I made a little table

Went back into the woodshop and came out with this little guy. Involved just a wee bit of pine wood, some chop sawing, some chamfering, some sanding, some nail gunning, some wood glueing, and some wood staining. 

Thanks to Wood Thumb in San Francisco. 


5 fun places for artists in SF

SF Art Institute

  • What: Free figure drawing every Friday. 5:30–8:30 pm | Studio 13
  • Why: Most spots in the city will charge you for figure drawing, so this is a pretty great deal. The room is also well-lit and atmospheric, and you get a nice view of Coit Tower if you walk around the SFAI buildings.
  • More info

23rd street studio

  • What: Also figure drawing ($18)
  • Why: Because the guy who owns this is really, really charming. He’ll invite everyone to the dining table during the long break in the middle of a session AND  bakes treats and makes everyone tea AND we’ll talk about our favorite movies from the week. On top of that, the poses that the models do here tend to be more dynamic than what I’ve seen elsewhere.
  • More info

Clay by the bay

  • What: Ceramics!
  • Why: Because their classes are great (says my friends – I haven’t been). I keep missing their classes, because of work trips
  • More info

Case for Making

  • What: Well-curated art supplies
  • Why: Because it’s really pretty, because it’s next to Trouble Coffee, because the owner has workshops during the week, because she got a commercial license like a decade ago and decided at some point that she would sell all of her favorite supplies there.
  • More info

3 fish studios

  • What: Print-making studio/store
  • Why: Because they made the print with the bear hugging the state of California piece that’s now on every other tote bag in Valencia. This is another place I haven’t been to. It’s hella far, but close to Case for Making – so recommendation would be to check them out together.
  • More info

Quality of Life: What Matters

I was looking at Numbeo’s quality of life index this weekend. They have different things that factor into their overall index, like climate and safety. I thought: “hey, why not see who – Boston or SF – would win if I looked at all of these objective factors (through my very subjective lens).

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Turns out, Boston does pretty well on everything except climate.

Then I decided to make my own chart with more employment-focused factors that contribute to “quality of life” for me, as a UX designer, in the bay area.

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Ok – so I’m a little biased, but I didn’t just do this to remind myself of why I moved out to San Francisco.

I did this to understand that quality of life is important. All those things that Boston wins at – those are real and I feel the difference daily when I go into the grocery store and a dozen eggs are selling for $6.99. It hurts when I pay rent every month. It’s half my take-home paycheck.

But quality of life is also dependent on many things, and most of the time the things that aren’t captured in these charts are actually the most important ones – the people we care about or choose to love and the career we choose to take.

A new language (off-topic post of the year)

 شما چطور هستین 

“Farsi? That’s some complicated script language that’s kind of similar to Arabic, right?”

Those were my thoughts a year ago. I didn’t even know that it was the language of Iran. But I was curious about it from my daily interactions with Persians in the bay area, so I decided to study it at the ABC Language School in SF.

I’m not sure what I expected. But Farsi isn’t that hard to learn.

It has an alphabet, just like English, except that the letters look different. F is ف, L is ل, N is ن and so forth.

It’s verbs conjugate differently for past and present like the romance languages.

And it has a vocabulary that is initially hard to pick up, but gets easier the more words you know. (E.g. if you know “rain,” the word “raincoat” becomes easy to remember.)

Even the fact that it’s written backwards isn’t that weird anymore. It’s not groundbreaking, it’s just how it is.

That unintelligible world? It makes a little more sense now. Not to mention, whenever I speak even a word of it, I get this reaction from native speakers: