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Back again!

Well, hello there again!

I realize that it’s been an embarrassingly long time (at least for me) since I’ve updated here. I didn’t do the the fade out/disappear thing (because believe me those suck) in case you were wondering. Yep, I’m still here.

There were things that happened in my life over the past few weeks that caused a pause for a while and I needed to take some time off.

But I’m back! And I’ll hopefully will be back to a regular schedule soon.

Because I’ve missed writing and doing this. And I want to do this again.

So here’s to more posts coming up again!

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Vacation time!

Hmm it looks like I haven’t done a randomness post in a while. Whoopsies.

This has mainly happened due to being busy on weekends and not having enough time to write a post prior so I can have it scheduled in advance. Then Sunday night rolls around and I find myself passed out from exhaustion from the weekend.

This past weekend was no different as I went out of town with some friends to Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. It was good times. I got to relax (which I desperately needed) and spend time with friends. I ate good food (probably too much), watched Face/Off (Nicolas Cage gone cray cray), and finished three books.

lake

We also visited Swallow Falls State Park in Oakland, MD to do some hiking. I’ve been there before 2.5 years ago during the winter and hiking during the summer is a completely different experience. The water is still freezing though.

The hike is pretty short and completely doable in an hour or so but the best part about it is all the waterfalls, rapids, rivers, and rocks to climb. The first set of falls we went to, my friends were all excited to be in the water, but I just enjoyed sitting there looking on the water. I needed some peace and the time spent sitting on the rocks in front of the rushing rapids was what I needed.

Later we stopped at another waterfall which was pretty intense. muddycreek

Oh. You want to see/hear it in action?

Because I like staying dry and warm, I did not venture out into the waterfall. It was again super relaxing to just sit there watching it. We climbed up to the top and I couldn’t help but have this in mind as I sat on the banks of the river watching it flow down.

Finally, we got to one last falls and my favorite out of all the three because it makes me feel like I’m at a small beach. It also makes me feel like I’m in a scene from Lost.

tolliverfalls

These falls are smaller and there were no other hikers when we came across it but I like it better that way.

To cap off the end of the trip, a couple of us broke away from the rest of the group to find lunch and ended up discovering a local out of the way place off the interstate where we had delicious fried chicken (I scored all dark meat!) and a salad bar.  AND we got to hit up Sonic. Because drinks y’all.

This weekend was super relaxing and a good time for me to get away for a while. Time to get back into the real world again.

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To the Class of _______

It’s that time of year where graduations are happening all over the country. Everyone has their cap and gown and is highly relived that school is FINALLY over. (Though paying back loans has just begun!)

I didn’t attend my undergrad graduation because well….after attending three schools to finish it, it just didn’t seem like a big deal to me. I just didn’t really care to be honest. I know a bunch of people get really attached to their undergrad years and it IS a big deal to them. But for me, I just wanted to get the degree and move on with my life. Plus we didn’t have a really cool commencement speaker (I think ours may have been our US senator….yawn) so there really was no incentive for me to go.

For my graduate degree commencement ceremony, while I didn’t attend the huge school one, I did attend for my school itself. And I’m glad I did because this time I did have friends I could walk the stage with and it was a very big moment for me. Granted, technically I didn’t graduate on that night (I still had my internship to complete over the summer) so technically I didn’t get my diploma until August. And of course since it’s me as I walked the stage, my cap fell off….TWICE. But it was a proud moment for me and for my family. Because I actually finished graduate school!

That night ended up being difficult for several reasons but knowing that I was 98% done with the school chapter in my life (at the time) was a huge blessing. I’m trying to make decision now about whether I should go back to school again, this time to get my library science degree. I’m still not 100% sure yet if this is something I want to do. Do I want to go back to school again? Do I want to pay money again? Do I need a second master’s degree? Lots of thought (and prayer) before making this decision.

But for now, congrats to all the graduates – college and high school.

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Now you see me, now you don’t

The one thing about living near a big city is that the odds of you running into someone you know when you’re out is surprisingly slim. It’s a weird because despite the fact that I know a lot of people in the area, because the population is so big and everything is so spread out, it’s very rare to actually spot someone you know. To be honest, when you DO run into someone it’s always in the weirdest place and not in the grocery store or somewhere you frequent often and you want to be like, are you stalking me?

Of course what always inevitably happens is that you’ll run into someone when you’re not expecting them and you’ll look your worst. Most of the time we’ll just be out grabbing something quick, no makeup, not doing your hair, wearing grubby clothes and then BOOM you’ll turn the aisle and there’s someone you actually know. Because the moment you prepare for something and make yourself look even halfway presentable, you’ll never see anyone that you actually want to see. It’s like an automatic signal.

The worst though, is when you run into someone and you recognize them. But they don’t see to recognize you. Do you proceed to still go up to them and say hi and potentially make everything weird as they scramble to place who you are? Do you just pretend to not know them yourself? Do you wait to see if they will remember? Do you just turn the corner and run far away from the situation? It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. “Oh fancy running into you here!”

I guess it all depends on what YOU want to do. If the other person doesn’t want to talk to you, then it can be short and everyone will be on their way. And then sometimes it’s good to catch up with someone you haven’t seen in forever. Granted this all depends that you’re not running into each other in some place you’d rather not anyone recognize you at.

 

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The 4th will be with you. Always.

Today is Star Wars Day.

For those of you not into geek culture, today is May 4th. May the 4th. May the force…..get it? So if you’re running around today and see stormtroopers or Jedi running around the streets and you’re supremely confused, this is why.

After those of you who don’t care stop shaking your heads, as one of my friends said the other day “It’s a glorious time to be alive!” We have a new Star Wars movie coming out later this year. Sure it’s not directed by Lucas but then again after the prequels (which I still will watch and defend though they aren’t my favorite) maybe that is for the best?

If you’ve been living in a cave and have NOT seen the new teaser trailer yet, here you go:

What does it all mean? Will Han and Chewie live for the entire movie? Will Luke and Leia? Seriously that’s the most important question for myself. I’m excited to learn about all the new characters and see if any of them are related to our beloved original characters but if JJ Abrams kills off all the old ones, we will not be happy people. Especially after they already deemed all the people I loved in the expanded universe as non canon. Sigh.

I’m really glad that this is my kind of thing because I can see how for some people who are not, everyone talking about all this could be extremely boring or not being able to understand the excitement. At some point I’ll do a proper geekness post about my love for this franchise.

Until then…may the 4th be with you!

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Getting Mad at Inanimate Objects

Does anyone else have this happen to them?

You know that feeling.

When you stub your toe on a door.

When you’re putting on a shirt and you cannot get it over your head.

When you bump into the corner of a table.

When you open the fridge and a jar of something falls out and explodes.

When you’re walking and you trip over a bit of sidewalk that magically jumps out at you.

It’s extremely frustrating because it always seems as if these objects come alive simply to just to attack you.

Sure you can always blame it on you being clumsy or being at the wrong place at the wrong time. But I swear that certain objects move and have a mind of their own.

Just ask that dish that fell off the shelf when NO ONE WAS AROUND IT.

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Way to Take a Compliment

The other day at church, the person sitting next to me complimented me on my singing during the service. I was like “what?” and literally turned and looked at the person sitting behind them to make sure he hadn’t heard them by mistake. They then told me that they had enjoyed hearing me singing during worship. I replied “Oh. Um thank you.” This completely confused me.

Why? Because in my entire being of existence, I cannot recall a time when anyone has complimented me on my singing. Sure I sang in chorus from Kindergarten through 5th grade but it’s not like they’re going to turn anyone away. While no one has ever said my singing was BAD, I just assumed that the lack of anyone talking about just meant I did not have a good singing voice. Thus someone complimenting me was a real shock.

Compliments are funny that way. The definition of a compliment is “a polite expression of praise or admiration.”

I never know how to act when I get a compliment. Yes the most natural thing to do is just accept it and reply “thank you”. But then something like this might happen.

I mean how the hell are you supposed to respond to that in real life? Gah.

It’s kind of hard for me to take a lot of compliments. Sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve the compliment. Sometimes I wonder if the person complimenting me made a mistake or even if they are making fun of me. Sadly that’s happened in the past when I thought someone was being serious and accepted the compliment only to find out they were joking.

Growing up in an Asian family, we didn’t receive that many compliments. No matter how well you did, you could always do better.

It’s not that my parents didn’t love me, far from it. It’s just compliments don’t come easily in a lot of Asian culture. And if they do, you’re supposed to play them off and downgrade yourself because you could always be better.

There’s also stuff I learned in church and how you can’t be too prideful. I mean, when I was growing up, we were told in Sunday School that it was a bad thing to make the focus go back on you and should try to play off getting all the glory because it should go to God instead. You should be all humble instead because you didn’t really do it, God did.

Some people I know have no problem accepting compliments. There are some that thrive on them to the point where they are begging people to give them compliments so they know they are doing ok in life. I need to find some happy medium.

This passage from an article in Relevant made me feel a bit better about all this

An artist and performer herself, she too had encountered the compliment conundrum, so-to-speak, and somewhere along the way someone had shared this with her: “Each time you receive a compliment, you accept it as a rose in honor of the Father, a rose that you in turn take and lay at His feet.” In all its simplicity, I was immediately struck with the surprising profundity of that image. It made so much sense, echoing the sentiments of those elders of Revelation who lay their crowns before the throne: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Revelation 4:10, TNIV).
Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/relationship/features/2516-to-lay-down-a-rose

So to bring this back around full circle, I know you’re slightly curious to hear what I actually sound like. Believe me, I still don’t think I sound that good at all and I’m not trying to get you to tell me that I do. But for sh*ts and giggles, here’s a clip of me singing karaoke almost exactly 3 years ago with some friends. I’d like to point out that it was a good night, I have excellent friends, and that song had so much meaning at the time. Hah.

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I Could Walk 500 Miles

I caved. I bought a FitBit. Yep. I’m now one of THOSE people who is wearing this thing on their wrist.

I haven’t exactly stopped running since last year but I’m not doing it as much. A combination of weather, starting a new job and not having enough time, and other factors didn’t have me running much in the winter. Now that it’s getting spring again, the weather is good though it’s getting warmer which I personally don’t like to run in. I do need to get back into more running, for health’s sake and plus I have another 5k in June I’ll be doing.

But in the meantime, I’m doing a lot of walking thanks to the FitBit. Honestly word of mouth really was the biggest influence in me getting one. One of my bosses had one and she was very enthusiastic about trying to get her steps in every day. Then several of my friends had gotten one and I swear it was all they could talk about. I didn’t want to feel left out so I finally caved and got myself one. Now I think we all talk about it so much we’ve convinced other people to join us and get one.

What exactly does it do? It tracks steps you take, calories burnt, floors climbed, miles walked, and how you sleep. Why didn’t I just get a regular cheap-o pedometer and save some money? I could have but honestly there’s not really any motivation to use it. It’s interesting to track how much I walk at work and then how much I have to still have to do to make sure I complete my 10k steps each day. Side effects = better sleep among other things.

What I like best about it is the gamefication. You get badges for daily records being broken as well as lifetime goals. We all know how much I like badges.

Currently I’m doing challenges with two of my friends. We’ve done daily, weekend, and work week competitions to see who can walk the most steps.

The competition gets pretty intense. This is us the other night while we were in the middle of a walk together. One of us couldn’t synched up their FitBit with their phone so their stats were a little off. Thus the other two of us were extremely happy that we were in the lead. It doesn’t matter that it was a short lived victory. We celebrated.

fitbit

Actually the competition is really great because it forces me to try to get my steps done. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t try to reach the 10k goal without it but I think that doing it alone would probably get old fast. At least this way it gives me the added push to keep going because I NEED TO BEAT MY FRIENDS.

So I know that not everyone needs or wants this. You could very well do all these things without it and be perfectly happy. But I know for me, this is helping me a lot and I’m pleased with it so far.

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My family tree looks like a NCAA tournament bracket

I have a pretty big family. You wouldn’t really know it because I don’t really talk about it (and despite what you may believe I am not related to every single other Asian person out there).

My dad was one of 12 siblings. My mom was the oldest of three. Between the two of them, I think I have 43 first cousins (forgive me if I left someone out). Yep there’s so many of them that I can’t keep track of everyone. And with about 3/4 of those cousins having kids of their own, I don’t even know how many second cousins I have. 100? I’ve yet to go to a family reunion for just my dad’s side of the family with EVERYONE there but it’s safe to say that it’d be freaking huge.

The thing with having such a big family like that is you get lost in the shuffle. I honestly believe about at least 1/3 of my cousins don’t remember me or my name and I know for a fact, a lot of their kids have no idea that I exist. We didn’t grow up with any of them close by (some of my cousins still live on the other side of the world and I’ve only met them twice). Plus my sisters and I only grew up speaking English whereas a lot of my cousins speak their native languages with their own families at home. Let’s also not go into how no one has the same surname so future generations will have an incredibly hard time tracking down how we’re all related.

It’s very weird when I meet people who are only children and their parents were only children as well. I can’t imagine a life where you don’t have any siblings or even cousins for that matter. So much attention on just one person sees like it would be too much to handle.

It’s also weird when I hear of my friends going to every single one of their cousins’ weddings even if they live cross country. Then again, most of my friends only have on average 10 cousins so this is rather manageable. Plus again, all their cousins know their name and that they exist.

Still it’s pretty cool to realize that I’m related to a bunch of people. It’s a bit hard to track down ancestry due to coming from an Asian background where records aren’t kept as well as those in western culture. I can track back a few generations but then it just ends. I’m super jealous of my friends who know about their families’ backgrounds and how they fit in wars or who they’re all related to. I researched the background of my friends and found that not only was he distantly related to President Obama on his mother’s side, he also was apparently a descended of King James IV of Scotland on his dad’s side! As a historian, I’m freaking out about this and they’re like “oh ok.” And I’m like how can you be so nonchalant about that???

I think this is why I also became a historian. I can’t track down my family’s history in as much detail as I would like so I’ll just tackle the history of the country I was born in. Some people will probably say, it doesn’t matter where you came from, it’s what you do with your life now. Well my response to that is, first, thanks a lot for dismissing my entire career. Second, I do want to know where I came from because if it wasn’t for who came before me, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

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This is the Song That Never Ends

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day (because let’s face it, interactions with my friends influence a lot of these blog posts) about music. They were slightly embarrassed because a song that had huge meaning for them in high school was the perfect anthem to describe what was going on in their life right now. My response was something like “Please, I do that all the time. There is no shame in that.”

It’s actually kind of crazy how it doesn’t matter how many years have passed, there are some songs that seem to fit the occasion when it seems fit. It’s funny because I used these songs as away messages on AIM as a very emo college freshman. Now as a 30 something, these songs still perfectly describe my life, even in completely different situations.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying these songs describe how my life is RIGHT NOW. These are just some of the songs that seem to pass the test of time.

“Change” by Good Charlotte

I am lost in the see-through
I think you lost yourself too
Throughout all of this confusion
I hope I somehow get to you
I practiced all the things I’d say
To tell you how I feel
And when I finally get my chance
It all seems so surreal
Cause from the first time I saw you
I only thought about you
I didn’t know you
I wanted to hold onto
The things you’d never say to me
Cause you said
You can’t change the way you feel

“Found Out About You” by Gin Blossoms

All last summer in case you don’t recall
I was yours and you were mine forget it all
Is there a line that I could write
Sad enough to make you cry
All the lines you wrote to me were lies
The months roll past the love that you struck dead
Did you love me only in my head?
Things you said and did to me
Seemed to come so easily
The love I thought I’d won you give for free

“Vegas” by New Found Glory

It’s so amazing how people can be held down
By just one person that doesn’t even care what they think
I know it’s so stupid

“In the End” by Linkin Park

I kept everything inside and even though I tried, it all fell apart
What it meant to me will eventually be a memory of a time when…
I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter

When there have been thousands of books, songs, and movies written about how exactly you feel, then you cannot say no knows how you feel.