February 28, 2021 - My first time skiing

I've always been embarrassed by my athleticism, or lack thereof. As a result, I've never been courageous enough to try out different sports for the fear of embarrassing myself. I always justified this too by saying that I'm a more creative person, and I excel better in the arts. While that's true, it served more as an excuse to not push myself outside of my comfort zone and get over the potential embarrassment of being bad at something. Over the years (especially since COVID started), I began to appreciate and enjoy playing sports. It started with Spikeball, which is a very kind introduction to sports. Though I still embarrass myself, when I'm enjoying the time with my friends and pushing myself to exercise, it makes me feel stronger physically, but also mentally.

All that is to say that I went skiing for the first time today. I had never went growing up for the same reason mentioned above. But it was so much fun! I had my fair share of falling, but I'm proud of myself of for being unapologetically me, even on the slopes. Everyone starts somewhere right?

February 27, 2021 - Sun's out

Today, the sun was shining sooo beautifully! Spring is just around the corner - it's so close I can taste it. I also took a trip to Costco for the first time in a long time, definitely missed the fries and hotdogs, but did not miss the crowds. Prior to COVID, I love me a good crowd. In Chinese there's a term called, re nao (). There's no direct translation but it basically means bustling with noise and excitement or lively. It's the type of energy you get when you're at a night market or a busy day in the middle of the city. I can't wait until I can experience those days once again!

February 26, 2021 - Happy Lantern Festival!

For those of you who don't know, the Lantern Festival happens on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year. It's the day where you officially wrap up the festivities of Lunar New Year (also the day that you can finally open the red pockets!). Again, I'm not that superstitious, but I always put my red pockets under my pillow and open them only after the Lantern Festival. Also, on this day you usually want to eat tong yun, which is a delicious mochi-like dessert. In English, they're referred to as sweet sticky balls. It's a great treat!

February 25, 2021 - 4 Day Weeks

Although having a 4 day week is great (either from a national holiday or just taking a day off), sometimes I'm not sure how effective it is. Since we're always so used to working for 5 days, whenever I have a 4 day week, I still have the same amount of work to accomplish, but just condensed in a shorter timeline. Though at the end of the day, I still appreciate having a day off to relax and recoup - so it's not so bad.

February 24, 2021 - Mop

A few days ago, I watched Sophia Chang's vlog and she talked about her mop - which was similar to the Bissell Spinwave Floor mop. Now even though I knew I was getting 100% influenced, I can't help it. There's something about hearing recommendations from YouTubers you love and trust, that's so compelling. Any who, we bought the mop and it arrived today! Though I thought it would have more scrubbing power, it's a great tool for every day mopping. It definitely feels like less effort required & cleaner than using your ole' mop.

February 23, 2021 - 30 Before 30

No - this is not about Forbes' 30 under 30. Today I saw a post by Asian Boss Girl about their listeners' 30 pieces of advice they wish they knew before they were 30. Here are a few of my favourites:

  1. You really find out who your true friends are as you get busier

  2. Saying "no" is really important

  3. I don't have time for everyone

  4. The right person won't come at the wrong time

  5. Happiness is not an end goal, it's appreciating the journey

  6. Health is wealth

  7. Not every friend you make is meant to be in your life forever

  8. To be proud of my heritage, culture, and Asian identity!

  9. Having good coworkers is so important for work sanity

  10. You are not defined by your accomplishments or failures

February 22, 2021 - More cleaning

Just cleaned some more and made some listings on Facebook marketplace today - wish me luck in getting the items sold!

February 21, 2021 - Facebook Marketplace

Facebook marketplace is a pretty great method to sell clothes "garage sale" style virtually. I do have my reservations about giving strangers my address with no confirmation of their intent on paying me. But I suppose it's built on a trust and honour system. If anyone comes across this post, would love to hear any success or failure stories regarding their usage of Facebook marketplace!

February 20, 2021 - Clothing Clean-out

Over the years I've accumulated many clothes. My wardrobe is a mix of 85% clothes that I bought, 10% hand-me-downs from my sister, and 5% clothes I found lying around at home. I need to be a more conscious consumer. Though I know many fast fashion and other brands are more accessible to me, I should only make purchases when I need to fill in some sort of gap in my closet. I'm trying to shift away from overtly trendy styles to not overbuy clothes...

Today I spent some time cleaning out some clothes that I intend on donating, though I thought it would be fun to share the clothes I have with my network first (on social media). If I can find a new home for my clothes, this feels more sustainable than donating every piece to goodwill and potentially not making a positive impact.

February 19, 2021 - Friday!

TGIF! Planning to spend my weekend catching up on sleep, reading, TV, and relaxation. I should also probably do some form of exercise...

February 18, 2021 - Anti-Racism via Cooking

Today at work there was a virtual cooking event with chefs Marcus Samuelson and JJ Johnson. Beyond just sharing their cuisine, they engaged in some very thought provoking and important conversations surround the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-racism as a whole. I was really impressed by their honesty, vulnerability, and openness in having these amazingly important conversations that we need to weave into our every day lives. Food is such an important aspect of culture and history, it's a great way to start becoming a better ally to people who may look different than you. While I've tried many East Asian-owned restaurants in Markham and Toronto, I notice that I haven't yet tried nearly enough Black-owned and Indigenous-owned restaurants. Really excited to continuing to explore different cuisines and learn more about their history!

February 17, 2021 - New video coming soon!

Editing YouTube videos take 5x longer than I expect it to each time. There’s also so many other little things I always forget to prepare like the thumbnail or writing the descriptions. Anyways, stay tuned for Friday’s video! Hint: 📱

February 16, 2021 - Horoscopes

I'm not that into horoscopes, but I saw a post on Instagram today that made me go, "Omg! That's so me." I'm a Gemini and the post was something to do about poor reply times, and that is definitely one of my greatest character flaws. I'm really bad at replying to messages. The reason why is a mix of a few things:

  1. I'm lazy

  2. I don't want to give someone half-assed reply when I'm not 100% in the mindset to socialize (but then I opt to reply many days later or not at all, so not sure which one is better)

  3. I have a bad habit of procrastinating

But I suppose the so-what to this little brainstorming activity is to create a plan of action so I improve my reply times. I'll think about this later (classic).

February 15, 2021 - Family Day

Happy Family Day! Hope you all have a great long weekend and spend it with family & loved ones. The past year has been a great reminder to be grateful for the people we have on our lives.

February 14, 2021 - Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day y'all! I'm curious as to why this holiday exists, other than for capitalist reasons so I did a quick search. So here's a quick history lesson for ya. There's a trigger warning here for sexual violence and abuse.

According to NPR, the origin of Valentine's Day is in ancient Rome, where men would hit women (*sighs*). From February 13 to 15, the Romans sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of those animals. Women believed that getting beat would make them fertile. This event would also include a matchmaking lottery.

On February 14th of two different years in the 3rd century AD, Emperor Claudius II executed two men both named Valentine.

There's a few other events that were either coincidental or all contributed to this notion of Valentine's Day.

February 13, 2021 - Two new apps

Here's two new apps that seem to be up and coming lately! If anyone is interested in either of these apps and comes across this journal entry, feel free to reach out as I have some more invites for both!

  1. Clubhouse - An iPhone app allowing people to host and join audio conversations. The way they describe it is "drop-in audio chat". Think of it kind of like a Discord or Instagram Live that feels a bit more intimate and personal. I think it's pretty interesting and there are tons of different rooms and topics on there. My only worry with it is that people can come off as a little "preach-y", though I think it's a great place to start having authentic conversations.

  2. Dispo - David Dobrik's disposable camera app, where you use the app to take film-like photos, wait for them to "develop", and see the photos only at 9AM the next day. There is also a social networking aspect to it where you can collaborate with friends/strangers on specific film rolls. I love the idea of incorporating the disposable camera aspect where you can still enjoy the present moment in life & capture them without worrying about taking the perfect shot. Loving it so far!

February 12, 2021 - Happy Lunar New Year!

恭喜发财! In pin yin this is gong xi fa cai, which directly translates to wishing you enlarge your wealth. I'm not that superstitious usually, but when it comes to Chinese/Lunar New Year, I stick by all the superstitions. Here's just a few:

  • Don't wash your hair/clothes on New Year's Day because you'll wash away the good luck

  • Don't clean/throw out garbage on New Year's Day because you'll throw out wealth

  • Don't say any negative words like sick, death, empty, pain, poor, as to not bring any of these misfortunes onto you

Happy Year of the Ox!

February 11, 2021 - So Delicious Frozen Dessert

I've been looking for good dairy-free or dairy alternative desserts for awhile now. My friends Loreina and Annie recently introduced me to So Delicious ice cream and it's so.. delicious... It tastes just like regular ice cream so I was shocked. I only tried the So Delicious salted caramel with cashew flavour but you don't taste the cashews all that much. Another brand I've liked is the PC Mango Coconut Milk dessert too. Anyone else have some recommendations?

February 10, 2021 - Knock Knock Jokes

Here's a few fun knock knock jokes:

  • Knock, Knock. Who's there? Tank. Tank who? You're welcome.

  • Knock, Knock. Who's there? Broken pencil. Broken pencil who? Nevermind, it's pointless.

  • Knock, Knock. Who's there? Spell. Spell who? Okay, W - H - O.

February 9, 2021 - #4 Gmorning, Gnight

A continuation of my poetry series. This time I'm going to attempt writing it in the style of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Gmorning, Gnight tweets/book. FYI, I own this book and it's definitely one of my favourite books ever! Not only because I'm a massive Lin-Manuel Miranda fan, but because the writing and poetry is beautiful.Gmorning!May you tackle your day with hot coffee,Lots of water, And gratitudeGnight!May you recharge your body and mind with a warm bed,A good night's sleep,And sweet dreams.

February 8, 2021 - Off day

It was a bit of an off day today - rough Monday, but hopefully will get back into the groove of things as the week goes on! I did a quick Google search on why Mondays are the worst and here's what I found summarized into quick points:

Our sleep schedule gets messed up and confused (even if you get a good night's rest on Sunday)

Pop culture - we have a very TGIF-centered outlook on the work week

Transitions and change is hard. Mondays are usually a type of uncertainty since we don't know what the new work week or school week will bring us.

February 7, 2021 - Nintendo Switch

I’ve been playing lots of Mario Kart this weekend. I've been playing more with real people online, and there's definitely an art to Mario Kart that I do not have a grasp of. My go-to racers switch between Baby Mario and Toad. I also recently downloaded the Untitled Goose Game, which is hilarious. Definitely a fun, interactive puzzle game that you can play with two players!

February 6, 2021 - #3 Acrostic

On today's continuation of writing different poetry formats, we're going to tackle the acrostic:CHEESECheddar, mozzarella, parmesanHave it on pizza, burgers, and on your pasta!Emily can't have too much due to the lactose intoleranceEating it can make one very happySometimes you'll even find it in bubble tea or dessertsEvery kind is delicious!

February 5, 2021 - KBBQ @ Home

Been eating lots of Korean barbecue at home lately and it is IT! I can’t wait to be able to eat KBBQ in restaurants and outside when the weather’s nice again. In the Toronto/GTA area, some of my favourite KBBQ and JBBQ places are Daldongnae and Gyubee!

February 4, 2021 - Buy less clothes

Today I was thinking about how I wanted to buy new clothes. I usually get into phases where I really want clothes and after I make an order, the interest subsides for a bit but eventually comes back. The result - I have a bunch of clothes that I don’t wear, while I still constantly feel like I’m not keeping up with the latest trends.

I wanted to ask myself, "Why do I need to constantly buy new clothes?" and all I can think of is the short-term high I get from making a purchase and getting something new. And also being perceived as trendy and going with the fads. Now don’t get me wrong, I do a happy dance whenever I get something in the mail, and especially when it’s clothes. But that excitement dies down pretty quickly.

I feel like my desire to be liked by people is also part of the reason why I keep wanting to buy more clothes. My thought process is something like this: if I have trendy clothes --> I am fashionable --> People will like. Bulletproof logic.

But I also want to ask myself again: Why do I even want or care about other people’s opinions of me in the first place? Anyways, all that is to say I’m not going to stop shopping altogether. But I will think long and hard about shopping only when I need a certain piece in my closet, and I will avoid more “trendy” clothes that won’t last past one season. Maybe I'll make a new YouTube video out of this...

February 3, 2021 - Iced Americano

Today I made an iced Americano which isn’t what I usually make as a morning beverage. But we ran out of milk so this had to do. I was fairly impressed. It's simple but it was really nice just enjoying all the flavours of the espresso itself. I’ll definitely be drinking more Americanos in the future. Also did anyone else know it’s literally just water and espresso??? So fancy sounding though.

February 2, 2021 - #2 A limerick

Today I’m trying to write a limerick: a humorous poem of five lines using a rhyming scheme of aabba.

Mr. groundhog said, “An early spring is here!”

Can you hear the town roar and cheer?

“We can’t wait for long days and more sun!”

We will soon say farewell to winter fun

Oh boy has it been a long year

February 1, 2021 - #1 A haiku

Today I prompted myself to write a haiku. I remember having a poetry lesson in elementary school, where we studied different forms of poems like an acrostic or limericks. I'll definitely indulge and challenge myself to write a few poems this month.

New Beginning by Emily Yau

Mondays are quite hard

But hello February

What fun will you bring?