Well, yesterday I cut the pad of my index finger on my left hand. I was opening the metal screw cap of a bottle while I was cooking, & I scraped my finger along a sharp edge of the cap. It wasn’t a deep cut, luckily; merely scratched skin, but I still wasn’t expecting the cut to sting this much…even on the second day. Ok, enough about my injury. Let’s get on to some more pressing matters.

I AM NOT GOING TO SAN DIEGO’S INTERNATIONAL COMIC-CON THIS YEAR. I am so bummed out about it, & so is Jian. We were really looking forward to it since we had such a blast at last year’s convention. This year we were even able to grab a pair of full weekend tickets, but alas, we got pushed out of the hotel balloting selection. Each year, the process of buying Comic-Con tickets & booking hotel rooms is getting exponentially worse. It can’t be helped when the convention’s own popularity nearly doubles year after year. People from all over the world flock to a little slice of downtown San Diego for a long weekend of comic books, superheroes, video games, celebrity sightings, good food, overflowing drinks, & plenty of outdoor activities & free swag being handed out left & right.

Last year we each barely squeaked by with getting two single day tickets. If you’re not a yearly ticket holder, you will 95-99% be shit out of luck in getting any sort of convention entrance ticket(s) &/or hotel room(s). This year we got entrance tickets for the full weekend, but we got waitlisted when we tried to ballot for hotel rooms. The process this year to ballot for hotel rooms was supposed to be randomized to ensure complete fairness to everyone holding a ticket, but it ended up being such a complete clusterfuck, that people resorted to Reddit & Craigslist for any available hotel rooms or room swaps. Jian & I were so disappointed by the way the hotel balloting process was handled that we essentially said “fuck it“, & decided not to go to the convention this time around. (Last year’s process was better, not by much, but still better.) Our friends are disappointed that we won’t be able to hang out together this year in sunny San Diego, but we feel we’ve made the right decision. We’d rather save the money we would’ve spent at the convention & put that money towards our big trip to London this year.

I can’t believe that London is an actual possibility for us this year! By not going to Comic-Con, we will be saving at least $1.5k-$2k USD. That’s a good chunk of money we could easily put towards our London trip. If we buckled & agreed to pay the exorbitant prices for hotels in San Diego & decided to go to the convention, we would’ve had to forgo our plans for a European vacation for a long while. Both Jian & I have never been to any European country in our lives. We’ve always had grand ideas about visiting the very cities our favorite foods & bands originated from, but we’ve never acted upon those ideas; always making excuses to travel elsewhere, mostly to Asia. This year, I am determined to visit at least some part of Europe. It has been a lifelong goal of mine, & I want to make it happen. Look, I’ve already been to Comic-Con, twice. I am OK with not going again. I’d rather use the money to visit a place I’ve never been to before. I want to break out of my comfortable bubble.

So, after we request to refund our tickets to the convention (Yes, you have to file a request to get a refund. How ridiculous is that?), we will start firming up our plans to visit London. But first, Asia. Yeah, yeah, yeah! We are still going back to Asia this year, possibly multiple times. First, I am going to fulfill Jian’s dream of visiting Hong Kong with him. He’s been wanting to go to Hong Kong with me for a long time. He wants to play tour guide & show me around all the different districts, & introduce me to many delicious Cantonese comfort foods. Although Jian is Cantonese, he’s actually from the mainland (a.k.a. the Motherland), not actually from Hong Kong, though most of our friends are from there. From Hong Kong, we will head over to Jian’s hometown in Guangzhou (southern China) to visit his aging grandparents, whom Jian is still very close to. Jian’s extended family are awesome, so I am looking forward to hanging out with them.

Later on this summer, my cousin whom I’m extremely close to, will be going to Japan for the first time. She is a typical teenage anime Otaku & an aspiring Japan-o-phile, & she is really looking forward to visiting the land of all her anime dreams come true. Her parents gifted her with this trip once she finishes this current year of high school, & once my mom heard of this trip, she immediately wanted to tag along with them. She quickly invited me to go with them, but I had to decline at the time because this Japan trip was going to coincide with my plans for Comic-Con. Now that I’m not going to the convention, I am considering tagging along with my cousin to Japan. I’d love to be her tour guide & show her around to all of the places she wouldn’t be able to go to with just her parents &/or my mom.

If I do decide to go with my cousin, I’d feel a little awkward not getting in touch with my cousins in Japan. I’d love to see them again & spend time with them, especially since we are the oldest generation in our family now. It’s just us & our kids. All of the grandparents & all of our parents (aunts & uncles) are gone. I have no more aunts & uncles except for the ones who married into our family, but no more by blood. My dad & all of his brothers & sisters have all passed away. My generation of relatives are all that’s left to keep this family together. I wonder what my mom would say if I told her I’d like to meet up with my cousins if we truly decide to visit Japan this year. This is a discussion best left for another time. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day: