(Originally posted on my facebook page in 2009)
1. I was born with hypopituitarism (pituitary dwarfism), and used to self-inject HGH (human growth hormone) into my thighs everyday growing up.
2. Because of my hormone situation, I was still a soprano when I was 20 years old. I never really experienced adolescence in the way normal kids do. I might still be in pubertal stage without the surge in hormone production.
3. My dad, a limnologist and a retired environmental chemistry professor, is now an amateur beekeeper, and my mom is a potter and a calligrapher.
4. My sister and I once had chipmunks as pets.
5. I think cilantro is the most egoistic herb. I don’t like it, not only because of its flavor that is so prominent and incongruous, but also because it smells like the ant I accidentally crushed when I was very small.
6. I’ve been to concerts of Paul Young, Cyndi Lauper, Rick Astley etc. —all in Tokyo, with my sister.
7. I was once a verismo opera fan. I almost wished I were a tenor so that I could sing “vesti la giubba.” In the late ‘90s I made many solo trips from Philadelphia to New York just for the operas.
8. I like Julie Andrews.
9. I did the Suzuki method growing up (violin). I was once in Shinichi Suzuki’s class at the Suzuki summer music school in Matsumoto, Japan.
10. The first Bach cantata I studied and directed is BWV 64: Sehet, welch’ eine Liebe hat uns der Vater erzeiget. The performance was with the Redeemer Bach Ensemble at Redeemer Lutheran Church in East Falls, Philadelphia, in 1998.
11. I like the Bulgarian folk songs performed by Bulgarian female choirs— they are fascinating.
12. My parents used to drive a Honda Civic many years ago and that’s the first car that I remember riding in. Now I drive a Civic myself, the car my sister used to drive, and it is my first car, so appropriately!
13. The first computer my family owned was the NEC PC-6601 with 64KB RAM running at 4MHz. I used to write simple BASIC programs on it. My first true personal computer was the Power Macintosh 6100 that came with 8MB RAM and a 250MB hard drive, ran at 60MHz, and later tweaked up to 82MHz. Since then, my main desktop machines had been the Power Macintosh 8500 (later highly tweaked) and the Power Macintosh G4 “Sawtooth” (later highly tweaked), and now it is the 20” iMac.
14. I like man-made objects that fly. Airplanes. Helicopters. Even toys that fly. I used to fly an F/A-18 Hornet in a flight simulator on my Mac for hours… Those were the days.
15. I like noodle dishes. My pasta choices would be most often the noodle kinds. Obviously I love Japanese noodles too! I’ve had noodle dishes from Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai and other Asian cuisines, but I don’t think I ever had a noodle dish that I didn’t like… Please, no cilantro, though.
16. I don’t like the month of May which is my birth month. “Im wunderschönen Monat Mai,” I would just block the outside world and go fishing alone. Beautiful and seemingly uplifting days of May and my emotional experiences of May in recent years sadly contradict.
17. Everything about space exploration, especially of the US of A, fascinates me. Can’t read enough about NASA manned space programs, especially those early ones, namely the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects.
18. I love watermelon in the summer. Seriously. I can live on watermelon.
19. This fact is pretty much known to anyone who cares to read this note, but yes, I waived my Japanese citizenship to study Bach with Masaaki Suzuki in Japan. And I am so glad that I did that— my two years in Tokyo studying Bach were the best years of my life so far.
20. I like the smell of a new computer out of a box.
21. One sport I like to play is badminton, but I haven’t played it in years. I enjoy playing catch, but in these years, only at my summer job location in Vermont, I could find the chances to play it and a partner to play it with. My glove stays there during the year now.
22. I love me some continuo.
23. My favorite store is Bass Pro Shops, though I’ve only visited twice; once in Springfield, MO, and the other time was in Clarksville, IN. I’ve never been to Cabela’s stores but I’d love to make a visit sometime soon.
24. I like to cook, and some people say I’m a good cook, but I don’t even own a cookbook. I improvise a lot and take too many risks. I rarely cook for someone else, but when I do, I need to stick to my limited but tested repertory of dishes so that I can serve my guest an edible meal.
25. It is never fun for me to write a paper, but I do enjoy writing when there’s no due date, and I do enjoy the research. Simply, I like to write, and I like to read.