Real-Life Anime Girls

When you think of summer, a lot of exciting things may come to mind. Vacation time, trips to the beach, summer-dress weather, and of course Anime Expo. Anime Expo is held annually in Los Angeles, California and is typically in July for four days. Never heard of the it? Well the 49,000 people that attend definitely have.

When I think of Anime Expo, one of the first things that come to mind is the impressive cosplay. These fans will literally spend months perfecting the look of their favorite anime character. In honor of Anime Expo, it felt fitting to hunt down impressive Anime cosplayers and show off their work and dedication. Instead, I stumbled upon two women who I didn’t expect. These girls do not merely try to imitate anime characters for four days of a convention- they do this all the time.

anime 220-year old Katie Lawrence claims that she is such a fan of Japanese culture, video games, and anime that she decided to spend her time becoming one. Lawrence spends three hours to perfect her look and about $300 on make-up each month.

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Lawrence also has facial piercings to try and distinguish herself from other females who try to achieve the look of an anime character. She states that she doesn’t mind the stares or the fact that she looks so different from others. Her mother has always embraced her sense of individuality and that’s all that really matters. Lawrence has discussed possibly getting surgery to have elf-like ears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

anime 5And then theres Anastasiya Shpagina. This bright-haired girl also spends hours daily in an effort to look like she just walked out of an anime. The online sensation stands at 5’2″ and weighs 85 lbs. She claims that she can spend an entire half hour putting make-up on just one eye. Apparently, make-up isn’t enough. Shpagina has plans to have surgery to make her eyes look even bigger.

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anime 7So is this dedication? Or is it all too much? Tell us what you think!

(Source 1, 2, 3)

Asians in Fashion | Lee Yeon Hee for Harper’s Bazaar Korea, July 2013

Fresh off the hugely popular Korean drama Gu Family Book (also starring Lee Seung Gi and Suzy of girlgroup Miss A), Lee Yeon Hee turns on her seductive charm with this fashion editorial for Harper’s Bazaar Korea. I’m quite accustomed to her girl-next-door image (she was also a potential trainee for Girls’ Generation), but I feel this editorial finally gave her some more edge, especially with the pixie blonde hairdo.

Check out more shots from her editorial below!

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Is Your Face “Fling Material” or “Relationship Material”?

 

 

“What do you look for in a woman?”

In this day and age, it seems like we’ve heard all the responses. The romantic will talk about finding a girl with eyes that take his breath away. The realistic man will talk about a motivated and intelligent woman. The intoxicated guy at the bar will tell far too many details about the coke-bottle body he thinks he’s going home with that night (the keyword being “thinks”).

In what felt like an endless laundry list of traits, we thought nothing could surprise us. This was, of course, before we discovered that a man may actually determine what type of relationship he will have with you based on the shape of your face.

A recent study shows that the shape of your face may determine whether you are “fling material” or “long-term material”. Now before you automatically enter skepticism (which I was guilty of when I first heard about this study) it is important to note that researchers believe this may be entirely subconscious for a man.

Researchers studied hundreds of men by showing them faces of women and asking which ones would be chosen for long-term relationships and which would be chosen for flings. Apparently facial features which are considered feminine (such a small chins and full cheeks) were often chosen as fling traits while features considered more masculine (stronger jaws and square faces) were chosen for long-term relationships. The theory is that subconsciously men find feminine features more attractive, but this attractiveness means that she is more likely to enter an affair.

Of course, there seems to be a number of opportunities where this study may have gone astray. Was race taken into consideration? Do full cheeks simply remind men of more youthful girls and they equate youth to flings as oppose to long-term relationships? What about the fact that it seems quite insulting that the woman’s likelihood of cheating is dependent on how attractive she is?

Tell us what you think and comment below!

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Summer ’13 Cover Story: Rinko Kikuchi of Pacific Rim

MAD FOR RINKO

SEVEN YEARS AFTER HER ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATION FOR BABEL,THE GROUNDBREAKING ACTRESS HAS BECOME A STYLE ICON, CHANEL MUSE, AND A NOW A LEADING LADY IN GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S LATEST FILM,PACIFIC RIM. CAN WE JUST TELL YOU — WE’RE IN LOVE WITH RINKO KIKUCHI.

story Kanara Ty
photos Diana King
stylist Conor Graham
hair Koshi Okutsu (Shizen)
makeup Yoko Okutsu (Shizen)
photo assistants Conan Thai, Justin Leveritt
Shot on location in the newly renovated Duplex Penthouse Suite at Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC.

WHEN RINKO KIKUCHI arrives at the penthouse suite of the Gansevoort Hotel in the Meatpacking District of New York City, she’s dressed in an oversized sweater, leggings, a pair of Louis Vuitton sunnies, and Prada “Double Geta-Style” platform sandals in blue and black. On the other side of the room, among the racks of designer clothes and accessories meticulously laid out by the stylist, is a near-identical pair of the Prada sandals, but in red and black.

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Coincidence? We take it as fate. Seven years after Kikuchi first graced our cover, right after her Oscar nomination for Babel, she’s back in the pages of Audrey, and this time, for our milestone 10th anniversary cover.

In 2006, Kikuchi was the newest ingénue in Hollywood. A relatively unknown actress in Japan at the time, Kikuchi became the first Japanese woman in 50 years to be nominated for an Academy Award, for her role as the troubled deaf-mute Japan- ese teen Chieko Wataya. (In fact, she was only the fifth actress in the award’s history to be nominated for playing a character without saying a word).

Since then, she’s made a number of movies, both Japanese and foreign, including 2008’s The Brothers Bloom, her last english-language film where her character knew only three words of english, and the film festival favorite, Norwegian Wood, directed by Tran Anh Hung. She recently finished shooting universal’s martial arts epic, 47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves, due out in December. And Kikuchi is about to make headlines again, starring as the female lead in acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming science fiction monster film, Pacific Rim.

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When Kikuchi first heard of the role of Mako Mori, a Japanese pilot-in-training, she immediately sent an email to her Babel director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, who she knew was close to del Toro. “[Guillermo del Toro] is a big director. I’m a big fan of his films,” she says. “I first met him when I was nomi- nated [for Babel] and met him through Alejandro in New York. I told him, ‘I really want to work with you.’ [So] getting this role has been a dream come true.”

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For Kikuchi, playing the very physical character of Mako Mori was refreshing. “I’ve done a lot of serious dramas and roles. [With Chieko], she had a lot of serious problems in her life, so I did a lot of roles like that [afterwards],” she says. “With [Mako Mori], she’s really tough. She’s kind of like a superhero. It’s different from my roles in the past.”

Indeed, Pacific Rim has been likened to a live action version of the widely popular Japanese anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. Both stories involve massive, mind-operated fighting mechas, or robots, that were created to battle against gigantic monsters threatening humanity. Kikuchi’s character operates one of the main mechas. “I wore an armor suit where I was in a cockpit while driving the robot. It was similar to [riding] a rollercoaster; I was so scared,” says the 32-year-old. “It was the most physically demanding shoot, but we [along with co-star Charlie Hunnam, who plays former pilot Raleigh Becket] really felt like pilots during that particular scene.”

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Like most actors cast in action roles, Kikuchi underwent a rigorous training schedule. For many months, she endured a boot camp of running, swimming, weightlifting and stick-fighting martial arts, the latter of which she enjoyed since she had practiced martial arts growing up in Japan.
Training for the action sequences wasn’t the only challenge Kikuchi faced; this was also the first film where she didn’t have a translator on set. She did have a dialogue coach and an english teacher (in fact, our interview with Kikuchi was sans translator), which helped when del Toro would come up with last-minute changes. “He gave me lines on set that weren’t in the script,” she remembers. “I needed time to [learn] the lines because Mako speaks english fluently.”

Such stressful moments notwithstanding, Kikuchi says del Toro was a jokester on set and, as a huge fan of Japanese ani- mation, would sing songs from the anime film My Neighbor To- toro to bond with her. And despite the challenges, Rinko feels fortunate to have been cast in Pacific Rim, acknowledging the lack of roles for Asians in Hollywood. “Since Babel, I’ve had few roles in international films since there are so few roles for Japanese, [but] I want to continue working in the united States.”

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That may explain why Kikuchi has delved into other projects in the last six years other than acting. early in her career, she had met Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld at the Cannes Film Festival and became a muse of sorts. Lagerfeld dressed her all through awards season in 2007, and she even modeled for the luxury line in print advertisements. Most recently, she collaborated with Japanese brand ZuCCa on a collection of clothing (she says she was wearing some pieces during the interview), and directed a short film, Memory of an Artist, about a man who searches for memories of a former lover who has passed away.

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It seems natural that Kikuchi has become such a style icon and fashion darling. Thanks to her stylish mother, she grew up with fashion, wearing designers like Yohji Yamamoto. “My mom always looked really cool,” she says. “She loved the colors black and white. I’ve never seen her wear sneakers; she wore nice high heels. She had really short hair back then, too. Now I have short hair, which I like to think was inspired by her.” Kikuchi even got her first Chanel bag at the age of 20. “I still have vintage clothes from back then. [My mother] gave me great stuff that was timeless.” With that background, it’s no wonder fashion magazines like Vogue, Marie Claire and Nylon have embraced Kikuchi, a natural in front of the camera. “When I shoot for magazines, I really enjoy working with the fashion [on set],” she says.

Good thing Kikuchi is now based in New York, one of the fashion capitals of the world. With Pacific Rim set for release July 12, style watchers everywhere will be keeping a close eye to see what — and who — she wears on the red carpet. If our shoot is any indication, she’s still got a serious penchant for Chanel. We can’t wait to see.

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10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Went To College

1) Find the Balance
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Your first year of college is similar to a trip to the buffet. You’re excited, you’re hungry, and you want to eat as much as you possibly can. The more experienced buffet-goers laugh at your rookie mistake as they take just enough food to feel satisfied. You on the other hand? You’ll try to pack towers on that plate of yours.
When entering a new chapter of your life, it’s understandable that you’re trying to do it all. You want to do amazing in your classes, join as many clubs as possible, make life-long friends (or at least enough friends to avoid eating meals alone in the dining hall), and have an entertaining social life. The excitement will take you far, but you are warned- keep this up and you’re on the path to burn out. There’s no point in overwhelming your schedule if you sacrifice your grades, your health, and even your relationships. With the adrenaline of entering college, its easy to think we can handle it all, but you’re only human. Make sure you understand your limits and manage your time wisely.

2) Go to Class
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Having the choice to attend or skip class is quite the change from highschool. Inevitably, the option is taken advantage of …a lot. I will admit that I had my share of mornings where I just didn’t feel like getting out of bed- so I didn’t. This is a trap. Don’t fall into the trap. Trust me when I say that life will be much easier for you if you’re not scrambling to catch up with lectures or irritating others by asking for their notes. While you may find a way to pass the class regardless of attending, years later you’ll regret this. Look at it this way- calculate all the money you would waste by not attending a single class. Yeah, not worth it.

3) Explore
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One of my most favorite parts of college is the chance to really look into yourself and explore. A lot of people view college as a final time to do what you want to do and be what you want to be before stepping into the infamous “adulthood” stage. It’s a chance to test your limits and discover what you’re really capable of. So step out of your comfort zone- take that yoga class you’ve been dying to do. Talk to that cute person you normally would just admire from afar. Explore your limits and be fearless. Why not?

4) Take care of your health
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It’s easy to put health in the backseat with so much going on. Sleepless nights to cram for a test, unhealthy “apartment” food (ie. a diet that consists primarily of ramen noodles, frozen pizza, and mac & cheese), and having so much to do that visits to the gym happen about as often as journeys to Mordor. These are only a few of the many ways that your health can take a big hit if you don’t take care of it. A lot will be going on, but you owe it to yourself to make sure your health is a priority. Go the extra mile to do this. Let your roommates help keep you accountable to a strict bedtime (yeah, turns out we need this reinforced even more as we get older). Buy on-the-go breakfast food so you don’t rush to class on an empty stomach. Walk the long way to class. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but repetition of these little things will go a long way.

5) Its okay to be confused
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A lot of people I know ended up changing their major during college and that’s okay. A lot of people decided on an entirely new profession and that’s okay. A lot of people left college without knowing where exactly they were headed and while that’s scary- that’s okay. This was a lesson that I very stubbornly had to learn as well. We’re all accustomed to knowing the next step. We’re comfortable because we’ve been guided up until this point. Middle school led to highschool and a set highschool schedule led to college . But here, the babying stops. You have to make the difficult decisions and choose your path on your own. Its important to take a deep breath and not be too hard on yourself. It’s okay to need some time to figure it out.

6) Relationships are hard work
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When I entered college, I happened to find a group of friends who, like me, were in long and serious relationships. By the end of the year, almost all of us were single. By no means am I saying that relationships in college are impossible. I am also not advising that you break up with your significant other just because you two will go to separate schools. I’m simply pointing out that relationships in college are hard. With a significant other potentially being far away, schedules packed with new adventures, and “temptations” everywhere you turn, you two will have to test your trust of one another. Effort is key and with so many distractions around, it’s easy to forget that a relationship is also a responsibility. I am a firm believer that relationships in college can actually be some of the best ones, but it will only prevail if you are willing to put in the work.


7) Go to office hours
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A lot of students tend to avoid office hours and fail to see the point of it. Trust me, you’ll want to take advantage of this- its never a bad thing to make a good impression on your professor. You’ll be surprised at how much information they’ll divulge about the midterm/final and its the ideal way to get a letter of recommendation. Unless you have an absolute jerk of a professor, they tend to be happy that you just took the time to see them.

8) Be brave- Make friends in class
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Congratulations to those of you who have a super-human immune system, but if you’re like the rest of us, sickness is inevitable. The thing I’ve learned is you ought to make at least one friend in class who can save you from the dilemma of missing notes from an important lecture. Keep in mind that this is still a friendship and friends shouldn’t take advantage of each other. Don’t be that person that obviously missed class all week because of partying and expects “friends” to take notes for them. Keep your favors to a minimum to maintain that relationship.

9) Drop the drama
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One of the beautiful things about graduating from highschool is that you’re allowed to drop all the mess that accompanied it. Drama, sticky situations, exes, you name it! While they may not be out of your life completely, you can look at college as a place to start over. A lot of things that stressed you out in highschool will no longer matter and ideally, college is suppose to be a place where people around you are much more mature. And if they’re not? Then you can let go of them. The pressure of getting along with everyone in highschool has been depleted so go ahead and drop any unnecessary drama. You’ll be surprised at how much better life can get.

10) Take it Slow
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Whether you’re in college for two years or five years, college finds a way to feel like you’re rushing through time. One minute you’re a freshman looking over a map to make sure you don’t get lost, the next minute you’re in your cap and gown taking graduation pictures. Many people have said that college can be some of the best years of your life. Needless to say, I suggest soaking it all in and taking it slow. If these really are the best years of your life, make sure they count.

Goriki Ayame Recieves the “E-Line Beautiful Award”

Didn’t know an “E-Line Beautiful Award” existed? Neither did we. Apparently this award has existed in Japan since 1990. Chosen by the Japan Association of Adult Orthodontics, this award is for whomever has the most beautiful facial profile due to the perfect alignment of the teeth.  The facial structure and shape is judged from bridge of one’s nose to their chin. This award has been given to other celebrities such as various celebrities such as Yonekura Ryoko (2002), Ueto Aya (2004), Yuka (2007), and Takei Emi (2012).

This year, actress and singer Goriki Ayame was given the E-Line Beautiful Award and she attended the ceremony  with a smile very fitting for her award. She expressed, “I cut my hair for a drama role (around 3 years ago), which was the first time I ever got myself a short hairdo. I was very scared prior to the change, but now I’m glad I’ve done it. Since then, people have been telling me that I have a beautiful profile. It gave me a lot of self-confidence.”

Looking to have a profile as beautiful as Goriki Ayame? Delighting all the dentists, the actress revealed that her secret is to brush her teeth after every meal.

(source)

Audrey’s Artist to Watch | Ryan Wang, 5-year-old Piano Prodigy

At the age of five, most of us were learning how to properly write out the alphabet, play duck-duck-goose,  and strategically avoid getting cooties. Ryan Wang on the other hand? This five-year-old piano prodigy was spending his days getting ready for his performance in New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall.

At the age of three, Wang’s parents noticed Ryan’s affinity and natural ability with the keyboard. Without missing a beat, the two decided to send him to piano lessons. While many people would assume that three is far too young an age to adequately master an instrument, Ryan’s talent proved everyone wrong. After a mere year and half of lessons, a prodigy was created. Of course, Carnegie Hall was not the only one to notice this amazing 5-year-old. Ellen Degeneres asked him to come onto the Ellen Show and dazzle her viewers. Clearly, Ryan didn’t disappoint:

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Even more recently, CBC Music Studio invited Ryan to perform in front of his biggest fan, Dorothy. The 101-year-old family friend was touched to discover that Ryan would be performing just for her. Not only does Wang prove to be mature in his musical abilities, he showed quite a bit of emotional maturity. Understanding how important this performance was to Dorothy, Ryan was moved to tears (and brought us all to tears while he was at it):

Easily becoming a prodigy favorite, Ryan Wang is scheduled to tour Italy and China this summer. Be sure to keep an eye out for this amazingly talented young man.

(source)

Roll Models: Interview with Jowe Lee

NAME Jowe Lee
NICKNAMES? Prince of K-Town
ETHNICITY 100% Born & raised Korean
WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Seoul, Korea
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? Bakersfield, CA
GIVE US ONE REASON WHY EVERYONE SHOULD TUNE INTO ‘ROLL MODELS’ Hottest import/gogo models, badass cars with drifting action, & most importantly DRAMA! What more could you possibly ask more for?

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The Voice’s Judith Hill dishes about her style

Judith Hill: Those are my own clothes! I actually found that fringe at a store in Sherman Oaks. It’s a fun, poppy, nice introduction. Because it was my first performance on The Voice, I wanted people to know that I’m into fashion, textures and patterns.

 

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Judith Hill: That was for the Nina Simone song “Feeling Good.” To me, that song is one of the most powerful songs in music history. I wanted to feel like I was this woman that represented all women in the world. I could be from Asia or Africa or any part of the world. I wanted to be like Queen Aphrodite in a long dress with the Asian hair coming out, [singing] a down-to-earth, soulful, bluesy cry from the soul.

I loved the long neck coming up. I wanted it to feel very exotic and high fashion at the same time. That’s always my thing: runway styles interpreted in artistic ways. And then when I came out of the audience, spotlight on me, all a capella, I wanted it to feel like a hush came over the room and it’s quiet. But because it was The Voice, everyone was screaming. [laughs]

 

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Judith Hill: This was the Michael Jackson “The Way You Make Me Feel.” Again, I wanted to strut that high fashion, structured look, but also have it be very fun, edgy and unique.  That hairstyle was something I emailed to the wardrobe department.

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I saw it on the runway, and I really loved it because it was so avant-garde. There were these two circles. And that’ s my thing: I love shapes in fashion. I love weird shapes and weird cuts anywhere. Any time I see a circle or triangle, I’m excited.

 

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Judith Hill: [for her performance of “#thatPOWER”] That was the most epic. That thing was so hard to wear! It was made out of hard material that bendable but very tough. It was all silver feathers in a cape that went all the way down. We found it in a showroom. I told them I wanted this to very tribal. High-fashion tribal. I wanted to be the Queen of the Amazon jungle. I wanted to feel like I was a goddess that was putting on this crazy rock concert in the middle of the ancient ruins.

The hair came from a picture I found online of that exact thing with the cornrows on the side and a huge afro. This is actually more tapered down. The one I sent was even crazier. I figured it was also very tribal and African, but rock star at the same time.

 

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Judith Hill: This was my last week [on The Voice], when I sang “Sweet Nothing” with Michelle Chamuel. That was just a simple classy look. It’s my natural hair look, how I usually wear it, plus a simple structured suit.

 

And an extra photo from Judith Hill’s Facebook page.

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Judith Hill: That’s me and my brother. He looks so much more Asian than me in this picture! [laughs] We look the same now. He plays the drums, but he’s an engineer. He’s the one in the family who decided to get a real job.

Roll Models: Meet Beckie Joon

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If you’re a fan of the K-Town reality show – then you should also take a look at the producers’ next new show: Roll Models. Set in Southern California, Roll Models follows the lives of various Asian American import car models and gogo dancers. While there’s a plenty of negative talk and controversy around the show – we appreciate that this show adds on to the Asian American experience – namely, Asian American youth subculture. Hate it or love it – it’s a show featuring a predominately Asian American female cast. I’m definitely tuning in to watch.

The show premieres TODAY on the LOUD Channel – and we’re going to continue on with the cast interviews: next up, Beckie Joon!

(Also check out our previous interview with Gina Darling here and Danielle Lo here!)

NAME: Beckie Joon
NICKNAMES? Bee, Joonbug, Becks
ETHNICITY: Vietnamese/Chinese
WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Orange, CA
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? Santa Ana & Garden Grove
GIVE US ONE REASON WHY EVERYONE SHOULD TUNE INTO ‘ROLL MODELS’
There seriously has to be more than The Fast & the Furious? We’re the real thing!

1. Your go-to karaoke song

I love these two songs most and cannot choose, “Careless Whispers” by Wham, or “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys. I love karaoke!

2. Last time you cried

When my mother and I had an argument.

3. What always makes you laugh?

Playful witty jokes always makes me laugh and funny people’s interactions and reactions.

4. Your go-to comfort food

Mmm…anything spicy and hot? Like Chinese or Japanese hot pot?

5. Last thing you ate

My school was giving away free ice cream…and I was hungry.

6. Currently on “repeat” on your ipod

James Blake – Retrograde TRAP Mix

7. A guilty pleasure you don’t feel guilty about?

This is seriously a hard one for me, because I feel like I know my rights and wrongs. And all my guilty pleasures, still make me feel guilty! I guess…I choose drinking and going out crazy on a Monday night? I can do that pretty often.

8. Current favorite place

My CURRENT favorite place would be Cancun, Mexico.

9. Favorite drink, alcoholic or otherwise

Watermelon juice as my drink, coffee once a day, & Dark Liquor like Hennessy please.

10. Current obsessions?

Traveling, learning, expensive things, natural sights like the beach & MAKING my own money.

11. Pet peeve

Ignorant people who speak their damn mind, or in other words, incapable of learning and assume of little knowledge they have.

12. Habit I need to break

Being distracted!

13. Talent you’d like to have

Every talent that I already have but enhanced.

14. Word or phrase you most overuse

“And” and “Um yeaaa.”

15. Most treasured possession?

Do not touch my family.

16. Greatest fear?

I fear for no change for the better & accomplishing my dreams.

17. Favorite childhood pastime or memory.

I have too many! I treasured the moments where my whole family got along and traveled. Also, all my memories from my travels and spending quality time with the people I met from them. Germany was the most romantic, Cancun was the most exciting and comedic. Our last night in Cancun, my crazy girlfriends and I turned our dead retired hotel, Ritz Carlton, into a party of disaster with people from all around the world… Haha, it was amazing.

18. Motto?
“The World is a Show, & you define your stage.”- Shakespeare

19. What’s cool about being Asian

The food? haha… Also, I love that slow aging reputation.

20. If you weren’t doing what you are doing now, what occupation would you be doing?

I’d be an attorney or some sort of designer of fashion or architects.