Looking Back on 2017

How is January already halfway through? I’m running behind on my year-end/new year blog posts, but let’s have a look at what 2017 looked like for me:

Fun fact: I began and ended 2017 in China!

  • Dyed my hair red – for real this time

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    January 1 from the glass bridge at Zhangjiajie
  • Walked across the tallest and longest glass-bottomed bridge in the world in Zhangjiajie
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  • Flew alone on an international flight for the first time
    • Which included my first ever visit – via layover – to the Middle East
  • Signed up for ClassPass
  • Attended my first-ever Washington Capitals game (and my first NHL game in well over a decade, if not my first NHL game ever)
  • Dined at a DC Michelin star restaurant for the first time – Rose’s Luxury
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  • Sent off our panda cub Bao Bao before she goes to China
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  • Presented to a class of new hires who are me from one year ago
  • Slept with a zillion wires for my first sleep study
  • Visited San Francisco to see friends and support Ben presenting at a conference while:
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  • Asked Danny Boyle about how his movies are interpreted by audiences at home and abroad
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  • Sipped on drinks out of a lucky cat cup at a cherry blossom + Super Mario-themed pop-up bar
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  • Watched The Little Mermaid ballet on my own
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  • Met Representative Maxine Waters at the US Botanic Garden
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  • Experienced the repetitive patterns of profound genius at Infinite Kusama, the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the Hirshhorn
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  • Attended my first-ever Washington Wizards game (and my first NBA game ever)
  • Saw Chicago! at the Kennedy Center, starring Brandy (!!!)
  • Tried acro-yoga and a bit of aerial yoga
  • Danced the Charleston and put aside my aversion to flapper style for a Gatsby party
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  • Met Tim Gunn before hearing him speak about disco fashion at the Library of Congress
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  • Toured downtown DC while learning about the assassination of President Lincoln through an awesome immersive walking tour with the Ford’s Theatre18278381_10212917470155173_999720346742464472_o
  • Danced and sweated at 7AM on the Kennedy Center terrace
  • Down-dogged at cat yoga
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  • Learned loads at RevolutionConf during my first visit to Virginia Beach
  • Tasted samples prepared by 3 of the top Asian cuisine chefs in DC
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  • Asked Edgar Wright about the hidden details of his work
  • (Finally) Cosplayed at AwesomeCon, my first ever convention
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  • Attended the opening day preview of Ai Wei Wei’s new exhibit at the Hirshhorn19437142_2165047673721933_5763673148604022784_n
  • Showered my friend Gretchen with love and gifts for her soon-to-arrive baby
    Taylor, Jen, Gretchen, and her mom!
  • Danced at 7AM beneath the new National Building Museum’s summer installation, Hiv19764978_1700346696937905_1001085391261925376_n
    • Namaste’d beneath The Hive, too
  • Visited my brother while he was interning in Delaware
  • Cooked 9 Blue Apron mealsDSC03074
  • Slept through another sleep study, through the night and the day
  • Floated down the river during my first river-tubing trip
  • Witnessed the Great American Solar Eclipse in person with my family
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  • Returned to my home city of New York for Labor DayIMG_20170904_232418_746.jpg
  • Revisited Paris with Ben
    • Visited the LouvreEmpty Louvre hall
    • Visited VersaillesDSC04659
  • Pondered color and interactivity at Artechouse22351661_1442356609218754_1138615913436676096_n
  • Laughed watching Whoopi Goldberg do standup at the Kennedy Center
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  • Felt so many feelings watching Death of a Salesman at Ford’s Theatre
  • Cheered on knights at the Maryland Renaissance Festival
  • Nearly won a Disney trivia night with a 2nd place finish
  • Experienced my first omakase dinner at Sushi Hachi
  • Wore a week of Sailor Senshi-themed blazer-centric outfitsScreen Shot 2017-10-30 at 9.40.07 PM
  • Channeled Rey for Halloween as part of a Star Wars group at work20171031_115957
  • Saw Christopher Nolan speak at the Library of Congress
  • Partied at the National Air and Space Museum’s Found in Space
  • Visited New Orleans for the first time!
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    • Delivered a lightning talk about karaoke because it’s me
    • Received a chipped tooth courtesy of a drunk coworker (seriously)
  • Walked with locals at my first ever WalkWithLocals instameet
  • Watched another Washington Capitals game
  • Traveled to Buffalo for a business trip
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    • Saw Chad Michael Murray standing about 3 feet in front of me in the hotel lobby
  • Celebrated my birthday with hot pot and karaoke and friends
  • Flew to China to celebrate the holidays with my family
  • Rang in the new year with about a million people in the streets of Hong Kong

    December 31 from Victoria Peak

For better or worse, it has been a really eventful year. I feel super motivated to go into 2018 and achieve so many things. Stay tuned for my resolutions post to see what specific things I hope to achieve and how I plan to achieve them!

Previous years: 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

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2017 in Film

I seem to say this every year but I didn’t watch as many movies as I wanted to in 2017. Especially as the year started winding down and the holiday season started ramping up, I stopped wanting to commit to attending movie screenings (2 hours of run time + waiting in line for a good seat + the commute to and from these theaters).

One thing that did change my movie watching this year was joining the team at Punch Drunk Critics. I am getting to watch some really cool indie flicks and documentaries that I wouldn’t otherwise be going to see and the PDC team has been so great to work with so far. I can’t wait to do more with them in 2018!

Without further ado, here are the new releases I watched in 2017:

2017 in Film

  1. Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World
  2. Table 19
  3. *Beauty and the Beast
  4. T2 Trainspotting
  5. Gifted
  6. Get Out
  7. The Fate of the Furious
  8. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  9. Wonder Woman
  10. *The Big Sick
  11. Baby Driver
  12. *Spider-Man: Homecoming
  13. Footnotes
  14. Girls Trip
  15. A Family Man
  16. The Dark Tower
  17. The Good Catholic
  18. It Happened in LA
  19. The Breadwinner
  20. Thor: Ragnarok
  21. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

*Watched outside of original run (e.g. Netflix, Amazon Prime, on a plane)


It’s been a great year for movies and I’m excited for what 2018 has to bring. With me continuing to write for PDC and having just received my MoviePass in the mail, I hope this year I can watch more movies!

This year, I’d also like to try tracking the movies I watch on Letterboxd, since I’ve have a bit of success tracking books on Goodreads and haven’t used my Letterboxd account in about 4 years!

What movies did you love last year?  There are a lot of great ones I know I’m missing, especially with awards season happening right now. Movies this past year also got very split opinions, with people loving or hating them more than in the past.

What movies are you excited for in 2018? Personally, I’m really excited to see Black Panther and, despite how much AOU disappointed me, Avengers: Infinity War, because I’m always going to get hyped for the Avengers. I’m also really looking forward to Ocean’s 8 and Crazy Rich Asians, among many other releases coming up this year.

2017 in Books

My books resolution last year was 15 books, and I used Goodreads to track my progress with that resolution as I have the past few years. I was reading very long and hefty books this year, which was sometimes very frustrating with hitting a certain number of books (versus pages, I guess) because the 14th book I started reading this year was super dense and fairly technical. I loved the book but it was frustrating to read for hours and only have progressed 2% further than when I started that day. If I hadn’t started other books before finishing it, I would never have hit my goal of 15. I also read most of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, aka the Game of Thrones books, which are very, very long. The longest book I read this year, according to my Goodreads Year in Books, was A Storm of Swords at 1,177 pages. For reference, the average number of pages of the books I read this year was less than 500.

Without further ado, here are the books I read this year:

2017 in Books

  • In Other Words – Jhumpa Lahiri
  • A Storm of Swords – George R. R. Martin
  • Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby – Sandi Metz
  • The Inkblots – Damion Searls
  • A Feast of Crows – George R. R. Martin
  • A Dance with Dragons – George R. R. Martin
  • China Rich Girlfriend – Kevin Kwan
  • Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
  • The New York Times: Footsteps
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson
  • Rich People Problems – Kevin Kwan
  • Modern Lovers – Emma Straub
  • Spark Joy – Marie Kondo
  • Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn
  • everyone’s an aliebn when ur a aliebn too – jomny sun
  • The Comic Book Story of Video Games Jonathan Hennessey & Jack McGowan (review coming soon!)
  • Turtles All the Way Down – John Green
  • The Pragmatic Programmer – Andrew Hunt & David Thomas
  • The Gene – Siddhartha Mukherjee

I already have some titles loaded on my Kindle Paperwhite and I’m very excited to get reading this year! Here’s hoping I can make good progress with some easier to manage books and avoid pedantic fictions that make me so nervous about checking out new fiction titles…

Do you have any book recommendations for me going into 2018? Read anything good last year that you’d suggest? New titles, classics? Fiction, non-fiction?

What’s your reading look like? What are your 2018 reading goals?

Previous years: 2016

Winter Break Hiatus?

I leave for China tomorrow (let’s hope I didn’t forget to pack anything) and had originally planned to have all of my posts queued up and ready to go.

… as you could probably surmise from my use of “originally”, this plan has fallen through. I know exactly what posts I wanted to share, too! But a combination of a hectic schedule, episodes of extreme low energy, and poor time management on my part, if I’m being honest, means that it’s not happening. I don’t have weeks worth of blog posts ready before leaving.

Because I don’t know what the Great Firewall situation is with WordPress and the other resources I planned on using to complete these posts is, I am going to tentatively go on hiatus until I come back the second week of January. Fingers crossed I can get some posts up while I’m away, though! If I don’t, I’ll try to up my frequency because it’s that magical time of year where I do my year-end reflections and recaps and new year’s resolutions and those definitely need to get published ASAP.

In the meantime, please have happy holidays and I’ll see you in 2018!

The Big Easy: A NOLA Guide

I have had the amazing opportunity to do a fair bit of travel in my time, and a lot of it has been very international-focused and thinking about what places abroad I’d like to visit. For the past few years, I’ve been thinking about the amazing American cities that I haven’t yet visited, and at the top of that list has been New Orleans. So imagine when, at the end of RubyConf last year, I learned that this year’s conference would be held in NOLA! While I spent most of my time at the conference, I was still able to explore part of the city and Ben was able to join me for the weekend to explore as well.

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Based on my short time in the Crescent City, here is little guide to how I enjoyed New Orleans on this particular trip!Read More »