Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Hoosier State

Make no mistake; this is the land of the Colts. With Super Bowl season here you can’t avoid the omnipresence of the blue horseshoe from the official bread for the Colts to store fronts with posters welcoming Colts’ fans. There’s an old Chinese saying “ru xiang shue su” kind like "when in Rome do what the Romans do" just a bit shorter. I took that to heart and got my very first Colts shirt for the Kickoff Party next Thursday at Memorial Circle. The media is forecasting 100,000 people for the crowd. I hope we will find a convenient place to park.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mrs. Lee

Today was the last day of the TESOL course in Buffalo, NY. I was very glad to have the whole thing over and done with because I don’t think I can endure another day of our talkative teacher and her annoying facial expressions. While I try not judge her on none teaching related shortcomings, she is overly harsh to students in class and often put people done when there is a disagreement. Still, I enjoyed meeting like-minded people in class and be inspired to travel and teach in the near future.

After coming back to Rochester I hopped into the shower and met up with Mrs. Lee for dinner at Shanghai, a restaurant I worked at while in highschool. With my days numbered here, everything contributes to a closure. We have been doing lessons together for two years now and she is not only the best student ever, but she has also has became like a mother to me. We often chatted about family events after the lesson and she shared with me many stories about her two daughters. I feel very much like a part of her extended family. Mrs. Lee also owns a tailor shop, so as another perk of teaching, I got all my dry-cleaning and tailoring done in her store. I will miss her very much and I know she will be thinking of me too.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Little Ms. GracieLee

She is the cutest thing I have ever seen! Having never met me before, she gave me the biggest hug those little arms can offer as I walked into the room. Gracie has the most beautiful big eyes and heart melting smile. I didn’t want to let her go. She is the most well behaved two-and-half-year-old little girl. As we watched TV in the living room, she ate dinner all by herself sitting properly at the dinning table! I spend the whole next day thinking about her. And even now I can feel her warm little kisses on my cheek. I’m totally smitten with GracieLee.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Allergic Reaction

As most of you know I have been taking a certification class for TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language) over the weekends lately. The class takes place every Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 6. Because of low registration, the Rochester location has been canceled so I have to drive to Buffalo every weekend to take the class. Despite meeting some interesting and well-traveled people, the class has been very boring indeed! Some of the side effects include fatigue, nauseous, watery eyes, sneezing, other sinus problems and extreme boredom. Some patients may experience increasing irritability, restless feet, excessive chair-turning and frequent clock-watching. In extreme cases there might also be signs of delirium.
On the bright side, the course is near completion and I will be certified to teach in many countries overseas soon.

Friday, August 17, 2007

My Top 10 Spots in Rochester

  1. Eastman School of Music
  2. The Little Theater
  3. Pittsford Canal
  4. My old apartment on St. Paul
  5. Java’s & Spot Cafe
  6. Park Ave. area
  7. Brown Bag Bookstore on Monroe Ave.
  8. Mamasan’s & Philips European
  9. Memorial Art Gallery
  10. Pittsford Wegmans

After living here for ten years, Rochester is a place I call home. Despite the harsh winters and sometimes seemingly never ending grey, I still miss it whenever I’m on the road. Lately it had became evident that I will be leaving here again soon without a return date. There is a little sadness but much more appreciation of all the wonderful things Rochester has to offer. The city had been great to me and for that I am forever grateful.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Perfect Evening

Ansel Adams exhibit at the George Eastman House, coffee to-go from Spot, sunset in downtown, quick bite to eat at the Little Theater and Paris, Ja T'aime. Who says there is nothing to do in Rochester.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Back again

Back to Rochester again after expected long delays and layovers at the airports. Never been to Atlanta but I have been in that airport four times already just this year! Feels like it has been forever since I’ve been home. The problem is that I don’t quite have a place now I can call home. I miss my old apartment terribly even though my current living situation couldn’t have been more convenient given my mobile lifestyle. Still, there’s nothing better than coming home to your own bed after a long trip. Since I made things the way they are, I just need to enjoy as much of it as possible.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

11 Years Ago

I was here exactly 11 years ago to the day on my first layover from China to Chicago.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Day in San Francisco

I've always wanted to visit San Francisco, now that I'm here there are nowhere to park the damn car. I came straight to Fisherman's Wharf in the morning with enough time to walk around and grab a crab-licious lunch before the crowds arrive. I spent the afternoon in Muir Wood National Park. There is a beautiful beach nearby but the weather is a bit cool to really enjoy it. I drove a good section of Highway 1 north and caught the sunset on the way back to the city. What a beautiful place. They're not lying when they say happy cows live in California. Didn't want to take a risk and not get to a restaurant early enough for dinner. I settled for a Thai place close to my hotel and parking garage. The food was pretty good. Unfortunately I will have to save Chinatown for a separate trip, along with a concert with the San Francisco Symphony under the well known conductor Michael Tilson.

I was exhausted by the time I checked into my room. After a long warm shower I crawled under my blanket and fell quickly to sleep.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Road Trip to SanFran

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After being in the desert for a week I was ready for a change of scenery. The road trip to San Francisco is kind of a last minute one. I’ve always wanted to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway and since I’m paying a fortune for the car rental already I might as well make good use out of it. Driving through Death Valley was fun at first but my mood took a diving as I drove farther into desolation. It was such a relief to reach Independence, CA a small town of 572 people just on the outskirts of the desert. I filled up on gas thinking $3.25/gallon was a bargain compare to $4.48 that was sold in Devil’s Corn Field. Surprisingly, the gas station has the best Russian salad ever!

It didn't take too long before I reached Yosemite National Park. I almost decided on a different road to bypass the park but I'm here, what the hell. After seeing the desert for so long, the park is almost a little slice of heaven, definitely worth the $20 entrance fee and the extra driving time.
As the sun fell between the valleys, I left the park on the winding roads to Fresno, CA. I have hoped to get dinner there but by the time I got in everything was closed already. One thing I really hate about the US, nothing is open after 9:30 or 11 the latest! Even in Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps, I could never find anywhere suitable for latenight dinning. I loved that about HongKong. Now that's really a city that never sleeps!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Lake Mead

Took a scenic drive to Lake Mead and Hoover Dam this afternoon after a satisfying late lunch buffet at the Bellagio. It was a nice ride with salsa music.