Tag Archives: kitteh

Joyeux Anniversaire, Mon Petit Coeur!

It’s 11:58pm on April 25th.  Technically, it’s still today… and my kitteh officially turned one (1) today!

Happy Birthday, Mon Petit Coeur!

The only pets I’ve owned before her were some a non-edible pepper plant, a fortune tree, three cacti (two of which died due to *cough cough* malnourishment) and 27 aloe plants.  You may ask, how do you kill a cactus?  Well, it’s pretty simple.

Leave it behind a photo frame.  Forget that you had it.  Try to find it two months later.  Forget about that.  Then, after another month, remember that you put it behind the photo frame and find out that the plant had rotted from the inside out becoming one mushy mess.  Rinse and repeat (yeah, it happened twice).

Thankfully, my aloe plant fared better and was able to have babies… 26 of which I gave away.  And when I graduated college, my friend, Tony, took my aloe plant in and apparently, it’s been thriving under his fluorescent lights ever since.

But I digress.  Last year, as part of my birthday present, I gave myself one piercing and one kitteh.  Her original name was Rosalina, but I decided to name her Mon Petit Coeur instead.

Growing up, my parents used to call me “xiao ju gan,” which translated directly into English means “my little/dear pig’s liver.”  Yeah, it doesn’t sound as pleasant with the direct translation.   I did want to stick with the theme of organs, and I love pet names with a non-English flare.  Hence, “Mon Petit Coeur.”

Sometimes, Mona.  Usually, fattie or babeh.  But officially Mon Petit Coeur.  The gals at the East Bay SPCA have a lovely time trying to pronouce it, whenever I have to get her a health certificate to fly.

She’s officially been with me for 10 months.  And I’m proud to say… she’s not dead! (whoohoo!)

I have absolutely loved being with her.  She’s so playful around me and lets me make weird faces (see below) all the time.  Sometimes, she’s a bit shy around strangers, except Ty, since he was there when I got her.  But mostly, she’s provided endless entertainment.  She’s even been good enough not to whine (too much) during the two flights to and from Houston.  My parents love her… to a point of ignoring me.  And she’s spoiled enough to have two sets of litter boxes, dish bowls and food choices in both cities.  I even had to return 48 cases of cat food because ‘it didn’t conform to her high standards of taste.’

In the last 10 months, I’ve started to act more like a mommy.  I’ve made sure she’s fed every night (even that one time I got home really late and completely sober… and fed her out of the can instead of her regular food dish). If you read my Tumblr at all, you’ll periodically see  pictures of fattie, usually asleep, since I blog very late.

She’s comforted me when I’ve cried, by tip toeing up to me with her huge saucer eyes and snuggling in my arms.  When I’m working in the living room until 4am, she’s right there with me, curled in a ball and napping until I’ve showered and brought her to bed.  In the morning, she’s usually on the bed, at my feet, or if I sleep in, she’ll step gently over my body and sniff my nose.  Those times are the best.  There’s nothing quite as cute as being woken up by a bundle of fur and some inquisitive sniffing.

As some of you know, last month, her foot got caught between the foot board and my window sill, when I was trying to pick her up (her feet dangled more than usual and I underestimated the height).  She bit me the full quarter inch of her incisors and completely scarred my hands.  Both my hands were immobile for over a week.  But as I was luring her out from under the couch, my palm and fingers still bleeding into the bandage, something about her look told me exactly how guilty she felt.  People say that they can communicate with their cats.  It’s somewhat true.  (Okay, I have no idea what she wants when she’s just looking at me vacantly with the huge eyes that I would totally love to have.  However, in this case, the body language was clear.)

We’re a team.  We support each other.  We play together, and yes, sometimes we fight together.  Mon Petit Coeur really is my little heart.  I wouldn’t trade her for anything, and with her holistic, organic diet, I’m hoping she’ll be with me for a long long time.

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Best Christmas Present & Stalking Babies

This is a long set up (and the image will make sense later).

1. So we have table topics at our Toastmasters meetings, in which anyone could contribute on a given topic.  Last time around, the question was “how has the economy affected your holiday spirit?”

I answered that I can see some bright side effects of the economy.  Namely:

  • On a totally selfish level, I’m young enough to have not lost an insurmountable sum in the market.  This is a great time to invest at a discount (or sell short for the next year?).
  • On a national level, the market has brought home that hubris and the “everyone can have everything” spirit have damaging effects.  I’m hoping that the faltering economy will give American a wake-up call to be wiser about what we can really afford and how to best make long term plans.
  • On a holiday level, well… the holidays are about bringing people together.  And for too long, that’s meant gift giving.  Now that people are cutting back, we’ll see more gifts from the heart (if not at a bargain).  Besides, isn’t there a saying that tough times bring people together?

2. My parents didn’t know what to get my for Christmas this year… as it happens every year.  (I’m one of those lucky bastards who has everything she needs and many of the things she wants. :-) )   So I told them they could buy me book shelves.  Most of my books have been stacked on the floor, and they were a huge mess.

So I bought some IKEA book shelves, laid them on their side and made half of my living room into a reading/crafts area.  I have to say, it turned out nicely.  (Also, dragging two 50lb boxes from the shelves to the register to into the car and up a flight of stairs all by myself ended being good exercise.)

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Here’s the pay off: Christmas this year wasn’t about the material gifts.  My real Christmas present this year was going home to Texas and seeing my dad’s fish have babies.

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I grew up in a household without any pets.  My mom isn’t a fan of animals, and while my dad loves them (yes, all of them),he agrees that they generally make a mess, cost to maintain and need sitters when we’re on vacation.  Well, since I’ve moved to the Bay Area, and they’re empty nesters, they decided to invest in some fish.  Very low maintenance and hours of entertainment for my cat, when she visits.

Growing up without pets, having even fish in the house is a huge change.  Better still is when I go home for Christmas and one of the guppies decides to give birth.  What’s amazing about guppies (and Wikipedia and the iPhone at 3am) is that they give live births, a.k.a. little fish pop out instead of fish eggs.

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Here’s my chronicle of their development.

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Day 1

fish-day-1

The guppy started giving birth of a few of fish as a time.  My mom spotted them first.  Sadly, one (or more because we don’t know) was eaten by the other fish.  It was so small that one of the red fish gobbled it up with a quick bite.  My dad zipped to Petsmart and bought a breeding tank (basically a plastic holder with holes that floats in the tank and separates the babies from the other fish).  My mom helped scoop them into a plastic cup, while dad was gone.  Then, we transfered them into the breeding tank. In total, there are 11 babies.  That doubles the total number of fish in the tank.

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Day 2

fish-day-2

They’ve already doubled in size.  You can’t really make it out in this picture, but their eyes have a silver outline and aren’t completely black anymore.  There’s some red starting to show on their stomachs.  We can’t really tell if it’s just blood circulating or pigmentation.

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Day 3

fish-day-3

They’ve gotten a lot bigger.  You can see them floating around, while before, you had to squint.  They’re definitely developing a red pigment to their skin… err scales.  Their stomachs are getting rounder and the skeletal system is becoming more visible.  Two of them seem to be smaller, more agile and lighter colored than the other.  I’m starting to think back on genetics lessons from high school.

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Just FYI, here’s a scale of reference.  Below is a reflection of my finger pressed up against the glass as I’m trying to take a photo.

P.S.  HUGE props to Canon.  This isn’t taken with an SLR.  It’s just a quick and dirty point and shoot PowerShot by Canon.  The baby fish were probably 2-3 millimeters long at birth, and I got some great shots… even as an amateur photographer. (Okay, the marketing side of me is shutting up now.)

fish-size-comparison

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Sadly, I had to leave for the Bay Area after Day 3.  I’m not sure if my parents will religiously take photos of them on a daily basis, like I did.  But there will be more updates, when I go home in the future.

It’s just that I’ve never been around babies, animal or human.  Plants maybe, but not animals.  So watching these little fish grow bigger on a daily basis is absolutely fascinating to me.  I thought I’d share. :-)

Merry Christmas.  Happy Hanukkah.  All around happiness.

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Year in Review 2008: Personal

I’m home for the final time this year before heading back to the Bay for 2009.  It’s scary to think that we’re already closing in on the last year of 00s.  It’s been a growing year.  At 24, I realize that I have more capabilities at hand and more potential than I ever did as a teenager.  But I also have so much to learn.

So without further anecdotes, here are my 2008 lessons and 2009 goals:

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Hope

It’s a strong word.  One that’s lost so much meaning between the years of 2000 and 2008… and between a virginal 16 year old and a budding 24 year old.

As my friends and I debated over the merits of Hillary and Barack, and then Obama and McCain, this year, I’ve come to understand the utter simplicity and difficulty of conveying and garnering the spirit of hope.  I’d become too pessimistic in America’s ability to make the best decision for the world, too jaded by money and power and politics.  And on that new November day, I cried (okay, wailed) because I had been so naive in losing faith in that simple, singular concept.

That my single ticket only made a marginal difference to the Obama ticket is insignificant compared with the inspiration and hope that leaped through my eyes and streamed down my face, when I found out that our country has a future.  Yes, a tough one in the year(s) ahead.  But it’s a necessary one.

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Maturity

I’m a spoiled brat.  It’s taken me this long to figure it out.  And I have a pretty legitimate excuse.

I’m the only child of immigrants.  I understand what it’s like to lose the only pair of shoes of the cheapest doll in the store because my parents had to ‘splurge’ to even get me that one.  And guess what?  There’s no replacing it.  I worked damn hard for my grades.  Being rejected from my choice middle school meant that high schools were calling me into the principal’s office to sweet talk me into attending (yes, it really happened and it was High School for the Performing and Visual Arts – I guess I’m the rare bass playing, Asian female) and my choice college- The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.  Sure, I’m proud.  Because I earned it.

But I’m also spoiled.  I learned how to use a washing machine at age 16, when I attended Wharton’s Leadership in the Business World (LBW) program for high school students.  I learned how to use the dish washer 3 weeks ago, when Julie a manager at SHIFT taught me- I’m used to washing by hand.  I have lots of clothes and more than enough shoes to own a boutique- 110 at the last count… yes, that’s pairs.  The material things, the ‘stuff’ that didnt directly contribute to my educational/career goals, were handed to me.

… Well, I learned a lot this year.  First of all, I learned how to share, which being an only child is a pretty new concept.  I thought I knew.  Turns out… not so much.  I have to compromise more.  Things aren’t always going to go the way I want. I’m not really ‘deserving’ of anything.

Most importantly, I learned how to take care of someone else and keep a living thing, well, alive.  (Hi, baby!)

(She’s 8 months old on Christmas Day.  Since her physical in August, she’s gained 5 lbs… which for a kitteh who used to weigh 4 lbs, is a lot.)

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Work

I thought I was a rock star just blasting away projects.  Turns out, yes, I am a rock star at that (yes, yes, I win the award for humility in 2008).  BUT.  BUT.  BUUTTEEEEHHHHH.  There’s a lot more to being a rock star than I realized.  There’s getting along with co-workers, working in a team, understanding compromise (see above), realizing the needs to different teams (and roles within the company), prioritizing, the dedication (and time and rewards) of managing someone… okay, I’m not going to name all of them… but you get the idea.

THIS is a lesson they don’t seem to teach in college (WhyTF not?!?!) and yet, a critical one.  It’s so important that it deserves to be a lesson of 2008 and a goal for 2009.

2008: Learn to rock out.  Check.

2009: Learn to sing in tune.

(I’m using this picture because I absolutely believe my PR agency is one of the BEST places to work… I’m saying this as a singular person with no prompting from the company.  Views expressed here are in no way associated with… etc.)

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2009 Goals:

Get Healthy

That picture above is pure lard (ew.).  In 2008, I lowered my cholestrol by 40 points.  (YAY, whoohoo!!!).  I’m so glad because I’m young enough to do something that dramatic in a year.  In another 24 years, not so much.

So I want to keep going at it in 2009.  It’s not about being thin or pretty.  I’m okay with being my size (10-12… 14 on fat days. :oP).  I like being an Asian with boobs, even if that means I have thighs like whoa.  And I am pretty.  (If you don’t agree, 1. shut up and 2. don’t be around me cuz I don’t need your negativity.)

I’m saying yes to the gym, and no to size 2’s.  I got 10 up on ya, and I’m good.  Thanks. :-)

(That’s me in the middle.  It’s the most recent picture available online.  It’s not the most flattering, but I’m happy with it.)

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Get Smart


There are several steps to this:

  1. Read.  Like a lot.  Like newspapers and blogs and magazines.  No, not the funny one or the gadget ones or the fashion ones.  World news and business and industry trends.  Understand where the trends may be heading and how to hedge them, lead them or at least differentiate within/from them.
  2. Start going out more and learning from people.  I can only learn so much from reading, and it’s faster, and more fun, to interact with people.
  3. Figure out how my diverse (and sometimes misunderstood role) benefits the non-marketers.  That includes within the agency, to friends and family, around people who can’t differentiate marketing from say… PR or advertising or focus groups.  Cater to each group.  While (this is the hard part) keeping myself sane. :-)
  4. Find my happiness.

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Get Me (Back)

When entering Wharton, I was an ENTJ (Myers Briggs).  The basic catch phrase is “My way or the highway.”  ENTJs are extroverts, hugely aggressive, go-getters, strong, fierce, egotistical… and most adjectives that describe your typical Type A, ‘end justifies the means’ personality.

Now, I’m a… I don’t remember, but it’s like the exact opposite.  I’m more introverted, mothering, looking to make everyone happy… basically, what my ENTJ-self would call a softie (or more rudely, a pussy).  Maybe not all my friends would agree with that assessment.  It’s what I feel inside.  And I’m playing a jacked up battle trying to figure out which one I am.

Well I’m not either.  As I’m getting closer to understanding exactly what personality I play in my groups of friends, coworkers, acquaintances, the goal isn’t one way.  It’s the balanced way.  It’s me… whoever that is.

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So that’s my list.  These are the major ones.  I’m quite proud of the psychological and emotional growths in the past year.  It’s been a tough year.  But a necessary one.

Here’s to 2009.  It’s going to be tough.  But (you know it) necessary.

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Merry Christmas.  Happy Hanukkah.  Wonderful Holidays.  Peace.  Safety.  Love.  Sharing.  Hope.

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Germany Excerpt

I’ve been home for two days.  Home being Houston.  It’s so relaxing.  There isn’t pressure to network and scramble and succeed like how it sometimes feels in the Bay.  Everything’s just more leisurely.  I even drive slower (although I do miss my 330 ci… I had the top down today… wheeeeee- I’m spoiled… a lady on the train used to call me “little rich bitch”).  I really love these days off, even more so because my parents had to work the last two days, so I could meander around the new house, just me and the cat.

House update: the interior decorator came by and added accents all over the house.  Most of them I like, although I’m not 100% they really say “my parents.”  The living room looks like a freakin’ jungle, but all in all, the house feels lived in and not empty.  I’ll post pictures after I get back.

My cat’s getting the royal treatment here.  Even my mom, who said she didn’t want anything to do with the cat, spent some time to get to know Mon Petit Coeur and pet her.  I can’t wait to have kids because if they dote on my cat like this, think of all the freedom I’ll have once I bring kids over!  :-P

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It’s been a bit difficult keeping up with the blog, while I’m trying to write the novel, so sorry for lagging.  I promise to be better, especially because I’ve been reading so many books and have lots things I want to talk about.  I posted an excerpt from my novel below.  Hope you enjoy! :)

Cheers,

Jany

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She opened her eyes to stare at the ceiling. The plane was firmly headed on a downward path, making her stomach lurch towards her throat. Lying on her mother’s lap, she rotated towards the seat in front of them, digging her face into a blue bag with white letters. She actually wasn’t sure how long the flight has been. Her eyes swelled into her head and her lips were chapped from throwing up for so long. She felt her mom stroking the back of her neck as she continued to heave into the foreign bag. At this point, she had no idea what there was left to throw up. During the flight and countless meals, the only thing she had been able to keep down was a slice of tomato. The only activities she knew was curling up to sleep, hurling and praying to some unknown entity that all this torture would soon end. She felt bad for her mother, who was also motion sick and had to take care of her child, while trying to communicate to the German flight attendant. She felt sorry for the flight attendant, who had to take care of the two Chinese country bumpkin look alikes that threw up everywhere and didn’t speak a word of German.

Finally the tires bounced gently onto the tarmac. She couldn’t remember what happened next. Her mom whispered in her ear that her daddy would be waiting for them. She was so excited to see her daddy again; it seemed like too long. Then, as they were walking down a walkway, she let go of her mother’s hand and started to run. At first she couldn’t recognize any of the faces around her. Everyone seemed completely foreign. Blurs rushed to the left and right. People were picking up their bags from the luggage go-around. She dodged in between people and weaved through legs in every direction. When she started to feel utterly lost and overwhelmed, she noticed a huge blob of blue. Hands reached down and picked her up. Big eyes meet hers. Shyly, she looks into them. She’s afraid to speak. This man had simply picked her up and was looking at her expectantly. She didn’t know what she was supposed to do to make him happy. Her hands rested on his shoulders, her chin tilted down and her almond eyes looked into his. He was smiling.

“There you are!” Her mother called from across the room. She has just emerged from the hallway and was making her way towards them. She was holding their carry on bag. “Well, don’t just look at me. Hug your daddy!”

She looked into his eyes again. Obediently, she gushed, “Daddy!” Her mom and aunties had been telling her for a while that she was going to see her daddy again, but she didn’t remember him all that well. This man sure didn’t look like anything she thought. That didn’t matter though. Right now, she loved the prospect of having a daddy, and if this man was it, then she was going to love him and hug him and call him daddy.

As her parents were waiting for their luggage, she looked around. There were a few other Chinese people in the sea of foreign faces. She wasn’t used to seeing anyone unlike her, and now, they were everywhere. Blonde hair, brown hair, people with big feet and legs that lasted forever. She’d look up to see if they had heads at all, they were so tall.

Sometime during the commotion, she had fallen asleep. There was a car and murmurs. By the time they arrived at their destination, it was already the dead of night. Honestly, thinking back, it was probably only 10 or 11pm, but to her four year old self, it must have seemed like the witching hour.

The room is small and bare. French doors looked out into a lawn and then trees. On the opposite wall was a couch that folded out into a bed. Prior to her and her mother’s arrival, dad had acquired a double mattress that was hidden behind the couch during the day and pulled out for her parents at night. She didn’t remember anything else about the rest of the room. There had to be a TV, and probably shelves and closets, but none of those things were particularly important to her at the moment. Her mom spread out sheets on the sofa, and she soon felt her cheek melt into the cushion and drift off into candyland.

Sometime in the next few days, she toured the graduate dorm and met all the other Chinese families. There was Meimei and her family. She was always haughty and stuck in her ways. Her mother would walk around praising her, but her father’s advisor was very kind, and she was always the one with bunches of new toys. From the child’s point of view, she had a heightened class because of the toys.

One time, she and Meimei were having an argument. They couldn’t decide how many seconds were in a minute. Knowing that she was right, she suggested that they would walk ask an adult. They both walked up to Meimei’s mom, who was cleaning in their apartment.

“Ay yi (Auntie), Meimei and I are wondering a question. How many seconds are in a minute? I said 60, but she says 100. I know I’m right. Tell her that she’s wrong, and there are only 60 seconds in a minute,” she pleaded bossily.

The woman knelt down to be at their eye levels. Her look seemed confused and a bit distraught. Clearly, she thought her daughter was the best and here was this lesser child, who was proclaiming that she was smarter. Not wanting to see her daughter in tears, yet again, she proposed, “Both of you are right. There are 60 seconds in a minute and there are 100 seconds in a minute. It really depends on how you look at it.”

“Hah! I told you so,” Meimei’s sharp voice rang from her left year. She rolls her eyes. Clearly this woman was either tremendously stupid or too spoiling of her daughter. After all, how was Meimei going to learn that there are only 60 seconds in a minute if her mom was lying to her like that. She runs into another room, where there were a group of men talking. As she approaches, they all look up and smile at her.

“Yanyan, how are you?” One of them questioned.

Furious that she was just denied, she launched into her debate anew, “Meimei and I are wondering how many seconds there are in a minute.” She didn’t want to bring up Meimei’s mom’s indiscretion. It might make her look bad.

“Why there’s 60 seconds of course.”

“Meimei says there are 100, and her mom said that she’s right, but I wanted to ask you because I knew I was right and she was wrong.” It all slipped out of her. It was like she just had verbal diarrhea.

The man laughs and looks at both the girls. Finally, he says, “Well, you’re right. Meimei 100 seconds sure does sound like it makes sense, and that’s a good guess, but the right answer is 60. Now, which one of you can tell me what time it says on my watch? Meimei? Yanyan?”

Meimei, pissed that she was just proven wrong and didn’t get her way, smiles and runs away to her mother. Her dad, having heard the conversation and disappointed that his wife would teach her daughter a lie just to appeal to the girl’s ego, also leaves. All of a sudden shy and taking too much time, she looks over at the man’s watch. It seemed like forever. Locating the bigger hand and counting until it stopped, she determined it was 5 o’clock. Now, the shorter hand was past that. 5:36pm. She repeated her answer to the man.

“That’s very good. You did a splendid job. Now, you need to practice on being able to do that faster. That’s something you need to work on. Just because you’re right about the minutes and seconds with Meimei doesn’t make you perfect. Instead of yelling at her for what she got wrong, you should be working on learning more. Do you understand?”

She was shocked. She was the one who was right. Meimei was always the one who got what she wanted, and now she of all people was being chastised because she finally got her way. Numb and bright red, she nodded and looked down. If there weren’t so many strangers hanging out in the room, she would have started crying.

From out of the corner, another man jokes, “Oh, Cao, don’t be so hard on her. She can tell the time; she was just a little nervous, weren’t you?”

Still looking at the floor, she nods.

“See? Now, you’re just being mean to this precious girl.”

The man makes his way to her and scoops up her face with his right hand. She looks up at him obediently.

“Do you think Yanyan looks like her father or her mother?”

Some chimed in mother and others father. “What do you think, Yanyan?”

“Both. I look equally like my parents.”

The men laughed. Most girls would tend to say their mother. “Well if you had to pick between your parents, which one would you pick?”

“I wouldn’t pick. I’d want both of them.” Again, most girls, especially after being separated from their fathers for over a year, would have picked their mother.

“Well, what if you had to pick? What if you didn’t have a choice?”

“I don’t care. I would pick both.”

“But…”

“Leave it alone. Clearly, she’s getting upset. Yanyan, go and play. Shushu (Uncle) was just messing with you.”

She nods furiously, so hard that her mom jokes that her head was like a bulanggu (drum), and runs off.

[This pretty much has nothing to do with the excerpt.  I just love this pic I took of White Sands in New Mexico.]

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Why My Cat Is Weird:

It’s been four months since I first brought Mon Petit Coeur home, which makes her 6 months old already!  She’s gotten really big and started to develop quick a personality.  Mostly, she’s gotten fat and more cunning, although also cuter, more endearing and still very playful.

I love her, and I think she’s starting to accept me as a permanent fixture in her life as well.

Muah!

1. In the Kitchen, she’s expectant.

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2. In the living room, she’s playful and absolutely hates to be pet.  I think it’s because I’m always saying “NO!” when she’s playing with the plant, and she’s all freaked out that I’m going to chase her around for being bad.  It’s also where her scratching post is.  I love that she actually uses it (I introduced it to her when she was still a baby and just arrived.  I put her in the bathroom for the first week, so she could get used to me and trust me… She’s really familiar with it. :-) ).

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3. In the bedroom, she’s super cuddly and purrs so much.  She also nestles in my arms and sucks and pushed on my arms, like I’m her mommy and she’s sucking on a nipple (no, I don’t have a nipple on my arm; yes, it’s a little weird, although very endearing).

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4. In the bathroom, she’s really curious and always playing hide and seek with me through the shower curtain or sitting in the sink.  Apparently, she loves licking sink water and then lying in it.  She’s also very fond of the bathtub.  Sometimes, she also drinks out of the toilet, which is really gross, so the lid’s almost always closed, unless I forget… which I don’t anymore, since she also likes nuzzling, smelling and licking me with the same tongue. (ewwwwwwww)…. :-P

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This is how little she used to be.  I’m so surprised that she’s grown so much… I totally didn’t notice!! Look how loose the collar is!

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Kitteh at Five Months

When I first got Mon Petit Coeur, she hated posing for photos.  I guess she’s gotten more used to this random flat contraption that makes sounds and is shoved right in front of her face.  I didn’t even have to photoshop these. :-)

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She looks like an awkward teenager, almost.  Still very adorable, but now more beautiful than ever and growing up.  Mona can’t even fit into my arms anymore, when she’s boroughing into my arm pits (a weird habit that mimicks sucking on her mother’s teat).

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I’m a bit hesitant about posting this one, since the quality isn’t up to par.  But it’s just so darn cute anyway. :-)

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Furnishing accessories

I’ve been going home a lot this year.  And the major reason is that my parents built a new house, and my pet project is go to and help them decorate it. :-)

During my last trip, we managed to get all the furniture in order.  About half the furnishings will come from the old house and the rest, we bought to fill up the new one (which is about 3 times bigger).  Our goals for this trip were to:

  • finish buying all the bathroom accessories (they can get so expensive!)
  • pick up random accents
  • look at couches and pick a style for the living room
  • figure out the entertainment situation

Accessories & Random Accents

The first was pretty easy.  I wanted my room to have a muted, slightly feminine look.  I’m not usually a huge fan of purple, but after I saw those Nicole Miller shower curtains, I absolutely had to have them!  They were on sale when I first saw them in June, but by the time my parents go around to buying them, they were only $19.99 at Bed, Bath & Beyond (major WIN!).  During my last trip back, I had also picked out matching DNKY toothbrush holders, soap dishes and trash cans.  My bedroom ‘suite’ is actually two rooms with two sinks/vanity areas and a shared toiled/bathtub.  So after a quick hunt at Macy’s, the three of us (parents + me) picked an also matching bed set a la Style & Co.  Here’s how they came out:

Nicole Miller shower curtain.  You can kind of make out the metallic sheen.

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The matching DKNY bathroom accessories and how it looks on the granite I picked out over a year ago.  The stylist looked at me like I was nuts for wanting black granite in the bathroom, but I think they turned out really well.  Especially because it pulls everything in the room towards it.

We were going to get a trash can as well, but I’m leaving my kitteh with my parents from Thanksgiving until Christmas (it’s $125 each way for the cat, so I’m saving $250 just by not bringing her back from Thanksgiving and then there again for Christmas), and we didn’t want her to knock over the creamic trash can and break it.  She might get hurt, and the trash can’s $40 plus tax.

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The matching pillows.  The small one is from Style & Co., a set with the sheets, but the larger ones are actually from TJ Max.  They’re identical in color to the original Style & Co. large decorative pillows, except the TJ Max twin was $16 vs. $40.  (win!)  I don’t have a picture of the sheets, since they were still in packaging when I left.

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For my parents room, my mom wanted something that was brown and gold to match the curtains, for which they’d paid an assload.  Not everything matches exactly, but I guess if you have a bathroom the size of most 1 bedroom apartments in New York, they don’t have to look exactly the same shade.  From far away, lotion dispenser and toothbrush holders look amazing, but they’re just cheap plastic.  Whoo Steinmart.

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These curtains are ridiculous.  A little elaborate for my taste but so rich.  It makes the whole room look majestic, especially with my parents’ bed frame.

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I didn’t actually help with picking the curtains (my parents just hired someone and said, “Here’s money.  Make it pretty.”), but I just love how the dining room turned out.  At first, I thought the table was too shiny and plastic looking.  The curtains and chandelier do wonders in softening the look.

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Living room & Entertaining

As with most standard houses, the living room is huge and two stories tall.  The goal was to put an entertainment system in the rather large alcove between the dining room and the living room, and leave the living room for a huge couch set up and some nice rugs.

My dad had this crazy idea of buying two 46″ Sony Bravia W series because they don’t really sell LCDs or plasma over 60″ (or something like that).  In the end, we ended up getting a 46″ for the master bedroom too.  My mom had gotten used to falling asleep watching TV, so it was hard for her not to.  We still have the old 53″ DLP, but that’s going into the entertainment room upstairs.  It’s silly to have two entertainment systems in the house, but turning down the thermostat upstairs (usually set to 83 degrees to save electricity) just to watch TV seems sillier.

We also went to what seemed like 100 different furniture places to look for an appropriate couch set.  Most of the stores had very traditional leather styles, which seemed too blah for my parents.  But the European stores had tiny tiny furniture, which would look so wrong in such a huge space.  I really dig this one.  It’s 1) made from cloth, so no sticky leather in the summer; 2) a really pretty color; 3) actually big enough to fill up the living room and 4) not that expensive (about $4,000).

… Sadly, my mom hates it.

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Here are some gratuitous pictures of bao zi that my mom and I made.  They’re sooo gooood.  We tried making them super small this time, so each one is about the length of your knuckle (except… you know… round).

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Okay this post has gone on for way too long… cheerio!

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Gratuitous Kitteh Pictures

That is all. :-)

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WANTED: Mon Petit Coeur!  $5,000 reward for napping kitteh, who likes to eat mah fortune trees.

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The only time she lets me take pictures is when she’s asleep.  Srsly, I’m like a really sucky paparazzi.

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A very good fake for “International I Have No Left Leg Day.”

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ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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Introducing Mon Petit Coeur

I finally decided on a name for my new kitteh.  So from now on, her full name will be Mon Petit Coeur, which in English translates into my little heart.  Because really, she’s like my baby, and I love the way she lets me kiss her nose- a week ago, she would barely let me kiss her forehead.

Since Mon Petit Coeur might be a bit long for regular conversation, I’m also going to nickname her Môme (or sparrow) after Edith Piaf avec the variations mona o mimi.

So without further interruption or random anecdotes, Mon Petit Coeur:

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You no can has my ball… Whatchu lookin at?

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Why you up dere?

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Oh… hai.  I are trying to get ball.

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My tongue… it are huge… I would make a great seduck… seducktre… I are hot

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It are mine.  I know look direktly at camera.  It will take my soul.

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I are look good from any direktion.

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attenshun:

*cough cough*

baby skunks are cute.

my kitteh is stinky.

*bows*

*scurries off*

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