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see or watch

As Jian has been logging in more & more hours on the boob tube, I’ve been winding down, watching less. I don’t know…blegh. I’ve been becoming increasingly uninspired by the television programming lineup over the past few years. There really haven’t been many shows that have caught my interest. Also, I’m trying to make a conscious effort to do more productive things other than just sit on my lazy cuss & watch mindless hours of TV.

I know it’s very easy just to turn on the television & have it running in the background as comforting background noise while you’re off doing things like washing dishes, folding laundry, or writing term papers for school. I am very guilty of doing this, especially while I’m in my kitchen. My parents, especially my dad, insisted on putting a small TV in our family kitchen when I was younger, mostly so that he wouldn’t have to miss a minute of any baseball game during our precious family bonding time, but also so that we could watch the early evening news & popular family game shows (like JeopardyWheel of Fortune) as a family while we all sat at the kitchen table for supper.

That TV in our family kitchen has become embedded into our family life so much so that, as a family unit, we bascially cannot live without it. Every family member who enters our kitchen gets sucked in by the boob tube. At least one person or another will turn on the TV, & it will not be turned off until everybody heads off to bed at night. It’s a pretty sad fact, especially when it seems like this TV has become some sort of social crutch that we unconsciously rely on.

I don’t know how Jian does it, multi-task while he’s watching TV. He can watch videos on YouTube while having the TV running in the background. Both electronic devices have their volumes turned up pretty high (well, high for my standards). Sometimes when we’re all gathered in the kitchen after supper, my mom will be watching some sort of weird Chinese video on her smartphone, & the TV will be on, & Jian will just be sitting in his designated seat watching some random meme video on his phone as well, & all the competing noises don’t even bother him one tiny bit. For me, it’s extremely distracting. I can’t have the TV on while I’m watching something on YouTube or 9Gag.

Man, when I was a teenager I watched everything that was hot in pop culutre during those days. I watched every single show on MTVVH1 (remember Pop-Up Video anyone?). I watched all of the after school cartoons (like Animaniacs, Gummi Bears, Chip & Dale’s Rescue Rangers, & every Asian girl’s mandatory viewing material: Sailor Moon). I used to watch the block of Friday night shows like Boy Meets World, Family Matters, & Step by Step. Then, as I got older, I really got into watching Japanese variety shows & drama shows. I also loved to watch re-runs of old British TV shows on the PBS channel (like Keeping Up Appearances, Are You Being Served?, & Sherlock Holmes). From there, my tastes evolved into watching mind-numbing reality shows like The Vapid Houswives Seeking Attention They Don’t Get From Their Lame Husbands, watching cartoons like Family GuyAmerican Dad, & watching more home improvement shows like House Hunters. Oh…I also loved watching the globaly popular hit TV show Top Gear (but I quickly left the fandom after Jeremy Clarkson was unceremoneously kicked off the show).

Now, there aren’t very many shows that I actively follow & watch full seasons of, with maybe the exception of Outlander (on the STARZ network). That’s one show I really enjoy watching, not only for the storylines, content & costumes/set props/filming locations, but also because there is one very specific actor that I am a huge fan of, & I like to follow his/her acting career. Other than Outlander, I used to watch a lot of The Big Bang Theory, but I forget to follow the show each week, & then when I try to watch the previous episodes using my cable provider’s On Demand service, they make me jump through a cuss load of hoops to watch. Or else I have to buy the old seasons, which I don’t want to. So, I just watch episode clips posted on YouTube by the show, just so I can keep up with the storyline.

There’s not a lot of current shows that I follow these days. I watch a few episodes of popular shows here & there (i.e. Game of Thrones) just to be able to keep up with the “watercooler” banter with my friends, but I don’t religiously follow many shows on TV. I’ve been trying lately to genuinely follow the newly popular cartoon Rick & Morty, but I’m getting more & more turned off by all of the annoying whining/complaining by the Sanchez-Smith family that is the center of the show. I’m rapidly losing interest in this show.

I think this is a good thing, watching less TV. I am, however, watching more On Demand movies & watching more movies/shows on Netflix (but that’s mostly just because I don’t want to waste my paid membership). No, I don’t sit around all day on my flabby cuss, watching movies on a loop. I’ll usually watch a movie while I’m doing some sort of stationary chore (i.e. washing dishes, or folding laundry). I’ll pick a movie to have on in the background, then once the movie is over, I’ll turn off the TV & go about my day as usual. Sometimes, I’ll have a movie on while I’m updating my blog, but that’s a rare ocassion, as the movie will end up distracting me from writing. You all probably know by now that I’ll always have a movie playing while I’m taking a bath. However, I actively try to not watch any movies or videos before I go to bed. I hope that I can continue this trend of watching less TV. I want to be more productive, rather than sit on my cuss for 4-6 hours a day, channel surfing. I don’t want to rely on the television to keep me company. I’d much rather be doing what I’m doing now, writing. And this is where I end my post because I need sleep. Cheers, mates.

Today’s song of the day:

“Go Flex” by Post Malone

go flex post malone.jpg

I remember there once was a time in my life when I was heavily interested in (& invested in) reading comic books, specifically Japanese comic books. I would patiently wait month-to-month for each volume to be painstakingly translated, published, shipped to America, & put on the shelves of my local book store’s meager Manga section (if you could even call a tiny bookshelf a “section”). Nowadays, kids read photocopy scans via the Internet with nearly instantaneously. This past weekend, I was cleaning out a large storage closet in my house, & I stumbled upon my old collection of comic books…more accurately called Manga. I haven’t touched these books in years, which prompted me to browse through them once again. This got me thinking back on my time as a devoted comic book reader.

When I was a young child in Elementary school, I actually read a few Marvel comic books. While all of my siblings & cousins were reading MAD magazine & Archie (along with Betty, Veronica & Jughead), I was reading about Spider-Man, Silver Surfer & the like. No, I wasn’t exactly a comic book nerd like how they’re being portrayed on the TV show The Big Bang Theory, or at Comic Con. I was a casual reader at best, picking up whatever cover interested me. I completely stopped reading comic books once I became a full-fledged teenager, swapping Spider-Man for Hot Rod & muscle car magazines, as well as various trading cards. I don’t know why I chose this time in my life to try to act like a tomboy. Now, looking back on those times, I was heavily influenced by a girl who I thought was my best friend at the time, only to later find out she was either trying to sabotage my life or get inside my pants.

It wasn’t until after high school when I truly discovered & fell head-over-heels in love with Japanese Pop culture. I immersed myself into every aspect I could get my grubby little hands on, spending most of my weekends in the Japantown area of the big box city. Since my dad was originally from Japan, I felt a special closeness to that culture. That’s when I really got into watching Japanese TV shows, movies, watching anime, & reading comic books (a.k.a. manga). At that time, a majority of my friends were Asian & had the same interests in Japanese Pop culture as I did, so we were able to share our favorites & talk all about comic books.

Just like in my teenage years, I also went through a tomboy phase while reading manga. I liked to read comic books geared mostly towards the male audience, with titles such as: One Piece, Full Metal Alchemist, Gundam Seed, Megatokyo, Rurouni Kenshin, etc. I liked reading about intergalactic mechanized robot wars & epic sword fights. Along the way, I also dabbled in other genres like: comedy (Ranma ½, Love Hina, Azumanga Daioh), historical (Fushigi-Yugi), fantasy-magic (Card Captor Sakura, Alice 19th, Wedding Peach, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, & XXX Holic), & a few others here & there. Most of the manga I read had a similar theme of romance. You know the formula: girl & boy are fated to love each other & be together in the end, but not without a roller coaster ride of major ups & downs like: alternate dimensions, space &/or time portals, epic wars, magical curses, demon hunting, multi-dimensional memory loss, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah.

So, I’ve been sorting through my old collection of comic books & have begun reading them all over again. Most of my comic books are lacking a complete series, & I am thinking about getting back into reading manga again so I can finish the complete series of all the manga titles I’ve collected over the years. I stopped reading manga for many years simply because I have no space in my house to store all of these books, & I am also trying to tighten my budget. So that means, less shopping, more saving…especially if I want to be able to afford going to my cousin’s destination wedding. I guess we will see what happens. Until then, cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

“I Just Do” by The Feeling

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