Drown by Junot Diaz

 This is the first book in a while (years, quite literally) that I have taken the time to sit down and write a review. This book was powerful, to say the least. I can't remember the last time, if ever, I cried while reading a book — and over $800 nonetheless. While reading this book, there were moments where I was "unimpressed." Unimpressed for two reasons. The first reason because I knew the praise this book has received and wanted it to be clear how amazing it was from the beginning. And second because for me it was a story I've heard many times in my own house. Coming from a Mexican-American immigrant household, this tale of Padre, his mistress, second family, immigration, struggle, and pronounced racism was all too familiar.

This book does not, however, presume its impact-fulness. It felt as though I was reading the diary of someone.

There are some readers that call Junot Diaz a misogynist for his portrayal of women in this book. I was surprised to read these criticisms because from my initial reading I could feel how much Junot Diaz sympathized with the immigrant woman, who is also a mother, daughter, boss, employee, sister, mother-in-law, etc. Junot Diaz is not a misogynist for portraying women in a subservient manner, because it portrays to the reader that these women's stories remain untold. I apologize if I sound like an apologist but I wrote this review in haste and hope to return to it in the future and expand.

Rating: 4.5/5


I think there's a lot of beauty in simplicity. A simple life. With all the anxieties of a normal life: Missing the bus, getting dressed for a friend's birthday, having kids, ordering cake for a birthday. A simple life.

edit: the same day I posted this short piece on simplicity I came across this post from Betty White's instagram account. Much love.

2023 Goals


Reduce phone time

Choosing Happiness

No more meat

Try rock-climbing

Not Personal

Run a faster half marathon

Travel outside of California

Travel outside of the U.S.

Read a book a month

Run a marathon

At least 30 minutes of activity every day

Reading Being and Nothingness

Jan. 27, 2023

I started reading Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre out of interest, but was soon met with the seemingly impermeable wall that is Being and Nothingness. So, when I do not want to focus on the things I should be focusing on, we will read Being and Nothingness here. A paragraph at a time; a sentence at a time, or even a word at a time. It will all be done here. I'm excited to get started.


In Search of Being

I. The Idea of the Phenomenon

    "The existent no longer has an 'outside'," pg.1.11.

    "An appearance refers to the total series of appearances, not to some hidden reality that siphons off all the existent's being for itself. And the appearance, for its part, is not an unstable manifestation of that series." pg.2.11-12. Once we get rid of the idea that our appearance is the face for the "inside," then the appearance becomes full positivity. Sartre's main goals in these first few paragraphs are to get rid of a duality placed on the appearance and being of man, because there is no duality, and the phenomenon is that the being is indicative of itself.

"Appearance does not hide essence but reveals it: it is the essence." pg.3.12.

II. The phenomenon of being and the being of the phenomenon

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