Sunday, April 16, 2017

Japannnnn and following your dreams

Kinkaku-ji AKA the Golden Pavilion (who knew) - Kyoto, Japan - February 2017
A lot of rambling paired with some fun pics from Osaka, Kyoto (my favorite) and Tokyo. I did many fun, new, uncomfortably-wonderful, somewhat-exhausting, enjoyable things and went to many fun, awe-inspiring, centering, overwhelmingly-stimulating, unique places and talked with many fun, polite, kind, helpful, creative people. The trip was eye-opening, beautiful, cold, enormously-fun (Can fun be enormous?), too short, delicious (in terms of food) and dreamy. I pet an owl which was terrifying because I thought it'd bite me, sad because it was chained up and soft because duh. I ate lots of the best ramen I've ever had, onigiri at every meal and loads of sweet bread. I bought lots of souvenirs I sometimes stare at and remember where I got them and what was happening around me. I talked with people who were thrilled to meet us and excited to help us find our way and take photos that had all of us in them (Where's the button? Oh yeah, where it always is.) I drank lots of coffee made by the hippest people I've ever seen. I walked A LOT. I saw 10 story buildings covered to the top in one square inch ceramic tiles over and over and took photos of them over and over then dreamed aloud with Courtney about what color we would cover a house in — hers: cream/beige/grey, mine: indigo. I'm almost crying of joy thinking about all the things we did and how wonderful of a time we had.
Osaka, Japan - Feb 2017
I was obsessed with their taxis. This was the most boring color of them all. - Osaka, Japan - Feb 2017
Courtney being her usual thug self - Osaka, Japan - Feb 2017
Some of the few blossoms we were lucky enough to catch - Osaka, Japan - Feb 2017
I urge you to get up, to get out, to go look out and up, to go looking at pretty things, things that you can't look away from. It's so easy to get stuck in the same routine. To look at the same things and not quite see them any longer. But they want to be seen just as much as you want to be seen. (Sometimes I get a bit frantic and worried about others missing the beauty around them. Forgive me.) These pretty things can be so inspiring — if not inspiring, then at least uplifting.
Top-notch, tour-guide Courtney and wising-I-had-a-warmer-jacket me - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017

Tourists dressed as Geishas & tourists dressed as themselves - Yasaka Pagota - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
Look at that sign though! - Nishiki Market - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
The prettiest pork bun there ever was, also the most delicious - Nishiki Market - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
I have taken up running again now that it's light out past five o'clock. Okay let me be clear, I jog, not run. I wish I ran, but perhaps someday. Anyway all this running, sorry, jogging, made me re-fall in love with San Francisco. I love all the green and the beautiful, highly-detailed homes and the crazy, amazing people.
Yasaka Shrine from Gion - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
Me being me - Yasaka Shrine - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
Tiny one - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
Lit lanterns - Yasaka Shrine - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
Stone family - Arashiyama, Japan - Feb 2017
Looking up in the Bamboo Forest - Arashiyama, Japan - Feb 2017
A quote from the book I'm reading reads, "Keep your dreams, you never know when you might need them." And while the first time I read thought I thought it to be sad, I now see it as more beautiful than sad. Following your dreams is terrifying and I understand accidental and purposeful detours happen, so it's nice to know you can keep your dreams for later. They'll always be there, waiting for you. They can oftentimes be too patient.
Fushimi Inari - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
Jenny and Courtney being fun - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
Refreshing and uplifting, also ginormous - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
Lunch half-eaten - Arashiyama, Japan - Feb 2017
Fushimi Inari - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
On the other hand, for those who have followed their dreams, we all know the road can be a hell of a ride, and not always the thrilling sort. Keeping your dreams safe allows you to refer back to why and how you got here in the first place, which gets you to persist. I have no idea why I seem to feel road/driving metaphors are naturally associated with dreams. Will the world ever know?!
Some cool shop - Tokyo, Japan - Feb 2017
Tokyo, Japan - Feb 2017
Space ship, just kidding - Tokyo, Japan - Feb 2017
Casual stroll in Shinjuku - Tokyo, Japan - Feb 2017

Some fun facts:
I still wish everyone I love could live in the same place.
I've been eating a lot of roasted veggies lately — like so many I'm afraid I'll turn into one.
There's been so much to fight for lately; it can be very exhausting.
Dishwashing gloves are highly underrated.
Sparkling water makes every day better.

Ceramic tile city - Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan - March 2017
Tokyo, Japan - March 2017

The sun came out for our last day - Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan - March 2017

Twins drinking beers on Route 66 - Cheers to the last day - Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan - March 2017

Monday, August 29, 2016

Love and deep dish pizza

Lexington—one hell of a place - August 2016
Here goes something. My mind has slowly become occupied by work and work alone. I’ve had to make an extra effort to make life balance out with work. Maybe that's growing up, maybe it's not. I couldn't tell ya. But it truly is amazing the effect paying more attention to life can have on your overall well being. Not sure where I'm going with this so moving on.
"If you don't have food, get out of my way!" - August 2016
You're welcome for the breakfast - August 2016
I visited my sister and brother in Kentucky this past weekend and it was wonderful and fun and filled with love and relaxing and sunny and centering. I met my nephew who will be 3 months old tomorrow. It's remarkable the moment you first hold someone so small and so vulnerable that all you want to do is protect him from all the harm in the world while enveloping him with love.
"So what do you think of string theory?" - August 2016
Love him. - August 2016
August 2016
A conversation I had on my trip got me thinking. Not everyone finds their path within the same timeframe. It's okay if it takes a bit longer or a bit shorter than the others. It's okay if it takes a lot longer or a lot shorter than the others. Just please remember to keep exploring, keep discovering. Do things that scare you because it is in those activities you find what comforts you. You find your thing. You find your path. And when you find your thing, don't be afraid to admit it — to speak about it to all who will listen. (Not everyone will listen and that's okay because not everyone is interested, which is also okay.) Don't give up. Who are we to think we should anyway?
Sunset run - August 2016
A room with a view - July 2016
The fairest of them all - July 2016
So here we are, in a state of chaos. Seriously though, what in the hades is going on with the world. (I put a period at the end of that sentence because I answered it the sentence preceding it.) I went to a concert a bit ago for a friend’s bday (It was tons of fun. My early to sleep and early to rise behavior is to blame for me almost falling asleep before 10pm while standing up.) and the opening act started a chant of:
“I am!”
“You are!”
“They’re the same thing.”
I was blown away. Can you say impactful and honest and thought-provoking? Sometimes I get somewhat hopeless with the way people treat each other and that chant was the most amazing reminder that there are people out there with hearts larger than a deep-dish pizza and how could I forget. Please, everyone, remember to be kind and respectful to others no matter how similar or different they are. And please remember to treat others well even when you don't feel others treat you well.

Robes and tongue faces - July 2016
Fam bam thank you mam - July 2016
Fun and friends and Seattle - August 2016
Some I just finished. Some I just started. - August 2016
I leave you with a list of things I am thankful for:
- My bed and its continuous coziness
- My friends and family for being wonderful and amazing and extraordinary
- My all-terrain slippers for carrying me to places in comfort
- Books for showing me what's possible
- Salads for making my lunches what they are, and my salad jar for holding said lunches
- Airplanes and co for getting me places faster
- William's Sonoma grapefruit soap and lotion for making my hands clean and moisturized while smelling marvelous

Gasworks with Buckles - Photo by Kate Starr - August 2016 
Ed Ruscha exhibit ruled - August 2016
The ferry is still my favorite form of transportation - July 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

Don't mind me, just being sappy.

It was windy. We were happy. - June 2016 - SF

I got to spend the weekend with my best friend of them all Natalie, I haven't seen her in a year. A whole year. I still can't believe it. And yet, as they say, it was like we were never apart. There's something amazing about best friendships, how the bond never seems to fade, they understand and accept you better than anyone. Life will take you in different directions, and yet the love and friendship live on. Sometimes we both forget to give each other a call for an entire month if not longer, but people get busy, we understand. I know if I needed anything in the world, she'd be there for me. And isn't that amazing. It seems I will be perpetually shocked by how amazing people can be. You'd think I'd get used to it by now, but I don't think I ever will. And not for any bad reason, just sometimes people forget.
Cheers to great times with great friends - Mike, Natalie and I - June 2016 - SF

The fog over the river - May 2016 - Camping in Gualala, CA

HBD Monica - May 2016 - Gualala, CA

I'm the sappiest of them all, aren't I. I'll blame it on the glass of red wine.
Pretty view of the water, get it? - May 2016 - Gualala, CA

Courtney and I smiling for miles - May 2016 - Gualala, CA

Fun can be terribly exhausting. I think I'm finally learning how to live. That of course sounds dramatic, let me explain. I have always very much loved solitary activities (e.g., reading, writing) and I tended to neglect the social activities because the fun there was inconsistent. But lately I've seemed to be saying yes more often than not, and it's made such a difference. There's something wonderful about being exhausted from laughing your head off with your friends. Well exhausted simultaneously from that and working hard at a job you love.
Flying books - Broadway/Columbus - SF

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? - Not my car - June 2016 - SF

Hannah and the biggest bougainvillea - June 2016 - NOPA, SF

Life lessons I've learned over the years that bum me out:
1. Bad things really do happen to good people, and for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
2. Love doesn't always turn out as you hoped it would.
Life lessons I've learned over the years that bring me joy:
1. If you show kindness, it will almost always be appreciated and/or reciprocated.
2. It's important to give others the benefit of the doubt because there's so much people don't say out loud.
Of course each of the lessons from each of the categories have a flip side equally true.
Prettiest place for a yummy sandwich - June 2016 - SF

Somewhere off the highway up north - May 2016 - CA

My poems on display at work during design week - June 2016 - SF