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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

View of Big Ben_WP

I can’t believe my luck! After all these years of living on this great big planet, I’m finally able to check off one of my ultimate dream destinations on my bucket list. Yup, you’ve probably guessed correctly based on my blog header graphic.

I’M GOING TO LONDON!

I could not be happier that I finally get to visit London after dreaming about it for so many years. I mean, I’ve been dreaming about visiting this magical city ever since I was a little kid reading children’s books about Paddington Bear (while holding my very own stuffed Paddington toy…that I still keep in my storage bin in the closet). As I grew older, & music became a huge part of my life, I wanted to visit London to pop into one of the many local vinyl record shops, or pop into one of the many quaint cafés with live music. Then, I went through puberty, & all I wanted to do was visit London to flirt with the cute, tall boys with the attractive accents. Later on, that turned into wanting to visit London to try & spot my favorite celebrities (especially the male ones). After watching the movie Pirate Radio (a.k.a. The Boat That Rocked) starring Bill Nighy, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris O’Dowd (of Bridesmaids fame), January Jones, & more… that just bolstered my efforts to visit London once & for all.

So Jian proclaimed one day earlier this year that he was itching to go on a vacation with me. Ever since Jian’s best friend got back from a lengthy family vacation to Japan, Jian had been feeling slightly envious. He’s been wanting to go back to Japan for a long time, but it saddens me to say that I’m a little over Japan at the moment. I just visited Japan briefly last year, & that also had made Jian a little disappointed that he hadn’t gone with our group. At this point in our vacation planning, I kept repeating to Jian that I wanted to visit a place we’ve both never been to. Jian kept going on & on about how he really wanted to visit some new city in Japan (someplace other than Tokyo or Yokohama). I pretty much wore him down, & convinced him that we should visit London. A lot of our family members had been telling us to visit Paris (which is another dream destination on my bucket list), but after repeatedly hearing the same stories about Paris & other parts of France from my mother, it kind of turned me off to visiting Paris for a while. Plus, I’ve been thinking that since this will be my very first visit to Europe, I thought I should start with something easy, easy as in some place where English is a common/main language, just to get my feet wet first. After I’ve learned the proper European etiquette & culture, then perhaps some day in the future I’ll visit more European countries. (*I’m still lumping England into the European continent based on its geography. I’m well aware that England itself is no longer a part of the European Union.)

Well, that’s pretty much it. All I can say now is that I’m feeling so grateful, appreciative, & blessed in my life. I absolutely NEVER want to take anything for granted, ever! I understand the privilidged life that I live, & I appreciate every moment (small & large) with every fiber of my being. I could not be more grateful for this exciting & powerful opportunity in my life. I am soaking up all of the gratitude in the universe & projecting it out into the world through my hard work, love, & appreciation. Life is beautiful. That is my send off. Until then, Cheers mate!

Today’s song of the day:

“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by The Beatles

  

Hello February! Both of my parents’ birthdays are in this month (Dad’s on the 8th, Mom on the 18th). It’s also a significant time for Chinese New Year (which falls exactly on my dad’s birthday this year). As you may know by now, each Lunar Calendar year corresponds to an animal in the Chinese zodiac. When the new year falls upon your zodiac sign, it becomes a significant time for YOU. This becomes your so-called “make-or-break” year…if you are superstitious like I am. When it becomes the year of your zodiac sign, you must wear something RED EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR. It could be something small like earrings or a bracelet (guys could even use a piece of red string tied around their wrist). Or it could be something large like a t-shirt or socks. The absolute best way to ward off negativity for the lunar year is to wear, & I am not jokingRED UNDERWEAR. I’ve done the red underwear thing before, & it actually worked for me. The key is to buy a whole bunch of inexpensive red underwear (so you can turn all of your laundry pink), so you can cycle through them during the week. This lunar year falls on my zodiac sign, so I’m going to wear a red bracelet. I haven’t decided if I’m going to go all out & do the red underwear thing this year or not.

This year has barely just begun, & I’m already swamped with activities. I’ve had so many friends & family celebrating birthdays in January. Both of my parents are celebrating their birthdays this month. Chinese New Year is a huge deal in my family. We go through the ritual of cleaning the entire house to sweep out negative energy, & most importantly, we change our bed sheets on the Chinese New Year’s Eve, to signify the changing of the year. I am also going on a ton of trips this year. In just this month alone, I’ve already got two trips planned. Next weekend, Jian & I are going to play in the mountain snow in Lake Tahoe, CA. (We can’t wait to take our All-Wheel-Drive Audi up to the mountain snow.) Then, the weekend after that, the whole family is going to San Diego to celebrate my mom’s 70th birthday. I can’t wait to spend some more fun time with my favorite nephew & niece.

Also planned for this year, I’m going back to San Diego in the summer for Comic Con. I already got my 4-day passes, & I really hope I get to meet my favorite actor in person this time…not just watch him from afar at some stuffy panel discussion. Jian & I are currently in the process of planning two other major overseas trips for this year. We really want to go back to Guangzhou, China to visit Jian’s maternal grandparents who are unable to travel. It would be really wonderful to spend quality time with them again, since Jian is one of their favorite grandchildren. We hope we can snag another awesome package deal like last time, & have another layover in Japan again. I have really been itching to go back to Japan with Jian & show him other incredible cities. However, I do realize that we tend to mostly visit Asian countries whenever we plan major vacations, so I have finally convinced Jian to go with me to London, England. Hooray! 

I am in the very early stages of planning the London trip. I am making spreadsheets, & lists, & reading lots of travel guides. I am going through my usual over-organized pre-trip planning. I am just way too excited to be visiting a European country for the first time. Just like my trips to Shanghai & Tokyo, I am going to photo-blog the shit out of my London trip. I will probably get obnoxious. I’m not sure yet. Well, I never know how to properly end my blog posts. So, cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

“Águas de Março” by Lisa Ono

  

My New Year’s resolution?  Well it’s quite simple, you see.  It involves a bit of traveling.  Well, that’s my personal resolution for 2013.  I am hoping to do a little more traveling before really settling down.  This year, I am trying to plan at least one big trip (a final hurrah, if you will), possibly to one of these places:

old english bus toy wallpaper1. LONDON!  Yes, yes.  I would indeed love to visit this rich city, one which I have never visited before.  I have very much professed my longing desire to visit this city to my husband, but he has always been hesitant to travel to London.  Instead, he prefers to travel to Asia (i.e. China &/or Japan) mostly to visit close friends & relatives.  I think this year may be the right time for us…

rio beach wallpaper2. RIO DE JANEIRO… For a number of years, I have been contemplating the idea of visiting this bright city, the foundation of my passion for Bossa Nova music.  What solidified my lust to travel to Rio?  Why, the animated movie RIO of course!  That movie really painted an irresistible panoramic view of the city I long to visit someday… Maybe I could lay on the beach & pretend that I am that girl from Ipanema.

shibuya night wallpaper3. My husband & I have been toying with the possibility of traveling back to Japan again.  However, this time, we would like to visit other cities besides Tokyo.  I’ve visited Kyoto once before & would love to visit there again with my husband.  Oh the possibilities!  2013, we’ll just have to wait & see.

hoily at tiffany's wallpaper4. Insert obligatory Breakfast at Tiffany’s photo here.  Yep.  It’s New York City.  My husband’s best friend, Peter, shares a birthday with me.  (His birthday is the day before mine.)  We had some grand scheme to go to New York for our birthday(s) this year as a group until Peter & his newly wedded bride recently bought their first home & won’t be able to go.  But…the show must go on, & I am currently trying to convince my husband to take me back to his old neighborhood in Manhattan.  (I felt so cheated when I got severely ill on my first trip to NYC & was holed up in the hotel room for 3 days straight.)

2013 is a new year…a time to start fresh.  Unfortunately, things have already gotten off to a rocky start.  We will be moving out of our apartment at the end of this month (due to an insane rent hike & some specific family matters), & we will be moving into my parents’ house.  We are not looking at this as a setback, but more like a step forward.  Think positively.  I guess you can say that’s one New Year’s resolution/goal that’s already been met.  Cheers!

(All photos courtesy of: Wallbase.cc)

I definitely want to share this article about the Tom Collins cocktail written by Douglas M Ford (Cold Glass).  This is definitely an in-depth look into my all-time favorite cocktail.  Seriously, this is by far, my most favorite shaken/stirred beverage…my idea of “liquid gold”.  The recipe calls for London Dry gin, to shake your ingredients & garnish with an orange slice.  However, in my version of this delectable refreshment, I prefer No. 209 gin, to stir my ingredients & to add a wedge of lemon. (What can I say? I prefer a little tang in my drink.)  Check it out & enjoy…

Cold Glass

It’s a sweltering hot afternoon. Dewpoint high enough to fog my glasses. And my work is done. Time for a Tom Collins.

I like this old classic.

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