This is an illustrated tale of how my donation to my favorite presidential candidate was diverted to seafood bliss.

A month ago, on Tuesday, Feb. 5, I thought the only important thing going on in the world was Super Tuesday and the race for delegates in the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries.

Silly me.

It turns out that same week was Chinese New Year.

My reminder? My globe-trotting friend Amber, who now lives in Taiwan, posted a new blog that same day with the headline: “Happy Chinese New Year!”


That same night, two days before the actual Chinese New Year, and with Super Tuesday results blaring on the TV, I was in my home office in Arizona, technolusting after a new BlackBerry.

I’m eyeing this one!

My current boring Motorola Razr works fine as a phone. But it doesn’t let me check and send email while I’m out and about. I’m not sure if I really need to be that connected, but it’s all about instant gratification, dammit.

Mr. Razr phone, you were oh-so-cool two years ago. But… it’s no longer working out between us. I’m sorry.

I looked at my instant messaging window and saw my BlackBerry-toting cousin Doug online, so I pinged him.

“Dude,” I wrote, “I’m lusting after a BlackBerry. Which one should I get?”

A minute later he answered back. “The Curve. It’s good. Nice and easy,” he wrote back. “I’m texting you on it right now. It’s cheap now, too! Like $100.”

A minute later, he wrote again: “BTW… Family says hi…We’re eating crab as we speak.”

Oh… crap!

My family traditionally celebrates Chinese New Year with a week’s worth of dinners at grandma’s house in San Francisco, where grandma cooks up a lot of traditional food that we only see once a year. But like any typical Wong family gathering, she and my uncle always spice it up with an insane amount of delicious seafood.

I was suddenly flooded with images of Dungeness crab, lobster, crawdads, oysters and clams. Screw the BlackBerry! I want some seafood!

I wrote back to my cousin: “F’n A! I always miss the good seafood meals!”

Minutes later, the taunting began.

My brother Dan emailed me a picture of the crab they were eating from his BlackBerry.

“Sigh, crab is almost done. A three-pounder today, too!” he wrote.

I IM’d him back, telling him he was evil.

The next night, the family gathered again for another New Year’s dinner, and this time my sister-in-law got into the act, emailing me this picture from her Apple iPhone.

And then Dan followed up with another picture from his BlackBerry.

Shit! Damn! Fuck! The taunting was unbearable. Not only were they eating great seafood, they all had better cell phones than me!

I desperately needed some Dungeness crab – and fast.

That week, I was planning to donate $100 to my favorite presidential candidate, but instead, I decided to funnel my donation into what I called: my special Chinese New Year Seafood Fund.

The next afternoon, on Chinese New Year, I called up Saigon Pho & Seafood, my favorite Vietnamese restaurant in town, and ordered this beauty: a two-pound “Saigon Special Crab” for $24.

It was delicious.

Two days later, I bought another crab, this time a live two-pounder from the local Asian supermarket for $12. I went home, steamed it, and it, too, was delish.

From my calculations, I still have $64 in my seafood fund. But I’m going to divert that into my “Buy a new BlackBerry Fund.”