It’s been awhile since I’ve jammed on a Tuesday. Just kidding, I jam everyday.
Here we go from town to town
Set them up, I’ll knock ‘em down
Another drink, Another round we go
Live What You Love
I remember hearing the sharp sounds of static billowing from the second floor of our 2-story house. I listened carefully, dancing up the stairs towards an unfamiliar sound, where I found my brother, his back turned, staring directly into a computer monitor. Then there was silence.
"Welcome to America Online".
That’s when my life changed forever.
We adopted AOL 1.5 into our lives sometime between 1994 and 1995. My brother had accrued $200 on Prodigy (remember Prodigy?) and decided to sign up for AOL. From there, I got addicted and it happened fast. I signed up for names that I can no longer remember but I’m certain it had either a Sanrio or Winnie the Pooh character in it. For now let’s just say it was “Pochacco817”.
When I think back on my career, that was my turning point. I’ve had numerous thoughts about changing career paths earlier in my life but then again, I’ve had trouble committing to a bottle of shampoo.
From the age of 10 onwards, my timeline goes a little something like this:
1995 – The addiction to the internet begins. Thank you AOL 1.5.
1996 – After witnessing my brother play with shapes, I too started playing with shapes thanks to Photoshop 3.0.
1997 – I joined AsianAvenue and started blogging, while simultaneously signing up for Geocities so I could have a creative outlet for my newly found Photoshop skills (or lack thereof). I eventually, like most teenagers, ended up doing weird highly-saturated black and white self portraits like this:
1998 – My love for blogging and design led me to Xanga, where I had the flexibility of designing my own blog. Because of this, I learned HTML and CSS.
2003 – With 5 years of blogging, designing, and reckless coding under my belt, I was hired professionally to design and develop a website. It looked something like this:
2005 – After questioning my career path as a creative, I looked in to becoming an anesthesiologist, an architect, or a pharmacist. I was grasping for any idea that would gain acceptance from my critical asian parents.
2006 – With brand new clarity and a tiny rebellious streak, I decided to feed my existing love and knowledge of design and became an intern at a local Dallas design agency. After a few months and a lot of deliberation, I left college high and dry to gain real world experience.
At the end of the year, with a lot of reasons as my ammunition, I ventured off to New York City.
2008 – I gained enough experience and was able to land a job at R/GA, where I had a boss that trusted me so much he gave me work in a space I’ve never touched before: mobile design. That’s where I started doing things like this on Blackberry and Android before ever touching iOS:
2013 – After 5 years of designing for mobile, I can confidently say that this is what I want to be doing for the remainder of my life. I’ve talked a little about that here: Mobile Design? Sure, Why Not. The last 5 years looks a little like this:
I want to wrap this up with one little nugget of advice for those who are young and seeking out career paths:
You might not get it right the first time but the key is to never give up.
And it’s Tuesday!
Live it up, you’re growing up
Parties in the wilderness of life
Light it up, just give it up
Where the kids are running free tonight
Don’t you think it’s time for you and me to make some history
Tell me now what you say cause we can take anything
Just because we’re growing up, it doesn’t mean we’ve had enough
When times are hard we’ll smile and say we’re not afraid of anything
I’m always on the fence when it comes to creating resolutions for the beginning of the new year. They’re always promising in theory, but in actuality, it’s a conduit for disappointment and they eventually turn into these unrealistic goals that we create for ourselves. Afterall, 3 out of 5 people drop their resolutions by June.
Rather than dictating what needs to be done, I’m going to highlight things I’d like to do this year.
Bake more (take baking classes, make cakes, learn how to make gumpaste flowers). Consistently update my blogs. Spend time with friends & family. Finish my side project. Go to the movies more often. Organize. Eat moderately. Throw a party. Go to Disneyworld. Watch movies at the drive-in. Grow an herb garden. Decorate the house. Send handwritten letters.
And with double the amount of enthusiasm, hello 2013.
Photo from Google Images
Another week, another obsession. This Tuesday jam post ought to be a habit.
Walking and walking
Thinking on my feet
Anything can happen in the city but you
Can’t sit down
Building to building
Shelt’ring from the sky
Knowing there’s somebody in this street
Who could change my life
You can try on anything for free
Pick up anything you need
And I’m wishing you were here with me
Walking on a city street
Life Through the Lumix: Part IIII
Erice & Valderice, in the province of Trapani in Sicily, Italy
This week’s constantly-on-repeat jam…
As we fall into sequence
And we’re eating our young
Remain silent and still for modesty
When the splints have been broken
And they can’t help you now
Do you pray with your eyes closed naturally?
Follow me into nowhere
Woven with the utmost care
Boats, Water, Sky, Oh My!
Art by Jaeden, my brilliant nephew
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been aboard more boats than I have in my entire life: twice. As family and close friends would know, I’m not one to enjoy long exposure to sun and I’m also pretty vocal about it.
Sunbathing and tanning has never been titillating to me. As they say, “the grass is always greener on the other side” and nothing holds more truth than that when it comes to me versus the sun. If the boat has shade, you can find me cowering underneath it.
Aside from that, boats also provoke a more horrific memory. This is a memory I’d like to call “The Worst Day of My Life”.
So the story begins…
It was a warm Friday night in the middle of August. My husband and I were spread across the couch skimming through the channels trying to catch one of our many favorite television shows. My phone rings and as I lean forward, I notice it’s my mom.
“Hi. Your dad and I are going to be going to Rockport because he wants to go fishing on his friend’s new fishing boat. Would you and Anthony like to come with us? Austin is on the way” she says in her most coaxing voice. I could practically feel her nudge through my phone.
“I’m not sure mom. Let me ask Anthony.”
I put the phone on mute and looked over at Anthony. After explaining to him what my mom had told me, he said he would be willing to go if he was able to spend time with my parents. I assured him we would because I was always able to when I went growing up.
“Sure mom, we’ll go with you. What time do you think you’ll be leaving Arlington?”
“Saturday after work. We should be there around 8 at night.”
“Okay, good. Call me when you leave.”
After their 3-hour drive South, they arrived that night around 10. What you don’t know about my dad is that he is very resilient. Afterall, he was a POW during the Vietnam war after his B-52 crashed in the jungle. He even has a bullet wound on his head to prove it. With that said, he was already eager to move on towards Rockport.
“Let me just take a quick nap to power up and then we can keep going.” he says.
As my parents bicker back and forth about what time we should leave, Anthony and I laid on the couch watching Food Network attempting to doze off for a little bit. My mom joined us a few moments later and almost instantly, I hear a faint snore coming from our guest bedroom. My dad is already fast asleep.
A few hours had passed and we realized it was already 1 o’clock in the morning. “Crap!”, I thought to myself. We still had to pack some clothes and get Cooper ready for a road trip.
After getting everything together, we woke my dad up from his sleep and hit the road.
Leaving from Austin was a little unfamiliar for my dad since he’s so used to driving straight from Arlington. We drove through windy roads in the darkest of night and spotted deer running along the medians. With the map on my iPhone illuminating my face, it was the only light I could see around me besides the stars. My mom was fast asleep and Anthony was dozing in and out of consciousness. It was just me, my dad, and the noise of the tires gripping the road. Every now and then, I would blurt out directions but even that was few and far between. The roads in Texas are flat and go on for days.
Hours of staring out of the window, I notice we’re approaching Rockport. I recognize the Walmart and H-E-B from childhood memories. At this point, I was delirious from lack of sleep. I hear my dad talking on the phone to his friend in the front seat.
“You want us to meet you there? Okay, okay. Everything is ready to go? Okay, we’ll be there soon.”
We approach their quaint little bait shop sitting along a row of other similar bait shops. I could see a group of people standing idle around what looks like a speed boat propped up on a trailer behind a white truck.
“Honey, we’re here. How do you feel?”
“Yeah, me too.”
I opened the door and was instantly hit with the smell of gulf water and seafood. Cooper was eager to hop out of the car once he spotted a fire hydrant. I’m pretty sure he was ecstatic to relieve himself, as my dad was so focused on his arrival that we never stopped along the way.
My dad looks back at me after talking with his friends to ask if we had a fishing license. “Of course we don’t”, I was thinking. So after pawning Cooper off on my mom, Anthony and I ventured off to find a gas station selling fishing licenses.
“I am SO tired”, Anthony said in the most fatigued voice. I agreed, picked up my Monster and our fishing licenses, and headed back to the bait shop.
The sun was rising in the distance and as we were parking, I could hear my dad’s friend rushing everyone to hop in his truck. Before feeding into the frenzy, I asked my mom what she was going to do with Cooper while we were all away. With much surprise, she told me she wasn’t going to be joining us. Anthony and I, with disappointment in our eyes, quickly ran and hopped into the truck without discussion.
It was obvious that we were a little surprised by a series of things: my mom not going, the amount of people in the back of the truck, the size of the boat, and how ridiculously tired we were.
30 minutes later…
There were 9 people in a small speedboat that looked like it was made for 4 people, with only one seat for the captain and a makeshift cooler-turned-seat in the bow. Anthony, my dad, and I were situated in the rear facing the captain’s back holding on to the sides of the boat. There were an additional 4 people, 2 on either side of the boat holding on to a metal rod attached to the controls.
“Is this safe, dad?” I asked.
And there we go, catching small waves out into the Gulf of Mexico.
Once we were outside of the barrier islands, the captain sped up into the sunrise. Once we got further out, the waves got much bigger causing the boat to catch air jumping each and every wave. My tailbone was begging for something different. Anything different. Anthony and I began fearing for our lives.
“Are there any life vests on board?”
“No. But it’ll be okay”, my dad assures us.
As Anthony and I were both catching air along with the boat, our bodies slammed back into the sides everytime we landed. We had to endure this for what felt like eternity. Needless to say, we were bruised and battered. Also, somewhere along the way, my dad had broken a piece of plastic off of the boat. I assume it’s because he, too, was slamming into the boat with each wave.
We are now 4 hours from the coast with the late morning sun beating down on us. There were no other boats in sight. After stopping to assess the depth and fish density from this gadget sitting on the dashboard, the area we stopped at was deemed “bad for fish” and off we sped. Again.
One hour later, we’ve anchored in the middle of the gulf and everyone is baiting their rods. Anthony and I are mentally and physically exhausted, scared for our lives, and had no interest in anything other than finding an area to lay down in. At this point, it was so hot that Anthony had wet his t-shirt and tied it around his head.
“Dad, how long are we going to be out here?”
“Oh, not that long. Just until we catch a good amount of fish to take home.”
As I watched the clock, I could feel myself fading as the sun drained any ounce of energy I had left. I could no longer hear, my vision was blurry, and my head felt like it was about to implode. By the look on Anthony’s face, he was feeling the same way.
We took turns laying on the floor of the boat in spaces that had less traffic, curled up in a fetal position trying to stay away from the sun and the fishing hooks flying around.
I woke up after what felt like a minute of sleep to the sound of the engine moving again. I could see Anthony out of the corner of my eye trying his best to make light of the situation. My dad was assisting him with baiting his hook. A few moments later, we’re at an oil rig with a piercing beeping sound echoing through it’s speakers. It’s to inform other ships that the oil rig is currently vacant of workers. After a few hours of catching tons of bass fish, my dad said they were heading back to shore. Yes!
They reeled in their hooks, placed them in the holders, and again, we sped off heading towards the bait shop, my mom, and Cooper.
Bracing ourselves for what could have been a long and terrible ride back to the shore, we hear a loud “splurt!”. The engine went out.
The captain of the boat, my dad’s friend, is looking for the nearest oil rig because he didn’t carry any tools on the boat with him. Being a 2-engine boat, we were lucky we didn’t have to float until someone stumbled across us. With a now crippled one engine boat, we were moving much, much slower than we had going out. This felt like a blessing in disguise, as Anthony and I didn’t know if our bodies were able to take any more beating than it already had.
As we float towards a huge ship docked at the nearest oil rig, some crew members aboard were able to help us by providing us with an industrial-sized screw driver. My dad’s friend jumped into the water to try and dissect what was going on with the engine. The challenge, however, is that the engine couldn’t be lifted so he couldn’t see and had no grip underwater. The attempt was futile so he gave up and decided we would need to head back without the second engine.
This made the trip in twice as long as the trip out. It took us 8 hours to get back to shore.
By the time we made it back, it was already dinner time. My mom was frantic since they didn’t hear from us and our phones, of course, were dead out in the middle of the ocean with no reception.
After a grueling 15 hours on the boat, laying in fish blood, over 24 hours with no sleep, a bruised body and tailbone, and a scar we’ll hold for life, we were on our feet again and walking towards the car.
“I’m never getting on a boat ever again. Ever.”
“Me either, Anthony. Me either.”
Living Lightheartedly & Eating Chips ‘n Salsa
I filled out a questionnaire about myself for our company trip yesterday. Among a series of questions was one particular one that I had to think about: My superpowers are ____________. It seems super easy, right?
After a few moments trying to figure it out, I finally settled on “living lightheartedly and eating chips and salsa” because, well, both are equally true.
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment where my thoughts started trailing off, but I began thinking about all of the things that I’ve done in my life and how well I’ve lived it. I have done and said some things that I’m definitely not proud of. These things can still cause a great deal of embarrassment when I’m having that conversation with myself in my head, which I try to limit to never. But one thing is certain and that’s the fact that people change. The person I was 10 years ago is not the person I am now. You learn and then you move on. Somewhere between then and now, I changed how I would approach my life and the people in it.
Some things that I’ve learned through my 27-going-on-28-years of existence:
You can’t hold on to grudges (because it just isn’t healthy)
You can’t dwell on your mistakes (because EVERYONE makes them)
Truth always prevails (because who wants to try and keep up with their lies)
Stay true to who you are (because it’d be boring trying to be someone else anyway)
Never let the opinions of others get the best of you (because there are way too many opinions in this world)
Lastly, as Mr. Miyagi once said..
"For those with no forgiveness in their hearts, living is an even worse punishment than death."
Life Through the Lumix: Part III
Prague, Yucatán, & Chichén Itzá
Mobile UI Pattern Libraries
Monday was the 2nd year anniversary of iheartmobiledesign.com, which still sits stagnant and abandoned in it’s corner of the internet.
My intentions seemed easy: start a collection of screenshots from mobile apps to reference for patterns. As always, it was easier said than done.
Since then, there have been many of these that have sprouted up and they offer a deep library of patterns that I find very useful and inspiring. While I rework my own project, I thought I’d share the links of the ones I know and use.
(Please feel free to comment and share yours if you don’t see it on my list.)