Feb 17 - Feb 23

Five Things for the Week

Hello there, I hope you had a great week. Mine was “eventful”, though I can’t (yet) tell you why. If things continue the way that I hope they do, next week’s newsletter will have some big news.

You’ll see this reflected below, as it will read like I’m stalling for time instead of just telling you what I can’t yet tell you. For this I apologize.

I will say, I’m happy and excited. I’m proud of things I did and accomplished. I’m grateful for what I have and where I am. It’s a good place to be.

Have a great week!

[one] but we need to get back to planning things to do on weekends

We had another relaxing, no commitment weekend. It was much needed as we both needed rest and recovery. I fell a little behind in schoolwork during the week and used the weekend to catch up. While we did a few chores and made it outside to get a few things done, any time we thought about going out to do anything “bigger” we couldn’t quite muster the energy or willpower to do so. Not a complaint; sometimes it’s just nice to enjoy being a homebody. 

[two] you just can’t go wrong basing your stories on dogs

Social Media platforms have become annoying for me. The only reason I check Twitter anymore is with the hope of reading through another of Blair Braverman’s threads where she tells stories about her sled dogs, either focusing on an event or a specific dog’s personality traits (or learning experience). It’s probably the most pure, joyful thing being shared on that platform on a regular basis. It continually feeds my daydream of owning a big plot of land to use as an open shelter for dogs and cats. 

[three] blah blah photography blah blah

I stopped at a local camera store to check it out and ended up having a good conversation with one of the sales reps about photography. We talked mostly about taking photographs for ourselves, making it a more personal and intentional experience. This takes the intent away from sharing online (on social media) for views and likes and any other stats the platforms offer. He also talked me through is workflow form camera to printing and arranging them into photo albums and books, which had me intrigued. 

Intrigued because it’s something I have been “trending” towards over the past few weeks. I’m taking photographs but not posting them anywhere, instead queuing them up to have prints made sometime in the near future. Eventually I want to cover my home office walls with photographs I have taken. 

I’m grateful for that conversation; it was nice to talk about the process and end game of photography instead of equipment and technical specifications. An added bonus is that the rep was Korean American and gave me some recommendations for Korean restaurants to check out. 

[four] you could call it meditation

The best (recent) decision I made is to make time for myself to do nothing. You could call it meditation; I just refer to it as time for me to think. No distractions, screens and devices or otherwise. It’s a time to just let my mind wander without trying to constrain or reroute, or negate the thoughts. It has calmed me in a lot of ways. 

This week’s “time to think” has helped me realize:

  • My current professor is excellent. He is extremely smart, detailed, and stringent in his grading. And he has challenged me to be better, increasing quality of work and encouraging me to continue putting my own perspective into the assignments (rather than just completing them for the optimal grade). I need more people around me with this kind of influence. I also want to be this kind of influence for others. 

  • I like to travel. I do not like business travel (even though it has given me many opportunities that I don’t think I otherwise would have had). I need to do better to take more advantage of traveling personally and leisurely, depending less on business travel opportunities. Related: I love road trips and want to get back to taking more of them.

  • I can apply John A. Shedd’s quote “A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.” to so many aspects of my life, and increase quality and happiness in doing so.

  • Also, I want to apply the Chinese proverb “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now” more frequently to my life.

[five] the kitchen is going to get busy

This week, I decided that I want to learn how to make more Asian food to add into our rotation, specifically Korean, Chinese, and Thai. I have some cookbooks and the equipment to get me started. I just need to frequent the Asian markets more often for better ingredients.

I was also reading through Gabriela Cámala’s cookbook and want to work my way through some of her recipes. 

Slightly related: I didn’t realize how many cookbooks I have that I haven’t yet made any recipes from. It lead me to realize that I purchased a lot of them to just read through, as though they were novels. Does anyone else do this?

Recently Read

How to Do Nothing, by Jenny Odell - This was a surprisingly deep dive into the attention economy, going into the history of human attention and concepts, and discussing how they apply to our world and cultural systems today. It was eye opening in a lot of cases. This isn’t a self-help book. It’s not a “how to be more mindful” book. It’s absolutely worth your time. 

Re: re: re: re: - “A glimpse inside the lives of asylum-seekers, new couples, prisoners, and pen pals through their letters, texts, WhatsApp messages, and Facebook posts”. Fascinating. The many different ways we communicate, what we share, and the varying levels of sentiment and importance we assign to it. Fascinating.

Recently Watched

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - currently at s4 e9. The Visitor! What an excellently written and performed episode. Jake Sisko has quickly become one of my favorite characters. The addition of Worf this season has made the series significantly better. I especially like the “clashing” between Worf and Odo. 

Star Trek: Generations - We watched this partly because we needed a small fix of the Next Generation crew and partly to make sure we weren’t missing any story/canon references as we continues through Deep Space Nine. 

Recently Listened

This week’s rotation included Mala Rodriguez, Peggy Gou, Rush, Pearl Jam, and The Black Crowes

KEXP Music That Matters, Vol. 709 - New Planetary Vibrations -  This was a good mix; I played this a lot, in the background, while working.

[Podcast] Criminal: Call Russ Ewing - We need more people standing up for others. 

Recently Posted (on the blog)

Thank you for taking the time to read. I appreciate feedback, suggestions, and any other conversation you want to have. Just reply to this email!

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You want more? Ok… Are you sure? Ok… My website is swtlo.com. A lot of my photos are on Flickr, and you can find me on Twitter and Instagram as @ptrcktlln.

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