London is...

The flight to London was quick and pleasant. Except for the Asian man sitting next to me. He smelled and he stuffed a rollie suitcase in the area in front of his seat!!! Anyhow, half of that luggage started invading my leg room area!!! Other than that, I watched two chick flicks, napped for two hours, and I was in London! So much faster than flying back to Hong Kong!

So far, London is alot like Hong Kong, all the road signages and the buses are exactly the same! Second, sales people are not very nice and not very helpful. I paid with a credit card today at the grocery and the lady behind the counter expected me to take out my own pen to sign it!  Other than that, I was pleasantly surprised by my Sunday Roast dinner, in many ways... for one, it was very delicious, and two, it was very huge and I finished it all!!!

I also had the pleasure to stay with my friend Saaleha and her family on my first night on this Island. Saaleha made me guest baskets, full of foods and goodies! So I recharged, hung out with the kids, had great Indian grill food Saturday night and a big Sunday breakfast!

 first glimpse of daylight on my way to London
 Saaleha Mimi and her baby daughter Hawaa
 Saaleha is the best host ever, she made me baskets of goodies!!! I'm eating the chocolate peanuts right now!
 Saaleha helping Umar with his shoes.. and looking a bit crazy at the same time.. =p
 Our Indian feast!!! Which included somosas, mango lassi, naan, a mountain of tandoori meats, roghan josh, salad, crispy chip thingy.. yum
 Next is the big Sunday breakfast with the family!
 On the way to the dorm apartment by Regent's Park
King's Cross.. Wa!!!!

To see more pictures, come here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150624322845332.681232.624635331&l=7d6170247f

Summer 2011

A summer of new adventures has started!!! After two years of graduate school, I needed to take a break from academia and try something new. Key ingredients for this adventure is London and Beijing. But before that, I made short stops at a couple of cities to visit people I love. This posting is somewhat of a backtracking, but gotta get the old out of the way to welcome the new!

First stop was SAN FRANCISCO!!!

The biggest news in SF these days is my chubby little nephew, Ethan Kim!! He's soo adorable. All you want is to hug him and kiss him and pinch him. Lacking experience with "early humans", I was pretty awful when I held Ethan at first... I was supposed to hold his neck, his bottom and burp him at the same time. What?!  But the last time I checked, I only have two hands.... So to all the mommies out there, you guys are super-women!!! How do y'all stay soo devoted I have no idea!

 trying to stable his neck...
so that I can force a kiss onto him!!
 So the trick is to poke his little chin, then he'll smile like a little buddha!
sooo cute!

After Ethan, I did do some geeky architecture sighting and I brought my mom and aunt along. We stopped by the De-Young Museum in SF and the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.
 The exterior cooper cladding of the De-Young Museum is meant develop a green patina over time to eventually "disappear" into its surrounds. But I think it's better right now, it has become part of the landscape, mimicking the native mountain backdrop that is signature in many parts of California. Buildings will never really be invisible.. so stop trying!!

Roof structure cantilevering out to create the idea of an enclosure without enclosing. 
pacific ocean 

 baby Jesus and adult Jesus inside the Cathedral of Christ the light =) hehe
Overall view of church. The front panels of glass forms the body of a fish, diving into water..

Next stop was NYC!

Usually, going to NYC involves eating soup dumplings at Joe's, having ramen, going to museum, going bar popping... For being in the city for only two days, I did all my favorite things to do there...

 arrived at JFK, waiting across from the Saarinen building
 NJ transit diorama. I took the NJ transit from NYC Penn station to the Newark Airport. It was very fast and comfortable. Nice! Yay, public transportation!
 The best soup dumplings ever!!!!!!!!
 And not too shabby lion's head.
 Drinking mini ales with my favorite gal, Jenny!
 With the help of Jae and Min-suk, we emptied more mini glasses.. =) They were really glasses for hobbits, they were way way way too small!
 Farewell photo 1
Farewell photo 2










A day in Austin

Today, I walked around Austin's Warehouse District and 2nd Street District for the very first time. Maybe because it is the Labor Day weekend, it was almost like a ghost town. None the less, there were many quaint finds.

This store specializes in doggie attire...

Post-it art =)

Old wooden tracks

Some of the buildings are the decade old warehouses buildings. How valuable are historic buildings to our current living? Are we preserving them for the sake of nostalgia? Or are they just in the way of developing better money churning properties. 


A new semester

Four more years have passed since my last blog, and something happened today that has ticked me enough to write in this again... My friend Hannah and I visited the UT art museum, the Blanton Art Museum, and I am now infused with opposing emotions that I have to let it out.

Legend has it that Herzog & de Meuron was commissioned to build the new UT art museum back in the late 1990's. However, after they were selected, the UT Regency demanded the art museum to be more stylistically in line with the rest of the campus. As a result, Herzog said "BISAK (bye in Swedish)" and we don't have a landmark. We have a building that looks like the rest of the campus, with unadorned post-modern arches and columns and boarded up windows at the street level! At least the overhang soffit is generous and has nice wood paneling.

Entering the museum, unimpressed, my mind changed quickly as we approached the central atrium with north facing sawtooth skylights, filling the space with energetic daylight.

My heart was beaming with joy when I saw the interior wall treatment at the atrium. The horizontal acrylic blue and white stripes made you feel like you are floating in the ocean near Santorini.

But then, my feelings for this place only plummeted here-after... The galleries are reminiscences of the Kimball Art Museum by Louis Kahn, yet they look more like faithful copies instead... On the way out, we realized that the interior wall treatment was not part of the original architectural design. It is an installation art done last year, so kudos to the artist, not the architect... Also, the four corners of the building have circular rooms within, yet they are absolutely in disguised from the outside. The roof details are also hidden from view.

The element of surprise is often appreciated in buildings, but I hate buildings that lie. I felt cheated as I walked away from the museum. 


Almost a year later

Wow, it's been a year since my last blog and that was some depressing sht. Situation at work doesn't seem to be getting any better. I'm getting less motivated by the minute. oh well.. suck it up.

I don't have much profoundness to preach. I saw some teenages at a food court today, and they look like babies. I didn't think I looked a baby when I was 16.. but that was almost 8 yrs ago..

Time sneaks up on you and steals from you before you notice. Must act fast...

I didn't do any major travelling last year. However, I did get in touch with nature several times, went without showers for three days while camping, woke up in 26F coldness from a tent, saw amazing tufas, hiked in search of elks, and was awed by their stern posture and blinded by their white butts (their bodies have three colors!!) . I went to NYC, Quebec, Montreal (Canada is a much more pleasant place to be), Galena, Tahoe (winter and summer), Vegas, LA... I thought about going to Japan and Australia..

I'm too timid and indecisive to do any major life changes right now. I think I want to stop work and travel, but reality smacks me in the face and tells me to suck it up and get back to work. I think I'm going to London this summer because my boyfriend's mother is going to give a presentation there (she just got her PhD.) and kids can always smooch of parents, so at the least, Jason and I will have our meals covered.. =) And that would be my first time ever in Europe!!!

I signed up to volunteer at a children's museum to help with wall murals and set building and alike... I need some new activities besides going to work and hanging out...
aight, peace


Using your phalanges

Humm, this is my first posting but I don't really have much to say. But I'm saying them with my skin covered phalanges.. and it's not that bad. Getting ready for bed, because work won't allow you to skip it... Weekends are always one day too short. I propose 3 days weekend every weekends. People are at work for 10 hours a day anywayz.. If you work in consulting, even though your physical being, aka your growing ass, is sitting in front of the computer the whole day, u know that not all that hours are chargable/ billable, thus you have to stay there even longer, and be more unproductive. I'm basically watching my life withering away at work, not doing something I truly believe in. Are there people out there with jobs they actually care about? I wonder.
Sorry, this is not much of an adventure as I have promised in my blog title. My phalanges did some dragon boating today, and that was fun and exhausting.. but they stinked like salty water from the bay, because the H20 was the salty water from the bay, though the place is called LAKE Merced..
aight, goodnite everyone.