April 30, 2007

I'm cheating again. I'm posting this message a day before the actual date. Today commemorates the official fall of Saigon 32 years ago. I have very mixed emotions about the current situation in Vietnam. Yes, the war ended a few decades ago and the country's economy continues to grow exponentially. It was the second fastest growing economy after China last year or was it the year before. With all the gain in commerce and a rise in the country's standard of living, the country still lags in political freedom and freedom of expression. Furthermore, it is still a third world country. My parents are harsh anti-communists and continue to speak ill of the current regime. I would tell them that we are all people of Vietnamese descent. No one really wants to talk about the war any more. Everyone just wants to make money and live happily ever after. If we are supposed to forget and forgive, are we also dismissing what our parents had to endure so their children can reap the endless benefits and opportunities of America? If they stayed back after the war, who knows what I will be doing right now. I can tell you that I would not be in New York doing what I want. The weather was nice for the Cherry Blossom Festival in Brooklyn. TL did an awesome job taking snapshots of the crew. It was another big outing. Joel was late as usual. Everyone else was on time. Ronald practiced his Japanese on Yumiko. I learned how to say "Hello, how are you?". I'll try it out at my daily visits to the Japanese bakery across the street from my basement office. Prof. Anthony and John, it was great meeting you guys. Our paths will definitely cross again either here or on the west coast. All the best with your edumacation! I am ready for some spicy curry beef jerky and candied grapefruit!

April 29, 2007

I have "Last Night" on repeat thanks to the DJ at Players. I tend to discover "cool" songs months after the general public have already grown tired of the "old" song. I first heard "To the Left" as I drove my old car during holiday break in New Orleans. I then I asked my sister if she liked Beyonce's new song. She laughed in my face and told me that I was behind the times as usual. I received a similar reaction when I mentioned a Shakira song to Carolyn. She thought I was referring to Shakira's latest song. BTW, how was your date? You never called. Joel, you need to edit some more pictures. Replace Abhishek Bachchan with your face so it will look like you married Aishwarya Rai. You and Abhishek are practically brothers. Off to Brooklyn today!

April 28, 2007

Money shots, anyone? TL and her very interesting comments...that's one thing I'll definitely miss about her. I still hate drinking. Someone is in trouble for not calling last night. I am disappointed once again. Momofuku was going to be a long wait so we did Kenka instead. Kenka had a wait as well, but they had cheap Japanese beer. It was an obvious choice. Maru was nice and sleek. However, we could not get a table so we settled for Players where it was not crowded. Alex hui shuo putonghua. I of course responded with "wo bu ming bai ni shuo shenme?". If my Mandarin is as good as Ron's Japanese, I'll be very content.

April 27, 2007

Dr. Montgomery got slammed and so did Meredith! The preview for next week's episode reveals that Dr. Montgomery will drive off to start her new spin-off show. Oh, and she wants to get pregnant! Richard Gere is going to get arrested for displaying PDA (public display of affection) in India. No wonder those Bollywood flicks don't have on-screen kisses. Carole, has it been a year since I departed? It did not seem like a year. It went by too fast. Brad, thank you again for veering off into Little Saigon. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. I cannot wait to eat those grapefruit candy and spicy curry beef jerky. I'm also excited about their mail-order option. I had no clue they can ship those dried delights. How was Laguna? Did you check any potential property? Chang, how was your last day at Saks?

April 26, 2007

It was like a Korean soap opera. There were some moments when the subtitles were too fast for my slow reading. The Koreans can say so little yet mean so much. Last night's episode was okay. I thought Juliet was going to kidnap Sun and lock her up in that secret room where other mothers died. Jin definitely did not impregnant Sun. Juliet gave Sun a shot of her juice that made Sun pregnant. Let's see if Sun will last after the second trimester. Asia is the new pussycat doll. I was flipping back and forth between Chelsea's solo performance and Josh Groban's "You Raised Me Up" on American Idol. The latter was pretty dramatic. I donated $25. I suggest you all do the same. Asia and Melissa were fighting about who was bitchier while A.I. showed images of poor children in Africa. That just goes to show you why the world hates us.

The world's newest power couple!

April 25, 2007

I'm fine with my Movado. That's all I can afford right now. David, do you even work any more? I keep getting these crazy e-mails from you about random things. They are funny, but I'm starting to wonder if Deloitte really needs you. KIDDING! Good editing work on the pho clip, Joel. It was hilarious seeing your friend's face when she saw the raw beef. I'm glad she warmed up the broth in the microwave. I think it's okay to put the meat in the broth when you are heating in the microwave. This will ensure the meat is fully cooked. I never really eat pho "to go". It is better if you eat it at a restaurant where they serve it to you. I had awesome Malaysian food last night. The udon noodle soup was super spicy. The curry with these greasy pancakes for appetizer was the best. Best curry I've had in a long time. It was good food with great folks. BTW, apparently there is a shuttle van that takes people from Chinatown to Queens at the corner of Elizabeth and Hester...or Broome. They drop you off at a destination in Queens and you go from there. I also learned that H.O. is not "hat oh". Thanks, Kim-Anh (with a rising tone)! Brad, got any color yet?

April 24, 2007

Chang is coming to New York three days before her original date. Why is she coming early? I have no freakin clue. We were going to do a big welcome thing for her on the weekend, but we can't anymore because miss thing got antsy. Oh well, we'll have other red carpet events. Sandrine, glad to hear you will make it back to the city soon. It's been months and I cannot believe you have been paying for your apartment ever since December. Your roommates should have rented out the room on a month-to-month deal. Yumiko, I hope you feel better before the weekend. I will need your help with translations. This Sunday will be my first time visiting Brooklyn. I still need to see the Bronx and Staten Island. I made it to Queens last summer for the dragon boat race. Brad, enjoy all those In-and-Out burgers while you can!

April 23, 2007

We live in a crazy world. I was studying yesterday at Bobst Library. The study area was very quiet. A girl goes up to a guy at a table next to me and starts screaming at him. She told him it was none of his business if she was saving a reserved room for her friend. She then rambled on and used quite a bit of profanity. The guy responded and told her to go f*ck herself. This all happened within two minutes...an outburst out of nowhere. Five minutes later, another confrontation ensues around the corner. A guy and girl demanded that a girl get out of a study room because they reserved it for themselves. The girl in the room, in return, demanded that the couple provide documentation to show that the room was reserved. The couple did not have the documentation on them so they went to a workstation to print out the proof. They returned ten minutes later by barging into the study room. After some exchange of words, the girl left the study room and the couple got the room they initially reserved. I also felt a bit uncomfortable taking two comfy arm chairs as my own because one of the chairs was used to prop my legs. People were walking all around the floor looking for chairs and tables. The library was obviously crowded because finals are coming up. I left the library a couple hours later and walked outside to this season's second day of perfect weather. The sun was bright and there was a slight breeze. Let's hope France gets its first female leader. You hear that Hillary? Yah, we got a place to stay in Houston!

April 22, 2007

I'm cheating a bit by posting this entry one day ahead of schedule. It has been almost a year since I started working out at the Palladium (NYU's gym). This morning I realized that each cardio machine is hooked up to the flat screen TV's. Each TV is set on a different channel. Also, the TV's are on mute and there is never any closed captioning. I always asked myself how people can watch the TV's without any sound or closed captions. As I was on the stair machine this morning, I noticed two girls in front of me with their headphones inserted into a little device attached to their respective treadmills. I thought those things were to track your heart rate. I unplugged my headphones from my IPOD and stuck them in the little device. It was pure magic! I started hearing voices. The device allows me to listen to the different channels on the many TV's. I can choose which channel I want and can adjust the volume accordingly. I looked at everyone else around me. They all had their headphones attached to the little device. I felt like an idiot! All this time I have been listening to the same crap on my IPOD. I can now watch the news and hear Betty Nguyen give the weekend edition on CNN. I no longer need to read the news ticker or read her lips. We have such amazing technology!!! Alec Baldwin is a wifebeater. Let's build a wall to separate the Sunnis and the Shiites. Yeah, that will fix the sectarian violence in Iraq! My love, Aishwarya Rai, has wed Abhishek Bachchan. I will be in mourning for the next three months.

April 21, 2007

If you are ever given a choice of who should ship your package, never choose FedEx. They leave you a door tag stating that your package is at their facility if you wish to pick it up. When you get to their facility, the package is not there because the delivery guy is attempting to deliver it again. It's very frustrating. Go with the ole U.S. Postal Service or UPS. Today is "I hate FedEx" day! Chi San, buying insurance from your employer will always be cheaper than buying on your own. Brad, enjoy your vacation and make sure to get some color while you are in Cali. Chang, stop all that smack about coming here early. It's not worth it!

April 20, 2007

Here is another story for you, Carolyn. Joe walked Harvey this morning. As he approached the East River, a lady was getting mugged by two guys. The lady yelled out for help. The two guys ran in opposite directions. Joe ran after one of the guys, but was held back because Harvey was going the other way. Joe managed to hold one of the guys back for a split second, but the guy ran off. The victim ran after the other guy. This happened earlier this morning around 7AM. Can you believe it? That's just insane! Chang, why do you care what time I come home on Wednesdays? You will be on your own when you get here so don't worry about me. Last night's "Grey's" was okay. The best scene was when Jane Doe kicked Alex out of her room. It was pretty dramatic. I hope her family finds her soon. Is Jane Doe this season's "Denny"? I was at NYU's screening of "An Inconvenient Truth" last night. We need to seriously do something NOW! For those who have not seen the documentary, please rent it and order it through Netflix. The facts are disturbing. If we do not do anything right now, our children and grandkids will not be able to enjoy the many wonders of mother nature. Recycling is a good way to start. Vote for politicians who give a damn about the environment! Conserve energy whenever you can. Use mass transit or carpool if you cannot walk. The list is endless. Happy Earth Day!

April 19, 2007

I'm glad I have a handful of readers out there who regularly visit my website. It's nice to know I am entertaining those five people. This website will continue as long as you five people return on a regular basis. I could name all five people here, but I would feel guilty for leaving the possible sixth person out. Who was that Indian girl who landed on the island last night and how does she know Desmond? Poor Sawyer was used by Kate to get back at Jack. Jack is an idiot. Brad, that one remaining cupcake has your name all over it. I took the two crossaints because they need to be consumed this morning. They won't be any good in the afternoon.

April 18, 2007

It's all about gun control. If we get rid of all the guns in America, our country will be as safe as Canada, Western Europe, and Japan.

April 17, 2007

It was a very pleasant commute to work this morning. Last night on my way to Chinese class, a homeless man laid flat on his back on a sidewalk. His eyes were closed. People passed him up like it was no big deal. No one asked if he was okay. I was guilty as well. I sneaked a peek at him and moved on like everyone else. I then felt guilty for not waking him up. I learned from psych class that people tend not to help in public because the responsibility is shared among everyone. In other words, if I was alone and found him lying in the ground, it would have been my responsibility to see if he was okay. Since the guy was out in public, I figured someone else would tend to him. There were two college-aged kids taking snapshots of the homeless guy from a distance. Maybe it was an experiment to see if people would do something about it or maybe he was dead and no one cared. Carolyn, "Girlfriends" was a re-run. You didn't miss anything. Brad, are you alive? Good luck with your lecture today. I take it you were busy preparing for the lecture.

April 16, 2007

Will this crazy rain ever stop? Yesterday morning, I managed to leave the apartment to get some stuff from the Home Depot. In preparation for Chang's coming, I bought a medicine cabinet, bathroom towel rack, coat rack, and a shoe storage thing-a-ma-jig. Joe is going to install a mirror mural in the hallway. It's like we are renovating our closet...oh, I meant apartment. I'm not sure about the captain's bed. The full size is very comfy. I'd hate to be constrained to a twin size mattress. We'll see. If you ever buy airline tickets from American Airlines, you have a 24-hour window to change the ticket and not have a fee incurred. I'm not sure about other airlines. Just remember that you have 24 hours to change your ticket from the time of purchase. I experimented with Wikipedia and it failed. It was fun while it lasted. I had no ideas Wikipedia had controls in place to prevent "graffiti". Happy Birthday, Chang!

April 15, 2007

The best filipino food is at Grill 21 on 21st between 1st Ave. and 2nd Ave. Well, I really can't compare it to another filipino place because it was my first time eating it. It reminded me of my mom's cooking. The haro haro dessert is very similar to the Vietnamese che ba mau with all its red bean, tapioca, jelly, jackfruit, and passion fruit. It was very yummy. Ronald, thank you again for recommending the place. I am going to try their brunch menu next time. Check out the intense argument between Geraldo Rivera and Bill O'Reilly.

April 14, 2007

The weather is beautiful today. Tomorrow we are going to get that messy weather that Dallas got yesterday. Carolyn, thank you for keeping me posted on Dallas. I can't believe a tornado ventured down 635 and ended up in Rowlett. I hope no one was injured. Don't park in someone else's car canopy unless it is reserved for you. I can't stress this enough! I would have left you a nasty note if you parked in my spot. Luckily, I no longer need to worry about such things. I have crazy people and slow walkers to deal with now. No one ever wakes up at 9AM on a Saturday morning. Today was different. The post office was ridiculously packed with last minute folks dropping off their income tax filing. I guess there are still those who file the old way...SNAIL MAIL!

April 13, 2007

When are they ever going to show a new episode of "Grey's Anatomy". I think I am losing interest in that show. I am running out of patience. They need to produce new episodes each week from September to May. If those daytime soap opera people can do it year-round, why can't prime time folks follow suit? I need to seriously find a new hobby instead of watching TV. It's pretty pathetic. John, I collect magnets and postcards. I am easily pleased if I get one of those items. Chang, it's the UPPER EAST SIDE (79th and York). That's all you need to say. Carolyn, now there is another reason for you to come and visit.

April 12, 2007

I met Ly Tong last night. He is the anti-communist activist who hijacked a Vietnam Airlines plane to drop anti-propaganda leaflets over Vietnam. I believe he hired a private jet the second time he did it. He also dropped anti-Castro leaflets in Cuba. The man had a lot to say. We then went to dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown where they had a fundraising gala to benefit the American Cancer Society. Somehow we ended up with two round tables at the back. I left early so I could be home in time for "Lost". I knew Juliet was a spy. Why would they leave her handcuffed with Kate when everyone left? I just knew it! Why is she staying for only a week? I gave up wireless at home. It is so much faster connecting your laptop to an ethernet cable. Amazon.com has the cheapest goods and the fastest delivery time. Buy more than $25 per order and you don't pay shipping. Let's not forget that Amazon.com has always been tax free. BTW, don't forget to wikipedia "Toan Nguyen". Cheers!

April 11, 2007

Carolyn, where are pictures from Shauntae's wedding? I still hate slow walkers. Cars should run over people who play with their electronic gadgets while crossing the street. Yes, I still watch television shows on regular TV. Who needs cable? I still sneeze loudly. My "office" mates are getting tired of blessing me. They are also irritated because I scare the crap out of them when I let out a loud burst of noise. I went to an allergist a few years ago. The allergist found that I was allergic to quite a few things, including indoor dust. To be free of the allergen, I would need to give myself shots of medicine daily for almost six months. I declined the treatment plan because it was too much for me to handle. Sorry guys...you'll just have to get used to my LOUD sneezing for now. When my noise is falling off due to constant loud sneezing, I may reconsider the treatment plan. Happy Hump Day!

April 10, 2007

I got an e-mail from Jonathan about a beer party on campus. How the heck are you going to throw a social with beer on campus? I always thought UTD was a very conservative school. Anyways, I think he included me in the e-mail distribution by mistake because I am no longer "local". It's nice to know the IIA Student Chapter at UTD is still going strong. Brad, thanks for making me lose 30 more minutes of sleep this morning. Ronald, we'll definitely connect again the last weekend in April when TL's buddy gets here. The cherry blossom festival or whatever festival it is sounds pretty cool. TL, I hope the Sbarro pic finds you well. Sorry, I have strict guidelines regarding my Facebook album:-)

April 9, 2007

It's official! Chang will be making her debut here in New York next month. We will have a red carpet affair to welcome her to the big apple. Pork chops in exchange for stamps, Crumbs cupcakes, and a Dunkin Donuts decaf. Not a bad deal, eh? I'll try to replenish your supplies because you are in dire need of basic essentials. BTW, I got hot water this morning right off the bat. It was a pleasant surprise.

April 8, 2007

Life father like son! I watched "Legally Blonde" last night on TBS. What happened to censorship? None of the bad words were dubbed or bleeped out. Am I missing something here? I understand that TBS is a BASIC (very basic) cable channel, but when did it align with Showtime and HBO as the almighty networks for profanity? Instead of going to church every Sunday morning, I have been going to the gym. After the gym, I walk over to Vanessa's Dumplings for two orders of pork dumplings and a mango latte smoothie. This has been a regular thing for me in the past few weeks. If it's not dumplings, then it's banh mi in Chinatown. Speaking of which, a new banh mi place opened up in Midtown East. The trend is slowly heading uptown. Happy Easter!

April 7, 2007

Melanie, that was hilarious! Very funny! When I saw the clip, I thought to myself...sheesh, she sure does look like Chang's "friend". I thought she is from the westbank. What is she doing on the eastbank? Carolyn, stop playing around when you get home from work. Time to get productive! My hands are freezing. I just ate a cup of vegan chili from Karen's. I hate vegan food, but it's the best chili in town. I managed to stash some snacks in my backpack. They will come in handy later when I yearn for munchies. Happy Birthday, Addison! Have a great time at the Children's Museum!

April 6, 2007

Thanks to TL, I saw my first Broadway production..."The Color Purple". It was an awesome show because it had all the emotions one can expect. It was lively, colorful, and just a celebration of life. My favorite number was "Push Da Button". Expect some lesbian action, brief nudity, a bit of profanity, and a lot of attitude! Times Square was packed with pedestrians. The cold, windy weather did not do justice to my new trench coat. I think I am one of five people working today. No one was up this morning. My bus ride to the train station is normally packed to the capacity. This morning, there was a total of six people on the bus. I feel like it's the last day of work before winter break. If my employer gave everyone off today, they would need to observe Rosh Hashanah or Eid ul-Fitr as well. Happy Good Friday!


(Thanks, David!)

April 5, 2007

Sanjaya made it through another week. He reminds me of Mariela on the pussycat dolls show. Yes, I watch that show too. Too bad she can't sing. America should not be given the choice to vote. I am all for the electoral college because we suck when it comes to voting. All competitions should be judged by a panel of folks who are somewhat qualified to critique. Oh, and what is up with that black smoke? If Kate et al can jump over the invisible wall, why did the black smoke not jump over the wall too? Where the heck did John and everyone else go? I think they left Juliet behind to spy on the stranded.

April 4, 2007

It was freezing this morning. Luckily I had on my long coat. I did my spring cleaning over the weekend. All my winter clothes were stashed away. I had to reclaim the long coat from storage this morning. We are going to have cold weather through the weekend. It looks like Chang may move to New York after all. Let's see if my dad will have a problem with his little girl moving out of the house. Addison no longer cries when he gets dropped off at school. He waves goodbye to his grandma instead of crying his butt off. He is, however, less disciplined now. This is according to his grandparents. They notice that he is a bit more outgoing. Well, it's good to know he is around his peers instead of being couped up in grandma's house all day watching "Paris By Night". I still think he will be an awesome Vietnamese singer one day. Nguyen Ngoc Ngan and Nguyen Cao Ky Duyen will be all over him!

April 3, 2007

I participated in a focus group that wanted my opinion on online communities. Since I am a big Facebook fanatic, I could not resist and offered my opinion. They also provided free pizza and drinks so that probably had something to do with me participating in the discussion. After an hour long discussion on blogging, networking, and photo sharing, it was unanimous that Facebook came out on top. It has the most cool features and is very user friendly. LinkedIn was more for professional networking. Kodak Gallery won for best photo sharing website. However, Flickr came in a close second, but it was badly written off because of its "openness". It was fun talking about the different online networking websites. Happy Passover!

April 2, 2007

The drama continues...last night when I was on the phone with Carolyn, I heard Harvey barking. Harvey never barks unless something is terribly wrong. Then I heard knocking on the wall. I opened the door and it was Joe. Apparenly, NYPD showed up at my next door neighbor's apartment and took him on an ambulance. My neighbor's doctor thought he was suicidal so he called the cops to check up on him. Anne Marie (neighbor across the hall) chatted with us as well. I gave her some of my cookies. Yes, I baked cookies for the first time since last summer. I took a long hiatus from baking. I wonder why I didn't bake during the cold winter. The smell of chocolate chip cookies would have permeated through the apartment. I carried two heavy bags this morning during my commute to work. I dropped off crap at Brad's place (which was in one bag). The other bag contained my gym clothes and my Mandarin textbook. I hate commuting and not having any hands free. It's like driving with a stick shift. You can't relax!

April 1, 2007

I am officially shutting down this website as of today for two reasons. First, I have had some copyright issues for the past couple of weeks. Apparently, I need permission when I mention people in blogs and also when posting pictures. Is that insane or what? Secondly, no one really visits this website so it's not feasible for me continue paying the hefty fee to maintain it. Therefore, by the end of today, the domain twanwinn.com will be up for sale. Maybe there is another "Toan Nguyen" out there who wants to take over. We'll see. APRIL FOOOOOLS!