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(All of the photos - except for the Snapchat one - were taken by my awesome friend sparckydog. Thanks for letting me use them for my blog post! ^_^)

Friday, August 15, 2014. I gotta be honest - I’ve been feeling pretty lonely and sad lately. The monotonous summer, where my daily schedule just consists of going to my job and then the gym every day, can become very depressing for me. But for the past two weeks I feel like I’ve been turning things around. I’ve been reaching out to my teammates and trying to talk about more personal subjects to help with my loneliness. The results surprised me. I spent quite a few late nights talking to some of them - whether it’s helping them through a break-up, or talking to them about a secret they’ve been keeping, or even just having a non-stop 7-hour long conversation all the way until 6 AM just for the hell of it, it was really nice getting to know them on a deeper level.

I had a good week because I spent every night going out with friends too instead of just staying at home. On Monday I organized a get-together where we went out for pho and ice cream, on Tuesday I stayed up until 4 playing board and card games, on Wednesday we had a movie night, on Thursday we had a baking session, and to end it perfectly, we had an awesome party on Friday!

I’m calling this night “my first good party” because this was the first time I have truly enjoyed a college party. I used to have anxiety with partying and drinking because of very bad memories with my ex-boyfriend. The first party I went to, his frat bros had attended and behaved in a way that upset me, and I spent that night crying because he refused to listen and abandoned me. The second party I went to, I spent the night holding a bucket for him to vomit in before he passed out. (As you can see, not only did I have terrible party experiences, I also had a terrible love life.)

But tonight was so so so different and I am so so so glad for that!

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My Friday had a bad start at first because a friend told me some shocking news about my ex. I was disgusted to find out what he had been up to, but most of all I was ashamed of myself for still believing he was a good guy and liking him in the first place. But later on, I realized that this was the eye-opener I needed to finally be glad that he’s not a part of my life anymore. I love what I have right now, and I decided that I would dress sexy and just have fun for the rest of the night with my friends! Okay, maybe the sexy part didn’t work because I still look like a dweeb in my glasses. :P

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I was a bit shy and awkward coming in at first because, again, being around a large crowd of drunk people makes me feel anxious. But my friend (one of the hosts of the party) scouted me out right away, chatted me up, and let me try a couple of drinks. He knew I didn’t like the taste of alcohol so he picked out a couple of sweet ones for me. He’s such a funny guy and we get along really well so I got comfortable quickly. For the rest of the night, the other host mixed alcoholic juices for me so that I could still drink and like the taste!

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Most of my night was spent outside because the apartment was stuffy and the summer weather at night was really cool and nice for fresh air. Plus, I had good company by my side. One of the major reasons why I enjoyed the party was because I actually had friends there. For the first time, I wasn’t standing in a corner or hiding in a room because I felt too uncomfortable to speak to anyone. I liked the people here, which also meant I felt good enough to drink around them.

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Thanks to the yummy juices, I ended up drinking 5 to 6 shots, which only made me feel buzzed. Hey, my tolerance is pretty decent! I’m still curious to know what I’m like drunk, but the juices made me feel full so I couldn’t really drink more. That’s okay though because being buzzed was fun! I started acting giggly and silly and my walking got tipsy. Some people have remarked that I was also touchy-feely… yo, I do NOT act touchy-feely with someone unless they were already touching me and holding me close. So really, the blame is on whoever started it! :P

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A group of us went out for a Teabo run which was also fun. It’s kinda amusing going to a store while buzzed hahaha, now I see the appeal of those drinking games. The above photo is me lecturing the coach about how he shouldn’t drink the night before practice. The coach is one of the nicest and most caring guys I know - he looks out for everyone and has reached out to me a lot, making me feel encouraged and good about myself as a paddler. That’s why my buzzed self thought it would be funny to scold him because of the irony that he’s actually a really great coach and person. I hope he didn’t get too offended hahaha. His strong sense of responsibility and my immature sense of humor might clash sometimes but I truly respect him and appreciate his positive influence and impact on me. I’m gonna be really sad when he graduates.

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Lastly, I know that this set of photos looks scandalous but I don’t care. A big part of what made my night enjoyable was the captain of the team. He was almost always by my side, checking up on me, holding me to stabilize my balance, getting me to drink water, etc. He even offered to drive me home and take me back to my room. It was very sweet of him to take care of me. We hung out for a while in my room and that was the most memorable part of the night. I consider him to not only be a good friend, but also a good teammate, captain, and in a few months, the future coach of the team.

I know that this party was just like any other college party. But it meant a lot to me because I had such bad experiences before that affected me in a negative way. To finally have a normal, positive experience is something that I appreciate a lot now. I was surrounded by friends, I felt safe, I felt comfortable, and I felt like I was taken care of by the hosts and other party-goers. I’m glad to have reached a point in my life where I am happy with where I am. I have lost some people in my life but found that I really like the people I have become a lot closer with as a result… so maybe I got a better deal in the end.

Thanks for reading. xx

Posted: August 20, 2014

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Sunday/Monday, July 27-28, 2014. Oh man, I feel like I haven’t posted in forever so now I have to struggle remembering what happened during my last day of SoCal. I’ve also been getting an influx of followers from the Phillippines (yo, how are y’all finding me?). I hope people who read my blog know that I update very infrequently, sorry about that. Also, to the Anonymous person who sent “Hi” to my message box: Hi to you too. (People need to send me more messages. I’m lonely, sniffles.)

So as I mentioned in Part 2, after all the races were over came the tradition of dunking everyone on the team. I was kinda apprehensive about being thrown because I am deathly afraid of being in water and tend to freak the fuck out if my head stays under water longer than 1 second. But it surprisingly turned out really fun!

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While everyone was getting dunked, I went over to the showers and made my clothes and hair all wet so that I could fool everyone into thinking that I already got thrown into the water. That plan totally failed because the water coach grabbed me and dunked me TWICE. Why is senpai so mean to me? I never did anything to him besides encourage our teammate to put gummy bears on him while he was sleeping. :(

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That evening, I switched my car group to the Party Van where we drove to Irvine to eat at Boiling Point. I ordered the lamb hot soup which was very yummy. Our server also totally looked like an Asian Bennett from Orange is the New Black, so I couldn’t stop ogling at him omg. I wish I had sneaked a picture of the dude!

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On Monday morning, everyone who was still in SoCal ate brunch at Blu Jam Cafe. I was super excited about trying out this restaurant because my high school friends and I have been writing a story where this cafe was mentioned several times, and now I would get to see it in person. It’s totally for research, the part where I pig out is just a bonus. ;)

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I ordered the Norwegian Benedict and my friend ordered the crunchy french toast. Hmmm, tbh I thought that the food was pretty standard, even though it was so pricey. But that’s alright because I only came from the experience, and besides, I’ve blown so much money from this weekend anyway that what’s another $15 gonna do? Whooo burning my cash!!

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Here are all our tables, it’s too bad we couldn’t get to sit together. The 15 of us stayed in SoCal (as opposed to the 35-40 of us) because we weren’t taking any summer classes so we could YOLO freely. My car group was the luckiest out of the bunch because we were the first to receive our table really quickly (even faster than other people who were waiting in line longer) and the ride back home for us was super orderly with no traffic at all. Clearly I must’ve been the lucky charm.

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After brunch one of the passengers in our car wanted to visit the art store  to buy some new supplies. Yo, why is it that one of the poorest paying jobs has incredibly expensive materials to buy? Their fancy pens were all $80 individually too, that shit is cray-cray. Also, the prettiest public restrooms you will ever see are probably in art stores.

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We walked around L.A. for a bit and although we didn’t walk into any stores, I spotted the most awesome mannequins I’ve ever seen, which I probably only liked so much because they had dogs. DUDE, MANNEQUIN DOGS! And they were so detailed too! The one in the first picture even has lipstick aww!

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We also visited Milk which we’ve heard good things about, and rightly so. There are so many desserts available, including macaron ice cream (say whaaat, there is such a thing?!) I had to use my utmost willpower to not buy anything there because I was running low on cash. But I love how my teammates offered me to take a bite or drink from their orders, so nice to share! This was my first time eating macarons and now I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with them unless they’re in ice cream sandwich form.

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One of them started drawing using the new stuff that he bought from the art store, and I got to be his first page. Omg such accuracy! If I had known that he was drawing me, I would probably have tried to look more presentable. This sketch is now on the Art page on my blog!

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Lastly, we visited Half & Half to pick up boba for the long drive home. I ordered the milk tea with pudding, cuz you can’t go wrong with a classic. This drink was the last money I spent for the weekend. I had withdrawn $60 before the trip, and after the boba purchase, my dollar bills were gone with the wind. And it turned out to be a bad idea to buy myself a drink because I got carsick during the drive home and felt that liquid mixing around my stomach. Ohh the carsick struggles.

Fortunately, as I said before, there was no traffic during the ride back to Davis so we were very lucky. But you can imagine how exhausted I was once I got back to my apartment. My adventures in SoCal was definitely an awesome and fun experience, but I gotta say, after 4 days where basically my waking hours consisted of being stuck in a car, going out, and paddling, having some downtime is definitely appreciated now. And with getting an average of 3-5 hours of sleep every night on the hardwood floor, it was REALLY nice to curl up in my own bed again!

Finally, this concludes the blog trilogy of my weekend in SoCal. Life in Davis has returned back to normal again, but I have learned that I really really do not like routines (going to my job and then the gym every day… ew, is this what being a working adult feels like?), so I will be visiting San Francisco next week for some food tasting at their trucks and shops! And of course, I will write a blog post about that when I get the chance. xx

Posted: August 10, 2014

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Saturday/Sunday, July 26-27, 2014. Nothing says race day like waking up at the buttcrack of dawn at 5 AM. As I mentioned in Part 1, sharing the shower with more than 30 other people in one house means going to sleep past 2 AM. You can only imagine how brain dead I was in the morning.

Actually, a really funny incident happened on Saturday morning, and I wish I could talk about it on my blog, except I’ve been sworn to secrecy not to tell because I became an accomplice. I didn’t even take part in any of it! Let’s just say that a very manipulative teammate had bribed me with delicious food, knowing that I was sleepy and disoriented to not fully understand what was going on. Whatever, it was hella yummy so I will go down with them!

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This weekend was the Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival, which hosts one of the largest dragon boat competitions in California. Man, the line of tents seemed like it would never end. I spotted a team from Taiwan and even a team with all deaf paddlers. Kinda crazy to think how the sport goes beyond college, since I literally didn’t even know it existed until this year.

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Here’s our tent and line-up! I paddled on the 3rd row for the Dairy boat. The weekend before our race, the coaching staff actually called me over and asked if I wanted to sub for Legend. Being on the Legend boat is cool and all, but after my bad experience being a sub, I decided to go on Dairy so that I could race more heats. The water coach keeps thinking I’m gunning for Legend because I’m “so motivated and have a strong work ethic” and I’m like “Bro, are we even talking about the right person?” Thanks for looking out for me though!

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Our overcrowded tent got into a few shenanigans while waiting for our heats, including messing with the water coach while he was sleeping. I kept urging my teammate to throw gummy bears in his mouth, and was just about to do it myself, until my teammate got a better idea and balanced the gummy bears on his forehead and nose instead. OMG, I was laughing like a maniac the whole time and barely scrambled to take pictures. Later the coach approached me and said “If you tell me who did it, I’ll protect you from getting dunked after the race is over.” Bitch I ain’t no snitch!

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Before the sprints heats, various teammates received awards that we had all voted for (such as MVP, Comedian, Best Smile, Hottie, etc.) We made the guy who won the Next Top Model award take off his shirt, then someone poured water all over him LOL. My driver won the Sweetheart award, but unbeknownst to everyone, the next week when we ran into a large crowd blocking the pathway in the gym, she muttered, “We’ll see about that Sweetheart Award.” Omg wut.

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The heats for the Dairy boat were decent, but my favorite was the last heat we did for sprints. We got to mix up the line-ups and just YOLO the whole thing. Because it wasn’t as serious, I decided to bring my phone with me so that I could take pictures of everyone at the marshaling area and on the boat. So as you can see, we don’t spend the whole time cooped up in a tent!

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I don’t think I’ve gotten close-up pictures of people loading off the boats on the shore until now. Again, I’m glad that I decided to sneak my phone with me for the photo op. It’s actually pretty easy, since all I had to do was tuck my phone in my bra (I mean, something’s gotta fill it up, amirite?) and buckle my life jacket over it. Easy peasy for when I got on the boat!

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Yaaaaaas I achieved my long-awaited goal for a boat selfie! Perks of sitting in one of the front rows. ^_^ Our club president really wanted to be a drummer so I got to take a picture of her too. I basically took a shit ton of pictures whenever we weren’t paddling. But when it came time for us to set up and race, of course I focused inside the boat and was ready to paddle. The sprint was fun and our rate was faster than usual, which made it more exciting.

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Finally, the Legend boat raced for the final heat, and they scored 3rd place in the B2 divison. I think they were 0.03 seconds away from the boat that scored 2nd place. Damn, they were really in the thick of it. It was a good race and we made a victory tunnel for them. Since I’m on the team I can be considered cool by association, right??

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Here’s our group picture for the entire team and a silly one with the Dairy boat. Unbeknownst to the common viewer, despite our smiles, we wanted to get the photos over with because it was hot as hell under the sun and we were like, GTFO. Yeah, screw team camaraderie! We’re all gonna betray each other anyway when everyone gets dunked.

Yes, I got dunked as well. But I’ll save the pictures of me getting dunked for Part 3 with all the other post-race photos. So check my blog again next week for the post-race portion of my Socal adventures.

Speaking of pictures, on Sunday night some of my teammates and I stayed up past 2 AM to take some, and we were all not-quietly giggling in the house while everyone was asleep. I wish I could post them up, but we decided not to make it public until a particular person on the team finds out about it on their own (which could take months of even years from now, who knows, it’s all about the surprise). But that moment was so fucking funny that I actually got sweaty and almost peed my pants. What a close call.

Posted: August 04, 2014
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