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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
This December has quickly become one cluster-cuss of a month. First, I pull a muscle in my shoulder. Then, I have an annoying mix-up with some of the online orders I made for Christmas. After that, my sister’s family has a last-minute change of plans, which completely throws our annual family traditions into a tailspin. Then finally, we find out suddenly that some extended family in-laws have just suffered a major health scare, & it was a hair’s width close to becoming a catastrophic event for the extended family that was involved.
HOWEVER, THE SHOW MUST GO ON…
Despite all of that, we are making the most out of the situations that come up,, & we are having a wonderful time. Even though this Christmas feels a little off for me, I am having the best time. I actually feel like this holiday break is going to turn out better than expected. No, better than ever! I am so grateful for everything that has been given to me, everything that has gone well for me, & every opportunity, experience, & memory for this glorious year. I couldn’t be more appreciative & thankful. Yeah, I’ve had a wonky month, but I am going with the flow. During these times of the year, during the holidays, my family can especially put me in a real cuss of a mood, especially when it comes to my near obssesive compulsion for cleanliness & organization, but I am trying really hard this year to let my inner reins loose a little bit, & just let them be them & I will be me. That’s pretty much all I can do for now to keep my sanity in check.
And now, it’s time for me to get back to washing my THIRD load of laundry. On Christmas Day, of all days, I’ve decided to do a complete overhaul on my bed linens & wash everything from my bed sheets, all the way to my comforter cover (a.k.a. duvet cover), to my pillow cases & shams. Until then, Happy Holidays & Cheers!
Today’s song of the day:
“Fresh Eyes” by Andy Grammer
Just now I came to the realization that there are things that I do that are so weird. I never would have thought about these things before, but lately I’ve been self-analyzing my personality & just overall examining myself as a whole. I’ve been wondering how these weird behaviors, habits, & actions became an everyday part of my life, & why do I do these things. Ok, I’m not trying to raise any philosophical or psychological debates. I just want to take a deeper look into my self.
01. Of course, if you’ve read my other blog posts, you’d already know that I can’t go to bed/sleep with my bedroom door open. I just can’t stand it if the door is even slightly ajar. No matter how comfortable I am snuggled in bed, or how sleepy (& sometimes drunk) I am, I will dutifully get out bed to close the door. What started as a privacy issue, turned into a security measure, which evolved further into psychological peace of mind.
02. The same goes for my bedroom closet. I’ve got an old fashioned closet with sliding doors, & I can’t sleep if one of the closet doors is open or left slightly ajar. In fact, I can’t stand it whatsoever if the door(s) are not completely closed at all times of the day. If there is even a sliver of the door open, I feel a great urge to close it. I will go out of my way to make sure the closet doors (as well as all other bedroom furniture & fixtures) are neatly placed exactly the way I like it.
03.I don’t know if this is considered “spacing out“, but I tend to block out things around me whenever I am reading a book on my iPad or listening to music (with headphones) on my music player. I mean, I am totally immersed in whatever action I’m doing, & it takes a big commotion to snap me out of my so-called trance. For example, one time I was waiting for Jian to get his haircut, & I was reading a book on my smartphone. I hadn’t even realized that Jian had been calling my name loudly for over five minutes until he walked over to me & shook my shoulder to get my attention. Even the salon receptionist standing next to me was trying to get my attention, but I was so completely immersed in my little bubble.
04. This also happens a lot when I’m at home. Whether I am cooking, ironing clothes, or doing work on the home computer, but especially when I’m cleaning &/or vacuuming the house, it is easy to spook/scare the living bejeezus out of me. I am so “in my zone” that I can almost completely block out what’s going on around me. When somebody at home walks into the room or calls my name, I get so startled that I scream loudly & nearly jump out of my own skin. Jian says this is a bad thing, especially if a predator is trying to harm me. I could easily get ambushed & attacked. Since he planted that dirty little seed in my mind, I’ve been actively trying to rid myself of that habit.
05. One of my biggest pet peeves is stains on clothes. That’s why I keep a stain remover pen in my purse at all times. I hate having stains on my clothes. Once I get a spot on my clothes, I get an overwhelming urge to take off the soiled piece of clothing & wash it immediately, or at least treat the stain. If I’m out of the house, & can’t run to the public restroom to clean the stain, I will feel panicked & will focus all of my attention on the offending stain. I don’t think I would consider myself a germaphobe, but I when I was growing up, my parents instilled in me (or rather drilled into my brain) that a person should be clean & tidy at all times. You don’t have to wear fashionable or designer clothes, but your clothes must at least be clean & well-ironed. No wrinkles or sloppiness allowed.
Oh geez, I am feeling quite drained of energy after writing this blog post. I’m sitting at my local big box coffee shop, & I’ve long since finished my cup of coffee & pastry. I am now off to stock my refrigerator with more beer & gin. Cheers!
Today’s song of the day:
“Thank God for Girls” by WEEZER
My head has really been out of it for a while. It’s hard for me to sort out all the hundreds of thoughts coursing through my mind at this moment. Lots of things have been going on that I feel like I’m just swimming though a dense fog.
I went to my very first acupuncture session last week. My mom’s cousin (who used to be a semi A-list TV star in Taiwain) married an acupuncturist (who also practices Western medicine at a hospital). I went to see this aunt last week and started my regimen of herbal remedies. Even though I, myself, am Asian, this all feels quite foreign to me. Nonetheless, I am excited for the outcome of my sessions.
Aside from all of my personal health matters, there have been frequent family events that have kept my schedule very full. I’m not a girly dresser, but I got all dolled up for my cousin’s semi-formal bridal shower party. I even got a fancy manicure, just a little treat for myself. I got my manicure at a Japanese nail salon that I go to every once in a blue moon. This is the design I picked. It’s a pink & glitter gradient nail color with various-sized gemstones on each nail. I love going to this particular salon because they are so creative, talented, & they do an excellent job as well as provide friendly service. This manicure lasted over three weeks & did not chip or get in the way of my everyday activities. The gems were also affixed so securely that I even had a difficult time removing them when my manicure finally decided to expire & give up on me.
I also recently visited the Japanese thrift store DAISO and picked up a few things I’ve been wanting to try for a while but didn’t want to spend the money on. I got two sets of fabric textured washi tape and a pair of heart-shaped scissors. Firstly, washi tape in general is very expensive, especially the cloth kind. The washi tape I got at this thrift store isn’t a very good quality kind, but it only cost me $1.50 for a set of three, so I don’t mind the mediocre quality. Secondly, I saw a pair of ergonomic heart-shaped scissors at my favorite stationery shop a few years ago, but I felt it was expensive ($14) considering it’s supposed to be more for cuteness rather than function. I was very excited when I saw those exact scissors for only $1.50 at the thrift store. Now I can try it without splurging on a fun but functionless craft tool.
Finally, I close this blog post by showing a photo of my latest craft project. I was sitting at my local coffee shop as I was writing this post & eating my lunch. I used the scraps of my lunch packaging to make this little wand. The materials I used were: long straw, hot beverage cup sleeve, sticky label from my lunch wrapper. The tools I used were: my imagination, my hands, & MUJI travel scissors (that I always keep in my purse). I had fun making this ridiculous little thing, but it brightened up my day, & I hope it brightens your day too. Cheers!
Today’s song of the day:
“No, Not Now” by Hot Hot Heat
Every time I write something about myself, it’s always about something unusual or weird. Perhaps I think of myself as a weird person. I am not sure. Well, anyway, today I’m going to write about PAJAMAS. This topic, or article of clothing, has been on my mind lately & I wanted to address it.
I have a weird “thing” about pajamas. Maybe it’s called a “quirk” or something, but I just have this issue with pajamas, more specifically keeping pajamas “clean”. Let me try to put this into coherent words. I don’t like wearing pajamas outside of the bedroom. I don’t like walking around the house or lounging around on lazy days in pajamas. I get an uneasy feeling whenever I think about this. It’s mostly because of the idea that I’ve burned into my brain that all pajamas should be clean ones. When I say “clean pajamas”, I mostly mean pajamas that have not touched other household furniture other than the bed. It’s okay if you sit on the couch a little bit, but mainly, I don’t like the idea of wearing pajamas like everyday street clothes or lounging clothes & then climbing into bed when they’ve been all over the place.
I know this is making me sound like a crazy person, but it’s just something that specifically applies to me & my life. I get a gross, partially sickening feeling when I am walking around at the shopping mall, & I see shoppers wearing pajama pants like they’re a pair of comfy sweat pants. I get an even worse feeling when they pair the PJ pants with a pair of UGG™ slippers. I think silk pajamas were once a very fleeting trend in the fashion world a year or two ago. I’ve seen some celebrities in tabloid magazines on those Worst Dressed lists (rightfully so), wearing silk pajama tops as blouses. I personally don’t think wearing pajamas, other than for sleeping, is appropriate. Hey, don’t shoot me for expressing my personal opinion.
I am starting to feel like the more I write about this topic, the more strange I am sounding. I mean, come on. It’s just P-A-J-A-M-A-S for Pete’s sake. I’ve always made it painfully clear that I am in NO way, shape, or form an expert on fashion. I am the least stylish or trendy person I know. I can barely put my jeans on one leg at a time, let alone string together a Fashion Week runway outfit. All I know, & all I can say is that I like to keep my pajamas strictly in the bedroom. My boudoir attire never mixes with my street clothes. I will rarely walk out of my bedroom without changing my clothes first. It’s just my choice. A habit. A quirk. A weird “thing”. To each his own, I guess. Cheers!
Today’s song of the day
“Doralice” by Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto