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Sunday, December 27, 2015

相忘於江湖 Rendezvous in NYC 4. The Epilogue

過去幾年心不放在自己身上, 很受外力影響, 觀影看戲得過且過.  今年圖窮匕現心竅頓開, 深感人性複雜, 最難堪是朋友之間嫉妒, 最難為是敵人互相欣賞.  這幾個月反覆掙扎, 其實就是部葵花寶典: 欲練神功, 引刀自宮. '自宮'當然是作家象徵性的寫法, 我的解讀為戒急用忍, 在任何微型社會, 為達到目標, 需要克制自己性格中與主流文化相抵觸的層面.
My trip to NYC concluded the turbulent yet amazing 2015 with a pensively beautiful note.  I also fulfilled a promise to myself earlier in the summer: to think less and to sketch more!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

她慢慢帶走沈默 Rendezvous in NYC 3.  Muse Runs When You Look Away

Not sure how that ritual inaugurated, having breakfast at the Balthazar in SOHO is quintessential NYC for me.  The line for the Thanksgiving brunch was too long so my friend C and I went to its younger, hipper sister branch Lafayette instead for coffee and canele. 

這些年忙著生活反倒忘記如何好好活, 此番偽單身的小旅行開啟檢視內心世界的契機.
我對老派禮數傾心, 譬如, 上樓梯女士先, 下樓梯男仕前, 她失足他接住.  譬如, 水煮蛋盛在骨瓷杯裏, 延著杯緣往上輕輕敲, 以小銀匙勺… 那是蘇活區的Balthazar, 屬於紐約回憶的早餐儀式.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

她靜悄悄的來過 Rendezvous in NYC 2.  Muse Comes When You Stop to Call Her

No matter how many years I have left the city, there will be a fragment of NYC in me.  Whether it is the light and shadow on the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum or the sound from the fountain of the garden court inside the Frick Collection.  There, I blossomed into who I have always been and who I really am.
photo credit:  Frick Collection

紐約求學生涯極溫柔的回憶是拿著學生證免費逛遍世界級的博物院美術館:  有幾處所在如老朋友, 心靜心煩心慌心喜都得上那兒待個半晌, 如大都會美術館光影分明的Temple of Dendur和Frick Collection鑲著小小噴水池的中庭, 偏愛週末的早晨攜著繪本進門, 禪修似的眼觀鼻鼻觀心, 畫到時間凝結筆尖, 懂得與自己和平相處是門藝術.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

江湖 Rendezvous in NYC 1.  The Prelude

The common thread for year 2015 has been impromptu, a rare action for an analytical mind.  Perhaps as life proceeds, we all realize that time is running fast, running out and therefore one either seizes the moment or the moment is lost forever.
想著感恩節當天飛紐約, 萬一空城餓肚子太可憐, Expedia找到位於小義大利和中國城交界的精品旅館, 房間簡約色彩鮮明, 落地窗對著紅磚房, 頗有隱於市的味道.  斜角便是百年義式糕餅老店, 街上有中藥行海味鋪算命攤酒吧咖啡室, 簡直王家衛加史柯西斯.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

藥引 Miss LK's Rhapsody 7th Anniversary

今年過得抑揚頓挫, 似乎有位才華洋溢卻仍摸索著創作方向的音樂家, 繃緊我的心緒為弓, 調度我的情緒為弦, 悠悠拂奏闕闕樂曲, 時輕快俏皮, 如拋媚眼, 曲誤周郎顧... 時沈斂抑鬱, 是忽聞江上弄哀箏, 若含情, 遣誰聽奏著奏著金鼓齊鳴, 十面埋伏後戛然而止, 一片寂靜只聽到自己心跳的險意.
My anniversary post should have happened in May and the long delay only demonstrates:

Poor time management,
Life has been overwhelming,
I am too absorbed in the action and therefore neglecting the reflection…

All of the above.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

上海念 READ! Shanghai

近來領悟, 自己存活於兩個世界.  一個我, 人生若只如初見, 悠悠盪漾於佛羅倫斯名畫春天前, 臨摹大師筆法, 研究著女神們光潔的髮絲肌膚, 如何透過薄如蟬翼的輕紗呼吸, 所有細節在一支筆一柄刀, 手腕的力道轉合.  另一個我天天通勤時時開會, 協商人事物力, 腦海跑著一頁接一頁的數據報表.  此趟商旅光是開頭的整合風波連連, 等到政治角力席捲, 我才幌然大悟前後發生什麼事.  仁者樂山, 智者樂水, 遇到困境, 老莊信徒如我, 直覺是走出去看世界! 於印度的行程申請半天自費往泰姬瑪哈朝聖, 興沖沖裁畫紙收拾畫具, 準備好好描繪世界奇景… 人算總不如天算, 風塵僕僕到達官陵, 才知道管理局不準人畫畫, 心死了大半, 此事容後再敍.
Shanghai is a beauty, very difficult to court and too savvy to be ignored.  I don’t like how she exudes the scent of fortune, likely due to my anemic wallet yet in a very rare occasion when she smiles with her chin tilted and eyes glanced sideways, I wish I have the gold to turn her head.  I really do.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

我的S教授 Sara Little Turnbull

"The quality of life of a people dictates what they design, what they make.  It is a reflection of life itself."
____ Sara Little Turnbull (September 21, 1917 - September 4, 2015)

Monday, September 7, 2015

與子偕老 Love Crime

There are three objectives that I want to accomplish in this post:  an ode to Hannibal series finale(not again?!),  some reflections on my birthday(older yes, wiser surely not), and a tribute to Painting Set Free, the Turner exhibition at de Young(yes and yes, from the bottom of my heart!). This is exactly how the mind works - a fierce cacophony of inspirations, aspirations, and impugning emotions.

The Angel Standing in the Sun
Exhibited 1846

And I saw an angel in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God.
_ Revelation 19:17

Monday, August 17, 2015

喧囂 Too Loud A Solitude

If, if I am to write another post inspired by Hannibal, God, I need help!  Beyond helps I am.  It is Dante where the frail maiden eats a piece of your burning heart from the fair hand of Venus.  It is E.E. Cummings when your glance of knowing ignites my soul.  After Dr. Lecter studied the files of Francis D, he summed up, 'This is a very shy boy, Will.  I would love to meet him.'  How Hannibal saw the root of the root with a nonchalant empathy was disturbing.
Blue Bottle Coffee at the old Border's location in Palo Alto.

每週觀賞Hannibal後我都會陷入浪漫的沈思不可自拔, 這可是食人魔的故事啊! 是不是內心深處的我其實是個大變態呢?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

祝福 8.15 I Came, I saw, I Vancouvered

It all started with La Primavera.  Season 3 Hannibal made a twisted(as usual) reference to Botticelli's masterpiece and since then, I had an ardent desire to revisit the Uffizi Gallery.  My last trip to Florence must have been fifteen years ago!  Blaming midlife crisis for my sudden wanderlust is simply lazy psychiatry.  One must call your pal for a pep talk know thyself and after catching up with my old friend M, Vancouver here I come!
炎夏將盡, 一年一度的偽單身生活也快結束, 趕緊把握機會做些只有單身貴族能做的事(我可沒有偷偷摸摸上銀行換整疊壹元小鈔然後呼朋引伴到俱樂部撒錢喔 :P), 突然想到去年過大生日的老朋友M, 他計劃訪友之旅給自己當生日禮物, 說著說著始終未成行. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

馬桶和勞改 Summer Staycation

部落格式微儼然解放思維, 仍然造訪的讀者是真正覺得文字有趣, 留言非捧場或禮尚往來, 純粹是對味.  本人死黨Dr. C寧願刨完整套肉麻兮兮吸血鬼愛素食少女的'暮光之城'也從不讀敝格, 嫌中文太多嘮嘮叨叨, 找我或電話或簡訊或乾乾脆脆約見面, 即可.  回頭看過去自己寫的文章, 有意無意維持著氣質才女的形象, 我本人的確頗有才華, 絕非震古爍今, 所以沒沾沾自喜的必要.  氣質我行我素, 不憂鬱不文青, 比較近似[傲慢與偏見]裏娶著年輕時美女老後變神經潑婦那無奈中涵蘊諷刺幽默的Mr. Bennet!
My desk...

One hundred years of solitude is no doubt, unbearable and requires such endurance, unless you are Florentino from Love In The Time of Cholera.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

白髪魔女傳 The Legend of OBS

A surreal selfie in front of 'Under The Sea' automatic installation at the legendary Wako department store.  Press the button and waves of coiled blue tubes will start undulating.
和光百貨的櫥窗, 六月天穿風衣花喇吧褲的大洋遊俠是我.

Freshly landed home.  A trip to Tokyo and Taipei, the twin cities that both celebrate Lolita-ism(is there such a word?)

To get the term straight and out of the way first, O-Ba-San means old lady in Japanese.  It is different from Ma-Ma-San, a word describing the amateur shrink specializing in businessmen midlife crisis the professional socialite escort prevalent in Ginza during bubble economy, the modern geisha, so to speak.  On my flight across the Pacific, I watched The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  Literally the movie sports an amazing cast of O-Ba-Sans and a hot O-Ji-San, Richard Gere :)  I laughed my heart out and only wished my own mother could learn a thing or two from these bright spirits.  Being an Asian and a renown beauty among her peers, my dear mama still looks young, pretty yet full of petty, bitter complaints, not acknowledging that Father Kronos has bestowed her a rare gift.  I on the contrary, had been an O-Ba-San since I was eight.  Just imagine an old soul entrapped in the ruthless young physique, what fuss!

Monday, May 25, 2015

我發誓 I Swear

movie poster from 'I Am Love' 

Okay, okay, the name of the movie is 'I AM Love'.  Occasionally the Chinese writing clashes with the English writing in my blog post.  It is tongue-in-cheek or schizophrenic, whichever you prefer.  I have been wanting to see this movie and saving it for that one, undisturbed afternoon when I could just absorb myself in it.  I LOVE Tilda Swinton.  Her unique features and distinct physique instantly create an otherworldly aura yet she morphs into the character, every character she is destined to embody.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

貝夫人 Madame Bijoux

The midlife crisis has finally, officially hit me - I spent x sum of money at Tiffany yesterday indulging myself with accessories from my favorite designer, Elsa Peretti!  I e-mailed Mr. LK who's traveling for business right now to see if he will reimburse me for the 'Mother's Day Gift' but met with silence.  Honey, at least I did not come home with a Lamborghini...  I have been a minimalist my whole life up to now; I am my own rock and nothing really turned my head.  It just happened that I came back exhausted from a whirlwind business trip to Asia(and then hubby traveled right the way), needed to tackle a tricky case as soon as I stepped into the office, and got downloaded a new project that really is just another big marketing charade.  I cannot help but to wonder… I must have a more important mission on this earth and what is it?  I am stopping right here or about to break out singing Les Miserables… 

Oh my friends, my friends, don't ask me
What your sacrifice was for
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will sing no more
I met several colorful characters during the trip, the perfect inspiration for my future career as a novelist :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

維多利亞 The Victoria Harbor

中國兵家必爭, 永遠是商旅重頭戲, 這幾年主力早放在深圳和東莞等工業城, 香港是意思意思, 兜個圈, 白頭宮女話當年.  當洲際飯店仍名麗晶時, 那全覽維多利亞海港的大廳很具派頭, 比起半島或拆前的淺水灣酒店多幾分洋氣... 現下亂哄哄, 彷彿精神錯亂的菜市場.  中國遊客忒多, 近來流行ㄧ式妝扮:  中分烏溜長直髪, 鮮紅櫻唇,, 若隱若現淺色半透明罩衫, 及大腿跟的超短褲... 不解風情如我, 亦驚駭這究竟是原始慾望還是瞎眼時尚?  那晚於洲際大廳要喚杯welcome drink, 迎面而來三三兩兩如此制式女郎, 其中ㄧ位略豐腴的高聲喊道: "我要尿尿!", 抑揚頓挫字正腔圓, 她大小姐勢如名模, 旁觀的我卻忍笑忍的(是, 該我要尿了).
There is only so long a landmark can rest on its old time glory.  The expiration of The InterContinental is about to come.  For 2/3 of the price, one can easily stay at the Four Seasons SZ and still take care of all business needs.  Be aware.
洲際早餐向來出名, 清晨入廳會見到法國人樣的經理全員訓話並姿姿整整水果的擺盤, 廳內我光顧多年的麵檔這次去竟改頭換面了... 本來有現做的雲吞麵, 魚蛋粉, 牛丸米線, 隨客人自搭. 現在大抵顧及主流觀光客, 乾脆簡易三分天下:  韓國麵, 中國麵, 日本麵.  碗盞之間聯合國縮影, 妥協的不只是那消失的地方口味, 而是對強權另類文攻武掠的低頭. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

市井新德里 The Best Exotic New Delhi

On our flight to New Delhi, a very chatty Singapore Airline steward kept cracking jokes to a cabin of weary travelers.  'Come on, it's New Delhi.  We made it!  I can spend like a king in the market.' he exclaimed theatrically in his Singlish.  I wanted to choke him.
I was humbled by what I saw in India often, the desolated ancient ruins, the intricate beyond belief craft, the sultry colors, the poverty stricken city patches... and people survived.

我喜歡香郁的印度香料奶茶, 亦入境隨俗於早餐時分嚐試當地烘餅佐鷹嘴豆泥, 常常豪邁的手抓喫食, 人會不會跟著隨興起來?  我本來就不是飯後攬鏡噘嘴塗艷紅唇膏的人才, 酒足飯飽傻笑兼打嗝頗自得其樂.

人是物非星洲咖哩雞飯 The Taste of Curry Chicken Rice in Singapore

I stopped by Singapore Changi Airport twice this trip, in transit from Manila to Jakarta and in transit from Jakarta to New Delhi.  What's my must do, must buy, must have in Changi?  A bowl of curry chicken rice and teh(milk tea) it was!  Perhaps the flavor profile of the local chicken rice has evolved,  I was left lost.
新加坡真真日新月異, 離開不過三年, 那想念的咖哩雞飯味道已變調, 或者, 回憶總是多幾分渴望的鮮辣.  朋友不解我為什麼如斯懷念新加坡, 其實我想念的是當年那個有點天真, 願意為愛情親情放下所有企圖心的自己.  現在的我開始老謀深算起來, 不時食不知味, 像亂世但不怎麼忠心的孤臣, 為自己的小謀略竟得意偷笑. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

蔓藤之旅 For The Love of Rattan from Jakarta to Cirebon

Growing up in Asia and now living in the Bay Area, I thought I have seen the worst of traffic until I visited Jakarta this time... And then we had to get up 4 AM in the morning to catch a slow train to Cirebon.
The scenery along the journey was both melancholily rural and deserted industrial.
整趟印尼行時不時冒出二戰電影似的畫面,從飛機直駛閘門的停機坪到破落泥屋與水稻田... 深切感到政府貪污無能,人民可憐絕望.  印尼菜鹹辣也不大對味,除了晨起的雞粥稍能溫脾.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

馬尼拉之夜 Last Night In Manila

名符其實的旅途中了.  於馬尼拉商務總是行色匆匆, 想著四月份部落格要開天窗, 換個隨走隨寫的方式也不錯.
Not knowing where I was, just sitting in the car in the gridlock traffic of Manila... What an interesting facade.
Ended the meetings slightly ahead of schedule so we decided to venture out from the hotel.  Blackbird, former international air terminal converted chic restaurant recommended by a local friend.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

迷靡謎之音 Cozy Mystery and 'Domesticated' Felicity

Spring cleaning and kitchen remodel denoted a hectic but fulfilling March.  The process was never easy and there would be more home improvement projects to come.  At least for now, we can have a moment to celebrate creature comforts - the crystal chandelier purchased several years ago has been hung from the ceiling of the breakfast nook at last.

Something else also triggered my musicality.

Friday, February 13, 2015

指南心 The Golden Compass

My Golden Compass diagram was inspired by this article.

How do I even begin, to depict a series of curious events that one would think only exists in Lemony Snicket’s soliloquy?  Since last November, LK family underwent a witch-hunt in a modern day private elementary school.  The saga started with an unsatisfactory parent teacher conference, then the principal office meeting, and when we challenged the school administration

Saturday, January 31, 2015

新年 To Finish What I Started

I started this portrait a couple years ago, painted it here and there, added embellishment from time to time... It was meant to remotely portraying infamous Countess Elizabeth Bathory but turned out resembling Lady Mary's nemesis, Mabel Lane Fox(!)  The transformation sort of parallels my soulful journey from glum to comic relief :). That's it for now.  Busy, busy January.
眼看一月份部落格要開天窗了, 急急忙忙登幅幾年前開始的, 陸陸續續添筆的畫像. 提醒自己別次次三分鐘熱度, 虎頭蛇尾 :(  二月底我母親生日, 近幾年母女磨擦對峙亦趨溫緩, 或許是看著小V日漸長大, 我突然回憶起年幼時的我如何孺慕父母吧!  仍十分美麗的母親似乎擁有新的追求者(怎麼有點Downton Abbey Season 5的味道?!) 所以新年無啥了不起的志向, 希望自己行事有始有終, 我愛的人都能幸福 :)
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