Wednesday, December 25, 2013

december never felt so wrong

After things kinda fell apart in my  family and what was left of us tried to haphazardly stick ourselves back together again (things are still kinda dangling around, unresolved) each holiday we've "celebrated" has felt lonelier than the last. I don't really feel comfortable writing posts like these, especially knowing a lot of friends I care deeply about are and have been celebrating with their own families happily, warmly, safely. So, my holidays have been spent surrounded by wishy-washy, whirly-swirly, humdrum feelings.

Still, I can't help but say, from the bottom of my heart, Merry Christmas to you and yours. May the New Year bring us even better memories and experiences.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Being on long breaks with no concrete plans is definitely not good for me. I'm already more than a week into my winter holiday and I think I've filled my personal quota for lazy days of doing absolutely nothing productive. After spending my Wednesday lying on the couch watching an unhealthy number of episodes of Leverage from the morning to early evening, I finally decided I was sick of watching TV (despite the fact that I hadn't watched any since school started). So, this post is just a little recap of the my more "active" activities over the break so far.

Thursday, I went inline skating around the neighborhood with my best friend and we went to the park near our houses to sit on the swings and catch up. It felt so good to be able to talk with her in a way that felt like we'd just pressed a "Pause" button after we ended our last conversation all the way back in October and only had to press "Play/Resume" when we saw each other again. Wrapped up our time together with yummy hot chocolate and chocolate-covered biscuits. Later that night, I went to Tofu House and Christmas in the Park with L, D, and S. It was also so good to be able to hang out with them again. Television ain't got nothin' on these sweet little outings with the loveliest people.

Friday, I had to wake up at 6:30 in the morning for my dentist appointment at 7:30. It wasn't too bad having to wake up that early, but it ended up being a really long day. Got home, ate breakfast, then got ready to hang out with my ate and H. ADo was supposed to come but she unfortunately wasn't able to make it. :( We went to Bobo. I ordered a honey lemon tea with lychee jelly (I wasn't feeling up for milk tea, but I tried M and H's and their was really good! A+ for a boba place. It tasted like they use real tea instead of powder, but I'm not 100% sure.) We also shared a plate of beignets, which were really yummy, too! I'm sorry I'm lazy and don't take pictures of my food all the time, but if you sit in at Bobo, they put your drinks in cute little mason jars, which I thought was a cute and homey touch. We ended up sitting there for three hours, and it wasn't until the guy who'd helped us at the cashier got off his shift that we felt really awkward and decided to finally leave. We walked around the Vietnamese mall in the neighboring plaza and bought Christmas gifts from one of the small Asian stores that carries cute video game and anime-related items. Overall a day well spent, but that's not the end of it. I went home for dinner but immediately afterwards went to my Chinese school class's reunion for White Elephant and photos. We went over to visit our senior year teacher at her house and stayed there for a couple hours just chatting with everyone. Finally, I went to N's house with the two A's afterwards and stayed and talked to her for another hour. Didn't go home until very late, but it was a wonderful day well spent. So much better than hours upon hours of television.

Finishing up this post with lists, as per usual:

Things I've been following

What I've been listening to
  • Birdy's cover of "Wake Me Up" 
  • Small Sound (2013) by Tennis
  • My friend J's beautiful piano cover of "Do You Want To Build A Snowman?" : )

Saturday, December 21, 2013

an early christmas

Memories captured courtesy of M's awesome Fujifilm instax mini : )

December 13, 2013

Most of our group, Commuters and Their Friends, went to ADo's for an early Christmas party to celebrate the end of the quarter. There was good food, live music (with the three M's on sax and piano), Secret Santa, karaoke, and late-night Monopoly. I couldn't have asked for a better night.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Always thankful for this little baby.

I take pride in the fact that I always take a few minutes out of each day to remind myself of all the things and people I am grateful for, but it's nice to have a day specifically dedicated to expressing gratitude and spending time with family, especially since I get an entire week off of school to relax, too.

This year's Thanksgiving was a lot simpler and, to be honest, even a little lonelier than I wanted it to be. Life's a little weird right now in terms of family life, but it didn't stop me from making the best of today. My mom and one of my aunts went up to Reno with a family friend for a concert, so they weren't here with us. My other aunt is staying here with us to help take care of my grandma, leaving me and my two other brothers the only other people at home. My brothers were gone the entire morning and honestly it was so quiet at home I felt a little physically sick. I thought I could get some work done since it was so still, but I ended up just window shopping online the entire time. (So much for finishing my two research papers and starting on a study guide of 200+ terms before the weekend.) My brothers came home in the afternoon, so I ate lunch and re-watched Leverage with them for about an hour. I finally decided I wanted to bake something, just for the sake of filling the house with a delicious aroma that would at least take up a little more space in our big, empty house. My brother and I decided on pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, so we stopped by Safeway to grab ingredients and came back to whip up some of these little munchkins. They're so fluffy and yummy and smell so, so good. I might even make more tomorrow.

Last Friday our little group of Commuters and Their Friends (yes, that's what we call ourselves) had a little outing that I forgot to write about. After class MN and I ran into ML and VY, so we decided to grab ML's ukulele from her car and have a jam session on the outdoor stage behind O'Connor. Afterwards Kumar and VD joined us, but after a bit MN, ML and V had to leave so Kumar, VD and I went downtown to Philz for coffee and Iggy's for burritos. Then we picked up ADo from school and went to Recycle Books! (Hehe, I wonder who suggested we go there...) I picked up a copy of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and finished it on Tuesday. It was pretty good, though it didn't quite meet my expectations after the cashier's raving recommendation. It's okay, because I feel pretty good about finishing a book outside of school. Anyways, we finally met up with the rest of the group around seven and we headed to Cafe Lattea. I ordered a matcha latté! It was nice. Afterwards we went back to the Flip to play Smash, then ended the evening with football (although I spectated with ADo and VD and didn't play). It was a good day. Good friends and good company are things I am just infinitely grateful for each and every day :' )

Now, getting on to the obligatory blurb of all the things I'm grateful for...

little things
  • almond milk
  • the smell of freshly baked muffins and cookies in the kitchen
  • dishwashing soap
  • socks of all shapes, colors, and levels of fluffiness
  • holiday music (here's my personal playlist)
  • electric blankets
  • bookmarks
  • Christmas lights and decorations
  • sweet little Thanksgiving texts from friends :' )

big things
  • the ability to always keep the right, positive mindset even when things are tough
  • the support I get from all my friends and family
  • the chance to have found family and a place to call home at SCU, despite being a commuter

bigger things
  • people (my mother, my brothers, my aunts, my grandmother, my friends near and far, my ate and kuya, Charlie, and all those who influence me in ways I could never have imagined)
  • school
  • home
  • life
  • the universe

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

patchwork show in oakland

November 24, 2013

My good friend G invited me to go check out the Patchwork Show, held at Jack London Square in Oakland this past weekend, and of course (since we're both very crafty and DIY-oriented people) I gladly accepted. We originally wanted to take public transportation, but I ended up driving all the way up. I invited my friend A to come along too and I'm glad I did! It was really nice to have a buddy sitting next to me in the passenger seat for the long drive there and back. We got to chat and bond a little too, so that definitely made the day even more memorable.

Unfortunately I didn't take any photos while I was inside the Patchwork Show. It was basically a craft fair where local vendors sold their goods: jewelry, clothing, soaps, prints, cards, posters, etc. Everything was so cute and pretty! If I had the disposable income to spend freely, I definitely would have. The only things I picked up were all the beautiful business cards because I'm cheap. I was so tempted to buy some necklaces and earrings as gifts, but sadly my wallet wouldn't have been able to handle it. Ah, well.

The guy spelled me name wrong, but that's okay! : )

There were two food trucks outside the show! We went to The Melt because it was a lot cheaper than the other one (I forget its name). I got The Mission with fresh tomato — spicy but yummy.

We walked around the waterfront after we finished eating. Lots of sunshine and not a cloud in the sky all afternoon. I had such a relaxing day with two of the sweetest people ever. I've missed going on peaceful little adventures like these.

things not to be forgotten

My apologies for skipping recaps of Week 6 through Week 9! I've been busy just about every single day for the final half of this whirlwind of a quarter, and even though I'm currently on Thanksgiving break, I feel like I need to use my time off to sit down and breathe (and nap) more than I need to write every single thing out. I really wish I could reach into my brain, make a copy of every memory I've made this past month and just stick it in a blog post and call it a wrap, but alas, technology has not advanced to such a stage. So, please bear with me — I'm simply going to list out the little things I don't want to forget (and I've probably forgotten many things already). Honestly, I'm not even sure if any of this is in chronological order, but I'll do my best:

KAA Clue Night/Reveal • AMAZINGNESS. I feel so lucky to have two bigs: a kuya and an ate who are two of the coolest people I've ever met. We're all so quirky and a little awkward but in a fun-loving, sweet and wonderful way that makes me feel like sunshine is radiating from within the depths of my tummy/existential being. (*cough* Forgive the dreadful metaphors, I'm lying in the dark on my bed typing this out without really doing much editing. I think I'm feeling a little hungry, too.)

Spam Musubis • Made 167 spam musubis with APSU board! Our original goal was to make 300, but boy, I was so sick of spam by the end of the night. I was kind of dizzy, too. It was really fun though! It made for a successful fundraiser, too. $$$$$

PCN Casting • Believe it or not, I tried out for Barkada's Pilipino Cultural Night. I haven't done a choreographed dance in almost three years, but I was drawn in anyways. I'd missed out on parts of the dance lessons, so I went early to re-learn everything. So tired afterwards (I was the second to last group to audition) but I think it was still a fun experience. Can't wait to find out which dance I've been sorted into!

Pride and Prejudice • The theatre department put on an adaptation of one of my favorite Jane Austen novels! Of course I went to watch it. It was wonderful. Mr. Bennet's performance was spot on, as was Mrs. Bennet and, of course, Mr. Darcy. Much applause for Mr. Bingley, too! On another note, I really envied Mr. Bennet's lovely monk strap loafers. Mmf. Get in my closet.

Working in the library until 2 a.m. during Week 9 • The library closes at two, and not until Dead Week will it be open 24/7. Reasons for staying so late: history paper thesis and research, CTW essay draft, studying for Latin midterm, and painting the banner for Barkada's Typhoon Relief fundraiser. All noble efforts, and not a single regret. I got to spend good time with my ate, too (':

M helping me buy new taillights and teaching me how to install them • M is probably the most independent, fierce, intelligent, sassy and all-around badass woman I've ever befriended. Seriously. She's so warm and caring all at the same time. So grateful to have her as a good friend. It rained pretty hard last week, and I had stupidly decided to ignore the fact that my taillights were out until the very last minute. M didn't want me to be in danger so she went and bought new bulbs for me and showed me how to install them. So much gratitude and love.

I've definitely missed a lot of things, so I will come back and add more if anything comes to mind. Thanksgiving Break shenanigans will go in a separate post, hopefully with more pictures than this one. That's all for now!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

unconditional love explained in 23 minutes

I just discovered this TED talk — it is beautifully written and executed, so about halfway through listening to it I decided I wanted to share it on this blog, especially since I haven't posted a list of inspirational things in a while. If you have 23 minutes to spare, I highly recommend it.

Here are the last few phrases that stood out to me most:
"ecosphere of kindness"
"splendor can illuminate even the most abject of vulnerabilities"
"the terrifying joy of unbearable responsibility"
"I do not accept subtractive models of love, only additive ones"

In other news, I will have a recap post of how my last few weeks have been up very soon. I've been incredibly busy and without much time to flesh out a good post. I haven't really been able to keep track of all the little things that make me smile these days too. I'll definitely have more time once Thanksgiving break rolls around. (At least, I hope I will!) Until then, I leave you with this poignant and eloquently delivered TED talk. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

friendship, spuf, dtd

"We got a gift for you, we got a gift for you!"

Okay, so I'm procrastinating on my essay (the draft is due on Monday night, #sendhelp), but then again I've also been procrastinating on writing this post about Friendship Games, which took place last Saturday, October 26, at CSU Fullerton. It's been almost an entire week since then so I definitely won't be able to convey everything in full detail, but just know that it was most definitely a very memorable weekend.

Friday • Normal morning and afternoon: went to class and then met up with Barkada at Shapell at 5:30 pm. Our car (finally) left around 7 and we ate at In-N-Out. Eventually left the parking lot a bit past 8 and headed down to LA! I didn't know the people in the car I rode in but I got to know them better throughout the weekend and I have to say that it's not even a competition — we had the best car. We arrived at around two in the morning and I stayed in a room with six other girls. We bonded while cutting our Barkada shirts and didn't "sleep" until four.

Saturday • Woke up at six to get ready for the big day. Stopped by McDonald's for breakfast and headed straight over to CSUF for the games! The whole event's vibe really reminded me of Key Club and Fall Rally. I can't say I miss my Key Club days, but FG was definitely a step up in terms of spirit (which is honestly saying a lot). Our club is relatively small and we didn't have extravagant costumes (like the school that dressed up as the Fire Nation or the one that dressed up as cavemen), but everyone still had a really great time! Our theme was pirates so our SPUF (stands for Spirit Pride Unity Friendship — basically the spirit cheer/performance that you do when you "SPUF" other schools) involved releasing the kraken (and seamen) as well as lots of pirate booty (rock it everywhere!). Around intermission (i.e., siesta time) I went with a group to eat at Pieology. AD and I created a magnificent pizza. It was sooo delicious — herb butter, pesto, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes and pineapple. I want it again! (Pieology is like the Chipotle of pizza.) I think there's one in SJ so I'm going to go again when I have the funds (or when my craving for pizza becomes unbearable). I played two games: Alpine Green and Tidal Wave (and I'm too lazy to type out a description) and those were fun! After the games ended (we were so exhausted by the time we left) we went back to the hotel and showered. Left around seven in the evening to go to J's family's house in LA for dinner. They had a caterer come and make amazing tacos for us! Afterwards some people went to the FG after party at a club but the rest of us went to Downtown Disney. It was my first time there and it was nice, but I think I was too tired to be overly excited. I wanted to buy socks but they were too expensive. Our pizza from Pieology costed less than the cheapest pair I could find! Went back to the hotel and ~partied~ (not really — everyone was too tired) and basically knocked out from exhaustion.

Sunday • Our car wanted to go eat at Blu Jam Cafe, but when we finally found it we saw that there was a huge line and decided against it. We ended up going to IHOP and were back on the road after noon. The trip back home is a blur now, but after we got back (a bit past 7:30 pm) I went straight to the library to study since I had a Latin midterm the next day. I ended up acing it, so no worries :)

Scurvy Britches • I actually want to dedicate a little section to our car — or "ship" — the Scurvy Britches. I actually didn't really know anyone in the car until Friday, and needless to say I was a bit nervous, even though my friends told me they were all super cool and nice people. I didn't doubt what my friends said, but our car really ended up being the best! I'm really thankful to have gotten to ride with them. From playing ratchet music (with brief Ghibli soundtrack interludes and lots of throwbacks to the 90's and 00's) to rolling down the windows and blasting "Beverly Hills" while driving through LA, from the group making sure I got the "full experience" of DTD to random Snapchats on the road, we made some great memories and I'm happy they've been including me in their recent shenanigans too.

What I've written here doesn't quite cover everything that happened, but I hope you guys can get the gist of how happy I was to be there! It was exhausting, but every hour of sleep I lost was worth every smile and laugh I got to share with some of the most fantastic people ever.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

week five highlights — 50% done with fall already?!

Letters for my kuya/ate(s) Obtuse Angle and Heffalump.

Highlights of Week 5 (10/21-10/24):

Monday • My very first APSU board meeting! It lasted two hours (I really had to pee since I'd run over there right after I got out of class) but I learned a lot. I'm really looking forward to working (and ~partying~) with my super cool board members.

Tuesday • Barkada meeting! I painted one envelope and wrote a letter to my kuya/ate, codename Heffalump. I received a big package of Nutter Butters from him/her. When I saw it, with an orange card taped on top, I honestly felt my heart fill up to the brim with warm fuzzies. (I'd written on my KAA questionnaire that I love PB cookies!) About ten minutes later, some guy came over and tapped me on the shoulder. He told me I still had more gifts waiting for me! My reaction: WHAAAAAT?! He led me back into the office and there was a milk tea boba waiting for me, with another letter attached to it! This letter was signed from a kuya/ate, codenamed Obtuse Angle. My jaw dropped! I'm so stoked. I have two kuya/ates. That's more than I could have ever wished for. (Hah—I find it amusing that I've been using the term "boba" more than "PMT.")

Wednesday • I woke up early to write a letter to my second kuya/ate Obtuse Angle! I'm really proud of my handiwork. :') I also participated in my first APSU general meeting! It feels so different to be standing in front of the crowd rather than sitting in it. I think the members enjoyed the icebreaker that I'd chosen for today's agenda, and that makes me feel happy. :)

Thursday • Played badminton again after class! I just hit and rallied with my friend A but it was still  really fun. :3 Then I went to my CSA big's boyfriend's villa and we all made dinner again! (I made sure to refrigerate the leftover rice this time because my big always forgets/neglects to do so and ends up throwing the rice away.) Afterwards I went to Shapell and hung out with some Barkada people until really late.

Friday to Sunday • I'll be writing a separate post on this later! I'll be at Barkada's Friendship Games, so I'll definitely have a lot more than highlights to talk about!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

week four (initiation, family, and little reasons to smile everyday)

The last page in the booklet from Little Joy's eponymous album.

Inspiration for the week of 10/13-10/19:
  • Aaron James Gresham's posters for Vampire Weekend's UK 2013 tour
  • "Emma Approved" — I love it so much already. Thank you, Pemberley Digital!

Things/people I'm grateful to and for:
  • Barkada! The whole KAA family thing is making me so happy and excited!
  • Honestly, I'm generally just super thankful for the MCC family
  • Relatively empty highways on the nights I drive home super late
  • A full tank of gas to start off each week (my gratitude for this is immeasurable)
  • Daily "pings" (i.e., encounters and brief interactions with attractive people who make me smile)

Recap/highlights of the week:

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Old photo, taken during the summer in San Francisco.

Inspiration for the week of 10/6-10/12:
  • Jennifer Dewalt, who learned to code by building 180 websites in 180 days (Seriously, she is currently my hero because I spent about a week over the summer learning HTML/CSS from Codeacademy but I lost motivation because I didn't know where/how to apply what I'd learned. Discovering her feat just blows me away!)
  • Poetry magazine (I need to renew my subscription.)
  • Mathilde Roussel

Things/people I'm grateful for:
  • Google Hangouts and Skype
  • Finding fellow English majors at school
  • The people who have made me feel so welcome at school

Things that happened this week but I'm too lazy to make a separate post for:
  • Halloween Haunt at Great America with some friends. I can handle horror movies, games, and books, but when it comes to being spooked and chased in person, you can count on me to cling onto your arm or hold your hand for dear life. I'm more scared of being jumped at than I am of a person dressed up in a creepy costume. (My goodness, I'm actually considering going a second time with a different group of people.)

What I've been listening to:
  • The Speed of Things (2013) by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

the best birthday I never would have imagined celebrating

Feeling so, so grateful. 

I woke up this morning not realizing what kind of surprises the day would have in store for me. I thought I would be passing just another simple day at school, and the fact that today was my 18th birthday would just be a little secret for me to enjoy by myself. I thought the most that would happen would maybe be just a few Facebook friends would remember and wish me a happy one if they happened to pass by me on campus.

Well, I was wrong.

By the time I'd woken up and gotten ready for school, the house was basically empty and I wasn't expecting my grandmother to remember. I loaded my car's trunk and then proceeded to open the driver's door. The first thing I saw was a red envelope sitting on the seat, with the words "Happy Birthday" in Chinese written on it in my mother's handwriting. I teared up immediately and had to stand there like an idiot wiping away tears.

I got to school just five minutes before class started, and I didn't have a chance to see anyone before class. I sat next to Y and noticed she was more tired than usual, but I only assumed that she hadn't slept well the night before and that her morning practice for the rowing team had been tougher than usual. After class we left the building together and before I could say bye she made a beeline for two of my friends who were standing outside the entrance and I was stuck behind a small crowd of people pushing their way out. By the time I went down the steps they were all smiling and that was when I realized that J was holding a plate of cupcakes out for me! They all said Happy Birthday and I was so surprised I didn't know what to do! The reason why Y was especially tired that morning was because she and J had spent the night baking for me. Ahh, I was so unbelievably touched.

As a group we headed to Benson to meet up with others for lunch. After I sat down A met up with us and the first thing she did was place a little box of macarons and a chocolate cupcake in front of me! I gave her a big hug because she knew I hadn't had macarons in a really long time. She remembered that I love pistachio-flavored everything, too. Then D sat down and handed me a big plastic bag. Inside was a giant slice of chocolate cake from Safeway, along with a copy of Aesop's Fables. That was totally unexpected! When he'd texted me in the morning asking if I wanted to have lunch with him, I was just expecting a Happy Birthday and some catching up, but he was so sweet and actually gave me something. At that point I was already feeling incredibly overwhelmed with happiness.

After lunch, I went to move my car to the parking structure, and I saw M and Ch there. Ch gave me a cute little balloon that she'd doodled on. It was a simple little gift, but it still made me smile.

The surprises didn't end there. After my last class of the day, I went to the APSU meeting and a couple of upperclassmen wished me Happy Birthday too, so that was really nice. BUT BUT BUT! The major surprise that basically made my jaw drop was when the meeting started. Our meetings are guided by Powerpoints designed by the super wonderful T, so the first slide was just a regular introductory slide. They clicked to the next slide and what popped up was a bright pink slide that read: "KEEP CALM AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY SERENA." I could not believe it. They'd dedicated an entire slide to me, a tiny little freshman who no one except the board members really knew! I was so moved, oh my goodness. They then had me stand up in front of everyone else and the room sang to me. So flustered and happy and nervous and all those feelings you get when you're just 100% flattered!

Finished the night by eating yummy Paris Baguette cheesecake with my family. :')

I'm incredibly grateful to have found all these people on campus who make me feel so loved. I really couldn't have wished for a better day. I was smiling like a dummy the entire drive home.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

you belong here

Inspiration for the week of 9/29-10/5:
  • James and Aubrey (Actually, just watch all of this guy's videos. They're fantastic.)
  • "I am learning everyday to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me." — Tracee Ellis Ross, in an interview for UPTOWN
  • Margaret Howell S/S 13 (photographed by Mark Sanders)
  • Start Small: Why Tinkerers Get Things Done via 99u
  • "We don’t give other people credit for the same interior complexity we take for granted in ourselves, the same capacity for holding contradictory feelings in balance, for complexly alloyed affections, for bottomless generosity of heart and petty, capricious malice. We can’t believe that anyone could be unkind to us and still be genuinely fond of us, although we do it all the time." — Tim Kreider, from I Know What You Think of Me

Things and people I'm grateful for:
  • The cute tech guy who complimented the customizations I'd done to my Mac.
  • The campus library
  • The fact that my dog still loves me even though I'm rarely at home anymore
  • More future concert buddies
  • All the old copies of The Santa Clara Review that I picked up this week around campus
  • The APSU board members who've been taking care of me

What I was listening to while compiling this post:
  • Pure Heroine (2013) by Lorde
  • You Belong Here (2013) by Leagues
  • AM (2013) by Arctic Monkeys

week two

Stranger: "Oh, so what dorm do you live in?"
Me: "I commute, but I actually live in the library. Second floor to be exact."
Week started out slowly, but then I blinked and now it's Saturday. I guess that's a sign that I'm starting to acclimate to college?

Honestly, I'm not really in the mood to pick out every single detail of my week (currently in the library taking a study break from Latin), so I guess I'll just do a general overview and mention a few highlights.

I'm really starting to get a feel for my classes. Latin is pretty awesome. It's tough, but I love learning languages. The grammar is really new to me, but it's a cool challenge. I've been seeing it as a puzzle and it feels so good when I get rollin' on my homework. It's really satisfying. First quiz on Monday—wish me luck! As for Sociology, I'm having a lot of fun listening to my professor. He's quirky and always has something cool to say. I'm hoping to contribute more in class.  English/CTW is pretty good too. I thought it would be my least favorite class (even though I'm an English major, go figure) but my first essay's draft is darn awesome and I'm looking forward to more class discussions.

One thing I've really been liking about the quarter so far is that I have no busy work. Everything that I'm assigned has a purpose that's geared towards improving my comprehension of what we're going over in class. Favorite assignment so far—the Eye Contact Project for Sociology. Everything else is mostly reading and being able to talk about it in class. Cool beans. My CTW class revolves around food (Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan) and it makes me really happy and involved because this past summer I spent so much time researching different nutritional regimes and diets.

I've also been spending a lot of time at the library. It feels good to get stuff done here. I simply can't concentrate at home anymore. My productivity level drops to zero once I set my things down in my bedroom and see my dog.

Club meetings have also started. I joined two multicultural clubs: CSA and APSU. I'm going to run for a position as freshman rep for APSU! Went to their Tomi Seafood brunch today and two of the board members really took care of me and made me feel welcome. Reminds me of back when I first joined Key Club in high school. Fingers crossed and hope I get the position! I also have to email the Santa Clara Review and ask if I can hop on as a volunteer assistant to a genre editor. So nervous but so exciting at the same time!

  • Still feeling a little left out as a commuter sometimes. Once I get more involved in CSA and APSU I'm hoping it'll go away. Keeping a strong, positive, friendly mindset!
  • Playing piano and ping pong in Swig's basement after Curryoke at Sobrato. So much laughter and derping around.
  • The cute tech guy who complimented my Mac's desktop. It made me so happy when he said he liked my dock. He even noticed that I'd substituted the menu bar icons! No one ever notices that part! Ever! He even asked if I was a CS major since I'd done everything manually, but I told him no and said I just have free time. Yeah...these are the little things that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

life's too short to even care at all

October 1, 2013:

This year's fall concert featured Young the Giant. I was really excited to see them, and they didn't disappoint. I was a little miffed at how they made us wait almost forty minutes after the opening artist (Nick Checo) finished before they appeared, but once they did I guess the wait was worth it. They played a handful of new songs, so I'm excited for a second album! I've been wondering if they were working on anything new.

Lots more pictures after the break. Hope you like them! They were all taken with my phone (HTC One) but I made sure to fix them up a lot before sharing.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

things and more things

Inspiration for the week of 9/22-9/28:
  • (Shown above) Ana Kraš - Shy Gestures from the Avant/Garde Diaries. (Ana & Devendra collabs = !!!! = loveliest couple ever)
  • Refer to this post for the poems that I discovered/re-discovered this week.
  • Prof. Jensen Jeung. Only been in his class for two days and he's already my favorite.
  • 100 Years From Now

Things and people I'm grateful for:
  • My soon-to-be concert buddy!
  • The little girl I'm tutoring.
  • That guy who has the really wonderful and deep voice and who is also so humble about who he is and where he's been that it amazes me.
  • My commuter buds.
  • Having a car.

Things I just realized:
  • I'm seeing Young the Giant on Tuesday.
  • I still haven't finished watching Pushing Daisies.

What I was listening to while putting this post together:
  • We Are The Tide (2011) by Blind Pilot

week one

View from the eleventh floor of Swig. Sorry you have to deal with my low quality photos (taken with my phone).

Who knew the first five days at school could feel like five months?

9/21-9/22: Welcome Weekend. Mostly just freshmen moving into their dorms and other activities. Commuters were "welcome to attend" but we were excluded from just about everything. Honestly it sucked, but I'm grateful we made a commuter group on Facebook beforehand and were able to connect and meet up with each other that weekend. It made making friends and going around campus a lot easier. I went to one party on Saturday night, and that was interesting. I was with some pretty great people so that made the experience more satisfying, but in general I don't see the point in convening with hordes of strangers who are mostly there to get high and wasted. Some say it's how you socialize and network, but how do you network with people who are just getting smashed and spilling drinks everywhere? Not cool in my book. (Especially since a lot of people were sent to get medical help that night.) Apparently it was a "really good" party, and I guess I can see why, but in general my ideal party is an intimate night (alcohol optional) with my peeps and actually getting to have good conversations, rather than having to shout over the din of shouting drunkards.

9/23-9/27: First week of classes. This quarter I'm taking Elementary Latin, Principles of Sociology, Critical Thinking and Writing (a fall/winter core requirement), and Intro to East Asia History. I'm really happy with it. Earliest class is at 11:45 am so I don't need to leave the house before eleven. Only one class on Friday, so I'm out by one in the afternoon. My favorite professor at the moment is my sociology professor. Everything seems like a blur right now and I'm getting sleepy trying to remember everything so I'll just leave it there.

At least I'm 10% done with this quarter already. Everything is going to go swimmingly. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Some things never leave a person:

Old photo. Taken around April this year at Mission Peak.

Poems I read tonight and would like to share:

Now that I think of it, those three poems all contain really lovely color imagery. Golds, oranges, reds. I guess I'm subconsciously finding myself drawn to autumn colors. I actually started crying after reading "Persimmons" (oh hush—crying over poems is what I do to alleviate stress) because sometimes poems just knock you over that edge you've been tip-toeing along during those days or weeks or months when you're plain exhausted, so you just gotta let the tears well up. Then you dry your eyes. Then you keep going. Yup. Can you tell that I'm writing this at one in the morning while avoiding my Latin homework and Sociology reading?

Happy reading (and crying, if that applies to any of you).

Sunday, September 22, 2013

succulents and room redecorating

This is the sketchbook I mentioned in a previous post, featuring a page of colorful stickers from an old Hamtaro calendar that I never used and a quick drawing based on the model in this post found on Tumblr. Next to the sketchbook are two succulents that I've propagated from plants in my backyard! There's a third one sitting on top of my wardrobe inside a glass fishbowl, but I think it's dying so I may have to plant a new one...

I recently decided I wanted to redecorate my room a bit. After weeks of watching friends go off to college and looking at their Instagram and Facebook posts about moving into their dorms, as well as reading those college life blogs that post nice photos of well-decorated dorm rooms and apartments, I was pretty inspired to liven up my own living space. I'm a commuter student, so I won't get to experience the whole "college dorm life" thing. As a result, I decided I wanted to treat myself and do a bit of redecorating. It's definitely not the same as personalizing a dorm room (since you can't show it off to floormates and friends), but at least it's something. After all, the pros of commuting include having my room all to myself as well as plenty of space.

So far everything is still a work in progress. I'm really happy that my succulents are still alive (I'd be disappointed in myself if they weren't). I got the idea from Apartment Therapy. The plants are really tiny and cute and I think having a little bit of green in any room is refreshing. Succulents are super low maintenance, too, once you get them settled in.

The other day, after stopping by school to pick up my ID card and textbooks, I decided I wanted to visit downtown's Recycle Bookstore. While trying to find parking I spotted a little thrift store, Elefante Blanco, and decided I'd check it out too. It was a really nice little nonprofit boutique that supports Rotary International. They had clothes, shoes, books, LPs ($1 each!), costume jewelry, and many other vintage knick-knacks and trinkets. I think I'm a little in love with the place. They had a decent selection of shoes in the size 5 1/2 which is amazing because I never find shoes in my size when I go thrifting! I didn't want to spend a lot of money and only bought two Pottery Barn cloth napkins (49 cents each) with a really nice blue pattern on them. I don't really know how I want to use them to decorate my room yet, but for the time being they're hanging over my bookshelf. They look pretty sitting there, but I'm sure I'll find an even better use for them soon.

It's not likely that I'll be able to do much else since school's starting (and my goodness there are so many activities planned for freshmen during the next few weeks), but I'm making it an ongoing project for when I have free time at home.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

outshine it

Inspiration for the week of 9/15-9/21:

  • 1972 by Noritaka Minami
  • "The powerful and important thing about spoken word is, it doesn't matter what it looks like on paper. It's about what it sounds like when you say it out loud" — [the wonderful, lovely, amazing] Sarah Kay, via Education Week
  • "Never apologize for your course of study — outshine it." — (I am so grateful for this quote. The posts on this Tumbleog honestly made me tear up after reading through the "English major success" tag.)
  • the lovely Nancy H. for motivating me to keep "blogblogging"

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Nutella cravings, among other things

This week's inspiration, favorite discoveries — generally just things I'm especially grateful for.

  • tostada con tomate (using gluten-free bread, grape tomatoes, and a drizzle of honey)
  • a bowl of granola + a spoonful of Nutella
  • Becky May
  • Joshua Saunders's music box pieces
  • the sounds of autumn from Stijn's bedroom window in Europe
  • cherry lip balm
  • 101 Vultures by Alex Winston
  • Slumflower

There's still about a week before I start school but I'm already spending a lot of quality time at the public library! The other day I finished A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams and am working my way through Joyce's Dubliners. I've been meaning to pick it up for ages after reading "Araby" and "The Boarding House" in last year's literature textbook. 

The other books I took with me are Taipei by Tao Lin, Horoscopes for the Dead by Billy Collins, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee, and How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers. Looking forward to powering through them before the excitement of my first quarter in college begins! I might write some reflections on the books, if I feel like it.

I also pulled out an old sketchbook I'd bought years ago and started filling its pages again. I've done some watercolors and collages in it already, as well as a bunch of lists and quick sketches. I found a list of journal ideas online and quickly jotted down a short story (more like a piece of flash fiction, really) using the prompt, "Write a work that intersperses love with landlords." It's pretty crazy, but I'm partially satisfied with what I ended up with. You can read it here.