About kevinle

I'm really good at laying around and doing nothing and terrible at a ton of things. Including writing blog posts.

Chasing ideas

You’re just sitting there when the idea pops in your head. It’s a great idea. Maybe you hit the wall when writing a paper and this idea could get you going again. Maybe it’s greatest invention of mankind. Maybe it’s the perfect line to use on that girl you see in Diversions all the time when you ask her out. Whatever it may be, it’s great.

But then you get distracted and lose it.

What was it again? It was something like… I mean, it was like… Wait! I had to do something with… No, that not it. It definitely wasn’t “Every student should be given a corgi when they first step onto campus”. Although that is a good idea, write that down.

We’ve all been here, having some of our greatest ideas just out of reach. What can you do?

Seriously, what can you do? I have no idea. Like, I had the greatest idea for a post for this blog and I lost it.

At least it wasn’t all bad. I got this post out of it. Although it is mostly rambling…

Now, what was that idea….


No Wrong Answer

When I first started Rush or Recruitment or whatever it’s called, I was just in it for the food and activities. I mean, who doesn’t love free food, mini-golfing and go-karting? Greek Life wasn’t really the thing for me anyway. I didn’t want to live in a house full of messy guys I barely shared any interests with.

But, things changed. I met the guys from the different house and got to know a lot of them. Now I’m sitting in my dorm room after the preference dinners, not really sure what to do.

I’m torn between two Fraternities. My experiences with these two houses have shown me that my own time at Puget Sound wouldn’t be complete without participating in Greek Life. I won’t say names, so I’ll just refer to them as John and Bob.

Now John and Bob, they’re both great guys. From day one, they were incredibly welcoming. John was really interested in what I had to say while I talked to Bob about Star Wars for a good 20/30 minutes. I could be this huge gamer nerd with Bob, but John was a Geology major, what I intended to be.

And the list just goes on and on.

I went back in forth between their houses all weekend, gathering as much info as I could to help me make my decision. I even had breakfast with John and grabbed lunch with Bob today before preference dinners to try to get a better read on them. All I know is that I had a ton of fun these last few days and got absolutely nowhere in terms of a decision. Everything I learned about them just made them seem even more awesome.

In the end, both John and Bob are just amazing. In a situation like this, there is no wrong answer. That makes this decision just that much harder.

Right now, the Fraternities are sitting in a room, figuring out who to give bids to. There’s no guarantee that I’ll receive bids from either of these Fraternities. But I know that if I do receive a bid or two, I’ll make the right choice.

Food Back Home

There’s nothing like food from home. I’m not talking about homemade food, I’m talking about food from your hometown, stuff exclusive just to your area. With a city like mine, where there’s nothing to do and new restaurants popping up every other week alongside those that had been around for years, I had a lot on my plate this past break, literally.

  1. Poki Bowl – This place opened up during fall semester, so I never got the chance to try it until break. Poke is a Hawaiian raw fish salad that served as an appetizer. Poki Bowl, and other similar restaurants, add their own spin on it by letting customers build their own rice or salad bowls. Imagine Chipotle, except fish and you can only get bowls. Once you pick your fish, you can add toppings and sauces, making each bowl truly unique.

    This bowl has salmon, crab, spicy mayo, sesame seeds, green onions and fish eggs on sushi rice

    This bowl has salmon, crab, spicy mayo, sesame seeds, green onions and fish eggs on sushi rice

  2. KoJa Kitchen – This restaurant actually used to be a food truck. They were so successful that they established a few location around the Bay Area. What makes them special is that they developed a totally new sandwich by combining Korean (Ko) and Japanese (Ja) cuisine. The inside of the sandwich can be one of a few different meats or vegetarian with toppings and sauces. To kick it up, KoJa replaced tradition bread buns with crispy garlic rice buns. They also have amazing fries, Kamikaze Fries. They’re crisscut fries with minced beef, kimchi, japanese mayo, red sauce and green onions.


    Kamikaze Fries with the Chicken Koja

  3. Iguanas – This family-owned restaurant has served some of the best burritos and nacho fries in the Bay Area for the last couple years. The burritos are pretty straightforward, with your choice of meat and beans. The nacho fries are exactly what they sound like. Nachos, except fries instead of chips. What makes this place stand out is the famous Orange Sauce and the Burritozilla. Their orange sauce is literally from the gods. I love it so much that I all I can taste is the sauce when I eat at Iguanas because I use so much. I would drink a gallon of the sauce, given the chance. The Burritozilla is a 5 pound burrito. The restaurant has signs on the wall declaring it the “Pizza-killer” and “Burger Killer”. I’ve never tried it myself, but I will someday.   Burritozilla
  4. In-n-Out – Do I really need to explain? I’m a Californian through and through. 4 months without In-n-Out almost killed me. It was the first place I went to when I got off the plane in California and the last thing I ate before flying back here.

    Animal Style Fries and a Double Double

    Animal Style Fries and a Double Double

Decisions, Decisions…

Many freshmen have no idea what they want to study. They’re just getting their cores out of the way and figuring it out as they go along. That’s not the case for all freshmen though. I know a friend of mine who is double majoring and minoring. Poor guy. We’re only freshmen and he knows that the years ahead will be hell academics-wise.

Meanwhile, I’ve only figured out what I want to major in, Geology. I like Geology, it’s neat. We can learn so much from rocks, like the atmosphere of the Earth millions of years ago or the effects of pollution on aquatic species. Okay, both of those are a bit of a stretch, but studying rocks and minerals can yield a whole world of information.

But I also want to minor in something. I’m split between Communication Studies and Computer Science. I enjoy both topics. I’ve been extremely passionate about computers my whole life, working for a tech company the last 2 summers. But communication is just so fascinating. How communication has evolved from noises our mouths make to invisible signals in the air to text on a screen is mind boggling. I wish I could pick both.

Too bad I can’t. I mentioned that my friend was double majoring and minoring. I don’t remember the specific majors and minors he is going for, but the only reason he is able to do that is that they all overlap with one another. Classes will fulfill the requirements for multiple majors and minors. Geology doesn’t overlap with either of my potential minors. I can only pick one or the other.

So now I’m stuck. Do I opt for something I’m passionate in or something I’m interested in? Or do I toss everything out the window and pursue my lifelong dream to be a professional puppy cuddler? Decisions, decisions.

I really should go to sleep. None of this worrying will matter if I don’t do well on my finals.

College Playlists

Before coming to UPS, I read about this little self-project that you could do throughout your college years. Basically, youmake a playlist or folder with all the songs you downloaded in a certain semester or year. For example, I’ve added every song I’ve downloaded since orientation week to “Freshman Year: Fall Semester”.

The idea is that you’re able to see how your tastes in music change over your college career. I really loved this concept and have downloaded 57 songs since starting. I’ll probably add a few more before finals wrap up. Here are some of my top picks:

  • I’m Just a Kid by Simple Plan – Starting off strong with some good old fashioned teenage angst. Everyone can relate to this song. We’ve all felt lonely or felt like the world was completely against us or like we don’t fit in. It’s just a good song anyone and everyone can relate to.
  • You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift – What’s a playlist without some T-Swizzle? This song is a simple and catchy tune from earlier in Swift career, when she was in between Country and Pop. It’s everyone’s guilty pleasure song. Admit it, you’ve rocked out to this in your room when no one was looking. I have.
  • All Star by Smash Mouth – It’s a classic. I mean, that’s really all there is. It’s the epitome of the late 90’s and early 00’s.
  • Hey Ya! by OutKast – Like All Star, this is a classic. If you don’t like thissong , I’m not sure if we can be friends.
  • Never Forget You by Zara Larsson & MNEK – When you first listen to this song, you’ll think that’s it’s Rihanna singing. Zara is actually this teenage Swedish girl, possibly the furthest from Rihanna you can get. I promise you, this song is worth a listen
  • Roses (ZAXX Remix) by The Chainsmokers and ROZES – This remix is a fresh look at Roses, which the Chainsmokers dropped earlier this year. It kicks up the beat and makes the song great to work out or dance to.
  • Coming Over (Filous Remix) by James Heresy – Kygo may have brought the world’s attention to the Tropical House genre, but producers like Filous are keeping people listening, it’s definitely kept me in the genre.
  • I Write Sins Not Tragedies by Panic! at the Disco – What kind of person would I be if I didn’t finish off this list without some more angst?

So that’s my list. It looks like I’m an angsty little raver that’s stuck in 2005. I’m really looking forward to what the next few years will do to my tastes in music. Maybe you should try it out. It’s never too late, the next semester is just around the corner.

Thanksgiving with Strangers

Today is Thanksgiving and I’m still on campus. While most of the school is with family, I’m just sitting in my room, typing away. But you know what? I don’t regret not going home.

I had Thanksgiving for the first time without my family in my entire life. My perspectives leader, Gwen, from orientation posted an open invitation in the “Free & For Sale” group on Facebook, inviting anyone on campus over to hangout and eat.

Of course I jumped on it, I didn’t want to spend the night in my room, watching my friend’s fish (I renamed her Ms. Fish McFish). By the time I got to Gwen’s house, there was Gwen, some of her friends from Lewis & Clark and a few other people. They had been cooking all day, so I contributed what I could by helping set the table. After that, I helped where I could and did my best not to seem like a freeloader.


Mashed potatoes, gravy, dinner roll, turkey, green bean casserole, brussels sprouts and stuffing

To cut a long story short, I had an incredible dinner with a bunch of strangers that I got to know a little. I just had a ton of fun and really enjoyed myself. Also we played Settlers of Catan for all of 10 minutes before we got distracted by pie and pretty much abandoned the game.


This just goes to show how awesome the people we go to school with are. Even though we’re all a bunch of strangers, we’re still able to come together over a nice meal.

I think that next year, I might just stick around during Thanksgiving and do this. I’m sure anyone staying would appreciate it. I know I did.

“Home is where the heart is.”

That’s the saying, right? Home is not a physical location, it is wherever you like. Once you choose your home, it’s hard to leave. It’s hard to go someplace else, someplace that isn’t home.

Thanksgiving Break is coming up, so most of the school is toughing out these last few days so they can finally head home to family, friends and free food. I know some people just decided to skip out and headed home early. Me, however, I’m sticking around this Thanksgiving.

My excuse to my family was that I couldn’t afford a plane ticket. That’s not entirely the truth. Between those huge purchases at the beginning of the year and what I get from work-study, I don’t have much. But I do have enough to get a plane ticket without going totally broke. So why aren’t I going home this Thanksgiving?

I’m already home. My heart is here.

It’s true that I spent my entire life in the same house. I have friends that I’ve known literally my whole life. My cat and dogs… well, I miss them like Homer can eat doughnuts, which is more than any human can possibly imagine. Then there’s In-n-Out. As a Californian through and through, I’m not sure if I can make it much longer without my regular dose of a double-double, animal fries and a milkshake.

Seriously, if anyone in California is reading this, please mail me In-n-Out. At least send me a picture with a detailed report of smell, taste and texture. I’ll give you my first, second and third-born children for it. …Yeah I have a problem. Anyway, back on topic.

I have all of these reasons to call that place home, but I can’t, not anymore.

I chose UPS for a number of reasons. Its size, people, culture and individualized attention to name a few. It’s just such an amazing place despite what some people may think. But one of the biggest is probably not one many people have. It’s how much this place has changed me.

People always say to stay true to yourself, to not change. But for there to be progress, there must be change. I love who I’ve changed into. I’ve grown more social. I’ve started rock climbing. As of last Tuesday, I’ve started playing Rugby. I work for ASUPS, not really knowing what I’m doing half the time but having tons of fun. I write for the school blog. I’m still really aggressive, but I’m getting better- I hope. If you asked me 6 months ago that I would’ve changed this much, I would’ve probably just said “You’re funny” sarcastically and returned to my computer.

I don’t want to go back because I don’t want to return to being the person I was before. I don’t want to slip back into old habits and become the old me again. That’s why this is my home now. This is where the new and improved me lives. This is where my heart is.

So while everyone else is rushing to home and back for Thanksgiving, I’ll be relaxing, because I’m already home.

(But seriously though, I need In-n-Out like immediately)


I grew up in the east side of my city. I grew up where 65 degrees is too damn cold. I grew up with bars on my windows. I grew up with 7 people in a single story, 4 bedroom house. I grew up in the same house for 18 and a half years. I grew up in a neighborhood of color. I grew up on a corner house next to one of the busiest streets in the area. I grew up looking for the best value in the food I bought, not its appearance or by how healthy it was. I grew up eating rice for dinner almost every night of my life. I grew up not wasting anything. I grew up wondering if I was hearing gunshots or fireworks on the 4th of July. I grew up not as a minority. I grew up hearing half a dozen languages a day. I grew up wishing for things, then wishing some more.

I grew up where I was the same as everyone else.

I live on campus, in the north end of my city. I live where 50 degrees is normal. I live on the third floor of my dorm. I live with a roommate, on a floor with 50 other people, in a building of nearly 200. I live in a place I call home, even though it’s only been 2 months since I moved in. I live where the color palette is lacking.  I live next to the stairs, the busiest part of the building. I live eating food from the Diner, paid for by loans. I live wondering when was the last time I ate rice. I live eating everything on my plate. I live wondering which room is blasting music. I live where I’m a minority. I live hearing two languages, only because I have to take a class for one. I live wishing for things, then getting it on Amazon.

I live where I am different than everyone else.

Note: I just want to make it clear that I don’t resent anyone. I wrote this because I noticed and increasing number of differences between myself and the people around me and wanted to share them. These differences aren’t bad things, just… things, I guess.

Turning Knobs and Sliding Sliders

Mics. Mic stands. 3 quarters. Speakons. XLRs. Speakers. Speaker stands. Monitors. Switchboard. AUX thingy. That’s everything, right? No wait, power cables. Dammit me.

Okay sound check time. Turn knobs and move the sliders. Pretend to know what I’m doing. Make eye contact with the performer and nod. Continue to pretend to know what I’m doing.

Performance time! More knob turning. More slider sliding. Turn mics on and off as needed. Try not to fall asleep while boss sits next to me. Keyword is try. Get distracted by pretty girl in audience. Think about what I had for breakfast that morning. Miss my cue to switch a mic on. Fumble. Be told by boss to pay attention to the stage. Stay laser focused and awake for the rest of the performance. Tell myself to do better next time. Don’t.

IMG_4851 [2014213]

I totally know what all those knobs do.

For my work-study job, I’m one of two Sound/Lights Operators for ASUPS Student Programs. That means for any sort of performance that Student Programs puts on, like Mary Lambert, or other UPS functions that we’re asked to work, I’m involved in making them look and sound good. No pressure. Not like the performers put on very public shows or anything. Did I mention that the other Sound/Lights guy is a freshman as well? Recipe for success, right there.

Keep an eye out for me the next time you check out something put on by Student Programs (Which just so happens to be the Halftime Show at the homecoming game against PLU). You might catch me randomly turning knobs.

Like 90% sure these control sound.

Like 90% sure these control sound.

My Core Memories

Inside Out is probably one of the best movies I’ve seen in recent memory. If you haven’t seen it, you really need to. Also, you should stop reading because spoilers!

One of my favorite parts from the movie is how the memories are stored and associated with one of the 5 core emotions: Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger. It got me thinking, what memories do I have that make me feel those emotions?


Anger – One time I punched a hole in a wall in my house.

Fear – My parents always made me park in the garage at night. They said that because it was a somewhat decent car (it was 10 years old and had dents and scratches from my sister and mom), it needed to be parked inside.

Like many teenagers, I snuck out. I left my house probably around 12:30 and didn’t get back until around 3ish. Pretty much the entire time, I was scared that I would be caught and have my keys taken away. As a Californian, having a car is crucial to life. Without one, well, good luck.

Looking back, I realize that there was nothing to be afraid of. My parents were heavy sleepers and their room and the garage were on opposite ends of the house. But in the moment, I was scared that my life would be pretty much over.

Disgust – One time I ate broccoli.

Sadness – One of my dogs, Maxwell, died this past summer. When he didn’t respond when I called his name, I went to look for him in my backyard. Then I found him.

Maxwell was an 11 year old black Chihuahua mutt. I got Maxwell when I was in kindergarten and he left just after I graduated high school. I never really found out what else he was, but it didn’t matter. He was my dog. He was family. And I never got to say goodbye.

Joy – My high school puts on a event every Spring called F.A.N.T.A.S.T.I.C.S. (Fun at Night Through Activities and Skits to Increase Class Spirit). It’s essentially battle of the classes with skits, dances and games. Traditionally, Seniors take first, Juniors takes second and so on. However, my class was…. a bit non traditional. We never got better than 3rd place our first 3 years. It was really upsetting for many of the participants, myself included. We knew it didn’t matter in the end, but it still sucked knowing that our class wasn’t as unified or dedicated as other classes.

We went all out for Senior year. We worked harder. We practiced more. We pulled not one but two all nighters working on props. And it paid off. We finally won first place! You can’t imagine how loud we were when ASB declared us as winners.

But the memory that brings me joy isn’t when we were declared winners. It’s the whole day that happened before it. Driving a pick-up truck for the first time to move our props. All of the rehearsals we had to do. Cheering on my classmates at the games between each class’ performance. Our actual, final performance. That day, that whole day, is one of my favorite memories.