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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving and more...

Before I write about Thanksgiving weekend, I want to write about how I have been doing. In my last entry I wrote about Shaun T's Insanity! workout. Well about 2 weeks ago, I completed the 60 days! It is amazing! I did not lose much, but I feel lighter and my muscles have more definition. Even though I am done with the 60 days, I still want to continue using the program. There are so many moves that are challenging and ones that I can do, but they really get me sweating. I especially want to work on building up my upper body strength. I have always been weak in that area. I want to be able to do a lot of pushups. I want to firm up my triceps.

I have started to write a children's story. I have a few characters to develop and the settings to finalize. I also need to do a lot of research. I hope to finish it in a year or two. The hard part is writing everyday and actually finishing it. It is so easy to start projects and then just drop them, without even finishing. It is like starting to read a book, but only reading the first few chapters before abandoning the book. That has been happening a lot to me lately. But I hope to work on that and overcome that character flaw. I need to be diligent and persistent and steadfast in whatever I choose to take on. Abandoning anything...that is what makes a person a flake, as people say.

And now on to how Thanksgiving!

It was a nice weekend, actually. It was all 4 of us at home. We ate some turkey, cranberry sauce, yams, and drank egg nog. Later we watched a movie, during which my mom and dad drifted off to sleep. I stayed wide awake. Last night, I finally got to watch Angels and Demons. I enjoyed watching it. I would not mind watching it again. Tom Hanks is one of my favorite actors. He always brings a dignified manner to his roles, when he is not yelling or complaining like in his earlier roles. I liked seeing him in Turner and Hooch though. Hahaha. I also got to try mochi, a Japanese dessert with red bean paste in the middle. Each one is bite-sized and soft and gummy. I really like it.

Well, until next time. Chau!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New beginnings and old memories...

Yesterday, I started the 60-day Insanity! challenge. It is so different from any workout I have ever done. It mixes interval training with resistance exercises. It is truly a challenge. I feel sore and stiff, but motivated. I decided to keep a log. So this is day 2 of Insanity!

I also started talking to two friends who I have not spoken to in awhile. It feels good. To new beginnings!

As to old memories, I visited my old junior high school. I was there for four years...5-8th grade. That was the first time since I left in June 2001. I really missed it. I saw a few teachers and one girl who I sort of knew. Just walking around the school brought back so many memories. The front doors were different. The secretary was different. Mrs. Lewis was still there. The pastor is still there and he was teaching a class in the library. I had wanted to go up on the balcony, but I did not want to disturb his class. The principal is the same, but he was at another satellite school. There are 2 other satellites...wow! The school has really expanded and grown. There was only the one school when I was there. The area near the Afica lake was fenced and off limits. I had wanted to go down there. I would go there whenever I could, when I was younger. I would read and talk to God and sit on a square rock. I really miss it. And the playground was still there, except for some new toys. The old slide and swings and see-saw were still there. Wow. I thought of my best friend. The auditorium had the same chairs, except that there were less of them. It seemed like the room had shrunk. The podiums looked much the same. I saw the jr high school room, and the room I had science in...it was so different. Now, the school has kindergarten to 6th graders. I did not see any high schoolers. The parking lot when we arrived was so empty. I walked into the room where I remember my crush used to go in to get his stuff...it was just a locker room...no desks, just a few chairs. I felt empty, but I had the memories to keep the smile in my eyes and in my heart.

I learned that most of my teachers had left...science teacher, computer teacher, latin teacher, English teacher, music teacher, and maybe even my catholic history teacher is gone. I was glad to see some familiar faces. The school nurse is still the same, but she was not at school today. Her little son is now 11 and loves basketball. Wow. Time flies. I saw him when he was 3 and was just starting to walk. Hehe. He was so cute.

Before mom and I left, I turned in an application form for substitute teaching. I am interested in teaching. It will be just a temporary thing, if they call me back. I am not certified. However, I have some tutoring/teaching experience. I have a good feeling that I will get called back. I did not get to talk to Mrs. Lewis, but I know that she remembers me. I know the principal remembers me. He once told my mom that she did a great job raising me. He taught me history and alegebra I one year, that was fun.

I was telling my mom yesterday how I wanted to visit my old school. I was surprised that she wanted to take me there today. It was a really pleasant surprise. And I am glad that we went. I hope to come back soon. There are more people that I need to see and talk to.

Until next time.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Long weekend

The day after my last post I heard that grouchy guy would be heading to California for grad school, Berkley on Sunday (yesterday). I guess I will miss him.

Lately it has been sunny and hot. I love it. I am getting so tan too. I feel happier though. Some of it is because of the hot weather. The rest is because I am glad to be done college and I am set on living each day one at a time. I will not think too much ahead. And I will not think of the past. Also, it helps me not to read too much depressing news. I need to be optimistic. I want to be done with depression for a little while.

This weekend is long because I am helping my parents paint the exterior of the house. My dad took 3 days off to finish the job. The front is done. And soon the back will be done. It looks good. The color is sky blue. I like it. I intend to take pictures when it is done.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Unexpected event

Today I saw an old crush, grouchy guy. I was with my parents and we were entering the pool area. He was sitting at the front desk. When I saw him, I kept on walking. But I was shocked, that I kept on staring as I walked forward. I did not stop until I bumped into my mom's bag. I had not been watching where I was going. She had realized that my dad was talking to him and she needed to let him swipe her swim pass. As I was staring at him, his eyes were looking right back at me. Our eyes were locked and I could not look away. I cannot remember anything like that happening to me before. And when we left the pool, he was the only one who said "bye" and he said it in such a cheerful tone. I had never heard him sound so happy before. Before that, he leaned back in his chair and let out a low "argh!"

My mom said that his eyes looked puffy and smaller, but I did not notice. All I saw were his eyes and his hair. He has cut it short. It used to be curly and longer. He does look meaner, even meaner than the last time I saw him after my college graduation ceremony. So apparently, he has gone back to work at the pool over the summer. I have no idea if he will be back tomorrow or next weekend. I do not know when he will leave or if he will be working at the pool next summer. I am just happy to have seen him again. I like looking into his eyes and looking at him. He is like a dream...an unattainable dream to me. But when he looks at me, I feel like I am an unattainable dream to him as well. I feel beautiful and it is quite a heady feeling. So I think I am almost over him.

Who am I not over? That English/Philosophy major boy. I shall call him Italian boy. I think of him or I see his name and I still feel hurt. With his eyes and his body language, he tells me that he likes me and yet he is afraid to admit it. He tries to avoid me, as if he can escape his feelings...as if he can forget his feelings for me and the moments we spent together in college. I will be over him, but I need time. I wonder how long will it take. Half a year? A year? Two years? It seems like it takes a long time for me to heal. And each time I heal, I find someone else to become infatuated with. I wish I could prevent that from happening. I wish I could be numb and not feel tenderness or fondness for any man who is nice or attractive. Maybe I should think that all guys are bad. But then I will be a man-hater, no? I do not want that either. So what can I do? Is the answer right in front of me?

Friday, August 07, 2009

The month of August.

It has been a hot and muggy August in my area. I have been busy with GRE prep and tutoring two women from Nepal. They want to get their driver's licenses by the end of this month. I just quiz them on things they should know like traffic rules, traffic signs, and right-of-way. This is also a chance for me to refresh my knowledge about driving regulations and such. I look forward to seeing them every week.

Besides that, soon there will be a court case. My sister was assaulted by some caretaker. First will be the criminal trial. Then we will start the civil trial. Later today we will meet with a lawyer for our civil suit. Yesterday we meet with a criminal lawyer in probate court. Our case is looking good. We got DNA from the perpetrator and it may be enough to send him to prison for a few years. The maximum is 10 years, but that is okay. As long as he gets punishment and is not let free, then we will feel a little better. He should not be allowed to hurt any other innocent girls. I do believe in justice. Someday, everyone gets what they deserve.

In fitness news, I am about 15 to 16 lighter than before. I have lost all my college weight. I hope to eventually lose the weight I gained in high school. I feel great. I am seeing definition in my arms, legs, stomach, waist, face, neck, and feet. I always had flat feet, but lately I have been seeing more of an arch. I now know that I had fat feet, not flat feet. Anyway, I think I need to lose another 20 pounds and then I will be around 120 pounds. That will be ideal. I have made much progress and I am very proud of my accomplishment.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Where have I been?

I'm still around. I've just been so busy. I graduated in May with a BA in Philosophy and Justice Studies. I realized I was still in love with a guy and even more than I thought. But most of all, I realized how much I love language. I want to study Linguistics in graduate school. It has always been a major interest and love of my life.

I've been thinking about letting go and fear and love. That guy I referenced, he likes me but he won't admit it. Instead, he is with another guy. I wonder if it will work. But a few weeks ago, I decided to let go. It's not meant to be. He is convinced that she's the one. I can't and won't argue about that. I hope we can keep in touch, but I'm not sure if that's what he wants. I haven't noted him, out of fear...fear that he won't respond. I think it's best that I wait. But if he never talks to me again, then that's that. I'm not putting too much hope in him. I hope that maybe in grad school or when I travel, that I'll meet some good people and even one good guy who wants to get to know me and who isn't afraid to tell me so.

I have a week or two until my diploma comes in the mail. I can't wait!

Yesterday, I met with 2 Nepalese women to help them prepare for the written driver's license test. My coordinator told me about it on Tuesday. It feels so good to be helping out again. I was hit hard when I found out that I wouldn't see the two Punjabi Indian women again. But that's life. Sometimes you're up and it seems like it's all good, and then at other times, it's like nothing is going right. That's over now. I just need to move forward.

In other news, I've started watching 24. I love it. I think it's interesting that the California Senator in there, who is blac, becomes president. It's like 24 predicted the future. Wow! Did the writers see that or what? Haha, who knows?
I hope our president has a good man working for him like David Palmer does. Jack Bauer is great.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spanish fluency? I wish.

Today in one of my classes, my professor mentioned that the courts are looking for Spanish interpreters. They need some people who are fluent in Spanish. I would like to apply, but I don't think I'm fluent. So I've had 4 years of Spanish...but I feel like there's still so much that I don't know. I could survive on what I know, but I just don't feel confident. If I listen to the Spanish channel, I just can't keep up. They talk fast and I need time to first identify the Spanish word and then translate it into English. And believe me, that takes time. I'm sure anyone who speaks two or more languages understands this to be true.

So what am I going to do next? Tomorrow, I plan to go to her office to ask her about it. Then I might contact the administrator at the court and see if maybe I could take a fluency test. If I don't pass it, it'll be okay. I just want to see how I'd do. I've never taken a Spanish fluency test or any national Spanish test. So I have no idea how I compare to other Spanish students worldwide. However, I do know that I learn easily. I just love learning.

My plan to improve my Spanish is to see if I can look up some stuff about Spanish, just a little bit a day. It could be about the culture, some sentences in Spanish, a news article, poetry, a story, or even something about the grammar. It's been awhile since I've studied Spanish. I really miss it. But I know that it's still with me. Every time I see a Spanish word or name, I remember how to pronounce it and I might even remember what it means.

It would be even better if I had friends who spoke Spanish or if I could go to Spain or some Spanish-speaking country for a bit. Oh wait...I have a neighbor who is Spanish. Of course! I'm a bit shy, but I'm sure she'd love to talk with me sometime. But first, I need to do some independent learning. First things first.

In other news, things are going well with the tutoring thing. I see my student tomorrow. Yay! I look forward to it. It's fun!

Also, I have to go to a job fair. Well, I don't have to go but I should. I want to see what companies show up and what they have to offer. And I like to see what kinds of stuff they're giving out. Sometimes the gadgets are cool. Lol.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Farewell to Natasha Richardson

I was saddened to read about it on yahoo. I happened to see the headline and then I clicked to read about it. And just yesterday I watched her in the movie "Evening." "Evening" is a good movie, by the way. In the movie, she plays the oldest daughter of a dying old woman who is remembering the past of regret and sadness. And before she dies, she is finally able to forgive herself and let go.

Richardson had hit her head during a beginner skiing lesson. She felt fine, but then hours later she didn't feel well so she was sent to the hospital. She wasn't even 60.

I remember watching her in "A Handmaid's Tale." She was quite young and lively back then. Before the accident, I imagine she was in good health. It is sad to see people go before their time. I pray that Liam Neeson, Vanessa Redgrave, Lynn Redgrave, and the rest of her family can get through their grief and be stronger for it.

Here's a song that I'll dedicate to them:

Monday, March 16, 2009

A new beginning...

Last Thursday, I met with a Thai woman at my town's adult learning center. I will be her new tutor. She is already taking English classes at the center. Now, I will be giving her one-on-one help with her basic reading skills. I will meet with her twice a week. I'm nervous and excited about it. I will meet with her again tomorrow. I have come up with an itinerary. But it's too early for me to know how to teach her. She seems to be doing well in terms of her understanding. It's just the beginning though. I hope to continue helping her for up to a year. It'll be rewarding to see her progress over a matter of months. I have already started a log as of last night. I just write down how I think she did and what we went over.

I am enjoying my first day of Spring break. It feels great. I feel more relaxed and I feel happier. I still have assignments and I want to get started on a research paper (due in May), but now I can sort of take my time and not feel very rushed. I am going to borrow a couple library books, read a little, and then decide how to go from there...what topic I want to learn and write about. I went to the mall with my mother and I got a cute, dark green, teal dress. I like how the hem stops a little above my knees and how the dress is tight under my chest but then it hangs loose and flowy. I wonder when I'll get a chance to wear it.

I hope to be back here soon.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thinking, as always...

When am I not thinking about something? Haha. Sometimes it's frustrating. A person could go nuts from thinking all the time, right? I've been busy and preoccupied with stuff. I worry about what I'll do after I graduate, what I'll do with my life, and so on. Well, at least I know that I'll take a year off from school to prep for the GREs. Though, I'm not sure about the program, Linguistics, Justice Studies, or Political Science? For now, my primary concern is financial aid. So, I need to score high and try to add a little experience to my resume. I have a little time, just got to make the most of it.

I'm also thinking of how I don't like oral presentations. I'm taking a Justice Studies seminar and every so often, we have to present. Last time, I was so nervous and I felt like I was out of it. Next week, I will meet with the professor about it. We should come up with a solution. He seems willing to help, we'll see. The course traces American law back to its founding. My next presentation is based on the words of Paine and Jefferson. I have to read several excerpts from key documents they wrote. I just need to take out quotations and then explain them. I'm not sure how many quotations to take out, maybe 5 is enough. And then, I have to present and write 5 pages on the Articles of Confederation and compare it to the government we have now. Everyone else is just writing evaluations of the Federalist papers or the Anti-federalist papers. Maybe he's giving me more work so I can redeem myself for the not-so-good presentation last week. I'll try not to complain. I'm hoping that I can bring up my grade.

My other class this semester in Canadian Politics and Government. I like it. I like that the texts are written by Canadian professors and that we get to watch documentaries on Canada. I never realized till now how much Canada is European in nature, British to be more specific. Most Americans think that Canada is becoming more Americanized or they just hate Canada. I always wondered about why Americans hate Canada and make fun of Canadians. I think that by the end of this course, I'll understand and I may even like Canada. Though I'm not sure I'd want to live there. I can't stand the cold...and I live in New England. Hahaha.

Well, that's my update. I hope to stop by again soon.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Year, new president, new attitude on life

Hey again. It's been a long time since I've been here. I've been busy with life. My New Year's Day was good. I had a quiet, relaxing vacation. The highlight of this year so far is the inauguration of the first black president in the U.S., Barack Obama. I was so thrilled when he won the 2008 Presidential Election. Big smile and a Yes! to that. And since the inauguration, I've been feeling better and I have resolved to change my attitude on life. I will be happy and content like I once was. Say good-bye to depression. I've started reading Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns this evening. He says that depression is not a mental disorder. He says that people feel sad because of their distorted, negative thoughts. He has a point, but this point doesn't address the chemical imbalance aspect of depression, but I digress. Anyway, so through cognitive therapy, which his book is about, people can and do feel happier. He wrote that within 12 weeks, there was a noted difference in people's mental state. How does he measure mental state? With a test called the Beck Depression Inventory. It has 21 questions and for each question, there are 4 options. Each option has a value ranging from 0-3. My score was a 20, which put me in the category of Borderline Clinical Depression. It is serious, but not as bad as moderate, severe, or extreme depression, the categories above the category I fit in right now. Ideally, my score should be a 10 or below 5. But if I keep reading and learn the therapy, I should be able to see improvement. I got to stick with it, just like how an athlete should keep training so that they will perform well during competition. My competition will be how I hold up through life's many situations.