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Location: Chicago, United States

I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Dear Auntie Patti Koh,

I just assisted another friend in trouble. He committed himself to host party for his friends at work, asked a private caterer to do the catering for their Christmas party, but last minute the caterer backed out.

Here comes the Lone Ranger.

I was called, and I was surprised because this friend of mine does not ask me favors. He is very polite and very careful about our friendship. He said he does not want to loose my friendship and my family's. But he said he does not have anobody to run to. So he called me and was asking for an apology and was really explaining himself to me. I told him it was nothing, as long as I am free. And I was free and available.

I listed my proposed menu based on their budget. He was asking me if I can really cook and prepare all the food that I have listed. I told him that I could do it and will be the one to set the food and will let him use my chaffing dish and plates and silverwares. I told him he needs to provide the wine glasses and champagne glasses.

The part was held at my friends office. There's at least 50 employees and friends at the party. I cooked for 80 people.

- Shanghai Fried Egg Roll
- Teriyaki chicken
- Meatballs in sweet spicy plum sauce

- Macaroni salad
- Cucumber salad in sweet ginger dressing

- Lemon Chicken
- Orange Fish (Blue Fish)
- Cantonese noodle w/stir friend vegetables
- Beef short ribs in mandarin sauce
- Minced beef in five spice
- Shrimp in red pepper sauce
- Steam rice and Java rice

- Fruit salad in custard dressing
- Leche Flan
- Buco - Pandan gumbo

And so Auntie Patti Koh, the guest liked the food very much. I got a lot of compliments and the group of my friend cannot believe that they got so much for the amount of money they paid me. I told the office mates of my friend, that I did it for my friend and I don't do it as a business. I got lots of offer to cook for them on their next office function. There was a smart ass employee who sarcastically asked me if I am allowed to handle the food. I showed him my license issued by the state of Illinois and I told him there is a bigger version of the I.D. license at home hanging on the wall. I told him, I even have my cooking certificate from Del Monte Kitchen and the Chinese Cooking School of Northside.

My friend did not know, that I do this as a business. Of course I dont' want to advertise, I just want it by mouth.

I have good money on this! I am so happy!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Dear Auntie Patti Koh,

I live in one of the Northern suburbs of Chicago close to Michael Jordan's house (we were here before Michael Jordan). We have been in this area for the last 32 years and it is a good neighborhood. When we first moved in this neighborhood, we are a little bit uncertain on what might happen. We were the first colored family that moved in - in this predominantly all white and very Jewish community. Then the rest of the family moved in, close to each other, in three to two blocks aways radius from each other.

One Italian boy who lives across from my sister in law's house was very critical about us, telling his family and calling us Chinks that the neighborhood will deteriorate because - so he said the Chinks are movng in. My in-laws has chinese and japanese blood in them, hence the slit eyes. But this young Italian boy who is calling us Chinks, is now married to my youngest sister in law and they have been married for the past five years. I always tells him this story about him calling us Chinks and he apologized immediately and all of us will die laughng looking at him with his red face and his embarrass look.

My wife came home yesterday with a young pinay of 27 years of age to the house. She said she saw this young lady crying at the train station, which is only two blocks away from us. Being ala Mother Teres of India, my wife talked to this young pinay and asked her what was the problem and why was she crying. So the young pinay recalled the entire story why she was crying.

Presumably, she was a house keeper cum baby sitter for this jewish family which is four blocks away from our house and she had an argument with the mistress of the house because according to this pinay she is a slave driver and she cannot take the abuse anymore. She answered back to this jewish woman and a heated argument ensued, the pinay bringing everything out of her chest that she has kept for the past two years of her employment with this jewish woman. Of course the mistress had to assert her power and asked this pinay to leave the house and she got fired.

Since the relative of this pinay is as far away as Indianna, she does not know where to go for the evening and very scared to venture around downtown Chicago for the evening. So my wife took her home, she is our house guest and I told her to stay until she gets another employer within the neighborhood. She was very grateful and so I laid down the things that I wanted to happen in my house while she is our house guest. I told her she cannot use the land line phone to contact her relatives in Inidiana and in Pinas, unless she wants to pay for the phone charges. I dont want smokers in my house and she needs to accomodate my dog Bombolini if my dog is inside the house from the basement.

And so Auntie Patti Koh, the saga of my wife being ala Mother Teresa of India has started again. She is always bringing home kababayans she meets in the street. So far we have not accomodated any bad elements yet. Heaven forbids.!! I told this pinay, I could take her to the GrayHound Bus station this weekend to be able go to her relatives (so she said ) who are in Indiana. No reply form her yet. Hmmmmmmmm!!!!

Friday, December 08, 2006


Dear Auntie Pattie Koh,

Today, my new dog that replaced my beloved Misty that died three weeks ago is now fully adjusted in my home. Of course I still miss my dog Misty and I always talk to her in her grave underneath the apple at the backyard. I will never forget her. She has been my dog for 17 years.

My new dog, named Bombolini, Bombo for short, is now very adjusted in his new home. I got him from the Shelter and he was only 9 months old. He is a pure breed Grayish black Shitzhu. Very playful and wanted to walk to the park all of the time.

But with the recent snow storm, he is now confined at the basement. He knows where to relieve himself. There is always newspapers on the floor where he relieves himself. I took him out for a walk this evening with amidst the very cold winter wind and the temperature is below zero. He prefers to walk in the snow than walking in the sidewalk. Very playful and wanted to play in the snow while we walk.

The snow in the park has turned into rock hard ice because of the winter wind that kept on blowing. After relieving himself and me picking up his mess and throwing it in the garbage, we continued on for another two blocks of walking until I finally decided to end the walk and just head back home because of the bitter wind and the cold temperature outside.

This dog is so energetic and listens to the things I asked him to do and commands. I don't need to take him to obedient schooling. The people from the animal shelter when I adopted him, said he was owned by an elderly coupke who decided to live in a senior citizen housing that does not allow animals. So they gave up Bombo and I ended up adopting him.

When I walk inside the shelter, inspecting hundreds of animals in their cages, this particular dog caught my attention. He does not bark and when the caretaker took him out of the cage so I could walk him around the complex and be acquainted with him, Bombo was so playful and wanted me to carry him. He was so heavy and a little bit chubby. When I returned him back to his kennel, I immediately asked the people at the shelter that I wanted to adopt the dog. Since they said I have cared for a dog for 17 years, they will immediately give the dog to me and will have to take the dog the next day from the vet who will do proper procedures and medical check up on this dog.

So, Auntie Patti Koh, I have a new dog to fill in the void on the death of Misty. She will always be in our hearts, but I needed another dog to look after and to look after me and my wife also. People back home are all laughing when I told them the story of this dog and how I miss my previous dog. They cannot understand that attachment I have and the people in the states when it comes to animal care and loving. Some folks back home even eat their pet dog, for reasons I cannot understand.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Dear Auntie Patti Koh,

Finally, I am now a little bit relieve that I can move around without any worry about snow and ice on the road and streets. We were hit by the first snow storm fo the season and it was very bad. There are still snow on top of my SUV that I cannot scrape. It has turned into ice.

The snow came badly and it has given us at least 12 inches on the ground. The weather forecasters where advising people to take care and prepare themselves. I did prepare for the coming of the snow and immediately filled the gasoline container with gas and the oil mixture for my snow blower.

When the snow came, I was prepared.... I thought I was, but I was not fully prepared. I have only one sack of salt to melt the snow and ice left in my basement and I cannot go to the hardware to buy some more. I have spinal problem and none of my sons are available to help me haul the heavy sack of salt. I have to be austere in the use of the salt for the driveway and the front step.

I have a snow blower that is only 2.5 horsepower and this is the one that i have used to remove the snow on the ground. I bought an indistrial one, second hand from my compadre and it was so heavy, I cannot even maneuver that damm thing.

Anyway, Auntie Pattie Koh, I was able to remove the snow when the storm has passed. The only problem I have is that - there are some spot at the backyard that was left with snow and it turned to ice. The salt melter cannot melt it and there is a warning again in effect this thursday, the temperature will drop again.

There goes the life of people in places were there are four seasons to deal with!