Sunday, December 19, 2010


Warning: fragmented thoughts.

The almost vertical street met up with me, greeting my knees harshly. I threaded the ground slowly hoping it would meet me gently next time. I was hoping it would give my heart more time to respond properly to its harsh climb.

It felt like a light snowstorm, except it wasn’t snow; it was rain, down El Camino Real Ave. If you stared at incoming headlights or a light post, you could see the queer resemblance between the water droplets and millions of tiny snowflakes. I could walk days on end in that weather.

The tiny droplets tinged my skin red. They relieved my tension filled skin, parched from the sweet face of the sun. Greenery peppered the curvy hillsides of B.S.M., a small town where the only exciting news are the $1,300 ambulance rides to the emergency room, or last week’s high profile purse thief. It’s a small town for big town people. The only intruders - a friend told me - are small deer walking about the city, hoping the strangers would one day leave their home in peace.

The stench of the bus emanated from the soul of the bus: the heater. I almost spilled my morning breakfast before we passed the mustard-green hills of San Fernando Valley, but I made it home.

I will miss the green and the gray. I hope to see the rolling concrete hills again, just as much as its verdant friends.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Scooters. Trees.

Swish. Swish. Swish. I tackled the ride down the line, then I made a loop to go back. Back and forth, every night I would do this seemingly repetitive and meaningless act. Despite the perception, this was my way of meditating, my way of thinking.

I used to ride my scooter when I had many thoughts on my mind. I used to ride the scooter when I was depressed, downtrodden, angry, pensive. My neighbors probably thought me an eccentric girl. The girl who would ride the scooter back and forth on a rectangular piece of cement I call my yard. So then I decided to ride at night. Riding around around my neighborhood was unacceptable to my ama.

Sometimes, I would grab a chair, pulling it as close to my tree as possible, and I would lean back in my chair, look up at the sky, and thank God for giving me a yard. I would thank God for giving me a tree. I thanked God for giving me a strong mom. I thanked God for Tweety - my bird. I thanked God for giving me lemons. I thanked God that despite all the trouble brewing inside my head I had relatively peace in me too.

I was sixteen.

It's a bit troubling for me to talk about religion - even just talking about it a little bit. I am not a practicing Christian or Catholic, but I was. I know that ultimately I do believe in God. I have seen that I simply cannot be true to myself if I were to become an atheist and deny God. To me it seems that He is the only person that holds me accountable for all my failures and successes - no one else quite cares the same way. When my mother was lost in her own world, and so was the rest of my family, I had to fend for myself. But I wanted to feel like someone cared for me too. So then, there was God. I don't know how to explain, or if I can, but I know he was there for me, when not even my mom, brother, family, or friends were there, which happened various times growing up.

However, I do not believe that things happen because God made them so, no. I know I have control of what happens to me in life.

I am the driver of my car.


So the night sinks to darkness, and I want to wake up. But today my eyes are heavy with sleep, and I have to wake early to meet the sunrise face, hoping it was night greeting me to the start of day.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Welcome to the All-American City!

Placentia, tucked right under the chin of the 57 freeway, carries one of the best ice parlors I know of around town - and yes, I don't really know of many.

I paced myself to the parlor's entrance, taking in everything the so-called All American city could offer. In the distance I could only see a sign for Carne Asada on sale for 2.99, and the freeway jammed with cars all along its line - it was getting dark.

Inside, the fan whirled to a constant beat, and the dim place reminded me of Long Beachesque places. The two guys seemed to be around my age, blasting the music of All-American Rejects and classic rock. Their eyes were a bit familiar, I could tell that they probably did not venture too much out of town.

I handed him a a dollar with thirty five cents and bought myself a massive ice-cream with cone about the length of my arm. The seats were a bit worn of faded blue. The workers there were really nice, and they even turned on the lights for me as I plopped on a seat, taking out Sartre to read - the reading bogged my mind for a bit, since I was helping a student of mine understand it, I had to understand it first.

As i licked the last drops of delicious ice cream from the cone, I stood up to go. I smiled a quick thanks to him and hurried to my car, I had spent more time inside than I had intended. Yet, the only thing waiting for me was more traffic. Some of the ice cream around, reading and relaxing a bit before the drive, helped me prepare to face the monster ahead of me: traffic.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Long Beach

I visited memory lane this past week. Just as I passed the local supermarket of my third grade year in Garfield Elementary, I instantly recognized my old neighborhood. The store was still there, even the fish market, which is exactly a minute away from my parent's old apartment. Working in the local fish market, he would always bring those chips home. Always.

It took me a long time to finally dissociate those chips from my past. Haha. But I can't give those chips up. They are just chips after all.

So yea. I loooooooooovvvvvee Prawn Chips. Here's a pic:

I should have bought more :/

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"This is Your Burn Notice"

Walking down the battered streets of Pomona, I felt safe, I felt brave. I only walked down to blocks, well, more like one block, to witness an interview of a person I had missed the chance to see once before. The speech was wonderful, and like he said, so often writers over analyze the writing process - erase, re-erase what they have written - that the writing results in a mediocre piece.The writing becomes trite and far from heartfelt. So, having waited a long time to write about that day, I leave it at this: as it was said "this is your burn notice."

Thursday, September 30, 2010

State Street Zephyr

The rain brushed its arms agains my temples when I stuck my head out my window. Mr. wind embraced me in its arms on my solitary drive down the State Street line. Trains ch-ch-chug-chugging down the line. I wish I could close my eyes down the drive.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I can't stop listening to the XX . Just close your eyes and listen...

Sometimes music is all I need to make my mood better.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"It would be a pecadillo not to eat your mom's picadillo" A.L.

So I was walking with part of my lovely cohort earlier today, and between the talks and giggles we came across this lovely leaf. I felt like the they were tears, in a way. It was a solitary brown leaf, with water wedged in between the leaf's veins. No other leaf of that kind was in sight.

I really shouldn't be writing right now, so the picture will have to suffice.


I <3 my peccadillo cohort!!!!! :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

La noche es mi dia

Lately I have been putting writing off, maybe to hide things I shouldn't write on this blog. Then, laughter sets in with great company, and I forget to write of my day's musings.

Laughter. It's the cure for the lowly, for the sick, and for the disheartened.

The other day, I decided to finally (!) start running in my schools track. Although, it perhaps wasn't the best of decisions to run the pitch of night, I liked to see the twinkle of car and bus lights from afar. I wondered what all those people on the bus were going to at such a late hour. Work, home, a shelter? I felt free and happy under the earth's cooler ceiling. I wanted to feel the night's summer blanket envelop me as I ran down the rubber track.

It was a good day.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

History Please

Okay, so I am sitting here in my room, with my laptop in front of me, my media player on shuffle, Sammy by my side, and a cool breeze coming through the windows. JSTOR is on my screen and I love reading this stuff. It brings me back to HST 100 when we had to read an article from JSTOR - cool stuff.

I want to read more history, although I really like fiction. My writing also needs to improve. So this summer, part of my to do list includes writing and reading more. Ah, and running. I really want to take hikes around the area, even if I have to go alone, I am going to make this happen during summer. Sometimes I gather my thoughts better when I am alone, there is a certain serenity when one has solitary adventures. Try it, sometime. I've tried those many times, but company is of course merrier.

So if anyone has books they highly recommend for history majors, suggestions are super appreciated =D

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Of daisies my heart sings

One can be negative only so much, so of daisies my heart sings to make everything better. It's funny, my mom's daisy pot was full of blooming daisies in the winter, but they're shriveling and dying with the hot sun. They brightened my day on any wintry, gloomy January day.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Rusty, cream-colored clotheslines were intermittently built around the apartment community. Deer Creek, with its rolling fields of green, beaconed my brother and I to play . All of it was ours - well in our minds. When no one would come out to play, we would hang around the rusty clotheslines. Two cross poles were connected with metal wires. Shirts and jeans of blue, with spots of a brownish hue, hung on those rustic lines.

On Winter days, we would wake up to the blinding sea of snow right outside our window.

Squint a little, they would say, or else you can go blind.

The clothesline poles were too cold to hang from, so we left them alone.

Friendships were formed around those clotheslines. Someday I will find my friend, even with the revolutionary internet, I can't seem to find her. So wires serve as a remembrance of a friendship that ended hastily, without a goodbye.

I watched a documentary in class about South Central LA and I couldn't help but time travel back to those clotheslines and Deer Creek. Even though, it was a tumultuous time, I would greatly like to hang around them once more.

Monday, May 31, 2010

"All Quiet Along the Western Front"

Ce ne sont pas les ennemis, mais les amis qui condamnent l'homme a la solitude

- Milan Kundera

Lately I keep pondering what would have happened if I would have been an English and French major. I miss my French class and Mr. Tritt. The French films were the best, especially the black and white ones. His class was always philosophical, and I still have all of my work, notes, tests, worksheets from his classes - I took three with him. He was always so contemplative. So, thanks to Maria, I still have some wonderful quotes. I came across the quote above, it's quite true, especially now. Perhaps, it's not so grave as I feel it might be, I just have to look past the experience. It's in the times of solitude that life tests our strength, right?

Grenades, no man's land, machine guns, bombs, have all been going off in my head. A constant war zone, with full blown war tactics, is currently taking place. The green and paint appear everyday. Platoons begin their battle at night, unfortunately.

It's not like the war is a new concept, but lately it has felt like World War II. I just need a cease-fire to occur until finals are over. I cannot quite function, all i feel like doing is sleeping. With a billion things to finish before finals, sleeping is not an option. I had more than enough sleep this past weekend :/

I need to learn military strategy to win this war. The only books I have read regarding war are All Quite Along the Western Front (hence, the title of today's post), and Johnny Got his Gun (a great depressing book). I think I will revisit those books in summer.

I can do this.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Le Petit Prince.

I don't want to Wince the Night Away anymore.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Up Close and Personal: Ribs and Strangers

When my aunt was ready to move, i contemplated how life would be without her. I felt that if enticed her to stay in California with heavenly food, she might just stay. Scrumptious pizza, ice cream, baked goods, Italian food, Thai, nor Mexican food could compete with the dream house in another state, unfortunately. Ah, food doesn't exactly solve any problems. To my dismay months came and went, and my aunt finalized her move. She left two days after Valentine's Day.

Even after she left, I kept the food trips going. Although, they weren't as fun, as I no longer bought for two, but for one. My food adventures ceased to excite me as they did with my aunt.

I now limit my food adventures, but once in a while I still go, in memory of our food trips. Instead I have found other great accomplices to rummage the city for great food finds. But no one can take my aunt's place, she was my best friend.

Today, I decided that Joey's BBQ ribs would be a nice way to start my homework. I have heard about their delicious ribs that make your heart run - or rather stop if you consume too many. I ordered their special, a bit of everything, to go. My brother would come home later, and he sure runs an appetite (the ribs are a piece of heaven, I assure you). So I sat, and recalled a time, when I didn't need comfort food, my aunt was always my stability, my sanity, she was my best friend.

Waiting for my food, I scanned the rather large restaurant. Three parties were scattered in the rather large place. A couple, I assumed, and two different groups of friends were sitting across from me. Almost simultaneously, I heard a voice behind me order food and palpable rapid whispers from the different groups in the room. Intense eyes quickly darted behind me. Some heads completed a 180 degree turn. I diverted my attention to whoever was behind me. What could be so awesome to elicit such reaction?

A woman - although the voice had a rather masculine tone - was behind me.

She stood behind me, utterly covered in black. Nothing could be seen, but one could hear a voice, as her words came out...

can I have the...


Was I really beginning to feel uncomfortable, as the rest in the restaurant were feeling? To be fair, one of the couples seemed to be unaware of the new restaurant patron.

I should KNOW better, and so I shifted my eyes back to the rest of the people. Observing their critical gaze. The rest of the people shifted in their seats and murmured inaudible words. Whole bodies turned around to get a better view. A nudge from one person to another precipitated a turn, like a deck of cards falling.

Al this within seconds.

Our history is full of racism, and prejudice. People that dressed, looked, and talked differently from 'us' were immediately ostracized, shunned, criticized, and vilified. I can only imagine how groups, such as the Chinese, under the Chinese Exclusion Act, and others must have felt to be seen as a 'spectacle.' I am glad to live in the 21st century, but nevertheless, we encounter racism and prejudice all the same. The woman or man - although I would think the person a woman - surely must have felt the whispers and eyes boring at her back. The eerie looks and secretive whispers could make anyone feel like an outsider. Leaving the restaurant, I realized that sometimes little things have not changed. It's just hidden underneath a facade.

Up close and personal, with ribs, strangers and unexpected events, I was allowed to witness how far we have come today.

Instead of feeling sad, as I am, there must be something I could contribute for the betterment of society's racial relations. Right?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Black specks of dust settle into my shoe. I look around, pure silence. Sheer tranquility. My brother's sleep is comforting, his breathing keeps me company. Once in a while I dream fantastical dreams. Worlds of the impossible surround me. The sky comes into my room. The sky is my ceiling. I dream of gently sloping hills. I hear the willow trees gently rapping at my door.

Mexico is only next door. With butterflies that take on a Jurassic Park role. Spiny backs with yellow and gold. Hair stretching from their backs to their toes. Wings that seem of leather made. Mexico made. I can see the corn heads grow. The tinge of color taking hold.

Oh, Mexico! Waking up to the same everyday, but never quite the same.

From below you can see translucent balloons abruptly ending their fiery flight, amid the canopy line. Children take to the hills to claim a mesh of paper and wire: ah! a trophy at hand. At night you can hear the river rolling, pushing, humming like an old woman, trying to reach an end.

The smell of ocote penetrates the air. You can almost touch the smell.
Thick slabs of masa are slapped in to the metate. Sopes, the size of my head, are prepared for breakfast. Dog breakfast that is.

The fresh, pipping hot tortillas come next. A brown hand, with depressions running deep into her veins, plucks the last pumpkin flowers of summer. Different hues of yellow ooze from the tortilla. The cheese is so rich, it refuses to be white. The flower nestles in the smooth bed of cheese, both wrapped tight under warm corn tortilla sheets.


My mom comes home. The scene flees for the cover of night, leaving me alone.

Ah. I can't quite due justice to Sitala here in this blog. I'll revisit the place again, and maybe I'll be able to write a better description of how it made me feel. Nature was so powerful in Sitala - a very rural part of Mexico.


On another note: Thanks! For letting me know. You know who you are - I hope. :)

Monday, April 12, 2010


Groggily I slip into into my icy cold shirt and steely shoes. My sweater's zipper comes zooming up with electric speed. I glance over the clock. Ten minutes late. 7am Traffic. Ugh. I settle into my front seat and the engine spurts to life. Another day of driving. Sigh.

I remember a time when music didn't mean too much to me. I could function without the melodies coming out of the stereo. The songs from my childhood were heartbreaking, glum, and bitter. I hated music.

Sitting in the car, my face was always towards the window, my mom would turn the volume dial to the highest possible auditory level. The music would dig relentlessly like a drill, deeper each time, to the center of my soul. The windows would shake and sigh as a sound waves would hit their shiny surface. The glass looked back with a glum reflection. The vibrations moved through my body and the glass without fail. I would shudder as the music lyrics seeped through the speakers. Only my eyes could escape the music.

On a bright early morning, as I drive past endless morning cars, my radio lies crooked. After an attempt to take the radio out, some strangers decidedly either failed to completely take out the box or they found the box of no use. My car is devoid of musical sound now. Many years later, music no longer makes my windows shudder. So not having a stereo makes me restless. It has been about a month now and the box face stays empty. My mind is full of thoughts now and imagination. My drives no longer consist of singing my favorite songs in the privacy of my own car, rather they give my mind time to think and imagine.

I drive past huge concrete legs that cross over my car. Suddenly, they grow hair and I race against then before they get me. Rows of palm trees line the sides of the highway, like soldiers standing incredibly erect, only swaying with the strongest of winds. Never breaking, only bending. Row after row, they all have the same expression. I drive alone along the highway, a termite among the hundreds. The face expression the same of every passing vehicle. Eyes ahead. Hands on wheel. Tuned out of what calamity lies ahead.

Then I arrive at my destination. I open my door, and I become myself again. Birds chirp and the sun's rays seep into my skin. The sun welcomes me once more to life. The traffic is gone. Now the stampede of students heads my way. Another day of school :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ernesto Con y "En Hora de la Tarde"

After visiting the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, I came across a really - extremely - neat book. A book of poems. Ernesto Con, a Costa Rican Chinese, wrote some poems I was extremely happy to read. His verse is full of melancholy and nostalgia. Of course, he has poems full of joy too. I want to keep his book, but unfortunately I'll have to give it back. Among the many, "En Hora de la Tarde," is my favorite. It clearly reflects my current sentiments. Ahhhh, poets - and one who writes in Spanish too!?!?! That's rare. I love words. Especially Spanish ones. So a Spanish speaking/writing poet is an awesome combination. But, I can still dream right?

Sometimes I feel like I am missing out on my own culture. I rarely speak Spanish now - or rather I don't know many fluent Spanish speakers. The friends I do know, usually prefer English over Spanish. Admittedly, sometimes I choose to speak English instead. It's a habit. I rarely see my ama, who is the main person I speak my native tongue with at home. So, my goal is to listen to lots of Spanish songs. They are the best after all :] But most importantly, I must read.

I'll go back in my mom's cassette collection and break open my childhood memories. The dust might be caked on several of these memories. Some not so pleasant, but that's what I remember. It was a completely different life. My Spanish life. It's almost another vida, not my own.


"En horas de la tarde
Cuando empiezo a escribir,
me llega de las calles
una ansia de vivir.

Otras veces yo siento
una afán de llorar,
son lamentos que el viento
recoge en mi pesar.

Yo no se lo que busco
en este eterno andar;
vagando por el mundo
en pos de mi avatar

Mi espiritó gitano
me arrastra sin piedad
a través de pantanos;
de esta gris soledad"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Beginnings

Spring is nearing, and the past two quarters have been the best and worst. I need to focus. Maybe I'll take some early morning runs with my Sammy.

He LOVES to run.

Here's for a new beginning.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Rayando el Sol

I’d forgotten how the sun’s shimmering silhouette can bring me joy. It casts a scintillating shadow over my day. If only the walls of the library had little crevices so the warmth could come in, I would stay in the library indefinitely. Well, maybe just a little bit longer. Too many times, I can be a downer when I am at home, so earlier when I sat on a sunny chair at school, I didn’t want to leave. I felt like jumping, running for joy. Basking in the sun was a perfect. I felt happy. My life is what I make it, I often forget, so I should stop thinking of what could have been, but focus on what can be and what I do have. Ergh sorry didn’t meant to make this cliché/sappy but you know what I mean, right? I’ve wasted so much time regretting what I didn’t do, it makes me a little sad. Today, the sun reminded me of how beautiful life is, if we only take the time to view the beauty around us and the people that surround us.

Of course, sitting in the sun while Death Cab plays in the background is just that much better. Listening to their lyrics makes me reminisce of previous years, how I faced the struggles of life with a stern face and steady grip. Their lyrics can be somber at times, but they have an inexplicable ability brighten my day. It is a weird paradox; Death Cab does not talk about death, really, at all. Instead, they reveal to me life’s beautiful struggles. It’s like lying in the middle of a meadow cloud gazing, and noticing that the clouds race against one another. I didn’t notice that ever happened (that the clouds moved so fast). I never took the time to pause and enjoy them, until I went to study abroad. Weird. I know.

So before you go into a frenzy, take some time to lie in meadow, bask in the sun, and notice the clouds. It truly is beautiful.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Epic Fail

Why am I my biggest enemy sometimes?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bus Stops


I'm sitting here and in times of loneliness, I think I would go to bus stops. In my high school years I would ride the bus from Ontario to Montclair, to Upland, and even to Pomona. When I was feeling down, I always managed to find interesting people, who just like me, were trying to get to their next destination. The difference: they had a much more optimistic outlook on life. I always remember particular people, like the homeless man from Arizona - who was half Indian - a grandmother from my hometown, and a girl from Pomona. They're (correction. I meant 'their.'This is what happens when I write at midnight or later) names are a blur, but their faces and their words stay with me.

Sometimes, strangers can encourage me more than they will ever know. It's weird how at times they can see through you as one is simply walking along the street or waiting for a bus - albeit it doesn't happen all the time. Their words of encouragement always managed to give me hope on a gloomy day. When i used to walk home from school I would always change my route, but I was always bound to run into a friendly smile. I think I like strangers, at least most of them, mostly due to their willingness to help or give out advice or a genuine smile without wanting anything in return. Without asking for help, there are a select few who just know - you know? - that you need encouragement sometimes or just someone to listen to you. They don't contemplate whether you deserve it, whether they know you, whether their beliefs align with yours, they just offer what they have.

I think one of these days I will ride the bus again, or the metrolink, and perhaps I can offer a stranger in need what I many times received, even if it's just a friendly smile.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chocolate Chip Mint Cookies. Is there more to say? Lent has begun, and even though I don't really consider myself a Catholic, I've decided to give up chocolate chip cookies (cookies in general too) for Lent. I do it more to see how much willpower I can muster up when I am confronted by sweets. This summer I was in pastry heaven (!), but with that a couple pounds came with me too (okay more like several).So here's to the last cookie, until April 3rd.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Siempre Corriendo

... expansion from previous post..


I miss the crunch of leaves under the soles of my shoes, the beat of my shoes along a lonely boulevard, the sting of the wintry air lacerating my face. I felt strong. I overcame pain. I felt like a conqueror. I felt rugged. Those sultry days of summer were grueling. It was just my pain, my teammates, and me running in solidarity. They were forever encouraging. They made my experience wonderful, full of fun and laughter. When I think about those days, which there are many, nostalgia overtakes me. The pain, at times, plucked at my heartstrings:literally – sometimes the pain was dizzying. With every step I took, I developed a tougher exterior, just as a guitarist with every pluck develops calluses. I was internally stronger. Yeah, those were the days I could muster enough energy to run with Chucks for five miles straight, or run with vigor in the muddy trails of mount sac (in the rain).

Whew! Now I am winded walking up a flight of library stairs, not to mention running a mile(!) I remember those times when my best friend and me would ditch Saturday running practice, only to take fourteen-mile bike rides along Ontario’s streets. I remember racing with our heads facing the sun, and our backs to civilization, or so it seemed. We would end up in the remotest parts of Ontario, reaching the cow farms – a time when they still were present, now long gone – and simply basking in the rays of the sun and the unmistakable scent of cows. Okay, maybe the smell of cows wasn’t as glorious, but it made us feel alive and somehow happy. To end our ride, we would pluck oranges from trees we found along the way of which there were plenty. They were one of the best rewards after taking on endless miles of dirt, concrete, and grass.

She just called me recently to plan another one of those infamous bike rides. I am ecstatic to say the least, hoping that I can somehow peddle fourteen miles without completely dying. Still, I somehow wish the cows would be waiting for us, stench, oranges and all.

Monday, February 8, 2010


I've attempted starting a blog once before, but I never quite made it public. The blog felt more like a personal journal - too personal perhaps. So this time around I will cut back on my private experiences and include more made up stories.

What better way to relive stress than to write, especially when my free time is nonexistent for the next couple of weeks. Being inside all the time really chips away at my heart.

Oh those careless years in high school! I would walk three miles from home to school and run another five plus miles after-school. I especially miss having the ability to complete long runs on a winter afternoon. The wintry air touching my face, the lovely clouds making a face, those crunchy leaves making a song. It was truly peace and happiness. The smells, the sights, the people, everything made my outlook on life brighter, even those strangers I would never come see again in my life. For now, I will have to satisfy that ache with a walk along Campus Drive or a simple trail inside Cal Poly.