musings

{seattle, washington photo journal}

I initially drafted this post on February 20, 2016. A year later, I'm finally putting the finishing touches on it to be published. For reference, this trip was back in October of 2015. Better late than never, right?

Oddfellows Cafe & Bar.

Oddfellows Cafe & Bar.

Meat market.

Meat market.

French onion soup.

French onion soup.

Ploughman's lunch.

Ploughman's lunch.

I have this thing for beautiful, floor-to-ceiling windowed restaurants. Thank you, Oddfellows.

Christina & ice cream make me happy!

Christina & ice cream make me happy!

Wild Honey & Balsamic Strawberry.

Wild Honey & Balsamic Strawberry.

Fresh waffle cones in the making.

Fresh waffle cones in the making.

Nothing makes me happier than an ice cream shop with a French Bulldog as its little mascot. Fun fact: I purchased a bulldog pin for my camera, but lost the camera later. No big deal, just means I need to head back to Seattle and pick up another one. I'll be back for you, Molly Moon's.

Gum Wall before they power-washed it.

Gum Wall before they power-washed it.

Presenting my contribution.

Presenting my contribution.

The Gum Wall was honestly one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen, with cigarette butts and business cards galore. I still had to contribute to the faint minty smell of the alleyway. Though it was powerwashed shortly after our visit, it didn't stop people from re-christening the wall.

Pike Place Market!

Pike Place Market!

Fresh fruits.

Fresh fruits.

Some of the sweetest mango I've ever had.

Some of the sweetest mango I've ever had.

See some seafood s'here.

See some seafood s'here.

Pike Place Market: loud and crazy, like me. I loved getting lost in the hustle of the market, hopping from vendor to vendor and seeing what they had to offer. Christina bought the most delicious hazelnuts from PPM, and I have dreams about them sometimes.

OG Starbucks.

OG Starbucks.

2 Earl Grey lattes, please.

2 Earl Grey lattes, please.

Basiqué or not, for tourism sake, we had to come to the original Starbucks. A friend from my freshman year in college said the only Starbucks that makes a good Earl Grey Latte is the original location, so heeding his advice, that's exactly what we got. It did not disappoint.

Seattle Public Library.

Seattle Public Library.

CenturyLink field for Seattle Sounders game!

CenturyLink field for Seattle Sounders game!

Toulouse Petit Kitchen & Lounge.

Toulouse Petit Kitchen & Lounge.

From the Space Needle.

From the Space Needle.

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This juxtaposition makes me insanely happy.

Chihuly Garden & Glass.

Chihuly Garden & Glass.

A lot of things have changed since this trip, specifically my outlook on holding onto grudges and resentment. It's easy to let trivial things shadow the bigger picture, but I'm learning to take a step back to really assess what's really important when it matters. In order to move forward, letting go is the hardest, which makes it that much more liberating when you muster up the courage to take that step. As a result, I'm happier, and I feel like a great burden has been brushed off my shoulders. What's the point when your energy is better spent on things other, more important things?

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

{be kind, 2017}

Phew, 2016. You really did a number on the world this year. From all the tragedies across the globe to beloved celebrity deaths, you were simply ruthless, torpedoing through all of our hearts as the days, weeks, and months went by as we wondered, "when the fuck is 2016 going to end?"

Source: a meme account, all of them, because they all steal from each other anyway.

Source: a meme account, all of them, because they all steal from each other anyway.

But despite the whirlwind of negative media, 2016 was a great year of personal growth. I think I finally learned the true meanings of friendship through the people I'm happy to call my second family (#NoNewFriends), and I mustered up the courage to do something for my own sake.

2016 was a year of adventure, both physically and emotionally. While I found myself in Europe for the second time ever, more importantly, I learned the everlasting importance of female friendships. I admittedly used to pride myself with the fact that I had more male friends (lol, what a frickin' LOSER), but there was always something lacking, something that you can only understand over bottles of wine over pizza or a night of facemasking with a group of gal pals. I also realized how much love others had for me, even at my ugliest times. If that ain't love, I don't know what is, because trust, my ugly is ugly. Coming to this realization was also extremely humbling and has give me a lot to reflect on for the upcoming year.

I've also realized how ugly others can be this year. I'll leave that with this: don't invest time in people who don't value your time.

Creatively, I failed this year. The flame from my ambitious self in 2015 that furiously typed out blog posts and whipped out the camera to snap pictures has burned out. I'm eager and ready to bring that person back. PREPARE YASELVES.

I think my outlook on life is more or less the same from my first post of 2016. I find it funny that I'm entering 2017 in a completely opposite manner than I entered 2016; I was starting my job going into 2016, and now I'm entering 2017 having left that exact job. Funny how life works, but when it comes down to it, you have to do what you need to do in order to propel yourself forward. Upwards and onwards, I say!

Wishing you all the happiest, safest, and healthiest of new years. Cheers to more adventures, experiences, and more! :)

{commuter life: podcasts}

Since commuting has become a daily part of my routine, I've taken to listening to podcasts whenever I can to east the pain of the early mornings and long journey through the jam-packed Lincoln Tunnel. Here are a few of my favorite ones that I've been listening to or have recently discovered thanks to fellow podcast-listening friends. Some of these may not be everyone's cup of tea, so proceed with caution, especially the crime podcasts.

Serial — I guess this one is a no-brainer; it was my introduction into the world of podcasts and audio media. Sarah Koeing leads the first season by going through the case of Adnan Sayed and Haemin Lee. As a fan of watching and reading about criminal cases, both fiction (Law and Order: SVU obviously) and nonfiction (documentaries), I was drawn into the story almost instantly. I'm honestly not so much a fan of the second season because the story seems to be dragging along, and the two week breaks are making me lose interest. 

Strangers — I always love a good story, and this podcast by Lea Thau instantly grabbed my attention because of the rawness and realness of the stories, which range from Lea's own deeply personal stories about love and relationships to the story of a wrongfully convicted man. It's always interesting to see life from another person's perspective because of the different trials and tribulations each person goes through in their lives and to take a lesson or two from hearing their story. This podcast discusses the different kinds of relationships that you encounter throughout the course of your life ranging from kindnesses to heartbreaks. A huge bonus: Lea Thau's voice is like pure butter.

Modern Love — I was a huge fan of the essays that were published in the New York Times' column that documented people's deeply personal experiences with love—romantic, familial, and more. Coupled with the readings of these essays with famous personalities, Judd Apatow and Dakota Fanning to name two, the essays come to life as you take a walk in each individual's shoes at that specific point in their lives. At the end of each essay, the host, Meghna Chakrabarti, interviews the authors of these essays to catch up with them from when they first submitted the essays.

Open Accounts with SuChin Pak — Talking about money can be hard, especially when factoring in the technical aspect with all the numbers, and it becomes a topic that's rarely discussed in a real way. SuChin Pak bypasses all the technicalities to dive deeper into the search for answers about the thing that essentially rules everything around us. With conversations with Meyers Leonard and Eddie Huang (my favorite episode), you discover that it is, indeed, okay to talk about money. The conversations dive into the lives of people that you may or may not know to discuss how money has shaped their way of life and what motivates and drives them.

Hidden Brain — Human behavior has always been something that I have been fascinated with, the idiosyncrasies of the human brain that makes us act or react in specific ways. Hidden Brain, hosted by Shankar Vedantam, is a "conversation about life's unseen patterns." From relationships to the way you park your car, the podcast explores the sciences behind the whys of our actions and what makes us tick.

The Memory Palace — By Ed's recommendation and hearing other accolades, I recently started The Memory Palace. I always like starting from the very first episode of any podcast that I come across (you don't need to with this one, just personal preference), so the first several episodes are very short and sweet, each ranging from a minute and a half to five minutes total. The host, Nick DiMeo, takes you on a journey through different historical events ranging from the curious story of the Booths brothers (of John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln's assassin) to Ben Franklin's Death Ray (what?). Intrigued yet? You won't find these historical stories in your every day textbook, that's for sure.

And now the more harrowing of my list of podcasts. Proceed with caution if you're easily disturbed or cannot handle gruesome crimes.

Criminal — Craving more true crime stories after being left high and dry with the less-than-interesting second season of Serial, I went on the hunt for more and came across Criminal. Hosted by Phoebe Judge, this podcast explores the stories of crimes that aren't necessarily black and white when you take a closer look. The crimes that are discussed range from stolen petrified wood from the Petrified Forest National Park to straight-up cold murders.

Sword & Scale — Mike Boudet dives into the (seriously) dark underworld of crime and the criminal justice's response in this podcast. If you can't handle extremely gruesome details of crimes such as murder, abduction, and rape, I highly suggest you turn around and listen to some of the podcasts that I listed above instead. Of the episodes that I've listened to so far, joint episodes 5 and 6 were the most WTF. The podcast explores crime in the rawest form, from 911 calls to court testimonies; nothing is off the table. I do admit the court testimonies can get a little boring and drawn on, but they give a better insight and a more in-depth view into the cases with commentary from Mike.

Which podcasts do you listen to? Let me know your favorites in the comments below! I'm always looking for new and interesting things that I can listen to and learn in the mornings.