ain’t she sweet (COUNT=1328)

1. When I fly to St Louis on a Sunday afternoon, he takes me to the UP station and each time, we say: Wouldn’t it be nice to grab a drink at the UPstairs Lounge? So that’s where we kicked off the weekend at 6:30 on Friday (with jazz and blinking departure lights)

2. Followed by unplanned dinner at Bravi. I was here a while ago for a corporate event. On a surprisingly quiet night, it’s rather romantic with salty olives and lush calamari

3. And somehow we find ourselves singing ain’t she sweet (and now I ask you very confidentially)

4. Saturday coffee day revisiting Sumach Espresso

5. Followed by unplanned walk through Acadia (and I picked up some Chekhov short stories)

6. For dinner, I made two vegetable dishes with a little extra apple cider vinegar while he prepared rice and meatballs (as 50/50 as 50/50 can be)

northwest by north

So we are eating dinner and watching “New Friends in Strange Places: F*CK, THAT’S DELICIOUS”. Reminded me to continue on from this last post.

Day 5 of OR/WA Trip: driving from Willamette Valley to PDX with a detour to visit Frank Lloyd Wright + Christopher Brown Quartet at Jimmy Mak’s


Day 6 of OR/WA Trip: Japanese Garden + Viking Soul Food + Spin Laundry Lounge


Day 7 of OR/WA Trip: Chinese Garden + Christopher David + Oblation Paper

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Day 8 of OR/WA Trip: Ristretto Roasters + Lark Press + driving to Seattle

Day 9 of OR/WA Trip: The Library + Cafe Presse


Day 10 of OR/WA Trip: Uni with Feifei, Larry & Duke + last night in Seattle

Day 11 of OR/WA Trip: Starbucks at Columbia Center then home sweet home

there (there) and here (COUNT=1283)


One interest that I picked up from him is Le Corbusier and, in Stuttgart, we visited the Weissenhof Estate.

NYTimes: Imagine one of those glacially chic early-20th-century Modernist interiors. // Whatever you imagined, I’ll bet it was in black and white. It’s a safe bet, because our perceptions of early Modernism — at the Bauhaus design school in 1920s Germany, or the purist villas that Le Corbusier was building in France — are shaped by the photographs taken at the time, and they were all in black and white.


In Frankfurt, we also saw some interesting architecture. Somehow the interior of MyZeil Shopping Mall reminds me of Wong Kar-wai. We didn’t have lunch on the train from Austria and got super hungry in the middle of the afternoon when all German restaurants are closed. So we ate good thai food while listening to jazz.

For his birthday coming up, we are planning to revisit poetry jazz cafe (preceded by dinner at rose & son). We’ve done a few stay-cations but this year, just home.

off to the rat race

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When Trevor did my performance review a few years ago, he threw in this Oscar Wilde quote: We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

David Foster Wallace provides a good description of my stars: If you’re automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won’t consider possibilities that aren’t annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars

Basically, I have this belief that, if I keep trying, I will find that every person at work is on the same wavelength as me and every work situation is “not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars”.

DFW: That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing

I think part of growing up is realizing that there is no real freedom. To make peace with “the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing”, we need to accept that “we are all in the gutter” and running the rat race.

This is not an easy thing for me to accept because I’ve tried so hard to be somewhat different. Maybe it’s not about running a different race but running the race differently.