Thursday, December 18, 2008

2008 good musiks

Compared to the past few years, I didn't really listen to that much music in 2008. Being in a funk limited all forms of consumption to a slow and uninspiring drip. But I did have roommates and friends who were still dedicated, and visited i guess im floating and gorilla vs bear enough times to be excited and have favorites. So here they are, in no particular order. (I also perused about 10 lists from other blogs to catch stuff I missed, but it just so happens that nobody I've discovered through those lists made this list.)

Golden Cage (Fred Falke Remix) - The Whitest Boy Alive
This tune never fails to get me going. Perfect for dance parties.. with friends or by yourself! So chill and melodic. Erlend Oye is already spectacular by himself, but his album came out in 2006, so I cannot include him in this list.

While You Wait for the Others
- Grizzly Bear
When I first saw this KCRW performance video, my jaw dropped. These dudes are magical. Definitely on my concert shortlist.. even though I don't go to concerts anymore. Hm.

Digital Love (Daft Punk cover)
- Miracle Fortress
I confess, I am not familiar with Daft Punk's music, but I am more apt to check it out due to this delicious cover. It really makes me happy!

Thing About Trouble - Doug Burr
This gentle, drawly songwriter from Denton was first introduced to me by the Lathans. Religious references, slide guitar, a gravely yet emotive voice.. it's a tried and true combo.

Your Arms Around Me - Jens Lekman
Such simple and feel-good tunes from this sensitive young crooner. Sweet lyrics and liberal usage of strings. And he's a lovely person.

The Snow Leopard
- Shearwater
This whole album is intensely good. I once described it as "Viking war lullabies."

No Excuses - Air France
This song is joyfully complex, while staying upbeat and danceable. I don't know how else to describe it.

Only Me to Trust - Ghosthustler
They are from Dent(r)on and they throw down very sexy beats. A SXSW showcased artist.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


OK today I will respond to this being tagged by Rachel that asks me to share 7 random facts about myself. Not sure how 'random' these will be, since I'm not really that exciting, in my opinion. Mostly keep to myself.

1. I have the same birthday as my brother, who is 5 years younger than I.
2. I have a psychological disgust for most cheese, unless it is melted, white and not the main ingredient in a dish.
3. I am afraid that I will get tired of everything.
4. I don't like taking pictures of people.
5. My mind is empty most of the time (but I'm trying to amend that).
6. I've been to the island of Macao.
7. I used to lead youth group worship team at my church in Plano.

Monday, December 08, 2008

caring is creepy

We're standing
We're standing
You call that gone?
I'm standing on the firmest ground ever invented
Firm ground I invented

Do you remember the one who took 'Place in the Sun' from you?
I know you do
He had a heart of tin
And this amazing desire!
The face of a sphinx that smiled

Out on the wall
A hand had begun writing
Everybody understood
That it didn't mean a thing

Did you fall in love with someone?
Did you "give up on that" for some strange sun?
Weren't you the one...
Fall back in love with someone?

Did you fall in line for someone?
Back down the same road that you came here from
Weren't you the one
That told me not to
Move around but never through?
That's the only thing we ever do

source: Nick Hance Flickr

Thursday, December 04, 2008

this poem used to be on erin's wall

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.
Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language.
Do not now look for the answers.
They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them.
It is a question of experiencing everything.
At present you need to live the question.
Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

"what do i want? a best friend i'm in love with"

this song makes me realize how romantic the idea of a person can seem when you're alone. plus it's so twee, which makes it all the more melancholy.

i'm not alone.. and it's pretty fun most of the time. i have to think about it more to appreciate what i have, but i'm working on that. and manage myself the times i am being driven crazy. or am doing the driving. haha.

i used to think i was a good and patient person.. not anymore. can't fool myself anymore. last year's events twisted me and turned me the opposite, sad to say. i became unbending because i bent too much. messed up. anyway, i guess i am only starting now to learn about love. i don't understand how to receive it, even after all these years. and how to give it? clueless and bumbling. what does it mean to have it? geez i really do hope i grow up soon, for the sake of everyone around me. sometimes i see things how they really are and am shocked at how b even puts up with me so much. unbelievable!

Friday, November 21, 2008

pj o'rourke: funny name, funny man.

A hat should be taken off when you greet a lady and left off for the rest of your life. Nothing looks more stupid than a hat.

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

Because of their size, parents may be difficult to discipline properly.

Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely.

Earnestness is stupidity sent to college.

Making fun of born-again Christians is like hunting dairy cows with a high powered rifle and scope.

Never wear anything that panics the cat.

The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.

There's one more terrifying fact about old people: I'm going to be one soon.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

fuji natura classica

oh my, is this the camera of my dreams?
never use flash again?? 24mm f1.9 lens on a full frame sensor?? sexy looks? drooolz. i'm listening now.
except that it's hundos of dollahs. silly.
but apparently the olympus xa (gid's new film camera toy) does the same thing and sells for about 1/10 the price. hm. butsip i'm not really into manual focus because i am lazy. and take shots of things that move most of the time.
i happen to be looking into lomos again, except that i hate the crappy build factor, am not really into oversaturation, but am looking for a little more spice. and that's how i found the fuji natura - albeit, in the high-end section.
official site.
oh film! it's starting to add up real quick, but i'm not looking at the numbers yet.. just lovin' the look of film and turning away from mediocre digital pictures. not sure how long this hobby will last, but it's nice that i'm not completely failing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

american book

"The most alarming sign of the state of our society now is that our leaders have the courage to sacrifice the lives of young people in war but have not the courage to tell us that we must be less greedy and wasteful."
-Wendell Barry
(spoken a while back, probably)

this came from a childrens' book, which looks pretty cool, especially the drawings. good ideas too. well at least our leaders are starting to talk about wastefulness these days.

Nate Duval


Wednesday, November 05, 2008


poster by iso50
change, progress, yes we can, blah blah. we made history!! now if only obama picked a minority instead of an old white guy as his running mate..

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

this happens to me too often

i asked for scrambled
by luke chueh

choco of choice

ritter sport.
hersheys nevermore!!


what's better than north american outdoor gear? scandinavian outdoor gear! so classic it could pass as streetwear. what an adorable logo too. from another website:

Classic Swedish outdoor garments that lasts. I love their stuff because of the function and durability and classics like the Kanken day pack (that hasn't changed for the last 30 years) or the Greenland Jacket that is so out of fashion that it's forever hip. Gotta love Fjällräven!

montbell is an outdoor gear company out of japan. looks pretty similar to our manufacturers here, except more plain and less reeking of corporate (is that a real clause?). i went to a montbell store in japan and it was like a nicer and more down to earth REI. you got the feel that it was less about the brand and more about the activity, as all pursuits should be. i shall be forever detangling the two realms.

Monday, November 03, 2008

correct way to enjoy bronze statue

browsing through the flickr page, i came upon this subtlely wonderful set. no frills, not a professional photographer, just his cutely serious kids and nice vignetting. inspiring!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

don't vote

link from brandon

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


today was very busy. i feel like i am getting a handle on payroll. and i even got a 10% raise. YOWza.

googled 'bored ideas' and got some ideas. music come back

photo: grain edit

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

i feel drunk at work

.. on kombucha!! already broke a glass cup in the break room. stil buzzin (these people buzzed too)

keep on
stay far away


Hands down the most comfortable "fleece" pullover I have ever felt - the recently introduced Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T. Research done on a lunch break trip to Whole Earth last week. Grr.. I cannot indulge, as I just purchased a new micro-puff jacket of the same brand. Seems like I may never get rid of my inclination/ fascination of technical clothing. Hopefully I'll eventually move to a colder place where this technology is actually merited. Recommended for all!

Actually, THIS is the most comfy fleece I've ever felt - the Mountain Hardwear Monkey Fleece. And I bought it (after returning the badly fitting Patagania - boo.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

westlake is not a complete shithole

It only mostly is. Found a gluten-free bakery less than a mile from where I work off Bee Cave. Wildwood Cafe - what a wonder! Especially in this part of town swarming with gas-guzzlin' SUV's (or brand new Priuses), overpriced blah restaurants, and hillside mansions. And not to mention worst traffic from hell.

I went last week after work and bought a chocolate chip cookie, brownie and a bag of rice bread. They were all made with rice flour, and they tasted... not so satisfying. Grainy, healthy, alternative. I don't think I'm going to get used to this anytime soon.

Met up with the girls at the Gingerman yesterday (better enjoy it before it gets moved to a more yuppie location). Had cider but couldn't even get the St. Arnold's Oktoberfest pint glass. : [


In the camera-choosing sector, I am slowly narrowing down my choices. They come down to this: Canon Rebel Xsi + 50mm 1.8f lens (~$400) or a high end point and shoot - Panasonic Lumix Lx3 (~$450). I can't decide! I know the slr will take much better photos (and not to mention shallow depth of field), but do I want to carry around that much bulk all the time? Will I use it less because it's less portable? The Panasonic takes some wonderful photos too. But am I limiting myself once again with another point and shoot?

Photos taken with a Lumix LX3 point and shoot: Photos by Maeker

Friday, October 17, 2008

a new diet

Photo credits - Elana's Pantry

This is day 3 of my gluten-free diet. I've been exhibiting extreme tiredness, mood swings and loss of appetite for the past few weeks and after an uncontrolled attack of rage (spurred on by awful awful traffic), Brook strongly convinced me to go to the doctor and check it out. After taking a comprehensive blood test, the results came back just fine. Brook had recently talked to someone who had a gluten allergy (his masseur, actually) and realized that I was exhibiting very similar symptoms. So I'm giving this a go for a month and see if I feel discernibly better. I went to Sun Harvest a few days ago, since they have a much better selection of alternative-diet foods. They had a cheap apple sale, but I was disappointed at how much their gluten-free products cost. $6 for a loaf of bread? No thanks.

I've found a few blogs/photostream with tasty looking gluten-free recipes, but it looks like cutting out wheat is still going to be tough. Why? I love bread! And crackers! And noodles! Such staples in my old diet. Not to mention I can't have any regular baked goods, unless I use almond flour (Elena's rec) or something.

Right now I'm going to meet Brook for lunch at The Kitchen Door. I imagine that their chicken salad is only going to be half as enjoyable without their fresh baked bread (as a sandwich). But restriction is like a game- I haven't been too upset about not being able to eat certain foods yet. Hopefully that will last. It was only last week I was eating Jimmy John's italian sandwiches and baking cookies at home...

Update: Ugh! The chicken salad is rather tasteless and stringy by itself! Heavy disappointment. Probably doesn't help that my taste buds are shot from this dumb cold either. Gr. And Brook was let down by his $9 soggy roast beef sandwich too. And we went to Red Bud Isle nearby, which I didn't realize was a dog park, and got bothered by all these sniffy dogs. Not his favorite things. As this highly opinionated man complained so much, I know he was yearning instead for Foodheads and his cat Boyd. What could I do but let it roll off me like beads of water on a Gore-Tex jacket? I do that most of the time. Good idea, poor execution. Try again next time!

This homemade chicken salad looks much tastier. Love it when there are grapes.

cornflower blue

it's not difficult to paint something like this, is it?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

50 mm fixed lens

photos by mot norm

i'm glad i found these articles today arguing for the 50mm lens: one and two.

there are simply too many options available and it's wonderful when a professional gives a basic gear recommendation. frills, move aside!

above photos are from the flickr of a guy living in japan who uses a classic canon rangefinder film camera with a 50mm f1.4 lens. one of my favorite flickr photostreams to peruse and savor.

best places: scandy?

Wahoo! This never happens! My question got answered on this Freakonomics blog post about the best places to live:

Q: What do you think of Scandinavia? It’s a beautiful part of Europe with world-class design. However, how rich does one have to be to live comfortably over there?

Have you seen the Monocle list? Do you think Copenhagen is really the best one?

A: It is beautiful there. My family is only a generation removed from Scandinavia, and I spent a few years growing up in Oslo.

One downside is the climate, which makes our rainy Northwest and upstate New York winters seem like Miami Beach by comparison. And the cost of living can be very high, with high taxes.

But several recent studies have declared some of the Scandinavian countries as having the highest quality of life, and the most contented people. Despite that, I’ve not heard of too many people emigrating there from the U.S. Most Americans seem interested in sunnier, warmer climes, such as Italy, France, or Eastern Europe.


As much as I complain about the Texas heat, I can't imagine trading it out for the miserable and long cold. Guess I'm like "most Americans." Don't want to take a gamble! And I wonder if the high quality of life only applies to people who are born in that area. Does the benefit extend to foreigners?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


**from their latest autumn/winter collection:

i'm really diggin' these unisex vintage-looking hiking boots. i keep trying in vain to locate something like this on ebay, but it may be easier to just get the expensive option.

blogger post with better photos (where i got the 1st photo).


due to my practical bent, i normally turn away from clunky retro dutch bikes, but these smaller-sized ones are so, so lovely. and not like the 'hey let me attach a wicker basket to the front and ride through a cobblestone street to the grocery' types. those are fine, but not my style.

the fat tires are cute!!! apparently to maintain a lower rolling resistance, they need an insanely high psi.

so $2000+ though. wonder if i can build a cheaper version someday. i will definitely use the color palette of the bike in the last photo for future inspiration..

dave's retrovelo

bike wedding

beautiful. more!

Monday, October 13, 2008

fashfinds of today

i'm really diggin' these collar-y sweaters


hyden yoo

built by wendy

{denim jacket with cashmere hood and elbow patches!!}

american retro