mysticonnie's blog

Megalomania continues...
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a Conspiracy of 2
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Monday, February 27, 2006

suk ching lau. november 1915 - february 2006

when my grandparents first arrived in the States from Hong Kong, i was 6 years old. my father was so proud to have been able to bring them here, and i remember eagerly anticipating their arrival, thinking that i would have the kind of grandmother who would cook chicken noodle soup and bake chocolate chip cookies. well, my grandmother didn't bake cookies, though she did make all kinds of soup (not chicken noodle), and my grandfather always kept a tin of cookies on hand to give me.

my grandmother was always a feisty, headstrong and stubborn woman. she truly lived life richly and to the fullest. Though the quality of it degenerated in the last two years, she never complained, and always kept trying. she never enabled herself to wallow in self-pity due to her condition, and she never succumbed to depression. my stubborn streak, my argumentative nature and my penchant for exploits in bizarre culinary experiments come from her. (though i don't think i'll be making any fish gut omelettes anytime soon) my earliest memory of her is this: early when they arrived here, my mother soon tired of having two children and my grandparents in the house all day. she directed my brother, then fourteen, to take me (I was six) and my grandparents to the mall. we took the bus, which was soon to become my grandmother's main mode of transportation. i don't recall what happened there, but i definitely remember the trip back. my grandmother always walked quickly, but my grandfather, who was a bit older, walked slowly with a cane. she grew impatient with his pace, and they began to argue. as we were making our way to the bus stop, she'd decided she'd had it, and sprinted ahead to catch the incoming bus. my brother was shocked, but thinking quickly, he grabbed me by the hand and hauled me onboard. unfortunately, my grandfather refused to quicken his steps and subsequently missed the bus. i still remember watching him slowly make his way to the bench, as he disappeared from sight. I burst into tears, inconsolable. how was grandpa going to find his way home? he didn't speak the language, this was is first time in the country, and he'd never taken the bus before. how were we going to find him? i was certain that we'd never see him again. my mother says that when we arrived home, my grandmother stomped in directly to her room and slammed the door closed. my brother arrived, pale and shaky, and i was bawling. she got me to my room, and when she turned to my brother to get an explanation, he burst into tears as well, fearing a spanking from my father. Fifteen minutes later, my grandfather strolled in as though nothing had happened.

"we argued all my life," my aunt whispered by her bedside. "telling me to save my pennies for a rainy day. when i was younger, i didn't understand. i resented it. now, i do. she just didn't want us to be poor and suffer." my mother sadly combed an errant strand from her face. "she was always a fighter. that's how she survived." my father said she loved life, but when he asked her if she feared death, she replied "no," belligerantly, "only the pain from the sting of a needle". it was difficult for my father to let go, but we all knew that she would never want to be confined to a bare brain-dead existence of tubes and machines. in his eulogy, my father recalled his earliest memory, which was of her. when he was a toddler, his father, my grandfather, fought the japanese occupation as an officer with the nationalists during the world war 2. my grandfather's squad was constantly on the move, and the family would follow behind and hide. somehow, my grandmother and father had gotten separated from the rest of the camp. they took refuge in a trench as an explosion went off. my grandmother, who was then pregnant with my aunt, threw her body over my father to shield him from the blast. frightened, my father looked up through the smoke to see her face, calm and serene, and comforting. as she faded into oblivion, i took her hand. he said she wore that same face again.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Random things

Piped Macarons.

A few more photos here.

Just watched the finale of Arrested Development (again). Hilarious stuff, of course, but I'm a little sad over its demise. And I came to a realization - this show gets a lot of mileage out of incest jokes. How does a show manage to make incest funny? Brilliant stuff, I say. Hopefully, this last season will be released on DVD soon, and we'll be able to free up some TiVO space. Perhaps Showtime will pick it up. Why do I always champion doomed TV shows? With my luck, Veronica Mars will be the next to get the axe. Sigh.

Speaking of inappropriate humor, who knew Bob Saget could be so dirty? I'd heard he was dirty before, and his appearance on Entourage kinda cemented it, but Zack and I watched the Aristocrats this afternoon, and I'd heard the jokes get pretty extreme - I'd even heard that Saget's version was by far the dirtiest - but damn. You have to watch it to believe it.

Okay, I have a confession. I am official a Lost addict. It is totally engrossing, though I think that Matthew Fox's character ("Jack") is exactly the same kind of character he played on "Party of 5," so I keep calling him Charlie. But that creates confusion, since there *is* a character named Charlie played by Dominic Monaghan... I call him "Merry." Anyways, Zack and I fininished the first season last month, and we just started the second. I swear, it's like crack!

Of course, I have to say something about the Grammys. Yes, I watched it. I actually sat through all three and a half hours of it. I am such a loser. But I wanted to watch Gorillaz and Kanye and U2 and (okay) Kelly Clarkson perform. So what? Anyways, I liked Alicia and Beyonce's dresses the best. Madge looked great - I can't believe she's 47! And about U2 winning album of the year... of course, I was happy about that. But from my attempt at an unbiased opinion... I think it was more like a "sorry we didn't give it to you for Achtung Baby (Eric Clapton Unplugged won) or All that You Can't Leave Behind (Steely Dan won)" plus "Hey, this Bono guy does a shitload of humanitarian work" award. Because quite frankly, those two albums were stronger than "Atomic Bomb". Then again, I think that the only other album that really shone in that category was Late Registration, but I'm sure that Rolling Stone cover didn't help Kanye.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


I don't care for Fallout Boy, so this shit is pretty hilarious.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cardio Strip is so over

I think I may have found the perfect cardio class...

Then again, I may alrady have all the training I need. Truthfully, you have to accept that stilettos are never gonna be comfortable as a pair of flip flops. That's why I always tell people who ask me how I can wear heels - "embrace the pain!" Also, genetics play a bit of a role... if you have naturally high arches, they're a little easier to bear. But there are a few dirty little secrets:

1. Manolo Blahnik really does make the best stiletto. Not only do they reveal the perfect amount of toe cleavage and carve your calves into gazelle-like limbs, the heel is centered just so that your weight is distributed over the ball of your foot as evenly as possible. He does have a background in architecture, and an understanding of tensile strength, torque, etc.

2. Topy, topy, topy. When you first buy a pair of shoes, ask the salesperson if they can topy ("Toe-pee") the soles. This means melding a thin layer of rubber on the bottom of the shoe. It usually takes about a day, so you won't be able to go home with your shoes, but it'll be worth it in the long run. It makes your shoes last longer, plus provides better cushioning and increases shock absorbtion. If your shoe store does not topy, take them to a cobbler as soon as you can. Topying your shoes when they're new is a lot cheaper than when trying to do it when they're old. Oh, and don't topy any Christian Louboutins. Those shiny candy red bottoms demand to be seen, not covered with rubber!

3. Make the cobbler your friend. (Sort of a continuation of the last one.) He can stretch shoes out, replace worn out heels, soften any rough edges that are cutting into the back of your heel....

4. Foot petals. Ingenious little things, sort of like bandaids for stiletto wearers

5. The dirtiest secret of all - avoid standing in them when at all possible. That means taking cabs (or cars) instead of walking, accepting a seat whenever offered, and generally not moving too much. Silly, but true.

6. If it becomes unbearable, just keep telling yourself you'll treat yourself to a pedicure the next day.

Hmmm, maybe cardio strip isn't quite over yet. It's all coming back to me.. I now recall seeing a dancer at AsiaSF who was seriously working a pair of 5 inch Dior motorcycle boots a few weeks ago. Methinks a hybrid (between stiletto strength and cardio strip) is in the works?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Meme tag....

courtesy of cristine and zack...


1. Thank the person that tagged you.
2. List 5 random/strange/weird things about you.
3. Tag 5 other people.

1. Thanks cristine (and zack)!


I am a huge fan of Marc Jacobs as well. Case in point: today, my outfit includes a skirt, shoes and coat, plus a bag. I even had a dream about him once! (I was to become his muse and shoe designer, a la Sofia Coppola)

Although I consider myself a fairly accomplished home chef, and I recently overcame my fear of molten sugar/caramel, deep frying still intimidates me.

Yesterday in yoga, I was finally able to maneuver myself into full eka pada rajakapotasana pose, without assistance or props.

If my fingernails get to be any longer than an eight of an inch, it drives me crazy. I must clip!

I haven’t listened to her music, but Mandy Moore seems very likable to me.

3. em, who to tag... my hubby already tagged everyone else (anne, ryan, jen...) I know:

schmoo (carla)