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Christmas banner 2017

December is one of the months in the calendar that brings up mixed feelings for me. I love the winter season. I love decorating the house for Christmas. I love the festive holiday cheer. However, I don’t like that it’s already the end of the year, & you’re left wondering where all that time has gone. The year has passed too quickly. I don’t want to say that I can feel my life flashing before my own eyes, but I do feel it. It’s all going by in a tidal wave of a rush.

Right now I don’t want to think about all of that. I want to focus on the awesomeness that is this winter holiday season. I am so proud of myself that yet again, I was able to assemble our faux Christmas tree all by myself. We’ve had our fake tree for nearly 20 years, & I must say that it has been money well spent, & our family has definitely put this tree to good use. My dad & I have always been allergic to the pine needles, pollen, & sap from real trees, so my dad decided to invest in a high-quality (& expensive) faux Christmas tree. Plus, my dad always hated trudging to the tree lot to find some scrawny tree with half the needles already shedding, then trying haphazardly to secure the tree to the roof of our family car. The one part that my dad hated the most was having to affix the tree stand to the trunk of the tree & trying to get it to look somewhat straight (or at least close enough to my mom’s standards). Then, having to remember to water the tree daily & sweeping the constantly shedding needles. It was super annoying & a major hassle…not to mention that my severe allergies would kick in the moment my dad hauled the tree inside the house. It was just easier (& better for the environment) for my dad to invest in a faux tree.

I love our fake Christmas tree. It’s sometimes tedious to assemble due to all of the components, but to me it’s well worth it when you see the finished results with all of the lights strung up & ornaments hung with care. I absolutely enjoy putting our ever- growing collection of ornaments on our tree, but the one part I dislike the most & often try to avoid is stringing the lights on the tree. I just don’t know how to string the lights on the tree evenly, & I’m constantly getting the direction of the strings mixed up, so the “male” & “female” plugs don’t match up. It’s so frustrating to me, so I usually get my mom’s help (& rely on her skilled artistic direction) to string up the tree lights. Then, I’m all set to hang up the ornaments.

Every year, per my dad’s annual tradition, I try to get at least one or two (sometimes 6 or more) new ornaments to add to our already over-crowded tree. I so very much enjoy shopping for new Christmas ornaments. It’s become such a major part of our family’s Christmas traditions that I’ve even managed to rope Jian in on all the fun. He enjoys helping me shop for new decorations to add to our tree. This year, I didn’t really see any special ornaments that caught my eye, but Jian was able to find a set of minimalist ornaments at Target that match our tree. He helped me hang the ornaments on the tree, & we were successfully able to get the tree fully decorated within a few short hours. I turned on my Punk/Ska/Alt-Rock Christmas playlist for Spotify, & we found our groove & had the tree decorated in less time than I had anticipated. I am quite pleased with the results this year.

We don’t really stick to one theme or color scheme on our tree other than”the more colors, the merrier”. I am always on the hunt for fun, unique, & yet practical ornaments that display a special reference/meaning to a family member. For example, I got 3 different Buddha ornaments to represent my mom’s belief in Buddhism. I picked out a beer glass for Jian because at one phase in his life he was super into discovering various craft beers. Also just for fun, we got an ornament shaped like a tin of caviar in honor of my sister (for her love of fish egg condiments, & her tendency of being extra & bougie). My mom picked out a strawberry because my nephew & youngest niece love eating strawberries & could probably inhale one pound of strawberries in one sitting (if their mom let them). I also snuck in one rabbit ornament & one fox ornament because I just had to incorporate some sort of vague reference to this blog, but also because those are two of my favorite woodland animals. Those are just a few examples of the ornaments on our Christmas tree.

I can’t wait to see the looks on the faces of our friends & family when they see our tree this year. It’s going to be so festive & fun. Until then, cheers everyone!

Today’s song of the day:

“Bad Things” by Milky Chance

wth-december

This December has quickly become one cluster-cuss of a month. First, I pull a muscle in my shoulder. Then, I have an annoying mix-up with some of the online orders I made for Christmas. After that, my sister’s family has a last-minute change of plans, which completely throws our annual family traditions into a tailspin. Then finally, we find out suddenly that some extended family in-laws have just suffered a major health scare, & it was a hair’s width close to becoming a catastrophic event for the extended family that was involved.

HOWEVER, THE SHOW MUST GO ON…

Despite all of that, we are making the most out of the situations that come up,, & we are having a wonderful time. Even though this Christmas feels a little off for me, I am having the best time. I actually feel like this holiday break is going to turn out better than expected. No, better than ever! I am so grateful for everything that has been given to me, everything that has gone well for me, & every opportunity, experience, & memory for this glorious year. I couldn’t be more appreciative & thankful. Yeah, I’ve had a wonky month, but I am going with the flow. During these times of the year, during the holidays, my family can especially put me in a real cuss of a mood, especially when it comes to my near obssesive compulsion for cleanliness & organization, but I am trying really hard this year to let my inner reins loose a little bit, & just let them be them & I will be me. That’s pretty much all I can do for now to keep my sanity in check.

And now, it’s time for me to get back to washing my THIRD load of laundry. On Christmas Day, of all days, I’ve decided to do a complete overhaul on my bed linens & wash everything from my bed sheets, all the way to my comforter cover (a.k.a. duvet cover), to my pillow cases & shams. Until then, Happy Holidays & Cheers!

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Today’s song of the day:

“Fresh Eyes” by Andy Grammer

fresh-eyes

craziest time

So, remember that one time when I said I got a head cold? Well, guess what? Immediately after that happened, I seriously pulled a muscle in my left shoulder. My mom says that I pulled a rotator-thing-a-ma-jiggy because she pulled the exact same muscle in her right shoulder several months ago. However, I’m neither a doctor nor am I a physical therapist, so I’m just going to say that I pulled a generic muscle in my shoulder. The left one. Oh man, if you’ve never pulled a muscle in your body before, & this was my first time pulling a major muscle, you should feel so lucky, & grateful , & all that good stuff because it is definitely no picnic in the park…I’ll tell you that for sure.

Can you ever imagine, not being able to lift your arm even 45 degrees? Or not be able to put on a shirt or a bra? Or not be able to pull up your pants after you’ve finished peeing? Unless you are physically disabled, or have had a major accident or an outdoor/sports injury, I don’t think it’s imaginable. The struggle was real, guys. My shoulder was throbbing so bad from the pinch & the pain that it even hurt to keep my arm straight at my side. Ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating slightly, but this was my very first experience pulling a muscle in my body, so of course I’m going to throw in a little over-the-top whining.

I’m just so thankful for my slight compulsive disorder to stockpile my medicine cabinet at all times, & for having tons of Salonpas pain relieving patches on-hand. Those sticky little mentholated, medicated pain relieving patches saved my aching shoulder. I slapped on several patches all over my shoulder, twice daily (once in the morning & another time at night), & after three days of having a non-working arm, I’m all patched up & well on my way to a full recovery.

So, that was my sort of depressing start to the month of December. I was very much looking forward to decorating our Christmas tree, but since I couldn’t lift my arm more than 20 degrees, my mom helped me with the decorations, & now our house looks festive & ready for Christmas!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

I thought I was being so clever by ordering some of my Christmas gifts online. Geez, I was wrong. I ordered two special gifts for my two older nieces online, & when the shipment arrived in the mail, the company got the entire order wrong & only sent me half of the items I paid for. I then made a special trip to the shopping mall to have my order corrected, only to be turned away by the store manager with her standard spiel about not being able to fulfill or correct website purchases, & that I would have to call their customer service hotline to rectify this glaring error. I was a little upset having to deal with this stupid mistake (which is entirely the fault of the company & its website staff), especially when Christmas is not so far away. I mean, nobody likes to have missing gifts at Christmastime. Well, I ended up canceling my entire order, sending back the half items that were sent to me, & bought my nieces something else entirely.

I’m rather relieved that most of my other online purchases arrived in a timely manner, & were the actual correct items. My Christmas shopping list is nearly complete, & I’m waiting for two more items to arrive in the mail. I’m ready to snuggle up beside the fireplace & watch some trashy reality TV shows. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

“Laura” by Coleman Hawkins

laura-by-coleman-hawkins

Hello there!  It’s been a while since my last posted entry, & I offer my apologies.  As it turns out, since the Thanksgiving festivities, my niece passed on her sick germs to me, & I got sick (yet again).  I ended up getting an ear infection coupled with a nice little sinus infection (wrapped up with a pretty bow).  It’s been over a week & I still have some lingering symptoms of my sinus infection.

HOWEVER………The show must go on!  I shall soldier on & continue my blog entry.

Xmas is fast approaching, & I must say that it is one of my most favorite holidays of the year.  Well, to clarify, I’d like to say that December is probably my favorite month of the year…since it’s the Winter season, Xmas festivities are celebrated all month long, AND…my nephew’s birthday is also in December.  So, for me, there’s lots of activities this month.  There’s also a few recent traditions that I’ve been keeping up with over the past few years.

Every year, around Nov/Dec, I like to stock up on new calendars for the next year.  (You’ve already seen my planner diary in my previous entries.)  Here are my new calendars for 2013:

This is the calendar for my spare bedroom at my parents’ house…
home calendar

This one is for my apartment.
Fun Fact: 赤塚不二夫 (Fujio Akatsuka) is the artist of popular comic 天才バカボン (Tensai Bakabon).
apartment calendar

This is the calendar I’ve been using for this year:
2012 calendar

I love festive decorations for any occasion…especially Xmas!!  I finally got my first Advent calendar.
Believe it or not, I actually got this at a Starbucks coffee shop in Tokyo.
I wasn’t able to find this at any U.S. Starbucks retailer (or at any China Starbucks), so I believe I got myself a good deal here.
advent calendar

This is what the apartment finally looks like after jazzing it up for the holidays.
I wanted to keep decorations to a minimum, since the apartment has very little storage space. (I don’t like clutter.)
Anyways, I will be spending the main parts of the Xmas holidays at my parents’ house…so…
I then got a small symbolic Xmas tree & added 2 Xmas edition LEGO sets from my growing LEGO collection.
apartment xmas

That’s pretty much it.  Not much else to report on our tiny home-front.  Oh wait!  I almost forgot…

I got a little trigger happy at the card shop (again) & got 3 new greeting cards to add to my ever-growing stash.

new greeting cards

I also got a storage case for  my decorative (Washi) paper tape.
My giant hobby box is just stuffed to the brim & couldn’t hold them all.
tape box

Calendar

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Apparently @oasis wrote my fortune cookie fortune. 🥠
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#ReadMyMind #song #TrackName #AliceMerton #WalkTheMoon #FosterThePeople #Weezer #TheKillers #NotSoSilentNight #OracleArena #Live105 #Oakland #SF #SaturdayNight #InShotApp #concert #music #fun #BestNightEver #FavoriteBands #HappyHolidays #BandsOfInstagram #latergram @thekillers @live105 My sign is vital, my hands are cold... 🎵
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#Human #song #TrackName #AliceMerton #WalkTheMoon #FosterThePeople #Weezer #TheKillers #NotSoSilentNight #OracleArena #Live105 #Oakland #SF #SaturdayNight #InShotApp #concert #music #fun #BestNightEver #FavoriteBands #HappyHolidays #BandsOfInstagram #latergram @thekillers @live105 What are you waiting for, a kiss or an apology? 🎵
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#RunForCover #song #TrackName #AliceMerton #WalkTheMoon #FosterThePeople #Weezer #TheKillers #NotSoSilentNight #OracleArena #Live105 #Oakland #SF #SaturdayNight #InShotApp #concert #music #fun #BestNightEver #FavoriteBands #HappyHolidays #BandsOfInstagram #latergram @thekillers @live105 But I hear those voices at night sometimes... 🎵
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#Spaceman #song #TrackName #AliceMerton #WalkTheMoon #FosterThePeople #Weezer #TheKillers #NotSoSilentNight #OracleArena #Live105 #Oakland #SF #SaturdayNight #InShotApp #concert #music #fun #BestNightEver #FavoriteBands #HappyHolidays #BandsOfInstagram #latergram @thekillers @live105

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