Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tweets and Prejudice

Follow me, please!

I've always hated on Twitter from afar for being Facebook with only 140 character statuses. But, I've never tried how can I judge it so much? I read this article and decided to give it a chance.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Timeline and Math

It's sad how we lose touch with people who we used to share laughs with everyday. I've updated my Facebook to the new timeline last week and I finally decided to scroll through the early years of having Facebook.

One of the first posts I saw was a status update. December 13, 2008: "GOT ACCEPTED INTO COLLEGE! Syracuse '13!" Almost every comment was some sort of congratulations, except for one person. Let's call him Jeambon in this post (which is his last name. I love his last name). We used to have math together senior year (and I'm sure we had more classes together before that but my memory is failing me). We used to talk all the time in class and laughed at each other when we failed, or near-failed, our quizzes and exams. It was senior year, grades didn't matter anymore. Well his comment said "don't fail math now". Just reading that now makes me miss all the laughs we had together in high school. Now we don't even talk anymore. Honestly, I completely forgot about Jeambon until I re-read this status.

Nostalgia washed over me as I looked at pictures from the last day of classes to prom to pies on pi day. I used to wish for high school to end as soon as possible. Looking back, it's easy to miss those days.

I wonder what I'll be thinking fives years from now. Oh and thank you Facebook for this timeline even if it means more breaches in our privacy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Choices and Chance

I went to watch a movie today and came across the oh-so common dilemma.

Popcorn or nachos? I want something salty and buttery. But I also want something cheesy."

I'm an advocate for coin flipping. I'm sure everyone has flipped a coin to decide between two choices or at least seen a coin flip. Why flip coins? Well, here's two reasons:
  1. Hypothetically, it's a fair 50/50 chance.
  2. You'll know the outcome before the coin has even landed.
Hope I threw you off on the second one there. Subconsciously, we know which of two options we want more. We might not be aware of it, but deep down we know. This is where flipping coins come into play. Let's say heads is popcorn and tails is nachos. The moment I saw the coin in the air, I hoped it would land on heads. I knew what I wanted despite the outcome of the coin flip. I've been in situations when I flipped a coin and was dissatisfied with the result. I would think to myself "Ok, best 2 out of 3". In those situations, we know clearly what we want. When you're disappointed or have a negative feeling about what the coin landed on, just do the opposite. Do the other option. It's what your heart desires.

The coin landed on tails, but I got popcorn regardless.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Exhibits and Mountains

Welcome to Pixel Portal. An exhibit on the Digital Revolution and its impact on graphic design.

This is the project I have been locking myself up in the Warehouse to do for the past two weeks. There are two things about this project. One, it made me love and hate group projects all at once. Two, it costs more than a college student would be ever willing to spend. Printing alone is pricey. That doesn't even factor in materials that needed to be bought to make this (and all the rough models before it).

These are pictures I took on my barely-acceptable 2 megapixel phone camera. My group took better pictures the next day with actual lighting and better cameras.

The outside of our exhibit. It's 4 feet by feet. 2 feet high. Forgot the actual scale of the exhibit. The "T" and "S" in the upper left corner is not part of our exhibit. That's just from the calendar behind the wall.
That's a portion of our "timeline wall" with dates and contents popping in and out of the wall.
The front of a kiosk we have in the exhibit that shows iconic figures in the Digital Revolution (like Steve Jobs and April Greiman). That is also a silhouette cutout of me checking out the touch screens we have on the table kiosks.
Another view.
A look at the other side of the "timeline wall".

The "timeline wall" was the death of my group. It was a pain to make as well as assemble. But in the end, it got finished and it didn't look half bad. The finishing of this project was like reaching the summit of a mountain that I have been climbing for over a month. Now all that's left to do is go back down the mountain.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hallucinations and Time

Have you ever been so tired that you hallucinated?

First time I started hallucinating because of the lack of sleep was earlier this semester. When I don't get enough sleep, I normally just nap after my classes or just not go to class. But, I've been pushing myself this semester. I can say I've missed no more than three classes this entire semester. I can't even nap after classes right now because of all the work I have to get done for these last two weeks. Anyways, back to my first hallucination. It was actually hysterical now that I look back at it. I remember seeing the Words With Friends screen every time I looked at a blank wall. I had to blink a few times for the screen to disappear.

These hallucinations have occurred a few more times in the weeks to follow but they were all minor and went away quickly. While I sat there in class today listening to my professor explain what music was in his own words, my eyes started to droop. However, I had to stay awake because there's only five of us in this class and you simply just can't fall asleep when everyone in the room is gathered at one table. In my efforts to try to stay awake with my eyes growing heavier by the second, I started visualizing everything in purple. Blank pieces of paper would turn purple for a few seconds before the purple literally slid off the page.

With that being said, I'm extremely glad to be home right now. It's 4:27 AM. I've been working at the Warehouse since 1:30 PM. I left around 7 to make it to family group for our last FG meeting to exchange gifts. I left around 9 to go back to the Warehouse. After what seemed like an eternity, the time read 1:57 AM. At this point, my group was freaking out because our project did not go as we planned.

I remember this point in time vividly (partially because it just happened). The time read 1:57 AM on my phone. We stared at our project for what seemed like a couple of minutes. After some hair-pulling and pleas to go home and think of a solution tomorrow, I finally suggested an idea that ran well with the group. We started to fix up our project when I took out my phone again.

"WHAT?! It's 2:51? It was 1:57 ten minutes ago!"

In our exhaustion, we lost the ability to track time. I can't wait until Thursday is over. I'm going to be the happiest person on campus. Fun fun fun.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Confidence and School

Communications Design has made me critical of every poster, advertisement, etc. that I've seen in the past few weeks. There's at least one poster I see everyday that makes me think to myself, "I can definitely do better than that." The thing is I've been being educated or brainwashed, whatever you want to call it, in the in's-and-out's of communication designs for about three months.

Three months and I'm a cocky know-it-all.

Then when it comes to class, I'm not confident at all about my own work. I think to myself, "Oh man...I wish I did this differently" or "Wow, her poster is a million times better than mine." Why can't I maintain that confidence in doing my own schoolwork?

Three days into a week-long break and I'm already thinking about schoolwork.

But then again, that may just be a byproduct of being up when everyone in my household is sleeping and I'm up-to-date in the shows I watch. Perhaps I should get some sleep, something I wish I could get during school days. But part of me wants to enjoy all this down time. I'm actually not as busy as I'm making myself sound right now. Since I procrastinate, I usually have a light work load Sundays-Wednesday afternoons. It's not until Wednesday nights-Friday mornings that I'm actually torturing myself with the sheer amount of work that needs to be done. But I've been handling it better these past two weeks. I can definitely feel like I have more room to breathe.

Feels good.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mental State and Good Company

Please don't get the wrong idea about me by reading this. I'm normally not this emotionally unstable.

I've been in a rut recently. An emotional rut. If you know me, you would know I don't really show my bad moods. I prefer to keep to myself and gradually disappear from the room without actually leaving it. Well, for those who know me and is reading you know how to tell when I'm not in a good mood. I absolutely hate it when people ask me "Are you alright?" but that's a much longer story. But I'll briefly touch upon it soon.

Anyways, back to being an emotional train wreck. I've been having dance practices every day of the week to prep up for the upcoming performances. Usually at these practices, I like to let myself go and just be the goof ball that I don't show when I'm at church. I guess it's just the way I want to present myself. I wanted to be someone people can look up to at church, hence why I held back on being a clown. "Wanted". Being a good model of Christianity is extremely difficult and that's also a story for another time. It's not that I don't want to be anymore, but I'd rather focus on things I can immediately do. That is more of something of a long term goal that I hope to achieve one day when I have things figured out.

Second time I got sidetracked. I'm normally a goof back home or dance practices here at Syracuse. This past week, I just let my foul mood stink up the room. There were a few factors. One, I tend to over think things a lot. It got to the point that I was over thinking aspects of my life that it just frustrated me. I cause myself unnecessary stress. Secondly, I don't like having things explained to me. I mean, if I'm confused or don't particularly understand something, then an explanation is more than welcome. But if I understand something completely and someone is still trying to explain it, then I just get ticked. I don't normally get angry easily, but that's just one thing that bothers me to no end. A few times during practices, I felt like a five year old being told why things should be one way or another.

Remember, I tend to keep to myself and gradually disappear from the room without really leaving it when I'm in a foul mood. Normally, in a larger setting with more people, no one would really notice. But there's less than ten people in the room and I'm always the loud one. Naturally, people think there's something wrong when the guy who normally can't stop cracking jokes just doesn't talk. So many times during those days I was unhappy (lack of a better word), I had to hear "Are you okay?" and "Is something wrong?" I understand people are just trying to care and help, but when I'm in that state of mind, I just want to be left alone.

So what's the point of this blog post? It's not to sound off as an unappreciative and emotional douchebag. There's more.

Maybe it was because I missed church the past two Fridays and Sunday that I didn't really have the mindset to talk to God or even some church friends. But I thank those who unknowingly got me back on a positive note. Just seeing some faces I haven't seen in like two weeks lifted my spirits. Smiling and joyful faces. Everyone has their own problems, but it's a thing of beauty when everyone can laugh together as a group of friends.

Never underestimate good company. Sometimes all we need are a few friends, lots of laughter, and impeccable timing by God.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Morning Panic and Amazing Grace

All this stress is definitely chopping away years of my life. For those who don't know, I'm the biggest procrastinator you'll ever meet and that's not just exaggeration. The only way I can give 100% concentration and focus is through racing the clock at the most dire times.

I have a midterm review today. This is where I put all the projects I've done so far in this semester in two of my classes and the Comm. Design professors all gather and grade them. Only the dumbest and laziest of students wouldn't redo their worst projects and make them better for the review. I told myself to get started on it early in the week since I had a rather light week with not as heavy of a workload as normal. Fast forward to Friday night. I'm working at the slowest pace possible with snack breaks and YouTube watching.

At around 4 PM, I have nothing done yet. I still have all my projects that I finished in previous weeks, but nothing redone. My eyes are drooping like I haven't slept in years. I decided to take an hour and a half nap then work like crazy. I wake up at 6 and decided it was too cold, so I wrapped myself in my makeshift blanket and dozed off again. I wake up and hour later and I finally got my procrastinating butt to work. I either underestimated the difficulty of redoing projects or overestimated my own abilities. Either way, I only finished 3 of the probably 7 redo's I planned for the morning. I decided to use my old ones. They weren't terrible, but they could've been much better.

If you're still reading, then you're awesome. I'm about to get to my panic attack.

My review is at 11 AM and it's 10. I should have been at the Warehouse by now. What's the problemo? I lost two of my logo designs that I need for the review. I have a bunch of old drafts lying around that could technically pass, but they are beyond horrible. I'm searching for over half and hour and I'm about tear my hair out. It's too late by that time to run to the library to print another one out because I need to hand-draw one as well as mount both the hand-drawn one and printed one onto a board. I call a cab and use that time in which it takes to get to my place to give one last search for my lost logos.

God's power is real. I started pleading with my heart and mind for God to give me an idea of where they could be. Almost instantaneously, a light bulb goes off in my head. I take a look at a pad of watercolor papers I have. I flip through the pad and "ta-da"! My logos are wedged inside the pad. God is great.

I arrive at the review room to hang my stuff up at 10:55. Professors look at me in disappointment and state I should have been here an hour early. Not only do I have to hang my work up, I also have to hang my friend's up too since he went home for the weekend and couldn't do it. At least one of the professors applauded my willingness to help a friend in need despite me being ridiculously unpunctual (is that a word. Not punctual?).

I'm sitting on a couch right now outside the room awaiting my verdict. It's like waiting on death row. One piece of paper of evaluation will make or break my weekend. Word is that pretty much everyone gets a "C" on this midterm review. A "C" will make me the happiest guy on campus. A "B" will pretty much make me faint. A "D" will mortify me to no end. Oh, how I hope I can get at least a "C".

EDIT: The verdict is in. I am average! A "C" has never looked so relieving. I got 5's across the board except a 6 in "Clarity of concepts".

Monday, October 3, 2011

Irks and Neighbors

2:46 AM

All my assignments for tomorrow are done (well mostly). I should have showered and called it a night half an hour ago. Yet, I sit here in my living room going through YouTube videos. What are people doing at this time? Most likely sleeping, writing a paper, studying for know the normal college student things. The people across the street for me have decided to do something a little different. I still don't know what they're doing. It sounds like they decided to jump an aluminum can with a baseball bat. I hear one girl scream "I didn't get to hit it yet!" What has that aluminum can done to deserve a group beating in the middle of the night.

I haven't had the best luck with neighbors. I live in an apartment back home in New York City. It's a small apartment. There are three floors with two homes on each. That's six families. I live on the first floor. Naturally, that means I hear everything that goes on. The families that have lived across from me on the first floor have had their fair share of problems. I think it's a curse (not really, but it's fun to think so).

There was this one family that had a teenage son who couldn't stay out of trouble. I was around 16 at that time. He was probably my age or a year older. I remember one night the cops showed up and dragged him to their door. They claim he broke into someone's car and slept in there. Why? Because his parents wouldn't let him in. They no longer live there.

There was a family who stole my uncle's chainsaw from the basement (which only my family has access to. Perks of being landlords). Now, there's a small surveillance camera built into a door that doesn't even open. I think it was partially my fault. Someone knocked on my door while I was still sleeping. He asked if he could use the basement. I was half-asleep and wasn't thinking. Before I knew it, I think I showed him the trick to opening the basement door without the keys. There's an extra lock on the door now.

Then there are the brats two floors above me. Ok, it's not fair to call them brats. They're just kids...who won't stop crying. It's been like eight years. This past summer was the first time I've heard no crying. There's three children in that home. The eldest should have outgrown crying about not getting to play his toys five years ago. Yet, he cried until the youngest stopped crying. They would scream at each other in front of their window as if their lives depended on who could cry the loudest (which conveniently can be heard from my window).

Lastly, there's the family living directly above me. I swear on my life that I hear someone from that home humming some chant every day. No one else hears it. It's normally in the afternoon directly above my room. Maybe that's why. But, it drives me nuts. Thank God for the invention of earphones.

I think my neighbors from across the street have finally put that can to rest. I still hear them outside, but that poor can has finally left this world.

State of Mind and Characteristics

I was intrigued when I read a friend's post about which side of the brain you use. After a quick glimpse at the list of those who use the left side of their brain, I could quickly determine that I used the right side.

Here is a list (a rather lengthy one at that) of characteristics that is associated with those using the right side of their noggin. Note: I'll try to cut out the stupid bullet points.
Rock music is what actually got me into music. I'm Asian and my first favorite band was Linkin Park. Surprise, surprise.I don't read "How To's". I watch them. When I first tried to learn to tie a tie, I found a text. I couldn't figure it out for the life of me. Later, I found a wiki with pictures of steps to tying a tie. Nailed it.
I think I fall victim to being able to play a lot of sports (except volleyball...the one sport I'll never figure out which deducts 50 points off my Asian-ness) but not being particularly excellent at any of them.
My major.Here is where the list is wrong. I think cats are the most boring pets. I love dogs. I used to be terrified of them when I was younger until I learned they won't chew your arms off. Now, if you put a dog in front of me, I will not give it back.
I was the self-appointed class clown in elementary to middle school. I toned down a lot in high school when I figured out that was why all my teachers hated me. Now I'm only the clown with close friends back home.
No idea if I am, but I really want to see a hypnotist.
Mystery stories, yes. The Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson had me sleep deprived. I guess you can count the Hunger Games trilogy as fantasy, too. When I read, I want to be taken to a world outside of ours (not like alien sci-fi stuff).
Other people have never understood this about me. I always listen to music when I do homework. It distracts people I do homework with more than it does to me.
I guess if I had to choose a genre to write, fiction would probably be top of the list. I find it easier and more interesting to write about things that could never happen in real life.
I was the kid in class who got all giddy when the teacher announced a group project.
Countless dreams of being an NBA player, a rock star, a ninja, etc.
I doodle a lot in class. There's this one small robot character that has popped up in a few of my notebooks. Oh, and this nerd I recently made up in one of my classes.
Geometry was the math I received the highest grades for in high school. Go figure.I blank out a lot. I apologize in advance if this happens.
I absolutely loved it when we got to read out lines in English class for Shakespeare stories. My biggest regret in high school was not joining the drama club.The biggest annoyance of my middle school life was writing outlines for each Social Studies chapter for homework. I would rather summarize than give a boring outline.

I wonder what kinds of career are listed for people who use the right side of their brains. Oh, would you look at that. "Artist". I guess that makes it as clear as day about which side I use unless I want to become a lawyer out of the blue.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tears and Frustration

I can't even type a sentence without deleting it seconds after I finish it. I'm in a state of blogger's block. I have two drafts saved that I wanted to blog but never did because I just don't want them to go public. Both posts are pretty deep, but I just couldn't post them after I read through it. Sure, I can post it and make it private, but then what's the point? I might as well have it stored in my mind for the rest of eternity.

When in doubt, just write about something easy and hope it gets good from there.

I guess I can write an update on life since it's been about a month since I've last posted. That's a month of school and whatnot to go through.

On the academic side, I'm feeling more stressed than ever. There have been three times in which I missed a bit of class to finish my assignments. My professors do not tolerate lateness. But I'm sure they'd rather have me come in late with my assignment than me on time with a half-done crap assignment. I've been pulling the "I missed the bus" or "I forgot to set my alarm" excuse when in reality I've just been up pulling my hair out. This wouldn't be a problem if I didn't procrastinate and put everything off until 10 hours before class started.

It got to the point where I was ready to start bawling in the middle of class because I was so disappointed in myself for disappointing my professor when he has been nothing but supportive of me. He pulled me aside one class and commented how he loved my personality and loved working with "students with a bright and positive outlook and a comedic side, as well". From that point, I didn't want to let him down. Two weeks later, I'm late for class again. Not only was I late, but my project was utter crap. I had a whole mess of technical problems that bogged me down. I sat in my seat with my hands over my face holding back tears of anger and frustration. I didn't want to show my failure.

I cheered up at the end after seeing some of my other classmates were even worse than my project that came across so many roadblocks. It was nice knowing I wasn't at the bottom even when I wasn't at 100%. That may sound cocky, but whatever. I'm here to survive. I'm not going down even if that means other classmates failing.

I love Mondays-Wednesday afternoons. I don't have much homework to do. I guess I should do my homework early on these days so I don't spend all of Wednesday and Thursday nights racing against the clock. But it's hard to shed those procrastinating ways.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Internet Dilemma and the Blah Feeling

It's ridiculous how heavily our society relies on the internet.

This is "Day 5" of no internet at home. This was a problem I addressed since "Day 1" but never got to until a day or two ago. This will go on until September 1 (I think?) when Verizon comes with the goodies.

Until then, my time online will be limited to how often I want to make my way to Bird Library or Schine.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Boiling Point and the Good in the World

Pretty much every morning, I stop by a bakery before work to get that good milk tea. It just so happened one morning that I was running late for work (I usually try to get there 10 minutes early). Normally, the lady hands back change before I get my drink. I gave her a $20, took my drink, and went off to work. Something missing? Yeah, I forgot to take my change. That's $20 for a $2 drink. It wasn't until 2 hours later when I looked in my wallet that I realized what happened.

Here's where the nasty takes over my mind. I assumed that since they were Chinese ladies, they would be stingy with this kind of situation. It has happened before when I was younger. My mom went back to a restaurant demanding that they give her back the proper amount of change and they denied ripping us off. Long story short: older Chinese people don't play games when it comes to money.

I was formulating all these situations in the case they denied not giving me back change. I was ready to break out some advance Chinese on them to stick it to them that I wasn't going to be messed with. I had all these nasty words ready to be unleashed. I was ready to point at the cameras and tell them to check everything. I was ready to explode.

On my break, I walked back to the bakery and approached the counter. I first calmly, yet had a hint of anger in my voice, explained the situation. To my complete surprise, the lady smiled and told me she remembered me. She said I walked away before she could go get the change for me. I smiled and apologized. She gladly gave me back the $18 that I was supposed to receive. I thanked her like four times on my way out.

It wasn't until I left that I realized what a terrible person I am. I thought the worst in humanity and didn't once think of God's love in others. I put my head down in shame that I was taken over by these wicked thoughts.

God is good. Always.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Growing Up and Plain Stupidity

This is for all those people who wish they could be a kid again and be "carefree": Stop lying to yourself.

I read a quote somewhere that stated people have a hard time being happy because they make the past better than it was (and some stuff about the present and future). I don't remember the rest of the quote enough to paraphrase it because the part about the past is what stood out the most to me. All I remember about being a kid was wanting to grow up. I'm sure I'm not the only one who wished that. There comes a point in people's lives when they want to stop growing up and they start fabricating a sense of true bliss in their childhood, even if there was none.

Looking at a classroom of 18 children everyday brings back old memories. I've realized this for some time now, but it wasn't until recently that I finally truly understood why my teachers in elementary school and junior high disliked me. It's like looking at myself, except multiplied by 5.

I'm glad I grew up. Growing up brings maturity (in the little doses it comes in), intelligence, and plain common sense.

I swear I've never seen such stupidity for a long time. The class I teach has gotten so disobedient that they have to hold hands while they are in line. These are sixth graders we're talking about. Embarrassing, right? I bet you could never imagine that being more stressful to the teacher than the students holding hands. Student A was holding Student B's hand while walking down the stairs. Student A jumps off at however high up he was. Being the bright student he is (I refrained myself from calling a 10-11 year old a dumbass on my own blog), he's still holding Student B's hand and drags him to a painful accident. That's when I walk in. I left my class in the hands of my volunteers (little teacher aides) while I was on break. I turn the corner to see a bunch of students from my class huddled around a crying sixth grade boy on the ground.

Stupidity is a rampant virus spreading throughout the class I teach only. Every other class is fine. It's just affecting my class of ne'er-do-wells. Let's just say that was the third worst thing to happen today.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Dreaded Summer School and English


The urge to get a drink every other minute because the weather overrides any good judgement about saving money. Throw in the want to stay indoors to stay near an air conditioner. I don't remember what life was like without one. Actually, I just remembered. Whoops. I was in pre-K and lived with my grandparents in Canada. She owned a grocery shop and I helped myself to a "Nesquik Ice Pop" whenever I wanted.

Then there's summer school. Yes, the dreaded summer school.

I guess this is a post to those who wants to or doesn't know what I'm doing this summer. Yes, I'm in summer school. No, not as a student. I'm a teacher and not enjoying it.

I now understand the pain and frustration my teachers had dealing with me when I was younger. No matter how many times a teacher told me to stop talking, I would always found a way to talk to my friends. I was disruptive and annoying. Oh, how I wish the kids I teach weren't like the annoying brat I was.

My "homeroom" class is the sixth grade, but I teach English to grades five through eight. While I'm on the topic of English, I would like to applaud the New York City education system < /sarcasm>. I can't think of anywhere else where I would need to teach eighth graders what a noun is. I mean, I would understand if they didn't know what a collective noun is since I had no idea what it was until I made the lesson plan. But for the love of knowledge, at least get proper nouns correct.

Ok, I'll stop with the educational disappointment. Probably not professional to blog about the intellect of the kids you're teaching for the summer. To make a long story short, let's just say I'm going to lose my voice pretty soon. I have to yell for my students to line up properly on a daily basis more times than I can count.

Oh summer, please go away soon.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pack Rats and a Bag of Memories

Alright, I wouldn't classify myself as an extreme pack rat to the point of compulsively hoarding every thing I ever owned. But I do like to hold on to random items that serve no purpose whatsoever.

I'm sure everyone is familiar with looking for one particular item and stumbling upon a treasure of past memories. Well, that's just what happened to me. I found some helpful items (like a pack of AAA batteries for my alarm clock) and some trash that I can't believe I ever got (like some figures of NBA stars that I bought out of a whim at a sale). I kept going through everything hoping to find what I was looking for until I stumbled upon a packet of papers. They were from some assignments I had in the beginning of senior year of high school.

I just get straight into the writing if it's an in-class writing assignment that serve no homework purposes. So I am assuming I am reading a class assignment about where I was in the college process. For those who do not know, I only applied to Syracuse University (early decision'ed). I'm reading through this and I see all the schools that I was going to apply to: Temple University, Seton Hall University, Ithaca College, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Albany, and Marist College. I don't even know where Marist College is. I think my guidance counselor was urging me to apply there. There was an "update" at the bottom of the page noting that I decided to early decision for Syracuse.

There was also a "letter" we were to write to a classmate about a topic we were to choose from. I can't even read this letter without feeling embarrassed I ever wrote it. It's not that the content is bad, it's just the writing style. Then again, it was an in-class assignment. The topic I chose was my opinion of the world. I'm glad to say I still hold this view three years later. 90% of what I wrote was unnecessary rambling so I could make the letter seem long. Two sentences basically covered everything up: "People are too dependent on technology" and "Technology is the very essence that powers humanity". I don't even know what I meant by "the very essence" but it sounds smart for a high school assignment.

Up next is a "life list" I wrote (technically typed up). "See a real hippopotamus up close". That was 3rd on my list. It's true that hippos are my favorite animals, but I still can't believe that landed as the 3rd best thing I could think of for what I wanted to do in my life. Number 9 was a lot better in terms of achievements. I wanted/still want to be featured in a film. One of my regrets of high school was not being a part of any of the school plays. Every year I went to watch the plays my school performed and every year I thought how fun it would be to be on that stage.

The rest of the papers included in this package were completely random considering most of them are English assignments. SAT scores, Syracuse tuition, AP scores, etc.

...and I just realized I never found my item.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Milk and Adventure Time at the Supermarket

I'm the only one in my family to drink whole milk (or actually regular milk). My sister likes to drink soy milk. My mom likes to drink Lactaid milk (she isn't lactose intolerant). My dad just drinks tea. That naturally means I have to go get my own milk.

The good thing about having a supermarket a block down (as well as it being on the way to the rest of civilization in my neighborhood) from where I live is that I don't have to make much of an effort to go out. I can just throw on some shorts, slip on some shoes, and be on my way.

It wouldn't be much fun just going to get the things I want, pay for it and leave. The days I'm not exploring the supermarket aisles for random things to get, I like to make up a game. I try to imagine the lives of other people based on what they're getting. An old couple is at the register with a bunch of raw meat, some vegetables, cooking oil, and some beer. They're going home to cook up a feast for their children and grandchildren who are coming over for the weekend. A mother and her two children are at the dairy aisle picking out milk. The mother tells her daughters to go get some bread. The kids are picking out their morning breakfast so they'll be energized for school.

Then there are the people who are pretty much impossible to predict. These are the people I hate waiting behind at the register. They buy every imaginable item at the supermarket all at once. Not only does it take forever for the cashier to scan and whatnot, but the customers usually take forever paying for it. It's either they're paying for everything in cash and they're having trouble counting or they just simply can't work the card reader (whatever that thing is called).

Amazing how a trip to the market for milk can be quite an adventure sometimes. But I can't go there for Oreos. Well, not that I can't but more like I refrain from it. Why? I finish a pack in a day and for a day's snack to be more than a dollar something is ludicrous to me.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Imagination and Elephants

The one thing I can look forward to this summer break is catching up on some reading. I never find the time to do so in school.

I just (well, a week ago) finished Let Me In. This was the fourth book written by a Swedish author I've read in the past year. Hmm...Swedish literature. Anyways, I do not recommend this book to anyone who just wants a good read. My biggest mistake was buying the book because I know I'm not going to be reading it again. Don't get me wrong, though. It wasn't a bad book. There was a point in the book when I couldn't stop reading it.

Let me clear up what I just wrote and rephrase it a bit. I do not recommend this book to anyone with a vivid imagination. I visualize everything I read in my head. If you extract what I am imagining while reading, you can make a legitimate movie out of it. This book was gross and horrifying. I cringed while reading it as I visualized the gore and pain. Sometimes I didn't even want to turn the page because I grew a bit too attached to a character and didn't want something bad to happen to them.

Aside from the grossness and horror, the book jumped around too much among the different groups of characters. You get used to it but it doesn't help when I want to read what happens to a specific character and the book jumps to another. If you want to read a book that'll scare you through your own imagination, then I guess you can give it a read.

I'm halfway through with Water for Elephants and I have been pleasantly surprised. I can't say much about it now since I'm only halfway through but I am liking it so far. The story is picking up. I would be reading it now, but I don't want to finish it too quickly. I finished Let Me In 10 minutes into an hour long bus ride. I don't like having nothing to do on public transportation.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I.aM.mE and ICONic Boyz

I'm just gonna go ahead and copy & paste this straight off my Tumblr. I've been doing these reviews of each episode of America's Best Dance Crew this season on my Tumblr. It's down to the final 2 crews. I'm trying to get my message out to every one who Googles up anything related to the show: Vote for I.aM.mE

Warning. This is an extremely long analysis.

What in the world? The true finals happened in the bottom 2. Phunk Phenomenon and I.aM.mE killed it this episode. ICONic Boyz? Not so much. However, ICONic Boyz should be worried for two reasons:

  1. I.aM.mE was beyond spectacular and even had the judges on their feet applauding with uncontrollable smiles on their faces after their last performance.
  2. History is not kind to the crew that gets the free pass into the finals. Each crew that has won ABDC had to fight in the Bottom 2 to reach the finals.

With that said, let's get onto the reviews. I'll start with the Kanye West challenge first.

  • ICONic Boyz - They started off nice...except T-Money. The kid really has to start putting some energy into his movements. The boogaloo section was decent. The isolation section got lost after the head/shoulder isos. I'll admit, the dougie on the ground was sick. I actually got hyped when they did that. The dougie section was good. Nice touch at the end making it rain.
    My rating: 6.5/10
  • Phunk Phenomenon - They truly deserved to be in the Top 2. The beginning with the dougie was hot. I smiled when Cassandra played the part of the gold digger and the guy's pulled out their empty pockets when the song went "broke, broke". I died. Then Bebo went into a hollowback while bobbing up and down on his arms. Nasty. Seriously, Bebo is the MVP of this crew. He is hands down amazing. The swing under and jumping over Trey was jaw dropping. The isolation was hot. They even threw in some housing. I applaud you Xclusive.
    My rating: 9/10
  • I.aM.mE - WOW! What in the world...the one edge that I.aM.mE has over every single crew this season is the tracks they use. They have like an endless supply of dubstep that fit the song perfectly. The opening with the isolations blew my mind. Pacman bone breaking and tying his arms behind his back then going down in the bridge with Jaja walking over him was amazing. They then did my favorite move with the shoulder isolations. Beautiful. That head spin between the arms was amazing. The dougie wasn't as amazing (I just used that word three times in a row) as the isos but that's freaking hard to top. However, they brought it back up with the boogaloo section. When they had Emilio, Chachi, and Jaja on the ground between the other 3's legs wiggling their legs, my mind was overloaded with awesome. When they swung Chachi up and Jaja came under, I lost my mind. Then Emilio just had to land a perfect flip over everyone else to cement the greatest performance of the season.
    My rating: 11/10

I really wanted to see what Phunk Phenomenon would do for their final performance. Hope it pops up on YouTube some time soon.

  • ICONic Boyz - The beginning was nice, but they lost too much time just walking down the red carpet. But once they got down to the dancing, wow. I have no complaints with what they did. I love crews that can house. These kids can house. The tutting was completely unexpected. It was actually pretty nice. This is what they should have been focusing on all season. They have good footwork. Their footwork won me over again. I loved them in the beginning of the season, but lost me in the middle until this performance.
    My rating: 8/10
  • I.aM.mE - Anyone who likes dance should watch this performance. I don't even know what to say but WOW! The song itself...WHAT?!?! PERFECT! The beginning had NO beat and they STILL killed it. I don't even know what happened in the beginning. I don't even know what to call it. The swift movements. The intricacy. Just watch and you'll understand. But that was only the beginning of the sickest final performance since Quest Crew (and I'm a huge Poreotics fan). They proceeded to highlight everyone's individual strengths through elements. Emilio's tricking was dope. Chachi's grooving was hot. Jaja's strobing was so raw and ill. I have to say this...Brandon had the hottest track in his solo. His footwork to the piano was beautiful. I'm so glad Moon got his chance to show off his finger tutting. Best finger tutter in the world I tell you. Pacman...this man is made of rubber. I learned how to do arm waves through his videos. So freaking fluid. You think that's it? NO! They have more after their solos. What is that they do with their entire body and tutting? It's so amazing. It's GORGEOUS! The ending was perfect. Spelling out "I" "M' "E" on the floor at the end was the perfect touch.
    My rating: 27/10

DO THE RIGHT THING AND VOTE I.AM.ME! It's not because I don't want ICONic Boyz to be ABDC. It's simply because I.aM.mE deserves it so much. After I finally finish this post, I'm watching both performances in this episode about 1203912x more.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Readjustments and Recognition.

The irks of not being home for a semester or two is relearning the little "subway spots". I use the word "spot" because I can't think of a better word. On second thought, it could work What are these "spots" within the New York City subway system?

It's which car you take and where you stand, or sit, in the car. For example, let's say there's ten cars on the train (I actually have no idea how many there are. The old ones used to have eight. Never bothered to count the new ones with the electronic maps and everything). Now, most New Yorkers get on the car that will drop them off right in front of the staircase at the destination. What if you don't want to count the cars as the roll on by? Well, most people mark their spots on the platform. Another example is I stand by the garbage can and bench so that I can get off at 14th Street right by the stairs. Why is all this even important? Well, New Yorkers are lousy time managers and we need to make each second count. If you get off at the wrong spot at a busy stop, you can face the longest traffic jam ever.

On to my point now that I got the explanation done. I completely forgot my "spots" while going to 34th Street. I was completely off as I got off at 8th Avenue to transfer to the E train. I had to the E up two stops. I remembered the spot at 34th Street for me was either the far end of the platform or the middle of it. I chose to middle to be safe. Wrong. Far end.

But, all is well now. My second try ended up more successful (though, I was one door off from the stairs. Oh well. Close enough).

On top of relearning all my "subway spots", I also went back to the dance class I took last summer. I haven't been there since last August. There was this one instructor that took an interest in my participation in the class. He was always happy when I showed up and knew I liked tutting. However, that was months ago and I was ready to start all over again and try to fit in to the new crowd there.

To my surprise, two of the instructors there (including the one mentioned) remembered my face and welcomed me back. It felt nice to be remembered. I was only in that class for a summer and yet they still recognized me. A woman taking the class who I saw often over the summer also remembered me. She asked if I was with this big guy who also took the class. He was the only other guy I ever talked to at the class. I don't remember his name which makes me feel terrible. He looked like a Michael. So, I'll refer to him as that. Michael wasn't there. I remember he told me he went to school in Boston and he was trying to make the dance team. He was an extremely friendly and approachable guy. I hope he comes back and takes the class again. It'll make it feel like last summer all over again.

Dance class is going to eat at my wallet. Will need to find a job. I don't really go there to learn as much as I just go so I can be around other people dancing. I'm fine dancing by myself, but it's nice to be around others.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Keep On Survivin' and Free Writing in the Mornin'

It's 6 AM right now and I, for whatever stupid reason, am not sleeping. I should be snoozing away. Judgement day didn't happen and I'm sure there's a paranoid preacher out there locking himself in a shelter somewhere.

I should be sleeping to wake up for church. A goal I set for myself this summer is to grow spiritually away from college. It's weird. I came into college thinking it'd be a spiritual desert away from my home church. That was my biggest challenge first semester of freshman year: prioritizing church above all else. I've been reaching it (can't say I've accomplished it).

However, the moment I go home, I am no longer motivated to go to church. Maybe it's because I've grown to like the smaller church atmosphere at school. I go to a super church at home. Super in the sense that it's huge. I roll my eyes every time I begin to think of all the cliques and socializing that is more apparent than God Himself at my home church. I don't grow spiritually there. Am I giving it a good honest chance? Maybe not. I already have this bad image of my church in my head.

I've kind of lost track of what I'm saying. But it's 6 AM and my brain is scrambled eggs right now. Back to growing spiritually this summer. One of the reality checks that's hit me in the head is that despite my eagerness to serve, I lack the wisdom to go with it. I think I'm solid when it comes to the Bible. I mean, I know my stuff but I can't spout out verses for everything. Solid. Not great, not terrible, but just solid. I'm still developing my views on certain topics that are touchy subjects in Christianity. I can offer my opinion, but I can't give you a definite answer.

This is quite the informal post I'm putting up. I actually had a whole different topic in mind. I'll save that for my next post. I guess I just rambled on with the hype over the end of the world passing by. My stomach won't stop growling, so I'm going to eat a doughnut (donut?) and sleep for 2 hours. What was I thinking making a blog post at 6 in the morning? I'm not delirious right now. Just free writing. Ok, not complete free writing since I kind of looked back to fix spelling errors. I may have missed some grammatical thingermabobs here and there. Cross my fingers I didn't because I need to sleep and can't afford to look back and read this all over again. Good night/morning?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hysteria and the End of the World

The end of the world is apparently coming in three days.

I was not aware of this at all until just now. I've seen signs of "Christ is returning" and "The Rapture" but I've been ignoring them thinking it was more "I'm going to force my beliefs down your throat" kind of Christians.

But I did not know the prediction was May 21, just three days away. What happened to all the December 21, 2012 mumbo jumbo?

This is what I found online:
The first proof is based on Genesis 7:4, when God said to Noah: "Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made."

When God referred to seven days, he meant both seven days and seven thousand years, because "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." The flood occurred in 4990 BC. Seven thousand years later is 2011.
How do you get 7000 years from seven days? That's just assumption. If you're going to quote Genesis, why not quote what the Bible says only two chapters later?
And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
- Genesis 9:11
Boom. Take that Harold Camping (that's the preacher who predicted this May 21 thing). The second reason is even worse than the first.
The second proof looks at the significance of the number of days between the Crucifixion and May 21, 2011.

There are 722,500 days between these dates. 722,500 is a significant number because it is composed of the significant numbers 5x10x17x5x10x17. Five signifies redemption; ten signifies completion; and 17 signifies heaven. The numbers represent the day of redemption (5) and the end of the Christian era (10) and the ascent to heaven (17) -- and these factors are doubled for added significance.
Really? Why multiply it only twice? Why not three times? I'm pretty sure three is a significant number in the Bible as well. That's the amount of times Peter denied Jesus. That's how many times Jesus prayed in Gethsemane before he was arrested. That's how many days it took for Jesus to resurrect. So why two? Why not multiply those three numbers three times? Again, mumbo jumbo.

It's like those statisticians saying Player A is the first player to record at least 32 points, 17 rebounds, and 14 assists in a single game. Of course he's going to be the first when you make it to the exact number of his stats. Not sure if I made my point clear there. Numbers can be played with is what I'm trying to say I guess.

So to anyone who is worried about impending doom, I say don't worry. This thing will blow right by just like Y2K did.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

School and Summer

I was going to have a giant checklist of my summer plans and everything, but what checklist am I going to put up if I have nothing planned?

I'm just going to make one promise to myself (two if you count finding a job as one).

Come back to school in August being a better person.

Reality hit me this semester. Really this past month or two. I needed this reality check more than anything else.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Man Who Died and The World's Celebration

My nap was rudely interrupted by drunk white girls chanting "USA! USA! USA!" outside my window and singing (quite poorly and even messed the lyrics up) Star Spangled Banner. I thought it was some drunk frenzy of patriotism. Leave it to Facebook to catch me up on everything.

Osama Bin Laden has been "found" (or killed...I don't know which one) dead.

The thing that gets to me is all these people rejoicing. I don't think I had one shred of happiness when I found out. Yeah, I live in New York City. I was a couple of blocks down from the World Trade Center. I even wrote a paper two months ago about the effect that the War on Terror had on the city. So, I can't even say that the man who died didn't affect me.

But, I will repeat it: I don't think I had one shred of happiness over his death.

I was beginning to think I just had no sense of patriotism. The man who our country deemed the most wanted man is finally dead. Only a small handful of people on the social networking sites were publicly ashamed of people's rejoicing. I'm sure there are more people, but they didn't make it public. Then, my friend posted a link to a blog on another friend's Facebook status (which was rather weird since he was describing Bin Laden being killed like it was Call of Duty). For those too lazy to click and read, I'll try my best to condense it.

Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
- Ezekiel 18:23
In a nutshell, if I applied this verse to the current situation, then it would have been most pleasing to God if Bin Laden repented and lived. We rejoiced over the death of a man. God wept. That's how the blog put it.

I don't care if that man who lost his life today was the world's most heinous of men. I just can't rejoice like how probably 90% of Americans are rejoicing.

Just some food for thought.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dreaming and Dreaming Even Higher

I don't truly understand dreams. To me, they are just images your brain subconsciously puts together. I don't see any deeper meanings behind them. Just because one thing happens in a dream does not mean I'll prosper financially. I had a whole discussion about dreams with my family group the other day. I could go on, but it'll be a bore.

Like everyone else, I had a lot of dreams in my lifetime with only a fraction of those being remembered. But how awesome would it be to live a dream? Looking at all these athletes, singers, actors/actresses and thinking..."Wow, they're living the dream."

I was talking to the leader of the dance crew I'm in yesterday and towards the end of our discussion, I realized a newfound dream.

How cool would it be to dance for a living? To choreograph a routine for someone like Justin Bieber would be beyond awesome. How many people can say they choreographed for a star like Justin Bieber? Or perhaps I could be in a dance crew travelling the world and performing. It would be a dream come true to be on a show like America's Best Dance Crew. $100,000 grand prize. The right to tour around the nation with some of the best crews out there. Having people recognize who you are worldwide.


Is it foolish to still be thinking up dreams like this at this stage in my life?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Once Upon A Time and All Those Yesterdays

Once upon a time, in a not so different world, lived a boy who was sure of himself. He wanted to do it all.

He wanted to be a Power Ranger and ensure safety to the world.
He wanted to be an ice cream man for those hot summer days.
He wanted to run a chicken wing factory and eat all the chicken wings he could.
He wanted to become like his favorite professional basketball player.
He wanted to run his favorite NBA team as a general manager.
He wanted to be a rock star even if he couldn't sing.
He wanted to be a movie star on the level of Will Smith.
He wanted to be a YouTube sensation and have his name known worldwide.
He wanted to be a psychologist to make the big money.
He wanted to be a journalist travelling around the world.
He wanted to work in the advertising world to make a living.

But once upon a time only seemed like just yesterday.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sweat and Blood

I actually have a few drafts saved up, but now that I look at them...the more I don't think they're blog-worthy. It's been a while since my last post, so here's just an update on life.

Being an art student sucks. And the sad thing is I'm saying this now while everything is supposed to be at its easiest. I don't know if I can keep doing this. This is when a time machine would be much appreciated. Go back to freshman year of high school and fix those grades so that I could have gotten into Newhouse for communications. But since reality doesn't allow for time machines, I'll have to pour my sweat and blood (literally) into these lame art projects.

Oh and here's "useless life tip #1": Being impatient with a chisel in your hand is a terrible idea. You will hurt yourself. More than once. On the same finger.

I guess I like how the bandages look together. Kind of like the sleeve/bandage/whatever it is Kobe Bryant wears on his index finger.

I really have no idea what to blog about. Sometimes I wish I had a private blog to blog about all the things that can't be posted here. But then what's the point? Might as well keep it in my head or type it out on Microsoft Word.

I just realized I ordered food four nights in a row. Domino's three out of four nights. Oh dear...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jitters and Stages

I love performing on stage. Before Saturday, the last time I performed on stage was in my senior year of high school. I almost forgot how it felt like. Then I relived the feeling.

The weeks prepping before the big day are tumultuous. I was in charge of my group's performance in high school, so I understand the hair-pulling and frustration that goes with being in charge. The yelling, the laughs, the anticipation, but not the stress. Most people stress. I did not. I still didn't feel it. I was more engrossed in the NCAA and finishing my projects. The stress didn't hit me again this time. That is until I saw the first act of the night perform. It wasn't that I was stressed about being on stage. More like I was afraid I'd miss a step. I cringe at myself every time I make a slight mistake.

Then there's the pre-show action. Every thing from dress rehearsals to last minute run-throughs. It's like being on a set of a movie. Everyone is doing something. Everyone is rushing around. Not to sound lazy, but I think it's fun to watch.

There's being on stage. Right before I go on, I feel all tense and nervous. But the moment I step on stage, it's all gone. I don't feel tense anymore. I'm not nervous. It's all gone. The audience is just one big mass in front of me. I'm not sure what kind of mass. Just one big black blob. I barely think about what I'm doing on stage. My body remembers all the practice leading up to that moment and just repeats it to the music. I catch myself thinking here and there to ensure as close to perfect as I can.

Finally, there's the feeling after your performance is done. It goes by in an instant. A full run through of the performance in practice seems like to last forever. But on stage, it's done in a flash. I may never understand this lapse of time in my mind. But the feeling afterwards is one of relief like the world and it's moon has been lifted off my shoulders. Everything becomes surreal. I can't wait until I can be on a stage again.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Break Food and The Good Steer

Instead of making a post about Spring Break, I decided to make a post about the noticeable things I ate during Spring Break. I wish I took more pictures, but half of them were almost entirely devoured by the time I remembered to take a picture.

My first night back at home and I'm welcomed home with steak and tomato paste/sauce over rice. So good...

A more homemade Chinese dinner.

Japanese buffet...somewhere in Douglaston I think. It's called Mizumi. Sushi is alright. But what makes it awesome is the incredibly fast service and red velvet cakes for dessert. I literally had 3 plates filled with them.

And end it all with some good ol' Chicken and Rice from 53rd and 6th.

There's this really nice place called The Good Steer out by Stony Brook. My friend's girlfriend brought us there while I went up to visit. I wish I took a picture of that delicious Wichita Pork Back Rib and baked potato. But, sadly I left my phone in my friend's dorm to charge. So here's a picture off Google Images:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Zoo and the New York City Experience

It's not the skyscrapers or high-profile stores that make up New York City. It's the people. New York City is a giant zoo and all the people within are creatures on display. Buildings don't make a city. The people do in the same sense that animals are the heart of a zoo, not the cages.

It was my first night back in New York City. After 5-6 hours on the bus from Syracuse, I had to take the subway back home. This is when you know you're a New Yorker. When you're at the turnstile ready to swipe and you hear something in the far distance that puts your brain on high alert. The approaching sounds of a train. Judging by how far you estimate the sound to be coming from, you can pinpoint which train is coming. And luckily for me, it was the downtown E train. The one I needed to take. I made a dash for the train with a middle aged man in a suit frantically making a run for it behind me. Without knowing, both of us ended up on the handicap ramp which spirals towards the platform ten times. Imagine running down a ramp that's shaped like a square maze. Both of us are making sharp turns at every corner and running down the straight path until the next corner. I reach the door first and held it open for him. We slumped down onto the seats, look at each other, and let loose a sigh of relief and chuckle at our run. As soon as the train started moving and our laughters subsided, we both instantly took a whiff of the air. A putrid smell swirled around our noses. It could be the man at the other end of the car. It could have been someone who already got off. But both of us sheltered our noses within our arms. Welcome to New York City.

There's also your fair share of bus drivers. You have the ones who see you running down the street trying to catch the bus and graciously stop and hold the door open for you. You have the ones who curse out the man who came out of his car and accused the bus driver of bumping him in the back. You have the ones who let you on for free when they come late. You have the ones who don't care whatsoever and blame their tardiness on traffic.

There are also the people who delight themselves to your misfortunes. An elderly man sat next to me on the bus today. We both got on at the first stop. Seeing as I had a long trip ahead of me, I nodded off and took my usual nap on the bus. The bus starts to come to a halt as I'm about to wake up. The elderly man is still on the bus and tells me, "This is the last stop" with a grin on his face. Cool. I live two blocks away from the last stop. I tell him, "I know" and his grin quickly fades away and he turns his attention back to whatever he was doing.

Don't get me wrong. Like bus drivers, you have your wide variety. Not everyone is out to see you suffer. There was this time in high school when I fell asleep on the train (I sleep a lot on public transportation) to school. I went to school in the Bronx. To many people, you'd find that to be weird. The only Asian to be heading alone to the Bronx. As I was snoozing, a man across from me tapped me on the leg as we reached the end of Manhattan. He asked me if I missed my stop. I said no and went back to sleep. He tapped me again as we reached the first stop in the Bronx. He asked if I missed my stop again. I said no and went back to sleep. This happened two more times until I figured it out and told him I go to school in the Bronx. At least he was looking out for me.

I could go on about the people you encounter in New York City. But there's too many people. Can you fit a description of every animal you find in a zoo in one blog post?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sleep and Chocolate Cakes

You know what's the worst? Ok, maybe not the "worst" thing possible, but it's still pretty bad. Sleep paralysis. That thing when you're dreaming but you're eyes are wide open surveying your room. Your body can't move. You see and hear things. Utterly creepy.

This has happened to me twice in my life. Both times in college.

The first time, I thought I was going to die. I never experienced it before nor have I ever heard of it. It was just another night during my freshman year. Hopped into bed and fell asleep like a baby. In the middle of night, my eyes opened. I remember I was facing the wall, which was all I could see. My body felt numb and cold. I tried to move but I couldn't. That's when my body started going into panic attack. You know how your leg feels when you lean or sleep on it too long? Yeah, that's what my entire body started to feel like. I kept praying to God to not let me die just yet. I had so much more in life I wanted to go through. Who wants to spend their entire life in school? I would go into more vivid details, but that's as much as I can remember.

The second time just happened two days ago. It felt like I just got into bed, but apparently I was already asleep for two hours. My body felt like a constant current of electricity was flowing through. I tried to move, but once again could not. I saw this chocolate cake. Yes, a chocolate cake. Then this paper plate would appear right next to it and scrape off the side of the cake. Every time it did that, it sounded like nails scratching a blackboard. The sound would get louder and louder. Then it would stop for 5 seconds. The plate would start scraping again and the torture began once more. Every time the sound was at it's highest pitch, my lungs would feel like it stopped working. I remember trying to gasp for air. I looked over at the curtain in my room and saw the silhouette of an old lady hunched over. After a few rounds of the scraping and staring at the old lady, I finally wrenched my arm off my body and I could move again. I sat up in cold sweat, but knew this time I wasn't going to die.

What did I learn from my most recent sleep paralysis attack? Don't go to sleep hungry.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fun and Maturity

I should be sleeping, but my eyes won't close. Perhaps a drawback from napping earlier. Hopefully by the time I finish this post, I'll be tired enough to knock out until my 9:30 AM class.

I think I'll grow up to be the fun dad/uncle. I love kids. Well, not so much once their age hits a double digit number. Wow, I sound like a pedophile don't I? I've worked as a teacher's assistance for half of the summers I spent in high school. Both times, the kids voted me their favorite TA.

But a friend told me he thinks I'll grow up to be more serious. I shudder thinking about being the stern adult. I've always told myself that I'd never be like that. But, only time will tell how I'll progress. I adamantly wish to believe that I will remain the carefree guy racing friends to the train station after school. But, deep inside...I know I've changed.

I don't waltz around trying to put a smile on everyone's face anymore. I don't crack jokes left and right anymore. I don't do stupid things just so everyone can look back at it and laugh as much anymore.

When did I start to become such a bore? I looked through my old blog and stumbled upon a quote I came up with a while back.
I'm stupid. I'm immature. I'm reckless. But that's what makes me keep trying to be a better person.
In the process of becoming a better person, I resolved to shed my immaturity. I can see I've achieved some levels of maturity since I made this quote in my senior year of high school. I remember I was tired of being seen as the clown. I was tired of being a stupid little kid.

I was gonna make a list of pet peeves and tie it into what I was saying, but it didn't flow well. Pet peeve list will be on the list of things to blog about.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chivalry and Independent Women

Let me say this now. Chivalry is not dead.

It's not that all guys are forgetting to be prince charming. Sure you may have your pick of guys who do not hold the door open for the ladies or pull their chairs out for them. But trust me when I say this. Guys are normally all for being chivalrous to girls, especially if that guy has an interest in you.

Chivalry didn't die. It's being stuffed in a bag and being tossed aside as old-school. Girls these days don't want to be a liability. They want equal treatment. Again, I can't say all girls. I know so many girls who would hop at the first chance to pay for their own bill. If a guy is willing to pay for your bill, why shoot him down? This is why girls think chivalry is dying. You girl will not give us that chance. My sister once asked me whether she should split the bill or let the guy pay when she went on her first date with her first boyfriend. That kind of mentality is what's putting chivalry in the backseat.

Let the guy treat you to the first dinner. Let him pay for your movie ticket. As you two progress through your relationship, you can work out who pays for that date. But the guys want to be that manly man. Don't laugh at our pride and pay your half of the bill. If we insist, just be grateful and enjoy yourself.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dream Line and Clay Weekends

On behalf of the chocolates and flowers being passed around today, here's a video from my favorite WongFuProduction's series, The One Days: HK.

This was the first weekend I spent actually engaging myself in work. I know. I sound like a lazy college student. Well, I am. In the year and a half I have been at Syracuse, I have never spent a weekend doing homework. Most times, I spend the Sunday night/Monday morning doing last minute work/procrastination. This was a first for me. I spent the entire afternoon until around 7 PM on both Saturday and Sunday cooped up in a classroom for my ceramics class. That's about ten hours of my weekend not napping.

My entire Saturday consisted of making these two pots. I finished the smaller one (about 7 inches tall) that day and added about 4 inches to the larger one).

The large one in the background turned out to be a massive failure. I had no idea what I was doing. Glad to say, however, that I learned from the mistakes in the big one to make the smaller one a lot better.

I spent Sunday afternoon right after church rushing through the last two of my 6 inch coil pots. I narrowly finished it in time before I had to go attend to other plans at 8.

I really like this one. You can obviously see where I got lazy. The top is inspired by a spile. That and it took like a minute to make. It tacked on two inches that would have taken much more time to add on using clay coils.

Inspired by The Giving Tree. I was too pressed for time to add leaves, so I guess this is when the tree had nothing left to give to the boy.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Relationships and the Internet Age

It took an article written by Ashton Kutcher to make me realize it. Well, I guess I've always known it, but it's never been brought to my attention like it has now.

Romance is dying. Ok, let's not jump to extremes now. Not dying, but changing.

I've been raised in a society thinking that asking girls out online or over the phone is cowardly. It's been implanted into my mind that any other way besides face-to-face in real time is unacceptable. We live in the age of Facebook and Twitter now. All means of communications basically run through them.

She said yes.

This goes against everything that society has drilled into my brain. The comments following the picture were all in favor of this calling it "adorable" and "beautiful". I'm sitting here thinking "Does this actually work?"

Do you realize how easy a guy's life would be if all hardships in starting a relationship worked all the time through the internet? All those hours, days, maybe even weeks thinking of how to ask a girl out would vanish. All those lines we run through our heads the moments leading up to the actual asking out of vanish. All those heart-beating seconds that seem like an eternity waiting for the girl's response as you awkwardly look at her vanish. Instead, you type a few clever lines and sit in your seat as your stare at your computer screen in anxiety.

Flirting has now been replaced by e-flirting. Include that happy face at the end of a text. Play the right words in the right order. E-flirting makes the world take notice. Anyone can see on their news feed those playful, cute remarks two people exchange. But flirting in real life cannot truly be replaced. The whole world isn't there to take notice. It's more intimate. Those awkward glances at each other. Only the two people involved truly take note of it. Sure there could be a few people around who notices the behavior, but it's not flaunted on one's news feed for all to see.

I refuse to believe in these relationships forming over the internet. There's no real hard work put into it the way doing it face-to-face takes. Of course, I'm no expert in relationships. But I suppose I can put in my two cents.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Haha and Internet Talk

"Haha" has become the new "lol".

There's always those times you just use the term "lol" to fill in space in an online conversation. They don't mean anything. It used to mean "laugh out loud", but now it's just there like a punctuation mark. Actually, scratch that. Punctuation marks serve a purpose. Well, now that I think of it, "lol" can be used to lighten the mood of a message.

"Sorry I ate the last Hot Pocket in the fridge lol"

The sentence can function properly and deliver the same message without the "lol'. I know it's not only me who thinks this way. I had talks about this with a few people. Here's how my instant messaging lingo works:

"haha" is when something makes me smile.
"LOL" is when something makes me chuckle.
"HAHA!" is when something makes me laugh.
"AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" is when something makes me gasp for air.
"lol" is when I have nothing else to say.

But, now I've been seeing "haha" in sentences when it should be "lol" in that context.

"Sorry I just ate the last Hot Pocket in the fridge haha."

I know I'm overreacting, but I actually use "haha" when something is amusing. Not to fill in space. That has been "lol"'s designated role.

I promise to post up something better next time. I wouldn't call this a good post, but just something I wanted to express on my blog.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hangout and Blogging

Friends has the coffeehouse Central Perk.
How I Met Your Mother has the bar MacLaren's.

Why can't my life play out like a sitcom? The one thing I wish everyone in the world has is their own Central Perk or MacLaren's. Just a spot where you can sit with your friends and hang out. Nothing meaningful has to happen. You don't need to make plans for the day and follow that strict schedule. Just go to your designated hang out spot and follow the flow from there.

I sort of had a spot like that. It was a teahouse on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Small and simple. Just order a flavored tea and riceball. Sit there and just talk. It was convenient since it was right across the street from my church. Then they moved a few blocks down to a larger venue. Being lazy New Yorkers, the location became too much of a hassle to walk to.

That was the closest I've ever had to my own hang out spot. Maybe one day, I'll find it.

Don't you just hate it when you want to blog, but you have nothing to blog about? Happens to me all the time. Others rarely face that dilemma. Some people can blog to their heart's desire and still have more to write. It took me a while to think up a topic to blog about. And I didn't even come up with it. I just saw a How I Met Your Mother .gif and it reminded me how awesome it would be to have a hang out spot.

This Sunday has turned out to be a lazy Sunday night. Perhaps I'll clean out my room. It's been long overdue. My suitcase is still unpacked from winter break. My poster fell down and is not just lying idly on my bed.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Followers and Retreat

Thanks to the people who have started following me this past week. Getting new followers is like being eight years old again and opening Christmas presents, which I no longer receive. It's especially exciting when the amount of followers nearly doubles. Doesn't say much if I only had 8 followers prior to the "surge" of new followers, but I'll take what I can get. So keep spreading this blog!

So I just came back from a retreat here in Syracuse. I was told when I was younger never to start a sentence with "so". I remember I was told that when my teacher circled that sentence on my book report on Charlotte's Web. Anyways, it was a blast despite it being cold and trekking to the dining hall wasn't the most joyous journey, especially at eight in the morning. I didn't get to meet a lot of new people like I did last year. But, I suppose that's what happens when you're no longer a freshman. I did get to know some people I already knew a bit better. I also got to spend one last time with my family group (even if not all of them were there) which meant so much more than I let on.

There was this one amazing moment that happened during the morning devotion. We separated from our retreat groups and allowed ourselves to have an hour to ourselves to pray and reflect. I don't know why, but I started wandering towards the lake. I saw this dock far into the distant. I tried walking towards it, but was stopped by a cluster of trees halfway. I figured I wasn't supposed to wander off this far so I turned back. I soon found myself standing by the shore/edge (no idea if shore only refers to the ocean) of the lake.

No idea why, but I suddenly remembered this story about an old lady in the World Trade Center during 9/11. On the morning of the terrorist attacks, she claimed to have heard God's voice which told her to quickly leave the building. She obeyed the voice and made haste out the building. After she was out of harm's way, the first plane hit the first WTC building. Wow!

I became so desperate to hear God's voice just once. I looked up into the sky and I just begged to hear His voice just once. I cleared out all my thoughts and just stood still. Now, let me tell you this. It was extremely calm weather. I felt nothing on my skin except the sun beating down on me and the cold winter air. Nothing more than that. All of a sudden, as soon as I cleared my thoughts, a gust of wind started blowing against me. Out of instincts or something like that, I quickly removed my hood. This is the amazing part. I'm not exaggerating. It felt like the wind began blowing into my ear.

At the point, I was so ecstatic that I didn't know what to do. I was overflowing with joy. I don't know why. I connected this to God's voice. I suddenly felt much calmer. To this point in time, I still have no idea if it was God's voice or not. I didn't hear any words. But, that feeling of calmness was definitely there. I felt like things were going to be alright. Maybe it was God telling me to relax and stop worrying about the little things in life.

I could go on much longer about my experience at winter retreat. It was truly a blessing.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Jay Chou and School

And we can breathe a sigh of relief. Jay Chou wasn't terrible as Kato in The Green Hornet. In fact, I would say he was who saved this film from utter catastrophe. Surprised? I know I was.

Sure his English isn't top notch. But, that was to be expected. He covered it up with some clever lines during the movie and his total badass-ness. I would not have minded if the entire two hours I sat there for was watching Jay Chou beat a bunch of gangsters up in Kato-mode. Seth Rogen wasn't fun to watch at all in this film. He came off as pretentious, weak superhero who got bailed out by Kato and yet took all the credit. The villain left a lot to be desired. He had some nice moments, but was a disappointment in the end. I don't want to go into spoilers since I'm sure everyone is dying to watch this highly anticipated film (/sarcasm). It's a nice watch nonetheless.

I had to pay extra money to watch it in 3-D since that was my only option. If you can watch it in 2-D, save yourselves the extra money. The 3-D was nice and all, but not necessary. All you get for that extra $4 is a lot of stuff flying at you.

I'll give it a 6/10. Then again, I don't give high grades often to films.

Well, winter break is officially almost over. I head back up to Syracuse on Sunday morning. I'll be leaving the cold sidewalks of New York City for the colder campus of Syracuse. Break was fun while it lasted. Definitely much more fun than last year's winter break. Actually, I don't even remember how my winter break went last year. That unimportant.

Actually I do. But only one event. Last year my friend insisted that we play basketball in the gym at Queens College. My friends and I arrive to see the courts relatively empty and the girl's basketball team getting ready for practice on the other side. As my jeans are around my ankles (I wore my shorts under my jeans), someone from the other side of the gym yells at everyone to get out of the gym. C'mon, I just took my pants off.

That's it. That's all I remember from last year's winter break. There were plenty more fun moments this year that I'm sure to remember next year...hopefully. At first, I couldn't wait to go back to school. Now I'm dreading it. Most of my friends head back up to school the week after us. They have an extra week to play. How I envy them.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Movie Stars and Artists

The unexpected feeling of shock and enthusiasm was welling up inside of me. I wanted to muster up the courage and say "Hi!", but I was choking up on my words and was left afraid that I was going to sound like a stuttering idiot. This doesn't happen often. Well, that feeling and seeing Ben Stiller up close. And when I say "up close", I mean like a foot away!

What was a normal day of chilling at a friend's house, watching The Social Network, and eating a McDonald's dinner (yeah, if you read my blog, I tend to eat at McDonald's a lot) at the mall turned into an exciting night to end it. We went to the mall because one of my friends didn't want to spend a lot of money at a nearby diner. So we decided to go to the food court. Upon entering the building, we noticed a bunch of lights and what seemed to be a movie set. Cool. The paper by the escalators explained that this was to be for a movie called "Untitled Heist Project" at the moment. We sat down at the closest table which was a table right next to the escalators. As we all got our food and was starting to settle down, the star himself descended down the escalator.

Ben Stiller. Gaylord Focker. Tugg Speedman. Larry Daley. Derek Zoolander.

I was starstruck. He was within reach to give me a high five if he wanted to. He did a side glance over at our table and I swear I maintained eye contact with him for a good two seconds. I felt like a giddy little girl giggling to myself. After we all pulled out our phones to update our Facebook statuses and Tweet the presence of Ben Stiller, we turned around and checked him out on the set. Surprise, surprise. Standing next to him was Eddie Murphy!

That's Eddie Murphy in the middle.

An aerial shot of Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy as we were leaving the mall. Will upload a better quality picture once my friend posts it on Facebook, ha!

You'd think that living in New York City would let you see all these celebrities. The closest I've ever been to another celebrity was seeing Shelley Duncan, ex-New York Yankee, on the 4 train after school one day. But he's no A-list celebrity.

Our table was in prime position to be in the movie. We were sitting by where all the extras in the scene were supposed to be involved. But right before they started filming, the director (I assume he was the director) told us to kindly move to another table outside of the shot. Darn it!

EDIT: Nevermind. That guy wasn't the director. The director is Brett Ratner and he was not Brett Ratner.

It was cool while it lasted. In other less exciting news, I am officially a VPA student. But it wasn't your typical admission. I won't post what happened on my blog. This will give you the incentive, hopefully, to ask me in person. It's nice talking to people and this is a good way to start conversations. Right?

I remember a time when I wanted to be an artist when I was younger. I saw a bunch of paintings for sale at a booth in Chinatown. I thought to myself, "I can do that!" I remember this painting I wanted to paint if I ever got good enough. It was an alien that looked like it ran into a glass wall. But, I've learned art is much more difficult than my 7 year old self can ever imagine.

It's been a long while since I felt this. Actually, I can't remember the last time I felt this. But, I've had this feeling that everything's going to be alright. I am beginning to align myself with God's plan for me. I'm gonna be alright.