Malaysian snowman

Msian snowman

And guess what? My malaysian snowman (the one at the bottom) won the behind-your-back-hand-torn-snowman competition. And I got a $10 Barnes and Noble giftcard 🙂 It was only later that I noticed almost everyone else’s snow-people consisted of 3 balls of “snow”, while mine was only made up of two! Anatomically incorrect?



Last friday, the research center had its year-end party. There was food and games. One of the games was to tear out a snowman from a piece of construction paper but the catch was to complete the whole process while holding that piece of paper behind our back. Here are all the snow-people, not snowmen, because there was one snow-woman wearing a bikini top and a hula skirt!

Leaving Bethlehem for Christmas

Up till this afternoon, my Christmas plan was to stay put, work on my qualifier, have a small party, go to church and then someone’s house on Christmas eve, and also experience what it is like to have three Korean women in the apartment (my roommate’s mom and sister are coming over from South Korea for a visit). But my plan changed almost instantaneously.

The research center was having its year-end party, and as I was talking to my friends, it seems like everyone else is going somewhere for Christmas. My advisor told me that her daughters are driving 8-10 hours to get home for Christmas. And that got me thinking that perhaps I could make the 10-hour drive to Jackson, Michigan, and visit my family too. I was looking up the directions on Google maps, imagining what it would be like to drive 10 or more hours, and contemplating whether the weather would be good enough to drive in. I even printed out the driving directions. I must have been staring at the Google map page for quite some time, before Charlayne, my cubicle-mate, enquired about my plans. When I told her, she suggested flying there instead, since I’ll probably be paying just as much for gas if I’m driving. I searched online and found a reasonably priced round trip ticket to fly from nearby ABE airport to Detroit. After making sure that the Cheahs will be around, I bought the ticket. So now, I’m part of the American Christmas mass-migration statistics, and I’ll be spending two weeks, both Christmas and New Year, in Jackson, Michigan. I’m really looking forward to spending time with N-A-T 🙂

Baby dedication

New Covenant, the church that I am attending now, has this wonderful baby dedication song that the pastor and music director co-wrote. I thought I would share that with you.

This Child

This child is a gift

This child has been set among us
This child is a work of His hand
This child will name the name of Jesus
This child will be born again

(Men) Bring him/her joy
(Women) Bring him/her peacefulness
(Men) Bring him/her love
(Women) Bring him/her forgiveness
We thank You Lord
We bring the life of this child to You
You come among us
Teaching us as a child would do

Make us children too
Make us children too
Make us children too
Make us more like You

Over the Rhine concert

Friday, December 8, was supposed to be THE day that I present my qualifier to the faculty. Unfortunately, there were too many major changes to my introduction section that I had to put aside data analysis and take the whole Thanksgiving break just to revise that. So, I ended up not making the deadline. I am uncertain if I should feel relieved or saddened by the fact that things are now pushed to another semester. Yesterday, I spent two hours discussing my data analysis and research questions with my advisor. Towards the end of the meeting, she asked me if I wanted to articulate my research questions to her then or spent some time mulling over it and then meet with her another day. By then, I was so drained, and all I could think of is that I have a concert to go to in Philadelphia. So I am meeting with her again on Tuesday.

As for the concert, I got a last minute invitation to join Becky and her friends to a concert in Philadelphia. Over the Rhine was playing, and they are Becky’s absolute favorite band. How can I resist a free trip to Philly to watch a concert that I do not have to pay for? The husband-and-wife team was really good, not really mainstream music, but they definitely have a strong following. If you are visiting their site, I recommend listening to some of their songs on the “radio player”.

Chinese take-out

chinese take-out

Occasionally when I start craving for chinese food, I’ll go to the nearby chinese buffet restaurant. But instead of eating there, which will cost me around $8, I will carry-out (tah pau) instead. The carry out rate is $3.29 per lb of food. The packet shown here costs $2.60. If you think that your neighborhood mix rice (chap farn) store lacks variety, welcome to my world. The restaurant offers the same buffet line day-in and day-out. So, what’s in the box?
– walnut chicken (but there’s no visible sign of any walnuts)
– shrimp and corn
– chicken and broccoli (but I only took the broccoli)
– General Tso’s chicken (the dark colored matter in the middle)
– stir fried green beans
– fried imitation scallops
– lobster roll

Gourmet cream puffs

Cream puffs

I bought this wonderful looking cream puffs today. The store labelled it as gourmet cream puffs. Instead of having the usual custard filling, these are filled with a LOT of sweet whipped cream. After going through about a third of the creamy filling, I started getting the “jelak” feeling. Too much of a “good” thing. But I still think they look so very tempting.

Jinglebell run

Jinglebell run

I ran the jinglebell run today. The idea of running in a race with jinglebells tied to my shoelaces sounded really fun. Actually running the race was torturous, especially when the road seemed to be going uphill a lot, and everyone seemed to be ahead of you the whole way. All the graduate students wore long-sleeve t-shirts that say:

Grad students are like penguins….
We’re always cold and hungry and we look funny when we’re running.

Which I disagree because several runners from our team won top placings in their age groups. I think, I may be one of few true penguins in the group. As for my goal of running the 5K in 35 minutes or less (hahaha) maybe next year. I ran/walked this race in 40 minutes and 2 seconds. It’s still a personal best 🙂