Thoughts on blogging

I have a shout-out in this post today. This shout-out goes to Britt who has been a blog friend of ours since I started my nail blog and since we restarted this blog. I’m sad that she’s chosen to quit blogging (I’m sad because she’s all kinds of kind and wonderful) but I’m also hopeful that she’ll be back better than ever really soon. I wish her well and look forward to hearing about all her new adventures. Of course, I’ll be keeping up with her on Instagram and Twitter.

My post today is also a bit related to this. After reading Britt’s post and feeling upset as if a friend were moving to another country, I began to think long and hard about blogging.

There have been multiple times when I just thought to myself, alright you’re not going to ‘make it’ in the bloggerverse because you have no niche and no interesting pictures and are not on all the social media and don’t sponsor other bloggers and don’t have ‘interesting enough/helpful tips’ posts and you’re subconsciously trying to please these people in your posts so maybe it’s time to retire from the blogging scene again.

I tell myself that I don’t blog to please people but it’s not unnatural to want to draw readers and somehow fall off your intended path and instead start writing for the audience instead. Stupid, I know. But it happens. And every time it does, I get annoyed/mad and have to remind myself that this blog was not built on the foundation of catering to people’s tastes. Right now, I’m blogging for myself and it’s nice. I don’t check my stats, I don’t dive for the comment box, I don’t read a bunch of other people’s posts and wonder if I should write like that.

At some point, I also used to join linkups and while I found one or two blogs that I really liked (incidentally I found Britt through a linkup!), it took up too much time and not many people actually stick around after the linkup ends. There are actually more people who will come over to your blog, say ‘great post’ without reading your post, and drop their link, expecting you to go over and follow them. Okay, this might be old school of me but I appreciate sincerity and loyalty over gaining a bunch of followers (probably to get better stats/ratings which in turn lead to bigger monetary opportunities, I suppose).

I’ve seen writing tips that say ‘write for yourself’ and other tips that say ‘write for your audience’. Sorry, if I write for ‘the audience’ but hate what I’m writing, I don’t see the point. That’s just me. I say side with whichever view fits you best.

Yeah, but I feel like blogging has become weird. It used to be people writing about their lives without trying to sell stuff or dish out ‘tips on how to blog’ or generally be pushy/unnatural/desperate/unrealistic.

I used to really enjoy reading this one blog because of the blogger’s writing style and content but it has since become very, uh, strange. I used to be able to connect to that blogger because of the warmth and realness in the posts. Now I’m like, there’s just a bunch of how-tos and I don’t even know what this blog is about… Maybe I shouldn’t call it a blog? Hmm, maybe it has become a website. I see this happening a lot now too – blogs trying to push to become ‘bigger’ things? It no longer feels ‘friendly’, you know? Like I’m talking to a receptionist at some corporate company instead of chatting with a friend. I kind of feel sad to drop them from my feed but at the same time, I don’t connect with them on that level anymore.

And aren’t ‘tips for blogging’ just a way for someone to get more followers? I mean, I get that the internet is booming and you’re just a tiny little speck in the sea of other specks so you should find ways to stand out but can’t you keep doing you and eventually people who will enjoy your stuff will find you and become a reader (as opposed to merely a follower)? Is that idealistic of me to think that way? Most ‘tips’ or ‘guides’ or ‘lifehacks’ (is that what they call tips nowadays?) are unhelpful anyway. Do this, do that, get on this site, get on that site, spend on this, spend on that, write like this, write like that… Okay, we get it, force yourself into a niche, become a cookie cutter, conform, fit into this mold, rinse and repeat the other stuff people say.

I feel that some parts of blogging are kind of like high school with tons of little cliques and ridiculous expectations. If you don’t fit into a specific box, well, you’d better leave the party because you’re not one of them and you’re not going to fit in. If you don’t have anything in common, if you don’t write like them, if you don’t write about similar things, if you’re not on every single social media, things like that, you know?

And things like dictating whether someone is ‘big’ in the blog world? That just reminds me of how everyone envied and loved the ‘cool kids’ at high school. Eff that. The ‘cool kids” heads just got bloated from all that ‘fame’ while other ‘ordinary kids’ felt plain and inadequate. And what happened to the ‘loser kids’? They were possibly kicked further down the ‘low self-esteem’ drain. That sucks. That effing sucks. Society’s standards are pretty crappy, if you ask me.

Let’s also talk about pictures. I believe I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: I don’t care what your pictures look like, whether they are 5000×4000 super high-res Blu-ray-worthy pictures from your Canon7D or blurry and grainy pictures from your chipped 2001 Nokia cellphone that has no emojis. A picture isn’t by any means a way of deciding whether or not your post is worthy of my reading time. I will read your crappy-picture-filled post and like it if you are warm and engaging.

Unfortunately, nowadays blogs are also dictated by the quality of your pictures. Ugh, superficiality. Just ugh. Blog peer pressure is REAL. What I said about high school, right? I was also guilty of trying to get blog-worthy pictures at some point and trying to post one picture per post. Ain’t nobody got time for that though. Sure, pictures break the text up and look nice but not every post needs a picture.

Not just the quality of your pictures but also the frequency of your posts. Miss a week or (GASP) a month of blogging/keeping up on social media and you become almost unknown again. I know this isn’t always necessarily true and some people are always there to welcome you back but readership/commenting dropping to zero happens. It happens and it sucks and you wonder what you did wrong and whether you should have kept people updated in some way. But you know what? It’s your life and you can choose to blog whenever you want. If readers don’t want to stick around, well, whatever.

To sum things up, ‘little’ blogs don’t have to try to become ‘big’ blogs. Blogs are just blogs. Say what you wanna say. Be who you wanna be (easier said than done but still worth steering yourself in that direction). At the end of the day, there are people who will like or are able to relate to what you write and that’s good enough. I don’t think ‘making it’ should even be a priority when it comes to blogging.

And with most things, there are bad sides and then there are good sides. There are still plenty of wonderful people out there who make blogging enjoyable and worth it and there are still amazing blogs out there. Sometimes I find bloggers who are funny and engaging and down-to-earth and have posts that make you feel ‘damn, I wish I wrote that’ or ‘I can relate to that, let’s be friends already’. And they are part of the reason why I still enjoy blogging.

So you know what? Don’t feel like a ‘loser’ in blogging and don’t succumb to the peer pressure. ^_^ Nobody should decide whether your blog is worthy or not. Sometimes you may feel like crap about your blog but at the end of the day, know that your blog doesn’t define you, you’re being yourself, and that’s all kinds of awesome.

This is just my opinion (you know, in case people read this, get upset about how I’m ‘trying to bash big bloggers’ (which I’m not) or ‘going off on a nonsensical rant’, and take my words out of context which is what happens unnecessarily often nowadays).

P.S: My sister says that she read that Trader Joe’s doesn’t use social media. Ya hear that?

Raine
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College student edition: what you should always have in your kitchen

Hello. Today I bring you yet another college student edition post.

I have compiled a little list of handy foods to have in your kitchen – assuming you have a kitchen in your dorm or apartment – because one too many times, I’ve opened the fridge and cabinets and said, ‘I don’t know what to make for dinner’ or ‘I’m lazy to cook’ especially during those weeks with 4 midterms (yay).

1. Kimchi. If you’re not on the kimchi wagon, get on it because it is the most convenient thing to have in your fridge. No vegetables? No problem because kimchi is here to save your butt. Best part? It lasts long. After a few weeks, it probably tastes a bit sour but we just add honey and it’s fine. We have a huge glass bottle of kimchi – there are a few types but we prefer the Napa cabbage version – and it’s a great thing to have when we run out of vegetables for the week and can’t be bothered to go grocery-shopping.

2. Shrimps. We buy a bag of cooked, tail-off shrimps from Costco and shove it into our fridge. It’s within reach every time we forget to thaw meat. I just shake out a bowl of shrimps, rinse it under cold water, drain and leave it for a few minutes before cooking. Two weeks ago, I put a dollop of butter and a handful of shrimps on the pan for a few minutes until they were nice and sizzling then I threw them into a salad. So good.

3. Eggs. Between the two of us, we usually have the 24-egg carton from Costco. Eggs, as I learned from my nutrition class, are good for a little over a month even though the expiry date says 3 weeks or whatever. 24 may seem overwhelming for 2 people but we actually make good use of them. Easiest way to cook eggs: fry them or boil them.

4. Instant ramen. We have a crate of Shin Ramyun for days when we’re like meh. We restocked last weekend when we were down to 3 packets. I love Shin Ramyun but I wish they sold Nissin in Spicy here. The chicken and beef flavored Nissin don’t taste good. The other day instead of cooking the noodles in a pot, I did it the lazy man’s way. Ever done instant noodles the lazy man’s way? Or should I call it the lazy college student’s way? Try it. It’s rewarding and requires absolute minimum washing.

5. Carrots. The first time I put a 2lb bag of carrots into the cart, I wondered, how the heck are you going to finish that? But I did! I throw it into almost everything. Mostly I stir fry or roast them. You can honestly do so much with carrots and they can last at least two weeks. We don’t like them raw but you could totally eat them that way.

6. Celery. My sister and I were laughing the other day when we put celery into our cart. I didn’t think we’d voluntarily buy celery without Mom trying to persuade us to eat it, my sister said. So true. For the longest time, I hated celery. The smell and taste were just bleurgh. But my mom’s tricks won me over – she diced the celery real small and threw them into stuff she cooked aka ninja baby food celery. I was tricked a few times but eventually I learned to eat them and now I quite enjoy them.

But yeah, like with carrots, celery is handy to have in the fridge since they last at least a week. And you can keep it in your fridge for snacks. I know people who like to eat their celery with peanut butter.

~

Wow, if I look at my list again, I realize that most of it is veggie. But if you put all these foods together (except for the instant noodles), you can actually make a full-blown meal. Convenient? I think so.

Of course you could say ‘uh, why not just throw that microwaveable mac and cheese into the microwave and bam, dinner!‘. Well, 1. we don’t have a microwave (which is surprising because we had a microwave while growing up and we thought we’d get one here too but that’s a story for another day), 2. we’re not too crazy about microwave dinners, and 3. there’s something satisfying about making your own meal even if it’s just boiling water for noodles and emptying little seasoning packets into a bowl.

That’s about all the food I can think of right now.

What else would you add to this list?

My first college student edition post is here.

Raine
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On this and that

Hello. My mind’s been on a few things and I thought I’d spill them onto here.

On anger:

After reading this interview article, a certain part of it hasn’t quite left my mind. It goes along the lines of: people often think that there are only two ways to handle anger – one, express it, and two, suppress it. But there’s something else you can do with anger: understand it.

Isn’t that interesting? You hear things about letting your anger out by punching a pillow or screaming from the top of a mountain but does that really help? Is the anger gone afterwards? Does the anger leave with every punch or scream you make?

When I think back on the things I used to do to express my anger, I realize that it was just a temporary way to relieve my emotions. In the long run, the anger remaining would collect and eventually explode. It’s just ugly and unhealthy, the way it would collect and explode.

I’ve been trying to understand anger. It’s not easy to remember to try to understand anger but the few times that I have, it has been good for me. I realize that if I stop myself from getting angry and try to understand where the other person’s anger is coming from or why I’m angry at something, I tend to realize that it wasn’t worth getting angry at in the first place.

It’s a work in the progress so I’m still prone to letting my emotions get to me but the contents of that article have helped me see anger in a different light.

On change:

I watched a Q&A video with Thich Nhat Hanh (who as you may remember from a previous post is a Buddhist monk) and this video provoked many new and deep thoughts that I hadn’t considered before.

I realized that what he said is true. Perhaps to change someone, we must first recognize the other person in ourselves and change the things we wanted to change in the other person. Is that confusing? We must recognize that we have parts of other people in us. Everyone who has entered our life surely must have touched our life in some way (whether good or bad) and we can’t just pretend it didn’t happen and we can’t erase their existence from our life.

I’m still reading The Art of Communicating. The simplicity of Thich Nhat Hanh’s word usage is what I love about this book besides the simple yet moving messages behind each passage. Everything is just laid out for you to read and absorb.

On spring break:

That one week flew by just like that. While everyone was in New York or the beach or wherever, we were at home, relaxing. We didn’t go out much except to TJ Maxx to browse the handbag and decor aisles. On Friday, the semi-official start of spring break, we were too tired from sitting for a few midterms so we came home and didn’t do much apart from watching a few Chemistry videos and episodes of Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu.

On Saturday, we celebrated the end of midterms and the start of spring break with lunch at our favorite Thai place. Of course, we planned ahead and ordered enough so that we would have dinner (and dinner the next day lol). On Sunday, we had dim sum with a friend and that was all the outside food we had for the rest of spring break.

Which leads me to my next subheading…

But before that, I forgot that we did a few other things worthy of a mention. We finally washed our car. It’s not dirt-or-dust-coated anymore, hooray. After weeks of procrastination, we got it done in 30 minutes on a Sunday morning. We also did some spring cleaning so now stuff is kinda clean.

On kitchen adventures:

Over spring break, we made cream puffs and custard filling, shepherd’s pie, our favorite tomato and basil pasta (absolutely delicious as our professor often says about the food he’s talking about), stir-fried noodles with minced pork (so good that we had it twice), baked potatoes, German potato salad, croissants stuffed with rotisserie chicken and guacamole, and roasted basil chicken. This may not seem like a lot (or maybe it does) but that’s mostly because there are only two of us so each dish takes us at least two meals to finish.

We cooked all that except for the croissants & rotisserie chicken which were from Costco because sometimes we need a break too. Our cream puffs were amaziiing and even though it took us a long time to get everything done (it was our first attempt), it was worth it! Most of the recipes are from my mom who is our master chef mentor haha.

I have never cooked so much in my life and clearly, neither has my sister. It’s crazy. The kitchen is where the fun is at though.

Side note: I discovered that German potato salad is warm which is the way I’ve always liked it. Cold potato salad is also yummy but the warm one is my favorite because it tastes good warm OR cold.

Here, have a picture:

springbreakmeals

On more Chemistry:

Our song list has grown to 60 songs. It has been roughly 2 months since our ‘official’ obsession with them.

Here, have a video:

On writing:

A first draft of a novel has been completed. This. is. bizarre. How did I do it?! I feel like there should be a bunch of exclamation marks here but I’m somehow feeling oddly controlled about this.

No coffee was consumed before, during, or after this writing process. I always hear about coffee fueling people but uh, coffee doesn’t even cross my mind haha.

On online friendships:

My sister and I were reminiscing long and hard the other day about our Maple Story days. We had more online friends than I can count and it was brilliant while it lasted. People were so warm and welcoming and honest back then. I was 13 when I started playing and almost 15 when I stopped. Most of the people who played at that time were around my age too so it was really fun.

The 1.5 years of Maple Story resulted in lots of memories, both good and bad. We made friends and ‘families’, laughed with them, fought with them, trained with them. Sometimes I wonder what happened to all those friends and sometimes I wish I had saved some of those friendships. Sometimes I just feel a pang of longing for people I could have been good friends with. Sometimes you just know, you know.

You have been playing Maple Story for 12 hours. We suggest you take a break. so the sign would pop up in our chat box at the end of the day.

NOOOOOOOOOO, is what we would say.

We are also half-ashamed and half-amused to admit that we were, indeed, addicted to it and it was right for our mom to put an end to our addiction. But oh what glorious days those were.

On studying/living abroad:

‘Going on holiday, eh?’ the people back home ask.

I don’t think they know how far off they are. This is not a vacation to us by any means. Maybe it is to the kids whose parents fling cash at them and tell them to do whatever with it. Buy a sports car, buy booze, buy a house, buy the whole town, go on. I know a good number of kids like that.

I don’t know what goes on in those people’s lives but to me, in these 8-9 months that I’ve been here, I’ve learned much more than I would ever have if I had studied back home. This experience is rich. It has taught me so much about myself – my life, identity, perceptions, impressions, mentality, culture – and the world as a whole.

If you had asked me early last year whether I could see myself driving to school, making my own three meals a day, doing weekend grocery-shopping, doing a bazillion chores, paying my own bills (what) and fighting bugs, I would have laughed in your face and told you flat out, NO. In that sense, I guess I’ve been spoiled by my parents a bit? Haha.

But words will never be enough for me to describe how grateful I am for my parents for giving me and my sister this opportunity to study abroad. Contrary to what people wrongly assume, our parents work hard to put us in college so everyone who accuses people who study abroad of being loaded needs to shut up and sit down. Don’t lump everyone into one category based on only the other rich and spoiled kids you see.

On white vinegar:

If you missed it, we had to battle a cockroach this week and it was terrifying. Thank goodness for Victoria who answered my sister’s tweet and told us to spray white vinegar onto it. There was a lot of screaming, scrambling, and spraying. It took us 2 hours to get rid of the cockroach. Lots of vinegar and bug spray was used.

Who knew that white vinegar would come in handy?! Not me when I bought it. I originally bought a bottle of white vinegar to make a delicious chili marinade but couldn’t figure out what to do with the rest so I Googled the uses. Apparently there are 100+ uses for vinegar and I’ve since tested out some of them.

I dumped a load of white vinegar into the washing machine that day. It also helped get rid of the kitchen grease on the stove top which was a pleasant surprise because I tried using Method but it only worked to a certain extent. The other things I did with the white vinegar were clean out empty jars and rinse the sink. I need to do that with the kitchen sink soon.

If you know of any other great white vinegar tips, let us know!

On other types of ignorant and annoying people:

My sister overheard someone trying to persuade another girl to travel with friends within the US for summer.

The girl said: I don’t feel like it. Traveling is quite tiring and my dad won’t allow it.

The persuader said: But it’s FUN! You should go. Here, let me look up plane tickets for you. Look, it’s only $600 to New York. You should go. It’s really fun. -promptly starts planning out an entire itinerary for the girl-

Answers like ‘traveling is tiring’ are generally NOT accepted by the locals I know (aka ahem, from where we come from). Relatives and friends will judge you based on how much money you spend. Douche move? I think so too. But that’s the way it is back home. Peer pressure is real shit back home and no words will allow me to describe how annoying and incredibly stupid it is.

The problem does not lie in spending money on vacations because who doesn’t like traveling to places? The problem lies in these people traveling to show off/flaunt their money and judging other people who don’t do the same.

Someone’s got a Michael Kors bag? Okay, you HAVE to have one or at least a similar upscale designer bag because if you don’t, you will be disqualified from their friend list. I mean, come on, you’re not IN enough!! How can one be seen with someone carrying a $10 bag when the other person is carrying a real leather tote handmade in Italy that cost at least 100 times of that?! -note sarcasm-

Someone is paying $25 for an English breakfast which isn’t even good but is famous because of the unique decor? Someone is eating at a Mexican restaurant that serves nachos for $40 and you haven’t been? You HAVE to go because if you don’t, face disqualification and/or harsh judgment.

Someone went on a full two-week Europe tour? You HAVE to go on a similar vacation because if you don’t, prepare to face potential gossip about how you’re poor.  Like, omg you can’t afford to travel, ewww. Or, eww someone who doesn’t want to go to New York or Paris? So boring. People are judgmental, yes they are.

Does going on vacations measure my worth? No, it doesn’t, so people need to shut up and stop with their stupid peer pressure.

All I can say is, live within your means. If you can afford it, go for it. If you can afford but don’t want to do/buy/eat something or go somewhere, then don’t. If you can’t afford it, that’s absolutely fine too and you shouldn’t be made to feel bad about not being able to.

And that’s it, folks. Apparently I had a lot to say. Have a lovely little Monday.

Raine
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College student edition: renting textbooks

It’s that time again to plan for classes and it’s giving me a pre-new-semester headache. Nothing new there. What’s new is that I’ve discovered that renting textbooks lessens the post-new-semester headache.

This semester I looked up a textbook and nearly flipped. A new copy was going for more than $150 online (and even more in the school bookstore)!! I looked up a rental textbook on Campus Book Rentals instead and what do you know, it was going for half-price! The professor ended up saying that the textbook isn’t mandatory for this class so I didn’t have to get one but if I’d needed one, I would have rented it for sure.

Renting is definitely a great option if you don’t have anyone who will sell it to you for a better price or lend it to you for a semester. The process is also easy since all you have to do is look up your textbook, create an account, and rent the textbook. If you can get a textbook at 40%-90% less of its original price, why not? And if you decide that you don’t need the textbook or if you dropped the class, you can make use of the 21 day guarantee period to return the textbook.

I used to be worried about the shipping but shipping is free both ways which means all you have to do is slide the book back into the box it came in, stick the label on, and drop it off at the post office. Extending the rental period is a good way to hang onto a textbook longer if it’s still needed.

Another interesting thing about renting textbooks is being able to write and highlight in it. I used to highlight in my high school textbooks because it’s a good way to pick out important information if you don’t really want to make notes. Or maybe that’s just me? Haha.

Campus Book Rentals also donates to Operation Smile every time you rent a book so each time you rent a textbook, you’re also helping to make a difference.

Do you rent your textbooks? Isn’t it crazy how expensive textbooks can get?

Raine
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March off into April

Obviously my puns are not as great as my sister’s but I still try.

aprilflowers

I had a post written halfway but that would have taken me a while to write so I’ll just leave this picture here.

Spring is beautiful. But it’s also hot.

That’s all for today.

Raine
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A peek into Tuesday

1. We left for school early which came as a surprise because lately we’ve been spending our mornings karaoke-ing to Chemistry before leaving for school so we usually end up 5-10 minutes late.

Excuse for arriving late: sorry, I had to wait for Almost in Love to end.

Actually this morning we were listening to You Go Your Way which is obviously too amazing to stop midway.

We arrived early and scored the second parking spot of the row!! That’s a first! Slid right in like hot butter and got out.

Walked to our first class.

2. 50 minutes of utter boredom later, I was rushing to my next class for a test. I power-walked to my class like I always do and today I tried waiting for the elevator which is impossibly slow but I checked my watch and decided it would be faster to take the stairs.

I climbed up 3 flights of stairs and marched to my class. Before I stepped into class, I could already see that most of the seats were filled up. Ugh.

I walked in and my professor – who is the most patient lady ever – immediately called out to me and asked me to take a seat in front since there were no more seats.

Um, sitting at the very front of the class at an odd table facing the class is one of my favorite things ever (if the class is decent). While everyone had their little desk-chair-thingys, I had a long rectangular table to myself (and later some other guy).

It was only after I sat down that I realized what was strange.

My professor, whose office hours I’ve been going to quite regularly to get help on homework for, called me by my given name.

No kidding.

She called my name so casually that it just floated over my head. But it’s WEIRD because nobody has ever called me by my given name so casually or smoothly. She’s also somehow even gathered that the second part of my first name is NOT my middle name.

Amazing. It’s a pleasant surprise. Isn’t it nice when someone bothers to call you by your name without giving crappy excuses?

The test wasn’t bad but with any kind of mathematical tests, I usually always doubt my answers after I’m done.

3. Because of the test, I came out way earlier than expected and had to wait for my sister. I wondered what to do for the time being. I walked into two buildings to look for a table where I could study but none.

I ended up sitting down at a table at another building but I barely sat for 3 minutes before deciding to head over to the chemistry stockroom to check if they had any lab coats.

4. A leisurely stroll in the windy weather later, I found myself in front of the stockroom which had an ugly blue handwritten sign saying OUT FOR LUNCH, BE BACK AT xPM.

Great.

I didn’t want to wait for a whole hour so I walked away. Where to go now? I wound up at a little shady corner by a classroom where I had a class last semester.

5. I put my bag down and played a few rounds of Sudoku while a lovely breeze drifted past continuously. When I was tired, I looked up and something caught my eye.

It was a squirrel in a leafless tree.

I watched the squirrel mess around and dangle from the branches for a few minutes and then I thought to myself, nature is so beautiful.

And almost cried. Seriously. What is up with me? Lately I’ve been finding joy in all the nature around me and it makes me emotional, I don’t know why.

6. My sister’s class ended so we headed home… And on the way back, I said, uh there’s nothing for lunch -____-

I’ve been a slob lately. I haven’t been on top of this week’s menu and it’s only Tuesday. Which means there’s still time to commandeer the ship to smoother waters haha.

Seriously though, we’ve had Korean instant noodles for lunch for the past two days.

We wanted to get Chinese takeout but in the end drove past Burger King and saw that they had a 2 for $5 deal for their fish burgers. I don’t know about you but fish burgers are tasty.

McDonald’s here is different – too much bacon and ranch in everything. Burger King has been our go-to of late (and we rarely even have fast food these days) but not so much since we found out that they took the Mushroom Swiss burger off their menu.

What is wrong with you, Burger King? That mushroom burger was the whole reason we even started going to BK.

Anyway, the Spicy Big Fish that we had wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t spicy but it was decent.

7. It’s been a mellow day of discovering more Chemistry songs that we like. In 1 month, we’ve accumulated at least 50 new songs.

I’ve said this once but I’ll say it again: if Chemistry gets back together, we are so going to their concert.

Here, have some pictures in the middle of a post:

birdofparadise1 The bird-of-paradise that my sister mentioned in her post. flowers1

Vibrant flowers on campus that I adore looking at.squirrel1

‘This angle is better.’ The chipmunk said when I aimed my camera at him.

I can’t believe he/she stood so still for me to get a picture. Little fella, you’re awesome.bk1

Said fish burger.

Other things that have been on my mind:

1. I’m reading Gangsta. the manga. I don’t know where to put all these emotions and inspirations I’m getting from it. The two main characters are endlessly fascinating and the girl too.

It makes me think about humans and relationships and the complexity of both. Come to think of it, 99% of the manga I’ve read are brilliant. They are well-written as much as they are thought-provoking.

2. My friend recently submitted some of her poetry to a site and it’s gotten quite a bit of positive feedback. I’m happy for her. At the same time, I started to beat myself up over my lack of courage all these years to share my work with others.

I’ve been writing since I was 7 but I haven’t published anything that I’ve written. ‘You’re crap’ is what I think to myself when I think about sharing my writing. ‘You’re not good enough.’

I know I’ve read things about writers often experiencing this ‘your writing is not good enough’ thing but I think it’s a bit more than that for me because I also suffer from poor self-esteem.

Yay me. It’s a shitty feeling.

3. Then I confessed my crappy feelings to my sister who obviously is my sister for a reason. AND SHE KNEW THAT I WAS FEELING DOWN.

No wonder she kept asking me: why? what are you doing? why so quiet?

And I kept telling her nothing.

And in the end when I told her, she was like, I knew it. I knew something was off about you.

But yeah. Long story short, she gave me the dose of self-esteem I needed back after all those feelings. We had a long and deep conversation about feelings.

And at the end of the conversation, she said: Remember, I’m your number one fan fo-evar.

Dammit. I’m going to cry in the bathroom now.

But first, a bonus,

Bonus: my mom sent me an IM saying: hello lil me. And I was like, why? My mom said: because you look like me and cook like me. If that is not the best compliment I’ve gotten so far, I don’t know what is.

My mom is my hero. And I hope that I’m hers too.

Happy Tuesday… Or Hump Day since it’s already almost Wednesday. Keep doing you, whoever you are.

Raine
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Happy National Puppy Day!

puppy1-1

Today is National Puppy Day. Here is to the most beautiful, most intelligent, most wonderful pup (he’s 6 but it never seems that way with the dogs we love, don’t you think?). You have our hearts.

And to all the other amazing dogs out there, you brighten someone’s day and stay adorable.

Raine
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It takes two, you and me

Besides some soul-searching, I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to Chemistry. My sister and I just kick back at the end of the day and watch a full Chemistry concert. It’s been a full month and we’re still discovering songs that we like by them.

Our Shawty play count has gone off the charts. We’ve definitely gone past 500 plays. I would like to say that we’ve reached 1000 plays… but maybe not?

Here are some other songs that I love (and hope that you’ll love too *wink wink nudge nudge*):


Almost in Love. The lyrics of this song are beautiful and so freaking romantic. I’m a sucker for love songs, duh.


Pieces of a Dream. Our new favorite. We know almost all the words and it’s only been a few days. Initially we were fumbling over the words and saying we couldn’t get the tune but now we got it like the back of our hand. B)


You Go Your Way. FAVORITE. Never mind, all these songs are wonderful. This is a short version but I definitely prefer the longer one because the ending is perfect.


You Go Your Way (Live). Ignore Kaname’s somehow-very-Magic-Mike-like outfit and you’ll be fine. LOL, my sister is laughing at this, I know it.


It Takes Two. Yes, please, I like this a lot.

Need more Chemistry in your life? Send a nudge, I’ll point you to all our favorite Chemistry songs.

Raine
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