afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Today is the fifteenth day of the seventh month according to the Chinese lunar calendar (which. I somehow think of today as being both August 24 and July 15, despite the fact that the seventh month in the Chinese calendar is not July)

July is the Ghost Month, and that sounds weirder in English than in Chinese, where it just sound pretty matter-of-fact.

I hate this day. Commemorating the dead is boring when you don't have any personal involvement. It's painful when you do. So, I hate this day :)

Ghost month, or month of the spirits: it's the month when it is believed that the spirits are closer and more active than any other month. It does not do to plan any new changes for this time of the year, especially not those that involve lots of construction or noise which could... arouse the anger of the spirits? I'm not a believer, and am barely superstitious (about this at least) but I do try to at least keep myself safer and in more stable situations than otherwise to appease my mom.

cut for personal stuff )

I guess it's a lot like the way some people are just a tad more careful of their surroundings when it's Friday the thirteenth, but this one lasts a whole month, and it involves an alay in the middle which is an, ughhhh. A day when you get together and burn incense and stuff to commemorate the dead?

(I'm frustrated with this post right now, because I can't think of the proper words for what I mean to say; it feels like the closest equivalents in english emphasize the wrong things, make serious and ritualistic the things that just need to be done, and glosses over the things that are important, so I end up distorting what I actually want to say.

So frustrating!)
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I dreamt last night that I was talking to my brother at the kitchen table, and he was perfectly all right. I remember not being surprised that he was there, but as I was putting a plate on the table, I turned to him and said, "So, Garrick, I haven't heard the details yet. How come you can walk again?"

And he shrugged, as if it was no big deal, and replied, "I don't know. It's all confusing and I don't really remember, but I was in the hospital (something about being delirious), and then I woke up and here I am." A pause. "But I hate the words 80m though. Makes me think of the pool..."

And then I sat there and thought about how I'd been at his funeral, and I wanted to ask the second question, but I couldn't because it might bring up too many bad memories for him, so I didn't. But, as if he knew what I was thinking, he suddenly grinned at me.

The idiot.

January 2 Dinner

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008 12:19 am
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Just came back from dinner out with my younger brother's close friends and their families. My brother's death has brought us all together, it seems. There were about thirty of us tonight, split across three tables: one table for the dads, one table for the moms, and one table for we the younger generation.

Had fun! Friends are a blast! The dads' table was the rowdiest. They had the most wine and beer on hand. So :p Almost went out for a Wii party with the guys (the guys, not the dads) after, but my sister and I have work tomorrow and no way home tonight, so we decided (regretfully) not to go with.

Dinner was amazing. Lots of normal Chinese banquet fare which, though I've had them many times, I never get sick of, especially not when from a good-quality restaurant: asado, chicken cold cuts, jellyfish, century egg, lumpia, crab ball or fish ball or something, sharksfin, duck+wrapper+hoisin sauce (peking duck?), abalone+mushrooms, steamed fish, noodles. The best thing of the night was definitely the crab fried in its own fat. So sweet on the tongue. I had three pieces, where I'd normally only have space for one.

Ended the night with taho which you could mix with sago and the sugar-sauce to taste. Street taho is still the best, though.

One hazard of being in a Chinese restaurant in a relatively small population is that you're likely to bump into your relatives there. Pretty much assured of seeing an uncle or an aunt or a cousin or a grand-uncle's son's family or something. Tonight we saw my mom's third-sister's family there, sitting at the same table with the family of the girlfriend of one of my cousins. I sense a wedding in the works :-)
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Sundays are family days. Didn't use to be this way; it was a tradition that only started last year, when my grandfather moved, but since then it's become a regular thing to spend the whole day there with our cousins. So today we went to my grandfather's place for lunch, but we kids took off early to visit the cemetery.

My sister hadn't been able to visit since the interment, and when my brother's friends mentioned last night that they were going to visit this afternoon, we decided we'd join them. So we sat there with six of my brother's closest friends, and we talked and told stories and discovered my brother's secrets and laughed and let the beer go warm. Finally at 6:30PM when it was dark, we turned off the lights but left the candles burning and we drove home.