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Timeless Thoughts: My First Selfie


Many joke about how technologically clueless their parents are. Not me—in the 1990s, my mother was a hardcore Apple fangirl. She went to Apple meetings, taught me how to do things like install ram, and was also an early adopter of a lot of tech.

Thus, I’ve had digital cameras for a long time. What’s below is perhaps one of my first digital selfies. It’s the earliest I can find, being from 1998 and taken with a Canon PowerShot. I bet some of you weren’t even born in 1998. ^^ Anyway, don’t be fooled by the lack of a mirror; don’t be fooled by the camera not being held in my hand. I set the timer.


Look at how small it is! Unfortunately, it’s cropped and I don’t have access to the original image, so it’s even smaller than it need be but it is from the ancient days of 640×480 and 800×600 screen resolutions. Regardless, back then, I enjoyed playing with cameras and taking pictures with friends. Not much has changed.

Canon is still my brand of choice. Today, I use a Canon 60D (a DSLR). ♥ Do you have any really old digital photographs or memories of taking such photographs?

For the curious, the camera in the header is a medium format (hipster ^^) Diana F+ film camera (ironically from 2012). It’s interesting and gorgeous, but film is too much work for me.

This entry is part of Tara and Georgie’s Timeless Thoughts linkup. For more nostalgic posts, check it out.

Video, Whimsical

Three Inspirational Speeches


I had the opportunity to speak at my graduation on Friday, which was cool ♥. In preparation I watched a lot of speeches. I’m going to share three that really spoke to me. I’m amused because my selection screams things about my personality, especially about my aspirations and values.

Anyway, I hope you’re inspired, but these are long so you may need to grab some food, some tea, take a break, and/or bookmark this page and plan to come back.

1 – Casey Gerald’s Student Address (Harvard Business School 2014)

2 – Stephen Bright’s “It’s Your Moment” (YLS 2012 Commencement Address)

3 – Oprah Winfrey’s Commencement Address (Spelman College 2012)

BONUS: David Foster Wallace’s “This is Water” (Kenyon College 2005 Commencement Address)

It’s funny but this post feels quite revealing even though it’s just a sampling of great graduation speeches I found on YouTube. Feel free to share other inspirational speeches in the comments.


Liebster Award

Liebster Award

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Isn’t that sweet? Blogging is about building a community and it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs.

There are a few parts to the Liebster. First, I’ll answer 11 questions from those who nominated me (thank you Tara and Kristine ♥). Then, I’ll nominate a few bloggers and give them 11 questions to answer.

Tara’s Questions

  1. Where is your happy place?
    A beach in northern France. I was a huge Francophile as a child, so when I think about calm and happy places, I still imagine the cool and nearly vacant beaches of Dinard that I once leisurely explored.
  2. If you could be in a fictional setting/world (ie: Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, etcetera) what would it be and why?
    This is hard. I generally dislike fictional worlds. In trying to think of the least distasteful option, I came up with Sailormoon’s Moon Kingdom because I like moons, but one of the biggest problems with fictional worlds, for me, is that they already have designated protagonists. 😉 I’d rather not be an antagonist, but I don’t want to live in a “kingdom” at the whim of a benevolent dictator (i.e. the Queen, Queen Serenity) so the Moon Kingdom might be a bit of a problem…Thus, I’ve decided that it would be better to be a Sim in the Sims 3. I would live in a huge castle or baroque palace in Monte Vista with maxed out skills in everything and a handsome, brilliant, compassionate husband. I’d play piano, violin, build robots, and perform as an acrobat from time to time, all while being “Leader of the Free World.”
  3. What is your all-time favourite film?
    The Classic—it’s a Korean film I love. It’s also the last film I watched with my father.
  4. Where on earth is Carmen Sandiego?
    I don’t know. I asked Google via its “I’m Feeling Lucky” button, but Google was lame and took me to a boring page on Wikipedia. Then, I asked Siri who wasn’t much help either. She apologized for not knowing who Carmen Sandiego was and offered to launch a Google search.
  5. Do you know Pig Latin?
    indKay ofyay. Iyay ustjay eviewedray ityay.
  6. What book(s) did you enjoy as a child?
    Books. ♥ When I was in elementary school, book-wise, the Fear Street series was my everything. Within that series, the ones about the Fier family were my absolute favorites. This is all quite odd because I don’t like scary things, but as a kid I read a lot of Stephen King and other horror novels.
  7. What are your vices?
    Being a perfectionist and being a bit messy.
  8. Coffee or tea?
  9. Who is your favourite philosopher or inspirational figure and why?
    I’m a huge fan of Thoreau these days ♥ ♥ ♥. There’s also Ida B. Wells. In terms of living people, I admire Lisa Bloom and Ruth Bader Ginsburg so much. Anyway, for years, Alexander Hamilton has been, somewhat jokingly, my historical figure of choice (crush), but…his spot is in danger because of Thoreau.
  10. If you were given the opportunity to go to another galaxy, would you?
    I don’t know. It depends. As a teen, I was interested in building aircraft, but not really traveling in them…
  11. What is your favorite classical piece?
    Perhaps this shouldn’t count because it’s a baroque piece, but I love Pachelbel’s Canon in D. It’s incredibly famous, so there’s not much to say, but it is featured in my favorite movie, The Classic, which I mentioned above.

Kristine’s Questions

  1. You have 5 minutes to escape your burning house, what is the first thing you decide to grab?
    My bag. I’ll grab my bag first and put my phone, computer, their chargers, etc. in it. 5 minutes is a long time.
  2. If you had to choose one book that you would not mind reading over and over again, what would that be?
    I love reading and I love books, but I absolutely detest rereading. I’ve never—i.e. not once, ever—voluntarily reread a novel. However, if I were forced to choose I’d pick the shortest “book” I could find, probably two pieces of papers stapled together with a single word between them. FYI: my favorite book is Caleb’s Crossing ♥ and I recommend it to everyone, but I will probably never reread it in its entirety.
  3. What is your favorite thing to eat when you are feeling blue?
    I’m not a comfort eater. If I’m feeling blue, I don’t want to eat anything, but I like sweet things (e.g. frappuccinos and red velvet cake), cold things (e.g. green tea ice cream), Korean things (e.g. bibimbap) and tea.
  4. What is your spirit animal?
    A phoenix.
  5. If money was not an issue, what would you choose to do for the rest of your life for free?
    Run a charity. Practice law. Teach. Attend concerts. Play music. Travel. Read books. Learn languages. Open a cafe or stationery/bookstore. Open a school. Give out scholarships. Invest in start-ups. Keep learning.
  6. If you were to direct and produce a film of any genre, who would you like to be part of the cast?
    I’m not sure about the specifics, but I would make sure that my cast was diverse.
  7. What is your favorite show at this very moment?
    It’s childish, but Running Man (런닝맨) is my favorite. I’ve loved it since it started.
  8. If you had one thing left to say before you jumped off of a plane, not knowing if you’d be able to survive it, what would it be?
    “Bye. ^^” Hopefully, I wouldn’t leave important things to the last minute.
  9. What is your favorite scent?
    Ecoya’s Vanilla Bean candle.
  10. What is one thing you always have to have with you when you travel?
    My debit card as well as a Kindle, a camera and sometimes a gnome.
  11. If you could re-do something in your life, if given that chance, what would it be?
    You know what they say. “Je ne regrette rien” (listen to Edith Piaf). It’s not true, but since I can’t re-do things and since I’ve made so many mistakes that it would be hard to pick one thing to do over, I’ll go with nothing.

My Questions

  1. Favorites first. ♥ What’s your favorite color (be as specific as possible; give a hex code if you can), your favorite number, your favorite drink, your favorite flavor, and your favorite time?
  2. When it comes to pens and pencils, what’s your thickness of choice: .18, .3, .38, .5, .7, or .9 mm?
  3. What’s one of the most important things you’ve learned?
  4. What’s something you do differently than most people? (question from Marc Chernoff’s “50 Questions that Will Free Your Mind”)
  5. When did you begin blogging? Why did you start and why do you continue?
  6. What’s something you could never give up?
  7. What’s something you’ve given up?
  8. If you could be any age, how old would you be?
  9. Orange is the new black, fifty’s the new thirty, comedy is the new rock ‘n’ roll, ____ is the new ____. What’s in, what’s out, and why is it being replaced? (question from U of Chicago’s undergraduate application)
  10. List 7 or 17 words words that you love.
  11. Let’s finish with a recommendation. Recommend something, anything.

Most of those who I wish to tag have already done this. ^^; I’m only going to specifically tag Liv, but if you’d like to win the Liebster again or would simply like to answer the questions above, please do. ♥

Follow me on Bloglovin’. Thanks.


Stationery Haul (kikki.K)


If you’ve read my Bucket List, you’ll know that one of my life’s highlights was holding in my hands a page from a Gutenberg Bible. I love history; I’m a bibliophile; I’m a logophile. Books, paper, Kindles, letterpress printers, &c. I adore them.

So when it comes to spending vices, makeup, clothes, games, rocks, bags, whatever—they don’t really threaten my bank account, but books and stationery? They can wreak havoc. That’s a little weird, right? Regardless, I kept my addiction under control and behaved quite well for a few years. I stopped accumulating things and only bought to replace that which I’d used. For about two years, I even stopped buying things all together.

But now? In celebration of graduate school being over, I have lifted all bans on stationery purchases and indulged.

I present you with a haul from kikki.K ♥ In the comments below, let me know if books or stationery is one of your vices. If neither of them are, what is?



First, from kikki.K’s Hello Yellow Collection, I snagged a set of minimalist but still nicely designed sticky notes and a set of cheerful postcards. I hope to randomly mail the postcards to friends during the summer. I need to collect addresses, though. Want one?


You know, paper clips are useful, so why not have pretty gold round ones? The same can be said for page markers. They’re useful too, so why not have cute strawberry and grape page markers?

Stickers aren’t exactly useful, but I bought water intake stickers to encourage myself to drink more water, to track how much water I actually drink, and to give my planner some color.


The “Live What You Love” book is full of positive and inspirational stickers. Being a delusional optimist isn’t a good thing, obviously, but this book makes it easy to stick pretty and uplifting messages in places and that’s nice. Cheesy can be fun; being positive is good too.


As a lover of paper and a wannabe stationery aficionado, I couldn’t resist the Paper Lover’s Book. It’s literally a book of pretty paper that’s easy to remove and do things with. What’s not to like about that?



And finally, we come to this, the seemingly benign, but actually most extravagant item in this haul: kikki.K’s 2015/2016 Ocean Medium Time Planner. What makes this extravagant? Partly the price, but primarily the fact that I have eschewed planners and have never seriously used one of them or a calendar in my entire life—that’s more than 10,700 days. Still and rather ironically, I thought that it might be fun to use a planner as a creative outlet, since I’m slightly less busy and don’t have to worry about efficiency as much. I was also inspired by Amanda’s bullet journal post, so we’ll see. I have great plans for my planner, which I will discuss in a post later.

Do you use a planner?

*For the curious, all photos were taken in the dark with a Canon 60D and an EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens.


How to Be Productive (as a Uni. Student)


Everything I say in this entry should be taken with a huge heap of salt. I’m not responsible for what happens to you if you follow my advice, especially if what happens is terrible, but counter-intuitive things work well for me. Perhaps they (will) work for you too.

My guiding principle is KISS: doing less instead of more in the name of efficiency.

  1. Do not write anything down in a calendar/schedule/planner… I’m very busy; my schedule changes daily and varies significantly from week to week. If I wrote things down, I’d be checking my calendar several times a day for fear of forgetting something and I’d be editing it constantly. I just don’t bother with any of it and simply remember when I have meetings, classes, exams, conferences, &c. I’ve yet to forget a single thing (even when I was teaching 11? different classes and working 7 days a week). So do not write things down. Not writing saves time. (Why does this sound like such awful advice?)
  2. Take notes for all classes in one notebook (or on a computer). Too many notebooks = too much stuff to carry around. If you have gigantic handwriting this might be a problem, but my handwriting verges on microscopic. My current notebook is a pink Leuchtturm1917 jottbook. It’s small, light, flexible, and durable. ♥
  3. Do not take notes on readings. Only highlight. If writing a paper, it’s okay to write down quotes and paper numbers, but aside from snarky comments in the margins, that’s all that should be tolerated. In preparation for exams, do not make timelines, charts, or any other such nonsense—stick to learning the material and do not get involved in producing art projects of this sort. If feeling particularly obsessive, a list of terms can be stomached—maybe—but nothing else.
  4. Buy ebooks. Kindle > 500+ page monograph. Ebooks are searchable. I hate carrying heavy things.
  5. Do not take any foreign language classes. Just self-study and test out of them. It’s 2013. Foreign language courses are very 20th century. This may seem radical as it requires a certain amount of discipline, but it’s for the best. Use the Internet. Get books from Amazon or wherever. Don’t waste time in these classes. If foreign languages are a requirement for you, this will free up space to take other things. (Note: a one-on-one course does not fall under this ban!) I already did this for one language and I’m going to try to do it for another (just for fun).
  6. Do not color code any notes. It’s okay to mark key-terms, but elaborate color-coding schemes are intolerable. Optional: Don’t write in black or red, just because… Use other colors. I suggest pink, purple, grey, robin’s egg blue, navy blue and pens of .38mm or .3mm. Avoid .7mm at all costs and .5mm when possible.

Given such habits you may think that I’m failing out of school and forgetting my appointments left and right, but I’m not. Also, I realize that everyone has different study habits. I’m curious to know what yours are. And! please stick to what actually works for you.