Saturday, January 21, 2012

Another year

Stop This Train by John Mayer
"So scared of getting older
I'm only good at being young."

I've never really been great at spewing out my feelings in words. It's hard to capture that fleeting rush of emotion and sentimentality that lasts only for a few seconds, too brief for my brain to coherently understand what I'm feeling. It often comes out in an incoherent, unorganized stream of thoughts that really don't lead to any conclusion. But here, I'll try:

Realizing the finality of being a second semester senior didn't exactly come to me all at once. It was gradual, as the days went by and the morning announcements began a countdown of the days left in school, as the weeks went by and there was increasing talk of Senior Ball. Then January 20th came.

I remember when I was a little kid, January 20th meant waking up, jumping on my parents' bed, and screaming, It's my birthday it's my birthday! The greatly anticipated birthday parties were the highlight of my year, complete with personal little "You're Invited!" cards that went out to the twelve or thirteen girls in my class ("No boys!" my mom would always insist), the corner pieces and frosting roses of the birthday cake that were the most coveted because they had the most frosting and back then, no one cared about their weight, and the goody bags filled with an assortment of colorful pencils, erasers, candy, and other surprises. But these years, there's little anticipation. I haven't had a birthday party in four years because I always have too much homework, too many projects, not enough time, and there's the (stupid but real) fear that I'll plan it all out, but no one will be able to come, and there'll be an overflowing surplus of wasted food.

Anyways, the point is, there was really no excitement or anticipation on the eve of my birthday, especially since it was a school night. It would just be another Friday, another year older. And of course, all the jokes and privileges that would come with my new legal age, like being able to: buy lotto tickets, scratchers, lighters, cigarettes, and porn, go to clubs, rent hotel rooms, and drive other people legally. But considering only the latter two, maybe three, would be relevant to a person like me, there's not much that turning 18 really offers.

But driving back home from the spontaneous, last minute birthday dinner at the Counter,Stop This Train came on my iPod (well, my friend's iPod that I'm borrowing indefinitely). The timing couldn't have been more appropriate; it was practically like a movie (LOL).

But then, excuse the cliche, it "hit me."

Second semester senior year may be one of the greatest and funnest times of my life, summer may seem like it's not coming fast enough, and college may seem like it's too far away. I'm always looking forward, but I've realized I can never go back. Legally, I'm an "adult" and although nothing really feels different, I'm only ever getting older. Turning 18 hasn't all of a sudden launched me into a whole new stage of maturity, but it's made me turn around and see how much I've grown up since the years of goody bags and invitation cards (although I still always call dibs on the corner pieces of cake). We can always rewind movies to replay a scene we love or a time we missed, but there's no rewind on life-- if you've missed it, that's it. After I've graduated and moved away to college, "home" won't be the place I live anymore. I'll never spend the majority of my time at "home," instead, the majority of my days will pass by in dorms, then apartments, the definition of "home" will change, and it'll just be a place I visit a few times a year. Those photos I have on my desk, walls, and bulletin boards that depict my life now, I'll eventually see them as only memories.

People always tell us this. Life moves fast, enjoy your childhood, "You only life life once" (or in the words of Drake, "YOLO"). We always hear this, but never internalize it. We tell our parents we can't go out to eat with them because we have too much homework. We miss out on family parties because we're too busy working on college applications. We just want to get out of the house, at the prospect of something more exciting on the outside, leaving two of the most important people in our lives without a glance back. "YOLO" doesn't have to mean go out, party, be a kid. It can mean learning to appreciate the present, the people you have, and where you are in life, now.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Had a long day at the local flea and thrift stores today, spending about 6 hours on my feet before going to dinner for bun bo hue (Viet noodles, NOT pho for the non-Viets). Quality time with my mom and dad. My mom bought about a dozen more orchids at the flea market today (well okay,like four or five more) to add to her collection of twenty hanging outside the house... Well, I guess we all have our hobbies.

I just finished some late-night nailwork, and I'm pooped... finally, sleep.
Excuse all the imperfections.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rust & Pleats

Here's a lesson to be learned: Don't chew gum while taking outfit pictures. You'll end up with a plethora of awkward mid-chew faces looking like someone punched out your jaw and it was never quite fixed right (Exhibit A and B hahah). I wore this to the Exploratorium last week but had a few shots taken before I left. It was pretty comical, trekking through dirt and manure with sweat pants pulled over my skirt to keep it from snagging onto various weeds, and those sweats matched real well with my trench coat and booties, perfect attire for nature's adventures (sarcasm)... and yes, I need new tights.

This week feels like it's been stretching on for eternity. It's our first full week back from our pitifully short break (of 13 days...13 days!!), and the long weekend is so close and yet so far. Hard as it may be, I've been trying to fight off the creeping senioritus that inevitably comes with the arrival of second semester seniorship. The last few days have gone a little like this:

4 PM: Get home. I have so much time for homework!
6 PM: Still haven't touched my backpack since I've gotten home.
8 PM: Nope... but hey, it's okay. Second semester doesn't really matter anyways, right?
10 PM: Second semester doesn't matter. I can scrap up my homework before class tomorrow.
11 PM: I'll be fine...
Sleep at 2...or 3... or 4.

Really, I just don't know how to do senioritus right.

A couple new addictions I've picked up recently:
Knitting. A good friend taught me how over winterbreak, and now it's growing into a habit that drains my time and elicits many "old granny" jokes from friends and family.
Temple Run. Anyone who's played this will understand.
Toast w/ butter+sugar. I tried this for the first time at Verde on Monday, and now I'm hooked. I've been trying to make it at home too, but the only bread we have is this croissant bread, so when I toast it with butter it gets even more buttery than it already was... And it's just not quite the same as Verde's.
My Camelbak. Water. All the time. I practically go pee every half hour.

Sweater: Foreign Exchange
Belt, Pleated skirt: Thrifted
Bangles: Flea
Shoes: Mom's old and battered
Clutch: ASOS
Earrings: Morocco, a gift from a best friend.
Trench: Michael Kors

Walk The Moon - Anna Sun by handclapmovement

Adventures and things.

The Exploratorium, The Counter, NYE, North Star in Tahoe, and the view from the Stanford Lodge.
A little taste of childhood, and the best way to spend the last day of winter break. There's nothing wrong with being the only 17 year olds in a museum filled with gaggles of little boys and girls, none of which looked older than 12... There was one little boy in particular who was at a bubble station, wandered away, tried to find his parents, and just walked around with this lost, almost-in-tears face for a good three minutes before finding his mom. He was so cute, I just wanted to snatch him up and... ha ha, only joking. It reminded me of the days when I was five or so and I'd always wander away from my mom at the supermarket, get lost in the aisles, panic, cry, and sob around until I found her. Albertson's is a big, scary maze when you're a little lost kid...

Ate at The Counter with my cousin for her birthday. 5 stars. There's no better place to be when you're hungry. I finished the entire burger (which was as wide as half my face when I tried biting into it...), fries, green tea, milk tea, and then some. I swear my stomach has its own trash compacter.

New Year, haven't thought of a resolution yet... Maybe it should be to spend more time with family because after all, this is my last year home. We always say we don't appreciate things until they're gone, so why not learn to appreciate the things I know I'll be leaving?

Trip to Tahoe with a couple friends, and all the snow...sike. Every time I fell, it was like falling on concrete. PLEASE SNOW SOON SO I CAN GO BEFORE SPRING.

Cough Syrup by Young the Giant

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ghirardelli Square, SF

Went to the city with a friend a couple days ago, and we basically walked around the same place five times in a circle, trying to decide where to eat dinner, where to get dessert, where to take his new profile picture (I kid you not), where to take a "cute picture" of us. I brought my camera along and took some shots along the way of:
a. The bridge we crossed while driving (fascinating!)
b. A random architecturally-appealing clock tower
c. Oh look another city skyline, how original...
d. A boat.
e. The Ghirardelli sign
f. The same Ghirardelli sign. Oohlala.

Of course I would wear a flimsy night slip in the middle of winter to San Francisco, the city of terrible, bitter NorCal weather. But somehow, amazingly, it wasn't even that cold by nighttime, and I wasn't even shivering. Lucked out. Only my fingers were cold, which reminded me that I should probably invest in a quality pair of gloves considering my hands are abnormally bony and thin and are probably very prone to frostbite.

And of course I would be stupid enough to wear five inch platform heels to the treacherous hills of the city. Why don't I just jump in front of a train; death that way would be far less painful... Luckily I wasn't completely mental and brought a pair of boots in the car, just in case. So after the second circle around the block and dinner at a place called Capurro's (which was a bit too expensive for its quality, imo), we walked back to the car to change my shoes. I realized I can't even enjoy the city when all I can think about is my impending death from those heels... Did I mention the ridiculous hill slanted at a near 45 degree angle??

So those ill-matching boots in the photo were my saviors for the night ($10 vintage Ariat combat boots from the local flea-- literally one of the best deals of my life). They have these funny fringe-y things at the base of the tongue, which at first I thought was a bit questionable, but then I decided it gave them character.

Vintage slip: thrifted
Clutch: ASOS
Boots: flea

Monday, December 26, 2011


We haven't had a Christmas tree in about five years! Having one just gives everything an amazing holiday-feel. I didn't even do most of the decorating this time; my friends came over for a Secret Santa exchange, so I just gave them the box of supplies and put them to work. Not bad. December 26th always has a sad post-Christmas feel to it though... I mean, what are we supposed to do with the tree now? It's obsolete, and turning the lights on at night just feels a little fake, not quite the same as it did the days leading up to Christmas.

Here's what my Secret Santa gave me: a "new friend." Har har har...No one seems to think he'll last more than a few weeks. They have no faith in my caretaking.

Some pictures from the last few days of Secret Santa and our family Christmas party.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Shots by Bay Street Cafe

Taking a small break from studying for finals to write this post.

These were taken by a good friend last week after a very successful day of shopping at the local flea market and thrift stores. I was so happy with how they turned out, even if I looked a bit stupid in some of the other ones-- the quality of his photos just blows the rest of my blog away. (All my other pictures look so shabby now; I might as well just delete everything. I HAVE SUCH TALENTED FRIENDS.)

Chiffon pants: Flea
Shirt: Heritage
Velvet patterned scarf+belt+earrings: Thifted
Bag: DIY

Picture credit goes to Richard Ying.

THESE PANTS. I've mentioned them before, but when I was walking around the flea market by myself, I tripped over them about three times in the span of ten minutes. Now that doesn't sound too bad, but when you're by yourself surrounded by a bunch of people you don't know and you make a klutzy move like tripping over your obviously too-long pants that are anything but sensible for a flea market, you can't even laugh it off. Instead, you either act like nothing happened and trudge on or you go back to the spot where you tripped to look for the cause of your tripping and pretend that it wasn't your pants, it was a crack in the sidewalk or a rock on the road because God forbid you wear these silly looking pants and end up falling on your face; serves you right.
My life of embarrassment.

Another slightly awkward moment at the flea market:
A small white dog dressed in cute little sweaters and what not walks by with its owner.
Lady: (looking down) Woww, look at her!
Friend: (to me, thinking she was referring to my pants) Do you usually get compliments like that?
Me: Uhh I think she was talking about the dog...

Anyways, here's a picture from the flea that he shot of this cute old couple slow dancing. They had an old fashioned record player that was playing, and there they were, just dancing in the middle of the lot. Aww.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Snapped these after school last week when I got home.  These pants make me feel like I'm walking in obnoxiously orange billowing clouds... they're that comfortable. And loud (you could spot them from a mile away). Yes, they're a bit long, but such is life when you're a short stumpy Asian female, stooping at 5'3. Damn genetics.
Palazzo  pants-- ASOS
Sheer blouse+satin tank+belt-- Mom's old wardrobe
Jewelry--  Charlotte Russe (red stone ring), Thrifted (gold ring), some night market in Asia (cuff)
School bag-- Thrifted

So finals are right around the corner, and  then after next week, that's it. The end of  first semester senior year. Actually, I'm having a bit of a hard time appreciating that because of the looming finals in less than a week that I've yet to study for. I have this huge to-do list in my brain, and it just keeps stacking and stacking and overflowing because I can't possibly remember all the Christmas presents, college essays, study guides, projects, and things that need to be bought, written, done, and finished. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Something worth being proud of

I'm in awe. Angela Zhang, I offer you my kidneys. You've ingeniously created a nanoparticle designed to target tumor cells in cancer patients, making an actual, legitimate contribution to the field of medicine, and you're only 17. I'm seventeen, for crying out loud! I don't think I could achieve something so brilliant even if I spent my entire life working on such a project.

It's not just that she's incredibly smart, but she has drive and a genuine interest in science--she's the epitome of a nerd, she embraces it. This is why the geek will one day inherit the earth (ha ha). Looks, they can only get you so far and for so long. You're given your looks; you don't work to achieve them. Making a difference in the world, that's something worth being proud of. Brains and drive. I can't even begin to describe how much respect I have for her.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Watercolor #2 + Newspaper Nails

Did these using the same water-marbling technique I mentioned in an earlier post some time ago. I actually really like how they turned out this time though. Excuse the little ugly stray marks; I wasn't able to scrub those off too well.

I was actually inspired to do these when I was distracted by one of those Facebook ads on the side of the screen while I was supposed to be doing homework. Typical me. The tutorial's here (seriously, Youtube has tutorials for everything).

The best thing about homemade cinnamon rolls

... is that you can put as much icing as you want on them. Too much of a good thing? Nonsense.

The dough looks like a brain... sorry.


I was inspired by her, but the link to the recipe is here (note: I doubled all the ingredients for the glaze, tehehe.)