En Route to Yucca Valley

enroute-yucca-valley-1 Took these on our way to Yucca Valley. I was hoping for a different backdrop. We drive by these windmills with vast desert and ombre blue mountains behind them. Was digging the colors. But we couldn't stop since there weren't any exit lanes that led to the right place. Ended up here... on the side of a road not too off from the freeway. Gated, fence with chain and lock, no trespassing sign. Photos turned out pretty good, especially for a first run. We're gonna do more with clothes starting very soon.

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Lisbon, Portugal

I bought this disposable camera from a random ass souvenir shop during my short stay in Lisbon. Was expecting to get 27 shots out of this sucker...but it stopped winding at 14. Just goes to show that you can never really tell with life. Unfortunately, things don't always turn out like how they're labeled. So you gotta go for it. Make every shot count. Cause as cache as it sounds. It might be your last.

Sayre Dr.

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These photos are special not because I'm starring in them. They're great because they were taken at a house that my dad redesigned and revamped. He's worked for himself ever since he got laid off from a carpenters' union many years ago. He does laborious work and that's about all I knew. He comes home covered in paint and sometimes he has "battle wounds". I always wondered what his work is really like. I went to Sayre Dr. when my parents first bought it. It was pretty rundown. A couple months later, I came again with Derek to take photos. Didn't expect much - but was so stunned by the craftsmanship and the creativity that went into rebuilding this place. My dad really amazes me. And even if he doesn't have much of a choice (career-wise), at least he enjoys what he does.


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Mostly visual because photos speak for themselves.
No need for me to voice anything. See it to believe it.

Chinese New Years - What's that about?

Chinese New Year  
Almost everyone, whether you're Chinese or not, associates Chinese New Year with red envelopes. To be fair, getting copious amounts of money in the name of tradition is pretty awesome. But there is more to this celebration and a lot of us forget that it's not just about the dollar bills.

My parents never stopped to explain the whole concept of Chinese New Year. I learned by doing and by asking questions throughout the years. Even with 20 years of questions, I still don't have a complete picture of why we do what we do. So I figured it's about time that I utilized the almighty Google and do some research on Chinese New Year customs. Keep in mind that Chinese people tend to be superstitious (at least my family and relatives). As a result, some of our rituals are based on superstitions that were passed down from many many generations ago. Some of the things that I had to do as a kid definitely makes me laugh. I just didn't get it. But now, I'm more curious than ever. I want to learn how and why these New Year rituals and rules came to be.

Uh... what's Chinese New Year anyway?

Traditionally, the holiday is celebrated as a Spring Festival and it's the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. Chinese New Year follows a lunisolar calendar and it's celebrated on the first day of the first month in the Chinese calendar – the day of the second new moon after the winter solstice. The festival ends on 15th day of the first month, also known as the Lantern Festival. This year, Chinese New Year starts on February 18th and ends on March 5th.

Truthfully, I know nothing about the Chinese calendar and I only knew about this year's dates because of my parents. The coolest aspect of the Chinese calendar is that each year corresponds to one of 12 different zodiac signs and animals. It just so happens that 2015 is my year... meaning it's the year of the 羊. Because the Chinese character 羊 can mean both goat and sheep, I'm going to stick to Chinese so we're not lost in translation.

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    I have this best friend who I see about once a year (if I'm lucky). We met online when we were 16. I had a fashion blog. She had a fashion blog. And the rest is history. It's pretty miraculous how we managed to stay connected when one of us lives in California while the other lives in Boston. Now that we're both done with school and are enslaved by full-time jobs, we live completely separate lives. Yeah texting is cool and all, but real friendships need tangibility. It's also a trust thing. Like, will my friend get my back when I need it the most or is he/she just there to smoke my weed then dip out.

    So out of all the friendships and whatever-ships that I've been involved in, this one is probably the most unexpected. I have to make a toast to fate for this one. It started with blog comments. Then 5 years later, she's in London to visit me during my time abroad. I have this really awesome story... So we were outside Buckingham Palace, doin' our thang. We ran into a group of girls who started following us and saying konichiwa. We were like "No, we're not Japanese." And of course they continued harassing us and trying to prank us cause ironically they speak no English. Every time I look back at this very moment, I can feel that energy again. We were getting mad. My face was warming up and my hands were clenching into fists. I was ready to throw the fuck down. But just as quick as it all unfolded, the moment dissipated into thin air. As we walked away towards the rest of our day, I turned to Miranda and asked her if she was going to fight them. She said yes because we can kick their asses.

Taken summer of 2013 at Venice Beach, CA.

New York Kind of Winter

Grainy photos from our trip to New York. We spent the last days of 2013 trudging through fresh snow, falling asleep on the subway, hating Time Square, eating spicy Caribbean food, and freezing our asses off just to watch the fireworks.
The city was cold and so were we. Things were up and down. We were happy and sad. But by the time 2014 rolled in, we were glad to have each other. I know we don't always get along - but you are right... we don't hold grudges. We can't.
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