The Future Is

•2 March 2019 • Leave a Comment

With the coming of March, I find myself yearning for adventure. I awake from my hibernation with a renewed sense of ambition to conquer the world. There’s a sensible calmness in sitting with oneself, observing where one is in the world at this particular moment in time. “Here’s where I’ve been, here’s where I’m at, and here’s where I want to go.” While rain is a definite enzyme to this feeling, I’m ready for the sun and Spring and the end of dreariness, please.

Adaptability

  • I was thinking about my personal independence a lot during my week+ of being sick last month because when I got sick, I turned into an escaped fetus that could not take care of himself outside of the womb. I haven’t been this sick in years and it was miserable and I felt useless. Like there’s no end in sight and you just want to shrivel up so you can crawl back up your mom’s vagina and be swaddled in amniotic fluids (no, just me?). Ever thankful to my parents, with whom I live, because they took care of me when I couldn’t even find the mental and physical strength to take care of myself.
  • Because of the sickness I wasn’t prepared for, I didn’t have any health-hacks I normally do for other things. I resorted to a lot of sugar (cough drops and honey tea). I started just taking hot showers for the steam (though I guess I can’t complain about this habit breaker). The only movement I did was the coughing, which didn’t even give me abs, smh. I slept for a couple hours a day because when I tried to sleep, I just kept coughing myself awake. I’ve never been so wide awake between 0200 and 0400 before. I could barely stomach any food and was definitely losing weight but couldn’t really do anything about it.
  • And while I admit to being melodramatic for the sake of drama, it does go to show that even when you’re about to get your shit together after the new year, a meteor crashes down on all your plans and somehow fucks you up the butt too. While I would like to say I was able to cope, I really was barely holding on to my sanity. I just gave negative shits about everything.

Balance

  • Dinners have been a little longer now. Why is that? Because I wait for my parents to finish eating and then I clean up. Not because I am a selfless and helpful individual, but because I like to demonstrate how easy it is to store food without using plastic wrap. Once we are stable with this lesson, I hope to move on to cloth napkins only.
  • I’ve still been recovering from the habit-destroying illness of February 2k19, so it’s been taking me a while to get back into the routines that I inevitably need to keep me tethered to some sort of reality.

Experience

  • We celebrated Tet on a rainy Sunday in SoCal, which is unfortunate because the rain makes me want to not celebrate, but instead go back to bed and turn into a chrysalis. My aunt told me she put away her Styrofoam plates because she knows I don’t like Styrofoam (I love when stuff like this happens!).
  • So Dhruv has officially begun the process of showing me how to paint minis and it’s much more involved and intense than I thought. But oh boy, is it addicting! At first, I didn’t think it was going so well, but towards the end, it seemed to be coming together (just have faith, B!). Though my eyes were straining, I completed the applying the base step. And honestly, it’s satisfactory at this level, so I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Freedom

  • I’m finally slowly moving my money over to an online bank so I can start saving some money instead of letting it just sit there uselessly. It’s also a credit union because I’d rather my money be used by a credit union than a large national bank. That’s not to say I still won’t have some money in the bank account, nor have they personally done wrong by me, but socially aware me wants to do better so this is a happy medium for all parties involved.
  • Speaking of money, I’ve been trying to figure out what I’m saving for. Retirement is always important. But I want a new car. And I still need to get some degrees. And then there’s travel, which technically, is a necessity. And of course, the inevitable rent. It’s been so hard trying to figure out what I want to prioritize, which in a way, is lucky and pretentious of me to even be able to consider this, I realize. But, it’s all relative. I think I have to spend time really honing in on my financial future because money makes the world go round, something of a necessary evil. Unless…I could just go live in some sort of hippie commune and not have to worry about anything.

Signal Boost

The Domestics. A movie about a kinda-couple who have to travel across the state in a post-apocalyptic world and- you guessed it- the whites be psycho! The lore doesn’t make too much sense, but the fun was in all the different gangs that developed and the gore was great. They could’ve done much more with it, but it was a good time when you’re sick and want to watch a movie without thinking too hard.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. A movie not about fantastic beasts, but in fact, about Johnny Depp playing an asshole (so real life, byeee). Ugh, so many issues with this movie, which is a shame because I really enjoyed the first one as it breathed new life into the Potterverse. At least the fantastic beasts were still cute, but they managed to just add them in randomly to remind audiences that this movie is in the Fantastic Beasts universe. Hoping for better installments in the future. RIP Nagini.

The Favourite. A movie about two cousins vying for the attention of a queen. It’s a Yorgos Lanthimos film, so that’s really all you need to know. Any other period piece would be boring to me, but somehow, he makes it so quirky, funny, and random. Emma Stone is bae, as always.

Mary Queen of Scots. A movie about sister(?)/cousin(?)-queens who fight for the throne. I’m not a period piece fan, nor do I really like history as much as I should. I have interest in it now, but who knows what’s real or not? I never appreciated it back in school, so now I’m just confused. That’s all to say I have no idea what the point of this movie was, nor do I understand it’s history in the greater context of world history. Kinda boring and not enough of the baes, Margot Robbie and Gemma Chan.

Mirai. An animated movie about a young boy who struggles to cope with the arrival of his baby sister. But then things get all fantastic and magical and wonderful and beautiful. The animation is brilliant and I’m glad I didn’t know anything about this film before watching because it took me on a magical adventure that I didn’t expect. And it almost feels like just what I needed right now.

Ralph Breaks the Internet. A Disney movie about a videogame character going to the Internet to solve his problems. Y’all, what a cute movie…I’m mainly glad they avoided the dark recesses of the Internet and their references were wholesome. My favorite scenes were hands down the ones with the princesses. Also, Gal Gadot is bae. I’m so glad Disney decided to care about their franchises/properties/sequels.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. A movie about some Spider-persons from different universes colliding. Man, what a masterful theatrical experience. When I see a movie like this, I can’t help but be so inspired. The visuals were stunning. The soundtrack was dope. The meta-ness and multiverse were extra meta. The movie wasn’t about some boring white nerd, for once! I need more of the Spider-Verse asap.

Bojack Horseman (seasons 1-5). A Netflix original animated series about an alternate universe where there are anthropomorphic animals and, more specifically, about an actor who is a horrible person. Spoiler alert: possibly my new favorite show. It’s been on my list forever, and I finally had nothing else to binge, so it was the perfect time to get through 5 seasons. First off, I love the lore. All the animals, the world, the continuity, the background…even when it doesn’t make sense. Then there are the social issues and topics, which are handled superbly in a nuanced way. They really cover the gamut here. Lastly, the characters are great. Yes, Bojack is very problematic. Yes, Diane Nguyen is voiced by Alison Brie (but I love Alison Brie, so…). I could go on and on. Another brilliant show in the guise of a comedic cartoon.

The Dragon Prince (season 2). A Netflix animated original show about some kids trying to stop a war by delivering a baby dragon to its mother. Though this season was slower, there was more cuteness and more revelations. I’m so glad this show exists as I’ve missed the brilliance of Avatar: The Last Airbender and this scratches that itch nicely. There are less episodes, so there isn’t time for filler, which is a shame. However, character development is still top-notch.

Weird City (season 1). A YouTube original anthology show about a futuristic city and the weird things that happen in it. It’s Black Mirror, but light and funny and doesn’t make you want to die before you have to experience society’s downfall. And y’all, it’s funny, with such a great cast of guest stars. Also, by Jordan Peele, so get on that ish!

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu. A collection of short stories from Liu’s mind that he wanted to give life to. A recommendation from my sister, as this is one of her favorites (and now, one of mine). The themes are varied between history, sci-fi, and I love the underlying Asian-ness of many of them. Particularly, listening to (the award-winning) “The Paper Menagerie” made me cry. It’s my favorite in the collection, but there are so many other great snippets of stories that are so well polished, you’d wish they were full novels.

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. A book about structural racism. Perhaps for me, this wasn’t as enlightening as it would be for others because I already understand how structural racism is pervasive in everyday life (weird flex? humble brag?). Nonetheless, it is an important and short read that I think everyone can learn something from.

Persona 5. A videogame about a group of Japanese high schoolers who gain the power to fix corruption in people’s hearts. My first Megami Tensei game, so I didn’t know what to expect, but it was on a lot of favorite lists. And it was quite precious, despite the fan-service, sexism, homophobia, and obvious catering to a Japanese boy’s wet dreams. At times frustrating, at other times, highly addicting and fun. Catching personas (like Pokemon), deciding what tasks to do each day to raise stats (very stressful), building relationships (though romance was bland and didn’t affect anything). 115+ hours later, I really enjoyed the message of this game and the ending was perfectly suited.

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The Pig

•5 February 2019 • Leave a Comment

Happy lunar new year everyone! This year will bring the pig’s luck and prosperity. Pigs are highly intelligent animals and may all pigs gain good fortune this year. I will make my own fortune by increasing my gratitude and conscientiousness and consciousness in everyday living. I’ve been so busy this month getting general life things in order that the time just flew by. It had been really helpful to redefine and hone in on my values going forward and I’ve generally been much happier with larger and clearer targets. Officially, my time for chrysalis-ing is over.

Adaptability

  • Patience is what I’ve been working on mostly.
  • There won’t be too many updates here as this is more of a passive and in the moment value, but there will always need to be a reminder that this is, indeed, quite important in all aspects of life.

Balance

  • I’ve KonMari’d my possessions (a lot of them had been in boxes still after last year’s move) and I feel much better about what I have. It’s not about quantity, but about sparking joy in what you have. I’ve definitely lost a lot of joy in material things, so it was easier than I thought. And for what I do have, there is so much gratitude to give.
  • I’m also trying to deepen my relationship with food. What’s going in my body? Where did it come from? What is it doing to my body? So low added sugar, low alcohol (aka Never Drinking Again TM), low meat.
  • I’m trying to sleep on a very regular schedule. I set up an Google Home routine to play Disney music for me to wake up to, but it’s backfired because I just lay in bed singing Disney songs.
  • It’s been important for me to work on relaxation. When I relax, I really want to be in the moment of relaxation, instead of worrying about this, that, and the other thing.
  • I’m trying to eat bigger meals less times per day. It’s thrown my body and bowels out of whack, but hopefully, it’s for the better. It’s been easier making time to eat, that’s for sure. And I get less hungry throughout the day, which is nice.

Connection

  • Who knew that when I really wanted to go back to K-Town for the first time in a long time that it would result in way too much drinking and vomiting? What a hot mess to remind myself why it’s important to eat properly before drinking and also control oneself when drinking. And also, tequila and soju are still the best.
  • Rediscovering my relationship to food, clothes, material objects, media…it’s upped my drive to better my relationships with others as well as myself.
  • I realized this month that a lot of my drive is moving towards helping others. And, perhaps in some selfish way, I want to do the most that I can while I am alive. I never take my job for granted and I am blessed every day that I have work.

Development

  • I’ve gotten back into learning ASL every day.
  • I’m still working on my travel plans for this year. I did happen to organize my list further and make it sortable by priority, continent, best month, and duration so that’s exciting because talking about organization gives me a hard on. I’m slowly but surely planning all my currently wanted vacations’ itineraries.

Experience

  • In lieu of working out, I completed 30 days of yoga from my Life List, thanks to Yoga with Adriene and her 2019 journey: Dedicate. It was easier than I thought and I looked forward to it, even after a long day when I was tired and just wanted to vegetate. But I really found the ease and gratitude for my moments on the mat. I’ve never made it to day 30 before this and it was a surprise moment of quiet mat time. The calming music, the rain outside, the flow and connection. It’s crazy and real. So grateful for this. I added some new yoga goals to the List.

Freedom

  • Budgeting has been a nightmare with everything going on: car, travel, savings, rent, tuition. And this is coming from me, who realizes that I have a lot of monetary and class privilege already. I’ve always (mostly) been pretty wise about money, but there are so many expenses when I want to think about the future (savings and retirement, ugh). I know I’m doing “well for my age”, but I could always be doing better.
  • I’ve slowly been finding freedom in escaping these cultures that consume us…societal pressures, consumer culture, social media entrapment, Big Corporations…and generally opening myself up to a different path. It’s freeing when your mind is at ease. I’ve reignited this desire in myself this year.
  • Since my time is most important to me, I’ve been looking at scheduling hourly activities throughout the day. I used to just give chunks of time, but I’ve been wanting to streamline my scheduling/prioritizing to maximize efficiency and enjoyment. This has helped me be even more aware of what I’m spending time on and helped me fill my day wisely.

Signal Boost

A Simple Favor. A movie about a mysterious gossip girl who befriends awkward girl and then disappears. The trio of Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick, and Henry Golding was electric. I enjoyed the twists.

And Breathe Normally. A movie about a poor mom and an illegal refugee and their lives crossing. Powerful, poignant, on Netflix now.

Aquaman. A movie about Ariel, but the opposite. Okay, I quite enjoyed it because I love water and how bad-ass everything was in Atlantis. Also, Jason Momoa is just a bad-ass. Good direction for DC, despite some cringy dialogue.

Bad Times at the El Royale. A movie about a group of strangers randomly at a random hotel and all the shit that happens. This movie introduced me to Cynthia Erivo, so I’m grateful. I enjoyed it, silly, funny cast.

Beautiful Boy. A movie about a meth addict and how drugs are bad. I was randomly watching this movie and then my parents came in the room and watched too and I was smug as fuck thinking about how I’m such a non-problem child. Timothee Chalamet was brilliant, as always. Finally, a new movie on Amazon Prime that’s worth watching.

Bird Box. A Netflix original movie about what happens when America’s Sweetheart Sandra Bullock has kids in a post-apocalyptic blind world…aka A Quiet Place for eyesight. I quite enjoyed it because I like these sci-fi movies that don’t reveal everything and we only get a glimpse into what’s going on. And Sandy B throwing kids around is hilarious.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. A Netflix original movie about how a higher being is controlling us because we are in a simulation and nothing matters. What a revelation of technology (choose your own adventure style Netflix movie). Of course, I just watched it once, but read up on all the pathways. Meta as fuck.

Bohemian Rhapsody. A movie about Rami Malek wearing fake teeth and singing with them on. I mostly only enjoyed the performances and hearing Queen songs.

Boy Erased. A movie about gay conversion therapy. Lucas Hedges is brilliant as ever. It’s still weird that this therapy exists and it’s just sad.

Bumblebee. A prequel movie about how a robot is so cute. A much needed refreshing taste of what the Transformers should be. Fun, not over the top, heartwarming, and bad-ass.

Burning. A Korean movie about a mysterious Gatsby and his effect on the lives of two young people, based on a short story by Haruki Murakami. A slow start because I didn’t know that it was gonna get wild. Holy crap, then I read up about all the things I missed and it’s wild. I love a good psychological thriller. Steven Yeun is the man. One of my favorites of the year.

The Death of Superman and The Reign of the Supermen. Animated movies from the DC Extended Universe about what happens when Superman is defeated. Nothing too memorable here, but a decent story overall.

The Hate U Give. A movie about a black teen girl who grapples with living black in a white world. Very poignant, powerful, relevant, one of my favorites of the year. The hate you give little infants fucks everybody and wow, how true.

Mandy. A movie about Nicolas Cage going all Liam Neeson Takenon us. It got so much praise and it’s very arthouse, but perhaps too much for me.

Mid90s. A movie about growing up in the 90s. I couldn’t relate, but there was some nostalgia there. I like that the actor is the boy in God of War, such a sweet child.

Pahuna: The Little Visitors. A movie, on Netflix now, about Nepalese children who become refugees and become separated from their parents and have to live on their own. I’m glad this was more heartwarming comedy than depressing war drama. So cute and well done.

The Party’s Just Beginning. A movie about modern day Earth Nebula growing up and also sleeping with Ronan the Accuser. Very funny and also, as the story unravels, very sad.

The Predator. A movie about another unnecessary Predator attack. But Olivia Munn, though. I found the comedy and meta aspects actually funny, though all the predator stuff too ridiculous.

Roma. A Netflix movie about a family in Mexico and their maid. So well done, so beautiful, so tragic, so mumblecore.

Support the Girls. A movie about a bunch of girls that work at a sports bar and their manager trying to put out fires all day. Barack Obama said it’s one of his favorites of 2018 (very American working class). Regina Hall is brilliant.

Widows. A movie about heist wives. A unique heist movie that’s well done and the dog in the movie is really cute.

A Series of Unfortunate Events (season 3). A Netflix original show about some orphans and all the shit they put up with. Yay, a wonderful conclusion to the series that reminds me how convoluted the book series became and how lackluster the ending was.

Carmen Sandiego (season 1). A Netflix original show about a thief that gives back and teaches us about geography. Okay, so I don’t remember random geography facts, but it was so nostalgic. The theme song is great.

Outlander (season 4). A show about a time-traveling woman, who decides, for some reason, that the past is better for her. I’m over all the rape and the whiteness, yet I’m still curious where this series goes. This season was interesting, though I’d wish they’d do something more about American slaves and Native Americans. Too cursory, not enough commentary- if you’re going to live in the past, you should try to change it. So many dumb decisions this season.

The Punisher (season 2). A Netflix original show about what happens when you have a superhero movie that has nothing to do with the MCU as a whole. I was thinking about skipping this because of what happened to the other shows, but I’m glad I watched it because it had a nice conclusion.

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (season 1). A Netflix show about a cute, Japanese fairy that shows up in people’s houses and fixes their mess and their hearts. I quite enjoyed this and it has influenced my life for the better (in case you didn’t realize by reading all of the above).

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (season 4b). A show about a woman who escaped a bunker and is learning to live again. A beautiful conclusion to a hilarious series, I’m glad they ended it before it dragged. As a series, a lot of random-ass humor and laughs. Some of the Asian stuff was questionable (classic Tina Fey).

Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. A book about a Navy SEAL who learned to master his mind. I liked it, though I reckon I didn’t revere it as much as I thought because it was probably overhyped for me, I wasn’t at a low point needing motivation, and I frankly disagreed with a lot of it. I liked the “be your own hero”, naturally. I liked the calloused mind, but I’m very much about balance and ease right now, not pushing myself to the limit for no reason. I gleaned a bit of motivation.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. A book about our relationship to food. I liked the presentation of ideas overall, but probably only gleaned one thing: if/when I eat meat, I need to remember that it’s a special thing, taking a life and consuming a life; there is a necessity for gratitude.

Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini. A short story/poem about the refugee crisis. I didn’t actually know it was short and illustrated until I got it at the library, as I was preparing to weep for hundreds of pages. Still, though…powerful, heartbreaking, a call to action.

The Authenticity (Values 2k19)

•5 January 2019 • Leave a Comment

As it turns out, the first week of January was not necessarily a physically productive one, but in lieu of perceived failure, I opted to reevaluate where I was in terms of values and goals and routines. Naturally, I should have done this in the last moments of December, but it didn’t register that I needed to until now.

I want to define myself, at least my present, current self, because I was feeling a bit like a shell. I want to hold myself accountable (and frankly, do this holistically perhaps mid-year as well). I want to have the formation of a plan going into the new year.

As my work schedule returns to normal next week, I thought now would be the best time to do this. I’ve been consuming motivation media in order to inspire myself. I am reminded of how much knowledge is out there and how we can help ourselves be better people, step by step.

updated values
“I value knowing myself so that I may live authentically.”
“You only value something when you are prepared to sacrifice something else for it.”

Adaptability. I value being able to face diverse situations in different ways, without compromising myself.
Am I reacting to situations vs. being proactive?
Am I aware when my emotions change?
Am I taking the proper time to overcome obstacles?
Am I reliable?

Balance. I value finding peace of mind in everything I do.
Am I consuming and creating equally and consciously?
Am I acting at odds with my thoughts?
Am I making sure I don’t move to extremes either way?
Am I living a healthy lifestyle?

Connection. I value purposeful and meaningful interactions with other beings and the world as a whole.
Am I giving back to society?
Am I helping to better someone’s life?
Am I making the world a better place?
Am I proactively maintaining friendships?
Am I choosing kindness?

Development (I changed this word from “Growth” so that it would make it easier to remember in ABC order). I value lifelong learning and growth, instead of stagnation and complacency.
Am I consuming mindfully?
Am I learning new things, going to new places, meeting new people?
Am I bettering myself as a human being?

Experience. I value doing novel tasks where I gain any sort of insight into the world.
Am I taking on opportunities?
Am I prioritizing what’s important to me?
Am I taking time to spend with myself?

Freedom. I value independence and autonomy to make time for what matters most.
Am I in charge of my time?
Am I able to survive alone?
Am I carving my own path?
Am I not shackled my society and its expectations?

The Unknown 2k19

•1 January 2019 • Leave a Comment

Well, last year really just crept past me. With 2k17 such a major year for me, I think 2k18 was filled with more good things, but psychologically, it didn’t feel major because everything moved to a new- higher- set point. For the first time in years, I’m not sure what I want for 2k19. But I want to embrace the spontaneity and the unknown.

I haven’t worked too much in the fourteen days since I turned 27. Alas, I’ve been vegetating for most of it. Watching some favorite movies, updating lists, just checking in on where I am with everything and how I’m feeling. So there has been some good self-reflection- and I didn’t have to resort to the usual hermitude around this time of year, which is interesting in and of itself. I tried not going out too much toward the end of the year because I was overbudget for food and gas in December.

I also had another D&D night, celebrated Christmas then celebrated Friendsmas consecutively, and then woke up early to go snowboarding at Big Bear to remind myself that I am still young and active sometimes. Akshar, Alan, and I swapped boards and made some interesting discoveries about the subtle and not-so-subtle differences. In lieu of going out for NYE (is this becoming tradition?), I invited some friends over to celebrate so I can stay in the comfort of my own home.


My goal for 2k18 was to care more and/or show that I cared more. To an extent, I accomplished this goal, but there’s still a lot of barriers that I need to break down. It surely is exhausting!

– I had a lot of moments throughout the year (as evidenced from looking back on these posts) where I wanted to get away from it all. At times, it was overwhelming to pour your heart and soul out, but it seems like the world is not listening.

– Throughout, there were such moments of stress and anxiety where I would shut down, not on purpose and not mindfully. So I need to remind myself to find the balance and listen to my body and mind when it gets to be too much.

– Ironically, I’ve started to not care in the sense that I started to do new things and push past my comfort zone when trying these new things because I let go of this sense that I had to be worried about how others perceived me. In doing so, perhaps this is caring more for my spirit, rather than my ego.

– I still need to express and articulate myself better.

– I tried to make more plans and I tried not to flake and I tried to show up and be reliable when I could. It’s in the little moments and actions that one finds oneself.


2k18 highlights

  • MoviePass, while it lasted, allowed for a lot of movies, saving money, and time with myself- all things that I love
  • Persie moving back with me, where she can get sunshine and tons of cuddles; at times when I feel overwhelmed, she’s there to give me snuggles
  • New Zealand and Australia trip, my dream trip come true
  • Moving out of South OC and dealing with the ups and downs, the old and the new, smart technology
  • Drinking again and rekindling my love affair with sake bombs
  • Moving towards a more plant-based diet and starting my vegan recipe book
  • Crazy Rich Asians came out in theater
  • Finding sustainable clothing brands and subsequently going on a shopping spree and, at the same time, minimizing my wardrobe
  • Starting a Pathfinder campaign (with strangers!)
  • Discovering audiobooks while in traffic, a lifesaver

#yearofunknown2k19

The 27

•17 December 2018 • Leave a Comment

Twenty-seven feels like a gross, in-between year where you’re not a non-adult, but you’re also not a new adult, so people start thinking you’re Grown. 

But fuck it if I just want to float away into oblivion and not have to worry about growing up.

I think in recent weeks, I haven’t had much reflection time. So, I deliberately made no (interactive) plans for my birthday weekend and opted for another self-care weekend. Though lately, my weekends have consisted of me vegging out on the couch. This weekend, my plans consisted of organizing my thoughts, trying to quell anxieties, and really taking a clear look at where I was in life.

Okay, well, it was mostly vegging out, but that’s okay too. On my last day of 26, I watched my favorite movie, The Fall, and it still holds up so wonderfully.

Anyway, I was thinking of writing something profound and nuanced, but I think I’m just tired and ready to call it a night. I think I’ve been trying to get more motivated this season, but I’ve been peak vegetation, so I’ve often just been relaxing heavily.

The Next

•30 November 2018 • Leave a Comment

Health Log

– I think a lot of my current slump has to do with my lack of discipline. I think complacency and procrastination and fatigue have all played roles. A lot of it also stems from the unshakable though that still nags: how the world is going to shit and it all feels so pointless. Lately, it’s been easier to coast because nothing feels urgent or completely necessary. And while that’s partially true, by default,  that also makes it partially false. I need to be more disciplined. And I also need to cope with the futility I constantly feel.

– Anyway, I started a list of more disciplined health-related activities I could do since it’s around this time of year for betterment, or at least, reevaluating where I am in life.

– Taking Amadeo’s sagely advice, I’ve started listening to audiobooks on my commute when there’s traffic and it’s changed my life for the better. I’m so much more invested in the books than caring that other people are horrible drivers (which, for the record, they still are, don’t @ me). I’ve noticeably reduced my road rage without trying. It’s not a cure-all, but it is doing wonders for me. Ever since my commute has increased drastically this Spring, I’ve been all over the spectrum while driving- as if I’ve forgotten all my hard-earned training. Now, I’ve found an external source of motivation to be better. Hopefully, it will transfer over to when I’m not listening to books while driving.

Independence Log

– My mail-in ballot never came and I realized too late so I was debating how much I wanted to go to a place to vote for the Midterm Elections, even until the last minute. Luckily, I realized that I need to put my money where my mouth is and really commit to action for a better future. A lot of it may “not matter”, but it’s better than the alternative, see: aforementioned complacency. So I voted in my first non-presidential election! Results were surprising and somewhat disappointing, but it also felt good to be a part of any positive change there was.

– More problems with my car have cropped up this month, which really really make me want to get a new car ASAP. Unfortunately, got called from the waitlist twice and both times, it got sold before I got there. I’m stuck between continued waiting or settling for another car. Both have their pros and cons, but the main thing is that the latter is available. I’m leaning towards fuel cell because it just makes more sense for me right now. Hopefully, a decision will be made next month.

Connection Log

– We went to Temecula for Kathy’s birthday and I was blissfully buzzed all weekend. I also got to bring Persie along to play (fight?) with the other dogs that were there. It’s so fun and chaotic having a house full of pets with such different personalities. And I met a lot of new people and it made me think- maybe I don’t hate humans, after all. I’m working on not being a complete antisocial shut-in even when life is throwing me a lot of curveballs and that’s as far as the baseball references are gonna go because I don’t know. As predicted, wineries are fancy and bougie and for ballin’ people and I will happily pregame with all the hard alcohol for the rest of my drinking days. Day drinking is not for me!

– I had a very mellow Thanksgiving day, just chilling and catching up on me time (aka playing Witcher 3 DLC all day oops). And on Black Friday, I stayed at home! My consumerist capitalist mindset has been diminishing slowly throughout the year, so while I still love deals, I really get a kick out of rationalizing that I don’t need certain things anymore.

– I bought 2 digital games earlier in the week since the PS Store had their Black Friday sale early. I rationalized I no longer want physical copies of anything and I no longer will buy movies (I really wanted to get Crazy Rich Asians, but I held off). Since I went on an online shopping spree for sustainable clothes previously, I didn’t need to go shopping for any of that either.

– I went to my aunt’s house over Thanksgiving weekend and it was a nice time with family. But what I really wanted to do was to get my Google Home minis activated, which arrived the same day. I got three of these for free from a Spotify promotion! So far, they work pretty well, doing nifty/useless things. But now this opens up a world of possibility for this smart home. I’ve gotta remind myself that I only really want to do useful things with it and not just purchase random smart appliances just because I can. There’s a fine line between efficiency and laziness. But my parents like the novelty and I like listening to them try to make Google understand their accents.

– After doing three of the Pathfinder 2e playtests, we have officially begun our campaign where I can create a character that I can see grow. I’m really excited because it seems I’m luckily surrounded by a group of good people with whom I can hang out and play every week. Very routine! It’s only been a couple of sessions, but it’s been so fun getting into fictional shenanigans.

Experience Log

– I finally cut my hair after a little over a year. It had been a long time coming, but I really was just experimenting to see how long I could do it for. At times, it looked good and at other times, it was hideous. The length started bothering me because of how annoying it felt when hair would touch my neck. But I got some cool styles out of it. It didn’t get as long as I would have liked it, but that would take years, and I don’t think I had it in me.

– I’ve been listening to Christmas music this month unashamedly and I’ve learned there is a lot of danger in Spotify premium. It’s just too much power. No shuffle, no ads, songs on demand. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It was just a trial (un)fortunately, but now I feel like Spotify free sucks. This is the problem with subscriptions and the feeling of need once you’ve felt power; you feel beholden and as if you can’t go back.

– I caught up on my shows so I’ve started a bunch of new ones. I just like having TV on in the background. Finally was able to try out some shows I had on my list but never got a chance to start until now.

Signal Boost

– Blindspotting. A movie about not being able to see something the same one someone else sees it because of bias. What a powerful movie topped off with awesome rapping from Daveed Diggs. The film deals with modern day issues like police brutality, racism, guns, and gentrification, all set within the backdrop of Oakland. 

– A Star Is Born. A movie about how Lady Gaga became famous. Wow, what a revelation in Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga! I really liked the song “Shallow” when it came out. I don’t know anything about the older versions, but I like how this seems like how singers get their start in today’s cutthroat music industry.

– Christopher Robin. A movie about a man who loses touch with his childhood, aka growing up and learning about how horrible the state of the world is and all you do is work work work until you die, but no, I’m not bitter or anything. Cute! I don’t care much for Winnie the Pooh, but he was rather endearing in this (really random) film. I liked all the parts where he had to pretend not to be alive in the real world. A good reminder for us to never let the world take our child-like innocence from us.

– Venom. A movie about a loser alien who comes to Earth and makes friends with a loser human and then they save the world. Y’all, Riz Ahmed was just trying to help the planet because humans are the worst! This movie was a mess and a half, and I’m still mad about Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises so I had some flashbacks. In this day and age, there’s no excuse for a poorly done superhero movie.

– The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (season 1). A show about a teenage half-witch who deals with choosing her human side or witch side. And if y’all were hoping for a reboot of the classic Sabrina the Teenage Witch show, this is not it! And while I’m still mildly disappointed by this, it’s actually a very dark take, and I quite like it. Still, I found the side characters to be much more interesting than Sabrina and Harvey. And all this satanic stuff is a bit much (Dhruv would like this show). Not enough fun magic! Too CW at times, which I know that’s what they’re going for. There were some filler episodes, which is shocking for Netflix. Overall, decent.

– The Good Place (seasons 1 & 2). A show about four humans who are sent to a good place after they die. Oh my gods, this show is amazing. I started watching because I heard good things and I was caught up on all my other shows. I’m so glad I found it! It’s a wild ride and not what you expect at all; quirky, cute, ever so endearing. Usually, I don’t watch network shows, but I’m glad to have found this.

– It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (season 13). A show about a bunch of degenerates. Probably the only show I’ll watch with an all-white cast because they’re degenerates and it’s hilarious and very poignant and clever and wildly self-aware. The season was very political and timely and they tackled issues in typical Sunny fashion. This season’s finale was really touching.

– Killing Eve (season 1). A British show about a detective and a psychopathic assassin and their strange cat and mouse. At times, quite hilarious and far-fetched. At other times, very dramatic. Sandra Oh is perfect (Asian leads!). Even though it was only 8 episodes, there were times when it still felt slow.

– Insecure (seasons 1-3). A show about a black girl living in LA. Very real, very modern, very messy, very funny. I couldn’t stop watching, though there were times when I just couldn’t stand the characters’ actions/reactions.

– Barry (season 1). A show about a hitman-turned-actor and yes, it’s as absurdly hilarious and dark as it sounds. It’s Bill Hader, so it makes sense. Surprisingly dark, but a strange and interesting tale about a very Macbeth-like character.

– GLOW (seasons 1-2). A Netflix show about women wrestlers in the 80s. I can’t decide if I love it or hate it. It points out its racism, but it doesn’t do anything about it. It’s blatantly sexist, but it does little to give these women agency. This is my problem with period pieces. I can’t even remember half of these women’s names. But it’s fun and funny and the second season really developed these women for the better.

– Mister Miracle by Tom King. A comic about a daring escape artist who’s also a new god raised on Apokolips and also is perhaps in a dream? I don’t know anything about this character, but I love him (and Big Barda) now. The way King writes these characters is so human (just like Vision). I was confused throughout the miniseries (12 issue run), but I think that ambiguity is intentional. There are some small things that you’ll miss if you blink. 

The Dark

•31 October 2018 • Leave a Comment

Health Log

– Lately, I’ve been thinking about my nutritional needs. I think I’ve been losing weight and not eating enough, though I’m loathe to start calorie counting or macro-managing again. I want to eat more during the day, but I find myself lacking foods and also feeling so pressed for time. Then, before I know it, the day is over and I’ve barely eaten anything. Time to figure out how I can incorporate a second lunch into my day. Also, in a similar vein, I’m probably dehydrated all the time now.

– I’ve been distancing myself from social media, which has been pleasant. Every now and then, I have to become aware of how much time I spend on it and then I wean myself off. Inevitably, the cycle continues, but it’s good to know when it happens.

Independence Log

– I renewed my healthcare insurance with Oscar as I enjoyed my first year with them. That is to say I avoided my yearly physical and had no health issues to speak of, so I didn’t go to the doctor’s all year, so can’t complain. A relatively painless process of renewing (compared to the hassle last year), and my monthly premium is cheaper this year!

– I finally opened up a Roth IRA on Vanguard. Spoiler alert: I’m still confused, but I at least have some money in there for the future, no matter how hazy it may be.

– Since we last spoke, I’ve dove head first into vehicle shopping, narrowing down my list to a few options. Sadly, so many cars are unavailable or too expensive right now. I’m on waitlists and am patiently waiting for what’s next on the horizon. My decision is to lease a BEV or FCEV, the idea being that I’d like to convert completely to sustainable energy and I’m hoping in a few years, we’ll be much better off with electric cars, so I can buy a good one for cheap. In this research, I’ve learned so much about cars and California and the current state of zero emission vehicles, in general. We have a long way to go, but it’s exciting to notice more and more EVs on the road. I start to get into my own detrimental headspace of “this company isn’t perfect so I can’t support them”, but in terms of cars, this applies to all companies (except Tesla, but I cannot afford) because at the end of the day, it’s all about money. Clearly, I’m so jaded.

Connection Log

– Classic Crew went to Kern River, which I haven’t been to for several years. It was cold, windy, and rainy, but pleasant overall. Unfortunately, I convinced 0/8 people to try and be more eco-friendly, which is depressing. Luckily, I packed my own vegan food, brought my own utensils and bento box, and discarded practically zero waste! Where there’s a will, there’s a way! It’s actually easier than it seems, but it’s really disheartening when people don’t listen to you and brush you off.

– Sometimes, I think when my values change, I ought to find relationships that align with my values. But it can be difficult to give up people who mean so much to you and know you so well. I’m still trying to cope with being around people who don’t share my environmental passion, but it’s been a real damper. Like anytime I hang out with people, at times, I have difficulty having fun without worrying about these little things. It sucks and I’m still not sure exactly what to do about it. Writing it now helps with catharsis and I hope, in time, I’ll find a way to be better about this (and/or my friends will one day appreciate all my help and/or I’ll find new people).

– I’ve slowly begun to realize that I just don’t have time to tip toe around these issues anymore. The world can’t wait for me to put up with it. I need to speak up for myself, something I’ve always had difficulty with. Go With The Flow Brian can be a much more appealing and easier prospect, but he’s not always the person I need to be.

– Destiny Pizza takes LACC, which you can read about here. Sometimes, I just need to stop worrying about everything for one weekend and just chill.

Experience Log

– Fall has been rough. I feel like I’m on edge all the time. Like I actively need to check myself from getting overly annoyed at everything. I’ve been quick to anger, quick to panic mode. Like I haven’t had a full week where something hasn’t gone wrong. Like there’s so much to do, but I don’t have the motivation to do any of it. I just feel in that robotic mode of existing, but not living.

– Persie got sick seemingly randomly and I cannot cope. Without going into details, I’ve never seen a dog behave in such a way before. It’s so heartbreaking and frustrating to have your pet go through something that you can’t help them through because you can’t communicate with them clearly. I think she’s okay now, but it was a wild two weeks.

– We moved offices at work and that has been more stressful than necessary. I find myself getting tired from work, coming home late, when it’s dark, and not having much time before I need to sleep for the next day. On the upside, feng shui can be stressful, but at the same time, stress-relieving. Sometimes, you just gotta change things up and clean things out to get a fresh perspective.

– I’ve often felt on the precipice of sickness this entire month. Like I’m going to cough up my entire insides one moment and then I’m good to go the next. A bit frustrating.

Signal Boost

– Sorry to Bother You. A movie about a telemarketer who becomes a power caller and then everything descends into madness and chaos. I’m so glad I was not spoiled because what a rollercoaster! Ridiculous, absurd, brilliant. And the most important takeaway for me: I’m done saying “sorry to bother you” because I want to live my life and not be restrained by worrying about making people feel uncomfortable.
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– BlacKkKlansman. A movie about a black undercover cop investigating the Klan. Is it sad that this movie is so poignant? Such a great piece showcasing white and black America. Though heavy and serious, there was also perfectly timed lighthearted moments.
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Won’t You Be My Neighbor? A documentary about Fred Rogers. While I watched, I furiously Google searched “is Mr. Rogers problematic”. Luckily, I didn’t find anything of substance, so I’d like to think there is one white man that I looked up to that is still a good person. Thus, I enjoyed the trip down nostalgia lane and got a look into Mr. Rogers as a person (spoiler: he’s the same wonderful man).
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– Castlevania (season 2). An animated show about Dracula waging war on humanity because his wife was murdered and the team that sets out to stop him. Season 1 was great, and this season was even better. Sure, the human animation is sometimes wonky, but the environment and the fight scenes were beautiful. I love the tone. The portrayal of Dracula was brilliant. I always side with the Big Bad that wants to exterminate humanity (peace, bitches!). The protagonist trio are adorable. In fact, all the character development was great, even with the new characters. Makes me want to play a Castlevania game asap. It still felt a little rushed, even with 8 episodes, but I can’t wait for more!
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– Daredevil (season 3). A show about a blind dude who can actually see fighting a bald dude that looks like a bowling ball but is named after a pin. Not sure what’s going on with Netflix MCU, but as a standalone, a decent season. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen at the end, but I enjoyed the ride. Really interesting going back to the initial costume. Really liked the Karen episode. Seeing how this is season 3, according to my personal theory, it’s going downhill from here.
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– Big Mouth (season 2). A show about puberty and the nasty minds of children. This show is hilarious and season 2 is even more ridiculous than the first. It tackles real world political issues and modern children. We got to explore more of the lore of the Hormone Monster and other monsters. It’s silly, but also very intelligent.
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– Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. A game about a man who goes around hunting monsters, but this time, he has to find and save his “daughter” from some evil people, so essentially, it’s a game about being a good father…or trying and potentially failing to be. Brilliant game, another great rec from Amadeo. It was a bit dated, sure, but it held up nicely. At first, it wasn’t as fun, but once I got used to the mechanics and started becoming more powerful, it was definitely fun. A lot of annoying things like the horse, finding travel signs, moving through the menu, finding things on the map. But I tend to forgive everything if a game has a great story! I love games with lots of options. Sadly, I got the “bad” ending and then found out there were different endings so…yeah.
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