The Uncharted Territory

•29 September 2017 • Leave a Comment

Adventure Catalog

– It’s as if this past month or so has been a dream. I’ve been waking up late, working a lot of hours, and really enjoying my free time. I’ve gotten to come back to a lot of hobbies.
– I’ve been trying to give myself time limits and schedules for all the fun stuff I do so that I can get many things done in one day. It doesn’t always work out so well because indulgence is easy, moderation takes practice.
– So far, I’ve been playing videogames for trophies, working on my art, returning to edX, and planning a roadtrip in my free time. I’ve also started learning ASL and looking for new things to try that I can devote some time to.
– I decided to lose control of myself for a bit in order to just get through my games and I got all the platinum trophies I want for now. It’s always this unquenchable thirst I have when I feel like I just want to sit and play games 24/7. It’s unhealthy, for sure, and a lot of times frustrating, and I feel gross afterwards, but when quelled, I feel much better and more accomplished (fake digital trophies are my thing). It’s an odd sensation to describe. I’m not actually sure when I’m getting my next game, though it will probably be closer to Black Friday, anyway. Until then, I’m pretty gamed-out.
– I finally got to see ARIZONA live and it was awesome. Looking back, it all seemed like a blur, very short, but I love all the songs on their album, so I was good. However, I forget how much I dislike concertgoers in general, especially annoying tall people. Luckily, I stood against the wall in the back because the place was small and I still got a decent view with a nice backrest and no one bumped into me.
– Amadeo had a birthday this month and we went brewery hopping…and I feel like everyone is so mature and old now that no one got wasted (as far as I can tell, though I left early). Long gone are the days of staying out late and drinking a lot! Just kidding, I hope not. Sometimes it’s fun to get super drunk in the wee hours of the morning and break any normal dietary restrictions by crying into a milkshake at 0300.

Dog Diaries

As you probably know, I had the opportunity to dogsit for a weekend and it was one of the greatest things to happen to me this year (and it’s been a great year!), so I’ll recount every little detail. If you missed my 3-day Snapchat story, I presciently saved them for your viewing pleasure.

You know how when you have a kid, all you want to do is talk about your kid and it’s annoying to everyone except you? And how everything little thing they do is cute and must be documented? This was me, except this dog clearly isn’t even mine. I still can’t believe I convinced my parents to allow this.

Puppies are so pure and innocent and when you see them learn something, it’s such a beautiful and precious thing to witness.

Peyton was friendly at first sight (and it was (mutual) love at first sight). I don’t think he really comprehended that his parents left him. He got really excited any time someone entered the room and initially, his eyes would follow me any time I moved. Over the course of the weekend, I learned he was very well socialized, independent, and friendly (perhaps too friendly with strangers), which is a sign of good parenting.

I decided to spend some time teaching him how to shake, so we went to spend some time on the stairs. But being a precious puppy, he didn’t know how to properly use stairs, though I think he eventually caught on. He learned to shake so quickly and could do it with both paws…so precious, I can’t even.

Outside in our backyard, I initially didn’t let him off the leash because he was too curious to obediently come to me when I called him. He ate anything and ran through lots of corners with cobwebs. Eventually, he’d run freely through the yard and liked to bring his toys outside and sit in the dirt.

Afterwards, he’d get tired and it’d be the perfect moment to hold him and take a nap because he was so floppy. So much trust. Every time he stretched, it was the cutest. He wouldn’t eat anything out of his bowl, but I’d either have to hand feed him or put food on the floor for him. So silly.

I took him out for Amadeo’s birthday because a lot of Anaheim breweries are dog friendly. We had a lot of fun; he had so much energy and then by the end, he got sleepy. So cute.

I usually don’t like male dogs because of an incident that happened to me and Alan in our youth (the incident entitled “Doggy Dilemma”), but Peyton is the best! I definitely miss having a dog around to cuddle with.

Health Catalog

– I love that feeling when I get a new lease on life. Whether it’s after a month of lethargy, or just a day- I often start to feel invigorated after some lull in my health journey.
– I feel like I’ve been keeping up pretty well with my goals lately, but at the same time, I also feel like I’m plateauing, and I can’t seem to get past it. I’m thinking of mixing things up just for a change because routine can get boring if I just keep at the same thing without progress.
– I’m still working on my posture and correcting what I believe to be APT, anterior pelvic tilt. I’ve been also trying to sleep on my back with a pillow under my thighs, but it gets to the point where I just can’t sleep and give into more comfortable positions. When I’m conscious of my posture, whether standing, sitting, or laying, it’s crazy how quickly my body contorts to a more comfortable position, even if it’s not necessarily healthy for my body.
– My sleep schedule has been out of whack because I’ve had the freedom of waking up late, which is rather bittersweet. I need to find within myself the motivation to get up regularly and sleep early.
– My right wrist has been hurting, feeling a little sore when I stretch it in both directions. I’ve been kind of worried, so I’ve decided to take a break from the gym, which seemed to exacerbate the problem every time I needed to grip something. It’s a good reason not to work out, yet I still feel like it’s so inconvenient for my routine.

Life Reflected

– All of the sudden, I feel like when one part of my life seems to be headed in the “right” direction, I realize there are other parts of my life that I’ve been neglecting. And then it all comes rushing forward and smacks me in the face. It’s an odd sensation of mixed calm and calamity.
– My goals suddenly seem obtainable, yet I feel a void that I can’t put my finger on. From where does this sudden qualm originate? I’m not sure. I think part of it is this paradoxical feeling of comfort, and how I shouldn’t be comfortable– shouldn’t there be something that I need to be worrying about right now? That’s probably stemming from some deep childhood feeling of low self-esteem and how I don’t deserve happiness, but I’m not a psychologist.

Signal Boost

Spider-Man: Homecoming. This was everything I hoped it was and more. It’s so odd how I don’t really like Spider-Man as a character, but his films I just love. I’m not even really sure why I don’t like him, his powers are awesome and he’s hilarious and his suit is really cool. He was just never one of my favorites growing up. Nonetheless, the PoC excellence in this film and all the little Easter eggs were just a treat. Also, Marisa Tomei is bae.
The Big Sick. More Asian male leads please! I’m starting to see a trend, me learning a lot more about Afghanistan, Armenia, and Pakistan (see more below)…countries a lot of Americans don’t think about when they think “Asian”. I just love POC and how all stories with POC infuse so much more culture than 2 whites. What a beautiful, funny story this was!
The Promise. I did not think I’d like this film. Ugh, love triangles. But I had to watch because Christian Bale is the best. Turns out it was an amazing look at the Armenian Genocide, something I didn’t even know about. Tragic, heart-wrenching, and powerful. I’m so glad I watched this and learned something new about something so atrocious.
Gifted. A sweet, though rather predictable film that raises an interesting question. Chris Evans and Octavia Spencer always get me, but there was a pleasant surprise in the young Mckenna Grace.
I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore. Another quirky Netflix comedy that wasn’t like what I expected it to be. Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood were great. You should watch it and enjoy it for the wild ride it is.
To The Bone. A Netflix indie film and I’ll pretty much watch anything with Keanu Reeves. It’s a drama about anorexia and other eating disorders. I thought the acting was good and it was interesting, I don’t know much about eating disorders and how accurate these depictions were, though it was good.
Despicable Me 3. They’re really reaching with these movies now, yet there’s still something slightly endearing about it. The minions are still super cute and the family element still tugs at my heartstrings. The storyline is rather lame and lacking, but it is a kid’s movie after all. I didn’t even remember what happened in the last one, so it was hard to follow along.
Batman and Harley Quinn. Another addition to the DC Universe Original Animated Movies. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was actually quite funny. It was very reminiscent of the old Batman cartoon, mixed in with a lot of random humor. It was very light and there were a lot of dramatic moments that just fell short…but I feel like this was done on purpose. It was strange, but in a good way. I love all the canon/meta references, Harley and Ivy together, the adult humor, and the fact that I always side with Poison Ivy on everything. I mean, I’m all for killing all humans, but even better- we get to be human-plant hybrids? I’m down.

The Defenders. I can’t say I was super looking forward to this show, but I was interested to see where it was going. Having avoided Iron Fist, at first, it was confusing, but everything kind of wove together towards episode 3. Still, it always seemed like, as a whole, it fell short. Like the poor man’s Avengers, except zero comic relief and a lot of similar/boring powers. Also, Iron Fist is still ridiculous and annoying af. And I really like Jessica Jones, but her irreverence and whining kind of overshadowed a lot (ugh with all the martial arts disrespect). This is all me being overly critical though. I enjoyed the episodes…I mean I did binge watch it after all. Then again, I did take several breaks, so it must have not been all that engaging. At the end of the day, it was a good mini-series, but the team lacked cohesion and chemistry, which I hope they will develop in the future. Also, they didn’t call themselves “The Defenders”, so that was lame. On the other hand (hehe), I really liked all the members of The Hand, I wish we got to see more of them. I didn’t love it, didn’t hate it, but I liked it. Don’t miss it if you’re a Netflix Marvel fan.

Twin Peaks season 3. Um. I really don’t know. I think I was naive in expecting everything to wrap up neatly. I am satisfied but also mostly unsatisfied. It was great and it was ridiculous. I am enlightened and confused.
– Preacher season 2. I absolutely adore this show. There are departures from the comic series, but I’m pretty okay with them and am more interested to see where they take all the characters. This season just built upon the magic that was season 1 and made it more hilarious and ridiculous.
Outlander seasons 1 and 2. I decided to finally give this show a try because I got a free shirt at their booth at SDCC, so I felt obligated (I didn’t realize this show was such a hit with bored housewives). But I don’t like period pieces. And I don’t like shows with just white people. And I also don’t care for rape scene after rape scene. I rolled my eyes a lot from the stupid drama. Yet…for whatever reason, I was so intrigued by the sci-fi time traveling part of it that I had to keep watching. Season 1 started going downhill and season 2 was rather boring, as I wasn’t really into the period drama of it all. It got very Downton Abbey. However, the ending was great, and I really enjoy the time travel stuff, even though it’s heartbreaking because we know the end result- we just don’t know how they get there. And now I’m just engrossed in whatever the hell is going to happen in the coming seasons, as I hear the book series is long and full of great source material. Not really in it for the romance, but here we are (though I thought I was gonna see a lot more romping Starz sex scenes, but not that many actually). I love the theme song and the all the Scottish slang too.
People of Earth season 2. I absolutely adore this show; I wish there were more episodes because it is definitely getting super interesting. I went to the panel at this year’s SDCC as well and got to watch S02E01 with the cast. Adding Nasim Pedrad was a gift. The first season was wacky, but this season is more grounded (if that’s possible), while still holding onto the goofiness of season 1. One of my favorite shows no one is talking about for sure.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 12. The irreverence is off the charts this season, but the genius behind some of these episodes is amazing. I love/hate these characters. I’m sad for the hiatus.
Bob’s Burgers season 7. Such an endearing show with hilarious characters. It’s another good show for background noise because any time you pay attention, there’s a quick, witty joke. This season wasn’t all too memorable, but it had it’s quirky moments.
Castlevania season 1. I quite enjoy this game series, though I’ve only played a couple. I recall they were enjoyable. I saw this on Netflix and thought it’d be interesting to see, it’s only 4 short episodes, but very intriguing. I can’t wait to see more, I wish it was longer.
Portlandia season 7. Still hilarious and ridiculous and oddly relatable. Next season is the last, but I always enjoy binging this quirky show because I don’t really have to keep up with it, but can just put it on in the background. It’s such a clever show.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I finally got around to reading this and so glad I did- haven’t read such an emotionally draining book in a while. And not a lot of books really keep on the edge of my seat. I read before bed, so I read for a certain amount of time to get enough sleep, but sometimes, you just have to sacrifice some sleep time to keep reading.
Rebel Genius by Michael Dante DiMartino. When I found out DiMartino was writing a book, I just had to read it. It has a lot of the same elements as Avatar, so I found it quite enjoyable. There were some flaws that I’m sure a young reader wouldn’t care about, but at the same time, I found it inspiring. The art was great. I’m excited to see where he goes next in the series.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. After Kite Runner, I had to read this. And it broke my heart even more. I found myself bawling. It’s one of those books that just destroyed me, but it was so great. Read if you feel the need to feel an emptiness in your soul and/or release some tears.
The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. I thought I was going to like this book, but a lot of it didn’t apply to me. I found myself skipping a lot of sections (this book would have been better as solely an e-book or website with links). I also found some parts pretentious and really white-male-centric. There were some small nuggets, but what I found was that it served as a good reminder for me to get inspired and go down a less conventional path in life. I can’t say I recommend it to everyone, but hey, it might be interesting, slightly fictional, and it could inspire you too.
Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis. What a strange, magnificent, eerie, hilarious story. And to read this in 2017, in this dystopian world…it’s not too far off from current circumstances. None of the issues dragged for me, the art was crazy and overflowed on the page. I was really interested in all the lore: newsfeeds, eating dogs, transients, etc. etc. And it was just so funny.
Green Arrow (2011) vol. 4-6 by Jeff Lemire. I was told to read this run from Lemire, as it was the best one for this character. Overall, I felt it was rather lackluster and derivative of the CW show, which I’ve stopped watching because it got annoying. This series never felt like it was enough of anything, a bit too rushed, and I didn’t like any of the characters. It was okay.
American Teen by Khalid. I randomly listened to Young, Dumb, and Broke and fell in love with the vibes, then the entire album was like magic in my ears. So much talent within this young man, I can’t wait to see where he goes.
– Ctrl by SZA. Another random listen from an artist whose name I’ve heard so much. And I’m so glad I listened- this album met the hype. Her voice comes out as silk, so fluid and smooth. My favorite song is Drew Barrymore (watch the music video too).
Trip by Jhene Aiko. More chill vibes from a surprise album drop- and a massive one at that. Some are a bit weird, like the talking/yelling parts (I really hate talking in songs). Her voice is also very relaxing.
Double Duchess by Fergie. I’ve had a crush of Fergie since forever and it’s been a long running joke with me and Ryan. I’ve been waiting for this album since the first one dropped and I can’t believe it’s finally here. I’m a fan of her more ballad-y stuff like Big Girls Don’t Cry and there were a surprising number of songs on here that showcased her voice. And there’s no lack of silly, fun rap pieces as well.
Awake by Illenium. One of my favorite DJs. This album is no different than his other work; I absolutely adore his music…more chill vibes.
Stargazing EP by Kygo. Also one of my favorite DJs and another chill album. It’s clearly the month of me listening to chill music. It’s short, but every song is perfection.


The Lust of Summer

•13 August 2017 • Leave a Comment

Adventure Catalog

– Go here to read about my San Diego Comic-Con 2017 experience.
– I’ve been having lots of fun with this relative freedom of time and freedom of mind. Things are falling back into a rhythm, but different.
– Planning vacations, playing games with friends, and hanging out every weekend without [too much] anxiety creeping in (“Should I really be having fun right now?”). And also, trying to go out on more dates (#hoesummer) has been fun.


Brunch before Q leaves for school! (I wasn’t hungover, I was playing videogames last night)


Steph’s bday dinner! (I’m not high, you’re high)

Fitness Catalog

– I didn’t have a chance to meal prep the week after my class ended because I was gone for SDCC, so I definitely felt the uncertainty with what I was going to eat for lunch every day. It certainly shows how important and helpful meal prep has been in my life, so that my mind has one less thing to worry about. It was brutal trying to scrounge around trying to find something to eat- usually, it ended up being something completely unhealthy (when I resort to cup ramen, you know it’s bad).
– Now that I have more free time, I’m trying to adjust a lot of my health habits. I want to sleep better, eat better, and develop better mindsets when it comes to…everything! It really does help to have a routine that’s rigid, but not punitive if I stray from it. As long as I have a baseline, this will help guide me. And having a clearer understanding of my values also goes a long way with mental healthcare and decision making.
– Just developing a new routine is kind of exciting. There’s this new sense of direction I have and there are many opportunities in front of me.
– I made hummus for the first time (I’m trying tons of new chickpea recipes)! It was difficult at first because it wasn’t blending properly. Eventually, after trial and error, it got to the consistency I wanted. Overall, pretty good, though I don’t know the amounts and ingredients I used because I was just blending things together. The key was more tahini (my new bae), water, and lime juice.


 Pop Culture Analysis

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. I greatly enjoyed this movie…perhaps even more than the first, which surprises me. I love that what it comes down to is the human elements interspersed with all the space cowboy dramedy. The visuals were brilliant, the characters really shined here, and baby Groot is the best.
Lion. I finally got around to watching this movie after seeing it on Netflix. It was highly recommended by my boss and it did not disappoint. What a tragic story. I really enjoyed Dev Patel’s performance in this film. At times, it did feel a bit slow or lacking, but overall, it was really well done.

Sugar Coated. Another depressing, eye-opening doc about sugar. It’s scary how things like this just go under the radar and are accepted by everyone. I’ve been trying to go no-sugar and it’s pretty hard because everything has some sort of sugar, unless I make it myself, but even then, recipes will call for a bit of sugar. I’ll definitely be more aware of sugar in products now, even though I generally stay away from processed foods. On Netflix now!
Chasing Coral. SO DEPRESSING. The GBR is literally my top vacation spot. Highly recommended. Can’t say anything more. On Netflix now!

In Defense of Food. I enjoy docs about food science and health, of course. This was interesting in that there were some food rules for us to abide by. However, I felt like a lot of it touched on the surface of everything. I really feel like the food industry controls and manipulates everything. And it’s hard to discuss all this without discussing veganism. I mean, I agree with the point that we’ve been eating animals forever and it’s good for us in moderation. However, what do you do about animal abuse? It’s hard to discuss these things separately for me. There were some interesting notes about food environment though, changing it in order to eat less/better. I understand this sounds privileged, but it’s pretty easy to eat right if you just become aware of it.

Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. Sometimes, I have to sit back and think how great it is that we get stuff like this in this day and age (not everything has to be original). The movie and the prequel series were hilarious and this just adds another layer to the collection. Everything is just so ridiculous, it makes it so amazing. Definitely a cult classic.
The Great Dialogues of Plato. I can’t say I enjoyed this book. I was more or less slugging through it, but I feel I wasn’t reading it from a literary scholar perspective. Therefore, I felt like I wasn’t picking up on everything or really engaging the text. Also, I’m not that smart. It was more or less Socrates talking and someone else agreeing with him. I mainly wanted to read The Republic, but decided to pick up all these texts. Ironically, I enjoyed the other texts way more than The Republic. I enjoyed Meno and liked Ion and Symposium and parts of The Apology, Crito, and Phaedo. Maybe I’ll pick this up at a later stage in my life and maybe then, I can appreciate it more.

Lust for Life by Lana Del Rey. Aww, happy Lana. I thought this album was pretty sweet and there’s just a certain quality in her voice that makes me want to melt into my sofa and relax the day away.

The Health

•17 July 2017 • Leave a Comment

Adventure Catalog

– I’ve been affording myself little hangouts here and there to keep my mental health up. There has been a lot of things happening in my life, but everything’s on pause because I need to finish this class. But thankful to the people I’ve hung out with, who’ve allowed me to decompress just by being present in the moment with me. Life finds a way to go on!



Fitness Catalog

– I don’t know why, but when I look at myself in the mirror, I feel like my arms look a little bigger. Maybe it’s untrue physically and it’s just this outpouring of self-love I’ve forgotten but have recently come across giving me a bit more self-confidence.
– I’ve been trying to manage my schedule that will allow me to get enough sleep and wake up in time to go to the gym. And if I don’t wake up in time, I do some morning yoga. Both of these options are great for me to start my day off right, physically and mentally.
– I feel like I often sacrifice my health, when I should be prioritizing it above everything.
– Aaaand then after I wrote all that, I got sick. It was the day before a test and I could barely study. But luckily it only lasted a day or so. I rarely (very rarely!) get sick (because I used to be very unsanitary so my immune system is a beast), so when it happens, it’s just so inconvenient and debilitating. I still had to push through because my Asian mother took me to school even though I was legitimately sick as a child and I never missed a day of school (until undergrad). I don’t know what it was, but I had stomach and head pains, with some chills. I felt like a baby and wanted to be swaddled and for my parents to comfort me. Probably, more than anything, it was because I was pushing too hard for the past month and it just caught up to me. That, or I locked eyes with a black cat that was in my backyard on the Fourth of July and it cursed me (I got sick the day after!).
– I’ve finally managed to make my overnight oats vegan! Another step in the right direction. Initially, I used Greek yogurt, then switched to coconut milk yogurt, but there was way too much sugar and the consistency was not enjoyable, so I switched back to Greek yogurt. Finally, I just decided to omit the yogurt and see what would happen. Turns out, it’s still good, ultimately the same, and perhaps at times, better! It’s a loss of good protein and calories, but oh well. So…officially, in case you didn’t know, and also you’re welcome…HERE’S MY OO RECIPE!

Overnight Oats (vegan AND healthy) (2 servings)

80g rolled oats
24g chia seeds
15g flax seed meal
126g frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries) (or fresh if you’re bougee)
1 banana, roughly chopped (aka mashed up by hand into small pieces) (any degree of ripeness from mildly green to brown af)
1 pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
320g almond milk

Mix all ingredients and store in a mason jar in the fridge at least a night before. Feel free to add any fresh fruits (apples and cinnamon is nice) for variation.

None of the “use maple syrup instead of honey if you’re vegan”. Nah, bitch- that shit is still unhealthy. Just leave it out and allow the natural sweetness of the fruits to permeate the mixture. Servings are based on serving sizes on the packaging. Feel free to add some variation to how much you add or remove. Have fun with it until it fits what you like. I’ve been eating these every morning. I prep them twice a week for the whole week. Quick, hardy, healthy, fresh!

Pop Culture Analysis

Deadpool (2013) by Posehn and Duggan. I really enjoyed these volumes, some more than others. I just hate crossover events and not understanding the full plot because I don’t want to read all the crossover comics. The ending was so hilarious and unexpected. I was reading this at a time in my life where I oddly felt very much what DP was feeling: I have a lot and I feel like I’ve done a lot of good things, yet I didn’t/don’t feel happy. Overall, a delightful and, at times, very heartfelt look at Deadpool.
Okja. This is right up my alley! I’m a fan of Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer. Not to mention, this film had 2 of my favorite Asians: Steven Yeun and Tilda Swinton. It was painful to watch, having already opened my eyes to the big food and agriculture industry, thanks to other Netflix documentaries. This one had an air of whimsy because of the fantastical nature of the film. Nonetheless, so grounded in reality, while only touching on the surface of the issues. At the end of the day, it’s about a girl and her beloved pet, not a commentary on the meat industry. And I’m okay with that. A solid, touching, depressing film.
What the Health. I love watching these documentaries while my parents are home because they start watching too and I just hope to influence them. Disclaimer: we still eat meat. This documentary, since my parents don’t really have that connection to animals that I do, allowed them to see the dangers of meat-based products to health. I feel like this struck a little chord inside of them because they think a lot about health, but they are misinformed, just like the general American public. I learned a lot and was surprised by a lot and am still misinformed (chicken and fish are still bad?!), but less so after watching this. I should definitely do my own research and will continue to grow towards a completely plant-based diet.
Life is Strange. I finally got a PS Plus trial and got this free game in June (I still have my free one year trial that I need to activate, and though I do enjoy getting free games and playing online with friends, I just hate the cash grab). I’m not a huge fan of episodic games, but I heard this one was excellent. I do however, enjoy these games where decisions matter, a la Heavy Rain and Until Dawn. Some annoying gameplay elements, like not being able to skip some things even though you’ve seen them a bunch. Sometimes the teen angst got annoying, but I do love me some YA angst. My final gripe would be with the last of 5 episodes, not being as strong as the others, though the ending (that I chose) was satisfactory. Nonetheless, I really like the story concept, the nods to Twin Peaks, the character choices and their effects, and the pacing. It’s about a high school girl in a small town who learns she has “rewind powers” and starts trying to help people, unravel mysteries, and fix bad things. Of course, when you mess with time…things get crazy. It was emotional, riveting, fun, and simple. And I had time since I was easing up on studying so much and making time to de-stress. Life is, indeed, quite strange.

The Values 2k17

•23 June 2017 • Leave a Comment

One day, I’ll write an autobiography so someone can psychoanalyze me. This will of course happen when I have solved the meaning of my life so I can start my introduction paragraph with, “If I could go back and talk to my 25 year old self, I would tell him that everything will be okay.”

But right now, in my lost, mid-twenties state of confusion, I think to myself: I am not happy. So how can we rectify this- as in, how can I match my values with my lifestyle?

What do I want out of life? I’m not sure I have a definitive answer.

Version 2.0 of my self-actualization tenets:

I think I’ve found one of the most important factors to happiness is holding on to good people that in turn, make me a better person. Connection relates to family, friends, significant others, and even strangers.
Cultivating new relationships is as important as cultivating old. And while relationships are nearly 100% emotional, it’s important to take a sober step back and contemplate whether or not your connections are providing you with a way to pursue your values…to really bring out the best in yourself. If not, it may be time to move forward.
I think the disconnect (hehe) here for me is communication, initiative, and prioritizing time. Of course, relationships are a two-way street. I can acknowledge and remove these factors from the equation: fear, misconception, resentment, egocentricity.
This will open me up to allow myself to share more, give back, and inspire others. I will speak up more as much as I can.
To all the friends I no longer speak to, to all the women that I’ve had intimate relationships with, to all the missed connections, to all the bridges I’ve burned…it’s not a failure on anyone’s part. It’s a part of the tapestry of my life, an experience from which to garner wisdom.

I say I want to be comfortable, yet I need to be challenged. So I say I want to be challenged, yet I yearn to be comfortable. Experience to me means doing novel things to treat my brain and body to what life has to offer. Whether I’m getting out of my comfort zone or staying in it, I need to be learning (read: experiencing) in order to feel fulfilled. No longer can I just be content and settled.
There are so many things to do and I must be unafraid to push myself. For a lot of my life, I’ve been catered to and have not run into hardships. So this moment, this trying time in my life- this is what teaches me, you see?
I don’t want to shy away from opportunities, things that may seem strange or risky or unknown. And I don’t want to take the routines for granted. I just want to be present in whatever I am experiencing.
Note: this is a newly added piece to my self-actualization triangle, so it’s now a square.

I am so thankful for my health, and I must remember not to take it for granted. Being healthy to me ties in physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It’s holistic; it’s life. This is probably the most important tenet on the self-actualization square because it’s all-encompassing and affects all the other tenets.
I work out, I eat healthy and mostly vegetable-based, I work on mindfulness, I seek to save the planet (as referenced in my Sustainable Journey posts). These are the little things I do every day to maintain or better the state of my health. Taking a step back to evaluate my health is important to me. It also feels like the thing I can control the most and makes me feel the best (it all feeds back into itself).

As much as I’d like to be a trophy husband or to find myself a sugar mama, I do value independence. Right now, I am not very independent. I still live at home and have all the amenities provided by my refugee parents, who want me to be independent while at the same time, nurturing me completely because they want me to have a good life.
Independence to me means having a career that will invigorate my passion, teach me every day, and provide me with some sort of stability in my future. And right now, I’m not there.
I actually don’t know how much money is needed to have a livable wage because I’m spoiled and lucky enough to never have had to worry about having enough money. Since becoming a hippie, I’ve stopped being beholden to capitalism. But as a realist, I do recognize that I would like to make a comfortable amount of money. There’s a lot of real world experience I need to acquire, all of which comes with growing up and relying on myself.
I think when the day comes when I’m set on my future (will it come?) in this aspect, I will finally be able to have my own space, pay for everything, and have enough left over to treat myself and others.

I worry too much. And I think the cause of my worries are laid bare: I have not achieved what I feel is important. But what’s key is to let go of my ego (l’eggo my ego), understand that everything is perspective, and enjoy/embrace my journey.

I think when I look at my future, it’s foggy. This, in turn, scares me, thus causing me to worry. But I think what I need to learn is that it’s okay to feel lost, it’s okay to fail, it’s okay to walk a path where you can’t see the destination…because at the end of the day, I should enjoy being alive. I mean, this is basic advice, but applying it and really believing it is a whole new level of calm I need to master.

And so it goes. My values are not my goals. I will never be fully self-actualized. You see, I will always strive to be a better person because I’ll never be the best person. Even though I feel like a “failure”, I am making everyday strides acting in accordance to my values and my integrity in order to achieve a steady state of happiness.


The Wonder

•17 June 2017 • Leave a Comment

Adventure Catalog

– I have finally been inspired to start a drawing thanks to Wonder Woman.
– I’m worried I won’t have all the time I’d like to prep a cosplay for SDCC because I’ll have tests every week up until SDCC weekend. I also probably won’t have time to continue the MOOCs I enrolled in for the duration of the summer because of the intensity of this class. I guess I can kiss any weekend vacations goodbye for now, though I’m still determined to meet my summer goals.
– Prioritizing my time will be important this summer with class and work. And this skill came in handy over a weekend when I realized that I don’t want to sacrifice enjoying special moments. Like Akash and Alan becoming doctors! Congrats! I was very sentimental over that weekend while also keeping studying in the back of my mind. As we get older, I’m excited for all my friends hitting life milestones and me being there to share in their success and happiness.
– All this led to me really hyperfocusing on my precious time. I only have time for things that make me happy, people that make me happy, and pursuing what I value. #byebadvibes


Congrats Akash on your PharmD! Friends since undergrad!


Congrats Alan on your DDS! Friends since elementary!

Fitness Catalog

– Haven’t been able to keep up with my water drinking because being in class means I can’t leave all the time to go to the bathroom.
– I also sit way too much now because I’m just in class all day. JK, if I wasn’t sitting in class, I’d probably just be sitting at home.
– My posture is bad and probably worse, and my back has been hurting, and I’m often too tired or my schedule is too packed to go to the gym.
– I would like this not to happen, but instead, find the drive in myself to get to the gym despite everything. Because at the end of the day, it will help.
– On the plus, I think my sleep has gotten a lot better because I’m so exhausted.

Life Reflected

– This class has definitely consumed me. Class, work, study, repeat. I find myself looking forward to Thursdays, so at least Critical Role can help me relax. I’m making sure I’m really utilizing my time properly, making sure my week is planned, and giving myself breaks when I need to.
– I learned in my class- I want to turn any distress into eustress. Just by the way I think and cope with it. This stress is good for me, I’m doing what’s right for me and my future. I can meet this challenge and will overcome this obstacle. I will be a better person because of the explicit and implicit knowledge and wisdom I acquire because of this stress. Easier said than done? Nah, b. I got this.
– It’s weird because I never worked this hard in undergrad or high school. But it’s like all this experiential wisdom of being a lifelong student has taught me to study smart, to really understand the content, which in turn, is very interesting (physiology). I do love learning.
– Nonetheless…on top of all this, I rarely have time to sit and reflect (shoutout to my life coach Hanna for allowing me time to do so). Like right now, as I write this post, it’s the first time I feel like I can relax a bit before another long weekend of studying.
– Well. I have a lot to ponder. A LOT.

Pop Culture Analysis

– Wonder Woman. Holy fuck, what a gift. There were few flaws, and I will overlook and ignore all of them because WHAT. A. GIFT. After the tumultuous timeline of this film, we get to enjoy a critically acclaimed DC film that’s actually good…and it’s woman led…and it’s the first of its kind (first Wonder Woman film). The best of Captain America and Thor. The treatment of “other” in Steve’s friends. The music. I just can’t believe this. Man does not deserve dogs. Man does not deserve Amazonians. Listen, a lot of people are saying “everyone just says it’s good because it’s a woman.” And yes, that’s part of the reason it’s good. Why shouldn’t it be? Something new, novel…and it works, against all odds. That should be a reason for its celebration, not one for condemnation. We, as movie-goers, always say we want something different. And this gives us that.
The Fate of the Furious. Okay, well I’ll always watch this franchise, but how do you follow 7 properly? Also, I’m still mad about Han and Giselle (Wonder Woman, though). This one was…meh. Very forgettable, unnecessary, and I wish they’d stop.
Kong: Skull Island. I just learned this was a part of a universe of films called MonsterVerse, and that made this a bit cooler. I enjoyed Godzilla and I enjoyed this film, though they’re not masterpieces and ultimately, forgettable. While I do like these monster flicks and I like the fact that these films are showcasing kindness to these poor beasts, it kind of gets old. Mildly excited for Godzilla vs. King Kong, but then again, why are they fighting? They should just team up and kill all the humans.
Hasan Minhaj Homecoming King. I forgot who recommended this to me, but thank you to that person. This was absolutely brilliant, a comedy special like I’ve never seen…like a one-man off-Broadway show, which I later learned that’s exactly what it was. The tempo, the cameras, the special effects, the delivery, the storytelling. I laughed and I cried. I am floored at how amazing this is. I knew Hasan was brilliant from watching the WHCD ’16 speech, but this is a whole nutha level.
American Gods season 1. I really enjoyed / was confused by this book. So when I heard about the show, I was pretty excited. Bryan Fuller + Neil Gaiman is a visual paradise. What a beautiful and very strange show. I understand the plot more now, though I do wish this first season had more episodes. Also, shoutout to the American Gods SDCC’16 booth for giving me  a free shirt. Also, that panel was pretty great too.
Supergirl season 2. Holy crap, binge-watching this with along with The Flash was really fun. But also, my first time binging on a full 20+ episode, 45 minute per episode season…and I did 2 shows (I decided to stop watching Agents of SHIELD and Gotham). So without doing the math, I stayed up for a whole night (pulling an all-nighter studying with Netflix on in the background) and watched through the entirety of my weekend. Sometimes, I doubt myself and my convictions, but then I remember I’m fucking crazy and have no self-control and tend to overindulge. I really liked season 2, much better than season 1, though I can see “the CW effect” already happening. I do like all the “feminist agenda/propaganda” stuff and I can’t stress enough the importance of a female-led superhero on TV! How awesome. Really liked all the newly introduced familiar characters as well.
The Flash season 3. Speaking of “the CW effect”, this season was super melodramatic. The problem about shows that deal with time travel is that there always seems to be a better/different solution to these problems. I do still really like this show, it’s still my favorite of the superhero fare on TV, but I hope it doesn’t become too much like Arrow, which I stopped watching precisely because of the CW melodrama. The acting is pretty great though, especially with all the different iterations of characters on the different Earths. My thesis still stands: all shows should end at 3 seasons.

The Sustainable Journey #4: Odd Circumstances

•8 June 2017 • Leave a Comment

It’s easy to get into the routine of daily life and think to myself, I’m doing a good job, just gotta keep this going day to day. Sometimes, circumstances do arise that are non-routine. And this is where I start to break from the safety zone.

I previously spoke on a party I threw at my house and how I tried to make it as zero waste and eco-friendly as possible. But what happens when you go to another party hosted by someone else.

Well, I will obviously flush their toilet. And I hate this- because I’m all about “it’s about the principle” and “who cares what other people think of me” and “manners are stupid unless you actually mean it”…but here I am, wasting water because of societal conventions that I adhere to.

There is also heavy waste…by pretty much everyone. And I can minimize as much waste as possible. And I can bring my own utensils and to-go container and handkerchief. Yet I found myself, at these parties in the last couple of weeks, wanting to conform and not be “that person”. BUT I need to be that person. It opens people’s eyes to these issues, even if a lot of them judge me. The cost is perhaps minimal embarrassment. EVEN THOUGH I ASK MYSELF WHY. Why would I even be embarrassed? It goes back to the whole “how do you spot a vegan at a party?” thing. And it’s hard when you don’t get a lot of support from friends and family, who kind of just laugh it off and say, “Oh, Brian’s just doing one of his Brian things again”. It’s disheartening. I even conform to eating animal-based products out of simplicity and convenience. I know I just need to make that leap.

And going to a restaurant just plain sucks. I’ve stopped asking for water and bringing my own water, but I still get water and a straw! And it makes me sad. I just need to now literally tell them “I DON’T WANT ANY WATER, DON’T BRING ME ANY”.

So I’ve been taking a summer class that has been eating up my entire schedule. It’s been hard to keep up with nutrition, though I’m glad meal prep has come in handy and I’m already good at it. Stress has increased. I find doing a lot of this “save the world” stuff difficult while also trying to make everything as convenient for me as possible while I have to focus on my studies.

Another temporary situation I worry about is travel. I want to travel and I plan to do a lot of traveling for the rest of my life. But I can just picture how difficult it would be doing all this in strange, unknown lands. This will surely require a lot of pre-planning and commitment on my part. I’m hoping in my future when I’m able to travel more that I’ll be deeply entrenched and a pro at doing all of this stuff.

On a final note, I’ve been thinking about the idea of Minimalism vs. Sentimentality, which I actually touched on in my previous post. I’m like a partial hoarder, but a lot of it is sentimental things. And I have them all hidden away, so there’s a semblance of minimalism and neatness in my room. And only I know it’s there (and now, you do too). I’ve been trying to let go of these things because I really don’t need them. Like, if I threw them away right now, I believe I wouldn’t even bat an eye in the future. But another part of me thinks…it’s not hurting anyone in any way. I don’t believe it to be causing me any sort of additional anxiety or unhappiness, which clutter can do. It’s just there and I look at it every now and then when I clean or feel nostalgic. And then it goes away again.

I don’t know what I wanted to say or what my thesis or conclusion are. I do know that it’s a continuous, lifelong journey to make the world a better place, one step at a time.

The Summer Not-Break

•2 June 2017 • Leave a Comment

Adventure Catalog

– As summer approaches, I’m hoping to get out more. In fact, I have just finished all my games and since everything else I want is out of my price range currently, I shall take a much needed break (before I do trophy runs, that is). These games have been a fun escape/catharsis, another way to bond with my friends, and some extra, good ol’ fashioned, nerdy me-time. I’m actually trying to plan some small trips/hangouts again, so that I don’t get too absorbed in classes and forget to be a human.

– I finally got around to fixing the faulty thermostat in my car with the help of my dad. And by that, I mean he did everything while I assisted. He has a true engineer’s mind, always fixing things. When I first discovered my car’s problem, I looked up videos, figured it was too difficult (I didn’t want to break my car), and then proceeded to procrastinate fixing it because my car was still running. But then my dad wanted to fix it. And there’s something really cool about fixing something with your own hands. The check engine light didn’t turn off for a few days, so I was bummed out, but then voila! Success!
– I also just cleaned my car in general and did all the upkeep. You never realize how much grime there is until you sit there for a few hours and scrape away and make everything almost spotless. My poor baby had been neglected for so long.
– This led me down a rabbit hole of cleaning. I cleaned the office space, then I went to my room and started looking at all the old stuff I’ve kept. I am huge on sentimentality, bordering on being a hoarder. Looking through everything was nice, like time traveling. Then…I realized I couldn’t find my Pokemon cards. I looked everywhere and I think…my mom threw them out a while ago without me realizing. I have all my Yu-Gi-Oh and Digimon cards, but my collection of Pokemon cards is nowhere. I’m partially devastated, partially uncaring. That was a huge part of my identity as a kid. My collection was by no means complete or great, but there was some neat cards I loved in there. Also, this kind of feels like deja vu, so maybe I had this revelation a couple years ago already and either forgot, or blocked it out of my memory because it’s so traumatic.
– This led me down another philosophical rabbit hole about minimalism. I’ve been able to minimize to the point of my daily life being minimal. But I have a lot of literal drawers of memories, where I keep a lot of old stuff tucked away. This gives the semblance of cleanliness, yet allows me to every now and then look in and rediscover old memories. I think this is okay. 95% of the time, I don’t think about this stuff. Logically, if I got rid of it all, I’d survive. And I’ve already lost my Pokemon cards, so what is the point of existing anyway? so I feel like I’ll be okay in the end.

– I have continued my rediscovered hobby of drawing. And it feels so official using a sketchbook. I’m really into portraiture and human anatomy, so I’ve been practicing my isolated body part sketches to mixed levels of success. One thing I’ve learned from this is that I like to schedule a chunk of my daily time, whenever I can, to do something just for me. Whether it’s games or art, a quick hobby that I can do whenever I can fit it in is a key part of my life.

– I’m trying to do things that make me uncomfortable. Cold showers (this will be easier during the summer and I haven’t worked my way to completely cold shower yet). Eating gross vegetables (like cucumbers and green beans). Always coming up with novel ideas that will help me be better and at the same time, get out of my comfort zone. I’m trying to train my mind to get used to a Just Do It mentality, so that motivation isn’t a factor. Rather, I’ll just do it whether I feel like it or not.
– I’ve found my Impossible List to be coming along nicely, but I also wanted to write some non-quantifiable goals as well, and since summer is looming, here goes!

Summer goals

  1. Give
  2. Prioritize relationships
  3. Get out of my comfort zone
  4. Meet new people
  5. Actively enjoy free time

Fitness Catalog

– I took a two week break from the gym following my tattoo; during the same time, I also injured my shoulder on the Batman ride at Six Flags, and then my back was in excruciating pain from I don’t know what. But getting back into the gym always feels really good. I get these weird fitness boners when I see people work out or talk about fitness (note: not actual boners, but those for the mind); it really motivates me and makes me want to get to the gym ASAP, even when I’m in a rut.
– I’ve been trying to stand more. I made a standup desk at work (by putting a bin on my desk shhh). I’ve found myself slouching and leaning though. I’m just trying to sit less and get used to proper posture.
– In a similar vein, I’m trying to change my sleeping position. This came from me sleeping on my back for the first time since I got my newest tattoo. Boy, was it difficult to fall sleep. After some research, I’m trying not to sleep on my stomach anymore because it’s allegedly not good for you. So I’ve started sleeping with a pillow under my knees, and when I really can’t do it, I sleep on my side with a pillow between my knees. It’s also like I’m spooning, so it’s less lonely Imeanwhat.
– My daily-gallon-drinking quest is hit and miss. Much easier on days when I go to the gym where I can consume more water and sweat it out. But on other days, I take way too many trips to the bathroom. I find 3/4 gallon pretty easy now, but those extra four cups seems so difficult to reach. I’m hoping my bladder will just get used to it soon. My pee is really light though, so there’s another achievement no one cares about except me, and even then, I have to stop myself from wondering why I care so much and just go with it.
– I forgot to mention this, but I switched to vegan protein powder! I found one that’s (1) not much more expensive than my whey and (2) not disgusting. What a win! It’s this one, though be warned that it’s foamy and a bit grainy, but I got used to it after one try. I only take it as post, since I don’t want to use too much too fast.
– I also bought some creatine to try out as pre-workout.

Life Reflected

– I passed my Spring statistics class! College is so fun when things are easy and you get to enjoy learning. I know it’s important to get good grades on these pre-req courses, but at the same time, I want to enjoy classes and really learn a lot. I was lucky because I showed up to class for two weeks even though I wasn’t in it; then there was an opening. I really wanted this teacher because she was good. And I was not disappointed.
– I am now signed up to take summer classes. It happened rather suddenly and I started stressing out immediately about all the stuff I needed to prep. Being on a waitlist sucks, because you just never know your schedule. Wake up, find out I’m now #1 on waitlist. Check email, teacher says not to show up if on waitlist, she will let us know if anyone drops. Sit around being bummed. Get text/email for add code (while on the toilet) 22 minutes before class starts. Book it to Saddleback (I finally got into a class at Saddleback and the commute is so amazing, I made it to class on time!), make it in time for class. Feel very lost and confused and unprepared. Figure out new work schedule + class schedule. Spend lots of money. Freak out because summer courses are accelerated and I’m taking physio. And here I was thinking I could spend the summer memorizing the lyrics to Despacito.
– And as if I didn’t feel my schedule was busy enough, I also finally signed up for a bunch of MOOCs on edX (because since I was cleaning, I started cleaning out my bookmarks and remembered this). I really just love learning about random things, so I thought it’d be fun to expand my knowledge base. Here’s a list of my classes so you can join me:

  • The Challenges of Global Poverty. This course sounded interesting and hopefully, I can put some knowledge to practical use.
  • Climate Change: The Science. Wanted to learn more about climate change down to the actual science of it.
  • Communication Skills for Bridging Divides. I’ve never been one to hear other arguments all that well, so maybe this can help in learning a different approach to speaking with others who have different beliefs than me.
  • Ecodesign for Cities and Suburbs. This is an architecture course that ties into climate change, so that sounded fascinating.
  • Existential Well-being Counseling: A Person-Centered Experiential Approach. That title alone sounded awesome.
  • Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe. Space has always interested me.
  • HTML5 Coding Essentials and Best Practices. I thought coding would be interesting to learn, even if it’s just a basic working knowledge.
  • Life and Death: Mysteries and Meaning. Just wanted some deep shit to think about.
  • Nutrition and Health: Micronutrients and Malnutrition. Always love learning about nutrition.
  • Philosophy and Critical Thinking. Can always use a good philosophy course to keep me thinking.
  • The Science of Learning- What Every Teacher Should Know. As a teacher and a life-long learner, I thought this would be an interesting addition to my working skills.

– I am determined to find free time for myself!
– Holy fuck, finished my first week of class. Really forgot what it was like taking such an intense class. And work on top of that. My schedule has been crowded. But I’m not complaining- I need to move away from comfort and complacency and really light a fire under myself to really force myself to focus and work hard.
– On the same/other hand, I really am trying not to let the stress get to me. This is not less mature, undergraduate Brian. I am grown up, I am on top of my life, and I am ready to take on new challenges.

Pop Culture Analysis

Fresh Off the Boat season 3. With the expected, yet still unfortunate cancellation of Dr. Ken, this show is all we have left. And it’s still a great sitcom. I really love these characters and the undying relatability. I’ll forever be grateful for this show. “White lies…or lies that protect you from all the things that make white people soft.” Any time Jessica talks about white people, really…just quotable moments.
fresh-off-the-boat-season-3-poster-1Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 3. Still funny, though not as funny. At least better than season 2, which somehow managed to alienate its more socially conscious viewers. I found this season to still mock social justice, yet in a more intelligent, comedic way…so satire. I also found everyone’s plots interesting and cohesive, with a lot of callbacks throughout the season. I don’t know why I’m seriously trying to review this show. It’s quick, witty, and an easy binge.
unbreakable-kimmy-schmidtInto the Badlands season 2. I’ve really enjoyed this show and this season is even better than the first. I’m really intrigued by the lore and universe, which they explored more this season. The fight sequences are fast and bloody, just beautifully choreographed. So many people are sleeping on this show, sadly. This finale reiterated the fact that I’m a passive watcher. I don’t really like to analyze or discuss beyond fanboy speak, so I always get so surprised/upset when things happen and then I think…oh, that makes sense for the plot to progress.
badlandss2Beauty and the Beast (2017). Yo, the hype for this movie was real. I don’t know how I feel about all these live-action Disney adaptations as a whole, but I believe this one did the original justice, while adding interesting new and updated things. Also, I love Emma Watson so mad bias there.
onesheetThe LEGO Batman Movie. Really enjoyable and hilarious take on Batman. I love the Lego animations. This movie was ridiculous without being too ridiculous. Not to mention- finally, a new, interesting, unique Batman story!
ho00004123John Wick: Chapter 2. I’m always late to the John Wick party (didn’t even know this came out). But this is my new favorite series. I love the bloody, intense, fast-paced action. And the storyline is great, with its main players, including the cute dogs, doing their job. Keanu Reeves is such a badass.
john_wick_chapter_twoThe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition (with Dawnguard, Dragonborn, and Hearthfire). I love this game and didn’t realize how old it was. My first platinum! But did I really beat the game? There are so many sidequests left to do. Everything was fun and exciting. I really enjoyed the main story (way more than Oblivion). Felt like such a bad ass. And dragons were much needed. Dawnguard and Dragonborn were really fun, Hearthfire was a bit disappointing. I could literally just write an entire fantasy novel on my character (or should I make a D&D character based off of him…). Also, had a lot of qualms about gray-area missions and had to remind myself it’s a game and it’s okay to do bad things for the trophies/completion. Love love love this game (Thieves Guild, Dark Brotherhood, Daedric quests, etc. were more fun this time around), but sadly, I’m not one to play more than one character. I don’t know why, it’s just repeating sidequests is not my thing. BUT omg I need to play with all the mods!
376858-the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-special-edition-xbox-one-front-cover8 by Incubus. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to Incubus. This is a nice comeback album for them. At first, it seemed rather generic, but after a few listens, it’s really grown on me and I really enjoy it. Very interesting topics.
incubus_8_artworkAfter Laughter by Paramore. Paramore will always have a special place in my heart with fond memories and flashbacks to freshman year at UCI. I stopped following them for a while, especially with all the band drama and annoying fans, but coming back to them after all this time…I was excited to hear their new stuff. I actually really like this album. Yes, it’s different from what they’ve done before, but it got me thinking. Isn’t that a wonderful thing? Your favorite bands when you were younger have evolved and so have you. They may not be your favorite anymore, but you connected with them at one point or another and that’s special. This beautiful thought has somehow allowed me to accept some things in my life in a semi-profound way.
paramore-after-laughter-album-art-2017-billboard-1240Gallery by ARIZONA. This is my new favorite unknown band I heard about via Spotify (by unknown, I mean not mainstream and by new, I mean I’ve been listening to their songs for months waiting for an album). All their singles they released were amazing and this album is just superb. Their songs just make me feel so light and free. I’m excited to go see them live later this year!