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?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Caption Needed: An Ice Cream Cone, A Boy, and His Dog

What caption would you write below this photo of an ice cream cone, a boy, and his dog?

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