Sunday, September 21, 2014


Every year, I bring fewer clothes than the last. Last year, I filled up half a closet, half a clothes rack, a set of Rubbermaid drawers, five drawers under my bed, half a shoe rack, and a large portion of a scarf rack.

This year, I only brought one suitcase. I admit, it was a pretty large suitcase, but it was nothing compared to the boxes on boxes of clothes I brought in previous years. I didn't want to bring too much because I knew I would be sharing storage space with Grandma and didn't want to force her to move too much of her stuff to make room for mine. I knew she would graciously move all of her clothes and sacrifice all of her closet-space for me if she thought I needed it. I didn't want that to happen. I am satisfied with the minimal space that my clothes take up. I'm using up a fourth of a closet, three drawers, an under-bed shoe organizer, and a small organizer box for my scarves, hats, and finger-less gloves. That's it.
How I felt while narrowing down my clothes.
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I totally know the feels, Cher.
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I am amazed. If you are friends with me, you probably are too. You've actually probably already heard me talk about my amazement because for the first few weeks of school, I would not shut up about it. It was my second main topic of conversation. (The first was answering questions about why I was in America and not in the UK studying abroad like I had initially planned.)

If you are not friends with me, or do not know me very well or at all, you should know that I really like clothes. I have a lot of clothes. I like buying clothes, if they're at the right price (read: cheap). I get style inspiration from my friends, magazines, fashion websites, people out in the world, and plenty of fashion blogs that I frequent almost daily. I like styling outfits and giving advice on other people's wardrobe choices.

I am one of those people that will play music before going to bed while I pick out my outfit for the next day, according to the weather forecast. If it is one of those nights that my head hits the pillow before I can even think about another day existing, I at least spend a few moments in bed after my alarm goes off in the morning to plan my outfit. Even an outfit consisting of a hoodie and jeans has at least a little bit of thought behind it. The hair, makeup, accessories, shoes, and even socks are all elements that I think about. Usually.

I also have days when I really don't care at all how I look because it is just one of those days and I say a big "EFF YOU" to the world. That usually happens around that lovely time of month that every biologically female human loves to hate, period time. However, I've also found picking out a cute or bad-ass outfit can really help me feel better during that time as well. You just never know what's going to happen. Gawd, I'm just so unpredictable!
Just bein' crazy me.
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So, you get it. Style and clothes are pretty important to me. They are important to who I am and how I express who that is. I'd rather get a compliment on my outfit or makeup (another love of mine, though slightly below my love for clothes), than on my body (not that I get many and I'm not complaining - I just really don't care to exercise that often and I definitely surpass my daily caloric needs), height (people love shorties), eyelashes (I really have no control over their length and lusciousness! Sorry!), or hair length. That last one always gets me. If someone comments on my hair length or how fast it grows, I usually say, "Thanks, I grow it myself," because WHAT ELSE AM I SUPPOSED TO SAY? I just never know. Anyone have any more suggestions? Or reasoning behind why this is usually worded as a compliment rather than a general observation?

Of course, all of those types of compliments are always nice to hear and I am always gracious for them, but I feel a bit guilty receiving them. I really have no control over those aspects of how I look, so I feel like the compliments are not deserved. They shouldn't be complimenting the random selection of genes pulled from my parents' DNA.

Now, style? That is something that I unapologetically put time and thought into. Having a smaller wardrobe has forced me to be more creative with styling new outfits that I've never worn before. Don't get me wrong, I am not against outfit repeating. I am probably one of the biggest outfit repeaters I know and definitely will be this semester. Kate from Lizzie McGuire would hate me.
Whatevs. Also, woo gif!
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I'm pretty proud of how well I have been able to change up my outfits with the limited amount that I have. Almost as proud as how proud I am for being able to narrow down a small enough pile of clothes to bring from the abyss of my closet at Mom and Dad's house. I've been learning the importance of simplicity and determining what the essentials are in my life. Reducing my wardrobe was definitely a great exercise in that.
However, I could never whittle down my closet to just this! Yikes!
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Sunday, September 14, 2014


One of the biggest changes between living with Grandma and Grandpa in Vallejo versus living with friends in San Francisco is the commute to and from school and work (on campus). The main reason being I am no longer traveling exclusively within San Francisco. Now I get the added fun of traveling through water!

This isn't my first experience with a longer commute. My commute has gradually increased over the past three semesters along with the increase in distance from campus.

Fall 2013: 15-30 minutes on the 28 or 28L from the Sunset.
Students getting ready to sardine themselves onto the 28.
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Spring 2014: 30-45 minutes on the 29 from the Richmond.
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Fall 2014: 85-130 minutes on the Ferry and M line MUNI from Vallejo.
Freaking majestic as eff.
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Probably 20 minutes late.
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Oh, MUNI. You unpredictable little turd.

This post is going to focus on the morning commute. Why? Because as a human whose entire being cannot stand to be late and miss out on something important for class or work, arrival time is a very important aspect of my life.

Such variation in travel time means an increased chance of being late to class or work. That is not an option. To ensure that I am not late to either, I give myself enough cushion time in case MUNI decides to take a big poop on my morning. This means I am usually anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes early to campus.

How early is that exactly? A better question would be, what time do I need to be on campus?
Monday: 10am
Tuesday: 9am
Thursday: 9am
Friday: 9am

The early commute also means that I wake up earlier than I ever have had to in my whole life (at least for Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday). Wake-up alarm: 5am. Time I actually get my booty out of bed: 5:25am... usually.
It takes a while...
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This gives me enough time to get ready, eat breakfast (or at the very least, prepare it to eat on the ferry), and get on the ferry for the 6:30 departure. I like to get there at least ten minutes early to get a good seat. This especially comes in handy on days when my phone or Kindle battery is running low. The window seats have electrical outlets! Wow! Technology!

The ferry arrives at the San Francisco Ferry Building at 7:30. Then comes the fun part: waiting for MUNI. Oh, MUNI. We have had our ups and downs. Not gonna lie, they've mostly been downs. Why can't you just be reliable? I just want someone I can depend on. I didn't even know dependability even existed before I experienced the wonder of the ferry. Always picks me up on time. Always gets me to my destination in a timely manner. I can actually schedule my travel plans down to the minute! If there was ever a time to prove yourself, MUNI, this would be it.

With a 30 minute planned cushion of time, I was 10 minutes late to my first day of work this semester. After riding the exactly 60 minute ferry ride, I walked down into the depths of the Embarcadero MUNI station and waited 35 minutes for the M to come. Me and a large, angry, tired crowd of M liners. Now I have a 60 minute cushion in case that ever happens again.

After all of this I do have to say, I do not really mind the commute at all. I've always considered myself a morning person. As long as I'm not asked to strain my brain too much, I enjoy watching the sun rise and those early birds getting those worms. I'm also someone that enjoys reading and listening to music and podcasts.
Making Spotify playlists is one of my favorite hobbies.
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I'm always loling and looking like a crazy person on public transportation when listening to this.
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Crazy book. Crazy good. I read it in 4 days. During the work/school week! That's a big deal.
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These are things I can do during the commute! By the time I get to campus (all hour and a half - approximately - later), I'm usually pretty awake and ready to work, talk, write, listen, and function as a normal human being.

The variety of modes of transportation also means a wider variety of types of people I get to people-watch rather than just the to-and-from SF State crowd. For a person that gets great joy from making up stories, and even conversations, of strangers on the street, this is great news. The college-age crowd was getting redundant, anyway.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Before the semester started, I knew things would be pretty different living with Grandma and Grandpa in Vallejo compared to living with my friends in San Francisco. However, Tuesdays are kind of similar. Both Tuesdays have rituals involving location, food, friends, entertainment, and comfort. I decided to write this post in a list format in order to easily illustrate the similarities and differences.

1. Location

Fall 2013: my house, living room

If we had a welcome mat, this is what it would look like.
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My roommates and I always enjoyed entertaining and having our friends come over, so our house became the dedicated viewing location of most TV and movie nights. Having people come to us also meant we didn't have to get ready and go to them. Score!

Fall 2014: Cache Creek Casino Resort, fifth floor (same floor as the pool area), first room from elevator across from the ice machine

*sounds of slot machines in the distance*
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As members and frequent visitors of Cache Creek Casino Resort, Grandma and Grandpa tend to rack up the points and perks on the regular. This means they get a free night's stay at the hotel every week. Grandma always requests, and usually gets, their favorite room. The location is prime. We don't have to walk too far to get to everywhere you need to go: the elevators, the ice machine, and the pool and jacuzzi. The fitness center is also on that floor, but... I'm not sure if I'll be frequenting that area as often.

2. Food

Fall 2013: Tacos and homemade baked goods

Ours never looked this good.
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Taco Tuesday! To celebrate, we usually made homemade tacos or went out and got Chipotle, at the very least. I mentioned in a previous post that my friend and past-roommate, Kiley, is an avid baker. She would always treat everyone Tuesday nights with either her world-famous cookies or her latest recipe find.

Fall 2014: Chinese food or sandwiches

That's the place. Mmm.
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When it comes to food, my Grandma knows what she wants. She also knows what she doesn't want. Grandma never wants food that is subpar. Only the yummiest for Grandma. This basically eliminates all but two food options at Cache Creek. They are the Chinese restaurant and cafe. They are pretty delicious, in my opinion. I wouldn't know if the other options are yummy, because I've never eaten from them. I do what Grandma says.

3. Reaction to Seeing Friends

Fall 2013: Excited

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My reaction to seeing friends: "I feel like I haven't seen you in forever! Tonight's going to be the best. I am so excited for the episodes. Especially after last week. I wonder what's going to happen with Jess and Nick and Mindy and Danny! Oh, and did you bring the champagne? Awesome. We're making cookies. I just bought a new carton of Lactaid. Woo! Cookies and milk and not pooping my pants!"

Fall 2014: Reluctant

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Grandma's reaction to seeing friends: "Oh, gawd. I already see someone I know."

4. Entertainment

Fall 2013: New Girl and The Mindy Project

New Girl.
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The Mindy Project.
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Both shows are highly entertaining rom-com sitcoms that aired Tuesday nights. We were a group of college girls that love laughing and meet-cutes and hung out Tuesday nights. Self-explanatory.

Fall 2014: Gambling for Grandma and Grandpa; swimming pool, jacuzzi, and free wifi for me

*swimming and thinking about the internet*
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Grandma and Grandpa love to play their slot machines. Their favorite is "Tiki Torch," or "Tiki Tiki," as they have nicknamed it. I'm not much of a gambler myself, so I choose to spend my time at the pool and jacuzzi or in the room exploring the wonders of the internet. Grandma and Grandpa often join in on the jacuzzi time. 

5. Comfort

Fall 2013: sweats and cuddling

Of course, Ryan.
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Comfort is everything. I have a tattoo that says, "The mind is everything," but I'm considering getting "The mind" changed to "Comfort." That is how strongly I believe in the importance of comfort. My friends and past-roommates know that the minute I get home, I run to my room, take off my clothes (bra, especially), and throw on some sweats. This was definitely a must for our Tuesday night viewing parties. 

My second comfort-love after sweats is cuddling. Luckily, I have cuddly friends. Tuesday nights were a comfy cuddly affair. 

Fall 2014: fluffy bathrobes and as many pillows as it takes to convert my bed into a cloud

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One of the best things about staying in a hotel is getting to wear the fluffy bathrobes when provided. Cache Creek is one of those magical places. You best believe I lounged around in the fluffy goodness for as long as possible before putting on real clothes was a necessity. 

I need this.
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I also need this.
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I love pillows. I love pillows so much that I am retracting my previous statement that cuddling is my second comfort-love. It has been demoted to third. Pillows have taken its place. My ideal sleeping situation is to be surrounded by so many pillows my bed becomes a cloud. I am transported into a magical land of fluffy softness. I know clouds are actually made up of frozen water molecules, or whatever. I don't care. Laying in a bed of pillows is still what comes to mind when I dream of lounging up in the sky.

In conclusion:

It's always nice to have a few rituals here and there. It's pretty comforting to know that at least one thing will stay the same week to week (at least for a little while). I wonder what I'll be doing Tuesdays next semester... I mean, after I graduate. Silly me. There aren't semesters after graduation. It'll just be life. No classes. No professors to tell me what to do with my time. Just work. And bosses. In the real world. AAAHH!