The Twinkie Times

The life and times of a Chinese American. Born a Jersey boy, lived the expat life, attended boarding school (Lawrenceville), converted to a frat boy (Sigma Pi), got an MBA (Columbia), returned to China, and back to the East Coast now trying to carve out an identity and life as an Asian American dad (gulp) in the midst of a "tertial life crisis" ©

Monday, January 31, 2011

Snowiest January Ever

With another impending snow storm headed for the Northeast, a quick note to mark the end of the month and the snowiest January of all time for New York City.  There has been over 56 inches of snow this winter recorded in Central Park from 5 major storms systems.  I say "bring it on" and test the Mayor's clean-up efforts!  If it is going to be cold out I would prefer it to snow.  As a kid I remember the pure joy and absolute bliss of a snow-day and although I now suffer 'the curse of the ferry' (boats are always running even if subways, trains, or buses are shutdown) I am still exhilarated by a good snowstorm. 

On the left, a picture from my office where they bring in all the snow from the downtown area by the truckload and then melt it in the machine on the right which drains into the Hudson River. 

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 27, 2011


It has been a snowy winter so far and we are not finished with January.  I have been around for 32 years and never have I seen lightning or heard thunder while it is snowing but so far this year I have witnessed this phenomenom twice already.  Last night I had to fight the bayamo winds to make it home from the ferry terminal.  The sleet and squall was so strong that it literally stopped me in my tracks.  Luckily most of the damage was done overnight and I did not have to break out the snowboarding goggles for my morning commute.  That is a picture of our apartment building the next day.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Results

We just returned from the hospital for a follow-up visit.  The 
post-surgery MRI showed that the tumor was completely removed and the 
biopsy results were that it was a low-grade type II astrocytoma. 
Although we would have preferred a type I diagnosis it is definitely 
positive compared to the scarier alternatives.

Jenn is relieved to have had the 59 staples removed from her head and 
continues to rest since the barrage of drugs renders her groggy and 
lethargic.  Luckily, as she is being tapered off some of the meds, we no 
longer have to wake up every 2-3 hours which oftentimes consisted of me 
holding her nose at 5 AM so that she would open her mouth to take the 
pills.  She's happy to be home and has been busy catching up on the DVR 
and playing lots of Words with Friends on the iPad (username: LilSu).

The nurse recommended a 6 week recovery time before she would begin 
to feel "normal" again and we also need several follow-up appointments 
with neuro-oncologists and neurologists.  Although the scariest surgical 
part is behind us now, it will be a slow restoration process.  This has
been eased by the outpouring of support, prayers, and positive thoughts 
from everyone.

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Jenn was discharged from New York Presbyterian Hospital this afternoon.  
She was delighted that she was able to wash her hair although she then 
began fretting over what kind of hairdo would best cover up the huge 
incision across her scalp.  Jenn joked that she would sport the Snooki 
Poof.  There was no doubt in my mind that all her neurons were firing 
correctly when she wanted to make a quick stop at Burger Joint on the 
way home.  I double-parked the car, threw on the hazards, ran into Le 
Parker Meridien and got her a cheeseburger deluxe with fries to go.

She has been resting at home now and enjoying the home-cooked food. 
Unfortunately, still no biopsy results but we are keeping busy with 
stocking our own little pharmacy here and the rigorous timetable of 
medicines.  Everything has been programmed into my Blackberry so I hope 
that Outlook Calendar does not fail me.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hospital Day 3

With the threat of a snowstorm in the Northeast, we were a little
unsure what Wednesday may bring but although Jenn's neurosurgeon took
the day off, this did not hinder her recovery process in any way.  Her
bandages were removed today to reveal what she likes to call her "Mrs.
Frankenstein look".  It is actually not that bad and they tried to
remove as little hair as possible so that it almost looks like a
hairband, unfortunately, this head band is made up of very large
staples.  The arterial line, catheter, and all active IV's have also
been removed so she is able to freely move around and walk to the
bathroom without any support.  She counted the number of holes on both
arms and the running count is 12 total.  If they continue to take blood
samples, she could be an extra on True Blood.

In the past two days, she was moved from the Post-Operative Recovery
room to the Neuro Surgery ICU to the Step-Down room and finally to 'The
Floor'.  This is the last step before being discharged from the hospital
and they have indicated that Jenn may be able to come home tomorrow. She is itching (literally and figuratively) to leave the hospital and the
nurses are all optimistic since she has passed the battery of tests and
is only taking Percocet for the pain at this point.  Jenn has not been
sleeping well sharing her room last night with an old lady who was very
particular and vocal about the temperature of the water she demanded
throughout the night.  Hopefully by Thursday night, she will be back in
her own bed with her little dog Calvin snuggled in her arms and the only
noise she will have to deal with is my snoring.

Labels: ,

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jenn's Post-Op Update

After 13 hours in the hospital, we were finally able to see Jenn in the post-operative recovery room. It was a long day of waiting for her mother and I but we all had a good laugh when Jenn was being wheeled into surgery and her mother said "think happy thoughts, think of Calvin" which just happened to be the name of the orderly pushing her wheelchair!  Of course we meant Jenn's little white Maltese dog back home but Calvin the Nurse Assistant said "yeah think of me, everything will be fine."  We were fully expecting Jenn to still be knocked out especially since the nurse told us she was sleeping but when her mom and I walked in to see her, she slowly flickered her eyes open and bravely forced a small smile. She was tired and dehydrated but was able to speak and told us that her flatulent neighbor was very noisy (we indeed heard it several times). She was cognizant and able to talk although the anesthesia and painkillers eventually kicked in and she drifted in and out of consciousness. We are thankful that this was detected early, the surgery was smooth, and they were able to completely remove the glioma (tumor). Now we anxiously await the results of the pathology test.

Labels: ,

Saturday, January 08, 2011


Long story short, on November 2, 2010 after some completely unrelated doctor's visits and blood work, an MRI was ordered to look into elevated levels of prolactin protein in my wife and they discovered a 3 cm tumor in her right frontal lobe.  We made the difficult decision to have it removed and the operation was scheduled for January 10.  Although this was obviously shocking and stressful news, we eventually saw the blessing in disguise that it was discovered early and began a joke that Jenn was a unicorn because of the growth in her head.

Labels: ,

Friday, January 07, 2011

New Decade

As we welcome in 2011, I am trying to revive this blog again. A lot has happened since my last post. I bought a new home along the Hudson River in Port Imperial, a nice duplex two bedroom place. Graduated from Columbia Business School's EMBA program and then celebrated my 30th birthday party which was capped off by a concrete face-plant in the garage while my fiancé freaked out at the blood oozing from my cheekbone. Less than a month later, I was married to my beautiful wife Jennifer (you could barely see the scar on my face with some well placed tinted Clearasil). Along with tying the knot with my better half, I also inherited her little Maltese named Calvin so we have a little furry poo and pee machine to complete our new home.  For details and pictures on the wedding, please click HERE.

Labels: , , ,