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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.

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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.

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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 think I may have slightly gained the upper hand in wrangling my self control. Every time I go on a trip, or anywhere for that matter, I have an impulse to want to buy things, gifts for friends or myself. I was much worse in my early 20s. I had no concept of saving & budgeting, & I was feeling very generous, always buying useless, meaningless things.

Now I am trying much harder to control my shopping impulses by reminding myself that I am trying to de-clutter my life & really clean up all the junk I’ve accumulated over the years. Oh, & I am also trying to stick to a budget & all that good practice stuff. I am slowly getting better at controling myself, or more accurately my wallet. On this past trip to Vancouver, I was very much relieved when I didn’t get much chance to do any souvenir shopping. It also helped that I didn’t approach this vacation with any desire to shop whatsoever.

I am happy to report that most of my moola was spent on taxi fare, food, coffee, & ice cream. Who can resist coffee or ice cream? Well, actually, there were one or two times when I gave in to my shopping impulses & bought a few trinkets. However, I try to justify those purchases by saying they’re only small items, & one of the items I bought was handmade by a local Vancouver artist, while another item was a comemorative item from a once-in-a-lifetime art exhibition.

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I got this super weird cute tooth necklace when I visited a fun shop on Granville Island. The shop assistant explained that it was handmade by a local artist from Vancouver. I thought this necklace was really cool, & I like quirky, odd, unique jewelry like this. This is a souvenir I will defintely cherish, & it will always remind me of Vancouver. I’ve already worn this necklace several times, & the best part is that I’ve worn it in the shower (accidentally), & the metal chain does not rust.

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Ok, I hauled a bunch of enamel pins. That’s not really big time news to anybody. I’ve said in the past that I am going to try to limit my collecting of various little things, but I feel like enamel pins can be justified because they’re making a comeback in the fashion world. Slapping enamel pins all over your oversized slouchy denim jacket is in style now. I feel like I’m already ahead of the curve, since I’ve been collecting pins since before they made a comeback as a hipster trend.

A few key pins to make note of are the maple leaf pin, the YVR umbrella pin, & the Takashi Murakami pin. I don’t think I’ll become a ‘Canadiophile’ anytime soon, but I wanted some glaringly cheesy souvenirs to show I had actually visited Vancouver, BC, & I thought buying myself a refrigerator magnet was too boring. (Plus, I don’t stick things to my refrigerator, so there’s no use for a magnet.)

I really wanted to get a unique souvenir to commemorate my visit to the Takashi Murakami art exhibition, but most of his gift shop merchandise was your standard, you-can-get-it-anywhere pop art flower stuff like: pens, postcards, notepads, plushes, & other useless bric-a-brac. The museum gift shop was selling a cool coffee table book & framed art prints, but I was not about to lug those heavy items home in my dinky little suitcase (& run the risk of paying the overweight luggage penalty). So, I got this little pin instead. I find it so much more meaningful that I got something that I took careful consideration in selecting.

In the end, I think I did pretty well, only got a handful of items. I said in my last blog post that I’m going back to Vancouver again with Jian in a couple of months, & next time I’m going to try to focus more on eating, drinking, & adventuring. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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Dude, like really, going to the doctor’s office makes me feel anxious & nervous, even when I have to go in for a routine check-up or for a specific reason; always has, & always will. Going to the dentist’s office also makes me nervous as hell, like, for real, but we’ll get into that some other time. I’ve got a doctor’s appointment scheduled for later this week, you know, before I head on up to Van City, & I’m already feeling the anxiety.

I know that I’m only going to the doctor’s office for a just a follow-up chat with a specialist I’ve already met & talked to before, but it still makes me freak the hell out on the inside. My mind cannot stop thinking about my upcoming appointment, & I’m not liking this one bit. I can’t stop dwelling on this upcoming appointment, feeling terrified of what the doctor may or may not say. I know (in the back of my mind) that I can’t control what the outcome will be after my chat with this specialist doctor, but it worries me to think he might say something that will affect the outcome I would like to achieve.

Once this doctor’s visit is done & over with, I will be able to breath a sigh of relief, & will be able to spend my time in Vancouver with no anxiety looming over my head. I am seriously dreading this appointment, yet I can’t wait to get this over with. I’ve always been little chicken shit scaredy cat when it comes to things like doctor & dental check-ups. Even when I’m going to get a routine teeth cleaning, I’ll feel nervous & on edge all the way until the dental assistant hands me that little plastic baggie with the travel sized toothpaste & dental floss & tells me I get to choose my own free toothbrush color.

I remember crying so hard as a kid whenever I had to go to the dentist (which was all the time, even though I hardly ate sweets or drank soda). I used to cry so hard when I was little that my mom would often pretend that I wasn’t her child when other parents would glance at her in the waiting room of the dentist’s office. It got so bad that my dentist would have to put me to sleep with laughing gas in order to do something as simple as fill a cavity.

Of course, I’m much better now. At least I don’t cry when I’m in the exam room…but that doesn’t mean that I’m not white-knuckle balling my hands into fists as I wait for my name to be called by the nurse. In my head, I’m counting down the minutes to when I can bolt out the door & run for my life to my car to get the hell out of Dodge. My mind drifts to all of the what-if-shit-goes-horribly-wrong scenarios, & that makes me feel even more anxious & on edge. Then, when I finally finish my appointment with my doctor &/or dentist, that’s when I can finally breathe again. I don’t always leave the doctor’s/dentist’s office feeling like I’m on top of the world, but I feel immensely relieved that I won’t have to see that professional for another few months, & then the anxiety train arrives all over again.

Well, I’m going to try to push myself to think more positively about this upcoming doctor’s visit, but I don’t think I’ll be very successful. Once I start feeling those nervous/anxious emotions, it’s hard to jump off that train. All I can do is hope for the best outcome afterwards. Then it’s off to Van City!! I’m so excited for my trip up north, that it’s almost helping me to forget that I’ve got a not-sos-cary-but-yes-it-is-scary doctor’s appointment coming up. Until then, Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

 

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