Sunday, December 26, 2010


Christmas was lovely even though it was marred by work for about 7 hours. I got to spend the morning cooking chicken Alfredo for my mom, dad, and I and baking even more cookies (so. many. cookies!) Then I headed over to the BGF's house for a DELICIOUS lunch before I had to go to work (I had to miss the Lakers game, but luckily I didn't watch it because I would've been even more pissed since we LOST...c'mon boys!) After work, I was exhausted but I hung out with a bunch of cool kids (Josh and buds), ate some more delectable food by the best baker in the world, had ONE beer, and retired around 1ish. I could not stay up; all that food and AMC-slaving got to me.

On that note, my insomnia problems have seemed to disappear overnight! I've been going to bed early for the past few days (as in 10 or 11, 'cept last night.) I don't know how it happened, but I'm going to try and keep it this way. I also got to see my beloved Vanessa two days ago and hang out with her family - her mom gets the Sweetest Mom EVER Award. Saw a movie and just Youtubed it for the most part - of course I ate way too much at her house. It was a good day - odd at one point but good. More good news: Caitie is coming home Jan. 5. More good news: Going to Santa Barbara Jan. 7-9 to celebrate birthdays and have festivities. More good news: Cousin is coming in from Korea today.

It's been a really good break. Much needed. I just hope I get New Year's Eve off. That would make it perrrfect.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Winter break (so far), insomnia, and "strokes of genius"

My winter break has been a whirlwind of beer pong, hanging out with friends, mild family drama, and an occassional night of sleeplessness. I don't know how my insomnia's increased since school ceased, but all I know is that it's getting worse. I feel like going to the doctor but I don't want them to suscribe me maryjewanna (just kidding), sleeping pills, etc. I just feel I'd become too dependent on them (sleeping pills). Honestly, I'm not too worried about my insomnia...yet. So long as it disappears before winter quarter starts, I can deal. I had a bout of bad-insomnia my freshmen year in college which I battled taking swigs of Nyquil. I know, it's horrible. But it worked. After awhile I weaned myself off it, knowing getting used to drinking Nyquil would surely start having disastrous effects on me (...right?) I just wonder why I'm so prone to could be that at least 3 nights of the week I'm out until the early AMs...but those nights I usually fall asleep quickly. It's nights when I don't go out that makes me stay up - even until 8am at times. And that wasn't the case my freshmen year; before my insomnia started I usually went to bed at a decent hour (11 or 12). But I think it was mostly due to stress that I was "suffering" from it. Now...I'm not stressed. Or at least most days I'm not, so I really don't know why it's come back with a vengence. Being an insominac (just in general I go to sleep around 2am every night - or morning I suppose, at least before this case started) I've come to realize lying restlessly in bed is when random "strokes of genius" occur - at least for me. It's only increased with me not going to bed until 6-8am. Just last night I came up with a probably 5-page (if I had actually written it down) poem about words. It was brilliant, really. I remember lying there thinking I should really get out of bed, turn on my computer and write down my lengthy poem. Even though I was awake, I was overcome by laziness and convinced myself that I'd remember it in the morning...I didn't, of course. Two nights before that I was making hybrid-words that were supremely clever - and coming up with jokes that were full of cheese but witty nonetheless. I didn't write those down either. My freshmen year when I was going through that awful stage, I came up with the idea of somehow putting ("waterproof") wind turbines in the ocean to use the tides to channel energy (of course, I'm sure this had already popped into someone else's mind way before mine, but randomly dawning on it myself was enlightening) and now a similar though smarter idea has emerged, using "kites" to channel the ocean's tides...of course I had no idea HOW I'd do it engineering-wise. But it was an idea. And an idea is everything.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Also, I'm writing an article on marriage, and I think what I wrote about previously is a good example of how society makes us believe that getting married, having a family, etc is something we must do. Of course, I think deep inside everyone wants that connection with others (okay maybe not everyone). Still, it's an issue I'm deeply invested in at the moment, how society shapes our "plans." I love this song by Taylo (guilty pleasure), but I think it's a great way to showcase how everyone wants that fairytale.

Note the children at the end.

(P.S. I also think Taylor Swift is absolutely GORGEOUS!)


I'm the kind of person who always needs a plan. If a plan doesn't work out, I just make up another one to take its place. However, one plan has become unfurled and I can't conjure up another plan to take its place - for once. This defeated plan has been taking a toll on me. That plan...

I'm twenty years old. Everyone (namely my girlfriends, even though a large amount of my guyfriends do too) have a significant other (not all but more and more are snagging them) and are involved in "serious relationships" - living together, yadayadayada. That was supposed to be me! Would be me if occurences hadn't decided to (thankfully) occur. I feel that's why I'm so in limbo, because I don't have that security blanket that ensures that one day I too will get married and have a family - "the ultimate plan." I saw my old friend Kaelyn over break and she told Caitie and I that we had to attend her wedding to which we replied "Duh!" even though it was going to be in the far off future. Isn't that what I'm supposed to be saying too? And even though Caitie isn't so adament about her and Loyd I'm 98% positive that they'll end up getting married and having really cute Costa Rican/white babies.

My life is going off its "main track": graduating from high school, going to college, graduating from college, landing a career, having a family....well, I guess I still have two more steps to go before I actually have to start worrying.

Talking with Josh about all this made me feel a smidgen better. He thinks I'm crazy, basically. But he's a boy. I feel this is a girl issue. I mean, I don't really want my plan to work right now. Meaning I don't want a relationship. But I'm upset about it. What the hell?

Alright, I need to go back to studying.

Didn't really feel like writing today; getting really behind on that challenge...

Nov 4, 2005
My thoughts on life
Current mood:disappointed

I always thought life was simple. You live and you die, right? But what about the in-between? I guess you could relate life to an Oreo. There's the actual cookie, or the simplicity of life, and then there's the filling, the complexity of life. I mean, the filling could be a number of things: Emotions, experiences--good and bad--memories, etc. But the thing is, I can't help but be a realist about life. I'm not what you'd call an optomist, but I'm not a pessimist. So I'm a realist. See how it works? I'm an in-between. Life is confusing. How come there's so much to worry about? Guys, school, parents, peer pressure? I hate the b/s drama brings. I like life most of the time and sometimes I even love it. But then there are those times when I just hate it. Not that I'm suicidal, but sometimes I just don't give a crap. I hate when people have to make a big deal out of something stupid. And I hate how people judge other people for whatever reason. Sometimes I just hate people. But not all of them. Still, we're all the same when it comes down to it. We could all do what someone else does, couldn't we? We could all live life to the fullest, or at least try to, and if you think about it that's what we should be doing. We could hurt someone, break hearts, make someone happy, let someone down. We all have the ability to do whatever someone else does. Anyway, I hate the indecision in my life. Life gets me down sometimes. Notice how I keep using "sometimes" there's the indecision. Maybe it's this whole "teenager" phase, but whatever it is I know one thing isn't going to change: Life can be a bitch.

I'm glad I learned my lesson early. Guess I didn't know how to spell optimist? Clearly I'm going to be skipping through the ridiculous entires, such as the one cleverly titled "I HATE braces" for obvious reasons. Goodness, I was a silly one.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Feeling better.

After talking more with my best friend and some others the feeling I was having is officially gone. Now all I am is thankful. But I took a nap earlier today which is why I'm wide awake at the moment and I've been reading over my old blog on Myspace. For fun, I decided I'd repost a few over the next few entries for pure entertainment purposes. Oh, young me, how much you've grown.

Jul 2, 2005
Current mood:blah

I dunno what this is, but I'm gonna use it as my "journal." People probably won't read this anyway so what the heck, right? Hehe, it's Saturday kids! I love Saturday. It's the best day of the week. New episodes of Inu, Samurai Champloo, and s-CRY-ed are comin on tonight! Yesh! Watch them, I can almost guarantee you'll like em. They're starting at 11:30 on adult swim. Besides that I'm bored. It's almost 4:50 and I've got to do some stuff for summer school...but I don't feel like it. Sigh. Ah well.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Today went from worse to worst in a matter of minutes. I don't know...I'm just so upset...and I know I should be thankful...and I am. But I'm so upset. I need to write because I just don't want to talk to anyone, I just need to spill out...this.

My best friend, her family and her boyfriend all got into a huge car crash coming home from San Francisco earlier today. They're all okay. Mr. T has a broken arm, Carley a broken ankle, Mrs. T a broken hand, Loyd's clavicle is broken, and my best friend and her little brother got away with bruises. She called me while I was at work but I couldn't answer - I didn't think it was anything serious, I just thought she was calling to let me know she was home. But I called her back and she told me everything that happened (half-crying) and I was just so shocked. I didn't know what to do, what to say. It was like...What if I had lost them? What if I had lost her...?

I cannot imagine my life without Caitie. Even though she's hundreds of miles away I could never imagine my life without her in it...if she weren't in it...I wouldn't have...anything in a way. She's my everything. I don't know how else to explain it; she's part of me, and if she ever went away I would be...

I really don't know who I would be.

I asked her what happened and apparently a car flew across the median and hit them - they weren't at all expecting it. Caitie kept saying how she hoped the other car was okay, that they were waiting to hear what happened to them...but...and I feel badly about this...all I was thinking was, Who the hell cares about them? How the hell did they come across the median? I was so mad at "them" - they had almost taken away my best friend in the entire world and a family that is honestly like my own. They had almost taken it all - in an instant.

I just feel numb. I'm thankful that they're okay but to have such a scare like that is something that has never happened to me, and I just can't shake this feeling.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 4: About your family.

My family is, basically, just my mom and dad. My parents have always been VERY loving - sometimes TOO loving.

My dad is a hard person to explain. He's not a simple person. My dad is sometimes intimidating, sometimes off-putting, sometimes a big bear/comfortable to be around, sometimes weird, sometimes sociable, sometimes...A LOT OF THINGS. He is NOT constant. I'm not sure if it's because of his age (71) that he's all over the place or if he's always been this way, but my dad is so many things there's no one way to describe how he is most of the time. Also, my dad is a "victim" of ADD - he can be a child to the extreme! I have ADD too, but it's mild and compared to him it's NONEXISTENT. My father acts like a five-year-old sometimes. Sometimes I think it's funny and I go along with it, but other times....My dad thinks he's funny, but unfortunately a lot of people don't understand his humor and he's prone to not make sense (to most) - I think this is a curse a lot of dads have though. Also, he's EXTREMELY sensitive. More than anyone I know - but this has grown with age. If you do (or better yet, FORGET to do) something he expects he'll remember it.

My dad's a smarty pants. He knows a lot about a lot of different subjects, but he's very opinionated and narrow-minded, which is a dreadful combination and can prove embarrassing when he forgets his place (which rarely happens thankfully). As the saying goes: You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. So true, especially when it comes to my dad.

My father is a family man. The only thing he loves more than family is God. Honestly, there's nothing he enjoys more than being with my mom and I - or reading. A word to describe my dad would be rowdy. He's a little boy trapped in a man's body - and sometimes, a lot more when he was younger, I'd see that man reappear but mostly it's the boy I see now that I'm older. He loves to do things for people, to make them happy. He writes me notes in the mornings ("Made you lunch, it's in the fridge, Love you Grace" or "Don't forget to feed the 'dawgs' dawg") and will buy my mom and I random little gifts a lot of the time - so much so that it's become normal. He's humble but at the same time he wants to be recognized. He seeks attention, and when he doesn't get enough of it he'll let you know. My dad has a quick temper but VERY little bite. He loves to yell. He'll yell for almost anything; I honestly think he thinks it's fun. He is a loud person most of the time, or when he's happy at least. Sometimes he can be somber (as when he doesn't get enough attention). Honestly my dad can be a little draining (going back to what I said about being a five-year-old). When it comes time to have kids, I have this gut instinct that one of them will be exactly like my dad. I don't know why - I just have a (foreboding) feeling. Ever since my dad was born he's been getting into trouble - aka he's clumsy. Unfortunately for me, I have inherited his clumsiness and I'm surprised that I'm alive to this day to be honest. Granted, it's gotten better with age but back in even high school I would LITERALLY trip almost every other day - once I tripped and fell flat on my face during passing period, to which I just laid there. I don't know how I wasn't shunned. As a seven-year-old I climbed on top of my roof and tried to jump off (I really can't remember if it was because I wanted to see if I could fly or if it was because I couldn't get down) - then again, that's just STUPID. Not really clumsy. I could go on with stories like this from both my dad and I but I think I'll stop for my sake. Oh, once I tried to microwave coffee in a glass cup. Yeah...that didn't end well.

In short, my dad is honestly an awesome person. However, things have changed between us thanks to this year and my dad's drinking problem (which I wrote a whole entry about). My dad is doing so much better though, in fact I haven't seen him drunk in nearly a month and a half now. Like it usually pans out, there's a lot of things I disagree with my parents about/don't like about them, but there's a lot more that I love - and I love them dearly and couldn't ask for more than what they've given me.

My mother is simple. But our relationship is somewhat complicated. This is because of the whole mother-daughter feud that's been going on...since the birth of the first daughter I'm sure. Just like the father-son feud. Some girls are EXACTLY like their moms, or close to what their moms are. Others are COMPLETE opposites. That is what my mom and I are: complete opposites. Ever since birth, I've been the non-ideal daughter (for my mom at least). I was a big time tomboy. I HATED anything girly - I would put up a fight over wearing a dress or earrings or anything I thought demeaning. I had a reputation to uphold and as far as I saw it, my mom wanted to ruin my image with girly frilliness. That was just not me. I fought long and hard but eventually I turned to "the dark side." I started dressing up, wearing make-up, etc - mostly because it was the norm (thanks society) but also because I felt pressured by my mom to be more of a "girl." I mean, do I think it's a bad thing now? Not so much. But I really do wish she would have laid off a bit - no one likes to think there's something wrong with them, and by their own mother much less. My mom is Korean so she's VERY - how shall I put it? - annoying about school. I was put into tutoring from the age of 8 almost to 13 - the cursed KUMON. I hated Kumon, how the Kumon building had no AC and the fans would grate on my ears while I was doing math packets of LONG DIVISION and WORD PROBLEMS - and how it was so quiet with students scribbling miserably away, watching the clock in anticipation of escaping. I hated the ADDITIONAL HOMEWORK Kumon gave out in packets - always packets. I would always try to hide them when I got home - that really displeased my mom. From Kumon came SAT weekends. Just how I loved to spend my weekends. In the same environment, now only focused on SATs and how "life-changing" they really were. Fuck the SATs. I hate how you're judged on how well you do on a fucking test, that it determines where you get in - I don't understand the system; it's faulted. Piano lessons were another thing I learned to hate - mostly because I had a dinosaur as a teacher who owned this ancient scraggly dog who thought it was a cat and scratched non-stop on her stained carpet. It gives me shivers just remembering. In a way I've always thought myself a disappointment to my mom. Unlike my dad, my mom is like a drill sergeant when it comes to education - but the thing is I think it hurt me rather than helped me. I've always been under this extreme pressure to excel by her - and it's stressing, it was more stressing in high school than now though. I know she's disappointed that I transferred from UCSB - that I could have stayed there, or even that I can transfer now to a UC again but refuse to. And that sucks. It sucks even more because I'm her only child. Another reason I wish I had a sibling is so that someone else could share the load. My mom has always wanted me to be a nurse, or doctor. For the longest time, I wanted to be a pharmacist - to please her. But I WOULD HATE IT. And I'm tired of living my life according to my mom. I did that too much in high school. My mom is always on my back about something - anything - and I know saying all this makes her look bad, but I do know that she does all these things because she loves me. Like my dad always tells me: "We wouldn't tell you ANYTHING if we didn't care so much about you."

I get it. But it gets overbearing. That's why I don't like living at home again. It's like high school all over. I can't take it sometimes, and that's why I'm usually never home.

But anyway, my mom is a STRONG and STUBBORN person. I have never met anyone as stubborn as her and it is trying! My mom is stronger than my dad - she grabs the bull by the horns you could say. She honestly doesn't care what you think because what she thinks is right - and you cannot change her opinion no matter how ridiculous it might be. At the same time, my mom is very caring. She's sweet when you meet her - but don't think you know her from first impressions, she can be VERY mean. She's an entrepreneur and honestly one of the most CREATIVE people I know. She's an artist, and I've always been jealous of her abilities. She's very funny and a VERY social person. I fight the most with her - it's only natural. She's truly one of my best friends and I tell her ALMOST everything. I love her and I know no matter how much we bicker that she loves me too.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 3: About your friends.

Wow...I don't think there's enough room in my blog to talk about my friends. They're honestly a blessing, much more than I deserve. I have about 5 friends in my life that I can't see myself ever losing - these 5 are my closest friends, but I have a handful more that are very, very dear and important to me. To make sure I don't go overboard in this entry, I'll limit my talk to those 3 I consider my best friends.

1. Caitie
Caitie has been my best friend since 5th grade. Even though it sounds extremely cheesy and "fake" I mean it with all that I am when I say that she is my soulmate. I won't go into so much detail with her since there's going to be a whole blog entry on her in the next few days, but it is true that no matter how much I write or say, nothing could ever explain the love I have for this person. Nothing.

2. Vanessa
We met in 7th grade and from there, there was no turning back. When I think about our friendship, it honestly amazes me. Vanessa went to school with me up until sophomore year when she moved. At that point, even though I had my fears about us growing apart, a part of me knew that we'd stay close. And we did. When she got into the University of Maryland (her dream school), I was happy and distraught at the same time. I was happy for her - that she was going to the school she'd dreamt about - but the distance...I had mixed feelings. Despite it, our friendship has proved strong. There's so much to say about Vanessa. She's such an individual, so unique, and so caring and ambitious and clever and quirky and I said, I could go on forever. It's hard not to love this girl, it really is. We've had such amazing memories, ones that I'll remember for the rest of my life. Vanessa gets me, she accepts me. People love her and I understand why. She's an inspiration. Sure, she's a busybody and sometimes I feel worried she takes on too much - but she gets it done and goes beyond expectations - and still manages to balance friends and family. I don't get to see her all the time, but when I do, it's like Christmas and everything falls back into what it was. I'm not sure how else to explain our friendship except that she and I will grow old together as the dearest of friends and that I'll be there for her always, no matter what life may bring.

3. Josh
My BGF. I've known this kid since I was 10. In high school I thought he was from an alien planet. A jock OBSESSED with football. He dated seniors as a freshmen. He was popular. I've known his family since I was a kid, and they were awesome. He had a perfect life to me in a lot of ways. When I found out he liked me at the end of my freshmen-going-into-sophomore-year summer, I was bamboozled. He I was a nerd. I still had braces and I JUST started wearing contacts at the beginning of freshmen year. He dated white, big booty hoes who played volleyball! And he likes me? We dated for two and a half years, and I found out a lot about the boy I thought I somewhat knew. He fell in love with me and I thought I fell in love with him. By the time I found out it wasn't so, I was too much of a coward to break up right away and I screwed up the incredible bond we'd shared. I got into another relationship two and a half months after we broke up (fucking asshole, I know) and we didn't talk (obviously) for a little over a year and a half (well, we talked a little). He had gone crazy after we broke up and went wild, and I thought I had lost the boy I knew. Eventually he found another girlfriend (who I thought was fake for the longest time!) who he fell in love with. It was a long-distance relationship though, and of course drama ensued. Around this time, my relationship was failing too and that's when we started hanging out again. I would have hung out with him earlier but I didn't out of respect for my former ex (retarded). We went on a "Fuck Love" campaign, and went crazy for a few months ourselves. We've made a ton of memories healing though, and thank God I had him to heal with because I was a mess. Josh is about the SILLIEST human being alive. Sometimes all I can say is "Woooooow" - literally. But he always manages to make my day 1,000,000,000x better. He's the definition of what a friend is, and more. Basically, I know Josh will be there for me - even if we stopped talking for some reason I know I could count on him to help me with whatever might be happening. I've called him my 24/7 on-call friend and he truly is that. We fight a lot, but NEVER hold grudges. Truth is, we understand each other even when we think we don't.

And that concludes this entry. A note, however, is that my good friend Guido left to Afghanistan just yesterday. And I miss him and will be praying for his safe return everyday. He's very dear to me.

I HATE that he had to leave.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 2: The meaning behind your name.

My name, just in case you don't know (insert sarcasm), is Grace. It's pretty self-explanatory. But just to add some flavor, it's Latin in origin and is the 15th most popular girl name today according to In 1990, the year I was born, Rachel was the 15th most popular girl name and mine wasn't even on the list. In that respect, I'll give my parents kudos for originality.

My parents told me that Grace was the only name I ever had (meaning they didn't even consider if I were to be a boy; thank God I wasn't). So, they were set on it from the get-go. Apparently my grandmother (on my dad's side) wanted my name to be Kimberly. But Kimberly Kim (my middle name and my mom's maiden name) wouldn't really work out, and strangely enough I could see myself being a Kim but never a Kim-berly.

Mmm, other than that I don't really go by any nicknames. Only a select (close) few get to call me Gracey - or I'll let you get away with it if I like you.

I took a completely ridiculous name quiz, and I liked what I got so here it is!

"You Are Intelligent and Contemplative

You are deeply philosophical and thoughtful. You tend to analyze every aspect of your life.
You are intuitive, brilliant, and quite introverted. You value your time alone.
Often times, you are grumpy with other people. You don't appreciate them trying to interfere in your affairs.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.
You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.
You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily.
You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind.
A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together."

You can take this ridiculous quiz here:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 1: A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was.

This is a VERY recent picture of me. I was a flapper for Halloween hence the headband and feather in my hair.

My day has been...slow. Just a really lazy day. I didn't get into bed until around six or six thirty this morning since I made a late-night pit stop at my bestie Josh's house coming back from Santa Barbara. I ended up staying there way longer than anticipated, watching Hocus Pocus (awesome: "Sistersss!!!") and talking until the late AMs about life, love, and the pursuit. It was very fun, and a great way to end the weekend. I didn't wake up until around two in the afternoon, which is when I realized I was sick. It's just a sore throat so I have hope that it will pass swiftly. I guess I left my wallet at Josh's house earlier so he dropped it off at my house around three since he had had an interview at Macy's and had the car anyway (he got the job, that lucky kid). We watched about half of Star Wars Episode I since Spike is, for some reason, playing it ALL day today and then he had to leave to pick up his little sister from school. From there I updated my Xbox 360 which took awhile, and found out that I need to renew my Gold subscription...which sucks since that means I have to wait until tomorrow to play Halo: Reach online. I made a grilled cheese sandwich and some tomato soup, watched an episode of That 70's Show and am now writing this EXTREMELY boring blog entry! Hooray. I'm also simultaneously procrastinating. I have to write a paper on Wal-Mart and capitalism, and I REALLY don't want to. But I better get to it, sorry for my lame re-cap, but the challenge required it!

30 Day Blog Challenge!

So, I stole this idea from my friend Paloma who stole it from her friend! Anyways, I thought it'd be a really fun thing to try out, and now that Halloween weekend is officially over (which I spent in Santa Barbara and I'm sick because of it, so that alone tells you how much fun it was), I can begin on this. Here are the topics:

Day 1: A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was.
Day 2: The meaning behind your name.
Day 3: About your friends.
Day 4: About your family.
Day 5: A photo of somewhere you've been to.
Day 6: A song that makes you cry.
Day 7: A photograph of the town you live in.
Day 8: 15 facts about yourself.
Day 9: A photo of you taken over ten years ago.
Day 10: Your best friend.
Day 11: An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 12: 10 things you'd like to do before you die.
Day 13: An old photo.
Day 14: Something you love about yourself.
Day 15: A travel Story.
Day 16: A photo that makes you smile.
Day 17: Your definition of love.
Day 18: A letter to someone you miss.
Day 19: A habit you wish you didn’t have.
Day 20: A letter to your parents.
Day 21: Anything.
Day 22: What would you say is your biggest fear when it comes to relationships?
Day 23: Your idea of the perfect first date.
Day 24: A song that makes you smile.
Day 25: Who would you invite to the perfect dinner party?
Day 26: A photo of an animal you'd love to keep as a pet.
Day 27: 20 of your favorite things.
Day 28: What attracts you to someone.
Day 29: Future plans/goals.
Day 30: A photograph of yourself today + three good things that happened in the past 30 days.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Of everything techy, I think I hate printers the most.

After battling an hour and a half installing my dad's new wireless HP printer I feel exhausted and mentally strained. It's not that I'm technically-challened, I'm just not as tech-savvy as others. I don't think I blame the printer exactly. I think I mostly blame the, I blame the printer. It didn't help that after loading paper into the printer that it decided to swallow about five pieces, ripping the last two into shreds I had to handpick out of its internals. Honestly, I don't understand why printers hate me. I've always had problems with each one I've owned. Whatever, the deed is done.

Weather like this inspires me to write, and I don't know why I'm writing. I just feel like it. I love to write. Ever since eigth grade, when I won an award for writing a short story, I've loved to write. In a way, I need to write. I don't care if people read what I write, or even like what I write about, it's kind of like therapy - for what? Life? Sometimes. Other times, it's simply for enjoyment. Like playing my newly bought Xbox. Speaking of, I love my Xbox. I really feel like I should've bought one sooner. For the past couple of days I've just been lazing about, neglecting reading - which I overloaded myself with last week - and anything else school-wise. I have an online midterm I need to take care of before Friday, and an essay to write on a book I have yet to finish due that same day (=Thurs is cram day). The essay I'm not worried about. What I am worried about is that I have about a hundred more pages to read. The book is about America becoming a republic...needless to say, it's not the most interesting book in the world. I've been doing well, though. Admittedly, a lot of the reading I get assigned I only read about half of. And I bullshit the other chapters by simply reading the summary. It works, which is good. Another thing, I applied for a job at Macy's - strictly seasonal - to make more money to pay for school (sigh). I had an interview Tues, but no news so far. I just applied today to the Macy's at Victoria Gardens. Here's to hoping. Money is the number one issue right now. Lifeguarding basically screwed me over, and AMC is a no-go. I didn't get financial aid this year, so it's a big stress factor. All I made over the summer went to fall quarter, and the same goes for winter. Sure, I have money NOW. But by winter, all of that is going to be gone - and then what? I feel like I need to be looking for an "office job" and don't get me wrong, I've applied. But the competition is fierce, especially at my school. The only reason I chose Macy's is because I know that they give you a ton of hours during winter season, as most retail places do. But Macy's is the biggest department store hiring, and I really, really hope I get the job. Anyhoot, dinner is calling.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

That's right kids! It's update time!

Ha, to be honest there isn't much to update on. Unfortunately, my life is quite ordinary. Or wait, is that so bad really...? Hm, indecisive about answering that at the moment. Anyway, a couple of things have happened. Firstly, an update on my family situation. Things are much, much better. However, my dad had a slight relapse today. It wasn't horrible, certainly something I could handle without having to call my BGF Josh ugly-crying (yes, ugly-crying, as in your crying is so out of control that you automatically revert to a hot mess). I really owe writing Josh an ode for being with me through all this. My other best friends are simply too far (as in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, freaking Maryland!) - and I've really needed someone here, here for me anytime. A 24/7 on-call best friend. And I know my bezzies would be here if they could - don't get me wrong - but I'm just thankful one of them can be an on-call friend. If Josh had a best friend theme song it would be, quite rightfully, "On Call" by Kings of Leon. Not only has he been there with me at obscure hours of the night, but given me cheer-up gifts that rock my world. An exemplary friend, Josh is. Truly.

Other than family, I started my JUNIOR YEAR this past Thursday. It gives me shivers telling people it's my junior year in COLLEGE. It just makes me feel so old, a constant reality check. No messing around for me - I'm more determined than I've ever been in regards to school. I'm double majoring in Literature and Sociology. This decision took a while to make - but it seriously needed to be made. It's time for me to start taking classes for my major(s), although I still need to take a few more GE classes (oooh, and don't get me started on how much I hate those; colleges just want your money, forcing you to take classes you don't even need!) But I finally decided that teaching is the route I want to go down. Looking more into speech therapy - it's definitely an interesting field but unfortunately I'd have to go to an entirely different school, and right now that's not going to happen. In fact, my whole reel about transferring back to UCSB probably isn't going to happen. Revisiting made me realize just how much money it takes to go to that school, and if all I want to be is a teacher, I don't see any purpose in transferring back...of course, it's disappointing to admit that I probably won't. I really wanted to, I wanted to live with my friends over there, live on my own again....but it's for the better good. I know I won't regret it as an adult with tons of bills to pay. Anyway, the reason I'm double majoring is...well, why the hell not? Why only get a minor in something? It's just a few more classes, and sure you have to do a senior project, but since I plan on staying a fifth year anyway, there really isn't an excuse NOT to double major. Also, the reason I chose Sociology is because along with being a teacher, I'd also like to try and be a high school counselor. It's something I've always considered, and I think it would be extremely humbling as well as rewarding for me, just as an individual. Plus, I've always harbored an intense interest in social work considering my family used to take care of foster children for five years (which taught me so much about others from backgrounds different than my own), and I've enjoyed all the Soc classes I've taken. The discussions are so interesting in those classes. So unlike most of my others. They really throw you out of what YOU'RE used to, and drag you into a situation you might not even know short, I like Soc because it really makes you think about people. And let's face it, people are everything in a sense. It makes you think deeply - even though the evidence is sometimes staring you in the face.

The last tidbit is about boys. I'm in trouble. That's about all I'll say.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Why I'm doing this NOW, I have no idea.

Here I am in my room, listening to the acoustic version of "Skeletons" by one of my favorite bands (the Yeah Yeah Yeahs)...and I'm finally ready to write down what's been happening lately, something I've been trying to avoid. But something I can't continue pretending isn't happening.

My family is falling apart. My tiny family of three, consisting of only my mother, father, and I. My little family has always been close, we're all we have. Although my mother has family in South Korea and talks to her sister on a weekly basis, she hasn't been back since she left in 1989. I don't know if it's because her parents passed and she doesn't have an obligation to - or if she really doesn't care to revisit like she's claimed before. She did live there for 33 years after all...I suppose if I lived in Fontana for 33 years (not happening), which could be comparable to Seoul though it isn't a "big city," I wouldn't want to desperately revisit it either. But at the same token, after twenty-one years? Well, maybe.

When it comes to my dad's side of the family, it's your quintessential dysfunctional train wreck of relations. Everyone has family secrets. But the Garners have more than your average messed up family. I hardly know any of my relatives on the Garner side and, to be quite frank, I wouldn't want to meet a few of them either. My dad was raised by my great-grandmother (whom I never met considering my dad is 71) until he was 7 - only infrequently visited by his mother. My grandmother (who died when I was 3) was, as my father often puts it, "a crazy woman." Fiery, rebellious, she got pregnant with my dad at 19, married the man (first husband Garner), divorced him after she found out he would rather abort my father and dumped him at her mom's for whatever reason until she got remarried. The only love my father ever knew was from his grandmother - he's told me this multiple times. From his mom's second marriage he gained two brothers, Stanley and Mike, who have always been a big disappointment to my dad for as long as I can remember. When Stanley was born, my dad was 9. 11 when Mike was born. My dad was more like their caretaker than brother. My grandmother, being who she was, would frolic and have her fun, often leaving my dad to do her job - that is cook, clean, watch over Stan and Mike, change diapers, clothe them, do laundry, and whatever other so-called "feminine things" mother's are known to do. His stepfather was a cook in the Navy, and my dad was a military brat for most of his childhood. Stan and Mike's father was simply a provider and "semi-father" to his biological sons, and nothing more than a solid provider to my dad. My dad used to always tell me that his lack of a father drew him closer to God, that although he didn't have an earthly father, he didn't lack a heavenly one. There's a lot of things I won't know about my dad's childhood - those things parents choose not to tell their children. What I do know is that regardless of his family, he did thoroughly enjoy his childhood and misses it from time to time, like anyone with a good childhood does. But why am I writing all this down? To gain a perspective on what's happening now.

I don't know exactly when his drinking problem started, or how or even really why - all I know is that he has one now. And it's almost a daily battle in our household, an honest poison leaking into what I once thought of as a near-perfect family.

When I was younger my dad was working two full-time jobs. So I didn't see him as much as some people might have seen theirs as a kid (or quite the opposite) and of course we did go on family vacations, and occasionally do father-daughter bonding things (like when he took me fishing at Seal Beach and I caught my first and only fish at 7 or to the San Diego Zoo or, of course, when he'd take me to Disneyland), but as a youngster I saw my dad as this dear, dear figure whose mere presence filled me with this kind of impalpable joy. Not to say that I loved my father more than my mother, etc, it was simply different between the two. I felt such admiration towards him and craved his approval. Growing up, I wanted very much to be like him. Living in our old apartment in Los Alamitos, I clearly remember my dad coming home, dressed to the nines in his military uniform, all professional - something about that uniform, the way my mother and I took it to the dry cleaners every week, how he'd let me unfold his Air Force hat and place it atop his head - it just made me that much more proud and happy that this important person was mine. I would just light up as a little girl - happy my dad was home with my mom and I. When I was young, my parents never fought. I never heard them even once argue. The first time I heard my parents fight was when I was 13, and that was heart shattering as anyone whose experienced it knows. But it was only that once. Gradually, they started "bickering" more - just little disagreements that were settled within minutes. But other than that, nothing more. Both my parents are very religious, and we used to go to church as a family up until we moved to Fontana when I was 9. That's when my dad started working not only weekdays but weekends, to help pay for our new house since my mom didn't work. Being that age, I didn't realize the stress my dad was going through to make those mortgage payments and pay the bills. My dad rarely showed if he was stressed. It wasn't until I was 15, 16 that my dad started to "act his age" - in other words, he grew more sentimental, got hurt easier - they "toughen up" (get more stubborn) and they also become less mature and super sensitive with age ironically - at least in my experience with my father. If I was spending too much time with my friends or boyfriend, he would tell me "Well what about me? What about your dad?" And ever since then it's been the same thing - ever since I was 15 I've known my dad felt unappreciated a lot of the time. As a teen, I KNOW I spent way more time with my parents than most of the other kids my age. My parents and I would go out almost 2-3 times a week, watching movies, eating out, going to Starbucks, just talking or staying home and spending time together as a family. When I went to college at UCSB...I didn't consider that life at home would be different if/when I came back. When I was away, my parents fared well without me, even though they missed me. When I transferred home it was like the floodgates of misfortune decided to rain down upon me. Not to waste more space about my past relationship, but getting over it really took its toll on me. I didn't want to be at home, where all I'd do was think about why it failed, how miserable I was, so I made it a point to go out and do something everyday. Open up, make friends, and I got so carried away I was hardly and, to be honest, am still hardly ever home (not to mention school and work). My mom got a job, one she still has, and she's hardly ever home either. In fact, my dad is the one who's home most now - alone. I didn't think this could ever turn into a bad thing but it did. What I found out is that my dad is weak-minded. That the person I held so much high-esteem for was...not who I thought him to be. In his drunken stupor he spouts that I set too high of standards for him, that he's not perfect, and he feels so justified about drinking it makes me sick to my stomach. I'm not going to go into detail because there's just so much to be said, and it will only make me feel worse about this whole situation, but my family is on the rocks as it were. I've tried everything and as far as what happened a few nights ago, I'm only just recovering from a huge falling out with my dad. I can't change him, my mom can't change him. God help us. I know a lot of people go through this, in fact I know a lot of people who have - and my friends are really my rock right now. I can't thank God enough for them and for how much strength they've given me. I keep telling myself that this will make me stronger - just like my last relationship did - but just like that scenario, the damage is done. Except now it's family. I can make this work, but my dad needs to be willing. I used to think my dad and I were made from the same cookie cutter but I am a lot unlike him than I once thought. I won't ignore his problem, I'll scream and kick and yell everyday if I have to. But I'll never give up, I'll never stop even though he's unwilling - I have hope that one day he'll realize what he's done/what he's doing - and honestly, that's all I got.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

In Limbo.

My life has rolled into, what I like to call, a "transitional period." It's a euphemism really. I feel completely in limbo - it's like I'm waiting for something, but I'm not sure what that something is. I feel like I'm not doing enough. I'm twenty. Twenty. I feel as if I need to be doing more. More, more, more. I feel like everyone else my age is doing so much more than me - living on their own, doing meaningful things such as volunteering and holding leadership positions, interning. And all I'm doing is skimming by school and working. That's why I've made it my goal to start volunteering - anywhere and everywhere. I want to be apart of something bigger than myself. I want to be involved in something important and meaningful. Something that will make me a better person. To be honest, I feel like I've been slacking. Just doing the bare minimum of what I need to do in order to be a successful human being. I know I'm hard on myself but it's something that I know will never change about me. I'm hard on myself because I need to be - otherwise, I would never get anything done. Never go above and beyond. Future-wise, I've been thinking a lot about what I'm going to do after graduation. It's really starting to weigh on my mind. That's not very far off. And I've yet to decide which route I want to go down. Get my credentials (if teaching is the route I choose)? Go straight back to school and get my Master's? Join the Air Force? Go on a spontaneous adventure, volunteer in the Peace Corps? Teach English abroad in South Korea? There's so many directions my life can take me, and although I'd love to just run off and join the Peace Corps it's highly unlikely that will happen. First, I have to start paying off my student loans. It's not like I can run off to Latin America or Africa with debt trailing behind me. Of course, if I'm going to be a teacher, I have to get my credentials before anything...but I've been really thinking about joining the Air Force. It's always been a good option. Smart. Stable. Practical. Right away, I'd be getting an income. Be able to manage my loans, and get a head start on my adult life. It would provide housing. New experiences. And hopefully I'd be able to be stationed in South Korea. Besides the Air Force, another viable option would be taking a year off and teaching English in South Korea. I've always wanted to do this, and it would be the perfect timing to do such a thing. When else in life am I going to have the time/opportunity? The time to decide what I'm going to do is winding down. I just hope I make the right choices when it comes down to it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sick, yet again.

There is nothing worse than being sick in the summer. NOTHING. Dramatic I know, but it is horrendous. I got sick from my mom who picked something up from one of her co-workers. But the quickness with which I picked it up probably has to do with me overworking myself. I've been working every single day since summer started practically. In fact, I never get a day off unless I request it off. Granted, I am making BANK. But at the same time working so much left me with little time with Caitie while she was down here, and I'm trying to schedule in an L.A. trip with Vanessa before she leaves next weekend. Just another reminder of growing up. Scheduling EVERYTHING, saying goodbye to best friends who live in entirely different cities/states, working like a dog, searching for that desperately needed break in the form of friend/family/beloved couch time...or simply getting sick, which is sad to say WOULD be a vacation if I could afford it. Alas, I have a runny nose that's gushing like a waterfall, a throat that feels like sandpaper and work at 7. I wish I could call in, but it's much too late for that and for some odd reason, I refuse to because I feel it's my responsibility to work despite feeling like utter poo. Why? No idea.

Time to suck it up. Or blow my nose.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Friendship, Love, Me

Friendship is a hard thing. It's hard to hold onto, even though it should be easy. You really have to put a lot of effort into it, at least if you want it to last. It really deserves the -ship at the end of it, because of all relationships it is the most important. Without friendship, life would be unimaginable. If you look back on your life, the happiest and most fun times are those shared with friends. Well, at least for me. Good friends become family and good family become friends.

Losing a good friend...

Now it's happened to everyone. And it's a terrifying thing. When you're close friends with someone, best friends, you "know" that you will always be friends. This is a mistake, but not one you can control because in all honesty that is what you think indefinitely. In fact, not being friends with them is unimaginable. But then it happens...and it messes up your notion of indefinitely knowing ANYTHING.

If you were 100 percent positive that the two of you would be friends forever and then one day (and it happens gradually but at the same time seems to end like the last flicker of a candle - quickly) you simply are not...

It's scary. Anything you're sure of you're no longer sure of.

The same is true of love. You know that in the end you will know each other forever, love each other forever...and then one day, same as with a friend, it's gone. And you're left wondering if you can ever be sure of anything.

And the answer is...quite obviously, no, you cannot.

But it's weird how we think we can be so sure of something. That's the newest life lesson I've learned.

Then there's also me...

Who I am. What I'm like.

I've been thinking about it a lot.

I know me, obviously. But at the same time...I don't understand some of the things I do.

That question you routinely find asking yourself: "Why did I do that?" or even "Why am I like this?" I've been asking myself a lot lately.

And then the insecure question you don't want to even be asking yourself because you're sure it's just you being vain: "Why do people like me so much?"

You come up with answers, but it's never a full answer.

It blows my mind that I can't fully answer questions about MYSELF.

Just think about it.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Because I haven't written one in a long time.

Summertime. It has finally arrived.

I've been SO BUSY lately it's hard to find time to make time to do things I've wanted/want to do.

Did you follow?

If so, continue reading...

I recently found time (as in pre-planned way ahead of time) a trip to visit my best friend.

This past weekend I went up to San Francisco with Vanessa to visit Caitie and Loyd, her boyfriend and I'm sure future husband, in their new studio apartment. It is absolutely adorable and I am more than jealous that she is so happy - whatta girl I am. But of course, I'm positively thrilled for her. She's doing really well and thriving in a place I know I couldn't live after visiting so many times (or could I?) To see my best friend in such a state is a blessing. Their apartment is pretty small, I'd say around 500 square feet or so. Once you open the door you're in their bedroom/living room - if that sizes up the picture. They have a tiny kitchen with a bar, which I think is really cool, a nice sized bathroom and plenty of closet space. They even have a teeny vanity room, which is more like the little hallway to the bathroom. Still, it's very cozy and perfect for a couple.

The visit was very pleasant. We, and I mean all four of us, spent the ENTIRE time talking, and playing Mario Kart among other things (they don't have cable or internet). We hardly did anything other than sit around and talk in fact. Surprisingly, there isn't much to do in San Francisco. At least for twenty-year-old "adults" who also happen to be broke college students. However, we did go out to eat a lot and took a long walk downtown on Saturday which was great because the weather, for once, was PERFECT. I had taken Declan, my Nikon D3000 with me, but being me, I forgot to charge him before leaving and so have no photographs to speak of except for a few mobile shots. We were only there for two nights and two days because scheduling off work is near damn impossible, but it doesn't really matter now since Caitie is back in Fontana. I am overjoyed over this. In fact, I went over to her house the other day and had me some family Towne time. I've missed my second family.

To back track, there is one meaningful thing I got out of this visit to San Fran. I've known for awhile now that Caitie has changed - because, well, she lives with Loyd and has her own life in SF and so is bound to change a little. I don't mean personality wise or anything...more like...well, it feels as if Caitie is married. As funny as that sounds, it's not something I'm used to yet. I hadn't seen her since winter break (which was just a horrible, drama filled time), but we spent more time alone then because of all the drama, etc so I wasn't able to see the Married Caitie side of her very much. But in SF I did. Caitie and Loyd are ALMOST like one person. Of course, apart they are very much themselves but it's obvious that there is that "special bond" that's more than just a boyfriend-girlfriend bond. I've come to terms that Caitie is not going to be the person I do "Single" things with. We're never going to go clubbing or on a cruise with just the girls (well, maybe, but it's not going to be the same since she's "married") or any of the other random things I saw us doing five years ago. She's turning into the Married One of the group while I'm straggling behind, not necessarily trying to catch up (I'm twenty after all!) but searching for a similar lifestyle in the end. For some reason, it upsets me. Not a great deal...I guess it's more of a downer. I know I can talk to Caitie about guys, relationships, love, etc but now it's going to be just me who's single while Caitie's the one in a relationship that's probably going to lead to marriage. This is another thing I've come to terms with. Before, I had my reasons for not liking Loyd. Now, I've accepted him and I actually do think that they're good for each other. Still, being her best friend, I'll always be a bit worried over how things will pan out but as it stands I see it panning out rather nicely. Because I so strongly believe the two will be married, that means Loyd is going to be a rather big part of my life. After all, he will be married to my best friend. I just hope that by the time I catch up to where Caitie is that everything can mesh nicely together. Now that I'm twenty, I'm realizing that a lot of things are going to happen in the next couple years that are going to be HUGE. One, a career. Two, hopefully a family. These are daunting matters, and I'm a bit frazzled over them. Even though I'm barely twenty, I've always been the type to think ahead - far ahead. To me, these things aren't far enough away for me not to think about them often. After college, will Caitie and Loyd get married? Will I be with someone? Will Vanessa? Will my other close friends be single or in a relationship? Will I have a stable job? Where will I be living? With who? Will I have kids? Will Caitie have kids? Will we be living close to one another? These don't stress me out in any way. In fact, I look forward to what the future holds but at the same time I think about the future far more than I ever did before.

All I can do is wait and see.

And anyone who knows me knows that patience is not my stronghold.

Monday, May 31, 2010

9 Summer Albums That Matter Most To Me

A spin-off of Spin's 25 Summer Albums That Matter Most, I've narrowed mine down to 9, 8 of those off Spin's 25. I'm expecting the number to go up so it will most likely change, but as for now, 9 it is!

Wolf Parade
Expo 86
Album Drops: June 29

What is it with bands from Montreal that I like so much? Oh yeah, everything!

Kid Cudi
Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
Album Drops: September 14

Since he blasted on the scene with his instant hit "Day N Nite" Kid Cudi has deemed himself the strangest (and arguably coolest) person in hip hop today as his newest single "Pursuit of Happiness" and his last album proved.

But as the saying goes: Strange is beautiful.

The Roots
How I Got Over
Album Drops: June 22

The Roots - hip hop at its finest. How I Got Over is their ninth album and is a promising one at that. Their single, "How I Got Over," was released in 2009 - a little teaser to their highly anticipated album. By now, these guys are pros at making head-bobbing hits.

The Young Veins
Take a Vacation!
Album Drops: June 8
Attending: Rooney with The Young Veins and Black Gold - June 17 @ House of Blues, Anaheim, CA.

Ah, a vacation into indie bliss. Former Panic! at the Disco (yes, "!" - I refuse to drop it) members Ryan Ross and Jon Walker departed from Panic! to follow their musical hearts, producing their preference of Beatles-like (too much?) tracks that are, quite frankly, delicious. Take "Cape Town" for example:


Although I'm bummed about the split (I was quite obsessed with Panic! in high school, an obsession shared by my closest friends) I'm also pretty happy. With The Young Veins we get an entirely different sound from Panic! which, basically, is like a double whammy of awesomesauce. Like many a relationship, this split was for the best.

Hot Hot Heat
Future Breeds
Album Drops: June 8
Attending: Hot Hot Heat - June 30 @ The Bootleg Theater, Los Angeles, CA.

It's been a long 3 years since we've heard anything from this band and I'm really excited to jump around to some of their new rousing hits. It was love at first listen when I heard "Bandages" on the mix my then-boyfriend Josh made me. I owe him for that one. I remember sitting in my room, daydreaming of my Baby Bash look alike of a beau, when a soft-lilting Jack Johnson track slid into a crazy jam about...bandages? By the time the second chorus came around I was jumping up and down on my bed singing along to the baffling lyrics, ending it with a loud "WOOOOOOOOO!!!" from utter exhilaration.

It was one of those musical experiences that stays with you. I was late to the band wagon since "Bandages" had actually come out in '03 and it wasn't until '05 that I caught on to the phenomenal fun that is Hot Hot Heat. Their only positive love song, and most recent single, "Goddess on the Prairie" was written for Steve Bays' fiancee - which just makes you wanna say "Awwwwwwww!" It's a fun song with a Chinatown-ish guitar rift floating through it that surprisingly goes really well. You can listen to it here:

Ra Ra Riot
The Orchard
Albums Drops: August 24

Attending UCSB last school year, we won a contest for the college that had the most registered voters who voted in the 2008 presidential election. As a reward, Death Cab for Cutie (my second favorite band) played at our school for absolutely FREE. Opening for them was Ra Ra Riot. At that time I had only heard one song by them and thought they were alright. After the concert, I instantly downloaded their songs and became slightly obsessed. It's without a doubt that with a single like "Can You Tell" - the ultimate indie crush song - that The Orchard is going to be outright peachy.

Jack Johnson
To the Sea
Album Drops: June 1
Attending: Jack Johnson - October 10 @ Cricket Amphitheater, Phoenix, AZ.

Admittedly the most controversial selection on my list, Jack Johnson has been one of my favorite singers since my freshman year in high school. Along with my boy bestie Josh, we've kept up with him since our younger days and pride ourselves on being his biggest fans before his rise to stardom. Though I have a completely biased view on Jack J, it's without a doubt true that he has helped me cope with the most difficult times in my life. You just cannot be down while listening to his songs; they have such a calming effect. Call it what you want, but I've been looking forward to this album since Sleep Through The Static (2008).

The video for "You and Your Heart" is just great. Reminds me, I went to the beach this past Saturday - THE WATER FEELS AMAZING! Can't wait for some more beachy tunes to coast me through another amazing summer.

Arcade Fire
The Suburbs
Album Drops: August 2nd or 3rd

Another Montreal band, Arcade Fire has the number two top spot on my list. A delectable delight I discovered in 2005, though they've been around since 2003, they have been nothing short of amazing - both Funeral (2004) and Neon Bible (2006-2008) are spectacular albums, so spectacular that they have earned multiple prestigious awards in Canada, the UK, and North America. My opinion on an absolutely beyond-words album is that each and every track has to be, well, absolutely beyond-words enjoyable. Funeral and Neon Bible are precisely that. I expect nothing less from their soon-to-be-released masterpiece.

Title TBD
Album Drops: TBD

Seeing as Interpol is most definitely in my Top 5 Favorite Bands of All Time and has remained there since I first listened to "Slow Hands" on KROQ in '04, their new album has me giddy with girlish excitement. It's with a heartfelt thanks to bands like Interpol that my music pool has widened into - I shan't say the size of the ocean necessarily - but instead the size of at least the Pacific and Atlantic combined. Thus said, I cannot wait for their newest release despite not knowing exactly when it will be officially available. One thing is for certain however, their new single "Lights" can be summed up in one word: Pleasing. Very pleasing. Interpol yet again exceeds at turning obscure, meaningless lyrics into something poetry-esque. "Please police me" - just what does it mean? What is the significance in this line and how can you relate it to Shakespeare's ever-famous "To die or not to die"? Whatever the meaning, I like the sound of it for a reason I can't quite defend. And is it just me or do they seem to really like the word "grace"?

While reading Spin's top 25 album picks for the summer, Interpol being on their list at number 19, they offered a "Fast Fact" concerning their lyrics - check out this article from Stylus Magazine from back in '04 for a good chuckle or two:

Monday, May 17, 2010


I've been sick since Thursday but I've been recovering since Saturday morning. Which, of course, meant I could carry on with my weekend plans to drive up to Santa Barbara and attend Extravaganza 2010, see Drake work his raw and, to me, cute charm to a crowd of college students and visitors, and get to hang with my SB crew. I had so much fun and was actually very happy to be back that it got me thinking...

After last year and spilling my hatred for UCSB in this very blog and to friends and family, I've finally gotten to the point where I can reassess just WHY I was so desperate to leave. And as cliche as it sounds, it turns out that it wasn't entirely for the right reasons. Back then, I was stressed. College was new to me, as were loans, ACTUALLY having to really think about my future, and a UC workload. I won't lie, it was VERY stressful. But I think I made it more stressful than it had to be. Almost from the start I began to hate the place. First, I was roommates with the biggest complainer in the whole wide world. That person being my best friend Caitie. Living with that, it would be hard to stay optimistic about the place. She transferred winter quarter to San Francisco State University which was really hard on me since Caitie was my social life line. I was incredibly lonely at the start of my winter quarter at UCSB but that soon changed. I made friends, really good friends. Close friends. It's so, so rare to find people that you just "click" with and form such strong bonds with but I did. Being me, I didn't fully appreciate the gift I had been given and decided to focus on the negativity UCSB does, unfortunately at times, possess. My main complaint was the people. I didn't like the people, they were all shallow barbies or shallow asswipes in my eyes. Going around like that, it's no wonder I continued to fuel my hatred into thoughts of transferring. To add, having to deal with getting loans and dolling out money I didn't have every quarter got to my fresh-out-of-high-school-self. And to add on to that, I had a boyfriend who lived back at home. By the end of winter quarter, my mind was made up - just send in an application at my boyfriend's school and pray for results. All of the transferring crap was another stress load, not to mention my relationship's shakiness by the end of the school year. Though I had convinced myself I was transferring for ME, it was also to save my relationship. My biggest fear was that if I moved back Daniel and I would break up - which we did - but that says a lot. I should have been fearing other things, like what if CSUSB wasn't for me? Back in high school, I promised I would NEVER go to CSUSB like almost everyone from my school did. Now that I'm here...I realize CSUSB is NOT for me. It's a good school, don't get me wrong. But it's not for me. Maybe it's for Daniel. Maybe it's for the other thousands of students that claim it as theirs. But not for me. It's comfortable. But I don't necessarily like that. I feel I've regressed. Not because it's a CSU or anything like that. But because I'm back at home. That is not for me. I need to be away. I need to live elsewhere. I'm restless. So I've decided that I'm going to stay at CSUSB another year and then transfer either back to UCSB and live with the most amazing people and make my senior year awesome, or transfer to another UC. Yes, UC. Though I have nothing against CSU or its professors (in fact, I absolutely love my critical thinking prof) it's not enough. I know that sounds outright bizarre...but I don't feel like I'm really learning enough. Some classes I've taken at CSU overlap with those I've taken at UCSB, and I honestly don't need to study or read because I know the material and then some. I've aced all my sociology classes with flying colors all because I took women's studies at UCSB - because women's studies was so much more than just that - it encompassed so much, squeezed in as much as it could so that it covered an Intro to Soc class AND critical thinking class at CSUSB. Even my professors have made comments about how much more information I end up contributing in class. It's hard to really explain the difference I feel. I want more. And when it comes to my education, the more selfish I am, the better. I want the best I can get. So transferring my fourth year is going to happen, and I plan on staying a fifth year as well. Linguistics has become an obsession. I love how it breaks down language and how the two go hand-in-hand. I'm so much more mature than I was last year. I know what's really important. There's nothing for me here anymore. I love my family, but even they want me to transfer. I really feel like I transferred for the wrong reasons. For a warped, naive outlook and for a relationship that would have fallen apart irregardless of my moving back.

In short, I feel stupid. But at the same time I'm glad it happened. How else would I know it wouldn't work out? Everything happens for a reason, as the saying goes.

Anyway, I really do miss SB. Being back evokes so many memories. I miss riding around, living on campus, cooking dinner, my weekend routine, hanging with my lovelies, being INDEPENDENT. I really miss my girls. I can't wait for that fourth year to roll around. But trust, I'm going to make this year count. CSUSB is still my school after all. For now.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dear Stranger,

Since the age of 13 I've wanted one thing and one thing only - to fall in love.

Little did I know I should have pined for something a step further - to stay in love, and for that person to stay in love with me.

It's so easy to fall in love. It's finding the right person that's the hard part.

I'm writing to someone I know exists. Someone that is mine even though they don't know it yet. Someone that is waiting patiently for me, and I for them. I thought I had found that someone but I was wrong....

But it doesn't bother me like it used to. As much as I try to deny it, I'm still hurting, I'm still healing, I'm still fighting the good fight. I think someone should write a book trying to explain unexplainable feelings, as paradoxical as it sounds. Why? Because no one prepares you for those experiences. And sure, this book of explaining unexplainable feelings may serve no purpose as words can never TRULY convey emotions, thus hindering them unexplainable, but I feel it should be out in this world nonetheless. For critical thought at least. If I had an inkling of what heartbreak actually felt like, maybe I would have done things differently.

Now, at age 19, I want nothing more than someone to love and to be loved in return, genuinely, tenderly. I feel like every human being shares this same desire - that somewhere deep within the complexities of the human soul lies a need to love and be loved. A big part of me feels empty now that I've been in love. In other words, the need for love has intensified. Before, I was content to dream. Now, all I want is for my dreams to become reality once again. The next time I'm in love I'll know what a precious gift it truly is. The sad and unfortunate thing about firsts is that you don't fully realize how special they are - especially your first love - and I don't think you fully appreciate how amazing they are until they're gone. You don't completely understand.

I feel so much more mature for having gone through so much pain. After all, isn't it through pain that wisdom is gained? The next time I'm in love, I won't be hesitant, I won't be scared. The next time I'm in love I'm going to give him my all before it's too late, and he's going to love me genuinely, tenderly.

For the longest time I couldn't listen to love songs. I'd either end up in a really bad mood or crying. Thankfully, I can listen to love songs now - and even sing along. See how much I've improved?

I made a little mix. It's dedicated to the next person lucky enough to have me. I hope you enjoy.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Blah Blah Blah.

I don't really know why I'm writing...but it doesn't really matter; there's always something to write about.

I've been preparing for summer - meaning listening to a lot of ska and Sublime and sending in my application for my usual seasonal job as a lifeguard. I say this just about every summer, but this summer is going to be different. This summer I'll be single for the first time in a long time. This summer my best friends will be staying at their respected schools for the majority of the usual 3-month-span vacation. This summer I'll be flying solo basically. Well, kind of. I mean, I have my friends here - that is my all-boy posse. I desperately need to make some girl friends. So I know I'll be busy socially. If I even have time for a social life that is. I plan on 1) going to summer school and getting my last and final math class out of the way and 2) working my ass off as a lifeguard (and trying to get my training done to be a water safety instructor) as well as snag as many hours possible as AMC's weekends-only slave. My ultimate goal is to make $3000 by the end of summer - well, less than that since I'll be spending money on gas, food, and misc. That means I'll need to be averaging about 23ish hours per week, combining my part time job as a lifeguard earning $13/hr and working at AMC for $8/hr - minus taxes. I also have to take into consideration my 4 hour math class. I figure I make myself available on weekends to AMC and pick up shifts when my lifeguard schedule stinks, which it just might since we have oodles of fresh meat this year. That's why I want to try my best to be an instructor. You get weekends off and you're guaranteed 20 hours a week. Still, summer school is going to kill that guarantee since it's a 4 hour class. I figure from 8am-12pm. So that eliminates morning lessons for me, which leaves me with evening lessons and evening swim. Then there's the whole issue with my manager....

I have a lot on my plate. My summer isn't going to be a vacation, but I'm really looking forward to milking it for all it's worth. 3 months to get ahead, 3 months to make money, 3 months dedicated to fulfilling an accomplishment. Oh, and I definitely plan on squeezing in a road trip somewhere.

All I can say is...BRING IT!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The opposite sex.

Naturally, the opposite sex is a big interest of mine. Boys are so easy to figure out but, at the same time, difficult to understand. It's due time I wrote an entry on men, especially with all that's been happening.

As I mentioned earlier on, I make friends with boys easier than with girls. For whatever reason, they're just easier to be friends with. Well, actually, there's a lot of reasons why they're easier to get along with. They (usually) are dramaless and, thankfully, really straightforward. They're more relaxed, and when you hang out with your good guy friends, it's like they rub off some of their I-don't-give-a-fuck attitude onto you. It's kind of like being buzzed, sober. Okay, maybe all this isn't making sense, especially since I'm stereotyping guys, so let me make it more specific: the guys I hang out with, this is how they are. It's a big de-stressor to hang with the guys. They're selfish in their own ways - like girls - but they don't take over the conversation. They make you laugh, they're crude, they honestly don't give a fuck about anything. In a way, it's admirable. I wish I could be like that, or at least pretend that I don't give a fuck about anything (since guys really do care about things, more than girls at times.) But I can't be. One way to know that you're good friends with a guy is when they tell you that they actually do care about something - when they let you in. It's not easy to be let in by a man. You see, there's this thing called pride. And men...they reek of it. That's one downfall of the opposite sex. However, there's always the exception. With some guys, it's like they've been waiting to tell you all their innermost feelings - they just spill it all, ask your opinion.

Men. They're truly complex, despite them saying women are. This is our curse. I can never think like a man, no matter how much of a guy I can be, there's no way I can fully understand their way of thinking, there's no way I can be a man's man. And there's no way a man can understand a woman fully. It's just the way it is, the way we're made.

Men are assholes. Men are sensitive.

Women are bitches. Women are sensitive.

One thing I've never been able to understand about my own sex is how easy we can be. Every guy friend tells me that being easy is the biggest turn-off they can think of. Oh, they might take advantage of it, but there's no way they'd ever actually LIKE a girl that was easy. I don't understand girls, because so many of them are so easy. And then these girls call guys assholes. And they are, this is true. But you can't really blame them either.

Boys will be boys.

Girls will be girls.

I think everyone's pined after someone - if they only liked me, we would honestly be perfect - why don't they like me? I like them so much....

I had one such person. Even to this day, I won't deny that my crush has gone away.

But, to clarify, it's a crush. Nothing big, nothing deadly, nothing that can hurt me.

We hadn't talked in a long, long time, and yet, as soon as we did, there it was. A baby spark that had laid dormant. A part of me recognized the never-gonna-happen-potential, the old longing to be with this person again.

I remember in high school, all those times he'd come over and we'd play video games, watch anime...those times where we were so close, him pressed to me, and all I wanted to do was kiss him....

We talked everyday, hung out everyday, but all I ever was to him was a friend. Just a friend, a really good friend who shared a lot of the same interests, hobbies.

I was friends with him, liked him way before all the other girls started to...but he didn't like me. One of the only times I can remember ever being fully jealous of another girl was because of him. Why HER and not me? She doesn't even like the same things as you! She's stupid, she can't even spell, and look at her hair! And then...why my best friend?

It was hard. Even though I started liking other people, he was always on the top of my list. He was the guy I compared every other guy to. But I was in the friend zone. And once you're's impossible to leave it seems.

Eventually, he fell in love with someone, and I knew it was over...because she was perfect, everything he wanted, everything he LITERALLY had dreams about, the ones he had IMed me about so many times before.

Even though that was so long ago, I remember how I used to feel whenever I was with him, the way his smile would light up my day. Even now, after so much time has passed, it's still the same - but dampened. Now, it's just a...yeah, okay, I'll always be attracted to him, I'll always like him, but I know I can never have him. It doesn't bother me, though it used to, and I'm actually quite happy for him and everything he's been doing, but it's just funny now.

Have you ever been led on?

Both guys and girls are notorious for it. I've never been led on by a guy (well, I have but in a way I care not to explain), even though my always-crush did flirt with me at times, it was always in a joking manner - something I knew he was innocently doing.

I've heard stories of people being led on and it's always the same. Girls (or guys) make themselves easy and get taken advantage of. By using their bodies, or being too nice. Often times, after this happens, they end up being more of an asshole or bitch because of this experience - but they do learn...usually. I've honestly heard WAY too many stories about being led on, it's kind of pathetic. What am I supposed to say? Why are you so stupid? That person's clearly just using you or just wants to be friends, so stop what you're doing. Alas, I have been led on in a way, and I do know that in certain circumstances, being led on is not your fault, that you truly do believe the person you're "with" feels the same, etc. In short, after you've learned your lesson, don't repeat it, because you'll only end up hurt. Way too many girls I know repeat the same mistake, just with other guys.

Can girls and guys just be friends?

A problem with a lot of the guy friends I have is this: they start liking me at some point. It's really frustrating and that might seem bitchy to say, but it is. They start being a little too nice, a little too friendly, and then, they might even pull a move on you. Unlike me, it doesn't seem like the guys I'm friends with pick up on clues very easily. Ever since my always-crush, I know when a guy is interested or not, it's easy. But some people just don't get it, and I don't understand. You can tell them again and again, "I plan on being single for a LONG time" and they'll still try and do something. Finally, you have to have "the talk" and, depending on how close the two of you are, your friendship is saved or smashed into teeny, tiny pieces. I've had my friendships flutter away into nothing but awkwardness, and then I've had friendships that become strengthened and it's nothing but a joke now that they used to like me. Okay, why am I bringing this up?

Because it's been happening lately.

Just the other night, my suspicions were answered about Josh. He told me he had a crush on me. I wasn't surprised, I was just surprised in the way he told me.

Josh has changed. He's matured a lot. Become a "man." He's an asshole. But not to me, and not to those he truly cares about. But he's still the nerd I've always known. The same guy who used to sing me to sleep and read me bedtime stories and make those funny voices I honestly love. He's still the same guy who can make me laugh, no matter what. All he has to do is use his Jasmine voice, and my frown is turned upside down. He's still the person I was best friends with, the person I wanted to be best friends with my whole life. Because he's just awesome like that. The greatest thing about him is that he can make an ass out of himself. There are no words to express how much I value that in a person. I LOVE IT. But, yesterday, we went to see Hot Tub Time Machine (which was good) and then chilled at his house. We stayed up talking until 4:30 in the morning. I don't know what it is with him, but we can talk for HOURS and never get bored. It amazes me. Even in my last relationship, I wasn't able to talk for eight hours straight, let alone so deep into the night. I guess it may be because Josh and I are slight insomniacs as well, but there's something crazy in that fact - something special. I remember when Daniel and I were going out, I would always think about that. I hated that we couldn't talk that long, that when we laid in bed, we would only talk for an hour or two, when all I wanted was to talk all night - not to say that I didn't truly value our conversations because Daniel was someone I could talk to about deep things, things that really meant a lot to me, and I knew he would listen and give me really good feedback.

With Josh, I know it's because he's my best friend, been my best friend since high school that we can talk so long. The only guy best friends I've had are Josh, Daniel, and my always-crush. That's it. And they've all been my best friends for their own reasons, but I've really missed Josh - it's crazy now how I've realized it. There were times where I would just be like "I don't even want to think about Josh." But I always have, ever since we broke up, though I wouldn't dare tell Daniel that. Because even though we broke up, I wanted to be friends with him always. It's ironic because I'm in the same situation as Josh was when we broke up, and Daniel's like how I was with Josh. "It's best we break up, but I still want to be friends."

It took Josh this long to be okay being friends with me, and he says he has a crush. With Daniel, I don't know if being friends will ever happen. And I sure as hell would HATE after so long to develop a crush on him again, which I know Josh does with me.

Anyway...the way Josh told me was surprising. Because he just...did. We were talking about our first thoughts upon seeing each other for the first time in a long time (playing "21 Questions" - the "game" we made up when we first started going out where we have to ask the other a question, and switch off until we reach 21, which we NEVER do), and he said his, after much pestering, was that he'd forgotten how pretty I was. Of course, after that, I was like...oh...but, after he said that, he was just like, well, I actually have something to tell you. And he just said it: "I have a crush on you." And then he went on to explain that it didn't/wouldn't affect us, but that he felt I should know and not to worry about it "because it's just a crush." Writing it doesn't do it justice, but the way he said it...I mean, I could NEVER tell someone I had a crush on them so smoothly. It just made me realize, wow, he really has matured. When will I get to tell someone I have a crush on them so...charmingly? So unaffected by the fact that I would be rejected, that it was okay.

So it's out. And it feels a lot better having it out in the open, instead of festering behind doors. The crazy thing really doesn't affect us, and, in fact, we're going to a Jack Johnson concert in Arizona in October - don't ask why Arizona. But I'm really looking forward to finally getting my best friend back. It's been far too long, really.

Another thing I have to give him is that Josh has always been able to make me feel...really good about myself. No matter what, even after our break-up, he tells me things that question why I deserve to be told something so nice. He thanked me for making him a better person, and that just about made me cry. I knew Josh, was with him, through some of the hardest times in his life. Shit happened to him that no one should have to go through. I don't even know how many times I've seen him cry his heart out over such painful things. And, to be honest, if we weren't together through those times...I'm not sure what path he might have gone down. With Josh, I always felt like God put me in his life to make sure he didn't get into trouble, to get him through high school, encourage him to do his best, make sure he would just be okay. As corny as this sounds...I was like his cheerleader...and back then, it would honestly weigh down on me. At times, it felt really burdensome, and I just wanted a boyfriend with no big issues, that I didn't always have to cheer up and cheer on - that's how much of a bitch I got to be towards the end of our relationship. And that's when it had to end. I wouldn't hurt him by staying by his side when he needed to stand alone. And looking at him now, I know I made the right choice.

The opposite sex...

...the topic could go on for ages.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Maryland: Days 2-7

Since I'm writing this days after I've come back, things have become a bit jumbled up regarding what happened on what day, but I shall try my utmost best.

The first thing I have to get out of the way is my misconception of Vanessa's roommate. She is neither non-sociable nor was she displeased that I was there, but both those things and then some. I dislike her entirely. Fan of Regina Spektor or not, I'm glad I won't be seeing her again.

Other than that, my trip was amazing! I got to explore the East Coast and get accustomed to their way of living - which, don't be surprised now, is very much like ours. I did pick up some East Coast lingo however. For instance, "siced" is a word they use to say they're very excited about something. "I'm siced about the Jack Johnson concert!" could be one example. I'm assuming this is directly East Coast lingo because I've never come across it here - ever. There's other ways to use it too, but they escape me. Still, I've already incorporated it into my everyday speech.

The second day I was there I met Vanessa's friends, who are all very, very cool and nice. I went to a CKI meeting the first night I was there (CKI is like the college-version of Key Club, before you join Kiwanis) and met her fellow members who were also cool. So, the second day Vanessa, Ashley, Felicia, and I went to dinner at...a place I can't even remember the name of because it was so horrible. All I know is that it was UMD's campus restaurant, and that I'm strongly recommending you not go there. It's expensive, and the service is lacking - although there was this waiter that looked a cross between Pau and Sasha, and he was nice. It was a really good time though, I was honestly cracking up the whole dinner. Oh, before I go any further, one place I will recommend for food is Noodles, Inc. It's a great franchise that sells...well, noodles. But of every variety. Italian, Asian, American (as in Mac 'n Cheese.) It's very good and not very expensive.

Also, I got to meet (more like glance at) Vanessa's crush that day. She's so cute about her crushes; she freaks out. But I guess I would do the same. I can't really say much about him since I BARELY saw him, but he's British. Need I say more?

Now the days start mushing together, so I'm going to guess from here on out. The next thing I remember doing (and this probably happened on the second day now that I think about it) was going to a cool indie movie house called AFI in Silver Spring, MD. Vanessa and I took the metro...where I cheated and didn't put my farecard through at the terminal (more on this later) to go see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo which was really, really good. But really, REALLY intense. It was funny - in odd, subtle ways, even though the lead actor was pretty funny period. But it is NOT a comedy. It's a thriller AND it's a foreign film (Swedish.) If you're a movie buff, you have to love foreign films because they're just better than American films in general (okay, my opinion), but you also have to know that foreign films don't edit a damn thing. So, prepare yourself if you're going to see this movie. Still, it's a really great movie. AND it's a book, a trilogy. I'm definitely reading it.

After the movie, we went back to the metro terminal and I reattempted to cheat my way through by not using my farecard and hurrying after Vanessa so I wouldn't get closed out. I thought I was home free, but then...while getting on the escalator...a voice stopped me. That of the popo! I was freaking out, I knew he'd seen me, why else would he stop me mid-escalator?! Well, he did see me, and he threatened me with a $50 ticket where, once I heard that, I pleaded with him and told him I was just a silly Californian who didn't know how the system worked, etc. So he let me go long story short, but that was stupid. NEVER DO THAT. Granted, I'm stupid so I don't think anyone would, but still. DON'T.

Vanessa's the President of CKI so she's a busybody and she had to be gone the entire day once. I'm pretty sure this was the third or fourth day. Anyway, I got to explore College Park by myself. I walked around (by now it was getting hot, in the 80s), ate (I am now convinced that no matter what college you go to, the food is disgusting - except UCLA) and decided I wanted to go back to Silver Spring, which I did (this time using my farecard thank you very much.) I walked around, took some photos, then went back to AFI to watch Greenberg, starring Ben Stiller. It was...okay. It had its moments, but it was a Noah Baumbach film...I hated The Squid and the Whale. Greenberg was definitely better, but not a movie I'd recommend necessarily. When I got back it was almost eleven at night (public trans can be annoying), which meant it was time for bed. Although Vanessa and I shared her top bunk, it was strangely comfortable and not as frightening as I thought.

The next thing I remember doing is going to Chinatown in Washington, D.C. which was really fun. We just walked around, took a HILARIOUS picture of a guy smoking a pipe who looked like some kind of spy, and went to museums, or a portrait museum to be exact. It was really cool - literally, the air conditioning was a savior. The museum itself was really interesting. I love museums. I could stay in one all day long. I took some illegal photos in there apparently - oops.

After that day, Vanessa took me to a CKI event - Total K Day! Which was in Virginia. Maryland, Washington, Virginia. I killed three birds with one stone (this saying makes me really sad, but it applies nonetheless.) So, some of CKI's cohorts, me, and Vanessa went on a three hour car ride to Total K Day. I've never heard so much Lady Gaga in my life. Cal, the former president, is outrageously gay and so...I heard about thirteen remixes of "Telephone" but it was fun. The actual event was great. I got to meet Vanessa's stalker and make cards for sick kids in the hospital and DANCE. Fun, fun, fun. The ride back made it an adventure though. So, we're about an hour away from UMD and we see police lights flashing. Now I've never been pulled over in my life. EVER. To make things worse, we were illegally crammed into the van. Two people were sitting in one seat. It was nerve-wracking, even for me. Cal was freaking, but stayed pretty calm. When he pulled out his registration papers, there were a few dollars jammed into them, which we later joked was to suggest to the cop we'd pay him off - not. It felt like the cop was taking forever to check Cal's history and we were thinking of ways to have him let us go (show him our matching CKI service event shirts to provoke sympathy?) Amazingly, even though the cop KNEW we were illegally crammed in the van, he just let Cal off with a warning to fix his taillight. Damn taillight. It was fun though. Before that, on the way back, we also sang Vanessa happy birthday in the car. Way to start off being twenty, don't you think?

On Vanessa's actual birthday we spent it with her cousins and aunt, which was cool. One of her cousins is crazy, but in a really good way. Now I know why Vanessa is so weird! There was a point where everybody started singing songs from Fiddler On the Roof. It was one of those rare moments where I truly felt I belonged right here, right now, in this moment.

And with that, I was off to BWI airport at FIVE IN THE MORNING. Ugh. And now I'm back in California, which I actually missed quite a bit. I love the East Coast, but there's just nothing like California. Truly. I miss Vanessa, she needs to come home. However, I'm glad I finally got to visit her. I feel very accomplished.