Thursday, September 27, 2007


I took this photo as we were leaving the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game last Sunday. I just wanted to take a photo of the stadium at night. I also wanted to learn how to use the feature "twilight".

I wish the moon was right over the "i" of the word stadium - that would be neat. But I like the photo and thought the title "Moon over the Stadium" was appropriate as Sunday was the Cardinals' last home game. The mood was not joyous as the Cardinals did not make it to the playoffs this year. There will be no back-to-back as everyone in St. Louis wishes for a repeat from last year World Series Championship. The Cardinals won the Sunday game 4-3 over the Houston Astros.

For me, summer is finally over as 2007-2008 hockey season officially begins next week. I am so ready to see my beloved Red Wings when they come into town in November. October will be 13th anniversary since we moved from Michigan to St. Louis. I will live in St. Louis longer than New York and twice the years in Michigan. I was 19 years old when we came to America as a Vietnamese refugee trying to survive in the new land.

I was full of dreams and energy back then. I dreamed of going back to Viet Nam to fight the communist. I also wanted to work for World Visions, going back to the refugee camp to save my people, the same way I was saved. 27 years later, all I want to do is watching football and hockey on the weekends and listening to Mike & Mike on ESPN in the morning for the latest sports news.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I read in a book that F. Scott Fitzgerald made a remark, "The rich are different from you and me" to Ernest Hemingway, to which Hemingway replied, "Yes, they have more money." I would like to add my comment to that "The rich also get better service at ballgames."

Once a year, a member from my workplace (the Association) gave me two tickets to a Rams game. These are Club level seats at $100 each. You have to show your tickets to gain access into the Club. Notice the fancy pattern carpet covered floor and not the sticky hard concrete ground in the common level, less expensive tickets where poor people are. Notice how roomy the wakway is, not crowded, elbow to elbow with the masses, how the walls are tastefully decorated and how the servers are wearing real restaurant uniforms.

Look at this - real desserts, serving by people who dressed as if they were real bakers. All the pies and fancy pastries instead of typical ice-cream sticks or crummy chocolate cookies.

While the masses in regular areas had to chow down the hotdogs and hamburgers standing around a few wimpy narrow counters or trying to eat at your seats while others constantly trying to get to their seats, also with their trays of food and drinks. At the Club - photo above (Rams-football) and the Redbird - photo below (Cardinals-baseball) there are actual seats and tables where you could sit down and enjoy your meals like civilized people.

The chairs and counter and tables are provided so that the people could enjoy their food while watching the game in action, not from television screens. This area is air-conditioned and we don't want to sweat when it is too warm outside! I confessed that I was willing to pay much more for these Redbird Club tickets because I could not stand being among the masses in the regular area where the seats are tight and we had to stand up so often to let people in and out of their seats. I also had to keep an eye on the people behind us when they carry drinks and nachos filled with hot cheese and chilli because I was afraid that they would drop the trays on our heads!
Inside the Redbird Club (St. Louis Cardinals stadium) there are variety of food stations (photo above) serving real food ranging from typical ballpark hotdogs to pizza, chicken fingers, to pasta and even stir-fried noodles. Of course, there are plenty of pastries and $7.00 for two scoops of creamy Italian ice-cream. Again, notice the wide walkway, not the tight quarter and the shining floor that is constantly being cleaned by the crew, no sticky floor here! Photo below is showing more seating areas and pleasant decorations. Borrowing the words from a character named Rebecca Howe (no relation to Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings) from the TV show Cheers, "I hate rich people until I am one of them". For now, I just want to enjoy the luxury and pretend that I am one of those rich people when attending the ballgames.

Friday, September 21, 2007


I have put up with my husband's teasing the last few weeks about my beloved New England Patriots got caught videotaping signals from the New York Jets defensive coaches onto the field. I wanted to call Coach (Bill) Belichick and ask him one question, "Of all the teams, why bother taping the Jets, to say the least, their defense?".

I saw a Patriots fan held up a sign during a game that read "In Bill We Trust" to show support. The League fined Coach $500K (that is half a million dollars) and the Team $250 (that is a quarter of a million dollars) and 1st round draft or 2nd/3rd round draft depending on where the Patriots would be in the playoffs/Superbowl. Someone commented that all the teams try to create an advantage over other teams. The public only found out when someone got caught doing the actual dirty work. I don't want to believe that the best football team such as the Patriots rely solely on winning by underhanded methods. But why the Jets, a team with defensive line depth problems.

I don't know why I thought of the time when I was accused of cheating and had to prove that I was actually the victim of a classmate who stole my term paper. It was a midterm essay for an Urban Study class at LaGuardia Community College (Queens, New York). The year was 1983. Back then, there were no personal laptops and we all had to go to computer lab to use the terminals and print out on dot matrix computer paper with tractors (holes) along both sides. The front page would list names of the students or the reports. There were two or three printers servicing 15 to 20 terminals. The work-study students would be in charge to separating the print-outs, place the print-outs in the bins labeled by alphabetical order of last names and many times people would take print-outs that belonged to someone else, whether on purpose or honest mistakes!

I wrote the term paper using the terminals but typed the references using my typewriter at home. I don't remember how it happened but either I rushed to another class or to my job and forgot to pick up the print-out. A classmate stole the print-out and submitted under her name. A few days after she did, I spent more time editing and revising, then confidently handed in my term paper with the reference page. The professor only read the first few sentences and decided that since my copy was exactly the same as the paper submitted earlier by my classmate that I must be the cheater.

I was horrified to see an "F", bright red "F" on the cover of my term paper. I never had a grade lower than a C+ in my life! (Yes, I admit that I received a C+ for Calculus. I admit that I was never good with math.) When I finally met with the professor, he explained the reason as mentioned above. I asked him why he did not give me a chance to prove my innocence. I showed him the records from the library of the books I listed in the reference page. I was able to prove that I was the author of the report with all the draft copies I generated. The classmate did not have anything to show except the term paper. I received a "B+" for that essay and an "A" for the class.

That professor had the nerve to call me at work after the semester was over. We met for lunch and I ordered the most expensive item on the menu (to get back at him for putting me thru that horrible experience). After lunch he walked me back to my office. We shook hands and he kissed me on the cheek but never called again.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Last month we found some gnawings around the edges of our picnic table and on all of the four chairs (below). We did not know what kind of animals did such damage. The table and chairs are made of plastic. We wonder what animal would have strong teeth to gnaw thru the plastic and actual left big holes around the corners.

I wish I could take a better photo of this criminal. After I tried to bang on the kitchen window in an attempt to chase this squirrel away, he turned and gave me a look as if saying "What do you want? What are you going to go about it?"
It was as if the squirrel was trying to do the most damage by gnawing at all four corners of the table and all four chairs. The gnawings were most visible and intense along the arm rests.

I finally captured the criminal in the act. I could not believe what I saw. The squirrel laying flat on his stomach, gnawing away our picnic table, even ignoring the flash from my camera. Now I we have evidence, we are planning to file a small claim against this d%#& squirrel for property damage with an intention to cause mental anguish and emotional distress.

My husband found information on the internet from other people who wrote of similar problems with the d&%@ plastic eating squirrel! One person wrote that the squirrel ate away the gas control handle of his expensive grill. My husband then talked to other people at work and someone suggested mixing soap and ground red peper with water, then use a brush to spread the special "love potion" around the gnawings and all the edges. We have not seen the squirrel nor found any new chewing marks. Perhaps the d$#% squirrel left town to avoid paying us the settlement for the damage.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


God Bless America, Land that I Love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.

From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam

God Bless America, my Home sweet Home.
Remembrance September 11, 2001

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


We went to the 1st preseason game of the St. Louis Blues v. Atlanta Thrashers. I was disappointed that Slava Kozlov was not even in the line up for the Thrashers. The Blues loss 3-1. Earlier in the day, we attended the Rams v. the San Francisco 49ers game. The Rams loss 17-16 because Jeff Wilkins missed the field goal with less than 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter. We were not at the St. Louis Cardinals game - the Cardinals loss - no one could blame us for bad luck there! It was not a good day for sport fans in St. Louis.

Saturday, we went to St. Louis Blues FANFest just because there was free hotdogs, popcorn and soda. I paid $4.50 for a bottle of water because I did not want to drink soda. We stood in line for almost a hour and 15 minutes to get autographs of Manny Legace and Keith Tkachuk. Then we rushed home to attend a fundraising dinner. What a busy weekend!

By the time I post this entry, football & hockey regular seasons probably already got started. I will be among the more than 220 millions Americans (3/4 of the populations, mostly men) watching college footballs on Saturdays and NFL on Sundays. (No, I will not discuss Notre Dame at this time.) Among the female viewers, I am one the 14% claim that hockey (NHL) as favorite sport, following by football (NFL) at 37%. I do question the young, slim and beautiful women who attend the games just to be seen, not for the love of the sport. I resent that very much :)

Two weeks ago, we went to a pre-season St. Louis Rams v. Kansas City Chiefs game. The Rams won the game (10-3), posted 2-2 for their exhibition season. The Rams took back the Governor's Cup (a friendly championship trophy) after being defeated the last four years by the Chiefs.

Monday, September 03, 2007


I found this t-shirt at a wine shop. I thought my brother, VL would like it as he is a punster. Turn out VL had an accentric high school teacher named Weinstein.

While visiting Williamsburg, Virginia in July, we went to a restaurant named Food for Thought - Eat - Drink - Think. It is a local favorite as well as tourists who appreciate different atmosphere. The walls were decorated with written famed words by famous people such as Oliver Wendell Holmes, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and of course, Albert Einstein. There are others but I did not think it was appropriate for me to walk around reading all of the words on the walls while standing next to the guests trying to cut his steak or putting dressing on her salad.

Here are a few items on the menu (just to wet your appetite) -

Da Vinci Dippers - Cheese filled ravioli, encrusted with Italian bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, fried golden brown with a side of zesty marinars gravy for dipping.

Fowl Play - That Nutty Chicken, Light as a Feather, (here is my favorite) Thai One On - Thai Rice Noddles and tofu.

You have to Sea it to Believe it - The One that Didn't Get Away (Catch of the Day).

You could check out Food for Thought at to read other items on the menu.

I saw these ceiling fans (above & below) at a restaurant in Hermann, Missouri. The conveyor belts gave a false impression of a power-saving manual mechanical setting. My husband (with a mechanical engineering degree) explained that the fans are powered by electricity, the conveyor belts just provides an old fashion look. How gullible I was! Just like when I was willing to pay more for those labels, "100% organic", All Natural, No Artificial additive, No animals were tested or harmed, etc. on the products - so I could feel good about myself that I was not one of those people destroying the earth!

I thought of my brother, Qaptain Qwerty, when I saw the billboard, "What You Can Do" to save the earth, at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Ah, the wonderful world of blogging and having such an easy-to-use camera, even a caveman can take photos!


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