Sunday, December 5, 2010

Serene, Happiest, Relaxed

I just finished crocheting a beta project that I started early this year, and will spend the next few weeks photographing it with my girlfriend, MJ.

Until then, here's a portrait that MJ drew of me when I was crocheting on the couch:

She named it: "Serene, Happiest, Relaxed"

As we brave through the hectic holiday season, I hope you all stay serene, happy and relaxed!

"Howie" - drawn by MJ using the ASKetch app

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ralph and Ruth

Last time, we spotted Ralph and his pet giraffe, Raffe.

This time, we see Ralph and his partner, Ruth:

Ralph and Ruth

They're an affectionate couple:

Ralph and Ruth, necking

And they proudly engage in public displays of affection:

Ralph and Ruth with Raffe

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Caption Needed: Ralph and Raffe *UPDATED*

What caption would you write below this photo of Ralph and his pet giraffe, Raffe?

UPDATE - November 5, 2010:

Catherine, of The Raggy Rat blog, wrote a rhyme to match this side-view of Ralph and Raffe:

"Ralph had a tall giraffe
he wished it would obey
but everywhere that Ralph went
it went the other way ....."
Thanks Catherine! And thank you to everyone who wrote such clever captions for R&R!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Robots are Poor Tippers *UPDATED*

During the recent home renovation, I found some dusty notebooks filled with half-completed ideas. One of my entries began with: "A robot is a poor tipper..."

Here's a completed, illustrated version of that idea, now dust-free! You can click the image to enlarge:

Comic: Robots Are Poor Tippers
Next week, I'll crochet a scene from this comic. Until then, please tip your server accordingly!

UPDATE - August 6, 2010:

Almost four weeks later, here is a yarn version of the robot and his server!

Was that photo worth the wait? If not, here's a bonus photo of the robot with his friends and associates:

Until next time, here's a link to a Restaurant Tipping Guide. Thanks for waiting!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Trouble Sisters

These two are known as the Trouble Sisters:

The Trouble Sisters

They've earned that title: a Florida home burned down last year and the Sisters know all-too-well how the fire started.

The Trouble Sisters at a Fire

Look at the trouble they've gotten themselves into this time:

The Trouble Sisters at the Pantry Window

Along this pantry window lined with canning jars, one sister is in a pickle and the other is in a jam.

The Trouble Sisters in Trouble
Public Service Announcement: Don't play near jars of fruit and vegetables. 
You might fall and submerge yourself!

Even if they escape from this predicament, it's likely that these siblings will again find trouble or trouble will find them.

The Trouble Sisters in a Pickle and in a Jam

They are, after all, the Trouble Sisters.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Woo's Hues *UPDATED*

The house is being re-painted here, so I've been moving furniture and storing stuff in cardboard boxes. Hectic!

Even Woomi participated in the home renovation process, though for the last time:


UPDATE - August 6, 2010:

The home renovations are almost complete, so I've been crocheting again! I made these two yarn paint cans. Unlike Woomi, I'm sure you can tell the difference between "Apricot Dawn" and "Tangerine Dusk", right?

"Apricot Dawn" and "Tangerine Dusk"

Friday, July 16, 2010

PSA: Don't Run After the Bus!

Bus Runner 1

My girlfriend told me a story about a co-worker who ran down an escalator to chase a bus, twisted her ankle, fell down, and limped in a foot brace for months.

Bus Runner 2

Do you know an individual who pursued public transit but encountered injury instead? Please share that story! Your cautionary tale could encourage someone to slow down, wait for the next bus, and avoid harm.

Meanwhile, take care of yourselves...

Don't run after the bus!

Don't Run for the Bus!

You might fall...

You Might Fall...

...and accidentally hurt yourself.

_..and Accidentally Hurt Yourself.
This public service announcement has been brought to you by

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Speaking of my Grandfather

On the same week I visited my dad, I attended my grandfather's funeral. Though it was a sad event, my grandfather lived a full and happy life. He had the opportunity to say goodbye to everyone before passing away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones. He was 89 years old.

My Grandfather with My Dad
My grandfather with my dad in the late sixties.

Grandparents Eating Icecream
My grandmother and my grandfather in the nineties.

Here's a video of our family (with Woomi) visiting him two years ago to celebrate his birthday:

He was fluent in the Ningbo and Shanghai dialect of Chinese, and spoke basic English. Every time I visited my Grandfather, he would ask me: "So, you cannot speak Chinese anymore?" I'd reply that I could understand the language but not speak it well. Eventually, I just said: "No, not really."

For a farewell gift, I wanted to say something to him in Chinese.  So I crocheted him this speech bubble with something he and I shared: our last name.

Speech Bubble with Chinese Character for Woo
"Woo" is embroidered as its Chinese character:

I felt fortunate to place the speech bubble in his casket before the cremation ceremony.

Remembering Grandfather

Most of the eulogies were spoken in Chinese, where I learned he was married to my grandma for sixty-nine years, that he spent cautiously on himself but was generous to others, that he loved practicing calligraphy and listening to Chinese operas, that he was an even-tempered dad, and that he treated his six daughters and one son equally. He taught them to keep their promises, as he was was a man of his word.

My Grandfather - Formal
Hsien Teh Woo, 1921-2010

May you rest in peace, Grandfather.

My Grandfather - Informal

Sunday, June 27, 2010

MJ Takes Flight

It was MJ's birthday last week, and we celebrated with her family over pizza and cake. Afterward, we opened presents!

Here's a video of MJ unwrapping the gift I made for her (and of her):

MJ Takes Flight

MJ Takes Flight - Front

The next day, MJ flew to Los Angeles for a 10-day reunion with longtime friends from the Philippines. Just last year, she flew to the Yukon with her sister. Hooray for your skyward spirit, MJ!

MJ in Flight - Back

Have a fun trip and a safe flight home — steer clear of any Canadian geese. Meanwhile, all your loved-ones look forward to your graceful return to the home runway, at least until your next high-flying adventure!

MJ Holds "MJ Takes Flight"

Friday, June 18, 2010

Business by the Book

Here's my dad when he was in his twenties:

And here's me and my dad in 1977, when I was three years old:

Growing up, my Dad and I had little in common. I loved doing artistic things, like drawing and creative-writing. He loved conducting business, like selling mechanical seals, co-founding a chinese restaurant, and investing in soup vending machines.

But in 1987, my Dad and I shared an unexpected interest. He took me to see Wall Street, and I became entranced by the exciting world of stock trading.

My dad then invited me to choose nine stocks from which he would buy some shares. He taught me how to look up those share prices and track their progress in this notebook:

The mysterious stock abbreviations, the difference between NASDAQ and the NYSE, the dramatic charts and numbers: my dad confirmed the wonder that Wall Street promised, and I could understand why he became a business man.
One morning—dizzy with excitement and seeking confirmation—I exclaimed:
My parents reacted with stunned expressions. My artistic mom probably offered an opposing view, but what I remember most is how my dad didn't say a word.
The next year, my dad and I stopped following the stock market when he fell ill with cancer. He was in the hospital for many months before passing away at the age of 41. I was 13.

As a teenager, I reaffirmed my true love for art. As a grown-up, my joy and job is learning, creating and sharing art. Would I have been wealthier as a stock broker? Yes. Am I happier as an artist? Yes.

In retrospect, what I valued most was the time my dad and I spent together, knowing we had something in common.
For this Father's Day, I made a mini version of our Stock Market Notebook:

And I presented it to him:

Some people are vocal encouragers, like my wonderful mom. Others are vocal discouragers. But there are also people who—like my dad—wordlessly encourage us to find our own paths to happiness.

Thank you, Dad.

And happy Father's Day, everyone. In what ways has your dad encouraged you?

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