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This inspiration hit me like a ton of bricks the other day, right after I took a shower to wash my hair. I was feeling so incredibly refreshed after washing my hair that I decided to write a post about it, but I couldn’t just write a bland post about hair washing, so I decided to include other things that made my heart flutter 『ドキドキ』 recently. Here is my shortlist.
- That feeling you get after washing your really dingy, greasy hair. You know how there are times when you’ll wait a couple of days to wash your hair, to really build up the grunge? You know those times when you’re trying not to over-wash your hair & strip it of its natural oils, & then it’s the moment of truth, hair washing day. You really slather on the shampoo & really work up a good, thick lather. You massage your scalp & thoroughly rinse all the suds from your glorious mane. Then apply a fresh coat of conditioner. It’s that really squeaky clean, refreshed, weight-off-your-shoulders, relieved feeling you get after finally washing your hair once & for all.That’s the feeling I got a few days ago after washing my own hair. For some unknown reason, my hair was especially greasy & stringy that day. I had been trying to stretch out the days between hair washes because I don’t want to strip my hair of its natural oils & nutrients. I guess I probably applied too much anti-frizz oil from my previous hair styling, so it really built up greasiness on my scalp & hair. Oh man, I gotta tell you that I felt so extremely refreshed after washing my hair that day. It made me feel so incredibly overjoyed that it compelled me to write about it. My hair felt like I had just gone to the hair salon & had a professional stylist spruce it up for me. I felt like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders, & the semi-germophobe/neat freak inside of me was screaming with happiness that I was clean from head-to-toe once again.
- I got a new fragrance from BYREDO for Christmas from Jian. I’ve been wanting to try this Sunday Cologne scent for a very long time but always end up going back to my two favorite scents: Flowerhead & Black Saffron. Jian was generous to splurge on this fragrance for my Christmas gift, & I was so happy to be able to try it. This has been my go-to fragrance for this month. I love the gentle floral & slightly herbal notes of this fragrance. This fragrance provides a nice break between my other BYREDO fragrances, which are more strong on the sweet & floral notes. This fragrance makes me feel so light & happy. Also, the best part about this BYREDO fragrance, all of their fragrances, is they don’t give me any allergies. I am highly allergic to anything with a perfume smell & generic perfume in generall, so being able to find perfumes & colognes that don’t make me sneeze or make my skin itch is a win for me.
3. I’ve probably never mentioned this on my blog before, but I love collecting LEGO modular creator sets & building them. So far I have nine city building sets (Café Corner, Green Grocer, Grand Emporium, Pet Shop, Town Hall, Palace Cinema, Parisian Restaurant, Ace Brickman’s Detective Office, & Brick Bank), & currently Jian is building the newest addition to our collection, the 10th Anniversary Assembly Square. I’ve also got 3 world landmark sets including the one pictured above (India’s Taj Mahal, London’s Tower Bridge, & London’s Big ben).
This Big Ben modular set was one my all-time favorite sets to build so far. Pardon my language here, but this was a real bitch to build. There were quite a few custom brick pieces, & a lot of the bricks & tiles had to be placed diagonally. You know the neat-freak/compulsive organizer iniside of me had to make sure every diagonal section matched up perfectly. That made the building process a real pain in the ass. On top of that, there were so many repetitive sections to build that I was getting frustrated in the middle of building this set. However, once I completed building the set I felt so accomplished, & it was so rewarding. Surprisingly, my most favorite part to build of this entire set was the lone tree, not even the clock mechanism in the main tower. Also, building this set really ramped up my desire to visit England. I’ve been extremely wanting to visit London for many years, but building this set (as well as the Tower Bridge set) made me want to visit that city even more!
4. A couple of weeks ago I re-watched the movie Midnight in Paris again. I started watching the movie while I was taking a shower. Ok, so I didn’t exactly watch it when I was in the shower. I just proped up my tablet on the bathroom counter as close to my shower as possible & just let the movie play in the background while I was showering. I continued to watch the rest of the movie after I got out of the shower. I think I’ve probably watched this movie 7 or 8 times already, & I’m still not sick of it yet. I love all of the famous characters portrayed in this movie, & I especially love the aspect of traveling back in time to one’s favorite era.
If I could travel back in time, I would travel back to the 1950s-60s, but only if I would be spared the racial discrimination for being Asian…or, like if I slipped back in time to a place like the one portrayed in the movie Flower Drum Song. I wish I knew a guy like the movie’s character Gil Pender. I would love to explore Paris with him, & like he says in the movie, walk along the river with a baguette under my arm & sit at a café while scribbling away on a novel. That would be…lovely.
5. I’ve said in my previous post that I recently subscribed to a premium account on Spotify. I’ve talked on-and-on about how much I love the wide music selection on Spotify & the menu options & such. I just discovered the entire Midnight in Paris original motion picture soundtrack on Spotify, & it has made me so happy. Ever since I first saw this movie I had wanted to download the entire soundtrack on iTunes, but I never actually did it. Then, when I found out the entire soundtrack was available to listen on Spotify, I was over-the-moon with joy. I’ve probably listened to all the songs 20 times each since my Spotify discovery. I even listened to this soundtrack on repeat throughout the duration of my LEGO Big Ben build.
Yes, I know it sounds weird to be listening to French classical music while I’m in the process of building a British historical landmark. I should’ve been listening to some Brit-Pop music like The Clash or the Arctic Monkeys instead, but I couldn’t help myself. I’m a creature of habit, as I’ve stated many times before, & I also love all of the songs from this movie. The music from this movie just puts me in a good mood, just like the music from the animated Pixar movie Ratatouille, which is also French in theme. (I am so envious that my mom got to visit Paris, France last year, even though I want to vist London, England more than any other place in the world.) Don’t laugh at me, but I’m listening to the Midnight in Paris soundtrack on Spotify right now, exactly as I’m typing this paragraph. I am currently listening to Can-Can From “Orpheus in the Underworld” as performed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra on my Spotify app. See? I love this app. I’m using everyday to listen to all of my favorite music. I’ve hardly touched my iTunes app in the past month. All I can say now is that I am so happy I subscribed to Spotify.
Well, that’s all I have to say about that. I can’t believe that January just flew by like a crazy bat out of hell. I hope February doesn’t slip by so quickly. Until then, cheers!
Today’s song of the day:
“Gold On the Ceiling” by The Black Keys
Today’s song of the day:
“Last Nite” by The Strokes
It’s been raining buckets & buckets on & off here in my city. I am really enjoying the sound of the pounding rain & sporadic lightning/thunder, & watching the pouring rain through my living room window. The only thing I am not enjoying about this crazy rain storm is having to repair a leak in a skylight window on my retro home’s roof. Other than that, this rain storm has done wonders for the massive garden my dad put together all around the house. It’s a huge chore to maintain such a large outdoor space, but I am so appreciative of having so much outdoor space on my home’s lot compared to a lot of my neighbors.
This morning, I woke up feeling super sluggish & groggy. I decided since it was a lazy Friday morning, I could lounge in bed a bit longer, but that only made me more sluggish, & I ended up with a massive headache. Don’t you hate it when you oversleep, or rest for too long, & you end up feeling worse than if you had just accepted the lack of sleep & gotten out of bed anyway? Every time I try to compensate for my lack of proper sleep, I always end up feeling worse. I get raging headaches & overwhelming urges to dry heave, gag, & just plain vomit. It’s not a pretty sight. I am filled with regret & more urges to dry heave & vomit.
Lately I’ve been obsessed with three things:
1. Listening to music on Spotify
For a long time I was a fan of Apple’s iTunes Radio. Then, I discovered Spotify, & it totally changed my life. I never knew just how much music I was missing out on by limiting myself to iTunes Radio. Spotify has a muuuch larger music selection, & I love how I can listen to way more International music on Spotify compared to iTunes Radio. Also, there’s so many more menu options & customizable options on Spotify. I just subscribed to Spotify’s premium service & am totally getting my money’s worth, for sure. For a person who’s addicted to music like I am, this is completely worth the added expense. I don’t care that I jumped on the Spotify bandwagon so late in the game.
2. Watching classic movies from the 1950s-60s
Lately, contemporary movies, movies currently in theaters, haven’t interested me at all. I’ve been searching on the internet & on my TV cable service provider’s On Demand services to find old movies from the 50s & 60s that I grew up watching with my parents. Last week, I just bought the DVD of the classic movie Tammy and The Bachelor starring the late actress Debbie Reynolds & Leslie Nielsen (of Airplane & Naked Gun fame). I remember watching that movie with my parents when I was a teenager, & was so amazed that both of my parents could easily name nearly all of the actors in the movie by heart. I also love the sweet & innocent love story portrayed in this movie. My God, wasn’t Leslie Nielsen so dashing & attractive when he was younger? Va-va-voom! Tammy and The Bachelor is one of my all-time favorite classic movies. I think I’m going to go home & watch it again after I write this blog post.
3. Watching the Turkish TV drama Kurt Seyit ve Şura (a.k.a. Seyit and Sura) on Netflix
I don’t quite know how I stumbled upon all of these Turkish titles on Netflix, but the cover poster for this TV period drama caught my eye. At first, I was resisting the urge to watch this show, thinking I wouldn’t understand (or possibly even like) the show, even though I looked up the show’s storyline extensively on IMDb & Google Search. After a few weeks of back-&-forth debating in my head, I took the plunge & watched the show. I absolutely fell in love with the show. I watched all 46 episodes in one weekend. I don’t want to talk too much about this show because I have lots of extremely passionate opinions about the main characters & the romantic connections between them, & once I start talking about it, I won’t stop & this post will end up being as along as an encyclopedia. One thing I will say is that I’ve already watched this entire series 3 times…mostly because I’m a creature of habit, & once I find a movie or TV show that I like I won’t hesitate to watch it repeatedly, but also because this is seriously a good show. I don’t understand a lot about Turkish culture or about World War I, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this show. I will admit something private here. After watching this show, I became infatuated with the Turkish actor Kivanç Tatlitug, who plays the male lead character of the TV show. Wow. That’s all I will say about this guy. (As a fangirl, I was slightly bummed to find out that he got married last year, but I must move on & accept that he is happily married now. Besides, this should be of no consequence to my life. We will never cross paths anyway.)
Sooo, that’s pretty much all I wanted to say for now. I now have to finish up this blog post & venture out into the rain to go home. I’ve spent too much time at this big box coffee shop listening to classic Billy Joel & Hall & Oates songs on my mobile phone. Until then, cheers! Also, I wonder how do you say “cheers/bottoms up” in Turkish. LOL!
Today’s song of the day:
“One Sugar Dream” by m-flo
I don’t know when it happened. Ever since I was a little kid, I loved hot weather. Ok, I am totally contradicting myself when I tell you these next things. I used to love sitting in the sun, soaking up the warm rays, but I hated getting tan or wearing sticky, smelly sunblock. I loved wearing summery clothes like shorts, skirts & t-shirts, but I could never live a day without wearing socks (I dislike bare feet). I am a strange one, aren’t I? I mean, I once hiked up the Great Wall of China in the dead heat of summer wearing a thick t-shirt, jeans, & thick socks. That also proves that I had no fashion sense whatsoever.
I used to loath winter because it meant I’d have to wear several layers of thick clothes, which made it cuss near impossible to scratch my extremely itchy skin. I just hated having to peel off layer upon layer just to try & scratch some impossible-to-reach spot on my back (which was chronically itchy as a child with wild allergies). Also, I hated that feeling of “it’s too hot to wear a jacket, but too cold to take it off”. You know, it’s so annoying to lug around a thick jacket, especially when the temperature frequently changes from warm to cold & back, like when you’re walking around a shopping mall & some stores blast the heat while other stores crank up the air conditioning.
It only just happened recently that I’ve come to enjoy winter more & more. I’ve learned a lot, in my most recent years, from Jian about fashion (especially on how to dress more like a proper lady & less like a disheveled longshoreman). Jian has tought me a few key points about adding different styles of jackets into my bland wardrobe, like it’s okay to wear thin zip-ups when it’s warm & heavy coats when it’s cold. I also learned how to appreciate scarves & their benefits. Oh & one other thing… I CAN WEAR ALL THE SOCKS I WANT!!! I love shopping for new socks, & I love wearing them even more, especially thick knitted knee-high socks. Winter is the perfect weather for me to live out my sock-wearing fetish (for lack of a better term).
Aside from learning how to properly wear clothes, I’ve also learned how to take better care of my skin & myself…like finding the right moisturizer/lotion for my skin type. I’ve got to tell you that I’ve found something that’s completely changed my life. You might think this is totally something your Granny/Nana/Grandmother would use, but it’s transformed the way I take care of my skin. Yes, folks. I’m talking about an exfoliating bath towel. You know, those tacky-colored scarf-looking things you’ve seen your Grandma hang in her 1970’s powder blue bathroom. (Hey, these things are still popular in Asian countries.) I am not ashamed to say that I love it. I’m not a very flexible person, especially since I pulled my left shoulder muscle, & it is sometimes hard to reach all the parts of my back in the shower without a little help. This exfoliating towel does wonders to help me scrub my back.
During the winter months my back gets extremely itchy. Using this exfoliating towel really helps me to clean my back, & scrub away the itchiness. This towel exfoliates all the dead skin on my back, & smooths out the scratches & scabs to make my skin look more clear & even-toned, not like I’ve been using barbed wire as a back scratcher. I also use this towel to wash my entire body. I bunch the towel into a ball & proceed to scrub from head-to-toe. Ever since I’ve been using an exfoliating shower towel, for approcimately 3 years & counting, I can realy feel the changes to my skin. My back has been considerably less itchy & rough, & the scabs/scars on my back have slowly been fading (which help me feel more comfortable to wear bathing suits in the summer). Also, I’ve noticed the overall improvement of my body’s skin in general. I’ve always had dry, rough, patchy skin since I was a little kid, but this exfoliating towel has helped smooth out my skin’s texture greatly…like on my elbows & knees, the backs of my arms, & the upper area of my legs. The towel has also smoothed out the scratchy heels of my feet & softened the callouses on the balls of my feet.
You see, I can’t stop raving about the exfoliating shower towel. I am so in love with it. I use it everyday in the shower &/or bath. I take it with me when I travel. I cannot live without it. I used to buy the cheap, cheesy pink ones from the Asian supermarket, but sometimes they run out & don’t stock them on their shelves regularly. So instead, I get all of my inexpensive shower scrubbers at MUJI, which happens to be one of my favorite brands/shops anyway. MUJI carries these bath goods in two colors: white & gray, but I always buy the gray ones. I am pretty sure I’m making these shower towels sound cheesier by the minute, but I just adore them & will keep on using them for the foreseeable future. One thing I forgot to mention, you gotta swap out these towels every few months or so with fresh ones. You know, for sanitary reasons & such.
This winter has been especially cold in the area I live in, which makes it perfect to bury myself underneath all the warm blankets & the comforter of my bed. It’s so hard to get out of bed in the morning when you’re all snuggled up, warm, & floating between sleep & waking up. In the afternoons, I like to make myself a fresh, hot cup of coffee. It doesn’t physically warm me up like a nice pour of Scotch or a cup of tea, but it sure as cuss warms my spirit & my mood. In the evenings, I like to sit by the warm fireplace & relax with my tablet named Richard. It’s enjoyable when I can sit by the fireplace, next to Jian while he’s playing a video game. Right now Jian is playing Final Fantasy XV, which he jokingly refers to as “Four Dudes In A Car”, & I jokingly refer to as “Japanese Entourage“. Most of the time I’m not interested in the video games Jian plays, unless it’s the Uncharted series, but I am interested in this Fibal Fantasygame…mostly because I enjoy the music. (“Rodeo De Chocobo” is my favorite song so far.) Sitting by the fire in the evenings really put me in the mood to take a bath.
Today’s song of the day
“Still Waiting” by SUM 41
Christmas is over. All of my relatives have come & gone. My older brother came home, & I felt tension radiating off of him, probably from the stresses of his demanding job. My sister & her two kids came crashing in like a chaotic tornado. The more time progresses, the more new things I learn about my sister, but also the more she easily irritates & frustrates me. I find myself easily becoming angry &/or flying off the handle the more I spend time with my siblings.
I try to be accommodating to my brother & sister. I try to make their lives more comfortable. That’s engrained in my personality, to take care of & to comfort others. However, I’ve learned over this past Christmas holiday, that it often comes at my own expense. I sacrifice my own happiness, comfort, & (sometimes) sanity to make other people’s lives more comfortable. I don’t ever seek recognition or much validation, but a little compromising &/or acknowledgment goes a long way.
Last year, during the same time of the year, I had a HUGE & COMPLETE meltdown. I broke down into tears & was sobbing uncontrollably for hours. I mean, I had a mental breakdown, & it scared the hell out of me. I’ve never cried like that in my entire life, not even when my dad passed away. What was I having a meltdown about? One of my “to-be-unnamed” family members disrupted my housekeeping routine, & completely LOST IT! I don’t recall throwing a tantrum, but I vividly remember breaking down into utter sobs so intense I gave myself a panic attack & lost control of my breathing. I was half crying, half gasping for breath, so much so that Jian seriously considered taking me to the hospital.
It was then & there, well, after I had regained my composure, that I recognized this episode as a genuine wake up call to loosen the reins on my compulsion for cleanliness & strict housekeeping. I could not allow myself to freak out every time someone didn’t clean the house to my standards, or didn’t do something exactly the way I would have or wanted them to. I’m a Taurus astrology sign, so I can easily become stubborn, easily dig my heels into the ground & not budge, & easily let myself get angry. I learned from a very early age in my life how to maintain a home & how to be domesticated from my mother. So, when I perform my own housekeeping in my house, I do everything exactly the way my mom taught me, & I don’t stray from her exacting steps. I realized last year that I couldn’t go through life being so rigid & straightforward like that. There’s going to be a cuss-load of times where I cannot control the steps. I had to loosen my “grip”, so to speak. People will make messes, & I will just have to deal with it accordingly. I can’t spend my whole life trailing behind others with a vacuum & a dust rag. I told myself then, I’m not giving up my controlling ways, but I’m toning it down several notches.
This year, I also had another meltdown. I finally confessed to Jian that I’ve been carrying around a cuss-load of emotional stress & baggage. He told me that it is very unhealthy to keep all of my emotional stress bottled up. I told him that I had no other choice. I wanted to protect my mother & to not put any emotional stress on her, especially since she still feels so emotional over my dad’s passing. There’s already intense tension between my sister & older brother. As much as they love each other, they can’t stop fighting like cats & dogs. That makes my mom sad, to see her older kids fight, & I can see that it worries her out a little. I try to keep the peace as much as possible, & not “rock the boat”, & to shield my mom from as much stress & worry as I can, but then all of that pressurized burden falls on my shoulders.
As much as my mom is one of my closest confidants, it’s difficult for me to talk to her about this. Sometimes I find it hard to talk to Jian too because it’s difficult for him to relate to my issues when he was raised as an only child with very few cousins to interact with. Dear, sweet Jian tries to help me sort through & process all of my thoughts & emotions in a practical/sensible way, & I try to control my stubbornness & sometimes defeatist attitude. I think I’m making slight progress.
There have been many times, this Christmas alone, where I wanted to wring my sister’s neck or grab her by the shoulders & give her a good hard shake & scream, “What the hell is wrong with you?” straight to her face, but somehow, I was able to draw upon Jian’s practicality & wisdom, & I was able to take a step back every now & again to let myself cool down. I actually went with the flow some of the time, & pushed my immediate stressed feelings out of myself in order to stop & think before I reacted. My sister is a sloppy person, leaving clothes & used bath towels strewn all over the bedroom floor. All of her belongings are in messy piles all over the place, & she can never put a dirty dish/cup in the sink to save her life. Her children, in turn, learn those habits/mannerisms from their mother, & do as she does. They are equally messy, but to add another layer to this disaster, all three of them tend to be quite careless with their belongings. For example, my niece, in her throes of rough playing around her house, stepped on her expensive tablet & cracked the screen. She gave it no second thought whatsoever. My sister has lost her mobile phone so many times, in this year alone, that she now has to buy an expensive protection plan in case of loss or theft. The kids hate wearing jackets, even if it’s minus 14 degrees (Fahrenheit) outside, & they’ll throw their jackets on to the floor & walk away if they don’t want to wear their jackets.
All this time, I want to scream, tear my hair out, cry, shout, ball my fists & stomp my feet like a whiny toddler, but I was able to mentally talk myself off the edge of that cliff so many times this Christmas holiday. That made me feel like I’m clearly on my way to a more mature & composed self. That’s one of my goals for the year, to keep progressing my inner self, & to break away from my anger. I feel like I’m off to a good start. At least I think I am. I still have a very long way to go. Until then, cheers!
Today’s song of the day:
“Galdin Quay” by Yoko Shimomura for FINAL FANTASY XV