happy autumn! & project announcement!

Autumn is my favorite time of year! It’s been a good past month to attend a lot of events and enjoy the transition into fall.

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We went to San Francisco a few weeks ago to watch the Blue Angels during fleet week. I wanted to visit a place I’ve been eyeing for a while (La Marais Bakery), because I heard about their delicious french desserts – I tried a nutella creampuff and it was amazing…

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Wearing a handmade dress to match SF!

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We went to Berkeley this past weekend to attend and photograph a beginner ballroom dancesport event. It was a lot of fun to see newcomers enjoying themselves. We got to dance just a little bit, too.

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While in downtown, we checked out this dessert place for delicious taiyaki with black sesame ice cream… it was pretty delicious.

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Later that night, we attended SJSU School of Music and Dance’s first annual Kaleidoscope event! My cousin performed as a pianist for one of the acts. Overall, it was an ah-may-zing show!

So, I’ve been having a lot of fun lately- attending shows, trying out all the food, attending new/familiar events, keeping up my physical health, dancing, staying in touch with good people and colleagues, being in a great career, seeing new sights in familiar places in the Bay Area. I’ve even recollected some materials to bring back sewing and crafts into my time again. The past year has been really good to me, and I’m really grateful for where I am now. Because one year ago, that was certainly not the case.

Autumn is really important time of year to me. It’s been almost a year since I underwent a major change, closing a new chapter and starting a new one.

In the past year, I’ve discovered how fulfilled I felt working in the tech sector of the nonprofit world and contributing towards an international cause. For the first time, I feel like I’ve finally arrived at a working environment and mission that’s right for me. An article on Medium.com that recently went viral dredged up some sudden memories from last year, and I’ve been reflecting a lot on that experience lately. Too  much of the article hit home and were eerily similar to what I experienced and observed. A friend told me a while ago that I was basically coping with post-trauma. I’ll be finally ready to share that story soon.

At the same time, I’ve been inspired by positive friends, family, colleagues, podcasts, and media to try some projects and have a little bit of fun, with a little bit of challenge and and a little bit of vulnerability. Not sure how things will go, but figured I might try this!

Inspired by a few things and itching to do more things outside of work and dance, I’m excited and nervous to share:

1. An experimental podcast project, featuring friends and colleagues in the arts/tech/creative industries
2. A writeup about my transition from startups to nonprofits

I’ve been listening to a lot of excellent podcasts lately, in genres ranging from comics to coding to fiction. After mulling it over and planning it out through September with ideas, I decided to try it out as an experiment, and have asked a few initial people about it. I have a list of people in mind, and have already asked a few. Microphone and the rest of the equipment is basically ready to go- it’s just taking the first step that’s the hardest! I hope to be a better speaker and a better listener through this journey. More details to come later!

October 24, 2016 - 5:48 pm | Comments

mission viejo was as golden as i remembered

I’ve been thinking about a write up to my recent vacation from early August for a while! I could post all the long details and pics of every day and how amazing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was, the deliciousness of butterbeer, buying my first wand, seeing the Disneyland 60th celebration one last time, my first Disney alcoholic beverage at the Cove bar, visiting Captain America again, etc… but I keep coming back to thoughts about my reunion and memories with family, and how it made the entire trip even more magical.

Mission Viejo was as golden as I remembered.

During my recent vacation, I came back to this part of SoCal with my cousins for an impromptu reunion after over 14 years. The last time I was here, I was as an adolescent away from my parents for weeks-to-month long getaways. It was a place and a moment in time where summer felt as endless as it was fleeting. It felt so long ago, but the memories were still bright and warm.

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In the early 2000s at a large vacation home full of love, my aunt inhaled the teenage cousins away from their parents for the summer season and spoiled us with theme parks, summer outings, chores, and life lessons. As an only child, it was the closest I felt to having a house full of siblings, spoiled only with excitement of upcoming activities and trips planned for the visit. It was my first time experiencing any sort of significant Disney or Hollywood experience, or even that long of a vacation escapism, before I hit middle school. It was the start of an addiction to the magic and longing that Disney parks brought, that I wouldn’t be able to reach again until my mid-20s.

On a hot summer day in 2016, I finally visited her grave for the first time. I was never able to come here before, until now. The weather and the city were the same shade of gold and warm that I remembered. It’s as if summer never ended here and was waiting for me to come back.

All of us cousins were there, older, grown-up, discussing our various careers and adult paths. But one of them suddenly pulled up a viral and shocking picture of an Olympian with a broken leg on their phone, and we all backed away and cringed out loud. Suddenly we were loud and obnoxious kids again, laughing at ourselves and reminiscing around the grave.

Later that night, my boyfriend and I held hands in Disneyland, watching the parks lights and festivities shimmer at night. I’m finally able enough to come here and indulge whenever I want, whenever I need to. Over a decade later, a sudden appreciation for everything that happened back then and now hit me hard. I still get lost in thought thinking about summer days in Mission Viejo whenever I visit any Disney park. I like to think my aunt would be happy that I found someone to share the vacation tradition with as adults, and that we continued to keet that bit of our childhood alive!

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August 22, 2016 - 2:51 pm | Comments

weekly review july 15th – theme: rebuilding digital-dust

Inspired by a podcast from a developer who open-sourced weekly goals for herself and her projects, I wanted to start up a weekly review series on my blog! There’s a lot of stuff I’m hoping to finish and release by the end of summer, and I’m hoping maybe sharing some of these goals consistently will help keep the inspiration and motivation going.

This week’s theme: rebuilding digital-dust.net

Goals:

  • Project digital-dust.net: Browser prototyping
  • Project digital-dust.net: Color scheme/fonts
  • Blog post: “Pace Gallery”
  • Dance focus: Samba and Jive technique
  • Dance focus: Conditioning, trying not to die

Next week’s theme: finishing digital-dust.net & preparing for dance competition

Goals:

  • Project digital-dust.net: Finish design/images
  • Project digital-dust.net: Finish uploading content
  • Project digital-dust.net: Launch!
  • Blog post: “sketches and screenshots”
  • Start new project: Project Bear!
  • Start new project: Project blog redesign!
  • Dance focus: Refining Samba and Jive routines

This week’s links:

Great, that felt productive! Tomorrow I’m going to Six Flags. Yay!
 

July 15, 2016 - 6:20 pm | Comments

my current games list: zelda nostalgia, storytelling and more

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With all the excitement of E3 and recent developments in the gaming world, it’s been a good time for me to get back into the hype and explore playing some titles again! Being an adult is tough sometimes, but this year has given me some time and space to enjoy outside activities outside of dance… For the first time in a long time, there’s suddenly of TON of new content I’m extremely excited for that has me feeling like a little kid again! I’m trying out new games and looking forward to upcoming ones!

Titles I’m currently playing:

  • Overwatch
  • Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void
  • Rhythm Heaven Megamix

Upcoming titles I’m looking forward to:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Death Stranding
  • South Park: Fractured But Whole
  • I Am Setsuna
  • Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
  • Pokemon Moon

One of my favorite smaller studios, Crows Crows Crows (which is directed by the creator of The Stanley Parable!) is also on my radar for fun and upcoming projects!

I freaked out and even got a little emotional when Zelda was announced- but I’ll write more about feelings on that another day! Overall, I just wanted to share how incredibly excited I am by the writing, storytelling, and innovation all the games above are putting out!

Anyway, I have a backlog of projects and some exciting web/photo news I want to work on and share by the end of summer (yes, yes, I keep announcing this… but when does planning ever end?). Looking into other CMS platforms as well, and a redesign of a website or two. Look forward to it!

 

June 24, 2016 - 3:16 pm | Comments

2016 spring dance adventures!

2016 so far has been a challenging and exciting journey through the world of dance! It started off in January with new routines, new costumes, and new difficulty levels, and since then, things have been active and going strong!

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My partner and I have come a long way since we both started dancing and competing together, but we still have so much more to improve on! Dancesport sometimes become tough on the mind, body and emotions, and the pressure to improve in ability and ranking feels high every time. The atmosphere, politics and culture surrounding the competitive ballroom environment sometimes become challenging. Doing my best to enjoy each lesson, practice, and event while reflecting on things that can be improved each time. It’s a work in progress.

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This year, we had another opportunity to work and perform at FanimeCon’s Black & White Ball for Memorial Day weekend. It was such an incredibly fun and refreshing social event that helped ground and reset my thoughts and feelings after the spring season full of competitive events, and reminded me of all the other aspects of dance that I enjoyed. It’s a great feeling bringing joy and entertainment to friends, attendees and watchers, hoping they will also catch the dance bug and be inspired to learn ballroom!

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We are continuing to practice throughout the summer, and hope to be back on the competition floor in July for International Grand Ball! There are more goals for travel next year that we hope to reach as well. Other than that, I’ll share videos and write up a longer post focused on the recent FanimeCon weekend soon! And outside of dance, there have been a lot of exciting work projects and photo gigs happening lately that I’m pretty excited to share. Stay tuned!

 

June 4, 2016 - 6:11 am | Comments