Five things for the week

Living wall

Self-Care Sundays

I’m increasingly creating a routine that ends up with Sunday’s focus on my own rest, healing, health, and overall mental state in preparation for the coming week. This comes in the form of things like

  • Personal grooming
  • Spending the mornings reading and writing
  • Eating without guilt, yet still healthy and in moderation
  • Playing on the Nintendo Switch

And, really, anything else that I want to do. The goal being that it’s a day that belongs to me, and shouldn’t be governed by stress or work/school to do lists, or any other obligations that I do not whole-heartedly endorse.

To achieve this, I have had to make routine adjustments leading into Sundays in order to keep them clear. A lot of these adjustments can be chalked up to simply reducing the amount of procrastinating that I do.


Nature

We spent yesterday in the Sierras. The fresh mountain air, the perfect morning temperature, the relaxing open-air train ride through the trees… it was all so perfect. Midway through I put my camera back into the bag and just sat and enjoyed it all.


Photojournalism

I’m not an Angels fan but, the passing of Tyler Skaggs is a story that I have followed this week. This picture of his mother on the pitcher’s mound, and tweet thread really hit me.


Writing

I’m going to start taking it more seriously. This, of course, can mean a lot of things. But, the only thing I want to say here is that, well… I’m going to start taking it more seriously.


Photography

I purchased this camera sling bag and tried it out this weekend. It’s perfect for the new camera. I love that it’s small enough to be comfortable (it’s very light) yet, still can hold what I need it to hold. Makes me happy. And appreciative.

Five things for the week

Site and Blog changes coming

I’m still in my planning phase for some upcoming changes to this site. While I don’t have anything concrete to update you on now, I will say that this site will remain an “everyday” general blog. I’m putting together a personal photography website, which will have a portfolio and a photoblog where I will share more pictures and posts on photography. And no, I still haven’t yet determined what my newsletter will be about and when I’ll start pushing that. It’s all just a work in progress for now.

2. Photography

During our weekend trip to Ventura, I deliberately left my cameras behind, opting to travel light and use just my phone for taking pictures. And while my phone worked out just fine, I did regret not taking a camera for two reasons, 1) using my phone as a camera means that I always had my phone out, so chances for being distracted by it were higher than if I had just been able to keep it in my bag. Not to mention my battery drained pretty quickly. And 2) I just feel better when using a camera (instead of a phone).

3. Read

If You See Her, by Ania Ahlborn – An entertaining, quick read that definitely has the author’s signature storytelling. I like her other books, my favorites being The Bird Eater and Brother. This, for me, wasn’t as good but I still enjoyed the read. I think that she self-published this one? At least she published only through Amazon so it’s only available there.

I Wrote This on a 30-Year-Old Computer It’s definitely nostalgia but I like reading about people using old technologies. This one brings back memories of typing out school reports and fighting printers the night before they were due. It also reminded me of fighting with family members for computer time so that I could write stories and poetry, and play games. What I really liked was the author reminding me how much you could really focus in one one task, not being distracted with multiple programs running, as well as sitting down to a dedicated place and machine to do that. Not being so readily available and connected has an increasing amount of draw for me.

The Lingering of Loss Jill Lepore’s touching post about her best friend.

Blowin’ in the Wind I enjoyed the photos in this post. I also learned that tumbleweeds are edible? I remember, in the small town I grew up in, before all of the new home construction how often we would have to deal with tumbleweed buildup around our house.

Why Megan Rapinoe’s brother, Brian, is her greatest heartbreak, and hope This is a great profile on Megan and her brother. There’s so much that so many are going through. All the more reason to be supportive of as many people as you can.

4. Watched

This Old House, s. 40, ep. 26 – I always like the end of season episodes where they finish a project and turn it over back to the homeowner. While I didn’t like this style (mid-century modern), I did like seeing the different techniques used to modernize it.

Stranger Things 3Binged during our midweek day off (weird). Sure, the series has its faults but I like the ride, and season 3 was no different. These kids are growing up, fast! Hopper P.I.!!! And the Neverending Story scene was *chef’s kiss*.

Women’s World Cup matches, including the quarter, semi, and finals – USA! USA! USA! There’s a lot of people that can/will write about this much more eloquently than I can. I will say this: I am inspired.

5. Listened

Why’d You Push That ButtonI especially liked the Jibo episode but, more recently I listened to the Celebrity Death Twitter episode and I found it interesting how so many things could be perceived from slight differences in how and when people tweet.

Song Exploder, ep. 162 Big Thief This episode, breaking down their “Cattails” track, had me listening to the band for the majority of the rest of the week. I just really like playing their songs in the background while I’m working. I find them very relaxing.

Bear Brook, ep 7 – We listened to this update during our drive down to Ventura. It’s a bittersweet update where 3 of the 4 victims are identified as a result of years of research and persistence from volunteer researchers. I sent a thank you to one of them, Rebekah Heath, on Facebook to for the work that she did.

The Mountain Goats I’ve grown into the habit of just bringing up their Essentials playlist, on Apple Music, and letting it loop over and over again. I love the songwriting.

//My Read, Watched, and Listened lists are two week’s worth, even though it might not seem like it. I’m pretty happy that I didn’t spend a lot of time watching anything. The reading list is also low due to our extended weekend getaway and then the weird holiday midweek, which made the whole week kind of lazy (and nice).

Five things for the week

Sunday morning

1. Balance

I work from home and I love it. It’s definitely a privilege that I try not to take for granted. Like many remote workers, I do struggle with “clocking out”. I sometimes feel guilty for even stepping away from my desk during business hours. As the time passes, I am getting more comfortable with it.

I do want to start mixing things up a little more, such as working out of coffee shops and other locations more often. If not just to get some more “social” tine around people. I have written about this before but, I do want to start networking and participating in some meetups more often as well. So I joined Meetup.com to check out what is happening in the area.

2. Habits

I fell back on my “no screen time other than e-readers after 9 pm” habit forming so, will I’ll have to put more focus on that, this week. The second bad habit that I started working to eliminate is working on multiple things simultaneously. In other words, I have been trying to focus more on single tasks, even adding time to my calendar dedicated to them. I would gauge my success rate in doing this at 50% for last week. I have some ideas to implement, this week, to help improve that.

3. Read

Inside the black (cherry) market of vintage Kool-Aid packet collectors After reading this, for a while I sat and tried to think of any food and/or beverage that I felt as much passion for as the people this highlights. The answer? Nope, not a single food item.

The Pu-erh Brokers of Yunnan Province A good cup of Pu-erh rivals the best cups of coffee out there. I love this tea and appreciate this article’s behind the scenes insight on it.

There Is Too Much Stuff Yes.

L.A. Son, by Roy Choi – I started to reread this. I have the hardcover sitting on my dining room table so that I can visit a few pages at a time. Chef Choi is doing some really admirable work.

4. Watched

Good OmensClose to when the book was first released, I attempted to read it. I didn’t finish, mainly because the religious aspect turned me off (I had a huge chip on my shoulder about religion at the time). Thew previews intrigued me so, my wife and I decided to give this show a try. It’s good! It’s got a wonderful blend of British humor and good storytelling. Perhaps I’ll pick up the book again soon.

A Tale of Two Kitchens The more I learn about Chef Gabriela Cámara, the more my admiration grows. This short documentary juxtapositions her two restaurants with the many issues across the US-Mexico border. It’s an excellent look at the people we often overlook. As a bonus, here is Evan Kleiman’s Good Food interview with Chef Gabriela (13 min). Another bonus, here is Dave Chang in conversation with her (68 min). I enjoyed both interviews very much.

June 17th, 1994 This was unique in that there was no narrator nor talking head(s), it was a documentary made from actual news clips and file footage to tell the story. And it was super effective; I found myself remembering exactly where I was and what I was doing as some of those clips were played (and I remembered hearing them the first time).

I remember that, during the chase, I was working (as a busboy at Black Angus). I was irritated because I had to work and all I really wanted to do was watch the NBA Finals. So every chance I got, I would find my way into the bar area to take peeks at the TVs. I very vividly, thanks to the refresher from this documentary, remember the split screen between the game and the white Ford Bronco. I also remember that it felt like the whole restaurant had frozen all activities, as more people filed into the bar area to watch the chase. Very surreal.

5. Listened

Prince’s Batman (1989) soundtrack I linked to Prince’s “Batdance” video. The first time I saw that music video was at my grandparents’ house with my cousins, who were visiting from Colorado. We were all so hyped for this movie. The entire soundtrack is just so fitting with the look and tone of the movie. I still love it. “Partyman” is my favorite track.

Five things for the week

1. Newsletter

I have been toying with starting a weekly email newsletter. I like the format but was never really sure that I would have anything to write about consistently. I have quite a few ideas forming, though, so I decided to move forward with the first step; creating an account on the newsletter platform that I want to use (Substack).

I don’t know when I’ll write/send the first one but, if you want to, you can subscribe here.

2. Habits

Last week, I started to work on eliminating one bad habit while tying to replace it with a “good” habit. This was simply to stop work, social media, and other unnecessary screen time by 9:00 pm to begin reading (books, articles, non-digital magazines). I would gauge my success rate at 60%.

So, this coming week, I’ll try to keep that going while working to eliminate the second (of three) bad habits.

3. Read

Save Me the Plums, by Ruth Reichl I loved the “behind the scenes” look at what Ruth Reichl had to do to move from the freelance to the corporate world. It still sounds very glamorous, considering the travel and prestige she experienced. It was a fun read, with excellent writing as always (from her). I always thought that I would go into journalism (photojournalism) after high school. That didn’t pan out and I’m kind of happy it didn’t.

USWNT Inspires Older Fans, Too. One of Them Was My MomGrant Wahl’s touching tribute to his mother, after she passed. I love sports for what they mean, and can mean, for people who watch sports. Sure, there is the sport itself but, the journeys and the representation and the stories… this is what I love best abut it all.

Are McMansions Making People Any Happier?I found this interesting as I watch developers and builders, around Sacramento, straddle the line between building neighborhoods with large houses and trying to fit as many of them into their subdivision as possible. It’s so weird to look out your window and directly into the window of your neighbor’s house. Part of me wonders if it would just be better to have townhouses/rowhouses and give the homeowners more back and front yards.

4. Watched

I watched a lot of YouTube this week, mostly watching updates and gameplay videos on Nintendo‘s E3 announcements.

I also found myself watching a lot of the Food Wishes videos. I know I’m late to the party on them but, they’re really informative and entertaining. I like Chef John’s humor.

5. Listened

Song Exploder, ep 161: Sheryl Crow A powerful, powerful track. Love the episode as Sheryl walked us through the process of combining her vocals with Johnny Cash’s.

The Moth: Mets Magic I found Marie Hershkowitz’s story to be very endearing. One because it has to do with baseball fandom, and two because it talks about the sacrifices one makes for others.

Five things for the week

Canopy

1. Vegetables

There is a simmering movement towards eating more plant-based foods and we are not exempt from this. I love meat but, lately I find myself craving more vegetable-heavy plates and recipes. I’m not sure what has started this. As a result, I find myself learning new recipes and cooking methods. Though, I still will most likely lean on grilling as my preferred cooking method, especially during the Summer.

2. Habits

I wrote a list of three habits that I want to stop. I then wrote a list of three habits that I would like to replace them with. This coming week, I will focus on ceasing one and starting its replacement. I think trying to tackle all three simultaneously will be too tough.

3. Read

I found out Nazi money is behind my favorite coffee. Should I keep drinking it?Large corporations built by Nazis, who own and operate multiple brands, including a bagel chain. What a world.

Too Many People Want to TravelThough I don’t travel nearly as much as I did a few years ago, I would notice how disrespectful we travelers were to the places we were guests at. I can’t imagine how much worse the more touristy areas are. I can’t imagine a shipload of people pouring out into the streets of a small coastal town. That sounds like a nightmare to me.

‘Great Successor’ book excerpt: Kim Jong Un’s gilded boyhood of chefs, travel and lessons on ruthless ruleI may buy this book. I have some “tempered curiosity” about his life, wondering how much of this is real. The excerpt worked, though. Curiosity is piqued.

4. Watched

Captain Marvel We finally got around to seeing this. My superhero movie fatigue is still pretty strong. Sure, this had some fun moments but, all said and done, it was like the others. Same story and plot arch that these comic book movies have.

United Shades of America S4, E5 – The Real DC. I really wish that during my time there, I had spent more time getting to know “the real DC”. I had moments and experiences that I stumbled into but, not nearly enough to be memorable. Just enough to know that what we think DC to be is really not what it is. I loved this episode, peeling back some of those layers.

5. Listened

Criminal, “Jessica and the Bunny Ranch” I found this fascinating if only to remind myself that there is a whole world of things out there that 1) I don’t think about all the time and 2) that I don’t ever see myself being involved in, ever. Yet it’s out there and it’s happening. It has its own set of rules, etiquette, cultural issues and norms, and more.

Five Things for the Week

1. Health

Around Wednesday afternoon I started feeling… “off”. It wasn’t until later that I realized I was running a fever. That was also when the coughing fits started to happen. This lasted until Friday afternoon, where even the occasional coughing fit still snuck its way in.

I used two sick days for work (Thursday and Friday). I tried; there was just no way I could get anything done. I didn’t have the ability to focus nor think about anything for any extended amount of time.

2. Perception vs Reality

Of course I didn’t do anything directly to cause me getting sick. It happens to all of us. But this week had me thinking and evaluating: am I really taking care of myself the way that I think I am taking care of myself?

Careful there, I think I just crossed over into OverThink land.

I have certainly improved my self care. I know that I still have a ways to go before I got to where I envisioned. But am I as far along as I believe myself to be?

The blame for this doubt (and over think) is because I didn’t set clear, measurable goals along the way. So I don’t have a measure to tell me whether I am right or wrong, on track or not, succeeding or failing.

Must remedy this soon.

3. Read

The WNBA’s male practice squads lose to women all the time — and enjoy it This was an interesting read and my immediate and most prominent reaction to it is simply “that sounds like a fun job!”

The Billboard This speaks to the power of art, and what art can mean for not ony the artists but for our society. When I see/read/hear about cases like this, I try to remain impartial. I wasn’t there, we don’t have all of the facts other than what was reported on. And though I tend to believe the victims, I always temper it with the reality that I just don’t know all sides.

Simon Liu Isn’t A Sex Offender. But He’s Still on the Registry For Life Our system is messed up. Even some judges, like the one in this article, agree. So, why aren’t we changing it and making things right? And why does change, to do the right thing, take so long?

4. Watched

Always Be My Maybe Another feel good movie for me, mainly because I love seeing Asian representation. I love seeing the increase in opportunities for those who haven’t had them before. I’m also a Randall Park fan, and it was good to see him in a leading role for a feature film. Funny and sweet and loved the Asian foods showcased as well.

Wanda Sykes: Not Normal Damn, she’s good. I was so happy to see that she had a Netflix special. Hilarious. She has been a longtime favorite comic of mine.

Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters I saw these movies come up in my suggestions (on Netflix). I heard mixed things about them but, in my excitement for the upcoming Godzilla movie (and because I was laid up, sick most of the week), I decided to check them out. The first one was promising, setting up some good potential story lines and introducing the characters (though most are clichéd and/or forgettable). Overall animation was good, though.

Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle I knew, going in, that these movies wanted to focus more on human stories rather than Godzilla and “monster fights” so, I figured that there wouldn’t be a lot of action scenes. But, I think that is what made these disappointing. When you use Godzilla as a character, you have to focus on that character. Show action. Show Godzilla action. This movie, for me, is where the anime, story, characters, etc. got so clichéd that it became boring to me.

Godzilla: The Planet Eater The third of the trilogy, surely the climax and ending would be all worth it, right? Halfway through the movie I was highly irritated by the over-explaining, over-narrating of the dialog. It became so repetitive and so tedious I started to wonder if the English scripts where just photocopied and collated in the wrong order, with multiple copies of the same pages. So irritated that I almost turned it off but, saw it through with the optimism that a Ghidorah vs. Godzilla battle would make up for it. Wrong.

5. Listened

Rilo Kiley, Japanese Breakfast, Rammstein, and Blackpink made up the majority of my music listening, this week.

Five things for the week

1. Family

My brother in law spent the three day weekend with us, and we made it a fun weekend. Other than making sure every meal was good, we went to Topgolf, did some reminiscing in my wife and his old neighborhood (they grew up around here), wandered around downtown, and spent some time catching up. All in all a fun weekend.

2. Creating

I carried my camera with me all weekend. I got some shots I was happy with but, this was more about getting back into the habit of carrying that camera bag around with me without being self-conscious about it nor seeing it as a burden (ugh, something to carry). I used the XT-1 and the 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 lens. I loved the flexibility of the zoom as we wandered through the city.

For Memorial Day, we stayed around the house and relaxed (where we caught up and just talked). I grilled a feast (above), including Santa Maria-style tri-tip, bbq spare ribs, garlic bread, ranch beans and coleslaw. It was so, so good.

3. Read

Something Is Changing in the Way People Eat at Home I’ve been increasing our efforts to reverse this trend, at least in our household. I want to be at 80% meals made at home and eaten at our table, and 20% going out and being more social. My wife and I both grew up in families where every dinner was at a table with everyone there. It’s just so odd how quickly we got away from doing that in our adult lives.

Why Walking is the Key to Being More Productive I have mentioned needing to build walking into my daily routine before. I still haven’t managed to get to a point where I can say I am doing it regularly, even after reading all of the different studies and essays and articles showing how much this benefits an individual.

4. Watched

The Lonely island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers ExperienceIt’s fun, and silly, and had some fun cameos, and made me laugh. Isn’t this really all that matters?

5. Listened

A lot of Japanese Breakfast came through the headphones and speakers, this week. It’s just really good music and songwriting. I created a playlist exclusively for them after watching Michelle Zauner, Maangchi, and Sarah Lee in this video, from Munchies.

I tried to listen to the Apple Music curated “Focus” playlists while working. They’re okay for background music and I didn’t really find myself distracted, which is good. I think that I need to use them in moderation; too much trance and electronica-type music for too long sometimes gives me a headache.

Five things for the week

reach
  1. I have to make a very difficult decision in the name of my health. This will take an opportunity away from me but, it’s needed. I need to heal. This was inevitable; I admittedly have been putting off this decision for quite some time. It’s time I verbalize it, take action on it, and stand by it. I need to heal.
  2. The best technology gets out of your way and allows you to do what you need/want to do. If you have any technology, hardware or software, that gets in your way, get rid of it.
  3. I learned that Cattleman‘s is a real steakhouse restaurant (not just something on Fresh Off the Boat)! There’s one about 25 minutes away from me so, I’ll be indulging soon.
  4. Just shut up, put your head down, and write.
  5. I can’t work on messy, cluttered desks. I don’t understand how others can. Physical clutter clutters my mind (at least, I think so) .

Five things for the week

Dark
  1. The more time I spend in this city, the greater the appreciation I have for it. It really is underrated (though, perhaps not as much as the locals play it up to be) . It’s definitely growing. It doesn’t quite feel like home yet, though I suspect that it is only a matter of time.
  2. I started using my phone to read more ebooks (between meetings, waiting in lines, etc.). I also have been using it for more tasks that I used to use the iPad for. As a result, my screen-time stats this week are really high. Like, really high.
  3. I’m almost ready to start filling my house with indoor plants. And I have some ideas for the yard that I want to put into motion. The first step is starting to invest in a bunch of pots and planters.
  4. My creative block is because I’m not allowing myself enough time and space to be creative.
  5. The most difficult part of last week (work-wise) was getting my head wrapped around the amount of work that needs to be done from now until March.

Five things for the week

Abu Dhabi views
  1. I like this tweet.
  2. I do take work travel for granted, sometimes. I don’t always appreciate the opportunities that I have to do what I do, and the places that brings me to. I need to practice more gratitude and appreciation for that.
  3. There were a few places, in Abu Dhabi, that I found myself wishing that I had brought my camera. I didn’t bring one on this trip, even though I had my backpack with me everywhere I went. I really need to get back into the habit of carrying one wherever I go.
  4. I forgot how much fun it is to drive around with the windows down, and blast the Beastie Boys. I feel like I’m in my twenties again.
  5. I’ll need to dig down and grind, this week. There’s a lot to get through.

Five things for the week

the Benedict Arnold (eggs benedict on a waffle)
  1. I’m making a point to load up at least one day of the weekend to get out and do errands. Part of this means saving some things until the end of the week (which is okay, because it will help me plan better). It also means ordering less online and going to more stores/places. It’s all part of an effort to be more mindful about what I am doing day to day.
  2. New rule: eat outdoors whenever possible (when weather permits). Breakfast on Saturday morning (picture above) was perfect on the patio compared to inside. Inside was crowded and noisy. Outside was quiet, with fresh air and sunshine.
  3. It’s amazing how much better I feel when I wear clothes that actually fit me.
  4. DirectTV is pissing me off. Too much to go into here but, I’m 90% sure I’ll be cutting the service soon. Which means we’ll be a streaming household only (because there’s no way I’m going to Comcast).
  5. My February project will be getting some plants and trees setup inside and outside of this home. Our home needs some plant life!

Five things for the week

L Bird mural
Lady Bird Mural
  1. No resolutions for 2019. No projects, writing or photographic. No defined things to change, do, or observe. Just another year, intentionally. I need 2019 to be my “recalibration” year. A year where I can just “be” without expectations.
  2. 2018 was difficult. It wasn’t, when compared to others’ 2018 anything remote to “difficult” but, for me? Difficult. I made a huge necessary change in moving back to California, mainly because I was struggling in early 2018. A lot. The remaining part was me trying to get reacclimatized to (what sounds weird to say/type) my own life. Thus, the reason for #1 (above).
  3. I have fully accepted and embraced my introversion. I truly have but, I do need to work on some balance. I have let my lifestyle stray way further into it than it should have.
  4. I want to start working on my own defined timeline and stop working off of other’s timelines. I need to drive more.
  5. I didn’t end up buying a car this past week (many reasons) but am still on the lookout for one. It makes the shopping experience easy when there is no timeline/deadline or sense of urgency.

Five things for the week

  1. The lingering smoke, from the Camp Fire, caught up to me, putting me out of commission on Thursday and Friday.  Scratchy throat and itchy eyes, to say the least. The perspective? This is minor compared to what the fire victims are going through. 
  2. I’ve touched on this before but, my work is trending away from “mobile” and more towards desktop. I just like sitting down at a dedicated space, on a dedicated machine, to work. Ergonomics are better, too. (duh)
  3.  Though this week will be a short (work) week, it will be busy. As always, much to do. I’m gearing up for it. 
  4. We have been fine since reducing from two cars to one. Though, I find myself wanting a second one from time to time. Part of this is because it’s comfort. Part because I have always had my own car up until this past Summer. Sometimes I do get a little stir crazy. This is the ultimate test in understanding a need versus a want
  5. I think about becoming more… public. You know, promoting the blog more often, changing social media settings from private to public, and engaging in more (online) conversations regularly. I can’t quite put my finger on why but, there’s something keeping me from doing so.And I’m fine with that, for now. 

//So sad that I don’t really have a good photo to add to this post. I don’t think I picked up my camera once, this past week. That’s just not good. 

Five things for the week

Chile relleños

  1. The biggest deterrent from moving is, well… moving. Especially between different states. There’s just so much to take care of. It’s a good reminder of how broken government *cough*DMV*cough* entities are.
  2. Chile rellenos, tamales, and tacos. Those are my Mexican food vices. Now you know.
  3. I’m gathering as much as I can in preparation for e-waste recycling. I scheduled a pickup for this coming Tuesday, and am treating this as a huge opportunity to downsize, clean, and reorganize.
  4. I’m highly irritated with Apple iTunes… it has absolutely destroyed my music library. Album cover to title tracks to playlists and more… obliterated. I don’t even know where to begin with sorting this all out.
  5.  The home office is starting to take shape. At least, I like the way that it is starting to take shape. There are still some tweaks and adjustments I need to make, mostly in the name of comfort. Working from home full time has changed the way I want to approach the machines/monitors on my desk. Again. ,mostly driven by the need to be more comfortable. Also driven by the need to reduce distractions.

Five things for the week

  1. No picture ready for this post is a good indicator that I need to step up my photo game so that I don’t run into this same issue next week. I could post another food pic but, nah.
  2. I’m beginning to appreciate curated email newsletters again though, it’s still rough trying to find ones that I actually enjoy/look forward to. It also makes me wonder if I need to even bother with a newsletter of my own given that I’m not entirely positive that I would be able to keep it interesting from issue to issue.
  3. Playing Jurassic World: Evolution (PC) and it’s so what I wanted in this game it’s not even funny. I’m tempted to buy Forza Horizon 4 because I love the open world concept in a driving game. It’s cathartic to drive through farmers’ fields with a Ferrari.
  4. Damn, it feels really good to be back in California. My mind and body health is definitely improving.
  5. In another life, I think I would have become a chef.

Five things for the week

Simple

  1. Why am I driving myself crazy trying to figure out which iPhone XS to upgrade to (XS or XS Max) when it’s absolutely not even something that is necessary to do?!? I’m perfectly fine with what I have. Stop it. Just, stop.
  2. There’s so much more out there that I want to spend my brain power, money, and time on.
  3. It felt really good to wake up on a Saturday and cook breakfast in my own kitchen, in my own home.
  4. Create create create.
  5. My tendency is to overcomplicate things because sometimes my brain cannot comprehend that some things are just easy. Plain and simple, some things are just easy. I don’t need elaborate dinners every night. I don’t need complicated workflow processes. I don’t need separate software to journal versus take notes versus track tasks. It’s all so crazy.

 

Five things for the week

Took in some tennis on the last day of competition

  1. The past two weeks, working the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Washington, served as a good shot in the arm for me. The high-paced first half of 2018 had me very stressed out These past two weeks, and spending time watching the fruits of our labor, have me re-energized.
  2. One thing that I (re)learned about myself this week? A lot of my unhappiness comes when I try to fit into the perceived “normal”. This also happens when I go along with a group of people without giving myself a voice and say into what we do. I was happiest when I simply chose to do what I wanted to do, even if it meant separating from the group.
  3. I need to start getting back into the habit of taking a few days for myself either before or after work trips, to explore the area a little more. I have been to Seattle a few times; I love it. It’s gorgeous there.
  4. Lego. Voltron.
  5. Related, this past Season of Voltron: Legendary Defender played like a movie and, I loved every second of it.

Five things for the week

Stress eating in the middle of the day

  1. It’s time that I started to write and post more on this blog.
  2. I ate really poorly these past couple of weeks (as the picture of the pizza above, partly reflects). Most of it is due to stress eating and laziness (haven’t cooked as much as I should have). There’s a lot going on, all good, but it’s all wearing me out every day, so quickly.
  3. Every decision I make, every action taken, is for health and happiness. I need to. I need to.
  4. Love/hate relationship with Instagram continues… Lord, it continues.
  5. Ezra Furman’s “Love You So Bad” has a lot of familiarity to it. It’s the kind of track that you might think you heard back in high school, almost a classic, that rings true with all of your youthful feelings of angst and teenage emotions.

Five things for the week

    1. The above video is something I took (via iPhone) yesterday afternoon. I remember looking up from my school work and watching the snow come down at a fairly rapid pace (it wasn’t cold enough to stick to roads, but enough to blanket the grassy areas). It was beautiful, so I though a nice slo-mo video would be fun. I also had some fun adding music to the video… perhaps this is something that I need to dabble more with?
    2. It’s all a good reminder that I do like to create, and I simply do not do that as often as I really should be.
    3. I’m not a big fan of snow and east coast winters. This California kid really, really misses Southern Ca. But it’s not just weather; there’s so much there that I miss.
    4. I have a great system for organization and productivity… my issue isn’t a lack of system. My issue comes from a lack of being able to consistently put in the work to make the system effective. This is something that depends on me being able to (re)build some routines that I have strayed from.
    5. I know who I want to be but, it’s still going to take a little bit of work to get there.

 

Five things for the week

I like writing these. I want to get back to writing these on a regularly. I used to write “Five things for the day” as a daily journal prompt, and want to get back to doing this.

  1. I “postponed” my efforts of putting together a newsletter. Most of my hesitation is not having enough to write about. More accurately, not having enough to really want to share.
  2. I have been trying to break some bad habits and start some good ones. Most of it stems from me trying to be more in the moment. To enjoy life more. But it’s more difficult to follow through.
  3. I need to be a better person. It’s not that I’m a bad person. It’s just, the world. Everything happening now. We can all stand to be better. And it starts with me.
  4. I watched “Rotten” and, have so many more questions. And feel a bit powerless as a consumer.
  5. We humans are capable of more. And this is both good and bad.

Five things for the week

  1. The “SWTLO Weekly” experiment has ended. I wasn’t sold on the format and delivery of it. I still am working towards starting a newsletter for 2018. I just need to work on the formatting of it all.
  2. We… no, I. I have to become more comfortable with change. I want it. I seek it. I’m just not as comfortable with it as I would like to be.
  3. I’m starting to use the iPad Pro more and more as an all around device. This is to say that I am seeing where it fits into my workflows, and am slowly adapting things to accommodate it (not for the sake of accommodating, more for the sake of convenience).
  4. Write, read, photograph = more.
  5. I’m slowly working my way to replying with actual sentences on social media (in addition to liking or favoriting). It’s all in my effort to just converse more. Less passive, more active.

Five things for the week

they like the purple ones

  1. I had planned to begin my weekly e-newsletter by now (September). Things got too busy and I just didn’t have the time to do the initial setup. Perhaps I’ll table it to begin at the start of 2018? Gives me more time to work on formatting and content (think it through some more).
  2. This long weekend (wife and I took a few days before and after the three days) was telling. The thing I have done the most? Sleep. Our minds needed rest. We zoned out all of yesterday (Sunday). All this to say, I need to do a better job at listening to y mind and body, and taking better care of both.
  3. I have non-work projects that I want to work on… I have done a horrible job at writing them down, let alone pursuing them. Here’s the beginning of doing both better. That notebook is going to get busy.
  4. Here’s to also cutting out the noise.
  5. Travel is picking up later this month… looking forward to it but, more so, I’m looking forward to getting things done. I’m in my forties and there are hundreds of things that I want to accomplish… time to get crackin.

five things for the week

  1. During Prime Day, I took advantage of the discount and upgraded to a Kindle Voyage. The Paperwhite is close to as perfect as you can get but, the finishing touches on the Voyage (e.g. auto light adjustment, flush screen with bezel, and the page turn “buttons”) really make it worth it.  #treatyoself.
  2. Currently reading Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee. I don’t want it to end.
  3. I have been working from home a little more often, lately. I’m getting a lot more work done. But the biggest lesson learned? My cat sleeps like, 22 out of the day’s 24 hours. I envy her.
  4. Watch: Chasing Coral. Just do it. Please?
  5. I need to add more pictures to this blog…

Five things for the week

More life goals

  1. We spent this afternoon at a 3 year old birthday part for my friend/coworker’s son. It was nice to be out and socializing even if it was hot out.
  2. I have to rethink the pay I embed photos into my posts, here. I currently embed from Flickr but, am starting too get a little shaky about it. What happens if Flickr goes away (or i stop using it) for some reason? So many blog posts with no photos properly mapped…
  3. Slightly related to above: I need to rethink my blog. I want to make it a central hub for everything, that then shares out to different places. I also am considering self-hosting (instead of wordpress.com). I also have this weird thought of “do I really need a blog?” festering in the back of my mind.
  4. This is going to be a very busy month. I don’t expect much travel, just a lot of work.
  5. Finished The Hundred Year Flood by Matthew Salesses. I enjoyed it and confidently recommend it to you (reader). I have liked all of Matthew’s works (that I have read) so far. He’s a really good storyteller.

Five things for the week

2017-06-11 08.54.27-1
Sunday breakfast tacos

  1. “We are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not.”  – Joan Didion
  2. “If you can fall in love again and again… if you can forgive as well as forget, if you can keep from growing sour, surly, bitter and cynical… you’ve got it half licked.” – Henry Miller
  3. I’m working on re-establishing a photo hub. Somewhere along the line, most likely because I got lazy with my photography workflow, I moved away form having one. My photos are all over the place, mostly in cloud storage. This needs to be cleaned up.
  4. I love what Kristyn Leach is doing.
  5. Spark” by Violents & Monica Martin.

Five things for the week

Viewing the mosque from the bus

  1. I forget how much I love my music collection. I’m only reminded of this when I’m able to allow the songs to shuffle for long periods of time. I need to find ways to do this more often.
  2. I’m “slow-reading” (restricting myself to focus on 1-3 passages at a time) both The Way of Korean Zen, by Kusan Sunim and Ursula Le Guin’s translation of the Tao Te Ching. The intent is to slow my mind and focus on meaning (value).
  3. To counterbalance “mindless internet surfing”, I have done a few things:
    • Self-imposed restriction of not using iPad in my bedroom, just the Kindle. Read more!
    • Subscribed to email newsletters from content that I want to keep up with. This way I can peruse through email (as I’m used to) instead of reading through every feed and post to get what I want. This means less reliance on social media feeds.
    • Deleted apps on devices. All of those “time sucks” are gone!
  4. I splurged on some early birthday gifts for myself. I’m really excited about this and this. I will never grow up. And, I bought some whiskey, which I cannot wait to drink out of these.
  5. I will never grow up.

Five things for the week

  1. I’m working on slowing down. Not in the sense that I want less to do, rather, in the sense that I move towards doing things in a more purposeful, quality > quantity methodology. I’m working on incorporating this in all aspects of my life, from handling large scale projects and tasks at work to cooking more meals at home.
  2. I started reading Ursula Le Guin’s translation of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. I first heard about her translation through Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings post. Intentionally I’m only reading a few pages at a time, taking time to process and truly understand what is being written. It helps slow things down and put things into perspective.
  3. Photography! I am slowly, intentionally, working my way back into it. I have identified it as something that has been missing in my life and routines.
  4. Work out loud. Live out loud. I’m exploring this as possible themes to help me post to this blog and social media sites.
  5. There’s something about my home office setup that has been bothering me. I cannot pin point it, yet. Not sure if it has to do with the technology/layout of technology, or the layout of the overall workspace altogether. Or, if it’s just something that I will always be tinkering with because that’s simply what I like to do.