Some Explaining

Can we pretend it is last Monday? That way, this post will make a little more sense and not seem so stuck in the past. I feel really bad about not blogging last week but my real life always comes first. Truth is, I have a Biochemistry exam tomorrow and have been studying for it like it is my job, I even got an A level chemistry tuition to help me with this. Not to mention all my other obligations such as 10+ hours of volunteering every week, working and my three other classes. This semester being overwhelming is a bit of an understatement.

However, I know that all work and no play works for very little people, so I wanted to share some of the cool stuff that I have weaving in and out of my crazy schedule.

I think I mentioned in my Chinese New Year post that our celebrations lasts for two weeks and we ended the night with one of the best CNY parades in the nation. I was lucky enough to not have to stand in the cold outside and watched it above from an art gallery that had a great view of Post St.

Pictured below is the finale with the 250 ft dragon and the lions helping scare off the bad spirits for the new year.

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Abby and I stayed warm with our open-bar plastic cups.

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We also passed time by looking at all the cool pieces that were hung on the wall.

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The best part of the night was having the pleasure of sitting on this awesome rocking chair made out of wine corks and yarn.

The title of coolest chair in the world is probably my 1971 Herman Miller original Eames lounge chair and this is officially the second.

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On President’s Day, I snuck out of school in between classes and had lunch on the beach with one of my favorite people in the whole world.

Our beaches are nothing like SoCal’s, but they are not too shabby either.

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This extremely spicy Bloody Mary was probably not the best decision before heading back for a three hour lecture on “What is Health?”, but it felt so right at the time. I usually do not order cocktails, but this hit the spot and helped calm down the mild anxiety attack I was having about school.

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A classic American burger with white cheddar cheese and garlic fries was another thing I needed.

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Also just one bite of these crispy beer battered fish and chips.

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Great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Palace of Fine Arts (daytime view here) from Jacq’s roof also helps out when having a long day

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and a cheese plate being put together by Maresa never hurts either.

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Or it could be the wine. It is probably just the wine.

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I am hoping to have a recipe posted on Thursday because it is long overdue. I am excited. 🙂

Also a congrats to Bobbie S. for winning our last giveaway!

What are your favorite things to do when you feel over your head?

Made any crazy concoctions lately?

Year Of The Horse

新年快乐! Happy Chinese New Year to everyone!

Today is the first day of the Lunar New Year and the ways of celebrating are day and night compared to the New Years we know.

If you are born in 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954 or 1942, this is your year! Your Chinese zodiac sign is the Horse; they are known for being hard-working, motivating and clever.

The Chinese are all about being prosperous, good fortune and health. There are little traditions we do to ensure that the new year treats us well.

Starting the festivities is usually a parade filled with fire crackers, lion dancing and children dressed in silk robes and garments.
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I missed the lion dancing when I went to the fair last weekend, which sucks because it is actually my favorite part of the holidays ever since I was a little nugget. Legend has it that the echoing of the drums and the clangs of the cymbals are suppose to help scare away bad spirits.

(the lions take a few minutes to wake up but it is definitely worth checking out!)

(this one is really intense, I never seen them go on pedestals before)

Red envelopes (lai see) are one of the most recognized traditions of Chinese New Year. Children and unmarried young adults will tell their elders Gong Hay Fat Choi! and collect the lucky money. People you are not really close to will give you two dollars or so, but your family will give you anywhere from $20-$100 in the envelopes. I used to get so many when I was younger, you can see how I am not letting go of the one in my little hands in the picture below.

Also note how I am decked out in almost every shade of red possible, I think it is clear that red is the lucky color of Chinese culture.

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CNY is not all fun and games, no sir. We have to start the new year fresh, so we clean the whole house the day before to sweep away bad fortune, wear new clothes and get a haircut. That way we are entering with all the bad luck gone and more space for good.

Finally, the most important tradition is to spend time with your family and enjoy a great meal together.

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The CNY dinner involves pretty much everyone in your family, your closest friends and every other Asian person down your block. There are a lot of meats, hot pot, potstickers and clementines.

Some might say that this was just an excuse for me to post pictures of when I was younger and I will plead the fifth. If I could start a successful blog where I post a #tbt of myself everyday, then game over. There are so many more cultural traditions, folktales and little things to do during Chinese New Year, but I want this to be an on-going documentation for the following years.

Remember to wear red today!

Does your culture have any special activities for the new year?

Any questions you have about how we celebrate?