How to Teach History

During my brief stint as a history major, my intended emphasis of study was in Early United States history. Why? C’mon now, suspicion, intrigue, and rebellion? It all makes for fascinating stuff.

If you have difficulty believing that history can be that compelling, let this video by Soomo Publishing convince you. It’s a bit old, but hey, history is old, and I haven’t gotten tired of it so far.

Still so good.

Happy 4th of July to my fellow Americans! Stay safe tonight!


What Ifs and Why Nots

It’s been quiet here these past few months and I apologize for that. For once, it’s not from a lack of activity, rather, it’s been an onslaught. It’s been… messy, to say the least.

Thankfully, there are amazing people in my life to help remind me of the bright spots.

This past Friday my friend and I took an impromptu walk around the UC Berkeley campus and since neither of us attended the school, it was fun to stroll around the campus, exploring the lay of the land.

While wandering around, we got to wondering what it might have been like had we taken different paths in life. Now, I don’t regret where I ended up, what I eventually learned, or who I met, but as we’re all wont to do, I wondered, “what if?”

Yes, that question can quickly spiral us downward– it’s not just ruminating on the big choices (like going to a particular university), but the supposedly insignificant ones as well (“why did I say that in that way?”) that are so easy to immerse in.

However, sometimes it just becomes so tiring to think about the things that didn’t happen.

So instead, I’m starting ask “why not?”

Let’s make things happen.

University of California, Berkeley


The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

As I mentioned in my last post, it’s been an embarrassingly long time since I’ve finished a book. But I finally did it! (Too bad it was about a week late for me to partake in the Vaginal Fantasy discussion– actually, I wasn’t even home the night of the hangout, so I wouldn’t have been able to either way. *shrug*)

Since I’m from San Francisco and still saddened by the 49ers’ loss not really a sports person, this past weekend was the perfect opportunity to dive into a novel. I ended up devouring it.

A high fantasy novel set within an elaborate world and led by a female protagonist (of color!), N.K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is absolutely mesmerizing. The world and mythology is so rich and the language is gorgeous.

Poetic and well-paced, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms twists and turns (there were many a time I actually said “WTF” aloud! The actual phrase of course, not just the acronym– although, I’ve totally done that too), and all the mystery and confusion ultimately pays off in the end.

To be perfectly honest, if I could give it four and a half stars, I would, if only because I feel some of the characters aren’t as fleshed out as they could be, however, I understand that comes with the territory given the first person perspective. Additionally, I wish the protagonist had more agency– although that idea in and of itself is addressed and explored within the story, so points for that.

Character issues aside, the world-building is the strongest aspect of the novel as well as my favorite. The cosmology and subsequent moral thematics (e.g. the nature and consequences of desire; change; free will) are so fascinating and I love how ingrained it was within the novel. There are so many nuanced customs and philosophies for the different societies within the story, and they make sense when understood through the mythology. I really wish there was more backstory for the gods (I assume this happens in the rest of the series?), because holy hells, they were my favorite. C’mon, sassy, pansexual, pseudo-incestuous gods are the best. Always.

challenge, miscellany

2014: Connect, create, regenerate.

Alright, so it’s February and I’m just now getting to a “resolutions” post of sorts. It’s better than nothing, right?

Beginning with the eight of swords and moving clockwise, these cards represent the months ahead, with the center card as the overall year.

Beginning with the eight of swords and moving clockwise, these cards represent the months ahead. The center card is the overall year.

According to my own tarot spread, the first quarter will be a bit tumultuous (the eight of swords certainly summed up last month), but things start looking up. Of course, it’s all up to me to make things happen. And yes, that’s always true, regardless of any sort of fortune telling, but it’s nice to feel like its supported by something, no? Besides, look how gorgeous that art is!

In any case, while I should be more specific and choose things that can definitively be achieved by a certain date, instead I’m choosing goals that are so vague that I must be able to achieve them! Sorry GTD-ers! Enlarge the target, easier to aim and all that. ;D

As the title suggest, my basic goals are to connect, create, regenerate.


  • Travel.
    • Even within California, I’ve got great friends that live at least an hour away and I just really need to visit them. I’ve also got a lot of hopes to see the rest of the country, because I’ve only seen Seattle (when I was around… eight?), New York, and Washington DC, but the California coast takes top priority.
  • Engage more online.
    • For someone with a blog this may seem weird, but there are some social media networks that I’m on that I don’t use beyond their basic function, but I wish that I did. There are so many discussions that I want to get into on both goodreads and ravelry. Lately I have actually been on the latter more than before (Ysolda‘s “Follow Your Arrow” Mystery Knit Along has been keeping me busy!), and I’m slowly updating my notebook with the projects that I’ve done.
I need to get in the habit of photographing my work. So many projects aren't even listed!

I need to get in the habit of photographing my work. So many projects aren’t even listed!


  • Record and release.
    • This has a bit of an overlap with “connect“, but that’s the point. Last year, I didn’t even share a single song! Okay, I never even got around to finishing a recording of one; either I kept messing up and never liking a single take, or just feeling like I needed more to add to a song. This year I need to learn to make the time to get it right, or to just let go and let it be the way it is.


  • Read at least 25 books.
    • As far as I’m concerned, reading– as well as comic books, television, video games, and really all other forms of media consumption counts, so long as one is mentally engaged– falls into the regeneration of the mind. It’s filling the inspirational well of ideas, you know? Anyway, I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t been reading as much now that I’m no longer being assigned books. I’ve even fallen behind on my Vaginal Fantasy book choices! Like most things in my life, I start something and it quickly ends up on the back burner. Last year I failed to reach my Goodreads goal of twenty-five books and the disgrace of that weighs heavily. /end melodrama
  • Sleep more. Sleep better. (Iz, I really am stealing all of your resolutions now, I apologize!)
    • Despite knowing that a person needs 7-9 hours of sleep (sleep cycles!), I feel guilty when I’ve slept more than 6. It’s silly to feel that way, but all those years of all-nighters have made me feel like anything more than 5 hours means I’m not working hard enough. Dumb, I know, but hey, I’m not getting enough sleep, therefore I’m not thinking clearly. ;D

There you have it, my five general resolutions for 2014. It’s not the best format, but the set has a catchy-rhyme-y* title, so that should help me remember.

*Between this and the post title, I admit, I may or may not be on a Doctor Who kick right now. Not that that ever left me. Allons-y!

miscellany, philobabble

Goodbye 2013

Can’t believe we’re already at the end of the year! It’s been bizarre. There have quite a few changes– some inevitable, some absolutely unexpected (most of which I was completely unprepared for). All in all, it’s taught me that I need to get better at letting go. It’s not merely about letting go of the past, but also of releasing any preconceived notions ideas of the future and allowing everything to just… happen.

Here’s to the new year and new chances.