LA LA LAND (2016). Colorful, dazzling, and Hollywood’s ostentatious self-promotion at its best.
Four whole days of stumbling around a blissfully white landscape at Sugar Bowl. I was struggling not to get blown over when I was taking this photo, lens and self both drenched. The conditions were too cold and wet for me that day, so I stopped skiing mid-morning and decided to wander in between the Village and Judah lodges, as advised by one of the staff. I was obsessed with getting visual evidence that it was actually snowing, because I’m not around it much at all and it was so precious and exciting. The skiing, I don’t miss (perhaps I fell one too many times). But the sights - late night gondola rides, fresh and empty winding paths of snow along the forest trail. Just rows and rows of trees, specs in the distance now, as the lifts begin to rise, far as the eye can see. They were something else altogether.
Bit into a perfectly rotten red apple today. Tasted fine minus the distasteful brown color.
New birth. (With contributions from Ricky.)
Pencil on Paper by 53. Just keep swimming…
Finally, some photos again. Gone are the days of trying to tag everyone in way too many uploads. Let’s do this old school, with non-compressed files for once.
And so the adventure begins.
Elena a little under the weather, but still cute as heck.
Eva met up with us for incredibly cheap and delish dim sum in Oakland Chinatown (this was a candid when she walked out to ask me a question).
Story time about labs and climbing in Missouri.
You tell me what they’re talking about here. Love how everyone’s hands are so expressive in this photo.
Ya boy’s –
– cruisin’. I really liked Louie’s shirt, as well as the fact that all of us were wearing blue! Very nautically appropriate.
David smiling to himself. Suspicious.
Reeeeally like these earrings she got from a train station in Germany. So classy.
“We have to tell them we know how to sail. We have to be convincing!”
Louie was very satisfied with the food, as always.
Noticed this little boy and took quite a few photos of him and his mom. The night before I watched Room (a very harrowing film) with the house and it was fascinating contrast, watching this precious and happy child run around, enjoying the sun and the koi fish in the fountain.
And they say youth is wasted on the young. I could hardly believe it, watching kids like that.
I really like this shot of Elena - contemplative, angled against the sun just right.
We went to a boba shop across the street after lunch.
Elena: Try some.
David: What’s this?
Camila meeting up with us by the lake and serenading us with her ukulele.
Arriving at Lake Merritt Boating Center, where I sadly left the camera in the car, David passed a sailing test, I told them the wrong zip code in an attempt to prove my new Oakland residency but they gave us the discount anyway, and we got in our respective catamaran and kayak. We all slathered on sunscreen and donned life jackets. Beautiful sun out on the lake, with a decent bit of wind and not a cloud in sight.
Took turns steering the skipper. David taught us how to tack, gybe, adjust the sail and read the telltale. In addition to acting as the boat’s unofficial captain, he also served as the boat’s official mermaid. While charting our course in the dangerous ocean, we survived a deadly splash attack (many injuries were sustained) as well as surprise vegetal bombings, and appropriately retaliated in kind. Elena was happy to have gotten the cutest, tiniest glove out of it, but David lost it.
A speedy grocery trip to Berkeley Bowl West right before it closed during which we were able to garner all the ingredients for an authentic Brazilian dinner: mango salad, black bean stew over rice and mango ice cream with plantains (mango is the unofficial fruit of the Rio 2016 Olympics, according to people familiar with the matter). Cooking was a full blown operation, enough so that I complete forgot to take photos. Vincent dropped in just in time and we watched the Olympics (us, of formerly Mount Olympus) on the TV thanks to Eva’s parenting caving in to a cable subscription just for the Olympics. Much gymnastics and swimming, to everyone’s delight.
We missed you dearly, Hannah. Heck, I missed everyone the moment they all walked out the door. I recall about a month ago when I was at home one night after work, cleaning through all the old photos on my hard drive, and it hit me that Olympus was well and truly over. Without a doubt, if there was any group of friends that made me feel at home, it was this house.
Until next time. Hope to see you all in Santa Rosa.
As of today, I am 7,962 days old. My 21st birthday was quite some months ago, but here is the first week where I really became an adult. Took my first real driving lesson, then test, and now licensed (after possessing a learner’s permit for 2 years). Flew all the way to San Francisco and back in one day for my first real interview. And now I’ll be moving again, to my first internship, and eventually, hopefully, full-time job.
And yet I’m so terribly aware of how young I feel. How my main concern is what shoes I’ll wear to the office (obviously not Converse or Birkenstocks, but my god dress shoes are so horribly uncomfortable). How I’ll have an income to put on my housing apps, but I have to explain it’s my first job and that in reality, my parents will still have to co-sign for me. How, this past weekend, a brief encounter with a childhood friend who I barely knew could be such a powerful connection (to be honest, just a lot of awkward smiling on my part). Several months in a steady relationship later, I still manage to forget that I am way, way too young to be done with loneliness.
There was a large chunk of time where I stopped writing, between the last few days of the semester and the second week of June. I was drowning in moving errands, saying goodbye, packing for travel, all the flights and performances and subway rides, and finally back home, where I spent just about 3 weeks unpacking and fretting over my joblessness. Now, time is slowing again, and that’s all I can bear to write about. The way the hours drip down the walls. Most days I had been sitting around waiting — for a call back about the interview, or an open house. But really I am loafing around, waiting for an opportunity to land in my lap. It’s only on the weekends or the late evening where there are people around me again that I remember to take my time seriously, to put some structure back into my life. It is so damn hard to think positively when I’m by myself for 14 hours a day, when I have too much time to imagine all the things that could get complicated or go wrong.
Reading helps, a lot. Gotta remember to keep doing that.
New logo of sorts.
3B Pencil + scanner + Ai
“You’re going to reach 130 sooner than you think, at the rate you’re going.”
Dad’s been feeding off Mom’s anxiety about her weight to try to get her off the couch. Last night he told me he read about a celebrity who started a 10-grain rice diet. “How does she cook the rice? She can’t possibly count out the separate grains and cook it, she must cook it all at once. But how does she count all the grains when the rice is fully cooked and sticky?”
Wow, this is really inspiring. I love how detailed the linework is.
It began with a lack of imagination.
As far as I was concerned, there was enough on my plate already — a full load of 6 or 7 classes each semester (I always make sure to overdo it, it’s double major syndrome), extracurricular commitments like the Superbowl 50 practices even after band season was over, and a high maintenance albeit supportive boyfriend. Despite having been vaguely aware that my friends and classmates were beginning to talk about jobs after graduation, I was already a pro at brushing it off like I do every summer. Let’s face it: besides a couple months of volunteering at a law firm in high school, and not counting the tiny office of our school newspaper, I’ve never worked in a proper office. And as convenient as it is, working remotely means missing out on a whole lot of experience, particularly coming in contact with people face-to-face. To put it positively, I was content with what I was learning from the independent projects I was working on. It wasn’t corporate, and I felt like I had freedom.
On top of that, I gave myself the convenient excuse that it would probably be difficult to interview with companies in LA if I was still up in Berkeley during school. Silly me, too inexperienced to realize that everyone does virtual interviews nowadays.
Now, with a heavy heart, I’m trying to make up for all the lost time. But the slow trickle of submitted applications is no less comforting than the unsubmitted ones, fueling me with ever more anxiety and doubts about whether anyone will ever read my little cover letters before they get lost into obscurity. Even though I’ve now begun applying, there is still the conundrum that my double degrees — both B.A. — neither curtailed my options nor bolstered them. Turns out, I’m constantly insecure about graduating in Geophysics and not doing anything with it. And the average person doesn’t quite know Linguistics is. Probably polyglots, or something. Only GIS (my minor) looks remotely (ha!) promising.
Zero internships later, my imagination for where I could be headed next is stretched paper thin. What’s worse, I can’t decide on anything because I always feel like I don’t have enough information about the field or the job or the company. The job-searching advice I encountered was often offered up by self-employed bloggers whose title boasted one thing (Find a job without networking!) while the article claimed another (You’d better start networking now!!). The Internet, the supposed paragon of information overload, is quickly waving me away and telling me to figure it out myself. “How about law? I could go to law school, right? Start as a paralegal, get some experience?” My friend Jen, ever the dependable skeptic: “Really? Isn’t that kind of boring?”
“Maybe I want to become a museum curator,” I told my dad yesterday evening.
“That’s a place for people whose careers go to die.”
Harsh. I don’t quite agree, maybe because I’ve only taken a peek at an microscopic sliver of the world. But for every fresh idea, there’s always a good chance it’ll be left to rot.
It’s been a flurry of anxiety these past several weeks: preparations for my last college final exams ever, traveling abroad (with 100-ish other loud, rude college students on my first ever music tour of sorts), moving, and finally coming home to unpack. Even with two degrees and one minor later, some things still stay the same – LA’s torrential summer heat, coming home to an untamable mess, my parents’ refusal to see me as anything but their precious (only) child.
Last night, barely one foot in the door to our house, my mom says, “So, you managed to graduate. But still no job. That kind of like…a failure.”
She said the last word derisively with an upward intonation, but it wasn’t anywhere near a question. I laughed, because otherwise I would’ve started yet another yelling match.
I may be legally 21, but I’m still living at home. Case in point.
The day count essentially initializes what I consider to be the first day of summer – finals done, check. Graduated, check. Moved back home, check. And I didn’t count Monday, because it was a holiday. No one can tell who’s jobless when it’s a holiday, anyway.
In the long term, my renewed residence back in LA shall proceed in two parts: first, a much-needed deep mental and physical cleaning of both my life goals and living space; second, a redefinition of myself as a curator and story-teller, rather than as a hoarder. Fingers crossed that some good old therapeutic writing can help me with both.
Dead week, day 1. #totallystudying #lowpoly
Rocks and snow and rocks and snow! 🏔 #roadtrip (at Crater Lake National Park)
#Lecture #notes, yesterday + today. Killin’ it.
“In my spare time when I’m not in architecture studio or engineering labs, I model on the beach.”* 🤓
(*not actual quote) (at Seaside Beach)
#LA girl through and through. (at The Broad)
Thanks for saving me a few days of sunshine, #Portland! (at Portland, Oregon)
Playing with Paper.
Kitten studying rain.
I’ll miss you so much, little tiger. Thanks for napping and playing with me for the past two weeks. Try not to get into too much trouble, okay? 🐈 #catsitting #byeforever
My #50mm, thought to be dead for over a month, has been blessed with new life. Currently overcome with ecstatic joy. But please, have some more cat 😹 #catsitting #notbroken #favoritelens
Much fierce 🐯 #kitten #catsitting