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I swear, I’ve never been sick this many times in my entire life. Maybe when I was a young child, but as an adult, I get my flu shot every year. I get regular check-ups with my physician. I don’t understand why I’ve been getting sick so easily these past few months. Having a cold is the worst, especially when you get one so close to your next travel plans.

Next weekend I’m going to Los Angeles to celebrate my niece’s 7th birthday, & get professional family portrait photos taken as a belated birthday gift from my sister to my mother. I’ve been struggling through this dumb cold for the past week. What started off as cold sores on the back of my tongue, making everything I ate taste super sour, & making swallowing &/or talking difficult, turned into sneezing, coughing, runny noses, & sore glands behind my ears.

I’d like to think I properly take good care of my health & my body. My eating habits have gradually become healthier with me eating more fruits & vegetables & cutting back on sugars & starches. I take multivitamins daily. I also regularly work out at the gym a few times a week.

I freaking hate being sick because whenever I do get sick, it hits me hard like a ton of bricks. I don’t just get a few sniffles & itchy eyes. I get the full works! Coughing like I have bronchitis. A runny nose that gets rubbed raw. Sneezing 3, 4, 5 times in a row…AND…sneezing so loud it A.) hurts the back of my throat, which quickly makes me lose my voice, & B.) it scares the hell out of the people living in the house with me. Plus, sometimes I will get a small tension headache or fever in the middle of my cold.

I try not to dope myself up with too many pills or medicinal syrups, but sometimes I get so frustrated with being sick that I wish I could chug a whole bottle of NyQuil in one go. This cold I’m having now is really putting my body through the wringer. It’s the weekend, & I want to enjoy the nice weather, but all I want to do is lie down on my bed & sleep right now. I hope I can get well before next weekend. Until then, cheers, I guess.

Today’s song of the day:

“Oh, Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison


craziest time

So, remember that one time when I said I got a head cold? Well, guess what? Immediately after that happened, I seriously pulled a muscle in my left shoulder. My mom says that I pulled a rotator-thing-a-ma-jiggy because she pulled the exact same muscle in her right shoulder several months ago. However, I’m neither a doctor nor am I a physical therapist, so I’m just going to say that I pulled a generic muscle in my shoulder. The left one. Oh man, if you’ve never pulled a muscle in your body before, & this was my first time pulling a major muscle, you should feel so lucky, & grateful , & all that good stuff because it is definitely no picnic in the park…I’ll tell you that for sure.

Can you ever imagine, not being able to lift your arm even 45 degrees? Or not be able to put on a shirt or a bra? Or not be able to pull up your pants after you’ve finished peeing? Unless you are physically disabled, or have had a major accident or an outdoor/sports injury, I don’t think it’s imaginable. The struggle was real, guys. My shoulder was throbbing so bad from the pinch & the pain that it even hurt to keep my arm straight at my side. Ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating slightly, but this was my very first experience pulling a muscle in my body, so of course I’m going to throw in a little over-the-top whining.

I’m just so thankful for my slight compulsive disorder to stockpile my medicine cabinet at all times, & for having tons of Salonpas pain relieving patches on-hand. Those sticky little mentholated, medicated pain relieving patches saved my aching shoulder. I slapped on several patches all over my shoulder, twice daily (once in the morning & another time at night), & after three days of having a non-working arm, I’m all patched up & well on my way to a full recovery.

So, that was my sort of depressing start to the month of December. I was very much looking forward to decorating our Christmas tree, but since I couldn’t lift my arm more than 20 degrees, my mom helped me with the decorations, & now our house looks festive & ready for Christmas!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

I thought I was being so clever by ordering some of my Christmas gifts online. Geez, I was wrong. I ordered two special gifts for my two older nieces online, & when the shipment arrived in the mail, the company got the entire order wrong & only sent me half of the items I paid for. I then made a special trip to the shopping mall to have my order corrected, only to be turned away by the store manager with her standard spiel about not being able to fulfill or correct website purchases, & that I would have to call their customer service hotline to rectify this glaring error. I was a little upset having to deal with this stupid mistake (which is entirely the fault of the company & its website staff), especially when Christmas is not so far away. I mean, nobody likes to have missing gifts at Christmastime. Well, I ended up canceling my entire order, sending back the half items that were sent to me, & bought my nieces something else entirely.

I’m rather relieved that most of my other online purchases arrived in a timely manner, & were the actual correct items. My Christmas shopping list is nearly complete, & I’m waiting for two more items to arrive in the mail. I’m ready to snuggle up beside the fireplace & watch some trashy reality TV shows. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

“Laura” by Coleman Hawkins

laura-by-coleman-hawkins


Well, I just finished up celebrating he Thanksgiving holiday, & I’m so pooped, but that’s probably because I got a severe sinus & head cold right after returning from a fabulous trip to Disneyland (yet again, on both, being sick after a vacation & going to Disneyland after Thanksgiving). My body is still trying to push out the last bit of phlegm & mucous still lingering in my chest & sinus, but otherwise, I feel like I’m almost recovered. Boy, oh boy! I had a migraine during my cold so severe that it made me couch-ridden for nearly two days. 

Ugh, being sick right at the start of Christmas season is such a bummer. I wanted to decorate my tree early, so that our house would have decorations up throughout the entire month from start to end, but I ended up getting so sick that I had to put off my crazy decorating until just yesterday. Now I’m so excited that my beautiful Christmas tree is up, & it’s really getting me into the mood of this holiday season. I haven’t gotten any present shopping done yet,  but I’ve got ideas swirling around in my head, & once I put my mind to it, I can get my Christmas shopping done in no time. Until then, I’m going to drink some more hot tea & rest up some more, so I don’t aggravate my annoying cough. Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

“I’m Glad There Is You” by Oscar Peterson for Stan Getz



A few weeks ago I took a small trip to Washington DC. I accompanied my mom to DC so she could attend the wedding of a friend’s daughter. Now that my mom is widowed, she often does not like to go to places by herself, especially since she used to have a very special person to do everything with & now suddenly doesn’t. My other siblings are all much older now living in far away places, married, divorced, with children of their own, or often traveling for work. My mom lives with me, & I take care of her (a.k.a. keep her company). I enjoy all the time I spend with her, especially since we get along so well, almost like sisters but still maintaining that mother-child boundary. I had such a blast going with my mom to DC. We turned her wedding invitation into a small sightseeing trip. We tried not to let the soggy weather bring us down.

Well, what an eventful trip we had. Before we left home, we checked the weather forecast & knew that there would be rain on most of our days in our nation’s Capitol. However, we were not fully prepared for the looming hurricane (named Joaquin) supposedly meant to barrel right into the east coast states. Lucky for us the hurricane was first predicted to hit our region on the day after we were flying back home. Then, later it was reported that the hurricane didn’t even touch the region we visited at all, & instead the hurricane hit other south-eastern regions. Needless to say, we still got hit by a case of the rainy day blues. We prepared by bringing our own umbrellas & raincoats. I thought I had brought the proper pair of boots for the rain, but after three years of owning these cheap H&M brand water-resistant shoes, it gave up on me. It just happened to be on the big day we were planning on visiting the Smithsonian’s history museums.

We started out our morning by first visiting the National Monument. (We had no idea you had to reserve tickets months in advance if you want to go to their observation room.) Everything was going great with our umbrellas out, our raincoats zipped up, & our feet warm & dry in each of our boots. Out of nowhere, I felt a rush of coldness overtake my feet. That’s when it hit me that my socks were soaked through & the insoles of my shoes were getting soggy. It was the most uncomfortable, unpleasant experience for a neat freak like myself who always has to keep her clothes clean & must always wear clean socks. I thought the rest of my day was going to be ruined until the museum gift shop saved my life (figuratively). My mom felt bad for my situation (& I think she was getting sick of hearing me whine about my wet feet), so she bought me a pair of American flag themed socks. The socks looked so tacky, but I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I generously & graciously wore the socks. Surprisingly the cheesy socks were thicker & much more comfortable than the original socks I had worn…& THEY WERE DRY!!! I also had to stuff my shoes with paper towels to dry them as much as possible. 

After that wet socks fiasco, we had the most amazing time at the MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY. This was by far our most favorite & memorable museums. I could spend an entire day in this place & never be able see everything. I would definitely come back to this museum again & again.

OH MY GAWD!! IT’S JULIA CHILD’S KITCHEN!!!

Let me interject at this point by saying we didn’t take many pictures on our trip. (I know…what a shame, since there’s so much history to be captured on film.) Every day we encountered wind & rain, loads of city construction, hoards of obnoxious tourists blocking everything with their unnecessarily oversized cameras & country bumpkin mannerisms, & it was hard to take pictures in museums with a camera phone in one hand & an umbrella in the other hand.

At the last minute we decided to rent a car instead of using Uber &/or public transportation, so we could get around in the rain easier as well as have the freedom to go to more hard-to-reach places. We truly got to explore a more local side of Washington DC on this trip. We took my mom to restaurants & shops she would normally never set foot inside of, let alone hear about. One of the restaurants we got to try out was called Succotash. It was across the street from our hotel & had only been open for two weeks. That was my mom’s first time trying authentic Southern cooking.

Another memorable eatery we visited was Maketto. It’s one part restaurant, one part clothing store, & one part coffee shop. I would like to pause here & say that I have never met people more friendly & warm than the employees working at Maketto. They really made our soggy day feel good. We made a pitstop to have a cup of coffee, & for Jian to browse through his favorite Japanese clothing brands (he broke down & bought a great t-shirt). The coffee barista mixed up my drink order, so he graciously offered me a complementary pastry. Their hospitality made my day.

Other notable places we visited…one I must mention is The Round Robin Bar at the Willet InterContinental Hotel. This bar is nearly 200 years old, the oldest existing bar in all of DC, & has been graced with the patronage of many presidents past & present. We first heard of this bar from watching a show on TV, & were quite surprised we were able to get seats at the counter even when the hotel was hosting a busy Republican National Convention event. We had a few cocktails & snacks, chatted with a retired couple sitting next to us, & sped off to have a quiet Thai dinner at a restaurant called Rice in the hip Logan Circle neighborhood. We found an awesome ice creamery (Dolcezza) that served Portland, Oregon’s famous Stumptown Coffee (but these beans were roasted in NYC, not PDX). That’s how we capped off our night. Handmade craft gelato & Stumptown coffee.

Along the way, we visited two more Smithsonian museums: Air and Space Museum Natural History Museum. My mom got her biggest wish granted. She finally got to take an up-close look at the infamous Hope Diamond. It is so beautiful, but looks a lot smaller in person than it does in pictures & on TV. I’d still like to own one for myself…an un-cursed one of course. While walking through the aquariums & the oceanography exhibits at the Natural History museum made us all crave seafood, so we made a beeline to Sushi Capitol for some delicious nigiri-style sushi. Hey, that’s kind of what happens when you see all those fishes swimming around in their tanks while on an empty stomach. I ended up eating 21 pieces of sushi all by myself. My all-time sushi eating record is 22 pieces. There’s a popular sushi restaurant near my house that once had a customer who ate 90 pieces of nigiri sushi in one meal. They challenged me to beat that guy’s record, but I don’t think I could do it. Not even my dad could do it, & he’s the only person I know who could match my sushi eating record. Let me add in that it’s not easy to eat so much sushi, even though they look bite-sized…especially with the extra fatty pieces. Those types of fish tend to stick to your stomach & make you feel fuller, faster. All that sushi rice only adds to the fullness too.

Finally, the wedding day comes around. The daughter of my mom’s best friend is getting married to her law school sweetheart. My mom has been friends with this family for over 40 years, since before she immigrated to the United States. Even I know this family well. I was born at the same time as this couple’s son. We grew up together. I babysat this boy & his little sister. Now she’s getting married. She had a quaint, small wedding in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. While my mom was celebrating & dancing the night away, Jian & I took the opportunity to visit the popular Jack Rose Dining Saloon. We also heard about this place from watching TV, & learned that this place houses well over ONE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED bottles of bourbons & whiskeys. Jian & I are diehard, hardcore whisky/whiskey/bourbon fans. (My dad would be so proud.) Next to Multnomah Whisky Library on the west coast in Portland, Oregon…this place is our east coast Mecca. Our eyes nearly bugged out of our heads when we browsed through their extensive (for lack of a better word) phone book sized alcohol menu. We had a whisky tasting experience to remember for a lifetime. Plus, I got to eat my all-time favorite dish: Scotch Eggs!!! I take my hat off to our whisky sommelier. I want a job like hers some day.

I tried a whisky I’ve been wanting to try for a very long tim: Kavalan Whisky by King Car Group. Hailing from Taipei, Taiwan and a two-time 2015 Whisky Magazine award winner, this whisky was crisp, sweet, a little smoky with a spicy ginger aftertaste. I thoroughly enjoyed this dram even though I’m not much of a spicy whisky fan. The bottle I tried was called Kavalan King Car.

We capped off our evening by looking for a coffee nightcap. Jian found a place called Slipstream, a hybrid coffee shop & bar. Yes, I said coffee AND cocktails. Needless to say, we chucked the coffee & desserts idea & drank more alcohol. No, Jian was NOT too tipsy to drive. He kept his composure & alcohol consumption to a reasonable amount. He’s not a reckless drinker, no matter what. [INSERT STERN GLARE HERE] i, on the other hand, let loose because I wasn’t driving that night. I got a little tipsy & kept texting my mom in Chinese. We all had a great evening & end to our trip. I was not looking forward to packing my suitcase in a tipsy state, but. I powered through it anyway.

I am looking forward to the next time I get to visit Washington DC again. I had a great time. Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

“HiyHiy” by Lostboycrow

IMG_9576.JPG

The title of this post says it all.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been battling through a mild yet persistent cold. On-and-Off coughing. Sinus pressure (in the beginning). Constant mucous/snot build-up. Runny nose. No sneezing, thankyouverymuch. Then, just when things are starting to look good, & I’m just about over the peak of my cold, BAM!!! I get some sort of illness, symptoms akin to a stomach bug or something like that.

It started a few nights ago when I decided to partake in some Vietnamese phở for dinner. I don’t think I should’ve ordered the soup noodles with the barely cooked beef in it. I think that’s what brought on this sickness I now am experiencing. (I probably didn’t let the beef cook long enough in the hot soup before taking a bite.) So now, I am having trouble keeping my food down. I can barely even so much as think about food without my stomach turning & waves of queasiness overtake me, causing me to want to dry heave repeatedly. Even as I’m typing this post, I’m struggling to hold my nausea at bay.

I surely feel as though these past few weeks, I just can’t seem to catch a break. One illness after another. I do take care of my body & my wellbeing. I just hope all of this blows over soon. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

Cheers, I guess.

Today’s song of the day:
“Hard Enough” by Brandon Flowers (The Killers)
hard-enough-brandon-flowers

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