Thursday, January 22, 2009

Calling all instrumentalists!

Hey! My brother just e-mailed me this link to a competition to participate in the first YouTube Symphony which will perform in Carnegie Hall! I have not read all the details yet, but I do know that we have to submit a video of a recommended piece by January 28. I'll be auditioning the last movement of Bach's Solo Sonata No. 1 in g minor for violin -- but I have to learn it first! Think I can do it???

Here's the link if you're interested:
Good luck, everyone!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Stefan as Pooh bear

Halloween 2008. Stefan is in Maylin's classroom before the Halloween Parade around the block. All the kids want to squeeze him because he's all puffy and cute in his fat Winnie-the-Pooh suit.

My happy, goofy bunch

I took this photo on Christmas Eve. Stefan had his near-mullet (long hair in the back), Maylin's smushing her face against her daddy, and John with his unshaven, vacation face. They're so happy together! We love our family!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Evil gingerbread man

Almost two weeks into the new year! Hope everyone had a great holiday. We had a relaxing one. Spent a week with Grandma and Grandpa, and a week on our own in Berkeley. It really felt like a vacation! This is the second year of Christmas cooking making in our household. The spritz cookies were beautiful and delicious (Maylin LOVED using the cookie press and sprinkling sugar and candy sprinkles over the treats), and this year, I didn't forget to put the all-important GINGER in the GINGERbread men! I even iced them this year and had a blast decorating. I didn't know icing was so easy to make. Just add enough water to powdered sugar to get the right consistency for easy manipulation (not too drippy, not too pasty). I used the tip of a chopstick(!) for icing maneuvering. So here's evil gingerbread man, kidnapping two gummi bears.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Tell me if I'm crazy

It's just after 8:00 pm and I just finished playing the first movement of a Bach partita on the piano. John gave the kids a bath and I enjoyed these free moments for some quiet music-making. The piece is very beautiful and relaxing, and I'm discovering, is more complicated than it looks. It's a two-voice piece at first glance, but when you listen to the line in the right hand, you'll hear another voice wanting to come out. None of my piano teachers ever taught me how to make these voices distinct from one another, but from listening to CDs of other pieces, I've figured it out on my own. It's very exciting to discover these hidden treasures buried in these pages of black dots and lines.

In my free time (rare as it is), you'll find me playing piano or violin these days. I'm afraid knitting has been put aside for the moment (the weather's getting warmer already). I would have a lot more free time if I didn't end up volunteering for lots of things and coming up with crazy ideas. Tell me if I'm loony to take all this on:

- Volunteered to teach two choir classes (kindergarten and first grade) after school starting in February
- Continuing to teach science to Maylin's class
- Volunteered to co-chair a large all-school cultural event (includes making school presentations, making flyers, organizing volunteers, etc.)
- Volunteered to start a brand-new newsletter for Maylin's school
- Idea: film a documentary; possible partner is mulling over my proposed topic now
- Idea: host a one-week music, art, and drama camp at my home over the summer

Friday, January 09, 2009

Horse-swing: father/daughter project

I wish I had a "before" shot of this horse. It was a faded, plastic, discarded, broken rocking horse. John found it on the street somewhere, rescued it, bought some paint, and painted it with Maylin one weekend in November. Maylin has named it "Chocolate" and we all think she's beautiful. Hung with some chain purchased from the hardware store, it's now a great swing in the backyard.

Maylin is a pirate!

I finally took out my sewing machine after about five years! Maylin and I made a simple bandana by taking a square of cool pirate fabric and hemming the edges. Serves as a dinner napkin or pirate headwrap! Ahoy, matie!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Maylin and Leo wish you a Happy New Year!

This photo was taken a couple days after Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa's. Maylin chose this one of her to share with all of you.

Maylin's photo of Mommy and Daddy

Maylin took this photo of John and me outside of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco last weekend. She did a great job!

Stefan's picture perfect

I caught Stefan in a great mood this morning. I got more smiles by saying, "Winnie the Pooh," in a funny voice. Click on photos to enlarge.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Super slaw!

I tasted this twice at a friend's house and made it twice on my own. Always slightly different, but always incredibly delicious. Don't be afraid of the peanut butter. This slaw is Asian-inspired and mayo-less. It's the perfect balance of sweet and salty, nutty and tangy. Click here for the recipe.