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

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My summer break flew by and it’ll be over in a few days. Can’t believe it. Besides working on the store, and lesson-planning for school, I’ve been carving out time for personal projects. I’m not pleased with most of it, but it’s felt great to test things out and begin routines—to return to the habit of creating. Ideally, the creative misses will eventually lead to hits.

I also took my first dance class, in modern dance, at the Houston Metropolitan Dance center. Although I was nervous, my love for SYTYCD carried me through. Who knew pointing your toes could be so hard?!

Summer has also given BJ and I time to explore more of Houston—many for the first time. Last week, we stopped by the Central Library, got our cards, and checked out as many books as we could carry. We finally walked to the Sicardi Gallery literally around the corner from us. We enjoyed the shrimp egg rolls and lobster with our family at Tay Do restaurant. But we also stopped by old stand-bys: the Menil, where I got a little teary to see the same guard who was on duty in 2009 at the Twombly Gallery when BJ proposed; beating the lines with an early dinner at Tiger Den, where we tried the pandan custard donuts; and pizza and my favorite fries at Kenneally’s Pub.

 

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Yesterday, we took BJ’s mom, who’s in town for the week, and some of my family to the MFAH. I took phone shots of a few of my favorites from the museum’s collection while our moms and my aunt walked through the War Photography exhibit.

2012 was definitely a trying year for the both of us—apart from the opening of a store, we had a lot of change going on. Looking back, I definitely got burned out, and I often didn’t handle the stress in the best way. But I feel very hopeful and determined to have a healthier and restorative year. Moving into our current place (smaller and in a more walkable neighborhood) was a step in the right direction. This year we’re resolving to take time to visit our city’s museums. They’re only a short walk or drive away.  We’ve already had two museums visits so far—not bad for the first month. Here are a few other goals. I tried to keep it simple:

+ Decompress each night by reading or drawing in bed. Close the screens, put down the phones.
+ Call, write, text my friends in other states at least a couple of times a month.
+ Drink water & eat breakfast.
+ Collaborate, create, and continue to practice my craft.
+ Watch movies with BJ.
+ Be a more patient and better teacher, wife, sister, daughter, friend, etc.

 

Some greenery outside the Glassell school. Between teaching and working on the store, it’s been a little hard to carve out time to draw or paint, but taking the camera around the city has been fun. Plus, I have to take advantage of outdoor time before the Houston heat hits.

I hope everyone is having a good week!

Although it has been in the works for almost a year now (and dreamt about for many, many years in my head), I haven’t really mentioned this new endeavor I’ve been working on. Partly because I didn’t want to jinx anything, but also because it’s taken me this long to feel confident it’s really going to happen!

By this summer, Myth & Symbol will be opening its doors in Houston. It came out of an idea that well-crafted, timeless work from independent designers should be more readily available and promoted, especially in such a big city like ours. I’m one member of a 4-person team, and my main role has been selecting the products for M&S and refining the concept. It has been a huge learning experience, and I’ve had the honor of meeting incredible creative individuals. One of the highlights so far has been hearing the personal narrative and process behind each collection—no detail has been overlooked.

Stay tuned, I’ll post more as we get closer to the opening.

 

Gray, cool days here. Not complaining.

My kiddos did awesome at contest. Now it’s time for a break- counting down to spring break and NYC!

I have been bad at getting familiar with our new surroundings. We just started walking through the parks and gardens across the street after two months of living here, and I can’t believe how many paths and trails there are around us. A few weeks ago, we took a different route home and we came across this curious little building kind of at the edge of downtown. I’m so curious about what it used to be. A gas station? (Update: BJ is much better at internet research than me. It’s an installation by Andrei Molodkin painted on a 1940′s gas station.) There are relatively few interesting buildings and structures in Houston compared to other big cities—ours is great at demolishing its history—so it’s always fun to stumble across places like this, the gems hidden in plain sight.

 

My cousin Mai is getting married next year (My first time to be a bridesmaid!) and she asked me to come with her to BHLDN to try on dresses. I had fun seeing her dress up, and the sales girl were super sweet- not pushy and  very relaxed (made all the difference). She had me try on some silver Repetto flats and I was so tempted, but I left with a hair pin by Jennifer Behr to wear on the big day. Can’t wait, Mai!