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Three Things

July 2020 — Issue No. 79

Hello <<First Name>>,

July or as I like to call it Season 2 of Quarantine. July brought a lot of accomplishments in both work and personal life. I’m still way behind on any reading goals, but I did finish a 15 hour audiobook called “Sapiens”. Our friends Josh and Julie left for Boston to attend PA school (good luck Josh! I’ll send your oven mitt soon). Celebrated some birthdays. Got out of Dodge. Came back to Dodge. One sister moved out, one sister moved in. Let’s begin.

Things I Ate

Nothing Fancy

I made 8 recipes this month bringing the grand total to 115 (out of 118). Nearly there! At the time of writing I’ve completed this project but I’ll go into more detail next month. A favorite was the slow roasted oregano chicken with buttered tomatoes. I’ve already set my eyes (and belly) on the next book, Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden (ty Haleigh!).

Things I Ate

Cajun Boil

Alaka’i had us over for his favorite meal, a cajun boil. He pulled out all the stops with a medley of shrimps, potatoes, corn, and sausage. He also made some garlic noodles that were divine. We also played this amazing game called “We’re Not Really Strangers”, that asks thought and emotion-provoking questions to get to know your friends better. Tears may or may not have been shed 😢

Things I Ate

Garden Creamery

Last month I wrote about how my Mom and Brother started a local candy delivery business in Hawaii. They’ve had an amazing response and have been fulfilling orders from all over the US. One of Ittai’s friends shared some candy with her friend that owns a creamery here in San Francisco. They liked it so much they were inspired to create a flavor based on Ken’s Korner candies! I missed the pre-sale but when I went to their location she had saved me some can couldn’t stop raving about the gummies. She also hooked it up and threw in a bunch of other flavors as well. Everything was delicious. They really nailed the li hing mui lemon peel flavor. If you’re in SF you’ve got to check them out: Garden Creamery

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Things I Saw

Experiences

I started at OpenTable on a blustery day, in what felt like 17 years ago, on September 23, 2019. On my third day, I started working on a project called Experiences. I would later take over that project and lead it to launch nine months later. It’s been an incredible journey, lots of learnings, lots of mistakes, lots of collaboration, lots of iterations, lots of research, all with a lot of support from the team. We launched Experiences on July 7th and decided to have a celebration to let the team know how grateful we were for their work on this impactful product. We had a Late Nite themed show in the afternoon called The Late Afternoon Show where everyone dressed in suits and we walked through a timeline of the project with quotes and metrics to boot. As with most things in tech, the launch is only the beginning and I’m excited to continue working on this thing!

Things I Saw

Hamilton

You might recall that I saw Hamilton when we were still allowed to be less than 6 ft from another human being. Disney announced they’d be releasing a film (#Hamilfilm) of the play in July, I probably watched it 5 times in July. It wasn’t exactly like being there but seeing the performance with the original cast was as close to the real thing I’m going to get. Sophia and I will spontaneously burst into song and she basically has all the dance moves memorized. 

Things I Saw

Thirty for Thirty

Welp, it was bound to happen, a birthday in quarantine. Birthantine? Quaranbirth? Idk. I think for many the start of your thirties signals the true arrival of adulthood, we hope to have “figured things out” in whatever way that means. It’s become a milestone that we all consciously or unconsciously measure ourselves by. I feel extremely blessed to live the life I live and have these amazing people around me. I feel fulfilled by my work at OpenTable. I absolutely love sharing my life with Sophia. I have a circle of best friends around me who always support me and a family that continues to show me the meaning of unconditional love. Phew. End scene.

For my birthday Sophia had been planning something secret. On the day of my birthday, we woke up and got coffee where her sister Maya made a surprise visit for my birthday. Then Sophia had invited a few friends to Mike and Chris’ house and decorated each of the rooms with a thing that I love. One room was Wes Anderson themed, another was Avengers, one was a bunch of old photos, one wall of my Instagram, a Hawaiian themed backyard, and obviously a Drake room. Michael made my mom’s (quad alliteration!) furikake chicken and Alaka’i made some poke and mac salad. Everything was amazing. Sophia also put together a video of family and friends who couldn’t make it and everyone (including myself) cried. It was a night filled with love, laughter, and a few tears. An amazing start to my 30’s. If everyone would join me in a round of applause for Sophia for putting together the most amazing birthday a guy could have, something she told me she’ll never plan again haha.

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Places I Went

Sierra National Forest and Shaver Lake

Sophia, Emma, Christian, Zoe, and I were trying to go to Yosemite this month but it seemed everyone also had that same idea. It was challenging to get a ticket into the National Park. We still wanted to get out of the city so we decided to go to a nearby landmark, Sierra National Forest. This place had it all, hikes, waterfalls, rocks, nature, ponds, etc. It was a close second to its famous neighbor. On the drive up we passed a large lake with some boat rentals and ended up pulling over to inquire about prices. Thirty minutes later I was driving a pontoon boat to the middle of the lake for some socially distant swimming and drinking. It was a great lil spontaneous weekend with the crew.

Places I Went

Lake Tahoe

Alaka’i, Nick, and I share a birth month and this year we celebrated together in a cabin in Tahoe. It’s been nice to do these weekend trips and have something different to look at than the four walls of my living room. The Airbnb had a little creek running behind the house so we spent a lot of time just hanging there. We also went river rafting on the Truckee River which was so much fun. Alaka’i brought a huge waterproof speaker to play artists like Drake while we floated down the river. At the end of the river, we hit a bit of rapid and somehow I popped out of the raft as I was trying to steer us haha. I’m fine I just completely ruined my and Alakai’s phone (sorry about that). On our last day in Tahoe, we found a nice beachy spot on the lake and just hung out throwing frisbees and eating sandwiches. A much-needed retreat for all of us.

Places I Went

Pirate's Cove

With the third Suzuki-Jones sister in town, completing the trinity, we found a hike just outside the city near Stinson Beach to have a picnic. Sophia always has her maternal sensor on but it’s definitely heightened when her little sisters are around. It makes for great laughs for me, Emma, and Maya.

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Three Things is a way to connect with my family and friends through photos and stories.

🙌 You made it to the bottom. Thanks for taking the time to read this email :) see you again next month!

✍️ Hand-typed in San Francisco by Darren Wong.

🙏 Catch up on all the past issues here: Three Things Archive

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🙌 You made it to the bottom! Thanks for taking the time to read this email :) See you again next month! Three Things is a way to connect with my family and friends through photos and stories.

✍️ Hand-typed in San Francisco by Darren Wong.

🙏 Catch up on all the past issues here: Three Things Archive





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