Dear Departed, only you know what’s in my heart towards your loved ones who are still on this planet, and only you know how I feel without pretense.

Dear Departed, only I know that you have watched over me all my life. You are my Guardian Angels.  You have been w me everyday.

Dear Departed, there is more of you on the other side now.

Yesterday I saw a corpse. In a way I wish I had not seen him. l In a way I am glad that I did see him. The person had died while I was walking close by. His daughter sobbed and sobbed. The doctors and nurses updated us on the logistics in midst of what felt like a chaotic situation but in fact the logistics did not matter when the heart was crying and wailing.

I held her like how her dad would have wanted to hold her. I would not let her go. Strong embrace, locking embrace, not letting go, I held her.

I held her like how I had been held recently. There is no shame. No embarrassment. No stopping.  Strong, gripping, not letting go.

I put my hand on her scalp. And I told her that she was loved by her dad so very much. I am sorry. I am so sorry. Your dad loved you very much. She cried in waves.

The body is only a shell, whereas the soul has departed. What is this life? What is the meaning of this life? It seems futile and I am angry.

Anger: for having being put through the illusion of life, what a joke, to come, to love, and then to be taken away. All this efforts, only to end with nothing.

Is this life really just a dream?

I was woken up all night thinking what is the meaning of life?

People in my age group are running for presidents, taking risks, leading countries, raising children, all trying to be strong and carrying on, in this prime of life – suddenly finding oneself the responsible adult only to have face the questions that have become more irresolvable.

God, I don’t know to do this but who doesn’t learn how to do it sooner or later?





12 hours in Palo Alto, California

The 12 hour eating, walking, buying, gawking, pampering tour of Palo Alto, California


  1. Pizza My Heart – the Big Sur Pizza (then go sit in the public fountain and watch young techie and Stanford students for 20 min of people watching)
  2. T4 – Grab an exotic sweet drink: Elegant Rose Royal Tea, or Avocado Smoothie tea, or even Sea Salt Caramel Mango tea (then go browse furniture in West Elm or Design within Reach the  or buy a mini skirt for yourself or your lover at American Apparel)
  3. WholeFood Market – Get a spa water (water w mint and cucumber), check out the supermarket scene where a 1/4 watermelon costs $25 USD (then take a walk to Steve Jobs’ previous home (2101 Waverly Street, Palo Alto CA, and see the street lines residential area of downtown Palo Alto)
  4. Lyfe Kitchen – Quinoa Bowl + Ginger Mint Chia, feel the Californian vibe and the start up scene, fresh herb gardens, and Larry Ellison’s hotel, the Epiphany across the street (check out the many start up headquarters in the area: Palantine, Houzz, Survey Monkey, MongoDB, go and make a treasury haunt to find all of them, feel the vibe!)
  5. Stanford Dish Bowl – take your car to go for a 1 hour hike or run.
  6. Pluto – The Martian Salad, substitue red onion w edamame, substitute the balsamic dressing w chipotle dressing, add on beets, 1/2 serving of dark turkey meat, add tomato and cucumber – guaranteed to be the best salad of your life.
  7. Yogurtland – try the mochi topping, or Cream – get a baby ice cream sandwich made w a warm chocolate chip cookie and cold ice cream of your flavor of choice, or Scoop Micro creamery – lavender, bourbon vanilla w Carmel, or Olive Oil.  Try something new.  This is California, ice cream is a big deal.
  8. Beam – watch remote presence robot to get one of your own!
  9. Stanford Theater  – watch very old Cary Grant or Alfred Hitchcock movies in an old fashioned organ playing movie theater, cheap thrill.
  10. The Wine Room – drink some Californian wine w friendly Californians.  My favorite Napa wine right now?  Magnificat.
  11. Tacolicious – the carnitas taco is very new-Californian.  The whole tour is about Californian new wave San Francisco vibe, can’t you see.
  12. Happy Feet – take your car to get a very good acupressure massage – look on Yelp for the best therapists.  $60/90 minutes, may be the best massage of your life.
  13. Jin Sho – Finish up w sushi at Steve Job’s favorite restaurant.  Ask the Chef to bring you their choice sushis.  Get the Tuna-mushroom donburi too.
  14. Rosewood Hotel – a 15 minute drive, good night, take a dip in the swimming pool at night.  You can stay at the Epiphany Hotel (in downtown Palo Alto), at the Four Seasons Hotel (just outside of downtown Palo Alto), but the Rosewood has the best spa and gym.

Hair washing

He drew a bath in a marble tub and he washed my hair.  Outside the traffic is faintly audible off Market Street.  Earlier I stretched out on my side and watching the lights of San Francisco.

In this place it is so quiet.  I turned around to look at him but and he didn’t look at me.  He was looking at my hair and his hands, at the task like it’s a very serious thing, something to concentrate on.  That’s when I fell in love with his looks like the first time I saw him in the hotel lobby.

At the ski house, the three of them cooked and cooked and 2 hours later, they produced a 10 course meal.  When guys are on mission, they are focused on getting it done.

The minute that I think, I like women more than men, I reverse.

The minute that I think I like men more than women, I reverse.

The minute that I think I like adults more then children, I reverse.

The minute my 10 year old music student looks at me in the eye, “Do you trust me!?” I fall in love again.  Then I think, “Ah, I love children more than adults.”

Why is there this need to compare?  To differentiate?

I am in love.  In my life, there are four people named John that I am in love with: 11 years old, 43 years old, 58 years old, and 60 years old.  Outside, the green Palo Alto spring tree branches are budding against my window.

Inside, I remember that night when the three of us we laughed into the nights at the Mammoth house.






Why Berlin is cool as —

Pick any bad word.

Berlin was bombed to the flat during the War so there are all kinds of parks and flat lands, abandoned buildings, abandoned air strip landings.

Only bad words, real curse words, can describe the true nature of Berlin.

Even though I don’t live there, and I don’t plan to live there, I think about the city A LOT.

Living in California now, to my huge surprise, I’m having recurrent, amazing flash backs of the month that I lived in Berlin, and I long to go back to the little studio by the train station, cabbing it to bad ass disco clubs in abandoned electricity generating plants at night and dance the night away until 2AM, where no one cares.  I saw people entering the club at 2PM on Friday afternoon and did not emerge until 9AM Monday morning…crying, “water…water…”  As I closed the taxicab door, someone reached in and asked me, “Do you have Magic?”  Maybe he was asking for the real thing, but I think he was asking for drugs.

I saw a woman dancing like no one was watching.  I saw some British young guys dancing with steps like no one’s business. I saw so many young Berliners working hard during the day like they are competing against world.

Neighbors come out and eat fork-and-knife at local pizzerias.  Teenagers get kebab sandwiches from the ‘Doner’ man by the bahn (train station).  Doner man saw me coming to buy a doner everyday because he knew that I didn’t speak German so couldn’t order from other people and he knew that I could only order from him because he spoke a little bit of English.  Supermarkets in Berlin are silent for music, just quiet and calm. Old men approve quiet.

We love Gesaffelstein.  I miss Berlin.  The only way to re-live is to have a house party!

I feel in America we don’t use our public space nearly as adventurously as we could. Maybe, maybe an old fashioned train station in Philadelphia could become the next Gesaffelstein set in Amish Country.

Lancaster PA Amtrak Station

His name is Benito – the magic cobbler in Sunnyvale California

Benito, the master cobbler in Sunnyvale California revived my favorite shoes.

The shoes had been scrapped, scratched by walking on cobble stone streets on the East Coast.

The cobble stone streets of Boston and Washington DC are beautiful to look at for but terrible women’s shoes.  The pointy heels fall into the cracks, and either you, the wearer fall, or if you drag your foot up and out you scrap the shoe heel.

It’s very strange how an email from a younger friend inspired me to write a post about those cobbled streets of Georgetown.

My younger friend has light brown hair and baby blue eyes, fair skin w some freckles, w the classic Welsh/Irish look.  But she is 1/4 Chinese.  I’ve taken her on as my younger sister.  There are just some people that I draw inspiration from their quiet mysteries.

She wants to live in the parries, wear cowboy boots, and love a blue-collar man who works with his hands.

She does’t have any attractions for men with big wallets, big power, big jobs, or big DC ambitions.

It’s a nice, gorgeous email that inspired a post about a magic cobbler in Sunny California.

Lists of Summer 2015

1. Brewla ice pops.

2. Long, long naps in the afternoon, every afternoon.

3. Tart cherry juice, iced.

4. Macrobiotics dinner, Monday night.

5. Adored, not lifting a finger.  Such wonderful date.

6. Another rescue on the flight.  This time, in first class.

7. Imagining about a foldable tricycle.

8. Aiming for 530AM workouts.

9. Goals on Monday.

10. Sleep as if I died.  Eating in bed, very late at night, w bear legs.


What are my favorite bloggers doing?

1.  Niniane – is building a company.

2.  Corey – is visiting Willows.

3.  Karina – is renovating a French castle.

4.  Mie – is schooling her children in Japan.

5.  Scott – is shooting photos in Rome.

6.  Sarah is eating beauty everyday (and writing a book).


What are the people in my life doing?

1.  Joe is camping.

2.  Ariana is visiting her grandma.

3.  Mom is volunteering at the library.

4.  John is studying for a test.

5.  Hamilton is volunteering in Sunday School.

6.  Filip is growing a company.

7.  Elina is feeding a strayed cat…and threatening her 3 boys that if they don’t behave they’re going to be sent to a foster home.


Things that I will miss so much about living in California…

1.  My niece & our PJ party w summer theater at the Palo Alto Children’s Theater.

2.  Living close to my brother and SIL.

3.  90 minute massage w Linda.

4.  Sauna spa at Immersion Spa.

5.  Monday Night Macrobiotic Dinners.

6.  Highway 280, oh the view of Half Moon Bay in the misty early morning.

7.  Hot days, cool nights.

8.  Real summers.  The sun on the skin in the afternoon.

9.  Amazing salads.  (And tacos.  Sushi.  Ramen.  Clean foods.  Done right).

10.  Jin Sho

11.  Kannon Do, and our beloved abbot.

12.  Having the California license plate – just feels cool.

13.  Wearing whites.

14.  Wearing very little clothing during most of the year.

15.  Huddart Park.

16.  The hum of Woodside.

17.  Californians.

18.  Pretending to be a Californian.  Granola crunchy Sun Country supermarket on California Avenue.

19.  The cattle grazing beautiful view.

20.  Living, in downtown Palo Alto.

But I still love DC very much, maybe a little bit more because there is no threat of the ‘Big One’ or the draught of running out of water in DC.