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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

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It’s that time again for me to show you another collection of mine. OK, I swear I’m not a hoarder. My house isn’t filled from floor-to-ceiling with boxes & mounds of junk. I’ve got carefully curated collections of hand-selected knick-knacks that have some sort of special meaning or purpose in my life. So far, I’ve pretty much shown you my collection of handkerchiefs & hand towels, & in one of my earliest blog posts on this site, I’ve shown you my box of miscellaneous pens, my XL sized box of stickers, & my box of miscellaneous letter sets. One might think I have a problem with letting go of things I don’t use, like I’m overly sentimental regarding personal objects, but I don’t care. I’m a proud collector of the things that I genuinely have interests in.

In this latest installment of my hoarding denial collection cataloging, let me introduce you to my pin/badge/brooch collection. There have been many pins & brooches that have come & gone over the years, but these are the current pins that I’ve kept in my collection.

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  1. I love this victory pin. This is probably my most used emoji on my smartphone, so I was very excited to get this in a pin form. I also love that this pin could also be the “peace sign”.  So, it’s got multiple meanings.
  2. I don’t usually say the word “legit”, but I stil lthought this was a cool pin. I like how it’s written in cursive, & it sounds like very Cali-casual vocabulary.
  3. I saw this large felt pin at LofT in Osaka & immediately fell in love with it. I love the cute characters acting as boyfriend & girlfriend. This pin was supposed to promote a popular webcomic turned into a fictional novel. However, I can’t remember the name of it or what it was about. I just thought this couple was too cute to pass up.
  4. I am a big fan of Nathaniel Rateliff & his music. I am especially a fan of his band Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats. I love their southern, bluesy, alternative-y rock music. They kind of remind me of The Black Keys, which is another rock band I’m a big fan of. I got this pin to commemorate the first time I watched Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats live in concert (just last month).
  5. I haven’t really mentioned this on this blog, but I’ve mentioned it on many ocassions on my Instagram feed. I am a big fan of whisk(e)y & whisk(e)y based cocktails. Yes, I have been known to imbibe a cocktail or two (or three) on the weekends with my friends, & I’ve been known to knock back a few whiskey old fashioneds. I saw this pin at a craft spirits shop, & I had to get it…just for fun.
  6. I attended my first “nerdy” convention, the ID10T Conival hosted by Chris Hardwick (of @midnight The Talking Dead fame). There was a booth there selling pearler bead pins, & these two pins caught my eye right away. I’ve played the Professor Layton puzzle games on the Nintendo DS, & they were fun. I really loved the graphic design/artwork of the Layton video games, so I got these pins to honor the artwork.

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Ever since my first inaugural trip to the fine city of Portland, Oregon I’ve fallen in love with this ice creamery called Salt & Straw. When they decided to open up a location in my town, I was ecstatic. I bought a set of these pins to not only show my love for ice cream, but also for my admiration for this ice creamery.

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Seven years ago I visited the Ghibli Museum in Japan with my friends. We got to watch a short film called Mr. Dough & the Egg Princess. This short film really touched my heart & made me tear up a little bit. I loved the hero character Mr. Dough, but my favorite characters were the royal egg family. The egg princess was so cute. Basically this is the story of a tiny egg-girl who is forced to serve the evil witch, but after a blob of Dough comes to life, she befriends him & both escape from the witch’s home & set off to see the world. This was such a heartwarming story, so I got this set of king & queen egg pins as a little memento of my time spent at the Ghibli Museum, but also because I wanted to get a his & hers pin set for Jian & myself.

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These pins are so random, & I don’t even know why I kept them for so long. When I attended my first Comic Con in San Diego back in 2011, I was so naïve. I grabbed every little freebie & complimentary swag that was being offered. I was taking all of the free posters & pins without even caring what it was about. I picked up the first two pins without even caring what they were. The third pin I got for attending Conan O’Brien‘s special art gallery event for his made up comic book hero called The Flaming C. I got the last pin in Los Angeles when I shopped at the store called General Quarters. The shop attendant let me take this last pin for free after I bought a really awesome eucalyptus candle. I don’t really have anything interesting to say about these pins. They’re so boring & random.

There are two urban streetwear brands from Japan that both Jian & I have been huge fans of since their early days of tiny shops in the back streets of the hip Harajuku neighborhood in the heart of Tokyo. Man, we’ve been loyal supporters & big fans of these brands since the early 2000’s.

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The first brand (which is showcased in the pins above) is called WTaps, a very military inspired brand. The founder of this brand, Tetsu Nishiyama, is a fan of militaria & military history. His brand has branched out from clothing to lifestyle products (like camping equipment & incense burners). Jian & I both love this brand, not really for the military theme, well yes, that, but also because the quality of their products are so amazing & last throughout all the changes of fashion & trends. We’ve each got at least a dozen t-shirts &/or jeans from this brand that have survived countless washing machine beatings over the past 10 years, & they still look nearly as good as the day we bought them. As you can see above, with the exception to the Vespa inspired pin on the far right & the vinyl record symbol on the bottom left, most of these pins are extremely military inspired.

 

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This is the second Japanese streetwear brand I was talking about earlier, NEIGHBORHOOD (a.k.a. NBHD). This brand is also part clothing, part lifestyle products. This brand is more motorcycle/biker inspired, since the founder/creative director of this brand, Shinsuke Takizawa, is an extreme enthusiast of classic & vintage motorcycles (i.e. Triumph, Harley-Davidson, etc.). He even has his own extensive collection of motorcycles, & he displays some of his personal motorcycles at each of his retail shops within Japan. Shinsuke also restores his own motorcycles in his collection.

Both of these two brands (WTapsNBHD) mentioned here are very technical in style & practicality. The quality of their clothing is so good that a lot of the items we’ve purchased over the years have withstood the test of time & repeated washings, & let me tell you that I don’t always treat these clothes delicately. I’m not going out & buying expensive frou-frou detergent for delicate fabrics. I’m only using regular everyday detergent (& sometimes a spray-on stain remover) & an unforgiving washer/dryer set from the late 1990s.

A lot of the clothing Jian & I both buy from these brands have lasted so long, that now we don’t really get the chance to buy as many new clothing pieces. Now we have branched out into getting more of the lifestyle items, like their coffee mugs, incense holders, floor rugs, & other miscellaneous practical items. We used to collect pins from each of these brands every time they would design new sets for the upcoming fashion seasons, but now, we treasure these oldies but goodies which are extremely hard to find now-a-days.

 

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These next set of pins are what I would put in the “just for fun” category. The first two pins are from my & Jian’s best friends. They went to San Diego Comic Con earlier this year (as they do each & every year without fail), & they purposely waited in the long queue at the Peanuts booth to gobble up all of the limited edition Comic Con exclusive products. As a small souvenir, they got us these two pins. (They also got me a Comic Con exclusive Outlander bandana/handkerchief, much to the outwardly-shown ire of many middle-aged Diana Gabaldon/Sam Heughan/Outlander TV show fans, to which I am extremely grateful & thankful to my friends.)

The next pin is a boombox, which I thought could be a cool symbol of the fact that I was born in the 80s decade, & I am a huge music lover. The fourth pin is one that I purchased at a pop-up art gallery for British pop artist Pete McKee. I loved all of his artwork, but wasn’t sure how I’d be able to pack a poster or framed art piece in my suitcase, & I didn’t want to figure out how to pack & ship these items back to my house, so I ended up getting a small enamel pin to commemorate my lovely time in London & to honour all of the phenomenal & eye-opening art I discovered there. I also thought this retro couple riding a Vespa scooter together was very romantic, & that was another reason why I chose this pin.

The fifth & sixth pins are ones I bought in two different stores, but they both carry the same reference. They’re both references to my late-blooming passion & appreciation for cocktails. I never snuck alcohol with my friends when I was a teenager, & I didn’t have much of an interest in drinking when I turned 21 either. It wasn’t until my late twenties when I finally succumbed to my own self-pressure & taught myself how to properly drink alcohol…properly as in learing my limits & trying not to embarrass myself too much. I chose the first of the two pins for its sheer cuteness. I loved the pastel colors & the little cocktail umbrella garnish. I especially loved the phrase “Drink Up” on the bottom of the glass. I’m only a little disappointed that the writing is so small, you’d have to look very closely to be able to read it. The second pin I got because I like to drink Negroni cocktails, but it’s also to commemorate the recently popular event called “Negroni Week” a week-long celebration of one of the world’s great cocktails & an effort to raise money for charities around the world. A few of my close friends work at or own bars in my city, so to honor them & their industry, & to promote charity giving, I wanted to wear this Negroni pin in celebration of a good cause.

The last two pins are sort of a tributary nod to my dad & his background. My dad is from Japan (born & raised), so he has a fine appreciation for sakè. I don’t particularly enjoy drinking sakè, but 99.99% of my family (both maternal & paternal) loves this stuff, especially all of my extended family back in Japan (obviously). So, I got this pin to honor the Japan side of my family.

As for the baseball pin, don’t get upset, but I’m not actually a fan of the San Francisco Giants team. Then why did I get this pin, you ask? Well, at the time, it was during the height of the 2010 World Series, & the Giants were the fan favorites to win the pennant. Almost all of my friends are huge fans of this team, & they’re not happy of the fact that I am a diehard Oakland Athletics fan. I’ve been a fan of the A’s team since birth…well, because whatever dad liked the family had to go along with it, but we did so gladly. I got this pin, mostly because I’m a big fan of baseball (over most other sports, except for European auto racing), & this pin was the most subtle & minimal of all the pins I saw in the sporting goods store. I could support my friends’ fandom of the Giants team & show my love of baseball. On top of that, my dad was such a huge fan of baseball. As a matter of fact, every male member of my dad’s side of the family, all the way down to my nephew’s generation, are all huge fans of this sport. Most of my uncles, including my own father, at one point had opportunities to play professional baseball in Japan. They’ve been playing baseball all throughout their school careers. My grandfather strictly forbade them from trying out for any major league teams, so none of them became professional baseball players in Japan. My dad, however, was able to go to college in America on a baseball scholarship, & he even played baseball for his college team in Texas. That just goes to show how deeply rooted my family is in their love of this sport. A lot of my cousins & nephews all played baseball in high school, & some of them have even won regional awards for their schools.

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This is the last set of pins I’m going to talk about. (I swear I’m rambling too much about nothing here.) I don’t know what propelled me to shop at an urban skateboard & overtly male streetwear shop, but I ended up getting this cool & childlike paper airplane pin anyway. I liked this pin as a nod to being like a kid again & making paper airplanes out of scrap construction paper. The second pin came from a time when I suddenly had an urge to dress more edgy & punk. I thought getting this pirate -slash- biker gang inspired crossbones pin would make me look super edgy & standoffishly cool. Now, I just look at it as a cool Halloween accessory. The very last (but not least) pin is very special to me. It’s a cool leather textured pin that I got in Japan at an iconic & legendary streetwear store that has long since been closed (circa 2010). I really enjoy listening to jazz music, & I thought this pin was so clever combining the trumpet into the word “jazz”. I also really liked the quality of the leather fabric & the metallic silver lettering. Every time I look at this pin, I am reminded of a nearly bygone era & fashion trend in Japan that is slowly fading away.

Most of the underground, legendary & iconic shops that once lined the behind-the-scenes back streets of the Harajuku district have slowly migrated towards the newly revived Shibuya district. Once a cutesy fashion hub for low-budget trendy high schoolers & teeny bopper tweens, Shibuya is slowly becoming the new hub for urban streetwear & avant garde fashion. The back streets of Harajuku, nicknamed Ura Hara, are fading quickly, & most of the iconic shops where you’d see queues lining out the door & wrapping around the street, are now closed. I’m not saying this area is becoming a ghost town, but it surely has lost a lot of its early 2000s charm. In its place are more hair salons, second-hand thrift stores, & consignment shops. Man, I miss the old days of Tokyo, where you’d see all the trendy kids in ghetto streetwear hanging out in the streets. Now all of those places have moved on to the internet or some other far flung neighborhood that’s not easy to get to. I can’t wait to go back to Tokyo & rediscover new places. Until then, cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

“Everclear” (Foo Fighters cover song) by Matt Duncan

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The other day, while I was sitting at the coffee shop & severely procrastinating on writing a new blog post, I was sorting out the thoughts flowing through my mind & making mental notes about myself. I started with going over all of the different quirks & habits in my life that make me stand out. the more I think about these habits/routines/quirks, the more I get a better understanding about how I’ve reached the place in my life where I am now. Stepping back a few paces & really taking a hard look at myself has been a bit of an eye-opening experience.

There are many things that I do, things that seem kind of like rituals, they’re second-nature to me by now. Most of the time I don’t even realize that I’m doing these things, & I don’t consider them strange or unusual. However, an outside person looking into my life would think I’m a bit obsessive compulsive, or rigid/strict, or just plain weird. At first, Jian thought I was being overly dramatic or overly fussy about things, but now I notice him picking up on the things that I do that I don’t really pay much attention to…like wiping down the toilet seat after multiple guests have used our bathroom. I really wish I could say that I’m just a clean freak, but I think I’m slowly becoming a germaphobe. I can say for certain though, that I’ve got weird quirks.

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This is probably my most notable quirk. I’ve mentioned this a couple of times in this blog. There are certain foods that I have to eat a certain way. For example, when I’m eating Asian food with white rice, I don’t like other foods touching my bowl of rice unless it’s meant to be eaten over rice like curry. Also, when I’m eating a snack box, I will eat each compartment separately unless it’s like a Lunchable type of box where all the items are supposed to be assembled to make one snack. The best example I can give is when I go to my local big box coffee shop & get the cheese & fruit protein box. I will eat all the items in a very specific order every single time. First, I eat the fruit. Next, I separate the dried fruit from the nuts & eat them separately (first dried fruit, then nuts). Then, I eat the cheese. Finally, I eat the crackers. I never deviate from this order. Ever.

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In the mornings, I will always make my bed. It doesn’t matter how late I will be, I will make my bed, come hell or high water. This habit has been drilled & etched into my brain from the time I was a small child all the way into my adulthood. It used to be because my bedroom was in an active hallway that guests had to pass through in order to get to the bathroom. My parents used to host a ton of dinner parties for friends & guests, & my mom always wanted my room to look clean & presentable so that when someone walked past my bedroom on their way to the bathroom, it would look nice. As a kid, if I didn’t make the bed up to my mom’s standards (my mom once worked as a housekeeper, so she has high standards), she would make me re-do the bed all over again. Then, when I became a teenager, I would just make my bed anyway, so that I could get my parents off my back & not have to nag me to make my bed. It just became so commonplace & repetitive that eventually it became engrained in my personal habits. Now, I personally will feel sloppy & like my room’s a mess if the bed is not made. I can’t just smooth the comforter over the bed. I have to nicely fold & tuck the sheets in & fluff up the pillows & the whole shebang. I also have to make my bed first thing once I get out of bed. I can’t wait until the end of my morning routine, or wait until I get home in the evening. I have to make my bed, even if it means I will be running late.

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The same goes for my bedtime pajamas. I absolutely must fold them in the morning when I put on my clothes for the day. I can’t just throw my pajamas in a pile on my bed. I have to fold them, & place them in the same spot on my bed each & every morning. Now, I’m not so exacting that I have to fold my pajamas perfectly, but I do have to at least fold them & not wad them up into a ball & throw them on a chair. On top of the pajama organizing in the morning. I also have a self-imposed rule that I should not & I do not wear my pajamas outside of the bedroom area. That means I don’t lounge around the house in my pajamas, not even on holidays, vacations, or relaxing weekends. My dad always taught me that when you get up in the morning, you have to make yourself look tidy & presentable. Wearing pajamas like they’re everyday wear only makes you look like a slob. That’s one word I try extremely hard to kick out of my vocabulary: SLOB. I never want to come off as a slob or a sloppy person. So, I don’t wear pajamas outside of the bedroom. I will be fully dressed in my everyday clothes.

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I’ve got more mundane tales from the bedroom. I’ve got a handkerchief (a few of them actually) that was purposefully given to me by my beloved dad. He hated seeing me sniffling my wet nose all the time, & he detested even more seeing crumpled up wet tissues wadded up in my pockets. So he taught me how to use & appreciate the handkerchief. A lot of kids in my generation either think this type of accessory is either outdated & old fashioned…like something they’d see their grandpas use, or way too hipster fashion. I find handkerchiefs to be extremely functional & cool. I always keep the handkerchief my dad gave me under my pillow. Yes, I sleep with this handkerchief under my pillow every single night. This handkerchief never ever leaves my bedroom (except for when I wash it, obviously). If you already follow my blog, then you’d know that I named this handkerchief Tom Hanks-erchief. I keep a second handkerchief in my purse, & I named that one Colin Hanks-erchief (yes, I named them after the actor Tom Hanks & his actor son Colin Hanks). This handkerchief under my pillow has, in a way,  become my “security blanket”. I feel comforted knowing a piece of my dad’s memory is close to me while I’m sleeping. However, I don’t need to bring a handkerchief with me while I’m traveling. For one thing, I don’t like my handkerchiefs touching foreign objects or foreign beds. Another thing is I don’t want to accidentally leave my handkerchief in the hotel bed & lose it.

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Keeping with the bedroom theme, I can’t fall asleep if the closet door isn’t all the way closed. Sometimes I try to justify my craziness by telling myself that I like everything to be orderly & neat, but really this habit stems from my childhood fears of scary things hiding in my closet & all that jazz. I have a built-in closet in my bedroom, & there is an open space between the top shelf & the ceiling which is covered by the top lip of the door frame. When I was a teenager, I used to scare myself by tricking my mind into thinking there were bugs crawling around up there. One time, I did try to get something from the top shelf, & I thought I felt something move. Ever since then, I never used the top shelf to store any of my things until Jian helped me re-design my closet & put in a new Container Store shelf system. Let me just say that I get scared very easily, even from the littlest things (like over-produced Hollywood movies). These days I know for a fact there is nothing creepy hiding in my closet, but I still like the feeling of my closet doors being 100% closed. They can’t be ajar or have a gap. I feel a sense of completeness & organization when I know the closet doors are fully closed.

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I have a similar situation with my bedroom door. In the beginning, when I was a teenager, I would keep my door closed for privacy. My parents never let me close my bedroom door when I was a youngster, so I felt a huge sense of maturity & freedom once my parents started letting me close my bedroom door. As a teen, I thought I’d be able to hide stuff from my parents if I had my door closed, but I never had anything I wanted to hide or keep secret. My teenage years were fun for sure, but they were also kind of “vanilla”. It wasn’t until I was older when I would close my bedroom door for a sense security. I thought if an intruder tried to attack me, I’d be able to hear them coming through my squeaky door, & that would buy me a few precious seconds to climb out my bedroom window to possibly escape. Now-a-days, I continue to keep my bedroom door closed for security purposes. I feel like a closed door in some way keeps out baddies & evil spirits. I will not be able to sleep if my bedroom door is even slightly ajar. It must be all the way closed.

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I don’t know if this considered part of the “bedroom” category, but it sort of applies to every category. Ever since I started wearing lip balm (a.k.a. chapstick), I must keep a stick of this addictive stuff everywhere. Let me preface this topic by saying I’m a mouth-breather. Due to my childhood health issues, I’ve had major problems breathing normally through my nose & mouth. I’ve since had cosmetic surgery to correct this issue, but I still breathe mostly through my mouth. Sometimes I find it difficult to breathe through my nose. Therefore, I use lots & lots & lots of lip balm to keep my lips hydrated, otherwise they’d be a dry, chapped mess. I use so much lip balm throughout the day that I’ve got to keep a stick in pretty much every place I can think of. I keep one stick on my bedroom nightstand, so I can apply this before I go to sleep. I keep another stick in my purse for obvious reasons. I also keep one in my car for emergencies. I keep another stick in my work desk drawer, & another one in the kitchen…because my lips get super dry after I eat. I know this is nuts. I don’t have to hide several sticks of lip balm all over my house, but let me tell you, I use sooo much of this stuff that it makes sense to me to have so much of it lying around. Yeah, I know I’m another “consumer sheep” keeping the billion dollar beauty industry in business, but I’m OK with that as long as they keep the Carmex lip balms at $1.99USD. LOL!

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This quirk is kind of gross, but I’m going to mention it anyway. This would probably sound better if I told you I was over 65 years old. I mean, it would sound more reasonable if I was a senior citizen with a bladder problem, but I’m neither a senior nor do I have a bladder problem. This is just something that’s developed over time. I used to be able to hold my urine for ungodly amounts of time when I was a teenager & didn’t care about urinary tract infections, or bladder infections, or general health issues whatsoever. Now, I feel like I’m in the bathroom more often than not, especially at night, even more so right before I go to bed. Like the description says above, I’ve got to pee before I go to sleep or else I can’t fall asleep at all. No matter how much I try to will myself to not think about urinating, telling myself my bladder is empty & I don’t need to pee, I just can’t fall asleep. I have to pee at least once before I go to sleep. I guess it’s all in my head, but my body just won’t let me rest.

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This next topic has a connection with my previous bathroom topic. I am constantly, & I mean CONSTANTLY sweeping, vacuuming, picking up loose hairs off the floor. I’ve noticed three places around my house where there’s the most amount of shed hairs on the floor & that’s the kitchen, my bedroom, & my bathroom. No matter how many times per day that I thoroughly brush my hair, I am constantly shedding hair. I even take one of those hair, skin & nails supplements to strengthen my hair & to prevent excessive shedding, but I don’t notice any difference in my hair. I still shed a ton of hair, & no my hair is not thinning…thank cuss. I probably spend at least an hour, cumulatively, per day cleaning up all the shed/loose hairs off the floors in my house. I can’t stand dirty floors, & even worse, I can’t stand seeing hairs everywhere. My bathroom is the hardest hit area of shed hair. I’m constantly taking my cordless Dyson vacuum & cleaning the floor in my bathroom. Not only is it gross to have loose hairs all over the floor, but what would guests think if they saw an unkempt bathroom? Yuck!

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Finally, let me take this loose hair dilemma one step further. I also dislike seeing loose hairs sticking out of my hair brush. I don’t spend ungodly amounts of time per day cleaning my hair brush, but I at least pluck out the loose hairs that stick out to the sides after I brush my hair or use my hair brush to style my hair. I don’t necessarily go so far as to obsessively clean my hair brush, but I at least want it to look neat & tidy. The same goes for my round styling barrel brush as well. I get grossed out if I see loose hairs sticking out of my brushes, & will pluck them until all the loose hairs are gone. It’s just another one of my organizational quirks. I can’t help myself. That’s also probably the main reason why I don’t like to use other people’s hair brushes/tools, & I don’t like to share mine with others. I feel very uncomfortable when I see Jian grabbing my hair brush to brush his hair, even when he has just washed his hair. Knowing that his hairs are tangled in my brush creeps me out. See below for an example of what I’m talking about.

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Well, there you have it. Those are my main habits/quirks/routines/patterns in a nutshell. I know I’m a weirdo, clean freak, obssessive compulsive germaphobe, or something to that effect, but I’m learning to deal with these things every day. I used to jump up & down, rant & rave, & have a mini freak-out over some of these things. However, the more I openly recognize these quirks, the more I’m able to find ways to handle them differently. I try not to let myself fully freak out over these little things, & I think I’m getting a better handle on myself. I embrace these weird aspects of myself, & work on not letting these aspects take over my life. That’s the best I can do. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

“Audi.” by Smokepurpp

audi smokepurpp

Even as a young child my tastes & interests were pretty much all over the place. I liked things both girls & boys liked. I wasn’t a tomboy by any stretch of the word, but I wasn’t feminine/girly either. I’m not sure how best to describe myself other than to say that my interests were split right down the middle. I can’t say that it had turned me into a balanced person, but it opened my eyes up to new interests. Let’s take a look at what I was into when I was a little tyke.

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  1. One of the first toys I remember playing with as a young child was LEGOs. I remember my mom had bought me a bucket of miscellaneous pieces, & I would sit in my room & build stupid things. Not things like cars or houses like most normal kids. No, that wasn’t me. I clearly remember one time when I built a toy gun. I thought I was being badass & rebellious at that age (I was probably about 6 or 7 then). I was being really secretive about it, & when someone would pass by my room to check on me, I would pretend that I was making alphabet letters or random shapes. I was so scared that one of my siblings would notice I was making a toy gun & tattle tale on me to my mom. After building my toy gun & feeling so smug that I had made a weapon of zero destruction, I quickly took apart all of the pieces to hide the evidence of my not-so-nefarious creation.
  2. When I was a kid I used to be utterly obsessed with the cartoon character Strawberry Shortcake. I loved her, & I wanted to be just like her living in a cute house next to all of my friends with cute fruit-y dessert sounding names. I always hated it when the Peculiar Purple Pieman came to ruin all the fun & happiness. I don’t even remember how I got introduced to Strawberry Shortcake & her sweet friends. All I can remember from my childhood is that I used to own a few VHS tapes of the show & a vinyl record of the Strawberry Shortcake theme song. My aunt even hand sewn a red security blanket for me with a huge Strawberry Shortcake pattern on it. I still have that blanket to this very day, & it looks just as new as the day my aunt gave it to me. I rarely used it as a security blanket. I mostly kept it folded up & tucked away so I wouldn’t get it dirty or worn out. (So typical of me!)
  3. I remember playing with Transformers when I was a little girl. I didn’t own any of the robo-toys myself, but there was a Japanese boy who lived up the street from me who owned a few of the Japanese versions of these awesome toys, & we used to play together while our moms hung out like two chatty 「おばあさん」(Sorry, mom). This boy let me play with his Optimus Prime, while he played with his other much cooler Japanese robo-toys & kaiju toys. I also used to enjoy watching the American cartoon on TV. I didn’t understand, or care to understand, the rivalry between the Autobots & the Decepticons. All I cared about was how cool it was to have a car that morphed into a talking robot friend. By the way, my two favorite characters when I was a kid was 1. Optimus Prime because he was the cool leader, & 2. Bumblebee because he was a small-ish yellow car, & I was a small kid. 
  4. When I was a little kid, we had a male teenage cousin living with us for a couple of years. My cousin was super awesome & cool. He was like a big brother figure to me (aside from my actual brothers), & we used to play together. This cousin used to collect G.I. Joe action figures when he was younger along with MAD Magazine comics. I wanted to play with him & my older siblings, so I got into this line of toys so that we could have a common interest. Of course, I wanted to get all the female action figures, even if they were on the enemy Cobra team. My cousin had tons of these action figures, & I only had one…the lady with the white ski outfit & the removable skiis, which my cousin always reminded me not to loose the skis for my action figure or else he wouldn’t let me play with his G.I. Joe figures anymore. I don’t know why I chose that figure in particular. I just wanted something I could play with alongside my cousin. Did I mention that I also watched this cartoon as well? I used to watch tons of cartoons as a child. My family, especially my generation, revolved around the television set.
  5. My sister’s (biological) dad used to work in the import-export industry, & he used to work with Sanrio, the company that started the Hello Kitty trend. My sister’s dad used to send her a bunch of free Hello Kitty stuff like stationery & toys, & when she got older, she would pass down her stuff to me that she didn’t want. That’s partly how I became utterly obsessed with all things Sanrio. It also helped that my aunts & uncles in Japan would send my dad care packages & include a few Hello Kitty toys for me. I loved watching the Hello Kitty & Friends TV show, & had a few VHS tapes of the movies. Then, when I was in Kindergarten, I met a Japanese girl in my class who had the same interests as I did. She lived in my neighborhood, & our parents became close friends. Since both of our dads were Japanese living in an American suburban neighborhood, they were able to speak Japanese to each other, & that brought our families closer together. This girl quickly became my best friend & our mutual love of all things Hello Kitty strengthend our bond. Even after my friend moved back to Japan in the 3rd grade, our families still keep in touch. 
  6. Go Bots is like the red-headed, black sheep, wannabe, lesser counterpart to TransformersTransformers fans absolutely crush Go Bots to oblivion, & it’s kind of taboo to say you like both toy/cartoon franchises. I liked Go Bots about as much as I liked Transformers. I loved how cars & other vehicles could morph into talking robots. Like I mentioned before, I was super into watching cartoons when I was a kid, so it was only natural that I watched this cartoon as well. I pretty much watched all of the cartoon hit shows.
  7. I really liked Rainbow Brite. I had a Rainbow Brite doll, & I loved braiding her yellow yarn string hair. I also loved her rainbow colored outfit with the pink-ish/blue-ish iridescent colored skirt, & the cute little star tattoo on her cheek (like a little beauty mark). I was into Rainbow Brite around the same time that I discovered the TV show Punky Brewster. I loved how they both wore colorful clothes & went on awesome adventures. I used to play with my Rainbow Brite doll & pretend that she was my little sister.
  8. How did I ever discover Thor, of all characters? This was right around the age when I started to have crushes on boys & was practically infatuated with any male star on TV (like actor Scott Baio when he appeared on Happy Days as Fonzi‘s cousin Chachi). I think I had somewhat of a crush on this beefy, blonde Norse god, but I was mostly envious of Thor’s winged helmet & powerful hammer, which I used to call a mallot (don’t ask me why). I sooo wanted a winged helmet like Thor’s helmet . There’s not much else I can say about why I liked Thor of all the action hero characters from the 80s and so on. I just thought he was super cool, & I kind of wanted long, shiny hair like him.
  9. OK. My love of Care Bears is a whole lot easier to explain. All the kids in my family loved Care Bears. When my siblings, cousins, & I were all younger kids, I’m not sure who decided this, but we were all assigned a specific Care Bears character to be our personal mascot. Mine was Friendship Bear, the bright pink bear with the rainbow 🌈  on its tummy. I loved how cheerful & happy this character was. (I’m like my 9-year old nephew in a lot of ways, mostly because we don’t like sad or negative scenarios. We like happy endings & positive scenes.) When we were all younger, each of us kids had our own Care Bears stuffed animal & toys, & some of my cousins also had Care Bears security blankets & stuffed pillows sewn by my aunt. All of us as kids watched the Care Bears movies & TV shows. We played with all of the posable action figures & Play-Doh putty kits. It just became our “thing”. I’m not sure of the origins & how this all came about, but I remember this Care Bears theme running in our family when we were all young kids.
  10. So, for this explanaition I’m going to lump He-ManShe-Ra together. Yes, they go together anyway since they’re both siblings. However, I will confess that when I was a little kid, I thought He-Man She-Ra were boyfriend & girlfriend. I had no idea until I was a teenager that they were actually brother & sister. When I was little, I pretended that He-Man She-Ra were dating. Well, I ended up scratching that childhood memory once I learned they couldn’t exactly date each other. I loved He-Man sooo much when I was a kid. I guess I had a thing for blonde super heroes because I also really liked He-Man‘s blond hairstyle in this cartoon. The bowl cut reminded me of so many Asian boys that went to my primary school. My favorite Masters of the Universe character had to be Cringer at the time. He was such a wimpy lil’ chicken shit, & I could totally relate to that because when I was 8 years old, I also was way too wimpy & mousy to do anything outside of my comfort zone. (That’s also probably why I loved Scooby-Doo because he was a wimp too.) I also was super in love with She-Ra‘s horse Spirit, but especially when it turned into a rainbow-colored magical unicorn (a.k.a. Swifty). I remember having a He-Man & a She-Ra action figure when I was a kid. I wanted a Battle Cat figure, but my mom said it was too ugly, plus I didn’t like Cringer’s face, so I ended up getting a Swifty figure instead & was so pumped when I could play with it in the bathtub & pretended it was a swan that could swim. Yes, I was a weirdo back when I was a mere 8-years old. (I once also jumped into the bathtub with my socks on when my sister dared me to do it. If anyone tried to dare me to do that now, I would probably scream bloody murder & physically attack that person for even suggesting such an aggregious act of barbarianism.) My most fondest memory of my childhood was one time when I forced my parents to take me to the event center to watch He-Man On Ice. I also made them buy me a light-up plastic He-Man souvenir sword that would say “By the power of Gray Skull…” when you pressed a button on the hilt. I also got one of those souvenir flashlights with the fiberglass strings at the end that spun around when you pressed on the button. Looking back on my childhood now, I can’t even begin to decipher why I wanted to be like He-Man (& not She-Ra). I wanted to be a blonde buff guy with a bowl haircut & a wimpy, chicken shit green tiger sidekick.
  11. Last but not least, I had to say one of my most favorite toys was a pair of expandable plastic roller skates that weren’t even real roller skates at all. They were clip on roller skate wheels that you attached to your shoes & could barely  skate around the concrete patio in your backyard. I found a great commercial on YouTube to show the awesomeness that were Fisher-Price roller skates (a.k.a. “practice skates”).

I would put on these skates every day & ride around in my backyard, pretending I was cool & like I was in an imaginary race with other skaters. I wore these skates out. I was so excited when I found out they were adjustable & I could expand them to fit my growing, yet still small, feet. I wore them until my feet could no longer fit in them. Then my mom gave them away to a lady she knew who had little kids of her own, but couldn’t afford to buy toys like this. When I wore these Fisher-Price roller skates around my backyard, I thought I was so badass doing some sort of extreme sport. That just goes to show how crazy my imagination was, even at such a young age.

You see, even at a small age, I was able to stretch my imagination, even if it was beyond far fetched & dumb. I’ve always said, especially to myself with my own inner thoughts, that I have an overactive imagination. That’s what fuels me to write. It’s what motivated me to start a real blog. Many moons ago, I used to have a failed LiveJournal account. I also tried to start a so-called blog on Facebook when they once had a notes feature. At least on Facebook, I was once able to write 100 consecutie notes in a daily challenge I set for myself. It’s all of these things from when I was a kid that propelled me to where I am today, writing this blog post for you. I hope you enjoy, & this somehow takes you back to when you were a child & gets you to think about what kinds of toys & characters inspired your inner child. Until then, cheers mates!!

Today’s song of the day:

“Wait for the Moment” by Vulfpeck

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The other day I was at a shop, & I saw a guestbook at the checkout counter where you were encouraged to write some things about yourself & share your fun facts with others. I decided to copy the lines from this fun book & write one about myself. Maybe this will help you get to know me better. I certainly would like to get to know more people better. Also, I want to make myself known more, & not be so antisocialreclusivealoneclosed off. Here goes nothing….

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Today’s song of the day:

“Submarine” by Alex Turner

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