Saturday, November 29, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

Baby steps...

Things in life take time.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am about to head to Port Authority to take the bus to my relative's place in New Jersey.

I hope everyone has a great holiday with cherished loved ones and lots of great food.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

""I think it's extremely important to forgive. Otherwise it just builds up like toxic waste. There's nothing worse than holding a grudge. Listen, people can do unforgivable things, but you have to let it go and say, 'Look, we're all human beings. We make mistakes.' To hold any kind of resentment is like taking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die.'"

Said by Jennifer Aniston in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of Harper's Bazaar.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It's not even 5pm and it's already dark as night outside.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It sucks that with every year of age, it seems to require that number of days for a pimple to go away.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"The polar bear's world is disappearing beneath its feet."

From the PBS show Nature. Season 33 Episode 3.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Happiness in the morning is taking a shower and then snuggling back into bed for 15 minutes before getting ready for work.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

"I,
I,
I,
I,
Ache, ache,
For you, you, you, you."

From the song Ache by FKA Twigs.
Sundays are for...

...sleeping-in past noon ...and staying under the covers ...with the lights off and shades drawn ...to forget about everything.
Sometimes, 5am can feel just the same as 11pm to me. I'm not sure what sort of weird internal clock I was born with, but I've come to somewhat fully accept my lifelong sleep issues as a part of who I truly I am. There's no sleeping pill, breathing exercise, diet or routine that has ever been a dependable solution to my insomnia, and so here I am typing.

When I was living abroad in Thailand for years, I often went long periods without the Internet. The connection at my apartment was so outrageously slow and undependable, that I couldn't bear myself to pay for it any longer. I would spend more time trying to get a connection rather than being connected, and so I learned to live without it.

Instead, I would go somewhere in the daytime that had wifi, and download as much stuff on my iPad as possible to use for that night. I never had a television during my 2 years in Bangkok either, so my studio apartment was nice and mellow. I normally just listened to music and read, or sat on my balcony smoking a joint and daydreamed. Then when I discovered the magic of downloadable podcasts, the voice of Terry Gross and so many others often soothed me late into the night. When I first learned about downloadable podcasts, it really did help me so much. I was living in a foreign country alone, had no Internet or TV, no one to talk to, no smartphone, and basically no form of leisurely distraction to help pass the time. Listening to podcasts changed all that, both at home or while I was out. I used to ride the bus everywhere all over the city to get to where I needed, and podcasts got me through countless hours of insane Bangkok traffic. Even to this day, when I listen to Snap Judgement, it totally brings me back to staring out the windows of air conditioner-less buses with so much hustle and bustle happening around me.

Now that I've been back in New York living with a smartphone, I definitely still enjoy listening to podcasts. However, with access to high-speed wifi at home (along with so many other choice distractions), it's hard to get around to it sometimes when I can read the news or re-download an old video purchase from iTunes.

But nevertheless, there's nothing better than listening to a good podcast to fall asleep to---no matter where I am in the world.
EAT.

Friday, November 14, 2014

"It just seems like, you agree to have a certain personality or something. For no reason---just to make things easier for everyone. But when you think about it, I mean how do you know it's even you?"

Said by the character Angela in the show My So Called Life. Pilot episode.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's nice to be home in comfortable stretchy pants doing absolutely nothing.

While I enjoy going out and having a good meal every now and then, or grabbing a drink at a low-key spot with friends, I'm equally happy sitting on my ass at home. Years of wandering, couch crashing and basically living like a drifter has helped me truly appreciate staying in. I've been watching too much television though, and need to curb that more. But it's so mindless and numbingly distracting and sometimes I just don't want to use my brain.

I recently started working at a new job that I'm really enjoying. After getting laid off 5 years ago from an epicurean magazine, almost every job since has been at a restaurant or bar, so it's really refreshing to transition back to an office gig. Waiting tables and working mostly service-related jobs taught me so much, and now I'm ready to apply all my experience and learned knowledge into this new position. I really feel so humbled to be working with such kind and professional people, and am forever grateful to my bosses for believing in me and taking a chance on me.

While I'm not working at an actual restaurant or bar at this new gig, it is still within the New York City restaurant and bar world. I feel proud to have worked my way through the industry to get where I am now, and I love everything about it. This industry is home to me, and running into old coworkers or acquaintances all the time makes it all that more feel like this is where I belong.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Earlier in the year, my friend Magali took my photos of street dogs in Thailand and made them into 3 separate zines! 

I really do miss just walking around the streets of Bangkok and snapping away at all the countless dogs that roam and live on the streets. Having all these pictures together in the zines is really nice and brings me back to my years of living alone in Thailand.

Thank you to Mags for the wonderful gift.








"누구에게
내 마음을 말할까?"

From the song 프로와 아마추어 by 루라.
I've always been the type of person to hold stuff in, letting things internalize in my head and then eventually rot inside me as my overthinking and analysis covered it with an impenetrable shell. The thing is, this process does not feel good at all. In fact, it can feel quite terrible. These cannonballs of emotion take a heavy toll both physically and emotionally, and because I'm not quite good at expressing myself verbally, putting things into words on paper---or the blinking cursor on a computer---has always been extremely cathartic. To me, writing is the opposite of talking because it's not just about expressing yourself in the moment of now, but having the ability to really think about what I want to say and how I want to say it in order to convey a methodical truth instead of a fleeting emotion. With all of that said, I should be writing a lot more honestly on this blog like I used to. Not an hour goes by in my day where some thoughts I need to express and let out here on my blog pops into my head, but I just let it float away. I should be grabbing these transient thoughts to turn them into something I can write about, but I haven't been doing that for a long time now. A part of it was because I had been looking for a new job, and I didn't want my honesty to be interpreted as a high-enough level of crazy to keep me from getting hired somewhere. But I feel like I did myself a disservice by doing that, because in reality this is who I am and no non-existent job (or anything for that matter) should ever hinder me. All of that behavior is related to my anxiety, and the crazy wheels that start spinning in my head when I feel like I need to predict what the most terrible situation of something could be in order to prepare myself to battle its consequences. If I am comfortable with someone, it's such a relief to just be myself and go with the flow. But I usually don't feel totally comfortable around a lot of people, and of course that's more my problem than theirs. It's like at my last job, my boss would joke that I'm too uptight but in reality all that stems from the fact that I want to accomplish whatever I'm doing in the most efficient and correct way possible because I don't want to deal with the aftermath of fucking up. Anyone who's never met me and is reading this must think I'm an anal nutjob, but I really don't think I am. I just tend to observe and soak things in more, that's all. We can't all be loudmouths who love to talk, right? This past Saturday night I went to a bar in the East Village with some friends and there were two people there who I didn't know very well. But we all just drank boilermakers and talked for hours in the comforts of a leather booth, and I couldn't remember the last time I had felt so free and absolutely at ease in front of people who weren't super close friends. It had been so long since I felt that that the next day, all I could think about was why can't I feel like that all the time? Why can't I just let go and chill out and join in on the conversation? There's a reason why I hate hanging out in large groups and big crowds. Spending time with someone one-on-one just always suited me better, and I like being able to immerse myself in the company that I'm in. Sometimes I just get so used to listening and observing that it's mistakenly perceived as so many other things. In all my travels while I was living alone in Thailand and went on many trips to nearby cities and countries, there were rarely any times where I made small talk or had a conversation with a stranger. And I traveled a lot! Actually there was one time in Laos where I kept running into the same old man in the streets of Vientiane and asked to take a picture of him, but there weren't many more. I guess what I'm trying to say with all of this is, since I'm not chatty by nature, I should at least be releasing my thoughts into the written word. Or if I'm not going to write as much as I should, I should be out meeting new people and shooting the shit. Just always being along with my thoughts and a joint isn't always going to cut it. Even at 31, I'm still learning how to break out of my shell. It's late in the night and I can't sleep and don't know where I am going with this entry, and that's okay. As long as I'm being unreservedly honest with myself, I think I'll be alright...
"Having walked away, victims of abuse are often left with no place to live and little means of support, and frequently end up homeless. In New York, this has helped drive the shelter population to a record high, with more than a quarter of all families in shelters citing abuse as the cause for their stay, city officials said. And, nationwide, many cities report a similar experience."

From the November 10, 2014 New York Times article, Domestic Violence Drives Up New York Shelter Population as Housing Options Are Scarce, written by Mireya Navarro.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

My friends Judy, Sim and Junho threw a joint Day Of The Dead party this year for halloween. 

Thanks to all of them for a great night!