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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


It’s been raining buckets & buckets on & off here in my city. I am really enjoying the sound of the pounding rain & sporadic lightning/thunder, & watching the pouring rain through my living room window. The only thing I am not enjoying about this crazy rain storm is having to repair a leak in a skylight window on my retro home’s roof. Other than that, this rain storm has done wonders for the massive garden my dad put together all around the house. It’s a huge chore to maintain such a large outdoor space, but I am so appreciative of having so much outdoor space on my home’s lot compared to a lot of my neighbors.

This morning, I woke up feeling super sluggish & groggy. I decided since it was a lazy Friday morning, I could lounge in bed a bit longer, but that only made me more sluggish, & I ended up with a massive headache. Don’t you hate it when you oversleep, or rest for too long, & you end up feeling worse than if you had just accepted the lack of sleep & gotten out of bed anyway? Every time I try to compensate for my lack of proper sleep, I always end up feeling worse. I get raging headaches & overwhelming urges to dry heave, gag, & just plain vomit. It’s not a pretty sight. I am filled with regret & more urges to dry heave & vomit.

Lately I’ve been obsessed with three things: 

1. Listening to music on Spotify

For a long time I was a fan of Apple’s iTunes Radio. Then, I discovered Spotify, & it totally changed my life. I never knew just how much music I was missing out on by limiting myself to iTunes Radio. Spotify has a muuuch larger music selection, & I love how I can listen to way more International music on Spotify compared to iTunes Radio. Also, there’s so many more menu options & customizable options on Spotify. I just subscribed to Spotify’s premium service & am totally getting my money’s worth, for sure. For a person who’s addicted to music like I am, this is completely worth the added expense. I don’t care that I jumped on the Spotify bandwagon so late in the game. 

2. Watching classic movies from the 1950s-60s

Lately, contemporary movies, movies currently in theaters, haven’t interested me at all. I’ve been searching on the internet & on my TV cable service provider’s On Demand services to find old movies from the 50s & 60s that I grew up watching with my parents. Last week, I just bought the DVD of the classic movie Tammy and The Bachelor starring the late actress Debbie Reynolds & Leslie Nielsen (of Airplane & Naked Gun fame). I remember watching that movie with my parents when I was a teenager, & was so amazed that both of my parents could easily name nearly all of the actors in the movie by heart. I also love the sweet & innocent love story portrayed in this movie. My God, wasn’t Leslie Nielsen so dashing & attractive when he was younger? Va-va-voom! Tammy and The Bachelor is one of my all-time favorite classic movies. I think I’m going to go home & watch it again after I write this blog post.

3. Watching the Turkish TV drama Kurt Seyit ve Şura (a.k.a. Seyit and Sura) on Netflix

I don’t quite know how I stumbled upon all of these Turkish titles on Netflix, but the cover poster for this TV period drama caught my eye. At first, I was resisting the urge to watch this show, thinking I wouldn’t understand (or possibly even like) the show, even though I looked up the show’s storyline extensively on IMDb & Google Search. After a few weeks of back-&-forth debating in my head, I took the plunge & watched the show. I absolutely fell in love with the show. I watched all 46 episodes in one weekend. I don’t want to talk too much about this show because I have lots of extremely passionate opinions about the main characters & the romantic connections between them, & once I start talking about it, I won’t stop & this post will end up being as along as an encyclopedia. One thing I will say is that I’ve already watched this entire series 3 times…mostly because I’m a creature of habit, & once I find a movie or TV show that I like I won’t hesitate to watch it repeatedly, but also because this is seriously a good show. I don’t understand a lot about Turkish culture or about World War I, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this show. I will admit something private here. After watching this show, I became infatuated with the Turkish actor Kivanç Tatlitug, who plays the male lead character of the TV show. Wow. That’s all I will say about this guy. (As a fangirl, I was slightly bummed to find out that he got married last year, but I must move on & accept that he is happily married now. Besides, this should be of no consequence to my life. We will never cross paths anyway.

Sooo, that’s pretty much all I wanted to say for now. I now have to finish up this blog post & venture out into the rain to go home. I’ve spent too much time at this big box coffee shop listening to classic Billy Joel & Hall & Oates songs on my mobile phone. Until then, cheers! Also, I wonder how do you say “cheers/bottoms up” in Turkish. LOL!

Today’s song of the day:

“One Sugar Dream” by m-flo 


It seems the weather is becoming cooler, & Mother Nature is getting ready for the Autumn/Winter seasons.  So here I bring you a list of things that bring me joy in the Autumn/Winter time:

  • the feeling after taking a hot shower
  • hot chocolate with whipped cream (& marshmallows if you like them)
  • a big bowl of hearty beef stew
  • wearing thick socks
  • sitting next to a crackling fireplace
  • wearing slipper booties (WOoT for Isotoners!)
  • flannel pajamas (especially the ones w/ the feet)
  • a hot bubble bath with rich bubbles
  • a steaming bowl of Chinese soup noodles (or rice porridge)
  • a fresh, hot cup of coffee in a ceramic mug
  • watching the rain thru the window while you are warm & dry indoors
  • sitting under a warm kotatsu, eating snacks & drinking beer while watching sports on TV
  • having post-MLB / World Series / NFL tailgate parties at home
  • listening to the sound of the rain before falling asleep
  • a warm towel straight from the dryer
  • the toasty feeling of clean clothes straight from the dryer
  • movie marathons while sitting under a blanket & eating freshly popped popcorn

 

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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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#SF #NorthBeach #GrantAvenue #StreetArt #art #OneMansTrash #AnotherMansTreasure #garbage #rubbish #trash #SameOldPlace

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