Posts Tagged ‘ Writing

Talk Versus Conversation

I was on the bus home today, reading blogs on my phone (yes, awesome I know), when I came upon a post I had been meaning to read for weeks titled, “The Forgotten Power of Conversation“. Expecting a sort of top ten list of conversation tips, was surprised to find something a bit more thought provoking:

Conversation is becoming a lost art, replaced by endless talk. To converse is to share ideas and learn from one another in the process. It demands listening and talking in equal degrees. Talk is one-way. All those people endlessly talking into their cellphones, the TV chat shows, the instant pundits on any topic, all of them talk without ceasing yet rarely pause to listen. We live surrounded by constant chatter that amounts to little more than fear of silence.

The distinction between talk versus conversation got me thinking about my own “talk” and instances when I have attempted (successfully) to just fill up space. Started assessing my recent meetings with friends and found that I could easily bucket our dialogue as talk or conversation, and noted just how much more fulfilling real conversation is.

This is where I now write something like, “What do you think? I’m listening” as a crafty way of upping my comment count (!). Totally kidding. Anyway, do check out the article when you get a chance.

Spa Noir in Belltown

Irene reading in our waiting roomLast week Irene, Chrysti and I treated Val to a massage for her birthday. And what better way to celebrate your friend’s birthday than to join her? So that’s what we did. We went to Spa Noir in Belltown and needless to say, it was a pretty euphoric experience. They even gave us our own little room to hang out in as we cycled out for individual treatments. I’ve been to a handful of spas before, but this one is so far my favorite.

It’s not a particularly fancy place, but I think that’s why I like it so much: it’s not pretentious. It’s a trendy little place with brick walls. They don’t even play the usual elevator music or your typical Enya ballad (thankfully). Plus their prices are pretty affordable and they’re open late. So if you’re looking for a spa in Seattle, I recommend checking this place out when looking for a ritzy hotel alternative.

After feeling very relaxed, happy, and completely out of it, we ended up at Ohana for sushi and drinks. It was a pretty perfect night and we all agreed this could very well be a tradition in the making. To which Val replied that she was already going back in two weeks.

Week in Florida

Happy to report there’s free Wifi in the Ft. Lauderdale airport.

So I leave to Atlanta today and I must say, this is probably one of the better trips I’ve had out to Florida. It was on business, but it was good meeting a client with whom I had exchanged so many e-mails and phone calls with, being in the Ft. Lauderdale office, and just enjoying the FL winter weather. (60′s and sunshine, what more can you ask for?)

On the leisure side, Emily and I went to Miami for the first time and even explored a little of South Beach one night. Most notably though, I met up with an old friend for the first time in over five and a half years and it was stellar seeing each other again. It’s crazy to think how Myk and I are friends as we are now, given that we first met pretty randomly on a cruise ship nine years ago. One day we ought to work out seeing each other outside the context of hotel lobbies, cruise port destinations, and casinos. ;) But then again, makes the friendship unique.

Time to board.

En Route to Florida

“Note to self, when traveling to the east coast, book outgoing flight no later than 11AM and no earlier than 7AM,” I thought to myself as I took a seat at the gate for my 6AM flight to Atlanta. A middle-aged man across from me looked up and smiled.

“How you doin’?” he asked.
“Good, just tired,” I replied.
“Where you heading off to?” he continued. He looked anxious.
“Ft. Lauderdale,” I answered “And you?”
“I’m flying out to see my son,” he gushed, “He’s back from Iraq.”

And with the biggest smile, he told me his plans for flying the family down to see him.

Week in Philadelphia

Last week I made my first trip to Philly for a business trip, namely to attend the AA|RF Global Solutions Summit. Besides team events, training in the Philly office, and an evening walk to find the Liberty Bell, the week was much about leveraging data and cross-discipline knowledge sharing. By the time the week was up, my head felt saturated with cookie-this and extended data-that. As things came to a close on Friday, I met up with my friend Tom who is attending Penn Law there. We only got to hang out for roughly twenty-four hours, but it was a grand time.

Independence HallWe met at my hotel and then walked off where he gave me a historical walking tour, telling me stories along the way. This was perfect and reminded me how Tom is just as much a US history nerd enthusiast as I am (if not more). We visited Christ Church, the place of worship for folks like George Washington, Betsy Ross, and Ben Franklin; Independence Hall, where the Declaration and Constitution were signed; Washington Square, where GW’s army lies buried below; as well as other places along the way like Penn’s Landing. Afterward, he took me to a place to get a real Philly cheese steak sandwich and I was far from disappointed. Drippy cheese and all. It was awesome. We then took a cab back to his apartment and hung out for a while, catching up before heading out for a taste of the Philly nightlife where we met some of his friends at bar called Noche. Before calling it a night, at my request we stopped at a diner for some late night food.

Philadelphia Museum of ArtThe next day we had brunch at a greasy spoon-sort of place called Tony’s that was pretty good. It was a clear sunny day and the brisk 30-degree weather made for a refreshing walk. Under Tom’s suggestion, we walked to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Think Rocky.) The place was massive and impressive even from the outside. The exhibits inside really made the day though. My favorite was actually the Arms and Armor exhibit featuring actual European weapons from 1400-1800. That and seeing my favorite hazy Monet’s and Toulouse-Lautrec’s “Moulin Rouge”. The museum did an impressive job in creating an experience as you walked from room to room, from stone archways to a dimly lit reconstructed Indian temple. The museum was a definite win.

All in all, I had a really great time and it was a perfect way to spend my first trip to Philly and see an old friend. Now back in Seattle before I’m off again (next week Florida). It’s going to be a busy week.

View Philly Trip Photoset

2006 Year-in-Review

Here’s my third annual Year-in-Review blog entry! As usual, in words by season, in photos by month. In sum, it was a year of new stuff. Between getting the hang of life at the agency and playing in the roda, ’06 started with new challenges, in the good sort of way. It was also a year of new travel for leisure and business (San Francisco 3x, Las Vegas 2x, New York, San Diego, Minnesota, London, Chicago). And in general, it was trying new things like geocaching, knife defense, and cooking with vegetables.

Winter began with starting at Avenue A | Razorfish’s Advanced Optimization group as team member #4. It was working out at Capoiera, battling colds, and bumming around inside with Ryan. Not to mention one truly golden birthday. Spring was a trip to San Francisco with Ryan, our two-year anniversary, and my second visit to NYC. It was having tea with Val and Case, a murder mystery train ride, David’s curling outing, exploring Seattle parks with Ryan, and my Memorial Day Weekend Cupcake Decorating X-Men 3 Potluck Dinner Party. Summer was nice, but heavily work-filled. It was late nights in the office, time with the team, and a flurry of client presentations. On the flip side it was two trips to Las Vegas (with the INFO crew y la familia), a wedding in Minnesota, summer dinner parties, Mariners games with Darrin and Bree, Capoeira outside, and a long awaited return to practicing Kung Fu <3. Autumn began with DMB at the Gorge and a camping trip with the crew to Deception Pass. It was pumpkin goods, going out on weeknights to watch Frankie and Irene’s bands, and my very first trip to the UK on business. Finally, it was holiday festivities, spending more time with friends, a new role managing projects at work, and a delightful preoccupation with snowmen.

January

Trevor, me, and Kevin at Jillian’s

February

First Hockey Game! Some guy gave me the bear.

March
Weekend in San Francisco
Ryan in San Francisco’s Chinatown

April
AA|RF Analytics Summit in NYC
Analytics Summit in NYC

May
Mariners Game at Safeco Field
Me and Ryan at Safeco Field

June

Las Vegas with the INFO Crew for Fly-Back

July
Paul's 23rd Birthday
Irish Emigrant with Casey and Jules

August
Minnesota: Day 4 - Minehaha Falls
Geocaching at Minehaha Falls, MN

September
Frankie Starr and Marlon Turner Performing at Studio 7
My Brother Performing at Studio 7

October
Roaring 20's Halloween Party - Colorized
Roaring 20′s Halloween Party

November

Can I eat it now? Pumpkin Season!

December
Buckingham Palace Gates
Buckingham Palace Gates

Flashback!
2005 Year-in-Review
2004 Year-in-Review