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This 99 Things That Bring Me Joy journal is really helping me relive & rethink about lots of fun memories from my childhood. I often find myself reminiscing about my own “good old days” & wishing that a lot of the fun things from my childhood would come back & become popular again…just like the whole modern-retro trend that’s happening in pop-culture right now with vinyl records & hi-fi record players making a huge comeback. Even Urban Outfitters is selling modern-retro/throwback audio devices, like a Sony Discman-esque CD player, a boomboxSony Walkman-esque cassette players, & even a retro shoebox tape recorder. You see, it’s not all Crosley record players that look like 1950s suitcases.

Sometimes, I even reminisce & wish I could go back in time to relive an oldie-but-goodie memory from my youth. For example, I wish I could go back & revisit all of the concerts & music festivals I went to as a teenager (which was a big whopping two times) & buy more band merch. This brings me to the journal’s list topic for today: one singularly unforgettable day in my life. There are two very unforgettable days of my life that specifically stand out in my mind, but I’m mostly going to talk about the first memory.

I can remember this event so clearly. It was the very first time I ever went to a music concert with my high school friends. I remember browsing the arts & entertainment section of the major Bay Area newspaper my parents had an old fashioned subscription to one day, & was looking to see which bands were performing in my area…which also meant which concerts my super strict parents would not allow me to go to. Just by chance, I found a tiny listing of concerts in one small column for all the bands that would be performing at a very popular music venue in San Francisco for that month (back in March 1998).

I was going down the list of bands, not knowing who most of the other bands were, when I happened to stumble upon the name of one of my all-time favorite Ska bands, Save Ferris. (I was freaking out on the inside.) Not only did I see the name of my favorite band (when I was in high school), but I also saw the names of two other bands that I really liked that were also co-headlining with my favorite band that weekend. I was so beyond excited that I had to cut out the concert listing from the newspaper, & bring it to school the next day to show all of my friends.

I had a bit of a hard time convincing any of my friends to go with me to this concert, since most of them didn’t know who any of the other bands were besides Sugar Ray, who had been popular on the radio at that time. Besides myself, I only had one other friend (she was the popular girl in our group) who actually knew who all of the other bands were. After she agreed to go with me to the concert, the other girls decided to go as well. This so-called ‘popular’ friend was one of my closest friends back then, & she was one of my biggest influences in discovering new music, but we had a huge falling out after high school, & I am not going to get into that drama right now. (Maybe I will save that story for a future blog post.)

Anyways, what made this concert so memorable, wasn’t just the epic show itself, or the fact that this was my very first concert experience, but it was also the first time in my life that I was successfully able to lie to my parents about my plans without getting caught. That was a big deal for me as a teenager because I’m such a terrible liar. Always have been, always will be.

During that time, back in 1998, my friends & I ran down to our nearest Tower Records shop (remember those) to each buy our tickets. I had lied to my parents about going to a sleepover at a friend’s house (not exactly lied, just omitted one giant detail). Luckily this friend that I mentioned lived on the same street as me…well so did our other popular friend, so it was pretty convenient for me to say I was sleeping over at a friend’s house for the weekend. My parents totally bought my sleepover ruse, & didn’t even have a second thought when I packed my backpack & sleeping bag & walked to my friends house.

I got even luckier because my friend, the one whose house I was sleeping over at, had fully told her parents about what we were planning to do, & they were totally cool with it. My friend’s mom even knew that I had totally lied to my parents about sneaking out to a concert in the big city, & helped me out by agreeing to cover for me in case my mom called to check-in on me. This friend’s mom has always been the “cool mom” out of all of our friends’ moms. Of course she was still a mom & made us swear on our lives that we would behave ourselves, not talk to random strangers, or put ourselves in sketchy situations with shady dudes, & all of the other stuff parents tell us not to do. We all piled into my friend’s car (she was the first in our group to not only get her driver’s license, but also get a car), & we still had a blast anyway.

Now here comes the part about the concert itself. Oh my gahhhhhd! Popping my concert-going cherry while seeing my favorite band Save Ferris perform live was an incredible & unforgettable experience. From what I can remember about the concert, the headlining bands performing were Sugar RayGoldfinger, & Save Ferris. The opening band was…& I can’t believe I am actually saying this… I N C U B U S. Yep, you heard correctly.

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INCUBUS was the opening band for that concert, & I remember there were people walking around the venue passing out free demo cassettes of their album S.C.I.E.N.C.E.. I had never heard of this band before, & my first impression was that I thought this band was weird. I really like INCUBUS’ music now, but back when they were first starting out, their music didn’t really appeal to me. I remember they had different types of drums, & they were, for lack of a better word, quite enthusiastic on stage. For a teenage girl just getting her feet wet in the giant pool of Punk & Ska music, I was more excited for the last band of the evening more than anyone else.

After the opening band, Sugar Ray went on stage & all the other ladies in the audience went nuts for Mark McGrath. He had a sculpted physique & those “Hey Ladies” bedroom eyes that all the 20-something women of those days just fell head-over-heels for. The band got the entire crowd pumped with all of their fun, catchy songs, & we all jammed out to their radio smash hit Fly. Then, when Mark McGrath took off his shirt, all the ladies hooted & hollered. You could tell the guys were all just waiting for the next band, Goldfinger, a super hype Punk band with an already established strong fan base.

I had heard a little bit about Goldfinger through the popular girl in my friend group. She was basically the person who introduced me to the whole Punk & Ska scenes in the first place. I barely knew any of the band’s songs, but at least I knew the basics like Here In Your BedroomMabel. My favorite Goldfinger song at that time was My Girlfriend’s Shower Sucks. To this day, it is one of the funniest songs I have ever heard in my life. Look up the lyrics yourself. I guarantee you’ll get a good laugh too.

Finally the time has come. My all-time favorite band is set to take the stage & perform their bloody arses off! I was buzzing with excitement to be able to see Save Ferris live. I had seen their music video for Come on Eileen at least a dozen times on MTV, & had listened to their songs on repeat so many times before the concert. It was finally time to see Monique Powell & the original gang live & in-person. The band performed all of their greatest hits from their It Means Everything album, like: The World Is New, Sorry My Friend, Everything I Want to Be, Come on Eileen, & pretty much my high school anthem/theme song…Under 21. For those of you who are still in high school, you’ll totally understand & live these lyrics in real life.

After the concert was over, Save Ferris was holding a live meet & greet in the basement of the venue. If you bought the band’s poster as well as their CD at the concert, you’ll get a chance to have the poster signed. I was so over-the-moon that I even got to see the band perform live, but to also get their autographs was a huge highlight of the evening. So, I quickly ran over to the merch table & not only bought their poster & CD, but I also bought my very first concert t-shirt. One of my friend’s was kind enough to help me wait in line to get my poster signed, & then we all drove back to the friend’s house for the actual sleepover.

That first concert was one I will always remember & cherish. I had my concert ticket laminated & proudly thumbtacked to a corkboard in my bedroom. Then, the following year, one of my cousins found out I was a huge fan of Save Ferris, & it turned out that she was also a fan of the band. She went to one of their concerts as well, & got one of the original band members Bill Uechi to write a sweet birthday message for my birthday on a piece of notepaper. I was so overjoyed that my cousin would go out of her way to get one of the band members to write me a personal note, that I even had the note framed, & it sat on my bedroom nightstand for many years.

There is, however, one negative part that is attached to this incredible memory. Many years after attending this first concert, I was cleaning out my childhood bedroom one day & decided to really overhaul my room. I was intent on decluttering my knick knacks, junk & all of my old clothes. I got rid of my autographed poster & my concert t-shirt which I will regret to this very day, but somehow I kept that darn CD, which is pretty much obsolete now, but Urban Outfitters might disagree. Then, about two years ago, I got the chance to see Save Ferris in concert again. I desperately scoured the internet, trying to find my old concert t-shirt again, but turned up empty handed. I was mentally kicking myself in the arse after that concert. Oh well. Que Sera, Sera!

So there you have it. That was me gushing over one the most unforgettable days of my life. After that first concert, I was able to see Save Ferris again (along with a ton of other awesome bands that I was a fan of) that same year at the Van’s Warped Tour. How lucky can one girl get?

Oh, did I also mention that I was sort of a skateboarding groupie? Yeah, I was what we called in those days a “poser”. I didn’t own a skateboard, nor did I even know how to skateboard, but I had a one-year subscription to Thrasher magazine, & I idolized all the skateboarding stars of the X-Games. I went to the Van’s Warped Tour with that very same friend who also liked Save Ferris. We jammed out to a ton of Punk & Ska music, ate expensive hot dogs with even more expensive Coca-Cola, & went on a shopping spree for discounted CDs. That was definitely a unforgettable year, not just one day.

Ever since that first concert, I got bit by the live music bug. I love going to concerts…festivals, not so much. I enjoy going to radio station Christmas concerts where they invite a bunch of bands to perform, but I am not a large, chaotic crowd type of person. I went to the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco back in 2015, just to see The Killers perform live, & that one music festival experience turned me off from going to another large music festival again for a looooong time. I haven’t made any new concert plans yet, but I heard The Black Keys will be performing at a huge venue in San Francisco again later this year, & I really want to go with Jian, but since I’m trying to procreate, it would be ill-advised for me to attend a high-tension event such as a loud concert. So…we’ll, just have to wait & see what awaits. Until the next blog, cheers Dudes…I mean Judes… (That was my stupid “Yesterday” Beatles movie pun.)

Today’s song of the day:

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When a band offers you a pre-sale link to buy concert tickets, you better work fastThe Killers had a special promotion for their Wonderful Wonderful tour, that if you buy their new album Wonderful Wonderful through their band website, they’ll not only include a free t-shirt, but they’ll also send you a link to pre-sale concert tickets before anyone else. Well, well, well…that website nearly crashed, & all of the pre-sale tickets were sold out! I mean, the concert tour sold out so fast that Jian & I had to buy our tickets through a (trusted) third-party ticket reseller. We were lucky that the third-party ticket prices were only $10 dollars more than the general ticket price(s), give or take, so it all worked out in the end.

We met up with two of our closest mates, who surprisingly have never ever been to a live music concert before. They were also huge fans of The Killers, so they were equally as pumped up as we were. However, they had no idea what they were in store for. Jian & I had to explain a few things about concerts to them, like: why assigned seats are better than standing-room floor seats, or whether to stay for the opening acts or not, or whether to buy the concert goods online or at the concert. That night was one of the most memorable moments in my entire life. I will never forget this experience with my favorite rock band & my best mates. Alright, let me break down the concert for you into sections.


THE BAND STAGE

The stage was a fun throwback to the retro neon signs of the famous Las Vegas strip. At the beginning of the concert, the stage had a minimal abstract appearance, with a wrap-around video screen behind the band & a triangular video screen above the stage. Then from the middle of the concert & all throughout, the stage changed to show neon lit arrows on one side of the stage & a water tower on the other side of the stage. Fun fact: for each city stop on the tour, the band would display the city’s name on the water tower. The concert I went to said “Los Angeles”. Of course everyone wants to know the ultimate answer to which electronic keyboard was Brandon Flowers going to use for this tour? Well, since the main & first single off of the Wonderful Wonderful album was “The Man“, Mr. Flowers had to use his ‘male symbol’ keyboard, while the backup singers had stands with the ‘female symbol’, as you can clearly tell from my photo below.IMG_2940-1.JPG


THE FAN EXPERIENCE

It was so badass & cool when The Killers invited a random fan to play with them on one of their songs. I know a lot of other bands do this at concerts, like Foo Fighters, Blink-182, & Green Day, but this was the first time I got to witness it in person. The band invited a teenage girl named Aelena Gilles to climb up on to the stage & play the drums on the song “For Reasons Unknown“. The crowd went absolutely nuts when she got up on stage. The band jokingly anointed this fan with some actual sand from the Mojave desert, & lent her a pair of plastic Elvis-inspired sunglasses. Let me just say, that this was one of the many highlights from the concert. This teenage girl totally killed it on the drums, & like I said before, the crowd went wild every time the camera would showcase this fan on the video screen. Everyone sang their hearts (& lungs) out & danced along to every song. When the band asked the audience to hold up a light, the entire Staples Center arena nearly erupted in smartphone flashlights. It was so cool to be part of this amazing fan experience. It kind of sucked that they had to replace two of the original band members (Dave KeuningMark Stoermer) with two fill-in band members, but those guys had legit reasons for not going on tour…like going back to college to finish their degree, &/or spending more quality time with their kids before they grow up too fast. The experience was still amazing as ever. They all know how to put on a great show. The last time I saw the full original cast lineup of The Killers was at the Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, back in 2015.


THE “MEAT & POTATOES” A.K.A. THE MUSIC

Since this was the Wonderful Wonderful tour, I was assuming the band was going to play most of the songs from their latest album, but surprisingly they didn’t. They played a great mix of all of their albums, focusing on most of their hit singles (Mr. Brightside, Spaceman, When You Were Young, etc.) & a few throwback gems (Jenny Was a Friend of Mine, Smile Like You Mean It, Andy You’re a Star, etc.). Oh man, the audience got the most pumped up every time the band would play an old school song from their Hot Fuss album. (I can’t believe in a few short years it will mark the 20th anniversary of the Hot Fuss album!) I just fact checked my own personal catalogue of The Killers music, & I just realized that the band practically played an entire set (plus encore) straight from the lineup of their Direct Hits album, minus the songs: Shot At The Night, Miss Atomic Bomb, Just Another Girl, & Be Still. However, you could just replace those missing songs with the new songs from the Wonderful Wonderful album, & you’ve pretty much got the entire setlist for the Los Angeles leg of their concert tour. Here is the complete song lineup for the concert.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

This concert was one of the most incredible live music shows I’ve ever been to. I love how engaging Brandon Flowers was with the crowd, & the band really knew how to whip the crowd into a frenzy & get us all to chant along to all the songs (I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier!). The band usually plays a cover song from another artist or band, but for this concert tour, they decided to write & perform a spur-of-the-moment song the band wrote just for our city venue. As described by Mr. Flowers himself, the song was written on the road while the band was touring, & the song was titled “L.A. Song” as it was written for the Los Angeles venue, & it was a little tribute song to all of the landmarks of Los Angeles. I’m not sure what The Killers had planned for other cities, but I’m sure it was just as memorable & amazing. With this Wonderful Wonderful concert tour, you really get a strong sense of how proud The Killers are of their Las Vegas, Nevada roots. I mean, Brandon Flowers came back for the band’s encore performance wearing a metallic gold suit! I was so blown away by this concert experience, & I’m sure my lungs felt blown away as well. My throat felt a little sore after all the singing I did to go along with the band. I’m going to end this post with a quote from Brandon Flowers that I’ve fallen in love with. Cheers everyone!

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Today’s song of the day:

2017 has already come & gone. It’s already Day 3 of 2018, & I cant believe it. Time really seems to be whizzing by. This is a look back at some of my biggest highlights of 2017.

01. This past year, I really feel like I’ve stepped up my writing, & put more focus & effort into my blog. I think I’m improving in making my own graphic images & site banners, but I’m not a trained graphic artist, nor do I have any artistic drawing abilities whatsoever. So, I’m hoping I’m improving as an amateur graphic artist. I can definitely see an improvement in my writing, & I’ve managed not to get too wordy on the unnecessary details. I’m definitely going to keep writing on my blog, & hope you all follow me on my journey.

02. When I was a teenager, I had all sorts of lofty dreams of going to music concerts & festivals. I envisioned my friends & I hopping in to my little car, & we’d travel around town looking for hip music venues & clubs. Well, that never happened, & even in my early adulthood I didn’t get many chances to go to any concerts…mostly because my group of friends at the time all had different tastes in music, & I could never find a partner to go with me to concerts or live shows.

Fast forward to today, f I can’t believe my good fortune. Jian & I have each introduced the other person to new music genres, bands, & artists. Through our mutual love of music, we’ve been able to attend many concerts & pop culture festivals in 2017. Our list of events include: Anderson.Paak in London, SAVE FERRIS, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats with Kings of Leon, as well as Lord Huron, Carseat Headrest & other bands we didn’t recognize at Chris Hardwick’s ID10T Conival. We saw WEEZER twice last year. Once at the ID10T Conival, & a second time at our local Alt-Rock radio station’s winter concert called Not So Silent Night. We attended on the night Alice Merton (of “No Roots” fame), Walk The Moon, Foster The People, WEEZER, &………The KILLERS performed. Yes, we got to see our favorite rock band of all time (The KILLERS) perform alongside WEEZER!!!! It was a great way to end our year in concerts. Also, I’m going to see The KILLERS in concert again next month at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles for their Wonderful, Wonderful U.S. arena tour. I can just feel all of my teenage concert fantasies coming true.

03. I got to check off an item on my travel bucket list this past year. After all of my intense wishing, it finally came true. I got to visit London, England for my very first time. It took me a long time to convince Jian to go with me, since Jian prefers to visit Asia on his vacations, but I finally wore him down & convinced him to travel with me to Europe/the UK. I was getting a little tired of always sticking to our routine of visiting Japan or China (or Hong Kong) every time we plan an overseas vacation. I’ve been wanting to switch things up & visit Europe/the UK for a long time. Also, visiting London has been a big ticket bucket list item for me, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit my new favorite city & stay at a hotel that has completely changed my life.

04. After immigrating to the U.S. from Taiwan (she was not born there), my mom said goodbye & had not given any thought to going back until recently. A lot of my mom’s friends have either permanently moved back to Taiwan, or split their time living there 6 months out of the year. This encouraged my mom to finally want to visit Taiwan. She invited her favorite travel companion (me) her sister, & together they made plans to go back & visit the city they grew up in & left behind over 30+ years ago. Of course, my mom feeling insecure about traveling to a place she hardly remembers, she invited Jian & I to join them as chaperones who could help them navigate the subway system & help them at the airports. We had so much fun eating & drinking our way through Taipei, & making the best of our trip even though it rained nearly every day.

05. Christmas is a big deal in my family. My dad had always emphasized family togetherness during this time of the year, & as a family we took his words very seriously. All of the kids make sure to come home for the holidays no matter what, & my mom throws a huge annual party on Christmas Eve. We usually tend to keep the guest list to family & close family friends only, but this year we broke tradition, & I was able to invite my closest friends & their families to our party. We had the most memorable evening I’ll never forget. This recently past Christmas party was truly outstanding & unforgettable.

06. This past year marked the 5th anniversary of my dad’s passing. I can’t believe it’s already been 5 YEARS. I think about my dad everyday, & I still think about him as though he’s still alive. I try hard not to dwell on the negative, & only focus on the positive memories of my dad. It’s hard to go through life without one parent, especially when you are still relatively young & feel like you still need your parents’ guidance. Another year will pass, & I will continue to think about my dad every day.

Those are my best highlights of 2017. I don’t have any resolutions for 2018. I want to live my life & be happy. Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

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Autumn is here, but it still feels like Spring weather. 💐🍂 . . . . . . . . . . #flowers #flower #flora #garden #BeautifulWeather #sunshine #SoSoft #SoPretty #cute #outdoors #outdoor #nature #CityLiving #LovelyDay #BeautyInNature #CityLife #white #yellow #orange #red #pink #purple #green #blue #LineCamera #FlowersOfInstagram #instaflowers #instapic #instagallery #PhotoGallery @linecamera_official
The sun was so bright today, you could literally see the halo ring around it. 😳☀️ . . . . . . . . . . #NoFilter #sun #sunshine #HighNoon #noontime #MotherNature #nature #outdoors #CityLife #CityLiving #outdoor #weather #sunny #SunnyDay #AutumnWeather #halo #HaloRing #TheRing #RingAroundTheSun #BeautifulDay #ICanSeeYourHalo #NoCloudsInTheSky #NoClouds #WTF #sky #BlueSkies #BayArea #280Freeway #Peninsula #CA
When the fog rolls in, we eat ice cream. 🌁🌥🍦 . . . . . . . . . . . . . #latergram #FerryBuilding #Embarcadero #IceCream #Amaluna #CirqueDuSoleil #flavor #LimitedEditionFlavor #CremeFraicheAndBluberries #HumphrySlocombe #SF #ouioui #monsieur #humphrey #MonsieurHumphrey #LickThat #hype #instagallery #IceCreamOfInstagram #CityLife #CityLiving #FoodOfInstagram #instafood #instalove #instahype @humphryslocombe @karlthefog @linecamera_official @cirquedusoleil
Flashback to that one time I had unforgettable croissants and doughnuts w/ coffee. 🥐🍩 ☕️ . . . . . . . . . . #Latergram #doughnut #donut #VanillaGlaze #GlazedDoughnut #HamAndCheeseCroissant #ButterCroissant #latte #HotLatte #LatteArt #delicious #FlakyAF #Fremont #pastry #breakfast #BunAppetitDonuts #Fremont #FoggyMorning #ILoveAutumn #CoffeeOfInstagram #PhotoOfTheDay #instapic #instalove #FoodOfInstagram #CityLife #CityLiving #SundayFunday @linecamera_official @foodieapp.official @bunappetitdonuts
And so it continues... . . . . . . . . . . #DeYoungMuseum #DeYoung #GoldenGatePark #SF #museum #WeekendMode #art #exhibition #culture #ExpandYourMind #OpenYourMind #OpenYourEyes #FamilyDay #FunTimes #abstractioncontinues #BlackAndWhite #minimalist #minimal #arrow #sign #typography #typeface #fonts #SansSerif #FreeAdmissionDay #instagallery #instapic @deyoungmuseum
Tonight’s dinner menu. 🍝 . . . . . . . . . . #HelloKitty #Sanrio #hype #ILoveHelloKitty #45thAnniversary #pasta #SoCute #HelloKittyPasta #organic #OrganicPasta #carbs #ILoveCarbs #NotOnADiet #NoDiet #凯蒂猫 #ハローキティ #パスタ #HK #kitty #cat #cartoon #character #CutestPastaEver #HelloKittyAndFriends #HerBowIsOnTheLeft #CatsOfInstagram #AnimalsOfInstagram #LineCamera @sanrio @hellokitty @linecamera_official @worldmarket

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