Thanksgiving

So this is way overdue. But I had an interesting Thanksgiving. This will be long so like…skip around and skim…don’t read…or read while on the toilet to amuse you.

My family is always fun with my cousins and their different personalities and such. But this year had a little twist. My cousin from SC brought with her some of her international friends to my grandma’s house for Thanksgiving since they couldn’t go home over the short break and they’d be bored at the university. And my cousin from San Diego on my dad’s side was over here in good ol’ Georgia too.

The international kids seemed very nice. Like too polite. But now I know they’re just being guests and they’ve fooled me, haha. I mean, I think they’re still nice. They’re not like evil people, but my image of them is slightly different from how they really are: regular old kids like me…Okay. Probably not as weird but I’m thinking not as pure and polite as they seem. And they all had cute little accents.

Introductions were done by my cousin so we’d all know each other and it was weird cause we all have Vietnamese nicknames with strange origins and strange sounds to them (or maybe not since some were Chinese and our language is very similar). But that was fun. But then during the actual dinner, my grandpa (I believe he was drunk already. Good job. Before dinner started) insisted that everyone introduce themselves. He went first and my sister, the troll, basically trolled him.

Grandpa: Hi! I’m Peter. I’m the big boss of this family.

Sister: I think you mispronounced big joke!

Note: Our family always trolls and “insults” each other and that’s how we show love. You might see it as disrespect or a hateful family, but that’s how we are. Might be a culture shock to very loving and affectionate families. But that’s how we roll and it breeds very witty and sharp-tongued people and it’s quite scary. I’m very amused when my friends try to insult me jokingly but I go for the weak points I’ve gathered and they’re just recoiling like, “Why?! I’m sorry!” and I was here like, “I’m ready for the comeback. Let’s go!”

Anyways. Cue craziness. He first went around to the uncles and my dad (who were also drunk…I think…not sure about one of them cause he’s just the same sober…) and they drunkenly introduced themselves. Then suddenly it skipped around to us teens (or young adults…or adults. When are you not a teen anymore?) and it skipped over the aunts and my mom. I guess they don’t matter in Grandpa’s patriarchy but ok, sure dude. (I’m low key salty. They matter too).

I think from one cousin, we started doing like this popcorn thing of introductions since my grandpa was skipping around weirdly so we took it in our own hands. But then he got up and went to people who already introduced themselves and demanded an intro. And I’m like “Dude. Go drink water and lay down. You’re a nuisance and drunk. If you’re gonna be drunk, be funny like my uncle.”

He grabbed my cousin and basically the did the intro for her but still demanded she introduce herself. It was weird. But he eventually left back to his end of the table.

It was a fun dinner as usual. I couldn’t sit next to my cousin whom I usually sit next to and like amuse ourselves with how funny we are. But that’s cool. I still heard his remarks down the table. I sat across from a Chinese student and he was very polite and quiet that it scared me. It was such a contrast in the midst of everyone else. Someone protect this guy. Too good for this world.

[Cousin 1 is serving dessert]

Funny and Loud Cousin: Yo! This service sucks! No tip for you! No stars on Yelp!

I didn’t really get to interact much with the other international kids since they were absorbed with their squad things at that end of the table but it was nice to pop in at times.

Food was good. Highlight was the Honey Baked Ham for me. I did my introduction while eating ham, of course.

Hi my name is Madelyn. I’m a college student. Marketing major. Not that interesting. I’m eating this ham. It’s awesome. You might hear me being called by my Viet nickname and you can call me that too if you want. I’m still eating ham…thank you.

Pretty eventful night. The squadron of my cousin and her friends left to go Black Friday shopping soon after dinner and I was basically shamed for not going out. But joke’s on them. I get to sleep and not get trampled. I’m passive for the most part and 5’2. I don’t think that’s a good combination for Black Friday shopping in America.

I ate the remainder of the ice in the ice bucket because I…actually I have no idea why I did that. To cope with loneliness? I just got an idea to eat ice and I went for it. Go me.

That’s about it. Happy Holidays. Stay safe. Did you have an interesting Thanksgiving?

P.S. funny thing today since we’re talking about international students: I was presenting and I think my almost nonexistent Asian accent came out and I said, “crean” instead of “clean”. I cringed so hard on the inside as I tried to amend my mispronunciation but I think every time I tried, it got worse. I don’t know what happened.

 

3AM Nuisances

Hey guys! This might be a little cranky/rant but not really rant but take it lightly cause I’m cranky but also laughing at the ridiculousness of what happened.

I was sleeping just fine (slept around midnight) when these guys come out of nowhere in front of my dorm with their giant and loud speaker blasting rap. And I just sit straight up out of bed like, “What the heck is this?!” and I check the time and it’s freaking 3AM. And I’m just saying to them mentally, “Why?! Why now?! Don’t you need sleep? Finals are coming and all the classes are like shoving all these things at you? Get out of here, deadbeats!”

And they just change their music and I swear, it gets louder. I was so done with them. If I had the energy and a loud speaker, I’d blast metal right back at them. Scare them away with my “demonic” screaming music. Fun fact: I listen to metal along with other types of music.

Then they start bragging about how they peed everywhere. (Read in stoner voice. They didn’t sound stoned but it’s fun to imitate them as such. They were most likely drunk):

“Aw yea, man. Like, I peed everywhere. Don’t step over there. Flooded the sh*t out of that corner. *giggles*”

And I’m sitting in bed like, “Is this even real, right now?” I put it up on Snapchat so I could look back on it and see that it’s not some crazy intense and vivid hallucination from me working too much this week. I just checked, it’s real and it happened.

What a bunch of inconsiderate knuckle heads. I think I’m still slightly cranky now and low key want to be out for blood but they’re bigger than me and I could get killed. I rarely get angry or just a bit cranky but it’s easy for me to be cranky if my sleep is interrupted by something stupid like that.

So yea. That was my sort of surreal night. I’ll be better soon. And I’ll post my thanksgiving reflection thing later today…if I have time, haha. I want it done before December happens tomorrow. It’s happening too quick.

New Low in Life

This is funny, I swear. At least funny to me.

Yesterday, I got back to college in the evening around 8PM and I parked my car far cause parents come into the gate with their kids and like take up space and then they leave. So my car was parked far and I had to make several trips to get all my stuff up to my room. That took a lot of time.

And then I had to unpack. That took more time.

I had two homework problem sets due for my math class and I was also very hungry.  My mom packed my favorite dish from our culture, basically it’s grilled meat with noodles and chopped lettuce and cucumbers. It’s great. Love it.

But I had homework to do and I have less than two hours to do it. Knowing me, it’ll be really slow doing it cause I get distracted. And I had to write a petition for my social problems class.

So I was shoving chopstick fulls (basically spoonfuls but with chopsticks) of noodles into my mouth with my left hand while doing mental math and solving logarithms in my head and typing in the answer with my right hand. It was crazy.

I was desperate to get the homework done. Who has homework due right after break ends anyways? That’s right the devil himself. Just kidding, please don’t fail me, professor if you end up finding this somehow. We’re all just slackers and bums around here.

But anyways, I was desperate to get homework done and also I was very hungry from the drive and the running up and down from my dorm to my car to grab stuff. I laughed at one point about how this was a new low and how pathetic I probably look but it was a funny little moment. I feel that if my roommate had come back that night too, she would’ve laughed forever at me.

But anyways, here’s my petition for supporting the continuation of DACA if you want to check it out. It’s all a part of my social advocacy project for my social problems class. I slapped it together late last night when I remembered I had to do this for my group. I knew I had to do it, forgot about it, and then scrambled to put it all together. Yay me for procrastination.

Click here to check it out. Sign if you want.

And godspeed to me. I have two group projects to do this week along with a test in math. May I not be deceased by the time the end of Friday comes.

 

Fall Photoshoot

Hello! Happy late Thanksgiving! I meant to post yesterday to say that but I found that I would have nothing interesting to say and I was also very tired. I’ll make a little separate Thanksigiving experience post later.

Today, or rather yesterday the 24th, was my first time doing a fun photoshoot with a DSLR camera. I usually use my Samsung S8 for my photography Instagram so today was a fun experience.

I used my dad’s old camera, the Nikon D40. I thought it was a good first DSLR camera for me since it’s old and gently used. I did a lot of research on how to adjust ISO and shutter speed and all that so it was fun messing around with the settings today.

We went on a hike in the afternoon to catch the kind of dimness when the sun is trying to set. I didn’t want to be there when the sun set and be working on walking all the way back to my car because we are all three small Asian girls and the world does not like foreign looking people or women. The trail went along roads at certain points and I was praying to God the whole time that no one suspicious stops their car and pick us up. Human sex trafficking is a still a relative thing where I live especially a bigger thing where I go to college. Stay safe, everyone. It was kind of scary because by the time we finished, it got dark and we had a looonnggg way back to the car. All because the trail website listed some parking points but it didn’t list this point along the way that would’ve made our trip back significantly shorter.

But anyways, besides that scary part, we had fun. We were aiming to shoot on the bridge and it turned out fantastic. It was a little different working with a DSLR and I couldn’t tap a certain part of the screen to get it to focus and shoot. It took a bit more work since I wasn’t used to it but I got it. Unfortunately, some of my pictures were out of focus but that’s ok. Near the end, I got really great pictures and I think I got the hang of this camera.

During the shoot, the model  (my aesthetic cousin) was playing 80’s music from her phone so that really added some fun to the shoot as we worked and moved around the bridge to take pictures. I was jamming out and she was too and my assistant (my sister) was just being her, squatting on the side and judging us.  (Just kidding. She helped out with grabbing props out of my bookbag and holding stuff.)

I got great pictures, learned how to work a DSLR, and a hike out of this experience. That’s the good stuff. The bad thing is I’m really sore since it’s been over a year since I’ve hiked and my shoes that I hike in have betrayed me because I come back home to giant blisters on both of my pinky toes.  But it was worth the aesthetic.

Check out my Instagram here for the pictures. I’ve already uploaded one edited one as of this post going up. And there will be more to come! And hopefully, as I work more with this camera, I will gain more experience and get better at photography.

P.S. Low key hoping someone gets me (pays for, actually) Photoshop for Christmas. My editing program that I usually use on my laptop is not working so I have to use the mobile version on my phone and that’s not very fun.

Locked Out

Hello! So it’s been a while since I’ve posted (I think) so here’s a fun little short post.

So…I got locked out. The End.

Ok. Let’s elaborate and add flowers to take up some time of your day.

So I just finished homework and I was like, “I sure could go refill my water bottle.” So I grabbed my water bottle and went down the hall, closing my dormroom door behind me. I filled up my 1.5L Fiji water bottle that I reuse and then I strolled back to my room cause life’s good. I finished homework before 8PM and I can catch up on NaNoWriMo.

When I reached my door, I reached into my jacket pocket and I realized. I forgot to grab my key! So I was like, “Shoot. My roomie is gone too since she’s at Supplemental Instruction or whatever SI stands for.” I didn’t forget to Snapchat my situation because what true millennial doesn’t and then I walked downstairs to the first floor to sit on the couch outside of the first floor lounge. I thought I’d look even more pitiful if I just sat outside of my door.

So I sat down on the squishy orange couch and I texted my roomie cause her SI session should be ending soon. And I just flamed my frenemy (not really enemies. We just like to compete and flame each other) on Snapchat and hugged my only companion, the giant water bottle. Then my roomie came in and she saw me and burst out laughing. And we both were hysterically laughing as we walked back upstairs together.

Apparently I still looked very pitiful. At least I was wearing shoes. I was thinking about not putting shoes on before I left my room to go get water.

So that’s the story. I’m usually really good about having my keys on me since I’ll check my pockets or my purse before actually leaving and shutting the door. But today was a fun day. A fun day when little me just wanted to go get water.

And thank you for your time.

International Friend Struggles

Hi! It’s raining here but at least it’s finally getting a bit colder. Georgia is pulling itself together. Finally…I hope. Nah, it’ll never pull itself together.

Anyways. I have a friend from good ol’ Canada whom I connected over the book aesthetic side of Instagram known as “Bookstagram”. She’s great and her aesthetic is way better than mine. I totally forgot how we starting talking. I think I replied to her Instagram story about a book she was freaking out about and we just kept talking.

So we’re like best Internet friends who have never met in person. I’m all the way in deep dirty south America and she’s in the middle of nowhere Canada.

We often send each other memes and funny jokes of each other’s countries. Like I’ll see a Tumblr post about Canadian stereotypes or jokes and I’ll send it to her like, “Dis you?” Or she’ll see a funny “MURICA” post and send it to me. We usually both confirm the stereotype talk about why America is so weird and laugh.

But the struggles. Mostly the difference in the system of measurements. The US is the only place that uses the customary system (or most commonly known for. I’m not sure if there’s a country out there that’s like, “Hey. The US’s customary system seems great. Let’s use it.”)

We enjoy complaining or discussing the weather. So we’ll talk about how hot or cold it is and how we’re so annoyed that it’s the wrong month for it to be this way or how it’s so miserable. Then we actually say the temperature then we both freak out because it looks really bad without converting. So we always have to convert and it’s very fun.

I can convert to the metric system just fine with measurements of length or mass/weight cause the high school I went to was a magnet school for science so we were taught the conversions because we do science and science is best reported in the system that the rest of the world uses: the metric system.

But I’m not used to converting from Fahrenheit to Celsius. Because I rarely worked with temperature measurements. In chemistry labs, I used Kelvins most of the time. I never remember what fraction I have to multiply by but I do remember subtracting 32.

I may sound like an idiot and it’s very true. I only graduated magna cum laude from a magnet school. (Still low key salty that if my final GPA was .02 higher, I could’ve gotten summa. Should’ve tried harder but I valued health too much.) I know, I’m surprised I got honors too judging from my posts here, haha. But that’s besides the point. I don’t think it even matters much.

What matters is the joy and fun of having a friend from overseas who you can joke around with about your respective countries (Canada sounds like they’re doing great…at least from her standpoint and socioeconomic status) and having tiny little struggles like conversions so we can sympathize over the Interwebs.

Moral of the story: make international friends so you can laugh about always converting and cry about how great their country is. Not that America isn’t great. It’s totally fine. Except for [insert current issue that is very controversial].

Go out there and make foreign friends! Go! They’re really fun.

Night Market Adventure

Heyo! Long blog post up ahead since I haven’t posted for a week and my Friday night was actually eventful for once.

Yesterday, I went to the Atlanta International Night Market with my roomie. It was freaking awesome. But the Atlanta traffic was not. Curse you. Dinkleberg.

It’s been a while since I drove up to Atlanta like actual in the middle of congested Atlanta-ness rather than the surrounding area of Atlanta that most of us still consider Atlanta. So it was quite fun to drive at below 20 mph and scream internally when you pass a speed limit sign that was set at 35 mph. Like “Ha. That’s the dream.” But it wasn’t that bad and I’ve been in worse traffic. At least I didn’t have to pee.

So the night market. It was very lit. From the gate, you heard music that was blasting which made the atmosphere awesome. You could see the pretty lights strung up on the tents of the night market. The sun didn’t exactly set yet when we got there but it still looked pretty.

 

My roomie and I made a trip around the food tents and trucks to see what our options were (realistically, we can’t buy everything). The smoke in the air smelt great from the meat cooking. There were tons of options (even a whole section for vegans. I’m not vegan but go vegans for their food options being offered). My roomie and I were a bit overwhelmed and we didn’t know what to eat. We just love food too much.

All the vendors really got you. But our first choice was Vietnamese food. The food of my people. The lady beckoned us in and I ordered for the both of us in Vietnamese. The lady responded back in English every time and even turned back to her friends and was like, “This kid! Ahaha!” in Vietnamese, so I know she could speak Viet. She just wanted to make fun of me. I’m not hurt, I was like *dramatic gasp* the whole time. My aunt does that a lot so I’m fine, haha.

Also, my Vietnamese is not terrible as if I’m not a native speaker. I’m not fluent. I still ask how to say certain things. But I get the tones and the grammar correct and I can survive a difficult conversation. So the lady was just being a middle aged Asian lady.

Anyways, from that, my roomie and I kept circling around like hungry vultures (we’re pretty, I think. Well, at least she’s the pretty one. I’m like Asian female Skrillex). We bought more food and basically filmed our own version of Buzzfeed Worth It on my roommate’s Instagram story.

There was a stage with international performances going on. It was beautiful and amusing. There was a section of the night market that sold things so we went through that to get a little amusement from the knick-knacks and clothing and other sorts sold.

I met a few friends of my roommate there which was fun cause they’re great people. Then we left and drove to my roommate’s church where her father was so we could go get Korean Fried Chicken.

From there, my roommate basically spoiled me even more. She paid for all of our food at the Night Market and then the food we bought in her city. But I’ll get to that. Church adventure first!

So this was an interesting glimpse into the Presbyterian ways. I’m Catholic so it was interesting to get a look at what a different type of religion was like. And I’m also Vietnamese so it was interesting to see a Korean community.

I got to see some kids (were they kids my age? Maybe.) who were enthusiastic about their religion and God at a little worship program. On a Friday night. Which was different from the atmosphere of my own church where the kids were all forced to be there by their parents and was only there for social hour (they’d ignore any activities the youth leaders set up and anything they had to say. Not that I’m against kids going to church to hang out with other kids with something in common with them). The kids at my church all hated the program except for a select few who were the radical Christian home-schooled kids.

Note: I’m not saying that this is every Catholic or Presbyterian church here, it’s just from what I experienced.

But anyways, I got to meet quite a lot of my roommate’s friends and see what her life was like growing up. Cause she did say that she basically grew up spending time at the church since her father led worship and still does to this day. Her friends were all great people and seemed very nice. There was one guy I met who probably was only holding his hand up to say hi but I just smacked his hand, thinking it was a high-five like the weirdo I am. A+ for social interaction me.

And there was one special friend whom I couldn’t meet in person but my roomie really especially wanted me to meet him. But on the tour I got of her massive church, we saw him practicing (?) in a room and my roomie texted him. When he looked up, I was making a weird face in the window before scurrying away with my roomie. I did sort of talk with him later on but it was through my roomie texting him and relaying messages between us. It was very funny. I think we could be best friends (I whisper into the night creepily).

Then we drove around her town and she pointed out every restaurant she goes to and had recommendations. But it was getting late and I had an hour drive back to my home before we got the Korean Fried Chicken.

Korean Fried Chicken time! I promised my sister I’d get her something when I come back and I thought why not one of the best things Korean cuisine has to offer? We went to this little Korean shopping center to get the chicken and my roomie ordered for me and while we were waiting, we ran over to this bakery to get Korean taiyaki. She also paid for that and I was like “Whoa.” but she was like, “Let me spoil you.”

My roomie also wanted me to get Korean shaved ice and other cool stuff but she was a bit upset at the timing of things. So next time we happen to drive up to Atlanta! I’ll even bring her to a Vietnamese shopping center to scar her a bit from the V-pop they like to play (I mean BLAST). V-Pop is terrible, do not try it. I swear.

Then the rest was a blur. We went back for the chicken and waited on it to finish. We watched SNL Korea but they didn’t have English subtitles so my roomie was translating every few lines for me. I love SNL Korea but with subs because I unfortunately cannot understand the jokes without it.

Then I drove her home, had to get out of my car to punch in the code because I’m still too short in a mini-SUV. I mean, I could have also parked a tad far but I still have unbuckle my seatbelt and get on my knees to reach the gate thingy to tap my ID at my college for parking. So same thing, sorta.

Then I drove home and ate my fried chicken alone in the dark because it was late. Just kidding. My sister ate with me and so did my mom. My mom was a bit shocked at how spicy the chicken was but I just felt a little tingle. The Korean fried chicken was amazing, by the way! I loved it.

So that’s my Friday night adventure. It was very eventful and I had lots of fun. I hope to return to my roomie’s city to hang out and maybe try again at meeting that friend since she really wanted us to meet.

To new bestie: I’ll be normal when we meet in person…until you’re stuck with me forever like my other close friends and then I get crazy on you.

I’m pretty sure 99% of my closest thought I was this cool and chill person who was normal before one day, I was like, “Psych! I’m not normal, ahaha! And we’re too deep in the friendship for you to leave me.” You might say this is trickery, but I call it genius.