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a taste of steampunk

Some of you may already be familiar with steampunk. That’s awesome! I recently finished reading my first novel set in a steampunk world. I really enjoyed myself with this adventure story about a 16-year-old professional thief. I made a video of my thoughts and like I promised, I’m going to update you all on my progress at making videos. Not that long ago I figured out how to add music to my videos. This one I was able to add music that I felt gave off a steampunkish vibe. The only problem is, it ended up being a little bit louder than me talking, so I apologize if it’s a little hard to hear me. 😦 If you have trouble hearing, I did leave a link in the video to my written book review. See for yourself:

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something like curiosity

I can’t believe it’s been 12 years since we talked about you turning the “big one seven.” Now looking at it, turning seventeen doesn’t seem so big anymore. It was a big deal to us back then though. It was so exciting I remember you thought the phrase “big one seven” was cool enough to share with a guy friend I didn’t even know you had, right in front of me after you just learned it. I guess hot guys get special treatment. I mean, I guess he was cute or hot or whatever, though I can’t really say because back then I didn’t know what those words meant. As a result I don’t remember too much of what he looked like, but he did have blonde hair and I had no idea you knew someone cool like him or hung out with boys like that. Because hot guys are always cool. I guess you wanted his approval that you’re all right.

“YuMin says I turn the big one seven,” you said to him.

You called him over first. He couldn’t really stand still. When he walked over, this was a turning moment for me. It was the moment that my studious Asian girl mindset began to crave something you had—the attention of boys. You didn’t know that, of course. I didn’t know that, either. But I know now it was definitely at that moment when you called a boy to come over and he came over that I was done being a nerd. I wanted to know how to flirt like the way you did.

Only, I didn’t know it was called flirting.

It was my first experience observing a girl friend get the kind of attention from an attractive boy that a girl would want, to feel attractive herself. That is what I wanted. I just didn’t quite figure out how to get what I wanted until college. Until I had other examples from girl friends. You were the first example though.

So I will always associate the number 17 with going up to a guy and starting a conversation for being in the same physics class, with playing ping pong with a guy and then asking him to have dinner right after, with smelling a sweaty white towel around a guy’s neck, with smelling the natural scent of a guy right after working out, with talking to a guy about playing the euphonium and finding out later the instrument looks like a tuba, with calling up a guy and asking to visit him in his room so he can play the violin for an audience of one, with giving a T.A. guy a Christmas gift of homemade cookies and most importantly of all, with becoming best friends with a guy who’s basically the male version of me.

It’s safe to say I like the number 17.

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the feeling of familiarity

He said he liked the group better when Shelly was leading it. He sounded just like me when I said I liked a school club I was a part of in college when Ginny was leading it. He has no idea that’s what I thought of when he said the same thing. It’s probably better this way since he had a hard time believing me whenever I said, “me, too!” or agreed with someone. He would give me this suspicious look like are you for real? It made me feel really bad, even though I was just being myself. Is it illegal to have something in common with someone else? Is it impossible? I will never know what I did, but I know it’s not worth thinking about.

I do know the feeling he’s talking about though. Let me see if I can describe it to you. You join a group, organization or club that meets every week or so. When you go to the very first meeting, you are introduced to the members. These are people who have known each other longer and earlier than you. They have already bonded, but they are gracious to let you in and accept you. You feel welcome enough to continue attending meetings week after week. You start to form bonds with each member of the group. Members come and go, but the person leading it remains the same. This is the same person that introduced you to the group as well. You feel connected to the group now, so much that changes in membership don’t faze you.

Then out of nowhere, the leader announces she’s leaving the group. She’s moving across the country she says. Just like that, your world has shifted. Before you have time to adjust to the change, a new leader is introduced or someone in the group steps up to take her place. Then before you know it, group members move on too and you’re still there, alongside some new faces mixed in with the old. The group dynamic has never been the same, not like when you first joined the group. Not like when the first leader you met was still a part of the group. No matter how much you like the new people who have joined, it’s just not the same. It’s not that the new leader is bad. The new leader is different. You have to get used to new people too. Something is off.

There. That’s the feeling. Do you know what I’m talking about? And now every time I think of that feeling, I think of him because he said something I could relate to.

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Don’t force anything.

Nothing good will come of it. Even if you feel happy now, it may not be the case a few years down the road and by then the discovery of your unhappiness and realization you should not have forced it in the first place will be too late. But at least you will get a chance to change it then, hopefully. If you don’t want to risk hopefully, then don’t force it.

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Christmas/New Year’s read: “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han

p. 192 – “‘No. I like Tommy. It’s not that. It’s scary when it’s real. When it’s not just thinking about a person, but, like, having a real live person in front of you, with like, expectations. And wants.’ I finally look at Peter, and I’m surprised by how hard he’s paying attention; his eyes are intent and focused on me like he’s actually interested in what I’m saying. ‘Even when I liked a boy so much, loved him even, I would always rather be with my sisters, because that’s where I belong.'”

This is just one of the many passages that I liked in the book. Jenny Han knows the good girl well. She has captured the fear of relationships precisely here. I’d like to venture and say that despite the fact that Lara Jean is in her teens, some people struggle with this well into adulthood.

Well, without further ado, here is what I thought of her book: