Saturday, December 29, 2012

an unconventional 21st

I turned 21 on Thursday.

On Wednesday night, I wasn't sure how to feel about my 21st birthday. Most people go out to drink on their 21st, but seeing as my parents are pretty conservative about drinking and they would be carrying out all of my birthday festivities, I figured that a wild 21st birthday celebration was pretty much out of the question.

My best friend came over on Wednesday just before midnight to wish me a happy birthday and give me the coolest birthday presents ever: a special reissue of an early Bright Eyes record and a book on illustrations (she really is my best friend)

My sister passed her driving test on Thursday morning, so she drove my mom, my youngest sister, and I to one of my favorite cafes and we had a nice brunch, celebrating both her success and my birthday. After brunch, we decided to drive down to the Cabazon outlets. We didn't stay for long, but the drive was nice and the sales were even nicer.

After driving home from Cabazon, I had dinner with my family, my cousins, and my best friend. It was probably one of the better birthday dinners I've had because I didn't have to stand on a chair and cry while the entire restaurant screamed the happy birthday song to my face (which happened to me at Buca di Beppo when I was young and might have scarred me for life).

After dinner with my family, I somehow ended up at WinCo with my best friend and my sister, where I  stole way too many yogurt covered pretzel samples. (wildest thing I did all day)

My birthday ended while listening to records with my best friend and my sister. My 21st wasn't exactly what I pictured, but I spent it with the people I love most, which is pretty okay with me.

Besides, I'm 21 now.
I'm sure that I'll find that wild celebration I was looking for sometime soon.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

giving thanks... a month later

Due to the intense amount of work that had to be carried out during the last few weeks of November, I felt like I couldn't adequately celebrate Thanksgiving. I did spend Thanksgiving weekend in studio, so it was pretty hard to find any time to appropriately give thanks when I barely even had time to make it home for Thanksgiving dinner.

But now that things are winding down and I'm finally enjoying the holiday season, I feel like I can adequately give thanks.

Thank you, architecture school, for bringing some really special friends into my life. Also, thanks for the constant challenge that, although a bit trying at times, has introduced me to new ways of thinking, seeing, and learning.

Thank you, cozy ass bed, for being so stinkin comfy and warm every night. And for being my main Netflix homie.

Thank you, concert gods, for bringing SO many good shows to Pomona/LA this year. Anthony Green, Bryce Avary, Childish Gambino, Conor Oberst, Jenny Lewis, Circa Survive, Minus the Bear, The Faint, and possibly Casey Crescenzo? Hallelujah, praise the concert lords.

(Can I also just freak out for a second over the fact that I am seeing Andrew McMahon for the first time ever next month? And that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs just announced a show at the Glasshouse? All hail the concert gods.)

Thank you, spontaneity, for getting me into some pretty cool/weird/but fun situations. I don't think the opportunity to attend a fancy Christmas cocktail party at Union Station will ever come up again.

Thank you, bedside table, for letting me put all of my junk on top of you, while you safely store my records and books without complaint. And for being the only thing to come home to sometimes. And for being a literal shoulder to cry on while I sit on my floor reading and listening to Bright Eyes records on repeat.

Thank you, best friends, for being so caring, hilarious, understanding, unique, and beautiful. You guys are the best people I know. I hope that our Ikea dates never grow old and that we never tire of their $1 non-fat frozen yogurt because it is as delicious as our friendship is wonderful.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

creating traditions

I come from a pretty nontraditional family. We celebrate most of the major holidays, but we don't really have any special festivities that are unique to the family. I don't necessarily think that it's a bad thing, but I thought it would be nice to create some sort of tradition for myself.

So I doodled up some Christmas cards for a few of my friends and decided that I might try to make it an annual thing. It sounds pretty silly, but I've never written on the inside of a Christmas card before so I wasn't sure of what to write inside of them. Hopefully wishing everybody a "twerkin" holiday season was an appropriate thing to say.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

fall quarter studio project

I find it kind of silly that I hardly ever blog about my actual architecture projects because architecture school is such a huge aspect of my life. I guess I've always felt a little uneasy about putting my undergraduate projects on the interwebz, considering that this is my personal blog and not my portfolio. But there were so many processes that went into this project that I think I can safely share the construction process on here without exploiting the (limited) contents of my portfolio.

For this fall quarter's studio project I had to design a 500 - 600 sq ft residence for a Japanese film maker, located somewhere on Mt. Baldy. Later in the quarter, I also had to construct a 1" = 1' model using realistic construction methods.

The first half of the quarter was spent working on smaller models for the conceptual, schematic, and structural processes, so that our designs could be represented through drawings and work in a structural manner.

I began the construction process by making a 2' x 4' base, adding some rebar, and carving some foam (which is typically used for insulation) to represent the topography of the project's site.

Then I poured and treated the concrete footings, foundation, and retaining walls. This was the most frustrating/anxiety-inducing part of the construction process because every dimension had to be calculated and approved beforehand, and I had to rebuild the formwork twice before casting the concrete.

I then began to frame the floors and walls of the house and started to paper mache over the pink foam. I also made some built-in interior furnishings and started attaching the white "skin" of the house to the framing.

To finish up the project, I put in plexiglass panels, made a folding wood-shutter system, and finished adding the white "skin" to the framing.

I only took a couple of short naps during the last few days before the project's deadline, and managed to finish around 4 AM, 4 hours before the project's deadline. I wanted to sleep then, but some of my friends were still working on their projects so I helped some of them out until deadline at 8 AM. I didn't have to present my project until 5 PM that day, so I took a pretty glorious nap in my car for a couple of hours until my best friend came to visit and see my project. My presentation went pretty well and I received some of the best critiques I've ever gotten from a panel of jurors.

Although this project cost me an arm and maybe 2 legs, and even if it was a series of very trying processes that induced 2 mental breakdowns, I learned so much more than I expected, ended up with a final project that I'm proud of, and had a lot of good times with friends in studio.

Friday, December 7, 2012

loose leaves

It's kind of unreal to look at all of these pictures and think about how much has changed since the last time I've posted here. I've been meaning to come back every so often and at least post my monthstagrams, but the past couple of months have consisted of the most challenging and trying times I've ever had to endure. For this quarter of architecture, I had to construct a large scale model of my design using real construction techniques, which involved a ton of work, weeks of living in my car and crashing on couches, and a lot of sleepless nights. I went to a lot of shows this quarter, some of which were the best I've ever been to. (Can I geek out a bit over how good the Conor Oberst and Jenny Lewis show was??!?!?) I also made some really good friends in studio. Like really, really, really good friends.

But somewhere along the way, I lost myself completely. I grew ignorant to the things that were happening around me and oblivious to the things happening to me. I developed unhealthy habits and lost the trust of some really important people in my life. If it weren't for the few friends who sat me down and encouraged me to get back on track, I probably wouldn't have composed myself in time to complete my studio project for this quarter. I am so grateful for those who believed in me when I was so quick to give up and resort to my unhealthy ways. I owe them so much more than I feel like I am currently capable of giving. I hope that I'll soon be well enough to appropriately express my gratitude. I hope that I'll soon be well enough to enjoy the holiday season because it's my favorite time of the year. But for now, I feel like I should dedicate the first portion of my winter break to sleep, which I have missed so dearly and am in dire need of.

Monday, September 17, 2012

ticket to the 20's

My younger sister Richelle occasionally volunteers at the Homestead Museum in Industry. Every year they hold a 20's festival, which includes food, dancing, silent films, live jazz bands, old music, fashion shows, historic house tours, and the opportunity to dress up. I mean, could the event sound any more perfect?!?

I went during the last couple of hours on Saturday, just to grab some food from The Lime Truck and make a little game plan of what I was going to do on Sunday. Richelle was running the crafts table on Sunday, so I took my youngest sister Hanna with me. We decided to dress up at the very last minute, so we weren't as decade-appropriate as other people at the festival, but it still felt pretty good to bust out a hat from my hat collection for Hanna to borrow.

(There were also ukulele jam sessions. I'm serious.)

Hanna and I agreed that our favorite parts of the festival were the three silent films we watched: Andy's Stump Speech (1924)The Luny Musician (1906), and My Wife's Relations (1922), which were all accompanied by live performances by silent film composer, Michael Mortilla. We made crafts, took house tours, listened to jazz bands, browsed through records, and ended the night by eating shaved ice by the pond while listening to the last jazz performance of the weekend. Our weekend was pretty eventful, so I feel like our videos (Hanna took some of them!) and pictures could not do the festival justice. It was the most fun I've had all summer and I absolutely cannot wait to come back next year.

Hanna and I captured some very short video clips during the festival. I guess we were so excited to be there that we could not keep our hands steady haha

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

stuff i like: mustard yellow

1. Fortune and Fame Dress - ModCloth
2. Earn Your Wingtips Bag - ModCloth
3. Fortune and Fame Dress - ModCloth
4. Take Caramel Flat - ModCloth
5. More or Cumulus Dress - ModCloth
6. Bow to Stern Scarf - ModCloth
7. Just Like Honey Heel - ModCloth
8. Sun and Sky Salutation Coat - ModCloth

When I was a kid, I got food poisoning from expired mustard in my sandwich and it was pretty traumatizing-- I haven't consumed regular mustard since. Even though mustard is pretty much borderline puke colored, it surprisingly happens to be my favorite color, despite my hatred for the condiment. Honey mustard on the other hand, that I can absolutely get down with...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

mid-century modern dreams.

I have not always been interested in architecture. Even though I started drafting classes back in high school and enjoyed the 3 years spent at my drafting desk, I cannot say that I was genuinely interested back then. Even though I have devoted almost all of my time to studio work over the past 2 years, I don't think I developed a genuine interest until this year. March, to be exact. The end of my 2nd year of architecture school was near and I still felt like I hadn't developed a certain defined preference yet. I had a definite idea of what kind of fashion, film, and music I was into (mostly those of the late 40's, 50's, and early 60's), but I just wasn't knowledgable enough to have any sort of idea of what design or architecture I might be into. During this time, I was fortunate enough to have, in my opinion, one of the best professors in the program as my studio advisor. One day I brought a conceptual model to studio and he took an interest in it, which actually made me want to break down into happy tears because somebody saw potential in something I created, which doesn't happen often, if not, ever. He suggested that I read about the Case Study Houses because he believed that it would spark an interest in me and assist me in finishing my project. And so I did. And it truly did spark an interest and undeniably helped me finish my project.

Since then, my interest has grown into a passion. I've submerged myself in mid-century modern culture through documentaries and readings to the point where I cannot go on without dreaming of returning back to that era. Of course, I always dream of returning to that era as a young, curvaceous Caucasian woman living in New York because I don't think a young Filipino woman would fare too well at that time. 

Coincidentally, I started watching Mad Men this summer and I can honestly say that I've got an unhealthy obsession. Like, to the point where I rewatch episodes just so I can identify what songs were used and which Eames chairs were used on set. (if there's anything you should know about me, it's that I'm absolutely out of my mind.) I mean, come on, if it's impossible to physically return to that era, at least I can live vicariously through each episode, amirite?

I mean, just look at Don's old office. Look at dat Eames executive chair. And dat France & Daverkosen chair. And dat Baughman sofa. (screenshot from Netflix)

I also watched a lot of documentaries this summer, but I have to say that Visual Acoustics was probably my favorite. It focuses on the career of Julius Shulman, an architectural photographer most notably associated with the Case Study Houses of the mid-century. I've only ever seen his photographs of the Case Study Houses, but the documentary features video tours of some of the houses. I mean, if I can't physically visit these houses yet, at least I can visit them vicariously through this documentary, amirite?

Brastoff Factory, Julius Shulman (LA Modern Auctions)

A. Quincy Jones Brody House, Julius Shulman (LA Modern Auctions)

My dream of owning a mid-century modern home isn't completely out of the question, since I've discovered that this furniture company makes custom built furniture inspired by popular pieces of the era, that this appliance company makes fridges that work like present-day ones, and that a house like this actually exists in the real estate market. Besides, if owning an actual mid-century modern home proves to be impossible for some reason, at least I'd have the degree (and hopefully the license) to make that dream come true, AMIRITE?

Saturday, September 1, 2012


late night drunken sketch, drinks and cards, new Tenenbaums mousepad, ATU painting, fresh sheets, yet another ATU painting, Asian food cravings, DIY bracelet, the breakfast I had for 2 weeks straight

early morning, driving home, pool party, Gambino show with Ryssa, Catwang, packing

LIGHTS, Warner Bros Studios, new Everlane tees, my Food Network husband and I being cute and stuff, new Clarks, breakfast with Invisible Obama

August was kind of a tough month to get through, with all of the physical, mental, and/or creative struggles that came up along the way. But it was an extremely productive month: I traveled, went to a couple of shows, cooked, sketched, and finished 4.5 seasons of Mad Men and 1 season of Breaking Bad, which can totally be considered as being productive, right?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

heavy burdens.

I woke up feeling a bit sniffly this morning. A bit sniffly, a bit groggy, and a bit upset.

Okay, I lied... extremely upset.

You see, people have always said things about me/to me regarding my health and my body. Nice things and bad things. Mostly bad things.

This is a very personal topic, but this is a personal blog and I am not ashamed or embarrassed to tell my story. I am completely aware that I do not have the "ideal" body. My legs are short, my thighs touch, my arms are flabby, and my stomach isn't flat. Sometimes I eat foods that others might see as unhealthy. Sometimes I order cheeseburgers. Sometimes I add a little extra sugar to my coffee.

But nobody has the damn right to question my health. Nobody has the right to judge me for the way I look or the way I am, which are two completely different things.

Friday, August 24, 2012

DIY: strawberry fields forever

Across the Universe has been one of my favorite movies since it came out when I was in high school. I mean, Jim Sturgess singing Beatles songs and being sexy for 2 whole hours? That's the stuff I do like. This scene is one of my favorites and I've always wanted to recreate Jude's painting, but never really got around to it. I recently took down a canvas "still life" (that I got in the ASIS section of Ikea many years ago) from my bedroom walls. I decided not to trash or donate it because the canvas was in really good condition and I could eventually turn it into something else, so it remained untouched amongst the clutter of my room.

 Last week I made a spontaneous Target purchase (although, these kinds of purchases happen so often that I don't think it's appropriate to call them "spontaneous" anymore) and bought One Day on DVD. You know, that chick flick where Jim Sturgess acts all cute and hot and perfect for 2 hours? Yeah, that movie. I actually really enjoyed the movie, even though it made me cry a whole lot. After watching that movie, I decided to start a Jim Sturgess movie marathon, which started with The Other Boleyn Girl, then Heartless, then The Way Back, then 21, and ended with Across the Universe. I honestly considered watching Owls of Ga'hoole because he's in it, but then I realized that his face would not be in the movie because he plays an animated owl. And so after all that happened, I found myself painting over the "still life" from Ikea and pinning artificial strawberries to the canvas. Of course it didn't feel as satisfying as pinning real fruits, but I'm still pretty happy with how it turned out. (even if my mom doesn't like it much)

square canvas (mine was 22" x 22"), red acrylic paint, t-pins, artificial strawberries

.. and this is the painting hung up on my wall. I'd like to end this ridiculously long post by thanking Lucy for getting Jude all riled up in Across the Universe and giving him the inspiration to make a cool painting while looking real sexy. xx

Thursday, August 23, 2012

August is over?

The past 3 weeks have passed by so quickly. Unfortunately I've failed to complete a majority of the things on my monthly to-do list, but I did manage to do little things that I did not even think to write down, like paint, write a couple of songs, and hike a lot more.

My best friend left for a couple of weeks to enjoy paradise in Hawaii. Then I had to say goodbye to a friend who I wasn't ready to say goodbye to, which shook me for a little bit because I don't cope with drastic change that well. I sketched a lot, cleaned a lot, rearranged furniture a lot, and just enjoyed staying in, which I no longer dread doing.

Last weekend, my family and I decided to go on yet another last minute camping trip. We originally wanted to stay somewhere in the northern San Diego area, but that didn't work out, so we started heading home. Somehow we ended up stopping for lunch in Lake Elsinore, which eventually turned into staying there for the whole weekend. Lake Elsinore is not the prettiest destination (or is it the best smelling...), but it was nice to enjoy a peaceful weekend with my siblings and my cousins before everybody started school.

Friday, August 3, 2012

LIGHTS at Warner Brother Records

Today my sister and I attended one of Warner Brother Records' Summer Sessions, which featured LIGHTS AKA realest homegurl AKA Canadian goddess as their musical guest. Typically these Summer Sessions are limited to Warner Bros guests, employees, and VIP's, fortunately we made it into the limited space they had available for fans.

(this kid in line had a cool backpack)

(this was the lobby, which only made me want to work for Warner Brothers even more)

LIGHTS played several songs off Siberia, as well as an acoustic version of "Drive My Soul", which I hope somebody will upload soon, because it was pretty perf. After her set, she hung out for a little bit, taking pictures with fans and thanking everybody for coming. After meeting her for the first time (after many many years of wanting to meet her), I am pretty convinced that she is in fact, a goddess.