The Summer Not-Break

Adventure Catalog

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

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

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

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

Summer goals

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

Fitness Catalog

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

Life Reflected

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

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

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

Pop Culture Analysis

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

~ by Btab on 2 June 2017.

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