Saturday, September 25, 2010


Over the past few weeks, the deers have repeatedly invaded my mom's vegetable garden. I bought some deer repellent but haven't had time to put them out there. I'm so lazy. I'm tired. I'm tired from work. I'm tired from the heat. The Canadian geese haven't left yet. They, too, have been terrorizing the lawn at the edge of the pond. They look so beautiful, yet they are beasts. They don't even care if I scream at them. They would just look at me and slowly walk away when I run down toward them. Can't the deers and geeze just hang around at one corner just for looks? Just to make the view from my house look more romantic? No, they have to destroy my yard!

Actually, I still love to have them visiting my backyard. The little geeze are now much bigger and already flying. The ducks, too...but I don't think all the ducklings survive. I love little ducklings and chics. They are so adorable. I used to raise them back in my country when I was a little kid. Then, when I was in high school and college, I used to raise a lot of them, also. It started out as a couple of miniature chicken. The hen laid over 100 eggs and didn't want to incubate the eggs. So, I designed an incubator and hatched 8 chics out of 12 eggs. Eventually, I had almost 50 of them. Right before I went out of state for more schooling, I had to take them to the swap meet to sell them, but I couldn't sell them all. So, I left them home with my mom.

While being away, my mom often sent me food. So, one day, I received a jar of stewed chicken. Each piece was very mom murdered my chicken!...LOL...and she fed them to me...Ah...LOL...hmmm. Now, I really want to raise a couple of them again, but I don't think the HOA would approve. So, since I can't raise tiny chicken, I've been thinking of ways to attract more birds to my yard, but some of my friends have warned me about the mice and the snakes...I do not want them. I hate snakes, and I'm afraid of mice. They look so dirty!

So, now, I have to design a different structure for my bird feeders so that there won't be so much spilling of seeds to prevent the attraction of mice and snakes. This should be interesting. However, right now, I'm exhausted. I'm going to bed...I'm rambling...


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Our Second Project

The leaves are starting to change color at my house, only the yellow ones though. The orange, red maples have not yet changed their color. I also have three ash trees. Last year, my sister and I saw some ash trees around the nearby Home Depot, and they looked so awesome. There were a mixture of red, purple leaves on the periphery of the trees that were highlighted by the light green leaves hidden inside; with the mild sunbeams of an autumn afternoon shining through them, it was a wonderful sight that we had yet to see in a tree. We decided we had to have them. So, we bought three. However, we were not sure if they were the same type of ash trees. I've been anxiously waiting for them to change color. Right now, the one at the entrance to my house already has some purplish leaves, but I have yet to see any red ones. Hmmm...if they're not the same kind, I'll be stuck with three of them... LOL.

Some of the leaves are even already falling. I'm not sure sometimes if some of the trees are already dead because of the heat or if it's true that fall has come. Everyday now, I have to scoop up the leaves in the pond skimmers. The coi pond water has cleared up. The algae are almost gone, I guess. This is a new pond without any plants but with a whole bunch of fish. The ecosystem has yet to develop an equilibrium. Therefore, during the summer, the water is not so clear. The coi fish don't come up to eat as often any more. I can't help but wonder if the heron that's been hanging out at the big pond has made some visit here...Grrr. The coi usually eat less toward winter, though. Even the Canadian geese don't visit as often any more. I haven't seen them all day. Are they heading back to Canada? Do they do that? I used to see them at around seven in the morning. Sometimes they stayed until around nine at night. I could see them under the glittering light reflections on the pond. I don't know if they were there tonight or not. It's starting to get dark by eight now.

I hope this year we'll have some autumn time. Last year, the summer last too long that we barely experienced the autumn. I don't like that. The autumn is so romantic. I love the colors. I love the gentle breeze. I love the light fog in the early morning. I love looking at the street lamps in the fog. I love to stay in the fall while looking forward to Christmas.

Christmas...this reminds me that I have to get a lot of Christmas lights early this year so they won't run out. Earlier this year, I wanted some to hang on the trees near the entrance, but they were sold out right after Christmas. The trees at the nearby shopping center has Christmas lights on them, and they look very nice. I can't wait to get them this year.

Maybe, Jim and I can hang them on the trees together. I'll name this "Our Second Project". Or, maybe, I can show Jim how to hang them. After that, maybe, he can blow the leaves, clean the gutters, put more mulch to keep the plant roots warm. Then, we can share a hot chocolate. I think he knows how to make it...


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Our First Project

The thought of building a firepit at the back of my house had never crossed my mind until I met Jim and joined him for a campfire in his backyard. To me, it was nice only because I shared it with him. So, I built one near the pond, and we did have a couple of campfires there, once with only the two of us. I liked it.

Tonight, I decided not to do any paperwork because I will be off from work tomorrow. I can do it tomorrow night. So, I designed a metal tree for a small sitting area in the front yard. I want to hang flower pots, wind chimes, and, especially, bird feeders on it to attract birds. I've seen, in my yard, a couple of yellow birds, a blue bird, and some others that are very beautiful. There are also a lot of large butterflies around.

I really like my design. It's going to be about eight foot tall with multiple curling branches and just a few large leaves. Around it, I'm going to put an iron round table and a few chairs. Maybe, one day, Jim and I would sit there sipping hot chocolate. I can imagine us putting food in the bird feeders on Sunday mornings. And, on holidays, when we have parties, we would light candles in the lanterns and hang them there. We can sit there looking up to the stars on a clear night. And, if Jim is nice, I'd give him some mosquito repellent.

Anyway, I'll have to create a little model out of wire first. I don't want the welder to mess up on my design. I think I'll ask Jim to do this with me. I'll name it "Our First Project." Of course, when we're done, I'll have him dig up holes and put down the big Hibiscus plants for me. Maybe, he can clean the coi pond. Or, he can cut down the big termite-infested trees, clean the gutters, wash the windows, dig up weeds...I'll help direct him, of course.


Monday, September 6, 2010

A Dream Came True

Years ago, when I was still in school in Philadelphia, I used to drive my stick-shift, no-air conditioning Toyota truck along the paths to the suburbs just to find some peace in the gentle autumn breeze and the colorful but soothing maple leaves. I used to roll down the window just enough to feel the breeze brushing against my cheek. I used to keep my hair longer than now, so I didn't want so much wind that might have flatten my soft hair and made it fall down covering my eyes. I was vain, I guess. Or, maybe it was because of my obsessive trait that I didn't want my hair to be a mess. I often smile when I think about back then. Now, I just let the barber chop my hair as short as possible so I won't have to worry about it. What a relief!

One of the paths was to King of Prussia, where there was a big shopping mall. I didn't really care about the malls that much, but I used to go there to buy clothes for my two younger sisters who still were at home in California. I did that before each time I came home to visit. Back then, they just started their twenties. My family didn't have much money, so we saved money from work and brought home to our parents. So, my sisters didn't have much clothing. They didn't have a choice. What I bought for them didn't cost much. I, too, saved some money for my parents from my school loans. During undergrad, I worked full-time; but, during medical school, I worked very little. It was not because I didn't have time. I think it was because I was a little depressed about being gay. I spent most of my time in front of the TV and skipped most of my classes.

Anyway, my sisters loved what I bought for them, probably because they were from my heart. I, in turn, got the chance to drive up to King of Prussia. It started out as a path with tall trees along both sides of the two-lane road. In the autumn, it was not yet cold in Philadelphia. The breeze was just a tad chilly, creating a sense of romance. To me, it was mixed with a sense of festivity, a sense of family because it was a signal for my coming home visit. Yet, it also brought me a sense of loneliness. Though surrounded by the marvelous multi-colored leaves on the trees, the beauty of the serenity of the early weekend morning, the joyous songs of the birds, all I could hear was a yearn for love, a yearn to love and to be loved, a hopelessness that I will never be allowed to love and be loved. I was only in my early twenties, but I felt like my soul was swirled away driftly among those little yellow leaves that were falling from the trees and carried away by the breeze on the old asphault toward some unknown destination.

After some small paths was a long section of highway where there were mountains on one side and cliffs on the other. There were only two small lanes for the most part, if I remember correctly. It was beautiful. But, I always felt uncomfortable driving by the cliffs. I'm scared of height. Yes, I am a chicken...LOL. However, back then, I was always preoccupied with the possibility that I was never to have a boyfriend to love and to be loved by him. I even believed that this was a fact. So, while driving, I indulged most of my thoughts to an imaginary boyfriend. I pretended I was holding his hand while he was driving. I didn't like to drive in my daydream. I didn't like to drive a stick-shift without steering power on a highway with a whole bunch of cliffs. Once in a while, I would lean over and kiss him on the cheek or lay my head on his shoulder. All that took away most of my fear of the cliffs.

Yesterday...I, too, was on a parkway, the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was beautiful. The leaves had not changed color. Yet it was very beautiful and serene. And, I was not lonely. I was with my real boyfriend! I was so happy. I did lean over and kiss him on his cheek. And I did hold his hand. But, this time, I held his hand because I was scared!!! It was crazy! The scenery was wonderful, but the cliffs were HELL...LOL. I was scared! Most of the cliffs were on the passenger side, my side.

Nevertheless, our end point was at a view of the sunset. It was wonderful. I tried to sit next to Jim for a couple minutes to enjoy it. It was wonderful. I was not too scared of the cliff then, but it was too cold for me that I had to watch it from inside the car...I LOVED IT.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Need Advice

Over the past couple of weeks, I have had two patients passing away from terminal cancers, one of whom survived two previous cancers that I had diagnosed in time. Unfortunately, for this third time, there was no cure. I have two other ones that are in line to go, one with severe COPD, the other metastatic colon cancer. The one with the colon cancer just came to our clinic, and we quickly diagnosed it; but, it's too late now. I feel very sad. It doesn't matter how much I've tried to do for these patients, no matter how long I've practiced, no matter how many times I've sat with patients at their death beds, it has always been sad; I'm never used to this. It's not the sadness for myself or for a failure or lack of success. It's a sadness of knowingly witnessing a precious life being taken away. In these cases, my hands are tied.

There's another kind of sadness that I recently experienced. There's a pharmacist that immigrated from my country who has an independent pharmacy in the same city where my clinic is located. I referred a number of patients to him. He goes to the same church I do. He used to be in the same choir I am in when he first opened his pharmacy.

Anyways, in the past, he often tried to push me in prescribing the ways some of the patients want. After multiple correspondence attempts to let him know that his requests were not right, he practically gay-bashed me with a faxed letter, calling me a faggot, half-man half-woman, etc. What is sad is after I filed a complaint to the NC Board of Pharmacy regarding his practice of pharmacy and his un-professionalism toward gay people, they closed the case, practically saying that he did nothing wrong.

I don't really care about the biggot pharmacist because I know he knows that if he does it again, he'll get a lawsuit. However, in my opinion, the NC Pharmacy Board's courses of action are not right. I wonder what they would have said if he had made some demeaning statements about a Jewish or Black physician?

The question is what I should do next? I contacted the Gay Lesbian Medical Association and was given a contact name. I think this is a good idea. I have thought of writing to the local Medical Association and the NC Board of Medicine; however, I'm not sure if this is a good idea. I've thought of asking internet readers who might support me to write to the NC Pharmacy Board; however, I need advice on this. I've thought of the ACLU; however, I'm not sure they would do any thing. I've also thought of just ignoring it and go on with my life.

But, how can I just ignore it? I can ignore the pharmacist and what he said. However, how can I ignore the NC Pharmacy Board's action? How could a governing body that oversees the conducts of their members ignore such statements as "faggot, half-man half-woman" in the year 2010? How could I ignore this and move on? How could I wait and expect another victim to step up and question the wrong to set the momentum for a path toward the right?

Am I thinking too big? I'm not sure. Am I fooling myself? Maybe. I don't know much about the gay community; but, I do know that there have been courageous people out there who have fought so much for our rights, for what we have now as gay human beings. Maybe, it's my turn to do something.

Tonight, I don't just feel sad for my dying patients. I feel sad for the dying souls of my gay friends. I feel sad for my soul. I feel sad for I don't know if I could do any thing. I want to untie my hands; I don't want to knowingly witness our precious souls and rights being taken away. I need help. And I ask for everyone's help.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


It's now the crack of dawn. I'm on the floor of my loft looking out the balcony toward the reflection of the patio lights from across the pond which is still shining like flickering candles. In about thirty minutes, the Canadian geese and a single heroin will gather at the back of my yard, bathing and fishing...or maybe gossiping. In about an hour, the coi fish will surface, swimming around the pond looking for food. It is usually the time my mom starts working in the garden and feeding them. Soon, everyone else will reluctantly get up and make gargling noises, splashing noises, and, sometimes, complain about a hard day ahead. The silence will be molested!

For now, everywhere is silence, except for the constant, soft, wind-blowing sound of the ceiling fan above me. I love this sound...very much. It signifies a sense of peace in my heart and soul. It brings me back to the very few peaceful memories of my childhood. Amidst the relentless war, the poverty, there were summer afternoons when my siblings and I would take naps on the floor around our mom, pretending everything was ok. Then, everything was still. The only noise was from the fan, except for the occasional motor sound of a motorcycle passing by. This was very peaceful to me. This was before I actually understood the meaning of other sounds, the sounds of bombs, the sounds of rifles, the sound of a sigh, the sounds of the sorrows of life. It was just the sound of a ceiling fan and the love of my mom during these hot, humid summer afternoons that were instilled in my heart and soul.

Now, I love an early morning with the cool breeze and mild sound of my ceiling fan. It reminds me that if I look for peace, it's there. I just have to tune out everything else. I just have to be positive and enjoy the good that comes to me every day. The bombing will end; the gunfire will end. The hardship of each day will end.