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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:

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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:

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:

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