Monthly Archives: September 2013

My Weekend

Nourish my identity with food, senses, intention and consciousness;
Feed the soul with Bartok, Haydn, Beethoven and Strauss;
Immerse in rain, spirituality, and artists’ creative processes.

Have conversations of the heart–light and heavy.
Joy and sorrows pass on by like clouds in the sky.
It’s a rich and beautiful weekend–all in all.



Six Ways to Become Unpopular on Facebook or Anywhere Else in the Cyberspace

Readers beware: my dark side is writing this post tonight and be ready for some unpleasant emotions if it speaks to you, or not.

I had an interesting discussion with my colleagues this week regarding the on-line community.  There are at least 6 ways to become unpopular on Facebook or anywhere else in the cyberspace:

1. Keep posting mundane updates like: “I am bored.” “I just had a cup of coffee.” Please respect your friends’ time and make their reading your posts worthwhile.  If you want to keep a log of your daily activities by the hour, have your privacy setting to “only me”.

2. Keep posting comments that need decoding. Not sure about you but for me anything that requires a great deal of guesswork makes caring for/paying attention to you that much harder.

3. Bombard your friends with your rants whether they are political, religious, professional or psychological.  If you need a special place to air out your convictions, consider creating a fan page for your followers.

4. Be passive-aggressive with your comments on-line because you don’t have the guts to talk to your friend(s) and sort out the differences in person.  Passive-aggressiveness is really a form of aggression and there is nothing healthy or helpful about it.

5. Lurk but rarely participate in the on-line community. I totally get some people setting up an account to update themselves on the status of their loved ones once a while.  However, if you read your friends’ posts regularly, would it kill you to click on “like” or comment once a while so we know you are alive and well and have an opinion.

6. Post comments that are insensitive and/or offensive. You may enjoy your jokes but maybe not all your friends find them funny, especially when they have to do with people’s age, gender, race/ethnicity, weight/height, sexual orientation, religion, politics…Equal opportunity offenders are not an excuse for being mindless.

Time to stop here and it’s okay that you decide to dislike or even unfriend me after reading this post.  After all, this is a post about how to be unpopular.


Beach Planter: A Narrative of My Painting

I completed this painting on May 24 this year. I am inspired by how Vincent Van Gogh documented his thoughts on many of his paintings.  Here is my narrative:

I have a special fondness for this particular beach planter.  It took me to a simpler time when love was innocent, light and happy.  I was there when he picked out the planter and we took it together to the beach house.

Typical of this area, a rainy weekend it was. After the rain, the planter was potted with soil and a handful of small green plants. I like how the planter was set on top of the clean banana-yellow wood rack and underneath the rack was this messy, moist, dark brown mud.

Against the brand new planter, the fence was covered with seasoned moss here and there. It was also adorned by tube-shape buoys of white, grey and yellow, next to a big red ball.  Some twenty years ago, they were lost at sea but later recovered at a beach nearby. And when I squinted my eyes just a little, I could see the fresh, rain-washed lawn peek through the old fence.

Something about the whole setup moved me.  So I painted. The contrast of dark and bright colors, of blurred and crisp lines, and of the spaces separated by the fence evoked in me emotions of old and new. Yes, even today, this familiar object/scene keeps moving unto the time continuum of new interpretations. 

It speaks to me with its vibrancy ever so quietly.


Not to Grow Up

Not to Grow Up

Not to grow up to be an uptight girl:
Forgetting how to truly laugh,
Acting like she is really tough.

Not to grow up to be a bitter girl:
Thinking life is passing her by,
Blaming everyone else but would never try.

The Girl Says:
Have fun,
Play with friends,
Run towards the Sun.

The Girl

1 + 1 = ? >2 Three Ways to Add Values to Your Relationships

No worries.  This post is not about calculating math.  It’s about ways to add values to your relationships.

It all started when the other day, my dear friend challenged me to look at relationships as a math equation.  On an one-on-one level, do I add to or subtract from a relationship?  (Hope I add to).  Hence, 1 + 1 = > 2.

A fair and sound question and here are three simple ways to add values to any relationships:

1.  Be Mindful. It’s in our human nature that we spend most our time thinking about ourselves.  However, to be in a mutually nurturing relationship, it really helps to pay attention to the person you care about.  Deep connections usually form when your partner/friend/family member feels listened to and understood.  What are his/her likes and dislikes?  How are things going for him/her lately?

Here is the test.  Recall the last three conversations you had with that person.  What percentage of time you talked about yourself vs. what percentage of time you truly listened to the other person?  Did you learn anything new about him/her?  If the ratio is off, you probably talk too much.  It never ceases to amaze me that people can talk up a storm but rarely listen. When we don’t listen, we miss the opportunity to learn and connect.

2.  Be Thoughtful.  Do you go out of your way to help a friend?  The little things do make a big difference.  My dear friend who is very handy often goes out of his way to help me and others with any repairs he is capable of doing.  No joke, he almost always leaves the place or appliance in a better condition than it was first found.

Saying “thank you” or “I appreciate you” is not overrated.  One of my good friends has a knack for writing the sweetest thank-you card.  A person who picks out a card, sits down, takes out a pen and writes a couple meaningful sentences really sends out a message to me that she cares.

3.  Be Equitable.  Do you take more than you give in a relationship?  Granted, not all relationships are 50/50 but when one constantly takes more than gives, it usually leaves the partner/friend/family member feeling resentful and discontent.

I know it’s not warm and fuzzy to look at your relationship like you look at your bank account.  At the same time, it’s rather an useful analogy.  it makes one examine the balance sheet of his/her relationship.  Have you made emotional deposits lately to offset the withdrawals?  Emotional deposits can be kind words and/or kind deeds.  Withdrawals, well, you guess it, it’s the opposite of kindness or lack of.

Okay, it’s your turn, what are some ways you add to your relationships?

Sand Dollars