Chicago wrap up

And thus, i'm wrapping up my first city of this three month stint of travels that i am partaking in... for business.

However, today even in the midst of all this exhaustion of working for hours on end for the last week, there was a sort of calm and excitement that washed over me. I had finished my first weekend of a promotion i had broke my back over and i finally got to get some r&r with a few friends, old and new, to see Chicago; a city that i so desperately have wanted to visit. So our crew of four took off for the my favorite night tours and got to see many of the new art endeavors of Chicago. And even when they all had work tomorrow, they were so hospitable and offered to show me around for the sake of my own touristic needs. so thank you, p, l, and e ... who dealt with my obnoxious photo-taking, instagraming and desperate need to see the city before it was well.. closing time.

Tomorrow is DC. Let's go!


This road ahead.

Amusing blog title to say at the least.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately and a lot of it probably has to do with the fact that my life is going to rapidly change at the end of this month. With my job and the position i am in, there is not going to be any down time and i'm going to be uprooted for about 3 months. As much as i want to say that this exhilarates me, at the same time there is some serious fear. It's like the looming cloud of unknowing... even if you have everything planned out.

In these next few months and leading up to the New Year, i think a lot of things will change for me...  Not even in the sense of being exhausted from the job or what not, but internally and emotionally about many things. I'm hoping that the job doesn't wipe me out to the point of reluctance to do anything, and will instead empower me to move forward with my life.

We'll see.



This is my 200th post for my blog! (quietly patting myself on the back)

It's shocking that it took me this long to get to the 200th post considering I have over 2000 tweets and god knows how many different Facebook posts. Then again, when considering how different outlets there are nowadays on how you want to channel your creative, writing, and thoughtful energy .. i guess it's not all that shocking at all.

So it's June and i think it's about a good time to do a recap of my New Years resolution and see how I am feeling so far this year. Quite frankly, I couldn't honestly say that it's been the best, however it's thankfully not been the worst. I've already learned so much. Not only in terms of the world (thanks, NPR), but also in terms of myself and how I am able to identify a lot of what i'm feeling and sort it out without getting overly frustrated. Also, i had promised myself that this year i would see and try new things every month. Whether it involved taking off to a new place, listening to new things or even just trying new things in places i've already been - it's all about keeping myself stimulated. One too many times last year I found myself missing event after event that i wanted to see, but somehow kept on missing. But this year, i can say that i've done well for myself!

I won't go on about the new things i've done and tried over these past months, but i can definitely say that it's been a good ride thus far and i can't wait to see what else is ahead.

And a huge thanks to J, J, and D who had dinner with me tonight and really helped me realize how good things have been. Puts things into perspective.


May Catch Up.

The last few months of my life have been crazy. I will say that i've been participating in a lot of events and attending many shows. I've also been keeping in line with my New Years res and can say that i've done something new or cultural every month this year. I'm slightly ashamed to say that i wasn't very good at logging all these things i visited so far this year, but here are just a couple of highlights. 

cicLAvia - Downtown LA

Art Installation - Coachella

Scott Campbell - Noblesse Oblige - OH WOW gallery

Hitrecord - Vista Theater

Art in the Streets - MOCA Geffen

JPL Open House - JPL

A proud new owner of the King of Limbs Newspaper Ed. 


Little Pleasures.

Yeah ok, i admit it. I'm one of those people who buy these goddamn expensive Apple electronics, but cannot get myself to pay up the $0.99 to purchase a stupid app or song on iTunes. Yep. That's me.

However, every once in awhile there is an app or an album that will really grab me. And when it comes to music, if i'm particularly moved, i will slap that $0.99 price tag in the face and download the entire album. And somehow this pre-summer season has been just that... 3 weeks in a row and all ABSOLUTELY perfect purchases.

So what's in my playlist this summer so far?

1. Bag Raiders - Bag Raiders :: I'm particularly loving "Prelude" which is a bit more mellow than their other songs on the album, but I dare you to try listening to this album and not dance. . . Dare you.

2. Raphael Saadiq - Stone Rollin' :: This is one of my biggest Coachella "sacrifices" i had to make when i was out in the fields. It still makes me sad to think that i've missed his performance out there but i guess makes me more determined to see him in the future. Raphael Saadiq's music is just so soulful, old school, and makes me want to wear cat eye glasses while he swoons. This song hits a particular note with me currently.

3. Tokimonsta - Creature Dreams - EP :: Ok, this girl has got talent. And i don't say that because i used to have class with her, but she's seriously one of the most talented DJs. Her newest EP that dropped will bring chills down your spine. It's mesmerizing and I'm spellbound. This is definitely going to be on repeat all summer for me.

What's more? My desire to own a piece of the music beyond the digital copy grows and and just have to get their album in vinyl, skipping CDs en totale.



This morning i woke up and looked at my clock and stood there in a bit of shock. Why had a woken up at 6am and why wasn't i feeling tired? i started to calculate my day ahead of me and tried to get more sleep, but to no avail, by 6:30am I just got up and started my day. After Post Secrets and trying to figure out a plan to start cleaning up my room, I noticed the clock on my computer... 8:30am. What is going on?

Funny. Since being back home i've neglected to change the clock on my wall and have been running an hour ahead of time since last Sunday. But how have i not gotten to work earlier?



This morning I woke up and felt utterly in the pits. Tired, in a sour mood, and simply under a cloud ... I couldn't shake myself awake. But halfway to work, i looked up Westmoreland and was reminded of a wonderful pick-me-up... coffee. Brilliant Intelligentsia Coffee from Bourbon St. Cafe.

I will admit to you that coffee and i were never in a long term relationship. Coffee would call to me sometimes in high school and in college, but in the forms of sweet lattes and stupidly caloric white chocolate mochas. However, in recent times i've truly grown to love this beverage and in probably the form that people don't like... black coffee... dark as soot.

What could change someone to go from liking the Moroccan mint tea lattes and pumpkin spice blended? A taste of truly thoughtful black coffee. Does that even make sense? I'll elaborate. I sipped my first Ethiopian blended coffee last year via Barista Paul and somehow it's set a standard. All the care that Paul put into preparing the coffee and the time he took to explain what i should be tasting completely awed me. Coffee from McDonalds for $1 could no longer suffice. I walk into Starbucks and cringe at the way their baristas prepare each drink. I had been turned into a snob... a coffee snob. Goodness, what deep end will i fall off next?

In any case, the beautifully prepared coffee from Bourbon Street really jumpstarted me and why am i writing about coffee at night?

because of this song...

It just spoke to me all day.



I was just driving back from hanging out with ev and this song by Mumford & Sons came on. And now I'm addicted. I know that Mumford & Sons is seriously blowing up the scene right now after their stellar Grammy's performance, but how could they not be with songs like this one...

But wow, what a beautiful day. I started my day walking to Kaldi's with my mom. We had such an amazing conversation and she really gave me some insight about things happening in my life right now. I think that as I've grown older she's really becoming one of my best friends and i can't express how much i appreciate her. So we had some great coffee, shared a muffin, and headed back home.

Then, I met my good friend ev in Old Town to do some lady pampering, which was so nice. I had a ball sitting in those pedicure tub/massage/lounge/la-z boy chairs and getting my toes done with "cute as a button" nail polish. Those names always kill me.

It was SUCH a nice day that ev and i just roamed around old town and browsed the shops drinking our iced coffee and lemonade. I was in SUCH a good mood that i wasn't even fazed by the fact that i got a parking ticket for $45 for overrunning my meter by 3 minutes! (parking nazis)

I'm just on cloud nine today...


A certain sort of small.

Earlier this evening i was watching TV and of course, as it is a Monday evening, Mr. Anthony Bourdain was on. I don't know if i've mentioned this earlier, but No Reservations is probably one of my favorite unscripted shows of all time. Lets not forget my bizarre and strange obsession with medical docus about morbidly obeses folks, but Tony Bourdain manages to capture my heart and gives me a joy for an hour every week of true tunnel vision. This past week's episode took me and the rest of his viewers to Haiti for something that rocked me in the same caliber of the recent Paris and Rome episode this past season, but in a completely different manner.

Watching these people in the ruins of their the quake that happened last January, it was shocking to really see how much damage had occurred. The images, the emotions, and the attitudes of Haitians was just seething from my TV into my living room and engrossing me in every way. Granted No Res is all about the enjoyable travel experiences including food and culture and exploration... this really took a raw look a country and city that went through so much pain. I won't go into lengths about what the episode actually covers, but let's just say that emotionally...i felt small.

i just felt so small.

And those who understand what I am talking about, know exactly what i'm talking about.


Portland, OR.

When I told people that i was going on a trip to Portland with my family the general reaction of everyone was "What?! Why Portland?" And funny enough, even while we were on our flight to Portland my mom turned to my dad and asked, "Where is it that we're going again?" Wherein my dad and I would laugh our funny inside joke laugh and then point out where Portland was on a map to my silly mother.

But what I guess i didn't reiterate to people was that my dad is an avid photographer and he wanted to actually scope some of the beautiful landscape that surrounds Portland, and not so much the city itself. And though i was more excited to check out the city, as a lot of what traveling in my books means eating and exploring local culture, it was actually pleasant to be out in the woods and the ocean away from most civilization. Granted most of the trip was miserably rained out, I was able to put to use some of the tips my dad had given me on taking pictures.

And here... after years of not doing a photo update to a blog of my own actual photos (and not just one photo like the previous entry) is a huge step of 5 whopping pictures! Enjoy.

However, i will say though that i was a bit disappointed to not run into Fred Armisen's "Bike Rider" character on the streets during the brief moments we were passing through the city.