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Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Wisdom of a Driver

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I arrived safely in New York to visit my grandma today. The driver that took me to the hotel discussed some of the locally owned companies still around the area. Even in a tough economic period, grocery store east coast chain Wegman’s is still family owned. There’s also a restaurant that is known for great food in a small place that has been run by the same owner for 35 years. He hasn’t expanded because the space is part of the restaurant people know today.

 

Solar Eclipse 2012

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Solar Eclipse 2012

Staring at the solar eclipse on May 20th at 5:30 PM

Anyone else watch the solar eclipse that took place on May 20th around 5:30 PM PST? What a sight to see.

Take Some Time to Show Them the Ropes

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Last night I attended a program put on by the resident advisors of my building to promote a short break from studying for finals which included ice cream sandwiches, scantrons, Green Books, and friendship bracelet materials. Mainly I came for a free Green Book but then decided to sit down and make myself a bracelet, just like I used to.

I used to be really into friendship bracelet making since I understood it very well, thanks to the detailed instructions from Klutz, and they were one of the ‘it’ things from middle to high school. There were times where I would be making one on a bus ride for a friend and another person I knew would ask me if I could make them one. Eventually, I’d end up making more than 5 bracelets at a time.

Getting back to last night, I made a zigzag bracelet and one of the resident advisors begged me to teach him. He was a good listener and meticulous with every knot, insisting that he try to get it right. He kept getting mad at himself for skipping a strand or dropping an entire row but we were able to unknot the mistakes and fix them. He seemed so happy that he was able to make this pattern by himself which felt like a wonderful way to start a crazy week ahead.

Anyone else experience that pleased, optimistic feeling after helping a person master something and do better?

Here, Let Me Correct Your Taste

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Whether you know him from his other works or from the Oprah Book Club uproar in 2001, James Franzen is hailed as a master of writing stories with families that unravel the nitty gritty problems within them, beneath the perfect, smiling exterior. His book The Corrections is a prime example of how all families have varying degrees of being dysfunctional, real or fictitious.

As I’m reading the novel for a literary criticism class, its been interesting to see people take extreme sides about each of the characters, most of the class hating one of the sons, Chip, for being pretentious and negative about the 1990s society and its obsession with commodity. There are a few brave souls who argue that because he’s flawed and trying to learn from his mistakes, he is interesting and they desire to see him try to improve and learn from his errors.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Franzen’s characters are a mixed bag of emotions for me. I admire the fact that he is able to develop characters that feel real, in terms of emotions, reactions, habits, and tone, which in turn, reminds me of figures I know in real life. At the same time, I can find the quirks of some of the characters to be a bit of a headache after reading them over and over again in different passages.

The only character I really despise in the book is Gary’s wife since she seems like a throwaway character who uses the very tactics that I’ve seen some girls use in high school and college: “The Weak One” that everyone comes to the aid of. In turn, the weak one is able to make the sympathetic parties around her do her bidding. I knew a girl in high school who pulled this act all the time, even in Band. Finally, my conductor called her out on it, when she started to blame her weak sound on her reed. “It’s not your reed, its you.”

Despite its status as an infamous book, you should take a look at The Corrections and make your own judgement.

Spring/Summer Cleaning

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After selling off some of the items from my 2003/2004 manga and anime period, I’m encouraged to start going through my stuff and parting ways with some of it. I realized how much I have lying around and there’s things that don’t get used. I’m thinking about finally getting my own eBay account so I can start building my own feedback and reputation as per my dad’s suggestion.

It’s not just eBay though – I’m going through my closet and pulling designer and contemporary designer pieces that I’ve outgrown or no longer wear to consign to a local boutique. It’s funny how I mentioned this to my mom, since she wishes that she never sold her clothes from the 60s, 70s, and 80s to Goodwill/Salvation Army and instead wonders what it would have been like if there were vintage consignment or designer consignment places around during that time.

This is one of many goals I’m hoping to achieve – par down my stuff and get more organized. What about all of you? Any spring/summer goals?

You Have Regrets, I Have Them Too

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On Monday the advisor for Mortar Board Senior Honor Society passed away from natural causes. I vaguely remembered her at the induction ceremony and then it triggered back a memory of a past e-mail she sent me about looking into fellowships or Fulbright scholarships with her help. Unfortunately, the message went unanswered since I failed to remember to contact her about setting up a time to meet and part of me wondered if it was a fluke and was actually meant for a more accomplished student like one new inductee who works for the LA City Hall with a degree in Peace Studies.

Needless to say, I can’t help but just kick myself for failing to get back to her. I can’t live in the past as I’ve been told time and time again but its really hard for me to not just ask myself why I let it slip before it was too late. Then again, its reminded me that you don’t know something or someone until its/they’re gone.

Has anyone else experienced a feeling of regret? How did you learn and grow from it?