Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bucket List for 2014

I find the best way to keep myself productive is to make a list of everything I want to do. Even if I did the thing before, it's still something I want to do again. I used to believe when I made a list that I had to complete every single item on the list. But, then, I realized that sometimes it's not entirely possible. A list is created to remind you of everything you want to do, but also to encourage you to make that possibility a reality. Its not only about making possibilities happen, but also sometimes getting past a roadblock in life, taking on challenges, and making improvements. Although it would be awesome completing every single thing, its not always possible.

2014 will be a new year and I want to make that year amazing because I'm still young, have lots to do, and need to make improvements or more things happen in my life. 

2014 let's go!

1. Go to a concert
2. Go to some place I always wanted to go
4. Learn how to braid my hair nicely
5. Straighten my own hair for the first time
6. Do at least 5 DIY from Pinterest
7. Ice Skating
8. Watch the sunset
9. Watch the sunrise
10. Go to Disneyland for the first time
11. Finish one book a month
12. Be surrounded in snow when its many inches above the ground
13. Do Run to Feed the Hungry in November
14. Learn how to cook 5 new dishes
15. Do at least 3 random acts of kindness
16. Do something you think you would never do
17. Write 2 poems
18. Write 3 songs
19. Take a picture with at least 3 places and 3 things that has my name.
20. Go to a zumba class
21. Have a new verified account or someone I admire follow me on twitter
22. Attend 3 twitter hashtag events and participate in 5 twitter trends
23. Blog way WAY more than this year
24. Have a meaningful conversation with a stranger
25. Major DIY Project--mosaic?
26. Read at least one popular banned book and watch 1 banned movie
27. Become an expert on 3 different topics
28. Become a master of what you once feared
29. Find a cause, club, or long term project that you are passionate about and can be involved in long term
30. Add 50 new words to my vocabulary
31. Be completely surrounded by a plant, trees, or other part of nature

2013 in Review

2013 was a big year for me. I did a few things I never thought I would have done, as well as some exciting things.

Here's a list of some memorable moments:

1. I drove and visited UCSC and other places in Santa Cruz, CA and I always wanted to go there. I also had the opportunity to go to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
2. I drove to San Francisco and never thought I would
3. I visited Napa, CA
4. I went hiking a few times (including Potato Chip Rock, Lake Berryessa & Mission Peak) and didnt think I would ever have the motivation to do it
5. I was able to see Rozzi Crane, Kelly Clarkson, and Maroon 5 live in concert and very close in view as well
6. I was able to go to a Backstreet Boys concert
7. I visited UC Berkeley and visited rest of Berkeley
8. I visited San Diego and UCSD
9. Had 85 degrees bakery again :)
10. Finally biked along the American river a few times
11. Got to go race car driving
12. Had a record that I was at the mall 11 weeks in a row
13. I was able to go bowling a few times
14.  In theaters, I was able to watch Despicable Me 2, The Wolverine, Catching Fire, Monsters University, Fast and Furious 6, Iron Man 3, Oz the Great and Powerful, Prisoners, The Great Gatsby, The Croods, Olympus has Fallen, and The Hobbit 2.
15. I was able to go to the Drive in theater for the first time for free and watched Fast & Furious 6
17. Donated 3 toys for the holidays. One for a girl, one for a boy, and one for both genders.
18. Brought a cake to share when its no ones birthday
19. Paid off my student loans in full
20. I did the Color Run and had dye thrown at me and threw some dye at some strangers.
21. Finally visited Sutter's Fort
22. Went to the California State Fair
23. Did the Breast Cancer run in Downtown around the State capitol area
24. Wrote a thank you letter to everyone in the office
25. Played Mario Kart with my siblings
26. Played some new board games, as well as some I always wanted to try
27. Got addicted to Hay Day, The Simpsons Tapped Out, but not as much as my addiction to Clash of Clans
28. Finally attended Asian Pacific Culture Night at UCD and saw Legaci perform live
29. Attended this Chinese opera event for a bit, but quickly learned that it wasnt my sort of entertainment.
30. Was turned down from a job offer on my birthday
31. Finally went ice skating again and was reminded of why I enjoy the sport so much
32. Made a dish for a potluck
33. Discovered Starbread bakery from exploring yelp and how much I love their bread

2003 and 2013

Originally,  I wanted to make a very long listing when I first started this, but as I started doing this I realized it was going to take much needed research if I wanted a longer list.  Not that I didn't mind doing research and digging through all my old files, clothes, and other items to remember information from both 2003 and 2013, but rather, I lacked the time to accomplish a longer list.

As I developed the list, I realized that much has changed since 10 years ago. But, I feel that most things have changed for the better. Also, there have been new added aspects of my life that wasn't there 10 years ago.

2003                                                                         2013
President: George W. Bush                                      President: Barack Obama
I was in middle school                                              I'm not in school anymore
Depression consumed me                                         Uncertainty and roadblocks block me
Concerns: grades & college                                      Concerns: getting good job & paying off car
Blog: Xanga                                                              Blog: Blogger
Never had an all nighter                                            Had many all nighters
Never seen a movie in theaters                                 Have a list of over 100 movies watched in theaters
Roadblock: math                                                       Roadblock: interviews
Transportation: moms car &school bus                    Transportation: my car, moms or bros car
Dream Vacation: Italy                                               Dream Vacation: Austria
Siblings: 2                                                                  Siblings: 3   

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Mission Peak Hike

Over a month ago, me and a few friends went to Mission Peak in Fremont to hike. Mission Peak is a pretty popular spot to hike.

The hike took less than 2 hours for me. I didnt rest more than 5 minutes. Usually around 1 minute or so and kept going. I went ahead of my friends that I hike with and waited in the top for an hour for them.

I think this is the least photogenic hike I have ever had. Besides the view of the bay area, there wasnt much to see when you hiked up. Even the mountain wasnt that green, so there wasnt much flowers or plants around. Although there was cows around and supposedly snakes.

There were cows and houses on the mountain!

I think the hardest part of the hike is at the end. In which, there are 2 big hills. After those hills, you are on the top of the mountain. The top of the mountain is very cold.

That's the pole that symbolizes that you hiked Mission Peak. I took a few pictures with the pole.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

My Visit to Santa Cruz

A few weeks ago I drove to Santa Cruz. I always wanted to go to Santa Cruz and was finally able to do so then.

The first place we went to when going to Santa Cruz was Cafe Brasil. I looked over yelp reviews and it seemed really good, so I knew we had to check it out.

When I got there I ordered guava juice and Liz ordered a guava smoothie.

I dont remember the exact name of what I ordered, but its a delicious chicken sandwich with a small salad.

When we first arrived in University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), we saw some deer right away. I thought it was pretty neat since in Davis we would always see squirrels instead.

There were deers all over campus. I think they were used to seeing people all the time because when me and my friends went to take a picture of them, they just stood their ground.

I was surprised that UCSC was so forestry. That campus is a hiking campus. Even their campus maps include the extra time it would take to go to places because of the hills.

The student community center area.

We visited a lecture hall!

We also visited UCSC's main library, which was called McHenry Library. One place I have to go at every university is their library. I love comparing libraries to UC Davis library. McHenry library was very student oriented and was very new inside, despite looking very out from outside. I feel that McHenry library served students needs well since there was an inside restaurant, comfy sofa seats all around, and many places for group and individual study. At UC Davis, you would have to walk out of the library to grab something to eat at a restaurant or whatnot, which is inconvenient.

We are still on campus, but check out those hills!

At the hills, looking at the UCSC campus.

After touring some parts of UCSC, we headed to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  We parked in the parking lot, which was free!

A view of the beach. Since it was winter and night time, there were less people around when we arrived.

The sun is about to set at the beach!

Most of the rides were closing since there wasnt many people around. But, I was just primarily interested in playing around on the beach :).

I can cross of Santa Cruz from my bucket list now :).

Christmas Lights in Sacramento

For Christmas eve, me and a few friends decided to go see Christmas lights. There isn't many places that are decorated during Christmas. Janet sent me a list of places to go see Christmas lights and we went to those place, plus another place.

We went to the State capitol first to take a picture with the tree. We wanted to go inside too, but it was closed.

Next, we went to see lights at Land Park. A lot of the house had decoration, but it was quite a walk. Then, I remember the place my mom took me and my siblings one Christmas season and decided to go there.

So, we arrived at T street. My friends really like the decorations in this street. I liked that such a small neighborhood decorates every year and it looks really nice.

As we were walking around the houses, this truck came by that was decorated in lights. It was pretty cool.

Next, we headed to River Park. There were some decorations, but not all in the same area, so I just drove by some houses.

So, we went to Fab 40s as our last stop. We heard many good things about the neighborhood and that it was a good place to look at Christmas lights.

The long line of cars at the Fab 40s. There were some streets with just cars driving by slowly in traffic. I managed to go to one of the street with less traffic, parked, and walked around to see the lights.

I didn't know Santa could play the piano!

It's a Christmas Story!

Christmas Future!

Got to love that Flying car.

 Someone fell while setting up Christmas lights! haha. I love this decoration.

I saw many peace Christmas decorations in the Fab 40s, but this was the biggest one I saw.

So,  that pretty much concluded our tour. We started around 6pm and ended around 9pm. We went to 5 neighborhoods in Sacramento.

Santa Slam 2013

About a few weeks ago, me and my friend attended Santa Slam 2013, which featured Backstreet Boys and The Fray in Aces of Spades in Downtown Sacramento. The Aces of Spades has got the be the smallest venue ever for a concert, especially for the Backstreet Boys and The Fray. I came to the venue early because I knew there was going to be a line. I probably arrived sometime before 6. However, the venue was scheduled to start at 7pm. As I went to the line, I noticed that at least 90% or more of the people standing in line were females. The line was pretty long. I think the venue didn't have the most accommodating way of letting people in. That being said, me and my friend didn't get to go inside the venue until much later after 7pm and there was still a lot of people behind us. After we got inside the venue, we noticed that it was very small inside with lots of people already in. Since all the tickets were floor, we just had to stand there without much room. The people in front us was very tall, so since I was short I had only mere glimpses of the stage and anyone else on the stage, which was why I didn't post any pictures for this blog post.

There wasn't anyone opening up for the Fray and the Backstreet Boys. So, The Fray came out and gave a great performance. The Fray's performance was about an hour long or so. They played all their popular songs and some new ones. After The Fray, it was about 30-45 minutes for the Backstreet Boys to finally come out. By that time, the venue was very crowded and my friend wanted to leave before the Backstreet Boys came out, but I wanted to see the performance. Before the Backstreet Boys came out, I agreed to go in the back of the crowd since it was very crowded in front and didn't want to be squished much. Nonetheless, during Backstreet Boys performance so people were leaving and I was squished and pushed as they made there way out. Backstreet Boys played a few of their popular songs and some new ones. The Backstreet Boys played "Quit playing games with my heart," "I want it that way", etc, and they ended with "Everybody Backstreets Boy Back," which was really the best part of the whole night. I was hoping there performance be longer than The Fray's performance, but it wasn't.

Honda Civic Concert in Wheatland, CA

Back in October, me and my sister attended the Honda Civic tour that had Maroon 5, Kelly Clarkson, and Rozzi Crane as the performers this year. As soon as I found out Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5 were going to be there, I knew that I had to go. As I checked the prices, the floor prices seemed decent, so I bought me and my sister floor tickets.

On the day of the event, we showed up about 2 hours early for the event, but there was already a line. Although the show started at 7:00pm, the doors didn't start opening until around 6pm. The venue seemed like a deserted area, but definitely had room the expand if they wanted to.

Once we entered the doors, we were free to buy some drinks or food. But, instead, me and my sister decided to stand in line and wait in the area where the performance was going to be at.

We were very close to the stage. It was the gates, about 2 rows in front of us, and then it was us. It took the longest time for the show to open.

When Rozzi came out, I surprised that she was a girl. But, I was more surprised of how good her singing was when she first sang. I love her song, "Crazyass Bitch".

Next performer to come out was Kelly Clarkson and I was so excited to see her. I really wanted her to win American Idol and I loved most of her songs. Her opening song was "Stronger (what doesn't kill you)". Before seeing her perform "Stronger" live, I didn't like the song, but after hearing and seeing how she performed the song made me love the song now. Kelly Clarkson sounded exactly like she does on radio and on American Idol. She was really good.

Maroon 5 was the final performance and everyone was just so excited to see him come out. When Adam Levine finally came out, he opened up with "One More Night". He was a very passionate singer with great moves. When he performed some songs, he didn't sing it exactly like it was on the radio, but added his own twists and such. Just when we thought the concert might have been over, Maroon 5 came back out, they performed "Payphone". I'm glad that I knew just about every song, except that song from their first album.

I loved that concert. That has got to be the best concert I have been to yet. I got to see a few of my favorite artists and the opening was good. Also, I was in a good spot for the concert.