january, 2021

1. is it spring break yet

January is over, and I am tiiiiired. This month, y’all. A lot has happened, both current events-wise and in relation to me. The U.S. has a new President, the Capitol was attacked by white supremacist Trump supporters, California is still in a bad pandemic place. I started my winter quarter of school, moved to an apartment, overbooked myself with school and other stuff and am trying to figure out how to work and rest.

I’m trying to figure out how to feel good. My therapist and I talked about this recently, and I’ve been thinking about it – I moved out and I’m processing it. I’m in a space which is my own, that feels safe, that feels like home. I feel impatient, like a switch should’ve flipped and I should’ve become Trauma Free Fun Time Max already. This is another one of those things I’m learning to be less hard on myself about. I’m processing things, I’m working through, I’m adjusting, and it’s natural that that takes time. It’d be bizarre if it was immediate. I’ve just started driving away, and the object in my rear view mirror will only get smaller from here. There’s so many months for the year to take a goddamn upturn! I’m trusting myself to be well throughout.

It feels odd to be doing things and trying to do things for myself when my country is, by most metrics, falling apart. I don’t really know what to make of it – this cognitive dissonance of being OK when so many aren’t.

2. good distractions

My Roommate is a Cat: A random anime we started watching about a lonely writer who adopts a cat. Hijinks ensue. I cried, I laughed, I found out it only got one season and cried some more. This anime was a random one up on the front page of the Funimation app and we clicked on it because the cat looks like our cat, but my god. Grief! Loss! Learning to love! True friendship! Overcoming social anxiety! Caring for others! Learning to care for the self! Not to mention a perfect depiction of the animal we call a cat!

Tickets To My Downfall: Perhaps the most surprising thing about 2020 has been the discovery that I enjoy Machine Gun Kelly’s music. I’ll be honest – this was a bit of a dismaying realization to come to. I switched the radio every time he came on rapping, but now it seems he’s pivoted into pop-punk-whatever-you-call-this-genre. Him? I asked myself. Really? And yet. The heart wants what it wants. My heart, as it happens, will perhaps always be into angsty white men with guitar music. And so it happens that I genuinely enjoy every musical track off this album and am still listening to it months after it came out. The interludes, where he’s talking with Pete Davidson and Megan Fox, are slimy wilted lettuce, and are shitty enough to take me out of my enjoyment. I record scratch into “my god, did this really have to be the new artist I discovered in 2020?” But then the next track starts and I get back to wailing along.

Heavy Is The Head: Another surprising music discovery has been that I’m into Stormzy. As my boyfriend said, “Who knew you’d be into grime?” Me. I would not know I’d be into grime. I don’t even know what that music genre means. This album clearly does not make me feel as “oh god, really?” as Machine Gun Kelly does, and I’ve never figured out how to talk about music other than “yes sound good I like”, so this paragraph is much shorter. All the tracks are good, I have nothing else to say. I also love the album art for this – the lighting, the deep green background, the overall color palette, the typography around his head, the tYPE AROUND HIS HEAD, the glint off his pec, I mean… So good. Chef’s snog.

3. reading log

Beyond the suffering subject: toward an anthropology of the good by Joel Robbins

Grief and a Headhunter’s Rage by Renato Rosaldo

Research, Ethnic Fraud, And The Academy: A Protocol For Working With Indigenous Communities And Peoples by Karen Lawford and Veldon Coburn

Mapping Indigenous LA: Perspectives on a Selection of Gabrieleno/Tongva Spaces

Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny

‘He’s just tryna be black’: The Intersections of Blackness and Indigeneity in Hip Hop Culture (Chapter Four in Hip Hop Beats, 2018) by Kyle Mays

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo in International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 3, no. 3 (2011): 54-70.

The Dehumanizing Condescension of White Fragility by John McWhorter

To save birds, should we kill off cats? by Noah Strycker

The Moral Cost of Cats in Smithsonian Magazine

The Narcissistic Family Explained by How To Kill a Narcissist

The Snapchat cat filter shows how little we know about cat cognition by Nicole Wetsman

What Is Settler-Colonialism? by Amanda Morris

Debunking Myths About Estrangement by Catherine Saint Louis for The New York Times

We Tested 75 (and Counting) Actually Kind of Stylish Fabric Face Masks by Liza Corsillo for New York magazine

4. videos and photos perhaps also worth remembering

5. camera roll


december | 2020

1. good riddance

It’s the last month of the year, thank god. 2020 has felt very slow and very fast all at once, but as the saying goes – the only way out is through. So I’m glad we’re at least through. In December I zoomed through the last bit of fall quarter (ha ha ha pun unintended but much appreciated) and stumbled into winter break. This month has felt like this year in a microcosm for me. A lot of work to try and distract from absolute tragedy and chaos, a lot of breakdowns, a lot of being grateful that I’m somehow still kicking, a lot of mess and trying to find pockets of OK-ness and laughter within. I had some wins this month – I did yoga for 17 out of 31 days this month, which is the most regular I’ve been in a bit. I started reading a book for fun over winter break, and that’s a nice thing to do. I decided I want to move out on my own sooner rather than later, and it feels good seeing a light at the end of the tunnel that isn’t an incoming train.


the last few months (september, october, november) | 2020

1 – still doing the best i can with the shit i have

My god, is December here already? The past few months have truly run away with me. September was my last month being out of school, so my last ‘summer’. If I somehow manage to get a job after graduation, this is my last summer ever (probably, maybe). It felt odd to not be doing the regular ‘summer’ things and all the stuff I had planned for this specific summer – traveling, mainly, but also, you know, going outside in cute summer dresses and not being afraid about pandemic. Since the academic year started for me the first week of October, I think all that summer baggage just felt a little extra funky because there was definitely zero chance Summer 2020 would be alive and fun again. In November we had an election in the US and are still in the midst of post-election everything. It’s been a bonkers year.

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august | 2020

1 – time isn’t real

I don’t even know what to say in these anymore; time is really difficult when working from home and isolating. I think I’m in a shrinking group of people still doing the stay-at-home, shelter-in-place thing, so I feel a bit like a wet blanket but also liiiike yeah no do I really value in-person restaurant hang outs more than people’s lives and health? I dunno. I don’t think so. Some things which happened this month to mark the passage of time did happen though! I gave myself bangs at 1AM, and, you know, they’re alright. It was a Difficult Adjustment and I thought of many different drastic hair decisions to make (bleaching, dying, undercut, side shave, buzzed completely) and in the end went with the smallest impulse decision lol. It’s fine! I think I look cute! I also moved out of my LA apartment permanently, which is a Thing I feel oddly about. The end of ~a chapter of my life~, I guess, and now I definitely live with my parents again. Which is fine! I insist! I may cry more but this is a difficult season arc that I’ll survive! Otherwise, you know, summer classes are chugging along, California had (is still having) the shittiest heatwave and wildfire time, and I’m doing the best I can with the shit I have.


july | 2020

1. what a month

July brought me out of LA and back to northern California, so here I am again and it’s looking like I’ll be here for a while. The days are still blurring together. I’ve been trying to take things day by day in terms of taking care of myself and taking care of the things I want to do, and it’s going – OK? I think? The bad things are still there but there’s also lots of good things, so I think it averages out to OK. The summer classes I’m taking have just started, and I hope to god those provide some positive structure to my days and cool things to think about instead of sending me to an early grave because of this terrifyingly fast 6-week schedule.

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april, may, and june | 2020

1 – a few months in review

It’s been a hot minute, Internet void, and I’m back to blabber on a bit about the toxic hellhole cesspit we call the year 2020. April was the first whole month I spent inside at home with my parents, my brother, and my boyfriend. At the end of the month my laptop charger frayed beyond the point of any artful smushing to get it at just the right angle to charge, and that’s a good metaphor for the month. Family issues were, as always, not fun! May brought midterms, more of those fun family issues, and a headfirst tumble into bad depression and anxiety land. I moved back to my apartment in LA near the end of May, and then June was finals week and another fun household conflict, roommate edition this time, and I’m preparing to move back in with my parents again. The days have kind of blurred together and it feels so bizarre that we are halfway through the year. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing that I can’t seem to remember the passage of time (makes this mess pass a bit faster?) or not (feels like I’m trapped in an endless series of reboots of the same jumble of shit?) but it’s happening either way.

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rome 🇮🇹 the trevi, spanish steps, and more picturesque wandering about

We are in the midst of a global pandemic and that means I have a little more time at home than I expected to have. I’m editing photos from last summer’s trip to Italy, thinking about what they’re going through there and here and everywhere and wanting to kind of sort of completely burst into tears, and waiting for shit to hit the fan even more here in the U.S. It’s not a great time, as I’m sure y’all know. I didn’t know if I should keep puttering away here while things are crazy outside, but 1) no one reads this blog anyway and 2) it seems like nice things are nice during good times and bad, so I don’t think I should stop doing them. OK, we’re done with the guilty introduction to this post – let me tell you about my favorite day I spent in Rome.

I started off at the Trevi Fountain, this time during the day and packed with people. A bit, uh, awful if I’m to be honest. Crowds and the heat are the worst way to explore.

Would like to highlight this funny looking car!!! What a hoot!

I followed the Rick Steves Europe app tour (my source for all the fun facts I’ll spout) to the opening of an ancient aqueduct, the same one that still feeds the Trevi Fountain. Although the Acqua Vergine was blocked by a grate, it was still cool to see and think about all those old timey Romans getting water from the same place they’re using today. You ever think about how funny time is and how weird it is that we’re here and there were people here before us and things are so different and yet similar all at once? You guys, I’m not even high when I think these things.

The Column of Immaculate Conception, made to advance the doctrine of Immaculate Conception from the Catholic Church in the 1850s, is the idea that Jesus was born without sin and so was his mother Mary. She stands in front of the Palace of the Propagation of Faith, aka the Church’s PR department, which has a yellow flag indicating it’s still owned by the Vatican.

The Spanish Steps are named so because the Spanish Embassy is in this square! Rome needs double the embassies of any other city, because each country needs two embassies here – one for Italy, and one for the Vatican. The one here is the Spanish Embassy for the Vatican. Anyway, beautiful of course, and roasting and crowded with people. I sat in the shade for a bit and people watched while I tried to ignore how sweaty I was from walking here.

This orange building has a sign between its windows that says John Keats died here of tuberculosis. He was 25! Jeez.

This Sinking Boat Fountain is fed from the same aqueduct we saw earlier! And it was built by either Bernini or his dad (so, the Bernini we all know, or the less famous one that gave the dude his surname.

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march | 2020

1 – welp

Anyone reading this right now probably knows that everything is shit, but it still bears mentioning. So uh, we’re obviously in the midst of a global pandemic right now. That means I’m back home with my family in northern California instead of in my LA college apartment, and it feels bonkers to think about what I started this month doing and feeling versus how I’m ending. At the beginning of March I went to my friend’s theatre show, a dinner with twelve strangers (a cool UCLA alumni event where I had tortellini the size of my fist it was great), voted in our state’s primary election, finished my tours training, ate Korean BBQ and spent legitimately the next 3 days feeling full, watched a lot of New Girl, and planned my spring break. Soon after those first, like, ten days of the month, it became clear that life was not going to proceed as previously planned. I did all my finals online. I cancelled my spring break travel. UCLA announced the whole of spring quarter would be online, so I came home for break and now I’m home for an indefinite amount of time, planning to work from home and wondering what the hell’s gonna happen to my apartment. At some point in all this, I turned 23. (It was on the day we got the email that spring quarter would be all online.)

It’s funny, because I was walking around campus sometime in late February, listening to some music that may or may not play in the indie movie daydreams I have, and I thought to myself “man, I’m really gonna miss this place one day”. And that day is upon us! Who knows when I’ll be back at UCLA, you know? My days were already numbered, and now those numbers have dwindled even more. This time has been clarifying for me, in the way that tragedy always is. I know I — and my family, friends, state, country, planet — am not even in the worst of it yet. But already I’m thinking about how I want to live after this is over. I want to dye my hair blue, because life is too short to worry about how weird it’ll be and it’ll be fun and I’ll either look cool and love it or not look so cool and it’ll be over soon enough. I want to donate more money to causes I care about, because I can probably spare the price of a dinner and what’s the point of being an American immigrant with a better livelihood than your grandparents if you can’t help others get there too. I want to canvass for policies that need voices, any voices, maybe mine, just to have one more. I want to give more hugs.

So, um, yeah. That’s where I’m at as March is ending. I’m 3 for 3 on saying “this month was awful, I hope it gets better!” but this time, for the world’s sake as well as my own, I really fucking hope things take an upturn from here.