A Familiar Face

You ever see someone who looks a lot like someone else you know? How about them looking like someone you know who’s no longer in this plane of existence?

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Contingent Contemplation: Back To School

…for the last time!

Well, it’s finally here. My last term in school. Wow, I kind of dragged that out. That’s why I was adamant on going back to school shopping for school supplies, despite having many years worth of used binders, leftover looseleaf papers, and way too many pens and pencils.

I ended up going to Walmart to snag some cheap BTS deals, only to realize that I didn’t really have much to buy. I ended up getting 2 packets of lined paper. I had wanted a notebook, but even that I failed to get because I wanted one notebook that can contain 3 subjects. I’m only taking three courses this term, and by now I’m too familiar with myself. I take notes for about half a month into the term before I stop. So honestly, one notebook with three dividers is all I need. They didn’t seem to have that at Walmart.

hilroy paper

The only other thing I’d need is a backpack. I’ve used my currently backpack for about two years, and it can easily last the next 4 months. But again, this is my last back to school shopping, so I went and got a small Herschel backpack. I honestly didn’t want a Herschel, but that was all there was in every single store. That or Jansport. I’ve used Jansport for a few years and I don’t like its lack of support, so Herschel it is.

herschel polka dot

I can’t believe back to school shopping won’t be a thing I’ll be doing anymore. Or maybe I’m glad I won’t be fighting against the hordes of families trying to grab glue sticks on sale? But I have a feeling I’ll be feeling a little blue when the next back to school shopping season comes around…reminding me that I’ve got to face the real world now. At the same time, I’m kind of glad to be almost done. Give me that piece of edumacation paper so I can go out and do stuff!

Contingent Contemplation: Canada Day

July 1st has always been a public holiday for me. In Canada, people will wear more red than usual and go downtown to celebrate the three provinces coming together to form the country of Canada. Then, after moving to Hong Kong, July 1st was a day celebrated by all as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day. For Hong Kong, it was the day the British rule stopped in Hong Kong, and they were handed back over to China. But they would also retain their freedom to remain capitalist and not be put under the communist government. “One Country, Two Systems”.

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Canada Day used to be special in my family. My mom, dad, sister and I would go downtown to watch the parades, followed by the fireworks. My dad, the stingiest guy on earth would pay for parking downtown. That’s how special that day was. It was a family day. After coming back to Vancouver, it was no longer a family thing. It was more of an “oh look, the fireworks are on TV” thing.

2015 was different. I went downtown bright and early (okay, it was around 1PM) to check out what was going on! I was actually doing something for Canada Day again! For one, I knew that the FIFA Fan Zone was running (it’s ran by the marketing agency I used to work for! Pretty proud), and they’d be giving away free Coke. Away my boyfriend and I went to quench our thirst with promo beverages! People were there watching the England vs Germany game and they were in overtime! Eventually, England won 🙂

We had come just at the right time to take pictures with the actual FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy. It was there for three hours on display to the public! The fan zone was a place for everyone to come together to watch the games, as well as get some free swag from sponsors, and experience some hype around the FIFA games.

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Meanwhile, the Convention Centre was bustling with more festivities. There were SO many drink samples (McDonalds, Nestea, some truck promoting milk, this other iced tea brand, Sparkling Ice, and I don’t even think I’ve listed them all), but since it was a sweltering hot day, there were huge lines ups for all of them.

The Olympic Cauldron was lit to celebrate Canada, and there were shows going on around Jack Poole Plaza. We ended up buying snacks and drinks from the nearby food carts. I couldn’t resist the skewers. LOOK AT THEM! As for dinner, we ate at the Spaghetti Factory because the line up was decent (everywhere was a little crazy), but ended up eating through the parade. We were pretty tired, so we didn’t mind.

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After dinner, we started getting ready for the parade. It was crazy how many people had spots reserved starting from God knows when. They had blankets, snacks, and some had their own poker games running amongst friends, sitting around to make sure they’d have a good spot to view the fireworks. And of course, leaving was a whole mess altogether. That picture above was the crowds of people rushing to get home.

All in all, this year’s Canada Day was one of the most fulfilling one I’ve had in years 🙂 I was super tired after walking around all day, but it was worth it. I just wish it wasn’t quite so hot!

– Karen

Contingent Contemplation: Philophobia

I haven’t done one of these contingent contemplation posts in a while.

Philophobia is a thing I have. I don’t understand why it’s not a part of everyone.

Philophobia is the fear of emotional attachment; fear of being in or falling in love.

It’s a scary thing isn’t it? When you fall in love, you’re committing your emotions to someone. Everything that that person does will come to emotionally affect you, whether it’s big or small.

My family are people who I love, though I didn’t choose it I guess. But you can very much say that I also have a fear of emotional attachment to them. The thought of losing loved ones is never fun, and I sometimes wonder why I’m given a family, only to have them taken away from me some day down the road. But at the same time, that fear of love gets dispelled when you manage to forget the mortality of things and realize that although other people come and go, luckily enough, my family is here to stay. They’re here for me and love me unconditionally. I cannot help but do the same.

A few years ago I decided to get a pet. It was against my dad’s wishes, and I didn’t have the guts to tell him about the hamster I had bought. Then as I carried the little thing in a paper bag with her new cage at my side, I realized there’s no way I can keep this a secret. Our Hong Kong apartment was only so big, and my hamster will not go noticed. I phoned my dad, telling him of my purchase, hoping that telling him via the phone would lessen the shouting. Funnily enough, he didn’t shout. He wasn’t the happiest, and he worried about the hamster ruining our hygiene (I’m so sure that a 17 gram little hamster will bring the plague to our family. On second though, plagues were started by rats. Hmm.). A few months later, the hamster’s picture would replace my baby picture that he kept as his phone’s lock screen.

My hamster is probably the first and last pet I will ever get. Allergies aside, her passing away impacted me a lot. It’s weird, because I had willingly given my heart to her. And she took that little bit to the grave when she passed away two years later. I realized that I could never be brave enough to get that dog I’ve always wanted. My issue wasn’t with taking care of pets, but with their ultimate departure after you’ve committed to loving them.

Philophobia has followed me into relationships. All my prior relationships consisted of me keeping the guy some distance away. I wasn’t willing to get too involved emotionally, fearing that I will get the worst out of it. I over-think everything, and try to base my decisions on what will hurt me the least in the long run. It just wasn’t worth it to take the risk and ultimately feel the pain. That’s probably why none of them worked out because I always choose to end it, fearing developing the relationship any further.

But here I am, having fallen in love with a guy, and it’s funny because I don’t think I willingly choose to either. I think it probably has something to do with the whole “you’ll know it’s right when it’s right” thing because you can’t help it. Philophobia makes itself more known to me every day because I’ve let myself fall in love. He’s doing his best, but I’m not the most confident of myself relationship-wise. At times, you wonder if they like you just as much as you like them only to realize you can’t gauge that. So you go on to look for signs that can tell you, only to falter at points of doubt. You think of all the ways and reasons you can lose him. Then you let the fear ruin you.

Philophobia sucks. You’re unsure of your next steps, but at the same time you want to take them. And it almost feels like every step further, you feel yourself wanting to pull back because you know it’ll hurt if it goes wrong. But for the first time, I think it’ll be worth it. I just need to get Philophobia out of the picture.

Contingent Contemplation: Re-watching Star Wars

Ever feel like you were born too late?

Yes, I am talking about me not being able to feel all the hype that surrounded Star Wars way back then. Okay, maybe it was not too long ago, and there were more recent Star Wars films released, but what I am emphasizing on is the ones from the 1980s. I have watched these with my parents when I was younger, but re-watching them again this winter break made it clear to me: They are gold. Seriously, I am addicted and really sad that I cannot be there to get excited about its original release. Looking around, there is still lots of pieces of the Star Wars legacy that exist around me, but it is not the same. I really wish I could have been there.

So, moving on from what I cannot change, watching Star Wars again made me fall in love with Han Solo. With all movies, I usually fall in love with some actor or character and it happens that this time it is Han Solo. I thought I would like Luke more because he was one of the only characters I remembered from watching Star Wars all those years ago. However, Solo is just such a charming character (not to mention a badass) and I loved his relationship with Princess Leia. Again, too bad I cannot find many Han Solo fans around my age anywhere close by because I would definitely be rambling about him all day. Just like I do with a million other actors, such as Shia LaBeouf to name one. And of course, that is my segue into a slightly related topic. I also re-watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull just so I can see Harrison Ford. I have never paid much attention to him as my eyes are usually on Shia LaBeouf, but this time I kept my eyes glued on Harrison Ford. Amazingly (or not), I still see a lot of his Han Solo days in him and that delighted me lots. However, I still wish I could be a adoring fan girl who was obsessing over a 30 year old Harrison Ford. Being 18, I feel more appropriate obsessing over Han Solo instead of the current Harrison Ford.

I vaguely remember watching most of the Star Wars movies in my past but not enough to remember what it was really about, so it all seem a bit new to me. I did watch Star Wars in the way it is supposed to be seen (according to most people– and I definitely agree): IV, V, VI then I, II, III. Before starting my marathon, I honestly believed I would like the prequel a lot more because I was more used to modern films. However, after watching the fourth to the sixth ones, I was beginning to wonder if the prequel can live up to it. It did not in my opinion and I was slightly disappointed. Despite them being made with way less technology and had to make do with what they had back in the 1980s, George Lucas did a pretty good job at depicting an exciting galactic adventure in episodes IV-VI. At the same time, it was interesting to see the prequel, understand the circumstances for what followed and see how George Lucas directed films closer to my time. Now I want to read the books to get even more in depth…but, I am still not done reading Game of Thrones and my second term in university is about to start. Woes of a student.

While I was Boxing Day shopping today, I was on the lookout for Star Wars merchandise, namely Star Wars posters with Han Solo and Princess Leia. Of course, I failed miserably and only managed to find some posters with either the entire ensemble of all the Star Wars characters (which was pretty cool, but I did not feel like getting it) or ones that focused on Yoda (who is also really cool, but again, not what I was looking for). I also wanted this:

But the chances of me randomly finding that in a Vancouver shopping mall was definitely really low, so I gave up the search before it started. Okay, that is a lie because I went to custom t-shirt places just to check, but my suspicions came true. I also found moleskine Star Wars notebooks, but that was kind of lame. I guess if I wanted any good Star Wars merchandise, I would have to go online. Which I promptly did when I went home and found these:

Lightsaber chopsticks! I am asian so we eat with chopsticks everyday anyway! WANT WANT WANT!

Ugh I cannot believe I am getting into Star Wars now. I feel so behind…Oh well, at least I found something to do over my holiday. 🙂

-Karen