Meta | Journal

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Le beau (yes, pronounced ‘la bo,’ and I said la beu for clarification) stumbled upon my blog last night. Well, I had given him a link to one article I thought he’d read–not the entire blog!

For context, this digital blog barely crosses over into my real life, if at all. I don’t mention it to my friends, family, or, until recently, boyfriend, and I certainly don’t share it on social media. It’s just weird. The cross between real life and digital blogspace is like that one episode from Fairly Odd Parents when Timmy Turner leaps into Jimmy Neutron’s world. Timmy goes from being a flat animated cartoon to a well-shadowed 3D character. It’s jarring. The worlds–they’re different, but not entirely.

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When la beau first told me he’d read my blog, I sweated profusely. “Why’re you rolling down the windows? It’s 30 degrees,” he said.

“This conversation is making me warm,” I said.

I’m okay with people, in general, reading these little creative outbursts or blurbs, but it feels strange when I know them. So if I know you in real life, do me a favor, please don’t tell me you read my blog and then proceed to quote some of your favorite posts. Because le beau did this. All day. I’d forgotten I’d even written some of these blurbs. 

“You’re 18 books away from completing your 100 Books Challenge.”

“Math is a house filled with nooks and crannies. I read that on your blog. Remember that post?”

“That poem, bad cliffhangers, I didn’t really understand that one.”

“I saw the one from August 2017, and I was like aw, the quote from Winnie the Pooh.”

“I liked the post where you felt happy with the people in your life.”

“I was looking for cameos. I’d just sort of pop in and out. Also, I was referred to as le beau! Ha-ha. Clever.”

He also mentioned some kind fellow bloggers. Some would extend hugs in murky times and others would simply be there. I think of Monika, TheWayFarer, Shahirah, Kendall, Connie, E.L, Robert V., Zheng Fan….so hello, if you’re reading this! And if not, I’ll figure out how to make proper mentions one day. I send my greetings to the blogaverse.

Le beau also asked a good question about how I’ll sometimes end a post with a different time than the time stamp. The lower date is when the post was written. I’ll often tweak and edit previous posts from times I’d write more (read: random creative bursts or sad bubbles). This ties in with my last journal post about being more prolific when I’m depressed, and writing less when I’m happy. So when I’m happy (the past 2 years), I’ll revisit older posts in notes/docs from sadder, but more prolific, days.

12 hours later from our warm conversation about my blog, I feel a little less weird. Everything feels a little more meta than usual, reflecting on this blog and readers and whatnot.

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Itching to Write | Journal

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nov 29th 2018 

Reflecting on the highlights of 2018. Several memories stick out: meeting new people on cold city trip; hours long chats with le beau; sleeping over at my best friend’s for some of the last few times. Sleepovers filled with food, pho, Netflix, The Bachelor, open-heart late-night talks.

Spring hibernation was pleasant, albeit freezing. It was the closest I’ll ever get to being a bear. For weeks, I slid around, warm and huddled, slowly expanding from pizza and cake and club lulu’s. I’d occasionally leave my home to bumble around with friends, grab coffee, make dinner, watch TV, then curl up at home.

Then came the muggy heat of summer. Solidified future plans. Busy, busy. Friends, movies, restaurants, art pockets, coffeeshops. Fall descended–was, again, busy. Sweet lull during Halloween weekend, when we went roadtripping. Winding cows, cow orchards, violently pretty sunsets. 3 cities in 3 days. We finished Haunting of Hill House & fought to stay awake ’til 3. On Sunday, we stayed in, basked in the slow weekend, ate at Lupe’s.

(Oh, the memories are already fragments)


dec 1st 2018 

I was so reluctant to wake up this morning that I dreamt I was going to a separate city.  I was booking a train there. Instead of driving 20 minutes away, I was shuttling into another country. I woke up exhausted but relieved I didn’t have to ride over to the next country.

The weather was beautiful today. All windows open, open breeze. Warm pink floral room. Pink is my favorite color. I worked, did research, doodled semi-realistic portraits, and saw le boyfriend. We ditched the lights show and stayed in instead because he seemed tired. I munched on chocolates and fries and sipped some coffee while working on materials.

Later, we watched some Youtube. I wonder how Flithy Frank, now known as mainstream Joji, skyrocketed to fame. His videos are just so strange. Did the cameraman just laugh? we rewinded quickly, paused. A stifled chuckle in the background. The cameraman just laughed. Then Cool3DWorld. Then a video called Cream, where a special Cream could fix anything, everything in life, from blemishes to broken arms to old age to famine. Concentrated wealth put Cream to a stop. Too strange, good stuff, too deep, too real.

Lately I’ve been itching to write, but about nothing in particular… When it comes to writing, I’m most…prolific when I’m depressed, which is kind of strange, but I guess all the world’s a sad stage when you’re down. I remember reading some quote about how people relish in their small tragedies a little too much, to the point where it’s self-indulgent. I guess it’s half self-indulgence and half self-expression. When I’m happy, as I am now, it’s just harder to write. About non-superficial things, anyway, but I’ll chug on along and (likely) private this later.

Series of Fun Dates | Photo Diary

Everything’s been a blur of work, dates, work and rest lately.

I perused through some photos to see, exactly, what I’ve been up to the past few weeks. They’ve been dotted with a series of fun dates with the boyfriend–visits to the art museum, walks around hipster district, strolls around the lake, movies and dinner, etc.

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Our first trip into the city. We stopped by for grilled cheese sandwiches and bruschetta, then strolled around the shops and homes. I got my art fix at the hipster-y district, which housed some small galleries.

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Later in the afternoon, we ventured to a larger art museum nearby, where I saw works by the Guerilla Girls– in the flesh! I’d spent a few classes in university learning about them, so it was incredibly cool to visit a gallery featuring their work.

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I’ve always loved furniture stores–vast, spacious, and littered with soft beds and pillows and imaginative decor. I tagged along on boyfriend’s furniture shopping for a desk to one of the largest furniture shops in the area, where we hung out for hours.

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The other day, we visited one of his favorite restaurants, only to catch the annual accordion-tuba concert, which ended up being a mix of light comedy and yodeling. Yodeling! I’d never heard anyone yodel before.

The food, also, was terrific. We ordered wiener schnitzels, with fried potatoes and a light chocolate cake.

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Silhouettes by the lake. We took a rowdy walk around the lake after stuffing ourselves full with food, and ended up racing back to the apartment.

Rosy

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Pink Matter by Frank Ocean is stuck in my head.

It’s midnight. Even though I tire around 11, putt-putt on home around then, I still wage a tiny war against sleep, oft dragging it out past midnight.

I wrote in a notebook today for the first time in a long time. A brief, messy, scrawled journal entry. I am happy. I haven’t properly written in months. My old journal is somewhere, but I haven’t written in it. When I recall it, it holds a different type of energy. Tired, overwhelmed. Nearing the end. I wish I’d taken more photos with my friends, but I remember how exhausted I’d been at the time; there were just so many events…

This’ll probably all sound choppy. It’s late. Not writing makes me write choppy. The less I write, the harder it is to write.

Time flies. For a few weeks I lamented the number of hours in a day, not because there weren’t enough, but because there were too many. Now, it’s the other way around. I’m so happy, I wish for more hours in a day. I wish to stretch this happiness out, taut like putty. To max out on a happiness so simple that I marvel at its simplicity.

I feel as though I’m still getting where I’m going, so it’s not a sense of destination arrived when I write that life feels kind of perfect right now. I mean, it sounds facetious, or superficial, because there’s always something bothersome, right? But I’m at a place where everything feels as though it fell perfectly into place. There’s the happiness of being by the people I care about; there’s the happiness of doing something I enjoy and being well-compensated for it; there’s the happiness of pursuing something I’ve always loved.

Everything’s just woven together so seamlessly I can’t tell if…it’s just a rosy-hued haze? It’s just a satisfying combination of purpose, love, rest, and work.

It feels good to write. Sometimes I smile at people and my face will feel frozen. Or words will get caught in my throat. Or they won’t be there at all. In a lot of ways, writing’s just easier. Right now, it is more difficult than usual, but that’s only because I haven’t done it in a while.

Reflections

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Now you can say you’ve had Vietnamese butter barbecue.

Seafood sizzles on the family-style butter doused griddle. I turn the inions. Pockets of grease bubble onto my wrist. My best places the salmon on its side, browning slowly on the grill. I stab a squid onto the griddle. Ssssss.

We sit in silence. I contemplate the comfort of home, a home, of my best friend’s home, where I feel free to be myself. Her parents’ eyes still bug out each time they peer over and I’m there, in the backseat, unannounced for the 10th time, spacing out. They gasp.

Over the cash register we order our three cups of gelati, Italian ice with vanilla ice cream. The sun sets behind us as we stand by the parlor, eating quietly, plastic spoons scraping against blue paper cups. How do you reconcile a disliking of people with the desire to help them? By cognitively differentiating between patient and stranger. So are you still having a spat? Yes, but it’s not personal.

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This might be the last best friend sleepover in a while. The fact that I’m done is slowly sinking in–emphasis on slowly. It’s coming in bits and pieces, waves and wrinkles, unraveling, unraveling. Months ago, the ‘future’ seemed muggy and incoherent. I could barely see past the next five, ten, fifteen years. Now, the ‘future’ has solidified into something uncomfortably rigid, and if I really wanted to, really wanted to, maybe I could look past the next thirty or forty years. Life will life, but the least I can do is plan.

May 2018

Purplish Abyss

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What I am trying not to face: a lurking purplish abyss.

It sits in my chest. It rises at the prospect of change. Of goodbye’s, packed bags, new cities, separation, winters, fluorescent lights. Of time passing by too slowly. I see myself trudging through snow, finding pockets of peace, but also succumbing to the abyss. I don’t want to, clearly, and most of the time, I don’t, but it’s growing louder.

This, now I know, is the cost of attachment, of love, of care, of connection, of all the soft squishy-icky-gooey things of cotton-candy existence. Indifference renders you apathetic. But things akin to the four-lettered-word, they’ll leave you with every variation of human emotion.

(That, I guess, is the price we pay.)

Life Updates

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My boyfriend pointed out earlier today that I haven’t written much on my blog (“Well, sort of. I posted my art recently.” “No, I meant a journal entry.”) and for a moment I felt emotionally sweaty. Hm, well, why haven’t I? Because the thing is, I have been avidly writing, from midnight rants about psychology studies to utterly mundane journal entries– I just haven’t been publishing them. Think I’ve just been feeling self-conscious lately. So I’ve either distanced myself from the things I’ve written or felt nauseated about them, taken a step back from blogging to do other things instead, life things. But I might go ahead and publish some things I’ve written. Or maybe not.

Anyhow, I am… alive and kicking.

The past three weeks have been interesting. Well, maybe interesting’s too strong a word. Interesting connotes deviation, and I wouldn’t say they’ve been different or strange. They’ve been… pleasant. I spent the entire pre-Thanksgiving weekend at my best friend’s house, where I recorded her in slo-mo bellowing (she’s a really talented singer) to Christmas hits by Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande. I painted portraits; we cooked carbonara; the whole family went Thanksgiving dinner shopping. After this brief respite, I took yet another one, of Thanksgiving break, which felt like one big intake of fresh air. I hope you had a restful break! chirp emails. Well, I did have a restful break. Filled with family, food and sleep.

The week and a half since has been both mellow and fun. Lights are up, both in the city and in New York, so I’ve been visiting parks and spaces now glittery lit-up. Twinkling trees, glowing branches and whatnot. Over the weekend I went to New York City, which ended up being one wild adventure stuffed with dessert-y foods and rich pasta and spiked Korean watermelon and, of course, window displays and Christmas lights. Oh, and a missed bus and speed-walks down 50-60 blocks (this time through Times Sq. and Rockefeller Center and Saks 5th Avenue!) to catch the next bus. I’ve just finished going through the 300+ photos I took on the trip, and I’ll elaborate on it soon once I have more time. I’m also trying to use my camera more, too; I’ll start upchucking them onto here.

Time flies is one of those cliches you secretly hope will apply to you. And, well, it did for me. That we have one more week of classes left is appalling, that we’re nearly done is baffling, that it’s 20 days ’til Christmas is absurd, and insert-whatever-other-synonym-you’d-like. I haven’t honestly wrapped my mind around it, and I probably won’t until I have to, until I have to come with the wing-flapping nature of time. It feels like yesterday was September, the day before was August, and the day before that was February. The less you pay attention to time, the quicker it goes; I’ll try my best not to count down the next 15. And blog more while I’m at it.