Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Sometimes the toughest criticism comes from... lo and behold, your parents.

It's tough to hear. These are the people that will be there for me, through everything, and they gave me the precious gift of LIFE. I love them, they love me, and sometimes that passion and emotion gets twisted, and it comes out in words like, "never again" or "I'm done with you."

In the past, there's been hurtful things thrown around, but I thought... my maturity, especially the growth I've achieved in the past year, made me exempt from these comments. Forever.

I'm very surprised I ended up keeping my cool in a heated exchange I had with my father. It stemmed from the apartment discussion, and it brought in themes like family, money, dreams, and the right way to live.

I have learned that what someone will say, versus what they will do can manifest itself as two completely different things. Looking back on the relationship with my dad, and how I've wanted to be this past year, and open up, and share my thoughts, and thought processes and adhere closely to what I believe, it's become a ripe breeding ground for dissension. Listening has stopped.

The approach has to change, that's what I know for sure. In situations like this, where a tradeoff needs to happen, it doesn't feel 100% right in my heart. But I know that I need to make big girl decisions.

Part of growing older is learning to trust yourself. I never thought trusting myself would pit me against my family. Hopefully, I'm praying, that time will do its magic and cause my parents to tone it down and allow me to come into my own, make my own financial decisions, and make my own choices about the course of my life - in peace. I hope in a few months, I'll have their support. In the meantime, I can only trust the hours of deliberation and the words my heart is saying, and go with it.

There will be a lot of unknowns, but it'll be a positive step towards independence. Let's let the year 2011 be the year of growing independence in many ways.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bucket List.

As I was chastised for referring to my list of things to do before I start full-time work next summer as a bucket list, I thought to myself, wow, some people will diminish the value of a day? The value of a minute? The value of a second? Life is so precious, and it keeps me grounded to live my life to the fullest, even if it requires using a list.

Here it is thus far, my Bucket List - Pre-August 2011:
*Horse back riding
*Go to the Orange Show (complete)
*Take a hip-hop class
*Take photos of construction shapes
*finish my website (complete)
*Bootsie's Cafe (1/15/11 - complete)
*Menu of Menu's
*Build a shelf - some kind of handiwork
*Pay a meal for Jayvin (complete)
*Eventually watch Glee
*Watch the Walking Dead
*Taking photos of Barnaby's paintings (complete)

I'm excited that I'll begin work as an IT project management professional. But I'm actually ... REALLY REALLY excited at the things I'll get to wrap up before I start work. I'll end my collegiate chapter with a bang, and get to travel, have a photography portfolio I'll be able to say I'm really proud of (complete with a lot of techniques I'll be able to try out by then), take dance classes, read books I meant to, watch TV shows I meant to, and overall - do the things I haven't had time to do - but WILL.

I'm blocking out time. Even though I'm working next semester, all will be okay, because for those 3 months from June-August, I'll have nothing on my agenda. That is what keeps me extra-motivated. :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010


As I watch one of my favorite shows, So You Think You Can Dance, I think about what dancing means.

I also think about why I want to do it so badly. And it starts to make sense once I start to hear Mia Michaels describe how dance is self-expression, and how the body just FEELS it and moves accordingly. I saw the frustration in some of the dancer's faces as she reiterated over and over to "dance less, and to feel more."

It's quite the paradox isn't it?

But it clicked. And I don't think it would've clicked had I not opened up my heart and soul over the past year to the gamut of emotional experiences I've had.

When I dance, and I feel the music, and the energy all around me is in sync, there is absolutely nothing like it. When there's the day-to-day grind, where social norms dictate boredom and it's out of place to be enthusiastic at the grocery store or the DMV - there's a channel. I've slowly unearthed these channels of emotion for me. At one point, it was in boys. I've found it in different kinds of art. Photography. Dance. Singing. Fashion.

The thought of releasing life's emotion and the extraordinary into just another day really excites me. I've learned that the institutions of the world don't embed these outlets for expression and emotion. I have to go to them. I create my own opportunities.

"Just dance, it's gonna be okay." - Lady Gaga

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Speaking from the Heart.

Every once in a while, I like to take a pulse of how I'm doing - myself.

No prodding, pushing, or edging up against by inquisitive relatives or friends, but I want to be able to hear the quiet, so quiet that I can only hear my heartbeat, and then really feel how I'm doing.

Life is good. There is some tension though, but I'm very happy and grateful for how things are going.

I've been seeing a lot of my friends and getting back in touch with them; my parents have healed over the last skirmish, but have also found a new topic that they are upset with me about; I haven't been active in campus life at all, but what I hear on all accounts have been glowing reviews of UNICEF really taking the baton and sprinting to new places; I've been able to forage into my artistic sides: dance, fashion, and photography - I love this ability to just.. discover my artistic VOICE.

The tension. These are the obstacles I face.

I hold myself to a HIGH standard, I really do. When I don't reschedule a commitment, or when I forget to run an errand, I beat myself over it and lose a lot of steam. My ideal doesn't match with my self-image and it hurts sometimes. Moving forward, I will work on picking myself up, brushing myself off, and not judging myself on these mishaps. I will also not book myself to the brim, and leave some breathing room for me to organically fill my day.

My parents and I have not yet a dynamic in which we can fully appreciate one another's company and this does distress me at times. I think informing them of the major choices, and not engaging my parents in my decisions is a good idea. My parents can't help but be vested in my life, and I think letting them into my thought-process and my rationale, is just an overall unwise idea to letting them get close to me. I need to make my decisions, consult them when it matters, and grow up.

I want to make more friends than ever, but at the same time, I want to have the infrastructure to really become friends with them. I want to reconnect with the ones I've been meaning to, and the ones that I have said I would hang out with. I will make it a priority to do 4 out of the box things per month. This could be pursuing a business opportunity, touching base with someone I haven't in a while, or networking with someone that's a degree of separation away. This way, I can have some room to be proactive about the opportunities that come my way.

Alright, self-reflecting almost over - I think all in all, I'm complete the way I am. I love myself. I am strong, I am powerful, and I am a leader.

I'm coming to find that the principles I've learned.. in having everything you want in the world, taking action now, and focusing on the outcome are the foundation to living the good life. It takes a great attitude to overcome things, but also there's much credit to the ability to keep moving forward. To grab things that make you grateful and to ride off the energy of those that support you, and to keep moving.

Friday, November 26, 2010


At one point, after all of the general ledgers, there was nothing in me.

I couldn't even fathom creating a web store, the other 50% of my final exam in TP2.

I logged onto Peoplesoft the next day, and saw that Dr. Parks had given me an 'A' for his class.

I WAS SHOCKED. I was rubbing my eyes and thought it couldn't be true.

I had achieved exactly what I wanted to, without doing it in the way I expected. I wanted to get an 'A' so badly, to PROVE to myself and Dr. Parks and the world that it is possible to redeem oneself after a 'D'.

After blood, sweat, and tears, I got what I wanted. I couldn't be happier. Thank you Dr. Parks. Thank you Javier, Jesus, Fabiola, and friends in class. Thank you library books. Thank you Google search engine. And thank the determination and work I pulled out of no where to accomplish this.

A part of me think it's a gift from Dr. Parks since his class was tough and full of seniors with bad cases of senioritis, but whatever it is, I am so so so thankful. I've come such a long way.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


March 2011 - Before any important speech, I get pretty anxious and excited. For my training presentation, I knew it’d be in front of a new audience and a tough teacher so I wanted to put my best foot forward. One thing I’m getting over is my tendency to go through every thought process imaginable (similar to the 5 stages of acceptance) and I always end up using my positivity to outwit any doubt demons from the past. As I laid my head down to sleep, I could feel my heart rate racing, and I read a very powerful exercise online to do to prevent overwhelming feelings and anxiousness.

So step one, you start out by breathing deeply, slowly, and more deliberately to match the pulse that you think ‘the Earth’ would have. I always imagined it to be slow and melodic and unassuming despite all of the harm to Mother Nature happening on the surface. If you can imagine the center of the earth, and its core, then you may be able to feel like there’s a slow steady beat that exists to keep the world slowly rotating and on its proper axis. To add to this visualization, there will now be strings coming from your heart, and veins, and your entire body, rushing through any obstacle in its path and pulling or strapping you down to reach the center of the Earth. This process happens very fast and once it touches the core, there’s this kindred connection and harmony. There’s no other feeling like it if you suspend disbelief and FEEL it. After this connection, you and the earth are now synchronized and fittingly so is your pulse. Engaging in this exercise did wonders for me in getting me to be calm. I felt like everything was going to be okay because the Earth told me so. With all my heart, I know it did.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I have many ideas of fun: singing karaoke, taking a dance class, watching an indie film, going to a concert or rave, or enjoying new foods.

But I also, really, really, enjoy learning. I don't just mean having someone lecture to me. I mean, being my own investigator and going on an organic learning journey where I start off with some questions about what I want to know, and seeing where it takes me.

There may not be as much depth as if a professor stood up and taught me, but every single thing I learn sticks because it was self-initiated and I pursued it. :)

Two really great learning sites I've been visiting have been the KhanAcademy.org and AcademicEarth.org.

*The Khan Academy is a collection or library of short videos created by one man, Sal Khan, explaining concepts from simple math to calculus, to the Bailout plan to brain teasers. It's a great way to enrich your day if you only have 15 minutes or so, and he explains things in a very easy to understand fashion. I love it.

*Academic Earth records lectures from many prestigious universities around the US such as Yale, Harvard, and Stanford. There's topics from physics to psychology. The great thing about this site is being able to pick any subject and the corresponding lecture sub-topic you wish. Also, if you want to pause or rewatch, you can always revisit these lectures which were once a privilege for those who could attend these university and actually go to class. :P Now you can be anyone, any age, with an internet connection and you can "attend Yale." :) Pretty cool.

I'm a big believer in the spreading of information like Wikipedia and public libraries. :)

One night I fell asleep while listening to a lecture on the psychology of intimacy. I stayed awake for too long that day, but I was compelled to absorb more and more. This is why I love school and I think everyone should be grateful for it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reality TV.

The show Teen Mom 2 on MTV symbolizes something more powerful than what one would first think. It’s not just a guilty pleasure as most would assume. A friend of mine thinks Teen Mom and this vein of reality shows displays a money-making ploy where these girls are seeking validation and attention for the poor decisions they’ve made – and an audience that seeks this vicarious drama. No, no, no. Regardless of how they ended up in this situation, it puts an important issue on the world stage which is teen pregnancies and how these families handle the challenges. It’s truly beautiful to see how these new moms get the strength to raise these beautiful children and the maturity of their decisions and the responsibility is beautiful to watch. Of course, there are the moments where you could say, their age is showing, but I think that’s true of anyone regardless of age.

One scene that was particularly poignant for me was seeing one of the most stoic Southern gentlemen ever, Corey, approach his daughter’s potential nerve damage with positivity. Corey uplifted his wife Leah, and made sure he was strong for her and took off work to be there for his family during Ali’s MRI. When Corey and Leah said goodbye to Ali at the door for her to get her MRI, Leah just broke down and cried against the undiscriminating white hospital walls. Corey came and comforted her and hugged her, and let out tears of his own. After multiple episodes of no emotion, he showed more emotion than Leah from bottling it up inside, and it just touched me to see two people supporting each other by being absolutely vulnerable. It’s such a scary thing to want so much for your child, a normal childhood, and to be met with so much resistance since birth. It was really a beautiful scene that no scripted show could match. That scene touched my soul.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Million.

There's just something about freshly painted finger nails that just makes me feel like a million bucks.

These are the hands that will make me millions!

I can't remember the last time I painted my nails.

I feel 10x more feminine, girly, pretty, and put together just because of the pink nails alone. Can anyone calculate the ROI on this one?

This is what being rich is. Being rich is to be able to unwind after school with a few hours of shopping, feeling good about buying a new purse, shirt, and jeans and watching How I Met Your Mother while respecting the intricacy of nail painting. It's a craft.

I want my life to be rich. And judging by how today went, I am a rich woman today, and I will be tomorrow.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Body is Strong.

March 2011 - I’ve stumbled on this website called stumptuous.com and admittedly, I have no idea what the name means, but it’s a website about getting in shape FOR WOMEN, BY REAL WOMEN. And I mean, no holds barred women. So their mission is to discredit all of the fluff publications like Shape and Fitness that perpetuate soft stereotypes about the potential of women.

These women on this site are strong, in the natural way, and they embrace the strength they know they have instead of being told by the media that they have limits. It’s a truly empowering site to be honest with you, and if I hadn’t read some of the myths they debunked (e.g. women will get super huge if they lift weights), I would still be politely lifting my weights.

Some of these notions go past the point of consciousness, that when I read these debunked myths, my jaw dropped at all of these fallacies I was accepting: hook, line, and sinker. One of the most powerful game changers was reading that a lot of women don’t know their full potential because they don’t push themselves as hard as they can fearing inability or ginormous muscles. So the author of the website said, “Okay, if that’s your fear then TRY. Really. Try to get as big as you can, naturally. You won’t get very far, in terms of becoming the behemoth you imagine you’ll be. You will however, build a lot of muscle and cut fat, but your worst fears will NOT be realized.” It’s a huge… relief to hear this. I admit to believing this train of thought, and to have these women pave the way and accept the strength of their bodies is beautiful.

Women are not much different than men, and especially if one trains harder than one, they can be much stronger. It’s been nearly a month since I’ve adopted better eating habits and started working out in some capacity at least every day. I’ve noticed my body is recomposing itself and although I look similar, there’s a huge difference in muscle versus the fat I used to have, which makes a whole lot of difference. My stomach is tighter. My thighs are also a lot tighter and there’s muscles I can feel now. When I flex my arms there’s something to show for it at least. :) My back feels more powerful and all around, I’m STRONGER. It’s a beautiful thing, and I know this is a lifestyle, not a fad. Maintenance is one of the most difficult parts of having the proper diet and exercise.

After working so hard for the body I have, I don’t want to lose it; I want to keep it! And someone with the genetics is not going to beat me when I have more determination. I need to stop comparing myself, and understand that my body is a machine that will respond exactly how it’s supposed to, by the book. I can’t rely on my ‘genes’ or my ‘youth’ to eat just like the guys do or to eat everything in sight at a family party. My body will certainly reflect it. And I fully accept personal responsibility for my body and health from here on out.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Who You Are And Who You Want to Be.

I love the show Community. It's a zany show of the misfits found in Greendale Community College and the hilarity that ensues when they address their differences and forge friendship. Touching. :)

I would consider the show to be easy-to-digest and very fun to watch if I just want to laugh and relax. Usually that is the case. But there's an episode where Annie, who I see as the character that best represents myself, is deciding to either move with her boyfriend Vaughn, or if she should stay with her roots and everything she's known and built, with her tight-knit study group.

It's a tough call and at first, she throws caution to the wind and announces to Jeff Winger that she's going with Vaughn and starting a new exciting chapter. She's deciding between two ideals, and Annie expresses the sentiment of splitting herself in two where one can go with Vaughn and the other can stay here at Greendale.

She eventually chooses to stay at Greendale, and feels like she made the right choice. I feel very similar to Annie, in not knowing how to decide between the person you feel that you 'are' and the person you're trying to grow into.

When it comes to myself as a positive, healthy, ethical, confident person, I know this is a stark departure from the pessimistic, sedentary, unethically tolerant, passive person I sometimes used to be.

I fight day in and day out to assert the person I want to be, so that it IS me. As a secondary struggle, I struggle with being adventure-seeking and risk-averse. I love adventure, but I also need to look out for my own welfare for people that want me around for a long time. There's a balance, and life is all about balancing who you are and managing expectations others may have of you. But I focus on a positive outcome and hope that others will be behind me.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wine Appreciation.

January 2011 - Wine Appreciation has taught me how to appreciate wine, such as knowing how to read labels, differentiate flavor groups from others, garner clues from the look, smell, legs, and taste, and so much more.

But not only has this class taught me to appreciate wine, it has taught me to appreciate food, and my SENSES.

Never before have I paid attention to smells. Now, with the smelling exercises we do, I have paid more and more attention to things, and can say what I smell with accuracy in non-wine situations. Earlier today, I remarked that my mom's soup tasted like the thai tom yum soup. She said it was.

In wine, you are able to smell and taste things that would never in a million years be in the same combination. For example, oaky, butter, and fruit. Where would you find that? Maybe a fruity but aged Chardonnay. Yum.

Also, the doors are completely open for food and wine pairing.

A hearty cabernet sauvignon with a high fat steak, yes please (but no, because of my low-cholesterol diet). Either alone would not be great, but together, it's wonderful.

You can get so much from smells. You can almost taste it. That's such a fun process! Additionally, the taste of wine changes from the first tastebud receptor reacting to the wine, until the aftertaste leaves you. Wine is a journey, and you get to choose to take the ride. I have said yes, and it's been amazing fun.

Thank you for allowing me to find the thrill in my senses, and in food again, and to discover something that combines them all so nicely.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On Letting Go.

This whole weekend I discussed with my parents in bits and spurts about my decision to move out - soon.

It's like a slow death, but I know it's the best thing I could do!

Sure, I forego the rent money for an apartment I could be saving to build up a nest egg for retirement and to start investing, BUT I'm willing to work smarter in order to bridge the gap.

I could see the somber look in my mom's eyes, who had a much different reaction than my dad. My dad playfully jokes with me, and makes sarcastic jabs at me to move out already. :) I know for them, that's two different displays of love. I love them both to death, and know that it's my time.

26 may be the new 18 in terms of when adults nowadays are 'considered' adults, but this is a question I should be asking myself. Am I doing this for good reasons or just to get away?

I feel like not only the privacy is important to me, but the need to have a place all my own. A place where I can build memories where I learned how to cook, learned how to consistently clean, learned how to manage and run a tight ship on my own place. It doesn't have to be my own, but there's no way I'd be able to learn these things and have the same amount of responsibility back home. My mom enjoys doing household chores way too much. I'd be back in high school.

In addition to that, there's the factor of going on the Metro bus commute, which in and of itself is not bad at all, but it's the time constraint. I would have to coordinate my schedule with the bus; during my stint this summer, I learned that inevitably long days would be put in, so that would strain my ability to get home. I would also be less inclined to see friends that lived in the loop because I would have no way to meet them halfway or I would be constrained by the time I'd have to get back in order to make the bus.

All around, it's a small price to pay for the freedom I will work smarter for and the pride I will put into my apartment.

It's time to have a big girl apartment, sometime after I graduate.

Until then, I am okay with my parent's expressing their love. <3 I would find it hard to let go of my children too.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Places. New Faces.

Today, I got up and nearly finished Rich Dad, Poor Dad. :)

I went to TP2, and talked to my best friend right as it began and got a bit of clarity on what it is I actually want with my apartment situation, moving forward. We also laughed a lot, talking about the Human Centipede. Hahaha.

After class, a friend invited me to go eat with him and his buddy. We were about to go to Tacos del Julio, like last time, but instead were diverted to Sawyer Park. It was a great idea because I had never been there but had heard a lot about it. :) It was really fun to speak my mind about topics like relationships and to get into the minds of these boys and the justifications they make for their actions. Of course it's not my intent to psychoanalyze them, so I usually just observe and comment when I find their views incongruous with something they have said prior. Relationships are a fascinating topic for me, always. We had wings and seasoned fries, and it was just one of those... experiences I never wanted to end. Good food, good friends, good atmosphere, great music, and a beautiful view. I had a really good time basking in the perfect chilled weather on the upstairs patio. I could see downtown's majestic buildings illuminated in the background, and the circular bar was really swanky and the bottles were backlit so it was the only source of light on the patio. We talked for two hours... full of laughs... and I felt absolutely free. I'm very proud of myself also, for finally taking action to reach out to someone I have a crush on. He gave me his number ages ago and I have been meaning to invite him to go have a drink and show him around town, like he mentioned when he gave me his number. Here's the kicker. After my bold move to reach out, he responded but.... he shall be in London until January! I must wait. :) So the lesson here is, if I had immediately reached out, this amount of waiting would not be happening. So, Take Action Now!!!

As I was dropped off, I got another call from a friend. He invited me to go to Wild West to go two-stepping. I had never been, although I've been invited numerous times to go. I put my boots and mini-skirt on, and went with it. One thing I highly like about myself is my willingness to get out of my comfort zone and learn all sorts of things. :) I think about Madonna. She can probably feel comfortable in any situation you throw her in. I feel the same way.

Throw me here.
Throw me there.
I'll be okay any where.

So we get there, and I have some liquid courage in me, and I learned so much. Sure, toes were stepped on, and chemistry between people didn't seem to strike at times. But chemistry did strike with others, and I know that I'm getting better. There was a nice blend of country music and... hip hop. :) I'm proud of myself for putting myself out there. Afterward, we went to Ruchi's, and I had never been there before either. Today was just filled with going to places I have never been. Additionally, it was nice to be driven, so I could take in the sights while we drove. I met a lot of people tonight, and it was so neat to watch people dance. Dancing is unique for each person so I feel like I saw something as special as someone's handwriting or smile.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wax On, Wax Off.

March 2011 - There was a new European Wax Center location opening up in Sugar Land and as part of their grand opening promotion were offering free waxing on everything if an appointment could be scheduled on one of three days. I was lucky enough to get a call through and I had my appointment set for a bikini wax. I had never had one before.

I figured, part of my mantra is, I should be willing to try anything as long as it’s not in violation with my morals, and the only thing keeping me from trying this was having the opportunity and perhaps the pain. Well, here was an opportunity, and I could always get past the pain. It’s only temporary.

So I make the long drive out to Sugar Land and it’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The sun is shining outside and I’m excited actually. The actual facility is so beautiful and clean. There’s white floors and stark black chandeliers that reminds me of urban outfitters meets Clinique as a wax center. :) It’s a bit of a wait, so I’m playing Words with Friends. I finally get called in by my esthetician, Hope. She’s kind and she’s experienced. I inform her that it’s my first time and ask for her to be gentle. Haha. Overall, it was not as bad as I expected. The wax really went a long way in mitigating the pain when it could have been more painful. It was a really good quality blue hot wax that didn’t require the use of a piece of cloth. The wax adhered to the skin and after a period of waiting, was simply pulled off firmly. Now there were certain times that were extraordinarily painful, but it was a good fun experience. The results are well worth it. Compared to laser hair removal, this isn’t as bad. The pain is completely different, and this pain is topical, while the other goes deep into the hair follicle.

At the end of the day, it is just hair. :) So glad to add another experience to my life resume.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Still Raffle Winning.

March 2011 - I’m so glad I attended the UNICEF hunger banquet. They did a great job in having entertainment and it was so good to see Sonya present and the other officers pulling together a nice food feast and raffle prizes. I bought several raffle tickets and ended up winning a UH t-shirt! Albeit, an XL one. :P I have this theory, that I’m really good at raffles, and I was not disproved this night. Once again, energy and outcomes follow my thoughts, and I was victorious. I had such a good time, and I have my trophy to show for it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Business Ethics.

February 2011 - I had heard from all different sources that Business Law and Ethics was one of two things: a waste of time or an easy-peasy required course. Essentially filler, either way. But this class has really opened my eyes to the process of ethical decision making. And it’s not some ‘pie in the sky’ method that doesn’t seem realistic or feasible. It’s something that’s been an epiphany because it’s probably one of the most useful pieces of information I’ve received in my college career.

For the FIRST time in my life, I was validated on how difficult ethical decisions really are. I thought I was just making things harder than they were or at its worst, a magnet for unethical behavior. I had always heard the advice to trust your gut, but during one of our lectures Dr. Whisenant said it was much more complex than that, and stated, “sometimes even with the best intentions, we make unethical decisions. It takes more rigor to prevent that and that’s why we have these ethical lenses to help.” The light came shining down, and I felt for the first time I had a practical course of action on my side to help me combat these tricky ethical dilemmas. I feel like the ethical training I received during my onboarding was seriously lacking. How could a 1-hour passive lecture constitute as training to engender ethical behavior? It shocks me to this moment. Ethical dilemmas are ones where the result of any decisions lead to more ethical dilemmas. It’s not a pessimistic outcome however; there are certain things that can be done to try to prevent being in an ethical dilemma or minimizing the damage and ultimately, safeguarding your reputation.

I know that ethics will require an entire lifetime of learning and re-learning, just like being engaged with my health and nutrition. Writing our case reports have been invaluable exercises, because instead of just saying, George should not be a consultant and work for his original company, it has forced me to look inwardly and explain why, and all of the reasons for and against. I found a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders with this methodology and weapon to protect myself. I don’t know what course my peers took when I described it above, but it really changed my perspective and outlook on business ethics. I’m not cynical about it and I’m hopeful that I have the tools to be smart to navigate these tricky waters. It’s really a shame to hear about all of the unethical decision making processes that happen.

For example, the student I’m tutoring mentioned he was taking a group exam and that it was okay because everyone takes the exam and helps each other out during it. A red flag immediately shot off in my head since this subject is in my mind frequently; this was clearly unethical. I explained my position and that I was not behind him in taking this group exam – he was shocked clearly but I am glad that I said it because I know in the past, I would have simply condoned it. This course would definitely be valuable to everyone attending a university.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Today, was one of those amazing days where I got to do nearly everything I love. I just feel completely overwhelmed with how good it gets, and right when my energy level gets low because I think to myself: "Man, this is the life. I don't need anything else" and then, for some unexplainable reason, it gets better, and it keeps getting better until I can hardly stand it.

I woke up, and my dad had already packed the food I would be taking home with me. I packed my things quickly, ate a quick breakfast, while my dad declared that I'd be going out to the shooting range with him. I had an urge to resist, but I thought about my timetable, and discovered I could do everything I wanted today and I should spend quality time with my dad and get out of my comfort zone!

I was at the shooting range. Right next to my Driver's Ed school. Funny. This single strip mall is responsible for educating me on so many things. I read over the rules, while my dad nagged me to just sign. I evenly said no, and continued reading. I've started to learn that in this life, while it's important to depend on other people, it's not a good habit to cultivate. I love my dad, and I love that he has a wealth of information. But with a gun in my hand, I need to know what I can and can not do with it, and it has to make sense in my own mind. No shortcuts. If the gun is in my hand, and god forbid something happens, my dad isn't the one who will be called upon to answer. I will. So I need to be sure in this situation, and many others, that I know exactly what I'm signing up for and what I'm doing.

I shot 3 different handguns and the smallest had the most recoil. It was not my favorite. I enjoyed the two other handguns immensely. I'm getting more comfortable with guns, but I'm definitely still 'polite' with them. I think it's only because a foolish swagger will result in a near-miss or an accident. I had a good time, shooting with my dad, and seeing his face light up when he received his new gun at the counter and unwrapped it in front of me. He lamented the clip's bullet amount, but I know he felt like a king when he asked them to order more for him, since they didn't have any in stock. It's moments like those that I notice my dad appreciates. He likes to be seen as an expert. I hugged my dad goodbye when I had my fill of it. Too much shooting makes my hand overly tender, and I didn't want to reach that point.

I drove to my house by UH and it was beautifully sunny. The weather wasn't too cold.

My friend Freddy and I went to tailgate, and it was my first time! This is something I've wanted to do before I graduate, so I'm happy I achieved it. I got caught up with a lot of my friends that I haven't seen for such a long time. We hopped from the alumni tent to some organization's tents, and before I knew it - it was game time. We walked back to my place when I forgot my ID, and it was amazing to explain my idea about a photography concept called: "Another Night, Another Dance Floor", and for it to be so enthusiastically received. :)

We got into the stadium, and saw my VP, and after hugs, I saw Catherine. We mosied up the stairs and surprisingly it all worked out well when we all sat together. So friends from different parts of my life combined and we cheered on the Coogs, caught up on our respective lives, and cuddled up together close when the temperature decreased more and more as the night went on. :) We left around 4th quarter, and I must say I'm proud that our Cougars gave it a very valiant fight. 25-28. I walked and dropped off Catherine, and made sure she was back safe.

We went to Kings of Wings and stepped outside to watch the glorious fireworks outside to commemorate the Cougars and our indomitable spirit. We stepped back inside to converse and I met new people, and had some pretty deep conversations over a nice cold beer, kept at a nice temperature by the chilly air rushing in from outside. The Pacquiao fight started, and I just thoroughly enjoyed spending time with friends of new and old, appreciating the athleticism and skill of boxing. I don't highly appreciate people getting hurt, but I don't think the point of boxing is to permanently damage the other person. At a point, the fight was painful to watch, but I highly appreciated Pacquiao's commentary after the fight when he mentioned he took it easy on him in the last rounds and that he took measures to ask the referee if the fight should go on. Margarito's eye was cut, and each round caused it to swell more and more. Watching the Homecoming game and the fight made me feel like I was right with everyone else that night. Today, I was a real senior.

I was dropped off at my humble abode, and for a while the boys and I just talked about random things, and I highly enjoyed it. I relish moments like this.

Now I'm enjoying the Sunday music mix from DJ Penetrate. 8 mixed songs of magical goodness.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Today was day 1.

I always get excited on Day 1.

I told my dad the proposal to sell all of the things laying around the house from his former businesses on Ebay. I expected to make a cut of it, but he said I could have all of it.

I know I'm hard working, I know I have tenacity, and I know I can learn.

I asked my dad to start me off with 10 or so items that will get me going. I researched a lot, and I have my strategy, from taking photos, to creating eye-catching item descriptions, to shipping, to the communication plan I want to roll out. I want to make sure it's timely, informative, and amazing customer service.

I'm really really excited.

In addition to starting this endeavor, only after really committing to it a few days ago, I discussed personal finances with my dad. He kept reiterating that I think too much and I need to let things happen so I can enjoy my life. I had to disagree completely. I need to be proactive because what I focus on WILL expand. I've seen it happen, and I know that this past year have been nothing but examples reinforcing this point. :)

I also just sat with my mom, held her hand, and watch Meet the Fockers for a while. She really doesn't want me to move and live away from home. I know that this is what I want though. Additionally, I got to eat some of her really good food. Like Banh bao. And her curry. It was very delicious.

Today was a really good day. I'm excited for tomorrow and Homecoming.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


It feels like a god-given rebirth.

There's just something so LIBERATING when you dance your heart out, and it's been a long while since I've done that. I've been contacting a few of my friends for Hip Hop studios they recommend. I have been browsing websites all night of Houston-area hip hop dance studios, and I've been SO INSPIRED just watching some of the choreography and seeing some pretty sick moves. I danced my heart out for like 2 hours. I felt SO GOOD, and I know it'll only intensified when I'll be dancing with people, doing the same routine, and improving my technique. I Can Not Wait. I'm so excited for this. $10 per class is so worth it.

Today was just so excellent.

DeFrank's class was hilarious once again. It always makes me laugh the entire time. The topic was on communication and one major subtopic was nonverbal communication. DeFrank is a fantastic actor, so it was great at the performance he gave up there on his 'stage'. :)

Catherine and I had our walking time, which always makes my day. In INTB, we listened to Peter Thomas, founder of Century 21, and he was very inspiring and charismatic.

At home, I finally started to build my music library again, and I'm so happy. I'm making use of the THIRTY GIGS of space I have on my phone. :D And I'm getting reconnected with music, after years of finding new music only on the radio and youtube, and having to listen to it manually by searching and pressing replay. This is so liberating. I also swept my floors and did my first load of laundry. :)

There's just been so many things to be grateful for as of late.

*Putting a smile on my friend's face for delivering a piece of my aunt's cake.

*Applying for graduation. Having a schedule I can be proud of.

*Having a family get together this past weekend, where all the food was superb, and having my own cake too!

*Seeing my step parents and eating dinner with them, finally! It's been many months I haven't seen them.

*Finally getting my test results from the health clinic from January. I'm A-OK! What a relief.

I made a vision board of the things I want. All of my major goals aren't on it, but a few of them are: My blogs, TP2, Hip Hop class, Fitness (although I suppose, hip hop can substitute, since it's quite a work out). I need to add Financial Literacy and my job hunt for the Spring.

Good day. And good night. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


My imagination is alive and thriving. It feels so fantastic. I feel like I haven't awakened that side of me in a long time. :)

As I plan certain side-businesses I could have to garner some income to help with my ambitious travel plans and countdown to being a legit professional, I started to think about the possibilities. I started to think of myself in that entrepreneurial role, which has been dormant since I've been President of UNICEF and always was thinking of innovative ways to connect the mission of UNICEF to the heart of UH. To make it better, more efficient, more active, more compassionate, and just, MORE overall. So far, I have a few leads, and I even made a mind map on potential freelancing gigs I could create. It's the absolute freedom and lack of pressure to succeed that I'm really excited about. It's similar to being able to answer the question, if you could create something without the fear of failure, what would you do? I feel like I'm making an attempt to answer that question, and it's pretty dang cool. I have a safety net, come the end of Summer.

Additionally, even getting a legitimate job at a company stirs a lot of excitement for me. I dug deep and unearthed that I think it'd be neat to work in fashion or a marketing agency. Or something I haven't thought of, because it wasn't a strategic decision for my career, I can do it in the Spring because the only parameter is that it has to help me pay for traveling. The more I think about it, it doesn't even have to help me pay for traveling. If the opportunity presents itself, I will weigh the potential experience over any unpaid internship that would blow my mind.

It's like a breath of fresh air to be able to THINK and to QUESTION assumptions. I get to exercise my entrepreneurial spirit and do anything that I please. It's also a great time to rally my friends for their opinions and really put all my learning to good use as I find out what works and what doesn't.

Let's go!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

TV on the Radio.

There's such a powerful scene to Breaking Bad where Walt stops what he's doing in the checkout line, and puts the paint cans down at an empty counter.

He walks with a slow but even gait out of the hardware store. He comes across two gentlemen that point to him and speak about him with not just a mere hint, but a slap, of accusation. He stops in front of the larger of the two gentlemen, who happens to be the most confident individual.

This individual, not knowing Walt's background, circumstances, or upbringing, is only left to judge the threat of, "Stay out of my territory", as serious as his body language. Similar to peacock feather showcasing or territorial fights, Walt shows off his most ruthless but genuine swagger that only real confidence can convey and has the two men hightailing it out of there.

The song that is backup to the scene is by TV on the Radio - DLZ.

There's just something very 'Fight Club' about it, but also something very sure and the melody is ostensibly upbeat and confident, it covers up an intensity and aggression that most people can't help but be attracted to.

We all have moments like this. Outlet it in music. Some form of creative expression. We can all break bad. Without explosions, crystal meth, or breaking families.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Black Hole.

March 2011 -

I'm here at Black Hole with Viv and Melinda, while a triptych of Lindsay Lohan's face stares down at me. :P I'm having such a good time, even though I'm studying. This is such a nice studying environment.

The lights are at the right brightness; there is ample space around me; the bathrooms are interesting (pennies on the ground for tiles!); the chairs are ever so comfortable; people-watching here is such a treat (guys are mighty good-looking); I have been so productive with my studying (Chapter 5 down, only Chapter 6 to go!); the artwork and ambience is perfect.

I love this place.

It blows Starbucks, Teahouse, or any other place I've studied out of the water. :)

The people here, their conversations are interesting and actually meaningful. I feel like everyone here is staged and acting because it's rare to see everyone look like they are fully engaged somewhere. It's pretty picture-perfect.

This place is also awesome because they sell food and wine/beer. :)

Viv and I ordered a glass of red/white wine. The Chardonnay was delicious. Especially with butter pretzels... yum... the crispness and slight butterness from the oak aging complemented it nicely.

I'm very happy to be a senior. As I talked to Omar last night at the Hunger Banquet, he told me he misses being a student and the freedom you have. I am so grateful for these nights. :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010


February 2011 - I finished 7 glorious seasons of SYTYCD. I've met so many dancers and have felt like I've grown with them. I started out, and Nick Lazzarinni was 20 years old, and I've watched over 7 years of growth.

I feel left with a strange feeling, like I've completed something immense by just chipping away at it. I have this huge respect and appreciation for dance now, and it's fully attributed to SYTYCD. I know what a developpe is, and what lines are. I have been exposed to the many styles of ballroom and latin dancing like samba, quickstep, cha cha, argentine tango, and the paso doble.

I feel like I had a journey with some amazing dancers like Nick Lazzarinni, Melody Lacayanga, Benji Schwimmer, Travis Wall, Heidi, Allison, Donyelle, Neil Haskell, Danny, Sabra, Lacey, Twitch, Katee, Josh, Jeanine, Jakob, Russell, Mollee, Billy Bell, Alex Wong, Lauren Froderman, Jose, Kathryn, Legacy, Pasha, Kent, Ade, Nathan, and Robert. There's no way I can possibly pick a favorite. They are all so beautiful in their own ways and I am grateful that I could watch them at my own pace and appreciation.

I miss it and I can't wait this summer so I can fall in love with SYTYCD all over again.

I remember watching SYTYCD in my living room upstairs and being so enthralled by these beautiful dancers. I love watching the audition episodes the most. That's where you meet such a wide variety of dancers and fall in love with some of them for the first time. <3

Saturday, November 6, 2010


This is a tribute to all of the men in the world, and the role of a man. I won't try to one up the male condition by trying to compare what a woman must go through. Ahem. Like cramps. And pregnancy. And numerous double standards.

The ball could go back and forth over the net, but the fact is we need to stop this battle of the sexes. Wouldn't life be sweeter if we didn't question our co-existence? We're all human, and we're all children of the earth. Let all of us be.

I feel for every boy that's been told to stop crying, and to be a man. As a girl, I've been allowed to cry my heart out whenever I please. And it's a pleasure to be able to express my emotion in such a way, and not ever feel invalidated.

I feel for every boy who is taught that certain pastimes make you a man. Baseball. Football. Never allowed to think that ballroom dancing could be cool.

I feel for every boy who is taught to live without emotion and to equate the human touch with human weakness.

I love the soft smooth muscle that comprises your heart, just like mine. And even though your weight, strength, and build can differentiate us, you shouldn't allow it to.

Friday, November 5, 2010


The song 'Only Girl (In The World)' by Rihanna is so amazing and special to me right now.

Today was incredible and will keep getting better as I go out to eat with my family to celebrate me getting a job. Holla!

I started off the day with someone complimenting my writing. :) That's the second time this week, and it really really makes my day when someone says something like, "I feel like I was there".

I talked to my former colleague at Chevron and drove over there and got to be in my old work building for a little bit, reminiscing. We walked over to Benihana and had lunch in the bar area. We had sushi, and I interviewed him for my management paper. It was a really fun time. He mentioned we should grab drinks and do karaoke some time, I agree, I think that'll be really fun. It was neat to hear someone else's perspective on topics like conflict management, motivation, handling stress, etc.

I got back to school and realized I locked myself out of the house. After nearly 20 minutes, and contemplating... I decide to smile. And make the best of it and go to the library, use the internet (which I'm grateful to have access to) and use my friend Catherine's intelligence, to use gmail text message and the memorized cell phone number of my brother to get in touch with him to pick me up after work. Problem solved.

I was so proud I solved that problem. I felt so smart. :D

My brother picked me up and we went out to eat at Arco's seafood. I wore my little black dress and my Gaga necklace. :) I love it. I had such a great time with my family and ate a lot of food.

My aunt made me such a beautiful cake. :) I'm so happy to be loved by so many people. I'm blessed.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Apparat - Arcadia.

What a beautiful BEAUTIFUL song.

I could dance to this ALL day long.

I imagine running in a field of never ending wild flowers where there's nature whispering serenely all around me.

I imagine it raining, and there being a beautiful kiss.

I imagine closing my eyes, and being in a moment where I wish it could last for ever.

This is what this song means to me.

SONG LOVE. I hope I never stop loving this song. It's one of those songs you could hear on repeat for hours, driving in your car in the rain, while it's a warm yet breezy day outside.

It could be a song when you, content with a family, remember and reminisce your days as a single woman in college, wondering about the future.

The song is about taking risks and basking in the blissful euphoria when you get exactly what you want.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Me vs Myself.

When I read this blog, I come here to visit the MOST beautiful me I know. The one that's uplifting, positive, and shining like the star I was born as. I am righteous, strong, powerful, confident, and I am working through my battles like it's on to the next one.

I learn from my mistakes, but I focus on the OUTCOME I want in that present moment, not on the things that have held me back.

Because of this, I have not shed light on the other Charlene. The one that has let others down on commitments. The one that has been guilty. The one that has let impulsiveness tear down long-term goals. It's another person altogether that I live with, but life has become a battle to not try to delete her entirely, but to UNDERSTAND her and thus be able to help her ... and have her eventually cross over to the complete person I envision.

The hardest battle is this. And this blog helps me remember that the brilliant person I am can't be overshadowed, and there will be at least 365 reasons why.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Demerits of Social Networking.

I'm a strong advocate for social networking in keeping connected with people that I otherwise would have completely lost touch with.

But this piece I read, I'll quote because I think more and more, and I think it is very easy to cut off emotional ties with the world when there are only micro-interactions with the world. It's not a substitute.

"Unplug to stop the insanity.

Seek face-to-face interaction.

Be a participant rather than a winner.

Risk rejection.

Smile at a stranger.

Invite people over.

Give more, get less.

Make something real happen."

Monday, November 1, 2010

College Experiences.

I set out to do a favor for a researcher on campus. I had planned to do this for about two weeks now. The mission is incredible. Essentially, the researcher has noticed there is a scarcity of information on the Asian American college experience, while there seems to be a lot of interest in how Hispanics and African Americans fare. This inequality has made her seek out the college experience from Asian Americans, and when I heard of this opportunity to just pour my heart out and write about what I've been through in these past 4 years, I jumped. I knew I could be really passionate about what I've learned and my self-reflection.

It was Sunday night, or early Monday morning, and I knew I had to make the long drive back to my life in Houston that afternoon to make it to class on time at 4. So it was about 4am, and we had just finished watching nearly 3 hours of 'Equals 3', a YouTuber that made videos reviewing other popular viral videos. We laughed so much and I asked to hi-jack the computer so I could write my piece.

I was extremely exhausted, but I sat in the red metal folding chair, slouched over, writing on a netbook to get it done, 3 hours later, until it was done. I hardly changed positions because ... inspiration struck. The words flowed from my mind onto the screen.

I was sore. But the words just came to me. As I recounted certain encounters, I realized just how much I have been through, even though there were certain instances that I forgot to mention, that certainly were important.

I didn't edit the piece at all. No spell check. No grammar checks. No re-reading to add sentences where transitions were choppy. I copied the word document and sent it, verbatim, and then went to sleep promptly at 7am.

I woke up at around 12:30, from a call from Kyle, and then woke up. I left Sally's around 1:30 and got to campus right when TP2 started. It was an epic journey, that only happened because I focused on the outcome. I wanted an incident free trip, and I wanted to make it to class on time.

I got an email that evening from the researcher that said my input was amazing and that it was one of the few candid and honest accounts she had received thus far.

I knew I wanted to do my piece justice, and I think I did. I felt really cathartic after this weekend, but that really was an emotional process for me. This vulnerability has been a good wake up call.

It was 10 pages long, even with huge gaps in my college experience.