First craft fair in the US

Hello friends! Last weekend we went to our very first craft fair since coming here last August. It was hot on both days that we went but it was so much fun. This craft fair is the same one our mom attended when she went to school here too!! Crazy, I know.

We didn’t end up buying anything since things were either too expensive or not really to our taste but we browsed a lot and ate a lot. I only have food pictures so bear with me.

Keeping up with the family tradition, I headed straight for the snow cone stall. Mom told us that during her time, her friend worked at the snow cone booth and he actually gave one to her. Unfortunately, the snow cone vendors are now outsiders so we had to pay for them haha.

The girl told me I could pick two flavors so obviously I picked pink lemonade and root beer (pink lemonade for me, root beer for my sister). And if you can’t tell, I chose the largest size. It was SO refreshing!! cfair-icecream

We walked around, looking at all the neat crafts, then decided we were hungry for an ice cream so the ice cream truck it was. We shared this banana split ice cream – banana flavored ice cream with bananas, strawberries, nuts, fudge and sprinkles. The whole works in one scoop! It was heavenly. I’m dreaming of the taste as I write this.cfair-garlicfries

Next, we had garlic fries. It was the most surprising thing I tried because I didn’t expect real garlic paste to be used. It was really good but there was too much garlic at the end and it got too ‘spicy’ for me. My sister finished it right up though so you know who loves a good bowl of garlic fries… ;Pcfair-cinnamonroll

On the second day we went, we walked around some more but mostly we were there to try more fair foods. So here’s our cinnamon roll which a friend said was the best thing ever. The frosting and nuts cost extra but we didn’t want those so we got a plain roll. If anything, I hate frosting on any kind of pastry (also don’t care for whipped cream).

So how did it taste…? It was okay, too sweet; definitely prefer my mom’s apple cinnamon bread more. It was also only after we bought it that I realized that it wasn’t an APPLE cinnamon roll. They only sold cinnamon rolls but excited me jumped to conclusions and thought there were apples inside. Would have been ten times better with apple though.cfair-hotdog1

I really wanted a hot dog. I told my sister this: I really want a hot dog. I’m going to get a hot dog. Can we get a hot dog? Hehe, sometimes I wonder who is older.

I got a chili cheese dog. It was salty. But it satisfied my hot dog craving. I haven’t had a hot dog in a long time. The last time I had a hot dog, it was last year at Costco and I barely remember eating that plain ol’ dog so that doesn’t count.

We actually wanted to try the tri-tip sandwich but the lines were long…cfair-icecream2

Don’t tell Mom but we ran back to the same ice cream truck to try and score more banana split ice cream. BUT! There was none. -cue emo Disney soundtrack- They changed up their flavors every few hours and banana split was obviously long gone so we tried two other flavors instead. One of them had Oreos and the other had toffee bits.

The Oreo-flavored one was better but not as yummy as the banana split one. T_T

And that about sums up our food adventure at the craft fair. Not pictured here is a tostada (not bad) and a bag of kettle corn (popcorn come to me). I know it doesn’t seem like we ate a lot since there was TONS of other food to try but we did our best (and also we didn’t want to spend too much).cfair-basilpasta

Then we came home on the second day and made our favorite tomato and basil chicken pasta. It’s obvious how much we love this pasta. Fairly easy and sooooo delicious.

We haven’t had that much sugar in a while so later that day we felt kind of sick haha. Oh well. We had lots of fun at our first craft fair! Looking forward to more. Another thing we scored over that weekend? A tan. Yeah, now we’re totally Californians, tanned and all.

Can you imagine what we’d be like at a food fair?! You’d better hang onto my wallet for me while I drool over ice cream.

How’s your week going? Have you been to a craft fair lately? Your favorite craft fair? Favorite fair foods?!


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.


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:


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.


More California things… I think

1. PINK everything. No, really, why is Victoria’s Secret Pink wear SO popular here? I swear everyone in school has at least ONE Pink article of clothing be it a Pink bedazzled hoodie or a pair of Pink-emblazoned yoga pants or Pink tank top. I guess people take their VS seriously. I just like their flip flops which went out of production.

vs pink2. Under Armour obsession. Same thing here. UA shirts, UA hoodies, UA bags, UA caps, UA everything. I don’t get it. Explanation please?

underarmour3. Giants everything. Okay, this I kind of get because even before I came here I found myself browsing the Giants merch pages. I’m not a big sports fan but I can appreciate the SF Giants. If people are not wearing Pink or Under Armour stuff, they’re probably wearing something Giants-related. Orange and black… always.

giantskeychain4. Sweatpants and hoodie combo. I’ve read about the typical American’s obsession with sweatpants and hoodies but um, I did not expect it to go this far. Girls show up to school in sweatpants… and it’s acceptable. I thought sweatpants were for lounging at home or going to the gym. Well, apparently sweatpants are the new jeans because people wear them everywhere. To Target, to eat, to school, to fill their gas, to the park, everywhere. Well, I’ll take the sweatpants+hoodie combo over non-existent shorts and cleavage-baring tops that are popular back home (you did not hear this from me). Brb ordering sweatpants.

I get it. I really do.

5. Non-winter. It’s December. It’s 70 degrees outside. It’s January. It’s still almost 70 degrees. It’s February. We’re back to 70 degrees. Um, what? I was right about not needing our Vancouver gear. It’s still hot and sunny in between sprinkles of rain, random cool drafts and occasional grey skies.


6. Bad drivers. They’re all over the world but they’re all of slightly different breeds. Back home, you have inconsiderate folks who pressure you when you try to park/back out of a parking space, folks who cut into the tiniest gap between you and the car in front of you, folks who shoot out of corners without checking oncoming traffic, douchebag level max, etc. Here: Californians speeding, Californians braking at the last second, Californians tailgating, impatience level max…

Wait, did I forget tailgating?

Side story: while I was test-driving a car on the freeway the other day, the guy told me I wasn’t going fast enough and that I could get a ticket for going too slow. K. HOW is going at 55mph slow? HOW? How??? 65mph is 105km/h. That’s crazy. The speed limit is 65mph. Read: limit. Why do I need to push 65mph?

7. Ranch and mayo. I will never understand covering your meals with excessive amounts of ranch or mayo. I used to think that I ate a lot of mayo.. Now I see how foolish and wrong I was. I eat at least only 1/8 of what people eat here. Just waaay too much dressing.

8-ways-to-ruin-a-healthy-salad1835075941-may-24-2012-600x3998. Sandals and socks combo. Are you seeing a pattern here? Yeah, I notice tons of fashion statements that are different from the ones back home. Apparently it’s totally COOL to wear socks with sandals like the Romans and Japanese. This is a fashion trend we are getting on! We just bought ugly sandals from Daiso to wear out with mismatched socks. Check these out:


Working it


These are the ones more commonly seen around campus. Adidas sandals and white/black socks.

Apparently they are also called slides here. I don’t know, I just call them slippers.

9. In-N-Out. Ah, here we have the number one pride of California. And you know what? I totally get it. I get why the lines – counter AND drive-thru – are so freaking long from the moment they open at 11am. The first time we went, we ordered 3 burgers and 2 fries. The fries, however, are skinny, soggy and quite unimpressive so that was a let-down. But we liked the cheeseburger so much that we went again the following day. The cheeseburger is tasty, Animal Style or not. We have agreed that In-N-Out is better than Five Guys.


Agree or disagree? Did I miss anything?


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.


Just California things


1. People who only brake when they are AT the traffic light. Why do people not brake until they’re at the corner or the light? Why don’t you slow down? And why do you tailgate?!?! This is new to me since the last time I was here. The driving seems to have gotten worse.

2. The word ‘processes’. Pro-cess-sees is how I’ve heard some pronounce it. I’m more used to hearing pro-cess-ses. And other strange pronunciations.


3. I cannot eat pizza here. To be honest I can’t really eat pizza back home either. I’m mildly lactose intolerant so certain dairy products (read: excessive amounts of cheese) set off angry alarms in my stomach. The pizzas here are way oilier and cheesier than the ones back home so you can only imagine what happens (not trying to be disgusting or anything). We got a whole pizza at Costco a few weeks ago and ate it for lunch and dinner. Then yeah, I got sick from it.

Obviously didn’t learn my lesson because we had pizza from Me & Ed’s two weeks ago and yeah, same thing happened. Did I learn my lesson? Nope. We bought a box of pizza from Trader Joe’s and made it yesterday. Ate it and woke up feeling terrible and yeah, I got sick from it. No more pizza for me unless I make my own. Why do they make pizzas so oily and cheesy?

‘Hello, I’d like to order a pizza, please hold the copious amount of cheese you’re about to dump unceremoniously onto my pizza, thanks’ is probably what I should say, right?


I could not resist, I’m sorry

4. Trader Joe’s is everything. Their pumpkin cheesecake is amazing. Their olive oil potato chips are super. Their sausages are delicious. Their bananas and juices and granola bars… seriously yummy. Their tikka masala reheatable dinner is questionable though so I wouldn’t recommend it.

5. Mid-October and it’s still hot as heck. While everyone is already swinging into fall, here we are, still bearing sunny 90 degree days. -melting- Okay, it’s gotten cooler and it’s time to break out the cardigans, yahoo!

how u doing joey tribiani6. ‘How are you’s. I still haven’t gotten into the habit of adding a ‘how are you’ to the end of my ‘hello’s. I’m trying. It’s so weird. If one day I manage to pull off a ‘how you doin” as smoothly as Joey, you’ll be the first to know. You’ll also be invited to my ‘how you doin” party.


7. All the grapes are belong to me. Yes, that’s a Weezer reference. Grapes everywhere but too bad they’re going out of season already. Goodbye grapes, hello apples.

8. American terms. Um, apparently serviettes don’t fly here. Neither do sockets and ports. Napkins do. Power outlets do. Jeez. But for a full list of pretty accurate words that I interchangeably/am forced to remember to use, see here. I have always used American spelling, grew up around more American stuff and have a good grasp of American terms but I do use a handful of British ones.

P.S: Which is it – bathroom roll, bathroom tissue, toilet roll, toilet paper or bath tissue? Trust me, this is a hard one. The hotel staff were like, what the hell you talking about?

Wow, amazing, I actually found some of my own pictures to use. Also, I realize that some of these things are not limited to California but I happen to be fond of the title.




I have a long overdue update of how things have been. Firstly, hello October! I’m seeing lots of excitement over the fact that it’s October.

While the excitement over pumpkin spice latte, October 3 which for some reason is of some importance because of Mean Girls (which I still don’t get why has to be a reference for almost everything) and Halloween everything are beyond us, we do appreciate beautiful fall foliage, cooler weather, and the pumpkin patch that we’ve seen in our neighborhood!!

Halloween is around the corner. We don’t celebrate it but it’s a big deal here, isn’t it? If you need us, we’ll just be here… hiding behind our computer screens LOL. We are wondering if any kids from the neighborhood will come around trick-or-treating. We’ll have to run out to Costco to get candy. Speaking of which, we just came home with a big box of chocolates. Because they were on sale and you know, because chocolate.

Anyway, on with the update:

1. I have a tan. I arrived all white and pasty after four months of winter in Vancouver. I’m approximately three shades darker. -crying in the corner- Even with copious amounts of sunblock and an umbrella, I still got tanned… Oh well. See, you don’t need to go to the beach to get a tan.

2. Girl power prevails. We’re miles away from home and we’ve had to do stuff that we’re not used to doing (read: have never done before).

We did okay, I think. I managed to get a decent phone plan for us, we managed to apply for internet and electricity service AND set up our own modem, I ordered a printer and set it up, we managed to ‘assemble’ our own furniture (okay, it was pre-assembled but we had to cut it out of the damned boxes because the tables were stuck inside), we’ve hauled stuff way heavier than ourselves, we’ve unscrewed bulbs and bought insect spray that we had to use on a cockroach (omg). That’s taken care of at home by our dad and in Vancouver, our brother. So this is all new to us.

Sometimes I am torn between thinking of myself as a princess who would much rather leave the ‘tough’ work and techy stuff to Dad and a do-it-yourself-and-depend-on-yourself kind of girl who takes interest in how Dad fixes the door. I guess that would make me a warrior princess? Just call me Xena. Lol jk. My mom has always told us that girls can do or be anything that guys can, sometimes even better (#badassmom/#ladybossadvice/#onlyfemalemanagerinherdepartment).

In short, you can do this, ladies. You are just as capable as a man. Except maybe for trying to lift a mattress by yourself lol.

3. I occasionally find myself thinking about the astronomy class that I took in my Vancouver uni. I still can’t believe that I finally took an astronomy class and what more the professor’s love and enthusiasm for the subject made it even better. I find nature incredibly fascinating and in part I have my mom to thank for this. We had quite a few books about things like volcanoes, wildlife and nature in general while growing up. Astronomy is one of those things I have marveled at since young and wanted to study even if it was only for the briefest four months in college. And I did it and I’m happy that I did.

I even learned about black holes which was something I have always been very fascinated about. I remember asking my dad how black holes worked (I think it was while we were watching some outer space show, maybe Star Trek) and he couldn’t really tell me. They seemed scary and interesting at the same time. Astronomy tidbit of the day: black holes are massive dead stars that collapse from the sheer weight and pressure exerted onto itself.

And one thing that I took away from the class is that astronomy is for everyone. Everyone can learn stuff about the universe from the internet or books or whatever. It’s not like chemistry where you have to memorize chemicals and stuff (ugh, why). I always thought that you had to be a super physics genius to get astronomy. Which is why I’m motivated to start reading up on astronomy stuff and subscribing to newsletters (if you know any, let me know). Did you guys read about the story of how the ‘Man in the Moon’ came about? The article came out a few days ago and apparently, the craters on the moon aren’t formed by asteroid impact but rather, a volcanic event. Very cool stuff indeed.

I am still upset that I didn’t get to go to at least one star viewing event but I know one day I will go (very Disney-like of me, I know… I’m thinking Rapunzel finding her new dream ahaha). And here’s what I also learned from astronomy which somehow isn’t ingrained into everyone’s well of common sense: there is so much more out there than meets the eye and you are just the teeniest tiniest most microscopic speck in the universe. The end. Infer for yourself.

4. My sister and I are taking an art history class this semester and the professor is HILARIOUS. He throws in the wittiest, driest, most accurate references all the time and we’re just rolling on the floor, laughing. Well, it’s more like trying not to burst out laughing so there’s more shaking and trembling in our chair than anything. The professor knows his stuff – seriously, he’s like the only person I’ve known so far who has endless general knowledge. I highly recommend his class and art history in general because it is such a fascinating subject.

5. The library is awesome. That is all. I am in love with Robert Crais’s Cole and Pike novels and was SO happy to see the whole collection in the library. I know I’ve said this many times before but Robert Crais is just a literary genius. I hope he has a book signing nearby so that we can go and tell him exactly that. Picking out The Watchman out of all the books on the thriller shelf two years ago… amazing. The appeal was mostly in Pike’s name though.

6. About the weather (because what’s a ‘lately’ post without weather updates?)… it was cool for a few days – like the 70s – and now the temperatures are soaring back up again (yay -_-). People showed up in full winter gear on the days when it was cool. That was amusing. It’s like they were just waiting to bust out the scarves, boots and heavy sweaters. Which would have been fine if it hadn’t gotten bleeding hot in the afternoon.

7. About food. We have a hangout spot that we love. We’ve been to a Korean BBQ twice and I personally rather like it. I know my mom loves it (hehe). We tried a Japanese place which is supposedly ‘the bomb’ and has lots of positive reviews on Yelp. Our verdict: a cramped and kinda gross place (and trust me, we’ve been to some pretty yucky places before) with a messy ordering system, no waiting area for takeout orders, abrupt and unsmiling staff, and dry, so-so food. We are on the hunt for better Japanese places.

We also tried a Chinese restaurant which had raving reviews on Yelp. Our verdict: nothing that special, nice interior but super salty food, and what the heck is General Tso’s chicken anyway? I’ve never even heard of it and we’re Asian. If you’re looking for authentic Chinese food and you see General Tso’s chicken on the menu, run. Chinese food tip of the day: chicken dim sum will never be as good as pork dim sum.

Cheesecake Factory was disappointing in terms of service and we discovered that we don’t fancy key lime cheesecake. Oh well, at least the pasta was good. We’ve also just recently discovered a Thai restaurant that’s cheaper and WAY tastier than the one we went to twice. The lady is also much friendlier. Score.

On the home kitchen front, we’ve been cooking like nobody’s business. The oven has been put to good use and I hope we get to roast turkey for Thanksgiving this year. The cooking is fun but the cleaning is another story. Who likes washing the dishes anyway?! Or scrubbing that damned pan with the burnt sides?? Please send kitchen help lol.

8. Oh, you know what we’re excited about for the fall? Fall anime. Ahaha, you totally saw this one coming, didn’t you? Well, we’ve got a lineup of shows to watch and we’ve already kicked one off the list. Hopefully I’ll have time to write some brief reviews of the summer anime we watched.

9. In other random pieces of Spud news: we have a cat (if you didn’t read about that); I am on Instagram (it’s getting lonely there, having only one follower); we are in LOVE with Antique Bakery – it is an excellent show with an opening theme we have been playing on repeat and I love the originality of the idea behind the story; checking the mailbox and seeing the parcels I ordered is always a highlight of the day especially when it’s all wrapped up nicely; we are thinking of getting some fall decor for our place (maybe a cute wreath) but have no idea where to look; and we are also thinking of getting plants since we have a little patio outside but we’re not exactly green thumbs so we don’t know what plants to get. Suggestions?

Pretty sure there are tons of other stuff that happened; they are just eluding me at the moment.

What have you been up to lately? Any plans for October?

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