"It's difficult to understand change when you are right in the middle of it. I wonder what people thought during the industrial revolution when they rode a train for the very first time, drove a car, or saw electric lights on the streets of Paris suddenly go on as if magic. Did they feel the same mixture of skepticism and enthusiasm that we did when we held our first cellphone, figured out how to use a laptop, or learned how to Skype with our loved ones? Probably. But I bet that they, like us, got used to these inventions very quickly, without paying too much attention to just how significant the moments they were experiencing were."
From the Editor's Letter of W magazine, written by Stefano Tonchi. W magazine, March 2014 issue.
"Who knows who first mixed soy sauce and butter and discovered the pleasures the combination provides. Try the mixture on warm white rice, a steaming pile of greens or an old sneaker---regardless, the taste is a sublime velvet of sweet and salty, along with a kind of pop the cognoscenti call umami, a fifth taste beyond bitter, sour, salty and sweet. Soy butter provides warmth and luxury, elegance without pomp. It raises recipes to heights almost indescribable in the telling."
From the February 26, New York Times article, The Sublime Combination of Butter and Soy, written by Sam Sifton.
Who knew an easy childhood snack would be regarded with such high acclaim in the New York Times decades later?
Every night I try to fall asleep by a decent hour, but things just don't ever seem to work out that way.
I'm currently house-sitting/cat-sitting for a friend in Jersey City right now. I've only been here a few days, and have just been commuting back-and-forth to work from here. It's been an enjoyable couple of days to just break out of my usual routine and try something new, and I'm a little bummed that I'll be leaving here tomorrow morning for good. Even riding the Path Train here to Jersey City seemed like a nice change, which I think is a good indicator showing that I'm in desperate need to get away from NYC for a little. I can't really afford to travel anywhere right now, so I think even a day trip on a weekend would be extremely helpful to keep me going.
It's been a bit too cold out the past few days to explore much, but from what I've seen, Jersey City is pretty nice. There's seems to be a diverse range of people who live here, and there's tons of bars and restaurants near my friend's place as well. My friend Dessie lives off the Grove Street stop, so getting to the World Trade Center and walking to work is literally two stops away. It's great that the Path Train isn't too crazy packed during rush hour either, which has been a pleasant surprise.
But for everyone who's recently endured way too many snow days and cold nights---can we talk about this crazy ass winter? I know that Spring is only a few months away, but I'm just not sure how much more snow and freezing temperatures I can take. The inability to walk anywhere (because it's just too damn cold out!) is what's really driving me nuts the most, and I long for warmer weather where I can pop in my headphones and stroll in whatever hell direction I please.
It's during times like these where I miss Bangkok and Thailand the most. I especially miss sitting on the balcony of my old studio apartment, just listening to the constant traffic on Petchaburi Road and staring at the beautiful view (pictured below) with a joint in my hand. Man, that sure is nice to reminisce about right about now.
Until next time, I wish you warm and sunny dreams. Good night.
"I sat down to write this piece fifty-two minutes ago. I named the blank file, gathered all the material I'd need to complete it, and cued up a Spotify playlist of songs I don't know well enough to sing a sing along to. Since then, I've read three New York Times stories, a blog about West Virginia University football, and my Twitter feed (three times). I always wasted time when working---especially when I am trying my hardest to focus. In that way I'm no different from everyone else.
According to a study done by Gloria Mark, Ph.D, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, information workers switch activities every three minutes. Millennials---like the students at her school---jump around twice as often. Technology has made us more productive as a society, yet it's also great at tricking our brains into thinking they're doing real work. E-mail, social media, Candy Crush---they all provide that "job done!" satiation our brains crave without actually accomplishing anything.
Thing is, some of what we think of as procrastination, our brains consider recess. Sandra Bond Chapman, Ph.D, a cognitive neuroscientist and director of the Center for BrainHealth in Dallas, explains that our neurons want to work hard, then chill for a bit. Periods of productivity come and go, and that's okay.
For some people, focus peaks in mid-afternoon; for others it happens in the early morning. Once you know when you work best, build some walls around it. 'The most productive people spend their brains' 'prime time' on one or two higher-order tasks, rather than let lower-level tasks gobble the day,' says Chapman.
The most important thing you can do to finish a job? Start it. Humans are wired to seek completion. Psychologists call it the Zeigarnik effect, after an early-twentieth-century Russian psychologist who discovered that once people began an assigned task, they would almost always see it through, even if interrupted. The trick is setting yourself up to get there. And with the advice from the hyperproductive heavyweights that follows, you'll be able to get shit done. Just like I did now."
From the articled, How I Get $#!t Done: 21 Productivity Secrets from Successful People Who've Figured It Out, written by Josh Dean in the March 2014 issue of GQ.
It's late at night. Sometimes trying to find something fun to watch on television just seems impossible, but thank goodness for old reruns.
There's an old Friends rerun playing right now, and one of the story-lines of the episode is of this guy named "Fun Bobby." Midway through, the whole gang of characters realize "Fun Bobby" is only actually fun because he's a big alcoholic. And in fact, in reality he's a big dud when he's not drunk. Maybe it was because of some factors including it's supposed to take place in New York City and that drinking is such a big part of culture here, or well at least it can be. But it got me thinking that man, Bobby, I sort of get it. Why not just imbibe and let loose to have fun time every now and then?
Congratulations to my friends Jenn and Daniel for welcoming your first baby into the world! The two of them and their healthy newborn baby son are going to make such a great family. I'm so happy for them, and can't wait to go visit California later in the year.