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I am incredibly excited to be writing my first post-finals blog post. Even though school is out for the summer, I have plenty of things to keep me busy (work, recruitment and wedding planning!), but I do hope to uphold my promise to update this blog a little more frequently.

Today’s post revolves around the 24 hours of magic that will happening this weekend. Where you may ask? Why Disneyland of course! As a part of their limited-time magic promotion for 2013, select Disney parks will be throwing a “monstrous” all-nighter you won’t want to miss. Disneyland, Disney California Adventures and the Magic Kingdom park will be open Memorial Day weekend from 6:00 AM, May 24 to 6:00 AM, May 25, 2013.

In honor of the upcoming release of Disney Pixar’s Monsters University (which having seen the pre-screening, I have to say it’s a must-see!) Disney has chosen to pair their 24 hours of magic with a Monsters theme. Fans will have the opportunity to meet some familiar characters like Mike and Sully, but also some new friends from Monsters U as well. But what I am super pumped about is the awesome, specially designed merchandise that Disney will have available in honor of this monster event. Check them out below!

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Disney Parks Blog: “‘Eye-mazing’ Merchandise For Monstrous Summer All-Nighter Party at Disney Parks on May 24, 2013”

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Disney Parks Blog: “Special Eats Part of Monstrous All-Nighter Fun at Disney Parks”

 

I am jealous of those who are Southern California natives (I am back in the Bay now) and of those who are annual passholders. If you have the opportunity to make it out to any of Disney’s parks this weekend, don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity. Me? I will be living vicariously through everyone else’s pictures and stories.

I apologize for my lack of posts for those of you who take the time out of your day to read my blog. I find that with my increasingly busy schedule, I have very limited time to update this blog regularly. Hopefully, once I complete this semester (and pass) my 18 units of journalism courses, I’ll have more time on my hands to dedicate myself to this blog.

Recently in one of my writing courses, we had to craft an observation story and of course, I got the least exciting area on campus: the library. However, in preparation for writing my library story, I got to thinking about places that I regularly go to, in order to get into the mindset of “observing for stories.”

The first step, they say, for anyone who has an addiction is admitting that you have a problem. Hello, my name is Vivian and I am a Starbucks addict.

Ever since my very first double chocolatey chip frappacino in sixth grade, I have loved Starbucks. Since then, I have experimented with the assortments of coffees and teas and have even gone so far as customizing my own concoctions. Even on social media sites, I follow bloggers who share my passionate love for Starbucks. But it’s not just the drinks – though I admit to being a Gold Card Member who consumes an average of two “Venti’s” a day – it’s the atmosphere.

When you step into an actual Starbucks cafe, you are greeted with soothing contemporary music in the background of all the hustle and bustle of baristas. Every time I enter one of my “regular” locations, I am greeted by a barista who automatically strikes up casual conversation before asking me if I would like “the usual.” I am often enchanted by the assortment of pastry goods on display – and on occasion, I indulge myself if it had been a good workout week.

After I pick up my drink, I settle myself down in one of their cozy seats with a good book or a good show or movie queued up on my Hulu. When I do have work to get done, I opt for their tables, which for whatever reason, keeps me more focused and motivated than my desk at home. Sometimes, when I am there long enough, the sweet aroma of coffee beckons me, and I return to the counter for either a free refill (the perks of being a Gold Member) or a completely different drink altogether. THen I return, sinking back into the cushions, happily sipping on my “corporate coffee.”

The Magic Lives!

This blog post has been long overdue. Thanks to the hectic-ness of school, midterms and Delta Zeta, I have yet to have the chance to sit down and write this. If you know me, you can probably guess what this post is going to be about. If you don’t know me, well, let me enlighten you: this post is dedicated to none other than the San Francisco Giants.

My last post in regards to Orange October was on the day of Game 3 of the NLDS. We took the game that day to force Game 4 and continued our winning streak to move on to the NLCS. This may have seemed like a miracle for onlookers, but for the real Giants fans, it’s just the typical outcome of the torture ball we all know and love. Now moving on to the NLCS, the Cards took three games from us in the first four games. Again, it seemed like all was lost. I watched every game with exasperation and in annoyance at the ESPN pre-game show as the announcers talked about how my team sucks and that we had no chance of making it to the World Series. Nothing was more gratifying than proving those guys wrong.  Our bullpen took down the Cardinals in Game 7 with a 9-0 shutout to take us to the World Series.

I had watched the first four innings of Game 7 before having to attend our weekly Delta Zeta meetings. As Ritual chairman, it was my job to set up the room for the meeting. It was also my job to set the highest example, which meant no checking of scores on my Sports Center updates. As you can imagine, I was full of anxiety that night. The few of us that are Giants fans bolted up the stairs straight after our meeting to catch the end of the game. We were so overcome with joy that we ran around the house screaming in excitement over our victory, and completely neglected the fact that the new members were having their meeting right downstairs. (For that, I apologize!)

This World Series was a little dry but that didn’t make it any less “sweep.” Heading into the World Series, I was, again, forced to listen to ESPN talk about how the Tigers were going to dominate the Giants and what a “terrible” team we were. All I could think about was, “can we please get KNBR to announce the games?” and was most definitely tempted to mute the TV and put on sports radio, as I did for a few of the NLCS games. In 2010, only 6 out of the 28 ESPN sports analysts predicted a Giants win. This year, only 5 out of the 28 analysts stuck behind us. Jim Caple was the only one who predicted a Giants win in both years. Clearly, he is the only real ESPN expert here (and a believer of the magic!).

The joy and satisfaction of another World Series trophy is unfathomable for some. But for me, it takes the cake all the way to the next season. (Speaking of which, is it 2013 yet? Only 21 more weeks until next season!) You bet I proudly wore my orange and black all around San Diego. I proudly spent way too much on championship merchandise. And I proudly posted a million obnoxious statuses and live tweets. It is an honor to be able to live alongside the magic that is the San Francisco Giants.

It’s October. Which only means one thing: major league baseball playoffs. You probably expected me to say Halloween, but nope, not for this girl. The only thing I look forward to (aside from my little sister’s birthday which happens to fall on Halloween) is baseball. Now baseball is absolutely my favorite sport. And why not? After all, it is America’s favorite pastime. The smell of garlic fries and ballpark hot dogs, the entertaining drunken fans and the sound of ‘crack!’ when a player hits the ball out of the park. There is absolutely nothing like it. Of course, I rep my hometown: the San Francisco Giants. Before you go and call me a bandwagoner, let me tell you a little something. I have been rocking orange and black (mostly black with a hint of orange, it’s not really my color) since I was seven years old (which you would know if you have read my other blog “Caught in the Middle”). I have backed up my team throughout our off years and shed tears of joy when we clinched the World Series in 2010. As a 12 year season ticket holder, there is nothing I wish more than to be back home right now for Orange October.

As I write this, it is now Game 3 of the playoffs, and to my heart’s discontent the Giants are on the road 0-2 against the Reds. Just two months ago, I was sitting in the ballpark at every game, anticipating every win in order to clinch the division Wild Card. Then suddenly, the Giants Magic returned and we easily clinched the National League West from the Dodgers. For the last two months, we have been averaging 5 runs per game (4.97 to be exact according to MLB) and have been on top of our game, despite the Melky scandal. (To add my personal opinion on that issue, I don’t condone what Melky did but let’s be real here. He wasn’t the ballplayer enhancing his performance, he was just dumb enough to get caught and therefore deserved to be suspended. In addition, the way he handled the issue after everything blew up in his face was inexcusable.) We were feeling pretty confident heading into the series and then this happened: the Reds bulked up their offense game and positioned their players so perfectly that not even Buster Posey could save us.

What happened to our offense? Why is our bullpen so worn out? We had the home field advantage and should have done far better than we did. Though I am thoroughly disappointed in our performance, I still have some faith in us. The way I look at it, there are still 27 innings which means 27 chances for us to still advance in the playoffs. As a true Giants, I still believe in us. Win or lose, I’m proud of us for overcoming some rough seasons and making it this far.

It’s hard to believe that it’s already that time of year – the time for midterms. My past couple of weeks have been spent studying for one test after another, our 220 test included. After confirming with my calendar, I realized that every time I have a midterm in JMS480 (my most challenging class), I also have this blog and a thought paper due for JMS300 the day before and our JMS220 exam the following day. Well, this should prove to be a fun semester.

It seems crazy how much material we have already covered in all of my classes despite being only a month or so into school. Guess time really does fly when you’re having “fun.” Luckily, the hard part (for now) is over. I managed to submit a blog entry and my thought paper whilst emerging from my 480 exam feeling slightly confident – though not to be overconfident because you can never be sure until the results are posted. As for the 220 test? I didn’t think it was too bad, considering I really only spent one night preparing since most of my time was consumed by 480.

Now I have two midterms remaining this week: Intermediate Micro and JMS300. I have always been good with economics so I think I should be okay for tomorrow’s midterm. Of course, I will do some practice problems just to be on the same side. As for JMS300, which just so happens to also be taught by Professor Schmitz-Weiss, I feel like I can adequately prepare for that class now that I have had a taste of her exam style. So wish me luck this week!

(In other news: I chopped off 14 inches of my luscious locks this past weekend and donated to Locks of Love. Still adjusting to my short hair but on the bright side, my head is a lot lighter and I don’t have a “sweater” draping over my shoulders anymore. Also I got a job working for Concessions on campus so that should be a fun experience!)

Me and My Sisters Being Silly at Disneyland (See length of hair on far left!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me Buying Unnecessities at Target Post Haircut

Caught In The Middle

I think the hardest part about having creative freedom is deciding which direction you want to take it in. For me, I have a passion for so many things that are all so different from each other, that I end up sort of caught in the middle of it all. I am, however, one of the lucky ones – I have known since my freshman year of high school, what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My heavy involvement in Associated Student Body and holding various leadership positions dates all the way back to my elementary school days. I have always been a people person, I have always been self-motivated, and I have always loved getting involved in anything and everything. It seems only natural for me to go into a field where I wouldn’t spend the rest of my life sitting behind a screen, in a six by six feet cube of solitude.

But the biggest question I get asked when I tell people I’m a PR major (aside from what exactly is public relations) is what I want to do with public relations. Though I know for sure I want to work along the lines of integrated marketing communications or as a social media coordinator, I have no preference of what “field” I want to work in. It’s not that I am unsure or confused, it’s just that I love so many different things and I want to dabble in all of them. For starters, music is one of my biggest passions. I can honestly say that I love all types of music, with my iTunes playlist ranging from metal to classical to country to mainstream pop. When I started writing music at the bright, young age of ten, it opened doors for me and allowed me to express myself in ways I never did before. I love working at the annual Vans Warped Tour and street teaming for my favorite bands, and would love to some day work in PR for the music industry but there are still many other fields for me to explore.

Sports have also always been a huge part of my life. I was an extremely active child and when it comes to sports, you name it – I’ve played it. My life has constantly been rolling and on the go (which probably correlates to me being a gym rat to this day) and I enjoy both watching and participating in anything involving athleticism. My greatest love of all: baseball, more importantly the San Francisco Giants. I still remember the first time I stepped foot into AT&T Park (formerly known as Pac Bell Park). The smell of fresh garlic fries wafting in the atmosphere. Thousands of people decked out in black and orange gear. Popcorn, hot dogs, cracker jacks and the exaggerated r’s when they called out “churros!” lingered in the air, as I, seven years old at the time, took it all in and fell in love with America’s favorite past time. To work for and represent my team, the team that sparked my love for the sport would be the greatest job of all time – and yet, I honestly don’t know if even that could satisfy my all dreams and desires.

There are still so many other things that I want to work in: fashion, food, literature, film and media. The list is just forever ongoing. I can only hope that I am lucky enough to get the opportunities to explore them all! I guess only time will tell now but either way, any job that I acquire can only contribute to my happiness and once again assure me that I have chosen the right career path to walk upon for the rest of my life.

One Missed Call

Not many people understand my pain when I say that the worst feeling in the world is looking down at your phone and seeing a missed call from an unknown number. For me, that missed call could very well be the most important call of my life. That missed call could mean something terrible has happened. Or that missed call could’ve been the assurance I needed to tell me that everything’s okay. You’re probably wondering how a missed phone call could mean so much when I don’t even know who was on the other end of the line. But the answer is quite simple: I am the girlfriend of a United States Marine.

Being the significant other of a member of service really changes your perspective on life and relationships. You learn to cherish every single moment you have together. Every second counts. Even a one-minute phone call can make my entire week. I don’t have time to pick fights with him over little things because in the bigger picture, those things are trivial and fighting will only take away from the little time we have together. Not to mention that the fight could very well be the last conversation I have with him – now wouldn’t that be the worst feeling in the world? You also learn to be independent – luckily for me, I’ve always been independent by nature. I’ve seen so many girls whose boyfriends go off to basic training for the Army or other branches of the military and they sulk around and/or are miserable. I try my best to be supportive of them but it’s hard when I lived through the Marine Corps boot camp, which is three months long with no communication aside from slow mail, compared to other branches that are more lenient with communication and have shorter training time. They’re lucky that they don’t have to endure what I did. But rather than focusing on us being apart, I focus on me and what I need to do. I busy myself with work and now with school and before you know it, the time has flown by (I’m already half way done with this deployment!).

Now, one of the biggest things that bothers me when I tell people my boyfriend is a Marine is this: “wow, I don’t know how you do that”. Do what exactly? Love someone unconditionally who loves me the same way back? I know that the statement has no harmful intentions behind it but it still bothers me. I don’t see why if you love someone, you wouldn’t be supportive of their dreams or careers. My boyfriend has always been my rock and my biggest cheerleader; of course I’m going to stand by him and be faithful to him as he lives out the dream that he’s had since he was seven years old. It saddens me to see how many women are unfaithful while their spouse is deployed. It saddens me to see how many women there are out there who actively seek to become a military wife to reap the benefits. It saddens me to see how TV shows like Army Wives glorify the military lifestyle. Trust me, this is not the lifestyle you want to be living if you can help it. I am constantly worried about my boyfriend’s safety. I am constantly waiting to hear “I’m okay”. I am constantly dreading a phone call from a his higher up’s telling me that something has happened. Every time I watch the news and hear people talking about who we should be declaring war on, I’m filled with dread and I pray like crazy that he’s not called into combat first.

The military has definitely tested our relationship, but the fact that we have continuously overcome those tests have made us stronger as a couple. I am incredibly lucky to have found such a wonderful person and for him to have chosen to grace my life with his presence. But I am not dating a Marine, I am simply dating someone who happens to be a Marine. I knew what I was getting myself into when we met in high school and looking back, I completely stand by my decision to do whatever it takes to make our relationship work. Even if it means that there will lonely holidays/birthdays/anniversaries. Even if it means that I have to wake up at three in the morning for a 30-second Skype call.  I refuse to have any more “one missed call’s”.