Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Goals for the week:

-Become accustomed to sleeping at a decent hour (i.e. before midnight)
-Wake up an hour before usual (7ish...)
-Go for a run at least... 3 times (more like 2)
-Stretch out when I wake up and before bed
-Remember to floss every night
-Get a bag of clothes to donate this fall
-Climb another 10.c
-Drink water instead of soda
-Take my vitamins
-Drive less, walk more

So moving back home has been a challenge to say the least, mostly emotionally.  One of the biggest challenges, thus far, is the fact that I feel myself reverting to Kimly 2 years ago. That includes my horrible eating habits, rare moments of exercise, and lack of positive thoughts.

It's time for me to quit feeling bad and make the best out of what I have for now.

Anyway, time for bed!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Advice from an aunt overseas:

Love, but take care of yourself especially. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Best person to gchat with pt. II

Isabel: hi
me: Hi Isabel! What're you up to?
Isabel: eating jello

Then she signs off. LOVE.

Explaining that it's a deal breaker if the person you date cannot appreciate Asian food and having your brothers agree.

We have our priorities.

I love my family. I can't even express how excited I am to see them.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Definitely still one of my favorite writers.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Best person to chat with over gmail. Ever.

Isabel: did you see when you email there are really cute pictures you can send
me: Hahaha, I didn't know that
I like the princess you just emailed
Isabel: you should email me 1 or 100
me: Hahaha, I just emailed you!
but only 4
Isabel: hooray

I love this kid.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Growth in Death

I think that it has always just been inherently accepted that different experiences shape people in different ways. It's so obvious that you might wonder if there is even a need to acknowledge it in words. I think there could be.

After seeing someone lose a close relative for the first time, I realized just how much differently I've grown in comparison them, particularly when death is involved. (Can you tell the whole idea of "growing" is on my mind recently?)  I can't help but wonder how I might react to someone's passing these days, contingent, of course, on how close I might have been with the person. I wouldn't necessarily say that I have been desensitized from the idea of death, but I have the strange feeling that I would not necessarily feel the devastation that others tend to feel. That loss no longer feels real. Does that make me a horrible person? I sometimes worry that it does.

Death is difficult and heartbreaking and painful, to say the least.

I first experienced it at the age of four when my aunt died of pancreatic cancer.  Of course, I was far too young to understand death. I couldn't understand why no one was smiling at the funeral. Why my uncle cried as though his whole life was shattered and nothing was left in the world for him.  In the next few years, my mother flew to Kansas during the final week of November. On Thanksgiving of that year, she lost her mom. I remember asking her if she cried, too young to understand or empathize with what she could possibly be experiencing. I had lost people who loved me in my lifetime. But I had yet to really understand how to truly love them back.

In the next ten years, I finally learned what it meant to lose someone I loved.

My uncle was a quiet man. I will always remember him as a man who did the best he could to provide for his family. When the war had started he was called to serve for the South. My mom told me that he had at one point been put into a concentration camp. But he was eventually reunited with his wife and came to America with their two sons. I still can see him with his large glasses and cap, as I stand on my tiptoes and look through the front door peephole, while he waits patiently on the porch for me to open the door and let him in. He always has some knick-knack in his pocket that he picked up from the laundry mat for me. I wish I had appreciated them more. He later took up photography and told me that someday when I graduated, he would have me get dressed up in my cap and gown and take my graduation pictures. I still remember staring at myself in the mirror on the day of my high school graduation and hoping that he was around in spirit to see me. I had expected to cry in my cap and gown when saying goodbye to my high school friends, but not because of felt like I had to say goodbye to him all over again. My uncle was a quiet man. A sweet man, who never said he loved me, but I knew. I watched as cancer took his life away and deteriorated the very little pride that ever existed in him. The man who struggled with all of the hardships that life threw at him laid in a hospital bed, when all he wanted was to go home with his wife and die in peace.

My mom wouldn't let me miss school for his funeral because she said it would be too hard on me. I had cried enough. In the Buddhist tradition, one hundred days after someone dies, you go to the temple and pay your respects. I used to hate going to the temple for this. It was an entire day away from the comforts of home, to kneel on pillows and listen to chants too archaic for me to understand. But for my uncle, I went willingly. I had surprised myself, thinking that I had accepted his departure. But my inability to stay in the temple for long due to my tears proved me wrong. I miss him still. I miss the company he provided his baby sister and the love that was never spoken, but always felt.

My grandmother, by spirit and not blood, was by far, the sweetest person I ever met. The sweetest person I think I ever will meet. My childhood was full of rather tacky knitted sweaters made by her. She often called asking for my measurements, and sure enough, the next time I saw her there'd be a mint green sweater with a dog on the front. Every family event, she'd call me over and smile with her sweet underbite and ask how school was going. Being the oldest at the events, our custom required that no one would touch their food, or even utensils, until she picked up her chopsticks and took the first bite of food. People respected her and loved her, not simply because custom had called for it, but because her genuinely beautiful heart was apparent for all to see. And then when I was sixteen, she had a stroke. There were no more sweaters. No more scarves. The doctors said that knitting and crocheting would make her too dizzy and was too risky. And that's how Kimly learned to knit. I asked my mom to teach me how the most basic stitch, bought a skein of the softest maroon yarn I could find, and knitted her a scarf. It had confused her as to why I had done so. I said that all her life, she made clothes and accessories for others. It was her turn to have something made for her.

Afterwards, there was hardly a visit when she wasn't wearing her scarf. According to my mom, she liked to brag to people about how she got it. It's one of the only things I've done in my life that I can truly say I am proud of.

Years later, age got the best of her. We made trips to the hospital to show her that we cared and loved her and were praying for her. By the end, she didn't recognize me, confusing me with a 40 year younger version of my mom. I remember see her lay in bed at my aunt's house, refusing to eat porridge as everyone tried to feed her. I don't know what made me think that I would be any different. But I picked up the bowl and gave it a try. And it worked. I like to think that she knew it was me. That it was her way of saying that she loved me enough to eat when she didn't want to. I think I'm still probably lying to myself for thinking this way. She left us the day before my 18th birthday. I cried myself to sleep as midnight struck, when life and the rest of society officially deemed me as an adult. I had never felt so much like a child, but in reality, that was me growing up. On my toughest days, it comforts me to know that the first scarf I ever made, with all of its blemishes and poorly fixed stitches, was buried with her on a cold morning in Thousand Oaks.

Growing up isn't some defined process and doesn't just happen at a given age (yet another obvious fact that probably didn't need to be stated). There are so many parts of my life where I lack maturity and wisdom. I think a part of me wishes that I didn't have to grow up when it came to death because then maybe it could mean that the people I loved would still be around. But it happens. I wonder if I would understand my love for my uncle and my grandmother in the same way had I not experienced their deaths the way I did.

I'm not sure why God has chosen to take away certain people when He does, or who such deaths might effect and how it will effect them.  Why was I to grow up in regards to dealing with death at such a young age when others can wait decades longer? Then again who am I to question His decisions? I trust His timing and His decisions. Above all, I am grateful for the blessings that these people were in my life and how they shaped the person I am today.

Life is hard, but life is good. Their deaths were hard, but their lives were good.

I don't know if there was really a point to this... Or how long I'll keep this post public. It's definitely just my 1 am ramblings, since thinking about it was preventing me from sleep.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

"When I grow up..."

So I have this problem of still using this phrase. It was first brought to my attention when I was having a conversation with my 8-year-old niece last summer, and my brother overheard me.

"When you grow up, Kimly? When is that going to be?" 
It worries me a little (or a lot) that I still don't know the answer to this. 

I had barely caught myself before saying it aloud on Sunday, which was fortunate because the embarrassment from my obvious lack of maturity might have been too much for my already belittled ego to bear. 

Ten years ago, growing up meant doing your own taxes and living on your own. It meant drinking alcohol on a regular basis and driving yourself to work in the morning. I do all of those things, and still, there are moments when I still feel very much like a child, as though I still need someone to look out for me and take care of me. I'm not sure if feeling this way is necessarily a bad thing. Except come June, I won't have the safety of school to allow for screw ups and slacking off. There's no more putting things off and telling myself that I'll deal with when it comes around. There's this looming pressure to quickly grow up because around is soon. 

And that terrifies me. And excites me. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Reminder to self:

Finals dishearten me, guys.

Monday, March 11, 2013

I miss my family.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

"You're my everywhere friend!"

I am so productive right now.


No more going out for Kimly for a while. I've already forgotten what it feels like to go to bed before midnight.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"You don't have to have a plan and if you do, it doesn't have to be a good one but you have to be willing to be redeemed and you have to be willing to accept grace. Try things, some will be good, some bad, and God will redeem them all. Apply wherever you want and you'll be surprised how well everything works out if you have a humble and open heart about it... You should worry less about not having a plan and focus more on giving God room to work (that is, giving Him options to choose from!)"

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In just 7 days...

I'll be seeing this lovely trio live in San Diego. 2 tickets secured, but I still have no idea who I'm going with. This is what happens when Kimly impulsively buys tickets without friends who can commit to concert dates.

Other Upcoming Concerts: 
(i)  March 2, Kishi Bashi
(ii) March 4, Free Energy
(iii) April 12, The Postal Service

The list grew. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

New App Idea:

Allows you to block certain people on your phone if you know you're about to get drunk that night and are prone to drunk texts (e.g. boss, exes, parents).

Can we talk about how I totally called it with Vine? I need more engineering friends...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I loved this.

"Things to worry about: 
Worry about courage
Worry about cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship

Things not to worry about: 
Don't worry about popular opinion
Don't worry about dolls
Don't worry about the past
Don't worry about the future
Don't worry about growing up
Don't worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don't worry about triumph
Don't worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don't worry about mosquitoes
Don't worry about flies
Don't worry about insects in general
Don't worry about parents
Don't worry about boys
Don't worry about disappointments
Don't worry about pleasures
Don't worry about satisfactions"

-F. Scott Fitzgerald, letter to his 11 yr. old daughter (1933)

Saturday, February 02, 2013

A Pep Talk from Kid President to You

Chances are that everyone has seen this already. So this is for future Kimly to re-watch and enjoy when she's having a rough day.

You're welcome.

Past Kimly 

Friday, February 01, 2013


I'm one of those people who always feels that there is typically that one song that almost perfectly describes how you're feeling at a given point in time. And these past few weeks, I've just been trying to find a song that could best capture my current state. Then this played on shuffle for the first time in months.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

"People spend too much time worrying about what will happen, rather than finding out."

-newest friend over 2,000 miles away

Consider the following:

Monday: 2
Tuesday: 2
Wednesday: 4.5
Thursday: 0
Friday: Not yet applicable

The numbers above indicate..
(a) The number of girl scouts I've chased down for cookies
(b) My hours of studying each day
(c) My hours of sleep I was going on that day
(d) My total cups of coffee each day

There's actually a high correlation between the amount of sleep I have gotten each day and how many cups of coffee I've had on a given day.  But, of course, correlation does not imply causality. This would, in fact, go against any hypothesis I would form, since I would expect the number of cups of coffee I consume to have a negative relation with the amount of sleep I've been getting. (This post, in fact, is quickly become the lamest post I've ever written ever and has a high probability of being removed after the shame and embarrassment I'm sure to feel after rereading this a week from now.)

But in all seriousness, all I can think about is going to bed by 9:30 on Friday night while I currently avoid the many, many hours of studying that lay before me.  Okay, I'm way behind schedule, so I'll end with my highs from the last two days:

1. Took my first steps in finding an adviser for a special studies opportunity.
2. Officially applied to my first post college job as of 12:23 PM.

Answer: c

"You are a comma whore. And a preposition whore. And sort of a 'thus' whore."

The things I'm told when friends edit my papers...  I really am a comma whore though.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

If I never read another economic paper again,

that wouldn't make much sense considering my current career choice. But seriously, if I don't read one for a least another few weeks, I'll be okay with that.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Newest Addition to the Family Van

So my overwhelmingly boring Saturday of studying was kindly interrupted by the announcement that my sister-in-law was in labor, which led to my prompt departure back to Orange County. And over 12 hours later, at 9:47am, we were blessed with the opportunity to welcome Annabelle into the world at a healthy 6 lb. 8 oz. Here are just few pictures from the afternoon..

Isabel's a big sister! 

Okay, back to reading about voluntarily separable repeated Prisoner's Dilemma with reference letters...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Lists

Things to do in the next week:
[x] Job application due Jan. 31st
[x] Work on cover letter
[x] Study for cognitive psychology midterm
[x] Study for monetary policy midterm
[in progress] Study for linear algebra midterm
[in progress] Homework for linear algebra
[x] Homework for game theory
[ ] Read a chapter for macro honors section
[x] Paper for experimental economics

Just looking at the list makes me tired. I gotta be honest, there are moments in the day where I completely zone out and lose focus on everything that's around me. There are still moments when I re-evaluate all of the decisions that were made real in the last couple weeks, wonder if they were for the best, and doubt.

And then I remind myself how incredibly blessed I am and that through all of its struggles, life is beautiful. So with that said..

Life's current perks:
-my roommates back from DC, so the house is less lonely
-making new friends (okay, it's sort of just one.. Still fun though.)
-liking the new church I've been going to
-gonna welcome another Phamvan into the world in less than a week

Updates in blue (as of Thursday, Jan. 31st) cause I'm actually quite impressed with how much I actually got done.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Friday, January 11, 2013

"Oh my gosh, you're such a list person." -le roommate

  • Walked downstairs to coffee that made itself in the morning
  • Had only Econ classes (with the exception of one math section)
  • Got work done for the internship
  • Climbed for 2 hours and completed my very first v2 route EVER
  • Went to Bible study for the first time in weeks
  • Got the chance to get to know new and awesome people better
  • Now, just looking forward feasting on Korean bbq tomorrow
Ladies and Gents, my perfect day. 

Wednesday, January 09, 2013


I have the name that, without fail, gets misspelled when I order food or coffee, so much so that I have resorted to going by Kim. It's the name I must repeat whenever meeting someone new, explaining that it's Kimberly without the "ber." The name that has lead people to ask, "Why do people call her by her first and last name together?" The name that people never fully know how to correctly pronounce, while my friends (I'm just gonna be blunt and say it's my white friends.) fear it's incredibly offensive when their parents pronounce it as though it's two separate words.

Revelation: My name is originally supposed to be separated into two one-syllable words (like all other Vietnamese words: Kim Ly).

And in honestly, I really don't mind how you pronounce my name.
(As long as it's not Kimry, cause I could go on a whole rant about the racism behind that. I don't think that stereotype should ever be applied to me considering I couldn't pronounce the "r" sound until 8.)

This is another one of my pointless posts. And after hearing my name said out loud far more times than I could ever be comfortable with in a span of three hours, I just felt like writing..

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

I am quite the garrulous person.

So I sat down and started reading The Beautiful and the Damned, and it shames me how often I need to pull out a dictionary.

Monday, January 07, 2013

My Ansel Adams Wannabe Shots

Okay, I consider myself a mediocre photographer at best, and actually tend to be incredibly critical of my pictures. So much so that it can put a serious damper on my mood if I don't have any inspirations when it comes to getting a good picture. Well these are my Ansel Adams inspired photographs that I just wanted to share for the heck of it. I hope you like them, readers.

I'm pretty sure my total number of readers is about 5, but I'd like to apologize to the few readers who are also friends on Facebook. You must be tired of seeing these by now..

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Fan of:
-friends with awesome taste in clothes who also like to give clothes as presents
-the voice of the lead singer of One Year Yesterday

Not a fan of:
-rocks that chip my windshield as I drive
-indefinite goodbyes

Friday, January 04, 2013

Today's Life Lessons From the Brother:

1. Never trust a guy with two first names ( Sorry, Daniel Craig...)
2. Second place winner is the first place loser.

Thanks, big brother.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Winter in Yosemite

So somehow my friends and I managed to come up with the crazy plan of camping in the winter for the last two years. Amidst my finals studying, I had an even crazier idea to plan this year's trip in Yosemite. Well.. this was probably the luckiest planning I could have had, and definitely have no regrets going, despite the colds (temperature & illness). And to add to the craziness, we stayed in tents during the one night stay, when temperatures reached about the high 20's. (Two pairs of long underwear, an undershirt, thermal, mid layer, synthetic down, scarf, and beanie is what I wore as I cuddled up for bed in my 20 degree sleeping bag filled with 2 fleece blankets in case you were wondering... You probably weren't.) Our time in the park totaled about a day and a half, on top of 6 hour drives there and back. We got there right in between two snow storms, and were blessed enough to arrive at Tunnel view with a sky full beautiful clouds just after sunrise as bits of golden sunlight touched El Cap and Half Dome. 

Most people still think that such a short trip wasn't worth it, but I'd kindly like to disagree. In the last 4 years I've been to Yosemite 6 times. And while the views from the top of Half Dome are some of my favorite in the world, no words can ever express just how amazing it was for me to see the giant walls of granite covered in the white powder. Also, my sheltered California self had never experience that kind of cold or actual snow fall before this trip. It was definitely the get away I needed this winter break. I'm now ready (and rather excited, to be honest) to head back to San Diego and start my winter quarter.

ps. Click on the actual image of my panorama because the thumbnail doesn't do it justice.