Sunday, December 23, 2012

White Elephant Hangout

Yesterday, I had a White Elephant with some friends. It was my second time doing White Elephant. But, I think it's pretty fun and everyone gets to leave with a present. The other two times that I have played White Elephant, I didn't actually bring a gift myself. Instead, I was told that there was going to be a White Elephant event going on that day and that there was a present I could use to participate. Since it was my first time actually providing a gift for White Elephant, I wasn't sure what to give. I decided to put in a bunch of random things together. Among the items I put together were a handkerchief, 3x5 cards, post-its, and a clean thing that was given to me a few years back. Of course, none of the products were used before and were just somewhere in my home for a long period of time.

I played with four other people. We decided the order by writing down a number and putting that in a bag. Everyone choose number and it was decided that the lowest numbers would start off the game. The first person to open a gift was Juliet. Juliet decided to open my gift. She seemed kind of confused about what the cleaning thing was for and the handkerchief. Next, Chen opened a gift and it was a make up set from Vy. Mei decided to take Chen's makeup set instead of opening one up. So, Chen had the choice again of opening another one up or stealing the other gifts that were open. Chen choose to open another gift and it was a small office supply set with pins, labels, a stapler, and tape. Vy didn't want to take anything, but she decided to open one of the two remaining gifts. Vy opened the present that was supplied by Chen and it was a bag. I knew that I wanted to leave with something I like, so I took Chen's gift, the small office supply set. Chen decided to open the last gift and it was a picture frame. She looked happy because she can put it in her cubicle for the job she just started.

Overall, I think the White Elephant went well yesterday. Everybody left home with a gift that was useful or that they really liked. I also felt that what put ended up with were probably the best choice for that person.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

100 Movies in Theater

I just finished watching my 100th movie in theaters. 10 years ago, I would never have imagined that I would even come close to that number! But, how can I be sure that I watched 100 movies in theater already? I been keeping track for over a year now because I realized I watched too many movies and love staying organized.

How was it like watching 100 movies in a theater? I got to say that it went by fast and I hardly knew that I was watching so many movies, despite the fact that I kept track. I do know that my volunteering in 2009 for TUTD is the main reason that I watch so many movies. Before I volunteered at TUTD, I watched about zero movies a month and then it progressed to about 2-3 movies a month.

Although I watched so many movies in the past couple of years, they aren't always movies I enjoyed. I watched so many movies most people would not go and watch, but I watched anyway to review the movie or just to watch the movie. There has been rare cases, in which, I had the movie theater to myself and/or with a friend. I been to different theaters in Vacaville, Sacramento, and Davis. However, I haven't been to all the theaters around those areas.

I remember the first movie I ever watched in theaters and that is "Without a Paddle" and I watched it with my brother and sister. I remembered it being a cheap movie and the movie was hilarious. The last movie that I watched is "Skyfall". Although I was keeping track of the movies I watched up to 100, I decided to go with the flow and not watch most movies to get a certain number.

I made it a lifetime goal to watch 100 movies in theaters. I have reached that goal. But, I'm not ready to stop watching movies. Instead, I aim to reach higher and continue to watch movies. I know that my volunteer work with TUTD will end in a few weeks, but my movie watching will persist.

Movies I've Watched in Theaters


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Date Name Where? Why?
1 A Nightmare on Elm Street G Street TUTD
2 African Cats F st TUTD
3 Alice in Wonderland SAC DT
4 12/26/09 Avatar SAC DT FUN
5 Black Swan 2nd Street
6 Bride Wars F st
7 10/2/10 Case 39 ?? TUTD
8 Crazyheart Davis? TUTD
9 Due Date F st Hang out
10 Eat. Pray. Love. Tower????
11 Exit through the gift shop Tower TUTD
12 Fast 5 G st TUTD
13 For the Colored Girls TUTD
14 2/7/09 Gran Tarino Davis 5
15 Gulliver's Travels TUTD
16 Harry Brown Crest
17 2/14/09 He's just not that into you ? Hang out
18 Hoodwinked Too! Hood v. Evil F st
19 How to train a Dragon SAC DT
20 8/29/10 Inception G st TUTD
21 12/1310 Inside Job Tower TUTD
22 12/26/09 It's Complicated SAC DT
23 Letters to Juliet G st TUTD
24 6/12/08 Man of Honor?
25 No Strings Attached TUTD
26 10/25/10 Paranormal Activity 2 TUTD
27 Post Grad
28 Precious Arden Century
29 Shrek 3D. Shrek 4 Forever After UA EK TUTD
30 Sex and the City 2 SAC DT TUTD
31 She's out of my League TUTD
32 Sorority Row G st
33 Suckerpunch
34 The American TUTD
35 Expendables TUTD
36 The Fighter TUTD
37 The Final Destination SAC DT TUTD
38 The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard TUTD
39 The Kids Are Alright. 2nd Street TUTD
40 SAW VI F st
41 The Rite PG-13 TUTD
42 8/20/09 The Time Traveler's Wife Century Laguna FUN
43 The Young Victoria DVD TUTD
44 Unstoppable F st FUN
45 Valentine's Day UA Arden FUN
46 The Lincoln Lawyer Santa Monica Promenade TUTD
47 Whiteout DT TUTD
48 Youth in Revolt TUTD
49 The Art of Getting By Century Laguna TUTD
50 Transformers 3D Century Laguna FUN
51 15-Apr Scary Movie 4
52 Horrible Bosses Century Laguna TUTD
53 Without a Paddle Sunrise
54 Watchmen
55 1-Jul Click SAC DT
56 Priest 3D F st
57 The Simpsons Century Arden Ethan  FUN
58 Jumping the Broom TUTD
59 20-Jul-11 Cowboys and Aliens F st TUTD
60 The Help TUTD
61 Harold and Kumar Christmas Arden Century FUN
62 20-Dec Young Adult TUTD
63 Nov-11 Jack and Jill
64 Tower Heist TUTD
65 My Week With Marilyn Tower TUTD
66 Fright Night TUTD
67 Contraband Tower TUTD
68 The Grey F st TUTD
69 Carnage F st TUTD
70 The Devil Inside F st TUTD
71 Oct-09 Couples Retreat
72 11/28/09 The Boondocks II: All Saints Day Folsom TUTD
73 Wanderlust TUTD
74 Mar-10 Silent House TUTD
75 30-Mar-12 Hunger Games Century Arden Ethan  FUN
76 31-Mar-12 Salmon Fishing in the Yemen TUTD
77 American Reunion F st TUTD
78 28-Apr The Five Year Engagement F st TUTD
79 Jeff, who lives at Home Regal, Arden TUTD
80 4-May Marvel's The Avengers F st FUN
81 11-May Dark Shadows G st FUN
82 18-May The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Tower TUTD
83 23-May The Dictator G st Free Movie Ticket
84 3-Jun-12 Men in Black III F st FUN
85 24-Jun-12 Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Century Laguna TUTD
86 The Intouchables Tower TUTD
87 Snow White and the Huntsman G st Fun
88 28-Jun-12 Seeking a Friend at the End of the World Century Laguna Fun
89 30-Jun-12 Magic Mike UA Laguna TUTD
90 8-Jul-12 Savages UA Laguna TUTD
91 8/5/12 Take This Waltz Crest TUTD
92 8/12/12 The Campaign Century Arden Ethan  TUTD
93 8/17/12 Expendables 2 UA Laguna TUTD/FUN
94 Ruby Sparks Tower TUTD
95 9/2/12 Farewell My Queen Crest TUTD
96 9/8/12 Lawless Century Arden Ethan  TUTD
97 10/1/12 Looper Century Laguna TUTD
98 10/14/12 Seven Psychopaths Century Laguna TUTD
99 11/2/12 Wreck it Ralph Century Laguna TUTD/FUN
100 10-Nov-12 Skyfall Century Laguna FUN

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Job Searching

I feel like I have been going in circles the past couple of months. I have endlessly been applying for jobs of interest. I knew it was hard before I started job searching, but I have to admit that it's very stressful and difficult.

It's definitely a learning process. In order to apply for jobs, I have to understand my work/internship/volunteer experiences and skills, but I have to market them to each job I apply in order to achieve results. I feel that each time I work on a cover letter, I notice something that I can improve on whether its using better keywords, applying more relevant skills, and/or the sentence structure. In addition, I feel that people who have reviewed my resume and cover letter have been very helpful in my improvement. Each person has their own perspective and it helps to know what someone thinks of a one page document that you use to describe yourself through experiences and skills.

I have received a number of interviews. There were some interviews that I had to decline because I realized that the work is something I couldn't imagine myself doing in the future. Other times, I went through an interview for companies of interests really hoping to receive an offer, but usually don't get a response back.

It's very tiring to know that I don't know when I will be hearing back. Some places might respond a few days or hours after applying, while some take weeks or months to inform me of a status. Since I am a person that likes to achieve results and plan things out ahead of time, job searching makes it much more difficult since it can't be planned, as it in the decision of employers/hiring managers. In the meantime, I'm staying positive and I'm going to keep applying!

My Diploma

I recently picked up my diploma at the registrar's office at UC Davis. I didn't know it was going to be ready or not, but I checked the website and it should be read after 10-12 weeks. I know that 10-12 weeks already passed, so I went to check and it was there!







I was happy when I got my diploma! It's a confirmation of what I have accomplished academically while I was an undergraduate. I can't believe I did a double major and a minor, but I have the diploma to prove it. And, the diploma is just one of the major symbols of the steps in life that I have overcame.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mud Factor Run

Over a week ago, I participated in the Mud Factor, 5k run. I decided to join because me and a friend noticed that there was a Groupon special and wanted to do something for fun. I never thought I would be doing something like a run. It's sort of out of my characters, except for the fact that I do like to try new things and I love new experiences.

The Mud Factor run in Sacramento was located more in the rural part of Sacramento. When me and my friend got there, we had to pay $10 for parking and we parked on dirt. The moment I parked, I immediately cover the car with a blanket since I knew we would be coming back in dirt. I waited for another friend to arrive, so that I dont have to pay $5 for my key to be stored and picked up later. When we got there, we realized that we should have matched. Other teams were matching it and it was apparent that they were in a team. When we checked in, we received a bib and a badge to pin on.

I got to admit that I had about 2 months to prepare for the run, but I didn't actually run! I prepared my doing warm up and exercises with my yoga ball and weights. I was slow since I didn't prepare. My teams wave time was 12:00pm, but we probably didn't finish until 1:30pm.

The obstacles slowed us down and got us muddy. There were many obstacles, in which, we had to go through a huge mud puddle. My soaks and shoe got completely soaked. There were other obstacles that you had to climb and get over a wall. Some of the obstacles required team work. One of the obstacles was very tall and required us to climb over, but the moment I was very high up, I was very frightened and doubted whether I could do it. But, someone from another team offered her help and helped me get through the obstacle. The obstacle wasn't just an obstacle of what I was capable physically, but mentally. After that obstacle, I realized how important team work was and got through all the others with confidence.

Once we were finished with the run, we were provided a Mud Factor necklace! It was nice to get something when we accomplished the run. I got to say that it was an amazing experience. It was challenging at times, but that was what made it memorable. I guess I don't mind doing again because I realize I love challenges and pushing myself to do things I didn't think I was able to do.

I found the picture with my team at the Mud Factor Run:
http://mudfactor.smugmug.com/Events/NorCal2-Late/25858213_WxTX2T#!i=2142714129&k=vcdv28F&lb=1&s=A

Cool Patch Pumpkins

Yesterday, I along with three other friends went to Cool Patch Pumpkins in Dixon, which is about 10 minutes away from Davis. We went there for the corn maze although you could buy pumpkins there or go for a hay ride, as well as some other activities. I wanted to go to that corn maze since its apparently one of the largest in the world and it held the Guinness World Record for the largest corn maze.

When we were there, we were given a map after the purchase of tickets. The map seemed kind of confusing to me although I tried to figure it out. At first, I didn't realize that there were numbers in some of the corners of the maze, such as 37HH or 12DD. But, those numbers were really necessary in moving along in the corn maze and being able to get through in a quicker time. There were time periods, in which, we didn't see the numbers for a while, so we made our best judgements based on the map. It helped that we knew that we needed to move to each station (ex. Starbucks Station), in order to know we are going to the correct route.

We did get lost a few times and ended up in dead ends. I liked that the dead ends were not too far from the other paths and was easy to find our way back to the right route. Sometimes, we followed other people to get through the maze since it seemed like they knew what they were doing. It did helped to look at the path around us. Some paths looked like they were set up and some looked like shortcuts made by others who were tired of going around and made a shortcut.

Although we were there in the middle of afternoon when it was shining really bright, the corn was tall enough to block the sun. It was not that hot when we were walking around. But, our pants and shoes got dirty from the dirt in the corn maze. About an hour into the maze, it started to get dark and we could see a bit without lighting, so glad that we went a bit early, but we were aware of the lighting situation before arrival and that it was a good idea to bring flashlights. We spent less than two hours walking in the corn maze, which was good because that was around our goal.

I kind of wanted a scarier experience going through the corn maze. There wasn't anyone hiding in the corn maze to pop up and scare us. I also wanted to see a scarecrow somewhere, but oh well.
I'm glad that I had the opportunity to go through the corn maze although I wasn't the one doing most of the navigating. But, it was something that I been wanting to do and I finally did it!

Monday, September 24, 2012

How I Choose Board Games

A couple of years ago, my family would probably only have the standard board games that everybody has or know about, such as Monopoly, Life, and Chess. For some reason, my family decided to get more board games and some of them I like and some I don't like.When we started out with those few board games, I didn't really know much about other board games. Me and my siblings decided to get board games we saw in stores or considered popular. But, it changed when we started to pick up more board games and learn more about what we want from a good board game and how each board game is different from another.

Now, I research games before I decide to purchase them. I find it exciting to research games that I might possibly get in the future.

I would check Board Game Geek and The Dice Tower. Board Game Geek provides details of general information on board games, but you have to log in to participate in forums and such. On the other hand, The Dice Tower has a forum, Youtube channel, and top 10 and top 100 list.

I like The Dice Tower because it has different kind of lists about board games, including top 10 and top 100 and not just from one year, but its continually updated through the years. On The Dice Tower's top 100 list, I noticed that there was column for people's choice award, along with the choices of two other people. It's nice to know what other people's impressions are of board games and what they believe are good or popular games.

A good chunk of deciding which game to get next is what category the games falls in. The Dice Tower listed examples of different categories for board games, which I found very useful. I didn't think about it before, but I tend to prefer some games over others. I like "Party/Trivial" and "Take That" kind of board games more than "Roll-and-Move" board games. Board Game Geek also provide categories for each board game, such as "Party Game," "Bluffing," "Humor," "European," and more.

I can't deny that how to play the game is an important part of how I would choose a game. I find that besides the descriptions and reviews of board games, watching other people play gives you a better idea of how to play and what to expect. I have to say that the Youtube channel, geekandsundry is my favorite to watch with a board game theme. I like that he provides viewers with a description of the game, describes how to play it, then, play it with 3 other people who might be Youtube celebrities, video producers and etc. Among one of the videos I watched from geekandsundry's youtube channel was about the board game Dixit and actually influenced my decision on purchasing the board game.

Of course, my decision are also based on reviews, suggestions, and/or friends comments. I choose to spend more time finding out more about board games because I want it to be something I can enjoy with friends and family and be able to play over and over again. Not only that, but I want board games that would allow me to laugh, bluff, or think and simply give me a great experience.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Blogging Infrequently

I know I haven't been blogging as much as I used to blog. Part of that reason is that not much exciting things are happening for me to share. The other part of the reason is that I have put other commitments ahead of blogging, so I have dedicated less time to blogging.

But, that doesn't mean that I will stop blogging altogether. I still value my blog too much and believe that I have more contribute. I will stick with this blog because it doesn't make sense for me to quit it.

I do want to post more blogs like I was able to do for most of this year, but I don't think its as possible as before. I think its also because I haven't been able to come up with blog topics or themes as much as before, but I will try to update my blog more as possible when I come up with new ideas.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Why I Chose UC Davis

When I was first applying to universities in high school, I had no idea whether I would be attending one or not or be accepted. I'm quite doubtful of myself and have been described as humble. Nonetheless, that thought did not stop me from applying for admission to a university. I was encouraged to go for certain universities, but not forced. When I was applying my first goal was getting into one. I remembered the moment when I was first accepted into a university. I was sitting in the office with the advisor Sacramento State about how to apply and got some forms done. Once the forms were done the advisor said something along the lines of "Congratulations. you are in." At the at moment, I thought "omg, I really could do this. Maybe I can get into other universities." However, the wait to find out if I got into other universities was about a 3 month waiting process.

I found out which universities I got into a separate occasions. From the universities I was accepted into and was considering for admission was UC Davis, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and UC Santa Cruz. Later, UC Santa Cruz got cut off the list although I would have loved to live next to the beach for college. So, it was between UC Davis and Cal Poly SLO. I had a hard time choosing between the two. They both had their pro and cons. Cal Poly SLO was beautiful, far away, and offered me the opportunity to connect with people who wouldn't know me in a new town. UC Davis would allow me to be close to home and go home whenever I would like. Both the universities were my top choices because they were considered Agriculture schools and had some expertise in that area. My major was Environment Horticulture for both schools. When deciding I thought that I might change my major and to History, which I did end up doing my Freshman year. I was encouraged to go to Cal Poly SLO and it almost became my decision until I discovered that Cal Poly SLO's History program was new. I wanted a History program that was strong and from many different professors, which I definitely received while I was at UC Davis. So, even if I did cry the night I declined Cal Poly SLO and chose UC Davis instead that it was the right decision to make because of what I wanted to study. And, I still stand by my decision today.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering September 11th

You know those days you can't really forget? September 11, 2001 is one of those days that I don't think I would ever forget. There's no denying that 9/11 comes once every year and every time it comes by people do think about what happened to the people and the nation.

I was 10 when I first found out what happened on September 11th. That day, I had school. But, before me and my brother went to school, we always watched "Where in the world is Carmen SanDiego?" All of a sudden, the show stopped playing and was interrupted by some news on t.v.. I remembered a guy saying something happened in New York around 9am? I didn't get to watch the whole thing since me and my brother had to leave for school. But, when we got to school we found out the importance of what we learned on the news.

I know I'm not the only one who won't forget that day. It's a day in history that has become so memorable in America and around the world. What happened on the date helped changed the mindset of many and how we have sought more protection for our nation.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Leatherby's

I prefer frozen yogurt places over ice cream places because I prefer the taste of frozen yogurt. Nonetheless, I would still go to ice cream places. But, I wouldn't go by myself since there's no way I can finish a whole tray or glass of ice cream by myself.


Recently, I went to Leatherby's. At Leatheryby's, I noticed that they have an actual menu for food. But, that's not their specialty. Instead, they are known for their ice cream. I like their options although I can't really handle that much ice cream at one time.


The ice creams that my sister ordered. They both look delicious! And, both of them were good.

PB Chocolate
I liked the PB chocolate more than the Brownie Delight. Although I really like eating brownies! I loved the peanuts with the ice creams. I never thought of that before! I'm going to try to put peanuts on my ice creams from now on.
Brownie Delight
Yum, I love brownies and how it came with the dessert. But, it wasn't the best brownie I tasted. Also, thew ice cream wasn't really a flavor I liked.



I actually took a picture of the receipt to remember what ice cream we ordered. I didn't choose the ice cream that time since I wasn't in the mood and knew that I wouldn't be eating much of it anyways.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Eating out too much?

I know I like to eat. I also know that I like to try new places when I hear something interesting about it. But, I don't think I eat out too much? My brother claims that I eat out too much. I think it's sort of true, but not very much.

I ate out more when I was in university. I would probably eat out about 3 times a week. At times, it would be different places. But, most of the times I had a craving for a certain food, so I would go to the same places and order the same thing. Then, I would get over that craving and probably crave something else. But...about 3 times a weeks for eating out...that might be a lot or might not be though. I know that there are students who are considered regulars at certain restaurants. I also know that students like to dine to hang out with their friends, dates, and other gatherings. I know some people say they don't know how to cook or want to cook and I guess I'm one of them. I chose to eat out, so I wouldn't have to buy ingredients to cook and it takes up less of my time. Also, I worried about wasting some food and throwing them out, which happened to me occasionally when I forgot about certain items in the fridge. Sometimes, its just hard for me to use all the ingredients, especially when I'm the only one using it and not sharing it with anyone else.

I guess the other part of the reason I eat out often is because it is a way to get certain foods that my family, myself, or anyone else can't make. It's also because eating out is a way to get out of the home environment and let someone else handle the duties of dish washing or cooking and enjoy time with friends and family.

On the other hand, it is also my brother and other people's perception of me as someone who likes to go out a lot. I sometimes I agree that I might go out a lot, but it's not always true. So, in my brother eyes I might eat out too much. But, to me I think it sort of became something I do regularly until I start getting used to cooking. I know I am not alone in eating out often. There are people who are regular at restaurants and all the employees there knows that persons name. I know there are people out there who goes to restaurants often because there is a certain food, atmosphere, or service that they can't get anywhere else. For me, it is the food and atmosphere that I like about eating out and why I continue to eat out.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Preparing for a Run

About a couple of weeks ago, me and a few friends signed up for a run on October. Since then, I have been aware that I have to prepare for the run since its about 3.2 miles and I want to do my best. However, my progress is slow.

So far, I've looked up different warm up or exercises on Pinterest, Youtube, and read a few articles. I think looking at different types of warm ups help since I really don't know that much, besides what I've learned during middle school and high school. Some of the warm up looks intense and something I definitely won't be able to do right away. But, it's still worth a shot to work hard and aim towards a goal.

I've also bought one of those yoga balls. I love it. It's amazing and fun to use. I don't always have to use it to help exercise. Sometimes I use it to stretch my back or in replace of a chair. It's nice to use if I want to do some exercises with it. The yoga ball came with a list (including picture) of what I can do with it. Plus, I been getting more ideas through Pinterest.

I've planned to run with my friends. However, we plan to run at 6am on weekends. So far, that hasn't happened yet. I think it's because 6am is way to early. These days, I have been getting up around 11 or 1pm, which is pretty bad. I guess I should start running by myself to build endurance.

I guess I am going to take on more things and exercises as the run draws nearer.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Experiences with Tobacco

I grew up disliking cigarettes. Then, I grew to not like tobacco and other drugs. I can't help, but frown or cough a bit when I notice a puff of smoke or cigarette package. I don't even like using drugs for medicinal purposes, which was probably why I got sick a lot and for a long time.

My disliking for cigarettes caused me to not want to be around it. I don't care who smokes: I don't want the person smoking near me, anybody else, or even that person to smoke. I remembered one time my grandpa was at my house and my grandpa is a smoker and he started to light the cigarettes in the our home. I got uncomfortable immediately. I don't remember all the details, but my grandpa ended up going outside and I locked him out because I didn't want him to come back and smoke. I got in trouble for doing that. I also got a strand of my hair cut off as punishment. That strand of hair took forever to grow out and it was so noticeable!

I don't like it when people litter the ground, especially with cigarettes or whatnot. I remembered one time I was with one of my cousins and at that time she was toddler. We were walking around a plaza and all of a sudden my toddler cousin grabbed a cigarette from the ground and put it in her mouth. I immediately took the cigarette out of her hand and made sure that she did not grab that cigarette again. I would hate for a child or anybody else to be exposed to cigarettes at such a young age, especially since its an addictive and harmful product.

I guess I was always wanted to do something about tobacco, so I became involved in Thumbs up! Thumbs Down!, which allows me to review movies based on tobacco content and portrayal. I like being involved in it because I know a lot of people say that hate something or whatever but not actually do anything about it, I don't want to be one of those people who never do anything about it.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I'd Like to Order the Same Thing

There are some people who dine in at restaurants regularly and except "the regular", which is usually the same thing they get and with no changes. I'm not one of those people who dine in at places regularly, but I do tend to order the same kind of items at certain restaurants.

I've grown to learn that although you always order your regular at restaurants, you might not always get your regular. It might be because the price raised to meet with the economy or the portions either got smaller or bigger. On the other hand, it might also mean that a side dish or ingredient is no longer included in the dish. For example, some restaurants that served foie gras as part of their menu had to make adjustments to the dishes that contain that ingredient since foie gras was banned in California in July 2012. In addition, shark fin has also been banned in California, which is a delicacy in some soups. Moreover, you can't always expect what you use to get because time, law, and preferences of the chef's/restaurant had changed. 

Recently, I went to one of my favorite French restaurants to get a Chicken Breast sandwich. But, I noticed that the sandwich was different than I remembered. When I took a look at a picture I have taken of the Chicken Breast on June 9, 2011 and August 16, 2012, the sandwich at the restaurant had changed. I originally planned on putting the two pictures together and adding some text in it as a jpeg or picture file, but couldn't really do that without Photoshop!

Chicken Breast Sandwich taken on June 9, 2011
The sandwich used to have tomatoes. It also seems like the lettuce they used to put on it was more green.

Chicken Breast Sandwich taken on August 16, 2012
The sandwich also changed since the chicken now has more toppings on it, which it didn't have before. I can go further on explaining, but I'm not really good describing the ingredients and such.


Although the sandwich changed, I still got to say that I enjoy the sandwich from that place. I got to say that it I will still go there for its sandwiches and other food items. Even though I didn't get what I expected, I did get what I had in my mind, which was a Chicken Breast sandwich that was not a "fast food style" kind of food.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Jelly Belly Factory Tours in Fairfield

The front of the Jelly Belly Factory
To the front, right side of the Jelly Belly Factory

One day, I was looking through some of my old papers. Among one of them was a list of food places in Sacramento and nearby places of what you can do. I was looking through the list and in the "attractions" section I found the Jelly Belly Factory tours, which is located in Fairfield. I immediately wanted to go since it sounded pretty fun and I always wanted to experience a factory tour. Budweiser also give factory tours and is 5 minutes for the Jelly Belly factory, but I didn't feel like paying $25 for a tour.

The line out of the door @ the left side of the Jelly Belly Building

The Jelly Belly Factory tours are free. The tours are once every 15 minutes. When we arrived, there was a line out of the door. We estimated that we would be able to go in by an hour. And, we almost did, except they only allowed a certain amount of people in and they didn't take my group in at that time, so we went in the tour 15 minutes later.

I believe we waited outside for about 20 minutes. Then, we were finally able to go inside. When we were inside, we noticed the cafe. The shop to the right. We also noticed the decorations. 






Jelly Belly beans hanging from the wall!!!


A mosaic of President Nixon because he really loved Jelly Beans. And, helped to make them more popular.


8 different clocks for 8 different cities around the world.


Some Jelly Belly beans are up on the wall and the Jelly Belly mascot.


Another decoration hanging from the wall.


The biggest decoration that I've seen hanging from the wall. I really like this one!


A Harry Potter mosaic in the waiting room before we started the tour. While we were in the waiting room, we got this white hat to wear and they said we must wear it during the tour.


I would post pictures of what the factory looked like on tour, but they didn't allow cameras at all. While we in line to go into the factory, the tour guide passed out the watermelon Jelly Belly since it was National Watermelon Day. Once the tour started we were able to see a few factory workers and some work on producing the Jelly Belly beans. However, most of the work we seen were either by the machines, putting the candy into the boxes, or seeing the Jelly Belly put into trays to cool. During the tour, there was a television that told us a story as we looked at the factory. We also 3 free samples while we were there, which was nice of them. I think the coolest thing about the factory tour was seeing one of the machines wave to us. Although mosaics of Jelly Belly candy were a nice sight to see in the factory tour, I would not expect it. I would expect the mosaics only as decorations before you enter the factory, but not as part of the tour.

As we toured the building, I noticed that we didn't really get to see a majority of the production. Just what the Jelly Belly company wanted us to see. I wanted to see how the factory chose the defected candies by picking them out or using a special machine. We saw the bags of cornstarch and bag of sugar, but we didn't get to see what they did with them, which made it seem like they just had the items there for display. Well, I guess they are putting their stuff for display for the general public, so they want to show enough without any risks, bad comments, and providing a certain image/perception of Jelly Belly.


We got this small candy bag once the tour was done. Some of the flavors are good. Some are not. Also, after the tour we waited in the sample bar to try three pieces of Jelly Belly beans. I got the Black Licorice Button, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Sunkist Orange.


My baby sister wanted the soda Jelly Belly candy that comes out the of dispensers. I was going to purchase them, except when I put in my $1, it did not allow me to press the button and get the candy. I was disappointed that I couldn't get the flavor she wanted, especially since there was still a lot of it left.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Blue Moon Cafe and Karaoke

I got to admit that I really don't like karaoke -ing. My vocal abilities aren't really good and I think its kind of embarrassing. But, I do like hanging out with friends and having a good time. Another confession, this blog post is a few weeks outdated. A few weeks ago, I went karaoke-ing with two of my friends. And one of them was going to karaoke with her co-worker and his friends.


When we arrived at Blue Moon cafe, we decided to eat before going into the karaoke room. I think they had a pretty diverse menu for being a karaoke place. I decided to have porridge since I wanted something kind of warm and I really haven't had it in a while since the only food my mother ever makes now is fish. My other two friends shared a crepe and boba.


 We eventually joined in the karaoke room and there was about 6-9 people already in there. I'm glad that people were already singing and didn't invite us to sing. Although they did offer us drinks when we arrived.

I found that night to be interesting. It seemed that my friends were having a good time. Also, if I ever do get past my little fear of karaoke-ing I know where to go.

Oscar's Very Mexican Food

I was first introduced to Oscars Very Mexican Food by one of my best friends. The burrito place is right across from her high school, McClatchy High School. It is also close to a lightrail stop, so if you are ever wondering how to get there from Downtown Sacramento or Meadowview without driving, that's how. Although they have their own parking lot, it can get packed sometimes. I think you can park on the street though.

I remember my first experience here because the burrito came with fries. It's popularly known as the California Burrito. I absolutely love fries! I think the burritos here are delicious.


Although I've ordered their beef tacos about two times now, I haven't had the opportunity to actually eat it since I gave it to my sisters. But, they seem to finish the orders just fine. But, didn't really give me their opinions on it.


What I like about this place is that their prices are reasonable. Their burritos are regular size and they are about $4-5, which I think is a good deal. Definitely cheaper than Chiptole. I went there in about the middle of July and the place said it was closing in August for rebuilding and won't open again until Oct/November. However, I went there again about a week later and didn't see the sign, so I wouldn't be sure if they were doing construction or not.

The Cheesecake Factory

Today, I went to the cheesecake factory. It's a place I never been to, but I was always impressed by the exterior decor of the place. When I went inside, I was also impressed by the interior. I also had a glance of the cheesecake before I sat down and they all just looked delicious.

My friend informed me that they were still having a half off offer on Facebook for the cheesecakes because of National Cheesecake Day, which was actually yesterday. I was unsure of whether I should go or not since I'm not a big fan of cheesecake, but I decided to go anyways.


There's this episode on The Simpsons, in which, Marge decides to order a Long Island Iced Tea, so I always wanted to try it because of that. I ordered it and it was a bit sour than I expected. It was also $10, which makes it the most expensive drink I ordered so far. I think when I drank it the top had the most alcohol and when I got to the bottom, it was mostly just the ice and a bit of flavor/alcohol left. I was kind of disappointed.


When we looked over the menu, we noticed they actually had a lot of choices for appetizers. We ended up ordering the Thai lettuce wraps. It looked huge when we got them. I think for the three of us, each person had at least two lettuce wraps. I think it was a nice appetizer and actually made me feel a bit full and the dessert didn't even arrive yet.

I didn't take a picture of the bread individually, but we did get it as a sort of appetizer and it was on the house. Not the most delicious I ever had, but I love eating bread.


I ordered the Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake. I ordered that cake since everything about the description sounded good. Also, when I took a look at the cheesecakes, I thought to myself: yup, that's the cake I want. I loved the whip cream that came with the cakes. Yum!


One of my friends ordered the Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake. It wouldn't be the type of cake that I would choose right off the bat. In the picture, it looks delicious. When I tasted it, I tasted the lemon first; then, the raspberry.


My other friend ordered the Red Velvet Cheesecake. I think this cake was good. It was moist and I could really taste the cheese in the cake.

Arigatos

I first heard about Arigatos through some friends. I think some of them really like the place. Apparently, it seems like a popular sushi place. It's in the Arden area. It's not a buffet, but there is always a half off special for the rolls.

The first time I went there I wasn't really impressed with the sushi that I ate. I really did expect more since people favored the place. I didn't see what made it so likeable, besides it always being half off.

The rolls I ordered
The second time I went to Arigatos, I ordered two rolls. I would mention the name of the rolls, except I forgot their names. But, I do know that I only order rolls if they include shrimp because I love shrimp in my sushi. Although I did consume the entirety of my rolls, I found the roll to be plain and not very sophisticated or special. I was also disappointed in the size of the roll, but I guess that's why it was half off.

The roll my friend ordered
One of my friends ordered a bento box, but I didn't take a picture of that. And, my other friend ordered a sushi roll with fish.

The second time around I still did not find Arigato's impressive. I would prefer to go to Tokyo Fro's, which is just down the street and has better tasting rolls and a happy hour special with half off rolls.

Understanding More of What I Want

There's this one question that I couldn't seem to answer. What do I want to do in the future? Truthfully, I really don't know. And, I still don't know the answer to that question.

However, I am realizing more of what I like and don't like. While I was still a senior, I considered a career in sales. But, now that I think of it, I'm not so sure. I don't want my career to be focused on selling things to people. I want to do more than that. I want to be able to do some research on the side or more research. As of now, state government jobs seem very appealing to me. So, I decided to do another internship that would allow me to intern in state government, while being able to learn more about the legislative process. Hopefully, I get a response back soon from one of them although I only applied to them recently. I think my goal for now is to intern for about 3 months. Then, apply and hopefully be able to get a position with the state afterwards.

I also realized that taking on a internship that relates to legislative affairs would probably require about 10+ hours a week. So, I hope to intern for about 3 days a week. On one of those days, I could also show up to my APSEA internship meeting afterwards. I'm also thinking of accepting another internship related to food and health and that is also about 4-10 days a week and is mostly in the afternoon. I think its best for me to plan ahead and try to take on more experience and be productive; and, it will make me more competitive later. Plus, there's not rush for me now and I feel like there's still a lot out there for me to do.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

California State Fair + Hot Chelle Rae

On Tuesday, I went to the State Fair. I went during the evening though. I couldn't stay in the sunlight for too long. Me and my family decided to go on Tuesday because Hot Chelle Rae was coming. Also, people 12 or under get in for free and rides are a dollar.

When I got there, my sister bought the funnel cake. And, my other sister got cotton candy. I wasn't really in the mood for fair food, but if I was there would definitely be a lot of food I want to try.

I think I only went on the bumper cars ride. I wasn't really interested in any of the rides.


Mark S. Allen from Good Day Sacramento showed up before the concert started. I think he's great that he shows up to some public events. Hot Chelle Rae performed at 8pm at the Golden 1 Stage. The front left and middle section was saved for those who purchased tickets. However, The front right and back seating areas were saved with those who came in and had a pink wristlet on them. I got one and at first I was seated in the middle, but as the concert went on people left and I eventually ended up getting closer. Towards the end, the band left and I just knew they were going to have an encore and stayed. However, others left and the Hot Chelle Rae came back on stage and played one last song, "Tonight, Tonight".


Another view of the concert as it got darker. I thought that they performed beautifully. I was surprised that they played Teenage Dream, but they did a pretty good job. They played all the songs that I wanted to hear from them and plus some more.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Persistent, but progressing

It's been about 10 days since I haven't updated this blog. It seems like eternity! I usually try to blog within a week. Blogging hasn't been the only thing I haven't updated lately, I also been spending less time on social media sites.

Sadly, I haven't heard back from any jobs yet, but that just means I'm going to be more aggressive. I'm going to call some places next week. On the other hand, I landed myself an internship with Asian Pacific State Employees Association (APSEA) as an Event Planner Intern, but I'm going to help out with other tasks as well. The internship is about 4-6 hours a week and only require me to attend meetings, so I have a lot of time left on my hands. With the time I have left, I spend it working at the restaurant. I don't see myself working at the restaurant in the future although it's nice to get some extra cash every once in a while.

I've also had the opportunity to meet with some high school friends the past couple of weeks. It was nice hanging out with them, but it seems that they haven't changed much. I'm also going to see more on the potluck this upcoming Friday.

I haven't watched a movie in theaters for about 2 weeks and that also feels like eternity. I want to watch the Amazing Spider Man, Dark Knight Rises, Brave, and Ted.

On another note, I got surgery the other day. I feel kind of weird with it, especially since it is in my face in such a visible area.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Original Perry's

Original Perry's is one of those restaurants that I've always wanted to visit ever since I could remember. It's one of those restaurants that you would notice as you get off the freeway. I made my first visit to Original Perry's last week after I went swimming. When I entered, I immediately noticed that there were mostly seniors that dined at the restaurant. Then, I realized that seniors really love original (homely) places and breakfast food, which was why there was a lot of them there.

When I was there I was surprised they had a kids menu and with pretty reasonable prices. It also said that kids eat free with a paying adults on Tuesdays after 4-10pm. I would show my picture of what I ordered from the kid's menu for Emily, but I didn't remember to take a picture of it.


Cindy also ordered this dessert. I forgot what it was called. But, it was delicious! My favorite part is the cookie with the chocolate. Mhmmm...


 A chicken strip sandwich with fries. The sandwich seemed much bigger than expected. I didn't eat the sandwich although Cindy offered it to me. I did, however, tried the fries.


I think the pancakes came with one of Cindy's order. I didn't get to the pancake at the place because there was already so much food for the three of us.


Hashbrowns and an omelet that Cindy ordered. I didn't try the omelet, but I had the hashbrowns from Emily's order.

I think my first time was a good experience although it is a slow atmosphere. I did enjoy the food there and they have pretty reasonable prices.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Movies About Time

I thought about something the other day: I really love movies about time. Well, that's sort of the commonality I came up with when I thought of three movies and why I like them so much. Among my favorite movies are Inception, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and The Butterfly Effect. They all have to do with time in some way. In Inception, when you go into a dream it lasts a certain amount of time before the person wakes up. In The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the baby was born old and as time progressed the person turned younger. In The Butterfly Effect, the person goes back in time numerous times to try and fix things. Each time the person goes back the history is rewritten according to the changes that happen when the person went back to change history.

Of course, I love other movies too. But, those movies really got me thinking after 5 minutes of watching the movie and still has my thoughts occasionally. I think its something about the messages that come from those movies and less about time. Although I am not sure of the popularity of those movies, I remembered that The Butterfly Effect was talked about a lot when it came out, but didn't watch it until a few years after it came out and on DVD. In addition, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was the first movie I reviewed for TUTD and I watched it in DVD. Inception was really popular when it came out and that was the only one out of the three that I watched in theaters.

Since I was intrigued by the "time factor" in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Butterfly Effect, and Inception I look forward to watching Looper, which is about a man going back in time to save himself, but his younger self has to stop time travelers. It just seemed very interesting when I watched it in theaters. Hopefully, I would not be disappointed when I watch it in theaters.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Growing up With Parents Who Never Attended High School or University

Although I was not considered the smartest in my family, there was still this expectation that I might possibly attend college or university. My parents knew that grades played a factor into getting into a good school. That, and a name of a few universities were pretty much the only thing my parents knew about higher education. Since my parents grew up knowing just those things, that's what I mostly knew until I entered high school. I was introduced to the high school and university requirements, met with some advisers, and had meetings with some programs, which taught me so much more than what my parents had ever knew. I started learning about other requirements, such as being more involved through community services, clubs, sports, and student government. I also learned that the personal statement played an important part in the UC applicants decisions. The knowledge that I earned about the application process gave me hope and furthered my interest and led me to believe that I could meet the pressures and doubts of family and others.

About a month before finals, my mom told me that my cousin (who also studies at UC Davis) was taking an exam and asked me why I don't have to study for exams. That was when it hit me. My mom had no idea what I've been through these rough four years. She doesn't even know what I have to do for my classes. My parents don't know that I have to read a book just about every week in university. They don't know that there's barely any homework and that the majority of my grade is based on either papers or exams. But, what they don't know is how much time and energy I spent on trying to get through those rough four years. They won't ever know how it feels to cram in a paper or study for an exam last minute and worry about passing a course.

There are of course some things that my parents have learned about the university as the years passed. My mom learned that I could get kicked out for bad grades during university. She also learned about credits. I didn't teach her about that, but she learned about it somehow. Throughout my time in UC Davis, she would ask me how many units I have and if that was enough. That question was second, as she asked for my grades almost every time she saw me. Other than that, my mom always asked me what my major was although I told her several times. And, she would give me the same type of responses each time whenever I answered her questions. I think it was because she didn't know much about college.

Since I am a first generation Chinese American, there are a lot of things that I have to learn for myself and my parents would not know. Yet, what my parents didn't know didn't scare me, it pressured me. It encouraged me and motivated me to reach for higher education. It's also probably what has sparked my interest in not just education, but travel, food, and culture.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Independence Day

I'm a bit late on blogging about this post since it's about 4th of July. Also, I have a lot of blogging to catch up on. I'm probably going to have like 3-4 next week.

On the 4th of July, we had a BBQ. It was nice having a BBQ since I really like BBQ food. Also, the type of BBQ that my mom makes is not the type I would eat when I go dine in at restaurants that serve BBQ. They have a different style. One of the differences includes that my mom makes noodles to eat with the BBQ. You won't be eating noodles with your BBQ if you were at a BBQ restaurant.

At night, I went jogging. I haven't went jogging in months, possibly years. But, it was a good run. I don't like jogging as much as I do rollerblading or ice skating though. I could skate for hours and still want to go on, but for jogging I just want to do it for like 30 minutes and no more.

When it was finally dark, fireworks were going off around the neighborhoods. There were so many illegal fireworks. I must admit that they are pretty to look up since they go up in the sky. But, it was kind of scary when a neighbor was lighting them and the fireworks came up. My family didn't buy any fireworks this year. But, our extended relatives did. The fireworks weren't as exciting as the illegal ones, but it is always exciting to light your own fireworks.

I don't know what it is about 4th of July. But, I consider it one of my favorite holidays. I think its because no one goes to work on that day. We all like fireworks. And, there is good food. Oh, and its a holiday during the summer time!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Meeting Expectations

There's been way too many times in my life when people told me that I didn't do enough, didn't do more than them or better than them. I am pretty sure that I am not the only one out there who has experienced it. I also got to say that I have proven many of them wrong, even if they chose to not acknowledge the fact.

I've already mentioned that I been bad at math, which was why I didn't do so well during my high school years. Because I found math challenging it, my siblings used it against me. I've been called stupid and that I could not meet up to the standards of other siblings, but that didn't stop me from getting tutoring. It did not stop me from getting the best grades as possible to get into a university.

During my university life, I've always worried about failing a class. Even if I felt I did good in a midterm or paper, I would be very worried because they were a great proportion of my grade. Luckily, I've had the motivation to do well. I am fortunate that I never failed a university or college class. I never got a D or a F. I'm so proud of that fact. It totally freaked me out when I learned about Academic Probation/Dismissal, as well as not being able to meet the passing requirements of the classes.

Although I don't owe it to anyone to blog in this blog, I still believe it is important to stay consistent. Blogging just once or twice enough is not enough. The least amount of blog posts I've had so far is 11 each month. Although I did not make any goals for my blogs, I do know that I want to keep it alive. Maybe that is why I haven't let myself get under 11 blog posts each month this year, so far.

And, now, my biggest challenge yet: landing a job. I believe this is more of a personal expectation than anything else. I want to land a job that I like and believe is good for my future. I don't care about getting it right away, its about getting there through my skills, overcoming obstacles, and possibly with the assistance of others.

So, yes, I just described a few expectations. Some were expectations from friends, family, the community, and others. Others were expectations of myself and what I want for my future. Nonetheless, those expectations are sort of like goals that I need to meet. I think those are goals that are important to overcome and to prove that I can succeed.

Friday, June 29, 2012

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse

I been to BJ's restaurants several times now. I been to both the location on Arden and in Elk Grove. I would say that the Arden location is for middle age folks, while the Elk Grove location is more for teens or the college crowd.

I been to BJ's more than I would have anticipated. The first few times I went I wanted to go because my friends and other people I knew raved about it. But, after going their more than a few times, I don't have the same excitement for that place. BJ's is one those restaurants that my friends would usually pick to go and I would be okay lets go there.

When I usually go to BJ's, I would order pasta. But, after a few times there I realize that there pasta wasn't as good as I would have liked it. In addition, there pasta dishes don't seem that unique. For me, it seems like they have the regular pasta options, chicken fettuccine alfredo and spaghetti. I also don't like that their sauces. The sauces always seem to be to light than I wanted.

Besides pasta, BJ's is also popular for their pizza.They have deep dish pizza with different selections for toppings that you can choose or select a special. For about a personal pizza that is 10 inches and it's about 10 dollars. And, yes, 10 inches is less than a ruler and I don't think that's enough to keep one person satisfied. Well, at least not me.

I like that BJ's have many different options for appetizers although I'm not usually an appetizer person. They also have different selections for entrees--pizza, mahi mahi dish with rice and vegetables, sandwiches, hamburgers, pasta, and more. They are also famous for their pizookie.


I went to BJ's yesterday. This time around I decided to order the Barbeque Beef sandwich with potato wedges. I saw in the menu that there was onions, but I forgot to tell them to take it out. I liked that the onions were fried though. It sticks less to my sandwich and was more appealing than usual. I really enjoyed this meal. I liked that the bread was kind of crunchy and that I had barbeque meat, which I usually don't eat.


My friend ordered the chicken fettuccine alfredo. I usually would order this pasta, but decided not to. I love the garlic bread that comes with it. When I usually order this pasta I would ask for extra and they never charged me for extra bread! The pasta itself tastes alright. It could use better sauce throughout the pasta.


My other friend ordered the Mahi Mahi dish. I was glad that she ordered it because I like seeing other dishes. I think the Mahi Mahi looked delicious. But, if I were to eat it I would want more rice.


We all decided to go to BJ's yesterday for a friends early birthday. The friend got a bacon cheeseburger. It was huge!! I thought it looked delicious though. My friend cut a part of it and there was still a 1/3 of it left. She finished the fries though. For me, I would like a burger that I can finish entirely and not save it for later. But, I do like getting more for my money. She also had a drink there and I tried a sip of it. It reminded me of a medicine I use to take, but I liked it.