Tea at Work: Imperfect Pieces

Brewing green dongding oolong at work, in a cup & pot I created. The green glaze is my own recipe.

This glazed pot brews "wrongfu" green oolong particularly well. Problem is, the lid's foot (which serves as its knob) is too short to remove the lid easily, a task made more dangerous when the pot is full of boiling hot water. Nonetheless, it pours well, with no dribble.

I made the cup to test a green glaze I formulated. Tiny bubbles suspended in the glaze are responsible for the depth of color, and they float above the throwing lines. I hadn't intended this but like the effect.

Two imperfect pieces finding use--very satisfying.

At work, my teas of late have been:

  • Cheap roasted dong ding blended with medium roasted da hong pao: the DHP was boring, the dong ding a tad sour. They balance each other well.

  • This $99/lb green dong ding: a very forgiving green oolong purchased in Chinatown.

  • 2005 or 2006 CNNP fulushouxi shu puerh square: classic heavy fermented shu pu, leaf grades 1 through 4.

  • "Long jing" given to my late father by Chinese friends at the senior center

  • Random sheng puerh samples: latest was a purple pu'er no longer carried by Puerhshop.com that looked and tasted like Da Xue Shan / Xiaguan "wild tree" teas.
What's in your cup at work?

Scratching the Itch

A while back I did a post about some of the soap opera drama and hanky panky that goes down in my town. We had a rash of affairs between people and lots of divorces a couple of years back.

I call my part of town the divorce neighborhood, because the CHEATERS get to live here when their marriage breaks up. The BETRAYED usually get to stay in the big house.

I went out on St. Patrick's Day with a bunch of my friends to a local Irish Bar, and lo and behold...the place was hopping with horny middle aged married people looking to get a little "strange."

Granted, it was good for my ego, men were buying me drinks and offering me bar stools, it was kind of fun, but I kept it in perspective and stayed with my girl friends. I'm a married woman, and I'm not "going there."

I saw alot of weird flirtation going on between people who were married to OTHER people. It was freaky. One of my friends who was with me gave me an earful of juicy gossip about some of the people I was observing. I was floored!!

Ongoing affairs between people who's children are friends, jealousy, fist fights, you name it...it's like an episode of "Desperate Housewives" right here in my little town. Ewww.

When I got home, my husband and I talked about it. We both totally get it. We all want to feel the thrill and excitement of a new romance and it is flattering to have someone attractive show an interest in you, but come on people, control yourselves!!! You have kids!! What's the deal with these ongoing, serial affairs? If you hate your spouse that much, get a divorce, or a blow up doll!

This is the kind of stuff that gets people murdered. Jealousy and humiliation can make people do crazy things. And there is no way the children don't pick up on the vibe when their parents are behaving this way.

Maybe this stuff is just gossip, which is why I refuse to talk about it to anyone else in town. Sure I listened. It was fascinating, and hopefully it's not true. Unfortunately, I think it is.

I might be naive, but I totally trust my husband and he trusts me. But I can tell you this, if I have a friend who confides in me that she's having an affair, she's toast.

As the old Proverb states, "if you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas."

I think my town needs an exterminator.

Whakewarewara, Taupo, Zippy's and the Pig...

Well, I should really be learning all about the Cardiovascular system right now, but it's really hard to do this when memories of sweet sweet trails are stuck in your head.

I went for a MTB ride on the singlespeed the day after we returned from Rotovegas, and if one word could sum up that ride it would be DEPRESSION!

It appears that I have been lulled into complacency—I actually thought that the Bunya trails and the Gap Creek network were good riding! How wrong was I?

Anyway, it was an awesome trip, I had an awesome birthday that consisted of awesome cake, awesome skinsuits, awesome singlespeeds, awesome forests, awesome vegie bagels, awesome coffee, and awesomely drunk dancing at the pub.

In fact, everything was so awesome that I started a club "Club Awesome" (by invite only).

Sold! An empire!

For 25,000 sesterces, Didius Julianus bought the throne of the Roman Empire in March 28, 193, AD, after the death of the emperor Pertinax. Alas, this brought on civil war and he was replaced by Lucius Septimius Severus.

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Never stood a chance. Oddly enough, both his predecessor and successor have very similar facial hair. Beards didn't seem to promise political stability in Rome.

Zombies Walk 2010

I don't know the particulars. But when Julie became a fan of Zombie Walk 2010, I had to check it out. I told the kids and they decided it was something they wanted to do. So we added 2 more zombies, a neighbour and a grandma and attended the walk. Word on the street was that there would be 400, but there really was only about 150.I met Mom and Baby at a baby shower earlier in the day where I got to hold babies. I think they were the best group zombies.
Zombies on overpriced art work on main street.
And some zombies can drive.
Me, my mom, Jenn, and Kelly-Next-Door actually lost them for awhile. KND asked a taxi driver if he'd seen the zombies and he thought she was crazy.
Then I went to UFC fight night, by myself, and drooled over GSP. Who would have thought a year ago, that I would attend fight night without Kerry, and Misty-Rae couldn't make it either. I'm so thankful Sam was there and I wasn't the only girl. We drooled over GSP together.
And then today, I got up bright and early, let the dogs out, by myself, fed them too. And I went to watch Terrell run her first 1/2 marathon. She finished, and did awesome! When I got home, Kerry was back from Vancouver and the sun was shining.
Best of all, the zombies were gone.

Gloria, Laus, et Honor Tibi Sit

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Bubble, pop, electric.

Anna Jagodzinska is amazing in this editorial for Numéro.
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LOVE it!

New Singlespeed.


A Kinder, Gentler Confrontation

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were in Borders browsing through the books. I was checking out a table full of "relationship" books and I came across this beauty.

"Talk to Me Like I'm Someone You Love" (Relationship Repair in a Flash.)

This is a book of flash cards to use when you get in an argument with your significant other.

It's a very effective little tool, but of course, it made ME laugh. It cracked me up that I could run and grab some flash cards every time my husband and I have a heated disagreement.

My sisters and I have a way of fighting that in many cases, is FAR from politically correct, (it's the Jersey in us) so the idea of using these cards was preposterous to me, but at the same time, it made perfect sense. If I could only learn to react in such a calm and mature manner. My life would be so PEACEFUL!!!

Here are some examples of the flash cards:

Instead of saying, "I can't stand you! You are such a controlling bastard!!!" You say... "I realize I'm overreacting. Can you give me a minute to get sane again?"

Here are some other "go to" phrases to use in the heat of the moment.

"When you go on and on like that, I feel invisible to you."

"Even though I've been arguing my position like a crazy person, I can see where your point of view makes sense."

"What can I say that would make you feel understood?"

"I'm sorry if I acted like mine was the only reality."

"I treasure you."

"You are precious, and I get that I haven't been treating you like you are."

Go ahead, say them out loud.

Try using them the next time you get in an argument.

The worst thing that can happen is that you and you and your husband bust out laughing, and maybe even, forget what the heck you were fighting about in the first place.

I REALLY wanted to buy it, for pure entertainment, but my husband didn't want me to spend the money, so I got annoyed. I was about to say. "Don't be so cheap, it's only 10 bucks!!" But then I realized how destructive that would be, instead, I flipped to an appropriate card and responded, "Of course, I respect your opinion, and will abide by it."

I did, however, make a mental note to buy one at a later date, when I wasn't with him. (Do you see why we argue??!)

Later this afternoon, I'm going to go for it! I'm going to cruise on over to Borders to pick up a copy.

I might even pick a fight, just so I can use use it!!!

Good relationships take work, but you might as well have a good time while you're doing it.


I can't wait.

It's all in the details

So, as an admitted Anthropologie addict, I was so happy to not only find my perfect dress for graduation but also a beautiful set of mugs during my latest visit to Lenox Square.

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I couldn't resist picking these two mugs up for my roommate and myself, especially since they reminded me of my past travels to Spain and when I visited Taylor in Italy. As I was getting rung up, the sales girl mentioned that these designs were based on those of Vera Neumann. Currently there is an exhibit of Vera's work here locally at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.


Every morning I prepare myself a cappuccino. Recently I have been able to achieve a new level of froth.
I'm pretty pleased.

I fell in love with cappuccino, when I was studying in Italy. About midway through the semester, I was having up to three a day! Thankfully I have cut back since, but I still enjoy my daily cappuccino.
While my homemade cappuccino stifles the craving, there is nothing like the Italian espresso. Since I left Italy I have been looking for a brand of espresso or a restaurant that has a roast comparable to that of the Italians. Last fall I found a place. No Starbucks in sight, the Flying Biscuit is the only place I have found so far that has it. If you are ever in Atlanta or North Carolina, I highly recommend you try the cappuccino, and the biscuits of course.

The Flying Biscuit Cafe

Chewin' the fat

We haven't given Linus rawhide because Sally turns into a wild animal when ever she has it. But the vet gave the Big L a piece on the weeked and he packed that gross thing around, he was only allowed to have it in the garage so that Sally didn't get ahold of it. The 3rd time we went to the vet, he picked it up before getting in the van and then cried all the way to the vet with it in his mouth. I bought them a bag, they are good for cleaning teeth and are apparently the kind that will break down. Sally eats her piece in under 5 minutes. Linus savours his. He licks it, he takes it outside for some fresh air, he brings it back in, he sticks it in the dog couch. Sally, on the other hand heard the garbage truck coming and swallowed her's whole, then gagged it back up, then swallowed it again, then gagged it up, and then I took it away from her and she tried to steal Linus's.
I have to keep an eye on Linus, he's like a toddler. If he's upstairs and it's quiet, he's usually in trouble. Emily left the bean bag chair on the floor, and Sally thinks that gives her free range to lay on the softest cooshiest dog bed ever. Today, this is what I found.
He loves his rawhide.

I took these with my 28mm lens, I can't do any Photoshopping yet, I'm too afraid to load the program.

This day in history...

John Harrison, inventor of the chronometer, was born on this day in 1693.

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In 1714, the British government declared prize money to be given to whoever could figure out how to find ships' position at sea. Most of those who sought the prize believed that the answer lay in celestial navigation; Harrison found the solution with the marine chronometer -- a sturdy, reliable clock. The clock would be set to London time, and the navigator would check the time when the sun was at noon 'locally.' This allowed the navigator to see how far away he was from London, because the sun moves 15 degrees of longitude per hour. After the Board of Longitude refused to give Harrison the full prize, King George III himself tested "Harrison 5" (the fifth model of the chronometer) and found it extremely reliable. The king supported Harrison's petition and threatened to chew out Parliament. Harrison got the prize money when he was in his eighties, and even then it wasn't the full amount. Fortunately, he received money from the Board and Parliament throughout the years for research and development. You can read more about Harrison and the clock in Dana Sobel's Longitude; I read this book for my science fair project about the topic in seventh grade, and I really like it.

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The marine chronometer. One of the most important instruments in the history of navigation. Captain Cook took a copy of H4 on his voyages. Also cool - there was a copy on the HMS Bounty.

Also, the Quartering Act was passed today in 1765. As this amusing article in the Onion suggests, since the American Revolution, we have been terribly successful in our struggle against British soldiers seeking to be quartered.

We're Headed Back to the Sun!

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Despite the more chilly weather in DC today, I think it's safe to say that spring is here to stay.


That's right! Could it be as easy as dragging the photo from iphoto to my desktop and then uploading it here?
That still doesn't solve my iphoto/my photos confusion but at least I learned something today.

Learning Curve

The whole process of putting pictures on my blog with iphoto is beyond me. So please bear with me as I try to figure it out.
This is poor little Linus on Saturday before we took him to the vet. He was using the chair to hold his big ol' head up.
This is Linus sitting in the sun. The brightness bugs his eyes now, the vet said it could be the medication he's on, and that we can stop using the one type of drops, but the steroid ones will have to be used 2x a day for the rest of his life.
He's pretty much back to his normal self. Maybe a bit more needy, but so good about putting his drops in his eyes.
Sally has been enjoying the weather and she just loves my new 50mm f/1.4 lens. She's going for her spring hair cut soon and will miss feeling her hair blow in the wind.

Sweet Summertime

I am ready for summer to be here so I can enjoy the following:
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New shades of Chanel nail polish.

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Passion tea lemonade from Starbucks.

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Decorating my new apartment in Cambridge.

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Beautiful night skies.

4th Cover: Misery Business by Paramore :)

Hello! Been awhile, akhirnya saya upload video lagi. Lagu ini banyak direquest sama teman-teman twitter,
dan beberapa komen di blog & youtube, jadilahhhh... 'Misery Business by Paramore' Cover! (:

AKHIRNYA di video ini gak ada pesawat lewat -_- dan maafkan rambut saya yang tidak pernah rapih, hiks *nyari sisir*, trus kliatan kayak belum mandi... karena saya memang belum mandi. Jadiii.. saya mau mandi dulu, selamat menonton! :D (btw,
pada request barengan sama 'Careful' juga, udah di-coverin juga tadi, tapi upload yang ini dulu yaa :)


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Thanks to these lovable & cute brother & sister, mau nemenin saya jalan-jalan di Sency pas malam minggu kemarin... siapakah merekaaa? Ayo tebak, haha. Happy happyy :) Semoga tidak kapok ya jalan bareng saya. Mau nonton tapi ga jadi, penuh banget huhu. Jadi rekor nonton terakhir saya masih belum dipecahkan oleh siapapun. Tapi tetep, seneng ditemenin si kakak beradik yang lucu dan baik hati ini. (:

Oh iya, ternyata ada yang nulis tentang Brian, adek saya yang umur 10 taun, pas ikut lomba Rubik se-Jakarta waktu itu :D (btw, congrats for being in the 1st place on IPEKA Rubik's Competition last month :) terharu juga baca blog + komen-komennya :') klik di sini deh.


Hmm, apa lagi ya. Udah kayaknya. In the mood for writing songs, or covering songs, ...write more songs, ..or whatever. I'm soooo in the mood. Yeap, sorrow heart in denial :'( mayyybe. Ah, there's always another day. Or, if only there were another day? Zzzzz, okay, jadi gue harus memanfaatkan ke-ababil-an gue di saat pms ini untuk mengerjakan sesuatu yang lebih berguna. Ciao! [:

Attack of the Killer Munchkins

I am in shock and I'm not kidding.

Today, at tennis, my children and I were attacked by evil little trolls.

I had heard rumors about a fellow tennis player's children. That they were wild, violent and out of control. I thought people were exaggerating.

They weren't.

My daughters were in the lobby watching a movie while I played doubles. When I came to get them these three little children (ages 4, 6, and 8 ) accosted me.

The oldest demanded proof that I was my daughters' mother, the middle boy grab my tennis skirt and tried to pull it down, and the little girl kicked me in the leg and punched me in the stomach.

They then proceeded to grab my daughter by the arm and kick her.

I WAS PISSED, so I took the little girl, grabbed her arm and said, "you DON'T hit people!!!"

Her reply, "YESSSSSS I DO!!!"

And she hit me again and yelled at me..."I HAAAATE YOU!!!"

I told my girls, that if those demons touched them again they had my permission to slap them across the face.

But that's not in their nature.

I couldn't stand it anymore, so we got the hell out of Dodge. As I glanced back, I saw the youngest girl punch the lady at the front desk in her crotch. The older boy had his brother in a headlock and was banging his head into the wall.

I have never EVER seen anything like it.

Those kids could join up as a gang and kill an adult. No lie.

I've seen bad seeds before. It's bound to happen.

But ALL THREE KIDS in one family? Frightening. Truly.

I'm going to have nightmares tonight, about three little Irish children, taking me to the ground and kicking and punching me into oblivion.

I don't think I'll be able to return to the tennis club.

At least not without a weapon.

Live from my basement

I'm here. I'm sitting in front of our new imac. As Kerry would say "It's so damn sweet."
It's fast. Our pc was okay, but this is speed of light fast.
It's like someone took our sad black and white world and turned it to colour.
Okay, so it's not really like that, but it's close.
I'm still figuring things out and slowly getting things installed.
I did get the honour of 'winning' today at London Drugs. When the mac guy called with a few questions about the computer he said I had a 'boat load' of photos. I told him I said I had a million when he asked how many, it's not my fault he didn't believe me. He said I had over 100,000 and that was what was taking so long. His exact words were "You win as far as having the most photos I've ever had to transfer." Yay me! My week has turned around.

Liberty of London

Ever since I saw this commercial I was just itching to see the collection. However, I did not get to go to Target the day that it came out and since then I have been making my way to a few different Target stores in the area trying to find some of the things I wanted. Finally, I found some of the pieces I was interested in tonight at a Target that was slightly off the beaten path.

I have been looking and looking for this watering can! I needed one for my blooming plant seen here, but they were sold out everywhere!
I have also been wanting a pair of the pajamas. I finally found the pair I really wanted. I love the little details and the mixed floral prints.

Adorable! I am also excited about another Liberty of London collection from another one of my favorite companies!

MAC, it's hard not to love!