Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Busy Bee Me

What's up in my life is that in the next four hours, I have to somehow study for a statistics exam and a finance exam; to finish a three page macroeconomics case study and to finish some accounting problems. Tomorrow, I have to get ready for the career fair, go to my classes, take a statistics exam, go to practice, go home and squeeze in some chores, then go to work until 1 a.m..

School... work... school...

Oh and rent is due tonight.

This Saturday I have a track meet. Not to mention my taxes and FAFSA are still waiting to be done.

I have dirty laundry, bills to pay, school-related errands to run and a growing pile of other little things at work that I need to complete.

So yes. I asked God for a busy independent life and here it is. BAM! Smacking right into my lap. Now I'm asking for his help....

Monday, March 30, 2009

Life & Death

What a feeling... Being high on running has got to be one of the most addicting emotions I've ever experienced. The skies looked brighter, the sun felt warmer and not to mention, the music sounded heavenly. It was AMAZING! Next to eating and sleeping, running has got to be my third favourite part of the day.

We read Emily Dickinson's famous "I Heard A Fly Buzz When I Died" poem in poetry class today. Even though I had read this many times before in my life, Its reality never so clearly and powerfully hit me as it did today.

In case you've never read it, here it is.

I heard a Fly buzz -- when I died --
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air --
Between the Heaves of Storm --

The Eyes around -- had wrung them dry --
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset -- when the King
Be witnessed -- in the Room --

I willed my Keepsakes -- Signed away
What portion of me be
Assignable -- and then it was
There interposed a Fly --

With Blue -- uncertain stumbling Buzz --
Between the light -- and me --
And then the Windows failed -- and then
I could not see to see

After reading this, I suddenly saw myself lying on a deathbed, saying my goodbyes to everything I'd ever known and built in this life. It was the most startling clear moment I ever had this year so far. For a sharp moment, I felt a deep sadness grip my heart as my mind grasped the concept of real impending death.

This was it.

My special time on earth, everything that I had ever done, I could never do again. I was leaving behind everyone that's dear to me and all the things I'd always wanted to do but never did... Helplessness overwhelmed me as I sat there in class and everything went dark.

Don't get me wrong. It wasn't a depression that I experienced. Rather, it was just the immense sense of finality that entered my very being. Ending... All through life we experience renewal. Winter gives way to spring, which circles back to winter again. We make mistakes and move on. We fall down and pick ourselves up again.

But upon death...
There our journey ends forever. There will be no more springs or moving on or picking ourselves up. There will be no more opportunities to "do better next time" or to "make it up".

Death is like a final exam. It seems so far away when it's announced at the beginning of the year. Yet it will finally arrive without fail, without haste or slowness. And when it comes, we only have one chance to prove our knowledge and abilities.

Upon death, all is final. All.

This thought struck me so hard...

I ask myself now: am I ready to meet the Lord and account for my life? If my time ends tomorrow, will I be proud of what I've done and will I regret anything?

Perhaps life should be lived each day with death in mind...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Feel So Alive

Yesterday I was at West Point, NY for a track meet. West Point, for those who don't know, is a large piece of area in upstate New York where the U.S. Army trains. The place is basically a running haven with hills and lakes and trails everywhere. To be honest, the scenery really took my breath away. I didn't expect West Point to have such beautiful grounds.
The river and hills reminded me of running in Washington; just that these hills look way older than the mountain ranges in the West.
I ran a miserable race (and seem to be running a lot of those lately!) but nothing could kill my mood. Not even wet clothes from the steeplechase. The weather was gorgeous in a summer sense and since mine was one of the first few events, I had more than five hours left during the rest of the meet to tour the area. Well... What better way is there to do that than to go out for a nice run? And nice run it was. It was so nice, that I actually lost track of time while finding interesting trails and memorial pieces during my run. I had originally planned to go for a half hour jog but it ended up lasting for an hour. When I finally got done, I was feeling high as anything. The best part was, the high lasted me all the way until about 2200 last night.
The whole trip was so memorable, that my subconscious decided to include it in my dreams. Even now, I am still reeling from the after effects of its realness. I haven't had those crazy dreams in a while. Now that they're back, I don't know what to make of waking life...

Can't wait to run again...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Black Clothes & Churches

Today's weather put me in the mood for black again. I think it was the weird combination of grey skies and delightful warm air. Temperatures hit 17 Celsius today. But with the sky overhead looking like it could rain any moment, it made me think about eggs cracking on dusty sidewalks.
And look! I saw my very first set of spring blossoms today!!!!!!!


I almost screamed out loud for joy but I was on the phone and had my hands full with a stick of salami. This is it! Spring is really here!
And again... My obsession with buildings.
But today it was all about churches. This one won my longest attention span though.
It made me think about Shrek.
And Swiss army knives.

Why why why is my thought process so weird?

Anyway... I am running a steeplechase race tomorrow morning in West Point, New York.

Which means...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Relaxing & Buildings

Finally! Some time to breathe!


This week has been a whirlwind of homework, tests, late nights, early mornings, work and confusing musings. Yes. I'm now working a little job twice a week in a really nice wine store. It's not the most entertaining job in the world, but I can honestly say now that after being out of work for so long, I am thoroughly appreciating my every opportunity to work. I know many people out there in the world don't even make as much as minimum wage here in the U.S. and yet they do so much more than we do here. Everytime I feel like wailing about something, I think about people who have had to work all day and night doing manual labour for just a few cents a day. Or even for nothing. We are so lucky- yet sometimes we just forget and neglect that.

And lucky lucky me! Just received a lovely surprise in from somebody I hadn't heard from in years. Thank you very much, if you're reading this. It made my day!

Random letters make my day. Keep them coming please :)

My professor really only lent this to me for a day, but I when I actually started reading it, I got hooked.

Yes, I'm not kidding!

This is just amazing. Those of you who know me know that I'm not a math person at all. My secondary school years were mostly spent trying to catch up with the rest of the class (since I was always sleeping, talking, doodling or being a clown during lesson time) and the only time I did well in math was back when I was in primary school. I just never had the deep interest for it.

But here I am. Reading and getting interested in this book. This is so weird, even I can't comprehend it... I'm considering getting a second major in math, so I just contacted the math department asking for details. If I can somehow squeeze the credits into my remaining two years of college, I think I'll do it. If not, I'll just double minor. French and math.

I've been daydreaming more and more about revisiting the northwest recently. I'd like to visit Oregon, Colorado, British Columbia (Canada) to get some fishing, camping and roadtripping done. The fresh mountain air is calling me!
More good things.

I found this recently. It's a present my dad got me this past summer when I was in Singapore. The cross is really special to me because first of all, it's a great reminder throughout the day whenever I get cross or disappointed, that somebody's watching out for me. Second of all, it reminds me of this past summer's ordeal in Washington State since I pretty much had it on 24/7 while I was there. It reminds me of all the lessons I had learnt on that trip and the sounds and smells of the Skykomish river.

My silly cat had actually dropped my necklace into the sink back in September, but the plumber got it out for me (for free because he found out that I was from the same part of China as him). However, barely a few weeks afterwards, I lost the necklace again and this time, I had no clue where it went. I searched EVERYWHERE. I checked every hole, pocket and even my fridge! I had pretty much given up on ever finding it again. But lo and behold... About two weeks ago, I found it lying most innocently in the most blatantly obvious place possible. On my closet shelf.

Ugh. Am I getting old and blind or something?
Well I certainly hope not. My eyes have been giving me a real treat these days.
Now that the sky is blue most of the time and the sun is out longer, I've been noticing more and more beautiful architecture around me.
I'm not sure why, but recently I can't help but stop and stare at buildings.
It gives me such thrill to appreciate the general build of a structure, then to suddenly notice small interesting things about it as I look on.
Luckily for me, Jersey City is a great area for building watching.
Forget people. Buildings have intense personalities too.
I feel as though every building has a story to tell. And my favourite part of buildings to look at is usually the top.
I'm not quite sure what's up with this fascination yet, but we'll see where this takes me.
I guess this is my way of making driving more interesting.
The way I see it, taking pictures while driving is less dangerous than falling asleep at the wheel. And since I'm a compulsive at-the-wheel sleeper, I might as well snap away. You know, I would love to snap people in their cars but I don't quite have enough courage to wind down the window and ask if I could take their pictures. Besides, that takes all the point out of randoms. I had always been fascinated by people in their cars, but I don't think anybody would appreciate being taken a picture of by some random Asian girl.

Maybe I can stick a hidden camera on my ear somewhere or something. And remotely control it by clicking some button somewhere......

Ok bedtime.
Farewell, farewell!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I just poured out the whole entire list of my stresses to Tanya and Vitalya. I don't think I can handle doing it another time.

Now I realise there's no point in piling your troubles on someone else who has just as many problems on their own.

This macroeconomics paper just needs to get itself done tonight then I'll have a conversation with God about everything that's causing my stress acne breakouts and irregular sleep/digestion patterns. I have a feeling we'll be talking for quite some time.


Everything Is Meaningless

Worked. Studied. Ate really quickly. Studied. Off to bed now before the madness starts again tomorrow.

Oh ok nevermind. I was going to make this a really short post but since I'm here already I might as well say a few other things.


I can't think beyond the consumption function and tax multiplier right now.

You know what I think about this?

I think life as we know it speeding up is just an illusion.

This changes nothing. People are still going to fight, love, get angry and be confused. There will always be the same conflicts between right and wrong. More problems will be solved while others shall arise.

So what's the point- I'd like to ask?

There is no point. Everything is kind of meaningless.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dressing Up & Past Regrets

Happily, sadly, embarrassingly, admittably, today was the first time I'd ever dressed well for church in the U.S.. In Singapore, even though you'd catch me wearing jeans on Sundays, it was generally accepted as "dressing up" in the youth ministry which I attended; as long as you wore a nice top and looked put together, it was alright. But here in the U.S., the men wear suits and the women look like they're attending weddings.

This morning, I finally felt that I couldn't keep going to church in jeans and a nice top with a random jacket to cover it all anymore. Although I didn't go all out and wear dress pants and heels like most of the other ladies did, I did forego jeans (my daily school uniform) and wore a dress with tights instead.

A dress! Finally!

At least it was warm enough today for me to wear the outfit comfortably. I miss dressing up terribly. It's not like I go out enough these days to do that anymore. Besides, dressing up for school is lame. I may make the effort look presentable, but I won't go the extra mile to make some fashion statement in class. What's the point? It's not like my professors are going to give me an A because I looked like something straight from the runways anyway.

But this Tuesday, I'll get a reason to dress up when I start work at this new job that I recently snagged. I'm excited!
My food is starting to look colourful again.

Wonder what the new and improved Bayonne ShopRite will look like when it reopens this winter. Apparently they shut it down so that they can renovate the whole thing to make the grocery store bigger, better and more efficient. I'm really excited because on top of the nicer shopping space, I'll get to enjoy ShopRite's lower prices once again.


Right now I shop at another grocery store in Bayonne where things aren't as cheap as they were in ShopRite. It's just a slight increase in prices but every little thing adds up.

Oh well. Can't have everything in life now can we?

I am gearing up mentally for the full week ahead. Everyday has got its own problems. But the joy of the Lord is my strength.

A few days ago I was flipping through the archives of this blog and was utterly appalled at some of the things I'd said and thought. I really couldn't believe my eyes! I thought to myself as I read, "wow! How retarded can you get Mindy? Seriously? Hypocrite much?" I picked up immediately on an attitude that I wished I corrected back then. Arrogance, defiance, impudence, ungraciousness... All sorts of unpleasant things that my words conveyed- whether subtlely or not.

Honestly, I was utterly embarrassed and was very tempted to delete this blog or at least some of its content. In fact, I was right at the very verge of doing so.

But then I remembered that all through my life, I've always been throwing pieces of myself away. Completed diaries, artworks, memories, collections, etc.. They're all gone into some landfill now (until they resurface someday, unaltered and un-decomposed, God forbid!) but somehow I can't help but think that if I still had them, I'd learn some lessons a lot faster today if I were able to look at my past mistakes.

I realised that deleting this blog would be like deleting a memory of an unpolished me (which would obviously be nice). But in reality, I would never be able to actually erase who I've been. Who I am today is what I've built on top of yesterday.

Yes. Some future employers or boyfriends or whoever is going to flip through my archives and shake their heads in disapproval.

Which is just as well.

I did too. And I'd like to keep on shaking my head in disapproval of yesterday so that I can continue living the way I know I should in the future.

God bless you all!
And good night.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

First Outdoor Meet of 2009

What a pleasant day!
I had a track meet this morning and afternoon.
These disgusting things were all over the field.
I can't believe it's outdoor track season again...

It seems like yesterday that I was running my very first event. Now I'm racing for the second year in a row and I must say, I'm pretty impressed with myself.
The feeling I got while lying on the bleachers after my race, listening to Cosmic Gate while staring up at the blue sky was incredible. I never felt so refreshed, recharged and tired at the same intense time.

I would take this feeling over getting buzzed at a bar any day.
Surprisingly, even though my shins were starting to hurt slightly a few days ago, turning up the mileage and slowing down my pace really did a lot to help.

I feel so nice now. I don't even know how to describe this feeling.

It has been hours since I got home, but I still feel great. Wish I could scream or sing or just pinch some random baby's cheeks real hard right now.

Went grocery shopping today and got myself a whole chicken. I thought that would at least last me for a two days or so, but it turns out that my appetite has returned along with my stuffy nose. How queer. Shouldn't I be losing an appetite while being sick? Anyway, this is the best I've ever felt while having a cold.

I'm not complaining!

So spring break is ending with tomorrow and I still have studying to do. Ah well. While everyone partied away or did awesome cool things over spring break, I studied and ran. Somehow though I don't think I did enough studying.


We'll see when Monday comes.



I remember seeing a big yellow ribbon around a tree before (though I'm not sure if it was an old oak tree or not) and wondering who did that and why.

Now that I finally know where the idea of the yellow ribbon came from, I wish I remembered where I saw it so I can go look at it again and think happy thoughts.

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Signs Of Spring

I can't think of anybody who enjoys being sick.
There goes my hearty appetite. This is all I could eat today. So much for running in wind and rain. My head feels like a ticking bomb.
I walked around in historic Jersey City today, mostly in the Van Vorst neighbourhood.

My goodness.

I never knew this place was so pretty! It was such a pleasant surprise since most of Jersey City is really crappy looking. This neighbourhood however is obviously benefitting from the influx of yuppies overflowing in from Hoboken and the waterfront.

Many old buildings looked recently restored.
I was surprised at how many interesting old buildings there were.

Most of it just looked like NYC's West Village to me.
There's also a more modern side to Jersey City. In the time that I've been around here, I was starting to think that nice buildings only existed in other states and on the waterfront; but today's walkaround proved me wrong.
It's really interesting to see a physical divide between the affluent and the poorer people in the architecture. The modern buildings and clean roads are on the waterfront facing NYC. Then as you get further away, you finally reach a kind of "wall" separating the slummy side of the city and the nice side of the city. This fictional "wall" is really just a line of construction where old buildings are being emptied of tenants and rebuilt to look up to date. On one side, you can still see old shops and random people wearing dark clothes standing around outside their homes. That's the poorer side and it's not really pleasant to walk around there at night. On the other side, there are spanking new shops, neat little cafes, moms with babies driving SUVs and men in slacks reading books in the park. What a big difference in such a small area. Needless to say, the "wall" moves deeper into Jersey City with the passing months; bringing the middle-class consumers with them. Which is not a bad thing... But we'll see.
And GUESS WHAT? I spotted tree buds opening today! Which can only mean one thing...

Spring is upon our doors and wiping her shoes on the mat, getting ready to come in and knock our socks off. I have a feeling that this is going to be an exceptionally spectacular spring since we had such a cold winter.

Whoop dee doo!

And I'm off to bed.
Track meet tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Break Update

You'd think that since it's spring break and I'm back in Pennsylvania, I'd be blogging more consistently. Oddly enough, I've been busier than I ever was back in Jersey. Let's just say homework has a strange habit of piling up.
It was nice to revisit good ol' Philly on Monday night though.
I hadn't been on South Street since forever. So long that I'd almost forgotten how quirky she can get.

And also how lame it can be to wear a miniskirt there at night. Never again! Well, maybe until summer when more girls will be out in miniskirts and I won't be the only one.

Why did I do it?
Because I am just SICK of pants already! I hadn't worn a dress or a skirt since last September or so. Actually, Monday night was the first time I'd exposed my legs in the past five months- excluding wearing my little track shorts at track meets. How else can a girl feel like a girl these days? Heels and lipstick just don't do the trick anymore. So I went radical and pulled out the miniskirt. I should've just worn culottes or something but nooo....

I'll say it myself::::::::::> Mindy, you're a dumbass.
And even though Tanya and I had taken pictures of City Hall plenty of times, we just couldn't escape taking more this time around. I wish they still built stuff like that these days. I found an eerie resemblance in Philadelphia's skyline to Singapore's Boat Quay. Or is it Clarke Quay?

I can't tell the difference anymore. And this is how you know a Singaporean is long overdue for a visit back home.
But doesn't it look like Singapore at night?
Philly missed me so much, she decided to give me a lovely present.

I was so happy to know that she hasn't forgotten me. Six bloody months in NYC and not a SINGLE parking ticket. TEN MINUTES on South Street and I get this!

Oh well.
We had tea at her place and took a lot of crazy unflattering "Asian pose" pictures. Which is why they aren't on here.
And if you're reading this, you know who you are:

And I ate it. Yum....
So while I did my homework, kitty decided to enjoy her warm afternoons chasing birdies and squirrels.

This afternoon she went missing for an uncomfortably long period of time so I thought she'd gone out looking for the neighbourhood tomcat or something. I ran all over the place barefoot and in my pajamas, shaking her food in its container and yelling her name; only to find her half an hour later, quietly sitting by the pond eyeing the ducks with that look in her eyes.
I'm seriously considering changing her name to пантера. Which means "panther" in Russian. Which happens to be my favourite animal. Which is just plain awesome. I have a feeling I'm not going to be the only economist in this household for long...
Laaa di da!

I am getting up at six tomorrow because I'm driving back to Jersey, going to practice, then a job interview, then doing more homework and reading more articles, then getting ready for another interview and the track meet on Saturday and church on Sunday. Then school on Monday all over again.

And that's pretty much it.

Bye now. Sleep is calling me.


I just got the latest version of MSN Messenger and I'm digging the lovely ringtones and the gentle layouts. AIM, get a clue!