Over the past month I’ve realized several things about myself. Things which I’m going to process through real quick for your reading enjoyment.

Don’t touch me softly

I’ve long been a fan of minimal physical contact. With everyone. Family, customers, friends, neighbors, strangers, athletes, fictional characters, nonfictional characters–it doesn’t matter, don’t touch me.

However, sometimes when people touch me it doesn’t bother me as much. Come up behind me and give me a brief, sort-of painful shoulder rub? I actually don’t mind. Firmly pat me on the back as you walk by? Meh, sure whatever. Caress my arm and say it’s good to see me? No.

What (I think) I realized is that if you touch me softly, I will hate it. If you are firm about it, it might not ruin my day.

I’m so urban

Sure, I grew up in Hillsboro. Yes, Portland does intimidate me still a little bit. And also yes, Portland is not that urban. But still I’m showing great signs of improvement:

  • I don’t get (as) stressed when I have to drive around Portland anymore.
  • Parallel parking on fleek rn.
  • I know where 20-25% of the restaurants, coffee shops, and bars are in Portland.
  • I only get lost 10% of the time while driving in Portland.
  • Sometimes I don’t have to use GPS!
  • My clothes don’t give off as many basic suburban vibes.

My social interaction limit is still mysterious to me

I know I’m an introvert. I know I need alone time to recharge. But what I never realize is when I need to escape a social situation to recharge.

All of a sudden my social gas tank will be empty and I will shut down and not understand why. Some of my close friends can recognize the symptoms and maybe guess what is going on, but I never can.

For example, the other night was a work party. It was really fun, there was bowling (ew), music, pizza, and… okay I was really most excited about the pizza. Anyway, it was really fun, and the party was still going strong, but all of a sudden, I found myself sitting down, zoning out, and realizing how much I wanted to go home.

So, I stood up, walked out the door, got into my car and drove off, without saying a thing to anyone. No goodbyes. No nothing. (Actually I did get a piece of pizza in a to-go box on my way out.)

It wasn’t until the next morning where I replayed the scene in my head and realized how hard I hit that social wall.

Every. Single. Time.

I have recovered from my chronic need for cupcakes

For a span of 8-10 months last year, I constantly wanted a cupcake. Always. And I didn’t know why. I would just be sitting there, minding my own business and then CUPCAKE I NEED A CUPCAKE PLZ HELP.

That was a weird stage of life and I’m happy to say I’ve recovered.


Music I don’t want to wait for

I may still be wearing out Taylor’s 1989, but there are several albums coming out this year that I am really excited for. Accordingly, I have recently decided in the past 10 minutes that I would create a list of my most anticipated albums in order to organize my excitement. The following list is roughly in order of album release date, although who knows if someone on the list might pull a Beyonce and drop their album as I type this sentence.

Nope, didn’t happen.

  1. American Beauty/American Psycho, Fall Out Boyamerican beauty:psycho
  2. Smoke + Mirrors, Imagine Dragons.
    smoke and mirrors
  3. The Firewatcher’s Daughter, Brandi Carlile.firewatcher's daughter
  4. Piece By Piece, Kelly Clarkson.
    kelly clarkson
  5. TBD, Kendrick Lamar.
  6. TBD, Joy Williams. (Half of the now-defunct band The Civil Wars.)
  7. TBD, Adele.
  8. TBD, Mumford and Sons.
  9. TBD, Gwen Stefani.
  10. TBD, Jojo. (Remember Jojo?!)

I’m also curious to see what Frank Ocean and Fergie release this year… could be some good things from them as well. But also maybe not WE WILL JUST HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE.

Did I forget anyone?


Selfie trouble

Before I start, you should know that I’m writing from Astoria, where I am sitting in a little coffee shop on the river, and sea lions are swimming by and popping up right outside the window.


I started writing this post with the desire to write, but now approximately 15 minutes into trying to write, I keep getting distracted by stupid things like that gorgeous view and these misplaced quotation marks:



I came to one of my favorite places in the world, Astoria, yesterday to have some time to get away and get some stuff done. This morning I went on a beautiful, windy, sunny walk and I was trying to add that walk to my Snapchat story and before I knew it I was taking selfies in front of a homeless man who looked at me like I was the reason for all bad things in this world.

I had to take stock of my life for a second after that.

I might not take a selfie ever again.

Or maybe I will, and I will purposefully do it in front of people as a social experiment to see who throws shade my way. Or at least that will be my excuse next time I am caught taking a selfie.

*Stares out window for 10 minutes*

Earlier today I was leaving Tripadvisor reviews for one of my favorite coffee shops here in Astoria (Street 14 Coffee) and for the hotel I stayed at last night, and as I was writing I realized that it’s my review so I can be weird if I want! It ended up being strangely fun, and I know that if I were to read a review like that I would be like “lolz I like it.”

Then that got me thinking. It would be so cool to be able to review cool places in my own writing voice all the time, and I bet people would like it. And then it hit me: that’s my new dream job. A travel writer. A funny travel writer. A funny, informative travel writer. Plus, it combines two of my favorite things:

beer and ice cream!
tennis and tv shows!
compliments and Taylor Swift!

writing and traveling!

There, it’s settled, I am now a travel writer. The only thing left to do, which can’t be hard, is find out how I am going to get paid to do this.


Table Dancing

In 2010, I spent the month of May in Europe and Northern Africa with 20 college friends on a trip called Juniors Abroad. Draaaaammaaaa. Just kidding it was actually harmonious and amazing.

One of the stops along the way was Sorrento, Italy, a town overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea (you know, the Tyrrhenian Sea). When in Sorrento, be sure to catch a game of Texas Hold Them.

IMG_3074IMG_3116Back to me.

One evening a group of us were strolling down one of the main roads when we ran into a guy around the same age as us who wanted to talk to us. This guy had a name but I can’t remember it, so we will call him Carlo. Carlo didn’t really speak English, but we somehow learned that he recently moved to Sorrento from Brazil. Now I had recently studied in Mexico, and my Spanish was much better than the nothing it is now, so Carlo and I tried to communicate in the vaguely similar languages that are Spanish and Portuguese.
It didn’t work.

Miraculously, we figured out that Carlo was trying to invite us to a club, and somehow we thought it would be a good idea to follow this stranger that we couldn’t understand as he lead us from the main downtown area to poorly lit streets with no promised club in sight.

Several times we almost turned back around, but for some reason or another we kept following him. I gave us a 60/40 chance of surviving.

After 10-15 minutes, Carlo delivered us to our promised club, and upon entering, we were both pleased that it was an actual club, and confused by the lack of party-goers and staff. Looking around the space, it appeared to be closed, with the exception of about 15 people dancing on a dance floor off to the side. We scoped the place out and decided it seemed too closed for us to be anywhere but where the other people were.

Whatever, time to party.

We made our way to the dance floor area and nestled into the 2 or 3 tables that were unoccupied. And we danced.

The club was playing a great mix of house music, so obviously I HAD to get up and dance on one of the tables. I mean, I had just been in Mexico and that was what people did there! The other people looked at me with slightly confused expressions, but the music was loud enough that I didn’t care.

The longer we were at this club, the more we realized that nobody else was coming in, and it was just our group and that other group of people that were here originally. And they all seemed to know each other. And when one of our guys tried to dance with some of their girls, they were having none of it. Their group was not interested in having anything to do with us. Whatever.

More good European house music, more dancing.

Then something weird happened. All of a sudden we noticed the music turn down, and their group started gathering up and singing. And then a bunch of middle-aged people walked out singing and one of the boys in their group walked out into the middle of their circle.

And then it dawned on us. We were at this kid’s birthday party.

We all looked at each other as the pieces came together. The club was empty because it was rented out. Nobody else was coming in because this was a private event. The bar was closed because these were teenagers!

Then it sunk in: I had just table-danced at a random 16-year old’s birthday. In front of his parents.

Nonchalantly, we grabbed our things and bolted out the door.

To this day it is a mystery why Carlo brought us there… Was he just pretending to be a club promoter so that eventually he will have enough experience to actually be a club promoter? Was Carlo a confused person? Was Carlo a figment of our group’s imagination? Was Carlo wronged by the 16-year-old birthday boy and this was his version of revenge? We might never know.

Anyway, moral of the story is if things seem fishy, don’t get on a table and dance.


Every single day is a struggle to not fill my Instagram with kitten pictures.

The struggle is real.

But then I remembered I have a blog where I get to post whatever I want, unlike Instagram where my constant cat pictures would fill up my followers’ feeds, causing them to abandon me and leave me with 15 cat-obsessed followers.

I don’t want to be that person.

Luckily, things are different here, and so without further ado, I present 13 of my favorite kitten pictures from the past month.

I feel like several of you are judging me right now, but I’m going to pretend I don’t care and continue petting the kitten on my lap.

DISCLAIMER: Any of my friends will tell you I am not an animal person. I could care less about most creatures, but there is something magical about a baby cat that is impossible to resist.

I have a feeling that in a few months these precious kittens will be nothing more than obstacles to my happiness.

Do work

Day after day for the past few weeks, I’ve parked myself at our dining room table to get some specific items done, only to find myself watching Youtube and Hulu for hours and re-reading each of your Facebook updates 3-4 times. In light of this, yesterday I decided to get out of the house to be productive.


I’m not quite sure how the city afforded this place, but Hillsboro’s main library is a treasure. The exterior of the building is regal–by American standards, by European standards it probably looks a bit trashy–and the inside of the building is ginormous, scattered with computer labs, event rooms, private study rooms, and probably a swimming pool that I have yet to discover.

photo 1 (8)

Directly behind the building is a park with a pond and plenty of bird-creatures. The people responsible for building the library were smart enough to put giant windows everywhere, so almost anywhere you seat yourself you are guaranteed to be able to creep on multiple senior portrait sessions and homeschool kids on field trips. “Yay let’s throw bread at the ducks! Help, the goose is chasing me! Look a pinecone!”

My view.

My view.

While I did have a very productive day, I would be lying if I told you my staring problem didn’t get the best of me on several occasions. Hopefully the mustached man staring from the upstairs window didn’t frighten anyone (did I mention I’m growing a mustache for Movember?).

Perhaps the best part of the library yesterday was the book sale. I don’t know much about the what, when and why of the sale, but I do know that all DVDs were $4 and all CDs were $2.

Thanks library.

Yours truly,
Tyler with the mustache