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Woo-Hoo! The time is almost near. Tomorrow I’m going to a concert performed by my all-time favorite Ska band SAVE FERRIS. This while be the first time in nearly 20 years since I’ve last seen this band perform live. I’m so super excited, but I’m still feeling the lingering effects from my cold, so I’m kind of bummed that I won’t get to fully sing along with the band tomorrow night. However, I still plan on fully enjoying myself & dancing along to all my favorite songs, & groove to the new songs from their new album Checkered Past. 

The day after tomorrow, I’m heading off to Los Angeles to celebrate my niece’s 7th birthday. I’m bummed out that I didn’t get to do my usual “aunt thing” & go hog wild on a massive birthday present for my niece this year. Jian made me stick to a budget & only get my niece a small gift. I love spoiling my niece & nephew, especially splurging on birthday gifts, so it was especially hard for me to keep it simple this year. I’m really excited to be celebrating my niece’s birthday with her this year. Usually my niece & nephew only want to have a party with their friends, but this year we are having a family celebration as well.

Shortly after I come back from Los Angeles, I have to unpack & repack my suitcase, so I can jet off to jolly ol’ England. I still cannot believe I’m going to London! I’m excited & freaking out at the same time. I’ve always wanted to visit London & never thought I’d get the opportunity, but it’s all really happening! Being able to check something off of my bucket list has such a rewarding & fulfilling feeling. I know I am going to fully immerse myself in this experience. I’m going to take it all in & fully enjoy myself.

I also want to let you in on a secret. Lately I’ve been listening to more ASMR audio & watching more ASMR videos. Okay, that’s not the actual secret here. The secret part of this fun fact is that I’ve been particularly drawn to a very specific genre of ASMR audio/video. The genre I’m referring to is highly mature themed & risqué, & that means the theme is one you would put a parental control on if your kids were in the room. I don’t want to get into too much specifics about what I’m listening to; that is wading into an extremely personal area I am not comfortable sharing with you. I will say one mor thing about these ASMR audios/videos before I move on. After listening to these audio files, I feel so much more lighter & happier. My daily mood  has turned in a very positive direction. I’ve been smiling more, & I’m definitely more upbeat throughout the entire day. I can’t wait until the sources I follow will update new content for me to listen to. One of my biggest inspirations for going back to listening to these audio files is a person who means something special to me.

My inspiration.


Before I finish this post, I’d like to add one random thing. There was a slightly older gentleman who was sitting across from me at the communal table at the big box coffee shop. I took notice of him almost immediately after he sat down because I thought he looked attractive. Hey, before you get any silly ideas in your head, I was not stealing side glances at him the entire time (just partially), & I was not stalking him. I first took notice of the gentleman himself, then quickly observed (snooped at) what he was doing while drinking his coffee. He was writing very meticulously in his neat & tidy notebook while reading from a slim reference book & glancing at notes on his smartphone. The first thing I noticed was how impeccably neat & precise his penmanship was while he was writing in his notebook. That attracted me more than anything. Listen, if a guy has neat penmanship, that’s a win in my book, or should I say, that’s a turn on for me. The second thing I noticed was this gentleman was writing some sort of mathematical/scientific equations along with his notes. This guy was pretty incredible, which is what I gathered from my short notice of him before he packed up & left. Man, I can’t stop thinking about this gentleman’s clean handwriting & feel envious. I’ve made it well known that my handwriting looks like chicken scratch. No matter how much I practice my writing, I always feel like my handwriting is so sloppy & looks too masculine for a lady, but too childish to be considered masculine. It’s just blah penmanship. I kind of wished at that moment that I had nice handwriting like that gentleman. The only good thing I can say about my penmanship is that it’s legible. I’m not going to forget this gentleman anytime soon.

This is just for reference, to paint a picture of my scenario. I’m NOT a creep, I promise.


Ok, lastly, I must sign off with my usual send-off. Cheers, mate.

Today’s song of the day:

“Hot Thoughts” by Spoon

fox hanky1a

“Okay. Say hello to my little friend.” – Tony Montana (Scarface circa 1983)

I was recently browsing the Internet, doing a little bit of online window shopping, looking for some last minute travel gear I might need for my upcoming trip to Japan. I like to shop at the online store MochiThings, which specialize in Korean-based stationery, gifts & home/lifestyle goods. Some of their items such as backpacks, luggage organizer pouches, & electronics carry cases can be on the pricier side. However, their stationery goods are often reasonably priced, & this website often holds discount sales events. I got extremely lucky when I saw this fox pattern handkerchief on their website. It just happened to be on the last day of their 15% off sale, & I knew I had to snatch this up immediately. I mean, hello! It’s a freaking handkerchief with foxes printed on it! Need I say more? Nopes (except, maybe they need to come out with a rabbit print handkerchief next).

Anyway, I nearly jumped out of my seat when I saw this handkerchief smack dab on the front of their homepage, under the “new items” category. Then, I nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw that this was part of the 15% off sale. I had to check my desk calendar (which I also bought on MochiThings) THREE times just to make sure I made the cut-off date for the sale. I grabbed this handkerchief right on the very last day of the sale, & with the discount, I was practically able to shave off the cost of the sales tax & reduce a tiny bit of the shipping cost. This handkerchief was already reasonably priced at $12USD. If I were to have bought this handkerchief at a department store, or some fancy Asian stationery store, it would have easily cost upwards of $18USD or more. So, I feel like I got a pretty good deal here.

When I first saw the handkerchief on the website, I was sort of skeptical about the fabric based on the description I read. The website listed the fabric as being 100% cotton, but based on the photos, I thought the fabric might feel a bit coarse or stiff like natural linen. I was so incredibly happy when my package arrived in the mail. When I felt the fabric texture for the first time, I was so incredibly happy. This weave of cotton material is just the right type of fabric I look for in a handkerchief. It is so soft & smooth, but also has a well-made structure, so when you iron the handkerchief, it will maintain a sturdy shape.

It is often very difficult for me to find a cotton handkerchief that is soft in texture. Ok, I admit that I am very picky when it comes to the types of handkerchiefs I like (almost to the point of being fussy/particular/critical). I find most cotton handkerchiefs to be too stiff & too coarse/rough in texture. It almost feels like natural linen. I like soft pliable textured cotton. That’s what I know from my early childhood, when my dad used to lend me his handkerchiefs to use. He would often buy packs of 6 or 12 soft white cotton handkerchiefs to keep in his trouser pockets. Every time I had a sniffle, he would lend me his handkerchief to wipe my nose. Eventually, he would just let me keep the handkerchiefs so I wouldn’t have to borrow them from him every time. That’s how I came into the habit of using handkerchiefs on my own.

This new handkerchief that I just got is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorites, not just because of the fabric & texture, but also because of the fox print. The fox graphics printed on this handkerchief is so perfect! It’s just the right balance of whimsy, charm & playfulness. What I love most about the fox print (other than the fact that it matches my blog’s name) is that the fox design itself is perfect. It’s sweet & cute without being too feminine, cartoonish, or childish. I am so in love! I can’t wait to bring this handkerchief to Japan & use it! It’s also going to make a great addition to my ever-growing handkerchief collection.

On that note, I’d like to end this blog post with a little update on the decorations on my backpack. I added a new pin to my backpack that says “Legit”. I don’t have any specific reason why I chose this pin. I guess I like this frequently-used pop culture word. I think it fits in well with my Victory V hand pin. I don’t think I’ll be adding much else to my backpack. I don’t want to over-clutter it, & most importantly, I don’t want to put too many decorations on my backpack only to break it, scratch it, or lose it. So, I think I will keep it simple like this. Cheers!

hellolulu pin1

Today’s song of the day:

“A Certain Romance” by Arctic Monkeys

a certain romance

 

soggy afternoon

The weather-caster has predicted rain all week long, & I am very much enjoying this wet weather. During the daytime, I put on some music from my Internet Radio while the rain is peppering the home windows, turn on my portable heater, & hammer through a day’s worth of work from my “home office” (if you can even call my computer station a home office). During the afternoons & evenings, I turn on my gas fireplace & curl up with an e-book on my iPad. (Sometimes I’ll have the TV on in the background.)

The rain makes me feel quite productive; the rhythmic sound of the rain calms my mood & my mind. It truly helps me to focus & get my work done.

On a particular day like today, I’ve already sorted out my daily correspondence, mail/post, bills, & now I’m tackling a mountain mound of laundry. Usually, one does not think of doing laundry on a wet & soggy day full of rain (especially if you’ve got a ton of delicates to hand-wash), but for me, this is a perfect day to get all of my laundry done (not that I save all of my dirty laundry until the last moment.) So, I’m cranking up music from my iTunes program. Today it’s French Pop day; I’ve got Joe Dassin, Françoise Hardy, & Sylvie Vartan on repeat. I’ve just finished ironing a huge pile of dress shirts, & now I can sit down & relax with a cup of hot coffee (with lots of cream & a little sugar, please).

The rain may be preventing me from going on an outing today, but I still feel very much like I have accomplished a lot. Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:
“Don’t Worry Baby” by The Beach Boys
dont-worry-baby-beach-boys

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This past Friday it rained in my city. The weatherman had predicted heavy rain showers throughout the day. I was very much looking forward to this wet, gloomy skied weather. (Gawd knows we need more rain to ease this major drought we’re having in California.)

I must make a little naughty confession. I mostly wish for rain so that I may shirk my home-gardening duty of watering the plants around my house. My house is an Eichler designed home, with big front & back yards as well as a courtyard/atrium in the middle of the house. (My home floor plan is U-shaped & boxy.) Oh, I also live on a pretty steep hill, so my backyard has multiple levels, so let me just say that watering ALL of the plants around my house is a chore & a half!

I’m veering off my original topic. I’m sorry. Let me continue. Where was I? Oh, yes. I was talking about loving the colder, wetter weather. Other than this nasty cold I’m having (& on the day I’m going to my very first Black Keys concert no less!), I’m really enjoying the approaching colder climate. I am looking forward to wearing chunky knit sweaters, & layering, & all that [INSERT HIPSTER FASHION TREND SO I CAN PRETEND TO BE COOL & TRENDY]. Don’t get me wrong. I still love hot weather & sunny days (Try walking the concrete streets of Tokyo in mid-July). However, I am ready to throw on my fluffy down jacket & bust out my itchy, plaid scarf. (Oh the things women will do for fashion…or my lack thereof.)

Rainy days, to me, are fun & motivational. Yes, I said MO-TI-VA-TION-AL. It really gets me in the mood to tackle all of the house chores I normally would push off until it became immensely unavoidable. Sure, when it rains, most people would rather be cuddled under a warm, soft blanket on the couch watching On-Demand movies & drinking hot cups of coffee, or reading a book while sipping on a cup of tea…I did indulge in some of that myself…& I also got shit done (ironing dress shirts, vacuuming the rugs, folding laundry, hand-washing delicate clothes, emptying clean dishes from the dishwasher).

That sense of accomplishment, nothing feels more rewarding, especially when you get to finally settle down on the couch & relax after all is said & done, wrapped up with a neat little ribbon. I feel so at ease listening to the pitter-patter of the raindrops while sipping my second cup of hot coffee. The weather on that day was cold enough to warrant my use of a space heater. I actually turned on the gas-powered fireplace & settled in to play a few puzzle games on my iPad. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I hope more of this colder, wet weather comes again soon. I would like to enjoy more days like these. Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:
“Here’s That Rainy Day” by Stan Getz
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My friends are getting married in two weeks.  They are hosting their wedding in Taipei, Taiwan.  I am so excited to be visiting Taipei for the first time in my life.  Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve heard so many awesome stories from my mom (who grew up there by the way), & I’ve always hear from my relative about how mind-blowing incredible the food is.  I’ve been eating Taiwanese influenced food my entire life, so I’m really pumped up to be trying the real deal while I’m over there.  Also, I’m so extremely excited that both of my friends are finally getting married…& that I get to go on an epic trip with all of my closest friends!

[ I remember my friends’ proposal like it was yesterday.  Our whole circle of friends went to the San Diego Comic Con in 2011.  In the spur of the moment, our male friend (the fiancé) had asked us to help him stage the proposal on the beach.  We only had a couple of hours to pull the whole thing together, including: 1. helping him write her (the fiancée) a letter/message in a bottle, 2. get an empty wine bottle to stage a scene on the beach where they would randomly find said bottle, & 3. (the most tricky part of all) film the whole proposal with a friend’s Pro photography camera without her knowing they were being filmed.  We somehow managed to make it work with our extremely limited resources, & voila!  Our friends are finally tying the knot. ]

Not only will this trip be for our friends’ wedding, but it will probably be the last major trip my husband & I will take for a long time because after this, we are going to anchor ourselves down & get the ball rolling on continuing the family tree (if you know what I mean). [Bow-chicka-wow-wow!]  After our friends’ wedding, my husband & I are going to stay in Taipei for a few extra days, then jet off to Tokyo, Japan to visit an old friend of mine as well as my cousins & my last surviving uncle (from my dad’s side of the family).  Before we head off to Tokyo, we’ve got quite a bit of sightseeing to do in Taipei, since it’ll be our first time traveling there.  I am definitely planning to take a lot of pictures, which I hope I will have time to upload on to this blog. *Fingers Crossed*  Also, my mom has given us a laundry list of things to do on her behalf (e.g. take a picture of her alma mater college, visit the national museum, have lunch with one of her friends…whose nickname is Little Horse in Mandarin. I kid you not.)

After our little excursion in Taipei, we are off to Tokyo.  This time we are going there with two of our closest friends (my husband’s best friend & his wife…who is a close friend of mine as well).  We are all very excited to visit new neighborhoods & try new things this time.  However, as per my usual routine, I must visit at least one or two of my cousins & I must visit my grandparents in their final resting place to pay my respects.  Also, I will be meeting up with a longtime friend of mine (whom I’ve known since Kindergarten), & I couldn’t be more thrilled to see her after 5 years.  We’ve both been very busy with work & family, so it’s been difficult for us to keep up regular contact with each other.  This time in Tokyo, we are going to take it easy, go slow & really soak up all of the fun.  I’m usually more of a fast-paced kind of girl when I’m on vacation.  I want to cram in as much things to see & do in one day as I can, but this time my husband has convinced me to just slow down & really enjoy my time…for this may be my last overseas for a long time.  Like always, I’m going to be taking photos galore in Tokyo, & like I said before, hopefully I’ll be able to upload them when I can.

I am so excited for this trip, I can hardly wait.

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