2016: A Review

We started our around the world adventure!

–Traveled through Central America

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–Went to Disneyworld (first time!) for my milestone birthday and it was magical

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–Lived in Japan for a month during Spring sakura season which was on my bucket list (plus owl cafes and bunny island!)

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–Did a road trip throughout America to see the great national parks and natural wonders

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–Took my most successful star pictures in these remote dark spots

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–Finally made it to Canada, Banff is amazingly pristine

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–Ate some of the most diverse and best food ever in Chicago

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–Hiked and camped in Norway

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–Lived in Finland when the sun never set

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–Spent the perfect summer in Denmark and met my Bf’s family there

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–Got to experience my first Yayoi Kusama light installation

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–Had my preconceived notions about China altered

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–Went to our first Michelin star restaurant for dim sum and it was great, of course
(there will be a separate blog post about this with pictures)

–Traveled around SE Asia and finally got to visit Vietnam with my longtime friend

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–Temples, food, and shopping in Thailand, finalllly

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–Spent our first Christmas together!

Hit up 16 countries in 2016 and really got to experience life in each one

Lot’s of big things planned for 2017 – Can’t wait 🙂

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Parts Unknown

Dear Anthony Bourdain,

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I was intensely curious to watch this episode once I found out you were returning to Hawaii, specifically Maui.

I was horrified at your only commercial stop on my island:

Tasty Crust.

If I had been eating while watching I would have spit. Instead I was sitting there with my mouth gaping–
then after the shock wore off, laughing hysterically… Why? It’s in a slightly run down part of town (which I love actually) and happened to be my grandpa’s favorite spot. Chatting with him about where he wanted to eat or where he had gone for the day,

“Tasty Cruss” would come the reply, (in his Japanese broken English accent).

“TAAAAAAAAAASTY CRUST?!?!?,” all of us always exclaimed. Seriously?!

I’ve eaten there a handful of times. I’m not trying to blasphemy a local hangout, it holds great memories.
Do those memories make the noodles special? Not really. I recall them being extra curly, and yes fun to eat as a kid but a well done bowl of ramen? I think not– pretty basic stuff here!

I will be visiting home soon and sure enough am planning a trip back to Tasty Crust–
One, to see if things have changed or improved. Secondly, to remember my grandfather and continue on his
Tasty Cruss pancake eating legacy.

Thank you.

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Q

“Cassis tutissima virtus”
Virtue is the safest helmet — family crest quote

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for –John A. Shedd

They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.
— Mexican Proverb

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it –Aristotle

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” –Dr. Seuss

At the end of the game, the king and the pawn go in the same box. –Italian Proverb

There are only two tragedies in life– one is not getting what you want, and the other is getting it. –Oscar Wilde

“Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Through all this ordeal his root horror had been isolation, and there are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one. —

Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. –Henry Scott Holland

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance –Aristotle

The day people stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them –Colin Powell

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Resolve 2015

Generalities
1. Cherish every day — Stay positive, focusing on at least one good thing
2. Live minimally — Be happier with less, live simply
3. Break bad habits — Let go of time wasting, no more anxious lip biting :-/
4. Spend more time with the people I care about, and tell them!

Travel
1. Canada + International (TBD!)
2. Cali –SF // maybe Disneyland (never been)
3. New York –Dough (doughnuts… yep, who wants to go with?!) // Visit MT Jewelry
4. Make it home for either Christmas or New Year’s. Both would be great 🙂
5. Live on the street — I’ve wanted to experience that situation firsthand for sometime… scavenging, panhandling, couch surfing, hitch hiking, train riding, recycling//

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Goals
1. Utilize more of my creative outlets//take even more pictures
2. Be generous with my time
3. Maintain a consistent healthy lifestyle (conflicts with next one…)

Food (Portland) YES, FOOD GOALS ARE A THING
1. Apizza Scholls
2. Bamboo Sushi
3. Beast
4. Bete-Lukas
5. Biwa
6. Broder
7. Chez Machin
8. Cocotte
9. Double Dragon
10. Egyptian Food Cart
11. Fireside
12. Fogo de Chao
13. Good Taste
14. Ken’s Artisan Pizza
15. Le Happy
16. Le Pigeon
17. Little Bird
18. Lucky Strike
19. Pok Pok
20. Portland City Grill
21. Roe
22. Screen Door
23. Sok Sab Bai
24. Tanuki
25. TarBoush
26. Wong’s King
27. Yakuza
28. Yama Sushi
29. Yuzu
30. …Yeah there’s least 2840157 more.

So, that’s Resolvageddon 2015 in a nutshell… Only a few weeks in, but I’d say this year is starting off pretty strong! 2014 was a lot of change (some events out of my control, some by choice) and I admittedly don’t feel like I do well with either. So much change in such a short amount of time has given me the ability to adapt faster and really figure out what I am made of. My sense of direction and hippocampus has grown, I’ve met so many wonderful people that make moving to a bigger city totally worth it, and I still find that I have things to explore. While it hasn’t been easy I look forward to future endeavors, and trying to enjoy life day by day. I don’t have any of it figured out, and that’s just great. At least I know where I’m eating tomorrow…

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Primal Op

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Richard C. Elliot from Ellensberg, Washington is a Mixed Media artist who chose Sate-Lite (reflectors) as his medium of choice! I did not realize that what I had seen years prior on the Hallie Ford building was none other than Elliot’s work– then, last week a friend mentioned this really cool exhibit that I absolutely had to go check out. So glad I did.

Being a mixed media artist has always fulfilled the part of me that needs to do many different things, also collecting random bits and bobs that most people do not see a use for. It’s also made me wonder if being so diverse, whether in going from painting to collage to abstract makes my work less recognizably “mine”. However, I enjoyed how the exhibit as it seamlessly tied Elliot’s early painting/reflector pieces to his large scale Sate-lite and glitter installations to the computer generated abstract prints that he created towards the end of his life. This actually gives me hope although a short video clip of Elliot’s house gave me flashes of what my future residence could turn out like if given free reign to hoard things from thrift stores and paint away!

The second thing about this exhibit: it’s just plain fun! Being mildly obsessed with different metallic and reflective paints I was all for the inter-activeness of Primal Op. A small box posted before the main entrance directed viewers to grab the small flashlight and place it about ones forehead and continue on exploring in that manner. Each piece had it own general feeling while the added headlamp being moved about from corner to corner made the patterns within each individual jewel toned reflector shine. From a humble cheap bike reflector to a 10 ft by 10 ft piece with every square inch covered and layered in different sized reflectors I couldn’t believe how elevated the material had become. Thus, art.

On the way out of the museum gift shop I couldn’t go without buying my own souvenir, a little Sate-lite pin 🙂 Maybe this will come in handy when I get a bike one day!

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Beautiful Music

The MSMJR collection of jam sesh music vids, all in once place– I know there are more out there! Feel free to comment or message me links to the others so I can add them on here…

 
 
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=113609565515561&set=p.113609565515561&type=2&theater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1984686418922

 
https://www.youtube.com/user/spencerjr151

 

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Red

It seemed like an abnormally quiet Sunday– I was admittedly bored- thinking about how the current traffic (or lack thereof) was affecting my paycheck. I continued to look busy, sizing, folding, and rearranging accessories– While doing so I edged closer to the children’s shoe area where an adorable young girl (maybe 6 or 7) in a bright aqua dress and red coat (accompanied by a man {who did not look anything alike}) were searching around; “Maybe she can help you?”

He pointed at me.

I jumped at the chance to service someone, and as quickly as I could replied, “Sure, what are you looking for?” The little girl was sweet and soft spoken, but not at all shy when she said “I want red Toms, red glitter — or just red if there is no glitter.” I again responded, “Sure, what size? I will go check upstairs!” The man had stated that she needed a 13, and while I was running up the stairs to the stock room I was hoping against hope that we had both in stock. However– we just had the plain red.

I brought the box down, explaining with a laugh (as I always do with bad news) that we just had this style– The other right side of the shoe was the one on display, which I grabbed for her so that she could try on both feet. “Is this the same size?” she asked while looking at the other shoe. I laughed again, “Yup, it should be!” The man said, “Yes, that’s why she brought it out for you, try them on!” She slipped both shoes on and it looked to fit perfectly. I encouraged her to take a little stroll to see how they felt which she quickly did, making a loop and coming back to stand right next to me.

I felt the tops of her toes in the shoes just to make sure, while the man did the same. I let them know about the fit info, just in case he was skeptical. Again, it was the right fit and the man gestured that she was going to wear them out. “They match your coat,” he said. “Yes they do,” I chimed in. That’s when she looked up at me and said

“I’m wearing these to my dad’s memorial. Red was his favorite color…”

It’s difficult to describe what happened next. Honestly, did not know how to respond– it’s admittedly a fault of mine, made even more troublesome by the innocent face of this child. A slight inhale and “Oooh…” I continued wrapping up the sale, while checking them out. I was madly looking for scissors to cut the tags off of the shoes but the man was already biting them off with his teeth. I looked down at the box, still processing what was happening. The man handed over payment, and the little girl came to stand right next to me. I was utilizing one of the slowest registers, which gave the girl time to stare up and me and say “You’re really pretty.” I told her she was so sweet and beautiful, to which she thanked me. When the cash drawer popped out she was standing on tip toes trying to look in, as I had a feeling she would. The man asked her to “stop being little Miss Nosy” to which I shrugged him off and smiled that it was alright– but she wasn’t listening to him and quietly responded “But I wasn’t being nosy.”

I did my normal routine– as much as possible keeping it together to send them out with a ”Thank you”, and on their way to what I can only imagine to be the funeral. Walking back to my department I could feel the sadness weighing on me.

Why wasn’t I more understanding, and why couldn’t I say anything meaningful? It crosses my mind that on a daily basis I do not let my emotions frolic about for the anyone to see. I squash them, protecting myself from what could be vulnerable positions. It’s “easier”– probably the reason I draw things rather than speak them. Added to that is the competitive nature of my profession where it works to be confident and unfazed on the outside. I think somewhere down the road I adopted the “It’s not personal, this is just business” attitude, and I’m not sure when that became status quo. My main point is that I never want to be disingenuous… so how did I let it happen at the place I spend a hefty chunk of my time? Thinking that my “work” self and “real” self could not be the same. Yeah, strange… These everyday interactions, especially this one really put things into perspective. Just a thought.

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