Thursday, July 28, 2011

"That" first guy

Blue buggy *punch* no punch back!

It never gets old... maybe it's because there's a lot more buggies on the roads here in California, but there's nothing like some friendly punches to stave away boredom in the car. Just scan the roads for any brightly colored buggy, make sure you're the first to sight it, and then claim your prize.

So I've been wondering.... who started it all anyway? I went on wikipedia and Yahoo answers to find out, but only got a general idea of how the captivating game all started. Apparently it started as "Slug Bugs" sometime in the 1960s (comment below if you have additional details!) But who was that first guy that decided to slug his friends for seeing a vehicle drive by? It's like "that" guy who first thought of milking a cow and drinking what came out, or any number of other crazy inventive things. We'll certainly never know, but it's still fun to keep passing the tradition along. And whoever "those" first guys were, they must be feeling pretty baller right now.

Kung Fu Soccer.... Volleyball?

Amazing. Just wanted to share how ridiculously good people can get at a certain skill or talent. In this case, it's doing flips and backward high kicks while playing volleyball with your feet. Kung Fu soccer? Most certainly in my book.


Dealing with regret is always hard. It's a particular type of pain where you're frustrated with yourself but also mad at the world, while at the same time  trying to overcome the grief of what has happened and wondering about what could have been. It can be about small things or huge life-changing events. It can be overcome quickly, or it can stay with you for your whole life. It's something I'm truly afraid of having during my life.

But it can come to you in all different ways. Me regretting the fact that I haven't posted here in a while, breaking my streak of daily posts for a while. Or that feeling of regret you get when you wake up after a nap you never meant to take, only to feel groggy and worse than before. Regret can come as a text you sent that was misunderstood by the receiver. Or the argument you had with a friend when really you were just mad at something else. Or an opportunity that you happened to act upon too late.

The reason regret is so devastating is that it's a self-feeding cycle. And all of it is inside your mind. You feel down about something that went wrong and brood over what you should have done or said. As a result, your actions today may lead to worse consequences, which leads to more regret about today. And so on.

The best cure for this is to realize that you're suffering from regret. There's certain reassurance to be had when you just say to yourself, "What's done is done. There's no changing the past." Because there isn't. As of today, it is physically impossible to go back in time, so why bother thinking about what could have happened? The actions in the past become irrelevant because they can't be changed. So just focus on the present and future, making the best of what you have. Banish any negative thoughts and just forget about the mistakes you did, because they no longer matter when you think about your day in a very objective manner. You are in location A, with circumstances B and responsibilities C. To heck with how you got there- now you must deal with what you have. And once you accept that fact, you'll be able to act with a clearer mind.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


in-n-out, pinkberry, and dim sum- these are all foreign things to andrew lee. he doesnt even know what a pillow pet is. however, no worries to everyone who reads his blog. andrew is having an awesome time here at his cousins house. not only is he well fed, but also he enjoys every activity we do mostly because he's the one who chooses them. "sure" is the answer he gives each time we suggest an activity. we have yet to go eat boiling crab, go to the beach, and play badminton. in addition, andrew keeps in shape by running to the community center track, running two miles there, and back across a bridge which overlooks an expressway. no it is not 3:33am right now but 12:33am so andrew is still up writing in his journal and the only word i've caught a glimpse of is "esther". although he would rather have fun, he has college essays to write and ap hw burdening his shoulders just like his cousin; plus, he forces her to brainstorm college essay ideas. yes, he is having the time of his life baking oatmeal raisin cookies.
-one of the many cousins of Andrew Lee :))

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Give me an answer, give me a blog topic, send it to my email. If you're first (and correct), I'll take whatever idea it is and post about it =D

-What's the significance of San Jose as a city in California? (hint: I'm visiting relatives in San Jose, too bad I don't have any in Sacramento....)
-Email answer and blog topic to:

Planning Your Day

What is the first thing you think of upon waking up in the morning? "Stupid alarm.... I just want to go back to sleep," "My feet are really cold," or even "I really need to go the bathroom!" sound familiar. Or how about "What the heck am I going to accomplish today??"

I have to admit that last question rarely pops into my mind in the morning. Usually it's something more trivial, like wondering what I'm going to eat for breakfast or weighing the consequences of hitting the snooze button and going back to sleep. But when it does, I feel a sense of obligation to do something worthwhile, which can be both good and bad. Time is a valuable resource, and especially during the summer, days can melt away faster than the ice cube in your drink. I just don't want to come to the end of the summer and realize I wasted an entire vacation doing nothing. So I suppose asking yourself a simple question in the morning can have its benefits. Am I going to run? Hang out with friends? Blog? Play music? Just make sure "be a total vegetable and do nothing but lie on the couch, check Facebook, eat, sleep, and flip through channels" is NOT on your to-do list.

Whether or not you actually do write out to-do lists, it's important to have an active mindset, not a reactive one throughout the day. Plan, don't watch your day go by. Today is precious. So don't hold back- it's up to you to make something of it.

Insomnia at its best

Isn't it weird that sometimes your best work or inspiration comes in the middle of the night when all you should be thinking about is sleep? That's happened to me a few times, whether it's because I can't fall asleep or because  my brain is randomly firing off idea impulses that I decide I have to act on or it will be forever lost. If you can't tell, this is one of them.

Maybe it's something soothing about the silence that floods the house after everyone else has gone to bed, when it's just you and your computer screen for company. And of course, your wandering thoughts. They seem to flicker through your mind as much as the backlight on your computer is flickering through your exhausted retinas.

Or maybe it's just that inspiration strikes only when you are thoroughly tired out, blanked with fatigue. Your body begins to run on the next source of energy: a fuel I call intellectual chaos. It does wonders to revive the soul and for a moment you might wonder if you are actually insane. But sleep is not the answer. You need to spend that energy in one form or another. Writing, ranting, blogging, painting, exercising, calling a friend and crying to them over the phone, all good outlets for this sort of explosive energy. Ride the momentum and make something happen. You never know when it will happen again.

Music Memories

Music and memories... I still find it amazing how closely those two are entwined. It's like by hearing a song, you are immediately transported back to a certain event or memory in your life. You remember the exact emotions you felt during that time, and it's like the music has left an imprint on your life. It evokes a certain feeling every time you listen to it, something personal that is connected to the past.

I listen to "Gotta Get Thru This" by Daniel Bedingfield and automatically remember the summer of 2009, sitting in a crowded plane on the way to an awesome vacation in Taiwan. I had a headache, I was drinking ginger ale, and I vividly remember listening to the song. Or it's "Stronger" by Kayne West- whenever I hear the song played anywhere, I can't help but think of the summer of 2010, and the countless times it was played on my i-pod while at Gold's Gym, working out and fired up about the World Cup matches going on.

Songs like these will never be forgotten. And some songs you just associate with certain memories or feelings or time periods in your life. And that's why I love sharing music. A song can be personal enough to mean something really deep to you and yet sound completely different to each person. Just like people have different memories of the same event. So take a look back and find the songs that have really made up your life and are holding memories for you. Cry, laugh, hate, and love them as you listen to them again and pinpoint that one moment in your life. And even if you don't, at least you'll have the perfect soundtrack for when they make a movie production out of your life story.

Takeoff (in 2nd person)

That feeling of take-off as the front wheels gently leave the ground. The world tilts for a moment as the plane banks. You lean back as it accelerates upwards, pulling you away from the ground and into the air, where you can see everything fade into the hazy distance. Squares of green and brown come into view and you see where the roads connect like veins. The lakes look murky and small, reminiscent of the puddles in your driveway.

So many different shades of green! Trees cover the terrain in splotches, interconnecting between areas of flattened land and construction. You see the very slight curve of the earth in the horizon in a moment of wondrous delight. You hear the roar of the engines behind you as they hurtle you through space, the terrain below moving in slow motion. Breathtaking. Tiny boats can be seen skimming through one of the Great Lakes, gigantic in proportion. They leave visible trails of white in the shimmering blue.

And then you break through the white film of moisture and you're above the clouds. Shadows of the clouds beside you drift over the land below. From above you can see the top of the clouds and their three-dimensional texture, forming a terrain of its own. The land looks big, but as you continue to rise, the size of the giant loners of the air astound you. Layers upon layers of cloud pass below you and soon it's another world entirely....

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Note of Thanks

Hey everyone, if you're going "wow, this site looks different and wonderfully fantastic now," I just want to do a little explaining about what happened to this site. Or even if you're going "wow this site sucks I hate this blogger" I want to drop you a little note anyways. For those of you who don't know, I suck at working with computers and website stuff and things like that. Heck, if didn't have a template laid out for me when I first started writing, there probably wouldn't be a blog here. And programming? Please. To me, Java, C++, Python, and all that other programming err... programs fall under the generic term "coding stuff". So when I wanted to make changes to this site and make it more presentable, I hadn't the foggiest clue what to do.

So I went for help. My good friend David Zhang just happens to be that "good-at-coding-stuff" guy and was willing to donate his time to help me, and in turn, help you guys enjoy this blog better. And since I just wrote a post about the importance of giving credit where credit is due, I just want to thank David for all his help here. Cuz there's no way I did any of these fancy changes to the site =P So take a look around at David's handiwork, the new and improved way to comment below (hint hint, it's a link that says "leave a comment!"), and other cool options you can now mess around with. Thanks for reading! And make sure you check out David's own blog at (especially if you're a fellow "good-at-coding-stuff" person =D)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Spending Earned Money

You've just babysat for a week, painstakingly mowed two lawns in hundred degree weather, and finally saved enough to have a sizable allowance at hand. You're at the mall with some friends and walk past the Ice Cream and Desserts shop. Do you... a) Buy an extra large sundae with sprinkles, something you normally wouldn't be able to afford b) Buy the tiny kid-sized cone to join your friends or c) Refuse to spend money and later unabashedly try to mooch off your friends' sundaes.

Which did you answer? You all know the different types of people out there, the savers, the spenders, and the in-betweens. Sometimes the spenders have no self-control and end up going broke halfway through the week. But sometimes it's the savers that never know when to spend.

I've found that people who are overly thrifty are not as satisfied as the people who freely spend their earned money. I'm talking about people who almost hoard their savings, unwilling to spend even a fraction of it unless they deem it's the best usage of their money. I think this attitude to find the most "efficient" Money For Pleasure ratio actually backfires on people who do that on a regular basis. Unless you're saving up for something more important, weekly allowances are meant to be spent and enjoyed. The fact that you're earning it yourself makes it more valuable, but I see my friends are happiest when they get to spend it on something worthwhile (blowing it all on 50 cent kid rides and gumballs at the mall, for example, is not something I would say is worthwhile. But hey, if you're that kind of person, be my guest...).

If you never spend any money, you won't feel as satisfied with the work you've done to earn it. And plus, you're more fun to hang out with when you're not afraid of occasionally spending a good chunk of money. It all depends on the occasion, I guess. It sucks to be broke, but I think it sucks even more to save and save your allowance, only to have an anvil randomly drop on your head one day and have all your hard work go to waste ;)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Credit Moochers

Wasn't sure what image to use for this post, but everything's better with a minion, right? 
Don't you hate it when people get credit for something they didn't do? Especially if you put in a lot of time and effort to accomplish something, and then someone else gets recognized for it. It's something that really bothers me and I'm trying to figure out why. I think it's more the fact that the person gets undeserved credit, rather than the fact that I'm not the one receiving it.

I guess it comes in a lot of different situations, like putting a lot of thought into choosing a gift for someone, only to have your other friend buy it for them and pretend they thought of it themselves. Or giving an answer to a question during class in school, have the teacher not hear you, and then watching as someone else raises their hand and gets the credit. I find that for manual labor (mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, washing the dishes), I'm not bothered if no one notices. But as soon as the credit goes to someone else, without that person lifting a finger, then I get mad.

I guess it's the same with ideas, and I bet it's happened with everyone at least once in their lives. I can think of one famous example- of how Watson and Crick got all the credit for discovering that DNA was a double helix, when in fact much of their research and work was based off Rosalind Franklin, the actual researcher and taker of the photographs. Sometimes there's nothing you can do but just accept it, even if you have the urge to just shout out to the world how things really went down. Do that, and everyone will just think you're arrogant and self centered.

So here's my solution: if the person who stole the credit did it unknowingly, learn to let it go. If the person had malicious intent behind it, smile to the world as if you're happy he got credit for it, but then go beat out his brains in private later.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Just Wanna Run- The Downtown Fiction

Smile First

I love it when people you're walking by on the street or standing in line with at the grocery store randomly come up and talk to you. People you don't even know, but they're just naturally nice and don't mind spending a few seconds of their time in conversation. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and always makes me more cheerful afterwards.

I also like just the random hellos and waves you get from people if you're passing them on your bike or running past their lawn, times when you don't have time to stop and chat. A lot of the people around my neighborhood are out a lot, walking dogs, jogging, walking, sitting on their porch, so I've gotten numerous different greetings. A personal favorite of mine is the head nod, subtle but meaningful. Usually it comes from other runners that I pass, sometimes who are listening to their ipods, so it's a gesture well received.

What I don't like are the grouchy old people who flat out ignore you, or the teenagers around your age that you may or may not recognize, but pretend not to know you. Or just the people that pretend to tie their shoe or look in the opposite direction just as you pass. That just annoys me. But what I've found recently is that a lot of people, no matter how grouchy they look, actually open up a lot more if you smile first. What I do is I smile and make eye contact- if they react, then I wave and say something cheerful as I go by. It's a lot better than not smiling and then not getting anything in return, and has a much higher success rate than hoping the other person is friendly enough to say "hi" or "how's it going" first. So I don't know, contrary to what people might think, there are still a lot of friendly people left in this world, they just may not show it.

So take a chance and smile first. It's hard not to smile back at someone who smiles first, even if it's a complete stranger. I find myself doing that more and more on my runs, trying to be the first to initiate some kind of cheerful greeting. It's just one little thing to make your day a bit happier.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I know don't about you, but I really enjoy things that explode and make loud noises in the sky. Fireworks are at the top of my list because they shoot off pretty colors too. Thunder is a close second. It's been a while since we've had a good lightning storm in Syracuse, so I just had to pause and watch the storm for a while this morning. There's this incredible feeling I get when I see the lightning streak across the sky, illuminating the clouds in one brief flash, and then the reverberating boom that soon follows. It reminds me of how powerful nature is (from the comfort of my house, that is). And how this flash of electricity is able to produce such a loud, cracking sound when it's right above you. There are deeper tones too, darker and rumbling as the storm drifts away into the distance. I wish it would stay a bit more so I could keep listening to the thunder. What do you like about storms?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Belief is... the USA Women's Soccer Team

Some things you just can't explain. If you were with me and the rest of the nation in watching the 2011 Women's World Cup Final today, you know exactly what I mean. With all that the USA players struggled and persevered through, with all the tension and excitement they saw in their matches, with all their team chemistry and patriotism, there was always the belief that they could do it. The belief that they could take it to the finals and go all the way. Even after the dramatic match-up and near loss against Brazil in the quarterfinals, that hope was never diminished.

And now heartbroken is the only word fitting to describe those players who gave it their all on the soccer pitch. Hope Solo, still a hero in my heart. Heather O'Reilly. Alex Morgan. Abby Wambach. The whole rest of the team that gave our nation a chance to believe in victory. I know I was along for that ride, jumping up with elation each time the US took a lead, both in the 2nd half of regular time (69th min), and the first half of overtime (104th min). Bowing my head in agony each time Japan equalized. And then the disastrous penalty shoot out.

As Coach Pia Sundhage said afterwards, there's no explaining it. Those first three misses from the US were excruciating to watch. Even then there was still the hope that the US would, like before, miraculously come back and take a championship they all deserved. With such a close, back-and-forth game, the 3-1 loss to Japan in the penalty shootout was an agonizing loss. I could see it in the eyes of the US players at the end, watering and shining with emotion, probably not alone with the millions of the watchers who were biting their nails and tugging their shirts throughout the entire match.

And it just goes to show how much a national game like this means to people. Not just the people watching in the US, but around the world and military bases as well. It doesn't have to be soccer, but the World Cup only comes once every four years, and soccer just happens to be the game with the characteristic of producing the unexpected, no matter how tragic. From the sport's point of view, it was a good match. You can't deny that it was a game well played for most all the players.

The thing that gets me is that the US team was so close to completing the journey, having completely outplayed the Japanese team in the first half but not able to finish any of their scoring opportunities. Their passing was strong, but their passion stronger. And that's what a winning team needs. The passion to play for themselves and for their country. From the moment the national anthems were played, there was a patriotic edge to it all. Especially for viewers like us that, just by watching, felt a fierce sense of loyalty and attachment to the team for what they did. They were almost there. I'm still crying over it. There's nothing now that will be able to deter that empty feeling of loss after such a cruel defeat. But find some reassurance that we'll still mourn together, all 300 million of us, as one proud nation backing one fantastic team.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


So yeah, in case you missed my first post about weekly challenges or are too lazy to go all the way back to read it, I want to give readers the opportunity to suggest topics for me to blog about. Yeah yeah, some blogger-reader interaction if you will. But seriously, I don't want this blog to be about me and my life! That'd just be boring. And I bet something interesting is going on in your life right now, or you've thought of a cool idea before, or had some sort of breakthrough revelation about the way we eat pudding. Yeah, that kind of stuff.

I know the title says "weekly" challenge but I'll just do these sporadically as you readers warrant. Besides, "weekly challenge" just has a nice ring to it, don't you think? Anyways email me the answer to my "weekly challenge question" (I'll go easy for the first few ones) and then suggest a blog topic. I'll choose the one that's first and that is appropriate.

-Who's lovely face is that posted above? (hint hint 2 p.m. Sunday tomorrow on ESPN. Go go USA!!)
-Email me at

Friday, July 15, 2011

My life.

What's one life out of almost 7 billion? Nothing, and yet everything.

I thought that the picture, though not exactly synonymous with this post, was a good addition nonetheless. Have you ever stood beside the ocean and just gazed out at the waves, stretching all the way out into the horizon, wondering how there could be such a big body of water right in front of you? Or laid on your back at night and stared at the stars, the endless expanse stretching out into space... Would anyone even care if I blogged about me, one insignificant life? Who cares about my personal life anyways?

But I guess some people might still find it fascinating. And I suppose the saying is "a penny for your thoughts." It's always interesting to see what other people's lives are like. For example, I really want to eat some cherries right now. Or go cherry-picking on a farm and climb trees, eating only the ripest ones that I can find. That sounds fun.

So in order to match the title, I suppose I could start listing things I’ve done in the past week or so in chronological order. Or maybe I’ll try to squeeze my full autobiography into this one post. Or perhaps you readers would prefer something simple and to the point, maybe along the lines of:

Typical teenage boy. Eats food. Fighting parents. Likes girl. Dealing with summer assignments. Sleep. Playing video games. Running for soccer. Looking for a job. Wants people to follow and leave nice comments on his blog. ^_^

That's a pretty good summary. But if you really want to know more about my life I guess you could talk to me. Or write me a letter. Or Facebook stalk me. Or send me emails. Or ask questions on my blog. Or send me subliminal secret messages through fortune cookies. Yeah, I'd be impressed with that last one.

That ice cream cone in your dreams

Have you ever dreamed you were eating in your dreams, only to wake up before you could eat whatever it was you were dreaming about? It always seems to happen to me with really delicious foods, like an ice cream sundae or a slice of pizza or a candy bar. Maybe I'm just going to bed hungry, but some of my dreams involve me either chancing upon or procuring some form of food. And then of course, as I'm about to take my first bite I kick and wake up. Like really? At least I should get to finish whatever I dreamed of eating first before waking up and forgetting what the rest of the dream was about.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2- The Bittersweet End

So this is it, guys. Midnight tonight- the very last Harry Potter adventure: Harry Potter and the Death Hallows Part 2. (Here's the epic trailer for funsies:)

Harry Potter fans and non-Harry Potter fans alike have to admit that it’s a pretty heartfelt moment, to be at the very end of such an epic adventure. It came once at the release of the last book, but now it’s another whole conclusion with the finale of the movies. I mean, the books were amazing. But I feel it’s the movies that really characterized the saga and brought the series to life. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint… their portrayals of Harry, Hermoine, and Ron couldn’t have been better.

Even Alan Rickman (Snape) and Tom Felton (Malfoy) took on their roles perfectly. And for those who read the books and then watched the movies, you know what I mean when I say those portrayals live on every time you re-read the series. The books and the movies as they came out one after the other really shaped each other. (If you follow the movies but haven’t read the books before, go start reading the series. I guarantee you will find it ten times more enjoyable. J.K. Rowling is pure genius, and there are so many smaller plots and nuances that the movies don’t have time to portray.)

So thank you, J.K. Rowling, for creating such a magical world and a story that will live on in kids, teenagers, and adults alike. The Harry Potter series has already become a classic that will continue on forever. I don’t care what the English teachers say, the Harry Potter series has more “literary merit” than most books I can think of. And more. For us current teenagers and college students, we grew up with Harry Potter. We grew up during the spell of waiting anxiously each year for the new release of the book and the next movie that would come out. We watched the actors grow up with each new movie.

There’s not many series that can compare with the scale of good vs. evil that exists between Harry and Voldemort. And quite honestly, I think there is no series that tops Harry Potter for the vividness of the characters (I mean come on, just look at Dobby), or the depiction of Hogwarts and the whole wizarding world. I can’t imagine how many kids and teens have wished before that they were invited to Hogwarts, or able to perform magic with a wand, or flying on a broomstick playing Quidditch. I mean, I can’t put it any other way. Harry Potter made for a very magical childhood.

And before we go on the last exhilarating ride tonight, just take a look back and smile at everything that has preceded this last movie. “Through the Pensieve” by genrocks sums up everything I just said. (I teared up when I first watched it)

Memories are forever. So know that it all ends tonight, but not really. 

Oriental Supermarkets FTW

I was in Han's Oriental Grocery earlier today while my mom did some shopping and couldn't help but notice the one white guy eagerly browsing the aisles at 11 in the morning. I mean, it's not a big deal and there's no unspoken rule that only asians come to buy stuff, but this guy had such a big grin on his face that I knew it must've been his first time in the grocery. He was looking at everything with a mixture of delight and astonishment as his Korean friend kind of led him through the store.

He had several different drinks in his hands, a bag of shrimp crackers, and other delicious oriental market snacks, so I knew his friend was taking good care of him. It was just fun to watch him look at everything with such interest. But I guess that's how people in foreign countries always feel with Americans ogle over their markets too.

This guy acted exactly like a tourist's first time in the store. I couldn't help but smile, glad he was having so much fun shopping and getting to eat all those snacks later. Oriental supermarkets are awesome places to be when you know where all the yummy stuff is.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Who Needs Summer Assignments?

I mean, really. Whoever came up with the idea of assigning kids homework over the summer had a pretty warped idea of what summer was supposed to be like. Summer is supposed to be lazy, fun, memorable, mostly carefree... the last thing any kid needs is required work that's "due" at the beginning of the next school year. I hate that feeling of having that assignment just hang over your head all summer, just dreading the day when you finally have to start working on it.

And whether you're the type who works on it a bit at a time or finishes it all in one go the week before school, it's not like the assignment benefits you that much. All that about "keeping your mind sharp" and "preparing you for the workload" doesn't really make sense, especially with the summer assignments I've gotten. Some teachers claim they without the summer assignment they won't be able to get through the curriculum, but I would rather have a relaxing summer and a slightly sped up school year than have to do curriculum work when I'm not motivated at all.

So yeah, some assignments aren't bad and I'm exaggerating how time-consuming they are, but it's the thought that counts. I just want to have a care-free summer, period. Summer's the time to enjoy yourself and your hobbies. It's the time to get a job, work an internship, or do something else creative or interesting. Or at least something that's worthwhile and memorable, rather than drudge-work in the form of a summer assignment. Keep that kind of stuff for the school year, please.

Parody Trailers

These are really well done, haha all credit to the original makers. Make sure you watch the first trailer first to understand what the parody is about.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


It's that distinct continuous buzz that can be heard almost everywhere come summer. Rarely do you see these insects in trees, but their sound can always be heard, swelling and ebbing in an almost harsh tone. I've only recently began to hear the cicadas around my neighborhood and elsewhere when I go on a run- they seem to be most pronounced around noon and late evening, but that has no scientific basing whatsoever.

The cicadas have kind of snuck up on me this summer. It's a sure sign that summer has arrived, but I can never pinpoint the first day that I hear them. It's one of those things that stay in the background and you never notice until you pay close attention, like the humming of your fridge or computer. Your brain is so used to it that it almost blocks it out, until the moment where you're suddenly like "What's that buzzing? Wow, those cicadas are really loud!" I guess the same thing happens with leaves changing color come autumn, and flowers bloom in spring. It takes an observant eye to notice the changes right off the bat. But then again, it's nice to be surprised by nature once in a while.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I'm not going to try to make this my most insightful post, but I couldn't help writing about scabs when I have one on my left knee. Well, had one. So what is it with scabs and picking them off?

When you have one I think it's pretty cool. Annoying sometimes when you bump into it, but I guess it's something akin to a battle scar. This current one on my knee is pretty small as far as scabs go, but it's noticeable. So whenever someone asks me about it I can proudly say that I got it diving for a save during a game of World Cup. Other than that I think you only notice scabs when you're bored. It's not the best thing you can do (especially if you want it to heal quickly) but why not? It's itchy and interesting to see how far you can pick at it.

So I guess I'm a scab-picker. I don't think I've left scabs on for more than a few days. The larger ones will re-scab and then the fun just starts all over again.

PK Shootout- The Ultimate Test

There's not a lot of things that I can imagine being more stressful than taking a penalty kick in a shootout after two overtimes... in a World Cup Quarter-Final. Ok fine, maybe taking a PK in a World Cup Final.

But wow, I watched the USA Women's Team really step up in their match against Brazil today in the Women's World Cup. I'm sad to say that I missed the match, but I heard it was sensational... some poor officiating and a baloney call to allow Brazil to retake a PK that Hope Solo brilliantly saved. And talk about dramatic... taking it into the dreaded penalty kick shootout. I commend each and every player that stepped up to the line to take a penalty kick for their respective countries. With so much at stake and all those fans watching, not to mention teammates and coaches and family and friends, it's a wonder how they keep their cool.

I gotta hand it to the US though for beating Brazil 5-3 in the shootout. 5/5 is impressive. I went back to watch footage of the shootout and all of them were well placed. Kudos to Solo again for a great save on a decent PK. The fact that the USA triumphed without missing a single penalty kick, after being emotionally shaken up during the game for the bad officiating and being behind, really goes to show the extent of their training.

It's like anything else in life that deals with pressure. Musical performances and auditions, for example. You just have to practice enough so that you can calmly perform even under pressure. The hardest thing to do is t to not psych yourself out. You have to drown out any doubts that you have and have confidence. After all, trusting yourself in such dramatic moments is the test between victors and losers.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tell Me Baby- RHCP

There's so much auto-tune and special effects and "processed" music out there today that sometimes it's refreshing to listen to your favorite bands live. In some cases, I think it's even better than their album versions.

Friday, July 8, 2011

KIWI!!!!.... and other fruit too

Kiwis are absolutely delicious. Who's with me?

Actually all fruit, when perfectly ripe, are perfectly delectable. I'm getting hungry imagining it all right now... that crisp, crunchy, sweet first bite of an apple, the summer, nectar-like flavor of peaches, the unmistakable aroma of ripe cantaloupe... I could go on and on describing my favorite fruits.

But I found out something cool just a few minutes when I ate that luscious kiwi. I found out that you get different experiences when you eat fruit in different ways. Sliced, whole, skinned, not skinned, on or off the rind (I much prefer holding onto a slice of watermelon and eating all the way to the rind, rather than eat pre-cut chunks).

Take kiwi as an example. That fuzzy brown covering presents a problem, as it's hard to get off using a normal apple or potato peeler. So normally our family serves kiwis sliced in half with a spoon. In this way you can gently scoop out spoonfuls of green flesh, savoring the taste and licking up any juice that drips down the spoon onto your hand. It's much different than eating those chunks of kiwi that come in a fruit bowl or in a fruit salad.

So today I took a different approach and spent that extra 5 minutes carefully using a knife to peel away the skin. I cut off the stubby end and marveled at the juicy green oval-orb in my hand. And then biting in... mmm the texture was so different from those chunks in fruit salad that I'm used to picking out and eating, and the taste- it was like a burst of pure kiwiness that surpassed any spoonful I've had using the cut-in-half method. I noticed there were sweet and tangy spots in the whole fruit. The seeds in the middle were slightly tangier but still sweet.

The entire fruit was pretty filling, and I felt I was eating some exotic fruit like they describe in those stories where an explorer picks a fruit off a tree and just bites in like they would an apple. But trust me, it's so much different from the scoop method of eating kiwis, and doesn't require too much extra effort. I bet you're thinking about going to a supermarket and getting some kiwis right now. Make sure they're ripe and try eating  one whole, after skinning it. Then come back and tell me what you think. =)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I'm Blue- Eiffel 65

I'm going to start sharing music and cool Youtube videos I come across, so stay tuned! I mean, they're such a big part of my life, so why wouldn't I include them as part of the teenage experience? This song has a special meaning to me, it's a song that kind of implies "feeling blue" but it doesn't sound that way at all =] Awesome song. I'll tag future songs with the tag "music."

Almost losing a friend... the numbing sorrow

There are midsummer nights, and then there are nights of utter immoblization. 

I experienced one the other day after receiving a phone call from a very dear friend, realizing that everything between us could be over. I ended the call and just stared out the porch window, watching the trees in my backyard, the red sparrow that flew across my line of sight, the rippling grass, the clouds. And just not… appreciating any of it. My heart rate was steady and I was taking measured breaths, but my mind was struggling over the consequences of what had just happened. It was a moment of dread, fear, regret, and all those other emotions that come with misunderstanding and conflict: emotions we’ve all experienced before. 

My mind was just processing everything that had happened, and for a few minutes as I was sitting there, I felt numb to the rest of the world. Ever get that feeling where nothing else in the world matters for a few seconds and you’re just… thinking? And then struggling to get back into your daily life, to get your mind off things, to get back to whatever you were doing before that phone call, but just can’t?

I guess life needs both joy and sorrow. If your life was a movie, something like “How to Save a Life” by the Fray would be playing in the background. Life isn’t perfect, but sometimes that pain and sadness is hard to overcome in just one night. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Summer: Lazy But Good

Hasn't the phrase "midsummer night" always been something like a cliche? I don't know about you guys, but I hear that phrase and automatically think of Robert Frost and his poems about living in nature or something. It's kind of a funny thing with cliches though- they seem boring until you experience them for yourself. Let me give you an example: "his heart beat like a drum, and he wondered why no one else seemed to hear the thumping in his ribcage." It used to be another cliche for me, a trite expression to throw in when writing when I had no better words to use. But I vividly that one moment in my life, maybe before a big test or a performance in front of a lot of people (I don't remember), that my heart was just POUNDING. And I realized that moment why expressions become cliches- because they are great and descriptive the FIRST time it's used.

So. Midsummer nights. What are you thinking of right now? A night in the middle of summer? Ok ok, so it isn’t the MIDDLE of summer yet, but I think July 4th is close enough. To me, midsummer nights just mean warm, breezy, peaceful, relaxing evenings out on your porch or in the middle of a park or just walking along the sidewalk, a night where you look out and just feel soothed by the slowly setting sun and gentle skies. A night where you feel completely carefree and it's just awesome to sit and enjoy the night for what it is. That's today. I didn't go out tonight for any 4th of July fireworks, but I had an awesome time playing some pick-up soccer with a bunch of friends. I hear the crackle and pops of fireworks from the open window beside me, and I'm just leaning back in this comfy chair and typing. 

This is what summer nights are supposed to feel like. Granted, I don't have to wake up early tomorrow morning to work or anything, but every now and then that lazy, relaxing summer night comes along for everyone. So I'm gonna sign off and get back to that right now. Happy 4th of July everyone!

Wait....what do people in the Southern Hemisphere think when they hear “midsummer nights?” O.o