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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in huanhua's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, March 20th, 2007
4:12 pm
Things to make you unaccountably happy
I bought two bunches of daffodils; they arrived as thick, closed, meaty green stems. I put them in water last night. This morning, some of the flowers had shed their papery sheaths and started opening into bright yellow blooms. I used to buy fresh flowers all the time from Trader Joe's or the farmer's market when we were living in California. Looking at the daffodils, I realized I hadn't had fresh flowers in the house for months. I had forgotten how it feels.

Riding my bike downtown, I saw two daffodils and a crocus coming up from the cold wet earth.

The sun was shining today, finally, and the weather was almost warm. People were sitting at a table outside Bloomingfoods, laughing, talking.

And yesterday there were thunderstorms--rumbling thunder, pouring gray rain, lightning flashing like a Polaroid. For the moment, at least, I like it when the weather is a real presence.
Thursday, September 28th, 2006
1:50 am
Notes from Bloomington
Today, to my delight, I saw small black-and-white woodpeckers pecking busily at the wood posts around our balcony.

There were crashingly loud, drenching thunderstorms in the early evening, with strange apocalyptic sunlight peeking through the stormclouds here and there, crossed by clearly drawn forks of lightning.

Autumn is coming. The weather is getting chilly, and as I sit and work by the window, I see tiny yellow leaves fluttering across the balcony like birds. When I ride my bike downtown, here and there I see trees that are lightly brushed all along the edges with orange, tucked in among the vigorous green foliage of the other plants that are still holding grimly onto summer.

We might go to a cider mill this weekend. At the soup kitchen today, outside the back door, I saw a big damp cardboard box filled to the brim with deep red apples, unwaxed matte and speckled with gray around the shoulders, and I felt a thrill. Real autumn! In a city with trees!
Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006
12:19 pm
Eating locally, continued
For anyone who's still interested, I'll be blogging about my further food adventures during Eat Locally Month on my food blog, http://i8.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006
11:45 am
Eating Locally, Day 2
Progress report: So I've been cheating and having some black coffee to drink. I also cheated yesterday and ate some leftovers so they wouldn't go bad--an apple pear from Chile, and some leftover chocolate truffle custard cake from my birthday (still apparently good)--with ingredients from who-knows-where.

At work, apart from the apple pear, I snacked on some almonds and a cucumber. For dinner, Rahul and I ate really well! I don't know all the details, since he cooked, but we had diced, oven-roasted red potatoes, stir-fried pea sprouts, steamed carrots and broccoli, and scrambled eggs with onions. I think everything except oil, salt, and pepper was local. We've been saving the local Bariani oil for dressing and other raw purposes, and cooking food in the cheaper imported oil from the giant tin can.

For breakfast today, we had some more oven-roasted diced potatoes, Yukon Gold this time. I'm eating my lunch right now: Romaine lettuce with Pink Lady apples, cucumber, and hard-boiled egg, tossed with the leftover dressing (lemon juice, olive oil, shallots, oregano, salt, pepper). I still have half the apple to snack on, and I brought some beans and almonds to work with me as well. Rahul made some rice last night with carrots, Lundberg Farms rice, and olives (not sure what else is in it) and I brought the leftovers--I don't think I'll be hungry after this salad, though. Last but not least, my coworker subscribes to a CSA, so if I get hungry after all that, I can probably have one of the oranges from her produce box.

We're going through potatoes like crazy; I think we drastically underestimated the amount of starch we eat. We may have used up all our potatoes already, although we still have some sweet potatoes to use. I saw a recipe in The Vegetarian Epicure for roasted sweet potatoes with green tomatoes that sounded interesting. I may make a variation on that using some of my frozen green tomatoes and roasting them into a sweet and sour relish.

Also, giving up coffee/tea is next to impossible. I hung up some pineapple sage leaves to dry, so I can make an infusion from those, but I think I may just have to claim coffee and tea as an exemption.

Mom wants to go out to dinner tonight. I'm torn. Maybe I can find someplace with locally sourced foods that's cheaper than Chez Panisse (the only place I can think of offhand).
Monday, May 1st, 2006
10:52 am
Eating from my foodshed
May is Eat Locally Month, and my boyfriend and I have decided to participate. For the entire month, we will try to eat only foods that come from within approximately 100 miles of our home in the East Bay Area of San Francisco--our local "foodshed."

The costs of flying or trucking in food from around the world are hidden from us, but think of the wasted energy involved in flying in organic mangos from the Philippines or hothouse bell peppers from the Netherlands. You wouldn't pay for a plane ticket for a courier to bring those foods by hand. If someone subsidized the plane ticket, wouldn't you still be appalled by the wasted fuel and effort involved in flying foods around the world while perfectly good food is being grown in your area?

So--is anyone else in? I realize this is a much more difficult exercise for folks in the middle of the desert or the frozen tundra, but people did it successfully for millions of years...

Here's how it's gone so far.

We took a trip to the farmer's market at Jack London Square and to the Berkeley Natural Foods store.

We bought about $40 worth of food altogether, mostly organic, with our foodshed stretched to about 190 miles, to Fresno. Our haul included, among other things, almonds, first-press Bariani extra virgin olive oil, asparagus, broccoli, apples, Yukon Gold, red, and sweet potatoes, yellow and red onions, romaine lettuce, cucumber, carrots, pea sprouts, mushrooms, cranberry beans, yogurt, eggs, and milk.

Dinner last night was mostly locally grown, with a few exceptions because it was still April. I've marked the non-local foods in red.

I chopped and sauteed a yellow onion in olive oil in one pan, then added pea sprouts snipped to 1/2 inch lengths with kitchen shears; sauteed minced garlic and diced button mushrooms in another; and peeled and diced a large Yukon Gold potato and barely covered it with simmering water in a third saucepan. When everything was tender, I stirred it all together and added some salt and pepper. I picked some stems of curly parsley from our yard and snipped it into the pan as well.

In another pan, I made crepes: egg, milk, olive oil, salt, and flour. We placed some shredded cheese on the crepes and used the heat of scoops of the potato-mushroom-greens mixture to melt the cheese. It was delicious!

I also cooked beans to take to work with me today: I poured boiling water over a mixture of cranberry beans, chopped garlic and shallots, slivers of golden sage leaves picked from the garden, salt, pepper, and olive oil. I put the casserole, covered, in a 250-degree oven for a few hours, and then added a few chopped tomatoes that I had stored in the freezer from last summer's harvest to make some variation on fagioli all'uccelletto. The beans came out meltingly tender even though I hadn't soaked them.

For breakfast today, I had one sunny-side-up egg and a spoonful of the cold beans. I packed an apple, a cucumber, beans, salad greens, and a little container of salad dressing made from olive oil, shallots, oregano from my garden, and lemon juice from the neighbor's garden, along with the usual non-local salt and pepper.

So far, so good, although my coworker brought in a big plate of donuts and I am having a devil of a time not helping myself to a big chocolate-glazed Boston Cream puff of sugary fried goodness.
Friday, December 9th, 2005
11:26 am
Almost famous
My friends Martin and Lara just moved to SF and had an Ikea assembly party last weekend. Photos from the party were posted on Flickr and this guy named Armand B. Frasco, who owns an Ikea fan site (!) called Positive Fanatics, found the photo set and posted it on the front page of his Ikea blog today!

Funny trivia: the guy who runs the Ikea fan site is also operates the world's premier fan site for Moleskine notebooks.
Tuesday, November 29th, 2005
10:51 am
Thursday, November 17th, 2005
11:12 am
Public Service Announcement--Sherlock Holmes!
Stanford is reissuing the first 12 Sherlock Holmes stories, serialized as they first appeared in the Strand. You can sign up here to have the newsprint stories sent to your home! (Or read PDFs online)

Monday, October 3rd, 2005
5:08 pm
Friday, September 23rd, 2005
4:10 pm
Wednesday, September 21st, 2005
10:26 am
Wednesday, September 7th, 2005
3:15 pm
Pure Nerd
78 % Nerd, 21% Geek, 30% Dork
For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.


Also, you might want to check out some of my other tests if you're interested in any of the following:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Professional Wrestling

Love & Sexuality


Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

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You scored higher than 86% on nerdiness

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You scored higher than 19% on geekosity

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You scored higher than 49% on dork points
Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on Ok Cupid
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005
2:58 pm
Thursday, July 28th, 2005
10:31 am
I like my coffee like I like my women: drunk
the Wit

(73% dark, 17% spontaneous, 16% vulgar)

your humor style:

You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean you're pretentious. You realize 'dumb' can be witty--after all isn't that the Simpsons' philosophy?--but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out' humor and most other things found in a fraternity leave you totally flat.

I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer or staff writer. Your sense of humor takes the most effort to appreciate, but it's also the best, in my opinion.

Also, you probably loved the Office. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check it out here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/theoffice/.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Jon Stewart - Woody Allen - Ricky Gervais

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

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You scored higher than 87% on dark

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You scored higher than 6% on spontaneous

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You scored higher than 0% on vulgar
Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on OkCupid Free Online Dating
Friday, July 22nd, 2005
3:29 pm
7-songs-you're-into-at-the-moment meme...
7-songs-you're-into-at-the-moment meme...

1. Li'l Hospital: Campus and Katy. I saw these guys at Pop Crush with Martin and I found this song just so endearing from the first time I heard the sample off their website.
2. The Crabs: Tumbling Away first heard off one of Salon's summer mixes of free mp3s.
3. Teenage Fanclub: It's All In My Mind--can't wait to go see these guys at Bimbo's.
4. Aimee Mann: Dear John or any other song off "The Forgotten Arm" that I've heard so far.
5. Sun Kil Moon: Glenn Tipton. Can't get enough of this song.
6. REM: Fall On Me
7. Guster (covering Daniel Johnston): The Sun Shines Down on Me. This is just a beautiful song and it even wins out over the M. Ward track on the same covers album.
Wednesday, July 13th, 2005
12:58 pm
My old house on Calle dei Corli in Venice, near Chiesa dei Frari and Campo San Toma'
45 d 26' 11.12"N, 12 d 19' 35.73" E

To the northwest, the cross-shaped structure is Chiesa dei Frari; I could see the belltower from my window.
The courtyard is Corte delle Scale, where our laundry hung out to dry.
The entrance is just to the east.
To the southeast you can see Campo San Toma'.
If you go southeast from there, you can see the traghetto landing where I used to take the gondola ferry across the Grand Canal to my computational linguistics class.

Google Earth is AMAZING.
Send me cool places to look at!
Sunday, July 3rd, 2005
11:57 pm
Wednesday, June 29th, 2005
11:01 am
Thursday, June 9th, 2005
11:35 am
Wednesday, June 1st, 2005
12:24 pm
another dialect test
<td align="middle">Stereotype-shatterer
You scored 34% on orthophony and 100% on eugrammacy! </td></tr>
<td>Despite your nonstandard way of speaking, you seem to appreciate some very fine points of grammar. Next time the New York Times has an opening for an editor. . . . </td></tr>
<td align="middle"></td></tr></tbody></table>

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

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You scored higher than 18% on orthophony

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You scored higher than 91% on eugrammacy
Link: The Standard American Dialect Test written by bluesleeper on Ok Cupid
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