Life & Ramblings

september ’19 // month in review

1 – beginnings + endings

I’ve moved to LA! Halfway through the month I moved 400 miles south. The first two weeks of September were spent finishing up at my internship and restaurant job, packing up a lot of stuff, and feeling very unprepared for the end of my time in my lil ol’ hometown. Then I had a six-hour drive, a confused cat, a helpful boyfriend, blessedly absent parents, a very difficult IKEA bed, and the beginning of whatever I’m doing now!

I’m in the first week of my first quarter here at UCLA and hopefully two years from now I’ll have a bachelor’s degree, a few friends, some cool LA thrifted clothes, and some cooking and tidying and general house skills to show for it. I still feel pretty weird but I’m looking forward to feeling normal here eventually.

2 – things i’ve liked a lot

Silent D Shoes: I was so fucking #influenced and I’m only slightly ashamed that I was seriously going to spend $150 on these. Ashley from bestdressed wears these in black a lot and they look so fucking cool that I clicked on the link and looked at them seventeen times a day for, like, four days straight. I think the most I’ve ever spent on a pair of shoes is around $100 (for my Sam Edelman loafers), everything else is in the 50 or 60ish range, but lord. Shoes are my biggest wardrobe weakness and I went from “wow, I am generally uncomfortable spending anything over $50 for shoes” to “I need those $150 shoes right now and I will express ship them if needed” at a frightening speed. My bf thought they were hideous (he’s wrong, obviously) and expensive (he’s got me there), so I checked Ebay and Poshmark and Mercari and LO, $30 ON POSHMARK, MY SIZE, THEY’RE MINE. I wasn’t sold on the silver at first as it’s a bit loud, but for $30?! I’ll take ‘em. I really like them!!!! I really love them!!!!! The silver isn’t as unwearable as I had feared and, I mean, they’re kind of an out there shoe look to begin with so in for a huge buckle penny in for a shiny silver pound, eh?

Moving away from my parents: Don’t want to put anyone on blast here, not least people who are responsible for funding the vast majority of my life, but let’s just say I have very much enjoyed some geographic distance from a few people who are not the most helpful to my mental health. Depression, actually improved. Anxiety, same. Acne, still fine because of my acne cream. 🙂

My new tattoo: A lot of big changes this September!!! Another being that my right arm has this big piece o’ black on it now! Claire at Tex Tattoo in SF did it for me and it is so gosh dang pretty. I wanted golden poppies (for sweet home California) and thistles (for sweet birthplace Scotland) and she whipped up this cute lil thing. My butt was numb and hurt by the end, but my arm didn’t feel too bad at all and it’s healing pretty well now. My parents are disappointed in me which is par for the course, I know the rest of my family is going to be o_O (I think this is an emoticon we need to bring back from the 2000s graveyard), and I myself think it looks so so nice.

3 – from my camera roll

Thank you cards I made for my internship office! I wasn’t the happiest with the middle one but I also lacked the time and energy to make a new one lol. For my last day we went out for lunch at a Mexican restaurant and they got me a California State Senate resolution which meant a lot to me. It’s good to be appreciated for ur work u kno!

This sign was at my vet one day and I mean, my god. Zoom in and you can see those lil animal faces. And my tears because it is so sad.

We did a lil day trip to SF to get my tattoo and had ramen in Japantown afterwards, as well as picking up some donuts for the drive back home.

Saw this sign in Berkeley on the way back – I think someone hacks into those traffic signs to say stuff like that :O ✊✊✊

I’m trying really hard to remember this! I think it’s important. My resilience being responsible for me being me – not shit that should not have been there in the first place. Just me taking care of me.

This is literally me every time I go to a Chinese restaurant without my parents lmao.

While my bf was helping me move in, we went to Santa Monica Pier where I saw my gosh darned name on a tourist knick knack for the first time in my entire life. It was less exciting than I thought it would be.

Lots of people go fishing here!! It’s wild.

I finally finished my cross stitch! I didn’t even properly finish it because I lost the instructions lmao; I think I was supposed to backstitch a detail or something. But I’m really happy with it! I have a lot of trouble doing art and creative things because I’m afraid of being bad at it – and that’s a thing I’m working on getting over because obviously when you learn new things you’re not amazing at them + sometimes it’s nice to do things you like even if you’re not really good. So I’m proud of myself for being persistent with this guy and I hope my next project doesn’t take me two years! (I’m not that bad, it took me 2 years mostly because I would start and then forget about it for three months and then pick it back up for a week and then repeat the cycle.)

And this is a wire grid from IKEA I got as ~decor~*. I’m really looking forward to making this space mine and feel like home, so this is me trying to decorate!

After moving/building furniture, we went out for a very late dinner at Fat Sal’s. We realized very quickly that this is definitely food that’s great at 2AM when you’re drunk.

It’s really bright in my room. My blinds don’t do anything! So I put up my towels in a sad attempt to block light and this is Luna being confused about my interior decor.

Actual images of me trying to be social and make friends right now lmao.

I leave you with this hILARIOUS Chinese meme.

4 – things i have not really liked at all

Long distance: My boyfriend and I are in a long distance relationship now with 400 miles between us. It feels pretty sad to not be able to drive fifteen minutes to see each other and have to schedule phone calls every couple days. I’m really thankful we’re making it work right now, but it’s just sort of sad, you know? When your individual life plans mean you kind of have to not be physically together. I don’t think I realized how sad some small things would be or just how empty it feels to receive 0 hugs a day instead of 30.

Being sick and lonely and a bit overwhelmed: The day before the quarter started I woke up with a sore throat, and I’ve still got a cold! It’s not great timing. This is kind of big change in my life and, you know, it’s not the easiest. I’ll figure it out in time, but right now I haven’t yet and it doesn’t feel great.

5 – reading + looking list

Tracy Ma’s typographic tour of Manhattan’s Chinatown for AIGA Eye on Design

I Was a Low-Income College Student. Classes Weren’t the Hard Part. by Anthony Abraham Jack for The New York Times Magazine

I may be just an ordinary orc, but I wasn’t at all surprised when the Dark Lord Sauron became the leader of Mordor. A lot of my smart, liberal friends, though, reacted as if Middle-earth was coming to an end.

[…]

It’s all very well for those of you who dwell in the Shire, the haven of Rivendell, or the quiet forests of Lothlórien. You live in a bubble. You don’t know what life is like for the average orc, in depressed areas like the Trollshaws, the Misty Mountains, or the Dead Marshes. Let me tell you, it’s hard out here for an orc. We experience tremendous insecurity, not knowing whether we’ll have a job, or be able to raid peaceful villages, or if our friends will eat us. Sauron appeals to us economically challenged goblins because he offers us the chance of a decent wage, respect for our values, and renewed pride in being the corrupted spawn of Morgoth.

[…]

And to those who say it’s time we choose someone like Lady Galadriel, forget it. There are still a lot of people who will never vote for an elf.

‘We Need a Wizard Who Can Appeal to the Moderate Orc Voter’ by David Howard for McSweeney’s

Vanessa Lianne’s custom signet rings: If I had more money and more of an inclination to buy things without feeling very guilty I’d like to get one of these that says Luna.

Active meditation: Victoria Hoff writing for The/Thirty on WhoWhatWear

GOOP has no issues weaponizing fears about femininity for profit. They use words like “pure,” “clean,” and “natural” — the same language as the patriarchy — to market supposedly better than conventional (but not really), yet definitely more expensive products as taking charge of your health.

GOOP has promoted vaginal steaming, the origins of which include the false belief that a uterus is full of toxins. If the myth weren’t so harmful, it would be laughable. If menstrual blood were filled with deadly toxins, how exactly does an embryo implant and thrive? 

This lie has been used to exclude menstruating women from school, work, and religious services. Vaginal steaming is a literal tool of the patriarchy. A literal tool of the patriarchy.

No GOOP, we are most definitely not on the same side by Dr. Jen Gunter

Maxwell Tilse’s illustrations and his Etsy shop

AM I OVERTHINKING THIS? Over-answering life’s questions in 101 charts by Michelle Rial


It’s been a big September for me, y’all. I’m not ready for whatever’s coming next but we’re gonna do it anyways. Have a good October!

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Life & Ramblings, School

first impressions

I am a resident of Los Angeles, California now. If I weren’t signed up for paperless billing, my credit card bill would go to LA, CA, USA. If I were faster at doing things on my to-do list, I would be registered to vote in the same city that Lauren Conrad is. (I have a very surface-level knowledge of her and assume that she both lives in LA and votes.)

I will be living here for at least the next two years of my life for school and feel, as with any ending/beginning I experience, funny about it. My boyfriend came to help me move in and as we walked around talking about how different everything is here compared to what we’re used to, he suggested I should write down some first impressions to revisit later. I love this idea and can’t believe I, a highly sentimental and stationery loving person, have never done it before in any of the places I’ve been.

So that’s what this is: the view from my first week here in LA. I hope I’ll be able to look back on this in a year, five, ten, seven hundred, and feel funny all over again.

CONTINUE READING
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Life & Ramblings

august ’19 // month in review

1. LA again

We went to LA again! This time it was because I had my orientation for UCLA, where I enrolled in classes for my first quarter there, did some mandatory health and safety training, and listened to a lot of ‘welcome’ type talks. It was good, in that I still felt pretty nervous beforehand and afterwards those feelings were significantly lower. I think I just attribute that to there being a solid amount of information that helps me feel like things are going to be alright and there’s shit out there to help me when it’s not. A woman said to us that you’ve made transitions before, you’ve done them fine, and this is just another one that you can do too. I wrote that one down in my planner; it’s helpful to think of starting at UCLA as not an entirely new alien experience, but just a new transition that’s both similar and different to previous changes I’ve had in my life. So I’ve made transitions before, I’ll do it again, and this time around I can learn even more. 🙂

The view from the room where I enrolled in classes. I’ve heard friends talk about how difficult it can be to get the classes you need and my god, I understand why now! It feels like a mad rush when the enrollment window opens and you can see that there are 3 out of 157 seats still available in this class you want but the internet is slow and the discussion section you want isn’t available and your fingers are cramping and your bachelor’s degree depends on it!!!!

We had dinner at Malbec, an Argentinian restaurant. I’ve never had this cuisine before and it was delicious! I especially enjoyed the rice, which had peas and carrots in it, and the empanadas. I had to unbutton my skirt after the meal, which is how you know you did a good job and made your ancestors proud.

After eating there, we walked a few blocks to take a look at CalTech. It’s a really pretty campus and there’s a pond full of turtles (tortoises??). There’s apparently also a Pokestop (correct terminology?), as we saw a ton of groups clustered around one building looking at Pokemon Go on their phones. I’ve always swung towards the humanities/social science/art type interests, so going to places like CalTech makes me feel like “ah very science and technology, much prestige discovery, wow”.

A really nize painting at the Chinese restaurant we had dinner at.

The Hammer Museum! I’ve never been here before and I am so chuffed that I’ll be able to come here as it’s definitely walking distance from campus. I’ve never really lived in a place that feels full of art and “culture” (whatever this word means, you know) long-term, so that’s something I’m really excited to experience in LA. It’s something that’s helping me feel much more OK about uprooting myself into a new freaky place.

This piece by Sondra Perry, titled IT’S IN THE GAME ’17 or Mirror Gag for Vitrine and Projection, is so interesting. When I go to art museums/galleries, I take photos of pieces that really stick with me and their accompanying descriptive plaque, but I usually promptly forget about them in my mass of photos. In the spirit of remembering, here’s this one:

In the early 1990s, Electronic Arts (EA) Sports videogames were accompanied by the motto “If it’s in the game, it’s in the game.” The slogan became catchy enough that eventually EA Sports did away with the consequent clause […] Sondra Perry’s [work] takes as its starting point a class action lawsuit brought against EA Sports for the unlawful use of the names and likenesses of student athletes whose identities were licensed by the national Collegiate Athletic Association without their consent. The case in question involved Perry’s twin brother Sandy, who had previously played Division 1 basketball for Georgia Southern University […] Perry’s video draws a parallel between the absorption of physical bodies into the digital space of the games and the colonial foundations of encyclopedic museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, whose collections are based on artifacts that were removed from their original cultural contexts in an attempt to represent the expanse of World civilizations.

And this one features much less social commentary, but it’s Claude Monet’s 1884 View of Bordighera.

2. favorites

The straw lid for my water bottle: The Hydroflask I have just has a regular screw off lid to drink from. On account of being generally a bit clumsy and prone to distraction, I’ve spilled water on myself quite a bit while drinking from it. (The worst time was during class once – everyone was listening to the professor lecture and I thought, ‘hey, this is a great time to drink some water’. I lift the water bottle to my mouth, start drinking, and spill some water down my chin/shirt. The professor looks at me at that exact moment. He keeps lecturing and looks away like nothing’s happened BUT I KNOW HE SAW IT. Anyway, that moment clearly still haunts me, as I’m writing about it months after the fact.) I also think I drink much less water if my water bottle lacks a straw, because I can’t sip while walking or driving. All this to explain that I bought this for around $10 on Amazon and I like it more than the ~official Hydroflask straw lids because it has a bigger handle to hold your bottle in. It’s great! Water intake has increased! Embarrassing spillages have decreased!

Walking my cat: As you can see in the above photo, my cat is on a harness and a leash. It’s the most exciting thing that’s ever happened in my whole life!!!!! I hope I can take her on walks to give her a lil more fun and exercise as we move from our big family house to a smol college apartment, but it’s early days yet and I’m kind of more scared than her lol.

Redwall: It’s not like I needed another cartoon show to cry about, but here we are. My bf and I are watching this on YouTube – he used to watch it as a kid on TV and I’ve never heard of it before. The seasons are distinct storylines, so the first season follows a mouse named Matthias who lives in Redwall Abbey. Matthias and his friends, including a badass badger named Constance and a funny English rabbit named Basil, are being attacked by Cluny the Scourge (a rat), so they must fight to defend their home. The second season, which we’re on right now, follows Matthias’ son, Mattimeo, who is kidnapped by Slagar the Slaver (a fox) and sold into slavery, along with all the other Abbey kids. We just finished the second season, I bawled my eyes out, and now we are starting the third!

3. not favz

Fahrenheit 451: I quite enjoyed this book (I even took a photo of this paragraph I really loved), but I’m popping it in the not favorite section because the bits afterwards really took me from 😌 to 😟. The edition I have, bought from a thrift store, is the 50th anniversary edition, so it had an afterword and a coda written by Bradbury himself and an interview with him. He said/wrote things that compared very valid criticism from women that there were no real female characters in his books (which is true! I was thinking to myself while reading it that it’s fucked how the circle of people Montag encounters at the end is entirely male!) to censorship or a difference of opinions that a white Southern man might have when POC are included in art. And it seems, based on the interview in the back of my edition, that Bradbury intended this to be a critique of the increasing consumption of TV, rather than any tyrannical government or censorship of books and ideas (which is what I mistakenly took from it). So, you know, Mixed bag here. Really did love some turns of phrase from this book, though!

4. camera roll + reading list

While I was away for my UCLA orientation, my bf took care of the cat and our house – he made her a little pizza!! I die from the cuteness, lord.

This is an old photo (are we still calling them tbts? @youth, what are we doing now?) of the British Library that I unearthed and posted on my Instagram. It is the literal prettiest.

How to Make Granola Without a Recipe from Epicurious: The tl;dr of this is 6 parts dry ingredients to 1 part wet, with at least 3 being rolled oats, the wet ingredients being made up of half oil, half sweetener + an egg white, whatever seasoning you want but definitely a pinch of salt, bake until golden brown at 300°F, ~45 minutes, and finally add dried fruit at the end so it doesn’t dry out while baking. I like to eat granola with Greek yoghurt, but I like it at a pretty extreme ratio so I always run out of granola suuuuper quickly. I also think a lot of the granolas out there are kinda extra and I’m not looking for free range quinoa coconut in everything, you know? So I made my own and it turned out great! I did oats, sliced almonds, walnuts, dried ginger, and vanilla extract/honey/cinnamon for my sweetener.

I decided my new planner for the academic year needed a new color code, and then I decided I wanted my Google Calendar to match. So I figured out the hex codes for these Mildliners lol.

I got into an Instagram meme spiral one night and looked at enneagram memes for hoooours with my brother. I’m a type 4 and my brother is a type 9. We LOLed a lot at these.

Jennifer Aniston’s Home from Architectural Digest: It’s beautiful! It looks homey and artsy and cozy and cool. I got onto this link from a Reddit thread that started with Kim and Kanye’s creepy looking mansion, and that one looks like a weird celebrity house… so this is like the polar opposite and is like, ah, they are doing the right thing with their mountains of money and fame. The bathroom has hand-painted floral wallpaper!!

UCLA’s brand guidelines: I’m not entirely sure how I got onto this page, but I think it must have been while I was trying to figure out what colors to use while editing photos for a blog post? In this class I took on the history of graphic design I learned that graphic designers will provide a list of guidelines for brands, to make sure they don’t fuck up the colors and logos. So this page is really interesting, as an inside look into the ~rules~ of color and design that UCLA uses.

Work Shutdown Ritual via Cal Newport: At the end of an average work day, Newport says he goes over his master task list, reviews his calendar for the next couple weeks, and, once he’s decided that he’s on top of everything, finally closes his computer and says “schedule shutdown, complete”. He says that after he says that, it helps put work-related worries and stresses to rest, as he’s said the “termination phrase” and he wouldn’t have done so if everything wasn’t taken care of. The general idea is that a ritual and a phrase to be said aloud upon completing the ritual will really help one’s ability to relax and focus on other things, like resting and recharging and not working. It’s summer now so I don’t have much need for it, but I think I might try it once the school year starts to try and quiet those school-related thoughts that pop up in my head right when I lie down in bed.

Plan.txt via Cal Newport: Another Cal Newport idea! He begins by saying that there are two main parts to productivity – one, organizing all the shit we have to do (which is, obviously, the fun part), and two, actually doing that shit. This blog post of his focuses on the second part. He says that he uses a plain text file named plan.txt to write an action plan for the week on Monday in a very freeform manner. By not being rigid – he says, some weeks it just says “work on X until it’s done” and others it’s longer, with specific people and deadlines mentioned – it helps him narrow in on what’s important to make progress on and in the short-term, he can just do it.

Glamour magazine’s ‘Money Tours’ series on YouTube looks at how women spend their money each month. This is the first video I watched from it and it’s still the best one, because she seems to have a really good handle on putting her money to work for her and saving where she can. It helps, of course, that her apartment is beautiful!!

My bf found some photos from our trip to SF and I think I look cooler than I am!

5. goal recap

THE GOOD

  • Sorted out my residency for UCLA
  • Signed my lease for my (room in an) apartment
  • Enrolled in classes for my first quarter
  • Took my car to be serviced
  • Got pest control for the ants in our house (except as of today September 3, 2019 THEY ARE BACK and my parents refuse to do much about it so I think I will just let them sit there because I’m outta here soon !)
  • Bought a cat tree, desk, and chair for my move
  • Trained my cat to walk on a harness and leash (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

THE NOT SO GR8

  • Learned how to cook my favorite dishes from my mom
  • Cleaned my bedroom/donated furniture (this is a perpetual item here lmao)
  • Was confused about orientation and didn’t enroll in all the classes I need for the double major I’m hoping to do (2 BE FAIR this is half my bad for not doing more research but half my orientation adviser’s bad for not u kno advising me correctly)
  • Honestly August was not half bad and I am being forgiving with myself for the stuff I didn’t do, bc I’m happy with where I spent my time! It’s my last month with my boyfriend and my bb brother and friends and whatnot before I leave, so I’m glad I did all that 🙂

Man this one was a long one. Thanks if you made it thru! :))

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Life & Ramblings

july ’19 // month in review

1. a weekend in sf

July flew by, which is obvious because here I am two weeks into August writing this post lol. I spent a weekend in SF with my bf and my brother and I have a lot of photos to show for it! Otherwise, I have already completely forgotten most of what I did in July – so it’s a good thing I have some photos to fill this post up with.

A mural in the Mission of Carlos Santana.

This is SF’s City Hall! I’d never been there before and we just kind of stumbled across it, but now I finally know the location of the trendy photos everyone takes with those trees lol.

After walking around the Sutro Baths a bit on our first day there, we found a hot pot place in Richmond for dinner. They were very popular and busy so we had to wait, but it was worth it for all you can eat delicious hot pot! While we waited we walked around the area and got donuts down the street at Golden Donuts.

I saw so many lovely plants decorating the entry ways of houses and I felt really ~inspired~* for when I move into my own (room in an) apartment in September.

The Heath Newstand was a very cute, hipster, SF artsy type shop (or at least it felt like that to me, an out-of-towner). I loved the greeting cards and the books they had, especially the travel and art section.

We wandered into a good few random boutiques on the second day, and I was absolute heart eyes at all the art supplies at The Aesthetic Union. I do this thing where I take photos of things I want to buy but won’t let myself buy, like these compliment cards. (I think I do this because I’m pretty frugal with money and feel like I can DIY cards instead of buying them, but I feel liiiiiike it’s weird that it makes me feel an inordinate amount of guilt to buy a nice piece of art that makes me happy so maybe I should talk to a therapist about that.)

My bf saw this tent and said “omg, it would be perfect for Luna!”. I picked it up and saw that, wonder of wonders, it was actually intended to be a cat tent! Then we looked at the tag and it was almost $200, so we put it back to wait for the day when we are millionaires and can spend $200 on a cat tent.

This was outside a school – it says “curious and courageous”. :’)

The murals across SF are so so nice. These are from a brewery that we walked past, and the one above was in the Mission.

2. things i liked a lot

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui: My best friend from high school gave me this book while I was visiting her in LA, so this was my July read. It’s an illustrated memoir and pretty fast to get through because of that, and it was the first graphic novel type book I’ve read that hit me like a non-illustrated one would. She writes and paints with such care and skill and it felt so big to be able to read her story and her family’s history. I saw parts of myself and my Asian immigrant family in it, especially when she wrote about her relationships with her parents and their life in Vietnam. Other parts I couldn’t see us in at all. It feels intimate and foreign all at once, but most of all, it’s exactly what the quote on the back says – “a book to break your heart and heal it”. It was UCLA’s Common Book last year (? I think?) and I’m really :’) to have it as a memory of a visit to my best friend from high school for the school I’m starting at soon.

My Mango wide-leg jeans: I was going to take a photo of these, but honestly it’s the middle of August already and I just want to publish this post lol. Maybe I’ll add one later. In any case, I have the tag in my travel journal which is further down this page in my Rome journal spreads, so you can kind of see what they look like. On me, a person who is firmly 5’3, they look nothing like they do in the picture because they skim the top of my feet and are not culotte length – so that’s why they are my wide-leg jeans and not my culottes, lol. I got them in Rome with my dad and I’m really into the aggressively wide-leg look! I’ve realized lately that I’ve become very blah with my style, wearing the same things all the time, and it bugs me because I remember being into putting outfits together and having fun with experimenting like that. I’m trying to remember that feeling and also trying to dress in a more interesting way – it’s not worked out yet, but we’ll see where we get lol.

Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe: This is a webcomic about the Greek gods that I kept seeing Instagram ads for and my god, they know exactly what kind of people to target with those ads, because I caved and clicked and I’m obsessed with this comic now!!!!! I have push notifications on (and I only have notifications turned on for like 10 apps on my phone that are ‘important’ like banking and messages, not even Instagram!!!) so I know immediately when a new update is up!!!! I LOVE THE GODDAMN THING AND I’M EVEN THINKING OF CONTRIBUTING VIA PATREON!!!! …Anyway, this is a webcomic mainly about Hades and Persephone and I adore the artist’s style of art. It deals with things like sexual assault and toxic parenting really well, and it’s fun and gorgeous to read. I cannot believe an Instagram ad for Webtoon brought this into my life and knew exactly what I wanted. I also know full well that I was a child with a book of 101 illustrated Greek myths that I read cover to cover at least twenty times so, you know, that last sentence is a complete lie.

3. things i did not like a lot

Photographers, Instagrammers – Stop Being So Damn Selfish and Disrespectful from Paul Reiffer’s blog: If you’ve gone anywhere in the past few years, you’ve probably taken a photo for the ‘gram or helped someone take one for the ‘gram or seen a lot of people taking pics for the ‘gram. And, like, this is not to be old man yelling at a cloud about it, but I think we all need to look critically at our photo-taking habits and reassess whether we really need a photo in this lavender field right now. I like Instagram as much as any Gen Z gal, but it’s hard to deny how narcissistic it can make us, as well as how a photo op can be incredibly disrespectful to lands and people. Reiffer is a photographer who wrote this blog post after seeing the lavender fields in Provence overrun by people trying to get their shot. I think Instagrammers, Chinese wedding shoots (idk about other groups bc I’m Chinese? But omg the Chinese wedding shoot thing is like. A WHOLE THING. It’s wild.), photographers, and normal everyday folk alike have a hand in this, and I think Reiffer could have been a little more self-aware of the role he and his fellow photographers have played. Overall though, it’s an interesting read from a photographer’s perspective.

These weren’t people wanting to enjoy the view – or even capture the scenery to share and enjoy well into the future with friends. These are people so obsessed with their own sense of self-importance for the sake of a few instant “likes” on their social media profile that they find it perfectly acceptable to trespass, steal, disrespect the workers and their land – all in the name of “influencing”.

+ how I don’t remember anything else from this month lol

4. camera roll

Something Shalom said to me after I read one of her Instagram captions that really fucking ~spoke to me~ after a week of feeling hardcore imposter syndrome and freaking out about what I’m doing and where I’m going. I wrote it in my planner and I’m trying to remember it still.

I finally finished journalling my Rome trip!

Saw this on my Instagram explore tab, went :o. You guys think it’s true?! I’d like to try it out the next time I’m writing a paper.

Luna’s turned five!!!!! This was my bf’s birthday cake, so don’t worry, we didn’t serve her chocolate cake lol. We just put Luna-appropriate candles on it and gave her extra tuna for dinner. 🙂

I also screenshotted this from somewhere on Instagram (I think someone’s story) and I’d like to read her book. I struggle a lot with the feeling of constantly disappointing my parents, and it would be more OK if I didn’t have accompanying not-super-high self-worth/-esteem. I’m learning every day that it’s not my job to satisfy my parents’ needs and wants; sometimes people are unhappy because they want to be, not because of me.

While sorting my clothes into piles of keep and don’t keep, I tossed my bf’s sweater to the side. And Luna jumped on it immediately, curled right up, and fell asleep. Can you believe this little bub?!?!?? Ach, my heart.

VERY USEFUL BANANA INFO !!

5. goal recap

THE GOOD

  • Got prescription sunglasses
  • Went through all my clothes and got rid of a whole bunch via consignment/donation
  • Applied for my UCLA student ID card
  • + some other miscellaneous school stuff
  • Took my cat to the vet for her annual check up
  • Started working on my cross stitch again
  • Finished my travel journal for my trip to Rome

THE NOT GR8

  • Did not donate various items of furniture that I’ve been meaning to do 4 4evr
  • Did not seriously look for/apply for scholarships
  • Completely stopped writing in my planner so I don’t know what I wanted to do but did not lol

That’s all for July! If I do August on time, I’ll see you in two weeks lol.

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Life & Ramblings, Travel

socal 🌞 santa monica, ucsd, & ucla again

This is the second part of this post, where we go to Santa Monica, UC San Diego, and then I go to UCLA without my parents to stay with my friend for a few days. First up, the beach!

I don’t have a ton to say about the beach, because all we really did was walk around for a bit. So here are photos of said walking around!

It’s weird to think that in a month I’ll be living closer to Santa Monica than to “home”. It’s weird to think that “home” might change soon.

In this one corner there were SO! MANY! BABY! SQUIRRELS! Please now enjoy a detour into amateur wildlife photography with me because they were SO small and SO cute and I COULD NOT BELIEVE HOW CLOSE THEY WERE TO ME.

CONTINUE READING
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Life & Ramblings, Travel

june ’19 // month in review

1. rome

This June I went to Rome/Italy for the first time! I’m a big fan of pasta and art, so Rome is a good place for a tourist with these interests.

I went with my dad, who had a work conference, and that was a. lot. of time to spend with him. And I didn’t super understand what having only him as proper social contact for 24 hours a day for 10 days would do to my mental state!! Short-sighted on my part, seeing as I try to avoid my parents normally, but we live and we learn. As a result of this miscalculation + the stress of traveling, I felt pretty depressed for a few days over this trip and it was really scary! One of the biggest giveaways of my depression flaring up into a bad spot is when I lose my appetite completely; I enjoy eating for fun and regularly melodramatically whine about how I’m absolutely starving and must eat something right this second or else wither away into nothingness, will somebody please bring me some chips!!!!! When I’m depressed, I lose my desire to eat completely. It’s really weird and I don’t know how it works, but when that happens I can easily not eat for, like, 12 hours with nary a tum grumble at all. So that happened in Italy, which was scary and made me feel really guilty for getting to travel to such an amazing place and then not wanting to get out of bed at all.

That said, what a time it was. The art was beautiful, the architecture was beautiful, the people were too, and I’m already mentally planning a trip back for myself – maybe not in the middle of summer when it’s roasting hot. We hit all the main tourist attractions while we were there, so ideally next time I’ll get to spend a lot more time looking at art in museums and galleries.

These are some photos from my phone, but I’ll pull together some DSLR pictures for a post! Hopefully sooner rather than later, but that’s a battle I’ve already lost lol.

And lastly, a page of doodles in the back of my Passion Planner of things I saw a lot of there. It’s funny (in the interesting funny sort of way, not the interesting haha sort of way) to see the smaller, everyday things that are so different from place to place. I think that’s why I like going to grocery stores when I travel so much lol – it really shows how people live, in a way that I think you would miss if you just went to the major tourist attractions and nowhere else.

2. favoritez

Eddy de Pretto’s Random performance on Colors: I’ve been listening to this YouTube video on repeat, and I do not mean that in a hyperbolic way. I mean that I have actually been rewinding the YouTube video (the actual song recording on Spotify just doesn’t sound as good to me?) over and over again while I cross stitch or edit photos or reply to emails or whatever. I have no idea what he’s saying parçe que je parle no bien français, but this is really good. I dig his monk going bowling look, too.

New phone: This month I got a new phone! I had the iPhone 6 and now have the XS. It’s very nice to have a phone that doesn’t crash apps all the time and act very slow, as well as to be able to take portrait photos of my cat lol. I think this might be the last iPhone I get because of pricing/functionality/very obviously planned obsolescence.

Stardew Valley: Like any young child who disliked violence in video games and enjoyed games where the goal is to befriend people and chickens, I loved Harvest Moon. I played it a lot and had a notebook that I kept notes in, featuring illustrations of townspeople and their favorite things. (I married Ellie, in case you were wondering, and in the Nintendo DS version where I played as a girl, I married no one because I thought all the eligible male bachelors were ugly. Ten-year-old me had high standards, apparently.) My bf told me about Stardew Valley by describing it as “a better and bigger Harvest Moon”, I downloaded it on my phone (the only time I’ve ever bought an app with my own money), and now I’m obsessed. It’s just like Harvest Moon but better and bigger and I’m amazed that one person made it all, from the character design to the music to the coding and technical stuff. The game is basically a farming simulator, where you play a person who has inherited a farm and now must make a life for yourself in Stardew Valley. You farm crops, you raise animals, you mine gems in caves, you fish, you befriend villagers, you marry someone, YOU HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE. I think this is a game for people who enjoy games like Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, where you don’t shoot anyone or steal any cars – you just give your neighbors cookies and hug your goats everyday.

3. not favoritez

Shopping for sunglasses: I’m Chinese, and one of the facial features people with my ethnic background tend to have is a very low nose bridge. This makes it difficult for glasses to stay up on my face. In turn, this makes it very difficult for me because I need glasses to see. I want to get prescription sunglasses because 1) I live in sunny California and 2) I don’t like contact lenses, and it’s been hard finding nice sunglasses that look good and don’t fall off my face immediately. It’s 2019, y’all! Why aren’t there more options for me!? Gentle Monster is cool and all but I don’t have that kind of money!!

What I’ve learned implicitly from family: I’ve been realizing a lot of beliefs I have are pretty dang harmful to me, my mental health, and my ability to live and be cool and fine. Those beliefs had to have come from somewhere, and a lot of them come from my parents and how they raised me! Whether intentionally or not, I’ve taken on a lot of things, and this month I realized I think affection/love is tied to achievement/success (and this is part of why I’m terrified of failure bc it equals being alone and uncared for 4evr). Fun fun funnnn. This video on manipulative parents made me :/, but (not to get all emo or anything) I think it’s better to become aware of these things so I can excavate these shitty beliefs from my mind and grow better.

4. camera roll

Another UC meme, lol.

Rose, bud, thorn via Cupcakes & Cashmere: I hate small talk and like to squirrel away questions to ask people to force them to open up to me, so I thought this was a good one. The idea is you go over a positive thing currently going great (rose), something with the potential to grow (bud), and a struggle or negative you’re going through (thorn). I really like this one, so I hope I remember it next time I’m catching up with someone.

Officine Universelle Buly 1803: A beautiful store’s Instagram I discovered via Lorna Luxe‘s Instagram, filled with things that would be so cool to get or give as gifts. All madly out of my price range, of course!

A Stardew Valley comic that made me actually laugh out loud.

Annamarie Tendler Mulaney’s interview with Nylon: Talking about women by mentioning their husbands first is something I dislike doing, but I discovered Annamarie via her husband John (the comedian, the skinny white guy that wears suits on stage) and this article via his Instagram, so I’m afraid I will here. On this picture, his caption reads ‘As I once said to [Annamarie] “you are an art project that is always evolving”‘ and that is when I melted. What a lovely way to view one’s life, right? Her many artistic ventures from makeup to lampshades to embroidery to looking cool as fuck are so cool to be able to watch. And that sentiment of being a constantly evolving art project is something I hope to keep with me instead of freaking out about how I don’t have everything planned out perfectly.

5. goal recap

THE GOOD

  1. Repaired my necklace that I wear everyday
  2. Started investing (opened a Roth IRA! HOW ADULT)
  3. Registered for orientation at UCLA

THE NOT SO GOOD

  1. Find new sunglasses
  2. Do a whole lot of cleaning/decluttering
  3. Finish my LA post for WordPress on time (not that there is an on time, but it’s been like 2 months lol)
  4. Sent my transcripts for UCLA late (snail mail takes a while, who knew!)
  5. Remembered things I did/didn’t do this month tbh

That’s all I’ve got for June! I can’t believe we’re already a good week into July. Next month I’ll have my UCLA orientation, and the month after that I’ll be moved in there – so weird to think about. I hope your summers are going well and that you’re taking good care of yourselves ~

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Life & Ramblings, Travel

a week in LA 🐻


At the end of May I drove down to LA with my parents to visit UCLA, my future school. I took some photos, I want to talk about them, we all know how blogs work. We did a tour led by one of those backwards walking student guides, met up with some of my dad’s friends from college who live in the area, and I dealt with some intense impostor syndrome.

I’m always into a blue and orange combination. And I really liked the “adventure starts here” lettering!

UCLA has a gorgeous campus. It is green and sunny and feels like California in all the best ways. It makes me want to post on my studyblr more and be a Cool College Gal laying on the grassy lawn reading smart books. It also kind of makes me want to have an anxiety attack on the bathroom floor. During our tour I felt intensely insecure about my place there and scared of myself, scared of failure, scared of my ability to self-sabotage so that I fail, and eventually I realized that I live with fear at the top of my mind and that’s something that I want to get rid of. It feels maddeningly simple now but when I thought about it then I was like “my god, is this what Kylie Jenner talked about when she said realizing things?”. I don’t think I’d ever fully grasped how much I live with fear and how much I think in a fearful way – and from that, how much I want that to stop now. So, that’s where I’m at now in regards to this Big Life Move Thing, and I’m trying my darnedest to keep hope and belief strung throughout my brain despite my worst instincts.

It was almost the end of the quarter when we went, so we saw lots of people doing graduation photo shoots and flinging confetti in the air (only to later land on the ground and remain for who knows how long).

This building is Royce Hall and is on the cover of all the brochures and websites and shit that gets trotted out to potential students. This building is also one I had a stress dream about, involving me showing up to class here and being turned away. It’s impossible that my dream will actually occur, in part because I was accepted god damn it, but also because I think this building is only really used for fancy purposes, not classes.

CONTINUE
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Life & Ramblings

may ’19 // month in review

1. summer !!

May brought me into ~summer ~*! I finished my last semester of community college and will be interning/working at the restaurant for the summer before I go off to college and I have this weird feeling of being in a transitory state in my life. My life in a few months will be so different from my life a few months ago, and that uncertainty coupled with no belief in myself lol is freaking me out a bit. I’m going to be going to Rome in June (!!!!!), but other than that I want to stay close to home and maybe work on learning some Good Life Habits like exercising and cooking and sleeping well and cleaning and whatnot so I can take them with me when I leave in the fall.

2. a trip to LA

The day after I finished my last final exam, we drove down to LA to visit UCLA and UC San Diego. I took my DSLR camera with me so I might make another post if I have good photos, but in the mean time here are lots of HUJI pics lmao. We did a tour of UCLA led by those backwards walking tour guides and it was very cool, if also very intimidating. I felt a lot of imposter syndrome when they were talking about all the amazing people who went to UCLA or worked there and all the amazing things that the school was affiliated with and started getting really in my head and feeling like I wasn’t supposed to be here. I actually had a dream a couple weeks ago where I moved into my dorm and then walked into my first day of class at UCLA, only to be told by someone that a mistake was made, I was never accepted, and I had to go home right away. It was the worst and uh really illustrates why I need to work on ye olde self-esteem and confidence lol.

The campus is really beautiful. My parents left after a few days and I stayed with my friend who goes to UCLA and basically just followed her around for a few days lol, like a live action day in the life of a UCLA student vlog. This picture below is from a bar called Barney’s and the tables were decorated with pictures of celebrities from the 2000s which is 100% my ideal bar aesthetic. Imagine if you had a bar and all the tables were dedicated to celebrities from the early 2000s. There’s a Paris Hilton table, a Kim K as Paris’ assistant table, a Mischa Barton table… it goes on. Stay tuned, we will open when I find an investor as into this idea as I am.

On my flight home I was treated to the realization that Southwest works by having unassigned seats. I had no idea and was just moseying around airport gift shops like an utter fig instead of standing in line! I got the very last window seat in the whole plane.

3. favz

Detective Pikachu: This movie killed me. I cried out of sadness, I cried out of awe at Pikachu’s fluffy cheeks, I cried out of happiness. The moviemakers pushed all the right buttons for me. Other than Pikachu, I loved Psyduck and Ken Watanabe’s Snubbull. I do have a fair amount of complaints and here’s the biggest one of them – Why was Rita Ora there?? Why is she still around??? I’ve always been confused as to why she’s in movies or at premieres/celeb events because she hasn’t…done anything? Except some not great songs?? Anyway, 10/10 would recommend! I would watch Pokemon anything even if I have problems with it like I do here, but if you grew up playing Pokemon like I did I feel liiiike it’d take a lot to ruin that sweet sweet nostalgia.

Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette special on Netflix: My friend recommended this to me and I watched it in bits and spurts while eating lunch at various times throughout the month. It was so good. Her art history tidbits were interesting and her story was alternately insightful, funny, painful, and touching. I wrote down this quote to remember –

Laughter is not our medicine. Stories hold our cure. Laughter is just the honey that sweetens the bitter medicine.

Hannah Gadsby

The Enneagram: It’s been established that I am a sucker for personality tests and I took this one this month. I’m a 4 wing 3 and I read the entire page and was like 😮 it tru :o. The enneagram is a model of personality types that describes 9 interconnected types – thus the name, as ‘enneagram’ means nine-pointed figure. The official website is here, but they charge money to take the test so you can take a free test here and then just go back to the official website to read about your results. It’s not widely scientifically accepted but I thought reading the page for mine helped me realize a fair amount of uncomfortable truths about myself. The description page on the official website has a section on the end listing stages of development for each type, with 3 healthy levels, 3 average levels, and 3 unhealthy levels. The unhealthy levels capture how I was/am at high levels of anxiety and depression and the healthy levels are exactly how I picture my dream life going. I took the quiz and read it all while I was feeling really intimidated and afraid about UCLA; the recommendations for personal growth in my section are so relevant in that regard.

Multicolored nails: This has been ~trendy for a while but I really liked it and did it myself in May. I realized it’s the perfect trendy mani thing for me to partake in because I don’t need any actual nail painting skill, I just need a variety of colors. Amazing!! I think watching AmandaRachLee’s bullet journal videos on YouTube made me get really into the idea. This Byrdie compilation of looks didn’t hurt either.

Aurora James’ Met Gala look + commentary:

4. goal recap

THINGS I AM 🙂 ABOUT

  • Graduated from community college with an Associate’s Degree and a 4.0 GPA
  • Finally went to my eye exam
  • Submitted all my forms and stuff to UCLA (admission offer, housing application, IGETC, transcripts)
  • Made thank you cards for some professors
  • Got my Catbird necklace repaired
  • Renewed car registration
  • Opted out of those awful credit card letters that say you’re pre-approved every week and try to get you to sign up
  • Approved for a credit line increase

THINGS I AM :/ ABOUT

  • Had an abysmal sleep schedule
  • Didn’t get accepted for many of the main scholarships I applied for
  • Did not exercise
  • Did not keep up with my monthly reflection page in my planner
  • Did not clean (I wanted to clean out a lot of things but this month, as in the last 93 months, I did not do it)

5. camera roll

I won a Passion Planner giveaway on Instagram this month! It’s the first time I’ve won something since I was in the single digit years of my life and we are very excited. I’m very much looking forward to August so I can crack this guy open and start using it. It’s also in the small (/compact) size that Passion Planner discontinued, so I’m even more excited to use that size again. I went to tell all those people I complained to when they changed to only the medium (/pro) size and they were still like cool, don’t care about planners, lol.

Thank you cards for professors who wrote me letters of recommendation. I’m happy with how they turned out but I’m more happy that I finally did them, because two (2) months ago I was all “this weekend I’ll make the thank you cards and then I’ll have them all ready to go in a couple months!” I did not do that.

My bf sent me some UC memes in celebration of my UC acceptances and they are hILARIOUS.

Just 2 Chinese gals makin’ dumplings!

A screenshot from a video on the Passion Planner YouTube that I’ve sadly lost track of. Really want to start doing this myself!

Luna’s new favorite spot to curl up in – my bag o’ scarves.

A dream size cat!!!!!!!!


Thank u guys for reading! Happy summer if it’s starting for you too 🙂

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Life & Ramblings

april ’19 // month in review

1. close 2 the end

We’re in May, which means in about twenty days it will be ~summer~! (I’m trying not to think about how in 2 years I will no longer have a ‘summer’, it’ll just be hot months where I am working. And that’s optimistically if I’m able to wangle a job lordy lord adult life sounds terrifying.) I’ll graduate and be done with community college and will be heading off to finish my undergraduate degree in the fall, and as with any ending, I have feelings about it.

Also, April 22 was Earth Day. I was going to talk abut this in my non-favs section but I have a lot to say and I think it’s important and like our planet is also close 2 the end. I saw many many posts on Instagram encouraging me to recycle and buy metal straws on Earth Day, and I also had to sit through a fair amount of presentations from my classmates about how I should say no to plastic bags. The past couple months I’ve gradually come to be a little ??? at this line of argument because how on earth is me trying desperately to recycle everything that comes into my hands going to tackle climate change largely caused by polluting industries and corporations? Did some thinking. Did some listening. Did some reading. And I want to share them with you. This YouTube video from The Atlantic, titled America’s Dopamine-Fueled Shopping Addiction, discussed consumerism in the U.S. and how it has grown into an entirely too wasteful form of consumption. Consumption is undoubtedly tied to climate change, but I think it’s unfair to expect everyone to live a zero waste lifestyle (great as they are) when businesses are still skirting regulations and pumping carbon into the atmosphere and governments are failing to protect the people they work for. The recap episode for the Articles of Interest miniseries from 99% Invisible highlighted the lessons Avery Trufelman learned in reporting on clothing for that series and how she’s changed her own consumption patterns regarding style and fashion in light of how polluting that industry is. The Circular(s) episode from the Still Processing podcast featured David Wallace-Wells, a climate columnist for New York Magazine who wrote the book The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming. They talked about the limits of conscious consumption in the fight against climate change and the necessity of political action rather than, say, worrying about how much plastic you, individually, are consuming. And this all brings me to the main point – that the response to the environmental crisis that understands “environmental degradation as the product of individual shortcomings and finds solutions in enlightened, uncoordinated consumer choice” ultimately “narrow[s] our collective ability to imagine and pursue a variety of productive responses to the environmental problems before us”. The journal article Individualization: Plant a Tree, Buy a Bike, Save the World? by Michael F. Maniates, published in Global Environmental Politics all the way back in 2001 (FOREVER AGO god how did it take me so long to figure this out), argues that “when responsibility for environmental problems is individualized, there is little room to ponder institutions, the nature and exercise of political power, or ways of collectively changing the distribution of power and influence in society”. Some food for thought, eh? Imagine if I had taken all the energy I used fretting over what kind of reusable cotton pads to get to write my legislative representatives or volunteer my time to lobby for political change, huh?

2. favorites

Mejuri x Claire Marshall ear cuff: Mejuri had a sale in March, so I bought this lil guy from their collaboration with Claire Marshall, one of my favorite Internet content people. I’m generally really skeeved out at the thought of buying jewelry and accessories because it’s so much money for such a small product, but I’ve realized that I have entirely too much clothing and jewelry/accessories can do a whole ton for a ~look. This is probably the first piece of jewelry I’ve bought for myself that’s cost more than $15 and it felt like the biggest fucking splurge. Anyway, I’ve been wearing it and it looks really cool! I had hoped to get a cartilage piercing with a hoop this summer, but I think my second lobe piercing is infected so I should probably take care of that first..

The Paula Scher episode of Abstract: The Art of Design on Netflix: This episode was amazing!!! I’ve seen trailers for Abstract and my bf’s been telling me I’ll like it for um a very long while, but I hadn’t gotten around to watching it until a few weeks ago. I picked the graphic design episode to watch and was like o00000oOO0oomg the whole time. If you have a passing interest in typography or graphic design, you’ll probably be like that, too. Her work is amazing! Her maps are amazing! Her album covers are amazing! Omfg!! I felt so inspired after I watched it lol.

The Study Group Bringing bell hooks to Prisons from Next City: What an amazing headline, right? While in prison, Richie ‘Reseda’ Edmond-Vargas and Charles Berry began developing curriculum to educate other incarcerated men on the effects of patriarchy and toxic masculinity. The program is called Success Stories and launched in 2014 with a focus on bell hooks and including many intersectional feminist texts. Now based in LA, Edmond-Vargas and Berry operate Success Stories as a non-profit that introduces concepts of toxic patriarchal masculinity and rape culture and then discussing “how their lives have been affected, and in many ways defined, by them”. Over a weekly course, men “find space to talk about their feelings” and many “make conscious efforts to free themselves from it”. Eventually they hope to deliver this program nationally, and I hope to god it happens. People learning about patriarchy and men learning about how living under it affects them too makes my angry sad feminist heart swell.

This tweet from AP: I’m so glad we’re on the same page about calling a racist spade a racist spade.

Do not use racially charged or similar terms as euphemisms for racist or racism when the latter terms are truly applicable.

AP Style Book 2019

Ky Ryssdall and Beth Ruyak’s voices: Every once in a while I listen to Marketplace on NPR when I happen to be driving, and lately I’ve started listening to it from the podcast app on my phone. The podcast is fine, but what I want to talk about is THIS MAN’S VOICE. What the fuck? It is such a nice voice. How does he get it that way? Has it always been that way? Did he get a vocal coach to make it that way? I have the same questions about Beth Ruyak, who hosts the Insight show on Capital Public Radio, my local NPR station. They have such nice voices. Every time it comes on the radio I’m like oh ho ho.

3. non-favs

Me health: After about a week and a bit this month, I started feeling super sick. It’s a mystery ailment, mostly involving nausea, and my doctor is confused about what’s going on, as am I. They think it could be a stomach problem. As of now, I feel OK, but it comes and goes and I hope it goes away forever soon.

5. camera roll + reading list

After I got my email rejection for a summer internship I was really hoping to do, I kind of just sat in my bathroom feeling bummed for a while. Luna came over and cuddled with me :’)

How to Fail Like a Pro episode from Freakonomics: The week I got the internship rejection was not a great one, as I was also sick and got waitlisted at UC Berkeley. In the spirit of rejection (and in recognition of the fact that I was totally bitterly wallowing), I listened to some podcast episodes about failure and picking yourself up and growing from it and all that. This one from Freakonomics was a really good one, and I wrote this thing that Jorinde Voigt, a painter and artist, said down in my phone to remember –

It’s not about failing or winning, it’s just about being and doing.

Jorinde Voigt

WOOP, There It Is! episode from Hidden Brain: In the same dejected frenzy, I listened to this episode from Hidden Brain which featured the psychologist Gabriele Oettingen, author of Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside The New Science Of Motivation. Long story short, those who have stronger and more positive fantasies are less likely to achieve them in areas ranging from job seeking to forming relationships. Oettingen devised WOOP as a way to actually reach more of your goals – it stands for Wish Outcome Obstacle Plan. You start by deciding your wish or goal, and then you envision the outcome if you were to achieve this wish of yours. But then you pivot and see obstacles in you that may hinder you from achieving this wish. Oettingen stressed that by focusing on obstacles within you rather than the environment or the situation, you maintain agency and only work on what you can, instead of just making excuses when you get a C instead of a B grade. After you know your obstacles, you make a plan to deal with them so that you can get your wish.

What the Hell Else Can I Do to Get a Job? from Bitches Get Riches: I don’t think I’ve mentioned this blog before, but it’s a personal finance blog written by two women and it’s hilarious, well-written, informative, and conscious about stupid things like sexism and capitalism and this lone Internet reader highly recs! In the throes of my internship rejection woe I worried about how I could ever ever find a job. These were some good tips about putting yourself out there and finding opportunity, which is something I need to work on as someone generally uncomfortable with asking for more ketchup at a restaurant. I also read, like, six more articles about retirement, because that’s a thing you worry about when you know your parents are not super financially savvy. This retirement 101 post and this traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA comparison were both helpful for this Gen Z-er who learned about mitochondrias in high school and not taxes or how on earth I’m going to pay to live when the funds for Social Security run out by the time I’m wizened.

Why Did New York’s Most Selective Public High School Admit Only 7 Black Students? episode from The Daily: At one of NYC’s top public high schools, only 7 out of 895 spots in the freshman class were offered to black students. This is fucking bonkers. As a Chinese American person, school demographics are something people who share my ethnic and racial background talk about a lot, and I am part of a group of people that is talked about a lot in regards to school populations. This episode was challenging to listen to because I can totally understand how immigrant Asian families feel but at the same time I disagree vehemently and wish they could see that it’s not about us vs. them, it’s about justice vs. segregation. It’s about equal opportunity for everyone. Right now black and brown kids lack the same opportunities white and East Asian kids commonly have and face challenges once they’re in systems of prestige and education.

The NHS exercise guides: Pls don’t laugh at me lol I’m such a couch potato and I’m trying not to be. I’ve never been ~active~*, not even as a kid, and um what do u kno a sedentary lifestyle usually means you will be in uncomfortable pain and die early. Fun times!!!! This was helpful for a potato like me in figuring out how much exercise I should aim for, as well as how fast I have to walk for it to count as moderate exercise.

The Sacramento Bee’s CA Influencers series: Very much unrelated to how I think about influencers in this blogging day n age lol – the Sac Bee, the newspaper in the capital of this fine state, does this series with the people ~influencing~* the state and the country. It’s interesting and good to know

The Light Triad: Psychologists Outline the Personality Traits of Everyday Saints from Discover: I think my bf found this on Reddit. If you like personality quizzes, you’ll love this!! Lol, the dark triad measures the more sinister aspects of personality (narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism) and this year, psychologists from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Hawai’i-West O’ahu developed a counter part light triad test consisting of humanism, Kantianism, and faith in humanity. Interesting article to read, and you can take the light triad scale test for yourself at one of the researchers’ website!

UC decisions came out this month and I got into UCLA, where I’ll probably be going! A relevant meme:

Explicit Design: An artist on Instagram with very minimalist and v nice art! I saw a tattoo of their work and it was gorgeous.

Cleansing Tools & Techniques from Snow White and the Asian Pear: On this month’s skincare article rabbit hole, I learned about Go Hyun Jung’s cleansing rules – never touch your face without washing your hands first, wash properly and at length, and wash against the grain of your skin. This means “instead of starting from the inside and sweeping out like you do with a toner or general skincare, start at the outside of your face, and using tiny circular motions, slowly work your way in towards the center”. Also, don’t apply cleanser all over your face right away, to ensure the dry patches of your skin don’t dry out too much. Go hyun Jung says you should apply cleanser to the nose, forehead, and outside of the face, and then move from the outside inward. I’ve been trying the washing against the grain of my skin thing and I can’t say I feel anything different on my fingertips, but my skin’s been looking pretty good lately!

5. goal recap

GOOD THINGS I DID!

  • Get accepted to UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Davis, and UC Santa Barbara
  • Tried acupuncture for the first couple times
  • Filed my taxes
  • Got A’s on all my essays/exams in my classes

NOT SO GR8 THINGS I DID!

  • Got waitlisted at UC Berkeley
  • Got rejected for the summer internship I wanted to do
  • Got very weirdly sick – this one has had a big impact on this month. I’ve stayed home sick a bunch and taken time off from school, my internship, and work, so I haven’t super gotten things done. I’m trying to be OK with it instead of mad at myself for not getting stuff done, because illness is, you know, a Rl Thing, and I’ve been brainwashed into wanting productivity and business at the expense of my wellbeing. This month was a little slower than usual and I spent the bulk of it trying to feel better. That’s OK.

Thanks for reading u guys! I hope May is off to a good start for you.

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Life & Ramblings

march ’19 // month in review

1. i don’t know about you but…

I’m feeling 22! March 13th is my birthday and I’ve only been waiting seventy years to get to feel that Taylor Swift song in my goddamn bones. March was a weird one for me. I cried a lot because of some Big Life Talks/Thoughts about some impending Big Life Changes; I also laughed a lot and felt good a fair amount of the time. It was all Taylor told me it’d be when I heard it six years ago for the first time as a wee sixteen year old: miserable and magical at the same time!

A few big events happened in the world in this month, too: the shooting in Christchurch, as well as the anniversary of Stephon Clark’s death and the DA announcing she would not be indicting the police officers involved. New Zealand is halfway across the world from me while the Clark decision happened right next to me, but they felt like two sides of the same hateful coin. I was incredibly impressed and inspired by the Prime Minister of New Zealand’s leadership during this time, and hope that that can be the future for all of us someday. This op-ed from the New York Times on Why Jacinda Arden Matters is worth using one of your free articles on. In times like these, we would be wise to remember, as Ardern said, “it takes strength to be an empathetic leader.”

2. favorites

My Aritzia belt: A couple months ago in Vancouver, one of the girls working at Aritzia was wearing this beautiful belt. I desperately wanted it, found out it was no longer available on the US website, and like any self-respecting Gen Z-er, complained about it on my blog. Well, I got it! It came back in stock and I snatched it up. It’s now one of two belts I own and I like it very much, even though it was FIFTY DOLLARS aka more than I feel comfortable spending on a single item. I justify it to myself because I have one belt that I never really wear, and I hear it’s good to have a basic black leather belt. And it is good! I’m wearing it right now and I look as cool as that girl I saw at Aritzia.

Taylor Swift’s article for Elle: This woman is my problematic fave 4evr and I am 100% behind her in her journey to becoming less problematic lol. I read this article early this month after a weekend I spent crying and worrying about what I was doing with my life and where on earth I was going with everything, and Taylor’s words were the best thing for me to read after that. Here are some of my favorite parts:

I learned not to let outside opinions establish the value I place on my own life choices. For too long, the projected opinions of strangers affected how I viewed my relationships. Whether it was the general internet consensus of who would be right for me, or what they thought was “couples goals” based on a picture I posted on Instagram. That stuff isn’t real. For an approval seeker like me, it was an important lesson for me to learn to have my OWN value system of what I actually want.

Lesson 8

How to fight fair with the ones you love. Chances are you’re not trying to hurt the person you love and they aren’t trying to hurt you. If you can wind the tension of an argument down to a conversation about where the other person is coming from, there’s a greater chance you can remove the shame of losing a fight for one of you and the ego boost of the one who “won” the fight. I know a couple who, in the thick of a fight, say “Hey, same team.” Find a way to defuse the anger that can spiral out of control and make you lose sight of the good things you two have built. They don’t give out awards for winning the most fights in your relationship. They just give out divorce papers.

Lesson 22

My mom always tells me that when I was a little kid, she never had to punish me for misbehaving because I would punish myself even worse. I’d lock myself in my room and couldn’t forgive myself, as a five-year-old. I realized that I do the same thing now when I feel I’ve made a mistake, whether it’s self-imposed exile or silencing myself and isolating. I’ve come to a realization that I need to be able to forgive myself for making the wrong choice, trusting the wrong person, or figuratively falling on my face in front of everyone. Step into the daylight and let it go.

Lesson 30

I also really liked number 28, where she spoke about finding her political voice. I’m a strong believer in celebrities and people with a platform using that for good causes, and I’m so glad Taylor is finally speaking up about this more and becoming less problematic, lol.

Pretty Hurts episode from NPR’s Code Switch: I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this podcast from NPR before, but Code Switch is NPR’s show focusing on race, ethnicity, and culture in the world today. It’s always an interesting time and this episode on beauty, and the power and politics involved in the concept of beauty, was so interesting and thought-provoking for me. I loved hearing from Heijin Lee, who teaches a course on the Geoplitics of Beauty at NYU. A statement at the very end really kept me thinking about the concept of beauty:

You could argue that a profound way to decolonize your beauty routine is to have none, is to say, my body and my face are valuable and beautiful without modification.

[…]

The other really radical thing, I think, would be to try and reject personal beauty as a measure of worth. That’s something that a lot of people in the fat acceptance movement in particular have done a lot of work towards, not just broadening beauty ideals, but saying, we should respect people regardless of whether they’re considered beautiful.

[…]

Ultimately, beauty is a facet of power. So you can play into our current beauty norms, or you can try to change those norms, as people in a lot of these different movements have done, or you can decide you’re going to opt out of the whole process. But from a social standpoint, even if you decide not to play the game, the game is still being played, and you’re still stuck on the field.

Leah Donnella

The idea of shirking beauty is something I think about a lot. I’m a woman who enjoys art, fashion, makeup and following bloggers, so I like beautiful objects and images and people. I also think it’s bullshit that people, and especially women, are expected to be beautiful to be worth our time. I get so angry when girls say things like “sorry I look like shit, I didn’t have time to get ready this morning” or “I have to put on concealer to not look like death after a plane ride”. Why do we feel like we should apologize when we don’t look pleasing to others? Why do we judge others when they are not perceived as beautiful? It’s a game of power dynamics that makes me want to throw up my hands and just look ugly as hell forever. But as Leah said, even if you decide not to play the game, it’s still being played, and we’re all stuck on the goddamn field.

The Secret Lives of Color episode from 99% Invisible: Kassia St. Clair wrote a book about the secret lives of color and I am dying to read it after listening to this episode. It’s about forty-five minutes and it’s incredibly interesting, delving into the history of a bunch of different shades – how we humans have used these pigments throughout time, in different places, and all the different meanings that have come with it. There are some things that I’ve always been drawn to and been completely entranced by and color is one of them. I have no idea how to explain it, though, except by making squealing pig sounds when looking at swatches of blue.

3. non-favorites

College transfer applications: I’m supposed to hear back from UCs about acceptances/rejections in mid to late April, but during March I had a super stressful moment involving documents and urgent requests that threatened to cancel my application should I not give a prompt reply. I stress cried and it was cool.

Artesian water: Not to be confused with artisan water! Artesian water means groundwater that is really difficult to access, such as groundwater underneath nearly impermeable rocks. This water is used for drinking water, like Fiji and Voss brands, and it’s terrible for the environment because it’s so hard to replenish. Water is obviously a finite resource on our planet and it doesn’t get renewed nearly as quickly as we use it. Of course the whole issue of negative effects on the planet because of the human species is an eternal non-favorite, but this was a thing I learned this month that made me go, “holy shit, we’re killing the Earth bc we want to drink Fiji water?!”

Interviews: On one of the last days of March, I interviewed for this internship I’m hoping to do over the summer. And it was so nerve-wracking! I have veeeery little experience with interviews and had a lot of stress sweat that day lol.

4. goal recap

THINGS I DID AND AM 🙂 ABOUT

  1. Renewed my driver’s license
  2. Turned 22 lol
  3. Went to the dentist for a cleaning – they told me they can tell I’ve been flossing more!
  4. Took 4 tests and got As on all of them, including 2 100%s on my comparative politics exams
  5. Figured out a health insurance problem with a therapist
  6. Booked a place to stay for my dad and I’s trip to Italy this summer
  7. Started an accelerated public speaking class (the one that I found out v last minute I needed to graduate)
  8. Survived/dealt with a reaaaally stressful situation with my UC applications
  9. Interviewed for a summer internship program (and really grew my interview skills in the process of preparing)
  10. Sold 2 clothing items online
  11. Made time to hang out with friends
  12. Submitted my application to graduate with honors

THINGS I DID NOT DO AND AM :/ ABOUT

  1. Get a good amount of sleep
  2. Exercise (like, not one day lol)
  3. Take care of myself in general (I added a 3+ hour class to my schedule so I’ve been busier, and I’ve been skipping meals and having to take emergency naps bc I haven’t been caring for my physical needs. This is the biggest thing I’m bummed about)
  4. Figure out the getting rid of furniture situation
  5. Donate the bag of clothes that I put together to donate (like it’s sitting in the corner, I just have not taken it..)
  6. Attend class regularly (I skipped a lo0oO00ot of class this month)
  7. Spent money well (way too much eating out)
  8. Keep up with my planner (I started using this app Now/Then which basically acts as a timer to track what you do during your day – it’s a function I also use my planner for, so I haven’t been very good at filling it in as the week goes by)

5. + camera roll/good reads !


How Jerry Brown Quietly Pulled California Back From The Brink from Newsweek: I read this for my California politics class and I thought it was an interesting look at his life and political career. Jerry Brown was our state’s governor for a long while, and a pretty prominent one at that, so it’s worth a read, especially if you’re from/live in California (like I am/do)!

r/AsianBeauty thread about reducing waste with beauty products: In case you care about your skin lookin’ cute as well as the environment, like I do, this thread is a good read! I also heard about TerraCycle, which I’m definitely going to be using to recycle more.

My dad’s birthday is also this month, so we went out for dinner to celebrate that. He chose to go to this casino, as he and my mom recently discovered the all-you-can-eat buffet there, and our family is built on enjoying food and not enjoying spending money. I was so disappointed with myself because I couldn’t eat as much as I wanted to – I got a really awful headache because of the indoor smoking. As soon as I went outside and breathed in some fresh air, my head started to feel much better.

But check out this Snapchat filter from The Secret Life of Pets!!

And we also saw this children’s book in the gift store that I adored with all my heart. When I was little, I really wanted to illustrate books and that’s one ~dream~* that’s stuck with me.

My school did a walk out to protest the D.A. here deciding not to indict the police officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark. It was the first sort of protest-y thing I went to and it felt important and scary. Scary in the sense that I’m not really a person who’s comfortable yelling and chanting and I get nervous asking for something extra at a restaurant. It was a big feeling though, to see people out fighting for change and be a part of it.

Reddit thread from r/AsianBeauty on how to apply sunscreen properly: This freaaaaaked me out! I’ve been wearing sunscreen almost every day for the past year or so, and I learned from this thread that I’ve been applying it all wrong. It links to a Japanese TV show which showed how if you apply sunscreen by rubbing it in, your skin is exposed and the sunscreen is unevenly protecting your face. The correct way to apply sunscreen, according to the doctor on the program, is to put five blobs on your face (forehead, nose, chin, and cheeks) and pat it on with your fingertips, so it sits on top of your face evenly.

“Positive thinking” has turned happiness into a duty and a burden, says a Danish psychologist from Quartz: I was very depressed for a good while, so happiness was kind of the goal for a long time – it’s the opposite of depression, right? Over the past year or so I’ve started shifting my emotional goal to feeling whole and balanced and at peace with myself, rather than happy. This short article describes how Svend Brinkmann, a psychology professor at Denmark’s Aalborg University, thinks about the “culture of positivity” and I thought it was a good read for that reason. And it explains why I hate all those relentlessly positive and inspirational Pinterest quotes lol.

Get u a gal who looks at you like Luna looks at someone eating ice cream.

Tag urself I’m bitey, borb, and moist baby

Campus was super empty over spring break so I sat outside to get some studying done and this lil squirrel came right up to me!! I think he thought I had food, but alas, I had none on me and he left after a while. He was so cute when his little head poked over the top of my laptop though!

While waiting to pick my mom up from the airport, we had lunch in Saratoga and walked around a bit. It was a really cute area!

My bf sent me this and it made me smile. Animals are like that, right? Thanks for reading guys, and I hope you’re having a good start to April.

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