Shots Fired: It All Started With A Bang

shotsfiredbannerHey ladies and germs! It’s your girl, Yu Ling. You may remember me from the column Is This Loud Enough?. You have probably been wondering what I’ve been up to these past few weeks. To be quite honest, nothing really. (Totally kidding.) These past few weeks have actually been the craziest, busiest, and most rewarding weeks of my life. I recently graduated from high school, and the question everybody seems to be asking is “Where are you headed next year?”. The month of March, as many seniors know, is complete and utter hell. Acceptances and rejections from colleges all over the country make their way to your email inbox, and for me, my plans didn’t go exactly as expected. So I spent a good month moping about my crushed dreams, wiping off the tears of injustice from my face. I asked myself questions like “How will I ever make it to New York City?”, “Will I ever make it big and star on Saturday Night Live?” and of course, “What if Lady Gaga hates me and this is her trying to ruin my life?” As you can tell, I was having a real pity party.  It was not until mid-May that I realized the thing that was stopping me from pursuing my dream was myself. So I got out of my crusty clothes, threw away the scattered bags of Cheetos around my room, and decided to take action. This column will be showcasing what came out of those few weeks through a series of photographs, as well as my other creative projects! I hope you enjoy!

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The Wave: Advice to Young People! (Pt. 2)


During our first cycle here at SMW, we completed this project, and were simply blown away by the creativity and expressive cut-up’s people made. Now in our summer cycle, we decided to bring back this innovative activity with many new members, and a few repeating members. Before getting started on this activity, however, we got heavy inspiration from American novelist, William Burroughs, who was famous for his cut-ups. We then cut up famous quotes from a variety of inspirational people to make our very own meaningful, and in some cases humorous, quote. Enjoy!

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Touch Screen to Begin: PAD


Hello and welcome to “Touch Screen to Begin”! My name is Chen Yu and I am a senior at Lincoln High School in SF. I often find myself staring at my phone when I am waiting around or in an awkward social situation. This made me think: “Why not make a column about phone games since I spend so much time with them?” Continue reading

Rainbow Rumpus!: Neon Light Anchorite (part 2)


That night she was on the roof again. The apartment was too small to contain her feelings, which were swollen and bursting. Hestia stared up at the bruised orange sky and listened to the world. The electric sign humming and cracking. One sleepless symphony of traffic, cars honking, motorcycles revving, sirens whining. Vague, jumbled music from parties on other floors.

Hestia dreamed she was ten again. The Soleils lived in a tiny flat above a liquor store in one of the outer districts of Altostrati. She didn’t live high enough then to see any neon lights, but the shawarma place across the street glowed warmly, and so did the Chinese video rental store.

In her dream, it was a dark winter evening, just past six, and it was raining. The lights outside became a soupy puddle of yellow and white and blue. CLOSED said the sign in blue. Rhea had been asleep on the sofa all day long, wrapped in her quilt. Her mug of tea stood on the rug beside her sofa, stone cold and untouched.

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Rainbow Rumpus!: Neon Light Anchorite (part 1)

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At half past midnight, when her mother staggered home from her studio half drunk with a corner store beer, Hestia unearthed her sleeping bag from the closet and took the elevator from her fifth floor apartment to the roof on the thirty-second floor. The narrow vestibule had no lighting, but the outside was bright enough with a harsh rainbow glare.

Hestia stepped over the tangled cords and found a spot in the shadow of a giant yellow sign that read LUMINA STREET ARMS. She sat on the edge of the rooftop, her feet dangling through the rusty railing bars and out over nothing. The sky was bruised orange, too choked for stars at the moment, but the stars existed elsewhere.

She gazed out at the view of her city and watched its sleepless pulse. A myriad of neon lights blinked and flashed and spun. Alexandria Hotel and Vanguard Electronics Department Store had angry red-orange signs, Portofino Furniture Mall had a cool blue sign, and further away she saw pink and green signs. She spotted a few more apartment signs situated on rooftops, some warm yellow and others harsh white, some with whole names shining and others with missing letters. And then there were the windows, each living space glowing as brilliant as any star. Each high rise towered like a pillar of jewels.

Altostrati, the city of light. Hestia snuggled under the folds of her sleeping bag and listened the snapping electric hum of the rooftop sign and the perpetual roar of traffic on the streets thirty-two floors below. She pretended to be asleep when somebody else came over and dropped a sleeping bag beside her. Hestia opened her eyes a small crack and saw her sister Rosalie sitting up, warm yellow on her freckled face, the rest of her in shadow.

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Got You Cover’d: “Count On Me” by Bruno Mars

Hi friends!

For my second song, I decided to cover something more familiar, something I knew well. “Count On Me” is one of my (and probably millions of others) favorite Bruno Mars song. I definitely tried to put my own spin on it – hope you guys enjoy! Surprisingly enough we got it down in one take. Given the number of unsuccessful tries for my previous “cover”, I thought we were going to take a while to get it right. But, I have finally redeemed myself. Well, this cover is definitely better than my first.So yes, I have redeemed myself!

Check it out on Soundcloud:

Special thanks to my friend Victoria for accompanying me on the guitar!

Enjoy this picture of me and Victoria at the studio.  I’m so derpy, but whatever. It’s a good photo. Photo credits go to JB (not Justin Bieber but Jon Bernson). Image

Fashion Soup for the Sartorial Soul: Yayoi Kusama


From psychedelic polka dots, to abstract pumpkins, large-scale sculptures, designer collaborations and published novels, it’s safe to say that Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has done it all within the span of her over half-a-century-long career. Though born in Tokyo, the maven moved to America in her 20s and soon became an innovator in the NYC avant garde art scene among the likes of Eva Hess and Andy Warhol. A feminist and social justice activist, the eccentric Kusama often performed nude to protest the Vietnam war and even went as far as writing errotic letters to president Nixon in an unconventional effort to stop the fighting. Continue reading