Monday Morning

It’s 7:02 am on a Monday morning. I’m listening to Currents while I mentally prepare for the rest of today. One perk of waking up this early every day is that I have time to write now. So that’s what I intend on doing. I may not post every morning on the dot. But you can expect more here in the future.

It’s February now. I don’t know what the rest of this year is going to look like. I know what February-May will be like. That much is already set in stone. After that it’s up to me. I’m free to go wherever I please. And that’s such a strange feeling. I don’t have any ties here anymore. Well, except for my family. But it’s not like I’m running away. I just have the freedom to work and live where I want.

This semester is so strange. I’m taking three classes that I’ve already taken. Not for fun. Because I’m trying to repair my GPA. The interesting thing about school and I is that I can never quite see ahead of myself. In high school I didn’t anticipate going straight to university until the very last moment. And in college I didn’t anticipate applying to grad school. So here I am again. It seems like I always do things out of order.

Anything else I’m missing? Today I just wanted to give a few life updates. This is a place where I store all my thoughts. It’s mostly just a place for reflection. And if that’s what you’re all about I suppose you’ve come to the right place. At 22 I still have a lot of room left to grow. Who knows what this year will be like. I’m figuring that out as I go.


One Whole Year

Today is December 27th and these are some thoughts about this year.

It is a Tuesday. I started writing this at 3:49. And while I’ve tried to write this a million other times, today was the only day that I actually made it work. I’m a little sick today. Not the fever kind of sick. Just the headache, sore throat, cat got your tongue kind of sick. I have a cup of tea sitting next to me. And yes, it has reached that level. I only drink tea when I’m trying to be an evil mastermind, classical music and all. Or when I’m this sort of sick. It is a little sad to me because it’s almost like I’m saying “I surrender to you, Sickness. You win.” I would really like to postpone this until next month so I can continue to bathe in the merriment that is Christmas. But 2016 really is relentless, so I shouldn’t be so surprised.

If 2016 were a sound it would be the inaudible whimper that comes after you’ve had the wind knocked right out of you. A lot is going on right now. And for the first time in my life, I feel like I have a real part in it. Things that happen in our lives aren’t just happening to us. We live in a time and place where the things we do have direct consequences. It came to my attention that what happens in the world is not everyone else’s problem. It is my problem too. It’s your world, it’s my world, it’s our world. We share it. For those of you that are especially resentful about that idea, I sincerely apologize. I apologize that this world doesn’t revolve around one specific kind of person. We take the weirdos, the cool kids, and the robots of this world. The plants, the animals, and the ground beneath us. We mix them all together. And what do we get? Planet Earth.

Moving on though, let’s talk about some of the highlights of this year. In May I’m walking. Across a stage. And then they’ll give me a piece of paper that says “go get the real piece of paper someplace else.” And then THAT piece of paper is going to be proof of my learnings. Yes. I did some learnings this year. And the year before that. And the year before that. All the way back until I was four years old. This particular piece of paper is a little more valuable than my kindergarten one though, so it is a nice feeling. My sister is walking on the same weekend. And her piece of paper is even cooler than mine. Mine is going to say It’s Business Time, with a little Jemaine and Bret pop up. My sister’s will say I Like Pi. Because she really does like pie. Pumpkin pie if you’re wondering. And numbers. I’m most proud of my sister though. It’s been a lifelong dream for her and it’s exciting to watch that dream come true.

Another cool thing happened this year. I flew over seas for the very first time. I traveled to Germany, a little bit of France, and Mexico. I met all sorts of wonderful friends from across the globe when I went on the trip to Germany. I saw incredible things I never thought I’d see in my life. I traveled alone for a tiny bit. I got incredibly lost. Then I found myself. I spent time with my family. I saw incredible beaches in Cancun. I swam with tropical fish. I met my turtle friend named Sheldon. I got to try many different kinds of food along the way. Traveling quickly became my very favorite things this year. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it. So long as I am physically able, I know that traveling will stay on top of my agenda. It is a feeling you cannot get doing anything else. If you’ve ever been on the fence about visiting someplace new, I strongly encourage you to do it. Your world will unfold right in front of your eyes. Nothing else compares. And I mean that.

Before I did all my international traveling this year, I had the opportunity to attend a marketing conference in Denver, Colorado. This was a big deal to me then and it remains a big deal to me now. It was a marketing educator’s conference. When I left I didn’t understand what an impact attending this conference would have on my future. Throughout the year I carefully crafted this research project with my friend and mentor. Presenting here gave me a good idea about what I want out of my future. I think the best thing that came out of this was the idea that I’m not just floating around anymore. It felt like I finally found my niche. And in that space I think I can do some good.

Amid all the traveling and the stress of the future finally creeping up on me, I met a boy. Well. Not really met. I suppose became reacquainted with is the better term. This part is difficult for me to explain because it was very unexpected. I didn’t think about how easy it would be to adopt anyone into my life the way that I already have. My interpretation of it is that we were both just living our lives, and then one day he decided to say hello. He made me the most perfect playlist. And now we just continue to say hello to each other every day. That is as far as I have gotten with trying to explain that. He is a very good boy. With fancy boy hair. I try really hard to ruin his life by being absolutely ridiculous and generally quite annoying. But he doesn’t find me annoying. You know those “get you somebody” memes? Honestly, truly, get you somebody that is a genuine weirdo. That is going to get along with your humans. That appreciates Bob Ross. That nerds out about all the things they love most. That is patient with you. And always looks out for your best interest. Get yourself a real friend. The kind you can listen to MBMBAM with just as often as you can listen to the tunes. I’m just saying. I. Am. Just. Saying. It is really fun.

I do believe that is all for this year’s reflections. What I failed to mention throughout this post was all the hard parts of this year. Health is a recurring issue within my family and probably everyone’s family. It has to do with factors we cannot control, like our age. But it also has to do with our habits. In this next year that’s seriously the only thing I can wish for. Good health for all of us. For the mind, body, and soul. I feel really grateful for all the wonderful memories made this year. And I feel hopeful for even more of those in this next year. It really has been a year. Goodnight y’all.






October Schmoctober

We are already past the halfway point of October. Which means. I missed the part where I talk about how cold it is outside. And the part where I revel at how spooky everything around me has become. I look around and everything turns to life. Or should I say, to death?

I’ve always felt drawn to the rain and the fog and things that are generally quite gloomy. People who live where it is always gloomy always laugh at me. “Southern Californians” they say. I laugh a little bit too. I laugh at how much I take the sunshine for granted. No matter how badly I would like the rain, I realize that having the sunshine all the time is disproportionately easier to deal with than constant rain or snow.

I think some people must be lying though. They’d be lying if they said the way the rain hits the pavement isn’t melodic. If they said it wasn’t soothing to the ears. If they said watching the rain after months of a drought wasn’t altogether euphoric. To me the rain is a lot like a physical representation of our feelings. It’s fascinating to watch the sky turn from bright blue to muddled grey. For the puffy cumulonimbus to turn to something much darker, if only for an afternoon storm. It’s a range of emotions. It’s light and happy. It’s dark and depressing. To be familiar with both feelings and to truly appreciate them is something very special.

It is strange to think about the idea that the rest of the world has anything to do with me. The world is far too random of a place. When the rain is here I don’t feel nearly as isolated. It’s like having a visit from an old friend that somehow always understands. There’s no talking involved. Just an innate understanding.

The rain offers a much wider range of emotion than the sun. The sun plays its blaring tune day in and day out. Wake up. Get going. Need energy? Let me help you with that. There’s no time to waste. The rain is off tempo. It can come in gently, in the form of a gentle pitter patter. It can also come in an all out rage. It is sad and desolate. It is fiery and passionate.

What I like so much about the rain is that if it were a person it wouldn’t tell you how to live. It would accompany you, and it would never be entirely predictable. It would play its sad song. You’d nod along because while the rain understands you, you understand the rain. For anyone to understand something that is wordless and virtually expressionless seems pretty insane. But if you’ve ever tried to listen to the way the wind howls and the way the rain falls, then I think you can relate.

It’s a conversation. We can’t spell it out. But why should we ever have to spell anything out? The rain reacts to life’s trivialities. It moans and it cries. We listen. Wouldn’t it be crazy if we thought the universe ever owed us anything? I don’t think that would be very fair and square. But then I think again, because the world can’t be fit into one perfect square. And the world has certainly never been fair. It’s chaotic. But maybe, just maybe… If we’re willing to listen to the rain, the universe in all its complexity wouldn’t feel so misunderstood.

Short and Sweet

Music of the morning: Nataly Dawn.

Weather: A-okay. My guess just by looking out the window… 70? A little breezy? In other words, perfection.

Favorite color: Still green, thank you for asking.

Theme for today: Brevity.

Updates: I’m planning on getting rid of a bunch of stuff soon. I don’t like having so many personal possessions. Unless those possessions are part of a collection, I don’t see the need for it. I’d rather keep it simple.

I’ll spend the rest of this week cleaning. Organizing things always makes me feel better. Since it’s hard to sort out our whole brain… I mean really, there’s so many things packed in there. I like sorting out things that are a little more tangible. Like a closet or a desk. I know, my life is just so fascinating. It’s okay to be jealous. But seriously, I hope that your weekend plans are a little more interesting than mine. I’ll be having the time of my life over here. And I hope you’ll have just as much fun.




Long Beach Adventures

PC: The ever lovely, Long Beach native, Marissa Soto.

Have you and your friends ever connected on a level that’s not easily explained in words? All the best friends I ever had connected with me because of our family life, because of our sense of humor, because of our ideals, or because of the music we listen to. The real magic comes when you find that you connect on not just one, but multiple levels. This is the kind of friendship I have with my best friend, Taylo. Alright her name is actually Taylor. Or Swaggy T. But c’mon. Everyone knows it’s really Taylo.

Anyway, this morning I’m listening to The Brolist on Spotify. The Brolist is a playlist that she created where we both dump in songs that we think we would both enjoy. While I dump in a lot of trash (I just pick random songs and then hope for the best) she contributes musical gold. I don’t understand how she understands exactly what I want to listen to in any given moment. I don’t understand how we both have this weird mood where we HAVE TO listen to a song approximately 5,000 times in a row, singing it at the top of our lungs. I think it’s weird how we both always try to sing every part of the song. Down to the drum beat. Our voices can’t cover each part of the song, so we just stumble over the whole song. It’s the absolute best, every time.

Speaking of friends, yesterday some of my friends and I took a spontaneous trip to Long Beach. We went to The Attic on Broadway. There I got to try Mac and Cheetos for the first time. And after that we went to Afters, a dessert place. It’s funny. Every time I see super delicious dessert on Instagram I imagine a place that would rival Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. And then sometimes I go there, and it’s actually a very small shop. Which only adds to its mystery. I think, man, such a small shop. No wonder everyone wants to go here. Who cares about the size of the shop. Even the simplest scoop of ice cream is extremely photogenic. What I enjoy about the layout of the store is that it’s very pure, and very minimalistic. They aren’t trying to wow people with all kinds of fancy decorations. They lure people in with the possibility. The blank slate. You can make your icecream look exactly the way you want for just 50 cents in add ons. So in a way, this ice cream is your ice cream. That’s the appeal. And I loved it.

My most favorite ice cream in the world is the sweetest kind. In order of favorites it goes Chocolate Brownie, Cookie Monster (a flavor you can find at Afters), and Birthday Cake. All of these kinds of ice cream have a lot going on. But why on earth would I stick with anything so plain… Go big or go home I always say.

Cookie Monster is really blue. It tastes blue. But not like a blueberry. I mean to say that if you’ve ever wanted to taste a color, this ice cream tastes like the color blue. It’s very sweet. I think they just mixed up some sort of vanilla ice cream and added tons of bright blue dye. What attracted me to this ice cream was the shade of blue. So bright. So vibrant. I just thought, I have to know what this tastes like. And then when I found out it was called Cookie Monster I was sold. Cookie Monster? My childhood? You must be joking. To top it all off, this ice cream is packed with oreo and chocolate chip cookie dough. If you know me, or you know my brother, you know we live for chocolate chip cookies, and you also know that Cookie Monster is our mascot. Cookie Monster gets it. He just loves cookies without abandon. Cookie Monster is us.

Ah, but the downside. I didn’t talk about that yet. Cookie Monster is going to turn your teeth and lips blue. Not a cute blue. It’s more of the “I have been traveling down the Appalachian Mountain for three months in the dead of snow and have now contracted hypothermia” blue. Is the experience of the beautiful and delicious Cookie Monster ice cream worth it? Yes. 1000x yes. Just make sure whoever you experience this with also gets Cookie Monster. Or else you run the risk of getting teased endlessly.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

I would like to do a review of Mac and Cheetos as well. But all I have to say there is that if you are a fan of Hot Cheetos. And if you are a fan of Mac and Cheese. Stop wasting your time, and go to The Attic. The Attic is home of the Mac and Cheetos. So if you are going to have this experience you should definitely go to the place where it was born. It is very rich and decadent, so try to go in with an empty stomach. I was starving and I still wasn’t able to finish. While I am pretty small, I eat a lot… So you can trust me when I say Mac and Cheetos will fill you up. Not in an “I’m dying” kind of way. More of an “I’m so satisfied” kind of way. And for $10? I think it’s worth the trip. It’s one of the cheapest things on the menu. So that should entice you just a little bit if you weren’t sold before.


That’s all for my reviews. Today is my Grandma’s birthday, so I’m about to leave to go celebrate her. Fun fact: My Grandma is my most favorite person. When I was a kid and I had to fill out the “Who’s your favorite person” section of the favorite things survey at school I always wrote “My Grandma (on both sides)” because if there’s one thing you should know about me I’m not one that encourages favoritism. Truly though. She’s the best person I know and the best person I’ll ever know. And she probably doesn’t even recognize that she is. That’s what I love so much about her. If you met her you’d know exactly what I mean. The woman is incredible. Hope you guys have a brilliant day today. Just one more day till Friday. Let the turn ups be real. Enjoy the last few weeks of summer. I’m doing what I can to soak up every last second of freedom.

Think, Rethink, Shape, Reshape

Greetings once again and welcome back to the segment of this blog where I talk about the mundane. The state of my hair for example. It was long. It was short. It was black. It was violet. Now it’s a pale mauve shade that I don’t appreciate. But that is what happens when you wash dyed hair. It loses intensity.

I’m in the process of growing back my hair from pixie to something much longer. I loved my short, Peter Pan hair. And I was alright with long hair at one point in my life. But at the ripe old age of 22, I feel like short and natural is what I would enjoy the most. Something a little past the shoulders. Something I can play up or play down. To me long hair is beautiful but a nightmare to keep up with. I always imagine getting married and having long black hair just like my mom did when she got married. However, I’m not so sure about it anymore. Now all I care about is whether it’s healthy and easy enough to maintain.

I guess the reason I bring it up is because trying to grow out a pixie cut is such a process. It’s aggravating watching it turn from short to shaggy to awkward poofy bob that no one can contain. If I’m being honest I know that after two weeks of being obsessed with any single thing my excitement fizzles away. This is the way I am. I become obsessed with things for a short period of time. And then after the initial excitement is over I become restless. I like to do things completely. From start to finish. I think of it as the difference between a sprint and a jog in the park.

For me to be fully committed to anything for longer than two weeks at a time is something of a shock to me. It’s hard for me to keep up the mind set. It’s hard for me to stay persistent. If you were to ask a professional for advice, they would tell you that consistency is key. If you were to ask me, I’d say “I don’t know, I just sit down and do it.” The trouble with being able to do this for so long is that you get to feeling invincible. You start to feel like there is no project too big to crank out at a moment’s notice. What I’m here to tell you today is that if you’ve ever felt that way, I strongly encourage you to think again.

The real work, the best work I mean, is the work that you work on for days and weeks at a time. It’s the stuff that you think, rethink, shape, and reshape until it’s perfect. This is what the professional does. This is also one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to convince myself to get into. Working on projects one day at a time. Granted, we do have little moments of victory where the sprint is worth getting down to a science. It’s worthwhile to be able to work at maximum overdrive when you find yourself in a pinch. But this is not how any wonderful project is made. It’s just a nice skill to keep in your back pocket for the day that an email was lost, or the day you had your thumb on the wrong day of the calendar.

It is so much easier to keep on working the way we always have. If it works, it works. But slowly I’m getting to realize that sprinting my way through every little project is taking a toll on my health. I feel so crazed. I have a hard time sleeping at normal hours of the day. And at the end, I’ve got this product that isn’t nearly as good as it could have been. Spending a little quality time on projects makes so much of a difference in the end. And I’m pretty excited to start making more things that I’m proud of. Sure I can piece together a project in a few hours. But I’m interested in making the things that I can look back on and think yes, I am responsible for this. This is what gets me so excited to conduct research. It is a lot of one chunk of a time kind of work. It’s not what I’m used to. But discovery, and all the work that goes into doing research is what keeps me going.

Sidenote: Who knew that this is the stuff I’d be so excited about? Not me. Personally I never felt any kind of attachment towards research until I started conducting research of my own. But now I can tell you with some certainty that research projects (that you are interested in) are what dreams are made of.

That’s all for today. Just a personal update about the state of my silly hair and some ramblings about research and what it means to me. It’s completely exciting to me. Probably very boring to some people. But I think that as long as you’re passionate about something and you work hard, that’s all that really matters. And if it feels like you’re not really passionate about anything right now. Well, neither was I about a year or two ago. In time things start to fall into place. And then you won’t have to wonder anymore. Hope you guys have a pleasant afternoon. I’m off to Long Beach in a bit so I’m all amped up to explore and visit with some friends. Take some time to explore soon. I promise that it’s worth it.


To Sushi or Not to Sushi

That is the question.

And the answer is. To sushi. Of course. Here’s a short story.

On October 7th, 2015, yours truly (the most meat loving freak of nature you’ve ever met) became a vegetarian for about… three days. Until the 10th when my mother so graciously made these individually wrapped steaks that I couldn’t resist. On October 11th, however, I thought I should give it a second shot. So that’s what I did. I stayed a vegetarian between October 11th and December 25th. That’s right. Two good months until Christmas Day. I guess it’s that moment when you look in the mirror and you don’t see yourself anymore. That’s when you know you’ve got to get out of a situation. I didn’t like that I wasn’t doing it for good reason anymore. I didn’t like that I’d forgotten why I started doing it in the first place. And that’s why I felt good about shifting back to regular programming. Maybe another day in the future I’ll give it another go. A temporary go. But still, I think it’s a wonderful thing to do, to give up meat. Whether it’s for dietary reasons, moral reasons, or just to take on a new lifestyle. All are good things to consider. For me it was a huge mixture of all those things. At the end I found myself trying to keep up with it to prove a point. And that’s never a good reason to go through with anything. I shouldn’t have to prove myself to anyone. I shouldn’t ever feel strained about my next meal if I don’t 100% agree with what I’m trying to accomplish. What am I trying to accomplish? I find myself asking that question a million times a day. I don’t understand myself. I’m still just trying to figure out what kind of person I want to be. And that’s not a bad thing.

Today was interesting. I was let home a bit early from work because we are still trying to figure out the new schedule. Some days the new scheduling system (it’s computerized) will automatically have a million people in the cafe working at the same time. And that isn’t a great allocation of resources. So we sort of have to improvise. We play each day by ear. Anywho, after I got home I arrived to once again, an empty house. To me that was the funniest part of my day. Even when all my family is back home from their long vacation, somehow I still manage to be home alone. So I made a phone call, and it turned out that everyone had collected at my grandma’s house to help fix their heating problem. It’s pretty cold here. I mean, for the spoiled Californians that we are, it’s cold. Right now it’s 52 degrees outside. That’s enough to have us worried about a broken heater. The most that my mom had to say was “we have sushi.” I drove over in a flash. The drive was made even faster because my grandparents live three blocks away from us. We stayed there to try and see if we could fix the problem. And while we were waiting I got to try a whole bunch of international cookies that my grandma just happened to have sitting on the table. Cookies and sushi. A most delightful combination if you ask me.

And now I am finishing off this day with a best of 2015 mix of music. I’m very okay with leaving 2015 and starting a new year. I always get really excited to start off fresh. It’s like starting a whole new chapter. So… Here we go. Last night, around midnight I started this new blog, which was one of my three resolutions. Tomorrow I’ll start with the second resolution, which is to run every week. And then for my final resolution. Let the cards decide. I think by that I just mean, I need to let the cards fall where they may. I need to stop trying to go against the grain and just let life unfold as it will. Trying to control every part of my life really just doesn’t work. And I think that I’ll have a much easier life if I just let the things that are supposed to happen, happen.

That’s all for today. Right now we are going to exchange Christmas gifts. Winter break has been pretty sweet so far.