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

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

july 🐶 month in review

My lord how time flies. July was a month and a half, honestly. Big ups and big downs in my emotional heart, but I’m in a good place now – I think? When my summer classes end in about a week I’ll be flying to China, where I’ll spend 2 weeks with my family eating lots and lots and lots of food, before coming back for the start of the fall semester where it’ll be full steam ahead.. I’m a little bit apprehensive about the load of work I’m taking on, but hopefully it’ll be manageable or, if it’s not, I’ll be OK with taking some things off my plate – that’s something I’m really bad at, saying no and admitting I can’t handle everything as well as I’d like. Anyway, July had some really good times, when I laughed so hard my boyfriend massaged my cheeks afterwards because they hurt from it all, and also perhaps five (5) occasions where I cried in my car. So thanks, July. It was rl.

1. the state fair

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Each year during the summer, CA puts on its state fair! My family used to go every year when I was younger, but I haven’t been since I was maybe 12 or 13.. My boyfriend Jose’s from Southern California, so he’s never been since it’s up north in Sacramento, and we thought it’d be a nice thing to do for his birthday weekend 🙂 I’m never sure how much to explain or assume people might know, but the main things the fair has are the usual fair rides, musical performances, produce farm, super greasy oily salty food, exhibits on things from fine art to science, and most importantly to J and I, ANIMALS!! We met some llamas and goats and cows and baby pigs and it was so so so exciting.

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This mama goat came right up to me!!! Look at how beautiful she looks. I mean, omg. Blessed, honored, etc etc.

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spring 10×10 experiment • a recap

We’re a week out from the end of my spring 10×10 experiment where I wore 10 pieces of clothing for 10 days, so today I’ll be recapping my experience with the challenge/experiment/what else can I call it to make it sound less pressure-y, and sharing some of the things I’m taking away as I move forward with my closet. (This was probably an awful sentence to read for anyone into the English language and its grammar – Sorry! I love long sentences and use commas where my teachers tell me I ought not to.)

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spring 10×10 • day 10

It’s the last day of this thing!!!!! Apologies for this belated post – I had kind of a rough go of it last night and spent some time crying my eyes out, which is possibly a post for another time if I ever decide to talk about this strained mother-daughter relationship o’ mine. But here we are, and better late than never, yeah?

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