Family car rides

The more people in a group, the harder it is to get around.

I’ve experienced it plenty of times. Large groups of friends hanging out inevitably lose each other on the way. Ever try to navigate 40+ people into cars and to the beach? I have.

Even in smaller groups, my family finds ways to be late. A standard car only holds five people. Not too bad, right? Shouldn’t it be easy to get the show on the road?

Ha! Please. Whenever my family tries to go places, it looks like this:

Not that my mom’s the only guilty one. Just today, my dear old grandmother cried,

My poor dad has to put up with all this. He’ll pull halfway into the driveway, engine running, waiting impatiently for everyone to file in. But he is no less guilty. Shortly after my grandmother stopped the car, he suddenly asked,

We’ve all done it before. I’ve done the same. When I was in elementary school my family would visit relatives every other weekend or so. Here’s just a couple of the things I forgot to pack:

Other things on my list? Cell phones, contact solution, bras, deodorant, shampoo, and all sorts of necessities that are easily forgotten. I’ve become way better over the years, thank goodness. Once in a while, though, I’ll experience the “Oh crap! My skin is dry and I forgot my lotion!” panic attack.

And to this day, my mother reminds me every time to “Mang quần xi-líp”– bring my underwear.

My grandmother dislikes Hollister

Hollister has always confused me.

There’s a couple reasons for this. Hollister stores are always dimly lit, to the point where it’s hard to see the clothes they’re trying to sell. They blast music, making it hard to hear anything. The employees are required to greet people with an awkward “Hey, what’s up,” regardless of the customer’s age. Still, Hollister is wildly popular among the tween population despite its ridiculously high prices. I’ve heard of middle schoolers getting bullied because they don’t wear Hollister clothes.

But what baffles me about Hollister the most is their shopping bags.

A typical Hollister shopping bag looks like this:

Which always makes me think this:

Recently, though, I did make a purchase at Hollister. (I admit it. They were having an awesome after-Christmas sale.) I got a pretty nice sweater. Pretty standard. Except they gave it to me in this bag:

I mean, there’s naked men… and then there’s naked men full-on making out. Yeesh. Call me a stick-in-the-mud, but I think it’s a bit much. I wasn’t the only one who thought so, either.

Or my dad:

Best of all was my dear ol’ grandmother, a tiny Vietnamese lady who’s nearly reached 90.

Oh my. Hollister is indeed a bit baffling like that. Interestingly enough, Hollister is really popular in Germany, despite touting even higher prices than America. There’s only 11 locations in Germany, though. My host sister noted that a typical German Hollister store has a huge line of people waiting to get in– testament to its popularity.

メリークリスマス (Frohe Weihnachten!)

Merry Christmas!

Or, to be more politically correct, Happy Holidays!

Just a quick season’s greetings. I’ve been occupied by my family and my part-time cartooning job and thus do not have time for a proper post. But for now, Christmas:

I had the great fortune to receive a Wacom Intuos4 this Christmas! And it is a wonderful, beautiful, awesome-amazing thing. Better precision, precise pen sensitivity, most customizable buttons… this thing is a beaut. I mean, check out the awesome art you can create with it! (Courtesy of my dear artistic sister)

So I hope that all of you have a lovely winter season! I certainly am. Chúc mừng giáng sinh!

A mid-life crisis at age 18

Oh crap. I did it again.

So I was in a “service-learning” class. Where I go and teach biology to middle schoolers. Not only that, but we were required to blog about our experiences in a private, school-run blog.

Our final blog had to be “reflective.” Talk about what we learned overall. And of course, what do I do? I draw another comic. This is such a terrible habit.

I started it out like this: (click for full size)

(She did. She suggested we draw a stick figure of “me from August” and “me right now.” So I complied! And thus I drew this:)

So, yes. I am in the middle of a mid-life crisis. In other words,

I think I knew this from the very beginning, but I’m not the type of person who could be a doctor. Becoming a doctor is a huge commitment. You have people’s well-beings in your hands. To be a doctor, you must be kind. Confident. Compassionate. Patient. Empathetic.

I’m just… well, I’m just not any of those things.

Being a doctor is an amazing and admirable thing, but I don’t think I could handle it. I don’t have the people skills. I’m incredibly impatient. I lack the kindness. And, when I think about becoming a doctor, it never really appeals to me.

I mean, my only real motive for pursuing pre-med would be

And of course, this is not the best reason to become, well, anything.

So I’ve got to be frank with myself. I’m not cut out to be a doctor. I’m just not that person. It’s a job that I feel like I, well, wouldn’t enjoy at all. But of course, since I no longer have pre-med as my path, I am now thrown into

It’d be so much easier if I just had a solid, clear-cut goal to work towards. I might not be a wonderful person who wants to HELP EVERYONE!… but I definitely am a workaholic. I just need to find something that I’m both passionate about and can make money with. It’s the combination of the two that’s the real problem.

(By the way, I’m not changing my major or anything. Bio is pretty interesting. And truly, this isn’t a groundbreaking change. Since biology majors cover all the pre-medical required classes, I could always decide I’m pre-med at any time. But I’m done fooling myself. That’s all.)

The Asian test of courage

My sister’s boyfriend came over.

My sister and I are finally finished finals and at home, so her boyfriend from Pittsburgh came over for three days. That’s three days in an Asian household. With Asian food. I should mention that my sister’s boyfriend is predominantly German and Polish.

So my family.

Does this to him.

As crazy as we get, however, eggrolls taste good. But my dad decided to pull some other fun foods out of his hat.

And finally, the kicker: durian. If you don’t know what durian is, it’s a large, spiky, tropical fruit typically grown in Southeastern Asia. Its odor is very… distinct. Quote Wikipedia, “Some people regard the durian as fragrant; others find the aroma overpowering and offensive.” As kids, my sister and I fell more onto the “offensive” side. (Though now, we both find it perfectly edible.)

And my sister’s poor boyfriend had this thrust upon him.

But hey, he tried it! And thus my sister’s boyfriend passed our little test of courage. Props to him! Though we’ve barely branched into some of the weirder Vietnamese dishes. Some Viet foods even I’m unable to handle.

Fetal chicken, straight from the egg. My parents like it, but it's an area I haven't ventured into yet.

Screw finals, tomorrow’s Christmas

One day, my suitemates and I were looking at our cheerful Christmas décor and decided it needed a little something extra.

Thus, we decided, that before we all headed home, we would have a wonderful Christmas morning of our own! We would wake at dawn, open gifts, and share some holiday cheer!

Of course, this was in the middle of finals week. It matters little. Christmas takes priority over grades any day.

So we all went out, bought gifts for each other, and stuffed them into each others’ stockings. Stockings? Oh yes, stockings. My suitemates went so far as to obtain matching stockings, each in a various ghetto-fabulous print:

Thus we waited in anticipation for Christmas morning to come. Or more like passed out in bed until somebody woke us up.

And we all opened our gifts! It was delightful. We all obviously have very mature tastes.

And finally, our dear suitemates had a “Christmas surprise” for us!

Though we had trouble breaking it open.

It’s okay. We’re college kids. We can solve this, no problem.

And the piñata opened, with plenty of goodies inside.

Ah, yes. My suitemates are wonderful people. And that is how we celebrated Christmas at 7 in the morning! Though afterwards, we all headed straight for our beds. Except for one of us—she had to head to a final. All in the spirit of Christmas!

Tweet tweet

At the pestering of my dear friends, I now have a twitter!

Well, I’ve had it for a month or so. I think I’ve only used it for those “tweet me to win free stuff!” deals. I guess I’m not into the whole “sharing-every-intimate-detail-of-where-I-am-and-what-I’m-doing” thing. Nor do I have the wit to Tweet cleverly.

But WordPress does have a fun little function that lets you link new posts to your Twitter. So, Twitterites– if you do choose to follow me on Twitter, you’ll get on-the-dot updates when new posts are up!

I’ll be tweetin’ at @comicsmaniac. That is all!

Our dorm room is going to catch on fire any second now (Merry Christmas!)

It was Sunday night.

My first final was in 5 days.

And this is what I was doing.

My dear ol’ roommate decided that our room need a little wintry cheer, so she went to Target and got us some! And brought back a sack o’ goodies.

And, of course, we spent the whole evening decorating and not doing any work at all.

So now our room is effectively a fire hazard, filled with forbidden Christmas cheer! Shh… don’t tell the RA. Besides, we keep all the lights off whenever we leave the room.


And now all I want to do is go home and eat some plum pudding. Excuse me while I go cry into my textbooks, listening to Christmas music that tears at my heartstrings.

(By the way, if you noticed that the drawings are particularly horrible today… that’s why. Finals time!)