Category Archives: Life

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Austintatious

Long time no blog, but honestly I really should post more–especially considering I have some more free time. Anyways, In the last few months, I’ve:

  • Gotten a new, awesome job
  • Moved to Ohio for said job
  • Trained and completed a marathon
  • Turned 25

I could recap all of those, but hey, might as well move forward and not dig too far back. Anyways, to celebrate my 25th birthday I went to FunFunFunFest in Austin, TX and got to see one of my best friends, hear some of my favorite artists, and devour some of the best Tex-Mex this country has to offer (although I’ll say, my favorite Mexican torta still resides in Columbus). Not pictured: a beautiful run around the Colorado River, Texas’s football victory over ranked West Virginia, and even more food.

Here are the photos. I think I’ll start taking more of these.

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Culinary adventures from the past week: rendering duck fat and shucking oysters.

This past week was quite an adventure in the cooking realm. Last weekend, my roommate and I went to Jessup, MD to a fish market to scoop up 112 oysters (and 4 lbs of mussels for myself). We also learned to shuck them as well, which is not nearly as easy as it looks — some took about five minutes just to shuck! However, it made it all the more rewarding.
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Vacation to Taiwan!

It’s actually been one of my longest goals to go back to Taiwan. The last time I’d been to the island was when I was 2; and, needless to say, I don’t remember anything from the trip! Unfortunately, with school, a lack of breaks, expenses, and work (in that order) it wasn’t a possibility to return for the longest time. Thankfully, the stars all aligned this past October and, two $1,400 tickets later, my mom and I were jetset across the Pacific for ten days in Taiwan. I took over 1400 pictures during the trip, but I’ll trim to down to the more interesting snapshots.
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“The Rainbow and the Bridge.” The only proverb I’ll ever write.

Let me forecast this story as something that’s pretty corny. But seeing as I’ve rarely been inspired to actively blog, I have to say that this was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had.

For a brief backstory, I began to enjoy running over the summer. I was working longer hours over the summertime for my job, so a lot of my stress relief was dictated through forms of exercise–whether it be dancing, running, or lifting. Eventually, I had run so far that I decided to run in the Seattle Half-Marathon for my first road race. (If you’re asking “why so far away from VA?”, the answer is that I also had a lot of vacation time saved up from the year!). The half marathon in itself is another story–I smashed my race goal–but basically I traveled to Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco for a 9-day “tour of awesome” (as described by a couple of locals I met in Portland).


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First Day of Work

Today was my first day at real work!

Pretty smooth sailing today. I woke up really early–didn’t want to oversleep or be late–so I was twenty minutes early to the office. Sort of awkward at first but I guess that’s how it is when you meet a lot of people in a new climate. I really did like everyone I met though. Overall I’m really excited! The commute to and fro was not bad at all–20 and 30 minutes respectively. Relief! I’m not going to disclose too much about work but I’m very optimistic as to what it will lead to.

On the living situation, there have already been some changes. For one, my grandpa does not want me to cook in the house. Strange, right? I can’t use the stove at all. Don’t ask me why; my relatives do not know either. So I have to find creative ways to get my food. Breakfast and lunch aren’t a problem–dinner, currently, is whatever I have cooked myself from other places and brought to here to warm up. It should be interesting for the next few weeks.

Also, I’ve been on the quest for more business clothes with the start of this job. Thrifted this tie, only $5.50 total. Not a crazy tie but I like the combination, just very simple and clean and could go well with a variety of dress shirts.

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The Next Chapter

I’ve been searching for something that would inspire me to write. Well, maybe not searching but at least something came up to motivate me to write (at least so I can stop getting spam comments on my blog because they think it’s inactive).

I just finished moving in yesterday to my grandpa’s house. I think he’s only lived here in his entire time in the United States. He’s 86. My aunts and uncles and dad grew up here. It’s a nice house, not a typically huge McMansion of Northern Virginia. I used to spend some summers here with my little sister. It would be fun, mainly because of Annandale’s large park community. We’d set out early in the mornings just so my grandparents could walk around and exercise while my sister and I played around.

Things are a little bit different now, it’s only my grandpa in the house and he is significantly more introspective, quiet, and stubborn. It’s a bit understandable at this age; I feel as if everyone needs a break. I’m sure–actually, I know–that he’s paid his dues. This time, I’m up here for the summer to work at a place near Tyson’s Corner. It saves me a lot of time from my commute (about one hour each way) than if I were living at home.

Yesterday was my first day here; I left my house at 12, got here at 1, unpacked, and by 3 I went out grocery shopping and got to experience the marvels of NoVa traffic. I’m not used to going 10 miles in thirty minutes. Or an hour. The drivers are pretty aggressive here too; there is an abundance of construction here and even the slightest error makes for no bit of forgiveness. I probably spent 5 hours driving and put about 200 miles on the car in a day. I went to a dinner and a movie with some friends and I-495 was even busy at 1am! Stop and go traffic because of construction. I didn’t get home until about 3.

Welcome to NOVA, I guess?

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