Something good

This week, I have had several moments. Some bad, some very bad, and some good. When I say very bad, I mean, having at least three moments while walking across campus, feeling extremely exhausted and defeated to the point of wanting to just stop and collapse to the floor. I literally thought, what’s the point of going any further? And wanted to just sink onto the ground and not move. The waterworks might also have turned on in the library twice this week but nobody can confirm that, can they?

I don’t want to talk about the ‘very bad’ today though. I actually want to talk about the bad which turned out to be good in some ways.

I had a phone interview this week for something I applied for (not a job) and it was my first ever phone interview, I believe. And I was calm about the whole thing until the person called. Then I was a word-spluttering tornado who sounded really disorganized even though I had a lot of important stuff to say. The point is, I likely totally bombed that interview. Which sucks, because it would have been nice to not have done that but what’s done is done.

But what I realized after the phone call and in the midst of trying not to replay the conversation over and over in my head to scrutinize (duh) is that I really enjoy talking about what I was interviewed on and I am passionate about that interest. And that solidified yet another layer in my ‘I want to be a teacher’ block.

I want to teach. I want to spread the word, shed light on important things that people should care about, share my knowledge, interact with others, discuss ideas and action plans, help them, help myself.

I spent the next morning in class, coming up with lesson plans on how to teach kids about my topic of interest. And I was shocked at myself because I always told myself that I won’t make a good school teacher. And well, okay, maybe I started decorating my dream office with cool stuff in my head.

This experience has taken me one step closer to realizing my true career goal which is to be a teacher. For that, I’m happy. Maybe I won’t become a conventional school teacher. I just know I want to teach in some way.

Also, I realized that I’m a horrible public speaker. But I try and that’s what matters.

Raine
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Long weekends with the SpudBuds

I believe this was our first long weekend since the semester began. You have no idea how thankful both of us are. Talking to people has made me realize that weekends go quick for a lot of people too. That means: Yay, we’re not alone! Responses I got after I asked some friends if they were looking forward to the weekends:

“It’s like I come home, go to sleep and it’s Monday.”

Agreed!

“I don’t think it’ll be long enough.”

How about we protest for a 365-day weekend?

“I think… it’ll be over soon…”

Depressing but 100% true!

Whatever it is, we’ve been winning this weekend! It has been eventful, surprisingly. We went to a basketball game, cheered on our favorite players, and made delicious Hainanese chicken rice in 30 minutes for dinner! We also returned a bunch of clothes we bought, quickly realizing that false advertising is everywhere and that we need a fashion designer in this house ASAP.

We made cranberry salsa to eat with the best damn low-salt potato chips. Finally we were able to replicate the one that Baja used to have ages ago. It was amazing and we need to buy more fresh cranberries to make more!! We also made garlic bread and tomato soup. We realized how we had been doing our soup wrong – red onions instead of sweet white onions. Who cares! The red onions were cheap! screams the broke college student in me.

We cleaned the bathroom – a very strenuous activity that makes me wish technology could do something about this. But I think the most rewarding part was feeling like you have done something important over the weekend. And hey, everything looks nice too! The other part that is my favorite is getting to laze around for the next one and a half days in my sweatpants.

Did I mention that we made no bake PB&J granola bars and banana bread in about an hour early in the morning? Talk about efficiency! Finally getting to open a jar of creamy peanut butter was the most satisfying thing on Earth.

We proceeded to make okonomiyaki and mastered it! Eureka, the shape finally holds up! So delicious too! Shake on some green onions, shrimp furikake and katsuobushi, all done to the beat of GOT7 songs we’ve been repeating for the past few weeks, and life is perfect.

Now that we’re done with the fairytale part of our weekend, the part with lots of reality and adult life consisted of completing a bunch of homework, printing out stuff, checking stuff on checklists, worrying about vacuuming the floor, receiving a steady flow of annoying text messages, and pondering over life matters deeply.

Hope you had an awesome weekend, too!

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Good afternoon, February

I realize that it’s been two full months since I’ve blogged here. My ‘I’m busy and uninspired’ excuse is pretty stale but it’s the only one I have. But whatevs because I found these golden videos and I need to share.

My Home – GOT7 is pretty much the best discovery of last week. And this 360 degree video?? It blew my mind! I can spin the screen and look at ALL my lovelies?! Technology is so winning right now. Important observations: JB being all cool (swoon), JinYoung handsome-ing all day every day, YoungJae dancing/floating in his oversized sweater, Mark singing the bridge, Jackson being Jackson, and the maknaes being maknaes.

And in case you’re like me and can’t get enough of JinYoung being hyper and dancing on the road, this video is for you.

Other GOT7 songs that were previously not on our playlist but are now: Feels Good, She’s a Monster, Dreamin’, Mayday, Hey.

You Were Beautiful – Day6

JYP is really killing it at bringing good, new voices onto the music scene. We were video-surfing the other day and came across this video. This is not your typical Kpop group, by the way. These guys can sing AND play instruments. I definitely want to see more of them this year.

And in other news, my sister is loving TaeYang more than I expected. LOL.

That’s all I have. See you when I run out of excuses not to blog here.

Raine
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An ambitious friend

I was asking a friend how her violin lessons were going and she said that she learned how to play Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. She said that she surfs websites like http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ when she’s not practicing. I learned that she was interested in learning how to play a guitar and was looking into that. I wish I were that ambitious but these days all I’ve been doing is checking out stuff at Amazon.

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So long, 2016.

I wasn’t going to write this post even though I’ve been doing it for the last 3 years but lots of things can happen in one year so I’ll make this short and sweet.

2016 was rough, I’m not going to lie. It. was. rough. Most of it being in the 2nd half of the year.

Rereading last year’s annual reflection post was hard. I felt like someone else wrote that post. On one hand, I am proud of last year’s me and on the other hand, slightly jealous. I didn’t achieve as much greatness as I did last year. I didn’t do as much as I would have liked and I certainly did not grow into the person I hoped to become. I am filled with disappointment and regret which is honestly really sad but there’s not much to be done now that the year is over.

I interned over the summer and learned that I hate being stuck behind a desk. Then I went to potential future work places and realized that maybe being stuck behind a desk isn’t so bad. The honors program thingy? A total letdown, thanks to a bunch of empty promises made by an irresponsible professor. I worked hard to get into the program – nobody truly understands how much mental work went into simply applying for it – and in the end, it turned out to be like this.

But so as to not be ungrateful and unrealistic, good things did happen. 2016 was the year of discovering KPop. I discovered Teukie who needs to find me so that we can hold each other and have a heart-to-heart. Okay, more than that, I did meet great people (friends and teachers) along the way and I had some enlightening moments. I made mistakes but I will try to learn from them and push myself in the right direction.

We discovered Yogurtland and I ate a lot over summer. I lost a lot of weight but I put most of it back on – half good, half bad thing, I guess. I had some kitchen successes – making my own alfredo sauce, okonomiyaki, foil-wrapped everything aka easy cleanup. What else… More and more gingko trees are being planted on campus; I want to be engulfed in their blazing yellow beauty. Oh, and I did read some awesome books so I guess that’s a plus right there.

As for my birthday, I had cake, lunch at my favorite Thai restaurant, dinner at our usual dim sum place, and I got great gifts – a meaningful necklace from my mom and original artwork from my sister. Can’t complain.

I want to be kinder, I want to be more patient, I want to appreciate the little things, I want to remember that it’s okay to ask for help. I want to stop being so hard on myself, to stop comparing myself to my past selves/others, to stop giving in to negativity. I want to remember that I am responsible for my actions/emotions and that my emotions are not my enemies. None of that is going to happen by itself so it’s going to have to be me making the effort. Most of all, I want to tell myself that I am capable of all this.

I don’t have new goals or resolutions for next year.

Happy New Year. Hopefully you made it out of 2016 better than I did. Let’s take on 2017 together.

Raine
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The new year

Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted to write about the two people she became in one year. And here’s her story:

As usual, I wanted to talk about the second half of this year which was filled with a lot of negative things but then I remembered that there are positive things in my life as well and so I’m going to start on a good note.

The most memorable event that keeps coming back to my mind is of how my dad decided to take us to a dessert store at night when we were back for summer. It’s something we don’t do often so I thought it was fun and interesting. We ate matcha ice cream, hated it, and jumped to the other dessert shop where we discovered my new favorite dessert, Shibuya honey toast. Thinking about it makes me want to cry a lot… and that’s exactly what I’m doing right now.

Summer was wonderful. I have a lot of good memories that I often think about. I took a summer class (again), befriended some people, hated some parts of it, loved the rest of it. I ate a lot of good food that I am very thankful for. I bought clothes beyond my yearly quota and was pleased with the choices I made. I also discovered that I actually like driving, sort of. I listened to a lot of music, lazed around like a panda (hello, two months of jet lag), did my homework diligently, worked out to my favorite songs, discovered a Youtube artist who inspired me to pursue my dream again (thank you Alphonso) and drew a lot.

Around March or April, I started working out. At first, it was for fitness. Then it was to beĀ  lighter. Then it became a passion. I fell so in love with working out that I did not realize that I was hurting myself. I exercised for 5 days a week at first. Then I wanted a challenge and did 6 days a week. That was when everything changed.

I don’t really know how it happened but it’s been two months and I’m still suffering from muscle strains. I have been extremely upset about that. I’m still struggling to accept the fact that I have to take a break from exercising. I feel like I have lost a part of myself with this issue. I’m trying really hard to get back on my feet. It’s depressing for me to write about this but as always, I hope someone will read this and realize that they are not alone in fighting whatever difficulties they are going through. Our problems might be different but our fight is the same.

I’m usually aware that life has its ups and downs but I have been in great denial for this matter. I have been reading the book of wisdom that my sister and mom gave me last year and trying to lift myself out of sadness that I somehow keep wanting to swim in. A lot of the content makes me cry because it’s so raw and real and true to my feelings. One particular quote that really sent a ray of hope through my current hopelessness was this:

When we have an unpleasant feeling, we say to ourselves, “This feeling is in me, it will stay for a while, and then it will disappear because it is impermanent.” -Your True Home by Thich Nhat Hanh

It’s not an easy process, but I’m going to keep trying. And I know you will too.

“Onward to the next year with a shield and sword in hand!” -Myself in 2015

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Shawol forever

I take back what I said about Shinee not being close as a group. I have watched enough of their interactions to say that they are, undoubtedly, close. And yes, I have a favorite. Taemin forever because I’m secretly still 16 at heart. And turtlenecks on Taemin forever.

Other members: Proud mama JongHyun when talking about/watching Taemin perform, kind-hearted flaming charisma Minho, dork tofu leader Onew, and fierce dancer/fashionista + say-it-like-it-is Key. I will go to a SHINee World concert after I go to my first Super Show whenever that may be lol.

Here are some of my favorite songs:

Don’t Let Me Go – SHINee

Favorite song right now. I’ve been listening to this a lot.

Feel Good and 1 of 1 – SHINee

Winter Wonderland – SHINee

Your Number – SHINee

The song that started it all. This is one of the first few SHINee videos that I watched and thought, ‘this is pretty good’.

Enjoy their fab dancing, especially Key’s.

Raine
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