was in short supply everywhere from college, to work place, and to government. From here, the topic moved to police fundraising efforts.
One guest told of this incident. When she was making a right turn on red light, she came to a full stop for a second or two. Not long enough. That earned her a ticket of nearly $200. She argued that she did bring her car to a full stop but was of no avail. Boy, she was so upset. Who wouldn’t?
Another guest told of an incident happened to his friend in Los Angeles. One evening, after he got on the highway, he just followed one car as he was heading home. After about 20 minutes, the car in front of him suddently stopped and started siren, sound and light. He stopped his car as the police approached him, asking him why he was following a police car. He said he did not recognize the car ahead was a police car and he was just going home. As he was explaining, a fine of $100 was written and handed to him. Way to rob an innocent person legitimately.
Another incident happened at the intersession of College and Antioch. Going westward on College, there is a steep downward slope right after the traffic light. It is so easy to run over the limit. Here a police once issued a fine of nearly $200 to one guest at the table.
I record these unfortunate losses so that readers will be wiser on the road.
I asked a friend of mine about this term hu you and received the following. Dear me, I am honestly confused and amused. To my humble mind, hu means “suddenly” and you means “slow moving.” Call me old-fashioned or whatever as if I cared. How can one term give birth to so many different meanings, both positive and negative? Its essence totally eludes me. I asked my daughter to see if she can do better. She looked at me, eyes wide opened. With total innocence, she shook her pretty head. Not sure if she understands much of them, though she laughed out loud over it. To be on the safe side, I just avoid using it when I am as clear as mud.
This reminds me of how out-of-touch I have been to contemporary Chinese language and culture after a quarter of a century’s absence. Stretching from this, I used to view someone who left Chinese 20 years before me as really old immigrants and I belong to the newest, the greatest and most educated Chinese immigrants of all in American history. Now as the wheel of history relentlessly turns, what say of me in front of new comers like the 26-year-old nephew and the girlfriend of my sister’s son? A generation has elapsed like a flash, soon being replaced by another new crop. Of course, I have ceased to be the newest immigrant of all.
Here’s the wonderful explanation of hu you.
As I was celebrating the site’s one year anniversary today, the site was abruptly and expectedly taken away for a few hours, as if it disappeared to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. I registered the domain name exactly one year ago, 6/22/2008. When I failed to renew it upon its expiration date, this is what has to happen. Both my daughter and I got a bit panic. I called my son, who got it fixed in no second.
Now I learn my lesson.
My daughter said I should change the sub-title of the blog. She told me how it should be, so I did as she said. After that, I reflected on my writing, questioning myself, “Why did I start this blog? What is the purpose of writing at all?” Indeed, she is right. I have too many random thoughts to focus on one niche.
Before I started this weblog, my son told me to find my unique niche in this cyber community. I thought I had found it — my experience in raising American born Chinese children who are exposed to both American and Chinese cultures. Gradually, I blended my own experience in the blog, under the excuse of sharing with my children. Indeed, I find it hard to suppress my desire to share, every time I bump into a good book or make some noise when some ideas or thought crop out. Yes, you are right. I am making noise now.
From very beginning and all the way up to now, I have been immensely encouraged by friends, relatives, and very accepting readers — they keep coming back to my blog. I am keenly aware of my limitations in language and experience as a writer. Still, the thought of these lovely readers warms my heart, pampers my existence, and makes me going on like an Energizer Rabbit.
I would love to run like an Energizer Rabbit, capable of giving light and working ceaselessly. Yes, the desire to give light or share insight — the road thus far taken should have been paved with this lofty intention. Too bad I have not been so clearly dedicated so far. In the end, my mind is becoming clear as mud. Again, I will leave it to my children to find or give meanings to this writing experience.
I have long made my stand clear to my children that Xmas is the season of giving, enjoying and reflecting the meaning of the season, not spending, expecting, over-indulging in food, and ending up with holiday stress, financially and physically.
The children grow up here and cannot be totally immuned from the influence and activities that were hustling around. Yesterday, my son announced that he was going to buy some gifts for the family. I reminded him that we did not have this tradition of unnecessary spending during holiday. He said, “Mom, I want to buy something for everybody just to keep up the holiday spirit.” I told him I did not need anything and the air ticket for him to fly home was my gift to him, and he only needed to get something for the little cousin and his sister. I really live up to my reputation as a stingy mom. Some people never change.
That he did yesterday evening. The little cousin huddled his new toy and kept shouting to his big cousin, “I love you.” I agreed it will help making the season more joyful, and putting smile on people’s face if they receive something during holiday.
Yet, I was a little bit concerned. Right now, my son spends parents’ money to buy gifts for everybody. I know he would borrow money from others if I said no. I wish in the future he is capable of boosting holiday mood with his own money instead of borrowing from others.
Living on borrowed money is really not in line with what I have taught him so far. Well, considering his good intention, I make an exception for him, also in line with holiday spirit.
Yesterday morning, I was at SM East High, waiting for my daughter who was taking SAT. There were other Chinese parents waiting, too. I saw one Chinese couple and had sensed they would rather be left alone, still I brazened out, trying to strike a conversation with them. I kept asking them questions. They have two boys, the 20-year-old in Stanford and the 12-year-old in 7th grade, participating in Duke’s TIP. The older boy graduated from Blue Valley Northwest in 2006. The mention of BVNW reminded me of a boy, JM, who often played tennis with my son. It turned out they knew JM and his family very well.
I further asked some more questions and found out they were not as unfamiliar as I initially thought. They never talked without being asked. I knew one of the couple. Their boy was even sitting next to my child during the exam. Yet, it was interesting to feel the distance when we were facing each other. Small world, far and cold.
I talked to my son over the phone, telling him that the house was too full of shouting and running around this weekend with my daughter, my sister’s son and the 25-year-old son of my husband’s elder sister. Cleaning, cooking and shopping took up a large chunk of my time. My son thought the 25-year-old must be busy with his graduate courses now. He must have an easy time at school.
Good question! He came back so that he could have some good food. People have different focus in life. For him, good food is very essential. No judgment whatsoever. I am glad my son can have his eyes on bigger prize than satisfying his stomach. Otherwise, it would be too much for him to go home this often.