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Well, yesterday I cut the pad of my index finger on my left hand. I was opening the metal screw cap of a bottle while I was cooking, & I scraped my finger along a sharp edge of the cap. It wasn’t a deep cut, luckily; merely scratched skin, but I still wasn’t expecting the cut to sting this much…even on the second day. Ok, enough about my injury. Let’s get on to some more pressing matters.

I AM NOT GOING TO SAN DIEGO’S INTERNATIONAL COMIC-CON THIS YEAR. I am so bummed out about it, & so is Jian. We were really looking forward to it since we had such a blast at last year’s convention. This year we were even able to grab a pair of full weekend tickets, but alas, we got pushed out of the hotel balloting selection. Each year, the process of buying Comic-Con tickets & booking hotel rooms is getting exponentially worse. It can’t be helped when the convention’s own popularity nearly doubles year after year. People from all over the world flock to a little slice of downtown San Diego for a long weekend of comic books, superheroes, video games, celebrity sightings, good food, overflowing drinks, & plenty of outdoor activities & free swag being handed out left & right.

Last year we each barely squeaked by with getting two single day tickets. If you’re not a yearly ticket holder, you will 95-99% be shit out of luck in getting any sort of convention entrance ticket(s) &/or hotel room(s). This year we got entrance tickets for the full weekend, but we got waitlisted when we tried to ballot for hotel rooms. The process this year to ballot for hotel rooms was supposed to be randomized to ensure complete fairness to everyone holding a ticket, but it ended up being such a complete clusterfuck, that people resorted to Reddit & Craigslist for any available hotel rooms or room swaps. Jian & I were so disappointed by the way the hotel balloting process was handled that we essentially said “fuck it“, & decided not to go to the convention this time around. (Last year’s process was better, not by much, but still better.) Our friends are disappointed that we won’t be able to hang out together this year in sunny San Diego, but we feel we’ve made the right decision. We’d rather save the money we would’ve spent at the convention & put that money towards our big trip to London this year.

I can’t believe that London is an actual possibility for us this year! By not going to Comic-Con, we will be saving at least $1.5k-$2k USD. That’s a good chunk of money we could easily put towards our London trip. If we buckled & agreed to pay the exorbitant prices for hotels in San Diego & decided to go to the convention, we would’ve had to forgo our plans for a European vacation for a long while. Both Jian & I have never been to any European country in our lives. We’ve always had grand ideas about visiting the very cities our favorite foods & bands originated from, but we’ve never acted upon those ideas; always making excuses to travel elsewhere, mostly to Asia. This year, I am determined to visit at least some part of Europe. It has been a lifelong goal of mine, & I want to make it happen. Look, I’ve already been to Comic-Con, twice. I am OK with not going again. I’d rather use the money to visit a place I’ve never been to before. I want to break out of my comfortable bubble.

So, after we request to refund our tickets to the convention (Yes, you have to file a request to get a refund. How ridiculous is that?), we will start firming up our plans to visit London. But first, Asia. Yeah, yeah, yeah! We are still going back to Asia this year, possibly multiple times. First, I am going to fulfill Jian’s dream of visiting Hong Kong with him. He’s been wanting to go to Hong Kong with me for a long time. He wants to play tour guide & show me around all the different districts, & introduce me to many delicious Cantonese comfort foods. Although Jian is Cantonese, he’s actually from the mainland (a.k.a. the Motherland), not actually from Hong Kong, though most of our friends are from there. From Hong Kong, we will head over to Jian’s hometown in Guangzhou (southern China) to visit his aging grandparents, whom Jian is still very close to. Jian’s extended family are awesome, so I am looking forward to hanging out with them.

Later on this summer, my cousin whom I’m extremely close to, will be going to Japan for the first time. She is a typical teenage anime Otaku & an aspiring Japan-o-phile, & she is really looking forward to visiting the land of all her anime dreams come true. Her parents gifted her with this trip once she finishes this current year of high school, & once my mom heard of this trip, she immediately wanted to tag along with them. She quickly invited me to go with them, but I had to decline at the time because this Japan trip was going to coincide with my plans for Comic-Con. Now that I’m not going to the convention, I am considering tagging along with my cousin to Japan. I’d love to be her tour guide & show her around to all of the places she wouldn’t be able to go to with just her parents &/or my mom.

If I do decide to go with my cousin, I’d feel a little awkward not getting in touch with my cousins in Japan. I’d love to see them again & spend time with them, especially since we are the oldest generation in our family now. It’s just us & our kids. All of the grandparents & all of our parents (aunts & uncles) are gone. I have no more aunts & uncles except for the ones who married into our family, but no more by blood. My dad & all of his brothers & sisters have all passed away. My generation of relatives are all that’s left to keep this family together. I wonder what my mom would say if I told her I’d like to meet up with my cousins if we truly decide to visit Japan this year. This is a discussion best left for another time. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

Let me start off by giving you a big recap of what’s been going on in my life. Things are finally starting to slow down enough that I can get back into my boring routine. I am a creature of habit, so I like being able to do my specific routines for each day of the week. Today, I’m back at my local big box coffee chain, sitting in my new regular spot, since my local store very recently remodeled & reconfigured their entire place. I feel at ease now that I’m back to my recurring habits. I can settle down again & continue my writing.

Let’s continue. After coming back from our weekend snow getaway in Lake Tahoe, Jian & I had to quickly wash our laundry & re-pack our suitcases for San Diego. My mom just turned 70 this year, which is a pretty big milestone for her, so she wanted to do something special with her immediate children & grandchildren. Originally, she had this grand & lavish idea to invite all of us to Hawaii, but she couldn’t justify the astronomical cost, & we were making last-minute plans which made Hawaii impossible. So, we decided on San Diego as an alternative destination. It was so much more affordable than Hawaii, & the little kids had an incredible time anyway.

Jian was able to score us a pair of rooms at the Marriott hotel again. This was the exact hotel we stayed at during last year’s Comic Con. Sadly, we wer not able to get Jack-and-Jill bedrooms, but at least we were able to stay on the same floor & were only separated by one room. My sister’s kids had so much fun running back & forth between our rooms, & we were located directly infront of the main elevators, so the kids had a huge corridor to run around in without disturbing other guests. We had a blast altogether. The weather was great, not hot, but not cold either.

It was unfortunate that it wasn’t hot enough to go swimming everyday, but my niece LOVES to swim, so she did so regardless of the windy weather. We took the kids to Sea World for the first time, & my mom nearly jumped out of her skin when looking at the admission prices. (Seniors & children don’t even get a discount!) On top of that, half of the exhibits & shows at the park were closed. I understand my sister’s desire to take her kids to Sea World at least once in their lives before it shuts down, but we were all disappointed. Well, we were sort of expecting it, ever since the scathing documentary Blackfish aired on TV, Sea World suffered immensely. At least we can all check this one thing off our bucket lists.

My mom overall had the best time celebrating her birthday in San Diego. She got to celebrate her birthday with all of her siblings before going to San Diego with a nice Chinese banquet, so nobody felt left out of the celebrations. She also got to spend quality time with her immediate children & her favorite grandchildren. She also got to spend more quality time with her sister, & they had so much fun gossiping, chatting, & laughing the entire time. It was great for all of us to each have someone in our age range to hang out with & talk to. The best part was that the little kids had the most fun out of all of us.

Oh, did I forget to mention that I got sick, yet again? Of course, I should add this to my list of routines & habits. Every time I am around my sister’s kids, I always end up contracting whatever illness they have at the time. I should also mention that my sister’s kids get sick very easily, & they are almost always sick or have a cold (even though my sister takes them to get regular vaccinations & doctor’s check-ups). These kids are always climbing on top of me or grabbing at me, wanting my undivided attention; they always want to be near me or play with me. I end up letting my guard down too much around them, then easily contract whatever virus or germs that are incubating in their little pod bodies. I got a severe cold on our way home from San Diego. Then, on top of that, just as I’m recovering from that, I had to get a mild fever because stupid me decided to fall asleep with the bedroom window open. At least my fever only lasted 24 hours, but it was still irritating.

I’m all rested, refreshed, & have a clean bill of health as of recently. Jian & I are planning yet another trip. The first quarter of the year hasn’t even passed, & we have already been on three or four trips. Ok, look, we are not purposely spending so much money & time going on all of these trips & vacations. A lot of our recent trips have been pre-planned family events, & we only took some brief time for ourselves to go play in the snow. Starting from the end of last year, we’ve already been planning a few major trips for this year before I really settle down & focus on becoming a mom in the future.

Our next trip will be to Asia (again). For awhile now, we’ve been talking about visiting Jian’s grandparents in southern China. Jian’s mom recently came back from visiting her parents, & she told us that their health has been steadily deteriorating from the last time we visited them 2+ years ago. So, we ultimately decided to make our own plans to visit them before it’s too late. Jian is very close to all of his grandparents, so this trip will be extremely important to him. Although this will be a serious trip, we will also be able to sneak in a little fun for ourselves. We found an affordable travel package deal that allows us to have a several day layover in Hong Kong before we visit Jian’s relatives in China. Jian has been desperately wanting to go with me to Hong Kong for years. I’ve been putting off visiting Hong Kong because for a long time it hasn’t held much interest for me. I’ve visited Hong Kong a few times when I was a child, but I never felt the urge to go back. I’ve always wanted to visit Europe, & we finally were getting around to planning our big trip to visit a European destination this year. However, this China is taking precedent over our Europeam vacation.

Jian & I were making plans to visit London. We had our desired hotel picked out, & we even settled on our travel dates, but all of that is taking a backseat to our mission to spend precious time with Jian’s grandparents, who are now confined to wheelchairs. I was initially disappointed to be putting our European vacation on hold (at least for the time being), however, I am very excited to spend time with Jian’s wonderful grandparents. I don’t have any grandparents of my own anymore, so spending time with Jian’s grandparents is a little bittersweet for me. I am also excited to be visiting Hong Kong after so many years. Jian can play the tour guide and show me around. Jian is not originally from Hong Kong. Out of all of our Cantonese friends, Jian & our friend Angela are the only two who are born directly from the motherland (Jian is from Canton, & Angela is from Macau). Everyone else in our group is actually from Hong Kong. However, Jian has a vast knowledge of Hong Kong, & has visited the area many, many times. It will be a relief to travel with someone who can speak Cantonese, even though many Hong Kong locals can speak English. This will be a new experience for us. Hopefully we will be able to also squeeze in our London trip this year. I guess we will see how this all plays out.

Now I’m going to end this blog post right here. I can finally stop writing & go back to reading my Whisky Magazine. Yup, I said WHISKY. In case you didn’t already know, I am a huge fan of whisky (& bourbon). Most of my favorite distilleries come from Japan & Scotland. However, I have discovered one special distillery from Taiwan that I really enjoy. There are just too many to enjoy. So this time, I really mean it when I say CHEERS!

Today’s song of the day:


December 2022

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