Posts tagged life.

working now…

so i spent my summer after finishing grad school in an internship. it was pretty awesome. the work—not all the time, but overall, pretty satisfying because of the people i was with and the goals of the projects. good people—people you can connect with, especially in work, is hard to come by. and even while i knew this, i eventually left this wonderful studio where i had an amazing boss (who i am lucky enough to consider a friend and mentor) to join a very promising start up. 

this was a difficult decision. this startup is in an industry i know almost nothing about. why, then, you’d ask did they hire me? i think my unique perspective to being an outsider—someone who DOESN’T have the immense passion for that specific industry lends a critical eye for a key demographic—those who are complete beginners. it means that i’ll ask questions that they won’t realize need answering. at the same time, this week (my first with this new company) has been immensely difficult. i am not happy, but i am not unhappy—it’s a weird sensation to have.

the people are nice and welcoming—of that i am grateful. but most of the time, i feel stupid. like EPICALLY idiotic. i know very little about the topics they discuss (ETFs, SSDS, TLH, VTI, etc—if you know these terms, you now know what industry i’ve wandered into). there’s a benefit to being an in-house designer: you have a lot of say. you are involved with ALL of the departments (at least at this place). you have real sway and can see the effects of your designs and work in real time. you can CHANGE these things for the better! and, it’s unfortunate, that i have to remind myself of these different things to keep me going when i feel so lost among the conversation at my office. it’s also unfortunate that the commute is INSANE. 

we all know this: we never realize how good we have it until it’s gone. at the same time, i’m trying to pay my dues and get the experience i need to become a well-rounded and experienced professional in this industry (not finance per se, but design). i really hope this particular big leap works out—most other scary leaps i’ve taken have lead me toward more fruitful endeavors. (i also hope i can eventually rejoin the company i interned with down the road—amazing people i’d love to work with again). thanks for letting me vent…


life: some things i’d like to talk about with people interviewing for design jobs

i recently graduated with my mfa in design and my classmates and i have been hitting the pavement looking for internships and jobs. so, this post is really to people looking for starting positions. i also think that some of this applies to any interviewing process :)

without further ado: some things i’d like to address to designers interviewing for jobs (starting)

1) get your portfolio in order

  • you don’t have to have it perfect—after all, if you’re a designer, you’re probably always rethinking and wanting to redesign what you have
  • you DO have it have it somewhat complete and live
  • don’t have super long explanations unless you can present it in a way where it doesn’t feel very long. your portfolio is an introduction into your work and who you are—you want to invite, guile, and get people interested. your portfolio is not ALL of your work, but your selected best—it gets you that interview! 
  • *i’d like to add that for one-on-one or team interviews, you DO want to have a longer (possible PDF) portfolio that really details out your process of a project. beware making presentation slides; you talking through your decisions is the narration, there shouldn’t be too much text unless you’re emailing it to someone.

2) know the company who is interviewing you

  • do your research—know the types of projects they do, know the mission. if you can, try to find out about who’s interviewing you and look them up. linked in goes both ways!
  • so you’ve researched? what excites you? what can you bring to the table? you’ll have more to ask and to talk about with your interview group if you do some research

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meaning vs. happiness

i was watching the commencement speech mindy kaling gave to the harvard law school graduation this weekend when my roommate also suggested to look at tim minchin’s “life is meaningless” commencement speech (here). filled with humor, minchin makes a good point that we spend a lot of time trying to find meaning in life and in doing so make ourselves unhappy.

an article in the atlantic talks about how living a meaningful life may make you unhappy but might offer a more satisfactory life overall. afterall, happiness is an emotion and thus unsustainable—it is fleeting and ephemeral. the comments people responded with seemed focused on blaming the pursuit of happiness on the stunted personal growth of the population (mainly about Americans). 

i see the points on both sides. happiness is about selfishness. it is about the ease of life and has nothing to do with hardships. surviving and learning from difficulty results in an enduring mentality; enduring must be preceded by having a reason to survive. a reason for living. meaning. at the same time, i think “meaning” has also led to strife—this is in combination with a multitude of other variables in the human condition; meaning is what we use to establish organized religion (and thus the need to have superiority or righteousness over other belief systems); “meaning” can be appropriated by individuals and institutions for an agreeable, blind following. “meaning” can be just as disastrous as the pursuit of happiness.

the article does point out that a meaningful life does not necessarily mean it is without happiness and vice versa (however, there is a strong persuasive tone that happiness is flippant and unnecessary). i think there isn’t really a specific side we must strive for; i think living thoughtfully, with reflection on our actions and intent, with appreciation and love, with consideration for others will lead to a larger sense of satisfaction in our lives. there is satisfaction in how we live (but is this not also a reference to pride?) and who we’ve affected. happiness is not an enduring emotion, but we definitely can experience it (in its many degrees) throughout our lives as a choice and as a perspective. 

#life  #rant  

mfa. done! 



For Sale in SF: Cute, Dutch-Inspired 3-Speed Bike

2013 3-Speed Windsor Oxford Bike, size 46cm* in “ocean”

Comfortable seat and handles; adjusts easily. Comes with rear rack and a cute little bell. 

I have not replaced the break pads since getting this but I also haven’t ridden it as much as I had anticipated (driving has been easier since I haul stuff daily). The price has been adjusted to compensate that the buyer will probably have to get this maintenance issue done within a few months. 

Since it’s not getting much use, I decided to sell. Seriously inquiries only, please. Thanks!

*Ladies 46cm fits most ladies from 4’10” to 5’7”


#life  #for sale  

sprucing up

this holiday i caught one of the cold bugs that’s been going around. so while i rest with soup, tea, and other liquids that are supposed to make me get better, i’ve also been relegated to my apartment for several days—with the exception of an hour or two outside to get groceries. as such, i’m noticing A LOT of things that i’d like to update or organize. a major peeve of mine lately has been two small bookcases in my bedroom which house a myriad of objects: printer, photos, books, camera, film, gift packaging paraphernalia, medicines, sunblock, boxing wraps, and—for some reason—yarn. there’s no organization, there’s no nice display of curated objects. it’s literally piles of stuff shoved into two bookcases. one way that helps me organize is looking to replace the two with one larger, modern, clean unit.

alas, the ones i want? PRICEY. the previous post was me trolling on pinterest for other ideas; most of them were diy ikea hacks. i LOVE the unalibreria (by maurizi + pepa) but the scale seems very small. they use the ekby series and the brackets are only about 7”-8” tall. while i could work with the width (the longest being 47”), that height between shelves is minuscule for actual storage. the ikea hack with the now extinct enetri shelves seems like it would have been the best option. anyways, here’s my pull of what my dream bookcase would be and possible cheap-o bases to use and modify. 

sidenote: any recommendations on how to attach/adhere thin wooden planks to these metal shelves to at least get the look of wood and obscuring their metal understructures? (i would like to keep the metal frames”“).

#want  #life  #furniture  #diy  


when i’m stressed or frustrated, i often find myself wanting to do NOTHING but read or watch movies. let me also add, read fiction novels and watch action/romance movies. it’s the adventure, the excitement, the proactive CHANGE that speaks to me. it’s also my form of escapism from the drudgery/realities of life. 

of course, that is the whole reason behind these mediums (and most especially, these genres). when there’s even a small break in my focus, i can spiral out of control and fall helplessly and hopelessly into escaping my obligations. at this moment in time, that’s grad school work: thesis development, research, etc. 

i miss when i actually had free time to pursue these things weekly. i miss when i had the resources to indulge in them. i miss the freedom of, i guess, being restricted with a staid, hourly job and lifestyle. 

i know i chose the right path in the long run. the safe job wouldn’t have been emotionally sustainable because i would not have felt satisfaction (or pride) in my work. that most of my day would have been dreaded and annoying. i do enjoy that i am challenged to learn and pursue and create. but damn. there are those times. there are those times i miss stability and predictability. 

okay. rant done. back to work. 


the other day a bottle of water leaked in my purse and soaked everything, including my fabric wallet. my money, my id, my cards all smelled like old coconut water :\ a lame accident that has since spurned my desire for a new wallet (haven’t had one in 3 or more years). i don’t really NEED a new one; my fabric wallet has since dried and no longer smells—and i really can’t afford little luxuries anymore (hello grad school debt!). so, i did what a broke grad student does and just lust for stuff online (etsy)…

{1} antique crazy horse leather wallet: $32

{2} blue petal’s leather iphone wallet case: $35

{3} awesome women’s medium tan bifold leather wallet: $40

i can’t afford it and don’t really know if i really want to chuck my old wallet, but these are some nice leather ones i’ve been drawn to. so pretty and classic with a little bit of roughness…

#want  #life  

duke, cat royalty and sweet companion

sleeps on his back, belly and feet up in the air

enjoys sticking his face between the grate of the heater to keep warm in the winter

likes to be around us all the time. also makes a great foot warmer :)

so talkative.

duke, my cat for almost exactly 16 years, passed yesterday. he was the sweetest and gentlest animal that offered me the best companionship a girl could ask for. i will miss him terribly.

here’s to him being in a place full of sunshine, treats, birds, and petting. 


what’s wrong with growing up?

there’s this saying: “growing older is inevitable, growing up is optional.” i’ve seen it time and again for internet memes and for movie plots. my question is, why this need to glorify immaturity? what’s so great about being an irresponsible, selfish being? what’s so wrong about learning to think about others? about taking ownership of your actions? how is that a bad thing?

my birthday was this past thursday and as i reach closer to 30, i’m astounded by the immaturity that surrounds me…and how it’s excused by society. how it is celebrated. yes, let’s all stay selfish adolescents that cannot distinguish or acknowledge our shitty actions. let’s get wasted so no one has to face their behavior and let’s ignore the feelings and respect for others. yes, that’s the glory of immaturity.

i recently watched a ted talk led by a psychiatrist whose message is “30 is not the new 20” and it encourages constant emotional and psychological development in your 20s, because that behavior and mindset will establish who you are and how you act as you get older. it’s adult development; she says (paraphrased), “your twenties are not an extended adolescence”. and that’s true. your decisions, your actions that you do now are what will define and result in your life a few years from now. does this mean that we should give up our seemingly impossible dreams? no. does it mean that we cannot find the same fun and joy in our lives as children do? no. it just means, that while we can hold onto that awe, curiosity, and ambition, we also learn that the world is more than just us. it means that we need to live and act with intention. purpose. 

this past birthday reminded me that i need to judge the people around me a little more carefully. i don’t want to close myself off from possibilities, but at the same time, i need to understand my own weaknesses and instead of ignoring my instinct, to trust it. if a person seems like trouble, they inevitably will be. and as mysterious and possibly fun that could be, it always ends in disappointment.