Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Journ•all: The Ultimate Travel Journal

Check out this shiny BABY.


This is two of my friend's and my MIT 6.470 Website Competition entry for this year! I'd never made a website before, so this was a great experience.

Is it sad that the thing I'm proudest about is the name? Just kidding, I'm pretty happy with the outcome considering we didn't spend too much time on it. We should have, but it's IAP, and we decided to also explore the town and be normal college students every once in a while :)

A Little White Castle

five slabs of holy jaw-dropping goodness.

photos from de zeen

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Life is Soft

Blood Bond

How do you know how to love?
How do you know to hold the boy next to you while he cries for the first time in his life?
How do you know that’s what you’re supposed to do?
Who puts the words in your mouth when you finally find your daughter two counties over after a long fight?

Look back to the time when you were there
Stop and feel the softness
Look up and know you’re home.

Perfection is not sharp, it’s soft
it’s the softness that covered me when I was down
under with the demons
I was my own worst enemy

But she was there and he was there
and their lights they gave to me.
I was bare and cold, they gave me a fire to burn

How do you know how to love?
How do you know to scream out to the boy at the station, telling him not to go?
How do you know that’s what you’re supposed to do?
Who puts the words in your mouth when you look up and have to answer your son’s defeated eyes?

Look back to the time when you were there
Stop and feel the softness
Look up and know you’re home.

This was mostly inspired by "Blood Brothers" by Ingrid Michaelson 
and "Riversong" by A Fine Frenzy

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Happy Birthday to the Non-President

It's my 20th birthday today!

I'm trying this new thing (we know how that goes...) where I try to act like I'm a year older than I am so that I have a year to prepare for my age next year. 
Wow, that sounded so much stupider once I wrote it out explicitly. I swear that sounded mature and brilliant in my head. 

Things I want to try doing:

1. Get the little things right:
- Send emails when they come to mind
- Reply to emails when I first get them!
- Regard money as a tool.

2. Take advantage of my life:
- Get serious about my education and practical about how I want it to benefit me in the future
- Invest more in my friends - show them I care every single day :), even when I feel like absolute carp*
- Talk to my parents more when I'm home and absorb all the advice and share with them my stories
- Take care of my body: Eat smart (healthy but delicious), Run hard (make it burnnn), Feel happy (worry... never) 
- Keep things in prospective: A balance of "what's one year next to the rest of your life?" vs. "live today like it's your last" 

3. More to come as I think of them!

*I really like the idea of inverting "crap" to "carp" -- it's one of the weird ideas I come up with and think it's brilliant, even though everyone else thinks I just misspelled "crap"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Black and White

During the winter, I get depressed. 
It's a simple fact of life. 
Even if I have all my friends around me and I'm never really alone if I don't want to be, I get depressed. Introspection dominates my thoughts and I overanalyze and dramatize everything. It's crazy and unreasonable. (And no, I'm pretty sure it doesn't have to do with hormones... it's just wintertime.)

And so, to provide myself with some inspirational relief, I've put together some beautiful images from my web-surfing to give you and me a glimpse of paradise amidst the dreary Boston weather outside. 

(Tromso, Norway)

 (At.mosphere: 122nd floor of Burj Khalifa in Dubai)

(Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland)

(The Maldives)

Oh man, there's so much I haven't seen yet.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Painting 5: The Moon is Ours

The Moon Is Ours. 

If you can see its beauty, 
That is all I need to know.
I will capture it and keep it near,
Because we share a bond.

It was my father's birthday on December 27th, so my mother baked a strawberry shortcake 
and I painted my annual painting for him.
This one is a special thanks for all that he does for our family :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Wishlist Holiday Card

I made a wishlist holiday card for one of my friends. 
She's really into lace, the color pink, and owl jewelry.
I feel like a lot of the items are more appropriate for the fall season, but I wear fall items all year round :)

A Fashion Holiday Card. Featuring a Look Book.

One of my friends and I are collaborating on a fashion project this month so I thought I'd make a fashion-themed holiday card for her:

On the inside, I taped a look book I compiled from this past year's fashion. 

I used an ink pen and watercolor pencils.

Excuse my poorly executed (and halfhearted) limbs. 
I figured even empty space could be better than my really ugly drawings of hands.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Breeze from the Past

I was looking through some high school files from my old laptop when I happened upon a language and composition assignment from my junior year. This was one of my favorite assignments ever, and my teacher, Mr. Trainer, had made it into a contest. The assignment was to write a fictional scene based on Pierre-Auguste Renior's 1881 painting, Luncheon of the Boating Party. I remember spending so much time (out of enjoyment) writing and editing my piece and being furious after handing it in when my teacher announced that he eliminated any piece that used the word "wifebeater" or "beater," claiming that it was inaccurate to use that term since they did not exist back in 1881.
I was so mad. I wanted him to at least recognize how well thought out my writing was and to receive some acknowledgment for my talent, or at least my hard work. It's funny but thinking about it gets me a bit tense even now, haha.

Anyways, here it is for your perusal! 

Rebecca Zhang
Mr. Trainer
Lang and Comp
3 December 2009
Pierre-Auguste Renior’s Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1881
Finally, she had some time to talk to him. Well, if only the man hovering over her would walk away and reunite with his admirer, the flushed-face girl who rested her lovely face and hands on her elbows by the railing. The young woman eyed the man above her kindly and politely, pulling the corners of her lips apart in a tense smile. She wore a cerulean afternoon dress, most appropriate for resembling the waves made by the boat she was on for the luncheon. The dress was decorated with a patterned, frilled lapel and she wore a soft, brimless, sailor-themed hat that limped on the top of her burnt-orange curls. Her scalp must be protected from the beating sun, as her mother had reminded her. Across the small table, her sister, only eleven of age, sat alone, still too shy and naïve to relinquish the staged infatuation over her puppy and introduce herself to the many eligible bachelors.
            The young woman could see from the periphery of her view her childhood companion whom she had not talked to in years. He seemed happy. Unlike her, he was content with just sitting next to her on the rocking ferry and staring out into the lake to rest his eyes on the rows of sailboats and trees floating there. She wanted to talk to him. He had taken off his catering uniform and was wearing a relaxed white wifebeater and a boater just like the rest of the workers. He was leaned back in his seat with his hands anchored on the antlers of the wooden chair to secure himself. He smiled just as he had when he was only a boy, with the ends of his lips slightly curled up as if he could see many happy events happening in the near future. She didn’t know why he hadn’t stopped smiling. His father had left his mother and his mother died soon after-from heartbreak they said. He has been earning his own livelihood since then. And he catered for all her dining needs this whole morning while she indulged herself with imported champagne and sweet fruits. What could she say to him- “I’m sorry?” For what? Maybe it was better to allow the other man to keep talking.
            The towering man wore an ivory knit sweater over his clothes and no boater, probably to stand out among his workers. One of his hands wrapped around the far side of her chair and the other gripped one side of the chair beside her. His hand was too close to hers. She wasn’t even listening to the smooth words scurrying out of his mouth. How could he be trying to impress her when he knew he was slowly breaking the heart of another girl?
            The scratchy white fabric of her dress was itching her skin- was it the heat? Her thin hat could slip off her head at any time. She wished the burly man would stop leaning over the railing. He could tip the boat over. There was too much chatter and … she needed a break.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Holiday Cards, Part 2

Here are some more of those Holiday Cards: 

I distinctively remember making these while watching YouTube clips of The Ellen Show (particularly an old interview of her with Michelle Obama). Did you know that Ellen and I share the same birthday? Fun fact.

This one is supposed to resemble a Christmas tree with lights around it.

For fun, I wrote "LOVEU NITYA!" on the back side of the Christmas lights. :)