Monday, September 27, 2010

Just an Interesting Thought

Do you remember when I said I was worried about becoming one of those annoying people who update their blogs every day? Well, I'm about to surpass that level of annoying and post twice in one day.

My apologizes. But I just had a revelation, and I felt the need to write it down and share it with all of you.

After getting out of my last class of the day, I headed back to my room for an hour of relaxing before I had to go write an essay (which I really should be doing right now). Anyways, I was listening to some music when the song "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter came on. Take a look at the lyrics:

Where is the moment we needed the most
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost
They tell me your blue skies fade to gray
They tell me your passion's gone away
And I don't need no carryin' on

You stand in the line just to hit a new low
You're faking a smile with the coffee you go
You tell me your life's been way off line
You're falling to pieces every time
And I don't need no carryin' on

Because you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don't lie
You're coming back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day

Will you need a blue sky holiday?
The point is they laugh at what you say
And I don't need no carryin' on

You had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don't lie
You're coming back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day

Sometimes the system goes on the blink
And the whole thing turns out wrong
You might not make it back and you know
That you could be well oh that strong
And I'm not wrong

So where is the passion when you need it the most
Oh you and I
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost

Cause you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
You've seen what you like
And how does it feel for one more time
You had a bad day
You had a bad day

I was listening to this and suddenly it hit me. I've always loved this song. It's a very cheerful, catchy tune that is juxtaposed against the topic of having a really bad day. But I suddenly wondered just how serious about this "bad day" Mr. Powter was when he released that song. Upon listening to it in the context of my life right now, I felt as though he were making fun of people who wallow in their bad day. How many times have I been feeling sort of crummy, so I looked for little things that would make my day worse? The real tragedy, this song seems to say, is when you make a day bad for yourself. Every day has the potential to be amazing, and it's only when you think of it that way that it becomes bad.

Just some food for thought.

Thank God for the Little Things

Hello again. Sorry that I haven't posted in a while, but to be completely honest I've been a little down this lately. To be more precise, I still find the weekends hard. That's when I miss home and the only time I ever let myself cry.

But this weekend, I got reminded by the little things that life isn't really so bad.

I couldn't focus on my homework yesterday, being both sad and in a highly distracting environment, and so I went for a walk. A short bus ride and four blocks later, I settled down at Mountain Lake Park by my grandparents. I sat in the sun, watching parents teach their little kids how to throw baseballs or kick a soccer ball. There was one family having a birthday party, complete with a bounce house! At first I thought it might make me sad, sitting there by myself with all these families, but then a funny thing happened.

I got recruited to play by this cute little thing.

The man sitting next to me had brought along his dog and baby. He was trying to get the baby to go to sleep and the dog kept whining and nudging his ball; he wanted to play. Unfortunately for the man, he already had his hands full. Eventually, the dog got the hint, and went to chew on the ball right behind where I was sitting. He was so adorably bouncy that when the ball rolled to a stop next to me, I couldn't resist throwing it for him.

And that turned into a whole two and a half hours of playing with this random dog in the park, while reading Plato.

That may sound like it was distracting. Didn't I go there to work, after all? But to be completely honest, playing with that dog was exactly what I needed. I didn't want to just go out on the weekends to distract myself, and frankly I wasn't in a very playful mood. But this little afternoon delight reminded me that sometimes, you just need a break. When you get to far inside your head, and you feel like you'll never get out, that's when you need to go for a walk, get outside, go smell the flowers.

Although I will still miss home and will still get sad sometimes, I know that it's okay. But it's not okay to sit and wallow in my tears. It's best to get out, and play a game of ball.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Take me out to the Ball Game...

Good morning world! Hope everyone is having a good weekend. I know I am, with the exception of the stupid school washing machines.

I was doing a jean load, when the washer stopped in the middle of the cycle for some unknown reason. And I mean dead in the middle of the cycle: there was still soapy water inside! Frustrated after doing as it asked and "reselecting settings" twice, I put my jeans in another washer and am having to start all over again! Needless to say, it was a complete waste of my time and money. And what was the response of the guy working at the front desk when I told him? "You want your money back, or something?"

Um, no, but the last hour of my life would be nice.

On a brighter note, I got to go the Giants vs Brewers game last night! Even though we lost, my friends and I had a great time. We had the bleacher seats right in left field, which was pretty exciting for only having paid $15. We took a charter bus to the stadium with a large group from school, and although we all sat in a clump, we got to go off and do our own thing.

Although it's been cloudy all weekend (and still is) the sun did come out for the beginning of the game yesterday. I hadn't been to a game in almost five years, so I couldn't help but marvel at how amazing the stadium is.

I've been raised a Giants fan, so I was super excited to get to go to a game. Can you tell? I wore my Giants t-shirt, a bright orange scarf, and a Giants beanie I got for my birthday. One of the first things that my friends did when we got there was to buy baseball caps. This was Wade's hat, and even though it's a bit big, I think I pulled it off quite well. What was the first thing I bought? A hotdog! The second? A pack of Twizzlers! We ate pretty much the whole time.

In the end, the Giants ended up losing 2 to 1. To be completely honest, the last two innings were very painful to watch. But I had a great time, and couldn't have thought of a better way to celebrate my first birthday here in San Francisco!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Although it's been foggy and misty out all day, I've had one of my better days. I got good grades on my first two physics assignments, and well wishes all day. Why, you ask? Because it's my birthday!

I'm at my grandparents again for my actual birthday. They treated me to an amazing dinner of steak and baked potatoes, and finished it off with a mini tiramisu. They gave me a game called "Banana Gram" and a check, as I am now a starving college student (minus the starving). My parents sent up a box of presents too. I took some pictures of the things they sent me.

Of course, to thoroughly understand the awesomeness of these gifts, you have to realize that I have the best parents ever! No, seriously, I do. They can practically read my mind. Some people have actually told me that they think it's weird that I get along with my parents so well. My question is, why wouldn't I?

Hope you all have a fun Friday night!

Nighttime Happenings

Hello all. Please excuse the lateness of this post, but there are currently multiple people in my room watching YouTube videos, and I am waiting for them to leave so I can go to bed.

Anyways, tonight there was a "Bazar" to raise awareness for the flood victims in Pakistan. I went with some of my friends, and we got to learn some Arabic calligraphy. I wrote my name, but it not good enough to show here. There were also pretty good henna artists, so I got one on my wrist. Here it is:

The girl was really talented. I basically sat down, she asked me what I wanted, and I told her something with a vine. This is what she came up with! It's pretty light right now, but in a few days it will be pretty dark. Maybe I'll take pictures to show the progression. Don't you love henna? It's the joy of having a tattoo, without having to live with it when you get old and wrinkly!

There was Middle Eastern food there as well. Best part, though? After a short presentation about helping to end illiteracy in Pakistan, there was a dance group that performed. I tried to take a picture, but it didn't turn out too good.

Well, with that note, until next time!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone is having a good Friday. Partying still seems to be the popular thing to do and, quite frankly, I don't think it will go out of style any time soon (hello, this is college). I actually witnessed my first in dorm drinking today, and I have to admit, I wasn't that impressed. I have been, however, branching out to try and find out what there is to do besides partying.

Today after classes, some friends and I met at Golden Gate Park in the AIDS Memorial Garden. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and there were two guys with guitars who played for a while. I admit it; we studied on a Friday afternoon! But it was so quiet and peaceful that we relaxed and read for a little while before packing up and going off to explore Haight Street. Of course, not before I got to take some pictures of the absolutely gorgeous park!

On the way out of the park, we came across some chalk art on the side walk, and I couldn't resist! This was only the beginning of what Haight had to offer.

This man's pants were the first thing to catch our attention. Well, that and the fact that he was suspending himself upside down over this fire hydrant. He was very nice when we asked him if we could take a picture with him, and introduced himself as the hip Dali Lama.

This cute little dog was sitting just inside the doorway of a salon we passed by. He was also very friendly and relaxed, and was just as eager as the man in the neon pants to pose for some pictures.

We stopped for pizza and took a look in the discount army store. On the way back to campus, we saw this band playing on someone's front steps and stopped for half of a song. If you like bluesy-folk music, they weren't half bad and had attracted a decent sized crowd.

Once we got back to campus, we threw in a few loads of laundry and played video games with some of the guys on our floor. Most everyone has left for parties by now, but my friends Scott, Justine, and I are planning on watching a movie in a little bit. So, I would call this a major victory over stay-in-friday-syndrome, which typically manifests itself in melancholy feelings and random bursts of loneliness. I had a great time today, no alcohol needed!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Random Happenings and Serious Questions

Looking back on all the posts so far, I've realized that this is almost becoming a photo journal. So, in keeping with theme, here are some more pictures!

We had another glorious day of sun! I started the day with a little housekeeping: laundry, cleaning our microwave and refrigerator, and changing my sheets. Afterwards, I decided to walk to the local Boudin Bakery for some lunch. Although I love pretty much everything about their sourdough bread, their turkey sandwiches are heavenly! From there I made a quick trip to Trader Joe's.

On the way to Trader Joe's, the first weird thing of the year happened to me. I was waiting for the light and glanced over my shoulder. Unfortunately, that caused me to look directly at a rather old man wearing a lime green valor sweatsuit, and a semi-bowler hat. He was also riding a scooter. When he came to a stop by the light, he turned to me, gave a big grin, and said "Hello there!" Thankfully, I had my cell phone in my hand and quickly started dialing while completely ignoring him. I wanted him to think that either I was calling the police or that whoever was on the other line would miss me if he tried anything sketchy. It must have worked, because he scootered off as soon as the light changed without another glance in my direction.

Ah, the people you meet in the city.

After returning with my precious groceries, I decided to go sit out on the grass and study. While I did get stuff done, I think I also reburned the arm that I burned on Sunday. I have some really random tan lines!

And now for my "serious questions." One of the first things that happened when I arrived back on campus was that my friends filled me in on what I had missed. I mentioned in my last post the night of in-the-dorm-drinking, vomiting and sleeping with random people. I forgot to mention that they then went out the next night and, failing to find a party to go to, went back to their rooms and got drunk, again.

So this leads me to ask: why do we go to college? Society and the media portrays college years as full of parties and promiscuous sex. Unfortunately, I think there are people who go into college expecting that experience.  Personally, I don't think the point of college is to go out partying every night. Heck, you could get drunk at home without having to pay all the tuition money. Call me old fashioned or naive, but I always thought of college as a place where people who are truly passionate about learning and pursuing knowledge come together. I was looking forward to random, spontaneous intellectual conversations! So far, I've only really had one.

Am I hanging out with the wrong people? I am not so ignorant to think that I am the only person on campus who would rather stay in on a weekend night and read a book or watch a movie. I can't be the only one who doesn't want to drink. Frankly, I don't see the logic of it. If it smells that nasty, it must taste atrocious! As for the stupid things alcohol can make you do... well, I'm surprised that anyone drinks at all!

Thankfully, I haven't been pressured into going to anything that I didn't want to. So I guess you could say that I must have found at least a decent group of people. But I still don't understand why you would pay to come to college (and an expensive private school at that) and spend most of the week completely wasted or hung over. Where's the appeal?

I have a feeling this will be something that I'll be trying to figure out all year.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Let the Sun Shine!

After the cold and fog of yesterday, we were lucky enough to get sunshine today, and lots of it! Most of the family was over today for my grandpa's birthday dinner, and we got to spend most of the day outside. My grandparents have a nice yard with a big deck, where we ate a light lunch and held ping-pong competitions. I did,have some homework to do, but at least I got to do it while curled up in the sun!

Of course, I just had to get sunburned on one shoulder... But it was definitely worth it!

Before dinner, large group of us decided that we wanted to take a little walk. There's a nice park a few blocks over...

It's a beautiful park with lots of open space and beautiful trees. Some of my cousins decided to try to build forts out of some fallen branches. All I can think about when I look at these pictures are wood sprites!

I myself am not much of a tree climber. This log was about as high off of the ground as I got!

So, while my uncles were playing football and my younger cousins were off being monkeys in the trees, I decided to take a short walk to the lake. I have to admit that I was shocked at how high the water level was! I'd seen it high before, say, up to the stairs, but never covering the entire walkway! And boy, did the water smell.

I am now back on campus and in my dorm room. My roommate also went home for the weekend, but apparently quite a lot happened while I was gone. All of these things included copious amounts of alcohol, vomiting, and sleeping in random people's beds. Needless to say, I am glad I decided to get off campus when I did. Not that I would have joined in, of course. I just don't like having things like that go on right outside my door.

I enjoy more clean fun, like hanging out with family and going to the park. Hopefully you all are enjoying your weekend as well!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Weekend Relaxation

Hello everyone! Hopefully you are all enjoying your long Labor Day weekend. I know I am. I decided to spend the majority of the weekend at my grandparent's house, and I have not regretted my decision once. When I arrived, we had an amazing dinner of meatballs and angel hair pasta, and I immediately felt like I was back at home.

My grandparents have a number of different rooms for people to stay in. There's one dubbed the "Princess Room" for it's pink bedding and Disney princess decor. There's the attic, where my brother and I usually sleep when my family comes to San Francisco to visit. There are desks and beds up there, as well as a collection of drawings and models from when my dad and his brothers used to sleep there. And then there's the "Big Room." It really is just that; it's the one of the biggest bedrooms in the house and has an attached sun room. This was where my grandparents decided to set me up, and I'm loving every minute of it.

After staying in a dorm room for a few weeks, this room feels like a small apartment. It's large enough to spread out in, yet cosy enough to feel like home. And the bed happens to be the most comfortable thing I've slept on in a while!

The only weird thing that's happened this weekend is the large amount of flies here at the house. I've been doing a lot of laundry in the garage, which is where we first discovered the flies. They must have nested and mated down there, because when I arrived here on Friday, there was a whole swarm of them clinging to the garage door. They have since migrated into the house.

So this morning, when we were out doing a little shopping, we stopped by Ace Hardware and picked up a fly swatter. Between my cousins and I, we've managed to thin the fly population significantly. But back to Ace Hardware. From the outside, it looks like a tiny little store. And it really is, only they've crammed stuff in everywhere possible, and created this master piece:

I definitely wouldn't want to be there during an earthquake, but it really was quite a site to behold. It just kept going further and further back, and they actually had stuff mounted on the walls and ceiling. What can I say? I'm a fairly easy person to amuse.

I now think I will go enjoy my comfortable bed. Wishing you all a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How Salami Saved My Life

You may have read the title, and thought "Is she really serious?" Well, the answer is yes. I thoroughly attribute my returned mental health to a certain San Francisco Trader Joe's and, yes, Columbus Brand Salami.

As you know, I have been adjusting quite well to college life, with the exception of enjoying the food services. I just had a mental block when it came to eating strange food in a strange and hectic environment. Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against the food itself, but it was simply impossible for me to eat in such a load setting. Back home, we were big on sitting down and making conversation while we ate. Meals rarely took less than one hour to complete.

Then, this past weekend, I took a trip to the local Trader Joe's and picked up some things that I had eaten at home and knew that I liked. In retrospect, I didn't actually get all that much stuff, just some sliced bread, turkey meat, cheese sticks, a couple things of soup, some bananas, and the salami. But you have no idea how much just that miniscule amount of food has changed life here on campus. I now eat in the caf for breakfast and breakfast only. I've been indulging in salami and cheese on crackers for lunch and have been bringing food up to my room for dinner. I've discovered that if you mix something simple from the caf like grilled chicken with a little microwave rice from home, you can make something quite delicious and filling.

But beyond all that, I'm feeling more like myself again. No more random bursts of crying. No more wanting to go home (okay, well, I'm still a little homesick...). No more feeling like you haven't eaten in a week. I'm able to go to my classes and pay attention and actually understand the material.

This also means that I'll probably have more exciting things to talk about in future posts! Get excited!

Whoever had this desk before me decided it needed a little something extra. Cute, isn't it? Until next time!