May 25, 2011
Hump day. This morning, while trying to snag time for a break to lunch with good folks, Jesse said something to the effect of
“Hump days are generally good for people…you’re caught up from the weekend… but still have the rest of the week ahead of you.”
Sage advice. Made it to the middle of the week and I’m so very very looking forward to the long weekend. Last weekend seems so long ago already, and as I think back to it, it definitely had a theme: Family.
We started Saturday with a birthday BBQ for Mama Wang. The scrumpdiddlyumptious meal was prepared by her brother, local chinese chef extraordinaire Uncle 2. Uncle 2 and Auntie 2 came to the US years ago, but like many immigrant families they had to leave behind a son in China, and are eagerly awaiting for the man to open the country’s front door for him.
I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to so severely be separated from your family without the ability to easily see them in person. Thankfully though, we live in the fewchar, where cars fly, pills substitute for food, and we can see whoever we want via fancy moving pictures. Almost.
Uncle 2 and Auntie 2 have a webcam, but haven’t been able to get it to work. I took a stab at trying to get it going, and after navigating many many menus displayed only in chinese, I blindly pointed and clicked my way to success!
The picture doesn’t fully capture the erupting excitement, but I think it can succinctly be summed up in the words of Pop Wang:
“All this… IS FREE!”
After the BBQ, we headed to Bremerton to visit Mama Jocson. About 2 years ago, I lost my dad suddenly, and around the anniversary of his passing the fam gets together to pray. And I have a big fam. This year had a little splash of extra special thrown in for good measure…
About 22 years ago, the last of my dad’s siblings moved to the US, and moved in with us. He brought with him his wife and 3 kids, and they moved in with us into a tiny nondescript Bremerton rambler. Legit right? Only one problem. He has 4 kids.
Like Uncle 2 and Auntie 2 above, they had to leave behind a son. And a daughter in law. And what eventually was 4 grandkids. This past weekend, thanks to the great folks up north, we were finally able to reconvene this side of the fam.
May 8, 2011
It’s been one crazybusypacked weekend, but refreshingly, about half the crazybusy that packed this weekend was celebration-oriented. Part of the reason for festivities, of course, is Mother’s Day here in the US.
This year though, I get to celebrate Mothers’ Day. Yes, this year I have two mothers for this day.
This is Mama Wang. The wifey and I only recently married last year, but Mama Wang never once failed to treat me like anything less than her own over the past few years since moment zero. She doesn’t speak English, and I don’t speak Mandarin, but it doesn’t get in the way of her constant knowing smiles, the way she never lets a glass or plate go empty the way a mother wouldn’t, or the care with which she tries to anticipate wants (and address them before they become needs).
Meet Mama Jocson. I was born at a very very young age due to many many hours and this lady. Officially her profession was registered nurse, but she’s a mom through and through. She’s just the type that knows how to take care of others better than she does of herself. Talk to most people about their childhood, and they’ll tell you about the countless hours they spent with their best friend, the adventures they have, and the fun they had playing for ever and ever. Me? — The time I spent with my mom is rivaled only by the amount of hours I spent absorbing the TV’s warm radiation. I couldn’t ask for a better mom (though I’ve been known to often and frequently ask for a better TV).
Curious for more fun facts about the moms? Last year for our wedding reception, the wifey and I put together a video we shared with our guest to honor our parents. Thanks to Al Gore and the power of the internets, I can now share things like that as easy as one could whip out photo albums years ago that relived their their special day.
April 27, 2011
I’ve been on va(stay)cation since last week, but it feels busier than ever; however, I do feel like I’ve überproductive. That is, if productivity is measured in the amount of fun, satisfaction, and relief garnered via discovery, creativity, and completion of long-intended-to-have-been-addressed tasks.
More on what’s been keeping me busy (hopefully sooner rather than) later, but if you follow my twitter / Instagram / tumblr / Facebook feeds, you’ve by now been bombarded by random announcements, nonsensical commentary. And even seemingly randomer photos.
For the curious with the desire for marginally more context, allow me to present the first installment of <drumroll> Facts Behind the Fotos <windows 3.1 boot sound>
- Wheels Up – I spent most of the day tuning up my Honda Civic with the Executive Director of the ACAP. Notable highlights: Getting an armpit full of vintage 2009 5w20 motor oil and my new plug wires are blue (love me some color!)
- Acura – Sticking with cars for a moment, the other day I spent a few hours at Acura of Lynnwood, stranded while getting my rotors looked at. Is it just me, or do Acura rotors wear quickishly?
- Baby Shower of Infinite Justice – Some friends are expecting, which naturally warrants celebration. It’s a boy! — represented by the blue metallic teddy bear confetti.Yayers.
- Surprise – The gift in the left hand is for the aforementioned baby shower, the balloons for a special surprise (and what’s in between is from excessive French pastries…). The wifey is hosting a special giveaway on her blog featuring an original Cindi+Chris Photography piece. Check it out for deets on how you, too, may already be a winner!
- Pastries 1 and Pastries 2 – I wasn’t joking about those French pastries. I’ve recently discovered (and then re-discovered. and re-re-re discovered. and re-re-re-re….) the joy that is The French Bakery. In under a week I’ve visited 66.7% of their locations (multiple times), had enough pastries to fill a frequent customer punch card (and then some), feasted on a sandwich crafted by one of co-founders, and put on more weight that I should have. The jocson you know and love now comes extra squishy with 115% more butter.
- Seatown Funk – Jun lives in an area with an awesome view of Seattle. We visited her the other day, and after finding parking around the way, I couldn’t resist climbing up a precarious safety railing and snapping a quick pic while cars whirled behind me. I had a dizzying fear of falling to my doom, but powered through!
I’ll throw in a few (foto-less) tweets for good measure, just coz.
- P!AtD – Panic! has a new album, Vices & Virtues, which I am really diggin’ right now. So far I’ve edited approximately 500 photos (viewed around 2000), tuned 1 Civic, and assisted a friend with 2 resumes and 1 cover letter all with the album on repeat. A few years ago I went to a Panic! show they did with Lucent Dossier, and it was one of the most amazing shows I’ve ever seen. It was like some sort of punk burlesque circus freak show that totally fit their work.
- Sonicsgate – If you’re a sports fan, you must see this film. If you’re a Seattle-ite, you must see this film. Heck, if you have a pulse, go check it out. It highlights the chain of events leading to a Supersonics-less Seattle, brought to you by people like those folks you see in the stands at NBA games today still waving Sonics gear regardless of who’s playing. True patriots.
- Thinking about being productive – I made a plan at the start of this vacation that involved a home stretch run at success by means of being early-to-rise and late-to-bed (with ZOMGMASSIVEPRODUCTIVIEZ sammiched in between those two). I started Day 1 of this home stretch making good on the early-to-rise part, but was slow in motivation to get to the massive productivity part…. I think I’ve made good on getting things done since then. More on how I did that.. maybe tomorrow? Stay tuned friends!
February 2, 2011
Tomorrow begins the year of the rabbit, according to the lunisolar calendar used by many asian cultures. It’s not used by Filipinos, so I’m not very familiar with it; however, my wife’s family is from China, and ever since we met I’ve gotten down with the lunar new year. From what I gather, in lieu of fireworks, black tie affairs, and a large ornamental ball descending toward the earth at ultraslow-countdown-speed, Chinese New Year (in the US) means whiskey, excessive amounts of food, red, and an impressive imposing ascension of a representative animal to a metaphorical gilded throne (the size of which is rivaled only by that of the accompanying new year hangover). The animal brings good fortune, stock picks, a free market analysis, prosperity, and the finest in sensible footwear. And if it sees its shadow, we get 6 more months of rain.
I haven’t gotten it all sorted, but based on my observations and keen knack at deduction, I think it’s safe to say I’m about (conservative estimate) 97% of the way there.
Seeing as how it’s midweek this year, we kept it low key and hit up Chiang’s Gourmet in Lake Sizzle for easy eats. Chiang’s is one of those neighborhood joints that snags a steady stream of locals and a deluge of anybody and everybody on special occasions. One of those spots where it takes you 17.2x as long to receive your food as it does to annihilate it, but it doesn’t matter. It’s just good. They’re known for handmade noodles, a dual menu system — the ‘nothing-says-America-like-an-oversized-menu’ listing of standard Americanized ‘Chinese’ food, and a small unassuming, could be mistaken for a wine list, menu of authentic specialties. If you’ve ever been one of those folks who’s always wanted to roll into a Chinese restaurant, order off the ‘other’ menu, and embark on a gastronomic adventure, but haven’t simply because you weren’t sure if there is an other menu… Chiang’s is your joint. Not only do they not hide it from you, suitable English translations are listed right there, presented in plain sight. Check your subconscious sense of xenos at the door my friend, you are welcome here, and the work has been done for you.
Me? I’ll take the 炸醬麵 and, actually, I can get by just fine with a bowl of ‘Five Star Spicy Chicken.’ Which really arrives as a bowl of fried spicy Szechuan peppers. Oh, with a side of the most addicting chicken in the world.