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Monday, October 28, 2013


the gentle tapping of the rain
the continuous drips knocking on my window
is making









college apps x homework x midterms x sats x life

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Me, the fish girl

Most of my breaks in elementary school consisted of watching Friends reruns and eating Cuties tangerines on the couch – evident from the mounds of peels I had in my trashcan by the end of the day. But I had a bombass winter break in 4th grade. I had always been a fan of animals, and loved pets. This was back when I wanted to be a veterinarian, and also before I discovered my cat allergies.

For Christmas, I asked for mealworms –yes, the larval form of the mealworm beetle- because I thought they were cute. My dad took me to Petco, and they only sold them in boxes of 100 and no way was my mother going to allow 100 potential beetles into her house. So my dreams of racing mealworms Indy 500 –style across my kitchen tiles were crushed. I then resorted to asking for fish.

Why I chose Siamese fighting fish to breed, I have no idea. But if I couldn’t have 100 mealworms, I was willing to settle for 100 betta fish. I put the two into one tank and waited for the magic to happen. Unfortunately, their idea of magic was not what I had in mind, as Unnamed (male) viciously chased Muffidi (female) all around the tank, all night long. By morning, she was missing parts of her fins, and my dad warned me that if I didn’t separate them soon, there would be no Muffidi, and thus no 100 fish babies.

I disheartenedly allowed my dad to scoop the weary and warn out female out, but that was not the end of my mission. My next stop was the library. I checked out a bunch of books on breeding techniques and betta habits, discovering an entire world of skilled breeding. I was excited, to say the least, to put my newly acquired knowledge to the test. But first I bought a new male because the one I had clearly did not respect females and was an anti-feminist. Unacceptable. No magic for him!! In an email in 2007 to a friend, I wrote:

what a surprise! you're supposed to put the male in a 2-5 gallon tank, set the temperature to about 80 degrees, and put a whole bunch of stuff in the tank. then, you put the female in a floating see through cupand put the cup in the tank.......... well VERY long story so in sum, the spawning was so beautiful. my new male built a wonderful bubblenest (my new male's name is garian and my female's name is muffidi and my old males name is lonely). garian would flip muffidi on her side, then he would squeeze her abdomen till the eggs came out, except it took them a while to do that cuz garian kept slipping off her and ended up hugging himself!! hahah.well what to do with all those fry?? hhhhmmmmmmm........ i dunno maybe give them away? possibly. right now they are all teeeensy weeeeeeensy!! and you can't tell male from female yet. but in a month, they'll all be beautiful!!! when they grow older, i'll have to seperate the males....................

So I renamed Unknown to Lonely because he would forever be single on account of his disrespect for the female body. One winter break and several pairs of betta fish later, I got what I wanted and more – I exceeded my goal of 100 fish and ended up with around 1000 fry (baby fish).

Although my fish-breeding days are long past me, I gained a new understanding of life and its creation, way before the “Family Life” videos all sixth graders are forced to watch. The concept of survival of the fittest was also introduced to me at this time, in which I horrifically witnessed the cruel consumption of fry by their own parents if they couldn’t swim fast enough. Furthermore, I gained a vast knowledge of different types of betta fish, which I way-too-excitedly got to share with my 9th grade biology class. Luckily, people did not judge me too much and I still got a date to Winter Formal.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

domestic violence / abuse blurb

It’s always easier to detect those things in hindsight, especially from a third-person perspective. But what if you’re the victim and it’s happening to you right now? What if you mistake fear for butterflies in your stomach because you’re so madly in love? What if you take the harsh words and hurtful comments as constructive criticism and harmless attempts at bettering you as a person, in order to improve your relationship? What if the unpredictability of their moods seems like just a minor, even quirky flaw, unimportant in the grand scheme of your future together? After all, love is blind.

Physical abuse is easier to identify. There are visible scars and obvious wounds as evidence to the world. But what about emotional, verbal, sexual, and mental abuse? How do you distinguish these equally painful forms of mistreatment from just having a partner who happens to be extremely protective, blunt, affectionate, or expressive? Because when you are head-over-heels enamored by this person, you excuse their faults, you take the blame for their mistakes, and you don’t realize you are the victim of their abuse.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy" is one of my all-time favorite songs. Not just for its cheery beat and McFerrin's awesome accent, but for its super intelligent lyrics!

Okay, you can get the message from the song title, and okay, some guy is telling you not to worry and to be happy. BUT STOP. It's not as simple as that. Or maybe it is and I've just taken an extraordinarily long time to take his advice.

I'm a generally content person, and I've survived breakups much worse than this one, but there are still those moments when your mind gets caught in a limbo, when your train of thought gets separated before reaching its destination, floating aimlessly between one idea and the next, when suddenly your entire brain shifts gears, loses direction, and is consumed by a tunnel of memories. At least, that's how I envision my mind to be like. But what I mean is that I've been kind of sad a lonely lately.

But I had a revelation the other day: we can choose to be happy. Shit happens and life sucks some times, but we can choose how we react to those circumstances. Do we let bad things dictate how we feel? Or do we take a step back and choose for ourselves? We can choose to be happy, regardless of the situation. And what's so awesome about that, is that once we make that decision, things really do get better.

I've begun working on the dreaded college application essays that plague the first semester of senior year. Everyone loathes them, and they're probably one of the most complained-about things in high school. I mean, I've been hearing about how awful they are since 7th grade! And they're tedious because you have to sit for hours, writing and re-writing, editing and revising personal statements and supplements, over and over again. So you can sit there and complain and lament and be frustrated and procrastinate and life will suck.

Or you can choose to be happy. You can relax your brain from thinking about all those summer assignments, what you have to eat for lunch, the chaos in Egypt, and just enjoy the time that the college applications give you to think about yourself. Be selfish with the amount of brain space you allot to yourself. It's okay to be narcissistic here. All of the prompts are crafted so that colleges can learn more about you, as a person, and no one knows you better than you, so all you have to do is think about you! (Wow that's a lot of you's!) Your past, your present, and your future. It's really quite enjoyable, but only if you allow it to be.

This is mostly a note to myself, and the future me, when things get stressful and shit blows. Just remember: don't worry, be happy.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bruno Mars lyrics are stupid

Let me start off by saying that I love to sing Bruno Mars' songs (or any pop songs, for that matter), loudly and obnoxiously in the car when I'm speeding down the freeway. And his songs, I find, are especially great for that because they're just so... singable.

But have you stopped to listen to the lyrics? As with almost all pop songs these days, they're ridiculous.

The following is from his recent single, "Treasure":

Pretty girl, pretty girl, pretty girl, you should be smiling
A girl like you should never look so blue 

Wtf. Just because this girl is aesthetically appealing, she isn't allowed to display her emotions? Is she required to always plaster on a smile, even when she is obviously unhappy? If that's the case, I hope no one ever accuses me of being pretty.

I'm not even going to go to "Marry You" or "Grenade" because those are just so dumb. There's an utterly hilarious Youtube video by Kingsley about "Grenade" that is my go-to source of entertainment.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

I hate Google Maps and Our Generation

So today I was trying to go to my first aerial silks dance class (and if you don't know what that is, look it up -- it looks amazingly fun!) and like always, I opened up my trusty Google Maps app on my iPhone for navigation.

I had recently bumped up Google Maps to be the fifth app on the first screen of my homescreen so that it would come before Apple Maps, since I find Google Maps more reliable and aesthetically pleasing. AND WHAT DID I GET IN RETURN FOR GOOGLE MAPS'S PROMOTION? Incorrect directions, broken trust, and downright disappointment.

How could you do this to me, Google, how?!

The dance studio I was trying to get to has two locations -- one in Signal Hill and one in Huntington Beach. The class I wanted to attend was only available at 10 AM at the Signal Hill location. When I searched for the studio name, both locations popped up and I confidently chose the correct location, with the utmost faith in Google Maps's directions.

Being the technologically-reliant 21st century human that I am, without even checking the red dot of destination, I hit "Start" and blindly fell into the guidance of Google Maps's robot woman voice. It wasn't until I had turned onto the street of the Huntington Beach studio that I realized I was, in fact, at the Huntington Beach studio and not the Signal Hill one.

And I, ladies and gentleman, am a prime example of today's youth - a generation unscathed by paper maps and unexposed to non- step-by-step voice-guided navigation, one that is easily led astray by confused Global Positioning Systems. I hate Google Maps and our generation.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Volunteering Abroad is Easy!

When I began my search for volunteering abroad opportunities during my sophomore year of high school, the biggest obstacle was the price.

"It ain't about the money, money, money..." the great artist Jessie J. once said. But guuuuurl, let me tell you, it IS about the money. How can volunteers, who are already donating their time and efforts into conducting these humanitarian services, be expected to dish out thousands of dollars just to be given the opportunity to help? (Especially when a large portion of that goes to companies, not the ones in need!)

I loved everything about my trip to Tinkuy Peru - the kids, the other volunteers, my host family, and the price. My only expenses were my plane ticket, and the cost of room and board at Tino & Mari's house. That's how it should be. But why was it so difficult to find a program that was reasonably-priced??

Perhaps I wasn't looking in the right places. I remember Vivian and I spent hours after school at my house doing Google searches and calling up dozens of organizations. Yet somehow, on this lazy Sunday afternoon, while evading my English essay, I've managed to stumble across thousands of global volunteer and internship opportunities.

Three main websites I am most impressed with and promote countless programs:

I've looked through a lot of the projects going on, and they all seem super fun and engaging. Plus, on the latter website, the thumbnail of the projects give you the price; some are even free! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how volunteering abroad should be.

Monday, February 25, 2013


life is crayjay, as always

but it's going swimmingly

jie is still here. yippeeee

what will i eat when i go to college, away from mama's jiao zi and jie's caramel banana cream pies and thai curry...

josh berger read my palm once and said it was the worst life he had ever seen, to be plagued by global catastrophes, affairs, and a tumultuous love life (which will surely include at least 2 divorces).

i just finished reading Heartburn by Nora Ephron, and it is now one of my favorite books, if not THE favorite. odd as it sounds, i cannot wait until i get married and discover that my husband is cheating so that we can have a huge fight and our lives be filled with drama as friends-but-not-really-friends gossip with each other and i move out with our son and we file for divorce and argue over who gets to take the hamster. and then i'll meet another douchebag who will cheat on me again and we can argue about the furniture. and finally, after my two for-sure divorces that josh has foreseen, i will get to meet my prince charming and he will whisk me away into the sunset and happily ever after we shall live.

ain't life grand?