Time is ticking…

Within the last few years, I can really feel the gravity of time and the wrong choices I have made in my life.  Choices that seemed right intellectually, but were perhaps not a great fit for me personally.

I feel anxiety about my lack of productivity.

I am going to work on producing something (ANYTHING) that is a finished creation on a weekly basis.  I’ve just come back from vacation so I don’t have much.  I’m posting a video that I did a few weeks ago, that I didn’t really say much about.  Basically I entered the NPR Tiny Desk contest.

I have anxiety about my limitations.

I have anxiety about not having expensive enough equipment for my creative endeavours.

I feel like I’m stuck in quicksand and not progressing fast enough.  Not moving fast enough.  Not schmoozing near enough.

Anyway here’s a video of a song that I wrote and that I sang on video.

 

 

Covers

 

I’ve been working on recording some new stuff and brightening up old stuff that I recorded.

I’ve been using a great mastering service called Landr.

Here’s a cover I did of one of my favorite R.E.M. songs.  Most people probably don’t know it.  It’s from New Adventures in Hi-Fi, an amazing and underrated album.

It’s hard to approach covering songs that I love, I only try to cover them if I think I can do it differently somehow.

Why?

This is pretty much exactly how I feel at the moment. I wish I could not pay attention and live in a bubble of not knowing or caring what is going on anywhere else in the world.  Is it useful … Continue reading

Overwhelmed with possibility

image

No matter how much I accomplish, it never feels like enough. I’m sure that it’s part of the human condition to always want more but I always feel like I am just catching up.
There’s so many things that I want to do, so many skills that I’d like to improve, so many places I’d like to see, so many people I’d like to meet…
It gets overwhelming.
I don’t have an answer or a solution.
I wish sometimes that I was a person with a singular focus.
Then I could say “Aha, this is it! This is the ONE thing that I love to do and I can focus all of my dreams and energy into this.”
Instead I am distracted and obsessed with all of the things that I love, music, photography, and why not start drawing again? Why not become good at cooking? Study more kanji? Lift heavier weights? Run faster? Have a cleaner house? Have a prettier yard? Play the piano? Learn interior design? Sound engineering? Play the uke? Play alternate tunings? Write better lyrics? Take more photos? Write more blog posts? Find more inspiration? Travel more? Eat better food?

Seems like every time I focus on one skill or one particular thing, my other skills fade away.  I want to do everything, and I want it all. I’m overwhelmed with the possibility. It makes me want to take a nap.

Vincent Chin and Asian-American Activism

image

I still struggle to raise my voice.
Sometimes overwhelmed by the futility of it all.
After all, has hashtag activism and blogging gotten us anywhere?
Maybe not, in the large scope of things.
But it’s enough sometimes, to read a word, a sentence, a story, and to know that you’re not alone.
We share a similar path at times.

Together, we can raise our voices and be heard…

Too much time dreaming…

Too much time dreaming…

I spend too much time dreaming and thinking up new ideas than I do actually making those ideas a reality. It’s so much easier to have all of these wonderful ideas that you don’t have to implement, because if you … Continue reading

A lovely Valentine~

A lovely Valentine~

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’ve been sending valentines to my friends and family and I was looking for a good valentine featuring Jack Bauer from 24. Well, I couldn’t find a good one. So I made one myself 🙂 Obviously it’s … Continue reading

a letter from myself

 

I’ve playing ukulele a lot and rediscovering my old songs.  Rewriting old lyrics.  Dusting off the cobwebs.  Examining this historical record of my secret past thoughts and dreams.

Some songs never felt complete.

Some never felt quite right.

Some are just fun to play on the uke.

I was trying to get the intro right and the recording here is probably the 4th or 5th take (hence the swearing at the beginning).  I decided to leave it in because 1: it’s authentic and 2: I like swearing. (笑)

It’s funny how so many years can fly by, but I still feel the exact same way.

Could you, would you, in a box?

lyric

Sometimes I worry that it might be confusing to the people who like my photography that I also do other things.

Photography is readily accessible and it only takes about a half a second for someone to glance at one of the photographs that I have taken.  And I am glad that people like my work.  It’s great that people will sometimes say nice things like, “Ooh, your pictures are pretty!”.  However, it is really only a small part of the art that I like to create.

I’m also a painter.  I tend to paint weird things, like Japanese rock stars looking at baby polar bears.  I’m usually telling a strange story, which is perhaps less accessible than pretty wedding photographs or portraits.  But it’s fun.

But music feels (and has always felt) the most important to me… because I am secretly a musician.  I have been writing and recording music for… many years.  This is generally harder to share, not only because I am bad at even sharing the basic information that I am a musician, but because it’s also a significant time investment for people to listen to music that isn’t shoved in their ears.  And I’m not the type of person to do that.  Unless you are a passenger in my car… or a visitor to my blog (^_^;)

I guess more importantly, I am all of these things and I am none of these things.  People ask what my day job is and I tell them (grudgingly) as I do not feel as it accurately reflects who I am as a person.  I am also of average height and Asian-American in case anyone is asking or somehow thinks it is relevant.

Some people LOVE boxes and categorization.  Being in a box is more accessible and familiar than not being easily categorized.  But I was born into a shade of grey.  Conforming was never really a great option, but I tried for awhile.  I don’t recommend it, unless that’s your thing.

(Note: You could wake up ten years later and realize that you’ve forgotten what you are supposed to be doing.  And you wasted all of that time conforming to some sort of  lifestyle that you never truly believed in.)

So it may be time to ask yourself… are you conforming to someone else’s expectations?  Conforming to some absurd expectation our society/culture places on us?  Conforming to some ideal that you will never attain?  How did you get there?  How will you leave?  Will you stay…?  Will you leave…?

One of my favorite songs

I’ve been bad at blogging lately.

But a fellow Grant-Lee Phillips fan named Greg asked me to post this video, since he also went to this show last year, so I am (finally)!

This is a recording from the show at the City Winery last year.  One of my favorite songs from one of my favorite songwriters.  (Background vocals by one of my OTHER favorite song-writers, Glen Phillips).

It’s time to share a little “Happiness”…

“If you find it, share it with the rest of us…”

a few weeks ago…

I messed up my hand pretty bad and had some tendon issues.  It’s *almost* better now, but not as good as it was before.  So that is part of the reason why I didn’t put any pics up sooner.

Here is a picture from a few weeks ago, when I saw Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field.  I could talk on and on about the show and how crazy it was, in good and bad ways (insane weather delay, amazing set list, seeing Dennis Rodman standing right next to me etc), but honestly I’m not going to right now because it’s still a lot to think about.  If you were there, you know what I’m talking about. (^-^)

pjwrigley

 

 

More like you

Me

Feeling more like myself

“But I like to keep some things to myself” – Shake it Out/Florence + The Machine

Sometimes (a lot lately) I wonder, WHY?

Why didn’t I do these things that I should have done ten years ago?

Why didn’t I take better care of myself… why didn’t I follow those lofty dreams I had… why didn’t I realize that I should start my own photography business ten years ago… why… why… why…

It’s easy to look back and see so clearly the path you should have taken.  It’s easy to want to travel back in a time machine and change the past.

“Listen, this is now, this is here, this is me.  This is what I wanted you to see.  That was then. That was that. That is gone. That is past.” – So Fast, So Numb/R.E.M.

And then you can always find a rationale.

Oh, it was because I fell in love!  Oh, it was because I went to college.  Oh, it was because I got distracted BLAH BLAH BLAH.

But why really?

Fear?

Fear of Success.  Fear of Failure.  Fear of putting yourself out there, out for critique/criticism?

Denial?

Not knowing what you really want from life?  Or not admitting it to yourself?

I think… that I need to be braver.

“I must become… a lion hearted girl… ready for a fight.” Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up)/Florence + The Machine

I think… that I need to become more honest.

More action, less excuses.

Because… I still have dreams…

Dreams are meant to be big and scary.  They are meant to be on the far edge of what is possible and mostly improbable.  I can’t let my love for logic and reason and stability stomp all over who I am, what I want to be, and what I love in life.

“I close my eyes and think how it might be… The future’s here today. It’s not too late. It’s not too late, yeah!” – I Believe in Miracles/The Ramones

Why pretend for other people?  Is it really so great to spend your life worrying about what everyone thinks?

Why not do what you love?  Even if it’s just in your spare time?

Why not create art and music?  Even if no one will ever see it or hear it?

Is it for them or is it for you?  

“And so I thank you dearly
For letting me see clearly
Open up, she said
Be you, be true” – You’re True/Eddie Vedder

It’s easy to see the success of others, but not their struggle.

がんばれ!

(I need to be more like me, but I want to be more like you.)

Photo Filters and a brief review of Aviary

Thanks to all of my followers! 🙂 Lately, I’ve been working on backing up a lot of my photos on Flickr.  While on the site, I’ve been checking out the filters in the built-in photo editing program there called Aviary.  … Continue reading