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As you may or may not know, lately I’ve been taking more frequent baths. I truly enjoy my sacred bath time. I take my time to set-up the bathroom for a high level of relaxation & fun. I always place my bath towel in the exact same spot (even when I take my showers); I put out my soaps & hair care products in strategic places around the bathtub, so I won’t have to get up every five minutes to grab something. I also bring in my plastic stool to prop up my tablet for optimum movie watching. Which brings me to the next topic because I almost always watch a movie, TV show, or some sort of video while I’m taking a bath.

I am an absolute creature of habit. Sometimes, I’ll venture out & watch a movie I’ve never seen (& often have never heard of) before. The most recent “new” movie I watched was one on Netflix called “Final Girl“. The movie features: Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens), Wes Bentley (American Horror Story), Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games), & Francesca Eastwood (yes, Clint Eastwood’s daughter). I most certainly am not a fan of slasher-thriller type movies; I especially despise movies that involve a crazed madman chasing a woman through the woods. However, this movie was actually surprisingly entertaining to watch. I enjoyed the chemistry & the relationship between Abigail & Wes’ characters. That’s probably one of the few movies I’ve watched outside of my self-prescribed rotating list of movies I like to watch while I’m taking a bath.

Another movie (not on my list) that I’ve watched recently is “Rust and Bone“, starring: Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Midnight in Paris) & Matthias Schoenaerts (Far From The Madding Crowd, The Drop, Bullhead). I absolutely loved this movie & am considering buying the digital download for my movie collection. The slow-building romance between the two main characters is so achingly beautiful, painful & raw at the same time. I truly & completely loved the ending of the movie. It was because of the ending scenes that made me swoon over Matthias Schoenaerts’ character. I’m not going to give away too much of the movie & let you watch it for yourself. I will just add at the last minute that Marion Cotillard is one of my favorite actresses, & that is all.

I have no problems whatsoever with watching a movie multiple times, especially if it’s a movie I thoroughly enjoy. I think I can get quite picky borderline annoying regarding the movies I choose to watch, but when I find one I truly like &/or love, I can watch that movie over & over again without getting sick of it. There are just some movies that stick with me for a long time, & I will have no problem watching that movie several times (consecutively, sometimes). Jian often does not share my taste in movie genres or story lines, so we often watch our movies separately. We enjoy watching current box office movies together, & on that regard, we do enjoy the same now-in-theaters movies. However, when it comes to movie rentals or On Demand cable TV movies, we can never agree on much.

I end up watching most of my movies while I’m taking a bath. That’s the perfect time to squeeze in one of my movies on my tablet, while Jian is occupying the home TV to play video games or watch his silly Comedy Central TV shows. I have noticed, during my most recent bath sessions, that I’ve been frequently cycling through the same few movies over and over. Jian often teases me mercilessly over my movie choices. He sometimes wonders aloud why I am watching that movie again. I have a difficult time explaining to him why I enjoy watching the same movies multiple times without him teasing me for being so predictable & routine. Therefore, I watch my movies in secret; often times when he’s at work, or other times when I’m taking my baths. I’m not ashamed of watching the same movies over & over again. I just don’t like listening to Jian openly tease me about it, or listen to him complain that I’m controlling the TV with things that only I want to watch.

So I’ve made up a list of movies that I call my guilty pleasures movies, even though I don’t feel guilty about them at all. I will say one thing, please excuse my selection of movies. My taste in movie genres, like my musical taste, runs all over the map. So forgive me if the list bounces around & possibly gives you an eye strain. Cheers.

1. Midnight in Paris: I have seen this movie at least twice in the past month. I just love the plot to this movie. Hopping into a time-traveling taxi & hob-knobbing with the notable celebrities of one’s favorite “golden age” era. Falling in love in the rain in the middle of Paris with the Eiffel Tower twinkling in the background. How romantic is that? This movie makes me wish I could take a vintage taxi & travel back in time to my favorite time in history & just soak up the atmosphere for a little while before slipping back into the harsh, gritty reality of the present.

midnight in paris4

image credits belong to: Minimal Movie Posters at www.minimalmovieposters.tumblr.com

2. You’ve Got Mail: I have watched this movie several times on TV, & I find it endearing each time I watch it. It breaks my heart when Meg Ryan’s character has to close her quaint little bookshop, but it also brightens my heart when she develops a friendship with Tom Hanks’ character that evolves into love. I enjoy the simplicity of emails & instant messaging…long before the days of SnapChattexting/sexting. I can see how this movie can feel so out-dated when you see the main characters using big, chunky IBM laptops with a dial-up modem, & they still have to log-on to AOL. However, I find that aspect charming, & it hits close to home, as I’ve done such things (like instant messaging & chatroom conversations) with ex-boyfriends past. This is overall a “cute” movie that I wouldn’t turn away from if it aired on TV again.

you've got mail

image credits belong to: Minimal Movie Posters at www.minimalmovieposters.tumblr.com

 

3.The Boat That Rocked (a.k.a. Pirate Radio): This movie renewed my interest (& semi-passion) in music from the 1950s & 60s. I grew up listening to my local “oldies” radio station all throughout my Elementary school years. A girl, who was my best friend at the time, & her mother both got me into music from that era. The girl’s mother had a vintage record player & would let us listen to all of her vintage (& original) Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, The Association vinyl records. I fell in love with the music & started listening to my local “oldies/classic” radio station on my walkman at night. Of course when I got into Junior High School & High School, it was uncool to listen to anything but the Top 40 hits, so I quickly started listening to whatever was popular on the radio station to fit in with the rest of the kids at school. After watching this movie, it just reaffirmed my love of the music from the 1950s & 60s. While watching this movie, I was surprised that I could actually sing along to some of the songs played throughout the movie. Needless to say, I downloaded the soundtrack almost immediately after watching the movie. This movie also reminded me of a time when I wanted to become a radio station deejay. I enjoy watching this movie because it lets me live vicariously through the rebel deejays during the musical revolution of the 1960s in the UK.

boat that rocked

image credits belong to: Minimal Movie Posters at www.minimalmovieposters.tumblr.com

 

4.Secretary: I can attest that I am not a masochist, nor am I a submissive to anyone’s domination. However, I don’t mind a little kinky fuckery every now and again. This movie will always be at the top of my “Top 10 Movies” list. Hands down. I love this movie so much, yet I can’t find the apt words to describe how I feel about it. Sometimes, I feel lost in life like Maggie Gyllenhal‘s character from this movie, but I most certainly do not feel the need to cut or burn myself just to feel any emotion at all. I am often intrigued by the mysterious, dominating, intimidating, powerful, sexual types like James Spader’s character from this movie. How would I react if I had an employer who acted that way around me? Would I be fearful & afraid? Or would I be turned on & motivated just like the main character in this movie? The slow-burning, highly erotic romance that develops between the two main characters in this movie turn me on. I’d love to be in an all-consuming, passionate to the point of heartbreaking, relationship just like the two main characters. Two people who know how & when to push each others buttons, but only to bring pleasure, not to cause harm…& to help one another not only grow within themselves, but grow to love the other unselfishly & unconditionally. Plus, the spanking’s hot too.

secretary

image credits belong to: Minimal Movie Posters at www.minimalmovieposters.tumblr.com

 

5.Music And Lyrics: The first time I watched this movie was on a flight to Japan. I was skeptical to watch this movie at first because I am not a big fan of movies with Drew Barrymore. However, I ended up thoroughly enjoying this movie. Recently, during one of my bath sessions, I re-watched this movie & grew to like it even more. What’s more is that I can’t get the Pop song from the movie out of my head, & I’ve been humming the song to myself on & off a lot lately…you know that song: “Pop Goes My Heart” by the fictional Pop group POP! from this very movie. I remember once, when I was a teenager, trying to write my own song lyrics. I had no clue on where to start. Do I create a background melody first? Or do I write the words first? My attention span at that age was so short, I gave up before I even put pen to paper. I will say that watching this movie makes song lyrics writing look fun (stressful, yet fun). Also, I found Hugh Grant’s character to be funny, cute & a little charming. I love how his character can easily make fun of himself & his past career as a cheesy 80s Pop idol. This movie is both cute & fun to watch, just to pass the time, for a good laugh, or if you’re stuck on a boring plane ride.

music and lyrics

image credits belong to: Jon Glanville on Flickr at www.flickr.com/photos/27980022@N04/

 

6. Battle Royale (a.k.a. BR I): I said earlier on in this blog post that I dislike slasher movies, however, this movie was so beautifully done that it has become one of my all-time favorite movies. Director Kinji Fukasaku unfortunately passed away before the completion of filming the sequel Battle Royale II: Requiem, but his memory plays on through this iconic film. This is surely a tale of love & survival. If you thought The Hunger Games was cruel & unusual punishment, then you haven’t seen this movie. Battle Royale puts the Hunger Games to shame, even though they share similar traits in how these “games” are set-up. Both games are set up as follows: 1. Game contestants are selected at random. However, in BR, instead of selecting competitors by ‘district’, each group of contestants are young students who are selected by school, grade level & classroom, & they are stranded on a deserted island. 2. Whomever is the last person standing is the victor of the games. 3. Use any means &/or weapon necessary to become the last person standing at the end of the games. However, unlike The Hunger Games, in BR, you already start with your own survival pack complete with a weapon, a map, a compass, food rations, & a bottle of water. Also, you have a tracking collar locked around your neck, & at different intervals throughout the day, different spots on the island become hot zones which will cause anyone within that hot zone to detonate the explosives within the collar.

Like in The Hunger Games, there is a romantic couple that arises, who become each others’ allies & help each other survive the game. Yes, these two young characters witness some of their closest friends die right before their eyes, but that only hardens their resolve to stay alive. These two star-crossed lovers vow to protect each other & stay by each other’s side no matter what. They vow to fight together against the jaded, corrupt adults who created this game to rid Japan of its troubled, lazy, & unmotivated youth. From the moment that I first saw this movie, I fell in love with actor Tatsuya Fujiwara & his acting. Tatsuya is brilliant in this movie (as well as in his other movie roles), but alongside actress Ai Maeda, & the pair make a heartbreaking hero-heroine couple. Just to warn you, this movie is extremely graphic, violent, gory (& vulgar in some areas). The most iconic scene in the movie is when Chiyaki Kuriyama’s character stabs another boy in the crotch with an ice pick, crying out that he will never get to touch her. It was because of Chiyaki’s character in this movie that prompted director Quentin Tarantino to specifically create the character GoGo Yubari in the movie Kill Bill Vol. 1 just for Chiyaki…& also as an homage to her BR character. I couldn’t end this without mentioning the perpetually depressed & angry Takeshi Kitano (a.k.a. Beat Takeshi). When I first saw him in this movie, I thought he was so cold-hearted, unfeeling, & cruel; yet, the more I watched him, the more I wanted to reach out & hug him…to show him some sort of affection his daughter (the ones both on & off screen) never gave him. It is so heart-wrenching to see a man fall to his knees, desperately searching for a young daughter’s affection & attention, & the one who showed him any compassion at all ended up being the one who ended him.

battle royale1

image credits belong to: Minimal Movie Posters at http://www.minimalmovieposters.tumblr.com

 

Today’s song of the day:

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sticky-def

I was thinking about this word the other day & had mixed feelings. What triggered me to focus my thoughts on this particular word? I was watching the Hugh Grant Drew Barrymore movie “Music & Lyrics“. One of the main characters in the movie is a young, hip & famous Pop singer, who in one particular scene, was describing her background beats as being sexy & sticky. I don’t know exactly why that scene got me all worked up over the word sticky. I guess deep various thoughts just flow when one is taking a soothing bath & watching a Netflix movie on their iPad.

On one (clean) hand, this word…STICKY…it gives me the creeps; it grosses me out. I don’t think I’m a full-fledged germaphobe. However, I DO have a particular habit of liking &/or wanting things to be clean. When I think of sticky things, I tend to think of nasal snot (not the polite mucus kind, but the gross, rip through the tissue kind), boogers, gooey muck on one’s hands (i.e. toothpaste, glue/adhesives, hair gel, etc.) & so on.

I also tend to think of sticky, clingy clothes in humid weather. Since I’m going to Asia in two months, that’s about all I can focus on whenever I think about packing for my two week trip. Oh, the humidity! I think about how frizzy & birds nest-y my hair will become, & how my face will be so sticky & greasy, & how my clothes (no matter how flow-y or baggy) will just cling to all of the unflattering contours of my not-so-trim body (among the sea of lithe model-like Hong Kong youthful women). Oh, the humanity humidity!

(As I’m typing this paragraph, I have noticed myself constantly breaking in between words to rub my hands together as though I am trying to brush off some imaginary substance that has sullied up my palms.)

On the other (equally clean) hand, this word prompts me to think of cute & sweet things, like my 6-year old niece & her love of all things sugary & chocolatey. My niece constantly has sticky hands, but it’s usually from eating so much sugary candy & her favorite treat of all, chocolate. Whenever I’m around my niece (& also my 7-year old nephew), I am always wiping her hands with an anti-bacterial wet wipe (that I always keep in my purse) or a napkin.  Thinking about the word sticky in this sense has me imagining, or perhaps daydreaming, about delicious desserts with chocolate or caramel sauces, whipped cream, & other delectable confections. I am getting hungry just thinking about desserts, & I love to eat dessert!

Finally, I also associate the word sticky with a topic a little more adult related. Yes, I’m talking about that three letter you-know-what word. One can describe that act as being sticky, or involving sticky aspects/things. If one is engaging in such a sticky act, it must surely be quite sultry & detailed indeed. I’m not going to go into too much detail because that would just be a little to saucy & tart for this blog post that includes a little blurb about my innocent & adorable niece. I will just finish here, & you can let your own imagination run amok. Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:


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:

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