Becoming a Little Less Introverted

I am an introvert. I read a wonderful post on Lifehacker that properly defined what an introvert is. Introverts aren’t always shy or hate people. The big identifying factor is that social interactions take energy. They can wear me out.

Recently I have been pushing myself a little bit harder to use more of this energy. This can be super hard after work. But I’ve been attending more events, meetups and facing my fears to talk to new people. Call it a second wind, but I never regret it when I am in front of great people. It even starts to energize me.

That being said, I will never not be an introvert, I don’t think that’s a personality trait you can change. I will always appreciate quiet time where I can read, write or create art.

Today I Turned 27

Presents from the boyfriend

I turned 27 today. 27 is such a weird age. Nobody writes happy songs about it (I looked). It felt a little weird to be nearing 30. A lot of the people I went to school with are now married and have children. Though I one day want those things, I’m not ready for that yet. I feel like there’s so much of life to explore first. It’s just hard to get caught up in societal expectations at times.

But screw that.

I will make 27 special in my own way. I’ll go on new adventures, try new things, make new memories to make this year as special as the last.

Bullying Affects All.. To This Day

Growing up, I was the bookworm, the nerd, the keener, the teacher’s pet. The smart ass. By grade five, I also had ridiculous glasses. I was constantly called names, made fun of. Pens thrown at me. Despite being a skinny Asian girl, I had a negative self-image. It wasn’t until later in University that I truly felt beautiful.

Talking about bullying isn’t an easy thing. Friends and parents tell you to “ignore it” that it’s just kids being kids. That was much easier said than done.

My boyfriend showed me Shane Koyczan’s To This Day Project. The poem, written by Koyczan features work from animators and motion artist who worked together to provide 20 second segments in their unique style. Tied together with some emotionally charged reading and powerful music they aim to share the impacts of bullying.

I may be older now but there are still outstanding effects of being bullied. I have self-confidence and anxiety issues that I still deal with from time to time. However, if I learnt anything over the last couple of years, it is to be true to myself. And to share the experiences, because that’s the only way for people to acknowledge that bullying hurts and is much more common than they realize.

The Only Things I Remember From Having Leukemia

It wasn’t until I was around 20 that I learnt why I was sick when I was around 4. Growing up I just periodically had to go to Sick Kids for checkups every year and I just assumed it was a regular routine thing for a growing child. I’m completely healthy now, whatever strain of leukemia I had (I’m still somewhat unclear on all the details), it was curable. Doctor visits have become much less frequent and trying to recall the events of back then is actually rather difficult. Here are some things I do remember:

I remember my doctor’s name was Dr. Freeman. Other than that, I don’t remember what he looks like. Every time I try to picture him I get the image of Colonel Sanders from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Maybe that is what he looked like.


I remember ALF came to visit me in the hospital and it was fuckin’ frightening for a 4 year old. Also I’m pretty sure I still have the pogs he gave me.
alfI remember playing with a kitchen set. It was yellow, and I loved pretending to cook pretend food.

I remember wearing a weird fanny pack for a while when I was out of the hospital. It made me feel like a robot. Around the same time my parents also threw out all the microwaves and we weren’t allowed to have them until 10 years later.

I remember making friends with a girl name Sarah. She had down syndrome. I wonder where she is now and how she is doing.

What I don’t  remember is what it felt like to be sick or how I got there. I don’t remember all the depressing parts of being sick. I have Sick Kids Hospital to thank for that.

What Was Your First Ever Screen Name?


I had a long conversation with someone recently about how stupid our first screen names used to be. Even when I was little, I liked to have all my internet identities fall under the same pseudonym in the off-chance that I might run into someone I knew in a game or IRC chat room. Yeah yeah, I was a nerd as a kid, still am.

Due to my innate desire to have some sort of personal branding as a kid, I actually have not gone through that many reincarnations of nicknames. However my first ever screen name was pikachu12345.

This was probably due to the fact that it was grade 5 and Pokemon was very very popular, and the first time it was introduced in North America. Yahoo mail was actually a thing people used back then and the e-mail was also attached to my beloved Pokemon gifs website hosted on the now defunct Geocities.


After a while, I got bored of the Pokemon gifs site. Well no, I found out too many gifs on a website back then made your computer freeze so I stopped. Hotmail was becoming a popular alternative for Yahoo! and so I switched my username to anime_angel28 because my 13 year old self thought this was cute. I also might have been obsessed with Anime.

Embarrassingly (even though I became less obsessed with Anime), I used this e-mail/username until I went to university when it became commonplace to use your name for things. And so future employers would not think I am some strange Asian freak. In addition, sometime in high school one of my friends gave me teepoo as a nickname, and I begun using that for screen names in games and the newly rising social media networks.

The other nicknames no longer exist (nor do most of the networks I used them on) but I still use teepoo sometimes. When googled, it brings up a few things that are associated with me. An account, this WordPress blog and probably some of my past work making anime wallpapers.

Only in the past few years, with the rising of Twitter did I really start using my own name publicly for things. In the era of social media, hiding behind a screen name is a thing of the past. If you’re afraid of people making a connection between your online/offline self  than maybe you shouldn’t be on the internet. So, what was your first ever screen name?

Update: After writing this post, I decided to change the logo of the blog to reflect the future.

Being An Imperfect Musician

I played piano today, and I enjoyed it. This was a statement I had not been able to say for a long time.

Over a year ago I had posted about rekindling my love for the instrument, but it never really happened. Life got in the way- or so I thought.

I blamed a lot of not playing on being busy, which I was with various internships. I also pushed the piano aside because Teddy (my precious little puppy) hated the sound and would howl whenever any instrument was played.

Though the above were contributing factors, none of them really explained why I was avoiding the piano. The truth was that in fourth year after a rather disastrous jury, I was tired and frustrated at the piano.

I am a big cognitive science junkie. In Levtin’s book This is Your Brain On Music he talks about how 10,000 hours of practice makes a great musician. I calculated that if I started piano when I was five and averaged about 2 hours a day since then (with the long hours in my advanced years evening out the early years and holidays) that it amounted to something like 12,410 hours. This was approximate number of hours I had spent at a piano from when I was 5 up to the day of my piano jury when I was 22 (I am currently 24).

It was disheartening having put in more than the required 10,000 hours and be far from “perfect”. This anxiety had caused me to be afraid of performing in front of other people. “What if I mess up?” was a constant worry during the hours spent in university practice rooms. The consequence of this unease was more intense practicing and the development of carpel tunnel (which I am happy to say I don’t have any more).

Today I sat at the piano without too much thought about it. I picked up a book of Chopin waltzes and simply started playing. I realized some of my strengths:
1. I am a great sight reader.
2. If I played a song once, my fingers will remember it forever no matter how long it’s been since I last played it.

Though imperfectly, it was nice to be playing again, especially the music of my favourite composer. Now that I am out of school (and finished RCM exams), I don’t have to be playing under the pretense of needing to be perfect or performing for somebody else. I can also explore pieces that excite me and not have to drill them to perfection. I want to continuously enjoy performing for myself. And for me, imperfect is okay.

Thanks For Putting Up With Me

Me and Nash’s anniversary is coming up. We think it’s tomorrow, but we’re not the type to count days. It seems more indefinite this way. Indefinite seems like a strange word. Like forever, but possibly a longer time. That’s a really long time to be with someone.

Then I realized, he must put up with a lot. The dude wrote me the most beautiful letter thing on my Facebook wall, so I thought I’d return the favor with this blog post thanking him for the myriad of things he must put up with while being with me.

Thanks for…

Not sleeping and coming to late night shows with me. Many of which have probably made you question my taste in music.

Eating burgers with me. We’ll probably grow obese and both die of heart-attacks, but it’ll be the best death ever.

Waiting to meet parents. Asian parents, enough said.

Being patient and waiting to watch the latest episode of Breaking Bad and Adventure Time with me. Even when their facebook pages contain spoilers.

Dealing with my social media addiction. You’ve let me instagram my food, foursquare places and twitter our stories. This is probably the third wheel in our relationship.

Losing video games on purpose.  You must be losing occasionally right? I mean you can’t seriously get beaten by a girl in Tekken.

Letting Teddy lick your balls

Love you.


What Sisters Are For

Today is my little sister’s 22nd birthday. I remember like it was yesterday when we used to pile all our stuffed animals and jump in them. I can’t believe that I have known a single a person for 22 years but I am grateful to have.

Here are some reasons why sisters are awesome:

  • they’ll pick you up at 3am in the morning
  • you can steal their candy
  • someone to put the blame on
  • someone to be retarded with
  • laughing at things that nobody else understands
  • teaming up against parents
  • someone to steal clothes from
  • they listen to you when no one else will


How To Tell If You Should Throw Away Those Clothes

If your closets and drawers are bursting like mine were, that would be a good enough reason to reach into them and see what things you can donate to the closest shelter. Believe me, it’s hard sometimes to chuck something. There are memories attached to them or even the tiniest feeling that you might use that tied-dyed shirt for something.

However, if you want to do some cleaning, here are some reasons you should throw out that piece of garment.

1. They are broken. Maybe it’s the hole in the armpit, or zipper that won’t zip. And you won’t find the lanyard of that sweater. It’s been eaten by the dryer.
2. There’s a giant stain on it. No matter how many times you put it through the wash, it isn’t coming out.
3. They belong to somebody else. Perhaps it’s an ex’s shirt, unless you’re actually going to turn it into a dress, I’d burn it or give it to someone in need.
4. They are too big for you. If they’re too big, you’ve probably lost a ton of weight and throwing your larger size clothes away is the last step of the process. There is no need to turn back. Or maybe you bought some clothes on boxing day last Christmas that were a bit too wide. I bet you don’t wear them.
5. They are too small for you. Face it, we all grow up. I have grown out of pants. My high-burger diets probably don’t help, but I’m pretty sure the dryer magically shrinks them by an inch every time just to mess with me. Make sure you have clothes that are right for your body type.
6. When was the last time you wore that? If it hasn’t been since Halloween, maybe it’s for a reason. If you’re going to keep things that are to be used as costumes/props, don’t keep them in your closet.
7. They are no longer in fashion. This rule doesn’t need to be followed as closely, as things do come back in fashion once in a while. However, if they aren’t following current trends, why not just hide them away in a while? They can be a treasure chest to come back to later when you’ve forgotten about them.

It’s nice to make room in the closet of our lives. I no longer how to stressfully shuffle through a puddle full of stuff to get to the things I want. Plus, it makes room (and an excuse) to do some more shopping again!

3 Year Twitter Anniversary

Today marks 3 years for me on Twitter. I joined the social networking site in it’s earlier years, when most people thought it was just a place for glorified Facebook statuses. In the beginning, I probably was even guilty for using it in that way.

However, I realized it was much more. It was a way to keep up with news, read some interesting stories and last but not least, meet some great people. I’ve met some of them offline who were not just local people, but from different parts of the world. I’ve heard and seen some great music that I would not have otherwise.

If I were to give up one social network, it would be Facebook before Twitter. I will be tweeting for many years to come.