Monday, April 30, 2007

beauty is fleeting...

I was shocked to come home and find that all of the irises I photographed just yesterday had either shriveled up or fallen off. Glad I got a picture when I did... I thought of the title for this post, and then realized that it's part of a proverb. I was trying to figure out why it was so familiar, and then remembered that my mom inscribed the verse in one of my first Bibles.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

newspaper shredding

Shredding is one of Templeton's favorite past-times. After clawing up a good amount of newspaper, he'll form it into a nest of sorts to sit on. Here he is staring forlornly at a stack of newspaper that's about to be thrown out:

les fleurs

Here are some pretty flowers that I noticed today.

The amaryllises are gone now, but these irises just bloomed this morning.
They were the first thing I saw when I stepped out of the house.
Found these hydrangeas along Canton Road. Who's that in the background? :)
Can't believe these are growing in the middle of TST. They're so perfect, they hardly look real.
And here's some jasmine in bloom outside my house.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

little britain

Little Britain has become a favorite of mine. Here are a couple sketches with a character called "Mr. Mann" (the customer who knows exactly what he wants) that I thnk are especially good.


After my mouse mouse post, I spent a few minutes perusing the Instructables site, and wow, is it cool! Found a tutorial on something I've wanted to try for a while -- screen printing. In a few more weeks I'll be done with all my papers/classes, and can have some guilt-free craft time -- can't wait!
After my last post, I thought it wouldn't hurt to clarify -- any craft projects that I take up will not involve or require anything dead.

mouse mouse

Squeamish readers, avert your eyes. I just came across a tutorial on how to make a mouse mouse. Taxidermy instructions are included...

Friday, April 27, 2007

dear i love you cafe

This picture probably doesn't need much explanation. The name of the cafe is obviously quite memorable, but I think I like the sign underneath the best. "When she looking you eye. Don't lie please."

I actually got off the minibus a stop early to take this picture today... that's how much the cafe intrigued me.

Oh, and for anyone interested in going to the cafe, it's in Mongkok, near the KCR tracks. Yeah, I know that's not very helpful... I could probably come up with an address and directions if necessary.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


These T-shirts are great -- thanks for the link, Ji!

This one would have been very appropriate for me to have worn today, as I scrambled to finish my big education project due tomorrow. But seeing as I was able to finish before 10, maybe I'm not the procrastination poster-child I claim to be...

And I love this one, but probably wouldn't feel comfortable wearing it in HK. Wouldn't want to make people even more self-conscious about their English abilities... :)


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

spoiled rotten

Templeton loves to be brushed. He has his very own brush (marked with his name) that is not used on the other cats.
Check out the videos.

OK, back to work. Not surprisingly, the videoing and the posting are just a sorry excuse to procrastinate. I have an assignment due tomorrow... and another one the day after.

tetris quilt

Wow, I want to make one of these! Link The only thing is, most of the "tetris" pieces in this quilt are made up of five blocks, not four.
If I make one, I think I'll go for something more authentic...

By the way, this is my 100th post! Woohoo! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

drip drip drop little april shower

I love it when it rains like this!

Unless you turn the volume up incredibly high, or happen to notice the river running down the middle of the road, this video isn't the best at showing how hard it was raining this morning. But it was taken at around the time when the HK observatory raised the Red Rainstorm Warning. Thankfully it had let up a bit by the time I had to go to school.

here kitty kitty...

I did a double take just now while reading Craftzine, an online craft magazine/blog I subscribe to. They have a blurb about a woman who used her cat's fur to make the felted beads below. Here's a link to the original post. She talks about how long it took her to "harvest" enough fur, and I found that amusing. I don't think I would feel comfortable using my cats' fur in this way, but since summer is here, a lot of shedding is going on... it would definitely be feasible!

Monday, April 23, 2007

another farewell

I posted something last week about a farewell party for Anish. Well, that was his pre-farewell farewell party. On Thursday, some of us got together for a second farewell party. This time there was tennis and Thai food on the agenda. Unfortunately I have no photographic evidence of the tennis part of the extravaganza, but wow, was it fun! In spite of my complete lack of tennis skills, I really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to hitting the courts again sometime soon (wink wink Sal and Kai please invite me).

So, no pictures of tennis, but here are some shots of us at dinner. Actually, come to think of it, there are probably more pictures of food than of people... but maybe, dear reader, you've come to expect that...

The man of the hour. Note the special dishes of hot sauce and chillies next to his plate.

I had to take a picture of Sal and my drinks... mint lime soda... very tasty, and an excellent source of your daily green food coloring requirement.
Avis "The Fish Man" posing with our fish. (I think that's supposed to be an "F" for fish)
The chillies. After seeing Anish and Avis pop them (and hearing Avis's screams!) I just had to try one. Mine was small, red and seedless... not too bad, but it took a lot of time (and eating) for the heat to finally diminish. I wasn't daring enough to try the green variety (and had had my fill of green for the day...)

Two of our "second course" dishes. Pumpkin and pineapple -- a match made in heaven.

Back at Sal and Kai's place (nice prints! ;)), Anish and Kaiser model their matching Microsoft Windows Vista bowling jackets, front and back view.

I hope you enjoy Manchester, Anish. Take care!

miniature football clinic

I walk by this sign in Mong Kok quite a lot. It's on the way to the minibus that I take to HKU, so without fail, a few mornings a week I find myself wondering, "What is a miniature football clinic?!" And unfortunately, the Chinese characters don't offer much help. I think the larger characters just say "small football clinic"... but then I could be wrong.

So, any ideas? All I can think of is foosball, or maybe a HK version of little league...

Friday, April 20, 2007

unlikely praise

I ate at McDonald's today. I generally try to avoid fast food, but the convenience of the golden arches has been irresistible these past couple weeks, as I've started tutoring on Friday evenings (woohoo!...) and the tutorial center just happens to be in close proximity to a McDonald's.

After today's dining experience, I have two items of praise for the fast food mega chain. First is for the Big N' Tasty, which was just introduced here this year. My sister was the first to recommend it to me. I was surprised by what a good burger it is... reminds me a lot of an In-N-Out cheeseburger, and that's saying a lot.

While searching for the above picture, I came across this very funny (and relevant!) SNL transcript.

Before my second word of praise, I should explain that the McDonald's that I went to today was very crowded. I had to walk up some stairs in search of a seat, and while walking up said stairs, I watched in dismay as my coke sailed off the tray and landed upside-down on the floor, where it ended in an explosion of carbonation. Realizing the dangers of the liquid-stair combination, I immediately alerted a McDonald's employee to the spill. She got a colleague to help her with the clean-up, and to my pleasant surprise, quickly returned with a new coke for me. How nice! Thus, my second word of praise: for service.

So, those are my two items of praise for McD's. On a somewhat amusing sidenote, since the restaurant was so crowded, I did not have the luxury of a table to myself. I noticed a friendly-looking older gentleman sitting alone, and asked if I could sit at his table. He cheerfully complied. Following what I believed to be sitting-at-a-table-with-a-stranger protocol, I limited my interaction with the man to a couple grateful smiles before starting my meal. But as I was eating my Big N' Tasty, I could tell that he was watching me with some interest. My first thought was that he was probably amazed at how quickly I was devouring my burger, or that I had some of the special sauce smeared across my chin. But after a while, I got the feeling that he was waiting for an opportunity to say something to me. And sure enough, as soon as I made eye-contact, he burst into a question in Chinese. I didn't understand anything, except for a "yi sup" at the end, which I understood to mean "twenty." And as if to clear up any doubt in my mind, he went on to say "twenty" in English. Assuming that I'd understood his question, I shook my head and said, "No, twenty-six." He responded with an emphatic "Oh!" and that was the end of our conversation, and almost the end of our interaction, except for an exchange of smiles when he got up to leave soon after. I don't know why the whole experience seemed so funny to me, but it did.

"you're very thoughtful"

I sent an e-card to my sister today (happy birthday Amy!), and just received an extremely syrupy confirmation email from Hallmark, telling me that not only had the e-card been viewed, but that I was a wonderful person for being so thoughtful as to send... an e-card. Here's the email:


Amy has viewed your Hallmark E-Card. You’re very thoughtful for sending one.

There's something special about that E-Card feeling. We invite you to make someone else's day and
send another one.

Thanks for spending time with us, we hope to see you again soon.

With best wishes,
Your friends at Hallmark

Besides the part where they tell me how thoughtful I am, I also like "there's something special about that E-Card feeling." Umm... don't get me wrong -- I think e-cards are great -- but doesn't it seem like they're overdoing it just a bit?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

know your percussive keyboard instruments

I was walking across a pedestrian walkway on my way to the Hung Hom KCR station the other day, when I saw this interesting sight:

It's pretty normal to see people busking on this particular walkway, but this was definitely something new. Besides being impressed with this musician's skills, I was also quite impressed by the logistics of him lugging this large percussion instrument around town.

So, what is this large, percussion instrument, you might ask? Well, it might seem obvious to some, but it took a little bit of looking into for me to be certain (thank goodness for dictionaries!). My initial thought was "glockenspiel." I considered the fact that it could be that trusty old x-entry in all children's alphabet books -- the xylophone -- but that just seemed too obvious. Then I showed the video to my mom, and she was certain it was a marimba. Were either of us correct? Check the comments to find out.

a few more pictures of gabe

I realized that I forgot to include these shots in my last post devoted to Gabe, and felt that they needed to be displayed somewhere. They were taken after I'd already gotten Gabe really wound up with the "golden deliciously warm" song and dance (see previous post if that didn't make sense...). We just happened to be next to a mirror-plated escalator, and voila!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

some plants i noticed while hiking today

So green!

These leaves looked out of place for HK. Anyone know what kind of tree this is? I'll have to do some research...
This is a tiny, succulent plant that I found nestled in a rock crevice at the top of Lion Rock.

I've always liked ferns. I like their geometry, and that they come in so many different patterns, shapes and sizes.

hike to lion rock

Today was a perfect day for a hike -- blue, cloud-free skies (and to think that Freddy predicted rain!), sunny, yet surprisingly cool, and very very clear by HK standards. I felt like doing something a little more challenging than the short hikes I go on around my house, and since the weather was so exceptionally good, I decided that it was a perfect opportunity to go to Lion Rock. Another reason I chose Lion Rock, is that I know the trail to be a well-frequented one, even on week-days, so I felt safe about hiking it alone (even after all of those scary government commercials about the dangers of hiking solo...). For some reason, there are usually hoards of elderly people on this trail -- always a great ego boost to encounter cane-carrying old men and women casually making their way down the mountain that you're huffing and puffing to get up!

A view of Kowloon and HK island from the saddle of the mountain.
On the way up to the top. I think that Lion Rock looks especially lionish from this angle.

A sign warning of the dangers of falling. For some reason, I've always found these signs mildly amusing, but I realize that the danger is real. I think it was just a few weeks ago that a middle-aged woman fell to her death. Yikes!

View from the top. I took the next eight shots in succession, and one day might try to photoshop them together into one big panoramic shot. But for now, they're still separate.
We start with a view of Ma On Shan ("Horse Saddle Mountain") off to the left.

One of those is Kowloon Peak, and that's Eastern Kowloon below.

Kowloon and the Eastern part of HK island. You can see the old Kai Tak airport in the middle.

The Kowloon Peninsula and HK island.

Western Kowloon and the outlying islands. I think you can just barely make out Lantau. And that's Beacon Hill on the right.

More of Western Kowloon, and maybe even Tsuen Mun? And Tai Wai below.

Tai Wai and Shatin. The big mountain in the background is Tai Mo Shan, HK's tallest peak.

Shatin and Ma On Shan (far right, back where we started from). You can just barely make out the "Eight Fairies" towering above Tai Po in the distance.

On my way up and down, I was surprised by the lack of monkeys. But judging from all the warning signs, they still must be making appearances on weekends and public holidays, when people have picnics and barbecues here.
I've never understood why they use the word "stockade" for this place to dump your trash. Maybe it's all part of the "war against the monkeys" mindset.
More informational posters about monkeys. Sorry about the glare.

This poster is my favorite by far. Especially the pictures captioned "do not stare at monkeys" and "avoid eating while monkeys are watching."