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- 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
Let me start off by giving you a big recap of what’s been going on in my life. Things are finally starting to slow down enough that I can get back into my boring routine. I am a creature of habit, so I like being able to do my specific routines for each day of the week. Today, I’m back at my local big box coffee chain, sitting in my new regular spot, since my local store very recently remodeled & reconfigured their entire place. I feel at ease now that I’m back to my recurring habits. I can settle down again & continue my writing.
Let’s continue. After coming back from our weekend snow getaway in Lake Tahoe, Jian & I had to quickly wash our laundry & re-pack our suitcases for San Diego. My mom just turned 70 this year, which is a pretty big milestone for her, so she wanted to do something special with her immediate children & grandchildren. Originally, she had this grand & lavish idea to invite all of us to Hawaii, but she couldn’t justify the astronomical cost, & we were making last-minute plans which made Hawaii impossible. So, we decided on San Diego as an alternative destination. It was so much more affordable than Hawaii, & the little kids had an incredible time anyway.
Jian was able to score us a pair of rooms at the Marriott hotel again. This was the exact hotel we stayed at during last year’s Comic Con. Sadly, we wer not able to get Jack-and-Jill bedrooms, but at least we were able to stay on the same floor & were only separated by one room. My sister’s kids had so much fun running back & forth between our rooms, & we were located directly infront of the main elevators, so the kids had a huge corridor to run around in without disturbing other guests. We had a blast altogether. The weather was great, not hot, but not cold either.
It was unfortunate that it wasn’t hot enough to go swimming everyday, but my niece LOVES to swim, so she did so regardless of the windy weather. We took the kids to Sea World for the first time, & my mom nearly jumped out of her skin when looking at the admission prices. (Seniors & children don’t even get a discount!) On top of that, half of the exhibits & shows at the park were closed. I understand my sister’s desire to take her kids to Sea World at least once in their lives before it shuts down, but we were all disappointed. Well, we were sort of expecting it, ever since the scathing documentary Blackfish aired on TV, Sea World suffered immensely. At least we can all check this one thing off our bucket lists.
My mom overall had the best time celebrating her birthday in San Diego. She got to celebrate her birthday with all of her siblings before going to San Diego with a nice Chinese banquet, so nobody felt left out of the celebrations. She also got to spend quality time with her immediate children & her favorite grandchildren. She also got to spend more quality time with her sister, & they had so much fun gossiping, chatting, & laughing the entire time. It was great for all of us to each have someone in our age range to hang out with & talk to. The best part was that the little kids had the most fun out of all of us.
Oh, did I forget to mention that I got sick, yet again? Of course, I should add this to my list of routines & habits. Every time I am around my sister’s kids, I always end up contracting whatever illness they have at the time. I should also mention that my sister’s kids get sick very easily, & they are almost always sick or have a cold (even though my sister takes them to get regular vaccinations & doctor’s check-ups). These kids are always climbing on top of me or grabbing at me, wanting my undivided attention; they always want to be near me or play with me. I end up letting my guard down too much around them, then easily contract whatever virus or germs that are incubating in their little pod bodies. I got a severe cold on our way home from San Diego. Then, on top of that, just as I’m recovering from that, I had to get a mild fever because stupid me decided to fall asleep with the bedroom window open. At least my fever only lasted 24 hours, but it was still irritating.
I’m all rested, refreshed, & have a clean bill of health as of recently. Jian & I are planning yet another trip. The first quarter of the year hasn’t even passed, & we have already been on three or four trips. Ok, look, we are not purposely spending so much money & time going on all of these trips & vacations. A lot of our recent trips have been pre-planned family events, & we only took some brief time for ourselves to go play in the snow. Starting from the end of last year, we’ve already been planning a few major trips for this year before I really settle down & focus on becoming a mom in the future.
Our next trip will be to Asia (again). For awhile now, we’ve been talking about visiting Jian’s grandparents in southern China. Jian’s mom recently came back from visiting her parents, & she told us that their health has been steadily deteriorating from the last time we visited them 2+ years ago. So, we ultimately decided to make our own plans to visit them before it’s too late. Jian is very close to all of his grandparents, so this trip will be extremely important to him. Although this will be a serious trip, we will also be able to sneak in a little fun for ourselves. We found an affordable travel package deal that allows us to have a several day layover in Hong Kong before we visit Jian’s relatives in China. Jian has been desperately wanting to go with me to Hong Kong for years. I’ve been putting off visiting Hong Kong because for a long time it hasn’t held much interest for me. I’ve visited Hong Kong a few times when I was a child, but I never felt the urge to go back. I’ve always wanted to visit Europe, & we finally were getting around to planning our big trip to visit a European destination this year. However, this China is taking precedent over our Europeam vacation.
Jian & I were making plans to visit London. We had our desired hotel picked out, & we even settled on our travel dates, but all of that is taking a backseat to our mission to spend precious time with Jian’s grandparents, who are now confined to wheelchairs. I was initially disappointed to be putting our European vacation on hold (at least for the time being), however, I am very excited to spend time with Jian’s wonderful grandparents. I don’t have any grandparents of my own anymore, so spending time with Jian’s grandparents is a little bittersweet for me. I am also excited to be visiting Hong Kong after so many years. Jian can play the tour guide and show me around. Jian is not originally from Hong Kong. Out of all of our Cantonese friends, Jian & our friend Angela are the only two who are born directly from the motherland (Jian is from Canton, & Angela is from Macau). Everyone else in our group is actually from Hong Kong. However, Jian has a vast knowledge of Hong Kong, & has visited the area many, many times. It will be a relief to travel with someone who can speak Cantonese, even though many Hong Kong locals can speak English. This will be a new experience for us. Hopefully we will be able to also squeeze in our London trip this year. I guess we will see how this all plays out.
Now I’m going to end this blog post right here. I can finally stop writing & go back to reading my Whisky Magazine. Yup, I said WHISKY. In case you didn’t already know, I am a huge fan of whisky (& bourbon). Most of my favorite distilleries come from Japan & Scotland. However, I have discovered one special distillery from Taiwan that I really enjoy. There are just too many to enjoy. So this time, I really mean it when I say CHEERS!
Today’s song of the day:
“L.A. Girlz” by WEEZER
Wow, I can’t believe January is almost over. Time is flying by so fast. Lately, it’s been quite chilly where I live, especially in the evenings. So, I’ve been taking more baths in the past few weeks. I know that my region is still not out of the drought danger zone, therefore, I try to make a conscious effort to reuse/repurpose my used bath water in an attempt to not waste water.
When I take baths, I fully utilize my private time in the bathroom. I am not ashamed to say that I can take a bath for up to two hours (on occasion). According to today’s Pop Culture standards, “Netflix-ing & chilling” is the cool new “hang out” thing to do. For me, I believe that bathtime is my favorite chill & relax thing to do. After I shut the bathroom door & step into the hot bathwater, I can totally tune out the rest of the noise going on around me & unwind for the day.
I have a routine (go figure…) that I always follow before I step into the bathtub. I like to first clean the bathtub a little to get rid of all the loose hairs & soap/shampoo residue from the previous showers. (Nobody likes to take baths in a dingy tub!) Then, I like to set up all of my bath products around the bathtub in advance, so that I don’t have to get up every two minutes to grab something. While the tub is getting pre-filled, I will then utilize this time to pick a fresh set of clothes, brush my teeth, neatly arrange my towel right next to the tub, & finally…grab my tablet & the little blue plastic IKEA children’s stool that I use to prop up my tablet.
After I’ve gone through my pre-bath bath routine, I am now ready to, as the kids say these days, “Netflix & Chill”. Sometimes, I will watch an entire movie while sitting in the bath. Other times, I will play games or read an e-book. When I am in my bathtub, I feel like I am in my own little bubble, undisturbed until the moment I step out of the tub. Once I am in the tub, there really is no other thing to do but to relax. I don’t have any particular order or routine in which I clean myself. I just let all of my muscles relax & zone out for a little while. There are some times when I take quick & efficient baths just to clean myself & go. There are other times when I will truly use this time for myself, & sit in the bathtub until the water starts to get cold.
No matter how much time I spend in the bath, I will try to save my bathwater & reuse it to water the plants around my house. It’s often very tedious & boring to scoop out the water into a bucket & haul the heavy bucket to my garden. I often have to make multiple trips, but at least it saves water. I often get achy joints when the weather gets colder, especially when it’s raining outside, & taking hot baths greatly soothes the pain in my joints. I thoroughly endorse taking baths whenever you can. Save the bathwater, & reuse it to water plants. OR, do as the Japanese people do & reuse the used bathwater to wash clothes. When the weather is less than warm, it’s always fun to take baths. Cheers!
Today’s song of the day:
“I’ve Got You Under My Skin” by Chantal Chamberland
- When I was a kid, I was diagnosed with A LOT of food allergies. I could’ve become the kid in the bubble who couldn’t eat anything, but over the years, I’ve given my allergies a big “F…You”, &have overcome most of my ridiculous food allergies. For the foods I still am allergic to, I take an allergy pill & proceed to eat my heart out without feeling the effects of an itchy mouth.
- I am a creature of habit. Once I find a food/dish I really enjoy eating (eg. roast beef sandwiches, macaroni & cheese, etc.), I can eat that same dish everyday for a week or more without getting sick of it. That’s why I always buy the exact same coffee drink & pastry at my local coffee shop.
- BUT… That doesn’t mean I don’t like to explore new &/or other foods. I was an extremely picky eater as a child, but now I heartily eat all the different foods I would never even look at let alone try (eg. tomatoes &/or most vegetables, Persian food, etc.).
- I have eaten some pretty crazy, Fear Factor style Asian foods in my life, which even surprises ME to this day. My family always makes jokes about how I mostly like to eat plain foods like: white toast with butter or naked pasta sans sauce or seasoning, which is often times true. So, I shocked myself when I dared to try snake soup in China. (I didn’t like it because who eats steaming hot soup in the middle of Summer?) I have also tried whale meat sashimi in Japan, which was not as weird as I would’ve thought. It tasted like very, very rubbery beef. I don’t think I will ever eat whale in Japan again due to their extremely appalling & inhumane whaling practices. That was a one-time deal. In Japan, I have also eaten horse meat sashimi. I fell in love with it immediately. That’s the most craziest thing I’ve ever tasted, & I absolutely cannot believe that I love it, let alone like it.
- I am Asian, but I’m not a very big fan of noodles (of any kind). Noodles don’t really appeal to me, but RICE on the other hand, gets me all sorts of excited. I love to eat rice, especially white rice of course, but fried rice, clay pot rice, crispy pan fried rice, are all tasty as well. Don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy a bowl of soup noodles, Phở or ramen every now & again, but I will not go out of my way to eat it. I am #TeamRice all the way.
Today’s song of the day:
“I Need Never Get Old” by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
There is a common saying of, “Old habits die hard.” I think about this quote sometimes when I’m sitting at my local big box coffee shop. I go to the same coffee shop at least twice a week. Sometimes, I go there to escape the confines of my house, & to get away from my everyday chores & away from all the people in the house. I just want to be alone for a while. Other times, I go to the coffee shop in order to motivate myself to write more of my blog. I like the feeling of being unrecognized, & I really enjoy the hustle & bustle. If I haven’t told you before, I am a people watcher. Jian says I blatantly stare/gawk sometimes in public places, but I believe in wanting to be fully aware of my surroundings (in case something bad might happen). I DO NOT stare uncomfortably at people. Merely observe.
Ok, let’s get back on the original topic. Every time I go to my local big box coffee shop, I sit at the same seat (or next to it if it’s already being occupied). I rotate my purchases between the same three coffee drinks & the same three food items. I have a certain way that I always prepare my coffee drinks at the condiments cart. I only take no more than two napkins (It annoys me when people grab a handful of napkins just for one cup of coffee or for one small pastry. It’s so wasteful!) Then, there is a specific way I like to set up my seating arrangement. I like to sit at the counter at the back end of the coffee shop. It feels quiet & a little secluded, even though it’s right next to the restroom. The counter is just the right height for my short frame, & the stools are great for my short legs. My feet can actually comfortably reach the foot bar on the stool. I place my food & drink on the right side of the counter, my tablet sits directly in the middle, & my smartphone is always placed on the counter’s left side.
My most commonly ordered drink at this coffee shop is a dark roasted coffee. I usually order a kids menu size & ask the barista to put it in a small (one-size up) cup. I like to have lots of room in my cup so I can load up my coffee with a lot of cream. (Sometimes Jian will say that I drown my coffee in cream. That is a slight exaggeration.) It’s also fifty cents cheaper to order my coffee this way than to just order a small cup with lots of room for cream. This is my little coffee shop trick to save some money here & there. Food-wise, I tend to order the easy stuff like croissants & danishes. I don’t really like to order the breakfast sandwiches; they’re too greasy & they sell out often anyway. Sometimes, when I’m feeling extravagant, I will get a pre-packaged fruit & cheese box.
After all that is said & done I will find my spot, sit down, & immerse myself in my tablet for a couple of hours with the music flowing from my MP3 player. It really was a shame that my BOSE noise-cancelling headphones crapped out on me. Mechanically, the headphones work perfectly well. It’s the fabric & the padding of the headphones that are tearing, coming out, & giving me trouble. These headphones are the really, really expensive kind, & one would expect them to have a little more durability in the wear-and-tear department, but that just was not the case here. Well, at least I didn’t have to pay for these headphones myself. They were a free company gift.
I recently (approximately 2months ago) got myself a better pair of Audio Technica noise-cancelling earbuds. I have been using them for about two months already, & I am loving these earbuds more than the headphones.
Ok, I am trying to find a way to tie off this blog post, but can’t think of anything witty or clever, so I’m just going to stop writing. Cheers.
Today’s songof the day:
“Southbound” by Ben Barnes & The Stay All Night Rounders