April 30, 2011

Beanery Coffee

What a good Saturday:

- Delicious roast beef sandwich which I devoured: SOO good. I got my sliced wheat toasted, so now the inside of my mouth feels a little bruised. But so worth it.
- Half-finished iced Vietnamese coffee... this place has good coffee. Very good coffee indeed.
- Andrea's hair is a synecdoche of Andrea herself
- Half-written English paper
- Desecrated copy of Sunday Morning: I need to learn how to annotate better because my notes are confusing me haha
- Gorgeous Saturday weather
- The anticipation of even more yummy food (sashimi salad from CU Sushi) in the near dinner future

I can't imagine ever leaving Berkeley. Also, I want to live on College. They should just transplant Wheeler (English department) and Haas onto College. Or North Berkeley. And then my life will be complete.

April 28, 2011

Sounding pretentious when speaking English

I was taking a break online from my Wealth and Poverty paper on education and curriculum (yes this is intense! Crafting a policy for the US... more work than one would think. haha) and came across this:

Image from Love, via Black*Eiffel

It just really reminded of why I love to read. Yesterday while walking home from the reading with professor C and N, N asked, what got you into English, professor? And she said, I have never been out of English.

I remember when I was younger and I was convinced that I was going to be a writer- I was going to publish these amazing books and tell people about all these different worlds that they had never seen, and that I had only seen in some fleeting memory or caught in a smell. I remember having all these book phases- of reading books about horses or of English boarding schools, or of all-American blond and blue eyed girls, but also of serious and studious brunettes with their hair clipped up past their ears. Sometimes I wonder what happened to that girl, who read to enter a new world. Many of the books I now read in my English classes are modern and therefore more metaphysical in that they take themselves seriously and question the very form of fiction/poetry. I think more intellectually and more cerebrally about these books now, and am always looking for the philosophical implications of such and such phrase, or how it ties into other theories of literature/ philosophy that I know.

It's so pretentious!!!!
I think sometimes that's the one bad thing about being an English major- you start thinking about books in terms of papers you write about them, and less about enjoying and savouring the words. I'm analyzing Wallace Stevens' Sunday Morning for an upcoming paper, and I have barely even felt the poem even though I have analyzed almost every single line. I think that is sad, and thinking about giving up English after college makes me sad too.

April 26, 2011


In a display of true consulting nerdiness, I decided to graph a breakdown of my day today. Hour 0 was 8am this morning.

This is how I've felt for the past couple of days... like my day has been stacked with meetings and events to go to that I have felt terribly torn and all over the place. Very disconnected from everyone, very short-tempered, and incredibly stressed. The reason why: 4 papers + 3 finals + 1 marketing writeup + 1 TBG deliverable = 3 weeks of hell.

Then I went to my class' poetry reading today, and it was so invigorating, like my brain had crackled back to life and I was once again actually present in the moment. I read a couple of my poems out loud, which is something that I've never actually done before. I want to go back to writing poetry. I have abandoned it for so long and it used to be such an integral part of me. But seeing my classmates get so excited about talking about poetry and discussing favorite poems, it just made me feel like yes this is why I go to college: so I can geek out with people who actually know that e.e. cummings should not be capitalized~~ But anyway it was a very good experience, and everyone should go for a poetry reading and read out old poems that they wrote 3 years ago, because then you'll realize what a truly crappy poet you are, and how words can contain such a wealth of meaning that just by reading the poem, you can place yourself back in how you felt at that moment of time.

Please pray for me! It's going to be a tough 3 weeks, but it is the thought of summer that drives me on. Also, the satisfaction of crossing out things in your to-do list... can't be beat (:

April 21, 2011

This is beautiful

The Explosion

Philip Larkin

On the day of the explosion

Shadows pointed towards the pithead:
In the sun the slagheap slept.

Down the lane came men in pitboots
Coughing oath-edged talk and pipe-smoke,
Shouldering off the freshened silence.

One chased after rabbits; lost them;

Came back with a nest of lark’s eggs;
Showed them; lodged them in the grasses.

So they passed in beards and moleskins,
Fathers, brothers, nicknames, laughter,
Through the tall gates standing open.

At noon, there came a tremor; cows
Stopped chewing for a second; sun,
Scarfed as in a heat-haze, dimmed.

The dead go on before us, they

Are sitting in God’s house in comfort,
We shall see them face to face -

Plain as lettering in the chapels
It was said, and for a second
Wives saw men of the explosion

Larger than in life they managed -
Gold as on a coin, or walking
Somehow from the sun towards them,

One showing the eggs unbroken.


This poem reminds me of Nicole Krauss' Man Walks into a Room, which is absolutely luminous and transcendent and heartbreaking. After reading the novel- my heart was especially tender, there was a small breath caught in my throat that refused to leave, the world seemed a little quieter and sadder around me; this is what I feel when I read this Larkin poem too. Death is something that scares me, a lot. And it shouldn't. But it does. The openness of it; the uncertainty of it. I can't imagine an unconsciousness, a nothingness, a being nothingness. Bigger than the sky and wider than a breath and just, not there.

One showing the eggs unbroken- the brilliance of a single image. The tangibility of specificity. Aaaack I love Larkin.

April 19, 2011


I've been in a tiny fashion rut lately, and have been buying clothes that are very college-practical (i.e. comfy, t-shirts, boring), which makes me really sad when I look into my closet. I wish I could afford ANYTHING~~ in the world I wanted, but the sad reality is that I can't. I think that's why I'm always so much more impressed with bloggers who remix and thrift, and these real people are truly the people who inspire me, compared to celebrities who, let's face it, can basically buy anything they want to. What TRULY inspires me, though, is fashion that is moveable, wearable art.

These are some things that have been inspiring me lately-

How amazing does Dree Hemingway look in this outfit by Bryan Adams? I ADORE that maxi skirt. I've been looking for a long skirt that is not body conscious or generally hippie, and this is- perfection. Simple, clean, minimalist (but the pleating! Is so gorgeous) but in that intensely fabulous shade of hot pink.
And yes, I DID just spend an entire paragraph gushing about a long skirt...

Image via Caroline Modes
I don't remember where I got this image of Orla Kiely's SS11 collection from but HOW adorable are all of these looks? They remind me of Lauren Moffatt's equally charming collection, but with punchier colour. I really love the nipped-in silhouette, and am trying to purchase clothes that can emulate these age- and work-appropriate looks. Maybe I should start with the red lipstick ;)

Oh Louis Vuitton, you baffle me. How could you produce something like the verni
(I truly, truly feel that any verni bag is THE most impractical bag that you could ever buy. I'd be constantly worrying about scratches and dust and fingerprints. Plus it looks so cheap and tacky! Verni Sunset Boulevard doesn't even look like a legit LV bag)
(And wow, I can't believe I still remember this much LV knowledge from working at LV 2 years ago. I think I might actually be able to even remember some product codes. Ugh.)
and something as amazing and mindblowing as this skirt? So sculptural, scaly, technically challenging, pushing the ideas of what fabric actually is and can be-- I vote that you pull the multicolore and verni bags off the shelf and focus on mass producing skirts like this.

Image from Bryanboy

Now for Shakespeare and bed. Longgg day tomorrow. Why does it seem like my Tuesdays have become my catchall meeting days? I have 4 back-to-back meetings tomorrow! How excessive ):

April 18, 2011

Getting more out there

Today at work I was struck by how much I don't take advantage of being in the Bay Area, and being more aware of the arts events that are happening around me ): SF has such a vibrant arts scene that it seems ridiculous that I shouldn't go out more. In a way this is because I never have the time or inclination to do so- I'm always busy, running around, in class, doing Stuff that I never get the chance to do things that I love, like museums and dressing up to go out for a performance. And I would like to say, this must stop, me not taking advantage of all of this, but I am often tired, and have sufficient self-knowledge to know that I cannot do EVERYTHING and get able to dress up and go out at night. I get burnt out all too easily, and I get super cranky if I don't get enough time to chill on my own.

But AHHH! Life is so tempting- especially since I post on a ton of calendars as part of my internship, and hear of so many cool things through my internship. Some of my favorite calendars are:

I love their photo of the day. Their events calendar took me forever to find, but I love their huge pictures and exuberant reviews. They're just really offbeat and provocative, which is not usually my style (I like- more traditional art. More minimalist art. I sometimes feel like modern art is too avant garde for the sake of being avant garde)

Is less calendar, more lifestyle; but I love their simple layout, them always featuring creative people I really admire (case in point: a paper flower garland tutorial from Acme Party Box)-- everything about the website appeals to me aesthetically.

I subscribe to the physical 7x7 magazine (and the people who work there- so kind and helpful! I had to call them up to get an extra 7x7 shipped to the workplace, and they were so gracious about it), but I actually love their website more because of the right bar! It has a huge list of restaurant openings and upcoming concerts, which is really convenient for lazy people like me.

One of the things I really want to do more of, though, is to make use of my free admission to the Legion of Honor (they have a really great collection of impressionists now) and the Berkeley Art Museum!! I really want to check out the Hans Hofmann exhibition and Skin- which is about the novel that was tattooed word by word on individuals' skin, and I'm really sad that I missed the Eva Hesse one ):

There is just too much that this world has... too much to do and see and feel and be! How can any one individual do everything ):

April 16, 2011

Cal Day: a lie. Berkeley weather is never this good.

I honestly think the UC Regents have some sort of underground pact with the weather gods that be. HOW is it possible that the past week of 12C weather with gloomy, overcast skies suddenly, magically, becomes this AMAZINGLY gorgeous, blazingly blue Californian day? And ONLY on Cal Day. This happened last year too!!!!!

Ugh. How gorgeous does the sky look? This is a lie, prospective students; Berkeley does not always look this good...

I took these pictures in the sun (when I basically couldn't see anything), so it's really funny to see how they all turned out-- and how each picture seems to have some sort of Cal-related thing!
[1] yellow and blue CAL on the windows of Eshleman Hall (my 2nd home)
[2] The Big C (we stargazed there in freshman year when there was a meteor shower! The climb up was... not fun)
[3] The Campanile peeking out on the left
(all pictures from my stationary position on lower Sproul)

Spent the entire day (8.30am-3pm) tabling:

For a whole bunch of organizations, but mostly for CREATE, my favourite (:

So much blue and gold love! Cal Day is so much fun; all the departments really BRING IT and the science departments were out in full force. It was pretty awesome. I kept fielding questions from parents with little kids (they looked like they were in middle school, but they were asking me serious Cal questions), and I honestly thought freshmen were shrinking... until I asked one of them, and he told me he actually WAS in middle school. Phew. And he wants to be an engineer and study engineering at Cal. I told him engineering was hard.
Way to break a kid's heart, Gen. :/

It was just nice to see such a huge turnout and all the great organizations we have tabling.
Days like this... make me so proud and happy to be a Cal student. Go bears!

April 15, 2011

Public Leadership dinner

Today was kind of a crappy day.
It was long (all my days have been long, though I am proud of myself that I haven't skipped class all week. Sometimes I justify it to myself- oh, I'm so tired; oh, I slept 3 hours last night and I deserve to skip English to sleep in- No. It is never excusable to skip class; I've skipped the most class this semester, approximately 3 lessons for every class, and this is unsustainable and I am wasting tuition. And so this must stop and this has stopped, starting this week.)

A little background: I take a class called Strategic Philanthropy (UGBA 192N for any Cal students interested). We got a $10,000 grant from the Sunshine Lady Foundation (Warren Buffett's sister, Doris Buffett, runs this foundation, and she's the sweetest lady that you will ever meet. She said that my group was brilliant and she would hire us !!!!), and an extra $2,000 from an alumni donor, and today we voted to award the grants to the organizations.
And my nonprofit didn't win... and was also the first poverty nonprofit to get cut. Which was... crushing. I didn't expect to get so into this class or to be so committed to my nonprofit, but I honestly felt like they truly deserved the $6,000 and would have done seriously amazing things with it. And it wasn't only that- I just felt that we let them down; that we didn't do the very best job we could have in representing them and in making our classmates feel like we could truly make an impact in their work. It's just really hard to go back to them and tell them that all their time and effort netted them nothing. And I think that's why I can never go into grantmaking- I find it too hard to say no.

But then
I got a sunflower at Bonner
&I attended the CNPL Public Service dinner!

It was really fun because the food was... amazing (it was seared raw tuna. It sounds gross and looked dubious but eating was !!!!! Heaven in raw fish. And I HATE tuna sashimi usually, so this was really that good) Dessert was yum. AND we got blue and gold Haas chocolate bars. (This is making me kinda regret missing Haas orientation now!!)
But most of all I got to hang out with my 192N class, talk to Hannah, hang out with Elaine, meet cool new people, get somewhat inspired by all the amazing things that people are doing to make this world a better place.

So it turned out to be a great day afterall (: I like it when that happens, like a coin flips and suddenly everything is brighter, everyone is happier, life is better~ all good. Long weekend ahead (I am SO. SAD. that I can't participate in Holi on Sunday )):) but it's all good, because the sun is shining, the tank is clean


(Guess the movie this comes from!) Okay goodnight everyone!

April 10, 2011

Is it bad if you eat only mashed potatoes for lunch?

I'm actually embarrassed at how easy it was to make mashed potatoes. WHY did I take to long to try my hand at making them?? I like mine really creamy and garlicky, and was intending to eat this with my baked salmon for dinner later today, but O.M.G. they are tooooo good to wait.

Say hi to my makeupless, PJ Sunday face! And to the BEST mashed potatoes I have ever eaten aaahhh.

2 potatoes
Heavy cream (I estimated an amount, I think I put in 2 or 3 tablespoons?)
Garlic powder with parsley

What I did
1. Peeled and cubed potatoes. I like having some skin in my mashed potatoes, so I left some on.
2. Put naked little potato squares into boiling water with 3 cloves of garlic (in my defense... I really do like garlic a lot. And I put in a ton of cream.)
3. Warm cream in neighbouring pot
4. Take potatoes (and garlic) out when soft, mash all together in bowl with warm cream, butter (at room temperature; I chucked in the microwave for 15 seconds)
5. Season with pepper and garlic powder

I feel like I should begin a series of posts: easy and delicious food to cook as a college student who would rather spend time on Facebook than in the kitchen. Already started on this with my crouton post. Might need to add to this with how I make salmon (which is basically hunk of salmon goodness + teriyaki sauce + olive oil + oven = DELICIOUSNESS in under 30 minutes)

Okay, back to... thinking about doing homework. Hmm.

Beautiful Berkeley

Taking a little blog break in between doing research for TBG... why oh why is market research composed primarily of statistics? ): I've been trying to read and understand all these tables with regression statistics and T-tests and I am COMPLETELY lost.

So I decided to post some gorgeous pictures instead!

I can't believe how pretty these pictures turned out- I took some of these on my Blackberry; and some of these were taken when I was walking up Dwight today past People's Park. This is one of the times when I'm actually happy I live near People's Park (and not terrified of being mugged or interrupting a drug deal). I guess it just goes to show how beauty is in EVERY facet of the world, and we just need to be a little more open to it. One of my resolutions this year has really been to focus more on the good things in life instead of always whining about the bad (I tried to give up complaining for Lent... but it was too hard. haha), and to really live in the moment; to really appreciate how truly privileged I am to be here and to be at peace/ continually joyful even though I might get stressed and tired.

This morning, I saw the homeless guy who usually sits outside Subway again (he's my favourite Berkeley hobo), and he was just so joyful and encouraging- everyone who passed by got a "Good morning! How are you today!" even though most people ignored him or were rude to him. It's just so amazing how some people can have so little yet be filled with so much contentment and inside happiness.

April 9, 2011

The past week(s)

Have been a mad rush of cases + school + work.

I love working with these people!! We get even more retarded at 5am than we normally are, and they always make work really fun and not-boring. Plus we bring very different experiences and skillsets to the table, so it's always really nice when you're working in a team (of best friends) who you truly truly love and can spend 45+ hours with on the same problem.

My AMAZING D-eloitte human capital case team. I ADORE them. It feels like we've known each other for forever even though I've only met 3 of them 2 weeks ago. 4 of the most detail-oriented, brilliant, and funny people in Berkeley (:

It's been exhilarating, but also really busy and I feel like I've put some things on the backburner (e.g. talking to my family, hanging out with my friends, going to school...), and now I'm spending the weekend trying to catch up with everyone and get my life back in order! I just skyped with my family for the first time in 2 weeks, and had brunch this morning with Juju and Dawn at Angeline's- I have an obsession with this place, which is bad because it's not the cheapest food place around. But their Voodoo shrimp is TOO good!!

CREATE had a panel discussion 2 Saturdays ago, which was so inspiring and amazing. CREATE's really all about arts and social justice, and so the visual arts team came up with this great idea to fold paper cranes together after the discussion. For each paper crane you send in, Students Rebuild will donate $2 to Japanese relief efforts. I think it's a really great way to contribute not only because of the money, but because they're compiling all the paper cranes into an art installation... and how amazing will that look! All the thought and compassion that a little paper crane conveys.
Learn more about the project here.

Spring is truly in the air here in Berkeley. I am loving the weather and the flowers... I remember being so depressed and stressed and sad the whole of Spring semester in freshman year, and remembered nothing of the gorgeous weather (there was none- it rained nearly everyday) or the AMAZING flowers that have been springing up in the area. This year I'm making more of an effort to stop and look and remember, and there is just so much beauty in this world! I am continually amazed (:

April 6, 2011

Hanging out at Dwinelle alone

Lines and Squares
A.A. Milne

Whenever I walk in a London street,
I'm ever so careful to watch my feet;
And I keep in the squares,
And the masses of bears,
Who wait at the corners all ready to eat
The sillies who tread on the lines of the street
Go back to their lairs,
And I say to them, "Bears,
Just look how I'm walking in all the squares!"

And the little bears growl to each other, "He's mine,
As soon as he's silly and steps on a line."
And some of the bigger bears try to pretend
That they came round the corner to look for a friend;
And they try to pretend that nobody cares
Whether you walk on the lines or squares.
But only the sillies believe their talk;
It's ever so 'portant how you walk.
And it's ever so jolly to call out, "Bears,
Just watch me walking in all the squares!"

I love this. I remember doing this with my brother at the old Marina Square before it became all new and high-tech and scary. Does anyone remember the old Marina Square steps that used to light up in different colours? Favourite place to play this game. I still do it now!

Cal students: GO VOTE! http://elections.asuc.org
Hangin' out at the pollin' station in Dwinelle... there needs to be more people voting here.

Too. Much. Work.

This is one of those weeks where I feel like a mad person trying to keep up with life. This is undoubtedly self-inflicted due to BAD CHOICES to do 2 case competitions within the week without PROPERLY UNDERSTANDING what pulling 3 all-nighters in a row will do to the rest of my school life i.e. I have a scene analysis due yesterday that I'm now attempting to complete (11.53am) before running off to work (1-6pm)

Tiny break to reassure everyone that I'm not dead, just ridiculously busy. Regular posting will return next week!

Berkeley is SO pretty in the spring!! Us outside Moffitt (the undergraduate library) last Saturday after working for 6h straight on the case (6h out of many, many, many. WHY do we do this to ourselves?!)

Can't wait for the weekend. So. exhausted.

April 1, 2011

Reason #3829473 why I love Google

They've also uploaded a helpful guide:
But the Google docs images are the best:

Happy April Fool's everyone! Will you be pulling any pranks this year? (: