Point & Shoot


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?

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!

Hy and I are finally back from our 12 days long Asia trip. We had lots of tasty food, stayed and inspired by many uniquely designed hotels in Taiwan and Hong Kong. I finally got a chance to show Hy the places I grew up. Many of my relatives, friends and ex-coworkers finally get to meet with my husband, who they’ve only get to see in pictures, in person.

Beside lots of surface stuff, in this trip, I also get in touch with my inner being; had a chance to visit many book stores; read couple books on the plane, in the train, in the hotel, even while soaking in hot springs; had deeper conversation with Hy regarding our life and future together. Coming back, I feel more alive and whole. Though, I am still trying to recover from a flu.

Of course, we’ve taken tons of photos. I am going to share with you some straight from my point and shoot camera, unedited. I know I can never be a photographer like Hy and Frank. That’s why I am not shooting your weddings and only get to blog and coordinate. But hey, imperfection is life.

First off, some dreamy sceneries.

We took trains to go around the island:

Now, some street food:

Rice Burger:

My favorite place in Taipei, book store!

Unique window display of a fitness center in one of the hotel we stayed at in Hong Kong:

Another unique design for a restaurant in Hong Kong. The same restaurant also has a location in bay area: Zen Peninsula. We’ve done couple weddings there when we just started HyStudio.

Then, some posters that draw my eyes:
This particular one is a guy that I secretly loved for past 8 years 🙂 (well, not so secret, Hy hates the guy)

And as usual, anything wedding related, I just can’t keep my eyes away ..

Lastly, my favorite man, Tristan 🙂 You will see more of him ~

Photo source: Hy – in front of Chanel at Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas via my point-shoot camera.

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This week has been crazy busy for me. Hy and I went to Vegas for WPPI Sunday night and came back Tuesday night. We ran into a lot of photographer peers that we knew online (via emails & blogs). Many of which started part time, now runs their business full time. It was great fun to meet our virtual friends in real life 🙂 Through the convention, Hy and I also got to pick up some great new product offerings for 2008 and beyond. Stay tune for some great products upcoming.

This Sat. afternoon, while Hy’s out shooting an engagement session, I spent time looking at 2 full weddings from Weddings On Film, one of the distinguish wedding video production company in San Francisco Bay Area. Sometimes life can be so busy, we forget why we do things we do. Looking through the wedding videos, it reminded me why I spend my time with HyStudio. Wedding touches my heart, brings me deep joy, whether it’s a friend’s wedding, a client’s wedding, or some stranger’s wedding. I just love love love weddings! The story behinds each couple intrigues me. The details in the wedding astounds me. The art work, whether it’s photos or videos, inspires me. I enjoy every bits of it.

Next week, I will be attending a friend’s wedding. I just can’t wait ~

BTW, while Hy and I are in Vegas, we found our new favorite restaurant. We had dinner at Bartolotta at Wynn’s hotel. Bartolotta specialized in fresh seafood flew in daily from the Mediterranean sea. Hy and I had a whole Turbot baked and served at our table side. The taste was so simple, fresh, and amazing. If you get to stop by Vegas, don’t miss this treat! Hy and I are definitely going back!

Following are from my point & shoot camera, then with the magic touch of Hy’s post-processing.

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This Sat., while Frank’s working hard on an engagement photo session in SF., Hy and I went out for a late lunch date at Los Gatos Downtown.

We had lunch at Caffe Siena. Searching on a foodie’s forum, Caffe Siena is famous for its European style Panini, bitter sweet Mocha and tiramisu. So, we had exactly that plus couple more. All are delicious. The owner’s super friendly. Give the caffe a try next time you are around the area, tell the owner Hy and Annie of HyStudio send you.

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After lunch, I scored a private photo session. Well, the truth is, the surrounding was beautiful and Hy needed someone in the frame. Regardless, I enjoy the attention I got and I loved the photos.

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While walking into residential area up hills, 2 little boys were walking down hills toward us. One little boy kept on looking at me, looking at me while he walked, without looking at the road, then he tripped. I was like .. “ohhhh….” I felt so bad…. But after he got up and no harmed done .. I realized what just happened .. “hee .. i am over 30, and still got it .. ” I told Hy that. Hy shook his head and said .. “you think too much .. ”

I know it’s silly, but when you are over 30, you will rejoice when you are asked to show id.

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Ok ok, I know for those of you who wants to see wedding photos, I promise next post is going to be a wedding 🙂 Stay tune ~

Hy and I are both adventurous eaters. We love to try different type of restaurants.

Recently, we were introduced to Sumika, an authentic Kushi-Yaki (skewered-grilling) restaurant in Los Altos. According to the web-site, Kushi-Yaki is based on the concept that flavors of the season can be best enjoyed when bite-size meats and vegetables are served piping hot directly from the charcoal grill.

We went to Sumika twice for dinner already this month. It’s a small restaurant, so be sure to make reservation on weekends. On weekday night, it can be quite empty. It’s fun to go on an empty night, as you get to chat with the waitress and the chef. Check it out, it’s an very interesting experience. And the food is fresh and yummy!

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I will have a pack day Sunday. But I do have some amazing wedding photos to show case when I have a chance next week. There are also Aug wedding teasers that I am holding on to. Stay tuned!

I introduced Minling, our newest HyStudio team member, in our last “Studio Pulse” blog entry.

I mentioned Minling loves children. She just loves to be around kids and kids love to be around Minling. I’ve known Minling for many years through the church I grew up in. She runs our church’s children program. I work with Minling as one of the Sunday school teacher for our church’s children program. Introducing Minling this way made her sound old, she’s actually couple years younger than me. She’s just really blessed with talent around kids! 🙂

Here is some photos Minling took while baby sitting Julianne one afternoon last week.

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Hy took some photos for Julianne when she was a month old last year. Now, she’s already 1 and half years old! Time really flies. Julianne is such an adorable girl!

Minling told me that she will spend more time with kids this summer. Hopefully I will get to show you more of her work through summer time!

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