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Always Alice

September 16, 2014

I was introduced to Alice Mckinley as a fifth grader ravaging the fiction section of the library for any interesting books that I hadn’t read yet (seriously, I read a lot). She stands as one of the quintessential fictional characters - in pop media, literature - that I feel I’ve “grown up” with. 

I just finished reading the final book in the series, which just came out last year and chronicles her life from 18 to 80. I’m very easily moved by a strong, relatable story, and found myself tearing up at various parts - when her dad, faithful guide and mentor for the last 25 books, passed away, or when she describes finding a note from her deceased mother on her wedding day (part of the premise of the first few books is that she’s a young girl whose mother passed away when she was younger). 

Alice is the spunky, kind, smiling, strong, funny, “uncool”-and-doesn’t-care best friend that we all wish we had growing up. Thanks Phyllis Reynolds Naylor - for this bright little piece of my childhood (thank you for providing such a delicious ending to this story!). 

September 15, 2014

My grandpa just called me to say goodnight!

Just looking ahead

September 14, 2014

Ah, but see, that’s just the problem. When all of that glitter starts to fall and reality kicks in as it always inevitably does, you realize once again that you are painfully, troublingly, awfully average. The hype and the attention is short-lived and comes and goes when your projects are released. You are not, as it turns out, the center of the universe. Maybe one of your projects is for a second, but rest assured, it will quickly be replaced by the next flashy thing that comes along. And no matter how hard you work and how hard you try, you’ll never catch that feeling you’re chasing, and you’ll never know why.” 

So have something else, remember the why, understand the individual purpose

September 12, 2014

Like a river flows
Surely to the see
Darling so it goes
Some things
Are meant to be


September 09, 2014

Haven’t really blogged in a while (words, not reblogs, and a month, it’s all relative :)). 

(listen to this song)

It starts with a few simple notes from a xylophone and quickly blossoms into a full-on whirlwind of music. I just got back from New York today and am heading up to San Francisco in a few days! I really need to record how these days have been because I feel that they are very important for me. The last couple years have been full of large, static steps - routines becoming routine, sameness in all the same. The last month since I’ve quit my job - haha! - has very much evoked the same sense that I had during my semester off from Penn. That semester was very important for me; another way that I often look at it is that many wonderful life experiences that I previously would have thought completely not even within reach (Dropbox! Glamour! Love and friendships and peace!) I feel derived from that little semester off. 

It wasn’t an easy semester off, either. It was quite lonely. If I ever feel that Silicon Valley-ers are too career-driven on one singular uninspired path (well, maybe there are two archtypical paths that have emerged: that of the “founder” and “intense employee”), Penn was way worse - speaking of, if Penn is ranked the #1 college in the nation, that speaks volumes of the state of higher education in America. All of my friends were gearing up for OCR and starting to attend class everyday wearing suits - I was walking around Astor Place in flip flops, headed to my (awesome) internship at foursquare and running around doing random photo projects. 

I guess I just knew that no matter what, I would never feel or see leaving as a mistake. I may have wished for more security and peace, but I knew I couldn’t find it where I was coming from, despite it being on paper a seemingly fantastic place for a 19-year-old to find herself. And me, now? Where does this 22-year-old go? The easy way out is at a nice, comfortable job. But is that really for me? Is that really the sort of life I want to lead - a respectable one, no doubt, but one that doesn’t call my name? 

I find a lot of guidance and peace in the words of Maya Angelou. She had an extraordinary life, not because of her accomplishments, though they were due and deserved, but because of the intense richness with which she lived. She was a cook, musician, major organizer in the civil rights movement, writer, poet, journalist based in Ghana - mother at 17, wife twice, and all-around loving lover. 

I think that kind of richness is how I aspire to live, and what I’ve arranged my life around for a while (ever since “gaining consciousness,” which I think really happens in high school for most people, hah). A lot of things make me happy. When I was in high school I was dead set on being a writer and journalist. Then I went to college and loved learning about building businesses and human behavior. And then I very intensely jumped into photography and design. Now, I’m just exploring many things, at my own pace. 

In any case, I think a lot also has to be said about the timing afforded by the universe. I can think of no better time to start living life like this. I would argue that the jump from stability —> uncertainty is almost scarier and harder than the day-to-day trip that uncertainty brings. We as humans are very relative creatives and unfortunately we tend to be very heavily anchored to the default - in routine, with pricing, it all. I feel like the time is apt for another big jump. 

Maybe I should consider taking a “semester off” every three years. :) Because the semester off ends up bleeding into the next few years, until it all just lumps into taking jump after jump. Till later..! 

Vintage Japanese video game machines (??), way too cool (!!)

September 08, 2014

Vintage Japanese video game machines (??), way too cool (!!)


September 04, 2014

being a person

September 03, 2014

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.” - Meryl Streep

September 02, 2014

"Confucius said, ‘to love a thing means wanting it to live.’ 

People say, ‘I love you’ with a question in their voice. They say, ‘I love you,’ they mean, ‘do you love me.’” 


September 02, 2014

A straight line, from me to you

I’ve been thinking a lot about purpose lately. That’s what these few weeks and the next few months will be about. 


August 29, 2014

“He looked at me squarely, forcing me to face my fears. “Now, My, if you’re happy being miserable, enjoy it, but don’t ask me to feel sorry for you. Just get all down in it and wallow around. Take your time to savor all its subtleties, but don’t come to me expecting sympathy.”

- Gather together in my name, Maya Angelou

August 24, 2014

August 22, 2014


I stuck around
Saved you every time
Stand still was all I did
I was a fool for love
I was a fool for love 

she laughs at my dreams but I dream about her laughter

August 21, 2014

my sun, my earth

August 21, 2014