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. Anyway, 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

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

december 🌧 month in review

The year is over and it’s 2019! That means that I’m D O N E with this monthly series – sure, some of them were shit, and some of them I finished halfway through the next month, but I published one thing each month! I know there are people who post like 4 times a week, but this is good for me, OK? And I’m gonna keep doing it this year! The month of December was tiring. It’s the exhale at the end of the school year and the year year, and it felt like that scene in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt where she’s like “Anything’s bearable if you count to 10!”

1. vancouver

Over the Christmas holiday, my family went to Vancouver! Now that my brother is away most of the year for school and I soon will be too (that day cannot come quick enough), my parents are very into ~whole family activities~ and wanted a winter holiday together.

I loved the city’s Art Gallery, which had exhibitions on Dana Claxton, a First Nations artist (above), and Guo Pei, a Chinese designer best known for this dress that Rihanna wore to the Met Gala a few years ago (below).

The city was real cool. I’m going to try and do a lil blog post on the trip, but honestly I was fucking tired. Usually when I travel and tourist I’m a little rabid about itineraries and I want to hit at least 4 places of interest in a day, but I was way off my game with this trip. We flew there three days after I ended finals week, and I was tired as shit. That’s a lesson learned, I guess – don’t schedule fun trips right after a brain-draining time, or else you will only make it to one (1) museum instead of the six (6) you wanted to. No one is more disappointed in me than me, honestly.

Lol OK bemoaning of my lack of energy aside, we also went to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, which is where the feature image of this post is from! Tara Milk Tea on Instagram posted a ton of pictures of her trip there on Instagram and those really capture the ~spirit~* and sparkliness of it much more than mine.

2. goals check-in

Last month I decided I would broadcast my top 3 goals for the month out to my hypothetical blog readers and check back in to see how I did at the end. So I am doing that. I should probably also mention that I completely forgot about doing this and what goals I had until, like, two minutes ago when I skimmed my last month in review post. My December goals were to:

  1. End the fall semester with A’s in all 5 of my classes
  2. Do this beginner workout calendar from Blogilates
  3. Clean out my room, incl. getting rid of some furniture

I think I did #1, but I’m not entirely sure yet because final grades aren’t out quite yet. I’m mostly sure. I just don’t really want to say I’ve done it because I’m the kind of person to always fear something could’ve gone wrong and everything is ruined and I’ve brought dishonor on my family and cow etc. I’ve done absolutely none of the rest and I’m realizing that these were kind of unrealistic goals for a month where I was finishing school and doing finals for two and a half weeks and out of the country on holiday for another week… For January, I don’t actually begin my spring semester until the 21st, so my three tasks for this month will hopefully be a little more feasible:

  1. Clean out my room, with the main goals being getting rid of my old furniture and clothes (to charity stores or consigning them)
  2. Fix my hoop earrings, which I complained about in some month in review literally eons ago and have pointedly done nothing about (they’re similar to these and the top part that clicks on has fallen off, and I’m sure they should be easy to fix myself if I could only find out how)
  3. Exercise at least once a week, incl. going to the gym with my boyfriend, running outside by myself, doing some YouTube video workouts, or just walking around and getting that step count up

Fingers crossed I get at least two of these done! Or just part of all of them!

3. favorites

The Big Family Cooking Showdown: My bf and I finished this show this month and it’s amazing!!! It’s like our beloved Great British Bake-Off, only the judges are actually fun and not complete dicks (see: Paul Hollywood), and with cooking instead of baking. I love how British reality TV cooking shows feel so homey and cozy with the location, compared to the American ones which have smoke machines and dramatic lighting and everyone’s crying from stress lol. I also love the graphic design when they describe the dishes being made. Big fan of typefaces, as you know. Anyway, it’s available on Netflix and the second season can’t come soon enough for us!

Professors who are understanding when you spill water all over your laptop the week before finals: I spilled water on my laptop at the most inconvenient time – not that there is a convenient time to do so, but I feel like the week before final exams is o the worst end of the scale, no? It wasn’t as bad as it could be and I’m, u kno, thankful it happened after I submitted my UC application and only had one final paper to turn in for a professor who was very nice and understanding about my dumb mistake. Thank god for instructors who understand people are humans and some have terrible control over their limbs!!

Bb brudders: My bb brother goes to school in the UK so the holidays are the only time when I really get to see him. And it’s, you know, really nice. We’re quite close, and I’m not really close with my parents, so it’s such a relief to have someone in the house I call home who I really enjoy. The holiday season family dramz are taking their toll on me, if you couldn’t tell, and I am itching to move out.

4. non-favourites

My skin: My skin has been so bad this month. A big part of that probably has to do with finals week stress and the resulting not taking care of myself at all (as in, eating poorly, sleeping terribly, not washing my face, etc), so I know I only have myself to blame… but it’s so D: you guys. Why do skin problems have to be a thing?? Might I take care of it from the inside out if I swear off cheese??? Perhaps!! But I love cheese and am unwilling to deny myself that!!! Anyway, my skin had a period of time earlier this year when it was really fucking clear and that was such a nice time, and it’s funny how you don’t appreciate that shit until your skin feels like sandpaper.

Finals week: As mentioned in my skin grumbles, finals week was a thing in December and it was rough. The wildfires we had in Northern California meant we missed about a week and a half of instruction, and I think that fucked us all up a bit. My mind just felt a bit scrambled, as if it had gone onto holiday mode but then it was like owait we still have shit to do? And in less time?? AaaaaAAaGHhAh. My self-control was also incredibly shit and I spent so much time on Instagram and, like, didn’t floss and went to bed at 3AM for no good reason. I really need to work on taking care of myself while also getting shit done, and not doing the latter at the expense of the former.

This Aritzia belt that I fell in love with in Canada but cannot get: In Vancouver we went to Aritzia and I fell head over goddamn heels with this belt that the girl helping me was wearing, only to find out they didn’t have my size in stock. “That’s fine,” I thought to myself blissfully, “I’ll order it online and just deliver it to our home!” WHAT IGNORANCE. They don’t sell it anymore on the Aritzia US website! And I’m not allowed to ship from the Canadian website to a US address! Uuuguugh. If anyone is in Canada and willing to buy this and ship it to me, lmk lol.

5. more shit from my camera roll slash mind


A selfie in the Capitol building, in which I am a lowly unpaid intern. Heaves a great sigh.

LISTEN I know I do this thing every month but I TRULY believe everyone should watch The Good Place because these zodiac quotes are too good sometimes. Never have I felt so personally attacked by something. It’s great.

This lovely dog Kula comes into the restaurant I work in semi-often and I love her !!! She holds my hand!!

Some truly meaningful home decor at TJ Maxx. See also: sounds white but ok on FB.

One day I dream of having my house decorated for Christmas like this, but the cat looks like Luna!

She looks like a demon :’)

My Spotify recap did literally nothing for me lol because I like to play music for Luna when I’m out of the house so she doesn’t get bored. Literally everything on this (except for STRFKR, T Swizz, and Toro y Moi) is just that playlist for her. I think it’s hilarious.

Luna, wrapping herself up, bc she is the tru gift for us all !!

And to end, a wholesome Rudolph meme. A big goal of mine for 2019 is to be strong within myself and build up my sense of self-worth, and not be pushed over because I want to make someone else comfortable. Happy January 2019, and thanks for reading 🙂

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Life & Ramblings

november 🍁 month in review

1. see u soon, 2019!!

Holy balls, y’all! It’s the last frigging month of 2018. My fall semester is three (3) weeks away from being done, and that means I’ll hopefully have just one last semester at this here community college before transferring to a 4-year school and graduating w/ a bachelor’s degree! I submitted my application to the University of California on the 30th, so I am washing my hands of that and trying to stop fretting about it until I hear back in the spring. So that leave me in the middle of four (4) papers/projects that I kept telling myself I would finish earlier so I wouldn’t be freaking out in the last weeks of the semester, but, well, here we are. I feel so close to the finish line of the semester and the year and my reward is Christmas (my favorite holiday), when my family is going to take a trip to sunny Vancouver! And just, you know, a wee break. I realize that could be construed to mean a pee break. I don’t mean that. I mean a small break.

Also, I think something that I want to start in my monthly blawg postz is a few goals for the next month (so this time, that’s December) and then in the next next month’s post (January) I’ll check back in and tell y’all how I did. Accountability via hypothetical Internet readers!

So here are my top 3 goals for December 2018:

  1. End the fall semester with A’s in all 5 of my class
  2. Do this ~beginner’s workout calendar from Blogilates
  3. Clean out my room, incl. selling my old bunk bed, desk, couch and getting rid of all the papers and homework assignments my family has kept since I was literally a fetus #hoarders

2. favorites

bestdressed on YouTube: Ashley came up on my recommended videos and I gave her a go and I’m straight up obsessed with her now. I do a lot of the ol’ watching of YT, scrolling through Instagram, and keeping up with that whole blogger/influencer world and a good bit of the people I first watched on YT no longer appeal to me so I’m really excited when I find new people who are talented, authentic, and funny, like this gurl~ She’s a film student at UCLA with great fucking style, her videos are so good and creative as well as well-edited, and she takes time to talk about sustainability in fashion and thrifting, which is always nice in a YT world full of hauls.

This hoodie from the Target kid’s section featuring cats reading books: As you can see, this is beautiful. It was, like, $10!! It’s a bit small for me, but they only had two left in the entire store, and the lady I asked said they were probably discontinuing it since she couldn’t find it online D: So I snatched it the fuck up and, I mean, guys. I have no idea why I was so mad about not growing taller when I was younger. Ya think 6’1 Amazonian supermodels could fit into this shit?!

The thrill of watching Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez bring her whole self to Congress by Alexandra Kissinger for Vox: Idk if u heard but in November we had our US midterm elections and it was a wild ride!! The Republicans grew their Senate majority while Democrats took the House back and the most diverse freshman class of Congressmembers is coming the fuck in.

As a young Latina staffer, I hid who I was to fit in. Ocasio-Cortez is refusing to do that.

[…]

In 2018, this inspiring freshman class of women is redefining what it means to thrive in Washington. They’re not trying to pass as something they’re not or to act like they’ve been here before. And by sharing their experiences, in real and honest ways on social media, these women, many of whom represent historic firsts, are opening doors to help ensure they aren’t the last.

Alexa Kissinger

3. non-favorites

Everything happening at the US/Mexico border: There is this devastating clip John Oliver showed in his family separation segment where this little boy, Jenri, is lying in bed, sobbing, and he says to his mom “you don’t love me” (I linked to the whole thing bc I truly think the whole thing is worth watching, but that part starts at 15:23). And it’s, you know, one thing for us to have thoughts and disagreements on immigration policy in terms of national security, the economy, or the winning tactic for the Republican base, and it’s another to see the human impact of the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy at the southern border. To think of removing young children from their parents in a foreign country, losing track of them, and then being like ‘w/e their fault for coming’, shows an incompetence and inhumanity that is sickening. Can you even imagine how devastatingly traumatic it would be to have that happen?

Something this guy said + my lackluster response: So, I’m in the polisci club at school, and we talk about things, and I sometimes get angry. This latest time it was this guy who tried to talk to me about how cultural appropriation isn’t real. How it went down was: Guy 1 brings up some internet drama where that white girl wore a Chinese qipao to prom. It’s an offhanded comment, and later on in our convo, I say something like “it’s like what Guy 1 said about that white girl’s cultural appropriation at prom!” AND THEN Guy 2 goes “pfft, I don’t know about that” and proceeds to say that 1) he’s half Asian, so as an Asian person, he doesn’t think I, as an Asian person, should take offense and 2) the Chinese Chinese people, you know, the real Chinese people living in actually China, thought it was great appreciation on Weibo and whatnot, so I, as a Chinese American person, should not. The second part of this non-favorite event is that I sputtered with indignation for a bit and responded that, first of all, people can have different opinions, and second of all, Chinese people living in China don’t understand Chinese/Asian American issues. The country I call home is built on the backs of racism against POC, including us Chinese. The country I call home didn’t want people like me to come here, to the point where the very first immigration restriction ever passed was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The country I call home is the home of my my memories of being bullied for how my eyes look or how ‘weird’ my food was. Chinese people living in China don’t live with that shit. AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT GUY 2 SAYS TO ME. He raises a slimy little Snape-like eyebrow and goes “oh, you’ve personally experienced stuff like that? The immigration act?” LIKE, YES, YOU ARMPIT. I WAS HERE IN 1882. Anyway long story short I left that meeting feeling awful. Some people who are conservative and love those ~crazy alt-right blogs that are just fucking the libs up~ are interesting to talk to in theory, and I know it’s important to do bc how can you make change otherwise, but in practice it just sort of drains your soul and you wonder how on earth some people can be so devoid of compassion, empathy, and ears. How did someone who is half Asian (he’s white passing btdubs so I never guessed or asked before) align himself more with the far-right and insist racism doesn’t exist? Is this my Bad Place??

4. camera roll~

The last week and a half of November was beautiful. Because of the smoke from the wildfires, where I live was rather dingy and smoky and grey for a while, but after the rain and wind came… Who says California doesn’t have seasons?? We’re a fucking autumn wonderland. (This is outside UC Davis’ library btdubz)

Christmas merch feat. dogs!!!! I wish I drank coffee so I could buy and use cute coffee mugs.

I put some stickers on my laptop! The ‘votes’ one is from the CA Secretary of State’s office, the ‘chill pills’ one is ban.do from a planner I bought and never actually used (turns out I dislike that planner format), and the peace sign and rainbow are from Glossier. I was a bit of a dumbass tho and put the vote sticker over the Apple logo, and it looks real cute when my laptop is closed, but the Apple logo lights up when it’s in use.. didn’t think that placement entirely thru 🤷🏻‍♀️

Things u can depend on ur mom for – taking cute pics of u. Things u can depend on urself for – being too dedicated to eating to look candidly cute :/

It was my mom’s birthday this month! My dad and brother were out of town, so she and I went to an art museum. We made some stuff and had a gander around.

Mm much art much focus. Is there anything so satisfying as making shit with your own two hands and having paint all over them afterwards?

A beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog I met!!! His name was Gus and he was huuuuuuge

Sometimes I think of the “canyon full of poo poo” line from The Good Place and start giggling in the middle of lecture or a library or some other inconvenient place like that that makes me look like a crazy person.

My baby girl went to the vet this month and was so brave!!!!!!!!

If anyone is around the Sacramento region, I discovered this cool music library called Musiclandria! I’m trying to do a big clean out of our house and donated my old violin (which I hated playing lol) to them.

I decided I really wanted a pair of black boots this month and this outfit is dreamz. Idk how she wasn’t freezing in NY with that though. A fur coat and Docs surely can’t be enough to make up for the mini skirt + crop top thing?

My boyfriend, who Luna likes more than she likes me, went away for a week for Thanksgiving, and Luna had no choice but to love me and cuddle with me.

I’ll leave you with this sweet sweet Chinese joke and no fifth bulletpoint bc like my brain is fried and I have so much schoolwork to do. Thanks 4 reading guys and see you next time for the last installment of this monthly series!!!!

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Life & Ramblings

october 🎃 month in review

1. is time real ?

It’s the 11th of November already and I have no idea what happened in October. This is because 1) it’s already the 11th of November and I’m only now doing this because consistency and commitment are things That I Do Period Full Stop So There and 2) I have a sieve in place of a hippocampus and cannot remember a single iota of October, really.

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(Images from 1) Paddington store 2) NBC and 3) my phoooooone)

2. favorites

The Good Place, the podcastSooooo0oOoOO the show The Good Place has a podcast which I recently discovered and I. Am. Obsessed. I discovered it about a week and a half ago and I’m on episode nineteen and like every 7 hours I send a text to my bf that’s like “GUESS WHAT JAMEELA SAID ON THE PODCAST CAN U BELIEVE IT OMG HAHA I LOVE HER”. It’s hosted by Mark Evan Jackson, who plays Sean, and each episode of the pod goes with the episodes of the show, with writers and actors and set designers and amazing people describing what they did and being hilarious.

My plaid pants: I got these in China but haven’t worn them since, as they shrunk in the wash and I was devastated. After I recovered from my dramatics, I wore them and, you know, it wasn’t the original fit, but they’re still damn cute. I’m constantly searching for pieces of clothing that are professional and fun and interesting; I’m really not interested in looking like my soul’s being sucked out of me via pantsuit. (That would be the title of my style book, if I ever read it.)

Paddington, the moviePaddington 1 is a cinematic masterpiece. We have yet to watch Paddington 2, but I’m sure I’ll love it too and cry about it. This movie came out four years ago so I am a bit late to the party, but ohmygod it truly is something. I cried, I laughed, I oooh-ed at the cinematography and set design, I pledged my whole heart to this golden hearted little bear. If you need a heartwarming tale in these times, this is the one. A baby bear from Peru immigrates to London and finds his new home and a loving family? Oh god my heart can’t take it.

3. non-favorites

Girlboss Radio: This is Sophia Amoruso’s podcast where she interviews “girl bosses” (is that one word?), and I really wanted to love it because she has some really cool people on it and yay successful women, but, alas, each episode I’ve listened to so far has been grating on ye olde ears . So far I’ve only listened to three (the ones with Madeline Poole, Leandra Medine, and Aimee Song), so I do admit my sample size is not very large and it may well be a marvel. I don’t want to rag on it too much, but I don’t think being an interviewer is Sophia’s strength. In each of the episodes I listened to, it was only bearable because the interviewee pushed through and made it so. NPR has a podcast called How I Built This and I really love that one – even the ones on companies/ideas that I don’t particularly care for (like 5 Hour Energy lol), the host/interviewer always manages to pull some nuggets of golden wisdom out and keep the conversation going. I guess I was hoping for this to be like that, but Women in Fashion/Art Edition, and I’m really bummed it isn’t.

My lost wireless mouse dongle: Dongle is a funny word, first of all. Who decided to name that?? They deserve the Nobel Prize in Literature, honestly. Anyway, I realized a few days ago that I misplaced the wireless receiver in my mouse, and apparently it’s impossible to just get a replacement receiver because each one is paired to a specific mouse, and thus my only option if I want to keep using a wireless mouse is to toss it and buy another one. The icing on the shit cake is that I didn’t even realize I lost it until much after the fact – I think I stuck it in my bra or pocket or something, making a mental note to my goldfish brain to put it in its rightful place later, and it must have fallen out without me realizing until a week later.

Figuring out school schedules: It’s that time of year again! Registering for the next term’s classes! And stressing out about how to best fit the classes you need/want into your schedule! And realizing some just don’t make any fucking sense for your life as a working sleeping functioning hooman bean! Someone with coding skills needs to make an app for this already, where you input the classes you need, your schedule for work or whatever, and it beep boops out some possibilities. Idk how it works y’all but I’ve got a headache trying to figure out my spring class schedule.

4. the camera roll of me phone and me mind

el toro

cat meme

booboo

I thought to myself – is there too much cat imagery on my blog (that no one reads)? And then I answered 1) no and 2) fuck off if you think so and 3) no.

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Tag urself I’m Zuko and come off as mean and standoffish when I’m screaming internally and don’t know how to be cool in social situations

alexa

Really appreciate this squirrel imagery from Amazon.

political compass

My brother showed me this political compass test which is exactly what it sounds like! Interesting to take and click around a bit on their website 🙂 Pls note the libertarian is not like economic libertarianism baaaarf idk why they chose that word

cat mugs

I go to school full-time, work at restaurant and intern part-time, write for a highly successful blog – all so my daughter can have a better childhood than me :’)

raleys

When this photo was taken I was wearing a dress and a cardigan and was completely fine. It’s November 11 in the year of our lord 2018 and I’m wearing Uniqlo heattech leggings under jeans, a Uniqlo heatteach shirt under a cashmere sweater and I have a blanket on top of me and my bones are shivering.

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This Ikea styling is so good. Big fan of those florals and the color palette. (Not sold on the plaid pillow.)

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And, I mean, look at these distinguished cat portraits.

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I love The Good Place, I’ve recently discovered the podcast and the Instagram, and I love those too. These zodiac quotes sometimes feel like they’re personally attacking me, and dthat’s how you know a ‘signs as..’ thing is good.

steven

Another TV show I love!!!

prop haikus

If I had done this on time this would’ve been up in time for the election but, alas, I am not a woman of my word. Still fun though, right?!

roberto

My baby has a friend. They stare at each other through the window.

5. i would say something else but we’re almost halfway thru november i want to sleep ty for reading byee

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Life & Ramblings

september 📚 month in review

(Excuse the lateness this was low on my list of priorities the past weekish instead I did homework and ate ice cream ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  )

1. back 2 skl szn

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I use this planner with a section at the end of every month with questions for you to ~reflect~*, and the first question is always “What was the most memorable part of this month?” Sometimes the thing I go to is a single event, like a trip I took or a project I was working on, but this month the thing I thought of was just a return to school/work/normal life after summer.

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2. everything is awful in american politics, part 972642 volume 392 edition 83, revised and adapted for a contemporary audience

It’s hard to ignore what’s been going on, and as a young woman and a person who, like, cares about justice and being not a dick, it’s so hard to not want to shrivel up into a prune of rage. There’s no more that I can say about this that hasn’t already been said in better ways, but man am I crushingly disappointed in this country’s governing system that a man who has lied in his testimony and acted so disrespectfully, with the demeanor of a crushed beer can in human form (creds to John Oliver for that on point description), is going to be elevated to a life term on the highest court in the land by Senators who give their thoughts and prayers and then vote to confirm him anyway. If you’re American, please go to Vote.org where you can check to see if you’re registered, find out how to register, and learn about what the fuck is going on and what we can all do. November’s coming up and the midterms are a way to use our voices with our votes because the only thing worse than crying in despair is crying in despair while not doing anything about it.

3. favorites

Steven UniverseMy boyfriend and I have sped through this TV show and I would give my whole damn heart for it. It’s about a boy named Steven and his adventures with his lesbian space rock moms, and I’m afraid I’m not sure there’s a more concise way to describe it without sounding even more confusing. Steven and the Crystal Gems (they’re actual alien rocks from space) get into hijinks and protect Earth, and along the way there’s stories of love, friendship, family, life, and a whole bunch of fun songs and he has a pink pet lion. It’s the best goddamn show with these stunning backgrounds (I love this article from The Atlantic that talks about that) and each episode is only, like, eleven minutes long soo0o easy to do a couple at a time or, you know, seventeen lol. It’s on Hulu if you want to watch!!

Out in the NightI watched this for my sociology class and it’s a really important story that I had never heard about about these four young women who are out late at night in New York City. They’re all black and lesbian and as they walk down the street, a man threatens them and they fight back. All four of them end up in jail. It’s a devastating story where nobody really wins, and just illuminates the importance of examining how our justice system and media criminalizes black women for just, you know, being. I watched it for free on Kanopy and I think most educational institutions give students access to that, but otherwise I think you have to pay to rent.

Muji eyelash curlerUsing an eyelash curler is that thing that people always swear they never leave the house before doing, even if they do nothing else makeup-wise that day, because it just ‘opens up your eyes and makes you look so much brighter!’ Anyway, I got one a while ago from Amazon and it didn’t work well bc my eyes aren’t white people shaped. I got this Muji one while I was in China and it fits my eyes much better! There’s a little bit of pinching that happens sometimes, but I think that has more to do with me being bad at makeup and always in a rush/not careful and my teeny tiny eyelashes. The recs for eyelash curlers that are good for Asian eye shapes are always the Shu Uemura or Shiseido ones (or even the Kevyn Aucoin one) but that shit is $$ and this was only $ so in case you’re in the market for a cheaper eyelash curler for smol eyes!

4. non-favorites

Luna + the vet = 😦 One of Luna’s eyes has been watering, so I took her to the vet and she hates being in the car. It’s a five minute drive from our house to the vet and she was yowling the whole time; I felt awful. The vet said she might have herpes, but it could still be something else so I have to squeeze this ointment in her eye for a week and check back in with the vet for the final verdict. She hates that too and is unhappy with me when I do it, so I haven’t been doing it consistently but I really fkin need to!! It’s for my bb’s own good 😔

5. etc

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So I intern in a political office and helped put together this event to celebrate local art, including these paintings loaned to us by the Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum in Sacramento. There were so many beautiful paintings in the office, but this one below of protest was my favorite. Love a good blue and yellow moment, and I love this style.

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I always want to order the same thing every time but I always feel like that’s boring, so I tried to be adventurous and ordered a shrimp taco. I didn’t like it and should just stick with what I like and stop beating myself up for wanting the same thing forever lol

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I stole a hoody from my boyfriend and then Luna stole it from me, but he can’t ever get it back bc look at this little darling booboo oh god

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For your bittersweet crying pleasure ^

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This beautiful pink furry jacket at Nordstrom Rack was $50 and very impractical for someone who has trouble wearing color… but god did I want it. GOD DID I NEED IT!! They also had it in a baby blue and a bright red, but I was really into this pink (very out of character for me).

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A cat! On our restaurant patio! On a leash! His human let me pet him and I almost cried out of happiness/excitement as I walked away. He’s deaf, so his human was telling me how she thinks that’s probably why he’s so chill when out and about like this.

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I’m taking a history of graphic design class this semester and I’m super excited about it since it’s a little lighter on the history and a lot more hands on than I expected. The other day we made stamps! The inspo for this work of art is Pusheen’s paw from the Facebook sticker pack lmao

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A meme about my college town that has personally victimized me bc I work in a damn historic building that is a restaurant now 😣😖

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The gentrification meme is a sad note to leave off on, so here are some otters hugging so we can be anti-being a dick and have some otter love hope inside us. Here’s to October being good to us all 🍂
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Life & Ramblings

august ✈️ month in review

Helllo0ooo0ooo September!! 4 more months left of 2018, can you believe? I feel like throwing up just thinking about that. I have a lot of things I have to do in September (bc this year I’m applying to transfer from a community college to somewhere else and we have a big deadline in September) anddddd I’m gonna do my best to get them all done and not freak out too much. Anyway, here’s my August.

1. china

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This month I went to China for two weeks! I left the day after my last final for my summer classes and I got back on the 25th, before my first day of fall semester classes on the 27th – so I’ve been kind of pooped. I spent one week in Yinchuan (银川) and one week in Kunming (昆明), as my mom’s side of the family lives in the former and my dad’s side of the family in the latter. To be very honest, I was looking forward to the trip as an opportunity to relax~ and recharge~ and that is very much Not What Happened, lol. We did Xtreme Touristing a good several days, I got sick for a few days, and there were a few not so pleasant arguments in the family (kind of an inevitable occurrence when the whole family spends an extended period of time together). All that said, still a good time. I rarely get to see my family since, you know, we’re continents away, so that’s nice, and it was my first time seeing my little brother in five or six months since he goes to school in the UK, and of course that’s nice too bc we’ve been BFFs since he was a fetus. I want to take some time to properly go through my photos from my camera/phone, but for now, here’s a few quick snaps!

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