MAY17 COLLECTION OF RANDOM THOUGHTS

  • Finished the first year in grad program, yay! Many books to be read and jobs to be done. I’m working at the university over the summer… it will be productive.

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  • Spontaneously bought tickets for one of boyfriend’s favorite bands, Sabaton! It was my first metal concert. The crowd was a lot more courteous and polite than the ones at hiphop concerts; hardly anyone pushed themselves towards the front and people would sometimes excuse themselves as they walked past you.

It was also my first time seeing a mosh pit, which just seemed like a bunch of men with too much energy pushing/shoving one another. They’d help each other up and then ram themselves into another person (I don’t get it?). There were big guys standing on the outside of the ring that pushed the mosh pit inwards. You can sort of see them during the encore:

 

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    this guy.

    Went downtown to a “carnival”, but it was more like a group of pyros performing on a blocked off street. There was nothing else at the event except some hula hoops on the ground for kids to play and an artist who was long done with her painting demo. They coulda made money off selling some cotton candy or buttered up popcorn…

 

  • Warm weather = more walks outside. My family went out for ice cream after a trail. You work out so you can eat more, that’s how it works, right?

It feels like I take a lot of things, like hiking + ice cream, for granted because I’m so accustomed to it. I’ve been living in the same town for 18ish years. I wonder how I’ll feel when I move elsewhere… I bet I’d become homesick right away.

 

  • My blog posts are slowly becoming monthly updates. THIS SHALL NOT PASS!

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    Problem is I’m having trouble coming up with things to write about.
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  • Back in April… for some reason, I kept making eye contract with short, older women who couldn’t reach the top of shelves at Meijer. One lady was trying to get milk, the other detergent. Both times another woman stepped in to help before I could. The third time the eye contact thing happened, I just went for it and helped a lady grab a can of prunes from the back of a top shelf.

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  • Recently been using free time to practice watercolor. I started an Insta just for that, and I’m thinking about going back to my DeviantArt, too. Lots left to learn!

Rain, rain, go away . . #watercolor#ink#anime#artwork#boy#rain#orange#blue#drawing#art

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MAR17 Collection of Random Thoughts

  • Dreaming every night has been the norm for me. When I tell other people about my dreams, they usually look bewildered. I’m trying hard to get better deep sleep.
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let me sleep like one of your french girls

 

  • My love for Fujiya chocolate has been revived.
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so cute and delicious… but incredibly small.

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what is this, chocolate for ants!?

 

  • I don’t draw as often. It’s gone from everyday to every few months. It’s sad that I can relate to the guy who works an office job, and once life settles down or in his retirement, goes back to his art to get a sense of joy and fulfillment he’s wanted all his life (not to be a Debbie Downer). I hope I can incorporate my interests and good feelings into my job, whatever that ends up being down the line.

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  • I’ve been building a game where you sell ice cream. The idea is to teach basic business concepts and principles, mostly exploring the question, “Why do businesses fail?” I hope it turns out as dope as I’m imagining it to be.
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looks more like a Starbux…

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  • My friends and I are working on an app that allows students to follow along with lecture slides and have the ability to post questions real-time. I’m more on the design side and they’re handling coding. Not sure how far we’ll get… fingers crossed!

 

  • My left foot is sprained. The doc isn’t sure what caused it either– just for me to come back if the pain persists in the upcoming weeks. I’ve never wanted to go on a jog more than now.

4 hours spent in a cave. A lot of rocks. #science #expandurmind #stoned #sunlightIsAmazing

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  • Reminiscing a lot about undergraduate life. It was so much easier to meet people, maintain a social life, and participate in events. Don’t take your time for granted!
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kids will be kids… #tb to last year’s Rae Sremmurd concert

You’re a Fundraiser, Harry!

I mentioned the Harry Potter fundraiser previously. How time flies! Ready or not, photo spam time. \( ̄▽ ̄)/

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All of the work below was done by teammates.

 

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Jill’s the main organizer and she went HAM. Newspapers, radio stations, posters, you name it. I helped with posters and getting more students involved in the event.

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How can you resist?

You can find the brief commercial here. We winged most of it. I was super nervous.

 

THE DAY OF
A handful of classmates and I went to the event after class, which was incredibly close to the event’s start time. We were surprised by the full house!

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All abroad!! The Harry Potter soundtrack played as you walked in the room.

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The place we hosted before we did anything to it.

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Full house!

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Don’t forget your owl.

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Participants really went out on the decor. (We had a contest for best decorated table).

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My lab mates standing next to Jill’s cutouts! They graciously volunteered their time to help with the event (left to right: MC and trivia judge).

 

Several friends/colleagues pressured dressing up for the event, and at the last minute I decided to dress up as Cho Chang because she’s Asian I like birds.

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CHO CHANG

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SHO SHANG

The MVP of the winning team only missed one question! We kept checking their table to see if they were somehow checking. It turns out the MVP grew up listening to the audio tapes of all the books, and he said he’s got them all memorized. Who knew audio books would be so effective?

In the end, managed to raise over $3,500 for the American Cancer Society through the Harry Potter fundraiser. #magic #haveamagicalweek #I’mReallyaSlytherin

Check out the ACS page for more photos.

The Night I Lost My Mom for Two Whole Hours

2.27.17 Lost Mom for a few hours today.

I waited at the usual place to pick her up, getting there half an hour earlier. 8 o’ clock arrived, the time that marked the end of her shift, and there was no sign of her. Over the next 40 minutes, I grew increasingly anxious and worried. She wasn’t responding to any of my texts. I called her and it went straight to voice mail. At first I assumed her cellphone battery ran out. I text my father to see if being late was a common thing, and he reassured me she has been late on occasion. He urged me to be patient and that dinner was ready. But 40 minutes?

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tick tick tockin’

I weighed my options and went with my heart. I went by her workplace to check on her, peering in the door to see if I could catch a glimpse. The business closed at 8:00 pm but the lights were still on. Thinking the management decided to work her overtime, I walk around the block for 10-15 minutes, occasionally circling back to check on the store. It was 9-something by then. Were they holding her hostage? I thought as I stood across from the store front. Dad was worried too, and instructed me to knock on the door just to check if she was there. He was on his way to me.

The front and back of the store held formidable distance. I wasn’t sure how hard I’d have to pound on the glass to be heard. To put it simply, I was fighting to not wimp out. Then just when I mustered enough courage to knock on the glass doors, I ran into a friend and was locked in conversation for several minutes. I kept glancing back at the store window. My worried face must’ve shown, because my friend gently pushed me to knock on the door. “Go on, I’m interested to see what happens,” he teased, but with good intentions (I think).

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I lift the store handle expecting a rigid pullback, but to my surprise it opened as smoothly as cutting room temperature butter. “You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me,” I said as I turned back to my friend. We waved our goodbyes and I walked into the empty store. “Hello?” I called out. I knew there were people in the back. I called out two more times, approaching closer to the back without barging in. I weighed my options: do I go in yelling and screaming to look for Mom and possibly cost her job, or do I just wait here like a forgotten rag doll?

After what seemed like forever, the owner showed his face. I asked for my mother, and he told me she got off work at 8:00 pm. That was when the panic really set in. I thanked the owner and left the store frantically searching all the places she could’ve been waiting. My eyes were like a chameleon’s, jutted orbs circling on its own axis, methodically scanning every corner. Horrible images of twisted strangers abducting my mother filled my head. It didn’t help that I had seen Split (2016) two days before.

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Does this look like a creepy movie? Because it is.

I walked around wondering if it was even worth asking all the carefree strangers about my mom. I determined my description of her would’ve been too vague and it wasn’t like she stood out from the crowd. As I walked outside into the night, I got out my cellphone and said, “Okay, okay, calm down. Think Sherry, think.” I took a breath and began to log into her iCloud account, determined to see if I could locate or signal her somehow. Just as I got to my car, Dad called and I could hear the sound of my mother’s voice in the background.

“I found her on my way out,” he said. It meant she had started walking back home, where there were several unlit areas and a Graveyard she’d have to pass through. I angrily demanded to know what happened. Apparently, Mom hadn’t seen my car parked at the usual place.

“But I was there since 7:30!” I fumed. She whined a ‘sorrrrry‘ in the background. I felt a sense of relief, like if you were to climb up Mt. Rushmore and then jump downwards– having been tense the entire way up, the moment of descent felt light and loose in comparison.

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When I got back home, Mom called out a cute greeting from a place where I couldn’t see her. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to express myself face-to-face, I announced how angry I was and slammed the door.”You must be angry,” she said as I came around the corner. When I saw her, safe and sound and whole, I clung onto her and broke into waves of loud sobs.

“I was so worried!”

“It’s okay, it’s okay,” she said as she gently patted my heaving back. “You must’ve been really frightened, right? It’s okay.” I continued to wail, my face buried in her shoulder. “Alright, alright, no need to cry.”

“Alright, no need to cry,” Dad urged in the same tender manner. “Let’s eat.”

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Post dinner, I arrive upstairs to find my sexy statistics homework waiting…

Loud Hatred and Quiet Love in Society: Interview with Steve H.

In everyday American culture, politeness is valued above most qualities. But how often is empathy substituted by politeness? On January 27, 2014, a trending status popped up on my Facebook homepage:

You know the most f*cked up thing about our society is? We’re only allowed to express what we hate openly, and what we love quietly.
You know the most f*cked up thing about the social expectations is? That ultimately no one gives a shit about you, your welfare, or your feelings.
Because no one wants to listen, they’ll give you that dirty look as if you’re the one at fault and should not try to throw this emotional burden on others.

It peaked at 83 likes.

I met Steve during my undergraduate year in film class. He came off as personable, friendly, and a general do-gooder. He seemed like the last person I’d suspect to have a mental breakdown. Though we conversed entirely in English, both our mother tongue ties back to Mandarin. “In Taiwan, they really don’t give a damn about your individuality… they make you feel like your self-worth is just. Splat. Down there. That you’ll always belong in this group, you’ll always learn the same thing, [and] you’ll always be doing the same thing.”

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During the time China and Taiwan had political and plausible violent conflicts, Mr. H convinced Mrs. H (Steve’s father and mother, respectively) to take their son to the sanctuary of Canada. On one of Mr. H’s rare visits, Mrs. H became pregnant with a girl. Mrs. H was prepared for the transition into a full-time caretaker of her children and life in a foreign city. The move granted her children exposure to both Western culture and education. Mrs. H eventually went back to industry after the family reunited in Taiwan four and a half years later.

Steve grew up in the absence of his father in his early years. “[Even in] the times he did spend with me, it felt like he only did it out of obligation. Like he would be on his cellphone or reading the newspaper or whatever.” In the later half of high school, Steve stayed with his aunt and uncle in New Hampshire. What temporary relief that the move to America could’ve brought was lost when he realized he was wedged in-between the rocky marriage of his aunt and uncle.

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Keelung, Taiwan. Steve’s hometown.

“I wasn’t a freeloader,” Steve said. “My mother paid my uncle out of courtesy, because my mom is my aunt’s younger sister. Technically speaking, my aunt wouldn’t have asked her sister to pay anything, but… that’s just how it went.” His aunt often ended her day in tears, despite being the ‘more reasonable, more logical’ one and sought Steve for comfort against his uncle’s hurtful accusations.

“I always had to be this person that I did not want to be […] I was always put in that position where I have to sort of compromise between them. I have to sort of appeal to my uncle because I want to stay in that house, I wanna finish my high school. But I always have to comfort my aunt […] I would always have to analyze things for her. ‘Oh, things will get better because our uncle had this kind of background, that’s how he became the man he is today,’ this and that.”

It’s noteworthy to mention that in traditional Chinese culture, the eldest male in the family receives the most pressure to succeed financially and to carry on the family name. He had to face exceedingly high expectations for ‘success’, determined by the amount of wealth and prestige one can generate, both from his family and himself. This building accumulation of expectation snowballed in college, when he ultimately “shattered” against the weight of expectation.

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“So I always had this expectation of myself right? And this expectation was that I could pick myself back up […] I’m an Aquarius, the one with the vase. It was like I would break and have to piece myself back together again with glue, but it wouldn’t really hold.”

SH: So you took those feelings and went to college.

ST: […] I wanted to make myself feel worthy again. I wanted to try my best to get involved with student organizations, and I think I did a good job of it. […] No one took the time to call me, to text me, or even Facebook message me. Well, a few of my cousins did.

I didn’t feel like just lounging at a person and telling them all my issues. Again, this sounds ironic because I already threw it on Facebook. I’m already trying to make it someone else’s business, but there’s this guilt inside of me that I feel like if I were to trouble somebody with this–

SH: It’s not their burden to carry.

ST: Right, and I would owe them something… For the most part, they were like, ‘do you want to talk about it? do you want to meet up this weekend?’ and all I did was, ‘it’s okay, don’t worry it, I’ll be fine soon enough.’ Lies, lies, lies.

***

The next day after Steve made his first Facebook post, he realized that it might’ve been a mistake when some of his friends acted differently towards him. “Is it completely going to change my image in front of people?”Steve reflected out loud. “And it did. I had someone ask me if I was bipolar… like they didn’t believe I was depressed, because I didn’t act like it. They thought it was a joke.

[I] climbed to the elevator shaft on the first floor of my dorm… until someone I knew walked by and asked if I was feeling okay, and I felt the sincerity in the voice asking me that triggered me to release all the negative emotion I had inside of me. So I just straight up started crying. I just cried and cried and cried. I didn’t even care how terrible I sounded. I sound like a seal when I cry, you know.”

He and his ex-roommate, who had been promoted to be a resident advisor, had a long chat the same night of his breakdown. Steve was told that if he had a breakdown within the next week, he would be put on suicide watch and would have to get professional help.

SH: What would be your advice to someone who’s struggling with depression, anxiety, or maybe just struggling in general?

ST: I would say to get help. Tell someone, anyone. Don’t let it get to my point where you breakdown. And if you need professional help… you should get it.

What my counselor did was that she listened to me from a very neutral standing point, and just encouraged me to talk as much as possible… She believed the best way to deal with sadness was to fully comprehend what had gone on and for it to get to that point.

SH: Have you gotten better since you’ve gone to therapy?

ST: Definitely. I’m a lot better now. It took time, but I’m better.

To read Steve’s original full posts, click here.