Monday, May 17, 2010

I Am A College Graduate!

And so four years have concluded. Graduation was an amazingly fun day. I managed to wake up and make it to both the main commencement ceremony and the Thornton satellite ceremony. I'm really glad I made it to the main ceremony! I loved the traditional hob nob, courtesy of USC - everything from flags and stately processions to live music and a lovely release of doves at the very end of the ceremony. I'm really glad that I went.

The satellite ceremony (and adjoining reception!) was a lot of fun too. It was so amazing to be surrounded by friends I have known since the beginning, as well as supportive professors who have stuck by me throughout the years.

It was great to see my family so happy as well... and word on the street was that I looked pretty happy myself!

Thank you to my family and friends for coming to support me. I'm so glad that I will have so many amazing memories from graduation to last me a lifetime. It's unlikely that one day can justify four years, but if that one day were to exist, it would be my graduation day. :)

Pictures from my camera are up on Facebook. Still waiting for a few more cameras to get uploaded... but until then, here are a few highlights:

Lining up for the main ceremony.

John, Jack, and Alex's hand...

Emilie and Adrian!

Devin is taller than me?!

Brian and Derik!

Nate and I, still the same haha.

And last but not least, my family :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Accomplished Exhaustion

Man, I'm exhausted. But it's a good exhaustion. One that comes as a result of a week of fun and a week of accomplishments. Today I was recognized by the Thornton School of Music at their annual Honors Convocation as a Renaissance Scholar (a University wide recognition for graduating students who excelled in two areas of contrasting study). I was also awarded the Order of Troy by the University in THEIR Honors Convocation, although I can't help but think what I could have accomplished had I less to deal with these past two years. That's another story for another time, though, and honestly not that important. I'm thankful to have been recognized at all, and WOW some of our graduating class is accomplished! I was repeatedly blown away by the amazing things some of these people have done, all the while excelling in their multiple majors, minors, and leadership positions (often in service organizations). It was pretty inspiring.

Afterwards, my dad (who came up for the ceremonies) and I had a nice, relaxing lunch.

Yesterday I swung by Irvine to get a haircut (I was *long* overdue, har har), have a belated birthday/Mother's Day lunch with my mom, and do a large handful of graduation related errands. I eventually finished up in Orange County and scurried back up to LA for an entertaining/tasty dinner at a Thai restaurant in Sherman Oaks in which I blabbered too much, as usual.

A few days ago I had tea with an old professor and two dear friends at an awesome little cafe called Brick's and Scones. What makes it awesome is its location. It's on Larchmont, but more importantly it's tucked away from the street in this amazing building with high ceilings and a decor that's rich in color. Oh and the whole thing is surrounded by TREES. Trees in LA = love at first sight for me. I don't know how so many people survive in a city that's 90% concrete and pavement. Anyway, I'm looking forward to going back sometime!

Also this week I had a really nice dinner with a much missed friend. :)

Over the weekend I spent a fun day in Pasadena, which included a meal at this cute little restaurant called Mi Piace (in which I had some tasty butternut squash ravioli that was almost as good as [but not quite as good as] the butternut squash ravioli I get at Il Fornaio). I also walked around Old Town, which was enjoyable in and of itself. Pasadena is a really cute area. It vaguely reminds me of parts of Orange County, especially south Orange County, which is really nice because parts of south Orange County are just fantastic.

I guess I'm specifically thinking of Dana Point. I LOVE Dana Point.

Before all that I spent an evening with Emilie (complete with tasty sushi!), watched the lovely Katie sing a very entertaining recital, and scuffed up my leg at a party by falling through an old wooden chair whilst trying to climb over a patio wall to get to a neighboring apartment... hahaha.

Ah I'm actually having trouble keeping my thoughts coherent, and this entry has turned into a picture-less recap of my week. Whatever. I'm pretty exhausted. I've been losing sleep these past few days, all in good fun of course, but still. I'd better stop rambling and get started on some work I need to finish up, because I need to sleep early tonight so I can wake up early tomorrow and be on time to my graduation.

Oh yes. That's the other big news. I'm graduating tomorrow!!! :D

Friday, May 7, 2010


Yes, it's been a while. Apologies. I've been busy finishing up projects and papers, studing for finals, and organizing my life so I'll be ready to GRADUATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

I'm pretty excited.

But there's a lot to catch up on. Some of these things probably require their own entry, so I might just post multiple entries. We'll see. Maybe I'll just talk about HAPArt and ignore everything else and let all you curious stalkers remain curious about my life. I have yet to decide. But first...

HAPArt was a success! The hapa art held it's own surprisingly well against the eclectic art of the Hive. We were able to put up everything and keep it visually interesting. Our fantastic musicians all played great, intimate sets. Our talented live artists were a hit. We had a lot of people come through, of which the majority were LAers! Apparently some of our widespread LA marketing actually worked, haha. The best guests, however, were my friends and family. Thank you all SO much for coming! :) All the pictures in this post are from my camera:

As for what else I've been doing, I guess I'll just do some highlights of the past week or so. They include: completing my final drawing project, watching the 88 and yOya, sharing a pirate's chai milkshake, eating sushi in Little Tokyo, hanging out with Jimmy, singing in a recital, attending Formal Dinner (my last hapa event!!), celebrating my birthday, wandering the Descanso Gardens, enjoying a picnic, eating Peruvian food, visting with Ann, making friends with a lovebird, experiencing Fight Club, turning in my final orchestration project, dining at Cole's, conversing over mango green tea boba, receiving flowers, receiving more flowers, enjoying POMx iced coffee, and taking my last three finals of my undergraduate career! It's been pretty eventful, and it's SO nice to be done! Wow I'm indescribably excited for life.

Tonight should be a lot of fun too, but I'll save the details for another post. And maybe later I'll put up a few pictures from my month of absenteeism. We'll see!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Hi! It's my last week of undergrad. I'm excited. HAPArt went really well, pictures to come soon. But for now, I've got a paper to finish so I have enough time to start/finish my final drawing project, both due tomorrow. Ahh procrastinating. Ahh school. Ahh LAST week of school. Ahh!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rain Makes Me Happy!

So I was sitting in my room, pondering how I should best tackle the mess that's accumulated over the past week. I decided to motivate myself by listening to one of my favorite Genius playlists. Halfway through the second song, I suddenly hear a new noise. What can this be? Somebody cleaning the courtyard? No! It's raining!! And not only is it raining, it's raining a gorgeous, grey, peaceful, calming, soothing rain. The perfect backdrop for the perfect music. I'm so happy. :)

All I Want - Joni Mitchell
Field Below - Regina Spektor
Both Hands - Ani DiFranco
Tiger Mountain Peasant Song - Fleet Foxes
Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk - Rufus Wainwright
Sweet Baby James - James Taylor
Oh! You Pretty Things - David Bowie
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 - Bob Dylan
Shadow Boxer - Fiona Apple
Little Green - Joni Mitchell
Little Plastic Castle - Ani DiFranco
20 Years of Snow - Regina Spektor
Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left - Andrew Bird
Holland, 1945 - Neutral Milk Hotel
Poses - Rufus Wainwright
Meadowlarks - Fleet Foxes
Something In The Way She Moves - James Taylor
Postcards From Italy - Beirut
Gotta Have You - The Weepies
Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl - Broken Social Scene
My Old Man - Joni Mitchell
Such Great Heights - Iron & Wine
Hotel Song - Regina Spektor
Heroin - The Velvet Underground
Fake Palindromes - Andrew Bird

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Traffic Lights

In less than a month I will be a college graduate.
I'm SO excited!! :D
I've always felt that college life constricts my personality, and I can't wait for the freedom to soar.

In other news, this week was busy as always, highlighted by a handful of delicious dinners. My favorite would have to be my belated celebration of Emilie at the West Restaurant and Lounge on the top floor of the Hotel Angeleno. We had a window table, and wow what a view. You can't tell at all from my picture, but we were basically sitting next to an endless expanse of various shades of light speckling darkness. It vaguely reminded me of when I was a teenager and would seek out spectacular views and sit and watch the traffic lights change. So peaceful, so serene.

The food/live music was pretty good, too. :P

I've rewritten my list of things I would like to do (short and long term goals and the like). It's an ever evolving list that I always like to have on hand so if I ever get to a point where I'm not sure what it is I want to do next, I can refer to it and go from there. Or refer to it, make some changes, and go from THERE. It's all on hold until I graduate though... which means I should stop daydreaming about the (quickly approaching!) future and get back to work on my paper/projects!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Relay for Life, Mostly

This was another eventful weekend. I went home on Friday to pick up my tent for Relay for Life, take pictures of the house (it's getting repainted at the moment), and clean up a few things. I also had dinner with my mom and the boy.

The majority of Saturday and Sunday was spent at Relay for Life, where for 24 hours I alternated walking around the track, watching over my team's campsite, and napping/trying to nap.

For those of you that don't know, Relay for Life is a 24 hour fundraising event for the American Cancer Society (ACS). Teams are supposed to have a representative walking or running the track at all times, representing the harsh reality that cancer never sleeps. There are also events within Relay, including the Survivor Lap (in which team members line up around the track and high five survivors as they do a lap) and Luminaria (in which the lights at the track are turned off to showcase illuminated white paper bags lining the track, honoring or remembering a loved one). There's also music and food, but above all else, Relay for Life is a fundraiser. Each team member is encouraged to raise at least $100 for the ACS, ultimately for cancer research. I ended the event with $415 in donations, which isn't bad.

Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy Relay for Life as much this year. It was my second year participating, my first as a team captain, and I was very disappointed. While all the elements were there (I'm pretty sure the student organization that runs Relay for Life at USC gets something akin to a "Relay for Life Kit" at the beginning of the year with all the instructions/information on how to put on a successful Relay...), they were executed quite poorly. Everything was disorganized, and at times it seemed as if the student organizers of Relay didn't understand that most of the people who were participating had a personal connection to cancer and took the event very seriously. Meaning, it seemed as if some of them did NOT take the event that seriously, which was pretty insulting.

For example, during Luminaria (one of my personal favorite moments of Relay, and generally extremely moving), there was a guest speaker - a survivor. Her story was touching, and it was nice to hear. But then the organizers of the event had her read off of a script that she clearly had never seen before, in the dark, with no flashlight (until halfway through - remember the lights are off at this point). Worse was that the script was WRONG. It seemed to be something out of the "Relay for Life Kit" because the speaker began to read a line about a "ribbon" connecting all the attendees (which did not exist...) before an organizer stopped her and told her to skip that part and read the next paragraph.

Um. Great. The disorganization during the Luminaria presentation was so distracting it took away almost all the meaning behind Luminaria itself.

Another example has to do with the food. If you raise $100 or more, you get a blue wristband (versus a red one) and are able to eat free food at the track throughout the entirety of the event. The thing to keep in mind here is, if you expect to have food provided for you, you're not going to bring your own food. And I didn't. So I was sorely disappointed to find out that from 12pm-6pm on Saturday, all they had for us were semi-stale bagels (with no cream cheese after around 2pm), goldfish crackers, M&Ms, and water. Absolutely NO protein of any sort, or anything with any nutritional value.

And what did the Relay for Life committee have for themselves?

Apple juice, cake, muffins, and other delightful goodies that weren't available for the people who were walking.


Anyway, it's still a great cause and while it was disappointing that it was run so poorly this year, I'm still glad to have been out there doing my part in the fight against cancer. It was a pretty exhausting 24 hours for me, but I still think it was worth it.

What wasn't fun was having to clean up on Sunday and then come back and work on two projects, both due today.

On the plus side, I finished both projects and made it to my first class (basically) on time. And then I got some new drawing supplies and had a moment to myself on campus, complete with an earl grey latte. And now I've got to run and get ready for my date with Emilie tonight - I'm taking her to this restaurant that's supposed to have an amazing view to complement their amazing food as a belated birthday gift, and it should be fun!

During the Survivor Lap.