nostalgia ruins

windows

De-dandelioning. I cut my boyfriend’s hair today, effectively de-hooliganizing him. I also did his eyebrows a few days ago. He no longer looks like an unkempt dandelion. He has, as I have fondly been saying, gone from the streets to the walkway.

Nostalgia ruins. I wish somebody had taught me how to use the delete button in 2012, 2013, 2014. I organized my photos from the past 10 years, from 2008 to 2018, and every year has racked up at least 15 GB in data. Many of the photos are silly, blurry, repeats, meaningless, or all of the above. I’ve taken it upon myself to de-folder these macro folders and delete any images I wouldn’t deem scrapbook-worthy. It’s just too much to have 20,000 images per year. My life was certainly not exciting enough to warrant tens of thousands of photos. A few hundred, or a few thousand, might be apt. But tens of thousands is just overkill.

Rabbit love. I’m seriously considering buying a rabbit. This morning I scrolled through reddit r/rabbits and watched videos of bunnies saving kittens. I’d get a cat, but I’m allergic; I’d get a dog, but they smell and require too much effort; I’d get a hamster, but their lives are far too short. The amount of love that’s brought to an abrupt halt is just overwhelming. I love the way rabbits flop and do little happy binkies. I became familiar with the baby bunny in the backyard, whom I would frequently visit, and who would flip and turn when she saw me. She’s all grown up. I want a small creature to love! Later, I will go look for bunnies to peer at and learn about.

Futurama. I took the GRE yesterday after three months of prep. My brain was scrambled, a little during, mostly after, but I did fine, so I won’t be taking it again. The test was designed by IO psychologists–studies indicate that oftentimes, people score within the same range, anyways. Anyhow, it’s exciting to recognize and (gleefully) point out the ways IO psychologists make their mark within corporate, government and academia. Who knew they designed the army test, ASVAB, and made waves from there?

Recurring film obsession. It’s back, it’s back, it’s back. The film obsession I couldn’t shake off four years ago. I’d really like to travel and take photographs, but I’m just recovering from a severe desire to stay put. So I think it’d be a happy compromise to explore some artsy neighborhoods and photograph those, and to simply keep my film camera on hand.

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Medley | Photo Diary

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Right now I’m perusing the Internet for places to develop color film. Last year, I ordered four rolls of film; that, along with my two disposable cameras, meant I had six rolls to shoot through. I have barely gotten through one. Film is expensive; I am cheap. In comparison to digital, film is pricey–each shot must be worth it. It’s time-consuming, too, sending the rolls to the lab and waiting weeks for it to arrive, if ever. (I lost a roll last year, alas) But while I peer over digital images, I value my film ones. I hang them on the wall. I milk them, post by post. I have loved film for years, and yet I have been so stingy with it.

Photography and I have had a rocky relationship the past few years. Long story short, I’ve always loved photography, dreamt of being a paid photographer, became a paid photographer, stopped liking photography. It felt corny. People would always bring up photography in conversations, ask about photography–photography, photography, photography. It felt cheap. But now I miss it. Well, not the paid part. I miss wanting to take photos, and feeling compelled to do so. I wish I’d taken more photos when I was in DC, New York, Philly, but I was on that strange photo-taker’s block. Now I’m in a still city and aching to take more pictures. Maybe I’ll just start with film–I’ll carry my film cameras around.

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I’m really happy to be working towards this particular career path in Psychology. It’s do-able. It feels right. As much as I love creative pursuits, I’m not willing to eke out a paltry living for the rest of my life. And while I enjoyed aspects of Communication–interviewing, writing and transcribing in Journalism were rather useful skills–I was continually led towards a primary, unwavering interest: Psychology.

Now, in the interim, I’m teaching, working with a Professor who studies literacy and development, and getting to better understand this field within Psych (For any or all Psych nerds, it’s IO). I’m eyeing the Master’s; I never thought I’d pursue graduate school. But the more I learn about IO, the more crucial it seems to know. Ah! It is useful; it is fascinating; it is lucrative; it is meaningful.

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IMG_7820A hodgepodge of more unrelated thoughts:

  • Bojack Horseman’s rolled out a Season 5–tissues are at the ready.
  • Identity V remains alluring, as usual.
  • I’d like something to celebrate, just so I can drink more Bailey’s with the boyfriend.
  • My student gave me pumpkin tea the other day, and ever since, I’ve been hooked.
  • Boyfriend and I stumbled upon an artsy street the other day, which housed indie shops and rooftop restaurants and a Trader Joe’s.

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One of the things that initially drew me to blogging 10 years ago was old-school style blogging, like web-logging, like jotting down journal chunks of your day-today. The online web-log, shortened to a blog. But I turned from Tumblr to WordPress, which I set up like a small artsy hub of creative expression. From time to time, though, I simply want to revert back to the old-school blog style, where my entries cover the mundane, the intangible, the thought-y, the daily. I’ll try it. Again. And again. It’s been a long time since I have written.

Bittersweet

 

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It’s a bittersweet day.

Exhaustion’s hitting me in waves. At work I wrote stream-of-consciousness poems in my yellow fineapple notebook. I wrote about the way the sunlight filtered in, the way I let our presence expand, the way the green fabric folded, how I held onto time and just listened. There wasn’t much to say.

You’d think that saying goodbye would get simpler, faster, easier with time. It doesn’t. There’s that saying about being grateful for having something in life that’s difficult to let go of, and it’s true:

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

But then bittersweetness just sort of snakes its way up up up, rising like bile. And there it is again: the melodies, the memories, the abyss.

August 2017

Reverie

There is no fine line between loneliness and solitude, only a clunky, black-Sharpie-esque streak that delineates both. Even though there are many nights I wonder if I know how to be alone, now is one fine, humid afternoon where I seek solitude. For now, I will pretend that I am the only one here surrounded by people, but not. Not in my own little head, at least–let us play make-believe.

Do you remember when that was the highlight of many days? Make believe: let’s pretend we’re this, let’s pretend we’re that. Let’s pretend that there is no now that’s now, only now that’s tomorrow, next month, next year. Let’s pretend that all the molecules in my body are melting from the dragging boredom that is time, that instead of electron-grounding it is flesh-grounding, that now it is a change of phase! melting, melting, melting into the cement floor, and nobody will ever notice.

And then: when living in dreams was once a thing. When everything felt so real in your head–the grass, the dew, even the way things smelled–you turned into a zombie. You’d vie for the next bout of sleep just so you could fall into the rabbit hole of dreams. You’d spend your waking hours wishing they were sleeping hours, of REM, of dream-state, of somebody whispering your name across a party and you hearing it.

September 2014

中文

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I’m relearning how to read and write Chinese–this time not as a stubborn child, but as a vaguely determined adult.

I’ve been Americanized beyond repair, I noted half-jokingly to my boyfriend. I have. I think English; I can only read English; I speak English. My primary language, a primary avenue of thought and communication, has been hijacked by my second language: English.

By the time I became cognizant of this (and dismayed), I’d reached the point past psychologists’ hotly debated critical period. Based on this theory, people have a limited gap during their childhood in which they can easily learn their first language. Beyond the window, however, learning languages became incredibly difficult, if not impossible.

I hadn’t learned enough about developmental psychology at the time to realize that the ability to learn language is more nuanced than that. Recent studies suggest that the window to learning language extends through adulthood.

This isn’t the main motivator for relearning Chinese, but it’s a mental block I’ve removed. It’s not that I can’t learn the language–it’s that I haven’t been trying. As time wears on, though, I can feel the demarcation between cultures becoming darker, more delineated, skewed towards Americanism. Americanism and its flat accents and clunky words; Americanism and its hot dogs and violent pride. Americanism and its wealth, its comfort, its clean-paved roads.

You can take an alligator out of a swamp, and put it in the desert, but it’ll always have come from the swamp. Said alligator can acclimate. Said alligator can learn. But said alligator will always be slightly out of place. This is a way for said alligator to murkily recall the murky swamp.

My goal is to be able to read a Chinese newspaper–eventually, to read Chinese poetry. It’s a lofty goal; I can barely recognize a handful of characters, let alone understand a headline. But I’ll learn the most common 1000 words, and chug towards my goal. The next time I go to China, I hope the signs will morph, from unrecognizable images to decipherable words, and guide me.

a post about everything and nothing

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  1. Lately I’ve been switching up my makeup routine, opting for a more natural, eyeshadow-y look. I used to go heavy on the winged liner, but a new palette and recent trends have convinced me otherwise. Now I first apply a light brown base to my lids, add a darker brown to the edges, and scrap the lower lid eyeliner–I use eyeshadow instead. The result: a more natural, dewy look, since I’ve also started using light coverage foundation.
  2. Dead by Daylight and Identity V! They’re both survival horror asymmetry video games, the former on Playstation, the latter on mobile. They feature a terrifying hunter that goes around doinking the players, who try to escape by fixing generators. The characters are so well fleshed out. I’ve been playing Identity V constantly for the past few months and recently watching boyfriend play DBD. I am now a proud Level 99 hunter on Identity V.
  3. This week was a relatively calm week for work. Ah! The calm before the storm. Next week will be a busy one.
  4. Remember how I’ve been teaching lots and lots of math? I took a practice GRE today and scored a 164 out of 170 on Math. As for Verbal, which I’ve always preferred, I scored a 160. Throughout my life, I have consistently scored lower on math than on verbal. Seem it’s made a small reverse, now in favor of math….
  5. I began psychology research the past week! God, I’m excited. Psychology research has always existed as some sort of elusive theoretical beast. I’d read about it, talk about it, share it, criticize it, compile it, synthesize it….now I’m finally behind the scenes. The professor’s research also includes topics I’m deeply interested in–children’s education, language gaps, storytelling, etc. I’ve always loved Psychology, ever since I was a child, so I’m really happy to be pursuing this path. Psychology doesn’t hold much weight at the undergraduate level, so I would’ve had to pursue graduate studies regardless of my Bachelor’s.
  6. The other day I watched Crazy Rich Asians, went swimming, and ate Thai. I enjoyed it all. I’m sure there are criticisms of Crazy Rich Asians out there, probably political, but honestly, I liked the movie. It made me feel a healthy array of movie-related emotions and the best friend was hilarious. So was Ken. (“I majored in thought.”) Some scenes were a little outrageous, and I slurped a bit loudly on the Icee, but overall, solid 8.7/10.

Cold Rooms and Indie Tunes

Phoenix is playing and the air is cold and dry. Song shift. Liztomania. The kid in front of me is bouncing in his seat. Cotton cobwebs are strung from wall to wall, plastic blood stains stuck on the television. This room is one of the few that sunlight finds its way into.

It’s strange how perspective can change about seemingly meaningless things, like rooms. Shifting perspectives about rooms. A person moves in, moves out, moves in. Adjusts. Readjusts. Homes relived in, over and over and over. A history. A capsule. This room once looked different, felt different, was different. It’s only a container.

I’m trying to remember what my initial impression of the room was, but I can’t remember. Clutching for memories at the tip of my recall. They’re not. Just a bluish fog of associations instead, angry political posters, Big Brother on the wall.