I keep forgetting that April 20th should be an important date to remember but for the second time we’re gonna pretend it’s 4/20 and celebrate because we are now TWO YEARS OLD! YAYYYYY!!!!

And what better way to celebrate than to share how I met one half of the duo who inspired the startup of this blog in the first place! Let’s rewind to my very first post, written in my freshman dorm room, sitting on top of my bed, legs dangling off my mattress, using the wall as my headboard (so no one can peer over my shoulder and see what I’m doing). My precious roommate Andie is working diligently on her prelab across from me and like most people, I am just starting to evolve into that hungry, speculative, brooding college student looking for any way to escape.

If you look back to my first post called Art  (LOL) I specifically reference Keone and Mari because of their impact on any/all creative communities, and I – like many – have used that drop of inspiration to catapult myself into whatever I could conjure within my hands at that moment. At this moment.

Nothing has changed. This is the only way I can create an out for myself, if my circumstances are shackling me to things that I don’t want to do. A lot of school is about ‘not wanting to do’ and I guess I learned to balance by grabbing onto the very few things that help me get by (aka reading and writing). Just very simply, and very complicatedly, that is why this blog is – surprisingly – still running!

Blah blah blah I don’t want to get too sentimental because this whole blog is sentimental but here’s a timeline of all the times I got to see my idols in the same room and I still can’t really believe it.

This first picture was from Vibe XXIII last year when they performed “We Are” (watch here).  

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This second time was in November when I forced my cousin to drive two and a half hours all the way to San Diego to see Beyond Babel. I specifically remember bonking myself after taking this because it was Mari’s birthday and I wanted more than anything to tell her her writing was lovely (read her blog here) but I couldn’t even greet her happy birthday. I kinda just stood there, said “thank you, sorry” real fast and then left agh


And this final pic was taken this past Wednesday, May 8! A few days prior, by some miracle, I had the opportunity to help with a speaker’s event and even though I got in a little trouble for missing a meeting happening at the same time, I totally just accepted the circumstances. I never in a million years would think that I’d be able to squeeze myself in a group photo with some Kinjaz but whoa it happened!!!  My former roommate Shawn would attest to my obsession with dancers – the peak of it lasting the entirety of my sophomore year when I’d literally spend the entire day watching Youtube videos over and over again (watch here ) .  This doesn’t make me an anomaly though; on the contrary, a lot of people are fans of the same things I’ve been/still into and I just wanted to address that because I’m not any more special than the rest of them (also referring to my last post about kpop LOL I’m really just exposing all my weaknesses little by little what the heck what the heck I hope I don’t regret this) – SO point is: these moments I will cherish forever. The concept of human creativity and its impact on a community – I will always be amazed of. The question of whether I will ever have what it takes to be someone like that for other people, to craft something with my own hands and have other people be as passionate about it as I am – is something …I’m trying to let go of HAHA

Not because I don’t believe in myself, just that I’m trying really hard not to make fame the goal here. Witnessing all my idols going through success stories about reaching their dreams really warped my perception of what success is: starting from no where with people not knowing your name and then becoming these worldwide sensations who have thousands/millions of fans everywhere – of course that’s the dream for an artist. Damn, that’d be a dream for anyone, to be praised for doing what you love doing. But I guess because I always keep wondering where I am in terms of that definition, it really just sucks the fun out of everything. I’m trying not to be so greedy and prideful and fame-hungry okay, I’m trying. A nicer mindset to practice is the whole ‘whatever happens, happens’ ordeal. I love that one. You just take things as they go and before you know it, you can look over your shoulder and find your own lovely little narrative.

Wow, I definitely derailed. Sorry.

By the way, I was very tired at the time this was taken and I had accepted that I wasn’t going to be brazen enough to ask for a picture. After all, I wasn’t even part of the commission who put the event together (just a volunteer in charge of bathroom passes – which by the way – is my favorite job ever). BUT, by the time I got in the room and I took the phone to take their picture, one of the speaker members with THE KINDEST HEART ushered me forward and said, “Do you want a picture with them too?”

And despite my small protests of “No, it’s okay!” and “Really? I don’t know if they have time” and “Are you sure?” I was squeezed in and voila! It happened!!!



from left to right: Anthony Lee, Mike Song, me, Keone Madrid, Vinh Nguyen

Ending notes: I am so grateful. Happy 2nd birthday to FranRants. Thank you to whoever is reading this. annnd I love you.

Bonus pic: here’s me at the first speaker’s event I got to help at with Wong Fu. Lemme just say, if you ever need a bathroom pass monitor, please just give me a call. It’s so much fun.


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