Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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So I hear fortune tellers are very compelling

September 18, 2011

My cousin got married last Saturday.  She has no siblings (hello one child limit in China), and I don’t think she has any direct cousins other than me and my brother, so she’s really close to us and our parents (as are her parents, our aunt and uncle), especially since our grandparents passed away a few years ago.  Her dad’s brother has cancer and will most likely pass away within the next few years as well, so she honestly doesn’t have very much family left.  Every time we go back to China, to them, it’s as if the sun has come out from behind the pollution (a rare occurrence in China).  It’s great to have such caring family members (that wasn’t sarcasm, by the way).

Anyways, since she was planning to get married this summer, my dad immediately started dropping hints to my mom that we should totally go back to China during the summer to attend the wedding.  My mom, of course, picked up on these very well hidden hints (that was sarcasm) and planned a trip to China lasting almost three weeks during the month of August.  I also picked up on these hints and knew that we would be going to China mainly because of two reasons: the wedding and my great-grandma’s 100th birthday (which would actually happen in February, but more on that later).

I think I’ve already covered what happened during that trip pretty thoroughly, so I won’t go into that too much.  Just know that while we were there, my cousin and her husband (he was legally her husband, they got the papers done but hadn’t had the wedding yet) were buying all the wedding candy and buying goody bags and stuff.

By the time we went back home, we had not attended the wedding.  I didn’t say anything about it, but I was kind of confused about it.  We had celebrated great-grandma’s coming birthday, but we didn’t attend a wedding.

Why?

Because a fortune teller told them that in the three weeks we were going to China, there was not a single day that was a “good” day that was full of luck.

Yes.  A fortune teller.

Before you dismiss this as a cultural difference, know that the Xiao family just generally does not believe in fortune-telling bullshit and the like – my grandfather, who raised my dad and his sister (my cousin’s mother), was a high school principal who was jailed as a result of the Hundred Flowers Campaign when Mao Zedong was in power (but later released).  He was a very intellectual man who did not believe in magic bullshit.

On the other hand, the family that my cousin married into, apparently really did believe in it.  So they consulted a fortune teller, who “calculated” the best days to get their papers done (March 8, or freaking International Women’s Day) and the best day to have their wedding (AKA China’s Teacher’s Day).  You know what that’s like? That’s like marrying on Christmas Day and expecting that day to be special (according to my parents).

Some fortune teller.  So now my parents are (or were) extremely pissed that my cousin would take the word of some fortune teller over having us, pretty much her closest family, attend the wedding.  Also the fact that she invited 70 people to the wedding, but didn’t invite us.

What’s that? “No one could possible have so many people attend a wedding?” Oh, whoops! Silly me.  What a typo.   Sorry, it wasn’t 70.  It was 700.  Another typo, you say? Here, let me write that out again.  7*10^2.  Seven zero zero.  Jame’s Bond’s number backwards.  She invited 700 people to her wedding.

While I’m definitely not as pissed as my parents, I’m a little disappointed, but I can kind of see why she would do that.  Since she has so little family left, why would she want to alienate her parents-in-law, right?

But whatever.  It was a pretty fun trip overall.

…I bet the fortune teller would have told my parents to kill my brother, since he was born on September 18.  The day that the Japanese invaded China during WW2.  The day that sirens across China sound for three minutes straight, annually.

Whatever.

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OK so I actually talk about indigestion now but it’s kind of disgusting

August 29, 2011

Where’d I leave off? Insane traffic, right? Yeah, OK.

So anyways.  We went to Chongqing, relative and his new wife picked us up, we went in some taxis to our hotel, blah blah blah.  Then we went down the hotel elevator to some place.  The place – it’s indescribable.  I literally have no word that encompasses its pure insanity.

Basically, it’s like a mall, except each shop is a restaurant.  And each restaurant is about the size of my living room – not much room.  And yet they somehow cram like a dozen tables in there.  Chinese people are just really really good at squeezing large things into small spaces.  No innuendo intended.

There were so many restaurants it was amazing.  Like fifty gazillion per floor.  And there were something like eight floors or so.  Anyways, we stopped by at this small noodle shop that had 6 (not exaggerating) people cooking in a kitchen half the size of my room.  Take note that my room isn’t big at all.  So we ordered noodles (of course), some spicy, some not-so-spicy-because-my-brother-can’t-eat-spicy-food-or-any-food-at-all.

The hygiene of the restaurant was extremely questionable.  The tables were sticky with oil.  I certainly didn’t see a certificate saying the restaurant was inspected or anything like you’d see here in ‘merica.

The next morning, I discovered exactly why hygiene in restaurants is so important.  So people don’t get sick, right? I guess this is where you go Ohmigosh he got sick! Yeah, I did.  Warning: If you have a weak stomach/are disgusted easily (even if you aren’t, you’ll maybe probably almost definitely be disgusted by this), skip to the next paragraph.  You have been warned.  I woke up in the morning, took a dump, except the dump felt extremely un-solid.  Yeah, I had diarrhea.  For ~72 hours.  Shitting water.  Continuously.  F M FREAKING L.

OK, moving past indigestion, we went to see the parents of the relative who picked us up.  There, we had our first home-made non-breakfast (because breakfast is freaking lame and is definitely not the most important meal of the day).  It was really good! Of course it was.  It was Chinese food.

Anyways, the mom of the relative (I’ll call him Bob from now on and his wife Sue) was telling us how Bob and Sue met.  Bob’s mom went to a gathering of moms of singles in the neighborhood carrying a sign.  On the sign was listed the requirements that each mom set for their child’s future spouse.  So they waved their signs around vigorously, and if they found a mom with a possibly suitable candidate, they would be all “Hey, your child looks sexy.  I think my child wants a piece of that.”  and they’d exchange phone numbers.  Then, the parents would interview the child of the other parent to see if they actually were good enough for their tastes.

If the child was deemed suitable, the children would then talk to each other and bond over the phone.

China's version of online dating.

And then, they would finally meet.  And then they would marry like two days later or something.  I don’t even know.

Also, did I mention that Bob was easily six feet? Yeah.  Definitely the tallest Chinese person I have ever met in person.  So.  Freaking.  Tall.

Besides Bob though, I felt pretty tall in China.  =p

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I ate so much I got indigestion

August 27, 2011

So the not-posting-over-summer thing seems to have become a habit… eh.

So you know that Java class I took over the summer? College courses… it’s like 5 chapters a day.  OK, not really.  It goes at the relatively reasonable rate of 1 chapter per day.  So it’s a lot of reading.  I got through it with a good grade, and I asked my counselor, and she told me I would get Applied Arts credits for taking the course.  That’s good news, because now I don’t have to make space in my senior year for that.

Two days after I took the final for the Java class, we went to China.  We took Asiana Airlines which is freaking awesome.

What’s with comedians and airplane food?

That image is not mine.  Someone else made it.

It’s like hating on airplane food is a rite of passage for comedians or something.  Because they will hate on it at least once in their career.  And people will laugh about it.

Maybe it was just the airline I was on, but the food wasn’t bad.  In fact, it was pretty good.  I’m eating food a couple miles up in the air.  I had a steak with smoked salmon.   Granted, there was very little steak (about the size of my palm) and even less salmon (not even enough to make a baby full), but what was there wasn’t the assault upon my taste buds that comedians are always claiming it is.

Anyways, Asiana Airlines is the most freaking awesome airline ever because they have a TV on the back of every chair.  Every single freaking chair.  And they have movies that are relatively new: Kung Fu Panda 2, Sucker Punch, Limitless, Source Code, Thor, Harry Potter 7 1/2, Fast Five, Battle: Los Angeles and a lot more.  I watched a lot of movies I didn’t get the opportunity to watch back on solid ground in theaters.  I didn’t get a blink of sleep during the entire flight because I was so busy watching movies.

Asiana being a Korean airline, we transferred in the Incheon Airport in (or near? I don’t even know) Seoul.  We stayed for 3 hours or so.  The Korean airport security is a lot stricter than our ever-beloved NSA.  You have the X-rays and metal detectors to go through just to get near the terminals, and right before you board the plane, they have a checkpoint where they hand-search your bags and stuff.  Took forever to get on the plane.

So we finally touched down in Chengdu in the Sichuan province (we took a smaller plane that, sadly, had no TVs, so I slept the entire time) and I saw some relatives I hadn’t seen in freaking forever.  I also saw my cousin’s husband (she got married not too long ago, but hasn’t had her wedding yet), who told me his name was Jeff.  My cousin later laughed at me because apparently he only told me to call him Jeff because the Chinese phrase for “cousin’s husband” is jie fu, and that sounds like “Jeff.”

We ate a lot.  Like, a freaking ton.  Since we hadn’t been in China in forever, there were a gazillion relatives inviting us to eat at a gazillion restaurants.

Restaurants in China, if they’re big, usually have private rooms that you can rent for 200 or so yuan depending on the restaurant (that’s a little more than 40 USD), but then you have to order the food.  I’ve no idea how much it costs since I never got a hold of a receipt, but I’m pretty sure it would have costed more than the room.

After one or two days, we went to Chongqing, which is another huge freaking city.  It’s a lot like San Francisco, if San Francisco was completely consisted of 15+ floor buildings, was ten times hillier, and had traffic that was ten times worse.

Seriously.  I cannot stress the terrible traffic in China enough.  No one puts on their seat belts.  People drive on the wrong side of the road.  People almost run over pedestrians.  There is no right of way.  Now that I’ve got my permit and I’ve been out on the road several times, holy crap is right of way important.  I swear there’s no traffic laws in China at all.  People squeeze into tiny ass spaces.  Angela told me the world record for parallel parking was 37 inches of space or something.  Any taxi driver in China could probably beat that.  I would not drive there unless I was in an armored vehicle or something.

We took a bullet train from Chengdu to Chongqing.  It took two hours.  My parents were rambling the entire time how we were so lucky, in their day the train would take twelve hours, blah blah blah.  We got to the train station and we took a taxi to our hotel.  I reached back for the seat belt, and it seemed stuck.  I tried pulling it out and when I pulled my hand back in, it was covered in soot or something.  So yeah.

Also, in addition to driving like maniacs, the taxis in Chongqing run off of natural gas.  The natural gas is stored in tanks.  The tanks are in the trunks of the taxis.  So if you’re rear-ended, you go up in a spectacular fireball that Michael Bay would be jealous of.

We took a ferry in the middle of the night in Chongqing to see all the pretty lights on the gazillion story buildings.  Yeah, it looked pretty awesome.  LIGHTS EVERYWHERE.

I would keep writing more, but this post is really long and I’m lazy.  So more on indigestion next post?

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I got new earbuds, hell yes!

July 15, 2011

I got new earbuds (again) because my old earbuds broke (again) with one earbud not working (again).  Instead of buying cheap-ass but kinda good Skullcandys (again), I decided to convince my parents to buy me the eighty dollar earbuds that I’d had my eyes on, and drooling about, for a loooooooooong time.

These ones.

A ton of reviewers on Amazon said that these were really freaking awesome and everyone should get them and holy shit did I mention how freaking awesome they are?

So I convinced my parents to get them.  Only after they made me take 3 SAT practice tests.

They just came in today.

Holy shit were they worth it.

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College sandwiches are good, but the chicken sucks.

June 20, 2011

For those of you who don’t know, I’m taking a college course of the summer (Java Programming) because I absolutely refuse to take APCS at school with…

Dammit, my therapist told me not to think of her.

Anyways, my parents want me to know some basic computer programming, because apparently everyone knows how to program like a mofo by college.

Unfortunately, I haven’t turned 16 yet, so I couldn’t sign up for classes at West Valley, which has a minimum age requirement of 16.  West Valley also happened to be the closest college, which is, eh, 5 minutes away via bike.  The next closest college was De Anza, but I couldn’t go there because the schedule was all weird and we’re leaving in China in August or something.

So I was forced to go to Mission College.  Mission is great, by the way, not dissing it or anything, but it’s kind of inconvenient.  It involves half an hour of driving one way, and that totals around 6 hours just to take one freaking class.  Well, actually two, if you want to count the lab portion and the lecture portion separate.

I was hoping to get my application rejected so I could then get rejected from C Programming (my first alternate) so I could get into Psychology (my second alternate), but no such luck.  I got into Java.

I wasn't happy, but at least we were going to learn how to speak Coffee-with-a-flame.

By the way, our last day of school was Wednesday last week, which means I got a whopping 4 days of freedom before I went to college in high school.  Oh, and this isn’t a class designed for just high schoolers who want to take a summer class – it’s a college course.  There were adults, some maybe as old as 40, in the class, along with a couple of high schoolers such as yours truly.

Anyways, today, I went to class.  The teacher was a black dude with a slight accent.  It sounded Jamaican, but could just as easily be South African, because I have absolutely no idea when it comes to accents.

He started off class by talking about stuff such as Java is very interesting and You will like Java and This class will be easier if you already know some stuff about programming and just in general being a very energetic teacher.  I don’t understand being energetic in the morning, but I guess when you’re teaching something with a cup of espresso as the logo, you’re gonna be energetic.

Oh, and before I forget, you can expect to have two hours of homework for every one hour of class.

Shit.

Also, you have a midterm and a final.  Each is worth 20% of your grade.

Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

Anyways, we started programming that very day which also happens to be today, and although I didn’t make any mistakes (I am perfect, after all (OK, maybe just lucky)), a lot of the mistakes I saw around me were very small errors – they forgot to capitalize a letter, they put a colon instead of a semicolon, their head exploded.

Hasta luego.

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Ridiculous Literature

June 15, 2011

The Thunder Stealer

A tall, thin man rushed through a hallway, pushing past other men carrying suitcases and stacks of paper.  He finally reached the destination he had been searching for, and barreled into the room.  A silver-haired woman glanced up at him, obviously irritated.  “What do you want, Smith?” she snapped.

Smith panted, “You know that top secret lightning shooting machine?”

The woman looked at him as if he were crazy.  “What, you want more funding? We’ve given you fifty million to build the ridiculous weapon already, what else do you want?”

“No, no.  Although our security could probably use some funding after…”

“Smith, stop babbling.  What the fuck is so urgent?

“Lara, it was stolen.”  Smith sounded oddly calm, and it seemed as though the panting had helped him regain his breath.

“What the fuck do you mean it was stolen? Did you take it out for a walk, and the Chupacabra decided the thing was his?”

“Some kid just ran in and took it.”

Lara couldn’t speak for a moment.  She looked as if she were choking on air, and Smith wondered if he should perform the Heimlich on his colleague.

Some kid just ran the fuck into the headquarters of the fucking CIA and took the fucking weapon that cost fifty fucking million dollars to make?”

Smith decided to not perform the Heimlich.  He nodded weakly.

THEN WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU STANDING AROUND FOR? GO FIND THE FUCKING KID AND FUCKING GET THE FUCKING WEAPON, FUCKDAMMIT.”

“Right, right… we have security cameras everywhere, we can identify him…” Smith mumbled quietly to himself as he exited the room, leaving Lara to check if her blood pressure was abnormally high and to take the appropriate pills.

Smith, using advanced programs, immediately identified the teenager thief as one Jercy Packson.  He searched up his file and found out that Jercy Packson lived with his mother and had been expelled from over seven schools in the past five years alone.

Lara walked in, a vein bulging, but otherwise looking relatively normal.  “Well?” she snapped at him.

“I found him.  I know where he lives.”

“Great. Go get the fucking weapon then,” she snarled.

Smith looked through his copy of The Top Secret CIA Handbook to Top Secret Operations, and found the section he was searching for.  The chapter was titled “How to deal with a teenager who has stolen a fifty million dollar lightning shooter.”  He read quickly through it and dialed a number on his cell phone.

“This is Smith.  We need a SWAT team with their usual clothing, except with some kind of rubber suit over it.”

He paused.  Then he told the person on the other end of the line the address of Jercy Packson.

The next day, the newspaper’s front page article read:

“A teenager named Jercy Packson was shot and killed yesterday by a SWAT team in rubber suits.  It was revealed that Packson had stolen extremely sensitive equipment from the CIA and immediate retrieval was necessary.  According to the SWAT team leader, Packson attempted to activate the equipment and was immediately shot.  “We were told that if the machine was activated, many lives would be lost.  We did what we could to save as many lives as possible,” the leader commented.

Packson’s mother, one Sally Packson, was devastated by the loss of her teenage delinquent son.  She was babbling about Olympus and Greek gods and demigods, and was quickly detained to prevent her from hurting herself.  She is currently undergoing psychiatric treatment for, in her doctor’s words, “being completely fucking crazy” See more on page A3

Lara high fived Smith.  “Now that is what I call swift and efficient action!”

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Bots!

April 25, 2011

I’m pretty lazy, so instead of writing a proper blog post, I’m going to share with you the most ridiculous conversation I’ve ever had.  It’s also the first time I got a conversation actually flowing with a bot.  PLEASE DO NOT CLICK THE LINK.  If you’re dumb enough to do it, I will laugh.

Sunday, April 24, 2011
Blondie4life1613 (10:24:10 PM): hi
Patrick Xiao (10:24:52 PM): hi?
Blondie4life1613 (10:25:03 PM): Hey! You’re on my buddylist & i was just wondering if i knew you. 24/f here, and you?
Patrick Xiao (10:27:07 PM): uh no you probably dont know me
Blondie4life1613 (10:27:20 PM): ah sorry.. i get forgetful at times! how are you?
Patrick Xiao (10:28:18 PM): who are you?
Blondie4life1613 (10:28:35 PM): Just got out of the shower, been a long day i was pretty busy. :/ but i’m feeling naught! Looking to relieve some stress lol. so what’s up ….. want to have some fun? ;)
Patrick Xiao (10:29:09 PM): great idea, lets play words with friends!
Blondie4life1613 (10:29:25 PM): ;)
Patrick Xiao (10:30:05 PM): or would you rather play farmville?
Blondie4life1613 (10:30:17 PM): naughty* i mean sorry typo lol
Patrick Xiao (10:31:40 PM): do you want to play words with friends or not??
Blondie4life1613 (10:31:56 PM): I need someone that can make a girl squirt ;) …have u ever made a girl squirt? lolz
Patrick Xiao (10:33:01 PM): no i havent
Blondie4life1613 (10:33:16 PM): im gunna change my clothes. wanna watch?  ;)
Patrick Xiao (10:33:33 PM): are you dressing up in a costume or something?
Blondie4life1613 (10:33:51 PM): no cost, its free!
Patrick Xiao (10:34:02 PM): but what about words with friends?
Blondie4life1613 (10:34:26 PM): wanna watch me on cam?
Patrick Xiao (10:35:04 PM): is there going to be music playing in the background?!
Blondie4life1613 (10:35:23 PM): -link removed- Click the green “accept invite” button in the middle of my profile..k now fill out ur info.. give it a second to load.. when you get in let me know, i’d love for you to join me in private ;) k?
Patrick Xiao (10:35:51 PM): what if theres a virus?
Blondie4life1613 (10:36:07 PM): no why would i give u something with a virus? i use this site all the time babe!
Patrick Xiao (10:36:14 PM): no i mean
Patrick Xiao (10:36:25 PM): what if herpes can go through the internetz?!
Blondie4life1613 (10:36:39 PM): I use this site to play on cuz i don’t wanna be recorded and this site doesn’t allow users to record my webcam broadcast, ya know?
Patrick Xiao (10:37:07 PM): am i getting paid to watch it?
Blondie4life1613 (10:37:20 PM): don’t worry credit card is just to verify that you’re an adult! You’ll get in free through my page, read the small print on the buttom of my page babe.
Patrick Xiao (10:38:56 PM): whats your name?
Blondie4life1613 (10:39:14 PM): Can’t be showing ass and pussy to minors, that’s illegal :/
Patrick Xiao (10:39:42 PM): im not a minor
Blondie4life1613 (10:40:02 PM): Let me know if you need help, or are done. i’m going to grab my toys ;)
Patrick Xiao (10:40:13 PM): wait
Patrick Xiao (10:40:14 PM): dont go
Blondie4life1613 (10:40:35 PM): brb. Im setting up my webcam. u comin babe?
Patrick Xiao (10:40:40 PM): yeah in a moment
Patrick Xiao (10:40:49 PM): but how do i know youre not a cop?
Patrick Xiao (10:41:34 PM): hello?
Blondie4life1613 (10:41:34 PM): ok :)
Blondie4life1613 (10:41:51 PM): k your good let me know when u get in.
Patrick Xiao (10:42:22 PM): how do i know youre not a cop?
Blondie4life1613 (10:42:36 PM): k.
Patrick Xiao (10:43:13 PM): im not in yet
Patrick Xiao (10:43:21 PM): it says i need to enter my adddress
Blondie4life1613 (10:43:38 PM): are you in yet?
Patrick Xiao (10:43:45 PM): THATS WHAT SHE SAID
Patrick Xiao (10:43:48 PM): but no im not
Blondie4life1613 (10:43:57 PM): k babe
Patrick Xiao (10:44:40 PM): can i use fake credit card info?
Blondie4life1613 (10:44:54 PM): no its not fake..wtf?
Patrick Xiao (10:45:03 PM): boobs!
Blondie4life1613 (10:45:25 PM): what’s taking u so long, im burnin’ up in here waiting for u ..
Patrick Xiao (10:45:38 PM): go take a shower!
Patrick Xiao (10:46:31 PM): do you have big hands?
Patrick Xiao (10:47:24 PM): are you there?
Patrick Xiao (10:47:26 PM): i need help

As you can see, the bot ditched me after a while.  You can also see I’m not using my customary red text… I was simply too shocked at having an actual conversation with a bot to switch text colors.

Adios!