FEBRUARY 2018

 
#32 Intense Student Art.jpg

#32 Intense Student Art

01 February 2018 // San Diego, California

I gave a little presentation at the cutting-edge, forward-thinking high school in town this week. Their student art on display was full of so many thought provoking pieces. I could’ve brought some of them to MOCA to hang on the walls and nobody would’ve questioned it.

Confederate Kermit… Captain Kim Jong Un… my art classes in school definitely weren’t this Black Mirror-ish.

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#33 Mound Visit

02 February 2018 // San Diego, California

“We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything – what a waste!”

–Andre Aciman

Rock a soft and open heart.

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#34 Gaglione Bros.

03 February 2018 // San Diego, California

Wake up and smell the cheesesteaks. Pregaming for the Super Bowl with San Diego’s best wit whiz, if you weren’t sure which side we were on.

Some guy in a Pats shirt walked in here while we were eating. Bold move, mister. Like… there’s totally a Red Lobster for you across the street.

#35 Super Bowl Win

04 February 2018 // San Diego, California

This is us after the Super Bowl.

This is not us after This Is Us.

#36 New Seeds of Contemplation

05 February 2018 // San Diego, California

“We are so convinced that past evils must repeat themselves that we make them repeat themselves. We dare not risk a new life in which the evils of the past are totally forgotten; a new life seems to imply new evils, and we would rather face evils that are already familiar. Hence we cling to the evil that has already become ours and renew it from day to day, until we become identified with it and change is no longer thinkable.”

–Thomas Merton

Book No. 02 of 2018

It felt like a good time for another Thomas Merton read. This one was packed full of so much good stuff. It wasn’t a long read, but it was so rich that you couldn’t just brush through it.

I’ve been finding more and more value in contemplation over the past few years, and this book seems to offer a very big picture look at what contemplation is– and definitely what it isn’t. I can see how this book could even frustrate some, continually raising the bar for how to approach one’s spiritual life in humility. I’ll definitely be returning to this book a lot.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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#37 Amazon Books

06 February 2018 // La Jolla, California

How I rate what I read:

5 – A favorite. This book was life changing to some extent. The difference between a great book and a favorite is if I feel like I might be a better person after reading or if I’ll be returning to the book’s wisdom many times in the future. I’ll maybe give 2-3 books this ranking each year.

4 – A great book. Most books I read land here. This usually means there isn’t anything I would’ve changed about it.

3 – A pretty good book. Maybe I would’ve changed a few things here or there, but reading it was still well worth my time.

2 – I probably didn’t need to read that, or it didn’t meet expectations. Usually I rate books 2 stars if none of these other descriptions fit.

1 – I wish I read something else instead. I give this ranking to maybe 1-2 books a year.

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#38 Run the Bay

07 February 2018 // San Diego, California

I’m running again.

Deanna and I are signed up to do the San Diego half-marathon in about a month, meaning my long runs are getting longer, and I’ve had to get creative with weekdays, logging in a handful of miles on my lunch break or just before work. If only we had a shower in the office! Sorry errybody.

Last year, I decided to get a physical checkup for the first time in years since I should probably stop taking my health for granted. The jolly doctor, who might as well have been an Egyptian version of the doctor from the Simpsons, told me in between chuckles– “27! The golden age! You should be in top health!”

Thankfully, I was. But I started to think– what on earth am I doing with my golden age? I started to feel convicted that I wasn’t scaling volcanoes or training for Pyeongchang.

The healthiest I ever felt was two years ago when prepping for the Eugene Half Marathon. Having a concrete goal and a training schedule goes a long way to making sure I actually run an ideal amount… and I know this is a really cliche thing to say, but it helps me feel way better about the rest of my life.

My sleeps are better. My mood is up. I have more energy. All those good vibey things runners don’t shut up about, they’ve been all true for me.

Bodies and souls may be two things, they aren’t necessarily two things totally isolated from each other. Bodies were still deliberately crafted to work in certain ways, and I love that.

#39 Donuts

08 February 2018 // Carlsbad, California

I am giving so much social media love to The Goods in Carlsbad right now for their amazing donuts and extra friendly staff. As if donuts weren’t already a very good way to win my affection, sending me home with a few extra for my friends is a great way to make sure my friends know of their radness.

Simple but great lesson for businesses, organizations, or even people in general– make people feel great! Add donuts whenever possible.

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#40 Office Olympics

09 February 2018 // San Diego, California

Opening ceremony for Office Olympics. Fewer drones, but more muffins.

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#41 Osso Bucco Plate

10 February 2018 // Carlsbad, California

So this turned out to be an extremely eventful weekend, sandwiched in between two really full weeks- mostly good things though! One of the highlights was definitely the discovery of Tip Top Meats, their little in-house German eatery, a new place for me to get South African boerwoers and this mega plate of osso bucco.

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#42 Year of the Dog

11 February 2018 // San Diego, California

Welcome to the Year of the Dog everybody!

I was really hoping to get to go all out for Tét this year, because honestly, I’m way more partial to dogs than last year’s roosters or next year’s pigs, but this weekend got so full between having to handle car registration stuff all Saturday, going for an 8 mile run that night, and feeling a little sick afterwards.

Taking those lazy days with grace doesn’t come easy for everyone. Out of necessity, Sunday instead turned into one of those, which is also a pretty appropriate way to celebrate the year of the dog I suppose. I ended up putting a good dent in Matt Haig’s new book, which I’m totally loving.

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#43 Sentra

12 February 2018 // San Diego, California

Financial concerns are strangely universal. People in real poverty have it rough but ironically, others in a much more comfortable position spend a similar amount of time worrying about it.

I try not to worry about finances too much, but we’re not exempt. With both of us working full time we have more financial access than we’ve ever had in the past, but with what’s left of student loans and the cost of moving to and living in California and medical things and grown-uppy stuff, we’ve also had a more expensive year than ever before.

One thing that kept getting more and more expensive was the cost of hanging onto my car. I realized if I were to do everything I needed to, I would’ve spent the equivalent of a down payment of a newer car that didn’t need a bunch of work. So over the weekend we got a pretty good deal on a pretty lightly used Sentra.

This weekend made me feel so privileged… that we have the means and opportunity to solve a problem that simply. That to us, big financial concerns are still a long ways from threatening anyone’s survival. That statistically, we have it easier than almost everybody else, even if it doesn’t feel like it on a day-to-day level.

Perspective matters. It’s harder to be generous and compassionate when daily concerns make us forget how good we actually have it.

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#44 Missions Beyond

13 February 2018 // San Diego, California

“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now."

–Fred Rodgers

Kudos to Brad Montague for putting this truth nugget into my awareness.

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#45 Valentine’s Pho

14 February 2018 // San Diego, California

Pho isn’t for first dates. Generally speaking. I mean, it would totally win my heart, but I think that the general population is less eager to overlook the slurping noises or drops of soup flung into their faces from rice noodles being whipped all over the place.

For us on our sixth Valentine’s together and on a busy weeknight, pho was just right. The crazy restaurant-going crowds tend to leave those hidden gem hole-in-the-wall places alone.

So thankful for Deanna. For most of our relationship, Valentine’s Day has been a reminder that love isn’t just a good feeling, it’s also showing up when things get really difficult. There’s no one else I’d rather share life and pho with

#46 ISSA Career Night

15 February 2018 // La Jolla, California

“I’ve been studying marketing and business but I realized I don’t actually like selling things to people for some company. How do you do it for like a humanitarian cause?”

“Is it really difficult to earn a sufficient income from working for a nonprofit?”

“How do you turn creativity into a career that helps people?”

“If I want a job that allows me to travel, what do you recommend I do while in school?”

This was such a fun evening! I got to meet and share some of my experiences with students in the social sciences at UCSD. Their questions were totally ones I had 5-7 years ago and I loved being able to talk a bit about strategic optimism.

I even got to be interviewed by Wayne the master filmmaker!

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#47 Alann

16 February 2018 // San Diego, California

“You cannot be a man of faith unless you know how to doubt. You cannot believe in God unless you are capable of questioning the authority of prejudice, even though that prejudice may seem to be religious. Faith is not blind conformity to a prejudice- a “pre-judgement.” It is a decision, a judgement that is fully and deliberately taken in light of a truth that cannot be proven. It is not merely the acceptance of a decision that has been made by somebody else.”

–Thomas Merton

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#48 Wakanda Weekend

17 February 2018 // San Diego, California

How much did I love Black Panther? Oh man. I expected to love it and it exceeded expectations. That paint a picture?

I loved the attention to detail, the culturally rich visuals, the way this superhero movie transcends its genre’s tendencies to oversimplify moral questions, the Dora Milaje. I really loved the vision for African advancement that still looks African- not one built on Western notions of what modern looks like.

But most of all, I loved the crowns and the dashikis and the looks of joy on the crowds around the theatres over the weekend. It was a long overdue moment. All storytellers should take note of what a big difference good representation makes.

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#49 Panda Bear

18 February 2018 // San Diego, California

The plan was to go to LA this weekend, but we got sick and decided that staying around town was a better call. It didn’t really feel like a long weekend, but I’d say we did our best to make the most of it.

Despite the unexpected, we found time to go on a run, play a bunch of Codenames, read to each other, obsess over Black Panther, discover a new Filipino-Hawaiian restaurant, and hang out with this big guy.

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#50 Bonne Table

19 February 2018 // San Diego, California

Cold weather in San Diego makes me happy. Lately I’ve been getting that (at this point really predictable) itch to get out of town and go somewhere. And the plan is to do that very soon! In the meantime, I’m enjoying this chill that makes it feel like I’m somewhere else, somewhere a lot further north.

#51 Ready Player One

20 February 2018 // San Diego, California

“That was when I realized, as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real.”

–Ernest Cline

Book No. 03 of 2018

This book was fun. I used to think Ready Player One was a Kurt Vonnegut title- partly because it sounds like some of his book titles, and partly because Vonnegut is kind of involved in Ernest Cline’s story. Kind of.

Instead, it’s a story set inside a world that’s basically the internet meets virtual reality, where a Willy Wonka-level contest breaks out to see who would end up inheriting the internet company that pretty much runs the world. It all sounds complicated, but it was easy enough that Deanna and I started taking turns reading chapters to each other as a bedtime story. A very, very nerdy bedtime story.

⭐⭐⭐

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#52 How to Stop Time

21 February 2018 // San Diego, California

“And, just as it only takes a moment to die, it only takes a moment to live. You just close your eyes and let every futile fear slip away…”

“If I could love without fear of being hurt? If I could taste the sweetness of today without thinking of how I will miss that taste tomorrow? If I could not fear the passing of time and the people it will steal? Yes. What would I do? Who would I care for? What battle would I fight? Which paths would I step down? What joys would I allow myself? What internal mysteries would I solve? How, in short, would I live?”

–Matt Haig

Book No. 04 of 2018

Wow. This book really got to me, taking on our complicated relationship with time and channeling it into a truly creative story.

The novel follows Tom, a 430 year old who literally doesn’t look a day over 41. He lives with a rare condition that makes him age ridiculously slowly and gives him a lifespan of about a millennium. In exchange for being cared for and being allowed to take on a new identity every eight years, Tom occasionally has to do dirty work to keep his true existence a secret. His society of long-lifers have seen what superstition and prejudice have done to others like them literally throughout history.

But of course, all that drama is on the back-burner to the real questions that a 430 year old has to face. How do you find love when you outlive your lovers by leaps and bounds? What does parenthood look like? How do you live in such isolation? This book made me feel. A lot.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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#53 Fun Job

22 February 2018 // San Diego, California

“Failure is a part of life, it’s part of building character and growing. Without failure who would you be?"

–Nick Foles

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#54 Lunch Break Softball

23 February 2018 // San Diego, California

Lunch break softball has been happening and I am in full support of it.

Thanks for tuning in to my shortstop livestream.

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#55 Auntie Ella’s Story

24 February 2018 // Carson, California

There’s no one alive I admire as much as my Auntie Ella.

Her story has so many chapters but they always come back to family and selfless giving. She moved to the US on her own in the 50’s to work as a doctor. After a few years she went back to the Philippines and treated entire villages. She returned to her own private practice in Philly, enjoyed an adventurous marriage full of flying planes with my Uncle Bill, and continued to host medical missions to the Philippines.

She’s helped support medical expenses for family members and life-saving surgery for someone with CHD. She renovated a church, brought a library to a village, and treated that whole township to burgers. She helped fund years of education for a young priest with no resources, a kid from the slums who is now an X-ray tech, and... me.

She turns 85 in a couple months and I knew I had to use her birthday as an opportunity to talk her into sharing her story in front of a camera. As time goes by, I’ll be more and more thankful I did this.

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#56 Visiting Dad’s Site

25 February 2018 // Cypress, California

Visited my dad with my aunts.

“What was he doing in 1973?”

“What’s the significance of that?”

“He was my age back then.”

“He was already in the US then… actually, I think that was the year he finished his medical residency and applied to live permanently in the United States. He needed to go back to the Philippines to get a document, but it worked out perfectly with our parents' golden anniversary.”

“Sounds like a pretty big year.”

“That was what he really wanted to do- to become a doctor and live in the United States.”

“He did it.”

“He did it.”

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#57 Dormified Office

26 February 2018 // San Diego, California

I just gave my office wall the college dorm room treatment, except with Tanzanian farmers instead of Bob Marley.

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#58 Target Night

27 February 2018 // San Diego, California

On paper, it seemed like February was gonna be a chill month. With trips ramping up for the rest of the year, most likely, I was thinking this would be the calm before the storm.

Except it wasn’t really that calm.

Surprises with sickness and car issues and finances and all kinds of things threw quite a few curveballs. A lot of good and a lot of not-so-good.

When life gets like that, it really makes a simple night of going to Target and getting those things you’re overdue to actually buy real nice.

Now here’s hoping for a lot less drama in March. I’m hoping it’ll be a good one.

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#59 Somi Somi

28 February 2018 // San Diego, California

It was just a week ago that Oliver posted a photo from Some Some and now look at where we are!! Enjoying ube and black sesame swired ice cream out of a taiyaki fish. A huge thanks for the treats and great hangs last night. Love talking conferences, creative endeavors, work and passion projects, travel, and making the most of life. And I’m definitely coming back here a bunch too.

 
Philippe Lazaro365