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The first 10 days of 2016.

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The first 10 days of 2016.

The first ten days of January 2016 was spent in bed with a cold that really kicked my butt. Those days of December working long hours, and evenings spent out and about, translated to my body saying "enough". It's the second Sunday of the new year, and I'm finally feeling human again. Five things to share during these ten days of this cold:

1. I re-discovered my love for reading physical books after reading off of my iPad for some time now. Nothing beats the smell and feel of the pages. Currently reading Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter, by Kate Clifford Larson.

2. I bought as a birthday present to myself the Sony Alpha a5100 camera, meant to be used as a little camera to take with me on days when work requires me to be out on the road all day. Though I didn't have a chance to really play with it yet, I did make time to start learning Final Cut Pro, because, why not.

3. The first thing I made when I started feeling better: Walnut Whiskey Pie.

4. Not wearing makeup or a bra for ten days equals the best ten days EVER.

5. Really taking time to just rest and take care of myself was sorely needed (obviously). Lesson to self: I must take time to just slow down from time to time. 

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A new project, a new year

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A new project, a new year

Entering into this new year, I already knew that this is going to be a year of a great number of important changes - changes that emphasize the importance of documenting them as they happen. I did a better job of documenting life when I was younger - perhaps because it was easier back then, or had more insight to gain, or perhaps Livejournal was so much more prevalent that made it too easy to put up a facade and/or feed the ego.

Some may say that Facebook is similar, but I do see some distinct differences. Whereas with Facebook I treat as a manner to share the very tip of an iceberg of life, Livejournal was a way to really dig deeper within.

Anyway, I'm digressing.

I'm calling this project of documenting these expected changes throughout 2016 as "The Sunday Project" - only because it's usually on Sunday when I do all my editing of photos that I've taken that week, while at the same time jotting down notes and thoughts related to those images. I consider this to be a project that's in the middle between Facebook and Livejournal, a project that shares a bit more than just the tip of the iceberg, but no where near as visceral and lengthy as the Livejournal posts of old.

p.s. - I read over the old Livejournal posts that I wrote in my 20s, and I just had to laugh at a few of those "woe is me" type of posts. If only I knew back then that the "woes" weren't really woeful at all, that life really wasn't as hard or as bad as it seemed, and that it gets better....better than I'd imagine.

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A Long Weekend

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A Long Weekend

It's President's Day weekend, with Valentine's Day thrown in there for good measure. The Aussie and I normally don't recognize Valentine's Day, but for this year we figured, "Why not," considering that it's on a Saturday this year.

The original plan was to dine out the night before Valentine's Day at Capo's in San Francisco, stay in on Valentine's Day with us enjoying my Beef Bourguignonne Pot Pie out on our patio lit with tea light lanterns, run some errands on Sunday, then spend the day in the city on Monday (President's Day).

Things rarely go accordingly to plan, as I'm sure you already know. Dinner at Capo's was PERFECT. We started with garlic bread with mozzarella, wild mushrooms, truffle oil, romano, and arugula. We then split a wood fired conchiglie pasta baked with dungeness crab and a Chicago pizza called "The Dillinger". It was a ton of food.

The next day (Valentine's Day), the Aussie relaxed at home while I made the Beef Bourguignonne stew. (This stew/pot pie is a definite weekend project, let me tell you.) We also had a ton of leftovers from the night before, so instead of us feasting on Beef Bourguignonne Pot Pie for dinner, we instead finished our Capo's leftovers on our tea light-lit patio while the Beef Bourguignonne stew was stored away in the fridge.

I woke up with a slight cold today. Boo. I had a late start to the day, but eventually I was able to transform the stew into a pie. As you'll see in the photos above, I thoroughly suck at crimping the edges of a dough for a pie.

But hey, at least the Beef Bourguignonne Pot Pie was delicious.

And now, I'm going back to bed with another dose of Theraflu.

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The Post Where I Talk About Birthdays

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The Post Where I Talk About Birthdays

At exactly 11:05 a.m. on New Year's Eve in 1975, I gave my beautiful mother something to scream about - by birthing me. I still get excited by my own birthday, despite me being a [pint sized] adult. It's pretty hard not to - considering that the rest of the world is celebrating with me. Here are some things I've learnt over the years:

1) The older I get, the simpler your wish list becomes. "To be alive and well" is at the top of my list, and I'm very grateful that is the case.

2) Better to give than to receive. So very true - nothing delights me more than giving loved ones a present. On my birthday two or three years ago, I made red wine velvet cupcakes for friends, which I loved doing.

3) There's no point in worrying about your age. Because really, what is there to gain from that?

4) Do not get shitfaced on your birthday. Because on the morning after, you'll be wishing that you had the metabolism of an 18 year old.

5) No matter what the celebration may be, as long as it's with loved ones, that's all it matters. The past few years, my birthday has been celebrated in a very low-key manner. But there's one thing that's been consistent: the presence of those dearest to me.

Today has been wonderful so far, with so many birthday greetings and messages. (Thank you!!!) I don't know what's in store for the rest of the day, but as of right now, I'm enjoying the quiet moment at home with the Aussie (who is able to spend the afternoon home from work).

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A brief note.

It's been awhile, hasn't it?

Hi.

It's the month of December, or as I like to call it, my birthday month. Though not a lot of activity has occurred here on yvening.com, it's been on Instagram where my recent phoot activity has occurred.

Normally during this time of year I begin to look back on past photos, and in doing so, common themes, etc etc, stands out. I'm putting together small curated posts that will be posted here on yvening.com/ruminations throughout this month. Hope you enjoy.

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Currently: 5/21/14 - The Podcasts Post!

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Currently: 5/21/14 - The Podcasts Post!

It's time for a "currently" post - the podcast version:

  1. A Cast of Kings: David Chen and Joanna Robinson discuss Game of Thrones in a manner that's intelligent and introspective from a film-enthusiast's perspective. Think: discussions on cinematography, or music chosen for any particular scene. Each Game of Thrones episode is discussed in depth and is compared to the books, without any spoilers.
  2. Mad Men Happy Hour:  Jim and A.Ron of The Bald Move Network provides episode recaps and analysis that's both smart and hilarious. My personal fave moments of this podcast have always been when Jim and A.Ron analyze a Mad Men episode scene that's truly "wtf": crass and witty.
  3. Game of Thrones Podcast: Also done by Jim and A.Ron of The Bald Move Network. Whereas A Cast of Kings is spoiler-free, this podcast has a spoiler section at the end of each podcast episode, where A.Ron goes in-depth with the books, as well as any tinfoil theories that may be floating around Reddit.
  4. Cast of Thrones: This particular Game of Thrones podcast isn't for everyone - just imagine a group of friends (who have read the G.R.R. Martin books) talking about an episode of GoT immediately after viewing it.
  5. Fighting In The War Room: This GoT podcast are for those who are caught up with the books, or who don't mind being spoiled. The main focus of this podcast is not to discuss every scene of a GoT episode in depth, but rather, to really delve into the books when certain scenes of an episode are discussed.

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Currently: 5/16/14

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Currently: 5/16/14

1. Death, Sex & Money: Anna Sale's podcast about "the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation." 

2. NPR's "This American Life": Many years ago, I used to make the long commute from the East Bay to the South Bay for work. During those commutes, I would listen to National Public Radio's "This American Life", which made the grueling commute so much more bearable.

3. How to make Shoyu Ramen - from scratch. 

4. The Mind of a Chef: The first season, featuring Chef David Chang, is now available on Netflix. The second season, which featured Chefs Sean Brock and April Bloomfield, has ended. Season 3, which takes viewers inside the minds of Chefs Ed Lee and Magnus Nilsson, will begin airing on PBS in early September.

http://www.pbs.org/food/shows/the-mind-of-a-chef/ Chang explains how to make fish sauce, a common, but rotten ingredient in many tasty dishes.

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Currently: 5/7/14

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Currently: 5/7/14

What I'm currently enjoying, sharing, etc etc:

  1. http://www.viralnova.com/funny-true-graphs - TRUTH.
  2. Ona Bags for Photographers: In looking through Looking Glass Photo & Camera's online section for bags, cases, and straps, these Ona bags have me DROOLING. I especially love the Union Street bag in the color Smoke.
  3. Caroline Hirons on YouTube: Caroline Hirons, a skincare specialist who keeps a great blog here, now has a YouTube channel. Which is GREAT, considering that the thing I love most about Ms. Hirons is her no-nonsense delivery of information and humor. Oh, British humor, how I love thee.
  4. Shameless Fripperies: Karima McKimmie is a gorgeous young lady from Australia who shares her knowledge on makeup on her blog and on YouTube. Now, I may be biased since I'm married to an Aussie, but what stands Shameless Fripperies out from the rest of the makeup blogosphere (and there is a shit-ton of those blogs out there), is that Ms. McKimmie gives her opinions on brands etc. in a manner that's sincere, genuine, and removed of any current trend. If you read enough of those blogs out there, it may begin to seem like most are talking about the same exact thing at the same time, trying so hard to be "smart" and "cool" and not really having an opinion of their own. Ms. McKimmie pays no mind to any of that, and she doesn't try to be smart and cool, because...she just is.
  5. Schierke Artists: This is a site that I visit often, and it never fails to provide inspiration and awe. An agency that manages photographers, illustrators, creatives, and stylists, Schierke's online showcase of work is a dream.

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