Happy Birthday, Mom!

Unfortunately, we had to check out of our condo in the Outer Banks this morning and head home. But the vacation was by no means over. Since we were passing through Norfolk on our way home anyway, we stopped at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum and went aboard the USS Wisconsin. For a fleeting moment (pun intended), I considered joining the Navy. Then I remembered that my puny body wouldn't survive more than a week in the military. Alas!

And, since we had already stopped in Norfolk, we of course had to make a detour to one of the Asian grocery stores there. My mom bought plenty of crazy Chinese fruits and vegetables, while I stocked up on my Asian snacks. Roasted seaweed, lychee jellies, and Pocky sticks, hooray! \(^_^)/

Finally, we had to fulfill our Zhao family tradition of having our final vacation meal at a Chinese buffet. It kind of makes sense, because we had been training the entire vacation to eat more and more food each day. The buffet dinner is a sort of "final challenge," where we really get to showcase how much our stomachs have expanded over the course of the week. Two bowls of soup, four plates of food, one bowl of ice cream, and six cups of tea later, I was finally satiated. Mission accomplished!

Christmas in the Outer Banks

I got my real Christmas present from my parents yesterday, which involved going to the outlet mall in Nags Head and buying new clothes with my mom's credit card. I spent almost $150, which bought me a lot of clothes during the post-holiday 70% off clearance sales. Hooray for new clothes for the new year, and double hooray for my mom's Engrish.

On seeing the Sunglass Hut store:
"What is that?? Sugarless Hut!?"

On what stores we had already visited:
"Don't forget, you get so many from Rudolph... Rudolph..."
"Ralph Lauren?"
"Yes, that one!"

I'm going to go hiking now so I can burn off the 25 wontons I just ate and make room for crab tonight. Yesss...


Several people have recommended the show Cringe to me over the past few weeks, so I figured I would start watching it over break. I would describe it as an interesting mix between The X-Files and The Twilight Zone. The story arc focuses on a team of high-clearance FBI agents who are investigating "The Pattern," a series of bizarre occurrences around the world that seem to be orchestrated by someone or something who is using people as experiments. The plot is fascinating (I've said on multiple occasions that everything J.J. Abrams touches turns to gold), but there are a few problems with the show.

1. The dialogue is terrible. The writers try to give the characters clever lines, but it's evident that they're trying too hard. The "shocking" lines become predictable and incredibly hackneyed.

2. The characters are boring. The main character is played by Anna Torv, who can be best described as a blonde and ugly version of Donna from That 70s Show. The characters are supposed to be deeply troubled by their pasts, but their issues manifest in the form of inexplicable outbursts that don't fit in with their behavior in the rest of the series.

3. The timing is inconsistent. Most episodes happen over the course of a day, or a few days at most. Frequently the scenes will be shot in the night, in the day, and then in the night again, yet only a few hours will have passed in the story.

4. It's not Lost or Heroes.

Still, that hasn't stopped me from watching seven episodes in the past few days. I have no life.

Vacation update:
We complained to the rental company and we are now moved into a much nicer condo than the one we originally paid for, and they're also reimbursing us for the hotel rooms we stayed in last night. My mom and her friends have gone into full vacation mode and are now preparing a feast for the eight of us that could actually feed a small village.

Vacation FAIL!

Picture this:

We arrive at our condo in Nags Head after driving for four hours. I walk in first, and I am greeted at the door by four dead cockroaches. "That's peculiar," I think. I venture a little further in, and I realize that the bed linens are strewn everywhere. Some are at the feet of the beds; others are balled up on the sofa. I stand in the middle of the living room, scratching my head, somewhat confused at the situation. "I guess housecleaning still hasn't come through here," I say to myself. My mom walks in and is immediately shrieking with disgust. She tries to turn on the faucet, but no water comes out. She goes into Asian hysterics. I am afraid of what she might do.

I try calling every number, including the after-hours emergency number, but none of them go through. I drive to one of the local offices, where I find one man working, but he is in the sales division of the company and can't help me. He tries calling every number he has for the rentals branch, but none of them work, either. He recommends that we drive to two other local offices to see if anyone there can help us, but there is nobody to be found. He suggests we find hotel rooms, stay the night, and show up at the rental office when it opens tomorrow at 9am and ask them to pay for our hotel bill. We heed his advice.

And that brings us to there here and now. I am blogging from a room on the fourth floor of the Comfort Inn Oceanfront South. While my dad watches a documentary about Roswell.

Best moment of the vacation so far:
Mom: Did you see that picture of Bahama's wife? She looked so ugly in that red dress!
Me: Did you mean... Obama?

Is It Christmas?

Click here to find out: http://www.isitchristmas.com/

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYBODY! I hope you all get to spend some wonderful time with your families and friends. I'm leaving for the Outer Banks tomorrow with my parents and some family friends, and I don't know whether or not I'll have internet access while we're there. In case I don't, I'll be back to blogging on Tuesday, Dec. 30th. Until then, happy holidays!

Old Money

I spent this evening at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Hill, the couple that endowed my Jefferson Scholarship. They had called me earlier this week to see if I would play piano at their annual Christmas party, and I of course obliged. How could I say no to the couple that had paid for my college tuition, a summer in Europe, and all of my living expenses for the past four years? It turns out they live in a giant brick mansion off of Cary Street, where all of the old money in Richmond resides. The house was, not surprisingly, impeccably furnished and beautifully decorated for the holidays.

Their family members gave further evidence in support of my theory that all rich people are beautiful. Each of the Hills' grandchildren was dressed to the nines, and all of them looked like they had walked straight out of a J. Crew catalog. I felt so painfully normal amongst such wealthy and attractive people.

Which is why one of my goals in life is to marry a rich and beautiful woman. Long live the spirit of Christmas!

My DVD Player Is a FOB

Catherine and Nick came over to watch a movie tonight, and it felt just like high school again. We perused all of Blockbuster before deciding on Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which Nick had already seen but recalled as being totally hilarious. The movie turned out to be pretty funny, but a lot of the jokes were ruined simply because the captions were on and we would get to read the punch lines before they were delivered.

It's kind of embarrassing that I spent half an hour trying to get rid of the captions and ultimately failed. In my defense, my dad purchased the DVD player in China so that he could watch his Chinese VCDs about the Three Kingdoms and the Mongol Conquest and whatever other crazy miniseries he enjoys while eating watermelon seeds. Anyway, the remote control and the menu were all in Chinese, and I managed to figure out how to do pretty much everything except for turning off the captions by mashing random buttons. I eventually surrendered and went to the expert, but when even my dad couldn't take the captions away, we gave up. Curse you Asians and your technology that can out-smart humans. Didn't any of you watch I, Robot!?

Happy Solstice

Okay, well, I guess the winter solstice was technically yesterday, but Catherine's neighborhood celebrated it today, so deal with it. I had heard her talk about the party every year, and I was beyond excited when she invited me tonight (perhaps jokingly, but I took advantage of it). However, none of her stories prepared me for the extravaganza that is the Solstice Party/Party for the Birds.

First of all, the party revolved around making bird feeder ornaments out of pine cones, toasted bread, sliced yams, peanut butter, cranberries, raisins, and birdseed.

Second of all, the party revolved around excessive amounts of delicious food that I stuffed into my mouth at a rapid pace.

Third of all, we revolved around a tree in the neighborhood that we decorated with our gifts to the birds while we sang Christmas carols.

And as if that's not enough, the days are only getting longer from here on out. Summer, here I come!

Home Sweet Home

The semester is over, and I'm back in Richmond.

This is all following an epic afternoon/evening/night that involved an epic basketball game that we lost to Auburn, an epic dinner at Guadalajara, an epic nap/coma in Sunny's bed, an epic game of Sevens in Sunny's living room, and an epic '80s dance party at Three.

At some point, my camera Elisha finally croaked her last breath and gave up on me. I purchased her at Beach Week this past summer when my last one broke, and she has taken 2,147 pictures (worth 2,147,000 words) in the course of her short lifetime. She has survived several drops on her head as a baby, a near-fatal drowning, and multiple beer spills. In spite of all of the abuse, she managed to pull through at crucial moments in my life, documenting events like my graduation from college, my summer job at Heritage Theatre Festival, my orientation to medical school, two trips to New York City, and numerous concerts, weddings, parties, and Photo Hunt victories in between.

Goodbye, Elisha. You will be missed. May your soul come back to me in two weeks from the Best Buy warranty program in a shinier, newer body.

All Aboard the Fail Train

We had our final genetics exam yesterday, so obviously I spent most of Friday night on FAIL Blog when I should have been studying. One of the videos, which I have reposted below, made me laugh so hard that I started to cry (although I guess that's not too surprising). In addition to being an epic fail, it is also something that could be taken out of a chapter in my life.

Mass transit in Beijing is basically a nightmare. There have been countless times that I have not been able to make it onto a bus because it was too full. Then there have been the few instances like the one shown above, where despite the overcrowding, I was forced aboard by the sheer willpower of the people behind me.

There was also this one time, about ten years ago, that my mom and I rode the train from Nanjing to Suzhou. The ride only lasted three hours, but it felt like three days because it was standing room only. Each of the tickets cost 15 RMB, which is a little less than $2, but what we saved in money we paid for in human dignity. The train was not air conditioned, so all of the windows were kept open, and my face was covered in black soot by the time we reached our destination. And trust me, I don't make a very cute Blasian.

National Security

I've always made fun of people who accidentally hit "Reply All." Especially when undergrad students thought they were e-mailing the teacher but had instead sent the message to the entire class, and their utter toolishness and suck-upness would be laid out for everyone to see.

Well, karma is a female dog, and it kicked me in the heinie this past summer. A bunch of my friends went to Hong Kong this summer, including Nick, who wrote one of those mass travel e-mails to let everyone know what they had been up to. Later that day, I receive the following e-mail:

From: Casscells, S. Ward, Assistant Secretary of Defense, OASD(HA)
Bravo Nick. If u need help in Thailand call me.
Uncle trip

How funny, I thought. The Assistant Secretary of Defense of the United States of America just accidentally hit "Reply All." Wait a minute... I just got an e-mail from the Assistant Secretary of Defense!? So I immediately wrote to Nick:

...your uncle is the Assistant Secretary of Defense? Remind me to call you if I ever get in trouble...

Five seconds later, I realized that I did not send that message to Nick; rather, I had sent it TO HIS UNCLE. Embarassed, I wrote this embarrassing follow-up:

Oops sorry I meant to send that to Nick!

He was kind enough to write me back:

Thx but i was the one who hit reply all.

All in all, not my brightest moment. Although, as Mr. Casscells pointed out, he was the one who replied all in the first place, and, as Catherine later pointed out, he used the words "u" and "thx." Apparently the government is totes into using abbrevs, too.


I dreamed last night that I was hired to work at the Biltmore. And I'm not talking about the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, known for being America's largest home. I'm talking about the Biltmore Grill in Charlottesville, Virginia, known for its cheap beers and rooms permeated with a distinctly urine-like odor. Even worse, dream-me was excited to start working there. And even worse, dream-me was living in the cottage in between the Biltmore and Zydeco. Why, oh why!? Hopefully this isn't the surfacing of a deep desire that I've been suppressing.

The only thing that was good about the dream was that Catherine, Christin, and Jenna all moved back to Charlottesville and were working at the Biltmore with dream-me. But I'm sorry I had to drag you guys into this. I hope that one day, many years from now, you will be able to forgive me.

I Can't... I Have Rehearsal!

As much as I love music, it often gets in the way of hanging out with friends. I can't count the number of times I had to miss dinners, parties, and get-togethers my fourth year of college because I had rehearsal at the same time. I guess it's not surprising, since I was in three singing groups, a chamber music ensemble, and practiced piano four hours a day for my senior recital last year. It appears my old habits resurfaced. I had to forego the UVA Club of Charlottesville party, the UVA vs. Longwood game, and dinner at Mas (my favorite restaurant) with Nate and Kathy tonight so I could be at choir rehearsal. Woe is me!

On the bright side, I re-watched Wanted with a bunch of friends afterward. I am now reconsidering my future as a doctor and contemplating a career as a professional assassin. Boom goes the dynamite.

And now for a video that I didn't make but is equally as offensive. Hooray!

Myotonic Dystrophy and You

This morning, we had a presentation on myotonic dystrophy, a disease characterized by wasting of the muscles (muscular dystrophy), cataracts, heart defects, gastrointestinal problems, and myotonia (difficulty relaxing a muscle). All I could think about the whole time was the video I made with Catherine and Mica for Anatomy class in high school. Our teacher gave each group a different disease, and the assignment was to create a presentation that could be given to parents whose child had just been diagnosed with the disorder. We decided to film a video to explain the many symptoms of myotonic dystrophy, which you can watch here.

Part of our grade was patient sympathy. Needless to say, we received a 0/5 on that part of the presentation. I hope my ability to communicate with patients has improved since then.

Self Diagnosis

One of the unfortunate side effects of going to medical school is that you learn about all these different diseases and eventually you stumble across one that hits just a little too close to home. For me, that disease was Angelman syndrome, also known as happy puppet syndrome. We learned it as an example of genetic imprinting, because it is caused by the loss of genes on maternally inherited chromosome 15. A loss of the same genes on the paternal copy of chromosome 15 results in a different disease, known as Prader-Willi syndrome.

Here are some of the symptoms of the disease, and I'll leave it to those of you who know me to decide whether or not I actually have it:
- Poor weight gain
- Poor attention span and hyperactivity
- Hand flapping
- Jerky movements
- Affectionate nature
- Frequent, unprovoked laughter
- Below average head size, often with flattening at the back

It's a hard life, but I'm learning to manage. I appreciate your support in this difficult time.

Reading Rainbow

Some of my friends from college decided to form a Book Club, and since I'm a sucker for anything that's not related to schoolwork, I hopped onto the bandwagon. We named ourselves the Badass Baptists, which I like to think is a pretty accurate description. Since we now live everywhere between Los Angeles and South Africa, we can't exactly discuss the books in person. Instead, we "met" on Gchat for the first time today to talk about the first two chapters of The Shack, a Christian fiction novel that attempts to tackle the question: Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain? It's pretty good so far, but I'll withhold judgment until we're done discussing the book in February.

On a similar note, if you search Google for the term "badass," the first hit is an article on The 9 Most Badass Bible Verses. My favorite is #2, which comes from Judges 15:15-16.

Finding a fresh jawbone of an ass, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men. Then Samson said,

"With an ass's jawbone
I have made asses of them.
With an ass's jawbone
I have killed a thousand men."


Happy Holidays

Nosheen and I threw a Tacky Christmahanukwanzaakuh Party at my place last night, and we did it on a budget of only $45! We made hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps, which was unbelievably delicious, and we discovered that my rice cooker moonlights as a drink warmer. People came with tacky outfits and left without their dignity, so I'd say it was a successful party overall. Some memories I have from my brief moments of clarity:

1. Asking Steph to demonstrate a body roll in the middle of the party.
2. Getting more speakers from Bob's house, even though the music was already so loud that you could hear it from two houses away.
3. Stopping the dance party and singing happy birthday to Jon at midnight.
4. Having rum poured down my throat by Nate.
5. Being asked by Matt to punch him in the face. Repeatedly.

Mix it all together, and what do you get? A promising future plastic surgeon, I'd say!

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Christmas is something like twelve days away (I don't really know what day it is anymore), so I thought it would be interesting to share PNC's annual Christmas Price Index. For 24 years, the group has been tracking the amount of money it would cost to purchase the gifts listed in the carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas. This year, it would cost you $86,608 to buy your loved one all 364 items. Click here to hear the breakdown from the man himself, Jim Dunigan, as well as to see the change in prices over time.

On that note, I need to finish setting up for the wackiest, tackiest, Christmahanukwanzaakah party the UVA Medical School has ever seen. God bless us, every one!

You Know You're Asian If...

1. You release your OCD tendencies by spending the night wrapping other people's Christmas gifts.

2. You openly talk about your obsession with fine-tipped pens.

3. You frequently wear a button down and/or sweater.

4. You always wear glasses.

5. You make strangers take pictures of you at Barnes & Noble.

6. You laugh so hard that you cry. Sometimes you laugh so hard that you cry out of your nose. [cough EMI cough]

7. You somehow manage to meet the coordinator for clerkships at the UVA Medical School and strike up a conversation about your future career goals.

8. You share a secret love for science fiction/fantasy novels.

Read more facts about Asians here.

Also, in honor of this being my 100th post on Idiopathies, I present to you this HIRARIOUS video of "Jizz in My Pants", the first single off of The Lonely Island's debut album, Incredibad.

I Love the Crazies

Given my obsession with the absurd yet endlessly entertaining cult that is Scientology, I don't know how I missed this gem of a story. Earlier this year, the following e-mail was sent out by Leah Remini (the wife on the TV show "King of Queens") to some of her friends. I have no idea what most of it means, so please let me know if you understand what she's trying to say. It's kind of long, so I've put my favorite parts in bold.


This is Leah Remini Writing you again. Some of you may know me from the TV show "King of Queens", but what is more important is that I am now OT V and at one point I was a very stalled Clear. A lot of people helped me to get OT, and I decided I was going to turn around and help every Clear make it to OT.

A couple of months ago, you received a letter from me about an event I was holding to help people move who were stalled on the Bridge. Obviously you did not come and for some reason, feel you are not indeed a "stalled Clear". Let me start with the definition of "stalled". Not that you are-but who knows? STALL: To slow down or halt the progress of. (American Heritage Student Dictionary). If you are not aggressively moving on your next step-your next "Gradechart Action", you are stalled. Look at the Gradechart, it says: Clear-Sunshine Rundown-Solo Course Part 1-OT Preparations and so on up the chart. If you are not on your next step as per this chart, and are not on a prerequisite for Solo, you are stalled-plain and simple.

If your C/S has CS ed you for the PTS SP course, or some other needed action to get you rolling up the GRADECHART faster, then do it, and do it fast. I have experience being a Stalled Clear. I was the kind of gal who went on course MAYBE a period a day, only on weekdays, and that was ONLY if I had the time. I felt I deserved a special award for being there and they couldn't possibly ask for more. I remember thinking and saying out loud, "I WILL NEVER be like those idiots who wait 10 years to go OT!" 10 years later, I hadn't moved. I mean I did everything else but move on to Solo One. I did other courses, I got myself in to trouble, then needed some FPRD and then I would finish that and it would be "my finances"... I would hear people talk to me about other Clears and refer to them as "stalled Clears" and I would be like "Yeah-they are totally stalled. You guys should handle them." Never once did I think "I" was a stalled Clear, because I was always doing something. Once my mother told me I was stalled and I actually thought she was an idiot. Really, I thought "Wow, she really should handle that." I also thought she just didn't know me. My mom is OT VII and a Class VI. She did know me and she was right. So, it is up to you now to be honest with yourself and look at your own progress up the Bridge.

Do you ever wonder why you are not moving? No? Then that's an outpoint. You are Clear, you are special, why have you not moved? Whatever the reason, there is an answer and a solution. I don't care what it is: you were not serviced right or fast enough, people don't get you, you have other things going on that we don't get, you are helping others, you are upset, you haven't been acked, your life is actually going well, your life is not going well, there's no money there's no time, if you were a millionaire you would do it no problem, you are waiting for your 2D to make it, there's no urgency, you are not sure if you have what it takes to be OT, you hated your auditor, you don't like the parking situation... WHATEVER IT IS, IT IS STOPPING YOU AND THERE IS A REASON FOR THAT!

Why am I telling you this and who the hell am I writing you? Do you think that I have nothing better to do with my time than write you letters and put on events? Do you think I make some sort of commission off you? The answer is that I don't have better things to do than to support my group and help when I can. Clears ARE my group. And no- I don't make a dime. Does that make you wonder, "Why the hell does she care?". Or... "Why does the Org care?" Well, when you do your levels you too will care. Sept 11th (9/11) kicked me in the a&#.

I finally realized that all it takes is a few madmen to take us all down. There I was, just running on my treadmill thinking life is okay. I'm going on course every so often, (when I had time) and BAM! Life has changed. I suddenly thought, "Oh my God, what if I'm stuck in this condition again and I have to—what? Do it all over again? Where would I go? What would I do? Would some secret Scientology police come down and save me? Is there a secret back-up plan? I was sure there was. But there isn't . All it would take is another tragic event to happen again and we are all done. There will be no planet for us to be stalled, or "just doing okay" on. There would be nothing! The only plan is for you to move on up to OT as fast as you can. That is the secret. Really. I am asking you to get it together. You are in charge and responsible for what you do this lifetime. Not being on course and not doing your next step is getting you where? Play out the scenario-there you are being a Clear, being right about whatever it is that is keeping you from being on course and doing your next step. Years go by, you are making money, you have a nice house and a nice car. You spent time with those friends you wanted to hang out with, you cleaned out the garage, you traveled. You do all the things that were keeping you from taking your next step. Then what? Then you are going to move? I hate to say this but you are lying to yourself. You need to move now, regardless of your situation. Are you just going to keep in place what you have had sitting there for lifetimes to come? Do you think we are just going to be here forever? So I say knock off any critical thought right now that you may have about me, the orgs, your FSM, your auditor, anyone else, and contact us so we can help you. All you need to do is just reach once and we can help. LRH was very clear on what we need to do- obviously in some way you are out of agreement with that. That again, is an outpoint, and we can help you with that.

You're waiting because of money? Or for your wife to do it first or for you to strike it rich? It will not happen without your decision to go up the levels. That is the truth. You owe it to yourself, your family, and to mankind to move and move NOW.

In closing, this is not going to happen often. I am only doing this again because some of you did not show. I hope to see you on September 28th at 11:30am at the AOLA atrium for a second chance. There will be brunch served, free of course! Do this for yourself- just blow through whatever it is that is sitting there, and just come. It's not going to kill you- I promise!

Much love,
Leah Remini

College? Is That You?

For the first time in four months, I'm actually enjoying medical school. I think it's because we only have class for a few hours a day, and that class happens to be very easy. I never study anymore, so instead I fill my free time with extracurricular activities: Qdoba fundraiser and the Messiah Sing-In tonight, caroling with U-Singers and Barnes & Noble fundraiser tomorrow, and shopping for the Tacky Christmas Sweater party on Thursday. Basically, I feel like I'm in undergrad again. College, no parents! WHOO!!

The only thing that's different is that I received the gift of a scarf from a family friend, and I started wearing it last week. I've never owned one before, so this is an exciting time in my life. Who knew that there was a product out there that would keep your neck warm as you walked from your house to school during the bleak midwinter while simultaneously making you look and feel more like Harry Potter? Somebody should have told me about this earlier!

Musical Marathon

Ah, the holidays. Nothing fills me with more Christmas cheer than listening to the music of the season. Thank goodness for Medical & Molecular Genetics, which has given me more free time than I ever knew in college. I took yesterday off to go to the University Singers and CUSO Family Holiday Concert, immediately followed by the Jubilate Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols. It was kind of weird sitting in the audience instead of standing on the stage with the two groups, but I had a lot of fun. I do have to admit that attending two concerts from 3:30 until 7:00 was rather exhausting. Now I know how my parents felt every time I made them come listen to back-to-back performances. Oh well, I'm an only child, and it's their JOB to provide me with unending attention, affection, and praise.

My holiday spirit was temporarily put on hold when I walked into the library this afternoon. Claude Moore was infested with undergraduate students trying to study in our territory. You could pick them out as if they were wearing neon signs. Their bright smiles, their thin textbooks, and the lack of bags under their eyes gave them away immediately. Just you wait. One day, they too will be in a graduate or professional school, and I'll be... oh wait, I'll probably still be in school, too. Womp womp.

VMed on Ice

To end our Re-Orientation Week, Nosheen and I planned for our class to go ice skating at the Downtown Mall together. This was truly an altruistic decision made by the most selfless social chairs ever. Neither Nosheen nor I had ice skated before, yet there we were, wearing our rental skates, trying to maintain our balance (see us on the verge of toppling over).

All in all, I ended up enjoying ice skating much more than I expected, although I could have done without the little kids whizzing past me and scaring the bajeezus out of me. Then, another novice skater was about to fall and grabbed onto ME for balance. Talk about a poor life decision on her part. It was only by the grace of God that we did not both face-plant. Also, I never really learned how to slow down, so when the girl right in front of me stopped, I had no choice but to grab her torso from behind so that I wouldn't run into her and knock her over. I remember saying something awkward, like "Sorry, I didn't have a choice!" before blacking out. It's too bad that going unconscious is my only reliable method of defense.

Surprisingly, I didn't fall that much over the course of the night. My best fall was the one that involved me sliding between Steph's legs (it was weird; I'm not really sure what happened). My worst was when I got over-confident in my abilities and then fell backwards on an outstretched arm. Luckily I didn't get a Colles' fracture, but I may have damaged my pisiform bone. I'll keep you updated.

Engrish, Part 2

My parents recently returned from a trip to China to see my grandparents, and of course when I went home for Thanksgiving, I was forced to sit through a photo tour of their entire month in what felt like real time. Not that I'm one to talk, because I've done the exact same thing to them each time I've come back from any of my trips abroad. Wow, we really are Asian, aren't we?

Anyway, looking at their pictures reminded me of this photo that I took in the Beijing Botanical Gardens the last time I went to China. I think the most awkward part of documenting Engrish in action is that my aunts, uncles, and cousins always ask me, "Why are you taking a picture of that sign?" And then I have to explain to them that the translation makes no sense and how there's an entire genre of humor in America where we make fun of Asian-to-English translations. Is this done at the expense of the Chinese people? Yes. Is it hilarious anyway? Absolutely yes.

Wonder of Wonders, Miracle of Miracles

My greatest fear in life was realized last night (see "About Me," left). We had a hot tub movie night at the AFC, and I foolishly brought along my phone in case someone needed to know how to find us and my camera so I could document each of our Re-Orientation Week activities. I gently placed my two most beloved possessions in the area between the warm water pool and the hot tub, warning everyone around me to be careful not to splash water onto them. Merely seconds later, I turned around just in time to see He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named fling himself like a seal at Sea World from the warm water pool into the hot tub, dragging both my camera AND my cell phone in with him.

But luckily there's a happy ending to all of this. I left my camera and my cell phone to dry in front of my heater last night, and when I woke up this morning, they were both fully functional! Jesus really does love me!

I've Been Betrayed

Let me get this straight, Chapstick. I specifically give thanks for you less than a week ago, and this is how you respond? What were you thinking? Do you see me as just another consumer who will use you and lose you before even making it halfway through the tube? Well, you might be right about that, but you can't just go around looking like this. I put you away yesterday, looking like any other Chapstick you'd find in CVS or your local grocery store, but when I take you back out today, I can barely even recognize you. It's as if you're a completely different lip balm altogether. I don't know if you're trying some fad diet or if you went under the knife, but this new, thinner look is not going to get you the attention and love that you're clearly in need of. Why don't you stop being something you're not and just stick to what you're good at: protecting my lips from the sun and wind.

On the other hand, if someone did this to you, tell me who it is and I'll show them what happens to someone who messes with my Chapstick. Was it someone sharing the pocket with you? The keys? The pen? The cell phone? He has been acting a bit sketchy lately...

Ripped from the Headlines

Given last night's... interesting blog post, I have decided that I need to post something intelligent and well-written today.

According to BBC News, NATO has agreed to a "conditional and graduated re-engagement" with Russia today. Talks with the government in Moscow had ceased in light of its war with Georgia in August, and although the NATO-Russia Council will not be restored, lower-level discussions will take place. Tensions still run high, as thousands of Russian troops are still stationed in Georgia. The question of whether or not Georgia and Ukraine would be permitted to join NATO, a move strongly opposed by Russia, also divides the organization.

See? I'm capable of being mature if I want to be. Err, boobies. HAHAHA!!

No Backspacke

first durnk bpost ever.



why did we pour wer hour tonight

worst slash best idea ever

i love everyone
but blgo=gging why!?!?

this is wonderful i hope

WHAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH clas tomorrow at 8am :( sam is sad

hahadhahfhadsf asd;lfkjas;dfilajwe;otiaw;oeitur!!!!!!! POWER HOUR TO MEEE!?

k bye.