Some drivers don’t deserve their licenses to drive at all. Nor should they be allowed to purchase nice cars. It is because of such people that I almost died today as a product of collateral damage.
Cruising on the 405 today at 80mph, I suddenly noticed a ritzy coupe cut dangerously swift and close (without signal lights) in front of the sedan ahead of me. I’m assuming the sedan driver was severely startled since that vehicle suddenly braked hard, forcing me to deflect quickly to the left carpool lane to avoid a collision.
Everything just happened in a flash. Hell, I dont even remember the make of the car or the color of the car that was in front of me.
Thank god there were not that many cars.
Thank god there was no one in the carpool lane.
Thank god for the three-second rule.
Thank god for luck.
I didn’t realize the news of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings until I went onto LA Times this morning after showering and was greeted with huge black headlines that seemed to shoot a numbing electrical charge within my entire body: “27 killed in Connecticut school shooting.”
Well, needless to say, not exactly the best way to start off one’s morning.
But what bothered me the most was not the fact that another shooting took place, or that it took place in an elementary school, of all places, or that this essentially was the epitome of inhumanity. What bothered me the most was that while I was ignorantly and blissfully lounging in bed and enjoying my free Friday morning after finals/work week, pandemonium, panic, and death were wreaking havoc on the opposite coast. While I was enjoying myself and accomplishing no productive thing at all, people were getting injured, gasping their last breaths, dying upon impact, and losing beloved family members.
I know this happens quite often, given the chaos in the Middle East and the fact that every 3.6 seconds, someone dies of hunger, just to name two examples. But for some reason, today’s incident really made me feel like bug shit.
Every Thursday at this exact moment, I’d be eating my lunch while keeping an eye on the clock. 15 minutes later, I’d be getting ready to leave for my internship.
However, today is different. As the fall quarter comes to a close, I find, to my surprise, that time passed faster than I had anticipated, and my internship term too came to a close.
Every time I complete something I had committed a lot of time and energy to, I always end up feeling bittersweet, and that is exactly how I feel at the moment as I type this post out with a sleepy puppy vying for some seat space behind me.
I won’t go into detail about my internship, as I like to keep some anonymity on here, but those who are familiar with my life know I go every Wednesday 8AM-5PM and Thursdays for another four hours and I complain about heading to the office all the time (and the 9 hours I sit on Wednesdays because I work through my lunch hour like a sad, good worker). But despite all my grumblings, I did actually like the (nonpaying) job. It partially tapped into interests, and I learned a lot about the industry, the city, APA style, and more about myself. I even mastered the basics of navigating a Mac desktop.
If you know me, you may have heard me dub my various working experiences as “stepping stones” to my future career. And this is exactly that - a stepping stone, a stepping stone conquered. People probably don’t celebrate the conclusion of their internships, but I toast to myself. Cheers to me for nailing the interview. I pat myself on the back for waking up at ungodly hours every Wednesday and risk the build-up of adipose tissue and CELLULITE on my ass from sitting all day (with the exception of bathroom breaks). Huzzuh to me for seeing this job through despite knowing that my gas tank weeps every week I drive there and that I’m essentially supplying free labor at my own expense.
Now that I’m nearing graduation, I’ve come to realize that my time for internships is running out, especially since most internships related to my field are nonpaying. Screw being bittersweet; I need to get a firm grip on life. Internships are meant to be short-term, and I should revel in that before I find myself slammed with a long-term job commitment that I may not necessarily enjoy.
I’m happy to say that I can now express myself through a new tumblr outlet - a photo blog especially reserved for my photos that turn out well. Of course, I’m no photography connoisseur, but I do know what looks pretty. And thus, I introduce to you www.ilikeprettyphotographs.tumblr.com
It will contain all of the pictures I take and edit. No reblogs from other sites. Unlike Facebook, this page will allow me to consolidate all of my better-looking photos from my camera into one location, rather than multiple Facebook albums, crammed with other inadequate photos.
I now have five outlets for self-expression: my Facebook, Twitter (BEST THING EVER), photo-reblog tumblr (SECOND BEST THING EVER), this writing tumblr, and pretty pictures.
OK, I should be nicer and rephrase that.
Everytime I see a picture where Cara Delevingne is making a ghastly face (which is pretty much 8 out of 10 photos), I just want to punch her.
I love her last name and (sometimes) her fashion sense, but what really ticks me off is that she feels the urge to make the ugliest faces at the camera all the time. Honestly, you’re goofy. That’s your personality. I get that. But need you scar my mind every time I come across your photograph?
Cara has the potential to be beautiful, but instead, she chooses to exert her model and socialite status via her “comical” facial expressions.
Dear Cara: See how beautiful and mature you can look if you choose to act like it? I do wonder if you understand that the photos of your “goofy” expressions do not showcase you as a very attractive person. Please stop. Personality can be displayed via conversations too, you know. Your photos will just end up making every baby in the world cry.
English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran may be known primarily in the U.S. for his debut single “The A Team” and for his collaboration with Taylor Swift on a track from her recent album, but he is also brilliant when it comes to visually conveying his music in the form of music videos.
I discovered Sheeran’s music before “The A Team” became famous and overplayed in California, and his talent just struck me speechless. He may not necessarily be the best looker I have seen, but his acoustics and lyrics touch the heart, and now, after seeing his recent music video of “Give Me Love,” I hold even more respect for this English ginger.
Music videos should never just regurgitate the lyrics, nor should they revolve around a completely different and random concept. Instead, they should convey the meaning of the song in a creative and thought-provoking way.
Sheeran contemplates the meaning of giving and receiving love in the “Give Me Love” music video. With the lyrics describing a plea for love, as the title suggests, one could have assumed that Sheeran’s video falls victim to the typical boy-meets-girl-boy-falls-in-love setting, given the pattern of a dearth of high-quality MVs we see today. Instead, Sheeran chooses to expand his creativity and reveal a whole new interpretation on the lyrics. He casts a distressed female character as the main focus of attention, who, in her effort to seek insight into her existence, takes on the role of a modern-day cupid, shooting young men and women around her with her arrows of love. Ultimately, however, her role becomes damaging to herself as she starts to crave the love that she allows others to experience, and her inability to find that love forces her to fire a self-inflicting arrow. The haunting chords of “Give Me Love,” paired with this storyline, leaves behind an inexorably heaviness within the viewer.
I feel like my usual scornful voice has been absent in this posting, so here is one to end my thoughts: I don’t understand artists who put out music videos that don’t even relate to their songs. It is such a waste of money and effort and is a repellent stain on the art of music. Those who put out such music videos should not even be considered “artists.” Sometimes, I just feel inexplicably sad about the quality of today’s “good” music.
The pizza box had been sitting on the counter since yesterday, and I’d been meaning to take it out. This morning, since there was a bit of extra time before I had to leave for work, I decided to take the box, as well as a bag of trash, out to the dumpster.
It just so happened that I had to carry my lunch in one hand too, and the lunch was bagged up in a Ralphs grocery bag—the exact same kind of bag that carried the trash.
In my left hand, I held my keys and my laptop-backpack. And in my right hand, I held two bags (one trash, one lunch) and one pizza box. On the way to the dumpster, a gardener cheerily greeted, “Good morning!” I could only drearily reply, given the awfully early hour.
On autopilot, when I passed the dumpster, I swung hard and tossed everything from my right hand into the large bin. It wasn’t until I reached my car and deposited my backpack into the passenger seat that I realized something was missing.
“SHIT! MY LUNCH!” I shrieked in a panic, and I ran ran ran to the dumpster, praying that I had just forgotten my lunch back in the apartment and that it was not sitting in the dumpster with the rest of the garbage.
Thank god…….it wasn’t at the bottom of the dumpster. Instead, it sat innocently on top of piles of trash. And not being able to sacrifice three good Tupperware containers and a spoon just like that, I knew I had to retrieve it. But upon heaving myself onto the wooden ledge that separated the metal green dumpster from the sidewalk path, I nearly – NEARLY – fall into the bin. But at least I recovered my bag of lunch. Although I’m pretty sure I won’t be eating it.
I hope the gardener didn’t hear me.
And I will never again take out the trash in the morning. At least not while I’m in a semi-groggy state.
It’s so difficult to work here without a Mac (or Mac knowledge, for that matter).
The main reason is that all office files are uploaded to the office server, which, inconveniently for me, is only accessible from a Mac. And I have a PC, in case you were still trying to figure out my problem.
The other day, I had to access one of the time-sensitive server files. And there were no spare computers in sight in the editorial room. In a slight panic, I ran upstairs to the photography department, hoping that one of the computers was available, since the photographers are usually out doing their stuff anyways. But it just so happened that no one was absent, and all computers were being used.
“Can I use someone’s computer super quick? I need to access the server for a file,” I blurted out as I stood in the middle of the photography department, not quite knowing what else to do.
One of the young guys looked up. “Here, you can use mine.” He friendly surrendered his Macbook to me. And as he hovered over my shoulder, I realized that I had no idea how to operate a Macbook. And he could tell I was a complete Macbook blockhead too. Even with his guidance, I still had so much trouble just accessing one simple file.
I think I nearly died in embarrassment. After retrieving the file, I practically ran out of there. I vaguely remember him introducing himself, but in my frazzled state, I completely forgot his name.
And then, just now while I was microwaving my lunch in the lunch room, he walked in. I hoped to myself that he was there to throw something away, but he started conversing with me as I struggled to open my little glass Tupperware like an elementary school girl. He even invited me to get happy hour drinks with him and his roommate sometime, although I think I gave a lame reply that sounded something like, “Cool. I’ll let you know” with an impassive face. I definitely should have been a little friendlier, but I felt too awkward. I swear, if I keep doing this to myself, I’m going to be friendless here.
Oh, by the way, now he knows the general location of where I live.
But it’s okay. I know the make and color of his car.
And I finally know his name. I got the opportunity to casually ask a fellow intern about it.
DISCLAIMER: As with all my personal tumblr entries, I try not to name names to protect identity. But, if at some point whilst reading, you find yourself enraged because you believe I’m directing my words at you, you should think about this: There is a reason for your feeling of unsettlement. You must have done something wrong.
I nearly suffered a brain aneurysm just now when I went onto my Facebook and perused my newsfeed.
When the idea of acquiring a tattoo first blossomed for me, I decided emphatically that if I were to really be inked, I would create my own design in every sense, straying away from the cliche phrases and artworks that people usually carve into their skin especially since the stereotypes of tattoos are changing and these ex-taboos are becoming quite common in society. And for six months, I researched fonts to use as inspiration to create my own perfect writing, adjusted letter/word/line spacing and letter-line thickness, figured out the best body placement for my tattoo, so that with trial and error, I literally planned every last detail on my own and at last emerged with what I viewed as the perfect end product: something I could happily live with for the rest of my life.
What I had spent 6 months laboriously designing and perfecting has now been reduced to a trifle. Six months of time, creativity, and rough drafts all shot to hell, all flushed down the drain. Someone who is familiar with my design is now walking around with almost the same exact artwork on her skin. The text itself may be different, but the body placement, the 2-line formation, the script style, the size, and the color are practically the same. Pure coincidence? We can all agree to disagree, but I stand by my rage. The two of us are now essentially tattoo-buds. Matching outfits are tacky, and so are practically-matching tattoos. I don’t feel original anymore. I don’t feel justified in taking pride in my tattoo artwork.
Apple can sue Samsung, and Christian Louboutin can sue Yves St Laurent, but I can’t sue over this. But ultimately, to me at least, it all involves the same concept. My idea has been stolen.
Don’t get me wrong. I do feel flattered when people sincerely like my style or my creations. But it is a completely different (and insulting!) thing when they do the following:
Seriously, if you are going to leech my idea off of me, especially when it involves permanent ink, it is in your best interest to not post a photo of it online where I can easily view it and mentally curse you. And if you have the audacity to show off your tattoo to others and proclaim that it was entirely all your design, you should
go die in a hole be righteously ashamed of yourself. If looks and thoughts could torture and kill….. I shan’t even finish that sentence.
Now, I had promised my Twitter followers that I’d try to be civil when writing this little piece. But as I learned from the ending of The Amazing Spiderman, the promises you make but can’t keep are “the best ones.” I think I did a pretty good job at keeping my promise though. I didn’t use the F and C words.
“Did you find everything alright today?” the Forever21 store clerk beams at me as she starts scanning my items.
“Yes!” I smile back. She looks like she could be my aunt. A very stylish aunt.
“Wow, only just one top today?” she asks as she finishes ringing up my clothes.
“What? Oh! I didn’t even realize!” I laugh in surprise as I notice that it was true. I had only taken one top and four skirts. Usually, it’d be the other way around.
The lady leans in conspiratorially as she hands me my bags. “You know, next week, we get an entire shipment of a new set of clothes. Our fall collection. Maybe you’ll be able to find nice tops then!”
Clever. Very clever. But damn, it worked. I can never say no to fall clothes, especially since I’m sick of summer apparel already.
We’re on the airplane and I gaze out to the night sky, watching the clouds blur the outline of the plane wing as the aircraft shoots upwards and gains altitude. Then, suddenly, something looks wrong. Very wrong.
“Look! You see that light? Something is coming closer and closer to us! Probably another plane! It’s not stopping!” I grab my sister’s arm and drag her head to the window. “Oh my god, it’s not stopping! It’s going to barrel into us and we’re going to die!”
For the next five agonizing seconds where my mind is just a blank, my sister and I stare wordlessly out the window at the ominous light that seems to be gradually coming nearer to us.
And then, as quickly as I had noticed it, I suddenly realize the reality of the situation and give a loud laugh, then proceed to explain to my sister.
My imagination had taken over my senses. As it turns out, that light I had thought belonged to an aircraft that was on the verge of crashing into us was merely the light on our airplane wing.
My sister walks into the living room, where I’m sitting on the couch watching Channel V on the telly, and takes one long look at me.
“What’s wrong with your face?” She is still curiously looking at me.
“What do you mean?”
“Your facial expression makes it look like you smell durian or something as gross.” She can’t help but let out a small laughter as she says that.
I nod at the television screen and she looks over at it, and there’s a moment of silence as we watch girls in pink boots and short cheerleader outfits prancing around leggily. All of a sudden, she lets out a loud guffaw.
“They all look the same!” she exclaims. “They even dress the same in the ridiculous outfits! Why are you even watching this?” She picks up the remote and switches it to MTV, where Super Junior boys strut around in identical leather pants for one second before the channel gets changed once again to HBO, after an audible snort of derision from the both of us.
“I was trying to understand the appeal of kpop music and videos,” I explain as I rearrange my legs into a more comfortable position.
“I still got nothing. To me, it’s just rubbish that encourages sexualization of both genders. I’ve concluded that it’s almost the same concept as prostitution.”
“Interesting. I think some people watch for the dancing though. That’s why you see people learning the dance moves all the time,” she replies with a roll of her eyes.
“If that’s the case, people must have quite low standards for what is considered dancing then.”
My sister nods fervently in agreement as she rolls her eyes at the television.
I can’t help but giggle.
And this is exactly why school systems should abolish math beyond geometry as requirements. Seriously, I ask for the umpteenth time, when in my life will I need to know how to take the integral of something, or determine whether the ANOVA test is more fitting to use than the t-test shit?
Never. Math makes me want to slice my wrists.
It was humid outside.
Elena was visiting Ethan in Manhattan for the weekend. It was the closest thing to a quiet vacation they had gotten in what seemed like months. And naturally, the former SAS Major and the girl who had previous training with the Russian KGB, courtesy of family ties, were intent on satisfying their thirst for historical knowledge by visiting the grandiose Metropolitan Museum of Art.
It took them almost three hours to finish wandering around the first floor and make their way to the second floor galleries. As they meandered towards the rooms that displayed famous paintings from Monet and Van Gogh, amongst others, Ethan grinned at a blond little boy who smiled back and bounced eagerly on his young mother’s hip.
Then, from across the gallery, came all too familiar loud popping rattling sounds that seemed to shake the entire room and everything in it.
“Fireworks!” the little boy exclaimed gleefully.
But wait…. they were indoors. This was the nationally treasured MET museum; there was no way those noises came from fireworks. Ethan’s eyes met Elena’s, and instantly, the world came to a brief standstill as the the horrific realization hit them.
“No. It can’t be…” Elena started to whisper, but words were lost as she turned ghastly pale.
They had heard the first gunshots.
Then came the screams.
Yes, the characters are the exact same from this excerpt.
I am not a maid.
I am not a housekeeper.
But why is it that so often, I feel like one?
Don’t get me wrong. I do like cleaning, because I like living in a clean environment, but when others come along and dirty the counters, floors, sinks, and mirrors just five seconds after I’ve cleaned it, that’s not cool. What’s even more uncool is that I get the feeling that I’m the only one cleaning this place, for the most part. You want to see proof? Look at my sink, and then look at the sink in the adjoining room. You don’t have to be a detective to notice the difference.
Sometimes, such as recently, I try the technique where I abstain from cleaning and hope that the others start cleaning their share when they notice how dirty the place becomes. But so far, no such luck. All I’ve gained are some spiders who’ve taken up residence in this apartment.
God, I want my own place.