Monday, November 12, 2007


(Kat and Lux--this is my parentheses blog. To others, namely you, Lux thought it would be neat to have a writing group. This is one of our topics. Hope you enjoy!)

I think the use of parentheses was ruined for me when in Math, we started using them for complicated math problems.



My hair (straight, brown) might have a dead mosquito in it since I've been swatting my hair and hitting my head a lot (thinking that it's trying to suck my brain's blood).

In conclusion, in text, parentheses rock!

Moving Books

So Jon and I started packing our books. We've a somewhat massive amount of books between us (and that's with a lot of my English requirement books at home too). This is just a sample of the books in L-11 (Livingroom, Box 11). There were 10 boxes before this one with more books (and I think mostly cookbooks).

The system we've developed is to 1) Pack books in box to estimate what exactly can fit 2) Remove items from box to photograph by labeled box 3) Photograph the books by labeled box 4) Bag the books (we've TONS of plastic bags from a variety of places) to protect from misc. weird damages 5) Reload the books into the boxes.

I like to think this project is somewhat eco-friendly since we're recycling boxes from FreshDirect (our own and those that people leave in the hall that aren't too skanky), packages (like from the tons of Frommer's luggages), and boxes from work, and recycling the millions of bags that we have stored under the sink. Though not energy efficient (our energy that is), since we have to pack, unload, bag, and repack, it gives me a sense of security that should it be raining that moving day our books will be able to withstand some exposure.

Anyway, we're still not done. We have our autographed books and our hard to replace books to pack still, and some other books that haven't found boxes yet. Though, at home, I have tons of boxes to bring over to load up with stuff.

As you can see between box 11 and 14, we made some dent in our library, though not that much. Our boxes end at L-16 at the moment, and we managed to pack those shelves you see with books in this photo.

Putting away all these various titles though, makes me kind of wonder what it would be like to be one of these books: packed in the dark with other strange books. It seems like anything can happen in a dark box--on the shelf, I can see that the books are shy so they just stand, but in the box, I imagine it like Gumby where they have rich interior lives. Though minus Gumby, and the books are personified. I'm not explaining myself very clearly...

So weird...there's another freakin mosquito in my apartment! And I failed to kill it, and it's probably going to bite me and Jon all night. It's freezing out--what are mosquitoes doing thriving in my apartment? Ugh. Remind me to tell you about the time a mosquito bit my eye. I have a photo too, but I'm going to be shy today and not post it just yet. It's a really scary photo--I wore sunglasses all day (and that experience at work was kind of weird too).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Dan Dan Noodles (and no, I didn't stutter)

Dan Dan Noodles are delicious. They are noodly and spicy and nutty. How could that not be loved by everyone?

When Doris and I were talking as I was finishing up the Catering IM transition, finally!, she said that she'd be going to Hong Kong again, which made me bring up shopping and The Yellow Door Kitchen.

First, shopping. Shopping in Hong Kong is easy--there are rows and rows of stores, and it's up to you to go in them and find good stuff and divide the prices by the current exchange rate to make sure you were actually getting a good deal--last time I went the money was 8 RMB to 1 US Dollar. My mom and dad are going to China after Thanksgiving, and she said they got their money exchanged at Citibank for 7.7 RMB to 1 US Dollar, and that sucks. (There's actually an interesting New Yorker article about why China's not crushing our currency just yet.) The equivalent to a Gap in Hong Kong is Giordano, and while only a tiny bit cheaper than actual full-priced Gap clothes, it's still worth exploring. There's a store on Nathan Road--the main drag--and one in the airport last time I checked. And then there's the really cheap stores many blocks down Nathan Road past the mosque--like the $1 bin shop and a mall of Chinese stuff (much like Pearl River in Chinatown--though does that even exist anymore?). Ultimately, the advantage of going to Hong Kong in the winter time is that you get more yards of material for the price you pay (sweater vs. tank top).

Second, The Yellow Door Kitchen: if you flip through the website's few photos it looks exactly like that.

To get there:

You can take the escalator up what seems like almost forever, and then when you think you're about there, you get off.

And it looks almost exactly like the scene in Chung King Express where the guy is eating something at an outdoor table and the girl is hauling a bunch of stuff past him (it's been a VERY long while since I've seen the movie, but now I have the California Dreamin song in my head).

And the sign isn't as in your face as other stores. And the restaurant is on a certain floor of a musty, somewhat old building. We tried taking the elevator up, but we went with our better judgment and walked up a few flights of stairs (it was HOT and Hong Kong is freakin humid). The stairs were steep, or seemed that way at least, and the railings were dusty, but it was so worth it. The thing is, I don't think the door was yellow, but red.

Yup--Red. And I think the door to the actual kitchen was white...

Here are some photos of the food that we had--I don't recall their names, but I'll try to help you guess what they are. Maybe Jon can help me figure it out when he comes home...

Some kind of seafood soup (Give away: soup-like consistency; Hong Kong is an island surrounded by fish)

Dan Dan Noodles (Trust me; it's this that I really remember.)

Dumplings in blood. Kidding. (I think.) I'm guessing it's dumplings in a hot oil/vinegar sauce.

Sichuan spiced chicken. Super fresh!

Mapo tofu. And it was so freakin spicy-good.

I ordered Sprite to cut the taste, but the waiter understood me as saying, "Rice." I ordered a Coke.

And the Coke was really good. (Made with REAL sugar.) My only advice is to get it before your mouth is inflamed with hot-goodness. Get your own cans of Coke--I have no idea what else would cut the heat--water and tea weren't good enough.

Dessert was tofu and fruit. Delicious!

That was a good meal. ::Pats belly:: (Note: These are the steps you must walk up to attain such deliciousness. I think a few flights of them at least.)

It was a really nice place and worth going around the world to visit hopefully many more times. So Doris, I hope this has inspired you and Matt to eat and be happy.
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