Saturday, July 28, 2007

Did you see the paperclip in Ratatouille?

It was in the scene where the rats were having a party, celebrating Remy's return to the colony. The camera panned across a group of rats making music and there it was, a silver paperclip held and used like a musical instrument by one of the happy, partying rats. Here's the interesting trivia bit: in France, a paperclip is called a trombone, and of course, the movie is set in Paris. How cool is that? (I love all the layers in this movie. Right, Yelley?)

Go and watch if you haven't yet - and make sure you catch the trailers to see Lifted, the hilarious Pixar short film. I love Ratatouille though (the movie and the dish!) - it's a classic you-can-be-who-you-want-to-be tale for idealists like me.

Je voudrais aller a Paris. Peut-etre je vais decouvrir beaucoup de trombones avec les points violet.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Yellow, Purple and Fjupy in San Diego

Wow, it seems that there are yellow-and-purple flowers anywhere I go! I took this while walking in downtown San Diego, on the way to Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues with my two best friends from high school.

When I asked Julia and Trixy to help me pray that 2007 be an Extraordinary Year for me, I didn't think that I would be blessed with a Fjupy Reunion! (Yes, God always does exceed our expectations.) It has been ten years since our high school graduation and two since our last get-together, but spending time with them negates all the time and distance we ever spent apart. These two are my fjupy womyn forever and I know we'll be friends until the very end (and longer), our husbands will be friends (John and Ade already are!) and our children will be friends too (will they also be the Bimbo-Bitch-Brain or the Lover-Lunatic-Poet trio?) - now that's something to look forward to.

Part of the Fjupy Friendship is our archive: part journal, part time capsule, part scrapbook; a companion between the three of us, recording our experiences and random thoughts. We've had three archives between us since our high school days and I brought a new purple archive with me to keep the tradition alive. We had the unveiling of the archive at our favorite Starbucks in San Diego. We only had two days together but we all had a great time (as these photos clearly show; thanks again, Ade, for being our official photographer!), including fjupy conversation about being Third Culture Kids and how our lives are forever changed because we're TCKs. (And thank you, Julia, for telling me about the cool TCK book! This deserves another blogpost for sure.)

Now in relation to my story, you may remember a character named Julia who uses the paperclip to bookmark her favorite prayer (and yes, Psalm 37:4 really is my favorite prayer). This character embodies both fjupy womyn as Julia and Trixy have been instrumental in strengthening my faith and prayer life back in our high school days. We had a lot of fjupy talks on big fjupy life-topics such as God, love and our futures. I'm not sure how many other 18-year-olds had deep-and-meaningful conversations like ours, but I always knew we were a little different and out-of-place ("in a world of silver paperclips"... hee-hee). Oh, and Viktor who flew the paper airplane is named after Julia's younger brother.

I can't wait until the next fjupy reunion...

Note: Fjupy (pronounced as "fyoo-pee") is a Swedish-like word we coined up to mean... well, everything! It can mean whatever we want it to mean, but usually it means deep-and-personal, pure, great, amazing; an adjective for those wow-I'm-speechless moments; a catch-all word to describe what Levin (my all-time favorite character from a Russian novel) meant when he said "words desecrate the loftiness of emotions" in Anna Karenina. (Yes, if you haven't guessed yet, I'm the Brain in the trio.) Levin is fjupy. YPC is fjupy. Love is fjupy.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Yellow and Purple Chihuly at The Phipps Conservatory

I don't know if I'm making a big deal out of seeing yellow-and-purple patterns all around... but seriously: it seems like a lot of people like this color combination too! (Yes, I am not alone.)

My last night in Pittsburgh was spent at the Phipps Conservatory, in awe at Dale Chihuly's amazing creations. It didn't bother me that I was alone (and spent nearly $25 on cab fare going to and from the hotel) - I am just so happy that the folks at DDI told me about this exhibit. There I was like a happy, lost kid, armed with my trusty hand-me-down Nikon Coolpix (nearly 200 shots in 2 hours!), absorbing all those vibrant and yummy colors, swirls, and light. Words can't explain how amazed I seriously was; I was teary-eyed at some (maybe because the small pieces, like this purple-and-yellow vase, cost nearly $6,000!), giddy with disbelief at others (how did he do that?!; but for the most part, I felt like I was in one happy dream.

I've never seen art quite like this and I'm glad I was able to capture some of them. These are my favorite yellow and/or purple pieces, but I've put up more of my favorite shots in my (yikes-I'm-such-an-newbie-phlogger) photo blog Elsewhere for you to enjoy.

Dale Chihuly now ranks high up there with my favorite artists like Vincent Van Gogh, Rene Magritte, Georgia O'Keefe, Gustav Klimt and May Ann Licudine. Chihuly at Phipps: Gardens & Glass runs until November 11, 2007 so if you're anywhere near Pittsburgh, you shouldn't miss it!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Where in the World is the Yellow Paperclip with Bright Purple Spots?

If my tracking is up-to-date, my Yellow Paperclip has visited at least 17 countries in the last two years. How cool is that? But that's actually only 7% of the world. If you have my book (or if you've sent it out to friends around the world) and your country isn't tagged yet, do let me know so I can update this map.

Click here to create your own Visited Countries Map

I love this site - it's so reminiscent of my growing up years with Carmen San Diego and oh-so-TCK. Thanks to my cyberlaundrywoman friend for sharing this. Hopefully, the Yellow Paperclip will find its way to more countries and continents soon.

A Project and A Song

Imagine life like this
we live as if we're paperclips
Oh it never seemed so clear to me
why our lives could be so separated like paper sheets
piece by piece we put together
and hold as one to make one big bind.
One big bind.

I wonder how many songs there are about paperclips... but this is the first one I've heard. And I love it. Click here to listen.

The more interesting thing is how I came across it. Check out this blog I stumbled upon. I'm just so thrilled to hear there are more people out there getting fascinated by the paperclip. At least I know I'm not that strange. :-) But I'm even happier that worlds continue to collide. Thanks, Jayvee and Jun for sharing my story with Guitarchic!

Welcome to the USA

What a sweet welcome to jumpstart my short U.S. trip - a bright red paperclip said hello as soon as I stepped out of the plane from my NW72 Nagoya-Detroit flight yesterday afternoon.

I'm here for a short trip: 5 days in Pittsburgh for DDI's annual International Marketing Meeting and 3 days in California to see the fjupy womyn in San Diego and Ursula in LA. I wonder what other paperclips will greet me here... aside from the striped ones I used to "lock" my suitcase. (My brother, Alec: "Um, you're funny, `Ki... you have paperclips on your bag.")

PS. I know, I know... I have so much blog backlog... it's not funny anymore.
PPS. Hi Don, nag-blog na ako ulit ha! ;-) Kahit short and sweet lang muna...