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So I logged into Facebook yesterday afternoon after work, before I started getting ready for yet another evening at Disneyland, when I read something about Michael Jackson being rushed to the hospital because he wasn't breathing.
In a matter of about three hours, I was live-streaming CNN, and they dropped one of the biggest bombshells in history.
At the moment, I'm sitting on my parents' couch, watching probably one of many tributes/news specials/etc. on MTV, and I still can't believe the headlines, the graphics, the news. I've played his songs in my car all day, and only once did I allow the reality to sink in, as "Man in the Mirror" rang out of my speakers and drifted out of my windows.
To me, none of this makes sense. In the back of my mind, I always believed that Michael Jackson would go peaceful at a ripe, old age. By then, I would be married and have children of my own to explain his genius to. That's really what he is: a musical genius. Never in my imagination would I have thought that I would be fresh out of college, sitting in my apartment, alone with no television, reading that the "King of Pop" had passed on.
There are a lot of emotions, and I am certain that a lot of people feel the same way, if not more intense ones. Like the millions, Michael Jackson has a fluid part of my history. His music was everywhere, and it was part of the soundtrack of my growing up. I never owned a record or went to a concert, but I would sing his songs at the drop of a dime. Certain songs I listen to carry me back to specific memories growing up. It's all history now. There will be no more, and it saddens me greatly.
My sadness is exponentially magnified for his family and friends. Three young children lost the only parent they knew, and from all accounts loved them completely and worked to give them the childhood he never had. A mother and father now have to bury one of their children, obviously their pride and joy. Eight men and women are gathered to mourn the loss of their brother. Grown men and women broke down in tears at the word of their friend's death.
At this point, I'm at a loss for words. What can you really say about someone that had such a profound impact on generations of people? There's really nothing else.
I hope he has peace now. For the life that he lived, my only wish for him is true peace.
Thank you, Michael Jackson, for the legacy you left in music and the lessons that we will have learned from you in the years to come.

♥ nina
 
 
 
 
 
 
June 5, 2009
-UCI Bookstore End of the Year Staff Meeting
-Kababayan End of the Year Banquet
June 9, 2009
-Last final of my undergraduate career...
...of which I had to leave early because a migraine hit and I had to leave.
June 10, 2009
-Finally finished that stupid last final of college!
June 11, 2009
-Kababayan Pilipin@ Graduation
June 13, 2009
-UCI School of Humanities Commencement Ceremony

There's no possible way to package all of my feelings up to this point in a few dates and bullet points.

I'm graduating from college.

Typing those words feels surreal, especially considering I've been writing in this journal solely for the purpose of documenting my college career (which I've failed to do in many aspects).
I started this journal as a freshman that had just moved into her dorm, unknowing of what would be to come in the next four years, doubting at some points in those four years that it would only take four years to be done. Declaring a double major at the end of my second year made it seem impossible that I would finish with the rest of my freshman class, but somehow I worked and I managed.
And now, here it is. I sit in at the dining table of my apartment, and I feel it only necessary that this be one of my last entries. When I feel that I have more time to think about it, I'll type up a list of thank-yous, longer than the 45 seconds that I had to speak at Pilipi@ Grad, in order to truly convey what I really think of this crazy chapter coming to a close.
I can't believe I'm done.
I can't believe it's really over.
This doesn't feel real at all.

♥ nina
 
 
 
 
 
 
I've neglected this thing for a month and a half. :( You would have thought that, after PCN, I would have had more free time, but I let free time escape me. My last month and a half have been spent living it up in my last quarter, and when I did have free time I didn't have the motivation to write.
I was thinking about that a second ago, and it prompted me to write today. I'm earning a degree with the School of Humanities, which means a lot of papers, which have completely drained me of my love of writing. I think this partially my fault. I've let the agony of college papers taint my love for creative writing and journaling. Hopefully, however, now that I've completed my last paper of my undergraduate career, I can finally take a break and come back to writing in the way that I've always known and love: my own.
As I write this, I'm 2/3 done with my last quarter of college; I took two finals yesterday, and I have one left on Tuesday. In about five or so days from now, I will have finished my last quarter in college. In a week, I'll be getting ready for Pilipino Graduation, and two days after that, I'll be switching the tassel. I'll be done with college.
For now, I'm filling my days with the traditional, or not, exit rituals: Kababayan End of the Year Banquet, Bookstore End of the Year Staff Meeting, after parties, not studying for finals, and watching the Lakers attempt the comeback of the century (so far anyway).
I can't believe I had this much to say after finishing my paper not even twenty minutes ago.
I'll definitely be writing more later.

♥ nina
 
 
 
 
 
 
I wanted to take a few minutes out of my day today, the busiest day of the year, to contemplate a few lingering thoughts.
In approximately 8 hours, the doors will open for Kababayan's 30th Annual Pilipino Culture Night. In an estimated hour following the opening of the doors, I will appear on stage not only as part of thirty years of a long-standing tradition of cultural presentation, but for my final performance with Kaba's PCN.
I know, I know. Dramatic. :) But really, though, this is my last PCN. After four years of practices, dress rehearsals, retreats, songs, dances, late nights at the Bren Events Center, and final products, I'm ready to take my last steps on that stage with Kababayan.
Or am I?
Today has been met with very mixed emotions for me. Right now, the most dominant of them is exhaustion. Others include excitement, nervousness, bittersweetness, sadness, happiness, and, most of all, complete and total pride. In my four years at UCI, I have never felt more accomplished or successful at anything I've done but PCN, particularly my second year when I co-coordinated choir. I boast proudly to all of my outside friends and family that Kaba has a long-standing reputation for being the largest production put on yearly at the Bren, as well as one for hosting the largest, and straight-up best, PCNs out of all of those among other Filipino-American college organizations in SoCal. And I have never, in the past four years, felt more honored to participate in such an event.
But, of course, all great things must come to an end, and quite frankly I wish that they wouldn't. What, however, can we do? It's life. Time waits for no one, as goes the saying. All I can do today is throw in as much of myself as I can, which is what I fully plan to do.
Well, here goes nothing...
See you on the other side.

♥ nina
 
 
 
 
 
 
I feel like I'm slowly losing my mind, and it's only Week 2. :(
This usually comes along on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, when I commute to LA for the internship. I love what I do and I love working there, but the commute plus the overwhelming feeling that the end of college is looming ahead and I feel my freedom slipping away puts me in a weird mood.
I'm feeling especially stressed today. I talked to my supervisors and HR about potentially cutting Fridays out of my schedule so that I have more time to work so my paychecks aren't so pathetic (and so that my sister can work Fridays too), which means cutting down from 16 to 8 hours. They might not be able to do it because they need me for a minimum of 16 hours, which sucks because the FMS department only needs me doing minimum of 8. This almost made me cry. My main supervisor asked me if this made me want to drop the internship all together; I said no, but the more I thought about it, the more I considered it. I really don't want to quit, but I really can't afford to make this internship my entire life for the sake of my sanity. If I end up getting a job in LA I'm fully prepared to move out there so I won't have to commute, but I don't know if I'll be able to really stand doing it right now; I can't stand the drive anymore.
I'm not going to quit. I can't. I need this internship. I just need more mental stability. x_____x
My classes aren't even that bad this quarter. I'm sitting in Critical Theory of TV and it's quite awesome. I had to drop Media Writing but right now I'm in Afro-Latin American Music with a few of my co-workers and it's fun, plus a really easy night class, Sociology of Work and Occupations. I'm determined to get A's in all (or at least two) of my classes; this internship, however, might rob me of my mental stability. I miss working three days a week at the Bookstore also.
Maybe I should quit.
No. NO. Absolutely not.
GAHHHHHH.

On the much brighter side, two things:
-Last weekend, Adrian, Sashana and I went to the Sasha Vujacic signing in Torrance. It was much more relaxed for me; maybe too relaxed, as I had forgotten everything I wanted to say to him, haha. Awkwaaaard. I got to take another picture with him, which was cool. Apparently I have the same name as his sister. Yay. Haha.

That's me and zee Machine. We look like bestie friends, no? ;)
-My last PCN is next Saturday. My last Saturday practice EVER is this Saturday, and my last Bren Hell Week is all next week. Wow. My run is coming to an end. :( Super sad. And it's early too. I feel kind of cheated in a sense, but all good things must come to an end. At least I'll have less stress throughout this quarter. Emo posting about this coming up for sure.

Anyway, I should go back and pay attention.
*sigh*

♥ nina
 
 
 
 
 
 
Well, well, well. Needless to say, a LOT happened since last entry. Let's hit the highlight reel.

Internship
I finally got an internship! I think it was God's early birthday present for me, haha. I went in for an interview with 20th Century Fox's music department and pretty much got hired on the spot. So now I'll be driving to LA every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. It's gonna be wayyy intense, but it'll be worth it for the job experience. I'm so excited to start!!!

MY BIRTHDAY!
After a few days of agonizing, and adding stress to the start of finals, I finally turned 22! :D Yeah, I'm old. But age ain't nothin' but a number, yes? :) I went with my friends to TGI Friday's to eat happy-hour appetizers and watch the Lakers beat the Mavs! The downside was that my parents and brother were at the game and I was not, but whatever. Med made me drink so much during lunch (Long Island Iced Tea, "Birthday Shot," and Cadillac Margarita, yikes) that I went home to take a nap, woke up to go to dinner with my family, and was completely and totally hung over. GAH. Oh well. P.F. Chang's helped me get through it. Dinner with the fams was sooo fun. I think we stayed an extra hour long just talking about our old houses and telling stories. I kinda started getting sad looking at my parents, realizing that not only have I been around for 22 years, but they've been parents for 22 years (I'm the oldest with two younger siblings, in case you didn't know). I guess I'm kind of their anniversary for that. Crazy to think about, no?

Finals
There's really nothing to say except it's DONE. Thank the Holy God. It couldn't have been worse. I actually might have failed a class. Oh well. What can I do, right?

Disneyland!
The day that I finished my only final (not including the papers I had to write) Kulsum and I went to Disneyland! We made a pitstop at HOB for dinner and drinks, and actually went to DLand tipsy. OHHHH MAN. Good times. :) We were only there for a few hours though (yay annual passes) before we went to Heat Ultra Lounge which was literally down the street. Best girls night ever!

Spring Break (So Far)
I spent my first day of Spring Break working (of course) then going to the LAKER GAME! This was last night. I went with Adrian; it was his first time seeing the Lakers, or any basketball team apparently, and being at Staples Center. We actually got there 3 hours early, so we ate at ESPN Zone across the street, went to Team LA and bought shirts, then got drinks in the Royal Room. I had been there once, the first time I went to a Laker game after I turned 21, but I never bought anything. Drinks are freakin' EXPENSIVE. But it was worth buying just to say that we did. :)
The game itself was magnificent. We played Golden State, who I actually like, especially Ronny Turiaf. It was close at some points, especially all those lead changes in the first quarter alone. But we got the job done. Sasha himself had 100% shooting that night! :D
I had never been one to yell, cheer, or stand up and dance during a game, but after a Long Island Iced Tea and a Strawberry Daquiri, I was feeling pretty enthusiastic. :D I'd never had so much fun at a game before! Afterwards, we even went on the Lakers Live post-game show, and Patricia and Barry said that they saw us jumping up and down behind Norm Nixon and Bill Richardson. Super funny times, dude. We walked back to the car and Norm Nixon was going in our same direction, so I got a video of him saying hi to my mom. RIGHTEOUS! Adrian had a blast too. :D Needless to say, I think we're gonna make it a point to go to another one.

And now it's Spring Break! The last one of my life! I didn't get out of bed today until 230 (mostly because I hadn't slept in 48 hours) and it felt AMAZING! No work and no school today, ahhh bliss. The downside to all this is that I lost my voice AND my ribs/lungs are sore. Yucky.
And now I have no idea what to do with myself. :)

♥ nina
 
 
 
 
 
 
I'm going to Disneyland/CA Adventure tomorrow!
YAAAAAAAAAAAAY! :D :D :D
I'm sooo excited. I've been wanting to go back since the last time I went in November. I'm going to upgrade my ticket to a monthly-payment pass, and I'm sooo excited. I'm trying to convince Adrian to do it too so we can go a bajillion times before school gets out. Suuuuper stoked, dude.
*Sigh* My boyfriend rules. He's taking me. We both took the day off from work, just because. :D
I'm kinda sad because we have to come back before class at 7 (stupid review session) so I won't get to see Fantasmic or the fireworks show, but I'm excited to finally get to ride Toy Story.
Ugh, I feel like a little kid again.
Other than that, life has been pretty lame. I thought I was gonna get a super sick guitar teaching gig, but that ended up flopping. Oh well. School and work have been simultaneously kicking my ass, and I'm not sure why. I tried giving up meat for Lent, but my mother yelled at me this weekend when she saw how apparently "gaunt" my face got after only three days of meat-fasting and made me stop. I'm still off of the junk food and soda, among other things, which is making me really cranky because I reeeeeeally want some chocolate-covered strawberries for some reason.
I dunno if I've said it before, but I'm totally ready for this quarter to be over because I'm ready for my super awesome classes next quarter! :) I feel like such a nerd, geeking out over Media Writing and Critical Theory of TV. Loser. Haha.
Before I can get there, however, I have to suffer through this Film Theory class. Ugh.
Today, however, it's not gonna get me down. DISNEYLAND! :D

♥ nina
 
 
 
 
 
 
Not really, I swear.
*Sigh* School is kicking the crap out of me right now. It's just as well, I guess that's what I get for procrastinating. But still. I've been on campus since 8 am and will be here until 9. No joke. No stopping to go home. I actually went to my 8 am class today. Accomplishment!
I also registered for classes for the last time today. Wow. It hasn't quite hit me yet though. I think I'm just excited that I only have to take three classes, which equals 12 units. I've never taken less then 15 units, which is kind of amazing to me. I'll finally get to relax, and maybe FINALLY get a stupid internship.
I wish I could vent something but I have no words. I literally can feel my entire body melting. Brain included. I'm gonna be a pile of mush in less than two hours.
*sigh* Back to homework.

♥ nina
 
 
 
 
 
 
So I've been unofficially commissioned (unofficially 'cause I'm not getting paid, haha) to write a song!
WEIRD!
I'd like to say more about it, but I'm not sure if I'm supposed to keep it under wraps.
I seriously cannot contain my excitement! At the same time, I'm petrified. I have NO IDEA where to start!
EEEEEEE!

♥ nina
 
 
 
 
 
 
Time for a monthly update. Or so it seems, hehe.
It's post-Valentine's day and I am POOPED. We double-dated for the day, which took us to Downtown LA and Venice Beach. I fall in love with Downtown every time I see it. I'd love to live there, for at least a few years. Just 'cause. :)
I guess a lot's been going on since last time I wrote. I got braces. :( NO BUENO. That's what I get for not wearing my retainers I suppose. Oh well. I can actually sense my pain tolerance rising because of it, so that's good I suppose.
Last week was midterms. YUCK. Glad that's all over. Didn't do so great, but oh well. I call senioritis. I have no other excuse, haha. I'll be glad when this quarter is over. Next quarter I only have to take 12 units. I already have my schedule planned out: Tuesday 2 - 630, Wednesdays 7-10 (probably not going to end up going to class anyway, haha), and Thursday 2-5. WHAT WHAT!
Finally, I'm willing myself to apply to at least 20 more internships for next quarter before I throw in the towel. I've been religiously following the Disneyland casting website for some strange reason. It never gets updated, at least not for anything I'm interested/capable of. I know. I'm weird. I want to live in LA and work at Disneyland.
Ugh. I really don't know what to make of my future. :(
Three day weekend this weekend! Yes! :D Kinda bummed 'cause I'm missing out on work hours instead of actually getting a day off of school but whatever. :) I'm going home-home and being a veggie on the couch. Chyessss.
Anyway, I guess that's all the life update for now.
More when something interesting happens, haha.
And now, I'm gonna go read my Valentine's day present: Multiple Blessings by Jon & Kate Gosselin.
Love my boyfriend, haha.

♥ nina