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Last night my neighborhood experienced not ONE, but TWO power outages, each within minutes of each other. Normally, power outages don’t bother me. They are often annoying inconveniences, but last night I had a minor scare. It wasn’t really the outage itself that scared me, nor was it the darkness, but it was the timing of the power outage that freaked me out because I was utterly caught off guard at an especially awkward time.

It was late last night, not 1am late, but still late for what I was doing. I was taking a bath after everyone in my household had already gone to bed. I had my bath set up perfectly: Soothing hot water? Check. Charged up iPad? Check. Netflix movie queued up & ready to go? Also check! No interruptions? Check, check, check. Until it had happened. I was lounging comfortably in my bathtub in the middle of watching a Netflix movie. I had already completed the cleansing & washing part of my bath, the business end. So, next came the leisure part of my bath routine, my favorite part of taking a bath. More than soaking in the hot water, I like playing games or watching a Netflix movie on my iPad “Richard” while lounging in the bathtub.

Last night I was particularly relaxed because nobody was up & about with any opportunities to interrupt my relaxing bath. That’s when the power outage decided to rear its ugly & inconvenient head. I was two-thirds in to watching my movie, & all of a sudden I heard a noise, one close to a power source shutting down, then all the lights went out. Barely five seconds later, the power returned. However, I was already feeling alarmed. I jumped out of the bath, grabbed my towel, & woke Jian up to ask him to check the home’s circuit breaker panel. Everything seemed to be in order since the power had come back. The Internet connection had been rebooted, so I had to wait a few minutes to continue watching my movie. Needless to say, I didn’t take this first mini outage as any cue to finish up my bath & go to bed. I hopped right back into my bath, which was still warm, & continued to watch Netflix.

Ten minutes later, I was really becoming engrossed in the movie, & the power goes out again. This time I was a little more on the scared side. The entire neighborhood was covered in pitch black darkness. I’m not afraid of the dark in my own home, mostly because my 90-year old next door neighbor always keeps his kitchen lights on, & it creates a glow that shines all the way to my house. I live on a hill, & my elderly neighbor’s house is on the higher side of the slope (I’m on the lower side of the slope). Our adjoining property-line fence sits lower than most fences because he complains about it blocking his non-existent view. Therefore, his kitchen light shines into my bedroom at night, creating a nice nightlight effect. This helps me to see in the dark, especially if I have to get up in the middle of the night to pee.

This time I was sitting in the bathtub, & all of a sudden everything goes black & the house is eerily quiet (probably because the bathroom ceiling fan went out as well as my movie). The bathroom was so dark I couldn’t even see the door. I got out of the tub again, & woke Jian up yet again to check the house once more. This time the power stayed out for over twenty minutes, & I finally decided to finish my bath. I couldn’t watch anything on Netflix anyway, so I had no interest in sitting in a pool of water bathed in darkness (haha, no pun intended). It felt weird, cleaning up & getting ready for bed by the light of a flashlight & backlight from my smartphone. There was nothing romantic about it, no soft glow, no ambience. It was all shadows & creepy beams of light dancing along the cold walls. I did end up finishing my Netflix movie. The power came back on. More than anything, I felt grateful that though we have many clocks around our house, most of them run on batteries, so the only clocks I had to reset this morning were the ones on the kitchen stove & microwave. Who decides to take a bath late at night in the middle of a power outage? This guy. [Points to myself] Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

“Senses featuring Lostboycrow” by Cheat Codes

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Just a little positive habit of the day: After I take a shower, I like to immediately remove all the little stray hairs stuck on the drain cap & around the tub. I also take my hand-held vacuum & suck up all the loose hairs on the bathroom floor.

Most of my family members tease me by saying I’m a compulsive cleaner, but I just like to keep my lavatory tidy…especially when it is often doubled as a shared guest bathroom. I always reply, “Don’t you appreciate a clean bathroom too?? It’s not like some toilet fairy comes & makes the bathroom clean again.”

Of course everyone appreciates a clean & well-kept latrine. It takes some work to make my potty look this sparkly… Bam! It’s spotless. Cheers!

It seems the weather is becoming cooler, & Mother Nature is getting ready for the Autumn/Winter seasons.  So here I bring you a list of things that bring me joy in the Autumn/Winter time:

  • the feeling after taking a hot shower
  • hot chocolate with whipped cream (& marshmallows if you like them)
  • a big bowl of hearty beef stew
  • wearing thick socks
  • sitting next to a crackling fireplace
  • wearing slipper booties (WOoT for Isotoners!)
  • flannel pajamas (especially the ones w/ the feet)
  • a hot bubble bath with rich bubbles
  • a steaming bowl of Chinese soup noodles (or rice porridge)
  • a fresh, hot cup of coffee in a ceramic mug
  • watching the rain thru the window while you are warm & dry indoors
  • sitting under a warm kotatsu, eating snacks & drinking beer while watching sports on TV
  • having post-MLB / World Series / NFL tailgate parties at home
  • listening to the sound of the rain before falling asleep
  • a warm towel straight from the dryer
  • the toasty feeling of clean clothes straight from the dryer
  • movie marathons while sitting under a blanket & eating freshly popped popcorn

 

The last time I visited Japan was in December 2010, with my fiancee & my friends.  These are some of the fun things I learned from my trip.  Enjoy.

1. When you go to a cafe & sit outside and/or next to the window, you will be given a blanket to keep your lap/legs warm (only during Winter season).

2. Most restaurants/cafes have a designated basket with a cloth cover at each dining table.  When you are seated, you can put your purse and/or shopping bags in the basket to keep your bags clear from the aisles & to keep them from getting dirty.

3. Hotel rooms will recycle your  bed sheets & towels for 3 days unless you put the “change my sheets” card on your bed.  This saves a lot on cleaning & water!

4. When it rains, all shops/stores will put a plastic cover on all of your shopping bags so they don’t get wet. (This is the one thing I wish our stores had in the U.S.)

5. Dudes are paid to drive big trucks with giant billboards around town while blaring the most annoying KPop music by the popular Korean boy band 2PM. (Do you notice that I don’t like the band 2PM?)

6. During Christmas time, even though you are overseas, you will NOT escape Western Christmas music…You will hear it EVERYWHERE.  You will also hear “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” & Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” about 50 times a day, while not really sure if the locals even know what the lyrics mean.

7. If you go shopping at a major department store, the sales people will try to sell you everything & anything. They are insanely pushy, but polite as hell about it.

8a. I love the clothing brand A Bathing Ape, & I’ve noticed that ALL sales staff at every single Tokyo region Bathing Ape (a.k.a. BAPE) store are friendly & cool.  Although they can’t speak much English, they can understand it & try to speak it to make you feel welcome. (I have also found that the sales staff at the BAPE stores in NY & L.A.(which is now closed) are also friendly/nice.)

8b. Every single time I go shopping at a Tokyo region Bathing Ape store with my fiancee, we will get special treatment, we will make friends with at least one sales clerk.  I don’t understand this, but I guess my fiancee just appears to be outgoing & perhaps that is why others tend to gravitate toward him & can talk to him easily…even when there is a language barrier. (P.S. If you are ever in Shibuya, Tokyo….look up a guy named Saito at the BAPE store in Shibuya.  He is one of the coolest store clerks I’ve ever met in Japan.)

9. You will see cheesy American restaurant chains all over Tokyo (eg. Outback, TGI Fridays, Denny’s, L&L Hawaiian BBQ, El Torito, Sizzler), but don’t expect crazy lines out the door.  You will only find that mind-numbing queue at Eggs ‘N Things (which came from Hawaii).  The whole Western food trend has come & gone already.  (Plus, I’m a little biased & think that the Japanese spin on Western/American food tastes so much better than the way it’s cooked back home.)

10. You will hear Western Pop music everywhere compared to Japanese Pop music (which is not played nearly as much as Western Top 40/Pop).  I couldn’t escape the songs “We R Who We R” by Ke$ha or “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz when I was in Tokyo.

11. The new latest invention in Japanese technology: Otohime.  Every public bathroom stall will have a device that will make a running water sound for a more discreet bathroom experience.  You just press the button on the device & it will make a flushing noise to mask the sounds.  You can eve buy this in a handy pocket device for travel and/or public use.

12. Most public bathrooms will have a “regular” stall with squat-in-the-ground toilets or “Western” stalls with sit-down toilets.  I thought this was pretty cool…that some rather old fashioned traditions still remain.

13. Fruits are not as expensive as you think they are. It’s not as if every grocery store in town will have that $40 watermelon you saw on reddit.com/ebaumsworld.com. Ok, so compared to American grocery store prices, they are pretty pricey ($6 for 2 apples).  However, they are much more beautiful in color & shape, much more sweeter, & bigger in size compared to our U.S. market fruits.  So, it’s almost like getting more fruit for your money.  Plus, the only $40 fruits you will find are the organic ones, grown on some special farm, & comes in a fancy wrapped box that are supposed to be for gift giving.  Those fruits you will find at super luxe department stores like Matsuzakaya or Mitsukoshi…or at fancy grocery stores that specifically sell organic goods.

 

 

 

 

9GAG – The best things in life.

I found this really nice post on 9GAG (a social meme website), & I wanted to spread the word.  When I first read this post, my first reaction was to say “Awwwww”.

P.S. 9GAG.com is one of my favorite websites to view funny pictures, posts, quotes, You Tube videos, etc.  Keep in mind, some posts are rated NSFW (a.k.a. Not Safe For Work).  Enjoy.

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