TunesDay: Collection 30

This week is a relaxed sort of craze.  Being on your own schedule can be extremely liberating, but if you’re like me…you need some semblance of forced structure.

I’m trying this new thing to keep me focused. For me, being busy means running around everywhere for meetings, errands, and work sessions.  But, over the almost year that I’ve been on my own schedule, I haven’t gotten nearly as much done as I wish I have.

So, I guess that means I need an overhaul in how I’ve been sorting out my time. As my poppa says, I need to “buckle down” and get my stuff in order.

Essentially, what I’m saying is, if I call, text, email, Facebook message, LinkedIn inbox, or Twitter message you…ignore me. Or, make sure it’s on a weekend or not during typical 8-5PM work hours.  I beg of you…hold me accountable and don’t let me schedule meetings with you unless its for legitimate work! It’s beginning to be an actual problem.

I need to get my life together.  But, maybe this week’s tunes will help me destress. If you have any tips for how you schedule your time or if you experience similar difficulties in your freelance life, drop me a line.

Sending you all wishes of productivity and clarity!

TunesDay: Collection 29

Oh, hey there!  TunesDay is back.

It’s been a minute.  But, I’m back and feeling…more focused.

It’s strange.  With the horrible things happening all over the world, and especially in the US, I’ve gained an incredible amount of clarity, with a smattering of hopelessness that subsided after a couple of days.

I have had great conversations with thoughtful and insightful people from all walks of life, and I am incredibly appreciative of how people are willing to give their time to just talk, with no pretense or no foreseen benefits for themselves.

Today, I am thankful–for you and for every person who challenges themselves and the people around them to truly think.  I am grateful that we are who we are because of our experiences and each person I have met (and/or reconnected with) over the past month in Costa Rica and back home in California, has had experiences that blow mine out of the water. And still, we come together and share and just…be.  And that is such a beautiful thing to me.

I’m not going to blame my emotionality on my menstrual cycle, but it definitely might have something to do with it.  Regardless, I love you and I like you and I am always, always wishing you peace and happiness.  May you find whatever it is that you need to keep on going in this world.

Background image from Julia Contacessi for Design Love Fest.

TunesDay: Collection 28

Sorry for skipping last week.  Disappointed in myself that I did, but I think I need a break from social media for a little while.

I can only say that I am tired, of waiting for change to happen, of being scared, of being outraged over the violence that consumes us.

I’m not as hopeful as I used to be, and I can only say that what I have written on my Facebook about the happenings of this past week is what I have to say for now.

I believe that I am lucky in a way to be leaving to Costa Rica to start the Birds of La Cangreja project because it will help to clear my head and figure out what role I can and should play in social justice movements and in fighting overall as an ally and as an activist.  But, my travels also comes at a bad time because it feels like to leave is to abandon the communities that need strength here at home.

Though I am torn, maybe because I have the privilege of being able to step away, I should so that I can return and be ready to really tackle the problems that seem so daunting and hopeless.

I have no answers and no real moral to the story or uplifting note to end this on.  I am just grateful in that I know there are so many dedicated and motivated, angry, beautiful, loving activists in the struggle–in the queer, Latinx, and Muslim communities who are holding it down.  I could only hope for an ounce of the strength they have, and do my part in calling our elected officials for gun restrictions, in calling out homophobia, Islamaphobia, anti-immigrant sentiments, and the other forms of oppressive hatred that plague this country.

With this, I hope to continue on with TunesDays upon my return.  I just need some space.

Wishing you all love, healing, and more strength.

Background image comes from The Debrief.

Happy TunesDay: Collection 26

This week, I’m trying to remember to be mindful of time, trying to take advantage of every moment I have and ensuring that each day is meaningful.  It’s kind of alarming when you remember how fast time can fly by.  It feels like 2016 just started, but I blinked and it’s almost halfway over.

Anyway, I’m trying to finish a bunch of home errands and organizing my physical realities before I get into my goals & aspirations.  I got a haircut yesterday and it’s interesting how something so arbitrary as your hair can weigh you down, not just physically, but mentally as well.  I feel like I am more free– to move about, pursue my real joys, and not stay stuck in my mind.  But again, I need to pace myself and take things a step at a time, something that’s very difficult for me.  Sometimes I feel like a baby kangaroo, wanting to hop about the world, but I know I’m not ready yet!

And now…to the tunes!

My tunesday picks for this week are alternative, mellow R&B/R&B-influenced vibes..  They relax me and help me reframe my brain when its moving too fast for me to keep up with.

What music helps you keep calm and gain clarity?

Background image comes from Cassie Byrnes.

Happy TunesDay: Collection 25

As usual, I forgot it was Tuesday.  I need to get some kind of system that alerts me of what day it is.  Like…a calendar…on my phone…which is something I already have.  So just ignore that entire train of thought.


This week, it feels like I’m a college student cramming for finals.  I present my research on Friday for UCI’s Ethics Center.  Even though it’s pretty low-key, I am nervous because I don’t even remember the last time I spoke in public about my own work.  It’s a weird thing to be searching for academic definitions to use in my presentation when I know what the definitions are, but because I don’t have a Ph.D yet, my own definitions aren’t valid enough.

But alas, it’s part of the process and I’m just trying to go through the motions so I can prove that this work is worth it.

This week’s playlist is a mix of soothing, poppy beats to help me get through this grind.  I don’t know what genre you’d categorize it as, but I dig it.  There’s also a little bursting surprise of k-pop goodness in there.  Dedicating it to my good friend, Seonyoung who got married this past weekend to Jung in a beautiful ceremony.  Love to you both!

Tell me your thoughts!


Christina “I’m not Korean, but my Uncle told me I was so I thought I was adopted” Ong

Background image from Pinterest.



Happy TunesDay: Collection 24

“Better late than never” is what they always say, right?

I really need to work on consistency and timing for my TunesDay posts, but at least I didn’t skip completely!  That’s something, at least.

This week, I compiled some of my favorite mellow & jazzy Spanish songs to keep me focused on learning Spanish and to keep me motivated before I leave to Costa Rica in June with two of my good friends, Diana and Cesar.  The tunes are from all over Latin America and the Spanish-speaking diaspora.  I included a band based in Portland, Y La Bamba.  Honestly, they’re one of my fav bands, and it totally makes sense that they’re based in Portland because their sound is so relaxed & effortless, yet incredibly funky.  For a good English song of theirs, try November.

Anyway, if you don’t know, I’ll be returning to Mastatal, Costa Rica for the third time to work on a bird preservation documentary.  Diana, Cesar, and I have all been to the community of Mastatal twice before through UCI’s Costa Rica Program, and we have the immense privilege to return and work with Marcos, the founder & owner of Finca Siempre Verde.  Once created, the film will be donated to La Cangreja National Park & given to the local primary and secondary schools as an educational resource.  We’re incredibly excited, nervous, and super ready to return to Mastatal and the community that has welcomed us so warmly time and again.

Learning a language is incredibly difficult, and I’m super grateful to my pals, Diana & Cesar, because they will have to be amazingly patient with me as I practice my Spanish in Costa Rica!  Even though I don’t have a lot of time to brush up on my Spanish, I’m confident I’ll get by…maybe.

If you have any favorite Spanish songs, please recommend them!  I’m open to all genres, but if you have any indie/pop/jazzy vibes, that would be tremendous.

pura vida y muchas gracias mi amig@s,