Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Change in the Weather

It's been a while since I've started this post; I really liked the pictures I took but I didn't have time to think about what to write, and the few tidbits I did manage to jot down don't make much sense to me anymore. As you can see, I was originally going to talk about how the weather has changed for the cooler, but this week it's back into the 80s again at some points. But what a week it's been. I've constantly been feeling icky, and that's also partially from being so tired. I've been working nonstop for days, first to study for a midterm, and then to help with AHOW. I haven't been feeling down per se, but for some reason, so many bad things have been happening. The thing is, they're all minor things, like spilling coffee, or missing the bus, or having a persistent cough, but as the saying goes, there's no use crying over spilled milk (or coffee). You wipe it up, and keep walking. I seem to be handling all this much better now; I used to be so worn down from just one little thing going wrong, but now I solve the problem and life goes on. I don't know if this is an improvement in mental health, or if it's just a part of growing up, but it's a welcome change. Anxiety and getting upset is draining.

That aside, I still find the need to take time for myself. That's far from a bad thing, self care is so important in college, when there's not always a friend to check in on you. In a weird twist, I don't think I could have gotten as good at self care and being aware of what I need had I not had depression and so many panic attacks. I suppose it's true that overcoming obstacles prepares you for difficulties down the road. I've learned how to struggle and how to live through it, and it really is a valuable skill.

Sadly, that means I've been spending a lot of time by myself. In fact, this weekend, I don't plan on leaving my room until Sunday in order to catch up on work and sleep. In an attempt in mimicking a social life, I've gotten sucked in to Facebook again, though for the time being I've logged out.

Hopefully once I've caught up on everything, I can also put some time into working on this blog. It is in desperate need of an update, in order to keep up with the times and stay modern. Not that it was ever really relevant, but if I want it to be something I don't mind sharing with people, it needs to be on top of the trends.

In short, the nuisances in life never stop coming, but I'm handling it pretty well. And every cloud has a silver lining. As I was walking back after missing the bus, I looked up and saw a rainbow circling the sun as it burned away the fog. That's not something you see every day, and I wouldn't have seen it either had I not looked to the sky in exasperation over all the things gone wrong.

But this time, it was just right. ◊

Friday, October 23, 2015


I cannot articulate how busy I've been over the last few days, from midterms, to life in general, to helping organize All-Hall-O-Ween, also known as AHOW (it's an event the residence halls put on to give children from neighboring elementary schools a safe trick-or-treating experience). I've barely had a single moment where I've done nothing in the last two and a half days, and I haven't had a proper meal for a day and a half. Nevertheless, I don't regret putting so much work in. The kids were absolutely adorable, and I got to dress up too. That was actually a really great bonus because I was caught undecided between two costumes, until I realized that I had two occasions to celebrate Halloween – AHOW and the day of. The first costume was Kate Bishop (aka Hawkeye), which I loved doing because I got to wear a lot of purple. I wasn't allowed to take pictures of the kids, so instead here are a ton of self gratuitous pictures of my costume. I'm actually quite proud of it because I put a lot of thought into the details (chevron necklace and arrowhead earrings) and the makeup (inspired by the Hawkingbird mask). I even dyed my hair purple (!) even though it doesn't show up very well because my hair is already so dark. ◊

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Midterm Stress Shopping

If you're wondering why I haven't posted much lately, it's midterm season, and I just turned in my Sociology midterm essay on Friday before going to volunteering and office hours for PoliSci to study for that midterm on Tuesday... Needless to say I am exhausted and I needed a break. What else do I do when I'm short on nerves and I have no energy for impulse control? Shopping of course (great idea)! I may have gotten a bit carried away and I'm never buying anything ever again (which I always say – it never works) but for the most part I'm happy with my purchases.

It started on Saturday. The weather had finally cooled down and I was wearing the sweater that I bought the last time I went stress shopping (before the PoliSci short essay) and I was feeling pretty good. Since it was late, I went online shopping. I needed pens anyway, and I was looking for a poster to fill the space above my window. It was too easy. A few clicks, and now I am the proud owner-to-be of a gorgeous Marvel character collection (and a 12-pack of Pentel R.S.V.P. fine-tip pens).

Aside from studying, I didn't have much to do today, so I decided it was time for a trip down to Emeryville. I've been craving a face mask again, but to my dismay, the shipment didn't come in (again!) so I bought a self-preserving mask (Mask of Magnaminty) for my roommate and picked up a few samples to use until I have time to go again.

I also picked up a Lush catalog. I love browsing through them and looking at all the gorgeous products I probably could never afford all at once (sigh). One thing about it: their Christmas products are here! I'm so excited!

Next up was The Body Shop, as I have been out of tea tree oil and therefore no spot control. I was faced with the dilemma of 10mL for $10 or 20mL for $18 when my friend reminded me that they were having a Buy 2 Get 1 sale, which means I could get three 10mLs for $20. Done deal.

Lastly was Forever 21. I have enough clothing so far, as California weather only requires layering at worst, and I simply have no patience for picking out an outfit from a huge selection in the morning, but their jewelry is cute and cheap. Somehow, I walked out with about $40 worth of it (so much for inexpensive [and remember we're talking about a college student budget here]).

With this new inventory, a challenge was how to organize everything without getting all of them tangled. Previously, I used a bead box for earrings and necklaces alike, but this would no longer work as it doesn't have much space, so I resorted to hanging up the necklaces on push pins in the cork board of my whiteboard. This isn't ideal as everything is out in the open, which might leave it vulnerable to theft in case the room door is left ajar, and if anything falls, it'll end up behind the bookshelf, where I'll probably never see it again until I move out. Still, one benefit is I might see it and be more motivated to accessorize. I love collecting all these cute trinkets, but sometimes it's just so much effort in the morning to fumble with necklace clasps.

I have a post ready to retroactively publish once I get the time to work on it, as well as a filler post that I can publish anytime once I write it. Hopefully after this midterm I'll have some more time to work on this blog, as it is long overdue for a makeover. Academics is definitely a priority right now, and I have been off of Tumblr (though that procrastination vacancy was quickly filled by Facebook, which has its uses, but is still a distraction). Thanksgiving Break can't come soon enough, though its only mid-October. Still, despite the neverending stress and exhaustion, I'm mostly happier than I've ever been, and I can't wait to see what's to come. ◊

Friday, October 9, 2015

Food Friday #021 – Chengdu Style Restaurant

Chengdu Style Restaurant in Berkeley Chengdu Style Restaurant Berkeley Chengdu Style Restaurant Berkeley Chengdu Style Restaurant Berkeley Menu Chengdu Style Restaurant Berkeley Chengdu Style Restaurant Berkeley Spicy Fish Soup Chengdu Style Restaurant Berkeley Lamb and Green Onion Chengdu Style Restaurant Berkeley Spicy Eggplant Chengdu Style Restaurant Berkeley

I was a bit sick on the day of this outing, so I can't say that I can give a fair review of this restaurant as I was feeling queasy the whole time. Megan's boyfriend visited and took everyone in the suite to a restaurant; we ordered a spicy fish soup, lamb and green onion, fried rice, and a spicy eggplant dish. I am not a huge fan of spicy food, so I barely ate anything, but I like taking pictures, so I thought I might as well publish them. ◊

Friday, October 2, 2015

Food Friday #020 – Wonton Party!

What a week. I've had essays for two weeks straight so unfortunately I haven't had much time to update on here (though I've been sneakily doing so retroactively). I'll upload a life update post soon, but in the meantime, since I posted the pictures of the wonton party earlier this week as a MDIP post, I wanted to talk about it a bit. I didn't have the time or energy to write more about it at the time, and now I don't have the time or energy to dig up and edit more pictures, so this is the explanation part with "recycled" pictures from that post.

Long story short, somehow my roommate Megan decided to organize a wonton party to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. One of her friends from high school offered to host at her apartment and invited guests. None of us knew how to cook wontons, but with a bit of trial and error (and a bit of a scare with a blender) they actually turned out fabulous! We joked that the wontons were a metaphor for college – at first you think they're going to fall apart, but after taking the heat, they turn out to hold together better than expected.

Reminiscing back to dinner party always makes me so happy, because I think it's probably one of my first concrete memories of college outside of school and work. I smile whenever I recall the planning, the karaoke, the games, the food, the effort we put into the whole endeavor, the Izzes in red solo cups, and the people.

It also happened to be Xander's birthday the day before, so we had a cake for him to surprise him with. Unfortunately his roommate had already spoiled the surprise, but it was still cute. The best part about the cake though was the last piece, which was unceremoniously smashed into Xander's face by Megan (you can see the aftermath in the picture on the right).

At the end of the night a few people had left already, but we all took a polaroid together. Though I didn't get to keep the physical copy for my scrapbook, at least I got a pretty clear photo of the picture. Fifteen is probably the largest number I've ever had a casual social gathering with, but it was surprisingly a lot of fun, and not as exhausting as I had expected. I learned a lot about everyone through several enlightening rounds of "Never Have I Ever," ate a lot of handmade food, proved to myself that I could probably survive as an independent adult, and made some new friends. I'm actually looking forward to more social gatherings, maybe breaking out of my little introvert shell, and living my life a little fuller (clearly I have not yet from the results of NHIE). ◊