Several nights a week, I practice wushu and taiji (Chinese martial arts) at a school in Chinatown. This has been an important part of my life for the past 20+ years and I travel often to compete or judge at tournaments, both domestic and international.
I live in a one-bedroom apartment in Prospect Heights and enjoy exploring the city on foot or bicycle and reading in a local coffee shop.
I can whip up a meal from disparate refrigerator and pantry sources. Do you have a jar of peanut butter, spaghetti, green onions and sriracha? I'll make you a bowl of delicious late night Sichuan noodles.
I can wait patiently in line at the post office amidst crying babies and disgruntled workers whilst keeping a constant heart rate.
Focussing on and accomplishing my goals, like completing this profile.
- THE ELEMENT by Ken Robinson - I read this as I was embarking on a new career in design and journeying into the world of freelance work. It felt like these were big steps in my life filled with uncertainty. Reading this book made me feel like everything was going to be alright, that I'd find my way, and that I would be successful as long as I had faith in myself and did the difficult, but honest, hard work.
- THE INNER GAME OF TENNIS by W. Timothy Gallwey - I don't play tennis, but I read this book after hearing about how it could be applied to other pursuits and areas of life. I enjoyed this book so much that I've read it twice (which I never do) and taken extensive notes that I look back on sometimes. It has had a huge impact in my pursuit of wushu and taiji (Chinese martial arts) which I've practiced for over 20 years. The book changed how I practice and learn.
- THE FOUR AGREEMENTS by Don Miguel Ruiz - If I had read this book at a different time in my life, I would have laughed at it or been so resistent to it's ideas that I probably would have stopped after the first chapter. This was assigned reading in a class when I went back to college at age 31. I saw that my life was changing and that education was a door towards a new path, so I was open to ideas that challenged my long held beliefs. The four agreements are: Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Always do your best.
- NO-NO BOY by John Okada - This was the first novel I ever connected with as a Japanese American. My family was interned during World War II and this book revealed so many things to me that had been hard to describe and emotions that I couldn't put into words.
MUSIC that I listen to often:
(Disclaimer: I was a DJ for many years in San Francisco, playing clubs and raves and even Burning Man. This continues to guide my musical preferences.)
- I love listening to DJ mixes and letting them take me on a journey. Current favorites by Claptone, Justin Martin, Midland, Four Tet and Max Cooper.
- Have recently been VERY into a series of classic hip-hop anniversary mixtapes by Wax Poetics. De La Soul, The Pharcyde, Tribe Called Quest. FIRE!
- Bonobo, Moderat, The Chemical Brothers, Nils Frahm, Machinedrum
2) Wushu practice - for the focus and never-ending challenge it provides
3) Cooking - it's a bit like meditation for me
4) My friends - they make me want to become a better version of myself
5) Music - it's the soundtrack to life
6) Traveling - it gets me out of my comfort zone and provides a different perspective
- Why it's so hard to find a good burrito in New York
- Just how cold this coming winter will be and how long it will last (and where can I go to escape it)
- You know where to get a delicious burrito in New York