Jiji wishes you all a Happy Halloween!

[Want to make your own Jiji? Click here for the template!]

[A cupcake study break at Pannikin Coffee and Tea in La Jolla]

Halloween was quite uneventful this year as I had two papers to write and little time to do them. I did however get dressed up as Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service and made Kiki's cat Jiji, who is now keeping me company at my desk.

Someone at work asked if she was Toto. Jiji turned her head and told her, "uh, no."

Happy Halloween!


Mo+Boy Tie the Knot: I Gotta Feeling...

...that that song is totally overplayed. And that I owe you another wedding recap!

[for the full experience, click play]

I was nervous about the dancing part of the wedding because I was afraid people would not dance. If you've been to a Chinese wedding, you know exactly what I mean. People typically eat, take pictures, and then leave. But I was happy that people actually danced, even though there were some lulls and definite song duds due to yours truly (c'mon people, doesn't anyone else like to dance to Stray Cat Strut??)

My do not play list was long, and had, you guessed it, Black Eyed Peas. The DJ even commented, hmm that's gonna be tough, they are reeaallly popular right now.

They made the do not play list because I make a lot of pop music associations with things that have happened in my life. I had a crappy boyfriend who loved the Black Eyed Peas. Therefore,

Crappy boyfriend = Black Eyed Peas

I had a horrible day at work where I felt like biting off a lot of heads, and the topic of discussion that day was whether or not to play Let's Get It Started as the opening song at a work event. Therefore,

Bad day at work = Black Eyed Peas

Put the two together. Crappy boyfriend + Bay day at work = BLACK EYED PEAS

Well, the DJ ended up playing I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas. But it wasn't the DJ's fault.

Troublemaker: Hey I just asked the DJ to play I Gotta Feeling and he said that I had to get permission from you.
Boy: Yeah! I wanted to play that song and she said no. [bumps me] Other people like that song too.
Me: Whaaaaat. That's on my do not play list though.
Troublemaker: Uh, we just heard Ke$ha. I'm a little confused about your standards here.
Me: You request that song, you better dance like you've never danced before.

And so the DJ played it. And as if everyone else were in on the joke, everyone started dancing. Because apparently not everyone equates Black Eyed Peas with Crappy boyfriend and Bad day at work. It was, admittedly, a very fun end to the evening. I no longer loathe the song because it will forever have the association of our wedding.

I Gotta Feeling = Fun time at the wedding

Got a Crappy boyfriend + Bad day at work song? Share it with me!



Fun with Instagram for iPhone

You might remember that the boy went to Vegas a week before the wedding on my birthday. I think he felt bad about this, because I got to go to dinner here and then when we got back from Japan we went to the mac store and he bought me another belated present, an iPhone!

I'm addicted to it. And my latest app managed to occupy my time for a few good hours today--Instagram! It's a photo social network site (you can add me as a friend, username is pinkargyle!) but the fun part is that you can choose from different vintage filters before you upload.

I played around with a bunch of photos from last weekend's wedding and I think the results are a lot of fun! (Special thanks to Ann and Tyler for sending me their pictures, the one with Rosanna's veil is gorgeous.)

[Rehearsal at St. Ignatius Church--I couldn't stop staring at this dome! Photo from Ann and Tyler]

[Rosanna has her veil put in by makeup artist Aimee Lam.]

[Checking myself out]


[Rosanna in the stretch limo on the way to the church]

[Just married! Photo from Ann and Tyler]

[The cake was GORGEOUS. Photo from Ann and Tyler]

Click here to get the Instagram app! Have fun.

[All images taken with my iPhone unless noted.]


Do You Love What You Do?

I'm in the process of changing careers, in search of more fulfillment and a change of pace.

But lately I feel overworked, and while I was drinking caffeine at midnight the other night, boy by my side doing the exact same, I thought, wow ...is this worth it?

What do you do as a job/career? Do you love it?


To Sell, or Not To Sell?

Right now, my wedding dress sits inside my closet, dirty and hanging out with my cheongsam. I intended to sell it once the wedding was over, but most people I talked to thought it was a bad idea. So I had second thoughts too, because I feel like I had an entire relationship with this dress with all the drama!

Another problem is that the lace at the bottom started unraveling at the wedding, so I'm not even sure how much money it is worth. Would anyone even want a dress with damaged lace, or should I just get it cleaned and put it in a nice box?

What would you do?



Congratulations Rosanna and Michael!

[From my iPhone. Mo's dress from Dessy, Rosanna's dress from Casablanca]

Congratulations to Rosanna and Michael for tying the knot in a gorgeous San Francisco wedding this past weekend! It was beautiful, and as you can see, Rosanna looked gorgeous!!

One of my favorite moments of the day was right before the ceremony. The two of us were looking into the very grand mirror in the bridal changing room, Rosanna in her gown and me next to her, and we were recounting all of those times in college we ate turkey sandwiches and watched A Wedding Story on TLC together. (Ironically my other favorite show during college was Cheaters, because it was guaranteed drama-filled entertainment, and I always loved it when that guy in the leather coat said "Up next, THE CONFRONTATION". Hilarious.)

Hope to have some more pictures to show you all! And if anyone is looking for bridesmaid dresses, I found the Dessy dress I wore to be a bright burst of color with a flattering (and plunging!) neckline.


Japan Honeymoon: Exploring Kyoto Part 2

For Part 1 of Kyoto, go here.

For months, the boy made fun of me for wanting to go see the monkeys at the Iwatayama Monkey Park in Arashiyama, a neighborhood of Kyoto. (There are about 200 snow monkeys at the park, and they roam freely and you can feed them apples and peanuts.)

He liked to make fun of me to other people too.

To a friend who has been to Japan, but did not go to the monkey park: Yeah, did you go to that monkey park? Mo seems to only care about the monkey park, but see, you didn't even go, so how special can it be? Who wants to hike up a hill and see dirty animals?

To a stranger at a restaurant, who told us stories about being attacked by monkeys: She wants to hike up a mountain and visit them! [Turns to me] Did you know they attack people? Did you? Not so cute anymore, are they?

To the owner of the inn, who asked why I wanted to go see the monkeys: Seeeeeeeee. I'm not the only one who thinks you're crazy to go and see MONKEYS.

What a punk.

It's okay, I was right, because the monkey park was so much fun. And he totally liked it.

[Monkey Rules: No staring. No touching. No feeding outside the designated area!]

[The hike up was gorgeous, and at some point there was a lone monkey that just hiked up with us. I promise he only carried my bag while I took this picture.]

[We stayed there forever spoiling the monkeys with bags of apples.]

[I had a favorite monkey. I think this was her because of how gently she took the apples from my hand.]

[In addition to the monkeys, there was also this incredible view of Kyoto.]

After the monkey park, we had lunch with the best view ever at Arashiyama Yoshimura.

[Tempura and soba at Arashiyama Yoshimura]

We ended the day with green tea ice cream cones and a stroll through the bamboo forest.

My recap of Japan is ending! Next up is my last post, in which we share a meal in our own private room next to a beautiful garden. Why can't the honeymoon last forever?


Who Pays for Dinner?

[YUM!!! Green tea and caramel macaroons at Tateru Yoshino]

Our splurge in Tokyo was a night at Michelin-rated Tateru Yoshino, which is a French restaurant with Japanese influence. We were looking over the menu after being promptly seated (and after I was complimented on how beautiful I looked that night. Sweet, I like this place!)

Him: Ok, which tasting menu do you want to get?
Me: Um...I don't know. Whichever one is cheaper. Which one is that?
Him: The duck course.
Me: Oh...I don't see the price, how come they don't list it on here?
Him: It's at the bottom after the courses.
Me: I don't see it.
Him: Right after the dessert listing.
Me: Still don't see it. Is it in Japanese?
Him: No, it's in English.
[He hands me his menu and points]
Him: See, right here.
[Mo looks at her menu. Then at the boy's. Then at hers again.]

I had to do a double-take, because the boy's menu had prices listed, and mine DIDN'T. Oh em gee, I wonder who they expected to pay for dinner?? Sure enough, when the bill came they gave it to him instead of placing it in the middle. I'd never experienced anything like it.

Has anyone been given a menu without prices?

And while we're on the topic, ever been in an awkward date situation in which you don't know who should pay? I remember our first date in which we sort of split it--he paid for the dinner, I paid for dessert. But we all know whose idea it was to get dessert in the first place.



Thoughts on holiday cards

When we moved in together, a good four years ago, a friend remarked "are you going to be one of those couples who sends Christmas cards with a photo of you and your dog?"

Trying my hardest to be cool, I'm pretty sure I responded by saying "Psssh. Nooo! Yeah right" but deep down inside I probably thought "Oooh...wouldn't that be super cute, especially with a corgi puppy." (I was a closet Martha Stewart reader back then. I have no shame anymore.)

The fact that someone said that in 2006 has prevented me from putting our photo on any holiday card. Seriously. Well, time to give in, because this year I want to send out cards and we're going to have a photo of us on it. And I will not be ashamed!

I'm a fan of tinyprints.com, which has a lot of customizable cards from some really talented designers (including one of my favorites, Night Owl Paper Goods!) It makes the work a whole lot easier for me, especially after all of the wedding paper goods I designed.

I ignored anything resembling work or school tonight to play with all of my options. Here are some of my favorites.

[Yuletide by tallu-lah for tinyprints, photo by my cousin-in-law Chuck]
[Clever beaver by Night Owl Paper Goods for tinyprints. I wish I could write something other than Merry Christmas, but the beaver sure is cute.]

[Frilly frame by Sarah Hawkins Design for tinyprints, photo by our friend Brian]

Do you send holiday cards? What do you like to use?


Japan Honeymoon: Exploring Kyoto, Part 1

[Near our hotel in the Gion District of Kyoto]

The last leg of our Japan honeymoon was in Kyoto. If Tokyo was bright lights and fast cars, and Hakone was peace and tranquility, this was a good mix of those two extremes. It was darling, and if I go back to Japan, we are for sure visiting Kyoto again. I like it so much that I don't think I can fit everything into one post, so this is the first in three (or four...haven't decided yet!) installments.

Our stay was made even more amazing because of the staff at Hotel Mume, a boutique hotel in the Gion District. I have never in my life had such personalized service. They treated us as if we were old friends coming to visit their home, except that home is super posh, complete with free breakfast, drinks all day, and an insane toilet with a lid that automatically lifts when it senses motion. The owner mapped out a site-seeing itinerary for us, made all dinner reservations, and upgraded us to a nicer room.

[Top: Our room ("Wind") at Hotel Mume. Middle: The view from the room. Bottom: Breakfast! Our room rate came with breakfast every morning. Pastries, soup, hard-boiled egg, grapefruit juice, marmalade, jam, tea, coffee, fruit, and my favorite (I ate both of our servings,) home-made yogurt.]

I promise, we managed to leave the hotel occasionally.

I'm smiling in that photo above, but I was really dying from mosquitos as this shrine is located next to a stream in a forest of trees. They seemed to all love my legs, and I was in pain for a few days (luckily this was at the very, very end of our trip.) I counted my bites...wait for it...33 MOSQUITO BITES. On one spot of my leg, it's just one after the other in a line. It's like the same mosquito bit me once, hopped down, bit me again, and hopped further down.

We escaped the outdoors at the International Manga Museum, which was like walking into a librarian's dream: adults and children were reading at tables, on the floor, on the steps, and the walls were covered in books. The children's room was packed, and there was a special art area where they could draw their own manga.

I had my portrait painted by a manga artist at the museum. The boy really likes the picture and has since referred to it as "Mo Jr.".

[Above: The manga artist painting my portrait. Bottom: Mo Jr.!]

More Kyoto fun to come, sans the mosquitoes.


A Mini Meltdown and Neti Pots

Sorry I've been silent this week. Three things happened that unfortunately tore me away from blog world and are currently making me temporarily scary: work got crazy, to the point where I worked at night and on the weekend and I said things like "I gotta answer this, it's from work" which pretty much never happens in my neck of the workplace. School started, so I currently have two papers staring at me, one about ethics and the other about research paradigms, and it's only a few days into the quarter and I'm already behind. Aaaaand then I got a nasty cold, preventing me from working to my full potential and latching onto a box of tissues. This week has been a barrel of monkeys.
You know you've reached meltdown mode when your husband says "Mo?" very quietly, and you answer with "Don't bother me right now" and he actually listens because he's scared of you this time.

Because of my cold, I bought a neti pot, which my sister has been raving about. And then I watched this enlightening demo and it made all the stuff I just wrote about go away temporarily.

Le sigh. Any tricks to rid the common cold and the mini meltdown?


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