Posts tagged daily life
The Origami Life: The Story So Far
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Ivan here. 

That was a cover by the Chromatics of an old song called ‘Blue Moon,’ a song that's been sung by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Nat King Cole, and the always wonderful Billie Holiday.

I like the opening notes. Reminds me of the tune that plays over the intercom in department stores before every announcement. 

This is appropriate, as Jennie and I have a couple of announcements to make of our own. 

What is The Origami Life?

It’s been a little over a year since this blog went live, with little to no explanation from Jennie and I on what this is, why we’re here, and what we stand for. 

Part of this is because we’re more into showing than telling, but I think the more honest answer would be that we were still trying to figure it out.

Here's what we know so far. The Origami Life is:  

  • A record of Jennie and Ivan’s marriage and life together
  • A way of keeping ourselves accountable to our financial and travel goals
  • A place that celebrates the process over the result, the journey over the destination
  • A place to convey stories and observations in a personal, interesting and useful manner
  • A place to connect with like-minded people

Subscribe To Our Monthly Origami Letter!

Our first letter went out to subscribers on September 16th, you can read it here to see if it’s worth your time and space in your inbox. 

The next letter goes out Sunday (October 8th), where we’ll be giving an update on a trip we’ve been planning for the past five months. 


What Is The Daily Origami?

Daily Origami is a weekly series we publish based on an experimental theme, where we try to strike a balance between the personal, interesting and useful. 

Needless to say, we don’t always succeed. 

But more importantly, it’s a creative exercise that gets Jennie and I used to the cadence of posting five times a week when we’re on our round the world trip. 

I think travel writing is one of the hardest genres to do well. Not because there’s a lack of interesting, exotic destinations to write about, but because it’s hard to make people:

a. Give a shit about you
b. Ground stories in ways that are relatable to a reader's everyday life

We have at least 50 more Daily Origami entries planned after this hiatus, and we'd appreciate any feedback you might have at

In case you missed a few posts, here is everything we’ve written to date: 

See all the latest Daily Origami here.

5 Small Occupying Moments of our Week (03/19 - 03/26)

You know how everyone’s always saying seize the moment? I don’t know, I’m kinda thinking it’s the other way around. You know, like the moment seizes us.
— Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Ivan here. 

For those who haven’t seen Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, go check it out. It was filmed over the course of twelve years and lends new meaning to the phrase “boy, time sure flies.” Pun intended. 

To the critics who complained that the movie was boring: so fucking what? Some of my best memories are completely mundane. April 2009. Osaka, Japan. Jennie falls asleep on my shoulder while we’re riding the subway. We weren’t in a hurry, so I didn’t wake her when we arrived at our station. We rode the same line back and forth for an hour and a half. 

Sometimes, I wish I could remember what I was thinking in those moments. How did I feel? What observations did I make about the people around me? What did Jennie and I talk and laugh about afterwards? 

Why doesn’t anyone capture these moments before they slip away? 

That’s how this series was born. An experiment. A weekly log of small insignificant thoughts, observations and moments which occupied us for a little while. 

Ivan's Moments

1. Small Dogs

They call a Chihuahua and Dachshund hybrid a Chiweenie. I Googled it. I also Googled: “how much chocolate does it take to kill a dog?” Because this week, I seriously contemplated lobbing a piece of Lindt 99% dark chocolate into one particular backyard. 

The yard in question lies along my jogging route and belongs to the most loathsome creature I’ve ever met. As a rule, I dislike small barky dogs. I also startle easily. Because this Chiweenie is usually hidden behind a wooden fence, it never fails to scare the living wits out of me.

Last week was the final straw. I finally had proof that this little shit had it out for me. On my Friday run, I saw the biker ahead of me whiz past the yard, followed by a jogging couple. Not a peep from behind the fence.

It was waiting for me. 

2. Dave Chappelle walking away from $50 million

Would I have walked away from $50 million? Choices, right?

In 2005, comedian Dave Chappelle walked away from a successful show on Comedy Central and a $50 million contract. First, he fled to South Africa and just hung out for a few months. Went to the mall, did normal things. Then he retreated to his farm in Ohio, where he would remain for the next decade. 

I was reminded of this story after watching Chappelle’s two Netflix specials this week as well as this moving interview with Maya Angelou. 

I understood his reasons perfectly. Sometimes we all gotta learn what we can and can’t live with. But that doesn’t mean that doing what’s right can’t be an ordeal, that you can't second guess yourself at every turn. Rich or poor, young or old, we’re all in the same struggle of making sense of our lives - and we can only do it one fold at a time. 

3. Midnight in Fatburger

Jennie's attempt at portraying my midnight snack.

During the 17 month immigration process, you could’ve gauged the state of my depression by the number of pizza boxes and takeout containers lying around my apartment. My low was probably finishing two family-size boxes of Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies (the chewy kind) in a single sitting in the dead of a Toronto winter. No, I didn’t have milk. 

For a variety of reasons, last week wasn’t great. So I found myself dragging Jennie to Fatburger at 11pm. I ordered a turkey burger (I don’t eat beef), onion rings, and an extra order of fries (also for me) while Jennie looked on disapprovingly. As we waited under the fluorescent lighting, our clothes soaking in the smell of burning flesh, I opened up my Goodbudget app and logged my purchase under Eating Out & Entertainment. $15. In the comments I wrote,“Fatburger, you fat fuck.” 

On our way out, we passed a man parking his car in the plaza parking lot. He took one look at us and said, “you folks look exhausted.” Jennie smiled. I kept walking.

Jennie’s Moments

4. EntertainmenT Hospitals

The other day, I called a hospital within my insurance provider network to find a new primary care physician. Here's how the conversation went:

Me: Hi there, I'm looking to become a new patient with Dr. XYZ. Is she accepting new patients right now?

Admin: Why yes, of course! What part of the entertainment industry are you from?

Me: Huh? Oh, I'm not in the entertainment industry.

Admin: Oh, sorry, but we only cover those who are part of the entertainment industry...

Me: Well, I got your information off of my provider network.

Admin: There's nothing we can do. Sorry about that. 

What makes people in the entertainment business so special? 

5. Venice Beach STing

My office is in Venice Beach. Sometime last week, I was walking back to our office with a colleague from coffee, when we saw a swarm of police officers and cars surrounding an RV that doubled as an mobile recycling service for the homeless. 

I quickly walked past as my colleague was trying to get a ton of photos of the neighborhood disturbance; as we got to a door some guy in a bulletproof vest walked up to us and completely unprompted, started telling us everything. 

Random police officer: Yeah, you’re okay. Just completed a sting. We just busted people trying to sell dope to our undercover guys.

Me: Oh, well, thanks, I guess. 

Random police officer: Yeah, they were selling dope. There’s been a lot of auto-thefts in this area but now we’ve got the culprits. And we’re taking away their kids too.

He smiles, proud of himself.  I didn’t say anything.

Random police officer: Well, uh, you’re good to go. 

First of all, what was he bragging about? Second, why was he divulging this information to me? Nobody asked him. Finally, why did everyone in my office seem to take such visceral pleasure from this incident?