Ahoy there! A month ago, I had the pleasure of virtually meeting a new follower, Stephanie @ Roses and Brimstone – A Little Heart with Extraordinary Passion! She wrote about her cultural background in a post called Ethnicity Tag which was fun and fascinating for me to read.
She was curious to learn where I came from and linked where she got her questions: 50+ Ethnicity Tag Questions. (Fortunately for you, I will not answer all 50 of them!) The site describes the distinction between race and ethnicity.
A few days ago, mom expressed to me how she was afraid of me “losing my heritage” (which I will describe another day). Since there are some new folks here, I thought this blog post would dive into a bit of that and perhaps share a little bit about me!
1.Which ethnicity do you belong to?
I am ethnically American and Vietnamese, and classified as Asian. I was born in Texas in the United States. My parents and my grandparents are from Qui Nhon, Vietnam, a beautiful coastal city. My 23&Me DNA results shows that my ancestors are from China/Vietnam region. 🙂
2. Which food represents your ethnicity?
There is such a variety in Vietnamese cuisine. Rice dishes are a staple. Pho is a famous dish that many people in America have had a chance to try. I keep mentioning it in past posts. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend you do so!
3. Which ethnic language are you perfect in?
Vietnamese is a tonal language and are distinguished by three main dialects which can be classified by region: North (Hanoi), South (Ho Chi Minh City), Central (Hue). Around 80 million people in the world speak Vietnamese and is in the top 20 most spoken languages. It has many Chinese and French influences. It used to written in Chinese letters, but now uses the Latin alphabet.
I wouldn’t describe it as perfect, but I spent a good chunk of my life studying the dialect from South-Central Vietnam. I can read, write, and speak it. However, I would consider myself at a limited proficiency level in Vietnamese. I am most fluent in English and enjoy the nuances of the language. I enjoyed studying English literature in college.
4. Do you have any ethnic name?
I go by many names: Sally, Lisa, but my ethnic name is Sa! Vietnamese parents typically like to name their daughters after lovely flowers or beautiful sentiments. It directly translates to silky gossamer. Combined with other other words, it can mean a host of things. (ie- kieu sa = lovely)
5. Which phrase of your ethnic language is your favorite?
Bạn khỏe không (Ban Kwe Khom) = How are you?
Cảm ơn (kahm uhn) = Thank you!
The following proverb is something I enjoy:
Đi một ngày đàng học một sàng khôn. = A day of travelling will bring a basket full of learning.
6. Which clothes represent your ethnicity?
On special occasions such as Vietnamese holidays and weddings, I wear the traditional, gorgeous ao dai. I love the new modern styles that are coming out! If you want to view the glitz and glamorous side of Vietnamese fashion that’s trending, you can watch a renowned variety show called: Paris by Night.
7. Which drink represents your ethnicity?
A few distinctive favorite drinks that I grew up with are: jasmine/green tea, coconut juice, soybean milk, grass jelly drink, sugar cane drink.
8. Which specific jewelry represents your culture?
Popular pieces are typically made of jade or gold. Images of dragons, Buddhas, crosses are common. Some of my favorite cultural pieces include: earrings, beaded peace bracelets, necklaces.
My favorite American pieces are Pandora charm bracelets or floating charm locket necklaces.
9. Which sport represents your ethnicity?
Vovinam, Dragon dance, dragon boat racing, cow racing, wrestling
10. Which ethnic song do I often listen to?
I’m a sucker for Korean dramas. They’re humorous, heart-breaking, or soul lifting. I just finished this Chinese drama remake called Meteor Garden. Though I have some qualms about the series, I enjoyed it. This beautiful song is not Vietnamese, but lately I’ve been listening to the entire soundtrack on replay.
Good morning everyone! Inspired from an episode that I watched from the Food Network Star, I created this metaphor to symbolize the all the great experiences that I have checking out your blogs. I wrote this poem back in January 2018, but it’s been sitting in my draft box for a long time.
Blogs on WordPress are the countless types of desserts on the buffet of life Matcha Green Tea Cake Coconut Creme Pie Sinfully Chocolate Brownie Angel Vanilla Cake Pistachio Nut Pudding Sour Lemon Tart Raspberry Kolache Fortune Cookie Sitting on a plate looking delectable Various guilty pleasures Some may delight the senses You may be allergic to others Blending in with your morning tea, coffee, juice, or milk Each one delivers a unique experience
A mother was once frustrated! Still unsalted Picky eater Desired sweeter
Are you a little changeling? Fairy humming? Not wanting food? I can just brood!
Surprised to see a growing girl Giving a twirl Eating a lot A food for thought
Good evening! I experimented with minute poetry today as I was pondering on this quote above while eating some French onion soup with seasoned toast tonight in a charming restaurant downtown. Like the fairy girl in this story, I was once a picky eater, but now I sometimes can be a gourmand. I need to slow down when I eat. A work in progress! 😉 Would love to show you what I’ve been eating for the past few months down below!
Good evening everyone! VJ’s prompt about ripening has me thinking about quite a few things today. With fall looming around the corner, I couldn’t help but think of persimmons with its bright orange color! It is a mighty fruit packed with some powerful benefits:
Aids in weight loss & its fiber promotes a healthy digestive system
Can help regulate sugar in blood for diabetics
Rich source of phytochemicals which helps in warding off inflammatory infections
Anti-hemorrhagic properties which helps control excessive bleeding
Helps with hypertension because of its low sodium levels
Source of vitamin C to strengthen immune system
Source of vitamin A, shibuol, betulinic acid to help fight cancer
Source of a complex vitamin B which helps improve eye health
Source of copper which helps iron absorption and produces red blood cells
Source of potassium which helps retain significant minerals
My thoughts begin to wander onto some quotes, however…
“Age is not all decay. It is the ripening, the swelling of the fresh life within that withers and bursts the husk.”
My father used to grow some persimmon trees in our backyard. They come in two varieties: astringent and non-astringent. When they’re not ripe, biting into one leaves a bitter taste that lingers in your mouth taking its time before it leaves your tongue. With a little more patience, you can taste a wonderfully sweet fruit which makes the wait worth it.
“The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts, author
A rather interesting analogy to segway into some new events in my life. I recently got hired to be a technical writer at a cybersecurity firm! Very excited by this new development and chapter of my journey. Yet, it took me a while to get to this point. Many times I felt rather impatient with my own growth, but in hindsight, it took some time for my knowledge and information gained from my studies to mature before it was finally ready to be put into action.
“Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgement requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.”
Calvin Coolidge, Former U.S. president
It’s been a few days since I’ve drank from this firehose of this major life transition – a constant outpouring of new ideas to take in, process, and from that immense gulp, I’m responsible for creating a grand tool that can unlock a whole new world of possibilities for my coworkers and myself.
“Nothing is finer for the purposes of great productions, than a very gradual ripening of the intellectual powers.”
I should really slow down though as the quote above reminds me of the fine potential that can be derived from a gradual ripening. 😉 That said, I feel like a giddy metal worker dancing amidst the flying sparks as I’m in creation mode!
Good afternoon everyone! I would like to sincerely thank Jason @ Proscenium for nominating me for a Sunshine Blogger Award. He hosts the fun Friday Follies photo challenge (hilarious entries from participants), takes interesting photos and gives a slice of his day while promoting other bloggers. Please stop by and take a look into his world!
Rules for Award:
Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts. (In my case, I tag!)
List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.
Is what you’re doing now what you always wanted to do growing up? If not, what did you always want to be “when you grew up?” Was there a reason why?
Short answer: yes and no. 🙂
When I was a young girl, I wanted to be a doctor “when I grew up”. I imagined taking care of a clinic full of sick stuffed animals who needed care. I just wanted them to be happy again so that we can drink tea together. I always felt called to help people feel better. I was sensitive to those who were suffering. In college, I attempted to do a pre-med track only to get burnt out in the process. I didn’t get much sleep in those years and didn’t eat properly either because of the stress of maintaining a decent GPA to get into medical school.
I was rattled and a train wreck three years into the program. I later explained to my parents that perhaps this isn’t the right path for me and decided to do some soul searching. I asked myself what were things that I enjoyed doing: listening to music, art, writing, crafty activities, gardening, tinkering with tech stuff. Changing my course wasn’t easy at first. In the course of my recuperation, I decided to participate in a “Trash-to-Treasure” environmental contest hosted by my school after reading a story about some inventive dresses made out of recycled products.
There was a deadline to the project so I decided to go with a simpler project. I was later inspired by a curtain made out of plastic bottle parts and enjoyed the process of connecting all the pieces together. Time just flew by and I had fun!
What is/was a relationship deal breaker for you? Why? Is that the same for friendships?
As understanding and patient I can be, I’ve had quite a few deal breakers even in the midst some redeeming qualities they may have. Some deal breakers for me for relationships and friendships alike were individuals with abusive personalities, poor hygiene/uncleanliness, and laziness. It’s difficult for me to cut ties due to my desire to help people through problems, but there are times when it is necessary for my own well being.
Anyone who has been around abusive people knows that they create an incredibly toxic environment for you and they will drain you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Sometimes, they can be logical and knowledgeable yet hurtful with their arrogance. Constantly taking a beating figuratively and literally eventually takes its toll. Taking care of myself means giving myself space from those sorts of individuals.
Poor hygiene has always irked me. It is very difficult to be in close proximity around someone who doesn’t bother to brush their teeth or take regular showers. I can take note of their compassion, but at a distance?
Laziness bugs me because if people won’t make the effort to work on a relationship, why be in one? It reveals to me that they don’t care, and if they don’t care, then I won’t feel adequately cared for. Laziness is different than resting or recreation. I’ve always been surrounded by hardworking people all my life and I’ve seen the fruits of that labor play out in various facets of their lives including their relationships.
What’s something you can’t go a day without doing?
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
Eating! Good food can instantly change my mood and worldview on life. I love the delectable colors of this vegetable skewer!
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love?
There was a relationship I had which didn’t last, but it taught me a lot of important life lessons. The craziest thing I think I did for love was that I got down on my knees and cried in front of this individual. In hindsight, it doesn’t sound too crazy, but at the time I refused to be vulnerable because I didn’t want to show any weaknesses. I set up so many walls that guys used to think that I didn’t have feelings. They would never see me cry, and I never wanted someone to take advantage of my heart. The moment I tore down the walls I built for myself, I was open to what was going to happen, and that scared me.
What scene in a movie has evoked the most feelings out of you?
There are certain scenes in movies that stand out in my memory. Life changers.
Typically, the ones that have evoked the most feelings are the ones I don’t think I’ll ever want to see again: war, WWII, Holocaust. Movies about featuring the depravity in the Holocaust like Schindler’s List, Sophie’s Choice, Boy in the Striped Pajamas. The final scene in Schindler’s List where Oscar talks about saving one more life, the scene where Sophie is asked to choose which of her children shall survive, the scene where the boys go to the gas chamber…
Though I have never watched Passion of the Christ, I assumed it was going to evoke many feelings. My family and I avoided it for the brutal violence and the newspaper report of a woman getting a heart attack while watching it in the theater.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, some movie scenes that evoked incredibly positive emotions was the Amazonian training scene in Wonder Woman, the grandmother remembering her father in Coco, women achieving their dreams in Hidden Figures, Circle of Life in Lion King.
You are not obligated to respond to this award nomination, however it is a wonderful way for me to recognize your blogs! Thank you for being here!
Hello everyone! I’m sorry I’ve been out for two weeks. It has been a doozy and I’m tucked underneath a layer of bed sheets right now in my cozy room munching on golden jack fruit. Feeling tired might be an understatement. Stream of consciousness is all I can muster right now. 😉
My brother graduated from college with a degree in environmental engineering. Words cannot express how proud I am. On the day of, there was a tornado alert in the area, pouring rain was beating down on our car windshield, temporary hail pellets hit certain areas of town. There was no notice of postponement of the commencement event, so we slowly drove on the highway to our destination, an athletics stadium on campus.
Ride the storm. Cheer wildly. Gather strength from life’s storms.
Jonathan Lockwood Huie
When we arrive, we were checked by two metal detectors which made me wonder about all the precautions that have to be taken considering all the mass shootings in the nation. The thought of it made me feel a bit somber though safer, and these rows of security guards at the entrances made me feel a sense of awe.
We took our seats far up and back as the live brass band was playing in the background. I munched on some almonds as I listened to the commencement speeches. There were three wonderful speakers:
The first was a beautiful young lady who reminisced about who experiences during college and concluded with a message of kindness and gratitude.
The second was a young man who was determined to build an Iron Man suit and shared with the audience some of his life lessons of preparation.
The third and final speaker was an engineering professor who shared a powerful story of what happens when you fearlessly respond with “yes and if” to life’s great opportunities. We also got to see a fun clip of him playing in a blue grass band.
Engineers. Problem-solvers. They never cease to amaze me. I left that stadium feeling inspired. Tons of pictures with friends and family. Then onto the grad party next day. A feast takes a lot of work especially when you decide to do it at home instead of a restaurant. Time management works towards your advantage as event planning can be seen as an operation of sorts.
Preparing for an Extravaganza
Mom and I woke up early morning, 6 am and 7 am respectively, and began cooking, cleaning, prepping while everyone was running errands for supplies. We invited a variety of guests with a variety of dietary needs. We created a buffet with several dishes filling up our dining table throughout the morning and afternoon:
Banh hoi – rice vermicelli woven into intricate bundles with chopped scallions or garlic chives sauteed in oil typically served with a complementary meat dish and either soy sauce or a homemade fish sauce
Fresh spring rolls – vermicelli, pork, lettuce, cucumber, cilantro, carrots, crunchy egg roll with a peanut butter sauce
My brother and I tested the audio system he borrowed for karaoke by singing a few fun duets such as “Aladdin’s A Whole New World” and a variety of other Disney songs.
I arranged citronella candles to repel bugs on the tables and set up chairs and tables outside while dad mowed the yards. We strategically placed a variety of ice chests around the house: filled with beer, soda, water, fruit drinks. Wine bottles were ready to go. I arranged and cut fresh flowers to put in vases and cleaned up the house with a wide array of cleaning products. There was fresh towels and soap in the restrooms. I clean up the guest bedroom for the guests that want to take a nap. (which wasn’t going to include me!) 🙂
We all eventually took a shower to wash away our sweat, mud, flour, food coloring. I freshened up my face with makeup, styled my hair, and donned on a pretty red, black, and white floral dress that hugged my body. I suddenly became a hostess along with the rest of my family members as we welcomed our guests.
It was my job to make sure everyone was well-fed serving as waitress and scanning the rooms to anticipate needs. Refilling drinks, inquiring about food allergies, offering napkins, utensils, picking up trash, etc. Though I’m fairly reserved, I can be quite a conversationalist. I walked around and outside the house chatting to everyone making sure no one felt left out. I learned more about their studies, work, interests, and hobbies. It seemed to be a networking activity as well as I gave out job referrals and we exchanged information and contact information.
My brother who graduated was the emcee for the night engaging the guests in songs, rap battles, stories and shared input and feedback as to post graduation goals. He shared the good news of his three job offers, and he was weighing
My other brother was in charge of games and entertainment for young adults. He set up video games, board games, card games and managed the crowd. Activities are time flexible as we gauged the crowd’s emotions. When you get a lot of laughs from the latest trending game for instance, it’s a green light to continue. Otherwise, it’s time to move on.
Dad managed the outdoor crowd for the older adults who are more interested in slower paced activities. They sat outside in the gazebo thoughtfully engaging with questions about life and philosophy. Mom managed the group of ladies who tried on some new fashionable clothing and perfume. They chatted about the new adventures they had about motherhood and exchanged tips and advice.
By the end of the day, presents were opened and shared as we ate a delicious, light, fluffy, fruit cake that we got from Mozart’s Bakery. Our guests thanked us for the night and gradually began to leave as I bid them farewell. My sister was in charge of cleaning up as we helped her pick up trash and store the china. We finally got some shut-eye around midnight.
The day after my brother’s grad party was my birthday! This year was a small affair due to the fact I didn’t want to steal my brother’s thunder, and frankly, I was tired from the previous night. I asked my siblings if we can hang out in our living room in our pajamas, eat some leftover cake, and re-watch one of my favorite Korean dramas:
I am now 31 years old, and I’m feeling all sorts of things. My siblings and I reconnected on a deeper level which I personally felt was a dream come true. Our communication with one another improved after we spent time apart reflecting on a variety of things and life events. Reading things in the media affected how we treated each other in good and bad ways. My parents are adjusting to their “empty nest” as we are moving out of our childhood home one by one. We have wonderful stories and experiences in this house. They are getting ready to retire, as we are beginning our lives and careers.
Bus Ride Home
I treated myself to some lotions for my hard working hands and feet. I reinvested in myself by attending an inspirational career training and enrolling in a master’s program. I sat near the window of the bus pensively staring at the grasslands. I started to chat to the guy next to me when I saw an interesting t-shirt. I noticed he had only one arm. I was inspired as I listened to his thoughts and hobbies. Later at another stop, a blind man sits in front of us. I was impressed by his vision for what he wanted to accomplish in his life: owning his own business. He, too, had an inspiring story to share as I was captivated by his blue eyes. I was amazed by the company that I had during my trip. I hope to learn more from them soon!
As I reached town, I rested and joined my study group later in the evening. They treated me to a delicious wholesome birthday bowl from “The Good Kind: Modern Market and Cafe” as I designed a logo for our group and studied security issues.
Life continues, and isn’t this a lovely tropical bowl!? 😀
A few weeks ago, I had a lovely dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant called Dallah Mediterranean Cuisine after hanging out at the computer hardware store. My boyfriend and his friend wanted to go after seeing this ending scene in a Shawarma restaurant from The Avengers. Yes, interesting reasoning for choosing a restaurant! 🙂
As for me, I appreciate a novel experience and I’ve read various articles about how Mediterranean food is very healthy. We walked over to Dallah’s down the street. The moment I walked inside the restaurant, I was taken to another world. I gazed at the beautiful unique decor.
Not sure if the company I was with was joking with me, but the dog on the shelf is a Greek god named Anubis. If I stare into its eyes, I would supposedly die. 😉 Anubis is affiliated with mummification and the afterlife. Anubis had various roles as a protector of tombs, an embalmer, a guide for souls.
The symmetry and pattern of these paisley designs kept my attention for a while. It reminds me of the flourishes I would see on old US dollar bills.
Not sure what this map was all about, but the story around the perimeter made me wonder what was going on. I thought it was like a profile of various explorers of a crew.
I have never seen a chandelier quite like this star-shaped one below.
Rested in the view from my seat – enjoying the twinkle of the sparkling lights above table.
I ordered a beef souvlaki wrap: a beef tenderloin kabob wrapped in a homemade tanour bread with garlic sauce, tomato, lettuce, pickles. The salad is light and refreshing. The souvlaki was delicious and filling.
I also ordered a set of 4 falafels which are golden brown spiced chickpea patties fried to perfection. Crispy on the outside and savory on the inside. The tzatziki sauce was a white cream that was light and creamy with a touch of lime. Dipping this warm bun into the cool cream was a delight!
I couldn’t forget the yummy dessert! I loved the baklava. I love the layers and the cream. Overall I had a wonderful day and will cherish this rich experience with friends. The waitstaff was responsive and understanding even when I accidentally spilled a glass of water on the table as I was trying to take a picture.
One challenge that I enjoy participating in is VJ Knutson’s weekly challenge. Her blog is named One Woman’s Quest II. I too feel like I’m on my own quest as I explore her topics and wonder what I may discover along my journey.
What Does this Number Mean to Me?
Last week’s challenge was on numerology which actually caught my attention last year when I suddenly started to see palindromic numerical patterns in my life such as 1221, 5225, 4224. I try not to think too hard about it, but sometimes they’re impossible to ignore especially since I notice these details in my environment quite often.
I feel like the fictional character Milo in the book, “The Phantom Tollbooth”, where he’s mining for numbers as if they are jewels buried deep in the earth. What kind of meaning can be derived from this treasure? Various authors such as parapsychologist, Kate Sebring, explore the meaning behind these patterns.
Life Path Calculator
Who would have thought a life calculator would exist as life gives so many twists and turns!? Curious by the link VJ provided on Token Rock, I input some data and here’s what it told me:
The Harmonizer The Life Path 6 looks for ways to make harmony with everything you encounter. Whether it is art, music, or relationships, no other Life Path can make things coalesce as naturally as you can. Your magnetic personality draws people in and can lead to you being the center of attention. You will find that your life will revolve around your family, and friends. You have an innate ability to nurture the people around you. As the person who usually takes charge of a situation you tend to be, or are on the way to being, the head of staff. Don’t let your innate ability to lead go to your head, this can lead to you trying to control every situation, and that is not what being a 6 is about. Learn to balance ‘leading and nurturing’ so as to raise up the people around you, instead of ‘demanding and controlling’ which will alienate people. Some notable Life Path 6 people you may know: John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Thomas Edison, Stephen King.
What an interesting group of individuals that share my life path! 🙂
Travelling Back in Time
This week’s challenge is on anniversary in which you can explore an date in the past. So, in the spirit of numerical patterns, I’ll think about May 5, 2005 (05-05-05). I was in high school and my Spanish teacher was teaching about Cinco de Mayo holiday. She also decided to assign a project where each student would create a dish from a recipe from a South American country. We had a delicious show-and-tell potluck presentation! I was assigned El Salvador, so I made popusas!
Cinco de Mayo will be coming up in a few weeks and I will continue to think back to my teacher’s historical lesson about how this date impacted the American Civil War in the midst of the bright colorful celebration that will take place in the streets downtown.
Numbers in Pop Culture
For curiosity’s sake, I became more fascinated by TV shows and movies that explored a world behind numbers such as Numb3rs, Touch, The Imitation Game, The Man Who Knew Infinity hoping they might shed some light as to what I might be experiencing. I think I was more entertained and enlightened by the drama.
I have been blessed to have experienced a madrigal dinner twice in my life. The first time was in high school. It was a beautiful night. I created a burnt orange Renaissance gown for myself to prepare for the occasion. It was a marvelous sight to see my high school English teacher dub me lady as she took a Styrofoam sword and tapped me on either side of my shoulders. We drank wassail and clinked our glasses as we wished each other a great year ahead. The warm cider tasted wonderful as we chatted with one another about our plans after graduation.
The second time was during college when I quietly served as a waitress during my college’s annual madrigal dinner in the ballroom. Various directors have primed the students for various roles throughout this interactive dinner. As I helped out in the background, I enjoyed the student thespians dancing between the tables, listening to the choir’s melodies, cheering on the fencing entertainment, and embracing the poetry that was recited.
“A madrigal is a type of secular vocal music composition, written during the Renaissance and early Baroque eras. Throughout most of its history it was polyphonic and unaccompanied by instruments, with the number of voices varying from two to eight, but most frequently three to six.
The earliest examples of the genre date from Italy in the 1520s, and while the center of madrigal production remained in Italy, madrigals were also written in England and Germany, especially late in the 16th and early in the 17th centuries. Unlike many strophic forms of the time, most madrigals are through-composed, with music being written to best express the sentiment of each line of a poetic text.
The madrigal originated in part from the frottola, in part from the resurgence in interest in vernacular Italian poetry, and also from the influence of the French chanson and polyphonic style of the motet as written by the Franco-Flemish composers who had naturalized in Italy during the period. A frottola generally would consist of music set to stanzas of text, while madrigals were through-composed.
However, some of the same poems were used for both frottola and madrigals. The poetry of Petrarch in particular shows up in a wide variety of genres. The madrigal is related mostly by name alone to the Italian trecento madrigal of the late 13th and 14th centuries.
The madrigal was the most important secular form of music of its time. It reached its fullest development in the second half of the 16th century, losing its importance in the early 17th century, when forms such as the solo song became more popular. After the 1630s it merged with the cantata and the dialogue, and the solo madrigal was replaced by the aria because of the rise of opera as an important genre.”
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