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The New Low

Random musings and observations. Not guaranteed to be pertinent to your life.

Updated: 2018-03-06T18:14:49.837-06:00


Madness begins in March


(image) Not exactly the March Madness we all are familiar with in the U.S., aka basketball.

This madness I refer to is my anticipated manic obsession of an aunt-to-be to my only sibling's first child -- my niece!

I purchased the 1st 2 gifts for my July-bound niece.
At the top is a pyjama set that says I love Grandma. It's festooned with lots of cartoon heads. Center, is another outfit for her 1st Christmas. And let's not forget these first-time parents.

Why a girl!?! I'm not going to be able to resist all the cute clothes. Girls are expensive! hahaha. Payback!!!!

Now I have every excuse to shop, if not for myself, then it's for my niece. Ooh, I don't even want to think about the shipping costs. That's gonna hurt. :p

Odd weather


The last 24 hours has to be the oddest weather pattern I've ever experienced.

I awoke in the middle of the night (Saturday early morning) to heavy rainstorm. No thunder was involved, but it was apparent several rain clouds passed by the region with sporadic heavy downpours.

This morning, after sleeping in till 10:30 a.m., I woke to warm weather, around 40 degrees Fahrenheit (T-shirt weather in Chicago winter), with practically all of the weeks' accumulation of snow melted from last night's storm.

But the rain clouds came and went throughout the day. Reports of flash floods were rampant, so much so I endured cabin fever and watched TV, cooked, read, and baked.

Then around 11 p.m., a series of power outages came and went.

Now at "press time", snow is starting to fall.

What is going on?!



This word goes against the grain of this time of the year, when Grace, Charity and Goodwill are usually consciously thought of. Particularly in the state of the newspaper industry that is hurting so, the act of greed is not tolerated.

Yet, here's an act of one that sends anger to my blood, and makes me ill. Shocked, unfortunately, I'm not. Money makes the rich want to have more (think politicians, and that brings to mine, Gov -- urgh, I cringe to say that -- Blago. Bloody Blago is what I will call him).
Read the post on Dec. 12

Roadside Illinois 1


(image) Every state, particularly Kansas IMHO, has a lot of superlatives to claim for quirky roadside attractions -- think biggest ball of twine, biggest hole, biggest farm machinery, biggest barb wire museum etc.

Illinois, and my nearby Chicagoland suburbs, has its own to brag about, too.

The husband first alerted me to the Leaning of Tower of Pisa copy, and he drove me to it yesterday en route to the Museum of Science and Industry. And was I bowled over by it.

It is in the city/village of Niles. And it is a beautiful replica of the real thing. Along the driveway, there is also a telephone booth (sans phone) with the Italian "Telefono" sign. Hilarious.

I present to you, the Leaning Tower of Niles, essentially a water tower. And it stands in the grounds of the Niles YMCA, aptly named Leaning Tower YMCA.

The worst of times has not even hit yet


and I'm sick, sick to the depths of my stomach that I will have these horrific stories to tell future generations of my generation's bad economic times, layoffs.

Today, I found out via that a friend, an ex-colleague got her pink slip in Augusta, Ga., and it makes me sad for her. Her mother passed away years ago, her father is ill and couldn't contribute much to the family (as far as I could tell, I never dared pry). She has a brother but he has his own family to care for. She learned the newspaper trade by chance, it's not something she chose. And while she's not the star copy editor, she has held her own very well. I won't know the reason why she's one of the 15 picked this time to be deemed not valuable. I know very well though that she must be questioning her self worth compared to so and so.

My husband did not survive the 2nd round of layoffs in Knight Ridder many years ago, and I was dismissed early about 2 years ago by a Morris company. And those were not pleasant. While crying is generally more acceptable for girls, for men, it's still taboo.

I never want to relive those moments again, but in these bad economic times, when downsizing is so rampant, one can never tell when the bad news were to come from the top.

I was hired into this job with a 5% reduction in salary at the time of offer. Then another cut came 6 months later when we were all offer a furlough day in exchange for 8 fewer hours pay a month.

When is this madness going to end?

Back to the fundamentals of reading


I finally joined a book club.

It's been a while since I opened a good book and finished it. I would say it would be 2-3 years ago that I was reading consistently.

Even though we are avid book buyers, we hardly finish some of the many book from beginning to end. It's always the impulse buy where we were drawn to the cleverly crafted titles and we thought we could easily finish it. But it just didn't turn out that way.

Another reason I stopped reading for a while is that when I was finished with all that particular author's collections, who would I read next?

Sure, there are the classics that I need to tackle. But ...... no good excuses.

So, I figured like exercise (which is something else I need to tackle), I would join a club that makes me accountable and also introduce me to other authors I wouldn't otherwise read.

The next meeting is on Nov 4, Tuesday. We are reading John Grisham's take on a nonfiction, The Innocent Man. I've seen his movies, they are good, but never felt compelled to read his book. This should be interesting.

Always wary ... that's my game


I've always been untrusting of people.A girl friend of mine, C, can tell you that. We first met a job fair. I was waiting for the prep talk to begin when C came up and sat right next to me, in spite of all the empty chairs around. I was right to assume that she chose me because I'm Asian like her, and we share that common bond.We got to talking, and she was giving me pointers on who to see. We also found out we went to the same college in Michigan. Of course, at that moment, I was highly skeptical, but she pronounced the city perfectly (not easy for someone who's not familiar with it at all), and I knew she was legit. Later, we went for lunch. And from there on, it's the start of a beautiful friendship.Yesterday, another incident brought to mind my untrusting, always careful, approach to strangers.Maybe some of you have encountered walk-in ATMs where you need to swipe your card to enter the lobby. That step is generally required when the bank is closed during business hours.It was my 3rd time doing that, and for the first time, when I was doing my transaction (which involved checks and withdrawal) that someone came up and stood outside.At first thought, I thought he's not a bank customer, which is why he was standing outside, and not come into this big lobby. He looked suspicious to me, too -- big RayBan-esque shades, wild and crazy hair, and not too kempt. I thought he was hoping that I would let him in. But I didn't. I positioned myself to hide the ATM when my cash was spitting out. By then, there were 2 more people waiting, both women. Only then, I felt I was safe. If the guys tried to do anything, like wrangle my purse from me, I have witnesses.It turns out he is a customer of the bank. As he saw me walking towards the door to leave, he proceeded to swipe his card and get in.I learned later that the protocol in such situation is that regardless of how big the lobby is, if someone is performing a transaction inside, everybody should wait their turn outside.Can you imagine if the situation were reversed? I would be the asshole who intruded on his space.Boy, do I feel like a moron, and worse yet, an ass.[...]

Weather, And under it.


It's getting cold. The space heater's out. But I have a migraine (although that could have resulted from my friend J who called my phone at 4:18 am) that usually exacerbates from the cold snap.

This afternoon, the air was crisp. I loved it. But tonight, I was wrapped up in a soft throw while watching TV in the "basement".

I love Fall. The light coats, choice of closed and open-toed shoes, short and long skirts, hot chocolate, soups, crockpot meals. Tomorrow, Oct 1, in Chicago, we're having a high of mid-50s. Now, if only the migraine goes away, I can truly enjoy it.

Ooh ooh that smell


(image) My cat is offically a douchebag, so says M, the husband. hahahaha.

That is a wet cat cleaning itself. That blue bottle with the white stem is a douche, the feminine product.

So, why the unfortunate association for Bubbs?

For days now, he smells like either a skunk had mildly attacked him or a strong industrial chemical had sprayed him. M didn't seem as bothered by it. But my eyes are stinging!

So after consulting with a friend whose dog had been sprayed by a skunk, and through some internet research, it was said that douche is another method.

Sadly, it has not worked too well. Not the douche, nor the peroxide-baking powder mix and bath.
The house reeks and I cannot allow him in the bedroom. I think the next stop may be the vet on Monday.

Poor Bubs, the douchebag.

Food hangups


I'm truly fortunate to grow up in Singapore. Because of her location's integral ties to maritime activity, historical and present, we have the luxury of influences from all over the world, including our gastronomy. That said, it is of little wonder that most Singaporeans are inclined to try almost any food once.Sure, there are some items I will never voluntarily eat again. But let it not be said I never gave it a shot. Tripe, chitlins, chicken feet, Beijing street food, to name a few.So, it was with great delight a friend gave me some bacon-flavored toothpicks and bacon mints the other day. I admit it's certainly not an appetizing concept, but it's fun. I doubt I'll be finishing up the mints anytime soon. But I at least I gave it a shot. It wasn't bad, you can actually taste the slight hint of mint after the coating of bacon flavor wears off.I offered it to colleagues the other day. One I simply told him what it was, and he instantly turned his nose up. The other one, I opened up the can, revealing the white mint contents, and offered her the mint, not telling her it's bacon-flavored. Only when she popped it in her mouth, I asked if she tasted something different about it. Aha. She stopped sucking and with it still lying on her tongue, asked what it was. When she learned it was bacon mint, she spat it out right away.Now, if something tastes good or even all right, why the hangup when you know what you're eating? If it's poison (and even if I truly detest you, I doubt I'll be feeding you that), such action will be understandable. But why not give everything a shot?In every instance, if it had been told to me what it was, I would actually tasted it more discerningly, and determine the results.Same thing with chitlins. I had known for a long time what it was and though, curious, never wanted to attend a darn festival celebrating it. Then a roommate brought it home, and it smelled horrible. But I thought I'd give it a shot. The instant it touched my tongue, the flavor was so rancid I should've spat it out. Instead, I bit down on it, and the juices of whatever just oozed into my mouth. Never in my life had I spat and gagged at the same time. It was truly repulsive.But hey, to each his own, and don't let ME influence you all THAT much if you had to try it or not. With chitlins, liver, tripe, chicken feet, or even bacon mints.[...]

Return of the Ex


The idea with Facebook or Myspace is so we'll reconnect with present and past friends. As usual, my criteria for friends request and acceptance bear no consistency. I've added those I was never close with, but with the desire that through the add, there'll be a concerted effort from both ends to start the friendship that was barely there. Then, there are those I refuse to add and likewise for them, have no inclination to ever reconnect.And there's always that one past that will return to find you. The Ex.I've only had 2 "real" boyfriends my whole life. Him and my husband. There're the frivolous dates, but I don't consider them monumental individuals. Yes, every one of them has helped shaped my perspectives and matured me slightly.So yesterday an email popped up in the inbox asking if I was the person he thought I was. I was stunned he contacted me, but I wasn't shocked that he would find me. Afterall, we all came up with almost every name we could remember from our past when we joined Facebook, just to see where the heck they are, and what they look like now. Disclosure: I did a search on him as well. HOWEVER, I NEVER thought for a second to send him a message. Hence, his check mate move.In fact, about 10 years ago, he called me at work in Kansas. At that moment, I was caught unprepared and felt stalked. I lashed out at him for tracking me down. And I remembered this. He got the defensive (why wouldn't he) and told me not to flatter myself, that he is happily married to some Israeli woman. Well, good, I said, I'm glad. And that was it.So when he tracked me down again a day ago, I had about 10 years of maturity since and having talked to the husband about our pasts, I was wiser to handle the situation this time.I responded immediately and acknowledged it was I, and proceeded to ask how he and the family, which includes his, his mom, and sisters are. That's it.What I would get out of it, was a laundry list of what he had been doing the last 10 years.I'm glad I didn't respond in kind. In fact, I'm playing the waiting game. I needed the time to evaluate what an immediate response is going to do to his fragile psyche.I relayed the incident to a colleague today. And as always, she ties her thoughts up in a neat little package. She agrees that a needy personality like his is going to leap if I am quick in my correspondence, and opens up an unintended invitation back into my life. And she said there's a fine line between civility and friendship, and I don't have to offer him friendship if I don't wish to. But there's certainly no need for cold shoulders.So I don't feel bad. I should be polite and kind, but I don't need to offer or accept his friend request.[...]

There goes the vacation plans


This afternoon, late of course, I received a call from my tenant in Augusta, that only a few electrical outlets are operational, and no electricity is available in the house.

How long has it been, I asked. Turns out he had been battling it since the weekend. Poor things.

He wasn't stressed, and I'm grateful for it. So I shouldn't either.

But at 4 p.m. CST, 5 p.m. EST, how on earth am I able to find an electrician to head on over? I called the contacts I have and had a couple of recommendations. But one of them couldn't go over until morning. Of course.

It sounds like one heck of an expensive job. The circuit breaker is not working, and I fear the entire old house has to be rewired. Ouch. I may have to take out a home equity loan. I don't even know how that works.

Home ownership is overrated and sucks. But if I should take away any lesson all these years from home ownership is that repairs are going to happen, sometimes they are affordable, sometimes not. There's nothing to do but be responsible landlords and adults, and take care of business.

I'm almost semi-famous


Many moons again, when I was working in Wichita, Kansas, I aided Rod Pocawatchi, a colleague and friend, as a script supervisor and a continuity "editor" in his movie "Dancing on the Moon".

Rod(rick) worked his butt off, working through the weekends and nights on every aspect of production. He wrote the script, shot, acted and edited. He also held a Hollywood Red-Carpetesque premiere of his movie in a downtown Wichita theater.

I had no idea his movie information was posted in IMDB, the movie database of authority until Mark told some friends that my name was in there, too.

Today, I did a search, and sure enough, there I am!

Original McDonald's


We were driving around the other night and stumbled upon the original location of McDonald's in Des Plaines. It is a museum now. The video is not top quality as it's shot from my digital print camera. But it'll do for now.

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Pets at play


I have absolutely no energy to post anything new. Here're a couple o videos of pets at play in our dog park in Illinois. And yes, there's my Bentley, with his Napolean complex, wanting to join the big boys.

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I ... can't ... keep ... up


Myspace, Facebook, Yahoo, hotmail, gmail, yelp .... HELP.

There're too many socializing I'm doing these days, that like my messy house, I need to start cutting back on collecting stuff.

I know the day would come that I will be giving up one of these, and myspace is it.

Some of my friends have defected long ago. Blogger has been the drawing power to Karen, Gen V, Jeremy, Amber. It's time I make the move too.

I think you guys will like it. We are able to link to each other's blogs, and more importantly, stay connected to each other's lives.

I don't think I'll be as illustrious as Jeremy to be posting digests in myspace. For one, I don't roam the Web enough to cull interesting bits of news. Secondly, I'm not as diligent in my blogging. So I hope my loyal friends who want to continue to be filled in on my sometimes exciting life to continue giving me your feedback in
I'll be checking in every once in a while, but I'll be phasing myself out and cancelling my account before long.

See you in blogger.

I've no business in politics


I simply don't understand how the great minds of politics work. And I totally lack any diplomatic overtones and savvy networking skills. The latter, I got to get a handle on. I'm in sales now, damnit.

Anyway, the hot news today is that Hillary conceded to Obama. And there's suggestions in almost every news outlet that suggests she hopes Obama would make her his running mate?

Seriously, I can't even get a colleague I can't get along with to willingly shake my hand after a confrontation and resolution with the boss. So how can someone who has played such a nasty game of backstabbing campaign hope that she would be selected as VP? The gall.

This was an opponent who took every opportunity to put him down for his lack of experience, and now she wants a part of his campaign?

Is this how the big boys and girls play the game? Am I so innocent to hope hat one day, there'll be decent public servants who are in this for the country and not themselves? Was there ever a simpler, more honest time in politics anyway, ever? Geez, I'm so naive.

- 30 -

Patrick: If you think it's bad now, imagine what it must have been like before 1804, when the Vice President's office went to the person who got the second most votes for president. Poor John Adams had to put up with having as a VP Thomas Jefferson, a man from an opposing party who, as we all know, would go on to follow him and become the country's third president.

It's been said that on many levels, Hillary and Obama have more in common than they do differences. If they can just remember that, then it should be possible for them to put aside their personal distastes. WEll, one can dream, anyway....

Christina: Nope, unfortunately there was never a simpler more honest time, at least in this country.

The stupid thing that nobody seems to realize is it doesn't matter whether we elect Obama, McCain or Zippy the Pinhead to be president. Even the Apostle Paul couldn't get things done in this country if and when there is an opposition party in control of Congress. Look how little the Democratic majority Congress has gotten done.

We really need more than one party in this country. But that's not going to happen in our lifetimes. I also doubt I'll ever see a woman president.

Jeremy: I'm beginning to think a bloody insurrection might be the only way to change, but that's usually when I haven't had my coffee in the morning. :P

I can't handle my fame


The subject line is in jest, but it doesn't stray from the point that I have friends who constantly wants to do stuff with me. And I don't know how to turn them down. When I do, I feel rotten. I made a friend here about a year ago, and she's the most caring, sweetest gal. Her husband is wonderful and we as a couple get along well. It's difficult to find another couple whose significant other you like. So I cherish them, and once in a while, involve them in our weekend or late-week activities. That said, she has a habit of constantly wanting us to join them at meals, weekends (we don't agree on most of the food. Let's just say I'm a bit more discerning or picky, go to their home etc. And she's constantly instant messaging me on the most mundane goings-on in her day. We. I, need alone time to ourselves. I've turned down enough invitations that I feel I'm giving her the cold shoulder. But I'm not. I just can't afford to spend on eating out constantly. And they don't cook, so they eat out a lot (hence, happy hour). Sometimes, I just want to be with Mark and be alone. Sigh. I'm sure you have had similar situations. How did you handle it?----------------------------------------------------------------------Bob: Basically, she is under your "when I have time" friend.I am typically very honest about my priorities, so I do not pretend like I even like to entertain. Most of my friends know that I hate to go out and spend "useless" hours chatting about "mundane" stuff.Most of my entertainment has an agenda attached, either for biz or some child's birthday. The rest I just turn down.AND SOON THEY STOP ASKING!!! ha ha...yeah, I feel out of the loop sometimes, but hey, better than miscommunication right?I am not a popular guy, but at least my friends know when THEY CALL ME, they will get the help they need!It is funny, becos my friends call me when their wife is delivering, their child's sick, they need school advice, they need biz advice...BUT NOT when they have parties going on. Jeez...but I prefer it this way!I hope your friend understand the "real" you. I've known you since I don't know when, so I guess I know that you are not exactly the "entertaining" sort and needs to put in an effort to be around friends and relatives. Sometimes, you just have to show your "true" self. Me: I don't want her to stop asking, I just want her to stop asking every few days, every week....Karen: why should you feel bad!? and you said she is nice and asks nicely... and when someone asks, they expect either a yes or no... so you really don't need to explain yourself. just say you have plans already... easy as that. you don't need to explain what you're doing, with who are why she's not invited. sometimes, people just like to hang out at home with absolutely nothing to do, doesn't she know that?!sms her mundane things you do lol! stuff like 'just laying here naked with mark and enjoying every second of it' - or 'gonna' go take a dump and thinking of you' hahahahaha! i'm sure she'll cut down her sms's to you lol! if she doesn't, i'll give you more awful suggestions :D Me: Shit! She'll love the mundane stuff. She does that to me all the time. It's worse than twitter content!Not a good idea!As for explaining myself, cuz she will follow up with wanting to know specifically what I have in mind. I always truthfully tell her I'm tired. I am.She has cabin fever, so she likes to go out. grrrrr John: If you don't go out with these people you're a horrible person and everyone will know it.Dan: First -- be honest with them. If you can't afford to go out, say so. If you two want to have a "you" night a[...]

In the interest of knowledge ...


I tried to resist, thought I fought the good fight but I lost. I’m sadly another registered number in the Facebook network.

I put off friends’ invitation with the valid reason I don’t need another site to login to and update.

Like M, the reason I joined was in the interest of learning more of the everchanging or everadapting internet. There’s just no escaping it.

So, see you there.

Gaming is just not my thing


I'm now a Wii owner. And it is MY game; M doesn't find it as kickass as his computer gaming.

The last time I was serious about any computer gaming is back in the late 70s, early 80s when Atari and some handheld heavily-pixelated graphics device were popular. I wanted the Wii because I played it once at a friend's place and I really enjoyed the tennis. That comes in the Wii sports console, but I wanted to try other games. As I'm not very coordinated with those switch-multitude-weapons games, I borrowed Super Paper Mario from a colleague,thinking I should begin slow. It's afterall jumping and running.

Wow, am I behind the times. It's so much more complicated that I have to consult cheats on the Web. I've only logged in 6.5 hrs of play and already, I'm frustrated and ready to give up. Thank goodness I didn't buy it.

Don't be surprised if I decideto sell the console after a year. Who wants first dibs?

I'm OCD --- can you believe that!!!!


I finally succumbed and made an appointment with a dermatologist. The reason - I'm suffering from the effects of Chicago's winter -- DRY HANDS.

I can't believe it when a simple loose skin on my finger that I love to peel spiraled into an obsession when more showed up on my fingers and palms. It got to the point that I would peel till I bled and my fingers started to hurt. Suffice to say, I stopped. But the skin got worse and moisturizing seemed to make it slightly better (to look at) but it didn't heal. The fingers now were rough, clenching my fingers felt stiff and I lacked the ability to grip.

Friends and M were telling me to stop each time I reached to peel or tear or bite a loose piece of skin. I stopped my obsession, knowing it was not helping. As my fingers started to heal, they also looked stretched and scaley, like a mummy, and inflamed.

I finally made the appointment yesterday to the dermatologist. I was getting fearful it might be some sort of fungus (a hand's version of athlete's foot, if you will) and I needed an expert's opinion on it.

He diagnosed it as a simple case of dryness. Then he asked me how times I wash my hands in a single day. I computed quickly in my head the shower, face-washing, dishwashing, toilet visits and came up with "at least 10." He told me to reduce it, that I shouldn't be washing my hands that much. I asked if I was bordering on obsessive disorder compulsion and he said yes. I couldn't believe it. Those were regular rituals, I said. He told me that I should also take shorter showers and use less hot water as the latter can be very drying. It all makes sense but it requires a complete turnaround in my lifelong habit.

Here's a few good advice:
1. Use hand lotion for hands, don't use regular moisturizer. I understood that immediately. In my initial self-remedy, I moisturized my hands liberally and they felt wet. The reason: the first ingredient in all non-hand moisturizers is water!
2. Buy a pair of white clothed gloves and put them on at night after moisturizing.
3. Don on gloves while washing dishes by hands.
Christina: Wow! I had no idea of all this stuff about hand dryness. I have chronic hand dryness and now I see that part of the problem is I use my regular moisturizing (body) lotion on hands as well! didn't know there could be a case of washing hands "too many times." I wash mine at least eight or nine times a day because since I live with dad and he has compromised immunity, we have to be ultra-clean! I hope your condition improves! I really don't think you have true OCD, though. I've known OCD folks and they wash hands like 20 or 30 times a day and can't touch anything almost without having to wash or sterilize their hands. Glad you went to the doctor!

Me: Yeh, what is he going to say about you and your dad's situation! How about dem doctors who have to scrub like crazy?

Why rush into marriage?


I don't get it. Someone I know at work had been dating for less than a year before he packed up and moved to Chicago cuz his girlfriend wanted to move back to be with family, moved into an apartment together, and now, just a few months more than a year, are engaged and planning an October wedding.

She appears to be the alpha in the relationship and he the puppy dog. Sweet guy, nice girl. But I foresee trouble.

So when I was stopped in the hall for this "good news", the only thing I can force myself to say is "Congrats and marriage is great!"

Who the hell am I to bust his bubble, right? (image)

UPDATE!!! aarrrghhhhh, now he's sent people at work pictures of the ring and them kissing! What????????


Channing: Exactly, when it comes to love no one wants to hear that they are making a mistake.

Me: So true, Hef. Lord knows I opened my honest mouth once too many times in the past. Grrrrr.

Christina: You did the right thing, to bite your tongue and just give the congratulations. Trust me, I have a lifelong friend who is about to make the biggest mistake of his life. I tried to talk to him about it and it was like talking to a cement wall. I've just decided it's futile to try to tell people what to do. But in this scenario you describe I too foresee trouble!

Bob: We learn from our mistakes.

Jeremy: Love is intoxicating and it sounds like there might be some co-dependency issues there--just sayin. You did the right thing Ling -- he'll have to learn for himself, the hard way. All you can do is send good vibes/pray/think good thoughts for him.

Patrick: I find that in instances like this, the best course of action is to ask questions that'll make the person really think twice about what they're doing. If you play dumb, you can't be accused of meddling, right?

Me: Hmmm, what would you ask?

Patrick: You know, stuff like "Why do you think things clicked so fast?"

The Barefoot Hostess


One more time and hopefully, I don't hit some button by mistake and have to restart.

This recent weekend, I played host to my fabulous Singapore girlfriends whom I met eons ago in Wichita, KS. One has moved to Indianapolis 2 year ago and the other is a really accomplished nurse in Wichita. This was their 2nd visit in less than a year and I couldn't be happier about it.

One thing I've learned from having 7 groups of guests in less than a year is I am glad I don't own a B&B, and that I simply lack the energy to keep up. Since Thursday, I had stayed up past 12 (I know, shocking right?), talked nonstop (other than work) and learned that I've good friends.

Living in a tourist-envy city means doing same things multiple times. In this instance, my foody-crazy friend went to the same restaurant 2 meals in a row (dinner one night, lunch the next day) and we ordered the same meals! Then, being typical Singaporeans, after eating, we shopped! So we didn't venture downtown, and that's OK. I refuse to fork over money for another ride up the Sears Tower or do the museum. Now, if you have a game ticket to say, oh, any professional sports team, I've no qualms returning. (image)

So, who's next?


Christina: What a cool looking group of friends! And you have always been the hostess with the mostest! I promise at some point I'm coming to Chicago...but I won't make you go up in the Sears Tower! Already been there! I'd mainly like to do the sports team thing and the shopping (besides seeing you and Mark of course!) :-)

Reliving old blogs


Another senseless school shooting, this time at Northern Illinois University, and I am still sitting in the newspaper building, waiting on Mark to finish updating the site. We carpooled.

In the last 3 hours, I returned to reading all the blogs I'd written and realized a few things:

1. I can write good. (image)
2. I went through quite a bit of drama the last year and so.
3. You guys rock.
4. I miss blogging.
5. I need to blog more often.
6. I'm in Chicago, a happening place, why aren't I blogging?
7. I need to take more vacations to blog more people and places.
8. I need to save money and quit buying shoes and clothes just because I'm working now.
9. I need to save up for another house purchase.
10. I have good renters now, and I hope they'll stay for a good long time.
11. Some of you need to start blogging again!
12. Some of you need to come hang out in Chicago with us!

Melissa: I totally agree about the "some of you need to come hang out in Chicago" one!!!

Me: Hey, when you don't have to pay for exorbitant lodging and I'll drop your ass at the train station (should you come on a weekday), why not!

Jeremy: I'll come to Chi-town when it gets warmer :) Meanwhile, next stop: San Francisco, April 3-9.

Something so basic


We finally got a bed, the real deal like headboards and rails. After 10 years together, we finally have a real bed.

We've been sleeping on an IKEA mattress on the floor for the last year, and I had kinda gotten used to it. But my boxsprings arrived yesterday, and before we had time to put the bed together, we decided to prop the mattress on the box spring. Oh My Freaking Goodness, what a difference a GOOD boxspring makes.

I had other boxsprings before but I don't think they are that superior. And honestly, for less than $400 for a set of boxsprings (we have a king bed now), they make a world of difference. I actually feel the support. Perhaps my getting older has gotten me sensitized to feelings of comfort in my old bones.

So the moral of the story is, if you guys are still sleeping on futon beds, or mattress on the floor, then save up and get yourself a good boxspring. Mine is a Sealy Posturepedic. And don't go for the coils. Overtime, they will lose their springiness and you'll definitely feel the pain.


Patrick: Aw, I wish I had the room for a real mattress. It's hard enough to lift a futon mattress up eight feet onto my loft bed. Sweet dreams!

Me: Funnily, I was thinking of you when I wrote that, wondering how the small apartment in NYC would allow for any decent furniture.

Patrick: It forces one to be creative. I'm going to take a slew of pictures of the place this week, and you'll see what I mean.

Christina: Good for you! I recently finally replaced my 20-year-old mattress and boxspring with a brand new one I bought from a former co-worker moving away. She had spent like $500 on this awesome mattress and boxspring set plus wrought iron bed frame, put it in her guest room, and never used it, then decided to move to Canada. I got a great deal on it! It does make a difference to have a quality mattress and boxspring -- I speak as an ancient mattress/futon veteran of many years!