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Thanks Panera…no thanks ComEd August 25, 2007

Posted by Chris W in general, reflections, show all entries.
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Thanks Panera…no thanks ComEd

Originally uploaded by legos+dream.

We still have no power…since Thursday afternoon after the crazy storms here in Chi-town. =(

ComEd said that it would be restored by this Saturday morning 11am.

Guess we are spoiled.

Its not bad really.

This is nothing compared to the many disasters that come to mind in the recent history….nothing.

Candles and flashlights are our best friends…and matches of course.

And of course Panera for their free wifi…of course their pick 2s were great too…the summer salads (strawberry poppy chicken and the mozarella salads) are great.

So we have our Nokia phones charged up for the day and so is the MBP….we are set….until tomorrow that is. We’ll just power-hop.

Little conveniences we take for granted.

Gave us a chance to discover the joys of playing gin by candlelights.


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Invest Wisely…first year bliss… August 13, 2007

Posted by Chris W in reflections, show all entries.
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Moleskine Page

Originally uploaded by legos+dream.

This has got to be the best cookie fortune that I have come across in a while.

Every now and then I think about the mighty moolah…the greenback, you know money $$$…kaching, cha-ching…gimme some o dat bling bling….

My thoughts tend to gravitate towards the lack thereof….or the lust for more I should say.

Its funny, becos’ in my daily reading, I was sharing with Mel that verse in Proverbs about how wealth is describe as having wings like eagles…(Prov. 23:5)…interesting….sounds like someone’s trying to tell me something….

So about a year or so ago, I made an investment that would be considered very wise…yup last time I checked, the diamond’s still there…a well crafted ring. I’d like to report that the ring the diamond’s attached to, is more importantly, still attached to the person that reciprocated my investment.

1 year 1 day 11hours and 30 minutes later….we are enjoying married life more and more each day…we sleep, eat, play…do everything and do nothing together…if its not too much to say, we do everything together and we enjoy it.

Its great to do the normal and usual stuff together…like going to work everyday, but what makes it better is coming home from that long work day and spending our short but sweet evenings together.

Though some things we can do without like the fights and those long business trips that I had been taking lately to Dubai. Actually, Mel’s in Michigan for a conference/workshop today and tomorrow. All these make the coming home and the making up much much sweeter…it makes us appreciate the other more…it makes me realize how far from perfect we are and how much grace we need from the other…

Green Dolphin Street

So this past weekend we celebrated our first year of bliss by doing what’s most important, spending time together. We had some nice quiet dinners….on Friday we went to the neighborhood Italian place and sat outside for dinner…it was nice out.

Saturday was a real treat, since we rarely “go out” =)

We went over to the Green Dolphin Street…had some dinner and then later on adjourned to their jazz club area for some live music…the Baritones were playing (rhythm and blues)…the food was good..mel had the beet salad followed by the steak and crab cake entree…i started with the spinach salad and the rack of lamb…we were stuffed after all that…

We spent most Sunday, the actual day of our anniversary at church and later on we spent some time with the youth working on the upcoming conference Uprising…www.uroth.org


Much too much has happened this year…happy, sad…its been such a blessing to see the timing of things and how everything fell into place…can’t imagine going through this past year “alone”…

Here’s to many more to come…

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I still miss you… July 7, 2007

Posted by Chris W in reflections, show all entries.
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Originally uploaded by legos+dream.

I like peanut brittle.

It was never something I loved or necessarily something that I would occasionally have a craving for.

I certainly don’t dislike it.

A fusion of salty and sweet, a crumbly treat.

Caramelized sugar and peanuts in a brittle brick.

I used to think it was an unsophisticated, cheap and simple snack for simple people. It inevitably came in completely unassuming clear plastic packaging that was candle-flame sealed.

No fancy graphics.

No brand.

No logo.


Just peanuts. Whole, halved but mostly mashed up peanuts and frequently amalgamated with sesame seeds in a bite sized brick.

A simple snack for a simple man.

No thanks, not for me.

I’ll pass.

Another occasion that I remember the peanut brittle from would be on significant Chinese holidays. These sweets would be one of the many treats on the “remembrance table” for papa’s papa. Prepared chicken, pork, a variety of other dishes and sweets became “offerings” on this table.

All this, the burning of joss paper and “casting” for lucky numbers is a paying of respect that I never really took seriously or cared for. I don’t think papa appreciated my attitude since it seemed to matter much to him. Perhaps if I had knew the man, all this might have meant something to me. The only grandparent I knew was mama’s mama.

Peanut brittle.

Much later on, whenever I was traveling home from the US, I’d make sure to get some. Branded, boxed and packaged…sugar free ones and even sent some from Traverse City when I was working there. Papa said it was very “buttery and fragrant” but it was very “heaty” and “too sugary”. Diet restricted his consumption of the treats but not his enjoyment.

Peanut brittle.

I crave it every now and then…especially on significant Chinese holidays.

Save some for me.

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Meeting my future mate: Part 1 June 19, 2006

Posted by curlysue in reflections, show all entries, wedding 101.
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For all my dear friends and family, I want to introduce you to my future mate…Christopher. Han Wei is his chinese name meaning "proud to be chinese". He is the first born and only son…very prominent position in a chinese family. Lots of responsibility and affection toward this heir because he willl carry on the family name…and hopefully our children will bless the Wong legacy too!

Occupation: environmental graphic designer
Hobbies: food + photography as is apparent from our flckr site (check us out), soccer, rugby, basketball, sleeping (i've told him this is not a hobby but he insists that it is), music + drums
Qualities: there are so many so i'll just name a few: creative, honest, trustworthy, passionate, loyal, loving, devoted…
How did we meet?

I started helping chris with the college ministry in fall 2003…i was just finishing my graduate work and had more time for church activities and had finished a summer bible study with the college girls…this was a good transition into helping Chris with the college ministry. We started working together in planning for the fall bible study and then i made a trip to east asia… chris and i had slowly begun to know each other before i left for this trip…i admired him, but was very consumed with my future plans for china.

absence makes the heart grow founder i guess…when in asia i thought about him a lot…and everywhere i turned i saw guys that kind of looked like him…which made me think of him even more…he sent me a couple of emails that also encouraged me…mostly that he was thinking of me too, even if most of their contents were about ministry. i returned right before thanksgiving and our big church conference…we were again working closely on the college ministry and at the same time getting to know each other. i started admiring him more…his devotion and sacrificial giving of himself really impressed me…he also was great with his Godkids and i thought that was endearing… of course i struggled with these feelings because it wasn't in my direct future plans to fall in love…

i finally confided in my pastor's wife about these feelings and she gave me good advice to just wait upon God and give these feelings over to him. chris and i continued to work on college ministry and it was funny because the group had decided to cover the topic of dating on one of our final meetings before christmas…so chris and i had to meet up before to discuss the dating issue…

we met up at starbucks and this guy orders tea…not a coffee drinker like me…anyway that is okay. we ended up talking about our perspectives on dating and it was another confirmation for me in that both of us were on the same page as far as dating…we worked on the dating with a biblical perspective and then i invited him to join my friends and i for dinner…not a DATE…but this way my friends could check him out!

as christmas and the post holidays progressed i continued to stress over the what if he likes me and i like him and we start dating…then what?! with wise counsel from friends and family, I continued to trust in God's plans and timing for my future…i know that God was in control and He gave me a peace…then

chris called me up, which was not unusual because he would call me about ministry…this time was a bit different…the tone in his voice was weird…he seemed nervous or troubled…he ask me if i was free on saturday to talk…i said sure…he said we need to talk about you and I…then he basically cut the conversation short and said that he would meet me at my place on saturday…which was january 17th…

to be continued!

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More than just an eye May 21, 2006

Posted by Chris W in reflections, show all entries.
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An eye for an eye…your life, limb and everything else too.

Because by demanding the same that’s owed, never usually bring equity to the offenses against us. Your eye for mine will not be enough. Even the satisfaction that it brings varies, occassion to occassion. On a good day, we might be able to let the monkey slide off our back; brush it off to somewhere between vengeance and oblivion.

Other times, like I said, your eye is just not enough. That, perhaps will let us start off from the same foot…sort of level the playing field again, at which point I would then love to be at a place to exploit, take advantage and perhaps exact some form of vengeance. We hate being taken advantage of, but love getting away with things when we can, love whenever life deals us with an upper hand.

Its no wonder those laws didn’t work.

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fine print world May 15, 2006

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handle with care

Originally uploaded by solja.

We live in a fine print world. Everything carries those delicately-sized type, from cell phone contracts to the pipping hot styrofoam coffee cups. The "fine print" that we encounter are not necessarily confined to the printed medium. Radio ads often employ speed readers rattling off their aural fine print sounding like maniacs on a caffiene+sugar high.

Even our everyday conversations and interactions with people (family, friends, coworkers etc) are underscored with the similar "verbal maneuvers". Guised in such feel good notion of being sensitive, considerate, gracious and all things "feel good" are nothing more than euphemisms for trust-less, insecurity, insincere, fake, lies. Pieces of turd coated with sugar, sincerely passed-off as genuine.

We love to lie to ourselves, that's why we not only give permission to others but encourage them wholeheartedly to do the same to us. So they lie to us since we first lie to ourselves; because we know what we don't want to hear. Bloody hypocrites.

While the cautionary message may be found on the side of many a styrofoam coffee cup; it bears no genuine-kind consideration for our safety as we partake of its contents. It's a fine reflection of our base nature. The same one that tells you its ok because no one is looking; it doesn't matter cos' they won't miss it; pass the buck; not me, he did it.

Here's the real fine print…CAUTION: IT'S NOT THAT I'M HOT

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Dear LEGO May 10, 2006

Posted by Chris W in design, reflections, show all entries, wedding 101.


Originally uploaded by legos+dream.

So I thought it would be worth the try to see if LEGO would actually be interested in helping us out with some of the party favors. Where did I get such a crazed idea? Don’t know…probably too much playing with those plastic blocks! Seriously though, they do bring back inumerable fond memories and moments…

So what the heck…below is my email to LEGO customer service, let’s see if they write back.



I have searched high and low at LEGO.com for a place to send my quite unusual request; it seems this is the best place to do that.

I have been a LEGO enthusiast all 36 years of my life. I use the word loosely since I don’t & wouldn’t dare consider myself a “die-hard fanatic” like some individual/groups out there that have rightfully earned that title. Nonetheless, LEGO has been such an integral part of my childhood years. My introduction to the world of LEGO was a firestation set (probably circa 1975) given to me by my parents. Over the years, there were many additions to that first set. As my sisters and I grew older, toys came and went but the “tupperware tub” of little plastic bricks became our main and consistent staple of creative play. Mixing and matching pieces from a variety of different sets, creating our own Legoland long after the original instructions have been discarded.

The stage set by LEGO years ago, most likely contributed to my getting a degree in Industrial Design. Now I am working as a wayfinding specialist at an architecture firm; designing environmental graphic and signage systems. As an adult, I don’t quite play with LEGO as much anymore, though it certainly holds a very near and dear place in my heart. Whenever I think back to my childhood years, I am flooded with many memories and moments shared with my parents, siblings over our LEGO playtime.Today, I give LEGO toys as gifts to my godchildren and friends’ kids for birthday, Christmas and other gift giving occassions. And I know one day, I will buy my kid that first LEGO set and start that wonderful tradition for him/her.

On the 12th August 2006, my fiance and I will be tying the knot. As with most, we thought hard about what would make meaningful favors. We both agreed unanimously that giving our guests something from LEGO would be a way to share what we are about. So I began to wonder if LEGO would be interested in participating; so I started writing this email. My thought is, if possible, that each guest would be given a small “kit” (like 3607 or something small and low priced). A quick tally of our invited guests show that about 80% are married with children (infants thru’ teens).

So while I would be honored if LEGO would participate, we plan on doing something similar even if LEGO didn’t. We would probably buy buckets of 2×4 bricks and get them engraved as a keepsake.

Well, I guess it really doesn’t hurt to try and hopefully, I will get a response regardless.

Take care and leg godt!


ps: i blog at the following http://www.legosdream.wordpress.com; i also wrote a song that references LEGO and it can be found at the blog site


While surfing around I came across this image, I am not sure if they actually have these minifigures or minifigs. It would be cool if we found them and used it as our cake toppers!

lego wedding

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Dealing it Asian Style May 5, 2006

Posted by Chris W in reflections, show all entries.
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deal or no deal

The nation had a little Chinese lesson last night.

"Jiao Yi, Bu Jiao Yi"

That's right, that's Deal or No Deal in Mandarin Chinese. Howie got into it and instead of his standard, he did it Asian style polling the contestant with those 4 little words. He even got the audience going, getting them to chorus along. Of course, we have the contestant and her troupe to thank for the delightful Oriental linguistic instruction. Her hubbie and mom were both chanting in Chinese at the of each stage as she decides to continue with the game or accept the deal from the banker.

Eager to build upon the evening's head start in foreign language, Howie asks what "Open the case" would be in Chinese. And she goes,

"Pa Kui!"

And I go


It should've been,

"Ta Kai!" or "Kai Pao Siang!"

That ain't Mandarin Chinese, its Hokkien or Taiwanese. The whole time whenever she does the "No Deal" or "Bu Jiao Yi" in Chinese, a mechanically-anglo-rigid accent could be detected. In fact, she doesn't sound too different than her husband and Howie. Alright,the novelty lasted about as long as William Hung did on American Idol.

Well, I guess its kinda embarrassing to be on national tv and not really know/not know what your "mother tongue". But that seems to be problem, lots of Bananic-Americans; kinda yellow on the outside, kinda white on the inside,and just kinda sad. Heritage in atrophy=Neu-Heritage.

Incidentally, I found out that the word of the day at Merriam-Webster Online was mien; not to be confused with my lunch mein. (BTW, it really should be "chao mian" according to the Hanyu Pinyin standard, other phoentic representations are simply inferior)

Anyways, I digress.

I wonder if she knows how to use the chopsticks…the proper way.

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Skcubrats=Sugar spelt backwards: Take Two May 3, 2006

Posted by curlysue in reflections, show all entries.
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So even though my dear hubby-to-be thinks that Starbucks is a sugar zone…he offered up a wonderful surprise to me on monday evening. while engrossed in my/our favorite tv show "24"… i know it is funny but somehow i got hooked on it…chris tried to indiscreetly slip out "to get the mail" and put his coat on "because he was cold" (just a note here that the mail room is indoors).

okay so he is not so sly and good at telling a lie… after a good 15 minutes of "getting the mail" he returns…i just looked at him and asked "where have you been?"… knowing that he was up to something!

he grinned and played dumb for a few minutes insisting that he had just gone to get the mail…after several back and forths, he relented and gestured for me to go to the hallway…to my surprise i found two skcubrats cups…my heart melted and i felt loved…

good surprises are always fun…but waiting for them can be nerve-raking!! thank u hon for being spontaneous…i know i need to learn more of this from u!

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Exchange April 28, 2006

Posted by Chris W in reflections, show all entries.
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"Let's not pretend to do what you don't in private, okay?"

"Okay, I won't pretend to be in public what I am not in private."

"I do want to be what I am not, you know?"

"You don't want to be what you are?"


"Okay, yes you do?"

"No. Yes, I don't."

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