cherry blossom dreams

This picture was taken a year ago, when my friends Mai and Rhanee came to visit. Its my spring break week and oh, how I wish that it was bright and sunny out and I have enough energy to explore and walk everywhere. Instead, its cold and rainy and I'm stuck in bed with a stuffy nose and pounding headache. Aleeeeerrrrgiessss...eeek.

Truth be told, I think I may have over-exerted myself a little and this is my body's way of telling me to slow down. This past week was just a blur of activities and writing reports for work, running errands and checking things off my list, that by Saturday night I was so sick and exhausted I had to bail out from going to Air's concert. Yes, Air. My favorite French band.

How could I miss them? But how could I go to the show when I was sneezing every minute and can barely breathe? :(

So. Back to my mandatory bed rest. In between sleep and Sudafed, I've mostly been reading and browsing the blogosphere. I thought I should share some great links, as posts may be a little sporadic here in the next couple of days:

This Balinese school in the middle of rice fields. Once upon a time, my only dream in life was to work for UNICEF and teach in little villages such as this. *sigh*

Holly's thought-provoking post on madness and creativity.

A very cool Paris wall decal. I really want this.

And this imagination poster from Postal Press.

Moving away from being a starving artist to poetry and prosperity. (via Read Write Poem)

A sweet accidental duet. It reminds me of the movie Once.

This Japanese reading poster is just perfect. (via three buttons)

And lastly, here's one of my favorite songs by Air: Cherry Blossom Girl. Enjoy! xoxo.

dead man's bones


Dear Ryan, just when I thought you couldn't get any hotter than you were in Half Nelson, I saw this video and I just about died. You and your cool Gothic-inspired band + a children's choir are too much for my fangirl heart. That is all.

books on shirts

How awesome are these vintage book cover t-shirts? I think they'd make a perfect gift for book lovers. I definitely want the Lolita one, love the typography and its one of my favorite novels. Even better, the company that makes it will donate one book to a community in need for each shirt that they sell. You can browse their selection here.

scenes from a lovely weekend

This photo was taken along Highway 1 in Santa Cruz, one of my favorite places on earth. Santa Cruz appeals to my inner bohemian, with its endless sunshine, great local art scene, and abundance of quirky characters. I love how laid-back and mellow it is here, how I can easily go from the beach to the redwood forests in a matter of minutes.

Here's my aunt and uncle visiting from New Jersey. They are one of those rare couples who are so attuned to each other that spending time with them is so easy and inspiring. I especially love how they still hold hands and do little things for each other.

And here's the dress that made me break my no-shopping rule. I could give you a list of excuses why I bought it (mainly because it was on sale), but really, this dress just makes me happy. And that's what matters, right?

P.S. I hope you also had a great weekend.

happy spring!

Today is the first official day of spring. I bought some daffodils at the Farmer's Market (for 2-dollars!) and they are blossoming quiet nicely on my kitchen counter. Its bright and sunny out and all I want to do is walk everywhere on my tiptoes. Yes, I definitely caught the spring fever.

Have a lovely weekend my friends, I hope its also sunny where you are.

Photo via ffffound!

short and sweet

My friend Christy sent me the link to this short film and I really, really love it. Of course I had to share it here, so go ahead and press play, I promise you won't regret spending 12 minutes watching it. Enjoy!

P.S. You can also watch it in HD here.

by its cover

I had a hard time falling asleep last night, it might have been the time change, and spent so much time browsing book covers on this site. Here are some of my favorites:

I must admit that if I had to randomly pick a book from a shelf, I'd choose one by its cover design. How about you? Do you have favorite book covers? I'm still dreaming of this set and might have to cave in and buy one after Easter.

does a headband ever make you dance?

I bought a new headband for my class (yes, I know I'm on a shopping ban but I had a store credit) and I love it so much I could pretend I'm a dancer and prance around all day (read: dork!)...haha.

In other news: SPRING IS HERE!!! I hope you're celebrating by going outdoors and doing some dancing of your own.

japanese storefronts

I just found out about this great blog called Hello Sandwich (via frolic) and its filled with all things Japanese. How sweet are these little storefronts? I can't get enough of them and now I really, really want to go to Japan. This country is calling my name.

I can picture myself in this coffee shop, drinking tea and eating some of those cute Japanese pastries, writing away in my journal. Ah, someday. For now, I have our own little Japantown to keep me happy.

That's right, I went back to the photo booths last Friday night. This time with the lovely Holly who's in town for spring break. The first thing that owner said when he saw me was "You're back!", haha. This photo booth is harder to navigate, with all the instructions in Japanese and whatnot. But like everything else in J-town, it definitely brings out the inner child in me.

P.S. You can read Holly's take on our little adventure here.

confession tuesday

It's been awhile since I joined The Confessional, so brace yourselves for a long one. Here we go.

* * *
I'm in love. With ballet, that is. And I'm pretty much feeling like the crazed girl Yeats described in this poem, dreaming of tutus and floating on cotton candy clouds. I've always wanted to do ballet but due to limited resources (when I was young) and my lack of confidence, it just never happened. I almost enrolled myself in a class last year but chickened out at the last minute. Finally, finally, I mustered all the courage two weeks ago and now I'm officially enrolled in an adult beginner class at the Academy of Ballet.

That said, I'm not sure if ballet loves me back. We're talking about a girl who has very little dance experience here, who can't play any type of sports, and who keeps bumping into things. But it doesn't really matter because being in class makes me so very, very happy. I promise to write more about our class, because it deserves a post of its own, but for now all I can say is that I love everything about it.

* * *
It took me a long time and a lot of introspection to be in this space that I'm in right now. I might have alluded to it in my previous posts, but the last two months were really hard on me. It always breaks my heart to say goodbye to my family, not knowing when I'm going to see them again, but for some reason it was even harder this year. Not a day went by when I didn't ask myself questions like: What am I doing here? What do I really want? And the worst part was, I couldn't even find joy in anything, not my job, not the children that I work with, not even writing.

And then March came and somehow I wasn't so sad anymore. It might have a lot to do with poetry, going back to church again, the promise of spring and sunny days, all my wonderful friends, dancing, San Francisco...all of the above, but here I am, and it feels like a new beginning.

* * *
I might have spent too much money on clothes lately. What can I say? A homesick girl needs retail therapy, ha. But I did promise to give up non-essential shopping for Lent and so far, except for this one dress that I'm not even sure I'm keeping, I've done pretty well. We shall see if I can keep this up until Easter.

* * *
Lastly, I must confess that I'm hopelessly addicted to Korean dramas. Especially this one, and mostly because of him. There, I said it.

* * *
How about you? Anything you want to confess? Join us at The Confessional via Poet Mom, or leave a comment here. You know you want to :)

Photo by Rebecca Miller (via)

today's inspiration: yeats

A Crazed Girl

THAT crazed girl improvising her music.
Her poetry, dancing upon the shore,

Her soul in division from itself
Climbing, falling She knew not where,
Hiding amid the cargo of a steamship,
Her knee-cap broken, that girl I declare
A beautiful lofty thing, or a thing
Heroically lost, heroically found.

No matter what disaster occurred
She stood in desperate music wound,
Wound, wound, and she made in her triumph
Where the bales and the baskets lay
No common intelligible sound
But sang, 'O sea-starved, hungry sea.'

--William Butler Yeats

love. want. NEED.

This book ring. I have no idea how to get it, but it will be mine. (via)
P.S. Is there a kind soul out there who can translate this blog for me?

joie de vivre

So many things to look forward to this weekend: Alice in Wonderland, the Oscars, the closing night for Cinequest, hanging out with my favorite cousin in San Jose, eating leisurely breakfasts, and sleeping in. And speaking of breakfasts + Alice in Wonderland, this photo of Johnny Depp and his family will always make me long for the idyllic French life (or what I imagined it to be). Its all so lovely, isn't it?

Happy weekending! Hope you get to do something that you love.

so many stories

I found this picture in my folder called "stories", taken at the Ferry Building back in 2007. At some point, maybe I wanted to write a piece about the woman in the red coat, how she seemed content and unfazed sitting beside the loving couple. Or maybe I wanted to write about the couple, how the woman gazed tenderly at the man while he was stared at the island across the bay. I'm not really sure.

Last Sunday night, in the subway, someone shouted wildly "There's a man on the tracks!". Like a film in slow-motion, everyone seemed to be playing their roles. There were those who called the police, someone ran up the stairs to inform the attendant, others were anxiously looking down the train tracks, while others like me, stood frozen, unsure of what to do. Finally, amidst all the chaos, a guy leaned down and offered his hand to the crying man below. It was over far too quickly for me to comprehend what really happened and the next thing I know, I was already sitting inside a train, dazed and shaken.

This morning on my way to my neighborhood coffee shop, I saw a man and his cane, walking with very slow and faltering steps, one side of his body paralyzed. As a healthcare professional, my initial reaction was to help him but I stopped myself when I saw the look of sheer determination on his face. It must have taken a lot of courage for him to come out and walk around like that but there he was, all dressed up in a fancy suit and a fancy hat. I watched him cross the street, step after painful step, and something inside me shifted.

Our tendency, or mine at least, is often to focus inwards, to get caught up in our own little worlds and our miseries. It only takes one story, one encounter no matter how brief, to remind us once again that we're all in this together.

a single man

I watched the movie A Single Man this weekend and absolutely loved it. It is Tom Ford's directorial debut and as one might expect from this talented fashion designer, every frame is visually stunning, so much so that sometimes all that beauty can be a little distracting. The actors, the set design, the clothes, the car, each detail is perfection.

But the heart of this film is really Colin Firth. He plays an English professor in the early 60s coming to terms with the sudden death of his partner of 16 years. As he struggled to deal with his loneliness and despair, one can't help but think of all those times in our lives when we were placed in a similar situation, trying to find meaning when it seems as though all hope is gone. I highly recommend this movie if only to watch his magnificent performance.

the distribution of happiness

A letter that opens with these lines:
Today I woke up to the sun
and the birds are singing.

The color blue. The taste of fresh blueberries.
Blue cheese. Blue skies.

A quiet lane lined with blushing roses.
The word flora.

The long-haired boy who played cello
in the subway. The old couple who stopped
and listened.

Someone "fell" on the train tracks. The look
of horror on people's faces. The lone person who
reached down and offered his hand.

The sight of their clasped hands.

(title taken from a poem by Robert Hass)