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As you may or may not know, lately I’ve been taking more frequent baths. I truly enjoy my sacred bath time. I take my time to set-up the bathroom for a high level of relaxation & fun. I always place my bath towel in the exact same spot (even when I take my showers); I put out my soaps & hair care products in strategic places around the bathtub, so I won’t have to get up every five minutes to grab something. I also bring in my plastic stool to prop up my tablet for optimum movie watching. Which brings me to the next topic because I almost always watch a movie, TV show, or some sort of video while I’m taking a bath.
I am an absolute creature of habit. Sometimes, I’ll venture out & watch a movie I’ve never seen (& often have never heard of) before. The most recent “new” movie I watched was one on Netflix called “Final Girl“. The movie features: Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens), Wes Bentley (American Horror Story), Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games), & Francesca Eastwood (yes, Clint Eastwood’s daughter). I most certainly am not a fan of slasher-thriller type movies; I especially despise movies that involve a crazed madman chasing a woman through the woods. However, this movie was actually
surprisingly entertaining to watch. I enjoyed the chemistry & the relationship between Abigail & Wes’ characters. That’s probably one of the few movies I’ve watched outside of my self-prescribed rotating list of movies I like to watch while I’m taking a bath.
Another movie (not on my list) that I’ve watched recently is “Rust and Bone“, starring: Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Midnight in Paris) & Matthias Schoenaerts (Far From The Madding Crowd, The Drop, Bullhead). I absolutely loved this movie & am considering buying the digital download for my movie collection. The slow-building romance between the two main characters is so achingly beautiful, painful & raw at the same time. I truly & completely loved the ending of the movie. It was because of the ending scenes that made me swoon over Matthias Schoenaerts’ character. I’m not going to give away too much of the movie & let you watch it for yourself. I will just add at the last minute that Marion Cotillard is one of my favorite actresses, & that is all.
I have no problems whatsoever with watching a movie multiple times, especially if it’s a movie I thoroughly enjoy. I think I can get quite picky
borderline annoying regarding the movies I choose to watch, but when I find one I truly like &/or love, I can watch that movie over & over again without getting sick of it. There are just some movies that stick with me for a long time, & I will have no problem watching that movie several times (consecutively, sometimes). Jian often does not share my taste in movie genres or story lines, so we often watch our movies separately. We enjoy watching current box office movies together, & on that regard, we do enjoy the same now-in-theaters movies. However, when it comes to movie rentals or On Demand cable TV movies, we can never agree on much.
I end up watching most of my movies while I’m taking a bath. That’s the perfect time to squeeze in one of my movies on my tablet, while Jian is occupying the home TV to play video games or watch his silly Comedy Central TV shows. I have noticed, during my most recent bath sessions, that I’ve been frequently cycling through the same few movies over and over. Jian often teases me mercilessly over my movie choices. He sometimes wonders aloud why I am watching that movie again. I have a difficult time explaining to him why I enjoy watching the same movies multiple times without him teasing me for being so predictable & routine. Therefore, I watch my movies in secret; often times when he’s at work, or other times when I’m taking my baths. I’m not ashamed of watching the same movies over & over again. I just don’t like listening to Jian openly tease me about it, or listen to him complain that I’m controlling the TV with things that only I want to watch.
So I’ve made up a list of movies that I call my guilty pleasures movies, even though I don’t feel guilty about them at all. I will say one thing, please excuse my selection of movies. My taste in movie genres, like my musical taste, runs all over the map. So forgive me if the list bounces around & possibly gives you an eye strain. Cheers.
1. Midnight in Paris: I have seen this movie at least twice in the past month. I just love the plot to this movie. Hopping into a time-traveling taxi & hob-knobbing with the notable celebrities of one’s favorite “golden age” era. Falling in love in the rain in the middle of Paris with the Eiffel Tower twinkling in the background. How romantic is that? This movie makes me wish I could take a vintage taxi & travel back in time to my favorite time in history & just soak up the atmosphere for a little while before slipping back into the harsh, gritty reality of the present.
2. You’ve Got Mail: I have watched this movie several times on TV, & I find it endearing each time I watch it. It breaks my heart when Meg Ryan’s character has to close her quaint little bookshop, but it also brightens my heart when she develops a friendship with Tom Hanks’ character that evolves into love. I enjoy the simplicity of emails & instant messaging…long before the days of SnapChat & texting/sexting. I can see how this movie can feel so out-dated when you see the main characters using big, chunky IBM laptops with a dial-up modem, & they still have to log-on to AOL. However, I find that aspect charming, & it hits close to home, as I’ve done such things (like instant messaging & chatroom conversations) with ex-boyfriends past. This is overall a “cute” movie that I wouldn’t turn away from if it aired on TV again.
3.The Boat That Rocked (a.k.a. Pirate Radio): This movie renewed my interest (& semi-passion) in music from the 1950s & 60s. I grew up listening to my local “oldies” radio station all throughout my Elementary school years. A girl, who was my best friend at the time, & her mother both got me into music from that era. The girl’s mother had a vintage record player & would let us listen to all of her vintage (& original) Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, & The Association vinyl records. I fell in love with the music & started listening to my local “oldies/classic” radio station on my walkman at night. Of course when I got into Junior High School & High School, it was uncool to listen to anything but the Top 40 hits, so I quickly started listening to whatever was popular on the radio station to fit in with the rest of the kids at school. After watching this movie, it just reaffirmed my love of the music from the 1950s & 60s. While watching this movie, I was surprised that I could actually sing along to some of the songs played throughout the movie. Needless to say, I downloaded the soundtrack almost immediately after watching the movie. This movie also reminded me of a time when I wanted to become a radio station deejay. I enjoy watching this movie because it lets me live vicariously through the rebel deejays during the musical revolution of the 1960s in the UK.
4.Secretary: I can attest that I am not a masochist, nor am I a submissive to anyone’s domination. However, I don’t mind a little kinky fuckery every now and again. This movie will always be at the top of my “Top 10 Movies” list. Hands down. I love this movie so much, yet I can’t find the apt words to describe how I feel about it. Sometimes, I feel lost in life like Maggie Gyllenhal‘s character from this movie, but I most certainly do not feel the need to cut or burn myself just to feel any emotion at all. I am often intrigued by the mysterious, dominating, intimidating, powerful, sexual types like James Spader’s character from this movie. How would I react if I had an employer who acted that way around me? Would I be fearful & afraid? Or would I be turned on & motivated just like the main character in this movie? The slow-burning, highly erotic romance that develops between the two main characters in this movie turn me on. I’d love to be in an all-consuming, passionate to the point of heartbreaking, relationship just like the two main characters. Two people who know how & when to push each others buttons, but only to bring pleasure, not to cause harm…& to help one another not only grow within themselves, but grow to love the other unselfishly & unconditionally. Plus, the spanking’s hot too.
5.Music And Lyrics: The first time I watched this movie was on a flight to Japan. I was skeptical to watch this movie at first because I am not a big fan of movies with Drew Barrymore. However, I ended up thoroughly enjoying this movie. Recently, during one of my bath sessions, I re-watched this movie & grew to like it even more. What’s more is that I can’t get the Pop song from the movie out of my head, & I’ve been humming the song to myself on & off a lot lately…you know that song: “Pop Goes My Heart” by the fictional Pop group POP! from this very movie. I remember once, when I was a teenager, trying to write my own song lyrics. I had no clue on where to start. Do I create a background melody first? Or do I write the words first? My attention span at that age was so short, I gave up before I even put pen to paper. I will say that watching this movie makes song lyrics writing look fun (stressful, yet fun). Also, I found Hugh Grant’s character to be funny, cute & a little charming. I love how his character can easily make fun of himself & his past career as a cheesy 80s Pop idol. This movie is both cute & fun to watch, just to pass the time, for a good laugh, or if you’re stuck on a boring plane ride.
6. Battle Royale (a.k.a. BR I): I said earlier on in this blog post that I dislike slasher movies, however, this movie was so beautifully done that it has become one of my all-time favorite movies. Director Kinji Fukasaku unfortunately passed away before the completion of filming the sequel Battle Royale II: Requiem, but his memory plays on through this iconic film. This is surely a tale of love & survival. If you thought The Hunger Games was cruel & unusual punishment, then you haven’t seen this movie. Battle Royale puts the Hunger Games to shame, even though they share similar traits in how these “games” are set-up. Both games are set up as follows: 1. Game contestants are selected at random. However, in BR, instead of selecting competitors by ‘district’, each group of contestants are young students who are selected by school, grade level & classroom, & they are stranded on a deserted island. 2. Whomever is the last person standing is the victor of the games. 3. Use any means &/or weapon necessary to become the last person standing at the end of the games. However, unlike The Hunger Games, in BR, you already start with your own survival pack complete with a weapon, a map, a compass, food rations, & a bottle of water. Also, you have a tracking collar locked around your neck, & at different intervals throughout the day, different spots on the island become hot zones which will cause anyone within that hot zone to detonate the explosives within the collar.
Like in The Hunger Games, there is a romantic couple that arises, who become each others’ allies & help each other survive the game. Yes, these two young characters witness some of their closest friends die right before their eyes, but that only hardens their resolve to stay alive. These two star-crossed lovers vow to protect each other & stay by each other’s side no matter what. They vow to fight together against the jaded, corrupt adults who created this game to rid Japan of its troubled, lazy, & unmotivated youth. From the moment that I first saw this movie, I fell in love with actor Tatsuya Fujiwara & his acting. Tatsuya is brilliant in this movie (as well as in his other movie roles), but alongside actress Ai Maeda, & the pair make a heartbreaking hero-heroine couple. Just to warn you, this movie is extremely graphic, violent, gory (& vulgar in some areas). The most iconic scene in the movie is when Chiyaki Kuriyama’s character stabs another boy in the crotch with an ice pick, crying out that he will never get to touch her. It was because of Chiyaki’s character in this movie that prompted director Quentin Tarantino to specifically create the character GoGo Yubari in the movie Kill Bill Vol. 1 just for Chiyaki…& also as an homage to her BR character. I couldn’t end this without mentioning the perpetually depressed & angry Takeshi Kitano (a.k.a. Beat Takeshi). When I first saw him in this movie, I thought he was so cold-hearted, unfeeling, & cruel; yet, the more I watched him, the more I wanted to reach out & hug him…to show him some sort of affection his daughter (the ones both on & off screen) never gave him. It is so heart-wrenching to see a man fall to his knees, desperately searching for a young daughter’s affection & attention, & the one who showed him any compassion at all ended up being the one who ended him.
Today’s song of the day:
“Beautiful Love (Take 2) by Bill Evans
Wow, I can’t believe January is almost over. Time is flying by so fast. Lately, it’s been quite chilly where I live, especially in the evenings. So, I’ve been taking more baths in the past few weeks. I know that my region is still not out of the drought danger zone, therefore, I try to make a conscious effort to reuse/repurpose my used bath water in an attempt to not waste water.
When I take baths, I fully utilize my private time in the bathroom. I am not ashamed to say that I can take a bath for up to two hours (on occasion). According to today’s Pop Culture standards, “Netflix-ing & chilling” is the cool new “hang out” thing to do. For me, I believe that bathtime is my favorite chill & relax thing to do. After I shut the bathroom door & step into the hot bathwater, I can totally tune out the rest of the noise going on around me & unwind for the day.
I have a routine (go figure…) that I always follow before I step into the bathtub. I like to first clean the bathtub a little to get rid of all the loose hairs & soap/shampoo residue from the previous showers. (Nobody likes to take baths in a dingy tub!) Then, I like to set up all of my bath products around the bathtub in advance, so that I don’t have to get up every two minutes to grab something. While the tub is getting pre-filled, I will then utilize this time to pick a fresh set of clothes, brush my teeth, neatly arrange my towel right next to the tub, & finally…grab my tablet & the little blue plastic IKEA children’s stool that I use to prop up my tablet.
After I’ve gone through my pre-bath bath routine, I am now ready to, as the kids say these days, “Netflix & Chill”. Sometimes, I will watch an entire movie while sitting in the bath. Other times, I will play games or read an e-book. When I am in my bathtub, I feel like I am in my own little bubble, undisturbed until the moment I step out of the tub. Once I am in the tub, there really is no other thing to do but to relax. I don’t have any particular order or routine in which I clean myself. I just let all of my muscles relax & zone out for a little while. There are some times when I take quick & efficient baths just to clean myself & go. There are other times when I will truly use this time for myself, & sit in the bathtub until the water starts to get cold.
No matter how much time I spend in the bath, I will try to save my bathwater & reuse it to water the plants around my house. It’s often very tedious & boring to scoop out the water into a bucket & haul the heavy bucket to my garden. I often have to make multiple trips, but at least it saves water. I often get achy joints when the weather gets colder, especially when it’s raining outside, & taking hot baths greatly soothes the pain in my joints. I thoroughly endorse taking baths whenever you can. Save the bathwater, & reuse it to water plants. OR, do as the Japanese people do & reuse the used bathwater to wash clothes. When the weather is less than warm, it’s always fun to take baths. Cheers!
Today’s song of the day:
“I’ve Got You Under My Skin” by Chantal Chamberland
Last night my neighborhood experienced not ONE, but TWO power outages, each within minutes of each other. Normally, power outages don’t bother me. They are often annoying inconveniences, but last night I had a minor scare. It wasn’t really the outage itself that scared me, nor was it the darkness, but it was the timing of the power outage that freaked me out because I was utterly caught off guard at an especially awkward time.
It was late last night, not 1am late, but still late for what I was doing. I was taking a bath after everyone in my household had already gone to bed. I had my bath set up perfectly: Soothing hot water? Check. Charged up iPad? Check. Netflix movie queued up & ready to go? Also check! No interruptions? Check, check, check. Until it had happened. I was lounging comfortably in my bathtub in the middle of watching a Netflix movie. I had already completed the cleansing & washing part of my bath, the business end. So, next came the leisure part of my bath routine, my favorite part of taking a bath. More than soaking in the hot water, I like playing games or watching a Netflix movie on my iPad “Richard” while lounging in the bathtub.
Last night I was particularly relaxed because nobody was up & about with any opportunities to interrupt my relaxing bath. That’s when the power outage decided to rear its ugly & inconvenient head. I was two-thirds in to watching my movie, & all of a sudden I heard a noise, one close to a power source shutting down, then all the lights went out. Barely five seconds later, the power returned. However, I was already feeling alarmed. I jumped out of the bath, grabbed my towel, & woke Jian up to ask him to check the home’s circuit breaker panel. Everything seemed to be in order since the power had come back. The Internet connection had been rebooted, so I had to wait a few minutes to continue watching my movie. Needless to say, I didn’t take this first mini outage as any cue to finish up my bath & go to bed. I hopped right back into my bath, which was still warm, & continued to watch Netflix.
Ten minutes later, I was really becoming engrossed in the movie, & the power goes out again. This time I was a little more on the scared side. The entire neighborhood was covered in pitch black darkness. I’m not afraid of the dark in my own home, mostly because my 90-year old next door neighbor always keeps his kitchen lights on, & it creates a glow that shines all the way to my house. I live on a hill, & my elderly neighbor’s house is on the higher side of the slope (I’m on the lower side of the slope). Our adjoining property-line fence sits lower than most fences because he complains about it blocking his non-existent view. Therefore, his kitchen light shines into my bedroom at night, creating a nice nightlight effect. This helps me to see in the dark, especially if I have to get up in the middle of the night to pee.
This time I was sitting in the bathtub, & all of a sudden everything goes black & the house is eerily quiet (probably because the bathroom ceiling fan went out as well as my movie). The bathroom was so dark I couldn’t even see the door. I got out of the tub again, & woke Jian up yet again to check the house once more. This time the power stayed out for over twenty minutes, & I finally decided to finish my bath. I couldn’t watch anything on Netflix anyway, so I had no interest in sitting in a pool of water bathed in darkness (haha, no pun intended). It felt weird, cleaning up & getting ready for bed by the light of a flashlight & backlight from my smartphone. There was nothing romantic about it, no soft glow, no ambience. It was all shadows & creepy beams of light dancing along the cold walls. I did end up finishing my Netflix movie. The power came back on. More than anything, I felt grateful that though we have many clocks around our house, most of them run on batteries, so the only clocks I had to reset this morning were the ones on the kitchen stove & microwave. Who decides to take a bath late at night in the middle of a power outage? This guy. [Points to myself] Cheers.
Today’s song of the day:
“Senses featuring Lostboycrow” by Cheat Codes
Baths aren’t just for little kids, ladies who want to unwind with a glass of Chardonnay & aromatherapy candles, or newlyweds making Le Sexy Time in the honeymoon suite with a heart-shaped tub. They’re not just for old timers in need of a sponge bath either. Baths are for everyone.
I like to take baths every now & again. About once a week I will swap one of my showers with taking a bath. I think baths are great, even though sometimes they can be a chore to set up (i.e. pre & post tub clean up, adding bubbles, oils or scents (optional), putting on music (also optional), adjusting the desired water temperature). Even at my age, I do not find anything childish or cheesy about taking baths. I am part Japanese, & taking baths is a huge part of Japanese culture. I also grew up taking lots of baths as a child. My grandmother always told me that when I was born, I was so tiny she would often give me baths in the bathroom sink. I didn’t believe it until I saw photo evidence in an old photo album.
I thoroughly enjoy baths. I find taking baths to be quite relaxing. Sometimes I will listen to music while taking a bath, but mostly I will play games on my smartphone or read an e-book on my tablet. I used to enjoy adding aromatherapy bubble bath solution to my bath water, but it always made a residue ring in my tub at the end of my baths, & I would have to scrub the tub afterwards, which was a hassle after I’ve just spent time trying to relax. Also, the brand of bubble solution I liked (which had a eucalyptus scent) was quite pricey, so I stopped buying it to save money.
Between my teenage years & my twenties, I used to think baths were cheesy; taken by sexy single ladies & housewives who like to put an ungodly amount of candles around the tub, turn the lights down low, suds up the bubbles & pour themselves a glass of wine, all while reading romance novels with hunky, beefcake heroes who sweep them off their feet. Now that that silly idea has been scrubbed from my mind, I have become an advocate of taking a bath from time-to-time.
It actually is relaxing. I like to keep the bathroom lights off, letting only the light from the small window illuminate the space. It’s not quite dark, but not very sunny & bright. If I’m in the mood, I will put on some music from my iPod. I usually like to read a magazine or a book, maybe even play a puzzle game on my smartphone. However, I mostly like to close my eyes, shut off my mind, clear all of my thoughts, & just let myself float in the water. Of course I will eventually get to the actual washing part, but I like to let my tired muscles soak in the hot water. I’d like to add that I like my bath water really, really hot. Ok, maybe not scalding hot…I don’t want to come out looking like a boiled lobster, but I like it hot enough that I have to dip my feet in a couple of times before I lower my derrière straight into the tub.
If you ever get a chance to take a bath, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, I’d say do it. It is like a little slice of privacy & a small escape from everything going on outside the bathroom. Hey, you can even imagine that you’re a kid again & pretend you’re a captain of your own pirate ship. Or perhaps you’re an explorer in a submarine. Either way, enjoy yourself…in the bath. Cheers!
It seems the weather is becoming cooler, & Mother Nature is getting ready for the Autumn/Winter seasons. So here I bring you a list of things that bring me joy in the Autumn/Winter time:
- the feeling after taking a hot shower
- hot chocolate with whipped cream (& marshmallows if you like them)
- a big bowl of hearty beef stew
- wearing thick socks
- sitting next to a crackling fireplace
- wearing slipper booties (WOoT for Isotoners!)
- flannel pajamas (especially the ones w/ the feet)
- a hot bubble bath with rich bubbles
- a steaming bowl of Chinese soup noodles (or rice porridge)
- a fresh, hot cup of coffee in a ceramic mug
- watching the rain thru the window while you are warm & dry indoors
- sitting under a warm kotatsu, eating snacks & drinking beer while watching sports on TV
- having post-MLB / World Series / NFL tailgate parties at home
- listening to the sound of the rain before falling asleep
- a warm towel straight from the dryer
- the toasty feeling of clean clothes straight from the dryer
- movie marathons while sitting under a blanket & eating freshly popped popcorn