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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
So, remember that one time when I said I got a head cold? Well, guess what? Immediately after that happened, I seriously pulled a muscle in my left shoulder. My mom says that I pulled a rotator-thing-a-ma-jiggy because she pulled the exact same muscle in her right shoulder several months ago. However, I’m neither a doctor nor am I a physical therapist, so I’m just going to say that I pulled a generic muscle in my shoulder. The left one. Oh man, if you’ve never pulled a muscle in your body before, & this was my first time pulling a major muscle, you should feel so lucky, & grateful , & all that good stuff because it is definitely no picnic in the park…I’ll tell you that for sure.
Can you ever imagine, not being able to lift your arm even 45 degrees? Or not be able to put on a shirt or a bra? Or not be able to pull up your pants after you’ve finished peeing? Unless you are physically disabled, or have had a major accident or an outdoor/sports injury, I don’t think it’s imaginable. The struggle was real, guys. My shoulder was throbbing so bad from the pinch & the pain that it even hurt to keep my arm straight at my side. Ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating slightly, but this was my very first experience pulling a muscle in my body, so of course I’m going to throw in a little over-the-top whining.
I’m just so thankful for my slight compulsive disorder to stockpile my medicine cabinet at all times, & for having tons of Salonpas pain relieving patches on-hand. Those sticky little mentholated, medicated pain relieving patches saved my aching shoulder. I slapped on several patches all over my shoulder, twice daily (once in the morning & another time at night), & after three days of having a non-working arm, I’m all patched up & well on my way to a full recovery.
So, that was my sort of depressing start to the month of December. I was very much looking forward to decorating our Christmas tree, but since I couldn’t lift my arm more than 20 degrees, my mom helped me with the decorations, & now our house looks festive & ready for Christmas!
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
I thought I was being so clever by ordering some of my Christmas gifts online. Geez, I was wrong. I ordered two special gifts for my two older nieces online, & when the shipment arrived in the mail, the company got the entire order wrong & only sent me half of the items I paid for. I then made a special trip to the shopping mall to have my order corrected, only to be turned away by the store manager with her standard spiel about not being able to fulfill or correct website purchases, & that I would have to call their customer service hotline to rectify this glaring error. I was a little upset having to deal with this stupid mistake (which is entirely the fault of the company & its website staff), especially when Christmas is not so far away. I mean, nobody likes to have missing gifts at Christmastime. Well, I ended up canceling my entire order, sending back the half items that were sent to me, & bought my nieces something else entirely.
I’m rather relieved that most of my other online purchases arrived in a timely manner, & were the actual correct items. My Christmas shopping list is nearly complete, & I’m waiting for two more items to arrive in the mail. I’m ready to snuggle up beside the fireplace & watch some trashy reality TV shows. Until then, cheers!
Today’s song of the day:
“Laura” by Coleman Hawkins
- I love how my local big box coffee shop plays a good mix of eclectic music. They can effortlessly transition from the classic Björk song “It’s Oh So Quiet” to Credence Clearwater Revival’s popular song “Fortunate Son”.
- Sometimes I love the autumn & winter seasons in my area because the weather tends to get very cloudy, & then I won’t have to always lug my awkwardly shaped sunglasses & its bulky case around in my purse.
- However, I dislike the fact that once the weather starts to get colder, my skin rises to its optimum peak of itchiness, the height of its itch-factor. I could slather on 30 layers of extra-strength lotion every day. I could drink a hundred gallons of water for hydration. I could wrap my entire body in kitchen plastic saran wrap. I could do anything short of shedding my outer layer like a molting snake, but my skin would still itch like hell.
- I often wish I could use a slim, compact purse. My purses are generally oversized & very often get in the way. I am either bumping into things when I’m inside a shop, or I am accidentally hitting people with the back of my purse.
- Follow up thought: I carry way too much little things in my purse. I’m always worried that I will need something while I’m on the road & am not able to stop at a drugstore or convenience store. So I carry lots of little emergency items in my purse, which weighs my purse down heavily.
- However, I’m even more worried that if I start eliminating things from my purse, then that’ll be right at the time when I need that specific item. ( Example: taking the emergency Tylenol out of my bag, & then immediately getting a headache in the car.)
- Final purse thoughts: I am self conscious about carrying such a large purse, even though it was a fashion trend at one point within the last decade or so. I worry that I might look like an uncoordinated bag lady.
- I recently started re-listening to the music I listened to back in high school. I dug up my old CDs that I bought in high school, & I uploaded the music onto my home computer. I have rediscovered my passion for music, & rekindled my love for the same music genres I loved back in the 1990s.
- On that note, I have been rediscovering two genres of music I fell in love with in high school, & have fallen in love with those types of music all over again. I have rekindled my flames of passion for PUNK & SKA music, & I couldn’t be happier.
- I can’t believe it’s already the month of November. Before we know it, I’ll be back in Anaheim, California, celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with my beloved nephew & niece at Disneyland yet again.
Today’s song of the day
“Mellow Out” by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
I once read this quote somewhere. Perhaps in a magazine, or a book, or on the Internet. I’m not quite sure anymore. I’ve had a grainy, low quality photo of this quote saved on my smartphone photo library for quite a few years, & it’s always intrigued & fascinated me. I don’t know much about the explorer Jacques Cousteau, only whatever minor facts I’ve learned through pop culture references & the ever-popular movie The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (starring actors Bill Murray & Jeff Goldblum, with music by Seu Jorge).
Even though I am not a fan of the ocean, or the sea, or much of any body of water…except bath water, I fell in love with this quote. When I first read this quote, my first impression was that I thought the quote was about selfishness. The more I read this quote (to myself), the more I began to understand its meaning, & I now feel as though this quote fits the meaning behind this blog.
If I have an opportunity to lead any sort of life…not just an extraordinary one…but any sort of life I can feel proud of, then why not share it? Why should I keep it to myself? That’s one of the reasons why I started to write a blog in the first place. I want to share bits & pieces of myself with anyone who is willing to listen (or read, for that matter). I am not too concerned about the content of my blog posts. I’m not setting up my blog to be some insightful, radical view of the world. I’m writing my blog to share my tiny little bubble with the rest of the world. So, I’ve decided to share this quote with whoever’s reading this, & I say…DON’T KEEP THINGS TO YOURSELF. Cheers.
Today’s song of the day:
“Headlight” by MONKEY MAJIK