Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween

This weekend we did not get any trick or treaters. Boo apartment-living...but that means extra fun-size candies for my belly. I can live with that. Saturday afternoon we took a honey bee for a walk around the neighborhood park. Watch out, this bee has a mean stinger.

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Even the reddest maple tree can't handle this bee.

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We buzzed through a marsh of dying cattail...

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...and through the few leaves still around before winter.

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We buzzed...I mean we bathed under the warm autumn sun, hoping for another day like this.

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Happy Halloween!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Basic Lighting

Last Friday there was a UK Photo Day hosted by the University of Kentucky Department of Arts. It was a whole day of lecture/events all on photography, from Photoshop to night photography. Most of the classes were too advanced for me and due to time constraint I only attended one class on basic lighting.

The arts department was in this old warehouse next by an abandon train track and surrounded by cyclone fence.

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The wooden floor creaked and paint on the wall was all chipped.
I guess they are going for the rustic effect.

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There are 3 positions for placing light source and 4 settings in each position.
High (10 feet high): Front, back, side, and 45 degrees
Medium (waist level): Front, back, side, and 45 degrees
Low (ground level): Front, back, side, and 45 degrees

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All of 12 positions and heights of placing the light source will give very different feel to the picture. For example, when the light is on the low level and in the front, it would give a horror and spooky feel. Think holding a flashlight in front of your face when telling a ghost story in front of camp fire. Any kind of light would make a good light source, even the ones for construction that can be purchased at Lowe's.

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I have not done much with indoor and studio photography, occasionally food photography in my dark kitchen. Next time I am going to try moving my desk lamp into the kitchen.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

This is Halloween

After a week of anticipation, the pumpkin carving party began Saturday night.

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The party including Jake, Lola, and me doing some pains-taking pumpkin hollowing, but all that work for a good reason.

Then some creative thinking.

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A few candy bars in between.

Then more carving with my cheap 97 cents plastic saw.

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Pumpkin seeds. That is the one of the reasons why I look forward to carving pumpkins each year. This year, we got some awesome seed "harvest".

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More candies afterwards...

Ta-Da! Guess whose pumpkins this is? Hint, the owner is in the background.

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Aren't you scared!?

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The pumpkin carving party ends with a viewing of "Nightmare Before Christmas", starring me as the lead singer.

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Watch this and you will know why I am obsessed with this movie and pumpkins.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


It is cold today. I mean it's 40 degrees out but feels like 30. It's the strong wind blowing, drizzling rain, and leaves in your face kind of day. Lola does not mind the change in weather at all. Rain or shine, you would see me walking her everyday.

I took these pictures at the orchard where I was pumpkin picking last week. The scenes remind me of "My Antonia" by Willa Cather, one of my favorite books about an Eastern immigrant family living out in Nebraska. The way Cather described the Great Plains and the harsh winter of Nebraska makes you think you were actually there. Although these pictures were taken in Kentucky, I like to think this was where Antonia lived.

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Do you hear the wind whistling and coyote howling?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I, Jack the Pumpking King

Name that movie!

It's from "Nightmare Before Christmas", my favorite holiday movie.
The line was when Jack the Pumpkin King realized he was tired of creating Halloween year after year, so he decided to steal Christmas from Sandy Claws.

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I know the songs from movie so well that I could probably sing it to you.

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You would probably said no.
I won't torture you then unless you are in a car with me while I have the soundtrack blasting.

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I love being festive. Halloween party? Yes, please. Although I am not big into costumes, I do love everything Autumn-related. You can count on me for putting together a whole 6-course Thanksgiving meal, and more.

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As you can see, I went a little overboard with the pumpkins. We ended up with two large ones and one small one for Lola.

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The pumpkin carving with "Nightmare Before Christmas" is this weekend, when Jack the Pumpking and the Oogy Boogy Man will make their appearance. I will be sipping witches' brew and eating bloody brain. hehehe!

p.s. Check out the new tab on top of the page. More updates to come.

Friday, October 14, 2011


I like to run. Yes, I have other hobbies other than blogging and photography. I run on an average of 20 miles a week. I do long runs on Sundays while listening to Michael Jackson, Black Eyed Peas, and Lady Gaga. On some days I run with Lola, or more like she drags me from tree to tree and where ever squirrels are.

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On some days I just run, block after block imagining myself in a secluded woods with no cars.
And I can go on and on about car drivers who don't yield.

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Some days I get zonked out from running non-stop.
But on one good day I lucked out. My training has paid off.
That's right, I won second place in a 6K race!
Woot! Woot!

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I feel invincible.
I am thinking about doing a half marathon end of March next year.
That's 13.1 miles.
I will think more about it later, for now I need to go on a 5-mile run.
Happy Friday.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Red River Gorge

On Saturday we went hiking at Red River Gorge, which was about an hour East of Lexington. It was a beautiful day for hiking. We did a 5 mile loop that took us to top of a gorge halfway through, where we had a picnic. I love the different colors of fall. It makes me want to go pumpkin picking, fill my belly up with treat o' trick candies, and make pies.

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We started on the Double Arch Trail, stopped at Courthouse Rock for lunch, then finished the hike on the Auxier Ridge Trail.

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I spy Lola!

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Perfect spot for a picnic.

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The magnificent gorge.

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After all day of hiking, I treated myself with a generous slice of homemade apple pie. I finally succeeded in making this awesome pie recipe!

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Cupcakes Mania

I am done with mid-terms, the first of many more to come later this semester. In order to "celebrate" this short break of studying, I offered to make cupcakes for Jake's students. Lucky 40 students will get cupcakes. Lucky me get to make 40 cupcakes. Believe me, I find baking very calming.

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The cupcake mania involves one pound of butter, six cups flour, eight eggs, and three cups of sugar, and much more. This when I really need that stand-up mixer I have been dreaming of.

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Lesson here, always always always follow directions. The front four cupcakes are results of alternating milk and flour mixture, as indicated in the recipe. Martha Stewart is always right.

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12 frosted, 1 million more to go.

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Boo, hooo why can't I try a cupcake?

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I hope these cupcakes make some kids' day.

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After two layers of cupcakes and "tasting" on frosting and cupcakes all night. I am donezo. Needless to say, I scratch my idea of drawing spider webs on top of the frosting. It was like a workout in the kitchen. I did find my zen after making all these cupcakes, it took my mind off carbohydrate metabolism and the role of PPAR receptors.

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For later, part two of my workout in the kitchen: apple pie.

p.s. For the cupcake recipe, click here

Sunday, October 2, 2011


The other day I went to an exciting football game.
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It was as exciting as going to my alma mater University of Wisconsin Badger's football game, only cuter.
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 Each play had a little helmet, little uniform, little paddings, but big ambitions.

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Catch me if you can!

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Touch down!

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You guessed it, it was a middle school football game.
Where the parents, family members, teachers, cheerleaders, and fellow classmates cheered like it was the greatest game on Earth. The game that could possibly be made into a Hollywood-heartfelt-movie. Another touchdown later, it was a game that will be forever remembered by these little bumpkins. It was a sweet and heart feeling moment when all the team members huddled together to celebrate their victory.

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