Yearly Archives: 2013

State of Wonder

This is the kind of book that gets brought up when those ‘summer reading list’ posts come out. An all around good book. I did see most of the plot twists coming down the line. Except maybe one. I did get a little Fountainhead vibe from the characters.

Listened to the Murakami memoir / book about running. Was hoping for some kind of revelatory revelation type of thing. It was mainly about how he goes running and likes to go running and the different runs he goes on and how sometimes he struggles with his running but he enjoys it and works through it. He used to run a jazz bar.

Started to listen to the Keith Richards Biography, but I just couldn’t deal with it and shut it down about 5 hours in. (It’s 23 hours long!).

Put in a few days of drawing. Felt nice, I haven’t really done any serious drawing in over two years. I don’t know why… Makes me regret not doing it. I guess there must be a reason and I shouldn’t punish myself for what I haven’t done.

Went to visit 3 different artist friend’s studios in the last 2 weeks. The artist’s lifestyle is for me, man.

Watched this move Money & Life last night. It had a few things that got me thinking … money is meant to circulate. When a few people horde the money, the circulation stops. If the economy is to be healthy, its blood (money) needs to flow. I suppose this is why the Fed pumps money into the world.

It also included the harmful message of “we don’t need money to get by” message. Which, theoretically can be true, but I really hate that attitude of “I don’t, and won’t ever understand money.” If you feel that way, then you probably won’t have any money or at least control over your money. Learn to think about value.

Been going to Iona for the garden and Nick S’s food. Mira had a little get-together, KR had a little bday party. Adelle came thru town and played a little rock show at Matchless. Nice to get out of the house sometimes. Esha’s fixed up our porch.

The Orphan Master’s Son

Since I’d read the book I’d brought on vacay a faster than I’d expected, I once again looked to the TOB and picked this year’s winner The Orphan Master’s Son.

This is one helluva book. Set in North Korea, which was enough to intrigue me. It’s kind of like a North Korean Forrest Gump, where the main character takes you through just about every social class there is. I came across some photos on facebook too that helped paint the picture of the public settings. ★★★★★

The Sense of an Ending

I checked out three books that were on last year’s Tournament of Books. Esha asked me how I pick out my books, since they’re all over the place. The answer is solely through lists and recommendations. Same for movies, if I see a list, I’ll copy it and try to work my way through.

The Sense of an Ending was short and I read it in about 4 hours. The book is British and about four friends and relationships over a lifetime and memory. It was a nice book.

I read 1/2 of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. It might have been useful, but I was too distracted by the bad typesetting and all the markings some crazy library patron had made. At least half of the book was underlined and notated.

Wed — Pizza

Thur — Pizza, then Design Drinks at The Richardson. Mostly talked to Andy about a Natural History Museum themed restaurant.

Fri — Pizza

Sat — Went to Miami Beach. Had fried goat and a big fish and mojitos at Tap Tap. Walked around some, drinks by the pool at the Raleigh. Watched basketball on tv.

Sun — Went to Books & Books for breakfast. Ordered a sandwich with soft eggs and hard bread. I took one bite and all the yolk squirted down my shirt. I had egg on my face! Such a mess.

The beach was cloudy and drizzling. So we went to the Wolfsonian for a couple hours. Then back to the beach where it was sunny and windy. Slept on the sand, got in the ocean, got a sunburn.

Drinks by the pool at The Hotel.

Dinner in a strip mall called Jimmy’z Kitchen. Had mofongo. I thought it was good. We’d ordered the steak version, but they brought shrimp. I don’t care for shrimp, but we were too hungry to bother sending it back. Went for ice cream after.

Mon — Really great fish tacos at Alma Mexicana. Back to the beach. This time I brought beers and snacks and rented beach chairs and an umbrella. Much better than laying on the ground. No clouds and no wind. Ice cream again. Great day.

Had dinner at Florida Cookery. They’re billed as a place that does local and fresh food. It was fairly disappointing and clunky all around.

Tue — Got up early to watch the sunrise. Napped, packed, went to the Delano for Pina Coladas by the pool. Had a cuban sandwich and cafe con leche at the airport.

Wed — Shaved my beard and got a haircut. Got some good news about a job this summer.

Week in Review

Tuesday I went to see Nato and the Heard NY thing at Grand Central. Enjoyed Kati Roll, my fav mid-town lunch. We went to see Spring Breakers. Was about what I expected. I thought it’d be a bit more ‘shocking’ — of course there were 3 teen girls behind us that kept repeating lines from the film over and over. It was like YouTube comments IRL. I had to turn around and say “shut the fuck up.” They did.

Wednesday I ran for the first time in a long while. I didn’t do so well. Maybe 1.25 mile. Met the fellas for some beers at the German bar on Fulton and had another in the nabe.

Thursday Mike and I cut some pipes. We need a few more things from Home Depot.

Friday I drove Esha to a multimillion dollar home to solve the case of the mis-delivered shoes. Case not closed. We had a hamburger and then later I went to watch KU lose against Michigan in the sweet sixteen. Had a fine time.

Saturday I took the compost to the library and did some work.

Sunday I did some more work, then went to Mike’s to work on the fish tank. We had hamburgers.

Week in Review

Didn’t get out much last week on account of it being sunny and seeming like it should be warmer, but it’s not all that warm.

Wednesday we had burgers at Quaint.

Friday had a couple a beers at Harefield in honor Emily defending her PhD rd 1. Then to the very packed sports bar to watch KU rd 1.

Saturday Mike and I went to Lowe’s to pick up a big garbage pail that we hope to put some fish in. Then to Home Depot to get some stuff we’d forgot or replace stuff we broke. I went to Home Depot again to get more stuff we may or may not need. See diagram above. Watched Hithcock’s Suspicion on TV that night. I kept suspecting I’d seen it already. I must have.

Sunday Esha and I went to IKEA and ate their food and bought their patio furnishings to the tune of 3 hours and $500. We also went to Lowe’s. We’re ready to sit on the deck, but it’s still too cold out. Went over to Mike’s to watch KU rd 2 w/ the fellas.

Monday a few ppl went to get some Thai food in out here Queens. It was all pretty good, but no one instagrammed.

The Paradox of Choice

Read The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, How the Culture of Abundance Robs Us of Satisfaction. I wasn’t impressed with this book. Too many definitions and anecdotes and not enough insight. I have read enough articles and already overexposed to the subject.

We spend too much time weighing, and then regretting trivial decisions. We acclimate to our lifestyles. We need to know when good enough is enough and move on. Use routine, rules and guidelines for your everyday decisions — leave your critical thinking for things that matter.

I’ve started in on some programming foundations.
Signed up for treehouse and think it’s great.
So far, I knew more than I thought and this is filling in some gaps.

Saturday we went to Tito Rad’s Filipino BBQ restaurant (over by the closed down auto parts store). Had grilled tuna belly, bbq pork, soup and some other thing. Pretty good.


Sunday I saw Man with a Movie Camera at the museum. There was a piano player doing music for it. Went to the Irish pub for St Paddy’s day. There was corned beef and cabbage, bored teens playing Irish music, and an old beardo dressed up like a leprechaun.

Monday I went to Wendy’s. Then to Sandman’s.


During the stretching section of some workout video I was watching, the trainer talked about letting your tongue relax, and letting it fall from the roof of your mouth. It kind of freaked me out because my tongue was on the roof of my mouth and the more I thought about it, the more my mouth felt “hot.” It’s kind of a curse to think about this, but I am glad to be conscious of it and remind myself to relax.

A google search reveals:

When many people are stressed, they press their tongue against the roof of their mouth and may not even be aware of it.
If you relax your tongue completely, it is very difficult to talk to yourself.


I try to incorporate stretches into my routine. After I brush my teeth, I stand in the corner of the bathroom and stretch my chest. Before I go to bed, I lay down on the ground and do various back stretches.

This week I wrapped up a quick freelance job and used some of the advice from ‘Design is a Job‘. Things went smoothly. Met with a potential client and can already see how some of the advice will come in handy.

Had a phone call with an interesting company, I’m anxious to hear back from them.

Last night Mike K, Greg E and I went to M Shanghai, then to the sports bar to watch KU, where many people joined us, then to Iona for Mike’s official birthday party, where more people joined. Then Esha, Laura, Gino, Jeff B and I went to M Shanghai. I had two full dinners at the same restaurant in the same night.



Charmed by this well-shot, 1995 documentary following the process of a fashion designer creating a collection.

A good insight into finding inspiration and the creative process. The foundation doesn’t need to be complicated and can be fun.

Many funny scenes reminded me of people I’ve met along the way.

Film — Unzipped — NetflixHulu

Design is a Job

I saw a retweet a few weeks ago where this designer who was not getting paid for his work replaced a gym’s website with a disclaimer saying they were deadbeats. One commenter mentioned that he should watch this video called Fuck You Pay Me. I watched that video.


The guy in the video also wrote a short book called Design is a Job. I got the PDF version and read it on my screen. Reading on my screen was not a pleasant experience. I’m tempted to buy a tablet, but I have a big stack of library books to get through … if I do that maybe I’ll spend $300 for a tablet so I can read more books.

The book is easy to read and is very straightforward. The gist is you need to be professional from start to finish. Do the proper research, legwork, present, sell your work, protect yourself, value your work, etc. All stuff we know, but avoid cause it’s not fun. I picked up a few reminders that a lot of the stuff we moan about could be prevented if we approach the relationship properly in the beginning.

Nice refresher. I probably never want to run a traditional design studio.