my biggest fear

My biggest fear since "growing up" is idleness. Idleness in the sense that I would no longer have ambition. I loose sight of my dreams and goals. Yet too often, I find myself in a hurry. Too fast, too furious to achieve results. I worry that not seeing results immediately will mean that I've failed. And I dread failure. I'd rather not do something than do it with the knowledge that I would fail. Is it human nature to feel this way? Probably.


About half a year ago, I was surfing Netflix for a new series. I can’t recall how I ended up in the anime section, but fuck, I’m so glad I did. Believe it or not, anime has changed my life. Before I started watching anime, I was ignorant about what animation, as a medium, is capable of. There are infinite possibilities. And an expansive spectrum of storytelling, which makes this genre truly unique.

I’ve noticed that a lot of people who were never exposed to Japanese cartoons as a kid become opposed to the idea of anime as adults. In the public consciousness, anime is often characterized as being too childish, somewhat over-dramatic, and sometimes even weird. I was turned off by anime for the longest time. In high school, one of my good friends lent me part 1 of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga so I could try it out. It sat on my bookshelf for months and I never even opened it. I gave it back and told her that I wasn’t into it. This is so ironic because Fullmetal was what I settled on when I was Netflix browsing. This series got me hooked.

I’m addicted to this genre. The really good shows can make you feel like you are right there with the characters. Their emotions pierce through the screen and come straight for you. Despite the fact that its stories are told through illustrations, anime can easily move the viewer’s heart or leave them breathless and gasping for air. Unlike American media, anime isn’t limited by the confines of the nature of this world so it can explore dark themes that other genres rarely touch. Anime crosses boundaries. It challenges your tolerance for the unordinary. Most shows are based off of crazy ass concepts, take place in alternate universes, and do not adhere to realism. Because of the enormous creative breath of this genre, many shows or movies in anime also set themselves apart from each other.
My favorite series, Attack on Titan, takes place in a world where gigantic humanoid creatures called Titans drive humanity to the brink of extinction by devouring them for no reason. The situation makes no sense. My first instinct was to literally say what the fuck. But once I fired up my imagination, I started to really enjoy this show. Its intensity triggered a lot of deep emotions that I would never have had the opportunity to experience in real life i.e. watching my mom get eaten alive by an indestructible monster (phew!).

En Route to Yucca Valley

enroute-yucca-valley-1 Took these on our way to Yucca Valley. I was hoping for a different backdrop. We drive by these windmills with vast desert and ombre blue mountains behind them. Was digging the colors. But we couldn't stop since there weren't any exit lanes that led to the right place. Ended up here... on the side of a road not too off from the freeway. Gated, fence with chain and lock, no trespassing sign. Photos turned out pretty good, especially for a first run. We're gonna do more with clothes starting very soon.

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Lisbon, Portugal

I bought this disposable camera from a random ass souvenir shop during my short stay in Lisbon. Was expecting to get 27 shots out of this sucker...but it stopped winding at 14. Just goes to show that you can never really tell with life. Unfortunately, things don't always turn out like how they're labeled. So you gotta go for it. Make every shot count. Cause as cache as it sounds. It might be your last.

Sayre Dr.

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These photos are special not because I'm starring in them. They're great because they were taken at a house that my dad redesigned and revamped. He's worked for himself ever since he got laid off from a carpenters' union many years ago. He does laborious work and that's about all I knew. He comes home covered in paint and sometimes he has "battle wounds". I always wondered what his work is really like. I went to Sayre Dr. when my parents first bought it. It was pretty rundown. A couple months later, I came again with Derek to take photos. Didn't expect much - but was so stunned by the craftsmanship and the creativity that went into rebuilding this place. My dad really amazes me. And even if he doesn't have much of a choice (career-wise), at least he enjoys what he does.


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Mostly visual because photos speak for themselves.
No need for me to voice anything. See it to believe it.

Chinese New Years - What's that about?

Chinese New Year  
Almost everyone, whether you're Chinese or not, associates Chinese New Year with red envelopes. To be fair, getting copious amounts of money in the name of tradition is pretty awesome. But there is more to this celebration and a lot of us forget that it's not just about the dollar bills.

My parents never stopped to explain the whole concept of Chinese New Year. I learned by doing and by asking questions throughout the years. Even with 20 years of questions, I still don't have a complete picture of why we do what we do. So I figured it's about time that I utilized the almighty Google and do some research on Chinese New Year customs. Keep in mind that Chinese people tend to be superstitious (at least my family and relatives). As a result, some of our rituals are based on superstitions that were passed down from many many generations ago. Some of the things that I had to do as a kid definitely makes me laugh. I just didn't get it. But now, I'm more curious than ever. I want to learn how and why these New Year rituals and rules came to be.

Uh... what's Chinese New Year anyway?

Traditionally, the holiday is celebrated as a Spring Festival and it's the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. Chinese New Year follows a lunisolar calendar and it's celebrated on the first day of the first month in the Chinese calendar – the day of the second new moon after the winter solstice. The festival ends on 15th day of the first month, also known as the Lantern Festival. This year, Chinese New Year starts on February 18th and ends on March 5th.

Truthfully, I know nothing about the Chinese calendar and I only knew about this year's dates because of my parents. The coolest aspect of the Chinese calendar is that each year corresponds to one of 12 different zodiac signs and animals. It just so happens that 2015 is my year... meaning it's the year of the 羊. Because the Chinese character 羊 can mean both goat and sheep, I'm going to stick to Chinese so we're not lost in translation.

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