Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Recap!

Time moves far too quickly these days. It's probably a combination of getting older (joy!) and having a wonderful time with my boy. There were so many funny, weird, amazing moments but some in particular:

1. James trying to cook. It didn't go well. In fact, he almost killed me so there's a lesson to be learned here.

2. The Olympics. National pride got a little mixed up but it was still entertaining.

3. Apple gadgets and discovering apps! I love my Touch and iPad. Thank you, Susie and James! Also, Plants vs. Zombies is sheer genius!

4. The California Coast.

5. After 8 years in our house, we finally updated our kitchen. I still don't like the backsplash tile but it's bearable. Just.

6. Rock Band. James rocking out the gold stars 'cause that's how he rolls.

7. Lego. Lego and more Lego.

8. Our friends and family. Both near and far. I promise to get back to Toronto one of these days!

9. Ummm. Handbags. There! I said it.

10. Christmas. I LOVE Christmas. And this cat video. It doesn't take much.

11. Celebrating 10 amazing years with the love of my life. Not sure how you can top sailing with dolphins...but I know you will. Every single day is a gift.

And lastly, one of my favorite images of 2010. Have a safe and Happy New Year everyone!

Trooper Love, originally uploaded by Balakov.

Friday, December 03, 2010


I think I've watched this video about 100 times. No sign of getting bored yet.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bridge For Sale!

A friend of mine was recently the target of an on-line fishing attempt. Most normal people just delete these emails without a further thought. But not him. This type of stuff is grist for the mill. Here is the verbatim correspondence between the two geniuses:

My Friend: [Someone has hijacked my cousin's email and is trying to scam money. I had the following email exchange with the person who hijacked my cousin's account:]

Scammer: Hello! How are you doing? Hope all is well with you and I pray this e-mail finds you in good health. I am so sorry i didn't let you know about me leaving for a conference in England. I really hate to do this but i need a favor from you because i lost my Bag on my way back to the hotel from the conference venue and i had my valuables in it and now am in a mess. Kindly raise me a loan of $2,700 so i can settle my bills here and get back home before things get out of hand. I'll really appreciate it if you could do whatever you can to help me, I'll refund whatever you can come up with as soon as i return. Kindly let me know if you can be of help? so that i can send you the details to use when sending it through Western Union.

Waiting to read from you soon.

My Friend: That is a remarkable story indeed! I will be happy to loan you the money you need. What kind of conference were you attending? Did you get a new job or something? I didn't think anyone in your line of work would need to go to England for a conference. Which city are you in, anyway?

Scammer: Thank you for your help, I just thought i should try another line to earn more money. Never knew it was going to be a mess for me, Send the money to the details below through western union money transfer

[UK Address Provided]

Kindly help me to send it soon and once you have it sent, let me know the money transfer control number (mtcn) with full details of the transfer or attach receipt to me .

I wait to read from you as soon as you have it sent

My Friend: I just had an idea! I have a friend who works right by there at the Baron and Baroness bar! He can lend you the money and I can pay him back, then you pay me back. This way is better because we don't have to pay Western Union fees. If you go by there about 7:00pm tomorrow and ask for Michael, he'll be there with the money you need. I already called him and set it up, but he can't do it tonight so tomorrow is the earliest I can do.

If you just google "Baron and Baroness newcastle" you should be able to find it no problem.

‎[My Friend: The Baron and Baroness is a gay bar.]

Scammer: I am not allowed to leave the hotel premises,i am really in a mess here right now . Had i know.The more i stay here, the more bill i owe. Find a way and send the money to me in time through western union , so as to pay up and return home. I'll pay you send to me, just do it soon.

My Friend: What? No, they can't force you to stay at the hotel. That's illegal. Just go on down to the bar tomorrow night - the Baron and Baroness. Ask for Michael and he'll have the money. It's better this way - no paper trail. You know I don't like to have any receipts if I can avoid it - it'd be too easy for the CIA to find me.

Scammer: OhhMG , Can you just send someone please. I am chanced to be able to come online with the help of their manager, try and send someone to western union to wire the money . I mean soon Gregg, am really in a mess here .

My Friend: Me: Okay, calm down, relax, breathe. Is your therapy going okay? You aren't having urges again, are you? I really need you to tell me that you're over this whole p3dophile thing before we go further. I remember what happened the last time I sent you money no questions asked. So tell me that you acknowledge that you were once a p3dophile and that you haven't gone back to that. Then I'll think about it.

Scammer: Okay , i agreed i haven't gone back to it . Wire me the money and send me details given to you at the bank after the transation.

My Friend: I need you to write the words, "I am not a p3dophile anymore." I can't trust anything else.

Scammer: Okay, I am not a p3dophile anymore Gregggggggggggggg . Am waiting

My Friend: ALERT!! I called your cell phone to make sure you're okay but I think someone may have stolen it, because he didn't know anything about being in England or our conversation! He sounded like you, but I am too smart to fall for that. Just to be sure, I called the Newcastle police and asked them to check on you at the address you gave me to make sure you're okay.

Scammer: You making the wire ?

My Friend: Yes! As soon as I figure out what "making the wire" means.

Scammer: means sending the money

[My Friend: At this point, my phone started locking up when I went to reply, so I had to stop playing with him.]

Scammer: Am still waiting to read back from you

My Friend: Oh, yeah I forgot all about that. Instead I went to go see the new Harry Potter movie. Hey, you probably got to see it early because you're in England, right? If you were enrolling in Hogwarts, which house do you think you'd be sorted into - Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin? I think I'd probably be Ravenclaw.

[My Friend: It's still going. He says he'd be in Ravenclaw. I'm going to argue with him (clearly, he should be in Gryffindor), but my phone still freezes when I try to write emails.]

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

After All These Years

The best of both worlds. Lovely fall day and my favorite eye candy. Usually I use this blog as a forum to "throw him under the bus" as he is wont to complain. But I don't think he's done anything ridiculous lately.

So, I'll just sit and admire.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A Perfect Autumn Day

The sun came out this weekend, just long enough to grace us with a beautiful, autumn day. We went for a drive, soaked up all the gorgeous colors and then went and bought a bunch of Christmas decorations.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Just For Me

[What I found in my email a few weeks ago from my favorite person]

I love...

The little songs you sing when you’re happy.
Your creativity.
Your super-huge love goggles.
The way that our life goals are in sync.
That you’re letting me get a Mini Cooper.
When you talk into a cup or put things on your head.
The way you surprise me by doing the unexpected (even after all these years!).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Kitchens Sell

In real estate, kitchens sell. The same goes for Lego as well. I wasn't so keen on the Lego Fire Brigade for some reason and passed on it. Luckily, the boy scooped it up and brought it home. And in the making, discovered one of the cutest little kitchens I've ever seen.

This puts all of my Barbie Dream House fantasies to shame (I've never owned one and always coveted but no more!). That stove really opens and I threw a lego turkey drumstick inside. The fridge has wieners and beer. Yeah I know. I need to take some extreme closeups of that. New lens incoming!

And of course for Megan.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

The Lego-Dining Room

Who needs a dining room? This makes much more sense in our house.

This is a small fraction of what we own. We're going to completely overhaul the shelving and organization of our lego in the next few weeks. Will post photos!

Look At Yourself

Too amazing for words.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

One Bag To Rule Them All

Remember when I complained about all the bags I carried to work (4 in total)?

And stumbled upon this solution... which worked for a while. But I soon outgrew that as well and it wasn't quite professional enough.

But I think I finally, finally found an all-in-one laptop tote that handles everything. Here she is in all her glory. There's not much I can't jam into this bag. But it doesn't look that bulky. Look at all the dividers, compartments and pockets! I loooove it.

This is what I had inside.

Clockwise from the top center: green water bottle, lunch bag, hand sanitizers, iPad, iTouch, headphones, makeup bag, 3 pens, cell phone, wallet, 3 thumb drives, cash bag, usb charger, cell phone charger, Hershey's kiss, file folders, notebook, 17 inch laptop with mousepad and mouse.

I usually carry more than my camera, external hard drive etc but I've been working from home this week so I didn't pack it full.

And all for $80.00.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Best Show On Earth

I've seen a lot of concerts, musicals and circus-y type shows. And this is without a doubt the BEST SHOW I'VE EVER SEEN. Nothing even comes close.

They're coming back to the States in January. Tickets bought. Oh yeah, James, I bought tickets. We're going.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Danny And Annie


Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

Danny Perasa and his wife, Annie, came to StoryCorps to recount their twenty-seven-year romance. As they remember their life together from their first date to Danny’s final days with terminal cancer, these remarkable Brooklynites personify the eloquence, grace, and poetry that can be found in the voices of everyday people when we take the time to listen.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

L'Ove L'Occitane

I have a confession. I am one of those people who likes to collect tiny bottles of shampoo and conditioner in hotels. For one thing, they're small and I am a lover of small and cute things. It's the Asian gene - not my fault.

You may recall that James and I stayed at a wonderful Oceanside resort a few months ago. And that's where I hit the mother lode of tiny, cute toiletries. The hotel offered mini-bottles of L'Occitane. I immediately fell in love with the fresh, clean scent.

So I came home and went a little crazy at the local boutique. Added bonus: James loves the smell.

Oh and lest I forget. Here's the cause of my squabble with the Miller Paint douche. I painted the paint from the quart and the gallon can in the white rectangle . He tried to argue that they were the same color. What do you think?

I know, right?

Monday, August 16, 2010


That's the sound I make when I walk into this room.

For some reason, we got up absurdly early on a Sunday... at least for us. And spent the rest of the morning cleaning and tidying up.

I love how the afternoon light streams into the sparkling kitchen and family room.

This burst of productivity didn't stop there... I spent today painting our bedroom one shade of taupe to another shade of taupe, making curtains, framing and hanging photographs.

And. I. Am. Tired.

Photos of the bedroom and living room makeover next weekend.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cute vs. Happy vs. Douche

The last few weeks, we've been test-driving cars in earnest, trying to figure out what to get. Actually, trying to figure out who gets to decide this time around. The Fates finally smiled on the boy.

You see, we usually get one that borders on prosaic and then a flashy one. The last two fun choices were mine (an A4 and a 325). So, I suppose in all fairness, James was due.

Which I regret now because he wants a Mini Cooper S. Ummm... while adorable and cute as a button, it's not exactly a car that the Old Spice man would drive. Or a man.

To make matters worse, his other contender is a Mazda 3. We had one for the week and it was thoroughly enjoyable... I have to admit, they are excellent cars and amazing to drive. So, why the Mazda hate? Seriously? Look at the front of the car. Remind you of something?? If they were going for goofy, they hit the nail on the head.

And then there is the vehicular love of my life. Oh well, next year.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Stormtrooper Envy

iPad + Stormtroopers = Perfection.

Monday, August 02, 2010

39 And Ridiculously Happy

Lucky enough to be blessed with wonderful friends and family...both near and far. And of course, with my best friend and fellow Stormtrooper in crime. It just keeps getting better.

Trooper Love, originally uploaded by Balakov.

p.s. this Balakov guy is a genius with Lego photos.Genius.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Milk Toof

On vacation still but I stumbled across the blog My Milk Toof and fell in love. I forsee a vanilla latte and a long, lazy Sunday afternoon reading up on their adventures.

The genius of this opening scene is what they're playing before their attention is diverted.

Image Copyright © Inhae Renee Lee 2009 - 2010. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Don't Poke The Bear

James adopted a phrase a few years back to deal with my infrequent bouts of temperment changes. Ahem. "Don't poke the bear", he'd warn himself or anyone else within hearing range. That would mean that I was in a less than jovial mood and one should be slightly wary and avoid being stupid.

Surprisingly, that's easier said than done.

A few weeks ago, I asked him if it was difficult living with my "adjustments in mood". He paused for a moment and then came up with this response (this is pretty much verbatim):

"It's like.. oh...running up a mountain hillside, singing and dancing. And then run into Nazis."

I'll skip the conversation that followed.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Front Re-Do

In comparison, the backyard was a breeze compared to the challenges of our front yard. How do you landscape around a bright yellow fire hydrant, a "snout" house and a stone wall with ugly cobblestones?

Move in 2001.

2003: First, you remove the grass and the tree around the hydrant and throw in a bunch of distracting plants.

2004: Then you take everything out and replant with larger, more distracting plants and mini trees. (No, the clouds and sky are not photoshopped).

2010: New paint color and trim. The plants have finally filled out and we added some large rocks. Could be that I'm just used to it now but the hydrant looks less noticeable.

The bulk (90%) of the work was done by James, who is strong and patient. It's taken 8 years but I finally like how my house looks.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Two In One Day!

Crazy huh? I love having Monday's off. This allows me to catch up on almost everything. So far, I've tidied up the living room, made a vat of vegetarian curry for James and downloaded photos from the last few days.

Here's a wide-angle shot comparison of my old canon lens (18-35mm) and my new one.

18-35mm: The shot was cut off at the right, red chair. So, you can't see the hallway next to the family room and the doorway to the powder room.

15-85mm: The photo opens up a lot more. Although the left margins have stayed the same, the whole right side of the room now appears in the shot. You can see the large archway to the hallway. And a lot more ceiling is visible. I also finally got rid of the red chair (see my Craigslist post!).

Simple As Point And...

Since James bought me my first DSLR a few years ago, I've been dabbling in photography. Self-teaching things like f-stop, aperture, lighting etc. I've come to the conclusion that my teacher sucks.

We went to the Japanese Gardens during a glorious, sunny spring day. With my new canon lens in tow, I was confident that amazing photos awaited. But while sunny days may be perfect for a walks through botanical gardens, they make photo taking extremely challenging.

Out of several hundred photos, only a handful were presentable. Even then, over exposure and lighting still played a role. Photography also takes a lot of patience (which is not my strong point); I waited over 15 minutes for this bridge to clear out and had just a few seconds to shoot.

That tree in the upper middle right was a lovely pale pink, not that washed out white. And yes, I have Adobe Photoshop so I work with the raw images to make modifications. At least they weren't as bright and washed out as our trip to the Chinese Gardens.

And what's a Japanese Garden without koi? These fish were huge with gigantic eyes that freaked me out. I do love how close I can zoom in now.

I think I'm going to take a few classes and stop relying so much on auto focus. Time to fire my current teacher and get someone who knows what they're doing!

One more thing, my new camera bag arrived. I love it but it has one major drawback. Because it's girlie and pretty, James is reluctant to carry it around for me. Hmmm.

Get the flash player here:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Jus De Steven Seagal

[ed. Back in 2006, I deleted almost 3 years worth of blog posts. It was a criminally stupid act and I wish I had at least backed them up but alas... Anyways, one of the more memorable posts was about the oh-so-incredible Jus De Steven Seagal.]

You think I'm kidding right? Fortunately for you and the 50 counties where Steven's juice is available, I am not.

Wow. I am getting excited and thirsty just writing this post!
Here's what they have to say about Steven Seagal's Juice:

Steven Seagal's Lightning Bolt energy drinks are as unique as the man who created it. It has pioneered the way for nutritional, all natural energy drinks and emerged as many "firsts":

100% Juice and Herbal Energy
All Natural - No Preservatives
Offered in multiple flavors
Not a significant source of Vitamin A, C, Calcium, Iron, or dietary fiber.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

BBQ Season

BBQ season is upon us. My neighborhood smells fantastic in the evening. Mmmmm. Even Stormtroopers are getting in on the action. Bonus points to anyone who can properly identify the different versions.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Craigslist 101 Part 2

Spring is here. Which means the cleaning/organizing bug is back. Which means I'm back on Craigslist. I used to be rather leery but have long since considered it one of the most convenient resources at my disposal.

Personally, I've had nothing but positive experiences with Craigslist. Almost every item I've posted has sold and within a few days... to polite and punctual people. I know. Knock on wood.

I created a Craigslist 101 primer back in 2008 when I first started using the site. Here now is a followup.

1. Post a picture ... using Flickr or Photobucket. Photos are important. Craigslist offers their own awful photo uploading service but I would strongly recommend that using a free service and copy/pasting the link into your post. Also, make sure the Flickr/Photobucket account isn't your personal one. Create an account specifically for this process, especially if you are selling more than one item.

Example: here's an ad of a chair I sold on Craigslist. The photos I used were exactly the same but this is how it looked using the Craigslist photo option.

Here's the same ad with the Flickr image embedded.

Huge difference, right? And it just takes an additional 2 minutes at the most. Note the [Insert RIGHT number]? For the first 2 weeks, I had the wrong phone number listed on this ad. Smart! After I made the correction, I sold the chair within 24 hours with no haggling.

2. Be honest. If the item is flawed or marred in some way, mention it. My chair had knicks all along the wood arms so I zoomed in and took a photo.

3. No crazy/drunk/stoned people please. I won't arrange to have anyone over if they're not coherent over the phone or legible by email/text. And I am extremely suspicious of everyone.

4. Appointments are for buyers only. I don't have the time or patience to put up with people who want to "look" at the item before they commit to buying.

5. Unless the item is very heavy (or in the garage), I'll have it waiting in the front entry. I don't want people trekking all over my house and I'm sure the feeling is mutual.

6. Delete your post as soon as you sell the item. Unless you enjoy phone calls at 11:45 pm because apparently that's an appropriate time to contact someone about the financial calculator they saw online.

7. If you're trying to sell small, one off items, like a CD or a hardcover book, you won't have a lot of luck on Craigslist. Few people are willing to drive all over the city for such a small gain. However, people are definitely willing to drive to buy boxes of books, CDs, vases, shirt hangers or whatever.

8. Cash. Cash. Cash. Cash only. And despite appearing gauche, I recommend counting the money.

9. Safety first! I make sure James is with me for any scheduled pickups. He's usually in the background but pops around the corner to say hello which translate to "I am a man. She is not alone and I am watching you." If you don't have a James handy, ask a friend or neighbor. Or at least let someone know that you have strangers coming by at a specific time. I thought about having a bat nearby but realized it wouldn't be conducive to a sale.

10. I will accept a 10% commission fee on all of your future Craigslist sales. Thank you!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Too Wired?

No, this isn't about coffee. So, remember my bag problem? This is part of the reason why I need so much storage capacity. Other than my home computer, everything travels with me on a daily basis. Let's count the silliness:

Laptop. Cellphone. iTouch (thanks Susan). Point and shoot camera. External hard drive and for the gym, my iPod shuffle. And on occasion (though you can't see it in the photo since I'm using it to take the picture), my DSLR camera. No, the mini Millennium Falcon stays at home. Isn't it adorable though?

Do I need to be this wired? I mean, I did manage to go to high school and even University without email or a cellphone. Cellphones were the size of grey bricks and I think the main means of "internet" communication was via bulletin boards. Also, we didn't call it the "internet" back then; it was the Information Superhighway... before Al Gore invented it properly and made it all cool and hip.

It's hard staying current and relevant... without looking like a jackass wannabe. Even as I switch over to Windows 7 (and discover more and more things that aren't compatible with my new O/S), I find myself mumbling crap about "change" and missing "Windows 3.0"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

How Many Bags Is Too Many?

I'm not sure when things spun out of control. It started out innocuously with just one laptop bag. But even that wasn’t without problems. My new 15 inch laptop didn’t fit in my Lodis briefcase so, yes, a new bag.

Shortly thereafter, I realized I needed a handbag to hold my phone, wallet, cosmetics etc. All the things that didn’t fit in my briefcase.

Then I started the whole eating healthy kick which became an entire production. Bringing lunch to work involves salad containers, sandwiches, fresh fruit, yogurt, and a 32 oz bottle of water. None of which fill fit in my briefcase or my handbag. Yikes.

And finally, we started working out again in January which necessitated running shoes, towels and an entire change of clothes.

So, this is what I’ve been carrying to work every day for the past few months...

Yup. Ridiculous, I know. I can’t even get through the doors with all these bags on me. The boy just laughs and asks, "really?" I couldn't take it anymore this week and I went on a search to find the ONE BAG.

I needed something durable with a built-in padded laptop sleeve, room for paperwork and room for water bottles, food and other girlie girl things. All compartmentalized and water-resistant and hopefully, not too ugly. Not too demanding, right?! Enter REI.

Brace yourself. It's not black.

The gym bag has to stay but at least I can leave it in the trunk. Everything else fit neatly into my new Keen bag. I might still break out my handbags once in a while but for now this is the new streamlined me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Zumba, Zumba, Zumba

The other day, I met the boy at the gym. He had just finished a new cardio class so I asked him how the workout went.


"Oh, really? What class was it?"

"It was a Zumba class".

Say no more. Not familar with Zumba, like James? Watch this clip.

If you know James, you know he has zero rhythm and zero flexibility. I can only guess at his misery once the music started but to his credit, he stuck it out for the hour.

The worst part? When the class swiveled around and suddenly the back of the class (where he was hiding) became the front. My poor, poor boy.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Olympic Addict

Being sick for the last month has forced me to stay at home in the evenings which has had a surprising upside: I can watch the Winter Olympics. Usually, the Olympic schedule is too overwhelming; I never have time to watch a fraction of the events.

I can't even remember the last time I watched the Winter Olympics. I think I was still a teenager. Certainly, there weren't any events featuring snowboarding. And how entertaining is the snowboard cross and half pipe!? Love it! Although I think they should have the women's half pipe event BEFORE the men's and definitely before Shaun White does anything.

Favorite event to watch? Speed skating. Fast, unpredictable and chaotic. Plus, I love those giant, muscular man thighs. Oh yeah.

Photo from US Speedskating

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I have to get braces again. Apparently, the first round of braces (and jaw surgery) was... how shall I phrase this politely... incomplete.

Once again, I have muscle spasms and headaches and in order to align my jaw properly, I need braces. Again. But with an added bonus of a new torture device called roof bars. These metal bars curve against the roof of your mouth and hook onto the back molars. Incredibly invasive and annoying but excellent for catching food and rubbing one's tongue raw.

I have the roof bars in right now and scheduled for the brackets in a few weeks. My current unhappiness/discomfort/anger level is at 9.5.

I just don't think I can do this again.

Update: They're coming off on Monday.

Picture of the roof bar after the jump. Don't worry, it's taken on a model set of teeth and is only marginally icky looking. I think.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Green Beans Of Death

We've both been on a healthy eating/gym kick lately (well, at least I was before I got bronchitis that practically morphed into consumption). James wanted to expand his vegetarian menu to include more home-made dishes. So, he poured over a few recipe books and selected one to try: Green beans with roasted peppers and mustard butter.

Normally, I would have helped him but since I couldn't even speak without coughing, he was on his own.

First, he started off by grilling the red peppers. Which created a cloud of smoke which in turn triggered a massive coughing fit. I ran to the bathroom and shut the door. After 10 minutes of coughing so hard that it caused a nose bleed, I peered out to see every window wide open and a very apologetic boy.

After he assured me the grilling part was over, he continued with the cooking process. Time to blanch the green beans. Caught off guard, there was a mad rush to prepare the ice water which resulted in flying ice cubes and an "oops, ripped my pants".

The next step involved roasting some mustard seeds. "Mustard seeds. I have never cooked with mustard seeds," he mumbled which should have been a clue. Seconds later the scent of burning mustards seeds preceeded the mushroom smoke cloud.

This time, I took refuge in our bedroom until the coast was clear.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Studio Mocks

I've been planning my studio for a very long time. I mentioned it way back when and plotted out the details here... finally got around to actually furnishing the room last August. And then life got busy. So busy that I logged only 50 posts on my blog for 2009 which is less than half over the previous years!

Here's the room last August...

And my studio today. I haven't even come close to organizing the shelves or filling the white boxes or putting in the window seat...oh well. Yes, that's a Zac Efron photo in the bottom right hand corner of my cork board. It's an inspiration board!

The view from my desk. I chose happy, colorful artwork and eventually plan on covering most of the wall. And no, my desk is rarely this clean.

So, there is it. My studio. Now that it's finished and ready, I never have time to spend in it. Naturally.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Things That Make Me Go "Ugh"

2010! I like the even quality of this new year. It sits well with me.

Right now, I'm knee deep in some serious cleaning and organizing. Just following my conditioning/programming. Among a lot of useless items, I found a box of photos, documents and letters. Jackpot!

Kindergarten circa 1976. I'm pretty certain you can figure out which one I am. My mother did my hair. And let me just state that for a great many years, she was responsible for my hair styles. Not me. I repeat - not me.

A report card from Grade 2. Ji-Yon was my Korean name (I changed it to Cindy the following year so I would appear less ethnic - it didn't work). Mrs. Goetken was surprisingly detailed and earnest in her written comments...

To think, I have report cards spanning from Grade 1 to my MBA. Amazing.

And of course, all the school photos; it was horrifying just looking at them. However, the boy is usually a good barometer for what's funny and he barked out loud at a few of them... so here they are.

From left to right:

1. I can't remember what grade that was, but I'm pretty sure I was a boy at the time. Geez.

2. Which might explain why I went for the ultra feminine pink/lace blouse. You can also see the beginnings of my "smirk-smile". And this was the last time my mom was in charge of my hair.

3. However, as you can clearly see, I didn't fare much better. This was during my final year of Jr. High School at Killarney. Let the home perm jobs begin! Oh, I also hand-picked the tinted, over-sized glasses. This photo ranks very high on my "NOooo WTF!!" scale - you have no idea.

My high school years from left to right:

1. Bad perm + boredom equals a short pixie cut. I think shortly after this photo, I realized I had two giant mustaches for eyebrows and finally started plucking. Disastrous results ensued that took my mother a good 3 months to repair.

2. Big hair, dark tan and frosted pink lipstick.

3. The graduation photo. James took one look at that tightly permed hair and mumbled "poodle".

Oh the humanity.