All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Well tonight thank god it's them instead of you...

This has been a really busy season--nothing seems to have let up much at Ye Olde Dayjobbe, and working on the candy store over the past couple of months has taken up time. In addition to all that, I also began moonlighting with a new design service that seems to be the wave of the future for regular folks.

For the first time in 15 years, I found myself working on Christmas Eve as well as today (Boxing Day for folks who know/care about/celebrate such things.) When I first moved to San Francisco (said 15 years ago) I had a retail job to make ends meet while I stayed with relatives and figured out this city. So without (many) friends, family, or traditions it didn't seem like such a big deal to work Christmas Eve or the day after Christmas.

This year, however, I felt it. Close friends and my partner all had this time off and I didn't. This morning I woke up with a new appreciation for those who do work during the holidays. Even though it may not matter to some people (for various cultural or religious reasons, or lack thereof) I still think of this season as a time to reflect on the year that's passed. I realize how much I've taken for granted--the managers and colleagues I've had who chose to work during the holidays--so today I salute you. Today I'm right there with you.

Next year, however, I plan to make it clear to everyone that I'll take this week off to recharge, reflect, and reconnect. And I'll be even more thankful for the people who grin and bear it and work through it all.

(Like the people at the Chinese restaurant where my friends and I have dinner every Christmas Eve...)

(Or friends and family who only have one day off to spend with loved ones...)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

I want candy!

I've spent the past few weekends here and there helping some friends who won an amazing opportunity to start their own business. Downtown Sacramento had an amazing competition for potential small business owners to help revitalize the area.

Friends (and former Retrograde clients) Camille and Andy won this year, so after helping with their home a few years ago they asked me if I could give them some recommendations and help for their new business, Andy's Candy Apothecary.

How the hell could I pass up helping on a candy store!?!?!?

Andy's dream of bringing gourmet (as well as obscure, imported, and nostalgic) candy to downtown Sacramento is one of many signs that the state capital is really blowing up. During trips to visit them and the site, I'd have amazing coffee and eat at gourmet (and well designed!) restaurants and bars. It made me think twice about going back to the central valley (!)

Here are photos from the grand opening weekend:

I even got a shout out on the entry chalkboard, woo hoo!

Check it out when you can--it's worth a trip to Sacto to see the store and explore our capital city!
 Andy's Candy Apothecary
1012 9th Street (between J and K Streets)
Sacramento, CA

Monday, December 9, 2013

London Calling...

So where the hell have I been for the past few weeks? On holiday, of course! Ye Olde Dayjobbe kept me busy throughout the summer, so this was the first chance I could get to escape. (Plus, it was an easier time to spend my Virgin Atlantic miles for two round-trip tickets to Europe in the fall than in the summer.)

As some of you may know, I used to live in London, so we definitely wanted to go back. I took my partner there for his first visit ever about seven years ago and he found it overwhelming, exciting, and loads of fun. So we were overdue for another visit.

After staying with some friends, we checked into the Zetter Townhouse in trendy Clerkenwell. It was amazing--the regular Zetter Hotel is a large warehouse conversion just 21 steps across a cobblestone courtyard, but the Townhouse is a smaller, more intimate place made up of two converted Georgian townhouses. It's been written up in design circles for a good reason--each room is different in a quirky, coloful, eccentric (and eclectic) British way. Here was our room:


(There was an interesting little window into the bathroom from the bedroom!)

(And here was the view from our room.)


 (The hallway of our floor had pictures hung on a diagonal slant. Clever!)

The lobby was decorated to look like an elaborate parlor, with multiple seating areas you could reserve in the evening for drinks or meals. 


Of course, the best part was the cat by the parlor fireplace mantel--she had on a blue dress the evening we checked in (you can sort of see her in one of the photos above) but one morning we awoke to find she had been changed into holiday finery!

We knew we were in the right place.

Next week--photos from Berlin!