The Paradise Found

Another busy month in the books, but June was highly satisfying.

I finally got to go to a Bernie rally at the beginning of the month (in May, I was in Portland when he came to SoCal). It was inspiring, truly. It’s disheartening how things quickly changed after this rally and the CA primary.

I also went to the Channel Islands for a day trip. Of course, we got barely any sleep the night before yet still managed to have a great time. We went to Santa Cruz Island and it was way better than I expected. I really just wanted to see animals, but was trying not to get my hopes up…and then on the boat ride there, we saw common dolphins, sea lions, and blue and humpback whales. As if that wasn’t enough, we saw the island foxes everywhere and they were so precious I was about to explode. The weather was perfect that weekend, though the water was too cold. However, while we were standing on the shore, a seal popped its head up and kept watching us, swimming away, swimming back, and being a little cutie. Also this raven tried to go through our bags the minute we looked away. SO. CUTE. Overall, it was one of those wonderful day trips that leaves you satisfied, not too short, not too long. Animals are the best. My friends are cool too, I guess.

I took some time off for the first time this year to go on a semi-spontaneous trip back up to Oregon. On my last visit a month prior, my sister convinced me to come up again; the tickets were super-cheap and it worked out that I was able to get the week covered for me at work.

I finally was able to check out Oneonta Gorge, which I’ve been wanting to do since last year. The water was cold, but not as cold as the Channel Islands, so I guess I was prepared mentally. It was so magnificent. We waded through water and climbed over fallen logs and rock-climbed across a deep pool…all surrounded by walls of green. At the end was a waterfall and a nice pool of water. Hesitant while going there and in the beginning, but we were so glad we did it.

I also went to a marijuana dispensary just to check it out because you know…it’s legal there okay…get off my back. Ahem, anyhow, it was different than what I thought it’d be, I guess. I don’t know if they’re all like this, but it was like a doctor’s office, very professional and, in a way, cold…but then the people are all nice and take a very serious approach to marijuana and the science behind it.

The main reason I was there was to go to Paradiso Festival up in George, Washington at the Gorge Amphitheater on the Columbia River Gorge. You thought I was sick of gorges after Day 1 but you were mistaken! You also thought you remembered me saying I would never do a multi-day festival, and while you weren’t mistaken about that, I basically went against my word and did it anyway.

I had been preparing for the festival by listening to the artists and picking out the ones I wanted to see, something which I hadn’t done previously because I wasn’t really “into the scene” enough to distinguish between all the nuances of EDM. Spoiler alert: I have found my niche in Tropical House. I had come for Audien, and then liked Madeon, Gorgon City, but greatly enjoyed sets by Thomas Jack (favorite set of the fest), Illenium, Aly & Fila, Cash Cash, Chainsmokers, and Sigala.

Overall, it was awesome because everyone had a good time and nothing went too horribly wrong, weather was perfect, people were nice, we took care of each other (it’s hilariously awesome to party with pharmacists and other healthcare professionals who were so prepared in every way), made some new friends, danced my heart away. Camping was interesting, but luckily we were prepared. Definitely wasn’t as bad as I thought it was, but maybe I was just too exhausted to care about how dirty I was. But let’s talk about the view for a moment. The main stage was literally on the edge of a cliff overlooking the gorge and we were up on a hill soaking in the wonder. Probably the best way to view a show, hands down. By the end of Day 2, I was dead inside and out, but man, it was worth it.

Something good that came out of this- I’ve officially stopped playing my mobile games. The weekend with my phone off just allowed me to disconnect and not feel so addicted. And once I stop something, it’s easy for me to stay away. It was so freeing!

Throughout the month, between the trips and hangouts, I’ve been spending my free time working on my cosplay for SDCC coming up soon. It was a lot easier and quicker than I thought. I’ve completed the main clothing pieces and all I have left are a couple accessories.

So I still haven’t gone to the gym yet because I’ve been going on so many trips that I don’t want to start and not be able to work out as much as I want weekly, so I’ve been postponing until I’m able to but I also knew I had to wait for a couple weeks after my Lasik surgery because it’s advised against. So here I am, feeling gross and really wanting to get back to it, but at the same time, not. It’s annoying. And also seeing everyone’s perfect summer bods at Paradiso was disturbingly demoralizing (I’ve been doing so well at not comparing whomp whomp).

Work has been really busy since it’s the start of summer and there are changes in the workplace and I’ve been kind of stressed out with all the things to do, but once again, grateful to keep busy.

Some big news as well that I kind of already spoiled. I went to a Lasik consultation at the beginning of the month and then had my surgery. I was hesitant at first (last time we had a consultation, I convinced myself I didn’t need it and wanted to wear glasses anyway (but then I realized glasses/contacts weren’t practical with all the things I wanted to do in my adventures)). I decided it was a worthy investment and so I bit the bullet. Dilation was Wednesday, surgery was Friday, and follow-up was Saturday. I was a bit nervous but more excited than anything. Everything went smoothly during surgery, though it did feel like my eyeballs were being squeezed out and I felt like I blacked out momentarily, but afterwards, everything was cool. I luckily only woke up a couple times in the day and my eyes weren’t too much in pain. When I woke up Saturday, I COULD SEE. There’s still mild irritation (like something in my eye), but that’s normal. The optometrist said I was the first patient of theirs to see 20/15 out of one eye (my left eye has always been a bit slow, so it’s still catching up). But my eyes are infection-free, I can see, and the world is so beautiful!

Segue, because I can’t think of a proper transition.

You know how I’ve been saying I’m so tired of this world and just want to die and/or go live ascetically in a cave somewhere? Well this first half of the year has been pretty wonderful despite all the shit going on around the world. I have a tendency to absorb others’ emotions, so seeing all the depressing news was really making me mentally and physically exhausted. I’m scared for the future of this planet. Alas, my personal life is going pretty swell. It’s an odd juxtaposition that I’m not really used to. I’m learning to accept and deal with both things. ALSO, THE WORLD IS SO BEAUTIFUL THOUGH.

I think I’m also just tired because I’ve been having so much fun lately, I haven’t had a moment to slow down. Luckily, I’ll be taking it slow this month as dictated by my Lasik doctor. For some reason, I even feel like I want to cancel all my plans and pre-plans for the rest of the year and just focus on other things. I know I already have a huge trip and probably a couple more small ones coming up next year, so I know I should save my money. It’s odd, I just feel as if I’m completely satiated and not dying for new adventures currently. I don’t know if Paradiso drained me or filled me, I don’t know if vacations stress me out or relax me (what a paradox), I don’t know if I’m completely satisfied or completely bummed out (like did I reach peak vacation mode?), but I suddenly don’t feel in a rush to go everywhere (or anywhere, really). I know my goal was at least one trip per month this year, but I no longer think that’s necessary. I feel like this is a good thing for now, but we’ll see how I feel later.

** I wrote these above sections at random times throughout the week out of order, so my mood/tone is probably different.

Food Lab

  • Banh It Ram. My favorite thing to order at a Vietnamese restaurant, though they’re only rarely on the menu. They’re pricey and they take long to prepare, but it’s worth it. UNTIL NOW. Now that I’ve realized I can make it at home, it’s easier and cheaper and arguably, more delicious (because I pick my ingredients). So this recipe came from last month’s mochi recipe when I realized this treat is made from the very same glutinous rice flour. However, whereas Japanese mochi is sweet (I think, for the most part), Vietnamese mochi is savory (ingredients include pork and shrimp). I asked my parents to help teach me how to make it and it was really fun and funny. They started arguing about how best to make it and they were watching videos and then I showed them the recipe I was looking at and we basically experimented and combined our techniques together. Next time, I think we’re going to try an easier method, but they were so good and super simple to make.
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~ by Btab on 2 July 2016.

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