New soapboxes


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Check out my new Vietnamese Blog here, and English Blog here. See you there, and there!


Despite Melbourne’s property prices rocketing faster than Apollo shuttles, online doain names seem to be at their cheapest. So in I jumped and got myself a nice little block of “land” with dual occupancy potential, then sub-divided it and whacked on two townhouses. No council permit necessary. “home package” turned out to be quite easy to build, especially after lots of work with Zen Cart which trained me for this whole open-source shenanigan. Customising is fun but I do miss the community feel of, which is like a body corporate, where certain functions are given but others are restricted. Ah well, time to move out of the nanny flat and find my own space, I reckon.

So well, here we are, my spanking new soapboxes – one for my first language and one for the second. One given, one acquired, both loved equally. Not to be a separatist but I think this way I’ll have more incentive to write, especially in Vietnamese because I’m a little ashamed I don’t write and read it as much, living in Australia and having an English speaking other half and all. And from that, hopefully my translation dream will begin to materialise. One should always hope, hey?

So folks, update your address book / bookmark bar please ;). And come visit me! I’ve got a new couch, a massive chocolate cupboard, and lots of spare bedrooms.



Shameless self-promotion

I currently am

– knee-deep in a jaw-droppingly gorgeous stash of hand-sculpted lampwork glass beads from Czech, after many miles travelled, many months waited and many, many, MANY dollars spent. Am mushily in love! A very expensive love at that, though;

– going to be one of two main judges on a popular beading challange, one that I’ve participated in a few times in the past;

– asked to write loads of jewellery tutorials for Australian Beading Magazine in their upcoming October and December issues;

– invited to feature in an Artist Profile in said magazine, which includes *gasp* publishing my photos and bio info. Gosh! My mug in a mag! Not sure whether to be stoked or scared, so am being both.

Anyhoo, all boring work-related boast but can hardly contain myself at the mo. Now to get off my derrière and get those projects done before deadline, then dive head-first into abovementioned lampwork beauties.


~nimble fingers~

Language lessons

Him (tapping at my flat, squat, snub Asian nose): Button! Button! What’s “button” in Vietnamese?

Me (tossing between the Northern and Southern Vietnamese terms, then decided on what I use most): Hột nút.

Him (pronounced it as English words): Hot nut?

Me: Hahaaa! Thanks! That works too. But technically, the ‘o’ in ‘hột’ is like the ‘o’ in ‘hone’, not ‘-aw-‘ like in ‘hot’ or ‘pot’. And the ‘u’ is always ‘-oo-‘ in Vietnamese. So it should be “hot noot”.

Him: Oh, I see. Hot nude?

Me: That’s it. I’m sending you to a proper language school! A non-R-rated one!


Old couple

Him on the couch. Me on the couch. Before you start imagining stuff (!), we were watching TV. Which, as you know, is rarer than blue moons but well, there we were. He was also fixing my laptop and I was knitting a scarf I started 2 years ago. (Yes, by this rate I’ll finish it just in time to use for our future child. The second one.) So I said, do you mind unravelling this wool ball for me as I knit? He said, not a problem, and could you fetch me a cup of chamomile? And I said, ok and I’ll make myself a foot-spa.

And then it hit me. We’ve just fast-tracked our way to retirement! Oh dear!



My dear body,

Thank you a gazillion times for holding up spectacularly through a massively hectic trip, and then a gruelling work load right after. For not getting sick while I was away (although I know at one point you were very close to it), and only collapsing now that everything is over. (ah choo!) Thank you legs for dragging me around for 10-14 hours a day checking all the sights; and arms for dragging the luggage through 6 cities, 5 flights, 3 train trips, and countless walks on cobble-stones. Thanks ears for hearing, eyes for seeing, tongue for tasting, and brain for making it all happen and not getting lost (too often). You guys make such a wondrous team that I am extremely lucky to possess. I promise to look after you better, feed you healthy(er) food, gain back the 3 kilos of you that I lost, and let you dance & exercise a whole lot more. After all, we’ve got that ski trip in just under 3 months, haven’t we? 😉

I love you so much, you tough little nut!


Dust-buster blog post

Yes, it has been a while. I was contemplating starting the blog back from where I left off (i.e. before the European adventure), but have decided against it. It’ll never get done that way. So I’m just going to start from here and now, and return to fill in the gap as time goes on.

So. Back home one day and straight to (hard) work the next. Now it’s done and I’m a little lost. Even blogging feels strange. Such indulgence! (I was writing in a real notepad using a real pen on the road. No fancy formatting or photo upload or backspace button, but “back to basic” doodling and smearing ink on fingers was rather fun.) It feels just like the last day of Uni. What to do now? And then you get so overwhelmed with possibilities you don’t know where to start. Well, first thing first: going to rest my overly tired body and start on the books I bought on the trip. Oh yes of course I got books. What else do you think I’d buy?!

Back soon, digital diary.

~return of the t~

Shelter sorted

Now that airspace has been cleared over Euroland, I’ve managed to get all my accommodation & train tickets booked. It took much longer than I’d thought – reading reviews, checking maps, comparing cost, daydreaming about how it’ll be over there. (The last bit, I reckon, was the most time-consuming part.) Gosh, at this rate I’ll probably hype myself up so much that the actual trip will feel like an anti-climax, like chi Hoa said. But no matter, it was time well spent, I’ve already learnt a fair bit about the cities just from poring over Google maps and railway operators’ websites until I went cross-eyed. Because had I rushed through the whole selection process, I wouldn’t have nailed a quaint little hostel right on the river bank, smack bang in the middle of Prague! 6 days to wake up to a sight of gothic castles swathed in the morning light. Oh joy of joys! And that’s not it, 5 nights spent in a place 5 minutes to the Sacre Coeur & Moulin Rouge in Paris. Woohoo!

So does it matter that I’ll have to work my little butt off to pay back this massive credit card bill? Does it?

(Rhetorical question, of course.)

~itchy feet~

Seat selection