More than a movie: What Crazy Rich Asians meant to me

Just a few days ago, Jon Chu’s latest movie Crazy Rich Asian came out in theaters. Today, I went to go see this movie, the first in twenty-five years to have an all-Asian cast and Asian-American leads. The movie itself was a hilarious romantic comedy, but to me, it was so much more than that: it was about Asian American representation. And this is my story about what Asian American representation means to me.

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From the Ears to the Heart: Halsey

Halsey is one of my favorite artists, and two years ago, I wrote a blog post about her new album at the time, Badlands. Last fall, Halsey actually came to Austin to perform her latest album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, which I had the opportunity to go see.

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..and I’m back: an update & a promise

Well. It’s been a while, hah. Long time no see!

The last time I posted was September of 2017, when I’d just started my sophomore year of college. Now it’s June 1st, 2018, and I’ve finished one hell of a year and am currently enjoying the summer in Ames, Iowa working as a research intern at the Ames National Laboratory through a Department of Energy program.

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Finding My Identity: Q&A with Namitha (TeenMemoir)

Recently, Namitha from TeenMemoir and I collaborated on a Q&A-style post about identity, particularly for those who are second-generation kids growing up in a different country than their parents are from, or kids who are growing up in a different country than the one they were born in. Our ethnicities, heritage, and the respective cultures of our native country and that of our parents heavily shape who we are, and when we grow up surrounded by different cultures, it does get pretty confusing for a young child trying to figure out who they are. Namitha and I each wrote five questions for the other, so below are my questions and her answers. Check out her blog post for my half of the Q&A!

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Addressing sexual assault in the United States through the lenses of de Goya’s “Disasters of Wars”

A couple posts back, I wrote about the Blanton Museum of Art here on campus, which is home to some really cool temporary and permanent exhibitions. Last semester, Francisco de Goya’s etchings were here on display, and for one of my classes, I wrote a paper using the themes in his etchings to look at sexual assault in the United States today. It’s definitely a pretty long read — but it’s also a subject that needs to be addressed.

(de Goya, F. 1810-1820. Real Academia Calcografía. Etching. Davidson Galleries.)

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a chapter in a book, waiting to be written

It’s a tad bit late to be sharing this, but I’m just so bad at keeping my New Year’s Resolution that I figured maybe sharing my list publicly would force me to at least try a lil’ harder this time, haha. Anyways, here’s 17 things I hope to do/do better in 2017. 🙂

Below is a picture I took when I was in Switzerland. We were walking on the mountains when we noticed a bunch of these rock sculptures, where people had stacked rocks on each other and left them there. Not really sure what they’re for, but I think each sculpture has its own personal meaning to its maker. So below is the one that I built, and although now I don’t know if it’s still up there, or what the specific meaning was anymore, but now it’ll be representing my new goals for this year!

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New year’s resolution

  1. Be more focused on coursework; stop procrastinating and stop spending so much time on the Internet/social media.
  2. Every Sunday, I’ll try to post ten things that made me happy/smile that week.
  3. Spend less time on phone/set aside time for phone use.
  4. Read more, particularly when you have free time.
  5. Don’t spend too much money on eating out/shopping (you’re broke af, girl).
  6. Go to bed before midnight (unless absolutely necessary) and wake up before 8 am every day.
  7. Be more open, and get to know more people/make more friends!
  8. Aim for all As (hahahah…………………..>.>………..)
  9. Eat healthier and cut back on sugar and sweets.
  10. Give everything I do my 100% best!
  11. Cut toxic relationships from my life and be okay with that. Make better ones! 
  12. Balance schoolwork and social life. Don’t go out too much, but also don’t spend all your time cooped up in the dorm.
  13. Be open-hearted and open-minded. Happy and good thoughts only!
  14. Exercise at least four times a week at the gym.
  15. Appreciate friends and family more. Call home more often, and keep in touch with friends at home.
  16. Every day, do something that makes ME happy.
  17. Be more willing to step outside of my comfort zone.

So there’s that! Hopefully this year, I can actually do most of these! 🙂

 

 

From the ear to the heart: The Neighborhood

I was just re-listening to The Neighbourhood’s Wiped Out when I re-realized just how beautiful the album is. So here’s a review that I wrote almost half a year ago (the album was released in Oct. of 2015), and maybe you might (read: you really should) check out this collection of wonderfully haunting songs as well. (The songs were written as a way for the lead singer to cope with the death of his father.)

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From the ear to the heart: Halsey & Electropop

tumblr_ntaz9jGAUC1spwufeo1_1439943176_coverHalsey, whose stage name is an anagram of her real name Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, is a 21-year-old electro-pop singer from New Jersey. After gaining attention for both her covers and original songs on SoundCloud, she signed with a record label and released an EP (Room 93) on October 27, 2014. Fans fell in love with her unique voice and Room 93 established her as a dynamic and honest singer. Her debut studio album, Badlands, was released on August 28, 2015, and that’s when I first fell in love with this little gem.

Badlands is actually based on a fictional dystopian society called The Badlands, which was inspired by movies such as Blade Runner and The Fifth Element, Halsey said in an interview, and became a metaphor for her mental state and real life struggles, which indeed, heavily influence her songs. The album opens with “Castle,” and from the beginning we see Halsey’s emotions manifest themselves within her songs. Dubbed “an angry female record” by Halsey herself, she sings about the “old man sitting on the throne that’s saying that I probably shouldn’t be so mean.” 

“New Americana,” the second single off the track, is the song that brought Halsey the most attention as a member of the new generation, the generation whom the public and society see as “a mess.” This album essentially captures the feelings of growing up in this age, and from “Drive” to “Control,” Halsey explores the confusion and tells the uncensored tales of the youth. With soft vocals that seem to express her unspeakable pains, backed by a dark and defiant instrumental, “Colors” is, like its name suggests, colorful. Graphic colors and images paint a grim picture of love: “You were red and you liked me because I was blue/You touched me and suddenly I was a lilac sky/And you decided purple just wasn’t for you.” The album ends on “I Walk The Line,” a slow and dreary track, reminiscent of the sounds of Portishead, that concludes with the line “I find myself alone when each day is through.”

Loneliness. Depression. Confusion.
Sex. Drugs. Dreams.
This is Halsey’s diary filled with her deepest secrets and fears — the voice of the troubled youth — and though her vocals aren’t particularly spectacular, this album is so beautifully raw and emotional.

Find the album on iTunes or Amazon.