epilogue to the 2014 lunar eclipse

15 Apr

So thought I add some final thoughts before concluding my coverage of the lunar eclipse last night.

When I first heard of the lunar eclipse and how the “blood moon” has historical significance, I was a bit scared, thinking something unfortunate was going to happen. Maybe the rapture happens or something. Nothing on a global scale happened, but I think the power of the moon did play into effect.

I went to the Lego store today and visited the Pick-A-Brick, where you can fill up a container with the pieces you want with a small going for $7.99 and a large $14.99. But to my surprise, the price for both sizes increased by a dollar.

My fear has been realized, on a miniature, plastic scale.

*

So I rather be optimistic and not think last night as a blood moon, but as a love moon. Well, you know, maybe the love of my life (i.e. future girlfriend to be future wife) was looking at the same moon at the same time. Like Sleepless in Seattle.

Cheesy I know. (In case you haven’t learn, the moon is not made of dairy.)

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live blogging: lunar eclipse

14 Apr

10:42pm:

I am here live somewhere in Southern California to bring you this coverage of the lunar eclipse tonight. From my backyard, drinking a Shocktop Raspberry Wheat and typing on this blog. This is my first attempt at this so-called live-blogging. I thought it was make a bunch of short posts, but it’s one entry with timestamps on them.

I also got a pair of binoculars with me. You could witness this event with your eye, but I haven’t used the binocular since I went to a baseball about two years ago. Best to make the use of them.

Status: Full moon there. Nothing happened yet. Come on, grass grow faster than you waxing and waning.

 

10:59pm:

The moon has a little blotch of darkness on the lower-left corner.

Status: Full moon with a seven o’ clock shadow, and could use a good razor.

 

11:05PM

I received a tip from a friend and I quote, “no sign of a change.” Then at 11:05:45pm, she noted “moon is still bright white.” Very astute.

Status: Like watching paint drying.

 

11:10PM

Paint dries pretty fast if you ask me… I do see a small chunk of the left side of the moon being covered. Like a baby cookie monster taking its first bite.

Status: Something’s happening. Finally.

 

11:20PM

Another small part has been eclipsed. I say it’s about 1/4 of the moon. The binoculars do help to see that it is an eclipse. Been hearing lots of sirens more than usually and a helicopter flying by.

Status: A piece of the pie is taken. And can’t tell if it’s a cherry pie.

 

11:27PM

Looks like it’s almost halfway through. You can easily see the eclipse now. The redness? Still yet to come.

Status: Finally, traffic is moving!

4/15/2014 12:12AM

Much has happened. When I was taking a picture, my flash accidentally went off, and my next-door neighbor, who was also outside, noticed. He asked me to try his scope. So we conversed for a bit. But yes…

The moon is visibly red. Not blatant red, but more like a dull, Marsy red.

Status: Cool. Just came out of the blue. Pun intended and notably failed.

appetite surfing

14 Apr

Note to self: Never drive when you’re hungry and have not yet decided where to eat. Waste of time and gas. And you end up getting something that you weren’t craving. (It is kind of fun to drive without any aim or destination.)

Initially I thought of calling this “foodie surfing”, but that doesn’t sound quite right as it emphasized more on the person who loves food than the food itself. So I thought appetite surfing makes more sense because one moment you are craving a hamburger, but you feel reluctant (because you realized you had it yesterday or don’t have the coupon) and begin craving something else.

It’s like your tastebuds have one TV to share, and they’re all fighting for the remote.

*

Today I was prepared. I had a coupon for Jersey Mike’s Subs. So I knew where I was going to eat. I got in the car and on my way there, I had a bad feeling there was something I missed in the fine print.

I took a look and realized the coupon was only accepted at another Jerry Mike’s, not the one I was going to. I don’t want to drive two towns over to save one or two bucks, I thought.¹ Then it dawned on me. Hey! I’ve been meaning to try Costco’s new item, the pulled pork sandwich.

I arrived at Costco. A decent crowd with few tables free. I stood in line for a minute or two, and then took a closer look at the signs. They only accepted cash, or if you are feeling old-fashioned, a check with your Costco Club. But they don’t accept credit card. I didn’t have any of those three and what a sinking feeling, like I got stood up on two dates in a row.

I settled with Carl’s Jr.’s. I had asked Siri to find me a coupon in the web browser and it came up with “Ageing a coupon.” Decided to let my hunger override my Asian coupon-clipping mentality. I ordered the Big Carl, pretty much the answer to McDonald’s Big Mac.

The meat was thicker than McD and rested on a bed of lettuce. On top was a glob of thousand island dressing. The whole thing was sandwiched by two slightly firm buns. Not the most arousing food review. The burger was enough to satisfy my appetite since it was quite a late lunch.

I could hear some of my tastebuds, telling me, “you see…you should have gone to this [insert eatery] instead.”

*

¹If it was the only Jerry Mike’s in the area and I knew before driving, I would definitely go there to save, but there is one that is less than two miles from where I live.

one new year resolution achieved

6 Jan

Hey 2013, remember when I made the New Year’s Resolution to be off Facebook for a year? (As first announced here, then chronicled on Day 103 and Day 196.) I managed not to have reactivated and logged back on my profile for the 365 days (plus few more in December 2012). And thus…

I have achieved my first New Year’s Resolution in my life.

Aren’t you proud of my achievement, 2013, being in bold…and I feel a bit carefree with glee… italics as well?

And I’ll admit, when I’m on the Internet, it’s impossible to avoid Facebook. I wanted to see the amusing Doritos Super Bowl commercials earlier this year, but was taken to the Facebook website to view them. News articles reporting how a particular post received thousands of likes and comments and certain websites offering you to log with your FB account including OKCupid, which I find to be incredibly odd.

Even the print medium can’t get enough. The flyers you get in your mailbox have tiny social media stamps begging you to follow them on Facebook and Twitter. I also bought a book recently that had a small Facebook Page on the back cover, which almost was a deal breaker for me.

I miss how simple Facebook was back in 2006, but like teenage pop stars, once you get the bandwagon madness rolling, it’s bound to go out of control and then twerk & derp itself off a cliff into either oblivion or worse, “mainstream.”

I don’t plan on renewing my resolution on being off Facebook. This year gave me a good time to consult other digital nicotine alternatives, like Yelp and Instagram.

*

When you think about it, a New Year’s Resolution usually fall into two categories:

A) Doing Something

B) Doing Nothing

In the first category, you set goals and plans on what tasks to take on. Usually it’s the exercise and diet (and for the artistically inclined like us, it’s writing the novel or updating your blog frequently). You have to do the morning jogs and the why-do-I-do-this-to-myself whet grass shots to get the results you desire.

The one I achieved falls into the second category. It was relatively easy because all I had to do was nothing. I guess in theory it sounds like a slacker’s wet dream, but in reality it can be challenging because you’re dealing with the dreaded don’t. So your inner-child is squirming and throwing angsty-tamtrums in hopes of getting you to cave into your impulses. It usually succeeds and you want to retaliate by spanking your inner-child, but then that would mean you would have to spank yourself, which I’m now abandoning the awkward metaphor now.

Doing Something is about diligence and Doing Nothing is about the endurance, and both of them require certain amount of willpower.

But isn’t doing nothing, doing something?

Don’t get smart with me, Internal Monologue.

2013 exit interview

31 Dec

Me: Hello, I’m your host, Daniel, and welcome to the interview with the well-known 2013. Of course, tonight’s his last night before he croaks, er, like a healthy young frog.

2013: I’m going to be reduced to some hazy bits of memories in only about four hours.

Me: Well, well. Looks who sees the glass half-full. That’s pretty much what you were most of this year. Look on WordPress under the tag 2014 and some people wrote some unflattering things about you. Sorry to say, but you weren’t that great of a year to begin with.

2013: Wait, what do you based your assumption on?

Me: A fact actually…the fact that you’re a prime number.

2013: What does that have to do with anything?

Me: You’re a stubborn year that can’t be neatly divided by any pleasant number, like two, four, or even five.

2013: Well what about 2011?

Me: I like eleven, it’s a nice number. Two beautiful parallel lines. But thirteen? You really need some PR help to get people to like you. I don’t think it helps that you have a black cat and live under a ladder. You could also lose the fat on those two bumps if you want to be beautiful like eleven.

2013: What the…what’s wrong with having a black cat and live under a ladder? (And I like my figure as it is.)

Me: You are guilty (and superstitious) by association.

2013: You’re being absurd.

Me: Prime numbers are absurd. And it’s even more sad that…you’re past your prime.

[Beat]

2013: Really?

Me: Pun justified by the fact how true it is. Any last thoughts you would like to say?

2013: I’m proud to be a prime number.

Me: Sure, okay, whatever you say. Anyways get off the chair. You’re taking up too much blogtime.

2013: What, wait a minute-

[2013 is being manhandled and pulled off stage by two burly alphabets, A and Z.]

Me: So long 2013. May you live in our deep recesses of our minds and scrapbooks. And now let’s welcome 2014 onto the stage.

[A figure walks in.]

Me: What the…you’re not supposed to be here yet!

2020: I can’t help myself because every time you reflect on the past year, hindsight is always vibrant. Well, see you personally in six years!

i suck at writing book summaries

30 Dec

For a part of my assignment, I wrote a book summary for Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park. The story is well-written switching between two teenage misfits who become friends and yea, fall in love. An interesting, complicated, super-awkward. Like having Michael Cera playing Park, but wouldn’t work since Park is half-Korean, half-Irish. Unless Cera eats some Kimchi to prepare for the role.

So here is my awkward first attempt capturing the summary of the book.

Park is a high school student who is not popular. His life changes when Eleanor began sitting next to him on the bus. Their friendship begins as Eleanor reads Park’s comic books. The story is told from two different points of view, Park’s and Eleanor’s. During their relationship, they learn about each other’s lives.

Gah. Stream-of-consciousness gets the ball rolling, but then you want it to stop rolling at a certain point. Me like purty things and character development is gud. Then I had to imagine it in a dialogue format. So I chose my friend Albert and imagined him asking me about the book because he enjoys YA fiction.

Albert: What is the story about?

Me: It’s about two high school teenagers who are stuck riding the bus together but eventually become friends through their mutual interest in comics and music. Park had dated Tina, a popular girl, and thanks to that he is not picked on. Eleanor, on the other hand, is a new girl with red-hair who dresses in weird clothes such as men clothing. Park has a peaceful life living with his Korean mother and American father while Eleanor lives with her siblings, mother, and abusive stepfather.

Next, I imagined myself talking with a guy who makes movie trailers for a living.

Trailer Guy: Get to the point. Shorter!

Me: Two high school students get stuck sitting together in the school bus. Through reading comics and exchanging mix tapes, they become friends and soon fall in love with each other. Both of them are misfits in their own ways; Park is a half-Korean, half-Irish teenager who struggles with bouts of anxiety while Eleanor is the new red-haired girl who is bullied at school, wears strange clothes, and lives with her abusive stepfather. Together Park and Eleanor explore what it means to be an outsider in Omaha, a small midwestern town.

It’s better than what I had started with. Sure, not short enough to the disappointment of some figment of my imagination that I labeled trailer guy, who probably lives in some mobile home instead.

*

What is the art of writing a book summary? One thing for sure is that it’s short and mostly spoiler-free. I am always amazed when reading book summaries of how the writer captures the book’s essence into a tiny paragraph.

stuck between Kor and Amer

12 Dec

Recently, Macklemore’s song “Vipassana”, the tune and lyrics, has been rocking my mind. My thoughts danced to the tune and flow. Years of academics tell me I need to run them through dry outlines, revisions and double-checking and also I should OD on being OCD when I have these thoughts to muse: run them through the rat maze until their juices dry up into wrinkly, unpublished drafts.

And it does suck having an obsessive compulsive order when it comes to locks and digits. I circle around double-check my car doors and windows like an awkward merry-go-round. Also checking and re-checking that the numbers on my timesheet and paperwork are correct. Math used to be a childhood favorite but now at times fill me with dread.

I was with my mom yesterday in the store that sells glasses and the Korean owner was quick to comment on my fumbling mother tongue. I couldn’t but to feel self-conscious as a K-A – proud of my spicy fermented cabbage roots and my red-white-and-blue upbringing – but instead my identity has gone MIA.

Shot down by ethnocentric critics and self-doubt, it’s hard to reconcile my golden yellow skin and the cream filling inside.