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    Born to Run by Christopher McDougall - (K) Humorous and thorough history and science behind ultrarunners and long-distance running
    *****
    Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela - (K) An autobiography covering his childhood, years as a freedom fighter and incarceration. Inspiring and informative
    *****
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - (K&T) A mystery set in Barcelona involving an old book, a failed writer and murder
    *****
    Lush Life by Richard Price - A Lower East Side tale of cops, drugs and drinking
    ***
    The Chinese by Jesper Becker - (K&T) Modern history of my peeps, from the cultural revolution to the many failed economic and social attempts to move the country forward
    ***
    Setting the Table by Danny Meyer - A "how-to" on hospitality and business acumen by the restaurateur behind such NY institutions as the Shake Shack and Union Square Grill
    ***
    The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama - Obama lays out what is wrong with the current government and how, vaguely, to change it.
    **

Auf Wiedersehen und Hallo Dies!

Diesel has been traveling tons, and after his London trip, he spent one day in Germany. Literally: one day. One day flying in, one day flying out, one actual day in Berlin for his meeting.

Like a little kid, I have gotten into the habit of making sure Diesel knows that if he’s going to leave me by myself, he needs to bring me a present from his trip. With him traveling so much, this has become quite an expensive habit, but for a girl who got a belt (YES, a BELT) and a story book in ENGRISH (this is when I did not know any Engrish) from her Dad who was returning from trips, I decided to make up for the lame presents I got as a kid by, once again, putting the burden of my happiness on Diesel’s shoulder.

So this time, with only one day in what is arguably one of the coolest cities in Europe, he did very very good…Here’s what he got me (the BEST present EVER!). Thanks Dies!

German goodies

(top from left to right: butter cheese, fresh cheese, granola, rye bread)

(bottom from left to right: multi-grain bread, rustic wasa crackers)

(that’s the reason why I gained over 10 pounds after my year in Germany!)


The Bad Daughter

As most of you know, my parents were here to celebrate our birthdays week. We all have birthdays in May, so I thought it’d be great to celebrate it all together. So my folks were in the city for a week, and although I took some time off to hang out with them, the question remained: What would they do here for a week?

After much thinking, I decided to put them in the famous Fung Wah bus. That’s right, the famous Chinatown to Chinatown bus! Here’s how it works:  go from the Chinatown of a major East Coast city to any other Chinatown of another major East Coast city for no more than $15 each way. That’s like over 10 times cheaper than the train. The bus goes to NY, DC, Boston, Toronto, you name it, my peeps will take you there for a very friendly rate. Continue reading

Angry Asian vs. Stupid Old Man: The Final Duel, or The HATED Donald Duck

Have you ever worked with somebody really really dumb? I’m sure you have. In my life, this person is Donald Duck. After you read this post, you will realize that this co-worker’s Disney character codename is the only jolly thing about him.

So why Donald Duck? Because he spends many work hours idly, doing things that are either too dumb or too revolting for me to describe in full detail; amongst these things is his impression of Donald Duck, with full on character impersonation: crooked duck legs and spit hitting us from all sides while he laughs loudly up and down the hallway at his imagined hilariousness. Continue reading

Thanks Fabulous Peeps!

Thank you all for your calls, e-mails, e-cards, blog comments, Facebook messages, etc wishing me a happy bday. I haven’t had a chance to respond to each of you individually, but I shall.

I spent my 31st bday–yes, as Diesel says, I’m OLD–with my parents and Diesel. We went to dinner at a Brazilian restaurant in the Village called CASA. The funny thing is that only a couple of days later, David went there too. It’s unanimous: the food there is awesome!

I’m old, and I don’t get very many presents anyway, but I can always count on Diesel getting me something really fab. From my trip to Barcelona, to my trip to Paris, to my beautiful green iPod mini, I spend a good part of  the days leading up to any meaningful holiday (including my bday) delighting myself in speculating about what Diesel will get me. Because he set the bar so high, anything less than fabulous would be a disgrace and positively spoil my celebration. I, on the other hand, have never really gotten him anything fabulous, so I really have nothing to live up to (Now you know who is the smarter one of the two of us). Continue reading

Happy Birthday Kelly!

You’re now 31. aka old. I hope you like your present!

Return

I’m hungover, tired. Taking the train to Luton Airport, 40 minutes north of the city by First Capital Connect train service. Seated next to others hopping an EasyJet flight to somewhere warmer, sunnier. Listening to Barbara singing “I don’t want to live without you” while watching the lush green countryside pass by. Many others waiting to catch the train the other direction, to their jobs in the city. Listening to the iPod provides both a connection and disconnection to the world around me.

Continue reading

If You Wanna Help…

victims of the earthquake in China, the Red Cross is always a reliable and legitimate organization where you can send your donations to.  The good thing is that you can actually earmark your contributions for this very cause by clicking here.