On Being an “Adult”

College is starting soon and the packing and travelling has begun. And all of this busy work has made me put into words what I’ve known for awhile.

I’m terrible at being an “adult”. 

You might be wondering why I put the word “adult” in quotations. Well…being an adult is kind of hard to define. Younger kids sometimes have to grow up faster to survive. My mom went through that. So the idea of what an adult is…is kind of vague, don’t you think?

Well, anyways…I’m terrible at “adult”-like activities…like laundry and packing and planning.
I can’t seem to function like a normal human “adult” being. I prioritize the wrong things, I have no idea how to pack stuff in a suitcase, and I am terrible at being organized. I’ll spend hours packing one suitcase simply because I don’t know what to put in first. I’ll stare at a fridge for a long time wondering where to put it when I have more pressing matters to attend to.

I could go on and on…but you get the point. Actually doing the “adult” things that parents do is difficult for me…or at least I take way longer than my parents.

Do I just have no common sense? Am I just bad at visualizing objects? I seem to focus on the smaller details and ignore the big picture. I seem to feel overwhelmed when there’s too much important stuff to think about.

Part of me thinks that it’s just my autism focusing on the little things. Or my autistic self being overwhelmed by all of the stimuli. Part of me thinks that I’m simply not a 3D visual thinker. I’ve always visualized things in  2D in my head, which is why drawing random things comes naturally. But I have always struggled with 3D things. (LEGOs, ceramics, play-doh…you name it.) 

Of course, being an “adult” is seemingly a big trend amoung the younger generation. I’ve seen countless stories of people not knowing how to do laundry, or struggling to become an “adult”.

Perhaps, like generations before us, we simply need to get used to it. I mean, my mom told me that she simply just got the hang of it when it comes to motherhood. That she got used to the planning and oversight you need to be a responsible “adult.”

Or maybe I’ll never get used to it. Maybe I’ll simply never “grow up”. Like Peter Pan. 

Time will only tell, right? 

Cooking…The Journey Continues

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?

It’s been a crazy year so far, and going into detail on the months of absence is probably something no one wants to hear about. (Good thing, too, since it would take me probably four long blog posts.)

Anyways, we’re not here to talk about blog absences. We’re here to talk about…cooking.

I think I’ve mentioned my love of food. No, I definitely have. Maybe too much. 

Cooking is something I’m still a novice at, but I love with a passion. I love sampling the food as I cook. I love the sound of sizzling in the pan. I love the smell of the food wafting up in the air. 

Recently I’ve been more into being creative rather than learning recipes. (Although I still need work on my knife skills…!) To get cooking help, I go to Alton Brown and his excellent show Good  Eats. (Watch it, it’s a combo of Bill Nye science and food. I love it.)

Sometimes recipe ideas pop up in my head..and sometimes they work…and sometimes they don’t.

For instance, I really love French food. At home we have a French cookbook, and in it is fish cooked in paper, which is a classic dish.

I decided to try it out but tweak the recipe to make it Asian. Instead of butter, salt, and pepper, I added soy sauce, sesame oil, a bit of mirin, lemon juice, and garlic. Oh, and green onions. I made the sauce and then marinated a piece of cod before baking. 

I’ve never baked fish in parchment paper before, but I think it turned out well! I think I should have marinated the fish longer, but it was pretty tasty! (Nice job me!)

Recently I’ve also gotten into the plating aspect of cooking. Granted, I don’t really know what I’m doing, but being an artist helps. There’s something that makes cooking more like an art when the plate of the food looks beautiful. A lot of fine restaurants have beautiful plates that just makes me want to eat the food more. I like to think that when fine dining restaurants take a long time to get your food, it’s because they’re spending so much time creating a beautiful plate. It takes time and a steady hand! I think I took way too long arranging the thin green onion on the fish. (Used chopsticks..it got serious, you guys)

Well, now that school is starting again soon it looks like I won’t be able to experiment so much.

That’s ok though. I think I like eating best anyways. 

I’m an Adult Who Loves to Color

Anyone who looks at my homework or my notes knows that I love to idly draw in class all of the time. In fact, I doodle constantly. Often I will draw random cartoon/manga characters at whim, but sometimes I’ll draw characters I’ve developed over the years. For instance, I’ve been doing “concept” art for the comic I’ve been working on. Just sketches and practice whenever I can.

But recently my friends have been getting into coloring books, and I decided to jump on the bandwagon.

It’s strange to me that as kids many of us used coloring books for fun, and as we grew older we stopped. I wonder why?

And it’s even more interesting to me that all of a sudden coloring books are becoming popular. Or a new concept, when we already knew they existed when we were younger.

And it makes sense that people are using coloring books now. I have one that has lots of sea imagery and it’s wonderful and very detailed. Coloring is so repetitive and so it gives a sense of calm while you do it. As someone prone to anxiety, it’s a nice way to ease the anxiety and tension. (Unless of course, you color too hard or for too long and then you get cramps! That happens to me sometimes.) And it’s not boring, either, because you’re being creative with colors. Often when I color I get into a state of complete focus, because I get so concentrated on which color I use and where I want to color.

Perhaps while the idea of using a coloring book is not new, the idea of using a coloring book as a pasttime or an outlet for relaxation might be. We assume that coloring books are for kids because some of us grew up coloring as a fun pasttime. Or you have relatives/kids who love coloring books. Either way adults don’t really color.

I’ve never really colored in public, but I wonder if other people would find the concept of an adult coloring weird or unconventional because of the connotations with coloring books.

Until then, I will color as I please. Perhaps I will color in public, too. Also, if any of you have anxiety and/or want something to have when you’re relaxing, get a coloring book. There’s plenty out there with detailed drawings and they’re really fun. Trust me.

Thoughts On Shopping

Since my parents are down in Orange to visit, I’ve been very busy and tired this whole weekend. Way too much walking! Or maybe I’m just out of shape.

We did some shopping as well, and to be honest shopping is not my favorite thing.

It’s fun sometimes to simply walk around stores and window shop. I love to do that when I’m by myself, because I don’t have to wait on someone else or wonder where someone else is in the store. And I don’t mind occasionally getting things that I want to get, like clothes or art supplies. For instance, today I bought so many art supplies like pencils and sketchbooks. That was fun. I even bought a coloring book.

What isn’t fun though, is when you actively need something that is either hard to find or decide upon. I’m talking about suitcases, umbrellas, dish soap, or just anything you actually need and can’t decide on. Like different snacks that all look delicious. Or clothes you need to get.

Also, shopping with people can be tiring, too. Either they can’t decide on what they buy, or they make it harder for you to decide on what to buy. (AKA sometimes my parents! But other people too.)

Whenever I see teenage movies or any teen media, I somehow see this image of shopping as this fun get-together. There’s always this image I get in my head: a bunch of teenage kids with shopping bags, and then montages of said kids trying on clothes and laughing and whatnot.

I don’t know about you guys, but I never had that experience. My friends growing up never liked shopping. I guess we were too nerdy to consider that a past time. Or maybe that image is simply a stereotype of teenagers of this time or the past.

Shopping for me is simply a chore or a time to idly wander by myself. I have never considered it a fun event to do with friends.

This is a really strange and random topic for this blog, I realized. It was just something on my mind. Also my feet and legs haven’t been this sore in a LONG time.

Inside Out and My Musings

I am normally way behind on the current films. Like, I haven’t even seen Avengers: Age of Ultron. (Although I did recently watch the recent Star Wars!)

So it is typical of me that last weekend was when I saw Inside Out for the first time. And let me tell you, I actually thought it was creative and unique and definitely sweet. I cried like three times. No joke.

But as per usual, I always think more than is necessary. Such is my life, I guess.

Inside Out talks a lot about emotions, and creates the idea that there are manifestations of emotions that help you decide how to feel. The characters have a headquarters that control and guide Riley, the young girl in the film. It’s about Riley and the emotions as they struggle with the move to a different home.

While the idea of a headquarters that guides emotions, dreams, and ideas is interesting, I of course thought of how that idea would work in real life.

For instance, I thought of how depression or anxiety would look like in headquarters. Would Fear be the forefront of the headquarters for anxiety? Would Sadness be the leader in headquarters for anxiety? Would the controls look blue all of the time for depression? (Since whatever Sadness touches turns blue…meaning you apparently feel sad about whatever is touched.) Where would Joy be during depression? Would she be in the back, stuck somewhere? And where would Disgust and Anger be? What happens when mental illnesses come into play? Although it’s not exactly a happy thought to think about, it certainly is interesting and is never mentioned in the movie. I mean, it’s a kids movie…not sure they want to talk about depression in a kids movie.

And for those whose brains are wired differently like autistic people…what would the headquarters even be like? I like to imagine that all of the emotions would still be there, but none of them would be given any instructions and all of the controls look somewhat confusing. I’m sure also whenever something would happen either the emotions would react very violently (as in, excitedly, not violent like angry) or barely react at all.

I suppose it’s just too complicated to really talk about in one movie, but they did include the minds of dogs and cats and teachers and the like. It’s just interesting to think about how Inside Out would work in real life with different kinds of brains.

Grieving and Loss

I’m not going to say much. But I feel like I should.

As most of us know, there were famous people who passed away recently. And to their familes, I wish them well and all of my condolences.

At the same time these celebrites like David Bowie and Alan Rickman passed, I recently lost a good friend of mine from high school. And so grief has hit closer and harder to home for me then ever before. I grieved for Robin Williams and certainly grieve for Alan Rickman and David Bowie now. But I knew and cared for this friend. So it hit me very, very hard.

Grief is a progress and a journey. Eventually the pain will pass. All it takes is patience and the acceptance that waiting is inevitable.

To all of the people who passed away recently… Rest well.

And to my old friend: I miss you, I love you, and rest well and happy. Don’t forget to laugh with that silly grin on your face.

A Blog Post about Blogging

Blogging has been, since the beginning, a way for me to ramble and think and speculate. While most of my passions and hobbies have had a certain goal, blogging hasn’t. It was simply a matter of a random collection of thoughts I wanted to share.

And it turns out that you guys who read my blog posts are okay with that. I appreciate all of the likes and the comments, because they tell me you listen. You hear. And I am grateful.

I’m going to be honest, I had lost the will for blogging. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to. It was because I couldn’t.

I’ve mentioned my mental illnesses in the past, and while they did have an impact on my capability to blog, that isn’t really the case.

For me, I was just tired. Tired of reading the news and being discouraged about our world today. Tired of seeing and watching and meeting people who decided that hate and ignorance was best. Tired of seeing so little empathy and compassion in the news and around me.

To be honest, for a long time my reason not to blog was because I felt like the posts did not matter. That my rambles and my rants ultimately did not do anything except for I suppose sharing my opinion on the Internet. Which basically everyone does.

So then: why am I blogging now?

I ask myself the same thing. To be honest, I don’t have a definite answer. All I can say is that I want to have hope and that I began blogging in the first place because I sincerely wanted to. Because it’s fun. Because I want to have a safe space, for myself and those reading.

Let’s hope 2016 is a year of love and compassion.

Take care, all of you who are reading this, and I will be around soon.

I Should Plant more Often

Hello guys! I hope you are all doing well. I’ve been very busy and there’s a concert coming up, so my posts won’t be my normal speculative posts. When I have more time it will get better, I promise.

I’ve never really tended to a garden. I’ve never really grown any plants, although my mom and my grandma do. So it is quite out of character for me that I even decided to own a plant anyways.

I recently just got a succulent, and I have to say it is ADORABLE. It’s really, really small and it’s small enough to fit on my desk. And it is currently in a really awesome blue glass cup as its pot.

I feel like I should own more plants in my lifetime. Or at least I should own more succulents. They’re super, SUPER easy to tend to. Literally just water the thing when the soil dries out and keep it in sunlight (direct or indirect). That’s it.

It makes me wonder if I’d like to have a full-on garden someday….despite my terrible allergy to pollen.

Or maybe just a bunch of succulents as a garden. That would be cool too.

What Makes a Teacher a “Good” Teacher?

Sorry, forgot to post last week! It was very, very hectic.

I’ve been thinking about teaching lately, and I’ve been thinking a lot about my past teachers and it went into the question of: What makes a teacher “good”?

I certainly know what makes a teacher “bad”. Someone who doesn’t really care about the subject they teach or the people they teach. (I think of my 10th grade English teacher, who claimed that Macbeth was like “dark chocolate” and said nothing further to explain…)

But I’ve never really thought what makes a teacher “good.” And I suppose that finding a teacher “good” or “bad” depends on your values.

Do you want a teacher who gives easy grades? Or do you like teachers that grade harder because it’s a challenge?

Do you like enthusiastic teachers who like to be hands on? Or do you just like a teacher that doesn’t do much except lecture, because you like learning that way?

I suppose it also depends on the subject the teacher is teaching as well. Are they providing knowledge in a way that makes sense? Are they doing more than just providing notes? What is the teacher doing to get their lessons across?

It’s kind of easier for me to judge my music teachers…because I know which ones provided me aid in learning music and which of them didn’t. (One used to fall asleep a lot during my lessons.) But then again it’s not. The thing is, each person has their preferences of learning and being taught. And even if that one teacher fell asleep a lot during lessons, it’s not like I didn’t learn anything. I still learned.

For me, a teacher is “good” when they teach more than their subject. When they go above and beyond to care about the students that they teach. When they try their best to make the class entertaining…and interesting. I also don’t mind a challenge either, so hard grading is fine for me.

What do you guys think is a “good” teacher? Let me know.

Until next week then. (Unless I forget…AGAIN. I keep doing this. Sigh.)

Musings About Makeup

I don’t usually wear makeup. For one, I’m really bad at putting on makeup. (It usually takes me 45 minutes to an hour to do a whole face of makeup…) For two, I just don’t have the time.

But I do put on makeup when I do have the time, or when I have a formal event such as a concert or a formal dinner. And when I want to wear a little bit for fun, I just put on a red lipstick and be done with that.

But it’s still something that I enjoy. I know for some they need makeup in order to feel secure, and I know for some they just like putting on makeup because it’s fun and it makes you look a certain way. For me I am mostly the latter. I mostly put on makeup just because it makes me feel fancy, and also painting on my face is fun.

It’s interesting how awhile ago I really hated makeup…but actually it’s quite fun to put on. Sometimes I just put on makeup for the weekends just because I can. Also I just got a foundation brush and some lip brushes and it really feels like I’m painting. And making it kind of like an art…maybe? I don’t know enough about makeup to make a statement that makeup is an art form. I think it is though?

It’s also really interesting to me how makeup is viewed in society. Makeup certainly can cover up blemishes and make your eyes bigger and whatnot…but can also accentuate your lips, your eyes, or any part of your face. Makeup can be used to impress other people, but for the most part I see people use makeup because they love the way it looks on their face and how it gives people confidence.

Makeup makes people happy for different reasons, and I think that’s kind of cool.