Like I always say, there is no better time the present. After all, when there’s always a merry, merry tea party happening every moment of the day, why wouldn’t you? However, I’d like to take a moment to look 2014 in retrospect.
A common question I received last year was, “How can I become a fabulous tea party host like you, Hare?” Fear not, young grasshoppers, I will indulge you all with a small, crucial trick of the trade: shopping lists. They let me trap my ever-wandering thoughts into a compact space and really keep everything in order. Also, I naturally don’t have all the time in the world to buy everything because the laws of nature dictate a never-ending tea party, so I can allow Dormouse or who ever’s handy to get the groceries and whatnot. I don’t want to bore you with the mundane, minute details of party planning, but let’s not embed in our minds that lists are boring! They’re not the best part of a party, but let me list some amazing things that I discovered last year!
Manga (in no particular order, because it’d be cruel to make me rank them)
1. Piano no Mori – I found and fell in love with this manga last year. It has a sad quality to it, but it really catches your attention.
2. La Corda D’Oro – I felt like the story itself wasn’t that great, but the myriad of pleasant pieces featured made it memorable.
3. Real Clothes – It’s a very slow manga, but very realistic. It updates regularly, which is definitely awesome because two year waits kill me.
4. Rose of Versailles – A classic, historical manga that is set in one of the most fascinating stages of European history, the French Revolution. It’s pretty accurate, aside from some of the characters, who are fictional. I don’t think I learned much new information, but it was an entertaining read, serious with bits of humor mixed in.
5. A Simple Thinking About Blood Type – I’m not really sure if this qualifies as a manga, but the illustrations are cute. It goes over the stereotypes in Korea about the different blood types.
6. Naruto – The ending really got me in the feels. It is very, very, very long, so it’s a real accomplishment if and when you read through the entire manga. I would recommend spacing out your chapters though, because you don’t want to binge-read and feel like your soul has been sucked out of you the next day.
7. Orange – There’s an interesting idea that is the driving force of the entire story and all the actions in the story: time travel. I guess there’s a decent amount of drama, but not to the point where it’s annoying. It’s slow to update though, so be prepared for agonizing dry spells.
8. Kare Kano – It starts off light, but ends deep. I like to read student life mangas a lot, but I feel like the pyschological aspect of Kare Kano is the most prominent feature.
9. Zekkyou Gakkyuu – The manga is split up into chapters of individual stories for the most part. The illustrations are adorable, but some of the stories are really frightening. I guess that’s something to expect from a horror manga. It gives me the heebie-jeebies.
10. Gakuen Alice – This manga also ended last year and unlike the way most mangas end, I feel like this ending was very fitting. It makes a full-circle ending and though I didn’t really expect it to, I think that it makes so much sense considering the story overall. Also another manga that starts off with light humor and gets more serious as the volumes go by.
Places I’d Like to Visit
1. Amsterdam, Netherlands – On top of being a beautiful city, Amsterdam is extremely bike oriented, which appeals to me because I like biking; I find it very calming. I think it’s the spinning noise a bikes makes. Anyway, since there are so many people biking, I’m guessing it’d be safer to bike around? I don’t know, so I want to find out! Also, I’d want to check out Amsterdam’s way-cool tulip gardens because Amsterdam is basically tulip capital of the world.
2. Woodburn, Oregon, United States – A tulip festival is held here. Enough said.
3. New York City, New York, United States – I think it’s the suburban part of me that wistfully wishes to get out of “the sticks” (the suburbs aren’t really that rural) and into a sparkling, big city. Forget about visiting New York city; I want to live there.
4. Istanbul, Turkey – I think it’d be fun to admire the history of the city, it being the former capital of the Byzantine Empire and all. The United States is a great place and chocked with loads of historical sites as well, but everything is kind of new on a world scale, approximately 200 years old.
5. Vatican City – The Pope’s HQ would be fun to check out.
6. Washington D.C., United States – Preferably spring time though, because white buildings and cherry blossoms go hand in hand like apples and peanut butter.
7. Denver, United States – I feel like I breathe easier up in the mountains, which is a good thing. The natural scenery surrounding Denver is a nice contrast to the city.
8. Vietnam – I didn’t specify a city because I just want to go there and tour the whole country. I already know how to speak Vietnamese, so it’d be easier to travel. Plus, the jungles of Vietnam have this whole untouched-by-mankind kind of feel going on.
9. Grand Canyon, United States – I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon before, surprisingly. Rock formations are cool. So speaking of rock formations. . .
10. Easter Island – I think the statues are a nice addition to the already picturesque island.
Hare’s Goals for Last Year
1. Read more books – I would say this goal was achieved to some extent. I wasn’t reading many classics, but I read a lot in general: newspapers, magazines, and lots of manga.
2. Relax – Kind of accomplished? I had some days where I did almost nothing spaced between days I was drowning in work.
3. Study better – I’ve got to say, an efficient schedule goes a long way. I’ve gotten better, but I’m not at the level I want to be at yet. A work in progress.
4. Eat right – Haha I’m pretty guilty of not abiding by this goal. I think I did well the first 11 months or so, but December was horrible. I’m mostly trying to cut out the excessive sugar in life like soft drinks, candy and what not, but mostly the soft drinks.
5. Stop procrastinating – This kind of goes along with goal #3, but I feel like last year, it got so bad that it needed its own space. Junior year I’m getting my work done much faster, but I still feel like I’m missing things and doing enough sometimes.
6. Drink more water – I tend to forget a lot, so mission failed (miserably).
7. Be more organized – On a scale from one to ten, I’d say I get a solid 6/10 on organization. It’s just how everything starts to unravel after I just finished neatening up places that holds me back. Definitely something I need to do more of this year.
8. Try new things – I’m always such a chicken, but I think I did take some significant risks last year, from things that I did to things that I said. Personally, I feel like it’s easier to do things like try new food than to talk to people about topics that make me uncomfortable, so I guess that’s my focus of this goal for this year.
9. Find something to be excited about – I haven’t found anything yet that really makes me excited about but I’m looking. I don’t think finding something is going to be easy since its a combination of searching and luck (more on luck, though) but I guess at least I’m trying to be aware of what I do.
10. Be happy – I think I got this nailed down 🙂