No Poem as Lovely as a Tree

This Sunday, my friend Josh and I went to the University of California in Santa Cruz. UC is a unique campus nestled in rolling, forested hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay. Students in the school often wander throughout the grounds–going into caves, building tree forts, and doing what we did today: tree climbing.


The massive tree we climbed had two levels–the first had a wooden platform, complete with a trapdoor, painted art on the floor, a bench, and a hammock. The final and topmost level simply had a big net slung over several branches, dangling over emptiness.


I had never climbed trees as a child–but it had to happen sometime!


Random Act of Kindness: Books on Board

Random Act of Kindness: Books on Board

San Francisco’s public transportation isn’t perfect. The buses and trains are inconsistent and late. You get all sorts of crazies on board. But once in a while, you run into something extraordinary.

I was reading on the bus one night, and a dude with dreadlocks asked me how my novel was. I replied to him, and he showed me a paper bag full of books. He offered that I take what I wanted from the stack, since he said he gets them for free and just brings them to Berkeley, where he is finishing a degree.

He didn’t accept my offer to pay, and he didn’t even hit on me. So now I am a proud owner of the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Toltec Wisdom, a hard bound copy of a young adult fantasy novel, and a self help book on relationships. Nice.

The Last Days of MoMA

The Last Days of MoMA

Before closing its doors for renovation until 2016, San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is doing one last hurrah this weekend by opening its doors for free, all day and night. It was amazing discovering new artists to appreciate, like sci-fi architect Lebbeus Woods and classical & contemporary fusion painter John Currin, but part of the joy was seeing the crowd amassing in the halls, sometimes as strange and interesting as the art itself.

Battle of the Bay: My First Baseball Game

Yup, cultural immersion sometimes means attempting to understand sports. Tonight, I went to a baseball game called Battle of the Bay, between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants. Though the team I was rooting for lost, I was still happy to have had this all-American experience–corn dogs, garlic fries, and all.

AT&T Stadium - Battle of the Bay


Jersey Boys in San Francisco

Jersey Boys in San Francisco

I saw my first show in San Francisco last night–a musical called the Jersey Boys. It was about the Four Seasons, the group that gave us hits like “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” “Walk Like a Man,” and “Earth Angel.” In a city where even the street singers impress, watching a stage performance is really a brilliant experience.

Another Suitcase in Another Hall

Another Suitcase in Another Hall

After two years of being surrounded by your beauty and efficiency–so long, Singapore. Thank you for the opportunities, learning experiences, and cultural immersion. Most of all, thank you for the unforgettable people I’ve come to know. See you later, everyone!

Tedious, Me

I’ve been wondering why I have absolutely no urge to write anymore–from something as public as a blog on the internet to my own personal ideas on scraps of paper. Perhaps it’s because I feel like I am so tedious. All I seem to write about nowadays are my “to-do” lists for self improvement. Even now, as I type this, I’m feeling an urge to note down the little tasks I should do regularly in order to make them into habits. Like moisturise my feet. Or floss. Or whatever.

I think my problem is I get caught in what ought to be, and don’t concentrate enough on the character-building aspects that are involved. I tell myself “do this every day,” but I never do, and thus get nowhere in terms of big ticket goals.

Well, some things need to be done with practice and over time, and with “force” if necessary. I purposely dug my own hole in a number of ways. At work, I’ve been invited to several different countries to speak on social media. This forces me to revive my public speaking skills and take my abilities to another level. In terms of my body, I’ve made a lot of noise about dieting (so there’s a social aspect involved) and committed to signing up for a year-long gym membership. Now money and pride is at risk. In terms of future education, I’ve again made pretentious little speeches about studying in Spain and how I’m saving up every month to get this. Again, pride.

Also, depressingly, when I think these thoughts, I feel frustrated with myself. Lighten up! I scream at myself. But that’s my problem–I am not a light-hearted person, and have probably never been. Then I go off like a typical twenty-two year old and end up on YouTube, or 9gag, or simply wallow in a romance novel for a few hours until I feel all silly and useless again. And then, the cycle of stressing about self-improvement continues.

Blah, let’s see how these go.