Showing posts from March, 2018

Dear Angela,

I've been seeing a few "Memories" re: the 2013 LA Marathon, and I thought about you because you were one of the main reasons and inspiration for me to run it that year. I originally wanted to just do half marathons because of Lindsey Ngo running the Disney half, and never thought I would push my physical limits to (mostly) run 26.2 miles. Maybe that's also why I decided to read the Haruki Murakami book " What I Talk About When I Talk About Running ," which I think you would appreciate as a runner (and maybe you can copy some of his routes along the Meiji Jingu Gaien, though I have no idea how far away you are from there.) Or it might even inspire you to write about your own running journey [all in one story rather than scattered blog posts, or it could even be a blog post!] I can't believe it has been almost 6 years since the OC half (my first half ever), and although my cardio is unlikely to return to that level, it's great to see your physic

What's on my reading list?

(Updated 8.30.18) Reading is something I'm trying to do more of to increase my intelligence, de-stress/entertain myself, and general self-help/improvement. I'm trying to read more books [as one of my #30goalsbefore30 is to read a book a month for the next 30 months], but open to articles and blogs as well. Sometimes it's hard to make time to read for leisure when most of my work is reading (in the past year I've read over 300,000 pages in case files), and there's no real pressure [aka reading in law school to not look dumb when on-call.] Publishing a goal and reviewing each book I read helps make me more accountable, and I hope to have a record of what I've added to my literary repertoire. Here's what I've read since starting my goals December 2017: Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg Option B - Sheryl Sandberg  What I Talk About When I talk About Running - Haruki Murakami  Currently, I'm reading Never

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: Book Review

I love Haruki Murakami's writing. I first read Kafka on the Shore in college, and since then, I've read at least one of his novels every year or every other year. His stories are a mind trip and his writing style is compelling, simple, yet sophisticated and whimsical. He is a master of description and his use of similes is incomparable. While known for his fiction, I borrowed an e-book version of What I Talk About When I Talk About Running because of my fondness of Murakami's writing and because it's not super long and something I could finish in less than a month. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is a memoir that literally talks about Murakami's long-distance running. While running and training for the New York marathon is the main theme, there are several complementary side-stories: how he wrote his acclaimed novels, life in Japan compared to Hawaii and Cambridge, and lecturing to college students. He discusses details of his personal life from su

The Magic of Ag Day

Government work is by no means glamorous, but I do try to make the most of the few perks I have being a state worker. One of the best perks is getting early access to "Ag Day." Ag (short for agriculture) Day, is a day sponsored by the California Department of Food and Agriculture  where the agriculture community showcases the "bounty of crops and commodities produced in our state" (aka free crap galore!) It was literally my favorite day of work last year, where my coworkers and I went outside and went from booth to booth getting food samples such as tri-tip sandwiches and little bottles of chocolate milk, reusable bags, and fun knick-knacks such as a cow squeeze toy that decreases stress. 2017 haul: I almost forgot about the raisins- nature's candy!  Betsy is still on my desk today~ (though has mostly been used as a chew toy for Sunny Dodd) This year it rained, but that did not deter me from fulfilling my inner-Asian destiny to collect as much

How to Play Elmo at a Toddler's Birthday Party

The title of this post is somewhat misleading, as I did not personally play Elmo at a two-year-old's birthday party. Rather, I personally observed my colleague/friend Jamie don a furry red suit and "raise the roof" so her child and her daycare friends could pretend they were in Sesame Street. And this is the same Jamie who planned the rubber ducky sip-and-see , so I knew it would be a blast, even though when I said I would come months ago, I immediately thought: " Oh no. There will be kids at this party. " Here is my guide on how to play Elmo at a Toddler's Birthday party: 1. Decide on Sesame Street as a theme for the party, on condition that the child whose birthday it is actually likes Sesame Street. 2. Attempt to hire someone to play Elmo (preferably not one of those scary Vegas versions on the Strip): HI KIDS 3. Once you do hire someone, double-check that they are actually coming, so you don't have to play Elmo (Option A). The rest of thi

How important is preschool?

Some say life is a continual learning process, and one thing that primes us for learning is preschool, by definition an introduction or preparation for structured academia. I'm guessing most people don't think or care about preschool unless their own child is in it or about to attend. But it's something that most people in the U.S. experienced and affects all of us in that it sets the foundation of the education system, and an investment in prospective contributions to the economy. Although I'm not an expert in education, as someone who went to preschool and spent a majority of my life in school, I'd say preschool is important and something we should be concerned about. Today, I went to a University of California Public Policy Center lunch lecture where a professor discussed his research on school readiness and implications for public policy on preschool. The Professor addressed studies of preschool interventions and whether early educational interventions ext

What it's like to go to a toilet + Totoro pop-up shop in San Francisco

If you like Japanese things and are around the Bay Area, check out the Studio Ghibli Pop-up Shop at Toto Concept 190 in San Francisco! It is hosted by the bookstore Kinokuniya and is running until Sunday, March 18. You must first reserve [free] tickets to enter during a one hour slot via Eventbrite . They have a person at the door scanning the QR codes, but let in my friend 15 minutes early when she gave the name of the ticketholder. If you turn immediately right, you get to make a soot sprite (from "My Neighbor Totoro"). They provide markers and a small circular sticker that you can stick to the wall! Jocelyn adding to the art! In the center of the space was a Totoro camphor tree filled with Studio Ghibli plushies:  While waiting in line for the bathroom, we saw a selfie booth. Toto had two fun frames featuring their washlets.  If you upload it on social media with #totowashletSF, you get a free mini toilet keychain. If you open it

How to Judge a Moot Court Competition

Today I volunteered to judge rounds at my law school's annual Asylum and Refugee Law National Moot Court Competition . Justices Vong and Cruz (don't judge the judges please) For those of you that saved years of your life and didn't go to law school, moot court is different from mock trial in that it's an oral argument in front of a panel of appellate court judges instead of the jury like we see in Law & Order. UC Davis (King Hall) hosts a national competition every year that focuses on Asylum law, where law students from all over the country come to Davis to advocate for either a petitioner seeking asylum in the United States or on behalf of the US government. This topic means a lot to me because my parents were refugees who fled Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge and immigrated to the US. My parents inspired me to pursue a career in public service where I could work with a government that protects the rights of its people, and I hope to use my law degree to ad

Fried Chicken: The Key to Ending Racism? Review of David Chang's "Ugly Delicious"

Whether it's a fancy Chicken & Waffles with Rosemary and Bacon from Hash-House-a-go-go or a 20 piece bucket from KFC, fried chicken is a common symbol of comfort. That is 2 fried chicken breasts atop 4 pieces of waffle with bacon inside the waffles (X3 orders). Aka the American Dream. Another American Dream: eating KFC in Kentucky. It's also something that we stereotype as "black people's favorite food" (along with watermelon) and extremely unhealthy (which it can be). But fried chicken can also a bridge between people and a way to understand other races and culture better, as presented by David Chang in his Netflix series "Ugly Delicious." Chang (restaurateur, Momofuku), travels to various major cities in the U.S. and around the world eating fried chicken dishes and exploring what fried chicken means to different races and cultures. Chang is joined by various celebrities and chefs as they sample this "ugly" food that fills