The Dive-In

•30 November 2017 • Leave a Comment

Adventure Catalog

– I finally signed up for SCUBA classes! I haven’t started yet, but it’s gonna be exciting and scary at the same time.
Brown Thursday Thanksgiving and Black Friday were exceptional this year. My mom and I went over to my aunt’s house and ate white people food. And then my cousin and I went shopping after. On Friday, more shopping with friends (and starting a new addiction?!). I’ve actually been shopping for at least a couple weeks before because places were having good deals ahead of time, which I appreciate.
– A note on consumerism: yes, I am well aware that it doesn’t really align with my sustainability model I strive for. However, I did try to reduce where I could. Deals are sometimes too good to pass up. This year, I’ve officially stopped buying physical movies. In fact, I don’t know if I’ll ever buy movies again. I bought 6 games, but 3 of them were digital. As for the new phone I got, I went as long as I could without upgrading (3 years), meaning that I spent the last year or so with a phone that couldn’t hold a charge…it started dying at 40%…then 50%…then this past month, would die around 60-70% battery. It was difficult to work with this. Lastly, no bags!
– In order to save money, I actually think it’s more economical to do my indulgence purchasing once a year and I’ll be okay for the rest of the year for the most part. I was able to stay within a pre-made budget (I updated my budget based around my income and will officially attempt not to stray from it going forward).
– I actually didn’t go out this month (which explains why I had so much money saved for shopping). I’ve spent a lot of this month enjoying hobbies and making proper use of my free time. I think I’ve been delaying a lot of stuff from my list (see previous post) until the new year (or at least until I got this new phone).
– Y’all, I went 6 days without phone access. It was difficult, but easier than I thought. That’s partially because I’m not beholden to anyone (#single5ever), but also because it was kind of thrilling to go on a forced retreat; I had no option but to be disconnected. There were minor communication issues, but overall, I respected the time I had away from the phone.
– A lot of new and exciting things happening for me next month and beyond. Very excited to go all in!

Health Catalog

– I’ve been dealing with getting health insurance since I’m turning 26 next month, and it’s been annoying how slow things have been. I think I got approved, but who the hell knows. It’s too confusing.
– I also made some final appointments under my parents’ insurance since it’s affordable right now. I’ll just die next year because I can’t afford fixing myself up.
– At the MD office, everything went well for my first physical/routine check-up ever (I know, I avoided the MD for as long as I could). I am a picture of health! My BP was normal– for the first time in…I don’t even know. It might have just been a fluke, but it generally runs high. I also got a flu shot for the second (?) time ever…I know, I’m a horrible human being because I never go in to get it. And I did bloodwork for the first time ever. Results were excellent!
– At the DDS office, there’s another story. I feel like my mouth is about to die, which is annoying, because I’m very orally fixated and have begun to take meticulous care of my mouth (but maybe the years of reckless abandon is catching up).
– I just feel like I’m getting “old” and my body is already starting to die (at an accelerated rate). Take me, I’m ready…

Signal Boost

– Sing. I wasn’t really interested in this movie, but it was on Netflix, so why not? Turned out to be a nice, fun movie with some good vocals. My favorite part from the trailer was the part with the frog saying he’s an insufferable egomaniac and sauntering off all dramatic-like. And then the koala/sheep carwash was really funny. And sometimes animal movies don’t always properly translate everything, but it was cool to see the fish getting their own stairs. I’m glad they made addressed the squid, because I was about to be mad that they randomly had seemingly naked squid swimming in a cage. Still, there were some animal stereotypes. I always have way too many questions about how each animal lives their lives in the animal society, but that’s too much for an animated children’s movie. Really surprised by Matthew McConaughey’s voice acting and Taron Egerton’s singing; loved everyone’s performance as well, actually.
– Kung Fu Yoga. Y’all, if there was any live-action film that is close to Jackie Chan Adventures, this is it! I was randomly recommended this on Netflix because I’ve been watching a lot of Chinese martial arts films. And I saw “yoga” and Jackie Chan and I was in. Little did I know how hilarious and ridiculous this would be, just like the show. Jackie plays an archaeologist named Jack Chan and someone calls him Uncle Jackie and the comparisons kind of end there, but still, that’s enough to make the comparison! I don’t know if this movie is racist or woke. I’m still laughing about it and Jackie Chan is the best. Watch for a wild ride and don’t have expectations going in.
 The Punisher season 1. I didn’t really care to watch this show, but…I had some time and needed a break from gaming. And I didn’t really care (or necessarily enjoy the show) until about halfway through the season. It honestly didn’t feel like the other Marvel Netflix shows, which can be a good thing. The only thing that really rooted it in was Karen Page. Everything else just seemed like any other drama show about Homeland Security. The fight scenes weren’t all that great, but there were some cool ones. I just don’t see a reason for another season. While I do enjoy these anti-hero types that will kill, it does seem to come at a bad time in American history. I still don’t know how I feel; very middle of the road, but not leaning either way.
– Force Grey: Lost City of Omu (season 2). I totally recommend this show to anyone wanting to get into D&D but need bite sized chunks before Critical Role. It it so funny and has celebs (this season has Deborah Ann Woll, Dylan Sprouse, Brian Posehn, Joe Manganiello, and Utkarsh Ambudkar)! Season 1 was great, but this season is even better. The cool thing is this show is made for sampling new stories officially released. You can watch both seasons on Twitch right now.
– And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. Okay, I got through all of Hosseini’s books, for now. Phew, I survived! This was my least favorite of his works as it didn’t hit me as hard as the other two; my connection to the characters was scattered due to the jumps, really. I had some difficulty following along or caring. That is, until the last chapter, where my eyes started leaking and the floodgates opened once again. Still, while the novel remained stark, dreary, and depressing, it didn’t have a hold over me like A Thousand Splendid Suns did. But that’s okay, still great.
– Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. I enjoyed the pieces in this book, I read one almost every day and it gave me some new wisdom to ponder throughout the day. A lot of it was good, but I felt like I have already reached that level of consciousness. A lot of it was sexist and archaic and Eastern, which is good to take with a grain of salt; as long as I realize it is so, then I can understand it. The copy pictured below is the one I read and it had nice commentary at the end of each piece/poem.
– Kids in Love by Kygo. I was surprised because Kygo just released an EP, but then I remembered that DJs release whenever they want. This album is great! I’m glad I’m still really into Kygo’s vibes because he’s been one of my faves for a while.
– Red Pill Blues by Maroon 5. I hadn’t really been following M5 for a while, but I still hold on for the chance at another Songs About Jane. Turns out this album is pretty great and reminiscent of their old stuff with modern pop stuff mixed in! The features are awesome (shoutout to SZA) and there are actually a lot of mellow vibes here too. Per the album cover, I hadn’t noticed, but looks like M5 is now M7.
a581c79e3201364cb5f11f3bd1b5f161-1000x1000x1– What If Nothing by WALK THE MOON. Also surprised by this release because I guess I hadn’t been following any of my faves. Definitely enjoyed this album, because I can’t remember anything from their last one. I don’t think anything will ever be like their first album, but that’s expected. I still love them.
– Escape from L.A. by DANakaDAN. Randomly started listening to this artist because of the Wong Fu + Dia Frampton collab with Run. His rhymes are really fast and I definitely need to listen more to get the nuances, because I’m pretty sure everything’s really clever. I love discovering and supporting Asian American artists!


The List 2k17

•5 November 2017 • Leave a Comment

Every time I get anxious and angsty about life, feeling that ennui, that existential crisis creeping ever nearer, that nihilism, that weltschmerz…I make lists! I rearrange my goals, I organize the trillion thoughts zooming around my mind, and I get a clear picture of what I want to do. And it’s like the darkness is defeated, the unbearable heaviness of being is quelled, at least momentarily.

  1. Health
    1. Cook vegan dinners
    2. Meet fitness goals
    3. Increase sustainable living
  2. Independence
    1. Apply to Master’s
    2. Budget, pay bills
    3. Move out
  3. Connection
    1. Be proactive with friends
    2. Make new friends
    3. Date more
    4. Do things alone and meet others
      1. SCUBA
      2. D&D
      3. Game nights
      4. Movies
      5. Concert
      6. Travel
  4.  Experience
    1. Plan vacations and travel
    2. Find volunteer/charity
    3. Solo hobbies
      1. ASL
      2. edX
      3. Make board game
      4. Write book
      5. Art = digital art
      6. Cosplay

1.1) I actually don’t plan on starting this until January, since I’m still doing desserts for 2k17. But the main goal of this, since I’ve now convinced myself that vegan can be healthy, hearty, and delicious, is to begin to substitute my meat dinners with vegan dinners (and hopefully, share with my parents too in order to reduce their meat intake as well). The side effect of this will be allowing me to experiment in the kitchen and have fun with recipes. Downstream, I’d hopefully be able to get the “Wow, this is vegan?! But it’s so delicious, send me the recipe!” from friends and family.

1.2) This is more or less ongoing forever, but I’d like to just get back into a routine. I also found out that a lot of PR numbers are 1 rep maxes, which I didn’t know. All my PRs are based on 3 sets x 5 reps, and maybe that’s why my numbers are so “low”!

1.3) Every time I need to buy something new, I think to myself, “what can I do to make this more sustainable, vegan, eco-friendly, zero waste?” And from there, the fun begins to find alternatives. I’ve been doing pretty well so far, and I think I’ve drastically reduced my waste and footprint. However, there are still myriad instances in daily life that I can hopefully, one day, fix. Another big thing with this is navigating the world and getting people to do the same as me without having to beat them over the head with “ideology”. I mean, the crazy thing is that it’s not even difficult…it’s just different, and this is the minor inconvenience that people will not change for. But I believe in fighting the good fight for the planet’s sake!

2.1) This is always in the back of my mind and I’ll get to this in 2018!

2.2) So I’m turning 26 soon and so it begins. The real adulting. The late 20s. I will be buying a new phone finally (hopefully), and I’m hoping my parents will let me pay my phone bill (I know, weird, right?). And then I have to get health insurance and I guess I might as well pay for my car insurance. And then I was thinking I should start paying my parents rent/utilities, just to see if I can actually afford to move out and budget and be an adult. I know, I’m so spoiled!

2.3) This is not really a priority, but as above, it’s something that I’m always thinking about. I just don’t know when will be the smartest time to do so. I was having major anxiety because my parents want to move and I don’t, but I can’t afford to live in this city, so would I move with them? Or would I just move out to my own place? Can I afford it? And then I have to think about living with other people. Either stranger or friend, it’s an inconvenience. It’s a whole thing, but I don’t know if I can live with others. But then would I just live alone? Then I’d be a complete hermit forever. But then if I do move out, I can finally get a dog and turn my home completely zero waste!

3.1) I’ve had recent epiphanies about friendships and especially relationships going into late 20s and beyond. Like it’s so hard to make friends that you connect with [deeply] or friends that are not problematic. At this age, I don’t have time or energy to put up with [new] people who don’t vibe with my values. So I want to try and foster my current relationships, but I just always feel so antisocial and, not to mention: everyone’s in a relationship these days.

3.2) But I still want to broaden my horizons and meet new people from different walks of life that can teach me new things.

3.3) And again, I guess I should date more, even though I’m so finicky…after dates, I always just want to be alone and have some me-time. Relationships are fun, but sometimes inconvenient. And this is why I’ll be single 5ever.

3.4) I want to start doing things alone as well. First, I just want to be comfortable doing non-solo activities solo. Second, it could force me to meet people and put me in situations where I’ll need to socialize. I think I’m pretty good at making friends (that INFJ chameleon act, though), it’s just whether or not I have the energy to want to try (spoiler alert: I rarely do).

4.1) Obviously, this is something that will be on my list forever. I want to always be planning something, even if I don’t have any prospects of doing it soon. It’s exciting to plan!

4.2) I made a list of the world’s problems that I would like to fix. And in no way is it comprehensive and that irks me, so it’ll be ever evolving. I’ve been wanting to volunteer, but can’t find anything meaningful for people who don’t have the experience in specific fields. And I want to do something more meaningful than say, package boxes with goodies for an event. I’m still on the search for the right charities to get involved in as well.

4.3) As always, I’ll be working on some solo hobbies. I’m most excited to start digital art once I get a drawing pad.

The Weltschmerz

•3 November 2017 • Leave a Comment

Adventure Catalog

– I finally finished my Wonder Woman art piece! It was super fun and I was excited to try new things. I’m not sure what really inspired me to do a shadowbox, but I knew I wanted to try something different. I tend toward my staple of pencil, but I always like to add new things- this time, Prismacolors and comic art. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out too!

– With that done, I can change gears into other creative outlets. I’m definitely still going to design a board game and write a novel (I have a working idea that not’s some generic fantasy!). I also think I want to get into digital art (easy for erasing mess-ups).
– I am so excited because my top vacation priority is finally happening, as my sister and I are planning a New Zealand + Australia trip. It’s a lot less nebulous and way more concrete now. I think I always want to be planning the next trip because it’s so exciting.
– No plans for Halloween weekend, which is a change from normal with generally so much going on. I’m not sure why, but I haven’t felt in the Halloween spirit this year…but I did love seeing everyone’s creative costumes. Over the weekend, I did get to see some great people visiting from out of state (who also reminded me I haven’t been to Portland in so long):

Dinner without my sister lolol

– Thanks to Lo, ya boi is coming back for San Diego Comic-Con 2018! And since registration was so early this year, I can start planning my cosplay ahead of time. I have an ongoing list, though I’m not sure which I want to prioritize or execute first. I’m always drawn to the simpler ones, but since I have more time, I might do a more complex one this year.

Health Catalog

– I love when I affect other people in subtle ways to be better. Hanna told me she’s more aware of her plastic use because I always nag/judge her. My mom bought some reusable plates that we can use for our larger dinner parties (instead of all the waste that paper plates create); yes, they’re plastic, but it is a step up because we’re reusing them (in the same vein as the plastic Tupperware we have). She also bought some other Tupperware for storing things in the fridge (we use a lot of plastic wrap in this house, but hopefully we can drastically reduce that). She said she bought them because of me!

Life Reflected

– I’m having that itch again- you know the one where you feel like there’s so many things to do and experience and it’s an overwhelming thought that you don’t have enough time? I want to do everything and I want to do nothing…
– I’m actually caught up on my shows and I feel some strange sort of anxiety, like there’s not gonna be constant background noise while I’m doing something else. I know, it’s a weird thought, but I think this might be a good thing, so I can explore other avenues for my brain’s energy. I should probably stop “multi-tasking” anyway.
– I’m also in a weird mood emotionally lately. Maybe it’s the Fall weather beginning, or maybe it’s that there’s so much horrible things in this world and I can’t handle it. Could be either, who knows?
– Let this be a reminder to myself to branch out of my comfort zone. I think I need to make some new friends with converging/similar interests as me. Seems so impossible. But also, I have to go through that whole vetting process of “Are you (at least a little) woke and do you have the same values as me? Because if not, I can’t deal with you”. And also, I kind of just want to do things alone and be anti-social and/or independent. What a fucking paradox.
– To expand on this: I’d like to try and do activities by myself. I gravitate towards hobbies that are more independent, but what about hobbies that are “normally” geared towards social settings? I kind of want to experiment with doing these things by myself too.

Signal Boost

– War for the Planet of the Apes. I always forget about this franchise until the next one comes and I get all excited because all the films are pretty great. Not to mention, I’m always down for movies about nature fucking with humans. Another great addition to the reboot, and rather heartbreaking, might I add.
– First They Killed My Father. What a powerful film, where I learned about more genocide of Asians and the Khmer Rouge. So well acted, so tragic, so beautifully done. It reminded me a lot about the stories my parents told me about Vietnam. It’s scary to realize how it puts things into perspective about how easy a life I’ve had. Things may be difficult, and I never want to invalidate my own experiences, but I know I’ve never experienced such horrible things. On Netflix.
– Meet the Robinsons. An underrated Disney film that they added to Netflix, so I had to rewatch. I’m not even a fan of time travel stuff, but I forgive it because this movie is so delightfully ridiculous. Little Wonders by Rob Thomas makes me tear up every time. Also, my mom randomly watching a single scene near the end of the movie: “If that’s his dad, why does he look like a child?”
– Critical Role chapter 8 (and first campaign as a whole). I discovered CR after I got into D&D a little over a year ago now. This show only fueled my love and passion for this game. I only seriously started watching around Chapter 6 (The Chroma Conclave story arc) and from there, I was hooked. The first campaign ended last month and like many Thursday nights for the past year, I was reduced to a blubbering puddle of snot and tears. I was excited for every Thursday night because of this show. I can’t believe how emotional, funny, and dramatic this show can be. These voice actors are amazing and their friendship/chemistry is inspiring (not to mention, I can just tell they’re all really good people). I’m really excited for next year when they create new characters! If you’ve wanted to jump in, the upcoming second campaign would be the perfect time!
– Stranger Things season 2. So much hype! I rewatched season 1 right before just to refresh myself (it’s so short!). Then I watched this season twice because I was half paying attention and fell asleep the first time. Everyone posting statuses like “While everyone was out partying over the weekend, I binge watched Stranger Things 2.” Okay, but you think you’re special? I’m antisocial and didn’t want to go out and have no friends either, bruh. Ahem, anyway. I found myself rather annoyed by all the kid characters (except precious Will), because they were so whiny and angsty (trust, I love some good preteen angst, but this was annoying (also, Billy is the most annoying character)). At least it got better towards the end; I think the final 2 episodes (especially the Snow Ball scene) redeemed everyone. The season was great for character development (Nancy and Steve are so much better, but not together), but still lots of questions about the mythos. I’m glad they have a rough plan though (4 seasons). And always love the D&D references. On a final note, my nose had been bleeding that weekend (call me Twelve?!).
Dear White People season 1. I was skeptical about this show at first because the original movie wasn’t as great (read: hard-hitting) as I thought it’d be. As such, this show has been on my Netflix list for awhile without me touching it. Until now, where I don’t have anything else to watch. Luckily, this show is woke af and I greatly enjoyed this season and all the clapbacks. Also, anything that freaks out white people is hilarious (#whitetears). I do hope they go deeper in the next season.
– Big Mouth season 1. I was actually pretty excited about this series because I saw a random trailer for it about a month before it came out. And it was hilarious and disturbing and oh so relatable (I mean, it’s all about puberty, so duh). The VA is top notch as well (my favorite being Maya Rudolph as Connie, the Hormone Monstress), my little gyoza.
– One Punch Man season 1. This show has been on my Netflix list for a while now, and I’m so happy I watched it! It is clever, funny, depressing. That ennui is on point, though. The concept of this character is hilarious and intriguing. It’s sad that this came out in 2015 and we don’t know when Season 2 is out. I’m wondering, without spoiling myself with the manga, where they plan on going from here. Next cosplay, anyone?
– Bill Nye Saves the World season 1. Yet another Netflix show I’m finally getting to. Listen, I love Bill Nye, his children’s shows, his opinions and beliefs. And this show is…decent. Perhaps it is good for the average semi- or unwoke American to learn a few good things. However, a lot of it is just surface exploration, without getting into the heart of the matter. And I get it, this isn’t a documentary show, this is for a wide audience. I found certain episodes interesting, particularly the Sexuality and Population episodes (9 and 13, respectively), though everything else, I was already keen on. I didn’t like a lot of the song/dance segments and I found myself skipping them. A lot of the show, I would call cringe-worthy. However, I liked the correspondent segments (though what is Karlie Kloss doing there?) and the “I need a minute” segments. The panel segments were hit and miss and sometimes, downright awkward.
– Lost series. Since I had a lot of time, I decided to finally rewatch this show on Netflix. And thankfully, it did not disappoint. I think I was more emotionally attached the first time around, but something about binge-watching makes me realize I have to move on quicker than normal (no full week to process emotions). This show will always hold a special place in my heart, and I’m glad after this watching, I remembered just how much I love it.
– Grayson by Tom King and Tim Seeley (2014). I’m a fan of King ever since I read The Vision. Like the latter, the concept of this was intriguing, a complete change from what we expect from the character. Dick Grayson as a spy? Amazing. It was funny, clever, interesting, and so beautifully drawn. It was a short run and I enjoyed it for the most part.
– The Meaning of Life by Kelly Clarkson. I was dying in anticipation of this album. I could barely control myself. This is everything I ever wanted. It gave me life. The smooth soul that oozes from her voice in these songs is just…incomparable. Reminiscent of 90’s adult contemporary love songs mixed with R&B, blue-eyed soul. Favorite song immediately was “Would You Call That Love”, but naturally, every song KC sings is perfection. Why is there no deluxe edition? The only issue I have with this album is that it’s too short (14 songs, 44 mins). Expect me to be listening to this and Wrapped in Red for the rest of the year.

The Roadtrip 2k17

•27 October 2017 • Leave a Comment

I finally went on a much needed extended vacation for the first time this year. Suffice to say, I learned a lot about a lot of things. We went on a 1-car, 3-man, 4-state, 5-day roadtrip, one I had been planning for quite some time. I’m so happy we were able to make it come to fruition.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s all the amazing things we experienced:

Mojave Desert, CA

We started our journey heading north to the desert early in the morning. The heat wasn’t too bad at the start. Our first destination was the Lava Tube. The drive there was treacherous and bumpy, but the hike was simple enough. And the reward was so cool! We came at the recommended time for the sunlight to perfectly pierce the hole and shine into the tube. And we saw a bat. Definitely worth it.

The next part of our journey, after we lunched, led us to Kelso Dunes. They looked so glorious from a distance, but who knew how treacherous the hike would be in the midday sun? We were not prepared (though I did bring an umbrella which helped shield me from the sun’s rays). The hills were small, but numerous. It started out okay, but soon, every step in the sand was difficult. I was so winded. We kept going and going until we got to the big hill in the distance, but I barely made it up. We ended up going to a nearby, albeit shorter hill to get some good views and pictures. The breeze picked up, along with my second wind, and it ended up being nice to rest on top of the hill (and a great impromptu photoshoot ensued). However, I’m still digging out sand in my socks and shoes.

Bryce Canyon, UT

From Mojave, we headed straight to Bryce, stopping in Las Vegas for dinner. I loved that the city still bustled despite the recent tragedy. We were ahead of schedule because I allowed for more time in Mojave than we took. We ended up at the site after midnight, and it was very cold and we didn’t know how to get a site because everything was closed. We slept in the car, though this was something I had planned on anyway. It was cramped and freezing, but we survived.

When we woke up, we saw cars moving around and, after a bit of anxiety, we finally ended up claiming a site. The process was confusing, but it was mostly just do it yourself. We set up our site, but I didn’t want to go back to sleep because I’d just be groggy afterwards. So I stayed up and got to enjoy the brisk early morning air, the birds and chipmunks, and the beautiful sky.

We headed out for our tour of Peekaboo Loop via horseback (in our case muleback). I was excited at first, but as we got closer, I got more scared. I got paired with a lovely mule named Mouse, who I found out had a lazy demeanor and I was given a riding crop to smack her butt with. This made me initially uncomfortable as the cowboy told me I wasn’t hitting hard enough and had to keep up. Then I found it easier as the tour went on…which is kind of terrifying in hindsight. Mules are as big as horses, with smaller hooves, but big, cute ears.

The tour was breathtaking and nerve-wracking. Our mules kept walking close to the edges, but I trusted they knew what they were doing. We saw hoodoos and gorgeous rock formations on top of our steeds on the edges of cliffs along a canyon wall. It was an unforgettable, unique experience (and my butt was sore for the rest of the trip) and I’m glad I did it. This was the priciest part of our trip, overall.

We were exhausted when we got back, even though we barely did any work. We stayed the night in Bryce, but it was so cold and windy, below freezing in fact. I kept waking up every couple of hours and it felt like I didn’t get a true sleep, but luckily I wasn’t too cold because of my blankets. I kept thinking the tent would blow away at any point.

The next morning was still really cold and windy, so we headed out early. We decided not to do some planned hikes because we felt like our tour gave us exactly what we wanted to see. Instead, we took a brief stop at Inspiration Point, which was…inspirational (cold and windy, but breathtaking (literally and figuratively)).

Page, AZ

We drove along the southern border of Utah, where I pretty much slept in the back seat the whole time. When we made it to Arizona, we stopped by Lake Powell and Glen Canyon, though we didn’t go in (I didn’t realize we’d have to go and rent supplies before heading in). We decided just to head to our airbnb and rest for the day.

On our way, we stopped by the Glen Canyon Dam, which was interesting. I saw some tumbleweeds for the first time (but they weren’t tumbling). I learned that my household is not sustainably using water. We stayed for a bit before our check in time. The airbnb was much needed: shower, bed, kitchen. Always good in the middle of a camping trip.

We decided to go to Horseshoe Bend at sunset, though we missed it by a hair (we didn’t realize the hike there would take a while). Nonetheless, it was still a beautiful site to see (though scary to see all the people doing weird poses for pictures). It was crowded and it was sad to see all the trash left behind. I saw a boat cruising along the bend, so I’m hoping one day, I’ll be able to do that as well.

The next morning, we woke up at sunrise to go back to Horseshoe Bend because why not (after all, I slept like a baby in the bed)? It was still beautiful, if not more so. I liked how the sun slowly crawled toward the curve of the horseshoe and painted the rocks orange. It was still cold, but warmer than at night. Another lovely morning with a lovely view and fresh air.

We headed back to the airbnb for a bit, but I didn’t want to sleep again before our next tour at Antelope Canyon. I knew it was just another tourist trap, but I was excited (and glad that they hired Navajo to be the guides). It was crowded, but the rock formations were gorgeous with the myriad hues of warmth. Our guide explained that wind, earth, and water came together and carved the canyon. I love it– Mother Nature doing her thing.

Joshua Tree, CA

After our tour, we headed straight back to California, through Vegas, and down to Joshua Tree. I was really excited because I’ve been wanting to go here for ages (I’m so glad I was able to reserve a spot). We got there really late at night and pitched a tent in the dark. It was a warm 50 degree night, compared to Bryce.

The next day, we had a lazy late start. When we got into the heart of the national park, there were views for days. We went to Barker DamHidden Valley, and the Cholla Cactus Garden. I loved the Joshua Trees and the desert landscape and the piles and piles of rocks. I had fun climbing and parkouring around, and the weather was pleasant in the middle of the day, luckily. When we got back at night, we packed up. Before heading home (early), we got to see the clear night sky above us.

Overall, our hikes were of the easy variety, and I’m excited to go back to these locations to do the more strenuous hikes. This will certainly allow me to see new things I didn’t see this time around.

I actually set some travel goals for myself this trip:

  1. Be as sustainable as possible while camping
  2. Don’t be rigid with the itinerary and allow for spontaneity

I love camping because I can be close to nature and marvel at the beauty that surrounds us. It’s truly awe-inspiring, breathtaking, and much needed after being away for so long. I get so excited when I see wild animals. I love the feeling of reading early in the morning or sitting in the tent with the sky shining above me. Fresh air is wonderful. My sleeping/eating/pooping habits were all out of whack, but I think I ended up fixing my sleeping habit by sleeping in nature.

It’s ironic how close we can be to nature, yet eat so poorly and have so much trash and behave so inappropriately towards the environment. Luckily, I strove to produce as little trash as possible. There were some Unavoidables via packaging for certain food products that were bought for convenience. However, a lot of things were placed in Tupperware that was reused after washing. Any fast food purchased of course had waste. We actually didn’t use any paper towels, though I brought them, and I completely avoided napkins. I’m proud to say we didn’t use any disposable utensils or dinnerware, instead opting for reusable utensils and using Tupperware as our bowls. We did have to buy water in plastic jugs, but I didn’t really see any other way. I used toilet paper, obviously, because there weren’t any bidets (my butt missed my bidet so much). We actually produced very little waste, everything fitting in less than one trash bag. And as with all traveling, gas is necessary, but problematic. What a paradox.

– package as much food as you can in Tupperware
– bring reusable utensils, dinnerware, and cloth napkins
– wash your dishes
– bring a trash bag for compost, recyclables, and other trash
– borrow supplies from others instead of buying new supplies (as much as you can)
– plan all your meals in advance
– bring a reusable water bottle; plastic water jugs > plastic water bottles (less waste overall)

I know all of this is less convenient, but I truly believed it was important to REDUCE waste first, and if that made things a little harder– so be it. I think it’s worth it. I’m hoping my next camping trip will be even better and minimalist. I’m always scouring the web for advice and how to make it all a smoother experience (especially for others who don’t share in my zeal for environmentalism).

I packed and ate a mostly vegetable-based diet. I pre-planned vegan meals, though some didn’t work out so well. The one thing I fell in love with was some vegan burger patties that were black beans and corn, which I mashed up and turned into a ground meat like substance and put it in some pita bread and ate it like a taco. It was so good! I made lentil pasta, which was also decent (though I have a feeling it would be better if I cooked it properly). However, I still couldn’t get used to the taste of some tofurkey sausages I bought– still gross. I wish I had more experience cooking vegan meals because, again, other people aren’t as open to vegan food as I am…so when it doesn’t taste excellent, it’s a loss for the vegan community. I tried vegan cheese for the first time and, while it didn’t melt properly at first, I didn’t have farts!

– fruit that can be brought whole: apples, oranges, grapes
– fruit that can be pre-cut and put in the cooler: watermelon, pineapple, peaches, strawberries
– tortillas and pita bread (as well as other breads) can last
– homemade cookies are great when you need that extra sugar boost
– lentil pasta is amazing because it’s protein and carbs
– a lot of vegan foods actually hold up better than meat (I was less afraid of contamination)

I learned something about myself. I’m the type to have an hourly set itinerary and like everything to run without issue. I learned how difficult it is to keep on schedule because of things out of my control. But I also feel I’ve come such a long way because I felt myself moving with the flow. We adjusted to our physical and mental needs, adjusted to time, and adjusted to the weather and the environment. We didn’t do all the hikes I wanted to do or in the order I planned to do them in, the food was all over the place even though we had a set menu, but I didn’t really care. It was easy to change things around on the fly.

On a final note, I think it’s important to talk about traveling as a relational experience. You know how you have friends you get along pretty well with and you think it’s a good idea to travel with them, but then things aren’t exactly all that great (it’s like moving in with your girlfriend and finding out she’s impossible to live with but it’s too late). It’s not something that you can prevent, but it is a learning experience and useful knowledge for future travels.

– travel with your significant other; this is a true test of the strength of the relationship

I felt like a mother, taking care of children. My friends also spend a majority of the time on their phones, looking for wifi, complaining about the weather, and sleeping. It was a bit frustrating. Yes, I know, I have this compulsion to keep things clean and I like to eat my meals at specific times and I like to advise people on how to be better to the environment…so I’m pretty sure they were annoyed with me at times too. Nonetheless, we made it work because we’re all friends and shared in a wonderful experience.

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.