An Open Letter to Trump Voters

Dear Trump voters,

After Donald Trump returned from Walter Reed Hospital due to his COVID19, people were aghast that he removed his mask after he climbed atop the staircase. I watched the video. He was visibly out of breath and probably needed more fresh air. With his obesity and COVID19 infection, he probably would have passed out if he did not take off that mask.

Yes, it may have sent the wrong message to the public, after all, YOU have been wearing your mask and washing your hands, doing online schools with your children, staying at home, and keeping you and your family safe. Him taking off the mask after his hospital discharge showed that he didn’t learn his lesson; the symbolism of it all. But we won’t blame him for taking off his mask to catch his breath. Yes, he could have said something about wearing a mask to keep everyone safe from COVID19. You had hoped that he learned his lesson. Instead, he posted “COVID19 is less lethal than flu”, which Facebook took down due to misinformation. Put it another way, your President’s words were lethal lies.

Please let that sink in: a post by the President of the United States had to be taken down from an American social media company because his lies during a global pandemic could lead to even more unnecessary deaths. To date, his refusal to take responsibility resulted in more than 213,000 deaths. His lack of an effective stimulus package tanked our economy.

Let’s travel further back in time, in January, Donald Trump insisted that Xi Jinping was doing an excellent job containing the virus. By not sending scientists and investigators to Wuhan during the beginning of the pandemic, this administration cost us precious time to mount an adequate pandemic response. He knew about how lethal this virus was back in January, yet left the healthcare system and essential workers to fend for themselves, not knowing how and when we would be getting our proper PPE. Pictures surfaced that nurses and technicians resorted to wearing trash bags as their make-do PPE, because hospitals were running out of surgical gowns, N95 masks, face shields. Instead of coming up with a concerted federal pandemic response, each state was left to her own to purchase life-saving PPEs from overseas. No federal regulations were put in place to forbid these companies from price gouging. The life saving masks were sold to the highest bidders.

Without any evidence, Donald Trump claimed that the virus would magically disappear by Easter and boy, wouldn’t that be beautiful, to open up the country on Easter Sunday. When that did not happen, he did a 180 walk back with racist remarks to conceal his incompetence, which put innocent Asian Americans all over the country under racist verbal and physical attacks.

We won’t even go into his corrupt finance scandals and dealings; his $750 tax price tag; his wife’s “fuck Christmas decorations and fuck children in cages” remarks; his daughter’s private email server; his multimillion dollar golf outings to his resorts; his due-soon $470 million debt to unknown loaners; his mocking of fallen war heroes; his complete disregard of climate change and continued dismantling of policies set up to protect our planet. And this exhausting list goes on and on.

If you think his policies coincide with yours and that he deserves your full support, what is it that you agree with?

In an unprecedented move, The New England Journal of Medicine published an article urging the public to vote for someone who is more equipped to save American lives during this COVID19 pandemic. Speaking of COVID19, remember that excellent medical care that he received at Walter Reed? That is 100% government-funded socialized medicine, which we all paid, and he received, for free.

If you voted for him in 2016, genuinely believing that he would “make America great again”, fine. You wanted to shake things up a bit. But if you plan to vote for him again in 2020, then I seriously question your character.


a very concerned citizen of the United States of America

Posted in NEW ERA, PANDEMIC | Leave a comment

What Makes America Great

July 5, 2020

Today marks the 35th anniversary of my family’s arrival to the United States.

On July 5th 1985, our father, who had come to the States 10 months prior to our arrival, picked us up from the JFK airport. “There was a big party in our neighborhood the day before.  There were even fireworks!” Dad said cheerfully, and then added jokingly, “America was throwing a welcoming party for you! But they must have gotten confused with the date because of the time difference.” I was thirteen years old, not easily fooled, but characteristically optimistic. That welcoming sentiment pronounced by my father, however absurd, stayed with me, and fueled my enthusiasm for anything American, be it real or self-projected.

The next day, our friendly neighbor told us that we could get free school breakfast during the summer. Growing up in Taiwan in the early 80’s, we didn’t have a McDonald’s until 1983. The only American shows we had were “Three’s Company” and “Dynasty” (remember those?).  I was always curious about the American ways. Empowered by my knowledge of the alphabets and a few working sentences in English, my eight year-old little brother and I set out and walked the few blocks to our local public school. We found the school cafeteria, got in line, and had our first taste of American breakfast. Our first American meal consisted of milk, yogurt, hash browns, and pancakes with syrup, nothing like the savory rice congee with dried pork, century egg, pickled cucumber salad, and salted fish we had back home.  We had hit the jackpot! We decimated every morsel on our tray. Walking back with our bellies full of sweets, my little brother and I sang our made-up songs using whatever little English we knew and skipped happily home.

And boy, did we develop an insatiable appetite for anything American after our first taste! We gobbled up television shows such as “Thunder Cats”, “Transformer”, “Who’s the Boss”, “Growing Pains”, “Twenty-One Jump Street”. We would often laugh with the laugh tracks when jokes came up. When asked by our parents what was so funny, we didn’t have a clue! “We were supposed to laugh!” We pointed out the laugh tracks that were masked by our own laughter. If my parents thought we were crazy, they didn’t let on. “Maybe one day you’ll actually know what you are laughing at!” Mom said with an encouraging smile.

When autumn leaves turned to brilliant yellow and orange, we enrolled in our local New York public school.  Because we were not proficient in English, we were assigned to English as Second Language (ESL) homerooms. My classmates came from all over the world: India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Iran, Nigeria, Korea, and Egypt. Whatever our life circumstances, one minute we were half a world away, and the next minute our fate brought us all under one roof, gathered in one room. Kids in ESL classes took all of our classes together. I remembered my very first American class was a history class. “HISTORY” my teacher wrote on the blackboard. I had no idea what “history” meant, even though it seemed so simple. Perhaps it was actually his story and the teacher forgot a space and another s? I thought to myself. I dutifully copied down every single word he wrote. I knew that everything would become clear once I got home and looked up every unfamiliar word using my now well-thumbed English-Mandarin dictionary.

Once a month, our homeroom teacher would take the ESL kids on field trips. These field trips were designed to assimilate us to our new country.  We visited the Empire State Building, World Trade Center, Statue of Liberty, Bronx Botanical Garden, and New York Main Public Library. We were even treated to the Radio City Rockettes show in December. Our pack was a mini United Nation of sorts, eager to understand the new world around us with our fragmented language skills; in awe of our good fortune for being in the greatest, most powerful nation in the entire world. We felt welcomed, protected, and nurtured.

To communicate with my new friends, we deployed all kinds of tactics, be it body language, sign language, tone differentiation, or simply writing words down because of our various accents. Everyone had their own native language to English dictionary and phrase books, and nobody was made fun of for trying. It felt like us new immigrants were put aside in a special greenhouse, treated with extraordinary kindness and generosity in our adopted country. We read aloud in class, with our teachers patiently correcting our pronunciation, and ensuring our comprehension. Slowly but surely, I started to understand that Tony from “Who’s the Boss” was actually a hired housekeeper, and Johnny Depp was working as an undercover cop in a high school. My parents even took notice the first time I laughed at a joke before the laugh track came on, about nine months after our arrival. “Hey, you must understand more English now!” they indulged me.

My father, bless his heart, somehow got in to his head that Americans eat hamburgers all the time. So during the first year of our arrival, we ate hamburgers for breakfast made from frozen beef patties that he got up early in the morning to steam in a bamboo steamer that Grandma lovingly packed for us in case of homesick; sandwiched by toasted buns. To this day, I cannot eat a hamburger without a visceral gag reflex.  We continued to enjoy the school cafeteria lunch, and learned to appreciate hot dogs, and pizza, and French fries.  Ironically, when I made it to varsity soccer team in high school, Burger King became our regular hang out after our games where I would order fries and a grilled chicken salad.

My first snow happened on a quiet Saturday evening. We had been pestering Dad, who had 10 months more American experience than us, about how snow actually felt like. “Is it like cotton?” we asked. “Does your clothes get wet? Do you have to carry an umbrella like you do on a rainy day?” Endless questions. On that quiet Saturday, soft, fat snowflakes floated down from the sky. My brother and I rushed out to our yard without a jacket or an umbrella, and understood at that moment, that snow felt like pure magic. Soon our yard turned white as if someone picked up a paintbrush, dipped it in white paint, and swiped down a few large strokes.

The following Monday, my friends and I excitedly chatted about the snow. You see, for us ESL kids who had never seen snow, seeing our first snow was just like living in America, pure magic!

One by one, the ESL kids were deemed proficient, and integrated into regular English classes.  In my case, I was placed in Honors English.  I didn’t know why, but was humbled by the opportunity.  I remembered my first test in my Honors English class.  We had to interpret a poem entitled “Fog”, by Carl Sandburg.

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Now that I had two American years under my belt, AND I was in Honors English, I really should have known what the word “fog” meant, except that I didn’t. It was one of those words that little kids learned from a colorful board book when they were babies! I sat there, staring at the test paper, willing myself to understand the poem without having the foggiest (yes, puns intended) idea what the word “fog” meant. The clock ticked on. “10 more minutes!” My teacher, Ms. Bruno announced. “Alright, it’s now or never,” I awkwardly went up to her, and whispered in a strained voice, “can you please tell me what this word mean?” and pointed to the title. “Fog? You don’t know what fog mean?!” Ms. Bruno, the most strict, stern teacher in the school, who taught Honors English for more than 15 years, gasped. She quickly recovered and explained that it was a kind of weather. It was white and when there was fog, it was hard to see things. She wiggled her ten fingers and swished them around. Ha! If nothing else, I understood body language! I quickly scribbled down my interpretation so that I did not receive a big fat zero on my first real English test. I was scared and relieved. Scared that they now knew that I was but a foreigner, but also relieved that the truth of my foreignness was out in the open. Now kids in my Honors English wouldn’t look at me and wondered “where did this girl come from all of a sudden?” I thought for sure they’d transfer me back to ESL. And what did Ms. Bruno do? She had us read The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck next.

My English-speaking classmates learned about the daily lives of pre-WWI Chinese village, about the love Ms. Buck had for a different culture. Ms. Bruno utilized this opportunity to introduce her 15 year-old Honors English students to a whole new world. For extra credit, she had me do a show-and-tell about Chinese culture. Ms. Bruno impressed upon me that just because I had not fully master the language did not make me an inferior pupil. At the end of my show-and-tell, I showed my classmates how to use chopsticks. Chopsticks I collected from the Chinese restaurant we visited once a week, because there was no Amazon or Party City back then. My native English-speaking classmates thoroughly enjoyed this challenge. Watching these blond-haired, blue-eyed teenagers laugh and cheer each other on to pick up fortune cookies with their chopsticks was both hilarious and reaffirming.  America welcomed me.

Thirty-five years later, I can still feel this welcoming spirit.  I feel the warmth and generosity from my friends and neighbors.  With the current COVID 19 pandemic that the sitting US president likes to call “Kung Flu”; the SARS-CoV 2 virus the “Wuhan virus”, or “Chinese virus”, I believe that there are still generous and compassionate people in this country.  With the current social injustice where a disproportionate number of African Americans are dying in the custody of the law enforcement; where Black EMT worker was shot dead in her own apartment; Black boy shot dead with a toy gun in his hand; Black boy shot dead walking with his hoodie pulled up; Black man gunned down by father and son while jogging; Black man kneed to death for a $20 counterfeit bill; Black men found dead hanging from trees; Black birdwatcher threatened and called upon for police; I believe that there are still truth and justice-seekers in this country.  The kind of people who educated themselves about the Black history we were never taught in school; the kind of people who showed up to protest for Black Lives Matter all over this country, and all over the world!  The America from 35 years ago that welcomed and nurtured classes after classes of newly arrived ESL kids be them brown, or black, or yellow, or beige has not gone by the wayside yet.

So listen up America!  We are the land of the free and the home of the brave.  So let’s live up to our expectations.  Let’s be free of prejudice. Let’s be free to practice good judgment. Let’s be free to utilize common public health sense!  Let’s be brave to call out social injustice.  Let’s be brave to cross party lines and vote for someone who could possibly rehabilitate America back both physically and psychologically.  Let’s be brave to admit that perhaps having a xenophobic, sexist, and racist narcissist in the highest office of America is not what makes America great. What makes America great is the greenhouse that incubates and nurtures immigrant kids like my friends and me. Our collective trauma needs healing.  Let’s put ourselves into that greenhouse, America.

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EATS: Kimchi


One of the things I miss, during the COVID-19 quarantine , is eating at Korean restaurants where they give you unlimited amount of house-made kimchi.  The store-bought jars just NEVER taste the same.  After searching high and low on the internet and cookbooks, I adapted a kimchi recipe that is loosely based on David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook.  The main difference is that I substituted sugar with a ripe banana.  Oh, by the way, if you don’t have this book and love food, get it already!  You’ll find yourself reaching for it over and over!


EATS: Kimchi


  • 1 large Napa cabbage
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 10 pieces of ginger, chopped roughly
  • 15 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup fish sauce (skip if you are vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup Korean red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup coarse sea salt
  • Some optional garnishes to add color and texture may include: 1 medium julienned sweet onion or shallots; 1/2 cup matchsticks of carrots; 4-6 thinly sliced scallions


  • Cut the cabbage lengthwise in half, then cut the halves into 1-2 inch wide pieces.  Alternatively, you can cut the halves lengthwise into quarters.  That way when it’s time to serve later, you can cut them into smaller pieces with scissors at the table like in Korean restaurants!
  • Rub the sea salt onto the cabbage and let sit in room temperature until the cabbage looks wilted.  About 2 hours.  Alternatively, you can leave them in the refrigerator overnight.
  • In a blender, combine the banana, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar; pulse until smooth.  Set aside.

  • When the cabbage looks wilted, rinse the cabbage in cold water to get rid of the salt on the outer layer.  Gently squeeze out the excess water, pat dry, and place in a large food-grade container
  • Mix the kimchi paste onto the cabbage.  Add the Korean red pepper flakes, the optional garnishes such as onion, carrots, shallots, scallion, and mix well.  Like this:

  • Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 weeks
  • When you open them the next day (of course you will, because you just have to take a peek!), and taste it (of course you are curious!  It’s ok, I won’t judge), it will not taste like anything.  So put it back in the refrigerator, cover tightly, and let sit for at least one week.
  • O.M.G. this is the bomb!  Sooo delicious!  AND, it’s good for your digestive system.  I can see myself making this on a weekly basis now. 
  • Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
  • kimchi
Posted in EATS | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

EATS: Crème brûlée


We got into watching Master Chef Junior recently.  In one of the episodes, Christina Tosi was astonished that a child made a crème brûlée under 45 minutes.  I was astonished that a child could make a crème brûlée.  I mean, I only get to eat crème brûlée when I go to a fancy Franch restaurant or bistro, so of course I have to investigate how to actually make a crème brûlée during Memorial weekend.

After leafing through a bunch of cookbooks and watching homemade youtube videos, here is my version.  Hope you find this useful!

EATS: Crème brûlée

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar (100g) for the custard part
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar (50g) for the brulee part
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 whole vanilla bean (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 325F and boil water for the loaf pan for baking later
  • Place your ramekins on the loaf pan, taking care that there is enough room to fit all the ramekins
  • Whisk the yolk and granulated sugar in a bowl until smooth; set aside
  • Heat the heavy whipping cream with salt in medium heat.  If you want to elevate your dessert with the luscious speckles of vanilla bean, halve a whole vanilla bean with a paring knife, scrape out the vanilla seeds, and place the entire content into the cream pot
  • Watch the cream and turn off heat immediately when it starts to simmer.  This is when the recipe is testing your patience, I know.  Maybe this is a good time to practice your tree pose, or call your mom or dad.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract and take out the vanilla bean if you had it in there before
  • Start whisking the yolk mixture with your dominant hand, then add a ladle of the heated cream with the other hand into the bowl in a steady, measured motion.  The point is, you need to be using both hands: whisking the yolk mixture while pouring the hot cream in.  You want to temper the yolk so that it’s not cooked like scrambled eggs.  Don’t get nervous!  Just keep whisking and don’t pour the cream in too quickly, and it will all work out.  Promise!
  • Keep stirring in more ladlefuls until the egg mixture is warm.  Mine took about 3 ladles.  Then pour in the entire content of the bowl back into the pot with the cream, all the while whisking the pot steadily.  Some recipes call for heating them again.  I did not.
  • Pour the cream mixture into the ramekins.  Go ahead, fill to the top!
  • Pop and break any bubbles; or scoop them out with a tiny spoon.  This step is optional, since you’ll be covering the top with brûlée sugar anyway.  But I want my custard to come out looking smooth (must be my upbringing as an chawanmushi enthusiast growing up in Taiwan).
  • Fill the loaf pan with the water you boiled to about 1/2″ in height; taking care not to get the water into the ramekin.
  • Bake in the oven for 30 min and check.  The middle should still jiggle a bit.  If the middle looks firm, you’ve over cooked it.
  • Place the ramekins on a cooling rack; then place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 3 hours (see, I am as shocked as Christina Tosi now!).
  • Right before you serve, pour enough granulated sugar to cover the top of the ramiken.  Shake the ramiken horizonally to distrute the sugar evenly.
  • Torch the sugar until the surface is golden brown.  Like this:


  • Let cool for 5 minutes
  • Now go enjoy all the ooohs and the aahhhhs from your admiring guests
  • Crack that golden delicious sugar shell, dig in, and enjoy!
  • If you are married to a drummer, he might show his appreciation for his good luck by doing this:

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Every Day I Don My Armor- A Physician’s Account

covidWe leave to go to war every morning knowing our risks. I did not sign up to be a soldier, yet here I am.  My job is to heal and I took an oath.  In Fabruary, I purchased three new pairs of scrubs and a new pair of clogs, because there was no more mixing of street and hospital clothes.

MK and I went over our contingency plans over wine in mid March; then more contingency plans over tears (mine). We went over with the then 12 year-old Plumster (she is 13 now!) on how to take care of herself: how to do laundry; how to disinfect the kitchen; how to leave food at the quarantined door and quickly leave. I don’t know how not to be scared, but I need to push on.

With the #stayhome order we are avoiding a surge, thus allowing scientists and doctors to figure out how to combat this pandemic. There are new solutions, new problems, new insights, new possibilities, new symptoms (CDC just added a few more!), hitting at us every day. I have FB on all day now because it seems to be the fastest, most centralized place to get the most up-to-date information from all the national physician news groups.

On a much less horrific scale compared to the frontline healthcare workers in Brooklyn, every day really does feel like Groundhog Day.  I walk into my office, decontaminate my entire workstation with bleach wipes( keyboards, phone, chair, faucets), then I wipe down all the doorknobs around my office, up and down the hallway, including the staff bathrooms.

I try to use telemedicine inside my office as much as I can. If I really need to see an inpatient face-to-face, I need to be mindful of the different levels of possible viral load: the elevator, the floors, the emergency room, the ICU.  Keeping track of my fingers and where they land: all the buttons I have to press, all the keyboards I need to click, all the doors I have to open.  Hand sanitizers, hand washing, hundreds of times a day.  My fingers cracked; my ears raw; my nose dented.

I try to remember every conversation I have with my patients so that I get all my work done at my own desk, the one I bleach-wipe at least twice a day. I try not to breathe too deeply all day.  I try not to let the fogged eye shield, nor my pinched nose, nor my squished ears bother me.

When I go home, I change out of my shoes inside my car. My family is used to not coming near me when I get home, though I do have to yell at my dogs for licking me.  I strip and rush to the shower as soon as I get home to decontaminate myself and hot wash everything my body touches.  I feel like a robot sometimes. Actually, scratch that, I feel like a robot most of the time. Do not feel, just proceed. Do not introspect. Do not fear.

And I do all of this from a relatively clean environment. I can’t fathom what will happen if our hospitals are packed with COVID-19 patients, filled to the brim with horrors and sorrows. I check up on my mom daily who lives alone in NYC. There is no cure and no vaccine for COVID-19, so all we can do is to flatten the curve to give healthcare providers and scientists more time to come up with ways to fight and to protect.

With states lifting their social distance orders, I am stricken with worries about what awaits us in the near future.  I fervently pray that the COVID-19 epicenter scenario will not repeat elsewhere.  Please do your part in reminding your community how important it is to keep our neighborhood safe. Please wear masks, wash your hands, and be safe.  Spread love, not germs.

Thank you.

Posted in CAREER, NEW ERA | Tagged | 3 Comments

EATS: Smokey Spicy Garbanzo Snack

Ever since we watched The Game Changer, Plum and Monkey King have dived whole-heartedly into the blissful world of plant-based eating.  So if you love your whole roasted chicken, brisket, pork shoulders, duck confit, beef tenderloin, quail, seared salmon, dover sole, clam bake, lobster (can you tell how much I miss these?), DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, let your family anywhere near that movie.  But if you want something to convince you and your loved ones that being a vegetarian is a heatlhy choice, by all means, head on over!  This movie will transform and energize your resolve to become a vegetarian.   With our drastic shift in food consumption, I started looking to beans and other proteins sources. 

Garbanzo, also known as chickpeas, is packed densely with nutrients, providing rich protein, dietary fiber, folate, iron, and phosphorus.  Soaking and cooking garbanzo beans increase their protein digestability, essential amino acid index, and enhance protein efficiency ratio.   I am a big fan of those savory roasted green pea snack that you typically find in Asian food markets, so I want to make my garbanzo bean a little spicy and savory that we can snack on, or put in a rice bowl with green veggies.  After several tweaking and multiple requests from Plumster who is addicted to this snack, here is recipe.  Hope you find this helpful!

EATS: Smokey Spicy Garbanzo Snack

Ingredients (serves 1-4, depending on how good you are about sharing)

  • 1 can of 15.5oz Garbanzo beans (or dry beans soaked overnight)
  • Paprika powder, 2 Tbs
  • Salt, 2 Tbs
  • Garlic powder, 2 Tbs
  • Cayenne pepper, 1 Tbs or nore if you want it more spicy
  • Tumeric, 1 tsp
  • Ground ginger, 1tsp
  • Extravirgin olive oil, generously drizzled, approximately 2 Tsp


  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Rinse and drain the garbanzo beans
  • Lay out the beans in a single layer on the rimmed sheet pan and pat dry well
  • Mix the dry powders in a bowl; this recipe can give you enough leftovers for a second round
  • Sprinkle 2 Tsp of the powder mix evenly
  • Drizzle about 1 to 2 Tsp olive oil, enough to cover the beans
  • Wash your hands carefully again ((please soap for 20 seconds during the COVID 19 outbreak!) and dry.  Then carefully MASSAGE the spice oil together, watch the video below.  Your hand will get quite messy.  
  • Sprinkle another Tsp of the spice powder mix all over

  • Roast in the oven in 350F for 40-45 minutes
  • Resist the temptation to open the oven door while the aroma infuses the kitchen
  • Before cool down, you may add a sprinkle of sea salt to taste.
  • Enjoy!  We eat it both as an afternoon snack and as a side dish to our dinner.  Either way, you’ll be glad that you have that extra powder mix to make another batch soon (tomorrow?)! 


Posted in EATS, HOME | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Snowboard Trip Woes

How do you nurse a sprained ankle and knee,

Not to mention the ribs that are bruised and sore,

The answer is simple enough to see:

A fireplace, wine, and a movie, of course!


Because of this fall, by my last count,

The days I missed snowboarding: three.

Although I was tucked up safe and sound,

It was FOMO agony.


Although relaxing is a perk,

There is no denying that:

It’s much better to sweat and work,

And to have fun, to bat.


Poem credit: Plumster!








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A Story of How My Daughter Won Her Case of Doubling Her Dessert Intake


Plumster was not feeling well yesterday.  I decided to make her chicken soup, followed by one of her favorite desserts: cupcakes!  I would like to say that her favorite cupcake is the one lovingly prepared by me from scratch.  But no, she prefers the mini dozens that come in a clear box from our local supermarket.

Me: Plum, after you finish your chicken soup, you can have a cupcake.

Plum, eyes lit up: Cupcake!  The mini ones that I like?

Me, feeling triumphant: Yes!

Plum: Can I have two?

Me, now a little irritated: Two?  I give you an inch and now you want a yard!

Plum, without missing a beat: Mommy, I am only asking for two inches!  If I were to ask for a yard, I’d ask for thirty six cupcakes.



Posted in EATS, Fun Math, KIDS, PARENTING | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lean IN?

Life of a physician mother:

2pm, BOSS sees me heating up my (late) lunch in the common room, stops by to talk (me, starving, wishing I can get a minute ALONE to eat): I eat a big breakfast and big dinner, so I don’t have to eat lunch.

Wait, is he trying to tell me NOT to eat my lunch?

Me: I don’t eat a big breakfast because I don’t have time to both 1) make the breakfast; and 2) eat the breakfast.

I did not point out to him that I was at the office like, two hours before he showed up.

BOSS: When I get home, my wife has my dinner ready at 5:30. I wash my hands, sit down, and enjoy my meal. That’s the way to do it. She prepares a nice soup, and yeah, she is great cook.
Me: Well, I pick up my daughter at 5:30pm on my way home, take her home or to her afterschool activities, make sure she does her homework, then I make dinner for my husband and my daughter.  And yeah, I enjoy my meal, too.

4pm, boss leaves for home to wash his hands to enjoy his dinner prepared by his lovely chef wife while I try to get my work done.

Yup, work-life balance is a bitch.

Posted in CAREER, HEALTH, HOME, MUSING | 2 Comments

Dead in the Yard?

In the middle of the night, my husband came by my desk as I was wrapping up some work, looking alarmed:

MK: There is a dead possum in our yard. I believe our dog killed it.
Me, not fully comprehending the implication (rabies! blood gushing out! ewww!), but excited at the prospect of going outside to get some fresh night air: WHAT? Let’s go see!
MK and I walked out to the backyard and lo and behold, there was a small animal lying stock-still on the ground.
Me: How does one dispose of a dead possum? Do you think the police will laugh at us if we call them?
MK chuckled: Yeah, for sure.  Maybe it’s playing dead. I’m not going to touch it.

After silently staring at this ugly animal for 3 minutes in disbelief, both of us crouching on yard chairs, we decided to come inside in case it was playing dead.

Me to the dog: I can’t believe you killed a possum!
MK to the dog: It’s ok, I understand.  It’s in your nature.
Me to MK: but if she killed the possum, shouldn’t we have heard them?  It was so quiet!

I examined the dog, and didn’t see any blood nor scratches on her.  I fed her a Dental Chew™ as a test: if she happily chowed down the treat, she probably didn’t bite off any animal meat; but if she didn’t care for her favorite treat, then chances were high that she might have had a midnight snack (eeewwww!).

MK to the dog and me: Oh, good idea, she needs to clean her teeth!

She happily (might I add, lovingly) chowed down her treat.

Went back to the desk, googled “dead possum in yard”.  Apparently, you leave them there for four hours in case it’s not dead.  HA! So Monkey King was right.

I walked to the room with a view of the yard and turned on the outside light. A pair of beady eyes the color of squid ink stared straight back at me.  Its head moved an infinitesimal millimeter, but I wasn’t sure if I was hallucinating, willing it to move so that we didn’t have to deal with a dead possum tomorrow morning. I called out to Monkey King to come take a look.

MK: oh yeah, the head is in a different position!
Me exhaling, turned to the dog: Wait, you just let a possum come wandering into our yard without notifying us?

Back to the desk, googled: “live possum in yard.”

Do you have possums in your yard? How do you get rid of them?

Also, 30 minutes later, the possum was gone.

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