Palm Desert and Los Angeles

A few weeks ago I went to Palm Desert, California for a friend’s wedding. It’s about 2.5 hours driving from LA (always a big asterisk for traffic conditions), and it was my first time going even though I lived in LA for something like 7 years. It’s a tranquil and beautiful town. In the winter/early spring it has great weather with a vibrant community of people who come to live there for the season.

My friend Ari has some property that we were able to stay at which was great. It’s an upscale area, and gets expensive during the many events (tennis, Coachella, etc.) that happen around this time. There’s a very limited selection of things outside of golf/country clubs, but I forgot about the peace of limited choices. There was one good specialty coffee shop that I found. If you want coffee, you know where you’re going. In Mexico City I almost have to do a pros and cons check-list about where I want to get my espresso on a regular basis.

The wedding was fun too. We were asked to not do content or discuss it much as our friend getting married is well-known, but it was really nice to have this stipulation and allow everyone to be present instead of documenting the experience with phones. There’s this awkward aspect to weddings of being all dressed up and conversing with people you’ve barely met from a long time ago, but afterwards I always find the experience enjoyable. We don’t have enough rituals and formal celebrations anymore. It takes me out of my comfort zone and puts me in a mood of appreciating love, commitment, and bringing together groups of people for a positive cause.

After Palm Desert we went to LA for a week, where I stayed with my friend Jeff and his wife Ashleigh. They have a beautiful home that is in the later stages of being decorated/designed. I felt like I was staying in a Four Seasons that we had all to ourselves. Clean and immaculate decor, with everything exuding freshness and rejuvenation. It was a good reminder for me how much I enjoy being around great architecture and interior design. My friends were also great hosts cooking and cleaning after me the whole time. I felt guilty and spoiled, but I allowed myself to enjoy it. The main reason I went though of course was to hang out with Jeff, and it was awesome as always. The best part for me of getting older is seeing friends and family evolving and doing well in life. I’ve known Jeff for 19 years now. We’ve come a long way since waiting for our paychecks to clear so we could party on the weekend in Chicago.

I’ve since returned to Mexico City and normal life. Johanna and I are going to Puerto Escondido tomorrow though for the week. I’ll still do my normal work and things, but I enjoy working and living in different environments. 

Things have been good overall. My productivity with trading has gotten a lot better due to the compounding of years of working on improving things. My system and process improves literally every week. I still get surprised at how I can improve things, and now I’ve written seemingly infinite lines of code it’s much easier for me to find examples/know what to do whenever I have an idea for something. Otherwise I’ve been going to the gym, and still learning how to use Chat GPT for creative projects. 

After many years, I rewatched “Before Sunrise” by Richard Linklater. I’ve always been impressed by Linklater’s filmography. Such a great career (and still going). I didn’t remember “Before Sunrise” at all. Even Ethan Hawke was only 25 years old at the time. The film is a beautiful, nostalgic, and melancholy moment in time. It was the absolute last few years before cell phones, email, and everything that has arisen since then. A time when if you wanted to meet someone you had to step outside and open your mouth, as well as not having the “answers” to things available with a quick Google search. If you’re riding on a train you can look out the window, sleep, or read a book. I would rather be in the world we live in now managing the complexities and tradeoffs of current tech due to a strong curiosity and hope that tech can potentially help with the big questions, but I did get a little wistful thinking about an era I barely got a chance to be an adult in. The film might be a little more heartfelt and slower than today’s taste, but I loved immersing myself in the romance, witty dialogue, and quiet moments of the film.

With that I’ll leave you with a few pics (Santa Monica, Palm Desert, my cat loving the Alo Yoga bag as his new mat apparently), and get back to our lives. Wishing you all a happy Easter!

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