Like I just mentioned, I love birds of prey. My favorite is a tossup between an owl and a hawk. I think I’d like to be a hawk in the day and an owl at night. Once, I was in my backyard in LA and this gorgeous snowy owl silently glided up past our fence. It was absolutely breathtaking and magical. I stood there dumbfounded for a good minute or two, marveling at what I just saw and hardly believing it. I love the grace, the power, the freedom of these birds. They exude confidence and ability in a way that I admire and would love to embrace. Plus, being able to fly and see so sharply would be amazing. I’d get a kick out of finding a nice perch and staring out at the world, or soaring high above it all. It’s beautiful out there and what a great way to enjoy it.
Ah, to be a bird
Where air is my element
And I flit about nay a care in the world
Light as a feather, nimble as a mouse
Free to go up, down, all around
I could put it all behind me
Escape to another world
If I please, if I please…
And if I tire, I’d find a perch
Gaze down at the world so far away
Noticing every detail with my razor-sharp vision
Letting myself be free
Free to be me
Oh how glorious it would be.
I didn’t set out to write prose that resembles a poem, but I guess that’s how my thoughts sort of gathered themselves. It’s funny that I began writing this last night and then this afternoon, a hawk glided along to a stop near me, right on a rock on the ground. It’s not often you see these birds of prey so low to the ground, calmly sitting. It watched as I walked around to get a picture of it and let me take one. Before I could get a better position and zoom in more, it was off again, sailing ever so gracefully into the sky. I’m so inspired by these great birds – in fact, I’ll be writing about them again for today’s 365great.
I’ve long admired these creatures, not only because they are so powerful and elegant all in one, but because they get to fly. I wish my body could allow me to go airborne whenever I want. It’s so beautiful up in the air and everything is so crisp and clear. They represent empowerment and freedom to me, which are things that I value deeply. Beyond that, I’d love to spread my wings and take myself away from this place sometimes. Wouldn’t it be nice to retreat from the world for awhile and find your peace? Get lost in your own thoughts and not worry about the rest of the world.
Oh, to be a bird…
Back at UCLA, I attended the most bonfires of my life – during Beat ‘SC Week as we pumped up school spirit for the UCLA vs. USC football game, at retreats with my fraternity (AKPsi), and on random outings with friends when we met up at Dockweiler Beach. There’s something special about gathering around a giant flame, letting it heat one side of your body until you felt like it was going to singe. For the smaller bonfires, you can toast marshmallows and make s’mores. For the larger ones, you can marvel at the height of the flame and join in on a crowd mentality as hundreds of people pack in. Bonfires are such a fun activity to participate in, no matter the scale; it could be as intimate as personal time alone or as lively as participating in a group. Either way, it’s a great way to enjoy a night.
On day 7 of our grand UK adventure, Panda and I explored the streets of Edinburgh and found a bunch of museums. The morning started off with a silly moment, when Panda got my ring stuck on his finger… and we thought he might have to wear it around all day for me. I got a delicious treat at a cute bakehouse, we swung by the cafe where Harry Potter was written, and of course went to check out the castle (getting a few items in the gift shop but not actually going in). Along the way, we came across two Chinese ladies asking for directions and I regretted not helping. We wanted to also check out this place called The Mound, but I think they were closed so we skipped it. For dinner, we got Pizza Express and I discovered my new favorite pizza. Later at night we got hungry again so we went out to a Chinese place where they were very interested in chatting us up. I guess Chinese-Americans don’t come around that often.
I’m getting to be quite the fan of Aerie. Awhile ago, I shared how I got free & practically free underwear from them and then today I managed to score a bra for just over $5! Now that’s a steal. Granted, $10 of that was from Wrapp (to be coming on another 365great day), but still, I’m very pleased. They always have really cute clothes and undergarments and when I wait for just the right time, I can snag them at fantastic bargains. I’ve got my eye on a bunch of clothes that I’d like to get there eventually… like maybe later this month when they have their $10 off $30 promo! I can’t wait – it’s gonna be great.
As always, it was such a pleasant surprise when the Homegrown Collective box arrived! This time there are two projects, one that is perfectly seasonal and one that is a more involved food project. I’ve already done the first one and I’ll need to find a blender to try out the other.
Project #1, evergreen oil lamp: What an adorable idea! I love that this oil lamp makes use of very seasonally-appropriate items that totally remind me of winter. You also have the freedom to throw in whatever you might have in your yard or neighborhood to make it even more personalized. I think it’s fantastic and so simple yet creative. I can get more paraffin oil and keep on changing the look of this lamp throughout the months as I find random plants I can use!
Project #2, almond chocolate milk: Ok, so I’m generally not a fan of almond milk, but I don’t think I’ve tried chocolate almond milk before. The main problem with this particular project is that I don’t have a blender, so I’m not sure how I could possibly make it right now. The good thing is that the move into the new condo is the perfect excuse to get a few items for the home, like a blender! I’ll have to keep these ingredients stored away for the time being, until I can try making my very own almond chocolate milk. I hope I like it!
Have you subscribed to The Homegrown Collective? I’m absolutely loving all the cool projects they come up with – I feel crafty without actually doing much!
I love felines of all kinds and my favorite of the large cats would have to be tigers. They have an air about them that is awe-inspiring and their strength yet grace is captivating. Their stripes are so fun and vibrant; it’s a unique pattern that no other big cats have. I got a chance to visit the Tiger Temple when I was in Thailand and it was such a special experience. When I approached the area where the adult cats were lounging, everything hushed and I carefully navigated through them with my guide. They didn’t seem to mind much that people were milling out and either let me touch them gently or didn’t even feel my hand stroking them. My favorite part was petting the baby tiger though – it was already quite big, with giant paws and far more strength than me. Yet, they still had an awkward, adorable quality about them. I absolutely loved being able to get so close to these creatures – what a great vacation stop!
I’ve had some pretty random and interesting experiences in my life. There are the moments when I had crazy encounters with strangers, the cool things I got to experience as a result of living in Los Angeles, and wonderful childhood memories. I’d like to share more of these, since a good story can be captivating, entertaining, and powerful. Perhaps I can hone my writing skills enough to write short stories!Today I was chatting with Autumnfall and our conversation reminded me of an experience I had back when I was working on the set of Wristcutters. I was interning for the first time and found myself taking on all kinds of roles, including buying food, managing staff (and wrangling extras), and taking care of the actors. When we were up in the deserts of Lancaster, our hotel was a good 40 minutes from set and I got called to go pick up one of the actresses. I got her from our hotel and we started racing down the long stretch of road. She asked to smoke in my car, and being the accommodating person I am, we cracked the windows open a bit so she could puff away. About halfway there, she wanted me to pull over. There was not much more than cacti and tumbleweed for miles in all directions and she needed to pee. So, there I found myself, pulled over on the side of this two-lane road as the actress squatted next to the open passenger door of my car and relieved herself (all the time still enjoying her cigarette). It was completely out of the blue and the type of startling experience that sticks with you for how random and odd it is. It also makes for a pretty hilarious tale to tell others. Autumnfall is going to take some elements of the story and write up a little fictional story from it. I look forward to seeing what she does with this fodder!
This, in addition with Katana’s recent request that I read over some ideas she has for a book, make me want to share more of my life stories and grand adventures. I could share the times I took rides with strangers in foreign countries, the wacky times I spent with rich guys, the amazing things I got to do as a child, the fun experiences from college, and so much more… I just wish I could put together words as well as the writers I know (Autumnfall & Katana). Alas, I’ll do my best and hope to provide some worthwhile reads. Stay tuned!
My all-time favorite boba place is cha for tea, both because they make their boba just to my taste and because they make tea flavors that I prefer. They also happen to be a great place to hang out and grab a snack (the crispy chicken is bomb!) or sip on your drink while playing games with your friends (Connect Four, anyone?). Ever since my friend took me there many years ago, I’ve dropped by whenever I’m in the San Gabriel Valley area. Over the years, the tea flavors I loved best slowly got phased out sadly, but I can still find plenty of drinks to delight me. Plus, I can never go wrong with their boba. It’s not too soft, not too hard and a delicious kind of sweet that’s not overwhelming. They’re a pretty popular spot with a lovely atmosphere and great drinks.
Ever since I moved here I haven’t quite felt settled. There’s not much space for me, I barely brought along any stuff, and I didn’t know anyone other than Panda. Now I’ve got a job and (soon) a condo, so I can finally feel like this place is my home. I don’t think of myself as a Virginian yet and I don’t know how long it will take, but if I stay long enough it’s bound to happen. Going back to LA for Thanksgiving was a chance for me to bring over more things and the upcoming move to the condo is a chance for me to claim some space of my own. I’m looking forward to making 2014 the year in which I get to embrace life out here.
For now, I still feel like an outsider. Everything is an adjustment – I’m not used to the weather, the change of pace in lifestyle, even the people… at times I wish I could just retreat back to my parents’ home in LA, lounge around, and not have to worry about being all grown up. So much seems so out of place in my life right now. It’s a feeling I can’t quite put my finger on – a little bit of melancholy, a little bit of confusion, a little bit of yearning. I’ve dived into songs to try to express feelings I can’t place, but I think I just need to write about it. I’ve pondered putting together a fictional story to try to capture my thoughts and funny enough, my best friend recently reached out to me about her own writing. Perhaps reading her stories will help me collect my ideas for mine.
It’ll be nice when I have the move to focus on, so I can shift my efforts to building my new life.