happy birthday to me.

my friends are scattered around the world,
but i found a way for twenty of us to do something together for my birthday this year.

the request was simple.
1. blast wreckx-n-effect’s “rumpshaker”
2. hit record on the camera
3. dance
4. send me the footage

feeling lit, feeling light, 2am, summer night

you know that song by fergie? it’s called “clumsy.”
it’s about perpetually falling in love, out of love, back in love, out of love.

blastin’ trippin’, stumblin’, flippin’, fumblin’

ever since brooks and i met as interns six years ago at ziff davis,
it’s been pretty much our theme song.

so a few months ago, when brooks came home late one evening and screamed,
“OMG veanne! don’t let me fall in love with the cuban!”
i didn’t think too much into it.

but after being around him for the past few, and then shooting them today,
i’m really rooting for gustavo to be it.

gay engagement photos

gay engagement pictures

the rest are up on mackler.

christmas day with their presents

there are only two people in the world with whom i trust my heart.

my big brother.
with his remote control flying shark, a gift from cousin calvin.


 

you cannot find a better man.

 
. . . . . .
 

mom. she’s being silly in this picture.
i got her the hooded coat for christmas.

her heartbreak hurts me more than any man i’ve ever loved.
i daydream about taking her to an island far away,
where we waddle our feet in the ocean
(since neither of us know how to swim),
climb trees and be insouciant, young girls again.

and also have internet so she can watch her korean dramas before going to bed.

echo park, california

josh and i belong belonged in the kindred tribe of “artists”
who thrive off volatile romances to jolt, rouse, inspire, whatever you wanna call it,
our “art.”

but something happened since he left new york a year ago.


 

charming, sweet faith.


 

the hour ride to highland park gave us some time to catch up – that was nice.
he said he was a little jealous of my freedom,
which reminded me of a conversation rain and i had while driving through honolulu.
can’t remember his exact words, but it was something like,
“you know what we all got in common? me you phan tone neil? we all got commitment issues.
maybe that’s why we all hang out together like a bunch of retards.”

i’d like to think maybe i don’t. maybe i don’t wanna settle for a mediocre forever.

wistful nostalgia

cousins chanh, tc, suzanne and i grew up with the new kids on the block.
we spent our summers learning dance routines to “the right stuff”,
carefully crafting fan letters proclaiming our undying love and devotion,
and playing the hangin’ tough vhs ad nauseam until the magnetic tape would stretch
and the images would become static messes.

we were little girls madly in love for the first time,
the kind of love that never goes away.

i’m supposed to be in los angeles this summer,
so i called each cousin tonight and asked them (in a very serious tone)
“can you leave friday, july 1st open for me?”
“why?”

when i explained i could snag us tickets to the knotb concert for that night,
their response was hysterical,
screeching excitement,
like tweeny boppers all over again.

july 1st,
one night of childhood bliss with three beautiful cousins,
it’s on like donkey kong!

hangin' tough

a quick list

  • sweet, thoughtful
  • funny, thinks i’m funny
  • not easily offended
  • talented at what they love doing
  • awesome travel buddy, does not freak out when things go apeshit
  • dope personality
  • music obsessed
  • thinks i’m sexy even in my “at home” outfits
  • supportive of me, not competitive with me
  • is down to play, build, collaborate, make stuff
  • not selfish
  • inspires me
  • smarter than me, but doesn’t make me feel stupid
  • loves me to bits and pieces
  • someone who gets me

 

there are over eight million people in new york.
you have to be here somewhere.

summer romance

borrowed kim’s panasonic lumix.
i kinda miss the whole point and shoot aesthetic.

saturday, coney island for the siren music festival.


 

and some disgustingly wonderful food


 

and some rides.


 


 

day turned into night and somehow we ended up having a typical new york date night
at a cute restaurant and at the ice cream factory on dumbo’s waterfront.

(camera batteries died just when i took this picture.)
 

sunday brunch with friends, saw inception (which was awesome),
and then hit up another show at the williamsburg waterfront.


 

pretty crazy about him.


 

currently listening to:
if the dj hadn’t dropped rock steady at the woods,
i wonder if we would’ve met.

“you gave me the best smile. it felt like christmas.”
“dude, that’s totally a line from charlyne yi’s ‘paper heart.'”

steady rockin’ all night long.

personal

masami is an amazingly compassionate, thoughtful director
who lets us play, explore, build and tell stories.


 

today she asked donal and i to share cute, romantic tidbits from our past with each other.
i couldn’t think of one, but masami was like,
“no wait! what about the story you told me about sending messages through your website?”

if you’re not familiar with 404 errors,
they’re basically “document not found” messages that pop up
when you go to pages that don’t exist on a website.

after an ex-boyfriend and i broke up,
he left me secret messages by going to pages on my website that didn’t exist, stuff like,
www.mylai.com/this_is_really_sad_but_im_thinking_about_you_and_miss_you
and then that url would then show up in my 404 logs.

i don’t know what was nerdier,
that he sent me messages through 404,
or that i habitually checked my logs and found them.

so um.. i never found it to be romantic,
but i always thought it was pretty unique.

good morning to you too!

kim’s fanny.


 

henri.


 

kim just admitted to me that this one time she got too drunk and dropped henri on his head.
i was like, “that’s okay.. this one time i was smoking and i accidentally ashed on fanny’s head.”

love love love old photos

during my one day off in los angeles,
i spent the afternoon with afu (my uncle, apa’s older brother) listening to francoise hardy
and going through old family albums.

apa looks like grandma and i look like apa, but i don’t think i look like grandma, do i?


 

aimee told me this was taken when grandpa worked as a translator for the french.


 

i wonder if they’re at the zoo..


 

afu, the original hipster.


 

i love how apa rocks the gold chains even at the beach. my dad was the awesomest.


 

i’m the little butterball on grandma’s lap.


 

afu asked me if i could find my dad in this picture.


 

surprisingly, i did.

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i sent the same picture to mom and fathead vinh
and they were both able to pick him out as well. kinda neat. :)

henri is eleven months old.

not sure how many futurama fans there are out there,
but the ending of the ‘jurassic bark’ episode has to be the saddest thing ever.



[click here to view, if video doesn’t load.]

henri’s sprawled out next to me sleeping,
and i’m crying because this episode makes me realize
how much i love him
and how one day
he is going to be a very old dog.

apa and mommy

a moment caught on video.

there’s no one i love more than these two.

he makes me happy

a quick, little trip on the staten island ferry, there and back,
just because i’ve never been on it.

from adam’s flip mino.
we didn’t shoot much footage though. :

happiness

leaving for upstate in a few hours for labor day weekend.
wanted to leave you with two things that make me happy.

 
1. love

a simple, but beautiful video made by josh,
of ryan and his girlfriend,
that perfectly embodies being young, being in new york, being in love.



 
2. dogs

a cartoon made by gina
of rain’s shiba inus.

0944

my mom cracks me up.

she said, “why don’t you just move back home,
get knocked up, live on welfare
and go back to school to finish your masters?”

clothesline

first shot of the video i’m editing.

0890

 
currently listening to:
very much in love with

this song
right now.

monterey park & sacramento, california

i grew up in a very warm, loving family,
always hugging and kissing and grabbing each others boobs.
oh, i forgot to mention weird. i grew up in a very weird family.

table 8 at the wedding reception, once known as the kids table.


 

i could see my dad’s heart melt whenever he saw my uncle (his brother) with his granddaughter isabella.


 

i know he wants grandkids,
and as much as i like the idea of getting married and spitting out ankle biters,
i just haven’t found the right guy yet, and i’m not going to settle just to settle down.

i want it to be the kind of love a yeh and a mah had.


 

grandma passed away when i was six,
but grandpa lived for another fifteen years.
he never loved another woman, and was dedicated to his family.

when i was little,
dad used to leave on long business trips,
and grandpa, frail and lanky, would take the greyhound bus all the way from los angeles to san jose
to help mom take care of me and vinh.

• • • • •

now back in sacramento for the remainder of the week.
mom and i have been scrapbooking pictures for the newlyweds.

i love my best friend.

“if i had ur talent, i’d be rich.
if u had my $ management and business skills, u’d be rich.
2gether, we can sell ninja stars…”

in elementary school, i used to make friendship bracelets, ninja stars…
and vi would sell them to the kids on the playground.

and here are two awkward pictures of us:

i’m drunk, she’s um..

0840

 
convinced she could give me a piggyback ride.

0841

“candy makes you invincible!!”

-

i once read an article somewhere on jane march
and how she got her start in modeling.

some boy had broken her heart and she vowed to be on every magazine cover
“so that he’ll never forget my face” or something to that extent.

it’s kinda sad that a lot of the things i do
are driven by the fact that i want to make every boy who’s broken my heart
feel like they missed out on something special.

letter from siberia

“i drew you a picture of a time i felt we could be together forever.”

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