America, Day 7

America, Day 7

Woke up to P asking me whether I would care to watch some lectures on cosmology with him. Would I ever! Or rather that was my intention but the combination of the lack of sleep and the announcer’s voice (who would have thought that a British accent could be quite so…soporific?) sent me back into a drowsy state in which I missed the finer points of the neutrinos, photons, atoms and the birth of the Universe. Oh well. We can’t do everything.

I went back to sleep and did some work. Then it was time for another outing, this time to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum.

Here are some pics of the place :



I got some nice shots of the animals but they are too many to post here. Check Flickr if you want.

I must say, it’s heartening to see so many people give of their time, money and effort to help with animal rescue. There IS hope for humans after all. Keep up the good fight people. Gaia needs more like you.

There were 2 school buses outside, and I had some more emotional experiences while seeing the children run around. A Chinese girl with the cutest pigtails you ever did see ran right past me while I was looking at some of the eagles. 21 years ago, that could have been my little sister.

Besides the use of mobile phones, everything looked the same. It was like time never passed…but I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirrored door and I was twice the size that I was when I first lived in the US. Not to mention almost thrice the age.

The warm, caring people, the offhand jokes and chance remarks…this is the California that I remember. And I think I’m a lot better equipped to appreciate it now.
It’s at times like these that I feel that I want to drop everything and move back to the US…but then I return to myself once more and ask an important question. Who’s saying that? My mother’s past fear that says that I have to decide and decide NOW and the cost be damned? My poor, lost and lonely self of many years before?

I don’t need to answer. I don’t, not when it will come to me. The Dharma returns to me once more and I move my consciousness back to the present. Breathe. Breathe. Go over to the car door. Turn the handle. Breathe. Get into the seat, and let the sunshine in.

Had lunch with P and learnt a bit about his life story as well. Turns out he worked in a nuclear submarine at one point! That’s not something you hear every day.

Had lunch at a nice restaurant with a great menu which I have to share :


Peace, love and sushi. I can get behind that.

Went home to deal with such mundane affairs as laundry and grocery shopping. Guests were coming for dinner and I was tapped to bring out my Szechan Surprise…it’s actually not really Szechuan anything, just chillies and other assorted goodies. Don’t tell anyone though.

Planned menu with A and starting defrosted food. God I love cooking. Did I ever tell you that I wanted to be a chef when I was in my mid 20s? Probably good I didn’t though. Chefs lead hard lives…just watch Ratatouille and you’ll know whereof I speak.

Wrote blog post and other stories while waiting for dinnertime. I’m not a bad cook (just ask anyone who’s eaten my food) but I think writing is more my metier.

Oh yes, and also called my old schools, trying to find my teachers. No luck…I got to the schools alright but none of them worked there anymore. Which given the fact that it had been 21 years is not unsurprisingly. The nice black lady on the other line recommended I use Facespace or something. Good idea but that was my first port of call and I still turned up empty.
I went so far as to call the Los Angeles Unified School District but they told me the same thing – that they couldn’t give out confidential employee information. Which made perfect sense. I thanked them and put the phone down, feeling confused and a little lost.

What was I expecting? To be able to find all of them again? Wise Mrs Randle, no-nonsense Mr Weiss, gentle Jeff Felz, and everyone else besides. Yes…yes I was actually. But maybe it was not fated to be. That generation isn’t actually known for their use of Facespace.

I will be able to take tours of the schools though, which is great. I hope I won’t break down in tears when I actually do get to LA. If I do, though, well…whatever happens, happens.
More of A’s art :



Wrote somemore. Finished up a story or two as well. This trip has been fantastic for me…it’s accelerating my creativity by leaps and bounds. Could there also perhaps be some time for more Gundam Unicorn?

There was. Got to about halfway through Episode 5. Had to stop before the big fight. Didn’t want so much feels before I had to cook.

Speaking of cooking…using another’s kitchen is always kind of new and exciting. You don’t know where everything is. You don’t know what condiments and seasonings they have. You don’t even know HOW they cook.

You know the adage “too many cooks spoil the broth?” It should be more aptly named “get the fuck out of my way when I’m in the kitchen.” There’s a reason why there’s only one chef and one sous-chef in any given restaurant…you can’t have TWO commanders in chief!

Anyway, for today’s dinner I was the guy in charge because I was making most of the dishes. I needed to debone a chicken in double-quick time because a) they apparently didn’t sell chopped chicken in the US and b) A had no cleaver. Thankfully I had done that before. So I did it the ghetto way – use a kitchen knife for what I could do, and then rip the rest in half with my bare hands. Caveman cooking, there’s nothing quite like it.

A remarked that my cooking was very Japanese style, with everything being cut into little pieces that could be picked up easily with chopsticks. She’s…actually right. I’ve never thought of it being that way before, but yeah, I do tend to cut everything kind of small. Shortens cooking time, for one.

More pics of the food! Looks good don’t it? It tasted even better.



Everyone liked it. I keep on forgetting that as Mei An once remarked, no one who has ever eaten my food has complained. Some of the people I had dinner with earlier came over. Richard (who is no slouch at cooking himself!) liked it, and that was a compliment of the highest order.

The bathroom mat got soaking wet because I forgot that you put the shower curtain on the INSIDE rather than on the OUTSIDE. Everyone at dinner got a good laugh about that. Sometimes it’s the small differences between countries that matter the most…bathroom mats, shower curtains, when dinnertime is, no deboned chicken or choppers. As I often remind myself, not everything needs to be some Incredibly Emotional Life-Changing Event. Life is often just…life, wherever in the world it may be.

Kind of excited about tomorrow. I’ll be seeing D and P again for the first time in months. They are very dear friends of mine and have taught and given me much. Also, we’re going to sing, and everyone who knows me knows how much I love singing!

So many things to learn about blogging and video editing and God knows what else…I’ve got my work cut out for me in the foreseeable future.

Went to watch more Gundam Unicorn. It’s as powerful as ever, and best taken in small doses. Halfway through Episode 5. It’s good therapy actually, in many different ways…learning that emotional things can be good but don’t need to be SO GODDAMN EMOTIONAL.

Banagher may end up being my favorite Gundam pilot, after like 17 years of watching Gundam.

He has Domon’s fury, Setsuna’s resolve, Amuro’s intution, Camille’s resistance, and Usso’s innocence. As well as a kindness all of his own. And his hair…gotta love that fluffy fluffy hair!
And the Unicorn! What a mobile suit. I don’t think it will beat the Type-2 Quanta (the only Gundam ever designed for peace instead of war…it literally HAS NO WEAPONS) but it’s fucking awesome. It’s only possibly the only mobile suit that has fought on both Federation and Zeon lines.

More random scenery pics :





Had more to write but in the spirit of new things decided to just end things here for today. It’s been a long post and a long day in any case.

では、次の機会にマジンゴーーーー!(Alright then, until the next time, Mazin Gooooooooooooooooo!)
ずっと言ったかった、あのセリフ。。。(I’ve always wanted to say that line.)

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