"When you change the way you see things, the things you see change." - Author Unknown


The Best of 2013

Holiday Expedition

This holiday break, with things to do piled a mile high, it felt enormously relaxing to just take a day off, unwind, and seriously enjoy some time with my two you-know-whos in downtown.

Or at least, as enjoyable as a day can get when it's 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 Celsius). I mean, yes, the sun was out, and there wasn't snow or anything- if you looked outside, you might have even thought spring had arrived. But don't let that fool you- it was FRIGID. Swathed in layers of fur and down, we were shuddering and our teeth were chattering in our heads as if they were no longer attached to our gums.

Every year during winter break, we fill up our tummies at our favorite Chinese restaurant- Shanghai Mama's in downtown. I love that place, a gustatory paradise! It has such an exotically old but warm, convivial atmosphere, and the food is just fantastic.

Today I ordered Shanghai thick noodle, one of my favorite dish there. Slurp! You can literally feel the delightfully sizzling food sliding down your esophagus, filling your belly and warming your heart. I really shouldn't have eaten the whole huge portion. But hey- it's Christmas break, right?

Yeah, as if that justifies everything.

With stuffed bellies, we felt fully equipped to sally forth and face the elements. Marching through the labyrinth of avenues and streetlights, we came to a place where there were carriages parked along the side of the road. And I mean, REAL carriages, with real horses pulling them! Hey, are they waiting for Cinderella or Shrek?

Surprisingly, one of the coachmen invited us for a ride, and we happily climbed in. An amicable and gregarious old man he is, with a pair of bright blue eyes and pink cheeks, his name is Daniel. He took us on a tour along a deliberately chosen route around the city, showing us a bunch of elaborate old edifices like the German style City Hall, President James Garfield's house, and the Cincinnati Bell building which were all built one century ago, I wondered, are they for any reason haunted by spirits from the past?

He also exchanged pleasantries with us and boasted about his carriage and three horses, which he kept at his farm in Loveland as a hobby - how exhilarating that sounds, to own a real, live horse?!

Clip, clop, clip, clop. The three of us ensconced ourselves comfortably in the plushy carriage seats and I leaned my head back, listening to the sound of hooves on the cobblestones and feeling my nose turn red in the chilly December air. So this is what it felt like to travel in the olden days...

We finally came back to where we started, and hopped off the carriage. The horse was a beautiful black stallion with big, round, shiny black eyes. I looked at him and stroked his soft, fuzzy nose. "That surely was fun, wasn't it? I hope to see you again, have yourself a happy holiday!" He stared back as if to bide us a silent good-bye.

Happy Holidays!

It's a tradition and new year's ritual that we send holiday cards with all our best wishes to friends (basically originating from BT's social circle) at the end of each year. Sharing the little moments and greeting with our widest grin, kind of like a fun competition, we all seem to convince others we're the happiest people in the world.


A little rascal on the naughty list
With yellow-tooth grin, may reminisce
Of days of yore when pearly white
Could still be seen in his toothy bite.
Now mucilaginous gunk, it clings
To those now not-so-pearly-white things.
And look at that potbelly bulge!
Candy and cookies, he couldn't help but indulge.
Now let this sad story be your reason
To keep eating healthy this holiday season!

The Most Beautiful Gift

Among the Christmas gifts BT received from her friends at school, there was a little card that caught my eyes when she was sharing her stories with her daddy and me. It was written in blue pen and read:

In modest form, it was about 2" by 3" large with a self-made paper bow on the back, but I feel it is the most beautiful gift BT received. What else is more precious than this? What else is more priceless than the innocent and sincere offering of friendship from a human being in this world??

I feel I turned into shiny green, green with enormous envy. Too the bad.

Meditation and Csardas

A very special Saturday BT and I will never forget. Look at BT's beaming smile by the side of her teacher. It was BT's most successful violin recital, and her playing was the finale of the small concert. I was overwhelmed with excitement, joy and gratitude.

Watching and listening to the recording again back in my room alone, I found myself lost in thoughts and tears... yes, we were working fiercely these couple of weeks and our sweat didn't shed in vain. But thinking of it in retrospect, I cannot stop asking myself, did I relentlessly push everything too hard? Did I unconsciously exert pressure on everyone around us including our teacher? Did my inherent perfectionism go wild again? ...

(Above left, BT and her violin teacher Dr. Lim at the recital.)

2013 Winter Orchestra Concert @ School

See where I was sitting yesterday evening!! (or at least for half the time 0_o)
Mississippi Cakewalk, Dance Scenario, Trepak from Nutcracker, Berceuse, Turkey in a Tux, and Yuletide Rag were the pieces we played.

People who don't know me see my violin case and always ask me, "Are you a violin or a viola?" I respond, "Neither-- I'm a human being." MINDBLOWN!! :D

Huddled in the Cold

Huddled in the cold,
All alone.
The only dark blotch
That dares to mar
The sheet of pristine perfection.

Never a blanket,
Save the snow.
Frigid winds creep into my flesh.
I crouch in attempts to warm
My shivering bones.

Candles shine in windows,
Laughter resounds,
Sleigh bells ring in the distance.
Children call out to come
And play in the snow.

So I'll just shake off my wings
And fly away,
Hope to find somewhere warm.
A speck against the white sky,

Just Chilling!

With an air of panache
And aristocratic mien,
An overblown figure
Stands upon the scene.

With a red plaid scarf,
He's complacently grinning.
What are you doing?" I ask.
He responds, "Just chilling!"

Meditation by Yo-Yo Ma

Never thought a cello could sound so beautiful!

(Credit for the image above: weheartit.com)

Happy Turkey Day!

The holidays are a wonderful time,
When indulgence isn't a crime,
On turkey we feast,
And pumpkin pie we eat,
Gustatory paradise sublime!

The next Monday is a dreary day,
When we step on the scale and pray,
And resolve to remember
Not to gorge next November,
And eat less turkey on Thanksgiving Day!

Officially Teen

Use your true voice and... smile!

With their science teachers from Mason Middle School, BT and seven of her fellow students were doing a presentation enthusiastically on scientific water quality testing equipment, donated to the school by the City of Mason and Hach, at a Mason Board of Education meeting on November 12. Hurrah!! Go - BT - go!!!

Rise from the Dust

Shadowy black and white figures loom out of the darkness,
With creaks and groans,
Silhouetted against the fading light,
They rise from the dust.

Lingering, obscure memories shrouded in ages of soot
And gossamer cobwebs
I blink into focus.
Stumbling, they rise from the dust.

They open their mouths
For the first time in years.
Hoarse, raspy voices murmur,
"Will it ever be the same?"

Keep Walking...

Athena @Halloween 2013

Guess who I was on this Halloween? Athena!!! Athena is surely someone I worship and strive to learn from. MT called that the process of improving my EQ, whatever that's supposed to mean.

In Greek mythology, Athena is the goddess of wisdom, courage, justice, mathematics, strength, the arts and literature, and is the embodiment of reason and purity. She was the favorite child of Zeus, having sprung fully grown with armor out of her father's forehead. She was fierce and brave in battle but only fought to defend home from outside enemies.

The helmet and Gorgon head shield were made all by myself, look!! What a glorious night!

A poem BT wrote days ago called "Mortals on Mount Olympus"

Welcome to Mount Olympus,
Home of the Olympians!
Overlooking the Aegean Sea,
The architecture is Corinthian.

On nectar and ambrosia we shall dine
Palace on clouds, supremely divine.
Zeus's master thunderbolt he wields
Athena sporting helmet and shield.

God and goddess wannabes
Caper in the moonlight.
There are mortals on Mount Olympus
For one magical night.

Happiness is Self-made

It's an enormous project we are all working on every day, not just exclusively for Halloween.

1) Plan and set your goal. Use your imagination. You decide if you want a smile, a cry, a grumpy frown, or just a yawn.

2) Be sure you have the right tool and have mastered the technique and skills of application for your goal. If you don't, pursue that first.

3) Expect profusion of persperation and having a pair of sore hands. There's a great deal of onerous and arduous work awaiting for you.

4) Be fearless. Have strategies ready for handling slimy situation.

5) You are on your own. Be responsible for your action, especially those curving points - there might be consequences incurred if you make any mistake.

6) Practice perseverance and be patient.

7) Don't forget to rest, take a break for a smile or laugh.

8) Enjoy your journey!

More recent posts...

Last updated date: 1/25/2013 danajian.com. All Rights Reserved.
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