Contingent Contemplation: Philophobia

I haven’t done one of these contingent contemplation posts in a while.

Philophobia is a thing I have. I don’t understand why it’s not a part of everyone.

Philophobia is the fear of emotional attachment; fear of being in or falling in love.

It’s a scary thing isn’t it? When you fall in love, you’re committing your emotions to someone. Everything that that person does will come to emotionally affect you, whether it’s big or small.

My family are people who I love, though I didn’t choose it I guess. But you can very much say that I also have a fear of emotional attachment to them. The thought of losing loved ones is never fun, and I sometimes wonder why I’m given a family, only to have them taken away from me some day down the road. But at the same time, that fear of love gets dispelled when you manage to forget the mortality of things and realize that although other people come and go, luckily enough, my family is here to stay. They’re here for me and love me unconditionally. I cannot help but do the same.

A few years ago I decided to get a pet. It was against my dad’s wishes, and I didn’t have the guts to tell him about the hamster I had bought. Then as I carried the little thing in a paper bag with her new cage at my side, I realized there’s no way I can keep this a secret. Our Hong Kong apartment was only so big, and my hamster will not go noticed. I phoned my dad, telling him of my purchase, hoping that telling him via the phone would lessen the shouting. Funnily enough, he didn’t shout. He wasn’t the happiest, and he worried about the hamster ruining our hygiene (I’m so sure that a 17 gram little hamster will bring the plague to our family. On second though, plagues were started by rats. Hmm.). A few months later, the hamster’s picture would replace my baby picture that he kept as his phone’s lock screen.

My hamster is probably the first and last pet I will ever get. Allergies aside, her passing away impacted me a lot. It’s weird, because I had willingly given my heart to her. And she took that little bit to the grave when she passed away two years later. I realized that I could never be brave enough to get that dog I’ve always wanted. My issue wasn’t with taking care of pets, but with their ultimate departure after you’ve committed to loving them.

Philophobia has followed me into relationships. All my prior relationships consisted of me keeping the guy some distance away. I wasn’t willing to get too involved emotionally, fearing that I will get the worst out of it. I over-think everything, and try to base my decisions on what will hurt me the least in the long run. It just wasn’t worth it to take the risk and ultimately feel the pain. That’s probably why none of them worked out because I always choose to end it, fearing developing the relationship any further.

But here I am, having fallen in love with a guy, and it’s funny because I don’t think I willingly choose to either. I think it probably has something to do with the whole “you’ll know it’s right when it’s right” thing because you can’t help it. Philophobia makes itself more known to me every day because I’ve let myself fall in love. He’s doing his best, but I’m not the most confident of myself relationship-wise. At times, you wonder if they like you just as much as you like them only to realize you can’t gauge that. So you go on to look for signs that can tell you, only to falter at points of doubt. You think of all the ways and reasons you can lose him. Then you let the fear ruin you.

Philophobia sucks. You’re unsure of your next steps, but at the same time you want to take them. And it almost feels like every step further, you feel yourself wanting to pull back because you know it’ll hurt if it goes wrong. But for the first time, I think it’ll be worth it. I just need to get Philophobia out of the picture.

Reading break begins!

Hey all,

One week off. This is probably what every university student looks forward to once the Winter school term starts. Sadly, most of my profs decided to put a bunch of midterms and projects due for when we get back on the week of the 23rd. No worries. I guess I’ll just have to juggle studying and taking a break. In terms of reading, am I doing any actual reading? Not much academically, though I eventually will have to. But I have been consuming a lot of graphic novels– mainly due to me taking a graphic novel writing class at UBC. I had to take it for my creative writing minor, and I originally thought we’d only have to do the “written” parts of the graphic novel. Turns out we’re telling stories through pictures. That does not bode well for my D+ in visual art that I got back in high school. comics-lady-killer Anyway, I’m more than halfway through Watchmen and I’ve been reading it for maybe two days during my spare time. I also picked up this visually amazing graphic novel called Pretty Deadly. It revolves around the daughter of death. How is that not cool? I started reading Lady Killer, and am dying to get my hands on a physical copy of the first issue. Sadly, all the copies I see for sale online are super expensive (and everywhere else is sold out). It’s a very interesting comic. Self described as “Betty Draper meets Hannibal!”

I’m actually currently in Whistler right now and will do a separate blog post for that later on! Snow’s disappointing this year, but having some time away from Vancouver withe the boyfriend is not!

– Karen

Valentine’s is a scam

…So we decided to just stay home, make our own food, and watch movies for the day. I mean calling a day “Valentine’s Day” and then making it so that restaurants can charge a LOT for a meal, and everyone can capitalize on branding something as “Valentine’s” themed is a scam. But I still believe that setting a day aside for your loved ones, whether for a significant other, or even just for your friends or family, is still important. So I’m all about the idea of Valentine’s Day!

I remember last year, I spent $60ish on a Valentine’s meal and although I did get pretty good food (salmon, steak, scallops etc.) it’s so much cheaper to do it yourself. So instead of a couple spending $120 collectively on a meal, this year, me and the bf spent around $45 instead! wpid-received_10155327540990643.jpeg Our Valentine’s dinner was quite reminiscent of our first time we cooked together back when we first started dating. Steak and potatoes, except we also threw in lobster tails this time to be fancy. And then minus-ed the veggies. We also spent a good chunk of time trying to make macarons…which didn’t quite work out.

We tried.

We tried.

We stayed in bed till almost 5PM. We cooked till 11PM. He made me watch Groundhog Day, I made him watch Music and Lyrics. There was hot chocolate. It was the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had :)wpid-20150214_235118-1.jpg – Karen

LA for Christmas! Pt. 2

Hello y’all,

So finally posting part 2 of my LA trip. And it’s actually not that overdue if you look at some of my other posts.

After Anaheim, we went back to the city of Los Angeles. We were exhaused on the first day and decided to skip some of the stuff we had planned so we can go straight to Little Tokyo. Some things I learned about LA:

1. Little Tokyo is the best place ever

We ended up skipping another few things on our list just to re-visit Little Tokyo on the third day. They have a million ramen places to choose from and we ended up going to Orochon Ramen and Hakata Ramen. We had to wait at both of them but Hakata’s wait was almost 2 hours! They both served great ramen, but the bf and I both agree that Orochon’s soup was better. We like spicy and Orochon gave you the option to make it super spicy.

Little Tokyo and ramen. #orochon #ramen #egg #calpico #noodles #japan #japanese #asian #LA #california

A photo posted by Karen Lee (@kalyrical) on

Another thing Little Tokyo was amazing at was mochi. I think the mochi lato at Mikawaya Mochi has forever changed me. No mochi will ever taste as good :( They had regular mochi too, but the lato ones were creamier and the skin wasn’t as hard. It was so perfect!

2. K-town isn’t trashy

From what I’ve seen of the webseries K-town, I had expected Koreatown in LA to be trashier and greasier. It really wasn’t. Instead we found super cheap restaurants! They were quite famous for their Korean BBQ all-you-can-eats and we ended up settling for one that was $11.99 at Sanya Korean BBQ Buffet. So much meat. So worth it.

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Tell me this isn’t cheap. The $11.99 menu was more than enough for dinner.

We had lots of beef brisket, thinly sliced. We let it grill just a little longer than necessary, giving the outside a slightly crispier exterior. It was amazing. We also had some pork belly and there were a lot of other things on the menu. But we were quite full from the side dishes they provide you as well.

Koreatown also had lots of shops that sold Korean products. I hopped into one or two cosmetic shops just to see what they have and their collections are quite complete. If you’re looking for asian snacks, this also was a good place to go!

3. The Getty is far

I was annoyed by LA’s transit system to begin with, but getting to the Getty really was something. We had to take two busses, and the schedules were horrible. It took forever to get to the Getty via transit (about an hour and 20 minutes?), whereas driving would’ve taken 19 minutes.

$100 million. Right there.

$100 million. Right there.

One thing I did enjoy was seeing the paintings. I’m no art expert, but at the Getty I got to admire the works of some big artists. It was the first time I had seen a Van Gogh, Monet, and a Picasso in real life. Or any famous paintings in real life I guess. Irises by Van Gogh was the featured exhibit for the period that we were there. A hundred million dollar painting. I didn’t even want to breathe near it.

4. Hollywood is only glam for about 4 blocks

Exiting the metro station for Hollywood, I took a few seconds just to marvel at how alive and amazing Hollywood looked. Bright lights, crowds of people, music everywhere. We hit up a few souvenir shops, went to Madame Tussauds and at night, spent new year’s eve at Hardrock Cafe counting down with other patrons in the restaurant.

Madame Tussauds shenanigans. They had a Marvel exhibit!

Madame Tussauds shenanigans. They had a Marvel exhibit!

But then we went to explore and walked down Hollywood only to realized that the glam only lasted a few blocks. Beyond the main strip of Hollywood that we always see on TV, the street was lined with mediocre restaurants or shabby looking pubs. The Walk of Fame also deteriorates drastically, the names of actors/actresses being none that we recognize. But I guess to be a tourist attraction, you don’t need to show everyone the full picture before their arrival.

5. The TCL Theatre is beautiful

My boyfriend and I saved The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies for the TCL Theatre! We saw that they were showing it and decided we’d hold off until we got to Hollywood. Plus, we’d get to check out the TCL Theatre!

I could not believe how nice the theatre was and that it is accessible to the public. I’m so used to seeing award shows and events happening there on TV I never thought it would be open for regular movies. They also played movies in IMAX and the quality was so good it was almost disorienting at first watching the characters so clearly.

I thought the price was amazing. It was $19 a ticket for IMAX in a gorgeous theatre. In Vancouver, we pay $15 for a shabby theatre seat for IMAX. It was so worth it watching a movie there. If you do go, visit the washrooms. It’s ridiculously big.

So that’s it for my LA trip! I’m proud of myself for having written pt 2 so quickly :)

– Karen

Don’t Starve Together – Perfect example of early access

Hello everyone,

The gaming community is constantly torn about early access, with more people complaining on forums and hubs rather than not. I suspect the population that doesn’t complain finds the system fine, and is willing to put up with paying for early access or understand the issues they would most likely run into. I am in between both, having games where I find early access unacceptable (*cough* Day-Z, the Stomping Land), and some that actually work well and I’m glad I’m in their early access program (7 Days to Die).

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Recently, my boyfriend got us Don’t Starve Together. Why am I saying this is a perfect example of early access? For those who have their original game Don’t Starve, the frontier (early access) pack was $5 for two copies of the game. That’s $2.50 each for the two of us! Plus, they’re sure that they’re selling to their fans since you have to had own the game to get it for this price. Gamers are more likely to be understanding of issues in gameplay during early access. The promo is now up, but was a great way to build up a community of early accessers. If you wanted Don’t Starve Together (Early Access), but don’t have the original game, it costs around $20 now on Steam.

We’ve logged about 30 hours together on the game within 2 weeks. If you’ve played Don’t Starve, it’s basically the same game with less features to make it work for multiplayer. You now work together to brave the environments of this dark and dreary world, making sure you have enough food and resources to keep your sanity, health and hunger bars up. There’s also an option to revive your friend with Telltale Hearts (you sacrifice a little bit of your health to bring your friend back to life), but you suffer permanent damage to your health. Each revive gives you less and less max health, making it easier to die.

Us in Don't Starve!

Us in Don’t Starve!

I’ve never played Don’t Starve, so when I first opened up the game I instantly fell in love with the art (it’s Tim Burton-esque). Although it is a survival game, it’s quite different from most of the other ones I’ve played. It’s slightly easier to obtain materials and stay alive at the beginning, but as your day count goes up, you are faced with more challenges. This makes it a lot better than the other permadeath games in that you actually get to play before something murders you on day 1 or something.

I was not used to the idea of not having a secure structure as a base. My boyfriend would instruct me to build a base near a herd of Beefalos (buffalo-like creatures) and by building a base, he meant making a fire pit. Soon, our “base” contained crock pots for cooking better recipes, a science machine (to discover more recipes), a bird cage, and farms. But there were no walls surrounding us and I always felt vulnerable. Nonetheless, we defended ourselves well and now that we’re on our 80th day or so, we can build walls if we choose to. But honestly, I’ve gotten used to the idea that we’ll be able to defend ourselves without them.

Don’t Starve Together will be free-to-play to all who has Don’t Starve next year (well, there was a cut off date)! At its current state, it’s more than playable! I’m excited to see what will be added in the future :)

– Karen

Play all the games!

Hello y’all,

I built my own PC! It took about a year of planning and gathering parts, but it’s finally done!

A lot of the rush came from looking around for deals on the parts that I wanted. I would first compare parts and then when I decided on something, I’d be on the lookout for when it goes for cheap (or just cheaper is fine). The process took quite a while. I bought my SSD almost half a year ago and it was the first piece of my new PC that I got. Then came my CPU about 2-3 months later. As you could see, I was in no rush….

That was until last week when I went to pick up my RAM from NCIX(8GB for $58!!). I was only missing my motherboard, power supply, and case at this point and my boyfriend convinced me on a power supply, and we ran to get the case I had wanted at Lansdowne Mall (they had 1 left). On the 10th of January, I finished buying my parts and started building the PC.

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Luckily, my boyfriend built his own computer so he gave me plenty of pointers. Mainly, it was a lot of watching this video and following along:

All the steps are broken down, and of course, just skip the steps that don’t apply to you. I’m not going to lie and say I loved the process, and there were quite a few times when I had to undo all the hard work I had just done leading to much frustration (I think I said “Kill me” at least ten times during the process). I was also sure that a part would not work and I would have to send it in for repairs. But miraculously, we finished building it that night. At around 1AM, I finished downloading League of Legends and I played my first game on my PC! The whole process took around four hours? That included installing the OS and such.

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Wish it would assemble itself

The whole thing felt very rewarding, and it feels nice knowing I paid for the whole thing. Makes my summer job seem less of a chore when I see the rewards!

My parts list below.
Solid State Drive: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB
Central Processing Unit: Intel Core i5-4690K
Hard Disk Drive: Western Digital Green SATA3 2TB
Video Card: ASUS Geforce GTX 770 1110MHZ 2GB
RAM: G.Skill Ripjawsx 1x8GB DDR3
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z97X-SLI ATX LGA1150 DDR3 Xfire/SLI USB3 HDMI
Power Supply Unit: Corsair CX Series CX750 750W ATX 12V 80 Plus Bronze
Case: NZXT H440 Blue/Black (I will add blue LED light strips to this at some point to give it an underglow. Need to install them but I didn’t want to open up my case again T.T)

And I bought two LED monitors so now I have a dual screen setup!

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A cellphone pic of my setup, thus the quality

If you’re looking for parts, I’d suggest giving it time so you don’t overpay. Look out for deals. Everything goes on sale at one point or another. The only thing I bought full price on my list was my case because I wouldn’t settle for anything else and it was a limited edition case sold at one place. They probably won’t be putting it on sale in the near future. Also, if you find a cheap Canadian retailer price, just go to Memoryexpress or NCIX to price match! That’s what I did for quite a few of these parts!

Funny how I told myself I’d cut down on gaming in 2015.

– Karen

LA for Christmas! Pt. 1

Hello all,

I do realize it has been a while since my last post, but Christmas came along and I realized I was not at all prepared this season. It was a mad scramble to get passable gifts for my loved ones, and then I also went on a spontaneous trip with the boyfriend to Los Angeles!

We left on boxing day, really early in the morning since we got our tickets for cheap off Expedia. The trip to LA should take about 2.5 hours if we took a direct flight, but instead it took more towards 8 hours since we had layovers and such. We went to Phoenix first, then down to LA. Weird flight route, I know.

The first day was all travelling, so it passed by in a blur of naps in weird locations, and switching between modes of transport. Once we got to LA, we got on a shuttle to take us to Anaheim. We were visiting Disneyland for Christmas!

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We spent one day at California Adventures, and one day at Disneyland. It was really busy in both parks due to schools being let out and everyone wanting to see Disneyland in its Christmas form. But seriously, Sleeping Beauty’s castle was amazing with the Christmas lights.

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It’s funny how we all pay hundreds of dollars to line up for hours on end at Disneyland, yet still leave feeling like we experienced magic. Disneyland was definitely a LOT more busy than California Adventures. At least at Cali Adventures, I felt like I could walk around without constantly bumping into a wall of people!

One thing that I loved most this visit was Cars Land. I had forgotten they had added a new section to Cali Adventures, and when I walked by the road that lead down Radiator Springs I actually cried. I wish I was kidding. It looked so much like the movie that it really was magical. We ended up eating dinner at Flo’s and it was the most satisfying meal of the day!

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Another thing that stood out to me was Dole whip. Here’s the thing: I’ve never heard of a Dole whip. I saw it on instagram, then realized that there were a million pictures of the little mountain of pineapple flavoured soft-serve ice cream. What the heck was this and why is it so popular? I was very hesitant to get it, mostly because it was cold at Disneyland and there was a lineup. There was a lineup for soft serve. I had enough of lineups. But nonetheless, we waited about 30 minutes in line and got our Dole Whipe Float. It tastes much like pineapple flavoured soft serve, except there are little chunks of pineapple. It tasted tart, which I quite liked. It was a very good soft-serve, but I still didn’t get all the hype that surrounded it.

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By the end of the Disneyland visit, we had spent a small fortune on foods at the park, and also severely lacked sleep as we would always leave at the last possible moment, then arrive as early as possible. So worth it!

Next post to be on Los Angeles itself :) (Hopefully, it won’t take 2 months for me to post)

– Karen