Hello, I’m Back!: A Timeline of the Happenings During My 1.5 Years of Absence, and the UPDATE of NOW // New Music

Hello, I’m back! From the dead? Haha yes, I pulled a Jason Todd on all of you guys (no, I actually did not die).

Looking back, I haven’t touched this blog since like 2015. And from 2014-15, that was, like, my sophomore year of high school. For those of you who never realized my age, I am now a freshman at UCLA. I honestly wonder if any of my followers will actually remember that I used to use this blog to post one and a half years ago. [NOTE: Also, if anyone’s looking to check out the music I’ve been making, as indicated by the title, and not at all interested in reading my interesting blog post, scroll all the way down. But for everyone else, please keep on reading].

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What I look like right now!

Just in case, here’s a refresher with my most popular blog posts:

Analysis on Two Versions of “See You Again”: Charlie Puth v. Wiz Khalifa

Fullmetal Alchemist: There’s No Such Thing As A Painless Lesson

The Strange Case of Fuko Ibuki: The Existence of Ikiryō?

As you can see, I typically wrote about music and anime. I was also really into comics back then, and I still am (I’m still really into hip-hop music and anime as well). Here’s a reddit link of my comic book collection as of the end of 2017, if anyone’s interested.

But anyways, I decided to blog again because sometime near the end of 2017, my passion for writing was somehow reignited (I just felt this sudden urge), and I saw blogging as the perfect way to talk about my life as of right now. I also think that I’m a really fun person to listen to, so if you’re still reading, keep reading (please, and follow).

Let’s rewind back 1.5 years, the end of my sophomore year, the middle of 2015. After submitting my final blog post reflecting on my year, it was over. I did write a post saying that I’d continue blogging (but I didn’t, so that’s that). Originally, this blog was used for my English Honors class. My teacher, Mr. Theriault (his blog can be found here), insisted on doing something different, something unique from the average honors class, making every student create and write blogs instead of the normal, boring-ass writing every usual English class has. Honestly, it was pretty interesting. I was glad that I didn’t have to do all the unnecessary shit that always kept me up late at night, like annotating.

So, like every Asian American honors student who wants to get into an amazing college that would give their parents the opportunity to finally be proud of their child, I studied my ass off for the entirety of my junior year, while balancing marching and concert band (I played tenor saxophone and oboe, I’ve mentioned that in a post before), board positions in clubs, internships, community college classes, work, and a broken love life. Life was great junior year (just kidding, it really wasn’t).

Transition into senior year: college apps. Those two words took up the majority of my very, very stressful life for most of first semester. But hey, I guess things all worked out in the end, since I got into UCLA; it’s a school my parents can proudly brag to their friends about. Graduation was soon around the corner, and in March, I think I had finally managed to find the perfect girl to hopefully settle down with one day (it sounds unrealistic to you guys, but we’re still together!). As I got closer and closer to graduation, life finally calmed down, and I was able to breathe temporarily. Then graduation happened, and the four years of pain and suffering were finally over.

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Me and Momther! Look at all my chains! I was so happy!

Or was it? During the summer, I made myself busy with a 6AM-2PM job at The Donuttery (best donuts in all of Orange County, please go) on weekends, a little finance/management internship at Sovereign Wealth Preservation, and some online classes at a local community college to clear some basic requirements. Despite being so freaking busy, I still managed to make time for my loving girlfriend, my dear friends, and my strict Vietnamese family. All in all, summer was pretty fun.

However, despite going to UCLA, I absolutely dreaded the notion of starting school again. You see, I’m not the type of person to, like, party and go to football games. And I really didn’t want to do anything school-related anytime soon. I spent a good portion of my summer doing what I love by myself and with my friends: eating, playing games, watching anime, reading comics, and listening to music. And even though I’ve done so much business-type stuff throughout high school (and I was going into UCLA as a Business Economics major), I never really saw the appeal of it, other than making money. My passions have always been within the creative realm, something high school failed to let me exercise (I really want to write more about that, but that’s for some other time). I like to create: to write, make music, draw – I don’t like academics.

But you can’t stop time. So college starts. Being the seemingly ambitious piece of shit I am, I threw myself out there. I got invited to plenty of interviews for recruitment groups on campus by sending in an impressive resume and a bs-ed application. Here’s my LinkedIn if you wanna see how professional I can look. By the end of the first month of the quarter, I was ultimately recruited as an Associate Consultant for The Bruin Group, the premier student-run consultancy for start-ups, and the Vietnamese Culture Night Fiscal Coordinator for the Vietnamese Student Union, UCLA’s largest Asian-American club (I was the only first-year in both organizations, which I believed boosted my ego).

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Find me smiling awkwardly in the back (this is obviously VSU’s VCN staff).

Yes, I’m in very impressive positions in two very impressive organizations. However, it was just business. The normal resume-building you would expect out of a student going into business. It was the clubs I joined on the side that I realized made college a lot more interesting aside from its daily ass-whoopings. The first one was MEMO, which stood for Medical, Educational Missions & Outreach. It made me switch my major (more on that later). And the second one was the Rap Music Club (now the title makes sense, doesn’t it?).

Before you go about thinking that since I’m Asian, MEMO made me decide that I wanna be a doctor to please my parents, please realize that I don’t (my parents are not that strict haha). Absolutely not. I am not willing to give up 12-16 years of my life for a career. I made a switch from Business Economics to Psychobiology. I realized that I wanted to do business within the healthcare industry (does that mean I’m selling my soul?), specifically biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Knowing that I’ll eventually have to deal with doctors, scientists, and pharmacists, I figure that a degree with a STEM background would actually prevent those guys from looking down on me. Plus, it’d make me different than all the other stuck-up Econ majors, and I’d get the opportunity to do scientific research to make myself seem smarter. For the first time ever, I was actually motivated to start trying harder in academics. Research seemed really interesting to me, and I genuinely believe that this can become something like a passion, though never as much as what I’m really into (all the creative shit).

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MEMO has fun little parties too (I’m in grey)!

I’m pretty sure that you guys can all guess how the Rap Music Club influenced me. For like the longest time, I’ve always wanted to create my own music. I’ve always written up my own shit. I’ve been following hip-hop scene since Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III, since I was eight. I went to the Rap Music Club’s last meeting of the quarter, where they had me freestyle on the spot. Apparently I did surprisingly well for a first-timer, so there was a little ego-booster there. And so, after a week of getting my ass destroyed by finals, I headed home for the much-deserved winter break. I started and still am watching Youtube videos on Logic Pro X, the program I use for music, to self-teach myself music production. So far, I’ve been experimenting with vocals on borrowed non-profit beats, such as this popular XXXTentacion-type beat.  Here’s a song that I’ve done so far, ordered from oldest to newest:

 

If you’re interested in giving me a follow, my Soundcloud is here. As you can probably tell, my songs right now aren’t that great, but I swear I will improve. It just feels awesome to have that outlet of expression that high school never offered and an opportunity to delve deeper into something I’ve always been passionate about, and I personally want to use WordPress as a possible platform for my music.

If you’ve managed to read this blog post to end, I want to commemorate you. If you’ve scrolled down all the way to see my music, I want to thank you for at least giving me your time.

And so, I welcome myself back to this blog, and here’s to many more posts to go. Stay tuned for updates on my shitty academic life, my interesting club life, and my potential music life. Unfortunately, winter break for me ends this week, but the blog must and will go on. The 1.5 year hiatus is over. See y’all soon!

With much love,

Dennis, potentially the next Rich Chigga (oh wait, he calls himself Brian now)

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