Wednesday, January 26, 2011


My group at work has an opening. I handed a hard copy of a friend's resume to Manager in Charge of this hiring. The resume in transit is four pages long. We are all eager to sell expose ourselves for jobs we want, but at four pages it probably is not going to hit the point. Also, a third party tête-à-tête is tad more efficient. The irony is I just realized those after MiC talked to me at my cube a few minutes after I handed him that resume.

"Is he/she a smart PhD? Because if he/she is not, then..." he asked me point blank.

"Where do you think I put my allegiance on, I handed you the resume."

I only wished I had the courage to speak that up; secondary, it also feels like a slap in the face-we need (a) whole other post(s) for self pity. Instead, I tried to sell my friend out to the best of my ability.

"...he easily adapts to new fields...he was an intern here...yes, he is smart, I was a his defense...bla bla bla..."

"Let me think about it," said MiC.

I think I just failed my poor friend.

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Year New Responsibility

Pseudo-boss: "Happy?" He chugged a devilish laugh.
He was walking by my cubicle this afternoon. I was pulled out from his project to another one by my Big Boss (which is really at the same level as P-B 's) last week. This week feels brand new to me. I have never been this scared working on a new project. The past two years I was a baby learning to walk. Somebody always grabbed my arms and shielded me from falling hard. This new project is that baby running.

Me: (Shrugs) "I don't know what to expect. But I have a big meeting with Big Boss tomorrow."

P-B: "Don't worry, he'll explain A to Z." Devilish laugh part deux commenced.
So, here is to self-development. Gotta remind myself that I am not in this only for the money.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Last night when I got home,

Xindy: What's for dinner, Babe?

Hubbostrich: Something with meat sounds good.

Xindy: Does chicken count as meat?

Hubbostrich: Yeah!

Xindy: OK, think exactly what you want for dinner while I'm excusing myself to the bathroom.

Hubbostrich: OK!

Xindy is back.

Xindy: So..?

Hubbostrich: Chicken with Aaron's famous rub, baked potato chips, oh, and some salad.

Xindy: OK, sounds good to me!

Hubbostrich: Don't we need wine?

Xindy: Hmm..yeah...

Hubbostrich: Wanna walk to Safeway with me? I have this one in mind.

Xindy: What is it?

Hubbostrich: Remember the spicy cabernet?

Xindy: Oh yeah, that'll go with the spicy rub, and it's cheap too. What is it called? I don't have it written down on my black book.

Hubbostrich: Hmm...I don't quite remember, it has red blots on the label and somethingCatholic.

We managed to walk to the store and,

Xindy: I don't know where it is, Babe.

Hubbostrich: Oh, it's somewhere in here. Ah, here it is.

Later that night he accidentally let out that he was at Safeway earlier that afternoon for something else but managed to browsed thru the cabernet section and liberally had this bottle in mind.

What is the point of this blog post you ask? Well, I just want to share that I used to have a 100% success rate in detecting Hubbostrich scams. This time I failed, I was scammed into thinking that it was purely his innocent choice of wine for the dinner we have had just discussed.

I should be more attentive. Clue number one, there's no way he remembers informations as trivial as those. And the way he said was a tad too coy. "Red blots"? It is actually called Red. "Something Catholic?" It is from St. Francis Winery. Clue number two, it was not more than two seconds between my question of the wine whereabout and when he found the targeted wine.

You know, Bibi, Tiger Xinda never makes the same mistake twice. She definitely will detect scam-in-progress better next time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Nothing strikes my senses a couple of mornings ago other than stumbling upon this article via a certain microblogging. It sucessfully raises my blood pressure as well as mental confussion, the article hit bases too close. As we all know, Hubbostrich and I have teamed up on the so-called Western-Asian household model for a couple of months and counting now and we do have a few ideas on raising our future children "succesfully", certainly not the Tiger Mom way.

Anyhow, after a careful examination, the WSJ footnote mentioned that the article is an excerpt of an upcoming book by the author. So it is more than possible that controversy is intended as part of book marketing. Although, I am not sure how succesful this gimmick is for your more-than-average pedestrian. I, myself, am going to wait for a library copy instead of wasting a couple of hard earned yuen on it. I guess it is not hard to infer what we could get out the book. I sincerely placing hope it is not a how-to manual for every day Tiger Mom but more like a memoir, shall we say, a path to author's parenting-discovery.

This other microblogging site, on the other hand, succesfully brought us a lighter, I mean sarcastic, note on the subject. I must say it is a much better channel to direct your disapprovement. I can't stop LoLing on its almost daily witty one liner (and footnote) and don't get me started on the Asian MILF, she totally images the original Tiger Mom's profile.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

St. Claire Cooking

Tonight I discovered French provencale cooking by chance. A recent bout of vegetarianism leads me to buying a large eggplant thinking to make somekind of lasagna. Hubbostrich, though, had some craving for cheeseless, hence less calories, pasta dish. We consulted this indispensable book for an eggplant recipe and stumble on Ratatouille Provencale.

As always, yours truly and her partner in crime never stay true to a recipe. We modified JoC's recipe even added some ground beef (the vegetarian me is finally cured after a week) and some purple head cabbage to the hearty stew. I also boiled some elbow macaroni and toasted rye bread as side dishes.

I couldn't really identify what is so good about it. It's probably just the amalgamation of all natural glutamates in the tomatoes and the onion, shallots, and the sweetness and flavors of the vegetables including the eggplant and the beef taste in the background and the hint of vermouth.

Bibi and I each had to come back two more times for a total of six helpings between us (recipe was for 8 servings) and was left with small container for somebody's lunch tomorrow. If that is not enough to testify on how good the stew is maybe you should come visit us and we will cook it for you.

Without anymore ado, here is our recipe.

Xindy's Ratatouille St. Claire

On dutch oven,

heat up 1/2 c olive oil

pour in

approximately 2 c (1 lb) 1" x 1" cubed peeled eggplant
1 c julienned purple head cabbage

cook covered until tender, approximately 10 minutes.

Remove vegetables from dutch oven onto a dish.

Season with salt and black pepper.

On dutch oven,

brown approximately 1/4 lb ground beef

pour in 1/4 c dry vermouth

cover and cook with medium heat approximately 15-20 minutes (if started from frozen state).


1 clove sliced shallot
1/4 c sliced onion
1 sliced red bell pepper (yellow will work too, this is mainly for color)
3 sliced cloves of garlic

Cook at medium heat for 3-5 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add to the mixture

1 can of Italian tomatoes
1 tbs of sliced fresh sage
2 bay leaves
1 tbs of fresh rosemary
1 1/2 c water

Cook for another 10 minutes.

Reduce to low heat, add the eggplant and cabagge mixture, cover and cook for another 20 minutes.

Bon appétit.

Xindy's Ratatouille St. Claire

Friday, January 07, 2011

Office 2011

New year, new resolution, new hope for a better life.

This year I started at the 9 x 9 ft square patch of green box where I perch during some of my hours at the office. The project started in the spur of the moment the second day of work in 2011. I acquired a gently used white board from the division secretary by chance of reading her email a few minutes after she had sent it. And then a manager walked by with an LCD monitor and offered it to me. After another acquisition of keyboard a secondary work station was ready for me to use.

While I was rerouting cables and such to set up the work station, it striked me to clean up around the cubicle. After all, this little space is considered a second home and who in the right mind doesn't appreciate a clean living space. So, I threw away boxes and what not and rearranged stationeries and office stuff around. I then consulted the internet and my dedicated online designer to help me with decoration.

I touched up, cut out, and affixed some flower patterns from MS Publisher template to the rolling door of one of the shelves to the left of my work station. I decided to have shades of purple as color theme. Leaves (and two four-leaf clovers for good luck) cut out were added to fill in some left out spaces.

Cubicle revamped 2011

To continue the flower and color theme, I added this wicker basket that contain artificial tulips. This printed Periodic Table of the Elements has been with me for some time and I think the table and the tulips look lovely placed side by side.

Cubicle revamped 2011

One of my undying passions is to be learned in Latin, as such one of my favorite mottos is naturally in the language of interest. MS Publisher template striked again. I printed the motto into a tweaked template on a brochure paper and affixed it on the corner of the cover of the shelf on my right.

Cubicle revamped 2011

The other part of the right shelf rolling door is decorated with postcards from the places I have been on road trips. Postcards to me are such inexpensive useful mementos that posses minimum dust acquisition tendency.

Cubicle revamped 2011

That is it for now but I figure am not done with revamping yet. Next in line is some lighting to warm up the place and to use the wall behind me for further decor.

Happy New Year.