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I’ve been noticing very recently that it’s much easier for me to clump all of my thoughts into lists. I enjoy shortening my thoughts & ideas into short blurbs, rather than write while whole posts about nothing. I’m not that clever. Hey, I’m not Jerry Seinfeld. (*chuckles*)

  • I love apples. Fuji apples are my favorite type of apples, but I especially love them when they are cold, crisp, & juicy. Yeah, I love to eat juicy apples. I’ve been eating apples more often lately, mostly because my mom likes to use apples as a food offering to her Buddhist shrine whenever she says her Buddhist prayers. We always have a good amount of apples in our kitchen leftover from my mom’s weekly prayer offerings. I especially enjoy eating the apples after my mom has already used them as an offering to her mini Buddhist shrine. I kind of feel like the apples have been blessed by the Buddhist statues after they’ve had their share, which to me, makes them taste even sweeter.
  • Piggy-backing off the previous bullet point, I don’t think I’m a strict, devout Buddhist. My mom isn’t really one either. Well, she’s more of a semi-devout Buddhist. She performs many rituals & prayers to her carefully displayed shrine in our home. She even believes in the power & energy of carefully selected Buddhist relics. However, she does not regularly visit a temple or celebrate much of yer Buddhist holidays. I kind of, sort of loosely follow the parts of Buddhism my mom teaches me that is important to our family. Like my mom, I say a few prayers, I light incense, I provide offerings to our home shrine, but I don’t do much other important or significant rituals associated with it. I wouldn’t call myself devout to any one religion. My mom grew up in a strict Christian family before she converted to Buddhism along with her siblings. My dad was raised Catholic through & through…even going so far as to sign up for the priesthood, before dropping out to get married early & start a family. Neither of them pushed any sort of religion on any of their children,  but I’ve been loosely following a few customs of the Buddhist religion because it interests me & brings me closer to my mom.
  • I have an easier time writing my blog posts when I’m at my local big box coffee shop. Today I’m writing in a different coffee shop location. I hate this location, but at least it gives me a change of scenery from the coffee shop down the street from my house. The coffee shop I’m sitting at is right next to a high school. Once school lets out, all of the super annoying teenagers come swarming in to get their stupid frappy, iced berry, sugary sweet drinks. They come in packs & annoy the masses with their obnoxious jibber-jabber. Like I said, I hate coming to this location because it’s always crowded with annoying teenagers, but I need a change of scenery from my usual blog writing place. At least this place is still very close by to my house, & the baristas here don’t muck up my order. At the big box coffee shop next to my house, the only thing they get right is the spelling of my name on the cup. Other than that, they’re always forgetting one thing or another, like forgetting my drink altogether, or forgetting my food order until I’ve been standing at the counter for well over 5 minutes. The baristas always apologize for the mistake, & always mention that they recognize me as a regular customer, but every time I go there, they always treat me like I’m a stranger, even when it’s the same barista serving me a few days in a row.
  • I’m so incredibly excited, chuffed to bits, to be going to London next month. I wish I could speed up the date of my departure, but I also don’t want time to pass by so fast. Jian & I have been almost meticulously planning out all of the things we want to do & places we want to eat at or drink a cocktail at, but we also want to let things happen naturally. Before most of our major vacations, we tend to carefully plan out all the little details of our itinerary, but more often than not we end up doing things spontaneously, like on the fly. We talk & talk & talk, make up spreadsheets & checklists, I make up little  travel scrapbooks (with my amateur Photoshop skills), but mostly make up stuff as we go along our trips. I guess that’s the fun part, finding lots of random, local things that isn’t written in some stuffy, glossy guide book. Everyday our list of things to do & eat grows & grows. We only have 7 days to explore London, & we want to make the most of our time there. I want this adventure to begin, but not to end too soon.
  • In a couple of weeks I’m going to a concert I’d never imagine going to for a second time in my life. My all-time favorite band, SAVE FERRIS, has reunited after nearly 20 years & is coming back with a vengeance, releasing a brand new album & doing a U.S. promo tour. SAVE FERRIS was the very first band I ever saw in concert back in 1998. They were performing in a relatively small music venue alongside a very new, not-so-well-known band called Incubus, who was merely the opening act for SAVE FERRIS. Also co-headlining the concert was my other favorite band Goldfinger. That concert changed my life. I had told my parents I was having a sleepover at a friend’s house, & since she lived on my street & my parents were cool with her parents, they totally bought it. Luckily for my friends & I, the parents of the friend were totally easy-going & cool & allowed us to stay out late for a concert. I was so obsessed with SAVE FERRIS that I got a fully autographed poster & a concert tee which I wore almost every day. One time my cousin went to one of their concerts too & was able to get the bassist of the band to write me a birthday greeting on a piece of paper which I framed & kept next to my bed. I’ve got all this memorabilia tucked away somewhere in the far outer reaches of my storage closet, & one day I might take it out to reminisce. For now, I’m going to enjoy this upcoming concert, listening to songs new & old. I never really thought I’d ever see this band in concert more than once, but I was able to see them perform at the Van’s Warped Tour that same year back in 1998. Seeing them live for a third time in my life is just blowing my mind away. I can’t wait!!

Today’s song of the day:

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I completely forgot that today was Halloween. I had been thinking about this holiday over the past few days, & I was even debating on wether or not I should wear a costume. One thing leads to another, & the thought had entirely slipped my mind. It wasn’t until I was out spending the day in The City with my mom & Jian that it finally dawned on me. I had seen a few people dressed up in costumes at the barbecue restaurant we ate lunch at. At first I was a little confused, but it slowly crept into my mind that it’s Halloween. All week long, we had been worried that we didn’t stock up on enough candy for the Trick-Or-Treating children in our neighborhood, but we weren’t even home the entire day; so we never even got a chance to pass out a single piece of sugary goodness. It was fun seeing so many little children in The City dressed up in costumes. The best costume I saw was this little girl being pushed by her mom in a stroller. The little girl was dressed as Vanelope von Schweetz from the movie Wreck-It Ralph. Her stroller was decorated to look exactly like the candy race car from the movie, complete with working lights & music that played every time the stroller moved. The mom was dressed as the princess, the dad dressed as Wreck-It Ralph, & the big brother dressed as Fix-It Felix…all characters from the movie. It was so creative.

So, Halloween came & went uneventfully for me. I didn’t get any candy (I don’t really like to eat candy anyway). However, I did get a pair of holiday rock concert tickets. One of my local radio stations puts on an annual winter holiday concert called “Not So Silent Night“. Every year I think about getting tickets, but one of two things always comes up: 1. I don’t want to go by myself & most of my friends flake out on me, or 2. I am not interested in the bands performing. This year, I bit the bullet & bought tickets. I will be going with Jian, & I’m pretty stoked about the band lineup. This will be the second time this year that I will be seeing WEEZER live in concert. I am the most excited about that. There are other bands that I’m also excited to see in concert for the first time, like: Death Cab For Cutie, Chvrches, Bastille, & X Ambassadors. There are two other bands & artists performing at this concert (Silversun Pickups & Halsey), but I’m not interested in seeing them as much as the other bands. I’m still super excited to be going to yet another concert this year. I’m currently trying to convince Jian to go with me to see CAKE in concert for New Year’s Eve. He doesn’t really know much about this band except that their song “Short Skirt /Long Jacket” was used as the theme song for his favorite TV show “Chuck” (starring Zachary Levi).

Ok, so enough about concerts. Let’s talk about pillows! What a great topic, pillows!! Yes, I am pumped up about pillows. I just got a new set of pillows for my bed, & I am so in love with them. Just in this year alone, I’ve probably gone through at least four different pillows. None of them gave me good neck & shoulder support, or kept their generic shape. I was growing increasingly frustrated with my lack of good quality sleep & my stiff neck. That was the case until I found my perfect pillows. These pillows have just the perfect amount of firmness & fluffiness. They retain their shape very well, & they support my neck & shoulders so well. I have been getting such restful nights of sleep that for the past few days I’ve been going to bed early & waking up an hour before my alarm clock rings. My pillows are so comfortable that I have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning because I just want to lay on them a few minutes more. I admit, I am enjoying snuggling my pillows in the morning. They make me so happy. I think I am going to “test” my pillows again…Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

 

franz

I completely forgot to mention in my previous blog post that, in between my trip to Washington DC & now, I had gotten sick. I mean, I was “can’t-get-outta-bed” sick. That’s how sick I was, & after I recovered, I had kind of become lazy & stopped writing for a hot minute. Now I’m back, & I’m here to tell you that I went to yet another concert at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California. We stared our evening grabbing a quick bite from the Off the Grid food truck stalls outside of the venue. We nearly missed our concert, as we had forgotten to put a calendar alert on our smartphones. Luckily Jian’s phone beeped that morning, or we would have missed this epic night. I ate at one of my favorite food trucks, called…dun, dun, dunBACON!

Against Jian’s wishes, I bought more concert tickets for this venue. This time we went to see the Scottish rock band FRANZ FERDINAND perform as a collaboration super rock group called F.F.S. with the popular American rock group, SPARKS. It’s crazy how fast this collaboration band came to be. These two amazing rock bands had only just formed one mixed band this past March (2015). They quickly released two singles & a full-length album by April, & was already making plans to tour around the world in the same year. I had no clue who the band SPARKS was or just how popular they were, but I had been a long-time fan of FRANZ FERDINAND & knew of their popularity for sure. Who knew that these two bands have already been collaborating together since the mid-2000s??? So. Cool.

Steering the topic back to the concert itself, this time I had bought standing-floor tickets. We were able to stand extremely close to the stage, & we were lucky enough to be standing in the area that got the most band attention. How much attention, you ask? Well, let me tell you this, Alex KapranosRussell Mael,of FRANZ FERDINAND & SPARKS respectively, constantly would walk/dance over to our side of the stage & high-five the girls smashed up against the safety railing. Also, guitarist Nick McCarthy stage-dived, crowd-surfed, & jumped down into the audience only on our side of the stage. The time Nick jumped down into the crowd, he moved all around amongst the audience & danced along with us while playing his guitar, all without missing a beat. The one time he stage-dove right into the audience, he nearly landed right on top of me. Now, I’m quite a petite lady standing only at 5-feet tall (152cm). How am I supposed to carry the weight of a generously tall man playing a guitar over my head? (Unless I’m some beefed-up bodybuilder, I don’t see that happening.) Seeing Nick stage dive right into my side of the crowd scared me a bit, so I side-stepped out of the way when his crowd-surfing body was headed in my direction. Luckily Jian was standing right next to me & was able to guide Nick & his sleek cream-colored guitar away from our general direction before he headed back towards the stage.

ffs

Nick McCarthy, Ron Mael & Alex Kapranos

Throughout the night I kept my eyes trained on co-lead singer Alex Kapranos. Boy, is he attractive looking up close & personal. I was watching the way he enthusiastically danced on stage, & I kept thinking to myself, “Alex’s dancing & stage presence reminds me of a cross between David Bowie & Brandon Flowers.” He was really making good use of his extremely slender legs & his long arms with his flailing dancing around on stage. I also couldn’t help but notice that Alex’s hands were H-U-G-E!!! His fingers were impossibly long & slim (he could’ve held my entire head with just one hand). In general, Alex Kapranos is just a tall, slinky, svelte individual. I don’t think he carries even one ounce of body fat on himself. As for Ron Mael, the other co-lead singer, I was curious as to why he chose to wear a turtle neck shirt & a poncho on stage. In fact, I was wondering why he wore all-black clothing at all. It must’ve been really hot for him on stage. The venue didn’t have very good air conditioning, even though it was a rather mid-sized concert hall. Overall, both singers did a fantastic job taking turns being the lead singer on stage. They really knew how to ramp up the crowd’s excitement.

ffs3

Ron Mael & Alex Kapranos

Before I forget, here is the setlist for the evening’s concert:

Overall, I had a blast at this concert!! I love Franz Ferdinand, & they did an excellent job collaborating & joining forces with Sparks. I can’t wait to see Franz Ferdinand in concert again. Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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