Years and Years

April 10, 2014.
7:25 A.M. - Dad’s always been talking about me keeping a journal -- but his broken English and accent calls it “a journey”. I think it sounds a little more poetic that way, but it also sounds weird. Guess we’ll see which one wins over the other soon enough. I’ll try this out. I don’t know if I’ll like it. I don’t know if I’ll keep it up. But I’ll try it.

We’re driving out to Seattle - I think - so things are messy. They’re always messy, but the hours before trips are messy. It’s always frantic and loud because we always try to drive really far out to stay the night. It’s louder this time, because baby Ophelia’s with us.

9:56 P.M. - We’re stopping in Eureka for the night. It’s got that sleepy sea-town vibe to it. It’s quiet, eerily quiet. I don’t know if I like it. I like my bedroom pitch black and dead silent at night, but I know there’s still the distant hum of cars on the highway a few blocks over -- I know that reassuring feeling that something’s there anyway. Eureka? I don’t know. It’s just empty. But maybe that’s because it’s dark out. Maybe we’ll see in the morning.

April 11, 2014.
10:53 A.M. - It turns out that Eureka is pretty much the same amount of empty at 10 A.M. as it is at 10 P.M. Some part of me isn’t surprised, some part is a little disappointed. Also, it turns out we are not going to Seattle. Just the Redwoods. Maybe Seattle is our summer getaway.

12:50 P.M. - Carson Mansion isn’t as big and scary as it looks in pictures. In the pictures it looms over people, the angles are jagged and rough, seemingly threatening. In person it’s just a green house. That’s big. And green, did I mention green?

April 12, 2014.
7:43 A.M. - It’s an early day. We’re going to go see some trees. Big trees. And then drive through some of them. I don’t know. It’s all a little weird. And then we’re going to drive home.

9:54 P.M. - I slept a lot today. Also saw a lot of trees. And then I felt small. Really small. I’m glad we’re home. I miss the distant hum of cars on the highway. The quiet hum of life.

July 27, 2014.
Seattle reminds me of San Francisco but in a warmer way. We’re right by the water, waiting to go on the Ferris wheel. I love it so much. It reminds me of home. I love the people and the business, the murals and the graffiti in parking lots, the coffee and the salty breeze. It reminds me so much of home.

The view from the Space Needle is breathtaking. It’s prettier at night - the entire city shines the same color, a golden and beautiful yellow. If you hold your breath, you can hear it breathing. The sound of the water, the sound of the cars, the hum of electricity. If you hold your breath, you can hear it breathing.


July 28, 2014
There’s something a little unsettling yet satisfying about seeing Kurt Cobain’s old art and notebooks. Unsettling because he’s dead and you can’t go and tell him his memory lives on. Satisfying because he’s dead and it’s like closure. It’s like closure. It is closure.

I’m at the EMP Museum - it’s this huge and shiny purple building. It’s got bits and pieces from all the things you’ve seen in the media. Kurt Cobain’s old guitars. A dalek from Doctor Who. It’s weird seeing it all in one place.


July 29, 2014
We’re going home today. I don’t know what to say.


June 6, 2015
I’m flying out to China for six weeks. Cut off from everything here for six weeks. Maybe I won't miss much. I hope I don’t.

June 27, 2015
I ran out of pages in my last journal.
Just kidding, I dropped it in a puddle and rendered it useless, so my aunt Rachel ordered me a new one. I woke up today feeling a little groggy - Shanghai’s humidity and rain isn’t something I’m used to. And then she told me the news.
Gay marriage has been legalized in the U.S. across all the states.
I think I’m going to cry. My aunt is crying. Happy crying. It’s all happy crying. I wish I could be there now, see the faces of all my friends.
I’m happy crying.

July 4, 2015
I’m not feeling patriotic. I never feel patriotic. Once it hit 9 A.M. all the July 4th messages streamed in. I didn’t feel like looking at them, so I didn’t. My phone’s been blowing up.

July 7, 2015
We’re flying out to the Yunnan province today - and then we’re going to be tourists. And then I’m going to hate it, probably.
I hate being a tourist.

July 8, 2015
Rachel said we won’t do that much tourist stuff, we’ll hang with the locals, she said.
I hope that’s what we do.

July 9, 2015
Every time I come to China I gain like 20 pounds, no joke. I eat so much. I mean, how could I not? Food is good, man. Food just tastes really good.

July 13, 2015
I got my hair braided, the tiny cornrow-like ones. I still don’t know if this ethnic group is where I came from, but maybe. I don’t know. Everyone has my hair, which is different. I’ve never seen someone with my hair.

The lady who braided my hair said I reminded her of her daughter, and then my eyes started to tear up, because I’ve never really looked like someone else before. Asian skin, sure, monolids, done, but my hair and my small eyes with this underbite? I don’t look like anyone else.

July 14, 2015
Home today. I can’t wait. Not home home, just home in Shanghai. I miss the city.

July 15, 2015
Today I heard my uncle’s coworker say something so repulsive I actually threw up. Sometimes I forget other countries aren’t like ours. Sometimes I forget that men still say certain things. Sometimes I forget that I’m privileged. I don’t know how to feel.

August 3, 2015
I can’t wait to go home. Hot weather is driving me insane.

August 6, 2015
I slept through band practice.
No big deal.
Sort of. I’m jet lagged.

July 3, 2016
You ever been to Canada? Neither have I. I’m not too excited - my dad doesn’t like Gramps, Gramps doesn’t like him. They fight a lot. One is bad enough.

July 4, 2016
I keep finding excuses to not send July 4th messages. Excuse: I’m in a different country and they didn’t gain independence today.

July 7, 2016
I love the weather here. I hate the lack of noise. I love the people. I hate how it’s all slow-paced. Today I decided I don’t like small towns in the middle of nowhere. Busy life is better.

July 10, 2016
I’m back in Seattle! I retraced the steps from last year and it all feels a little too nostalgic. I was such a different person, but still kind of the same.

July 12, 2016
Portland will always feel like a second home, or maybe a third? The art galleries and roses, the jazz musicians in the bars and all the poetry blows me away. If I wasn’t so married to San Francisco, I’d probably marry Portland.

December 27, 2016
We’re flying out to Cancun tomorrow, and then I’m going to have to force myself to sleep at 6 P.M. local time because of the 3 hour difference.
Who decided time zones were a good idea?

December 28, 2016
It is hot. Tomorrow will be beaches and living that fake tourist life, buffets and great hotel views and sweet, sweet air conditioning. I hate being a tourist.

December 29, 2016
Today was boring.

December 30, 2016
Downtown Cancun reminds me of the outskirts of San Francisco. It’s dusty, the pipes are rusted, there’s trash in the gutter but the people are always smiling. Always down to give you directions. I’m beating myself up for not taking Spanish, but also a little glad, because I think my Spanish would sound awful.

December 31, 2016
The Mayans were hardcore. I went to Chichen Itza today - and though it just didn’t seem as big in person, it was still big. And still hot. And I got attacked by mosquitoes, and I would like to have a nice talk with scientists so we can discuss how to destroy mosquitoes.

Dad kept talking about how the Mayans were so behind Chinese civilizations. The Mayans couldn’t keep a large number of their temples from falling, and the Han had the terracotta warriors.

On our way back, we drove past a small little village - not really a village, it was just a few houses. It was weird seeing a satellite dish mounted on a straw roof because it’s that touch of modernization amidst a culture from the past.

January 1, 2017
Today we are going to not-party-and-drink-until-it’s-2017 because we have a baby. Today is an off day. Today is the day we sleep and then go to beaches again.
I swam in the ocean for the first time, tasted salty water (never again!) and felt the sand between my toes. The sand here is softer than it is in San Francisco. The water is warmer, and more blue. I’ve always been too afraid to try a lot of things. Maybe 2017 will change things.

January 2, 2017
Isla Mujeres, or the island of the women. When I read The House on Mango Street, this is what I imagined. I imagined this - yellow and orange and pink houses. Clotheslines going across the street. A couple stray dogs sitting by the door. This place is what I imagined.

January 3, 2017
Xcaret is for tourists, lizards, and tourists who like lizards. I don’t know if I like lizards, but I know I don’t exactly fancy accidentally stepping on one because it’s the same color as the ground.

At the end of the day we watched a show that showcased all of Mexico’s different groups - the dances, the music, the fashion. There’s so much to see, and not enough time. I wish we had more time.

Also, fire hockey is cool.

January 4, 2017
Tulum is on a cliff. The Mayans built this temple next to the ocean, and a cliff. Do I need to reiterate the cliff part? Oh well.

January 5, 2016
I’m so ready to go home.

I have always been awful at being consistent with writing in journals. I tend to forget they exist most of the time, but they always end up getting written in during trips.
That being said, please stop getting me journals as gifts because I rarely ever write in them.