Thursday, April 26, 2007

the big 2-0 for Tom

My little brother turned 20 on Monday. Over the weekend, my mom and I took him to brunch to celebrate.

Tom in "eater's pose". It's similar to runner's pose, but for eating.

Scrambled eggs at Ella's. A 45-minute wait to eat these eggs!

Afterwards, we took a walk by the beach. Ah, the convenient joys of living in California.


On Monday, I drove to Stanford to drop off Tom's birthday presents. My mom stayed behind at my house to work on web pages, her new hobby.

My parents are not big into gift-giving. After I started working fulltime, I convinced them to exchange Christmas gifts one year. My mom took a new towel from the linen closet. She gift-wrapped it and placed it under the tree. My dad then made a big show of opening the package, before quietly returning the towel to the linen closet.

But times have changed! My mom took from her suitcase a 红包, which means "red bag", the Chinese way of giving cash as a gift. I peered inside it as she handed it to me. It was thickly stuffed with a sum well into four digits.

"I want to help Tom buy a car, now that he's starting work," she said.

I suspect it's really to make up for forgetting about giving birth to her own son.

I call this "throwing money at the problem".

Tom opening my present, which is ... driving lessons! From an accredited driving school.

As I was leaving the house, my mom said, "Oh, I also brought your brother a bag of peanuts from Beijing!" We stuffed both into a bag. This picture shows Tom shortly after being presented with the bag.

Tom: "What is this? My birthday present is PEANUTS?"

Tom counting his newfound cash.

He then thought up this little prank:

Tom: [calling our mom] Mom! Thank you so much for the present!

Mom: Well, it's a very important birthday.

Tom: I love peanuts!

Mom: What about the other present?

Tom: What other present?

Mom: Didn't your sister give you another present from me?

Tom: No. She just gave me the bag of peanuts.

Mom: !

Tom: But she did show me the new shoes she bought today.


Unfortunately we did not actually play out the prank.


Anonymous said...

Please Niniane, give your mother a fair chance!! Maybe she isn't perfect but who is?

RC, The Netherlands

Anonymous said...

will u marry me?

thermophilus said...

If I were his older sister, I'd have knocked him aside to get at those scrambled eggs--God, those look good! A vibrant sense of humor is probably worth more in life than an $80k brain, but it's good to see that your little brother probably has both. Best of luck to him.

Anonymous said...

I will marry you, but first you must prove your eternal, undying love for me; the price of betrothal is a pack of cinnamon Tic Tacs and a concise proof of the Collatz conjecture. I await your tribute in the dark, timeless void beneath the heel of a titan.

X's & O's,

hai said...

In my birthday ,My mother just boils noodles for me !

ArC said...

Ugh, cinnamon candy of any sort is disgusting!

girlrobot said...

I'm always reading about nerdy boys who have crushes on you. As a female reader, I have to say I have a crush on your cute younger brother! Does he have a blog? :)

Niniane said...

re: girlrobot.

My brother does have a blog! But we have a mutual non-blog-reading pact. He doesn't look at my blog, and I don't even know the URL for his.

If only I could get the rest of my family to participate in the pact.