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Chau and B.J.'s notes from Space City

Archive for June, 2009

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photo by Jen Gotch. amazing photographer.

So, after today, I am going to take a break looking at all the wedding porn (didn’t make the word up, but it is so perfect). It’s a year away. Yep, I realized it’s not that far away, but I think I need to focus on our end goal: that everyone has a good time and knows how much we appreciate them celebrating with us! My dad is very eager in the planning stages, and for a while I started obsessing over all the details. Do I really need to worry about linen folds and table number cards? I want things to be pretty and different, but that can be achieved without following the costly traditional route, right?

Anyways, I still plan on DIY-ing as much as I can. One, it’ll make the process a lot more enjoyable and meaningful. Two, I’ll still feel in control of some things. However, there are a couple of things that are out of our control, such as venues and dinner set-up. I prefer buffets over seated dinners because you have to interact with more people and you can eat seconds if you choose! But when I suggested that, it was like (scoff) We can’t ask Vietnamese people to wait in line for food! I know some people are going to talk no matter what, but this is one battle I will not fight ’cause I won’t win. Heck, if I had it my way, I would throw a huge party by the beach. Bonfires, s’mores, twinkling lights . . .  should have waited for someone else to be the first to marry :)

Haven’t checked with B yet, but here are a few things I think I’m going to nix: professional photographer, videographer, traditional engagement shots, groom’s cake, bouquet and garter toss, veil & ring boy.

Instead of having a photographer, I’m hoping to get some of my photo friends to take a few shots for us with different film formats. So far I plan on using polaroids, black and white 35mm, and a holga. During my wedding web borrowing mania, I came across A Desert Fete, and I fell in love with their images. Definitely a look I want to go for.

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Gorgeous photos by Michelle Pullman. check her out

This is not going to turn into a wedding blog. We’ll save it for another website muahaha. Some things I look forward to when the wedding bells do ring: Seeing all my family from all over the world, hanging out with our Notre Dame and RISD friends, the rehearsal  dinner, & before and after activities. Oh, and marrying B! duh.

Aw, yay! Beth sent me the sweetest cake topper & card in the mail today from the Small Object. I was so excited I took a picture before opening the bag. For now, she’s sitting on my work desk. Gosh, I’m glad I cleaned my room for 3 hours (broken up into 15 minute sessions, of course) yesterday . 

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water_colorquick watercolor sketch

So, I went to jury duty on the wrong day! When they called my name up, I was certain I was picked for the jury! Instead, the lady in the front told me, “Unfortunately, you are scheduled for tomorrow. You may reschedule in the next room.” Oops. But, on the bright side, I was able to move my date to the end of July, after our trip to Chicago. Other pluses: I woke up before noon, became more familiar with the Metro system in Houston, and I studied in the waiting room. Not too shabby, eh? For some reason, I feel like I’m still going to be picked, even though only like 1% of the people called in are actually chosen. I just have a feeling…

I ended up sleeping in till 1pm. Meeh. Kinda counter-productive. But I did get around to testing out the Spool bird pattern. I used some cheap felt we had around, and my next trial will probably be with floral fabric. Click here to download the pattern. I think I’m going to make some tweaks for the next one, like rounding out the beak and shortening the tail.

spool_birdHelen Ward’s version

sample_spoolbirdMy trial version. Please ignore the poor stitchin’

recent purchases:

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Mike Perry Bandages from UO. I scored it at the bottom of the basket for 1.99!!! Now you can look stylish even when you’re hurt.

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Anthropologie pillow.

Major plus: you can wash the covers easily. :) Did you know that, when we were younger, my mom put a plastic tarp underneath our eating table because we were so messy? It was much easier for her to shake the food off outside than to clean up the floor. Don’t we sound a little barbaric?  See, I didn’t like to eat meat when I was small, so I would strategically  throw it under other people’s seats and then offer to clean up after the meal. Or I would hide huge chunks of meat in plant pots. Muahaha.

chronicle_books journal_detail Chronicle Books journal. I love the color palette, and the inside pages have more pretty designs like: imperfect grids, polka dots, etc. In this case, I think it’s an owl done right. Just sayin’

dress_sneakSneak peak at my dress.

So I bought the first one I tried on. (I did try on 1 other after that.) I know that probably goes against all the “rules” but I wanted to get this step over with. Don’t get me wrong: it’s beautiful and my mom really likes it, too, but the more important things to me are planning activities, food, and CANDY. Also, when school starts up, I’d rather sleep in than drive around in the heat shopping for my dress. Now I need to find a good seamstress and that’ll be one huge thing I can check off my list.

thuy_momMom and baby sister, Thuy. Don’t they look cute?

Jury duty tomorrow!

So much has happened in the past few days, and my plans for a lazy, recuperating summer will probably have to be put aside. BUT that’s fine by me. A few things that happened: my parents left for two weeks in Israel so we all pitched in with babysitting & meals; I just finished the last week of school; Thuy graduated high school; we celebrated three birthdays, mine included.

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I usually prefer a quiet birthday without cake and hoopla.  This year, B and I celebrated early with a visit to the Menil Collection downtown. All these years I’ve lived in Houston and this was my first time! Most of the homes nearby had front porches and a lot of charm. If I were to stay in Houston, I would definitely move closer to the city.

Before we went to see the Dumas exhibition, B proposed in front of Twombly’s Say Goodbye, Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor with a gorgeous Hannah Clark ring. I’m leaving out a lot of details, but I’m confident B can given a better and more eloquent account later. I promised myself I would enjoy this time and not let the stress get to me. Even if on the day after the engagement my dad created a complex spreadsheet  in Excel determining who’s coming to the wedding. Even if it was color coded.

Speaking of firsts, a group of us went to the Dynamo’s game for Ky’s birthday. The weather was perfect, and I think we were all pleasantly surprised at how fun attending games could be. My favorite part of the night was the live music and the confetti.

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gooooaaaaalll

Some of my family from Portland came down to visit us. In July! With the humidity and heat! Now that’s love! Before they left, Long took everyone out to the Lake Conroe to to swim and jet-ski. B was a speed demon as usually.  I could barely hold but it was super exciting at the same time. Next time, I’ll wear goggles no matter how goofy it may look. 

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I have a major certification test coming up in less than two weeks. I’m a little worried because I’m being tested on a few subjects that I would never teach like web writing and desktop publishing, but since they fall under the same category as digital graphics, I have to be proficient in these areas to get certified. Rhode Island was so much simpler and less expensive with their tests. GAGH. Wish me luck, I’ll need it. None the less, I am very happy and excited for the future. All the love and support we’ve received has been so heartfelt and overwhelming. Give me a few more days and I come up with something that can better express our gratitude. :)

Yesterday, on the commute home, I was sitting back and suddenly became aware that the sun was preparing to set. An amber glow was filling up the whole bus. Not only the specific angle and personality of the light, but the public place, the young passenger in front of me, the dusty windows, they all made me think of Philip-Lorca diCorcia. The same photographer who said this:

It might be said that twilight is a muddled form of clarity. The warm glow that suffuses the ‘ golden hour’ in Los Angeles acts to filter the grim realities, the outright lies, the self-deceptions, which allow Hollywood, and by extension, America to flourish. ‘Twilight’ provides the rose-coloured glasses that make it possible to see out but not see in.

A couple images in particular sprang to mind. Both came from diCorcia’s Hollywood (or “Hustlers”) series. Each title reflects the subject’s name, age, place of birth, and the price he requested to be photographed. The first: “Mike Miller, 24 years, Allentown, Pennsylvania, $25.”

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The second: “Eddie Anderson, 21 years, Houston, Texas; $20” (1991).

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So I grabbed my iPhone and slyly snapped a photo.

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My first year teaching is officially over. I had major cleaning up to do in my room, but luckily my students and siblings pitched in and tackled the mess. I received my first good-bye teacher gift, a journal from one of my seniors with a personal note inside to get me through tough times, and a mysterious package of tamales with homemade sauce left by my door in the morning. There was no note so I assumed it was for me? Thanks kiddos!

Design*Sponge had some extra good posts today. My favorite one was about Jing Wei, a RISD alumni, who creates amazing woodblock prints. I ended up buying a print of the melting popsicle. She has a really unique style that sets her apart from a lot of the illustrations I’ve seen lately, which don’t lack in quirkiness and whimsy , but after awhile, they quickly get glanced over. Her prints on the other hand, are technically executed well with lots of layers and a story behind it. I think this is why I love editorial illustration. So watch out world, I think we’ll see more of her!

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BJ and I are committed to getting some work produced this summer, so you won’t catch me being a bum in front of the tv. Starting tomorrow. I’ll make exceptions for the Real Housewives of New Jersey. muahahaha. I mean come on, those ladies are entertaining! I definitely think B needs to continue sketching. Here’s a photo Vanessa took back at Notre Dame when he practically lived in the library and his hair long. I’ll have to go through my photos of the one he did of Obama when I was studying at RISD.

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