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Happy New Year’s Eve!! I guess I just can’t stay away from this blog after all, haha. 2011 sure went by fast, didn’t it? How did it go for everybody? It was a pretty big year year for me: I traveled to many new places, celebrated 3 years together with Yufei, turned old enough to feel old at Forever 21, and perhaps most importantly, finally worked out a rough post-gradation plan! But 2012 is going to be even more monumental, with graduation and all that stuff. I have lots of hopes and dreams as well as worries and concerns for 2012, but most of all I’m really EXCITED to be moving on to the next stage in my life. So, new year’s resolutions? Why yes of course, I’ve got quite a few:
1. To lose weight and stay healthy. Ha, probably the most cliched of all resolutions, but it has to be made. I was super busy and stressed out last semester, and as a result didn’t work out very much and didn’t eat very well, and so as a result I gained a few pounds. My favorite pair of jeans are feeling a little too tight! This is definitely a sign that I need to lose a few. So, in the new year, I will eat healthier and exercise more. I’m taking Pilates next semester, so hopefully that’ll help!
2. To take control of my finances. Well, what little finances I have anyways. The first step is to find a new part-time job, since my current job is ending next month. And a sub-point to this resolutions:
2.a. To spend less money shopping. This is going to be really hard for me, because I love shopping and clothes and shoes and makeup and… sigh. But it’s getting to the point where it’s becoming a problem. So I’m going to give myself only $30 a month on shopping, and if I want to buy something more expensive one month, I’m going to have to give up the next month. Hopefully this is going to make me think twice about impulse buys (so guilty of this). And I’m going to purge my closet again when I get back to NYC, as well as take some of my existing clothes and shoes to the tailor/cobbler, to get more life out of them. I think it’s going to be a fun challenge to get more creative with the clothes I already have!
3. To make an effort to dress up nicely everyday. I’m already moving towards that direction, so this won’t be too hard. But I still have my off-days; I felt so yucky when I wore my sweatpants out during finals last semester that it just threw off my whole day. I feel so much more confident and productive when I look nice, even when I’m not going anywhere.
4. To make the most out of my last semester in college. Finally for one semester, all my classes genuinely interest me, and my schedule’s not too tight that I can still have fun! I’m going to enjoy my last few months at Columbia (and NYC) as much as possible.
5. To keep a positive outlook, no matter where life takes me. There’s going to be a lot of big changes in 2012, and I know that I’m going to be stressed out and worried and upset over some of them, but I want to keep in mind that no matter what happens, everything is going to be okay, life is wonderful, and I’m so lucky to be alive and surrounded by amazing family and friends.
So there you go! My resolutions for 2012! What are yours? I’ve love to hearing them!
I leave you with this lovely song from two of the most adorable and perfect human beings ever, Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Here’s to a happy, healthy, wonderful new year!
So I’ve been home for a few days now, and it’s been pretty good so far. For starters, I did way better in my classes this semester than I expected, especially orgo II; I’m pretty proud of my comeback after the disaster that was orgo I last semester (worst grade ever at Columbia… shame). But yay! I’m very happy about my grades. And now I’m officially a senior! Oh wait… I’m a senior now?! This idea brings complicated feelings which I am not ready to deal with at the moment, so let’s just forget about it for now.
So I got back home Thursday night, and on Friday I just chilled here in the ‘burbs, fed some fish, saw some ducks, you know. Then Saturday I went to Richmond with my parents, where we got a ton of stuff at Chinese supermarkets and had delicious dim sum at Fisherman’s Terrace. And then after lunch I made my way to Vancouver to meet up with some high school friends, chatted a bit at UBC (I’d forgotten how pretty the school is, but a very different kind of pretty than Columbia), and had a lovely night at Milestones downtown. Sunday: gym, pool, watch hockey (I can watch hockey again!). And today… stuck at home and I broke our cable, so it was rather boring. So I went and took some pictures of our flowers that my dad is so proud of, some of which I have showcased below:
Wow, exciting life I’ve got there, I know. And can I just take a minute to complain about the weather? It SUCKS. We had to turn on the fireplace and it’s May. Not cool (actually, too cool).
Aight, new topic! How I Met Your Mother season 6 finale tonight… how do I feel about this? Nervous and excited at the same time. See, this is the reason I don’t watch TV much: I get way too obsessed and I get really involved emotionally that it can’t possibly be healthy for me. But it’s too late for this show. Aiyaiyai.
So. I’m really happy about the Erikson baby! So happy that something’s finally going right for Marshall, it’s true that the guy’s has a tough year. Not much happened with Ted, though good riddance that Zoe is finally gone for good. Barney and Robin. How much do I love these two together? The scene in the cab… oh my goodness. Then that scene when they’re on the sidewalk with Ted, it was so heartbreaking. And that last look from Robin… I do desperately hope that in the end, in the very end, Barney and Robin end up together. Yes, they were a mess, as they admitted themselves, but also as they admitted, they really did (and perhaps still do) love each other. So it was a beautiful mess. Obligatory Jason Mraz song insertion:
The song is actually kind of perfect for them. Sigh… I do so much want them together. So do I think that the wedding is Barney and Robin’s? I want to believe that, but only if goes well, since there are rumours that the wedding doesn’t go great and it will be the end of someone’s love story and such. So I don’t know. I don’t want to put too much faith into anything right now because again, it would just make me sad if it doesn’t turn out the way I want. But really, after 6 years, I really can’t get too invested in a new character like Nora, and certainly not to the point where I’d see her marrying Barney. So… yeah.
While we’re on the topic of TV shows, I know I just said that I can’t watch too much TV but I came across this trailer for Fox’s new show New Girl and I’m really excited!
Because it looks hilarious, and because the amazing and lovely Zooey Deschanel stars in it. Excited!Ok it’s late now and I’m tired and I know this post was just all over the place, but whatever. Sleep time!
It makes me sad to post these because Spring Break is all but a distant memory now. *Sniff* On the bright side: 42 days left until my summer officially begins!
Ahh, the Snooki, we all need one once in a while, right?
More food! Beef pineapple fried rice and red chicken curry from Aceluck. A little disappointed that they took away noodle dishes and the choice of appetizers from their lunch special.
The Love Sculpture was surrounded by scaffolding. And some random guy totally photobombed our picture. *Sulk*
Caught a bit of the St. Patrick’s Day parade!
Found these cuties at FAO Schwarz!
Even more food?! Yes! Takoyaki from Otafuku in East Village. I had been craving takoyaki since winter break, possible due to this video:
Craving satisfied! Now I just need to go back regularly and it will be all good :)
Oh dear. It’s been a while since I did anything with this blog. I’ll just blame it on midterms and internship stress…
Anyways, so I’m a terrible person and I should have done this ages ago, but the lovely Erin from Spreading the Sunshine had tagged me quite a while ago with a Stylish Blogger Award!
Yay! :) Go check out Erin’s blog for sure because it is awesome! I get to share 7 things about myself with the award, so here goes!
1. The nicest compliment I’ve ever gotten was when a girl in my art class said that I had “princess eyes” when I first got contacts. I have no idea what she meant, but it made me so happy :)
2. I love soundtracks. I really really do. My favorites include Amélie and Kill Bill, and my most recent obsession is the soundtrack to The Social Network. So so good. Got me through studying for several of my midterms so far! Here are a few of my favorite tracks!
Probably my absolute favorite:
I have to include the scene with this music! So intense, gives me goosebumps!
3. I’ve always wanted to be a redhead. I think they’re just the coolest. This is influenced by awesome redheads in fiction (Anne of Green Gables, the Weasleys, etc.), gorgeous celebrities redhead (like Amy Adams and Isla Fisher), and amazing redheads I know in real life. Sigh… envy.
4.. I absolutely cannot stand it when people crack their knuckles or bite their nails. I sat next to a girl in this class last semester who bit her nails THE ENTIRE CLASS every single class. She’d take notes with one hand and chew on the fingers of the other hand. Even when I sat somewhere else I can still see her and it still irks me so frickin’ much. Same with knuckle cracking. Do it somewhere else where I can’t see/hear you please!
5. I can’t fall asleep if there’s something that’s not done to a point where I’m satisfied with it. It’s really annoying as I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to get out of bed and finish my homework to some point I feel like a natural stopping point, work on a drawing until I was happy with it, finish reading a chapter of a novel, or even reply to some thread on an internet forum because I feel like I have to make my point come across.
6. The most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me was when Yufei made me a birthday message out of fallen leaves on the lawn in front of my dorm building during freshman year. He stayed up all night working on it just so that I can see it on the morning of my birthday. Sigh… how can anything top that?
7. I have very strange snacking habits. I like eating dry ramen with seasoning, peanut butter and my favorite hot sauce out of the jar, dry cereal, and other random things I find in my cupboard/fridge.
And there you go! I will be back once I make it through this week (last week before Spring Break!).
Cool video for typography geeks! Beautiful animation and a beautiful song.
WARNING: Huge post coming up about an anime series that’s meant for 10 years old girls. Read at your discretion.
I think one of the most amazing and surreal experiences you can have is revisiting childhood memories. No, not just revisiting, but immersing yourself completely in them, and see them in a different light. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks with my favorite anime of all time: Cardcaptor Sakura! I used to be totally obsessed with this series, and watching it all again (all 70 episodes + 2 movies + 4 special segments) in its original Japanese glory made me realize just how amazing it really is. Yes, it’s a show that’s meant for elementary school aged girls, but there are so many great things about it that I really think people of any age or gender would enjoy it.
The plot is simple enough, a girl finds a magical book filled with cards that each possess special powers, loses the cards, must go capture the cards, and eventually transform the cards into her own. Such a simple story line is one of the things I loved about the series. Some animes have such complex plots that it becomes confusing and hard to keep track of, and therefore detracts from the viewer’s enjoyments. This is never the case with Cardcaptor Sakura. Instead, this leaves plenty of room for the real theme of the the series, which is love and relationships. The series portray all kinds of relationships (friendships, familial relationships, childhood crushes, romantic love) without passing judgment. This includes the same-sex relationships and crushes, such as the relationship between Toya and Yukito, Tomoyo’s suggested romantic feelings for Sakura, and Syaoran’s initial crush on Yukito, and also includes Rika’s crush on Terada sensei. Unfortunately, such open-mindedness is still no go in the west, and pretty much all of this was edited out from the English version of the series, which is disappointing (only one of the many reasons the Japanese original is far, far superior). In addition, there is a good mix of action, comedy, and romance that appeals to a wide audience. Oh and um, I want to go to Sakura’s school. That is all.
After the plot, the most important element of any story is the characters. Let me tell you, Cardcaptor Sakura has such great characters and there are hardly any character that’s not likable. I love all the characters so much that I’m going to do a run down of my thoughts on the major ones, starting with the titular character, Sakura. Can anyone not like Sakura? The protagonist is cute, friendly, optimistic, fiercely loyal to her friends and loved ones, and faces her challenges with courage and intelligence. Of course, she also has her faults: always late in the morning, clumsy at times, a little clueless, procrastinates on her homework… but don’t we all? It makes her seem even more real and likable as a result.
Tomoyo: Tomoyo is the ultimate best friend. She is kind, sweet, intelligent, gentle, and so so devoted to Sakura. It is implied that she has romantic feelings for Sakura, but she knows that she’s not the one for her, and is content as long as Sakura is happy. She has great intuition and I love how she often uses her perceptiveness to other’s feelings to manipulate and infuriate people (in a really sweet way). And who doesn’t want a friend who makes super cute clothes for you all the time?
Kero: Oh how I would love to have a Kero-chan in my life. He is just too cute and funny. Though I think we’d fight over sweets a lot. I love him so much that I even made a life-sized papier mache sculpture of him wayyy back in the day (I’m still pretty proud of it!).
Li: Aww, Li-kun. He was too funny during his scenes with Yukito when he had a “crush” on him. And then he was just cute and sweet when he fell in love with Sakura. Li is also an example of the great character development in the series. I love how his attitude towards Sakura evolved from enemies, to friend and ally, and eventually to romantic interest. And speaking of character development, there is of course Meilin.
Meilin: Although she was admittedly annoying at first, Meilin evolves to become you can really respect. I’ve always had a soft spot for her, even during her early days. Even though she causes trouble a lot of the times, her intentions were always good and things were never boring when she’a around. She’s a strong girl and her determinative is admirable. Meilin is completely devoted to Syaoran and truly loves him, but she respects his feelings for Sakura even though it pains her. In the end she really matures a lot and is able to let go of her past feelings and becomes a great friend to Sakura.
Sakura’s family: Cutest family ever! (And props to CLAMP for showing different family structures!). Sakura’s father is kind, loving, a great cook, and still loves his deceased wife very much. Sakura’s mother, although she passed away a long time ago, is still very much a part of the family. Sakura’s dad changes her picture every day and everyone greets her each morning. It’s sad that she’s no longer there but also sweet how much her family still loves and cares for her. Toya, although on the surface seems to always make fun of Sakura, deeply cares for her and is concerned about her safety. This is evident when he works everywhere just to check up on her and when he doesn’t tell Sakura about him knowing when she uses Mirror because he knows she will just be more worried. Sigh… Toya makes me want an older brother sometimes. I also love it when they show the white board with everyone’s day schedule on it, such a cute detail.
Sakura’s friends: Sakura has such cute friends! I like how each of her friends have distinct personalities. Rika is shy, mature, and humble. Naoko love reading, ghost stories, and all things supernatural; she’s shown to be not very good at gym, though she is on the cheerleading squd with Sakura. Chiharu is cheerful and sweet and has the cutest relationship with Yamazaki. Ah… Yamazaki… one of my favorite characters. He is just too cute and funny with his made-up stories (see compilation video below). Though I have to say, as a gullible person, the first time he lied about the sloths, I actually believed him. He reminds me of Yufei, who also has a tendency to make up stories, mostly to me, since I’m such an easy and believing target. I don’t even know how many times I’ve fallen victim to his stories. But now I’ve grown used to it that I’m more like Chiharu when that happens, haha. Chiharu and Yamazaki are so cute together though!
Alright, that’s it for characters. Moving on to other things I love about the series. It has gorgeous art! CLAMP has a beautiful art style and this is no different. Impressive character designs and incredible details, even the Clow Cards themselves are so intricately drawn. The soundtrack of the series is equally beautiful. I was listening to it over and over again while studying for finals last semester; the catchy tunes can get stuck in your head for days (not a bad thing). And I even found this amazing guitar rendition of the third season opening song Platinum:
One last note: another reason I love Cardcaptor Sakura so much is that it transports you into a world without evil. There isn’t a single villain in the entire series, and even the characters you think are bad guys turn out to be good after all. What a beautiful, peaceful, loving world it creates. Even though I know that the real world is far from the one in the series, it’s nice to believe it once in a while and bask in its warmth and magic. We all need that escape sometimes.