12.09.2009

frozen

it's nearly 1/2 way thru december now. i'm sitting indoors basking in the sun here in portland, but don't let the sunlight n warmth deceive u here, outside is somewhere in the low 30sF. tht's nearly 0 in Celsius, or freezing. i hv been working on the catalog for my family n used it as my excuse not to step out o the condo in past 2 days. its just way too cold to b out ther. well, i'm just being lazy too. once i step outside, it'll take a while b4 i can return home, as i tend to wander thru town at a slow pace. next thing u kno, i'm nowhere near catching up to my deadline. so now tht i'm in the editing mode, i'd like to just take a breather n write a little, catch up on my thoughts, random as it may b.

ths morning, i finally got off my ass n step outside n trimmed off the dead tomato plant we've named Roma. on monday, he has officially died, or froze to death. it was sad sight to bear. we've managed to grow ths plant from the first day o farmer's mkt back in may. after the whole summer passed, we've gotten 1 tomato tht got stuck on the vine til ths past sunday when i decided to cut it open n c wht's up. it just wasn't ready. but the entire fall season, we've been getting loads o blooms n ther were 2 little tomatoes coming to life. now... we'll just hv to wait til next spring n start over.
anyway, so i trimmed n rewrapped the metal container with the saran wrap tht is on ths thing. 3 out o my 4 herbs tht r planted w/Roma r still alive, so i carefully redid everything in tighter smaller space. i hope they will survive ths winter. Limone (our meyer lemon mini tree) has been quickly rescued n is now indoors along w/Minty n Purple dude (i don't kno wht ths plant is, but he's got purple leaves). it's nice having plants around the house.

i hv been really lazy about writing since summer. i kno i've yet to write up the part 2 o my oz trip. n about the other travels tht has dotted ths yr. ther's been a lot. major n minor travels. but so much to catch up on. but i've been engrossed in playing games on fb when i'm not out or traveling or working. ther's also the time u hv to stop everything to spend w/t person in ur life. n tht distracts above all else i guess.
in terms o my paintings, tht's been very slow progressing also. i'm not sure why. partially it's space. i can't just mess up ths room i live in now in pdx. it's our living room n tho i've alrdy confiscated a corner to b my desk. spreading out further is no good, cuz i'd hv to clean it up every evening. tried working outdoors, but tht doesn't work out so well when u can't c ur torches flames. ok, i can paint other things, but summer is when i'm working on the lunar book. so all i can say is, i'm a bit lazy n lost. am i supposed to come up w/something diff to work out or do i just continue my arabesque series?
many thoughts run thru my head, maybe i'm stuck cuz i'm incubating? perhaps.

well, it's time for me to get things ready to head out n run a few errands. it's like walking myself. once ths is all done, i promise myself to start going to yoga classes again. i can't believe i don't do yoga like i used to anymore. was a 3-4 day week routine + rock climbing! now i barely go yoga n no rock climbing at all!!! n ths is supposed to b great rock climbing town. but if u don't hv a partner, u don't hv chances to go. maybe i should do it in the day time. since evenings r all my precious time-spent hours.

i hope by ths evening i will remember wht i had intended to design for the cover o the catalog. damn, i should've sketched it first or write it down. now i can't recall except tht chris is on ther.

10.23.2009

best resto list pdx_2009

The Best Restaurants of 2009 just published on the portland monthly magazine...

Lucky Strike (maybe ths is t/chinese i heard about?)

Beast (heard o)

Park Kitchen (def a plus)

Syun Izakaya (need to chk out)

Bunk Sandwiches (heard o)

Clyde Common (awesome)

Nostrana (great but not awesome)

Paley’s Place (?)

Laurelhurst Market (heard o)

Nong’s Khao Man Gai (gotta try!, love carte food culture)

10.22.2009

creeping close to nov.


is it end o oct already? well very close to it, then it's nov, dec/ jan 2010! wow, time just ticks by so quickly n silently. i remember getting on the flt to portland on 12/31/08 from tpe n now it's almost a yr since i hv been here. miss my 12th floor home n vic very much. altho ths new life w/another person is great but i miss my own place too. ok, even tho tpe isn't tht ideal w/mosquitos n humidity, etc. but i did spend the time decorating it n making it my home. and i do feel bad 4 just leaving vic ther on his own in tht space. miss my sis n kids too. sometimes i wish it's all in t/same city so i can visit w/everyone often n yet lead my own life too. anyhoo. ths project is dragging on n on n on. has never been such trouble 4 me b4! "reputable" printer ≠ better printer. they suck! so now tht the pdf font issue is resolved, i hv to resolve my duotone issue! damn. when has anyone met such trouble trying to print ths thing, not i! they can't solve any problems so i hv to do it all. so tired. no time to paint n it's dragging into my free time b4 next catalog dsgn time.
enough complaining.
so yesterday i was home working. i'm all set up now w/my 23" monitor i lugged back from OC. we hv nothing left for breakfast except muesli w/yogurt. i ended up eating tht n a squash soup for late lunch n no snacks b4 hoefesh shechter dance performance at 7.30 so we rushed 2 mkt to buy some energy bar n juice n sun chips. then shared a late dinner after at Higgins. was yummy food. so yesterday i had a vegetarian day. hope my wt doesn't drop too much. anyway, the dance co performed 2 pcs, Uprising and In Your Room w/a live band n music he's composed himself. they had only 2 stops in US west, UCLA n here. they'r very powerful pcs. Uprising was a bit too masculine n raw, towards t/end it was too much the same tempo. but the tension was good. lots o very hiphop dance moves n things i saw at raves, haha. the 2nd was def more interesting, w/11 dancers, it was quite powerful. tho he's trying to say lots n maybe too much trying to say at the same time was a bit tough to get it thru. maybe in a couple o yrs his choreogrphy wl b even more mature n it'll smooth out. i love their energy n tension n dynamics tho. it's def a chroeogrpher to watch 4.

ths morning i was awakend w/an email... aiyo! i guess my hopes o not working on tht stupid book is smashed. back to drawing board.
:-(
is ok, i will treat myself by going to paris.
n buy tix to philip glasse's opera, ORPHEE later
looking forward to pink martini album release party.
hv a great day.
it's all white fog out ther.
w/lots o autumn colors.

10.13.2009

bday

wow, is it that time o the yr again? my bday which is in fall, marking the beginning o all the various holidays, halloween, thanksgiving, x'mas, new yr, chinese new yr!
i've been really out o touch w/my blog lately, not tht i hvn't got anything to write. just been so busy trying to finish my lunar book project, which is now... nearly 2 full weeks later than originally projected! i'm nearly ther tho. i had thought yesterday, after staying up all nite to finish some last minute corrections, tht i was all done. nope, still a lot o little things. will ths thing never end? i want to start painting already! really!
update on the tomato situation. hmmm, not so successful. ther's finally 1 growing, but the weather has turned really wet n cold now. i wonder if the plant will survive.
well. i hope i will b able to sort out things soon n start writing more. twittering is just not getting my thoughts n feelings thru.

9.24.2009

lost in deadline land.

i kno it's been a while since i really really wrote anything substantial, it has been such a busy summer o traveling n visiting families, n of course, the pile o summer desn work... which i'm really falling behind. hadn't even the chance to really enjoy portland's summer n now it's fall! our time here is limited. ther's a goal to leave town before the heaviest o winter sets in. i'm just hoping i can get thru all these work here so i can paint again. ther's some work i wanna work out here. maybe i should ask larry about renting a spot in his studio to paint in.
ok, enough break from my work. will continue to try to get it all done by being the latest 1 week overdue. the thing w/being designer, u get the blame when something's late. cuz u'r the end o the line o things. but i'd say 1 week isn't too bad tho since everything was stalling in t/beginning o summer. got a late start.
when ths is all done, i will continue w/part 2 o my travel writing on oz n others things ths past summer. if i can remember.

9.19.2009

A moving sound's new album release concert


I feel very lucky to b able to listen to such beautiful music at the red theatre in Tpe. It made me want to dance.

9.11.2009

New painting


So i went back to cafe lili to sign my painting n finally take a foto o it. Here is. I'm liking the size.


here r the other artist's paintings from that day.
















Puppy.


Vic's new puppy, his name is...puffy

Hsr


On Twn's high speed rail to Tcg. The sky's so clear 2day, so unusual, must b the rain. Love having ths rail. Makes traveling very convenient.

9.08.2009

artists beat the flood, paint/ auction




as i got ready to leave for nyc/ taiwan, i received an email invite calling out to artists to participate in a meaningful event in taipei, while i would b here for. so instead o going on vacation on 9/5th weekend, i decided to participate too. 21 artists painted in the gallery/ cafe of Lili in Tienmu aread from 10am to 8.30pm... w/silent auction going on thru the day n final live auction tht nite. ther were visitors throughout the day stopping by chatting w/us. we got to visit w/ea other and chat about our work n hang out. very fun to b in a community when painting. altho by 6pm, i was soooooooooo exhausted to b painting non-stop since 10 n breathing turpentine fumes tht i was a bit lite headed. i think we made total o 500,000twd for the floor releif aid. awesome! in all the chaos, i didn't get a chance to document the show at all! but the link to Lili cafe has fotos taken by Roma.

8.25.2009

1st nite... tokyo avec bagaboo.

after a long delay at the JFK airport, our orig short flt to Narita turned out to b extra long. all tht waiting on the plane w/out taking off killed me. thankfully i had a whole row to myself plus kirk gave me a nice blanket, i was set to sleep.
we arrived tokyo shibuya district after another long train ride.... but the ramen at Ichiran, just around the back o our hotel was just totally worth it.


8.07.2009

holographic scratch board, new toy!




i kno i should b working... deadline hell n all, but it's friday! i really wanna just draw... so this is today n last week's new work.

8.02.2009

quick update


ths is wht i did since friday, during an advanced encaustics workshop here in pdx. jeff gunn is a great teacher. n the new classmates were all very interesting women. it's not quite finished, but these things take time. it's been really hot here, tough to work in a studio w/out a/c nor a proper fan. but i still am loving wht i hv so far. ok, back to work now, on my bread n butter work.

7.20.2009

rose garden

still hv lots o work 2 do b4 michigan trip, so hadn't time 2 really finish writing about the rest o my oz trip. being home in cali didn't help cuz i ended up not doing ANY work. just spent time w/kids n beach. took a break last evening (8pm) 2 visit the rose garden n refill our depleted fridge (tho we did stock up on fruits n veggies from farmer's mkt) o breakfast items. when u work from home, u'd end up just eating whatever is available n nvr bother 2 leave t/house.
anyway, here r some amazing roses.
the most surprising is the Lagerfeld variety since it's named after, i presume, karl lagerfeld? it starts out lite lavender n as it blooms fades into a very pale shade o white, 8k 4c 7m (i think)?






and this deep red, i think black rose isn't far away.

7.10.2009

yoga

it's been a while since i've done proper yoga. having the right teacher is very important. since i've been in portland ths past 1/2 yr, i've yet to find a space/teacher i find interesting for me. mainly also, vinyasa is the most popular n some ashtanga n hot yoga types. not my cup o tea. but in newport beach, cali, Juris's classes r always so fun n interesting, building strength n flexibility n breath w/out the show-off ppls, etc. of course, in tpe ths last couple o yrs, i've been going to Rob's classes, which may seem basic but u build alignment while gaining strength/ flexibility. in yoga, difficult poses doesn't mean anything if ur balance is off or ur muscles, etc rn't aligned properly. so being home for a visit means i get to refresh on my fav yoga sessions n learn new things. and the sunshine/ beach!

7.06.2009

2 weeks in australia_part 1: MEL

travel plans:
sat 6.13-6.22 (pdx-tpe)
mon 6.22-6.28 (pdx-melbourne)
sun 6.28-7.1 (mel-Hamilton Island)
wed 7.1-7.4 (hmi-Sydney)
sat 7.4 (syd-PDX)


1. after a week in taipei, i flew to Melbourne via HK arriving 6am, 6/23/09. after we met up at airport, we wnt to Mim's place [Brunswick] which is just north of city center. then we all wnt to chinatown for some chow's. too bad the intended resto was closed, so ended up at Post Mao nearby. it's ok food. i find chinese food in restos tend to b a bit heavy on the oil & salts. still, it was good lunch n time spend w/just mim & nicky. a great discovery today for me is a couple of aussie products. the very popular skin care line, Aesop, their most famous product being the parsley seed stuff, which i ended up buying 1 to use, very nice indeed! the other is Papaw, pronounced [poe poe] according to locals (mim). this ointment, i absolutely adore! it is as great n versatile as mim claims. so i bought a tube n a big tub... tho i'd already lost the tube traveling.
anyhoo. we spent the 1st day wandering thru town. exploring the various alleys n lanes tht is so melbourne. then we wnt back to mim's, exhausted, to try the famous aussie snack... Vegemite, altho it's not too bad, it won't b my 1st choice over P&J, ever! we then drank some wines while waiting for nick to show up to take us to his place nearby. nick jones, pls meet my frnd nicky jones! was very funny indeed. we dropped off our luggage n wnt to find dinner in the neighborhood. apparently, mel is a great place to find italian food since ther's a large immigrant population fr/italy. heard ther was even a mafia problem ther. imagine tht. i never wd've thought so. Rumi (mid-eastern fare) was the original resto we intended, but it was full. we ended up going to a sicilian place, Bar Idda, just down lygon street from Rumi. very tasty food, newly opened, 2 months maybe? we had osso buco soup n a pork pasta. afterwards, we stopped by a bar for drinks. in the back "garden" area, i can c several older italian men hanging out. it's alike a scene strait out o Godfather movie!
nick was really sweet to vacate his bed to us n slept on his own couch. felt really bad about it. he's got a really sweet cat, Mimi. boy, melbourne homes r cold in t/winter. apparently no 1 really uses heat. hmmmm. def not for me.

2. sunny day. ate breakfast at the bakery by tram stop. then we head to Federation Square to meet mim/nicky. wnt to c the John Brack retrospective ther.





then of course, we had to visit the aquarium since the penguins r in town! i just adore them! the way the swim n move about. my next fav thing ther is actually the jellyfish. love seeing how they just float w/the currents. it's at the aquarium tht we learnt a new word. BILLABONG! all this time, i just thought it's name o a surf brand or place, like Patagonia! was starving after aquarium, Satay Bar, found ths tiny tiny place nearby, seats about 5? basically the 4 of us took up all the space, maybe can fit 1 or 2 more. the grills r yummy, tho rice could improve a bit, too wet 4 my taste.
ths nite, we met up w/Nick for drinks at Cookie, pub (loads o selection on beers, great pre-dinner place) then Dainty Sichuan food, for dinner. i believe ths is wher all the chinese n melbournites go when they miss authentic spicy (everything was red!) food. too spicy 4 me, i had to drink soy milk w/my food.
i learnt tht, in aus. the restos cannot always allow take-home food unless they'r licensed for take-away. so if u hv leftovers (portions here r also quite "american" meaning "big") some places will reject ur requests for a box. something about food sanitation or safety.
these r some other place we've been to while in MEL, but i'm not remembering the order o places eaten, i will just list them here: Bambuand Hairy Canaryand Hells Kitchen i heard also ther r many nice bars on nearby fed'n square, facing the yarr river. can't remember the names tho.

3. day 3 in MEL, w/rented car, picked up neil/berta who's arrived previous nite. we woke up super early, expecting to b picked up at exactly 7am. we were in fact, too early for the Filou's Patissier, apparently a well known n loved place, nearby nick's home.
we drove out onto the Great Ocean Road with the 12 Apostles as our final destination in mind. tho we finally learnt last minute tht it takes 4-5 hrs to reach...it was unanimously decided tht we'll do Erskine Falls and Aireys Inlet Lighthouse then lunch in Wye River, ther's a semi-grocery store with a sort o cafe/pub, very nice food too. then our final goal o t/day was to c Koala bears. we managed to spot several stoned out bears high on trees in Kennet River... well mainly their very cute round asses! after their glam foto sessions, we rushed home so t/car won't b charged an extra day... the drive home was great cuz it sprinkled a little n revealed to us beautiful double full arch rainbows [taste the rainbows]!!! then home for brief rest n back to our nice dinner at the Italian, expensive formal resto, but very good food/ service. ate the chicken, simply grilled. we often forget how simply the chicken can taste w/just some salt n grilled as is.

4. in MEL, wine country tour o yarra valley!!! we gotten up bright n early, picked up by the driver (yes we got a vanbus tht comes w/driver) n off we go, still a bit sleepy tho not as early as previous day, it's now 9am. these r the stops we made, b4 lunch... no one was really into drinking wine ths early... [on ths morning, we heard the sad news o michael jackson's passing in oz]
1) PUNT ROAD, my scribbles were tht we like their Chardonnay, Cab, Bortrytis Semillon. their Etoile restaurant looked amazing. but on we go.
2) DOMAINE CHANDON, we loved their Heathcoe Shiraz n their sparkling wine, Vingtage Brut 2005. tasty. think neil made some purchases here.

3) Giant Steps/ Innocent Bystander, which is winery & bistro. after the morning of wine tasting with near empty stomach, we had to eat our lunch 1st b4 hitting the wine tasting tables. we started out with cheese platter which mim recommended. then moved onto their pizza. it's very good crust.. but the tomato sauce is the most basic n theirs was just not as good as wht Ken Artisan serves up in PDX. they do serve lots o very yummy dishes besides tho. and their giant steps line of wines carries more depth than innocent bystander line. right beside ths spot, is the beer brewery, White Rabbit. It caught our attention immediately cuz it's stood out in the midst o all these wineries. we were curious n interested to taste something other than wine, crossing the parking lot over to it, we ventured to try their brew. TASTY! is it cuz we were under t/influence? dunno, but we bought a few to take home w/us to try later on. our last tasting was 1 suggested by some1 at chandon, Red Shed Cafe, a very small hand-crafted winery along with restaurant tht is fare in price n great in taste, from wht i read on their menu n other reviews online.
back to the city we go, leaving the yarra valley, content. today, we move to our hotel room in St Kilda, the internationally & locally loved beachside o MEL. ths is wher the wedding will take place, at the poshy The Prince boutique hotel. our place, Hotel Tolarno, is also very sweet n interesting. i've never seen clrs so diff yet so well put together in harmony. thruout the hotel hallway, rooms, lobby, resto, they hung interesting yet varied art purchased from the grad class o art schools nearby. our room came w/a kitchenette. the 2 burner stove is also a mini oven! love love love its adorability o style n space... best part is, to hv a heated room! all 3 of us were quite relieved to move to hotel. wedding is only another day away! yeh! dinner was just down the street, barely 2 blocks away at Kyma. i've been wanting greek food since the cruise n didn't hv chance to eat local cuisine back then. we were not disappointed by the food. ate too much as usual, even tho we've been sharing our meals... [the white rabbit beer is very good]

5 sat in St Kilda, MEL. WEDDING DAY 4 mim n adie!!! breakfast n walk down by the boardwalk. ther's a Luna park here with all sorts o rides, but no one is interested in going for any ride. apparently, here at the pier, ther r penguins here around sunrise/set times. we c signs but don't c them. we do c a pair o very elegant black swans tho. i then heard tell tht all white swans r property o queen o england in UK. really? why? wht does it mean?
o, forgot to mention, ran into Anna!!! hadn't seen her for nearly 2 yrs since she was transfered to New Zealand. anyway, it's an evening wedding today, so still hv a few hrs b4 prepping for t/wedding to wander about a bit.

7.01.2009

CHANGE!

in memory of michael jackson.

we saw him walking in his signature shorter pants everywhere we went in australia.

6.16.2009

availability

in this mobile age, being a designer who's always worked freelance on projects, i'm quite used to being 'mobile.' To my family, however, i'm just never "available" because i'm not physically in taiwan most of the time. it is very unfair to state this, because, of all the projects i hv done in the past, most i hv done while traveling around. i'm rarely in the actual office. i was accused of not making myself available. i felt wronged in many ways, cuz i've always been online working with the taiwan office. i finish my project b4 deadline. if ther's delays, it's always been the management who doesn't respond to my emails n such. not being around has always been. but that is a physicality of the old days. ths is mobile tech world. why is it wrong to b traveling. every yr i hv to explain tht's how i've always worked in the past. i flew 14hrs to tpe just for an hour meeting just so i can b here in person, in the physical, just so things will start rolling n to prove tht i'm "here" it pains me to b accused of not being 'available' when i'm the most available once the project starts....
ths is the same thing as my family saying always tht i don't call nor do i give notice o my travels, etc. when i say it in advance, no one pays notice until i am actually away. then they'r always surprised by it n say tht i do ths n tht n i never tell them. old habbits die hard, n old impressions die hard. so even if i didn't do it, it is assumed tht i didn't call n i don't tell ahead.

Calvin


It's nice 2 b hanging out w/my boys again.

6.13.2009

taipei

here i am, back home with victor in taipei. it's been 1/2 year since i've been away from tpe. our living room has grown very cozy. i like it. i guess i'm jet-lagged cuz it's daytime in pdx n i'm wide awake!!!!
good to b back, even if just 1 week. will hv loads to do, including finding my twn id card.... was it stolen? or lost?

i kno my mom does hv my tote n silver rings by accident.
it's so hard trying to remember what is wher...
so good to b back in my room.
sooooo good to hang out w/my bro again too! tho i'll only b able to c him for a few days b4 he takes off to osaka.
now i just can't b lazy n run all my errands asap! only 1 week til oz!

another line


i've not shown this online yet, have i?

6.09.2009

rose garden in the other city of roses, portland, OR




Pasadena, CA was the other city of roses i've lived in yrs ago when i was going to school at art center, but i didn't really fully appreciate flowers then. now, i'm living in portland, OR, another city of roses, after a freezing winter, spring means so much more and the blooms, they'r amazing. well, maybe also, after nearly a yr of floral arrangement class, i've had better appreciation also of flowers n various plants.
we visited the japnaese garden and then stopped to look at the rose garden. the last time i was here, nearly 1 month ago. the rose bushes were all just barely starting to grow new leaves! now their blooming, beyond first blooms! wow! so amazing. the colours n varieties! it's crazily beautiful. but we were hungry so didn't stick around too much longer... well n kirk couldn't stop sneezing too.
which is ur favorite color?