green apple

I bought two new nail polishes from Target yesterday, Sally Hansen Xtreme wear in “Green With Envy” and “Blue Me Away!” I put them on with one layer of L’Oreal base coat and one layer of L’Oreal top coat, and I have to say that so far, the results are fantastic! I just spent like half an hour washing dishes from tonights dinner, and NO CHIPS AT ALL. This makes me ridiculously happy. Also these colors are very different from my usual spectrum of dark greys and browns, so plus points for me!

My awesome nail polish collection. I started getting into doing my nails freshman year of college, as a means to motivate myself to not bite my nails. It worked wonders, but now I’m kind of obsessed. The moment the polish gets chipped, I compulsively remove it all. And I file my nails all the time. Mmm at least the result is nice nails almost all of the time :)

I haven’t really been doing much lately. A few days ago I moseyed my way over to Best Buy to buy a graphics card for my desktop…the integrated graphics chip on my motherboard crashed or something, so it couldn’t detect my monitor, and hence, no display. Installed a new graphics and ta-da! Works again. Yesterday I installed Windows 7 on my desktop computer. It’s free for engineering students at UCLA via some deal with Microsoft. (Download link here.) It’s pretty and so far I really like it. I installed all the necessities with no problemo (Adobe CS3, Sims 3, Chrome, OpenOffice, VLC, GoogleTalk). And I’m trying out Pidgin for the first time since sophomore year of high school.

Tomorrow, Stanley and I are going to head over to some place for some car show, and then we’re going to drop by the Annenberg Space for Photography to see the Pictures of the Year exhibition. Next week, school’s gonna start for serious, so I’m not going to have any time for anything fun anymore. Better get it all in while I can!

the cove

The Cove

Yesterday, I woke up around 11am (this habit needs to stop soon) and soon afterwards, Layla asked me if I wanted to head to Beverly Hills to watch The Cove. After she gave me a short description, I decided I was interested enough to watch the movie at 3:00pm.

We met up with Stanley and headed to Westwood at around 1:30 to catch the Metro 305 bus from UCLA to Beverly and San Vicente, then crossed the street to take the Metro 14 down the street to Fairfax Cinemas, a small theater where the film was playing.

Honestly, I was never a fan of the Seaworld dolphin show, because seeing the animals do tricks always disgusted me a little. But after watching this documentary about how thousands of dolphins are caught and sold and slaughtered, I’m even more horrified.

The dumbest part is how the Japanese government works so hard to hide the misactions that they support. The government knew that dolphin meat was extremely poisonous (watch this video!), but initiated a required dolphin-meat dish to mandatory school lunch. And why is dolphin meat in the market? Because what else do you do with the 20-odd thousand dolphins that are not chosen and shipped away to be trained and showcased?

They claim that dolphins are the reason why the number of fish in the sea are dwindling. “Pest control,” they say. Which is total bull, because humans are obviously the only ones messing up the global food chain and nature’s balance. Overfishing, not dolphins, are the reason why there are less fish, and yet the fisherman in the small town of Taiji are being told that there are too many dolphins, and they’ve taken it upon themselves to make a tradition out of the terrible practice of murdering the relatively small cetacean.

The International Whaling Commission, which was set up by the UN in the 1980s, halted the practice of commercial whaling. But for some reason, the IWC protects only the larger cetaceans, mostly various species of whales. Dolphins and porpoises, though they are in the same order, aren’t as protected as the larger cetacea. So the small cove in Taiji, where dolphins are herded, caught, then sold or killed, gets away with it.

Ric O’Barry was the trainer of the dolphin, Flipper, which pretty much started the commercial dolphin craze. Ironically, since the end of the Flipper era, he’s been working against the industry, trying to increase awareness of the extent of mistreatment of dolphins.

Unfortunately, I don’t have much confidence in human compassion, and I don’t think that old habits can change quickly. But maybe by helping to spread the word, actions will be taken, and things will change just a few years earlier than expected.

new home

In August, I found a tutorial on making a moss terrarium in a jar. I don’t remember where I saw it, but I decided to give it a try, despite my black thumb. I figured moss was hardy and could handle my sporadic watering tendencies…

I don’t know why it’s in the cap instead of the jar… I was just following instructions (possibly incorrectly, but it worked). The moss survived while I was in San Jose, but dried out without daily watering. But since it survived, I brought it down to LA with me :)

Yesterday, before I had a chance to unpack and settle in, Layla asked me if I wanted to go to Venice. I’d never been there, so I said SURE and we headed out. Man, the weather is so much better out here closer to the ocean!! I was stuck in Cerritos with my family for the past few days and I really was not enjoying the heat. Anyway. We took the Metro 720 to Venice and nommed some Marked5, yet another food truck roaming the streets of LA. I got the Torraku Beef, because I was being indecisive and it was first on the menu. I was also super thirsty so I got a can of JCC green tea. The tea was overpriced at $2 but I was really thirsty haha. Oh, well. The sammich with Marked5’s signature rice buns was delicious! The rice was a bit sticky, but if it weren’t, it might have fallen apart. Perfection would be not-too-sticky rice maybe wrapped completely in seaweed? It’d definitely make eating it a bit easier.

Anyway! After eating, Layla and I wandered in and out of a handful of stores, spending the most time at the A+R store. And here is where my moss story continues!

I purchased one of these hand-blown glasses in blue, of course. So perfect for my baby moss! (I might name him Ned, but I’m not sure. I’m kind of also liking the name Theodore…)

The color is so pretty! I might have killed the single strand of grass during the transplanting process, but I think it might be okay. The moss will prevail, I’m sure of it!

SO CUTE RIGHT? So cute and so perfect :) Moss is wonderful.

Many thanks to the store manager for helping me pick this one out and being patient with my (impossible) decision making process!

gee gee gee

Last weekend was my… BERKELEY ADVENTURE!

Maggie and I woke up (relatively) early on Sunday morning and took the BART to Berkeley. We arrived a little before 11 and headed to Sophie’s apartment to drop of our stuff before going to lunch.

The view from the roof of Sophie’s apartment was AWESOME. You can see the bay in this picture! The UC Berkeley campus was on the opposite side of where this photo was taken, but it wasn’t exciting.

But this was exciting! There was a cool building with a shiny reflective facade, so I took a picture of the fence and flower in front of it instead.

We walked through campus to get to the little restaurant that I don’t remember the name of. We met up with Peter, Heather and Daniel there. The food was tasty, portions large, and I got this cute little arancia soda.

It was not as carbonated as Orangina, so I liked it better. And it had a strange foil covering on the top. Maybe to keep the dust out? I don’t know, but it was anticlimactic when we took it off…

Coincidentally enough, I ran into my ex-boyfriend Montague mid-meal. I hadn’t seen him in a long time, so it was nice to have a short chat. Is it weird to blatantly call someone your ex on a public blog? Because I don’t mean it offensively. Just factually.

After lunch, Daniel, Heather, Maggie, Sophie, and I went to see Heather’s dorm/apartment. Pretty chill, we just hung out and watched youtube videos (Gee :D) until Peter finished church so we could all head over to a random mall in Richmond. Heather dressed up cutely hehe. But that was pretty much it. After the mall, I purchased something from Walmart for the first time ever. My reasoning was that I was really really thirsty, so I just bought some juice. And gummy bears, to satisfy a sudden craving. Nomnom.

On the way back from the mall, we dropped by this awesome concrete slide! It kind of reminded me of Taiwan, but better, since kids were smart enough to use cardboard to slide more comfortably/faster.

I made some friends (ages 6 and 7), Vincent and Pierre. HOW COOL IS THE NAME PIERRE, BY THE WAY. Cute little white boys awwwwww I love kids. I want some. Someday. After the park, we ditched Peter (jk, he had people to see, places to go) and went to dinner at La Mediteranne. Or something, I might be missing an n or e. To me, greek/mediterranean food is always a hit or miss, so Heather and I shared a sampler and had some hits and misses. The most delicious thing by far was that thing (it started with a C, Heather help me out!) and it was garnished with CINNAMON and POWDERED SUGAR. The cinnamon added the most delicious twist in the world. Seriously. Anyway, after dinner we got desert at a gourmet ice cream place called Ici. I bought some chocolate chip meringues, too, nomnom.

After getting sugar high from cookies and candy and ice cream, Daniel, Heather, Sophie, Maggie and I played a game of Fish Bowl! It was the first time I had ever played the game (TBH, I was intimidated by the intense expectations when I first heard of it) and it was stupendous!

Maggie :)

Daniel LOL. Was this “irk”?

This was Daniel making sound effects for Heather. Haha I liked watching them, such a funny couple.

Happy Sophie!

Sorry Heather, I had to. This picture is proof that Daniel is not very good at games, albiet very competitive. Heather was trying to get him to say beaver, with no luck. Seriously, man… Heather slept over at Sophie’s apartment with Maggie and me so we had a bit of girl talk before knocking out at around 3AM.

The next day, I didn’t get a chance to bust out my camera. This was taken in the morning when Maggie asked me for a piggy-back ride but then got too scared to actually…do it right, hahah. We got up early to attempt to get cupcakes and lunch before catching a 1:00 showing of Adam, but the cupcakes were a no-go (Labor Day…). We met up with Daniel at a burger restaurant called Barney’s. I got yam fries, a bacon cheeseburger (I haven’t had bacon in a long time) and a mocha-coffee shake. The fries were delicious, the burger pretty good, but the shake was too sweet imo. I ate half my burger and then made a bento with the other half and the rest of my fries…and ate it the next day for lunch back in San Jose, haha.

After lunch, Heather, Maggie, and I went to watch Adam! I’m really glad I was able to catch the movie playing in a theater not totally out of the way. I liked it, although the ending really confused me. For anyone interested, I won’t spoil, but the trailer is here. After finishing the movie, Maggie and I picked up our stuff from Heather’s place and then caught the next BART back to Fremont. We got back to San Jose around 5:40, exhausted. IT WAS AN AWESOME WEEKEND. I decided that Berkeley has a much better restaurant/food selection than Westwood…I’m jealous. But oh well, I’ll bask in my southern california sun, happily. (Actually, the weather this Labor Day weekend in Berkeley was fantastic.)

In other news, please please check out my newly designed portfolio website! I haven’t checked it with all browsers/operating systems yet, but hopefully there aren’t any horrible ugly gross things that show up with IE. Who still uses IE, anyway? It’s all about Chrome.

I’m heading back to LA early tomorrow morning! Looking forward to home :)

(Addendum: CHECK THIS OUT! ♥)

case study

Because it’s already been two years and I’ve dutifully passed all my classes so far, I decided that I will put the necessary effort into my undergraduate schooling in order to acquire my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. It is decidedly too late to change majors or transfer to a different school, so I am going to finish what I started here. That’s one thing I’m sure of.

Following that, things get a bit foggier. From what I can see, here are my choices…

1. Apply to art school. This would (in most cases) require me to spend at least 6 months preparing a portfolio and/or taking the GRE. I’ve narrowed down my subjects of interest to advertising, graphic design, and industrial design. My summer studies course in ID at RISD last summer was amazing, but I’m afraid that I’ll fail out of the competitiveness of getting into art school…

2. Apply to business school. I’m just throwing this in here because if I’m going to turn my life around and apply to art school, why not look in the other direction? This choice requires taking the GMAT. Also, I have no idea if I can foster/have inherent interest in the subject material.

3. Apply to grad school in engineering. I am most definitely afraid that the difficulty of engineering will be too much for me to handle, and I will quickly lose motivation and interest. So I think this choice would be the worst.

4. Take a few (one or two) years off and (hopefully) get a job, gather my thoughts, figure out what I want to do. I need to take my GRE regardless of what I decide I’m doing. If I decide within this time that I do want to go to art school, I should be building my portfolio.

I like to help people. I like to teach people things and share my experiences. I enjoy learning about historical stylistic trends, and do research on various eras and artists in my free time. I like to build and create and utilize my resources to make something to share. I like to think and make other people think and consider and have some of impact on everyone else.

5. Get my teaching credentials and attempt to make my way as a starving teacher. When I was in middle school and high school, I was convinced that I’d be the best third grade teacher ever. I thought about what I like doing, and what I’m good at, and maybe, after all, teaching really is my calling.

6. Apply for Teach For America and possibly teach in a far away place. Maybe while I’m taking part in the two (?) year system, I’ll build my portfolio and/or decide what I’m going to do for reals.

It’s weird, because when I was in middle school and high school in California, teaching was the only future for me. When I started high school in China, so many things in my life changed so quickly, that I guess I forgot about my prospective teaching career. I took art seriously, because that’s where I found my friends and the best experiences. I discovered the hobby that fit my personality, and stuck with it, which is why, I guess, I feel like art should be in my future. I guess I should be considering the best of both (or all three?) worlds. Teach art. It might be amazing. But then where does engineering come in? I don’t dislike the subject, usually. I like the facts and structures and how concrete engineering is. Is that also an essential part of my personality?

So I’ve been perfecting my resume lately, in the hopes of landing an internship next year. It’s interesting, because only by making it did I realize that I don’t do anything related to my major. The only noteworthy thing on my resume is the fact that I’m EIC of yearbook. But what does that tell people about me? I feel like it shows that I’m really not an engineer at heart. That I’m not really into it. That’s hardly the best thing to expound when looking for an engineering internship… so should I be doing more mechanica engineer-y things, or should I be looking for a different future?

I guess I’ve been studying this for three years, and it deserves a shot. I’ve been planning on finding an engineering internship to get the experience under my belt regardless, so I guess after I graduate is when the real decisions get to be made.

Until then, I guess…