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bits and bobs

Hello. I was sitting at my local big box coffee shop again when I had the idea to write this post. These are more random thoughts & various things that I wanted to write about.

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  • I was casually & very conspicuously staring at the FedEx deliveryman who was wearing a pair of unflattering FedEx uniform shorts. I was thinking to myself, as I was so obviously gawking at this harmless gentleman, that thank goodness it’s sunny outside because this guy needs to get some color on his pale legs. I also fleetingly thought he had a generic pair of typical men’s legs, very average. Please don’t ask me why I was staring at this guy specifically. I was sitting at the counter right next to the drinks drop-off area & was just casually observing all the people passing through the coffee shop.

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  • An older adult gentleman sat down in the seat next to me after picking up his mail from the post office next door. You can probably guess what happened next. Yes, I had to stick my nose in this guy’s private business & snoop at what he got in the post. I know it’s controversial (in some societal, moral, mannerly way) to be so blatantly staring at other people & their private business, but I am an observer. I like to observe the things & people around me. Some people call it “openly staring in a creepy way”. Other people call it “an invasion of privacy”. I call it “being aware of my surroundings”. I wasn’t purposely trying to look at this man’s mail, but he was practically flaunting it by putting it right inbetween us on the counter in plain view of us both. The packages & post were just begging to be ogled at by all eyes.
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Illustration Credit: Rebecca Mock; Photo Credit: Pinterest & rebeccamock.blogspot.com

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Illustration Credit: Scott Campbell; Photo Credit: Google Images & designtaxi.com

 

  • As I’m typing this blog post, I’m listening to both the Midnight in Paris movie soundtrack & the Funny Face movie soundtrack (a.k.a. original motion picture soundtrack), both on Spotify. I’ve been listening to both soundtracks on repeat for the past couple of weeks. You should know me by now. Once I find something I like, I will stick to it until the very end of my days. So far I have two standout favorite songs, one from each soundtrack. On the Funny Face movie soundtrack, I love all of the songs, & can sing almost all of the songs by now, but my standalone favorite is “On How To Be Lovely”. On the Midnight in Paris movie soundtrack my favorite is “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love)” the cover of the famous Cole Porter song.

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  • Last week I watched a highly anticipated movie. Based on my above mentioned icon, you can obviously guess which movie I’m talking about. Since I’ve been a long-time devoted fan of the original source material for this movie, I went into the theater with a lot of unrealistic expectations…meaning, I went to watch the movie with the mindset of comparing the movie adaptation of the original source material. That was a stupid thing for me to do. I should’ve just checked my over-zealous fangirl mentality at the door & enjoyed the movie for what it was, pure entertainment through & through. After watching said movie, I went through the initial period of picking apart the movie & comparing it nearly word-for-word to the source material. Once I got over all of those trival quips & squabbles, I was able to appreciate the movie for its own qualities. I enjoyed the movie so much so that I already pre-ordered the digital download on iTunes. Yeah, I enjoyed the movie that much. Also, I highly admire the creativity & talent of the source material’s creator & actors. I wanted those people to make money off of me & help their success grow, plain & simple.

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  • Adding on from the last bullet point, because I was so enamored with the movie I watched last week, I went back to re-examine the original source material the movie was based on. I’ve gained a new perspective from re-examining the source material, & it has made me fall in love even more than I already am. Re-reading the source material again (for the **th time) has had me re-thinking about various scenes & pick up small details that were previously misinterpreted &/or overlooked. I am now appreciating the source material in a whole new way.

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  • For the past few weeks I have been on a tortilla eating binge. We’ve been stocking our kitchen pantry with loads of soft, medium-sized tortillas & eating them like crazy, especially for lunch. I enjoy making sandwich wraps & mini lunch burritos with the tortillas, & on ocassion (like on the weekends) I like to make quesadillas. Lately, my favorite lunchtime meal has been making veggie wraps/burritos using either pre-packaged mixed salad greens or baby arugula, sliced white onions, & thinly sliced tomatoes. Sometime’s I’ll add some sort of salad dressing, but I mostly eat it plain (a.k.a. sans dressing/sauce). It’s like I’m making a mozzarella-less caprese salad wrap/burrito. This wrap is so extremely quick & easy to make (as well as eat), & I LOVE no-fuss recipes/meals. Any recipe that takes less than 10 minutes to prep & eat  is a winner in my book, & this wrap is the best. I’ve been eating this salad-y wrap for lunch for the past two weeks & I’m still not tired of it. Sometimes I’ll add a slice or two of deli sandwich meat, but I mostly eat it plain, just veggies. I am by NO MEANS
    a vegitarian. God knows I love a good slab of medium-rare steak (& other delicious meats), but this no-meat wrap is sooo tasty too.

Well, this concludes my random blog ramblings. Until next time, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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This inspiration hit me like a ton of bricks the other day, right after I took a shower to wash my hair. I was feeling so incredibly refreshed after washing my hair that I decided to write a post about it, but I couldn’t just write a bland post about hair washing, so I decided to include other things that made my heart flutter 『ドキドキ』 recently. Here is my shortlist.

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Photo Credit: Pinterest

  1. That feeling you get after washing your really dingy, greasy hair. You know how there are times when you’ll wait a couple of days to wash your hair, to really build up the grunge? You know those times when you’re trying not to over-wash your hair & strip it of its natural oils, & then it’s the moment of truth, hair washing day. You really slather on the shampoo & really work up a good, thick lather. You massage your scalp & thoroughly rinse all the suds from your glorious mane. Then apply a fresh coat of conditioner. It’s that really squeaky clean, refreshed, weight-off-your-shoulders, relieved feeling you get after finally washing your hair once & for all.That’s the feeling I got a few days ago after washing my own hair. For some unknown reason, my hair was especially greasy & stringy that day. I had been trying to stretch out the days between hair washes because I don’t want to strip my hair of its natural oils & nutrients. I guess I probably applied too much anti-frizz oil from my previous hair styling, so it really built up greasiness on my scalp & hair. Oh man, I gotta tell you that I felt so extremely refreshed after washing my hair that day. It made me feel so incredibly overjoyed that it compelled me to write about it. My hair felt like I had just gone to the hair salon & had a professional stylist spruce it up for me. I felt like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders, & the semi-germophobe/neat freak inside of me was screaming with happiness that I was clean from head-to-toe once again.Sunday Cologne1.jpg
  2. I got a new fragrance from BYREDO for Christmas from Jian. I’ve been wanting to try this Sunday Cologne scent for a very long time but always end up going back to my two favorite scents: Flowerhead  Black Saffron. Jian was generous to splurge on this fragrance for my Christmas gift, & I was so happy to be able to try it. This has been my go-to fragrance for this month. I love the gentle floral & slightly herbal notes of this fragrance. This fragrance provides a nice break between my other BYREDO fragrances, which are more strong on the sweet & floral notes. This fragrance makes me feel so light & happy. Also, the best part about this BYREDO fragrance, all of their fragrances, is they don’t give me any allergies. I am highly allergic to anything with a perfume smell & generic perfume in generall, so being able to find perfumes & colognes that don’t make me sneeze or make my skin itch is a win for me.
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    Took me 8+ hours (over a span of 4 days) to finish this set. It’s a little smaller than a typical LEGO set.

    3. I’ve probably never mentioned this on my blog before, but I love collecting LEGO modular creator sets & building them. So far I have nine city building sets (Café Corner, Green Grocer, Grand Emporium, Pet Shop, Town Hall, Palace Cinema, Parisian Restaurant, Ace Brickman’s Detective Office, & Brick Bank), & currently Jian is building the newest addition to our collection, the 10th Anniversary Assembly Square. I’ve also got 3 world landmark sets including the one pictured above (India’s Taj Mahal, London’s Tower Bridge, London’s Big ben).

    This Big Ben modular set was one my all-time favorite sets to build so far. Pardon my language here, but this was a real bitch to build. There were quite a few custom brick pieces, & a lot of the bricks & tiles had to be placed diagonally. You know the neat-freak/compulsive organizer iniside of me had to make sure every diagonal section matched up perfectly. That made the building process a real pain in the ass. On top of that, there were so many repetitive sections to build  that I was getting frustrated in the middle of building this set. However, once I completed building the set I felt so accomplished, & it was so rewarding. Surprisingly, my most favorite part to build of this entire set was the lone tree, not even the clock mechanism in the main tower. Also, building this set really ramped up my desire to visit England. I’ve been extremely wanting to visit London for many years, but building this set (as well as the Tower Bridge set) made me want to visit that city even more!

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    Photo Credit: Minimal Movie Posters

    4. A couple of weeks ago I re-watched the movie Midnight in Paris again. I started watching the movie while I was taking a shower. Ok, so I didn’t exactly watch it when I was in the shower. I just proped up my tablet on the bathroom counter as close to my shower as possible & just let the movie play in the background while I was showering. I continued to watch the rest of the movie after I got out of the shower. I think I’ve probably watched this movie 7 or 8 times already, & I’m still not sick of it yet. I love all of the famous characters portrayed in this movie, & I especially love the aspect of traveling back in time to one’s favorite era.

    If I could travel back in time, I would travel back to the 1950s-60s, but only if I would be spared the racial discrimination for being Asian…or, like if I slipped back in time to a place like the one portrayed in the movie Flower Drum Song. I wish I knew a guy like the movie’s character Gil Pender. I would love to explore Paris with him, & like he says in the movie, walk along the river with a baguette under my arm & sit at a café while scribbling away on a novel. That would be…lovely.

    Spotify-icon-256.png5. I’ve said in my previous post that I recently subscribed to a premium account on Spotify. I’ve talked on-and-on about how much I love the wide music selection on Spotify & the menu options & such. I just discovered the entire Midnight in Paris original motion picture soundtrack on Spotify, & it has made me so happy. Ever since I first saw this movie I had wanted to download the entire soundtrack on iTunes, but I never actually did it. Then, when I found out the entire soundtrack was available to listen on Spotify, I was over-the-moon with joy. I’ve probably listened to all the songs 20 times each since my Spotify discovery. I even listened to this soundtrack on repeat throughout the duration of my LEGO Big Ben build.

    Yes, I know it sounds weird to be listening to French classical music while I’m in the process of building a British historical landmark. I should’ve been listening to some Brit-Pop music like The Clash or the Arctic Monkeys instead, but I couldn’t help myself. I’m a creature of habit, as I’ve stated many times before, & I also love all of the songs from this movie. The music from this movie just puts me in a good mood, just like the music from the animated Pixar movie Ratatouille, which is also French in theme. (I am so envious that my mom got to visit Paris, France last year, even though I want to vist London, England more than any other place in the world.) Don’t laugh at me, but I’m listening to the Midnight in Paris soundtrack on Spotify right now, exactly as I’m typing this paragraph. I am currently listening to Can-Can From “Orpheus in the Underworld” as performed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra on my Spotify app. See? I love this app. I’m using everyday to listen to all of my favorite music. I’ve hardly touched my iTunes app in the past month. All I can say now is that I am so happy I subscribed to Spotify.

Well, that’s all I have to say about that. I can’t believe that January just flew by like a crazy bat out of hell. I hope February doesn’t slip by so quickly. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

image credits: Universal Studios & Paramount Pictures via IMDB

 

“A wheelchair-bound professional photographer spies on his neighbors from his apartment window, and is convinced one of them has committed a murder.” (via IMDB)

So I got this hankering, a real itch, to watch a movie the other night. I love watching classic films from the 1950s & 60s, but it’s hard to find movies made before the 1970s in a streaming format on the Internet. Sure, it’s much easier to buy a DVD & watch it on the home TV, but first of all, who watches DVDs anymore now that there are such outlets like: Netflix, Crackle, Hulu, & On Demand cable listings? Secondly, who has the time to buy DVDs and convert their formats into tablet compatible video files? Mostly, I enjoy the convenience of watching from my portable device, so I can do things like take a shower & watch my movie at the same time.

It really is hard to find Classic films to rent & stream or to buy & download on the Internet. Before Netflix took it off their streaming list, I’ve probably stream-watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s at least a dozen times or so…To Catch a Thief, perhaps half a dozen or more times, all while working out at the gym (or soaking in the bath tub, again). I rented Rear Window the other night on my tablet, & it just brought back to my mind all of the reasons why this movie is arguably my most favorite film of all-time. These are a few of the movie genres I like: Mystery, Romance, & Action & Adventure. This movie had all three genres rolled into one. There were thrills & suspense without the movie being overly predictable & corny. After all, this IS an iconic Alfred Hitchcock film.

image credits: Universal Studios & Paramount Pictures via IMDB

 

I’ve always enjoyed the fine acting of James “Jimmy” Stewart, & of course, Grace Kelly. Of course, who doesn’t love director Alfred Hitchcock? He has directed several of my favorite films (i.e. To Catch a Thief, North By Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, & The Birds). I won’t remember Jimmy Stewart from the film It’s a Wonderful Life, as I haven’t seen the film in its entirety, but I’ll always remember him in this film Rear Window & in The Man Who Knew Too Much (since I saw the latter film in high school for a class assignment). I’ve also mistakenly seen the 1990s Christopher Reeve remake of this film, & it could never compare with the original. What a disaster the 90s remake was! At least I didn’t have to pay even a cent to watch that movie, it was such a flop in my book. The original version of Rear Window is so timeless; I could watch this movie a hundred more times & not get sick of it.

Jimmy Stewart’s character L.B. Jeffries would make a great detective if he ever decided to give up his photography career. I love how he uses his camera equipment to take a closer look into the lives of his fellow apartment neighbors. Let’s see, we’ve got the older couple with the friendly dog who pulls their mattress onto their balcony every night to sleep, the aspiring ballet/Broadway dancer, the newlywed couple who always keeps their shades drawn, the music composer who’s run out of inspiration, the bohemian art sculptor who likes to sunbathe in the afternoons, Ms. Lonelyhearts…the single woman who is so desperate for a man that she makes them up or picks up guys from bars. Then you have the most famous neighbor of them all, Mr. Thorwald, the costume jewelry salesman with a nagging invalid wife who begins to act suspiciously upon the sudden disappearance of his wife.

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image credits: Universal Studios & Paramount Pictures via IMDB

I get such a thrill stepping into the shoes of Jimmy Stewart’s character, spying on my neighbors in an act of pure voyeurism. It’s so naughty, yet so fun to snoop on the neighbor’s living around you. Maybe it’s because Jian always says I like to snoop on my neighbors. He makes fun of me about this all the time. I don’t like to say that I’m snooping per-sé, but, I will embellish my answer by saying I am a glorified “neighborhood watchman”. I do like to know what’s going on in my neighborhood, so that I can be prepared in case of emergencies and natural disasters. Therefore, it’s not really being nosy or snooping. However, there are times when Jian & I are walking around the major city center & I will sometimes peek into apartments with large windows…not because I’m a pervert or a voyeur, but because I like to see how others decorate their own homes. I have a mild interest in home decorating & often watch home improvement programs on the HGTV & FYI channels.

image credits: Universal Studios & Paramount Pictures via IMDB

image credits: Universal Studios & Paramount Pictures via IMDB

OK, let’s get back to talking about the movie. I sometimes wish I could be as observant as Jimmy Stewart’s character L.B. Jeffries, taking mental notes about my interesting & colorful neighbors. This brings up old memories of when I was a young tween, reading the classic children’s book Harriet The Spy (I’ve also seen the 1990s movie starring Gossip Girl actress Michelle Trachtenberg). Oh man, when I was a young teenager I really, really, really wanted to be just like the character Harriet The Spy. I even started collecting notebooks just so I could write down everything I observed. I wanted to roam the city streets, sneak through dirty alleyways behind Chinatown, make friends with the local butcher & delivery truck guy, use my binoculars to peek through grimy back alley windows, & write down everything I see around me. I believe I’ve somewhat achieved that goal. I’ve got this blog after all. Now, I don’t want to ever discover a murder crime scene, or anything gruesome like that, but it would be a little cool to learn more about my neighbors quirky habits & getting to know them.

You know one thing’s for sure, Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s would not much care for L.B. Jeffries from this film. You know why? Because just as Ms. Golightly said to Paul Varjak just as he woke her from a nightmare, “Let’s get one thing straight. I hate snoops!” (You see! That shows just how many times I’ve seen ‘B at T’s’! I can quote parts of the movie off the top of my head.) Speaking of lead female characters, let’s chat a little bit about Grace Kelly’s utterly fabulous character Lisa Carol Fremont. Oh, how I truly admire a strong female such as she! A woman who knows her own mind, knows what she wants, & works hard at getting it, even if it comes in the form of a stubborn wheelchair-bound photographer who thinks she’s too good for him. It does not matter to Lisa that she’s an upper crust socialite & L.B. is a blue-collar guy who sticks his neck out for a smashing photograph. She’s in love with him, & she works hard to prove it to him: providing him a gourmet lobster dinner, warm after-dinner brandy, & one overnight bag carrying only the essentials a girl would need to stay the night at her lover’s apartment. Lisa also takes care of L.B., not only attending to his everyday needs while he is confined to that damed wheelchair, but she really gives him loads of TLC…ahem, plenty of kissing. Like I said before, she is a woman who knows her own mind. Lisa practically immediately believes L.B.’s claims that his across-the-way neighbor has been acting very bizarrely, ever since the invalid wife’s disappearance. She helps him in any way to gather evidence against the suspicious neighbor, helping him sort through crazy theories, & even providing a woman’s perspective with her “Women’s Intuition”. Lisa is quite brave sneaking off to the neighbor’s apartment in the middle of the night to snoop around for clues. That show how much in love & devoted she is to Mr. Grumpy Wheelchair Guy.

image credits: Universal Studios & Paramount Pictures via IMDB

image credits: Universal Studios & Paramount Pictures via IMDB

The other lead female character in this movie should also not be overlooked. Thelma Ritter’s character Stella, the insurance company’s home-care nurse, is also one of my favorite characters from the movie. Stella provides the quick wit & sharp humor that cuts through the thick tension throughout this film. She’s always trying to push L.B. to move his relationship forward with Lisa, never mincing her words. Hey, she’s a maladjusted misfit who’s been happily married to her other maladjusted misfit for years, so she knows a thing a two about love. The only way to get her wedding ring would be to chop off her finger. I think Stella needs to spread a little more common sense on L.B.’s sandwiches from now on. I really think Thelma Ritter was nicely cast for this role. I haven’t seen too many of her movies, but I still quite enjoy her acting. Her most notable acting role that I can remember was Alma the loveable, eavesdropping, drunk housekeeper in the film Pillow Talk, starring Doris Day, Rock Hudson,Tony Randall. She also provided much needed dry wit & sharp humor in that film as well.

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image credits: Universal Studios & Paramount Pictures via IMDB

One thing I really loved about this movie is that it was all entirely filmed in one sound stage. Everything was pretty much shot in the infamous apartment of L.B. Jeffries. No grand location shoots or car chase scenes, just one beautifully designed apartment. Oh, how I just adore the architecture & home decor of the 1950s & 60s!! What was considered Contemporary back then is now considered Mid-Century Modern nowadays. Well, I now live in an Eichler home, so I guess that influenced my love of Mid-Mod decor. I’ve always dreamed of living in a downtown city apartment decorated just like L.B.’s in the film. So, when I lived in my own apartment for a time, I felt so happy & content. I was really proud of & loved cleaning my apartment everyday & finding new ways to decorate it. If only I had an unlimited budget, then I would’ve surely decorated my apartment to look very Mid-Century Modern. I’m not sure how much Jian would’ve approved, but I would’ve been over the moon. I amazes me that the entire movie was filmed in such a small apartment complex, & yet there was so much action going on within the storyline. Each apartment neighbor provided their own little side story, which made the film seem like more & feel much bigger than it actually was.

And lastly, we shall conclude with the main character who really, truly, utterly stole the show within this movie…Grace Kelly’s masterpiece of a Chanel haute couture dress! I long to one day have a stunning figure like Grace Kelly. She’s not only tall & svelte, but she’s got just the perfect amount of feminine curves to give her a sensual aura. Her hair is always perfectly styled with not a stray hair out of place, & she never wears overly done-up makeup, only enough to accentuate her glorious femininity. No one can ever pull off wearing such a glamorous dress, except maybe Audrey Hepburn, if everyday was a Funny Face kind of day & Fred Astaire was your personal photographer & love interest. Just look at how stunning the actress AND the dress look…and I will end it at that. Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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Thirsty Tuesday is brought to you by the letter ‘C’ for Cava.🥂 . . . . . . . . . . . #cava #rosé #rosat #SparklingWine #bubbly #celebrate #delicious #cheers #salud #aclamaciones #HappyHour #ThirstyTuesday #Spain #SpanishDrink #Bellota #SoMa #SF #acorn #DrinksOfInstagram #FoodieApp #LineCamera #FlatIcon @bellotasf @foodieapp.official @linecamera_official @flaticon
In times of rainy days, we turn to coffee & cookies. ☕️🍪 . . . . . . . . . . #RainyDay #RainStorm #StormyWeather #WinterWeather #rain #weather #coffee #HotCuppa #HotCoffee #caffeine #cookie #LittleBelgians #UmbrellaCookie #speculoos #BelgianCookie #DutchCookie #VanillaFlavor #CoffeeOfInstagram #CookiesOfInstagram #DrinksOfInstagram #CityLiving #CityLife #LineCamera #FoodieApp @linecamera_official @foodieapp.official @littlebelgians
Well, I gotta see what all the fuss is about. 🎭 . . . . . . . . . . #Hamilton #BroadwayShow #SHNSF #OrpheumTheater #AlexanderHamilton #SongAndDance #musical #theatre #show #play #HistoryLesson #CivicCenter #SF #OpeningNight #PremierNight #DinnerAndAShow #MyFirstTime #CityLiving #CityLife #LineCamera @linecamera_official @hamiltonmusical @shnsf
Drinks and dinner before a show. 🍸 . . . . . . . . . . #FontanaDiTrevi #cocktail #drink #NikkaCoffeyGin #NikkaGin #MyFavoriteGin #SparklingWine #delicious #bubbles #fizz #grapefruit #lime #sugar #54Mint #UnionSquare #SoMa #SF #Hamilton #BroadwayShow #OpeningNight #PremierNight #DrinksOfInstagram #CityLiving #CityLife #LineCamera #FoodieApp @linecamera_official @foodieapp.official @54mintsf @nikkawhiskyusa
I need real action, not words written in pretty calligraphy over a stock nature photo. . . . . . . . . . . #InspirationalQuotes #Instaquotes #Quotestagram #ForkThis #truth #NoInspirationalQuotes #fork #quote #QuotesToLiveBy #TimothyGoodman #LifeHappens #doubt #fear #BadDecisions #TrueToLife #RealLife #RealLifeQuotes #LineCamera @linecamera_official
What if I said this looked like a shriveled piece of bacon? 🥓 . . . . . . . . . . #bacon #art #BaconIsArt #sculpture #FineArt #repost #LearningSomethingNew #RoyLichtenstein #KAWS

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