Martial Arts Movies

videotape

"The sparrow may be small but it has all the vital organs." -Chinese proverb Although the sparrow is tiny (the smallest of the species weighs in at 0.47 oz with a length of 4.5 in), it has the essential body parts of an animal. Do not discount it. In the same way, we sometimes go for the big, showy (read: new) technology. However, I revisited the good old VHS recently. My friend told me that Ten Things I Hate About You was one of her favorite romantic comedies. I hadn't seen it, so I looked … [Read more...]

Alternative Medicines

po chai pills

"Good medicine is bitter to the taste." - Chinese proverb It's often true that medicine tastes bitter; that's why cold remedies come packaged with flavors. My friend recently told me about a product called Yin Chao Jr. that has no taste to it. She uses it for herself and on her children at the first sign of a cold. She swears that it works for her family, often helping them bypass the cold altogether, or at least reducing the duration of their sickness. By the way, this post is in no way an … [Read more...]

Author Blurbs, Part Two

Tok Daaihgeuk: to flatter (lit. to carry on one's shoulders a pair of big feet) In the Tang dynasty, an empress called Mouh Jak Tin (A.D. 625-705) had a favorite lover called Sit Waaih Yih. A low ranking official named Jeung Kap always followed Sit Waaih Yih to serve as his attendant. Whenever Sit wanted to mount his horse, Jeung Kap prostrated himself on the ground to serve as a stepping stool for his master. This may be the origin of the phrase tok daaihgeuk.Big feet, little feet.I've been … [Read more...]

Upcoming Changes to my Website

Lihngse Mtuhng: to be unique or look differentLihngse comes from a term which means arranging to stay in better lodging.Prince Maahng Seuhng, a nobleman during the Warring States Period, liked to invite talented people to his house and provide them with food and lodging. A poor man named Fuhng Hyun also went to seek refuge with him. Since he looked like an ordinary man, he was put in the lower lodging. There the food was poor, and after a few days, Fuhng Hyun hit his sword and said, "Let me go! … [Read more...]

All My Thanks

Choh Laahngbaandang: to have a cold reception (lit. to sit on a cool bench)Many emperors in different dynasties honored Confucius. His house was converted into a grand mansion, and his eldest descendants were installed as high officials. During the Ming dynasty, one of the female descendants married the emperor and became queen. At that time, the prime minister Yihm Sung committed a crime. He went to the Confucius mansion hoping to bribe the queen and have her speak well of him. Instead, he got … [Read more...]

Bidding Failure

Seui Waih Choih: using water to stand for money (lit. water is wealth)When someone travels everywhere to raise money, it's called "dashing out for water." The association of water with money comes from a common saying in Chinese geomancy: "A mountain can bring you descendants while water can bring you wealth." It makes sense that water is held dear in China since it's used for cultivation.I've spent the entire month of May waiting in anticipation for the results of the Brenda Novak auction. It's … [Read more...]

The Book Trailer: A Visual Sneak Peek

Haapchou: to be jealous (lit. take a sip of vinegar)In ancient China, there was an emperor who wanted to give one of his female attendants as a concubine to a loyal minister. The minister did not dare accept because his wife was a jealous woman. The emperor called the woman to court and asked her, "I'm going to give your husband a concubine. Will you say yes or no?" "No, Your Majesty," she said. "I would rather die." The emperor said, "Well then, I'll give you a cup of poison." He told his … [Read more...]

I Have a Book Contract!

Jengdau: excellent or genuineIn the past, stores were famous for their honesty. Jengdau meant to give the exact weight measured by a dau (dipper). The shopkeeper would use the measuring tool to obtain the precise amount desired. While jengdau originally referred to the exactness of quantity, it now also means the excellence of quality.Measuring out the right amount. I have a jengdau book contract! My Taiwanese generational novel has been picked up by Martin Sisters Publishing. After years of … [Read more...]

Wrestling with a Website

Jouhdou Jek Kehk Gam: to work very hard During the Spring and Autumn Annals, civil disorder erupted in the state of Chaih. A prince called Chuhng Yih was exiled, and his loyal servant named Gaai Ji Teui accompanied him. While traveling, they constantly suffered from hunger. Once, they asked a farmer for some food, but the farmer only laughed at them. The prince wanted to kill him, but Gaai Ji Teui stopped him. After awhile, the servant brought the prince a bowl of meat soup, which the prince … [Read more...]

Developmental Milestones: An Anniversary Post

Wonhng Mahkwa: relatives of the boss (lit. yellow jacket)In the Ching dynasty, Manchurians wore mahkwa jackets when horse riding. Typically, these clothes were blue or black, but the emperors would bestow a yellow jacket on imperial relatives or respected officials. I'm part of a group of imperial relatives (read: worthy writers), a tight-knit band led by the illustrious Robert Lee Brewer. Last April, I participated in his platform challenge. It's been a year of much growth, not unlike that of a … [Read more...]

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