Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year of 2009 in review and resolutions

Alrighty. I just got back home from shopping. Now I only have about 2 hours and 30 minutes to shell out all the biggest highlights of the year and what I'm hoping to accomplish hereafter in the New Year.

Year of 2009:
  • My best friend Cindy and piano. It was the first year I played a duet, ever, and it was for the recital. She might not have liked it, and I was terrified at the time, but in retrospect,I think it was good ;)
  • Study group with my good friends on Fridays, hah!
  • Getting my first straight A report card ever O_O
  • Building a solar-powered rice cooker for Science Fair and getting 3rd place locally
  • Building a database for the U.S. Dairy Export Council PR firm in Shanghai over the summer as an intern/worker
  • Just living in Shanghai for a month was a blissful, wonderful experience
  • Writing a 30-paged documentary (yet to be published) about my summer experiences in Shanghai and South Korea
  • Going to Seoul for the first time (but definitely not the last)
  • The Purple Tide. I have so much to be thankful for. First off--the people. Amazing people. Never thought I'd know any juniors or seniors like these people ;) Secondly, the newspaper itself. I remember reading TPT religiously as a freshman, to the point of dreaming/anticipating the day I would become a member. And now I'm writing for it and I've got my own column. Wow. Thirdly--the progress. I'm going places. The Purple Tide has really opened a lot of doors for me. It has allowed me to let myself free a little more than I would have been able to before. It has also helped bond me with several people outside of the paper that I would have never dreamt of meeting or being familiar with. There's so much that I have to say, but I won't spend all that time listing every detail because I'm sure it's pretty obvious how much I love The Purple Tide as a whole.
  • Discovering more about myself and my dreams, being more honest with myself
  • Fashion and me - need I say anything more?
  • Photography and me - learned how to edit on my own, make miniatures, still sharpening my self-taught photography, 2000+ views on my Flickr
  • Meeting people
  • Being free-er
New Year, 2010 Resolutions:
  1. The Flickr 365 Challenge! That means a photo each day for Flickr in a purposeful way! It's harder than it sounds, people.
  2. Not staying up beyond 2:30 a.m. for 3 out of 5 days of the school week
  3. Getting more focused and responsible in school
  4. Prepping for SAT's (sigh)
  5. Volunteering
  6. Interning for a company/organization (it'd be nice if I could help out again in Shanghai, but i don't know if it's possible for me in 2010...)
  7. Meeting more people
  8. Getting at least one of my photographs Explored on Flickr :O
  9. Visiting New York City in the summer
  10. Making several fashion statements in school
  11. Planning out a World Civ reunion in the summer
  12. Working even harder for TPT!
  13. Getting nothing lower than a B- on my report card!
  14. Expanding my blog
  15. Scouting people for photoshoots or photo-get-togethers
  16. Shadowing a photographer
  17. Joining the NPPA
  18. Improving in piano, being more dedicated
  19. Being nicer to family, more helpful
  20. Reconnecting with friends
  21. lots more later.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Favorite Words #2

Continuing from this post:

    * capricious
    * whimsical
    * inessential
    * crux
    * pensive
    * poignant
    * qualm
    * hackneyed
    * imperceptible
    * sang-froid
    * farcical
    * zeitgeist
    * idyllic
    * modus vivendi (okay, not a word, but awesome nonetheless)
    * bourgeois (repeatedly used in The Beautiful Fall)
    * perusal
    * gamut
    * bellwether
    * amalgam

In case you were wondering/haven't noticed, probably 80% of the aforementioned (Ha! Shannon!) words came from The New York Times...Their writers have awesome jargon...

Monday, December 28, 2009

It's the 21st century, the era where technology and fashion collide.

Being a religious follower of fashion blogs and The New York Times, I recently read a story, "Bloggers Crash Fashion's Front Row" (Eric Wilson) which caused me to take a step back from fashion to look at it with a new perspective. 

Technology has been on the rise. Careers that encompass technology have experienced more demand and those that pursue those careers have good prospects. Technology, to me, is a train that is going full-steam ahead. It won't stop, and what's more is that it is fast and is continually in motion. Fashion is quite similar to technology in that sense--changes, implementations, and innovations are elements of its character, I believe. (Of course, there are fundamentals that remain constant, but change is also an undeniable feature of both technology and fashion).

For as long as I can remember (since 6th grade specifically), I have wanted to pursue a career in media and journalism. At first, 6th grade, I was chosen to be a reporter for the daily T.V. news in my elementary school. It  gave way to my ideals now: my dreams have progressed from being a broadcast reporter/news anchor to a style journalist/photographer. Ever since I wanted to be a journalist, I had always envisioned that I'd be one for the physical newspaper--the print edition. I was absolutely charmed and taken with writing for print and expecting that folks would have a newspaper in one hand and coffee in the other every morning, the image that was typical of many [American] homes perhaps a decade or two ago.

However, although people may still read newspapers ritually, "Bloggers Crash Fashion's Front Row" gave me a good knock in the head. It had never occurred to me a year ago (okay, well, maybe, but definitely not two years ago) that I might consider or have to write for the online edition of a publication instead of the print. But what could I have known two years ago? I'm 15 (add a 0.5 to that), and this is the first year I've had experience in a formal publication of sorts--my school newspaper, The Purple Tide.

Ah, right, I'm rambling. The point is--technology is obviously making an impact on fashion. Social media networks and blogging are rather un-traditional and young aspects compared to the magazines and newspapers. Nevertheless, society is gravitating towards these fresh sources which have the ability of supplying information much more quickly than traditional methods of print. In addition, perhaps more of us have the "blog mentality", not a "magazine mentality." I myself follow blogs and online sources much more than I subscribe to magazines and the newspaper because blogs are more accessible and there is instant gratification. Coming from a no-nonsense Asian family, it's quite difficult to get my hands on newspapers or magazines without acquiring stares of disbelief--they don't understand why I'd want to spend money on something that takes up space that I "probably won't read twice" where I could probably find something of similar nature online one way or another. Some people don't see how I could be so passionate about fashion, which they view as trivial and superficial. I'd love to write my thoughts on that, but that will come at a later time...

Ultimately, there are many things for me to consider--for everyone who is or aspires to be in the fashion/journalism industry. What sort of journalist and photographer do I want to be? Primarily for print, or primarily for the web? Or would it not matter since it seems that publications are putting the same stories online as they are in the print? Would I even get a choice if there was one? Which do I prefer?

Putting that aside...

Fashion and technology are staples of society. Technology has become integrated with fashion--the link between the two has become irrevocable, as both will progress together. If I may say so, it's like an inevitable marriage. How those in the fashion/journalism industry cope with this is something that I'll be on the watch for, and perhaps something I myself will experience.

Wow. This was quite a long and confusing post. Perhaps it's more like a bunch of my musings and ramblings squished together in one body of text. This was written from my perspective--an outsider's point of view. (As a side note, it's rather depressing to be fifteen and living in suburbia, 211 miles away from the heart of fashion and journalism.) I haven't put my foot in the door of fashion yet, and I'm just barely getting started in journalism. I realize that I probably sound like an amateur, so I'm open to your opinions and criticism. I'd love to know what you all think about technology's influence on the fashion/journalism industry.

[update] wintery morning, au natural

So, it's been a while since I had the usual [update] notes. Lately, if you haven't noticed, I've been quite taken with color curving many of my photographs. This time, I bring you real. 100% real. They're all wintery-morning themed, based on this blog post.

1perfect union
2 rising blazes

So they're all 100% real. I thought about color curving and cropping it like I do with a lot of the photographs I've done lately, but then I decided against it. I started out pure (hahaha) in photography, and I intend to retain that purity and simplicity with my nature shots. There are ethics I follow, and this is one of them. I somehow have a psychology that tells me, "although you may make the photograph more alluring by touching it up with the computer, you're losing a part of yourself when you do that to nature." Ah, I'm rambling. But yeah. What do you think?

Do you think it's okay for photographs to be published (i.e. in magazines, websites, etc.) that have been post-processed, photoshopped, and/or edited?

I'm not sure what to think.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

wintery morning

I somehow managed to wake up at 5:40 a.m. this morning. Sure, the alarm clock alerted me. But normally that's not enough to pry me out of bed during time off from school. But somehow, this morning, I managed to wrench myself up and off the bed with a relatively clear mind even though I slept at 2 a.m. Well, relatively clear--I strangely woke up with "Paris is Burning" (by Ladyhawke) playing in my head...

Normally, I wake up feeling like, well, shit. My head is always muddled and disoriented in the morning usually, so today was quite a nice way to wake up although it was so early...

Well, today was the day I saw my aunt off at the airport. She's going to Hong Kong and South Korea for two weeks. How nice. She asked if I wanted to go with her previously. I told her I'd love to, but couldn't. (School. It's all because of school, darn it!)

Anyways, it was a rather sad situation. Sometimes my aunt is quite childlike--innocent, scatterbrained, easily frightened--somewhat fragile and delicate. It makes me guilty that I'm so harsh to her so often. She goes unappreciated. It's a long story, but if need be, I would give my life up for her. To say the least--she means the world to me, and she is probably the only person on earth that has that much meaning to me.

But wow. I just totally veered off from the original topic of this post:

I find winter mornings to be wonderful. The pale blue of the sky provides a quiet, tranquil backdrop. At 7:53 a.m., the sun is right over the horizon. It's breathtakingly majestic. The frost on the earthen ground is crisp. The ground crunches when you walk on it. A thin layer of fog hangs above snowy patches on the ground. But the sun--once again it's always about the sun because it is far too grand to be left unspoken of.

The sun lights up the sky. Sets it ablaze, sets it aglow. There's something irresistible about that powerful orb of light. Its celestial and omnipresence renders me in eternal awe.

Altogether, the winter morning atmosphere fiercely appeals to my poetic/philosophical/contemplative self. I could write a thousand poems every winter morning if I woke up this way...

Friday, December 25, 2009

[update] Merry Christmas 2009!

Merry Christmas to everyone! 2009 is finally nearing its end...

There are tons of things I could say, but right now, I'm just hoping that you all enjoy today and hopefully have gotten things you've wished for.

Umm, I don't have an actual Christmas present for you all, but here's some eye candy!

1I've got the light
2delightful tea

More on Christmas later. I'm in the midst of preparing my New Year's Resolutions List.
Plus my head is absolutely killing me. Killer headaches suck.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I think I've lost my former writing ability.

I used to write freely. To be more specific, I used to write unabashedly, about creative topics. Now what am I doing? My writing has forcefully been squished and molded to fit specific topics with specific structures and rules.

I used to write fantasy, or some far-fetched, outrageously fictitious story about spy escapades. And now, what do I write? Anything but that. It is no longer daydreams and dragons, it's about the human mind, reality, and grave topics I would never have understood or cared about.

But ultimately, is that something I should be sad about? I suppose not. I suppose I should be um, fortunate enough to have such an overly complex, contemplative mind, and that I should understand reality. But nevertheless, it is a bit sad, a bit sad to see those carefree, outrageous stories fade away. They were what set my writing career in motion, they were the beginning.

So perhaps it's reasonable to say that my brain has rusted a little--the childish part of it has rusted, or has simply been shed along with other various aspects of my life that I hardly ever utilize nowadays.

To be honest, I'm a bit afraid of how things are turning out for me and my writing. Where did the zeal, where did the unsurpassed creativity go? I feel afraid of losing what I started out with. What if it'll only hurt me? So I'm trying to spark creativity in myself again--what was it like writing years ago? I'm trying to remember.

Fashion + Photography + Me = ? (and all sorts of other things)

This is probably going to be an equation whose answer will always elude me:
Fashion + Photography + Me = ?

First off, I don't even know how I've decided to set my mind on becoming a fashion photographer above all else (that includes being a journalist). Well, sure, my breath was first taken away by a Chloé editorial I saw in an issue of NYLON in '08, but I don't think that that alone made me convert to a fashion enthusiast (I don't think I truly deserve the title of 'fashionista' yet). So what gives?

I can't say this for sure, but I think the one reason I'm so, um, intoxicated by fashion is because of its nature: it seemingly always revolves around something I find irresistible--beauty. I consider myself an aesthete, which according to means "a person who has or professes to have refined sensitivity toward the beauties of art or nature." I really love nature (hence my passion for photographing the skies) and art. Fashion is an art. Writing is an art. Drawing is an art. Music is an art.

I'm sure that there are few people that love beauty as much as I do. I'm not sure you would understand, and I could never possibly be able to contain my love for beauty and beautiful things in just words alone, but it's like... I love everything that is beautiful, whether it be people, places, places, things.

I pass random people in the streets, in the malls, in school, and a lot of times I think to myself, "gosh, they look amazing. I wonder if they'd be creeped if I asked to take a portrait of them?" Sadly, you see, people have this sort of paranoia mechanism around strangers. "I don't know you, you don't know me, so what the hell are you doing talking to me?" is basically the response I'm expecting to get if I try to approach someone. I have never tried to approach a stranger (well, okay, once, and that was a model contestant after the fashion show, and duh, she said yes) to ask for their photograph, and I doubt that I will anytime soon. I mean, this is Virginia we're talking about. Suburbia, not New York City.

I wish I lived in New York City.

Here, when you make a fashion statement, people think you're crazy (in a bad way). In New York City, nobody cares nearly as much since they see it all the time!

Back to the topic. Okay, yes, if I were the same me from a year ago, and I met the me of today who would ask for my photograph, I'd probably be like, "wtf, no." But not today. I mean, think of the Sartorialist! Think of Garance Doré! Think of street photographers! They take strangers' pictures, and those people seem totally cool with it!*

I know, I know, I'm being hypocritical. I would be cautious with strangers, too, especially those that asked to take my picture. But, speaking from the perspective of a photographer/aesthete, I mean, COME ON, PEOPLE! What on earth do you think I'll do with your photos? Do I look like a psychopath serial killer that takes pictures of potential victims and stalks then kills them? NO! (I mean, I don't think so at least. Well, the point is, I look a lot saner than some people).

But that's the perspective of an aesthete and photograph, two perspectives that aren't exactly that widely considered in everyday society--especially not in Suburbia Virginia.

So, wait, okay, there are a lot of things I want to say about me and fashion and [fashion] photography. It's something I'm honestly considering as a career, something I bet I would love to do, to live with. I hope that I'm not mistaken, that it's not just some lucrative, highly-sought after occupation to me, because right now, it doesn't feel that way. It feels thrilling, and so much more than that. It feels like it could bring the life out in me, to make me alive.

I've just gone on several tangents, all somehow related to fashion/photography/and certainly myself.

Congratulations if you've made it this far in reading. You've just had the super rare opportunity to get a glimpse of truth behind the Miranda you probably hardly knew (because, if you think you know me, you're probably wrong in for a big surprise).


P.S. This is one of the longest things I've ever written online before.

By the way, if you finished or least partly read this, let me know. I'll have to give you my thanks. Also, if you've got any comments/concerns/etc., feel free to let me know, too :)

*Disclaimer: This image was by the Sartorialist.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Curious? G-Star's Next Raw Reporter

So, I know you've all probably been wondering what the heck I've just gotten myself into. I'm still dazed and amazed at that, too. But here's the deal, as far as I'm concerned:

Yesterday, I came across a Tweet (yes, I tweet, you can follow me here if you want) from my fave magazine (fashion, of course), NYLON, and they alerted me that there was a search/competition to see who could become the next G-Star raw reporter. That includes four areas: YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook. Naturally, I regard my photography as one of my stronger points, so I of course entered via Flickr.

What will winning this competition result in?

A seat at New York Fashion Week as a photographer!

For those of you that don't know what New York Fashion Week is (oh my god, you kidding me?), it's basically, well, a week of fashion where there are a gazillion fashion shows (runway! models! couture!) going on by all sorts of designers (i.e. Alexander Wang, Gucci, etc.). Oh, it's grand. It's amazing. More on that later, though.

I'm not sure if you're all aware of this or not, but I hope to pursue fashion photography (with or without journalism) as my future career, so this would be a really, really amazing opportunity. So, please spread the word if you support me/my photography! :)

If you still haven't voted yet,
HELP ME OUT HERE! :) And as always, comment if you voted for me so I can thank you later!

Monday, December 21, 2009


Could I be G-Star's next raw reporter for New York Fashion Week?!

Go to my PHOTOSTREAM and check it out!

If you believe in my photography, please VOTE FOR ME!!!

:) And let me know if you do so I can thank you afterward!

My life as a movie soundtrack

The instructions:

So, here’s how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button

NO CHEATING!!!, it wouldn’t be that fun if you did.

The results:

1) Opening Credits: "Boom Boom Pow" - Black Eyed Peas ("this is the end and the beginning". Wow. Deep. I guess I started out with some boom.)

2) Waking Up: "Let Life Loose" - DAISHI DANCE ft. Studio Apartment (WIN!)

3) First Day at School: "Halo" - Beyoncé (NOTHING could go wrong on the first day of school...right?)

4) Falling in Love: "It remains to be seen" - Spangle call Lilli Line (ROFL, damn straight! I don't see it happening any time soon!)

5) Fight Song: "Stop Running Away" - Telepopmusik (Does that imply I'm a coward, or does it imply that I'm a brave whippersnapper who stands her ground?)

6) Breaking Up: "My Stupid Mouth" - John Mayer (LOL! MINE? YEAH RIGHT.)

7) Prom: "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" - Beyoncé (Hahaha, I think this actually fits...)

8) Life's OK: "Just For a While" - Yiruma (Can it get any worse than this? I mean, the song's great, but that's sad.)

9) Mental Breakdown: "Good Stuff" - Shakira (Going insane is 'good stuff.')

10) Driving: "Sway" - texas pandaa (Y'all better watch out on that road!)

11) Flashback: "Young Again" - Kasper Bjorke (THIS IS SUCH A PERFECT MATCH!)

12) Getting Back Together: "Love Can Damage Your Health" - Telepopmusik (....)

13) Wedding: "Moon Garden" - DAISHI DANCE (Well, hey, I'm a romantic. But this ain't happening.)

14) Birth of a Child: "Boys and Girls" - Martin Solveig ft. Dragonette (NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS!)

15) Final Battle: "Strong Girl" - Jewelry (Hell yes. You know it, I know it.)

16) Death Scene: "Disappear" - Beyoncé (gee, thanks. but that ain't happening either.)

17) Funeral Song: "I Go Deep" - Jim Rivers (I almost cried at this one. This is, just, ironic. Daul Kim left this song on her blog right before her death. Her post said this "is forever." ....Oh gosh...)

18) End Credits: "Last Train to Wherever" - Telepopmusik (...good end...I guess. I'm a traveler. So it's a pretty sensible end.)

If you guys do this, let me know your results! :D

Sunday, December 20, 2009

you know how thought processing and philosophy came about?

Well, here's my two cents on the origins/nature of thinking and philosophy...
It came about in the early days of mankind when they had nothing better to do than sit and think. And moving forward a little, the Greeks (cough Aristotle, Plato, Socrates cough) probably had too much time on their hands. Same goes for everyone else. And then, more philosophy and thinking emerged when shi..I meant crap, happened.

So right now, I've got a little more time on my hands. I can put homework off for a couple of hours/days/weeks (wink, gasp, NO). And I'm thinking. I'm contemplating. I'm being my former pensive-self.

So I think and I reflect, and I come to a provoking thought.

I am terribly alone.

And that is by my own doing.


So I just realized that the title of the above photograph, alone (watching the sunset), totally matched the lyrics to "Merry Happy" by Kate Nash:

"I can be alone, yeah
I can watch a sunset on my own"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

do i have the eye?

I'm not sure if I'm just getting ahead of myself, but I'm thinking that I do have the eyes of a photographer, or someone who has an innate sense of what's beautiful in terms of fashion...
For instance...
  • I went to the American runway model contest of '09 and I correctly predicted which ones would be the finalists
  • I had a feeling that Kylie Bisutti was one of the best from the 10 finalists of the VS Angel fashion show of '09. She turned out to be the new VS Angel.
: / Eh. I'm probably just too full of it. But at least I'm in the right direction?

[update] snowtography

I was absolutely delirious/ecstatic when I saw the snow! I stood outside for goodness knows how long and took lots of pictures. Too bad I couldn't take any in the dark since my aunt put me under house arrest. After her accursed coworker showed her a website where people post pictures of 'ghosts in photos' up, she became superstitious that ghosts will appear in photos that are taken during the nighttime. And I could not reason with her because she refused to hear me out. (sigh)

That aside, I was very specific about taking photographs of snow in the dark for this effect:
Twinkle Twinkle Little Snow
That was taken a year ago on December 7. Without my aunt. Before she saw the danged website.

So I'm going to have to pray that I can somehow wake up at 4 a.m. because I managed to convince her last night that I could take pictures if I was able to wake up at 4. Unfortunately, I slept at 2 a.m. and missed the 4 o'clock alarm. :/

That was confusing, wasn't it?

Ummm...hmm...what else can I say? I guess I'll post some more snowtography:


There's at least 100 more. I don't want to post that many onto Flickr since it'd be blasphemous.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

[update] i will survive

I am very happy to announce that I have been making incredible progress on the completion of homework. Let's chart my progress starting Sunday night when I started to change my life:
  • Sunday: finished @ 11:30 p.m. but didn't sleep until 1:30 (but finished at 11:30 nonetheless!)
  • Monday: finished @ 11 p.m. but didn't sleep until 2 a.m. (but finished at 11 nonetheless!)
  • Tuesday: finished @ 10:23 p.m. when should I sleep?
Let's pray that this isn't a temporary change. I'm finally doing the 180 I've been waiting for the whole time! Why now of all times? I don't know what's causing my change of work ethics, but whatever it is, thank you. (maybe it's because of the music* I drown myself in). Also, many thanks to my two amazing life coaches Ariana and Radhika, and Kathy who is the most patient, supportive person I've ever encountered.

1 eerily tinged end
2 retrostep

I'm really pleased with both of the photos I've updated with recently.

AHHH, I AM SOOO READY FOR TOMORROW! Class of 2012 World Civ reunion! Woohoo!

These are my objectives (shh, keep a secret):
  1. take photos of everyone to update the scrapbook
  2. doodle ariana and possibly other people
  3. have a great time
  4. reminisce
  5. celebrate
  6. a lot more, all I have to do is make sure I pull up my grade in Driver's Ed, English, Spanish, and oh, just about everything. You guys don't understand how badly I'm slacking this year... : /

1 This is my fight song.
2 This is my dance song.
3 This is my chill song.
4 This is my upbeat song.
5 This is my contemplative song.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

[update] tpt work day #2

Must I state the obvious?
I love TPT.
I'm an absolute dork/nerd/hardcore when it comes down to TPT. It's totally manifested my life--it's become a staple fixture. I'm not sure what I would do without it. The point is, it means that much to me. That's because of the people, for sure, as well as the memories and experiences I've been through on the job, if you'd call it a job. (I know I call it my job, and I take it very seriously). There is so much that happens in just a few minutes, much less a few hours, that I simply love to recap pretty much every newspaper-related event. So I'm recapping my second work day experience in TPT. I expect that I'll continue to recap all my TPT-related events for a very long while, perhaps up to the day I graduate. And let's begin...

  • Woke up Sat., Dec. 12, 8 a.m.
  • Arrived @ school approx 10 a.m.
  • Helped think of headlines and other sidejobs
  • 12:30 ish, noon, got in car w/Kristen, Stephanie, Sydney, and Shannon
  • Listened to Shannon jam to Ashley Tisdale's "Last Christmas" among other Christmas-y songs, i.e. the date rape song
  • Arrived at Reston Town Center
  • Attempted to sell ads w/TPT peeps to various stores. Unsuccessful but learned tricks of the trade along the way.
  • Mini-lunch @ Potbelly's. Freeloaded off of Sydney's dollar. I will repay her, though.
  • Speeded back to school
  • Epic faceplant as I epically failed going up the side stairs in our school. Eternal embarrassment much?
  • Listened to a discussion of teacher crushes and how school takes over our lives.
  • Watched the statement "He said he loved her. He lied" be changed into various hilarious, explicit statements that included various people and bodily appendages*
  • Witnessed the true meaning of "like mother, like daughter"
  • Arrived home, 2 or 3ish p.m.
That was a very general recap. Lots of craziness happened along the way, though.

An analogy for y'all (I hate using y'all but...):

School is dictating our lives. Seriously. We wake up and get prepared FOR school. Go to school. Come home and do HOMEWORK which was assigned in SCHOOL. Study FOR school. Go to bed and wake up the next day, again for school. Rinse and repeat. The cycle continues. We've done this for at least a decade. There's a decade more to go, for many of us.

I adore life. I sincerely do.

Btw, check out Ruta's awesome tee she wore to TPT (that sorta rhymes!)

If you didn't check that link out, just know that I'm the lookout for people with awesome tees.


*If you're interested in these pics, ask me ;)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

[update] reuniting with a loved possession

I'll never be young again.

Kasper Bjørke - Young Again

Somewhat poignant. Pretty chill. I feel like posting YouTube videos this week. Should I include whatever MV I fancy each week along with my weekly update notes?

I feel like I'm starting to go uphill again. I feel like I've recovered a little from falling downhill. And now, I meet an uphill battle.

sipping juice is cool

I wish I were back in Asia...

The rest of the photos, you might've seen before. If not, take a look at my photostream. Speaking of photography, guess what? I had a close shave with losing my camera.

One way or another, I was up til 2:30 a.m. this morning/last night when I suddenly realized my camera was gone. GONE. It scared me. It's only the second time that I've come close to losing my camera. The first time, I left it on the airplane coming back from Seoul. I had a really bad feeling in the pit of my stomach as I was almost out of the gate, and I just somehow knew I had lost my camera, so I managed to grab a flight attendant who found recovered it for me. So that doesn't really count as losing my camera if I knew, right...? Hahaha, whatev. That was the first time. Yesterday night/this morning, it was very strange. I didn't have the bad feeling I had the first time in Seoul. I didn't know what to make of it. I was just in disbelief. Me? Lose my camera? ME? How could that be? That's what I was thinking. But as I kept mulling over the possibilities, they became even more absurd and crazy than before. I wasn't as anxious and terror-stricken as the Seoul incident. Maybe it was because I was too tired. Or it's just like how I knew I left my camera in Seoul--maybe my camera was just waiting for me, out of harm's way. I prayed. To who, I won't say, but I prayed. I prayed for forgiveness, for not praying usually, and asked for my camera to be reunited with me. And today, my prayers were answered.

My camera happened to have been in the newspaper room, without me, when one of my classmates noticed that it seemed misplaced and handed it over to my adviser. What a wonderful person--it would've killed me if I knew someone had taken it instead of turning it in.

It's weird how my camera was found in the front row of seats to the right. I never, never put my belongings there. I'll leave the rest to your imagination or interpretation. You be the Sherlock Holmes. I'm tired.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lizz Wright - When I Fall

I was very tired and cold and thought that I hadn't listened to jazz in a really long time, which is one thing that I find surprising, since jazz is my favorite genre of music. I hit shuffle and it landed on this one. One of my favorite songs. There's something really sensual about Wright's voice, and I just love the poignancy and simplicity of this song.

Lizz Wright - When I Fall
I want to be wild and bold enough to run with you , my baby
I want to skip time lay the hours aside and stay with you , my baby

But oh if I look down now , will I fall
And what if the water's cold , when I fall

I want to be still and quietly say , I'll lay with you my baby
I wish I were brave and sure today to pray that it's you my baby

But oh if I look down now , tell me will I fall
And what if the water's cold , when I fall

Oh oh if I look down now , tell me will I fall
And what if the water's cold , when I fall

Oh oh if I look down now , tell me will I fall
And what if the water's cold , cold when I fall

When I fall , when I fall

I could cry or fall asleep to this. I was lying on the floor, cold, unwilling to move, tired, deadbeat. And now I'm back up again.

Monday, December 7, 2009

and I still dream...

my gorgeous sun

I desperately want to travel again.

I still long for the lands I visited under the summer sun that just passed months ago.
I still dream of Shanghai and Korea.
I still dream, even for Hong Kong and Japan, which I’ve not been to in years.

I still dream.

All of the sudden, I just woke up from a nap, and I felt this heart-wrenching longing for the Orient, which has become my second home. I don’t know why now of all times, but I really wish I could go there again.

I lived life like a dream in perfect bliss.

Friday, December 4, 2009

[update] oh dear, it's been too long

Hi folks. You've heard me say this probably every time I see you, but I am really, really behind in schoolwork. I currently have a B in Spanish, an A- in Chem, and a B- English. Those are the worst grades I have ever seen so far. And I'm not even sure what to say about Driver's Ed since I haven't turn in two of my articles yet. I am also running late on deadlines, which is definitely a no-no. But whatever. This week has been long and grueling.

But I've got good pictures this week.

1 sloping as the sun goes down
2 life has become a blur
3 bubblegum style

Tomorrow I'm going to a fashion show. That clears my week up :)


Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Suddenly, at 10:20 p.m., an absurd impulse took a hold of me: to just go to the metro tomorrow afternoon after school (somehow), hop on the orange line by myself, get to D.C. and just stick there for a while (a few hours).

Of course, this is most probably impossible-- for tomorrow. But one of these days, why not?

days of expiration

Why am I being the frog in the well right now? Why am I a sitting duck when there's so much out there that I'm missing by being hunched over a computer, holed up in my house? Why aren't I desperately trying to take superb photographs when I have so many opportunities? Why aren't I selling my abilities to places where they're needed?

And why, why aren't I out there making friends, making acquaintances, making allies? Why aren't I out there paving my road and building a network?

Dreams don't just come true by sitting around and waiting.

I need to get up, shake off the dust and clutter, and run, jump, fly.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

[update] Octonov and M

Ho-hum. This week has been rather tumultuous academically; I really have reached a slump. But photography-wise, I've got a lot to be happy about, not to mention that the pinhole camera Lyzan made for me worked ^_^

So, right, I feel like I've suddenly lost the touch for words. I'll let my photographs do the talking, okay?

Just thinking about a lot of things lately--the obscure death of Daul Kim and her persona, how far I've fallen from the graces of academics, how happy I am about the D.C. Convention and TPT, and the joy that [for once] I actually understand Chemistry, or some of it.

I've been contemplating a lot lately.

1the rgb light
2peacefully pinkish
3finishing shine

Ah, Issue 2 is over. Have you guys read it yet?

What sort of topic will I embellish on for my next column? As much as I'd like to write another column somehow related to my summer travels, I have a feeling that such a topic has lost its shine. Now I'm contemplating about the following two topics:

1) the obscure death of Daul Kim
2) How the Andro bake sale and D.C. Convention offered new insight to my life

I really want to take pictures for the Sports section... >_<

Tribute and Speculation: Daul Kim

Now that I've found the time to sort out my thoughts (and read more of the blog "I Like to Fork Myself"), I think I can infer a little, no, just dedicate a statement or blurb about my thoughts on Daul Kim.

When I first read the headline on Twitter or fashionologie, I seriously could not believe what I was reading. My initial reaction was, "What? You've got to be kidding me." Although I don't know much about Daul Kim, I was aware of her presence in the fashion world and I've seen quite a number of her editorials and campaigns in the glossies before, and I could only sit in disbelief--it seemed nearly impossible, too tragic to be real that she was gone at age 20.

It was only after she was gone that I discovered a link to her blog, which I began reading devoutly. Reports say she ended her own life. I find it the possibility both believable and impossible--believable in that she could've done it because she seemed so miserable, so conflicted, so pained in her most recent posts. But it also seemed surreal in that I got the sense that she was a strong woman, a fierce, free woman who would never do such a thing as to take her own life. I thought that she didn't find suicide an agreeable path when I read her post "why the fork" which she stated, "and thanks to stupid tv show from korea ppl think i like to torture myself and thanks to that im getting lots and lots of suicide emails on a daily basis but im definately not depressed, and i dont want to kill myself. i wish you all feel good about yourself and just think happy and listen to 80's music and smile and 'dance-walk' like boy george. AND PLEASE dont kill me.....cos i dont reply ur emails cos i dont want to die....." This was posted on 2007/04/18. Could so much have changed in two years? Could such a distinct, proud, fierce character have possibly taken a turn from her original sentiments? Could a person who declared she didn't want to die and bequeathed us all to smile and 'dance-walk' be the same person who ended her own life? I believe that Daul Kim is the embodiment of someone who is free in her thoughts; or the model for people who want to break free from the clutches of miserable society. She was different; she had a personality and philosphy-- she was the type of person I adored: someone with a deep mind, attitude, beauty, a flair, a strong belief in something.

Did Daul Kim's life end in misery? I don't know. But her poignant, bold, usually brief but concise, frank words and messages hold so much meaning to me. They were beautiful. They captured her sorrows, her glee, her memories, her thoughts. I've never been so powerfully impacted by writings of such a degree of simplicity and minimalism like I have by Daul Kim. She's a wonder.

I've glimpsed a wondrous being all too late, but my heart goes out to everyone in this world who definitely balked at the thought that Daul Kim will not return to us. It's also for such rare instances that I wish I knew the world better, knew people more intimately. Who knew what sort of matters truly troubled Daul Kim to factor into her death? Who could explain why she had such a fascination with blood, art, and such? Who could explain her frequent, electrifying dreams and her fascination with Japanese gangster movies? Who knew if she ever truly experienced a happy day without restraints? Nobody knows, I think.

There's a better word for Daul Kim. A better tribute.
Daul Kim was real.
She was real in every way.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rest in Peace Daul Kim

The world mourns for Daul Kim.

I came upon one of her blog posts which was distinctly beautiful, breathtaking, dreamy in a way:
"eversince i was like born
my mother said i never ever slept

i think its seasonal cos
sometimes i'll sleep 20 hrs
and sometimes i wont sleep for days and
days and days. (my friends call this
vicious cycle)

i always get the "middle of the night
voodoo dreams" which practically
my roomates told me that id scream/choke
in the middle of the night.
and i talk about some weird shit
or swear like mad crazy

but i dont remember anything
except for certain scenes in my
"dream" or themes or colour

but then in my dreams i see this...
magnificiant ... so groggyy and twisted
and scary to the point that its dizzy and
beautiful visions which truely deeply
inspires me and gives me this spin in the head
the slight taste of euphoria
and ultimate rawness
so thank you whoever voodooing me

pain is love."

Top model Daul Kim was found dead in Paris this morning. She was 20. Regardless of whether she committed suicide or not, I believe she was wild, she was free, she was brilliant, she was strong. Rest in peace.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

[update] life is good (definitely) : D.C. convention '09

Because I am such a selfish person, I must share with you all my utmost happiness and recap/note some of yesterday and today's experiences at the JEA/NSPA D.C. convention.

First off, my biggest thanks to Shevy, Jane, Shannon, and Megan for making my experience so amazing and not abandoning me. Sorry if I've been a burden (you know how young'uns are), but I really have to say that I had a lot of fun.

In fact, I may as well say that this is the first time I've ever felt so liberated. Normally I have to be conservative when I'm under the jurisdiction of my parents, but this time I didn't have to be [as] conscious since none of my parents were around. (Of course, that doesn't mean that I'm implying I jump at the idea of doing something obscene given the chance, but it does allow me room to breathe).

met metro
Tons more @ my Flickr...

Notable experiences:
  • Texting & Zinger: "k."
  • Trekking towards Starbucks and back.
  • Pictures with RocketMan
  • Waiting in a queue for one hour to voice one's opinion/remark in response to the topic of sexuality (Shevy)
  • Moi, eating Chinese takeout and cracking open a fortune cookie that said, "you will have great success in medical research" to which Shannon added, "in bed." ("You will have great success in medical bed.")
  • Shevy telling Shannon to be more aggressive
  • "helping an elderly man diagnosed with dementia"
  • Shannon and Shevy, Bohemian Rhapsody singalong (complete with sound effects and occasional headbanging) as we wait for a metro for seventeen minutes since we got off the wrong station. Twice, I believe.
  • Running late two hours because we got lost in the metro.
  • Hence, running up a very long escalator at the Woodley Park Zoo station, another one half its length, and up a hill without stopping, pretty much.
  • Shannon giving an account of her reluctance of attending church
  • Everyone posing as Jesus (arms open wide, stretched) as the metro arrives
  • An acrobatic little girl on the metro who was hopping off and on the seat and swinging around the pole while the metro was in motion. I don't believe it could be classified as pole dancing...
  • Jane's single-handed Matrix-worthy epic-move (catching her falling Blackberry, approx. 2 feet away, with one mad swipe of her hand)
and probably a lot more. feel free to add or elaborate.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

[update] life is good (i think).

So, folks, life is good (to me) these few days, putting aside the few blunders I've made here and there. Whoah, I just said life is good. That is not a statement to be taken lightly; I hardly ever declare life is good (or say something depressing about being busy) nowadays, eh? At any rate, I can only daresay that I'm quite happy I don't have to go to school tomorrow, and no I am not playing hooky. The good news is that I'll be going to the JEA/NSPA Washington D.C. '09 convention tomorrow (for journalism). The sort of undauntingly fresh news is that I've never attended before so it's sure to be a thriller. Now let's hope I don't get marooned in D.C. or kidnapped or get separated in the metro 'cause I'm taking the metro with none other than my newspaper heroes (no joke). Oh, but I should probably be more worried about not making a fool/ass out of myself before that, right? I pray that I don't embarrass myself.

At any rate, continuing on the thought that life is good, I must admit I've had quite a fun week... Touching Bases, which is normally a pain to me, was wonderfully amazing since the following awesome people were there: Mother A, Shevy, Kathy, Chelsea, and Cindy. Mother A totally made my day. I've discovered that simply attempting to sell baked goods for fundraising to parents at 7:30 in the morning is quite an enriching experience, seriously. There are so many psychological concepts to explore and note, so many things to learn about people in general, and oh boy, sex sells. I never really thought of it, but it does. How sad, but hey, that's reality, huh.

Putting that aside (and no, that was not the most important lesson I learned), imagine this: indiscriminately YELLING out to parents "WOULD YOU LIKE TO MAKE A DONATION TO THE SCHOOL'S LITERARY MAGAZINE?!!!" and then secretly punching the air in victory when you hear coins clinking and bills sinking into the money jar, and also discovering how you beat your other teammates (and no it has nothing to do with having a CUTE FACE) in terms of sales. Outrageously fun.

Now, tomorrow, I am so excited that I can barely contain myself. My parents have already been worried for me since I've occasionally squealed or broken into insane giggling fits, but, that's me. (Yes, I go overboard when I'm happy, and when I try to compose myself, it only makes it worse).

OH MY WORD. This'll be fun.
YES! WOOHOO! AHHHH. I need to sleep ASAP after I take a nice long shower... urgh. And then, after Saturday is oh. Crunch time. Science Fair is horrible, missing class is horrible, but I'm going to LIVE IN THE MOMENT.

Toodles everyone, good luck with school tomorrow.

Oh, crap, wait, here are this week's uploads (only two so far, sorry):
1 g'morning, sunshine.
2 we meet again

More to come later.


Monday, November 9, 2009


Hi folks.

In attempts to fulfill my promise of reform, I am enlisting people to become my drill sergeants/life coaches. The following are qualities you should have:
1) an authoritative presence
2) a maternal or mentor personality

Objectives are simple: get me to finish my homework by 11:30 p.m. every night of the school year. Possible approaches are setting a time limit to my homework, setting checkpoints, and break times. And merciless, unrelenting nagging and scolding.

On the other hand of life, I must say that I have a new project:
project TOMATO!

Lately I've not been the healthiest person, and when I say that, you know it's pretty serious, cause EVERYONE knows how unhealthy of a lunch I eat, right? So I had this paranoia-stricken sentiment that I was unhealthy on Sunday since... I was eating McDonalds, my beloved McDonalds, and I felt disgusted with myself. O_O (GASP) It was weird, depressing, joyous, and terrifying all at once. So I'm thinking I shall not only reform my school habits, but also my diet. Wheeee. So, because I believe that TOMATOES are the bestest MIRACLE/MAGICAL VEGETABLES (do not dispute with me about fruits vs. vegetables, I will always consider tomato a veg) to have ever graced this land, I came up with an ingenious idea:

A tomato a day keeps the ____ away (the blank part I have yet to figure). But it's pretty much the alternative to uh, apples, because I love tomatoes.

So I have been thinking up very strange, err, innovative ways to prepare tomatoes; in terms of cooking. HELP ME THINK OF WAYS/THINGS I CAN COOK WITH TOMATOES THAT ARE EDIBLE/WON'T KILL ME.

I shall let everyone know how my TOMATO project goes when I, uh, actually get it figured out and start it.

Feel free to suggest any other project ideas I might possibly be interested in undertaking.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The College Board really cracks me up sometimes.

SAT Question of the Day:

"In a supermarket, Shakira bought 5 items from aisles 1 through 7, inclusive, and 7 items from aisles 4 through 10, inclusive. Which of the following could be the total number of items that Shakira bought?"

  1. 9
  2. 10
  3. 11

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Favorite Words

I am a total nerd when it comes down to words. I really like certain words that have a beautiful vibe to them. Here are some that strike my fancy lately.
  • obscure
  • ambiguous
  • aesthete
  • equivocal
  • rapturous
  • lucid
  • candor
  • intercede(d)
  • touchstone
  • doozy
  • blithe
  • irrevocable/y
  • frugality
  • muse
What are your favorite words lately?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

[update] Flickr - the über cool post

Oh wow, it's a self-portrait. Limited edition; of moi. Yay.
the shower head 'do
I really ought to be sleeping/doing homework. But here I am. Since this is absolutely too great to keep hushed. I'm hating how fast this long weekend has passed. I'm dreading the return of school. I'm happy with my latest shots.

1warped moonbeams
2 the whizbang
3 it's time to reveal my true face...

The rest are at the usual spot.

Wahaha! Although I may not like how quickly this weekend is drawing to a close, I certainly had fun photographing. Of course, these are only the select few of the many photographs I took. More coming later. My head is going to split in half if I 1) don't sleep soon 2) don't stop fretting about the crapload of work I've got to do.

Ah, that's right, I've got to live up to the reform I've promised.

Oh, I'm also doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Read about what the eff it actually is here. Good luck to me, and everyone else who is going to attempt this killer feat.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

[update] Flickr, reformation & horrible week

Life has been tough these days. Of course, I wouldn't deny that I brought it on myself, but I can't help but eek out a defeated sigh, yeah? I'm very tired. I swear I will sleep by 2 a.m. tonight. But I really want to pass the Algebra II quiz with an A... (my grade in the class is currently an A-)...

And here's what's been going on with my life; since I officially dub this week as the "most horrible week eva":
-I discover that I practically failed the Algebra II test with a 77%. Ew.
-The same day, I also discover that I have a C in Chemistry--it's absolutely confounding (that I have a C, though it's in Science class...)
-I have 5 articles due on Friday (tomorrow). I've finished two of the five today and I'm getting ready to start and finish a third before I go to bed tonight. Or something along those lines. But, what a mess I'm in.

Haven't had the concentration to spend on photography lately, but here some highlights of my most recent batch:

1 parallel lines converge, yeah?
2 Color does not affect light.
3 Puddle of Autumn Leaves, The

Yep, been experimenting with b&w lately. Not sure how I like it. Your thoughts?

Oh, and, on the subject of photography, Lyzan Rashid is my awesome photo buddy :D


I, Miranda Leung, swear that I will reform my lifestyle after this week. I am going to change my life very, very soon, all for the better (those of you who know my uh, procrastination issues will understand). I'll give myself an assessment next Friday on my reformation progress.

Flickr - slideshow

Wheee! This is an experiment and display. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

[update] Flickr - A SUPER B.A. POST

Hi everyone. Been busy. Surprise, huh? Hahaha. Lately I've certainly been busy, as you all have probably been, too. Hope life's going well for everyone, though. I'm not sure how I would describe life these days now other than them being 'busy.' There isn't a whole lot to say about anything else.

My personal life has been rather uneventful; I've been taking fewer photographs this past week or so, which makes me rather sad, but, eh. I'm sure there'll be catchy shots to come REAL soon.

My school life, on the other hand, has been, you guessed it--busy. But I'm not here to talk about how school is (I'm sure everyone is very tired from their own experiences)--I'm here to upload my most recent shots. Okay, I guess I'm kind of, sort of cheating by saying this, since some of the shots were taken during my summer travels, but, whatever! :D

Have fun, and I hope you guys are devout followers of The Purple Tide!!! :) And yes, I really must advertise The Purple Tide whenever the chance arises since I truly love it.

Enough of the trivial words? Here we go.

1The morning glass glow.
2Ma, I can drive!
3Reading in the Rain

The rest are at the usual spot.

So, really, tell me about your lives. Other than being busy. If you ever hear any juicy morsel of gossipinformation through the grapevine, do let me know. IT COULD BE THE NEXT BIG SCOOP ON TPT. And please do not worry, I am not out to get you or any of your friends, I'm just doing my job: raking up news.

If anyone is bothering to read this, congratulations. I am going to let y'all (eww, when did I start using y'all?) in on a secret: I only pretend to be a timid girl in school. I'm actually a daredevil undercover (and spy, too). So I shall, just for the sake of it, go up to people I am not familiar with and strike up a conversation with them! (Or just say hello). How does THAT sound? Riveting? HECK YES!

You may be wondering why I would want to do such a thing; and why NOW of all times. That's just how I am. Impulsive, spontaneous. I like to get a good kick out of surprising and/or proving people wrong, bwahahaha!

Look out, everyone :D and have fun.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

[update] Flickr + TPT's First Issue Note

I have a dreamgoal of becoming a photographer and journalist.

Click the thumbnail to see the larger versions.

Pinking orange morning tufts

The Jason Gang

warming UP

If I may say so, I am pleased with my column in the first issue of
The Purple Tide, with the exception of one misspelling at the end... (sigh)

I'm trying to decide what I want to write for my next column. Possibly a continuation of life in Shanghai? Hmm. Any ideas?

I think I've realized the key to making a newspaper more appealing to potential readers: write something people want to know about. So, what intrigues you, my reader? Tell me anything you find appealing, interesting. You are my inspiration, my eyes and ears.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Picturesque Story Slideshow

View slideshow

[update] Flickr - Homecoming '09

I had a fun time, though it rained a bit and stuff. Whew! Three uploads. The rest are at my Facebook albums.

no. 1
no. 1
knights on the field
knights on the field
colors whisked up in Friday night lights.
colors whisked up in Friday night lights.

Check my photostream daily :)

Special thanks to Ande.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

[misc] The Saddest Thing Ever

I was attempting to practice for my AP World test. Epic fail much? "This is crap." Wow. That's harsh.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

[update] Flickr - 100%SUN

I love the sun. There are few things of nature that could rival its majestic, noble, powerful presence and beauty. Long live the sun. I'll chase it forever.

Qty: 3

Click on the thumbnails to see the full descriptions, please.

Majestic Sunrise
Majestic Sunrise
Solamente Tranquilo: la puesta del Sol
Solamente Tranquilo: la puesta del Sol
The torrent of the setting sun
The torrent of the setting sun

Special thanks to the following people: Louis Landon, Christina Nguyen

Friday, September 25, 2009

[update] Flickr megacompilationpost

I have written four articles simultaneously for The Purple Tide. Distribution date is October 2! Make sure you read the newspaper! :)

Also, PLEASE check out the TPT website!

This is about two batches worth of uploads.

[batch primer]
Patchworked Cityscape
Red bikes are hot.
In my shoes, what would you do?
read the description at the actual page.

[Seoul] batch
night currents
GM St.

The rest is at my PHOTOSTREAM :)