whatever dude

A really cool person added me back on facebook the other day. He sent me a message, and the quickest "chill" response I could think of was:

"Whatever dude."

I didn't say it of course, but the hilarity in using that response in real life excites me.

//--------------------------------------------------

I start work tomorrow.

It's suddenly right now, that I'm starting to get some feeling. Some sort of realization of what's going on.

Well, scratch that. It's actually been 4 weeks now.

doge

I have a sweet place in the heart of San Francisco, and working at Rocketfuel has been awesome so far. I like everyone on my team, get to work with cutting edge stuff, have all my meals taken cared of, get to play ping pong everyday, go to the gym somedays, and I'm meeting a lot of people from all ends of the company.

If there are people who are curious to "what I actually do at work" the shortish answer is that Rocketfuel is an advertising company, and they have a CRM(content resource management) much like wordpress that lets advertisers manage their ad campaigns. A common use case is: Brooks Shoes wants to get 100k views on a particular ad. Someone sets up a campaign with that goal and some pricing guidlines, and away that goes. Our team's duty is to implement new features to this app, perhaps display some new metric that has been introduced by a business or research person. I really know this isn't the most exciting thing, but I'm seriously learning a lot each day, and I think this will empower me to make some killer web apps pretty soon.

For the record, I usually wake up around 8:30am, get to work around 10am, and stay there until either 5:30pm or 7. I'm also have access to our SF office, which allows me to leave the house around 9:50 and still be on time.

So what are the emotions I'm feeling right now?

supply

I take a look at the city now and feel that there's just so much for me to explore, so many things to try and people to meet. Either by foot or on bicycle, I feel like the city is just ready to be ripped apart, to be consumed.

With that, what will be my role in this city? To just sample all of the restaurants, take passing photos of normal people without asking them, to just graze the surface?

Can I actually for once make an impact, or at least try to? To truly truly make an effort??

civic center

I largely feel like, right now is this time that I define myself as a person. I have momentum, nothing to lose, and everything to gain. What do I do with my time after I get off work? What can I even do at that time...? Whats open? Who's doing stuff, and how do I meet them? What about weekends? There's 2 places that develop film near me, maybe I can start volunteering or working at a film shop. Maybe I can push out an app with all these mad programming skills I'm learning that will help photographers and models meet up(better than m-mayhem). How can I use what I have to make a change in my surroundings?

I had an old friend visit this weekend, and it made me really think about the relationships I've had with people over the past years. There's a person in particular that I haven't talked to in about a year, and it actually kind of hurts me to think about how our friendship abruptly ended, probably for no good reason at all. My opinion on the matter is, "What did I do to you to deserve this?" But this question is largely just going to be caught in the nether if I don't bring it up in person.

Cause really, despite all the crap I've said or done over the past years, what have I really done to you that has impacted you so negatively?

powell

So there you have it, Something forward looking and something reflective.

This post is similar to pretty much every post I've made so far, nothing has really changed. I don't know what to say. Is this just the way things are going to be for the next couple years, or will my life take a drastic shift soon? Will I just be a dreamer? Will I actually do anything about it? When will I be able to be comfortable in my own skin? When will I be able to make something unique and different?

With all that said, what follows is a gruesomely long, mostly un-curated, post filled with what I've done(ate) over the past month+.

I REALLY don't expect anyone to read this post fully. You can probably do the usual... just scroll and have the images and bold text glaze over your eyes as usual.

-Nicolai and Levi visit SF

birkies

On their way back from going to Feast in Portland, Nicolai and Levi stopped by SF for a quick visit.

I took them on probably the worst tour of the city ever. And with that I discovered that other than looking for a job, I really haven't done much at all in SF over the past 2 months before they visited. I only had one place to eat, and nothing amazing to show them yet.

Image taken by Nicolai. It was my first time going to Sushiritto I think it's a good idea, they execute it faily well, and I'm probably going back there again. We then passed by the Leica store, and despite walking in with TWO Leica's, we met the most pretentious guy working there, ever. We then headed to Hayes Valley for some overly priced juice, and light shopping.

mfa

After the 2 destination tour, Nicolai got some of the old school MFA(male fashion advice) crew together and we went to Zeitgeist, a really awesome beer garden at the northern tip of the Mission. We pretty much were there from 5pm to midnight.

les paul

We spent the night at Hoan's place in inner sunset.

ascend

The next day we went to SFO to rent a car for the day (in hindsight we should have just gotten a zipcar). But while Nicolai was waiting in line for the car, Levi and I went around exploring the terminal, which actually looks really fucking cool.

Untitled

Levi on the phone with his gf Lhoren.

Untitled

Took a lot of photos of Levi, lol.

levi

The drive to and from Tomales Bay was absolutely beautiful.

clams

We went to a place for Oysters, there are several along the coastline where you can buy a sack of fresh happy bivalves and shuck them yourself. We ran into a huge group of people from Twitter, who acted like they were in high school drinking beer and Taaka for the first time, kind of ruined the experience. I had raw clams for the first time, while unique, I still prefer oysters, and jebus, these guys were spermy little fucks. Every one we opened was just full of happy clam juice, and it eventually got too overwhelming and we couldn't finish all of them.

free

We were just going to dump them into the water right next to the place we bought them from, but we came up with a better idea. To set them free in another part of the coast.

yamo

We met up with Hoan and Katrina for some soup dumplings at Dumpling King afterwards, then we went to the Mission for soem Yamo and Sycamore.

Nicolai, Levi, and I went back to Texas the next day, which leads me to...

-Houston:

I was in Houston/Austin for a few days to grab my stuff. Here begins a large spree of food posts, cause basically that's all I did.

  • Kata robataya - My brother was in for a client meeting, and had an expense account... so we ordered all the good stuff. I liked the chirashi and the scallop / foie gras nigiri. It was quite decadent. I've actually never been here, and can say that this place is pretty good indeed.

honeymoon cafe

  • Honeymoon Cafe - A new cafe in Houston's efforts to turn downtown into a bustling and hip area. They have all the right things... spacious interior, polite staff, cocktails, a hip menu with quinoa as a side. But something is crazy off about this place. Go and see for yourself. It's like someone had a pretty good idea for a bar, but couldn't put the final touches on it. Right now it's not crowded at all, so it could be a nice place to sit down and do some work. My recommendation is to not get the brie and ham sandwich and quinoa, get something else and tell me how it is.

  • Siphon Coffee - I think their siphon coffee sucks, a lot. But their espresso and drip coffee aren't bad, and they did a really good job designing their interior. Great place to be on your computer all day.

Lhoren and Levi

Hanged out with Lhoren, Levi, and Jude a bunch.

Untitled

One night Jamie came over. +cat.

Stopped by the Hawthorne House. Paul is always super hospitable!

birthday

Dad's birthday.

-Austin:

  • Saten-

    At first I thought "What a weird name for a cafe. It's kind of like Satan, even google auto corrects it." But after overhearing a conversation in Japanese with the owners after my visit, I was reminded that the Japanese word for cafe is Kissaten - きっさてん, so now the name makes sense. First off, it's in Canopy, the artist complex that I love so much. Second... the coffee is actually really good here, the barista knows how to pull a really good espresso!

    The cafe is co-owned by the owners of Kome and Moto from East Side Kings. Their menu is very Japanese influenced and quite delicious.

  • Salt & Time-

    When this place first opened, I didn't like their menu items at all, but now I think they found their groove. Their sandwiches are totally on point (currently the lamb sandwich is amazing!) and they have cold brew on nitro, which will really wake you up.

    When someone says "on nitro" it means that the drink you're drinking is fizzed up with nitrous oxide, which is a lot smoother and finer grain than CO2, which is usually what you get in soda's and most beer.

    What this makes is for a more frothy, smoother drink. It generally works best with porters and stouts, since the frothy nature of the N2O gives the beer a creamy texture, like a chocolate milkshake.

  • Pacha Cafe-

    I really wanted to meet up with my friends Gilbert and Jean. Pear/Bacon Pancakes. 2 thumbs up.

  • Ramen Tatsuya-

    126 ramen

    Missed this spot so much.

  • Thanh Nhi - This place too! Got lunch with Vivian.

  • Sawyer & Co- This place has a cute interior and pretty good cocktails, but their food is really bad. really bad.

  • Olamaie

    hen of the woods mushroom @ olamaie

    I think Olamaie is one of the best restaurants in Austin. Honestly I'd rather go here than Uchi, and I think it's a more intimate setting than Odd Duck, with equally as good food.

  • Qui- I went by Qui for a farewell meal. This place hasn't changed. I hate to say it, but the place is still a large dissapointment. I really don't know if any of the staff here knows what they're doing without Paul around. I feel like I paid 300 bucks for a test run with people practicing serving for the first time. Seriously, fuck that.

//Drinks

  • Longbranch Inn- Really good bar located near Hillside Farmacy/Franklin's bbq. What do you get here? HARD LIQUOR.

  • Garage Cocktail Bar- Finally went to this place for the first time. It's a really cool idea, and I think anyone would enjoy this place.

  • Draught House pub- Still the same place it used to be.

mikaylah @ farewell books

Passed by Farewell books to pick up a photo book that I've wanted to get for the past few months.

jack & ruby

Spent some quality time with Jack.

Alex and Jess

Had a hilarious time hanging out with Alex and Jess at Brew & Brew.

effervescent

Dinners with Melissa + Nicolai(not pictured).

meredith

A lot of exciting things are happening at the Chicon Collective. New people and new energy. They're having an art show this weekend, an unofficial EAST show, how hip is that?! hahaha.

-Driving from Houston to SF

In the end I managed to convice my old roommate Joseph, to go along with me for the ride. He was a real champ, driving the full 11 hours to El Paso on the first day of driving.

para aqui

We met up with Jerry, who I used to play a ton of Street fighter with back when I started college. Him and his girlfriend Andrea showed us some really cool spots around town.

monarch

We went to a cool bar called Monarch, there's a pretty cool culture around the indie music scene in El Paso, everyone we met has been in a band at some point in the past.

jerry and andrea

They took us to Lucky Cafe, a late night spot for Mexican burgers and menudo. Finally grabbed a nice candid of the two.

menudo

Despite being a fan of the squishy bits such as tripe and stomach, this was only the 3rd time I've had menudo, and probably the first time I've truly enjoyed it. They serve some fried bread (very similar to Texas Toast, but greasier) which was amazing when dipped into the broth.

el guero canelo

Jerry gave us a tip to go to El Guero Canelo, a Mexican hotdog chain in Tuscon. My god, this was AMAZING. 5/5 stars, under 6 bucks too.

jennifer

In LA we met up with Jennifer, who I hadn't seen in over a year.

shorts

The next day we went to Santa Monica to meet up with another friend, and headed to the beach after. I had my Surly in my trunk and biked all along the coast. Joseph went for a tan on the beach.

shumai

We got to SF without too much hassle.

-SF Life

jess

On weekends I usually meet up with Jessica; we get dinner and go to a cafe to study(I actually have to study things for work).

PHOTO Oakland

Sometimes we go to art galleries, pretty interesting eh.

heath

Lotsa $$$$ money shopping.

curiosity

Went to the weirdest art show I've been to. "Furries and despair." A room full of dressed up furries, portraits of other's in their costumes, and some pretty plain-jane urban exploration photos.

h'orderves

I was told that the food was going to be amazing.

R0028529

Met up with Woncho and Tina, they just finished the David Choe scavengerhunt, and despite finding all of the clues, they didn't win. Quite the advernturous 2, they bought 1 way tickets to Alaska from Texas, hitchhiked to New York, and back to the west coast.

muir

There's some cool nature not too far away.

laurence + dennis

Laurence visited from New York, we went to Napa and hiking at Muir Woods.

achetype

Had a really good time in Napa, there's a restaurant called Archetype which I highly recommend.

short stack

Best pancakes ever (perhaps better than Pacha's). Superrrrr soft, w/ almond butter and blackberry reduction.

trout @ Achetype

The most brunchy fish dish I've ever had. 2 Poached eggs over a butterflied whole trout. Slit open the yolks, have the goo cover the crunchy potato shreds, and have a fork-full with some tender pieces of trout meat/skin. A brilliant idea.

steph

スケート

Hanging with new friends.

katrina and hoan

kevin

Old friends.

shumai

Just eating a bunch of great fud.

departures

As you can see, I'm largely still the same person. Take it or leave it.

Am I doing what I want?

When I used to do photography classes I had a slide that said:

"If you don't see something that visually interests you at least once a day, you're doing it wrong."

Honestly I'm lucky to see 1 thing a week that I might want to take a photo of. I haven't been using my Leica at all, just a point and shoot.

One good thing though is, while a lot of the scenes I see aren't very photographically interesting to me, I'm seeing and experiencing a lot of new things.

lot

There's this thought that comes into my mind almost everyday. "How did I end up here? This scene is so foreign to me." The variability of the world can send my mind for a loop sometimes, I feel overwhelmed by the information overload. I'm standing outside of a brewery in Tahoe, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and I can't stop the thoughts. What's stopping me from being a trucker and driving across the US? What's stopping me from taking a year and living in Japan? What's stopping me? It might be that I have no idea what I actually want to do.

Something is starting to worry me. There's a common scenario where I'm at lunch with co workers and we have absolutely nothing to talk about. We sit there eating in awkward silence. Is it lame to talk about work? how my car is having some issues, the weather, my opinions on the food that day, whether I went to the gym or not, what I have planned for the weekend. Then Monday comes and it's all the same

tahoe

My presence on social media has sort of dwindled over the past month. Before I felt I had something to prove. Like I was doing things in a different and cool way, but I was largely living on borrowed time, with the help of friends and family. Despite earning my independence, I've never felt so normal, so plain, so exposed to the elements of "reality."

houston

Have you seen Interstellar yet? Do you feel as if you have control over your time, or do you feel like everything is developing and flying by without you, as you stay stagnant?

acl

ACL is starting up again this year.

I've always used the music festival as a time to see where I am in life. It usually occurs at the end of the first week of October, about 1 month into school. Every year I always with a different crowd of people. It's never the same experience, but it's always a positive one and a lot of fun. I remember the first year I went, I saw Dave Matthews Band, which I've been a fan of since I was in elementary school (don't judge me @kappuru), the weather turned stormy and the entirety of Zilker Park turned into a giant mud pit. I returned to my dorm, and while I was trying to clean off my muddy shoes in the laundry room, I was overcame with the feeling that I had just seen something, and that I had finally "made it to college."

Fast forward 4 years,

in 2012, I said to myself "I'll be out of Austin by ACL 2013."

Lo and behold, I spent my now 5th year of undergrad, still failing and dropping classes because I didn't care, or I didn't want to think about what I wanted to do after college. Eventually after a bumpy ride, by August 2013, I managed to finish all my classes and finally graduate. At that time I remembered my goal. ACL was approaching. You can always tell because there's a certain crowd of people who buys tickets during the presale to try and gouge people at the last second to earn a profit on facebook or craigslist. Now that the festival is 2 weekends, that's pretty much impossible due to the amount of space that is available, and people that particular year were struggling to even sell the passes at face value. I can tell those types of people didn't learn their lessons this year.

But who knows, why am I being judgmental again? Most of them might have just bought tickets wishing they could go, but got caught up with work and other obligations.

Okay okay, back to it. I ended up going to the festival in 2013. And for that information you can go to the last page of my blog to find out what I was feeling back then.

Here I am in Austin again, the festival is here, 2014 edition. It's kind of weird that all of the things going on with me are coming together at this particular time of the year. Am I going to the festival? Probably not. Most likely going to Ditch the Fest Fest, which has... sadly more bands that I'm excited to see than ACL.

On the brink

sun and shade

I've accepted an offer here in California.

It's at a company called Rocket Fuel, my title is "Rocket Scientist." In reality it's a software engineer or developer role, and I'm not very fond of the official title. I'm pretty excited since the team I'm going to be on uses rails / node / backbone js, and they're cool with me being relatively new.

Career wise, it's a great next step. Largely, if I'm going to continue doing programming, I see myself doing front end and UI for products. I'm pretty confident that rails and these javascript frameworks will be relevant for at least the next 3~ years.

The office is located in Redwood City, CA. I'm trying to find a place in SF, which is a pretty short commute away via car or public transport.

So... how am I feeling. What are the emotions?

I'm genuinely very excited.

I've spent the majority of the past year living very nomadically. Pretty much living out of my car, relying on the kindness of friends.

I had a lot of ideas, some pretty unique and magical ones, but found myself very unable to materialize them for some reason or another.

Was it financials? resources? mindset? ability? I think it was a mix of all of those.

I've been very fortunate to have the chance to come out here and try to get away from Texas. While I love Austin, and some parts of Houston, I largely feel like it's time to try something entirely different. And yeah I know this isn't really special, tons of you have left home a long time ago.

mimosa club

For the most part, I think most of the readers of this blog are in their 20's, recent grads from college. It's a very confusing time for all of us. What are our dreams? What do we want to do? How do we navigate this life?

I'm really glad that I started this blog. I haven't really gone back to reread most of my previous posts, for fear that I might want to punch myself, but more or less the current take away is... I've spent the last year dabbling. Switching from being a programmer, to doing a startup, to doing photography, and back again. And while you could argue that it was all just a big jumble and mess, I think I grew tremendously, and would not be where I'm at today without the chance to go through all of that.

glass key photo

I think it's important to dabble. To test the waters. Especially in a time where there are just so many options, where every move we make is overshadowed by all the "what ifs?" of the other paths.

On the other side of the coin, having my own place, and being able to actually provide for myself and potentially for others is going to be totally new for me. I see the goodness and value that this will entail. If you've identified with any messages from this blog over the past year... chances are, you feel some form of unrest, and might want to try to get out here too, for whatever length of time.

So yeah, feel free to hit me up.

I'm going back to Texas to grab my stuff for real. I'm actively searching for someone who would want to make the drive from Houston/Austin to SF between the first or second week of October, I'd make it a 3-4 day sight seeing trip, and I'd pay for hotels since they've provided me a relocation package.

R0026836

I'm excited for all of the new food, adventures, and people I'll meet.