Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Hot Cup of... Soy Sauce?

I was out to lunch with a fellow Toastmaster today at a Japanese restaurant and found something new on the table. Instead of your tradition soy sauce containers, there was this:

A tiny teapot used to hold soy sauce!

I took a picture of it next to my tea cup for scale. (The tea "cup" was about the size of a large mug.)

What a cute idea, using non-traditional containers for condiments! I should try this at my next party/event!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Narrow Garage

And when I say "narrow," I mean the garage is 6 cm wider than the car itself!

Talk about resourceful thinking... but wouldn't it be easier to get a bike?

Friday, January 22, 2010


Thanks for the birthday wishes, blogging buddies!

We had a delicious dinner at Buca di Beppo, complete with tiramisu and a "Buca-sized cupcake" (pictured below). If you've never been to a Buca di Beppo, you absolutely must. It's a family-style Italian restaurant, so don't go unless there is at least 4 of you. I think the biggest group I ever had at Buca was 20-something people, about 1/3 of my floor in the residence hall first year of college for the end-of-the-year dinner.

This is what they mean by "Buca-sized" cupcake. Pretty big.

The most amusing part of the evening had to be when they came to sing "Happy Birthday" to "Janine." Well, I've heard some interesting butchering of my name but that was a new one. Also, they've started singing a new birthday song there -- the lyrics consisted of references to spaghetti and meatballs -- and NONE OF THEM knew how to sing it, much less the diners. So it was an awkward 30 seconds of humming along with the waiters, who were bumbling along with the written lyrics since they hadn't learned it yet.

Afterward, we hit up The Hip Kitty, a jazz lounge and fondue bar in Claremont, where a band we knew was jamming.

Thanks for coming out despite the pouring rain! If I hadn't gotten out that night, I'd have crazy cabin fever right now from the nonstop rain. And don't think I'm just being a whiny Californian, because there's no rain like Taiwan rain in April (where it basically poured nonstop for 3 weeks and I was in a Californian's nightmare).

Sun, come back soon, please!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


This post will go (or has gone, depending on when you read this) live at exactly 12:01 AM, one full minute after I turn 24!

Every birthday, every new year, I always seem to want to sit down and evaluate my life. I think about the regrets and the pains, all the positive and negatives from the last 365 days since the last milestone had passed.

And I'm never happy with my evaluations.

It seems that it's not enough to want to change, or simply decide to be more active or aggressive or determined or whatever antonym to "lazy and passive" you want to use to kick start the life you always wanted. Too many people are all talk. You don't make a happy life off of good intentions -- waiting day after day, month after month, year after year for good things to come your way.

But it's not enough to just do things either, as I recall a time that I was an intern and was berated for doing something "half-ass" and not "walking the walk" because they didn't give me enough information to work off.

Wisdom comes with age and I believe it now, after several crappy internships and some horrible roommates. Years of friends coming and going, relationships failing, and late night conversations consisting primarily of the phrase "I don't know what to do." Wisdom comes with a price of getting hurt, sometimes losing time and money, and sometimes some innocence and faith.

Sometimes I'm scared that I've become jaded and that the wisdom I've gained over the last 24 years will be nothing compared to the wisdom (and its cost) to come.

But sometimes, I'll look forward to a small dinner of friends who stuck it out past rough times. I'll look forward to responding individually to well-wishers on FaceBook. And I'll have delicious tiramisu and I'll realize that the best thing I can do to be happy is to simply enjoy life, and to enjoy it in a simple way. And no amount of jaded wisdom can determine the future.

And then maybe... I'll enjoy being 24.

Monday, January 18, 2010

101 in 1001

(via icanread)

Starting last New Year's, Clement and I vowed not to make any more resolutions. Resolutions are vague, you forget about them, and they are never accomplished for want of "somedays." Instead, we decided we were going to be goal-setters with deadlines. We have a collaborative 101 in 1001 list on Google Docs, that we check in on every couple of weeks.

What is 101 in 1001?
It's a list of 101 things you want to accomplish in 1001 days, roughly 2 and 3/4 of a year.

Like what?
Everyone's goals are different. I Googled "101 in 1001" when I was making my list to get some ideas. I used a couple of cop-out goals, like "Finish writing 101 in 1001" and write another "101 in 1001," but most of them are sincere goals. Like the examples I found, I left a couple of blank spaces for this year (2010) and next year (2011) in case I come up with new things.

How do you get started?
The main concept behind 101 in 1001 is to create measurable goals. Consider using the SMART method - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Remember that it is not a list of short-term accomplishments. For example, instead of "Lose 10 pounds," try something like "ride my bike to work 3 times a week for 100 weeks." Instead of "be nicer to my sister," try "take my sister out to dinner 10 times."

Do you have suggestions for writing it?
I think that every list I have seen has broken it down into sections like Finance, Try New Things, Family, etc. Remember they have to be concrete goals -- measurable and can be checked off once complete.

Can I see yours?
Clement and I have a collaborative list and some of it is quite personal between us so I can't share my list publicly. I have seen some people share theirs on blogs and it's a great way to stay accountable on your lists. Here are a couple examples off my list:
13. Host a potluck
20. Join Toastmasters
21. Complete Toastmasters Competent Communicator (CC) certificate
26. Read 25 new books
39. Make vanilla extract at home (Shanna)
44. Take a trip out of the state [1/1] - Vegas 2008
76. Go to a renaissance fair [0/1]
77. Go to a Lakers game [0/1]

(Black is for things we've completed, blue -In Progress, and red -Haven't Started.)

Instead of resolutions, why not make concrete goals and organize a list of the things you've always wanted to do? Don't wait for Someday, make it happen today!

Monday, January 11, 2010

press play

Adorable Save-The-Date video!

press play... from tim and jane on Vimeo.

(via DIY Bride)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

On Road Trips and Holiday Chaos

Whoa, it's been a while. Let's summarize where I've been for the last month.

First, I was the MOH of a lovely wedding for my high school bff Sheri. We had an adventure of a sleepover the night, which resulted in both of us getting... oh, maybe 3 hours of sleep. I threw her bachelorette party two nights before; we had a private class for burlesque dancing. Even though pole-dancing isn't normally part of burlesque, the studio left it in the room and the teacher showed us a little bit on it. The class was hilariously fun, partly because it was so awkward for all of us to be dancing sexy toward a mirror. One of the other bridesmaids (thanks, Kelli!) picked up an amusing penis cake, dressed up in a tuxedo and with the words "Much Hap-Penis to You, Sheri" on it.
I picked up the little crowns, beads, and sash at Party America, where there was a convenient little "Bachelorette Party Kit." You can't see them in this picture, but it also came with noise-makers, which were arguably the best part.

Congratulations again, "Shyle"!

Then I took off on a road trip with Clement and his family to the Bay Area, where my poor little so-cal butt was freezing. Our itinerary included Google, Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Park, and Japantown. Clement picked up an amusing mug that was shaped in a semi-circle with the words "San Francisco was so expensive, I could only afford half a cup" printed on it. It was a blast playing with Clement's adorable nieces as usual. I got an ice cream maker for Christmas and look forward to using it in the upcoming months as it warms up. (Although, CA is pretty warm right now.) Clement got a Wii! Any ice cream recipes or Wii games to recommend?

Almost immediately upon arrival in San Jose, after a 6.5-hour drive, I received a phone call from a high school friend; She has an interview in SF next week and a couple of us gals were going to take a road trip to go with her, did I want to come along?

Mind you, this was no more than 5 minutes after our car had stopped. I told her I'd get back in touch with her after Christmas and let her know for sure. Mostly, I was concerned that I would be exhausted. But then I realized that we were reaching that age... everyone is running off in different career directions and then the next thing you know, everyone is settling down - getting married and popping out kids - and we'll be hard-pressed to ever find an opportunity for all of us to just up and drive somewhere. So I said yes.

One week later, I was on the road again to San Francisco again. We helped Diana prep for her interview during the long drive and reassured her after she came back to the hotel the following morning moaning that she had blown it. We adventured through rainy San Francisco: I nearly lost my favorite necklace charm (a Tiffany-inspired heart, Clement's Christmas gift to me last year) due to my scarf (also from Clement); replacing a flat tire with a little donut spare and then searching for a tire place to buy a full size (thank goodness for GPS); spending ages trying to find Chinatown; listening to the girls freak out about the insane hills in SF; and being stuck in traffic for hours extra than expected on the way back.

Two of the girls had made plans with their boyfriends for the night we got back, since we had expected to return about 4 hours before we actually returned. We were all exhausted from the trip and on edge from being stuck in so much traffic. But they were surprised to hear that I hadn't made plans to see Clement that night. "Nah," I told them, "You gotta give guys a chance to miss you." Besides, I was going to go home and sleep. Were they crazy? Make plans?

Two days later was New Year's Eve. Clement and I went to downtown Fullerton with a couple of friends to check out their festivities and take in the fireworks show at midnight. Afterward, I suggested Denny's and we found it to be PACKED when we arrived. Clement and I called it a night at about 3 am and headed home. I later found out that the others, who had planned a short nap before heading to the Rose Parade, had a flat busted tire and also needed AAA to come and jump-start their car battery. They eventually went straight to the Rose Parade on no sleep, while Clement and I had a quiet day at home.

I'm really looking forward to a new year. My family and I had really crappy luck/fortune last year and I'm sure it will turn around this year. This is the year!

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