Sunday, March 28, 2010

20 Straight Days of...Fun :)

(I wrote this blog last Sunday but didn't get to post it until now.)

Although this won't be the subject of this post, I still have not done artwork yet :( Ughhh, I don't know what's wrong with me! I guess it's just because I've had a lot of other things on my mind, such as the things I'm supposed to get done or things I had always wanted to do. Since today is Sunday, I have spent most of the day doing laundry, washing dishes, and relaxing (which has many definitions in my opinion: grocery shopping, drinking white-green tea, watching romantic comedies, eating...). And all those things I just mentioned in the parentheses, I have actually done today.

(Okay, I guess I'll change my mind at this point by saying that this will be the subject of my blog post--I have too much to say in order to not make it today's topic! :) )

Anyway, this morning, the first thing I did after waking up was the one thing I was feeling the most guilty of avoiding during the past week, as it was the one thing I knew would be my biggest mood-booster--and I'm sure you will understand this, once I tell you that what I did was exercise. Specifically, I wasn't being myself that morning, in the sense that I made the spontaneous decision to try out the Turbo Jam workout DVD (since usually I do the aerobics video). Fortunately, everyone else was asleep at the time, which saved me the embarrassment of people amusedly watching me punch the air and do overly-excited dance moves.

Normally, I love to exercise--I enjoyed the 2 or 3-mile long trail runs in my P.E. class during middle and high school, as I've spent the past 7 years either taking ski class, karate class, and/or using the Beach Body aerobics video in the comfort of my own home. In addition, last September, my mom (my favorite workout buddy) and I took hot yoga classes for 20 days straight (because of one of those new student deals that the place offered; and one of the things my mom and I have in common is that we love to save money). I must say, I LOVED taking hot yoga, and after those 20 days were over, I actually thought I was falling into a deep state of depression...Thankfully, however, I did not, but I was still somewhat sad that those fun morning sessions weren't going to happen anymore--unless we kept taking the classes, but then we'd have to pay the regular price--SO expensive!!

Every morning of those 20 days, my mom and I would wake up early and meet in the kitchen at 6:30, where we would drink what seemed like gallons of cool water because we knew that pretty much 99 percent of that moisture would leave our bodies during the hot yoga class! We would then pour three more cups of water into our large thermoses, gather our bags that were filled with towels, extra clothes, and face wash, and head down to the van at the end of the steep driveway in the crisp, chilly autumn weather. And after a 2-minute drive, we would reach the building where the yoga took place.

Now if I were to keep going in my description of the times my mom and I spent in the yoga place, you may start to feel nauseous by the detailed depiction of the smell of the room and of the sweating, though those were things I actually never really thought deeply about when I took the class...But I want to keep readers enjoying this post instead of making them want to vomit, so as a result I will not go into much detail any longer. :)

Despite all the literal grossness and sweating going on during each session, I treasured every minute of it. The class taught me how to be more patient and determined, as it ultimately encouraged me to start meditating after the classes were over; and the meditating I've done these past few months has made my mornings (and the rest of my days) much more easy-going. Whenever I came home after each session, I felt so relaxed yet at the same time with so much energy as if I could invite anything to come in my way.

So I recommend very strongly that you take, or at least try out, hot yoga. For those of you who dread just the idea of getting sweaty almost to the core, I guess I could say it all depends on what you concentrate on during the class; as long as you only focus on getting the stretches and positions right and especially on your breathing, you're gonna be fine.
At least you will most likely leave each session with the state of mind that I think is ideal for living a more relaxed, fulfilling life.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


So this is a continuation of my last blog. As you probably already know, if you did read my last blog, I had decided in hope that I would leap back into my seemingly ancient routines of the artistic things I've really loved doing (drawing, painting), instead of watching TV all day.

To be honest, I haven't done the drawing or painting, at least not yet.
Instead, however, I have spent part of today writing short poems and playing with my uncle's dog, who's been staying at my house this weekend. Though playing with my uncle's dog obviously doesn't qualify as creative or as an art form, I feel that doing it had gotten me back--maybe not completely, but at least partially--in the artistic perspective. Because of my uncle's dog, who we will call Bob, my attention was no longer glued to the TV screen or to eating food continuously in the kitchen (activities that I've done in the house lately, out of laziness of not getting out of the house); rather, as I stood outside in my backyard throwing the ball as hard as I could in order to give Bob the utmost excitement and exhilaration of running on to catch it, my eyes were stretched out and open to the morning air brushing past my face, the rustling of the trees above me, and the uplifting chirping of the birds. It was then when I realized that no romantic comedy can replace the feeling that I was given by all that I experienced, just by the 10 minutes I had spent outside.

Therefore, I owe a lot to Bob for helping to get me out of the terrible new habits. Therefore, after the session with him outside, I was encouraged enough to write the two poems I mentioned earlier. Both poems were literally each just four lines long, but I think it's a good start.

If you're reading this, I hope you're not just donating your time to the actual act of reading the blog, but more importantly offering some support and understanding to get me moving further back to my previously creative state of mind.

Undoubtedly, it's going to take lots of time, effort, and determination, but I'm more than willing to go through all of it and beyond.

Bean out.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Movie of Food, Life of Art

What does it mean if you never finish anything you've started?

This is something I've been thinking about lately, mostly because I was watching the literally delicious (well maybe not literally, but I had to use that word to show the maximum amount of deliciousness that the movie has :) ) movie called Julie & Julia, in which Julie Powell complains to her husband in the beginning about how she never finishes anything, when she doubted she could make all 524 of Julia Child's recipes come to life in 365 days (yes, I actually remember the number of recipes, and it's because I watched the movie three times). When she said this, a pang of the feeling of anxiety and near hopelessness hit me, reminding me of the experiences in the past where I'd start a seemingly exciting, door-opening project for myself, and end up letting it go a few weeks or months later because I've become lazy or doubtful of the possibility of accomplishing it completely. Such projects or ideas have included: knitting a blanket (I still have the stack of twenty-something squares that I haven't laid a finger on in years), cooking dinner for me and my family every night, and playing the piano every so often after I stopped taking classes a year and a half ago.

During these past few months, I've become so lazy about doing anything besides studying, eating, sleeping, and watching TV. Usually, when I come home from every late afternoon from college, I am exhausted--mentally, from studying almost constantly while I'm on campus, and physically, from the daily task of walking to my bus stop and taking the bus both to and from home. And when I'm exhausted and at home, the free-time activity I have in my mind is to watch TV, and only watch TV. I would think of it as the only human activity I have energy to take part in. This is very unfortunate because as much as I try to avoid it, a small voice resides in the back of my mind that tells me I should take on the countless opportunities of revisiting my creative side, which was what I used to do in my life up until my freshman year (in college) began.

Mostly because it was required in art class, but also of course because I enjoyed it with all my heart, I would spend my middle school and high school days sketching, painting, dabbing with a towel, scratching, inscribing, taping, printing, and doing other strange but fun things on the pages of my sketchbook. By the end of my senior year, I had come up with the simple yet exciting ritual of going online, exploring the wide world of portait photos, printing out the one that had struck me the most, eagerly grabbing my sketchbook and pencil/charcoal piece, and reinventing the image I had chosen. Then, I would take my watercolor paints, brush, and my grandfather's old palette, and swish on various colors that would accentuate the parts of the portrait that I was the most proud of.
Every time I was finished with each of these portraits, I always felt a sense of pride, warmth, and familiarity with my creativity that I thought could stretch around the world in endless circles. Besides having been part of me since I was 12, art has been part of my family too (specifically on my mom's side), and that has made me feel like something whole, that being my family itself. I not only felt connected to myself and my inner voice, but even more to the strong ties I've had with my closest family members. But don't get me wrong, I don't depend fully on art to feel connected with my family, it's just something that makes me think more about it.

However, I haven't exactly felt this way since last July, more specifically since the day after I came back from my vacation in California, where I stayed with my aunt (my mom's sister ;) ). I had created a piece out of charcoal and acrylic paint, of a woman in a vibrant red dress holding a glowing umbrella that rests on one shoulder, as she gazes to the side, revealing her attractive feminine features in profile view. Although I wasn't most connected to this art work, I still felt some string of hope that I was getting, how do you say it, my "groove back"?

But since then, I barely have even used the charcoal to make something just as in depth as the pieces I made in high school. There have been times where I've taken my sketchbook in hand, but in those times I only felt the capacity to just casually leave a few swipes of pen or color on the page, with no real color implemented into it.

But this is the part of my blog entry where I will bring back the subject of Julie & Julia. Watching this movie reminded me of how it feels to rediscover oneself by some form of art; in the movie it was food, in my life it is the visual arts--the act of painting, drawing, or even just taking pictures of things I had wished to gain different perspective of. With this reminder, I was also given hope. I now know that really it is easier to get all my creativity out on paper that I have imagined; I seem to have expected too much in the beginning and therefore been disapponted in myself for not giving as much as I used to; but it just takes a little more time, more time to get accustomed to the time I've lost and more to the future time of making the most of my days. Most likely later today or early tomorrow, I will start taking my daily routines more seriously by encouraging myself to draw something, anything, even if it is just a tree branch I saw in the park a few days ago (that was just a random example, I don't actually remember sticks I see for that long, but I do care to remember the parts of nature that strike me and use that inspiration to create my art).

Wish me luck!.

Bean out.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

No Memories but Happy Ones


This is my first time writing since what feels like FOREVER! :D And by the use of all-caps you can probably tell I am excited to be back! (also you can tell by the multiple exclamation points...)

Today is a lovely, newly-arrived spring day as I look outside the ginormous window in my living room and onward to the gentle crowd of trees swaying gently in the lively wind. I am very excited to get out of the house in the next few hours, in the hopes of choosing the best-looking ice cream flavor at Ben & Jerry's (my favorite ice cream place that I need to go to more often, YUMM!...Hmm, looks like I'm still excited :) )--because, incase you were not aware, today is Free Cone Day from 12-8pm!! Yayyy!

I especially need to go there more often because it's in downtown Kirkland, most likely what I call my future location of residence. It's the place where most of my favorite memories have taken place, whether it's been the place where my sister and I took our summer all-day trip there where we ate at a deserted yet homey sushi restaurant followed by me taking snapshot pictures of the dock surrounded by the water sparkling in the midday sun...Or if it's been the comfortable, eye-opening trip with my sister along with our uncle, aunt and grandma to Tully's on a sunny, brisk January morning where we sat by the windows on the couches talking about the importance of family...Whatever I remember about going to downtown Kirkland has always been something I vow never to forget in the future.

Besides Ben & Jerry's, I hope my family and I will also end up walking across the street to what I call Heaven, otherwise known as Kahili Coffee, a large yet cozy coffee shop that is always dim-lit with calmness yet energetic with conversation. Their foamy drinks held snugly and securely in the welcoming, please-take-me-home-although-that-would-be-considered-stealing-oh-well-just-take-a-trip-to-IKEA-for-your-own mugs, which customers may hold as they allow their laughs and talked-about memories float about the room. It's the kind of coffee shop that makes you think there's no other place on earth like it, the most authentic, one-in-a-million location that you can't compare.

So while I may dip and savor my spoons of Milk & Cookies/Oatmeal Cookie/Brownie Chunk-flavored (yes, there are such things as those flavors, and they are DELICIOUS!) ice cream at Ben & Jerry's, I will keep an eye on Kahili Coffee and somehow slip it slyly into conversation with my mom, getting her to remember the past fun trips there so we may find ourselves once again diving into the blissful aura of the coffee shop.

Bean out.