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Disclaimer: All graphic images courtesy of the Happy Color game app.

Hello! I’m just popping in to write another check-in post. It’s been hard to squeak out any personal time to write anything since I’ve birthed my very own tiny human. This girl takes up 95% of my time & attention, but I love it & wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world. The only “free time” I have to myself is that little chunk of time at night between when I put the babe to bed & when I plop my head down on my pillow to sleep. Even then, I get lost in playing my favorite hidden objects game on my tablet or the color-by-numbers app on my smartphone.

So far, I have been spending these first three months sleep training my tiny human, & building a solid routine with Jian. It gets a little difficult when a certain live-in grandparent wants to do whatever they want with the tiny human & all of your best laid plans, rules, habits, & routines go flying out the door. This grandparent has admitted openly (on several, well-witnessed occasions) that they are not confident in taking care of a tiny human in today’s modern world. However, whenever they feel like Jian & I are parenting in a way that they disagree with, they will throw around the fact that they’ve raised THREE humans of their own, & have taken care of multiple grandchildren in the past. It gets frustrating, but we take it one day at a time, & really try to reinforce our status as the parents/guardians/ultimate-and-final-decision-makers.


The holidays have come & gone, & if you’ve been following my blog, you’ll remember my previous declarations of love for Christmas. No, I didn’t get any new tree ornaments (per sé), but I did the cliché thing & ordered family holiday cards with the tiny human’s photo printed on it. So, I dropped a couple of extra bucks & sprang for the fancy cut-out cards that comes with fancy ribbon so you can hang the card like an ornament. I mean, who wants another postcard of someone else’s kid(s) pinned to the refrigerator along with all the other postcards of other people’s kid(s)? At least my cheesy family holiday card can be used as a temporary tree ornament.

All of my siblings came home to celebrate the holidays (& our tiny human’s first Christmas) with us. My oldest brother & his family did not stay for any festivities/food due to the fact that he works in an industry where he has to physically interact with people on a daily basis, & he was trying to be responsible & courteous by social distancing. He dropped off gifts, said his hellos to the family & spent the rest of the holiday at home with his family. My other older brother COVID tested negative before coming home for the holidays, & really got to bond with his new little niece. My unpredictable sister also came home & brought along her entire brood, which means her two kids & her new husband. I was so thrilled to see both my teenage nephew & niece really get along & try to play with my tiny human. Those kids are the best cousins my tiny human could ever have.


Since our tiny human has been born, Jian & I have been more addicted to coffee than ever before. We are coffee lovers by nature, but since coffee has become a vital part of keeping us alive while taking care of our tiny human, we have been investing more time (& money) looking into getting a top-of-the-line drip coffee maker & artisanal coffee beans from our favorite local coffee roasters. Jian used to be a one-cup-&-done kind of coffee drinker, but now I see him going for that second cup in the morning, or having an extra iced coffee in the afternoon, made from the leftover morning coffee. I am usually a two-to-three cuppa kind of gal, but since getting pregnant & then jumping on the breastfeeding wagon, I’ve had to cut back my caffeine intake & only stick to one and a half cups (meaning one full morning cup, plus a top off). Our morning breakfast routine wouldn’t be complete without a steaming hot cuppa Joe.


My plans to teach my tiny human about music have been a success! she absolutely loves listening to music, & we try to play music as often as we can when she is around us. Of course we’re not blasting the music at a high volume, but we’ve been openly introducing our tiny human to all different genres of music. Jian predominantly plays Japanese pop, western hip hop, & alternative music for her, but I’ve been introducing her to all the other genres like: 90s rock, jazz, lo-fi chill beats, 80s new wave, etc..

One genre of music our tiny human really enjoys is bossa nova. No, not Frank Sinatra, but artists like: Sergio Mendes, Antonio Carlos Jobim, & Joao Gilberto (along with his wife & daughter, Astrud & Bebel). I have always been fascinated with bossa nova music ever since I first heard them in the movies from the 50s & 60s. It takes me back to those golden days of those movie stars jet setting to Rio de Janeiro to vacation at some posh beachside resort while drinking a tall gin & tonic. I’ve been playing this type of music for my little one ever since she’s been in my womb, & she’s been enjoying it so far. Her favorite song recently has been (So Nice) Summer Samba by Walter Wanderly featuring Astrud Gilberto. She’ll kick her feet and smile every time I put this song on.


I don’t know how I was able to amass a small stationery haul during this time of nesting with my tiny human, but I did it somehow. I got a couple of extra stationery supplies that I use frequently to write thank you cards to all of the people who were gracious & thoughtful enough to send a little something our way for this tiny human. Here’s a photo rundown of all the things I got recently…

Aside from this small haul of goodies, I was still able to get my yearly batch of calendars from my favorite store in Japan, Tokyu Hands. I usually get 3 calendars to put around my house: one in the kitchen, one in my bedroom, & one in the room that has now become Jian’s home office. This year, I got a mouse themed desk calendar illustrated by Leo Lionni, a Japanese illustration wall calendar (that is waaay too huge, & I accidentally bought the wrong size), & a cow themed mini desk calendar by orientalberry Inc.. Sorry for the lack of calendar photos. First off, I forgot to take any pictures of them when they I got them. Second, I am too lazy now to take any pictures of them. They’re already being used anyway.

Every year I also get an extra large desk pad calendar from Paper Source that I always put on my dad’s home ofice desk. Yes, we still keep my dad’s corner home office setup in the exact same place it has always been, & now it has unofficially become my mom’s home office desk which I will semi-often use as well. The large desk pad calendar is easy for my mom to read & write down all of her appointments & notes. Jian calls me the calendar queen of the house. Every year he likes to see which new designs I will choose.

Well, that’s about all I can write for now. I don’t have much more to update you on. Plus, the tiny human has woken up from her nap & is demanding my attention at the moment. I must attend to the queen or else. Until next time, cheers!


Today’s song of the day:

unforgettable day wordpress banner.png

This 99 Things That Bring Me Joy journal is really helping me relive & rethink about lots of fun memories from my childhood. I often find myself reminiscing about my own “good old days” & wishing that a lot of the fun things from my childhood would come back & become popular again…just like the whole modern-retro trend that’s happening in pop-culture right now with vinyl records & hi-fi record players making a huge comeback. Even Urban Outfitters is selling modern-retro/throwback audio devices, like a Sony Discman-esque CD player, a boomboxSony Walkman-esque cassette players, & even a retro shoebox tape recorder. You see, it’s not all Crosley record players that look like 1950s suitcases.

Sometimes, I even reminisce & wish I could go back in time to relive an oldie-but-goodie memory from my youth. For example, I wish I could go back & revisit all of the concerts & music festivals I went to as a teenager (which was a big whopping two times) & buy more band merch. This brings me to the journal’s list topic for today: one singularly unforgettable day in my life. There are two very unforgettable days of my life that specifically stand out in my mind, but I’m mostly going to talk about the first memory.

I can remember this event so clearly. It was the very first time I ever went to a music concert with my high school friends. I remember browsing the arts & entertainment section of the major Bay Area newspaper my parents had an old fashioned subscription to one day, & was looking to see which bands were performing in my area…which also meant which concerts my super strict parents would not allow me to go to. Just by chance, I found a tiny listing of concerts in one small column for all the bands that would be performing at a very popular music venue in San Francisco for that month (back in March 1998).

I was going down the list of bands, not knowing who most of the other bands were, when I happened to stumble upon the name of one of my all-time favorite Ska bands, Save Ferris. (I was freaking out on the inside.) Not only did I see the name of my favorite band (when I was in high school), but I also saw the names of two other bands that I really liked that were also co-headlining with my favorite band that weekend. I was so beyond excited that I had to cut out the concert listing from the newspaper, & bring it to school the next day to show all of my friends.

I had a bit of a hard time convincing any of my friends to go with me to this concert, since most of them didn’t know who any of the other bands were besides Sugar Ray, who had been popular on the radio at that time. Besides myself, I only had one other friend (she was the popular girl in our group) who actually knew who all of the other bands were. After she agreed to go with me to the concert, the other girls decided to go as well. This so-called ‘popular’ friend was one of my closest friends back then, & she was one of my biggest influences in discovering new music, but we had a huge falling out after high school, & I am not going to get into that drama right now. (Maybe I will save that story for a future blog post.)

Anyways, what made this concert so memorable, wasn’t just the epic show itself, or the fact that this was my very first concert experience, but it was also the first time in my life that I was successfully able to lie to my parents about my plans without getting caught. That was a big deal for me as a teenager because I’m such a terrible liar. Always have been, always will be.

During that time, back in 1998, my friends & I ran down to our nearest Tower Records shop (remember those) to each buy our tickets. I had lied to my parents about going to a sleepover at a friend’s house (not exactly lied, just omitted one giant detail). Luckily this friend that I mentioned lived on the same street as me…well so did our other popular friend, so it was pretty convenient for me to say I was sleeping over at a friend’s house for the weekend. My parents totally bought my sleepover ruse, & didn’t even have a second thought when I packed my backpack & sleeping bag & walked to my friends house.

I got even luckier because my friend, the one whose house I was sleeping over at, had fully told her parents about what we were planning to do, & they were totally cool with it. My friend’s mom even knew that I had totally lied to my parents about sneaking out to a concert in the big city, & helped me out by agreeing to cover for me in case my mom called to check-in on me. This friend’s mom has always been the “cool mom” out of all of our friends’ moms. Of course she was still a mom & made us swear on our lives that we would behave ourselves, not talk to random strangers, or put ourselves in sketchy situations with shady dudes, & all of the other stuff parents tell us not to do. We all piled into my friend’s car (she was the first in our group to not only get her driver’s license, but also get a car), & we still had a blast anyway.

Now here comes the part about the concert itself. Oh my gahhhhhd! Popping my concert-going cherry while seeing my favorite band Save Ferris perform live was an incredible & unforgettable experience. From what I can remember about the concert, the headlining bands performing were Sugar RayGoldfinger, & Save Ferris. The opening band was…& I can’t believe I am actually saying this… I N C U B U S. Yep, you heard correctly.

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INCUBUS was the opening band for that concert, & I remember there were people walking around the venue passing out free demo cassettes of their album S.C.I.E.N.C.E.. I had never heard of this band before, & my first impression was that I thought this band was weird. I really like INCUBUS’ music now, but back when they were first starting out, their music didn’t really appeal to me. I remember they had different types of drums, & they were, for lack of a better word, quite enthusiastic on stage. For a teenage girl just getting her feet wet in the giant pool of Punk & Ska music, I was more excited for the last band of the evening more than anyone else.

After the opening band, Sugar Ray went on stage & all the other ladies in the audience went nuts for Mark McGrath. He had a sculpted physique & those “Hey Ladies” bedroom eyes that all the 20-something women of those days just fell head-over-heels for. The band got the entire crowd pumped with all of their fun, catchy songs, & we all jammed out to their radio smash hit Fly. Then, when Mark McGrath took off his shirt, all the ladies hooted & hollered. You could tell the guys were all just waiting for the next band, Goldfinger, a super hype Punk band with an already established strong fan base.

I had heard a little bit about Goldfinger through the popular girl in my friend group. She was basically the person who introduced me to the whole Punk & Ska scenes in the first place. I barely knew any of the band’s songs, but at least I knew the basics like Here In Your BedroomMabel. My favorite Goldfinger song at that time was My Girlfriend’s Shower Sucks. To this day, it is one of the funniest songs I have ever heard in my life. Look up the lyrics yourself. I guarantee you’ll get a good laugh too.

Finally the time has come. My all-time favorite band is set to take the stage & perform their bloody arses off! I was buzzing with excitement to be able to see Save Ferris live. I had seen their music video for Come on Eileen at least a dozen times on MTV, & had listened to their songs on repeat so many times before the concert. It was finally time to see Monique Powell & the original gang live & in-person. The band performed all of their greatest hits from their It Means Everything album, like: The World Is New, Sorry My Friend, Everything I Want to Be, Come on Eileen, & pretty much my high school anthem/theme song…Under 21. For those of you who are still in high school, you’ll totally understand & live these lyrics in real life.

After the concert was over, Save Ferris was holding a live meet & greet in the basement of the venue. If you bought the band’s poster as well as their CD at the concert, you’ll get a chance to have the poster signed. I was so over-the-moon that I even got to see the band perform live, but to also get their autographs was a huge highlight of the evening. So, I quickly ran over to the merch table & not only bought their poster & CD, but I also bought my very first concert t-shirt. One of my friend’s was kind enough to help me wait in line to get my poster signed, & then we all drove back to the friend’s house for the actual sleepover.

That first concert was one I will always remember & cherish. I had my concert ticket laminated & proudly thumbtacked to a corkboard in my bedroom. Then, the following year, one of my cousins found out I was a huge fan of Save Ferris, & it turned out that she was also a fan of the band. She went to one of their concerts as well, & got one of the original band members Bill Uechi to write a sweet birthday message for my birthday on a piece of notepaper. I was so overjoyed that my cousin would go out of her way to get one of the band members to write me a personal note, that I even had the note framed, & it sat on my bedroom nightstand for many years.

There is, however, one negative part that is attached to this incredible memory. Many years after attending this first concert, I was cleaning out my childhood bedroom one day & decided to really overhaul my room. I was intent on decluttering my knick knacks, junk & all of my old clothes. I got rid of my autographed poster & my concert t-shirt which I will regret to this very day, but somehow I kept that darn CD, which is pretty much obsolete now, but Urban Outfitters might disagree. Then, about two years ago, I got the chance to see Save Ferris in concert again. I desperately scoured the internet, trying to find my old concert t-shirt again, but turned up empty handed. I was mentally kicking myself in the arse after that concert. Oh well. Que Sera, Sera!

So there you have it. That was me gushing over one the most unforgettable days of my life. After that first concert, I was able to see Save Ferris again (along with a ton of other awesome bands that I was a fan of) that same year at the Van’s Warped Tour. How lucky can one girl get?

Oh, did I also mention that I was sort of a skateboarding groupie? Yeah, I was what we called in those days a “poser”. I didn’t own a skateboard, nor did I even know how to skateboard, but I had a one-year subscription to Thrasher magazine, & I idolized all the skateboarding stars of the X-Games. I went to the Van’s Warped Tour with that very same friend who also liked Save Ferris. We jammed out to a ton of Punk & Ska music, ate expensive hot dogs with even more expensive Coca-Cola, & went on a shopping spree for discounted CDs. That was definitely a unforgettable year, not just one day.

Ever since that first concert, I got bit by the live music bug. I love going to concerts…festivals, not so much. I enjoy going to radio station Christmas concerts where they invite a bunch of bands to perform, but I am not a large, chaotic crowd type of person. I went to the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco back in 2015, just to see The Killers perform live, & that one music festival experience turned me off from going to another large music festival again for a looooong time. I haven’t made any new concert plans yet, but I heard The Black Keys will be performing at a huge venue in San Francisco again later this year, & I really want to go with Jian, but since I’m trying to procreate, it would be ill-advised for me to attend a high-tension event such as a loud concert. So…we’ll, just have to wait & see what awaits. Until the next blog, cheers Dudes…I mean Judes… (That was my stupid “Yesterday” Beatles movie pun.)

Today’s song of the day:

Since one of my all-time favorite bands, WEEZER, recently released their new cover songs album (the TEAL ALBUM), I’ve been loving their rendition of ELO‘s famous song “Mr. Blue Sky“. I’ve kind of been listening to the entire TEAL ALBUM on repeat for the past couple of days now, & after listening to their track “Mr. Blue Sky” (which has quickly become one of my favorite tracks on the new album), it prompted me to listen to the original song as well. Then after that, I was inspired to watch a clip of this song being performed at the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

I also looked up the lyrics to this song & sought out the meaning behind band member Jeff Lynne writing this song. He originally wrote this song while hiding himself away at a Swiss ski lodge for 2 weeks. The weather was rather gloomy & uninspiring during his stay, but then one day of his stay, the skies opened up to beautiful blue skies & sunshine. That inspired Jeff Lynne to write this exact song (as well as the other songs on the band’s album “Out of The Blue”).

This particular song has been really lifting my mood lately, & I just wanted to share this with everyone. So, please enjoy this song along with me.

genius.com/Electric-light-orchestra-mr-blue-sky-lyrics

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