I am so dang excited for my academic and professional future. It's biology and medicine from now on, baby, woohoo. I'm writing a statement of purpose (essay basically) for this public health internship thing that I'm 80% sure I''m going to apply for, for this summer, and boy I inspire myself when I articulate my excitement for medicine and my reasons for it. I think I might actually like writing personal statements for med school, bwahaha, and you thought liking ochem and physics was weird. (Did you notice that I'm writing the essay even though I'm only 80% sure I'm going to apply?) I'm excited beyond words to see where God's going to take me here. He has equipped me abundantly for this, and I plan on making the most of it. One day, blind people are going to see, deaf people are going to hear, and lame people are going to walk once again. The Savior is still alive.


Here is a long-lost song from Tenth Avenue North. If you look it up on the internet, it's almost like it never existed. And I swear that it's not Mike Donehey (the usual lead singer) singing this song... When I first stumbled on it, I thought it was mislabeled, but nooo, Tenth Avenue North apparently had a life before the Over and Underneath.


This guy gets me.

And today actually has a high of around 75.


I'm sponsoring a child by World Vision!! This makes me so happy, haha. If you're not familiar, this means that I'm more or less financially adopting a kid in need somewhere in the world. His name is Ajay, he lives in India, and he has the same birthday as me!!! I've been wanting to sponsor a kid for a while, but lack of a stable mailing address has prevented me from doing so till now. woohoo, exciting.


Music Time

What Love Really Means (JJ Heller)

 Analyze (Tim Be Told)
Tim Be Told will be at the Fifth Home of Christ Church in Cupertino on Sept 5 of this very year. Woohoo.


What I've found is that a lot of my family whom I haven't seen in many years seem to think that I'm an introvert who stays home and doesn't hang out with friends much. Especially next to my sister. Interesting. I believe they judge based on the amount of time I look like I spend on things like clothing, hair, makeup, etc. Probably other people do too from first visual impression, but family members are the only ones bold enough to say it out loud. Thank you, but I don't need to extensively enhance how I look in order to make and keep friends.


Today I was reading Leviticus, which is extremely random, but I was, and I was thinking, man, how can anyone EVER POSSIBLY remain clean, according to these laws?? For example, a woman becomes unclean on her period and when she gives birth. And similarly unavoidable things for men. Come on seriously, God, women were born to have periods and babies, how can you possibly call that unclean? It's our nature -- but so is sin! That's our nature too, but it's clearly unclean! We can't help it, just like we can't help our bodily functions! What's the point of these laws if it's just going to tell us that what we can't help is unclean? Maybe that IS the point of all these laws: we see that we have no hope of being clean by them -- Yes, exactly, says Romans 3:20!! Thus enter Jesus and grace. Beautiful. Jesus even shows up in Leviticus, what do you know.

You know what else I noticed? Romans 8:3 calls Jesus a sin offering. Leviticus 4 seems to indicate that sin offerings are for the forgiveness of unintentional sins (but wrong and guilt-incurring nonetheless). Unintentional sins?? But our Sin Offering, when he died, said to God, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." He apparently thought it was unintentional too (but I'm not exactly sure who "them" refers to)? Interesting link, but I'm not sure if that's saying that all sins are unintentional. Or that Jesus only died for the forgiveness of unintentional sins. I can imagine someone committing a sin deliberately, fully aware that it's wrong. But then, that's only imagination, and I can't claim to speak for them, because from my own memory, I cannot recall a single time that I committed a sin deliberately and intentionally, fully aware it's a sin. Maybe I should seek myself more? Or maybe that's just because I'm a nice person, but there's other, worse people out there who do commit sins fully aware that it's wrong and that they are about to do it? Who knows. I only know myself. But I really do wonder if all (or most) sins are unintentional. Maybe the sins that are done with full intention are ones where the sinner THINKS they're doing something right ("If I kill this person, I am bringing justice to the world; they deserve it"), and the rest are moral slips ("Oops, I didn't mean to smack you; I was angry and not thinking straight"). Maybe. Food for thought. I should like to know if anyone ever committed a sin, fully aware and in control of what they're doing, and fully aware that it's wrong.

PS sorry for raising unnecessary questions and possibly raising heretical possibilities. I'm always afraid when I notice things in the Bible that aren't part of mainstream teaching, because I might be raising some heresy -- or that others will thinking that I'm raising a heresy.


I don't often go around reading people's blogs, but I do once in a while. Today's one of those days, and it was inspiring. I've been recently thinking that quotes are too cliche and easily made up to be meaningful. Today I saw some freaking good quotes -- some reblogged, but some original. I saw some good insights that I've been forgetting, and some that I've never thought about before... for example, that we're not broken people. The church likes to tell us that we're broken people, but have we forgotten that it was Jesus who was broken so we could be made whole? Such an obvious thing, I know, but so easily overlooked by that one verb tense error (thanks, Connie). I also saw some people's passion for God that I've never had a chance to see in real life because I don't talk to them enough. It's something. It's a good reminder for me that my failure to perceive their spiritual maturity does not mean that they have none to speak of. It's also a good reminder that in a year of not seeing someone, they can grow so much. It's unbelievable. I need to erase some out-of-date conceptions that I have of many people. Some leaders at AFC now, I almost couldn't believe were leaders, because I remember them from when they were in... oh I dunno, like 5th grade or something (my old students, bwahaha), and that image has been poorly updated the past few years. It saddened me that AFC would be so desperate for leaders that these clearly immature people should be called leaders. ...JUST KIDDING, have you forgotten that at least half a decade has past since you've refreshed their profile pages, Elena?? I am unbelievably old and out-of-date.

Before I wrote all that ^ I was planning on saying that I read some amazing insights on people's blogs, but I unfortunately have none from myself at this moment, sorry. But I guess I found some. That is the meaning of inspiration! Thank you, inspiring people. I have more of you in my life than I deserve.

Watermelon Skin Carving

from kevin from dawning


I've decided that I like listening more than I like talking.


I am very satisfied with my trip to China this time. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun and met dozens of people who don't have facebook. I learned family history and political history and social culture and that China is about as diverse as Europe is. The China you know might not be the China I know. No wonder some things Nancy claims are traditional Chinese are things that my dad's never heard of before. I have also heard stories of back when the Communists took over and things were actually Communist (not like now, haha). Combine that with a sci-fi book that I was reading that was obviously a political statement against Communism, and I understand better now why Communism doesn't work so well in real life. Distributing everything equally means no one has enough. And cutting off the top to exalt the bottom doesn't make too much sense either (there was a time when only proletariat could go to college... doesn't that just switch the roles of the proletariat and bourgeoisie?). I've heard of the grief that Communism has brought to my family (far from an exceptional experience), and I don't understand why Chinese people are still glorifying Grandpa Mao. 

Anyhow, that led me on a long exploration of Wikipedia that led me to find this guy: 罗瑞卿 (Luo Ruiqing), an important person involved in the Communist Party of China. Now, my grandpa's name was 罗瑞環 (Luo Ruihuan, possibly wrong huan). Siblings often have the same middle character. My eyes almost popped when I thought it said he was born in Nanchang, where I presume my grandpa was born. It actually said he was born in Nanchong, which is in a different province altogether. He is probably only a distant relative. The same middle character is probably explained by the fact that it's traditionally determined by generation. 


I have some significant news updates since my last post.
1) I have begun teaching English! Co-teach, more like, but it's awesome as heck, and I am thoroughly enjoying myself. In fact, I almost don't want to go home, so I can finish the program, because as it is, I'm missing the second half of it. It's an English summer camp for high school/college students, aimed at language and cultural exchange between Chinese students and American teachers. I am awkward because I am somewhere in between the two, haha, but it's fun. And boy am I learning a whole lot about Chinese culture that I didn't know existed. For example, it is extremely far from the truth to say that Chinese people only care about math and science, and don't care about history and the arts, because they do. They appreciate it more than Americans do sometimes, I believe, because they have 3000 years of history and culture under their belt. America barely has 300, ok. And a thousand other things, like how whole classes often hang out together, and lunchtime is two hours long so you have an hour to nap, and some people don't distinguish the l sound from the n sound, and you always wear slippers inside, and you never wash your underwear in a washing machine(??), and divorce is very taboo but unfaithfulness in marriage is tolerated, etc, etc.
2) Which brings me to my second point that religion is not a touchy subject here like it is in America. In America, people think you're trying to convert them if you even mention religion. In China (at least in Chinese universities), they take it academically, as culture. I am giving a presentation on religions in America tomorrow. In other words, they have invited me to share the good news (among other things) to my two classes in a public university. All I prayed for was an opportunity to share the good news with the TA of the class, and this is how God answered. He never ceases to amaze me.


A History Lesson

I went to the senior activities center (for senior citizens aka retired people) on campus with my aunt and they were having like a ... ballroom dance session. (PS Chinese universities take tenure very seriously -- they take care of their retired faculty and staff, and their families. This college campus is swimming in old people.) Old people ballroom dancing is pretty cute. She dragged me dance with her and then she pushed me to dance with this old man who was apparently a colleague of my grandpa's (like I know how to ballroom dance). Now, my grandpa has been dead for a few decades now, so he seems to me to be further in the past than he actually is. I was introduced to old people as his granddaughter and they reacted in awe and commented that I look like my grandma. I know I do, but I bet they haven't seen either of my grandparents for decades. This is about equivalent to ancient history to me! To think that I bear visible similarities to someone from that long ago (not really) is mindboggling. Especially after sorting through ancient family photos the night before, and hearing my uncle (a true professor) lecture me on our family history up to since we became a family of scholars four generations ago (that is, the time of the end of the last dynasty of emperors of China O.o), this is really mindboggling. To think I have relatives from that long ago, lol. So now you should all know that my brains are mainly genetically inherited because all my ancestors had exceptional brains, and I am not exaggerating about that. Some were regular smart, but some were genius. They are the type to score 2390 on the SAT despite coming from an extremely disadvantaged background. I am highly impressed. You should also know that both my grandpas were physics professors, which explains my love relationship with physics.


So I find myself doing gruntwork for some Norwegian company involving not-quite-but-almost-computer-programming, instead of teaching/half-teaching English. Sadly. I am learning lots about programming but unfortunately I don't have much of an interest in that. 眼睛都看花了, I tried to cram so much into my brain today. Note to self: do not trust other people to hook you up for stuff anymore. What happened was that it was, I guess, failed to be communicated that the summer session here (and thus my English class(es)) starts in mid-july, when I am supposed to leave. Originally it would have been ok, because I was supposed to go home later. Timing was for some reason not calculated into the flight change. Very sadly. So I got stuck in this lab trying to learn to code with these crazy students who literally sleep in the lab, haha. Delicious. We will see how this ends up.


I was a 5 star hotel restaurant, and the sign over the CANTALOUPE said this:
哈密瓜 (translated: honeydew)
...although google translate is telling me that 哈密瓜 is cantaloupe, from my understanding it's honeydew.
In addition to some chocolate honeydew, I also had some frog fallopian tube in a papaya. This is a gourmet delicacy, not street food or homecooking, in case you were wondering. They wouldn't tell me what part of the frog it was, and no wonder, lol.
I also saw dragonflies and butterflies the size of small birds and a wild snake when we visited the countryside for one hour.
And purple yams! And trees growing IN a lake! And an herb that makes mosquitoes not bite you when you eat it!
Oh speaking of food, today my uncle was showing me around campus, and pointed out a bakery he said that made western snacks... breads and buns and things. Funny thing is, the stuff the "western" bakery sold is exactly what we call Asian bakery stuff. Like me! In America I'm Asian, and in Asia, I'm American! I understand you, little pineapple buns.
What else is fun (oh no, my English is becoming Engrish!)... when I speak Chinese here, no one thinks I'm American/Canadian (to heck with Ma Jie's claim that I have an American accent). They think I'm from Taiwan or Hong Kong. One person said I sounded a bit local. This, my friends, is dialect leveling. I speak generic southern Mandarin and everyone picks up on the characteristics that aren't local to them and thinks I'm from elsewhere. In reality, I'm a Mandarin speaker from nowhere. Real Taiwanese people would never think I'm from Taiwan. China for sure, they say. And I've never heard Hong Kong until I came here, but I dunno. They all sound very similar in my opinion. I'm probably somewhere in between.


Hi, rest of the world! I am getting spoiled like you would not believe here, and I am not exaggerating. I am not just talking about relatives buying me whatever I want. Use your imagination. But nothing in the whole world is as good to me as my God!!!!! Nope, no physical comforts, no entertainment, not even people or natural wonders (my favorite things in the world) are as beautiful or gratifying as my God. He is so beautiful. Tell me if the God who gives his own life to give his utterly undeserving whore of a wife a chance to come back isn't the most beautiful thing in the world, from the point of view of the broken wife. 


The Man upstairs is taking care of me. :] I randomly met a believing girl and her mom a couple of days ago and hopefully I'll be go to a gathering of sorts this weekend, if you know what I mean. I almost can't believe it but I should have expected it. He is so so so faithful. He answered so fast. Thanks to everyone who yarped (supplicated, that is) with and for me. Wahhh I really almost can't believe this is happening. He is so good to me. Hopefully this will work out. Please continue yarping for this, as well as the other things.
In other news, all I've done so far, pretty much, is sit around and read when I'm not out eating wonderfully fattening food virtually every meal. It's getting to be a bit much. People familiar with my eating habits know that I sometimes have raw fruit and veggie cravings. I realized it's my body needing a detox. It often happens after I eat a substantial amount of meat or greasy stuff. I am having it so bad right now. For lunch today we had this exquisite ... banquet... with the president of the university -- multicourse and red wine and the whole deal. Even an automatic lazy susan. But right now I want nothing more than raw spinach and fruit. Too bad raw food isn't real safe here. To mention nothing of sitting around all day. I can literally see myself getting fat. I want to go out and do something but it's raining like a flood outside. Literally. China is flooding. Hope this lets up soon and doesn't do too much damage. Hope the university figures out soon what they want to do with me. Talk about procrastinators.
Oh the other exciting thing is that I find myself randomly lapsing into speaking the local dialect that I didn't know I could speak. I guess when someone talks to you in a language enough, it makes you want to answer in it or something. I think it's messing with my Mandarin because I'm having a hard time controlling when I lapse. I think I just might come home speaking another language. Whoever said this trip would improve my Mandarin... lol.


I am not sure if this blogging by email business is going to work, partly because I'm not sure I have the right destination address memorized. If this actually shows up as a post, someone please comment on it so I know that it's working. Otherwise, I will assume that it doesn't work, and you will not hear from me again.
Anyway, China's really different from North America. I was surprised that Shanghai had all signs in Chinese AND English, but I think that's because of the recent World Expo. We were sitting in a restaurant and my uncle who lives in Vancouver was joking that there's more white people in Shanghai than there are in Vancouver. It's exaggerated, but at that moment, it was true that there was more white people in that restaurant (legit, btw) than I've ever seen in any Chinese restaurant in my life.
And then I took the high-speed train to Wuhan, and that was really culture shock because we passed about 5 hours worth of Asian countryside. I realized that I've never seen Asian countryside before, except in pictures and videos. It looks like... the stuff of pictures and videos. I always thought that fields were planted in squares like 田. I guess they're not. They apparently follow the contour of the land and it makes them look messy.
Enough of my countryside ignorance. There's some things you people should know. 9 out of 10 people who hear I'm going to Wuhan have never heard of it. And then I think they start imagining it as a village, because it's not Beijing or Shanghai. This is comparable to me telling a Chinese person that I go to school in San Diego, and them thinking that it's an obscure town because it's not New York or Los Angeles, the only two American cities they know. Wuhan is the fifth or sixth largest city in China. Thank you for your willingness to be taught. I find it insulting that people would think it's a village and ask if I would have internet.
Ok that's all I have time for now, but more later. If this works, that is. Remember, kids, leave me comments for more posts. :]


Day 23: A song that you cannot stand to listen to

Sorry, I'm skipping Day 22: A song that someone has sung to you, because I've never really had that. I can't remember what those singing valentine people sang to me, and I've had friends sing songs to me to show me what they sound like, but... nah.

Look, is this not the most obnoxious song ever?? It's even worse with the music video. -_- I thought I should check to make sure there's no gross things in the music video, but I had to mute my computer to watch it. Soooo obnoxious.


Day 21: Your favorite song

Carol Ann (Michael W. Smith). Sorry the sound quality isn't the best on this one.


Day 20: The last song alphabetically on your iPod/iTunes

It's the 12 variations of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Except I have it by a different pianist -- Jeno Jando


Nietzsche was right (for once)...

...Christians are nihilistic*. Kind of. He only thinks so because he thinks the whole afterlife business is anti-reality. If that's true, then Christians are freaking nihilistic. Even Paul says so: "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied." 1 Cor 15:19. ...most to be pitied because we threw this life away for nothing. If I didn't think there was something more beyond this life, I should just die now because what's the point? Or I can enjoy this life and then die. Either way, I would not waste my time trying to find or fulfill a purpose in life because if that purpose is going to die with me, then it's not a purpose. Or waste my time trying to find my true self because that's going to die too. Or making up my own rules and being my own god because if I'm going to die anyway, any values I create would be so baseless. If I didn't think there was something more, I would be so nihilistic. Nietzsche obviously thinks I am nihilistic because he thinks the afterlife part is pure delusion and it appears to him that I'm apathetic to this life because I have my eyes set on the beyond. So to him, I would be nihilistic. However, there is a balance because even though I think this life has no worth in itself, I believe that what I do in this life will affect my eternity. So this life does matter, but only because it affects the next. There you go. I'm studying hum. 

*Nihilism: Apathy toward life, because all values are baseless. 


IT'S FINALLY OVER but omg it's ending too fast. Man, the whole quarter I couldn't wait for it to be over, but it's coming upon me too fast, and I'm not ready for it! Just when I started to get used to that darn schedule too. I feel like being out of country is like leaving the world. Some things I just can't do when I've disappeared from the world. So I need to figure them out before I leave. At least there's email and I won't be completely cut off. But darn there's not enough time. Here's the schedule for the next week and a bit:
Fri: figure out hum in-class essays + play appointments. LS end-of-the-year party is formal this year. lol.
Sat: prep hum in-class essays + cram ochem
Mon: cram ochem
Tue: cram ochem. take hum and ochem finals. celebrate.
Wed: cram metabolics
Thur: cram metabolics. take metabolics final
Fri: pack everything
Sat: go home

Tell me if that's not cramped. I need to figure out how to get myself to the airport and my stuff to my Jason's. First finals week that involves serious studying! Ever! This is sad.


Ok, everyone always told me Cupertino was a bubble. Academic bubble, socioeconomic bubble, Asian bubble, safe bubble... no one ever told me it was a bubble of racial attitudes (and I don't just mean the stereotypes). Did you know that Jap is not a nice word? I didn't know until last night. I've used it for 6 years to refer to my Japanese class, and no one ever said anything. Either they don't care or they don't know. I am also not the only one to have used it that way. And a thousand other things that maybe I finally picked up weren't so nice later on... like the ghetto pronunciation of Negro. I first read it in Huckleberry Finn when I was in elementary school where it's used casually to refer to black people/slaves. The word sounds cute to me. It makes me think of little things. But then when we read Huck Finn in high school, my teacher wouldn't say it, and I didn't get it. It's because I've never heard that word used before, outside of that book. In any context. And you wouldn't know it for any derogatory term unless you heard it in context. Chinaman sounds like a man from China. Cracker sounds like a food. Jap sounds like an abbreviation of Japanese. It doesn't sound bad until you hear it in that context, and I've never heard them in that context (ok, I've heard "dirty Jap" before, but I thought it was the dirty part that made it not nice, not the Jap part). And I've never heard them in that context because Cupertino is a ... racial bubble? I dunno. Like I read a compilation of anecdotes of the experiences of Asians in America, from Berkeley students. They talked about getting made fun of for the way they talked when they were little. I was never made fun of. And no, I didn't know English when I started school. I talked to my friends in Chinese and got in trouble for not following directions I couldn't understand. But no ridicule from peers. And that wasn't even in California. But I guess not all places are like that. 

And sorry for throwing those not-nice words around, but please understand that I'm not calling anyone that. I think real racism should die. I understand the gross history of blacks and whites. I try to be sensitive to that, and now I'm trying to be sensitive to these things too. I'm just not really sometimes, because my environment didn't teach me to be. Which is good, I guess, because it means I've never seriously encountered it. Racism is at least dead in part of the world. Or maybe it's just me in that sheltered bubble and I'm just really completely oblivious to racism in Cupertino? No way. 

Making fun of (not in jest) an Asian is like making fun of a white person in my mind (which is like making fun of a black or Hispanic person, or whatever). I don't get it. I don't get the point. You wouldn't make fun of (not in jest) the majority because they're normal/standard/plain. And you wouldn't make fun of the minority because that's just picking on someone weaker and shows you're wayy too desperate for superiority you obviously don't already have. There's no one left. I don't get it. (But then, I also don't get why racial jokes are offensive. I think the blindfolding the Asian guy with dental floss thing is pretty funny but....) I know not everyone thinks like me, and I doubt anyone reading this is seriously racist, but racist people need to think with their heads about what they're doing. It's dumb. And everyone else needs to find security in their own identity and stop overreacting. Yes, Asians are (often) chinky, and it's beautiful. And yes, we are men from China. 

(Ok, Monta Vistans like to make fun of Asians and whites. But not for serious. Only because we love them and we are them. Asian pride forever V)

Which reminds me, reading about people losing their home languages due to everyone else speaking English is starting to make me think that diversity may not be the best thing for society. It makes everyone the same. The only reason everyone speaks English is because everyone has a different home language. The only reason I'm losing my Chinese here at SD is because not enough people around me speak it. The people I hang out with are too linguistically diverse. Everyone's forced to speak English. You need those ethnic enclaves to keep languages and cultures alive. Mingling between different enclaves would be nice, but completely mixing them up is just destroying diversity. Forget melting pot. Forget even salad. I'm thinking different side dishes separate but touching and on the same plate. How else is the bok choy going to retain its flavor, unless it has the other bok choy to remind it of what it is, and to lend it their flavor when it starts to lose it?



Day 17: A song that makes you want to dance

Sorry, but bhangra music is the only music that makes me want to dance. Too bad I don't know how.

Heeeecka catchier than hiphop. I miss it a lot because apparently no one outside of the Fremont Union High School District knows what it is.


Day 16: A song that has made you cry

The first time I saw the title, I was like... God doesn't run from anything. He's God. Oh, but he runs to us. That's beautiful. 

There was once a man who had two sons. The younger said to his father, 'Father, I want right now what's coming to me.'

So the father divided the property between them. It wasn't long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.

That brought him to his senses. He said, 'All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I'm going back to my father. I'll say to him, Father, I've sinned against God, I've sinned before you; I don't deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.' He got right up and went home to his father.

When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: 'Father, I've sinned against God, I've sinned before you; I don't deserve to be called your son ever again.'

But the father wasn't listening. He was calling to the servants, 'Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We're going to feast! We're going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!' And they began to have a wonderful time.

All this time his older son was out in the field. When the day's work was done he came in. As he approached the house, he heard the music and dancing. Calling over one of the houseboys, he asked what was going on. He told him, 'Your brother came home. Your father has ordered a feast—barbecued beef!—because he has him home safe and sound.'

The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn't listen. The son said, 'Look how many years I've stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!'

His father said, 'Son, you don't understand. You're with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours—but this is a wonderful time, and we had to celebrate. This brother of yours was dead, and he's alive! He was lost, and he's found!'

Many people read this and they're like, oh, the younger son is obviously the born-again Christian, and the older son is the self-righteous Pharisee-not-me. But I've always identified with the older son more. Second childs are troublesome. Why can't you just sit down and behave yourself, I think. Why is it so hard for you to just obey the rules. What's the point of rebelling, you're making life difficult for everyone. I am the Pharisee. The older son never physically left, but his heart was just as far away as the younger son's was. And it's equally beautiful when he finally realizes and comes home, too. And I swear, the church is more full of older sons today than younger sons. The tragedy is that they don't know it. I was one. Let's not forget about the older sons, eh? Pharisees can be redeemed, too. 


Day 14: A song that reminds you of your boyfriend/girlfriend

Because he sang it with a small a capella group at his church and a video of it ended up on facebook and I ended up liking the song a lot.


Day 13: A song that reminds you of a former friend

(only the first 3 min)
Ok super random... but when I was in 3rd grade, some kid in my class named Kasper rapped part of the chorus, and then I forgot about it. I did not hear it for the next 11 years. A month or two ago, I was sitting outside Foodworx doing my stuff, and this song played on the radio. And I remembered Kasper. When I hear that part of the chorus, I still see him rapping it, and then stopping and saying, What, you don't know that song? I have no idea what happened to Kasper because he moved at the end of that year.

In other news, loner marathon studying is killing me. I really miss those days of studying with my chem honors buddies. That was stressful too, but at least it wasn't depressing.


Day 12: The last song you heard

On Donald's Facebook. Pretty cool, eh?


Day 11: A song on the soundtrack of your favorite movie

From the Return of the King of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Of course. Because Sam is a hero and saves not only the world, but Frodo too, even after Frodo rejects him, and he's so self-sacrificing in his undying love and loyalty to Frodo, who bears the burden of the world!! I've heard that we all need a Sam in our lives... how about if we all try to be a Sam to someone?

Ironically this song is played during the credits of the movie.


Day 9: A song that makes you hopeful

Ahhh, the day I was waiting for. I've been waiting to share this amazing song. :]


Day 8: A song that reminds you of your "first love"

Ignoring the fact that "first love" is a collocation... I take "first" to mean first in priority, not first in time. :]


Day 7: A song that reminds you of the past summer

I will shut up and try not to complain too much about my schedule cuz there's nothing to be done by complaining. Some good news is that I'm actually liking my metabolic biochem class. Some other good news is that I have MWF very free. Some more good news is that I love the weather today.

Ummm I didn't have a very memorable summer, but this song because one day during my physics class, my professor started rapping the beginning of this song when talking about waking up in the morning.


Day 6: A song that reminds you of a best friend

From Erica, lol. It's catchy sounding until she starts saying "US boy"? haha.

In other news, I have no idea how I'm going to survive having a schedule like this because those night classes on Tu/Th kill my brain and I don't have brains to do anything at night... and a lot needs to be done.


Day 5: A song that is often stuck in your head

So first of all, I'm starting to get nervous for this quarter. I need to stop psyching myself out. I have this hum reading due tomorrow. On Liberty, John Stuart Mill. It's a 100 page book, so dense and packed with political theory that it reminds me of Hobbes' Leviathan. Except 5 times shorter, thank God. So I read 25 pages in 2 hours. I'm normally a decently fast reader. This makes me nervous. I need to calm down. So I decided not to read over dinner because I needed a break, so I turned on my ipod and switched to the Christian playlist. The first song? Elise, the one that I listed in the last post as one that calms me. I don't even know why it's on that playlist, but haha, God knew that I needed to calm down. ...That is all.

Day 5: a song that is often stuck in your head.
I have phases and it switches around, but here's one that's been recent, maybe because the last week of last quarter, I wanted to hear it on a whim, and then I wanted to play it, so I've had a webpage with the chords open in my browser for a while, and every time I see the title, it starts playing in my head again.


Day 4: A song that calms you down

Ochem C counts as a bio elective. Interesting.

Rob Loomis: "Elise"
His style reminds me of my own and I find my own playing very therapeutic. Transitive property. Although it's richer to play it AND hear it than to just play it. 


Day 3: A song that reminds you of one/both of your parents

Day 2: A song that reminds you of your most recent ex-boyfriend/girlfriend. Not exactly applicable. You know when you press the skip button on your music player or whatever you use? *skip*

Day 3: A song that reminds you of one/both of your parents

I like this song. The lyrics are often exactly what I want to say, in the right language. Prayers in my heart seem more genuine and intimate when they're in Chinese (well, Chinglish). And I know this song because of my mom. 

Lord, You are my most understanding friend,
Lord, You are my dearest companion.
You are always on my mind, every day,
I long to see Your face.
At every stage of my life,
During each little pause in my life,
Your hand is always holding me,
Keeping me by Your side,
Telling me the path which I should take,
That I might not slide towards death!
How long, how wide, how deep and high is Your love!
From the depths of my heart, I am in awe!
With You, I need nothing else!
My heart is joined to Yours!
I have vowed to follow You and never change my mind!


Day 1: A song from your childhood

...from graceypoo. We'll see how long this lasts.

Day 1: A song from your childhood.

Every single week at church for offering when I was in elementary school... was this song. I still play it when I play piano for the kids, haha. Nothing's changed at all...


Well that was interesting

I did not mean to make such a big stir with the last post. I expected some misunderstandings, but not to this extent. Amazing how people misunderstand and get worked up over things I didn't even say. But I guess it's not completely there fault, because my hook ("it was partly my fault") was maybe a little too effective. I didn't mean it literally, sorry guys. Funny how what upset me most was the possibility that maybe I was getting all this crap for actually doing something wrong in God's eyes, rather than doing something right and being misunderstood/offending others. I am ok with being misunderstood and while I don't like offending people, I can't help it if they don't like what I believe. Or what they think I believe. I don't expect everyone to understand. I can take the crap. But for a moment I really thought I was going crazy because when I went back and read it, it seemed to be perfectly normal reasoning and not extraordinarily radical or offensive or theologically incorrect. I still don't think it's offensive if understood properly (which many fail to). And I'm pretty sure it's not theologically incorrect. But I guess it might be considered radical. What a difference between how Christians see the world and how others see the world. I was expecting a mostly Christian audience so I didn't bother to explain some background things that I probably should have. Sorry, nonchristian cyberspace community. That was my bad. Please read my explanations in the comments and on Facebook if you haven't already. It might make you feel better if I offended you.

So yes, even though I had a pretty rough weekend for it, I feel so much more complete now for having been through all that. I actually understand what Jesus/Paul mean when they talk about the "present sufferings" and "sharing in Christ's sufferings" and stuff. AND "the apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name." I'm not sure I'm jumping for joy yet, but I guess it is pretty cool to suffer for Jesus' sake. That is the one thing most worth suffering for. 


The natural disasters in Japan.....

... is partly my fault.

So I love Japan and want to see Japanese people come to know Jesus, right? I realized that one big problem with a lot of performance-driven Asian people is that they think they are self-sufficient and good if they perform well. I am was one of those people. Well that is most definitely not the case, as we are all to some degree morally deficient by God's standards. The point is, I've been praying for God to make Japanese people realize that they need him. And God is answering me by (literally) shaking up the nation to make them realize that they are not self-sufficient, and that everything that they're working for in this life is in vain. I was not expecting something of this magnitude when I prayed that prayer, but somehow I am not surprised. It's so like God to do something like that. I don't mean to sound cold, because this is very tragic and is shaking me up too, but rather I have great hopes as to what God can accomplish through this.

So now the reaction has started, but we have to make sure it goes to completion! It will have been the most useless thing ever if our current highly unstable transition state returns to starting material! After all that painful investment of energy! In other words, (for those of us who are not in the most ideal positions to directly reach out to them) we must pray them through this! We (at least I, but I can't be the only one) prayed, and it began, and now we need to keep praying for good to come of this! Because I see a lot of potential good, but I also see a lot of potential bad. Product, not starting material, guys. Shift the equilibrium to the product side!(Ochem final on Monday!) They have great physical need at the moment, but they have a much greater spiritual need that's been building up for decades and centuries now.

And if you remember, I've been supporting the Aoyagi family (aoyagifamily.wordpress.com) in their permanent missions trip to Japan. I've been praying for God to use them to further his kingdom in Japan. Well, they finally moved there less than a month ago. Within a month! Now do you see the extent of how drastically God is answering my prayers??? Anyway. They are ok, and I've heart a little about how they've been able to reach out to people unable to go home as trains shut down, even as they were unable to go home for the same reason. God clearly has them there for a very specific reason and purpose, and it's happening! As always, they could use our prayer support, if we would give it.

On a bigger scale, God is amazing. Amazing at how he listens to us and infinitely more amazing period. But at the same time I'm starting to realize how similarly potentially disastrous a lot of my other prayers have been. Wow, I'm almost scared to see what else is going to start happening. I could very well have been praying the same prayer for YOU. 


What a good quarter. I am very satisfied with the balance I have achieved between people/play and school. I love people. I like learning too, but studying somehow doesn't always equate to learning, and learning science is just not as cool as learning about people. Personally. I guess you could say that I like to learn about my God's creation, and my favorite thing to learn about is God's most beautiful creation.

Let that sink in.

So yes, work has picked up, and there's a price to pay for wanting to learn about people more than books, but God has made me rather rich in that area, and I don't mind paying that price. What's a couple of hours of discomfort after getting graded stuff back, compared to the eternal investment I hope I'm making in people?

But I've been having very frequent dizzy/lightheaded spells lately, for like the past week. I'm getting a little concerned. Several things are making me suspect high blood pressure. HIGH blood pressure???? I'm out of my mind. We'll see. My dear Elena, please feel better soon. We don't want any abnormal things to happen during our college career now, do we? Unless He wills it, but I guess then there's nothing we can do about that now, is there? But I would rather not, God.

Now, off to see Tangled with a Kevin and others. Sorry, Ochem. I've already spent so much time with you today.


This quarter has been so chill, somehow. I thought last quarter would be chill, but it wasn't chill, and I thought this quarter was going to be not chill, but it's so chill. I never thought I would say this. I love chem lab. It's my favorite class. And I love having all morning classes, because every afternoon I feel like I have no school and it's break. It felt like break for the first few weeks of school. This past week it kind of felt like school because I tried to sit and study for my midterms tomorrow. I haven't completely forgotten how to study, fortunately. But really, I wonder sometimes if I should be working harder, because I'm often reminded of the verse that says to work at everything with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not men. I work at other things, such as investing in people, with all my heart. And I work at school hard enough to do very well. What is all of my heart? Does this verse even apply to this situation? Because it's actually talking about how slaves should obey their masters. Can that be extended to the relationship that I have with school? .............maybe not.


But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ pleasurefungradeshealthcomfortsmartsmoneymusicfriendsfamily. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord <3, for whose sake I have lost (am losing) all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him... I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead! And don't forget that our citizenship is in heaven! (Phil 3:7-10, 20)

Facebook won't let me make my status more than 420 characters. This is 627 characters.


FAQ: How was Canada?

It was very good. I thought it'd be boring, but it wasn't. What did I do? Well, I hung out with family, a lot. (No picture for privacy reasons.) I ate a hecka lot. Vancouver seafood and stuff... unfortunately this seafood is cheaper when shipped to Cupertino than it is in Vancouver itself. Somehow. I ate a lot of money. This family knows how to spend money. Although I think paying $300-$500 for a little extra material at the bottom of your not-made-in-China dress shirts is a little excessive. But I fully approve of the food spending! Also, I had my first real drink, and it was legal.

The ironic thing is that the house there is very well heated. I walked around in a tshirt. But it's freezing outside. As in when you try to drink water that you left in the car overnight, it's full of ice, and your feet freeze numb after half an hour. Coming back here and walking out of the airport, I thought it very warm in comparison to Seattle. Very warm and comfortable. But the house I stayed at last night in cozy San Jose was freaking FREEZING. Anyway.

We also did a few touristy things. Nothing I haven't seen before, but seeing things in life is different than seeing them in decade (plus) old memories. For one, the Capilano Suspension Bridge with lights at night. This sidewalk-wide wooden bridge swings over a fat gorge/ravine thing with a river at the bottom. I love heights. Too bad it was night and hard to appreciate it... at least for me. My cousin's dog saw it too well.


I also saw some historical sights. Such as the hospital I was born in, and the first apartment I remember living in:
Hecka weird. Because I remember walking to a preschool from this apartment, and I thought I remembered how to get there. But I thought it couldn't be right because I was 4 or 5 at the time, and I haven't seen the place since. Well guess what, it's exactly where I remembered it to be. I can't believe I remembered how to get there. I still don't even know how to get to church when I'm in SD. Anyway.

They also have this cutesy poodle that looks like a lamb. He was very fun.

Anyhow. Got back at 12 last night after a day of travelling and still  managed to party hop and play until 7 something in the morning and still get home in one piece. The only allnighter I will ever pull is for new years (when else would you arrive at a party at 2AM?). In the morning, I found myself saying weird things that I don't mean. Also the only day of the year I actually need my glasses, and I'm proud to say that I had the foresight to bring them back this year (haha, foresight). And then up at 5AM tomorrow and on my way back to SD!! My sleep schedule will be fixed soon.

PS happy new year!! This year, I resolve to... not sure yet. I can't even remember what I resolved last year. I resolve to remember my resolution. jk.