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April 28, 2009


Normally airports evoke no emotion out of me. I feel that they can improve in their sanitation, warmer customer service, update their systems and create a better navigation for the first time flyer. I know airports are known for prime people-watching spots, only more inflated by the 2003 movie Love Actually and its romantic depiction of reuniting families from opposite ends of the ocean, coated with slow-motion surprise-faces followed by the dropping of luggage, running, tears and embracing. I look for that at the airports, hoping to witness that special moment so highly coveted, but... not to be a pessimist, I rarely see it. Not that I wouldn't love to see that, no, not at all. I LIVE for moments like that. Love Actually is the epitome of how I see love- all angsty and yummy. It's just that the airports have been just disappointing if you're seeking to be surrounded by that energy.

All that aside, I had the best flying experience last week, coming out of John Wayne / Orange County airport and into San Francisco on United Airlines. The flight was short, about an hour. The view of dusk and the sunset was stunning, I couldn't keep my eyes off of it. The landing was smooth as could be; I couldn't tell when we stopped flying and when we started landing. We left early and got in early, which means I get into my own bed even sooner.

I suppose little of that actually had to do with the physical airport but I thought I'd share that with the few shots that I took there.

[Photos taken by me at SNA, Newport Beach]

On Following Your Dreams

Career change by Blah Blah Blahg

Doing What You Love Blog Interview Series.

For me, discovery through blogs.

What do I want? A home. And a studio.

April 27, 2009

Catching Up

Happy Monday everyone,

Forgive me for doing a Monday post right after a Monday post. That just looks bad! I got back from the business trip and spent the rest of the week catching up with work, family, friends, boyfriend-- amazing how much three days of your regular life you can miss!

I haven't had access to internets this weekend. We spontaneously switched the location of our new couch and computer desk, detaching the computer from the only other three-prong outlet in the apartment, the other being in the bathroom, and I am not about to lug that 24' thirty pound iMac into my bathroom, no matter how convenient they say it is. You know who you are O_o.

On the other hand, the couch looks great, and I've finally made some interior decisions that have stalled the decorating process greatly.

1) The bedroom will be a mediterranean blue and stark white
2) The living room will be neutral colored, mostly, with splashes of color
3) I need a soft white rug that is at least 3x5
4) Still looking for that perfect table / desk / console

We've installed white roller blinds from IKEA that are transparent enough to let light in AND disguise the ugly blinds that came with the place that Jason doesn't have a problem with but I can't stand. I don't have internet at home which means I can't upload photos yet, but I've given in and ordered Comcast so again, bear with me.

I had some girlfriends over the other night after dinner in North Berkeley and we had such a lovely time. We went to Andronico's and shared champagne, strawberries dipped in chocolate, and chatted about everything under the sun, well into the late night. Oh, adding to the list:

5) a set of wine glasses and mugs and teacups

I only had one mug that my sister painted for me and three wine glasses for four people. What a poor host I be! And what a poor blogger I be! Well, I've scattered some lovely photos in this post that I'd like to share with you; some inspiration I've been keeping in my pocket for some time now.

April 20, 2009

Monday, Monday Monday


Did everyone in have a nice weekend? I did. Hitched a ride to my hometown Davis to spend the day with my mom and our family dog, Clover, who has a tumor and unfortunately is not doing well. Mom cooked her magical dishes (seriously, they barely have anything in their fridge yet she always somehow throws something totally tasty together!), and watched a bunch of movies On-Demand. Took the train back to the bay to meet Jason and we spent a bit of it outdoors to bask in the first warm weekend of the season (whilst trying my best to withstand the allergies that started to invade my nose), and then a little lollying about watching TV, and then heading to a Killers concert down in San Jose. GREAT performance, bravo.

I'm in Newport Beach for a conference Tuesday and Wednesday. It's my very first business related trip and I couldn't feel more like a young'un right now. I suppose I could just make the best of this 'novice' feeling and be honest about it. "Hey, I'm Milan, and I'm a total newb, please hold my hand." Just kidding. I'm actually quite excited to learn more about usability trends and the workshop on Wireframing and Prototyping. From the Web App Summit website:

Top designers will tell you the secret is in great wireframes and prototypes. They use these tools as renderings of their concepts, documentation for the team, and platforms for collecting feedback from their users. With the right toolbox of techniques, the team can begin to visualize their design ideas from day one.

In other matters, it was 98 degrees out here when my plane landed. And it's normally rainy season this time of year. Curious...

The hotel room is super nice, admittedly the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in yet, but I should add that I don't get out too much, and when I do it's super budget. There are six really fluffy pillows on the bed - six too many for me, really, but I look forward to throwing them on the floor. There's a flat screen TV that I am about to go watch, which must mean that I have reached my last resort.

Wish me luck tomorrow!

April 17, 2009

Signs of Love

Ugh, so sweet. Long video but really sweet way to meet someone, if you haven't already.
And if you have, do something lovely and fun this weekend. It's going to be great weather here in the bay area! Except for I'll be in Davis, listening to live house music Sunday afternoon on the lawn, getting some sun.

Go love someone, and I'll see you Monday.

Note To Self

Love and life. Let's do this.

April 16, 2009

The Perfect Table

On the prowl for an affordable and stylish long desk, with an accompanying bench. I've dedicated a wall by the entry for such desk, and hope that I will be able to do a lot of work at it. Atop it will be my computer and an open journal for my morning pages, a creative ritual I hope to adopt permanently. On weekend mornings I'll have the front door open and shades drawn, the little fountain outside trickling slightly louder than I would expect, yet still in a calming way.

And when we have guests for a summer dinner, we'll open all the windows and pull the table out from the wall and use the bench and other miscellaneous seats I may have at that point and laugh and talk over a lovely homecooked meal.

Sounds nice, no? You're welcome over, whenever I find this perfect table.

April 13, 2009

How to Find True Love

Here's another amazing infographic for you problem-solvers. Created by the team at KnockKnock, a fun online design shop.

Click to download pdf.


Definitely my new favorite flower:

[photo via Truly Smitten]

What's your favorite flower(s)?

April 10, 2009

Oahu in Photographs, April 2009

That's me, scuba diving! Breathing! Underwater! Like a mermaid!

There were some really great moments in between these shots, like on Lanikai beach there was a kid snorkeling and we heard him squeal "SEA TURTLE" and we saw the massive shadow of its flippers (are they called flippers?) gliding along the coast, not twenty feet from the sand, and I couldn't take my eyes off of it for a second even to grab the camera from my bag.

Or when we visited Shirokiya, a mini-Japanese mall with an entire half of the floor dedicated to hot Japanese food. I'm talking bento box after bento box. Okonomiyake and takoyaki. Mochi and dozens of tsukemono, even the one with squid and yellow maguro. I was much too busy fighting the tears to pull out my camera to remember this moment of bliss. The joy of being suddenly and unexpectedly surrounded by my Japanese culture and having it so close yet so far was overwhelming. More non-Japanese people here spoke Japanese than in my 4 years of Japanese class in high school. It was awesome.

Or the night we were walking the streets of downtown Waikiki after a great meal at Gyu-kaku (photo of the Japanese grill above) and watched the talented street artists sketching the faces of the tourists in different styles; a caricature of a little boy who couldn't stand still, or the slow charcoal drawing of the girl who made the poor choice to smile.

And I didn't have enough memory in the only card I brought to capture all the little things "Hawaiian" that we don't have here in California, or anywhere else for that matter. The open patio of the restaurant that brought in small birds with the gusts of wind, the trees and flowers that belong in a botanical garden, the clouds that took permanent residence atop the mountain line. And to think that we only visited the most touristy island of Hawai'i. I can't wait to visit the others.

April 6, 2009

Jessica Hische: Hand Lettering and Illustration

I am feeling very inspired this morning. First day back from a magical 5-day vacation to the island of Oahu (photos to come), I am back at work and motivated to design.

First item of duty: catch up on my reading. Simplesong blogged about Jessica Hische and I immediately fell in awe of her style. Page after page I'd get wonderfully lost in her curvy letterforms, her pictoral landscapes and 1790's color schemes. I actually wrote her an email to ask how she does it. Surprised I'd not heard of her name before, I'm very eager to learn more about Jessica Hische (I keep wanting to type Hinsche) and her work. Maybe ask her to design my wedding invitations whenever that time may come.

[All screenshots from]