Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 in Review

I'd like to start off by thanking everyone who spent time with me this year, who spent time asking me how my days was or even shared a few conversations with me, and/or have done something for me because you all played a part in making my year better. I'm especially thankful for those several people who gave me presents for my birthday and Christmas and I barely hanged out with them or talked to them. Here's to more adventures and getting to knowing you all more.

"Really? You don't seem like a shy person to me."

"You know what? You are one of those who don't like coming to work not because you don't mind what you are doing, but because you wish you were doing bigger and better things, but you aren't."

"This means war"

"You are like the most prepared person ever."

"You know how I can tell that you were going to give me something?...You asked me if I like it, which is like a 90% chance you''ll give it to me."

"They may have went to Berkeley and Stanford and have these professions, but I have a much bigger heart than them."

Sorry if these quotes weren't exactly word for word, but they were very close to what I remember people saying.

The only thing that I managed to do this year that I been wanting to do for a while was go to San Luis Obispo. I been there before, but I wanted to go back. As part of my trip, I visited Morro Bay, which was a nice, small town. I stopped by Hearst Castle, which I loved because of the story and the artifacts you'll spot there and nowhere else. Due to my pinterest activity, I discovered Crystal Hermitage and I'm glad I made the visit there because its beautiful. Oh wait, I also got to go to Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, which was a cool experience. I went to my first lighthouse this year in Point Reyes and hope to go to more in the future. Maybe I will go to New York next year? It's been in the talks for a while now. Chicago and New Orleans are still on my list and will forever be until I make the trip. I can't forget about Italy though. I realized that I haven't bothered planning for Italy because I'm took broke. But, then, I realized I should plan early, so I know what to save up for.  It gets me excited even though it might be false hope and will strengthen my travel bug.

I guess the reason why I didn't travel so much this year was because I tried so much to change my situation so that I won't be lazy and to make myself do more with my life. But, as always, life doesn't turn out in my favor. Just because I changed a thing or two, it doesn't guarantee another. That's something I have to continually remind myself because that's a hard lesson for me to accept.

I think one of the most unexpected ways I changed this year was my thoughts of dogs. Before Jack came along, I would be afraid to go near most dogs. I have 2 dogs before Jack, but they are outside dogs and more unpredictable and not trained, so that's why I'm not around them much. But, Jack helped changed me thoughts of most dogs. I check out every dog that I see and think of how precious the dog is instead of fearing the dog.

I don't watch much of anything anymore, but this year I tried to incorporate more shows into my life. One of them was watching an old show from childhood, which was Ally McBeal. I mostly wanted to watch is because I remember Robert Downey Jr. in it and wanted to know how he was a part of the show. The show didn't seem appealing to me in the beginning, but as I kept on watching it I liked it. One of my favorite lines from the show was from John Cage (Peter MacNicol)- If you think back and replay your year and if it doesn't bring you tears either of joy or sadness consider it wasted. I really liked that quote. I liked it because it accepts sadness and negativity, which is often not mentioned as something that should be part of your experiences. But, there are dark times in people lives even though they don't want to mention it.

I'm not the most selfless person out there. But, this year, I really noticed the selflessness of some friends. This year, I realized that some people had a bigger heart than I realized. They watch out for others and think about others. They buy food for their friends and worry if they ate or not. Those friends have taught me to do more things for others and to put others first in more circumstances. I'm not a greedy person, but I'd say independent and usually only take care of myself and my own needs. Well, I guess that means greedy in my time and my efforts. I've learned to also think more about others and how I can help them. It meant that I wanted to do more for my friends because I wanted them to know how much I appreciate them. And, I learned the values of others and to appreciate what you have in friends and other things.

This year past by so quickly, it's kind of like a blur for me. I would like to say it's complete for me because so many good things happen and I'm surrounded by wonderful people. But, I can't just because there's goals I haven't completed and I feel disappointed at myself a lot of the time. I just can't until I get what I been wanting for years.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Lessons I've Learned

I felt that I've learned a lot in my life. I've learned them at different points in my life. The lessons I've learned have taught me to be more accepting of others and my unhappy situations. 

1. There will be times when you have to do things how other people do it, which may be different from how you do it.

2. You might work really hard, but the results you want aren't always guaranteed.

3. No matter how educated or more well off financially a person is it doesn't mean that person is perfect or better than you.

4. If you wait for others to sign up or do something with you there's a possibility it won't ever happen. Instead of waiting, you should make deadlines and see if others can meet it.

5. There's always someone watching or observing even if it doesn't seem like anyone is paying attention. This applies to what you do in social media, work, school, or even the mall, especially if you have a regular routine.

6. You will feel happy or special when someone mentions or remember something that is not mentioned often.

7. No matter how good your memory was in the past you can't remember everything.

8. There will be things that you will never get tired of, while there will be things you will be tired of. Moreover, people are happy doing the same things over and over because that's what makes them happy. While others crave something new and want adventure and spice.

9. Don't worry about not being the fastest, smartest, or the slowest because eventually everyone will catch up and it's all about taking the next step and getting things done right.

10. Some things won't ever be finished or won't ever happen.

11. Motivation comes in many different ways. Since every person is different in experiences and thoughts each person is encouraged by something different be it fear, challenges, or even discouragement. It's all about perception.

I wanted to list 21 or 25 lessons. but I couldn't think of anymore lessons. But, I will settle for 11.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Birthday 2015

I recently turned a year older and I still find it hard to believe. I don't want to believe it. I wished I had a more fulfilling and successful life, but sometimes that's not how life plays out. But, I can say that celebrating my birthday this year exceeded my expectations. I was able to hang out with my friends and family and go to places I like.

I first celebrated my birthday with my long time elementary school friends, Chen and Shan. I always enjoy catching up with the girls and eating with them, so it was fun.

The next day was my actual birthday and I celebrated it with my family. We began the day with dim sum at King Palace. Next, we went home and had cake and took some pictures. Even though it was November, I didn't feel all that cold that day and wore a dress.

After eating cake, we played some board games (Scattergories, Sequence, Guillotine). After playing some games and relaxing for a bit, we headed out to Paesanos to eat dinner. Afterwards, we watched The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials. I found myself really liking that movie, so that was a good thing.

The next day, I celebrated my birthday with more of my friends from high school and work. It was nice seeing people I don't see too often and watching them eat dim sum. However, I didn't like that we all didn't get to sit in the same table. Next time around, I will make sure everyone is in the same table and that I can see everyone, which means smaller gatherings.

I took a picture of all my friends that I invited to dim sum. I informed my guests they could dress up or not, but I'm still going to take pictures with them.

Even though a good amount of my friend were able to make it I still hope some others could have attended as well because I don't see them too often. But, it was very fun.

We finished eating dim sum around 1 or 2 and afterwards a few of my friends wanted to do something afterwards. We decided to change and then meet up to go to Downtown. Our first stop was Coinop, which was pretty cool since I always like playing the games there. Secondly, we walked over to the Ice skating rink to go ice skating. My friend, Ricardo didn't want to go ice skating, which surprised us since he didn't mention he didn't want to earlier when were discussing it. Nonetheless, he still ended up purchasing tickets to go ice skating. I'm glad he had the experience although he didn't originally intend on doing it. 

While heading back home after ice skating, Eric mentioned that he was going to eat pho, which made me crave it. And, it led to me and Kristine wanting to eat some pho. So, in the end we all ended up going to Pho Saigon to eat some pho. But, the funny thing is none of us ordered pho at the restaurant.

At the restaurant, I was able to catch up with the group and Snowbee was mentioned in one of our conversations. Both Ricardo and Eric never tried it, so me and Kristine tried to explain it because we love honey toast. Somehow, we all ended up going to Snobee afterwards. Eric ordered a drink and had the honey toast, but didn't like dessert. I wished I would have known that, but he didn't object to it when we described it. But, Ricardo loved it, which was good.

While I was waiting for the food at Snowbee, I crashed. I didn't expect to, but my body realized how tired I was when I leaned back on the comfy chairs, so I took a few minutes rest while my friends played Connect 4 and caught up with one another. I was also surprised when Eric thanked us for making him sleepy and for the fun we had that night.

Snowbee was the last stop that night before heading home. But, wait, I actually had to go to work right after Snowbee, but I would say I would still have done the whole day over again because it was fun.

I'm glad that I took pictures with everyone who attended my birthday celebration. It's always important to remember good moments like these. It's definitely one of the highlights of this year.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Family trip in Berkeley and San Francisco, CA

On Saturday, I drove to San Francisco with my mom, sisters, and my aunt. It's one of our few family trips and one of the first times I took my mom and aunt out. Since the occasion was planned late, I ended up cancelling my shopping date with my friends to Vacaville Outlet.

Even though I knew I was going to head out to San Francisco before I fell asleep, I could not fall asleep easily. I think I only got 3 hours of sleep. It wasn't that bad waking up early, but it still wasn't fun. The drive to San Francisco was pretty good. I'm glad that I getting more used to it.

After we parking in Chinatown, we walked to get something to eat. We walked to Great Eastern Restaurant, which was literally like two minutes away from the parking lot. The inside looked much nicer than I imagined. I was surprised to hear that Barack Obama ate there. I'm even more surprised that Stephen Hawking ate there. The dim was good, except I really did not like their pork ribs. It was rather harder and and not as tasty as other places that I have been. I do like that they seem to make everything when you order it, so it's more fresh. But, I did find the place a little bit more expensive than what I was used to.

I think I was close to falling asleep at the restaurant because I kept closing my eyes. I did, however, slept a bit while my sisters went shopping. My sleep deprivation finally caught up with me. The sleep also helped me to not feel as bloated.

After Chinatown, we walked to Union Square, which was about a 15 minute walk. When we arrived, we went through Westfield Centre and my sisters went to there usual shopping places. Afterwards, we walked to Union Square park and we took pictures with the Christmas tree. My aunt went to Prada and she couldn't find the bag she was going to order for my aunt in China. Our last stop at Union Square was H&M. I'm surprised that my aunt and mom both found something there. For me, I only find something I liked at H&M every once in a while. That day, I spotted a really cute black jacket with a string. I loved that style and I got it.

Before heading to the parking lot, my mom and aunt checked out some shops in Chinatown. They didn't find any medicine they were looking for, but they did get Longan and some grocery. At Portsmouth Park, I noticed a very noticeable amount of elderly playing cards. I thought that was awesome that they had a place to meet up and do something they enjoy.

Both me and Cindy wanted to stop at PurpleKow before leaving, so we went to the one in Berkeley. We ordered lots of boba drinks and I got my 10 stamps completed on my card. I'm getting a free drink next time :). Since I knew 85 C was close by, I walked to grab some egg tarts and other bakery items. On my walk, I noticed that Paris Baguette was right across the street as well. Too bad I didn't have time to stop there too. Next time! I think it was still a good experience and I got to do all the things I originally planned. And, driving wasn't bad :).

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Middle School

Whenever I think of middle school, I think about how much I hated it. There was so much I hated about it and myself. I think it's because it's one of the loneliest moments of my time. It was back in a time when I felt very lost and unguided. It was a time when everyone was going through puberty and trying to understand their identity. It was a time when many people were not nice to me and I had to face them everyday.

But, then, today, I look back at my old middle school memory journal that I made and realized that there were some good moments. I was at a point where I apprehended my weaknesses and strengths. And, somehow I remained strong and managed to smile a lot during those days.

I totally forgot that I wrote a promotion speech for 8th grade in 2004. That's over 10 years ago! I never actually presented it, but I'm glad I wrote it. After reading it, I learned I didn't change so much and there are some stuff I forgotten.  I did get kinda teary when I read it.

I also wrote a "about me" for the memory book. The only thing that really changed is I definitely love Japanese food and I do like vegetables, except for yellow and red onions and eggplants. I don't know why I hated it back then.

I did make some friends that I still keep in contact with today. It helped me learn to be more independent. It helped me learn that it's ok to be by myself. It also made me yearn for alone time when I'm around people too much.

But, I still remember I hated workshop class and when I cut off some of my skin. I hated that some people didn't make an effort in getting to know me because I wasn't a bad person. Then again, I still admire those people who told me to never change and wanted me to be more open to others.

I did not imagine I would like this art class in middle school, but I think I ended up liking it because I was the only one who got an A and I was the only one to complete a rug.

So, I guess looking back at middle school now makes me think that all the things I hate are just things of the past. After all, me hating Japanese food is definitely a thing of the past. Even if some things did follow with me today, it made me stronger and a better person.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My Thoughts on Rap Music

I know so many people who do not like rap music. They say it's all about sex, money, and drugs. So, I'm guessing people can't relate to it. I'm guessing people don't like what rap music is about.

I, however, have never hated rap music. Sure, I hated certain songs, but I never hated rap music as a whole. Then, again, I'm one of the few people I know that will listen to a wide range of music. The only music I can say I hate for sure is the music that my parents put on. And, that's not real music, it's just elderly folks screaming out there struggles with no beats at all. 

I feel that even though lots of rap music might be about sex, money, and drugs that doesn't mean that the song wasn't powerful. I feel that lots of rappers mention sex, money, and drugs because its what they are surrounded by and it's part of life. There may be some things people don't want to hear, but that's part of life.

Songs or raps are like storytelling. I feel that when people write stories they put a lot of themselves in it whether they like it or not. They put their style in it. They rap about experiences or struggles that they relate to even if its not directly about them.

I like how rap isn't always sweet, cute, and innocent. I like that rap can be explicit. I like how rap music can be intense and serious.

I feel that I relate to rap music because they talk about their struggles, their past experiences, and how some things don't work out in their favor. Rap allows people to express themselves in a way that is pretty powerful and in a way they feel most comfortable. An example of a rap song that I relate to is Airplanes, Part II by BoB featuring Hayley Williams and Eminem.

Some of my favorite artists are rappers. I really like music from Eminem, 50 Cent, Jay Z, and Dr. Dre, and more. I grew up listening to rap music from the radio and I haven't stopped.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sugar Skull Workshop at the California Museum

Last week, I helped Sugar skull artist Rob-O with the Sugar skull workshops. The event was so much fun. It was nice seeing all the different designs of attendees.

Artist Rob-O's Sugar skull
During the workshops, Rob-O demonstrated some popular Day of the Dead motifs and some other cool things you can do for the skulls. One of the things I learned was that the upside down heart is what is used for a nose.

Rob-O's work was amazing. He did that beautiful sugar skull so quickly and its a masterpiece. I also admire his other work that is displayed in the Day of the Dead exhibit at the museum.

Since I was volunteering, Rob-O said that I can also make my own sugar skull since I was doing a service for him. I thought that was very nice of him. I wasn't quite sure what to do with my first mask, so I decided to go with the flow and slowly thought of what I wanted. I didn't end up finishing it as the session ended and had to prepare for the next workshop.

I had the opportunity to make a second sugar skull because I helped out Rob-O on the second day of the sugar skull workshop. This time around, my goal was to make my sugar skull was decorated as possible and to add more gems on it. I think I achieved that. I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to participate in this fun craft. It's always nice to bring out my crafty side.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Thoughts on Game Apps

When I first started playing game apps on my Ipad, I never imagined myself getting addicted to any game. I figured that I would only be playing a game every once in a while when I felt really bored. However, I found myself getting addicted to an Ipad game and even now I don't want to completely ditch particular game apps because I worked so hard on making it so far.

I know I said I stopped my addiction with Clash of Clans, but I went back on it a few months afterwards. But, I decided to stick with a few rules to keep me away from addiction. One of the rules was that I cannot stay in a clan for more than one night. I would have to leave by the end of the day. I think that rule is really important because if I stayed longer I would have to contribute more. And, I would hate it if I'm not doing my best to contribute to the clan. Another rule is that I try not to battle everyday, but only when I'm really close to getting enough resources for the next update. Those rules have really kept me out of being addicted. I don't think I will ever go back to playing it like before. Even when I go back to the game every once in a while to join clans, I feel very exhausted.

The Simpsons Tapped Out is the other game that I still play and never really stopped. But, I never got addicted to the game because the game isn't as demanding as Clash of Clans. For Simpson Tapped Out, you collect your resources and give your characters job and then repeat. You don't join a group and chat with others online, so it was easier to not be as committed. I would say that the game wasn't an addiction to me, but I would say it was a daily routine because everyday I would make sure to collect resources and give character jobs. I would say that's what happened for Clash of Clans when it stopped being an addiction.

But, why do I chose to just go back to Clash of Clans and Simpsons Tapped Out just to collect resources and keep stuff upgraded or to get new stuff? Why does it matter to me to have the new things? For me, I think it's because I put in so much of my time in the games. I played those games for a few years now and it's hard to let go now. I guess it also had to do with my personal life. I feel that although the games can't replace what I can't have, it can be something I do have. Moreover, possessing unique characters or items in the games kept me happy because I had them. I felt that I accomplished something and have something many others don't have. I liked that I was the highest level on the Simpsons Tapped Out. I liked having nice walls and being a high level on Clash of Clans. Those things provided me satisfaction because at least it was recognized as an achievement and other people in the game was amazed. It meant that I had at least had something in my life that was doing well and can be proud of. That's why I couldn't let go and still can't let go.

Friday, October 16, 2015

My Thoughts on Volunteering

I always strongly believed that it's important to give back to our community. I don't always have the money for it, but I do have the time, energy, and desire to be involved in my community.

None of my friends have ever encouraged me to take part on a volunteer opportunity. To my knowledge, none of my friends are a regular volunteer. I've had some friends and/or family members who keep asking me why I need to volunteer. Some have even suggested that I quit it because it takes time out of my busy schedule. But, I feel that I want to volunteer and I try to make room for it. Volunteering is something I started around high school and wanted to continue from then on.

I've always tried to look for opportunities I enjoy on my own because it's my time and my choice where I want to spend my time. I've volunteered in gardens, botanical conservatories, and greenhouses. I like volunteering in places that allow me to grow plants and provide a relaxing atmosphere. I really like being surrounded by healthy beautiful plants and vegetables. Somehow, it always makes me feel relaxed no matter how tired or stressed I am that today. I've also volunteered for the food bank, youth programs, and museums. I admire what those organizations are doing for the community. I really like those volunteer opportunities because those programs are really striving to do something for the community and I get to be a part of that. I'm so glad that I made the decision to be involved in them.

I find that I like volunteer opportunities that are more long lasting and not a one time thing. I like that I will always have the chance to meet new volunteers and now more about my responsibilities. I also like going back to the volunteer "home base", which I refer to as the place where I come back again and again to volunteer. I like that volunteering allows me to escape from my other responsibilities for a short period of time. I like that I sometimes get to serve members of the communities, which is something that I wanted to do whether it's a career or not.

As of now, I'm currently in a volunteer program that I enjoy and hope to be a part of it as long as I can. A few years ago, I decided that I want to find a volunteer program that I can be part of for a long time and I feel that the one that I am in right now meets that goal. I decided that when I'm older and retired I want to be one of those people who volunteer and help out others in their community.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

California Bucket List

Even though I live in California, there's still many places I haven't been to yet. There's still plenty of things I want to do.

I think it's a good idea to create a list, so I can remember everything I want to do and it might even help others with travel ideas in California. I'm also going to list stuff I've already done, but can't wait to do again. I'm well aware that the list won't be completed within a few years or at all.

Places I have yet to go...

  • Klamath’s National Forest, Yreka, CA
  • Pluto’s Cave trail, Mount Shasta, CA
  • Redwoods National Forest, Eureka, CA
  • Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, CA
  • Universal Studios, Universal City, CA
  • Santa Catalina Island, CA
  • California Adventures, Anaheim, CA
  • Stanford University, Stanford, CA
  • Charles M. Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa, CA
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium & beaches, Monterey, CA 
  • Yosemite, CA
  • Coronado Island, Coronado, CA
  • Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, Lancaster, CA
  • Legoland, Carlsbad, CA
  • Sequoia National Forest, Visalia, CA
  • The French Laundry restaurant, Yountville, CA
  • Natural Bridges, Calaveras, CA 
  • Joshua Tree National Park, Riverside County, CA  
  • Daffodil Hill & Black Chasm Cavern, Volcano, CA 
  • Apple Hill, Placerville, CA 
  • Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, CA
  • San Francisco, CA 
  1. Twin Peaks
  2. Stow Lake 
  3. Walt Disney Family Museum
  4. Mosaic Stairs
  5. Painted Stairs
  6. Legion of Honor
  • Los Angeles, CA
  1. Venice Canals 
  2. LACMA
  3. University of South California (USC)
  4. Asian History Museum 
  5. Japantown
 Places I want to return to...
  • Morro Bay, CA
  • San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Carmel, CA
  • South Lake Tahoe, CA
  • Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA
I want to say that just because a place isn't listed here, doesn't mean I don't ever want to go there or that it wasn't special to me. When I created the lists, I imagine myself pursuing these places and things to do mostly within the next 5 years. After all, I did title this post "California Bucket List". It's not a rank of special places since I never been to all the places. Not all of my favorite places are listed on this post. I chose to keep those places in my mind longer and revisit them at a much later time. I will also discuss some of my favorite places in a later post.
I want to...
  • go horseback riding on the beach
  • wagon or Horse riding in the snow
  • be in a place that's covered with snow and while it's still snowing
  • go dog sledding
  • visit more beaches in California
  • eat ice cream & BBQ on the beach
  • have more potlucks or food gatherings with friends 
  • go on a nice boat ride
  • try more different foods and popular dishes from places all over California
  • go on scavenger hunts
  • go whale and elephant seal watching
  • beach bonfire
  • camp bonfire
There's some things I already did on the list of "I want to...". The reason why I listed some things I already did is because that's one of the things I really love doing. It's too bad I don't get to do most of these activities often. Some of the stuff listed might be expensive and/or far. But, it's always good to remind yourself of your goals and to do things that keep you happy.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

UC Davis China Summer Abroad 2010 Reunion

Since we last studied abroad together in 2010, we managed to have some reunions with most of the group. I've also had other classes with the group and saw them on campus. However, as time passes, we all went our different directions.

But, no matter what, I will always remember all the good times we spent there. It definitely called for some interesting stories.

Wang Lin (Michelle) who was our tour guide and interpreter in China made a trip to America. Upon her visit, Adrian coordinated a reunion meet up in San Francisco. I struggled with the decision of whether to attend or not, but decided I should because it's not often I would see old friends. So,  I decided to drive to San Francisco all by myself for the first time. It was alright, but I hated that traffic delayed my arrival.

My first stop in San Francisco was Purple Kow. Afterwards, I drove to B*Star to eat dinner with the group. It's the first Burmese restaurant I ever been to. I actually wanted to try Burmese food since my last time in San Francisco. I knew I had to try Burmese food in San Francisco because of its diverse populations and the high ratings for the Burmese restaurants. The first time I heard of Burma (Myanmar) was when I was studying abroad in China. Regina told me that her family is from Burma and some other background of Burma. Regina, Shoun, and I also visited the Myanmar pavilion while we were at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010!

I ended up ordering the Pork entree with vegetables. And, it was unbelievably delicious. The meat itself was the best part. I especially loved the skin. I like the rice and bok choy that came with the dish. The soup that was shared among us, I didn't enjoy it that much. I will definitely have Burmese food again. I'm looking forward to trying their curry, desserts, and some other dishes :).

When I arrived at B*Star, everyone else was already there, but didn't order yet. It was nice seeing everyone again. Everyone looked the same to me.

I was able to meet Matt's girlfriend at the restaurant, who helped us take some photos.

It was great catching up with everyone. I had a really good time hearing everybody's stories of how they been and just catching up. I hope we have more reunions in the future. I also hope Wang Lin comes to California more, so we can see her.

After finishing dinner, we walked to a boba place since Michelle wanted to try boba in San Francisco. We also meet Andrea at the boba place called Little Sweet. I'm glad that a good number of us managed to meet up for a reunion. I understand it always gets harder as people move and have too much commitments.

While we were at Little Sweet, we had a discussion of the boba place we used to go in China that was near our hotel. We knew that the name had the word "girl" in it, but forgot what it was. I thought it was "ok girl". I remembered having a photo of it and its "My.girl".

Ah, good times :). I can't wait for the next reunion we have together. Maybe next time, I will see more members of the group.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

How to get an introvert to open up to you

I think that when some people notice a shy or quiet person some people believe they can just tell the person to be more "talkative". That's not exactly the greatest method since most people would not suddenly become more talkative because they are told so, especially if being quiet or shy is what they been for a very long time. So, how do you get a person to open up to you?

Smiling is one of the easiest ways to make people like being around you. Once a person is used to the idea of your presence, its a bit easier for them to open up to you.

When you gain a persons trust they are more likely to open up to you. Trust is gained in different ways depending on the person. Trust can be shown through helping a person or doing something nice. Protecting a person is always a good way.

Opening up to the person
Sometimes when you open up to a person you can get a person to feel more comfortable with you. A good way to open up to the person is through a story that may be short, funny, or recent. When you open up to someone, they can get to know you and find a way to connect to you and in return the person might share a story as well.

If you want someone to open up to you, you better take the time to listen to what they have to say. Don't always try to be the one that dominate conversations. Sometimes, you just have to let others control the topics of conversations and provide their inputs.

Be a friend
It's easier to open up to people when you know they are on your side and not working against you. Exhibit enthusiasm and do things with the person and not just talk to them on occasion. Catch up with the person and be genuinely interested in getting to know that person. It's much easier to talk to someone when you get to know them and what they like or don't.

Understanding interests and experiences
I really believe that one of the easiest ways to connect to a person is through a common interest or hobby. It's so easy for people to tell you what they like or not like. That's a good start.

Also, each person has their own story of life that shaped who they are today. If you are able to understand some of their story, you might also understand their behavior, common phrases, as well as likes and dislikes. You may not have had similar experiences, but you can sympathize and be there for the person.

In short, the process of having someone open up to you is not short and effortless. Some people may choose to keep secrets and respect opinions of others. But, there is always a way to connect with someone and sometimes it takes time and work. It's not merely a matter of stating problems or getting someone to change. Sometimes the effort has to come from both sides.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Hiking to Horsetail Falls

I haven't been hiking in a while, so Horsetails Falls was a good experience to get out of my regularly work schedule and stress. I found out about Horsetail Falls through Xeng. We were initially going to go to Fairy Falls, but Xeng heard it was haunted, so she suggested we go to Horsetail Falls instead. Despite my busy schedule and only getting two hours of sleep, I managed to drive us to Twin Peaks this morning as the sun was rising. I'm glad that I had a cup of tea in hand for whenever I felt exhausted. I hated how the sun was so bright at certain points though.

I was so glad that I didn't have to drive through the cliff area this time around. That is definitely one thing I always hate about going to Lake Tahoe. I'm also glad that there was a parking lot. But, it did cost us $5.00 for parking. As we walked towards the trail, we noticed that there were bathrooms there, but they really stunk, so it doesn't seem that it's cleaned often. It was nice that the trail signs were noticeable and right off the parking lot.

The hike didn't start off to hard. We walked for a few minutes and reached the first waterfall. It was a tiny waterfall, but it was nice to see water so soon.

After walking for a few more minutes after the first tiny hike, we saw an even bigger waterfall. I was surprised by the amount of water. But, I think there's more water during other seasons.

Me and Xeng decided to walk further to look for a bigger and more special waterfall. One our way there, we spotted another waterfall. I really that the water there was so clear. I couldn't help, but touch it.

As we kept walking further, we noticed that there was hiking sign on trees that told us which direction to go. I thought that was very helpful. However, there would be times when we would walk and there would be no sign around. Me and Xeng didn't see anyone on the trail until we made our way back, which we thought was weird. We kept on walking, but we didn't know if she should go further or not because the map that we found said that we were 0.5 miles away from Horsetails Falls, but we believed we walked past that and didn't see it.

We didn't end up seeing some of the sights that we posted on some sites. However, me and Xeng both and agreed that we wouldn't mind doing the hike again and looking for it. This is one of the hikes that I really enjoyed. I would go to it again and again. And, I don't say that to many hikes that I've done before.

I loved the views that we saw. It was so nice. I'm going to keep this hike on my list of hikes to do in the distant future. Until then, I hope to experience great hikes like this one.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Lands End Trail & Brief Trip around San Francisco

I made a trip to San Francisco a few weeks ago because I wanted to go somewhere before things got to busy for me.
I just started school for the semester and didn't have any tests or major homework assignments yet.

I been to San Francisco before, but there's still so much more I wanted to do and don't know about yet. My friend who came also hasn't explored much of San Francisco yet.

For the day, me and my friend went to eat dim sum at Good luck Dim Sum. It was a cheap restaurant that you can go and check off which dim sum you want and all of the food is already cooked. I heard the pork buns there was good and I had my friend tried it and he loved it. I also tried a bun with meat in it and I don't think I had it anywhere else. Our total was about $11.00 and we had about 4 different items. Great deal. I definitely would go back and wish there was a place like that in Sacramento.

After eating, we headed to Purple Kow. It was about a 15 minute drive. I never liked driving in San Francisco because of all the hills and places that I have to stop. When we arrived I parked in the usual spot that I go to when I'm around the area. About 15 minutes in, I realized I wasn't supposed to park there because they did street cleaning on those days and around that time. Luckily, I moved my car and didn't get a ticket.

I had my friend order one of the boba drinks. He really liked it. He usually doesn't like boba drinks because he think most of the places are bitter, but he liked Purplekow and he said he would go back.

After Purplekow, we headed to Japantown. My friend looked at knives, but decided not to get it.  I really wanted my friend to get something from there, but he didn't seem interested in getting anything. We did have the karrage chicken, which he thought was delicious. When we were about to leave, we walked around one of the shops at Japantown and my friend finally found something he liked. He found the small music boxes that plays classical music from artists like Beethoven. I thought that was a great item and got one myself too.

I havent been to Land's End before, but decided to go after Japantown. I was surprised that you can see the beach right from the parking lot. But, getting to the beach from the parking lot was a bit harder than it looked since you had to go down the stairs and walk on the decayed remains of Sutro baths.

We decided to head to Eagle's point first, which was one of the farthest destinations from Sutro baths. It wasn't too far in distance though. While trying to find Eagle's Point, we had some good views of the Golden Gate Bridge. I prefer views of the bridge from afar because I think it looks better farther away. I seen the bridge up close and drove on it and it's not as appealing to me up close.

I was happy that it was sunny enough for us to get a good view of the Golden Gate bridge. I noticed that it was started to get foggy and that clouds were blowing towards us. We ended up at the end of the trail, but there was not Eagle's Point. We somehow passed i, so we turned back. Luckily, it wasn't a long way back. We realized that we were suppose to take the stairs down to Eagle Point, rather than up the stairs on the right.

I realized we made it to Eagle's Point when we had a good view of the beach. When we got there, we noticed that there was a small statute near the end of the mountain. I also noticed the circle of rocks where a lot of people I knew had there pictures taken.

It was very foggy and windy. The fog that I saw earlier had finally reached where we were. Nonetheless, it was still a good view.

I hope to visit Land's End again. Hopefully, it won't be foggy and windy next time around. Also, I hope to do more things I haven't done there. Until next time, SF!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Getting things off my mind

The beginning of this month started off pretty rough. So much happened, but I'm only going to detail a few aspects of it.

First off, I finished watching a television series that's posted on Netflix called "Ally McBeal". It was sad for me because I rarely watch any t.v. show on actual television or on my computer. Not only that, but also when I grow attached to something and its ending then there's nothing else to look forward to down the road. That's why I try not to finish any series. I'm pretty sure one of the reasons why it sadden me was that its second to last episode was highly depressing to me. It was the episode where the lady wants to file for a divorce, but her original ego doesn't want a divorce. I find it sad because the ending of that episode was sad. Then, after that comes the series finale. Ally leaves the law firm and doesn't end up with any guy at all, not even Larry or Billy, both of whom she loved very much and lost.

Small bumps started to appear on my arm again, but luckily it looks like its going away again. Hope it doesn't appear back again. My eczema on my hand hasn't appeared for a few months. Well, there are a few bumps here and there, but no where near how bad it was last year. Last year, my eczema was so bad that my right hand was bright pink and bumpy. It was very hard not to want to scratch it. When I did scratch it felt incredibly good for the first few minutes and I immediately regretted again afterwards.

I originally planned for a Lake Tahoe trip overnight on August 14th, but I decided to cancel it. The timing wasn't right :(. I been wanting to go again, so I can enjoy ice cream there and play on the beach, but haven't been back this summer.

I don't know why, but I felt that there may not have been a solution to my problem, but at least I can try to escape, which led me to make some solo trips. I made trips to the Arboretum in Davis, Stone Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and Sly Park.

I haven't been to the Arboretum in a while, so it felt nice to walking around and embrace the beauty, wildlife and nature of the Arboretum. While I was walking, I noticed a young boy feed the ducks and I later walked back there and I couldn't believe my eyes. I saw two rats (one black & one grey), a bird, and ducks all together in the same place. I thought it was a unique sighting. I'm pretty the rats noticed me, but they continued eating or looking for food and didn't run away. I didn't take closer photos because I was scared of going any closer to the rats.

The next day, I made a trip to Stone Lake National Wildlife Refuge. I never heard of the place before and discovered it through surfing Yelp. When I wandered around, I was the only one around, so I felt spooky some of the time, especially when I heard hooting and when rabbits ran around. Every time I turned around, there was another rabbit. I also saw a lizard. I also noticed a bird with red spots on both sides. I'm sure there's other bugs and animals there. It was so tranquil there and pretty.

 The last trip I made was to Sly Park. I originally tried to go to Bridal Veils Falls, but I couldn't find it, so I settled for Sly Park. Sly Park was very nice. I loved that you had to past tall trees before you ended up at the beach. I loved the trees too. If only I was able to stay there longer than 15 minutes :(.

I started school last week and I signed up for 3 courses. They seem alright right now, but I'm sure it will be pretty intense soon. Even though, I already have a part time job, volunteer, and going to school my mom wants me to get another job, but I don't think I should. I feel that I already have a lot that I commit to. Not to mention, I still wished I had a full time job. I applied for over 30 last week, so I guess I'm trying my luck with those :/.