A solid kick in the butt

Monday, January 31, 2011

Cheers for the last day of january and the first 31 days of 2011! Heyoooo! This month has unfolded in ways unimagined and unpredictable and just plain magical. I'm off to a solid 31 days of growth and understanding not the new but the already known. I feel ready to jump back into work not because the hunger for travel has been satiated but because of restlessness. Ironic. I still have a solo adventure in me. It's not a knock against Varnum or anything but I do crave the self-sufficiency, ultimate vulnerability and limitless freedom. I feel like this trip was to prove I could travel via business funds. The next will be to simply do it the way I love.

I think this lovely trip to hong kong (which I'll explain in detail w photos later) was the kick in the butt i needed to remember why I make and save money. It's not for an eventual downpayment on something expensive, but to spend on something vague and intangible... Adventure!!

Switchin' it up like whoa

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I've noticed that this trip is quite different than others. First and the most obvious, I'm not traveling by myself. Second, I'm not staying in Asia for more than 6 months (dawwww major sad face). Third, I've listened to no music on this trip. And last, I've got my iPhone. Part 'wah wah' and part 'oh sweet'.

Before I go on I'd like to note that hong kong is unlike any city/state I've ever been. In a good way! Elements of it remind me of new york city (diversity, food), Tokyo (mrt, organization, near cleanliness), Mumbai (the crowded alleys and living) and none of it reminds of mainland china. I'm continuously amazed that my nostalgia for the Philippines has been cured by hearing tagalog or some Philippine dialect around me. Most people speak English (lazy American dang). They even have their own version of teh tarik! Gahhhh... I had some with a toasted buttered brioche w sweetened condensed milk drizzled on top. Oh brother what a world!

I have to say having my iPhone is kind of a buzz kill. I should have self control but there is just free public wifi everywhere! Trying to figure out where I am via gps vs squinting at street signs and trying to match characters and foreign words on a map... Oh I kind of miss the simpler times. I feel like I'm cheating. My old travel sketch books used to have travel notes, directions, hastily scrawled maps in between the sketches. This one's pretty clean and orderly. Having the phone definitely has its perks like not paying to use an old computer in a coffee shop or hostel lobby. But there is charm to complaining about slow internet or getting that last email out before times run out. I mean, i left america to be in a place completely different so does it count if i bring the luxuries with me? I pride myself in sleeping in cheap hostels with a backpack's worth of clothes, showering with a bucket of cold water but having this fancy phone, i feel, undoes all that. I cant hate it entirely though because i am blogging from my phone (but sadly can't post pictures lamecore fest 2011). I can chat with my friends, check on my etsy and business emails. So I wonder if that's a compromise I have to make to maintain a functioning business as I travel. Shrug. Perhaps!

Ok this is getting long (that's what she said!). Skeedaddle yankee doodle.

Greetings from hong kong!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Greetings! I just work up from a 7 hour nap. Let that be a lesson to you to turn your phone off silent mode if you want to hear your alarm. Dang.

It's okay though. My headache has disappeared and I no longer feel exhausted from a 20 hr flight and 6 hours of wandering Kowloon like a zombie because the hostel room wasn't ready yet. So far, we've experienced the growing festivities that is the Chinese new year. We actually leave at the turn of the new year but are deeply considering going to Disneyland hk on our way out since it's on the way to the airport. That and I friggin love disneyland. we passed a sign on the highway that just had mickeys silhoutte head and an arrow suggesting Disneyland was the next exit. Awesome. I respect brevity in universally understood shapes.

We spent the early morning wandering through kowloon park. I love seeing all the old folk doing tai chi. I tried to draw them but found it incredibly difficult because one, I'm rusty and two, it's a challenge to sketch a defining key position because there is none! You know the pinnacle moment in a baseball pitch, someone running, etc. but that's not really the case with tai chi. It's all fluid, equally seeming significant poses. Ill keep practicing.Maybe I'll start doing yoga next to them. Whuttup playaaaa!

It's such a different experience walking around w James who is blond, tall and blue-eyed. I really love traveling in asia because I have an ability to blend in! But dang. James. Buzz kill. Tailored suit sir? Rolex watch, copy watch, sir? Every single time we step out! O brother. I also wonder if we look like a couple where Im the Asian girl he's saving from poverty in exchange for her youth and great wife abilities. And I'm in it for the cash money dolla dolla billz.

On a random note, Im very glad I do yoga. The flexibility skillz came in handy on the plane. A major buzz kill on long flights is the blood circulation issue from sitting for hours. My feet get so swollen I start to doubt if I'll ever fit into my shoes again! So here and there I would stretch my legs up perpendicular to the floor. I felt a little self conscious with everyone seeing my orange snoopy socks but hey! Beats feeling like you have fat feet.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Tonight I leave for Hong Kong. Strangely, I'm not too excited. Most people seem to be more excited than I am. I think it's because I have work on my brain.

I gotta visit Modern Mouse for an inventory restock, mail out a box of plush to NJ for a toy art exhibit, & prep my sister for maintaining my etsy shop. Oh & pack! These are all wonderful things but it's incredibly overwhelming to only have a day to accomplish it all. I must say it's very strange having to delegate tasks & modify my system so that someone can easily step in & take over. It's definitely a good adjustment & a sign that my business is growing. I think once I get all the business stuff outta the way, it'll be smooth sailing. I'll put on some Community, pack & drink Pinot Noir until it's time to fly.

On the drive from LA to San Jose, James asked me what my intentions were for the trip. This is something Karen suggested two nights ago and it made me really happy that James asked me before I could ask him. My intentions: to rediscover and experience that wonder, openness and overwhelming inspiration that comes from wandering a new world. It's been 8 months since I got back from the Philippines and I can feel myself getting comfortable in my American ways. I gotta shake things up again! Feel unsettled & unsatisfied and reconnect to my art. This trip comes at a good time & a marker that I can still self-finance my travels to foreign countries. LIVE THE DREAM!

Oh man... I didn't even get to finish writing but I gotta go! SEEEYAAHHHH

Last Days in LA

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Oldest letter welcomes the latest letter
salad of csa goodies
& roasted squash seeds
bruce kindly showed off his costume collection. the utility belt really ties the outfit together
you can't really see it but that's 4 cartons of ice cream: b&j's oatmeal cookie chunk, b&j's chocolate fudge brownie, scoops's brown bread & dreyers's limited edition samoas cookies. yep. all devoured. soo good.

good time in la. now it's on to HONG KONG. Hey holler heeeeeeeeyyyy

Fridays are for farms, friends & fast heart beats

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Amy & I made sweet Korean pancakes while Nikos provided the tunes. It was so fun.
Afterwards James & I went to the farm to visit Rachel & Bruce, your Silverlake Farms/CSA gurus.
Bruce gave us a tour of the COMPOST. Soo many worms.
little bok choy
For the evening, we saw John Isaac Waters's band perform at Lot 1. So good. I totally crashed the bro party while the ladies celebrated Kendall's sweet accomplishment. We all then reunited for dancing at Short Stop. Gee, I forgot how bad/good the music is there. It's okay though. Singing Psycho Killer at the end sealed the deal.
Dancing & shutting down Short Stop makes you sleepy.


I visited LACMA again to drop off a few orders (yay!) & lingered to eat my lunch & work a little.
While there I chatted with Seymour, a mid-70s gentleman spending the day with Lola, his 3 year old granddaughter. We talked about books, traveling and his disinterest with visiting India. He shared something he recently read: You should ignore the ego. It prevents you from living in the present moment. We then started talking about its meaning & importance. There was something grandfatherly in how he cracked cheesy jokes & professor-ly in how he recited quotations verbatim but stumbled when it came to who said it. We chatted about yoga, which scares him but he still does it every day. He left me with a knee-slapping joke that was just about the cherry on top of the sundae.

After talking with Seymour, I volunteered to take a picture of two older Korean tourists. One really didn't want me to and the other was incredibly excited about it. He threw his hat at his friend with a grunt and pulled him to a picturesque spot with the LACMA lawn behind him (why he didn't pick the lamps is beyond me). I took the picture and they returned to me asking where I was from. I said I was Filipino. The crankier old man immediately relaxed and started listing off every famous Filipino he knew starting with Corazon Acquino. No mention of Manny. Dang.
H is for hungry. CSA carrots were gold.

The Best Earmuffs I've Made

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

are sitting nicely in the UK :)
& yes, they're fuzzy inside.

Working out of doors

picnic & work. we snacked on carrots, radishes & kale salad. my faaavorite.
it was a perfect recipe for productivity! i finished the earmuffs.
destination: new jersey for the toy art exhibit :)

It is not impossible to use a paper cutter in a car

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I used a filter on this photo for added ridiculousness. Like, why would you want to make that look artsy? I don't know. Because I can.

I can't tell if I'm simply burnt out from December or if LA makes me lazy. Either way my productivity hasn't been at its usual high. Business is also a bit slower but it's times like these I have to remind myself not to be discouraged by slowness. Instead I have to think of them as opportunities to do personal projects. My resolution for my birthday year is to find stability to counter & compliment the prior year's movement. I seem to still be moving around a lot. Oops!

On that note, I'm going to Hong Kong!!! So expect some adventure/travel posts in the near future. I haven't been in another country in 8 months and eek, that's far too long. I bought the ticket with James on Christmas Eve & it was probably the best gift I could have given myself in light of the holiday stress & intense work. Hopefully after Hong Kong I'll be ready to jump into the work.

this is what came of some of those vegetables

totally pulled a bruce with this shot

Fancy free photo app makes my pictures look cool

Friday, January 14, 2011

party down
checkers probably has one of the best happy hours in la. we spent 4 hours there. haaaa...
coolhaus ice cream sandwich. i finally ate you. & i love you.
i'm not really sure why people continue to attend the la art walk because the art is pretty disappointing. perhaps it's the people watching? perhaps it's the food trucks? i think it's the good friends & rooftops.
fries w truffle glaze. best grub money can find in little tokyo at midnight. well, except for kouraku. dang.
biking is for people of all ages!
this is the potential of tonight's family dinner
the craziest geometric green i've ever seen

Today I walked

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

from Sunset Junction to Union Station
echo park travel mart!
stumbled upon this treasure trove
& picked up a potential cabinet of curiosities
4.5 miles later...
with the subway sandwich man there to greet me
then I hopped on the gold line to pasadena
it was a great walking & public transportation adventure!
LA, you win :)

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