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March 31, 2009

Today's Mantra

May I be at peace.
May I dismiss negative thought.
May I be focused.
May I enjoy today.
(and the rest of my week in Hawaii, at that!)

[image from i suwanee's flickr]

March 27, 2009

A Project In Between

Did you know that I run another blog? In short, is a collection of bittersweet moments belonging to regular folk... namely, me. It's a side project I'm starting on and am having trouble lifting if off the ground. It's fun for me to share what moves me, but I imagine it would be so much more powerful as a collective effort of EVERYONE's heartaches. Painfully Good could potentially become a truly inspiring source of emotion provoking moments. If you're at all interested in becoming a contributor, do let me know.

OR if you're at all saavy at designing wordpress skins, do contact me. In exchange we can do a negotiation: a link to your blog, some graphic design, friendship, or perhaps a homecooked meal. I make a mean potato salad.

TGIF. It's beautiful and sunny here in San Francisco; I hope everyone gets a chance to go out and enjoy it.

From the in between,

About PG

March 24, 2009

Weekend Fail

Unfortunately this past weekend's cookie-baking activity fell kind of flat. In fact, I found myself falling flat a lot this weekend. Do you ever have those days where you just have no idea what is going on, what to expect, or what to do about it while it's happening in front of you? A good metaphor would be ummm, a plane crash. That was my weekend. a catastrophic, cruel flippin' plane crash.

[Ten minutes later] So, I wrote in great detail what was so extreme about this weekend but deleted it all because I care about you, Reader. I want to spare you the ugly facts of life and just leave you with the silver lining and the lessons I learned in the end because, well, while I want to assure you that I am just as human as you are, you don't need to know HOW human. You likely feel like thanking me by now, so I'd like to link to my wishlist that I've created just now for these gratuitous moments.

    - We now have a thermostat, which means we are no longer required to bend down to open the door of the wall heater and light the pilot that keeps going out, which means we can block its access with the couch, and with this new positioning opens up a delightful space for infinite room decorating options! Females, please rejoice with me if you are as chronically domestic as I.

    - NEVER light a pilot unless you are wearing flame-proof gloves (and mask, to be safe).

    -I have a relationship with a man who has a boundless depth of heart when it comes to the bottom line. Females, please rejoice with me once again: men CAN do things without being asked... it just depends on the situation.

    -I realized that I have just as much communication issues as I peg him for. Damn.

So, in order to console your feeling of emptiness after I deprived you of the details of my weekend, I'd like to close this post with an offering of a lovely taste of the internet with these links below.

March 20, 2009


Hi all,
I am very much looking forward to this weekend. The past two days have been straight work-related brainstorming, even in my sleep. I hope I get to rest, spend time with Jason, bake chocolate chip cookies, and see my family for my little sister's 22nd birthday. That reminds me.. I bought her a domain name. Maybe I should design a site for her...

Recent finds:

Pia Bijkerk's houseboat, featured on Painfullygood.

A street photographer

Enjoy the sun this weekend!

March 16, 2009

A Sunday

Jason and I were ready to bring home a new-to-us dream couch from some folks in Castro Valley yesterday. We woke up early, borrowed his brother's truck, got plastic and tape, and were about to head over when the sellers called saying to come at 3 PM instead.

With four hours to kill we ate a hearty Country Waffles breakfast, which for the record is the only place that gets my eggs how I like them: over medium-well!

Afterwards we watched Watchmen. From a person who doesn't watch animations or read comics or likes blood, I must say I enjoyed this graphic novel adaptation film thoroughly.

2:20 PM we come out of the movie, feeling good that we were right on time and had the rest of the day to get a new couch and set it up.

They weren't home.

To pass the time we went to a nearby ice cream parlor - my first time! Engulfed by the bright pink interior and its sweet scent, we both ordered our regular favorites: choco mint chip w/ rainbow sprinkles and vanilla topped w/ strawberries & bananas. I won't say which is whose but I will say that he got teased by the older lady taking our order.

There went the day. We drove back to his home and had Hometown Buffet with his dad - another first time for me! He drove me back to Berkeley as we tested the capacity of the audio system in his fancy rental car.

Nothing turned as planned but, if I may quote Coldplay's "Strawberry Swing", "it was such... a perfect day."

March 13, 2009

Skin Update

Did a little tiny skin update with color changes. I had a bit of difficulty with the Blogger tool and it lead to a possible collaboration project with my friend Yukiko. We'll see how it goes after the brainstorm!

Also, I am in serious need of redesigning this site entirely. My web design skills have gone down the drain. Is anyone interested in helping me?

March 12, 2009

Lighting Project

So, Project No. 1: Lighting

This little apartment gets fantastic natural light from the kitchen and bathroom windows in the mornings, and even more brilliant light from the main window in the afternoons. I just have to complain about the artificial lighting that I am forced to use at night. I seem to have become more sensitive to light as I get older -- most likely due to the fact that I am staring at a computer screen 10 hours a day. Long story short, the Lighting Project has begun. This past weekend we accomplished two things:

1. Replaced all lightbulbs.
The bathroom light is fine as is. I couldn't stand the yellowness of the bedroom light and still don't really like the brightness of the new bulbs -- must get a better lamp. The kitchen light is brighter now, but I could still use an under-cabinet light for over the sink/stove so that I can tell when to stop burning the food and breaking the dishes.

2. Installed custom lanterns
This doesn't sound as fancy as it is, but it certainly was labor intensive. We spent a good hour at Home Depot firmly discussing (NOT arguing, I clarify) and looking for the wiring and other electric-related parts of which I know not the name, and successfully lit two lightbulbs! Most of the work was figured out by Jason; photos of the progress below. We still need to finish one more lantern (didn't have enough wiring due to my typical miscalculations) and figure out how to hide the wires behind the beam.

It was a fun Sunday afternoon, and I look forward to doing more home projects with my HandyMan. Project No 2. Fabric...

March 11, 2009

5 Tips for Proper Apartment Hunting

Before landing this new apt, I had searching for apartments for four months prior. I think I've streamlined the process by now, and would like to share a few things that I learned.

1. Search by area.
You probably already have an idea of the locations you'd consider, based on your commute to work, proximity to nightlife or groceries, and general environment. For me, all three were priorities for me, so I had to pick one criteria to start with. Lightly at first, I'd open up every local listing that had an interesting headline just to get a feel of what I could expect in those neighborhoods, and cross out any non-negotiables.

2. Search by price within that area.

It's good to know what you can expect from your budget so that you're not surprised. Make comprimises where you have to by evaluating what amenities and perks are included in the rent total, and make a mental note on what you can expect from the low end to the high end of your price spectrum. For example, for $975 I know I can expect to NOT have a 1 BR AND an in-unit washer and dryer, but maybe I can compromise for a 1 BR in a gated community that has a laundry room. If I really want the in-unit washer/dryer, maybe I should consider having a roommate to alleviate the costs? I went through like, 2,534 of those kinds of questions.

3. Save time by ONLY looking at posts that provide photos.
In my rental career, I've been so thorough in my online research that I've signed the lease for the first or second apartment I physically visited. Having photographs of the unit shows professionalism on the landlord's behalf (it's a BASIC expectation of selling on the internet), and also dependability. Gone are the days where you play phone tag and coordinate schedules and travel to the new place and wait for the landlord and decide you hate the place and dread looking at the next one that will deceive you so. Plus it's a bad feeling. Would you rather do that ten times a week, or nail the dream apartment on the first or second try? While there may be unphotographed opportunities you might overlook, you may not want to spend time weeding those out.

4. When you do schedule a visit, be thorough.

This is your 5 Minutes of Fame to to ask any and all questions that might come up during your residence. You haven't signed any papers yet, and can still bail easily with a simple, Thanks for your time but this isn't for me. Consider your lifestyle now and what you need to be comfortable. Where is the trash, laundry and mail located? Can they tell you about your neighbors? How will you contact them for repairs? Where is the nearest bus stop? javascript:void(0)

5. Give yourself ample time.

The last thing you want in this process is A) to get discouraged and B) to settle. In the end, your home is your HOME. Your sanctuary from an ever-increasingly crazy world. I don't know what your day-to-day situation is like but if you're working the 9-6 like me, the last thing you'll want to do is to come home knowing there is problem to deal with. Start your research early, even if leases aren't available for another month. Get your budget together. Ask you friends if they know of any openings. Get excited for the change.

So far, I've been at the new spot for two weeks now. I still haven't added any furniture and some things are still in a clutter, but I am not in a rush to figure that out. I'm enjoying the space as it is, as the choice that I made so carefully.


If you ever get me going in a conversation about infographics, I'll most likely refer to the work of Stefanie Posavec. Her "On the Map" project disintegrates and re-maps Jack Kerouac's "On The Road" into finite details of literary space: subject matter, sentence structures and length. And if you've ever read Kerouac, you'll know that to re-interpret his prose is quite the ambitious feat. On NOTCOT you can and must view the images in full to even remotely appreciate the depth and precision of Posavec's work.

That said, I aspire to have that much dedication to the world surrounding me.

And a couple more randoms:

March 10, 2009

If Ya Look Good...

They say if you look good, you feel good,
but I think if you feel good, you look better.

Better than good, better than bad, and anything better than bad is good.

March 6, 2009

I Love Him

He is my partner, my blanket, my sunshine and my rock. He has impeccable timing. He makes me laugh in thousands of ways. He tolerates my tantrums and even lets me use him as a punching bag. He's the only person who has seen all my faces, and I mean ALL of them. He is the most patient, kind, generous and trustworthy person I know. If ever I doubt that, please slap me and remind me how lucky I am to have him in my life.

March 5, 2009

The New Home!

I love this place. It's small but it's cute. Please ignore the clutter; these photos were taken midst-arranging because I had to take advantage of the momentary sunshine that afternoon. After the photoshoot I spent the day listening to the rain fall off the roof while putting things in their new places and moving them again. It was a therapeutic afternoon. Keep posted for before/after shots as I start decorating the new apartment!

Very special thanks to Jason, Mica, James and Japheth for taking time and strength out of their Saturday to help me out. It means a lot to me.