Wednesday, June 27, 2012


What do you do with your leftover glass bottles?  You could construct a giant Qilin using 13,000 of Chinese medicine bottles to built one these mythical creatures.  For this lantern, a total of 40,000 colorful bottles were pieced together to create the Qilins and the giant vase with the crystal ball on top.
Qilins are rare creatures composed of different animal forms, some real and some mythical.  They look fierce, but they are peaceful creatures that can walk on grass without harming it and can even walk on water.  Qilins are said to appear in areas ruled by wise and kind leaders.  (Do you know individuals that could be considered wise and kind leaders?)   Although normally gentle, they are quick to defend the righteous against evil by spouting flames from their mouths, making them symbols of protection, success and longevity.
QQ, this lantern is for you!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


There are a total of 14 lanterns lining along the path near the Spink Pavilion, adjacent to the Central Axis.  The 12 lanterns (below) represent the signs corresponds to the 12 animals in Chinese Zodiac.  On dispaly at each end was the above listing of the years the person was born and what animal would be associated with him/her characteristics. 
The animals in the Chinese Zodiac are fabled to have held a race across a river for a place among the signs.  Rat used his clever ways to be the first to get across (often at the expense of others), and is the first animal in the Zodiac.  The other eleven followed in succession.  Each Zodiac sign corresponds to a calendar year, and the cycle repeats every twelve years.  All the animals have specific characteristics associated with them, and the people are thought to assume the qualities of the animals into which year they are born.
I don't really believe that my fortune of the present and future is based on whatever Chinese or Western astrological sign occurred in the year I was born.  Of course, that did not stop people from asking me questions about Chinese Zodiac or about Asian cultures as if I was the "official representative".  At a former workplace, a manager just came back from lunch at a local Chinese buffet and wanted to know more about the astrological signs of the twelve animals.  I politely provided a brief explanation that the Dragon is the most favorable animal.  Families (especially in China) would plan their pregnancies so that the child would be born in the year of the Dragon.
He then asked about arranged marriages.  I said that today most marriages are no longer arranged and probably more thru on-line matching services.  However, most traditional Chinese families are still following certain practices such as a good match would base on the compatibility of a girl's and boy's astrological signs, birth dates, and family backgrounds.  The wedding date is determined also based on the couple's signs and birth dates to be sure of a favorable beginning.  I gave an example that if a girl was born in the year of the Tiger, she would face difficulty finding a suitor whose signs that were not also a Tiger or a Dragon.  A boy with other signs such as Dog, Sheep or even Snake would be too "afraid" to be married (overpowered or killed) by a wife that was born in the year of a Tiger.   "What kind of crap is that?" he said and walked away.  I wish I could respond to his idiotic comment, "You asked me a question about my heritage.  I was polite in my anwers and all you could say was this insulting comment.  Next time, look up on internet yourself.  You probably will find your sign was either a pig or an ass!"


Saturday, June 16th - It is a beautiful sunny day with glorious blue sky just like in these photos I took a few weeks ago at the festival.  I walked around saying hello to those helping at various booths as fundraising for non-profit organizations.  I know most of the volunteers from working together at previous community events.  "You are just like a typical politician", my husband said to me after my "tour" of public obligations.  Normally, I would be flattered by such comment.  However, given the current state we are in (incompetent leaders, disregard for human lives and shameful behaviors in government), both in America and around the world, I should feel insulted by my husband's comment!
I thought the title "Pharoah's Fury" and the photos of the ship swinging back and forth are sort-of appropriate to describe my recents weeks.  We had a successful event on Thursday.  I got to the office at 8:30 a.m., drove to the Banquet Hall at 2:30 p.m. to get ready for the event starting at 5:30.  It concluded at 9:45 p.m.; I loaded up the after-event stuff into the car and got home almost midnight!  Unlike the previous workplace where I handled most of the arrangments, there were many other staff working that night.  However, I was expected to take care majority of the work being that the event was part of my job description. 

After two weeks of putting extra time (average 9+ hours everyday), I really look forward to going back to the regular schedule.  I am still trying to get used to being hourly compared to having always been a salary employee.  There is no time-clock to punch in-and-out, just an expection that I have to be at my desk by 8:30 and leave at 5:00 p.m.  At this point in my life, I don't really get excited about the overtime pay.  I would rather trade the money for time-off, not working on either Friday or Monday.  As I get older, a 3-day weekend has become more precious than an extra digit in the net income column.
I hope you all have a relaxing weekend.  Any big plans for July 4th celebrations?

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Above lantern is the Blissful Wedding.  The wedding banquet marks the conclusion of the elaborate traditional Chinese wedding ceremony, which also includes a processional from the bride's home to the groom's.  In Chinese society, the wedding banquet is sometimes considered more important than the actual wedding itself and features such important ceremonies as the bride's presentation of wine or tea to her parents, her new in-laws, her spouse and their guests.
"Is your husband Vietnamese?" was the question that I have been asked so many times by mostly non-Asian individuals.  Even when I point at my nametag that reads "TOTA Pulaski" (ok, I made that up), and explain that "Pulaski" is my married name, the person still said, "Is that Vietnamese?".  I smiled, "Does Pulaski sound like Vietnamese to you?".  The person then said, "I don't know Vietnamese, so I can't really tell if Pulaski is Vietnamese or not."  (Even the fools are entitled to their opinion!)   Let me be clear, I am not accusing these individuals who asked such idiotic question as being racist or prejudice.  I just want to know if anyone who is either of European descent (white) or African (black) would be asked the same question, "Is your wife white?" or "Is your husband black?".  I am proud of my heritage and I enjoy sharing story about my family coming from Viet Nam.  What I don't care for is a stranger or individual who only meet me for a few minutes and upon learning that I am a married person, immediately asked, "Is your husband Vietnamese?".  What is the purpose and if I was not Asian, would the person ask such question?  Next time I think I will reply, "No, he is Mexican and I married him for the green card."  Feel free to share your thoughts, comments or suggestions.
The bride wears a red dress and elaborate headpiece, and the groom usually wears a sash forming an "X" in front of him.  (Is that like XOXO or to surrender his freedom - haa haa?)  In China (or most Asian country) red symbolizes fertility, happiness, good luck, and of course, marriage.  It just occurs to me what colors do Chinese accountants use to show negative (in the red) and positive (in the black), does anyone have the answer?  


Above is a lantern entitled Jiang Tai Gong Fishing.  According to the brochure, Jiang Tai Gong was an expert in military affairs, and hoped that one day he could help overthrow the evil Shang ruler.  He waited patiently, fishing with no hook, believing that the fish would come to him of their own volition when they were ready.  (Please don't try this technique, you would be waiting for a long time!) Eventually he was made prime minister by King Wen of Zhou, who gave him the name Jiang Tai Gong.  He later helped Wen's son, King Wu, overthrow the Shang dynasty.
I am sure you know that the reasons I have not been blogging not because I have gone fishing in Montana or have gone on bass catching trip in Canada.  There is a major fundraising event coming up at my new job and by the time I got home after a hard day of working (or hardly working - haa haa), I did not have much energy left to write or even post cheesy photos (I sure have lot of those)!  Of course, some of you might be aware that the Stanley Cup Finals between the New Jersey Devils v. the Los Angeles Kings are still going on.  The Kings won the first 3 games, the Devils came back strong and won games 4 and 5 to force game 6 back to LA on Monday.  My husband said that I am probably the only person in St. Louis or the entire state of Missouri, still watching hockey.
Also from the brochure - The Shang dynasty lasted from the 16th through the 11th centuries B.C.  The Zhou dynasty lasted from 1046 to 256 B.C.
I have been working 9+ hours almost everyday.  I even worked 6+ hours last Saturday.  At the new job, I am willing to give 100% and remembered from the interview that there would be long hours as part of my responsibilities.  However, at this point in my life, I no longer get excited about the potential of being noticed for possible advancement.  My attitude is "been there done that".  That rat race no longer is part of the competition I want to spend the rest of my life reaching.  In my previous employment, there were many times I put in 60+ hours, weekends, took work home, and always trying to make things better, and after 11 years of dedication, I was thrown off the bridge!
So the lesson for today is to go fishing or do whatever brings you happiness!


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