How Social Media Creates Loneliness

I haven’t updated in a while, but I found this, ironically, via Facebook today. It goes through how social media can help us feel connected yet make us vulnerable to feeling alone.

22nd Birthday Fun with my NYC & Philly Families

I have been hitting a bit of writer’s block ever since the end of March, but what better way to overcome this than talking about how lucky I am! This past Thursday, April 5, I had my 22nd birthday! And as usual, my family and friends really know how to make me feel awesome.

Here is the token “look at me when I was a baby” picture.

Last week during Spring Break, I spent the entire week chilling out with my parents, sister, and brother in law. They took me out TWICE for dinner. First, we ate at the Grand Lux Cafe for din by Roosevelt Field Mall (and even tried their famous desserts!) I really didn’t take pictures because we were all famished, but the serving portions were large and fancy.

(All rights reserved by NY PhotoVideo)

Next night we went to an authentic Italian restaurant near by my house. It was delicious! I never get seafood at school, so it was a treat to get fresh clams, calamari, and shrimp. The desserts here were equally awesome as the Grand Lux’s. My favorite was the “tartufo,”  which is an Italian ice cream dish. My order was made of vanilla and chocolate ice cream surrounded by a chocolate syrup shell and a cherry smack in the middle of everything. Delish with a cappuccino!

(Image from: Bleecker Pastry Tartufo)

As if that wasn’t enough, I also received these lovely presents! My mom & dad had given me a pair of Juicy Couture sunglasses to match the purse they gave me for Christmas and new pair of Reebok running shoes. They had also given me money to buy another present for which I was going to buy myself for my birthday (tune into another blog post to find out what that is) as well as go on a shopping spree for Victoria Secret undies and Sephora makeup. My sister found my a cutesy Betsey Johnson purse and earring-necklace set. Mucho pricey presents, but my family are skilled gift givers, wrappers, and bargain hunters!

Everyone always thinks of me when they see shiny, hot pink, roses, and lace 🙂

Back of purse & details on sunglasses

Look! One of the earrings is longer than the other. Odd, but I like it!

Close-up on my zebra bling.

Lighter kicks for my cardio kickboxing return & supportive for long walks.

When I dragged and kicked my feet back to Philly, I was happy to find birthday cards in the mail! From my sister, Kirsten, and the VA hospital! Filled with creativity, love, and photos 🙂

And geez you would think the celebrations stop there? But I get 3 nights of celebration in Philly! The first two nights my dear friend Ray and Aniket could not make, however, it was still a lot of fun. Naomi, Megan, and John were more than enough to make these festive celebrations.We had dinner and drinks at a bar near campus called “Mickeys.” It’s a small place with great bar food and cheap happy hours. I really couldn’t complain. Next, we had a pizza party in the apt just as tradition dictates!

And as bizarre as this sounds, I love drinking with my friends in Philly not so much because I like the drunk feeling or whatever, but because we are philosophical when we hang out and drink. We talk about life and dilemmas and issues when we sit around. That’s why I love them so much. Moving away from home, away from the familiarity of everything was a huge step for me. And honestly, I never thought I would have found anything to fill the void and loneliness. And then lo and behold after some time, I found my crazy, beautiful, Philly family. Not all at once, but once we had met each other individually, we just fell together into the  group we are today.  Who understood the struggles of college and growing into the adults we want to be. Of not wanting to be a crazy party person or poster child student for the university. Who, while enjoying the same unique hobbies or interests I have (anime, video games, movies, books, what have you) have completely different personalities, lives, and friends away from me. Yet they are always there for me, and as graduation nears and opportunities away from Philly show themselves to my friends, I could not ask for a greater present than having them in my life for many more years to come. But they are awesome and still got me gifts :3 An epic bag of joy, if you will.

They tried tricking me that they bought the “Orca” dvd for me. Just a God-awful movie. Why…?

Just kidding! It’s my super birthday card ❤ Each disk has a dedication on the back from each bestie >:D! P.S. do you see how large that piece of cake is in the drawing Megs made for me? Cray cray.

Where do I even begin??? A beautiful makeup bag set, recipe book keeper for my baking ideas, JOHN KEATS POETRY <3, a portable speaker set for my gangsta music, and the Big Bang Theory Friendship Logarithm shirt!

Close-up on the Log shirt because I’ve been vying for a Big Bang Theory shirt for  a while.

And of course I cannot forget Aniket’s fantastico presents as well! He bought me a brand new pair of earphones from Sennheiser to replace my headphones that died a few months ago. He also added to my panda collection and gave me little Bamboo with shining green eyes!

I’m luckier than your average girl 😀

My Giant Microbes Collection

So this past weekend, I got to visit these awesome kids down below:

Left to right, my very sweet high school friends: Kate “my daughter,” Kirsten, Scott, and my beloved bestie John!

I ran back home Saturday morning to hang out for a few hours in New York City. Of course a trip to see these guys is never complete without running into a Lukes Lobster. Super YUM! I usually split a “Noahs Ark” with Kate, which includes sampling sized rolls of their crab, shrimp, and lobster along with some claws!

We went to visit the Brain: The Inside Story at the Museum of Natural History. The actual exhibit was pretty cool with a few good interactives. My favorite part was the gift shop!

First, I got a shot glass on sale with the featured exhibit printed on it, and an Xray image mug for my dear friend Naomi!

And of course, how could I ever visit the brain without buying my own neuron (his name is Ned, the Nerst Potential Warrior!)!

Our apartment in Philly is actually growing a huge collection of these adorable Giant Microbes plushies. I also have Rabies which Kirsten gave me a few years back 🙂

My dear friend Ray gave Naomi, Megan, and I each our own Giant Microbe for Christmas 2010.

I had received the Bookworm, which actually is a real bug that exists, apparently.

 

 

Naomi received Swine Flu, which fittingly resembles a piggy.

And Megan got the ever so epic Super MRSA >:D

I plan to purchase more in the future just because they are so darn cute. I hope to have an office to keep my sciencey fun stuff in one day. I also almost bought an animal cell model kit while in NYC, but that’ll have to wait for another day 🙂

Keeping on the microbes topic, I’m really glad I have decided to take Microbiology for my final lab elective in the Winter term. According to many profs and TAs, micro also finds a way of popping in advance biology classes. Not to mention in the past two coops I have had, micro had played a large part in identifying contaminates! Exciting times!

 

Vacation Day – Beach Trip to Ocean City, NJ

As you guys know, I literally work 7 days a week. I have a Monday through Friday 9 to 5-er internship job at a Biopharm company, Saturday mornings I teach kids science, and Sunday mornings I help around the Vet’s hospital. On Thursdays I get a break and go to the gym for Kickboxing.

I took last Saturday off to goof off with my friends from Drexel. We’ve never really had time to take a road trip all together (still don’t) but we make the best of what we have and plan local fun things to do in Philly in between our ridiculously crammed quarters. We’ve got a good mix of majors: Bio, Health Science, Film, and Computer Science, so someone always has something due. I’m amazed we finally made time to plan this wonderful trip to the beach!

If you are friends with me on Facebook, I apologize for spamming your newsfeed with my photos & videos, but here they are again 🙂

Beach Trip to Ocean City, NJ

The day started off pretty early. I woke up as early as I usually do for work (around 6:30am when I’m not slapping the snooze button). We were out of the door, pumped up with gasoline, and piled into Ray’s car, Big Green, all by 7:20am!

The journey to the beach wasn’t too bad. About a 1.5 hour trip. Our music during our ride was mostly themed as video game, anime, geeky, Japanese, bag-pipes, and Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back.”

One of my favorite quotes on the trip there were as follows:

Ray: “Oh, no. Hobo got pulled over for a speeding ticket.”
Me: “Wow. He must’ve gotten like 34 miles per hour on that cart.”
Ray: “But he had a million miles to the SOUL.”

John: Why am I the Reading Rainbow Ranger?!

Eventually we found our way through the many toll roads of NJ to Ocean City. The boardwalk was huge!!! I didn’t get too many shots, but it was your typical beach town filled with delicious food, souvenir shops, goofy teeshirts, arcades, games, and carnival rides.

We even had our own lane for walking! There were separate lanes for bikes and these tricycle like items called surreys.

We all enjoyed Curley’s Fries, but Ray’s arch-nemesis, the PIGEON kept eyeing our food.

I’m super happy I got to use the free beach towel I got from my job, too! I also got a free green frisbee and pens!

The water was super cold, but great for such a hot day!

We did cliche things, like write our names in the sand :)!

Had goofy kung-fu poses & the weirdest jumping poses known to man.

Before leaving the beach area, we actually got to peruse a Crafts Festival going on where I got the cutest watermelon barrette ever! I’ll have to show you in another post

We were also able to jump in a cheesy family photo op thing.

The saddest family of sandals ever.

Megan and I also messed around and decided to get our fortunes told via palm reading. It was actually pretty interesting for what it was worth. Some stuff I could tell was generic (ie- you are lucky, you will live a long life, ect) and then there were others that were obvious (ie- you won’t get married til you are 31; I say this is obvious because girls of my generation are career driven and typically have kids later). Other things were freakishly very right, but it’s silly stuff of what you make of it 🙂

I also tried Dipin’ Dots for the first time ever! The girls and I got Banana Split, Mint Chocolate, and Rainbow Ice. YUM!!!

Finally, we back tracked to the beginning of the boardwalk and ran into the Medieval Mini Golf Course with dragons & wizards!

Lesson learned, we really suck at this game XD

My favorite souvenir, besides the barrette, was the photobooth strip we got from an arcade while shopping around.

Best weekend I have had in years ❤ A great highlight in what seems to be the final summer with my Drexel buddies.

I have a million and one favorite photos from this trip, but this one by far is my most near and dear family portrait. I think it perfectly depicts how crazy-goofy we really are all together.

My 21st – Gifts Galore Part II?!

Quick post!Words cannot describe what a lucky girl I am! I still have presents coming in, and my birthday as almost a month ago!

So here I was thinking that my friends in Philly didn’t care about my 21st, and they threw me a party on April 16th (the start of Philly Sci Fest :D!).

My dears ingeniously created a scavenger hunt for me to complete to find my bag of goodies. I made a collage of their clues, and hope to hang it on my wall soon.

In side you’ll never guess the wonders it held! A Kingdom Hearts smorgasbord!

A beautiful drawing of Sora (my favorite artwork depiction), and lovely necklace from my twin, Naomi. Same awesome girlie who gave me this poster that sits atop my dresser.

A lovingly crafted ID/metrocard holder (because I always lose both) sewn by my goddess former roomie Megan. Complete with a Honorary Member of the Restoration Committee ala Radiant Garden in KHII and adorable Kingdom Key Keyblade & Papou fruit charms!

The most awesome Kingdom Hearts II shirt I have ever seen (and never want to stop wearing) from the ever sarcastic, but wonderful John (whose ego could fill a room and is my Mommy).

And lost, but certainly not least: a Kingdom Hearts cap from Riemann Sums Ray aka Outou-sama (Daddy). I have been dying for a cap from FYE, but have been hesitant to spend money on one XD

And of course my beautiful older sister and bro-in-law never forget me! My sister usually buys me video games or clothes, but as she realizes I am growing up, she tries to get me makeup and fashionable such I have no money for >.<

First another Harujuku purse!

Next, an awesome set of Sephora mascara I had been vying for.

I’m always in dire need of lip balm. Always.

And my absolute favorite: A Toki Doki makeup gift set!

Not only does this sucker have a large array of different color eyeshadow and a pretty purple liner, but it also has magnets for our fridge and is wrapped up in the most adorable box with mirror!!! I’m so happy I can say I have something from Toki Doki, a long time dream (call me simple, I don’t care)!

It just reminds something I always seem to forget or not realize daily: I am loved.