Sometimes it’s just not meant to be

I have a bone to pick with you, J. Cole.

Two years ago, you did a college tour-type thing and performed at two venues relatively close to me. To one concert I was available to go and had friends to go with, but then alas the plan fell through. Then, inexplicably, one of those friends ended up going anyway (though not entirely her fault, sometimes still like to tease her about betrayal). Whatevs, I thought back then.

Last year, you did the Dollar and a Dream tour and came back to Chicago in June. My friend and her brother were able to secure spots in line at your secret venue, House of Blues, but because I was not physically with them at the time (having been stuck in Lincoln Park) I was unable to secure own wristband for entry. It was a traumatic day for me, to say the least (although entirety of trauma not your fault, was just mere cherry on top).

This year, I was determined to see you in concert more than ever. You were slated to come to Chicago on this day, July 21, and I even took the day off from work. But alas, the friend with whom I was to go to your Dollar and a Dream II concert with became quite ill and when spoke to her on phone this morning, she sounded rough. So again, I had to resign to the fact that I would yet again miss one of your performances.

Why, Jermaine, is fate torturing me in this manner? Am I never meant to see you perform in person, like, ever?

Bonjour, nouvelle année

It’s week 4 of 2014 and I came to the realization recently that this is the first year in a while that I do not already have vacation plans set. Last year when 2013 started I had a flight to London firmly booked and plans in motion for the Eurotrip I did last fall. In 2012, my girl friends and I were set to go to Costa Rica. In 2011, well, I was just fresh off studying abroad so I didn’t necessarily have plans per se going into the year, but I ended up going to the Philippines for half a month in the summer so that was something. But nope, this year I have nothing. (Mind you, a long time ago I set the goal of going to Brazil for the World Cup this summer. Alas, I fear I do not have the funds nor the traveling companions to do so, so I’ve unfortunately let the plan go.) Strangely enough, I feel completely fine about it. It’s kind of a relief to go into a year with nothing major planned. No trips, no weddings to stand up in, nothing. I feel I’m free to spend my money now however which way I want to (which I guess means thinking of more spontaneous trips to go on! LOL). Or, rather, I can now take the time to rein my spending in and really figure out what to do with my big-girl money, because it’s been three years since graduating college and I should probably slow down on the “I’m young wild and free” mentality. Right?

So what have I been doing with my time? For one thing, I’ve been slowly putting up grown up decor around my room to make it seem less like a 12-year-old’s (my boyfriend had been making fun of me for having a poster of the Seven Dwarfs from the Disney movie hanging on my wall). I’ve now got a couple of souvenir prints of Barcelona and Paris up, and a calendar from Paris also hanging. Funny how much in love with Paris I am now, and how much I don’t really admit it to people. Everyone knows me as the Anglophile and that London is sometimes my favorite city in the whole world (it alternates with Chicago, of course). And everyone knows that Anglophiles are not into the romantic French thing like most girls are. For most of my life London was my ideal city, not Paris. I did not like French food, pop culture, the language, the history. And then I went there and secretly fell madly, deeply in love. It just truly is a magical city! I loved London and all last year, it was exactly what I thought it would be, but man oh man Paris just felt more alive when I was there. I blame this wholeheartedly on the fact that the Seine > the Thames. That has to be it.

I’ve also been catching up on my reading. Finally started on Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and I’m loving it so far. It’s really the first book I’ve read that truly intersects the multiple facets of race and immigration. It’s not just about black people and white people. There’s black Americans and blacks from the Caribbean and the “authentic” Africans. And it’s not just about immigrants in America. I love how it offers a comparison of immigrating to America versus to the U.K. All that good stuff.

Man, I should probably stop gushing and just finish reading the book.

Hello again

It feels like years since I’ve last blogged. But it hasn’t, it’s only been about 4 months.

What has happened since then, you ask?

  • I moved to a new house. Or rather, my parents moved to a new house and I followed. It’s in the same town, so nothing too drastic. Except now instead of the awesome dark teal room I’d enjoyed the past 6 years, I got stuck with a very vibrant pink room. Safe to say it does not match my tomboy personality. But I’ve grown accustomed to it (and as you can see from my newest theme, the pink has gradually made its way onto this blog).
  • I went to the Kentucky Derby for the very first time. Didn’t bet a dime, got all my clothes soaking wet in the monsoon rain, and happily watched as everyone around me in the infamous infield got supremely wasted and passed out in the mud. I also got pretty inebriated myself, but thankfully I did not pass out in the mud. Fun times.
  • We also went to the Mammoth Cave National Park the day after the Derby. And ziplined!
  • I quit my part-time retail gig. It was a pretty momentous occasion. Now I’m working only 40 hours a week at an office job like a normal person. The free time has graciously allowed me to return to this blog.
  • I got rejected for a promotion at my full-time job. But then at my performance review shortly after, I got a raise. So in the end everything was alright.
  • I introduced my boyfriend to the parents. While it sounds momentous in name, in actuality it really wasn’t. My dad briefly chatted with him outside while he (my dad) was grilling, but we all went our separate ways as the boy and I went to the 4th of July festival and my parents headed to the casino (where else would middle-aged Asian parents go on such a holiday?).
  • I SAW JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE AND JAY Z (WHO KNEW HE DIDN’T HAVE A HYPHEN ANYMORE?) IN CONCERT AT SOLDIER FIELD. IT WAS EPIC. (I’ll have to blog more about it in detail later.)

And that is what’s been happening in a nutshell. There is actually way more I should add to the list, but alas it is near my bedtime so I gotta wrap it up. I’ll conclude by gleefully noting that I am heading to New York City on Thursday for a weekend reunion with college friends. IT’S GOING TO BE FUN.

London calling

Wow. No idea how it is I let more than a month slip by like that. Makes me feel like November was quite exciting when in fact, it was…well, maybe it was.

Thinking about it, I was stressed out a lot in October. So I drank a lot to counter it. Not a good thing, I know, but it was always with friends at least, and during social situations. Although the time I threw up in my kitchen after a girls’ night in my basement did make me really reconsider my consumption habits. But any rate, after Halloween I was determined to A.) Stop drinking so much, and B.) Stop wasting gas and money driving to the city all the time. And it worked…for about 3.5 weeks. During that time I finally read This Is How You Lose Her and re-watched all my favorite Colin Firth movies (mainly Bridget Jones and The King’s Speech—oh, and Girl With A Pearl Earring!). I also started on NW by Zadie Smith and did some housecleaning.

Perhaps the biggest news I have to share from November is that I’m finally, actually, really going to London! (Yes, that sentence warranted some serious bolding and italicizing.) The decision was, mainly, spontaneous. I was surfing travel websites as usual and came across some decent $824 round-trip fares in March. Thought, why the heck not? So I booked. Four nights in the city I have dreamt about going to (with a passion) since high school. At the moment I’m going completely alone, since I cannot seem to find friends who have the money and desire to go with me. They either don’t have the money and want to go, or do have the money but don’t want to go. What a dilemma. But I don’t mind going alone. I’m seeing this trip as a complete and total solo adventure.

I also haven’t told my parents about this trip yet. Pretty sure my father would have a heart attack if I told him I was going to a foreign city all by myself for a few days—for fun. It was different when I flew into Manchester for work. This time…I have no plan. Hence, I kind of do want to find a traveling companion. If only to alleviate the pain of the lectures I’m sure to get once I share the news with my parents.

Only…four more months! Aahhhhhhh.

Determined to make November better

Seriously.

Who would’ve thunk that four days after my friend and I separately bought a Darth Vader mask and Mickey Mouse hat and decided to put them together for the heck of it, Disney would announce they now basically own the Star Wars franchise after having bought out Lucasfilm from good ol’ George? I kid you not, we were just playing around with our new toys last weekend with absolutely no clue that this little merger was about to happen. And to tell you the truth, I have no idea how I feel about it. I personally don’t want any more Star Wars movies. I mean, I sort of do. But at the same time I feel like we need to leave things be.

Today is (now) November 3. Saturday. In the past week I’ve:

  • Returned to my alma mater for a homecoming reunion and usual merriment with friends;
  • Celebrated Halloween in Chicago as Padme Amidala, but been furious when everyone at the bar called me Princess Leia;
  • Made a decision to do “No Drink December”—a play on the “No Shave November,” I’m going cease alcohol consumption for the entire month until New Year’s Eve (why not just start now? Well, I figure there’s less opportunities for me to get tempted in December…at least that’s the thought);
  • Formulated a more concrete five-year life plan, one in which I finally, really, truly move out to another country;
  • Re-watched both Bridget Jones movies and The King’s Speech, and determined that the real reason I’m still single is because Colin Firth has set the bar insanely high;
  • Finished re-reading Bookends by Jane Green and Animal Husbandry by (don’t remember her name now); and
  • Bought the new novel by Zadie Smith, NW, and been debating on whether to read that first or This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz.

Good night world.