fifth decade

stretched out on my bed in my parents house. staring at the same klimt poster from long ago (girl in white). trying to do a self assessment (it was due last friday but i told hr not possible)

in a way i am always assessing myself. replaying the daily (non) events of my life. trying to recreate the galvanizing moments

at our get together, stephen said: it will be our fifth decade. i looked confused. denise clarified: eighties, nineties, oughties, twenty tens and twenty twentys. i laughed: well denise you certainly have changed since you did not inhale all the desserts by yourself

i was told that i haven’t changed very much. in a way this is true

one: i continue to take pictures of clouds. on my first business trip, sam said: is this your first time on a plane? i think to myself: nop but i strive to be a self indulgent individual

(self indulgent. characterized by doing or tending to do exactly what one wants)

two: i continue to play the piano but not necessarily playing the same songs. this week, mum has requested butterfly lovers as arranged by richard clayderman

(non self indulgent. playing a song on the piano that really should be performed on the erhu)

but the cloud snapping piano playing version of me was insistently attacked by the fear of missing out. different people exhibit different FOMO symptoms and i entered this departing decade with a very specific obsession

the past nine months, I have struggled with the idea of going to Asia to work. I whined about how easy it is for guys to find supportive wives and how hard it is for women to find supportive husbands. I went through a break up. I cried. By now, I have told everybody: no, I’m not going. And I feel okay. Which is really amazing”

what is even more amazing is his declaration that he is interested in moving to hong kong while trying out izipizi sun glasses at kapok. my thought: is this the power of designer eye wear or is he delusional from being dragged around the steamy streets of hong kong a bit too much. my response: if you cannot deal with summer humidity in bermuda


boring, not boring


It has been almost five years since the last “my life is boring” crisis. Living in Bermuda provides a sort of redefinition. On the one hand, there is no hipster coffee shop opening in my neighborhood every weekend; there is zero hipster coffee shop in my neighborhood. On the other hand, looking out the window is like looking into a GGM novel

We didn’t travel much in 2018 and will probably travel less in 2019 but planning a trip to Chicago. In 2012, we enjoyed Gold Coast; Oak Park; Wicker Park. In 2019, looking forward to

Wicker Park for chop shop

Humboldt Park for scofflaw: “gin-focused cocktail menu”

North Center (just realized this area is not called Roscoe Village) for bari zaki studio

married life

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of attending the amazing wedding of Darlin. I’m really not a wedding person but I’m thinking all weddings should be scheduled such that the kiss occurs at sunset. On the coast of British Colombia. Something about those silhouettes in that fading light.

– – –

After we got married in August 2014, many people asked: How’s married life?

My response: We’ve been living together for a while so the same as non-married life?

Looking back, maybe something did shift that summer. Because I haven’t had a my life is boring OMG moment since then.

It’s not entirely clear.

– – –

Walking along the bamboo forest in Arashiyama, he decided that he wanted a grapefruit drink. So we bought two grapefruit drinks. It was expensive.

As I put down the one on the left, I said: Let me take a picture of my grapefruit

As he put down the one on the right, he said: Take a picture of my grapefruit too

The fashion couple that created the tiffany campaign are not together anymore.

We don’t have a shared bank account but maybe we should get a shared instagram account?

It’s not entirely clear.



Wow!!! It’s been 33 months since I had a “my life is boring” moment. And another interesting experience this week.

On Tuesday, I got up at 4 am for my 8 am flight because I need to renew my work visa. I went into secondary and waited and waited and got rejected. Even though I’ve had TN visa for most of my working life. The upside is that, on the ride back on the Union Pearson, I got a nice view of the sun rising over Toronto.

This weekend: attempt visa renewal at land border. The upside is that, he’s been wanting to visit Buffalo for a while. We are thinking silo city and blue sky mausoleum.

Next weekend: hot pot party with Anne & Josh.

Next next weekend: celebrate his birthday.

Next next next weekend: he will make roast for my mum’s birthday.


going somewhere (count=1091)


Wow!!! It’s been 21 months since I had a “my life is boring” moment. Maybe because I took preemptive action nine months ago. Or perhaps it’s a sign that I’m now mature enough to enter the next phase.

It’s not that I’m no longer interested in traveling to new places but that I don’t need to go to new places to feel like I’m going somewhere. Because time never stands still.

On the way back from St Louis, I spent three days in Chicago.

  • Walking by Gene Siskel usually makes me smile; I made various people watch various movies that they described as the most depressing thing ever
  • Jenny and I signed up for a free tour of the architecture biennial; the official guide never showed up but one of the other people who signed up is a docent with the foundation and gave a wonderful impromptu tour
  • At lunch, Chris O said Sam recently engaged in a lengthy debate regarding the existence of free will and it reminded Chris of the conversations that Sam and I used to have at the office; maybe this is why I had to work late all the time
  • Revisiting Navy Pier, the destination of most of my morning runs; I walk up brightly painted unfamiliar stairs; the old ferris wheel has stopped running
  • I drop by after words and pick up where I’m calling from; illinois street is not quite what I remember
  • Hotel Palomar; bartender shares his thoughts on the story I’m reading and suggests a New Yorker article on how Carver’s editor influenced his short sentence structure
  • Bluecoat American dry gin


grateful (count=961)

DSC07240 (2)

It might be surprising that we only planned six things this whole year. For some of the months, there are reasons.

January: New Orleans
March: Peru (picture above from Sacred Valley)
April: Bolivia (picture below from Salar de Uyuni)


In Bolivia, our driver asked why I’m always running away from the vehicle. To get a different perspective, I said.

But what happened in May? Does the fact that I didn’t go anywhere and didn’t do any activity make it a most boring month. I’d like to think not. For example, I made basil beef for the first time in May. It’s not that different from other beef stir fry that I make but hey I’ve never used basil in stir fry before. And I used a combination of wilted and fresh basil. So there!


I made roasted radishes for the first time in June. I’ve often used radishes in salads but roasted tastes different in a lovely way. A different perspective.


grateful (count=871)

Usually, once a year, I have a panic attack about my life not being interesting. Actually, because this hasn’t happened for a year now, I’m trying to preempt it by writing posts about what it means to have an interesting life

“If you read this and were like, Wow, your life is really boring! please know that I added in a bunch of jokes and captions and whatnot and that my actual life is way more boring than depicted.”


I saw four episodes of Hotaru no Hibari 2. Basically, it’s about a couple who enjoys the ‘not interesting’ life of sitting on a porch and drinking beer together. Every so often, one or both of them feel the urge to improve their life (i.e. make it more ‘love love’) which causes confusion, drama, etc. Personally, I’m not interested in making my life more love love. I prefer to have hypothetical arguments


Latest hypothetical argument #1
He said: Our daughter will want to become an artist and you won’t let her and she and I will run away to Portland
I said: I’m not going to stop her from becoming an artist. If you want to eat salty black licorice everyday, you should run away by yourself


Latest hypothetical argument #2
I said: I don’t want to live in Summerhill and have our kids surrounded by other kids who think life should be easy and they deserve everything they want
He said: But *I* want to live in Summerhill