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time to play

If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know that I purchased a journal/book called “99 Things That Bring Me Joy”. I’ve already finished this journal, & I will say that it was a challenge towards the end. This journal of lists really made me think long & hard for thoughtful & meaningful answers. I didn’t want to just write down the first thing that came to mind, or make up something, or stretch/embellish the truth just to fill a blank page. I actually, genuinely wanted to write real & truthful answers that portrayed the many unique sides of my inner personality. There are some answers to some list topics that made me uncomfortable, but I still wrote down the most honest answer, even if the answers I chose were embarrassing.

The first third of this journal contained pretty straight-forward, soft-pitch topics about things of my childhood that brought back so many fun & interesting memories for me. The first list topic was called “Childhood toys you loved”. Here are my answers…

childhood toys

…But to dive deeper into each item, let me explain here.

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“Cheer Bear” from Care Bears

When I was a child, growing up, all of the kids in my family loved the Care Bears. We loved watching the animated movies & play with all of the toys. I have no idea who’s idea it was to collect all of the Care Bears stuffed toys, but we collected them all as one whole family, & each family member got to pick one of the bears to be their personal mascot. My cousins all assigned my mascot to be Cheer Bear because they knew I loved the color pink, & that bear’s logo was a cutesy rainbow. At that time, in the mid to late 80s, we had two cousins, one boy & one girl, who were still in diapers. So, they were clearly assigned the mascots of Baby Hugs Baby Tugs.

Besides having all of the plastic posable figurines, Play-Doh kits, & stuffed animals, my aunt sewed us each Care Bears mascot pillow toys & baby blankets…except my baby blanket was the only one that wasn’t Care Bears themed. My baby blanket was actually Strawberry Shortcake themed, & it was also sewn by my amazing aunt. I still have my hand-sewn baby blanket to this very day, & keep it well taken care of.

I still remember each of my siblings & cousins would have our own Care Bears stuffed bear, & we would all bring our stuffed toys to family gatherings at our grandmother’s house, which was the central hub for all of our family get-togethers & summer holiday vacations. Whatever happened to my Cheer Bear stuffed animal, I’m not entirely sure. I remember later on in its life a few mysterious brown stains appeared on it, & eventually my mom donated it to some place like the Salvation Army or Good Will, & I never saw that stuffed bear ever again.


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Fisher-Price camper toy

This camper toy was one of my favorite toys when I was a kid. My mom never really allowed me to have too many toys when I was growing up. She didn’t like a messy house, & she was always nagging me to put away my toys. I clearly remember this being one of my most treasured toys because I loved how you could stow everything away into a nice little camper, & then you could take everything out & pop out the camper hood.

I loved making up make-believe stories about these little, creepy Fisher-Price dolls that came with this toy. It gave me hours of entertainment, especially since I was already taking camping trips with my family at that age, & I already understood what it was like to pack everything into your car & go camping. It was, however, very shocking to me as a child when I learned that my mom had given my toy away to another friend’s child, even before I had ever grown out of it.


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Hello Kitty doll house

This Hello Kitty dollhouse was my all-time favorite childhood toy. I’ve very literally been a fan of Hello Kitty & all of her Sanrio friends since I was a little kid. This dollhouse was one of the very first Hello Kitty toys I ever owned. I loved how you could pack up everything inside the dollhouse, & it had a handle on the top so you could move this toy anywhere around the house. I can’t remember when or where I got it, if it came from one of my uncles back in Japan, or if my parents bought it for me at what was formerly known as Sunshine Station, but now renamed to Sanrio Surprises.

When I was a child, I used to get a lot of my sister’s hand-me-down Sanrio school supplies & toys, so it was always a special treat for me when my parents would take me to the Sunshine Station store to buy my very own Hello Kitty themed toy. My favorite part of this dollhouse was that it had a garage, & you could keep the family car inside of it. I also loved playing with the swing, & I especially loved the gate because when you would open the gate, the little row of flowers would pop up from the fence.

As I got older, I tried my best to keep this dollhouse from being donated or thrown away, always thinking in the back of my mind that I would one day pass this down to my future child. Little did I know that my parents had kept this dollhouse for me, but it had eventually gotten so rotted & disfigured from various rodents & bugs creating nests & chewed up holes, that I had to throw it away. Here is a sad & depressing photo of the aftermath of the ravaging effects of careless neglect.

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rainbow brite

Rainbow Brite

I can never remember how I ever discovered half of the toys I used to own when I was a child. My memory often fails me. I don’t even remember watching the Rainbow Brite cartoons when I was growing up, & trust me, I watched a ton of TV when I was younger. (My siblings & I were always glued to the TV…especially after the invention of the MTV music channel.)

I was not a fan of dolls or playing with dolls when I was growing up. I went through an extremely short phase of playing with Barbie dolls, but I never had dolls that I would actively play with. Yet somehow I just loved this Rainbow Brite doll so much. I used to imagine wearing her brightly colored, shiny metallic clothes, & have long beautiful hair like the character did.


lego bricks

I mentioned before in a previous blog post that when I was a kid, I once tried to build a fake gun out of my miscellaneous LEGO bricks. Of course, that nefarious weapon never came to be, & I ended up just making an ‘L’ shaped object & only pretended that it was a gun. I was too chicken to actually make things like guns & swords out of my LEGO bricks.

When I was a kid, I had a medium sized bucket of miscellaneous LEGO bricks that had a lid & a handle on it. I remember my mom buying it for me from the Toys ‘R’ Us toy store. I never made anything interesting or useful out of my bricks. I would make simple things like a basic house or try to make a large tower by stacking as many of the bricks together as I could.

The one memory I have about my tub of LEGO bricks that really stands out in my mind is of me playing on the floor of my bedroom, which was covered in a processed-cheese-yellow colored shag carpet from the 1970s. I would dump out my bricks onto the floor & just spend hours making shapes with my bricks. My mom would periodically walk by my bedroom, mostly to check if I was making a huge mess or not, & she would always scold me to put all of my bricks back into the tub, or else she would take them away. I was always careful to make sure every single brick was picked up after I played with them, mostly because I was scared of my mom’s strictness, but also because I didn’t want her to take away &/or give away more of my precious toys.


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When my dad’s brothers were still alive, they would send us care packages from Japan all the time. Whenever we went to visit my aunts & uncles in Japan, they would send us home with lots of snacks & souvenirs. Also, when they would visit our home, they would always bring fun Japanese treats.

I remember an uncle (one of my dad’s older brothers) once stayed at our house, & he brought me this little cooking play set when I was around 6 or 7 years old. I thought it was so much fun & would often play with the set in my backyard by myself. All of my siblings by then were literally twice my age (or more), so they had no interest in playing children’s games with me, & were more focused on hanging out with their friends. I never had a problem entertaining myself, & I thoroughly enjoyed playing with this cooking set.

The cooking set itself was made out of tin & plastic. It came with a little plastic stove top (with little plastic knobs), a mini rice cooker, a tin pan with a rubber fried egg, a mini tin plate & rice bowl, a mini tin spatula, & a plastic pair of chopsticks. I would sit on my backyard deck (weather permitting) & pretend that I was cooking at a restaurant. One thing that I remember the most about this cooking set was that I disliked the nasty chemical-y smell of the rubber fried egg. I also didn’t like that the set rusted so fast. In the end, my mom threw out this toy set since it was rusting.


sylvanian animals

I once knew a girl in my neighborhood who had a complete set of Sylvanian Families dolls & a full dollhouse complete with furniture. At the time, I was super envious of this girl, & every time my mom would take me to visit her house, I would always want to play with her dollhouse & little Sylvanian Families animals. I only had a few animals myself, & was in total awe of this girl’s collection. Oh man, when I was a kid, I wanted to get all of the Sylvanian Families animals, & dollhouse, & all of the dollhouse furniture.

At the time, I only knew that I could get everything in Japan, since the only animals I had were given to me by my aunts & uncles from Japan. Of course, my mom being the strict parent, wouldn’t allow me to get more of these figures, & she definitely did not allow me to get the full dollhouse. First of all, it would’ve been impossible to store such a massive dollhouse in our home with so many living at home. Secondly, the whole setup: dollhouse, figures, & furniture were way too expensive. I loved these cute, flocked animal figures & would often play with them in my Hello Kitty dollhouse.


Fisher-Price medical kit

I remember playing with this toy a lot when I was a child. Since I had always been that kid who was always getting sick or going to the doctor’s office, I really loved playing with this medical kit from Fisher-Price. The funny thing is, is that I would use all of these medical toys on myself. I often played by myself at home, since my siblings were all way, way older than I was (& some of them were already getting their driver’s license or going to college). So, I would often play pretend & make up stories/scenarios all by myself.

When I played with this toy set, I spent a lot of time pretending that the stethoscope was actually a walkie-talkie & would talk to myself using the little foam pad. I was fascinated by the way my voice sounded, & would try to make my voice sound like it had an echo. I would also try all sorts of ways to pry open the medicine bottle with my teeny-tiny hands, or use kid scissors, & try to discover what was inside the bottle that gave it a rattling sound when you shook it. Yes, I was a very weird child. I understand this & take full responsibility for my childhood actions.


I had not learned what Playmobil was until I was a much older child (around 10 or 11 years of age). There once was a huge F.A.O. Schwartz toy store in the downtown shopping district in the big city near my house. My dad used to take me there for a special treat. It was there that I had discovered the magical world of those little German plastic figures & their incredibly detailed play sets with larger-than-life dioramas. I had no idea that these toys had already been around for nearly 20 years before I discovered them at the toy store in the early 90s.

I instantly fell in love, probably because these toys were more readily available in the U.S. than the Japanese Sylvanian Families toy sets. My mom was less reluctant to allow me to get the giant Playmobil dollhouse this time around. She actually liked the detail & design of these toy sets & enjoyed watching me build each set. The set that drew my attention the most was the Victorian dollhouse series. I worked my way up the dollhouse by slowly acquiring each room set one-by-one. I never ended up getting the dollhouse.

By the time I saved up enough for the dollhouse, the big F.A.O. Schwartz toy store permanently closed, & no other toy store in my area was selling the dollhouse (or other Playmobil sets at the time). So, I put all of my individual box sets of furniture into a storage box & stowed it away in our home storage closet. As I got older, I grew out of playing with dollhouses, & ended up donating all of my Playmobil sets to a Goodwill donation store.


When I was growing up, no one ever taught me how to ride a bicycle. My parents didn’t know how to ride, & as I mentioned before, my siblings were all in their teenage years & wanting to hang out with their friends rather than stick around to teach me how to ride a bike. So, my mom one day gave me a pair of these training roller skates. I was super stoked to have these skates that I could roll around my backyard with.

These roller skates were probably my most favorite childhood toy from the 80s. They were easy for a little tyke like me to strap on to my shoes, & because I had small feet, I was able to really get good use of this toy. These roller skates were adjustable, so I was able to grow into them for a little while. The best part about these training roller skates was that it was easy for me to learn how to use the brakes/stoppers in the front.

I’ve said in the past that I was a total wimpy, non-adventurous kid when I was growing up. I was too chicken to try anything outside of my comfort zone, & it didn’t help that my parents were extremely overprotective of me, so they also wouldn’t allow me to do some things other kids were doing. These training roller skates were a perfect medium, so I could learn how to be more adventurous, get out of my comfort of hiding inside the house & play outdoors, & actually play with some sportier toys (if you would consider roller skates to be sporty).

I’ve always been enamored with these Fisher-Price toy roller skates, & I think this toy helped push me into learning how to ice skate. When I became a teenager, my mom signed me up for ice skating lessons. I don’t think she was necessarily pushing me to become a competitive skater, but she at least wanted me to take up some sort of sport instead of staying holed up inside the house. I really enjoyed taking those ice skating lessons, even though I was the oldest kid in my beginner’s group. By the time we were learning how to do simple spins & lifting one leg, those little 7-8 year old kids were skating circles around me. I got pretty far in my lessons until I had to quit because my mom re-joined the workforce with a full-time job & could no longer drive me to the rink. I still know a few tips & tricks from my old ice skating lesson days, & I find it still fun to skate. I even bought a pair of $10 dollar rollerblades when I was studying abroad for the summer in China. I’d like to credit these toy skates for stirring up my interest in skating. I never got into riding bicycles, but at least I can skate.


Ok, I have reached the home stretch of this ridiculous blog post. I really enjoy filling out these prompted lists, & I hope this list thing will really help me to open up more to everyone. I’m excited to dive deeper into the more serious list topics, but alas my OCD personality won’t allow me to skip ahead. Until then, cheers mates!

Today’s song of the day by a band that definitely DOES NOT sound anything like David Bowie:

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What prompted me to think about this topic all of a sudden? Well, Jian had been away on a family emergency for one week (he’s back home today), & that gave me a lot of quiet time to think about different aspects of my life. I was also able to focus more deeply & observe things in my life that I usually let slide by, in my state of comfort & complacency. Since Jian had been away, one thing I noticed was that I was actively trying to go to bed earlier than I normally do when he’s around. I have a tendency to stay up later at night when Jian’s around because I always allow everyone else in my house to get ready for bed first, & I’m most often the very last person to use the shower, which makes me late getting into bed.

This time, I actively tried to get ready for bed sooner, so I wouldn’t have to spend so much late night time getting ready, & I’d have more free time to lounge around in bed before sleeping. I’ve also recognized a few other things, like lifestyle habits, that pretty much contradict each other. Here I’ve broken down a list of the most apparent contradictions that I feel like I could work on changing as this year progresses.


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I’ve already talked about this in my post intro, but I’d like to expand on it a little bit here. This has always been a bad habit of mine for a very, very, very long time. Even when I was working at my stereotypical 9 to 5 office desk job, I would stay up late watching videos on YouTube & futzing around on my laptop (I didn’t have a tablet at that time), even though I knew I had very precious little time to sleep before waking up at the crack of dawn to catch my early morning subway to get to the office on time. I thought I was being clever by taking naps on the subway, but looking back on it, I know that I was just burning my candle at both ends. I wasn’t getting actual proper sleep, & napping only helped me from nodding off in my office cubicle. Not to mention, I didn’t even notice that my skin’s complexion was looking frighteningly dull, & I was forming nasty dark circles & bags around my eyes.

I’m not quite sure why I like to stay up late at night. I think the inner child inside of me is trying to rebel from going to sleep at a reasonable hour…like I’m a teenager again fighting my parents’ bedtime curfew. I know it doesn’t do my body any good, but I somehow don’t feel sleepy before midnight.

On the flip side, I don’t mind waking up early. Ever since I had to wake up at 5am every morning for my office job, I’ve been used to waking up early. I still try to wake up early-ish these days, but it’s the getting out of my bed part that I still need to work on. I will set my alarm for an early morning time, & then when my alarm goes off, I spend quite a bit of time lounging about in bed until the last minute when I’m supposed to actually get up, get dressed, & get going with my day.

I set at least 3 to 4 alarms on my smartphone to wake me up in the morning. I just do not trust the snooze button. Also, I don’t want to have to hit the snooze button 4 or 5 times before I actually get up in the mornings. I like to set each of my alarms with different ringtones, so it forces me to actually wake up, pick up my smartphone, & physically check my phone. This pushes my brain to “wake up” as well, so I’m not letting myself stay in that half-asleep, half-awake mode that will always lead to me falling back to sleep when I’m really supposed to be getting out of bed & getting dressed.

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed out of all of this, it’s this: I really enjoy lounging about in my bed, snuggled under the warm sheets while wearing my super comfortable & soft pajamas. If I had the opportunity to slack off, I could easily spend hours playing on my tablet while laying in bed, day or night. Though, I’m happy to report that I’m slowly breaking myself away from these types of bad habits. Like I said before, while Jian was away, I forced myself to get ready for bed sooner, so I can hop into bed at an earlier hour, & I have been actively pushing myself to sit up when I wake up in the morning. That way I won’t have the urge to just lay there like a dead fish out of water for the better part of the morning.


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I guess this is a good time to segue into bed making. I mean, it’s the first thing I do when I get out of bed in the morning, even before I brush my teeth or put on my clothes for the day. It’s one habit that I’ve trained myself to do, which is to make my bed every single morning even if I’m running late. Of course the OCD side of my personality can’t stand to see an unkempt, unmade bed. (It looks so sloppy!) So, I force myself to make my bed first thing in the morning to get that task out of the way. I once read an article in a Scandinavian mindfulness magazine, where they stated as one of their points of mindfulness is to make your bed every morning. It will give you a feeling of accomplishment & happiness, & when you get home from work, you will feel good because that’s one chore you don’t have to do on top of the hundred other chores you have to do when you get home. I feel very happy when I see my fully made bed every time I walk into my room, not only because I’ve ticked off one less chore on my to-do list, but because every time I walk past my room I feel like my room looks clean & tidy.

Even though I say all these wonderful things about making the bed in the mornings, I don’t actually enjoy the act of making the bed, mostly because Jian is the kind of sleeper that likes to toss & turn throughout the night, & that means that the bed sheets like to pull up at the corners, or they twist & turn. Even when I’m sleeping, I like to have my sheets arranged in an orderly fashion. I like all of the bed corners to be folded & tucked  tightly, & I like the top edges of my sheets & blankets to be as straight as possible. I don’t move around as much when I sleep. I notice this by how every morning I wake up with a crick in my shoulder or lower back from sleeping in one position for too long.

Making my bed every morning feels like a total drag, especially when I have to keep walking around the bed to re-straighten the sheets & re-tuck all the corners again. I try to rush when I’m doing this task, but it always ends up taking me more than 5 minutes to get the bed looking decent. On the other hand, I don’t have any issues or gripes with putting on new bed sheets. I guess my brain is tricking me into thinking that I’m making the bed from scratch. The mattress is bare, & I can now arrange the sheets exactly how I like it without having to go back & forth to tug & straighten the rumpled sheets. Plus, when you put on fresh new sheets on the bed, the sheets feel crisp, wrinkle free, & the elastic around the fitted sheet feels tight again. It’s like covering a bowl with a new roll of plastic wrap instead of covering it with a plastic tarp.


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Let’s transition from clean sheets to clean clothes, shall we? Oh, I love washing laundry: pre-treating stains, pre-soaking, the whole shebang. I consider myself an expert in washing clothes. I pretty much have taken over all control of the washer & dryer in my house. When anyone in my household has a laundry issue, they always consult me first before doing any of the washing themselves. I pride myself in doing a mean load of laundry. I pretty much wash all of the laundry in my household.

Buttttt… I will say that I loathe folding the clothes after they’ve been washed. I will do it, of course, but not without a lot of groaning & whining. I try to make this task a little less boring by throwing all the piles of freshly washed clothes on top of my bed, & turn on the TV while I’m folding everything. I’ll sometimes try to time myself to see if I can finish folding the large mound of just-out-of-the-dryer clothes before the movie I’m watching is over. Doing this makes me more motivated to fold faster. If I don’t give myself this challenge, then what could’ve originally taken me less than 30 minutes to do will end up taking an hour or more to do because I’ll get distracted &  try to do other things in-between folding all the clothes.

This is especially true if I have to fold a ton of t-shirts & women’s underwear. Why do men’s t-shirts always get misshapen after one wash? It’s like they’ve all got one higher shoulder than the other. Also, why is it so hard to fold those little scraps of triangle lace? The lace always wants to curl, & will never fold straight.


 

I would not consider myself to be a chef or a cook in any capacity. I did take a proper Home Economics class in high school where we learned about food prep, kitchen safety, & hot to follow a few simple recipes. However, I can’t say that I’m a very good cook. I would say as much as that I am proficient in the kitchen. I can boil water without burning the pot. I know the difference between ‘dice‘ & ‘julienne‘. That doesn’t mean I can cook Sunday roast chicken dinners with all the fixin’s. I can cook simple pasta dishes & a few varieties of one-pot stews/soups. I can also cook up a few simple stir fry dishes (like Asian fried rice dishes). I can even bake a sweet treat every now & again…but then again, I just don’t have the passion for cooking like most people do.

Take Jian, for instance. He’s very passionate about cooking. He loves creating new flavors & experimenting in the kitchen. He also loves to follow recipes he’s read about on the internet, written by some celebrity chef du jour from some new hipster restaurant. Jian can take random leftovers from the fridge & make new & inventive dishes out of those items. As for me, I enjoy cooking from time to time, but it’s not a real interest or passion of mine. My general approach to cooking is based out of necessity. I cook when I am asked to fulfill a request or favor by my household, you know, to let others take a break from cooking everyday. Sometimes, I get this creative food idea in my head, & that inspires me to volunteer my cooking services, but mostly I cook when I’m asked to.

On the flip side, I’m great at cleaning up the table after dinner. I can easily & confidently say that I’m the best dish washer in all the land. Yes, washing dishes is my kitchen specialty. It’s an extremely boring chore, but I’d rather scrub food scraps off of pots & pans than to prep & cook a full meal. Just like my enjoyment of washing laundry, I like to wash the dishes in exchange for food. Usually my mom cooks, mostly because she doesn’t like other people making greasy messes in her kitchen, but also because she’s always trying out new recipes she’s clipped from all of her old magazines. In turn, I help her not only set the table & wash the dishes after each meal, but I also help her clean the kitchen from floor to ceiling. I’d say that’s a pretty good trade off.


This is slowly becoming a burning blog post about how much my OCD personality rears it’s incredibly neat, yet ugly head. All I ever talk about is how much I enjoy cleaning the house & doing mundane everyday chores. Like in this section, I am talking about how I don’t mind vacuuming the house. I mean, it brings me joy & a huge sense of (relief) accomplishment after I’ve thoroughly vacuumed through my entire house. My house is not small, nor is it large. It’s an Eichler home, so it’s a fairly decent size. I’ve already got a routine on how I vacuum the house. I start with the bedroom side of the house & work my way in a wide C-shape or U-shape (depending on how you want to look at it) to the opposite side of the house where the former garage, current kitchen is located.

As you can clearly see in my graphic above, I use TWO different types of vacuum cleaners. That’s how crazy I get with keeping my house clean. I can get so anal rententive that I have different cleaning tools for different aspects of maintaining a clean home. For example, I only use my handheld cordless Dyson vacuum to clean flat, hard surfaces like hardwood or tile, but I won’t use my cordless vacuum to clean the rugs around my house. My Dyson vacuum is  practically an antique by today’s technology standards, so it wouldn’t be able to do much more than sweep hardwood/tile surfaces anyway. That’s why I don’t really use it to clean heavy trafficked areas & large furniture around my house. So, I also use a traditional canister vacuum that I have to plug in & roll around the house. My Miele canister vacuum has been with me for many more years, & has lived a much longer life than my Dyson cordless vacuum. It has sustained a lot of wear & tear, but it’s still putting along just fine, & I find it still easy to use (even in today’s cordless, wireless times). The suction & fill capacity of my canister vacuum is by far, leaps & bounds better than my cordless vacuum & really takes care of the heavy duty cleaning. The upside to keeping my cordless vacuum around is that I can easily buy replacement parts for it, & since vacuum repair shops are a dying trend, that makes it more convenient than probably buying a new vacuum every time I encounter a problem with my vacuum.

Ok, so on the second half of my graphic I wrote that I loathe dusting around my house. Since I get severe allergies when I encounter too much dust, even if I were to wear a face mask, I would still get major allergy symptoms from dusting. One major problem I have in my house is that we have way too many surfaces & objects that need to be dusted. For example, we have a ton of large LEGO sets displayed all around the house, & my mom prefers them to be looking pristine at all times, so she’s always making me dust every single set thoroughly. Another example is we just have a lot of table & open shelf space that needs to be dusted, & dusting is my least favorite chore to do around the house…ok, maybe second least favorite chore next to weeding my backyard garden. I am always trying to avoid & put off dusting until the absolute very last moment when I just can’t stand to see that thick layer of dust gathering along the top edge of the TV set. That’s when I’ll pop on a face mask & bust out my Swiffer duster & go to town. Dusting my house sucks major donkey balls, but unfortunately it’s something that can’t be avoided for very long.


Like a lot of women my age, I do have some insecurities about my body, not too many, but some. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always dressed for comfort & not really for fashion’s sake. I never really dressed feminine or cutesy/girly, although my mom has suggested that I do so many times throughout my life. I never got any of my sister’s hand-me-down clothes, & my parents never really forced or highly encouraged me to dress any certain way other than neatly. I could wear baggy jeans & t-shirts as long as they were hole-free, stain-free & wrinkle-free.

Throughout my life my mom has given me fashion guidance on how to dress properly for special occasions, special events, & the office. Her advice has helped me along the way, but I have still maintained my casual dress style up until now. I’d say over the past 10 years or so, I’ve become more open to wearing more feminine clothing. I’ve taken up wearing more skirts in the summertime. Granted, they’re mostly over-the-knee length or longer & often flow-y to hide my legs & waistline, but at least I’m open to exposing my bare calves, where as before, I would stick to wearing only jeans, chino pants, & women’s trousers….basically anything that fully covered my legs & gave them no shape.

But hey, even though I am appreciating skirts more, doesn’t exactly mean that I’m now comfortable showing off my legs. I’m still not very confident about my body & its shape(s), but I am trying to at least add some more age appropriate & classy items to my wardrobe. I am trying to show some semblance of femininity, instead of constantly looking like I’m a walking, shapeless paper bag. I have been, recently, more proactive in losing some stubborn weight I gained in the past few years, & trying to build up a little more muscle definition. It’s a long & boring process, but I would like to be able to wear dresses where I am not covering up from neck to ankle & looking like an inappropriate Victorian cosplayer. I have definitely fallen prey to society’s ideals & social media marketing of pretending that I look like I’ve got a “naturally” trim waistline, pouty DSL-like lips, & perky C-cup tits (all for the sake of attracting an equally high maintenance attractive mate). I wouldn’t exactly say that I look like a Lump-a-potomus. I am actually quite average in build, body shape, & boob size, but my self confidence is flimsy at best. I am working on that, building my self confidence, & that starts with feeling comfortable to wear skirts & other more feminine clothing items.


Now I’ve finally reached the end of this super long blog post. Let’s talk about one of my favorite topics, or rather one of my favorite food groups…or at least, it should be a food group all on its own. Let’s talk about coffee. You may be well aware by now, based on how many times I’ve mentioned in this blog that I frequent the big box coffee shop down the street from my house, that I am a lover of coffee. I love the smell of freshly roasted beans. I love to brew it at home & do all of those fancy-schmancy techniques those hipster baristas do at the café, like using craft roasted beans & grinding the whole beans myself. I love to drink coffee. Trust me, I could drink coffee all day long, but I know that’s not good for you, so I’ve been actively trying to cut back on the amount of cups I drink per day.

I used to drink three or more cups a day, but over the past few years, I have been really trying hard to limit myself to at most two cups per day. I’ve been trying to drink more water instead of caffeinated (& sometimes sugary) drinks. I have definitely cut down on the sugar factor in my coffee though. I have almost cut out sugar entirely in my coffee & espresso drinks, keeping mostly to milk & Half & Half cream. Sometimes, if the craving arises, then I’ll add two packets of plain sugar into my drink, but I try to avoid it now to keep my sugar intake low.

My mom was actually the person who introduced me to the wonderful world of coffee. When I was a young teenager, & a lot of my friends weren’t drinking or weren’t allowed to drink coffee, my mom would always let me take a sip or two of her cup. That got me curious about coffee, but I didn’t actually start drinking whole cups until I was in my twenties. I used to throw in a shit ton of sugar & milk in my coffee to mask the bitter, harsh taste. If I could, I would use those sickly sweet, flavored creams, & use a lot of it for that matter.

I guess over time I’ve built somewhat of a tolerance for the caffeine in coffee beans. I can drink coffee at any time day or night, & it won’t make me feel jittery or jumpy at all. Well, unless I have a “revolver” espresso drink, which consists of six short shots of espresso with cream, over ice. If I drink that, then my hands will be shaky for sure, & I’ll feel jittery for hours afterward. Otherwise, if I just drink basic cups of coffee, I can have a cup at night, after dinner or later & it won’t affect my sleeping habits. What I mean is, drinking coffee in the evening doesn’t keep me up at night. In fact, I’ve been known to fall asleep after drinking a strong café latte.

Well, even though I say that coffee doesn’t keep me up at night, it does however, perk me up in morning. I don’t know if it’s considered a full blown addiction, but if I don’t have at least half a cup of coffee in the morning, then I will feel light headed & somehow tired for the rest of the day. This is one of my life’s biggest contradictions aside from my late nights/early mornings contradiction. I don’t understand how I could crave coffee to wake me up in the morning, but it doesn’t affect my sleep at night. I mean, really. Any time after the morning has passed, if I drink coffee, I can still fall asleep, but I still need it to perk me up in the mornings. This just doesn’t make sense, but I’m not going to question it any further than this. I love coffee & will continue to drink it for as long as my body will allow. Coffee is so delicious. I can understand those who don’t have any interest whatsoever in coffee (& often prefer tea). That just means more coffee for me!


Well, there goes my long ass blog post. I could write a thousand words about absolutely nothing at all, but it relaxes me, & writing the topics in this blog post really had me exercising my brain, & forcing me to really take an in-depth look at my personality. It might not mean anything to the rest of the world, but to me this blog post was important to write. Until next time, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

img_5180March was simply a crazy month. A lot of things happened. I re-visited Vancouver, BC for the first time in over 25+ years. I’ve been helping my mom deal with her sciatica. My just-entered-university cousin came to stay for her spring break holiday. Also, other, more heartbreaking family events happened (within a span of one week). The month of March went by in a blur, & now it’s already April. I don’t even want to think about this month, my upcoming birthday, or spring. I still wish it was winter, where I could layer my pea coats & scarves over my warm sweaters, but I now have to take out my short sleeved t-shirts from storage, & start showing off my flabby, out-of-shape arms. (Nobody wants to see that, especially myself).

I already wrote at length how my trip to Vancouver went, so I’m not going to go into too much detail here, but needless to say, I can’t wait until I get to visit Vancity again. I had so much fun with my mom, but I can’t wait until the next time when I get to explore the city all by myself. I quite enjoy sitting at a café &/or coffee shop by myself with my tablet, & spend a good portion of the day sipping coffee, reading, & people watching.

buffalo check moutains

In other happy news, I’m going to another music concert! I’m super excited to be going to see Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats in concert as the headlining band. I saw NRATNS perform live once before, but they only played a short set, as they were one out of two bands opening for Kings of Leon. I had bought tickets for that concert thinking that I would get to see a full set performed by NRATNS, but alas, they were only one of two opening acts that night. I was extremely pumped up when I saw an app notification that this very band was going to be traveling on tour for their newly released album Tearing At The Seams. I grabbed Jian by the shoulders & begged him to go to this concert with me. He was reluctant at first, since he was waffling back & forth on whether or not he should go chase down Arctic Monkeys (who are currently gearing up for a new album & possible album tour in the near future by appearing at all the music festivals) at the Firefly Festival in Dover, DE or at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. In the end, Jian decided to spend his birthday with me watching NRATNS perform all their greatest hits like: S.O.B., You Worry Me, I need Never Get Old, Hey Mama, & Howling At Nothing. I can’t wait to bust out my NRATNS band t-shirt & a worn-in denim jacket, grab a whiskey libation in the VIP lounge (yes, we shelled out a little more buckaroos for VIP tickets because we’re extra like that, & we like clean, private bathrooms) & rock out to one of my all-time favorite rock bands.

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats9A

Aside from all of that, I had a cousin stay at my place this past week for her Spring Break holiday. This cousin that came to visit & I are very close in relationship (even though we are not close in age whatsoever), & I was so surprised & touched that she asked to spend her precious break time from university at my house. I mean, this is my cousin’s first official Spring Break holiday as a university student, & I was kind of expecting her to want to spend that time with her friends, or with her new (& first) boyfriend, or at least go home, be lazy, & veg out on the couch. She stayed for the week, & we had a blast together soaking up the beautiful weather, playing board games in the evenings, & just spending quality time having heart-to-heart chats about life, school, & love. I feel like I’ve learned so much more about my cousin & how much she’s evolved, more so than maturing because she’s always been extremely mature for her age, so I don’t doubt her existing maturity (or young wisdom) at all. It was so much fun, & I do hope that my cousin takes up my invitation of visiting my place again but with her boyfriend next time.

In more somber news, major events happened over the last half of the month that were just extremely tragic & upsetting. Everything happened practically within the span of one week. I’m not going to go into any details, to respect the privacy of those closest to me who are directly involved, but I can only say that it is extremely difficult to process sudden loss. I know this from first-hand experience, which is something I don’t wish on anybody. Seeing the people most closest to me going through such a difficult time in their lives only brings back my memories of what I’ve gone through in my own life & with my family. I think a lot about my dad & his side of the family, about how my dad came from a large family, & now only approximately 1/3rd of the family remains. My grandparents & their generation: long gone. My uncles & aunts: gone, all of them. My dad: now going on the 6th anniversary of his passing. All that’s left are the spouses who married into the family, & their children from my generation. I do have a few nephews & nieces from the next generation, but our family tree has been greatly reduced. I can only offer my utmost support to those in my life who are experiencing loss at a time like this. Our circumstances aren’t exactly the same, but I can offer my own version of care & support.

I think I’m going to end my blog post here because I don’t want to get into too much sad detail. Even after all this time, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around all of this, & it makes me think of my dad’s situation all over again. Until next time, cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

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I might be late, but in the spirit of Father’s Day, this is my tribute to my dad. This was his favorite shoe horn that I remember from my early childhood. I used to play with it all the time even though my parents told me not to. Not to prove how small/short I was/still am, I used to pretend that this was my cane that I used to walk around with. I loved the dog carved on the handle & pretended that it was my pet dog (like the talking bird umbrella from Mary Poppins). This shoe horn is a symbol of my father & a lasting memory I will always cherish. 🐕 👞 🎺 . . . . . . . . . . #ShoeHorn #OldRelic #vintage #retro #StillFashion #memories #FathersDay #ChildhoodMemories #HandCarved #wood #shell #dog #dad #childhood #HappyFathersDay #FoodieApp #LineCamera @linecamera_official @foodieapp.official
I am very happy at this hour. 🍹 . . . . . . . . . . #ChefsGinJams #GinJams #cocktail #drink #gin #lemon #tonic #PineappleJam #pineapple #jam #garnish #HappyHour #WeekendMode #FridayFunday #Cockscomb #SF #SoMa #CityLife #CityLiving #SummerVibes #InHonorOfAnthonyBourdain #LetsHaveAnother #DrinksOfInstagram #LineCamera #FoodieApp @cockscombsf @linecamera_official @foodieapp.official
Some food for comfort from home. 🍛 . . . . . . . . . . #ハヤシライス #HayashiRice #FavoriteDish #rice #MushroomAndBeefSauce #AlmostStew #delicious #flavor #CityLife #CityLiving #lunch #Usagi #ウサギ #洋食 #DTSM #FoodsOfInstagram #DoingItForTheGram #LineCamera #FoodieApp @foodieapp.official @linecamera_official @usagi_yoshoku
It’s not a proper Instagram without a glamour shot of delicious food. 🦆 . . . . . . . . . . #duck #HalfOrder #meat #game #NotAGoose #DuckDuckGoose #delicious #flavor #HappyHour #drinks #FavoriteDish #DoingItForTheGram #GlamourShot #Instagram #Instaphoto #FoodsOfInstagram #CityLife #CityLiving #TheMorrisSF #SF #LineCamera #FoodieApp @themorris_sf @linecamera_official @foodieapp.official
Best sign ever for a bar... . . . . . . . . . . #sign #bar #BarSign #NorthBeach #SF #CityLife #CityLiving #drinks #cocktails #HappyHour #BestSignEver #LOL #hilarious #SoFunny #WhoWouldntLoveThisPlace #LineCamera #MrBingsSF @mrbingssf
Look, ma! I reinstalled these closet doors all by myself. 🚪 . . . . . . . . . . #DIY #install #reinstall #ClosetDoors #closet #IDidItMyself #AllByMyself #DontNeedHelp #DontNeedHomeDepot #DoItLikeALady #handsy #handy #handywoman #HomeImprovement #MissionAccomplished #TaDa #Done #GetItDone #LineCamera

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