Geeky Decor in Honor “The Hobbit” 2 in Theaters

Almost a month later than the premiere, but my intentions still good!

I was able to watch “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” opening weekend in December before my work site-shutdown. In honor of the premiere, I wanted to share my own geeky decor found in the living room of my apartment 🙂

  • First, above the entrance to my apartment is the following quote. I found an easy, cheap, and simple way to decorate is to take a quote you really like, print it on normal paper, and put it in a cool frame. I got this mirror-like, marbled Celtic themed frame from Khol’s on sale for $5. I like seeing the quote before I leave as inspiration for the day.

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“The road goes ever on and on…” — Bilbo Baggins, “The Hobbit” (book)

For more info on this quote and where it’s references throughout Tolkien’s works: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_Goes_Ever_On_(song)

  • Second, a poster map of Middle Earth, thanks to Naomi! I simply bought a poster frame from Walmart for $8 and hung it up on the wall. You can also see my Final Fantasy X inspired key decor on the left.

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For more info on the FFX key decor, go here: https://chubbyriceball.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/final-fantasy-x-inspired-home-decor/

Hope this helps you think of your own apartment decoration ideas!

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The Empty Cup: A Learning Philosophy

The movie “Forbidden Kingdom” was on really late last night Sunday night, I think. It’s not a fantastic movie, but I really love Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and the whole kung fu movie genre.

One scene really caught my eye however:

In this scene, Jackie Chan’s character reference’s the metaphor of “emptying your cup.” What exactly does that mean?It refers to the way you approach something new. If you want to learn something new, you need to look at it with an open mind. You need to disregard all previous notions and preconceptions and focus on learning this something new. If your cup is “filled” with previous knowledge, there is no room to grow and learn. Your cup will “overflow” with knowledge instead of being contained.

I first learned about this concept during a religion class in school called “Body, Mind, and Spirit.” In fact, I think I would more so call it an early philosophy class than a religion class. My teacher wrote this quote by the master Bruce Lee himself in large, cursive letters on the board.

“Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.”

I think sometimes it can be difficult to pin point when something really impacts a person to mature. While big events can shape a person, like a family member being in the hospital or making the decision to change career and study paths while in school, some times more subtle moments can help, too. In he last 15-20 mins of this lecture, I was enlightened on how to better myself, and it open my eyes to how arrogant I can be as a 16 year old kid.

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Figure. And a picture version of this quote because I really like it.

I now live and breathe this “empty your cup” philosophy. I have used it in school and in the jobs I have had. Other people probably think I am dumb when I say “I don’t know” or “It’s okay, explain it to me again as if I don’t know anything.”

While I value the previous experiences and things I have learned, the best way to embrace a new experience is to treat it like it is indeed brand new and special, with a mind ready to absorb like a sponge. If you are going to act like you know everything, then why bother asking to learn more?

Something to think about the next time you have a few moments over tea or om nomming some ice cream.

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs Sequel

If you are unfamiliar with the title “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” it was actually originally a children’s book, which is where I found out about it first. You would imagine my delight when I found it became a movie. Luckily, the animation did not disappoint.

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According to IMDB, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” follow inventor Flint Lockwood who tries to cure the economic crisis of his town, Chew and Swallows, with his newest piece of technology: FLDSMDFR, a machine that can turn food into water! Unfortunately, the machine goes on a fritz and shoots up into the atmosphere, creating weather that produces giant food.

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Not to spoil the premise of the first movie by trying to explain the sequel, but essentially Flint and friends return to Chew and Swallows to find the town as evolved food species through out! You just have to see the trailer to really get a good glimpse at this fantastic looking sequel. I can’t wait!

http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-talk/exclusive-cloudy-chance-meatballs-2-trailer-food-eat-220320241.html

Paperman – Disney Animated Short

UPDATE: This animation has been posted officially by Disney :)! Enjoy!

“Paperman” is essentially a cute little love story of a man, his serendipitous encounter with a woman on the train, and the efforts to reunite them together again despite not knowing anything about each other. To be trite, the short is beautifully animated, though only black and white, and combined with the emotionally moving music “Paperman” is easily one of my favorite animated shorts ever.

It’s no wonder that its nominated for a 2013 Oscar. Thank you for yet again restoring my faith in your movies, Disney.

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Figure: Screenshot from Disney’s short animation “Paperman” taken from http://oscar.go.com/nominees/short-film-animated/paperman

I wish I talked about this animated short earlier when I saw “Wreck It Ralph” in theaters last month, but I couldn’t blog about it until I was able to find a somewhat suitable recording of it! Btw, I don’t condone bootlegging movies in anyway, but this is such a great and unhyped piece, and I couldn’t help sharing this YouTube video. Sorry the full recording of this short animated film was taken off of YouTube, but here is a featurette about “Paperman.” Enjoy!

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 😀

Good-byes & the Life Cycle of an Internship

Hey guys, sorry I haven’t posted in a while. As usual school is crazy, work makes me a morning zombie, and there’s other activities squished in between. I actually was able to relax last night because it was my dearest friend’s 21st birthday party. Now I am currently trying to study for my first final next week on Monday, the formidable opponent: DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY. I’m also a little sick and a little weepy so excuse me as I continue on my rant.

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Saying Good-bye

I’d like to write a post on leaving a job. For me, it’s the hardest part of have a job. I have been really lucky (and a very avid searcher) and have had very MANY jobs and activities. I have had a few experiences that were not awful, but not fantastic, however, overall every job I had has never been bad.

I’ve met a lot of wonderful people as coworkers and supervisors, and it’s always so hard for me to say good bye. This is funny because I signed up for 3 coops, so I have to do this at least every 6 months. It’s really torture. I don’t usually easily become close to people I meet, but when I do I get really depressed.

My Standard Protocol for Leaving Etiquette:

  1. Advance notification (with a concrete date) via email or meeting
  2. Formal resignation letter
  3. Thank you card
  4. Small gift (usually homemade or food if I really liked the job)

I think it’s also good to point out that it’s also important to not only say bye to your own team of people you work with daily on tasks, but also the people who make your life easier at work. Like you may not see your admin and IT tech every day, but when you need them, they are probably very quick to respond.

This week I said good-bye to a 3 month observance opportunity at a hospital and to a 9 month internship at a biopharm company. I’ll write a separate post on each to talk about how those went for me, but in a nutshell they were both amazing. When I left each place and had to surrender each of my badges, I got very sad. Surprisingly so did they.  The same thing happened when I left the city water lab. Lots of sad faces, sometimes teary eyes, hugs, and handshakes. I guess I really underestimated not only how much of an impact they have had on me, but also the impact that I have had on them.

Life Cycle of an Internship

The easiest way to explain this weird feeling of being an intern is kind of like the Miyazaki movie “Spirited Away.”

At first, you are kind of scared and feel alone because you are in a new place with unfamilar people.

Then, eventually someone shows you around and you assigned a task or role. You may feel bad you are taking time away from them and their busy schedule, and may even feel intimidated to ask questions or for help.

You do your job, and do it well. Eventually your personality shines through and you’ve become a memorable character. People can’t help but notice you and say hi.

You take on challenging tasks and your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed and people recognize your achievements.

But eventually, the internship ends, and you have to go back to your world of school. And by this point people realize they will start missing you. This is where the sad comes in. You say your farewells and hope it’s not the last time you see everyone, but good-byes are inevitable. You try not to look back because the only way to move forward is to move on. And yet you realize what a big impact is made on both parties.

While being at your internship may have been great like me, you need to keep your eyes open for other opportunities as well. Be grateful for the contacts for future references (and make sure to express you gratitude), but do not limit yourself to the first job you like. You never know what really works for you until you put yourself out there. While my job has ended in two places this week, I am already on my way to interviews for a new internship in the spring and application to volunteer at a Paleo lab at school for next term. It’s important to remember the exciting things the future holds and continues to open up for you with each experience you have.

Up-cycled Jeans & Sewing Scraps

Another flit of sewing inspiration has hit me. I’m a little stressed at work, so sewing always helps me cope. Made this in about 2 days flat.

Some details. The bodice part is made from a pair of my favorite army green Forever21 jeans that got the embarrassingly  yet hallmark worn-holes in the thigh disease. I couldn’t bear throw it out, so I fashioned a sweet heart neckline. I didn’t like how the zipper made the fabric all bunchy, so now I have to squeeze into this thing every time I wear it XD

The skirt part has a slip as the inner most layer, just a rectangle of stretchy about 1.5 times the size of my hips. I sewed on 4 layers of ruffles (size about 4.5 inches) using pieces of yellow fabric I had left over to make long strips. They were spaced out 2.5 inches apart. I used a tutorial as a basisl: http://www.rufflesandstuff.com/2010/04/murpheys-layered-skirt.html

For finishing touches I lined the top of the bodice with more scrap yellow fabric. Then added a hand-sewn yoyo to cover the front of the bodice I couldn’t line because I ran out of long pieces of fabric. There’s a button in the back where the two straps meet.

Overall, pretty happy with the outcome 🙂

Green nails and the green-yellow motif inspired by Green Lantern (the power of will & fear)!

For a comic book movie, I didn’t think it was all too bad. It had it’s token cheesy moments, some pretty cool actions sequences, though the script was God-awful some times. I liked it most because of the digitally rendered parts & epic-ally narrated introduction 🙂