January 2009


Venue: Crystal Springs Golf Course, Burlingame, CA
Florist: Poppy’s Petalworks
Jewelry: Paris Connection
Makeup & Hair: Galin Truong

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Sophia and Sidney had their reception done at China Town. Hy and I convinced them that it would be real cool and unique shots from China Town. The pictures turned out really well. We were so fortunate to work w/ clients who trusted us. I will show case those upcoming.

Photo source: Annie & her Point & Shoot camera, raw out of the camera.

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“Happy Chinese New Year!” I said this morning.

“No, Happy Vietnamese New Year!” Hy corrected me. : -)

Alright, I guess we can settle w/ Happy Lunar New Year to all who came from different background.

According to .. urg, Chinese Culture?, this year is Year of Ox.

I am not sure whether other culture shares the animal sign. During this time of the year, I always miss the new year celebration ritual from my childhood memory. This is the time where endless amount of delicious food are piled up in the house (candies, sweet rice cakes, soy sauced melon seeds, turnip cakes, fish, dumplings ..etc). The house smells new and clean. Part of the new year ritual is ‘removing of the old, exchange w/ the new’, so we, the kids, were always assigned tasks for the annual house deep cleaning exercise. I guess one of the main reason for the house cleaning is during the new year, there would be lots of guests visiting. You don’t want your house look like a mess.

I don’t particularly enjoy the guests as a kid, because most are distant relatives, parent’s coworkers or business partners. What I do like though, is the red envelop they brought w/ them. All you need to do is, smile (or put on that fake one) and said “Uncle/Aunt, Happy New Year, wishing you make big money.” Then, you get a pile of cash (not bad of a deal huh?). I, the book worm, always used big percentage of the cash in the bookstore. So, after or even during New Year time, I would get new stock of books of my choosing. I remembered loving the smell of new books, and the excitement of the wonderful magical kingdoms that’s awaiting my entrance upon turning the cover.

Yesterday evening, Hy and I picked up two new bookshelves we ordered from Crate and Barrel. The down season for weddings is only time we can catch up decorating the house. I am trying to set up a reading space w/ bookshelves, cozy seating area w/ lightings. We are starting w/ the bookshelves and slowing building the whole area. Around midnight, Hy set up both bookshelves, then I spent about an hour putting part of my book collection in there.

This morning, when I walked into the room, I was really happy. The books are looking good. Reminds me again my childhood joy of reading, brought me right back to the joy of New Year season.

Hy and I will head out to relatives house’ later to hand out Red Envelops. I can’t help but wonder (sounding like Carrie Bradshaw), which and what little child’s dream will we enable tonight?

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This photo was taken by Hy on Brooklyn Bridge, NYC.

Today (1/20) was a historical moment. This morning, I watched Mr. President’s Inaugural Speech before heading out the house. The speech certainly exceeded my expectation.

After coming home, I spent couple hours watching more speeches he delivered through different Inauguration Balls, re-watched this morning’s Inauguration Ceremony that I tivo-ed. Search through our first lady’s fashion choices. Shout out to fashion designer Jason Wu who was born in Taiwan. And I spent couple minutes reading through my rss feeds regarding this big historical event.

Couple links I found interesting:
1. Word Cloud Analysis of Obama’s Inaugural Speech Compared to Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Lincoln’s: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/tag_clouds_of_obamas_inaugural_speech_compared_to_bushs.php
2. The new White House .gov
http://www.whitehouse.gov/

I feel a bit braver to face the uncertainty that’s so real in my every day life ..
I need to be brave
I want to be brave
as tis the land of the free and the home of the brave ~

Photographer: Annie (YAY, photo from my point and shoot!). Hy did the coloring (post processing)

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This week, my company (the full time job one) finally hired a new CEO (yeah .. not hard to guess which company I am at now) 🙂 Like our new President of this country, the new CEO brought in new hopes and energy to our company. In the all-hand meeting, during the Q&A session, the new CEO mentioned ‘Moral Compass’. Even though her context is different from what I am going through, the whole week last week, those 2 words grow like air bubble around me. I thought about it all the time, especially before I open my mouth.

Some bible verses about the tongue came in mind: (James 3:5-12)

Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt[a] water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

My job function asked me to speak a lot, whether it’s leading a group discussion, or having casual/formal conversations w/ folks regarding specific work assignments, changes around us, or organizational issues. Using words to influence and encourage are the positive and fun part of the job. But listening to gossip and holding the tongue against participation is a constant challenge. And of course, the consequence can be quite damaging. Especially in an organization where changes is like daily routine, gossiping virus can grow as fast as weeds in spring rain. Controlling the tongue will certainly be one of my work item in 2009.

During the Christmas last year, Hy and I watched “Wicked” the Broadway Musical at NYC. During the show, I can’t help but related what’s happening in The Emerald City to actual episode of my daily work. I can even map the charateristic of Oz citizens to the work family. It’s sad and scary.

BTW, I would highly recommend Wicked if you get a chance to watch it. Besides the interesting story lines and wonderful performance, I bet you will get more out of the show. Hy and I booked late so the damage was $130+ each. But I would say it’s totally worth every penny. Seems like they are having the show in SF starting end of this month at the Orpheum theater in SF. See the link here: http://www.ticketmaster.com/artist/1243801?camefrom=CFC_WICKED_hometicketssf

Today’s MLK day. I have a day off while Hy’s at work. I am supposed to catch up work today (piles of them), but it’s already early afternoon and I can’t get myself to start. I need to go and start off my 3 hours of Boeuf Bourguignon now. It’s my first time cooking this dish, but since the Paris trip, we are both missing French cuisine. I am trying out a recipe from Food Network. If it tastes good, I will tell you girls which one 🙂

Wish me luck! Maybe I will post the photo of the dish later this week!

Venue: Crystal Springs Golf Course, Burlingame, CA
Florist: Poppy’s Petalworks
Jewelry: Paris Connection
Makeup & Hair: Galin Truong

Sophia & Sidney got married in 2008. They started the wedding celebration w/ a simple Chinese tea ceremony. Picture of parents’ jewelry giving always touches me. It feels like a passage, from one generation to next.

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After the Chinese ceremony, Sophia slipped into her white gown and head to

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Crystal Springs Golf Course has such a magnificent view.
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Really can’t beat this view.
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Emotions captured

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Congratulations Sophia & Sidney ~ There are more photos to come. Stay tuned ~

We are back ~

After a month of allowing our souls to drift and breathing aromas of different islands and cities; from the sunny, warm, moist Kauai to the cold and damp New York City to the dry and freezing Paris; now, we are back home, to the Sunny California.

In Paris, we both have thoughts of immigration. “We can both find jobs here, right? They must have tech jobs here!” We asked ourselves. Whatever jobs there are in Paris, we will labor for the city’s romance, its coffee and bread. We can sell our house back home, find a little cheap apartment at the outskirts of Paris, attend the language school for couple months. We have enough saving for that. While we study in the language school, we will have time to enjoy the city’s museums, croissants and cafes. Then we will tour down south to Provence, Nice and maybe even Barcelona, Spain. Then we will both find jobs and settle down, and start a new life.

Dream will always be dreams without action. So, now we are back home. Back to our old jobs. Seal our lust together with all our wonderful memories in a bottle.

This is the first Christmas since we dated back in school days that we were out during the vacation. We’ve always celebrated Christmas at home w/ family, friends and our church body. 2008 was our first time we celebrate Christmas by ourselves. We were at NYC for 3 days before we head to Paris. We enjoyed the Christmas decoration of the Big Apple. But I have to say, Christmas in Paris is deadly romantic. Though there were no snow during our stay, I would say we had 6 days of white Christmas. The French surely know how to create art and beauty. All the lights are different color and shades and shapes of white. The lighting creates an illusion of snow drifting down the sky, from the trees, down to the street. I so wish I can capture our experience in a crystal ball that I can replay it over and over again.

There are so much to say about this trip. I spent lots of time planning. For all my effort, I would definitely share them with you all when I have a chance. This afternoon, I went through Hy’s photos from this trip and trying to have a photo float up for this blog. Then this one capture my mind.

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This is a photo inside a metro station in Paris. During our 11 days trip, no matter we are in NYC or Paris. We spent so much time in the subway/metro. It took us to places. But when you freeze time as Hy did here, the speed of it, just like our trip, our life, zoom in and out, before you can catch and seal it, it’s gone: those memories.

Well, no help to keep on looking backwards. First thing when I came back home, unpack, put my two France tour books away. And take out tour book of next dream destination: Japan. There are many things Hy and I are looking forward to in 2009. There are new days, new hopes, next level of our own relationship, new people we will meet and new places we will go.

May your life continue to cross with ours, in real or virtual life, for 2009 and beyond. Happy New Year!