I fell in love with blogging in the same a person falls in love with a song. When you first hear the song, it doesn’t catch your attention very much. In fact, you might choose to avoid it. However, listening to the radio, you hear the same song again and again. Eventually, the tune grows on you as you find yourself drumming along to the beat.
I thought I was the only one that lost the Monday morning battles. It’s like YouTube “daily routine” videos, except a lot less glamorous and a million times more honest.
BZZZ. BZZZZZ. BZZZZZ.
The day was March 16. The alarm clock was buzzing. The alarm was set for 8:00 am. School starts at 8:50 am. Despite all of this, I woke up at 8:25 am.
10 minutes before this, my body was strewn across my bed in a very awkward position. The blanket was thrown down onto the floor. My face was pressed face-down into my pillow and I was drooling. This was the condition of my room when my mom walked in. The sight was terribly shocking, at least for her. After she had recomposed herself, she calmly walked up to my bed, stood there for a minute or so, and smacked me.
It took me a full minute for me to register the fact that I was smacked, thirty seconds to fully awaken myself, and thirty seconds to respond. At first, I just stared at my mom. Then…
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Just under a hundred years ago, Czech playwright Karel Capek invented the word “robot” from the Czech word robotinik. This original term was used to describe mechanical creatures that were made for one thing and one thing only. Drudgery. Upon their creation, they were doomed to a lifetime of dull uninspiring work. Since then, these robots, with the help of different human perception, have been developed to do great things. They speed up our means of productions, detonate bombs, explore hazardous places, mine resources, explore the depths of the sea, and spend time in space. This makes us think: what else could robots possibly do? Continue reading
I remember standing before the rocks that piled high as if they were competing with the towering pines. I was already who knows how far up the San Bernardino Mountains; but still, my camp buddies were urging me to climb up the rocks that we found during our walk. In that moment I didn’t know what I feared more: the thought of falling from that height or regret of missing out on something so adventurous.
I was barely a teenager at the time. I remember that I was itching to see and experience things for myself. Sure, I went out with my friends and went on frequent holiday vacations with my family. But sure enough it would end. I would come home to the same four walls of my room and wake up to my dad, mom, and sister. You would think that under these circumstances, the teenagery sense of adventure would eventually die out in me. I was ready to bury the cause —until my best friend’s older brother offered to take my friend and I camping.
It was a late Friday night and my parents invited their friends over. I was a freshman at the time, and my mom warned me that I would be meeting the oh-so-outspoken daughter of my mom’s best friend that was also my age. My premonitions were confirmed when I saw her. She walked in without a single glance in my direction and there was an edgy expression on her face. Her eyes were darkly lined and her eyelashes were thick with mascara. Her lipstick was the kind of bright red that is stocked up at the makeup store because no one dares to pull it off. My eyes fell to the dark t-shirt that she was sporting. In bold white letters it spelled out “Crush the patriarchy.” I suddenly completely understood what my mom meant. Continue reading
Three Saturdays ago, I went out with one of my close friends for the first time in a long time. The weeks of FaceTime, texting, and Snapchat just weren’t cutting it for me, Frankly as humans, we are communicative creatures that crave interaction… outside a phone screen. Like a classic rendezvous, she quietly slipped into the table of our agreed dim corner in Starbucks. I couldn’t wait, I knew that we had a lot to catch up on —once she would put down her phone.
You’re driving farther down Brookhurst Street and the amount of cars on the road is overwhelming. You tell yourself dear God, I’m not taking this street for weeks. It’s like Black Friday — except it’s just a Tuesday afternoon in the middle of February.What in the world was this? The world was preparing for Lunar New Year. The traffic jams are just a side-effect to this great time. To make it worth all the road rage, here’s my top four list of things to do before the big day to ensure that you make the most of it next year.
1. Cooking your own tet food is a must try. In Vietnamese culture, we show our appreciation to friends and family by giving gifts of traditional food such as pickled mustard greens, candied coconut ribbons, candied ginger, and different types of wrapped sticky rice. Of course, homemade foods are ideal and let’s the significant others know how much we really appreciate them.
My mom and I took on the challenge for ourselves by making homemade candied coconut ribbons.
After massaging my wrists, I thought the end product was completely worth it.
2. Next comes the comfortable fashion risk. My favorite family tradition for this special time of year is designing our own ao dai, or the Vietnamese long dress. You pick the fabric, top to bottom. The design is according to your taste, ranging from sheer to solid and plain to sparkly. Then comes the agonizing (and exciting) wait for it to be done so that you can show it off. This is the perfect way to make it all about you in the new year and to embrace the beauty of this traditional wear.
3. When the new year rolls up next year, don’t forget to buy some blossoms and orchids. It’s a really exciting and selective process. It brings so much color to our homes and its rarity makes it feel like it’s truly Lunar New Year. While they are decorative and beautiful, they also make good backgrounds for nice family pictures.
4. Lastly, it’s never the new year without the Lunar New Year festivals. You can never miss attending the Lunar New Year festivals where there is live music, free gifts, games, and fresh food. Bring yourself home some free souvenirs from the commercial venders and sweet memories. There are two popular tet festivals in the Orange County area. I recommend the USVA Tet Festival in Costa Mesa where it is bigger and more popular. If you are looking to spend a peaceful day, the Bolsa Grande High School Tet Festival is still a great Lunar New Year experience.
Boys, it’s a Friday night and you’re watching a movie with a girl friend. It’s been forty-five minutes into the chick flick and she’s already crying her eyes out. Bawling. You try to understand. Yes, Hazel Grace might not be able to go to Amsterdam, but it’s not that sad. She and Augustus can find something they both can do. Twenty nose blows and twenty tissues later, her sniffles get louder and her cheeks get more wet. What could she possibly be crying about when even Hazel Grace isn’t crying?
I never would have been able to conquer this emotion on my own. Not without my mother. I’ll never forget the cold January morning two years ago that changed the way I would see happiness for the rest of my life. Continue reading