Category Archives: 中文

Year of the Rat

YearOfRat

According to Wikipedia, The Rat, the first of the 12-year cycle of animals in Chinese Zodiac, "was welcomed in ancient times as a protector and bringer of material prosperity", and "is associated with aggression, wealth, charm, and order, yet also with death, war, the occult, pestilence, and atrocities".

Rat people "are leaders, pioneers and conquerors. They are charming, passionate, charismatic, practical and hardworking. They are endowed with great leadership skills and are the most highly organized, meticulous, and systematic of the twelve signs. Intelligent and cunning at the same time, rat people are highly ambitious and strong-willed people who are keen and unapologetic promoters of their own agendas, which often include money and power".

If you are interested in reading more, here is the whole thing. If you are a fan of Chinese Astrology, here are some sites for you:

http://www.chinesezodiac.com/

http://chinese.astrology.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_astrology

http://www.c-c-c.org/chineseculture/zodiac/zodiac.html

Wish everyone a very prosperous new year.

祝大家鼠年吉祥,财源广进!

 

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The History of Games

Chess400

I have always been a “gaming” girl since a very, very young age. Having a big brother, who’s five years older and was into everything and anything that involves using the brain (or a quick eye-hand reflex), influenced how I grew up big time. I’m sure he’d have loved to have a brother of similar age to compete against, but since he didn’t have one, a little sister five years younger would do too. What he didn’t realize was, when he lost (which happened a lot), it was just a tad more embarrassing.

Below is my “history of games”. I try to put up as complete a list as possible, to pay tribute to not only my childhood, but also my present, my continuing, though only occasional, fascination with new games and mind practices.

Childhood -> Adulthood:

  • Nintendo (Super Mario, Contra, Bomberman, Tank City, Road Runners, Pac Man, Duck Hunt, various shooting games, arcade games, and tons of others)
  • Chinese chess
  • Chess
  • Chinese checkers (跳棋)
  • Go (围棋)
  • 军棋,四国军棋
  • 飞行棋(I think the English name of this game is called “Sorry!”)
  • Connect Five(五子棋), Connect Four(四子棋), TicTac
  • Various Chinese Card games (升级,争上游,捉黑叉,五十K,说瞎话,拉大车,翻对儿,51点,拱猪(Hearts), Tractor, and many others I don’t remember names for)
  • Bridge
  • Mahjong, of course
  • Computer games (大富翁一二三代,Tronic, Pinball, Tetris, 3-D Tetris, 决战俄罗斯, Vikings, the Carnegie game(卡耐基人生指南), Sim, the Pipe connecting game, Freecell, Minesweeper, and many whose names are lost)

Games I learned/played after I came to the U.S. (most of them I now own):

  • Skip-Bo
  • Sequence
  • Scattergory
  • Scrable
  • Pictionary
  • Taboo
  • 4 corners
  • Uno
  • Spite and Malice
  • Sudoku
  • Bejeweled, Bubbles, and many other variations of this type
  • all the card games in Hoyle Card Games (Gin, Cribbage, Rummy, Pinochle, Solitaire, to name a few)
  • all the board games in Hoyle Board Games (Backgammon, Mancala, Othello, Yahtzee…)
  • all the casino games in Hoyle Casino Games
  • all the word games in Hoyle Word Games (Anagrams, Enigma, DoubleCross, Word Yacht…)
  • Super Nintendo/Nintendo 64 games (Dr Mario, Pokemon Puzzle League are my favorites)
  • lots of PlayStation 2 games (Dead or Alive!)
  • Wii (Wii Sports, Paper Mario, Wario, Wii Play, Legend of Zelda)

Now:

  • all those stupid Facebook games I played lately :)
  • Texas Hold’em Poker

Update on Jan 31, 2009:

I must add another two (newly learned and thoroughly fun) here: Carcassonne and 够级.

The Fable of the Bee And the Flower

The third installment of my “Chinese Fable translation series“. I love translating.

rose

Original Chinese text:

放弃的寓言

玫瑰花枯萎了,蜜蜂仍拼命吮吸,因为它以前从这朵花上吮吸过甜蜜。但是,现在在这朵花上,蜜蜂吮吸的是毒汁。蜜蜂知道这一点,因为毒汁苦涩,与以前的味道是天壤之别。于是,蜜蜂愤不过,它吸一口就抬起头来向整个世界抱怨,为什么味道变了?!
终于有一天,不知道是什么原因,蜜蜂振动翅膀,飞高了一点。这时,它发现,枯萎的玫瑰花周围,处处是鲜花。

My English translation:

The Fable of Letting Go

A rose withered. A bee however was still sucking on it because she had sucked honey from it before. Now, on the same rose, all she could suck out was bitter, poisonous juice. The bee felt the difference as it was so sweet before. She became miserable and complained and complained, why did the taste change? Why couldn’t it be just like before?
Finally, one day, the bee gathered her strength and flew a bit higher. Then and there, she saw that, nearby the withered rose, there were blossoming flowers all over the place.

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Moon Festival: Celebration of Togetherness

Full Moon

First let me say this really loud,

Happy Moon Festival to Everyone!

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Kabab Cafe: An Egyptian Experience

An old Chinese proverb says, 民以食为天 (Men deem food as God). After spending a delightful evening at Kabab Cafe, Astoria, I came to the thinking that if food is not a man’s God, it should be at least, as Ali the owner says, his soul.

We first heard of Kabab Cafe from Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations on Travel Channel. It was featured as one of the most popular restaurants in “Little Cairo”, the middle-eastern neighborhood in Astoria, Queens. Astoria, with its “sizable and diverse immigrant population”, is said to have “some of the best and most authentic food in the country”. Continue reading

Another Fable: The Old Man and The Children

I read this story first on a friend’s blog (3rd comment from bottom). You can either read the original Chinese version there or read my English translation here:

The Fable of Motivation: Who are you “playing” for?

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The Fable of an Apple Tree

This seems to be a famous story circulating around the internet. The original text is in Chinese (English translation follows):

成长的寓言:做一棵永远成长的苹果树

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