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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 



I don’t know when it happened. Ever since I was a little kid, I loved hot weather. Ok, I am totally contradicting myself when I tell you these next things. I used to love sitting in the sun, soaking up the warm rays, but I hated getting tan or wearing sticky, smelly sunblock. I loved wearing summery clothes like shorts, skirts & t-shirts,  but I could never live a day without wearing socks (I dislike bare feet). I am a strange one, aren’t I? I mean, I once hiked up the Great Wall of China in the dead heat of summer wearing a thick t-shirt, jeans, & thick socks. That also proves that I had no fashion sense whatsoever.

I used to loath winter because it meant I’d have to wear several layers of thick clothes, which made it cuss near impossible to scratch my extremely itchy skin. I just hated having to peel off layer upon layer just to try & scratch some impossible-to-reach spot on my back (which was chronically itchy as a child with wild allergies). Also, I hated that feeling of “it’s too hot to wear a jacket, but too cold to take it off”. You know, it’s so annoying to lug around a thick jacket, especially when the temperature frequently changes from warm to cold & back, like when you’re walking around a shopping mall & some stores blast the heat while other stores crank up the air conditioning.

It only just happened recently that I’ve come to enjoy winter more & more. I’ve learned a lot, in my most recent years, from Jian about fashion (especially on how to dress more like a proper lady & less like a disheveled longshoreman). Jian has tought me a few key points about adding different styles of jackets into my bland wardrobe, like it’s okay to wear thin zip-ups when it’s warm & heavy coats when it’s cold. I also learned how to appreciate scarves & their benefits. Oh & one other thing… I CAN WEAR ALL THE SOCKS I WANT!!! I love shopping for new socks, & I love wearing them even more, especially thick knitted knee-high socks. Winter is the perfect weather for me to live out my sock-wearing fetish (for lack of a better term).


Aside from learning how to properly wear clothes, I’ve also learned how to take better care of my skin & myself…like finding the right moisturizer/lotion for my skin type. I’ve got to tell you that I’ve found something that’s completely changed my life. You might think this is totally something your Granny/Nana/Grandmother would use, but it’s transformed the way I take care of my skin. Yes, folks. I’m talking about an exfoliating bath towel. You know, those tacky-colored scarf-looking things you’ve seen your Grandma hang in her 1970’s powder blue bathroom. (Hey, these things are still popular in Asian countries.) I am not ashamed to say that I love it. I’m not a very flexible person, especially since I pulled my left shoulder muscle, & it is sometimes hard to reach all the parts of my back in the shower without a little help. This exfoliating towel does wonders to help me scrub my back.


During the winter months my back gets extremely itchy. Using this exfoliating towel really helps me to clean my back, & scrub away the itchiness. This towel exfoliates all the dead skin on my back, & smooths out the scratches & scabs to make my skin look more clear & even-toned, not like I’ve been using barbed wire as a back scratcher. I also use this towel to wash my entire body. I bunch the towel into a ball & proceed to scrub from head-to-toe. Ever since I’ve been using an exfoliating shower towel, for approcimately 3 years & counting, I can realy feel the changes to my skin. My back has been considerably less itchy & rough, & the scabs/scars on my back have slowly been fading (which help me feel more comfortable to wear bathing suits in the summer). Also, I’ve noticed the overall improvement of my body’s skin in general. I’ve always had dry, rough, patchy skin since I was a little kid, but this exfoliating towel has helped smooth out my skin’s texture greatly…like on my elbows & knees, the backs of my arms, & the upper area of my legs. The towel has also smoothed out the scratchy heels of my feet & softened the callouses on the balls of my feet.
You see, I can’t stop raving about the exfoliating shower towel. I am so in love with it. I use it everyday in the shower &/or bath. I take it with me when I travel. I cannot live without it. I used to buy the cheap, cheesy pink ones from the Asian supermarket, but sometimes they run out & don’t stock them on their shelves regularly. So instead, I get all of my inexpensive shower scrubbers at MUJI, which happens to be one of my favorite brands/shops anyway. MUJI carries these bath goods in two colors: white & gray, but I always buy the gray ones. I am pretty sure I’m making these shower towels sound cheesier by the minute, but I just adore them & will keep on using them for the foreseeable future. One thing I forgot to mention, you gotta swap out these towels every few months or so with fresh ones. You know, for sanitary reasons & such.


This winter has been especially cold in the area I live in, which makes it perfect to bury myself underneath all the warm blankets & the comforter of my bed. It’s so hard to get out of bed in the morning when you’re all snuggled up, warm, & floating between sleep & waking up. In the afternoons, I like to make myself a fresh, hot cup of coffee. It doesn’t physically warm me up like a nice pour of Scotch or a cup of tea, but it sure as cuss warms my spirit & my mood. In the evenings, I like to sit by the warm fireplace & relax with my tablet named Richard. It’s enjoyable when I can sit by the fireplace, next to Jian while he’s playing a video game. Right now Jian is playing Final Fantasy XV, which he jokingly refers to as “Four Dudes In A Car”, & I jokingly refer to as “Japanese Entourage“. Most of the time I’m not interested in the video games Jian plays, unless it’s the Uncharted series, but I am interested in this Fibal Fantasygame…mostly because I enjoy the music. (“Rodeo De Chocobo” is my favorite song so far.) Sitting by the fire in the evenings really put me in the mood to take a bath. 

Z
Speaking of which…I think I’m going to go & wash my hair. Until then, cheers.

Today’s song of the day

“Still Waiting” by SUM 41


 
The other day I was eating lunch at one of my favorite cafés, & I was pleasantly surprised by what I witnessed. There were two high school girls sharing their sandwiches with each other (it was a National holiday, so no school for kids). What surprised me was one of the girls said to the other girl, “Let’s put our phones away, so we can have an actual conversation.” That truly shocked me, that there are kids in the Millenial generation willing to put down their smartphones & talk face-to-face with another human being.

Today, I’m back at my local big box coffee shop, writing this blog. I have a difficult time writing at home; mostly, I don’t feel any motivation whatsoever when I’m at home to write anything. I come out to my neighborhood coffee shop, buy an adequate cup of coffee & a less-than-filling pastry, plug in a pair of headphones I confiscated from Jian into my iPod, & begin my mediocre blog writing. Usually I would say that the heavy foot traffic, loud noise, & warm atmosphere coupled with my iPod’s music is what gets my creative juices flowing, but I’m not sure if that’s entirely true. My house is rarely quiet, mostly cold & drafty, but I’ve got a great portable radiator heater to keep me toasty, & I’ve got an immensely larger music playlist on my home computer compared to my small iPod. Somehow, amongst all this outside raucous, I feel most at peace, quiet, isolated (but not alone), & happy to escape for an hour or two.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

I am so excited for this year’s rainy weather. I am not even going to bother with seasons. I can’t even tell what season we’re in over here on the West Coast. We had no rain at all during last year’s winter, hardly three or four frosty days, then got slammed right into spring, which quickly evolved into summer. Summer was impossibly long this year. What is especially true for the area I live in is that we hardly have any sweltering hot days during our summer months. Real summer weather arrives later for my area. We get approximately two weeks of true Indian Summer between September and October. Then, autumn falls down on us like a ton of bricks. The thick marine layer & fog blankets my area quickly throughout the day & turns into windy, chilly nights.

Over the past few weeks, my area has experienced a few rain showers, & one thunder storm, which caused one of my neighbors (two streets down from mine) to have their backyard tree get struck by lightning. The tree got hit by lightning & split in half with one half hitting their roofline. I remember that day clearly because it was raining heavily in the morning, then a thundercloud clapped so loudly that it rattled all of the windows in my house & shook our house a bit. The sound was so loud that I freaked out & hastily ducked under my bed sheets (not that hiding under blankets would’ve done any good). Jian ran out in his pajamas to check on the rest of the house. I’ve never seen him rush out of the room faster. Later that night, we heard about our neighbors & their lightning struck tree on the evening news. The whole experience was both frightening AND exciting at the same time. 

I can’t wait to experience more rain storms with thunder & lightning again. I enjoy watching lightning when it rains. The sound of thunder initially startle me, but I enjoy it once I get used to the sound. I also enjoy going out in the rain. I like being in the car when it’s raining, although I do not like driving in the rain. Driving in the rain, especially by myself, practically terrifies me. I don’t mind if it’s Jian driving though. He has nearly impeccable driving skills (& manners)…especially when it’s raining. I can’t say that I enjoy the frizzy hair part of going out in the rain. My hair gets frizzy the second it encounters anything humid or wet, & I don’t just look like a wet Saint Bernard, I look like a rag doll that’s been dragged through a briar patch by my hair. No amount of hair product, hair brushing, or hair styling can pull my hair out of its frizzy, sloppy, rat’s nest. That’s the only part I cannot stand about rainy weather, but I bet that’s how many ladies feel as well.

It’s a sunny day today. It’s by no means a warm day; the temperatures have been steadily dropping recently, & I hope the weather gets even colder as the days go by. I’m supposed to be going to Disneyland again this Thanksgiving with my nephew & niece. We all go as a family to Disneyland every year as a Thanksgiving tradition, per my older brother’s insistence. Every time we go, it’s always hot. It’s almost December! How can it be hot in December?!?! That’s so not cool (no pun intended). Well, I’m off to enjoy the bright sunshine…and bask in the chilly air with my comfy scarf. Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

“Evil Eye” by Franz Ferdinand

  

soggy afternoon

The weather-caster has predicted rain all week long, & I am very much enjoying this wet weather. During the daytime, I put on some music from my Internet Radio while the rain is peppering the home windows, turn on my portable heater, & hammer through a day’s worth of work from my “home office” (if you can even call my computer station a home office). During the afternoons & evenings, I turn on my gas fireplace & curl up with an e-book on my iPad. (Sometimes I’ll have the TV on in the background.)

The rain makes me feel quite productive; the rhythmic sound of the rain calms my mood & my mind. It truly helps me to focus & get my work done.

On a particular day like today, I’ve already sorted out my daily correspondence, mail/post, bills, & now I’m tackling a mountain mound of laundry. Usually, one does not think of doing laundry on a wet & soggy day full of rain (especially if you’ve got a ton of delicates to hand-wash), but for me, this is a perfect day to get all of my laundry done (not that I save all of my dirty laundry until the last moment.) So, I’m cranking up music from my iTunes program. Today it’s French Pop day; I’ve got Joe Dassin, Françoise Hardy, & Sylvie Vartan on repeat. I’ve just finished ironing a huge pile of dress shirts, & now I can sit down & relax with a cup of hot coffee (with lots of cream & a little sugar, please).

The rain may be preventing me from going on an outing today, but I still feel very much like I have accomplished a lot. Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:
“Don’t Worry Baby” by The Beach Boys
dont-worry-baby-beach-boys

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This past Friday it rained in my city. The weatherman had predicted heavy rain showers throughout the day. I was very much looking forward to this wet, gloomy skied weather. (Gawd knows we need more rain to ease this major drought we’re having in California.)

I must make a little naughty confession. I mostly wish for rain so that I may shirk my home-gardening duty of watering the plants around my house. My house is an Eichler designed home, with big front & back yards as well as a courtyard/atrium in the middle of the house. (My home floor plan is U-shaped & boxy.) Oh, I also live on a pretty steep hill, so my backyard has multiple levels, so let me just say that watering ALL of the plants around my house is a chore & a half!

I’m veering off my original topic. I’m sorry. Let me continue. Where was I? Oh, yes. I was talking about loving the colder, wetter weather. Other than this nasty cold I’m having (& on the day I’m going to my very first Black Keys concert no less!), I’m really enjoying the approaching colder climate. I am looking forward to wearing chunky knit sweaters, & layering, & all that [INSERT HIPSTER FASHION TREND SO I CAN PRETEND TO BE COOL & TRENDY]. Don’t get me wrong. I still love hot weather & sunny days (Try walking the concrete streets of Tokyo in mid-July). However, I am ready to throw on my fluffy down jacket & bust out my itchy, plaid scarf. (Oh the things women will do for fashion…or my lack thereof.)

Rainy days, to me, are fun & motivational. Yes, I said MO-TI-VA-TION-AL. It really gets me in the mood to tackle all of the house chores I normally would push off until it became immensely unavoidable. Sure, when it rains, most people would rather be cuddled under a warm, soft blanket on the couch watching On-Demand movies & drinking hot cups of coffee, or reading a book while sipping on a cup of tea…I did indulge in some of that myself…& I also got shit done (ironing dress shirts, vacuuming the rugs, folding laundry, hand-washing delicate clothes, emptying clean dishes from the dishwasher).

That sense of accomplishment, nothing feels more rewarding, especially when you get to finally settle down on the couch & relax after all is said & done, wrapped up with a neat little ribbon. I feel so at ease listening to the pitter-patter of the raindrops while sipping my second cup of hot coffee. The weather on that day was cold enough to warrant my use of a space heater. I actually turned on the gas-powered fireplace & settled in to play a few puzzle games on my iPad. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I hope more of this colder, wet weather comes again soon. I would like to enjoy more days like these. Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:
“Here’s That Rainy Day” by Stan Getz
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