Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Papa's holiday hijinx

Papa has been providing material for "Oh no, Papa!" to the point that I can barely keep up. So here's a summary instead.

1. She tried to eat these resin bones that I made.

2. She opened a jar of peanut butter (how?) and ate half of it. I'm surprised she didn't jam her paw in to scoop out the rest.

3. Last night, she ate half a pan of lasagna (no photo of this one — we were in a hurry to clean it up). Yukie and I had stopped at Walgreens and not realized that we left Pops unattended in the car with a delicious pan of lasagna. We'd have done the same thing. Oops.

Luckily I have survived this trio of terror. And Papa has enjoyed having Yukie home for the holidays. Yukie and I baked doggie treats for her (the mix came in a jar, courtesy of Cathy).

Good dog, Pops.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Okay Papa, you can open your own gifts.

Whenever our family gets together for the holidays, the same question always pops up. On Christmas Eve, Dad and Yukie insist on opening gifts, while Mom and I prefer to wait till Christmas day. The compromise: we each open one gift.

That includes Papa.

For a creature without opposable thumbs, she did a better than competent job tonight.

First, she tore through a box that had dog treats inside — fairly easy for someone who can open spice jars and sealed Ziplocs.

Then she attacked the tissue paper on a Frisbee. After doing the moonwalk and puncturing the hard plastic, she moved on to her next gift: a nylon flying disc. She dragged that around the room, too, leaving bits of paper in her wake.

So Christmas Eve was fun (and also overstimulating).

Tomorrow we’ll celebrate the way Mom and I like: over waffles and gifts. I hope you’re enjoying some traditions of your own. Happy Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Major haircut

Matt has been cutting my hair for about eight years. He’s an awesome stylist and is honest about what looks I can wear. Bangs? No. A sweep of layers around my face? Sure.

So I went for my Big Chop today.

Here I am (mere moments before my haircut) with Tammi, another stylist at Erik of Norway. She was wearing her hair in a really simple but cute ponytail (a look that became impossible for me to achieve as my hair got superlong).

I like Matt's approach — measure twice and cut once. Though, he didn’t actually measure this time. He put my hair in pigtails and pulled the elastics down.

He adjusted, he compared, he chopped.

After putting my pigtails in Ziplocs, he washed, dried, and flat-ironed my hair. Then he cut and shaped it into a “long, lean bob.” Quotes are not necessary here, but I’m having a hard time seeing my new style in quite those terms. It’s been over a decade since my hair was this short. (And it had never been that long.)

My long hair had really become a habit. Not that I hid behind it, but when you have long hair, that's often the first thing people notice. Now I feel lighter but also more exposed.

My next move: sending my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. They use the hair to make wigs for women with cancer. Their website also has “before” and “after” photos of the community of people who have donated their hair.

Two years ago, UCLA hosted a Locks of Love event. I happened upon it when I was walking through the Alumni Center — and I remember wishing that I could do it.

Later, Erin and I really tried to recruit the BeadStyle staff to donate their hair, but each of us had our own hair imperatives: Cathy and Jane both love short hair, Kelsey has long hair (and no interest in hacking it off), and Stacy is just starting to grow hers out for her wedding.

But I'd like to think that this story will go on. So let's hope that Erin will keep us updated about her progress. And in a few short months, my hair will be long(ish) again.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Oh no, Papa, not the mail!

On Friday, after feeding and watering Papa, I went to get my Christmas tree. I was gone about half an hour.

When I got home, she had knocked all of the magazines, catalogs, papers, etc. from my kitchen table.

This reminds me of the garbage incident from last Christmas. Papa seems to tolerate long stretches alone just fine, but if I change my routine, it makes her nuts. (More nuts than usual, I mean.) Also, my dad hasn't stopped by in the last few days because he's out of town, so that's another change in the routine.

I'd like to get a pet cam. Then I'd know if Pops was trying to get at her treat jar when she accidentally slipped on the table, or if she deliberately swiped the magazines to make a mess.

I know, I am getting paranoid.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Stef Bartz and the alternative gift fair

On Sunday, I went to an alternative gift fair at Lakefront Brewery.

What is an alternative gift fair, you ask? On their “Tidbits” page, Outpost (one of the fair’s sponsors) explains:

“At an alternative gift fair, representatives of local non-profits get to tell their organizations’ stories. The groups offer a variety of ways that fair goers can contribute money to their cause. Visitors are encouraged to make donations to the groups of their choice in honor of loved ones for the holiday season. They’ll receive a gift card to record their donation they can then give to the people on their gift list.”

I visited a couple of booths and also stopped by to pick up a few dog-themed gifts from Stef Bartz. She shoots beautiful black-and-white portraits and makes cards, framed prints, and these cool viewfinders.

A few years ago, she came to my house to shoot Ginger in her various moods: chatty, playful, rabid. Stef even captured a few dignified yearbook-style poses. One of my favorite shots is of Gigi and I stretched out on the floor, her front paws entwined around my arm. It looks like we’re having a conversation. (I don’t think there’s an “adorable” photo in the bunch.)

Check out Stef’s portfolio on her website or visit her blog, Photo Mondays, to see the new projects she’s working on. Seeing her work will make you want professional photos of your dog. Or maybe even convince you to adopt a dog, so you can then get some professional photos.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Beer battered goodness

My friend Beth spends her Friday nights going to the gym and then a fish fry. She blogs about her weekly frys (fries?), sharing her thoughts about the food, service, and atmosphere. She also goes beyond the traditional beer-battered-cod-and-French-fries option.

I lack Beth’s methodological rigor but share her appreciation for the fry. With a fish fry and a beer, it’s hard to feel stressed about anything — even on a cold winter night. So this Friday, Ben and I went to O’Donoghue’s in Elm Grove.

I always get the beer-battered cod (though perch is also on the menu). It’s served piping hot — almost too hot to eat, which is fantastic. There’s nothing worse than soggy fried food (in the world of fish fry, I mean).

The crinkle-cut fries were also good (and ridiculously hot). But here’s the thing that just might elevate O’Donoghue’s above the rest: the bread.

Two marbled slices of rye, already buttered. We could not stop talking about it. Though it’s good manners to break off a small piece of bread and then butter it, wouldn’t the world be a better place if someone buttered our bread for us?

Being a creature of habit, I will likely forgo other respectable fish frys because I’m happy with O’Donoghue’s. But I’ll keep reading Beth’s blog, just in case.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oh no Papa, not the strudel and the rolls.

My mom makes a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and Brussel sprouts. (I brought some homemade cranberry sauce and a cranberry-pear pie.)

The bread is one of the highlights of the meal. Mom bakes these rolls that are the standard against which I measure other rolls: firm crust, fluffy insides, buttery goodness and a hint of sweetness. I always eat two rolls at dinner. Because if I slice one in half, I don’t know whether to eat the top or the bottom. (It never occurs to me to cut it vertically.)

I managed to eat another roll as an after-dinner snack. And I was looking forward to eating my other leftovers, too. Maybe I’d make a turkey sandwich on one of those rolls.

Except Papa outsmarted me. Again. Pulled the plastic bag from the counter, ripped it open, and ate the two rolls. I didn’t photograph her handiwork, but I do have these photos from a couple of weeks ago, when she busted into a sealed container for some strudel.

My dad gave captions to the three photos:

“I’m innocent!”
“I’m guilty!”
“I’m going to jail.”

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Secret foods

Alimentum recently posted their readers’ secret foods. Some, like microwaved cheese (which I’ve made accidentally) or frozen Snickers mixed with Cool Whip, sound sort of appealing. They’re like Doritos with sour cream: excessive yet satisfying.

Others, not so much. (I just can't get into sardines.)

I didn’t submit a secret food, but if I had, I’d probably have mentioned Red Lobster’s coconut shrimp and shrimp scampi, with rice pilaf on the side. And yes, I would've also included the cheese biscuits and the salad drowned in Caesar dressing. Because I eat those, too.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Broken glass

When I told Tim (of Model Retailer) that this was a week of broken glass, he asked, “Is that a metaphor?”

Alas, no.

My friend Mike asked me to repair a glass dragonfly that his wife, Holly, accidentally broke. I didn’t have high hopes, but Tim brought over some supplies and went to work on the various pieces.

He reattached the tail, a leg, and two wings. This dragonfly has learned to fly again! (Insert Mr. Mister song here.)

On a less inspiring note, I’ll be taking my car to a glass place to have my front windshield replaced. On the first cold night that I left my car out for a couple of hours, a seemingly benign (and definitely small) crack traveled across my entire windshield.

If you've got a suggestion for an appropriate 80s song, metaphorical or otherwise, it would really cheer me up.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunday with Steve Byrne

Sunday afternoon, I met Steve Byrne at the Orange County Pavilion. He was funny and down to earth as he talked about his parents' support, growing up half Asian, and how his comedy has changed.

He was a good sport while Yukie shot photos of him with the oranges and plants in his dressing room. Did you know that he can juggle?

Yukie also captured his Jackie Chan pose — which would not have been possible without Hal's "Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan?" question in response to my pre-trip post.

Diane and Todd joined us later to shoot photos at the taping. I've been to comedy clubs before, but nothing compared to this — laughing with 500 people at the same thing, at the same time. And I won't give away who the surprise guest was, but he had all of us cheering.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Forever young

Yukie and went to an 80s prom hosted by one of her Team in Training friends. For the occasion, she bought a $10 mint green lace dress that she accessorized with mismatched earrings, a heart necklace, and a pair of silver ankle-strap heels. I went with an 80s (though not prom-y) look: my New Edition t-shirt with a hot pink tank top, satin skirt, white plastic hoops, and a side ponytail. Our Mensa friends Devin and Bryan — our dates — wore a tux and a tuxedo t-shirt, respectively.

Because Yukie used to shoot prom photos, she was an expert at posing: Don't she and Devin look like a classic prom couple?

I had forgotten how many different looks people wore in the 80s. I remember what we (the girls) wore but I forgot about the guys' styles. I took in the view as I sipped my vodka tonic. (It tasted like gin — reminiscent of the first time I got drunk, from kamikazes the house boy had made. Heady times, the late 80s.)

It was mind-blowing to see polo shirts with upturned collars, parachute pants, rolled-up jacket sleeves, skinny ties, Chuck Taylors, and terry-cloth headbands. But I think my favorite was the guy who wore a teal t-shirt under a cream-colored jacket. Very Miami Vice. And his Nikes looked great while he did the Running Man.

The DJ spun some classics, but I have such a fixed memory of the 80s, I was waiting for "It Takes Two," "A Little Respect," some MC Hammer or Depeche Mode or New Order. Also missing: the arena rock anthems of Styx and Journey. And while I loved hearing "Friday I'm in Love," that was so 1992. I know that they couldn't fit a decade of music into just a few hours of prom, but I can only hope that the night ended with "True" or "Crazy for You" or even "Forever Young".

I'm glad I went to Prom. It was a chance to appreciate (confront?) the 80s again, beyond just experiencing them as background music.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Does this look familiar?

Yesterday, Yukie and I watched the latest episode of Flash Forward.

In that episode, one of the characters is leaving work when she witnesses a murder. The character works at Bird's Plus (yes, the apostrophe makes no sense).

When Yukie and I got out of the car to go to the 80s prom, this is what we saw.

We both recognized it immediately. I got a little scared because my first thought was of danger (not that the crime was fictional).

I know: we had our own flash forward.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Oh no, Papa, you're out of control!

I came home from tennis tonight to this.

Her tail is on the spout of my water bottle.

She removed the cap from the popcorn jar neatly. But she chewed the opening of the jar shut.

Yes, that’s a knife.

And a sponge, torn in three pieces.

Also, she pulled out the pen that keeps the door of her food bin closed. It does not appear that she opened the door and ate any food, though.

I'm leaving for L.A. Saturday morning. I am hoping we can get through the next week without incident. I am exhausted.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oh no, Papa. I'm sorry about the water.

Papa gave me more reasons to keep blogging about her.

I came home Saturday night to find the drain cover from the shower on the living room floor. Eww.

And the toilet bowl brush was on the floor in the bathroom. Eww again.

But the saddest sight — and the one I didn't photograph — was Papa's water bowl, overturned on the kitchen floor. I think she was really thirsty.

Why so thirsty? Maybe because, earlier that day, she got a bag of rolls from the kitchen counter, ripped it open, and ate the one roll that was left.

Counter-surfing is a new behavior for her. And so is dismantling the bathroom. Sheesh.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Steve Byrne

For my next story, I'll be chatting with Steve Byrne and going to the taping of his next Comedy Central special, "The Byrne Identity."

I've got my list of questions, but I'm also asking you: What would you want to know about him?

By the way, here's one of my favorite PG-rated bits — about being Asian, of course.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kathy's Garden Party 2009

The theme of Kathy's Garden Party was “All Dolled Up,” inspired by Barbie’s 50th birthday.

As always, the food was great — sliders, crab cakes, slices of grilled chicken wraps. And the “Dream Girl” cocktail was a glass of champagne drizzled with something sweet and garnished with a raspberry. Yum.

Ben also liked the cookies.

At every Garden Party, Kathy’s family and friends find a new way to display the auction items in a runway show. This year, the models wore pretty dresses and teased hair to show off the Barbie- and doll-themed artwork.

Then came the live auction.

To my surprise, I was able to bid on something successfully! Well, Ben helped. We bought a pair of framed photographs, “Ethel’s flowers” by Janice Tonz. A woman who sat in front of us said that the artist took the photos in Colorado. I would like to find out more about Janice and her work.

As in years past, I made a charm bracelet for the show. If you want to see it, click on the “Preview artwork for All Dolled Up” icon on the Grace Events page. “Pretty in pastels” is on page 7.

You can also see the bracelet I made for last year's event. I'm already excited about next year's theme and how I can turn it into a bracelet!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My birthday at Sluggo's

Sluggo’s is smoky. Very smoky. But because of all the times I’ve been there after tennis, it feels like home.

Of course I had a good time on my birthday: drinks, pizza, seeing my friends. What’s not to enjoy? So I thought I’d tell you something about each of the people in these photos — a mini-story, if you will, about friends old and new.

1. My BeadStyle friends: Kelsey is our new assistant. She is funny and enthusiastic and puts up with nicknames like Kelsey Lately.

Cathy makes sure we always have baked goods at work: brownies, lemon bars, a tower of treats. She also makes really tasty cookies at the holidays and lets me go on a donut run when necessary.

Erin always made us laugh with her workplace pep; it could have been the song in her head. I think she and Kelsey may be related.

2. I also work with Keith, who is the nicest IT guy you could imagine. Plus, he is quick to help when Papa needs to go to the emergency clinic.

Jeremy is an editor who can give you a nickname in French. So try not to do anything too stupid around him, mais oui!

3. Patrice, Jean, and I are on the same tennis team. Patrice was my tennis partner last summer. She's supercompetitive but down to earth. Just by saying, “Enough of that” — in a really nice way, not bossy, of course — she helps me re-focus.

Jean and I played a match together last summer, against the best team in our flight. We still took a set from them. Not too shabby, right?

4. Louis and Michael are my ping-pong friends. Louis teaches me cool stuff like the slide-and-glide. Who knew that ping pong could also give you an aerobic workout? Michael has helped me with my forehand and never gets impatient when I hit bad shots, which is often.

5. Even though Denise just got married and moved kind of far away, she came to have a drink with me. One thing I forgot to mention: she was one of the most organized brides ever. She had a list of friends to photograph at her wedding and she sent postcards from her honeymoon.

6. Mary and I have been friends since we met at M.E. Lou ten years ago. It's through her that I met Stacy (who's not in this photo, maybe she had had enough of Sluggo's by then?) and Katie (of Pickled Egg fame).

I've known Michelle (who's in the center of the photo) for about ten years, and one of my first memories of her was of a New Year's Eve party where everyone was having a blast watching the DVD she brought. In case you were wondering, the tagline of Center Stage was "Life doesn't hold tryouts." Michelle will never judge you on your pop-culture proclivities.

7. Last but not least: Ben. He asked, and I told him, what I wanted for my birthday. A pepper mill. When he was at the store picking out my gift, he pictured how it would look in my kitchen. (My pepper mill stands proudly on my countertop.) I love this attention to detail. (Though, if I deliberated over such a decision, he might say, "It's a pepper mill.")

Anyway, I'm excited about all that the next year has to offer. Thanks, everyone, for your company!

Friday, November 6, 2009

How I found couples to interview for my relationship story

About the couples I interviewed for my “Show me the love” article: I didn’t know them before I interviewed them.

Surprisingly, my Milwaukee couples were easy to schedule. One of my friends put me in touch with Seng, whom he worked with. And Jill, a childhood friend, suggested I contact Young and Suzelle, who said yes right away. My Facebook post was helpful, but I still needed two more couples that I could interview in person.

In the meantime, I stumbled upon Diane and Todd’s blog, White on Rice Couple. They are food writers, photographers, videographers, and world travelers, so I guessed that they’d be comfortable sharing their story. They agreed to participate right away.

I just needed one more couple. Deanne, a friend from an online writing class, had mentioned Help A Reporter Out. I posted a query and crossed my fingers.

Three women contacted me. Over the next couple of days, one declined because her boyfriend didn’t want to participate; she said he was very private about their personal lives. A second woman had already scheduled a time for the interview but backed out. She and her boyfriend felt that the Asian American community in L.A. is “teeny tiny” and they didn’t want to say anything that could be misconstrued. (It’s hard for me to imagine one tiny Asian American community, but I did empathize that they didn’t want to be misunderstood.)

Thankfully, Lydia was the third HARO person who contacted me. And she and Rohan did a terrific interview.

So I found couples in a range of ethnicities — Laotian, Korean, Chinese, Indian, and Vietnamese. And the couples differed in their ages, the length of their relationships, and whether or not they had children, so they highlighted a variety of experiences.

What these couples did have in common was a respect for their relationship. That’s not surprising, that the people who'd be willing to talk about their relationships were the ones who felt relatively happy and secure. (I wish I could’ve also interviewed those other couples. But that would’ve been a different story.)

Ultimately, I’m glad I interviewed couples I didn’t know. It’s not that they were any more articulate than my friends would have been. It’s that I didn’t have any preconceived idea of what their relationships were. So I had to ask all the questions — how they met, how they decided to get married (or not), what kind of stuff they fought about. It was truly a learn-as-you-go experience.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Asian American relationships article online at East West

"Show me the love", the article I wrote about Asian American couples, has just been published online at East West.

This story assignment came about after Anita, the editor, mentioned Lac Su's memoir, I Love Yous Are for White People. In Asian families, we don't say those three little words very often. So Anita and I wondered how that translated into romantic relationships.

I'd be curious to hear what you think. Could you relate to these couples? Or, did these experiences seem different from your own?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oh no, Papa, not the oven mitts.

On Saturday, Papa and I had taken a walk to the grocery store so I could make an appetizer for Judy’s party.

In my excitement over trying a new recipe — restaurant-style artichoke and spinach dip — I forgot to buy an 8 x 8 baking pan. So I drove back to the grocery store.

When I got home, Papa had put one of the oven mitts on the living room floor. And knocked my Tennis magazine and silicone oven grip on the kitchen floor.

Also, she removed the label from the can of artichokes (from the garbage, not the can).

Oh no, Papa.

Why you gotta be so naughty? I was only gone 15 minutes!

Maybe the smell of roasted garlic made her nuts. She looks possessed in the second photo, yes?

Minus the donut incident, Papa had recently been sort of respectful of our things.

Though, come to think of it, she went after a loaf of bread while my mother was in the restroom. That was yesterday.

Her crimes are getting bolder.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Judy's pumpkin party

Though I am apparently forgoing most Halloween activities this year (not my favorite holiday), I did make the rounds at Judy’s pumpkin-carving party.

Here are Judy, Amy, and Tara posing with their works. Amy thought Tara's pumpkin was like her — something about perfect hair. As you can tell, this was a group of hardcore carvers.

I did not carve, as Linda and Luke and I arrived just before dark and I only have enough strength for the faux Michael’s pumpkins. So I sipped hot cider while catching up with my tennis pals.

Staying inside also meant I could keep an eye on the food spread (grilled burgers and brats — a real treat on a cold October night). Linda brought roasted veggies and Donna made peanut butter fingers with red almond fingernails. Tres ghoul.

After dinner, we huddled around a bonfire and made s'mores. It was a good night.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pricey ping pong paddles

In my previous post, I shared my ambivalence about replacing the old with the new.

Even though I’m no early adopter, I have to admit that this new development in the ping pong world fascinated me:

Brodmann Blades. Fancy schmancy ping pong paddles.

I wonder how well these mitts work. (If you aren't coordinated enough to play ping pong, is the equipment really the problem?)

If these blades (blades!) don't suit you, you could also spend a couple hundred bucks on a Butterfly paddle that offers springiness and shock absorption.

At that point, though, they are no longer paddles. They are table tennis racquets. Why does everything need to be so complicated?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Endurance: old cameras, Rick Springfield, and haircuts

I just got a new digital camera, so I’m in the process of learning how to use it. The good news is that I was able to start shooting photos right away — without reading the manual.

I accidentally broke my old camera about two years ago, and my parents gave me their old one. It’s not very high res (or "hi res," if you're in the industry), but it worked just fine.

Still does, as a matter of fact. My trusty friend even helped me capture shots of a still-spry Rick Springfield.

Speaking of staying power, Mary just blogged about her TV that still works after 20 years. Some things just stay with you, utterly competent.

I feel a bit guilty about upgrading when there's nothing wrong with the old camera. (Okay, so my new one does have much better resolution. Maybe if I had any skill at photography, that might be valuable.)

While reviewing photos from an old memory card, I came across this photo of Michelle and me. It was taken May 12, 2006 — over three years ago. Look at how short my hair was. I love Michelle’s haircut, too. Don't we both look shiny and happy, with glossy (and yet not overdone) hair?

No deep thoughts here. I'm just sayin' — repeating, actually — that I'm getting more and more distracted by the anticipation of a real haircut.

I miss the days when hair and cameras were both manageable.

Now I feel like I have to work hard to make things look effortless. I own curling irons, curlers, flattening irons, diffusers, two hair dryers, brushes, combs, hybrid brush/combs, gels, waxes, and styling lotions. I don't know how to use most of them. So the task of hair care is wearing on me. I'm looking forward to being unburdened of my long hair. Soon.

Regarding my old camera: It will resume its rightful place with my dad. It's staying in the family, to be respected and not taken for granted. Goodbye, old friend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Feature story: Show me the love

I love talking about relationships. If you and I have ever talked about your relationship, I've probably asked you how you met, how long you've been together, what makes your relationship tick, what ticks you off.

So I jumped at the chance to write an article about how Asian Americans say "I love you" in their romantic relationships.

I interviewed two couples in Milwaukee: Seng and Andrew (photographed with their son, Zach) and Young and Suzelle (with their daughter, Grace). Bill Zuback shot the beautiful portraits. Thanks, Bill!

And I visited L.A. in July so I could meet Lydia and Rohan (and their dogs, Ichabod and Lola) and Diane and Todd. My sister, Yukie Fujimoto, came with me to shoot photos. Thanks, Yukie!

The couples shared their stories — and there was so much more than I could fit on the page.

I think love is in the details, in the tiniest acts in everyday life. Like Seng's memory of her mom holding her hand at the dentist.

The way Todd touched Diane to fix her lipstick.

Listening to Young and Suzelle talk about their favorite fairy tales.

And in a story about a big moment: Rohan's description of his proposal at Staples Center — not on the Jumbotron, which was the plan — but near the downstairs elevator. (And Lydia's response: "What?" Over and over.)

I wanted to weave all of this great stuff — the personal details that make each story unique — into my article. It was a challenge to tell the story of each couple, maybe because there are so many different stories. And it felt like a responsibility, in a way that essay writing isn't.

Luckily, I had a lot of help along the way — especially from Allison, who had the guts to tell me that my first draft was awful, and Hal, who reassured me that my final draft wouldn't be.

But I digress.

Thank you for staying with me through this post and through the past months of writing and revision. If you'd like to read "Show me the love," you can buy a copy of East West magazine on the newsstand or order one online.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A three-sport night

In my ping pong class on Thursday, I learned something new: Michael helped me with my forehand and let me hit lots of awful shots. And last week, Stan showed me the penhold grip. It helped me put more spin on the ball, but my wrist kept twisting at an odd angle. Ouch!

After ping pong, I went to the other half of the gym to play badminton. Badminton reminds me of summer; it's a bright spot in the cold, dreary weather we've been having. Though I'm not so good at it, I learned how to keep score. It's a start.

After the gymnasium fun, I played tennis. (No story there.) From this evening of racquet sports, I learned two lessons.

One: I can’t skip exercise throughout the week and then try to make it up in one day. Moderation is a wonderful thing. (My shoulder was really sore on Friday.)

Two: It hurts to swing and miss (especially in badminton). But better to have swung and missed than to not have made the effort. It takes a lot of momentum for the birdie to fly out, and sometimes just reaching a little farther can get me a shot that keeps the game in play.

I think this may be a metaphor for life, too.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More hair

On Monday, Erin and I (along with Cathy and Kelsey) met up at Stir Crazy for dinner. Here we are with a copy of the November issue, our regular BeadStyle prop.

We first started noting our progress in July, so this seems like a natural place to keep track of our trials and tribulations (or mine, at least).

Watching hair grow might be about as interesting as watching paint dry. Still, we could use the encouragement. I'm not as good-natured about this as Erin is.