I spent the afternoon at a small café in Paris, which could hardly fit the family two tables down from me. They had a string of three children toppling off the edges of the red backed booth—two girls and a boy. The girls were older, in matching pink dresses, and the word that ran through my mind was “starbright” when I saw their smiles. The boy, on the other hand, was more stoic than a Buddhist meditating, as if had been shot with 20 CC’s of chill-the-fuck-out by his parents. He wore a red t-shirt and navy blue shorts, and had donned a matching navy blue baseball cap.

Their mother was a tall, lanky woman, with thin arms, thin legs, and a thin waist—one she clearly paid careful attention to maintain. Her daughters were the spitting image of her: tall for their age, strikingly blonde, and beautiful. But where their smiles were bright and full of happiness, their mother’s was full of anguish, as if nothing could have annoyed her more than going out with her family that day. To contrast, their father was the height of personable. He had kept the waiter around for minutes, prying the youth out of his shell until they were both cracking jokes, and before long the manager had to pull her employee back to work.

They came and went, and I sat, drinking my coffee in the sunlight. It was a cool day, where a few minute indoors could leave you chilled, but a minute outside would melt the ice right off your backside. A good day to be people watching. The beautiful maids in sundresses walked around less in a step and more in a dance, and their partners never seemed to have the same sense of rhythm about them. They looked a bit too porcelain for my taste, but lovely nonetheless. I was particularly struck by the elderly couple that passed by when I took the last few sips of my drink.

I had never seen a couple with more swagger make their way down la rue. They were both in exceedingly white clothing, bleached to the point of blindness, save for matching pairs of Aviator sunglasses, which covered their eyes entirely. Unlike most elderly couples, there was nothing feeble about how they moved—they might as well have been going to the gym to beat up on some college athletes. Their grim expression was fitting a pair that had survived a world war, and didn’t hope to survive into another. But they too came and went, and my mug was finally empty. I left a couple notes on the table, beneath my cup, grabbed my bag, and started walking home.



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I was trying to decide what to talk about today, and then I realized I was super short on time (in fact, I’m typing this in the car as my superior drives us to a meeting)! Which gave me an interesting topic for discussion: rushing. Have you ever rushed? Probably. If not in your adult life, likely as a child your family rushed you at some point, right? And rushing is absolutely the most stressful thing you can experience in the moment.

I have a story to provide an example. My family had decided to go to Montana for vacation, which would end up being an absolute blast. We got up early, packed our bags, and left for LAX. Now, if you’ve ever driven to LAX before, you know how much of a pain that trip is. Regardless, we were about halfway there, and were running just fine on time, when suddenly I look back and realize my suitcase was not packed along with everything else. And that’s got all my clothes in it. For the whole trip. So we turn around, drive the half distance we were out back to our house, and get my bag. At this point, our plane leaves in an hour and a half, and it’s a forty-five minute drive there AT BEST. We’re speeding and bobbing through traffic, have to park in the expensive parking at the airport, and run into the lobby. And the receptionist chides us for being late, and says theres a chance that we, or our luggage, will not make the flight. But we insist, and she lets our bags through their machinery, and we take off toward the security checks. We wait in line, with everyone tapping their feet and what not.

Tick-tock tick-tock. Every minute feels like and hour, and we finally get through the security line and sprint to our loading zone. They’ve already called finally loading, and when I get to the lady taking tickets, she looks as though she were just about to turn away from the desk to close the door to the plane. Luckily for us, she lets us on, and everything worked out. BUT that was exceptionally stressful. And if you’ve ever experienced something stressful like this, you probably know the symptoms. A minor headache, increased heart rate, the feeling that you want to snap at anyone who slights you, even in the smallest way.

So how do you control that? Well, it can be hard, but the best way is to stay calm. Don’t tell yourself to stay calm, because that literally never works (have you every TRIED to relax?! It’s a paradox). Talk yourself through the logic of the scenario, and accept that not everything works out. I mean, we were running through an airport at full speed. Security could have tackled us out of nowhere, or shot us. They don’t know the situation. We could have gotten stuck in traffic, or the plane could have left on time. Or that lady that took our bags could have not let us on the plane. But we were lucky, a little insistent, and it all worked out.

Do you have any tips to dealing with rushing when it happens? Let me know!



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I have this little fantasy,

Where every morning, you and me

Wake up beneath the unlit skies

With an adventure in our eyes.


We pack our bags, and picnic too,

And set out, as the sky turns blue.

We scale up the mountain’s peak

Till we come to the point we seek:


The highest point our eyes can see,

Occupied by a lonely tree,

With leaves more green than summer’s grass

And roots more deep than legends past.


Up there we waste away our day

Without the need for words to say.

Just cheese and wine and happy thoughts;

Admiration for what we’d wrought.


As the sunsets, I see us both,

Sitting beneath the undergrowth

We’re arm in arm, and cheek to cheek,

And I feel the urge to speak.


The sudden welling in my throat

Is realer than all I’ve wrote.

And there, beneath that glist’ning view,

I have to whisper “I love you.”



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Hello everyone,


Wow it has been quite a while since I typed that myself! How have you all been? I know for you guys nothing is different but it’s been two weeks since I’ve actually sat down and written something. Why? Because I’ve been on vacation! Ok, in truth I wrote some personal poetry over the vacation, and I may share that in the future, but not today. Today will be a vacation sharing day and maybe some discussion about perspectives from it.


Boom! There’s the family (minus my sister who couldn’t attend). I could go day by day but to be honest that’s 12 days and I don’t have that kind of time. Here we had just landed in Billings, Montana. Trust me, it was a stressful morning. We literally got on the plane 2 minutes before take off. In fact, we got to the airport just 40 minutes before it left, because I had accidentally forgot to put something in the car and we had to go back for it. Hence the happy expressions when we actually landed at our destination.

Alright so next up was the Battle of Little Bighorn memorial site. Which was a harrowing adventure, since I am part Native American, and yet apparently some of my great grandparents knew people that died in this battle. Of course, things were different then, but it made me think about how we quickly generalize disdain for soldiers when quite often they are just there following orders so that they can make a living.


We also checked out the Devil’s Tower national park. It’s a super cool…mountain? It kind of just juts out of the Earth, which I guess could be why it’s called Devil’s Tower. The myth behind it is, in a quick recap, that there were children playing who were suddenly chased by an enormous bear. They scrambled up the side of this rock, and when the bear pursued, he was unable to climb as well as them, so he ended up clawing at the rock instead, which is where all the markings on the rock come from. It certainly makes sense, were that possible, since the lines cascading down the rock look deep and almost claw-like.

The next stage of our journey was down to Mount Rushmore. As with most of this trip, things were super cool. The top picture is a panorama I took from the Norbek Observatory which overlooks a forest. If you can, zoom in on the rock to the left of that large tree on the middle-right section. You can see Rushmore from there. It was a really cool day to feel American and proud.

Of course, my pride didn’t end there. Like I mentioned above, I am part Native American, though in fairness it’s more blood than cultural background or understanding. This was taken at Crazy Horse, which if you don’t know anything about, I suggest you check it out. This is literally history in the making. It’s a huge monument to the first people of the Americas that is privately funded. To give you an idea of the size, see that top left picture? See the face in the center at the top? It’s facing to the right to give you perspective, in case you cant see it right away. That will be a head that is the size of all of Mount Rushmore, and in all honesty it’s something that should get more attention, because it’s a part of our culture that is mostly overshadowed by white history.


Also in this area was Sylvan Lake, which is where this picture was taken. This is on top of a rock that was in the middle of the lake, and it was incredible. Have you ever jumped off a boulder into water? This was my first time in memory, and it’s both thrilling and terrifying. Try it out sometime! (Be safe).

On our way out of South Dakota and into Montana, we found some different, interesting places. The top two pictures were from a graffiti wall, which is something I think we should have more of. Often times art is an expression rather than an image to behold, and this is a great way to make it a positive outlet rather than an illegal one. The second one is a Norwegian style church, which apparently is an exact replica of one in Norway. It was quiet and cute, and it really wasn’t awe inspiring. Which I think made it all the better, because it was just a little piece of history, carved out of time for the people around it to see. There weren’t people flocking to it, it wasn’t some money maker for greedy church people like mega churches can be. It was just a nice, homely place to visit.


Speaking of homely stuff, this place was the bomb, which is why I’m giving it a personal rant moment, because now that I am back in California I won’t get another taste for a long time. It was not only delicious, it was this cute little dive that just was perfect in taste. Oh, and their large sandwich was 17 inches long. So you know, challenge accepted. It really summed up the area though. It was a cute, innovative place with a community oriented feel. It cared about the customers as much as making a profit, and it provided opportunities for people to interact in a way that they might not always get to. If you ever get the chance, PLEASE go check them out.

Alright, last picture for this blog entry is from Yellowstone. We saw Old Faithful, we splashed around the river, we toured the sulfurous hot springs. But nothing compared to seeing the Buffalo. They were so majestic, which I feel like has become an overused word that no longer does the animals justice. But they really were like something caught out of time. They weren’t quiet by any means, but the valley was so huge that their noise sounded like a pin dropping in an empty room. Audible, but consumed and enveloped by the space around it. That doesn’t exist in L.A., as much as I wish it did.

Things out there move slower. And it’s great. Sure, there’s a lot of isolation that I’m sure could be hard for someone to deal with, but there’s also a grandeur of the countryside that make you just want to breath deeply and go for a walk. It begs exploration. The kind of space that wants you to pack a bag of supplies and go camp out. I’m thankful that I was given the opportunity to go on this trip. We also did some other visiting, swam in the Yellowstone river in a cabin, and we checked out the grave site of my grandmother. Both were amazing in their own way, but sometimes you have to put the phone and the camera down to just appreciate what you have. For me, those were moments like that, and I’m happy I have them as memories. Until next time! Maybe I’ll share some of the poetry I wrote out there soon.