Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?
James Chen: Asian-American writer, film director, journalist, entrepreneur, athlete, political activist, environmental activist and renaissance man
Monday, October 31, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
The boys and I are recovering from illnesses, so that's the reason why posting has been light lately. I took off from work today to try and get better, but with Punky's sneezing and wheezing, it's been hard for me to get any rest. We took Punky to the doctor's office today, and thank God he doesn't have an ear infection. Still, he hasn't been sleeping well and that means late nights and interrupted sleep.
Russell has fully recovered from the cold he caught this weekend. The other good news is that he is talking a lot more these days. Today, he actually said "Mommy, I love you," which made Jenny very happy. He's also progressing quickly with potty training as well. I would say that he might be caught up with his age group in about a year if things continue as they have recently.
Next month will be our 5 year wedding anniversary. We plan to celebrate by going out to dinner and a movie WITHOUT the kids. In the past 3 and a half years, we have done this exactly once. The movie was "Lost in Translation", which I loved. The restaurant was the "Long Life Noodle" restaurant, which was terrible. Hopefully, we're pick both a restaurant and a movie that we like.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Why I Root For USC and Ohio State
The best sport in America today is college football, and last Saturday's nailbiters only confirmed my finding. Among all college teams, I root for USC and Ohio State, both of which won their games in exciting fashion this past weekend. Watching USC steal a victory away from Notre Dame made me feel especially giddy all weekend.
I root for USC and Ohio State because they are the arch nemeses of UCLA and Michigan respectively, two schools that epitomize liberal hypocracy through their active support of affirmative action policies. Recently, Michigan has taken a lead role in legitimizing the use of racial preferences in admission at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In Grutter v. Bollinger (involving the University of Michigan's law school) and Gratz v. Bollinger (undergraduate), the Supreme Court recently upheld Michigan's use of race as a primary factor in admissions, while disallowing overt racial quotas (wink, wink).
As for UCLA, it's personal. In 1989, I was rejected by UCLA's MBA program in spite of my top-flight Wall Street job experience (Salomon Brothers) and perfect scores on both the GMAT and GRE. I later found out that UCLA (Anderson School of Business) had accepted two classmates of mine from Cornell for that class, both of whom I knew well since they also majored in Industrial Engineering as I did. Although they had lower GPAs and test scores than me, the key difference is that they happened to be white. And so they got the nod into the MBA program, lest UCLA accept yet another Asian student with high grades and test scores.
These past few years, I've had the last laugh as USC has drilled UCLA six years in a row, and Ohio State has taken 3 or 4 from Michigan under Coach Jim Tressel. Somehow, I don't think it's a coincidence that both USC and Ohio State have red in their school colors, while UCLA and Michigan are "blue" schools. For USC, it also helps that the team features a star running back named Reggie Bush, in addition to having two Asian starters on their team, twin brothers Brandon and Ryan Ting.
In the months to come, I'll be keeping a close watch on "my' teams, with the afternoons of Novermber 19 (Ohio State v. Michigan) and December 3 (USC v. UCLA) reserved for viewing the annual humiliation of the scUM (Michigan nickname used by OSU fans) and the 'Ruins (UCLA nickname used by USC fans).
Fight On! Fight to the end for O-hi-o!
Monday, October 17, 2005
The Importance of Being Punky
How to Eat Birthday Cake
We were at my nephew Andrew's birthday party in San Jose yesterday. The house was packed with children and their parents (2-child households being the norm), and the food and drink were plentiful.
The highlight of the day was Russell's demonstration of cake-eating. Luckily, my camera was there to capture the action.
Russell sees an opportunity for eating his cousin's birthday cake
Russell leans over to sample the birthday cake
After sampling the cake, Russell decides to go for it all
Russell dives into the birthday cake with gusto
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
4,000-Year-Old Noodles Discovered in China; Bush May Be at Fault
Archaeologists have uncovered a bowl of 4,000-year old noodles in China, proving that the Chinese and not the Italians, invented the culinary staple eaten around the world. From the BBC:
The 50cm-long, yellow strands were found in a pot that had probably been buried during a catastrophic flood. Radiocarbon dating of the material taken from the Lajia archaeological site on the Yellow River indicates the food was about 4,000 years old.No word yet on whether or not President Bush's Global Warming policies could be blamed for the "catastrophic flood" that resulted in the deaths of numerous Chinese. Yet, some in the media are attributing the slow response of potential rescuers (4,000+ years!) on the Bush tax cuts that benefited the wealthy over poorer, noodle-eating taxpayers.
Scientists tell the journal Nature that the noodles were made using grains from millet grass - unlike modern noodles, which are made with wheat flour. The discovery goes a long way to settling the old argument over who first created the string-like food.
"Our discovery indicates that noodles were first produced in China," the researcher from the Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, explained to BBC News.
The professor's team tells Nature that the ancient settlement at Lajia was hit by a sudden catastrophe.
Among the remains are skeletons thrown into various abnormal postures, suggesting the inhabitants may have been trying to flee the disaster that was enveloping them.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Sleepless in Alameda
A number of readers have noticed my recent lack of political and social commentary. This is certainly true, and I appreciate your concerns.
While there is an abundance of topics to write about, I've just been too swamped by events at home to put together a coherent piece. Both Russell and Punky's sleeping patterns have been changing, to the detriment of my own sleep. They have also become more needy as they've gotten older. This usually means I am playing with them as soon as I get home from work. Keeping two boys occupied is not a trivial task. On weekends, I usually have to take care of them all day (without Jenny on days where she gets personal things done, like her hair). This weekend, I took the boys down to San Jose to visit their Grandma and cousin while Jenny hosted a baby shower (see pix below).
By the time I've finished putting the boys to bed, washing the dishes, cleaning the kitchen and paying the bills, it is usually past 11PM and I am dead tired. These past few weeks, I've been vegging out in front of the television for about 30-40 minutes per night in order to just relax. Sure, I could use the extra few minutes to sleep, but I feel that decompressing from a long day is also necessary.
I plan on resuming my rants as soon as I am able to catch up with my sleep. So keep stopping by for updates. You won't be disappointed.
The three Sui boys at Grandma's San Jose home
Punky looks up at the massive projection screen TV
Russell and Cousin Andrew hold hands at a scary point in the Teletubbies video
Thursday, October 06, 2005
How to Upholster a Chair
The latest addition to Chez Sui-Chen are these lovely chairs sitting in our upstairs hallway. Jenny bought them at the monthly Alameda antiques fair, and added the cushions earlier this week. She selected the fabric, bought new foam cushions and re-upholstered the cushions using a staple gun. And voila, we now have a pair of spiffy-looking chairs for only $55 altogether.
The two chairs with Jenny's new seat covers in the upstairs hallway
The chair with a new seat cushion by Jenny
The chair as purchased by Jenny