29 January 2007

read this.

I read Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince on my commute this morning. Unfortunately, I had to read it in English, but I loved it nonetheless. I understand that if one has ever taken French lessons, they will have read this story a million times. But I hadn't read it since I was a child, so this was a treat. One of my favorite things that it does is teach the value of keeping your mind open, approaching things with a wide-eyed childlike curiosity and asking tons of questions. An exerpt:
If I've told you these details about Asteroid B-612 and if I've given you its number, it is on account of the grown-ups. Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask quetsions about what really matters. They never ask: "What does his voice sound like?" "What games does he like best?" "Does he collect butterflies?" They ask: "How old is he?" "How many brothers does he have?" "How much does he weigh?" "How much money does his father make?" Only then do they think they know him. If you tell grown-ups, "I saw a beautiful red brick house, with geraniums at the windows and doves on the roof...," they won't be able to imagine such a house. You have to tell them, "I saw a house worth a hundred thousand francs." Then they exclaim, "What a pretty house!"
True. Growing up clouds things sometimes. Remember Russell's exercise at the planning conference last year? Kids did better than planners, engineers and business school students.

26 January 2007

cellar door turns 1!

Happy Birthday, cellar door!

What started out as a portfolio assignment has turned into so so so so so much more. I have learned more about myself than I otherwise could have. I have met more wonderful people that I otherwise could have. I've participated in fascinating conversations, been inspired to experience more culture than ever before, and actually learned more about planning and this business than I would have from simply living.

I want to thank all of you. I wouldn't have been able to do half of it hadn't it been for you guys. Noah for welcoming me to New York and inviting me to Likemind, Jack and Michael for the epitome of realizing Web 2.0, Russell for giving me ideas without even realizing it, Amber for inspiring me to visit the Design Triennial (and write an article on it), Ed for introducing me to all Naked, Clay for being so generous and enthusiastic and inspiring, everyone everyone everyone. Thank you!

18 January 2007


I love this. It inspired me so much. to do something. It reminds me of TS Eliot.

from Moleskinerie.

economic dominoes

I never thought about how the advances in one industry could indirectly affect the success of a completely different one. In one of my Thrillist emails this morning, I learned about a spa in the city called Graceful Services that offers a new type of service. $60 buys you an hour of massages related to stresses that technology brings: a BlackBerry finger massage - which alleviates BlackBerry thumb - and face and neck massages that target other specific areas ("tech neck" and the facial muscles that are pushed up against mobile phones). At first I was rolling my eyes, but then realized that in a city like this, they might actually make a ton of money. Smart, and they seem to have thought of it first.

17 January 2007


I have been asked a few times lately about whether I'll be at Likemind this Friday. I have also noticed several posts about the upcoming ones in several cities this week. So this is to say that not only will I be there, but I have also been asked by Noah to guest host with Piers, since he will be vacationing and starting another Likemind in London. I'm flattered and excited.

With that said, you're invited. Friday morning, 8.00am, 'sNice.

14 January 2007

yay for Amber.

sunshine cupcake
Originally uploaded by tokyohanna.
I am dedicating this post to Amber because she inspired me not long ago to visit the Design Triennial at Cooper Hewitt. Well, I loved it, and I am grateful. Thank you.

This morning, Patrick sleepily asked me to tell him a story. I told a story of two girls walking through a magical city together - one with lights and colors that looked like a kaleidoscope and walking through a cartoon. Where you could taste the blue floating cloud shapes and yellow floating triangular shapes. Well, the exhibit was much like that. colors and swirls and lines and lights everywhere. and soothing sounds. It was a synaesthete's world, I bet. I loved it all. It took me forever to get to, but it was worth it. The museum i.d. sticker thing is an orange SQUARE. love.

It was cold and gray and foggy all day, and it made the Upper East Side look even MORE strange to me. What an alternate universe. At first I felt physically uncomfortable walking west on 91st through Lexington, Park, etc. but then I realized that it's really kind of pretty up there. Not for me right now in my life, but nice in a very specific way.

Getting to the Lower East Side was a nightmare. I finally gave up in SoHo, got out of the subway and walked. From the middle of the museumvisit I was feeling faint and weak from not eating. It made the mesh of colors and sounds and shapes even more intense to me, I bet. I finally got to teany, and had a wonderful meal of tomato soup (I keep forgetting they serve soup in those little tall mugs), vegan BLT and teanychino. I didn't want them to think I was a greedy brat, but I still wanted dessert, so I paid and went to Sugar Sweet Sunshine. I wasn't in a fancy mood, so I just asked for a sunshine cupcake, and what I got was a pink one. delicious. Getting home was a breeze.

Notes from my Moleskine from the museum:

Tom Scott's knitwear reminds me of early Issey Miyake. Judy Geib Plus Alpha makes me remember why I love art nouveau so much. swirling and organic shapes in the thinnest thinnest gold. chunky emeralds that are as they were found. hammeredly framed in gold.

Google has a space in this exhibit. good. "transformed the way [we] access information."

Wow, I was just talking about blik yesterday.

Tobias Wong's work makes me think of Dadaism for the 21st century.

12 January 2007

an advantage of living in a small town:

The postman knows you. I saw this on a blog earlier in the week and apologize for not remembering which one it was. The story can be found here.

short story shorter: someone in the UK who couldn't remember his long-lost friend's address simply did this to his envelope:

And it got there! The two are now back in touch again. amazing.

09 January 2007

she has a point.

"FOUR gb? SIX gb?! fuck that, thelma. this iphone is just as bad as every other 'i am a phone that can also be your bicycle seat!' device. about as useful as one of those portable dvd players that irritating people need to have with them on the train. god." - my roommate (I know, I know, the larger one is actually 8GB: I wrongly told her that 6GB was the other option).


clever and amusing.

The agency's work isn't too bad, either.

hi Ed!

Originally uploaded by edmonkey.
I'd like to point everybody over to my friend Ed Tam's blog. He is a strategist at Naked London, and - if you ever read this - a big help in getting me acquainted with the Naked family over a year ago. And now here I am :)

state schemas

Sometimes this wonderful transcendental thing happens to me. I wrote about one of those instances here. They don't last for too very long, but the happiness I feel in these moments is so concentrated and specific, that I wanted to think about it more and hear other people's stories. I am calling them state schemas.

Let me rewind a little. I loved the concept of schemas so much throughout my study of Psychology that I use the term all the time, forgetting that it's not a widely-used word. Schemata (when we're talking about Psych) are a thing our brain does; a method of organizing information and our knowledge into little packages that help us remember things and interact with the world. Stereotypes are the best example I can think of, even though they are not always used in a positive way : a collection of ideas, thoughts, phrases, sounds, visuals, etc. of a certain type of person. It's one big idea that holds many little ideas together and makes sense as a whole.

A state schema is an occurence. It is a moment in which everything is in alignment - the sights, the smells, the temperature, the lighting, the music, what you're thinking about, where exactly you are, and so on and so forth. Everything fits together in that moment; it's almost like feeling you're in a movie because everything seems to fit together perfectly. Like a successful Tetris game. This seems a little synaesthetic to me, since each element blends into the next.

Now, read this entry again, if you like, and see the elements of what made it wonderful to me. I wrote about it being 8.00am. It was sunny. It was 30-something degrees. The smell was clear. The pace at which I was walking made the sunlight come through the fence to the exact beat of the song I was listening to. It wasn't about the sun, the smell or the song - it was about that stuff working together as a whole to create one instance. State schemas are one of my favorite things in the world, and I cannot predict when they will happen; they just hit me like a delightful little surprise in the middle of my days.

Am I alone here? Does this happen to anyone else?

05 January 2007


New Years breakfast
Originally uploaded by tokyohanna.
Hi everybody! I'm a little late to say Happy New Year on the fifth, but I hope everyone's was wonderful. I have been scarce; I was with Patrick on the Chesapeake Bay for end-of-2006, and it was in the middle of nowhere. literally! thirty minutes to the nearest drug store. I had minimal mobile phone reception, and no Internet. no hot water either. It was a nice experiment, and I think I fared quite well. I definitely needed the break from technology (see this entry for something related).

Another reason for my scarcity is loosely related to this photo - my last meal (breakfast on the 2nd) before last night's. I was sick until the end of yesterday, and had to skip my first day back at work. It upset me because I had been itching to come back since probably my fifth day off. But I feel fine now, I had a tummy-warming meal of udon with tempura shrimp last night, and everything is wonderful in the world.

I am very hopeful for this year, but it'll be hard to top 2006, I think. In just that year I had so many firsts. Getting a Master's degree, traveling for a job interview, buying a piano, getting hired for my first real job ever, driving to a big city one-way, starting a career, becoming completely financially independent, hunting for and getting an apartment, going on a business trip, going on New Year's vacation... I can't even believe that I did half of this stuff, but I'm still in one piece and happier than ever. I met some incredible people last year, including all of my new blogfriends (most of them in real life) and seen some wonderful places (Seattle might have been my favorite, even though I was only there for 14 hours).

This blog was also started in January 2006, mostly as a personal project of self-reflection; it has gotten me so so far, even though not that many people even read it. For that I am thankful. And for those of you who do read it (and are reading this right now), Happy New Year (:
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