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This is the first Thanksgiving that I’ve spent alone, as in, completely alone. The circumstances for this are complicated (ok not that complicated), but aren’t depressing nor worth explaining. Also, not really the point of this short blurb of a post. The point, actually, is this: though this Thanksgiving was spent alone, uncelebrated, I have so much to celebrate, so much gratitude for the people in my life, who give me meaning and hope, laughter and warmth, who make this really weird, random chaos of existence make sense. And so maybe there was no turkey or cranberry sauce, stuffing or pumpkin pie this year, but there was a turkey bundt cake (in the likeness of, not made with or flavored as, though I would’ve enjoyed that too) that a most precious bb had left on my doorstep. There were messages exchanged with said precious bb and a few most dear friends. There was a face-time call with DD, who’s in Washington DC with our Aunt Anna and Uncle Mike, with my dad, who had just gotten home from a Thanksgiving lunch before heading to the hospital for a long, sleepless night of work, and with my mom Stephen Dean and Melinda who were in the thick of a multi-hour car ride from Southern California to slightly less Southern California and delayed by monsoon-like downpour on the 5. And then there was me, walking through the deserted Palo Alto streets that on any other day are bustling with techies and students and families and long-time Palo Altians who are probably sick of us all. Me, washing dishes and tidying my frigid, messy apartment. Me, fighting my way through Thanksgiving day crowds to stock up on, contrary to everyone else, groceries for everything but Thanksgiving.

And though these events were disjointed across towns and states and countries, I’m moved beyond words, thankful beyond comprehension, for all of these people I’m so lucky to share in these moments with! Though I may have been alone, though I may have only eaten eggs and english muffins today (sacrilegious, I know), I’ve celebrated a million times over, and am absolutely full full full <3. 


Day Trip to Tijuana


Hello, grown up kiddies! This is Alexander (Isabel’s older – but not oldest – brother). Some people call me Deedz. I live in Los Angeles and work in the film industry. While I love it here, sometimes the constant traffic jams and hipster-mobbed foodie joints can be a little tiresome, and I feel an itch to get away! So one recent Saturday morning, feeling spontaneous, my friends John, Kevin and I piled into my car at 3AM and set out for Tijuana. We arrived around 6AM and as the sun was rising, walked across the U.S.-Mexico border. TJ is vibrant and friendly. We went mainly in search of authentic foods to stuff ourselves with, opting to skip over the party/red-light-district aspect that the city is often associated with. Even though we only stayed for the day, I feel like we got a vital taste of Mexican culture and I definitely plan to return in the near future: next time, we’ll go even deeper into the heart of Mexico!















Ice Cream Social For Grown Ups


Do you miss being hyper? Do you miss cotton candy? Do you miss sun? Do you miss what hot dogs meant to you before they meant ground up pig scraps? Do you miss having food smeared on your face cuz you didn’t know what a mouth was? Do you miss peeing your pants? Do you miss being so dumb that everything in the world was fun? I do too and it’s called being in 5th grade. And what was the best part of 5th grade?! ICE CREAM SOCIAL!!!! (Of course these are not exclusively held for 5th graders, I know that) but 5th grade is the general time of life that your ice-cream-social-going selves peak, beyond which you can expect a steady decline of enthusiasm, immunity to fat, and sexual vigor. But that’s why god made Smorgasburg: the closest you’ll ever come to heaven/your childhood ever again (just see “baby” below). The first time I discovered this place was on a sun-drenched Saturday stroll in Williamsburg, the pulse of spring reverberating through the streets as we approached an inviting mass of pedestrian traffic. In my subsequent stupor, I stood wide-eyed as plate after plate flashed in front of my face: ice cream sandwich pork belly buns chicken ‘n waffles milkshakes fries donuts bubble tea bbq baguettes macaroons salt water taffy (this could go on forever and I was literally just overcome by exhaustion) so to make a long story short, we ran in and stuffed as much food would fit down our throats despite having just eaten two bags of pastries…and then went back to Brooklyn Heights to do it again the following day. Here are some pictures:


Mood Update


I really feel like a pubescent butt sniffer again (it’s ok, I mean that in the colloquial sense). I have all the telltale signs: mood swings, fantasies of being strapped down against my will while having macaroni and cheese shoved down my throat, spontaneous and unpredicted bouts of sobbing (see: mood swings), obsessive finger curling of my hair, eating my own fingernails, being too lazy to consider doing laundry, and general distractedness (debatably early onset dementia).

All I’ve done the past three nights is sit in bed with kendrick cranked to 1 above mute so that my white yuppie roommates don’t get spooked to find that their well behaved Asian roommate blasts rap while eating 6 take-out containers of Chinese food alone in granny panties from 6th grade. And after that, you can find me choking down whatever candy and “oriental” snack mixes (thanks Lisa) I can find stuffed in unmarked plastic bags on the floor, making phone calls to friends and family to feel less embarrassing. But even if this all makes me feel like a cheap prostitute, I can’t get enough of it. I stretch out to lay on my newly dressed bed (thanks for the sheets, mama) and feel like a P.I.M.P. as I melt into my flannel sheets and picture gold chains and jewels falling weightlessly from the sky, Kendrick bumping in the background “I been hustlin all day this a way, that a way…,” the taste of chinese food stuck in my throat and a smile spreading across my face like a pair of tanned & oiled legs easing into splits. And I succumb to a complete state of relaxation that I never want to wake up from. Today it feels damn good to be 21 and hungry.


It’s Fall in Ann Arbor

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Or at least it’s supposed to be. Actually a weird pseudo-fall where the streets are littered with leaves and everything smells like pumpkin pie yet we’re all bogged down and stenched with a heavy heat of 80+ forecasts to come (roughly 27 celsius, Jonatan;)). But I wanted to update since it’s been awhile, and felt in the mood for fall. These are some photos I took in random places of Ann Arbor featuring (but not in order): downtown streets and scenes, Jacob and his cat, my mom and electronic menus, bored server in elevator of a steak house (yes I AM obsessed with Robert Frank so sorry for the poorly done imitation), DD with the Beatles bob pounding on his drum pad, Keaton and smoke, my parent’s house, and a trying-to-be-epic-not-so-epic college party. Circa last year/late 2011. All taken with my 50mm Canon film camera courtesy of DD Gao, all unedited (for which maybe I should apologize but hope you enjoy nonetheless)