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.
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…
Wearing a handmade dress to match SF!
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.
While in downtown, we checked out this dessert place for delicious taiyaki with black sesame ice cream… it was pretty delicious.
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!
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
- 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
- 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:
- Bourbon Neat – Learning and utilizing this framework has been great so far!
- CodeNewbie – Loving all of the podcasts here. Incredibly inspirational!
- Intro to Neat – A Semantic Sass Grid – My holy grail this week.
- Emails from a CEO who just has a few changes to the website – True story of my life in a previous position. May share my experience later!
- A little bit of something – My favorite line: “You are not a web designer. I am the web designer.”
- Dance Comp Review – Sexy Starts With You – Some things to think about with preparation for an upcoming competition.
- Reddit: Overwatch University – Me trying to not be a scrub.
Great, that felt productive! Tomorrow I’m going to Six Flags. Yay!
For Christmas, as a gift to my dance family/video game family, I composed a 20×16 Smash 4 poster for their apartment with all of our miis, favorite characters, and subtle inside jokes. I also made them funny individual “A challenger appears!” cards with their miis and stuck them with their Christmas envelopes. I was super happy to know that they liked it! Take a look at the poster, it’s pretty cool when printed full size:
The weather’s been cold, the holiday feelings have been creeping in, and personal reflections of the past year have been bubbling up. I’ve been sitting in Starbucks a lot lately with a cup of Peppermint Mocha (guilty pleasure, I know), having bi-weekly adultlife chats with my musician cousin, thinking about career, dance, and life. Autumn is my favorite season!!
The last couple of months have been a good time to connect with friends and colleagues in their 20s, all working, pursuing dreams, keeping busy, etc. I’ve been reflecting a lot on past events and places that got me here (really, when do those thoughts ever stop?), and feeling nostalgic. In September, I visited my old office and previous workplace from a year ago to say hi and greet familiar faces. Everyone was really friendly and kind- and it really resonated with me how important a positive work culture and environment was to me. I went to my old high school’s homecoming football game (we won by like 40 points!), and emailed my high school multimedia teacher from 8 years ago, updating her on my status now and to see how she was doing. She emailed back happily.
“As an art major, it is a challenge to get through college and find your creative path.”
It’s been a big time for me to pursue change recently, getting involved in local projects (there’s a huge web project and community I’d love to talk about, once it’s ready to be public and launched!), seeking new environments, dancing very hard to distract myself from the sometimes overwhelming bouts of overthinking… It’s been one of the most difficult years, honestly, due to personal circumstances, so I’ve been working hard and thinking hard about ways I can bring a positive change to my life before end the year. Navigating the boundary between having an art education and a self-taught technical background in the Silicon Valley, especially as a millennial, comes with unique difficulties, but I’m optimistic things will turn out the way they are meant to, with the new skills and people I learn along the way.
Speaking of web projects! A while ago, I had posted that I was working on my website at http://digital-dust.net. It’s actually still in progress and not yet quite finished, but you can at least take a look at the portfolio section to see some work I’ve done. Wanted try avoiding using a CMS for this site, and instead hand-code it from the ground up for personal practice, so there are still many tweaks and content to be added. Take a look, if you like!
In other news, my partner and I are still active in the Bay Area dancesport scene, improving as much as we can. We’ll be competing again this Saturday at the 2nd Annual San Jose State Spartan Invitational (it’s only $5 to watch, all day. free for SJSU students)! Here’s an archived live stream of Autumn Dance Classic from October- we show up at around 16:50 and again at 40:00. I’m the one in the yellow dress!
It’s amazing to look back at past videos, experiences, even if they’re just a month ago, and say out loud to yourself and others… “Wow, I’ve gotten better since then. No really, our dancing’s ugly in this one. Wait ’til you see us NEXT time, seriously!
Random nerd-related asides: I’m addicted to The Walking Dead. Dancing with the Stars is another guilty pleasure of mine. Just finished the story mode of Guild Wars 2, Heart of Thrones. Debating on whether I should pick up Legacy of the Void. Doctor Strange is releasing in theaters on my birthday next year. And it apparently took me this long to discover Welcome to Nightvale… what a strange and compelling podcast.
Living as a millennial with intense bouts of half self-doubt and half-optimism while journeying for the right career path? Fellow ballroom dancer that can provide advice on hip flexibility issues, specifically on the left side? Any thoughts on movies, television, and media in general? Excited for the Nintendo Direct later today? DO YOU THINK GLENN IS STILL ALIVE?!
I recently had the opportunity to work on a web project for an awesome local Bay Area ballroom supply store, and redesign and setup a new eCommerce website for Feather Dance Shoes.
The official site launch is today- and for fellow dancers looking for a good deal on shoes and inventory, Feather Dance Shoes is offering free shipping in the US with code newfeather on the site for a limited time!
eCommerce sites are very tricky projects. I hope to continue working on more tasks like these to hone my development skills!