How would I describe my blog?

I’m not a fan of labels. I’m really not.

I guess I can’t quite put my blog in a label. My blog actually started as a list — a list of 101 things to do 1001 days after my last day of college. I accomplished some on my list and some I didn’t, but that’s fine. Two years after graduation, I’m not doing too shabby but it could be better and it has nothing to do with crossing off more things on the 101 thing list.

When I turned 24, I decided to write a list of things to do before I turned 25. I’ve only looked at the list during the month of September (my birthday month) and forgot about it in October and beyond. Next month I turn 25. I forgot what I wrote on my 25 things before I turned 25 but that’s all right too, I think I had a great 24th year.

I guess to me, my blog is just a self-realization, a self-improvement blog and just a focus on putting my best self forward. I write these  goals to give myself a little bit of direction but it’s not necessarily a destination. The other day, I was reading an article on the NY Times on letting go of the outcomes and expectations of your goals and focus on the process on getting there and also don’t turn your goals into expectations — it’s a sad and defeating cycle.

My blog is a one-woman show. I cook, I do Pilates, I do yoga, I run, I write, I work a full-time job, I catch up with my friends, I travel, I take photos, I study, I do my homework, I clean the dishes, and do the laundry and I wouldn’t have that any other way. You really can’t put a label on my blog. I love write my rants, share things that inspire me, share my photos of places I’ve been and writing about my frustrations, what I can do better, and of course my accomplishments — recording how far I’ve come.

Question for you: How would you describe your blog?

Wine Country Half Marathon

Last Saturday, I took my friend to Temecula for the Southern California Wine Country Half Marathon.

This folks will be her first TRAIL half marathon and I believe her 5th half marathon.

I’ll do one someday… Actually according to my 25 by 25 list I better get to it, but really, I feel in the meantime, I would focus like to focus on getting my CAPM license in the the fall. Maybe I’ll sign up for a 10k run instead. I don’t need to train as much since I can run 10k.

While I was waiting the finish line, I was talking to some people and they told me if I can run 6 miles, I can run a half-marathon.

One of these days, I’ll run one and hopefully work my way to a full marathon.

—————–

On the other note, I did not like the venue. The venue took place at Vail Lake Village and I felt the employers there were not very pleasant. For me, it only takes one thing (or maybe few things) to give it a bad review. When I was dropping off my friend in front of the Resort front office where the starting line was so she did not have to walk very far from the parking lot to the starting line. An employer from the front desk comes up to my car and points at both of us and I opened my window to tell her “I’m just dropping her off” and she didn’t say anything and kept walk closer to my car. I told my friend to go to the starting line before this lady comes any closer to my car. She keeps walking to my car with her fingers still pointing at us and points to the parking lot.

How totalitarian! I was not going to even park my car, I just wanted to drop off my friend someplace closer to the starting line. This lady didn’t even say anything or cooled off. I generally don’t write bad reviews but the customer service turned me off.

The only thing I would like to say to people who want to organize the Southern California Wine Country Half-Marathon next year is please don’t pick Vail Lake Village.

I think applies to me…

I’m a little behind. As of 7:56 pm, I’m over 6,000 words.

There’s an anti-NaNoWrimo article on Salon. I think Miller is definitely missing the point. It’s like she is saying “Forget about running that marathon, just run a little bit everyday.”

It isn’t to write a best-selling novel. It’s more like a challenge to have the discipline to write everyday and jotting down ideas and reaching hard but yet doable goals. Trying to at least make the storyline coherent. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I’m just to challenge myself if I can create a novel (if not the whole world) in 30 days or less.

I guess I went safe with trying to write a collection of short stories revolving the same character. I decided to make the book take place over a ten year period. I’m just going to keep writing and see how far it’s going to take me.  I mean when I first started–actually on the night of October 31st, I realized I had NOTHING, NOTHING prepared. Some or if not all authors when they write fiction novels don’t come up with ideas and story lines, they come up with a whole world. They think of the characters, they come up with their backgrounds, the house or apartment they grew up in, the place they live now, the city its located and what part of the world is that, their friends and family, their hopes and dreams, and their friend’s and family’s hopes and dreams. You see, there is a lot of thought into writing a novel and on the night of October 31st, I didn’t think of any of it. I started thinking these things as I go even town names, my characters names, minor character names, etc.

Would write a non-fiction but I don’t have a specific thing. My memoir wouldn’t be worth a 50,000 words.

In other news, my boyfriend wrote his first blog post all by himself on Meet Mocha. I guess he’s kind of getting into writing on top of his other hobbies such as video games, computer games, and working on his car.

Love Song

Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo. So far I’ve written 1869 words/50,000 words.

Honestly before today, I had pretty much nothing—NOTHING! Nothing to work with. But I just knew I didn’t want to write another vampire novel. Nothing pertaining to the supernatural.

I wish I was creative writing science fiction.

Instead I stuck with something simple but then I realized it wasn’t so simple. I decided to make the novel a compilation of the characters letters. She writes these letters whether real or imaginary or nonliving as a way to cope with her certain situation. The tricky part was that I didn’t want it continuous and I didn’t want it episodic. I wanted it choppy.

The idea came from my senior year in high school we read a bunch of short stories and analyzing them was pretty tricky in the beginning because it’s like entering a conversation and your’re trying figure out what they’re talking about and what they mean in a 2 pages or less. I remembered there were some stories pretty heavy in symbolism that maybe even the character drinking a cup of coffee was a symbol for something. It was a headache in the beginning but then I came to enjoy them because I liked interpreting the story the way I wanted to. Anyways we always enter in conversations, butt into people’s twitter posts or Facebook posts and they’re even shorter than than short stories. Some people say “Hey! I read so-and-so’s status does that mean (fill in crazy assumption: they broke up, unhappy, fired, streaked, got super-wasted, cheating, etc etc).”

Then again, I haven’t seen a lot of Facebook posts rich in symbolism and stimulating in thought.

I would never make a book about my life. That’s another to mention unless it was something towards a niche like a memoir of being a POW or being a female traveler or cancer survivor.

I don’t really like people who tell me their life is worth a book worth reading or a movie worth watching and just spilling it out. When really it all slips over my head and the only person that watching/reading/listening is just them. The cliche content of those who tell me their life is a “book worth reading” is their times dating crazy girls or crazy guys and how they’re not quite over them and/or vice versa. After a while, stories a while those stories dig their own grave.

I know this because I use to be like this until I had a friend (I have really smart friends) who had the guts to tell me “God shut up! It’s over! It’s been three weeks same story–it’s dead and you’re digging up its grave. Why?”

Like I said…smart friend. I wish I had guts to say that. Except I’d only say it to a true friend.

He was right, no one really cares and it’s not really a book worth reading. I mean dating crazy guys/crazy girls isn’t a book worthy read. It’s just bad decisions and not learning from it and making the same mistakes. In books there’s character development–why in real life it seems lacking?

Writing a novel in 30 days

So in about 48 hours, I am partaking a pretty ambitious project called NaNoWriM0 – National Novel Writing Month.

50,000 words in 30 days. I think I can do it…I think..

I see writing as to practicing violin or piano and I let my fingers do the flying and that’s after years of practice. To practice writing, I write on whatever possible thing to write on whether it be on my blogs, on notebooks, post-its, sketch pads, etc. I think I can do this.

It’s on my list of 25 things to do before I”m 25 and I get bragging rights that I wrote a novel before I turned 25.

Actually nah…won’t brag because I don’t like braggers. Not at all.

Moonlighting–err…Dusking…as a tutor

Since last week I’ve been tutoring after work about 2-3 times a week.

A few months ago, I left an ad for tutoring because I had plans to go back to school and take some classes. I thought tutoring would help refresh my memory. I had a few people responding to my ad and I responded back and I never hear from them again.

Then all summer and up til now I forgot I ever did post that ad.

Last week, someone responded to my ad and the following day I started tutoring her daughter in math. The next session after that, the mom asked me “when she’s more confident in math could you possibly tutor in other subjects too?” Nice! I got myself a client!

After work I tutored again and the mom asked me “could you also help my other daughter with school too?” Sure…why not.

After a week of tutoring her first daughter, I noticed she’s gotten a lot more confident in math. Always good to know that I’m helpful :-).

Both her daughters go to private school, looking through both the girls agenda books the pile of homework looked pretty overwhelming for their ages. I don’t remember getting that much homework back then.

Anyways it’s easy supplemental income without committing to having a second job. I get out of work everyday at 3:30 and I tutor around 2 to 3 times week week at 4 and I usually end at 5. So my day ends at 5. It’s the easiest 20 dollars (per session) I’ll ever make.

I thought maybe make it a challenge to only live off my tutoring money. I don’t mean use my tutoring money to pay rent…just gas, groceries and miscellany. It helped me save trips going to the ATM to get cash and less temptation to use my debit card because I now get a 5 dollar monthly fee for every time I swipe my card–even if I swipe once for that month.

Using cash would also help me feed my cow. Bessie is looks really hungry.

In other news…my boyfriend makes his debut post. Check it out!

Would you let your significant other guest-post on your blog?

It’s a trip of a life time…

Well…I have many life times and I hope I have more to go.

So anyways I’m hoping to go to Beijing, China around April 2012. My friend from UCLA lives there now. She use to live and work in San Diego after finishing up at UCLA but finding that she wasn’t very happy with being an electrical engineer, she went back home to China to figure out what she wants to do. She seems happier back home and she wants me to go visit–looks like an opportunity. I’ve never been anywhere in the continental Asian countries.

She told me to go April because it’s off season (after Chinese New Years) and that’s when tickets are cheap (cheaper than going to the PI by hundreds!).

Actually today I just checked around for plane tickets and the cheapest ones I’ve seen are between 918-988 dollars and that’s after taxes and airplane fees. Also I found a weird one that was about 600 dollars and then you add the airplane fees and taxes which was 300+ dollars which then the final price was 900 something dollars. But all the other sites had airline fees and taxes around 85 to 100 dollars and it still was 900 something dollars.

I’ll just wait until it get lower because it’s too soon and I don’t understand the difference between a 300 dollar airline fee and taxes versus a 100 dollar airline fee and taxes when it’s going to be around the same price range.

Also I’m trying to plan an itinerary. Ideally I’d like to visit multiple cities if I’m going to be there for two weeks. Two weeks is a long time to visit one city. Anyways I would really appreciate it if you can help me create an itinerary :-). (Lesson: ok so looking around for doing Asia in two weeks –it’s better to focus on one country and explore otherwise I’d be in between flights instead of enjoying my stay–but I still need your help! :-) )

As I romanticize with my coworkers about what I want in the trip, they go “go for it! It’s a trip of a lifetime.” I said “really?

What I really meant was “a trip of a life time…well…in that case I’ve got many lifetimes and more to go.” I don’t want this the be all end all because you’re getting married or you’re having a kid or other commitments. It’s not my first once-in-a-life time trip and I hope this one isn’t my last…

Here is a summary of places I’ve been. I’ll talk about them later and when I find the pictures.

1. When I was 13, I went to Washington D.C.–my first trip away from my parents.

2. Summer before high school my family and I drove to Yellowsone but we went to all these other states on the way and saw other sites. I hope I can find the picture in my parents house.

3. We drove to Canada and visited British Columbia and Alberta. We visited more states and sites on the way home.

4. 2004 – My family and I drove to Alaska and that was when I first started driving.

5.2005-  Paris, France and Northern France — you can see here, here, here, and here

6. 2007 – Japan — Tokyo, Kyoto, Matsumoto–just to name a few.

7. Last year was my first trip to the bay area. I have a lot of college friends living in the Bay so I think reuniting with your old buddies is a special moment.

I’ll eventually post pictures from my past trips–if I can find them :-).

Like I said, looks like I’ve been through plenty of lifetimes and I won’t let this one be my last.

Completed #14

I drove a manual car from point A to point B and it’s not the parking lot!

So this morning my boyfriend had to get four teeth pulled out (this is for braces) and he took the manual car even though his sister told him to take her car and its automatic. But I guess he forgot…So after the appointment, the dentist pulled me in and he said he needs to change his gauze 2-3 times, can’t eat solid food for now, can’t operate a car, and go to work.

I told the dentist “but I don’t know how to drive a stick!”

and he goes “you don’t know to drive a stick?”

Well…my boyfriend taught me a few months ago in the parking lot but I wasn’t too interested in trying since then because I was so frustrated. But the dentist told me that I had to drive because my boyfriend wasn’t allowed to drive.

I’M SO GLAD I DID!! Yes I was driving kind of slow but…I didn’t hit any cars or had an accident. I made it from the dentist back to my apartment and left my boyfriend knocked out on the couch until he was ready to go home and I just left for work.

25 before 25

Friday I turned 24 so I thought maybe I should do a 25 before I turned 25.

Somethings are from my 101 things list and since there’s a highly likely chance I won’t be able to complete it by May 27, 2012 but maybe there are some things I am so passionate that I’d like to get done by the time I turn 25.

1. Do NaNoWriMo

2. Go out of the country at least once

3. Go out of state at least once

4. Finish up my 50 books list

5. Take a leisure class

6. Volunteer–give back to the community

7. Participate in a marathon

8. Put a plant in my room/create a garden on my porch

9. Switch it up!

10. Save up more money :-)

11. Send at least 50 postcards via postcrossing (so far 1 of 50)

12. Do a Kiva loan

13. Finish ten RAK (random acts of kindness)

14. Be more proficient in driving a stick

15. Finish up my 101 things that inspire me (so far 27)

16. Leave more post it notes ;-)

17. Post more recipes (I think I’m reaching my 20 food recipes and 20 dessert recipes)

18. Try 10 new restaurants

19. Help an animal give birth

20. Finish watching 25 movies from the top 250 movies on IMDB

21. Try to make a habit of doing #onelineaday on Twitter

22. Watch more foreign films so far on my list I’ve only seen 2/12–one is a Vietnamese movie my boyfriend introduced to me (forgot the name), the second one is a Chinese movie called “Secret”

23. Go down to 120 lbs (I’m between 125-130 lbs)

24. Renew my passport

25. Keep up with the Traveling Bear Project blog