Daniel Chae


t[w]o 365

life, runDaniel Chae2 Comments
two miles a day, to 365

two miles a day, to 365


The year had just turned 2013 and we were still awake in the wee hours of the night. Alex briefly mentioned he wanted to run 365 miles this year, one mile for every day. I remember not thinking much of it as I was too occupied enjoying a glazed donut from Krispy Kreme. I quickly thought mileage wasn't too impressive but the goal was admirable.

           "One mile a day doesn't sound like too much..
            [huge chomp into half the donut]
            .7 miles a week, 30 miles a month. Not too hard."
            [savor donut, lose train of thought]



In a phrase, this year would be titled "Growing Pains": lots of discomfort and pain, but foundational and important building blocks.. a year of finding out what you're really made of as a person - how you're good in certain areas but totally suck in others - and learning that you can't continue acting like gdamn child anymore. In a word, "anxiety" would twittertrend towards the top. I don't think I've said the word "sorry" more in a year than this one. I don't think I've dropped the S-bomb in the short span of a week than I have in my entire life.

It has been a year of intense victory and intense failure. Some major life events this year include:

  • being forced to move out from our house after 16 years
  • quitting my job at Western Asset
  • losing $5,000 camera gear
  • recording an album with Phil Ek
  • RRN getting featured on the Wall Street Journal, NPR, KPCC, and PBS
  • playing shows with Noah and the Whale and Jason Mraz
  • watching the family car being impounded because we couldn't make any more payments

There has been much heartache, sacrifice, tears, anxieties, failures, correction, and brokenness have this year but accompanying these have been His grace and His mercy. I know and see that He is near and that this is what it takes to get through to my stubborn skull ("no matter what it takes, Lord").


I'm learning that the victories and accomplishments in life really don't mean much. They are like badges on a boy scout uniform. It's fun to celebrate and remember, but they don't make the man. Getting written about in the Wall Street Journal was cool, but who cares when your friends' families are going through health scares, car accidents, and your dad has left to work in Korea to support his children and your mom can't afford health treatment for her carpal tunnel, rendering her unable to play piano for church after 35 years? How good are you to your family? To your mom? To your friends? Would they show up at your wedding? At your funeral?

For me, juggling two full-time jobs and a music career might amount to some financial freedom and awesome experiences, but it left no time for others in my life. I've sucked as a friend, son, and boyfriend (thanks Michelle for the title). I continually hurt those closest to me and I suck at taking criticism and taking shots from others. I'm a fraud, and I know I've sucked the life out of others. I am mortified to see the person staring back at me in the mirror. I'm sorry. 


Throughout all of this, I've found a sanctuary and a safe place in running. This wasn't a "marathon" year so overall milage has been on the light side, but I was reminded that Alex was goin for 365. I quickly added up my miles this for the year and found that I had about 80 miles to go with about a month and a half remaining for the year. I decided to go after this goal. 

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 11.58.15 AM.png

The initial thought when Alex mentioned this goal at the beginning of the year was kaput. I totally missed the point: Steadiness is what this is after. Running a mile a day for a week is pretty easy, but extrapolate that out to a year, different story. Running a mile a day for the entire YEAR IS UNBELIEVABLY hard - serious props Alex. Steadiness is not flashy or fun. In fact, many times it's boring. It isn't shiny and the rewards look dull. But, I'm slowly learning that this is the long, narrow road that is less traveled. This is what I want. Running 365m won't make me a better man, but it's a start.




iphone, video, lifeDaniel ChaeComment

November 2013. This has to have been one of the roughest stretches in my life. Not in the video: car towed, car accident, parking ticket, losing $4k worth of camera gear, emotional turmoil, friends getting into accidents, friends' family health scares.

November 2013, part of a long-term project beginning in August of this year.
Aug and Sep vimeo.com/75871965
Oct vimeo.com/78321934

A snippet of every single day. Life is crazy. The ordinary and mundane fleeting moments fly by only to be lost in a flurry of cloudy consciousness. It's beautiful when you take a step back and breathe.

All footage shot with the iPhone 5s.

The American Dream

lifeDaniel ChaeComment

I came across this interesting article discussing the current "juicing" trend that is in vogue. Although I haven't juiced yet, I am guilty of purchasing acai bowls from Liquiteria one too many times. I love the following paragraph and it got me thinkin..

Juice cleansing is also a marriage of three things that Americans love: hygiene, health, and morality. We, more than any other country, are suckers for anything that promises positive hygiene. We spend more on soap, shampoo, Purell, deodorant, and random gels, sprays, moisturizers, and creams than we do on our foreign cars. To be unclean used to be a metaphor for other sins, like adultery or coveting others’ wealth; now it’s a revulsion in and of itself.
— from "Juice Heads" in Nov issue of NY Mag

The American Dream that was founded on the "pursuit of happiness" has now evolved into hygeine, health, and morality. We value organic soaps and charity to make ourselves feel good. I ain't hatin on culture cuz I'm totally guilty of this mindset as well. Just sayin.. some food for thought.

The full article can be found here: http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/10/juice-trends-and-the-nutrition-cult.html


life, video, iphoneDaniel ChaeComment

I've been doing this project for three months now and looking back, it's quite amazing how much happens in such little time. The every day hustle and bustle; the mundane and boring; the joy and laughter; loneliness. This is life, without a soundtrack. It has been difficult reminding myself to film every day, but lezdoitt


inspiration, life, photographyDaniel ChaeComment

I stumbled across something that excites me a couple weeks ago in Go Exposure, a web-design based company focused on photo journaling. I absolutely love when programmers push to offer something different to the web when it comes to web design and function >> see Squarespace, VSCO, theVerge, Bowtruss, and many many more. Exposure is currently invite only, hand-picked by the creators, but fortunately I was able to come across one. 

Not only did I do a little dance when I got an invite, but my spread on Copa Vida got featured as well! Check it out and be sure to check out other people's work on Exposure.. so good.


water & the blood.. NY.. the nets

lifeDaniel ChaeComment

I haven't been this excited about an album in quite a while. On first listen, my immediate thought was "wow, refreshing."  

In other news, we spent the last two weeks in New York. I fell so hard for the city the first time that my cynical self thought I'd get over it the more I went. But, the more I go, the more I love it. Some highlights (seen below) include:

+ citibiking empty NY streets at 2am with my stomach leading the way - "street meat" as Jalen Rose calls it;
+ having the opportunity to serve at Father's Heart serving homeless breakfast (I cried three times.. you would too seeing a proud grown black man and a hispanic gangster cry after being prayed for);
+ VH1, CMJ, ADA, PKT, Wall Street Journal!
+ coffee coffee coffee;
+ running into Ashima! Joe would always say as a joke he would be climbing in Central Park and Ashima would come and climb with him. This really happened.

Lastly, since the lakers season is in shambles, let's go nets. am i less of a bandwagoner if it's from across the country?

pierce*, dream 4-5 high/low of garnett***-lopez, deron, joe johnson

off the bench: jason terry*+, blatche, kirilenko**, reggie evans**, LIVINGSTON!? Brooklyn <333 

*vet w championship experience
+sixth man of the year
**lockdown defender

btw, I absolutely love the NBA Previews Grantland is putting up. Entertaining, insightful, and hilarious. Sadly, I must confess I have watched every single one of them.

Welp, that's all for now. Lots of exciting stuff on the horizon though! RRN Residency at Hotel Cafe all of November, PBS spotlight, Fight to Keep music video, blahalbh will keep ya posted.

Signing off
- Nets fan.

wow. wall street journal!

inspiration, monsters, lifeDaniel ChaeComment
Though their debut album won’t be released until late February, Run River North, formerly known as Monsters Calling Home, were the subject recently of a feature on NPR’s “Weekend Edition.” Based in the San Fernando Valley where the band members’ families relocated from Korea, their snappy light rock and chamber folk frames their tales of their parents’ dreams and struggles to find purchase in America.