Ice Skating

I learned to ice skate at Rockefeller Center in New York City in 2015 and have been skating regularly ever since. Ice skating is difficult. There are so many things to learn, and I have fallen and hurt myself so many times. But it is also fun and rewarding. There is nothing as satisfying as the feeling I get when I can finally do the trick I have been working on for so long.

Ice skating at Winter Lodge, Palo Alto, CA
Ice skating at Winter Lodge, Palo Alto, CA
Ice skating at Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA
Ice skating at Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA

Stargazing

I love watching the stars and contemplating our place in the universe. What is out there? Are we alone? Can we go there? I like the idea that I see the same stars as our ancestors did millennia ago, and I wonder if they asked themselves the same questions. It still blows my mind that there is a planet with giant rings floating out there in space.

I own an Orion SpaceProbe 130ST, a 5.1″ aperture reflector telescope. I also go to free public events organized by the Stanford Astronomical Society and Foothill College Observatory.

Viewing the solar eclipse at the Menlo Park Library
Viewing the solar eclipse at the Menlo Park Library. Photo by Natalia Nazarova.
Stargazing at Lassen Volcanic National Park, California
Stargazing at Lassen Volcanic National Park, California. Photo by Ronnachai Jaroensri.
Saturn, through my telescope
Saturn, through my telescope
Jupiter and its four moons, through my telescope
Jupiter and its four moons, through my telescope

Reading

I love reading books. I can spend hours in a library or a bookstore. Here are some of my favorite books:

You can also find me on Goodreads where I review books I read.

Blood Donation

Donating blood at Stanford Blood Center
Donating blood at Stanford Blood Center

I donated blood for the first time on my birthday. I was challenging myself; On this birthday, I wanted to do something that I had never done before in my life, something that would help other people. And I decided on blood donation.

Truth be told, I was scared. I thought that if I was going to lose a large amount of blood, then it must especially hurt. But after I did it, the first thought that came to my mind was "Is that all?" The process went quick. The only time that I hurt was when the nurse put the needle in. But that felt like nothing more than an ant bite. After the needle was in, I did not feel anything.

But the feeling that came after the donation was pure joy. It felt really good to know that my blood would be used to save someone's life. The nurse had me sit with other donors afterwards to make sure that I was well. I got to talk to them, young and old. I told them that I was a first timer and asked them how many times they had donated. One told me it was their 40th. Another said they had lost count. Before I donated blood, I would not have believed it. But now I could see why. I have been donating blood regularly ever since.

If you are healthy and have never donated blood, you should try it. It is one of the easiest things one can do to help fellow human beings.