Five Things for the Week

1. Photography

I bought and then returned a Fujifilm XE-3. I thought that the rangefinder-style layout combined with the ability to change lenses, would make for a great everyday carry camera. But, soon after opening the box and setting it up, I realized that wasn’t the case. It’s a great camera, and one that I wouldn’t mind having in my collection. But it’s not on that I want to carry all the time. I prefer the SLR-style cameras, like the Fujifilm XT-1 (that I currently have) and the recently released X-T30, which is smaller and somewhat inviting to me because of the smaller factor.

For now, I am going to stick with the XT-1 as my main and make some further investments into the lens ranges that I want. This will give me more time to just get used to carrying a proper camera around with me; perhaps even force me out to go photograph something specifically (not by happenstance).

2. Houseplants

Right now my success rate, for my indoor plants, is “average”. I think I’m losing my orchid due to watering (either too much or not enough, I’m still trying to figure that out). I over-pruned my AeroGarden tomatoes (will post picture update soon) but, they seem to be recovering perfectly fine. Another leafy houseplant is doing okay though, I still worry about the amount of light it’s (not) getting.

I hesitate to get more for now but, i also understand that since I’m new to this, it’s all really a learning experience. The lemon tree (outside) is doing well. It was full of blossoms a few weeks ago but the wind knocked most of them off over this past week.

3. Read

Science’s Newest Miracle Drug is Free This article points to a very big “duh” and something that we should all take more seriously. Just being outside, in my backyard, improves my mood. We’re not meant to be cooped up.

The rise of fear-based social media like Nextdoor, Citizen, and now Amazon’s Neighbors Fear begets fear. If all you read is bad, you start to believe all is bad. There are some really cool things in my Nextdoor feed, from food drives to students getting tutoring from each other. But the bad posts (complaining about really dumb stuff, posting of fake car break ins and burglaries, etc) always have me second guessing why I use that app.

Olivia Laing: ‘I was hooked and my drug was Twitter’I recently realized, and admitted out loud, that checking Twitter puts me in a bad mood. I divided my timeline into two accounts, one public and one private. The public one so that I could follow a wide variety of people and feeds to respond, the private one being more “intimate” with people I really wanted to keep up with. It helped but, I still hate opening the app and started reducing my use there.

4. Watched

Chasing Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta I stumbled on this series (forgot how) and was drawn in with some of the stories he is telling abut the people in the places that he visits. I don’t want to oversimplify any of it (it’s all really good food for thought) but, it seems that humans, no matter where they are and what circumstances they’re in, find ways to evolve both physically and mentally to achieve happiness and health.

The United Shades of America I like W. Kamau Bell’s perspective on the topic he brings out, and I like that the topics themselves are both topical but not always at the forefront of our news cycles. This week I caught up on Season 4’s episodes, with great appreciation for his most recent on the Hmong Americans.

Game of Thrones, s.8, ep.5 – Clegane Bowl, good. Rest, meh. I know they’re trying to wrap up as much as they can before the end of the season/series but, everything is far too rushed, with too many character arcs being cut short and/or not making any sense. A very disappointing season.

Wine CountryArgh! I wish this was better than it was. Especially with the acting talent that they had. There were definitely moments when I thought it would break wide open and become really funny and really good but, this was so subdued and bland. Disappointing but, I want this group to keep making content.

5. Listened

Nothing significant to report here. This week, when I had time, was filled with my usual news podcasts and Apple Music playlists.

Five things for the week

  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

  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. Hanging things on walls, for us, has a big influence on whether we feel at home or not. There are certain pieces that, when hung, we feel more settled. It’s surprising (perhaps not as much as we think) that it took this long to hang some of the things we did. Bonus, this past weekend we decorated for the holidays as well. It’s really nice. 
  2. I know who I am and what I want to do. Not consciously but, I know deep down that I know. I have a block on myself right now. I feel like I’m fighting through this block in every way that I can but, I’m just not making the progress that I want to be making. Deep, eh? Suppose this could be its own post someday. 
  3. On Saturday evening, I had a cup of hot (oolong) tea after dinner. It was the first time in a long time that I did this (drink a cup of hot tea in the evening) and I was reminded of how much better it made me feel, both physically and mentally. 
  4. F politics. All of it. F it all. 
  5. Instagram’s lack of chronological order is driving me nuts. I HATE the timeline. I keep seeing the same images over and over again (from the same contacts). It sometimes feels like I see more ads than actual posts. It’s a mess, and no longer enjoyable for me. I deleted the app from my phone; taking a bit of a break from it for a while.