I’m neurotic with badge notifications on my phones.  1 unread email?  Unacceptable.  But no, it’s not enough to mark it unread and be on with myself.  I have to earn that unmark — that means I have to actually read the message, digest it, internalize, file it accordingly, take any follow-up action necessary, etc.  Essentially, I have to get things done, and maybe that’s why having no notifications is a good day.  It means I’ve done everything I need to, email-wise, with nothing lingering and gnawing at the back of my mind, birthing nagging guilt for not taking care of everything I should.

This neurosis extends beyond email and across everything else that bears notifications — Words with Friends, SMS, Beejive/Chat clients — if there’s something that’s been put out into the universe for me, I must grab it.

I’ve lately been feeling super-super-soooper-busy.  So busy that I’ve taken to making lists to make some effort at taming the madness and calling things to order.  I’ve always been a To Do list guy at work, but have until now been able to keep tasks lists from extending beyond the daily grind.  Thank goodness for Wunderlist.

I just recently got hip to zee Wunderlist.  If you haven’t heard about it, it’s essentially an electronic task manager.  You pound out your to do lists, and can check (click) them off as you complete.  What’s it got over paper?  Well, for starters, badge notifications!

here's the lil beast, running on my iPhone. yeah, 7 things left to do =/

There’s nothing like driving accountability and progress with a nagging incrementally increasing badge notification when you’re a crazy sucker like me.

Also, Wunderlist is cross-platform, and syncs via the almighty cloud.  That means I can be pounding along on my laptop, making power moves and getting things done, and everytime I think of something for me to address later I can pop open a browser window and jot it down.  Then later when I’m on the go I can pop open the app on my phone and have instant reminders of everything I promised myself I wouldn’t forget.  Likewise, I could be on the run when I run into a friend, who reminds me I own them an email with XYZ.  I can jot down a reminder on my phone, then when I get home and pull open my laptop, bam, there’s that reminder.

you can bucket tasks into different lists, for type-a favored organization. you can also send tasks to other users, so when the wifey's at work she can send a "change the oil" task to me if she knows i'm at home on the couch nom nom-ing on cookies

you can star important tasks, add due dates, swipe to delete, tap to check off, shake to bake bread

with the power of due dates you can see what you've planned for today, and what you've slacked on yesterday. i'm a little behind where i wanted to be with editing, but there's millions of completed tasks i've saved from red status, i promise

here's my wunderful wunderlist open in chrome on my laptop. same tasks, all sync'd with my mobile. the only excuse i have now is myself.

If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly suggest.  I have felt busier these past couple weeks, but thanks to Wunderlist I think I’ve been much more efficient and productive and that much less frantic and confused.

What’re your preferred GTD (Get things done) techniques?

I’ve been on va(stay)cation since last week, but it feels busier than ever; however, I do feel like I’ve überproductive.  That is, if productivity is measured in the amount of fun, satisfaction, and relief garnered via discovery, creativity, and completion of long-intended-to-have-been-addressed tasks.

More on what’s been keeping me busy (hopefully sooner rather than) later, but if you follow my twitter / Instagram / tumblr / Facebook feeds, you’ve by now been bombarded by random announcements, nonsensical commentary.  And even seemingly randomer photos.

For the curious with the desire for marginally more context, allow me to present the first installment of <drumroll> Facts Behind the Fotos <windows 3.1 boot sound>

  • Wheels Up – I spent most of the day tuning up my Honda Civic with the Executive Director of the ACAP.  Notable highlights:  Getting an armpit full of vintage 2009 5w20 motor oil and my new plug wires are blue (love me some color!)
  • Acura – Sticking with cars for a moment, the other day I spent a few hours at Acura of Lynnwood, stranded while getting my rotors looked at.  Is it just me, or do Acura rotors wear quickishly?
  • Baby Shower of Infinite Justice – Some friends are expecting, which naturally warrants celebration.  It’s a boy! — represented by the blue metallic teddy bear confetti.Yayers.
  • Surprise – The gift in the left hand is for the aforementioned baby shower, the balloons for a special surprise (and what’s in between is from excessive French pastries…).  The wifey is hosting a special giveaway on her blog featuring an original Cindi+Chris Photography piece.  Check it out for deets on how you, too, may already be a winner!
  • Pastries 1 and Pastries 2 – I wasn’t joking about those French pastries.  I’ve recently discovered (and then re-discovered.  and re-re-re discovered.  and re-re-re-re….) the joy that is The French Bakery.  In under a week I’ve visited 66.7% of their locations (multiple times), had enough pastries to fill a frequent customer punch card (and then some), feasted on a sandwich crafted by one of co-founders, and put on more weight that I should have.  The jocson you know and love now comes extra squishy with 115% more butter.
  • Seatown FunkJun lives in an area with an awesome view of Seattle.  We visited her the other day, and after finding parking around the way, I couldn’t resist climbing up a precarious safety railing and snapping a quick pic while cars whirled behind me.  I had a dizzying fear of falling to my doom, but powered through!

I’ll throw in a few (foto-less) tweets for good measure, just coz.

  • P!AtD – Panic! has a new album, Vices & Virtues, which I am really diggin’ right now.  So far I’ve edited approximately 500 photos (viewed around 2000), tuned 1 Civic, and assisted a friend with 2 resumes and 1 cover letter all with the album on repeat.  A few years ago I went to a Panic! show they did with Lucent Dossier, and it was one of the most amazing shows I’ve ever seen.  It was like some sort of punk burlesque circus freak show that totally fit their work.
  • Sonicsgate – If you’re a sports fan, you must see this film.  If you’re a Seattle-ite, you must see this film.  Heck, if you have a pulse, go check it out.  It highlights the chain of events leading to a Supersonics-less Seattle, brought to you by people like those folks you see in the stands at NBA games today still waving Sonics gear regardless of who’s playing.  True patriots.
  • Thinking about being productive – I made a plan at the start of this vacation that involved a home stretch run at success by means of being early-to-rise and late-to-bed (with ZOMGMASSIVEPRODUCTIVIEZ sammiched in between those two).  I started Day 1 of this home stretch making good on the early-to-rise part, but was slow in motivation to get to the massive productivity part….  I think I’ve made good on getting things done since then.  More on how I did that.. maybe tomorrow?  Stay tuned friends!

A while back we had a shoot scheduled with Stephanie… but sadly, it rained.  We rescheduled for another date, got all amped up, were rockin’ new cameras, and I even adjusted the itinerary of an international trip for it… but sadly, it rained.

Finally this past weekend, we finally made it happen.  Persistence is a virtue, and 3rd time’s the charm.  And we’re so glad we did too, not just coz Steph’s such a natural in front of the camera (though she doesn’t know it) and so much fun to shoot, but because she’s just as much fun when the cameras are off.  And shouts random phrases at the most random moments.

Rock on Steph.

just for fun, we asked Steph to dance like no one was watching. and she did. once no one was watching. but heres how she danced while we were watching.

It’s almost wedding-time for Karen+Josh, and Cindi and I couldn’t be more excited — to bask in their lurrve, partay, and yes, shoot us some more photos.  Does that sound selfish?  I assure you it’s not.  Being around their love is like soaking in swelling glee, and it’d be a crime to not try to capture it.  Speaking of which, allow me to share more photos from their recent shoot — in slideshow form!

Slideshow here, currently in standard definition… but come back later in the week and we’ll have it in superdelicioushighdef!

I’ve recently developed a chemical addiction to the offerings of Hiroki.  If you follow my instagram feed or even my Twitter or tumblr feeds, then this likely comes as no surprise to you.  You may even know had very, very, very bad it is.

I first heard about Hiroki from Diana+Jesse.  They have a Sunday ritual filled with Hiroki deliciousness, and the Sunday we shot them was no exception.  Outside of deliciousness, that Sunday was filled with more fun than Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” so in honor of them here’s some additional photos from their shoot.  In slideshow form for added awesome.

Thanks Diana+Jesse!  We’ll have to meet up soon (perhaps at Hiroki’s?)

SLIDESHOW MORE BIGGER HERE

[…continued from the prologue…]

#1 of 5: Blue Scholars.

I’ve known of Geo for some time.  Known of him, but don’t know him.  Somehow we’ve run in semi-overlapping-but-not-crossing circles for a minute.

In jr. high and high school he was “Mo’s brother.”  As in, “Did you hear that new tape Mo’s brother got?” She was a close girl (space) friend to my circle of brothers, no less evident than in our universal daily high school rituals of lunch room table congregation and strategic locker placement selection.  He was her older brother and homie to slightly older homies you high five in passing and acknowledge with headnods when strutting through the neighborhood on foot en masse in summer.

But I didn’t meet him until college.  Over time, I will have met him for the first time several times, the first having been in Red Square at UW when a mutual friend and I were loitering for no reason and she spotted him in passing.  Based on quick intros and less than significant casual conversation, I remember him being an everyday average joe comfortable wearing a friendly smile.

A few months later I met him again at an isangmahal show, and it became evident he wasn’t just your average joe.  If you’ve never been to a spoken word show, you should go.  One by one, poets took to the spotlit mic and filled the dimly lit room with warmth, strength, passion, anger, agony and the beauty of life through words fired at the intimate gaterhing.  Geo was one of the first few to take the mic, and I was struck by how easily he commanded the crowd in not much more than the same even, steady speech you’d hear on the other end of a long distance call home.  No beats, just the commingling of silence and a strategic melodic delivery; he had the audience chanting along to his prose by the end of his verse.

“My wounded eyes seen through the lies, many soon to die.  Who am I? A student, I study to survive…”

It was so striking that the piece was burned to my memory and I recalled it almost immediately when I met him again a couple years later.  By this time, the Blue Scholars had been born, and by marrying Geo’s words over Sabzi’s beats, some magical force beyond the normal reach of speech or music was born into this world.  The same lines that quietly moved a small silent crowd off 7th & Jackson was now eliciting shouts and the rhythmic waving of arms.

I have video of Geo from the aforementioned isangmahal show, somewhere in the archives. I couldn't find it at the moment, but here's an old clip of Wounded Eyes. click the pic to jump to the video.

my autographed copy of one of the initial pressings of the debut album, picked up from Geo at the old Wing Luke. "Go Trojans!" -- our high school mascot.

Over the next few years, I would meet both Geo and Sabzi for the first time a few times over and over again, but will also have witnessed what I will call the most influential creative expression of my generation thus far.  Bold statement, I know.  But I can feel it.  It can’t be proven in record sales, Facebook likes, or bands that cite the Scholars as an influence on their Twitter bio.  Not even in the way Sabzi threw a paper faux-decorative-corinthian column into the 21+ crowd at the Croc last December causing them to go bananas.  It’s maybe instead in the volume of lyrics extracts I hear quoted, the countless times I’m surprised when I run into a coworker (seemingly not in the Scholars’ “target market”) randomly saying to me “now I don’t listen to rap, but…that [INSERT SONG TITLE HERE] song by the Blue Scholars…you gotta hear this,” or the way I can look out at a crowd at a Blue Scholars show and see a cross section of America represented that I’d be hard pressed to see elsewhere.  But mostly it’s by way of a more intangible creative force driven by Geo and Sabzi’s work — not just their music, but also their shows, videos, views, workshops, imaginations, and creative expressions in whole and in part.  As an artist, I admire their ability to infuse the essence of themselves into their art, and can only hope that one day I will produce a piece that comes close to leaving the same mark they’re constantly making on the scores they speak to.

my copy of bayani. geo on the left, sabzi on the right

obligatory horrible photo of me with subject. my most recent introduction to Geo, Dec. 2010.

They’re doing something great with their next album, and I highly suggest you check it out and consider becoming part of the next great awesome to hit this summer.

Local Lokal Plate

April 9, 2011

I’m all about custom.  Rarely do I leave things as they are, right out the box.  Cars, cameras, computers, barbeques, houses, food…

Food?

I’ve been known to fry up an egg and throw it between the layers of deliciousness in a standard Whopper-(with cheese)-to-go, split open a red bean bun and throw cream cheese in, or even sneak crushed and sliced pineapple underneath a slap of vanilla bean ice cream tucked lovingly between 2 slices of all american white bread.

These are all minor mods, mostly because I’m not allowed into the kitchen.  Dramatic messes tend to occur when I collide with that section of the house, so I’ve been blacklisted.  However, the wifey is currently out at Wai’s bachelorette party, so while she’s away I took the liberty of inviting myself into her kitchen to play.

The results?

My take on the loco moco.  Behold my Hawaii-inspired lunch plate holy trinity!:

1)  Homemade bacon and bleu cheese hamburger steak, over rice, and covered in 2 sunny side up eggs + gravy.  If I’m gonna throw a spin on it, it’s gotta be bacon-fueled right?

2)  Spicy crab mac (well, penne) and cheese, in lieu of mac salad

3)  Kona Brewing Co.’s Koko Brown ale (they claim toasted coconut, but all I tasted was toasted deliciousness), standing in for some kind of obligatory tropical fruit juice

 

Now… to search the web for news articles about that tornado that touched down in kitchen — I didn’t see it happen, but it’s the only explanation, and someone must have written about it by now… and to decide if I should pick up some Bubbies mochi for dessert…

Couples: Wai+Tatsumi

April 7, 2011

Last week, I left Chewy in charge.  Unfortunately, the lil lazy sucker didn’t accomplish much aside from running up a huge international long distance phone bill, destroying the corporate credit card, and hosting questionable social events on company property / time.

All this went down while I was out at Whistler for Tatsumi’s bachelor party.  While I can neither confirm nor deny the purported existence of possible photos from that alleged event, I am happy to say that I do have photos of Tats and his lovely fiancée Wai.

Wai and the wifey have known each other for years.  In fact, I first met Wai when I first met the wifey.  Quite a feat, seeing as how I met Cindi in Seattle (while she was in transit to LA) at a time when Wai lived in San Mateo because she worked in San Francisco.  The stars aligned somewhere between all the cities and all the (good) S words.

Thanks Wats for the fun Sunday.  Can’t wait for the wedding!

 

Couples: Ali+Tyler

April 4, 2011

There’s a great deal of variables unknowns that we have to dance around daily as photographers.  Sunshine, wind, bold racoons, freak lightning storms, intentional or unintentional felonies.  You name it.  Especially in the upper left, you never know when you’ll encounter rabid flannel or sideways rain.

Rain has been a problem lately.

With so many ways for things to go haywire, it’s inevitable that you’ll have a shoot go “wrong.”  And if it must go wrong, I insist that you must have Ali+Tyler.

It rained on us.  Hard.  I think at the end of the day on our drive home it even hailed on us.  Did it matter?  Nah.  Because nothing phases these two, and even if the world was coming apart at it’s seams around them, you’d still feel the love as you plummet into interspatialextraterrestrial oblivion.

Thanks Ali+Tyler for being the ideal in everything less than.