Category Archives: Life

The Babi Fund

The death of Aunt Ba provided a renewed perspective on life for my family. Being reminded that anything at any time can happen really slaps you awake and makes you think about what’s really important.

Therefore,  I will be punting over a percentage of my paychecks towards “The Babi Fund.” In the case that anything were to happen to my Uncle Babi, I will (at least) be prepared financially. Or if life is generous and kind, we can use the funds to travel the world together in the future.

This is going to be a secret. He’d freak out if he knew so shhhhh. Zip it, k? 🙂

This is probably one of the best ideas I’ve had in awhile.

Babi eating an orange.

Babi eating an orange.

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Calm Before the Emotional Storm

Besides being back on WordPress, I’m also back in San Jose tonight after scoopin up one of my cousins from SFO. It’s a bit unfortunate that I’m finally updating this now with a not-so-cheerful post to talk about my aunt who recently passed away…but alas…we are here.

I’ll try to keep it short.

I know she’s in a better place after seeing her go through so much pain growing more and more fragile with each passing day of chemotherapy and blood transfusions. Seeing her not being able to control her body or what’s going on inside of her was one of the most painful things to witness. It was also very hard to see my uncle (her husband) grow thin from worry and sadness. Just thinking of him…


My family is still in mourning but they’re doing relatively a lot better than before. Tomorrow might be a different story, however. I have an inkling that I, too, will be destroyed once I arrive at the funeral.

Since that phone call from my mother informing me that Aunt Ba had finally passed, I’ve been stuck in this odd stoic place where internally I feel as emotional as a newborn baby but outwardly I haven’t shed many (or any) tears at all.

Where is my Mariah Carey breakdown? Why am I so stable now when just a little over a month ago when Shirley passed away, I was beyond the “Butterfly” album and more like the discography of Adele on repeat?

This has been bothering me for the past few days. How is it that a close friend of mine can pass away causing the Exodus flood to release from my eyes but when a beloved family member passes…nothing? This same behavior occurred when I was 12 when I thought my mother passed away (FYI she didn’t…but that was a close one). Everyone around me were emotionally destroyed while I exhibited no emotions. I was stoic yet again.

WTF is wrong with me?

IS there anything wrong with me?

A close friend of mine whose mother was a cancer survivor told me once that she thought it was stupidly cliche for people to say there’s a right or wrong way for people to react to situations such as this. We are all made differently. We’ve all gone through different experiences in life. How we react to grim situations can tell a lot about us but it doesn’t define us. She told me it was ok not to cry…that maybe I’m the rock that’s holding everyone else together. And though that’s a good thing…to also remember to allow myself to feel once the dust settles.

But I have been feeling…

And I suppose my friend may be right about how everyone reacts differently from one another, but I can’t help but feel confused by my actions (or lack of).

Maybe that’s just how I am. Maybe it’s delayed response. Maybe I’m in a perpetual state of self-analyzation and this isn’t that big of a deal.

Whatever it is, there is one thing I do know.

I miss her terribly.

And though I’m not crying or displaying my emotions outwardly, I hope she knows just how much I love her.

See you tomorrow, Aunt Ba. And happy belated birthday. (It was on Valentine’s day). Surprised that I remember? I always remember. I will also always remember you in my heart where you’ll be forever…

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Cela passera aussi

“Yes. Yes, I am crying. This is how it’s been since the beginning of my career. I cry and then I go back to work. You’d be surprised how much I cry. You know most people think that I’m fun and I’m cool and I’m optimistic but you know what? I’m a crier.”

“I’m way too close to my product, but I just i don’t know how to be any other way. And I don’t know how I’m going to keep my company going and, god, I just want to be home already.” – Victory Ford


823. She Thinks of Me.

823 - Thinking of You

Soley has zee best timing. I freakin swear, maaaann! Just when those annoying doubts started to sprout up again, I got a full dose of encouragement and support via email.

It’s the simple things…


And I suppose timing too.

Just last week when I was out with Cat getting fondue for dinner after a stressful few days, I received a few surprising texts from Soley.

Sole: You need to move to _____.
Me: I do! Why my dear?
Sole: Jus been feelin like telling u that.
Sole: gut insticts / put the _____ in _____ / bay area will ALWAYS be waiting for u / goldfish is only as big as the bowl / bigger the bowl, bigger the potential growth
Sole: Life is too sort to be living just one. Live as many different lives as possibly can / sj check. Davislife check. SFlife check.
Me: Wow. Thank you so muchhh! I appreciate you so much! Love you 🙂
Sole: U been desiring…follow ur desires b4 momentum /motvation fades …..;D
Sole: *Sole wave high five!!!!*

I’m truly lucky & blessed. Seriously. How often do you find friends that unselfishly tells you to leave them just to follow a dream that seems so far, so unattainable, so unrealistic with no guarantee of a happy ending (whatever that means)?

She’s the Jazz to my Will, the Harold to my Kumar and the Biggie to my Tupac (except living).

sole notes

She left this on my bedroom door a few months ago after a sleepover and it's still there. And yes, we speak in braille. ❤

I am so thankful for people like her being in my life and I only hope that I can be as supportive and encouraging to the people around me when given the opportunity. Gotta pay that ish forward, nahmean?!

And by the way, the above text in the email is from Timothy Ferriss’s The Four-Hour Workweek, another book gathering dust on my “night stand” (it’s actually a fireplace…but same thing…kinda).

Anyhow, after refueling myself with a bit more confidence and drive, I guess it’s time to suit up again! And prepare to do battle for a dream that is worth dreaming…

We All Have Secrets…

We all have secrets we keep locked away from the rest of the world–friendships we pretend, relationships we hide. But worse of all is the love we never let show. The most dangerous secrets a person can bury are those we keep from ourselves.

"Unnerving Discovery" Triptych

Even The Nicest People Have The Darkest Secrets

Just as there are two sides to every story. There are two sides to every person. One that we reveal to the world. And another we keep hidden inside. A duality governed by the balance of light and of darkness. Within each of us is the capacity for both good and evil. But those who are able to blur the moral dividing line hold the true power.

Moments Before Darkness - Decisions - Jamie Lei Wong

"Moments Before Darkness" series - "Decisions" - Jamie Lei Wong

What Do You Want To Do?

Wanna be a — baller, shot caller
Twenty inch blades — on the Impala
A caller gettin laid tonight
Swisher rolled tight, gotta sprayed by Ike

HAHA. I freakin’ love that song.

So it’s been forevar and a yesterday since I’ve touched this blarrhhhg. My bad. Life kinda got a bit cray (even more so than usual) since my trip to NY  & DC. It was only last week that I finally uploaded pics from the trip onto my laptop. (hello, LATE).

So speaking of NY…after I landed and settled in a bit at Liz’s spot, I…

TOOK A NAP! hahaha! I hardly had any sleep on the plane so I needed my cat bear nap. I’m pretty sure Rex thought I was dead. I slept for a good 4-5 hours and missed my chances of going to the Mets game (one day). Poop.

Anyway, when I woke up, I went online (#workaholic) and Google chatted a bit with my brutha from another mutha, Tony. I discovered that after our long conversation a week before, he wrote up a post on HIS blaaahhhg about what’s been occupying my mind as of late.

“What do you want to do?”

just a throwaway question. i was sitting in the void where most people my age tend to end up from time to time. not necessarily being where they are and not necessarily knowing where they want to be. so in an attempt to make company for my misery i asked someone who has and is doing so much, i figured she would know. after a while i got a pretty good answer that i dont think even she knew she was going to say.

what do you want to do? what does that mean to you when you hear it? my job? my life? my evening? i didnt realize how much  you can find out about someone by asking them this question. i didnt know how much i had found out asking myself. how they answer it opens the door into who they are and they dont even realize it.

what do you want to do? make more money? where does that take you, being inexplicably rich? you wont have the time to be that rich. you just think that is what will make you happy. or maybe that will make you stand just a bit taller than everyone else in the room. maybe it is the hunger for power, to be the best. it is a lonely place up at the top.  more than one lifetime of money never made any sense to me. but it drives people, more than love and passion. it drives people beyond their own self worth. you want to know why you want more money? you wont have the time.

what do you want to do? find a girlfriend, boyfriend, both? you want a significant other so badly, you forget your individuality. you want companionship solely because of your fear of loneliness. the idea intrigues you more than the actual. come action time you dont really understand what it means and what to do. what’s the problem? you dont know what it means to be alone. you compromise yourself to find someone and when you do you will feel more alone than you have ever been. learn to be alone first and once you do someone will enter your life. its a freaking miracle.

what do you want to do? leave a mark on the world? what does that mean? do you even know what it means when you say that? do you think helping out in a soup kitchen once a month is leaving your mark? adopting a foreign child to raise is leaving a mark? donating your hard earned money is leaving a mark? you are just a generous person.  but if you want to leave a mark, free some slaves, save the forests, start a revolution. that is leaving  a mark. stick to being generous. do not discount your generosity. the world needs more generous people.

so what do you want to do? most people never really think about the question before they answer. keep pressing and keep digging deeper. get pass the surface desires. get to the very core. ask why. in the end you find out who you really are. in the end you find out what really drives you. in the end you find out what you really want to do.

“be passionate about myself”  hey now.

So what do you want to do with your life?

When Tony asked me this question I replied with “live it.” I’m surrounded by so many of my friends who complain on the daily about the jobs they have, the people they’re dating, the neighborhood they live in, etc. #snookiewhine

Seriously? If you don’t like the situation you’re in. DO something about it.

Dig deeper. Find what makes you happy. Find direction.

Find yourself.

What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? Who do you want to be? What are you passionate about?

Ask yourself. Know yourself. Be yourself.

(rinse & fuckin repeat)


Do I know what I want to do?

No doubt.

Do I know where I want to go?


Do I know who I want to be?


And what am I passionate about?

I’m passionate about myself.

How Bad Do You Want It?

How bad do you want it? How much is it worth? What are you willing to do, to give, to sacrifice, to put in to make your dreams come true?

It’s easy to talk about. It’s easy to think about and get lost in. But are you willing to put in all that you have to make a dream into a reality?

I used to crack jokes and talk about how we shouldn’t chase people (as fine as he may be…daaaamn), but rather chase our dreams. What I’ve come to realize is the difference in being an idealistic dreamer chasing our dreams vs. living out our dreams.

You want to be an actress? You want to change the world? You want to save lives? You want to be the best engineer in your company? You want to open up a clothing store? Whatever it is you want out of life, big or small, how are you getting there? How are you working your way closer to that goal? Get up from your lazy ass, stop talking and start doing. Start living.

Instead of merely chasing, go out there and do something about it. Go LIVE your dream. Time is never going to slow down for you. It’ll keep on moving as you should too. And like my boy A. Rock said, “you can dream a little dream or you can live a little dream i’d rather live it cuz dreamers always chase but never get it.”


How bad do you want it?

But more importantly, how are you going to get it?

Empire State of Mind. State of Life.

In New Yawwwwk! Concrete jungle where dreams are maaaaade! Oooh! There’s nothing you can’t do. Now that you’re in New Yawwwk!

Ok. I know it’s annoying to see any body of text start out with the lyrics to Jigga’s Empire State of Mind when referring to NY…but I couldn’t help it. I love cliches. My life is full of them. So why not?

*(Is it a cliche to hate cliche’s?)

The last time I was back in New York was April. I went twice.

The 1st trip was all paid for compliments of J.Yu’s company. J.Yu invited me to be his +1 on his company trip to Jamaica (the island, not the city) so on the way there, we decided to stop by NY for a few days. Again, compliments of his company if you didn’t get that the first time (wooo! free is mah fave).

I was the lucky, chosen one only because his back-up backed out (his first choice was a girl he was tryin to holler at. So basically, I became the back-up to his back-up. So you can go ahead and stop it if you thought there was little somethin’ somethin’ going on between us. I was the last pick.)(I didn’t mind, though. #freetrip)

The 2nd time was with a group of friends from college. We went for Goldie’s birthday and stayed at the W Hotel in Union Square (BTN central. eck).

Some old friends. Some new friends.

Both trips were fun in it’s own way. Having J.Yu be my partner in crime was not too bad since he was pretty much down with most of the things I wanted to do (in particular: attending a Yankees game)(CHECK!).

Yankee Stadium.

The group trip was a little hectic since we had to keep doing roll calls to make sure no one was left behind. Don’t get me wrong. I love my friends. But there’s just something about traveling alone that is WAY more appealing to me…

When you travel alone, you don’t have to worry about anyone else but yourself.

You don’t have to worry about holding someone back from anything they’ve had their heart set on, but is too shy to let you know.

You don’t have to sacrifice your time by going along with something you don’t really give a fuck about.

You don’t have to feel pressured to spend more money then you really should.

You don’t have to hold back or compensate for anything.

You don’t have to commit to anything or anyone.

You don’t. You don’t. You don’t!

What do you get instead from traveling alone?

You get freedom.

You have the freedom to stay in, order room service & actually enjoy the hotel room that you’re overpaying for.

If you’re staying with friends, you have the freedom to spend quality, alone time catching up with and not have to be sensitive to the 3rd, 4th or however many wheels you’re lugging around with you.

You have the freedom to not do any touristy things that you’re “supposed” to see/do while you’re in the city you’re visiting.

You have the freedom to stay up until some ungodly hour, finding yourself bearing witness to the rising of the sun.

You have the freedom to be 21 & invincible (or so you think) again getting near black-out drunk and stumbling back to wherever you’re staying.

You have the freedom to make decisions that may seem good at the time but you know you’ll regret in the morning.

You have the freedom to sleep in so late, your first meal might as well be dinner.

You have the freedom to get lost, find your way, get lost again and rinse & repeat until you’ve figured it out. And later find that you’re still a bit lost but you’re ok with that.

You have the freedom to do whatever you want and go wherever the wind takes you.

Freedom. So pure. So simple.

Growing up, my childhood was not like many others (See. Total cliche right there). My world was rocked hard when I was 12 years old and when I turned 15, I became my family’s sole breadwinner. The worker’s permit allowed me to work three jobs during and after school when my friends were off rebelling and gettin into trouble (like normal jr. high/high school kids).

Don’t you dare feel sorry for me though! Shiiettt. Just cause I was workin my ass off doesn’t mean I was a total lamebot.

Somehow, on top of gettin that paper, I also had the time to consistently be on the honor roll, get involved with yearbook, play sports every season (varsity basketball, softball & volleyball. haaaay!) and earn decent grades that allowed me to earn my golden ticket to bizz-ounce from San Jose and off to college.

The homies/soccer team. Check out my chola hair.

Even though I got the hell out of San Jose, I still had obligations and responsibility that I could not escape from. Following the trend I already had going, I picked up 3-4 part-time jobs while hustling around as a full-time college student.

I’m so fuckin hard. I know.

Ever since…ever, I’ve always felt like a lone ranger, a lone wolf amongst my peers and the people around me. Having to grow up fast and dealing with what life has dealt me has given me a different perspective on life, love, family, everything.

It took awhile but what I’ve learn from the past decade or so is that you can’t escape your past. You can’t run away from your problems. You can’t avoid who you are. And you can’t pretend to be anyone else but you. And even if you try. No matter where you run. You just end up running into yourself.

I know all this. I remind myself everyday. But not gonna lie. It’s pretty nice sometimes to pretend.

So whenever I get the chance, I travel. And I prefer to travel alone. Cause to me, traveling is freedom and that’s something I never want taken away from me.

I can leave all my troubles behind for a hot second and just be. I don’t have to be Jenn the breadwinner, Jenn the older sister, Jenn the reliable friend, Jenn this, Jenn that. I am free to be whoever I want to be. Myself.

I get to be me.

Flawed. Broken. Human. Alone.

I get to be a bit selfish, a bit self-centered, a bit all-about-moi. And you know what? It’s completely OK…

And since I can’t afford therapy, traveling will have to do for now.

*Anyway, it’s now 1:18am P/4:18am E time and I just noticed I only have 17 minutes left of battery life on my laptop (the outlet next to my seat is broken #wompwomp). I’m not sure what got into me with writing such a strange post (strange as in…I shared a shit load of info!), but issss cool. I don’t even know if any of this makes any sense, but who gives a fuck. It’s a blog. It’s not an editorial. I’ll write whatever I want.


Ok. I don’t want to end this entry with “penis.” So here’s some quick NY trip updates before my laptop totally dies:

  • Staying with friends – Chelsea & Brooklyn.
  • Gonna try to turn my brain off/not think/make too many decisions (so friends, if anyone actually reads this…if you wanna hang with me, please make the effort. It would mean a lot to me if I don’t have to exercise my brain)
  • Brooklyn Bowl???
  • METS game!
  • Philanthro New York happy hour event
  • Ippudo & Halal Cart
  • Views. views. views.
  • Uniqlo, Nicola Fomicetti, Topshop – SOHO
  • Bump hearts with friends.
  • Make new friends (i.e. kick it with strangers)
  • Make bad decisions. = Make good stories.
  • Just. Fuckin. Live.

*5 minutes of battery life yet. Not going to re-read what I just brain-dumped. See you soon, NY!

Cause we ain’t playin up here in New York – Ja Rule