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Laundry On Sundaes

Every beginning is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.

Tag Archives: me

So it was Love Yourself Week at The Frisky, one of the blogs I read religiously on a daily basis, and I was inspired to come up with my own list of things that I love about myself, like many of their bloggers have done. It was an interesting exercise, a little strange and difficult to begin with, but I ended up having a lot of fun while doing a lot of thinking, and reconfirmed what I always knew was true: I am awesome.

1. I’m crafty and resourceful. I have a talent for making beautiful, practical things out of other people’s junk.

2. I care about the environment.

3. I don’t come from a wealthy and privileged family. This makes me feel so different from a lot of other young people around me, but most of the time, it’s a good kind of different.

4. I’m not a picky eater and I’m adventurous when it comes to food.

5. I’m an awesome girlfriend.

6. I’m thrifty and always find amazing deals on the things I buy.

7. I’m a good listener and I’m trustworthy, and people always confide in me and come to me when they need honest advice.

8. I enjoy my own company.

9. I’m not ashamed to once in a while have something for dinner that has about 3 times the calorie content yet one tenth the nutritional value of what I should be having.

10. I’m creative and artistic.

11. My small hands and feet.

12. My sense of discretion. I know when to keep my mouth shut.

13. My ability to adapt to and love pretty much every single place I go/have been to.

14. I can be a girly girl or a total tomboy depending on the circumstances.

15. I laugh easily at the littlest things.

16. I enjoy eating Chinese take-out and watching reality TV shows on my laptop as much as I do fine dining and Broadway musicals.

17. I see beauty in almost everything.

18. I’m polite and have good manners.

19. I continue to surprise (in a good way) even those who are closest to me.

20. I’m one of the most sincere, down-to-earth, unpretentious people I know.

21. I love my parents and I’m a good daughter.

22. I have amazingly awesome dreams and can remember them most of the time.

23. I’m not judgmental.

24. My thirst for travel and adventure.

25. I don’t need caffeine, energy drinks, or anything else in order to stay up late. In fact, I try not to stay up too late. I’ve never pulled an all-nighter and I’m proud of it.

26. I actually really enjoyed high school and I still visit my teachers whenever I have the chance.

27. I’m always on time. For everything (ok maybe not morning classes every so often).

28. I work hard and play hard.

29. The simplest things make me happy. Like sunshine or a cute kitten video.

30. I have been and always will be a dreamer.

Now go make your own list!

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I’ve mentioned in passing on this blog about going to Vienna this summer, but never quite explained it in detail. So I’m going to take a break from packing right now and do just that.

I’m leaving tomorrow for a 10 week long research program called the Vienna Biocenter Summer School. It’s held by The Institute of Molecular Pathology(IMB), The Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA), and The Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL). I will be working in a lab at the IMB, doing a research project involving identifying neurons and circuits in Drosophila. The program also includes lectures, social events, and sightseeing trips in Vienna. I will be living in a double room in a student dorm building.

I think this is the first year they are holding the program, since I haven’t seen any evidence of it existing before. And it was a bit harder to find than some of the other summer research/premed programs. Through numerous methods of research for something to do this summer (internet searches, workshops, etc.), I’ve never once come across it. Until I received an e-mail forwarded to a club I’m involved in at Columbia. I applied to it almost as an afterthought, since the deadlines for all the other programs I applied for have already passed. And what do you know? I’m flying to another world tomorrow.

Looking back, it has been almost a year since I started this blog, and it’s been quite the year of new places. In the past year, through words and pictures, I’ve taken you to… in China: Beijing, Chongqing, Jiuzhaigou, and Sanya; in Canada: Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, and the Niagara Falls; in the US: New York, Miami, and Washington, DC; and now Vienna in Austria.

New adventures await. Follow along :)

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I had THE MOST FANTASTIC dream last night. So I had to write it down, though words really can’t capture the amazing imagery of dreams (I don’t think anything can). I know that the better half of the story make absolutely no sense, but this is how it went.

It was another one of the Harry Potter-ish dreams (yes, I have those once in a while, don’t judge, I can’t control it). As per usual, I was Hermione. So the dream began somewhere in a dungeon like place at night, where Harry, Ron, and I were held captive and were trying to break out before Harry was supposed to be taken away and executed at midnight. We succeeded somehow in the nick of time and escaped through the corridor between Hartley and Wallach (Columbia turned into Hogwarts?).

We ran and ran across this field, and finally found this giant pumpkin underground to hide in (I don’t know how we got inside the pumpkin, magic I guess?). So we were in there, hoping that the bad guys (Death Eaters?) don’t find us, when I suddenly went, “hey wait a minute, isn’t Yale’s graduation today?” I have no idea why they needed the pumpkin for that, but they did need it for whatever special ritual in their commencement ceremonies. So we had to get out of the pumpkin through layers of squishy and bubbly stuff.

So we began to run again, still across the field, being chased. We jumped over this wooden fence and ran into the woods, where one of the boys (Harry I think?) fell down and got tangled up with trees fallen all over him. So we stopped to help him up and kept running. Dawn was beginning to break now, and we ran to this clearing in the woods where there was this huge, beautiful pool surrounded by mist. Fairy-like creatures were bathing and swimming around in it. The pool was magic, and we could run across the surface of the water. The fairy people complained that we were polluting the pool at first (maybe from the pumpkin gunk?), but then didn’t really care after a while. We could fly over the pool, and swim in it. But we could breathe and see under the water, and it was the most amazing feeling ever. The magic pool was protected by the mist so we could forget about the people chasing us. I saw one of my suite-mates from last year in the pool too, so I said hi to him, and he said “see? Didn’t I tell you this is the best place to swim?” I wholehearted agreed.

After a bit of this pleasantry, Tyra Banks (WTF) showed up and made everyone get out of the pool because she needed it for ANTM (WTF). So much for being protected from Death Eaters. So we kept walking, until we came to what was like the very edge of the magical world. Which was a long glass wall with doors, which surrounded the entire magical kingdom almost like a greenhouse. We could see a different place behind the glass, but we didn’t know what it was. We asked someone what that place was, but s/he told us that this is the edge of this world, and nobody had gone beyond it. We decided to try it, since there didn’t seem to be any better alternatives.

We opened one of the doors and went though. The world on the other side was breathtakingly beautiful and wonderful. I knew where we were. “Wonderland,” I whispered in awe. Yes, we were in a different magical world; we were in Wonderland. We saw Alice there, and we saw a beautiful Laguna Beach at sunset there too (huh? I’ve never even been to Laguna Beach). The imagery was akin to those of heaven depicted in the movie The Lovely Bones crossed with Tim Burton’s Wonderland. We had a fun time looking around, when we realized that the people on the other side could still see us across the glass wall. But instead of people, we looked like miniature creatures, like ants, in a display case to them. So Wonderland, in a sense, existed as displays to the other side. We got scared that we would be found, so another way to hide had to be found.

The details of the dream began to get fuzzy at this point, but I think in the end the idea was to hide in the magical world of Lord of the Rings.

I don’t know what I did differently last night, but I would love to have such wonderful dreams every night. Maybe I should consult my CC professor last semester, a psychiatrist turned philosopher with a record of recreational drug use who proclaim to have fantastic dreams. Hmm.

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The last few days of the semester were hectic. Finals overall were easier than past semesters, in my opinion, with the notable exception of Biology. That was the awfullest exam I’ve ever seen and I cannot express how happy I am that the class is finally behind me. After finals came the packing and moving, possibly my least favourite part of the year. Being short on time this year, I was ruthless with throwing things out. Clothes, books, even beloved shoes ended up in the garbage. By the morning of Saturday, May 15, everything was finally stored and sophomore year officially ended, not so much with sadness but with relief. The sophomore slump was a very real phenomenon to me. Since the very beginning, the year had been plagued by the lack of motivation, loss of direction, and general disillusionment. I sincerely hope that next year would be different.

Since the end of school, I’ve been trying to forget about school and relaxing a bit, in Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria… blog posts about these small travels coming soon. Now I’m back home in our new house in Surrey. The house is nice, a lot bigger than before, newer, our own backyard with a fish tank, and I have my own bathroom. But there is absolutely nothing in the neighbourhood except more houses. I miss the convenience of my old house with everything close by: my old high school, the gym and pool, the library, stores, restaurants, cafes. Coupled with the cold weather and abundance of rainfall, I’ve been pretty bored at home. Finally mailed out my visa application to the Austrian embassy last weekend after so much paperwork, phone calls, e-mails, and various errands. The process was more than painful and contradictory information was rampant. The man at the embassy was downright rude. Talk about being an ambassador for your country; if every Austrian was like him I’d avoid the place at all cost. Hopefully everything with the visa goes alright and I get it back soon (but somehow I have a feeling that the embassy is working against me and something will go wrong).

May I just complain about the weather some more? Seriously. It’s June. I have not worn my flipflops at all back home yet. There has not been a full day of sunshine. Nor more than 2 days without rain. What is up with that?

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Sometimes I feel like my life is just a series of movements from place to place. Ever since I was a baby, my family has always been moving around. A lot. From apartment to house, from town to city, from country to country, from continent to continent. I think I’ve been influenced by it all and can no longer stay in one place for long anymore. Maybe this is why I chose to go to college all the way on the other coast when I had options to stay home. It seems like just yesterday that I packed up my entire dorm room to move out for the summer. Now I’m unpacking my entire room back at my family’s new home in a different city. In a month, I will once again pack up my bags and go to Austria. Then two months after that, I will move into my new dorm in New York. More unpacking. Sometimes I feel weary of it all, all this movement. But I will never say that I wish I could just stay in one place now. But I know that without having moved around so much and experienced life in so many different places, I would not be the person I am today. Now is the time to travel, to move, to drift, to experience. I’m too young to stay in one place. Maybe 20 years from now I will want that. But for now, I chase the next. For now, movement is just fine.

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Some updates on the roof(s) over my head. My parents just moved out of the townhouse we’ve had since my 7th grade in Langley into our new house in Surrey. It’ll be a strange experience going home to a completely new place that I’ve never seen before. I guess it’s become less and less “home” now that I spend most of my time away from it. Nevertheless, I’m pretty excited about the house, since it will be the first time that my family has had a detached house, besides the one we rented during our year in England. But somehow I have a feeling that our crappy furniture is going to bring down the look of our new abode; even the moving guys commented on how nobody would want to have our ratty old TV stand even if we gave it for free (actually, I’m pretty sure that’s how we got it in the first place). I personally think that furniture is something worth investing in, so this will not happen when I get a place of my own.

Speaking of which, housing selection at Columbia is treating me rather badly. It’s come down to either Wien or Harmony. Time for a pros and cons list.

Wien
Pros:
– Sink in each room
– Bigger rooms
– Newly renovated bathrooms
– Higher floor
– Closer to campus
Cons:
– No floor kitchens
– Not every floor has lounges
Wien pervert

Harmony
Pros:
– Kitchen and lounge on each floor
– Bright lights
– Hardwood floors
– Nice furniture (it’s important I say!)
– Has a gym in the building (this will make working out so much less painful)
– Close to Westside Market
Cons:
– Smaller rooms
– Far from campus
– Lower floor most likely
– Old and slow elevator

Oh and both will probably have vermin.

So there. What do I do? Sigh. Why oh why does it have to come down to this? I’m hoping that a miracle will happen and I will get a summer transfer into a studio single in Watt. Ha.

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Twenty-four days left until my last final exam of the semester. Motivation is at a all time low. I don’t care about reading dense, obscure philosophy any more. I don’t want to do another impossible biology problem set. With very few exceptions, I am far from being excited about anything that I’m doing in school. The more I think about it, the more I realize that what I truly love doing happens outside of the classroom. Trying new recipes. Traveling to new places. Reading books that I actually enjoy. Being with my family. Taking pictures. Doing art. Learning something for the sake of my curiosity instead of my GPA. All of which I can’t wait to do this summer when school is done with. Is this what college is supposed to be like? And for what? Some job that I’m supposed to have because of convention and the expectations of others? I can’t help but keep thinking that maybe being here doing what I’m doing is all a mistake. But some other part of me tells me that it’s the sensible thing to do, that if I keep working hard at it I will have a steady job one day and it will all pay off. Is that worth spending my youth in misery for? Is that all there is to life? It’s sad that our world is constructed in such a way that we can’t just do what we love and not have to worry about anything else. The need to make a living for yourself is the most unfortunate inconvenience in life.

A picture of me in my first few weeks as a freshman. I wonder if she was so lost then as I am now.

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