The Power of Words

Two nights ago, I was re-organizing all my cards -- I have a ton of credit cards and membership cards to this and that in various countries -- when I came across some stuff in one of my old wallets.

There was a laminated photo of me and my family on vacation in Mexico during Christmas one year (this was many, many moons ago). I took it out to put in another card holder, and flipped it over as I did. On the other side, I had forgotten that my mom had put a photo studio portrait of herself.

Under the picture, she wrote (in Chinese):

"Ben, Mom will forever love you."

Even though it's something I've always known and I'll always know, it's amazing what the power of words can incite in your emotions, even years later. Tears welled up in my eyes as I sat there on the couch.

I'll always love you too, Mom.


Another great American holiday is come and gone, and in its wake has kickstarted the holiday shopping frenzy, which the United States badly needs to get some kind of money flowing around again, as the world starts to turn its back on their dollar.

We had pumpkin pie (from Costco) on Thursday afternoon as a small tribute to the festivities, and then (in true American fashion) proceeded to stuff myself on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night dinners.

And I mean, stuffed myself.
As if it were going out of style.
As if I'd been starved for a month.
As if I were 8 months pregnant. With quintuplets.

Basically, I just keep eating until my stomach was stretching to the brink of exploding half-digested foods all over the walls. (M suggested I wear a garbage bag in case it did happen, to ease the clean-up. I didn't, because if I did blow up, cleaning up wouldn't be my problem.) I keep eating until the food is gone, without any kind of normal signal from stomach to brain signifying that it's starting to hurt.

I basically eat like a goldfish.

Down to 3, Then Back Up Again

Yesterday, I filed away and/or reply to older unanswered emails. The result was, I managed to reduce my personal inbox down to just 3 emails, as opposed to the normal over-20 figure.

Of course, today, it's immediately bounced back up to 10+ again. No wonder I never feel like I make any headway on that.

Freaking Birthday

I'll tell you something: at my age, it's easy to forget your age. On the day of this past birthday of mine, M told me I was turning a year older than I was actually turning.

And I freaked.
A little bit.

Just a little bit, but I still freaked, and it counts. But after that initial shock, my healthy skepticism kicked in, and I gave her a slanty look while I tried to do the age-math in my head.

Let's see, I was born in that year, and now it's this year, subtract one from the other, and ... holy crap. I really was that old!

I freaked again.

Just a little bit, but more than the first time. And then she gave in and told me she was kidding. But wait! I just did the math in my head, and I got that number! How the hell ...??

Well, turns out I'd been doing some planning for next year, and used 2008 as "this year", so I had also mistakenly advanced my age by a year.

So ... let me tell you two things:
(1) At my age, it's easy to forget your age.
(2) At my age, your math skills are pretty easy to forget too.

The Air Out There

It's pleasantly sunny today, which is a fantastic change from the weather of late. Is it just me, or does the air smell different on a sunny day than it does on a cloudy day? And if it does to you too, why?


Do you think the air in hospitals is cleaner or dirtier (meaning bacteria and viruses) than the air outside?


Dammit, I hate it when I make rushed decisions, because more often than not, they turn out to be rash decisions.

Remember how I said I really should research more before making a purchase? Well, I walked in to the Bellevue Square Apple Store a few weeks ago, all set on getting the iPod nano (as a birthday gift from my girl). The next day, I returned it and upgraded to an iPod Touch.

And now I regret it, and wish I would have bought the iPhone instead, because it really isn't much more, but comes with so much more out of the box.

Plus, I'm finding that I'm carrying the iPod Touch and my regular mobile phone with me everywhere, so why didn't I just submit with the extra $100 and converge them into a single unit??

Dammit. Ugh.


Sorry for the silence: haven't felt like blogging recently.

Been jetlagged.
Been sick.
Been on a lot of drugs (due to above).
Been catching up on sleep (due to all of the above).
Been wet and miserable in the rain.

And worse yet, I'm getting another year older pretty soon.

Fourteen Hours

In 14 hours, I'll be at the airport, wrapping up a two-week whirlwind blast through Vancouver.

I didn't get to see some of the people I wanted to, and didn't get to see the people I did see as much as I wanted to. And while I didn't get absolutely everything rolling that I needed to, it was overall a productive trip with positive results to show for it. And aside from a quick drop into Seattle and a whip through Whistler, it hasn't felt like a vacation at all. Hopefully, things will ease off a bit after mid next year, and we can breathe a little easier.

And I'm still coughing like an old geezer who's smoked for most of his life.