June 30, 2006

I picked up Pere Goriot at the airport after I missed my flight to Boston. I have been meaning to read Balzac since visiting Musee Rodin. It's like ... chic lit with vivid characters.

this article made me smile:

"Since time immemorial, people of limited or average ability and energy have consoled themselves that they understand the more important values in life, such as relationships and intimacy, as though these things were not available to energetic, talented people."

Since there are only 24 hours in a day, people should concentrate on whatever they consider to be most important. Why should anyone need to prove that their choice is better? Some like to use the word balance, but relative to what? Not everyone is striving for the social norm. As for me, I am aiming for Sylvia Plath =P

June 27, 2006

Since last fall, my sickness has weighed upon me like failure: the constant spin of pills, doctor's office, headache, fatigue and the bizarre reflection of myself in the mirror.

But only now have I fully realized the nature of this failure; more than anything else, it's a failure to understand my own limitations.

Now that I understand, I feel recovered. So, thank you to everyone that tried to talk to me, especially Wei and Jenny. Sorry that I don't always reciprocate; sometimes I have trouble finding the words.

Now that I have addressed: (i) my inability to act like a grown-up; (ii) my inability to pass course 7; and (iii) my inability to deal with my sickness, 'tis time to set new goals.

To laugh much; to win respect of intelligent persons and the affections of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give one's self; to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm, and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived--this is to have succeeded. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

June 24, 2006

Harbour walk with Mandy. Touring Harvard & kayaking with Carl along Charles River. Freedom Trail. Americans and taxes. WIP.

June 10, 2006

Denise visits.

Saturday: We strolled through the aquarium with Jenny (the lizard exhibition was most memorable) and re-energized at sushi wabi (Denise ordered fatty tuna as can be expected =P). The evening was spent at Pops for Champagne (probably my last visit before they move) amidst light jazz and chocolate fondue.

Sunday: Leche vitrine along Mag Mile. She popped into Banana Republic and I Ann Taylor (there is no such thing as too many silk blousons when mercury rises). Dinner at Cheesecake Factory sans cheesecake followed by a sunset walk along the lake.

June 1, 2006

So I went around the office last week thinking and saying that I need to get another job. (No, I am not actually looking for another job because the only thing wrong with my current job is me.) Daren sat me down and attempted to clarify the situation for me i.e. I need to know what I want. I know I don't know what I want, which is why I need other people to expect great things from me, which is what I live for, which is a brilliant way to drive myself insane.

May 29, 2006

Today, someone said to me, "I would not be offended if you don't like me as a person."

Must be nice to be so grown-up.

May 21, 2006

A bunch of people from work came out to see Chris O's performance. Before the show, we ate at Adobo Grill. The margarita is supposed to be the best in Chicago or something but me and girly drinks don't mix. But I liked the fluffy thing that came with the veggie plate.

Friday, we played pool at rock bottom. I was inconsistent as usual but Daren was great so we won some games. Afterwards, we went to Deep's place (the chair was so comfy!) to watch Sam and Mark shout at each other; never realized that they had so much in common.

Ken Seng came to Chicago for the ERM conference. Apparently he is doing a lot to spice up the sixth floor of the MC. Hopefully I will get a chance to visit later this year. Somebody had told me that seafood was good at Fulton's but I found both the soft shell crab and the seafood pie somewhat disappointing.

Before Inessa (keywork alert) left Chicago, she, Leanne and I went to Russian Teatime for dinner. The vegetarian platter is crazy. It's cute hearing their excited talk about picking up guys and such, but it also makes me feel like not-a-girl. Blah.

May 20, 2006

The first time that Andrew recommended P.F. Chang to me, I thought, "Like I would trust a white guy's taste in Chinese food." However, I was impressed by the Mu Shu Pork, Cheng Du Spiced Lamb and Imperial Black Cod.

This week, Mum and Dad are visiting and were super shocked when I insisted on having lunch at a 'China Bistro'. We ordered the Mu Shu Pork again, with Wok Seared Lamb and Lemon Scallops. The last item wasn't exactly Chinese but still yummy. The Wok Seared Lamb inspired my mother, "If I were to serve your dad everything on a bed of shredded lettuce, I wouldn't have to cook as much." I think I am going to try grilling thin steak with soy sauce and tossing it with lettuce and sesame.

We also went to Happy Chef, my favorite dim sum place in Chinatown. Overall, my parents agreed that the standard of living in Chicago isn't half bad.

May 16, 2006

November 2004, I failed the analytical writing section of the GRE, since I didn't prepare for it, since "I am such a good writer". However, I still got all the scholarships I applied for and thus didn't learn my lesson.

May 2006, I failed course 7. Again, it's pretty clear that I failed because I think I am too smart to follow instructions. The difference is that I have to retake it. Hopefully, it'll get through my head once and for all so that I won't fail the GMAT exam next year.

Failure is success if we learn from it. I often wonder how is it possible that I have such a lucky life. I mean, it could have been course 8; but instead it's course 7 so the only price I pay is a free trip to Seattle.

Okay, maybe a little humiliation, but a little humiliation is a good thing.

Street star: Citigroup's CFO
Can Sallie Save Citi

April 30, 2006

I have been meaning to see "Perhaps Love / Ru Guo Ai" since Xiao Min mentioned it at Christmas. Then my parents bought the DVD. Then Qing sent me the VCD. Then a month or two went by. Then I remembered.

My favorite moment is when the producer yells at the director, "You have to make a love story. Everyone loves a love story." Pretty ironic given the story that follows. If this is love, what is hate?

My second favorite moment is when the audience realizes that he can't sleep at night not because he loves her but because he hates himself. It is often overheard, "I wish it could have been different". Funny to envision this longing as a revenge against a past self, which is necessarily a part of the current self.

I like the scenes where they are brightly dressed lying on a frozen river in Beijing. It evokes certain childhood memories, as well as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

I also like the scenes where snow was sprinkled in a circular arpeggio above the girl. It reminds me of Baz Lurhmann's Broadway production of La Boheme, and how certain people are always able to create their own weather.

April 11, 2006

Grass is green. Tulips are bursting. It finally feels like spring and I have moved my running from the gym to the lake. It is magical to watch the many buoys lining the harbour in motion at dusk, like memories lining an unquiet mind. In the distance, the ferris wheel at navy pier flickers and fades, like a dream.

Other than proctoring Eddie's exam on Sunday, I spent the weekend reading the unbearable lightness of being. Although quoted countless times ("Love begins with a metaphor"), this is my first time. Yet it feels so strangely familiar, like thoughts thought a million times.

For some reason I dreamt of the stats class where we learnt the definition of ergodic. But existence is not ergodic, is it? There must be a space between eternal-return and non-being, a space to accept a single realization among infinite possibilities, a space called memory.

April 6, 2006

Belinda Stronach just announced that she is not running for liberal leadership. I think that's the right decision but it sure takes away the glamour from the race. According to CBC, Stéphane Dion's platform is "we must weave together economic growth, social justice, the environment and public health. That is why I want to become leader of the Liberal party and then prime minister of Canada." For some reason, it reminds me of the as prime minister contest. I guess this is the real thing. But what the heck is social justice anyway?

Last week, I picked up my first copy of Maclean's in months and was utterly chocked. Not only does the format look less classy, the articles are much more biased. Or does the fact that I noticed make me a hard-core liberal? All those references to Paul Martin being a loser without a vision only add to my impression that "all political careers end in failure".

April 3, 2006

Last week didn't go as well as planned.

I. Saw the Andy Warhol exhibit with Eddie, Andrew, Matt & Inessa. But it was so brief that it didn't leave me with much of an impression.

II. Met up with Kate for dinner Wednesday (Oysy sushi was yummy) and Thursday (deep dish spinach pizza). But was too busy to go the Art Institute.

III. Visited my doctor and was told that my original problem has improved. But apparently I need treatment for other issues, thus a weekend of cancelled plans.

One bright dot was talking to Tanya. She is likely to go to Costa Rica for grad school this fall. I am looking forward to visiting her. Also planning to visit Kate and Mandy with Carl in the summer. Soon. Soon. Soon.