The Flow of Water

•1 July 2020 • Leave a Comment

Can you believe it’s July and half the year is over? It feels like a lifetime has passed, and yet, we’re still in the midst of all this bullshit. Can’t wait for when these blog post intros will not be about Coronavirus. It was a slow month, but it also felt fleeting. As if there was no time to finish anything I wanted to.

Give me, give me shelter, keep me warm / Come kiss me by the delta, where the river’s torn / But I’ll be whole / As long as I’m yours
I know you’re hurting / I know it’s rough / I know you seen so many things that mess you up / I know I’m learning / I know I’m young / But when the shit gon’ hit the fan, I’ll be the one
The sun dips low, the moon gets high / We’re just waves rolling with the tides, tides / Every time we say goodbye / We say hello to what’s on the other side, tides

Connection

  • Once I bought my car insurance, I hit the road and got to see some people in person. I used my legs! Honestly, driving around didn’t feel all that different. I was expecting more post-apocalyptic, forgot-how-to-drive antics, but just more of the same. I sat in traffic and it was gross.
  • Places are opening back up and it feels baffling to me that people just forgot Coronavirus still exists and it’s still an issue we’re facing. People are so selfish, as if they’re going to die because they can’t go to sit at a restaurant. Seriously, learn how to be a productive human and do something worth doing. People are just antsy because they realized they have no life outside of going to eat somewhere. It makes me deeply upset. Humanity is so entitled.

Development

  • As an idealist, it’s so hard to be faced with the realities of the world that we live in. How every single system is so broke because it was created to be exploited and have gone unchecked because the people in power are corrupt and greedy. I’m absorbing a lot of content, reinforcing some beliefs, and learning so much about humanity. And with this comes the unbearable weight of living. Because I cannot comprehend it.
  • The library opened up and that was enough for me to leave my house again. First, I stopped by the bank. Of course, there was a lady there without a mask, ugh. Tried to deposit and leave asap. At the library, they had a very well done no contact system set up. Very impressive and smooth. They quarantine all returns for 3 days before allowing check out. They let me put holds on my books, show up, and they put a bag in my trunk. Then I stopped by the office for the first time since I was nearby and I needed to grab some materials. It was eerily quiet and empty (the door was unlocked so I’m assuming someone else was there somewhere).

Freedom

  • June 5. I wanted to document this here right now because today has been a particularly rough day. I’m not sure I can point to one specific thing, rather, I think it’s a culmination of myriad things piling on and maybe something was the metaphorical straw that broke the camel’s back. Everything just feels so heavy in the world and my actions feel futile. I am sluggish and grumpy. I feel trapped. A lot of lo-fi beats and introspection today, some tears. I needed to drown out the noise.
  • I finally got my federal tax return 8 weeks later! It was a biggie because I also got my EV tax refund from getting my Tesla last year. I also did not have car insurance for two months because of work from home, which I didn’t realize was a no-no, so I got a notice from the DMV and had to deal with their slow nonsense. Always trapped by some system.
  • Strangely, I’ve been feeling afternoon slumps. I’m literally falling asleep in meetings and have taken naps instead of eating on my lunch break. It’s bizarre and I’m not exactly sure why I’m so fatigued because normally, this doesn’t occur. This has happened for the first couple of weeks in June. I’ve been trying to listen to my body more and accept that sometimes, it just needs some extra rest.

Sustainability

  • I used bar soap for the first time since childhood. We used to use bar soap and then stopped for some reason and then I was somehow indoctrinated into thinking it was germy. But it works out so well! Less plastic, microplastics, waste in general.
  • I have created and shared the link to my recipe folder on Google Drive in order to get feedback from trusted sources and I’m just so excited to finally get the ball rolling with this! I mainly just love comprehensive lists and proper organization (finally getting all my go-to recipes in one spot), but if it helps someone, that’s a plus!
  • I’m currently in the process of convincing my parents to get solar panels for their house. It just seems like such a good idea after putting money down upfront.

Signal Boost

Be Water. Inspiring and interesting. Such a powerful piece of collected wisdom about such a revered man.

Da 5 Bloods. Powerful, tragic, intense, germane.

Weathering with You. Another brilliant addition to the Makoto Shinkai repertoire. Sweet, funny, tragic, beautifully animated.

Never Have I Ever (season 1). POC coming of age, angsty teen drama? Yes! There are some problematic elements, admittedly…and too many stupid character decisions. Hoping for a season 2 to address these issues.

Upload (season 1). What a fun, interesting concept that was actually well done. Tonally, I enjoyed that it was funny and serious.

Ms. Marvel (2014-2016) by G. Willow Wilson. I love! A nice break from the world-at-stake other hero stuff and instead, a beautiful glimpse into culture, teen angst, and emotional intelligence. I need Kamala Khan content (Khan-tent) everywhere now.

Fine Line by Harry Styles. Sometimes I feel like an angsty teenage girl and it feels nice to listen to mellow yet melodramatic music. Really enjoyed the vibes here.

How I’m Feeling by Lauv. Yes, more sad boi feels please. Such a great album that I couldn’t stop listening to. All songs are fire and make me feel different things.

Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent by Lewis Capaldi. Yes, more angst sadness that I love. Magnificent voice giving me all the feels.

Limpopo Champions League by Sho Madjozi. I discovered her thanks to The Kelly Clarkson Show and she is so much fun. This album is straight fire.

The Fire

•1 June 2020 • Leave a Comment

With the state of the world being what it is right now (I’m referring directly to Covid-19 and the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd and America’s virulent racism), I’ve been having difficulty finding the space to sit with my feelings and my own personal mental state. I’ve likely been subconsciously distracting myself from more important things. That’s not to say distractions aren’t important every now and then; especially right now, I’m thankful for so many creators out there trying to bring joy to so many of us).

“You’re the love of my life and I told you I mean that”
“Though the flames are massive / We’ll rise up through the ashes”

Connection

  • One day, I randomly decided to go out for a drive. I missed driving so much! I just went on a little cruise around the neighborhood and nearby streets, got some air. It seemed like life was moving on as normal. I think it had been a full 8 weeks since I’ve driven or gone farther out than my balcony. Wild to even think about!

Development

  • So my goal this month is to get my habits back on schedule for health reasons. I let myself slide into a rut in May, but I’m ready to get back into a good routine, especially since we are starting our summer schedule for work and my schedule is changing through August. Luckily, I will be working from home because my boss recognizes that even if places are opening, it’s still dangerous out there. And luckily, we’re able to work online completely without too many issues.
  • I’ve been really excited to experiment with recipes again since I have a fully functional kitchen now. I forgot how fun and exciting it was, though of course, we still lack the freedom to properly go grocery shopping regularly. I’ve had to get creative.

Freedom

  • Another repeat of last month as I’ve generally not done anything of note other than all the exciting things going on in my mind.
  • I’ve been working on proper time management, though last month seems like it wasn’t a success. I think, ironically, I’ve been given so much extra time from remote work and that has allowed me to just lose focus for days at a time. I am the only person that can rein myself in.

Sustainability

  • I made some purchases for the first time in forever! All this staying home has me saving money, so I’ve been finally going through my wish list. Of course, I was excited to look for sustainable brands where I could. So far, so good. It does a lot for my eco-anxiety at least using these items from transparent brands that are doing more for the planet.
  • I had another breakthrough with my recipe book I’ve been wanting to write but kept continuously putting it off / editing it. But really, just like my Instagram account, I gotta just get it going. So I decided to do a Google Drive folder where I can just continually add recipes instead of writing books all the time. This works much better for my organization anyway. It’s a huge win for my personal block.

Signal Boost

Extraction. The action scenes were fun, but the white savior complex is excessive and dumb. Not very deep, but if you need something quick.

The Half of It. Aww so sweet and precious and slightly unbelievable, but I want to believe it can happen. Quite a funny cast.

How to Build a Girl. What a sweet coming-of-age tale, Beanie Feldstein is a dream, utterly charming and fun.

Love Wedding Repeat. I actually quite enjoyed the chaotic energy of this film, fun, cute, silly. The cast was hilarious and it wasn’t too generic- there’s actually a twist! Also, Olivia Munn is the best.

The Lovebirds. Fun and funny and cute and not the wild ride I was expecting from that plot.

The Photograph. Cute, kinda boring, but I love the leads and they had great chemistry.

Scoob! Wow so surprised how great this was, such a feel good, nostalgic trip, but also fresh and updated for a modern audience. The plot was a bit too high stakes, as I would have preferred a campy, teen detective story.

Tigertail. I feel like it was almost touching, but never quite got there. Great acting, but I feel like every time a scene was about to properly start, it ended.

The Willoughbys. Cute, very strange, but cute. Voice acting was top notch. A bit over the top for me.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine. So quick and smart and fun and non-problematic and inclusive and it’s just a great time.

Kim’s Convenience (season 4). Always hilarious and heartwarming. Love to see the evolution of characters and relationships.

Little Fires Everywhere. Wow, riveting and insightful, it made me uncomfortable and question which character is in the right. So well done.

The Isolation Celebration

•1 May 2020 • Leave a Comment

Well, I haven’t left my house in over a month and to be honest, I’m mentally okay. Yes, I miss the outside, but my years of hermitude have really prepped me for such a sedentary lifestyle. I’m worried that I fell into it way too easily. I love it too much? I don’t do grocery or food runs, I don’t have to go into work, there are no other essential things I need to be doing right now except staying in and keeping people safe by listening to the science.

Connection

  • I really appreciate being able to talk to and see my friends weekly, so it’s times like this where I can take a moment to really appreciate technology and the good it has brought us. Oddly, I feel closer to my friends and I’m still not sure if that’s sad or not.
  • I got to cross something off my Impossible List this year- teach a yoga class and do a self-guided yoga flow! Okay, it wasn’t really a yoga class, just some friends on Zoom doing yoga with me, but it was fun and I got to lead it and set up my own flow and it was very rewarding.

Development

  • Most of my free time now is thrust into creativity as I’ve really enjoyed making art again, but this time, I get to actually hopefully inspire some people to make positive change for the world. Please follow @sustainabole!
  • I also feel like a lot of my other hobbies have been put on hold for various reasons, so it’s really my only outlet for creation. I do also tend to think that sometimes I go overboard with the projects and then want to do some much but then end of paring down and prioritizing which ones I want to do and then forget the other ones and then when I re-evaluate, I remember all the things I want to do and then it’s a cycle.
  • I haven’t been sleeping early mainly because I don’t go to bed to read now because the library is closed so I cannot rent books. So, I just stay up and still feel fine because I don’t need the mental stamina in the morning to get ready and sit in traffic, I guess. Work has also been slow, so there’s less emails to worry about.

Freedom

  • I can appreciate both sides of the quarantine life. There are people that want to or have to sit around and really relax and not do anything, whether that’s due to anxiety or not. I can appreciate that; mental health is very important. There are also people that are taking this time to try to do so much and learn new things. I can appreciate that as well; mental health is very important. So, as you can see, it all comes down to doing what you feel is right for your own sanity without having to compare yourself to others.
  • Don’t look, but I feel like this entire blog post has been a rehash of last month’s post because, perhaps, nothing’s changed! I just feel mentally more free because there’s less personal/daily stuff to worry about I think.

Sustainability

  • The good news is that the kitchen is mostly usable now, but the bad news is that I didn’t buy tofu because I thought the oven wouldn’t be ready for a long time. But for the most part I can get back to meal prep and recipe testing and moving forward with my recipe book. I’m excited because all these people turned into chefs since The Great Corona Quarantine of 2020 and now it’s my time too.
  • It felt really good cooking my staple recipes again (as much as possible), and I really missed proper nourishment. I’m still very mindful of trying to make sure I have enough food to last me because I don’t have the luxury of going on grocery runs whenever I need. So this will just involve a bit more planning on my part.
  • I’ve done another audit on my lifestyle to see what I can do to live more sustainably. There’s a lot to be done! And since I’ve been saving money these past couple months in quarantine, I feel like I can treat myself a bit. I’ve been shopping for some things on my list, but there’s also many more things that I want. And so arises the conflict of greenwashing. Yes, I’d like to support some of these businesses, but I’m also thinking…I don’t really need to buy all these things right now. The stuff I have still works just fine.

Signal Boost

Bad Education. Such a well done, well acted movie that kept me in anticipation. Always love to see what happens to people who think they can get away with this shit.

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). What a fun romp through Gotham with a strong cast and exciting chaotic Harley energy. Definitely a good time!

Fantasy Island. Definitely didn’t know what was going on coming into this and enough fun twists for a good time. It was worth it for Maggie Q.

Go Back to China. A sweet coming-of-age film for an atypical Asian American girl. Anna Akana does a great job here. Fun, heartwarming, enlightening.

Guns Akimbo. Wild and crazy and in your face and tongue in cheek and cynical. A movie about a guy who trolls the wrong people online and is thrown into a live snuff film.

The Hunt. A very interesting film with twists and turns and I don’t wanna spoil it, but it was satisfying and at the same time, it wasn’t?

Trolls World Tour. Another feel good addition, though maybe not as fun as the first one. But a good message, good songs, good times for families.

Awkwafina is Nora from Queens (season 1). What a treat! What a cast of characters, all so hilarious. I love seeing Nora get what she deserves, what a fun show.

Castlevania (season 3). To be honest, I should’ve paid more attention, but there was just so much going on with all these different storylines. I miss the trio being together.

East of West by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta. Beautifully illustrated story about warring nations in a dystopia, the Apocalypse, and one family’s search for one another. Compelling, heartbreaking, and very bloody.

The Coron-tine

•1 April 2020 • Leave a Comment

Y’all that title is clever as hell, you’re welcome. Listen, Coronavirus (that shit is real!) is taking over my life, but oddly, I guess I’m okay. Looking back at my last post and my posts from the start of this year, the world seemed like a completely different place.

Addendum, added after writing my posts below: Y’all, I actually think I’m more than okay. I think I’m thriving!

“As I wander down the avenue so confused / Guess I’ll try and force a smile”

Connection

  • My social media presence has increased 1000 fold. Like I love ig stories now. I comment on everything. I double tap everything. I post ig stories daily (shoutout to the people who support me with kindness, it brings a tear to my eye). I started work on my sustainable ig page (more below)! Okay, so it’s mainly just Instagram.
  • I hang out with my friends more. Ironic because sometimes I can just go days without communication and then realize oops, let me check in on this person. No longer! I reached out to people I cared about to see how they were doing (what?!). I proactively try to schedule Zoom hangouts (what?!), though sometimes I get sad because it seems like people don’t actually want to hang out (read: they don’t prioritize our friendship), which I guess is fine, but it just reminds me that I’m alone (in the negative sense).

Development

  • In an effort to actually move forward with my projects, I finally made a list of all the things I want to work on, then I broke them down into easy to digest steps. One step at a time! It helps to see everything visually.
  • Some things I’ve had to put on hold (things that require social closeness), but perhaps it’s better not to tackle everything at once. My plan is go one month at a time working on projects and then reassessing at the start of the next month to see where I need to adjust.
  • I’ve realized that I’ve been waiting for “the right time” to do a lot of these projects, but at the end of the day…the right time is always right now. Just fucking do it!
  • Mid-quarantine, my parents were still remodeling and they tore out the carpet on the stairs and I was grumpy and acting like a brat because they kept having workers over when there should really be no one in the house. So as I was walking up the stairs, my sandals caught the stair, and I tripped, slamming my right big toe and cracking it halfway down and ripping some skin in the front. Lots of blood, again that feeling of almost fainting (when I had avocado hand last time). I didn’t want to look at it for two days because I was scared, but it looks like it’s healing okay. Sucks because that toe just healed from the last mess. Silver lining: haven’t had to wear shoes or worry about shoes since quarantine.

Freedom

  • The Coronavirus has really made me take a step back and look at the state of humanity as whole and also the state of where I am in my life. First of all, humanity makes me sad. But that was known.
  • I’m independent in a lot of ways! Maybe I was training for this, as I can thrive on just sitting on my couch for a very long time. I have a bidet, a home gym, I rarely eat out, I cut my own hair, I don’t go out anyway.
  • But there is the issue of wanting to be a recluse versus having to be a shut in because everything is shutting down.

Sustainability

  • One of my pairs of shorts got a hole in it (who knows how many days I was walking around before noticing). The old me would have thrown them out. The new me would maybe refashion them into something else. But the current me decided to patch up the hole, and even though it looks a little janky, they seem to work just fine. This was the first time I repaired clothing (generally, my clothes don’t stay with me long enough to need repairs, I usually would’ve just constantly updated the wardrobe). I really like the shorts, so I wanted to continue wearing them. Also, minimalism, less consumerism, Spark Joy, etc. My mom said just to buy new ones…such a rich, privileged American perspective.
  • With my “just fucking do it” attitude and gumption, I just posted on my @sustainabole Instagram page on a whim and started following some accounts and commented on things. I’m trying to learn how to do social media as a business model, but really I just want to reach an audience and make people laugh and teach people and inspire people. And then it hit me. I realized part of my procrastination was that there was so much I wanted to do here. But then I decided to just pare it down. No need for a website, all my stuff can be on Instagram. No YouTube videos. And I can just post my environmentally themed doodles on this page! So much simpler to manage! My quantifiable goal is to get 100 followers by the end of 2020.
  • I started revitalizing research on my compost bin project, but then the quarantine hit and so I didn’t have a chance to go find supplies.
  • Our work started switching to paperless at the beginning of the year, so we didn’t have to scramble as much as we would have by switching over to work from home. I’m so thankful to be able to still have a job and keep most of my hours. Also, saving the planet with less waste! I’ve been really excited to think of all the ways we, as a business, can make the shift.

Signal Boost

All the Bright Places. Deals with teen love, mental health issues. It’s pretty heavy. The two leads are great. Unfortunately, didn’t hit me like I wanted it to.

Booksmart. The last movie of 2019 I needed to see! So funny story, we watched this on Independence Day 2k19, but then I got too drunk and threw up and didn’t see or remember anything. So I finally got to see it sober and I’m so glad because it’s one of my new favorites. It’s just that perfect amount of teen angst mixed with too much realness. Also, Beanie is a dream.

Charlie’s Angels. What an interesting non-reboot. Lots of girl power and feminism and it was hot.

Ip Man 4: The Finale. More Chinese martial arts badassery, in San Francisco this time. I mean…that’s about it. The only new thing about this movie was the fact that I learned it was Chinese propaganda and that kind of left a sour aftertaste.

Jumanji: The Next Level. What a fun sequel they still managed to keep fresh and simple. A good time was had!

Spies in Disguise. I enjoyed all the facts about pigeons and the fun dynamic between the leads; also some fun tropes and turning them on their head. A nice family film.

To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You. I’m just gonna come out and say it- I’m #TeamJohnAmbrose. I love a good modern, multicultural, progressive teen angst rom com.

Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts (season 1). Whimsical, fantastical post-apocalyptic with giant animals and friendship. What’s not to love? So cute, I love it.

Little America (season 1). Ugh, yes. A beautiful window into the life of immigrants and their American Dream. So inspirational, so heartbreaking, all the feels.

Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet (season 1). Game developer company culture, what could go wrong? Another set of people I love to hate, just like IASIP. It has the perfect amount of levity and ridiculousness that I need. Also, diversity is always a plus!

The Detached

•1 March 2020 • Leave a Comment

February has been a trying month. I don’t know what it is (may have to do with the end of The Good Place and some of my favorite shows and also watching Honeyland and all these really depressing Oscar movies and maybe my poor diet and maybe the early morning chill and maybe Lewis Capaldi), but I’ve been feeling melancholy lately. But not a deep, personal melancholy. It’s a detached state of being. Like there’s a cloud around me, and it’s sad and rainy, but it’s also soft and fluffy and I want to sit inside of it and just be.

It almost feels like I don’t exist. Like my state of being is inconsequential to the planet, at large. Like I’m just a soul, a passenger in this random corporeal form. It’s a restless soul, but perhaps limited in what it wants to accomplish. And this leads to some sort of frustration.

If I didn’t care about my personal health, I’d want to stay up into the wee hours of the night just thinking and listening to sad music. I want to sit with, observe, and interact with the darkness. I wish there was more time in the day for me to just chill in absolute peace and quiet (and still get my allotted daily sleep requirement) and not feel like I need to be doing something.

Also, maybe all these feelings are just triggered because I generally write blog posts at the end of the month when I look back and reflect and most of the time, always irrationally feel like I’ve done nothing (in a negative way) all month, and thus, cue existential crisis.

“What if I’m someone I don’t want around? / I’m falling again”
“We love to get high, but we don’t know how to come down”
“Now the day bleeds into nightfall / And you’re not here to get me through it all”

Connection

  • We went to Big Bear and I finally got to snowboard for this winter season. And guess what? I got to experience actual snowfall for the second time in my life. This one was really magical, but it started to get really cold and we were not prepared. Other than that, such a chill weekend that we want to make it up, at least, monthly. Just the act of getting away for the weekend, being closer to nature…it does something for me that nothing else can. These opportunities don’t always present themselves to me, but I so appreciate when they come along.
  • In the past several years, I’ve started holding on to people and not burn bridges (I use to drop people all the time and I wanted to see what it was like to not do that). Now, I’m realizing I’m holding on to toxic people that don’t provide me with any actual friendship. Some people are just wasting my energy and mental space and that’s not okay. I found myself talking to people whom I don’t even care about and who don’t even care about me. Going forward, I want to commit to surrounding myself with people that support me, that teach me how to be a better human. I don’t want to just hold on to people because of shared history or anything like that. If you’re not doing anything for me, there’s no need for me to invest any time actively trying. Fairweather friends are useless and I say that knowing I’ve been one of them. Dropped!
  • I went out for two (2) Sundays this month and that’s two (2) more than normal. Who am I? Who is this extrovert?

Development

  • Randomly, I was going to send in an audition video for Euphoria because they had an open casting call and people with no experience were able to audition. I thought why not, I like the show, and I work with Gen Z. I ended up getting sick that week (end of January) and then the auditions closed. But one of the questions was “what is one thing you’d change about yourself?” I pondered this during my week of illness and discovered the one and only thing I’d change about myself: I wish that kindness came easy for me. I have to work very hard at being a good person and obviously, it doesn’t always show. I want to continue to shift my conscious thoughts to positive and kind ones, because a lot of the time, the negativity is automatic.
  • I’ve been setting goals for myself, but I think they’re so nebulous, I end up just vegetating over the weekends with my free time and I just don’t accomplish anything. It’s been annoying, mostly because I knew I wasn’t doing anything about it and I just let it happen. Now, I’m trying to make more solid, attainable monthly goals that I can actually do in sequence. I also want to set internal/mental goals for myself, which I feel like I haven’t explicitly done in a while.

Freedom

  • Guys, eating out adds up really quickly and somehow your budget is suddenly all food. It’s so dangerous – even “cheap” fast food adds up if you do it all the time. For me, I have a “grocery” budget and all food I buy that’s not grocery actually goes in the “personal” budget category. The discrepancy is shocking. Sometimes, I just go without eating or I eat something completely non-nutritious. I miss meal prep and the security of knowing what to eat and having options throughout the week.

Sustainability

  • I feel like I’ve been producing so much waste because of the convenience factor of eating out and making these one person meals. All because the kitchen is out of commission. So annoying.
  • Recently, I’ve found some new sustainable living options that I didn’t even realize before and stuff like that makes me so excited because I love being a lifelong learner. In this case, there’s always new ways to grow and learn from innovative people all over the world. If you want to learn to be more sustainable, I would start at YouTube. Soon, you’ll start getting recommended videos on more eco-friendly lifestyles and it all snowballs from there.
  • For me, right now, there are so many things that I want, but I have to remind myself: the best option for the planet is to just continue using what you already have until it’s unusable. This inadvertently also helps a lot with gratitude- being grateful for what you already have and learning to be okay with not having new stuff all the time.

Signal Boost

1917. WWI soldiers delivering a message in a crazy war zone to save some lives by calling off an attack. I’m not a huge fan of war films because it’s usually just a bunch of white guys dying and that’s boring and also like it’s history we get it it already happened and also romanticizing war is a no-no. But all that said, I enjoyed that this looked like a single shot in real time.

Ash Is Purest White. Chinese crime drama with self-sacrifice and globalization themes. Quiet, tragic, slow, bittersweet, heartbreaking. I root for the heroine despite her choices. Must be a cultural thing.

Atlantics. Senegalese supernatural young love plus detective mystery vibes. Artsy, tragic, gripping, a little slow for me (but understandably).

Come to Daddy. Creepy, funny, and on par with Elijah Wood style quirkiness. Super random, but not nearly fleshed out enough.

Honey Boy. Semi-autobiographical Shia LaBeouf dopeness. I like the premise that this screenplay was therapy for him and it turned into a beautiful piece of art.

Honeyland. Turkish documentary rural wild beekeeper vibes just trying to be at at one with nature. My heart aches, my soul aches, I love it so much. I love a good movie where the conceit is about preserving nature, but since this was a documentary, it felt so raw, so real…because it was. After, I just needed to sit in silence for a time.

Horse Girl. Mental health, aliens, time skips, cloning. So bizarre, but well done. I did not know what was going on, which I believe was the intention.

Pain and Glory. Spanish pained artist looking for that spark of inspiration artsy semi-autobiography. Time Magazine’s best movie of 2019, but very artsy cinema.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire. French old school classic slow burn forbidden lesbian love story. It leaves one with that empty feeling afterwards where you need a romcom to make you feel better about love.

Uncut Gems. Jewelry, gambling, sports bets, throwing around lots of money and dealing with loan sharks. Lots of nonstop intensity, but then…I don’t care about any of the characters.

Bojack Horseman (season 6 part 2, finale season). Who knew animated animal humanoids could get me so emotionally invested in this deep, yet entirely comedic series. Absolutely beautiful and sad to see it go. My new seventh favorite show of all time.

Fresh Off the Boat (season 6, finale season). What can I say? A groundbreaking show, an incredible run, so many tears of relatability. They ended on a strong note.

The Good Place (season 4, finale season). I was not ready for this emotional goodbye. My new fourth favorite show of all time and that’s saying something (Avatar, Adventure Time, and Community are untouchables to me). Such a perfect conclusion to this show and I’m so glad it didn’t drag on for useless seasons. They had a vision and they enacted it. I am sad but satisfied. I am full and empty.

The Perturbation of Perseverance

•1 February 2020 • Leave a Comment

A week before lunar new year, I shaved my head. I had been holding out because sometimes it’s fun to believe in superstitions like ‘don’t cut your hair before the new year because you’ll lose all the good luck you’ve been collecting’. But then I just thought it was a lot of dry scalp flakes and not luck that I was collecting, so it had to go. This was perhaps one of the most cathartic shaves I’ve done because I think I was also holding onto a lot of baggage and I just needed to feel light again. This has been my second haircut in the new bathroom where I don’t have a side mirror to view the back of my head, so I end up just winging it. I also decided I wanted to do a fade, so it was all just done via feel and muscle memory. And I think I accomplished exactly what I wanted to do (normally, I give up and just buzz it all off to a zero cut), so pretty proud of that!

As it turns out, I got sick the entire last week of January and it was horrible. Clearly, my luck ran out and the gods decided to curse me for the first week of the new year! I usually get sick on the weekend so I can conveniently only miss none to a few days of work, but missing a whole week really sucks. I still tried to work out for a couple days, but that seemed counterproductive. I wasn’t sure if I was sweating it out or just inflaming it. I also took lots of hot showers to help with the congestion. And I used so much tissue to blow my nose. Then, my parents made me porridge and insisted on putting meat in it. And being all cooped up inside made me really want to go out. Sleeping was nigh impossible and I didn’t even feel tired all week. So all in all, I’m very anti-Brian when I get sick.

Connection

  • In a surprise twist, I somehow decided for myself that I wanted to go out for New Year’s Eve and ended up rallying some wonderful people to go to a rave. I hadn’t been in years, but thought it’d be a good final one before getting too old and now I feel like going back. So much love and fun despite the traumatic before and after situations. I continue to surprise myself by not being a shut-in.
  • I learned a couple of things for myself in this situation. One, you cannot convince people to do something they don’t want to do and it’s not worth your time if people don’t actually want to hang out with you. Two, I personally am really over this mentality that we’re “all getting old” and that we basically have to become boring people and do nothing to culture ourselves beyond the same old same old. I don’t think I have time for people like this in my life either.
  • I’m also just feeling as if I need to get out in to the world and just do more things to experience and absorb so much. So much to do! I can always count on January to bring me all this optimism and hope (cut to December 2020 where I’ve done nothing and am just sad).

Development

  • I’m revisiting the idea of eating more calories so I can gain more mass. Writing this out makes it real but also makes me sigh in frustration at all the worry. It’s just been a long time of me just eating whatever and hoping it all works out. I don’t think I eat enough in the day.
  • In my everyday life, I’ve been trying to move away from this perfectionism, where everything I do has to been perfect or I can’t do something until I’m completely ready because I think that’s just false and detrimental to my personal growth. I want to just do it.
  • There’s this weird juxtaposition between low self esteem about my physical appearance and complete and utter self-acceptance. In the past, I had learned self-care and then I think over the years, it just continued to turn into self-apathy. Let’s take my acne for example. It caused me a lot of confidence issues when it first cropped up and I tried a lot of remedies that didn’t work. Then this turned into self-confidence, where I would just not worry about it because it just seemed like a waste of time to worry about what others thought about my appearance. This worked and and has continued to work in how I see myself. Admittedly, in my low days, there are times where I let the low self-esteem and low self-worth get the better of me. So this year, I thought what if I revisit trying to “fix” my acne, but for myself. And so here we are and this can be applied to the entire list of perceived flaws I consider I have, whether physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. I don’t know if this will work, but I’d like to have fun with it and make it a fun project; worse thing that can happen is that nothing works and I’m still me. My thoughts are still at odds regarding trying to “accept” myself vs. trying to “fix” myself. I think I have settled at: try to better yourself with things in your control and leave the rest behind.
  • Anyway, that’s all to say I’m drowning my head and face in apple cider vinegar now.

Freedom

  • I got into a fight with my mom at the end of last year and that had inadvertently led to me making all my own meals (2 meals a day was manageable, but now I understand how people eat out so much because managing 3 meals a day every single day of your life seems so difficult). While the fight was annoying, I also think it was interesting in that it finally led me to push myself to do this. I had been so dependent on them for food that I never wanted to get out of it. I know people out there will scoff at this, but the food is so good and it’s right there and it’s free and they make so much of it and they love to feed me and it’s culturally a sign of love and yada yada all the excuses. This has also allowed me to inadvertently eat vegan almost all the time. Now, I don’t feel as bad when I have the occasional meat.
  • This fight has also initiated this final push in myself to leave the nest. However, it just seems so economically unwise. Then again, it may be good for the mental health of all parties involved.
  • So our kitchen is being remodeled and it’s completely unusable. Perhaps this was a bad time to: stop accepting food from my parents and try and change my diet to have better eating habits.
  • All this has led me to me relooking at and adjusting my budget to fit the reality of my lifestyle. I think sometimes, it’s good to take advantage of the (financial) help you’re given. But I also like the freedom to decide for myself. Some people are so stubborn and really need to strike out on their own, so they’re reckless with their expenses just to feel a semblance of independence. But no, if the family phone plan is cheaper, let me just stay on that and pay my sister a fair portion of the bill. I found that I was saving so much money that I could stand to spend a little more. Mind you, I mean to say spend a little more on food and experiences. I don’t really need any more material possessions.

Sustainability

  • As previously stated, our kitchen is being remodeled and so we wash our dishes in the backyard. In lieu of this, my parents have been using much more disposables (don’t forget, humans crave convenience). In lieu of that, since I’ve been eating mostly frozen things, I just use the silicon baking mat as a plate and it has worked out marvelously so far. Unfortunately, I’ve been also eating out a lot more because meal prep is near non-existent.

Signal Boost

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. A reminder of what a beautiful human Mr. Rogers was. Tom Hanks did a wonderful job. Very touching tribute.

Frozen II. A probably unnecessary sequel with catchy songs and an existential snowman. Honestly, all the Olaf parts were the best because I probably related way too much to this animated snowman. Everything else was just filler.

Harriet. A powerful journey with an historical figure in American history. I love researching about people after watching biopics and what an amazing human being, like it’s astounding and awe-inspiring.

Hustlers. A look into the side hustles of some strippers and honestly an excuse to see J. Lo stripping. Keke Palmer was a hilarious highlight, though I think everyone did a great job. Added to my list of 2019 favorites.

John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch. A bizarre but timely children’s show satire with surprisingly catchy songs. Emphasis on bizarre (but I love it).

Jojo Rabbit. A boy and his imaginary Hitler. Funny and dark, very on par with Taika Waititi. Not my favorite of his films (okay, maybe my least favorite). Were they saying Nazis were humans? That some were okay? I’m not sure.

Joker. If you find yourself in need of going to a dark place, here you go. Also conflicting feelings about people that are mentally ill.

Knives Out. Refreshing for the whodunit genre and kept me on the edge of my seat. Cut to me gasping audibly after every scene. A lot of fun. Added to my list of 2019 favorites.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco. Quirky, poignant, funny. A man reclaiming his space in an increasingly gentrified neighborhood.

Last Christmas. Oh, I get the title now (insert winky face). How silly. Enjoyable for a nice Christmas cheese and also different enough from the usual Christmas stuff.

Little Women. Who thought it was a good idea to put Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Soairse Ronan, and Timothee Chalamet in a room together? Because it was and this was actually interesting even though these period dramas are generally unappealing to me.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Completely unnecessary sequel, but I absolutely loved the lore of the other bird people and how they all look different based on terrain.

Marriage Story. This movie is actually about divorce, not marriage. I liked the realness in each of the scenes. It felt as if I was little boy watching his parents divorce, but then also with the understanding of an adult mind, so it hurt even more.

Monos. A group of Colombian child soldiers and their prisoner go on an adventure and spoiler: it’s not great. At times, difficult to watch, as it was very disturbing and sad.

NiNoKuni. Charming and cute, but not enough of that magical je ne sais quoi of actual Ghibli material.

Queen & Slim. Powerful and brings up a conundrum about race and legality and morality.

The Report. So basically the government is corrupt and no one cares except some people.

Ronny Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America! Clever, witty, surprisingly very well done.

Terminator: Dark Fate. Pretty badass and a fun popcorn flick. But if Terminators take that long to kill, y’all are fucked.

Zombieland: Double Tap. Long awaited, but alas, didn’t really add anything all that special to the genre. Still, pretty fun. Always fun to see zombies getting slaughtered.

Carole & Tuesday (season 1 part 2). Okay, but I have a lot of feelings and they’re all related to this show. The music is divine. Everything else is just a bonus.

The Dragon Prince (season 3). Cute animals, intense suspense, character angst and development. It’s basically what I need in a post-Avatar: The Last Airbender world.

His Dark Materials (season 1). I’m still very confused about what’s going on, but I would like one (1) daemon please.

The Mandalorian (season 1). Baby Yoda gives me life and I quite enjoyed every interaction with him despite not really understanding any of the lore.

The Witcher (season 1). Lived up to the hype, catchy tune, fun characters, very Xena and Hercules and Legend of the Seeker. Confusing timeline aside (which for the record, after realizing, I quite like they way they did that), everything was well done. Henry Cavill is Geralt of Rivia.

Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong. Hilariously hilarious and even though I don’t agree with her about everything, very well done and I love that she’s doing this for her daughters.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. What is essential to you and how are you going about your life in order to really focus on this? Not the advice I wanted to hear, but certainly what I needed to hear.

The Rat

•25 January 2020 • Leave a Comment

Happy new year! This lunar new year has afforded me an extended chance to reflect on my life and what I want to manifest for my 28th year on Earth. I like that the start of a new Gregorian decade coincides with the start of the Lunar calendar. For me, it signifies a fresh(er) start.

In fact, it’s such an early new year, it’s still in January. Classic year of the rat’s earliness, am I right? I was thinking of setting resolutions and goals for myself for this year, but then I realized that I’ve just been continually setting and achieving goals already, throughout the year. It’s just about doing things each day. It didn’t even seem like accomplished much during the year (an arbitrary amount of measurement), but then looking back, it all compounded and I’m so much farther than I was a year ago. It’s kind of cool in that respect. So anyway, I just don’t know what else I want to add it my to do list because I figure I have enough to keep me occupied right now.

During these twenty odd days between the first and the twenty-fifth, there were a lot of tears, revelations, and re-evaluations. It turns out there was still so much to think about and the new year reminded me. All it takes is the right mindset, of which I am in control. “I choose”. I was coming into the new year with hope, but at the same time, I was held back by dark clouds- thoughts that were keeping me from really believing myself when I said I wanted to be better.

But in these first few weeks of 2020, I’ve been reminded that I can still feel and honor any emotions, but I can then control how I act and react. I’m honestly just tired of feeling hopeless.

I think I’ve thrown myself into so many projects that I’ve forgotten to take care of my mind. Growth starts from within. It’s an important reminder to work on the Self every day; not just like a routine, but mindfully practicing. Sitting with the Self can be hard, but it’s a necessity to better ourselves as human beings.

PS Isn’t it weird that there’s over a decade of my life documented online, on this blog? When I look back at my writing, I tend to cringe or realize that I’m still working on that one thing and maybe somethings never change. But damn, can I take a second to be proud of my growth? To just live in this space I’ve created for myself and not apologize for being myself?