like a kid again

So, I feel like ever since I came back from my very first trip to London, I have become obsessed with all things British. I might be turning into an Anglophile; I’m not sure. Well, I can say that I was an admirer of British things, people, & culture ever since I was a little kid, & that admiration has carried on into my adulthood. Also as an adult, I still carry that inner child within me, & that has also continued in my fandom for LEGOs.

I believe I may have already mentioned in a previous post (way back when) about my collection of LEGO Creator sets.

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I’ve already got the Tower Bridge & Big Ben sets as gifts from older brother on Christmas & my birthday. So, it was only fitting that I get the London Bus set when it went on pre-sale to all LEGO rewards card members.

 

I know it sounds ridiculous to call it a pre-sale-for-rewards-members-only when it was basically sitting on the store shelves for anyone to grab two cussing weeks ahead of it’s scheduled mass release date, but you know those marketing guys…They really know how to bait-&-hook gullible suckers customers like me. So, I basically ran into this set by sheer coincidence while I was window-shopping at the mall.

I guess Jian was doing some “bro-tastic” weekend event with his male co-workers, & I was left alone to my devices & decided to peruse the shopping mall unsupervised. I always have to make my rounds at the LEGO store even if they don’t have any new sets, & I caught this sparkling gem displayed in the store window. I walked into the store (about as calmly as a bull in a china shop), & grabbed the last box sitting on the shelf. The cashier promptly told me that this set was on pre-sale for rewards members only, but I figured anyone could grab it since it was sitting on a regular store shelf with no special sign or label.

What did I do next? Well, after I brought this set home, I proceeded to build it. It took me an entire weekend to build, as I would take breaks in between each numbered set of instructions.

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The bricks come in individually numbered bags according to the instruction book, which over the years have gone from thin, individual booklets, to one thick book about the same thickness as an old fashioned telephone directory. I usually separate all of the brick bags by number, & only work on one set of numbered bags per day.

I know for a more skilled LEGO set builder, this London Bus could’ve probably been completed in a few short hours, but I work very slowly, examining each piece to make sure I’m following the directions to the letter. That’s pretty much my lame excuse to cover up the fact that I’m not good at counting the dots on the bricks, & I’m crap at measuring short & long pieces. So, that pretty much slows me down immensely. Jian on the other hand, is so quick at building LEGO sets, & he has a good eye at measuring & counting the pieces. He could’ve probably built this set in one afternoon. I like to take my time to make sure I’m not making any mistakes. There have been quite a few times in other sets where I’ve made mistakes in measuring pieces & had to break off sections & re-do them.

It might take me a long time, but I don’t care. I get enjoyment & fulfillment in taking my sweet ass time. I will put on some relaxing jazz or chill-hop music, or whatever strikes my mood on Spotify, & then I will proceed to open up the little plastic baggies & empty out the contents on to paper plates or bowls. This helps me find pieces faster, so I don’t have to go digging around in each individual baggie. The results give me a feeling of fullness, satisfaction, & accomplishment that can only be described by admiring the finshed result.

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There you have it! My completed London Bus! I can’t wait to see what new sets LEGO will think of next. Until then, I’m on my way to build my next set, which is the Creator Carousel, given to us by our extremely generous friends from Southern California!! Cheerio & cheers, mates!

P.S. The Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats -slash- Kings of Leon concert I went to two weeks ago was incredible!!! I took a few videos & posted them on my Instagram page. I barely knew three songs by Kings of Leon, but I had a blast anyway. Then, I let Jian & another friend of ours talk me into going to watch A$AP MOB in concert (sometime between now & October, I think). On top of that, I’m waiting, like a giddy child on Christmas Day waiting to open presents, to go watch The Killers (my all-time favorite rock band) in concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles early next year. My cuss! It’s going to be a glorious time for music & live events…

Today’s song of the day:

“Barbecue Music” by Engelwood

 

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I recently read a book where one of the main characters was British. It made me swoon every time I heard this gent use this word “dahh-ling” as a term of endearment toward the person he loves. During my brief time spent in London, I was hoping I’d hear this word being used by a local Londoner, somebody, anybody…but alas, I was unsuccessful on that front. I’d still like to hear this absolutely adorable word being spoken by a Brit in person, rather than on TV or in a movie.

So, this word is my chosen favorite word at the moment. Whenever I hear/read this word, I can’t help but think of actress Zsa-Zsa Gabor. I just loved it every time I heard her say this word on the popular classic TV show Green Acres. When I was a kid, I used to watch repeats of Green Acres (as well as many other “oldies”) on the Nick-At-Nite channel, where they’d always show re-runs of classic TV shows from the 50s, 60s, & 70s.

I don’t know why I was so drawn to watching these older TV shows, but I just loved Zsa-Zsa Gabor & her sister Eva Gabor. Those two actresses somehow reminded me of my maternal grandmother…all of them done up in their finest clothes, with their hair perfectly coiffed, all while wearing their best jewels. Also, the theme song to the Green Acres show pretty much summed up my parents’ relationship in one catchy theme song. My mom loved to live the big city life wearing fashionable clothes & her best jewelry, while my dad liked to get down & dirty in the garden. My dad, having spent many years living in Texas, admired farm/ranch living. He could never really live on a farm or ranch himself, but he always dreamed of it. You know, my dad always loved the cowboy way of life. My mom on the other hand, was a city girl that didn’t really love the outdoors, but she tolerated it for the sake of my dad. So this show kind of reminded me of my parents a little bit, but the main actress reminded me a lot of my grandmother.

I just adored the way Zsa-Zsa Gabor would say the word “darling“…as in DAAHHH-LIIING, with a dreamy European accent. As a little kid, I would practice saying this word while looking in the mirror, hoping no one would catch me doing something so silly. To this very day, this word makes my heart flutter. It’s so incredibly romantic & sweet. I feel like I want to incorporate more British slang terms & vocabulary words into my own English vocabulary. I don’t want to come off as a cheesy Anglophile, but I think it would be kind of fun to mix things up a little. I think I might start by using the word “darling” more in my vocabulary. Well, until then, cheers mates!

Today’s song of the day:

“Run for Cover” by The Killers

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P.S. I’m going to Los Angeles to see The Killers in concert at the Staples Center! But before that, I’m going to another concert in one week to see Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats along with Kings of LeonWoah.

Even as a young child my tastes & interests were pretty much all over the place. I liked things both girls & boys liked. I wasn’t a tomboy by any stretch of the word, but I wasn’t feminine/girly either. I’m not sure how best to describe myself other than to say that my interests were split right down the middle. I can’t say that it had turned me into a balanced person, but it opened my eyes up to new interests. Let’s take a look at what I was into when I was a little tyke.

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  1. One of the first toys I remember playing with as a young child was LEGOs. I remember my mom had bought me a bucket of miscellaneous pieces, & I would sit in my room & build stupid things. Not things like cars or houses like most normal kids. No, that wasn’t me. I clearly remember one time when I built a toy gun. I thought I was being badass & rebellious at that age (I was probably about 6 or 7 then). I was being really secretive about it, & when someone would pass by my room to check on me, I would pretend that I was making alphabet letters or random shapes. I was so scared that one of my siblings would notice I was making a toy gun & tattle tale on me to my mom. After building my toy gun & feeling so smug that I had made a weapon of zero destruction, I quickly took apart all of the pieces to hide the evidence of my not-so-nefarious creation.
  2. When I was a kid I used to be utterly obsessed with the cartoon character Strawberry Shortcake. I loved her, & I wanted to be just like her living in a cute house next to all of my friends with cute fruit-y dessert sounding names. I always hated it when the Peculiar Purple Pieman came to ruin all the fun & happiness. I don’t even remember how I got introduced to Strawberry Shortcake & her sweet friends. All I can remember from my childhood is that I used to own a few VHS tapes of the show & a vinyl record of the Strawberry Shortcake theme song. My aunt even hand sewn a red security blanket for me with a huge Strawberry Shortcake pattern on it. I still have that blanket to this very day, & it looks just as new as the day my aunt gave it to me. I rarely used it as a security blanket. I mostly kept it folded up & tucked away so I wouldn’t get it dirty or worn out. (So typical of me!)
  3. I remember playing with Transformers when I was a little girl. I didn’t own any of the robo-toys myself, but there was a Japanese boy who lived up the street from me who owned a few of the Japanese versions of these awesome toys, & we used to play together while our moms hung out like two chatty 「おばあさん」(Sorry, mom). This boy let me play with his Optimus Prime, while he played with his other much cooler Japanese robo-toys & kaiju toys. I also used to enjoy watching the American cartoon on TV. I didn’t understand, or care to understand, the rivalry between the Autobots & the Decepticons. All I cared about was how cool it was to have a car that morphed into a talking robot friend. By the way, my two favorite characters when I was a kid was 1. Optimus Prime because he was the cool leader, & 2. Bumblebee because he was a small-ish yellow car, & I was a small kid. 
  4. When I was a little kid, we had a male teenage cousin living with us for a couple of years. My cousin was super awesome & cool. He was like a big brother figure to me (aside from my actual brothers), & we used to play together. This cousin used to collect G.I. Joe action figures when he was younger along with MAD Magazine comics. I wanted to play with him & my older siblings, so I got into this line of toys so that we could have a common interest. Of course, I wanted to get all the female action figures, even if they were on the enemy Cobra team. My cousin had tons of these action figures, & I only had one…the lady with the white ski outfit & the removable skiis, which my cousin always reminded me not to loose the skis for my action figure or else he wouldn’t let me play with his G.I. Joe figures anymore. I don’t know why I chose that figure in particular. I just wanted something I could play with alongside my cousin. Did I mention that I also watched this cartoon as well? I used to watch tons of cartoons as a child. My family, especially my generation, revolved around the television set.
  5. My sister’s (biological) dad used to work in the import-export industry, & he used to work with Sanrio, the company that started the Hello Kitty trend. My sister’s dad used to send her a bunch of free Hello Kitty stuff like stationery & toys, & when she got older, she would pass down her stuff to me that she didn’t want. That’s partly how I became utterly obsessed with all things Sanrio. It also helped that my aunts & uncles in Japan would send my dad care packages & include a few Hello Kitty toys for me. I loved watching the Hello Kitty & Friends TV show, & had a few VHS tapes of the movies. Then, when I was in Kindergarten, I met a Japanese girl in my class who had the same interests as I did. She lived in my neighborhood, & our parents became close friends. Since both of our dads were Japanese living in an American suburban neighborhood, they were able to speak Japanese to each other, & that brought our families closer together. This girl quickly became my best friend & our mutual love of all things Hello Kitty strengthend our bond. Even after my friend moved back to Japan in the 3rd grade, our families still keep in touch. 
  6. Go Bots is like the red-headed, black sheep, wannabe, lesser counterpart to TransformersTransformers fans absolutely crush Go Bots to oblivion, & it’s kind of taboo to say you like both toy/cartoon franchises. I liked Go Bots about as much as I liked Transformers. I loved how cars & other vehicles could morph into talking robots. Like I mentioned before, I was super into watching cartoons when I was a kid, so it was only natural that I watched this cartoon as well. I pretty much watched all of the cartoon hit shows.
  7. I really liked Rainbow Brite. I had a Rainbow Brite doll, & I loved braiding her yellow yarn string hair. I also loved her rainbow colored outfit with the pink-ish/blue-ish iridescent colored skirt, & the cute little star tattoo on her cheek (like a little beauty mark). I was into Rainbow Brite around the same time that I discovered the TV show Punky Brewster. I loved how they both wore colorful clothes & went on awesome adventures. I used to play with my Rainbow Brite doll & pretend that she was my little sister.
  8. How did I ever discover Thor, of all characters? This was right around the age when I started to have crushes on boys & was practically infatuated with any male star on TV (like actor Scott Baio when he appeared on Happy Days as Fonzi‘s cousin Chachi). I think I had somewhat of a crush on this beefy, blonde Norse god, but I was mostly envious of Thor’s winged helmet & powerful hammer, which I used to call a mallot (don’t ask me why). I sooo wanted a winged helmet like Thor’s helmet . There’s not much else I can say about why I liked Thor of all the action hero characters from the 80s and so on. I just thought he was super cool, & I kind of wanted long, shiny hair like him.
  9. OK. My love of Care Bears is a whole lot easier to explain. All the kids in my family loved Care Bears. When my siblings, cousins, & I were all younger kids, I’m not sure who decided this, but we were all assigned a specific Care Bears character to be our personal mascot. Mine was Friendship Bear, the bright pink bear with the rainbow 🌈  on its tummy. I loved how cheerful & happy this character was. (I’m like my 9-year old nephew in a lot of ways, mostly because we don’t like sad or negative scenarios. We like happy endings & positive scenes.) When we were all younger, each of us kids had our own Care Bears stuffed animal & toys, & some of my cousins also had Care Bears security blankets & stuffed pillows sewn by my aunt. All of us as kids watched the Care Bears movies & TV shows. We played with all of the posable action figures & Play-Doh putty kits. It just became our “thing”. I’m not sure of the origins & how this all came about, but I remember this Care Bears theme running in our family when we were all young kids.
  10. So, for this explanaition I’m going to lump He-ManShe-Ra together. Yes, they go together anyway since they’re both siblings. However, I will confess that when I was a little kid, I thought He-Man She-Ra were boyfriend & girlfriend. I had no idea until I was a teenager that they were actually brother & sister. When I was little, I pretended that He-Man She-Ra were dating. Well, I ended up scratching that childhood memory once I learned they couldn’t exactly date each other. I loved He-Man sooo much when I was a kid. I guess I had a thing for blonde super heroes because I also really liked He-Man‘s blond hairstyle in this cartoon. The bowl cut reminded me of so many Asian boys that went to my primary school. My favorite Masters of the Universe character had to be Cringer at the time. He was such a wimpy lil’ chicken shit, & I could totally relate to that because when I was 8 years old, I also was way too wimpy & mousy to do anything outside of my comfort zone. (That’s also probably why I loved Scooby-Doo because he was a wimp too.) I also was super in love with She-Ra‘s horse Spirit, but especially when it turned into a rainbow-colored magical unicorn (a.k.a. Swifty). I remember having a He-Man & a She-Ra action figure when I was a kid. I wanted a Battle Cat figure, but my mom said it was too ugly, plus I didn’t like Cringer’s face, so I ended up getting a Swifty figure instead & was so pumped when I could play with it in the bathtub & pretended it was a swan that could swim. Yes, I was a weirdo back when I was a mere 8-years old. (I once also jumped into the bathtub with my socks on when my sister dared me to do it. If anyone tried to dare me to do that now, I would probably scream bloody murder & physically attack that person for even suggesting such an aggregious act of barbarianism.) My most fondest memory of my childhood was one time when I forced my parents to take me to the event center to watch He-Man On Ice. I also made them buy me a light-up plastic He-Man souvenir sword that would say “By the power of Gray Skull…” when you pressed a button on the hilt. I also got one of those souvenir flashlights with the fiberglass strings at the end that spun around when you pressed on the button. Looking back on my childhood now, I can’t even begin to decipher why I wanted to be like He-Man (& not She-Ra). I wanted to be a blonde buff guy with a bowl haircut & a wimpy, chicken shit green tiger sidekick.
  11. Last but not least, I had to say one of my most favorite toys was a pair of expandable plastic roller skates that weren’t even real roller skates at all. They were clip on roller skate wheels that you attached to your shoes & could barely  skate around the concrete patio in your backyard. I found a great commercial on YouTube to show the awesomeness that were Fisher-Price roller skates (a.k.a. “practice skates”).

I would put on these skates every day & ride around in my backyard, pretending I was cool & like I was in an imaginary race with other skaters. I wore these skates out. I was so excited when I found out they were adjustable & I could expand them to fit my growing, yet still small, feet. I wore them until my feet could no longer fit in them. Then my mom gave them away to a lady she knew who had little kids of her own, but couldn’t afford to buy toys like this. When I wore these Fisher-Price roller skates around my backyard, I thought I was so badass doing some sort of extreme sport. That just goes to show how crazy my imagination was, even at such a young age.

You see, even at a small age, I was able to stretch my imagination, even if it was beyond far fetched & dumb. I’ve always said, especially to myself with my own inner thoughts, that I have an overactive imagination. That’s what fuels me to write. It’s what motivated me to start a real blog. Many moons ago, I used to have a failed LiveJournal account. I also tried to start a so-called blog on Facebook when they once had a notes feature. At least on Facebook, I was once able to write 100 consecutie notes in a daily challenge I set for myself. It’s all of these things from when I was a kid that propelled me to where I am today, writing this blog post for you. I hope you enjoy, & this somehow takes you back to when you were a child & gets you to think about what kinds of toys & characters inspired your inner child. Until then, cheers mates!!

Today’s song of the day:

“Wait for the Moment” by Vulfpeck

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I don’t think I’ve ever written a full bucket list before. I decided recently to write one out to see what I could make out of my jumbled thoughts & hair-brained ideas. This below, is what I came up with. Please read on, & cheers mates!!

Today’s song of the day:

“Stray Cat” by Vickeblanka


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