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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


I love to watch movies. Oldies, newbies, you name it. I’ll probably watch it, or at the very least try to watch one time. I really have to thank iTunes movie rentals & Netflix for helping me expand my movie genre interests, & for urging/pushing/encouraging me to watch movies I would have never thought to watch on my own, like various foreign movies for example. Also, my aunt has been vacationing at my house for the past month, & almost every night after dinner we’ve been renting classic/oldie movies from my cable provider’s On Demand movies list. It really got me thinking about all of the movies I’ve watched in my life & how would I categorize them.

My taste in movies is a little bit all over the place. I’m not a dedicated fan to just one genre, or movies from a certain decade. Most of my family & friends are super into current blockbuster movies, & also pop culture movies (usually ones that have some sort of connection to San Diego Comic Con). I love all sorts of movies, from 50s/60s classics, to musicals, to foreign, to box office bombs, etc.. (I guess you could say that my haphazard taste in movies is the same as my mixed taste in music genres.) Many times, I’ll mention my interest in a movie that would get my friends & family to scratch their heads. OK, so it’s mostly Jian that says I’m weird for liking certain movies. Here, I’m going to explain these such movies, these “guilty pleasure” movies that I don’t like to talk about with other people. Having to explain why I like these movies to most other people…well…it’s just too much for me to say in one blog post, so I’ll just get on with it then.

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  1. Ever since I was a young teenager, I’ve been extremely fascinated with Drag Queens. I don’t even know how I got introduced to the whole world of Drag, but once I learned about this style of entertainment, I’ve been a fan ever since. The first movie I ever watched with predominantly gay main characters was To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar. As a wide-eyed teen, I didn’t understand the stories behind the gay characters at all. All I cared about was that there were straight guys, acting as gay men, dressed in women’s clothes. I mean, I was excited to see Patrick Swayze dressed as a woman. (It’s waaay cooler than Dustin Hoffman dressing as a woman.) Of course, there is a deeper meaning behind this movie, & I totally understood the hard times these characters had to face after watching this movie a second time. I love the stay strong spirit behind this movie, & the fact that a whole town can turn their bigotry frown upside down, & learn life lessons on tolerance & acceptance.
  2. OK, I’m more of a “Tom Hanks in an action role” kind of gal, rather than a “Tom Hanks in a romantic comedy role” girl. However, this movie gets my heart fluttering every time. Maybe it’s because Meg Ryan is so cussing cute in this movie. I seriously envied her sweet character owning a small generational mom-&-pop bookstore in the heart of the big city. Yes, falling in love with a guy you’ve only IM’d with on the internet is creepy, but I like how they get to really know each other first before seeing the other person’s face. It’s like a relationship version of The Voice. Also, I think it’s cute (albeit outdated) when they chat with each other online & send each other regular emails. Nowadays, people don’t email or write to each other. It’s all texting, emojis, animated GIFs, & dick pics. My favorite aspect of the movie is that Tom Hanks’ character & Meg Ryan’s character really get to know each other before they find out they’ve been anonymously chatting with each other online the whole time. The part where Meg Ryan tells Tom Hanks that she wished all along that he would be her online crush gets my heart fluttering every time I watch this movie.
  3. When I mention to people that this Japanese cult hit is one of my all-time favorite movies, they either automatically scratch their heads from not recognizing this movie, or they just don’t understand why I love a movie with so much blatant & extreme gore/violence. This movie was not made with the intention of being overtly gorey or violent. This movie was made to convey a serious social issue in Japan. During the time of the movie’s release, there were many teenagers who were expressing apathy towards their elder generations, & were showing their lack of respect to their elders. These youth were becoming increasingly lazy & disinterested in changing the environment around them. The adults were fed up with the younger generation. So this movie got everyone’s attention. What would you do if you were put in a “kill or be killed” situation that you had no way out of? Would you save yourself, or would you band together to help your friends? Would you wake up & change your situation/environment? One such character in this movie, who had a chip on his shoulder from being shuffled around in foster care, was once a lazy apathetic teenager coasting through high school, but rose up & fought for the greater good of his fellow classmates. He fought to avenge the death of his best friend. He fought to protect the girl that he loved who had a pure, kind heart. He fought to avenge the unnecessary deaths of his fellow classmates. He rose up & fought to change the course of his life, to change his situation, to change the environment around him & not sit idly by while the world kept spinning without change. This movie really made me fall in love with the actor Tatsuya Fujiwara‘s acting. He is such an incredibly talented actor, & he amazes me every time I watch him on the big & small screens.
  4. In my community (a.k.a. my circle of friends & family) it is taboo for me to express my interest in the actor Jamie Dornan. I get laughed at every time I  talk about him. So, I keep my interest in Jamie Dornan super private. Many moons ago, Jamie Dornan acted in this movie set in a pretty little town in Belgium, where his character (pretended to) was learning about his family’s lineage, & trying to broker a deal with a professional racing bird breeder. This was a pretty casual, lighthearted, romance genre movie, which is kind of a different direction for this actor. There were no heavy military storylines, or action-packed love scenes, or thrilling cat & mouse chases. This movie was just good, clean fun to watch…& just to see a younger Jamie Dornan act in something that didn’t involve evading the police, serial murderings, war & guns, or bondage & spankings. I will declare here & now that I’m a huge fan of Jamie Dornan. I really enjoy his acting style/skills, even though I don’t really find his American accent appealing or believable, & often sounds forced. Also, I will “Plead the Fifth” on whether I find Jamie Dornan physically attractive or not. I try to not focus on that when I watch his movies or TV shows. He’s more than just a pretty face with 8-pack abs & rippling biceps, you know.
  5. This movie starring Hugh Grant & Drew Barrymore is so cheesy, but I love it’s ability to poke fun at itself…well, mostly it’s Hugh Grant’s aging pop star character. I love the self-depricating demeanor of Hugh Grant’s nearly washed up has-been pop star character. Drew Barrymore is also cute as & an insecure writer working for her sister’s weight loss company. I really enjoy the chemistry between Drew Barrymore’s character & Hugh Grant’s character when they come together to write lyrics for a new pop song together for a young rising pop singer. The young pop singer character is sooo annoying in this movie, but there is truth to her character as so many pop singers today display the same level of self-serving diva attitude. Kristen Johnson’s character is also really cute as the fangirl to Hugh Grant’s character, especially when she finds out that Drew Barrymore’s character (her in-movie sister) gets to work with Hugh Grant’s character. It kind of reminded me of when I was a naiive teenager who was infatuated with my favorite teen pop idol. I’m not quite sure, however, that this movie acurately depicts how difficult it actually is to write song lyrics. You can’t just sit down at a piano with your temporary house sitter & bang out a chart-topping pop love song in a day.
  6. Cannibal is a beautiful, unconventional romance set in Spain. How’s this for a plot twist? A woman falls in love with an introverted, quiet man who murdered her sister AND ATE HER HUMAN FLESH, all while she is in the midst of searching for said missing sister. I’ll admit, I was attracted to Antonio de la Torre‘s mysterious character from the very beginning. Hey, my paternal grandfather was a tailor & maker of fine gentlemen’s suits. So, when I saw Antonio’s character making men’s suits, that piqued my interest. However, it was his character’s mysterious & meticulous nature that really attracted me to this movie. I’ve seen movies & documentaries that featured cannibalism before, so I wasn’t too shocked to see Atonio’s character casually eating human flesh like a regular pork chop for dinner in one scene. What truly got me hooked on this movie was the fact that even though Antonio de la Torre’s character is killing women, he can’t seem to kill Olimpia Melinte‘s character. He is growing more & more attached to & in love with her as the movie progresses. Even though Antonio’s character lives a very strict & extremely organized life, he still lets Olimpia’s character enter in to his home & into his introverted life. Of course, as predictable movie plotlines go, Antonio’s character does try to keep Olimpia’s character at a distance, not wanting her to get too close to him, both emotionally & investigatively. My favorite scene in the movie is when Antonio’s character invites Olimpia’s character to his vacation cabin/”chop shop” with the intention of killing her (as well), but instead spares her life & ends up sleeping beside her on the sofa in a rare act of intimacy, which is unusual for his character who is mostly emotionally unattached. Of course, as you would expect, Olimpia’s character goes berserk once Antonio’s character confesses all of his serial crimes (including her sister) & his particular culinary appetite, but when Antonio’s character breaks down & emphatically professes his love for Olimpia’s character, my heart melts. Obviously I cannot go around & freely announce that I love a romance movie featuring a murderous flesh eating main character. That’s why this is my secret guilty pleasure movie on Netflix.
  7. Now, I’m not explicitly saying that I secretly like bondage & domination, or that I’m some pervy voyeur. I love the romance in this movie plain & simple. James Spader plays a cold, dominating, fiery lawyer. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays his timid, wide-eyed, submissive secretary/personal assistant. Just like in the book trilogy that got turned into a blockbuster movie franchise, both of the main characters teach each other valuable lessons on life & love, & also help one another open up their hearts & minds to enrich each other’s lives. Of course the steamy themes make this movie much more exciting & enticing to watch than your average romantic movie, but that’s just a tool to explore the many facts of love & relationships. Also, I remember when I was a kid, I wanted to grow up & become a secretary who typed on a typewriter, answered the telephone, & sent out hand-typed letters from the boss. This movie combined my childhood career fantasy with my adult romantic fantasy. I mean, wouldn’t it be so cool to pick up the phone & say, “Hello. You have reached the office of E. Edward Gray!
  8. I love the older works of actress Helena Bonham Carter, like: Lady Jane & A Room With a View. She just looked to fresh faced & angelic in those movies with her wild, curly hair, rosy cheeks, & child-like smile. This movie is one of my all time favorite romance movies. It’s so innocent & pure, & I could watch this movie a hundred times, & it will make my heart litter-patter every time. Having the city of Florence as the main backdrop only adds more charm & even more romantic feeling to this movie. After watching this movie for the first time, I was totally infatuated with Julian Sands‘ character. At the time, I thought he was so handsome, & Helena Bonham Carter’s character was so pretty & sweet. I was cheering for their characters to fall in love with each other from the beginning to end. I sooo wanted Lucy Honeychurch & George Emerson to fall in love & get married. The first kissing scene in the Italian meadow makes me blush fiercely every time I watch it. Also, it makes me so frustrated when George tries to kiss Lucy on the tennis court, & she quickly pushes him away. I wish he could’ve grabbed her again & held her tighter while kissing her more, not to force himself upon her, but to make an unmistakable declaration of love. I would like at least once to be pulled in close & passionately kissed by the man I love.
  9. This movie is part sci-fi fantasy, part romance. I can’t imagine having my soul so intertwined with another stranger’s soul that I can actually feel what the other person is feeling & to be able to see what they see through their eyes. It also doesn’t seem scientifically plausible, but it does make a cute movie plot. This movie vaguely reminds me of You’ve Got Mail, where the characters interact with each other by talking & getting to know each other before meeting in person, but to be able to talk to each other through telekinesis, that’s a bit weird. However, I do find it kind of cute & cool how the two main characters can see what the other person looks like  when they each look into a mirror. I love the initial awkwardness of Michael Stahl-David’s character. Of course there are some obvious themes in this movie such as: the guy who’s down on his luck with a rough past falling in love with the sheltered well-to-do gal. Both of the main characters in this movie have complicated pasts & hard futures ahead, but they both push through those obstacles to find each other & run off into the sunset (on a commercial freight train).
  10. Okay, I’ve saved the corniest/cheesiest chick flick (or bean flicker, as Jian likes to call it) for last. This movie franchise seems to be getting a ton of exaggerated negative reviews by movie critics & the general male population. However, the diehard fans of the book series seem to genuinely like the movies that have been released so far. This is the one movie franchise I straight up refuse to talk about with my friends & family because they immediately make fun of me for liking any aspect of this franchise (book, movie, or anything related). I don’t even know how to properly describe what I like about this franchise. There are many things. However, let me set one thing straight once & for all. I AM IN NO WAY INFATUATED WITH THE MAIN MALE CHARACTER. No, I do not wish to be swept off my feet by some extremely handsome billionaire to his seductive castle in the sky. My eyes are wide open here, & I know that this scenario is unrealistic & will never happen to me even in a thousand different lifetimes. I have no illusions, or shall I say delusions, here. I understand my reality, but I am a fan of this book series & its story. It’s a great literary escape to a fantasy scenario, & I think the movie adaptations of the books were pretty good considering all of the various restrictions (i.e. time-limit, how many scenes they can cram into one movie without overloading or making them spseem forced, etc.). By the way, I just watched movie 2 out of 3 last night, but I had to wait until everyone in the house was asleep.

Ok, that’s all I’m going to say in this blog post. I hate writing endings to my posts. I don’t know how to properly write a closing note. So, I’ll just say, Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

“Baby’s Wearin’ Blue” by BOSLEY

On my eldest niece’s last birthday (she turned 23), I got her the “The 52 Lists Project” book by Moorea Seal. The salesman at the shop sold me on buying the book, saying it was a very popular item. Then, I started seeing this same book pop up all over the place. Luckily my niece exclaimed that she loves writing down lists & journaling, so I was relieved to have picked this book for her birthday gift.

I, myself, had glanced through the lists in this book & had come upon one list in particular that I quite liked. It was List 2 titled “List your favorite characters from books, movies, etc.”. I started to think about what my picks would be, & originally I had chosen this list because I thought it would be easy to answer. I was so wrong. I had a difficult time choosing my answers. I was very consciously trying to not be so clever that it made me appear phony, or like I was trying hard to sound cool. I really truly wanted to choose thoughtful, meaningful answers to this list. I gave myself an extra challenge by changing the list to only female characters. That made my discisions even more difficult, but I think I’m happy with my final list.

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Today’s song of the day:

“My Kind of Town” by Frank Sinatra *in honor of the 2016 MLB World Series

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As you may or may not know, lately I’ve been taking more frequent baths. I truly enjoy my sacred bath time. I take my time to set-up the bathroom for a high level of relaxation & fun. I always place my bath towel in the exact same spot (even when I take my showers); I put out my soaps & hair care products in strategic places around the bathtub, so I won’t have to get up every five minutes to grab something. I also bring in my plastic stool to prop up my tablet for optimum movie watching. Which brings me to the next topic because I almost always watch a movie, TV show, or some sort of video while I’m taking a bath.

I am an absolute creature of habit. Sometimes, I’ll venture out & watch a movie I’ve never seen (& often have never heard of) before. The most recent “new” movie I watched was one on Netflix called “Final Girl“. The movie features: Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens), Wes Bentley (American Horror Story), Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games), & Francesca Eastwood (yes, Clint Eastwood’s daughter). I most certainly am not a fan of slasher-thriller type movies; I especially despise movies that involve a crazed madman chasing a woman through the woods. However, this movie was actually surprisingly entertaining to watch. I enjoyed the chemistry & the relationship between Abigail & Wes’ characters. That’s probably one of the few movies I’ve watched outside of my self-prescribed rotating list of movies I like to watch while I’m taking a bath.

Another movie (not on my list) that I’ve watched recently is “Rust and Bone“, starring: Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Midnight in Paris) & Matthias Schoenaerts (Far From The Madding Crowd, The Drop, Bullhead). I absolutely loved this movie & am considering buying the digital download for my movie collection. The slow-building romance between the two main characters is so achingly beautiful, painful & raw at the same time. I truly & completely loved the ending of the movie. It was because of the ending scenes that made me swoon over Matthias Schoenaerts’ character. I’m not going to give away too much of the movie & let you watch it for yourself. I will just add at the last minute that Marion Cotillard is one of my favorite actresses, & that is all.

I have no problems whatsoever with watching a movie multiple times, especially if it’s a movie I thoroughly enjoy. I think I can get quite picky borderline annoying regarding the movies I choose to watch, but when I find one I truly like &/or love, I can watch that movie over & over again without getting sick of it. There are just some movies that stick with me for a long time, & I will have no problem watching that movie several times (consecutively, sometimes). Jian often does not share my taste in movie genres or story lines, so we often watch our movies separately. We enjoy watching current box office movies together, & on that regard, we do enjoy the same now-in-theaters movies. However, when it comes to movie rentals or On Demand cable TV movies, we can never agree on much.

I end up watching most of my movies while I’m taking a bath. That’s the perfect time to squeeze in one of my movies on my tablet, while Jian is occupying the home TV to play video games or watch his silly Comedy Central TV shows. I have noticed, during my most recent bath sessions, that I’ve been frequently cycling through the same few movies over and over. Jian often teases me mercilessly over my movie choices. He sometimes wonders aloud why I am watching that movie again. I have a difficult time explaining to him why I enjoy watching the same movies multiple times without him teasing me for being so predictable & routine. Therefore, I watch my movies in secret; often times when he’s at work, or other times when I’m taking my baths. I’m not ashamed of watching the same movies over & over again. I just don’t like listening to Jian openly tease me about it, or listen to him complain that I’m controlling the TV with things that only I want to watch.

So I’ve made up a list of movies that I call my guilty pleasures movies, even though I don’t feel guilty about them at all. I will say one thing, please excuse my selection of movies. My taste in movie genres, like my musical taste, runs all over the map. So forgive me if the list bounces around & possibly gives you an eye strain. Cheers.

1. Midnight in Paris: I have seen this movie at least twice in the past month. I just love the plot to this movie. Hopping into a time-traveling taxi & hob-knobbing with the notable celebrities of one’s favorite “golden age” era. Falling in love in the rain in the middle of Paris with the Eiffel Tower twinkling in the background. How romantic is that? This movie makes me wish I could take a vintage taxi & travel back in time to my favorite time in history & just soak up the atmosphere for a little while before slipping back into the harsh, gritty reality of the present.

midnight in paris4

image credits belong to: Minimal Movie Posters at www.minimalmovieposters.tumblr.com

2. You’ve Got Mail: I have watched this movie several times on TV, & I find it endearing each time I watch it. It breaks my heart when Meg Ryan’s character has to close her quaint little bookshop, but it also brightens my heart when she develops a friendship with Tom Hanks’ character that evolves into love. I enjoy the simplicity of emails & instant messaging…long before the days of SnapChattexting/sexting. I can see how this movie can feel so out-dated when you see the main characters using big, chunky IBM laptops with a dial-up modem, & they still have to log-on to AOL. However, I find that aspect charming, & it hits close to home, as I’ve done such things (like instant messaging & chatroom conversations) with ex-boyfriends past. This is overall a “cute” movie that I wouldn’t turn away from if it aired on TV again.

you've got mail

image credits belong to: Minimal Movie Posters at www.minimalmovieposters.tumblr.com

 

3.The Boat That Rocked (a.k.a. Pirate Radio): This movie renewed my interest (& semi-passion) in music from the 1950s & 60s. I grew up listening to my local “oldies” radio station all throughout my Elementary school years. A girl, who was my best friend at the time, & her mother both got me into music from that era. The girl’s mother had a vintage record player & would let us listen to all of her vintage (& original) Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, The Association vinyl records. I fell in love with the music & started listening to my local “oldies/classic” radio station on my walkman at night. Of course when I got into Junior High School & High School, it was uncool to listen to anything but the Top 40 hits, so I quickly started listening to whatever was popular on the radio station to fit in with the rest of the kids at school. After watching this movie, it just reaffirmed my love of the music from the 1950s & 60s. While watching this movie, I was surprised that I could actually sing along to some of the songs played throughout the movie. Needless to say, I downloaded the soundtrack almost immediately after watching the movie. This movie also reminded me of a time when I wanted to become a radio station deejay. I enjoy watching this movie because it lets me live vicariously through the rebel deejays during the musical revolution of the 1960s in the UK.

boat that rocked

image credits belong to: Minimal Movie Posters at www.minimalmovieposters.tumblr.com

 

4.Secretary: I can attest that I am not a masochist, nor am I a submissive to anyone’s domination. However, I don’t mind a little kinky fuckery every now and again. This movie will always be at the top of my “Top 10 Movies” list. Hands down. I love this movie so much, yet I can’t find the apt words to describe how I feel about it. Sometimes, I feel lost in life like Maggie Gyllenhal‘s character from this movie, but I most certainly do not feel the need to cut or burn myself just to feel any emotion at all. I am often intrigued by the mysterious, dominating, intimidating, powerful, sexual types like James Spader’s character from this movie. How would I react if I had an employer who acted that way around me? Would I be fearful & afraid? Or would I be turned on & motivated just like the main character in this movie? The slow-burning, highly erotic romance that develops between the two main characters in this movie turn me on. I’d love to be in an all-consuming, passionate to the point of heartbreaking, relationship just like the two main characters. Two people who know how & when to push each others buttons, but only to bring pleasure, not to cause harm…& to help one another not only grow within themselves, but grow to love the other unselfishly & unconditionally. Plus, the spanking’s hot too.

secretary

image credits belong to: Minimal Movie Posters at www.minimalmovieposters.tumblr.com

 

5.Music And Lyrics: The first time I watched this movie was on a flight to Japan. I was skeptical to watch this movie at first because I am not a big fan of movies with Drew Barrymore. However, I ended up thoroughly enjoying this movie. Recently, during one of my bath sessions, I re-watched this movie & grew to like it even more. What’s more is that I can’t get the Pop song from the movie out of my head, & I’ve been humming the song to myself on & off a lot lately…you know that song: “Pop Goes My Heart” by the fictional Pop group POP! from this very movie. I remember once, when I was a teenager, trying to write my own song lyrics. I had no clue on where to start. Do I create a background melody first? Or do I write the words first? My attention span at that age was so short, I gave up before I even put pen to paper. I will say that watching this movie makes song lyrics writing look fun (stressful, yet fun). Also, I found Hugh Grant’s character to be funny, cute & a little charming. I love how his character can easily make fun of himself & his past career as a cheesy 80s Pop idol. This movie is both cute & fun to watch, just to pass the time, for a good laugh, or if you’re stuck on a boring plane ride.

music and lyrics

image credits belong to: Jon Glanville on Flickr at www.flickr.com/photos/27980022@N04/

 

6. Battle Royale (a.k.a. BR I): I said earlier on in this blog post that I dislike slasher movies, however, this movie was so beautifully done that it has become one of my all-time favorite movies. Director Kinji Fukasaku unfortunately passed away before the completion of filming the sequel Battle Royale II: Requiem, but his memory plays on through this iconic film. This is surely a tale of love & survival. If you thought The Hunger Games was cruel & unusual punishment, then you haven’t seen this movie. Battle Royale puts the Hunger Games to shame, even though they share similar traits in how these “games” are set-up. Both games are set up as follows: 1. Game contestants are selected at random. However, in BR, instead of selecting competitors by ‘district’, each group of contestants are young students who are selected by school, grade level & classroom, & they are stranded on a deserted island. 2. Whomever is the last person standing is the victor of the games. 3. Use any means &/or weapon necessary to become the last person standing at the end of the games. However, unlike The Hunger Games, in BR, you already start with your own survival pack complete with a weapon, a map, a compass, food rations, & a bottle of water. Also, you have a tracking collar locked around your neck, & at different intervals throughout the day, different spots on the island become hot zones which will cause anyone within that hot zone to detonate the explosives within the collar.

Like in The Hunger Games, there is a romantic couple that arises, who become each others’ allies & help each other survive the game. Yes, these two young characters witness some of their closest friends die right before their eyes, but that only hardens their resolve to stay alive. These two star-crossed lovers vow to protect each other & stay by each other’s side no matter what. They vow to fight together against the jaded, corrupt adults who created this game to rid Japan of its troubled, lazy, & unmotivated youth. From the moment that I first saw this movie, I fell in love with actor Tatsuya Fujiwara & his acting. Tatsuya is brilliant in this movie (as well as in his other movie roles), but alongside actress Ai Maeda, & the pair make a heartbreaking hero-heroine couple. Just to warn you, this movie is extremely graphic, violent, gory (& vulgar in some areas). The most iconic scene in the movie is when Chiyaki Kuriyama’s character stabs another boy in the crotch with an ice pick, crying out that he will never get to touch her. It was because of Chiyaki’s character in this movie that prompted director Quentin Tarantino to specifically create the character GoGo Yubari in the movie Kill Bill Vol. 1 just for Chiyaki…& also as an homage to her BR character. I couldn’t end this without mentioning the perpetually depressed & angry Takeshi Kitano (a.k.a. Beat Takeshi). When I first saw him in this movie, I thought he was so cold-hearted, unfeeling, & cruel; yet, the more I watched him, the more I wanted to reach out & hug him…to show him some sort of affection his daughter (the ones both on & off screen) never gave him. It is so heart-wrenching to see a man fall to his knees, desperately searching for a young daughter’s affection & attention, & the one who showed him any compassion at all ended up being the one who ended him.

battle royale1

image credits belong to: Minimal Movie Posters at http://www.minimalmovieposters.tumblr.com

 

Today’s song of the day:
“Beautiful Love (Take 2) by Bill Evans
beautiful love take 2

 

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Always make sure you keep a spare sandwich & a jar of marmalade in your suitcase. (This furry fella has been in my care since the early 1980s.)
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#PaddingtonBear #Paddington #bear #StuffedAnimal #StuffedBear #StuffedToy #toy #plush #friend #companion #ChildhoodToy #childhood #UK #GB #PaddingtonStation #80s #marmalade #sandwich #AnimalsOfInstagram #ToysOfInstagram #mine Could you kindly keep the noise level down? Thanks sweetie. 🤐✌🏼
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#NoisePop #SF #StreetFair #TrickDog #cocktails #sign #PleaseBeQuiet #BeQuiet #respect #Shhhhh #KeepItDown #HappyHour #neighbors #pink #black #typography #typeface #font #Serif #SansSerif #handwritten #HandPainted @noisepop @trickdogbar Bulls on parade... 🐂
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#NoisePop #SF #Mission #StreetFair #art #StreetArt #WallArt #grafitti #graffiti #tag #mural #SaturdayFunday #black #red #white #bull #boar #WildAnimals #animals #AnimalsOfInstagram @noisepop You choose.✔️
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#TakeOrSteal #take #steal #grafitti #graffiti #art #typeface #typography #tag #Mission #SF #lettering #SaturdayFunday #weekend #NoisePop #HappyHour #StreetFair #family #friends #art #WallArt #YouDecide For today's Noise Pop street fair, Monsieur Humphrey got dressed up in his Saturday best for the occasion. 🎀
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#SF #Mission #NoisePop #Saturday #SaturdayFunday #HappyHour #IceCream #SecretBreakfast #SingleScoop #HumphrySlocombe #monsieur #ouioui #LickThat #MonsieurHumphrey #StreetFair #weekend #family #friends @humphryslocombe @noisepop To prove that I'm not making this up. People really DO leave their trash on this street corner. I'm surprised no one has turned this into an actual art installation. 🗑🎨
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