It’s been a long time since my last update. Again, I failed my resolution to write an update every week. Sometimes I wondered if laziness is the ultimate explanation for failing to fulfill my expectations every time, but then I realized that laziness was a symptom, caused by different motives every time. In this particular scenario of me not writing timely blog posts, I guess it’s because I didn’t put writing blog posts high on my to-do list. It’s all about priority, as they said.

Speaking of priorities, I registered for San Francisco Half Marathon on July 23rd!!! I actually registered one last year but due to various circumstances I wasn’t able to attend. However, I will be able to attend this year’s SF Half Marathon. I deliberately selected the route which passes the Golden Gate bridge. My graduating friend Hongling told me that it’s a great view, although I was concerned if I could see anything 5 am in SF’s signature foggy morning. I bought a bart transportation ticket so that I could get pick up at MacArthur station 4:30am on the marathon day. Another option would be to stay overnight in SF and go to start line at around 5:30am in the morning. I will see if I can find anyone to go to SF with me or otherwise I can just use the transportation ticket.

My last (and first) half marathon in Yosemite was great, although it costed me two months to get back on plastic track and started real running again. Currently I am trying to incorporate more strength training into my schedule because I read online that core strength is essential for running. Last year I just let myself run 10 km, without time limit, each day as long as my ankles didn’t hurt. I thought it’s more important to get the feeling of running instead of actually being too technical about everything at the beginning, which I still cared a lot about. But my experience in Yosemite has shown that I am still a rather young and naive runner on the road. I’ve seen so many mature (or at least more mature) runner than I am who take running much more seriously than I do. I want to run seriously but I don’t want to trade my pleasure from running for that. Thus I was debating on training methods and then I had a rather… tight schedule. And so I was like: well, might as well just train more in the gym and try out what google says. Although I do try to run 3 to 4 times per week, the rest of the days I train in gym.

I bought a package of protein breakfast cereal home. It tastes really good, really sweet with only 4g sugar. Most of the sweetness comes from artificial sweetness things I guess (which I read online it’s not all that healthy… but whatever I am one of the dumb consumers who actually enjoy being rigged off by two-sided labels. And it has tons of protein)

I started a vegetarian diet last December. I am actually surprised by myself: I thought I couldn’t sustain after two days. But then I have to thank vegan and vegetarian restaurants around Berkeley. Also, my friends and family have been real supportive in my diet. I just finished dinner with my roommates (graduating and I am sad). I am always grateful for the fact that they completely respect my diet choices: I have my vegetables, they have their chicken (which looks sooo good. ) I realize that I probably can’t be an authentic vegetarian in that I will always have my feelings for meat. I grew up eating meats and vegetables at a rather sensible portion. It’s only after I came to US I started to eat way too much meat. I can’t blame US eating culture for this. I was dealing with all kinds of issues from school and personal life, eat healthy and at the right portion wasn’t my first priority. I wanted to incorporate more vegetables in my life, that’s why I asked myself to eat vegetarian for a week in the beginning. To be honest, I have no trust in that I can be vegetarian for life. Life is long, and I am young. But I do like the feeling of knowing that I have enough vegetables and fruits each day.

Last last weekend I went to Chicago (actually Purdue) to visit my cousins and my lovely niece. They oftentimes joked about living in the “rural” area but I actually felt like they live such an ideal life. I guess one doesn’t need to live in between the city lights and car horns to be happy. Plus, the stars are so pretty at Purdue. On our way from Chicago to Purdue, we saw a huge huge moon ascending from the horizon: this is the first time that I’ve seen a moon coming up like the sun. We passed this field of windmill and I thought it’s a herd of Ohmu as in the Miyazaki film “Nausicaa of the valley of the wind”. (I tried to insert pictures of Ohmu here as reference, but then Google only showed me gross pics with weird angles of Ohmu. They actually look pretty in the film) We talked a lot about all kinds of things, including the constellations. I felt extremely lucky to have family near me to spend time with.

The next day I stayed home, had really really delicious rice cakes from Xiamen. I was taken really good care of lol and my niece only got cuter. She rode her little pink bike everywhere and it’s so much fun to see her “park” her little bike. She looked like a little adult. We went to watch a robot show in Purdue University. In the end, a former drummer who lost his right arm in a car accident got a robotic arm that could work with the rest of his body. He said that he was able to hit the drum at a much higher speed than any human being on the planet. I guess this was a great example of how people should work with robots. Then again, in digression, I always felt like robots could only be robots in that they would never develop human emotions like love, hatred, etc and etc. I mean, if human beings can’t figure out the evolution of emotions, how can they create emotions on a bunch of steel?

The third day we went to a child museum in Indianapolis. I love love the little handmade rooms. (alert: many many many pictures starting from here)

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(look at the frame, it is the size of a normal family photo frame. The furnitures are tiny fairy sizes. But look at the details, amazing!)

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( I love the harp, and the tiny pictures)

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(This is a reading room (?) and the bench (?) looks so … hard… to lie on. But everything is so detailed and placed elegantly.)

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(The circus presentation.)

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(why did I take this picture… ?)

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(I wonder, what’s the fabric of the suit. Also, this is so “circus” in that it has a bizarre feeling with it.)

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(This dress is for those crazy brave rope walking ladies. )

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(And I am delighted as well. in 2017)

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(So delighted I had to take a second picture of it. I swear I tried to take detailed pictures of each individuals on the carousel, but my camera wouldn’t do it justice.)

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(glass art, again, camera doesn’t do it justice. Do you know how they implement it? they first build the structure, basically the round supporting piece in the middle, then randomly using artsy instinct to put on the rest colorful glass pieces on the supporting piece. I read it on the notice board. There was also a notice board about how they cleaned it. I didn’t spend time reading it. Now I felt so regret! Please I need to know how they clean this thing! )

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( Chicago Willis Tower, on the professional-international-many flags-huge globe-basically tourists stop side)

 

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(This is kind of a depressing picture to look at.)

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(Chicago skyline, taken at 106 floor )

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(Again, depressing to look at. Or maybe I just have acrophobia.)

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(Definitely acrophobia. )

And that’s my Purdue/Chicago trip!! Also, great foods every day made me super happy and piggy. My flight back to SF got delayed for 3 hours but it was ok. (Sincere Advice: please don’t fly United again future me.)

Oh I almost forgot! Last last last weekend we went to snowboard in Tahoe!! Here comes the pics.

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(left to right: Lulu, Hongling, me)

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(In case you didn’t get how cool I am)

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(picture at the front door of literally the worst Japanese restaurant I have ever been to in my entire life. Speaking of Monopolization in snow resorts.)

I think my life is updated now. I just finished my Political Science midterm today and I have another midterm next week, and the week after, and the week after. I hope I can push through, although I know I am probably the luckiest person walking on planet now. I am starting to get this “I am feeling lucky” feeling much more often these days. Not because I am actually very lucky, but because compared to last semester anything, even if it’s midterms or deadlines, would make me feel extremely lucky to be studying in Berkeley now.

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