Sunday, June 15, 2014

Why I'm Done Being Nice & Becoming a B*tch Instead

It goes without much argument that A) the good guys always finish last because B) girls are hypnotized/magnetized/uncontrollably attracted to (saying it like it is) douchebags. They have such horrible human qualities that, in a girlfriend, would be immediately avoided. But the way in which they demonstrate those qualities is what gets us mesmerized.

Complete and utter confidence.
This is their money maker. They can shake this better than any girl can twerk. This is something that needs no practice, they just love themselves and have no shame in showing it. They are the magical unicorns of their environment and mystify anyone who glances upon them (to an extreme anyway...).

The mystery lying between the lines of an open book.
You might think you can figure these cocky guys out just by watching them for 10 minutes, but there's much more to the story than that. Oh, yes. They have a big secret that no one gets to hear, see, or even fathom about because it is so unspeakable. This is their hook to our fish-pout lips. We believe, even if there is no sign of one, that we can journey to the center of their soul and uncover this gem of fragility and humanity. We become obsessed in obtaining it, polishing it, and resurfacing to a crowed of disbelievers. Daddy issues, drug issues, death of someone important - all possible things which made them turn dark. The only black hole in which we are the only one with the flashlight.

Wishy washy.
I applaud them on their ability to be so hot and so cold in short time spans. How does one jump from so high to so low so quickly? They are masters and I stand before them in awe. They're interested in you one minute and completely forget about you the next. Make you feel like the only gal in the room and with the shift of a glance turn you into a wallflower. Bravo. They've got bipolar disorder on lock, the poor, tortured souls.

Indifference to anything anyone has to say because, well, they just don't care.
This one's pretty self explanatory. When you are so secure in who you are and love yourself beyond words can describe, why would you care what other people think? Especially when they're living their life to make them happy and therefore only have ears open to things that parallel their opinions. Complete and utter self-bliss.

So, having establish that I am hopelessly and forever unable to resist my attraction to these kinds of men, I have decided to turn into the female version of them. A b*tch.

I am going to love myself. My quirky freckles. My sexy porcelain white skin. My ability to look good at any angle. My confidence in myself that I am already the best version of the current me. I will do only the things I know will make me an even better version of myself and not give a hoot about others trying to change my ways. Why? Because, just like the douchebag's lenses may be rose tinted, they are the shade of reality in which they love seeing life in. They are in complete bliss with themselves and are voluntarily oblivious to anyone going against their grain. Why? Because at the end of the day, is your life worth living if you're just living it for everyone else? It's not.

My b*tchysse begins now. If you don't like me, not my problem. If you think I take too many selfies, you should learn how to love every bit of yourself too. So goodbye, too-fragile-self-doubting-trend-following girl and hello to self-confident-self-expressive-fabulous-perfectly-imperfect new me: the b*tch.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Taking Freshman Year in University by Storm

  1. Invest in good (portable) speakers so you can play your music too loudly and get the people goin'.
  2. Say hey to people in your dorm. You're going to know them all eventually anyway so you may as well start off on the right foot!
  3. Have a 10 minute pity party to cry about missing your friends from home, but only one. Then, be thankful for having them back home but be grateful for all the opportunities you now have to expand your friend group.
  4. Party on the first night with your new friends in your building. It's called bonding.
  5. Do not, I repeat, do not get white girl wasted on your first night. You want to put your best foot forward first..the rest is unveiled to those who've earned to see it later on!
  6. Not everyone is going to want to be your friend. And you know what, that's perfectly fine. Invest in those who show as much interest in you as you do them and time nor energy will be wasted.
  7. Be a suck up and introduce yourself to your professors on the first day. It doesn't matter if you sit in the back left corner in the dark for the whole semester; it's the fact that you respect and value them at least a little bit that will earn you brownie points you might need to cash in in the future.
  8. Pick out the smartest kid in class, swap numbers and stay in touch. He/she will help you one'll see.
  9. Try your best to be the smartest kid in class but by no means beat yourself up over it - especially if it's in a class you have no interest in/talent for/care about. Grades only matter when you can tack on "Dean's List" on your resume.
  10. That being said, now is the time to have FUN! Don't let grades be your everything....let them be your 65%. the rest should be comprised of sleep, social life, and the gym*
  11. *Work. Out. University is stressful and, believe it or not, a hate-sprint on the treadmill after a hard day is what will lift the weight off your shoulders.**
  12. **Don't shove things under the rug. Address them. Otherwise they'll be back to bite you in the bum.
  13. Eat the dining hall food. It may be the worst thing you'll ever eat or the best but either way it'll teach you how to appreciate a ready-made meal.
  14. Eat with different people. Branch out. Don't stick to the same people 100% of the time. Learn to network and form connections. You never know, one day you just might someone techsavvy to hook up your computer and unruly printer or a photographer to help you with a project.
  15. Did I mention networking? lots of that. It'll help you get to the places you want to go.
  16. Try new things. As long as they're not radically outside your belief system and set of values, there's no harm in pushing yourself to new comfort levels. This is how you learn and discover more about yourself after all!
  17. Only care about how you see yourself. Everyone else is secondary because at the end of the day, you're the only one who wants the best for you*
  18. *Except your parents....they'll be there for you as much as they humanly can. Realize that and thank them for it by dropping a line every now and then! They might even throw you a bone by adding some more dollahs in your bank account (great time and patience sacrifice).
  19. But on the other hand, don't talk to your parents 5 times a day. You've moved away from home to start your independent life for a reason.
  20. Budget. Your. Money. Plan for miscellaneous expenses because there are always spontaneous expenditures you're gonna have to make, like going to an Avicii concert or a train ticket to NYC for a weekend adventure with your friends.
  21. Load up your weekends with exciting new things
  22. Pick up an intramural sport. Broomball is highly recommended.
  23. Take as many pictures as your phone can store. Nothing better than reflecting back on even the smallest occasions!
  24. P.S. take photos when you go out but A) don't look at them till the next morning and B) don't be that person who goes out and only takes pictures. Take them sporadically and sneakily. As awesome as pictures are, life is most enjoyed through seeing it with your own eyes rather than through a screen/camera lens.
  25. Get involved with your school's sports teams, even if you have zero interest it's always a great social scene.
  26. Get involved with anything that sparks your interest. Skeet shooting? Load up and give it your best shot. Ice skating? Glide on out there! Photography club? Snap your heart out. Clubs and events around your city are great ways to make connections with people that you may not normally meet. Plus it gets you out of the dorm and into your college town.
  27. On that note, explore where you live. It's your new home so become a local and shed your tourist skin as soon as possible. Tourists are tacky and unwanted for good reasons.
  28. Be brave. Get out there and get crazy because after all, this is the only year when pretty much anything is acceptable. Real life can be boring (from what I hear) so stay in this fantasy land as long as possible and don't waste a bloody second of it! Because if not now, it's never.
  29. Furthermore, don't wish time to pass by. Enjoy every second, even if it's during a rough patch. I can't pinch myself hard enough to realize that my freshman year is over and I wish I could have slowed time down. It was the most incredible year so far and I wouldn't change anything I did. I went all out and I'm stoked I did. This is the year of memories and the year to start learning and testing yourself. Don't skip a single opportunity handed to you because great things spawn from the most unexpected events. Cliff jump off your edge of fear and land in a current that'll take you to beautiful places you don't even know exist yet!
And with that I wrap up my first year in uni. Not a single regret. I walk away with crazy stories and a bag full of experiences that have made me proud of who I am today. Can't wait to take on sophomore year by storm! But first, summer is calling.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Feeling at Home at the Red Lantern

Thank goodness for broke foodaholics (like the girls and I) who demand two weeks where over 200 posh restaurants offer discounted suppers and lunches. Knowing that our people have done us a favor, we made a reservation at Asian infusion restaurant Red Lantern and hit the town for the night.

We were greeted by Buddhist statues and thrown into a time warp back to ancient China.

As the name suggests, the grand room was decorated with gorgeous red lanterns creating an ornamental glow in the room. We sat down to the song of one another "ooo"-ing and "ahhhh"-ing and immediately grabbed the menus to decide what to order.

 For appetizers, Sarah and Christine settled for the Crab Wontons in a lemongrass broth with watercress.

Sophia went for the Modern California Roll in which the crab, instead of normally rolled up inside, was stacked on top of the rolls and garnished with greens.
 While I, on the other hand, got brown rice House Spicy Salmon Rolls to which nearly knocked me out of my chair*.
 *No exaggeration.
The brown rice was perfectly glutenous and the sauce simply decidant...but the real show stopper was the salmon.
I had some of the world's best sushi in Japan and knew that I would never eat such exquisite sushi anywhere else.
Little did I know that I would find some equally as tender and all the more urban version of my favorite salmon rolls like the ones I had in Tokyo in my hometown of Boston.
Perfectly content with ending the meal right there, we sat and basked in our food delight until our entrees came.
I went for the house special Singapore Street Noodles (a huge portion of angel hair thin noodles with pork, shrimp and scallops).

 While Sarah went for the incredibly rich China Town Style Prime Rib (the best "bang for your buck" option on the dine out menu).
And Soph and Christine went for the Miso Glazed Salmon which was accompanied by roasted Japanese eggplant,  grilled bok choy and sake & soy.

Ending up sharing the dishes family style (except for the salmon dishes which were perfect for one person), we doggie bagged the remainder of my massive noodle dish and moved on to the last course.

We chose both the Coconut Sorbets topped with fresh tropical fruits and spiced macadamia nuts
And the apple rangoons drizzled with butterscotch sauce, cinnamon sugar and set atop a little river of butterscotch pudding.
Our check arrived along with four red velvet fortune cookies and a restaurant review sheet to which we absolutely raved about the food, ambiance, and incredible service!

I highly recommend checking out all that Restaurant Week has to offer and if you're torn as to where to go, Red Lantern comes highly highly recommended! The meal totaled to $33 and was worth every penny. This week is the perfect opportunity to treat yourself, your friends and/or your family to a great dinner for a fraction of the price. Go ahead, you know you want to.

Monday, March 10, 2014

All Hail In 'N Out Burger

Besides seeing my amazing family & friends, and visiting the amazing beaches, one of my favorite parts about going back to California is the amazing fast food chain that is In 'N Out Burger.

Now, to some of you In 'N Out is but a legend, for it only exists on the West Coast. So, this post is dedicated to you (poor) souls.
First, you go inside and order yourself one of the items on the menu....or if you're a local you order something from the (not so) secret menu. My usual order consists of animal fries, a protein burger and a Neapolitan shake. But for old times sake and the sake of everything classic, I got the double double cheeseburger with fries but kept the twist with my favourite Neapolitan shake (aka a mix of their vanilla, chocolate and strawberry milkshakes).
After patiently waiting for your food to be ready, you jump at the call of your number and run to grab your buns.

Due to it's enticing oozing cheese, secret dressing and juicy patties, my burger didn't last long enough to take too many pictures.

*This should tell you a little something about how incredible the food is because usually I'm able to hold off for a photo opp could I ever for my In 'N Out burger.

My family, being the locals that they are (and used to have heaven a stone's throw away from their house) took more time to eat theirs. Thank goodness they did otherwise this would an even shorter post.

Next time I go, I'll be sure to beef up this post with photos. But for now, just take my word for it. You've gotta head out West to get your hands on animal fries, a double double and a Neapolitan shake.

Oh yeah, and the beaches as well. Those are pretty nice too...

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Alphabet Archives // B

B banter
Nothing beats a good laugh. Your abs benefit, your brain benefits, and the spirits of you and those around you benefit as well! Banter - rowdiness - is my favorite "b" word because it plays such a big roll in my life.

I'm currently in California visiting my little cousins and boy am I getting a run for my money. Little kids are constantly being playful and silly and I love it. Us adults can get pretty serious at times and forget what it means to truly have a laugh. The fact that these two little boys find such enjoyment in butt jokes and seeing who can fart the loudest blows me away (couldn't help myself..). As nasty as they may be, I love how they make me laugh. Not saying I have a little boy's humor or anything but just seeing someone experience so much joy from something so stupid is funny in and of itself. We gotta laugh more, play more, and get silly!

The picture above is from my NYC trip with the girls over winter holiday. We all went to FAO Schwartz to show Isabel what childhood in the city is like. Eyes widened and Christine and I's memory jogged as we walked through the store. The giant teddy bears, massive candies and whimsiness of the whole store made us giggly with excitement. Nothing feels as fun as reverting back to childhood does sometimes.

Take some time to do something silly or stupid or reckless because the more laughs you have, the happier a life you'll lead! And that will help you deal with the boring Accounting homework....

Friday, February 28, 2014

A Short List of My Long List

I've been thinking about life lately...specifically what it is I want to do with it.
In the typical sense - what I want to do once I graduate - but more specifically what I want to accomplish on the side of that.

We live in a world today where the quality of life is dictated by your job; how much you get paid, where you live, what position you hold, etc and it drives me crazy! Life should be about living not walking through the motions to save up for retirement. Plus, by the time I'm even able to use what I've saved I'll be wicked old and won't be able to go cliff diving for the fear of breaking a hip or some other old-age tragedy... Now is the time to do those reckless activities - despite the dismally low amount of cash I have in my bank account to do them. But they don't say, "When there's a will, there's a way" for nothing. So, knowing that somehow through someone in someway I will make them happen, I've made a short list of my long bucket list for what I want to accomplish before I even start saving for retirement.
  1. Get scuba certified down unda in Australia
  2. Live and work in a foreign country
  3. Rock climb real rocks at Indian Creek in Utah
  4. Go to cooking school in France
  5. Participate in the Festival of Color in India
  6. Party it up at Mardi Gras in New Orleans
  7. Eat at Heston Blumenthal's restaurant in London 
  8. Jump off a waterfalls in Costa Rica
  9. Do something to test my athletic abilities
  10. Watch a St. Louis Blues game in Missouri & then meet T.J. Oshie in person
Short. Sweet. To the point. And good enough for now...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Alphabet Archives // A

A :  adventure

One of the trillions of reasons I love writing / the English language / communication is the sheer amount of different ways to say the same thing. Honestly, who needs 10 different ways to say 'awesome'? Let alone over 100 different adjectives to describe snow...thank you Eskimos. But in all seriousness, having a vast vocabulary has always been something I prized. It can be persuasive when manipulating your employer to give you a raise. It can give sight to someone without vision. And it can be the handiest trinket in your tool box for self-expression and inner growth. Therefore, I'm dedicating this post series to my favorite word(s) for each letter of the English alphabet. And maybe if I get bored, I'll throw in a few Chinese characters that have spoken to me.

Today's word, however, is simple. A common thread in human lives. It's the thing that makes people tick; the thing that allows us to enrich ourselves in knowledge and clean our windows of perspective. It's adventure. You hear so many stories - especially in college - of wild adventures leading to all sorts of outcomes. The Great American Challenge, for instance, lead many to obtain interesting stories of testing their limits. While others find adventure in simply walking around the city and trying a new ice cream parlour. In order to embrace this adventurous spirit, I have become a "yes woman". Yup, it sounds just like what it is. I'm openminded to all sorts of opportunities - even if they seem completely far fetched/reckless/dangerous. But quite frankly, the more far fetched/reckless/dangerous the opportunities are, the more exciting they are. Obviously you have to keep it all in perspective and aligned with your values, but I've learned not to hesitant when testing my boundaries. I've explored northern India and challenged my ability to navigate a completely foreign country. I've gone zip lining in the treetops of Chang Mai, Thailand to get my fix of speed and overcome my fear of minimum security. I've gone cave diving in Ixtapa, Mexico to see how long I could be a mermaid for before my lungs exploded. And you know what, every one of those experiences has made me more daring, comfortable, and confident with myself and my abilities to do anything I set my mind to.

Long story short, do crazy things. Be a yes person. Hate heights? Go up in a hot air balloon. Never eaten Greek food? Save your pennies, grab a friend and take a spontaneous summer escapade to Athens. Never worn less than 3 layers in the dead of winter? Do an undie run. Basically say yes to life and whatever it throws at you because if not now, when? You are your experiences. Go add to your box of recklessness and thrills and try new & wild things. After all, the last thing you want to be is the only granny in the old folk's home without any good stories to tell.