make me go home

Kat & Jeff’s wedding 2.0

What do you do when you find out that your friends lost all of their wedding photos? You get them to dress up and take new ones, of course!

The 2012 summer edition of Kat & Jeff was the wedding 2.0 edition. I got to try out my reflector and learnt a few more things along the way:

Kat and Jeff running in fear

672 days ago

Instameet – September 2012

Today was the second Instameet I’ve co-organised here in good ole Vancouver. I made Instacookies for the occasion.

Instagram decorated cookie/graham cracker

Nothing like the fondant-decorated Instagrahams but these actually tasted good :)

I got to try slacklining and I took this photo on my Olympus E-PL1 (with a 25mm f/1.4 C-mount lens strapped on for good measure) which I am trying to pay more attention to:

red kite flying in the sky

689 days ago

rebel without a cause

It is 1:38am on a Saturday morning and I am like a kid defying their parent telling them they have to go to sleep. Except in my case there is no parent and I am simply defying myself; staying awake despite my burning eyes and need to rest.

On a completely unrelated topic, here’s a picture of fruit I bought on Thursday:

peaches, grapes and Asian pears on a table with prices

Taken with my Olympus E-PL1 with a 25mm f/1.4 C-mount lens

690 days ago

Portland in pictures

My Labour Day weekend in Portland went a little like this:

Puppies

Katy dog in Portland, Oregon, USA

Connor dog in Portland, Oregon, USA

Deep fried pretzels, spinach & feta hand pies, pho, chocolate fondant and banh mi out of my handbag

deep fried pretzels in Portland, Oregon, USA

spinach and feta hand pie in Portland, Oregon, USA

chicken pho in Seattle, Washington, USA

chicken pho in Seattle, Washington, USA

handbag chicken banh mi

Wedding 2.0 photoshoots

Kat and Jeff in Portland, Oregon, USA

I finally flew to Portland which was bliss. The bus back down was less than bliss but we actually got in early.

The puppies didn’t know that I was visiting so freaked out when they saw me. Freaked out like slid all over the kitchen floor trying to double-back once they saw me. Then Katy bodychecked me coz she was so excited. Come Monday Connor saw me packing my bags and decided to pack a sad.

I took near on 1,000 photos of Kat and Jeff which was both fun and yet another learning experience.

I’ll see you again at Christmas, Portland!

693 days ago

Skyping kitten

These guys keep my life interesting.

screenshot of Jay and Bane kitten on Skype

700 days ago

metallica for $5

Before this week I had seen Metallica perform once before. At Rock Werchter 2009. I was extremely disappointed. The crowd was crap. The band only played their new stuff – although they finally broke out Enter Sandman when I’d already given up on the dead moshpit. But for $5 that went straight to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. After I spotted that the tickets were going on sale online Sebastien managed to snag four tickets for all of us to go on Monday night.

Metallica were basically shooting filler footage for their 3D movie which had been filmed over the other nights in Rogers Arena. So we had at least one partial song played along with a repeat of one. It was very stop-start but for five bucks we weren’t exactly complaining.

What started an hour late at 7:30pm was over by 11:20pm. I got to see coffins, black beach balls, an electric chair and a gigantic toilet descend from the ceiling. They set a guy on fire and had him run around the stage. They had a person fake fall from scaffolding (I think). They had a camera malfunction which sent it flying into the audience nearly taking people out. They played Enter Sandman. And I was happy.

Metallica surrounded by fire at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC, Canada

James Hetfield of Metallica at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC, Canada

James Hetfield of Metallica in front of a giant toilet at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC, Canada

James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich of Metallica surrounded by fire at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC, Canada

James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo of Metallica at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC, Canada

James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo of Metallica at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC, Canada

700 days ago

snap judgements

I met a person today, a new acquaintance of a friend, who, within a mere hour or so of meeting me, told me that I “made a bad career move”.

A little background: I spent my twenties going after various career achievements that I thought were where I wanted to be and what would make me happy. I achieved pretty much all of these goals and found that when I got there it wasn’t what I wanted. It turned out that I was happiest doing what I had been doing all along. This information coupled with the fact that I work in IT lead this person to tell me that I had made a bad career move.

This annoys me for many reasons but thankfully I take a complete stranger’s opinion of me with a pinch of salt given that he knows little to nothing about my life, career, wants and needs. I can also see where he’s coming from because – I’m making an assumption here – I was him for most of my adult life: striving after money stupidly thinking that it would make me happy despite the fact that I had people very close to me with lots of money who lived unhappy lives; constantly wanting things and trying to keep up with some crazy idea of what I thought a person of my age should be doing.

Timing

This comes at such an interesting time because I have spent a considerable chunk of my time recently figuring out exactly what it is I want out of life and am actually pretty gosh darn happy with where I’m at. To have someone come in and tell me that I’ve made all the wrong moves is almost laughable. Well, then how did I end up exactly where I want to be then?!

Money, money, money

I have the sneaking suspicion that he was basing his entire opinion on the fact that the job I described does not put me into the top earners bracket in the IT industry. Now, it took me all of my twenties to come to this conclusion but: I do not want to be in that top earners bracket. But money is awesome, why don’t you want to earn as much as you can?! Because in most cases that price tag comes with high stress, working long hours, working weekends and not being able to take a lot of time off.

I like not stressing out on a daily basis. I like switching off after my 8 hours a day and leaving work until the next morning. I like making and keeping dinner dates with friends. I like taking off for trips on weekends and longer trips when I feel like it.

As much as I love my job, at the end of my life I do not want to look back and say, “Wow, I had a great career doing work for other people that didn’t really mean all that much at the end of the day.”
I want to be able to look back at all the cool things I’ve done, the interesting places I’ve seen, the awesome people I’ve met and hey, bonus, still be happy and healthy too.

This is not to say that I think that people who strive after higher salaries and are constantly climbing the corporate ladder have made the wrong choices in their life. Do whatever is right for you just don’t try and judge my life when I’m happy as a clam.

703 days ago

one week standing

Last week I completed a full week of working at home and standing while working.

The standing wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. Day two had me doing odd exercises while standing in an attempt to keep the blood circulating. My favourite of day two was the “stripper dip” as my BodyJam instructor used to call it – think drawing a U shape with your butt. Whatever keeps me entertained.

I found that without a decent night’s sleep I’d get weary on my feet. And it was noticeably more difficult to stand after 1:30-ish so my sit down breaks would increase. This probably means I should be getting more sleep at night.

Naps

I took to having 1-2 hour naps right after work if I hadn’t slept enough the night before. This would make me feel ready to face the gym. I like naps.

Life

In just one week without commuting I felt like I got my life back again. I resumed my nightowl-like nature and didn’t worry if I only got 6-7 hours sleep because I knew I didn’t have to drag myself out of bed at 6-6:30am and sit on a Skytrain and two buses and I knew I could always have a nap straight after work rather than waiting 1.5 hours until I got home.

Spare time

I successfully checked off going to the gym every weekday, writing one blog post a week and counting calories. I even picked up an extra volunteer shift for September. So far, so good. Once these things have become a habit I’ll start adding in the other things I said I’d do with my time. Baby steps.

The 4-Hour Workweek

I’ve had the audiobook of The 4-Hour Workweek on my hard drive for a while now and never got around to listening to it. I put it on on Wednesday and finished listening to it on Thursday. It made me super motivated which helped me sort out some long-standing to do list items – like replying to an email I received back in March. It was also nice that a lot of what he was saying I had already implemented in my life. Nice to know I’m on the right track.

Week two

I hope my second week of working from home will be just as successful as the first. It’s a busy week this week with visitors coming in from various countries. And can I just say again, hooray for not commuting!

708 days ago

the internet is a funny place

The internet is a funny place. It skews reality.

I am going to try and write this post without rambling… so here goes…

I went to Portland last week and given that there are no decent tacos in Vancouver (certainly not ones that cost $1 each) I had to visit my favourite taco truck.

While walking to said truck I passed by Grocery Outlet and saw that there was a marriage proposal on the sign. I thought it was semi-interesting so I doubled back and snapped this photo of it and uploaded it to Instagram.

Grocery Outlet sign with marriage proposal

While I was at it I posted the link to Twitter, uploaded it to Tumblr and uploaded it to Flickr, like I do with all my Instagram photos.

The next day I received a comment on the Flickr version. A little odd but not the first time someone has commented on a Flickr photo. That’s when I noticed the number of views it had received; more than 1900.

After a bit of hunting around I found that it had been picked up by Grocery Outlet and they had posted it on their Facebook wall.

Along with all these views I also got a couple of haters; people insisting that it was fake and that the Grocery Outlet didn’t even exist. Sorry, guys, but I’m not so smart/have so much free time that I could come up with this. It’s not even particularly funny or sweet or anything that would warrant faking it!

I also had two people fight in my corner; one friend and one person I didn’t know. Grocery Outlet even responded to my tweet about the haters.

Anyway, my point is that this image has now received (at the time of writing) 3115 views on Flickr, 219 likes on Facebook and 4 shares on Facebook. It doesn’t mean that it’s a good photo. It’s actually pretty poorly executed, despite my efforts to make it symmetrical (hat tip to @girloclock) and I chucked an Instagram filter over it (Amaro) which is hated in many circles. And yet it has been viewed over 3000 times.

One of my favourite photos that I’ve taken has received 3 views on Flickr and one “like” on Facebook – that like wasn’t even from the bride or groom, both of whom I am friends with and who are the aunt and uncle of this little boy. If they’re not going to “like” it then who is?! It doesn’t mean that it’s a bad photo.

Grocery Outlet sign with marriage proposal

My point is that the internet is a weird, weird place and we should all stop counting how many “likes” we get on a photo or a status or how many views we get on a blog post or a photo. Or, in the case of Justin Beiber, how many dislikes. (Note: I haven’t actually watched this video but I think I read an article about a lot of people clicking the ole thumbs down button.)

Lately I’ve been thinking about life before the internet went “social”. I wouldn’t want to go back. All I can say is that they were definitely different times.

712 days ago

working from home

I have just been told that as of 10 August I can start working from home. This is good news. Very good news.

My last post bitched about the fact that commuting and working have caused me to become increasingly unhealthy (read: a sleep-deprived fatty). It seems I have been counting down to the day I can work from home; mentally noting that “I shouldn’t worry about this until I start working from home” or “I can finally do that when I work from home”.

My commute will go from 3+ hours a day to 0. That’s a saving of 15 hours a week! So as to not waste this “gift” I’ve made a list of what I plan to do with that time for the first few months.

  1. Go to the gym every weekday
  2. Write one blog post a week
  3. Practise Spanish for 15 minutes a day
  4. Count calories – I record exactly what I eat each day but I want to know more
  5. Volunteer more often than once a month

Standing desk

One change that I’m looking to make is working standing up. I’ve only known two people to have standing desks before but I’m pretty sure I can make it work for me – I did used to stand for 8 hours on concrete floors when I worked at McDonald’s, after all. After reading this scary infographic I’m at least going to give it a go!

I’m not going to invest in one of those crazy-expensive standing desks or even a new desk. The other day I was catching up on months of unread RSS feeds and IKEA Hackers magically popped up a couple of great hacks and the one I’m going to start with is using a set of drawers as a desk. When I went to Glenda’s place over the weekend I saw she had IKEA drawers that I had been looking at so I tried it on for size. I see a trip to IKEA in our near future!

BRIMNES – 3 drawer chest, red for $99
IKEA Brimnes drawers red

Source: IKEA

The lonely factor

People have asked if I’ll get lonely. I’m wondering the same thing. I’ve become pretty self-aware in my old age so I know how to recognise these kinds of things early on and remedy them. My real life friends are probably going to see a lot more of me :)
At work I communicate mainly over messenger when I’m at work and I have my own office so it’s not like I’m used to a lot of face-to-face communication anyway.

Groceries

One good thing about commuting was that everything was on the way home and a monthly travel pass meant I never had to worry about bus tickets. I go to the supermarket nearly every weekday and get fresh fruit, veges and meat. Will I have to start walking down to Safeway or No Frills for my groceries? How will I get them back? How often will I go now that it’s not on my way home? I might have to invest in one of those grandma shopping wheelie bags.

Sleep

The best thing I’m going to reclaim is my sleep. I am naturally a nightowl. I can drag myself out of bed early in the morning but I prefer sleeping in and staying up late at the other end. I can finally start sleeping at midnight again! Going to bed at 10pm has been so unnatural. So unnatural that I end up sleeping closer to 11:30pm and still having to get up early the next day.

I might even be able to try the biphasic sleep trial again (although I might hold off on that for a while). Hopefully my days of coming home and going straight to bed through utter exhaustion (like today) are behind me.

Anything else?

I’m just really excited at the thought of working from home. Sleeping in, more time for something other than sitting on a Skytrain/bus, not having to spend $151 a month on a travel pass… That’s nearly two Cartems donuts a day I’m saving there!!

729 days ago