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- There was a woman who just walked past me, dressed in upscale threads, smugly carrying her designer handbag. She was obviously wearing too much cake-y makeup.
- I can’t actually believe I’m going back to wearing hair clips & headbands. A part of me feels like I’m becoming more aware of the way I dress & building my personal sense of style. Another part of me feels like I’m reverting to my days of being 14 years old & in high school, where I dressed awkwardly. I feel like I’m going to look childish & immature.
- When did I start to listen to ambient electronic music (i.e. Ukiyo) & dirty rap music (i.e. Big Sean)? I am trying to expand my taste & knowledge in music. I am still a creature of habit, but I want to grow in certain aspects & areas. Music is an extremely important part of my life, & I don’t know how I could get through a day without music. But… I feel like I’m listening to more & more weird stuff.
- I completely forgot how good a toasted bagel with cream cheese spread tastes. It is such a plain combination, but it truly hits the spot. I ordered a bagel with cream cheese today. I was debating whether I should choose butter instead of cream cheese, but I was so satisfied with my end decision. Oh man, add a few slices of lox (smoked salmon) & thinly sliced red onion & you’ve elevated your plain bagel to a whole new level. Then, add dill on top of that, & your tastebuds will rocket into outer space!
- Is it weird that I’m looking forward to washing my bed sheets? Jian has been very ill recently, & he’s only recently begun his recovery. I can’t wait to wash the stink, germs, & overall sick from the sheets. Then I can breath a sigh of relief. No matter how many showers you take, or what fresh laundry you put on, if your sheets are dingy/nasty/worn out, then you will always feel that icky unclean feeling all over your body. At least I will.
Ok, I now need to run off to the bank, then Target, then home to happily wash my gross bed sheets. Until then, cheers.
Today’s song of the day
“Champions” by Kanye West, 2-Chainz, Big Sean, Desiigner, Gucci Mane, Quavo, Travis Scott, & Yo Gotti
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
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
Remember when I said that I went to San Diego for my mom’s 70th birthday? No? Well, I did do that, & I mentioned in a previous post that I got sick (as usual). Why am I so prone to getting sick when I’m on vacation? (Don’t answer that. It was a rhetorical question.) Anyway, my sister’s kids are my most favorite people in the whole world, & they know just how to comfort their auntie when she is sick. My nephew gave me plenty of hugs, & sat in bed with me while we both played on our iPads. My niece played nurse,& helped me get plenty of water & juice. She also bought me a stuffed animal at the hotel’s gift shop. She specifically said that I needed something to snuggle while I’m laying in bed. Isn’t she just the cutest niece in the whole world? Yes, she is.
This is the stuffed animal my niece picked out for me, that Jian helped her pay for. My niece & I have this running joke going on where we each buy the same stuffed animals, except I will buy the smaller versions of her regular sized stuffed toys. My niece has this same stuffed rabbit (made by Jelly Cat), except hers is in the powder blue color. The stuffed rabbit toy comes in various sizes (from XS to XL) & in various pastel colors (eg. powder pink, dark pink/magenta-ish, mint green, coffee brown, powder blue, yellow, & white). My niece picked this white one out for me, which adds to my new & growing collection of stuffed toys.
I’m not sure what name I should give it. I like to name my possessions, so it’s only natural that I give this little guy a name. I like picking male names, so I’m thinking of something with a royal flair. My niece already decided that she’s going to call it Snow Bunny. I have another mini version of this stuffed rabbit in the same powder blue as my niece’s toy. She was so confused when I first showed her my blue toy. She couldn’t comprehend, at first, how her stuffed animal shrank to such a small size. I had to explain to her that I bought one for myself, & that’s when it dawned on her that we had matching stuffed rabbit toys. She got a huge kick out of it….so, from then on, we turned it into a running gag gift.
This past March, for my niece’s 6th birthday, I bought her the Large size of this white stuffed rabbit. She freaked out with happiness when she opened her present. She didn’t really pay attention to the other gifts that also came in the box. She pretty much focused all of her attention on her new stuffed toy. She loved it so much, & she really liked how I got her the even bigger version of all our stuffed rabbit toys. It was supposed to be a gag gift, but it actually turned out to be a great idea because she told me she gave her blue stuffed rabbit to her brother so he would have something to sleep with at night. That really touched my heart to the core. This Christmas, I’m going to get my niece another one of these stuffed rabbit toys, but in the even larger size (XL).
Hmm, what name should I give this toy of mine? I’m thinking about naming him Albert. I’ve already named my mini rabbit toy Irving. I’m not sure why I give all of my objects masculine names. I just like the way those names sound. Also, I just get along with males more than females. No, I’m not a tomboy, but I like a lot of the same things guys like, like: cars, watching sports, building plastic model kits, car racing, etc.. So, I think I’ve decided to name this guy Albert after all. The name has to just come to me naturally, not forced in thought. This name popped into my head just as I was writing this blog, & I am in love with the name.
On another note, this is going to be the latest post on my blog for a while, at least until I get settled at my hotel in Hong Kong. That’s right. I’m leaving for my planned vacation in a few days. I’m in a frantic mode of packing & trying to locate my over-sized “Asia suitcase”…that’s what I call my XL luggage that mysteriously disappeared. The hassle of visiting Asia, is that you gotta visit tons of relatives (aunties, uncles, distant cousins), & with visiting relatives comes the task of bringing tons of gifts. I have to bring a second separate suitcase just to pack all of the gifts. So, here I leave you until I am once again in the Orient. 乾杯! Cheers!
Today’s song of the day:
“Gold On The Ceiling” by The Black Keys
“Oh, Cheese it!” is a new slang phrase that I made up for myself. I use this phrase in negative situations, rather than using my usual dirty longshoreman cuss words because 1. it sounds cute, & 2. because it’s safe to use around children and prudes. Instead of saying “Goddammit!” or “Shit!”, like when you stub your toe really hard, or when you drop something important, I would say “Oh, Cheese it!”. It’s cheesy (pun intended), I know, but I like using this phrase. I think it’s fun.
Now, I’m using this phrase because something negative happened. For the first time in a long while, I finally made a bad stationery purchase. How could this have happened? I am usually so picky & choosy when it comes to buying stationery. I can browse the store for hours trying to look for the perfect notepad, pen, sticker, or other office supply item. I used to be the type of person who had to buy everything “cute” at the stationery goods store, but that quickly turned me into more hoarder than collector, so I gave away a lot of things I either had no use for or grew disinterested in. That groomed me to become more selective in the types of stationery goods I buy & use.
Well, I fell back into old habits again. I got caught up in the razzle-dazzle of the Japanese discount store Ichiban Kan. I was picking out some things to fill a stationery care package I was making for my younger cousin. (We have been very close ever since she was in diapers.) We both share a love for Japanese stationery & Japanese culture, & I just felt like spoiling her a little bit, since she never asks for anything. I saw so many pretty & cute, yet ridiculous goods at the discount store. I just couldn’t help myself. While I was picking out things for my cousin, I was also picking out extra things for myself. I must have been running on some sort of endorphin high, or perhaps something in the air fried my brain because I just grabbed whatever I thought looked cool without properly giving it my thorough, self-perfectionist examination.
Compared to some of the other times I’ve walked out of stationery stores, I think this purchase was quite modest. For my cousin, I only bought a Mount Fuji sticky notepad & a pad of animal shaped notecards. For myself, I bought a few sets of stickers & washi tape rolls. Let me lay it out straight for you. I.WAS. KIND OF. DISAPPOINTED. This was the first time I’ve ever been disappointed in my stationery goods purchase. Well, hold on a minute. I wasn’t completely disappointed with my purchase. The stickers were okay, but it was the washi tapes that really bummed me out.
This was the first thing I picked out, a roll of dog stickers. First of all, I really like how the roll is perforated, so you can tear off individual stickers, or if you’re like me…to shorten the used end of the roll to make it look neater/tidier. I really like the breeds of dogs used for these stickers. I’m so happy that there’s a Shiba Inu in the mix, as well as a Pomeranian that looks like the famous super pup Boo. Mostly, I couldn’t say no to the oh-so-adorable pug! Sorry for my lack of photography skills; my photos don’t do these items any justice. These stickers look matte in my photo, but they’re actually semi-glossy.
The next few things I picked were these sets of stickers. The first sheet says “和ものシール” (wamo no shiiru) which means “traditional seal”. The word “seal” is how the Japanese use to describe the word “sticker”. I was initially drawn to these stickers because of the rabbits! How could you deny those cute little bunnies? Plus, I really liked the traditional design & the rice paper texture of the stickers. As you can see, I’ve already used one of the rabbits. The other two sets are “flake seals”, which in Japanese “flake” is used to describe die-cut stickers. The set on the top has a forrest theme, while the set on the bottom are all kinds of birds. I really like these stickers because they are thin stickers, but I’d say they are pretty durable. I’ve already used one of the flower stickers, & I like how the stickers are slightly transparent. These stickers also have a rice paper texture, but a more smooth feeling. I haven’t tried any of the bird stickers yet. They look a little bit too soft in color for my taste, but I guess we’ll see how it all turns out.
Here’s where things take a sour turn. I was so excited to see so many different patterns of washi tapes at the Japanese discount store. Washi tape rolls can get very expensive (especially if you get ones with metallic foil accents). I try not to buy washi tape unless they’re on sale or at the discount store. Of course, I wanted to buy all of the tapes, but I forced myself to pick & choose only the select ones I knew I’d purposefully use. I got these three washi tape rolls. The first roll says “Thank You” in various languages. The gold lettering is supposed to have a slightly metallic shine, but my bad photography skills strike yet again, & you can’t really see it here. The second roll says “ありがとう” (Arigatou) which means “Thank You” & “ほんの気持ちです。” (Hon’ no kimochi desu.) which means “A feeling of gratitude”. I really liked the third washi tape roll because it looked quite Scandinavian & will look nice on wrapped gifts. Boy, oh boy. I can’t even with these damn washi tapes! Sure, they look pretty, but their looks are so deceiving! These tapes feel like every other washi tape out on the market, but they are far from the same quality. They don’t even stick to anything you use them on (not even plain white paper). I tried using the flower pattern tape on an envelope I was going to mail to my sister, but the ends kept curling up off the envelope, & no matter how many times I tried to really press down on the tape, it would just peel its ends off of the envelope. I’m pretty bummed right now that I bought these duds. There goes $4.50 USD right down the drain.
Well, that’s a lesson learned for me. Cheap is cheap, I guess. You better believe that the next time I won’t be so quick to buy everything off the shelves, & I will carefully inspect the items before I buy them. Until then, cheers!
Today’s song of the day:
“She Said, She Said” by The Black Keys