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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Positive Attitudes

  • Smiles easy.
  • Willing to change ideas, dress, behavior when appropriate.
  • Able to see other person's point of view.
  • Almost never complains.
  • Accepts responsibility for mistakes.
  • Seldom criticizes others.
  • Considers what is helpful or good for others.
  • When talking to other people looks them in the eye, but does not try to stare them down.
  • Respects the ideas and opinions of others.
  • Never makes excuse.
  • Has a variety of interests.
  • Consistent.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

An Autumn's Tale

Only one word for it, AWESOME!


This not so much of a review but rather a note to self why this film is good. The acting were good, I can't give it perfect 10, but it's damn close. It's a love story but some how this old film is so refreshing compare to all the other love stories. It's a great example how two good people who are very different and not attracted to each other initially fall in love through natural kindness toward each other and personal growth.

The characters are very well developed. There's no feeling of stretching or rushing to the "point." One of the most moving moment is the exchange of the watch and bracelet. The symbolism of this gesture is quite extraordinary. We know Figgy was giving her the bracelet, but she giving him the watch was so well hidden in the plot and evade our mind until it's the right moment for the story. I was certainly too occupied by the emotional good-bye between the lovers to even wonder what she gave him till he stopped chasing the car and open the box.

Why do I think this symbolism is so good? To him, the bracelet is everything he had, all his money, his car, everything, and when he gave her everything he has, it tells us that she means everything to him. For her, the watch was a family heirloom, it's very valuable and it's probably THE most valuable item she possesses. This tells us how much he means to her. And then the watch and bracelet themselves, which is perfect for each other but now are separate. One can not help but feel sympathy for them. But it's natural to ask, if they love each other so much, why aren't they together? We know quite clear that he loves her and he showed it, hinted it, but he never said it. She is however, not completely certain of her future and their future as even though he's a good person, he also has his flaws. Had she stayed with him, he might never change and even though they love each other, they may never be happy together. Her thoughts were clearly spelled out in one scene where she was writing her diary.

The only thing I wished to be done differently is the ending. Because before that the story was a solid 10. The ending should give us a hint of how long it has been since they separated, was it a few months? A year? Two years? As Jen was walking with the girl on the beach, through their conversation, we should be given a hint of how long it has passed since she moved in with them. When Jen and Figgy sees each other at the end, it's both good and also not so good. The good part is they didn't simply rush toward each other and they didn't say much. I think it's really that "Table for two?" broke the romance in that. What I think would be a better ending is either cut right before he says "table for two" or she simply slowly walk toward him and they both turn toward the resturant and walk toward it together, they might be talking to each other to catch up what happened all this time they were separated from each other but we can't hear anything they say. It'll be a bit more satisfying.

Anyway, a great movie and has become one of my favorites.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I love you forever

Quoted below are something I came across while browsing randomly, a bit cheesy, but it does bring back the old memory when life was young and stupid.

when a girl bumps into your arm
while walking with you
she wants
you to hold her hand

When she wants a hug
she will just stand there

When u break a girls heart
she still feels it when
u run into each other 3 years later

When a girl is quiet,
millions of things are running through her

When a girl is not arguing,
she is thinking deeply

When a girl looks at you with eyes full of
she is wondering how long you will be

When a girl answers, "I'm fine," after a
few seconds,
she is not at all fine

When a girl cries she wants you to hold her
close and tell her everything is
going to be ok

When a girl stares at you,
she is wondering why you are playing games

When a girl lays her head on your chest,
she is wishing for you to be hers forever

When a girl says she can't live
without you,
she has made up her mind that you are
her future

When a girl says, "I miss you,"
no one in this world can miss you more
than that

When a girl is mean to you after a break-up
she wants you back, but shes
scared she'll get hurt and knows
you're gone forever

Guy Facts:

When a guy calls you,
he wants to be with you

When a guy is quiet,
He's listening to you...

When a guy is not arguing,
He realizes he's wrong

When a guy says, "I'm fine." after a few
he means it

When a guy stares at you,
he wishes you would care about him and
wonders if you do

When your laying your head on a guy's
he has the world

When a guy calls/texts/comments you everyday,
he is in love

When a (good) guy tells you he loves you,
he means it

When a guy says he can't live without you,
he's with you til your done

When a guy says, "I miss you,"
he misses you more than you could have
ever missed him or anything else

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


To summarize the basic reason for polite behavior in any time period or situation:

"The true aim of politeness, is to make those with whom you associate as well satisfied with themselves as possible. does whatever it can to accommodate their feelings and wishes in social intercourse."

On Introductions:

"On introduction in a room, a married lady generally offers her hand, and a young lady not. In a ballroom, where an introduction is to dancing, not friendship, you never shake hands -- only a bow. It may perhaps be laid down, that the more public the place of introduction, the less hand-shaking takes place."

All quotations are from Civil War Etiquette: Martine's Handbook and Vulgarisms in Conversation. (see bibliography)


Wear gloves on the street, in church & other formal occasions, except when eating or drinking

White or cream colored gloves for evening

Gray or other darker colors for day wear

Stand up when a lady enters a room (or your presence in a large room)

Stand up when a lady stands

Offer a lady your seat if no others are available

Assist a lady with her chair when she sits down or stands, especially when at a table or when the chairs are small and light

Retrieve dropped items for a lady

Open doors for a lady

Help a lady with her coat, cloak, shawl, etc.

Offer to bring a lady refreshments if they are available

Offer your arm to escort a lady (with whom you are acquainted) into or out of a building or a room at all social events, and whenever walking on uneven ground

Remove your hat when entering a building

Lift your hat to a lady when she greets you in public (Merely touching the brim or a slight "tip" of the hat was very rude)


Refer to another person by their first name in public

Curse or discuss "impolite" subjects when ladies are present

Leave a lady you know unattended, except with permission

Use tobacco in any form when ladies are present

Greet a lady in public unless she acknowledges you first (see "Always" #12)

Eat or drink while wearing gloves



Graciously accept gentlemanly offers of assistance

Wear gloves on the street, at church & other formal occasions, except when eating or drinking


Refer to another adult by his or her first name in public

Grab your hoops or lift your skirts higher than is absolutely necessary to go up stairs

Lift your skirts up onto a chair or stool, etc.

Sit with your legs crossed (except at the ankles if necessary for comfort or habit)

Lift your skirts up onto the seat of your chair when sitting down (Wait for, or if necessary, ask for assistance when sitting down at a table or on a small light chair)

Speak in a loud, coarse voice



Gentlemen, it's an honor! Request it as such

Ladies, never refuse one gentleman and accept another for the same dance, unless it was previously promised


Gentlemen, lead the lady on and off the dance floor

Bow and curtsey before starting to dance

Gentlemen, always thank the lady for the honor of dancing with her

Ladies, a smile and a nod are sufficient responses to a gentleman's "Thank you"

Never dance with the same partner more than once or, at most, twice in an evening, especially with your spouse

Gentlemen, when at a dance you are expected to dance, and dance frequently, leaving no "wall-flowers" who are willing, and waiting to dance


Be punctual for all dinner engagements. Food may not be served before all guests are seated

The host leads the guests into dine with the senior lady (in age or social standing) on his left arm. All other gentlemen follow with a compatible lady on their left arms. The hostess takes the left arm of the senior male guest and enters last

Gentlemen seat the lady they are escorting to their left. All gentlemen remain standing until all ladies are seated

Married couples are never seated together (They are together enough otherwise)

Ladies remove their gloves when they are seated. Gentlemen remove theirs just before seating themselves (gloves were often placed in tail coat pockets - See Social Rules for Gentlemen re gloves)


The gentlemen are to tend to the needs of the lady on their left, as well as make agreeable conversation with ladies to either side and across the table (size of table permitting)

A lady never serves herself from a buffet line. She informs her dinner partner of her wishes and he brings her plate to her

Basic rules of polite dinner manners apply then as now regarding use of table ware, personal habits, use of table ware, etc.

Some interesting bits of advice for the era:

Gentlemen may tuck his napkin into his collar to prevent soiling his shirt or tie, but ladies should place their napkin in their laps

Do not use your knife to carry food to your mouth or put your knife into your mouth

Do not rinse your mouth out and spit into the finger bowls or water glass

Do not gorge yourself excessively during any one course. Never ask for seconds as all other diners must wait until you are finished before being served the next course

Opinions varied regarding ladies' withdrawal to the drawing room after the meal while the men indulge in port, cigars and masculine conversation. Follow the lead of the host and hostess


Aldrich, Elizabeth, From the Ballroom to Hell: Grace and Folly in Nineteen-Century Dance, Northwestern University Press, Evanston, Ill, 1991.

Chesterfield's Complete Rules of Etiquette, Dick & Fitzgerald, New York, 1860. (available in facsimile format)

Civil War Etiquette: Martine's Handbook and Vulgarisms in Conversation, R.L. Shep, Mendicino, CA, 1988. (Handbook originally published in 1866, and Vulgarisms in 1864.)

Hilgrow, Thomas, Hilgrow's Call Book and Dancing Master, DaCapo Press, Inc. New York, (originally published in 1864.)

Kasson, John F., Rudeness & Civility: Manners in Nineteenth-Century Urban America, Hill and Wang (div. of Farrar Straus and Giroux), New York, 1990.

(Other sources were original etiquette books in the presenter's personal collection.)

Checklist Copyright: Glenna Jo Christen 1999-2002.

Return to Works-In-Progress page.

Updated 9 March 2002 (b)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

30 Day Challenge

I came across someone's blog who's owner did a 30 day challenge on improving his handwriting. This inspired me to do the same. I think this is an awesome idea, to set a goal each month to improve on some aspects of self and become a better person afterward.

My first 30 challenge is to improve my handwriting as well.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton

Does it surprise anyone that as of today, Obama and McCain are dead even in national polls? I mean seriously how fucked up is America that at a time when the economy, the war and more importantly our future are all going down hill, thanks to G. W. Bush, and yet, half of this country still rather going to hell for whatever rumors or beliefs and prejudice they have against Barack Obama to rather vote for McCain.

First of all, I'm not a fan of Barack Obama, I seriously doubt his qualification to lead, but at least he wont' screw up like G. W. I mean, it's hard to even if you try. But the Obama fans are retarded to just listen to some good speeches and fall for it. At least Obama is not dumb, by his choice of Biden (which is probably the best choice he would make), he just got my vote. The more I learn about McCain and watch his ads, the more I realize that he is a two face, sneaky old bastard.

What sucks even more is the rest of retarded democrates who would rather vote for McCain than Obama. I mean seriously, how dumb can you be? Those are the kind of selfish, extremists who shouldn't even label themselves as democrates. I mean I'm not even a demacrate and I know when to vote for the lessor of the two evils. Why? because it affects you, me, and everyone in this world.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bad Luck?

My luck has been especially bad recently. First my computer's two memory chips gone bad for no reason. Uncertain what's wrong with the machine, I had to get a new motherboard and essentially rebuilt the machine. Then the following week, the hard drive at work containing all the data and projects I did in the last five years is also died. It's going to cost me about $700 to recover the data (sent to Seagate file recovery service).

Let's hope it ends here.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000

So I ordered a new Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 from and received it yesterday. I was excited because I spend a lot of time in front of computer and typing, a good keyboard is helpful to reduce fatigue.

The keyboard looked nice and I couldn't wait longer before I plugged the keyboard in. To my surprise, Windows XP didn't recognize the keyboard. I thought to myself, no problem, it's a fancy keyboard, probably need some drivers to get it working. Little did I know I had to spend the next six hours or so figure out how to get it work and wouldn't find the solution till I almost gave up on it.

Eventually I found a solution and is described here

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Verizon V CAST Song ID

Once in a while you find some little things that improve things in your life in such an effective way that you wonder how you get by without such little things before.

The V Cast Song ID tool is an extra application you download directly to your phone from Verizon at no cost, the services this tool provides also cost you nothing. Using it is very simple, while you listen to a song you like but don't quite know the title or singer of the song, you run this little tool and let your phone listen to it for 10 seconds or so. It analyzes the song and find out these information for you. You can even set it up so that it will automatically email these information to you. This is very helpful for someone like me who sometimes has to try to remember some lyrics and try to google the lyrics just to find out which song it is.

If you use Verizon and has a compatible phone to use this service, check it out:

Sunday, January 27, 2008

On Religion

This guy spells out what I think about religion better than I can do.

Friday, January 11, 2008

French Press Coffee Makers

Best you can get: Frieling Stainless Steel French Press
Cost: ~$60

Frieling Stainless Steel French Press

I was never a big coffee drinker, but recently I started to drink coffee for various reasons. My mom drinks coffee daily and she always used the electric coffee dripping machines. Instead of buying another coffee maker like hers, I thought if I'm going to start this, I better know a bit more about making coffee. I did a little research on the web and it turns out French Press is probably the best way to make authentic coffee.

I'm the kind person who don't like to replace things. I consider everything I spend money on as an investment, the longer I can use them the better value they are. Now on to hunting the best French Press. Initially I like the glass ones because I can see what's going on inside and I felt they look more interesting. So out of these glass made ones I picked the most durable one by comparing their reviews and specs. Bonjour MAXIMUS 8 cups was my choice because it was made with metal on all the essential parts (I read Bodum had plastic parts on the press part). I bought 3 of them, 2 were holiday gifts for my mom and sister. I received mine first and was able to test it. A few problems with it:
  1. After four minutes of wait, the water went from hot to medium warm at best.
  2. The press part was too loose, it slides down to the bottom of the pot very easily without me using any pressure. It was challenging to keep it stay on top while the coffee is being made.
  3. Upon close inspection, the welding of the metal parts are not very well crafted. The four legs aren't evenly bent. It's not easy to notice, but it's a pretty glaring one once you notice it.
  4. After reading so many people break these glass pots, I start to think they might have a point even though I don't usually break things, why take a chance?
The only good thing about the Bonjour one is very little coffee residues pass through while pouring it out. The extra mesh filter did help a bit.

So I decided to return this Bonjour one and I essentially lost confidence in Bonjour's quality after finding all these faults. I returned the gifts I bought as well. I was considering getting a Bodum COLUMBIA thermo press, but the press action is actually partially rubber. I just don't like that idea. Finally I found this Frieling press and based on the other people's reviews I ordered this.

After receiving it, I closely inspected the whole thing. It is fairly well made. It is quite heavy, about 3.5 pounds.

The Pros:
  1. Everything is made with metal (stainless steel).
  2. The press action is fairly tight, no way this thing will slide down without you pressing it, it holds in place well.
  3. After four minutes, water is kept much warmer to hot (I make coffee for one, so there aren't a lot of hot water in there to begin with, the time I made two cup, the water was hot after 4 min)
The Con:
  1. There were more coffee residue passing through, I'm still trying to figure it out how, because this press is pretty tight and the mesh filter is quite fine as well. This is not a big complain.
  2. While the craft quality was better than the Bonjour one, and I'm quite certain that this is the best French Press on the market right now, you still can find tiny flaws on the welding of the handle as well as the smoothness of the pot (the polish finish is perfect, but the pot isn't perfectly round on certain regions, you can see it by check out the highlights at glazing angle. Not obvious unless you really look for it.) This is only on the outside, as far as i can tell the inside is quite circular.
One important point I want to make (and many coffee geeks would agree on this), you don't want to keep your coffee in pot much longer than 4 minutes. The main benefit of the double wall is to keep coffee hot during the first four minutes, anyone who complains that this press doesn't keep coffee warm longer than 30 minute or 2 hours or whatever, it doesn't make any sense. Much longer than four minutes the coffee will get too bitter.

So overall I think I'm settled with this for now since I can't find a better French Press than this one even if cost isn't an issue. I bought three of these and I'm fairly certain that my mom and sister will be satisfied with theirs. I made some of the best coffee I've ever drank since I got this. I'd recommend this to anyone looking to get a French Press. I would not settle for the other ones.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Price Is Right?

From Yahoo Answers:
Do women feel cheap if they do something sexual for money?

Reminds me of the couple in a bar where the man asks the woman if she'd have sex with him for a million dollars. She said "I guess so, sure.". Then he said he'd give her $10, to which she replied "what kind of woman do you think I am?" to which he stated, "we've already determined that, we're just haggling over price now."

The outcome is the same, only the price changes and with it, the woman's view of herself.
I certainly want to point out that same thing can be said for men. A more interesting question might be: What would you not do for money, if the price is right?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Too Little Time, Too Much To Do

A list of things I'm currently doing throughout the week (in no particular order):
  • working
  • sewing
  • piano practice
  • singing & voice training
  • computer gaming
  • workout
  • horse riding
  • cooking
  • swimming lessons
  • watching 24 & other shows
I'm also planning ski trips and camping in the coming weeks. Too much going on...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Handsome, Wealthy, Single, and Looking?

It appears that if you are a guy living in the west coast you are out of luck (see map below). Basically if you are over 25 and isn't in a relationship, there's something wrong with you (including yours truly). Why? There's probably never been a point in history where men and women can misunderstand each other in such a profound way. To many, it appears that love is no longer simple.

At Nola's, one of Danette Austin's friends, Katie (who wanted only her first name used), decided to test her theory that men just want to brag about how much they make. She pointed to a clean-cut, well-pressed young man of about her age, 26.

''Just watch,'' she said. ''I'm going over to that guy and in five minutes I'll tell you what he makes.''

Five minutes later, she was back. ''A hundred thou,'' she said with a shrug. ''In sales. He said he'll do a lot better next year.''

She didn't hear what the gentleman, Bob Cruz of San Jose, said about her afterward. ''A pure gold digger,'' Mr. Cruz summed up. ''Just like most of them.''
I find this very ironic and sad.