Archive for » September, 2011 «

Men with Kids are at lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease!!” I happily announced a headline from my internet browser to my husband.

Hubby looked up briefly from his Nintendo DS, and sneaked a thumbs up at me, then immediately refocused his attention back to the DS. Our baby’s DS.

We hesitated a great deal before buying the DS for our baby last Christmas, and the DS was presented with a host of restrictions, such as finishing homework, Chinese homework, piano practice, various chores, etc. before playing with it, along with a long lecture on the importance of not becoming addicted to it.

The children complied with our DS rules beautifully. They suffered no addiction. But the husband did! As soon as the kids are in bed, he picks up the DS and plays with it for hours, often past midnight, ignoring the TV screen, me, and my laptop.

“It seems the kids should give you heart attacks. Especially in their teen years.” My common sense was against this headline.

Silence from him. He continued to play his favorite kid’s game.

“How do kids help keep you from getting heart attacks?” talking more to myself now.

I was just about to click on the link to get to the bottom of this, when hubby piped in.

“The kids are good at keeping the wives preoccupied.” he said without taking his eyes off the DS.

“Ha, ha, ha….that must be it!!” me, enlightened with my eyes wide open, then pointing my finger at him, “YOU annoy me all the time! And I don’t do anything about it, because I am just too exhausted to pick a fight with you!”

Hubby smirked triumphantly at the DS.

Here is a related previous post: Car Trouble

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Last week, I saw that the 2012 College Rankings list came online, and called the children to come over and check it out. We noted the usual list of top college names, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, etc.

In that same article, I saw a link to a list of A+ universities for B students. That’s interesting, I clicked on that link.

“Hmm…Pepperdine, Purdue, Syracuse….University of Colorado-Boulder…not too bad, you know.” I said out loud, more to myself.

“Mom, print this B student list out for me!” my 11-year-old commanded.

Just WHO is this alien that invaded my child’s body?!!

My jaw must have dropped and fell onto the floor, as I turned to stare with eyes wide open at my 11-year-old.

Okay, nothing wrong with this list of universities. I was deeply offended by this lack of ambition.

Reading my obvious unhappiness with the B list request, the 11-year-old immediately exclaimed, “I just wanted to make sure that I don’t accidentally apply to one of these schools, and have to hang out with the B students!!”

Ah…smiling to myself…there is the snobby child I raised.

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I was witness to a very unhappy, but rather amusing exchange between a pair of customers and two cashiers at my favorite Chinese Bakery over the weekend. I go to this bakery once a week. My kids love their sweet buns and buttered bread for breakfast.

I walked into this well-known Chinese Bakery last Sunday morning. To my surprise, there was a line of people waiting by the two cashiers. There are usually no lines here, thanks to the two efficient cashiers who move customers really fast.

I quickly noticed that both cashiers were being occupied by one customer. And none of them looked happy. It appeared that one of the cashiers was taking a bunch of individually wrapped mini moon cakes out of a cardboard box, and was conducting a recount, under close scrutiny of the other two, and all under the watchful eyes of the line of waiting customers holding their baked goods.

I bypassed the line, and headed toward the cash registers area. That’s where my sweet bread is located, so, it wasn’t entirely because I was being nosy.

“See, it’s all correct.” the cashier said to the customer, as she pointed to the LED display showing twenty some dollars. She won the recount.

The customer reminded silent, still taking in the shock that two handfuls of mini moon cakes could cost that much.

As a neutral spectator, I feel the customer was at fault. These individually wrapped mini moon cakes aren’t cheap. And the price tags are prominently displayed along with information on the fillings in these moon cakes. If she had just paid a little bit of attention, and went on to apply elementary math in her head, she would have known that ten or so of these tiny cakes can easily run her twenty plus dollars.

I wondered if she would just say no, and walk away.

As the two cashiers stared back at her, and a line of strangers looked in her proximity with deadly silent impatience, and maybe me lingering close by, she crumbled under the pressure, and went for her wallet.

Some people can’t hide their emotions well, and she was one of them. Her face only got darker and uglier. I was sure she would go home and complain about her innocent moon cakes all day.

“Why are these tiny moon cakes so expensive!” She decided to start the complaining right there and then.

Even though it was a question, her tone and volume indicated that it wasn’t a real question. It was a statement to reiterate her extreme displeasure with the bakery for selling such grossly over priced goods.

The cashier also understood that it wasn’t a question, and bluntly replied, “You will have to ask the boss.”

I was also buying a mini moon cake that day, so I had hoped to hear the cashier explaining the high price away with promise of premium quality, freshness, and maybe even hand-made goodness. Luckily, my motivation for buying a mini moon cake had little to do with its price. I just wanted one small moon cake to celebrate Mid-autumn Festival with.

Our lone mini Moon Cake

“You will have to ask the boss” was not an acceptable answer to any paying customer. I was beginning to take the customer’s side.

The customer wisely decided to ignore the cashier this time, as she took her change, but then turned to her friend to continue her complaint.

Pointing to her box of just purchased moon cakes, “Look at this! When I give this gift, I will even look cheap!!”

She was buying these as a gift?!! I came to the realization that this lady is really not smart. I looked around the bakery. She should have simply picked out a pre-packaged gift box. They are cheaper and better looking in a beautiful sturdy tin box. And they looked very expensive.

Her mini moon cakes are individually wrapped, so the cashier placed the moon cakes in a small sized cardboard box. Her box of high priced Moon Cake was not impressive looking at all.

Her friend grabbed the receipt out of the hand of the cashier, and spoke for the first time.

“We will just tape this receipt on the box!” She exclaimed.


“Like this!” She placed the small white receipt squarely on top of the box with both of her hands to show off the newly-manufactured expensive effect.

HAAA….. HA, HA, HA…..

Here is my previous related blog: Red Bean Paste with Double Yolk

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Category: Humor, Parents  One Comment

Around this time of the year, all major Chinese grocery markets greet customers with a mountain of Moon Cakes on display. The first sighting of these moon cakes always reminds me of my favorite moon cake memory.

It was many years ago. I was a recent college grad, and had just moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to work and live on my own. One late summer evening, I received a phone call from my Dad.

“Why didn’t you send me Moon Cakes?!” his loud voice pounded at my ear. Dad has the habit of cutting straight into the conversation, bypassing the usual pleasantries.

“Oh!… Mid-Autumn Festival has arrived?” Me.

“Already past!” Dad.

“Why didn’t you tell me earlier? If you had told me earlier, I would then have sent you the Moon Cakes.” I lacked a certain maturity in my early twenties. They didn’t get their moon cakes, because they failed to prompt me.

“You have grown up. You work and live by yourself. But you must remember that you are Chinese. And Mid-Autumn Festival is an important Chinese holiday. You have to remember this holiday. Every year on Mid-Autumn Festival, you need to send us Moon Cakes.” my dad.

“Okay. No problem.” I agreed.

I kept my promise. I made a point of finding out when the following Mid-Autumn day would arrive, and sent my parents a nice and expensive box of Moon Cakes. The moon cakes were filled with red bean paste with double yolk. My dad’s favorite.

I shipped it to my parents’ home, counted down the number of days until the box would arrive at their door, and waited anxiously for my dad’s call to congratulate me for having remembered this holiday all by myself. Three days later, I got my call.

“Why did you send us Moon Cakes?! And in such a big box!” Dad.


“You told me to!!! Remember, last year, you complained that I didn’t send you any moon cakes!” It was my turn to scream into his ear.

“Oh, did I? He, he, he…” He sounded a little embarrassed over the phone.

“I have 14 boxes of moon cakes here. That’s after already giving away as many boxes as I could. Who can eat that much moon cake! They will go to waste.” he explained himself.

That was a problem he bargained for himself. Moon cake is fruit cake on steroids. No one really likes to eat it, and you don’t have to be invited to a party to give one away. Around Mid-Autumn Festival, people ship and drop off boxes of moon cakes like Christmas presents. And the older you get, the more boxes you receive each year. I have a strong suspicion that my 96 year old grandma is buried under a pile of moon cakes right around now.

“Well, you must eat the box I gave you. They are red bean paste with double yolk. Your favorite.” me.

“Yes, yes, we will definitely eat the moon cakes you gave us.” dad continued, “From now on, you don’t need to buy us moon cakes anymore. Just don’t forget this holiday. That will be enough.”

I have been exempted from buying them moon cakes every since. Then my own children came along.

I decided that it was necessary to buy moon cakes again to impress my American-born children with this important Chinese holiday. I have successfully coaxed my kids into eating moon cakes for several years now, but, like me, they have already discovered that there is not much redeeming taste value in these so called cakes.

Last year, when I brought moon cakes home, the kids greeted them with, “Oh, no!!”

So, I told them, “I know. I don’t like them either. But we only have to eat them once a year…to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival. An important Chinese holiday.”

Our last year's moon cake platter-a pair of mini moon cakes

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