Just Life

Reflecting on 2014

Random Observation/Comment #490: I hope I’m aging like fine wine instead of milk. (I’ve probably taken this joke from that ventriloquist guy and used it multiple times). In 2014, I: Traveled to: Nepal (parahawking), Beijing, Vancouver/Whistler, Jamaica (showed up and bought tickets), Turkey/Istanbul (getting Clemens’d), hiked up some mountains, Norway (Oslo/Sweden), and Italy (Emilia-Romagna roadtrip). Triumphantly: Made money on photography...

[List of 30] Priceless Birthday Gifts

Random Observation/Comment #489: I know it’s my birthday when I have more posts on my wall in one day than I’ve had the rest of the year. So you want to wish me a happy birthday because it’s a nice thing to do (and you’re a pretty nice guy/gal) and this is a part of your genuinely productive routine of using facebook...

[List of 30] Motivation Tips

Random Observation/Comment #487: Everyone needs a pick-me-up every now-and-again. Motivation comes from purpose and I believe purpose is something we fabricate from feeling loved, needed, attention, recognition, or just simple delusion. The key is to feed all of those things without being smart enough to see past it. Sounds depressing, but life is good in so many 100 other ways. Just...

[Lessons Learned] Coming from Group Culture

Random Observation/Comment #451: We all need some tough love. In Chinese culture, we’re raised to fall in-line, get good grades, and always listen to our elders. Standing out as a nail means you get hammered back in place and you follow very formulaic rules to achieve the societal view of success. The formula is basically: Good Grades + Good University...

The Cost of Doing Nothing

Random Observation/Comment #446: A step forward could sometimes be a step backwards, but at least you took a step. What is the cost of doing nothing? This was probably the most profound thing I’ve heard after 2 days of training for writing business cases, so I figure I’d address all the random tangents I thought about from this one line:...

Off The Grid

Random Observation/Comment #445: Sometimes you must disrupt flow to restore order. Have you ever felt controlled by your technology? Music becomes a crutch to memorized lyrics and familiar tempos while you’re pushed and pulled to all this made-up work.  By made-up, I mean things will still be if I don’t check someone’s updated status or life will still go on,...

Perfect Post-Workout Smoothie

Random Observation/Comment #444: A healthy diet is more important than an exercise routine. You can lose weight just by eating less… Earlier this year, I got this amazing present from my gf’s mom – I call it the Emulsifier. I was hesitant to use it at first, but since that first smoothie, it’s changed my health and meal selection. I’ve...

[Travel Advice] My Top 10 NYC Regulars

Random Observation/Comment #441: There’s something about going to a restaurant and ordering ‘the usual’ or walking into a bar and getting greeted on a first name basis that makes me smile. I think we all just want to be accepted as a regular. Recently, friends and old travel buddies have been visiting NYC and asking me where to go eat and...

Android Lens Blur: Foodtographer’s Dream Feature

Random Observation/Comment #432: Foodtography single handedly covers all my passions. If I could just spend all day doing these things, I’d be happy: Traveling to a new place with unique food, Cooking food, taking photos of food, eating food, writing reviews about food, and then taking a nap. Life would be perfect. Around this time last year, Google’s camera released a...

Be Productive. Get Momentum.

Random Observation/Comment #426: Realizing the value of time, as much as time itself, is priceless. People are naturally very reactionary creatures with a narrow field of awareness (you can only hold so many priorities in your head at one time). This is why we respond to emails throughout the day when it’s easy to address a quick notification for something that...

[Lessons Learned] Studio Photography

Random Observation/Comment #423: It’s important to explore the breadth and depth of your hobbies. You’d be surprised at how many different styles there are of doing things and how much creativity can come from something that looks mundane. Studio photography has always been too rich for my blood and just way too staged for my liking. I like the idea...

The Education Revolution: Advice to Students of All Ages

Random Observation/Comment #422: Schools are overrated. Education is essential, but learning comes from passion and interests that cannot be forced or taught. Ever since I graduated, I have been unbelievably grateful for my diploma. It has kept doors open on many of my opportunities and it is that one thing my parents had completely right about my future when they...

[Gaming Lessons] Stanley Parable

Random Observation/Comment #421: One can learn from everything… Especially playing video games. (Quick warning: There are minor spoilers, but not anything you probably don’t already know from reading other reviews about this game.) I had never written anything about video games because I never found one that probed my personal psycho-babel analysis… until now. Stanley Parable. This is not your...

[Lessons Learned] Wedding Photography

Random Observation/Comment #418: Wedding photography is a different beast from event photography. There’s so much more to learn… Weddings are beautiful. You’re there for a ceremony celebrating the beginning to a (hopefully) everlasting bond of teamwork and friendship. The opportunity to record such an emotional event is certainly a privilege. While obviously stressful to get those perfect shots, I think...

[Lessons Learned] Table Tennis Mentality

Random Observation/Comment #417: I love table tennis almost as much as I love mashed potatoes. That’s a lot of love. I don’t have a gym membership, I just go to SPiN NY on weekdays after work (5:30-7:30pm) and play with the usual table tennis (TT) junkies.  It covers my cardio, core, legs, and overall mental focus for the day. I...

[Lessons Learned] Time-lapse Photography

Random Observation/Comment #411: Life is about trying new things and retrying old things. I guess life is just about trying? No, that’s too complicated. Life is about not thinking about trying. Time-lapses are a series of photos that are strung together and then sped up to condense something like 700 photos into 12-seconds of video. What you’re left with is...

Parahawking in Nepal

Random Observation/Comment #410: Go Parahawking. Seriously. Plan a whole trip around it. It was the best 25 minutes of my life and I think everyone should do it. You’re welcome. I took a deep breath of fresh mountain air as I counted the white peaks of the Himalayas. The view from the top distracted me from the fact that I...

[Travel Advice] Clemens’ Guide to Haggling

Random Observation/Comment #408: Haggling is an art. I am terrible at haggling. I usually feel bad because haggling naturally occurs in third world countries with Street vendors where the price you pay for the goods and services are already a small fraction of what you would normally pay at home. I’m too nice and give away my buying intentions too...

[Food Review] Something Stewed

Random Observation/Comment #406: Anything with Guinness is delicious. Recipe: Something stewed – Beef and Guinness Stew Just like the good old days (2 months ago), I’ve decided to complete those left-out items from my cooking challenge. This one was rather simple. In short, I browned the beef, sweat the onions, and used the tomato paste to scrape all that goodness from the...

More Productive Distractions: Crosswords

Random Observation/Comment #405: The brain needs exercise too. Keep it healthy by challenging yourself and shielding it from stressful/dramatic situations. I don’t think I’ve ever completed a full crossword until September 2013. My gf, who is a crossword guru, started doing them in college in order to help with insomnia.  She’d casually finish a Tuesday Newsday in 10 minutes and...

Puzzles: Peacing it Together with Friends

Random Observation/Comment #404: I live a life of metaphors. Puzzles make me whole. There’s nothing better than finding that 1-in-1000 piece that connects perfectly to another. I feel my heart’s pace rise and pupils dilate from that joy of feeling those notches line up and sink in. By themselves, they’re all just meaningless blobs of ink, but together, they tell...

My Idols

My Idols

Random Observation/Comment #403: Being inspired must release some type of adrenaline for my brain to be productive because, man, some people are awesome. Who do you look up to? Why do you look up to this person? Is it their status/recognition in their industry? Or do you just think he/she is an awesome person that you can always learn from?...

365 Day Challenge

365 Day Challenge

Random Observation/Comment #400: I’m always surprised at how a positive attitude can change everything. Also, Yay on 400 posts! Just as with all New Year’s Resolutions, this one is going to be a sweeping declaration. Hopefully, this time, I will not fill half of the days as “exception days” as I usually do with my 30 day health/diet challenges.  Most...

[Lessons Learned] Picking my Goals

[Lessons Learned] Picking my Goals

Random Observation/Comment #399: Setting goals are as important as completing them. Too bad they never taught a class on taking initiative and dreaming big. My motivation and energy comes from the challenges I set for myself. If life is a game, I want to get the highest points and see the coolest parts of it.  If life is a competition,...

Reflecting on 2013

Reflecting on 2013

Random Observation/Comment #398: I envisioned each year of my life getting better and better as I age and learn more things. Even though I miss that year of crazy study abroad and traveling, I’m happy and still aiming high. Here’s to 2014! In 2013, I: Traveled to: South Africa (Kruger National Park), Swaziland, Scotland (Islay, Rothes, Edinburgh), New Hampshire, Grand...