November 17, 2006

Precious Moments

Something I've read recently makes me rethink life in a big way. Maybe you will too ....

"If I had to raise my child over again..."

If I had to raise my child over again,
I'd fingerpaint more, and point my finger less...
I'd do less correcting, and more connecting...
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes...
I would care to know less, and know to care more...
I'd take more hikes, and fly more kites...
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play more...
I would run through more fields, and gaze at more stars...
I'd do more hugging, and less tugging...
I would be firm less often, and affirm much more...
I'd teach less about power, and more about the power of love...

Time goes by too fast..."

I'm not a mommie, but having 2 nephews whom I love to pieces ... sometimes I do feel like a mommie. And this "mommie" can't wait to see her 2 boys this Thanksgiving! :)

November 14, 2006


I go bonkers on Tuesday evenings! And tonight is another "fresh" episode. Wonder what to have for dinner while watching Gilmore Girls ....

November 8, 2006


Traffic! Work! Family! Deadlines! Bills! Ahhh... the daily life can sometimes take a toll on us. That's why I was tickled pink reading Andrew Lam's article: "In Vietnam, Stress over 'see-Tress'." A big hug to my brother who's possibly a bigger NPR fan than me (I know!) and who emailed me this article today. :)

On a daily basis, I do feel oh so "xi-tress." Literally, there are not enough hours in the day for me to do everything I want to do. I wake up in the morning and rush through the morning routines so that I can be out the door, commute, fight traffic, and hopefully get to work on time. I come home late at night, have a quick dinner, clean-up, read, watch TV, and do what i normally do and next thing I know it's 1:00 AM and I still haven't hit the pillow. My eyes are red all the time. My head aches for no reasons. I have no time to read all the magazines I'm subscribing to, no time to catch-up with the stack of books from the library, no time to take more pictures or put them in albums, no time to return phone calls, no time to take the classes I'm interested in, no time to go for a 15-minute walk around the neighborhood, no time to even get to the grocery store. Perhaps living in a cosmopolitan city doesn't help. Perhaps a move to a deserted island is what I need. Perhaps a change of scenery? Career? Residence? Perhaps I need to pick-up meditation? Be a vegetarian? Do yoga? Quit my current job?

Ahhh... these are my thoughts every day and exactly at this moment.

November 7, 2006

Living What You Do Every Day

I know I've raved about NPR enough. But then, it's never enough. Each day, I find another great NPR article that touches me a bit more. Today ... it's "Living What You Do Every Day." I'm sharing it with you hoping it'll inspire you to live your dreams, whatever they may be. Perhaps you're already living your dreams. Then you'd be among the lucky fews. We'd love to hear from you so that we too can be inspired ... again.

Btw, this was taken in Nantucket behind our inn. I tried to get up early enough to catch the sunrise and missed it by 3 minutes. By the time I was out by the water, Mr. Sun had already gotten up and dressed and about to have breakfast!

Living What You Do Every Day


Yolanda O'Bannon is executive assistant to biochemist and former National Academy of Sciences President Bruce Alberts. O'Bannon was born in Phoenix and raised on Air Force bases around the world. She lives with her husband in Richmond, Calif.

NPR Morning Edition, November 6, 2006 · I believe in being what I am instead of what sounds good to the rest of the world.

Last year, I left a job I hated as a programmer for a job I love as an executive assistant, which is just a fancy word for secretary. I still feel a little embarrassed when people ask me about my new job. Not because of what I do, but because of what some people, including myself, have thought of secretaries.

I had always thought that secretaries were nice and maybe competent, but not smart or strong or original. I have a master's degree in English literature, have interviewed the Dalai Lama, and co-founded a nonprofit organization. People who know me wondered why I would go for what seemed to be such a dull and low status job. Even my new boss asked if I would be bored.

Why would I want to be a secretary? Because it fits me like a glove. I get to do what I love best all day, which is organize things. I like the challenge of holding the focus on the top priorities in my boss' wildly busy schedule. I can function with a high degree of chaos. Untangling finances feels like playing detective to me. I find filing restful.

The only hard part is dealing with my own and other people's stereotypes, and learning to focus on internal rewards rather than humble appearances. I admit that I feel vaguely embarrassed bringing the faculty lunch or serving coffee to my boss' visitors. But deep down I don't believe that serving food is humiliating. Really, I think of it as a practice in humility. My husband is Tibetan. In Tibetan communities, you serve each other tea as a form of respect. When I'm serving coffee at work, I imagine that I'm serving a monk.

Whenever I get down or defensive about being a secretary, I think of those sharp, fast-talking assistants on The West Wing, and how they speak in paragraphs and remember everything, and I feel pretty cool. Sometimes I just look around at my fellow secretaries -- savvy and articulate women who are masters at multi-tasking. I know I'm in good company.

I've done a lot of solo travel in my life -- in New Zealand, Japan, Africa and India. Taking this job was harder than any of that. When I said I was going to spend a year in northern India, I'd get points. When I said I was going to be a secretary, people wondered what happened to me.

It would be easier if I were someone whose skills were more respected and better compensated -- a doctor, an architect, a scientist. I would feel cool when I meet someone at a party. But a friend reminded me that you only have to talk about what you do for five minutes at parties, but you have to live what you do every day of your life, so better to do what you love and forget about how it looks. And this, I believe.

November 3, 2006

My Elusive Basket of Gourds

Every year when fall rolls around, I look forward to collecting baskets of baby pumpkins and autumn gourds for our home and front porch. This year, trying to be frugal, I've been putting off buying them hoping a better deal will be around the corner, sometime, somewhere.

It's the 3rd of November now ... and there are still no baskets of gourds to cozy up our house. This means this weekend, there will be several trips to various farmers' markets around town and perhaps even a trip to the country to visit pumpkin patches and apple orchards. I will not be so picky with prices this time for fear Christmas will roll around before I even have a chance to enjoy ... fall.

Ahh ... my elusive basket of gourds. I should've grabbed you when I saw you last at Quincy Market in Boston.

November 2, 2006

For All Aspiring Photographers

What did we do before the invention of the internet? I have no idea! All I know is ... I never want to go back to the pre-www period. I'm so spoiled having everything available in seconds at the tapping of my fingertips.

During one of my internet surfing periods today, a few good reads on photography caught my eyes. These days, I can never read enough about photography. Everything about it is interesting to me. I even read while walking to the subway, crossing the streets, standing in line for lunch. Ahhh... 24 hours a day just do not cut it any more.

Here are the links:

On becoming a photographer's assistant.

On breaking into the real world of photography.

On whether to attend photography/art school.

Lots of good reading today!

November 1, 2006

Four and Twenty Blackbirds

I found an interesting book in the library today! It's a southern gothic novel and I haven't read one of those in years so I had to snatch this one up before someone else got their hands on it. What caught my eye even more was that the author Cherie Priest has a "popular blog" online at

Now we all love to read a good blog, yes?! :) My favorite from the blog is the "about" section where we learn all about the artist and how she got started and when she knew writing was what she wanted to do. That always fascinates me, being a late bloomer that I am.

I'll let you know how the book turns out as soon as I get a chance to read it!