Writing by Resty

Freelance Writer and Web Developer

Month: October 2016

Visiting North Hollywood for a Weekend

My Younger Brother’s 19th Birthday,
And All the Culture in LA

Over the weekend, I visited my little brother in the Valley for his 19th birthday. He lives in Reseda, a city in the 818 area code. I drove an hour and a half up freeway 60 before hopping onto the 101 northbound for twenty minutes to reach my exit. I hate traffic in LA, but I love the area.

I drove up Friday evening, after I went to the gym and took a nap. I knew I wouldn’t be working out when I got to my dad’s house, mostly because I don’t know of a place I could go to lift weights, so I decided to get in a short jump rope session before leaving Menifee.

At my dad’s, I usually just hang out around the house, watching movies that I stream from my dad’s Amazon Firestick, or I catch up on HBO and Showtime television series like Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley. Other than watch movies, I napped pretty much most of the weekend.

I brought my juicer to introduce my stepmom to juicing. She’s been trying to get healthier, along with helping my younger brother get healthier, so I thought I could introduce her to juicing. Juicing has helped me feel a lot better; it’s definitely helped to clear my acne—and I’ve heard over and over that the epidermis, or the skin, is a direct indicator of an individual’s health. If the skin is glowing and thriving, then the rest of the body should be working pretty well too. I made a green juice for them.img_1811

On Saturday, I took my brother out for breakfast. We hopped into my white civic and drove a few miles over to Ninong’s Pastries and Café. My brother ordered ube pancakes and I ordered grilled cheese French toast drizzled with ube sauce and topped with powdered sugar and almonds. Both dishes were delicious. Altogether, including a 15 percent tip, I paid less than 20 dollars. There was so much food that I took home leftovers to my dad and stepmom. The waitress there even awarded us with complementary desserts for having us switch tables.

That same evening, my dad, my step mom, my brother, my auntie, and I all ate at the Korean Tofu house a couple blocks from my dad’s house. I ordered the vegetable bibimbap, which came out exactly how I had imagined—steaming hot vegetables topping a heap of crispy rice lining the cast-iron bowl. Along with the main course, they served me spicy tofu soup, which had tofu resembling the consistency of eggs. Needless to say, I devoured everything within arms reach.

I love the culture in LA. I love the food, the people, and almost everything about the entire city. While I hate the traffic—I kind wish everyone drove mini scooters, road bikes, or took public transit—the pros of LA outweigh the cons. I really love LA County. Even though I don’t live in the heart of the city, it’s the culture that I’ve come to appreciate.

My next trip is going to be to San Diego.

A Trip to San Jose Sparks Wanderlust

Spending a weekend away from work and clearing my mind

Over the weekend, I traveled to San Jose with my older brother, my sister-in-law, and my cousin. I had an awesome weekend exploring around the city I stayed at, spending time with family and getting away from work. Four days was not enough to explore everything I’d like to have explored, but it was enough to revitalize my love for traveling.

We stayed in a room on the fourth floor at the Fairmont. The room fitted two beds and featured a view of the San Jose Museum of Art and a series of palm trees wrapped in Christmas lights that lit up into a lightshow at night. My younger brother, who goes to school in San Francisco State, came down to spend the night in our room as well. It was nice to have the boys I grew up with together again.img_0726

Our first day in San Jose, my cousin and younger brother left to another part of town to film a wedding, so they were at a different part of the city. My older brother, my sister-in-law, and I walked down the streets of San Jose. We discovered Phil’s Coffee and spent an hour sitting on a table outside the cafe enjoying their signature mint mojito. We watched the city. Students on their way to class passed through the streets riding bikes and skateboards and carrying backpacks full books. People sitting at other tables with laptops in front of them type and chat among friends. The warm weather and cool breeze felt lovely.

By late afternoon, we had have already gone back to the hotel, eaten lunch, and to our disappointment heard that game two of the MLB NLDS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Washington Nationals had been cancelled. I managed to sneak a cardio workout at the hotel gym, dribbling a weighted ball and running on the treadmill for 20 minutes, before we walked the streets again.

img_0757Going back out into the city as the sun began to set, my brother, his wife, and I walked to Muji’s across the street from our hotel. This store was awesome. I loved everything about it—I tell my sister now that it’s my new favorite store. The store sold Japanese inspired minimalistic items that were “brand-less,” like pens, notebooks, and clothing. All the items in the store didn’t have a brand logo stamped anywhere on the products. I bought stationary equipment: pens, monthly planners, pen boxes, and foaming facial cleanser. At the front counter, I picked up a business card and read that Muji’s has a location in Santa Monica, meaning I’ll probably plan a trip out there soon.

As the evening went on, we walked down First street and walked into Soho Market. My brother and his wife order ramen, but they didn’t offer vegetarian ramen so I went to the burger place to order a vegetarian burger for $10. The burger was way over priced, but the chef cooked the burger well, so I couldn’t complain. It made up for the burrito I ordered from Iguana’s the night before that had a piece of meat in my rice and bean burrito—the manager quickly refunded my money after I showed him the product and explained my standing on eating meat.

img_2088On our way back, we took the scenic route down the 1 freeway through Big Sur. We stopped along the coast and walked down to the beach to take a few photos. We also stopped at Bixby Bridge before driving down the 101 for four and a half hours. I arrived home at 1:30AM, needing to wake up early for work the next day.

img_2111I definitely want to start traveling more often. The trip to San Jose set me back on my work at my job, and I ended up getting in trouble from my supervisor for missing a couple assignments, but it was definitely worth it to have lit the fire of the love to travel all over again. Now more than ever do I want to spend the rest of my life seeking knowledge and exploring the world.

The Start of Planning My Life with Filofax

Last week I bought a monochrome Filofax in the A5 size from Amazon for $79.95. If you haven’t already heard of a Filofax, it’s leather-bound binder that holds a planner system for stationery enthusiasts. My first impressions: it’s beautiful.

img_0004What’s a Filofax?

The Filofax is basically a really expensive six-ring binder that holds special-sized paper you can really only find in niche stores or online. It’s the community that convinced me to buy a Filofax instead of a regular three-ring binder you would find at your local Target.

The Filofax I chose was the Original model in monochrome, and needless to say it is gorgeous. The white stitching contrasts the high quality black leather very well, and the white leather strap holding the signature snap button is perfect. I’ve already inputted some important dates like birthdays and my trip to San Jose next weekend.

The Filofax came packaged by the manufacturer’s cardboard protector tightly surrounded by Amazon’s cardboard packaging. Already inside the Filofax rings came the inserts from 2016, which was a pleasant surprise considering there are still three months left in the year. Inserts for 2017 also came packaged separately in plastic that I’ll store in my drawer until the New Year comes closer. I’ll place washy tape over the outdated 2016 pages to repurpose them so they don’t go to waste.

A Method for the Madness

What really encouraged me to get a Filofax were the stationery enthusiasts that have posted videos on YouTube of how they use their Filofax or faux Filofaxes. Seeing all the methods people use to plan all the facets of their lives encouraged me to do the same with my life.

We’re not all two-dimensional people, and we have many different aspects of our lives that we need to manage. I like to write, read, blog, lift weights, run, practice yoga and eat right, and all that takes time that needs to be properly planned for in order to juggle everything without having to sacrifice my sanity. The Filofax will help me manage my achievements.

Prior to this, I’ve been using a Midori Traveler’s notebook for at least two years, and that’s been a great method to write my analog journals and keep a customized bullet journal. I also constantly use sticky notes, so I don’t waste unnecessary space in the Midori or my Filofax. I plan to use the Midori as the notebook I’ll carry with me around cities and trips, while I leave the Filofax at the hotel or in my room.

img_1976Plans for the Future

Eventually, I’ll create my own inserts and develop my own Filofax style to manage my life. I also plan to learn to use excel better so I can develop my own inserts and print them using my own printer. I eventually want put a crafting table in my room so I can develop my own stuff and decorate my things until my heart’s content.

img_1982The Filofax is just a very beautiful method for planning that can probably be accomplished with a three-ring binder and a couple dividers, but I’m high maintenance and I love the quality of the Filofax. Having a dedicated planner to manage my life helps to develop good life habits while having a way to express my own style in an elegant way.

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