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After-dinner Faces

So far, leaving my T2i on the kitchen window sill has been working out nicely. I took these shots last week because all of the sudden, as I was sitting at the dining table sipping on my tea, I noticed Miyu’s marshmallow cheeks and thought to myself, wow, what happened? She’s so big now! In the second shot, I think it’s fascinating to see elements of Ken’s and my face on hers. So eerie, but in a wonderfully cute way.

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How can I help you?

Last Sunday, I asked Ken to go to my office and clean out the remaining mess I left behind. He had a little help as well. 🙂

Note: If you are unable to play the video on Google Chrome, check to make sure popup blockers are disabled, or try using an Incognito window. I was unable to play this video on Chrome for iPad and iPhone until I turned off the popup blocker. In Chrome, go to Settings > Content Settings > Block Popups (Off). If all else fails, try Safari on mobile devices.

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New Year Photography Goals

It’s taken me a while to realize that I need to change a few things concerning my approach to photography. First of all, I’ve decided that I will be going back to the Canon system for good. I love my Fuji X-T2, I really do, but the ergonomics are simply not there for me. I’ve found myself reaching for my T2i more often than not because it’s so much more comfortable to hold in my hands. I’ll be getting a new Canon camera hopefully sometime this year, cross fingers and toes!

With that said, here are the things I’m going to change this year:

  1. Keep my “big cameras” out in the open, within easy reach. I’ll have to find a dedicated spot on my desk for my X-T2 (and its replacement), and then another spot on either the kitchen counter or book shelf for my T2i. I no longer see a point in keeping them cooped up in a dark cupboard.
  2. Invest in good glass. I’m considering the 24-70mm F2.8 for my first RF L series collection.
  3. Find good lighting spots in our house. Observe how those spots change throughout the morning, day, and evening.
  4. Tell a story/Capture moments every week. Basically, pick up the cameras on a regular basis. No stress, no pressure. If I’m stressed, I’ll simply use my iPhone, or not take photos at all.
  5. Edit photos monthly, only keep the best. Stay organized!
  6. Be more active on Instagram. I’ll be using my onacliffbythesea account.
  7. Compile the best 2021 photos to create a printed family album in early 2022.

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The Long-Awaited Diagnosis

But first, let’s recap.

It all started in the summer of 2017, nearly two years after my one and only manic episode, the diagnosis of Bipolar Type I, and the subsequent prescription for Lithium Carbonate 900mg. I believe during this time, my weight was at its highest at around 150-160 pounds. I had been out posting flyers (for my job) and started noticing that my thumb hurt pretty badly whenever I used it to push pushpins into a corkboard. I didn’t think too deeply about this and brushed it off. That winter, I remember I began feeling the pins and needles sensation in both of my hands. Again, I just brushed it off, thinking it was maybe because we slept on futons at that time and I had poor circulation.

Fast forward to winter 2018, I started noticing more symptoms. My hands would be stiff and achey in the mornings and at night, but most notably in the mornings. I finally decided to visit the clinic on base and they told me that there was something abnormal about my blood report so they referred me to an off base hospital. I went and they took a copious amount of blood, and x-rayed my hands and feet. But everything came back normal. So again, I brushed it off. Plus, my mom has arthritis. Maybe I was getting it too, you know?

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A gift from Miyu

I sat down at my desk just now and realized there was something odd. My OCD spidey senses immediately noticed that my little daughter had left me a small gift. Perhaps a tithe for letting her watch TV and use her tablet today? So sneaky! Wonder where she gets that from… 🙂

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A New Chapter

On the day of my eighth-year work anniversary with my organization, I interviewed for a position that had never opened during my time. That was approximately one week ago and I’ve been a bundle of nerves since then. But as of this morning, I am happy to announce that I was selected to be the new Senior Graphic Designer for our Asia division, effective January 1, 2021. After eight years of being away from this field, I’m finally returning! I had been recently promoted back in November following the completion of my bachelor’s degree at the end of August, so this all seems so surreal to me still.


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Blood Test (TUES, DEC 15)

Yesterday, Ken and I went to the hospital to provide another blood sample required by my rheumatologist. I was supposed to drive there but my fingers, especially on my right hand, were still terribly inflamed so Ken drove instead. With moderate traffic, it’s only about a 15-20 minute drive from our apartment. Once we got there, it was a rather smooth process, I must say. I think it was because Ken was there. So when we went in, I put my hospital card in the machine so that I could get my itinerary. Then, following this itinerary, I had to visit a customer service window to confirm that I did not have Japanese health insurance. Then, I went to the second floor where blood and urine samples are collected. Went to the counter there, was asked to put my hospital card in another machine that dispensed my ticket number. We waited for a few minutes, then I provided three or four vials of blood. Afterward, we went back down to the first floor, waited in line again at the window so they could process my bill. Finally, I went to one of the payment machines, put my hospital card in, paid for my bill using my credit card, then I received my invoice, receipt, and future appointment ticket for December 21. There were people behind us in line so I was too anxious to take a photo of this process, ugh. As we left the hospital, I encouraged Ken to get Starbucks (located in the hospital!) but he felt bad that I couldn’t drink my favorite white mocha, so he ended up not getting anything. I had mentioned to him that it was okay, that I would just drink vicariously through him, but he wouldn’t have it.