Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Bash!

The Christmas Dumpling party was very successful. We hand-made the wrappings and the two types of filling. One was a pork/cabbage mix and the other was a pork/ji cai(Shepherd's Purse)/mushrooms mix. The entire making process took about 2 hours with everyone pitching in and making dumplings. PP was in charge of quality control and those deemed fit to boil were boiled while the rejects (too much filling, bad wrapping, improper sealing) were made into pot stickers.

BluPnutMM also make her signature pork ribs and we also had various other people bring in fruit platters, a giant ham, and even some Taco Bell (Por Que?). We were so starved after the end of the making process that just about everything was rapidly devoured, leaving only some ham and Taco Bell.

We had a Wii going downstairs and Rock band 2 going on upstairs so everyone found a little of something to do. Overall a very successful party!

So glad I am not a if only I can min/max this...

I Am A: Lawful Good Human /Sorcerer (3rd/2nd Level)

Ability Scores:







Lawful Good A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. He combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. He tells the truth, keeps his word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished. Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion. However, lawful good can be a dangerous alignment because it restricts freedom and criminalizes self-interest.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Primary Class:
Monks are versatile warriors skilled at fighting without weapons or armor. Good-aligned monks serve as protectors of the people, while evil monks make ideal spies and assassins. Though they don't cast spells, monks channel a subtle energy, called ki. This energy allows them to perform amazing feats, such as healing themselves, catching arrows in flight, and dodging blows with lightning speed. Their mundane and ki-based abilities grow with experience, granting them more power over themselves and their environment. Monks suffer unique penalties to their abilities if they wear armor, as doing so violates their rigid oath. A monk wearing armor loses their Wisdom and level based armor class bonuses, their movement speed, and their additional unarmed attacks per round.

Secondary Class:
Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pre-Bash Bash

This Holiday season isn't over yet, but has already been particularly eventful. The BluPnutMM couple came over during the Christmas holidays and stayed until Sunday. On Thursday, we all had a holiday gathering at my house. We played Mafia/Rock Band 2/Various Wii games. One of the best parts was when we all took turns playing Wii Fit. My hula skills were especially awesome as I managed a staggering 2 loops before failing. I did redeem myself later by doing a hundred or so, but the first time playing was truly epic. Papaya did some insane 300 loops on his first try!

The most entertaining game by FAR though was this little game inside Wario ware. It's basically a 8 bit game where two people each control a character as they jump over sand traps and potholes. The trick was that the two characters were connected so if your partner failed, your entire team was slowed down. The control scheme for this game was for one person to hold the Wii-mote and another to hold the nunchucku. You jumped by lifting the controller up, however the controls were so insensitive that sometimes you had to make rapid jerking movements for the jumps to register. Somehow, this little game entertained everyone for a long long time with everyone trying to set the highest score. PP and I (The Dynamic Duo) set the record with a flawless run of 2996 feet!

Friday, BluPnutMM's parents invited us to have dinner at Tokyo1. This place was essentially a Sushi/Seafood buffet. The select was enormous with various sushi rolls, sashimi, BBQ, and seafood. The best were the humongous crabs that were cut in half. They basically disappeared as quickly as they were brought out. PP loved them so much, she still craves them to this day. Dinner was followed up with a long round of karaoking. The selection of English songs was so limited such that the majority of songs we sang were Chinese with a smattering of random Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys tossed in. We ended the night with a soulful rendition of "Beijing Welcomes You" (title theme of Olympics) which continues to plague my thoughts up to this day.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Adventures in Dallas!

Went to Dallas this weekend to visit PP's aunt and uncle. The drive there was pretty monotonous and took about 5 hours. The first thing we noticed about Dallas was that it was much colder than Houston, but much sunnier. PP's aunt had a super large house and a lovable little dog named cookie. This dog was sooo cute and was super quiet. Perfect house pet but rather useless as a guard dog. We had a giant feast prepared for dinner including PP's uncle's famous salt water duck (so good....) Two of PP's cousins were also at the dinner party and they were all very nice.

After dinner, we played a bunch of table tennis and even got in several rounds of 80-points. PP's cousins were so awesome and really made me feel like part of the family!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Enter: Nostradamus

BluPnutMM made a semi-joking, semi-snarky remark last year about how there seems to be a pattern to people getting married. Papaya/Mango was in December of 2006, BluPnutMM couple was in 2007, and so naturally someone had to get married in December of 2008. As of yesterday, the most likely candidate this year is now me. PP and I had talked about Greened Wage (We're Engaged) since Thanksgiving, but I wanted to surprise her with a nice Magnet Gene (Engagement) ceremony!

The entire process required a lot of help from a great number of friends and family. The first order of business was to find a suitable Domain Grind (Diamond Ring). Mango was the hero when it came to this as she was the one who helped me discreetly get PP's Zig Siren (Ring Size) and she was also the one who helped me pick out a truly great Diamond for the ring. The place I ended up buying the diamond from was a direct referral from my boss. It's a Round Brilliant Cut, VS-G, 1.08 C. We had gone to a couple of different mainstream jewelers (Jared's, Diamond Cutters International) and while they provided wonderful education on how to choose the right diamond, these vendors' prices were from 10% to 15% above the wholesale price of diamonds. This referral from my boss was selling them from 20%-25% below wholesale.

The original plan for the proposal was at Bush's speech on Friday. Presidents George and George W., as well as Barbara Bush were all at the commencement for Texas A&M. The president gave a pretty good speech to the graduating class. A memorable line went something like:

"...some of you already have jobs lined up and I wish you well in your pursuits. Some of you don't and are about to face uncertain waters. I know how you feel!"

This plan was quickly scrapped because I couldn't keep my mouth shut and told PP about the plans. The second plan was to propose during a Rockets game via the Kiss Cam. Unfortunately, in order to do this, one had to be a season ticket holder, have a corporate sponsor, and tell the arena a month in advance. The final plan was a plan thought up by BluPnuMM.

BluPnutMM had been experimenting with cake-baking recently and wanted to bake a cake for the occasion. It just so happened to be her husband's birthday so we developed to plan to have a birthday party be the mask for the engagement. BluPnutMM would bake a cake that had the letters "Say Yes" on the top covered by flower petals. She would then ask PP to remove the petals and as the last petals were removed and the message revealed, I would get on one knee. Olive Garden was chosen for the party as that was where PP and I had our first date.

The plan worked out perfectly. PP had no clue we were planning all of this and was totally surprised. I would like to thank everyone who helped with suggests and encouragement!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Winter Wonder Land

Was just doing some work around the office, when suddenly, the entire office is abuzz with excitement. Seems like we got some light snow here in downtown H-town last night. Since I went to college in the Northeast, this whole "snow" thing wasn't exactly big news to me, but for a lot of people here, it was like Christmas came early.

They even allowed employees to "leave earlier" to avoid the ice on the roads. Unfortunately, this announcement came when I only had about an hour left in the day. Felt like one of those Cornell "snow days" where all my classes were canceled after I had already gone to all of them. If I wanted to skip classes, I would have just kept playing EQ....

This weekend, lots of stuff will be going on. The BluPnutMM couple will be in town because her parents are back from Nigeria. It also happens to be the husband's birthday so we are gonna have a little party along with the Magnet Gene. "Meter-Maid" is also coming back from China after an extended medical leave so it would be nice to see her again. I am also attending the commencement speech for PP's graduation with President Bush as the speaker.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Where the pot isn't the only hot item in the room

PP came over to spend the weekend in Houston. She was suffering from a pestering cold and so we didn't really go out anywhere. This was actually pretty good because it was cold outside and we managed to have Hot Pot for two days straight! We invited Papaya/Mango couple over to have Hot Pot on Saturday night. We had our own Hot Pot pot and used some store-bought base for the soup. We had a wide assortment of foods like thinly-sliced beef, shrimp, fake shrimp (tasted better than the real shrimp!), tofu, fish balls, various different kinds of vegetables, and rags (really just some kinda vegetable...but Papaya thinks they look like rags...)!

The Hot Pot was so good but we had way too much food. We had so much left over and PP and I were able to have Hot Pot again on Sunday night. After the Hot Pot, Papaya and I went off to play some Rock Band 2 while Mango got PP's Zig Siren (For Great Justice!). PP spent the rest of the weekend watching some wacky Korean TV series while I managed to clean some warehouses in Vesperia. A great weekend!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Grinding along

It's that time of the year where the holidays are so close but yet so far away. I am pretty excited about this holiday season though. Lots of good friends should be back in town and I am looking forward to hosting a nice party. All this anticipation just makes the Domain Grind even harder. So many things to do, so much stuff to research and so little time!

Monday, December 01, 2008


Had a wonderful Thanksgiving holidays. Because of my 9/80 schedule, I was able to start my Thanksgiving on Wednesday as opposed to Thursday. Drove over to CS on Tuesday evening to spend some time with PP. We drove back on Wednesday to start the holidays. Thursday was a light day with M preparing a turkey and PP having to read a case study for classes. Friday, was big day! PP cooked a nice lunch for M with multiple dishes. In fact, she made so much she practically used every pot and pan and dish in the house, leaving lots of cleaning duty for me!

She made pork short ribs w/black bean sauce, shrimp with asparagus, cold-mixed Chinese vegetables, sauteed chicken gizzards, and Chinese cabbage with tofu. In particular, the pork ribs were exceptionally delicious. I think I ate practically the whole thing. During the evening, I took PP and M to see the Nutcracker at the Houston ballet. I had never actually seen a live ballet performance and I had all these preconceived notions of sissy men in tights prancing about. I was pleasantly surprised as the story was acted out brilliantly through dance and every dancer was incredibly graceful and powerful at the same time.

Saturday, we had a nice lunch with Papaya/Mango couple, and SomeoneWhoDoesn'tWantAFruitAndVeggieNameWhoJustCameFromMichigan. We chatted for a while, then PP and I went to the Premium Outlets that was on the way to CS. I picked up some cookware for M and PP found a nice jacket and sweater at Banana Republic. Checked up on Greened Wage news afterwords. Overall, it was a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend! I am totally thankful.