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Today’s song of the day:

“Last Nite” by The Strokes

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It’s been raining buckets & buckets on & off here in my city. I am really enjoying the sound of the pounding rain & sporadic lightning/thunder, & watching the pouring rain through my living room window. The only thing I am not enjoying about this crazy rain storm is having to repair a leak in a skylight window on my retro home’s roof. Other than that, this rain storm has done wonders for the massive garden my dad put together all around the house. It’s a huge chore to maintain such a large outdoor space, but I am so appreciative of having so much outdoor space on my home’s lot compared to a lot of my neighbors.

This morning, I woke up feeling super sluggish & groggy. I decided since it was a lazy Friday morning, I could lounge in bed a bit longer, but that only made me more sluggish, & I ended up with a massive headache. Don’t you hate it when you oversleep, or rest for too long, & you end up feeling worse than if you had just accepted the lack of sleep & gotten out of bed anyway? Every time I try to compensate for my lack of proper sleep, I always end up feeling worse. I get raging headaches & overwhelming urges to dry heave, gag, & just plain vomit. It’s not a pretty sight. I am filled with regret & more urges to dry heave & vomit.

Lately I’ve been obsessed with three things: 

1. Listening to music on Spotify

For a long time I was a fan of Apple’s iTunes Radio. Then, I discovered Spotify, & it totally changed my life. I never knew just how much music I was missing out on by limiting myself to iTunes Radio. Spotify has a muuuch larger music selection, & I love how I can listen to way more International music on Spotify compared to iTunes Radio. Also, there’s so many more menu options & customizable options on Spotify. I just subscribed to Spotify’s premium service & am totally getting my money’s worth, for sure. For a person who’s addicted to music like I am, this is completely worth the added expense. I don’t care that I jumped on the Spotify bandwagon so late in the game. 

2. Watching classic movies from the 1950s-60s

Lately, contemporary movies, movies currently in theaters, haven’t interested me at all. I’ve been searching on the internet & on my TV cable service provider’s On Demand services to find old movies from the 50s & 60s that I grew up watching with my parents. Last week, I just bought the DVD of the classic movie Tammy and The Bachelor starring the late actress Debbie Reynolds & Leslie Nielsen (of Airplane & Naked Gun fame). I remember watching that movie with my parents when I was a teenager, & was so amazed that both of my parents could easily name nearly all of the actors in the movie by heart. I also love the sweet & innocent love story portrayed in this movie. My God, wasn’t Leslie Nielsen so dashing & attractive when he was younger? Va-va-voom! Tammy and The Bachelor is one of my all-time favorite classic movies. I think I’m going to go home & watch it again after I write this blog post.

3. Watching the Turkish TV drama Kurt Seyit ve Şura (a.k.a. Seyit and Sura) on Netflix

I don’t quite know how I stumbled upon all of these Turkish titles on Netflix, but the cover poster for this TV period drama caught my eye. At first, I was resisting the urge to watch this show, thinking I wouldn’t understand (or possibly even like) the show, even though I looked up the show’s storyline extensively on IMDb & Google Search. After a few weeks of back-&-forth debating in my head, I took the plunge & watched the show. I absolutely fell in love with the show. I watched all 46 episodes in one weekend. I don’t want to talk too much about this show because I have lots of extremely passionate opinions about the main characters & the romantic connections between them, & once I start talking about it, I won’t stop & this post will end up being as along as an encyclopedia. One thing I will say is that I’ve already watched this entire series 3 times…mostly because I’m a creature of habit, & once I find a movie or TV show that I like I won’t hesitate to watch it repeatedly, but also because this is seriously a good show. I don’t understand a lot about Turkish culture or about World War I, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this show. I will admit something private here. After watching this show, I became infatuated with the Turkish actor Kivanç Tatlitug, who plays the male lead character of the TV show. Wow. That’s all I will say about this guy. (As a fangirl, I was slightly bummed to find out that he got married last year, but I must move on & accept that he is happily married now. Besides, this should be of no consequence to my life. We will never cross paths anyway.

Sooo, that’s pretty much all I wanted to say for now. I now have to finish up this blog post & venture out into the rain to go home. I’ve spent too much time at this big box coffee shop listening to classic Billy Joel & Hall & Oates songs on my mobile phone. Until then, cheers! Also, I wonder how do you say “cheers/bottoms up” in Turkish. LOL!

Today’s song of the day:

“One Sugar Dream” by m-flo 


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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!

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Today’s song of the day:

“Fresh Eyes” by Andy Grammer

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Ever since I was a young child, I’ve been somewhat of a “hoarder”. Not quite the packed-from-floor-to-ceiling, almost-buried-alive kind of hoarder, but more like one of those sentimental fools who can’t bear to get rid of anything…a “clutter bug”. I’m always keeping little things here & there from my childhood, calling them “collections” & whatnot, but what those things really are, are sentimental mementos eventually collecting dust as junk. This new “collection” of mine is slowly building, but at least they serve a function. I can actually use them around the house. They are drink coasters. I’ve got a tiny collection going, & I’m kind of proud of them. They not only serve a purpose, but they also show the places I’ve been to & the things I’ve done. Let’s take a look.

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Brew Dog beer is one of my all-time favorite brands of beer (originating from Scotland). I was very surprised to find one of their taprooms during my trip to Hong Kong earlier this year. I had a great time eating Shepherd’s Pie & drinking pints of their Hardcore IPA. I “borrowed” these 2 coasters as a souvenir to mark my 1st experience at a real Brew Dog Brewery taproom.

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Belga is an incredibly delicious Belgian-ish style restaurant in San Francisco. Every time I’ve eaten there (which is three times), I’m always blown away by the interior decor. The first time I sat at the bar counter, I fell in love with this drink coaster. First of all, I’d like to note that I am a big fan of typography & graphic fonts. The text on this coaster is so cool & perfectly matches the decor & taste of the restaurant. Secondly, I love the background. It reminds me of antique tiles, yet it’s still able to look simple & clean.

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I can’t, for the life of me, remember where I picked up this drink coaster. It was probably from one of the many bars I’ve frequented in or around the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m not too sure why I had chosen this drink coaster other than the fact that I’m an avid whisk(e)y/bourbon drinker & I like Tullamore Irish whiskey.

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Earlier this year, my family & I took a small weekend trip to San Diego. On our way home, Jian & I stopped by the Stone Brewing Co. taproom at the San Diego International Airport. Jian is a huuuge fan & avid drinker of craft beer, so he was over the moon when he saw that Stone Brewing Co. had their own bar at the airport. Since San Diego is California’s epicenter for amazing craft beers, I grabbed one of these drink coasters as a sunny souvenir.

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This is another one of those drink coasters where I have no clue where I got it from. Yet again, it must be from one of the countless bars Jian & I have visited in or around the San Francisco  Bay Area. This was one of the first drink coasters I’ve ever kept from a bar. Way back in the day, Jian used to like drinking Lagunitas Brewery IPA, so I saved this coaster for him. He doesn’t drink this beer anymore, but I still kept the drink coaster.

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Coedo Brewery is one of my favorite Japanese craft beer brands. While we were visiting Hong Kong, I happened to stumble upon the Coedo taproom while searching for restaurant listings on Yelp. (Yes, Yelp works just as well as Open Rice in Hong Kong.) After a long day of subway rides & walking in the hot humid weather, we enjoyed a few glasses of ice cold beer & Japanese izakaya snacks. I kept this drink coaster as another souvenir from my trip to Hong Kong. I love how the coaster says “Beer Beautiful”, & I love the font & simplicity of the design. That’s Japanese artistry for ya!

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Mortar & Pestle is one of the few cool, hip bars in my city. The mixologists who work there are always friendly & the cocktails are pretty tasty. I feel like I’m getting a slice of the San Francisco’s craft cocktail experience right in the downtown of my bland & quiet hometown. I saved this drink coaster because it had a recipe to one of the bar’s signature drinks on the back, & was hoping that Jian would be able to spin his mixology magic & recreate that drink.

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Last year, I attended the 150th Scottish Highland Gathering & Games in the Bay Area hosted by the Caledonian Club of San Francisco. It was an amazing & overwhelming Scottish (& partly Irish) cultural festival. I had so much fun sampling Minced Meat Pies & Scotch Eggs, & watching bagpipe teams perform. I also got to sample loads of scrumptious whiskies from all over Scotland. Two of my friends that went to the festival with me got to sample some Crabbie’s ginger beer, & they saved me this coaster. I don’t like ginger beer, but I saved this coaster anyway as a memento of the special Scottish & Highland festival.

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Gitane is a very special restaurant that will always hold a special place in the hearts of Jian & myself. This is the first restaurant in San Francisco that we frequented so often that we became “regulars”, & practically everyone knew us there. The Iberian food & the cocktails were so good at this restaurant, it kept us coming back for more. Not only that, but we built solid friendships with a lot of the mixologists & the general manager of the restaurant. Eventually, a lot of the staff that we became friends with moved on to other restaurants or open their own bars, & we followed them as friends & loyal customers. This drink coaster symbolizes our “golden time” spent at this restaurant, making lasting friendships.

One of mine & Jian’s favorite bars in the San Francisco Bay Area is ABV (aptly named after the phrase “Alcohol By Volume”). At one time, this bar had a city theme on their drink coasters. These 4 coasters were the only cities we were able to find &/or collect during the last time we visited the place. I was pretty excited about these coasters because all of the cities represented places I want to visit at least once in my life, & so far I’ve already been to Tokyo, Hong Kong, & New York City. I would seriously love to visit Ireland at least once & do a whiskey crawl. That would be epic. The best part about these drink coasters are the different ways to say “Thank You” in each region’s native language. Although, I don’t understand why they would use the Mandarin language for Hong Kong when their native language is Cantonese (& sometimes we get a little butt-sore over people mixing up our dialects). I find it utterly hilarious that NYC’s saying is “Fuck Off”.

Well, that’s pretty much it. This is the end of my blog post. I am seriously going to try & cut back on my collecting of random things next year. Really. I’m getting sick & tired of myself having to cram little knick knacks & tchotchkes into every drawer & buying more storage boxes. I want to simplify my belongings & really de-clutter my life, but until then, cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

“Always Something There to Remind Me” by Naked Eyes

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On my eldest niece’s last birthday (she turned 23), I got her the “The 52 Lists Project” book by Moorea Seal. The salesman at the shop sold me on buying the book, saying it was a very popular item. Then, I started seeing this same book pop up all over the place. Luckily my niece exclaimed that she loves writing down lists & journaling, so I was relieved to have picked this book for her birthday gift.

I, myself, had glanced through the lists in this book & had come upon one list in particular that I quite liked. It was List 2 titled “List your favorite characters from books, movies, etc.”. I started to think about what my picks would be, & originally I had chosen this list because I thought it would be easy to answer. I was so wrong. I had a difficult time choosing my answers. I was very consciously trying to not be so clever that it made me appear phony, or like I was trying hard to sound cool. I really truly wanted to choose thoughtful, meaningful answers to this list. I gave myself an extra challenge by changing the list to only female characters. That made my discisions even more difficult, but I think I’m happy with my final list.

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Today’s song of the day:

“My Kind of Town” by Frank Sinatra *in honor of the 2016 MLB World Series

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