January update: college, life and other tidbits

Hello.

About time I wrote a post, right?

I was writing another post earlier on about something else when I realized that I haven’t done a ‘random things’ update in a while. So here I am, with lots of things to say but of course, in random order.

1. Classes have started (which is somehow what I always end up saying in posts like these and it almost gives me deja vu). How are classes? One is coming along just fine, one is pretty much the same as the one last semester aka boring but only with more strange and annoying work, one is actually nice and slow (my stats professor’s patience is amazing), one is interesting (I even got to hold a 2.5 billion year old rock), and one I do not know yet but I’m guessing will be boring and annoying.

2. More stress. I don’t know about you but semester beginnings are tiring and stressful as heck. It’s not the same as high school where everything starts off nice and easy with a fixed timetable and fixed lunch break (kiss that goodbye in college). I’m stressing over so many things, I can’t even begin to count.

3. I need to SLOW DOWN. I have a Type A personality which according to this site (ironically a site about stress) means having these characteristics:

  • Time Urgency and Impatience, as demonstrated by people who, among other things, get frustrated while waiting in line, interrupt others often, walk or talk at a rapid pace, and are always painfully aware of the time and how little of it they have to spare.
  • Free-Floating Hostility or Aggressiveness, which shows up as impatience, rudeness, being easily upset over small things, or ‘having a short fuse’, for example.
  • Competitiveness
  • Strong Achievement-Orientation
  • Certain Physical Characteristics That Result From Stress and Type A Behavior Over Years : Facial tension (tight lips, clenched jaw, etc.), tongue clicking or teeth grinding, dark circles under eyes, facial sweating (on forehead or upper lip)

Am I guilty of these traits? Indeed. More so during the periods of time when I feel like I have so much more to do and just feel like hurling the chair (figuratively because I paid $80 for this chair). In short, I haven’t been very nice and I also feel bad about that.

Apparently there are TIPS, too, for dealing with a Type A personality. Let’s look at them while we’re at it:

  • Change Your Work Life
  • Change Thought Patterns
  • Start Journaling  – I tried for the first 5 days of the new year then things got busy (lame excuse obviously) and I forgot. I want to get back to that even if it’s only to write a few lines every day because I think that it helps.
  • Make It A Game – counting idiots on the road, they say. I could do that… probably.
  • Breathing Exercises – ugh, I don’t remember this until after I get frustrated or angry.
  • Love Your Pets – my pet is miles away from me. I need him. so. much. It’s so weird that I miss him a billion times more when I’m away. Or maybe it’s not weird, it’s natural.
  • Gardening – this is another thing I have been considering heavily. I was thinking of getting a bonsai plant but we’ll see if I have any extra budget for a plant.

ANYWAY, the third point is I need to slooow dooown. A lot. But it’s hard because I naturally rush around a lot.

4. Budgeting. Stop buying unnecessary things. Wait, we don’t. I guess the most that we spend on is food. I occasionally think about our tuition and expenses and try not to freak out. The question is, how to cut back on spending when you don’t really spend that much in the first place?

5. We went for our first basketball game this week. I hoped that it would be exciting and obviously hope that our team would win. It was both! We were on the edge of our seats, screaming and cheering for our team. It was a close match but we won. The last few seconds were gripping, I tell you. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and even showed up in our school colors.

What I can be sure of, after watching this game, is that Kuroko no Basuke has some dramatic and completely unreal scenes haha. Players do not have time for chitchat and trash-talking while trying to score; the ball does not remain in the air for five minutes while words are being exchanged. Also, I’m quite sure the referees do their jobs well so any kind of foul play would be detected… unlike in KnB where Hanamiya and Haizaki get away with things like elbowing other players or stomping on someone else’s foot. In case you didn’t get it, I’m just joking.

6. My coulda-beens. I’ve realized as of late that if I had been nudged towards the science-y direction, I would have taken astronomy or geology as my major. Even way back when I was younger, I remember telling my mom that I wanted to be an astronomer and a geologist. Why I didn’t pursue either: 1) at some point, the thought of there being SO MANY unknowns in the universe was incredibly daunting, and 2) being far away in some unknown desert or mountain (aka away from home) digging for fossils (possibly in unbearable heat or that’s how I always imagine it to be)  was also incredibly daunting. It was too much for my teenage brain to process.

One of my close friends has graduated with a degree in geology. Don’t think for a second that I didn’t think it was freaking cool that she actually went into the field of geology. I always wanted to know what classes she was taking and what interesting fossil finds there are. Can you imagine what I’d be like if I had a friend in the field of astronomy?

7. Nobody should make red sauce pasta with KETCHUP. Once upon a time, I went to a friend’s place and her mother made spaghetti for lunch. Guess what she poured onto the cold, overcooked spaghetti? Ketchup. Gag me. Okay, then she said there was cheese and brought out – wait for it, no, not parmesan – those square slices of Kraft American cheese. WHY? Never mind. Guess what she made us pair our ketchup-and-processed-cheese-laden spaghetti with? MILK.

I gagged on my lunch. Literally. I was the last one at the table except for my friend’s grandfather. Seeing me struggling to finish my ‘spaghetti’, he took pity on me and told me that I didn’t have to finish it. My mom has trained us to be polite guests and to not complain about the food served by others so I felt bad about not eating it but not bad enough to continue. So I didn’t.

Just thinking about it makes me shudder. How was that even pasta? I do not know.

This was a completely random thought because we were discussing it at dinner that day and I was reminded of how glad I am that my mom cooks some badass pasta.

8. It’s cold. I’ve had to break out our jackets from Vancouver. It’s actually rather annoying to have to wear so many layers.

9. Exercise. This semester’s schedule is enough exercise for me, I’m thinking. I’ve been marching/fast-walking to my next class which is on the opposite end of the campus every single day. Here’s the catch: I have to get across the entire length of the campus within 10 minutes and that is if the class finishes on time. By the time I get to my next class (also after which I climb three flights of stairs; holla quad and hamstring workout) and sit down, I’m out of breath and I feel warm and toasty because of the blood pumping. The 5-day workout I didn’t sign up for, here I come.

10. The end of nail polish… at least for this semester? I’m taking a class this semester that has a lab that kind of bans nail polish. Ugh, I’m sad.

Anyway, that’s it for today otherwise this post is going to get too wordy.

Raine

Food for thought… literally

I just finished a bowl of cold (rice porridge, I don’t even know why it’s called congee because I’ve called it porridge all my life?!) porridge after leaving it on the table as I waited for my stomach to digest the food that I had just eaten. I was so full that I couldn’t finish my porridge before that.

So I pick up the bowl after an hour and finish all that porridge. It’s cold and watery. I think to myself, “It’s okay. There are people out there in the world who are eating worse things because they don’t have access to food. I’m going to finish this.” And it’s mom’s cooking. All the more to finish it. It doesn’t matter if it’s your dad’s or sister’s or aunt’s cooking. It just isn’t nice to waste/throw away food.

I think one of the nicest things that comes with growing up is the (optional) chance to stop being a little d-bag. Let’s be real – if you reflect on your childhood, you’ll realize that at some point you threw unnecessary tantrums and made ridiculous demands. Whether one chooses to grow out of it is entirely up to the individual.

If you have knowledge, you have power. If you have both knowledge and power, take action. That’s what my sociology teacher taught me. Thus, I used my knowledge about poverty and food insecurity to make the best out of my situation with leftover food. (This last sentence sounds like some research paper or something, lol.)

Anyway, just a random little post about the story of the bowl of porridge and I.

Today marks the day that I…

… passed my driving test!

(It would be incorrect to say ‘today’ in my title since this happened a few months ago but who’s counting?)

I’m ecstatic! It’s almost unreal and clutching the piece of paper that is my temporary license feels surreal. I can’t believe that after three weeks of fretting and being let down and crying about the unfair tester who clearly had some issues, I’ve got my license.

This was my third time taking the test so it was do or die. Okay, not as dramatic but it would have been a hassle to go through taking the written test again, scheduling all those DMV appointments, paying the retest fees and troubling people to borrow their car for the test. Trust me, that’s a lot of stress right there. And besides, I really didn’t see why I couldn’t pass the first two times.

My motto is: Get in, feel safe. Because my mom is a safe driver and having been a passenger in her car more than my dad’s car, my stomach is conditioned to know when we are going above 40mph. I’m not joking. I can feel it in my stomach if we’re going faster than I’m used to.

Thus, going above 40mph always makes me feel like we’re going too fast. Holla at this super-grandma driver right here lol. Actually I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I think some old folks actually drive faster than I do.

You can be sure that I don’t make wild turns or cut into lanes like a maniac or tailgate you like an a-hole. I will turn on my lights and I will check all lanes before making a turn.

The first time I failed, the tester told me it was because I didn’t look over my shoulder when changing lanes. K. The second time around was when I felt like the same tester had something against me. I was failed for going too slow. Um, the only reason I was going slow was because it was half a block’s distance to the next corner so obviously I couldn’t reach the speed limit without having to brake hard at the corner… And I was also told that I didn’t speed up at corners. Thaaat’s new. I didn’t know people had to speed up at corners.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that I’m effing nervous about driving tests. I drive just fine but it’s the tests that sets me on the edge. I haven’t told you about the traumatizing time I took the driving test back home? Yeah, that one time left a bad impression on me and since then I’ve been nervous about driving tests even though I know they’re in completely different styles.

Anyway, by this third time, I tried to tell myself that if I fail, I’ll just take the written test again no big deal. I tried telling myself that tons of people fail the test every day too, not just me; that old grandmas and grandpas (I saw so many at the DMV) are determined to get their license so I shouldn’t let the failures get to me; that Fukuyama Jun took years to get his license too (completely irrelevant to so many people but whatever); that one of my friends took 6 tries to pass. Did that make me feel better? Sort of… not really. I’d forgotten all that by the time it was my turn for the test.

The first two times I borrowed a friend of a friend’s car. The third time, my sister’s host family actually told us it was fine to use their car for the test so they met us at the DMV. We arrived early and waited 20 minutes for them to arrive. I went up to the window that the person at the front told me to but it was closed so I had to wait in the line next to it and there was this lady in front… who took forever to get her business done. She and the DMV person kept chatting and I was behind like, I’M A NERVOUS WRECK HERE, HURRY UP AND LET ME TAKE THE TEST ALREADY.

But nope, she even had to get her eyes checked because she couldn’t read the lines out on the vision testing board and that held the line up even longer. Just as I was about to flip, another lady opened the first counter again and called me over. I went over, handed her all my documents and she processed it. I had to pay the retest fee again. The lady told me she would hang onto my documents and told me to wait until I was called.

A few minutes of awkward and stilted conversation between me and my sister’s host family, my name was called. Um, what?! The two other times I took the test, I waited at least 45 minutes for my turn. I jumped up and hurried over to the tester who asked me to read the paper and sign it. I took the keys and led the tester out to the car (which I almost couldn’t recognize because I had only driven it once and it looks like any other car). She told me to get in and show her all the signals and stuff which was fine because I’d already done it twice.

But here’s the thing. Once I got into the car, I found myself lying on a freaking beach chair – the seat was reclined and pushed sooo far back. My sister’s host dad is about 6 feet tall and I’m like 3/4 of a foot shorter so the pedals were WAY out of reach. Before I could adjust the seat, the tester was telling me to roll down the windows and turn on the left signal. And I was so nervous and eager not to make any mistakes or piss the tester off that I fumbled around a bit. While she was walking around the car, I quickly tugged the seat a whole foot forwards and yanked the lever to straighten the back. Then I didn’t have time to adjust the back anymore so I drove with the seat almost vertical ahaha.

Then the tester got into the car and told me to start the engine. I am so used to engines starting with a low rumble or something that I almost freaked out when I didn’t hear the engine start. But it had started. Engines just start really quietly here which is not a bad thing. And it was a hybrid car so I guess that was another reason.

“Any questions before we pull out?” the tester asked me.

Previously, when the other tester asked me this, I was like, what questions…? Is there something I need to ask them? So I just said no. This time I decided to take a chance so I asked (at the risk of sounding stupid which was fine since I was already a quivering bunch of nerves), “Er, if the speed limit is 40mph, I can go 5 above or below the speed limit, right?” You know, in case I’m TOO slow again which I wasn’t.

And she looked at me funny. “That’s right.”

Okay, glad we got that cleared up. Also glad I managed to sound like a fool to my tester. Oh well.

“Okay, we’re going to pull out of this spot and you’re going to turn right over there,” the tester said when we were set to go.

Guess what? I forgot where the indicators were. LOL. I nearly hit the wipers. Thank goodness I didn’t. Did I mention that in my nervous state I didn’t know how to turn on the A/C? Yeah. I didn’t. So I left the windows partially rolled down. She must have been like, are you trying to roast us in the car dammit? Just kidding. The weather was lovely.

I prayed and hoped that the test wouldn’t involve one of those traffic lights at which you have to wait for the cars going straight to pass before turning. It didn’t. I had to cross a major intersection but after that, it was just small roads and housing areas. I made sure to glance at the speed limit signs to make sure I was within the limit. The good thing about the car was the digital display of the speed so I could see the exact mph I was going at. I thought to myself as I was driving, this function is awesome… we should get this car. Afterwards I found out that the car costs $27,000 -____-

During the test, I kept wanting to glance at the tester to see if her expression betrayed any kind of distaste for my driving. All I can say is that the lady’s got an amazing poker face. You couldn’t tell what she was thinking… The DMV probably conducts ‘poker face’ classes. On the other hand, seeing no expression on her face and not knowing what she was crossing out on the sheet on her lap made me uneasy. The previous tester kept striking/circling stuff on the sheet and in the end I failed twice so of course I had to wonder if this tester was failing me.

The timing I picked for the test was somehow really nice since there was barely any traffic on the roads. With no cars in front of behind me, I could change lanes smoothly. Except for the one lane she asked me to change to. There was a car in the next lane coming from waaay behind and I gauged that I was able to change lanes so I flicked on the indicator and began to merge… and that’s when the guy started to speed up (what a jerk). I swear I couldn’t hear over the sound of my heart thumping inside my chest once I had changed lanes. I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw that the guy was actually still about 3 cars behind and had slowed down again but all I could think was, DID SHE SEE THAT?

Coming from a place where dangerous drivers are a dime a dozen, I’m used to seeing stupid and selfish driving like speeding up when others want to merge or squeezing between two cars in a freaking rush hour traffic jam where everyone is already crammed up on the highway or pressuring drivers who are backing out. I just didn’t expect it to happen to me during a driving test here. T_T

I finally pulled into the DMV lot again. I don’t really remember what happened between the time I pulled into the parking lot and the moment when the tester turned to me and said, “Congratulations, you passed! You got zero errors.” I felt NOTHING. I was numb from being nervous and at the same time hearing the words ‘congratulations’ and ‘passed’ rendered me completely speechless.

I think I might have asked in utter disbelief: ‘I… passed?’ Of course completely not knowing how to respond to the ‘you got zero errors’ part. Me? Zero errors? Omg.

She handed me the sheet on which she had scrawled in huge writing: Great job! I clutched the piece of paper and stumbled out of the car. She pointed me in the direction of the door but in my disoriented state, I went to the wrong door and tugged on it. Fail lol. I burst through the right door, jelly legs and all, and into the waiting area where my mom, sister and host family were waiting.

They stared back at me, waiting for me to say something. Apparently later on I was told that my face had ‘I FAILED’ written all over it. Need to work on that poker face… and expressing joy at passing tests.

“So?!” My mom stood.

“I passed!” I breathed out, finally getting a grip of myself and realizing that it was over. I had passed. I was getting my license. Holy crap.

And then there was lots of hugging… in front of other people (and some parents) waiting their turn for the test. It was… embarrassing, come to think of it, but at that point I couldn’t have cared less.

Even the lady at the counter whom I had to see to get my temporary license couldn’t help smiling at the embarrassing display of joy. I’m sorry, folks, you have no idea how big a deal it is to me to finally have my license haha. If you know me, you’ll know that when I was younger, I was set on getting my license and being an awesome driver like my mom. When I got older, that idea began to be replaced with ‘omg, I don’t want to drive’. Then I was told by a friend that in order to hire a driver, I have to have a license. That put me right back into gear haha! Just kidding. I had to get my license. I just had to.

So here I am now, with a California driver’s license. I’m not going to lie, it was worth all the effort/stressing/nervousness.

Did you pass on the first try? Any driving test stories to share with me?

Raine

2014 in review

2014review1

Good afternoon. As I write this, it’s 3PM, we just came back from having pizza and now I’m sitting here, wondering where all the time has gone.

2014 is ending? But how? Isn’t that usually the question I ask at the end of the year?

So how did 2014 treat me? There were ups and downs and loop-d-loops and I probably came out a bit more different than I expected. I think I did a lot less than I intended to but I learned a lot more. To put it simply, 2014 has been a year of trying + discovering new things and unintentionally dropping some things.

Mostly it started with our move. Vancouver seems like light years away. When I think back on those days, it almost seems like it happened in a previous life. We started 2014 in Vancouver and honestly? It sucked. Well, there, I said it. Our time in Vancouver sucked. It was like a punch in the gut. My motivation went right out the door along with my hope that things would be different. I stopped drawing, I stopped doing nail art, I stopped working out, even my writing kind of stalled, and I felt like utter crap (understatement).

It just wasn’t doing any of us good so my sister and I decided to apply to the college we had originally planned on going to. It was stressful applying so late but we got it done and we were accepted. We left Vancouver at the end of April. Looking back… well, I can’t really say much about it except occasionally I think about the fish and chips shop we used to eat at weekly, the gorgeous sakura trees I walked past every day on the way to the bus stop, the 3 snow days we saw, and the sushi place we went to whenever we didn’t feel like having fish and chips. Oh, and my astronomy class. Um, yeah.

Highlights: getting to see our first snow. It was more beautiful than I imagined and I had so much fun playing in the snow. So much so that I almost forgot about how crappy it was there.

snow-15 snow-20

We went home for summer. With that, those 4 months were over. Summer was a lot of things but mostly ignorant bliss and eating out and getting to see our pup. I also worked for a couple of weeks at a customer service department. It was interesting if not boring (long hours) and draining (reading complaints every single day is mentally exhausting, no kidding). The best part was getting to have lunch with one of my friends from high school every week since we were both in the same area. Towards the end of summer, there was a lot of packing and stressing out from packing and planning for school. I would put up some pictures from summer but my phone went kaput a few weeks into summer.

I let Vancouver hold me back for too long. I didn’t even realize that I was way down in the dumps until one day I woke up and thought to myself, ‘oh my god, I think I’m a bit depressed’. I didn’t want to do anything and I was just going through the motions. I was lost and tired. Kicking myself out of that funk wasn’t easy and admittedly sometimes I still think I need to haul myself further out. Lesson learned: don’t let a place and/or its people drag you down.

August was crazy. Settling into a whole new place was challenging (probably an understatement seeing as we were kind of homeless for 3 weeks) but we managed somehow and we moved into an apartment. The running around didn’t stop there and in-between going to school, it was wild and hectic. Looking back, of course it doesn’t seem as stressful but it was. I have that experience to thank for making me more knowledgeable and realizing that I’m more capable of handling ‘adult’ stuff than I thought. Lesson learned: you are capable of a great many things but at the same time, you are enough.

But school has been okay, we’ve made some friends, we know our way around campus,  we did some volunteer work that I’m proud of, we know most of the streets around our area like the back of our hand, we’ve found places we enjoy going to (yes, this includes Costco), we finally don’t live in a tiny bunker under someone else’s house (aka in Van and lol rent wasn’t cheap either), we’re close to San Francisco (which is, duh, my favorite place) and Disneyland (which we have yet to get annual passes to hehe), we’ve got a car now.

2014collage

I also turned 21 this month. I would say it was a quiet affair but it was definitely a bigger thing than last year. My mom and sister took me out for a nice lunch and we even had dessert – a decadent brownie topped with ice cream and nuts aka my favoritest dessert evar – which we don’t really do on other days. At night, we went to our favorite dim sum place which is this cozy hole-in-the-wall that we like to call our spot. I had cake too. Haha, how my mom and sister spoil me. On the same day, our Thanksgiving haul from Target arrived so that was a bonus.

Again, my mom and sister (aka ninja gift givers and surprise experts) managed to surprise me with their presents. I wasn’t expecting anything at all – I’m happy just having dinner with people I love – but I should’ve if the past years have been any indication of their surprise skillz. My sister presented me with a piece of art she drew for me and what makes it beautiful and special is the meaning behind each drawing. My mom got me a locket with three charms inside (all of the charms hold a special meaning) and it’s amazing. Jeez, I’m gonna have to work extra hard to top their surprises for their birthdays. ;)

No alcohol has been consumed since then. I’m fun that way.

Blogging wise, I’ve been less motivated this year but I feel like the few posts I did write were very real and keep true to our tagline haha. Who knows if 2015 will finally be the year we clean the heck out of this blog and work on it twice as hard? But then again what’s the fun in blogging if it becomes a chore? Heh, we’ll see if any blogging goals make it to my 2015 goals (if I even make a list).

2014 was the year I tried to get with the times in terms of social media. I made an Instagram account and discovered that I would rather play Sudoku than Instagram. It’s boring and the only account that I truly love is Snoopy. I should probably follow more people and get into it but no, really, it’s boring. A bunch of edited pictures, yay, the end. Maybe it’s just me…

OH. I almost forgot. We watched K: Missing Kings this year. I think that calls for more cake or something. Season 3 is coming next year. More champagne, more cake.

I said in my 2013 review that I wished that I learned to drive. Well, it wasn’t so much as learning to drive than getting my license but I did it. I’ve got a California’s driver’s license and honestly?? It feels amazing. Sometimes it still doesn’t feel real. I can drive. It’s a big deal to me haha.

Yeah, I guess 2014 has had its moments, good and bad. I stumbled and fell and it took me longer to get back on my feet but I’m grateful for everything I’ve learned this year and for the less pleasant things, I will chalk them up to experience and grow from there.

So I’ll be myself and you’ll be yourself,
I really don’t think it’s something we have to start over from the beginning to find – Rashisa, Super Beaver

I am currently obsessed with Rashisa by Super Beaver from the anime Barakamon (one of the most touching and eye-opening shows I’ve watched this year). Reading the lyrics, I feel that the song was written for me (hello cheesy me). This year I’ve struggled with accepting and finding myself. I’ve had moments where I just drift off into unpleasant thoughts and wonder if I’m happy with who I am now and think of how much better I liked the old me. It hasn’t been easy admitting to myself that I’ve been living in the past instead of moving forwards. Which is why I’m grateful for my sister and mom who have been nothing but supportive of me. They’ve put up with my crap and they see the best in me when I can’t. With that, I would like to declare Rashisa my song of 2014 and my theme going into 2015.

Here’s to being ourselves whoever that may be and let’s meet again next year!

P.S: Of course it’s so me to write a post that could have been halfway organized and that could have used more pictures. Oh well.

Raine

2014: What a year it has been

I’m not really sure how to start this post since I haven’t blogged in a loooooong time, so I’m just gonna start without an introduction. Please bear with me.

I really wanted to do one of those year-in-review art memes, but I realized a lot of things about my art skills recently. One, I wasn’t improving. Two, I wasn’t very good at it. Three, I should do something about it. I’m basically restarting as a beginner. This time, I’m not going to jump into anatomy or anime styles or anything. I hope that I can get better and finally draw some stuff that I really want to soon.

While I became kinda close-minded about several things this year, I also opened my mind to a lot of things. Asian pride is one of them. If I put in the effort, I would be watching Korean movies and TV shows everyday. Right now, pretty much anything Japanese owns my heart, but heck, I love Korean music (though I’m not sure where to begin) as much as Japanese music.

I didn’t play any video games this year. Shocking? Yes. Anime-wise, I’ve been pretty successful. I read a lot of mangas and watched a lot of animes. Watching K Missing Kings in the theaters was one of the best things ever. Nothing much to say here.

One of the most interesting things that happened this year was having a real conversation with my dad. I don’t remember much of what we said, but I guess I should say that I got to see a side of him that I never saw before. Well, something like that, anyways. As always, I enjoyed spending time and laughing with my family.

I intended to make this a negative post – of how I failed, of how I lost my inspiration, of how I hated myself, of how I wanted time to turn back, of how I made a million mistakes, of how I let people down, of how I let fear catch hold of me, of how I stopped drawing…

I don’t really know when these things started, but I was doing fine at the beginning of the year. I was thriving on positivity and happiness. I expressed my feelings more than I ever did because I learned that it prevents miscommunication. I gave lots of hugs and moral support to everyone. Somewhere, along the way, these walls crumbled and turned light into darkness.

I have had a lot of anxiety issues this year. For example, anxiety attacks. It’s sad that I actually cried more than I did last year, which was supposedly one of the toughest years for me. I cried a lot and I apologized a lot. I also started to think of a lot of negative things. Sometimes, even today, I’m in this state. Sometimes, I’m not. I sincerely hope that when I emerge from this pit of anxiety and dark thoughts someday, I will be stronger than before.

For the time being, please lend me your strength, and I will try my very best to lend you mine. Have a happy new year filled with prosperity, joy and love!

gsnk

Last week of the semester and some thoughts

The title speaks for itself.

As I write this, I’m stuffing my face with leftover peanut butter & jelly sandwich, Ruffles and Ritz garlic biscuits; resisting finishing Immortal Rain (a manga I discovered last night); and I have 2 papers due (one tomorrow), and some finals next week.

Update: That was a week ago. I have since moved on to pita chips and Carr’s crackers topped with smoked salmon as my afternoon snack. I finished reading Immortal Rain and it was incredible. Loved every moment of it and I highly recommend it. Also, I’ve submitted all my papers and finals are over.

But anyway let’s just take some time off studying to recap how the semester went.

1. I actually made friends. Unlike in Vancouver where I made zero friends in 4 months and not because I didn’t try to put in any effort.

2. I participated in a few activities/events that I would never have seen myself attending. They are not ragers or frat parties, in case you’re wondering. There were some barbeques, dinners, picnics, golfing and orchestras. Needless to say the introvert in me was EXHAUSTED and it’s taken me half the semester to recover from all that mingling and socializing.

3. We joined a club. The meetings were late and we only attended a few but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We will be looking at joining other clubs.

4. My classes were 1) so-so, 2) boring, 3) excellent, and 4) boring. Not bad, if you ask me. The workload was okay too.

5. We camped in the library every free moment we had. We tried going to the upper floors a few times because that’s where all the ‘cool kids’ hang but yeah, it wasn’t for us. Find us in the bunker downstairs. Oh, all the library tales we could tell you.

6. We discovered a new eatery on campus (it’s been there for ages; we just never ventured inside) on the 2nd last day of the semester so needless to say we’ll probably go there if we have any pizza cravings. It’s usually also extremely packed, I think, so we’ll have to find a good time to stop by.

Now it’s time for other thoughts:

7. Huang is missing. Yes, Huang, our cat, is missing. We haven’t seen him in over a month. I read (because I secretly enjoy being a cat owner) that cats can go missing for months or years but one day came waltzing back as if they never left. I can only hope that Huang will come back.

8. We go out quite a bit… to Costco. You can say that our Costco membership is quite worth it. No wonder the guy at the checkout counter tells people, ‘see you tomorrow’.

9. We have also discovered Ross Dress for Less and TJ Maxx. They. are. awesome. I bought a Christmas sweater for $10 and it’s gorgeous. The girl handing out food samples at Costco today told me that she loves my sweater. $10 for a pretty sweater, yes please.

10. I have recently discovered coffee. I am certain that in one of my ‘random facts about me’ posts, I stated that I am NOT a coffee person. While everyone is at the Starbucks line ordering a frappe or latte or whatever caffeinated drink of their choice, I’m pondering the juice choices. That being said, on a whim, I decided to have my own cup of mocha (it was from a beverage machine so it was free) and it was heavenly. I loved it so much that I finished the entire cup by myself. That’s unheard of. While I haven’t become a coffee convert, I can now appreciate a cup of coffee better.

11. Holiday shopping and free shipping. Very excellent creations of the 21st century. I approve.

12. Burritos are delicious. So is red curry.

13.What would a recap post be without anime/manga recaps? Psycho-Pass 2 just ended. Let’s just say it was lousy and not get into detail here. Donten ni Warau is also ending today but since I’ve read the manga it shouldn’t be anything too surprising. It was good. Garo is also airing today! Excite! Garo is a pleasant surprise. So is Shingeki no Bahamut (which doesn’t have anything to do with SnK). We’re also getting through the second season of Saiunkoku Monogatari (don’t let the name scare you) which isn’t that fantastic but has its great moments. Other anime worth mentioning: Magic Kaito 1412, Nanatsu no Taizai (A+!!!), Gugure! Kokkuri-san, Orenchi no Furo Jijou, Akatsuki no Yona (not sure where to put this since we’re sitting on the fence with this one). Ah, I’m reminiscing about Darker Than Black so I might have to watch it again sometime.

14. Manga wise, apart from Immortal Rain (which, I have to tell you again because once is not enough, was A fricking +), I’m still reading Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun and Rinne. I also just caught up with Bleach (ugh, so many things to say, where do I begin?). I’m thinking of doing a top 5 manga post so stay tuned.

15. Oh, about the car thing? Done.

Now to gather myself and do something during the break rather than wake up at 8:30 and reblog stuff all day.

Tell me about your week or month! How is your holiday shopping going so far? Happy Friday!

Raine

Winter fashion: sweater dress

Hello all. Today I bring you stressed-out post of the week. While I write this, I’m so stressed, I could a) punch a hole through the wall, b) sit in a corner and cry, c) go to sleep and pretend this is all a dream.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that we’ve spent two WHOLE months looking for a car, we finally decided at the last minute to give up the idea of getting a new car and are now back to square one. How many hours have I spent browsing the freaking used car inventory and squinting at the screen and not having time to do anything else, I do not know and would rather not know. -punches hole through a wall- Where was I? Oh, never mind that I over-confidently and accidentally missed Target’s Black Friday sale because I thought it would last till Sunday and I have finals coming up.

Anyway, a girl can still continue dreaming that her shopping basket (be it clothes or a car) will be checked out. Here are some pretty sweater dresses that I found in between car-hunting:


Olive & Oak Cowl Be There Navy and Lavender Sweater Dress


Cocoa and Kisses Wine Red Sweater Dress


All Lined Up Black and Ivory Striped Sweater Dress


Mark Your Mayan Calendar Black and Beige Print Sweater Dress

How has your week been? Any tips for car-buying/car-hunting? We would appreciate any input.

Raine

What I need… probably… not really… okay, maybe

This post is not to be taken seriously. Once in a while I sit around and random things that I could use pop into my mind but I know that it’s too long a list and I’m a thrifty college student and I don’t want to buy unnecessary things so I just amuse myself by imagining that I own some of this stuff.

Have a look into my mind:

1) A Backstreet Boys sweater

Because every BSB fan wants Brian, Nick, Kevin, AJ and Howie’s face pasted on the front of shirt. JK.

I went to browse the Backstreet Boys official site the other day because I’m a diehard BSB fan and now that I’m in Cali, I wonder if they’re playing at a venue near me that I can go to. The BSB cruise was just last week month… The idea sounds fun but I don’t think I’d like to be crushed in a sea (pun intended) of crazy fans. Remember the concerts that we attended? Yeah, we always stood in the back (no seats and totally disorganized setting, y’know) because 1) there were always tons of smokers, 2) we were there for a concert, not to inhale secondary smoke, and 3) being squashed in a crowd sounds mighty claustrophobic.

Anyway, to their merchandise store: I ‘just want you to know’ that the ‘trouble is’ your sweaters can be ‘everything but mine’ and the prices can ‘quit playin’ games with my heart’. A play on lyrics? I like. I tried. It could have been better but since I’m writing this post before dinner and I’m distracted by the wafting smell of my mom and sister cooking up a lovely storm, let’s just leave it at this and pretend that I’m funny. #KTBSPA

2) A beagle license plate frame

Have I ever told you why beagles are the best dogs in the world? No? Remind to write a post about that.

3) Monkey Majik albums (which apparently cost $80 on Amazon whatiswrongwithyou)

Well, I checked again. They’re only $80 because they’ve included some DVD specials. I still can’t afford the regular CDs.

4) A Lego set (I might be serious about this though)

I saw some at Costco. I also saw a book about the history of Lego sets. I WANT THEM ALL.

5) A one-way ticket to Japan (this too would be great)

I look at exchange program pictures and I secretly weep inside. When will it be my turn?

6) An ergonomic leather swiveling office chair + a foot rest

What can I say? A college student needs proper back and foot support while cranking out a billion assignments and cramming for tests. Let me know you’re with me on this. #operationconvincemymomthatineedafootrest

7) A Snoopy tote bag

The original beagle rocks. If you’re not following Snoopy on Instagram, WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING ON INSTAGRAM? JK. It just helps to have adorable Instapics of Snoopy appear in your feed when you zombie into your 8am class and flop onto your seat.

8) More nail polish

I can’t do it anymore. I’m not consistent on my nail blog because my nails have been peeling and apparently I left more bottles at home than I thought. No brown, no orange, no green. Dammit, what was I thinking?

9) All the Target scarves… and leggings… and sweaters…

And you can just hand over the keys to me, Target. I’ll take it from there, thank you.

10) Student discount on everything (including plane tickets)

So that my collective savings will allow me to buy at least one of the above. Clever, right? Here’s a little story for you: a few weeks back, I saw online that AT&T offers student discounts for bills so I was like, YES MORE SAVINGS and dang why didn’t I see this earlier? I already paid my internet bill for this month!! So I tried to do the online thingy to get my student discount but somehow it wouldn’t work. I read the fine print on the page and it said go to your local AT&T store to get your discount. I went.

Listen, I’ve heard unpleasant stories about AT&T’s customer service and well, products in general so can you blame me for being wary about stepping into their store? Anyway, I went in and was promptly greeted by this guy at the door who was toting a tablet and wearing this tool belt around his waist. Whoa, did not know that I’d walked into Home Depot. He greeted me pleasantly enough and asked for my name. I gave it to him, thought he would be attending to me but then he told me to sit down and wait for the next available representative (I totally plucked that from those automated phone call thingys).

I sat down, looked around at the little island tables and suddenly saw my name on the screen above my head. Um… OK. Apparently they don’t do numbers. They put your name up on the board for everyone to see. That’s what everyone who wants to feel important likes, right?

Yeah, and then finally this guy came up to us and asked me what I was here to do. Um, get my student discount, of course. After some back and forth with the guy about the student discount on bills because he couldn’t seem to get my account right, I kind of guessed what the problem was and told him that I had an internet account with them. You know what happens next. He told us that the discounts are only for PHONE bills. Great.

I left. I was dissatisfied. I want my student discount on everythinggg.

Bonus: A butler to pay my rent, utility bills and take care of all that nitty gritty adult stuff. Oh, if he could take my midterms and finals for me too that would be awesome. Sebastian, I’m looking atchu.

In the meantime, I’m grateful for what I have now and hopefully tomorrow it will rain gold coins or something. Jk.

What’s on your mental totally-unnecessary window-shopping list?

Raine
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