While waiting for the noon hour to be able to complete a class assignment, I thought I’d drop a quick post as I once again try to keep up with regular blog updates.

Not too long ago, I came across a photo sharing site called YouPic. I don’t recall exactly how I found it, but it may have been while I was searching for online photography courses. At the time, I created an account, but left it unattended for months while I debated with myself whether the cost of becoming a “premium” member was worth getting access to the site’s myriad courses.

Well, earlier this week, after receiving from the site a discount code, I pulled out my credit card and made the leap. And so far, I’m reasonably happy with the decision. YouPic’s wide array of courses I think will be useful and the available interaction with other photographers who can rate photos you’ve uploaded based on “composition,” “creativity,” “technical quality,” and “content.” So far, none of the five, or so, pictures I’ve uploaded have been rated, but I’m hopeful they will be eventually.

I’m trying to make the site a place to improve my skills, but also using it (ideally) as a spur to get me to take more pictures.

So, I will hopefully be uploading pictures to YouPic on a fairly regular basis. But unlike my Flickr account, which I basically use as a large repository, my YouPic account will be much more curated. Only selected pictures I particularly like (and are “artsy”) will be shared there.

I’ve already linked it to my Facebook account, so you may have seen some of them already, but if you’re interested check out my page at:

I believe the public can view the pictures without an account.

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Six years ago today, I was lucky to witness first hand the four years of work come to fruition with the signing of Senate Bill 232 as Act 1 of 2011. Civil Unions had become the law in Hawaii.


At the time, I was unemployed, but volunteering in Governor Abercrombie’s Policy Office, so I was able to attend the signing ceremony at Washington Place as Part of the Governor’s Office. I didn’t have to scramble for a ticket and was able to witness history without depriving someone else the opportunity.

It was a proud day for me and for so many others who had worked so hard to get to that point. There aren’t many things in my life of which I am more proud to have been a part.

Of course, a little less than three years later, marriage equality would become law. I was lucky to have been in attendance for that signing ceremony as well, but that’s for another time.

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There’s a part of me that doesn’t like being busy. When I am, like over the last several weeks, it disrupts an otherwise stable routine. I’m also far more likely to use any downtime to do… well, nothing. So exercise doesn’t really happen and I’m less likely to put effort into eating well.

On the other hand, when I do have downtime I get twitchy. My thoughts become more detached and I have a more difficult time getting and staying motivated. My brain struggles to focus. For me, boredom leads to an increased likelihood that I’ll spend money on (arguably unnecessary) gadgets. Boredom leads to laziness (which also makes exercising a challenge), and depression.

At least partially, my dysthymia has always been tied to my level of productivity; I always feel better when I’m productive. Though I’ve been really busy, a bit stressed, and very tired since I started school, I’ve also felt positive, upbeat.

As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted here anything regularly since starting school in mid-January. But my first class is nearly at an end and I’m finding I have a bit less strain on my time. And though part of me is pleased to have a bit more time to breathe, I’m now struggling a bit to find tasks to keep me focused.

Earlier today, when I thought it a good idea to sit and write something, my mind was blank. There was no topic that sprang to mind which spurred me to write. Forcing myself to do the work of a post, this is the topic I settled on.

Ultimately, I’m a strong proponent of having some down time at least once a week. The ongoing problem for me is finding a balance. I don’t mind too much being really busy. If I could better manage my time, though, I’d be able to be more consistently productive.

It’s all a work in progress, but as part of my efforts to find balance, I’ve prerecorded two “Music Monday” videos. Hopefully, I will at least be able to post those once a week going forward.

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I don’t usually fawn over pop-stars, celebrities, or otherwise famous or talented people. But I came across this artist randomly (thanks Facebook) earlier today….

And I think I’m in love.

Maggie Rogers is gorgeous and incredibly talented. I’ve been watching/listening to her YouTube channel for the last couple of hours and eagerly look forward to her EP release on Friday.

So, while I’ve still not found the time or energy to record my own videos, hopefully you enjoy “Alaska” as much as I do.

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It seems my streak of irregular posts continues….

Right now I’m sitting in Kahului airport catching one of the last flights back to Honolulu. I’ve been here roughly 12 hours, spending time with an old friend for his birthday. And while I’m sitting waiting to board, I thought I would at least start a new post.

Last Monday (1/16) I started graduate school. While I’m enjoying it so far, it hasn’t been really what I expected; though to be fair, I didn’t really know what to expect. The last time I was in school was 15 years ago for my undergraduate degree.

Nothing I say here is meant as a complaint; I’m thrilled to be a student again. Thrilled to be pursing a graduate degree and thrilled to be doing so from such a prestigious school as George Washington University. But it hasn’t been without its stressors and frustrations.

Maybe that stress is a product of participating in the first weekend of Kuleana Academy during the same weekend my before first “big” assignment for school was due.

So first, school. I knew it would be self-directed study. I knew I’d have to set my own schedule and complete assignments at my own pace within certain parameters. That’s all true. But I also expected that assignments would have a natural progression, that assignments would build on previous lessons. At least for the last assignment of my first week, that didn’t seem to me to be the case. So I ended up spending significant time just trying to figure out what was ultimately expected.

After spending more hours that I thought would be required so early in the course and with a deadline looming, after several rewrites of my paper, I finally just submitted the assignment. Thoroughly unhappy with the final product, I was sure it wouldn’t garner me much better than a C, I uploaded my paper and had a twinge that maybe I was, in fact, not cut out for this.

Add to all of this a non-stop, fully busy weekend with a great bunch of people for my first weekend of Kuleana Academy. I don’t get stressed very easily, but last weekend and rewarding as it was, was also one of the most stressful I’ve experienced in quite some time.

I’ll try to write more about my experience in that program later.

In the end, my grade on that assignment was much higher than I expected, which is definitely a good thing. But maybe even more importantly, I gained some confidence from the experience. If I can do well (I got a B+) while being so disappointed in my own work, then I know I can do well in the program. I just need to prioritize and manage my time better. It’s easier than it sounds, but I’m on my way.

Right before beginning to write this post, I my first assignment for Week Two of my first course. Because I knew I was coming to Maui for the day to hang out, I made sure to complete the assignment early. It may not sound like much, but it feels like a big deal to me.

Alright. Well, I should be boarding shortly. Hopefully you enjoyed this quick update.

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