Tag Archives: kittie

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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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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attenshun:

*cough cough*

baby skunks are cute.

my kitteh is stinky.

*bows*

*scurries off*

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Pure Heaven… so far

So this weekend, in addition to the 3G iPhone cradled on my work station right now, I have a very new addition to the family.

Please welcome my new kittie!

She’s 2 1/2 months old, a brown tabby and just about the most adorable thing ever. Last Thursday, I went to the EastBay SPCA to look at kitties, and over the weekend, I picked her up (because I needed time to buy all her supplies and set everything up. Her bowls are ceramic cuteness).

I have her all set up in the bathroom for the week to slowly get her accustomed to her new home, but this morning, she was already pining to go out and explore the rest of the house. When we, boy and I, first brought her home, she always ran to the back of the toilet whenever someone opened the door. But I visited her a lot through the afternoon and night yesterday, so now she’s comes to me when I call (well the few times I tried) and nuzzles my hand. Also, she purrs incessantly, which made it that much harder to leave the house this morning. (I’m hoping that feeding her will force me to get up earlier in the morning, so I’m not always running ridiculously late.)

This is SO exciting. I’m a first time pet-owner and definitely first time mommy, so I’ll post more anecdotes and lesson learned as we move forward. Of course there will be LOTS and LOTS of pictures.

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One dilemma: I have no idea what to call her. Names are so hard because I want something that goes with her character but is also ‘profound’ or at least a double entendre (not the sexual kind).

Eleanor- like the first lady, but it sounds really old.

October- I LOVE this name and want to give it as a middle name for my future/potential daughter. However, a lot of people think that would be traumatizing to the child. So technically, I could give that name to the kitten. But she’s way to cute and happy to be a dark, brooding October.

… I’m stuck. What are your suggestions? I can’t keep calling her ‘baby,’ ‘cutey,’ or ‘it’ forever. So please comment below or email me with your thoughts. Gimme lots! :)

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This is when we just took her home. I hadn’t eaten all day, and I’m guessing Ty hadn’t either, so we stopped by Denny’s to pick up some food.

*crouch* She’s so sleepy…

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