Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter,
And make believe it came from you,
I’m gonna write words oh so sweet,
They’re gonna knock me off my feet,
A lot of kisses on the bottom,
I’ll be glad I got ’em!

I’m gonna smile and say “I hope you’re feeling better,”
And close with love the way you do;
I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter,
And make believe it came from you!

Gonna smile and say “I hope you’re feeling better,”
And close with love the way you do;
I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter,
And make believe, make believe, make believe it came from you!


I really enjoy Fats Waller‘s (my favorite jazz musician after Ella Fitzgerald!) rendition of I Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter. My friend Alain Wong posted the Youtube link on Facebook, and now it has stirred up many emotions in me. Happiness, nostalgia, sadness, dreaminess, strength…

This song reminds me of the wonderful moments I spent in New Orleans during the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown 2010, bar hopping and listening to the amazing bands performing live jazz. I remember the Palmetto Bug Stompers were playing at the DBA during the Saturday night Pub Crawl, and they sang this song, with a little twist. It made me smile so much when the lyrics were changed to “I’m gonna sit right down and write myself an e-mail.” It gave me this warm feeling of accomplishment, to be sitting there, and witnessing this mix of the past with the present. We, lindy hoppers, are helping to keep vintage music and dance alive. We are preserving history. It makes me very happy to be part of it. I am very honored to be part of it.

Group picture in front of the Riverboat, by the Mississippi River (Photo credits: Alexandre Hétu-Rivard)


Lindy hoppers and jazz musicians parading in the streets of the French Quarter, New Orleans



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It seems that I have commitment issues towards my blog. But have no fear, friends! Believe it or not, I have yet to give up completely on this blog. Recently, many people have asked me to restart writing. I guess… I should! Thanks to all those who have kept visiting my blog despite its inactivity. 100 to 150 views per day, that’s nuts!

I noticed that last time I tried to restart writing was in April 2009. We are now April 2010. What a coincidence, eh? No, not really. April is indeed a good time to finish up previous projects, and to start preparing for new ones. If I had taken any courses in university, I would be stressing out for finals now. Luckily, I’m doing an internship instead, this semester. I’ve had a great time, but there are only two weeks left! Then, it will be time, once again, to figure out my next plans: Summer 2010. (Stay tuned for a brief report about my exciting internship at the Foundation of Stars and for my to-be-determined plans for Summer 2010!)

In retrospect, since my trip in Korea, a lot has happened. Here’s a brief (not-so linear) time line of things I’ve done since then!

July – August: Traveling and dancing in South Korea

August: Met the Wonder Girls and JYP at the Bell Center with my friend Chiu Yee!

October: Performing a Charleston routine with Melanie, Aleix and Alain at the 1st Montreal International Burlesque Festival.

January: Modelling for the SynesthAsia Charity Fashion Show.

February: Performing a Black Bottom routine with Christina at the Grand Burlesque Show

Video of the routine performed at Cat’s Corner:


March: Dancing at the Boston Tea Party Swings in Danvers, Massachussetts! (Picture of my crazy face in the Advanced Lindy Hop Jack & Jill Finals)

And that’s about the gist of it! Looking back, that’s a lot of accomplished things there, I guess. How about you? What will you see if you look back between now and somewhere in 2009?

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Only 1 day left before my departure for Seoul, Korea. This trip was probably the biggest spontaneous decision I’ve ever taken in my 19 years of life. You have no idea how nervous, yet excited, I am feeling at this very moment. My first trip across the globe by myself. My first time going to a foreign land in which I will be completely oblivious to what people will be saying. It is quite scary when I think about it. Heck, no time to wonder now. It only goes forward from here on!

Have you ever traveled alone? Please do give me some tips.

I’ve always had procastination issues when it comes to packing for trips. 36 hours before my flight, and I still haven’t filled any bags yet. It always gives me a headache to figure out what NOT to bring. Travelling compact is too hard for me, sigh. Airlines with their baggage restrictions aren’t helping me either. On the way back from all my other trips to China, I’ve had overweight issues with my luggage. Korea will be a new challenge indeeed.

Two weeks and a half away from Montreal. I sure think it’ll do me some good to be away for a bit. My only regret is to miss the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Again. Last year, I had missed it because of my summer course in physics. (Talk about frustration.) This year, at least, I’ll be traveling to somewhere new and exciting.

Let the countdown begin.

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I have commitment issues with my blog, doesn’t it seem like it? Haha. It’s alright. There’s nothing like a trip to far far away to give me an urge to constantly keep in touch. For those who don’t know yet, I’m going on a trip for about 2 weeks and a half to Seoul, Korea. I’m leaving on June 30th. Only 6 days to go! I’m so excited. It’s going to be my first official trip going by myself. I take this as a mean to get away from my typical life in my hometown, but also as an opportunity of growth and self discovery. Certainly, this trip will also permit me to finally get closer to the Korean culture that I’ve been admiring from the other side of the planet since so long! Korean BBQ, bulgogi, Kpop, hanbok,  here I come! So if you want to keep up with what I’m doing during my trip, be sure to keep checking in here for updates.

So far, what have you done in your summer? How’s the completion of the to-do list coming along? Here’s an update on mine:

  1. Keep blogging. – getting there.
  2. Finish playing Kingdom Hearts 2 and start Final Fantasy XII. – still talking about it.
  3. Print out all the pictures I’ve taken for the past 2 years. Send them to my friends. – I’ll wait til I come back from Korea.
  4. Restart playing piano. – I have done a bit of it!
  5. Restart singing. – Not yet.
  6. Retake Japanese courses. – Change of plans. I’m crash learning Korean right now, for the convenience of my trip.
  7. Learn at least 1 popular Kpop choreography. – Check! I learned Tell Me by the Wonder Girls!
  8. Practice doing photography. – Check! Did a bit with Milton. Still need to continue.
  9. Spend time with friends and family. – On going. So far, so good.
  10. Read books. – Not yet.
  11. Study in advance for future courses with Karen. :D – Will start once Karen comes back from her trip. We set August as a target starting point.
  12. Clean my ROOM. *most important* – HHHHHMMMMMMM….
  13. and of course…. TO SLEEP! – Big fail. Yet again!

I haven’t had a chance to get to so many things. So, what have I actually been doing? I work, dance, work out and watch TV shows. Indeed, it feels soooo good. Work and dance are pretty typical for me, but working out and watching TV?! Indeed, I have started doing a training program called P90X, done by many dancers. The people who have done it all end up being pretty strong. For the sake of dancing better and doing airsteps, heck. I’d do it!

Another of my addictions-distration is that I’ve been watching the TV Show “How I Met Your Mother”. It’s absolutely hilarious. Even sometimes, despite a less amusing day, after watching  an episode or two, it’d be likec omplete brainwash of bad things. :)

Please do share what you have been up to for the first half of summer. Any change of plans?

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From May 21 to May 26 2009, I was in New York City having the blast of my life. This trip is forever unforgettable, because I had so much fun dancing and made so many new friends. The motive of my trip was mainly dancing. It was the Frankie Manning 95th Birthday Festival (Frankie95), and nearly 2000 Lindy hoppers from all around the world were to attend. Imagine, the best dancers from all around the world, all in the same ballroom. :)frankie95flyer

Frankie Manning is the man who had it all started for Lindy hop. Frankie is to Lindy hop, like Jesus is to Christianity! He’s the ambassador of Lindy hop. Air steps were invented by him as well. Basically, all swing dancers owe him what we have today. Thank you, Frankie, for bringing us this passion of yours. Unfortunately, the man passed away in April 2009. At 94, he was still dancing, oh yes he was. He may not be on earth with us anymore, but his passion will live for ever. I, for one, will help assure that!

Day 1
After what seemed like a ride that lasted forever, my friends and I finally arrived in New York City at around 7pm on Thursday. Usually, I tolerate long rides pretty well (been used to saying 12+ hours straight in a plane to go to China), but the unexpected difference between the American and Canadian climates made it all burning hell. Note: BURNING. It was my first time in the States in Spring. Next time, I’ll know. Later on, at night, I was supposed to roam by myself in NYC, because I didn’t have access to the Thursday night dance. Luckily, the event was selling some extra passes. Unluckily for me, at the cost of 50$ USD. To add the cherry on top, I had smartly forgotten my DANCE shoes back in Montreal. Thus, I had to beg the employees of K-Mart to sell me the last pair of shoes from a discontinued series. After a few minutes of puppy faces, they let me have it. THANK YOU, K-MART PEOPLE! Near 10:30PM, I finally made it to the ballroom. Wow. So many dancers. Every single dance I had that night was amazing. The bands also were amazing. It was the first time I heard Gordon Webster’s band play. I sure hope from now on that it won’t be the last!

Day 2
Friday was probably the best day of the entire week. First thing in the morning, my friends and I attended Frankie Manning’s memorial at the Presbyterian church on 5th avenue. Those who missed it, you have no idea what you missed! When I sat there, in that church, I was proud to be part of a historical moment. Benny Powell’s band were playing at the front. When the familiar tune of “How High the Moon” sounded, I couldn’t help but let tears quietly run down my cheeks. It was not only because the lyrics made a great connection to where Frankie would be now, but also because it’s a song that is marked deeply in my highschool memories. Ah, nostalgia~ “Somewhere there’s Heaven, it’s where you are. Somewhere there’s music, how near how far.” Two other things that will absolutely be engraved in my mind forever were actually dancing in a church (oh yes, I did!) and seeing the priests dance on the altar! “Can’t stop the Lindy hop!” Indeed, we were encouraged to express all of our emotions during the memorial. If dancing was what you felt like doing, then you were encouraged to do so.

After the memorial, everyone paraded to Central Park. A live band was playing incredibly fast music. Despite the infernal heat, people were still swingin’ out! Crazy! I’m honestly very happy nobody had passed out! Imagine yourself dancing in a sauna. Who in their right mind would do that? Well, a Lindy hopper maybe. :) Then, there was the famous World’s Largest Jack & Jill. I signed up for it just to have fun and help set the world record, but to my surprise, I was picked to go in the semi-finals! That was certainly unexpected.

Frankie95 Memorial Parade

Lindy hoppers parading in memory of Frankie Manning – Central Park, New York City
(Photo Credit: Jeong-Taek Lim)

With dance, comes food. For supper, I went to NYC’s Koreatown with my new Korean friends. -Real Koreans, eh Saeho? (I give you permission to hit me if you actually read this :P)- For the first time in my life, I had real Korean food. I ordered a Bibimbap (a mega mix of rice, vegetables and raw egg in humongous stone bowl). It had been such a long time I hadn’t been able to finish something I order in a restaurant. I felt really bad, because it was REALLY delicious. I blame it on the mountain of -free- appetizers we had. Seaweed salad, kimchi, radish, Korean PANCAKE, etc etc etc. The list goes on. What a party for the tastebuds!

koreanfood-01On the left: eggs in a stone bowl. On right: seaweed salad, spinach (I think), cold noodles, and radish.

Sorry, I didn’t take a picture of my bibimbap. Google it up! :)

Hm, it’s getting late. I get carried away so much when I tell my travelling anecdotes. Part 2 to come, soon!

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Hello all who have not lost faith in my blogging!

I am back, after a year of unannounced hiatus! I fell into a life of routine of too many things to do, and simply semi-gave up on blogging. With summer vacation approaching, I am thinking to give a rebirth to my shoeBox. My friends, who have been consistent bloggers, have inspired to me keep going.

A quick update on what I’ve been up to for the past year:

  • I’m about to finish my first year of studies at Concordia Universtiy, doing a B.Comm in Marketing.
  • I am still a hardcore lindy hopper. I placed 2nd in the intermediate Jack & Jill at the Boston Tea Party Swings 2009!
  • I have been to Hong Kong, Guang Zhou, Quebec City, Boston, Danvers and will go to New York City soon.

My friend Jeong-Taek and I dancing at the Boston Tea Party Swings 2009 in Danvers, MA.

To motivate myself to finish my exams quickly, I will now list a (want)-to-do list for the upcoming summer. Did you know that by simply listing what you have to do, you are already more likely to actually get them done? I’m going to give it a try, and I challenge to you to share your summer 2009 to-do list too!

My summer 2009 to-do list in no particular order:

  1. Keep blogging.
  2. Finish playing Kingdom Hearts 2 and start Final Fantasy XII.
  3. Print out all the pictures I’ve taken for the past 2 years. Send them to my friends.
  4. Restart playing piano.
  5. Restart singing.
  6. Retake Japanese courses.
  7. Learn at least 1 popular Kpop choreography.
  8. Practice doing photography.
  9. Spend time with friends and family.
  10. Read books.
  11. Study in advance for future courses with Karen. :D
  12. Clean my ROOM. *most important*
  13. and of course…. TO SLEEP!

I think that’s what I have in mind so far, but considering I have endless interest in everything, I will most likely be adding more. So what’s on your summer 2009 to-do list?

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Sorry I haven’t been writing in here for a while! I’ve been busy with my dance life and school life (late assignments tend to stack up, hehe).

Since a few weeks now, my Swing dance club at school (MSDC: Marianopolis Swing Dance Club) and I have been intensively practicing for our upcoming show. Anyone who’s interested is welcomed to come see probably Montreal’s youngest Swing dance troupe perform!

Swing Fiesta!
Friday, April 11, 2008 at 6:30 PM.

Marianopolis College (room F-105)
4873 Westmount Avenue
Westmount, Quebec
Metros: Vendôme, Villa Maria
Buses: 66, 124, 138

Tickets: $8.00 in advance ($10.00 at the door)
Money goes to help our teacher Alain Wong for his 7-week bike ride from Vancouver, Canada to Tijuana, Mexico “promoting micro-credit as a tool to fight poverty”. Current amount raised: $750.00; the objective: $3000.00!

There are going to be 3 Swing dance choreographies and 2 Latin dance choreographies. My friend Ashley and I are also going to sing “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend”, originally sung by Marilyn Monroe. We’re gonna serve desserts and drinks, and give a mini social dance lesson afterwards. Please come in great numbers to show your support! :)

The MSDC crew 2008! Front row: me, Wisit, Andy and Ilonka. Back row: Nicky, Ting Tin, Jonathan. Missing: David, Martin, Ashley.

Boston Tea Party!
This passed weekend (March 28-30), I went to Boston Tea Party, a major Swing dance event where Lindy Hop and West Coast Swing mix. There were performances, competitions, workshops with pros and lots of social dancing! My favorite part of the event was watching all the pros compete! I have watched a lot of DVDs, but watching the Invitation Strictly Lindy and WCS competition live brought the excitement to a whole other level! Max and Annie did a completely crazy aerial during their Strictly Lindy segment that drove the crowd nuts! The other absolutely amazing (and hilarious) competition was the Jack & Jill Crossovers in which pros of WCS must dance with a randomly chosen Lindy Hop pro! After a whole weekend exposed to WCS, now I really want to learn it! Social dancing to hip hop and R&B is fuuuun!

Here’s fun footage from youtube

It was my first “serious” competition at the Boston Tea Party. I participated in the Lindy Hop Intermediate Jack & Jill, danced with 3 random partners and made it to the finals! I didn’t win anything, but dancing at the finals with the 4th random partner was just one of the best experiences ever! All this motivates me to keep working on my dancing to become better! hehe!

Family for the weekend! <3 Back row: me and Anne. Front row: Aleix, Marie and Alain.

MSDC Practice today!

During the free period at school today, Alain taught us some cool Swing dance tricks! Flying in the air can be super scary, but doing these crazy tricks are probably the only times I’m not so afraid to have my feet off the ground! One note though: Swing dancing is not about these crazy aerials and flips! They are just very fun to learn and flashy during performances!

Martin is pushing me up in the air as I flip across. Wisit is in the back, spotting me in case I crash!

Here’s a clip of me doing the exact flip a few months ago with Alain.

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