"I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing; kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles."- Audrey Hepburn

Oct 23, 2009

Perfectionist, me?

More than once in life, I have this faint idea that I am more of a perfectionist that I am willing to admit:

1. I believe: “If you don’t get a 100% on a test, then it’s nothing”. This belief gives me enough motivation to spend more hours than I want in the library and much less in everywhere else. It also gives me the 100% chance of disappointment of after getting test scores. (Even if the test is easy, then the percent expected would be leveled up to 120%)

2. Architecture, fashion, music, journalism, psychology, biology, international relations, humanity, linguistic, relationship, graphic design, culinary, martial arts: these are all the fields that I want to excel in. Yes, all of them.

3. My ideal boyfriend:
- British accent with a deep and low voice that brings immense warmth
- Play instrument”s”, preferably guitar and piano, compose, sing and dance
- Doesn’t have to be a genius but at least not a douche bag
- Mentally and physically healthy
- Just a right amount of romanticism and realism, not too much, not too little
- DO NOT sweet talk
- Decent-looking
- Conversationally entertaining
- Organized and responsible

- Level of maturity higher than a high-schooler
- Have enough love chemical in his heart
- Good sense of fashion
- High level of endurance and patience
- Strong enough to stand up for himself

Above is the [excessively] simplified version of my ideal life.

The first 2 items are to prove the extent of my ridiculous-ism. The third item is the one that has circled my mind for the past week and it will keep circling around there and drive me crazy unless I do something about it. So I write.

I am not an idealist. I am a realist. Therefore, I know better than to rely on more than 15% of that list. As a perfectionist, I have to shamefully admit that, more than often, I overlook up to 12 out of 14 these items. I categorize guys into smaller and more practical lists: “The good-looking”, “The nice personality”, “The perfect”, “The potential”, “The friends” and “The gimme-a-break” and I rank them. The ranks are dynamic; they change accordingly to words, actions and behaviors.

The thing is, you have to understand, I do try not to judge them boys but it is a difficult thing to avoid in this world full of dishonesty and ambiguity. I just want to protect my fragile soul and unstable mental mind.

In my opinion, creating a relationship is nothing more than solving a science problem using the algorithmic method:

1. You use your instinct and intuition, attempting to understand the nature of the problems.
2. If your intuition is correct, good for you. If your intuition is incorrect, you need to move on to a more time-consuming strategy. You try to look at the problem with another view, and test it out.

3. After various attempts, eventually you will find the correct answer and be happy. If you do not have enough patience and persistence, you give up. It can be sad, it can be disappointing, but eventually you will move on to another problem and start over.

Unfortunately, science has proved that intuition often brings about more inaccuracy and mistake than one wants. Also more than often, life has cruelly proved that patience and persistence do not always pay off. As a result, there are, indeed, many unsolvable problems in this world and most likely, they will be unsolvable until there comes an extremely outstanding, and also extremely lucky, figure.

From stepping over and recovering from many mistakes, I learn to overlook (many) certain things, to give numerous chances, to reassure myself with positive, to conceive optimistic and humanistic thoughts, to look at things from numerous aspects and to repeatedly put my endurance and forgiveness levels into tests. I swear to my heart, that the one who is ranked number one my list right now, the one who I have a crush on right now is nowhere to close to the list of perfection, he miraculously makes it to the top, just because my emotions overweight everything else.

Sometimes, a girl, regardless of how realistic and how rational she is, gives in to passion and emotions. Sometimes, however, all of these good virtues are too much to take and a girl has the right to be out of control, to break down, shed tears of disappointment, of pain and of unhappiness and to rightfully give up. Sometimes, it is too much to ask for.

It is often said that most girls are rather particular about guys. It is not the case. Girls make endless lists of impossible/ideal boyfriend but she disregards the lists at the moment her heart gives in. Guys, as a matter of fact, have more [great] expectations that they appear to be. Consider these:

1. When a guy considers a girl pretty, he puts into mind her skin complexion, eyes, lips, cheekbones, eyelashes, eyebrows and hair. Girls have to stock up on cleanser, toner, moisturizer, lotion, foundation, powder, oil control,sunscreen, day cream, and night cream with different pH levels (we learn more about pH through makeups than through Chem lecture). Girls get comments when her skin is too pale, too tanned, too dry, too oily, her foundation is too thick or that the blush is too pink. Girls need lipsticks, lipgloss, eyeliner, eyeshadow, eyelash curler, mascara, false lashes, etc. Even her nails have to cut, filed and polished. Seriously, who cares if a guy does not have smooth skin, or that his eyelashes are not long and thick enough, or that his hair is not perfectly made? Who gives a guy a comment like “Jeez, your skin is really dry”. “Look, you have split ends!” or “Ugh, you should repaint your nails.”

2. Moving away from the face comes the body. A “hot” girl, depends on cultural views, should be either skinny or has perfect curves. If a girl is born with naturally perfect body shape, good for her. If not, it is a constant struggle, of social preferences and of self-esteem. Why is it that girls have higher rate of eating disorders that guys do? Because we are expected to be perfect. Who cares if a guy finishes a whole pizza by himself? Who cares if a guy eat 5 meals a day? While on the other hand, girls have to plan her diet, watch her calories, stock her fridges with fruits and yogurt and reluctantly turn away from the cookies, and get criticized for doing so. For god sake, girls share the same love for food just as anyone else on earth does then why does she have to constantly repress that thought? Besides the skinny types, there are girls who have to consume more sugar or fat then do particular exercises to get the “right curves”.

3. A girl is always expected to smell like a Victoria Secret store, not only her body, but her hair, her clothes, her purse and her room. However, the process of getting the perfect scent is not that simple. The perfume has to fit her ages, images and personality. Yes, a scent that fits personalities.

4. Of course, a girl cannot only have a pretty face, a good body and an appealing smell, but also has to be smart. She cannot be too smart though, which explains why sometimes girls have to play dumb to get guys. There are living proofs out there of women who are successful in their careers, financially independence and either single or suffering from multiple divorces.

5. Girls are expected to have good sense of fashion and therefore, to dress nicely. Colors have to be matched. Too revealing makes you a slut. Too conservative makes you non-attractive. Everything has to be at a perfect level. Not everyone is a fashion designer, you know.

6. And, it cannot be neglected that a girl also needs a perfect personality. There are different combinations: the good and loving girl, the active and outgoing girl and the sexy and attractive girl. If a girl is shy then she should act girly, cute, kind and extremely caring. Or she has to be friendly, outgoing, has a radiant smile, an enjoyable laugh and is able to make you smile all the time. Or she has to be flirty, sexy and driving your mind crazy. Where is the chance for a girl who does not satisfy all the requirements to fit in the categories? Where is the place for a funny and outgoing girl who sometimes has her moments and throws a fit? Where is the place for a smart, argumentative, ambitious yet tremendously caring and loving one?

7. Rarely, it is acceptable for a girl to be straightforward and “pushy”. Girls have to be patient and tell themselves not to send many texts, not to be obvious, play cool, play hard-to-get, and many other rules while her heart and mind are frustrated by the ambiguity and confusing words and actions of the guys. However, it is also not the right thing to do if a girl just sits around and waits for the love of her life to come. Again, every texts, every words, every actions a girl throw out there have to be FREAKING JUST RIGHT! Sometimes, a girl just wants to scream out loud "GOD DAMN IT, can't you just say it already? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING PLAYING WITH MY FEELINGS?"

I give up. I can’t do this anymore. It is too much for me to take. I am a perfectionist but how much effort do I have to put in just to find a person who truly cares? There are numerous times when I wish I do not have to force myself in the freezing cold shower, wish I do not have to spend an extra half an hour to put on makeup every morning, wish I do not have to remember all the skincare products whenever I pack, wish I do not have to make sure my nails look decent, etc. Cosmetics maybe my interest and fashion maybe my obsession but it’d be great if I can say I pursue those purely for pleasure, not for living up to expectations.

People can give me wise advices and tell me that I do not have to conform to the world, that I do not have to care about what other people things and that I can just live the way I want. What if the way I want to live is to live up to other people’s expectations? Then does that mean I have no choice but to conform? I have, numerously, reinvented my personality. I have tried many different characteristics: shy, quiet, studious, rebellious, outgoing, friendly, moody, caring, nonchalant, talkative, flirty …

What else do I have to do? I overlook things in other people but do people overlook things in me? What the hell do I have to do to be “just right”? If I can solve this with a math equation, I totally would. I am not desperate to be in a relationship. I still think relationships are bothersome. I'd love to be single and live life simply. Sometimes I don't say what I mean and I don't mean what I say. Sometimes I do not know what my heart wants and what my mind thinks.

I am cynical and I am judgmental. I speak my mind and I write my heart out. If my chaotic and frustrated thoughts bother you, speak your mind.


Oct 10, 2009

Just a little bit more love?

Imagine this:
One of those days, when the temperature drops to below 20 degree and the brutal wind is having fun with practicing its 100m sprint, you are wrapped up in layers of blanket, enjoying one of those “good-feeling” movies. With no worries in mind, you just relax and enjoy the moment.

Or this:
On the corner of the street, under a lonely street lamp, like a shadow, you’re standing. The night is clear and you can smell the crisped air. Your thoughts drift away to somewhere faraway. The bad news blows your mind. Your heart shatters and you feel like the world is crumbling underneath you.

Ask yourself what you’d feel in both situations.
What kind of feelings would be suitable in both scenes, you would ask?
Solitude, I would answer.

Whether it is a joyous or devastating moment, relaxing or stressful situation, in the middle of nowhere or on the busy street of the city, more than often, I would have this desire to feel a touch. Never mind the passionate embrace, or a loving hug. Never mind cuddling or being watched while falling asleep. If I could get those, that’s fabulous. If not, I’d be satisfied with just a light and tingling feeling of warmth, just a touch, on the hand, on the arm, on the shoulder, a pat on the head or even a heartfelt, invisible feeling of someone sitting next to me, for me to lean on whenever I need the support. Or at least, that's what I told myself.

It gets me thinking, what is it about these trivial physical movements that makes my heart ache? Since when do these become such fancy necessity in my daily life?

I have to make it clear that I had quite a reserved attitude toward physical contact. Growing up in a rather strict environment, I get to appreciate the hug and the touch. Sisters are huggable. Mommy is huggable if you are under age 5. Daddy is not huggable unless he has had some drinks with his friends. Male cousins are not huggable after age 10. Dogs and cats are huggable as long as they don’t end up on your bed. Girlfriends are huggable. Boyfriends are not huggable. The boyfriend does not even make the list. All are touchable except for boyfriends and the secret boyfriend.

I don’t know how I felt when I was first introduced to the liberal view of the hug and the touch. It took me by surprise, made me wonder “Really, I can do that?”

Eventually, it has become part of my life. I thought it was a good thing. There is nothing wrong with showing how we feel for each other. As friends, as lovers, as family, (as Barney), we give each other hugs. We hug when we’re happy, when we’re sad, when we’re angry or even for no reason at all.

There are also numerous other ways to express our feelings physically: holding hands, patting on the head, leaning on shoulders, cuddling, and many more. As humans, our pleasure in touching and holding those we love never cease? Human attachment consists of one person providing another with a safe haven when distressed and a secure base on which to explore. We need someone to stand by us, so that, by their existence, we know of our own. At all ages, we are social creatures. We gain strength when someone offers us, by words and actions, a safe haven: “I will be here. I am interested in you. Come what may, I will support you.” We spend our lives look for the source of that strength.

However, it gets me thinking, will these physical expressions ever lose their meanings from being overused. Once in my life, I thought it must be really special to get a hug. Now, I want more than just a hug to feel special. Or do I not?

Millions, billions, trillions sugar-coated words may not be able to penetrate my rational mind. Nevertheless, one single touch, one degree difference of warmth and my mind goes blank and my heart melts. Isn’t supposed to be only love that brings about the physical attachment? Or is it the physical attachment itself that brings about the feelings? Is it really my heart that wavers, or is it just my body reacts by instinct? It is mysterious. It is confounding. It leaves my feelings bewildered and my mind dazed. If I am already used to this liberal view, then why is it so goddamn irritating? Why is it that I want to unveil the supposedly casual message underlies these casual movements so bad my heart aches

What exactly the hell does a hug convey? What the hell is the logic for my bubbling feeling caused by such a mere touch?
So frustrating …
[az] Oct 09 Song playing: Skin On Skin - Sarah Connor
Just a little bit more love
Just a little bit more passion

This is how it should begin
Skin on skin

Heres a true romance

Be aware and take your chance
Tomorrow Im gonna leave you
But I am here for you tonight

Just a little getting close
Just a little more affection

Cause I dont think its a sin
Skin on skin

Dont you know that this game is to play
Just as long as its time
Cant you see that my hearts gotta know
When youre gonna be mine
So we better get it on

What is here will soon be gone
When the leaves are falling
Then maybe we could fall apart ....

Oct 6, 2009


For me, nothing can be worse than waking up to a grey, cloudy sky and raindrops falling on my window pane. Despite my obsession for fall/winter clothing and accessories, I find it depressing to admit that the days of spring and summer have gone and along with them, gone a bit of my cheerful spirit. I cannot express enough how much I love the golden rays of morning sunshine and the vast, clear blue sky. The shade of blue that makes my heart ache and my mind go blank every single time. It is like love at first sight over and over and over again.

For some reasons, gloomy days always put me in an extremely unstable state of mind and push that already established mood swing a little bit further on the edge. I hate it when my mood changes like Juicy Couture store changes their mannequins’ accessories: chaotic, unnecessary and it makes people wonder what the hell their problem is. If I could stabilize my mood just by hiring a better store manager with a better sense of what going on in the world beside his own, I could have done that long time ago. Unfortunately, that is just simply impossible.

A rainy day, a cup hot beverage and a glass window is all you need to shut my nonstop blabbering and over-energetic self off. Although I may make some attempts to cheer up my own day but they are all vain attempts. My mind wanders off, and most of the time, to the better, happier days of the past.

Memory is an extremely ambiguous concept. I hate the feeling that I can never get a grasp on my memories and never able to control them the way I want. They would fade away when I try desperately to hold on to them and they flood back in my head when I do not want any pieces of them. And rainy days are the times when they always seem to find their way back, whether I want it to happen or not.

Have you ever had that feeling when your Ipod plays a song that you have not listened for ages, and that song carries with it tons of images and emotions that bring tears to your eyes? That is exactly how I feel, often enough that it bothers my unsettling mind. And my senses are sensitive enough that even trivial things can trigger the flow of memories.

One of those days my Ipod would randomly play a song that makes me suddenly stop in the middle of what I am doing, and feel what I had felt ages ago. Those are the songs that I listened to on road trips with my family, songs that my friends and I practiced dancing to over and over again, songs that I listened to on the way to school and secretly during classes, songs that played in the background as I cried for the sad ending of my favorite drama, songs that played during the slow dance during homecoming, or songs that played on the guitar by an anonymous figure that I refuse to recall.

More often than needed, it would rain outside and the pouring rain replays the slow movies of my life. All the rains that have never failed to fall on my birthday. The freezing rain that I cursed out every morning on my way to school. The sheets of needles that colored the beach with a white and foggy shade and a feeling of solitude. The continuous rain that remind me to appreciate the warmth and the cup of coffee that I was holding in my hands. The stormy weather that made me feel lucky I had a hand to hold on to and an umbrella held steadily over me. It has dawn on me that I have just as many memories under the sunshine as those under the grey sky. However, for an unknown reason, I rarely reminisce those.

There would be days when I walk down the street and a faint smell of Love Spell would bring me vivid pictures of the days I spent in Boston or the times in FA that I was obsessed with Victoria Secret’s lotions. Smell of Vietnamese food reminds me of home and of the time I spent with the other Vietnamese cooking for International Day or just for fun. My hand itches when I smell of fresh baked cookies or cakes, I want to get into the kitchen and start baking cakes like I did for Zala and Pauline. I miss the smell of hot lemon tea and ramen noodles that I desperately tried to get rid of. Even the smell of gasoline, oil, hot dry sun or freshly painted wall can remind me of tons of things.

I can even recall feelings that I felt while watching movies, or all the excitement that I have felt while laughing in all the pictures I kept. All these extra sensitiveness really gets on my nerves. It gets in my way of rational thinking. I don’t feel being in control of myself. Those feelings are too sentimental for me to endure.

Then somehow I found myself thinking about fate, and about how many people have gone through my life. After all those good memories, the least we can do for each other is a “happy birthday”, in which the only reason I remember is because facebook reminds me. People come, people go. Some stay for a long time and do not leave much impression. Some come for only a short period of time but take away with them tiny bits of my heart. During those times, I feel sad but then I get over it fast enough that people may consider myself a bit cruel and cold-hearted.

I thought to myself, I have to move on. If I keep living in the past, then I would not be able to recognize all the good things that will come in the future. After all, things change, people change, I may not able to recall all of them, but I believe they will still be there in my memory, or my heart (figuratively speaking). Memories keep building up on themselves and if I have to rely on these trivial stimuli to trigger them, then let it be that way.

Sunday Oct 4th, 2009
Location: Carlson Library, Rochester, New York, U.S.A
Weather: Rainy, cold, and gloomy
Activity: supposedly reading Psychology chapter on Emotional Intelligence
Music: Goong OST