Wacky Wednesday

I am feeling a little wacky…I have not cooked in over a week, well if you don’t count grilling. And it feels strange — who am I? It’s like I don’t even know me anymore! We’ve been surviving on pizza, bbq, you know anything that pretty much clogs your arteries…+ no gym…=very very sad and frumpy Zhang. Aside from the second ass I’m growing, improvements at the new house have been going fabulously! I can’t wait to show the “before” and “after”, the transformation has been incredible. Literally, blood sweat and tears have gone into this project and I am happy it is almost over!

I am definitely missing my beach vacation this year but next year (hopefully) I’ll be enjoying the beach in my wedding dress :) . Speaking of weddings, I finally completed my very dear friend’s wedding a few weeks ago. Tammy and Jason, the most adorable couple in Nashville, TN threw an incredible wedding. I loved the beautiful reds throughout — her dress, the flowers, THE SHOES! Since red is a very significant color in Chinese culture, I thought it was a unique way of bringing the two cultures together. Their marriage made me reflect on the beauty of uniting two completely different cultures– having an American fiance myself, over the years we’ve learned so much from each other.

Since moving to America, my entire goal has been “To live the American dream”. I told my mom when I was 9 (after watching Legends of the Fall) — “Mom, when I grow up I’m going to marry a boy just like Brad Pitt.” I also told her I wanted to live in a house with picket white fences and have beautiful dresses like Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind (we didn’t have cable, I watched a lot of classics and Sesame Street).

When I met Collin and knew he was “the one”, I told my mom

“Mom, I found my Brad Pitt and he is hot!”

She raised her eyebrow “Oooh I see…white boy?”

“Yeah mom, he’s white.”

“OOooooh! His paren’t dont care you Chinese?”

“Hmm..not that I know of!”

“Oooooh. Your grandma? She LOVE white boy, she always say white boy better to look at, so handsome, so tall!”

“Yeah, I gotta agree with Grams on that one ma.”

“Yeah, grandma, she funny lady.”

I guess after living here for so long, I consider myself “American”. I often forget that no matter what, my Chinese culture will always be a part of me, and the older I become the more I learn to appreciate it. I think the melding of two cultures really makes relationships more interesting in the sense that you are able to take the best of two worlds and learn so much from each other.

Collin is now fluent in chopsticks, some Chinese and eating any animal part without hesitation. He knows to take off his shoes in any Chinese household and that more than likely they will not have flipflops to fit his size 13 feet. Not only that, at work he is able to deal with Asian customers better as a result of the exposure of the culture from my family. He understands that respect is huge in Asian culture and sarcasm just doesn’t exist.

(Left: Wild Ginger House Salad ; Right: Sushi Sampler Platter)

I’ve learned that it’s okay to rock out at family functions, and getting a little wastey with relatives can be fun. I live for Christmas and Thanksgiving (two holidays my family seldom celebrated)– the food, traditions, decorations, I am totally there. And that it’s okay to be outspoken (though I can be a little too outspoken at times), and it’s okay to be confident and toot your horn every once in awhile. I am also now a master of (great bear) hugs and kisses, and have extended physical expressions of love onto my parents. Granted my mother still becomes stiff when Collin hugs her, I think we’re starting to break her down and shes getting more use to it :) .

Yet at the end of the day, no matter how different of backgrounds two people may come from, love is always the inevitable factor that brings people together. My 6’2″ hairy giant with the baby blue eyes inevitably melts my heart every day. Even when he is rocking out hard on his guitar, pretending he is the lead singer of Metallica I can’t help but smile because it’s cute.

I really had a great time photographing Tammy and Jason’s wedding — I am truly honored that Tammy picked me as her photographer.  After pulling my hair out and stressing out (for months) about getting perfect shots on her big day, I realized when two people love each other as much as these two do — it makes the job easy.  Now I am patiently waiting for the two to pop out some spuds (or what Collin’s mom likes to call them: pandabears).  Have a fantastic time on your honeymoon lovebirds, bon voyage!!


  1. Posted 21 Jul ’10 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful post, and lol “Collin is now fluent in chopsticks, some Chinese and eating any animal part without hesitation.”

  2. Posted 21 Jul ’10 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful photos, Joy! My favourite is the one of the bride’s and bridesmaids’ feet. :) The touches of red are absolutely stunning… what a great way to blend the two traditions.
    (Also, your new kitchen looks fabulous. Can’t wait to see the photos of the finished product!)

  3. Posted 21 Jul ’10 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous photos, joy!!! I totally chuckled about Colin assimilating to Chinese culture -been there! You’re almost all moved in!!

  4. Posted 21 Jul ’10 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I know what you mean about not being able to cook during the moving madness! Our first meal in our new apartment was pizza from Lombardi’s!

    Good luck and so happy for you to have your dream kitchen :)

  5. Posted 21 Jul ’10 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Wow…these are beautiful wedding shots that you took, Joy! You can start advertising and charging people for taking pictures for them :D Next year will be your wedding…WOW! Who is going to be your photographer? Can’t wait to see your beautiful photos. It’s wonderful that you are moving into your new house. Loads of work. I have moved several times. Now I refuse to open all the boxes. Never know when is my next move. Have learned to be smart :P

  6. kristy
    Posted 21 Jul ’10 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Baby, I think you can’t wait untill your big big day is here! So, who is going to be the lucky photographer on your big day? And can’t wait to see your new house too! I’m sure there’s alot work need to be done….furnishing, bedding, curtain and more over is the kitchen. And of coz, more spending needed as well! Emm…. just think about that huh! Anyway, hope you will enjoy yourself and have fun!
    Blessings, Kristy

  7. gracie poo
    Posted 22 Jul ’10 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    hey lady.

    being the product of a “interracial marriage” (something about that phrase bothers me, similar to the way the phrase “sexually active” is used in the movie Juno), i can honestly say that there is a beautiful blending of two cultures when they come together. the initial introduction of asian cultures to european ones always encounters hiccups, but they pass and the beautiful parts of each culture begin to accent one another. i can remember the day that i first gave my mother a hug and kiss and verbalized the words “i love you, ma” (sophomore year in high school). she had no idea how to respond. and now she can’t get enough hugs or kisses. my point is, maintaining the willingness to learn and open up always present new opportunities and perspective through new eyes. and that is a rockin’ thing. my dad even took chinese in college- granted, his mandarin is pretty slaughtered, but he tried. ^__^

    i hope the house turns out frikkin’ fantastic, it seems you’ve been busting butt to get it there. and the photos are awesome, particularly the one in the limo. and that convo with your mom about collin cracks me up- something similar to that went down with my mom when i mentioned patrick; her initial response involved the idea of a “nice chinese doctor”.

  8. Posted 22 Jul ’10 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    This is such a beautiful post. I can relate to almost everything you’ve written. I had a beach wedding myself so I can’t wait to see your beautiful photos if you end up going this route.

    We’ve also been making minor changes to our house and been very busy so I was just thinking this morning that I haven’t been eating well myself. Frumpy is right!

    Finally, I’m of part-Asian descent and married a non-Asian, I consider myself American but my Asian heritage will also always be a part of me.

    I can’t wait to see the product of all your work in your home! :-)

  9. tammy
    Posted 22 Jul ’10 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    No spuds.

    But I love you. Good luck in your new home! :)

  10. Posted 29 Jul ’10 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Lovely post. I am the product of an inter-cultural marriage (British mom, Arab dad) and they weren’t so lucky as you – both sets of parents opposed it. I’m happy to say that love triumphed! I especially enjoyed your little dialogue with your mom because I’m currently reading The Joy Luck Club (long overdue!). :-) All the best for you and your Brad!

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