Life


It’s been awhile…

I’m not going to lie — there have been instances where I COULD have blogged, but I just decided not to. Funny thing is, I can already feel my ability to write eloquently slowly deteriorating. Just the other day, I forgot how to spell “embarrrassed” and had to look it up. I’m turning stooooopid!

Can’t be helped.

Anyway, I just wanted to jot down for anyone who cares to read/know that next week  I will be taking my GRE. Here’s to hoping I don’t fail dreadfully.

Alas! Back to studying for this week’s two exams!

Much love.

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It’s that dreaded time of the year again; the time when the edacious, mind-thirsty final exams lurk in the dark corner commonly called the end of the semester. Starting from tomorrow, I will have a total of 6 exams left to cruise through study tirelessly for before my long overdue freedom finally arrives. Well, that is until summer classes sprout their evil, little heads. Without a doubt, I deserve a relaxing break in the foreseeable future.

Before I’m left with no more than 5 brain cells due to neural overload, however, let me first invest some of my quickly depleting neurons in this entry — or rather, complaint.

Fifty-two dollars for a tank of gasoline?! Much to my dismay, my bank account balance just shrank from an opera singer of ample proportions to a thin model that sways with a gust of light breeze. I kid not. What with the horrible Austin traffic, unfailing barrage of red traffic lights, and ghastly summer Texas weather that makes you feel like you’re living at the core of the sun, 16 gallons of gas doesn’t translate to much — especially if you drive a full-size sedan and constantly need to go buy groceries because you have a daily appetite equivalent to that of 10 grown men. Alas.

It appears as though my music repertoire has grown immensely in the last month or so, causing much distress with my dieting iPod. Imagine a mother trying to stuff Gerber’s baby food into a implacable child who refuses to eat because he/she has just satisfied himself/herself with the discovery of the hidden chocolate chip cookies location. I knew I should have gotten a fatter baby… I mean, an iPod with a bigger capacity. I’m now left with a mere 13.3MG of free space, which equates to one copy of Bolero by Maurice Ravel. I feel too attached to my current iPod to purchase a new one with more storage; however, I can’t keep playing an endless game of mancala with my old and new songs as pebbles either, displacing one in order to accommodate another. Alas.

I’m done with the pseudo complaints for now. Onwards.

I’ve decided on a few selfish goals I hope to accomplish before I wrinkle up and die — selfish being objectives that are unrelated to saving the world, of course.

1) I want to master all 8 major languages, apart from maybe Russian (I know my limits). It hasn’t quite been decided on when this endeavor is to take place as of yet but hopefully it’s achieved before old age dementia sets in.

2) I want to learn to play the violin and to play it well. Since early childhood, I’ve dreamt of owning my own violin and creating breathtaking music from it, but (as many friends already know) my mother pulverized that dream. I believe the beautiful words that escaped her skeptical lips sounded like this: “To play a violin, you need both intellect and skill. You have neither.” (Except in Mandarin.) So, I turned to piano and flute instead — the former because my mother said I have hands fit to play the piano and the latter because… I can’t recall why.

3) I want to be pampered at a spa from head to toe. I want my mom at my left and my sister at my right. I want us to get massages, pedicures, manicures, facials, everything. I want to giggle at how ridiculous we all look with cucumbers on our faces and cotton balls between our toes.

4) I want to write a book filled with stories from my parents’ childhood to early adulthood and contrast that to that of my sister and my own.

5) I want a set of gorgeously decorated tea cups made solely of milk and white chocolate. (Don’t judge!)

6) I want to be the architect of my final house. To this, my mother responded: “Who’s going to want to buy a house you designed?” And with a smirk, I told her — ‘Everyone.’

Thus far, that’s where the list ends. Perhaps as time progresses I’ll hold more selfish tendencies and desires.

Recently, I obtained a handful of sheet music for the flute and piano; all of which are classical pieces. I’m quite ecstatic about returning to Houston after finals are over and freeing my flute from its dusty confines. Did I mention my sister signed up for the 6th grade beginner band as a flautist for the following academic year? I must say I can’t help but feel sparks of merriment from within — I can make her my little pupil! Whips, angry glares, and all! Ah, young minds ready to be molded.

If time permits, I will add another page to this site titled “Musique” right under the pages “Révélé,” “Le contrat,” and “Nouvelles” listed in the upper right corner. It will contain a select few pieces of (mostly classical) compositions in my possession of which I believe those who lack can take advantage. I must warn, however, that most of the pieces are flute solos or flute with piano accompaniment, but individuals adequate in the area should easily be able to translate the notes into their desired format. Although I have a wide collection of compositions, most of them are hidden somewhere in the jungle back in Houston, i.e. my closet, piano bench, attic, bookshelf… However, there are a few currently with me in Austin worthy of noting:

(In arbitrary order)
1. La Chanson de l’adieu from Étude No.3 (Opus 10-3) — by Frédéric Chopin [Flute with piano accompaniment]
2. Ave Maria — by Franz Schubert [Flute with guitar accompaniment]
3. Concerto in C Major for Flute and Harp (I. Allegro) — by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart [Flute solo]
4. Concerto in C Major for Flute and Harp (II. Andantino) — by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart [Flute solo]
5. Concerto in C Major for Flute and Harp (III. Rondeu) — by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart [Flute solo]
6. Thaïs (Meditation) — by Jules Massenet [Flute solo]
7. Morning Mood (Op. 46) — by Edvard Hagerup Grieg [Flute solo]
8. Salut d’Amour (Op.12) — by Edward Elgar [Piano solo]

I forgot to mention — I bought a pair of Ultimate Ears Super.fi 3 earphones. I must say they work exceptionally well and are exceedingly more comfortable than those silly earphones that came with my iPod. Especially worthy of note is the noise isolation property, which translates to a clear sound devoid of all the excess, extraneous sound contaminants I would otherwise hear with regular earphones. There’s a distinctly strange feeling I have when I listen to music using my UE earphones — the music appears to be in my head, for lack of a better explanation. When using other earphones/headphones, I both feel and hear the music coming from an external source. However, using my new UE’s, music appears to be a product of my own nerve impulses rather than a product of an inferior product’s electrical circuitry, thus, producing sounds directly in my brain as opposed to indirectly through a middle mechanism. I can’t describe it any better than that. Suffice to say, instead of simply listening to music, I become the music. The comfort is also astonishing. With the in-my-head feeling and the comfortable and malleable behind-the-ear wires, I tend to forget I even have the earphones in. I’ve fallen asleep with them in 4 times already since purchasing them two weeks ago.

Alas, seeing as how I have an exam tomorrow, I ought to go to bed now.
Au revoir, my little munchkins.

The 21-year old: “Daddy looks like a woman…”
The 11-year old: “Where? I want to see!”
The 55-year old: “See! I told you this is a woman’s jacket! I’m not wearing it!” (Attempts to march back into the house.)
The 52-year old: “It is not a woman’s jacket! Don’t you dare take it off! You are not wearing the same jacket you wore all week to the restaurant!”
The 21-year old: (Aside to The 11-year old) “Daddy still looks like a woman…”

Do you ever feel that you ought to change a certain aspect of yourself and, yet, are reluctant to do so because it stands at the core of your identity complex? Let alone, you’ve grown emotionally and mentally attached to the trait such that dismissing it is equivalent to shattering a fragment of one’s soul. Alright, perhaps that was a bit melodramatic. The combination of an overactive cerebrum and the unhampered time provided by Spring Break tends to result in over-over-analyses of anything and everything. It’s a good thing Spring Break is over in this respect.

I’ve concluded that I may be a bit overly kind and am a mental masochist — there’s a tendency to feel guilty in situations where I am actually not at (what the general public would define as) fault, e.g. –
Bought lunch (chicken), saw famished homeless whilst driving back to condo, gave him small piece of my chicken, got back to condo, couldn’t eat lunch because I felt miserable for not having given him bigger piece. Why didn’t I? He obviously needed the food more than I.
Went shopping at grocery store, saw elderly man 4 customers ahead in the check-out line, his welfare card must not have allowed certain items to be purchased so cashier, deaf and mute, took them (3/5) away. I felt every moral fiber in my body screaming for action and wanted to push the 4 customers in front of me aside to buy those 3 items for him…but I didn’t do anything, just stood idly watching the somber expression on the poor man’s face. When I finally made my way back to my car with the question “Why didn’t I help him?” flowing incessantly through my mind, I just sat in front of my steering wheel and cried.
– …and the list goes on.

Reverting to the original question, it’s as though I am governed by two distinct and, perhaps, mutually exclusive perspectives.
On the one hand, the savior archetype seems to be prevalent. Being cynical of the moral direction in which society as a whole is heading, I feel the need to act as constant Sherpa to civilization’s problems in hopes that 1) my tiny efforts will in some way “make the world a better place” for everyone else and 2) people will learn vicariously and do personally. Plus, I get a happy, fuzzy feeling when I am of assistance to someone.
On the other hand, my faltering hope in the general public has left me questioning the plausibility of the aforementioned proceeds of my actions. Additionally, failure to perform my self-proclaimed duty has led to consequential and unnecessary guilt.

Is it time to recalibrate my current mindset or keep on keeping on? Whilst the former will lead to less, if any, guilt (+), less kindness (+/-), and less altruism (-), the latter will lead to little to no change in guilt (-), same level of kindness (+/-), and more self-fulfillment (+) — i.e. Protect oneself or protect everyone else? That, perhaps, is the fundamental dilemma individuals face on a day-to-day basis. With the “right” formula, an egocentric, opportunist pitted in a laissez-faire society would become the perfect modern Machiavelli. I don’t think I’m mentally prepared to see little Niccolo, Jr.’s running around.

Maybe the best decision involves not scrutinizing the situation with such a black-and-white demeanor. Maybe I simply shouldn’t think so much. Maybe I should start learning to forgive myself. Maybe…
I bore thee. Such self-indulgent and dizzying musings should be done solely in my head, anyway.

So, on another note — I finally bought one of Betsey Johnson’s wonderful dresses. It’s burgundy and mauve colored, velvet, with spaghetti straps. Her dresses tend to run in abnormally small sizes (relatively speaking) so I had to buy a large, otherwise my bust wouldn’t fit, and I certainly don’t want to look like Dolly Parton – blegh. I’ll take a picture of it when I stop feeling lazy – Ha!

I seem to be collecting unpublished entries — there are currently 4 drafts sitting on the back-burner, and I can’t even recall when I created them. This is precisely what I’m referring to when I speak of commitment issues. Nevertheless, I find them largely insignificant now, so onwards I shall march…

Perhaps I lack dignity, or perhaps I possess fantastic taste — who knows, who cares — but I adore the show “Project Runway.” The sheer innovation of a select few of the contestants utterly amazes me, almost to a point where I feel motivated to create a complete outfit myself. Back in high school, my mom actually insisted, albeit only for a short period of time, that I work towards a career as a fashion designer. I had numerous sketchbooks overflowing with illustrations of evening gowns I would potentially design. There was one particular dress my mom claimed to be absolutely ingenious, and I treasured that sketch forever because a compliment from my mom only happens once in a blue moon.

… It’s been over 2 years since I touched those sketchbooks. The last time I tried to find them, the search was to no avail. It’s a pity, really… because, otherwise, I would have definitely tried making that particular dress for the Orange and White Ball. Alas, out go the old, in come the new.

Speaking of clothing, I’m enamored with Betsey Johnson’s line of dresses. Unfortunately, they’re rather expensive; thus, I’ve decided — if I had all the money in the world, I would buy all the Betsey Johnson dresses in the world. No… better yet, I’d buy Betsey Johnson herself. Yes, yes, that is a wonderful plan.

The whimsical nature of Austin’s weather as of late has gotten me thinking: How would I define a day of perfect weather? To which I’ve concluded — A bright, sunny morning with a thin, icing-like layer of cirrus clouds drifting steadily high up top and a conservative interspersal of cumulus clouds, a few thousand feet above ground, floating slowly across a light cerulean sky. The temperature is a degree at which a thin blazer can be worn comfortably over a sundress, where the light, refreshing breeze, carrying a lingering scent of freshly cut flowers, brushes the hem of the dress to cause a wave-like motion. The sun is radiant but not calescent, allowing a proper, floppy sun hat to be donned. A light shower commences during mid-afternoon, whereby the former light cerulean sky is now interlaced with laminae of dove-colored rain clouds behind which the sun hides bashfully. With the forthcoming sunset, altostratus clouds descend, providing the perfect polychromasia of vermilion, titian, and amber. The blanket of constellations can be admired flawlessly in the clear, night sky after the altostratus clouds subside and the chilly evening weather provides the perfect opportunity for such a rendezvous, coupled with a wool blanket and a cup of creamy hot chocolate.

The mere envision of such a day makes me realize one reason life is worthy of living.

…but for now, I must be one with the brilliantly wonderful show “Lost.”

Au revoir, little kiddies.

I’m convinced that listing my predominate personal vexations will help me clear this fuliginous air. So for the sake of my sanity, please bear with me.

Pet peeves:

1) Park and re-park! It takes no more than 3 minutes to re-park your car from its confounded anfractuous position to one that’s actually safe for humanity — you’re posing a hazard to everyone, including yourself… and I’m tired of discovering new indentations on my beautiful car.
2) Shopping carts go where? Certainly not behind, next to, or in front of my vehicle (nor anyone else’s for that matter). The “Return Shopping Carts Here” signs are placed in various locations for a reason. Goodness knows your rotund behind needs those few extra steps of movement anyway.
3) ~Open door, sit, flush, open door~ What’s missing? Wash your hands after you use the restroom! With soap! Although I’m sure you’ve invested your heart and soul into creating this wonderful gift, I cannot and will not accept your 5-week old germs.
4) Scantily clad, corpulent individuals — enough said.

I’m actually quite surprised I’ve only managed to list 4. Alas, though not a bete noire, I have recently discovered that I simply no longer possess the mentality to successfully relate to acutely dramatic individuals, especially ones who exude a perfect state of contentment one day with bursts of vivacity ricocheting off on all tangents and, then, out-of-the blue, become infested with despair. To such individuals, I only have one plea — Please, find help and resolve your issues for the good of your own mental health and that of humanity.

WordPress decided to test my patience and deleted the entry I was in the process of finishing earlier. But no matter, it had little significance anyway, merely a frivolous documentation — for self-indulgent, analytical purposes — of the ridiculous affairs I manage to find myself in time and time again. For example…

Several years back, I met a guy with whom I grew extremely close. In order to uphold anonymity, I shall refer to him as “Hayden” here. I had always had commitment issues, but, strangely, that did not hold true for him. I adored him and the adoration was reciprocated. He was intelligent, good-looking, and kind, with a bit of a dorkiness to his dynamism, which I found charming. Unfortunately, though, unexpected family issues caused him to have to repeatedly uproot his home from city to city, whereby we would have no contact for months on end. But as Miyazawa alleged, “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” Without seeking any explanation or prospect for that particular future, I chose to move on. I decided that I didn’t need a significant other to make me happy; and although I now dispense an excessive amount of care and devotion to all those I deem worthy, I also recoil at the very thought of being in a relationship at this point in time. Not only do I have commitment issues towards romantic relationships again, my capacity to commit to certain objectives, beliefs, and so many others have also become infected with recreancy.

So, 4.5 years and a highly fortified heart later, what am I doing typing about all this? He came back, in all his shining glory, he came back barging into my life again yesterday. I was largely unaffected until be brought on an assessment of the concept of “love.” He proposes that humans use the word too naively, that it is often mistakenly associated to be an emotion when, in fact, it is not an emotion at all. Instead, it is an abstract goal for which people strive through a variety of actions with a culminated ramification of emotions. That proposition and the subsequent conversation that ensued quenched my withered heart’s desire for something sensational, something I hadn’t experienced in what felt like millenia — an intelligible conversation that proliferates into a vast array of questions unfathomable for the mere human mind… like a system of trichomes on a vascular plant root, intertwining and diverging at various points of interest. Perhaps this is the type of person who attracts me, one who can deliver tete-a-tetes that require more than the average number of neurons.

hearts-of-stone.jpg

Whether it’s due to the fact that I saw him again or because of the brilliant conversation we had yesterday that contributed to the extra bounce in my step I experienced today, I do not know. Whether I want to be thrown into that chaotic world of dating again or live my peaceful life, I do not know… although my brain is a bit biased towards “Nay” for the former.
…or maybe it’s all a side-effect of “that time of the month.” Silly little hormones, I shake my fist at you.

In light of that perpetual step one takes each year as one approaches the top of the hill labeled old age, today is like any other. Or, as Ralph Parlett tactfully puts it: “Real birthdays are not annual affairs. Real birthdays are the days when we have a new birth.” Why do we invariably celebrate this “holiday” that stops nothing short of directly handing our wallets to greedy corporations, then?

Sprout

The only logical conclusions I can surmise after minutes of hard-core contemplation are as follows:
     1. The celebration serves to celebrate the day on which family and/or friends were “blessed” with the individual.
     2. People are parasites for love and attention and (1) enjoy basking in the spotlight under which they are waited hand-and-foot to their every whim and (2) crave the sensation of feeling special.
     3. There’s an unspoken competition among friends as to who hosts the best parties.
     4. It’s all an excuse to receive gifts and eat artery-clogging cake.

That’s 5 of the 7 deadly sins in the course of a single day — Luxuria, Gula, Avaritia, Invidia, and Superbia. If it were up to Pope Gregory I, we’d all be in hell by now.

Others of us consider birthdays and New Years to be synonymous, where we reflect on what we’ve done wrong and how to prevent such blunders from occurring again or, simply put, we seek self-improvement. From what I’ve thus managed to gather from my 21 years of existence, self-improvement is a continuous process and an arduous one at that. Picking merely those 2 days out of 365 (not counting leap years) to reflect on ourselves and our surroundings is utterly pathetic. And we wonder why the current condition of our society is so abismal.

There is one show on TV that I absolutely cannot endure: My Super Sweet 16. Three words would describe such characters as seen on this show perfectly — Paris Hilton, Jr. I cannot even begin to form coherent sentences to convey the atrocities of the show and the people taking part in it. Suffice to say, I hope they learn how to put their money to better use once they ackowledge that daddy won’t be alive forever to plant money trees for them. Can you imagine how many famished families one of their exorbitantly extravagant birthday parties could feed? I’m not against celebrations, but a dress with $12,000 worth of diamonds as sequins is a smidgeon surpassing the boundary. Oh, and don’t even get me started on celebrities whose only transactions are houses, food, and clothes to satisfy their self-indulgent lives.
I digress.

I feel no better today than I did yesterday; I feel no worse today than I did yesterday. Besides serving as a tracking device to show the speed at which I am aging physically and (hopefully) maturing emotionally and mentally, birthdays have little significance. I do admit, however, that I look forward to having cake every year and spending time with those close to me but not to celebrate my birthday, instead, to celebrate the fact that we’ve remained friends until age ___.

I’ve said it multiple times before and I’ll say it again — it’s always the thought that counts. You can’t put a pricing on thoughtfulness.

Anyone up for sky-diving sometime in the near future? (I know, it’s a random question.)

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