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I had originally chosen the Seven Lions Middlelands set as my current jam, but sadly YouTube had to take it down due to copyright infringements… So! Here’s the set I loved the most next from Middlelands (which I’ve already listened to again twice since then).

Currently jammin’ to: Illenium at Middlelands 2017 set

Illenium is an amazing artist whom I highly recommend anyone to check out. :)

Life as Karen knows

I had a different post in the makes, but I scrapped it for this one because I wanted to change the focus. It’s been awhile since I last updated about my life (almost two months), aside from my last post focused solely on the death of my friend, so I figure its best to mention how life’s been treating me before rambling on about other things. More than likely this will be a really long post considering I have two months of stuff to write about.

Originally, I planned to head back to Arlington/Dallas mid-May and be at home for a couple months before I found a place in Dallas to live closer to school. I had already informed my work place of my last day, but due to multiple other coworkers also leaving, I was asked if I would be willing to stay longer. As I didn’t have exact reasons to be in Dallas (aside from some weekend events and trips that I had planned) and I was going to try to get a job over the summer anyways, it seemed easier to just keep the job I already had so long as enough hours were provided to make it worthwhile (and that my friend, whom I am staying with, is okay with me staying around longer). In the end, that’s exactly what they provided to me (the hours) and thus my stay in Austin (slash my friend’s place) has now extended to the end of July.

While it hasn’t been too difficult, and I greatly enjoy the extra time spent in Austin, it definitely did mess with some of the plans I initially planned to be at. Now I’m back in this every other weekend in Dallas schedule again. Some of it was just for traveling from Dallas (DFW airport) rather than actually doing things there, but some was also being in Dallas.

I’ll probably miss some things in recent events that have been happening, but I’ll try my best to be true to my blog idea aka personal tracking of my life events (for everyone else to see as well). Last time, these were the things I said I was looking forward to: Middlelands, Atlanta visit, climbing more, volleyball, trying Franklins BBQ, visiting Hamilton Pool, and seeing lots of friends. I haven’t actually been able to climb more yet (did buy shoes though), or play volleyball much, or visit Hamilton Pool, but I have seen friends, gone to Atlanta, attended Middlelands, and tried Franklins BBQ finally. I also went to Portland, checked out a remote part of Greenbelt, night time kayaked to live latino music, and had a scattering of birthday parties, small concerts, and events (like Mother’s day). So again, warning that this post will probably be pretty long, but cool if you’re bored and wanna read all about my life. Or just scroll for pictures. :)

Fun with friends in Austin

A big surprise came in the form of meeting up with an old friend from Emory that I hadn’t seen (or even talked to) in five or six years who was down in Austin for a wedding. Consequently, I got to try out some places I’d never been in Austin, like Veracruz tacos, Radio coffee and bar, JuiceLand,  swimming in Greenbelt off some random path, and the Botanical Gardens. Who knew I’d see more of Austin from someone coming to visit from Austin?

Swimming in Greenbelt was definitely the highlight. A short hike entering from some random neighborhood and we found ourselves at a lovely pool of water/stream. Wejumped off the cliff into the cool water which wasn’t too cold despite this still being late April (and the weather was maybe high 70s?). We had brought some Veracruz tacos with us to eat there and had Radio coffee while waiting for the food beforehand.

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the crew going swimming to Greenbelt!

Afterwards we ate at Tan My which had pretty good bun bo hue (well, I just tried some didn’t actually order anything), and I consequently found out one of the newfound friends was dating my current roommate’s old co-worker (that I had met before long ago). Once again somewhat proving how small the world sometimes feels.

We went to Graffiti Castle (or the Hope Outdoor Gallery as it is officially called now) as well as the Botanical Gardens afterwards. I’d always wanted to go to the Botanical Gardens (mostly to Pokemon hunt XD) but it was still… an experience I guess. Whenever i think of botanical gardens, I think flowers. I’m not sure if maybe it was still too early or what, but I feel like I had to try really hard to find some flowers (literal flowers ;)). In the end, at least I can say that I’ve gone. We did some hiking to the 360 bridge as well, but only to the overlook.

It was a fun time, filled with outdoor activities and food, which is exactly what I like. Plus I got to catch up with an old friend and meet new ones.

Lots of birthdays, some going away parties, one Mother’s Day, and many other scattering of events (Corona Electric beach party, ARMNHRM at Kingdom, etc) occurred in various fashion. I’d go into all of them more but I’m not trying to dictate my whole entire life up here (well, I kind of am, but not to that extreme).

One other Austin highlight recently was that I finally got to kayak! It was actually an evening/night time kayak event with live Latino music serenading us as well. The weather couldn’t have been any nicer, honestly. I had an amazing time on Lady Bird Lake and enjoyed some wine, beer, and finger foods (grapes & mangoes). There were also some people who got onto the band’s platform and salsa danced. It really made me want to get better at salsa dancing. Maybe someday I’ll find a partner to do that more with ;) maybe.

The Road to Middlelands

Let me start by saying these events aren’t exactly in chronological order, so while the swimming in Greenbelt happened in late April, the kayaking happened this past Friday night, and Middlelands occurred in eary May, to give you an idea. So apologies ahead of time if this somehow gets confusing in terms of timelines. Anyways.

I know it’s kind of bad to do, but I totally have no problem with talking about how amazing Middlelands was to people who didn’t go. It’s been probably the best music festivals I’ve ever attended. The music, the people, everything was near perfect and most times better than I expected. My one regret was getting drunk enough to forget to go to Big Gigantic on the first night. Who knew taking big gulps of vodka early on would keep me drunk the whole night? In the end, I missed one of the more unique artists that I really wanted to see, but regardless of missing Big Gigantic, all the shows I did catch easily make Middlelands one of the best festivals ever attended. This is not just an opinion I hold, but honestly many attendees felt this way as apparent through many blogs, posts, groups, people, etc that I’ve read and talked to after the festival. Some felt that way having gone to many festivals in the past, and some felt that way from it being their first festival. Honestly, if you didn’t know what PLUR really was before, you could’ve definitely learned about it at Middlelands. It was really that kind of feel.

Middlelands 2017 music festival

some of the Middlelands peeps I was hangin’ with that weekend :)

And the music, I could relive that whole weekend again with just that music. So many amazing artists, and some that surprised me in expectations. My favorite set, as I said earlier in this post, was Seven Lions with Illenium coming in close second. But other sets, like Bassnectar, Alice in Wonderland, and Louis the Child were also incredible. I also learned about a few new (to me) artists like Quix and Ephwurd, both of whom were amazing live as well.

middlelands stage music festival 2017

my favorite stage at Middlelands! where Illenium and Seven Lions killed it

I honestly probably could have made a whole post about Middlelands alone, but I’ll refrain. I’ll just post pictures and relive in them and the uploaded sets from then. I will say that I’m really sad it won’t be at the Texas Renaissance Festival anymore due to some locals complaining about the noise. I very much hope it will stay in Texas, but I know where ever it ends up being held, it will still be amazing. This year’s is basically legendary (in my book), and if it stays in Texas I’ll probably be back again. Sherwood, I’m looking at you!

Atlanta, aka Dallas and Houston mixed together

Back in undergrad, I made some life long friends during my time in Resident Life as an RA. We decided that five years after we graduated, we would all meet up for a reunion in a city we’d never been to (at the time, it was decidedly Seattle), and each of us would bring X, Y, and Z. I think mine was bringing a husband or something, and my other friend was like a pet bird, and another was a foreign wife, or something weird and crazy. In the end, we didn’t go to a new city but back to Atlanta (though I, as previously mentioned, have now been to Seattle anyways), our old stomping grounds, and none of us brought any of the decided things (which we all forgot anyways), but we did have our reunion. Additionally, it was one of my friend’s birthdays that weekend, so we reminisced, did an escape room, watched some stand-up comedy, and checked out old and new Atlanta places.

escape room atlanta

we almost finished. Last puzzle :(

I’m so grateful for my friends, both the ones I gained at Emory and the ones before and after. It’s always tough to stay in touch when everyone lives everywhere else (Atlanta, Chicago, Japan/Boulder, etc), but I’m glad that we’ve still made attempts to stay in contact and connected to each other. I’ll be seeing them again later this year for the first one of us to get married, but we planned to once again meet in 5 years at the latest. I hope we’re able to keep our promise again. :)

The hike to Portland (or really, in)

Another city I’d never been to and another activity I’d never really done has once again been accomplished: I took a 13+ mile hike in Portland, Oregon last weekend. I was actually somewhat worried about my physical capabilities for the hike, but surprisingly handled it well. I guess I’m in better shape that I think? Or more like I can stay active for a lot longer than I give myself credit for. Either way, it was a wonderful experience. Portland is very lush and beautiful. Such amazing views and nature feels. Naturally, we also toured around some food places and caught really by chance events, like their Starlight Parade and a random Trump/”freedom of speech” white supremacy rally and consequent anti-rally/protest. It was one of the most spontaneous (aka a nice way to say unplanned, but not necessarily unpleasant) trips I’ve recently taken, but still had some great times.

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the lovely Portland hiking group being fancy :)

I’ve never been a part of a rally or a protest (at least not physically), so it was pretty interesting to see. There was an enormous crowd for the protest while the rally itself seemed much smaller. I think that’s actually pretty reflective of America as a whole, but that’s another can to be opened a different time.

portland rally protest trump white supremacy neo-nazi

some signs at the rally (but from the protesters)

The Starlight parade (which is part of their International Rose Festival, but has nothing to really do with roses?) was pretty cool too. We only caught parts of it because we had reservations at this whiskey library bar, but we did see a slew of DeLoreans parade through decked out with lights. As you can imagine, the parade is held at night time and features lots of floats with pretty lights. There was also quite a few high school marching bands, to my surprise.

delorean starlight parade portland rose

there was a bit in the parade that was just DeLoreans :)

To sum up what we did in Portland, we hiked, ate lots of food (mostly decent but to be completely honest Seattle was better, sorry), drank a variety of alcohol (we went to a bar which provided tasting shots 4 for $5, one of which you could choose a wasabi vodka), and part took in some local recreational fun. We actually ended up checking out their Japanese garden and Rose garden, both of which were cool. Seeing all those beautiful roses was actually pretty cool. If I were to go back to Portland, I’d definitely want to just go for hiking and camping. There are so many trails you can go on and so many beautiful views to be seen. Plus, the weather was really nice (when we were there).

great pyrenees dogs market saturday portland

a Great Pyrenees meet up at the market!

Check out the actual hike pictures here. For some reason, WordPress won’t properly show the pictures from Instagram on my post. And I’m too lazy to figure it out.

If you didn’t already know, Portland is for some reason famous for its strip clubs. We didn’t go to any, but had a very interesting lyft driver who kept talking about the perverse side of Portland and its strip clubs, particularly one that was vegan. So I guess Portland is lots of hiking and strip clubs. I think I’ll just stick to the hiking parts though.

Another interesting part (coming from Texas) of Portland is the people. We went to a Thai restaurant, and all the workers (cooks, dishwashers, etc) were white while the owner/some servers were Asian. It was weird and that’s how it was everywhere. It came to us not exactly as a surprise, but just so different from where we come from. It was also weird how extreme the sides of Portland people are. There are some really nice, open-minded people there, and then there are some really white supremacy extremists too. Definitely unexpected. Anyways.

Given how much I had to go through, I tried to condense and not ramble too much about everything. Usually I like to post personal thoughts and what not, but the length of this post is already pretty high up there so I’ll refrain this time. Maybe I’ll make a post later for just thoughts. Maybe. I’m surprised I didn’t talk much about the recent amazing food I’ve been having (which definitely still happened in Portland and elsewhere, just didn’t write about it.) Well, maybe I’ll just post on IG or something. ‘Til another time! :)

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When the fun crashes together

Currently jammin’ to: Want You More by Draper

I actually got introduced to Draper at SXSW. It’s surprising that he isn’t more well known, but he was definitely one of the best introductions that I got from SXSW this year. I’m excited to keep hearing great music from him. Half the time I wrote this post I was listening to his music.

I’ve had a thought to update this multiple times before now, and yet I kept telling myself “give yourself some time to think and then talk about it here.” But that time to think never really came, and thus a post wasn’t written either until now, a month plus later (and then some, because I totally started this post almost two weeks ago). It’s funny what you decide to make time for sometimes. I didn’t make enough time for me to even think through recent things occurring in my life, but I had time to catch up on all the Supernatural episodes out there (I watched a couple of seasons) and start White Collar again. Priorities? Or procrastination? Or maybe just avoiding the serious stuff because it’s “less fun” perhaps. That seems somewhat of a likely reason.

In the end, you still gotta face what you may or may not have wanted to face though. I’m sure I’m still holding off on thinking of some things even still, and for now I’m okay with that. But I also may want to wake up just a little bit more to what’s been going on in my life too. Maybe.

FYI, like previously mentioned, I started this post then held off finishing it for almost two weeks, so there’s some disorganization because I didn’t completely scrap what I had previously written, but just decided to add in (like an addendum) the most recent things.

the new things in life, surprise surprise

Since my last post, many things have surprisingly actually happened. The best moment so far? Getting accepted into the University of Dallas’s Masters of Science Communication Disorders program! The worst moment so far? Wrecking my car. And then there’s everything in between and after. It’s been fun, y’all.

Let’s start with getting accepted, because that actually occurred the earliest of recent events since my last post, I think. For the past two years, I’ve been trying to get into a master’s program to become a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP). This is something I was introduced to at the very end of my undergraduate days and it stuck with me ’til even now. I can really only provide a cheesy cliche type of reasoning as to why I want to become one, but in the end it’s the truest of statements. I’ve always enjoyed helping people when I can and listening to their problems to troubleshoot. It’s why I originally went down the psychology path (minus the fact that business just seemed so meh and I didn’t get into Goizuetta anyhow), to eventually become a therapist. Along the way, I discovered the field of linguistics and fell in love with that. My head is always thinking, and I’ve always desired to understand others better, even if unsuccessfully. And language, beautiful language, is argued as the main difference between us humans and other animals. Either way, communication is key to understanding another person, thus knowing how to communicate is incredibly important. With the desire to help others and the passion for language combined, becoming an SLP just seemed like the most ideal job. It didn’t hurt that typical starting base salary was decent and that the job market for it was still growing and in demand. And though I didn’t try to run down that path right away, eventually (aka two years ago) I did decide it was time to truly pursue it. And so I did. And there were failures, like getting rejected from UTD twice, and there were successes, like basically making a 4.0 at UT for my prerequisites and finally being accepted by 3 out of 4 of the masters programs. It took time and dedication, but it finally happened. So starting next Fall, I will be back in Dallas and moving forward in the career I’ve hoped to have.

In addition to my acceptance, other events have transpired within my life that are very much positive. I randomly attended the end of SXSW this year and got some free swag, free food/drinks, and free shows. I met up old friends (S. Chen & Y. Yip) and gained new ones, and also finally went climbing at Austin Bouldering Project. It’s been a place I’ve been “attempting” to go to for a couple of years now, so finally experiencing it (for free) is definitely a highlight. I hope to continue climbing, maybe go some more while I’m in Austin, and even when returning back to Dallas keep up with it. Now that I’ve bought shoes for it, I’m bound to go a few more times. It’d be fun to keep doing, despite the callouses it’s bound to give me.

For a couple weeks in March to April, I was house and dog sitting for a friend who was traveling. These cute little pups were my companions and kept me on a somewhat regular schedule, surprise surprise.

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Additionally, my sister (plus one) finally came to visit me in Austin! It was her first time back in Austin in over a few years, if I recall correctly. All we did was eat and pokemon hunt, but it was a great weekend. I got to try Sway out, a Thai restaurant that was highly recommended to me, along with getting $1 oysters and some Gourdoughs. Good food and pokemon hunting is always welcomed, and often a typical sight when I’m hanging with my sister as of now.

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Additionally, I finally went on somewhat of a hike in Austin! I’ve been wanting to hike more, especially since Austin has so many available trails and places to go nearby, but I just haven’t found the people to go with. While I could hike by myself, I always considered it a potential safety issue. Plus it’s just not as fun when you’re alone.

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view of 360 bridge from our hike

And somehow, I’ve found myself living it up much more frequently than I ever would have thought. Each weekend brings a different adventure, whether it’s girls night, a music concert (Bassjackers – also a new intro for me), SXSW, St. Patty’s Day Parade, or just fun times with friends, it’s been a ride. And on this ride, sadly, came a crash.

I’ve been in accidents before, of my own cause and due to others, and I will admit that I am more prone to speeding than going below or at limit when driving, but this has been the worst by far. And still, I am incredibly thankful for 1. not being hurt minus some bruises from the air bags, and 2. not hurting anyone else. Ultimately, combine a winding/curving downhill road, wet pavement/road, close to balding tires, less than 100% mental awareness, possibly a little too much speed and a car with not the best of breaks, and you get hydroplaning into multiple spin outs and curb/trees hits. The result is a ruined back bumper, the right mirror and rear light missing, some auto body damage, deployed side airbags on both sides, and a broken left rear spring/axle of a car. The good part, besides no one getting hurt, was that I had already exited for my apartment and was somehow able to drive my car to my apartment which was about a mile away. In some incredible feat, given the state of my car (can we go back to the fact that my car’s left rear was literally sitting on my tire due to the axle being broken?) and my mental mind, I managed to reverse park my car at my apartment complex. The car itself, minus the body damage, actually runs fine since the front wasn’t damaged (aside from the right mirror). Considering how much it would cost to repair an axle/spring, replace the airbags, get a new bumper/mirror/light, and everything else though, ultimately what was likely to happen is that we sell the car for someone to scrap for parts or fix up themselves. Fortunately, my cousin has lots of car connections and a friend of his bought the car as is and towed it away to be fixed up with his own car repair connections. Of course, I still needed a car to get to work, especially given how I was commuting from my friend’s house while I still dog sit, so my dad graciously drove the car my sister’s been using (which is my brother’s old car) down to me. And now, I’m back in the white Toyota car family again.

car crash, altima coupe, crash, towing, towed

my car being towed away to be forever gone but fixed for another

Lessons learned, but really

I’m not gonna lie, I somehow handled the whole crashing my car and airbags deploying a lot better than I thought I would. I don’t know the exact reasons as to why it didn’t shake me as much as it should’ve. Maybe I’ve somehow rationalized to myself that more of the situation was out of my hands to create the perfect storm than I care to claim responsibility for. Either way, the thing I ultimately felt most upset about was the financial burden it has created upon myself and my parents. As someone who has been in school and working part-time (heavy inflection on the part) for the past year, I’ve relied heavily upon my parents for financial assistance. Now that I’m continuing to a Master’s, my financial capabilities for the next two years are going to stay pretty limited still. I am well aware of many of the financial burdens my parents currently face, both from me and due to other situations in their lives, and to know I have contributed to it in this way really riddles me with guilt and shame. Does this mean I won’t ever speed again? Sadly, probably not. I know myself well enough to not be able to make that promise. Will I be more careful about my driving? I would hope so, and I think I am already being a bit more careful. One thing that definitely was reinforced was my preference to not drive. While I am never one to shy away from meeting with friends despite a far distance (hello living in Arlington and having friends in Plano), I still prefer to catch a ride.

There is, of course, some considerations for re-evaluating my life choices right now. Recently, as previously stated, I’ve been fairly active and frequently in some sort of compromised state of mind, albeit usually nothing too crazy. Mental capacities aside, the expenditures I’ve continued to collect definitely continue to burn a hole in pants that seem close to combustion. To be fair, they could (and probably should) be a lot worse given how active I’ve been, but in the end that slow fire is becoming a blaze. It might be time to be more of a homebody. I can’t say this will definitely happen, as I already considered making plans to attend Euphoria this weekend (which I did, more on that later) even though two weeks ago I had no intentions of it. I still plan to be adventurous and experience new things that inherently are risky, because I still believe in living my life to the fullest and cause I like to try new things, but maybe I’ll take it a bit slower. Maybe I’ll forsake some plans with friends so that I’m more responsible to myself and to my parents. Maybe I’ll take on another job or get a new one over the summer.

Or maybe not. I really don’t know. I want to be a better person, I want to make the right choices, but I also want to enjoy my life. I don’t want to keep feeling like a black hole of burden to my parents, who have always provided me more than I can ever hope for and now seem so much older in a scary way. I want to be able to provide them with the luxury of life’s greatest comforts and sights. I want to be able to proudly know I am independently supporting myself while servicing others who are in need. I want to make my own ice cream and eat it too (because I don’t really like cake, and it’s more fun when you do it yourself than buy it from someone else). And so the selfish side battles the responsible side, both of which win different battles and create who I am. Is it your actions that are important or your intentions? I think both: intentions only go so far, but actions made of the wrong intentions can still be just as harmful.

These thoughts these days

To no surprise, I’ve been thinking a lot like always. Or really, I should say I have had a lot of various thoughts come to mind. But actual thinking time has been a bit more minimal than it probably should. I actually wrote a couple of paragraphs on one of these thoughts already but decided to delete them and not bring them back up. It’s a debate I don’t really have interest in speculating  more about, so to bring it up in my post seems irrelevant.

I’ve recently found myself engaging in things I had previously stated were unlikely or even outright refusing to do. And yet there I was, doing what I said I wouldn’t do, and being okay with it. I don’t want to call myself a hypocrite, but ultimately it does seem quite like that in some of the situations. Granted, I’m not one to truly say never to things, but the fact that I feel like I keep eating my own words is definitely making me consider why my acceptance values or actions have changed.

Recently, I’ve found myself engaging in more casual relationships. I’ve never been against them, to be fair, but I did speculate with a friend on it not too long ago about why I’ve never had one before. The words I said then are still true, and yet still I engaged in what I said was unlikely to happen. If I were to put it in a positive light, I could say I just hadn’t found the right scenario to allow these things to occur until now.

In a separate situation, I found myself offered certain recreational drugs that I had told myself I would never try, but then found myself contemplating to try. I actually didn’t part take in said drugs, but the fact that I definitely considered it kind of shocked me. Here I was, stating with a clear mind my strong refusal to ever trying them, and then there I was, under the influence, truly considering trying them out. Again, I do know that I’ve always been open to trying things, and I was also already mentally compromised in some way, but still. It just makes me wonder how easily I might give up some of my values and choose to do the exact opposite if the right conditions are set. Scary.

I meant to talk more in-depth on my thoughts, but it seems today is not much of a contemplation sort of day for me. Instead, I’ll continue with the even more recent updates since when I first began this post. I may add in some thoughts below though.

Fun, friends, and family

As previously mentioned, I ended up going to Euphoria (first time!) a couple weekends ago. It was an absolute blast with incredibly chill vibes and amazing people and music. I wouldn’t have considered it were it not for the fact that my friend had incredibly discounted VIP 3 day camping passes due to investing in the event. Additionally, they really set it up for success. Euphoria offered free shuttle rides from UT and downtown Austin to and from the grounds with Bus to Show (BTS) which, despite mass pandemonium to get home Saturday night, is an awesome and brilliant inclusion. To me, it shows they care about our safety more than they care about their pockets or judgement. If we truly cared about saving lives, we should offer safe alternatives rather than just outright rejection or punishment. Words true to things beyond just free rides, such as to abortions, but that’s a bit too serious for this right now.

Wiz Khalifa, Wiz, Euphoria, Euphoria 2017, music festival

Wiz was at Euphoria. if I didn’t seen him at Emory years back, I saw him now :)

In any case, I never did end up camping there simply because I was still dog sitting at the time, so I couldn’t, but it was definitely a great experience. One that I hope to be able to attend again. During my time there, I met new friends and even met with someone I hadn’t seen in almost a decade, I went back stage, found some new artists with great music, indulged too much in some overpriced but delicious food, and floated away in the clouds whilst dancing. It was definitely a great time without doing too much either, and I am incredibly grateful in having been able to part take in it.

This past weekend, I had a much calmer weekend compared to others. I finally went home for the first time in a month. Considering that I usually go back every other weekend, it was amazing I went 4 weekends in a row without going back. That was mostly due to the dog sitting though, but still. For this weekend, it was mostly about family. I spent some time with my sister Pokemon hunting and taking advantage of the Easter specials they were having. I played therapist to some issues at home. I unintentionally came back for my nephew’s birthday and sort of celebrated with him. I played some volleyball with friends, at one point sober and at another not so much. And I watched a bit of Netflix. I’ve learned I’m really bad at starting new things (shows, etc) frequently. I just go to what I already know I like even if I’ve already seen it a few times, despite a growing list of things I do want to watch or recommended stuff. It’s the same with manga and sometimes books. It’s not to say I won’t ever try them out, but it’s as if I have to be in the right kind of mood or situation to finally give it a shot. And it seems somewhat random when it does happen. Anyways.

birthdays, nephew, six years old, celebrations, cake

my youngest nephew turned six!

It was a nice weekend. Some packing was done as my moving date and such has been finalized. I have one or two weekends left living in Austin, this weekend being one of them. My only other one is actually Mother’s day weekend, which I didn’t realize, so this weekend may actually end up being my last weekend being in Austin. I had hoped to go to Hamilton Pool that weekend, but that may have to be done another time.

I forget to mention, but I am actually taking an online Biology course that has been going relatively well. I definitely don’t have to try too hard for it, which is a wonderful plus for me. Even though I’m not working (at my job) as much as I’d like to and technically shouldn’t have all that much to deal with, I’m still glad I don’t have to devote too much time and energy to this class to get a decent grade. Hopefully that continues for the next few weeks. It definitely is kind of annoying that the tests are always on weekends, but at least I can usually take them quickly.

Oh, and another thing that happened was me cutting my hair. I decided to cut off 19+ inches of hair. Well actually, I decided on 19 inches to sell/donate, and then my sister consequently cut off a lot more later for styling (which ended up being finished by her teacher). Long story short, I now have an asymmetrical bob of a haircut. Haven’t had this short of hair since undergrad… and changing from hair down past my waist to barely touching my shoulders is a definite difference. But I’m totally enjoying it. Anyways!

snapchat, haircut, asymmetrical haircut, filtered photos

apparently I haven’t saved many pics of myself with my haircut, so this snap will have to do

Things to look forward to besides getting a lot of new music:

-Middlelands! It’s happening pretty quickly. I’m super excited.
-visiting Hamilton Pool
-seeing old undergraduate friends (both in Atlanta and those who come to Texas)
-finally trying Franklins BBQ for the first time (already pre-ordered :D)
-seeing lots of friends
-playing volleyball more
-climbing more

How much of this will actually happen? Who knows. Right now it looks like all of it should happen, but you never know what will really happen until it does. I’ll try to give a music update at some point, but I may wait until after Middlelands, or do one for Euphoria/SXSW/etc first. In any case, this post has gone on long enough and probably has become even more disorganized. For those of y’all who stuck around to actually read all of this, I hope you found it somewhat entertaining or enlightening.

Have a great day!

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Breathe in for luck

I’ve never been good at answering what “my favorite song” is when people ask. Often I say whatever is the most recent song I’ve been introduced to that I really like at the moment, but I would never actually be able to say it’s my favorite. One of those times I said the song Clarity by John Mayer. It remains one of my favorite songs in a way, but there are plenty of other songs out there that transcend its brilliance and consistent, reoccurring enjoyment to me. Such is the case for my “featured” song(s) this time:

“Don’t Wait,” “Hands Down,” and “Vindicated” by Dashboard Confessional

It’s no surprise that I just had a Dashboard Confessional day/moment a few days ago and now I’m featuring their songs in a blog post. As to which is my absolute favorite of theirs, I don’t even know. Vindicated, Hands Down, and Don’t Wait all have a place in my music favorites, it just depends on what kind of mood I’m in for which outweighs the other momentarily. I’ve gone back to each of these songs throughout the years frequently. Only recently did I take Vindicated off my jammin’ playlist, Don’t Wait I had a moment where I constantly listened to it sometime ago, and Hands Down is just a classic to me. I can’t imagine trying to rank them, and I won’t. They are all beyond amazing to me, and they will probably always remain that way. (Of course, there are other amazing Dashboard Confessional songs that I prefer over the others at times, but these are going to be the constants and main ones I think.) Hello my emo teenage high school self. I don’t miss the angst, but I do sometimes miss just laying there listening to music like this and wailing the lyrics. Oh wait, I still do that. :)

Side note: I tried to look for proper versions of each song on SoundCloud to add here… yeah I heard some pretty terrible covers no offense to those who tried. @_@ So uh, if you don’t already know these songs, go youtube a good copy or something. @___@

Life is Music is Life

Slowly I feel like I’m turning my blog into a music blog! Where I really just talk about whatever music I’m recently digging or whatever music I feel like “featuring” or talking about. I don’t mean to become a music blogger, especially since I know I can’t actually keep up with music well/fast enough to actually keep up with it, and honestly I have random, inconsistent sources of music that sometimes provides me with super popular songs (like when I get songs via listening to Pandora) and sometimes just other songs I’d never known before (randomly through friends, this goes to old and new songs). In any case, the beginning of each post, unless it’s a rant or something, will probably still continue to “feature” some song or songs, but otherwise perhaps I will try to hold back on all the other music chatter. Maybe. But then again, music is such an integral part of my life that it’s hard to not include it. And honestly my blog is sort of whatever I feel like thinking, and I guess frequently its about music, or at least the things I’d like to share tend to be about music. Haha, so for all those who subscribe or read this random stuff, bare with me. I’m probably going to go music on you frequently still.

Politics schmolitics.

I’ve never considered myself well versed in politics. Even now, I still don’t think I am. This is why I used to not like talking about politics (well to be honest I sort of still don’t like talking about it, but I’m more willing for particular subjects), simply because I don’t like fighting/conversing about subjects which I really have little awareness/knowledge about. For a long time, I chose to live under a rock about these things. Even now, I still sort of live under a rock, but I sometimes peek my head out as you can see with some of my previous posts. And of course, because of social media, a growth in friends who do actually give two cents, and 8+ hours 5 days a week spent staring at a computer screen, you slowly just start reading about what’s going on in the world. I still don’t know much or anything about foreign policies, I haven’t really read Obama’s whole green or environmental policy acts, and there are still quite a few things else-wise I don’t actually take much time to read about. The things I guess I do read tend to be things that I strongly believe in or that directly affect me, like women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and the troubling legal (and misguided) perspective of rape culture. I do, however, get intense about some other subjects too that randomly come up. As of late, it’s felt like a huge battle for women’s rights, in the essence particularly of reproductive/abortion rights. I could get into it right now, but I feel as if I should restrain just to keep this part somewhat relevant to my point, that while I dislike politics and dealing with it, I have found that being inactive is sometimes just as bad or worse than those who actively insist the opposite of what I believe. Each vote technically counts, and each voice technically is worth something. So if all these people are going to rally against what I believe, I feel as if I need to rally to what I do believe, especially if I believe in it so strongly. Besides, sometimes it’s just about educating and maybe influencing someone to see what you see. Am I necessarily correct? Well, I suppose it technically is debatable (or else we wouldn’t be talking about it in politics so much), but I of course think what I believe is the right or rational thing to believe. Regardless of this, I guess I mean to say that I, who have never truly given much energy into talking about politics and avidly avoided it for much of my life, have become more of an activist on particular subjects simply due to my strong belief in them as well as my realization that I can do more than I think just by talking about it. Whether it just educates, changes someone’s mind, or just stimulates someone else to also be more proactive about their beliefs, I don’t know, but doing nothing is comparable to supporting the opposite of what you  believe (not completely as bad all the time, but sometimes equal). Because of that, I’ve become a bit more involved, a bit more outspoken, and a bit more knowledgeable about the issues as they come through. Recently, it seems like there’s been a huge focus on abortion again. Not just in Texas, but North Carolina, Ohio, everywhere. Not that I’m super against raising these issues as they need to be raised, but I feel as if there are even more important things to be fighting than trying to restrict abortion or close down abortion clinics. Maybe this is because of what side I agree with, but don’t we have mercury/pollution problems in Texas? Shouldn’t we worry about the state of our health care? What about our environmental policies? Oil? Commerce/market? Things that affect ALL citizens rather than half the population? What I guess I think is, don’t you have anything better to do than to keep trying for abortion laws when clearly we keep trying to stop them too? In any case, I didn’t mean to go into rant mode so I’ll stop, but honestly let’s focus on some overarching problems for those of us who are actually alive now before we tackle the decision of potential future people who have yet to be created or conceived. Seriously.

Personally…

So I stated before I’d been extra social as of late. Well my mom came home and that suddenly went on halt for a few days hahaha. I guess it’s not all that surprising, I wanted to make time for my family since it’d been over a month since my mom left. Plus a few of the people I had been hanging out with left to other cities/states, some permanently and some temporarily, so that automatically made my chances of being extra social slow down. Still, I try to do some stuff here and there. I finally got to see one of the summer movies that I wanted, though surprisingly it wasn’t one of the two I thought it would be. Went and watched World War Z with some friends (A.Avalos and the Chans) which lived up for the most to its hype. There were some scenes I remember thinking “eh, that was a bit unnecessary” and there were some that I was wishing for a bit more out of, but overall it was good. Now I get to read the book and be even more amazed and then perhaps a little less amazed at the movie. Still, I figured I’d watch the movie first so I wouldn’t compare how amazing the book was to it and therefore still enjoy both.

Additionally, semi-new developments in the whole car insurance stuff. And by semi-new I mean that I’m still going no where with insurance paying out especially because now they’re saying they’re “waiting for the insurer’s car pictures” which I remember reading that excuse on BBB as a complaint so more than likely it’s just a stall excuse to never pay out. So! I’ve been in the market to a new car probably since my inspection is coming up and I doubt I can pass… Currently looking at a 2010 and up Nissan Altima. Preferably in Black, White, some shade of Grey, or in the metallic brown but that seems like it’s only available in the newest models sadly. (The color looks much better than it sounds.) I guess I’ve been in a brown mood because I keep finding brown colored things really nice. XD But anyways!

Aside from discovering new music and attempting to connect with new and old friends, not much else has been happening! I am relearning that I clearly function best on 6 hours of sleep (or less?) because this past week while I’ve been getting 7-8+ hours of sleep I’ve consistently been tired at work and wanted to nap right after getting home. So I guess I should try for six hours… Which is weird, but not something I haven’t noticed before. Guess my REM cycles just fall like that. :shrug:

Hope everyone has a wonderful Friday/weekend. And a final note: Happy Birthday to my dad. Even though he’ll never read this and he’s also in Taiwan so it’s no longer his birthday over there, I still wish him the best. He’s done a lot for me even if I struggle with him sometimes. Love you dad, thanks for all you’ve done for me and the family.

/end.

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