No Painkillers, Thanks
I'm tired of staring at equations.
I can't really write much this week since I'll be spending my time deciphering what these equations actually mean.
I've also been sleeping a lot because of my newly-acquired daily migraines. I've spent so much time snoozing that I haven't been able to keep up my routine.
The first migraine of my life started last Wednesday. At least, I think it's a migraine; I'm not really sure.
What's important is it hasn't stopped yet. My head's been pounding all week, and it's getting a little annoying.
My Mom thinks I should be checked by a doctor. I probably will. Just so the hammering in my head will actually stop.
There's still so much to be thankful for though. God. Family. Friends. Still being able to study with the ticking in my head. The peace in my heart and mind.
And the cool music that makes my schoolwork more bearable.
Daisy on 1/29/2008 06:14:00 PM
God Spared My Dad The Heartache
my Dad's car problems
(Note: OK, so it's not a photo of what really happened. But what kind of daughter would run through mud to her Dad and tell him to STOP TRYING TO GET THE CAR OUT because she needed a picture of it for her blog first?)
"Goodbye, and thanks for inviting us!" I waved at the family hosting the ginormous children's party we were attending as I stepped out the gate of their ginormous house. I was immediately surrounded by a ginormous amount of white odorous smoke.
"Uncle, what is that smell?" I asked a family friend standing close by.
"That is the smell of burnt rubber."
"Yes, from the lining of your Dad's tires."
"My Dad's car is making this smoke?" I was slightly horrified. My Dad loves his cars.
"His car fell into a ditch when he left his parking space. Some men just went to help pull it out." Behind him, I saw my Mom and sister talking worriedly as we waited for Dad to get the car out of this mess.
"What car did you bring?" my Uncle abruptly asked.
"What? Oh. The white SUV."
"Well, it's good he didn't bring his convertible!" He chuckled at the thought.
I later found out there was a wide --- and deep --- gap spanning the whole unpaved road. It was partially covered by rough pieces of metal and a lot of mud. Apparently, my Father drove over the uncovered places.
"I just thank God," my Dad said as we drove home. "My convertible would have gotten banged up. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision not to bring it. I mean, I was standing in front of it with the keys when I suddenly thought to drive this other one."
Coincidence? Maybe. But something William Temple said comes to mind. When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don't pray, they don't. I definitely agree.
Daisy on 1/22/2008 10:59:00 AM
The Meal Of Doom
Let's have dinner.
"I think they think we're posers," my cousin, KD, quipped as we --- my cousins KD, Jonny, and Chrissy; my sister Daphy, and I --- sat around a large amount of unfinished food.
"We could ask our waiter to eat with us," Jonny offered.
"We could ask all the waiters to eat with us," KD returned.
"This is an embarrassment to our family," Chrissy put in. "How are we going to eat everything?"
It started quite innocently. The five of us, hungry from doing errands at the mall, went for dinner at a restaurant we hadn't visited since Chrissy was in kindergarten. We ordered some fried chicken, pizza, and individual pasta dishes.
The servings were all American sizes, but we had finished much bigger portions before. Except we didn't count on feeling unable to eat after five mouthfuls.
"It's so... creamy," KD said about the meat and veggie fettucine we had both ordered. And it was overly so. We were disappointed with how we couldn't taste the meat, vegetables, and even the peppers. We saw them go into our mouths, but we could only feel their different textures. All we were really eating were wide lengths of pasta drowned in bland cream.
Meanwhile, the other three people in our party had ordered spaghetti with various toppings. They fared a bit better than KD and I did, but ended up disgusted with how the pasta was the minority of the dish. They were left with different kinds of chopped edibles floating in a large amount of sauce.
So here was the problem: we were so grossed out that we couldn't take another bite. Of anything.
"Nothing should be wasted," Chrissy announced. Everyone nodded in agreement.
"Maybe we should let them pack the food now," KD suggested. This was immediately followed by a quiet but long burp. Everyone just started laughing at the absurdity of it.
We had half the food packed.
But there was still the other half.
Jonny started going at his chicken with the enthusiasm of a lumberjack chopping wood with a dull ax. He pounded the poor animal with his table knife for about ten minutes before I told him he could use his fingers.
"I feel full but unsatisfied," Daphy said.
"I don't even know if I'm full," KD added.
"I'm full but not with that 'bloated stomach' feeling." Chrissy frowned. "I'm so full that I'm scared." Everyone snorted at the comment while others choked on what they were eating.
"Can't we just overturn the plates to hide all the unfinished food?" someone else chimed in. "I feel like I'll never eat again!"
The madcap dinner did end with us somehow finishing the rest. But a unanimous vote was taken to never go back there. Ever.
This is probably how God punishes gluttons.
Daisy on 1/20/2008 06:00:00 PM
I Am Procrastinating
Or I was, at least.
For the past two hours, I've been doing important things. I printed my report in English that is due tomorrow. I arranged my stuff. I answered messages from friends. I read some stuff off my list of "Articles to Read Soon". I even worked on homework.
But all this pales into insignificance when I count the fact that I haven't done the one thing I was supposed to do tonight. I was supposed to study for my Chemical Calculations exam on Friday.
I did give it a half-hearted start a while back. I read through the stuff I'd written for that class, and I looked up some important values that I needed to go over the subject matter. I even got out my calculator to do all the problems.
That was it, though.
I still didn't get down to the nitty-gritty part of the work. In fact, study Chem Calc has been on my To Do list for the past three days.
I know, I know. Just do it, everyone says. That's what my sister --- who is really disciplined and outstandingly good at prioritizing, by the way --- would be saying if she were here now.
I've been procrastinating since I was in primary school. Maybe even since kindergarten. And all I can say is it's one of the worst habits I have.
Maybe it's because I'm such a perfectionist. I often freeze up when I think about how big the task I'm supposed to be doing is. Thoughts like "How am I going to do this?" and "Oh gosh, this is so hard!" go through my brain like the marquee at a movie showing. And so, I. Just. Stop.
I think about other things to do that seem easier. I go out, answer my e-mail, check inconsequential accounts on the internet, and whatnot. I do all these things with the Very Big Task hanging over my head. And I pretend it's not there until I can't do a thing about it.
I can remember two or three times when I actually cried because there was too much to do for the next day. Those times were usually accompanied by sleepless nights and a lot of frustration. It would be an understatement to say those times were extremely stressful. They could have been prevented if I'd been doing work weeks before though.
On the bright side, I am recovering. I've gotten into the habit of telling myself things that look overwhelmingly difficult to do aren't so bad in baby steps. I've started studying for exams about three days in advance. I do school stuff the day I get them so I won't end up frazzled the hour before they're passed. And best of all, I do things I enjoy after the work is done so that I actually get to enjoy them without worries in the back of my head.
But like any recovering addict, I still occasionally slip up. Like now.
It'll be a long climb before I end up kicking this habit, and I pray God will guide me through it. But I guess nothing's worth having if it wasn't hard to get.
Losing procrastination will definitely be worth my peace of mind.
Daisy on 1/16/2008 08:09:00 PM
The People I Didn't Deserve
"I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don't believe I deserved my friends."
Anyone who's been clicking on my links on the column beside this post --- and if you haven't ever clicked them, I forgive you --- have probably noticed this picture in the About Me section.
Who are they? Aliens? Unmentionables? Random strangers I got to make the photo look better?
I just realized I banged out posts for two years without ever talking about them in detail.
Well, I'm finally introducing them two years too late: these are the people willing to take on being friends with someone as complicated as I am. They've weathered my silliness and perpetually running mouth. They make some of our classes bearable, and keep me awake when other classes are beyond bearable. They'll eat with me even if they're not hungry --- I believe I return this favor often --- and have also influenced me to give my studies the right amount of seriousness.
They're the friends I found in college, and the people I'll look forward to seeing in future reunions.
I'm not trying to be sappy, but I've just realized how blessed I am to have friends like them. They listen, they laugh, and they even give little unnecessary gifts just because. We're not perfect, but just seeing them in class is beyond wonderful.
I've been thinking about them lately, and thought this would be a good time to say thank you to them. Thank you for not judging me, and making me a better person at the same time. (Yes, they read this blog from time to time.)
I hope I could be a much better friend to all my pals this year.
Note: The photo's not complete. One or two friends are lacking, but this is the closest I could get to a group photo.
Daisy on 1/12/2008 01:52:00 PM
I'll Keep It Simple
I was looking through last year's posts and drowning myself in happy memories just now. And I have something to say.
2007 was AMAZING.I became a lot closer with my family and friends. I traveled the world. I got over some fears and got rid of a few bad habits. I did some things on my "10 Things To Do Before I
And I became a better person. Thank God for that!
The past year was just one beautiful bit of life to keep in my memory bank.
the good times
But there were some things that weren't so great either. Like how busy I was. Last year's planner was a testament to the hurried running I was always doing. I put a lot of the important --- talking with family, and nurturing my time with God --- in the back burner last year because I was overwhelmed by how many urgent things there were to do.
And most of the stuff I was in a huff over wasn't even worth the effort anyway.
So this year, I'm trying something different. I'm going to make my life simpler.
I'll sleep earlier and wake up earlier. I'll take time for prayer and actually savor the meaning of the words in my Bible instead of scanning quickly and running to do the next thing.
I'll clean my room so that looking for things I need won't be such a stressful job. (The mess is so bad that I lost some Christmas presents I'd been saving. I actually had to run to the mall at the last minute and shell out more money to buy presents for people I already had presents for!)
I'll cut out what doesn't really matter. I'll stop reading magazines I don't really care about. I'll turn off the TV, and delete most of the sites I've bookmarked more than a year ago that I'll never get around to reading anyway.
I'll stop creating things to do so that I'll have time to do things that really need to be done.
Not that I think everything will be a breeze now. I know I'll get myself into a busy rush now and then. I'll probably catch myself stressing over something useless a few hundred times this year.
But with God's help, I'll focus on the things I always say I've no time for. I'll focus on them now since it's the only time I'll ever have. I don't want to look back when I'm older and regret wasting what I've got.
Life is too short to be stupid. Instead, I'll make the time to enjoy life, nurture my God-given dreams, and connect with the people around me. And I won't forget to praise the God who made me just the way I am and gave me everything worth living for.
Daisy on 1/09/2008 11:42:00 AM
Reflecting on the Holidays
The holidays were magical. Sort-of like the photo of my cousin, my sister, and I up there.
New Year's Eve was spent uproariously with family. We first went to my maternal great-grandmother's for some food and together time with a few relatives we hadn't seen in a while. We then went to my paternal grandparents' house for more of the same from a different branch of the family.
Games were played --- it was fun to see how excited the kids were --- and old albums opened as everyone remembered times gone by. A certain checkered shirt was poked at as we saw it on four of my uncles in their childhood pictures.
"Why are you always wearing that shirt?"My parents used to scrimp and scrounge for everything. Times have really changed; we've been blessed a whole lot.
"Because it's the only good shirt I had! I think your grand-aunt made it from some curtains."
The fireworks display was amazing. I, as usual, was caught without my camera on this occasion.
We only watched those fireworks for a few minutes though; everyone then went to greet my bedridden grandfather a happy new year.
a cousin and me
(Note: The quality of that last picture was really bad. Yet another reason to bring my good camera around instead of settling for my cellphone.)
and some of the others too
We basically spent the whole holiday season with each other (which is why I haven't been on the computer as often). And now it's time for goodbyes and tears as everyone heads back to work as usual. I'm really going to miss them, but these past few weeks have been great memories.
A belated happy new year to everyone! I hope your season was as enjoyable as mine.
Daisy on 1/04/2008 01:14:00 PM
OK, it's 2008 and I didn't get to post this as soon as I'd hoped to.
Photo-laden post coming right at you!
Paris. Everyone knows (or seems to know) about that city. It's been showcased in a huge number of movies, and occasionally ends up on the average person's I'd-like-to-head-to-that-little-corner-of-the-world list.
"You'll love this place," my Dad said. "You'll love it more than all the other places we went to."
I'm not sure I agree with the more in that sentence, but I do love it as much as most of the other places we went to.
So, first stop?
Where do you think we went?
The famed Eiffel Tower was something to see, all right. My camera was overwhelmed.
The tower looms menacingly.
And why wouldn't my camera be quaking in its metal casing? Just look at how intimidating that last photo was.
a more romantic perspective
The Eiffel Tower was just WOW. It was everything I thought it would be. The engineering part of me was especially fascinated with how the elevators going up the tower sort-of moved sideways up the base to get to the top. I hope that last sentence made sense.
I also took some photos of the tower at night, but I figure I've already given you enough shots of this structure.
Moving on, we passed by a cool garden.
The statue isn't really talking to the birds, is it?
A Canadian tourist we met in Italy explained how Paris was one big architectural museum. He said you'd go down a corner and say "Hey, look there!" then you'd turn your head and say "No, I mean there!" then look back and say "That was cool too!" And he was right.
yet another famous tourist spot
The Arc de Triomphe was stunning. Imagine grumbling through traffic then getting to look up at that beautiful monument. Or maybe people who've lived there a long time don't notice these things anymore.
Maybe they just go shopping at the Champs-Élysées in front of said monument.
The sun setting makes the buildings look cool, doesn't it?
That's just what we did. The shopping, I mean. We went through a lot of stores just looking through bags, perfumes, CDs, and even stuffed toys. Almost everything was designer and amazingly expensive; I spent most of my time just looking. I did buy a few French CDs I'd been looking for, but that was about it.
We also ended up in Notre Dame.
I kept expecting a hunchback to ring the bells or come out on the steps. This is probably what happens when a Disney freak who's seen The Hunchback of Notre Dame (or read the original novel) comes to see the real thing.
More wow up close.
I couldn't take any photos inside but it was mind-boggling.
I am also quickly running out of adjectives to describe everything that fascinated me in Europe.
We actually met an aunt in Paris. She had come a day before to take a look around. My Mom happened to mention my one reason for coming to France: macarons. And what is a macaron, dear Reader? Only one of the most interesting French pastries, in my honest opinion. I even made a blog design on it once.
Anyway, the macarons I've tried back home are terrible. Too sweet, and without the crumbly goodness I've heard so much about. So when I learned we were headed for Europe, the foodie in me started screaming for these delectable treats.
And I got them. Or rather, my Aunt got them.
She couldn't tell which kind I wanted most. She didn't even know which bakery I liked best. So she visited three bakeries and bought a macaron of every flavor. I kid you not.
And then, she explained how I have to try each flavor by the next day because we were going back to get my favorites.
Wow. Is my Aunt awesome or what? Thank you if you happen to be reading this, Aunt Ping!
I skipped breakfast the next day to bite into every pastry. And boy, was it good! The crumbliness perfectly gave way to some really cool fillings.
I'm getting happy goosebumps just thinking about it.
I did notice differences in taste and amount of filling, and ended up going for Pierre Hermé's version.
I finally got to eat some top-of-the-line macarons!
So I shall stop salivating now, and return to the rest of the trip. And what kind of Parisian trip would be complete without visiting the Louvre?
Cool sculpture #1
Cool sculpture #2
My sister and I got chummy with the snazzy marble sculptures.
Daphy and I loved the Louvre museum. We tromped through the maze-like halls checking out artwork we'd only seen in my art history books. My parents followed us in a daze since they had never even heard of most of the stuff we were so giddy about. I guess art wasn't exactly one of their interests but at least they humored my sister and me.
It was awe-inspiring to see all the paintings. One famous portrait was pretty disappointing though.
"That's it?" my parents asked as we watched hordes of tourists snap photos of a 30 inch by 20 inch portrait cordoned off and encased in glass. The Mona Lisa was just. So. Small.
I guess I expected such a buzz-worthy work to be... You know. Bigger.
I'm actually running out of words because it is 4:18 in the morning here.
We continued on to a chapel my Aunt liked. She liked it enough to climb the steps to get it.
And these were long flights of steps.
We could have taken the tram going up to the church. But where's the fun in that?
No, we decided to walk off a few infinitesimal calories instead.
It was worth it.
Check out those massive ceilings, and all that great architecture.
And the really detailed stained glass windows.
I thought it had a pretty nice atmosphere for a church. Not to mention they let me take photos.
These are the candles people light up for prayers.
At least, I think they're for prayers. I'm not a Catholic so I can't really say.
We later went to dinner in an interesting restaurant called Julien. I was pretty interested in how Parisians ate. If you wonder how they ate, they ate really close to each other.
Those two people in the foreground may look like they're eating together, but they're not.
I felt like my personal space had been invaded. I couldn't even stand up without moving the table a few inches forward. Or maybe the restaurant was just pretty crowded.
So we looked at the menu.
And we couldn't read said menu.
I bemoan the loss of my French. I actually took classes once, but with no one to practice with, I've lost my fluency. Heck, I've lost most of my vocabulary.
This is what I eventually ordered. It had the consistency of broth and was actually quite good. Fishy without tasting too fishy, if that makes sense. I mean, has anyone ever noticed how bad fish is described as fishy?
Or maybe that's just the way my family says it; I'll have to check.
I was a little tickled by the grated cheese they included with my soup. I tried dumping the cheese in but it didn't seem to improve the flavor much.
Continuing to the main course...
My meat dish --- I believe it was steak --- was quite good. I loved how the potatoes had been cooked too.
I didn't like the sauce though so that ruined it a bit. My Asian taste buds were probably just getting used to the new cuisine.
Either way, we had a lot of fun.
And --- can you believe it? --- that ends my jaunt to Europe! That ends the series as well.
Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! And now, I need to sleep. Goodnight!
Daisy on 1/01/2008 03:22:00 AM