Slice of Life Blogging

I like this post from artist and author Austin Kleon about how today’s mundane and boring items might become interesting in the future. It’s kind of how I’ve approached my blog for a while now. There’s nothing earth-shattering or click-worthy in my slice-of-life posts, but they may be of interest in the future, specifically to my descendants that I will never know.

Several years ago, I realized that I don’t know anything about my great grandparents besides their names, and it made sad. I would love to know how they lived… even reading some of their journal pages would be super-interesting to me! So perhaps one of my descendants would enjoy reading about our lives from the early 21st century.

What you think is boring now may be interesting in the future

In the spirit of this slice-of-life mindset, here’s a little video I made of my morning routine… putting away the dishes and making coffee in the company of our cat, Anko:

I hope you have a great day!

Writing by Hand

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/80 sec, ISO3200
“Green” Cedar Park, 2021

Today’s snapshot if of my Pilot Kakuno and Iroshizuku Chiku-rin ink. I am really enjoying this combination!

For 2021 (and for the previous month) I’ve been writing and doodling in my Traveler’s Notebook. It’s a fun experience, and very different for digital note-taking and drawing for me. I think digital has many advantages over analog, but writing by hand is kind of… heartwarming? Good for the soul? A connection to reality? I can’t explain so well, but I think it adds something positive to my daily life and rounds out my well-being.

Relax and Recharge (and Thoughts About Work-Life Balance)

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/100 sec, ISO800
“Reading and Relaxing” Cedar Park, 2020

I officially have the entire week off from work, so I’m using it to relax, unwind, and play games. But I also check in with work a little bit which is fine.

In the past I would feel bad about checking my work laptop on weekends or days off, thinking that I needed a hard separation between home-life and work-life. Not just separating it with physical space or actions, but also in my thinking. For instance, if I was doing something mundane at home like taking a shower or folding laundry and a thought about work comes into my mind, I’d feel guilty, as if it was encroaching on my space. But beginning a couple of years ago, I found myself letting go of that guilt… it wasn’t really a concerted effort on my part, but I just realized that I didn’t feel bad about it anymore. And it felt great, as if a weight were lifted off my shoulders. ☺

My work involves visual design, and I find that creativity isn’t bound by the 9 to 5 workday. Some days I am just not that productive creatively, but often when I’m doing mundane things outside of work hours, I think about design challenges and formulate some solutions or things to explore when I do start my workday. Why shouldn’t I take advantage of these moments of creative insight? It’s more stressful to force myself to be creative exclusively during my work hours like I used to do. Now, thinking about work outside of work hours isn’t a negative, but a positive thing.

Letting go of that guilt has been liberating. Of course I still prioritize family at all times, but I can’t deny that work is a large part of my life, so I might as well embrace the fact that it always will take up some of my headspace and use it to my advantage.

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Today’s photo is of Bay, reading and relaxing in the massage chair. He’s on winter break from college and it’s been so nice to have him home!

Two-Wheeled Therapy

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/4, 1/1400 sec, ISO200
“Kiki” Cedar Park, 2020

Today I have the day off from work (actually the whole week!) so I decided to have a bit of fun riding my motorcycle around. Motorcycling is an intense experience, where all five senses are on overload. But I also spent some time practicing skills that need some work: u-turns at full lock. For these exercises, I went to the elementary school’s parking lot, which is perfect because I can use the parking space markers to gauge my progress.

My goal is to comfortably make u-turns in either direction, with the handlebars at their maximum position (full lock). The correct way to do this is to look at where you want to go (way over your shoulder), then turn the handlebars and initiate the turn. The trick is to keep the proper speed where you are slow enough that you can keep the handlebars at full lock, but with enough speed that you can lean over without dropping the bike. The secret is to use clutch control while revving the engine a bit to avoid stalling. If you are sensing that you are falling over, then you need to let out the clutch and let the engine power bring you up again. But not too much that you come out of the tight turn.

It’s a real skill to do this well, and only practice will allow you build up the muscle memory to feather the clutch to adjust the power without consciously thinking about it. It’s my one big apprehension when riding, so it’s worthwhile to take the time to make some progress! And even if I feel like I didn’t do such a good job with my skill training, I know that it is progress towards getting better!

In the afternoon, I went for a nice bicycle ride to relax a bit. Bicycling is a wonderful activity. Super fun and good exercise! Plus you can clear your mind and see some great sights. I always feel great after a ride, even if it is just around the block to pick up the mail, but it’s a real treat when the route takes me to see sights like this:

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/7.1, 1/600 sec, ISO200
“Mango” Cedar Park, 2020

I hope you had a nice day!

“I Don’t See Color”

I was reading a thread in a forum, and one of the commenters said “I don’t see color”, with the intention of conveying that race shouldn’t matter. Honestly, I thought this was an admirable sentiment, but soon learned how problematic this phrase is. I spent some time reading about the reasons why, and I now consider myself a bit more educated than I was a little while ago. I’m linking the articles below:

After 51-years of life, I’m still figuring out what it means to be mixed/multiple-ethnicity. It’s complicated, but fascinating, and surprisingly challenging to find information or groups that discuss mixed-Asian ethnicity (Asian-Asian, not Asian-Caucasian, Asian-Black, etc.).

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On a side note, the original commenter’s reaction to the links to the articles was defensive and hostile, instantly devolving into name-calling and personal attacks. Which reminds me of the saying, “when you resort to ad hominem attacks, you’ve already lost”, as in the entertaining feud between James Altucher and Jerry Seinfeld.