A Happy Peach

Things that make my heart smile…


My Own Virtual Plot of Real Estate….

Over the weekend I was bestowed by the wonderful Pervisha the One Lovely Blog Award, which made my wee heart very happy. Thanks so much Sweetie, that was very kind of you.

Blog awards are interesting little things. We fellow bloggers award them to one another for the same normal award reasons, we want to recognize in a formal way the enjoyment we have felt when we read the awardee’s blog. These awards can help to promote a blog you love, and a lot of times these awards ask the recipient to pass on the award to other bloggers (almost chain letter style, but with good intentions). Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with the required number of new recipients, especially if you are new to blogging. In their own way these awards are trying to help build our blogging community.

This got me thinking about the terms: blogging community and social networking. These are relatively new terms as they did not exist about ten years ago, but they seem to be a part of our current vocabulary. The terms are used with such frequencies that I personally tend to be dismissive of them. We bandy them about and give them the greatest of importance. You MUST have a Facebook/Twitter/Youtube account, it is imperative that a business maintain contact with their customers through social networks, blah, blah, blah. And while I think technology is good and can help us connect, I think we need to hold our horses and prioritize. Technology is a tool, it is not the ends, but the means with which we communicate. We should not be forced to adapt to it, rather we should use it as we see fit for our lifestyle.

I then thought about how technology has been integrated into my personal relationships. I have a lot of friends who are not local, so having an email account has saved me a lot of long distance calls. We can email and text one another and keep in constant contact. I also have a Facebook account which is thoroughly ignored. I did not enjoy reading posts that were in my opinion inane (not all of them mind you, but somethings are left best unposted), I do pop in every so often to check in with some distant pals and reconnect. But if you’re really close, we would probably keep contact in other ways than posting public messages. What I have enjoyed the most has been blogging. I feel like my blog is a virtual home that I’ve crafted. A place where I can post what I like. In my mind it’s like a little cottage that I have set up and furnished (furnished with words, pictures and video links) so that I can invite some lovely friends in. I have met many wonderful people through blogging and commenting. I really enjoy the exchange that we have and look forward to it as part of my day. The blogs I read and comment on feel like neighbors and friends, so I do agree with the term blogging community. But the term social networking comes across to me as trite, it demeans the quality of the relationships in my opinion. It is a hyped word that business people who aren’t really doing it, but see a lot of folks (i.e. potential customers) doing it, use. To me there is a belittling action in it’s usage, it’s over-usage almost guarantees that it will one day become passé. I know this is just my opinion, but that’s the good part of being in one’s own home with friends, you can make silly declarative statements that may or may not come true but echo your current thinking.

My last thought is: remember the pet rock, or more aptly, remember MySpace? Technology is always changing, but the one thing that is not replaceable is our humanity (artificial intelligence is science fiction because we can never create an algorithm which mimics human feelings, creativity, and thoughts).


This Made Me Laugh…

As I was going through the parking lot of my supermarket hunting for a park, I found the strangest vehicle occupying one of the spots. Upon first glance I thought it was a smart car, those things are so tiny. But I thought it looked so small that I had to look again. It was one of those little shopping carts disguised as a car. It seemed like he has convinced himself that he is in fact a car and taken it to the next level by parking in the parking lot. The idea of this little fella and his unrealistic sense of self got me chuckling. Even a shopping cart has the right to dream.

Delusions of grandeur...


Memorial Day….

I think Memorial Day may just be a U.S. holiday. This year it falls on Monday, May 30th. In addition to commemorating those who have died while in service to our country, we also think of it as the start of summer. We celebrate the more superficial part of the holiday by doing the following:

  1. Put out the flag in the morning.
  2. Drag out the grill…gotta clean that bad boy off as it has been a few months.
  3. Grilling some sort of meat products (ribs, steak, burgers, hot dogs, sausages, chicken, etc.) and possibly some sort of veg (corn, zucchini, peppers, etc.).
  4. Soda and Beer must be served, I’m going with Dr. Pepper with a Corona chaser (don’t forget the lime, very important).
  5. Add friends and family and enjoy.
  6. Bring Old Glory back in before sunset.

I think that is pretty much the model of most people’s Memorial Day. If you walk outside by evening you can smell all the meat cooking. It smells so good!!!


Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month..

Hello Friends and Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I know, it’s a mouthful and I am not quite sure what this entails.  I have spent a whole month trying to figure it out.

My first issue is that the term “Asian and the Pacific Islanders” covers a lot of us and the each culture is distinct. According to the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month website, yes there is a website, the term Asian-Pacific includes the following:

  1. All of the Asian continent (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Russia, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Loas, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Inida, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Amenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, Isreal, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen)
  2. The Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands)
  3. Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia)
  4. Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).

Now that is a long list!!!!

My second issue is what are we supposed to do? Do we celebrate through food, which would make sense because the food culture is very important to us. Do we celebrate through attire, which may or may not be difficult because some outfits just don’t translate well to modern living. Do we do it through dance, drinking, music, poems, stories, film, cherry blossoms what? I guess the answer, as all my Asian Festival attendances has taught me, is that we do it through all of that. Each group ends up celebrating their own culture, and there are parades, festivals, expos and the like.

So I thought to myself how to pay tribute to all those countries and their respective cultures. I still haven’t come up with a good idea. But if I wait any longer it will be June.

So I thought of the stuff that I eat and drink…

Yummy things I've had....

And I thought of my Asian Brothers who are holding it down in Calie…West Coast represent (sorry I know, but I had to say it :P)…

And here’s the Bruno Mars version…just cuz…

I also thought of the K-Pop “invasion” (I was also thinking of the Jdoramas and Kdoramas that can be fun to follow, but that’s another list entirely)…

I thought of one of my favorite anime, Cowboy Bebop…

And of course our Hong Kong brother Bruce Lee martial artist and philosopher…

This has got me thinking about finding more local events. Maybe learn about the mighty mini bonsai and the show at the Los Angeles Arboretum this weekend…now if only I could find some sakura blossoms…


Just for Chuckles…

I don’t watch Saturday Night Live much anymore. But Hulu likes to put up the clips and sometimes I click and think it’s funny.

  • And after reading Vix’s post on Lady Gaga I couldn’t help but think of her when I saw this.

  • And I just think that this nonsense is funny…”I survived the rapture”…now that’s going on a tee shirt.


    What Would You Do…

    What would you do if it was your last day on Earth? Now, my own personal thinking is every time I hear someone predicting the end time or this rapture thing I am inclined to dismiss it. A friend had mentioned it earlier this week and the news on TV had mentioned it a few times. And while I did dismiss it, it got me thinking about what I would do if it did happen. I thought what would I do if I knew there was no tomorrow, if I knew that whatever I did today I wouldn’t theoretically need to worry about it tomorrow.

    My initial idea was that I would take whatever time there was left and just travel, first class, and go nuts with my credit card. It was Monday, and the rapture had been scheduled for Saturday (my question is Saturday in what time zone). My thoughts rambled as I imagined all the useless junk that I would acquire, then I realized I wouldn’t have much time to enjoy it. I also thought that while I like to travel I would also feel in a rush to go everywhere and inevitably get home. Because when it came down to it I would want to be with my family. I would want my last day to be spent with the people who I love, enjoying their company, being happy with them. We’d do something simple most likely. We’d eat well, watch a movie, chat and laugh. Then a smile came across my face as I realized that’s the life that I lead, that I spend my precious time with my family doing small things and enjoying each others company. I wouldn’t want to know that the end was coming, I’d rather it just came and went. It would be just one more thing to stress out about.

    Even though it was born out of an end time prediction I realized that I am happy with my life. It made me that much more grateful for my family and the life that I have been able to lead. I think you should try to live each day as if it were your last. Love your loved ones, treasure what you have, remember your principles and travel when you can. I think if you do these things, you won’t have a life of regret. Each day is an opportunity, another chance for life.

    I ask the question again, what would you do on your last day?


    Sustainable Living…

    As I have professed I am quite enamored with the idea of growing my own produce.  It’s been a bit of a daydream for me. On one hand I think that it is such a noble pursuit, to earnestly plow the land and grow natural products whereas on the other hand it seems out of reach from the urban world that I know (and my less than green thumb, I think I may have a pink and white gingham thumb).

    My daydream of an urban homestead is fueled by the story of the Dervaes family and their inspiring way that they are making it work.

    I think that their way of living is interesting. I think it’s a commitment, but I think the way that they did it, little by little, was really cool. For myself, I don’t think I would go completely off the grid, but I do think I would like to take back a little of my independence. To be able to have your own green house with veggies really appeals to me.


    Make-up Corner…Foundation…

    I think one of the perks of being a girl is our unbridled love of primping. As it has been established I love make up. For me it’s fun to play with colors and get myself gussied up. If you think of your face as a canvas and the make up as the paints, I think you could also think of your foundation as the background paint and the moisturizers and primers as prep work.

    My own personal rules are as follows:

    • Wear as little foundation coverage as possible
      • This means I have to take really good care of my skin 😀
    • Find the right shade, this can be quite a journey as
      • Foundation oxidizes (meaning it changes colors after it settles on your skin in minutes) which is why you should never buy foundation without giving it a bit of time and going out in daylight.
      • Finding the right undertones (yellow/pink/etc) may take more effort than you initially thought
      • Your skin coloring changes with the seasons (lighter in winter weather and deeper in summer weather)
      • Your face has different grades of color and your neck is a different color altogether (it gets a different amount of sunlight during the day as your face). Finding a shade to match means finding the one that can blend in and not clash with any part of your face and your neck (remember to blend down into your neck)
    • Find the right formula (gel, water, cream, powder, stick, BB, etc.) for your skin’s needs (dryer in the winter than in the summer)

    Honestly at the end of the day I have a few depending on what the occasion is. If it’s just one of those I’m popping out, I may just wear sunscreen or through on tinted moisturizer (Smashbox, Estee Lauder, Laura Mercier) or a BB Cream (Lotree and Essence). For summer I may dust with a mineral powder ( Estee Lauder or Bare Essentials) to abate the “glistening” (you know when you sweat like a pig). And for more coverage I use Lingerie De Peau (I love this stuff with a synthetic flat top brush, Sonia Kashuk #4) or Shiseido’s foundation stick.

    Usually I don’t think about how long my foundation wears, because my main reason for applying it is to have a base for my make up to stick too not for any real coverage. But then I saw this video and thought, you know that makes sense, people want their foundation to wear well, and so it makes sense to make sure that your prep is compatible with your foundation. I think it may have been one of those ah-ha moments. So here’s Goss with the lesson for today.

    I wonder if this was enlightening for anyone else. What’s your routine?


    Haircut Horror Stories…

    As a child I had always kept my hair long. It was  an extremely blunt cut, just straight across. Really simple, something you can’t screw up. This led me to believe, quite falsely, that my hair was fool proof. As a young woman I got into the idea of screwing with the formula. First I tried to color it with a kit, I used this cherry cola color and it looked really cool. However it felt dry compared to the usual silky texture so that put an end to my dying desires.

    My next step was to try various hair cuts, these hair cuts seemed like a series of disasters. Few and far between were the excellent haircuts, and when I did find a great stylist they often moved and I had to start over. I have learned a lot from my experiences and have compiled the following list so that you may benefit from my disasters:

    1. Make sure to think about when you schedule your cut. It may take longer than an hour. So you want to make sure that it’s not to close to lunch or to closing, this may make them rush through your cut.  Now a good place will never rush through a haircut, but if you are new and are unsure it’s a good rule to start with. I made the mistake of being a walk-in with an hour till lunch. I have a lot of hair and the cut she was supposed to do (the Asian Mullet :)) required a lot work texturizing after about 40 minutes she had finished one side. Then fueled by what I assume was hunger she decided to give the other side a blunt cut. I essentially had two different haircuts at once. It was terrible.
    2. Why didn’t I say anything? This brings me to my second point, it is important that you be able to communicate with your stylist. The lady did not speak English too well. But problems communicating can also occur when you speak the same language. You know what I’m talking about, it happens in everyday life, two people having what seems to be one conversation with each person talking about two different things. It’s hysterical if you are just listening as a third-party, but awful for haircuts.
    3. Which is why you should learn their terms, like texturizing, side swept bangs, shag, bob, layers, disconnected layers, blunt cut and so on. Knowing their special little language of hair can help you get to the hairstyle you desire.
    4. Keep the dialog open, if you see something you have questions about ask. If he or she is cutting in a way you don’t understand, say something. But say it nicely, remember they are holding extremely sharp shears/razors/scissors by your head.
    5. Bring pictures, even if you describe what you want, you may end up with something different. Pictures help to establish a visual common understanding of what you cut will look like. If there are issues you could always go back (although I did bring pictures but I think it was a matter of work ethic).
    6. Get a recommendation. Ask around, see people who are happy and ask how their experience was. You want someone you feel comfortable with and it’s also nice to see their work before hand.
    7. If you don’t like it, go back. Normally a good salon wants to make you happy and will try to fix a bad haircut. Remember they want you to come back. Last year the gal I normally see was busy so I took a spot with another girl who had a lot of experience. I was really unhappy with the cut, and when I mentioned it her response (with a smirk) was, “well you’re stuck with it now.” Not good customer service. I had wanted to color my hair (first time in a long time), so when I went back to my normal gal and she fixed the cut and did a great job with the color.
    8. When you find someone you really like try to get their number, because when they’re gone they’re gone.

    You do take a risk every time you sit in someone’s chair, but having a game plan helps. I also think it’s worth it to find someone good. Maybe go with the less adventurous cut the first time and work up to that crazy chop it all off look when you become more confident in their skills. I know it’s only hair and it will grow back, but I also know it takes a while and our hair is our crown and glory. So try to take care of it by finding the right person. I also think it’s OK to splurge a bit on the cut, after all you will be wearing this for a few months ever day. But don’t judge someone’s talent on the price tag alone. Tip well if you can, I don’t think a hairdresser’s career is too long, a lot of them end up with hand health issues. In the end you will find someone who you trust and understands your hair needs.


    Personal Style as Opposed to Fashion…

    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.

    Oscar Wilde

    Ever since I was a small girl I loved pretty things. I loved make up and clothes, still do and seemingly to my detriment. And when I learned to speak, I was very vocal about what I liked to wear. I loved to have puffed sleeves and a swinging full pretty skirt when going to a party. I was, to say in a manner of speaking, and still am, a funny little critter.

    But as I got older school and all of life’s little events took precedence over fashion, there were some days when I just looked a hot mess.  I haven’t abandoned the pretty things in life, they just aren’t often times the priority. They do, however, always have a special place in my heart. And I tend to make trips back to it when I need a pick-me-up. Sometimes it’s retail therapy and sometimes it’s because I want a change of pace or because I am making changes in my life. I have been thinking about this more and more since I have been trying to institute changes in my life.

    Going through my wardrobe has got me thinking about past choices. In my teens and early twenties I think I was experimenting with fashion. I think that’s something we all do, and let’s face it we’ve all probably had some awful outfits at one time or another. But through that experimenting we found out what worked for us, and established a personal base line. Most people figured out what jeans looked good on their shape, which sort of tee was right. Which maker was cutting for our body type and what needed to be altered. We also figure out what colors look right with our skin tone as well as what made us look ill. For instance as a petite olive-skinned Asian woman, large floral prints make me look like a deranged Oompa Loompa, like I got away from the Chocolate Factory and was trying to be incognito, but really I’m not fooling anyone.  Which is to say…I look terrible. Then there are things that work well for my proportions, like low-rise jeans have a way of looking proportionate.

    In addition to those items that I know compliment me, there are items that are just my personality. I think these are items that I love just because they tickle my fancy, they make my heart happy, and they just make me smile. I think in addition to my suitable basics I have a wardrobe full of things that are my treasures. They are things that I enjoy for their pure enjoyment. I think that through my trail and effort I have honed my skills for spotting the right thing for me and decreased the emphasis on trends and fashions. I have come to the realization that fashion is a type of industry which chooses to attempt to control the way we see ourselves and create an insecurity so we will buy their product. As consumers we are the ones who really decide. I think that’s why so many blogs on fashion are popular, because it’s people on their own doing their own thing. I personally like popping my eyes onto style and lifestyle blogs to see what someone’s take on a piece is. Recently I found a fabulous blog called Bourbon & Pearls, Tabitha is so chic and cool, she’s become my new style hero. She recently blogged about controlling your closet, because it can get out of hand really easily, her tactic is to exercise control with use of a 22 hanger rule. I think that’s a great idea. Rules can help you to only purchase when necessary, and if you limit your spending you be more thoughtful when spending. Adding to Tien’s suggestion of the mantra chant “…do I really need this…?” So if you decide it’s time to get a new item, then research for the perfect item, you will be so glad when you do get that item home.