Monday, May 28, 2018

Sunday #68: The Day After

This Sunday post is coming to you on a . . . Monday!  For my international readers, today is a federal holiday.  For me, it feels a bit like Sunday, but the culture of scientific academics is to work on all the holidays that fall on Monday.  I went to California to visit my partner this past weekend and flew back into Seattle today.  After resting, I finally made it into lab for a little bit.  I've also completed my weekly shop and meal prepped!  It's my goal this week to not eat out with the exception of my daily coffee. 


I'm in a long distance relationship now so I only get to see my significant other once a month.  I returned to California on Friday and had a wonderful weekend.  For once, I traveled without my laptop because I wanted to thoroughly enjoy my time off as well as staying present the whole time.  It was nice to be back in the California sunshine and in more subdued heat.  Thankfully, we were farther north than Los Angeles so the heat wasn't as oppressive and dry as SoCal!  We saw Deadpool 2 which I definitely recommend and went to the zoo.  In line with staying present, I didn't pull out my camera very much, but I took a few snaps at the zoo that I'll share here.


Two people who inspire me to read more are Jane and Nat.  I won't pull the "I don't have time to read" BS.  Frankly, I spend my decompression time watching Netflix and YouTube videos, i.e., rotting my brain.  I purchased a Kindle earlier this year with the intention to read more.  I haven't signed up for an account at the Seattle public library yet so I don't have easy access to free books.  However, I discovered Project Gutenberg which has thousands of free books!  They're mostly classic literature.  I started War of the Worlds this weekend which has been pretty good.  I'm making myself finish the book before I watch the movie.  Any book recommendations?


Work has started to pick up considerably.  I'm working on a few projects that require a lot of literature work, new training, and new techniques.  It's important that I stay focused and keep up my energy, but I've been struggling this past week.  Last Sunday, I had a hypoglycemic episode and just felt poorly as well as nauseated on and off all week.  This really affected my work performance, ability to exercise, and my overall productivity. 

One thing I've noticed is my tendency to eat carbs and not enough protein.  I'm always hungry and just feel like sh*t all of the time.  My partner made me a steak this weekend and I felt markedly better after eating it.  I know eating a vegan/vegetarian diet works for some people, but cutting down on meat always makes me feel weak.  I wonder if I'm iron deficient.  In any case, I need to look after my health a lot better which includes making sure I'm eating well and booking all my checkups soon.  "I love going to the doctor," said no one ever!  

Hope you're all well.  I'm currently unwinding with a cup of chamomile/lavender tea and I'm going to bed soon to get an early start in the morning.  Tell me about your week in the comments?


•  Michelle's take on vegetarianism in a Chinese household.
•  Cherie got married so send her some love!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Last Photoshoot in LA

Somewhere between manuscript works writing, and preparing to relocate a new city, I managed to squeeze in a photoshoot with the vivacious Laura Siskoff in Pasadena.  I met Laura at a restaurant in L.A. and gave her my information.  You know, as I do, because this a completely normal interaction.  Laura is an actress and an incredibly outgoing person so she was game!  Actually, she was the one who had to follow up with me a few times because of my crazy schedule and I'm quite glad she did (I didn't have much of a social life, let alone hobbies towards the end of my graduate program).

We went around Pasadena, stopping by Old Town, abandoned buildings, alleys, and Pasadena City Hall.  It was a really fun afternoon and one of the best shoots I've had the chance to do!  Here are the results of the shoot.  For this shoot, I was aiming for more a fashion photography vibe and moving away from lifestyle.  IMO, I've got a long ways to go still, but every photoshoot is an opportunity for improvement, right?  After taking a bit of break from photography, I look back on images and see my tendency to overexpose in processing because I always aim for bright, airy images.  It's something I'm working to correct with current editing.

Something we definitely went for was getting a variety of looks, angles, and vibes.  Laura brought along a few outfits as well as makeup changes.  As with most of my shoots, we went with the flow and just found the settings and poses organically.  Let me know what you think?  I'm very open to criticism for improvement as well so you won't hurt my feelings if you express them!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday #67: Touching Base

Well, aren't I just the worst blogger?  I'm sorry to have been away from this space for so long.  To be honest with you all, I've been struggling with inspiration to blog.  I'm try to change this by starting a new journal and planning for this space.  Notice physical changes as well?  You know I keep changes subtle and the layout here minimal, but I wanted the space to be inviting for me and you to visit.  Also, hello to the new readers who have found this space!  Rather than recounting What-I-Did-This-Week, I want to use this post to touch base.  


I've lived in Seattle and been at my new job for nearly two months now.  After graduating with my Ph.D., I moved with my advisor to start as a postdoc in the new labs.  A bulk of my coworkers are the same so that hasn't been the biggest stress factor.  The new work culture and institution are both wonderful; everyone has been incredibly welcoming and friendly.  The most stressful part has been moving ahead on science and deadlines whilst setting things up in the new space.  I want to spend this year learning as much biology as possible so it also means adding more projects to my deck.  On the one hand, I'm much happier having a lot to do over nothing to do.  On the other hand, I really come to value my weekends off a lot more than I did in graduate school for decompression.


Have you heard of Seattle Freeze?  I learned about this social phenomenon within a week of moving here where people are polite, but not perceived as friendly or warm.  It's initially jarring, coming from L.A., where everyone is always talking to you.  I'm slowly meeting people through work, but I spend most of my spare time by myself.  It was a little isolating at first, but now that work is starting to pick up, I'm really enjoying my me time.  I love living alone, especially after five years of roommates.  Rent is far more expensive, but I'm completely in love with my space. 


It's been hard to meet models for photography in Seattle.  I've had about a 33% success rate in accruing new and inspiring subjects.  However, I've been able to work with a local Seattle model who is incredibly creative and we've created some great photos together!  You can peep them on my photography Instagram @alyseliangphoto.  I'll start posting some photoshoots on here again as I am working on reconstructing my photography website.  My friend Olivia told me about a Facebook group called Seattle Open Shoots so I'm going to find models there to improve my portfolio.   

Well, this post was a whole lot of text!  I need to get back into blogging more so my goal is to have at least one post up a week, whether that be photography, musings, or favorites posts.  I'm going to start carrying my camera around a few days a week so I can capture images when inspiration strikes!  Hope you'll stick around.