"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

Dec 2, 2012

Not another "love" story

It’s odd how every year seems to go faster as you get older. Here I am, almost a year later feeling blind sighted by the entire 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8765 hours, 525,600 minutes, and 31,556 seconds that made up this year. Amazing how you become a blip in someones life after they meant the world to you.

Sometimes I consider myself a bridge. I’ll meet a new guy and sometimes the very first time we’ll speak I’ll hear the sentence “you’re different than any other girl I’ve talked to before”. Something along those lines always seems to arise often in the course of the friendship, relationship, or simply conversation. It’s something I should be thankful for, a compliment, as some would say. But I’m tired of hearing it.

It’s not that I want someone to tell me that I’m exactly the same as the last girl they were with, or all my tendencies and quirks are that of similar people’s personalities. It’s that my ''relationships'', if I can even call them that, end for the same reason, not on bad terms, but simply general relationship problems. The reason for calling myself a bridge is because after they tell me for their first time that “I’m different than any other girl they’ve ever dated”, very soon after they find another girl, so similar to me in so many ways, and then stay with her for what feels like forever. I’m tired of that, when does someone lead me to a guy who stays with me?

After seeing this happen to me for the third time I sat and thought for hours, I thought about love and hate, and how they are indeed the strongest emotions, but they really are more similar than they are different.

I keep teetering between hate and love for the situation. They can be mistaken so often, but I never thought about it in that way before. I hate love, sometimes I wish I never fell in love, because I feel it’s an emotion that gives the human race something to strive for. The ultimate euphoria. It feels good only for a little, but takes work to keep up. So what’s the point? We work hard to get this feeling that everyone is dying to have and some people don’t even achieve. Even if you do it bites you in the ass on the way out. A final “goodbye” or what have you. Hate, on the other hand doesn’t do that. No one wants it and it doesn’t hurt you as much as love does. Hate burns people’s faces, love burns away dignity, pride, respect, trust. Hate doesn’t forgive, but it can forget. Love doesn’t forget, so it’s always there hurting you, tearing you apart, but love forgives.

I just needed to get this out there, I was then thinking about breaking up. How you’re never really fully over someone. When one person drops out of a ''relationship'' for whatever reason, the other is left out to dry. You’re out of sunlight, the wind isn’t blowing, and you’re on the ground. It’ll take forever to dry. So you don’t let go until someone else picks you up, pins you on the clothesline to feel the breeze and the sunlight.

I’m young, and just recently realize that I am also awful at getting over people. But I’m tired of dwelling. He’s my friend, a very good one at that. We liked each other, a lot. He has other girls now, but I'm sure he still likes me. He likes me as a friend, and cares about me. He's not the first one and he won't be the last one.

 I’m young, I’m flirty, I’m spontaneous, I’m goofy, I’m passionate, I’m determined, I’m strong, I surround myself with amazing friends, I have opinions, beliefs, ideas, thoughts, dreams, hates, loves, but for the past 3 years I’ve lost parts of myself every time I’m a bridge. This time I’m tired. No matter how many times I cry, how many times I scream and yell, how many times I don’t talk to people, it will still be there. It happened. I knew it was coming. So I guess it’s my turn to live.

Nov 13, 2012

As I rushed out of the house this morning trying to get to lab on time before I get in trouble, a tiny snow flake landed on my scarf. And that was all it took for me to pause. When is it almost winter already? In the midst of crazy life and millions other things, I have totally let autumn go by unnoticed.

I remember walking through the cemetery to work every other morning, thinking how beautiful all the leaves were, and made a mental note to myself to either bring my camera, or come here during the weekend and sketch. Those things never happened. Just like many other plans that I told myself I would finish and never did. Since when have I started a life of all talk, and no action ...?

My life has been mediocre. Classes, work, homework, all-nighters, exams, papers, Sigmas, meetings, occasional drunken nights, and more than occasional drunken encounters with various guys. When I look back on the past 2 months, I recall nothing. My life has been so unmemorable and uneventful that I can't even remember anything significant. And here I thought senior year of college was supposed to be the best year of your life. It is no different than my previous years, if not more sressful having to constantly carry the thought of graduation on my shoulders. Everything that my friends and I talk about are how we are so lost in life we have no idea we want to do after graduation. Midnight conversations, early morning conversations, odd-hour conversations, it's all about life, and choices. I feel like I'm wasting my time but then I have no idea what else I could do to make my life more meaningful.

I feel like I'm just floating aimlessly in this universe, without a sense of where I am, or even what I am. I m being influenced by all these forces that I lose all control. More than often, I wonder what I am doing amd what the purpose of my existence is.

I am lost, and alone. Thus, I try to not feel lost, and alone. I am even more of an attention-seeker than I have ever been. I contant look for reassurance that people acknolwedge my existence, and that they need to pay attention to it. That's why my life is such a mess. Honestly, I feel like I know the reason behind all of these lunatic moments and behaviors. Although I may just be in denial.

I don't think I ever get over it. And it left such a huge impact in my life that I am struggling and trying so many things trying to get back to my old self, and to gain back the control I used to have. I would be doing really well, before I slip. And everytime I slip, it takes me twice the effort to get back up again. I try to grab on anything on my way, but nothing is sturdy enough. It is so frustrating that I don't even want to think about it anymore.

"If a guy treat you like crap, genuinely he means to treat you like crap" - He's not that into you
I wish that I can just blindly believe this.

I just want to make another escape to some place new in the world. I miss South Africa. I miss Vietnam. I need to get away to somewhere to get rid of this suffocating feeling.

Christmas is coming. Maybe by the time New Year comes, everything will be better.

Nov 10, 2012

Moving on?

When things end, the first thing you hear is all of this really inspirational talk about “moving on.” Everyone suddenly becomes a walking motivational poster, telling you all about how you need to learn to forgive and forget, how time goes forwards and not backwards, and how we have to keep our heads up. Time passes relentlessly, and we are supposed to imitate it in our persistance. Things happen, and then they end, and we accept it.

But in practice, few things are harder to execute. The world continues spinning, yes, and those around you may forget about what happened, but that doesn’t mean it suddenly disappears from your rear-view mirror. Everything around us — every restaurant we eat in, every street we walk down, every movie we watch — becomes marked with the person we were when we did those things. Each relationship can be a sort of fingerprint, completely unique in its detail and entirely constructed of mutual memories and experiences. Sure, things end and you go back to being alone, but it’s not as though you suddenly become the person you were beforehand. Things have changed, you have changed, and there is no amount of forced forgetting that is going to make things be exactly as they were before.

I have often felt as though so much of my emotional life has been spent trying to “move on” from things that seem no more escapable than my own skin. Sure, I can ignore them, I can stop giving them the life that they need to occupy significant amounts of space in my daily routine, but I can’t just pretend they didn’t happen. And it has started to feel as though “move on” is in and of itself a misnomer. There is no moment at which you leave the things that happened to you and the people you love in a small pile on the side of the road and continue on without them. It is more a slow acceptance, if anything. One day, the presence of your past is like a thousand needles pricking you over every inch of your skin; the next, you have become so acquainted with the sting that you hardly notice the needles at all.

But we are still being touched by that past, all over, constantly. We are taught that this is a bad thing, that the parts of our lives we no longer acknowledge can just be shed like a heavy winter coat and moved on from. It’s hard not to feel like a failure when you find yourself incapable of simply packing up an old love and storing it away in the attic, never to consider outside of the occasional, wistful half-smile. People don’t work like that. Time may move in a completely linear fashion, but our lives are spread around it like a spider web, wrapping around each other and intersecting at inconvenient and difficult moments. There are people from whom you will never fully untangle yourself, but you will learn to live with their memory.

The challenge, it seems, should be just that — to accept our past, and integrate it into our lives in a constructive way. We are all full of ghosts, people and cities we no longer visit but within whom we felt incredibly alive, and there is no reason to pretend they never existed. I wish I could hold those ghosts closer even, telling them that I forgive them for any indiscretion I may have at one point tried to scrub away with a ball of steel wool. Because trying to erase someone completely only makes their presence in your life more pointed — they are an intruder, they are violating your emotional restraining order and reminding you you cannot escape them.

I don’t want to move on. I don’t want to leave my past in small increments behind me. I want to take something from every experience, good or bad, and find it useful in some tiny way. I don’t want the process of recovery from an ending to feel like a hill I have to climb, one that has a distinct beginning and end. I don’t need a thousand voices telling me to “get over it,” as though I could even if I wanted to. Most of all, I don’t want to fear every new love and every new adventure because I imagine that, if it doesn’t work out how I wanted it to, I will have to pretend it never happened at all. TC mark

Read more at http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/how-do-you-move-on/#iY2stsTaj1gSPGIK.99 

Oct 14, 2012

   When I get really annoyed at life (and when I'm bored in class), I go on Thought Catalog, and find a mind that is just as sarcastic and cynical as mine, and connect on that level.
    It is a good feeling to think (even just during a 50-min lecture) that there is someone out there who can relate to you, and your oh-so-insignificant problems that you are afraid to tell your friends (because they already heard it 50 million times)
    So here goes another Thought Catalog post that makes my day a bit more cynical, and a bit better

How To Be My Ex-Boyfriend

MAY. 3, 2012
Be a lovable asshole. Have your insensitivity be mostly brought on by your profound inability to lie about anything. Tell me the truth when a dress makes my body look kind of lumpy. Don’t be afraid to reject me when you’re too tired. Don’t hesitate to tell me to take a shower. Say all of these things with a certain level of obliviousness that makes it difficult for me to actually get mad at you. There’s no venom in your voice. It’s treated with a casual matter-of-factness. You’re just tElLiNg iT lIkE iT Is! I never wished I could date a liar until I met you.

Be 30% cuter than me. Have the inequity in our attractiveness hover over us like a cloud of doom, bringing all of my insecurities to the surface. Get hit on by beautiful women wherever we go and have it made clear that I’m not seen as a threat. The audacity of these women—to treat me like I’m totally invisible! I never felt ugly until I was with someone so beautiful. I never thought of the different values of attractiveness until I was with a permanent comparison. Despite seeing other women flirt with you though, you never made me feel anything less than beautiful. This makes it hard to get angry and punish you for simply being a babe who’s universally desirable.

Be the one who loves less. It’s clear from the beginning that this will be the dynamic of our relationship; these are the roles we’re destined to play. It will always be me trying to extract things from you that you’re ultimately incapable of giving me. You resist and then occasionally give in which will foster hope for a period of time but eventually we’ll be right back where we started. It’s unclear as to why you can’t love me. Even after all this time, I’m left with a lot of unanswered questions. It’s not like you’re a cold person. As much as I want to, I can’t paint you as a villain. That would make everything so much easier and offer me a solid explanation as to why things didn’t work out, but the reality is that you aren’t a cold man. There are frosty bits to your personality but as a whole you exude warmth. Warmth that wasn’t enough to keep me warm.

Be a coward. Fail to break up with me. Instead, push me away so badly that you’ve given me no choice but to do it myself. Rude. If you fall out of love with me, you can at least have the decency to be the one to break it off. Do you know how hard it is to break up with someone you still love because you’ve been backed into a corner? You made me clean up your mess and I still resent you for it.

Be someone who’s hard to let go of. For the brief moments we’ve interacted after the break up, I’ve felt myself being brought back to life and it’s pathetic. I didn’t cry for a year but when I ran into you on the street, it was the first thing I did. I went home and sobbed in bed like a sad cliche. For a second, I thought all my insides were dead, but you proved that they’re still working. They still work but only for someone like you—which means that they’re positively useless.
Try to erase me. Unfollow me on Twitter, hide my feed on Facebook. Try to forget I ever existed. I wish it was that easy for me but I guess some people are just easier to erase than others. TC mark

Read more at http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/how-to-be-my-ex-boyfriend/#lseLpzBUYUgd2Sxt.99 

Aug 21, 2012

Be a dream catcher.

At some point along the way of classes, organizations and ten million other things in mind, I has forgotten how to dream.

Truth is, I have been slapped in the face so many time by reality and I have been looking up to so many people that are better than me, that I forgot about myself and my own ability. I forgot that it didn't matter if people who were better than me could not make it very far in life. I forgot that it didn't matter what you were born with, it is what you really work for that counts. I have been trying hard to accomplish lots of things, but they are all because "If others can do it, so do it." It is not because, "I want to do i, because I can."

I have been shadowing other people's dreams.

Thus, for the next two years, my most critical point of my career, I will try harder and harder, to find out about myself and what I really want to do and to show people what I can really do.

My dream: John Hopkins University. I will make it there somehow.
It will happen.

Aug 19, 2012

For the strangers of my life.

When you're young, you tend to exaggerate everything. Everything is either forever, or never.

When you find a girl friend that you can hang out with, go shopping with, study with, and talk about guys with, you call her your best friend, forever. When you enter college and pick a major, you sincerely believe that that will be your career for the rest of your life. And when you meet a guy and start liking him, you think that that happiness will last, for a very long time.

After a while, your "bff" finds a new group of friends, and you two start drifting apart. Or she will move to another city and you will cry and miss her, and text her like crazy for about a month, then you two move on with life. You find out that after all you don't like any of the classes in your major, and you pick up another field and start over. The guy you like no longer reciprocates your feelings. You start to have fights and eventually, you hardly talk to each other.

And before you move on to another chapter in your life, you feel the pain, and shed the tears. You are scared. You are afraid of the unknown. What if you can no longer go back to the stage where you were before? What if the future is even more painful than what you have to go through right now? However, whether you want to or not, life will push you through.

Sometimes, when you think about it, things are not everlasting. Moving on shouldn't be such a scary feeling. It should be like, hunger. When you are hungry, it is uncomfortable and irritating. You find your favorite food to eat and you feel happy. You feel like that amazing feeling will last forever. Obviously, it won't. And you will be hungry again, you will have to go and put some efforts into finding food again, and you will be forever searching for something new to spice up your appetite. It is a never ending cycle. Yet, no one complains about having to feed themselves. They are more than happy to work to satisfy their hunger.

Then, what is the difference between food, and relationships? We should come into a relationship knowing that eventually, things will go away, and we will have to work hard to find something that will make us happy again. If that is the case, people wouldn't be afraid of letting go. People will not need to try to hang on to each other. They will not be afraid of having to expedite time and efforts into a new relationship. They will not be scared because they should know that no matter what, they will find something, or someone, to make them happy again.

I have been through many of these "hungry" moments. I am scared of letting go because I don't like the feeling of being left with nothing. Yet, I realize that as much as it takes to move on, it is also quite a good feeling when I find something new. That newly generated source of happiness, the tingling of feeling of being cared for, and being the sole attention of someone. To be loved.

I think I need to teach myself to be more brave and courageous, and teach myself to believe that after all, "tomorrow is another day."

I do not know how long this happiness will last nor whether I will have to go through all the sadness again. But I believe that whatever I go through, the memories are worth cherishing.

Thank you for coming into my life when I thought I could not be stronger. Thank you for letting me finding the strength, and letting me believe in myself again. Thank you for making me happy. Thank you for allowing me to believe that there will always be something better for me out there.

It is because of you that I can always let go and keep moving forward.

Aug 8, 2012

"We stood there, looking at each other, saying nothing. But it was the kind of nothing that meant everything. In his eyes, there was no trace of what had happened between us earlier and I could feel something inside me break.

So that was that. We were finally, finally over.

I looked at him, and I felt so sad, because this thought occurred to me: 'I will never look at you the same way again. I'll never be that girl again. The girl who comes running back every time you push her away, the girl who loves you anyway.'

I couldn’t even be mad at him, because this was who he was. This was who he’d
always been. He’d never lied about that. He gave and then he took away. I felt it in the pit of my stomach, the familiar ache, that lost, regretful feeling only he could give me. I never wanted to feel it again. Never, ever.

Maybe this was why I came, so I could really know. So I could say good-bye.
I looked at him, and I thought, 'If I was very brave or very honest, I would tell him.'
I would say it, so he would know it and I would know it, and I could never take it back. But I wasn’t that brave or honest, so all I did was look at him. And I think he knew anyway.

'I release you. I evict you from my heart. Because if I don't do it now, I never will.'
I was the one to look away first.” 

― Jenny HanIt's Not Summer Without You

Aug 3, 2012

Daily note.

I still laugh at this note every time I read it. Such a cute gesture from the guy. I still remembered how much it made my day to wake up to this, even though it confused me quite a bit at first.

You were such a sweetheart (maybe not anymore). Still, thanks for all the memories :)

Workers Compensation

by Viet Pdf Nguyen on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 7:49am 
Although workers compensation law must provide a balance, it should never
form a loophole for those employers who want to price out risks that are going to 
cause injury. A "true intent" interpretation of the exclusivity exception will give you
such a loophole. This is because when an employer as immunity for culpability up
to pure intent, any risk that was taken for a legitimate business purpose will never
qualify for an exception. However, courts using a relaxed view of intent are going to
prevent such pricing out of workplace injuries. Only a relaxed standard will let you 
bring a tort claim for a substantially certain risk of injury - effectively tearing down
the financial incentive by increasing cost. Thus the proper standard is never going 
to be true intent when the goal is increasing workplace safety. But, it is critical to
remember that workers compensation represents a quid-pro-quo and we can't run
the risk of upsetting the balance. Using an intent standard somewhere around
"substantially certainty" would continue to provide immunity for safe employers and 
only increase the liability exposure for this employers whose actions would desert
the standard of "accident" under tort. Therefore, when defining exclusivity, if you
lose time from work, accidents in which the employee loses time, they carry

Jul 30, 2012

Daily Note.

I must admit that I have pretty bad temper. And because I have a pretty straightforward personality, my temper doesn't help me with my attempt to try to be nice to people.

Recently, I have been in constant bad mood. I could blame it on stress (here it goes again: taking Orgo is exhausting), but to be honest, I am nowhere as stressed as I am during the school year. Something definitely bothers me though. Usually I am a pretty social person, and I enjoy the company of people. There are even times when I get scared of being alone and have to actively search for people to be with. Yet recently, being around people annoys me. When my friends get too excited or start making too much noise, I get irritated. I feel terrible, because I shouldn't be taking out my bad mood on other people, especially those who do nothing wrong to me. It gets to the point where I just try to hide in my room most of the time, like literally, go into my room, lock the door, and pretend that I am not home so that people won't bother me. Or it gets to the point that I repeatedly ask him if I could stay over just because I don't want to go home and deal with all the people.

It's pretty terrible isn't it? I try to listen to happy music, exercise when I can and focus on working on my wall project when I am in my antisocial mood. But it has been more than two weeks and it doesn't seem to get any better. Maybe I just need a change in people I hang out with. I have always been a social butterfly but the good thing about that is I can switch up the people I am with all the time. During the summer, there's not much choice though.

On a more positive note, I got to talk to So Youn this Saturday and that made me happy. She has always been my support all the time and I get strangely attached to her. If she was a guy, I wouldn't be surprised to see myself with her *laugh* I miss random conversations, midnight meals, all-nighters and sleep overs at each other's places. I have been so spoiled recently that I like the feeling of having someone to sleep with me. Not a good habit, I must say.

I guess one good thing about me is that very little things can make me happy, even when I am in constant bad mood. Such as certain text messages, or chat conversations. They may not matter to the people who said all that stuff, but to me, those were definitely pick-me-up moments. So when I get really exhausted from studying and get irritated at people, I can just think about those moments and smile.

My wall is getting filled up and it is looking just how I want it to be.
And my mom is in the US, visiting.

Summer is going to end soon. I am half looking forward to the school year, half wanting to go back to the beginning of May and relive the summer. Although, on second thought, I would not want to go through another period of Orgo. I am trying my best, but it is killing my brain cells definitely.

Hopefully, I'll make the best out of the next 3 weeks.

P/S:  Hmmmm, should I go on a super random and creative date? 

Jul 26, 2012


I haven certainly written about goodbyes before. It is such a thought-provoking and (maybe) heart-breaking topic that most people, like me, generally avoid.

This is me, 5 years ago:

" Please, don’t ... 
Why? Why not?
Everyone is fully aware that the time of goodbye will eventually come. But who among us is prepared for that time to come? We come into each other life, bring along with us laughter, happiness but when we leave, we also leave behind us an immense emptiness in each other heart. The greater the happiness is, the greater the pain will be. So what should we do? Keep ourselves from loving, from giving away our feelings so that we would not be defeated by the pain of parting? It is easy said than done. Who is able to keep himself from feelings? It takes a minute to remember someone but a life time to forget that person."

The creative writing piece I prepared for presentation at Governor's School graduation. It was a long time ago, or it seemed like it. I was 17, and my cynicism and sarcasm weren't too bad. It was the time when I could comfortably cry my heart out in the embraces of others. I wasn't afraid to show emotions, and weakness. I believed in forever. I believed that no one could ever change what I had.  I believed that if I never utter the word goodbye, things would stay exactly how they were. 

I was young then. I still hate goodbyes. But I no longer believe that I should avoid them. I convince myself it is for the best. Sometimes, it is better to let go. Easier said than done, right? Letting go is the hardest thing I've taught myself.  I have lots of things to let go and I have never quite perfect the art of letting go. 

There is always something that holds me back. What ifs. I always ask myself, what if it will become better? What if things change? What if I change? It's a blind shot. You don't know what will happen in the future. Most of the time you just need to go with your instinct. If it turns out well, that's good. If it turns out badly, well, I'd start with another series of what ifs
It sounds pathetic, in my opinion at least. But let me say this, behind that series what ifs is hope, dreams, and the little bit of what left of my emotional side. I want to believe in the future. No, I want to believe in the moment. I want to have hopes in whatever I have in my hands right now because I don't want to let it go. Or more like, I don't want to let it go because I still want to believe in the best of it. 

Throughout the course of time, I learned that things don't usually turn out that way. Most of the time, my what ifs just sound like excuses for my indecisiveness and not being able to let go. I would beat myself over it, write motivational messages on the wall, or write down my determination. Sometimes it works, sometimes I get carried away. 

So what this all have to do with goodbyes? Goodbye (forever) is to let go of something you still want to hold dear to your heart. It is difficult. It is heart-breaking. It requires decisions. It requires emotions too. And it will be something I am still working on for a very long time. I need to learn not to avoid goodbyes and to let things go. Because why? Because sometimes it is easier to forget, and there's nothing wrong with take things easy.

This is me, now:
"Don’t say goodbye at all. Keep the relationship going and going and going, until there’s nothing left and you’re in two completely different places. You’re sitting next to each other on the couch but you might as well be in Somalia and them in Delaware. The emotional distance is actually terrifying. Now you know that you can understand someone so completely and then not at all. Just like that. And even though it’s terrible, none of you have the guts to cut it off so you just act out the love; you dig deep inside of yourself to access a time when it felt real and you try to bring it to the surface. It’s really quite dreadful and pathetic. Sometimes, the most painful goodbyes are the ones that never get said.

Say goodbye by turning your cheek in bed. Say goodbye when you accidentally tell someone you’re single. Say goodbye when you start to think of your grocery list during sex. Say goodbye when you start to wince when they rub your shoulders. Say goodbye when you find yourself behaving with an edge of ugliness. Say goodbye when you sleep with someone else. Say goodbye when you start to actually hate them for not doing the dishes. Say goodbye when your mind is made up. Say goodbye when there’s no longer a reason to say hello."

Jul 24, 2012


It's absolute not the first time I listened to Damien Rice. I have been his fan ever since I listened to 9 Crime at 4am in the morning my 4 years ago. 

And absolutely not the first time I listened to Amie.
Yet, for some reason, when it was played on my playlist this afternoon, it made my heart ache, made me frown and feel like I was about to cry *still frowning*

Never completely understand what goes on in Damien Rice when he wrote the lyrics, but sometimes, the words stab my heart.

And it hurts.


nothing unusual nothing strange
close to nothing at all
the same old scenario the same old rain
and there's no explosions here
then something unusual something strange
comes from nothing at all
i saw a spaceship fly by your window
did you see it disappear?
amie come sit on my wall and read me a story of old
tell it like you still believe that the end of the century
brings a change for you and me
nothing unusual nothing's changed
just a little older that's all
you know when you've found it there's something i've learned
'cause you feel it when they take it away hey hey
then something unusual something strange
comes from nothing at all
but i'm not a miracle and you're not a saint
just another soldier on a road to nowhere
amie come sit on my wall and read me a story of old
tell it like you still believe that the end of the century
brings a change for you and me
amie come sit on my wall and read me the story of o
tell it like you still believe that the end of the century
brings a change for you and me

Jul 22, 2012

A Paris State of Mind

I have been in a very French-y mood lately and have been listening nonstop to French music. These melodies have a certain characteristic softness and flow, yet still upbeat, which make me imagine myself sitting at a sunny cafe sipping a cup of warm latte. Plus, the lyrics are so mundane it makes you appreciate the little simple things in life. Extremely comforting. I just feel all fuzzy inside every single time.

Il y a

Il y a là la peinture
Des oiseaux, l'envergure
Qui luttent contre le vent
Il y a là les bordures
Les distances, ton allure
Quand tu marches juste devant

Il y a là les fissures
Fermées les serrures
Comme envolés les cerfs-volants
Il y a là la littérature
Le manque d'élan
L'inertie, le mouvement

Parfois on regarde les choses
Telles qu'elles sont
En se demandant pourquoi
Parfois, on les regarde
Telles qu'elles pourraient être
En se disant pourquoi pas

Il y a lalala
Si l'on prenait le temps
Si l'on prenait le temps
Il y a là la littérature
Le manque d'élan
L'inertie, le mouvement

Il y a là les mystères,
Le silence sous la mer
Qui luttent contre l'temps
Il y là les bordures
Les distances, ton allure
Quand tu marches juste devant

Il y a là les murmures
Un soupir, l'aventure
Comme emmêlés les cerfs-volants
Il y a là la littérature
Le manque d'élan
L'inertie le mouvement

There is

There's a painting over there
With birds, a purpose
Struggling against the wind
There are edges over there
Distances, your allure/pace
When you're walking straight ahead

There are some cracks over there
Some closed locks
As the kites flew
There's the literature over there
The lack of momentum
The inertia, the movement

Sometimes we look at the things
As they are
Wondering why
Sometimes, we look at them
As they may be
Saying to ourselves, why not?

If we take the time
If we take the time
There's the literature over there
The lack of momentum
The inertia, the movement

There are the mysteries,
The silence under the sea
Fighting against time
There are edges over there
Distances, your allure/pace
When you're walking straight ahead

There's the whispering
A sigh, an adventure
Just as tangled kites
There's the literature over there
The lack of momentum
The inertia, the movement

Jul 18, 2012

Daily Note.

   This is the first time in a very long time that I feel so discouraged and defeated. Ever since I was a kid, I have always firmly believed that if I work hard and put enough efforts into something, I will do well. And I live by that. No matter what I do, whether it's school, organizations, friends' birthday parties or simply just working out, I always try to put in my best. Even in "relationships", although no one really believes that I actually put efforts into them. That's just how I am and I get questions from people all the time: "Why do you always work so hard?"

   This summer class is tiring me out. I wake up at 7am, review for classes while eating breakfast, get to class by 825am, pay full attention til 11am, study during lunch break, stay in lab from 1 - 4pm, study during the little time I have until workshop starts at 530pm, and study from when workshop ends until whenever the sun goes down. I haven't worked this hard for a class ever since high school. Yet, I still didn't do well. I don't know why and it frustrates the heck out of me. It crushes my values to the core. What happens to "work hard and you will get it"?

   Yes, I may sound like I am whining, and defending myself, but what am I supposed to do? As I'm growing up, I have slowly came to a realization that not everything goes my way and not everything will end up the way I want them to be. However, that does not mean that I can just sit around and let things happen. I like to fight for what I believe is right and I like to see myself working for it.

  Nevertheless, the fight can get very long and I eventually get worn out. Times like this, I always tell myself to be strong, to stand up and keep fighting. Although, to be honest, sometimes I just want to give up. It is very tiring to be strong all the time. 

  After a long day beating myself over my incompetence, I went home hoping that I could get some of the frustration out of my system. Then, I realized I couldn't. The moment I started talking about, tears came out and I felt so weak and pathetic, I stopped. I was looking for someone to pick me up, to encourage me, to keep me going but I can't bear the thought of looking pathetic in front of them. In the end, I just hide in my room, cry, then motivate myself and keep myself going.

  Actually, there has always been Brennan. He has always been there for me through my ups and downs, more so on the down side. He never does much, never talks much, but he's always able to make me feel a whole lot better. I come to him when I'm sad, "depressed", disappointed, angry, happy, excited, etc. But then at the same time, truth is, I really don't have anyone to come to besides him. 

 I recently put on my wall a list of reasons why I can be alone and still be happy, to remind myself that, indeed, I can. However, sometimes it's just very hard to keep going. Sometimes you fall, and even though you know you can get up by yourself, you know it just feels so much better to have someone to lean on. 

 Haven't found that someone yet ...

 Until then, I will keep getting up by myself. And I will still believe that if I work hard at something, I will do it well. 

 Don't give up, az. You can do it. 

Jul 17, 2012

19 Things You Should Do Before The Summer Is Over

19 Things You Should Do Before The Summer Is Over

Jul. 17, 2012
1. Go to the beach, duh! 
Beaches and summer go together like fashion and anorexia; you really can’t have one without the other. Spend a day frolicking in the ocean and laying in the sand with a mindless book. (I suggest Most Talkative, Andy Cohen’s light and ultimately forgettable memoir, if only for the embarrassing “I’m gay in the 80s!” photos.) Let the sun delete five years off of your life and leave feeling like a baked clam who just took five muscle relaxers.

2. Get day drunk with your friends on a lazy Sunday.
Drink sangria like it’s water and then go shopping. Purchase the most random crap ever before passing out on your couch at 5 p.m. Wake up and wonder why you purchased a 20 dollar wooden spoon at Crate and Barrel.

3. Go to a concert.
I know, I know, concerts in the summertime can be a complete clusterf-ck that’ll have you running for your anti-anxiety meds but on a rare occasion, they can actually be quite delightful. I recommend attending Bumbershoot in Seattle because it’s exciting without being TOO overwhelming. Plus, the weather in Seattle is amazing only in August and September.

4. Go see The Dark Knight Rises
...  because it is seriously the only movie event of the summer that matters! Christopher Nolan has that rare talent of making a summer blockbuster popcorn flick that doesn’t feel as shallow as a kiddie pool. Plus, Anne Hathaway as Catwoman looks intriguing…

5. Call in sick to work
... to go to the park all day by yourself and read magazines and listen to music. Maybe go stoned if you’re worried about being bored.

6. Break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend because being single in the summer is ACTUALLY fun. You can come crawling back to them when it’s cardigan weather again and just explain to them, “Sorry, babe. I just needed to be in a committed relationship with summer. You understand, right?”

7. Listen to as much top 40 pop songs as humanly possible. Maybe even reunite with Ashanti and The Murder Inc. era.

8. Hang out on someone’s rooftop till the sun rises.

9. Go swimming in a pool!
Seriously, go find someone who has a pool and offer them your money and friendship in exchange for a full day of lounging and swimming. (Sidenote: I’m so obsessed with swimming pools that I once snuck into my ex-boyfriend’s apartment complex to use his pool. TALK ABOUT DESPERATE.)

10. Go out of town. 
August is the only month out of the year where it’s socially acceptable to tell your work that you’re going to be off on vacay for a minute so take advantage. If an actual trip is out of the question, go away on the weekends and mooch off of someone’s “summer home.” Whatever you do, just get away!

11. Throw a BBQ

for all of your friends, or if you can’t cook/have a grill, make someone else do it.

12. Find out where the nearest county fair is and go to it wasted, eat funnel cake, and ride the rollercoasters. See a kitschy band like Foreigner because chances are, they will be performing at every county fair this summer.

13. Go on an internet hiatus. The internet is so boring in the summertime. Real life is exponentially better.

14. Tell your crush that you like them because they’re more likely to like you back in the summer than in the fall. There’s like scientific proof.

15. Go to a free event. There is so much free stuff to do in the summer. Winter = we’re annoyed that it’s cold out so we’re going to charge for everything. Summer = OMG, we’re so laidback! Come hang at our cool event for free!

16. Go home to visit your parents for Labor Day. Or not. If you hate your parents, save your money and don’t do it.

17. Make a conscious effort to be happy. After all, you can always be miserable in the winter!

18. Have one insane night of debauchery.
Not The Hangover status. More like Marie Antoinette “I’m hanging out in a mansion, drinking champagne, and doing bumps of 18th century coke.”

19. Eat healthy. Salads only taste good in 95-degree heat so you might as well eat them now before you start craving comfort food again. TC Mark

Jul 15, 2012

"Thực sự anh rất thích ôm em từ đằng sau  
Không chỉ để cả hai đứa cùng nhìn về một hướng
Để cảm thấy em bé nhỏ trong vòng tay anh
Mà còn để em ở phía trước biết rằng ở phía sau mình vẫn có một vòng tay ấm áp đang chờ đợi để được che chở, quan tâm."

Jul 5, 2012

Daily Note. 4th of July version

I normally don't celebrate 4th of July, simply cuz I have never really been in the US during the summer to celebrate it.

But may be also because I have never been that much into fireworks. I love watching them, but it's like, I'm not gonna die if I don't see them.

My housemates and I had a super chilled 4th of July. We just went to Starbucks (for the A/C and the bathroom cuz ours was broken =.=) and hung out for hours.

I very much enjoyed my time sitting in the sun, studying for Orgo and getting distracted by color pencils and starting a sketch.

It was very relaxing to play with colors.
I miss those days when I could just go to art classes and draw my day away, and didn't appreciate them at all. I want to take art classes again.

Jun 29, 2012


 Looking out the window as the bus slowly leaving New York City, I have this feeling that is strangely familiar, the one I always get when I board the plane leaving Vietnam, or South Africa, or any place that I've just had a wonderful time. It is a bittersweet feeling of knowing that your vacation has come to an end, and  that you will have to go back to your usual routine of going to school, to work, of studying late at night and getting hardly any sleep at all. Yet at the same time, you are excited to be back to your routine, to your comfortable room and all the friends who may, or may not be, just as happy to see you as you are to see them. Thus, the thought that I always use to comfort myself while travelling alone: "If you love a place, you leave it."

 First thing first, I am now officially 22. Happy Birthday to me! To be honest, I don't feel like 22 is a bad age at all and I definitely don't want to stay "Forever 21". 22 is a scary age, to me at least. It is the age that I will have to start making real decision about my career and my future. It is not just about partying and enjoying college life anymore. 22 isn't reckless and adventurous. 22 can't do whatever the heck it wants. It has to think about 23, 24, 25, the twenties after that, and even the 30s. However, it is still young enough to not just settle down into a boring life. I personally believe that everything from 22 to 25 will most likely determine everything after that. People can disagree with me, of course.

 The point is, I am happy to be 22. It sounds much older, sadly. But I am excited, and nervous, to see what I can do and will do.

 Unlike every other year, this is actually the first year I spend my birthday in the US and away from my family. My parents know that the ocean and new places are one of my most favorite things in the world. So they always try to take me to somewhere nice by the ocean for my birthday. This year, since they are not here, I decided to treat myself to a short trip to NYC. I have only been here very briefly for a few times, but never get to actually check out the city like I want to. As a Sex and the City hardcore fan, I also have the biggest crush on the city. Not only the fashion and the luxurious life, there is something more about the city that I felt like I would love it instantly. Thus, I was extremely excited to finally meet my crush and go on a date with him ;) It was also the very first trip that I spent on with my own money. All the extra hours working hard for the past few weeks were gone within such a short period of time, but it is the best feeling ever to travel with what I have worked hard for.

I spent a few days in NJ visiting Miki. She was one of my very good friends in high school. She took care of me better than anyone ever could, and that stays true until now. We didn't do many exciting things like partying or going out to various restaurants. We went to movies, got frozen yogurt at midnights, went shopping, laid in the sun, etc. I needed all the relaxing activities. Her parents are the friendliest people. Without barely knowing any English, they were still able to make me feel instantly at home. I was treated with delicious homemade breakfast and dinner, and was taken care of so well that I didn't even need to leave the bed for water, yet anything.

Monday morning, I set out to my big's house to spend a few days with her in Brooklyn. I treated her to a massage for her birthday. It wasn't the nicest and fanciest massage place I have been too, but it was one of the great massages that I have had. The lady definitely did know what she was doing. I feel slightly bad that my big didnt enjoy hers as much and I was I could have treated her to something much nicer. If she ever comes visit Vietnam, I am going to give her all the best treatment that I always get. So she needs to hurry up and able to come.

We went out for lunch and bubble tea, then headed to SoHo to spend an evening shopping. Being in SoHo to me felt incredible. I've heard the names so many times coming up in all of my favorite movies that have NYC. To be here and to be one of those people strolling along the streets from stores to stores has been something I dreamed of. One thing that made me mad about this entire shopping trip was that I could NOT find any long skirts or maxi dresses that fit my height, and i could NOT find any top I like in my size. I ended up with a good deal on two pairs of shoes, but still ... Eventually, toward the end of the trip, I just kind of gave up on the skirts and dresses and admitted to myself that sometimes, your body is just not born to wear something ... maybe.

Victor joined us for dinner and ice cream before we all came back to my big's place to start drinking for my birthday. Monopoly drinking game has become my go-to-game lately. I lost terribly, for the first time in monopoly ... It was a fun night regardless and we all agreed to get some rest since I had a long day ahead of me.

I woke up at 8am on my birthday and took the subway from Brooklyn to downtown to meet up with Victor, my tour guide of the day. Knowing me and my infamous sense of direction, my big wrote down a detailed subway itinerary for me to make sure I didn't end up in some random places, or even worse, end up back in Brooklyn. My first trip by myself on the subway was a success. I made it to the Museum of Natural History. We spent a good two hours there before heading to Central Park for a day stroll. People laughed at me because I could recognize bits and parts of Central Park just by watching Sex and the City, lol. And I definitely was beyond excited when I got the Boat House, one of the locations that Big and Carrie had lunch (although that didn't quite happen). If I had my way, I probably would have hunted down all the locations where they filmed SATC, but I will save that for my next trip to NYC. I'll call it a date/honeymoon with the city and just wander around by myself looking for interesting places.

 Victor treated me to the famous NY pizzas while waiting for Frances to join us. We visited Guggeinheim and the Met after that. I love museums. I may not be interested in everything in each museums, but I always learn something exciting every trip that I actually become addicted to that feeling. I got myself a tote bag from the Met just so that I got something from there. That's the whole point of souvenirs isn't it? I wish my dad could be here though. He used to take me to museums and exhibitions and I felt like he could understand all these art more than I could ever be.

As the day went on and we had been tired of walking from corners to corners of various museums, Victor took me to Union Squares while waiting for the others to join us for dinner. It was interesting to just sit on the steps and observing the life of NYC in the way people dress, play music, or just simply express their interest.

I was glad to be able to meet up with some of the seniors that I didn't think I would be able to see again  soon and was happy that they came out for my, and my big's, birthday dinner. Of course, I was treated to my most favorite food: sushi :) After dinner, we walked around the area to get desserts and to do some bar hopping. The ultmate benefits of being the birthday girls: free shots all night. Also, the highlight of my trip was to be able to enjoy a Cosmo in a NYC setting, SATC influence again, I know.

I wrapped up my short vacation with  a speed shopping trip with my big before taking the subway to the bus staion to head back to Rochester.

It was a short trip and I am sure I haven't seen  even the tiniest of what NYC is. Nevertheless, it was like my dream came true, just a little bit. I have always said that I wanted to live in the city and despite how much I know it is not a realistic dream, I still want to work hard for it.

Coincidentally, Gala just posted an entry on her blog about moing to NYC, and she said:
"Truth time: New York City is a hard place to live. Everyone here is on a mission; without a strong sense of purpose, this city will swallow you whole. Rents are exorbitant — $2500/month is the going rate for a hideous studio apartment right now — & a one-way subway ride costs $2.50. It adds up quickly. This is hard to deal with. Some people feel exhausted by this, think, ‘Why bother?’ & decide to live somewhere else. But some people choose to let it motivate them, push them hard, & turn them into the person they never even dared to dream they could be."

I still dream of the day that I will be able to walk down the street of NYC as a successful, confident and independent woman, just like all of my idols.

On a less serious note, for a first birthday away from home, it made me happy to have all my friends, who spare time in their busy schedules and go through all the troubles of subway rides to be with me. It struck me that the most valuable experience I get from this trip wasn't all the great food or all the trips to the museum, but all the people that are and have been in my life. It makes me realize that no matter what I do, there will always someone for me to celebrate a special day with.

 I was sad to have to leave the city and come back to Rochester to a less exciting life. The worst feeling on earth is to be home after an awesome vacation to an empty house and to microwave food. But I didn't have time to face any of those because I was greeted with a surprised birthday party prepared by my housemates. I was welcomed home with homemade tiramisu as a birthday cake, with zebra and cheetah-printed balloons, with an unexpected lap dance (?), but most importantly, a houseful of 8 people who care for me (and feed me everyday).

Honestly, I can't imagine any other way to make this a better birthday.
My room is now filled with random purple things that make me smile everytime I see them, lol.
My resolution for this year is to work hard in school, to figure out what I want to do i the future and appreciate more of what I have. Also, to stay true to myself and keep walking toward my dreams, one of which is to strut down 5th Ave with shopping bags in hands ;)