Sunday, August 2, 2015

Is it really that hard to spare a little something for someone on the street?

My sister told me once when she was driving home from work, she had a box of free donuts next to her (she and I, like many shameless others, are greedy suckers for free food). There's this one homeless man she'd recognized on the streets pretty regularly on her commute from city to suburb, and this time, with that box of donuts next to her that she unarguably did not need, she'd determined to give it to him.

But when time came for her to roll down the window and give that box of food to him, she didn't do it. As soon as she passed him, hands glued to the steering wheel in front of him, she broke down, and that's how my mom received her on the phone minutes later–in tears and practically unintelligible. (She was actually genuinely freaked out hearing my sister in such a distraught state, thinking some sort of disaster had occurred.)

When I first heard the story and then relayed it to my best friend, I received and retold it with amusement and a few chortles here and there. And my best friend agreed, yes, it was actually quite funny in retrospect, especially if you personally know my uptight older sister (and the fact that she was on her period at the time). But then, she said, with wrinkled brow and concerned visage, that my sister had had good reason to cry.

It was sad.

And after that, I started noticing. A couple of my friends in college would stop a car full of people to provide the bus fare a ragged old woman was requesting at an intersection, or fish some granola bars out of a backpack to give to a young man begging for food. Once I noticed the man in front of me stop to wave over an injured man with a sign, standing in the rain, to give him an unopened bottle of water.

The majority of people do not fall into that sparse category of three or four individuals who would open their windows to give away something of their own to a complete stranger who may or may not actually be in need. And I think many people are scared to give and scared to roll down the window to someone who isn't immaculate and presentable and "normal." I can't say I'm not one of those people, because I am. I've had a pack of M&Ms or a box of leftover (and absolutely delicious) truffle fries on me before, innocuously sitting in the passenger seat, but I never even made a move to press the button and reach out to a stranger. It's such a simple gesture. Press a button, reach out a couple feet, make barely any contact to someone on the street, hear a "thank you" or "bless you."

Why is it so hard?

My dad, like my sister, is uptight and operates primarily out of caution. He doesn't like to take flyers from people on the street, he tries not to make eye contact with strangers; he frequently interrupts a seemingly just fine moment with "WAIT. Careful, careful–". (My poor dad is often the butt of family jokes precisely because of his extremely cautious nature.)

I grew up with that very American mindset that people who are homeless have reasons behind it.
Like perhaps they didn't work hard, or they chose that lifestyle (sounds crazy, but I've actually heard of people who do prefer living without a home), etc. etc. But life isn't black and white like that. Sometimes misfortune befalls someone all at once, and Murphy's law just strikes without mercy. It might be a veteran stripped of his/her government promises post-war, and cumbered by multiple injuries; or maybe it's just a victim of a seemingly spazzing economy.

But here's the thing. I decided yesterday, it doesn't matter if these people begging–for lack of a better word–for just about anything someone could spare to give them deserve that generosity, if you could even call it generosity (because what's so generous about giving away leftovers, right?). I don't think it matters if that person on the street is actually homeless or not, is someone who was struck by misfortune or caused it himself/herself. How is anyone ever going to know or truly judge if someone "deserves" a fellow human being's kindness? Probably never.

In the end, I believe it's your own willingness to break the seal, the stigma, and reach out for that very first time, that actually has a place in the debate of what "matters" and what doesn't in the grand scheme of things.

Chances are, if you do it once, you'll do it again, and again, and then, at some point, you will end up giving something to someone who does indeed deserve a little bit of kindness anyway.

Each time I made no move to help out someone emitting a specific and obvious plea for help, I was left thinking about those 20 seconds of pointless internal debate for hours after. (By the way–this is the grand result of those cumulative hours of pensive thought and self-beating-up.) I've resolved, next time I'm in the car with some presentable food, snack, and/or drink with me, I will give it to someone who seems to need it more than me. I will make eye contact (NO you wouldn't dare, my dad would say), roll down the window, and reach out to hand over something that's mine to someone I'd possibly never ever interacted with before in my life. I'll probably feel so much better after. It'll probably make my day, and chances are, it'll make that stranger's day too.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The College Life

I was pondering what to title this entry, since every inane idea that came to mind was... well, inane.

Anyway, as my freshman year in college has officially concluded, I've decided to try and sum it up, this time not with my quotes, but with others'. Mostly others'. Actually I haven't decided yet if I'm going to do another journal-entry-snippet post... It's quite likely I'll be too lazy to do so.

Here we go. Brace yourselves. Because this is what life at Rice is like, apparently. My life? (Special thanks to my friends for unwittingly providing quality comedy material.)

"I've gone to Starbucks four times these past four days." -Bailey

"I had a dream that ______ was my boyfriend and he lost a scuba diving slipper, so I was looking for him the whole time to return it to him, but then I had all these cacti and I couldn't fit them in my suitcase!" -Linda

"I'm already drunk." -Unintentionally dumb friend at 9 p.m.

"We need to find you more girl friends." -Austin

"If your life were a montage, it'd just be you eating a burger in slow motion." -Andrew

"Remember when we used to get lost coming back from Duncan?" -Linda again

"I was 45 minutes late to my exam." -Me :(

Guess the speaker!
Name bank: 
(Can be used more than once)

  1. How are your ovaries?
  2. I woke up in a puddle of drool. 
  3. You should come eat with me otherwise I'm just going to eat dinner in my room. 
  4. Why are you always so hungry? You are a small person with a big appetite. 
  5. We're gonna get destroyed tonight. 
  6. Hey did you sleep last night? Oh... me neither... 
  7. It's only a mile... Eh, let's take an Uber there.
  8. I haven't been to my morning classes in two weeks!
  9. Where's the easy mac?? Can we bring down like 6 of them?
  10. Oh whoa you have friends! No no, I'm surprised and impressed only because I don't have any, you see.
  11. I gotta say, it feels good to have finally made it. 
  12. Are we playing Neopets tonight? 
  13. Hey, could you get me some dinner? Yeah, just bread and peanut butter.
  14. FREE FOOD!!!
  15. Sperm is so basic.
  16. Can I use your toaster oven?
  17. So we found this Smashburger outside in the lobby and I kind of want to eat it... can I use your toaster oven?
  18. We're such pieces of shit. 
1. Shaian   2. Linda   3. Meera   4. Austin   5. Shaian/Tirso   6. Akeem   7. Linda   8. Shaian   9. Andrew   10. Meera   11. Tirso   12. Carolina   13. Bailey   14. Bailey   15. Linda   16. Andrew   17. Shaian (and Andrew)   18. Everyone.

Okay, in all seriousness though, I really had an amazing freshman year, and a lot of that has to do with the wonderful people I'm around daily. Rice is awesome. And I'm so excited to welcome the five (!!!) students from my high school joining me next year. 

Yehhhh NorCal. 

Monday, March 9, 2015


Warning: The following contents may suffer extreme self-indulgence. 

This is what I call the perpetual complaint. And it began as a random musing, a result of what my roommate says is "diffuse thinking," about extroversion and introversion and the attachments to physical appearance. Then it, like many other things that begin as a simple seed of wonderment, blossomed into a fully-fledged complaint.

But perhaps "blossomed" is not the correct word for this subject. Considering it's a complaint, and a ferocious one at that, "exploded into a monster with snapping jaws" might be more accurate (since that's somewhat akin to what I'm feeling right now). Here is the simple fact, one that has been reiterated again and again by the introverts all over the world: We live in a world modeled for extroversion.

And here's another: We live in a world built for good looks. The other day, I randomly wondered to myself how many objectively (well, as objective as it gets) good-looking people are introverts, not extroverts. I could come up with three, maybe four people. I'm sure if I actually combed through my whole Facebook friend list or something, and then checked all my yearbooks (and maybe my sister's too, just for good measure), I would find several more. In any case, here's the thing–most good-looking people are extroverts. I pondered this notion aloud to my roommate, and she suggested that this might be causative. Good-looking people are raised, most often, knowing that they are pretty, and so they feel more confident, and attract more attention since others gravitate naturally towards them. So, the extroversion would seem to be something that is the result of nurture rather than nature.

I'm sure this isn't always the case, but I can imagine this occurs fairly frequently.

We live in a networking world. This is a world of fake smiles and tinkling laughs and necessitated charm. Our society lays it out for us, plain and simple: If you want to succeed, you have to do this and this and this to get there. You have to be a certain way–act a certain way, look a certain way.

And that, most often seen in the business world, is something that I think sometimes stems from that pesky thing called participation in the classroom setting. When I say participation, I don't necessarily mean public speaking; I think those are two separate things. Participation is the phenomenon that is valued very highly by certain instructors, and I can understand why, I suppose, particularly in language classes. Titillating discussion might not occur if there is not motivating factor behind it, if there's no grade attached to it, and participation, for many classes, is what can drive discussion and development of ideas. Writing seminars, for instance, language classes, humanities course–all of these seem to need participation to fully effectuate the learning experience.

But maybe it's because the system has functioned in such a way for so long that the motivation behind participation has been cemented as a point-based structure. And at this point, I am severely tempted (and will indulge that temptation) to quote Daenerys Targaryen–"I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel." My level of irritation with this heavy emphasis on participating for the sake of points, which results in fancy but empty answers pulled out of brown-nosing students' butts, has reached such a point that yes, I want to break this system. It just seems wrong that from such an early age, institutions beat into students the notion that they have to be a certain way to succeed. They have to learn a certain way and adhere to the nature of the formulaic classroom to be a "good" student.

Society has basically taught us that "shyness" is a fault. Introversion does not equal shyness, though that's a common misconception. Even though shyness can overlap with introversion, either way, the two are lumped together in a negative waste bin. My French textbook literally states that "timide" (shy) is a "défaut" (a fault). That doesn't seem right at all.

To be shy, or quiet, is not a negative characteristic. Just like being outgoing or bold, it's how such individuals choose to act that ultimately determines the level of positivity or detriment. There is significant merit in the ability to listen, and, like Nicole Krauss said in The History of Love, there's a treasure in silence. Perhaps more relevantly, however, is the fact that, like curse words, knowing when to use one's voice in necessary and important situations heightens the level of attention subsequently given. Think of it this way: If you speak all the time, many people will get used to your voice. And the likelihood of foolish phrases slipping out, mixing in with the wise words you have to offer, is much higher if you're totally okay with verbal communication (aka, verbal filter is lower). On the other hand, if you take the time to listen, as often quiet people do, and thus have the cushion room to carefully choose your words to form a specific and well-catered opinion, you're more likely to prove your point effectively. Plus, if people aren't used to your voice being blasted everywhere at all times, their ears will probably perk at the sound of your unique and individual voice.

I know some people make it seem like introverts are unique snowflakes and heighten the merits of introversion to the point of stuff like "quiet empowerment" and "silent but strong" and so on and so forth. No, I don't think introverts will take over the world, and no, I highly doubt we're unique snowflakes. Fact is, most people have a little bit of both introversion and extroversion.

But, it's wrong to proclaim introversion, shyness, and/or quietness are undoubtedly "faults." Introverts might not be out to take over the world, like creeping vines or something, but we have a level of additional staunch because society caters to outgoing fellows. So whoever says we should "get rid" of the qualities that make us introverts should watch out.

Nothing rankles more than inconsiderate, hasty, willful ignorance.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

To Darling Globbee–

Oh happy 19th to my best friend and other half! There are few with whom I can let loose my awkward tongue and unleash that ungraceful, socially inept self completely, but Glorby is top of the list.

I don't know if anything I can write here will amount to the ever so lovely post you wrote for my 18th, but I can try my best. 
Say all you want you're tanner... we're both ridiculously pale

The initial years of our friendship was interesting. You were probably the absolute most stubborn person I knew back in the day, in Mrs. J's class when many an argument cropped up, whether it revolved around the merits of dogs or your skipping preschool. Nevertheless, we frequented at each other's house and hid from our parents when it was time to say good night. I think, after we realized that hiding under the dining room table wasn't exactly a covert spot, my sister introduced to me and I introduced to you the excellent dark corner of her closet space, which was blocked by a number of winter clothes boxes. 

I don't think we ever got punished more than we should have been for dragging out the long hours of the night... (at like, 8 pm.)

We even roped your Bobo into playing our ridiculous pretend games. Well... I suppose most of them were my ridiculous pretend games (who came up with the Little King??). You entertained my self-indulgent storylines like a truly good friend; you would be Milo during Atlantis reenactments while I would always be Kida (sorry), and I would make you act out scenarios where I would move away and you would be moping around mourning my absence. 

That sounds terrible. 

Well. Moving along... 

You stepped into the shoes of the much-coveted role of Pluto in our third grade play "Vacation to Mars" (remember your furry white muffler? Actually I don't know if it was actually a muffler since Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Fleur was "wearing" a muffler, I think on her head, and your muffler was like... arm sleeves or something), and later in the year I was the frog who wanted to see the tops of the trees in "Rumpus of the Rainforest." 

In fourth grade we got in trouble with Mr. Lyon for saying "Yesssssssssss!" (dragging out the 's', yep) in his absence. It was strictly forbidden. 

Actually I think I got the class in trouble... oops.

In fifth grade we were in separate classes, and well... many things came to a head that year. We tried to shake off a harmless girl who wanted to hang out with us by engaging in several ridiculous schemes. We trailed rose petals as a "false" path, and then hid in a janky staircase probably leading to the janitor's storage room while said girl was probably looking for us. You were ashamed. At the time, I was not. 

And then later that year, I took you for granted. Because of our many inane arguments about the the behavior of seagulls and whatnot, I decided I didn't need the "unnecessary drama." You are a very persistent fellow, however, and insisted on worming your way back into my life–you dropped silly notes on my desk (with drawings of Calvin and Hobbes), brought me candies from Powell's, etc. Basically, it was something akin to Phoebe's attempt to 'cut out' Monica (in Friends). 
The dark days. Actually, you look pretty nice!

We've changed quite a bit since elementary school, obviously, and you still love to pick arguments with me every so often because you find it fun, but it's all in a light-hearted manner. In a way, I think it kind of shows how we really were meant to be friends, and how I now realize how much you really mean to me and how glad I am that you decided I was worth it to expend all that effort.

I probably would've given up in that situation. 

But then again, opposites attract. If you had been me, and had given up, we would not have spawned the brilliant "Saratoga Tales." We would not have ever found ourselves in Edith and Gladys, nor Helmut and Günter (our Navajo identities continue to escape me, unfortunately). We would never have discovered our affinity for the Swiss Alps, nor our desire to form makeshift house-elves. We would not have formulated a magnificent house plan (no stairs!!!) complete with an electric dam and a lab for Edith's animal behavioral science experiments. 

Anyway... thanks for being my holly bush. I couldn't ask for a better, more enduring, more beautiful companion. I wish we could be together for each other's birthdays. Alas, we are not a train's ride away from each other as you'd hoped. I remember when I read that in the yearbook (for we had not read each other's answers to the "best friends since childhood" section prior to receiving the official final draft from the journalism department), I teared up. Like for reals. I'm not trying to be cliché or dramatic or anything, even though it really sounds like that. 

You're special. Who else would let me call you every week amidst endless midterms and papers and berating professors, amongst woes of threatening Bs and scary news editors? Every time people ask me whom I've stayed in touch with back home, and I say that we try to call each other every week, I am met with an expression of impressed wonderment. 

Yeah. That's us. We make long-distance work! (I will refrain from using any expletives, for your benefit.)
Fellow munchers

Thank you for many things–for being my fellow indulger of aphasia (I just spent 2 minutes Googling that word), for being a great storyteller, for coaxing out that weirdo I am meant to be, for being a buddy in floor flubbing, for showing me the glory of OPO, for keeping me grounded, for being the voice of reason and goodness (for what, 12 years of my life?), for you know... just being. You are great, and kind, and golden. I love you and your love of egg-yolk yellow and eccentric (sometimes ugly) clothing (like that pillbug jacket and the fluffy brown and pink parka that actually looks quite nice on Cherry), your ability to thunder up the stairs on all fours, your sliding down the winding banister (while I was anxiously biting my nails), your halo of crazy baby hair, your bizarre eating habits (like digging away at the center of soggy sandwich bread and then leaving a whole bunch of crumbs on my couch), and... well, the list goes on and on. 

We've survived the sister code, my friend! Actually–we've beaten it! We both liked the same boy (whey-hey!), applied for some of the same colleges, got in a major tussle at one point in history, shared grades and GPAs with each other, and here we are. (I  mean, just last week you were the first person I confessed my first semester grades to.) 

Well, there are drunk people outside my door, on my first night back at college after Christmas break, and I hate to make excuses, but they do interrupt my sentimental trains of thought. 

You are nice. Enjoy your final year as a technical teenager, my dearest :) Don't listen to Beyoncé (just this once!!!). You are irreplaceable, and my bridge over troubled water!

I hope you will continue to be my life dance partner!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

(Belated) Obligatory New Year's Post

Every new year, my sister asks her friends and family (so that would include me, ha ha) to list their top 3 memories of the past year.

Last year, every "top" memory of mine involved food... Luckily, 2014 had a little more variety!

March 24, 2014: I got into Rice. What a feeling, what a feeling. I don't know if I can duplicate that mixture of surprise, elation, and gratitude.
View from the academic quad on a lovely September day 
Hawaii with Jennifer (8/5/14-8/12/14): My sister gifted me with a trip to Hawaii for my graduation/18th birthday present–all paid for by her (perks of having a sibling who works?). It was a true vacation, and quite the bonding experience!
View from Diamondhead  
Rice University, October-ish/November-ish: Settling into college can be disconcerting, but getting into the groove of things is incredibly gratifying and elating. I think this was around the time my roommate and I really became closer (then again, I'm pretty terrible at estimating time), which was an integral part of my first semester. It helped a lot that the weather began to level out and lose that awful humidity characteristic of the Texas summer. 

Coming home was a lovely feeling, though :) I really appreciate NorCal for what it is! 

Happy New Year! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

First Step Outside?

So we've reached the official conclusion of my first semester of college. It's so weird... Quite a few people have said this single semester of college has taught them more/been more enjoyable than four years of high school combined.

Hm... I wonder if I would go so far. Certainly, college is radically different. The freedom is overwhelming and almost intoxicating. You're surrounded by the types of people you've never encountered before. You're shoved into situations you've never experienced before. You're forced to think about yourself perhaps more than you ever had to before.

Now, most people know I'm notoriously lazy. SO. Instead of languishing over a reflection of my first semester at Rice University, I decided to pick some excerpts from my journal entries over the course of this first half of the school year. Should be interesting.

Brace yourself, this is going to be looooooong.

August 18, 2014: First Day of O-Week
Feels more like summer camp than anything else, to be honest. We pull in and upperclassmen are cheering and cheering; like whaaaat it's the second hour of kids moving in and they still have bucket loads of energy! Crazy stuff. Anyway, I go and do all the usual stuff, pick up my keys, take my photo, get the t-shirt etc. etc. and then successfully (!!!) navigate my way to my dorm room in this unfortunately rather old and dinky residential college (with hallway bathrooms, ick).
Anyway, we go down to the commons and get into our o-week groups. Everyone has been amazingly friendly and it's pretty awesome; I'm not nearly as nervous about like having someone to sit with or anything because of the awesome atmosphere. The whole day is packed through, though. Bonding with your group of like eight or so other students, then bonding with your 'sister' o-week group, then change for dinner and the matriculation ceremony. The matriculation, besides the very high school graduation-like experience of long speeches and lots of sitting, was incredible. There were freaking fireworks as we walked through the Sallyport archway, to raucous cheering from every which way. And those fireworks were the best I've seen in a long, long time. Some fluttered out after bursting like falling grains of rice (heh), and others billowed out like jellyfish caps. Best of all, in my opinion, was the incredible, resounding boom before every firework released, preceding the ear-splitting crack/pop. And it all echoed throughout the front courtyard. It was beautiful and very special. Sigh. I love Rice.
O-Week group: "Stitch, Don't Kill My Vibe"

August 22, 2014: Last Day of O-Week
I have to say, I am actually really nervous about "dis-orientation". Not just tomorrow, but the next few weeks, and maybe even this whole semester. Joan said that first semester was tough for her, and she's the kind of person who can be friends with literally everyone; she was indeed "friends with everyone", but was unable to make any real connection until second semester and, as a result, felt extremely alone throughout the first part of freshman year. That's actually very scary, especially since I am so not the type of person who can go and be friends with everybody. I'll just be like... lonely.

Upon reflection, though, I'm quite surprised by how much I loved O-Week. Usually, this is so not my type of thing, the whole summer campy feel and everything, but it really was amazing how they were able to make nearly everyone feel at home at some point or another. I think it was a good place to start. And I love all my advisors, and pretty much my group members too (and my sister group!), so I think they did do a good job matching people up. Upon observation, it seems that the coordinators grouped certain types of people together, and it really appears seamless for the most part.
With my cool beans O-Week brother, Tirso

August 29, 2014
So, we had House Church tonight, which is like fellowship I guess, and it was led by Daniel (Du) and Cindy; a bunch of us Jonesians went together since it was at our college (there are six other House Churches located at various residential colleges)–me, Jin Hee, Shannon, Kallen, John, and Wesley. There was another freshman named Raymond who was there, but he's from Baker and he went to Daniel's high school, so he's connected in a different way. Anyway, it was really refreshing and nice to kind of belong somewhere, and it felt very much at-home and warm and welcome. Typically in large groups, I have a hard time being myself and exhibiting actual personality traits; usually I'll clam up and over-filter so then I end up appearing somewhat bland and boring. But, since it was such a familiar environment filled with genuine people, I could actually open up comfortably. Obviously nerves lurked around but it was definitely a wonderful change. It's good to know that there are resources like that. So, I'm very grateful for Daniel and his outstretched arms (figuratively, obviously).

September 1, 2014
Staying up late is a fascinating phenomenon. At a certain point, the strenuous strain of keeping one's eyelids lifted morphs from an activity borne of leisure to one sustained by competition; at 2:30 AM, the main motivation becomes 'How long can I keep this up for? I bet I can stay up the latest.' And the words that come tumbling out of exhausted participants' mouths are a mix of ridiculous, clever (in no other situation than this godforsaken one), and undeniably hilarious. Because everything is either funny or exasperating past 3 in the morning, honestly. Today becomes tomorrow, and the day becomes either extremely late or extremely early; the revelation is that, at approximately 4:30 AM, it becomes 'early' rather than 'late.'

And at 5 AM, when some normal human beings actually awake from a 6-hour snooze, the combination of lightheadedness and floaty consciousness does not make anyone still standing (actually sitting, if one wishes to delve into the nitty gritty details) feel like a winner. Yet, group dynamics still apply, even in the dark stretches of the night-morning transition. Group dynamics are, apparently, timeless. There's the need to remain relevant in conversation, and the necessity of occasional contribution, lest one become an observer rather than a participant. And when seated within a group, it's often better to be a participant.

September 15, 2014
General updates: BHANGRA TEAM YESSS I'm so happy I made it!! But I'm super busy now... First paper due this Thursday, Thresher copy editing work to do tonight, French test on Wednesday, and a shitton of readings to complete. The one blessing today came in the form of a cancelled class, so I have a little more cushion time today. I think that's all I can remember for now. Peace out. Gonna go work now and try and ingest some caffeine to stay alert. BAI!
Awesomesauce Bhangra team (missing a few)

October 21, 2014
Rice is awesome possum, and it's been all cool beans and fun and games. Sort of. I mean I need to get my shit together and stop oversleeping (happens way more often than it should), and study more for French in particular because wow I still suck so badly at that, but so many other things have been falling into place; it's amazing. Like I'm assistant copy editor at the Thresher now?? I'm a freshman, and a total noob with journalism, and this is just too cool.

Roomie and I are way too cool, too. Like, wow I did not anticipate us becoming this close. She's so fun and it's just great to be around her. I'm glad we have such similar habits, esp. when it comes to social activity. We're both so alarmingly lazy and hungry all the time; it's both fantastic and tragic. We've fostered such bad habits in each other, but it's brilliant. It makes me laugh.

October 24, 2014
Something I've been thinking about lately: my motivations for doing certain things. For wanting to get a job, for instance (besides federal work study, of course), for striving to take 20 credit hours, for feeling this need to get involved with more clubs. I can't pinpoint exactly what the motivation is/was, but I know it's not necessarily a pure one, one that comes purely from me (à la Ayn Rand's objectivism). I know that I wasn't doing many of those things for myself, which is important to me. I just felt like I was trying to prove something to.. someone, or anyone... I don't know. It's just strange.

October 30, 2014
Well hello so I'm currently in my room... by myself... because Linda is mysteriously not present. I came back from Bhangra and she wasn't here... I imagine I made for quite the pitiful portrait because I was like studying French and singing along to "Love is an Open Door" in the room all aloney on my owney HAHA I bet it looked very, very sad indeed. I love my new Disney playlist on Spotify ahh it's the greatest. Sadly, that epic Mulan haircut song is unavailable for some atrocious reason... I never realized how freaking awesome the Mulan score was though. It's so good. That blend of traditional Chinese instrumentals and fantastic orchestration is just brilliant. It's been stuck in my head for a couple days. Actually a medley of Disney songs are just running through my head all day (errrryday) now hahaha it's ridiculous. I'll go traipsing up the stairwell singing "Almost There" and come back down singing "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." If this continues, an intervention may be in order.

Also, I was SO hungry after Bhangra (killer practice oh my freaking goodness... several run throughs, plus nonstop saap rehearsing... just ugh), but I didn't want to walk all the way to Tirso/Wesley's room and get a hot pocket (plus that's unhealthy and I need to get back to better eating habits), so I've been stuffing myself with really unappealing, healthy, organic snacks... The depressing thing is, I've finished my kale chips. Yeah. KALE CHIPS. They were mango habanero and it was rather strange-tasting. Now I want them again though because I want salty things. So I ate some pistachios, but I get sick of them after a while... and then I started eating this whole grain oatmeal bar and it's actually quite good! I'm pretty sure my palette is just dead after all that healthy stuff though. That's probably why the oatmeal bar tastes good because like... It's just so healthy looking. Even the packaging... Geez, food these days... I miss chicken bake. Linda doesn't know what it is!!! Oh, the abomination... I mean, she has Costco in Florida, and somehow she doesn't know the chicken bake. I'm like salivating thinking of it now.

Also, I have decided I am not exactly the biggest fan of modernism/Virginia Woolf, and it will take a LOT of focus and a LOT of time for me to chug through Ulysses. If I ever attempt that monstrosity.

Esperanza 2014 with Wesley (editing creds to him)
November 3, 2014
Super cool Sunday service (now technically) yesterday. There was a guest speaker named Ralph... er, I forgot his last name.. But he's the founder of an organization called As Our Own, which basically aids female orphans in India who would otherwise be targeted for sex trafficking. It was really, really interesting and deeply affecting. The speaker talked about how many of those girls, in previous organizations, were basically being set up for poverty, because they would be taken care of in orphanages that were understaffed and overflowing, and then they would be taken back by extended family who would ship them off to be married at the tender age of about fourteen years; that marriage would be riddled, usually, by abuse and further poverty. Those girls were undereducated and basically given lessons only in like basket-weaving and whatnot, which, according to the speaker, was pretty much no progress at all.

Anyway, I actually paid attention the whole service; it was really engaging and definitely something I was interested in, particularly because.. I don't know, sometimes there are those thoughts where one thinks, what would have happened if I were born into a different life? Those girls can't possibly be so different from us, we who live sheltered, privileged lives on the other side of the world. Especially with the high Indian population with which I was raised, and the Indian culture I'm part of now here at Rice, it was really... I don't know. It hit kind of close to home, I guess. The primary area the speaker discussed was Mumbai, by the way. I don't know, I hope I can revisit that organization some day and do something with that, because... yeah, girls need help in other parts of the world. In MANY parts of the world.

November 6, 2014
Well, this is a salute to the end of the WORST hell week I've had in a long, long time... I think I've totaled maybe nine and a half hours of sleep? It's been absolutely terrible... OH my goodness I am so ready for the weekend. SO READY. Plus, there's no FWIS class tomorrow Yay!!! I'm going to sleep at a semi-reasonable hour tonight.. as in around 2 AM hahaha or it might turn into later, since Linda and I tend to get rather exuberant. Overly exuberant, one might say...

Ended up loving my FWIS classmates (MIA Dr. Klein!)
November 24, 2014
In FWIS on Friday, we'd read a couple essays by Zadie Smith and David Foster Wallace to get a handle on personal essay writing (because that's our final paper... 10 pages long, eek), and Zadie Smith's was about the differentiation between joy and pleasure. Reminded me of AP Lang when we talked about true happiness and all of that stuff (who was it that said that thing about pigs and whatever? I can't remember for the life of me, omg help)... Anyway, she referenced Julian (lol) Barnes, who said that basically it "hurts as much as it's worth." I just thought that the way that's put is incredibly poignant and relevant... Like that's so true, and it's phrased so perfectly. That's such a wonderfully tragic way to sum up the things that give us true joy in life... The magnitude of pain at the prospect of losing that joyous thing is indeed equal to the magnitude of its worth. I also thought that it could be interpreted to mean it's like, how much you're willing to work for that which gives you joy... you know, like a relationship, for example. A true relationship takes so much sacrifice and work and effort, and the payoff is... well, you get what you give, and vice versa, pretty much. At least, that's how it's supposed to work... hence, "it hurts as much as it's worth."

So I brought that up again in House Church since the topic was identity as followers in Christ, and... actually I kind of forgot how it relates, but I swear at the time it was relevant haha. When we did sharing and stuff, I talked about my escapist fantasies of like.. changing my identity and others' perceptions of me. I genuinely thought that I could let out that closet wild child on weekends, at the very least. But.. well, Jones party happened, and while I was slightly proud that I could pull game, there was no way I could go through with something purely hormonal and in the moment. I think way too much for that shit haha.
Dhamaka 2014: SAS Cultural Show

December 7, 2014
So! Thanksgiving break! It was quite lovely, as I spent it with Shannon's fam-bam. They're so nice and cool; it was a real blessing to have that opportunity to spend my break with them. I mean if I had stayed at Rice... that would've been a sad time. A very sad time indeed. Not much else to report, though we did stop by San Antonio for an evening and saw THE ALAMO omg it was too cool. I have to go back to San Antonio sometime next year or something, and during the daytime so I can actually go inside. That's so awesome.

After Thanksgiving break... well, I got back on Saturday, so a day before Linda (most people came back on Sunday) and it was quite interesting having the room all to myself for a whole evening. I guess it wasn't that strange since she does spend some nights over at El Boyfriend's place, but it has a different like feeling when she's in a different state, you know? So yeah that was that... And then she came back and I was very happy! We went and studied together outside before it got too windy, and then we came back and watched not just one Hunger Games movie, but TWO. Oh dear. We were way out of control that day lol the procrastination struggle was too real. It was super nice though, I actually missed her quite a bit over break. I missed Rice...

Hm, I told Shannon that, and she was like, "Yeah, it's tough. When we're at Rice we miss the people back home, but once we're home, we miss the people at Rice. Wherever you go, there's always someone who means something to you who's somewhere else." Weirdly profound... it'll just get worse as we continue to grow older... I mean when are all the people you care about going to be all in the same place again? I thought maybe your wedding, but.. Hm. Just something very... sobering. I guess.

December 12, 2014
Okay hellooooo it is Friday! But somehow it doesn't feel like a Friday... I dunno. Because there were no classes this week soooo.. every day was a weekend? I have no idea lol it feels so weird. Anyway! I'm hungry even though I ate lunch like an hour and a half ago. I am concerned for my tummy. So yesterday... Oh man I did nearly nothing yesterday. I watched a bunch of Buzzfeed videos instead of studying, and then I ate dinner... and then I went to see Christmas lights at the zoo with Wesley! The Christmas lights were kind of disappointing... Vasona Lake (back home) is so much better... and San Jose's Christmas in the Park is far more impressive. I don't know what it was; maybe the lights were too spread out, and maybe the decor was a bit lazy, it just overall wasn't very dazzling.

And then I came back, watched some more Buzzfeed videos, then watched Game of Thrones when Tirso returned haaaaa yesssss. As usual, Tirso had his very unnecessary commentary at the ready and at one point he was like, "Where are the subtitles?! I need my subtitles!" and Miguel was so funny, he was like "Why don't you just shut up and listen?" ahh so great. But I'm happy now Linda's interest has been piqued and she wants to watch more of Game of Thrones yay the kingdom is expanding!

December 16, 2014
I miss Cali so much..

Lol I think I'm going to go back and look at my old entries now.. It's just interesting, we've come pretty far hahaha I honestly didn't expect much of this.

Oki bye.

*Thank you, Rice. I think this is the best I could have asked for. 

Friday, November 7, 2014


The illustrious Samuel/Samule/Samool has written many a satire (of my writing...), but I think this one is moste excellente (and more than just a little accurate). Please, review the following:

13 reasons you shouldn’t date an English major

  1. He’ll collect your grammer
  2. Even if he’s not your what grammer means
  3. But a lease he reads a lot of books
  4. That means he knows Socrates
  5. He say yo Soc wassup
  6. And Soc like what is what
  7. daaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwg
  8. He’ll be metally untabled because he spends all his time reading books
  9. And will ask you for hermione and say shouldn’t it be pronounced
  10. her-miyone? he’s broke
  11. because he is always thikning maybe ill be a writer
  12. which is a bad idea because if hes a writer he’ll be an English major
  13. and then nobody will date him
  14. toldya he knows Soc; he unravels in circles.

(But if you break up with him be prepared to be destroyed by words you didn’t even know could be used that way. )


*original post can be found here