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Oh Cheese It.JPG

“Oh, Cheese it!” is a new slang phrase that I made up for myself. I use this phrase in negative situations, rather than using my usual dirty longshoreman cuss words because 1. it sounds cute, & 2. because it’s safe to use around children and prudes. Instead of saying “Goddammit!” or “Shit!”, like when you stub your toe really hard, or when you drop something important, I would say “Oh, Cheese it!”. It’s cheesy (pun intended), I know, but I like using this phrase. I think it’s fun.

Now, I’m using this phrase because something negative happened. For the first time in a long while, I finally made a bad stationery purchase. How could this  have happened? I am usually so picky & choosy when it comes to buying stationery. I can browse the store for hours trying to look for the perfect notepad, pen, sticker, or other office supply item. I used to be the type of person who had to buy everything “cute” at the stationery goods store, but that quickly turned me into more hoarder than collector, so I gave away a lot of things I either had no use for or grew disinterested in. That groomed me to become more selective in the types of stationery goods I buy & use.

Well, I fell back into old habits again. I got caught up in the razzle-dazzle of the Japanese discount store Ichiban Kan. I was picking out some things to fill a stationery care package I was making for my younger cousin. (We have been very close ever since she was in diapers.) We both share a love for Japanese stationery & Japanese culture, & I just felt like spoiling her a little bit, since she never asks for anything. I saw so many pretty & cute, yet ridiculous goods at the discount store. I just couldn’t help myself. While I was picking out things for my cousin, I was also picking out extra things for myself. I must have been running on some sort of endorphin high, or perhaps something in the air fried my brain because I just grabbed whatever I thought looked cool without properly giving it my thorough, self-perfectionist examination.

Compared to some of the other times I’ve walked out of stationery stores, I think this purchase was quite modest. For my cousin, I only bought a Mount Fuji sticky notepad & a pad of animal shaped notecards. For myself, I bought a few sets of stickers & washi tape rolls. Let me lay it out straight for you. I.WAS. KIND OF. DISAPPOINTED. This was the first time I’ve ever been disappointed in my stationery goods purchase. Well, hold on a minute. I wasn’t completely disappointed with my purchase. The stickers were okay, but it was the washi tapes that really bummed me out.

This was the first thing I picked out, a roll of dog stickers. First of all, I really like how the roll is perforated, so you can tear off individual stickers, or if you’re like me…to shorten the used end of the roll to make it look neater/tidier. I really like the breeds of dogs used for these stickers. I’m so happy that there’s a Shiba Inu in the mix, as well as a Pomeranian that looks like the famous super pup Boo. Mostly, I couldn’t say no to the oh-so-adorable pug! Sorry for my lack of photography skills; my photos don’t do these items any justice. These stickers look matte in my photo, but they’re actually semi-glossy.

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The next few things I picked were these sets of stickers. The first sheet says “和ものシール” (wamo no shiiru) which means “traditional seal”. The word “seal” is how the Japanese use to describe the word “sticker”. I was initially drawn to these stickers because of the rabbits! How could you deny those cute little bunnies? Plus, I really liked the traditional design & the rice paper texture of the stickers. As you can see, I’ve already used one of the rabbits. The other two sets are “flake seals”, which in Japanese “flake” is used to describe die-cut stickers.  The set on the top has a forrest theme, while the set on the bottom are all kinds of birds. I really like these stickers because they are thin stickers, but I’d say they are pretty durable. I’ve already used one of the flower stickers, & I like how the stickers are slightly transparent. These stickers also have a rice paper texture, but a more smooth feeling. I haven’t tried any of the bird stickers yet. They look a little bit too soft in color for my taste, but I guess we’ll see how it all turns out.

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Here’s where things take a sour turn. I was so excited to see so many different patterns of washi tapes at the Japanese discount store. Washi tape rolls can get very expensive (especially if you get ones with metallic foil accents). I try not to buy washi tape unless they’re on sale or at the discount store. Of course, I wanted to buy all of the tapes, but I forced myself to pick & choose only the select ones I knew I’d purposefully use. I got these three washi tape rolls. The first roll says “Thank You” in various languages. The gold lettering is supposed to have a slightly metallic shine, but my bad photography skills strike yet again, & you can’t really see it here. The second roll says “ありがとう” (Arigatou) which means “Thank You” & “ほんの気持ちです。” (Hon’ no kimochi desu.) which means “A feeling of gratitude”. I really liked the third washi tape roll because it looked quite Scandinavian & will look nice on wrapped gifts. Boy, oh boy. I can’t even with these damn washi tapes! Sure, they look pretty, but their looks are so deceiving! These tapes feel like every other washi tape out on the market, but they are far from the same quality. They don’t even stick to anything you use them on (not even plain white paper). I tried using the flower pattern tape on an envelope I was going to mail to my sister, but the ends kept curling up off the envelope, & no matter how many times I tried to really press down on the tape, it would just peel its ends off of the envelope. I’m pretty bummed right now that I bought these duds. There goes $4.50 USD right down the drain.

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Well, that’s a lesson learned for me. Cheap is cheap, I guess. You better believe that the next time I won’t be so quick to buy everything off the shelves, & I will carefully inspect the items before I buy them. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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My head has really been out of it for a while. It’s hard for me to sort out all the hundreds of thoughts coursing through my mind at this moment. Lots of things have been going on that I feel like I’m just swimming though a dense fog.

I went to my very first acupuncture session last week. My mom’s cousin (who used to be a semi A-list TV star in Taiwain) married an acupuncturist (who also practices Western medicine at a hospital). I went to see this aunt last week and started my regimen of herbal remedies. Even though I, myself, am Asian, this all feels quite foreign to me. Nonetheless, I am excited for the outcome of my sessions.

Aside from all of my personal health matters, there have been frequent family events that have kept my schedule very full. I’m not a girly dresser, but I got all dolled up for my cousin’s semi-formal bridal shower party. I even got a fancy manicure, just a little treat for myself. I got my manicure at a Japanese nail salon that I go to every once in a blue moon. This is the design I picked. It’s a pink & glitter gradient nail color with various-sized gemstones on each nail. I love going to this particular salon because they are so creative, talented, & they do an excellent job as well as provide friendly service. This manicure lasted over three weeks & did not chip or get in the way of my everyday activities. The gems were also affixed so securely that I even had a difficult time removing them when my manicure finally decided to expire & give up on me.

I also recently visited the Japanese thrift store DAISO and picked up a few things I’ve been wanting to try for a while but didn’t want to spend the money on. I got two sets of fabric textured washi tape and a pair of heart-shaped scissors. Firstly, washi tape in general is very expensive, especially the cloth kind. The washi tape I got at this thrift store isn’t a very good quality kind, but it only cost me $1.50 for a set of three, so I don’t mind the mediocre quality. Secondly, I saw a pair of ergonomic heart-shaped scissors at my favorite stationery shop a few years ago, but I felt it was expensive ($14) considering it’s supposed to be more for cuteness rather than function. I was very excited when I saw those exact scissors for only $1.50 at the thrift store. Now I can try it without splurging on a fun but functionless craft tool.

Finally, I close this blog post by showing a photo of my latest craft project. I was sitting at my local coffee shop as I was writing this post & eating my lunch. I used the scraps of my lunch packaging to make this little wand. The materials I used were: long straw, hot beverage cup sleeve, sticky label from my lunch wrapper. The tools I used were: my imagination, my hands, & MUJI travel scissors (that I always keep in my purse). I had fun making this ridiculous little thing, but it brightened up my day, & I hope it brightens your day too. Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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