• Week in the life, Day 1

    I have been thinking about writing a lot recently. Because I have realized with sadness that a a month has gone by without so much as a howdy-do. But as I sat on my couch this evening, I also thought that I didn’t feel like I had anything to share. Sometimes I feel exhausted from the week and I don’t feel like I can do recreational thinking anymore. At least no thought longer than a tweet.

    So I thought I would just describe my days for a week in excruciating detail to you. And then maybe you’d be like “ah yes, I’m not missing much.”

    Sunday, Day 1

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  • Empty pictures

    Hi. It’s me.

    I’ve been away, but okay.

    I’m sorry, but in May I didn’t have the energy to write anymore after work (which was usually late o’clock anyway), nor the desire to look at a computer during my free time.

    I also went to Barcelona.

    bcn-city

    bcn-walk

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  • Vancouver in a few photos

    Last month I popped over to Vancouver for a weekend with a friend. Here are some moments.

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    biking through Stanley Park

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    walking along English Beach

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    lot’s of great food

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    visiting Grainville Island on a foggy day

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    popping over to the art gallery for the exhibition on mashups

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    the gorgeous Capilano (suspension bridge) area

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    new memories

  • “This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years”

    If walls could talk, here are some that I’d want to listen to. This is a slower-paced movie and I think more than anything I was intrigued by the idea of anything lasting for 1,000 years.

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  • Robert Rushkin – The Artist [video]

    I saw this video yesterday and was amazed by his perspective. I admire people who are so inquisitive about the world and have what seems like an bottomless well of creativity they reach into to produce artwork. Sometimes it’s hard to remember to take that next step and make the the thing you’re curious about.

    Robert Rushkin – The Artist from Builders Club on Vimeo.

  • The making of gold leaf [video]

    I came across a click-bait title about this video and had some low expectations. It’s a ‘how-its-made’a bout gold leaf. The incredible part is that, when you think it was sufficiently complicated and they should have stopped approximately 1/10th of the actual process. It’s an incredibly long, labor-intensive process and I can’t imagine how someone came up with this process and was like: “Yeah, let’s do this again.”

    Enjoy! Or feel lazy or horrified!

    #ohjapan

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  • When nothing was the same

    That six years post yesterday has made me think about a lot about my relationship with time. I’ve heard people describe the way they’ve evolved throughout their life as: “I have a deep core of me. I might change a lot on the surface, but the light of my truest self appears in the shadows.” I was trying to think about the events that have impacted my life the most and I think that maybe I am the opposite way.

    I think maybe I’m just a soft fleshy shell-human—cold, hollow, and awkward—and it’s the flavors and spirit of all the people I’ve met that my friends really like about me. I’m just the vessel for the best experiences that have been shared with me. Like, I’m just a user researcher: I observe patterns and ask good questions so that you feel like you like me, but you really like what it reflects back to you.

    I mean, maybe. This is just some thoughts I had because I realized it wasn’t really events that have influenced me the most, but people I have met. That screenshot at the beginning is from the ever-articulate Matt during one of our conversations when I first moved here. It really captures this emotion that’s created when we compare our lives to the stories we see in the movies. Upon recent reflection, however, I see that I’m fortunate enough for me to have already met a handful of these people.

    With probably some further ados scattered throughout, here are some of the things I thought have had the biggest impact on my life:

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  • Hello, World! no. 734

    Today is my blog’s 6th birthday and post number 734.

    I remember sitting in my yellow room in Wyoming—hunched up on a cheap chair on a particleboard desk at my HP computer—setting up a wordpress.com blog. An automatic “Hello, World!” post and example comment is part of every new install.

    It was my junior year of college. I was procrastinating because I was excited about about my first trip to Europe. So I set up a blog. This would begin a long saga of promising to write things that I never would, infrequent posts full of typos, and me becoming a wordpress expert among my friends. Cheers!

    I was thinking about all the things that have changed in 6 years:

    • I’ve had 9 addresses in five different states (not including times I’ve had to moved back home to transition)
    • I met Katie, Sarah, and Grant, who I now talk to every week.
    • I’ve traveled. A lot.
    • I’ve gotten two degrees. (Worked full-time twice!)
    • Had 3 Friendsgivings in New York.
    • 2 car accidents (and have pretty much stopped driving now)

    There is so much life packed into those humble little bullet points. It makes me wonder if (or speculate that) there eventually becomes a span of six years where you end up not changing much. Is that scary, preventable, or inevitable?

    On the opposite side of things, here are the things that haven’t changed in 6 years:

    • I still am an atrocious speller and editor. (ex: the ‘e’ will forever sneak into the world ‘scary’)
    • I’m still good friends with my homies, Igor & Carissa.
    • Still my own procrastination monger monster
    • Still knit/crochet, doodle, write, take pictures, and cook
    • Still don’t know enough about current events, pop-culture, music, and politics as I should
    • Still terrible at singing and playing the ukulele

    But even those activities have varied so I can’t say they’re completely the same. I suspect it actually takes more concentrated effort to maintain a routine and prevent change than you think. I suspect you don’t need to measure a span of time by the things that change and stay the same. I guess if in six years it’s over all net positive, you should consider yourself lucky and be happy.

    It has been, I do, and I mostly am. :)

  • For all the language nerds

    I found this Merriam-Webster ask the editor series and had to share. So fascinating!

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  • Is now a good time?

    My co-worker said something about the value of notifications I thought was absolutely brilliant:

    It’s like we’re trying to convince the whole world they have a cold because we’re selling tissues.

    But really we’re selling them tissues with snot already in it.

    To put it so much less poetically, a lot of the services we offer boast being able to ‘stay in touch’ or receive notifications as a perk, but maybe everyone is fighting over a way to design something that no one wants.

    Services be like: We only send important notifications—the notifications you care about….Wait! Wait, don’t go!—How many notifications is too many? When is a good time? Now? Is it now? Now?

    There’s this design dream about being able to create these ‘just-in-time’ notifications that seamlessly intercept you in a helpful way. For instance, say you’re at the grocery store just about to get in line to check out and you receive a notification that says “don’t forget the tarragon!” The day is saved and you go back swing back around to get it.

    To break this down, this means designing an experience where this service knows…

    1. Where you are. (the grocery store)
    2. What you need at that location. (your grocery list)
    3. What you had already gotten from your list. (but you’re missing the tarragon! Drats on that non-staple item!)
    4. That it was definitely out-of-mind. (you were heading towards the check out counter)

    (Important Spoiler: I am not going to propose an actionable a solution! I just want to unload all these disconnected thoughts I’ve had on notifications)

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