happy year of the monkey!


Happy Chinese New Year! Today is the start of the year of the monkey – woot! And … I’ve moved back to New York! Surprise!

As you can imagine, Chinese New Year is a big deal. China is currently on a week-long holiday with many businesses closed, large cities nearly emptied as people are in their hometowns, and practically every surface decked out with red knots, lanterns, and ribbons. But here? It’s pretty much business as usual. Last night people were far, far more concerned with the Super Bowl! And I had sushi for dinner.


happy year of the sheep/goat/ram!

Happy New Year’s Eve! Tomorrow is the first day of the Chinese New Year, the year of the 羊 yáng … which translates to sheep, goat, and/or ram. So yeah, that doesn’t make things confusing whatsoever.


And just like on New Year’s Eve of the Western/Gregorian calendar, I am sitting at the Pudong Airport waiting for a flight. But this time it’s domestic and the flight will probably be on time. Woot!

Hope you have a prosperous year of the sheep/goat/ram!

new year, visiting an old project

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

It is now 2013! 2012 proved to be very lackluster in terms of me posting on this blog, but we’ll see what the new year brings. Since it’s the holidays, I’m back at home, and once again forced to go through my old stuff from architecture school and weed out the weak (in other words: clear out all my junk at the strongly-worded request of my mother).

130101 a boards

In one bag I found a bunch of rectangular pieces of laser cut matboard, and I realized that they were extra pieces from a model I built in 2008. It was for a construction class, and the project was to build a partial model of a building facade, so the rectangular pieces were the exterior cladding elements. Why I kept them for almost five years … I have no idea.

130101 b fixings

I also found little packages of some of the smaller construction elements, all laser cut from white matboard as well. And looking at some of those beams … goodness gracious I can’t believe I spent so much time gluing those little pieces! And they didn’t even get used! I definitely laser cut way too many. Either I was really wasteful, really worried that I’d mess up, or just really bad at planning.

130101 c detail

The building my partner and I chose was the Ricola Storage Buiding (1987) in Laufen, Switzerland, by Herzog and de Meuron. This is a detail of the completed model, which only exists in pictures since it was thrown into the trash shortly after completion due to lack of space. Well, now its spare parts are in the trash as well. Sadness. But hey, it’s 2013!

tuesday – yet not at the camh

I used to work every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday … but it’s Tuesday and I ain’t at work! I worked at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston (CAMH) in its curatorial department, and it was an amazing experience. Last Thursday was my last day, so I’m going to toot my own horn a bit … because I can! I was an amazing intern. Truly, I was.


[NOTE: This image is a scan and not mine. Purposefully low quality.]

One of the other interns recently created a Tumblr page for the museum and one of the posts featured my work on Issuu! Not my work as in work I created, but my work as in the results of over two months of work I did scanning, cropping, optimizing, and uploading a whole bunch of old exhibition catalogs! Yeah, that was validating. I think I was a tad overqualified for the position. I also scanned a whole bunch of old photos which will be uploaded to the website by whatever intern replaces me. Ah, I’ll miss the scanner. I spent a good amount of time with that thing.

If you’re in Houston, go visit the Contemporary Arts Museum (always free!). The current exhibit is trippy. Then grab some lunch at the food truck in the parking lot of the Museum of Fine Arts. My favorites are Phamily Bites (the Vietnamese eggrolls or pork sandwich) on Tuesdays and Creole2Geaux (catfish po boy) on Wednesdays. Yum. And yes, there are a lot of links in this post. Au revoir, CAMH!

ionic blooms

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

I haven’t posted in a good long while. Ugh, who knew graduate school could entail so much work? Well, here’s a drawing I did a good long while ago.

120222 ionic blooms

According to my sketchbook, I drew this June 10, 2010. I remember drawing it on the plane ride from the US to China and some of the Chinese people nearby were watching me do all these drawings and kept asking me about what I was drawing. My Chinese was pretty lacking at the time so the only way I could explain it was to say “flowers” but I don’t think they quite understood. Ha. The plane ride itself was pretty horrible (middle seat for a REALLY long flight) so I was really glad to be able to talk to someone to break up the boredom.

Eventually I’ll get around to turning it into an Illustrator file, but right now I just don’t have that kind of time. Sigh. Off to do more homework now.

x-stitch … years in the making

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

Did I ever mention that I am quite the procrastinator? Well, here’s proof. I finally finished a cross-stitch that I’ve been working on for the past few years. It’s not that big (about 12″x12″) and I really have no good excuse for why it took so long. This cross-stitch saw me graduate high school, graduate college, go off exploring, and start graduate school. Yeah … when I say that this took me a “few years,” what I really mean is 7 and a half years. Oh yes.

120110 xstitch

I received the pattern from a friend for my 16th birthday. We had taken biology together, and for a bug-collecting project, we managed to catch some butterflies. In the process of pinning them to the board, some of the wings fell off and we became the wingless butterfly friends. She gave me the cross-stitch as a reminder of that. We actually haven’t talked in about five years or so and we’ve both just changed so much, but I’m glad that I’ve finally been able to complete her gift.

Kind of bittersweet in a way. The cross-stitch is completed, we’ve lost contact, time has moved on … seems kinda final.

procrastination (er, study) cookie(s)

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

It’s finals time! Ugh. One more week until I get to go home! Basically all I have left are two papers and one presentation, so it shouldn’t be too bad. Unfortunately, I’m having an awfully hard time motivating myself.

111211 cookie

One cookie is pictured. Many were eaten.

I need sugar to work, and since we’re low on flour I made oatmeal cookies (these cookies). And because I felt like they needed more sugar, I made them oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Yay! This is why I like baking. It’s good for procrastinating, but it also yields morsels of yumminess which improve the studying. Therefore I feel like my little baking foray doesn’t really count as procrastination because it was productive. Right? Yeah, this is how I justify things to myself. Wish me luck!

happy thanksgiving!

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

Happy Thanksgiving! Yum yum, turkey time! I’m actually at a friend’s house in Connecticut, and I’m going to experience my first ever truly American Thanksgiving. Excitingness. Sure I’ve had the turkey and the mashed potatoes before, but in a Chinese household … Thanksgiving isn’t very traditional … and sometimes includes duck instead of turkey. Heh.

111123 thanks

I hope everyone has a good holiday! Don’t eat too too much! And try not to get trampled tomorrow, okay?

really non-mexican tacos

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

I’ve been fairly busy lately (and still sick) so I haven’t been very crafty and I haven’t been making much food either. For instance, my lunch today consisted of crackers and juice. But I actually put a bit of effort into tonight’s dinner! I basically survived college by eating everything in a tortilla since I can’t really cook. Usually my meals involve simple reheating, a box, or a can. Eh.

111117 tacos

I made myself some soft tacos with chicken sausage, mashed potatoes, corn, and shredded mozzarella. They were delicious. My roomies think I’m weird and I’m sure other people out there are wrinkling their noses at me, but hey – I never said I was normal!

If you’re thinking: Where are the fruits and veggies? Well, the honest answer is that there are none. Nutrition-wise, I’m horrible. Not a big fan of healthy things. By no means am I suggesting that this would be a well-rounded meal for someone (unless you had a side of veggies). As one of my roommates put it, for me, the food pyramid is more of an hourglass shape, heavy on the carbs and sugar and sparse on everything else. I should probably get my cholesterol tested.

starting on xmas cards

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

I like to make my own cards for Christmas because I feel like there are very few good ones out there that are unique but simple enough for my taste. And cheap enough for my budget. I’m currently experimenting, so I’m not sure what I’m going to end up with, but it’ll probably just be black ink on white card stock, with maybe some added ribbon … maybe.

111108 cards

I really want it to have a modern, simple look, where the typography takes precedence. Hm … I’ll have to play around more with it. I don’t want it to be too boring, but if I’m making a whole buncha cards, I couldn’t go too complicated either. Any suggestions?

I’ll just shelve this for a while until I figure out something I’m completely satisfied with. After all, I still have over a month to make and write these cards!