Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday report

Yesterday was pretty fun. To start off, my family went hunting for bargains right after getting out of bed. Given that Black Friday items are usually on a first-come, first-served basis, the only way to have a chance of getting them is to arrive as early as possible. Though it was barely 6 a.m. when we left our house, the stores were already filled with shoppers.

Our first stop was Macy's at Stanford Shopping Center. Seeing that the lines weren't too long here, my mother bought a stand mixer and a miniature oven. The other stop was Fry's Electronics, although there wasn't anything we needed.

Party report

The highlight of the day was the party at Carol's house. Her family throws a big party on Black Friday every year and decided to have us over. Considering that we didn't have our own gathering this year, I'm grateful that the Liangs invited us to theirs.

Everyone brought food for the potluck dinner. Mom's homemade mashed potatoes were a favorite among the kids. I counted at least 20 dishes, not to mention desserts. There was so much stuff that I didn't get to try everything!

Around 30 guests showed up, including lots of Emily's and Stacey's friends. The kids and I played Taboo after dinner. This was easily the best part of the evening. I hope it won't be long before the Liangs have another gathering like this one. You could tell I'm a party animal. ^_^

There was a boy named Raymond who seemed bored, probably because he had nobody to play with. I decided to be nice and let him play SNES games on my laptop using an emulator while I hung out with the other young people. Speaking of which, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars looked so much fun. I really need to play that game myself.

On the whole, the evening couldn't have been better. You can see my pictures from the party at Flickr. Another guest named Clif has also posted pictures; those are available at Picasa.

Currently playing: Tetris Attack

Historical note: Clif's photos are no longer available due to Picasa shutting down. I'll update this post if I find a mirror.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving report

Thanksgiving was a little different this year. I'm hoping to study statistics after finishing my degree at St. Mary's College of California and have been extremely busy with graduate school applications. In other words, most of my time has been spent filling in forms and writing boring essays. It's like applying for college all over again!

This is also the first time since 2005 that we didn't have anyone over. Mom felt a party was too much work and decided to not have one. However, that's not a problem because the Liangs have invited us to their annual Black Friday party. I certainly can't complain!

We're also planning to get up early tomorrow to grab some Black Friday deals. This is something we've never done before and will be a new experience. So yeah, Friday should be fun.

The bad news is that I've been suffering from acid reflux since about a week ago. I'm guessing it has to do with the stress. The most noticeable symptom is that I often feel hungry even when full. At the risk of sounding like a hypochondriac, I hope it's not anything serious.

This year, I'm thankful for having Bonnie as my undergraduate advisor. Those five years at Berkeley would have been much tougher without her help. On the subject of which, my parents recently invited her and her husband John to dinner at Lo Coco's Restaurant as a show of gratitude. Feel free to check out the pictures from the meal.

In other news...

I recently got my first smartphone: the Samsung Rogue. The built-in browser sucks but is still useful for accessing the Internet on the go.