Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Obsession and Compulsion

I have an obsession with organizing my life. I like planning out what I do before I do it. Nay to spontaneity for me. I like being hyper-aware of tasks I need to complete and deadlines I need to meet. Oh, that rhymed!

I can get very spacey at times and it is imperative to stay organized and keep note of my commitments and appointments so I don't miss anything I need to do. My memory doesn't often serve me too well so I find that writing things down and keeping a record/records of written sort helps me out a great deal.

My compulsion in response to this? I keep four calendars--three super important and highly functional calendars and one sorta for the aesthetics of my room. I just love the fourth calendar so much I had to mention it, haha. Anyway, I have a huge wall calendar with tons of writing space under each day of the month, my iCal and my agenda/planner. I keep these babies updated like mad. My giant wall calendar and iCal pretty much function in the same way in that they are where I jot down general assignment due dates, test dates, appointments, meetings, social events, etc. My agenda is my place to write down my day-to-day school assignments, but whatever goes on my wall calendar and iCal also appear in my agenda.

Keeping a busy schedule organized has definitely been a very helpful addition to my life. This year is the most organized I have ever been. I kept a planner in high school, but barely used it. Last year I had a wall calendar to keep track of big assignments and events and such, but I didn't use an agenda. I just started using one again this year and I am so glad I am. It's so annoying flipping through my five different syllabi for my five classes every day to check what homework I need to complete. I hate dealing with loose paper. With my agenda, I take a look at my syllabi maybe once every two weeks and jot down in my agenda all the work I need to do.

This was a long entry. Concluding remarks: calendars and agendas are nifty little things to keep the college student organized and on top of her game (:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"When was the last time..."

When was the last time I was in Chinatown prior to this past Monday? Oh gosh, I really cannot remember. It has been a good while though. Whitney and I decided to venture out to Chinatown on Monday to get our hair done. I'm cheap and I do not feel comfortable paying the average San Francisco price (about $60.00-ish) for a haircut. Thank you Chinatown for having salons priced for my budget! I know that there may be risks involved in getting a "cheap" haircut, but I've sort of learned to ignore that and reason with myself that even if a haircut turns out horrid, hair does grow back. What's life without a little risk, eh?

Scouring pages and pages of salons on Yelp, we finally settled to get our hair done at "La Vii" on Stockton. It received decent reviews and was within our price range. I wasn't really too sure how I wanted my hair done--I just wanted my bangs re-done and a simple trim at the least.

"When was the last time you cut your hair?" asks the stylist. "Uhm, it's actually been a year. I have been trimming my bangs though." He chuckles. Yeah, I know a year is a long long time. Yes, I know that I should be getting trims every six weeks or so. It's just my last haircut turned out pretty badly. My bangs were thinned out until they were wispy as frick and the overall too-short cut was just not doing it for me. I decided that I wanted to grow it out. As the months went by and my hair slowly started to grow (my hair grows at the slowest pace imaginable) I convinced myself that I didn't need any trims. Whenever I go into a salon and ask for say an inch trim, the stylist chops off at least two inches. For someone trying to grow out their hair, I decided that hair trims would be counterproductive to my overall goal. Kinda stupid reasoning in retrospect...

Anyway, this haircut turned out good. My stylist guy communicated well, telling me every thing he was doing to my hair and giving me suggestions on how to style it, etc. My overall cut looks fine. I know I don't sound too excited, but that's because I'm waiting for it to grow out a bit more. I usually don't jump to final conclusions/judgments on a cut until maybe a good two-three weeks after I get my hair done. I like to give the haircut fair time to convince me to like it (:

Whitney seemed to like her cut too. Even if this cut doesn't turn out to be super great after my allotted three week "haircut woo me" period, it's okay because cut and wash was only $20.00. Totally reasonable.

Then we got hungry and ate a lot of food. Story of my life, right?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Break & Food!

I can say that I eat pretty well whenever I'm back home. Mom cooks a lot of food and insists that I eat all of it. "You're looking a little thin, go eat another bowl of rice!" Uhm, no thanks mom, I think I've actually been gaining weight back at school if anything.

Aside from my mom cooking up a banquet, I make it a goal to eat out a bunch whenever I'm back. San Francisco really has the best restaurants, the best food, and the best variety. Andy and I went out for pho and falafel yesterday. Yes, pho AND falafel. What can I say? We like food.

Andy really wanted to eat at some Vietnamese restaurant out in the Tenderloin that he had sampled with a couple of his friends a few weeks ago. Being lazy and unwilling to travel too far, we settled to eat somewhere a bit more location-convenient. We settled on Loi's on Irving. I've heard pretty good things about this little hole-in-the-wall. Small and not really the cleanliest place on earth, it is however, super cheap and satisfies my craving. perfectly fine. $3.95 for a bowl of noodle soup? Sweeeeet!

I had been craving falafel for a while as well. Andy wanted some too, so off we went to Sunrise Deli to pick up a dozen. Hey, don't judge.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Start of Spring!

With the nice weather and it being the start of "spring break" and all, it feels that Spring is finally upon us. Yesterday actually marked the first day of spring! Thank goodness for the clear skies and sunny days ahead of us!

The weather was really nice in Berkeley last week. 70° weather? That's my excuse to eat up on ice cream and frozen treats like a shame, no shame.
We have clear skies here, but it's still chilly and not quite as sunny or warm as I'd like it to be. Nonetheless, I'm enjoying this weather as compared to how it was the last time I was home (stormy and thunderous).

Spring, Spring Break, what am I to do? Aside from having to work on my paper and some readings, I do plan to take this time as a break from school. I've been spending time with family and plan to have some time with my friends. Most of all, I'm looking forward to eating a load of good food. Phew, I'm so glad to be away from school!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Birthday

Judging from the first picture, it seems we're a group of pyromaniacs? Not really, we just really need to invest in matches or a lighter for our place. We've been lighting candles with paper and our electric stove. How lame. Anyway...

We celebrated Karina's 20th birthday at midnight yesterday. We surprised her with the same type of "cake" we got her last year -- some cookies and creme ice cream pie thing. The five of us pretty much spent the whole night devouring the pie and other junk food goods. Carrying our bloated selves off to our rooms after the grand feast, we all concluded that midnight might not be the best time to celebrate birthdays after all. Staying up past 2:30 am on a full stomach? Not a good thing.

We all woke up that morning feeling exhausted and still full from last night. Karina and I actually fell asleep in our history class. Sorry professor!

Karina's turning twenty really got me thinking last night about growing up. I feel like I just barely turned nineteen, but I know that twenty is right around the corner. Soon enough, I'll be in my twentieth year of life. In reflection, the last nine-tenish years I can characterize as being significantly formative. From child to adolescent to adult all in one decade of life, I definitely experienced much change and growth. Half a year to go! Let's see what I can make of my last days as a nineteen-year-old before I hit that grand twenty!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

You Let No Strangers Wait Outside Your Door

We traveled to San Francisco yesterday to do some shopping. It was a beautiful day--perfect for shopping.

We just missed the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, which was a bummer. We did however, see a bunch of people on the streets and the malls all dressed up in their green. We even bumped into some bagpipe performers!

Even though I didn't really go home to where I live, it felt really good just to be back on home turf away from all things school related.

Daylight Savings Time? I woke up scared that I had actually slept in until 11:00 am.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

At A Tough Week's End

Never have I been happier to see the end of a week. This past week has probably been the most stressful week of my college experience yet; I had four midterms and a research proposal due all in the same week. That's a midterm/big assignment for all five of my classes right there--all in one week. Outrageous, right?

I realized from this hectic week that I can get really crabby when I feel stressed. I'm extremely irritable and just all around not pleasant to be around. I began to find myself annoyed by the most insignificant, arbitrary things about others around me as well as my own room. Strange enough, the arrangement of my book stack pissed me off so much that I ended up spending a good amount of time reorganizing it. In retrospect, uhm...why did I do that?

Albeit I stayed a hermit in my room and at the library most to the week, my limited interaction with others really did show how stressed out I was, even in times when I didn't think I felt stressed. People kept telling me that I looked really stressed out. I tried my best to stay focused and relaxed, and probably even sort of convinced myself that I wasn't stressed, but I guess those who know me well saw through that and could tell that I was under quite a bit of strain.

I've come to find that it's always helpful to give myself incentive and a reason to chug through the week. "When i get through all my midterms, we'll go shopping this weekend!" Knowing that I have something fun outside of school to look forward to at the end of the week definitely motivates me to stay focused. I had been craving macarons for a while and told myself that I'd get a box to reward myself at the end of the week. They totally taste way better after I've had a tough week. Chocolate does too.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Grocery Shopping

Staring blankly at my Anthro reader and realizing I wasn't about to get any work done, I decided to go grocery shopping. Come to think of it, grocery shopping has especially in this past school year become one of my favorite ways to distract myself and procrastinate from doing homework. I know procrastination is bad, you don't need to remind me. I do not see grocery shopping however, as a complete waste of my time (as my watching hours of youtube videos is) because I do come back with enough food to fill the fridge to sustain myself for quite a while. Food is good!

The roomies and I usually make bigger purchases at Costco. This usually consists of bread, lunch meat and milk--foods we all consume. Buying this stuff in bulk at a food club rather than a regular grocery store definitely saves us a bunch of money because we do consume so much of it. Other groceries that perhaps the whole group won't take to eating is usually purchased at more local grocery stores. I love soy milk, but I don't think the others really drink it so I'll purchase a moderate half gallon from around the block.

I've been trying to make shopping lists firstly to help make sure that I get everything I need, and secondly, to help curb my spending. I try to stick to my shopping list and purchase only those necessities that I've listed, but often times in practice I fail. "Oh, this is on sale!?" I'll buy it. It's really hard for me to stick to a list, but hey, I'm working on it.

On this trip, I picked up my soy milk, cheeses and yogurt, but I also grabbed some things not originally on my list--orange juice and grapes. Shame on me.

MMM, soy milk.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Socialization & School

With midterms coming up next week, I've been trying to catch up on the two-three weeks of reading I'm behind on in both Anthropology and History. I can say without a doubt that this semester has definitely been my most difficult yet. The good majority of my classes are very reading and writing intensive which pretty much leaves me drafting papers every two weeks or so, and reading hundreds of pages a week. I'm in a "struggle," as my history professor would put it. I've just got to stay focused.

On socialization, well, what socialization? I guess I mean my lack thereof socialization. I have never really been a sociable person ever. Being in college has definitely made this clear to me. I have prioritized school, leaving me little time for other things. I already use three calendars (my iCal, my agenda/planner, and my oversized wall calendar) to help me manage my time, but I could definitely organize my life a little better perhaps to find time for friends and other leisurely things. I mean if other people can have social lives and balance school, why can't I?

Excuse my little pre-midterm funk. I'm usually not a downer.
On a happier note, the picture of the bird above is of a necklace I just received in the mail. It's super cute and the brass gives it a sort of antique-y look that I'm totally in love with. Its cuteness definitely helps to put me in better spirits.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Introduction With Lasagna

The roomies and I made lasagna for dinner last night. For non-cooking college students, I think we did a pretty good job. For those who know me well, you all know that I have the tendency to turn to baking when I'm feeling stressed out. After the success of this lasagna, I may just revert to actual cooking as stress relief. We do have a couple cookbooks lying around somewhere. Maybe I'll look through for a few recipes and try them out.

As to an introduction, oh I don't know. I've always kind of had a blog/blogs, whether it was a xanga page or a tumblr. I've ditched xanga, but I'm still on tumblr. I guess you could say that I'm getting tired of the whole "micro-blogging" world on tumblr and wanted a space for posts with more substance. Chu get me? I'll still be using tumblr though, maybe just not as often?

Wonder how we made lasagna? Here's the super easy-to-follow recipe:

Florentine Lasagna (serves 6)
(Adapted from Golden Grain Lasagna Pasta Box)

8 oz - dried lasagna pasta
15 oz - ricotta cheese
2 cups - fresh baby spinach
2 eggs
1 jar of favorite pasta sauce
2 cups - shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt, pepper and garlic powder (optional/to taste)

Assembling & Cooking:
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2) Cook pasta according to package directions
3) In bowl, combine ricotta, spinach, eggs, and salt and pepper
4) Spread 1/2 cup pasta sauce in 13 x 9 baking dish
5) Layer with 3 lasagna pieces, half the ricotta mixture, 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup pasta sauce
6) Repeat layers
7) Top with remaining lasagna pasta, sauce, and mozzarella
8) Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes