Friday, August 29, 2008

My titles used to be better

I've finally upgraded to the new layout and customization setting on blogspot, after seeing the updated blog feed gadget on Rachel's blog. I've formatted the side links and am in the process of labeling all my posts. I couldn't help but reread most of them and light upon dusty subjects I'd never revisited.. until now.

- Contrary to what it seemed, I actually did a lot in Japan and Hong Kong. Nothing to complain about!
- I was a very fiery sociology major. It makes me a little sad that I didn't take it further immediately after graduation, when I still had the zest and academic rigor.
- I used to write a lot, lot more about music. But these days, it's not as present in my life.
- My writing isn't that interesting or inventive. At least in school, when I was forced to read more complex texts, my writing improved and vocabulary expanded. Sadface.
- Every once in a while, I become more aware of the state of the world around me and am convicted. They seem to be happening more these days. Sign of growth?


Mighty Leaf tea "Sale"
Getting back into fine tea. This stuff is pricey, but the superior quality is obvious. At least with the woven bags and distinguishably large tea leaves, buds, fruit pieces, etc. Nice, especially for tea in bags.

I'm tempted to get the hojicha, since I enjoyed it so much in Japan.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I am still in a phase where I am not collecting any more junk, as cute as it may be. Having too many things is hard to keep track of and a big pain to move. Although other people's crowded rooms often seem more cozy to me due to their clutter, having a room like that would probably annoy more than comfort me. However, I think it's ok to be selective in what you collect, since things, especially art, are made to be enjoyed and/or used. One thing I am considering collecting is art tiles. I have one so far, a Rob Ryan one-color tile. It was expensive, with shipping from the UK, like $45! (But sheesh, he has since upped the price $14.40!) I have my eye on this one (see above) by Hazel Nicholls, who also has her prints up for sale at Keep Calm. Who knows, if/when I can buy a house, and depending on how much it needs to be redone, I can incorporate these tiles into a floor or bathroom wall. Creative customization that is distinctly me at not much cost. Just a little foresight!

I don't want to fall into the trap of fantasizing about my future/ dream house, but here are some other things I'd like to have:
- A bookshelf of Penguin books
- Stained concrete floors
- Natural ventilation
- Most of Brook's ideas (like incorporating the natural landscape into the house) :)

Of course, the level of customization totally depends on income level (and maybe if I know someone in the business), so hopefully this isn't all a pipe dream. I'd hate to have to settle for a cookie-cutter suburban David Weekly house. Blech.

Design*sponge has eyeball overload as it regards to interior design and beautifully crafted homes. They make a great photo, but my goal is not to have my house look like a piece of art one day. Houses are for living in, not for keeping immaculate. Even if you do pour all that money and time into making your house full of lovely things, you'll only get to live in it for a lifetime. Houses should be comfortable, but I think they should look a certain way from aging gracefully, not from an inordinate expenditure of resources early on. My cheap two cents!

A super cute from Rob Ryan, but I'm not sure I'd want to look at this forever (would I break it after I get married?).

Monday, August 25, 2008

quit yr blubberin

i can be anything i want to be. t/f?

half-assedly trying = automatic false, idiot

how to embrace risk?


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sad + Happy = Sappy?

Le sigh. Break me out of this melancholy reverie!

Cute boy outfit painting


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Let go

Photograph: Christina by Lieutenant-Colonel Mervyn O'Gorman

Vetiver - Maureen

David Pearson for Penguin

David Pearson makes me wanna puke all over myself because he is TOO GOOD. I share all of his design aesthetics.. except that I'll never be that good, EVER. Instantly classic, beautifully printed book cover designs. Penguin probably pays him a pretty penny to make them look so sharp today. Ever since the "Great Ideas" Series I and II came out, I've been halfheartedly trying to collect them, halfheartedly because it is no cheap task. These are books that I would read because of their cover. I cannot heap enough praise onto David Pearson, designer hero!!

Popular Classics - cheap and cleanly designed

Great Loves

Pocket Penguins - almost shelled out ~$200 to get these short stories

Sheesh take a look for yourself here: Website

Dan McCarthy's dinos

No thanks to Google Reader, I have too much new/ interesting information and eye candy to process. The only way to remember them is to star posts, but it's not often that I go back and review what I've starred. So I tend to forget about a lot of really cool artists. Using this blog may be a good way to showcase them.

First up is Dan McCarthy. Dan's posters stand out because dinosaurs + very dark paints + glow-in-the-dark paint = awesometown. You may have to adjust your screen to see this. Most screenprints are colorful and filled with contrast, trying to pop-out at the viewer, since there are sooo many posters out there these days, most of them pretty decent. But his are really subtle night/ frosty scenes, and make you take a longer and closer look to get the fine details. I almost paypal-ed for one (see above image) the moment I saw it, but sadly realized that a glow-in-the-dark poster would probably drive me mad at night. (Even the little sleep button on my laptop will keep me up if it's close enough to my bed.)


Ink drawings (so detailed!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008


“They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn…”

- On the Road

missing piece

"If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practising an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."

- Man Without a Country, Kurt Vonnegut

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Trying to be cool overcomplicates my life

That is pretty similar to the good quote by star designer Stefan Sagmeister,

"Trying to look good limits my life."

Except his is better, and he made big word art out of it. So true. Can't wait to grow up and do things that matter, and let keeping up appearances drop in priority. I already deem that the "coolest" people are ones who are passionate, driven, committed, voraciously curious, and trying to make a difference. I hope to be going in that direction as well, not for the sake of appearances, which can be deceiving and fade away, but for .. life!

"Deadbeat Dads" and other poor men are getting the least sympathy (and monetary aid) these days .. merely because they are men. But don't they need help just like anyone else? Article.

Expensive and well-designed furniture makes me drool (and covet), which is why I try to sharply curb my visits to design blogs. This mid-century Herman Miller Nelson Swag Leg desk was in an ad in a past issue of Dwell. I love the decision to make the partitions playfully colorful, while keeping the desk classy enough for use in an office.

Is good design self-indulgent? That fear always kept me from diving into that world of beauty and wonder. And "Design within Reach"? Hardly. I'd like to see that in action. IKEA is doing an OK job, but I'd go for better design and quality for double the price.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Different World

I've been reading a lot of The Economist lately, trying to get more up to date on global news and issues. (Being able to spend so much time online is one thing to be thankful for in being underutilized at work.) How does you pray about global issues that are so complicated that there doesn't seem to be a solution? Like the rapid increase in food prices. A lot of people may start or continue to starve. And what about the turmoil in Africa and the political corruption that is doing little to help its suffering citizens? Or the countless civilian killings perpetrated by us Americans in Iraq that nobody will ever hear about? Where do you go from there? And how many people really care? Answer: Not enough. That's nearly just as awful. The world has been a dreary place for a long time... and we still have to live in it. I'm hoping to inform myself of not only today's going-ons in the world, but of the nasty living conditions in the past (which I have been fortunate to miss out on). And go somewhere from there. I don't want to be trapped in the superficiality provided by our American pop culture (and underground culture) money machine that keeps the youth uninformed, stupid, intellectually lazy, and afraid of reality. Been there, done that.

I admit that I'm a baby. I've been brought up under other people's guidance for so long and been told what to do for long (lovingly so) that I am relearning how to think for myself. I am now independent! The shock hasn't even completely worn in yet. Therefore, I must take responsibility for my own path and get rid of this complacency that muddles my outlook. Gandhi said that "you must be the change you wish to see in the world." How wonderful it is that I actually have the means to do that! I'm not sure what exactly that looks like yet, but it could be anything. It's encouraging to see this happening in other people's lives, even in strangers' lives, because you see that you are not alone. I don't wish to be ridiculous/ idealistic, but it's much worse to be pessimistic and apathetic. Like Jesus said (Jesus said this, right?), being hot or cold is much better than being lukewarm (blech!). This is something that I've recently begun to struggle with, as my natural inclination is mostly complacency, some perfectionism, and a lot of running away from risks and difficult situations. I've never been in a ton of trouble, but I've yet to accomplish a whole lot either. I hope that will change soon. And one day I hope to be wise.

I started a log of phrases yesterday at work, so that I can record meaningful thought as it comes to me. I'm glad that things are starting to process. Here are a few:

I cannot fully appreciate and enjoy art if I am not also creating it.

What is the purpose of living simply? (Mistake: I tried to live minimally for a while and ended up with a pretty empty life.)

Passion produces productivity.

Everything worthwhile is bigger than I am.