Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Life happens

I follow this blog called Spaces of Gratitude which is written by this lady accounting her life's experiences and eloquently assigning meaning to them with hopes to inspire her readers and nonetheless, vent. Venting always feels nice. (I started following her because she wrote this inspiring piece about why she started doing triathlons)

Her latest post titled "The Bucket List" ended with a lesson that we should learn to embrace the things in life that aren't necessarily planned, and that there's always a positive that can be taken from any adverse situation. 

There was one particular sentence that resonated with me...

What I wanted to tell her, is that there is a happy life on the other side…that each year will get easier until it becomes a part of your past that you wouldn’t want changed because of the person you become because of it. 

I've been through a lot of crap, whether it's because I occasionally live recklessly or because merely, life happens. Whatever the case, what makes this statement so good is because it is true. Simply put, and we hear it all the time, live with no regrets and shame; accept all of life's moments and understand it's there to only make you a better person than you were before. So, I do. 

And we wonder, how do people know such things? Again, it's life; experiences. Some times living boldly costs us, but I'd rather have it that way than living average.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An ironman

No, not what I've been bragging about the past few weeks. This is actually someone you should really model yourself after.

Dick Bavetta. After 39 years of ref'ing in the NBA, he's retiring. That's 2,635 games… consecutively. Yes, he didn't miss a game. Since 1975 folks. He's 74 years old.

Let me put it in another perspective, he ran up and down the court with elite athletes for 48 minutes a game, up until 74 years of age. (I ref'd some intramural games back in college, and to be able to attempt to make accurate calls while running up and down a court, it's not easy. And I was only 19.) I believe I heard he ran about 6 miles most mornings, wherever he was–at the hotel, at the airport, on vacation– for his own good.

Sometimes we get complacent, lazy–whatever you want to call it–with our work, with our spare time, with our body, with our loved ones... settling and not realizing we could be living better.

Thanks Dick. (and I'm not being sarcastic)

Monday, July 28, 2014


Two days ago, I completed my first Ironman. What? I know, I can't believe it some times. At some moments post-race I'm so proud and impressed, and sometimes I feel like "eh, it's just another race completed." Whatever the sentiment, I'm happy because I'd like to think I'm better than I was yesterday. What a birthday present.

But let me take you back about one month ago (because I was so busy back then that I kept procrastinating posting in my blog… (poor excuse))… It was an early Sunday morning, driving from my gf's sister's bf's house in Santa Rosa to go for my training bike-ride on the Vineman course. As I was driving up on the 101, all to myself, I began to recognize the landmarks I'd been familiar with going up towards Windsor HS from supporting my cousin and friends doing the half and full Vineman the past three years. And then it started to hit me. Man, I'm actually doing my first ironman distance triathlon in a month. This is crazy. And as I'm going through this monologue, feelings of 'I can't believe I'm doing this/remember why I'm doing this' start to overcome me. It's the combination of true inspiration mixed with awe and a sprinkle of a little bit of "why?! this distance is so long!" And how does this physically look? It's tears. I'm crying because I remember how, why, and when I got started doing triathlons. If you recall, my mom passed away with cancer in October 2011. And ever since then, I have pushed myself to accomplish the tasks I feel really push my life's potential because you never know how long you'll live to see things through and in the end of it all, put it all in honor of my mom. And as a profound jump off from that, it's for all the people in my life that have been affected by diseases that hinder living life fuller than they had imagined, such as my Dad who now has Parkinson's, my friend's parents who have died from cancer, ... I had considered doing tri's for a couple years past because I used to be so intrigued when I'd watch my cousin and friend do theirs, but I had always kept saying, 'i'll wait till i'm done with grad school…' But, like they say, there is no time but now. So I signed up for my first tri (Wildflower Olympic '12) during my last semester in school, and now, about 12+ races of running and triathlons under my belt in two years, I'm signed up to do my first ironman.
So, I'm crying as I'm driving... it's a good thing... i'm so inspired… i'm so pumped!… i become humbled…
Then, already emotional without the aid of something external, one of the songs that really inspires me/gets me hyped up starts playing on the radio, not lying… don't laugh… well, you can laugh… "Firework" by Katy Perry. Aw yeah! It's the uplifting words mixed with the crescendo-ing melody/pitch… ahh.. that really brought the tears out. And then a little chuckle, laughing at myself for having an unmanly sense of motivation.

Fast forward back to this weekend… I did it. I'm an ironman.

Synopsis: wake up at 345am, eat, swim 2.4 miles, walk a little (i don't know why it was hilarious to see people, including myself, walking during the swim. i actually laughed), eat, drink, 112 miles on the bike in 90-100 degree heat, eat, drink, eat, drink, question your decision-making ability, drink, pour water all over body, start run, wait, can't run, walk, drink, eat, drink, drink, jog, walk, jog, it's still 100 degrees, drink, #2 twice, sprint to finish line a little after 9pm… oy vey. You ask how I did? The competitive person in me would say I didn't come close to my expectation of time. I did it in 14+ hours. I was hoping for about 12-13. But, does that really matter to me now that I think about it? Nope. What really matters to me, and what I came to grips with coming out of T2, is what I had been TRYING to say to myself the weeks leading up to the race–just finish. So that I did. I finished because I know not a lot of people are able or privileged to do the same. I finished because of love–the love and support I receive from friends, family, and all the volunteers and random cheerleaders out on the course. I finished because my mom was in more pain than I was yet I can say she "finished" life in glory.

I walked most of the run. It's okay. As someone hollered to a suffering runner (i.e. walker) behind me, "you're moving forward, that's all that matters." Indeed... in so many ways.

The camera makes me look dark.. oh wait, i am.
(note to self: next race–not in the summer)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sandbagging and why it can be a good thing

An excerpt from a article written by Ingrid Backstrom about Jim Zellers of The North Face:

A mean trick, perhaps. However, if sandbagees would have been told beforehand exactly how the day was going to go down they never would have left camp — and they never would have experienced the feeling of accomplishing their own personal challenge. The truth is a well-crafted sandbag forces people to look deep inside themselves; it requires every ounce of physical and mental strength, and it results in an adventure that will never be forgotten.


I said I wouldn't do it again. But...

I'll get to it...

I promise. So it looks like I haven't written something here in years. I've been busy! (Poor excuse. That's like saying, 'I don't have time to clean the house' 14 days later from when you first thought about it. I call BS.)
So, let's consider this post a start. Quick notes for now…
It was mom (or would've been mom's) and dad's birthday last week.
I did my third half-ironman distance tri. It was about 100 degrees by the time I was running.
I have my first full ironman distance this July 26. Shit.
Joanne's birthday is in two days. I love her.
I'm hungry.
I'm progressing here at TNF.
Going to LA in a few hours. I'm going to eat some great food and see some good people.
Joanne leaving Multnomah Falls

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

For you, Mom.

Funny how things work out; a.k.a. timing.
Last year I said I was shooting to attempt my first triathlon in 2012. Well, with the passing of my mom a few months ago, I've been given this added push of inspiration to compete in my first tri. no pun intended.

So it begins! My Team in Training Fundraising page

I'm training with Team in Training to raise $2,900 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
The race: Avia Wildflower Triathlon on May 6. Olympic distance. (holy ___)

Whoever is reading this, I could really use your help in any way.

This is for my mom. This is for all the cancer patients and their families. This is for inspiration to all of us being the best we could be for ourselves and for others.

My Team in Training Fundraising page

Friday, December 23, 2011

Brian McKnight is my idol.


Ever since "One Last Cry" came out, I thought he was the best male R&B singer ever.
Seeing him live finally (my Christmas/congrats on finishing boards gift to Joanne) further validates that.
As Joanne said to him as we greeted him goodbye, "you're amazing!"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October 18, 2011

1996 (note: she still looked like that in 2011)
My Mom...
young at heart, supportive mother and wife, leader in her community, soldier for God. To say the least.

I'll miss you Mom. You're always in my heart and serve as my inspiration to be the best I can be for myself and others.


Sunday, September 25, 2011


Whip Appeal

I have it. It's what I need. It's what WE all need. It's the first step to acknowledging you can progress.

About 3 weeks ago, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. Stage 4.
Bad things happen in life, whether you feel like it is controllable or not. The bottom line is... it's all in the attitude; how you face it, how you man up to the situation that will carry you through to the light at the end of the tunnel.
We are thankful for all our friends and family who have been there for my mom and my family. Family and friends, one combined unit very crucial and fundamental in maintaining this attitude–hope.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I actually read the letter from the president of LMU

Here's an excerpt I find inspirational and one that makes me proud to know I was subconsciously molded around this mission.

"It will embody Jesuit intellectual principles and LMU's mission, which rest on the premise that the best education–the one that sustains you for a lifetime–combines academic, social and spiritual pursuits... provide students with critical thinking skills and a shared lens with which to view, understand and interpret the world in its spiritual, ethical and scholarly essence... will reinforce the values that make an LMU education stand apart from the many colleges and universities with which we compete."

David Burcham, LMU President (2011)

Monday, August 15, 2011

US Open of Surfing 2011 Behind the Scenes

US Open of Surfing, Behind The Scenes from Kepley DePalma on Vimeo.

great clip summarizing the marketing that goes behind a large sporting event

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Get back on track

"Use your heart"

...That means a lot of things. A simpler term for this is Balance. For instance, this blog of mine has been neglected. I'm sorry blog, I'm here again to fill your data space.

keyword: uncertainty

I've been tagged as over-analytical by many friends. Am I really, inherently? Or, is it because certain instances/people bring that type of characteristic out of me? Possibly both. relationships, been in many, got out of many. Now if i look at the root of why such happens it looks like miscommunication or rather, communication styles differ therefore leading to ....

Wait, you know what, maybe I am. :p I'm writing, writing, wri... and it's happening.
So what do i do–I get better. I have been. Do it again. Learn more. Thank you past 11 years. I don't want to screw things up if I can help it.

All i ask is one thing, though, and that's give me what i deserve. God knows I give it my all. (maybe too much too soon? eh, better than half assing it and being semihonest with myself. the last time i was semihonest/scared to own up to what i really wanted i ended up with a damn tattoo on my chest lol) And in the end if what i get is not what i expected, it's all good. I always graduate to something unexpectedly amazing.
smiley face.

What else,
it's my summer. the pottery barn internship fell through. Call it what you want–misleading communication, deliberate, blessing in disguise... it's all good. again, graduate to something amazing. I'm working more with DZR and I have time to work on my portfolio and build a personal life. looking forward to success. MFA, bitches.

And so,
I take back this wednesday afternoon. I'm back on track.

Birthday cakes, bruno mars, healthy bantering, ticklemonster, harry potter, sincere apologies, star gazing... at the ceiling, big spoon little spoon, "come here", late but not detrimental, clenching call-outs, hyperhidrosis is okay, eating fest, Harper's Bazaar inspiration, forgetting but forgiven,...

man, relax. let it be.................................. 

see, it's nice isn't it

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Remember that Parlay Bench I designed....

well, it just got me an internship with Pottery Barn. Thanks to God and for my mentors.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fine, you want more detail...

I've exaggerated the topographic story with an embossing along the qtr/vamp

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

nice jacket

via the sartorialist

China. I love Japan. When do I go back?


My first trip to Asia, nonetheless, using my passport overseas.
Asked if I was excited, I said “Trying to play it cool…” Don’t want to seem too dorky about it. But you know, who cares… right!

So I’m on the plane right now and now I’m feeling the excitement. The anticipation of merely seeing land (Japan) as we approach arrival into Narita airport is peaking. Camera, ready.

Highlights thus far of this 11+ hour flight to Narita:
2 meals were served!! Dude. I’m telling you… simple pleasures.
Oh, and the flight attendants. I have two favorites. Oh me.

Almost everyone… wears a mask. I didn’t know anthrax was still here.


Everyone uses their horn liberally in China. Like, “Hi, I’m driving past you. Don’t switch into my lane. Thanks.”

Everyone on the street, particularly the motorcyclists and pedestrians, is also on a death wish. We’re driving about 45 mph when suddenly a motorcyclist decides to cross the intersection 50ft in front of us. Hello.

I finally got my first taste of a shoe factory. Wenta, our factory rumored to cease vulc ops. I don’t know.
I suppose it’s testament to the industrial designer that’s in me–I was giddy and excited for every sight, sound, and smell in front of me… from molding rubber cupsoles to lasting.
Yeah, I got a ton of pics. What was pretty neat to see was the production of a GEOX vulcanized shoe. (Copped me a defected one muahaha)


Again, simple pleasures–breakfast buffet included every morning! From flied lice to strawberry mousse. Hello.

Went to another factory. This factory produces some ANTA shoes. What’s up KG. Huge runs.  I copped me some rainbow laces that were used on some ANTA vulc shoes. And coincidentally, ANTA is hosting their sales meeting at our hotel.

Boss says to me at lunch, “by the end of this trip you’ll prob miss food back home.” I said probably not, because Chinese food is my favorite kind of food anyway! Rice all day baby.
I’m eating plenty this trip… no cow intestines for me.

I played frogger tonight around the vicinity of our hotel. I was the frog.
Speaking of china’s poor traffic system, aside from the crazy drivers going against traffic and pedestrians crossing a 3 laner at their will, I saw many motorcycle taxis hauling a mother and their toddler aged kid on their lap. Piece it together… motorcycle, no helmet, toddler on lap, fast congested traffic… = not safe. Call me conservative. ?

I decide to go into some men’s fashion stores to see how my Taiwanese classmates were being influenced by murses.  Jk Good styles, very euro. Prices–pretty much to par with Zara and BR. Anyway, the main highlight I wanted to bring up was how Chinese customer service off the bat walking into a store is much more exaggerated in contrast to Americans. Basically, salespeople act like they’re your personal butler (I guess especially if the ratio is 1:1 salesperson to customer at the time). Everywhere I walked a salesperson was 5 feet behind me. Awwkkwaaard (said with a posh gay voice).


Did I mention that they have odd habits here… like hocking loogies (sp?) in public, or cutting someone off is no big deal? My friend was right–Chinatowns are kinda gross and the people can be rude according to western standards, and I see now where it originates. So be it right, the ways of the world.

Back to the road traffic/activity, I swear no matter how long I stay here I’ll never be used to the customs or practices of driving a car or even worse, walking amidst the moving traffic. It’s pretty much… switch lanes when you want, cross the street when you want and people will hopefully stop for you, drive in the opposite direction just because you need a shortcut, etc. Man, I’m surprised I haven’t witnessed an accident yet. (God forbid)

We went to a fabric mart and I found some good pant material. I’ve been looking for nice twill, non-cotton (or at least a blend) fabric to make pants out of. Pants fit for urban biking while tailored to mark san b’s design standards (slim but not skinny, neither low or high rise, and straight­–around a 7” leg opening). The next step is to find a good pattern maker/sewer in SF.


KTV. I’m going to guess it stands for Karaoke TV. Anyway, our man Sam thought it would be great entertainment for me to party it up at KTV… and get me a date for the evening while we’re at it. I thought how novel. When the time actually came though I felt like I was wearing my left shoe on my right foot–it felt awkward despite thinking “how odd could this be?” So we get to the garish karaoke room and I immediately we get served fruit and snacks, and Sam, apparently is greeted by a pretty lady who seems to be the manager (of some type). Well, she was the manager of the ladies who they rent out. I don’t know how else to call it. She kisses my hand as if to wet the whistle then brings in a pair of girls. I played dumb looking at Sam and the lady gesturing “um, so am I supposed to pick one?” LOL Unfortunately, neither looked cute to me and so I shook my head “no.” I felt so bad. But I had to remember that they do this for work and they understand that not every one of them will be picked. So they brought three more. I liked the one in the middle. Even though I picked, it still felt awkward. Like, who am I… the Prince of San Francisco, I get what I want whenever I want?

We immediately start drinking, she’s matching me drink for drink, constantly pouring into my glass. Daamn, she’s good at this. Sam’s pretty drunk so he forces my arms around the girl. I keep em there. As time passes, she’s getting tipsy too (but well behaved). We’re sitting intimately, hands all up on each other. And before you know it, she kisses me on the cheek. I immediately point to my lips. She happily concedes. Then once more… then once more. By the end of the night, I’m trying… ah nm, we end up driving her home. She kisses me goodnight. Bittersweet hahah such a sucker! I swear I had hopes of her diverting from this job and actually falling for the charm (hey, I didn’t say it. She told Sam I was charming.) Wait, she doesn’t speak English.  Dammit.

here are just SOME of my images... there's a story behind each image, but i'm too lazy right now to write the captions.


LOL Only in China!