I’ve been remiss and haven’t updated this blog in three months! Honestly, it’s been a rough couple of months, especially with everything that’s been happening with the Trump administration. I am an immigrant woman with a mental health condition. It would be a gross understatement to say that I was shaken by the election results.
However, I want to focus on the positive things that happened in 2016. I might be a little late with a New Year post, but seeing as I have a terrible memory, I don’t want all my precious and happy experiences to be buried under the shitstorm that’s raging in America right now.
• Bestest Movie Ever Podcast: My NYU Tisch friends and I created a podcast where we explore movies that we’ve never seen but other people have told us are the best. For our first episode, we picked RoboCop.
• Valentine’s Day with Deadpool: My boyfriend Dan and I were sick with the flu and had to cancel our garden date. We still wanted to do something special for the holiday, so we chugged our medicine and watched Deadpool.
• Visited The Last Bookstore for the first time
• Reunion of the Soul Sassters: These two lovely ladies were my first L.A. girlfriends. It took six months for all three of us to be in the same room again, but we picked up our conversation as if no time had passed.
• Birthday at Harry Potter World: For my birthday Dan surprised me with an annual pass to HP World. The funny thing is that I didn’t realize what my present was until I saw the Hogwarts castle from the parking lot.
• Started streaming games on Twitch: We’ve fallen off the Twitch wagon due to technical issues, but Dan and I started streaming games together around this time.
• YALLWEST: My first book convention. I met a lot of interesting writing folks and nabbed a few ARCS. My favorite panel was where a group of YA authors read aloud pieces they wrote as teens. They were hilariously terrible.
• Joined the Bad Bitches Bookclub
• Beach picnic: Celebrated the first day of summer by going to the beach with friends.
• Wedding dress shopping: One of my closest friends got engaged this past year and asked me to be a bridesmaid. She wanted a ball gown that screamed Game of Thrones, so I had a lot of fun pulling the most dramatic dresses from the racks.
• Launched this blog!
• Real Escape Room: That time when my friends and I were paired up with complete strangers and had to escape from a fictitious psychopath. We failed, but only by a very small margin.
• Voted in the CA primaries: My first time voting since I became a citizen!
• Black Milk sale: It was sad to see Black Milk L.A. go, but I won’t regret making out like a bandit at the clearance sale.
• Seoul Searching L.A. premiere + 80s prom: Had a blast dressing up and dancing to 80s hits at the Seoul Searching L.A. premiere party.
• Kollaboration L.A. 2016: Sean Miura and Jenny Yang’s lip sync battle will forever go down Asian American history.
• Anime Expo: First time Dan and I attended the biggest anime convention in the U.S. We got to see Yoshitaka Amano sketch Final Fantasy characters live and attend a panel featuring Kotaro Uchikoshi, creator of the Zero Escape series.
• KCON LA: For years I avoided KCON like the plague, but the 2016 lineup included heavy hitters like SHINee, GFriend, Block B, and DEAN. So yeah, I really wanted to go. Luckily, I was assigned to cover the event for YOMYOMF and got to watch the concert for free! I also got to meet a few online friends IRL.
• Haikus with Hotties 2017 Calendar: Worked as a PA on another Haikus with Hotties shoot. This time it was with the Sudarso Brothers. Throwing paint on them was really fun.
• Miyazaki Tribute Art Show: Got to see some amazing Ghibli fan art.
• Family trip to Universal Studios: Dan’s family flew in from New York and took us to Universal. A lot of people complimented me on my Dobby dress.
• Moved to a new apartment
• Korea & Japan trip: This was the first international trip Dan and I took together. We were tight on money, but I’m so happy we were able to see, eat, and experience so many new things.
• Books & Boba launch: After much talk and planning with my co-host Marvin, I finally launched my Asian American books podcast, Books & Boba. I’ve always been passionate about reading and diversity in media, so I’m super proud of this podcast. I struggle with publicly articulating my opinions, and I’m more used to writing a script for more charismatic people to read off. I tend to support other people’s passion projects rather than start my own. This podcast has taught me to be brave and trust myself more.
• Hamilton PBS documentary: I watched this documentary twice on its release day. It will probably be the closest thing to me seeing an actual production of Hamilton.
• Carved my first Jack-O-Lantern: Of course I would carve a Monokuma for my first time carving a pumpkin. I paid for my ambition with a dozen cuts.
• Joined the Let’s Be Honest crew: My friend and mentor Christine Chen invited me to be a part of her creative team for her upcoming women’s talk show Let’s Be Honest, which will be uploaded to a new YouTube channel called, “Peaches and Tea.”
• Meeting online K-pop friends: My friend Lynne, a fellow TVXQ fan I met on Soompi, flew from Missouri to visit me. It’s sort of strange to think that we’ve known each other for 10 years and only met twice in person. Lynne has seen me mature as a writer ever since I wrote my first fanfic (may that never see the light of day). She and a few other forum members are the reason why I was able to polish my writing skills enough to go to college.
• Crush’s L.A. concert: As soon as Crush’s Wonderlust tour was announced, I booked two tickets. This concert will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first K-pop concert I’ve attended with a friend. I always go stag to concerts (a fantastic way to meet new people by the way), but it gets lonely sometimes. I was happy to surprise one of my oldest friends by taking her to see an artist she loves.
• Book of the Month membership: I caved and signed up for my first book subscription service. So far I haven’t regretted it. My library has been steadily growing with beautiful hardcover books.
• DEAN concert: DEAN is my all-time favorite singer-songwriter, so when I learned that all tickets were sold out for his L.A. concert, I was devastated. But by an unexpected stroke of good luck, I was able to work as a volunteer for the show! While I couldn’t get an autograph or photo with him, I did get to stand next to DEAN backstage and watch him perform live from a close distance. Aah!
• The Nutcracker ballet: My friend Kitty, who shares my obsession for ballet movies, invited me to see a local production of The Nutcracker. I absoultely loved it.
• Middle school reunion: I’m thankful that I’m still good friends with my middle school/high school buddies. Half of us live in California now, but it’s not easy to get all of us together.
• Pre-Christmas date at Universal: Christmas normally stresses me out with all the shopping, traveling, and socializing, so Dan and I decided to celebrate the holiday to ourselves a few days little early.
• Geek girls and food adventures: It’s always a delight to hang out with my fellow geeky girls, especially when it’s over AYCE Korean BBQ .
• Yuri!!! On Ice: It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an anime that has moved me to tears. As saccharine as this sounds, I think YOI came into my life at the perfect time—when I was deep in my depression spiral and desperately needed encouragement. I relate to the protagonist Yuuri’s perception of failure, his incredible lack of self-esteem, and his struggles with anxiety A LOT.
Not to mention, the show has some of the best animation, music, and sound design I’ve ever seen. Behold, look at all the gorgeous skating scenes!
So, that was the bright side of 2016 for me. I’m surprised that I made so many happy memories despite tumultuous events. Just goes to show that the little things in life add up.