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February 22, 2007

inspirational Novocain

driving home in the pouring rain from the dentist, my mouth numb and my jaw aching from the root canal i've just gotten, i began to think of ways that i could, right now, become a happier person. here they are:
1. eat my ultimate comfort food -- a bowl of plain rice -- more often. with my old-skool Kerokeroppi chopsticks.
2. smile at strangers more. not in a creepy way, not in a fake way, but in an i-see-you-and-acknowledge-you-as-a-fellow-human-being kind of way.
3. put more effort into making my toes look and feel pretty, even if during jobs they are hidden under my socks and work boots. i know, i know, this should be a no-brainer for HadashiWorld!
4. when i make my coffee in the morning, instead of just bumbling around in a half-asleep-dead-brain manner, i should use that three minutes to deliberately thank God for the things in my life i take for granted too often.
5. e-mail or call old friends every now and then just to tell them that their existence is an encouragement in my life, not just to apologise for being such a putz about returning e-mails or calls.

maybe i'll come up with five more simple things next week driving home from getting the crown and fillings done. who knew dental work could be inspiring? maybe it's the Novocain...

Posted by hadashi at 6:47 PM | Comments (1)

February 18, 2007

happy year of the golden piggy!


gung hay fat choy, everyone... happy new year 4704-4705! this is the perfect time to renew all those resolutions you made just a month and a half ago and have already forgotten about. me, i spent the day making my celebratory New Year's food -- steamed pork buns! so yummy! we've already gobbled down half of them. oh char siu bao, how i love you...
and how appropriate to be eating barbequed pork, as this is the Golden Year of the Fire Pig. for those of who haven't been paying attention to those paper placemats from your local Chinese restaurant explaining the twelve-animal zodiac, here's the basics:
New Year's Day is the (deep breath) first day of the second New Moon after the winter equinox. that's why it's different every year. (yes, the Chinese are complicated, but that's why we're so interesting). anyway, the years go in cycles of twelve, with each year represented by an animal. this cycle of twelve is repeated five times, with each time represented by an element, which has different (yin and yang) characteristics. therefore, in a full cycle of sixty years (12 x 5), no two animals are the same, and the last year of the full cycle is the "golden" one.
phew! so here we are at the golden year of a yang fire piggy, which basically means... well, whatever you'd like it to. some say it will be especially prosperous; others say it means there will be a lot of conflicts bad for wealth. (that's the beauty of fortune-telling -- you can be really, really vague -- see two entries ago for a good iTunes-inspired example of what i'm saying.) the one thing my peeps agree on is -- have a baby! apparently kids born in this year will be ultra-super-fortunate...so much so that maternity wards are expected to have a 10% jump in traffic in some parts of Asia. i find this belief suspiciously convenient since last year was supposedly particularly auspicious for weddings...hmmm....
in any case, every Chinese New Year seems to be "lucky" or "prosperous" or "wealthy," mainly because i think these are the favourite words of Chinese people who make New Year's tchotchkes. golden piggy statuettes are selling like hotcakes out there! just wear some red clothes to celebrate, and have another steamed pork bun!

by the way, the stamps pictured above were recently released in China to celebrate the New Year -- apparently they're not only scratch-n-sniff (the front) but also taste like sweet and sour pork when you lick the adhesive back. now if only there was a Nutella commemorative stamp...

Posted by hadashi at 11:53 AM | Comments (3)

February 2, 2007

congratulations! (and vote for my hostess!)


a great big huge WOO-FREAKIN'-HOO! to Ms. Jen, the impetus and gracious hostess of this site, HadashiWorld! her mobile documentary project that she completed as part of her master's degree program at Trinity College, Dublin is a finalist in the 10th Annual SXSW Web Awards. it's a truly delightful site called Around Ireland, which is a photographic odyssey through all thirty-two counties of Ireland. over the summer, she and other members of her team travelled to all corners of the country, sending text and images in real time via Nokia mobile phones. the site geotagged each image, thus creating a sort of live portrait/map of Ireland that's dynamic and changing, since it's also open to visitors to submit their own pictures. you can browse it by county, by date, by map, or by single photo or video.

if you like what you see, please pretty please take a moment to vote for the site in the People's Choice Award. all you have to do is enter your e-mail (which is not used for any purpose other than to send you a password) and you can vote every day until the 2nd of March, so bookmark the page. yes, i'm shamelessly plugging here, but the site (and Ms. Jen's hard work) is definitely vote-worthy.

so...a big congratulations to Ms. Jen -- very well done!

Posted by hadashi at 8:15 PM | Comments (0)