June 30, 2009

Worth the plunge?

So, I've been wanting some last-a-lifetime quality boots for a while now. I think I've passed that age where I would rather have worn-in and familiar things over new things; you know, things I can eventually pass on to my kids. I've been rooting through boxes upon boxes of old clothes from the 80s, and I must say, it's pretty awesome when I find an old shirt of my dad's that I can wear.

I'm feeling very sentimental right now.

But the big question is: are three-hundred and forty eight buckaroos too much to drop?

June 28, 2009

i tag you

What is your current obsession?

I have quite a few at the moment, as I have the summer as my friend.
1. Surfing design blogs-- A History of Architecture, Montmartre's Sketchbook, Childhood Flames and The Cherry Blossom Girl are just a few of my favorites.
2. Rummaging through boxes of old clothes from the 80s my parents that my parents have had in storage since, well, the 80s. It's awesome when I find somethi
ng I can see myself wearing after a sewing job.
3. Sewing, or rather, learning the theory. I haven't tackled the sewing machine yet. The idea of threading it and inserting bobbins is rather intimidating still.
4. Wanting to learn how to knit. It's been spurred even
more by the idea of knitting a baby blanket for my cousin's soon-to-be baby girl.
5. Working out-- I've got my dumbbells right next to my bed so that I can do bicep curls whenever I'm watching scrubs, I have my yoga DVD in the TV in the basement, and I'm going to set my alarm for 8:30 AM so I can get out and do circuits around my neighborhood before another ridiculously humid and hot East Coast summer day sets in.
Rather, it's the idea of working out... although I'm pretty
consistent with doing bicep curls (as I'm pretty consistent with my scrubs), it's been a few days since I've done yoga or gone running. But I have a good excuse for the yoga-- getting back into doing sun salutations had the backs of my legs feeling like stretched rubber bands.

What are you wearing now?
An old navy tank top from last summer and some roxy sweatpants I got in high school.

Do you nap a lot?
No need to these days; I get my eight hours during the summer.

If you were a tree, what tree would you be?
A big sprawling one good for climbing, swings, and possibly even a tree house.

What's for dinner?
I had some of my mom's cooking-- some Filipino dish whose name I can't seem to remember. It was good, though.

What was the last thing you bought?
Cherry jello and IBC root beer from the grocery store.

What are you listening to right now?
Earlier, I figured out a nifty chord progression, so I recorded it on garage band-- I was listening to it as I fiddled around on my guitar to come up with some good accompaniment. If only I could write lyrics to it... and then actually sing.

What is your favorite weather?
Crisp with a little bite, sunny, but not windy. I love fall weather.

What is on your bedside table?

My stuffed animal rabbits, angel fish (the bit of orange on the white rabbit's lap), Mr. Seal, my macbook remote, my electric fan remote, my old baby shorts I found in a box a week ago, my headband I wear to bed, and my summer biochem study guide. Funsies.

What is your most challenging goal right now?
In all honesty, learning how to grow up.

If you could have a house anywhere in the world, where do you want it to be?
In the heart of Yokohama. It would probably have to be an apartment, since Yokohama's so crowded! But as long as I'm by the train station, it's all good.

What can’t you live without?
People I care about.

What was the last book you read?
Sew U and Sew U Home Stretch-- reaaally good books for getting ideas on sewing projects. I think I'll be using the skirt pattern from the latter book to make a pencil skirt out of this really nice, navy blue interlock knit I got a while ago.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
Japan, specifically, the Flightline.

Last movie you watched?
Persepolis. It was really good and funny, and especially informative in terms of giving an Iranian perspective on the history behind the political hullabaloo happening now.

The past few days


Crumpets + blueberry jam = awesome

2 crumpets + blueberry jam + pomegranate tea + scrubs season 3 = suhweeeet

My backyard.

Japanese temple bell.

June 21, 2009

Summer Mix Oh! NINE

Old habits die hard, but with a twist: youtube clips included!

1. Coast of Carolina, Telekinesis.
I love that the drummer is the singer and that the bassist is a chick (which usually leads to awesomeness, e.g. The Smashing Pumpkins).

2. Nothing to Worry About, Peter Bjorn and John
Sooo catchy. The "video" is just the song playing.

3. Gorgeous Behavior, Marching Band
The kids in the video are really cute.

4. Cable TV, Fol Chen
The video is pretty neat.

5. Mykonos, The Fleet Foxes

6. Avril 14th, Aphex Twin
One of those kind, quiet songs. The piano is really pretty.

7. The Future Freaks Me Out, Motion City Soundtrack
An old kickback to high school. Specifically, summer before junior year. :) After watching the video, I remember how much I liked the lead singer's hair...

8. She Said Oh Oh Oh, I Said Yeah Yeah Yeah, Gem
I wonder what the chorus is... in any case, it's very catchy.

9. My Girls, Animal Collective
I'd never listened to A.C. until just recently, but this song really caught my attention.

10. Kids, The Kooks covering MGMT
I like both versions enough, but I'm more partial to acoustic guitars.

11. Don't Give Up the Fight, The Magic Numbers
Another kickback to high school, especially senior year.

12. Firefly, Jane Lui
I'm a sucker for anything acoustic. Plus, J.L.'s voice is just sultry, but in a refreshing way. The video is actually of her playing the song. :)

13. The APL Song, The Black Eyed Peas
For one, the chorus that figures throughout the entire song is actually from another song that I grew up listening to (Balita, by Asin). I thought this was an appropriate song because well, I don't know. I've been feeling a lot more displaced than usual these days, and I figure a good way to lessen that is by going back to my roots... something this song kind of does for me.
>here< - 14. First of the Gang to Die, Zee Avi covering Morissey

15. You'll Be Safe Here, Rivermaya
I just realized a lot of these songs are by asian artists. Holla! In any case, Rivermaya is one of my favorite bands from the good ol' PI.

16. Between the Bars, Elliot Smith

June 20, 2009

chick lit is comfort food for the mind.

It's been a rough past few months for me, and now that it's summer I've had more time to do things that make me feel better. I've abandoned my usual Marquez and Borges for The Devil Wears Prada (come on, admit it: it's sooo good), read as many DIY blogs as I do news articles, make delicious milkshakes (the most recent being a cherry blueberry chocolate fro-yo concotion) and watch scrubs allllll the time. It feels good to be self-indulgent every now and then.

One thing that I've come to terms with is, well, i'm getting older. I'm about to embark upon the next nine years of my life as a twenty-something, and it's been odd realizing that I'm at an age where its important to be more self-sufficient, self-reliant, and just generally self-loving.

But in anycase, I just wanted to share this article from the Huffington Post (which I affectionately think of as "HuffPo") from a few days ago: it's a list of tips for twenty-somethings. It may seem kind of superfluous when you first think about it, but you know what? It feels good to be reminded of things every now and then, even though you already knew it. Numbers five, six and seven are my personal "big" ones.

After all, it's a process.

June 18, 2009




If there's a will, THERE'S A WAY.

Thank You Mart: Sponsor of many fun trips to Machida, skipped days, and bizarre t-shirts.
it reads: ZOO choose the animals that have four legs... and it has ANSWERS.

June 16, 2009

One thing still remains...

It was like hearing this song for the first time all over again.

Music is the only thing that can truly get under my skin.

My space, quite literally.

So, here's the promised The Selby-esque post.

The seal-turned-elephant keychain on my phone. It doubles as a phone-cleaner dealie thing. Very kawaii.

Messy, as usual.

Out the window, looking into my across-the-street neighbor's lawn.

I held my breath until this poster came. I also have a matching t-shirt (see profile picture).

I spy with my little eye... a capo, a carzbinger, and something tasty.

I spy with my little eye... home, a mushroom, and a queen.

I spy with my little eye... a button, a drumstick, and a 50 yen piece.

Max says meeooowww.

i'm just glad i'm still around.

I wish I could hop on a train and just sit on a bench in the middle of the Shibuya train station and feel how small I am.

I like Maryland. I like the green and the wide open spaces. I like Washington. I like the dampness and the moody skies. But I'll always be a city girl.

I want to go home.

June 11, 2009


She's great.

June 09, 2009


You moved from Boston to Paris into a little apartment on the rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis. I showed you our neighborhood, my bars, my school. I introduced you to my friends, my parents. I listened to your texts, your singing, your hopes, your desires, your music. You listened to mine. My Italian, my German, a bit of Russian. I gave you a walkman. You gave me a pillow. And one day, you kissed me. Time went by, time flew and everything seemed so easy, so simple, so free, so new, so unique. We went to the movies, we went dancing, we went shopping, we laughed, you cried, we swam, we smoked, we shaved, sometimes for no reason, or for a reason. Yes, sometimes for a reason. I brought you to the academy, I studied for my exams, I listened to your singing, to your hopes, your desires, your music. You listened to mine. We were close, so close, ever so close. We went to the movies, we swam, we laughed. You screamed, sometimes for a reason and sometimes without. Time went by, time flew. I brought you to the academy, I studied for my exams. You listened to my Italian, German, Russian, French. I studied for my exams. You screamed, sometimes for a reason. Time went by for no reason. You screamed for no reason. I studied for my exams, my exams, my exams. Time went by, you screamed, you screamed, you screamed. I went to the movies.

-Thomas from Paris, je t'aime

I've found a new favorite movie.

June 08, 2009

Summer Mix Oh! Seven

Most people keep track of the seasons with the change of environment. So do I: fall brings red and orange crinkly leaves, winter brings sleet and grey skies, spring brings rain and greenery, and summer brings beating rays and blinding blues.

But I also keep track of the seasons with music. Daphne Loves Derby defined Fall 2005, the Smashing Pumpkins took their turn in Summer 2005, and Coltrane, Davis and Monk took theirs in Spring 2007. Before I had a computer that brought the ease of making playlists, I had mix CDs. I just found the summer 2007 mix hiding in a box i've just unpacked. Summer 2007 was two years ago. Two years ago! Imagine that.

This time two years ago, I was thinking about a lot of the same things I am now. At this time, I had just graduated, and was ready to leave high school and the environment I had grown up i. I was apprehensive for the uncertainty of college and for the uncertainty of a maybe long-distance relationship, but the possibilities that stretched in front of me made it hard to stay in a state of apprehension for too long.

But like now, a sudden and unhappy event occurred that removed all uncertainty and physically thrust me in one direction with no chance to even comprehend how things had changed.

But of course, it's different now. Instead of being physically removed from my happy place of sure uncertainty, I've mentally moved myself out of my place of comfort. Not entirely unwillingly, but still throwing out a punch or a kick here and there. But it's for the best.

So, this mix CD. It was in a cracked jewel case, cracked from being tossed all over in my old green civic while searching for lab coat/pen/lab manual/purse/IDcard/ etc. It reads "Summer Mix Oh! Seven." I listen to the tracks now, and the reason why I put each of these songs on the mix dances across the stage of my memory. As I listen to each song, I inwardly greet each new track as if greeting someone I love and haven't seen in a while, and in that time, has done something really great.

On the flip side of things, it puts my current opinion on these memories in perspective; current opinion is what you reach for on a daily basis, and the memories themselves are shoved way back in there, somewhere. And you forget how the memories themselves once held sway on past opinion. This is what I'm doing now.

Track 3- The Academy Is..., Bulls in Brooklyn: An old throwback to high school and driving around the flight line. I still miss it. I've been feeling pretty rootless lately, and listening to this reminds me of a time when I was once planted firmly in the ground.

Track 5- Dashboard Confessional, Dusk and Summer: Barely enough to hang on then, and barely enough to hang on now. This is one reason that hasn't changed at all. But the perspective has shifted-- letting go isn't a bad thing.

Track 14- Black Eyed Peas, Bebot: AHAHAHAHAHA. I'd almost forgotten about this song, which would have been a very sad thing indeed. I've missed the Filipino-American community a lot. Although I never felt I really fit in, I still miss the millions of "aunties" and "titas" fussing over how I don't have enough food on my plate. It reminds me of standing in front of the line of my Sunday School class, chomping on a donut and swapping Friday-night stories with my third graders:

Me: Man, I'm still stuffed from all that pancit I ate at X's christening party Friday.
Student: Did you see me break open the pinata?
Me: Yeaah man, you killed that donkey!
Student: I didn't like the pancit, but mom made me eat it.
Me: Yeah. I'm just glad they didn't have that one *chocolate dish there. My mom used to make me eat that stuff at parties all the time, before I knew what it really was. You know what it really is, right?

Those are just a few of the songs, but you get the idea. If there is any time I need to look back and remember, it's now.

Now, onward!

* chocolate = pork's blood. i'm not joking.

June 07, 2009


My mind is full of inexplicable babble. A thought here elicits a momentary burst of emotion, which is gone as soon as the next thought sharpens into focus. So I am here now, each second bringing on a different feeling. I feel it all. I’m going to burst.

The summer sits long and winding ahead of me, like some sort of beast with scales and long limbs that go off all over the place. I sit here, right now, in the biggest rut of my life (so far). It’s far from the end of the world, but when I first landed here, an alien in my own life, it felt pretty close to it.

(I’m a pretty melodramatic person, though. I’m glad I can keep that sort of perspective despite all of this.)

I'm still hanging on to my map of the world, though, although I see it needs some major redrawing.

At the moment, nothing feels better than to close in on myself. I’ve been exceedingly retiring in nature. I don't want to talk to anybody, and there are certain people I absolutely dread talking to. But for some odd reason, I inwardly cry out for someone else to be there. Someone whom I vaguely know, but honestly don’t really have a clue about. But their face is a mix of all those I don't want to see.

I would like to simplify my predicament by saying simply that I am strong of mind, but weak of flesh, but better judgment tells me that
1. things are never that simple, and
2. body and mind are one

so how can they possibly act independently of one another?

and if so, then why am i here?

In this past week, a lot has come to my attention. Biting cultural issues that have nipped at my heels for my entire life and can no longer be ignored. Questions about my own will and strength and independence, and how they've changed so much in the past year. Doubts on my own ideas of character and what it means to be strong, for myself and for others.

I don't know how to tackle all of these in a way that will make sense to me, other than to write about them. And no medium is perfect for such as this. This is the reason I keep it; I don't really expect others to read it (although I do love it when people take the time to), but it's more of a thing for me-- it's my pensive of sorts. Something I can look back on at leisure to see if there are patterns in actions or events, because there's only so much my mind can recall when I want to remember something in its entirety.

This summer will not be a loss because I am determined to make it full. Full of reading about American politics and trying to decide if I really want to be a politics minor. Full of finally getting around to reading all those popular science books I never had time for during the school year. Full of making music. Full of writing. Full of ice skating with my sister, barbecuing with my dad and cooking with my mom. Full of learning how to keep my head up high while swimming in this rut.

It's hard these days, and the hurt from everything, while not fresh, still has the power to be debilitating. Some days I have a better hold over it, and it only hurts if I let it. Other days, not so much. I don't wallow so much as hate the fact that I wake up feeling that my bed is too big but I'm going to suffocate.

But I've never been one to go down without a fight, and by God, am I fighting.

June 06, 2009

all lined up.

BBC's Persuasion + Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist + Paris, Je T'aime + my computer + late night + ice cream + my bed = awesome.