minute thoughts 1.4.17

Thoughts while Googling "that one song with the really fast third movement" and "that piece with the ridiculous 32nd-note runs and flute cadenza"

1. It's a new year, so in addition to my Five-Year Journal (thx Chianna), I just started doing this. Love. I finally have a legitimate reason for carrying my Moleskine around everywhere. I have so many blank notebooks that I can't fill fast enough, and also I'm terrible at regular journaling because it's boring and I hate it. But this is the perfect way to kind of kick-start your day, to actually write thought-provoking content, and to practice a daily gratitude habit (if you're in the U.S., Taylor is also an excellent, one-word-a-day option designed specifically for mobile).

2. Everyone should watch Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (it's on Netflix), which focuses on the adventures of a female detective in 1920s Melbourne. It's highly addictive and features the absolutely fantastic Essie Davis as Miss Phryne Fisher. She's a great example of a genuinely feminist character that subscribes to the ladylike demands of society (think the all-white pantsuit-clad antithesis of Jessica Jones), while simultaneously breaking all of its rules. Armed with a searing wit, an elegant wardrobe, and a pearl-handled pistol, she's just an all-around extraordinary character (or perhaps just extra) and a joy to watch. Plus, a crime show with such limited technology is a true rarity nowadays.

3. Just a couple of places I've been in the past year and a half, according to my BlackBerry's wifi history: LAX, Meowmi Cat Café, my friend's house on DP, NoiBai International Airport, Chelsea Market, HMart Mira Mesa, ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, TapEx La Jolla, KPO Café Bar, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Gardens by the Bay, WakeCup Isla Vista, SDSU Aztec Bowl, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Barnes & Noble on 86th, POSSIBLE Singapore, Changi Airport, my uncle's house, SFMOMA, Holiday Inn Resort Mai Khao Beach, ATT 4 FUN, Davidson Library, Serenity Hostels at Changkat Bukit Bintang, Canopy Brand Group, Bangkok International Airport, The Getty Villa, InterContinental Hong Kong, and Sephora@Orchard (check your wifi list and tell me where you've been in the comments! I'm genuinely interested).

4. So I've put up with this for four months now and I cannot stay silent any longer because it's honestly the dumbest thing. There's a long flight of stairs from the MRT up to my workplace, maybe 70 or 80 steps up, and then at the top there's another, smaller flight of five stairs down. WHY. Why wouldn't you just make the original staircase five steps shorter?! Can you not see the stupidity of this superfluous architectural decision?! It's not that it's so much effort to walk down five stairs, but it infuriates me for some reason. There's just no good explanation for these extra steps. Why would you do this.

5. I found this when I was researching content engagement rates for work, and it's actually really fascinating. I made all of my friends take it. I had no idea that I speak differently from some of my friends (“water fountain” instead of “drinking fountain,” and "caramel" vs. "carmel"), or that these colloquial discrepancies even existed. It actually makes you think about the way we learn and how our language is influenced by other people/our environment. I actually had more in common with Southerners and New Englanders than I expected, but my most distinctively similar cities were Fremont, San Jose, and Los Angeles (all of which were equally confusing). I also realize that I only say “crayfish” because, having never actually seen one in the wild, I learned it from my anatomy class at summer camp when I was in fifth grade.

6. A very interesting take on “the dominant aesthetic of the decade” (think flat-lays on white marble, succulents, and rose-gold accents). It's a deep-dive into the coveted "Instagram aesthetic" and its implications as social currency, through the lens of Kinfolk magazine:

A lifestyle is made up of a shared vernacular. My Instagram was so popular because my friends recognized a quiet coffee in a foreign city as a badge of the lifestyle we aspire to ... We model our lifestyle goals in Instagram photos because the medium is so accessible. We can publicly participate in our chosen lifestyles all the time, constantly signaling our belonging and getting affirmation in return.

7. I've never really had an exceptional interest in Coachella but holy, this lineup: Anna Lunoe, BANKS(!), Bastille(!!!), Beyoncé, Big Gigantic, Bon Iver, Crystal Castles, Dillon Francis, Glass Animals, Gryffin, Hans Zimmer (very intrigued by this one), Jagwar Ma, Jai Wolf, Justice, Kiiara, Kungs, Local Natives, Marshmello, Martin Garrix, Mura Masa, Radiohead, The XX. Eep. Very tempted to go now because my sister and Britt are both going and I have yet to understand the Porter Robinson hype.

8. Just putting this out there, @Silicon Valley: A search engine where you can input a melody by playing notes on a piano keyboard. Classical music would be much more accessible if you could find it without knowing the composer or the title. Also EDM.

9. I just spent 20 minutes of my life watching this and I regret absolutely nothing. I actually could've watched it longer but I needed to do something with my life.

10. Celebrity culture is strangely fascinating. I think it's so unreal that we idolize people that simply entertain us, that we have an entire industry that exists specifically to document their personal lives, and I'm always just amazed at celebrities' societal worth and influence. Even stranger now is the rise of the "influencer," a modern-day celebrity famous for simply living a charmed life. And by this twisted logic, they become richer and more influential which makes it even easier to maintain the appearance of a charmed life. It's truly remarkable. Someone will tweet “...” and 3,000 people will retweet it, like “Yes, I personally identify with these three dots,” and I think that's wild. Slightly related but not really: John Saito, a UX writer for Dropbox, actually has a great piece on the ellipsis and its undervalued role in design (yes, he actually wrote an entire think piece on three dots).

Also, happy 2017, everyone! Excited to see what this year has in store ^_^ and very glad to be done with 2016...

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