Monthly Archives: November 2009

floating apartment and beef

I would love to try living in the apartment complex below. Maybe do some fishing and swimming on lazy Sundays. But I kind of worry about plumbing at the same time.



The Citadel: the world’s first floating apartment, located in Holland
(Gizmodo: Architecture)

Last night after work, my mom and brother wanted to have dinner together so I suggested going to Green Leaf Restaurant since they’ve never been there before. Big mistake. They complained and compared the food (to Tamarind Tree and Vietnam House) the entire time. I guess my “bland and inexperienced” tastes in food has been blinding. But I still stand firmly on their duck noodle soup (rice vermicelli and bamboo soup, with a side of duck salad).

We had two kinds of duck noodle soups (one I love and the other I hate: egg noodles soup with 5-spice duck meat) and the 7-course beef. For those that don’t know what the last dish is, below is brief explanation.

Typical dishes, usually served in the following order, are:

[1] Beef salad has pickled carrot, pickled daikon, and celery salad with thin strips of beef marinated in fish sauce.

[2] Beef patties served with rice crackers.

[3] Beef fondue cooked in seasoned vinegar broth, wrapped spring-roll style with leafy greens and rice vermicelli, and dipped in fermented shrimp sauce.

[4] Ground beef rolled in caul fat.

[5] Ground beef rolled in a leaf very similar to a grape leaf.

[6] Strips of beef rolled around a piece of scallion.

[7] Beef congee.

The only thing I like about this 7-course beef dish is #3. In fact, I would prefer all Vietnamese restaurants have that as a standalone dish like what I had at my aunt’s house in VN (below). My mouth is watering just from looking at it again.


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one holiday down, another one to go


Some jewelry pieces from Yoola, Dogeared and Beadlovers that I would love to wear. There are so many talented jewelers out there and I’m very impressed with some of the unique creations they have! Sadly, I don’t think I have any knack for jewelry-making.

It was nice being pampered by my mom this weekend when I came home to stay with her for Thanksgiving. However, she keeps telling me to move back home when Nam leaves so I can save money. I’m going to try to refuse the idea until she gives up, but it’s going to be another battle. Sleeping in my old bed is still comfy and warm, but the homey feeling was lacking. Jayven’s not here so the house is too quiet. I also had a nice dinner over shrimp & lobster scampi with Anh and Chi Ai-Khanh last night. (I also found out I’ve been making shrimp scampi all wrong.) As time continues to fly and leap, all of us see each other less often, so any get-together we have is usually fun and nostalgic.

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another night with link

This work week was long and painful, and it’s not even over yet. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving already. Hoping for relaxing day but that’s not going to happen with two dinners. Packing to spend the weekend at my parents house until Sunday. That means no Link for the next three nights. =(


Watching TV.

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Missed connections

“Monday, August 17, 2009 – m4w – (greenpoint)

asked myself why the letter ‘n’ all night long, then you were gone before i got a chance to ask. also, i saved you a piece of cake.
do you always sit in a circle of asian girls? and sit at the top of the stairs so everyone gets a crush on you when they get to the roof?”

Have you ever seen a stranger somewhere and wish you had said hello or could see them again? Or when you’re about to, you missed your chance?

I always see postings about these encounters everywhere such as Craigslist and The Stranger. But to turn them into art and videos? There’s only Sophie Blackall.

Her site is of my favorites to visit on a daily basis. She draws and paints these small but special missed connections onto paper to share with the world.

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meet link

This is our new kitten, Link.

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new member of the family

We (finally) brought our new kitten home yesterday!!! Turns out he’s still too young and small to be neutered so we’ll have to go to the vet next month for that. The kitten is still so small and ridiculously adorable. After we got him home and out of the carrier, he got scared and scampered around, trying to familiarize himself in his new home. By the end of the night, he was used to us and started asking for a lot of attention. He would only sleep comfortably if he snuggles on both of our laps (between and right in front of us) while we sit and watch TV.

Getting him to let us sleep and stay out in the living room by himself for the first night was a little difficult, but the three of us successfully managed it! Eventually, he quieted down, found his comfort spot on the couch, and didn’t bother us the whole night. Having a pet for the first time ever is so strange and exciting.

I think I am in love.

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immune system

I just got back from a ‘wellness’ info session at work. Now that I thought about it, I should have gone to the fair earlier this week to get a massage and a break from work. Since I’m pulling 11 hours of work today, I might as well attend this one-hour session on how to stay healthy during the winter. Dr. Best talked about different things you can do to boost your immune system and ones that will suppress them. Surprise-surprise, according to her checklist, I have a vulnerable immune system that can shut down any moment. Maybe this will also motivate me to take better care of myself so I won’t feel like a zombie all the time.

So here are my “Strengthen You Immune System” goals:

1. Stretch – because I don’t exercise

2. Breathe – you actually don’t breathe enough most of the time

3. Drink water – take your body weight (lbs) and divide by 2. the number should be how many ounces you need per day

4. Better diet – the ones i need: fiber, calcium, iron, protein

5. Sleep before 10pm – the best sleep of the night happens between 10pm-12am, so 2 hours there is better than 4 hours of sleep after 12am (!)

Speaking of body, I like this green table (in the shape of a woman’s torso) by Atelier van Lieshout. Source: Droog


“This form encourages people to sit at various angles making different ways of interaction possible.”

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know where your food comes from

After work last night, Nam and I visited the new Whole Foods Market that recently opened 5 minutes from my workplace. It’s probably half the size of Whole Foods in Westlake, but still amazing-looking. I always love how everything looks so fresh and neatly shelved at this grocery supermarket. To be honest, I hardly ever shop at Whole Foods or even at a less-expensive place like Trader Joe’s because I simply can’t afford shopping there. However, after watching Food, Inc. a few nights ago, I have to say it changed my way of thinking about food shopping and consumption. Maybe the change is not as much as I wanted because I’m still living frugally, but enough to at least be aware of where my foods come from and the impact of corporate farming has on our health and eventually the world we live in.

Basically, traditional farming is almost non-existent. Those still left are constantly fighting to keep corporations from buying them out. Almost everything you see at a regular supermarket are owned by just 2-3 companies. These companies have a house full of lawyers on retainers to control the farmers and do everything they can think of to prevent anyone from breaking their contracts. The different brands and labels are there to fool you into thinking those yogurts or sauces came from different companies or farms. Animals, wheat, produces are genetically engineered and grown. You’ve heard of food-borne illness, mad cow disease, mad bird disease, and so on. Well, a big cause for those problems is traced back to corporate farming processes. That’s right: Mass-producing things in a short period of time in bad farming conditions equals people getting sick and dying.

One of my goals now is to be more conscious of what I buy (even if it’s a little more expensive) and where I buy them. Of course, all this doesn’t mean I will stop eating meat or fast food, or even stop shopping at Safeway and Albertsons. But at least there are many alternatives like farmers’ markets, your local grocery stores, or Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods where things weren’t made from only 2-3 companies (genetically) and organic food is dominantly available if I decide to shop there.

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Cards galore

I love (and has a thing for) creative business card designs. Maybe once my online shop becomes something, I can create my own business card. :-)

Below are some of my favorites from Creative Bits.


Business card for a DJ.


Keep your hairpins in place with this hairstylist’s card.


Go retro with tear-able card slips.


Security (hacking?) company.

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A new transition

Hello, everyone! This will be my new blog home–a new and fresh change from LiveJournal. Hopefully I will post my updates, ideas, and inspirations on here more often.

I’m also planning to open my first online shop at Etsy. What I will be selling is TBD, but I’m mainly thinking of dresses with some accessories here and there, or even paintings. More information and updates on this will be posted in the near future once I have everything set up and ready to go, so please check back often!

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