Electronic Shopping Spree

by Thao on 02.03.2010

I guess I didn’t stop at the previous new toy. I ordered a new laptop yesterday… a configured Sony Vaio VPCCW290X in brilliant pink with the upgraded Intel Core i5 2.53 with up to 3.06 GHz boost, 500GB 5400rpm HD, 6GB DDR3 RAM, and Windows 7. Did I mention it’s pink?

I currently own a Sony Vaio VGN-FS550, which I first bought in August 2005. I NEEDED the upgrade. The beast only had 512MB memory. I tried upgrading it to a full gig one time, but it freaked out on me. Right before the warranty ended in 2008, I got the screen and keys replaced. I loved this laptop, but with all the multitasking softwares I use, I just needed to up the ante on processor speed and RAM. Using photoshop along with Firefox and IE was dragging.

Needless to say, I needed a new toy with more space and my brand-loyal ass went back to Sony. I considered a Mac, but with the expense, I declined. I think Vaios are are sexiest PCs, so there you have it.

Last week, I also booked our flights to Paris! We’re on obviously on a shopping spree. Next, I am looking into what we need for the trip.


Clueless for Haiti

by Thao on 01.22.2010

Facebook outrage of the day:

"I can’t believe we’re sending so much money to Haiti when we’re in a financial crisis".

REALLY? Financial crisis? How about life crisis? Survival crisis?

Have you watched ANY news lately or were you too busy drinking your $5 non-fat, non-foam, mocha latte to realize that you have SO MUCH to give? You’re using FACEBOOK. They are eating mud.

Maybe the sound of functioning toilet flushes were too distracting for you to realize that some parts of the world don’t even know what a toilet is or what a hot meal is or even a COLD MEAL?

Maybe you’re so effing spoiled by entitlement that you can’t recognize that some people in this world have NOTHING over their heads right now.

Another on facebook user asks why we didn’t do anything for 911 or Katrina? Uhhh… I don’t know about you, but I donated to those causes as well. I even got company match to do it. They say we care more about other countries than ourselves. REALLY? I can’t even argue with that stupid logic. We don’t have to do AS much to help ourselves – we’re one of the most self-sufficient nations. Our poverty-stricken can turn to some type of infrastructure to get ahold food at shelters. They can move in with relatives when tragedy strikes. So many in Haiti don’t have those resources available.

People ask why there weren’t telethons or big productions for 9/11 or Katrina re: Hope for Haiti, but didn’t ask if there was for the Asian Tsunami. So self-centered. There WERE telethons for all those causes. Don’t get your panties in a bunch because some people want to help the victims of tragedies in other parts of the world and you were too ignorant to help and realize that we did the same equally.

I ate food today. I enjoyed a coffee. I had a closet of clothing that I could browse and waste time standing in front of deciding what to wear. I turned on a light. I could get a PAPER CUT today without potentially getting gangrene or other infectious diseases. I could walk outside without corpses on every step of my path. Are some of us really that shallow and clueless? PLEASE. Tell me you’ve done SOMETHING to help. Give up one luxury to just help. I just wish I did more before the tragedy struck.


Anticipating a New Toy

by Thao on 01.12.2010

Nikon D90I finished off 2009 with a new record of 10,446 photos taken plus a couple hundred lost in Chicago somewhere when I lost my camera. That doesn’t even include 4,300+ professional and 1,200+ guest wedding pictures that we received.

Some people ask me why I take so many pictures. I say it’s so I could remember the night before, which was true. I purchased my first digital camera in 2005 after I was so against it. Then I went crazy and the camera documented the happenings of the night before. I can’t remember how many times I went through the photos the next day and said, "I don’t remember that!"

Digital cameras have essentially become my eyes from the nights previous. I review them every year and update the photos in our home. This year will be no different, except that I am buying a new toy: a Nikon digital SLR. I’m not going out as much as I used to. Can’t blame it on marriage because my husband is a party animal. Can’t blame it on age because I am one of the youngest in my group of friends. It mainly has to do with moving away from downtown. Regardless, I’ve nurtured my love for taking pictures and looking at pictures – so since we’re planning a trip to tour Switzerland, southern Germany, and a lot of Italy this year, it’s the perfect time to invest in a dSLR.

Last year, I only took 8,700+ photos. Let’s see how I do this year.

I also think blogging has turned me into a picture-taking whore fanatic. Hasn’t it turned you? If not blogging, then facebook, etc. Those sites promote taking pictures. If there weren’t people to look at the pictures, you probably would not take as many. Since I haven’t picked up a paint brush, colored pencils, an HB pencil, or even glue gun in awhile, I am going to reopen my art on the photography side. My, things have changed since I’ve been in the dark room in high school experimenting with exposure…



by Thao on 01.10.2010

Do you ever get so used to something and then one day, you wake up, drive to work and the guy you listen to EVERY SINGLE MORNING is no longer on air? Instead, they have just music playing. So this is a rather specific example, but I’m feeling the pains of when Friends went off the air. Or when T.G.I.F was no longer on air. Or even when they stopped carrying my favorite brand of pepperjack cheese at the supermarket. Trust me, it was a most perfect an superb blend of pepper and jack on cheese.

I am so distraught. But how pathetic is it that we become so dependent on routine? People just aren’t creatures that love change quickly. They want to be prepared for it. They want to look for alternatives on their own terms, not forced to find another radio station to listen to every morning when they aren’t ready.

I don’t know what to do. I can’t eat. Aside from maybe this delicious piece of chocolate taunting me.

I can’t deal with having to find something else when I already know there is nothing else out there for me. OK, so I don’t know, but that is how I feel.

I am just going to listen to Pandora now. Until they get rid of that too. But now in the car, I’ve got nothing. Life is tough.


Going Out Big

by Thao on 01.07.2010

I can’t stand random-include-everything-and-every-little-detail posts, but the holidays make it difficult because too much happens and a single ‘hello friends’ post is just not sufficient.

This holiday break was exactly what the doctor ordered. And by doctor, I mean my unprofessional, non-doctoral opinion. We started off with Christmas at our house. My in-laws came into town and my bro-in-law (BIL) flew in from NC that evening. We had a huge dinner a opened presents up past midnight since he got in so late. I received some fun socks and a pin with money from the in-laws. BIL‘s girlfriend got us Catch Phrase (which was awesome since it was the next game we were going to purchase), a basket of delicious Asian goodies, and a SLANKET! It is perfect for movie nights and static electric fights. BIL also bought us an Apple Time Capsule which I am uploading pictures as we speak. Perfect timing because my 80gig hard drive and 200gig external was at 90% capacity. Now I have 1 terabyte. Remember when it was just 4MB floppy disks?

Then we traveled east and visited my mom, where I received new running shoes and salon stuff. D actually got me a very sweet and sentimental Precious Moments ‘Just Married’ figurine since this is our first Christmas as a married couple. I LOVE it. Here’s some imagery from Xmas.

We met BIL at the airport with these signs The fireplace was ready to go Our awesome slanket
How we wrapped dad's super large present BIL's girlfriend made this ADORABLE cake I made snowflakes for the curtains by the tree

Whilst on the east side, a bunch of our friend met up for an annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. I just went to one earlier in the month, so I didn’t wear a sweater – they itch madly anyway. It was a night of chanting, uncomfortable white elephant gifts and debauchery. Par for the course, I say.

My fabulous ladies Dressed like a reindeer One of the white elephant gifts was a child's Bumblebee Transformer Costume - awesome Boys There are no words

[edit]The little one (my sister) reminded me in the comments that we went out to dinner with her too! It was a lot of fun and we did the traditional go-out-to-the-bookstore-and-get-coffee thing that we always do. She bought the husband a digital clock in his Alma mater for the mancave AND she bought ME a slim gold signature Coach wallet and ID tag! I wish we had more time together, but she is one busy little student with lots of work. We’re planning a trip to hang out with her all day in her town soon. [/edit]

We eventually headed back to our home where we hosted a New Year’s Eve bash. It was also a surprise going away send-off for one of our close friends who is a soldier shipping out to Afghanistan tomorrow.

Waiting for the guest of honor Waiting for the guest of honor Warming up some sake bombs in the mancave Check out the Mancave sign I made for him Balloon Drop
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Me rocking out the shirts from the soldier's bachelor party last year Guilty. I ripped his shirt off. Some rockband to continue the night

Note that we even had a classy balloon drop. Note that since we could not attach it properly to the ceiling, the two tallest guys held it up during the NYE countdown. I told you it was classy. Happy 2010 to EVERYONE!


Being A Wedding Guest

by Thao on 09.10.2009

I love them. I love seeing people I have not seen in awhile and that was exactly the case last weekend. I mean, we saw all these people at our wedding a couple months ago, but when YOU’RE the bride and groom, you don’t get to spend much time with everyone.

It was pretty insane. On your day, you are pulled in every direction. People want to chat with you, take pictures. We did everything ourselves so people kept asking us what to do, where that goes, etc. THEN the day is over before you know it.

But the holy grail is being the wedding guest at an affair where all your friends get together once again to celebrate. One of my bridesmaids got married to one of my oldest college buddies. It was so much fun. I was one of the Mistresses of Ceremonies with my two best girls.

I love taking pictures, so naturally, I wanted to help my girl out by taking as many for her as possible. Including the rehearsal and wedding, I took over 800 photos.

Here I am with the bride

The mistresses being silly

Me and the husband in 50 years

More goodies

Ok, that’s all for now! I wish I were a guest at our wedding. It would have been nice to catch up then too. Any other brides have that problem?


How’s Married Life?

by Thao on 07.17.2009

The is the ultimate question newlyweds get to hear after the wedding is over and while a lot of couples say that it feels the same, it doesn’t to us!

Even Donny agrees. It feels… different. For the first time in our relationship, I am not taking undergrad courses, masters courses, or making things for the wedding (for a little anyway, I have some projects up my sleeves). It just gets to be "us". It feels… calm, comfortable, ours. It feels nice. There are no more weights on our shoulders about anything, save this economy.

Regardless of the environmental changes, WE feel different. WE feel more connected and happier. This partnership is awesome. That’s all I have to say.


We’re Married

by Thao on 07.12.2009

We’ve been married for a little over two weeks now, but I am just now getting to post. I’ve updated the site with some more of the DIY projects and I’ve posted some non-professional pictures along with some from the honeymoon.

The honeymoon was amazing. We met a lot of nice couples who shared the same wedding date. It was tough coming home and immediately going to work the next morning. You know what they say… we needed a vacation after our vacation.

We’ve been flooded with nice emails and great responses from our friends and family about how beautiful the wedding was. That makes the blood and sweat of all those projects kinda worth it. It looked better than how I envisioned it.

I’ve been stalking the photographer’s site, but no pictures yet. I should have them by the end of this week!


Two Years

by Thao on 09.11.2007

Since I’m in school and I won’t finish my Masters until the end of next year, we are tentatively setting the wedding two years out–maybe Fall 2009. This will give me the chance to start planning as stress-free as possible! (It should be a fun process anyway.)

We’ve already started talking to venues and caterers in the Lansing area to get an idea of what our options are. He has been very helpful taking charge of the big details as I have already started to take an interest in the small creative details, of course.

Most of my detailing has been focused on learning about the Vietnamese engagement and wedding traditions. We are planning on running the show with a lot of respect to our backgrounds. Unfortunately, this means that only family, the wedding party, and very very close friends will be able to see the ceremonies. We did find a way to involve everyone, however, so I think that with a little bit of creativity, it will be something everyone can enjoy!

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