…Christmas time is coming, once again. I remember I wrote a long entry last year complaining about how people shouldn’t need an excuse like Christmas to love each other and give each other gifts. I still think that way. But I understand Christmas is a special time of year, and that special excuse people need to motivate them to be extra nicer, and to love a bit more. It also facilitates strong romantic passion, as very evident in “Love Actually”. If that movie had been set in another season, the romantic effect would not have been that great, and I would not have cried every time I watched it. I personally don’t give gifts, I don’t receive them either. It’s not because I’m Chinese or Asian, or it’s just my culture like I use to explain a lot of things about my life, I just find it troublesome and stressful.
So what’s left for me in the meaning of Christmas? I guess nothing, really. There wasn’t much to begin with since I’m not a Christian therefore don’t strongly believe in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. And if I hadn’t made the time during finals week to watch “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas”, I would have continued on my life thinking the same. But that special adorable stop-motion episode of Community taught me that the true meaning of Christmas is that a meaning exists. It’s different for every person, whether it’s deep or shallow, it’s still something. Like, for Abed, the meaning of Christmas is sitting with his mother and watching Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer in his dorm room. The meaning of Christmas for me used to be just a long, one to two week break from school. Now it’s that and sitting at home with a fake pine tree decorated with trinkets of things we’ve collected over the years that we now finally have a use for, being bored, and the low sinking disappointed anti-climatic feeling of pointlessness on the morning of the 25th. What’s all the hype about, really?
In this day and age, the hype is just the commercialism created for the holiday season. Which leaves a lot of people like me who have no noble values to hold onto (and who are easily lured into all the commercialism hype because that’s all we’ve ever known about Christmas), with an empty void inside our hearts the second it is over. I’m not being dramatic when I say “inside our hearts”, it literally is like a big empty hole inside my chest. That is what I feel come Christmas morning. I am never ready for the spirit of the season to be over yet, after teasing us for two months that it’s going to be the best thing ever, it’s unfair that it should end this way. But wait, there is a last flicker of hope: New Years. The holiday season isn’t over yet! And so I wait, with cautious anticipation, but I end up bringing in the new year by sitting in my kitchen, drinking orange juice, and watching the fireworks on TV anyway. And it isn’t even that great. I retreat back to my room, lie in bed, and watch “Love Actually”, or reruns of Psych. That actually sounds pretty exciting.
By then, it’s all over. At that point, snow might fall and I might be excited for it, but all I’m waiting for is to go back to school. A fresh new year, a fresh new semester, a fresh new beginning on a long, hard journey to a 4.0 that will never happen. But one can dream.
I wish I can be excited for something and have it actually be exciting. Maybe my standards are too high, maybe I’m like Michael Scott who romanticizes everything. Whatever it is, I shouldn’t think too much on it, live the 25th of December like every other day of the year, just with a shiny big plastic green structure in the shape of a tree in my family room.
1. I hate food.
2. Even after living in America for 13 years, I still don’t understand a lot about it, but I don’t question it anymore.
3. I love awkward dogs.
4. I love fat cats.
5. I got into Yale.
6. I hate getting the door when the doorbell rings.
7. I’m a FOB. (No, Elizabeth, not “faggity old bitch.”)
8. I am completely fluent in Mandarin, I also know how to speak the Hunan dialect and Cantonese >:D singdaanjit faailohk!! nei yaomeiyao gao chou ah?! woh oi nei~
9. I play the piano really well, and have entered in competitions and won.
10. I used to play the accordion really well.
11. When I begin to like someone, I give them a lot of space.
12. My neighbor used to beat me up because he liked me.
13. I love living in America.
14. I only listen to Asian music.
15. I’m super good at video games, which I shouldn’t even have to mention. Have you seen my face?
16. I’m also awesome at math and science things. Again, my face.
17. My mom cooked me 3 different kinds of salmon for my birthday.
18. My face is a lie.
19. I will officially turn 21 in November.
20. I can’t tell the difference between green and jasmine tea.
One of my favorite foods now is the Chinese white radish, also known as 白萝卜 or daikon. It can be eaten raw, but it is so delicious if you stew it in some kind of beef marrow soup or something like that. Or you can make it into a cake! The kind that is served in Dim Sum.
But only my mom knows how to make that, so I make it the easier way.
You basically cut the radish into cube-like pieces, not too thick or they will never get cooked. Or you can chop it into french-fry-shapes, 丝丝. I’m not sure what that’s called in English..
Heat oil in a wok or a pot.
After oil is heated, dump in radish, stir around for a few minutes, allow it to simmer then add a bit of water. Not enough to make it into a soup but enough to stew it for a few minutes. Put a lid on your pot, heat on medium.
Just keep stirring or adding more water if it gets dry until it’s beginning to soften up, add soy sauce or salt or other seasonings.
Stew some more, add meat or other foods you want to eat it with, add water, etc, stew some more.
Basically stew it until it is cooked all the way through. Add chopped green onions for decoration/taste.
I’ve made this many times before at cooking parties and everyone likes it. My parents just bought more radishes so I am so excited to go home and eat them. Happy finals!
Go to my Delicious bookmarks here or here for more.
To my parents,
You cause me pain when you give me nice things. I’m not used to you guys giving me something just because I want it. I realize that I don’t like it and I hate getting things for no reason. I have done nothing for you yet, and seeing you spend so much money on a freaking DSLR camera I’ve wanted for so long pains me because I don’t know if my grades are good enough to deserve such a good thing. It makes me feel worthless and I wish you hadn’t bought it so easily for me. I actually didn’t think you would buy it since I’ve asked for things like a Touch before and there’s always a catch, like “after you make a 2100 on your SAT we will get you anything you want.” Which you knew was not feasible, at all. The only thing I ever spend money on now is food, because for anything else I feel like I’d have to do something to deserve it, and most of the time I don’t. So please stop spending so much money on me (other than college), I’ll give you the health insurance refund when I get it, that’ll cover like a third of the camera. Sorry, 洋洋