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

february ’19 // month in review

1. more of the same

It’s March and this post is solate! February flew the fuck by, and I guess that’s what it’s supposed to do, being the shortest month and all. I mentioned last month that I felt pretty tired and blah, and I’m still feeling that way. I hope it just means I’m gearing up to be the 100 emoji, but it’s OK, I think, because these things pass.

Image source: NPR

2. favorites

Paddington 2: I really loved Paddington 1 and I thought to myself, how could the sequel possibly beat this perfect movie? And then we watched it, and I witnessed the best sequel in the history of cinema unfold before my eyes. If you liked the first movie, the original books, and the emotion joy, you will love this movie. And if you’re not willing to die for that little bear at the end of it? I’ll eat my marmalade sandwich hat.

This tip for getting rid of hickeys: I’m not too skilled at makeup, but this month I learned a useful makeup + get out of my life trick for hickeys! After several YouTube videos and Google searches and blog posts and magazine articles, I did a really good job at covering up and then banishing a hickey pretty quickly. It was gone in, like, four days, and sometimes I’ve had them stick around for over a week. The makeup side of this is to layer liquid and powder products over and over with flat brushes – I did a layer of liquid concealer, patted on with my ring finger, then powder concealer from Bare Minerals, patted on with a flat brush, and then repeat. Sometimes I mix it up with a liquid foundation or a powder foundation or a translucent setting powder, just to make the color right. It’s also important to just dab and pat with your fingers or a flat brush (not a fluffy brush), to make sure you’re depositing the product exactly where it needs to go and not buffing or sheering it out too much. And to get rid of the thing quickly, take a flat topped round object (like the top of a mascara tube), press it into the hickey in question, and turn it. Alternatively, you can use a coin (or some other similarly-shaped object that is not so dirty lol) and scrape your hickey with the side. This is supposed to break up the blood clotted up there. You have to do it as hard as you can take it, but I didn’t do it very often or very hard and it still worked pretty well. Hashtag hoe tips!

Pokemon: Indigo League: In February, J and I got very into Pokemon. Like, it’s all we’ve been watching, we only communicate in Pokemon gifs, he got me a stuffed Pikachu for Valentine’s Day, we unearthed my little brother’s old Nintendo DS and J’s been playing the game like mad, we’re really into Pokemon now. The first season (which is on Netflix) is actually incredibly funny and entertaining to watch. We have a theory that it was just supposed to run for one season and they didn’t anticipate how popular the whole franchise would get, so the writing and voice actors were really good then, and deteriorated as time went on and they realized people would still keep watching and they could still keep making money.

3. non-favorites

This is the section where I would usually talk about things that did not bring joy to my month, and I can’t super think of that much I want to gripe about. I don’t think that’s actually a good thing, because I think I felt fairly meh all of February, and there weren’t highs and lows that I can point to.

4. goals

So I thought I would change the way I’m doing this section bc, honestly, I do not remember what I said in my last post when I’m going through the days/weeks – my new idea is that I can go over things I did and am feeling good about and things I did not do and am feeling bad about. This is also a defense because I did exactly zero (0) of the actual specific things I set out in January. But, like, I did other things!? And it’s good to celebrate the wins while also being like, girl, is it really so hard to get rid of homework your family has been hoarding since the first grade???? And so, in no particular order~

THINGS I DID + AM 🙂 ABOUT

  1. Submitted my FAFSA
  2. Finished up my UCLA transfer application (I’m in my CC’s honors program, so I have to do a certification thingy)
  3. Edited my photos from Vancouver
  4. Went on walks a few times a week (in an effort to get my step count up, bc going from home -> class -> office -> home is not a recipe for movement)
  5. Cut my cat’s nails
  6. Saw my brother while he was visiting
  7. Got As on my first couple tests in school!
  8. Submitted my CC’s scholarship application
  9. Sold a couple clothes/makeup bits n bobs on Mercari
  10. Submitted my application to a summer program
  11. Booked flights for my summer trip to Rome with my dad! (He’s going to a work conference, I am excitedly tagging along)
  12. Submitted my petition to graduate after this semester
  13. Realized I need another class to graduate in time to enroll

THINGS I DID NOT DO AND AM 😦 ABOUT

  1. Finish my Common App
  2. Give my boyfriend his Valentine’s Day card (I gave him his gift and a smol card, but I didn’t finish the main card in time for the actual day…)
  3. Keep up with my planner
  4. Exercise (I had the goal of exercising 2-3 times a week, whether that be running, going to the gym with my bf, or doing a video workout at home, and I exercised like…. 3 times the whole month. Better than nothing, I guess, but definitely not my goal)
  5. Get a good amount of sleep
  6. Keep my bedroom/physical space clean
  7. Take my car to be washed inside and out
  8. Cross stitch (I’ve been working on this thing for legit 3 years at this point)
  9. Plan my spring break holiday (I’m planning on visiting colleges during this time, and still have no0oo0o00O clue what is going on lol)
  10. Get rid of some old furniture
  11. Donate unwanted bits around the house
  12. KonMari my clothes

5. + camera roll / good reads !

Fifty Shades of Snail’s 7 Skincare Classics: I love a good makeup/skincare blogger – it’s fun seeing people much better at it than I am do it well, hopefully learn something, get a peek into a lot of products and lavish routines that I would probably otherwise not be able to, and the chatter is nice when I’m getting ready for bed at night and don’t want to do it in silence but also don’t want to listen to a podcast (for fear that I might miss something crucial when the water’s splashing). The thing everyone hates about bloggers is, obviously, their seemingly endless stream of consumption and subsequent sponsored shilling of the night cream you have to have because it’s changed their life. I like Jude because her writing on Asian cosmetics and skincare describes what works and what doesn’t and why, and I especially liked this post because at the end of the day, hauls don’t tell you anything useful, but consistent repurchases do.


My name is fairly uncommon these days – I think its popularity peaked in the 1910s or ’20s. I never see anything with my name on it, even though I’ve been dying for a souvenir mug or nail polish color since forever, so imagine my rabid excitement when I saw the name of this shirt from Princess Polly! Unfortunately I think it’s ugly – but small victories, yeah?

My name is fairly uncommon these days – I think its popularity peaked in the 1910s or ’20s. I never see anything with my name on it, even though I’ve been dying for a souvenir mug or nail polish color since forever, so imagine my rabid excitement when I saw the name of this shirt from Princess Polly! Unfortunately I think it’s pretty ugly – but small victories, yeah?

Angel Trazo’s art on Instagram: I discover so many artists on Instagram that I love and am unable to remember in the coming months, so let this be the first one I am setting in ink (pixels?) to remember!! I like seeing artists, I like seeing artists illustrating about things I can relate to, like being an Asian American woman, I like seeing people do cool things and pursue things they care about and that are important. How else can I describe how art makes one feel? Idk, but I’m into art, and into this artist I found this month.

Goop’s GIFs of the KonMari Folding Method and Juju Sprinkles’ Illustrated Explanations of KonMari Folding: Like the rest of the country, I watched a few episodes of Marie Kondo’s Netflix show and felt personally attacked and inspired all at once to go forth and tidy up! I did not KonMari my closet, but I did start folding my clothes, and was immediately stumped. These two pages were the most helpful in helping me figure out how tf to make a neat little rectangle out of clothes, although I will say that I am still having a struggle with my crop top bralette party type tops and general bra storage. It’s nice to see the nice little rows in my wardrobe now, and it is, as everyone says, much easier to deal with than the vertical stacking we were all doing before.

Time’s Art History Expert Explanation of the Art in Beyoncé and Jay Z’s Apeshit Video: Totally know this video came out a while ago, but I just read this article recently and it is not worth skipping because of time. Kimberly Drew (art curator, writer, NYC Met’s social media editor) and Alexandra Thomas (art historian, PhD candidate at Yale for African American Studies and History of Art) go into the meaning of The Louvre and its artwork as a setting for the Carters, and it’s the best fucking thing. I could have read another five hundred pages of this. So interesting, and I loved this quote from Thomas in particular:

Beyoncé and these other artists aren’t assimilating, but instead, staging this embodied intervention that disrupts more than it conforms to the logistics of Western art and Western museums

Alexandra Thomas, on Marie-Guillemine Benoist’s Portrait of a Black Woman (Negress) painting

OK that is it for this laaaate post, it’s my birthday tomorrow and my gift to myself is getting this off my to-do list! Thanks as always 4 bein’ here, and I’ll see you in the next one (hopefully on time)

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