Sunday, September 27, 2015

Quotations Through the Years

It's been three years and some months since I've last blogged a series of quotations (the ones on my Facebook and favorites from Angelina Jolie). And in many ways, inspiring words have kept me going. Back when favorite quotations was easily accessible on Facebook, I would read each friend's favorite quotations when I we became friends with them on Facebook. I always liked learning what motivates people. So here are some new favorites (pulled mostly from my Twitter because I can't remember things off the top of my head).

"All the changes in the world, for good or for evil, were first brought about by words." -- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

“There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.” -- J. K. Rowling

"You can't be 'good for your age' anymore. You have to be GOOD." -- Emma Coats

"Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work." -- Chuck Close

"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself." -- Albert Einstein

"Imagination, not intelligence, made us human." -- Terry Pratchett

"Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. Make some light." -- Kate DiCamillo

"I was not inspired by old science fiction as much as I was inspired by how the future used to be seen in contrast to how it’s seen today." -- Brad Bird

"The biggest problem with Twitter is that I'd be in a taxi and I'd be on Twitter and it would keep me interested. I realised I wasn't getting bored enough and [that I needed to get bored] to start plotting things and coming up with ideas." -- Neil Gaiman

"Stay Hungry. Stay foolish." -- Steve Jobs

Sunday, September 20, 2015

/shrug, pictures and stuff

Because I haven't blogged in a while, and to get things rolling, I thought I share a couple trivial photos.
I moved across the river to Cambridge, MA. So I get to check out the Boston skyline on my way to and from BU.
Kinetic sculptures are cool! I guess South Station is pretty cool too. These are by Theo Jansen.
Downtown Portland. There's a heck of a lot of locks on this fence.
Nothing is more ominous than looking up a rocky, fog-masked, mountain cliff (Acadia, ME).
I apparently now deal with stress by shopping at Whole Foods and eating an apple on the walk there . . .
Post Script: The "G+1" icon is beyond hideous.

Friday, July 24, 2015

As If It Were Already Here

It's been awhile since I've blogged. About two months. And I still don't really feel like blogging. I think since graduating undergrad and now, I've become less concerned about my future than I used to be. There's less of a desire to chase and more of a desire to exist.

My current favorite thing about Boston right now is this giant net sculpture by Jane Echelman appropriately called "As If It Were Already Here" -- I love the name. It lights up at night and shimmers in the wind all day. I think I like it so much because of its scale and presence and passiveness. I enjoy sitting underneath it. I'm comforted by it.

What is Life?

Recently, I read an article about a kickstarter wearable for teenage girls. What I really love about this idea is the lack of a screen. It's a social and fun way to use technology to engage youths. Screens aren't always needed. It's important to remember when to not overindulge.

There's also this talk I truly would love people to see by Neil Stevenson. He talks about the general opinion toward science through the years including very recent trends and how storytelling has impacted it and what he sees for the future. Neil is passionate about this topic and I think the way he presented it was fantastic. His views also line up pretty closely with my own, just more eloquent.

Here's a cool shoe-making process video:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Subtlety Me

Every once in a while I get these crazy ideas that I want platinum blonde hair or navy blue highlights. I get these ideas because I look at my black hair and think: boring and normal. While I've dyed my hair in the past, it's never anything too drastic or edgy, mainly blonde highlights. And that's because as much as I really want to be different, I also don't want to stand out. That's what I crave for myself: normalcy upon a glance but uniqueness upon a look.

I'm a modernist in that I like to see the items I own/encounter take up functional and purposeful shapes that exemplify the materials from which they are made of. The school of Bauhaus comes to mind: simple, functional, and elegant. But I also want these items to feel organic. I like to have a sort of harmony between us and the outside world. Think Frank Lloyd Wright. And yet, I'm also a post-modernist; I like the extra details and frills that are sometimes completely useless. The iPhone 4 is a prime example. The back glass serves no function and is super prone to cracks, but the double-sided glass is my favorite iPhone design. Finally, everything needs a bit of character, imperfections if I may.

So yes, my black hair is normal. But there's so much more behind it. My haircut is simple and functional: it doesn't fall all over my face when I'm hunch over a laptop. It's also heavily layered and organic; my hair is naturally black. And it's definitely got character. Somedays, it does what it wants and I just have to deal with it. Black hair can be boring, but everything, including boring, has a story.

So like the black hair, I make my statements against conformity in small indistinguishable ways. I wear a watch on my right hand even though I'm right-handed. With everyday sneakers, I tend toward grey, grey-black, muted yellow, navy, than straight black. I love adding details with colors. Take this blog for example, it has a very simple design that makes use of different but simple colors against a white background and of course the watercolor backdrop. My lapdesk is basically just a piece of bamboo attached to a cushion with a handle, but it's bamboo . . .

So I guess my point is that being different for the sake of being different shouldn't be my goal because my different just so happens to look, well, not different.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Inch By Inch

I ran that 5k I mentioned in the last post in 32:53 -- there's a story leading up to the race. Ask me if you're curious. All and all, it was a great marathon weekend for me. I got to cheer on two friends running this year's rainy Boston Marathon. 

Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow.
All it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground.
Inch by inch, row by row, Someone bless the seeds I sow.
Someone warm them from below, 'til the rain comes tumbling down.

Pulling weeds and picking stones, man is made of dreams and bones.
Feel the need to grow my own 'cause the time is close at hand.
Grain for grain, sun and rain, find my way in nature's chain,
to my body and my brain to the music of the land.

Plant your rows straight and long, temper them with prayer and song.
Mother Earth will make you strong if you give her love and care.
Old crow watching hungrily, from his perch in yonder tree.
In my garden I'm as free as that feathered thief up there.

Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow.
All it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground.
Inch by inch, row by row, Someone bless the seeds I sow.
Someone warm them from below, 'til the rain comes tumbling down.

My elementary school assistant principal use to sing us this song with her guitar. I went on a walk today thinking about life. I thought of the universe and how we're just a tiny, tiny speck in it. I thought of a simple life. I thought of hard work. I thought about moving forward, inch by inch.