恭喜發財

恭喜發財 (Gong Hey Fat Choy)

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!!

and as my father says: 萬事如意, 龍馬精神, 一勞永逸, 步步高升, 狗年行大運, though I’m not too sure what the 3rd phrase really means.

Since my zodiac symbol is a dog, that means in this lunar year, I’ll turn 24. Most of the people from my year are pigs (the zodiac symbol that follows the dog), since I was burn in the end of the lunar calendar, which doesn’t exactly line up with the Gregorian calendar as you can see.

Actually was out most of the day today. Woke up at 1:45pm, alarm clock started ringing at 1:20pm because I was invited to a poker match with a bunch of colleagues. I lost $10 this round, but I wasn’t really paying much attention and I needed to leave soon because some UW friends of mine were having a hot pot. It’s also been a while since I played poker and my skills were a bit rusty.

I purchased some frozen balls (fish, cuttlefish, prawn, imitation lobster) along with a chunk of taro (is that the correct denominator?). I also bought sesame shabu-shabu sauce. Perry had wanted peanut shabu-shabu sauce and I couldn’t find any peanut sauce besides the satay. But it turns out the one he was looking for was indeed the sesame sauce which turned out to be quite tasty. I arrived at ChemChampion’s place a little past 6 since the dinner was originally planned to “happen” at 6pm. I sat there watching TV and helping him install DVDShrink, WinRAR, BitComet, FireFox and other junk onto his computer. We kept calling StanMan and Joe, but they were busy “cleaning”. They didn’t actually arrive till something past 8 and we didn’t really get started till almost 9. But the hot pot was fun. There was beef strips, tripes, regular mushrooms, fish cake, shrimp, mussels, clams, bok choi, gai lan, spinach, tofu, enoki mushrooms, taro, daikon, and other stuff I no longer remember.

Actually, this is my first time cooking taro, and it was rather interesting. So I was at the supermarket and a lady comes up to me, apparently also a first for her in purchasing taro. She asks me if I knew how to choose which taros were good. I said this was my 1st time too. She then says she believes that the smaller ones are supposedly better. StanMan also told me that as long as it’s not mushy and doesn’t have mildew, it should be good. My choice turned out to be pretty good. The 2nd step came in preparing it. I didn’t even know if we needed to skin it or not and it turned out we did. Peeling the skin off and slicing up the taro was fun. There was an argument on what color cooked taro was and although taro deserts generally have a purple shade, most if not all cooked taro I’ve ate before were usually white with a purplish shade. The reason why taro tapioca is purple is because it’s blended, so the purple color is more apparent. But that’s my opinion. My color recognition skills as many have known aren’t exactly that great.

After the hot pot was done, Saran and Joe went to get ice cream and root beer so we made ourselves some root beer float. Yummmm….

Then of course it was followed by an hour of Halo 2. I sucked completely on one round, but I did make a big comeback on the 2nd round and ended up winning. Most of the credit goes to Joe though, our #1 player in the group. The ranking of skills from best to worst is: Joe, ChemChampion, StanMan, Saran, then me. Haha.

Afterwards, StanMan busted out his Settlers of Catan along with the 5-6 Player Expansion pack. Liam was the one who introduced me to this game back in freshman year of college and it’s a great game. As several of my colleagues would say, the Germans are the only people who know how to make borad games and I don’t disagree. Other German board games I were told were exceptional are Cities & Knights of Catan and Puerto Rico. StanMan ended up winning the game, but ChemChampion was really close. In fact ChemChampion should’ve won besides the fact that everyone stopped trading with him because he was only 1 point away from winning. I came in 4th with only 6 points. Made some bad decisions, but the game was fun. It’s been awhile since I played it.

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